Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 98
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
- SENATORS' STATEMENTS
- ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
- Auditor General
- Speaker of the Senate
- Public Safety
- Agricultural Growth Act
- QUESTION PERIOD
- ORDERS OF THE DAY
- Canada—Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Bill
- Black April Day Bill
- Canada Border Services Agency Act
- Income Tax Act
- The Senate
- Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources
- Visitors in the Gallery
- The Honourable Fernand Robichaud
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, as we begin, I would like to invite the Black Rod to join me here at the front of the chamber.
Honourable senators, I have the high honour and pleasure to advise you that Her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased to bestow a chain of office on the Usher of the Black Rod. This ceremony took place at Windsor Castle, and the Queen herself personally conferred the chain on our usher, Superintendent Greg Peters, MVO. The Clerk of the Senate and I had the distinct honour of witnessing this special event.
The Black Rod's chain had already been blessed by the Dean of St. George's Chapel, the Right Reverend David Conner, KCVO, at a dedication service Saturday afternoon.
With the bestowal of this chain of office, the Senate of Canada joins a centuries-old tradition that is part of our Westminster parliamentary heritage. In the House of Lords, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod has had a chain of office since 1566.
Honourable senators, this splendid silver chain of office has been designed specifically for the Senate Black Rod in collaboration with the Canadian Heraldic Authority. It has at the front a blue enamelled pendant, an annulus bearing the royal Crown and inscribed with the motto of Canada, A mari usque ad mare. Within this annulus is a quatrefoil at the centre of which is a gold sovereign covered by the Royal Cypher EIIR. The reverse of the rounded display is a gold sovereign coin. The back of the chain also has a pendant; it is the new badge of Parliament, which uses the shield of the Royal Arms of Canada with the crossed maces of the Senate and the House of Commons.
The Sergeant-at-Arms in the other place has had a chain of office since Confederation. In fact, before Confederation, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada had the same chain.
Discussions about conferring a similar chain on the Usher of the Black Rod, thereby acknowledging his historic role, began a number of years ago. As the position of Usher of the Black Rod is the third-longest continuously held state office in Canada, this chain of office is an important addition to our national symbols of authority.
The chain of office will be worn during important state ceremonies, such as the installation of a new Governor General and the opening of Parliament, as well as the official welcome ceremonies of foreign heads of state and heads of government.
I am sure all honourable senators will join me in expressing deep gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen for graciously bestowing this great honour upon this house. I would ask for leave to table some documents which speak to this chain of office. Is permission granted?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of a delegation of representatives from the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies of the United Mexican States, led by Mrs. Marcela Guerra Castillo, Senator, participating in the Twentieth Canada-Mexico Interparliamentary meeting.
On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Daniel Lang: Honourable senators, today we are celebrating the seventh annual Navy Appreciation Day on Parliament Hill.
This year's Navy Appreciation Day motto is, "Building response upon the success of the past and into the future."
To build upon the successes of the past, we need to continue to invest in our navy and Coast Guard to ensure they are equipped with the most up-to-date ships and equipment. The government's commitment of $36 billion in multi-year funding for our navy and shipyards is a welcomed investment.
Earlier today, our honourable Speaker and, I might add, honorary captain of the Royal Canadian Navy, hosted a special ceremony to honour six Royal Canadian Navy heroes for their bravery, dedication and leadership. He was joined by Vice-Admiral Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; a British Merchant Navy veteran from World War II, Captain Paul Bender; and members of the Navy League of Canada.
With us today are those honourees: Lieutenant Robert Davenport, Lieutenant John Willigar, Officer Cadet Jean-Charles Viens, Chief Petty Officer Second Class Edward Burns, Master Seaman Brandon Ensom and Leading Seaman Alecia Barlow.
Colleagues, as a maritime nation, we have a proud naval history. This year, we mark 100 years since Canada acquired its first submarine. We are proud to honour and celebrate the dedicated service and contributions of thousands of Canadian submariners to our nation's defence and security.
We also take pause to recognize the women and men who serve in all aspects of our naval forces, from the Maritime Forces Atlantic, Maritime Forces Pacific, the Naval Reserve and our cadet programs, and thank their families who have supported them in all they do for our country.
Navy Appreciation Day would not be possible without the wonderful work of the Navy League of Canada, which has 264 league branches across the country, supporting 8,300 Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and 3,300 Navy League Cadets. The good work of the Navy League is supported by thousands of volunteers.
One of those outstanding volunteers is none other than our former colleague Senator Hugh Segal, who earlier this year became the second individual to be accorded title of Honorary Chair of the Navy League of Canada in the 119 years since the founding of the league.
I would also like to acknowledge Vice-Admiral Norman of the Royal Canadian Navy; the Navy League of Canada and their president, Ms. Louise Mercier; co-sponsor Senator Terry Mercer and our staff, David Sheppard and Leena Macleod, for all their hard work to make this event a success; and Senator Cowan, who was there instead of Senator Terry Mercer, who couldn't be with us today.
Finally, I would like to invite all members of the chamber to join us later this afternoon for a reception at 1 Wellington, from 5 to 7 p.m., in honour of the members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Navy League of Canada.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston: Honourable senators, the community of Fort Simpson, where I live, lost one of its leaders last week with the sudden passing of the Chief of Liidlii Kue First Nation, Minnie Letcher. She died on November 6 after a brief illness.
Chief Letcher was an outstanding woman. Born in the bush to a traditional Dene family, she excelled in school and eventually obtained two university degrees and assumed a position of leadership in her community. Her life story is an inspiration to us all.
Minnie was born to William and Mary Cli and was one of 11 children who lived along the Deh Cho, the Mackenzie River, 32 miles north of Fort Simpson at what is known as Tagaocho, also known as Two Islands.
The Cli family, along with the Tsetso family, lived a life of hunting, trapping and fishing and occupied all of the land extending west into the Nahanni Mountains and many lakes in the area. A large lake, Cli Lake, is named in honour of the family's use of the area.
I know the Cli family very well. When they came to town, they lived in the bush along what was known as the "back road," the road to Jimmy Cree's store in the community. My grandmother Ehmbee and I would stop by their house as she went to visit her rabbit snare lines.
Like many Dene families, the Clis moved to town so their children could attend school. William worked at whatever job was available. I have a nice picture of him with a swede saw cutting trees and logs at Charlie Hansen's sawmill.
Minnie finished high school, got married to Frank Letcher and had two children, Tanya and Loyal.
In 1977, she went east to attend university in Halifax, initially at Mount Saint Vincent, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then Dalhousie, where she got a master's degree in social work. She would have been one of the first women from our community to achieve such academic heights.
After graduation, she moved back north, putting her skills to use. She worked as a social worker in the community of Behchoko for a few years and as a health specialist for the Deh Cho First Nation and the Dene Nation in Yellowknife.
In 1998, she moved back to her home town of Fort Simpson and worked as the Director of Community Programs for Deh Cho Health and Social Services until she retired in 2011.
In 2013, she was elected Chief in Fort Simpson. She provided good leadership and amassed a good, competent staff and administration, and the band gained the respect of everyone in the community.
She was respected by all whom she had dealings with and had a particular empathy and concern for those who did not have regular jobs and who often stopped at the band office for coffee or just to talk.
Her death was a shock, and I was privileged to be at her memorial service where the Fort Simpson Recreation Centre was filled to capacity. She will be sorely missed.
Hon. Diane Bellemare: Honourable senators, on Monday, I had the pleasure of attending "I See Montreal," where I represented the Government of Canada as a Conservative senator. I was very impressed by the success of this initiative by Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group. This initiative was also sponsored by the Montreal board of trade.
Members of Montreal's civil society were invited to a conference to talk about ideas for breathing new life into Montreal, which, let's face it, is in desperate need of new life. Montreal has a lot going for it, but its unemployment rate is too high. It was 10.4 per cent in October, compared to 7.7 per cent for all of Quebec and 6.5 per cent for Canada.
I am confident that with this emerging new leadership, we will be able to attract the investment and encourage the job creation that is needed to revitalize Montreal, as major cities such as Boston, Manchester, Melbourne, Pittsburgh and countless others have done.
"I See Montreal" made me think of another historic event held in Montreal in November 1989.
Twenty-five years ago, the Forum pour l'emploi or employment forum brought together 2,000 participants from all economic sectors and all across Quebec. The driving forces of Quebec's economy answered the call sent out by this movement, which at that time was led by Claude Béland, who was the president of Mouvement Desjardins. Men and women from all walks of life got together to identify ways to create jobs, increase productivity and stimulate more social dialogue in all regions of Quebec.
I worked with others, including Lise Poulin-Simon, who is now deceased, and Michel Payette, to organize the Forum pour l'emploi, and I witnessed the growth of the movement first-hand.
The Forum pour l'emploi was not just a flash in the pan. It continued its activities until 1998 and accomplished many things. The members of its steering committee were invited to join the board of directors of the Société québécoise de développement de la main-d'oeuvre, which later became the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail. In 1998, it therefore became difficult to keep the civil society forum going when its key players were also on the board of a public institution designed to promote employment. In retrospect, it likely would have been useful to keep the forum going.
Any civil society organization provides a wealth of ideas and creates new energy. Obviously, mechanisms are needed to harness that energy and make those ideas happen. Such mechanisms are often found in the toolkits of governments, which is why civil society groups like to partner with government. Governments need the insight these groups can provide. The interest that governments and politicians are taking in Montreal's recovery is a good and necessary thing. However, we need to nurture the ideas that came out of I See Montreal and keep them alive, since sometimes governments can unintentionally stifle that creativity. Civil society's creative spark must not be extinguished.
Hon. Larry W. Campbell: Honourable senators, a British Columbia treasure who was born in Ontario died on Sunday night. John Brian Patrick Quinn left us way too soon. Pat Quinn was a teacher, a winner, a lawyer, a stay-at-home defenceman and a gentleman. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and epitomized a steel town boy. He told me once how proud he was of his family roots in Steel City and how his grandfather was a firefighter when the engines were still horse drawn. Most of all, he was proud of his Irish heritage.
Pat was a giant of a man who started his pro career with the Tulsa Oilers in the 1960s. A classic stay-at-home defenceman, he rarely scored, but you entered his zone at your peril. The great Bobby Orr learned this once when he came in with his head down, and the Mighty Quinn levelled him and stretched him out on the ice.
It was noted that afterwards, while in Boston for this same game, he was told by the team to go get beer because he was the rookie. So he went to a bar in Boston, after knocking out Bobby Orr, ordered a beer, at which time the people in the bar came over and he was afraid it was going to be fight night. But as he pointed out, it was an Irish bar in an Irish town, so everything went well for him.
After his playing days ended, he coached the Philadelphia Flyers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks, the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He took teams to the Stanley Cup playoffs twice. He coached Team Canada to gold medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics, the World U18 and the World Juniors, but his greatest success was with the Vancouver Canucks. He took a franchise that was at the bottom, was probably going to be sold, and moved it from that point to losing in Game 7 against the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals.
Pat Quinn loved the Vancouver Canucks, and Vancouver loved Pat Quinn. He coached almost all of today's stars at one time or another in international events, and he was simply incredible with young players. He believed that a coach should let the players play. He believed in the enjoyment and the fun of hockey, and I was honoured to know him. I was honoured to smoke the forbidden cigar with him on the golf course, sworn to secrecy until this time.
We, as Canadians, were honoured to have him in our midst. I want to thank his wife Sandra and his daughters Valerie and Kalli for sharing him with us.
I leave you with this:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Richard Stanbury's family: his daughter, Sally Day; his granddaughters Jackie Day, accompanied by husband Charlie Shaw, and Jen, accompanied by her husband Jeff Glass and 2 year-old son Tyler.
On behalf of all honourable senators, we thank you for being present.
I call upon honourable senators for tributes, commencing with the Honourable Senator Smith.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I received a notice from the Leader of the Opposition who requests that pursuant to rule 4-3(1), that the time provided for the consideration of Senators' Statements be extended today for the purpose of paying tribute to the Honourable Richard Stanbury, whose death occurred on July 21, 2014.
Hon. David P. Smith: Colleagues, I am honoured to have been asked to pay tribute to the late former Senator Richard Stanbury, who passed away on July 21, 2014, at the age of 91.
I knew him for over 50 years, and we were always friends. Richard Stanbury was a gentleman who I always held in high regard, and I want to emphasize the word "gentleman." We shared a lot in common. We were both active Liberals; that's how we met. We both wound up as partners in large downtown Toronto law firms. His father was a judge; my wife is a judge. We are both churchgoers, and Dick was always very active in the Presbyterian Church. I'm a mere Baptist.
Politically, Dick was very involved in the revitalization of the Liberal Party after the election in 1958, when John Diefenbaker won 208 out of 265 seats and the Liberals were down to 48 seats. Five years later, in 1963, Lester Pearson formed a government, and Dick was very involved in helping to make that happen. He became a senator in February of 1968, appointed by Prime Minister Pearson, and he was also elected as National President of the Liberal Party at the same convention that selected Pierre Trudeau as leader in 1968. I was at that convention, and it was high drama.
During the 1960s, I had been the national Young Liberals president and Keith Davey's right-hand guy at headquarters and executive assistant to both Walter Gordon and John Turner. I was dealing with him all the time. I was very young; he was something of a mentor. But we worked together as party members and were always political allies, soulmates and friends. Dick and I were also caucus colleagues during my time as an MP in the 1980s, but he had retired from the Senate five years before I arrived in 2002.
Dick always had a very strong work ethic. For example, he served on 18 different Senate committees during his tenure. We don't even have that many committees now, unless you include the joint committees.
When I think of someone like Dick, I'm reminded of how important it is to get tier-one people with first-class skills and principles into public life and on both sides of both chambers. From my perspective, Dick was a role model.
There are a few members of his family here who have been introduced. The true love of his life, Margaret — who was always called Margie — predeceased him several years ago.
His brother, Bob Stanbury, who also served in Parliament, and his sister, Elaine, were unable to travel due to their health. His daughter Jane is alive and well, as well as his grandchildren, Kelsey and David. These folks were not able to make it as they live thousands of miles away.
Your Honour has already introduced the members of his family. We welcome you. I have very fond memories of him, and with these comments, I conclude my remarks on our late colleague the Honourable Senator Richard Stanbury, a real gentleman.
Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am honoured to rise today to join my friend and colleague Senator Smith (Cobourg) on behalf of our caucus to pay tribute to the late former Senator Richard Stanbury, a kind, hardworking man who dedicated his life to serving Canadians, be it as a political activist or as a Senator of Canada.
Born in Exeter, Ontario, in 1923, the Honourable Richard Stanbury grew up to be very involved in his community. After marrying the love of his life, the late Mrs. Margaret Stanbury, he decided to move to Toronto to practise law. Senator Stanbury was very engaged in serving Canadians as an organizer for the Presbyterian Church in Canada, where he left a legacy building libraries, hospitals and churches that stand to this day.
Appointed to the Senate by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in February 1968, he would dedicate the rest of his life to serving Canadians and served as a senator for 30 years. In his mandate, Senator Stanbury led worldwide trade missions and chaired various committees. He also served as the President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1968 to 1973.
Senator Stanbury was a dedicated public servant described by many as a truly good man, kind and generous. He loved his church, his country and, most importantly, his family and friends.
I would like to recognize his family: his sister, Elaine, his brother, Bob, and his children, Jane and Sally.
His legacy will live on in the lives he touched and the stories and memories his family and friends will share.
I ask all honourable senators to join me in remembering the late Honourable Richard Stanbury who served in our chamber for over 30 years. May God bless his family; may he forever rest in peace.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I join today in these tributes to a fine human being, our former colleague, Toronto's late and great Senator Richard Stanbury, who departed this life on July 21 last. Known to us as "Dick" Stanbury, he was called to the Senate in 1968 by the then-Governor General His Excellency Roland Michener on the advice of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
On August 11 last, a beautiful memorial service was celebrated in honour of Dick Stanbury at his church, the charming Celebration Presbyterian Church, in North York. It was led by Reverend Carluci dos Santos. Dick Stanbury had helped to establish this church and served on its building committee.
Honourable senators, this service was attended by his surviving family members, parishioners, current senators, including myself, former senators, former ministers and former members of Parliament. It was a warm and beautiful farewell, a fitting rite of passage for a deserving man who gave much to his country, to the Liberal Party, to the Senate, his family, his colleagues and his friends.
His wife Margaret and his two daughters, Jane and Sally, were the great loves of his life. His family was his heart and his centre.
Colleagues, Senator Stanbury was a Toronto lawyer, a devoted Presbyterian and a committed Liberal. In his younger years, he had been a soldier with the Canadian Infantry Corps. He served the Liberal Party of Canada in many capacities, most notably as its president from 1968 to 1973. He was also involved in Liberal International.
Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury and I shared a unique and memorable moment on the evening of April 6, 1978, at Toronto's Sheraton Centre. That evening was the federal Liberal nomination meeting for Toronto's Rosedale riding. I was a candidate in that nomination process. The Liberal Party had chosen this large venue because of the copious supporters in this unusually large nomination contest between two candidates: Dr. John Evans and myself.
Senator Stanbury was the chairman of this Rosedale riding nomination meeting that evening. Colleagues, as is known, the Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau was elected as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada that day — April 6 — 10 years before. On April 6, that day, at the same Liberal Party convention 10 years before, Dick Stanbury was elected the Liberal Party of Canada's president. Our shared and special moment was the surprise and welcome appearance of Prime Minister Trudeau, after the votes were counted, at Rosedale's nomination meeting that evening in celebration of the tenth anniversary of his election as party leader. That evening, Senator Stanbury and I shared and treasured the presence of Pierre Trudeau in our midst and the memory of the date April 6 in our lives. So did the several thousand Liberals were present at the largest Liberal nomination meeting to date, with only two candidates.
Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury, upon retiring on April 30, 1998, in this place said:
Service to the Canadian public has always been the highest calling of a Canadian citizen.
Senator Stanbury personified the human concept that is public service. I laud and uphold him and his memory today.
Senator Stanbury's daughter Sally Day is present today in our gallery. With her are his grandchildren Jennifer Glass and Jaclyn Day and their spouses Jeff Glass and Charles Shaw and his great-grandson Tyler Glass.
Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury's pilgrimage is over; his journey is done; his labours are well behind him now. He served well. I was privileged to work with him here for 14 years. In dedication to his family and extending my greatest sympathies and condolences to them, I wish to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
This phrase, "Love never fails," is a measure of the man who was Senator Stanbury. I send my best wishes to his family members, and I also say to all of us here: May he and his beloved Margaret rest in peace. May God hold them in the palm of His hand.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Fall 2014 Report of the Auditor General of Canada.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate, I would like to table a document entitled: Visit of the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate, and a Parliamentary Delegation, Budapest, Hungary, October 12 to 15, 2014.
Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2013 Annual Report on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Use of the Law Enforcement Justification Provisions.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been received from the House of Commons with Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food.
(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.)
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Today, as we all know, it is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Colleagues, violence against women is not just something that happens in other countries. It is happening here, in Canada.
Six months ago, the RCMP told Canadians that there were 1,181 Aboriginal women whom the RCMP identified as missing or murdered. This was close to twice the number that was previously thought. Of course, the only thing that has changed since that report was issued is that the numbers continue to rise. Aboriginal women continue to be violently attacked, to disappear and even to be murdered. The recent cases of Loretta Saunders, Tina Fontaine, and most recently, Rinelle Harper, are seared in our national consciousness.
My colleagues and I have stood in this chamber repeatedly and asked the government to call a national inquiry into this national disgrace. The government refuses.
So, I have three questions: First, does your government accept the statistics set out in the RCMP's report? Second, does your government accept that it has a constitutional responsibility toward the life, liberty and security of Aboriginal women and girls, as recognized in section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Third, if your government accepts these terrible statistics and accepts that it has this constitutional responsibility, will it finally agree to call a national inquiry and if not, why not?
Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, our government is firmly committed to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls and holding criminals responsible for their actions. That is why we have taken and always take concrete action.
As part of Economic Action Plan 2014, we allocated an additional $25 million over five years to continue our efforts in directly addressing the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
We allocated more than $8 million over five years to create a DNA-based national missing persons index.
In 2013, we allocated new funds to the Family Violence Prevention Program, which supports shelters for women, children and families on reserves. Honourable senators, these shelters are important to the safety and well-being of these people, especially when they are in crisis because of family violence.
We also passed historic legislation that gave Aboriginal women living on reserves the same matrimonial rights enjoyed by other Canadian women, including access to emergency protection orders in violent situations.
We also eliminated a legislative gap that had existed for 30 years by ensuring that for the first time, thousands of people living on reserves would have the same human rights protections enjoyed by other Canadians. We did this by incorporating those protections into the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Since coming to power, our government has passed over 30 criminal justice and public safety measures with the strong support of victims, including tougher sentences for murder, consecutive sentences for serial killers, tougher sentences for sexual assault and kidnapping, and mandatory prison sentences for the most serious crimes.
I would remind you that the opposition has always voted against a national round table.
Our government has always said that it is open to any proposals from First Nations chiefs. Victims are telling us that it is time for action. We will continue to listen to these families and continue to offer them valuable programs.
Minister Leitch said she was very pleased to present the Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls.
The action plan provides the tools and resources needed to prevent violence, particularly by supporting community safety plans, helping Aboriginal victims with appropriate services, protecting Aboriginal women and girls, investing in shelters and continuing to improve the criminal justice system and law enforcement in Canada.
We will continue taking concrete action and fulfilling our duty to protect women and girls from acts of violence.
We hope that you will support us more consistently and regularly when it comes to bills and economic action plans that include measures to protect Canadian women and girls, including Aboriginal women and girls, of course.
Senator Cowan: Senator Carignan, that is a familiar recitation of familiar talking points. We have heard all of those before. I asked you three specific questions — none of which you answered. I will repeat them.
First, does your government accept the statistics that were set forth in the RCMP report? Second, does your government accept that it has a constitutional responsibility, under section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, toward the life, liberty and security of Aboriginal women and girls? Third, if you do, why will the government not call a national inquiry to deal with what I'm sure all of us would agree is a national, if not international, disgrace?
Senator Carignan: Over 40 studies have been done and over 40 reports have been presented at various levels. The time has come for real action. Taking a real stand, including the initiatives I listed earlier, will have an impact on the ground.
Canadians can count on our government to seriously address violent crime, including crimes committed against women and children.
Since coming to power, our government has toughened sentences for murder, sexual assault and kidnapping and imposed mandatory prison sentences for the most serious crimes. You have always voted against those bills. If there is one government that has stood up for victims, that has taken concrete action to protect Canadian women and girls, it is our government.
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: My question is for the Leader of the Government of the Senate. You keep talking about taking concrete actions, but concrete actions have to come from concrete knowledge. You are talking about how you have taken concrete action to address domestic violence by promoting more safe houses, interval houses, and so on.
Yet, where is the evidence that domestic violence is driving the violence against Aboriginal women? The RCMP report doesn't show that at all, not at all. Rather, the RCMP report shows that for Aboriginal women, most violence does not come from their spouse or domestic partner but from an acquaintance. How can your concrete action plan, which addresses domestic violence, be the only answer?
It addresses only part of the problem, not the major problem. How on earth did you ever come up with that kind of plan, when we have evidence that it's not what we need to address?
Senator Tardif: Good question.
Senator Carignan: Senator Dyck, this is a multi-faceted issue that requires multi-faceted policies and decisions. As I said, our government is taking a series of measures to achieve these objectives. We are taking concrete action. We are talking about shelters for women, children and families living on reserve. We are also talking about prevention plans to create safer communities, implemented in cooperation with the communities.
Senator Dyck: You also talked about concrete action plans and the matrimonial real property bill, which of course talks about women who live on reserve. How could you come up with that concrete action plan when there is no evidence that most of the violence happens on reserve? Where is the data? We don't have that data. You have come up with an action plan based on what?
Surely you need to have the knowledge that an inquiry would provide before you can make concrete action plans to address it in a logical manner. There is no data indicating where the violence happens. If the data exist, they haven't been published. Where did you get the idea the violence is only on reserve?
Senator Carignan: That is why diverse measures are needed. As I said earlier, we have passed more than 30 criminal justice and public safety measures, with the support of victims. These measures include tougher sentences for murder, consecutive sentences for serial killers, tougher sentences for sexual assault and kidnapping, and mandatory prison sentences for the most serious crimes. In Economic Action Plan 2014, we allocated an additional $25 million over five years to continue our efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. We allocated more than $8 million over five years to create a DNA-based missing persons index. As I said, in some cases, these measures apply on reserve. In other cases, as is clear from the nature of the measures I just mentioned, they will also apply off reserve.
The constant here is that we are taking concrete action. When we introduce a bill to improve the situation or we present an economic action plan to invest more, we see another constant, and that is that you always vote against these bills.
Hon. Wilfred P. Moore: When you decided to take concrete actions, which you indicated to Senator Dyck, were they done on the basis of the right to life and liberty under the Charter?
Senator Carignan: Senator, as you know, according to section 7 of the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof. The section has to do with government actions. We need to ensure that we protect the life and safety of Canadians.
That is why I am always so disappointed when I see the party opposite vote against concrete proposals designed to improve protection for Canadians, particularly women and children, such as measures to address violence and concrete action with respect to missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
Senator Moore: I want to confirm that the actions taken by your government have been founded on section 7 of the Charter. Is that what you are saying?
Senator Carignan: I'm sorry, I missed the question because of the translation. Could you repeat it, please?
Senator Moore: In view of your latest comments, were the actions of your government founded on section 7 of the Charter, which you just recited?
Senator Carignan: What I said is that all of the measures we take are based on common sense. We are taking concrete action to improve the quality of life, health and safety of women and girls, particularly in the context of what you are talking about: missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Our government is taking action for victims of crime by passing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and the Safe Streets and Communities Act. That is another concrete measure we have taken.
We will continue to take concrete action. The time for studies, reports and bureaucracy is over. Now is the time to take concrete action, and that is what we are doing.
Senator Moore: If you have not adhered to section 7 of the Charter, in view of this situation that has been highlighted many times in the chamber in the past and again today, why not?
Senator Carignan: I don't know where you get your information about us not adhering to the Canadian Charter. The Constitution is the supreme law and it applies here. I really don't understand your question.
Senator Moore: In view of that last remark, I take it that you are confirming that you are attempting to observe and that your actions are at least partially being dictated by section 7 of the Charter.
Senator Carignan: Our measures are dictated by the best interests of Canadians and are backed by concrete action. As I said, as part of our Economic Action Plan, we allocated an additional $25 million over five years to continue our efforts to address the problem of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Our measures are working and they are based on good safety and prevention management policies.
I encourage you to vote for the measures we propose. We care about the well-being of the women and girls of this country, including the Aboriginal women of this country. I urge you to stop voting against the concrete actions we propose. Let's all stand together to vote in favour of these actions.
Senator Moore: Do those management policies include consideration of section 7 of the Charter?
By way of comment, when you start bringing individual bills that deal with individual issues rather than masking things behind an omnibus bill, we will deal with them and vote for the ones that deserve support. Believe me; I would do that, especially when it comes to the safety, life and liberty of our fellow citizens.
Senator Carignan: Senator, you're right to point out that with the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, we also got rid of a legislative gap that had existed for 30 years by ensuring that for the first time, thousands of people living on First Nations reserves would have the same human rights protections that other Canadians enjoy. We did this by incorporating those protections into the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Hon. Grant Mitchell: This is a public question from Sara Walde of Ottawa, Ontario. Her question is on the topic of survivors of sexual assault and the justice system. I will read her preamble and question that follows:
Recent events at Parliament Hill and at the CBC as well as the corresponding social media movement #beenrapedneverreported have revealed troubling trends in relation to reporting sexual assault and harassment. Across Canada, individuals are bringing attention to something that has been known for decades: the justice system is failing survivors of sexual violence. Although social stigma appears to remain a significant barrier for survivors reporting these crimes, many noted that judicial system failures contributed to their silence. Low prosecution and incarceration rates are but two of many problems within this system. Other issues, such as the initial reporting process and subsequent trial, have been noted as barriers and in some instances were said to be "worse than the assault itself."
Sara Walde's specific question is this:
How is our Government working to reform our justice system to better provide support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment?
Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): As I said earlier, our government is determined to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls and to hold criminals responsible for their actions. That is why we are taking concrete action.
Since 2006, we have passed more than 30 justice and public safety measures and taken decisive action to protect the safety of girls and women and put an end to house arrest for sexual assault involving serious personal injury.
We have imposed tougher sentences for the sexual exploitation of children and tougher penalties for those who import, produce or traffic date rape drugs. Our investments in local and community projects have more than doubled. Since 2007, we have invested over $70 million in more than 300 projects to end violence against women and girls through Status of Women Canada. Such funding is unprecedented.
For example, senator, we are providing $300,000 to the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan to support a 36-month project that will help reduce violence against women and girls in rural communities and small urban centres.
In our Economic Action Plan 2013, we announced $24 million over two years for the Family Violence Prevention Program. Our government takes this issue very seriously, and we will continue to work on eliminating this type of senseless violence.
Once again, I invite you, senator, to join us when we take measures that focus on fighting violence, whether they are legislative or economic measures, and to vote in favour of these measures instead of opposing them.
Senator Mitchell: I'm compelled by Senator Dyck's question, and Senator Moore's as well, about the level of understanding and knowledge that the government actually has into the causes — and I'll use the term "root causes" — of violence, particularly in the case of the earlier question involving missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
How is it that this government continues to list a series of things that it says it's doing but can't link those initiatives in any way to data, understanding and research into the root causes? The upshot is that in some sense this government is just taking random shots at solving a problem for which they have no understanding of the cause.
Senator Carignan: The government implements various measures when it funds projects. Our government has provided more than $146 million through Status of Women Canada to help put an end to violence against women. These monies are allocated to various types of projects. Our government also improved support for victims of crime by passing the Victims Bill of Rights and the Safe Streets and Communities Act.
Unfortunately, the opposition voted against these measures, which will radically improve the safety of and support for women and girls and indeed all Canadians. It is sad that you constantly oppose these measures.
Hon. George Baker: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Senate Chair of the Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations — a very important committee of the Senate and little recognized.
The present chair is a former member of the Legislation and Regulations Review Cabinet Committee of Saskatchewan, and she is also the former chief of staff for the Minister of Justice of Saskatchewan, so she knows this subject inside out.
My question is this: The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee recently dealt with the Proposals for a Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 2014, involving errors in legislation and terminology errors. What was the role of the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee as far as that act was concerned?
Hon. Denise Batters: Your Honour, it is indeed a pleasure to respond to this question from such an esteemed colleague. In fact, soon after I was appointed to this august chamber I had the honour of being Senator Baker's seatmate for a time. During that time he regaled me with tales of case law deciphered from the footnotes of Martin's Annual Criminal Code.
Honourable senators, it is also my privilege to serve on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee with Senator Baker, where he ably serves as our committee's deputy chair. But I must not stray too far from the question posed by my honourable colleague, so, as Senator Baker likes to say, just a few words.
Honourable senators, the last time I had the privilege of rising in this chamber I spoke about our government's prostitution bill, Bill C-36. I hope that all will find the subject of the important work of the Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations to be just as interesting.
Honourable senators, this committee is composed of senators and members of the House of Commons. Our work on this committee is often unheralded but is nonetheless very important. Week after week our committee members ensure that the Government of Canada's regulations are correct, coherent, being properly applied and do not have any language discrepancies between the English and French versions. Every step of the way we are assisted by our very capable legal counsel.
I have served as a member of this committee since the spring of 2013, so I have seen that every so often a matter comes before our committee where a small change is deemed needed to be made to a piece of legislation and not just to regulations. The relevant department will often tell us that that change will be made the next time the act comes due for amendment; however, this may take many years to occur. As a result, our committee was a key source that suggested to the federal government that for these types of smaller changes needed to legislation there may be another way to accomplish this.
In my home province of Saskatchewan, probably every two years, the Ministry of Justice formulates a miscellaneous statutes amendment act which cleans up many of these little odds and ends. But the Government of Canada had not prepared a similar bill for many years under the previous Liberal government and under the Conservative government. As such, there was a considerable amount of cleaning up to be done.
Given this background, I was very pleased that our government decided to bring forward the Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act this year. Many of the matters contained in this piece of legislation were included in this bill because of the dedicated work of the members of the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations and our legal counsel. When this legislation was studied at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, I was pleased to have the opportunity to herald the unheralded efforts of our Scrutiny of Regulations Committee.
Thank you, honourable senators, for allowing me the opportunity today to also advise you about these efforts.
Senator Baker: I just have a short supplementary. I remind members of the Senate that, as to 2014 Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act and the previous act to that, the Senate fulfills a vital role in Canadian law that's not recognized. The Senate committee changed six or seven provisions that the department had put forward and, just from the Senate committee recommending that it not be there, it was removed — a vital role of the Senate in legislating in this country.
Before I ask my supplementary question, let me recognize members of the committee: Senator McInnes, Senator Meredith, Senator Hervieux-Payette, Senator Moore, Senator Runciman and Senator Smith. I'm not allowed to say the first name of Senator Smith, so it's not the Senator Smith who was the professional athlete, the full back for the Montreal Alouettes and a corporate lawyer, but the former cabinet minister of the Liberal administration and former lawyer.
My supplementary question is this: The last report of the committee had over 100 pages of letters to cabinet ministers, letters to the department and recommendations to the department about needed changes or explanations that needed to be given. How does the committee find the cooperation with the government departments as far as its activities are concerned?
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Question Period is 30 minutes. After that 30 minutes, it's over. I'm sure the honourable senator will gladly answer that question at the next Question Period.
Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved third reading of Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
She said: Honourable senators, I will try to be brief. I rise today at third reading of Bill C-41 to speak about the remarkable relationship behind the Canadian-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada's first bilateral FTA with an Asia-Pacific nation.
First of all, I wish to thank the chair and the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, including Senator Percy Downe, the official critic of the bill, for their concerted study of Bill C-41, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is a historic achievement that will benefit both nations, creating prosperity for both Canada and the Republic of Korea. It paves the way for us to make our political, economic and security relationships as strong as possible.
This agreement will restore a level playing field for Canadian businesses in the Korean market where our companies are rapidly losing ground to key competitors, notably from the U.S. and EU who are already benefiting from their own FTAs with Korea. While this achievement, a comprehensive FTA, is no doubt among the most significant developments in the bilateral relationship, the people of Canada and Korea have had a long history of acting on common interests and supporting mutual security and prosperity.
Honourable senators, I wish to remind you once again about the close and long-standing ties that unite the people of our two countries.
These important ties paved the way for the negotiation of the CKFTA and, ultimately, it's our interpersonal relationships that will be key to unleashing the potential of this agreement.
As honourable senators know, Canada and South Korea have had formal diplomatic relations for over 50 years. However, the connections between our two peoples originated well over a century ago. Last year, 2013, marked the sixtieth anniversary of the armistice and the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Canada is home to some quarter of a million people identifying themselves as being of Korean origin, the fourth-largest Korean diaspora in the world. Over 23,000 Canadians currently reside in South Korea, including approximately 3,200 language teachers. Our education ties are extensive and growing. South Korea is Canada's third-largest source of international students. Currently, over 19,000 talented young people make Canada their destination of choice to pursue their education. Based on the average estimated expenditure by international students in Canada per year, the presence of Korean students contributes over $500 million to the Canadian economy. Many high-calibre international students choose to stay in Canada post-graduation, thereby enriching Canada's pool of human capital. Also bringing people together are over 100 active linkages among educational institutions in Canada and South Korea, facilitating the exchange of students, faculty, staff and curricula, as well as providing joint research and degree programs.
Specialized technical experts in our respective countries are brought together via a variety of instruments. The Government of Canada has a number of memoranda of understanding with South Korea, including in the areas of industrial science, engineering and technology research cooperation, as well as clean technologies, energy, and Arctic research and development.
During President Park Geun-hye's state visit to Canada in September, our government built on research linkages and announced the intention to develop an agreement with Korea in the area of science, technology and innovation to provide Canada with the opportunity to further strengthen people-to-people ties and build a lasting strategic framework with one of the world's most innovative economies and top funders of research and development. The agreement will provide Canadian stakeholders with opportunities to create new partnerships and will enhance business-to-business linkages through a mechanism that directly supports bilateral, industry-led research and development funding for projects in strategic areas.
Of course, people-to-people ties also include tourism. Over 140,000 Korean tourists visited Canada in 2013, the eighth largest source of tourists to Canada and boosted the Canadian economy by spending almost $250 million. South Korea is one of the Canadian Tourism Commission's top 10 priority leisure markets and, in 2013, the annual growth of Korean tourists to Canada stood at 3.3 per cent, ranking third behind only China and Mexico. An estimated 4 million Korean travellers are actively considering a Canadian holiday in the next two years.
During her recent state visit, President Park and Prime Minister Harper also witnessed the signing of the Open Skies Air Transport Agreement between Canada and Korea, another significant milestone in the deepening of our bilateral relations and an example of the Government of Canada's commitment to helping the Canadian air industry increase its access to international markets, which, in turn, benefits travellers, domestic businesses and shippers.
During President's Park's recent visit to Canada, Prime Minister Harper remarked:
. . . while the 20th century was characterized by friendship and solidarity between our two peoples, the 21st century will be characterized by partnership and prosperity.
Indeed, the CKFTA will raise Canada's bilateral relations with Korea to a higher level and promote economic prosperity in both countries. Very importantly for Canada, the agreement will restore and ensure Canada's competitive position in South Korea by levelling the playing field for Canadian businesses and provide inroads for Canadian companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
This free trade agreement is ambitious and very advanced. It covers nearly all sectors and governs Canada-Korea trade, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement and intellectual property as well as cooperation on labour and the environment.
I ask all honourable senators to support the adoption of Bill C-41 to ensure the timely implementation of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement so that Canadians can begin benefiting from this historic agreement as soon as possible.
Hon. Percy E. Downe: Colleagues, I would like to acknowledge the work Senator Martin has done on this bill. As a Canadian of Korean descent, she was particularly interested in it. She contributed to one of the meetings we had at Foreign Affairs and closely followed the bill as it went through its journey in the Senate for the last day, today, hopefully.
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has heard the testimony of several witnesses regarding the free trade agreement between Canada and the Republic of Korea. Once again, I commend the government for finally concluding an agreement with one of our major trading partners, a welcome change from recent agreements.
Witnesses who were supportive of this deal cited increased access for Canadian agriculture, seafood, wood, paper, coal and mineral products, among others. However, the committee heard testimony that other sectors of our economy may not fare as well, because Korea has a well-developed economy of its own, much like ours, and as a result, they don't represent a market for many of our manufactured goods, largely because they manufacture them themselves. As a result, they prefer access to our raw materials so they can use them in their own manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing, however, is a vital part of Canada's economy, employing millions of Canadians and providing livelihoods for many more. In recent years manufacturing has been a sector in decline. Since 2000, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost in this country. Last year, for example, almost 12,000 manufacturing jobs were lost, mainly in Ontario and Quebec, as manufacturing jobs shifted to Asia and Mexico.
Senator Mitchell: Is this under a Conservative government?
Senator Downe: Some of it, but it is a long-term trend.
This manufacturing decline is particularly acute in our country, with recent media reports showing Canada experiencing the largest decline in manufacturing output among the nations of the industrial world.
Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics show that for the period 2002-12, manufacturing output in Canada declined by 11.5 per cent, more than in Italy or Spain. In contrast, at the same time, countries like Germany, Norway and the Netherlands experienced growth in manufacturing output of between 12 and 20 per cent. Such growth pales in comparison with South Korea, which saw an increase of 77.4 per cent over the same time period. Clearly, anyone hoping to export manufactured goods to South Korea is going to have an uphill climb.
The obvious example of this is the auto sector, the sector that has the most concerns about the implications of this deal. Ford Canada, for example, has been vocal about its concerns. In fact, the CEO of Ford Canada has stated, "No Canadian manufacturer can compete. . ." with South Korea, which protects its manufacturers with measures that go beyond mere tariff provisions. One trade analyst has described non-tariff measures like penalties related to the tint on automobile windshields or on the frequency of remote door locks or even the selective use of tax audits. Others have noted the lack of a so-called "snap-back provision" in this agreement, which was included in the United States' free trade agreement with South Korea, which simply means whereby American tariffs removed under the deal would snap back into place if South Korea violates the agreement. Canada was not able to negotiate that same provision in this deal.
Perhaps the basic problem when it comes to the automotive sector was articulated by industry expert and University of Windsor professor Tony Faria, who said:
We don't, in Canada, build the type of vehicles that are much in demand in South Korea . . . . It's not as if any trade deal we set up with South Korea is necessarily going to result in more vehicles being exported.
In other words, the current imbalance in that sector is unlikely to change. Honourable senators, it's quite an imbalance. Statistics for last year provided by Industry Canada show that Canadian exports of motor vehicles, trailers, bicycles, motorcycles and other similar vehicles to South Korea amounted to $12.8 million. Our imports were $2.8 billion. For every dollar in exports, $218 in imports, and again, unlikely to change.
In fact, Jim Stanford of Unifor told the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade that he estimated up to 30,000 manufacturing jobs could be lost in Canada as a result of this deal.
Of course there is more to this deal, and our economy in general, than automobiles, but the question of which sectors are set to gain and by how much in this deal speaks to a more fundamental issue, that of our exports and our trade policy in general.
Canada has been blessed with two things most exporting nations could only regard with envy, a wide range of abundant natural resources and a rich and eager market next door in the United States. Possessed of such advantages, Canada has come to rely heavily on our raw materials and our American neighbours, not out of laziness or lack of imagination, but rather because they are the strongest economy in the world. As well, they offer a certain security; an enormous market is only down the road rather than across the ocean. While factories and other businesses might close down and move away, forests, trees and oil sands do not.
As a result, various governments have sought to diversify our economy. From Prime Minister Diefenbaker's proposal that 15 per cent of our imports from the U.S. should instead be sourced from the United Kingdom, through the third option of the Trudeau years, to the current government's fondness for free trade deals, the desirability of relying less on the American market has been well recognized, even if the results have been mixed. But while the agreement before us today reflects that aspect of trade diversification, the other problem, the failure of our small- and medium-sized businesses to take full advantage of these agreements remains. And this problem is not one that can simply be cancelled like a tariff.
Honourable senators have heard me say this before, but free trade agreements cannot be an end in themselves. Important though they are, they can never be the only part of our export plan. Indeed, without proper preparation and follow-through, they can even cost our economy. Trade promotion is a difficult task, but a necessary one. Australia and the United Kingdom, for example, know this, and they both invest significantly more resources in it than Canada. Similarly, while whole-of-government approaches like the American National Export Initiative may serve as a model for us to follow, it would be useful to look at that, particularly since the American exports have increased by 50 per cent since 2009. So if Canadians are wondering why the American economy is improving so quickly, this is part of the answer.
So again, congratulations to the government for signing an agreement with such an important trading partner, but for Canada to be successful and maintain our standard of living, we have to do a much better job of assisting our businesses to become exporters. The Government of Canada has to follow the lead of other countries and put more resources, money and effort into assisting small- and medium-sized businesses in taking advantage of this free trade deal.
Thank you, colleagues.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Martin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Poirier, that the bill be read the third time now. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
(Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.)
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights (Bill S-219, An Act respecting a national day of commemoration of the exodus of Vietnamese refugees and their acceptance in Canada after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War, with amendments), presented in the Senate on November 20, 2014.
Hon. Salma Ataullahjan moved the adoption of the report.
She said: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on Bill S-219, An Act respecting a national day of commemoration of the exodus of Vietnamese refugees and their acceptance in Canada after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.
The committee heard from excellent witnesses, including the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ngo. While testifying in front of the committee, Senator Ngo shared his plan to move amendments to the short title of the bill from "Black April Day" to "Journey to Freedom Day." As such, Senator Ngo moved amendments to clauses 1, 2 and 3 and the preamble of the bill.
The title "Journey to Freedom Day" is better reflective of the perilous journey of more than 2 million refugees who fled Vietnam in search of freedom. It pays tribute to Canada's humanitarian role in welcoming 120,000 of those refugees to Canada through government-sponsored and private sponsorship programs. It also recognizes the many Canadian individuals, families, volunteer agencies, communities and religious groups who successfully sponsored Vietnamese refugees through the private sponsor program.
The preamble will still make reference to "Black April Day" as is traditional to the Vietnamese community, offering "Journey to Freedom Day" as an alternative title.
In addition, in order to be historically accurate, the committee replaced a line in the preamble that refers to the "single-party socialist government" with the "Socialist Republic of Vietnam Government." That reflects the actual title of the communist government of Vietnam.
Honourable senators, this day is a part of our Canadian heritage. The proposed amendments would better represent the Vietnamese boat people's journey towards freedom, many of whom have found it in Canada.
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Would Senator Ataullahjan accept a couple of questions?
Senator Ataullahjan: As this is Senator Ngo's bill, I think Senator Ngo would be better suited to answer those questions.
Senator Cowan: You are the one who spoke. I can't ask Senator Ngo questions, because I think I'm in a position to ask Senator Ataullahjan a question.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: According to the rule, the question is going to be put to the senator who just moved the adoption of the report and argued for the report.
Senator Ataullahjan, it is going to be your responsibility; otherwise, I'm going to ask another senator to take the floor and maybe Senator Cowan can ask questions of the other senator. But, for the moment, it is your responsibility to answer those questions.
Senator Cowan: Senator Ataullahjan, as you know, there were two hearings. I was at the second one, and I was there for the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.
We received, in advance of that hearing, a request, a letter from the Ambassador of the Republic of Vietnam expressing concerns about the bill and asking for the opportunity to appear before the committee. Why was he denied that opportunity?
Senator Ataullahjan: The committee felt that as an ambassador he should not be making a statement on what is happening politically in Canada. We did ask for a written submission. The ambassador provided us not one but two written submissions.
Senator Cowan: Is it not correct that the ambassador, in addition to a letter, provided additional materials to the committee and asked that they be distributed at the committee, but those materials were not available to the committee members before they proceeded to clause by clause? Is that not correct?
Senator Ataullahjan: Yes, because by the time we got the written submissions, we did not have time to have them translated. We have to have them translated, and they will be distributed to the committee.
Senator Cowan: But they were not distributed to the committee members, nor did the committee members have an opportunity to read them before they proceeded to clause by clause.
Senator Ataullahjan: No, because according to the rules, we have to have every submission in both languages.
Senator Cowan: One of the witnesses — I'm afraid I don't remember his name — representing one of the Vietnamese-Canadian communities, when he was asked whether there was any opposition to the bill, basically said that as far as he knew, everybody was in favour; he knew of nobody opposed to the bill.
Did the committee receive any requests from other individuals or organizations requesting an opportunity to appear before the committee?
Senator Ataullahjan: As far as I'm aware — and I think Senator Jaffer, who is the chair of the committee, would be better suited to answer this question — the only submission we received was from the ambassador.
Senator Cowan: You were chairing the committee during that second hearing and also during the clause-by-clause consideration. As deputy chair of the committee and as chair of that particular session, were you aware of other individuals or organizations who had asked to appear and were denied that opportunity?
Senator Ataullahjan: I found out the evening before that I was supposed to chair the committee the next morning, and I found out that there were a couple of people who had put in a request to appear. But the steering committee had already decided in our meeting earlier, on Tuesday, that these were the witnesses who were going to be appearing. It was a decision taken by steering.
Senator Cowan: What was the rationale, the reasoning, of steering to not allow — you explained something about the ambassador not being allowed because he would be commenting on Canadian domestic politics. I don't understand that, but that's a reason.
What about the other people who had asked? What was the reason for denying them the opportunity to be heard? What was the rush that would have prevented the committee from having a hearing to allow those who wanted to appear before the committee to express their views? What was the rush, and why did you deny that opportunity?
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Order, order.
Senator Ataullahjan: There was no rush, as such. It was Senator Ngo's bill, and we spoke to him. What we heard from him is that the community, as a whole, supports this. That's what we heard from our witnesses, that the community supports this. Since then, Senator Ngo — if I could defer the question to him — would tell you about the response that he has gotten from the community.
Senator Cowan: No. My questions are to you, Senator Ataullahjan. You are the deputy chair of the committee. You chaired these sessions. You were the one who, as soon as those witnesses were heard, proceeded to clause by clause. Certainly I was not aware at that time that there were other witnesses who had requested the opportunity to be heard in addition to the ambassador. I want to know from you why you opposed the opportunity for those people to be heard.
Senator Ataullahjan: I think Senator Jaffer would have known, and I think if you were at the committee, maybe she should have let you know that there were other witnesses, but it was a decision taken by steering to just hear from these witnesses.
Senator Cowan: My question, Senator Ataullahjan, is why. I asked you a question: What was the reasoning that you used to deny those people the opportunity to be heard?
We heard a number of witnesses, including Senator Ngo. He gave an excellent presentation of why this bill was the wise thing to do, and he made some amendments that were accepted by the committee. Several other witnesses spoke in favour of the bill. The question was asked, perhaps by a Conservative senator, if there were any people who were opposed to the bill, and the answer was no. But we now know there were other people who had different views from Senator Ngo and the witnesses who were heard. Why were those people not given an opportunity to be heard?
Senator Ataullahjan: Again, Senator Cowan, I would say it was a decision that was taken by the steering committee to just hear from those witnesses.
Hon. Jim Munson: I have another question for you. Why did the steering committee say no to the Chairman of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Association in Toronto? Why did the steering committee say no to the Co-Founder and Director of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council? Why did the committee say no to the Vice-Chairman of Haiphong Community Association in Toronto? Why did the steering committee say no to the representative of the Ottawa Friendship Group? Why did the steering committee say no to the Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Vietnamese Businessmen and Professionals? Why did the committee say no to the Honorary President of the Association of Overseas Vietnamese and Chinese of Vancouver and Vice-President —
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Why don't we start with the first one?
Senator Munson: That's the last one. Those are the people, honourable senator, who wanted to —
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Order, order.
Senator Munson: Listen, this is a democracy.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: We have six minutes to go. Senator Ataullahjan, a series of questions was asked to you. I suggest that you take them one by one. Senator Munson, you put your first question. Senator Ataullahjan.
Senator Ataullahjan: Thank you, Senator Munson. It is a democracy. I absolutely agree with you, but as I keep saying, it was the Senate steering committee that used their discretion, and we decided these were the witnesses we were going to hear from.
Senator Munson: What was the rationale for why you said no? What was the rationale behind it for these Vietnamese Canadians who had a view on this important issue?
Senator Ataullahjan: The steering committee is given certain responsibilities, and I think that's what we did. The steering committee decided these were the witnesses we were going to hear from.
(On motion of Senator Cowan, debate adjourned.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Moore, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercer, for the second reading of Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Canada Border Services Agency Act (Inspector General of the Canada Border Services Agency) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
Hon. Vernon White: Honourable colleagues, I rise today to speak to second reading of the Bill S-222, An Act to amend the Canada Border Services Agency Act (Inspector General of the Canada Border Services Agency) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
Federal organizations involved in national security play an important role in maintaining security in our society. There can be no doubt about that, particularly and especially in today's world. Our world is fraught with multiple threats to security, from contagious diseases to terrorism. In more ways than one, Border Services officers are Canada's first line of defence and, some may argue, most important.
For over 10 years, the Canada Border Services Agency has been on the front lines, keeping our border open to legitimate movement and trade, but closed to threats.
In light of this, the interest in their work, procedures and processes is understandable given the critical role that they play at our border. Indeed, some have called for additional oversight of CBSA.
Bill S-222 seeks to create a specific review body for the CBSA to be headed by an inspector general with a mandate to monitor and report on the CBSA's activities and conduct investigations in relation to complaints made to this new inspector general, disclose to the Attorney General of Canada information relating to the commission of any offence, and prepare and submit annual and special reports to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for tabling in Parliament.
While I understand where my colleague is coming from with his proposal, honourable senators will not be surprised that I am rising today to outline our government's opposition to this bill.
Our opposition should not be construed as reticence for proper review. It is quite the contrary. Our government has been clear that we too agree that robust review over our nation's national security-related activities is of the utmost importance in ensuring public trust.
Indeed, as we know very well, this is especially true these days, when national security issues figure prominently in the collective conscience of our country.
There is no doubt that the CBSA's mandate is very complex. The agency strives at all times to fulfill its mission, which is to protect Canadian borders while facilitating legitimate movement and trade in a respectful and transparent manner. Nevertheless, what should not get lost in this debate is the very simple fact that review already exists, to an extent. While it may not be subject to the review of a dedicated review body, let's examine some of the review mechanisms that are, in fact, already in place.
First, I would note that the CBSA is subject to strong ministerial oversight. Its activities are also examined by the Privacy Commissioner, which assesses compliance with the requirements set out in the Privacy Act. Let's not forget the Auditor General, who plays a crucial role with regard to appropriate stewardship of CBSA's public resources. The Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Auditor General both report directly to Parliament regularly. Several activities led by the CBSA are also subject to judicial review.
The government recognizes the importance of ensuring that mechanisms are in place to review the activities and decisions of the CBSA, and indeed I would note that steps have been taken in recent years to strengthen the review of the CBSA's activities.
Many internal and external review mechanisms are already in place.
As an example, I would like to say a few words about some of those internal mechanisms. The CBSA's Professional Standards Directorate investigates all allegations of improper or illegal conduct by CBSA's employees and contractors and takes appropriate action when there is evidence of wrongdoing.
Of note, the CBSA also has a legislated recourse program that reviews appeals from travellers and businesses. An important feature of the recourse program is that in order to keep it separate from program and operations and related decisions, it reports through a different branch of the agency. However, the results of recourse decisions are used to correct policies and practices and provide information regarding performance management.
On January 7, 2011, the CBSA's recourse program implemented an enhanced complaint mechanism to give the public a more accessible and simpler method to report comments, complaints or compliments. These can be made by filling out an electronic feedback form or by mailing a letter.
In addition, there are several public mechanisms to appeal CBSA's decisions, such as the Canada Agriculture Review Tribunal, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and the Federal Court.
Let's turn to some of our government's concerns with the proposed bill. Let us first reflect on the desired mandate for the inspector general. As proposed in the bill, it would be to monitor the activities of CBSA. There's a troubling lack of precision about whether that would involve all activities or if it would be limited to operational activities, such as customs and immigration enforcement. There is a need to more clearly define monitoring.
We are further troubled by the ambiguity in this proposed mandate as it possibly implies a role of oversight rather than one of review.
It is also confusing, because one could assume that it is about real-time oversight of activities rather than a review of activities after the fact.
According to this bill, a complainant and the inspector general could ask the Federal Court to grant any remedy it deems appropriate. However, such a measure necessitates a judicial review and detailed policies to ensure adequate integration within the existing framework. The bill says not a word on the procedural fairness accorded to CBSA employees whose actions would be the subject of an investigation by the inspector general.
What's more is that the inspector general would be entitled to access to any information under the agency's control. This raises privacy concerns under the Privacy Act and the Customs Act. Furthermore, I would note that not even the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which reviews CSIS, has the right to unfettered access to all information under the agency's control, such as cabinet confidences.
Another concern lies in the absence of specification regarding how, or if, the inspector general would fit into the review process already in place. Nor does it specify if the inspector general's purview would cover staffing and labour relations complaints, which again are also already subject to various review processes.
Further, as I have noted, the proposed bill is inconsistent with existing internal and external review mechanisms for the CBSA.
To conclude, honourable senators, I would like to reiterate that the government continues to trust the existing mechanisms in place to oversee CBSA's activities. I would ask all senators to join me in voting against this bill.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are honourable senators are ready for the question?
An Hon. Senator: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Moore, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercer, that this bill be read the second time. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?
(On motion of Senator Moore, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Maltais, seconded by the Honourable Senator McIntyre, for the second reading of Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).
Hon. Elaine McCoy: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill C-377, familiarly now known as "the anti-union bill."
I spoke against this bill last year when it appeared before us and I would like to put those dates on record today to give future readers of Hansard an opportunity to refer back to those comments and to include them by means of reference today. They were May 2, 2013, and June 20, 2013.
I would also refer people to my website — a little moment of promotion here for the Senate — which is albertasenator.ca under the green section with news, views and then podcasts — where they can listen or read, either choice is theirs, to those speeches and others.
I continue to oppose this bill and for the reasons I gave before, which I will in a sense summarize today. We see this come back to us today without even the courtesy of the amendments that ameliorated the bill that the Senate passed last time. This time it has come back without even those amendments from the House of Commons.
I really do get the feeling that we are all diagonally parking in a parallel universe. It is an absurdity. This bill is an absurdity. This bill is an affront. It is an affront to labour relations and an affront to governance of a country the size and nature of Canada. It should, in my view, not be sent forward even for second reading.
In the Senate we have a tradition of letting all bills go through second reading, which gives the people of Canada, therefore, an opportunity to be heard at committee where the bill is examined in depth with the benefit of input from Canadians with knowledge and/or pertinent views on the subject.
I would uphold that tradition in most cases, but I will say that we had that benefit last year. This very same bill came before us. This very same bill went to committee. I think there were 77 witnesses, or maybe that's not quite right. There were tens or dozens of witnesses, so we have all of that on record.
The witnesses were clear and I think persuaded the majority of this body here in the Senate that this bill, at least as written in front of us, is not a good thing. It is not a good thing for labour relations, and it is not a good thing for the federal government to proceed with.
It is not a good thing either for the Parliament to proceed with. I make that distinction between government and Parliament since this is, in fact, a private member's bill from the House of Commons, the government being technically the cabinet and the Governor General of the country; and Parliament being the House of Commons, the Senate and the Governor General.
We are at second reading and we are addressing the principle of this bill. When you wade through all of the justifications that have been put forward on this bill from its initial introduction, although it was given less air time even by Senator Runciman when he introduced it this time around in the Senate. The justification is the principle they are relying upon: If there is a tax deduction, then we can mandate with impunity full public disclosure of private information. That's the principle at the heart of this matter. If there is a tax deduction, then full public disclosure of very private information is mandated. That's the principle.
That is not a principle that I would uphold. In fact, it is against the very principle that has been central to the Income Tax Act since 1917, when it was first introduced. It runs in the face of everything that we have upheld for 97 years. Why would we sit here and blithely overturn that principle?
Just think about it. If we accept this principle, then I have the right to examine fully every detail of Senator Runciman's finances, because he deducts from his income tax, his taxable income as reported, a personal deduction. That gives me, therefore, as a taxpayer, the right to see everything that he does with his money.
If I want to see what my neighbour does with her money, that's also legitimate because she also has a personal deduction.
If you're in business, that's easy. You don't have to be a public company to be required to give personal information of any detail I want because you are already claiming any number of legitimate deductions.
This principle, if we accept it here today, has a wonderfully broad application. All we have to do is say yes again and we can help propagate what is surely contrary to every principle we've upheld over the last 100 years, every bit of common sense. Truly, we are living in a parallel universe if we thought that we should allow a minority, a small group of people — not 100 per cent, not 50 per cent of the population, but a few people — to be subjected to a breach of this principle. That's what we're doing.
Now, in truth, I don't think that's what the proponents of this bill really want to accomplish. At least, I don't think that's really the problem they want to address. You can remember what Senator Eaton said in her rather heated remarks last year in introducing the bill, and you can reread what Senator Runciman said this year.
Senator Runciman said that the labour union movement in Ontario influenced political election results or a by-election result. Interesting. He said that what really is needed is a provincial law in Ontario to control third-party spending during provincial elections. I might or might not agree with that. If that's what he thinks they should have, I would invite him to run again and rejoin the MPPs in Ontario and bring that about. That is a provincial matter. That is not a federal matter.
I must say, it was a matter of full disclosure this last time. If one political party gets up and says, "I'm going to fire 100,000 of you," don't be surprised if 100,000 of them, plus all of their spouses, children, neighbours and friends, get up and vote against that political leader. In any event, Senator Runciman was free to tell us how much money these unions spent, so what does he need further disclosure for? The whole diatribe left me somewhat mystified.
If you want to control political activity at the federal level, then the avenue is the Canada Elections Act. We have addressed that issue at the federal level. Again, we shouldn't be attempting to solve one problem, as some people might perceive it, with another behind-the-scenes, backdoor, indirect so-called resolution.
There is, in my mind, a way to respond to the real challenges as seen by the proponents of this bill. If they are political, which they seem to be, and if they are to do with having a multiverse of voices expressing their opinion as to appropriate policies for our provinces and our country, there are proper vehicles with which to address them. This is not it.
I think it's this simple: we are being asked to vote on a principle against which I will argue strongly. That principle is that a tax deduction mandates public disclosure of private information. I disagree with that.
Hon. Elaine McCoy: Therefore, honourable senators, I move:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after "That" and substituting the following therefor:
"Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations), be not now read a second time because:
(1) it is based on an erroneous principle, namely that a tax deduction mandates public disclosure of private information; and
(2) it is ultra vires the authority of Parliament."
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Do you have it in French? No? Make sure that we have it in French.
Senator McCoy: I can file it with Parliament in any language I choose.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I know, but it becomes bilingual when it is in my hands. We should have a French version.
Debate on the amendment.
Some Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: The question is on the amendment. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion in amendment?
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
Some Hon. Senators: No.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Those in favour of the amendment please say "yea."
Some Hon. Senators: Yea.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Those against please say "nay."
Some Hon. Senators: Nay.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: In my opinion, the nays have it.
And two honourable senators having risen:
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Call in the senators.
It will be a one-hour bell. The vote will be at seven minutes after 5:00.
Motion in amendment negatived on the following division:
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
The Hon. the Speaker: Accordingly, the motion is defeated.
Are honourable senators ready for the question on the main motion?
Some Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Maltais, seconded by Senator McIntyre, that Bill C-377 be read a second time.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Some Hon. Senators: No.
Some Hon. Senators: On division.
The Hon. the Speaker: Adopted on division.
(Motion agreed to and bill read second time, on division.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?
(On motion of Senator Martin, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Downe, seconded by the Honourable Senator Chaput:
That the Senate call upon the Members of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada to join the Senate in its efforts to increase transparency by acknowledging the longstanding request of current and former Auditors General of Canada to examine the accounts of both Houses of Parliament, and thereby inviting the Auditor General of Canada to conduct a comprehensive audit of House of Commons expenses, including Members' expenses, and
That the audits of the House of Commons and the Senate be conducted concurrently, and the results for both Chambers of Parliament be published at the same time.
Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I wish to move the adjournment of the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Motion No. 55 is on the fifteenth day. The Honourable Senator Fraser moves the adjournment of the debate. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(On motion of Senator Fraser, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Richard Neufeld, pursuant to notice of November 19, 2014, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be authorized to examine and report on emerging issues related to its mandate:
(a) The current state and future direction of production, distribution, consumption, trade, security and sustainability of Canada's energy resources;
(b) Environmental challenges facing Canada including responses to global climate change, air pollution, biodiversity and ecological integrity;
(c) Sustainable development and management of renewable and non-renewable natural resources including but not limited to water, minerals, soils, flora and fauna; and
(d) Canada's international treaty obligations affecting energy, the environment and natural resources and their influence on Canada's economic and social development.
That the committee submit its final report no later than September 30, 2015 and that the committee retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.
Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Would Senator Neufeld take a question, please? I wonder if he would mind explaining, why he is seeking such a wide-ranging, not to say vast, motion?
Senator Neufeld: This is to incorporate some of the people we want to hear from. That is really under the mandate of this committee. We wanted to hear from the Environmental Sustainable Development report last fall and we couldn't do it under the other mandate. We needed to change it so we could get that person in to tell us about their report.
Senator Fraser: Would you be planning any travel or other extraordinary expenses under the rubric of this motion?
Senator Neufeld: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to.)
Hon. Richard Neufeld, pursuant to notice of November 19, 2014, moved:
That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in relation to its study of non-renewable and renewable energy development including energy storage, distribution, transmission, consumption and other emerging technologies in Canada's three northern territories be extended from December 31, 2014 to September 30, 2015.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of members of Senator Robichaud's family.
On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Fernand Robichaud rose pursuant to notice of November 20, 2014:
That he will call the attention of the Senate to the end of his mandate in the Parliament of Canada's Upper Chamber.
He said: Honourable senators, at midnight on December 1, my mandate in this chamber will come to an end. I'm pleased that a vote was called so that everyone is here to listen as I recount my 17 years in the Senate. I'm sure you realize that I'm pulling your leg.
These 17 years have gone by quickly. I've enjoyed my work in the chamber because I've learned a lot and — I say this quite humbly — because I hope that my work as a legislator has helped build a better world.
Today I want to say thank you. I'm so grateful to all the staff of the Parliament of Canada, and in particular those who work for the Senate and whose services have been invaluable to me. This includes the security guards, the cafeteria and dining room staff, as well as those who work in customer service, communications, debates, building services, planning, maintenance, housekeeping and messenger services.
I specifically want to thank Senate security, the Ottawa Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which keep us safe and which demonstrated their expertise with vigilance and compassion during the recent tragic events. They care about their work, they do a good job and we are grateful for that.
I'm also indebted to the Senate's administrative and financial staff, as well as those who ensure that the committees and this chamber run smoothly: the pages, the attendants, the interpreters and the clerks for their courtesy and prompt service and, above all, for their sage advice throughout my mandate. I would also like to commend the work done by the table officers here. I may have often given the impression that I knew the Rules, but it was thanks to you. I took advantage of the fact that I sit close to you. Thank you.
I also want to thank the people who worked in my office over the years and supported me in my work. In particular, I would like to sincerely thank Carmen Gaudet, who is in the gallery. She has been a skilled, faithful and loyal assistant. She carried out her duties with professionalism and dedication. I would also like to thank Raymond Bourgeois, with whom I have worked closely and whose lengthy experience and wise advice I have appreciated.
I want to thank the leaders of our caucus because they often listened to me. I want to thank them for their understanding more than anything.
To all of you, dear colleagues, I want to say thank you for your friendship and your collegiality, even though our exchanges were heated at times. I appreciated the sincerity of your arguments and your sense of duty. I am leaving with good memories of the time I spent in your company, and I am thankful for the friendships we have formed and the discussions we have shared.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Honourable Speaker and the Speaker pro tempore, who have recognized senators on both sides of the chamber and deserve our respect for allowing debates to continue even though, at times, they were on the cusp of violating the Rules of the Senate. I am grateful to you for that.
I am very grateful to my family and my children — Danielle, Andrée, Jacques and Pierre — who have always supported me and have been there for all of the important moments in my career and still will be, I'm sure, after I leave this chamber.
With your consent, honourable senators, I would like to recognize the presence of my daughter Andrée and her husband Marc in the gallery, as well as my wife, Ginette, who stands out because she is wearing red. She looks good in my colours. I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to her because she has given me her full and unwavering support throughout my parliamentary career, which began in 1984. Today, I would like to say a big thank you to her.
Thank you, Ginette!
Honourable senators, I hope that for the first time, you will let me have the last word by giving your consent to consider this inquiry fully debated.
I would like to thank you all once again. I look forward to seeing you in the future.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, as Senator Robichaud indicated, he will have the last word. I have no choice but to ask Senator Martin to move the adjournment.
(The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, November 26, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.)