Previous Sittings
Previous Sittings

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 141

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.



The Honourable Elaine McCoy

Hon. Yuen Pau Woo: Honourable senators, today I wish to pay tribute to one of our institution’s great innovators.

As the founder — together with Senator Ringuette and Senator John Wallace — of the Independent Senators Group, and as the first facilitator of the ISG, Senator Elaine McCoy has been a pioneer in driving forward a new vision for Canada’s upper chamber.

Beginning in February 2016, she set out to create a space for senators who wished to join together and combine their collective talents and experience, all the while maintaining their independence as senators.

Her vision to create this group was born out of a desire to provide her colleagues with a home in which they could exercise their constitutional duty to provide sober second thought to all weighty and arduous matters without the constraints of party lines or centralized control.

Let us not forget that Senator McCoy is no stranger to working within elected legislatures and indeed within caucuses and cabinets. In the 1980s, she served in the cabinet of former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed. She was appointed to the Senate in 2005 and has sat as an independent senator ever since.

Independence of thought and independence of action has been a consistent principle for Senator McCoy since her arrival here, and it is what has made her an ideal parliamentarian to launch us on the grand experiment of the Independent Senators Group.

Spanning the past 18 months, Senator McCoy and her dedicated staff have worked tirelessly to build up this new parliamentary group, allowing senators from different walks of life and different points of view to join together and contribute freely.

In presiding over our group, she has proved that organized independence does work, and she has set a model for the rest of us to follow. Indeed, she paved the way for all of us and set the ISG on a path for future growth.

As Senator Saint-Germain and I — and I speak, I know, on her behalf as well — assume our new responsibilities within the ISG, we wish to express our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to our colleague and friend Senator Elaine McCoy for her leadership and guidance throughout her tenure as our founding facilitator.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Independent Senators Group

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): It’s my pleasure as the Government Representative in the Senate to congratulate the new facilitator and deputy facilitator of the Independent Senators Group.

I’m sure other honourable senators will agree that one of the great rewards that come with the privileges of this chamber is to meet and work with extraordinary colleagues. This is certainly the case with Senator Woo and Senator Saint-Germain.

Before being appointed to the upper chamber, you will remember that Senator Woo spent much of his illustrious career creating connections between Canada and Asia, connections that would lead to greater opportunity and prosperity.

His new role as facilitator will also involve creating connections, and I expect we will see creativity similar to his past leadership as he assumes this role.


With Senator Saint-Germain in a leadership role, the Independent Senators Group can benefit from her wealth of experience in public administration, community organizations, and associations. Senator Saint-Germain devoted much of her career to citizen advocacy. I am sure she will have plenty of opportunities to use her communication and mediation skills.


Of course, Senator Woo and Senator Saint-Germain will have big shoes to fill. I would like at this time to take a special moment to pay tribute, as Senator Woo has just done, to Senator McCoy as she steps down from the role of facilitator.

Since her appointment more than 12 years ago, as Senator Woo indicated, Senator McCoy has shown just how effective Senate independence can be. Senator McCoy has never shied away from challenges, and so she stepped up to take the lead during a time of transition in the Senate. Transitions are important moments in history, but they are seldom easy, so I want to express my thanks personally and professionally for our institution for the leadership that she has shown over the past 18 months and for her dedication and devotion to bringing change to this institution.

I look forward to working closely and collaboratively with Senators Woo and Saint-Germain, and I have no doubt that Senator McCoy will continue to make an extraordinary contribution to the work of this chamber.

Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, I’d like to join and adopt the words of Senator Harder and Senator Woo in thanking Senator McCoy for the work she has done and the leadership she has shown in this very interesting time of transition.

Senator McCoy and I worked on Senate reform a long time ago, long before the Prime Minister decided to move things along.

I look forward to working with Senators Woo and Saint-Germain in their new roles of leadership, and thank you for taking on those roles.

The World Remembers

Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, today I’d like to bring another matter to your attention. One hundred years ago today, many Canadian soldiers were embroiled in fierce fighting during the First World War.

As part of our obligation to remember the sacrifices made, I would like to bring to your attention an event entitled “The World Remembers.” Every year since its inception in 2014, The World Remembers has projected on public spaces the name of individual soldiers killed during the bloody years of World War I. For the past three years, the display has made an appearance in more than 65 locations in Canada and other countries throughout the world. So far the names of approximately 1.4 million soldiers who died in those first three years of the First World War have been projected.

This year, The World Remembers will be displaying the names of those who died 100 years ago in 1917, including the names of more than 21,000 Canadian soldiers, many of whom lost their lives at Vimy or Passchendaele. In addition, the names of 660,000 soldiers from the United Kingdom and other countries of the world who died will be projected.

The display will be projected just down the street on what is soon to be the new Senate chamber, the old railway station and conference centre, on the west wall. Facing the war memorial there is a large screen, and every evening from 8:30 until sunrise the next day, for the next seven weeks, we will be projecting the names of those individuals who died 100 years ago. They are not just Canadians, but Canadians will be singled out.


I hope you will have an opportunity to take a look at that.

This evening, we’ll have a reception starting at 5:30 in room 160-S. Mr. Thompson, of television fame, will be there to explain the program in more detail.

Independent Senators Group

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, mine is just a short congratulatory note. I would be remiss if I didn’t add my voice to congratulate Senator Woo and Senator Saint-Germain for their ascent into positions of responsibility. Welcome to the club.

Senator McCoy, congratulations on the job you did. It was great to get you know you. Thank you for the counsel and support you gave me over the last many months.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Debbie and Cal Cowan. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Wallin.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


Franco-Ontarian Flag

Hon. Lucie Moncion: Honourable senators, yesterday was Franco-Ontarian Day and the 42nd anniversary of the community’s flag. I am very proud of this event.

Gaétan Gervais, a history professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, and a group of political science students, particularly Michel Dupuis, who at the time was a first-year student, came up with the idea of having a Franco-Ontarian flag. They designed and sewed the flag, and then raised it for the first time at Laurentian University on September 25, 1975.

Like every flag, the Franco-Ontarian flag is symbolic. The two colours, green and white, represent two very important seasons in Ontario, summer and winter, respectively. The fleur-de-lys shows that we participate in the Francophonie, and the trillium, Ontario’s official flower, shows that we are full-fledged Ontarians.

The Franco-Ontarian flag demonstrates the community’s solidarity with and uncompromising commitment to living in Ontario, where it retains its rightful place in the province’s economic and political sectors and where its cultural identity is recognized.

The flag is a symbol of our identity. It represents who we are and the values we share. It is a source of inspiration. I would like to quote the lyrics to the song Mon beau drapeau, or “my beautiful flag”, which say:

Faithful and true to a past they hold dear

Speaking a language of old

Still standing strong as the ages go by

United, courageous and bold

The Franco-Ontarian community and culture are here to stay. The Government of Ontario has officially recognized the Franco-Ontarian flag Since June 21, 2001, but it was not until April 2010 that the provincial government recognized September 25 as Franco-Ontarian Day.

Yesterday was an important day for my community; people were celebrating all over Ontario. School children dressed in green and white to pay tribute to the Francophonie. They proudly waved the Franco-Ontarian flag.

In addition, yesterday, in order to promote Franco-Ontarian culture, people across the province were encouraged to purchase a book written by a Franco-Ontarian author.

Resilience and pride are two qualities that characterize Canada’s francophone community, regardless of which province they live in, regardless of their background.

Thank you, and long live the Canadian Francophonie!

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


Visit of the Honourable the Speaker

Hon. Norman E. Doyle: Honourable senators, I want to extend a word of congratulations and thanks to our Speaker on his very well-received visit first to France to commemorate what is known as the Trail of the Caribou and, from there, to northern Europe, to the country of Latvia.

First of all, I’ll say a brief word on France, Beaumont Hamel and the Trail of the Caribou. The year 2016 was the one hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, a tragic battle for our Royal Newfoundland Regiment. It occurred on the morning of July 1, 1916. As you are aware, on that horrible morning, in the space of 30 minutes, 780 members from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment scrambled over the tops of their trenches and were immediately killed by German machine-gun fire. The next morning, only 68 were available to answer the roll call. A whole generation of young Newfoundland men, some only 17, 18 and 19 years old, were wiped out in 30 minutes flat.

Speaker Furey, along with Senator Bovey and I, had the honour of laying a wreath at the memorial site to commemorate the regiment’s great sacrifice on that ever-remembered morning.

The preserved battlefield park in Beaumont Hamel is stunning. It encompasses the grounds over which the Royal Newfoundland Regiment made their horrific and tragic attack on that morning 100 years ago.

From there, our delegation, led by Speaker Furey, went to Latvia where we had the honour of being hosted at a number of meetings in which the Speaker led discussions on a whole range of topics, including CETA, defence issues and economic ties between our two countries, to mention only a few. Both Senator Bovey and I agreed it was interesting to witness first hand our Speaker’s exceptional diplomatic skills in communicating Canadian issues. We had the opportunity also to meet the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and many more.

To conclude, one of the great highlights of the visit was the Speaker’s 20-minute address to the Latvian Parliament in which he outlined many of our common goals and hopes for the future of our two countries, a very proud moment for our delegation.

However, an equally proud moment was the visit to the Adazi military base, where the Speaker encouraged and congratulated our Canadian troops on their great contribution to the preservation of peace in the Balkans.

All in all, Your Honour, our thanks for sharing these proud moments with Senator Bovey and me.

The Late Honourable Allan J. MacEachen, P.C., O.C.


Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, I was out of the country when Allan J. MacEachen passed away at the age of 96, so this is my first opportunity to talk about the Mr. MacEachen that I knew. Mine is only one personal story out of many.

Imagine you’re a young reporter covering Parliament Hill in 1976. This is one of the first times you have been out of the country, let alone travelling with a minister. Mr. MacEachen was Minister of External Affairs. There I was, sitting on a cramped, slow-moving plane with officials, diplomats and four very senior journalists. I pinched myself. How did I get here? The journey would take us to Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

There was controversy in Ottawa. I know it’s hard to believe today, but there was an expenses debate going on in Canada. The government was spending too much on travel. To save money, there was a frugal MacEachen on an aging 1948 Convair turboprop landing in Riyadh. The minister was in Saudi Arabia to sell new technology. I wondered what the Saudis were thinking of in our old plane. By the way, we were also in Baghdad, where a gentleman by the name of Saddam Hussein was looking for ways to take power, but that’s a story for another day.

This story takes place in Amman, Jordan, where the minister was about to be honoured with an official dinner. He and the diminutive King Hussein had gotten along famously during their daily meetings, but no one shows up late for dinner with the King. Guess what? Allan MacEachen did. But this wasn’t a snub. The dinner and the King would have to wait because constituents back home in Cape Breton were having serious problems.

The minister was patiently waiting for his call to go through. This is 1976; it took time for an overseas call to connect in those days. Finally, Mr. MacEachen was on the phone with the local general store in Inverness. He wanted to make sure that a family that had lost most of their belongings in a house fire got everything they needed to get by while he was away. He made it clear that he was there to help them. You could feel the compassion and empathy in his voice.

During this call, I was in his hotel room, waiting for my radio interview on the weighty Middle East issues of the day. But in the news business, all news is local. I had my story. And I think, but I’m not sure, that the King understood.

In the last few days, honourable senators, many stories have been written about the laird of Cape Breton, his commitment to medicare, the Canada Pension Plan and the minimum wage. But this story is about the Allan J. MacEachen I got to know, the man who once said: “I don’t care how important you think you are in Ottawa, if your constituents don’t think you are important to them, you won’t be here next year.”


Thank you, honourable senators.



Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Canadian Food Inspection Agency—Case Report of Findings in the Matter of an Investigation into a Disclosure of Wrongdoing

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Case Report of Findings of the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner in the Matter of an Investigation into a Disclosure of Wrongdoing (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), pursuant to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, S.C. 2005,c. 46,sbs. 38(3.3).


Privacy Commissioner

2016-17 Annual Reports Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the annual reports of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, pursuant to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985,c. A-1 and P-21,sbs. 72(2).

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Eighteenth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Leo Housakos, Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, presented the following report:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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


Your committee, which is authorized by the Rules of the Senate to consider financial and administrative matters, recommends that Jacqueline J. Kuehl be appointed Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the Senate.

Respectfully submitted,



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

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

The Senate

Notice of Motion to Urge the Government to take into Consideration the Funding of Literacy Programs in Atlantic Canada

Hon. Diane Griffin: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Senate affirm that literacy is a core component to active citizenship, a determinant for healthy outcomes, and, at its core, key to building an innovative economy with good, sustainable jobs;

That the Senate urge the Government to take into consideration the particular regional circumstances of Atlantic Canada based on smaller populations, many of which are in rural areas, when determining whether to implement programs using project-based funding compared to core funding;

That the Senate further urge the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to make an exception to the present terms and conditions of the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills project-based funding programs in order to request an emergency submission to the Treasury Board for $600,000 of core funding for the Atlantic Partnership for Literacy and Essential Skills based on their 2017 pre-budget consultation submission to Parliament; and

That a message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that house with the foregoing.

Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, pursuant to the motion adopted in this chamber Thursday, September 21, 2017, Question Period will take place at 3:30 p.m.


Criminal Code

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Ringuette, seconded by the Honourable Senator Bovey, for the second reading of Bill S-237, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal interest rate).

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I move the adjournment for the balance of my time.

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned.)


Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Bill

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Eaton, seconded by the Honourable Senator Seidman, for the second reading of Bill C-277, An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada.

Hon. Chantal Petitclerc: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-277, which should without a doubt contribute to improving the quality of life for terminally ill patients and their families.


Canadians, as we know, no longer die under the same conditions as previous generations. Thanks to medical advances, their last moments of life can be less synonymous with suffering. And recently, with the adoption of Bill C-14, Canadians whose condition no longer responds to treatment can shorten their pain by choosing to end their lives.

Bill C-14 made it possible to have access to medical assistance in dying, but if you recall, the discussion on that bill also opened our eyes to the very unequal access to palliative care and shed light on the limitations of our health care system to provide palliative care services. Despite their importance, 70 per cent of Canadians do not have access to all palliative care services when they have physical, psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs. Still too often, patients do not have access until very shortly before they die.



The fact is that there are only 200 palliative care specialists and about 30 hospices in the entire country. There are also several vulnerable groups, including children, who have little access to this type of care. Government involvement varies substantially from one province or territory to the next.

Because in-hospital palliative care is not focused on healing, provincial health care systems view it as a non-essential service. Any statistics and data we have about palliative care are incomplete and out of date.

As we all know, the Canadian population is aging and living longer. Furthermore, families are so mobile that fewer people can serve as family caregivers. Nowadays, people in that role are under tremendous pressure.

I would like to thank Senator Bovey for generously sharing her personal experience with us as an example of why we must take action. For some time now, there has been a strong consensus around the idea that the people who need these services should be able to access them in their own communities. Now that the medical assistance in dying bill is law, people should also be able to make choices about end-of-life care.


Bill C-277, the framework on palliative care in Canada bill, is a response to all of these expectations and concerns. My hat goes off to the sponsor, MP Gladu. Her collaborative approach has made palliative care a non-partisan issue and enabled her to obtain the unanimous support of her colleagues. Ms. Gladu succeeded in bringing together the main players in the field of palliative care for the drafting of her proposal.

The bill itself may only be three pages, but the expected results are huge. Within one year of the coming into force of the act, the federal government should report on its approach to a national framework that would provide, among other things, the definition of services to be covered and a plan for equal access to universal home care, hospitals, long-term care facilities and hospices.


Amendments made in committee clarify provincial responsibility for implementing the federal framework.

Another amendment would see Health Canada bring back its secretariat on palliative and end-of-life care. Like others before me, I wish to dwell on the proposed secretariat. Health Canada created the secretariat in June 2011 in order to facilitate actions focused on collaboration in health care. From 2001 to 2006, it had an annual budget of between $1million and $1.5 million. In 2007, it was dismantled, which brought to an end the national palliative and end-of-life care strategy, whose goal was to increase the capacity of end-of-life care in Canada.

At the time, stakeholders had arrived at a consensus on five sectors deemed to be a priority. Five working groups funded by Health Canada and a steering committee were created to provide general direction. These working groups included care providers, researchers, teachers, companies, professional associations, volunteers, and regional, provincial, and national organizations.

In rereading the reports of these working groups, it is fair to ask why, after 10 years, it seems that we are starting from scratch. I have this impression because one of the provisions of Bill C-277 requires the framework on palliative care to identify the training and education needs of health care providers as well as other caregivers. In fact, the Education for Formal Caregivers Working Group had already spent several years on this issue and identified the core competencies, not just for doctors and nurses, but also for social workers, pharmacists, and pastoral care workers at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The working group had compiled a list of these competencies based on an exhaustive study of palliative care and end-of-life care education and training programs with the help of a national survey.


Getting back to establishing the secretariat, it is true that the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Nurses Association have recently made a proposal to reinstate it. One of the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying was also in that direction.

I understand that governments sometimes undo the achievements of their predecessors, but I believe we still have to ask whether the secretariat and the strategy were abolished simultaneously because they were not the appropriate answer or for other reasons.

If they had worked well, perhaps we would not be in 2017 deploring the need for action on palliative care. I don’t have that answer, but I expect and hope that those questions will be addressed in committee.

Honourable senators, let’s be clear. I do support the bill. My concern is how to make sure that we avoid replicating models that may have not been as productive as we wanted, or to put in place structures that could create more bureaucracy without providing the desired solutions and outcome, or spending a lot of time in consultations to produce recommendations that are already somewhere on shelves.

I guess my point is this: Let’s make sure that we go through all of these aspects in committee, because if we are going to tackle something that is so important and crucial, we have to make sure that we get it right.


There is no shortage of proposals surrounding palliative care in Canada. One need only look at the 1995 report from the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, the Kirby report in 2000 or the Romanow report in 2002. All of those reports recommended that all levels of government make palliative care programs a top priority, and all of those reports included recommendations for the development of national guidelines and standards.

Another aspect that Bill C-277 does not emphasize sufficiently is the importance of information and public awareness on the issue of palliative care. Since equal access is so important, raising awareness of issues surrounding palliative and end-of-life care is just as important; the public needs to know more about these issues. To borrow the language of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, I urge the federal health minister, in partnership with the provinces and territories, to champion a national information program, because it is important that Canadians know what palliative care is all about, what purpose it serves, and where it is offered.


Honourable senators, palliative care, according to the World Health Organization’s definition, does not intend to accelerate or delay death. Its aim is to preserve the best possible quality of life until death. In Canada we have the responsibility to make sure that all Canadians do have the quality of life that they deserve until the end.


It is time for the federal government to lead and work with provinces, territories and stakeholders to create the conditions for the development of a flexible and integrated palliative care strategy.

An act, by definition, has the power of compelling the government to act, so in this very important matter let us take the opportunity and send this bill to committee without delay.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

(On motion of Senator Eaton , bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.)

Senate Modernization

Seventh Report of Special Committee—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Massicotte, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore, for the adoption of the seventh report (interim), as amended, of the Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization, entitled Senate Modernization: Moving Forward (Regional interest), presented in the Senate on October 18, 2016.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I’d like to adjourn debate for the balance of my time.

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned.)

National Finance

Motion to Authorize Committee to Study the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved—Debate

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forest:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report on the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies involved, in particular:

income sprinkling,

holding passive investments inside a private corporation, and

converting income into capital gains;

That the committee take particular note of the impact of the Government’s proposed changes on:

incorporated small businesses and professionals,

economic growth and government finances,

the fairness of the taxation of different types of income, and

other related matters; and

That the committee submit its final report to the Senate no later than November 30, 2017, and retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings for 180 days after presenting the final report.

Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, I asked for the adjournment of this particular matter on Thursday afternoon, as honourable senators will recall, at the time primarily for procedural reasons. We have Rules. I’d like the Rules to be followed or changed if we can’t follow them.

In this case, notice had been given only earlier that day, and I received the document that we were supposed to be voting on less than five minutes before it was moved. I found that objectionable and not in the best interest of good business in the Senate.

That was the reason I initially asked a number of questions. I wanted to understand, from a substantive point of view, why a Senate committee would engage in the political fray when our role is more to look over that, and it’s the sober second thought not rushing into the political side of things. That is what was in the back of my mind when I was looking at all of this, knowing that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance had said that by October 2 they would be coming forward with proposed changes. I said if that’s the case, why don’t we wait until October 2 to see what really is being proposed here? Why do we, as a Senate group, put ourselves in the consultation process before that?

We’re not a stakeholder. We don’t normally get into that aspect of developing policy; rather, it is more at the front end to get it going or to look at it in a “sober second thought” way.

Those were my objections. I wanted to put them on the record and I’m content that a vote take place.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

Hon. Frances Lankin: Would the honourable senator accept questions?

Senator Day: Yes.

Senator Lankin: Thank you very much.

I understand people want to get to a vote because if this is going to happen they want it to be able to happen to report back by November. I’m not sure of the import of the Senate committee reporting back by November.

Have you looked into this? Are you aware of why that date is important?

I have a couple of other questions, but let’s start with that.

Senator Day: October 2 rings in my mind because I heard the minister and the Prime Minister both say that consultation stops October 2; we’re coming forward with some ideas after that.

I didn’t ask the question. I saw November 30 was the date for reporting it back. I have no idea why that was chosen and I didn’t have a chance to ask the question.

Senator Lankin: Thank you very much.

Senator Day, in the back of my mind I was also concerned about the nature of the Senate, a body of sober second thought, stepping in for consultations at a point in time when the government’s own consultations on possible reforms, which is not even in final legislative form yet, were still proceeding. I understand that October 2 is the date for the end of the consultations. I’m not aware if a commitment has been made as to the date the actual proposals will come forward.

I wonder if you, in any further discussions you’ve had because you’re now prepared to go forward, see any distinction between the committee taking time to educate itself about the nature of the reforms and the impacts on the existing tax system, the interactions, the unintended consequences, through discussions here with experts and ministry personnel and the process of consulting more broadly with Canadians through travelling and hearing Canadians’ views on proposals that are not yet in final form.

I’m wondering if there are two processes here: One that starts with an examination of the issues so that the committee can educate itself, and the rest of us who aren’t on the committee, by watching that work can become educated; and then, once we know what the reforms are, a consultation with Canadians about their views on the actual reforms. Are those two different processes? Should they be two different processes, in your mind?

Senator Day: I think they are two different processes. But should they be? I’m leaving that to the committee that came forward and said they wanted to do a study on this.


It’s exciting to get involved in the real politics of this matter, considering all of the impact and returning to our communities to deal with the many questions that have been raised. These are very serious matters that are deserving of a very serious look. The question is what is the appropriate time to do that.

That is my view with respect to this. I don’t want to have misled you. I said that I’m content that the matter go forward. I didn’t say I was going to vote for it, and I can tell you I’m not going to vote for this because I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the Senate, at this time, to be doing what is being proposed.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

Some Hon. Senators: Adjournment.

The Hon. the Speaker: Adjournment?

Senator Plett: No.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Eggleton, seconded by the Honourable Senator Fraser, that further debate be adjourned to the next sitting of the Senate. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say “yea.”

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those opposed will please say “nay.”

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: I believe the “nays” have it. Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: Do we have agreement on a bell?

Senator Plett: Now.

Some Hon. Senators: Now.

The Hon. the Speaker: Fifteen minutes?

Senator Plett: Now.

The Hon. the Speaker: I’m sorry. What is the decision?

Some Hon. Senators: Now.

Senator Mitchell: It will be 15 minutes. We have to give people a chance.

Senator Plett: You just agreed to now.

Senator Mitchell: No; we have to go to 15. We have to give people time.

Senator Plett: Fifteen minutes.

The Hon. the Speaker: Fifteen minutes? What time? Honourable senators, if there is no agreement on 15 minutes, it automatically goes to one hour. I’m going to ask one more time.

Senator Mitchell: We’re not going to wait an hour; we’ll go now.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, 15 minutes. Is it agreed?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Mitchell: Fifteen minutes. It’s just he and I that have to agree. We agree.

Senator Plett: We’re agreeing to 15 minutes.

Senator Mitchell: We have 15 minutes.

The Hon. the Speaker: Yes, 3:06. Senator Fraser.

Hon. Joan Fraser: It is my understanding that leave is required for any bell shorter than one hour. I didn’t wish to prolong matters for an hour, but we have long-standing discomfort in this chamber with 15-minute bells because, if senators are in the Victoria Building, it is very hard for them to get here in 15 minutes. So that was the reason why I was trying to deny leave.

The Hon. the Speaker: All right. I’ll ask one more time. I heard 15 minutes. Are senators in agreement with 15 minutes?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

An Hon. Senator: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: I hear a “no.” Then we automatically revert to one hour unless there’s an agreement for half an hour. How about a half-hour bell, colleagues?

Senator Plett: Who is disagreeing?

The Hon. the Speaker: Thirty minutes?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Thirty minutes.

Senator Plett: Thirty minutes, agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: The vote will take place at 3:23. Call in the senators.


Motion negatived on the following division:

The Honourable Senators

Bellemare Hartling
Bernard Jaffer
Boniface Joyal
Bovey Kenny
Brazeau Lankin
Christmas Marwah
Cordy McPhedran
Cormier Mercer
Dawson Moncion
Day Munson
Dean Omidvar
Downe Pate
Duffy Petitclerc
Dupuis Ringuette
Dyck Saint-Germain
Eggleton Sinclair
Fraser Tardif
Gagné Wallin
Galvez Watt
Griffin Woo—40

The Honourable Senators

Andreychuk McInnis
Ataullahjan McIntyre
Batters Mitchell
Beyak Mockler
Black Neufeld
Boisvenu Ngo
Carignan Ogilvie
Cools Oh
Dagenais Patterson
Doyle Plett
Eaton Poirier
Frum Pratte
Greene Raine
Harder Richards
Housakos Seidman
MacDonald Smith
Maltais Stewart Olsen
Manning Tannas
Marshall Verner
Martin Wells—40

The Honourable Senators

Mégie Wetston—2



Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I know that some senators will want to speak with respect to the motion or defeat of the motion, but it is 3:30. We do have the minister waiting outside. According to our previous order, we will move to Question Period and come back to discussion on the matter after.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on December 10, 2015, to receive a Minister of the Crown, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, appeared before honourable senators during Question Period.

The Hon. the Speaker: Minister Sohi, on behalf of all senators, welcome.

Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities

Infrastructure Spending

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): Minister, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. I would like to draw your attention to the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada, which was released one week ago. As I’m sure you know, it showed a budgetary deficit for the 2016-17 fiscal year of $17.8 billion.

Page 11 of the report states:

Program expenses were $3.7 billion lower than expected, reflecting a number of factors, including lower-than-expected infrastructure transfer payments . . . .

If this funding were paid out as expected, the deficit would stand at $21 billion. The Parliamentary Budget Officer warned back in January that the federal government’s planned investments in infrastructure spending had not materialized in the first half of the fiscal year. The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance also mentioned in its June report that federal infrastructure spending is lagging behind schedule compared to the 2016 budget forecast.

Minister, we have been told repeatedly that infrastructure spending is the key to the government’s economic agenda. Why did your government therefore have such difficulty getting this funding out into projects across this country?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. First of all, I once again want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to be here. This is my third presence in front of you, and every time I come I feel honoured because I hold this place in very high regard. So thank you so much for that opportunity.

To the specific question, since taking office, our government has approved 3,700 projects, with a combined investment of $35 billion. This is investment being made by the federal government, provinces and municipalities together.

As you may know, the way the federal programs are structured, we give approval. That approval allows the project to proceed, so the construction starts. Once the construction is completed or close to completion, that is the time when we get the invoices. That is when we get the claims from other partners. There’s always a lag time between the money we have budgeted in a particular year and when we get those invoices.

What I can say is that those 3,700 projects would not have proceeded without the federal government, because we are putting up one third of the funding — or in some cases, 50 per cent of the funding — and that’s the commitment we made. This is more a matter of cash flow. When we get the invoices, at that time we pay those invoices out. But this is the money that has been committed to our partners. This is the money that is enabling construction activities or buying new buses or fixing water and waste water facilities in various Canadian communities, including indigenous communities, or building recreational infrastructure and roadway and transportation networks.

Money is actually being spent. The work is being done by our proponents. Construction is under way on the vast majority of those 3,700 projects that we have approved.

Senator Smith: Thank you, Mr. Minister. Our Standing Senate Committee on National Finance’s interim report on infrastructure spending in February noted that the system for infrastructure spending is a tangled web of programs and that the program complexity was created by the Government of Canada, not the provinces and territories.

Could the minister please tell us if any progress has been made in working with the provinces and territories to create a single window for municipalities to access funding as the Senate National Finance Committee recommended?

Mr. Sohi: Senator, thank you so much. First of all, I want to thank the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance for conducting that study. We have listened very carefully to our partners since taking office. I have done extensive consultation with provinces and territories, including municipalities, and we have streamlined some of our programs. We have reduced the upfront requirement for extensive paperwork that was required under the previous programs. We have done that part. We have also combined some of the existing programs, particularly for territories, to facilitate the easy flow of funds.

As we move forward, we are proposing one bilateral agreement with each province, based on four funding streams that we will support their infrastructure with, such as public transit, green infrastructure, recreational, cultural, as well as Northern and small communities funds. Through those bilateral agreements, we will be able to further streamline the reporting requirements, as well as some of the other requirements that they have to follow.

But do we have a one-stop shop for all infrastructure projects? No, we don’t, because different departments manage different infrastructure portfolios.

My department’s responsibility is more municipal and community-based infrastructure, and we try to streamline that component as much as possible, but also report on the whole-of-government approach to infrastructure that we are working on.

Infrastructure Strategy

Hon. Percy Mockler: My question is for the minister.

Minister, we tabled a report on June 27 at the Finance Committee called Smarter Planning, Smarter Spending: Ensuring Transparency, Accountability and Predictability in Federal Infrastructure Programs.


The government committed to spending nearly $190 billion in public infrastructure over the next 10 years.



However, as the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance noted in its first and second interim reports on the government’s multi-billion-dollar infrastructure program, the government has no strategic plan in place when it comes to guiding this spending. Why? Over 30 federal organizations are responsible for setting their own priorities, looking at their own performance indicators and also on their own timeline.

I know that many municipalities and local governments across Canada, from coast to coast to coast, are concerned. When will the government release a long-term national infrastructure strategy with clear priorities, concrete objectives and specific performance measures that will take into consideration municipal, provincial and territorial priorities and local governments across Canada?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. One thing that my department and our government is very clear on is that we want local governments to set their own priorities. We don’t come in and tell local governments what they should be building. Yes, we identify the areas of investment that we want them to support; that is what our national plan is. I can talk about five areas that we are focused on.

One of them is public transit. We are investing close to $29 billion over the next 11 to 12 years. Another area is social infrastructure where, again, close to $26 billion will be invested in housing, early learning and child care facilities and recreational and cultural facilities.

The third area of investment is green infrastructure. You are all aware how poor the water quality is in some of the rural communities, including indigenous communities. We are focused on that and also supporting our provinces in the implementation of green technologies so we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions moving forward.

The fourth area is trade and transportation.

The fifth area is the rural and small communities fund. I’m so proud to tell you that, after listening to you, to the people in the other place and to my colleagues, we have created dedicated funding of $2 billion for rural and northern communities so they can get predictable, long-term and sustainable funding.

That is our broader, national plan to support our partners, but we don’t get into the selection process of projects. Those are local needs, because we believe that local communities know better what their needs are instead of Ottawa deciding where the money should go.

Confederation Bridge—Bridge Tolls

Hon. Percy E. Downe: Minister, welcome back to the Senate. It’s a chance for you to talk about your favourite topic, I’m sure: tolls and the Confederation Bridge, which I’m sure your staff have prepared you for in advance.

Minister, as you know, Prince Edward Islanders pay a toll of $46.50 — let me repeat that: $46.50 — every time we cross Confederation Bridge, which is owned by the Government of Canada. Confederation Bridge, as you know, is a replacement for the ferry service that was a condition under which Prince Edward Island joined Confederation.

The Government of Canada is building two other bridges: the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, and the Champlain Bridge in Montreal. All three bridges are owned by the Government of Canada, so why is the Government of Canada pitting one group of Canadians against another group by charging tolls on two bridges but not on the other one, which will be toll-free? After all, Confederation Bridge is a replacement bridge for the ferry service.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. Whenever the issue of tolls comes up, I always feel a little bit of heat.

The distinction that we make, honourable senator, is that whenever we are building a new bridge, tolling is an option that is explored to pay for the cost of that bridge. When we are replacing the existing infrastructure, in the case of the Champlain Bridge, it’s an existing bridge and it’s being replaced because it has reached the end of its useful life. That’s why we committed to removing the toll on the Champlain Bridge.

This is a new structure replacing another mode of transportation, like the ferry service you have cited. That’s a new bridge. It is a new piece of infrastructure for which we feel tolling is an option that we should explore.


Hon. Chantal Petitclerc: Mr. Minister, as a person with a disability, as you may guess, I have followed carefully the great work of Minister Qualtrough with the consultation on the report titled Accessible Canada — Creating new federal accessibility legislation: What we learned from Canadians and, of course, I look forward to the coming legislation.

One of the things that came out of that consultation was how Canadians with disabilities placed a high priority on accessible buildings, and how all different forms of disability should be considered when we talk about accessibility.

My concern is that as you are well under way with your Investing in Canada Plan, some pieces of existing public infrastructure will be, or could be, modernized to address accessibility standards that are outdated or maybe not even adequate and, of course, that would be a missed opportunity.

Without the result of the consultation and without the bill and the new accessibility framework that we are expecting, how do you ensure that the projects you fund are taking into account the latest accessibility desires and requirements?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. That’s a very important and relevant question, because thousands and thousands of Canadians are being excluded from participating in community life by not having access to recreational and cultural facilities. I’m a former bus driver. I know from my own experience how, when I used to drive that old bus that has a number of steps for people to get in, that excluded people from going to places.

We are supporting municipalities to replace those old buses with new, accessible buses. We are supporting municipalities to buy more paratransit buses for people to move around, particularly those who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs.

The focus of Budget 2016 was on the repairs and rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure, and we have supported a large number of projects and we used that money to retrofit existing buildings. So that work is happening.

Moving forward, under our long-term plan, in having this discussion with our partners, the provinces, we are assuring that universal accessibility is something that we want them to implement not only in building new projects. If they’re doing a major renovation, they should be following the new standards for accessibility.

Another area we’re focused on is not just physical accessibility but accessibility to employment. How do we support underemployed Canadians, whether they are young Canadians, recent immigrants, people from indigenous communities or people with disabilities, to give them the opportunity to be employed during the construction, or after the construction, when the project is completed?

We’re taking a number of steps to ensure that our communities are accessible places for all Canadians, because that’s the goal that we have committed to fulfill, because we believe in not only inclusive economic growth, but also access to community infrastructure.

Infrastructure Bank

Hon. Douglas Black: Minister Sohi, welcome to the Senate. As an Alberta senator, thank you for the work that you do for Albertans and, in particular, the tremendous work you do for Edmonton—Mill Woods.


I was hoping that you could provide this chamber with an update on the Canada Infrastructure Bank. In particular, I’m interested in knowing the status of the CEO and board appointments. I’m also interested, as I’m sure this chamber is, in the process for identifying potential partners and investments.

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: I’m really proud that we were able to create this entity that will allow us to build more infrastructure. There’s such a large infrastructure deficit in our country that, despite making historic investments of $180 billion, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

The way we are in the process, we have selected the board chair. Janice Fukakusa has agreed to that position. We are in the process of selecting the rest of the board members and hiring the CEO. Once that is in place, the office is being set up in Toronto.

Work is in progress. Our goal is to have the bank fully operational by the end of this year.

First, on the subject of project selection, the role of the government is going to be an early signal. When a project comes our way, government will look at that project and make a determination whether that project is in the public interest. That initial analysis or review will take place.

After that, everything will be done by independent Crown corporations that will be staffed with proper experts and the people who can do that kind of analysis. We will not intervene in the review and approval process. That will be done entirely by the bank. We feel that government’s role is to determine initially whether the project is in the public interest. Once that determination is made, everything should be done by the professionals who are able and have the capacity to do that.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Black, I know you wish to ask a supplementary, but there is agreement that only leaders will ask one supplementary. If another senator wishes to ask a supplementary, they will drop to the bottom of the list. Once we have exhausted all senators’ first questions, we will come back, if there’s time.

Hon. Elizabeth Marshall: Minister, welcome and thank you for being here today.

In June, when we were debating the budget bill, there was a significant amount of debate on the Canada Infrastructure Bank, as you know, particularly the risks associated with large infrastructure projects. Private-sector partners will be investing in these projects to make a profit. However, there are a number of risks. The project may go over budget, or the project may not generate the rate of return anticipated. In addition, the Canada Infrastructure Bank can provide loan guarantees, which is another risk.

We have heard from federal Minister Morneau, regarding fairness for middle-class taxpayers, especially with respect to the small-business tax changes. Yet those same middle-class taxpayers may have to pay the bill for private investors if a given project does not generate the expected projects.

Who will be assuming the risk associated with these infrastructure projects? Will it be the private investors, or will it be the Canadian taxpayer?

Mr. Sohi: Thank you, senator. The risk will be proportional to the investment made in that particular project by the private sector and the public entities. Government will only undertake projects that are in the public interest. We are not here to fund projects that do not make any sense from the public’s point of view, and we will not undertake projects that are too risky for government to fund.

That is why it is very important that we de-politicize the selection of projects — that it is not a political decision to move forward on a particular project after the determination of the public interest. That analysis should be done by the professionals who will staff the bank: the CEO, board members and other staff. Those are people who will understand what is necessary to protect the public interest and how that particular project will shift the risk from the public to the private sector.

Please also understand that our current funding arrangements put the money we put into that project at risk. There’s no return on the investment that we make into existing infrastructure, other than the social return, which is having the infrastructure built and meeting the community’s need. That is an important aspect. But we don’t gain any financial return on the investments we make through our existing funding plans.

Whatever the revenue associated with a project funded by the bank, we don’t take any risk on the revenue. The entire risk has to be taken by the private sector. They need to figure out how much of a return they need.

We come in to make sure that we de-risk the initial investment so the project can happen; otherwise, that project may never happen. If a project can be funded solely by government, government will fund that. If it is funded solely by the private capital and no government involvement is required, they will do that. We are talking about projects that are not possible just by private-sector investment or public investment. These are large projects, or projects that may have potential revenue, but that are just too large or risky for the private sector to undertake on its own.

Grays Bay Project

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Welcome, Mr. Minister. I want to thank you for visiting Nunavut in the spring.

I’d like to seek your views on the funding of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project in Nunavut. I think you are well familiar with this nation-building project, which is the most advanced project in Nunavut having entered into the environmental assessment process in August. It is being jointly led by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and the Government of Nunavut. This was recognized as the best trade corridor opportunity by the Canada Transport Act independent panel review.

I believe you also know that my Inuit constituents have been working tirelessly making the rounds in Ottawa, speaking to your staff and other ministry staff, including Transport Canada and Indigenous Affairs.

Most of the audiences have appreciated that this project addresses many of your government’s priorities, including responsible resource development, Arctic sovereignty, facilitating reconciliation with Aboriginal groups and fostering improvements in the quality of life for Nunavut’s lower and middle class.

The project has submitted an expression of interest to Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund, and it’s cleared to submit a full business case that they’re working on for presentation prior to the November 6 deadline.

I do appreciate very much that your government is recognizing the infrastructure and financial capacity shortcomings in Nunavut by your willingness to fund 75 per cent. I also noted the recent major commitment to Yukon for highways that was recently announced. You’ve also recognized the importance of trade corridors, having allocated $2 billion to Transport Canada and $5 billion through the infrastructure bank in what seems to be a yet-to-be-clearly-determined program.

How might the Grays Bay project get funded, given these various avenues?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator, for asking that question, because this is a very important project for Nunavut. I have met with the ministers responsible — my counterparts — a number of times. I also met with the KIA on this, and they have been in regular contact with my office.

There are a number of ways that project can move forward. We will be negotiating bilateral agreements with the territory. I can give you the amount of funding that has been allocated or will be allocated: They will get close to $207 million under the green infrastructure funding, about $32 million under the Canada Cultural Investment Fund and about $152 million under the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure fund. We have also created an Arctic Energy Fund. Under that, the territory will receive $175 million.

Along with that, they also have access to the Federal Gas Tax Fund, which is not a large amount of money. I recognize that.


They also had conversations with us about having the Infrastructure Bank look at this project. It is a very large project. It is connected to trade and transportation. It has the potential to open up resource development opportunities.

There are many ways this project can be advanced, but the decision has to be made by the territory. They have to prioritize this project under these infrastructure plans based on what their other needs are. But we will continue to explore options with them, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank could potentially be one of those options if they give that project for the bank to evaluate.

Housing Shelters

Hon. Art Eggleton: Minister, welcome once again. In your mandate letter from the Prime Minister, there is one clause I want to draw to your attention. It asked you to work with the Minister of Status of Women and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to ensure “ . . . that no one fleeing domestic violence is left without a place to turn by growing and maintaining Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses.”

As you know, minister, women facing domestic violence are far more likely to experience homelessness than a typical Canadian, even more so if that woman is indigenous.

According to the Homeless Hub, on any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe to stay at home.

While shelters work in emergency circumstances, they are not a long-term or even a medium-term solution. These women and their children need the option of quickly moving into a more permanent residence if they are to return to any kind of normalcy in their lives.

Now, this falls in line with the Housing First approach to homelessness.

My question for you today is in two parts: First, which new minister tasked with an indigenous file will you be working with on this matter; and, second, more to the point, what has been done so far to ensure that these women and their children are moved away from the shelter system and into more stable housing when escaping an abusive partner?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you for asking that question. If you allow me, I want to share a story with you. It’s a story of struggle, but it is also a story of hope.

When I was a city councillor, I got a call in my office from a young mother of three children looking for help. She was almost to be evicted from a shelter because she had mental health and addiction issues. Luckily, because there was support available in the community, my office was able to connect her to the Housing First initiative.

I ran into that mother about a year later. Within that one-year time frame, she was able to put her life together. Her children were back in school, she was holding a stable job, and she was seeking help for her mental health.

That is what it means. This story says that if you give people opportunity, when you give them a safe and stable place to live, they will succeed. Just imagine, for a minute, if that mother didn’t have that place. What would have happened to her and her children? It would have been a loss for society and her.

That’s why our government is committed to developing a national housing strategy that Minister Duclos has undertaken in consultation with the provinces, territories and municipalities. We will be investing close to $12 billion into that. That is new money on top of what is already available.

Through Budget 2016, we focused particularly on shelters for indigenous women. Close to $200 million was invested in that.

I work very closely with Minister Duclos now with the creation of Indigenous Services, a new department under Minister Philpott. There will be an increased focus on that because this is really important for all of us. There has to be a stable place for people to live, especially women fleeing domestic violence.

Safety and Protection of Essential Infrastructure

Hon. Rosa Galvez: Good afternoon, Minister Sohi. Thank you for being here. My question is about the resilience of infrastructure to disasters, whether they be natural or caused by risky human activities.

Last May I asked you about infrastructure investment in the context of climate change. You said that the government is focused on supporting communities to adapt their infrastructure to the impact of climate change. The importance of considering risk early in the design and construction process in a speedy fashion in adapting to an increasing risk is not only essential but critical to safeguard the urban infrastructure.

I have been honoured to give the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering a national lecture, and I’m visiting cities from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver. I’m speaking about the environmental disaster following the tragic rail accident and oil spill at Lac-Mégantic that caused the complete destruction of municipal infrastructure.

Environmental catastrophes such as flooding or hurricanes are happening now and will continue to happen with increasing frequency. This event should be seen as a warning and reminder but also as an opportunity to improve our engineering and planning practices to enhance the protection of valuable infrastructure.

A question I heard often from engineers during this tour, and also from citizens, is that today are we prepared to face these catastrophes? Our present infrastructure — roads, railways, bridges, water, wastewater and electrical utilities, to name a few examples — are resilient to potential natural or human-caused disasters. How can we improve our building codes to include these concerns of natural or human-made disasters? Can we work together to increase the safety and protection of essential infrastructure?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. I was in Iqaluit in April, and I saw firsthand the impact of climate change related to the degradation of the permafrost, how the pipelines, the underground infrastructure of the city’s infrastructure, had deteriorated because of climate change.

You talk about floods and fires. It’s the reality that we need to tackle. That’s why our government is committed to investing in green infrastructure. We will be investing close to $20 billion in that area.

My department is also working closely with provinces and territories on the National Disaster Mitigation Strategy. We have set aside $2 billion of national funding.

Minister Carr’s office has undertaken a review of the codes and specifications because that work has to be done. There are a number of actions being undertaken by the government.

This is not only the immediate impact of climate change, but how do we put a long-term strategy in place? Minister McKenna has undertaken that through the climate change framework.

There are a number of steps that are being taken related on that matter.

Smart Cities Challenge

Hon. Patricia Bovey: Thank you for being with us this afternoon.

Minister, as you know, the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications is currently undertaking a study on autonomous and connected vehicles at the request of the Minister of Transport.

We have heard, throughout our hearings, that the future of transportation will be smart transportation, meaning smart infrastructure will communicate with AV and CV vehicles on the roads. I know you have launched the Smart Cities Challenge, which will look to innovation in our cities, amongst other initiatives. I am wondering what sort of role the new infrastructure bank might play in funding the new infrastructure that will be required for the cities of tomorrow and what emphasis the infrastructure bank will give to this type of smart infrastructure, which will be needed to create more efficient, productive and inclusive communities in Canada.


Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. The launching of the Smart Cities Challenge is very exciting. We feel that our partners — municipalities and the private sector — will bring forward very exciting and innovative ideas that will look into the future and how technology and data can be used to enhance quality of life.

Under the infrastructure bank, one of the things that we’re trying to achieve is the collection of better data. We don’t have proper data to analyze the need for infrastructure or what the future looks like. I think that would definitely assist us in doing so.

But we’re also investing in many ways into the overall innovative economy. You are absolutely right, senator; the future is with smart technology. How do we actually turn those opportunities into economic opportunities as well? A lot of steps are being taken, particularly related to that.

I am really excited about the Smart Cities Challenge. It will give us very creative new ideas and a significant amount of funding to actually implement that challenge.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the time for Question Period has expired. I’m sure all senators would like to join me in thanking Minister Sohi for being here for his third time and to assure him that he will always be welcomed back. Thank you, Minister Sohi.


Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we went to Question Period, I saw Senator Eggleton rise. Before I ask him to rise again, I would like to ask him whether he would like to speak to the adjournment motion or to the main motion, Motion 242.

Hon. Art Eggleton: I wish to speak to the main motion.

Speaker’s Statement

The Hon. the Speaker: There was a ruling of former Speaker Kinsella in 2009 that dealt with the effect of defeating a motion to adjourn debate. He quoted from the parliamentary authority Bourinot’s Parliamentary Procedure and Practice, fourth edition, which essentially said that if a member moves an adjournment motion and the house negatives that motion, that member has exhausted his or her right to speak to the main motion.

Of course, we are in the Senate of Canada and here we have some latitude to bypass that particular rule, if the senator wishes to ask for leave from the house to speak to the main motion No. 242. However, it will require unanimous consent.

Hon. Art Eggleton: I would be honoured to have leave, if I may.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: I hear a “no.” No leave is granted.

National Finance

Committee Authorized to Study the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forest:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report on the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies involved, in particular:

income sprinkling,

holding passive investments inside a private corporation, and

converting income into capital gains;

That the committee take particular note of the impact of the Government’s proposed changes on:

incorporated small businesses and professionals,

economic growth and government finances,

the fairness of the taxation of different types of income, and

other related matters; and

That the committee submit its final report to the Senate no later than November 30, 2017, and retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings for 180 days after presenting the final report.

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I have great difficulty with the motion before us because it strikes me as a bit of mugwump, neither one thing nor another, and I’m not quite sure what the rush is about it, particularly in light of the fact that we’ll be having the Minister of Finance in for Question Period one week from today.

This is not a pre-study in the normal sense of the word because when we do a pre-study in this place, we are giving advance study of a known quantity, a known legislative proposal and text, and we don’t have the final form of this proposition yet, so we can’t do an actual pre-study of it.

This motion is not, however, in my view, suggesting a special study, either. The Senate is justly respected for the quality of its special studies, but in the short time available, we cannot do what we normally do with special studies, which is a really exhaustive examination of the topic at hand. Even by the end of November, which is the deadline proposed in this motion, I do not believe that this topic, taxation of the proprietors of small businesses, with all the ramifications that it involves, could be properly studied to the standard that we would normally meet.

Therefore, I find it terribly difficult to support this particular motion. I would find it much more acceptable to propose a study of it after we know what it is we’re going to be studying, which we are told we should know by October 2. Until we get there, I have great trouble supporting this motion as it now stands.

I understand that some senators across the aisle from me may feel solidarity with some of their colleagues in the other place who have been making hay with this particular topic, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the role of the Senate. It is often the role of the opposition in the House of Commons, and they do it mostly very effectively, but we’re supposed to do sober study and sober second thought, and I don’t think the timing of this motion as it now stands is appropriate. I just wanted to put those thoughts on the record.

Hon. Carolyn Stewart Olsen: Would the senator take a question?

Senator Fraser: If I can.

Senator Stewart Olsen: I understand what you’re saying, but in fairness to the Canadian people, at least in New Brunswick where I live, they want a voice and they want to be able to talk about this. They’re particularly troubled by this proposal, and they want to be able to speak to it.

I think the Senate is doing exactly what it should be doing, providing a venue for people to speak, pro or con or whatever. I don’t think this is political hay for the Senate. I think the Senate is doing what it should be doing, and that is offering a voice for the people in our regions. Would you not agree with that?

Senator Fraser: Much resides in the matter of timing. As I tried to say, I think that is an appropriate thing for the Senate to do once we know what precisely the proposal is going to be. But at the moment we’re dealing with proposals that are not fleshed out in detail, that are not in final form.

There have been opportunities for Canadians across the land to express themselves in consultations, and certainly many Canadians have taken the opportunity of expressing themselves in other ways. We are all aware that there is some controversy. I would note that the expression of opinion has not been unanimous on this matter. There are those who think that what we know of the proposals sounds as if they would be pretty good, and there are others who think that based on what we know so far, the proposals would be absolutely dreadful.

I think that we owe it to the people of Canada to hear from them once we know what it is we’re talking about. That being done, you’re quite right; of course, the Senate has a long history of regional representation and regional responsibility, and I would not want to duck that at all.

Hon. Percy E. Downe: Honourable senators, I share the views of others, Senators Lankin and Fraser and Day, who spoke earlier. I support the study, but I’m concerned about the timing. The new Senate is trying to be less partisan, and here we’re entering the most political issue in the country; we hear it everywhere we go individually, the concerns expressed for and against. I’m not sure why we would enter this debate until we see what the government will actually send the Senate, at which point we can study it, have consultations, travel across the country and have all kinds of input as to what is proposed.


I receive all kinds of emails on all kinds of issues, and my answer is always the same: When it comes from the House of Commons, I’ll study it and give you my opinion then. What starts in the House of Commons and what comes out of the House of Commons can be very different. So if we’re going to go down this road of whatever the issue of the day is on the editorial pages and in the news and in coffee shops, then we’re a duplicate of the House of Commons. I think we have, as others have said, a role to play. It’s not the right time to do this. I don’t think the time is very far away, maybe a week or two, until we hear what the government is doing. At that point, we should proceed.

Therefore, I move the adjournment of the debate.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, we have already had one adjournment motion on this issue. We cannot have a second one unless there is, of course, an intervening action like an amendment or something of that nature. We cannot directly go to a second motion for adjournment. I’m sorry, Senator Downe; it’s out of order.

Motion in Amendment

Hon. Percy E. Downe: Therefore, honourable senators, in amendment, I move:

That the motion be considered only after the Government has sent the legislation to the Senate.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, Senator Downe is within his right to move an amendment to the motion. We’re just waiting to ensure that we have the wording correct because, obviously, we didn’t receive it ahead of time. One moment please.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): If Senator Downe does not have the amendment in writing, does he need leave of the Senate to move the amendment?

The Hon. the Speaker: Quick answer, Senator Martin: No.

In amendment, it was moved by the Honourable Senator Downe, seconded by the Honourable Senator Watt, that the motion be considered only after the government has sent the legislation to the Senate.

On debate, Senator Pratte.

Hon. André Pratte: There are a couple of problems with this amendment, honourable senators. One of the difficulties with the idea of having the study before having the legislation is that the eventual legislation would arrive in form of a budget bill, and we know what happens with budget bills. We are then told that it’s too late, that we can’t change a budget bill. That was one of the reasons we thought it prudent to study the matter now, before it is too late.

The proposals that are in front of the Canadian public now are quite detailed. There is even draft legislation with two of the three proposals. This is not just a short document with a couple of ideas that the government wants to test. There is detailed draft legislation, and the government has already announced that two of the three measures will come into force on January 1, 2018. So these are not just simple ideas that the government wants to throw around and see how people react.

We are told that the government will announce detailed new changes on October 2. That is not what the government has said. The government has said that its consultation period will end on October 2. It has let it be known to some media that it will announce changes eventually, in the next few weeks. We don’t know when. We don’t know what those changes are.

One thing is for certain, and the National Finance Committee, knowing all this, knowing that changes may be coming — we don’t know when; we don’t know what — this morning expressed a need to know more because anyone who has seen the government document, with the draft legislation, knows that this is very complex. Canadians need to be educated, but we, as senators, need to be educated. We don’t need to wait for October 2 or wait for when the changes are coming. We need to meet the minister. We need to meet the Finance Department officials to learn about how income sprinkling works now. Do you know how income sprinkling works now for private corporations? Maybe some do, but I don’t think everyone does. Do you know what surplus stripping for private corporations is? Maybe some here know, but I personally didn’t know what surplus stripping was. I certainly don’t know the details of how it works.

So we feel the need to be educated in those things before we know the plans of the government, before we understand why it is they’re doing this.

I certainly share the goal of the government — tax fairness. Everyone is in favour of tax fairness. We want to know how the measures that they’re proposing will help to reach tax fairness, whether the measures suit exactly that goal or whether there may be unintended consequences.

That is the aim of the study that the Finance Committee is proposing, to meet government officials, meet tax experts. Eventually, during the process, once we’re more advanced, more knowledgeable, we will go out and meet and hear Canadians.

Why would we like to hear Canadians before there is legislation before us in a couple of months? Because it’s useful to hear ordinary Canadians, to go beyond statistics, go beyond numbers. Not to go on a road show to score political points. That’s certainly not my game. I’m not a politician. I’m not there to score partisan points. Because I know, as a former journalist, that it’s useful to hear what ordinary people have to say, to go beyond numbers. Sometimes people think they are affected by a measure, and when you ask them questions, you and they realize that they are not affected by a measure. Sometimes people think that they’re not affected, and they are affected. That’s why it’s useful to hear ordinary Canadians.

People are reaching out to the Senate because the House of Commons has decided to hold three sittings in Ottawa on these measures. So people are reaching out to the Senate because they’re looking for a forum to be heard on this. Not on the nitty-gritty details of those measures; they want to be heard on tax fairness and how it could affect them one way or the other, pro or con. They want to be heard, and the Senate is there to hear them. I think we owe that to them. Not tomorrow. Two, three, four weeks from now maybe, we’ll hear them. That’s what we propose. I don’t think that’s premature. I think it’s our duty to hear them. It’s our duty to educate ourselves on what is one of the major policy issues this fall, and I think it’s our duty to hear Canadians and report to the government what we’ve heard, what we’ve understood, how we think they’re reaching their goal, how we think maybe they can better their proposal to reach their goal without unintended consequences. I think it’s our duty as the Senate of Canada to do this.

That’s why I urge you not to support this amendment, which would bring us probably too late in the process to have any influence on the government and on the legislative process. So I urge you not to support this amendment and to support the original motion.

Senator Eggleton: If I may ask a question, the government has a consultation process going on until October 2.


Are you suggesting that the process is not legitimate, that they have made up their minds as to what they’re going to do, to the point where you think there’s enough detail on the table that people can respond to what the government will actually implement?

Senator Pratte: I’m not suggesting that at all. Because we’ve been told that we could wait a week or so and we would get the final proposals on October 2, I was saying that this is not what the government has said. The government has said the consultation period ends on October 2, and then we would know eventually — we don’t know when — what changes the government could make to its proposal. If we decide to wait for final proposals, we don’t know when those final proposals will come. The government has said publicly that it will tweak those proposals. We don’t know what “tweak” means.

I’m not saying the government is not listening; I’m saying that we could play a role in that process, hearing Canadians, educating ourselves and Canadians on these very complex proposals, and maybe adding our grain of salt to this whole process.

Senator Eggleton: Certainly the media has been full of stories of how people think they will be affected by it. Farmers, for example, are thinking that maybe the concept of the family farm will be damaged. The government says that’s not the case. Well, okay. You can say we’re not sure which is closer to the truth or whether the truth is halfway, but wouldn’t it be far better to have the legislation out there in black and white so that people are not just responding on the basis of fear and rumours but rather responding on the basis of what the actual law is proposed to be?

Senator Pratte: With all due respect, I think the proposals that are in front of us now are sufficiently detailed to have a very good idea of what the government’s proposal is, and our aim as a committee is to ask those questions to experts, to farmers and to small-business owners, and to get those answers. My experience is that if you ask objective and detailed questions, if you exercise sober second thought, if you go beyond the rhetoric of one side or the other, you will get the answers.

Senator Eggleton: I have one final question. I take it you’re a member of the Finance Committee. I think it’s premature to proceed, but if you do proceed with it, will you take steps to make sure that in fact there’s a balance of people at the hearings, that there isn’t going to be what I believe will happen, which is manipulation by the opposition in this chamber —

Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh!

Senator Eggleton: Don’t groan. You know your purpose is to get a Conservative government elected.

I’m concerned that you’re following the trap of listening to the type of people they will conjure up at the meetings, which will only result in more fear without the basic facts being in place.

Senator Pratte: I’m naive, but I’m not stupid.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Wetston, I saw you rising. Did you wish to enter the debate or ask a question?

Hon. Howard Wetston: Would Senator Pratte take a question?

Senator Pratte: Of course.

Senator Wetston: I’m going to make this as simple as I can because it’s a complex issue. I understand the desire to proceed with having these hearings. I wonder whether you would consider — I realize you don’t make the decision, but it’s through the motion in the committee — the fact that this is a very complex matter. Part of it has already been implemented by ways and means motions, which we’ve come to accept, but realistically it would probably be implemented through a budget implementation act of some sort at some point, which would then come to the Senate.

The complexity of this matter and the reaction, obviously, is an important one. I think the Senate is reacting to that and obviously has an important role. I wonder whether one might consider a two-step process here. I did attend the Finance Committee this morning and was impressed with the importance of getting an explanation and fully understanding the implications of these three pieces of proposed legislation, two of which I believe are already in place through ways and means motions.

So I would ask the following question, and I realize there’s a desire to reach out and hear from the community, and that’s an important role of the Senate. But I think we ought to proceed carefully. There’s an opportunity to hear from the minister. There’s an opportunity to have officials appear before the committee. There’s an opportunity to get a full explanation of the rationale. There’s a fair amount on the website now. Why would you potentially not consider a two-stage process? Do stage 1, and then see where we’re at.

Perhaps amendments will come forward that will need to be considered in that context. At that point in time, if the Senate and the committee need to reach out further, which they might and may very well do, do it at that time.

I wonder whether you might respond to that question, Senator Pratte.

Senator Pratte: All I can say, since I don’t control the committee, is that I will ask the committee to very carefully consider that option.

Hon. Nicole Eaton: Senator Pratte, have you noticed in your reading — and you’re closer to the media than I am — that the government has done data and study on the impact and perhaps collateral damage this bill might do to Canadians? Have you seen what the impact could be? Is that not an important thing to study? Will doctors leave Canada? Will people stop investing money? Would that not be a good thing to study?

Senator Pratte: I believe that’s exactly one of the reasons we want to do a study. We want to ask the government those kinds of questions. I haven’t seen any answers on whether the government has studied these things. I haven’t seen convincing studies to show us that doctors would leave Canada in droves because of such measures. Those are the kinds of hard questions I want to ask personally to all involved groups and persons involved in that debate.

I think there has been a lot of rhetoric thrown around on all sides, and that’s where the Senate of Canada can do a great job of sober second thought. That is, go beyond rhetoric that has been thrown around, as I said, on both sides of this issue.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: My question was not for Senator Pratte, but was for Senator Eggleton.

The Hon. the Speaker: I’m sorry —

Senator Cools: I agree, but Senator Pratte had the floor, and I don’t know if I can still put a question —

The Hon. the Speaker: No, you can’t revert to Senator Eggleton. Senator Pratte has the floor and questions are being asked of Senator Pratte now. Do you have a question for Senator Pratte?

Senator Cools: Perhaps I could ask a question, then, to Senator Pratte.

The Hon. the Speaker: The only questions that can be put now are to Senator Pratte.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I did not finish my sentence. I was saying I would like to ask a question to Senator Pratte, and Senator Ringuette finished my sentence for me, but I assure you, I can speak for myself.

Senator Pratte, many statements have been made here prior to your rising, which seem to undermine the fact that a Senate committee is the master of its own proceedings and that a committee usually has members who are very capable and competent individuals who have made it their business to be well acquainted with what we call the public finance, the national finance of the country, of which the raising of taxes is a fundamental and important part.

I wonder, Senator Pratte, if you could assure all senators here that, very clearly, this National Finance Committee is not a bunch of nitwits, as some may have suggested, incapable of making the decisions that this study inherently demands.

I wish you would explain that our National Finance Committee is composed of individuals with much experience in the field.

The Hon. the Speaker: Excuse me, Senator Pratte, your time has expired. Are you asking for five more minutes?

Senator Pratte: I’d like to answer this one, please.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Pratte: I can confirm that besides myself, the committee is not formed by a bunch of nitwits.


The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Dupuis, would you like to ask a question or take the floor?

Hon. Renée Dupuis: I want to ask Senator Pratte a question, if the additional five minutes he has been granted allows for that.

My question is in relation to your proposed study. Has the committee considered that among the people it wants to consult it will hear contradictory views from accounting associations, experts, and lawyers? The views on the advantages and disadvantage of this measure will be very contradictory, which may not necessarily be the case with a public consultation. In this case, I find that quite striking.


Has the committee considered, with respect to the consultation of Canadians, other means besides the traditional one of having a group of senators meet a certain number of people? Have you considered the possibility of holding consultations other than by having senators travel and meet with a limited number of Canadians?

Senator Pratte: That is an excellent question. The answer is no, but if you can suggest some alternatives, I would be very interested in hearing about them.

The views expressed by different groups and even within groups are quite different. For the purposes of the proposed study, we are looking for people that can be as neutral as possible with respect to these competing views. We are looking for these witnesses, but I would be pleased to hear your suggestions outside of this debate on alternative methods we could adopt in order to hear different messages.


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

Hon. Senators: Question.

Senator Downe: I have a question.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Pratte, will you take another question?

Senator Pratte: Of course.

Senator Downe: Thank you very much. I have just a couple of comments and then a question.

Senator Pratte talked about how they wouldn’t get into the nitty-gritty details. Of course, Senator Pratte is but one member of the committee. Whether they get into the nitty-gritty details or the overview will be up to the other members of the committee, collectively.

He also talked about the importance of income splitting, upon which we all agree. However, we don’t know if that will ever be in whatever we receive. That may be removed by the government. None of us know that. It will be interesting to study, but I’m not sure it’s a good use of the time.

Second, I had inquiries from someone over the weekend. Senator Pratte may or may not know this. Will the Senate Finance Committee take extra steps to reassure Canadians that none of the senators involved in these files have in a perception, real or otherwise, of a conflict and that they have cleared with the Ethics Commissioner that nobody will be negatively affected personally by what the government is proposing? Is that an additional step the Finance Committee will take to reassure Canadians?

Senator Pratte: That’s a very good question. I guess that’s a step that should be taken.

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved in amendment by the Honourable Senator Downe, seconded by the Honourable Senator Watt, that the motion be considered only after the government has sent the legislation to the Senate.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say “yea.”

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those opposed to the motion will please say “nay.”

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: In my opinion, the “yeas” have it.

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: Do we have agreement on the bell?

Senator Mitchell: Thirty minutes.

The Hon. the Speaker: The vote will take place at 13 minutes past 5:00.

Call in the senators.


Motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Downe negatived on the following division:

The Honourable Senators

Bernard Jaffer
Christmas Joyal
Cordy Massicotte
Dawson McPhedran
Day Mégie
Dean Mercer
Downe Munson
Dupuis Saint-Germain
Dyck Tardif
Eggleton Watt
Fraser Woo—23

The Honourable Senators

Andreychuk Marshall
Ataullahjan Martin
Batters Marwah
Bellemare McInnis
Beyak McIntyre
Black Mitchell
Boisvenu Mockler
Boniface Moncion
Bovey Neufeld
Brazeau Ngo
Carignan Ogilvie
Cools Oh
Cormier Omidvar
Dagenais Pate
Doyle Patterson
Duffy Petitclerc
Eaton Plett
Frum Poirier
Gagné Pratte
Greene Raine
Griffin Smith
Harder Stewart Olsen
Hartling Tannas
Housakos Wallin
MacDonald Wells
Maltais Wetston—53

The Honourable Senators

Lankin Ringuette
Richards Sinclair—4


The Hon. the Speaker: Returning to debate on the motion, are senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

(Motion agreed to, on division.)

Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of the Effects of Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

Hon. Richard Neufeld, pursuant to notice of September 21, 2017, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, March 10, 2016, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in relation to its study on the transition to a low carbon economy be extended from September 30, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

(At 5:24 p.m., the Senate was continued until tomorrow at 2 p.m.)

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