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1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 240

Thursday, October 25, 2018
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker


THE SENATE

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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

Prayers.


SENATORS’ STATEMENTS

The Late Murdena Marie Marshall

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, a few years ago I did a series of speeches in the Senate about influential women from Cape Breton who have contributed so much not only to the people of Cape Breton, but indeed to the people of Canada. One of those strong women whose story I shared was Mi’kmaq elder and spiritual leader Murdena Marie Marshall of Eskasoni. Murdena Marshall had the ability to break down barriers and educate those around her. Unfortunately, Murdena Marshall passed away at her home in Eskasoni First Nation on Sunday, October 21.

Murdena Marshall was born in Whycocomagh, Cape Breton. When she was only eight years old, her mother died while giving birth, leaving her to follow cultural tradition and live with her maternal grandparents. Her grandmother passed away not long after. It was her grandfather, her aunts and her uncles who raised her.

Murdena’s grandfather, the late Gabriel Sylliboy, was the first elected chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council. While he could not read, write or speak English, he was adamant that Murdena and all of his grandchildren be formally educated in English, while at the same time remaining immersed in the Mi’kmaq culture and language. Murdena attended school in Eskasoni First Nation, then Catholic middle school in Arichat. For Grades 11 and 12 she moved to Saint Joseph Convent School for Girls in Mabou. However, she left before completing her final year.

After leaving school, Murdena married Albert Marshall and worked as a full-time mother to their six children. In 1978, she lost her young son, Tommy. This deeply affected her and was a large reason why she decided that she wanted to be a teacher. She wished to pursue her quest for knowledge and to serve her Mi’kmaq community.

Murdena graduated in 1984 from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Education. She furthered her studies at Harvard University, where she earned her master’s degree, also in education. She also earned a certificate from St. Thomas University in Mi’kmaq Immersion.

Murdena worked as an educator in her community before joining the faculty at Cape Breton University. She was instrumental in the development of the Mi’kmaq Studies program. She also had a key role in developing the Integrative Science Academic Program. This program allows students to study both Indigenous and mainstream sciences side-by-side.

In the late 1990s, Murdena retired from teaching, but that did not slow down her community involvement. She remained actively involved in a number of organizations, including the National Aboriginal Health Organization, the Unamak’l Institute of Natural Resources, the Elders’ Advisory Council of Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre, the Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselling Association and the Integrative Science Academic Program at Cape Breton University.

Murdena received the Outstanding Leadership Award from Eskasoni First Nation in 1989 and the National Aboriginal Role Model Award in 1996. In 2006, she was awarded the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Senior Memorial Elder Award.

In 2009, she and her husband Albert received honorary doctorates from Cape Breton University for their efforts to promote Mi’Kmaq culture, cross-cultural understanding, reconciliation and healing.

Honourable senators, Murdena Marshall put her thinking into action. She will be missed.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Miriam Regan, the sister of Speaker Regan; Ian MacNeil; Tallulah MacNeil; and Maviana Martinez Sanchez. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Coyle.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Newfoundland Facts

Hon. Fabian Manning: Today I am pleased to present Chapter 43 of “Telling Our Story.”

As a follow up to my last chapter, I want to bring you some more facts about the uniqueness of my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As many of you are aware, we do have our own time zone. Did you know that we also have our own dictionary? This unique collection of language and lore aptly titled The Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador is comprised of a concoction and contortion of English vocabulary garnished with insightful and humorous sayings, many, I may add, that are made up on the spur of the moment. The collection speaks to our colourful culture and heritage.

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Our province also has its own encyclopedia, also aptly named The Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. This great piece of work was commissioned by our first premier, the Honourable Joseph R. Smallwood. Joey’s view on the purpose of the encyclopedia was summed up in his own words when he said:

Every theme belongs in the encyclopedia. Every person, every event, every location, every institution, every development, every industry, every intellectual activity, every religious movement in Newfoundland belongs in there.

This wonderful piece of work took 13 years to complete and contains five volumes containing 3,900 pages. The first volume was released in 1981, with volume 2 released in 1984. Mr. Smallwood suffered a stroke two months after volume 2 was released. In 1987, the Joseph R. Smallwood Heritage Foundation was established with the mandate to complete the work, which they did in 1994.

Because we are an island, there are many mammals such as skunks, raccoons and porcupines that do not inhabit our province, but way back in 1904 we received four moose from New Brunswick. They were released near the town of Howley on the west coast. While some may look at this event as a positive and others may look at it negatively, there is no doubt that the 150,000 or so descendants of these large animals have left an indelible mark on our province’s identity, culture and landscape and, may I add, a few major marks and dents on a few of my vehicles.

I am sure the people at Maclean’s magazine were not thinking about the fast-growing population of the moose when their survey showed that our province had the kindest and sexiest people in Canada. I do believe Senator Doyle was one of the people they surveyed at the time.

Do you want to experience a touch of French culture? We offer that as well. Travel down the beautiful Burin Peninsula and catch a short boat ride over to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. It is the only part of New France that remains under French control. The people that live here have established a wonderful relationship with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As you can see, friends, my home province has much to offer: a landscape like no other, a history and culture that you will not find anywhere else, and always a welcoming smile and a genuine handshake because on that cold rock in the North Atlantic, there are only warm friends that you haven’t met. As my Irish ancestors would say, Cead Mile Failte, which in English or Newfinese means “A hundred thousand welcomes.”

Thank you.

[Translation]

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of the participants of the Parliamentary Officers’ Study Program.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[English]

North Simcoe Victim Services

Congratulations on Twentieth Anniversary

Hon. Gwen Boniface: Honourable senators, I rise today to express my deep appreciation to North Simcoe Victim Services on their twentieth anniversary of service to our community. It was founded with a vision to provide a much-needed service of crisis response and caring support to victims of crime, tragic circumstance or disaster to people in the Orillia area. I had the great privilege to swear in the first cohort.

As a community-based, charitable organization, they rely on specially trained volunteers who provide emotional support and practical assistance to victims in the aftermath of what is often the worst day of their lives, operating 24 hours a day, year round. They assess victims’ immediate needs and offer referrals to other community services. The help they provide at the scene allows first responders to do what needs to be done.

This essential agency exists due to the dedicated volunteer team of over 100 people who provide clients with care, compassion and empathy. They are a tireless and integral resource to the law enforcement community, ensuring safety and anonymity to the people they serve. In fact, last year alone, volunteers donated over 28,000 hours, serving almost 500 clients.

This group conducts extensive volunteer training, with a special focus on women and children in need. This includes raising awareness and providing support for victims of domestic abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Since October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is a timely reminder of the importance these services provide to communities.

The organization has established partnerships with the City of Orillia, Simcoe County, the Red Cross, Georgian College, and most recently collaborated with Lakehead University’s School of Social Work on a human trafficking study.

I would like to personally salute the executive director, Frances Yarbrough. She has committed a lifetime to providing support to those in need. I’m also pleased to add that she was a recipient of the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal.

Please join me in congratulating North Simcoe Victim Services on accomplishing two decades of victim support, and wish them well and continued success in the important work that they do.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Mr. Patrick O’Callaghan and his spouse, Ms. Paula Bouchier. They are from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Late Honourable Donald S. Macdonald, P.C., C.C.

Hon. Michael Duffy: Honourable senators, on this day, when Chrétien Liberals are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 general election, I rise to pay tribute to another great Liberal, the Honourable Donald S. Macdonald. Mr. Macdonald died recently at the age of 86.

Don Macdonald was elected to Parliament as the MP for Rosedale in 1962. He was appointed President of the Queen’s Privy Council by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1968. As Trudeau’s government house leader, he was a tough negotiator, and that earned him the nickname “Thumper.”

He was appointed Minister of National Defence a few weeks before the October Crisis of 1970. He was Minister of Energy during the OPEC oil embargo of 1973. When he was appointed our twenty-sixth Minister of Finance, his job was to implement wage and price controls.

Don Macdonald handled every difficult assignment in government with charm and grace.

Don Macdonald’s final assignment from Pierre Trudeau was to chair the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada. The Macdonald commission recommended free trade with the United States and a guaranteed annual income for all Canadians.

Don Macdonald came into politics with colleagues like Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chrétien and John Turner. But unlike them, he never became Prime Minister. It didn’t seem to bother him. As he told his biographer, Rod McQueen:

I never wanted to be the head of government and didn’t need the role to establish my sense of self-worth. Going from an Ashbury boy in the visitors’ gallery watching parliamentary proceedings all the way to the front bench of Pierre Trudeau’s government was grand ride enough for me.

On his place in history, Don Macdonald said:

As chairman of the Macdonald Commission, I was able to change the very nature of our economy forever, by overseeing thorough research, envisioning a strategy and making the case for free trade.

Macdonald’s final assignment is not yet complete. Colleagues, we’re only halfway there. We have free trade, but for far too many Canadians their economic future is uncertain. We should build on Macdonald’s vision and finish the job. Let’s find a way to implement a guaranteed annual income to improve the lives of low-income Canadians.

Canada is a better, more prosperous country because of Don Macdonald. Our sympathies go out to his wife Adrian, his daughters and his extended family.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Barbara Amsden and John White. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Marwah.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Gaétan Gervais

Hon. Josée Forest-Niesing: Honourable senators, just a few days ago, I took an oath as a new senator proudly wearing the colours of the Franco-Ontarian flag. I never expected to be rising in the Senate so soon to pay tribute to the person responsible for creating that flag.

A great Franco-Ontarian, Gaétan Gervais passed away on Saturday at the age of 74, surrounded by his family. A historian from Sudbury, he was the co-creator of the Franco-Ontarian flag, which was raised for the first time at the University of Sudbury.

Born to a working class family in Sudbury, Gaétan Gervais studied at Collège du Sacré-Cœur, Laurentian University, and the University of Ottawa.

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He then became a history professor at Laurentian University and published a number of important works, helping preserve the history of the Franco-Ontarian community. He also helped found the Institut franco-ontarien and relaunch the Société historique du Nouvel-Ontario

Gaétan Gervais was often described as a champion of francophone rights in Ontario, and he received many honours over the course of his life in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the Franco-Ontarian community.

I am sure that, like me, you will read the well-deserved tributes praising him. To the memories we will always keep of this great man, I want to add that Gaétan Gervais was a proud son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend, who humbly gave the best of himself to his loved ones.

Colleagues, please join me in thanking Gaétan Gervais and paying tribute to him, as we lost him to a better place.

[English]

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Mark and Brenda Hunniford. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Deacon (Ontario).

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Treasury Board

Proposed Draft Regulations Amending the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations—Document Tabled

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the proposed draft Regulations Amending the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations, pursuant to the Official Languages Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.), s. 85.

The Estimates, 2018-19

Supplementary Estimates (A) Tabled

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Supplementary Estimates (A), 2018-19.

[English]

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Bill

Nineteenth Report of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee Presented

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has the honour to present its

NINETEENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 17, 2018, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment but with certain observations, which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

A. RAYNELL ANDREYCHUK

Chair

(For text of observations, see today’s Journals of the Senate, p. 3951.)

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

Hon. Sabi Marwah: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(b), I move that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading later this day.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(On motion of Senator Andreychuk, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading later this day.)

His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Address to Members of the Senate and the House of Commons—Motion to Print as an Appendix Adopted

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(j), I move:

That the Address by His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, to Members of both Houses of Parliament, delivered Thursday, October 25, 2018, together with all introductory and related remarks, be printed as an appendix to the Debates of the Senate of this day and form part of the permanent records of this House.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Elections Modernization Bill

Bill to Amend—Notice of Motion to Refer Subject Matter of Bill to Committee of the Whole and to Permit Electronic and Photographic Coverage of the Committee of the Whole and the Committee to Report to the Senate No Later than Two Hours After it Begins

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That, without affecting the progress of any proceedings related to Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments, at the start of Orders of the Day on Monday, November 5, 2018, the Senate resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole in order to receive the Chief Electoral Officer, the Commissioner of Canada Elections and officials from their offices respecting the subject matter of the bill;

That the committee report to the Senate no later than two hours after it begins;

That television cameras and photographers be authorized in the Senate Chamber to broadcast and photograph the proceedings of the committee with the least possible disruption of the proceedings;

That any vote and the ringing of the bells that would conflict with the meeting of the committee be deferred until the committee has reported to the Senate; and

That the provisions of rule 3-3(1) be suspended on Monday, November 5, 2018.

The Estimates, 2018-19

Notice of Motion to Authorize National Finance Committee to Study Supplementary Estimates (A)

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019; and

That, for the purpose of this study, the committee have the power to sit, even though the Senate may then be sitting, with rule 12-18(1) being suspended in relation thereto.

National Finance

Committee Authorized to Hold Occasional In Camera Meetings on Study of the Processes and Financial Aspects of the Government’s System of Defence Procurement

Hon. Percy Mockler: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(j), I move:

That, notwithstanding rule 12-15(2), the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be empowered to hold occasional meetings in camera for the purpose of hearing witnesses and gathering specialized or sensitive information in relation to its study on military procurement, as authorized by the Senate on October 4, 2018.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals): I have a brief question for Senator Mockler.

Could you give us a little background? This is an unusual request to have in camera sessions of committee. Could you explain it to us?

Senator Mockler: Thank you, Senator Mercer, for asking the question. I believe, and I guess we all believe, that senators and Canadians must be informed, and your question is in that spirit, to inform Canadians and senators.

Honourable senators, the Committee on National Finance is beginning its special study on military procurement next Tuesday morning. The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces have asked to be heard partly in camera to allow for a candid conversation with the committee.

Honourable senators, the committee decided yesterday evening to take steps to accommodate them. That’s why this motion is before the Senate to be considered, and I’d like to say now.

(1400)

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Charitable Sector

Notice of Motion to Authorize Special Committee to Extend Date of Final Report

Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, the date for the final report of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector in relation to its study on the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada be extended from December 31, 2018 to September 30, 2019.


QUESTION PERIOD

Environment

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question today for the government leader is a follow-up on questions I asked him recently on the carbon tax.

On April 30, the government released a report which stated that, “a price on carbon could cut carbon emissions across Canadian by 80 to 90 million tonnes in 2022.” However, the background documents from the Prime Minister’s announcement on Tuesday claimed the carbon tax would cut carbon emissions by 50 to 60 million tonnes in 2022. The lower estimate is due to the Province of Ontario pulling out of the cap-and-trade system with California. The Government of Canada was counting on emission reductions in California to help meet its own target.

Senator Harder, in light of this new information, does the Government of Canada admit its targets under the Paris Agreement will not be met?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question and for the ongoing questions on this subject. As his question suggests, the cap-and-trade system which is being abandoned in Ontario was part of the overall calculation of Canada’s commitment. The Government of Canada is intent on moving Canada forward among the other 80 jurisdictions globally which have put a price on pollution to ensure we work toward the goals established in the Paris Agreement. Those goals and Canada’s carbon regime were endorsed — which is very welcome — yesterday by the Business Council of Canada. As the Business Council of Canada stated, climate change is particularly complex, and in a global environmental challenge it is difficult to design measures that can achieve universal support across the country. The carbon pricing policy is an important step forward toward ensuring that Canada makes a responsible contribution to this challenge.

Honourable senators, I also note the Governor the Bank of England went out of his way to say, “You need a price on carbon and a price on pollution. Canada, as of today, has both. It unlocks investment decisions, which will make for more low-carbon economies.”

Those are welcomed endorsements of the actions that this Parliament has taken and that the government is moving forward on.

Finance

Tax Fairness

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): I’m not sure if that was the answer to the question, but I recognize the position of the government. The only difference we would like to state is instead of carbon pollution being called pollution, maybe we can call it carbon emissions because there is a difference between carbon, carbon pollution and emissions.

As Senator Harder knows, I have raised the concerns of small businesses regarding the carbon tax. Farmers are another group targeted for tax increases by the government over the last two years. Agricultural groups across Canada have expressed their opposition to the Prime Minister’s carbon tax. While diesel and gas use on farms will not be subject to the tax, many other business costs for farmers will increase, particularly their transportation costs. At the same time, large industrial polluters are getting massive exemptions from the federal government. Again, this relates to our question yesterday. How is this tax fairness to our farmers?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Again I thank the honourable senator for his question and concern. Obviously, the government has a broader suite of initiatives to deal with the economic situation faced by various sectors, whether they be small business farmers, or fishers, or other sectors of the economy. The piece we are speaking of here today is the regime in place as a result of, again, this Parliament’s decision to ensure pricing on carbon is national and provides a framework for provinces to design their own systems and, where they do not, to ensure the back stop measures are returned to the province. Those announcements were clarified the other day, when it was clear the return to provinces through the back stop would be directly to the people of that province with some reserve funds for ensuring that low carbon intensity was to be afforded to hospitals and other community infrastructure projects.

Honourable senators, the government is, in an ongoing way, looking at the effects of the economic circumstances of all sectors, including the agricultural sector, which is why today I hope we can celebrate Royal Assent, Senate willing, on opening up markets in Asia. That, too, is part of ensuring the well-being of the agricultural sector.

[Translation]

Justice

Cannabis Regulations

Hon. Claude Carignan: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Leader, the Trudeau government’s objective in legalizing the sale of cannabis was to undermine the black market. The Société québécoise du cannabis is the sole entity authorized to sell cannabis in Quebec. However, we have learned that a number of roadside operations have been set up in Kahnawake and Kanesatake and are selling cannabis and hashish with impunity.

Senator Harder, does the government consider the sale of cannabis in Mohawk territory to be a black market activity? Will you ask the RCMP to intervene right away to put an end to these illegal sales, which, incidentally, could have been anticipated?

[English]

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Again, I thank the honourable senator for his question.

As was made clear as we were considering this bill, the objective of the government through the legalization, strict regulation and control of cannabis, was to ensure the black market was undermined through this regulatory and distribution regime.

The Government of Canada, working with other jurisdictions which have an enforcement role in their respective jurisdictions, is actively involved in targeting the black market, the illegal market that has benefited from this unregulated industry. That will take time. Efforts are actively under way. The government looks forward to reporting to Canadians on progress being made over the coming months.

[Translation]

Senator Carignan: Leader, I think you misunderstood my question. These cannabis outlets were set up after the legalization of cannabis, so that is fuelling the black market. The cannabis that is being sold there, which should be produced in Canada, seems to be coming from as far away as Pakistan. Senator Harder, can you explain how, with the tracking system that was supposed to be put in place, new illegal cannabis operations are cropping up and selling cannabis from Pakistan?

[English]

Senator Harder: Again, senator, the Government of Canada is giving good attention to ensuring the implementation of this cannabis regime, working in partnership with its provincial and territorial partners, is proceeding as appropriate. There are obvious complexities which we in this chamber debated with respect to Aboriginal communities, for example, and with respect to home growing, which will be a challenge as we move forward in the implementation process.

I can report that Minister Blair, the minister responsible for implementation, is actively engaged with all of the appropriate stakeholders on this implementation and looks forward to an early opportunity to face questions in this chamber to review progress being made.

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Environment

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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

Earlier in Question Period, the Leader of the Opposition mentioned that carbon emissions are not pollution. I wonder if the leader would comment on the fact that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of pollution is:

The presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.

Is the government’s definition concordant with the Oxford definition or with the Maxime Bernier definition, which the Leader of the Opposition seems to use?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank you for the question. I was looking for the Newfoundland dictionary myself.

We all know the objective that the IOCC and all the international effort has been in reducing our carbon emissions globally. That is the objective being measured. That is the objective to which Canada aims to contribute.

Finance

Fuel Consumption Tax

Hon. Percy E. Downe: Honourable senators, my question is for Senator Harder. The Prince Edward Island government, as you know, has been aggressive in reducing carbon consumption in Prince Edward Island. Living on an island, we have lots of wind. We generate more energy from the wind farm than any other province in Canada as a percentage of our electricity.

The province has taken a host of initiatives — rebates for heat pumps, subsidies for LED lights and so on — and can prove how they reduce the carbon consumption in the province. Islanders were surprised when the federal government excluded them from carbon tax but they insisted the province raise the gasoline tax — or they would raise it — by four cents a litre, to somehow reduce carbon. I said yesterday people have asked me about this and I don’t have the answer; I mentioned it to Senator Harder yesterday and hopefully he has an answer. It is a bit of issue now.

The government insisted the gasoline consumption tax go up by four cents a litre and the province immediately moved a three-cent per litre additional reduction. Islanders are being taxed one cent per litre more on the gasoline they consume. To what end? For what purpose? Why is this being done when we are being excluded from other initiatives and rebates?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. I will make inquiries with respect to the agreement reached between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island. I will be happy to provide the details.

[Translation]

Transport

Champlain Bridge

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

Senator Harder, on at least nine occasions between May 2016 and May 2018 you indicated to the Senate that the new Champlain Bridge would be operational in December 2018. A week ago, you once again told me, and I quote:

The information I have is that the government does expect that delivery date.

This morning, the government announced that the bridge will be delivered in June 2019, six months later than the delivery date specified in the contract. Apparently, the government does not plan to enforce the penalties for a missed deadline as set out in the contract. We have known of the reasons cited for the delay, work slowdown and bad weather, for several weeks now. They didn’t just come up last week. Senator Harder, the decision to delay opening the bridge was made not days ago but weeks ago, and you should have known that.

Why didn’t you give us the real reason when I asked you my question last week?

[English]

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. It is entirely appropriate for the senator to ask, as he has on a number of occasions, about the construction of this important infrastructure project. I have sought to provide him with the information as it was at the time.

As the question suggests, he will also be aware an announcement was made this morning which says the bridge will, in fact, have its construction completed in December but will not be ready for traffic until sometime by June of next year. That is to ensure the appropriate safety measures and necessary conditions to allow for regular traffic are in place.

That is the announcement of this morning and the information was given to the Senate this afternoon.

Senator Housakos: Senator Harder, clearly you did not know what the government was planning to do. I remind you that as Leader of the Government in the Senate, you must answer on behalf of the government. We don’t want to know what you may have read in the newspapers about government policy. We want to know from the government through the representative in this place, the government leader, what the policy is. However, there seems to be a widening gap between what you know and what you should know.

Senators and all Canadians should know if it is the view of the Trudeau government that the Senate is not important enough to make sure its government leader is providing timely and proper information to this chamber.

Could you tell us how you are informed of government decisions or other government policies? How can you explain that you were unable to give me a straight and accurate answer on the Champlain Bridge that, clearly, the government must have known about for days?

Senator Harder: As I have indicated in this chamber on a number of occasions, I am informed and briefed as appropriate to ensure timely information can be provided to this chamber.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Telecommunications in Northern Communities

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Harder, I must tell you I regret having to stand here again to ask about licensing the satellite ground station in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. You will remember I raised this with Minister Freeland in March 2017 during her appearance at Question Period after writing to her in February. I again raised with it with you in May. I am frustrated to tell you that little progress has been made in licensing this station.

I recently visited the Inuvik station with Senate colleagues on the Special Committee on the Arctic. We were very impressed but shocked to learn this private facility led by long-time, hard-working, highly respected Northerners — the opposite of security risks — is now being made subject to inspections as part of their licensing process. These are inspections the government facility down the road was not subject to.

After years of delay, the word is getting out in the space industry that Canada is not a stable place to invest. Norway and even the U.S.A. are very welcoming of investments in space stations or earth stations by contrast. What is the government doing to counteract this perception? What are they doing to update antiquated legislation? There was a respected McGill University review conducted a couple of years ago that recommended updates to this legislation. What are they doing to streamline the licensing process?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question.

Let me answer in two parts: First, I will make inquiries of the specific concerns he raised. However, he has also raised the important question of ensuring Canada continues to benefit from investments in the space technologies that have advanced, taken root in Canada and have a global industry base.

The senator will know that Telesat Canada, for example, is a vibrant and important contributor to the satellite business. It operates significantly outside of Canada. It is a very successful company in Canada and continues to be because of active partnership with various government programs, including provision of remote services of technology to Canadians. There are manufacturing centres in Canada — Vancouver and Toronto, in particular — that contribute to the space industry.

This is an industry that, while small relative to other sectors, is highly important and globally competitive and one which the Government of Canada seeks to ensure plays a vibrant role globally.

Transport

Champlain Bridge

Hon. Denise Batters: Senator Harder, as a follow-up question, Senator Housakos raised the same concerns about the Champlain Bridge with you last week. It sounds like he attends about the same number of cabinet meetings as you do. The difference is that his information seems to be better than yours.

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Senator Harder, you are the Leader of the Government in the Senate, with the title, the budget and the staff of the Leader of the Government in the Senate. You are sworn into the Privy Council. Why isn’t Prime Minister Trudeau providing you with the information you need to be able to provide us with answers to our questions on behalf of Canadians in our regions in a full and timely way? Why doesn’t he show more respect for this chamber so Canadians can receive that type of information, important information that impacts their daily lives?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Let me simply say, colleagues, that it would be highly inappropriate for me to make announcements in the Senate before the government has made announcements.

[Translation]

Answer to Order Paper Question Tabled

Natural Resources—Aboriginal Nations whose Territories will be Crossed by the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate) tabled the reply to Question No. 99, dated June 20, 2018, appearing on the Order Paper and Notice Paper in the name of the Honourable Senator Boisvenu, respecting Aboriginal nations whose territories will be crossed by the Trans Mountain pipeline.

[English]

Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the answers to the following oral questions:

Response to the oral question asked in the Senate on March 28, 2018 by the Honourable Senator Patterson, concerning telecommunications in northern communities.

Response to the oral question asked in the Senate on April 26, 2018 by the Honourable Senator Seidman, concerning the Cannabis Bill — regulations.

Response to the oral question asked in the Senate on June 6, 2018 by the Honourable Senator Ngo, concerning the participation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at G7 meetings.

Response to the oral question asked in the Senate on June 13, 2018 by the Honourable Senator Dagenais, concerning the Canadian mission in Iraq.

Response to the oral question asked in the Senate on June 19, 2018 by the Honourable Senator Ngo, concerning Vietnam — cybersecurity.

Infrastructure and Communities

Telecommunications in Northern Communities

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on March 28, 2018)

Access to high speed internet is essential for living, working and competing in today’s digital world. It can unlock tremendous economic potential.

The Connect to Innovate program is bringing high-speed Internet service to rural and remote communities across Canada helping bridge the digital divide and allowing Canadians to participate fully in the digital economy.

All projects funded under the program including the project mentioned by the honourable member must be open to third parties for dedicated capacity purchases on a wholesale or retail basis. The recipient must do so in a fair, transparent, timely and non-discriminatory manner; toward the completion of the proposed network, the recipient must make the access available to third parties for a period of five years. A recipient accepts these terms upon entering into a contribution agreement with the Crown.

Furthermore, should a recipient not comply with the open access terms found in the agreement, the Minister has a number of avenues available to him to ensure compliance.

Treasury Board Secretariat

Cannabis Bill—Regulations

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Judith G. Seidman on April 26, 2018)

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat:

In developing the proposed regulatory framework for cannabis, the Government of Canada undertook meaningful and transparent consultations with all interested parties.

In 2016, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation developed A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada, based on an in-depth cross-country consultation and nearly 30,000 responses to an online consultation.

In November 2017, Health Canada undertook a robust 60-day public consultation on a comprehensive set of detailed regulatory proposals. In total, Health Canada received over 3,650 responses and only 8 responses – or 0.2% – recommended that draft regulations be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

In March 2018, Health Canada published a summary of feedback received during the consultation. It also provided advance notice of proposed requirements for plain packaging and labelling so that regulated parties and provinces and territories would continue to have as much information as soon as possible.

The Government of Canada published final regulations in the Canada Gazette on July 11, 2018. Health Canada will continue to work closely with the provinces and territories and regulated parties to facilitate the transition to the new regulatory framework.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Participation of Socialist Republic of Vietnam at G7 Meetings

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo on June 6, 2018)

The theme of the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Session was oceans, with a focus on resilience, sustainable oceans and fisheries, and ocean plastics pollution. Outreach guests were selected based on their particular experiences and expertise in these areas and with an effort to have a wide geographic representation. Many of the participants were coastal communities or small island developing states who have had to overcome extreme weather events or who are struggling with overexploitation of fish stocks. Many of the participants have also taken concrete actions to combat ocean plastics pollution, including by banning single-use plastics. Vietnam was an important contributor to this conversation, both as a source country for plastics pollution, but also as a coastal nation facing increased threats from climate change. Their participation at the G7 provided an opportunity to have a bilateral discussion between Prime Minister Trudeau and Vietnamese Prime Minister Phúc during which the human rights situation in Vietnam was also raised. The Government of Canada continues to regularly discuss human rights issues with Vietnam. Human rights are also promoted locally through programming and engagement with the Vietnamese government, human rights defenders, civil society organizations and joint initiatives with the international community.

National Defence

Canadian Mission in Iraq

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Jean-Guy Dagenais on June 13, 2018)

Whenever the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deploy abroad, Canada’s contributions are constantly under assessment in light of the evolution of the situation on the ground and in coordination with Canada’s partners and allies.

On July 11, 2018, the Prime Minister announced a new role for the CAF in Iraq as Canada will assume command of the new NATO training mission from Fall 2018 to Fall 2019. As part of this mission, up to 250 CAF members and up to four CH-146 Griffon helicopters will join partner countries in helping Iraq build a more effective national security capacity.

Canada’s leadership in this mission will complement its ongoing efforts in the Global Coalition Against Daesh through Operation IMPACT. Canada will continue to support the Coalition air operations by providing one Polaris aerial refueller and two Hercules tactical airlift aircraft as well as lifesaving medical assistance to coalition forces through the Role 2 hospital. Canada is steadfast in its commitment to international stability and has been directly supporting and building the capacity of the Iraqi security forces to safeguard the country.

As for the question on whether the Government will reassess Canada’s mission in Iran, please note that the CAF does not have a mission in Iran.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Vietnam—Cyber Security

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo on June 19, 2018)

Vietnam’s National Assembly adopted the controversial Cybersecurity Law on June 12, 2018, despite widespread public protests and warnings about negative implications from industries, professional associations, civil society groups, and the international community in Vietnam. The Government of Vietnam claims the law is necessary because the Vietnamese economy is increasingly reliant on digital platforms. During the law’s consultation process, Canada and like-minded missions in Vietnam supported expert workshops and met with the National Assembly’s Council for National Defence and Security, which was leading on this law to share experience and best practices. In all our representations, we constructively and firmly encouraged Vietnam to adopt a strong Cybersecurity Law aimed at facilitating the innovative digital economy and human rights, as well as ensuring its conformity to Vietnam’s commitments and obligations under United Nations conventions and free trade agreements which Vietnam has signed. Immediately before the adoption of the law, the United States and Canada issued a joint statement to call for its delay. Other like-minded missions, such as Australia the European Union and Japan, have also expressed their concerns with the law. Canada will continue to work with its like-minded partners to promote freedom of expression and an open, innovative digital economy.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Business of the Senate

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 4-13(3), I would like to inform the Senate that as we proceed with Government Business, the Senate will address the items in the following order: third reading of Bill C-79, followed by all remaining items in the order that they appear on the Order Paper.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Bill

Third Reading

Hon. Sabi Marwah moved third reading of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

He said: Honourable senators, I rise to present third reading remarks on Bill C-79, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act, or CPTPP. Unlike my second reading speech, I have now mastered saying “CPTPP,” so I shall no longer refer to it as “the agreement.”

I begin by thanking members of Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade for their consideration of this bill. Their interventions highlighted a number of observations that need to be considered going forward. I also want to thank the witnesses who appeared before the committee. The views they conveyed were valuable in consideration of this bill.

To briefly repeat some of the factors underpinning this trade agreement: First, it is ever more important to diversify our trade into a new and growing part of the global economy. This trading bloc of 11 countries has a combined GDP of $35.8 trillion or 13.5 per cent of global GDP. These markets represent almost 500 million consumers, 150 million more than the U.S. And finally, CPTPP will eliminate tariffs on over 95 per cent of tariff lines, the vast majority immediately.

I shall add two new items that further support engaging with Asian markets: First, in economic terms, it’s where the action is. According to the IMF’s estimates, GDP growth in emerging Asia averaged 6.5 per cent in 2017, unchanged from the previous year. Global Affairs Canada states this is the world’s fastest growing region and is projected to grow at a similar level in the medium term.

Second, the evidence is clear that Canadian businesses are increasing their engagement in Asian markets. For instance, it is estimated that Manitoba’s exports to Asia grew by 197 per cent from 2000 to 2015. Ontario’s merchandise exports to CPTPP nations grew by one third in just four years between 2012 and 2016.

The implementation of CPTPP now provides another proverbial foot in the door to these markets. It will be up to the efforts of both the Canadian private and public sectors to ultimately determine the level of success.

Honourable senators, I am aware this bill is being reviewed faster than normal, and I’m cognizant of the concerns echoed by Senator Downe at second reading. However, I would note that there has been extensive consultation with Canadians on this bill. Since 2015, the government conducted two sets of comprehensive public consultations. The first, from November 2015 to May 2017, was on the proposed TPP. The second was on the CPTPP. Based on feedback received from Canadians, this bill has broad-based support from a majority of business stakeholders. Business associations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business have voiced their support for the agreement. In addition, it has seen support from stakeholders in export-oriented agricultural sectors such as beef, grain, pork and oilseeds; in forestry and wood products; fish and seafood; metals and minerals; chemicals; and financial services.

Since the conclusion of the negotiations, many businesses and associations in these sectors have also voiced their support, including the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, Canadian Meat Council, Forest Products Association of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada.

But to be fair, we did hear concerns from the Canadian auto sector and the Union of Operating Engineers, and their views should be taken as a word of caution for the government as this agreement moves towards full implementation. The integrity of Canada’s domestic labour market should remain an ongoing consideration for the government.

I want to turn briefly to a few of the issues raised by senators during committee consideration of this bill. One of the first issues raised by a number of senators was, how do we measure the success of various trade agreements, including this one. When he appeared at committee, Minister Carr noted the difficulty in directly measuring all the advantages of a free trade agreement. It is not always as simple as looking at a given point in time to say that Canada is importing more from a country than we are exporting. Other factors that need to be considered are, for instance, foreign direct investment and the power of that investment to stimulate economic growth.

The recent Shell announcement of $40 billion being invested in a liquefied natural gas development in B.C. and the opening of a Belgian chocolate factory in Ontario, creating jobs for Canadians, are two examples of investments that were facilitated by CETA.

In this context, the minister noted that:

Here are examples of industries that have taken advantage of the trade commissioner service, have taken advantage of reduced tariffs . . . to explore possibilities that never before were possible.

However, Minister Carr admitted that just making the arguments is not good enough. The government has to continue proving to Canadians that they are beneficial to Canada.

Another concern raised by senators was the manner in which the Government of Canada and Canadian businesses follow up once a free trade agreement is ratified. The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee firmly suggested to the minister that a more concerted effort regarding an implementation strategy is needed once free trade agreements are signed. I fully agree. No one would take a “frame and forget” approach to building a home, and the Government of Canada should not take a similar approach to implementing trade agreements. In short, we should be doing more to help our businesses. We must advise them, expose them to these new markets and encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities available under new agreements, especially CPTPP. There is concern that other countries may be leveraging recent free trade agreements more than Canadians. If so, this must change.

In response, the minister reiterated his commitment to continue building the capacity inside the government to support those entities who can take advantage of Canada’s trade agreements. He noted:

Follow-up is so important in all we do, and if you don’t follow up properly, you will not take full advantage.

You have to follow up right away and make officials accountable for that follow-up because it is the second, third, fourth and fifth contact that ultimately produces the best results.

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I could not agree with that more.

A third area of concern raised by senators was compensation for the dairy sector. They have been in favour of a universal program that is long term and easily applicable. Minister Carr was clear that the Government of Canada will continue to strongly support and defend the supply management system. He also referred to continuing dialogue with industry to determine fair and full compensation as a displacement resulting from trade agreements becomes clearer. The commitment had been articulated by the Prime Minister as well.

Colleagues, my comments would not be complete if I did not reiterate once again the importance of ratifying this agreement quickly. Many of the stakeholders I just mentioned are anxious to see this bill ratified as soon as possible, and I share their collective anxiety.

As I noted during second reading debate, being among the first six countries to ratify the agreement would allow Canada to capture a first-mover advantage, with preferential access to our CPTPP partners. That is crucial to our businesses, big and small.

In closing, I once again thank my honourable colleagues for their interventions during consideration of this bill. The CPTPP is important to Canada. It will help level the playing field for, or provide an advantage to, Canadian businesses competing in many Asian markets. I hope you all share my support of this legislation. Thank you.

Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, I will be very brief. I want to thank the committee for their work. They did a very good job in a short period of time. This is an extremely important piece of legislation. It is a treaty that we can’t change anyway, but it’s important that it has been examined as well as it has been and that the proper questions have been asked.

I’d like to encourage all colleagues that we move this along as quickly as possible so that Canadian businesses across the country, from coast to coast to coast, can start taking advantage of this, and we can get ahead of some of our competitors and bring more jobs and business to Canada.

Hon. Jim Munson: We’re all on the same page. I’ll not be as brief as Senator Mercer, but as you know, most of the time when I get up here in the Senate I speak about human rights, social justice, autism and freedom of the press. However, as Co-Chair of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group, I feel it’s important to stand and echo the words of Senator Marwah and other senators here today and praise the work of former co-chair Paul Massicotte, as well, in his work and his trips to Japan long before this was even discussed.

Two weeks ago, I was with the co-chair in Japan, Mr. Terry Sheehan, Liberal MP for Sault Ste. Marie. I think we went to bed every night after our meetings with the words “CPTPP” in our heads. It was imprinted there. We got the message — and it’s a very good message — of trade and lowering tariffs with the 10 other countries, including Japan, in that part of the world, and with Chile in South America.

We’ve heard the numbers that were put together here by Senator Marwah and the work of the Finance Committee. I would just like to focus briefly on Canada and Japan, since as Co-Chair of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group this is very important in my work as a parliamentarian. I’ve been privileged to have an open dialogue with our Japanese counterparts, and as recently as two weeks ago, as I mentioned.

Having access to their growing economy and markets will greatly increase exports from Canada. The deal will increase our export markets for agricultural products and agri-foods. For example, pork and beef tariffs there would be lowered and eventually eliminated. Tariffs on canola oil would be eliminated within five years. Additionally, there would be a Canada-specific quota for wheat in Japan. It would be of great benefit to our hard-working Canadian farmers. We would also gain immediate duty-free access to other CPTPP countries on products such as canola seed, cranberries, blueberries and pet food.

Another area that stands to benefit considerably is Canada’s forestry industry. This renewable resource, for which Canada is well known, will have opportunities for new markets in Japan, as well as in Malaysia and Vietnam, as tariffs would be eliminated there also.

I would be hard-pressed to discuss Japan without mentioning seafood. The Japanese market for seafood is large, and Canadian fishers will benefit greatly from a 100 per cent elimination of tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood over the next 15 years. Once the CPTPP comes into force, snow crab, lobsters and oysters will see immediate tariff reductions to the Japanese markets alone, and the growing markets of Vietnam and Malaysia will also reduce tariffs on numerous Canadian seafood and fish products upon entry and will eventually move to duty-free territory.

The importance of diversification cannot be passed over in our current climate. We have opportunities, honourable senators, to work with government, industry, our Japanese partners and other partners to grow all market options, and they must be taken advantage of now. This bill will bring us a deal with the world’s third-largest economy of Japan and some of the fastest-growing countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Of course, as has been mentioned, it will clearly benefit industries across Canada, helping to export a variety of our resources and creating jobs. The most important thing here is jobs here at home. It will also positively impact our economy.

In closing, I just want to say that time is of the essence, as Senator Marwah mentioned. It really is of the essence, if you look at the four other countries that have already signed this deal. The first six in will get a better deal. It’s as simple as that. Let’s move forward in passing this important trade deal. This is a good deal for Canada. Thank you.

Hon. Victor Oh: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

I would like to start with a quote from the Speech from the Throne:

From the days of the coureurs des bois and the Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada has been a trading nation. Today, with one in five Canadian jobs dependent on exports, our prosperity hinges on opening new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment.

Indeed, Canada has been a trading nation, and we can take advantage of our diverse communities that have roots in places around the globe. For example, according to the 2016 Census, about 200,000 Canadians indicated that they were of full or partial Vietnamese ancestry, and 130,000 Mexican Canadians and 120,000 Japanese Canadians live in Canada — originated from the Trans-Pacific nations. They are all our invaluable ambassadors, facilitating people-to-people ties, as well as cultural, trade and economic links between Canada and their countries of origin.

The Trans-Pacific region, especially the Pacific Rim, is an emerging market with a lot more opportunities. On the one hand, it has great demand. On the other, Canada has the much-sought-after natural resources and clean high technology to offer, and can help reach the sustainable development goals in the region.

Amid growing protectionism across the globe, Canada is pushing back by pursuing a free and progressive trade agenda, a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and increased trade and investment flows.

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However, it’s disappointing that the supposedly more progressive CPTPP suspended many progressive provisions, such as the plain packaging requirement for the tobacco industry, labour standards from the original deal, negotiated by the former Conservative government, for example, as well as a package of major labour reforms previously committed to by Vietnam. The TPP-region content threshold in vehicle component parts is much lower when compared to the provisions of the USMCA.

I want to urge the current government to take concrete measures to address these concerns as well as the negative impact on the dairy sector.

I remember that even as the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement was negotiated, Canada’s agri-food exports to Korea fell from more than $1 billion to just $530 million virtually overnight, directly attributed to the free trade agreements concluded between South Korea and Canada’s key competitors, the European Union, the United States and Australia. A stronger Trans-Pacific Partnership will unlock the untapped potential in our commercial ties and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses. Now that Mexico ratified the CPTPP in May, Japan in June, my home country Singapore in September, and Australia ratified it last week, it is vital that Canada also be part of the first six states to ratify.

As the Co-Chair of the Canada-Malaysia and Canada-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship Groups as well as an immigrant and entrepreneur myself, I know that there is unlimited potential for Canadian businesses to grow in this region. I am glad that Canada will not miss the boat this time. Thank you.

Hon. David M. Wells: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, otherwise referred to as the CPTPP.

I feel like I have to ask for more time after that opening. The agreement before us is a historic one, one that has been a long time in the making. In the words of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper when speaking on the merits of the original TPP in 2015:

This deal is, without any doubt whatsoever, in the best interests of the Canadian economy . . . .

Ten years from now, I predict with 100 per cent certainty, people are looking back, they will say if we’ve got in it, . . . that was a great thing. And if we haven’t, they’ll say that was a terrible error.

Colleagues, the benefits of this deal are enormous. Canada will gain preferential access to a combined GDP of approximately $13.5 trillion, that’s about 13.5 per cent of global GDP. Canadian GDP is projected to grow by 4.2 billion over the long term. Exporters can expect to save over half a billion dollars a year on tariffs alone. That’s a good deal, one that was, as you may have heard, primarily negotiated by the previous Conservative government after extensive consultations across all sectors.

For the most part, the current federal government has repealed the previous government’s bills or finished what the previous government started. This is a classic case of the latter. Apart from the absence of the United States, this deal is largely a rebranding of the previous TPP negotiated and signed by the Harper government. I would like to highlight that beyond the new preamble, changes to intellectual property, the removal of aspects of investor-state dispute resolution, all touted improvements of the CPTPP, including environmental and labour standards, are still in this deal. I’m pleased to see that these elements remain from the initial negotiated draft.

Both former Minister Ed Fast and his team and Minister Chrystia Freeland and her team deserve credit for getting this modern and beneficial deal done. Given the significant benefits to Canada that will come from this deal, I share Senator Smith’s surprise at how long it has taken the government to move the bill through the house, especially given the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA or, should I say, the USMCA. It’s disappointing that the Liberal government dragged its heels on this at a time when Canada needs to continue diversifying its markets. The Prime Minister could have accepted the Leader of the Opposition’s request to reconvene Parliament in the summer to ratify CPTPP. It could have been ratified in June while Parliament was still sitting. The Prime Minister had the opportunity to show leadership and send a clear message to Canadian exporters that they should start preparing to take advantage of the preferential access to Pacific markets that we’re about to acquire. Instead, he chose to delay and risk Canada being seen as a laggard rather than a leader. Nonetheless, it’s better late than never. We should delay no longer. This bill needs to be ratified as soon as possible.

As some of our colleagues have mentioned, the agreement comes into force 60 days after at least six signatory countries ratify it, and the deadline to ratify is February 2019. Canada is currently in a race to be a first mover. We cannot afford to lose this first-mover advantage. It would be unacceptable to Canadians for us to have to play catch-up with all the other countries when we can be getting in early and creating jobs for Canadians.

To put it in perspective, if we are not in this first-mover class of six, then Canada’s competitors will benefit from tariff reductions while we are taxed at a higher rate, and we all know under the Trudeau Liberal government we are taxed enough.

There are many advantages to getting in early. For example, it sends an important signal that we are serious about trade in Asia. It will also allow for Canadian businesses to get a head start and establish themselves in these new markets in order to eventually become supplier of choice. This cannot happen if we do not move quickly. We must not give up the opportunity for competitive advantage. Singapore, Mexico and Japan have already ratified. Almost all of the other countries in the agreement are rapidly moving to ratify as well. Australia is getting close, so is New Zealand; Vietnam is there, Chile, Peru, Brunei, and the list goes on.

Honourable colleagues, I believe you will appreciate how high the stakes are on this and the questionable judgment of the government for waiting this long to act. Potential trading partners need to know that Canada is open for business.

Speaking of potential trading partners, I would like to point out that there is a clause in the new USMCA which will require Canada to advise and provide details to member nations in our future negotiations with non-market countries. Some of our CPTPP partners would likely fall under this category, which adds even more urgency to ratification. We should ensure that the CPTPP is ratified before the USMCA to avoid potential complications.

This is what happens when the Trudeau government agrees to a requirement to check with a third-party foreign government before embarking on a Canadian trade deal. You will recall, colleagues, that Canada signed dozens of trade agreements under the previous Conservative government without having to seek the okay from the Americans or anyone else.

Despite the overwhelming urgency to pass this bill quickly, there are some questions around its implementation that I believe the government must address.

First, what is the government’s implementation strategy? In February 2017, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, chaired by Senator Andreychuk, produced a report entitled Free Trade Agreements: A Tool for Economic Prosperity. In it, recommendations 3 and 4 specifically refer to a requirement for an implementation strategy.

The committee was of the opinion that the Government of Canada should develop a free trade implementation strategy designed to help Canadians and Canadian businesses benefit from trade opportunities arising from a new agreement and to mitigate any of the negative effects.

More specifically, recommendation 3 states:

The strategy should identify federal measures in two areas: those designed to help Canadian businesses benefit from that agreement . . . and those intended to mitigate the agreement’s potentially adverse impacts, including transition programs for negatively affected Canadian workers, sectors and regions.

Recommendation 4 from that report in 2017 states:

That, among the federal measures to be included in a “free trade agreement implementation strategy,” the Government of Canada create a task force comprising representatives from key federal departments and agencies. The task force, which should begin operations immediately after the free trade agreement is signed, but before it enters into force . . . .

I’m pleased, colleagues, that Senator Marwah put emphasis on this. I’ll also note, colleagues, that the report tabled today from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee, chaired by Senator Andreychuk, in observation 4 restates moreover that the committee insists on reiterating an observation from the 2017 report that I just referred to. They said promoting trade is about much more than signing FTAs. The Government of Canada should implement a robust FTA implementation strategy.

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As I mentioned, that report was from February 2017. Testifying in front of the committee on October 18, the Minister of Trade and International Diversification admitted he had not read the report. Clearly the government has no implementation strategy.

This is disappointing considering the work that went into that report and the current report, colleagues, and the positive impacts the implementation strategy recommendation would have on Canadian exporters looking to take maximum advantage of these new markets.

I encourage the minister to make good on his word to read the report. The minister can help our Canadian businesses by doing so and taking action.

The other area of concern is in regard to side letters. Side letters are instruments negotiated in conjunction with free trade agreements. The purpose of a side letter is to clarify bilateral matters between two parties that do not affect the rights and obligations of the other parties. Several side letters were negotiated bilaterally by the CPTPP parties to specify how identified CPTPP provisions would be applied between parties. Further, a number of letters exchanged bilaterally by parties renew side agreements that had been signed by parties under the original TPP.

Canada has many side letters with member countries; seven with Vietnam, five with Australia, four with Malaysia, three with Chile, two with Japan, two with Peru, two with Mexico and one with New Zealand. We know that concerns have been raised about the content of these side letters by the automotive sector and others. We do not know how the concerns of the sectors affected by these side letters have been addressed. Colleagues, this is unacceptable. I urge the government to be transparent with Canadians by explaining the impact of each side letter and how the concerns of affected sectors were addressed.

There also has to be follow-up in the form of an implementation strategy to ensure these side letters are vigorously enforced.

The free trade process does not end at ratification. Sectors still need an implementation strategy. You can’t just sign an agreement and hope for the best.

Curiously in 2017, the Prime Minister skipped an important TPP meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. Multiple media outlets reported the Prime Minister was to blame for stalled TPP talks. This Vietnam trip was particularly criticized in the media.

Also, more recently, the Canadian government and Minister Freeland were caught off guard when Mexico and the U.S. came to an agreement on a new NAFTA deal and Canada was told to essentially take it or leave it.

We can agree this is not negotiating from a position of strength. Being asleep at the wheel is unacceptable. The government needs to do better and be smarter.

Honourable senators, while we were, unsurprisingly, not afforded adequate time to review this historic legislation, we can be proud of the work this chamber has done to address remaining concerns. It is time to vote on this bill. Following its passage, it will be up to the government to take immediate action to address the clear shortcomings pertaining to implementation and transparency. The Senate, and indeed all Canadians, will be watching.

Colleagues let’s ratify this agreement and begin the next chapter of our country’s trade story. Thank you.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

Federal Sustainable Development Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Griffin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Christmas, for the second reading of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Colleagues, I’m pleased to stand before you today to speak to a bill that enjoyed unanimous support in the other place and I hope will enjoy the same level of non-partisan support in our chamber.

As many of you know, the Federal Sustainable Development Act, fondly known as the FSDA, was introduced as a private member’s bill in the other place by John Godfrey, a Liberal member of Parliament, and was passed with the support of a majority Conservative government under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The act requires that a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy be produced and updated every three years and stipulates that public consultation with stakeholders must take place over a 120-day public consultation period. Twenty-six individual departments and agencies must contribute and produce their own sustainable development strategies, while a number of others participate voluntarily. Additionally, a progress report must be tabled before Parliament every three years. Since 2008, three reports have been released, with the next report due in November of this year.

Under the FSDA, oversight responsibilities are given to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the two parliamentary committees — in the Senate and the other place — responsible for reviewing issues pertaining to the environment.

During public consultations on the 2016 to 2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development in the other place produced a unanimous report in June of 2016 making 13 recommendations on ways to strengthen the existing act.

Honourable senators, this bill is about transparency. It adds more federal departments, agencies of Parliament and Crown corporations to the schedule of the act, ensuring that these entities have to report annually and are part of the major three-year reports the act requires to be tabled before both houses of Parliament.

If passed, we would see the number of entities required to report grow from 26 to 90, with the ability to easily add more federal organizations. This would enable a whole-of-government approach to sustainable development and enable the Treasury Board to coordinate the establishment of policies and issuing of directives in relation to the sustainable development impacts of government operations.

In addition to the bill giving the advisory council the ability to come together in person twice per year, in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines, as opposed to relying on, as they do currently, teleconferences and Skype, it also adds three more Indigenous seats to the advisory council which would allow for more Inuit representation. This would bring the total number of Indigenous seats to six and the total number of seats on the advisory council to 28.

Sustainable development, as many of us know, is an ever-evolving concept that changes with the goals and priorities of the government and with the international obligations Canada enters into. That is why we have goals set and reports done every three years and why the strategy is reviewed every five years.

Currently, Canada’s 2016 to 2019 strategy identifies 13 goals, which include clean growth, modern and resilient infrastructure, clean energy, sustainable food, clean drinking water and so on.

Bill C-57 also ensures the targets identified in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy are measurable and time-bound, enabling Canadians to hold ministers and their departments accountable.

For instance, we know the government is falling short of their goal to ensure that all Canadians have access to safe drinking water. I would note the Department of Indigenous Services Canada has set a goal to resolve 30 of the 77 drinking water advisories affecting First Nations by March 31, 2018. As of the last update on November 30, 2017, there were 68 long-term advisories affecting 45 First Nations across this country.

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When the progress report is tabled next month, I expect to see that this particular goal may not have been reached.

Honourable senators, this is the type of accountability and oversight that I believe we should have over all of our federal departments and organizations. Canada cannot keep failing to attain the goals that our government sets out. We need to ensure that the goals we put forward are measurable and attainable within the time frame specified. We owe it to Canadians to ensure that we are delivering on the promises we make to them, and this bill, from what I have seen so far, will strengthen the act that helps keep us on track.

That said, colleagues, as a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, I believe that all bills need to be scrutinized by this chamber and any potential flaws or shortcomings identified and rectified before any bill is passed. That is why I support the referral of this bill to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. I look forward to studying it further.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Plett: On division.

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

Referred to Committee

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

(On motion of Senator Griffin, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.)

National Security Bill, 2017

Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Gold, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moncion, for the second reading of Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters.

Hon. Donald Neil Plett: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters.

While this bill is widely encompassing, I will highlight just a few of the components that I view as problematic with the misplaced government priorities.

The bill introduces a new structure for national security review, including establishing a new intelligence review agency as well as the position of intelligence commissioner to countersign and approve certain types of operations before they occur.

In essence, this creates a new review system. The government cannot predict what the impact of this system of review will be, yet they are claiming that it will work better.

However, there is an equally good chance that the new system of review will increase the burdens on our intelligence and security agencies. At this stage, we simply do not know.

The bill, also amends the CSIS Act to place new limits on the exercise of the service’s power to disrupt threats to the security of Canada, which is clearly problematic.

The bill amends provisions in the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, again introducing new limitations related to the sharing of information for national security purposes.

It amends the Criminal Code to eliminate provisions which criminalize the advocacy and promotion of terrorism. What could the benefit possibly be in weakening our laws against terror?

The legislation abolishes investigative hearings in terrorism cases — another inexplicable incidence of weakening the current regime.

In essence, Bill C-59 endeavours to check many Liberal boxes, but in terms of the bill’s overall impact, we need to be honest that very little of what Bill C-59 does actually has the objective of strengthening the capacity of Canada’s national security agencies to protect the country.

Equally concerning is the fact that very obvious national security challenges that we currently face as a country are not even addressed in this legislation.

I want to highlight just one area. There is nothing in this legislation that will deal with the problem — and it is a serious national security problem — of terrorists who have fought overseas and are now returning to Canada.

The government has lamented many of the measures that the former Conservative government put in place to combat the terror threat. Indeed, one of the very first bills that the current government brought in was Bill C-6, a bill which repealed the ability to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals related to national security.

It speaks volumes that this was one the first priorities of the current government when it came to national security. That bill undoubtedly put the so-called rights of terrorists above national security considerations.

As I mentioned, we are confronted with a new threat — the threat of terrorists who have fought and been trained overseas returning to Canada.

Journalist Stewart Bell has recently written about Canadians who have gone overseas to fight for the so-called Islamic State. Namely, one individual, Muhammed Ali — not the boxer — who grew up in a Canada, travelled to Syria to join ISIL in 2014. He fought for ISIL as a sniper, and he fought for ISIL at a time when it was fighting the Canadian Armed Forces. He made online posts showing photos of ISIL executions. He talked about playing soccer with severed heads. He justified the execution of homosexuals. He applauded the 2014 terrorist attacks here in Ottawa and at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and called for more.

Do these actions constitute more “bad practice” in the minds of Minister Goodale and the Liberal government?

This individual even said he wasn’t a Canadian anymore. But now, perhaps not surprisingly, he wants to return to Canada and again wants to be a Canadian.

So what does Bill C-59 have to say about a case like this? It turns out that Bill C-59 will do nothing to address a case like this. In fact, Bill C-59 has many provisions that will make addressing cases like this much more difficult.

Bill C-59 will eliminate the offence of “. . . advocating or promoting terrorism. . . .” Should this legislation pass, the Crown will have to prove that an individual actually “. . . counselled the commission of a terrorist offence. . . ,” which is clearly much more onerous than pointing to a social media post in which the individual advocated or promoted terrorism.

Just because an individual showed photos of ISIL executions or lauded terrorist attacks and called for more, or even self-admits that he fought against Canadian soldiers for a terrorist organization, will not quite meet the bar of criminality under this proposed legislation.

Again, what possible justification could the government have in removing the ability to prosecute on these grounds?

Bill C-59 also weakens the powers of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service to disrupt threats to the security of Canada. When dealing with an individual such as this, CSIS will find that after Bill C-59 passes, it has many more legal and procedural hoops to jump through as it seeks to manage what may be an active terrorist threat.

Bill C-59 also raises the threshold for imposing a potential recognizance with conditions on potential terrorists. Under current legislation, individuals can be detained where the police “. . . suspects on reasonable grounds that the detention of the person in custody is likely to prevent a terrorist activity.”

The government is now actually proposing that this threshold should be raised to permit only such a detention if it is judged to be necessary rather than likely to prevent a terrorist activity. Will this new threshold better serve Canadians?

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Senators opposite take great pains to continually assess whether and how legislation may impact their own particular interpretation of the Charter of Rights. But I do not see nearly as much emphasis placed on analyzing the extent to which legislation is actually effective in keeping Canadians safe.

The government itself, when proposing widely encompassing security legislation like this, needs to prioritize how a new regime would better address the real threats that exist to the security of Canada. However, they have failed miserably to do so.

By the government’s own admission, at least 60 individuals, and probably more, have returned to Canadian soil after waging jihad abroad. There is ample evidence to suggest that, even under current procedures and with current resources, CSIS and the RCMP do not have the manpower nor the capacity to monitor all the individuals who may pose a threat to Canada while simultaneously addressing other threats which exist to the security of the country.

It is astonishing to me that this legislation does absolutely nothing to enhance the ability to prosecute individuals who have advocated terrorism or who have waged war against Canada overseas.

In this regard, I want to pose a question to colleagues in this chamber: If, during the Second World War, a Canadian had journeyed overseas to fight for the enemies of Canada, and if he had engaged in propaganda for that enemy and lauded attacks against Canada, how would the Government of Canada have responded? I submit that it certainly would not have responded by doing nothing to prevent their return to Canada, or, even worse, by paying such an individual $10.5 million. Yet this government did precisely that, and now it is asking this chamber to pass legislation which, in key areas, will only weaken our national security.

I urge senators to think particularly carefully about those provisions in Bill C-59 — and there are many of them — that will weaken the authorities for Canada’s security agencies. I submit that our most important duty as parliamentarians is to support measures that keep Canada and Canadians safe. This bill should be thoroughly reviewed with that fundamental objective in mind.

Thank you, colleagues.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Gold, Senator Pratte and Senator Lankin, do you all have questions?

Senator Plett, will you take a question or two?

Senator Plett: Yes, I will take a question.

Hon. Marc Gold: Thank you for your speech. I agree with you that these are issues that should be and will be, I’m sure, looked at very carefully in committee, and I hope it gets to committee soon.

You have made a number of important points. I will ask you a question about one of them, and that is that the oversight and review provisions introduced by Bill C-59 are cumbersome and would not enhance national security.

Well, here is what a former assistant director of CSIS stated in testimony before a committee in the other place:

. . . I think having more layers is fine. I wouldn’t want to respond to any alarmist comments to the effect that now we’ll be stuck and won’t be able to respond effectively. I think it’s a pretty good balance overall.

And a current assistant director of CSIS had the following to say:

We are quite comfortable with review. . . . It has been very good at ensuring that we are adhering to policies and procedures . . . .

. . . it is extremely important to us to ensure that Canadians have confidence in their security agencies. So I don’t think we are concerned about it.

Notwithstanding the views of those I quoted, who actually do the work of protecting us in the field, do you still maintain your view that these processes are too cumbersome and are not effective?

Senator Plett: Well, I certainly maintain that view, Senator Gold. As I said, Bill C-59, when we are talking about CSIS, will raise the threshold of imposing potential recognizance with conditions on potential terrorists. Under current legislation, individuals can be detained where police suspect reasonable grounds that the detention of the person in custody is likely to prevent terrorist activity. And now the government is proposing that this threshold should only be raised to only permit such a detention if it is judged to be necessary rather than likely.

Yes, I would see that as being a problem, Senator Gold.

Senator Gold: Senator Plett, are you aware that that power under the lower threshold has, in fact, never been used for all of the many years it was in place?

Senator Plett: Well, I’m not the official critic, but I’m pointing at flaws in the bill. No, I am not aware of that, but I am clearly stating that that is a flaw that will make it more difficult and will add more levels of bureaucracy. I am inclined to believe that is more dangerous for your and my security.

Hon. André Pratte: Will you take another question?

Senator Plett: Yes.

Senator Pratte: Thank you.

I want to quote the assistant director of CSIS, Tricia Geddes, who said in front of committee in the other place:

. . . it’s quite clear that this bill is able to deliver the effective tools and the authorities that we need, in order to be able to conduct our investigations. Ensuring that we have the confidence of Canadians and that we are able to do so in a manner that protects their privacy is very critical to our ability to carry out our mandate.

Should we be confident? If CSIS believes this bill is all right, should we not have confidence in what they are saying?

Senator Plett: Well, Senator Pratte, our previous government also consulted with CSIS when we drafted our legislation, and they were very comfortable with the legislation we drafted at that time, so I cannot answer on behalf of CSIS. I see the legislation as being problematic.

Hon. Frances Lankin: Senator Plett, I agree with some of the things you said and some I disagree with, but I want to probe the issue of review and the creation of NSIRA, which is what I think you referred to.

SIRC, the Security Intelligence Review Committee, has been in place for many years. One of the problems they consistently had in dealing with complaints or systemic reviews was being able to follow the evidence from one agency to another; the silos in the security community were problematic. This legislation and the creation of NSIRA allows for CSE, the Communications Security Establishment of Canada, which has a much broader role these days with cybersecurity than it did, to come under the purview of the SIRC review, which is now going to be called NSIRA.

It also allows them to follow, as has been suggested following —

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Lankin, I apologize, but the time is up.

Honourable senators, are you agreeable on five more minutes?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Lankin: I’ll just wrap that up.

Sorry, my recollection is not telling me whether it was the Arar commission or the Air India inquiry, but the inquiries have brought out the problem of the silos and not being able to follow the Air India evidence to go to the RCMP and what they did, or other organizations.

I ask you, in terms of your concern about whether this will be cumbersome, to reflect on what was lacking in the old structure under the Security Intelligence Review Committee, why so many people have called for the mandate to be expanded and why NSIRA is being put forward. Does that change your view at all, or is it a possibility that you will examine this and reconsider your position?

Senator Plett: Well, senator, I would hope I would always be open-minded enough to change my position if somebody convinces me of the right facts. I certainly did not suggest that we not send this to committee. As a matter of fact, I think I said we should review it thoroughly at committee, and that possibility is there.

I’m not sure whether I entirely understood the review process you were talking about, but let me quote something from former Crown attorney Scott Newark. He told the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Security that:

I guarantee you, sir, that if that wording is used, there will be occasions when defence counsel will come to court when somebody is charged, and ask, “Who was it that he was counselling to commit the offence?” If you don’t have another person involved, you aren’t able to prove the offence.

These proposed changes to the laws will not make Canadians safer.

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This is adding a level of bureaucracy that, in my opinion, will make it more difficult to charge people. Senator, I don’t want to stand on my soap box and rail against — well, maybe I do want to rail against the government — but the fact of the matter is I believe we have a government that is soft on terrorism. I believe this bill further threatens our security. I am willing to be convinced at committee there are some redeeming qualities in this bill.

Senator Lankin: I appreciate your further comment on your concerns about the Criminal Code provisions for counselling on terrorism. That had nothing to do with my question which was with respect to review.

I will ask a second question with respect the issue you raised on the constraint on disruptive activities carried out by CSIS.

I’m sure you are aware there are very serious issues within the legal structure that make a demarcation between intelligence and evidence. Different organizations have different responsibilities with respect to that. The disruption authorities for CSIS, by the way, it was only a number of years ago they began to do this and, without the explicit reference within the legislation, it must always be balanced by Canadians rights. Disruptive activity by a secret intelligence agency is quite different based on the evidence, which intelligence may lead to, that the RCMP acts on and arrests.

I wonder whether your concern about the disruptive activity constraints are misplaced, because the actions of police and police enforcement is where that activity more often comes into play.

Senator Plett: First of all, in regard to my last answer, I have learned to give answers. I’ve learned that from the Leader of the Government in the Senate and the leader of the person in the other place. I don’t necessarily answer the question I was asked. Sorry, Senator Harder. That was supposed to be funny, Senator Harder — smile.

I will remain to be convinced, Senator Lankin, at committee.

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned.)

[Translation]

Adjournment

Motion Adopted

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate), pursuant to notice of October 24, 2018, moved:

That, when the Senate next adjourns after the adoption of this motion, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at 2 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

[English]

The Senate

Motion to Affect Question Period on October 30, 2018, Adopted

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate), pursuant to notice of October 24, 2018, moved:

That, in order to allow the Senate to receive a Minister of the Crown during Question Period as authorized by the Senate on December 10, 2015, and notwithstanding rule 4-7, when the Senate sits on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Question Period shall begin at 3:30 p.m., with any proceedings then before the Senate being interrupted until the end of Question Period, which shall last a maximum of 40 minutes;

That, if a standing vote would conflict with the holding of Question Period at 3:30 p.m. on that day, the vote be postponed until immediately after the conclusion of Question Period;

That, if the bells are ringing for a vote at 3:30 p.m. on that day, they be interrupted for Question Period at that time, and resume thereafter for the balance of any time remaining; and

That, if the Senate concludes its business before 3:30 p.m. on that day, the sitting be suspended until that time for the purpose of holding Question Period.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Voluntary Blood Donations Bill

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Wallin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boniface, for the second reading of Bill S-252, Voluntary Blood Donations Act (An Act to amend the Blood Regulations).

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

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

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Sinclair, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pratte, for the second reading of Bill C-374, An Act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (composition of the Board).

Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable colleagues, I rise today to support Bill C-374, An Act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to increase the number of members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board and to provide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis representation on the board. It also modifies the entitlements of board members.

This bill came to us from the other place and was a private member’s bill put forward by Member of Parliament John Aldag. This call to action was indeed recommendation 79 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. The role of the board is critically important. Through their work, sites, events and individuals are recognized for their historic importance to Canada and major contributions to the development of Canada. The monuments and places in our history which have shaped our country.

I believe the resulting plaques in English, French and some in Indigenous languages across the country are key contributors to the knowledge of our history, and are increasing in importance as the study of history and geography in our schools seems to be diminishing.

Indeed, today I think only four provinces still have history in their high school curriculum. The others incorporating it, to a degree, in social studies programs. I remain concerned about the lack of knowledge of our own country in our country. That history, which is the foundation of today and the basis for so much of not only what we do in this chamber but in so many decisions being made across the country in every field.

The research undertaken by the board and the staff at the department in designating sites is thorough. My husband was a member of the board for a number of years. I can attest to the commitment of all members. The piles of documents to be read, commented on and additional research undertaken for each meeting by every member.

Historians, archivists, architects and political scientists are only some of the professions which make up the collective expertise on the board, an expertise essential in meeting the criteria for designation.

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I want to thank the library staff for finding me a full list of all designated Aboriginal sites. I could not find such a site in my own research and on the Web.

There have been 192 Indigenous designations, the earliest being made in 1920. In the 1920s, there were indeed 20 designations of Aboriginal sites. Most, however, have been designated in the last 18 years.

As Senator Harder noted, there was an increase in designations of 31 per cent between 1990 and 2015 — those designations at 31 per cent being Aboriginal sites. However, those designations were made without proper Indigenous representation on the board, and thus without Indigenous voices at the table during the designation process. There has, however, been consultation with the Indigenous communities, but honestly, in my view, I do not think that is enough. And I can tell you personally that 20 years and 25 years ago, this was noted as a major concern.

It is important that our history, our story, be told in full — the good, the bad, the warts and the highs — and that it be told honestly. Removing parts of our history to tell the nice, one-sided story is wrong. Our history is not all rosy, and we must tell it honestly with all the facts and from various viewpoints.

This revision was one of the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings, Call to Action No. 79, and I truly hope it will be endorsed by the Senate. I hope it will move to committee soon.

I also sincerely hope that this lack of expertise at the board, a serious omission, will be rectified as soon as this legislation is proclaimed.

(On motion of Senator Housakos, debate adjourned.)

Senate Modernization

Sixth Report of Special Committee—Debate Continued

Leave having been given to revert to Other Business, Reports of Committees, Other, Order No. 5:

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Tannas, seconded by the Honourable Senator Wells, for the adoption of the sixth report (interim) of the Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization, entitled Senate Modernization: Moving Forward (Speakership), presented in the Senate on October 5, 2016.

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): This is at day 15, and if I can, I will take the adjournment of the motion in my name.

(On motion of Senator Bellemare, debate adjourned.)

Study on New and Emerging Issues for Canadian Importers and Exporters with Respect to Competitiveness of Canadian Businesses in North American and Global Markets

Twenty-fourth Report of Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee and Request for Government Response—Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the twenty-fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, entitled Canada: Still open for business?, tabled in the Senate on October 16, 2018.

Hon. Douglas Black moved:

That the twenty-fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, tabled on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, be adopted and that, pursuant to rule 12-24(1), the Senate request a complete and detailed response from the government, with the Minister of Finance being identified as minister responsible for responding to the report.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Does Senator Black want to speak?

Senator D. Black: I moved the adoption, and I’m happy to speak, but I am conscious of time as well. Is there an overwhelming request to hear about the report of the Banking Committee?

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Miville-Dechêne would like to adjourn it in her name.

Senator D. Black: Your Honour, a report has been tabled, and if the senator has a question for me, I’d be delighted for that. If the senator wishes to speak at some other time, perhaps I can learn that as well. If she wishes me to address the report now, I’m happy to do that as well.

(On motion of Senator Miville-Dechêne, debate adjourned.)

The Senate

Motion to Call Upon the Government to Recognize the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks and Designate May 19th as a Day of Remembrance—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Merchant, seconded by the Honourable Senator Housakos:

That the Senate call upon the government of Canada:

(a) to recognize the genocide of the Pontic Greeks of 1916 to 1923 and to condemn any attempt to deny or distort a historical truth as being anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity; and

(b) to designate May 19th of every year hereafter throughout Canada as a day of remembrance of the over 353,000 Pontic Greeks who were killed or expelled from their homes.

(On motion of Senator Gold, debate adjourned.)

Crisis in Churchill, Manitoba

Inquiry—Debate Concluded

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Bovey, calling the attention of the Senate to the crisis in Churchill, Manitoba.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: If the Honourable Senator Bovey speaks now, her speech will have the effect of closing the debate.

Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak in final reply to my inquiry calling attention of the Senate to the crisis in Churchill. I would like to thank Senator Mercer for allowing me to close this inquiry today.

It has been a long journey for the people of Churchill since May 17, 2017, when the washout of the railway connecting the community to the south occurred. In the ensuing 20 months, the 900 residents of Churchill and 30,000 people serviced by the line faced the reality of being deprived of the land link that is the lifeblood of that place. The railway is the only reasonable means of transporting food, medical supplies, other goods and materials, and people to Churchill. Without it, the residents must rely on air and sea transport, both of which come with their own complications.

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Many senators here are aware of those complications. The shipping season is closed for eight months of the year. Transport by air is available, but weather can play havoc with travel plans for both goods and people. The expense of airlifting supplies to the North is another well-known issue. Shipping by air is three to five times as expensive as rail.

The washout had a dire effect on the economy. A continuing washout would only complicate that effect further.

Adventure tourism is a growing business for Churchill — watching beluga whales and polar bears, the aurora borealis, birding, historical sites. All brought tourists to the area and formed a large part of the local economy before the washout.

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre 2017 spring program received 1,000 fewer students able to take part, as there was no transport to get them there. Researchers cancelled their research programs, unable to transport their materials. The same happened in 2018.

The lack of rail also led to the slowing down of the construction of the Churchill Marine Observatory, as building supplies could not be transported to the construction site. It is now two seasons behind. One of its key purposes is to study the means of remediation of oil spills on saltwater, freshwater and sea ice, as well as that on active marine life, critical in our time of climate change.

The effect felt by people along the line was deep for all the reasons I mentioned. On a personal level, the isolation took its own desperate toll. Rhoda de Meulles, who owns a hardware store in Churchill with her husband, put it this way:

We always felt like we were being kept hostage because we couldn’t do anything — couldn’t go anywhere, couldn’t see family, nothing . . . .

Stop-gap solutions to relieve the short-term issues were put in place. In 2017, the Province of Manitoba shipped 2.2 million litres of propane to Churchill by sea from Montreal to provide heating for the winter months. In 2018, a further shipment of propane was sent by the province, again from Montreal. The federal government extended the Nutrition North program to reduce the price of food being shipped in and provided $2.7 million to the Churchill and Region Economic Development Fund. The Nutrition North program will stay in effect until the rail line is back in service. Winnipeg Harvest and other charities sent care packages to Churchill, and they should be recognized for doing so.

The answer to the short- and long-term problems facing the people of northern Manitoba is the repair of the rail line — that essential gateway to the Arctic and thus to the world. It is hoped the shift to Montreal as a temporary gateway for shipping goods is indeed only temporary and that with the rail line fixed, Churchill will be able to regain its lost role.

Thankfully, on September 14, 2018, the Government of Canada announced its support for the acquisition and repair of the Churchill rail line by the Arctic Gateway Group. The group is composed of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Regina-based AGT Limited Partnership and Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership. The Missinippi partnership is made up of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, Cross Lake Band of Cree Indians and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation. Communities serviced by the line, such as The Pas, Flin Flon, Thompson, Gillam, Kelsey and Churchill, are also part of the group.

According to the government:

The consortium brings together First Nations and community ownership and support, along with significant private sector leadership and global investment capacity, and collectively, substantial short line rail operating and shipping experience.

The agreement states that $117 million in funding will be provided through the Western Diversification Program of Western Economic Diversification Canada, an amount that breaks down thusly: $74 million over three years to be used for the acquisition and repair of the rail line and the port terminal; $43 million over 10 years for operations and enhancing the viability of the bay line, port terminal assets and tank farm; and a further $10 million will be provided as a repayable contribution, which will provide time for the Arctic Gateway Group to secure their own loan on commercial terms.

The Arctic Gateway Group will not be providing dividends for at least 10 years, as they intend to reinvest into the companies and northern Manitoba.

Most significantly for me, colleagues, is the unique model that has been created in response to this washout and the future of the rail line. The media announcement that detailed the parties involved in the new arrangement demonstrates the commitment of the consortium of many stakeholders coming together, not only to rebuild the rail line, but also to construct a bright future for the communities it serves.

Churchill Mayor Mike Spence described this aptly when he said:

We’ll have control in the future, and we’ll work toward prosperity. This is historic; I don’t think there’s another model out there in Canada that would fit into this equation. First Nations, Communities and Municipalities and the private sector hand in hand with the Government of Canada. This will work. We are excited for the future.

Senators, shovels were in the ground almost immediately, with Cando Rail Service, a Brandon-based company, and Paradox Access Solutions, an Edmonton-based company, taking the lead on the repair work. The first estimate of completion of the work was 60 days, weather it being the main challenge. The work is now virtually complete on the railbed and bridges, and inspection has been going on as the work was being done. It is hoped that certification will be in the next several weeks, and Mayor Spence is optimistic that the rail line will be in use before winter sets in.

I should mention that, tragically, a worker was killed in a derailment that occurred shortly after repair work had begun, a very unfortunate event in this saga. I’m sure you will all join me in extending our condolences to his family and sending our best wishes for a full recovery to the individual injured in the same accident.

More positively, the repairs will be thorough and reconstruct the line using technologies that should make the railway a much sturdier affair, able to withstand the environmental challenges presented by the terrain of northern Manitoba.

With the reconstruction of the railway, we can now look forward to building a brighter future for that region. Churchill is Canada’s only deep-sea northern port. With a stable ownership group now in place, perhaps Canada can take advantage of this fact and begin to utilize this port to reach markets around the world.

Colleagues, I was pleased to hear Minister of International Trade and Diversification, the Honourable Jim Carr, a fellow Manitoban, address the Government of Canada’s commitment to the people of northern Manitoba through the Port of Churchill. While appearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on October 18, 2018, the minister stated:

We are looking east, west, south and, may I say, north as well because with the revitalization of the Port of Churchill, Canada will now be positioned more powerfully than ever before to look at our northern territory as an international gateway both east and west.

One such opportunity may lie in accessing Arctic mines by sea. The trade magazine Resource Clips surmised that the completion of repairs to the Hudson’s Bay line “heightens the potential of resource projects in northern Manitoba and Nunavut’s Kivalliq region.” We shall see what develops in the coming months.

Optimism bounds at the moment, even on the verge of another winter. What long-term solutions present themselves will be the result of the dedication and hard work of those who fought to strike this new and innovative arrangement. I am thankful this crisis is being mitigated by such a broad range of stakeholders coming together to build a future for the people of northern Manitoba and beyond.

I want to thank Senators McPhedran and Plett for speaking to this inquiry, and Senator Wallin for her statement on the issue.

In closing, I applaud the tenacity, strength and patience of the people of Churchill, even though almost one third of the citizens left the community. Sixty schoolchildren and their families moved south during this period of great uncertainty and consternation.

(1550)

May people return soon and reap the benefits of this community vision and clear strategic planning in putting this unique model of collective ownership and operation together. May tourism return to pre-washout levels, and may food prices become more reasonable. May jobs and prosperity return.

I can assure you that the announcement and repairs have given the community a real lift. All the communities along the line are excited, giving good reason for people to return. The fact that Churchill has rail, a deep sea port and an airport, originally built as a military airstrip, renders Churchill collectively an important asset serving the whole Arctic. I know I need not say that the railway is also critical in the ongoing scientific research of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre and the soon-to-be built Churchill Marine Observatory, for deliveries of all sorts and, of course, for tourism.

As Mayor Spence said at the Special Committee of the Arctic this week, Churchill “has enormous potential as a seamless partner with the railway to ship products across the North.”

(Debate concluded.)

Distinguished Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of our former colleague, the Honourable D. Ross Fitzpatrick who is accompanied by his wife. They are from British Columbia.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Business of the Senate

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 16-1(8), I wish to advise the Senate that a message from the Crown concerning Royal Assent is expected later today.

[English]

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Deposit Report on Study of Issues and Concerns Pertaining to Cyber Security and Cyber Fraud with Clerk During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Douglas Black, pursuant to notice of October 16, 2018, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate, between October 26 and November 16, 2018, a report relating to its study on issues and concerns pertaining to cyber security and cyber fraud, if the Senate is not then sitting, and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Senate.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. Rosa Galvez, pursuant to notice of October 24, 2018, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources have the power to meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Agriculture and Forestry

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. Diane F. Griffin, pursuant to notice of October 24, 2018, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry have the power to meet on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at 5 p.m., even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before adjournment, the Senate will now suspend to await Royal Assent with a five-minute bell.

(The sitting of the Senate was suspended.)

(The sitting of the Senate was resumed.)

(1620)

[Translation]

Royal Assent

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: informed the Senate that the following communication had been received:

RIDEAU HALL

October 25th, 2018

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform you that Ms. Assunta Di Lorenzo, Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor, in her capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 25th day of October, 2018, at 3:51 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Marie-Geneviève Mounier

Associate Secretary to the Governor General

The Honourable

The Speaker of the Senate

Ottawa

Bills Assented to Thursday, October 25, 2018:

An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 (Bill C-65, Chapter 22, 2018)

An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (Bill C-79, Chapter 23, 2018)

(At 4:30 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at 2 p.m.)

Appendix

ADDRESS
of
His Excellency Mark Rutte
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
to both Houses of Parliament
in the
House of Commons Chamber
Ottawa
on Thursday, October25, 2018

His Excellency Mark Rutte was welcome by the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, by the Honourable George Furey, Speaker of the Senate, and by the Honourable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons.

Hon. Geoff Regan (Speaker of the House of Commons, Lib.): The right hon. Prime Minister.

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Honoured guests, parliamentarians, friends and colleagues, good morning and thank you for being here as we host in our House an exceptional leader and a most distinguished guest and friend, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.

Welcome, Prime Minister.

My friends, today is a historic day. Today, Prime Minister Rutte becomes the first Dutch prime minister to address the Canadian Parliament. Before he speaks, I would like to say a few words about the incredible, long-standing friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.

Next year, we will mark 80 years of diplomatic ties between our two countries. Over the past two decades, our story has been tested and solidified on the battlefield. It has brought us together in defence of shared goals and ambitions, and it will propel us to a new prosperity in the decades ahead. I would like to think that at the heart of that bond lies a commitment to two essential common values: a strong sense of duty and a commitment to fairness.

During the Second World War, we felt a duty to our allies during the liberation, knowing that our Dutch friends were worth every effort. In the fight against fascism, we stood together as champions of freedom, human rights and democracy. That fight remains and is ongoing.

Today, time and time again, our countries have stood shoulder to shoulder in service of our fellow human beings. As active members within NATO and the United Nations, Canada and the Netherlands have been partners and allies in the ongoing push for global peace and security. We are currently working together in Mali, in Iraq and in the Baltics. We have chosen to lead in delivering a better future for women and girls, making major commitments to girls' education. Finally, at the WTO, together we advocate for our citizens, pursuing on their behalf a trading system that is rule-based and fair.

This brings me to our second shared value, fairness. It is no secret that globalization has produced winners and losers over the past few decades. People around the world are worried about getting left behind. They doubt that their nations and our institutions can help them, but we can.

Prime Minister Rutte understands that the growth of the future must be rooted in fairness. Here in Canada, we share that belief.

[Translation]

That is why we signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. CETA is a progressive, modern trade agreement well suited to 21st-century realities. It puts people first and creates opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs and the middle class in Canada and the European Union. Since CETA's entry into force, Canadian exports to the Netherlands have grown by 33percent, while imports have grown by nearly 24percent. That is what free, fair trade means: opening up new markets for our countries' people and producers.

[English]

The Netherlands is among Canada's closest friends and allies. We are aligned on the things that matter, and so long as we continue to share a strong sense of duty and a commitment to fairness, we will remain partners and friends for generations to come.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honour and privilege to introduce you to the 50th Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.

His Excellency Mark Rutte (Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands): Mr. Speaker, thank you for inviting me here today, and thank you for the distinct privilege of sharing some thoughts on the special nature and the importance of the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands.

[Translation]

It is an honour to be here today in the heart of Canadian democracy.

[English]

To anyone without a sense of history, a quick glance at the road map may suggest that Canada and the Netherlands are far apart and profoundly different. From Ottawa to Amsterdam, it is 3,500 miles. Canada is 240 times larger than the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, with 400 people per square kilometre, there is not much space to go around. In Canada, you can drive for hours without seeing another soul.

Despite these obvious differences, the Dutch feel a deep connection with the people of Canada, and with good reason. That reason is embodied by one man who is with us here today, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Dragoons who helped liberate the Netherlands from Nazi occupation, Mr. Don White.

[Applause]

This year, on May 5, I met Don for the first time in the city of Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands. I was there for our national celebration of Liberation Day, when we commemorate the end of the Second World War and celebrate our freedom. Don was there because he was one of the heroes on the ground back in 1945, when he was barely 20 years old. Now he is in his mid- nineties and, as you can see, he is still going strong.

The Hon. the Speaker: Don, it is a great pleasure to see you again today and in such good health.

This is what he wrote to his parents on April 17, 1945:

We have liberated a number of [Dutch] towns and you never saw anything like it in all your life. Once the Germans have been driven out and you enter the town, the people come out and put up their flags and royal colours. They crowd around the cars so badly you can hardly move. Your car is just one...bouquet of flowers that has been given you. The girls kiss you and the men shake your hand off. There is a lot so happy they cry.

Don and his comrades risked their lives so that we could be free. He survived, but more than 7,600 young Canadian servicemen did not. They made the ultimate sacrifice, and the Netherlands is their final resting place. So, yes, we feel deeply connected with Canada and we are forever grateful to those brave Canadian soldiers who carried the light of freedom to our country in its darkest hour.

This we will never forget. Thank you, Canada.

As you know, during the Second World War, our royal family found refuge here in Ottawa. In fact, an aunt of our king, Princess Margriet, was born in Canada on January19, 1943. It was the only time in history that a foreign flag was flown over the Peace Tower. At a time when the Dutch were denied the right to fly their own national flag at home, the Canadian people did us the honour of raising the red, white and blue over your Houses of Parliament in yet another strong symbol of the special bond between our countries.

This we will never forget. Thank you, Canada.

After the war, some 150,000 people from the Netherlands came to Canada to build a future for themselves and their children. In doing so, they made a lasting contribution to your country. Today, over a million Canadians have a connection with the Netherlands through the bonds of family, so whenever you come across a name like Eyking, Van Kesteren or Mathyssen, you can be sure there is this connection.

Ever since 1945, Canada and the Netherlands have stood shoulder to shoulder in so many ways. We both uphold the same values: democracy, freedom and equality. We both stand up for human rights and the international rule of law. We both believe in the principles of free and fair trade as a source of progress and prosperity for people all over the world.

I think it is fair to say that Canada and the Netherlands are sturdy pillars supporting the international order that arose from the ruins of the Second World War. Both of our countries have actively contributed to the multilateral rules-based system that has brought unprecedented freedom, prosperity and stability to our peoples. We have shaped the system individually, but more than anything, we have shaped it together. After all, we are founding members of, and partners in, all of the world's major international organizations, including the UN, NATO and the World Trade Organization. We have teamed up in important military missions in Afghanistan and Mali. We are working together to modernize UN peacekeeping. What is more, as NATO's leading country in Latvia, Canada remains actively committed to security and stability in Europe. This shows that the commitment and cohesion of our military alliance is as strong as ever.

Of course, there is CETA, the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA illustrates perfectly that free and fair international trade is not a zero-sum game, but benefits everyone. Back in the 18th century the philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke wrote that free trade is not based on utility but on justice. He was right, for it was on the principles of free trade that Europe built a prosperous and secure post-war future for many millions of people on a continent in ruins.

Today, it is the spirit of free international enterprise that makes our societies robust and our countries so attractive to live in. In this respect too, Canada and the Netherlands stand shoulder to shoulder. Our bilateral economic relations are already excellent. The Netherlands is the second largest investor in Canada. Conversely, there are more than 100 Canadian companies active in our country, providing thousands and thousands of jobs. In the last 10 years, total trade flows from the Netherlands to Canada have almost tripled. Since the provisional application of CETA, we have seen a remarkable upswing in the trade figures between Canada and the EU member states. I am happy to say that the rise in trade figures between Canada and the Netherlands is among the highest of all EU countries, and rightly so. We can only expect more positive effects of CETA in the years to come as ratification progresses and businesses become more familiar with its benefits.

Let me emphasize that CETA is not only about earning more euros and Canadian dollars. It is also about protecting consumer interests, advancing sustainable production, and promoting equitable labour relations and gender equality. You could say that CETA sets a positive and modern example of the way forward for free trade and constructive multilateralism, because when trade is free and fair, only then can we all be winners, or in the spirit of Edmund Burke, free trade and a just society relate to each other like cause and effect. It is important that we keep broadcasting this message, especially at a time like this.

For many years, the transatlantic voice rang out loud and clear because both sides of the Atlantic were singing from the same hymn sheet. Today, we are seeing debates on trade barriers and import tariffs that are putting trade relations under pressure. Having said that, I think it is a positive sign that Canada, the United States and Mexico have negotiated a revised trade agreement.

The European Union and the U.S. are also making progress on their bilateral trade agenda. This shows that we all realize how much we need each other and that transatlantic co-operation is as crucial for jobs and prosperity as it is for security in our countries. In all fairness, we cannot blame the U.S. for urging other NATO members to step up their efforts and pick up their share of the bill.

In Europe, we now face the great unknown of Brexit. Let me be totally honest. I still think it is a terrible idea and I can imagine that many of you feel the same, if only because 40percent of Canada-EU trade passes through the United Kingdom. The negotiations are proving complex because, as it turns out, it is not so easy to unbreak the eggs that made the omelette. Nevertheless, the people of the United Kingdom have spoken. We have to respect that and deal with the consequences.

We in the Netherlands are going to miss a key partner in the EU, a partner that thinks like we do on many issues. We also know that Brexit will cost us dearly. Of all the economies of mainland Europe, the Dutch is the most interwoven with the British. The U.K. is our third largest bilateral trade partner. So, yes, we will miss our British friends in Brussels.

At the same time, let us not overreact. I believe that after Brexit, two things will be essential. First, we need to keep working with the United Kingdom as friends and allies wherever we can, economically, politically, culturally and in matters of security and defence, both bilaterally and in the UN, NATO and all corners of the international arena, because the United Kingdom remains a key partner of the Netherlands, Europe and, of course, Canada.

Second, I believe that we must keep investing in a transatlantic relationship and that Canada and the Netherlands have a special role to play, especially after Brexit. After all, we both have a special relationship with the United Kingdom, and together with Canada, I am sure we will succeed in building new and even stronger bridges between both sides of the Atlantic. That is something that Prime Minister Trudeau and I discussed earlier today, because with all the geopolitical shifts and global challenges we face, working together is now as crucial to the future of our children as it was for our grandparents after the Second World War. It is up to us to make it happen.

Even back in 1945, Don White observed in a letter to his parents that it seemed as if everybody in the Netherlands spoke English and French. I suspect those words may have been a little bit too kind, but he was definitely right about one thing: Canada and the Netherlands do speak the same universal, multilateral transatlantic language. That is something we should cherish and build on.

In the past, we worked together to build a better world order, and it is true that after so many years, the system we built is now showing some cracks. It is true that globalization and the multilateral system do not benefit all countries and all people equally. So now we should work together to reform and improve the system and make it our purpose in the 21st century.

Mr. Speaker, next year will mark the 75th anniversary of D- Day, the start of western Europe's liberation from Nazi tyranny. I promise you that it will not pass unnoticed. The anniversary celebrations will reflect everything that Canada and the Netherlands stand for: freedom, peace and equality.

Last year in Leeuwarden, Don White said on Dutch national television, “I did not come back, I came back home.” I think these few words sum up the firm bonds of history and the sense of kinship that unite us, a bond that holds both a promise and a responsibility for the future, a bond that was forged in the courage and commitment of veterans like Don and all of his comrades who paid the highest price for our freedom. This we will not forget.

Thank you, Canada.

[Applause]

[Translation]

Hon. George Furey (Speaker of the Senate): Prime Minister Rutte, Prime Minister Trudeau, Speaker Regan, Your Excellency, honourable senators and members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Mr. Prime Minister, on behalf of Parliament and of all Canadians, I would like to start out by thanking you for your inspiring speech in this chamber this morning.

[English]

Your words resonate now, Prime Minister, more than ever, for these are terrible times in the world. The values and convictions that underpin our international community are being challenged. Intolerance and authoritarianism are on the rise. Within and between nations, division and polarization are threatening to take root, blocking the civic dialogue so critical to a democracy. Meanwhile, grave challenges like climate change become ever more urgent. In these times, we need voices like yours, Prime Minister, voices of reason, truth, and of clear vision.

When you spoke at the United Nations General Assembly last month you said, “I believe in the power of principles and not the principles of power, to guide us towards a better future for more people.”

As you can see, Mr. Prime Minister, we Canadians warmly endorse your position, for we see ourselves as a tolerant and inclusive people. As a people, we strive to better understand that we are not measured by rancorous, ad hominem debate, nor divisive politics, but rather by the foundational principle that we are stronger, more prosperous and more peaceful when we come together rather than when we stand divided.

Mr. Prime Minister, at the United Nations General Assembly you also said, “There is no conflict between multilateralism and the national interest.” You, sir, and indeed our own Prime Minister, have spoken out strongly for multilateralism, for building communities of nations governed by laws and rules, joined in a stable and secure international environment, an environment of free and fair world trade, of peace and prosperity and of equality and respect. That is our path forward, to join with others of shared principles and vision, to build a future illuminated by ideas and grounded in values. As we go forward together to build a better future, let us not forget the shared past of Canada and the Netherlands, and the special enduring bond between our two nations.

[Translation]

Thank you for the friendship your country shares with ours, and thank you for the strong message you delivered to the House this morning. Prime Minister, thank you very much.

[Applause]

[English]

The Speaker: Prime Minister Rutte, Prime Minister Trudeau, distinguished guests, especially our veterans, ladies and gentlemen, it is for us a great honour and a great pleasure, Prime Minister, to have you with us. We have, as you have said, so much history between our two countries.

A long time ago, between 1946 and 1968, 170,000 immigrants declared Dutch citizenship upon entering Canada, and now we have over a million. They came here to build a life and help to build our country.

There is so much we have in common, as we have seen across the years, and we are deeply grateful to you, sir, for coming today to further cement the wonderful bond between us, for this is not simply the visit of a visiting head of state, this is more like a family visit.

[Translation]

This is like visiting with your cousin. You're are always welcome in Canada.

[English]

In this venerable chamber, we have had a number of distinguished visitors over the years. In fact, it was in 1988 that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands spoke in this chamber, but you, sir, as the Prime Minister mentioned, are the first Dutch prime minister to speak here.

[Translation]

This is a special moment for us. There is no doubt that it will make the close bonds that exist between our two countries even stronger.

[Applause]