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1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 292

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker


THE SENATE

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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

Prayers.


[Translation]

SENATORS’ STATEMENTS

The Late Gilbert Doucet

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to Acadian builder Gilbert Doucet, who passed away on May 14.

Born in Petit-Rocher in northern New Brunswick, Mr. Doucet worked in many different fields and wore many different hats throughout his life, a life that was marked by a strong commitment to his community. After he completed his studies at Université Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, Gilbert Doucet began working at Assumption Life, an insurance company and flagship Acadian institution, in 1954. He worked his way up the ladder until he became the president and CEO, a position he held from 1985 to 1989.

Throughout the course of his distinguished career at Assumption Life, Mr. Doucet was also very involved in his community. He was a member of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, also known as La Patente, a secret men-only society that promoted the interests of Catholic French Canadians.

It would take all day to list the organizations, campaigns and causes he cared about. To name just a few, he was involved in the Société Nationale de l’Acadie, the newspapers L’Évangéline and Le Matin, the Catholic scouts movement, the Dieppe library and the Dieppe credit union. More recently, he took an active part in the campaign to save the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral in Moncton.

He received many plaudits for his work and volunteer involvement, including the Université de Moncton medal of honour and the New Brunswick government’s award for excellence. Well known for his good-natured, gregarious personality, Mr. Doucet left a lasting mark wherever he went. His devotion to the well-being of his community was apparent to all who knew him.

Honourable senators, leaders like Gilbert Doucet are vital to the development of any community. A dedication to multiple causes, both big and small, and a willingness to volunteer time and energy are the defining traits of people like Mr. Doucet, who build strong relationships between a community’s members and its institutions. He left his stamp on Acadia, and Acadia is grateful for it.

Colleagues, please join me in celebrating the life of Gilbert Doucet, a proud Acadian who was involved in his community to the very end.

Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[English]

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of the 2019 EF Canadian Youth Ambassadors. They are the guests of the Honourable Senators Black (Ontario), Busson, Deacon (Nova Scotia), Deacon (Ontario) and Kutcher.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Rubab Qureshi

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I rise today to applaud Rubab Qureshi who participated in the Daughters of the Vote program on Parliament Hill on April 3. In her speech, she asked for substantive action by the government to combat the rise of White nationalism and Islamophobia in Canada. She asked Prime Minister Trudeau during the event whether members of online communities would be penalized or put on terrorist watch lists for openly disseminating Islamophobic or White supremacist ideas.

She said:

When they’re perpetrating this rhetoric, I want them to stop and think, “If I join this group online, will I be prevented from going to America next week, or could I be charged with hate speech?” That is why I asked for a specific policy.

The video of the brief exchange between her and the Prime Minister went viral. In the days following the program, Ms. Qureshi received an overwhelming barrage of hate via social media. Among them was a message from a stranger containing screenshots of hateful memes from a Facebook group which stated:

These hijabs probably make a really nice basket after you cut off their head. An eye for an eye.

Along with the hateful comments were the names of every Muslim delegate who had participated in the event. The intense and disturbing online hatred directed to Ms. Qureshi is evidence of the rise of White nationalism and Islamophobia in Canada. As she stated:

We are reluctant to address it because we like to think it doesn’t exist in Canada . . . To pretend like these comments are some niche group of people is ridiculous. And even if you were to say it’s not as big of an issue here as in the States, that is no excuse to avoid it.

(1410)

To prevent the rise of such extremism, Qureshi wants to see tangible deterrents, such as policies that could see members of extremist groups put on terrorist watch lists, banning them from international travel and preventing them from meeting in online spaces.

In the days following the tsunami of virulent social media posts, Ms. Qureshi was, of course, concerned for her safety. Nonetheless, despite acknowledging she was “scared for her life,” she tweeted out the screenshots that night, saying they were the “kind of racist rhetoric” she intended to address, rhetoric that “consistently incites hate speech” and “violence” towards racialized women.

Honourable senators, I applaud Rubab Qureshi for her courage and support her request for the implementation of specific policies to combat Islamophobia or white supremacist ideology. Thank you.

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week

Hon. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia: Honourable senators, the second week in May marked Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in Canada. This recognition helps focus our attention to the health and well-being of women and children around the world. Over the past two decades, a concerted international effort has significantly improved women’s neonatal and children’s health awareness and outcomes. More women are surviving pregnancy and childbirth, infant mortality rates are declining and more children are living to celebrate their fifth birthdays’ and beyond.

While measurable progress is being made, there is still an urgent need for continuing international intervention on sexual and reproductive health rights.

Poverty, inequality, gender bias, mistrust and global conflicts still prevent many from getting access to basic health needs. Honourable senators, every day 830 women still die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Over 5 million children die annually from preventable causes. Another startling statistic is that more than 16 million adolescent girls become mothers every year, with the attendant negative sequelae on their educational, economic and personal health outcomes.

Canada has made a significant financial contribution to the global strategy for women, children and adolescent health, a World Health Organization-initiated roadmap to achieve the highest attainable standards of health care for all women, children and adolescents, and to transform the future and ensure that every newborn, mother and child not only survives but thrives.

Canada’s efforts are focused on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, on the reduction of infectious diseases through immunization, on improving nutrition for the poorest and most vulnerable in those countries where more than half of all maternal deaths occur, and for improving accountability by tracking our progress to make sure that our investments are making a difference.

Honourable senators, I hope you will join me in supporting these efforts to improve the health of vulnerable mothers, children and adolescents across the globe so that they too are given the basic human right to live a healthy and productive life. Thank you. Meegwetch.

[Translation]

International Museums Day

Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable senators, 10 days ago, the whole world celebrated International Museum Day. This year, nearly 40,000 museums in 160 countries joined in marking the fortieth anniversary of this celebration.

The mission of our museums is to collect, exhibit, communicate, conserve, interpret, and research aspects of history, science, the arts, and life past and present. Building upon that foundation, museums have other important roles to play in our societies today.

[English]

This year’s focus, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” highlights those new museological roles as active, forward-looking actors in their communities connecting traditions and cultures. This theme is particularly germane for Canadian museums as they step up to the plate advancing reconciliation, increasing awareness of climate change and its consequences, in understanding our past, today’s needs and environmental fragilities on land, water and under the sea.

Studies over many years have shown that museums are the most trusted organizations in contemporary society because they collect and present the real thing and encourage and engage in public dialogue based on those real things and real facts. Advancing awareness of contemporary issues is as much at their core as their collections. Where are they taking these responsibilities?

Eminent Alberta museologist Dr. Robert Janes’ excellent recent article “Museums Confront Climate Change” documents the significant public, collaborative and international museum projects regarding climate change.

Senator Murray Sinclair challenged museums about their responsibilities to present the true histories of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Many are.

Last week, Dr. John Young, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ CEO, declared “that museum” considers acts against Indigenous peoples, including residential schools, as genocide.

Museums are important places families visit together to experience and learn. Their educational programs are paramount and far-reaching, sharing histories and lives of Canadians, immigrants and refugees.

Museums’ roles are local and global, offering past and present explorations, examining science and the arts in all their dimensions, social issues and those of conflict, establishing dialogue among cultures, building bridges to peace, and we hope a sustainable future.

International exhibitions to Canada and Canadian exhibitions abroad further that sharing and understanding of cultures and international relationships. Touring exhibitions across Canada underline who we are as Canadians as we seek to resolve societal issues by building on the past.

Honourable senators, I applaud our museum professionals and the many thousands of volunteers who contribute countless hours of dedication. Thank you.


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Impact Assessment Bill
Canadian Energy Regulator Bill
Navigation Protection Act

Nineteenth Report of Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee Presented

Hon. Rosa Galvez: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the nineteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, which deals with Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

(For text of report, see today’s Journals of the Senate, Appendix p. 4827-4863.)

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

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

(1420)

ParlAmericas

Bilateral Visit to Mexico, February 10-12, 2019—Report Tabled

Hon. Rosa Galvez: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas respecting its bilateral visit to Mexico, held in Mexico City, Mexico, from February 10 to 12, 2019.

Board of Directors Meeting and Gathering of the Open Parliament Network, March 11-14, 2019—Report Tabled

Hon. Rosa Galvez: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation respecting its participation at the forty-seventh meeting of ParlAmericas’ Board of Directors and the fourth gathering of ParlAmericas’ Open Parliament Network, held in Quito, Ecuador from March 11 to 14, 2019.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sitting of the Senate—Leave Denied

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(a), I move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs be authorized to meet on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 1:30 p.m., even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that the application of rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is not granted.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sitting of the Senate—Leave Denied

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(a), I give notice that, later this day, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs have the power to meet on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 6:15 p.m., for the purposes of its study of bills that have been referred to the committee by the Senate, even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is not granted.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sitting of the Senate—Leave Denied

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-5(a), I move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade have the power to meet on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 4:15 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 leave granted, honourable senators?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is not granted.


[Translation]

QUESTION PERIOD

Canadian Heritage

Information Media Panel

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and it has to do with the panel the government appointed to decide which media organizations will receive a share of the $600‑million news media bailout fund.

[English]

This panel includes Unifor, which last November called itself “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare.” Unifor was a registered third party in the 2015 federal election, spending just under $300,000 on advertising, primarily to campaign against the previous Conservative government. Back in January, the union’s president, Jerry Dias, said that Unifor would be every bit as active in the upcoming federal election as they were in 2015.

Senator Harder, clearly Unifor is a partisan organization, and its involvement in this panel has been widely criticized, including by journalists themselves. Why is Unifor still a member of your government’s panel?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. He will know that this matter has also been significantly raised in the other place, where the minister responsible reiterated the commitment of this government to a strong and independent news media, and that the fundamental principle underlying the measures the government has put in place to support journalism is a determination to ensure that the decisions on the allocation of funds are made independent of government.

The independent group of experts representing news publishers and journalists will be established to ensure that eligibility criteria are defined by experts with thorough knowledge of journalism and print media. The panel of experts has been mandated to provide recommendations that will support a fair, equitable and efficient administration of these fiscal measures. The process will be transparent, and the panel’s recommendations will be made public.

Senator Smith: Thank you, leader.

When Minister Rodriguez was here in March, I reminded him that in relation to the SNC-Lavalin scandal, former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould quoted the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, as saying:

If Jody is nervous, we would, of course, line up all kinds of people to write op-eds saying that what she is doing is proper.

Senator Harder, this quote indicates that your government is not terribly concerned with the independence of the press. When the Prime Minister’s chief of staff talks about lining up friendly op-eds in the media, why should Canadians believe this panel is free from political interference?

Senator Harder: I would have thought that a former senior executive at a newspaper would understand the difference between an op-ed, the management of a newspaper and the independent support that Parliament has voted that the Government of Canada administer.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): My question for the government leader also concerns the media bailout fund. Last year, Unifor called itself “the resistance” to the Conservative Party. It actively encouraged strategic voting against the Conservative Party in the 2015 federal election.

A press release from Minister Rodriguez last week stated that this panel would “ensure the vitality of democracy.” The inclusion of Unifor shows the government is more concerned about ensuring the vitality of the Liberal Party.

This isn’t the first time we have seen this government take measures to harm the opposition in advance of the fall election. For example, the government has placed spending caps on the amount that opposition parties can spend in the pre-writ period, while putting no such limits on itself.

Senator Harder, how can the government continue to claim this panel is unbiased when the facts show otherwise?

Senator Harder: Let me repeat that the government has put in place measures to ensure that these funds are administered at arm’s length. The panel itself consists of representatives of appropriate organizations and backgrounds to support that independence of view. Certainly, having representatives of organized labour is not anathema to their independence or to ensuring there is a broad perspective of views and experiences on any panel.

Senator Martin: As I said, it is certainly concerning when they claim to be the resistance to the opposition.

As a supplementary, when Minister Rodriguez attended Senate Question Period in March, I asked him about a sole-source contract, later cancelled, worth $356,000 to pay reporters to attend public meetings of the Senate Banking Committee and the Finance Committee of the other place.

Senator Tkachuk also asked a question on this topic back in December. Neither of us has received an answer from the government as to why this contract was awarded in the first place. Senator, when you consider this contract, plus the quote from Katie Telford on placing op-eds in the media, plus Unifor’s inclusion on the bailout panel, why should Canadians have faith in the integrity of this panel or this process?

Senator Harder: Let me repeat, despite the preambles of the question, that the government has put in place measures to ensure that what Parliament has approved with respect to supporting this vital sector is administered at arm’s length from government and free from the direction of any minister.

National Revenue

Amateur Athlete Trusts

Hon. Marty Deacon: Leader, my question is fairly specific and involves the matter of our amateur athlete trusts.

As you are likely aware, these trusts allowed our registered amateur athletes to put certain income, such as endorsements or prize money, in a trust of which they are the beneficiary. Any amount contributed to this trust is excluded from the income of an athlete for tax purposes and does not become taxable until the money is withdrawn or, at the latest, eight years after the last year in which they competed as a Canadian national team member.

(1430)

It’s an excellent program. There is concern that the eight-year period is too short. Amateur athletes, as we know, put their lives on hold to compete with pride to represent their country. Once their athletic career is over, they have to transform and reinvent themselves for the next chapter in their lives.

As we all know, the four-year undergraduate degree no longer shapes up strongly in today’s market. All Canadians have to spend more time obtaining education and training to reasonably expect gainful employment. Our female athletes may have to wait longer if they have a child.

Will this government consider extending the eight-year limit on those trusts or use some other mechanism such as rolling them into RRSPs to decrease the tax burden on these, our amateur athletes?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her advocacy and raising this issue. I will take it upon myself to raise it with the minister concerned and report back.

National Defence

Dedication of Afghanistan War Memorial

Hon. Carolyn Stewart Olsen: Honourable senators, my question today is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Harder, I was saddened and appalled by the government’s decision to unveil the Afghanistan Memorial Hall in secret. Veterans and families of those who gave their lives for Canada are rightly outraged that their cenotaph — their cenotaph — is hidden from public view. Only after negative media reports, General Vance apologized and claimed it was all his fault.

However, Minister Sajjan attended the ceremony, so his office must have known of it and has been involved in the decision making. This is yet another example of the Trudeau government politicizing public servants by sending them out to clean up his political mistakes.

Sir, apologies aren’t enough. When will the government step up and honour our veterans and ensure full public access to their monument?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. It follows almost directly the expression of questions yesterday, which I answered in respect of this matter.

Let me repeat that I think all senators would wish the appropriate recognition, respect for and commemoration of those who served in Afghanistan, in particular, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We do so recognizing many of our veterans are still scarred by the experience, both physically and mentally, and that we should do everything as a country to not only support our veterans but to honour their commitment.

Yesterday I quoted at length from the statement of the Chief of the Defence Staff. In my judgment, the CDS is sincere with respect to his desire to act in a more transparent and appropriate fashion. That is what he is committed to and what the government is anxious to have implemented.

Senator Stewart Olsen: Thank you for the answer, Senator Harder. I recognize that you did answer these questions most fulsomely yesterday. It’s not an issue that’s going to go away. It’s not an issue that our veterans and our military can easily forget.

General Vance has apologized, but what will this government do to ensure our veterans have full access to what is rightfully their monument? How many times will General Vance be this government’s fall guy and take the blame for the Trudeau government’s treatment of our military?

Senator Harder: Without in any way accepting the premise of the question, let me suggest that none of us should stop asking the questions which are asked entirely appropriately until we feel that all of the commitments that General Vance has made on behalf of his department and the veterans who we are honouring are fulfilled. I welcome the questions, to the extent that they remind those concerned that there remain parliamentarians who will be vigilant to ensure the commitments made become commitments kept.

Public Safety

National Security—Terrorism

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the government leader.

Senator Harder, on May 15 I asked you questions about the arrest of two individuals in Richmond Hill for possession of explosives and the fact that Minister Goodale immediately declared that this incident was not related to national security. You answered me that, “The Minister of Public Safety has an obligation . . . to ensure that Canadians are appropriately informed when incidents like this occur.”

We have since learned that investigators believe the 18-year-old who was arrested in this case was “on the cusp of radicalization” and that his phone has been seized by the FBI.

Senator Harder, if the FBI is involved, this matter is surely not local to Richmond Hill. Why is your government still insisting that there is nothing to see here, even though you said it’s the minister’s responsibility to properly inform Canadians?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. I’d be happy to follow up with the minister concerned. I think that there’s an obligation on all our parts to ensure transparency within the bounds of appropriate concern for the safety and security of Canadians.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Food and Drugs Act

Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Motion for Concurrence in Commons Amendments—Debate

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Seidman, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boisvenu:

That the Senate agree to the amendments made by the House of Commons to Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children); and

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

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, two senators rose simultaneously to speak on this matter.

Please be seated. Please take your seat, Senator Bellemare.

As the two senators rose before the matter was called and they rose simultaneously, it’s generally in the discretion of the Speaker to decide which one stands first.

In this case, Senator Bellemare, I should point out that Senator Wallin is starred on this matter, which means she has either already started debate or has sought leave to adjourn a second time. If you were to speak now, she would lose her right to speak.

My question is, Senator Bellemare, are you ceding to Senator Wallin before I have to make a decision about who stood first?

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): I was going to ask for leave of the Senate to go first so that she could speak after.

Hon. Pamela Wallin: I can’t speak after. Her comment suggests that she would ask leave and I could speak later. I can’t. His Honour just explained why.

The Hon. the Speaker: Normally the practice is that, with leave of the Senate, if a senator rises and is going to exhaust the right of another senator to speak, the matter can stay adjourned in your name, Senator Wallin, and you can speak after Senator Bellemare.

Honourable senators, if Senator Bellemare speaks first, is leave granted that the matter remain adjourned in the name of Senator Wallin?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I have a question. Is Senator Bellemare asking leave to speak now? If your question were that, it would be a different response.

The Hon. the Speaker: I saw two senators rising simultaneously.

(1440)

In the past, it has always been the Speaker’s decision to show courtesy to the leadership if they rise at the same time as other senators. But I explained to Senator Bellemare that to do so in this case would take away the right of Senator Wallin to speak.

However, as Senator Bellemare has pointed out that if the Senate agrees and leave is granted, Senator Wallin can speak after Senator Bellemare.

Is leave granted, honourable senators, that the matter remain adjourned in the name of Senator Wallin so that, to be clear, she can speak following the comments of Senator Bellemare? Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: I hear a “no.”

Senator Wallin: I am, as I understand it, in the middle of speaking. I adjourned this matter because I had not completed my remarks, so I am in the midst of my speech and would like to be able to continue with that. It has been adjourned with an asterisk and I am standing to do that. I have spoken to the table about it. I have given everybody that I can notice.

The Hon. the Speaker: Back to you, Senator Bellemare. Given that leave is not granted, do you agree to have Senator Wallin speak first so she will not lose her right to speak?

Senator Bellemare: Yes.

The Hon. the Speaker: Thank you. Senator Wallin, on debate.

Senator Wallin: Thank you, Senator Bellemare. I appreciate that.

I want to conclude my remarks today on Bill S-228 because it highlights, I think, the work of our committees, why that work is so important and why we must consult with the people affected by legislation if we are to do our jobs.

We would not be this late in the legislative process with so many unanswered questions had proper consultation occurred on Bill S-228.

Colleagues, I think we can all agree that overly sweet, salty, fatty products ought not to be advertised to children. I want to make it clear that I don’t disagree with the original intent of this bill. What we do know standing here today is that concerns about this bill come at a time of great uncertainty in our domestic food industry and in our ability to trade globally.

Statistics Canada just announced today that net farm income of agricultural producers fell by 45 per cent in 2018, the largest percentage decrease since 2006. Northern communities are experiencing food shortages on staple products, affecting 40 per cent of the population in Nunavut. Lower income families across the country are finding it more difficult than ever to meet the recommendations of Canada’s new food guide. We must, we need to balance the economics of our health and the health of our economy.

This week a paid ad appeared in several Saskatchewan newspapers, in Ottawa and online, falsely stating that I am blocking legislation to protect the health of children. I have done no such thing. Childhood obesity is an epidemic and we all agree that kids don’t need to be sold on more pop or chocolate bars. The original intent of Bill S-228 was to stop advertising of these foods to children under 17 years of age.

Here’s the problem: Bureaucrats at Health Canada will be the ones deciding what is and isn’t declared unhealthy. While they have not actually written the rules yet, they have admitted that any product with over 5 per cent salt, fat or sugar will be deemed unhealthy.

This is why I have referred to this as the “bread is bad bill,” because most bread in the store or bakery would be over the limit, and so would most cheese and dairy products. Even two slices of an organic, premium loaf of bread has over 9 per cent of salt.

Canada already has strict rules, and the salt and fat content of baked goods already puts us well below that of other countries — 25 per cent below the U.S. and 40 per cent below Japan.

More troubling is that when the government labels something unhealthy, even for the purposes of advertising, it has unintended consequences, affecting everyone from parents making sandwiches for school lunches to the more than 65,000 grain farmers in Canada who want to sell their product at home or export it. Why would anyone want to buy or pay a fair price for a product that our own government has declared unhealthy in law?

Two weeks ago, I sent a letter to Senator Harder addressing some of the legal concerns that have been raised. In his response, he assured me that the government is confident that Bill S-228 is consistent with international law and Canada’s obligations. However, it would be helpful to know whether there was specific legal advice that the government received on this, and that leads them to believe that Bill S-228 will stand up to a legal challenge. I believe now is the time to address these concerns.

Colleagues, arbitrarily declaring a food as unhealthy does not serve us well. We should expect Canada to be a leader in the use of evidence-based scientific evaluation of food products, not a country that uses arbitrary designations.

Our farmers are already facing costly and arbitrary bans on canola, soybean, peas and pork. The stockpiles of canola are at their highest level since the 1980s and our producers are struggling to find new markets in the face of China’s ban on that product.

Whatever your views on the role of the Senate or senators, it and we have an important role in dealing with new laws. That is why I am surprised that the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which uses public donations to support health and research, would use some of those funds for a costly attack ad campaign, but I will leave that matter to future donors to decide if they think that is money well spent.

In the Senate, we are supposed to be a second pair of eyes and ears when it comes to finalizing legislation. We know this bill is flawed. Producers, grain growers, bakers, farmers and store owners know it. So do the parents who are trying to stretch their food dollar. They will feel the pinch if the price of bread goes up.

None of those directly impacted were properly consulted, and they must be before we go any further. The prairie-based agri‑food industry is a key multi-billion dollar economic sector and it affects us all, wherever we live.

All I want to do is to prevent those unintended consequences. So instead of passing a law we know may well end up in the courts, why not just fix it now? I believe we can craft a new and clearer law. We have a template from the Province of Quebec. This new, better and clearer law could target the real problem of childhood obesity and not sideswipe our farmers in the process.

The government, in its message, has proposed lowering the age of those targeted by advertising to children under 13. That is a very reasonable position, and in the event this legislation passes, I am asking that the government also delay the implementation for more than the proposed two years so that it might begin and conclude a proper consultation process with the people most directly impacted, so industry can prepare and change current production and manufacturing methods, so that government can seek and share legal advice on trade and export implications, and so the government can consider what compensation may be afforded to farmers, baked goods manufacturers and dairy producers for the loss of livelihood.

We need clarification on the regulations that still have not been provided by Health Canada, spelling out exactly what would be deemed an unhealthy food. And because we do not have those regulations, I ask that we look at the advisability of having the phrase “unhealthy foods” remain in the legislation without a clear definition.

Motion to Refer Motion and Message from Commons to Committee

Hon. Pamela Wallin: Therefore, honourable senators, I move:

That the motion, together with the message from the House of Commons on the same subject dated September 19, 2018, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry for consideration and report.

The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Wallin that the motion, together with the message from the house — may I dispense?

Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is there any debate on the amendment?

[Translation]

Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, this is a good time for the speech I wanted to give before Senator Wallin’s. I understand that people might have concerns. Senator Wallin is very well-spoken, and her arguments in favour of sending this to committee for study may have been very convincing.

However, I believe it is time to vote on the message. Since a motion was moved, it should be simply rejected so that we can vote on the message.

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Bill S-228 was introduced in the Senate on October 27, 2016 following an extensive six-day study in committee. The Senate passed the bill unanimously on September 28, 2017. You heard me correctly: unanimously. On September 19, 2018, the other place passed Bill S-228 with amendments; the vote was 210 in favour and 79 against. The Senate has therefore been seized with the message from the other place since September 19, 2018, nearly nine months, and there has been no progress since.

It is hard to understand why we are being asked today to refer the message to committee. Some will say that Bill S-228 is not a priority since it is not a government bill. That argument falls flat. Of course this is a Senate bill, but it also keeps one of the government’s key election promises. To that end, the government chose to work with our former colleague, Senator Greene Raine, to improve the bill and make it a Senate bill, even though Senator Greene Raine was a member of the Conservative group.

This is a sign of respect for the Senate and for the work of former Senator Greene Raine. The Senate should in turn show some respect and quickly proceed to a democratic vote on Bill S-228.

[English]

However, on May 4, 2019, in an article entitled “11th-hour lobbying by industry could kill law banning food marketing to kids,” CBC News reported that as a result of a lobbying campaign, senators may seek to prevent Bill S-228 from reaching a democratic decision.

This would be highly regrettable — this is what I was going to say. It is highly regrettable that we are now trying to postpone the vote on the message and to send this bill back to committee where, colleagues know, this bill will die. It will die on the Order Paper.

Honourable senators, this is a bill that the Senate initiated and unanimously adopted. If individual senators are opposed to Bill S-228, they should express that opposition transparently by proceeding to a democratic vote on two minor amendments covered by the message. They reduce the bill’s application from children under 17 to children under 13 and add a five-year review. These amendments are very minor and actually make the bill a little less strict than what the Senate has unanimously supported already.

The Senate should therefore vote on the amendments to Bill S-228 today and do its part to protect the health and well-being of Canadian children.

Right before our unanimous vote of September 28, 2017, Senator Patterson spoke eloquently in support of this bill — do you remember, senator? — with a heartfelt emphasis on what this bill means for children in Nunavut. Senator Patterson concluded by saying:

The health and well-being of our children must be at the centre of our laws and policies. This is why I’m voting in support of Bill S-228 and why I support prohibiting the marketing of food and beverages to children.

[Translation]

The sentiment that I share and shared with Senator Patterson was sincere in 2017 and remains so now.

For all these reasons, I am calling on you to quickly vote against Senator Wallin’s motion so that we can be sure to vote today on the government’s message.

[English]

Some Hon. Senators: Question!

Hon. Donald Neil Plett: I have a question, Your Honour.

The Hon. the Speaker: You’re rising on a question?

Senator Plett: Yes.

Would the senator take a question?

Senator Bellemare: I will say “yes.”

Senator Plett: Senator Bellemare, thank you for your speech.

Let me preface my question with a comment. You talked about the Honourable Senator Raine having been a member of this caucus. Indeed, she was, and she remained a member of this caucus until her day of retirement, contrary to what some other members who used to be members of our caucus did. They became members of the government.

Senator Bellemare, this is a private member’s bill. You say this is a private member’s bill, yet you, as the Deputy Leader of the Government, are putting your weight behind it. Why is the government, if they are that concerned about it and want this to move forward, not making it a government bill? They have had ample opportunity to make this a government bill, and we would not be in the situation we are in today.

Senator Bellemare: It’s my pleasure to answer you with a smile, Senator Plett. I am a senator who is unaffiliated, and I feel deeply about this bill that Senator Raine supported. That is why I decided to make the speech today.

Senator Plett: So you are not speaking as a representative of the government today; you are speaking as an individual senator?

Senator Bellemare: Yes, indeed.

Hon. Robert Black: Honourable colleagues, I rise to support Senator Wallin’s motion to refer the message from the other place to the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. Senator Wallin has raised some important additional points related to this piece of legislation.

As I’ve said in this chamber previously, I support the intent of the bill. However, as of only a couple of weeks ago, we have been advised that Health Canada has not followed through on their promise made to us in the Agriculture Committee in December 2018. They said they would meet and consult with primary agriculture producers and processors as they prepared their guidance document. To date, I understand they have had one meeting — with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. While this is a very important national organization that supports the industry, it does not represent the entire agricultural sector and value chain.

Let me be clear: I support the principles of the bill. We need to be concerned about obesity in children. We also need to be concerned about obesity in adults. There is no doubt.

What I don’t support is the way that the concerns of the agriculture and agri-food sector have been dismissed and/or ignored as this bill has worked its way through the final few months. Primary producers and those involved in processing commodities to final products here in Canada must be listened to and consulted with to ensure the bill is the best for all Canadians. Thanks to regulations and protocols in place here in Canada, we have heard and know that the food grown and produced by Canadian farmers and food processors is considered some of the safest in the world. To have some of these foods now having the potential to be regarded as unhealthy to a subset of our population without proper consultation with industry, well, just makes me mad.

Additionally, I share Senator Wallin’s concern about the possibility of Canada gaining a negative international reputation due to the unforeseen consequences of this bill.

For all these reasons, I support my honourable colleague’s motion to refer the message to the Agriculture Committee so that the concerns of the industry are indeed heard and taken into account.

However, as we all know, this bill has been before us for some time, and it has been noted. So I hope this can be done as expeditiously as possible. I therefore urge my honourable colleagues to support the motion as well. Thank you.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I move the adjournment of debate in the name of Senator Dagenais.

The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Martin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Wells, that further debate be adjourned in the name of Senator Dagenais until the next sitting of the Senate.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Sorry, senator. The motion for adjournment is on the floor. My apologies.

Senator Petitclerc, do you want to ask a question?

Hon. Chantal Petitclerc: I did have a question, and I didn’t raise my hand high enough.

The Hon. the Speaker: My apologies. With Senator Martin’s approval, we will defer the question on the adjournment if you wish to ask a question, Senator Petitclerc.

Senator R. Black, would you take a question?

Senator R. Black: Yes.

Senator Petitclerc: Thank you very much.

I have to ask this question because I’m very confused and, I have to be honest, offended by this amendment, by the speeches and by your support for this amendment. I don’t want to repeat everything that Senator Bellemare has been saying, but what we have in front of us is a message with two simple amendments. We also have in front of us a bill that has been there for almost 1,000 days. It was introduced by the Honourable Nancy Greene Raine. It was studied in the Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, and every member — Senator Eggleton was chair at the time — can tell you that we did a great and thorough job.

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It was voted on unanimously by this chamber. It was studied in the House of Commons and passed with a majority. There were two consultations. There were 1,200 submissions from consumers, health professionals and the food industry. You yourself consulted and talked with Health Canada and got answers. You reported back on these answers to the Senate. It was referred to the Agriculture Committee for further study.

The reason I’m offended, the only question I have and the only question that is left is: What are you saying, exactly? Are you saying that we did not do our job, all of us, or that we’re incompetent? Is that what you’re saying?

Senator R. Black: I’m absolutely not saying that. I believe that there was significant consultation in the Social Committee prior to my being here in the chamber. I don’t think the opportunity existed for the Agriculture and Forestry Committee to ask, do enough consultations and have discussions so the unintended consequences mentioned by Senator Wallin could be looked at further. I do not believe there was enough consultation with the agriculture sector about the bill.

Hon. Michael Duffy: A question for Senator Black, if he would receive it.

Senator R. Black: Yes.

Senator Duffy: I wonder if Senator Black has discovered, as I have as I travel through rural Canada, that we talk about reconciliation yet there seems, in my experience — and I wonder if you have received the same kind of reaction — that there is a growing cleavage between urban and rural. People in rural Canada, many people, feel left out of the national discussion on important issues, whether it’s about gun control, tanker traffic or agriculture and its role in our society.

My impression is one that people in rural Canada feel really aggrieved at not having their views heard. Have you heard that as well?

Senator R. Black: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, I have heard that as well, Senator Duffy. But I have also heard from the agriculture sector that they feel aggrieved as well on this particular bill.

The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by the honourable Senator Martin, seconded by the honourable Senator Wells, that further debate be adjourned in the name of the honourable Senator Dagenais until the next sitting of the Senate. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those in favour, please say, “yea.”

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

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

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: I see two senators rising. Do we have an agreement on the bell?

Senator Plett: One hour.

The Hon. the Speaker: The vote will take place at 4:03 p.m. Call in the senators.

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Motion negatived on the following division:

YEAS
The Honourable Senators

Anderson Manning
Andreychuk Marshall
Ataullahjan Martin
Batters McCoy
Black (Alberta) McInnis
Black (Ontario) Mockler
Boisvenu Ngo
Carignan Oh
Dagenais Patterson
Dalphond Plett
Dawson Poirier
Day Richards
Doyle Smith
Duffy Stewart Olsen
Eaton Tannas
Frum Tkachuk
Griffin Verner
Housakos Wallin
Lankin Wells
MacDonald Wetston—40

NAYS
The Honourable Senators

Bellemare Harder
Bernard Hartling
Boehm Joyal
Boniface Klyne
Bovey Kutcher
Boyer Lovelace Nicholas
Busson Massicotte
Christmas McPhedran
Cordy Mégie
Coyle Mercer
Dasko Mitchell
Deacon (Nova Scotia) Miville-Dechêne
Deacon (Ontario) Moncion
Dean Moodie
Downe Omidvar
Duncan Pate
Dupuis Petitclerc
Dyck Pratte
Forest-Niesing Ravalia
Francis Ringuette
Gagné Saint-Germain
Galvez Simons
Gold Sinclair
Greene Woo—48

ABSTENTIONS
The Honourable Senators

Campbell Munson—2

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Motion in Amendment

Hon. Leo Housakos: Therefore, honourable senators, in amendment, I move:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended to authorize the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry to meet for no fewer than three meetings.

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

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

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: I see two senators rising. Do we have an agreement on the bell?

Senator Plett: One hour.

The Hon. the Speaker: The vote will take place at 5:11 p.m.

Call in the senators.

(1710)

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

YEAS
The Honourable Senators

Anderson Martin
Andreychuk McCoy
Ataullahjan McInnis
Batters Mercer
Black (Alberta) Mockler
Black (Ontario) Munson
Boisvenu Ngo
Campbell Oh
Carignan Patterson
Dagenais Plett
Dawson Poirier
Doyle Richards
Duffy Smith
Eaton Stewart Olsen
Frum Tannas
Greene Tkachuk
Griffin Verner
Housakos Wallin
MacDonald Wells
Manning White—41
Marshall

NAYS
The Honourable Senators

Bellemare Harder
Bernard Hartling
Boehm Joyal
Boniface Klyne
Bovey Kutcher
Boyer Lankin
Busson Lovelace Nicholas
Christmas Massicotte
Cordy McCallum
Coyle Mégie
Dasko Mitchell
Day Miville-Dechêne
Deacon (Nova Scotia) Moncion
Deacon (Ontario) Moodie
Dean Omidvar
Downe Pate
Duncan Petitclerc
Dupuis Pratte
Dyck Ravalia
Forest-Niesing Ringuette
Francis Saint-Germain
Gagné Simons
Galvez Sinclair
Gold Woo—48

ABSTENTION
The Honourable Senator

Dalphond—1

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 James S. Cowan. He is accompanied by his wife, Sheila.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it being past 5:15 pursuant to rule 9-6, the bells will ring for 15 minutes to call in the senators for third reading vote on Bill C-71. The vote will take place at 5:34.

Call in the senators.

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Bill to Amend Certain Acts and Regulations in Relation to Firearms

Third Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Pratte, seconded by the Honourable Senator Wetston, for the third reading of Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the question is as follows: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Pratte, seconded by the Honourable Senator Wetston:

That Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, be read the third time.

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

YEAS
The Honourable Senators

Bellemare Harder
Bernard Hartling
Black (Alberta) Joyal
Black (Ontario) Klyne
Boehm Kutcher
Boniface Lankin
Bovey Lovelace Nicholas
Boyer Massicotte
Busson McCallum
Christmas McPhedran
Cordy Mégie
Coyle Mercer
Dalphond Mitchell
Dasko Miville-Dechêne
Dawson Moncion
Day Moodie
Deacon (Nova Scotia) Munson
Deacon (Ontario) Omidvar
Dean Pate
Downe Petitclerc
Duncan Pratte
Dupuis Ravalia
Dyck Ringuette
Forest-Niesing Saint-Germain
Francis Simons
Gagné Sinclair
Galvez Woo—55
Gold

NAYS
The Honourable Senators

Anderson McCoy
Andreychuk McInnis
Ataullahjan Mockler
Batters Ngo
Boisvenu Oh
Carignan Patterson
Dagenais Plett
Doyle Poirier
Duffy Richards
Eaton Seidman
Frum Smith
Greene Stewart Olsen
Housakos Tannas
MacDonald Tkachuk
Manning Wallin
Marshall Wells—33
Martin

ABSTENTIONS
The Honourable Senators

Campbell Griffin—2

(1740)

[Translation]

Food and Drugs Act

Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Motion for Concurrence in Commons Amendments—Motion to Refer Motion and Message from Commons to Committee—Debate

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Seidman, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boisvenu:

That the Senate agree to the amendments made by the House of Commons to Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children); and

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

And on the motion of the Honourable Senator Wallin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Bovey:

That the motion, together with the message from the House of Commons on the same subject dated September 19, 2018, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry for consideration and report.

Hon. Claude Carignan: Honourable senators, when a bill is sent to committee, I believe it is important that the committee hear from witnesses.

Motion in Amendment—Vote Deferred

Hon. Claude Carignan: Therefore, honourable senators, in amendment, I move:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended to authorize the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, without limiting the committee’s right to invite other witnesses as it may decide, to invite the following witnesses:

1.Dairy Farmers of Canada;

2.Grain Growers of Canada;

3.National Miller’s Association;

4.The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health; and

5.The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The Hon. the Speaker: In amendment, it was moved by the Honourable Senator Carignan, seconded by the Honourable Senator Seidman . . .

Hon. Senators: Dispense.

[English]

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?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

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

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: I see two senators having risen. Do we have agreement on the bell?

Senator Plett: I ask that the vote be deferred to the next sitting of the Senate.

Aboriginal Peoples

Budget and Authorization to Engage Services—Study on the Federal Government’s Responsibilities to First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples—Eighteenth Report of Committee—Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the eighteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples (Supplementary budget—examination of federal government’s constitutional and legal responsibilities to Aboriginal Peoples—power to hire staff), presented in the Senate on May 16, 2019.

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck moved the adoption of the report.

She said: Honourable senators, I will only say a few words to explain this request. This really is a modest budget to support the event Indigenize the Senate, where we bring in eight Indigenous youths from across the country to testify at the Aboriginal Peoples Committee meeting on June 5.

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned, on division.)

Life of Nevaeh Denine

Inquiry—Debate Concluded

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Manning, calling the attention of the Senate to the life of Nevaeh Denine.

Hon. Fabian Manning: Honourable senators, a man by the name of Edward Everett Hale once said:

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

My fellow senators, with that well-known quote in mind today, I am honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to tell you about Newfoundland and Labrador’s newsmaker of the year for 2018. It is not some politician, business person, sports hero, media personality or local volunteer. That is not to say that in Newfoundland and Labrador we do not have many wonderful people in all those fields and other walks of life who definitely could have been named newsmaker of the year. But in 2018, one of our local newspapers, The Telegram, selected as their newsmaker of the year a little 9-year-old girl by the name of Nevaeh. The name Nevaeh is “heaven” spelled backwards. By the time I finish telling you her life story today, you will understand the importance of this name.

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Nevaeh Joey Veronica Denine came into this world at 8:53 a.m. on the bright and sunny morning of July 27, 2009. She was a healthy, beautiful, blue-eyed, strawberry blonde girl. It was a bittersweet moment for her mom, Holly, and for their entire family because sadly, Nevaeh’s dad, Joey, had passed away less than five months before on March 5, 2009.

As a single mom, Holly was determined, with the support of her family, to give Nevaeh the best life possible and could not wait to tell her daughter what an amazing man that her dad had been. Joey’s presence continued to be felt through the life and actions of their precious little girl.

Early on, Nevaeh experienced frequent urinary tract infections, but knowing that this was very common among young children, her mom, Holly, was not overly concerned about it at the time. When Nevaeh was around 22 months old, Holly brought her to the hospital for a routine ultrasound to check for kidney reflux. When the radiologist finished taking some pictures, she turned the lights back on, looked at Holly and said, “Okay, Mom, I have to go get the head radiologist to look, but I think your daughter has cancer.” Holly felt a numbness engulf her, and after making contact with some family members, she lay on the couch and stared at the ceiling.

This beautiful little angel, less than 2 years old, was quickly admitted to the hospital and the medical team immediately carried out a battery of tests, including bone scans, bone marrow biopsies and blood work, among other testing. Holly remained at her daughter’s bedside crying and praying.

The doctors discovered that Nevaeh had stage one neuroblastoma over her right kidney. Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. This cancer most commonly arises in and around the adrenal glands, which have similar origins to nerve cells and sit atop the kidneys. However, neuroblastoma can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and in the chest, neck and near the spine, where groups of nerve cells exist.

The disease most commonly affects children aged 5 or younger, though on rare occasions it may occur in older children. Neuroblastoma, which represents 95 per cent of tumours in the sympathetic nervous system, represents 5 per cent of all childhood cancers.

Within a few days following her diagnosis, Nevaeh had surgery and the doctors removed a tumour from her body measuring 2 centimetres by 2 centimetres, along with her right adrenal gland. Nevaeh recovered well from her surgery and through follow-up tests and ultrasounds every six months, she showed great progress. She was quickly growing up to be an amazing child with an infectious laugh and was developing a great love for animals. Even at this very tender, young age, her incredible spirit was an inspiration to everyone around her.

In November 2013, just over two and a half years after her first scare with cancer, Holly came home from work to find that Nevaeh had a black eye. After talking to the workers at the daycare facility and questioning family and friends, there was no answer forthcoming for what had happened to her eye. The black eye did not fade away and after several days Holly became very concerned and took Nevaeh to the family doctor. Although the doctor was unable to explain the cause of the black eye at that time and later as the black eye showed no signs of improvement, Holly became very concerned, frustrated and searched to find an explanation.

On December 20 — which, by the way, was her dad’s birthday — Nevaeh had a full-body MRI, and on December 23, Holly was told that her daughter’s cancer was back with a vengeance. The cancer was almost everywhere in her little body except for her organs and brain. After more testing and a trip to Halifax for an MIBG scan, the family found out that the neuroblastoma was back and they were in for the fight of their lives.

In January 2014, Nevaeh began her chemotherapy treatments. In March, the family travelled to the Toronto SickKids Hospital where Nevaeh had a stem cell harvest. For six hours each day for a period of two days, Neveah was hooked up to the machine that retrieved her stem cells.

They returned to the hospital in Toronto in June where Nevaeh had a very strong dose of chemo and the stem cells were transfused back into her body. Through it all, the little girl maintained a positive attitude and kept up the good fight, saying repeatedly to her mom, “Let’s go kick cancer’s butt, Mom.”

Although through all the difficult times for Holly, Nevaeh and the family, the local community came together and did what Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do best, help someone out in their time of need. They organized several fundraisers to help ease the financial burden and stress that so often exists during times such as this. The family would be forever grateful for the monetary support as well as the many acts of kindness shown to them.

Nevaeh continued to participate in all her regular activities as best she could. She attended KinderStart, went to play groups and attended a “Shave for the Brave” fundraising event. She participated in activities such as the winter carnivals and other social events to help other kids learn about her condition. She was just so full of energy and enthusiasm.

The family was overwhelmed by the support from the community and wanted to find a way to give back for all the assistance that they had received. While going through rounds of chemotherapy and watching the Janeway Children’s Hospital Annual Telethon while she herself was in a hospital bed, Nevaeh imagined out loud about starting the world’s biggest lemonade stand to help other children facing a disease such as hers. Life had given her lemons so she wanted to make lemonade.

With the help of a dedicated group of family and friends, Nevaeh’s first lemonade stand was held in 2014 and was a tremendous success, raising in excess of $22,000. The money raised from this event provided monetary support for five different children with pediatric cancer and their families in Newfoundland and Labrador. This event was a tremendous success and plans for the second lemonade stand were soon underway, and Nevaeh was extremely pleased and excited.

On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2015, Nevaeh’s lemonade stand, located in the Goulds area of the City of St. John’s, brought more than 7,000 people out in support and raised in excess of $40,000, even with the event having to be held indoors because of inclement weather. The event featured several performances from musical groups such as the Masterless Men and the Celtic Fiddlers as well as appearances from Allan Hawco of “Republic of Doyle” fame and Mark Critch of “This Hour has 22 Minutes.” Nevaeh had a very busy day meeting and greeting all the people in attendance, and the little girl was given the opportunity to appear on stage and sing along with the Masterless Men. Nevaeh was on top of the world with the impact and success her lemonade stand was having, and it was not about to stop there. This annual event — a lemonade stand, I remind you — has grown by leaps and bounds and has become a very special and heartwarming celebration. Since 2014, Neveah’s lemonade stand has raised more than $300,000 to assist 43 different children who are battling pediatric cancer within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

All money raised goes directly to the sick children and their families to alleviate the financial stress that cancer can bring by providing monetary support to assist with travel and hospital costs, accommodations, meals and so much more.

For ten months, Nevaeh was in remission from this disease and living cancer free. Sadly, in February 2016, her cancer relapsed. Through more intense rounds of chemotherapy and treatment, Nevaeh never lost her courageous smile that lit up her face and the faces of those around her.

On August 6, 2018, Nevaeh entered the gates of heaven on the wings of the angels and was welcomed into her father’s loving arms for the first time. This form of cancer, which had also taken her father away from her, now united them.

Her struggles on this earth were over and she was now at peace. Even though her days with us were few, she savoured every moment and left an incredible legacy, not only, do I believe, to our own province, but across the nation and globe. A precious little girl who touched the lives of everyone who shared her life’s journey. I doubt if Nevaeh understood the magnitude of the impact of her life on the people around her, which caused them to look at the world in a different and more positive way. Thinking about Nevaeh and her way of dealing with such a tremendous and difficult situation fills me with a great sense of awe and admiration for this little angel.

When her mom asked her how she felt about having cancer, Nevaeh replied, “I like having no hair because I don’t have to get tangles brushed out. I’m special, little girls and boys like me, ’cause people know we are heroes when they see us with no hair.” And then she said to Holly, “Mom, write also that I am happy to be me.”

What an incredible positive attitude for a 9-year-old girl dealing with cancer. She definitely left her mark on this world and the many people she encountered.

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I would like to take a moment to share with you what some other people thought about the life and legacy of this little girl.

Stephanie O’Brien, a local radio personality with our OZFM station in St. John’s, who became a very dear friend of both Nevaeh and Holly —

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I’m sorry to interrupt you, Senator Manning, but it’s 6 o’clock.

Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 3-3, I’m obliged to leave the chair until 8 o’clock, when we will resume, unless it is your wish not to see the clock. Is it agreed not to see the clock?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Carried. Please continue, Senator Manning.

Senator Manning: Stephanie O’Brien, a local radio personality with our OZFM station in St. John’s, who became a very dear friend of both Nevaeh and Holly, said that Nevaeh had a purpose, and her purpose was to make a difference. She made a difference bigger than they ever thought a child could. Nevaeh was the maid of honour at Stephanie’s wedding, and Stephanie said that she was, “The best, most kind and caring friend I’ve ever had.” Ms. O’Brien went on to say that knowing Nevaeh changed her life, and that she taught her how to live by example and showed her that life is truly what you make of it.

The editor of the Newfoundland Herald, Ms. Pam Pardy-Ghent, said that “Navaeh made the impossible possible.” Ms. Pardy Ghent went on to say that “Nevaeh and her pitchers of lemonade truly stood for something very important and that legacy will no doubt live on. That is something that should make us all proud.”

Upon hearing of Nevaeh’s passing, Danny Breen, the Mayor of St. John’s, had this to say: “Our thoughts and prayers are with a sweet little girl who taught us all about courage, caring and love — an inspiration to us all.”

Lisa Gray said that because of Nevaeh, lemons taste much sweeter on the Island of Newfoundland, and Andrea Somerton added that Nevaeh was loved by our province and was a beautiful ray of light.

Another lady by the name of Heidi Seaward said this: “Bravery, positivity, strength, determination and a zest for life. This little girl had made her mark on the world in such a short amount of time. To her family and close friends, know that she mattered. She changed the world for the better, and she left a lasting impression on so many.”

Colleagues, I hope I have done justice in my attempt to tell you all about this remarkable young girl who in nine short years on this earth had such an incredible and positive effect on the lives of so many people. Her story proves to each of us that not all superheroes wear capes. Some make lemonade and change lives.

I believe that choosing Nevaeh Joey Veronica Denine as Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2018 Newsmaker of the Year was the perfect choice in so many ways. She most certainly left this place much better than how she found it.

When thinking of Nevaeh and her life’s journey, which consisted of just nine short years, the words of Mother Theresa come to mind when she said: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” There is no doubt of the ripple effect that Nevaeh’s life had on this world. Through her energy, determination and compassion, she brought out the best in the people she encountered and clearly showed us that one person can definitely change the world. She taught us so much in such a short period of time.

I believe that it would only be proper to leave the last word of the life and legacy of Nevaeh with the woman who brought her into this world, her mom, Holly. In a year-end interview with the Telegram, Holly said the following: “Even though she has passed away, I’m still the luckiest person in the world, you know, to be her mom. I am so lucky that I was chosen to be her mom, even though all this had to happen. It’s hard but I am so proud.” Holly finished by saying, “When I think back on it, she was the teacher and I was the student. And she made me so much a better person.”

What a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Rest in peace, sweet angel. Rest in peace.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: If no other senator wishes to speak, this item is considered debated.

(Debate concluded.)

Vaccine Hesitancy

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Moodie, calling the attention of the Senate to the issue of vaccine hesitancy and corresponding threats to public health in Canada.

Hon. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to the inquiry that Senator Moodie brought forth on vaccine hesitancy.

The World Health Organization has identified vaccine hesitancy, or vaccine resistance, as one of the top 10 global health threats of 2019. It is defined as the reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one’s children vaccinated, despite the availability of vaccines and the evidence thereof.

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing a long list of diseases, many of which have become increasingly rare. Many practitioners in Canada have never seen a case of measles, polio, diphtheria or pertussis. Vaccines currently prevent 2 to 3 million deaths a year globally, and a further 1.5 million could be prevented if global coverage of vaccinations improved.

While most Canadians do vaccinate their children, we fall far behind the rates that are achieved in other developed countries. According to 2017 OECD statistics, Canada has one of the lowest child vaccination rates in the developed world. One in ten Canadian children are not vaccinated and remain vulnerable to a host of potentially fatal, vaccine-preventable diseases. Recent studies have found that one third of Canadians are now beginning to express vaccine hesitation.

With the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases, as illustrated by a recent measles outbreak, there is reason to further investigate this phenomenon. In light of National Immunization Awareness Week that took place from April 20 to 27, we hosted an open caucus meeting on vaccine hesitancy. The open caucus, as you know, is a forum for discussion on issues of national importance. This particular meeting was organized in collaboration with the four ISG physicians in the Senate. I applaud the dynamic collaboration with Senators Kutcher, Moodie, Mégie and their respective teams. My sincere gratitude goes out, as well, to my staff Sarah Polowin and Jan McIlveen for their invaluable contribution.

We were fortunate to have the top experts in the field make presentations, including Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer for Canada; Timothy Caulfield, the Canada Research Chair in Health and Law Policy; André Picard, a health columnist with The Globe and Mail; Dr. Noni MacDonald, Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University; and Dr. Anna Banerji, the Faculty Lead in Indigenous and Refugee Health at the University of Toronto.

The takeaway message from the open caucus was clear: We have a huge task ahead of us. We reflected and wondered if we had become the victims of our own success through previous vaccinations. We realized that we need to create a national vaccine framework, including a comprehensive immunization recordkeeping system, a national register and a harmonized vaccine schedule that is parallel across the country. A robust public education campaign for all Canadians with input from all stakeholders is critical. We need to refine our science and literacy skills to combat the fake news that permeates social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. We need to closely examine the tools, resources and personnel that we have available. A confrontational approach at this stage would only foster hostility and further distrust.

In my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, we enjoy a very high uptake in immunizations. Dr. Claudia Sarbu, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has noted that immunization rates in my province are upwards of 95 per cent, which is enough to foster a concept of what’s called herd or community immunity. This form of immunity occurs when a critical mass of a population is immune to infectious diseases through vaccination or prior illness. When this form of immunity is achieved, spread of disease from person-to-person becomes unlikely. Even individuals who have not been vaccinated, such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses, are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.

In comparison to my province, national immunization rates unfortunately fall well below that percentage.

(1810)

In Newfoundland and Labrador, there have only been two confirmed cases of measles in the last 20 years, both in 2017, and both related to outside travel.

In my province, public health plays a critical role in ensuring vaccination rates are high. Our public health nurses make a point, particularly at school entry, of going out and making sure that if there are new children in the neighbourhoods, that they are immunized and up to schedule. Stringent tracking and follow-up are routine.

Young children aged two months to five years receive their immunization from the community health nurse at their local health unit. School-aged children are offered immunization programs delivered by community health nurses in special immunization clinics at the child’s school.

As was highlighted in the open caucus, health care workers, especially those in communities, do remain the most trusted advisers and influencers of vaccination decisions. Nurses and other allied health professionals are the front-line workers of defence against this concept of vaccine hesitancy. It is absolutely critical that we take an interdisciplinary, integrative approach to ensure that they have the necessary supports to deliver vaccinations.

During my medical training in Zimbabwe, I witnessed the catastrophic outcomes of a population that had very low vaccination rates. Outbreaks of common infectious diseases resulted in very high mortality and morbidity. Those who survived were left with debilitating sequelae including blindness, infertility, developmental delay, paralysis and chronic heart and lung disease.

Vaccine hesitancy is a serious threat to public health and the overall well-being of Canadians. I look forward to your support, honourable colleagues, as we jointly move forward to address this critical public health issue.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Meegwetch.

(On motion of Senator Mégie, debate adjourned.)

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on the Study of the Impact and Utilization of Canadian Culture and Arts in Canadian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, pursuant to notice of May 27, 2019, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in relation to its study on the impact and utilization of Canadian culture and arts in Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy, and other related matters, be extended from May 31, 2019 to June 28, 2019.

She said: Honourable senators, this motion is self-explanatory. We are in the final preparation of our report and we hope to table it very shortly. We need the extension to be able not only to finish the report, file it, and deal with the press and the communications, so the extra month is necessary for that purpose.

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.)

(At 6:15 p.m., the Senate was continued until tomorrow at 2 p.m.)