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Previous Sittings

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 308

Friday, June 21, 2019
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker


Friday, June 21, 2019

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


Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, there have been consultations and there is an agreement to allow photographers in the Senate Chamber to photograph the proceedings today.

Is it agreed, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Royal Assent


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


June 21st, 2019

The Honourable

  The Speaker of the Senate


Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will proceed to the Senate Chamber today, the 21st day of June, 2019, at 2 p.m., for the purpose of giving Royal Assent to certain bills of law.

Yours sincerely,

Assunta Di Lorenzo

Secretary to the Governor General

and Herald Chancellor


Forty-second Parliament


The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we suspend for the arrival of the Governor General, I’m going to take this opportunity to call on the leaders to say a few words before we adjourn for the summer.

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, this is the three hundred and eighth sitting day of the Forty-second Parliament, and it may well be the last. I want to take a brief opportunity to thank colleagues for the work that we have done together.

In this Parliament, we have passed 88 pieces of government legislation, 29 of which have had amendments that have been accepted by the government. Twenty-seven of those 88 bills were before us since Christmas, 13 of which were amended in some fashion and accepted by the government. I say that because it shows the broad effort on subject matter on a wide range of issues that this Parliament has dealt with, which I think in history will go down as a fundamentally important Parliament in the public policy evolution of Canada.

Think back: medical assistance in dying; the child benefit, the first budget, which is a tremendous change in support in bringing children out of poverty; accessibility legislation; the firearms legislation; trade agreements; environmental legislation; ocean protection; changes to the Fisheries Act for the first time in a generation; the cannabis legislation; access to information, a law fundamentally changed for the first time in 35 years; Criminal Code reform of a wide range; Aboriginal language protection and advancement; Aboriginal services. One could list all 88 and say they’re fundamentally important.

I want to pay tribute to the work of the Senate and the evolution of a Senate in which we achieve our work and it’s recognized by a government that’s willing to hear amendments, consider them, not always accept them, but we have our role to play.

I’m particularly grateful in this whole Parliament that the government has not used time allocation. I say that as a tribute to every senator on all sides of the chamber, because it works when all sides are respectfully engaged, both in time and substance, on the measures before us. I thank all senators for that.

The objective of the government in this Parliament was to have a less partisan, more independent approach. We can debate that, but this is not the occasion. I want to reflect that we welcomed to this Parliament, myself included, 49 new senators. We bade farewell to 28 departures. The place is changing as a result of these appointments just by the representation and the personalities and experiences that come with those appointments.

For example, when we studied medical assistance in dying, we had plentiful lawyers, particularly constitutional lawyers, but we did not have one medical doctor. Now we have three. We have a Senate almost equal in representation by gender — 47 per cent. We’re getting there. We also have a Senate in which there are 12 Aboriginal or Indigenous peoples, which changes not only the nature of the debate on Aboriginal issues but on all issues of public policy.

I simply want to congratulate the Senate for the way in which those of us who have been appointed in this Parliament have been able to be integrated into the work.

My final thanks go to the Speaker, who has delivered an outstanding performance, in my view, of keeping the equilibrium in this place.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.


Senator Harder: To the table and those that are represented behind the table, if not under the table, for service to us individually and collectively; to the staff, whether that’s maintenance, security, translation and interpretation, IT, all of the effort that goes into the physical transformation from the Centre Block location to this one, we are all grateful to the work that you do and respectful of your professionalism, and I thank you for that.

I would also like to thank each and every one of our staff. I know I couldn’t have done my role without the staff that I enjoy.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Harder: And, finally, to the leadership of this place, making legislation is not a straight line and an easy experience for government. It shouldn’t be; it should be difficult. Sometimes for me it is too difficult. But I want to acknowledge the cooperation I’ve had with the leadership from all groups.

To the Leader of the Opposition, thank you for your friendship, your support and your participation in the leadership discussions.

I have to single out Senator Plett, who, as your representative on some of the discussions, ably represented your views but also knows how to make this place work, and I appreciate that.

Senator Day, this is probably your last season, if I can put it that way. We thank you not only for your leadership as Leader of the Liberal independent group, but also for your long service in this chamber.

Senator Woo, you’re the facilitator of the largest group and your role has not been easy. I want to acknowledge both how outstandingly you have performed your role, but also the contribution you have made public policy-wise and also in this reform project.

At the end of the day, honourable senators, my task is to thank you and to ensure that we all refresh ourselves before we’re back. I do express my gratitude to you all.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition): Now, what do I have to say after you said everything, Senator Harder?

Senator Harder: You can vote with me.

Senator Smith: What I’d like to do is simplify a few thoughts.

Twenty-one pieces of legislation, I believe, will receive Royal Assent today. In terms of numbers, we had a really strong finish in terms of legislation. Usually that’s what happens in a business situation or in a situation such as ours.

We have some people leaving. Senator Raynell Andreychuk is on her way after a brilliant career in the Senate.

We will miss you, Raynell. I know you said, “Don’t say anything about me,” but it’s like anything else. In sport, when one of your teammates retires or leaves, there’s a hole.


It leaves a hole because you have built a relationship with that individual, not just a business relationship or a relationship among teammates, but an actual friendship.


So we wish you the best, Raynell.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Smith: Raynell said to me, “I don’t want you to say anything about me because you’re going to make me cry,” so we accomplished our objective, but you deserve it.

A lot of new players have come into the Senate, and the only advice that I’ve given to a few people is to take your time, meet people, try to find mentors, try to find people who share experiences you can relate to, because that’s what I was able to learn through people who helped me, and I think it’s important.


I think it is very important that we always be there to help our colleagues.


It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. We’re on the side of Canada, and this is important. The Senate: It’s a privilege and an honour to be in this place. Always remember, you’re coming here for one thing — to make Canada a better place.


This is our country. Everything we have in life is because of Canada.


I wish to thank my team and our colleagues because everybody is a member of the team. No one person is more important than the team. You have to understand, as a party on our side, our numbers were decreasing as your side increased. It’s tougher when suddenly you’re in a position where you’re looking at not only survival but where you go from here. Understanding who you’re playing with, who you’re playing against and their thought processes is important.

I thank our team because everybody made major contributions, whether on the National Defence Committee, whether committee chairs or deputy chairs. Whatever our people did, we were thrilled because we were together. We were unified as a group. That irritated many senators inside the house because we are a team. We believe we’re a team and we’ve been given the latitude to act as a team and be self-sufficient. We manage our own affairs. But we recognize the importance of what we do in our own way to try to make Canada a better place. So I thank all of the senators on our side.

I thank all of our colleagues who worked hard because not only is it a learning experience, but everyone is fighting for whatever they think is best. We respect that.

I thank all of the clerks, the staff, all of the people. I said, “What type of tent do you folks have?” because you were staying every night until midnight. They did such a great job. We thank you for all that you do for us.

We thank all the pages and all the graduates.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Smith: I asked a couple of the pages, “Do you like your jobs?” They responded, “This is the best place to be.” You know what? I really appreciate you saying it’s the best place to be because it’s an experience you’re going to add to your experience list. It’s going to give you more as you go through your life because you’re going to have a base that helps you to be a better person.

Thank you, of course, to our Speaker. We go back a long way. We were part of that group that took on the Auditor General. Senator Marshall is not here, but we worked hard so we could preserve the rights of people being accused unjustly.

Your Honour, you’re always going to be a friend and someone we respect.

Did I forget anybody to thank?

With that, I think I should turn the floor over to our friends so they can address the group.

Hon. Yuen Pau Woo: Honourable senators, let me first acknowledge that today is National Indigenous Peoples Day. I saw AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde in the hallway. Concluding this Parliament on National Indigenous Peoples Day is a way for us to remember that we should start the next Parliament also with the importance of Indigenous issues firmly in our minds.

Honourable senators, we are minutes away from concluding the Forty-second Parliament. Those of you who are familiar with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know that 42 is the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything.

Wise and wonderful as we are, I don’t think we answered the question to life, the universe and everything, but we got a lot of work done. I don’t need to recount the bills that we passed. Senator Harder has done a very good job of that, but the breadth of legislation is breathtaking, and we can look back on the Parliament that’s about to end with great satisfaction that we were able to get so much work done.

It’s not just that we were able to pass 88 bills but that so many of these bills were amended and, therefore, improved by the upper chamber. Indeed, a record number of bills, in proportionate terms, have been amended. In one case, a record number of amendments were proposed to the House of Commons. And I like to think that this greater scrutiny, the greater ability and willingness to amend and approve bills is partly a function of a less partisan, more independent upper chamber.


Needless to say, all of this work would not have been done, could not have been done without the support of the hard and soft infrastructure on which we rely; the hard infrastructure we see before our very eyes, but so much more important is the soft infrastructure of the staff that makes this place work — staff of our individual senators’ offices but, of course, also staff of Senate administration. These include the legislative team, the legal team, the corporate team, the food services team. By the way, the food services team has been working overtime the last few weeks, as you all know, keeping us nourished. I extend a special mention to the pages, who have been such faithful supporters of our work until very late hours.

I want to especially recognize some of the leadership of Senate administration, who have been such dedicated employees of this upper house and dedicated public servants to the Canadian people: Richard Denis, Philippe Hallée, Julie Lacroix, Pierre Lanctôt and Pascale Legault.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Woo: Let me also add my sincere appreciation and tribute to my fellow leaders in this chamber, starting with the Speaker and, of course, my colleagues who lead the other groups and caucuses: Senator Harder, Senator Smith and Senator Day.

I want to especially recognize that Senator Harder has done a remarkable job of steering us through this Parliament with no use of time allocation whatsoever. He did so with a very small group behind him, the three individuals, including Senator Bellemare and Senator Mitchell. It is a testament to their diplomatic skills, their use of persuasion and reason that allowed us to get through this very heavy agenda without the use of what one might consider to be harsh and Draconian measures.

In part, that’s because of the cooperation of the opposition. I want to tell you that I have gained and I have more greatly appreciated the role of the opposition in this Parliament.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Woo: Particularly Senator Smith and Senator Plett, who, from time to time, will say to Senator Harder that their job is not only to oppose but to make Senator Harder’s life difficult. But even though they understand that to be their job, they also understand that their job, for the purpose of the institution, is to get the work of the Senate done. That is why we were able to get to the end of this Parliament without the use of time allocation.

Finally, my thanks to all senators, particularly my colleagues in the Independent Senators Group, for the support you have shown me, for your friendship and your camaraderie. I wish all of you across this chamber a restful and rejuvenating break, and I look forward to seeing everyone again at the start of 43.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, I could cut my remarks very short by saying that I second everything that has been said by the leaders thus far, which I do, but I won’t neglect to give you my short remarks.

I think the twenty-first day of June, the first day of summer, is a fine time for us to be heading back to our respective areas to reinvigorate ourselves. I look forward to doing that myself.

I think it’s important that we bid farewell to certain of our colleagues. Senators Andreychuk, Demers, McIntyre and Neufeld will all be moving on. As Senator Art Eggleton introduced us to the term, they’re graduating from this institution and moving on to other things.

Senator Andreychuk and I worked on a lot of NATO files together over the years, and I certainly appreciated her counsel and friendship throughout that time.

On behalf of the independent Liberal caucus, I would like to thank my two leadership colleagues, Senators Mercer and Downe, for their support. Notwithstanding the fact that we were unable to amend the Parliament of Canada Act so that their role is recognized, they continued to provide great support throughout this Parliament, and I thank them for that.

I would also like to thank the rest of my caucus colleagues and their excellent staff, some of whom are here. Thank you very much, this small but powerful caucus — small but mighty. We’ve been blessed in this caucus with having some very experienced senators. Their experience has helped us greatly in performing the role that we have to play here as the smallest caucus, but a caucus nonetheless.

Of course, I wish to go along with my other colleagues and leaders in thanking Senator Harder, Senator Smith, and Senator Woo for the work that they have done. We together have accomplished many things in this chamber by working together. I look forward to continuing to do that and to work progressively but prudently towards a better Senate in the future, always trying to improve.


I also want to thank all the Senate employees who support us in our work, especially the table officers, the pages, the administrative staff, the members of the Parliamentary Protective Service and the clerks of the committees and parliamentary associations. I am sincerely grateful to you all for your efforts. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs.

I also want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your patient management of our debates, sometimes under difficult circumstances. We do appreciate your wisdom and kindness.


Colleagues, I would like to wish you all a good summer and perhaps a good fall — who knows? I hope we all get the well-deserved rest that we’ve been talking about and have been promised, and that when we come back we’ll be ready to take on the challenges that undoubtedly will be there as we reconvene.

The work that we do here is important, and it’s important that we do it well. Thank you.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before suspending for Royal Assent, I want to take a moment to thank those who make our work here possible. But on this last day of our Forty-second Parliament, let me begin by first welcoming the many guests we have to our new Senate, particularly our Indigenous friends on this National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Welcome to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


The Hon. the Speaker: The last few months have been extremely challenging, what with having to move out of Centre Block. Many people worked tirelessly to make sure that this building and the new chamber were ready.



I thank our table officers who, over the past several months, have deftly managed a large number of amendments and who have been here in the chamber for long sitting hours and long after we leave.

I make a special note of appreciation and thanks to Cathy Piccinin who was a constant presence here at the Speaker’s Chair and without whose brilliant assistance this place would be in chaos, let me assure you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: There have been many long hours in the last few weeks, as we all know. I know I speak for all senators as I extend a truly heartfelt thank you to the clerks, the Usher of the Black Rod and his team, our pages, our interpreters, our stenographers, our console operators, our multimedia broadcasting and communications team with their new challenges coming to the new Senate, as well as our drivers, our food service team, our cleaning and maintenance personnel, the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, the Library of Parliament staff, our corporate security personnel and Parliamentary Protective Service and, of course, our own senators’ staff, and all others who support the business of the Senate day to day, no matter how long those days have been.


Each and every one of you plays an important role in keeping the Senate running smoothly. The work we do on behalf of Canadians would be impossible without you. Our thanks extend to your families and friends, who make sacrifices so that you can do this essential work.


Honourable senators, the end of the session and the end of the Parliament is upon us. To our colleagues who will retire in the coming months, I thank you for your service to Canada. I wish you all the very best in your retirement.

I would like to wish all senators and their families and friends a very happy, healthy and safe summer recess.

To all my colleagues and all who work here, have a safe, happy summer and, when you move away from here today, for the next little while at least, turn off your phones.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, that the Senate do now adjourn during pleasure to await the arrival of Her Excellency the Governor General?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(The Senate adjourned during pleasure.)


Royal Assent

Her Excellency the Governor General having come and being seated at the foot of the Throne, and the House of Commons having been summoned, and being come with their Speaker, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give the Royal Assent to the following bills:

An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms (Bill C-71, Chapter 9, 2019)

An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada (Bill C-81, Chapter 10, 2019)

An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins) (Bill S-203, Chapter 11, 2019)

An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting (Bill C-82, Chapter 12, 2019)

An Act respecting national security matters (Bill C-59, Chapter 13, 2019)

An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence (Bill C-68, Chapter 14, 2019)

An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-77, Chapter 15, 2019)

An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act (Bill C-78, Chapter 16, 2019)

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting) (Bill C-84, Chapter 17, 2019)

An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-58, Chapter 18, 2019)

An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-88, Chapter 19, 2019)

An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis (Bill C-93, Chapter 20, 2019)

An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act (Bill C-101, Chapter 22, 2019)

An Act respecting Indigenous languages (Bill C-91, Chapter 23, 2019)

An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (Bill C-92, Chapter 24, 2019)

An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-75, Chapter 25, 2019)

An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast (Bill C-48, Chapter 26, 2019)

An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act (Bill C-83, Chapter 27, 2019)

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 (Bill C-69, Chapter 28, 2019)

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures (Bill C-97, Chapter 29, 2019)

The Honourable Bruce Stanton, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons then addressed Her Excellency the Governor General as follows:

May it Please Your Excellency:

The Commons of Canada have voted certain supplies required to enable the Government to defray the expenses of the public service.

In the name of the Commons, I present to Your Excellency the following bill:

An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 (Bill C-102, Chapter 21, 2019)

To which bill I humbly request Your Excellency’s assent.

Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give the Royal Assent to the said bill.

The Commons withdrew.

Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to retire.

(The sitting of the Senate was resumed.)



Hon. Diane Bellemare (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I rise with emotion to wish everyone a wonderful summer and a great vacation, and I move that the Senate do now adjourn.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

(At 2:44 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 2 p.m.)

The Forty-second Parliament was dissolved by Proclamation of Her Excellency the Governor General on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
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