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66 Elizabeth II , A.D. 2017, Canada

1st Session, 42nd Parliament

Issue 98 (Revised)

Thursday, February 16, 2017
1:30 p.m.

The Honourable GEORGE J. FUREY, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

AtaullahjanBakerBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyCampbellCarignanChristmasCoolsCordyCormierDagenaisDawsonDayDeanDowneDuffyDupuisDyckEggletonEnvergaForestFraserFrumFureyGagnéGalvezGoldGreeneGriffinHarderHartlingHousakosJafferJoyalLangMacDonaldMaltaisMarshallMartinMarwahMassicotteMcCoyMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMercerMeredithMitchellMocklerMoncionMunsonNeufeldNgoOgilvieOhOmidvarPatePattersonPetitclercPlettPratteRaineRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanSinclairSmithStewart OlsenTardifTkachukUngerVernerWallinWattWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

AtaullahjanBakerBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyCampbellCarignanChristmasCoolsCordyCormierDagenaisDawsonDayDeanDowneDuffyDupuisDyckEggletonEnvergaForestFraserFrumFureyGagnéGalvezGoldGreeneGriffinHarderHartlingHousakosJafferJoyalLangMacDonaldMaltaisMarshallMartinMarwahMassicotteMcCoyMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMercerMeredithMitchellMocklerMoncionMunsonNeufeldNgoOgilvieOhOmidvarPatePattersonPetitclercPlettPratteRaineRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanSinclairSmithStewart OlsenTardifTkachukUngerVernerWallinWattWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

The first list records senators present in the Senate Chamber during the course of the sitting.

An asterisk in the second list indicates a senator who, while not present during the sitting, was in attendance to business, as defined in subsections 8(2) and (3) of the Senators Attendance Policy.

PRAYERS

Senators’ Statements

Some Honourable Senators made statements.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Tabling of Documents

The Honourable the Speaker tabled the following:

Case Report of Findings of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner in the Matter of an Investigation into a Disclosure of Wrongdoing (Public Health Agency of Canada), pursuant to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, S.C. 2005, c. 46, sbs. 38(3.3).—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-895.

Introduction and First Reading of Government Bills

A message was brought from the House of Commons with Bill C-37, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related amendments to other Acts, to which it desires the concurrence of the Senate.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Harder, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Bellemare, that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading two days hence.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Question Period

The Senate proceeded to Question Period.

Orders of the Day

SPEAKER'S RULING

I am ready to rule on the point of order raised by Senator Plett yesterday. On February 14, when Senator McPhedran gave her first speech in the Senate, she included the following statement:

Last week, when Senator Plett was here, I heard him speak of his opposition to Bill C-16, and I have read some senators’ concerns that Bill C-16 and new grammar on trans rights will infringe on their rights. I am not able to find any legal substance to these concerns but, as my fellow senator from Manitoba spoke, Senator Plett referred to “these people” or “those people,” and, to my ears, I heard “othering.” Othering can be understood as an indicator of bigotry. Colleagues, bigotry does not strengthen an inclusive democracy.

The substance of Senator Plett’s point of order is that he has been identified as a bigot through association with “othering.” He understood Senator McPhedran’s statement as a direct accusation of bigotry, and he was not alone in his interpretation. Senator Pratte, for example, recognized the powerful nexus in the speech, when he stated:

Even though there was subtlety in the words, I certainly perceived this as unparliamentary language. I know that if I had been the target of those words, I would have felt very unsettled and profoundly insulted. I understand Senator Plett’s feelings today.

Senator McPhedran did attempt to clarify her remarks, arguing that they were not actually about Senator Plett. She stated that the language used by Senator Plett with respect to “those people” “can be” symptomatic of bigotry, but are not necessarily so. She also proposed to remove the specific references to Senator Plett if that would help address the objection.

Honourable senators, words are powerful; they do matter. This is especially true when they are used to criticize not just a different point of view, but those who hold that point of view. A statement must be looked at in its totality, taking account of its overall effect, and not just parsing fine gradations of meaning. Senator Pratte’s statement to which I have made reference summarizes well the effect of the remark at issue.

Rule 6-13(1) states that “All personal, sharp or taxing speeches are unparliamentary and are out of order.” The Senate is characterized by the respectful exchange of ideas and information, even when we deal with topics about which honourable senators have strong views. We should always show respect for each other, no matter our views on an issue, since the right to hold and express our divergent opinions is the basis of free speech.

I know that we do give some leeway to new senators — we were all new senators at one time — particularly in their first speech. However, the remarks alluding to Senator Plett were outside the bounds of acceptable parliamentary debate. They were hurtful and inappropriate. Such language does not help us in performing our duties. It creates discord and animosity and this does not serve the public good, the ultimate objective of all our work here as senators.

The language in Senator McPhedran’s speech of February 14 can, in the context it was used, be characterized as unparliamentary. The point of order is well founded. I strongly urge Senator McPhedran, and of course all senators, to avoid offensive personal language. Colleagues, let us continue to engage in respectful debate and avoid, at all times, personal attacks.

Government Business

Bills – Third Reading

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Bills – Second Reading

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Second reading of Bill C-30, An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures.

The Honourable Senator Pratte moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mitchell, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Martin moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Carignan, P.C., that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

Orders No. 3 and 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

The Honourable Senator Bellemare moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Harder, P.C.:

That, in order to allow the Senate to receive a Minister of the Crown during Question Period as authorized by the Senate on December 10, 2015, and notwithstanding rule 4-7, when the Senate sits on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Question Period shall begin at 3:30 p.m., with any proceedings then before the Senate being interrupted until the end of Question Period, which shall last a maximum of 40 minutes;

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

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

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

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Bellemare moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Petitclerc:

That, when the Senate next adjourns after the adoption of this motion, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 2 p.m.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Inquiries

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Other Business

Senate Public Bills – Third Reading

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Commons Public Bills – Third Reading

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Senate Public Bills – Second Reading

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Frum, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pratte, for the second reading of Bill S-232, An Act respecting Canadian Jewish Heritage Month.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Fraser moved, for the Honourable Senator Jaffer, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

Orders No. 2 to 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Order No. 5 (Bill S-222) was called and, pursuant to rule 4-15(2), dropped from the Order Paper and Notice Paper.

o o o

Order No. 6 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Commons Public Bills – Second Reading

Orders No. 1 and 2 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Reports of Committees – Other

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Wells, seconded by the Honourable Senator Enverga, for the adoption of the second report (interim), as amended, of the Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization, entitled Senate Modernization: Moving Forward (Omnibus Bills), presented in the Senate on October 4, 2016.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

Orders No. 2 to 13 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

Orders No. 158, 139, 92, 31, 51, 73, 146 and 89 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Inquiries

Orders No. 20, 14 and 19 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Seidman, calling the attention of the Senate to its role in the protection of regional and minority representation.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Ataullahjan moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Martin, that further debate on the inquiry be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

Orders No. 11, 15, 2, 1, 16, 17, 13 and 18 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Bellemare, calling the attention of the Senate to the Senate’s legislative work from the 24th to the 41st Parliament and on elements of evaluation.

After debate,

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Martin moved, for the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, seconded by the Honourable Senator Neufeld, that further debate on the inquiry be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

MOTIONS

The Honourable Senator Patterson moved, for the Honourable Senator Dyck, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate a report relating to its study on best practices and on-going challenges relating to housing in First Nation and Inuit communities in Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Northwest Territories, and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Patterson:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to study and report on current and emerging issues regarding:

(a) the regulation of the banking sector in the United States, including in the context of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act);

(b)monetary policy in the United States, including expected increases in the target range for the federal funds rate;

(c)bilateral economic relations between Canada and the United States that affect each country’s commerce;

(d)the manner in which changes in these economic relations and regulatory measures, and monetary policy in the United States might affect Canada’s economy and financial sector; and

 That the committee submit its final report to the Senate no later than June 30, 2017, and that the committee retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Neufeld moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Martin:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate a report relating to its study on the transition to a lower carbon economy, between March 7 and March 9, 2017, if the Senate is not then sitting; and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Smith moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ataullahjan:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate, between February 27 and March 10, 2017, a report relating to its study on infrastructure, if the Senate is not then sitting, and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

ADJOURNMENT

The Honourable Senator Bellemare moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Petitclerc:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

(Accordingly, at 4:03 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 2 p.m.)

DOCUMENTS DEPOSITED WITH THE CLERK OF THE SENATE PURSUANT TO RULE 14-1(7)

Report of the Northern Pipeline Agency for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, pursuant to the Northern Pipeline Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-26, ss. 13 and 14.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-894.


Changes in Membership of Committees Pursuant to Rule 12-5 and to the Order of the Senate of December 7, 2016

Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

The Honourable Senator Tannas replaced the Honourable Senator Martin (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

The Honourable Senator Oh replaced the Honourable Senator Enverga (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

The Honourable Senator Marshall replaced the Honourable Senator MacDonald (February 16, 2017).

The Honourable Senator MacDonald replaced the Honourable Senator Marshall (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

The Honourable Senator Martin replaced the Honourable Senator Ataullahjan (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade

The Honourable Senator Patterson replaced the Honourable Senator Marshall (February 16, 2017).

The Honourable Senator Marshall replaced the Honourable Senator Beyak (February 16, 2017).

Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

The Honourable Senator Tannas replaced the Honourable Senator Ngo (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on National Finance

The Honourable Senator Woo replaced the Honourable Senator Dean (February 16, 2017).

The Honourable Senator Neufeld replaced the Honourable Senator Tkachuk (February 16, 2017).

The Honourable Senator Stewart Olsen replaced the Honourable Senator Housakos (February 16, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages

The Honourable Senator Seidman was removed from the membership of the committee, substitution pending (February 16, 2017).

The Honourable Senator Boniface replaced the Honourable Senator Bovey (February 16, 2017).

Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

The Honourable Senator Runciman replaced the Honourable Senator McIntyre (February 16, 2017).

Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization

The Honourable Senator Forest replaced the Honourable Senator Gold (February 15, 2017).

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology

The Honourable Senator Petitclerc replaced the Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C. (February 15, 2017).

The Honourable Senator Frum replaced the Honourable Senator Unger (February 15, 2017).