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67 Elizabeth II , A.D. 2018, Canada

1st Session, 42nd Parliament

Issue 186 (Unrevised)

Thursday, March 1, 2018
1:30 p.m.

The Honourable GEORGE J. FUREY, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

AndreychukAtaullahjanBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyBrazeauCarignanChristmasCoolsCordyCormierCoyleDagenaisDawsonDayDeanDowneDoyleDuffyDupuisDyckEatonEggletonForestFrumFureyGagnéGoldGreeneGriffinHarderHartlingHousakosJoyalLankinLovelace NicholasMaltaisMarshallMartinMassicotteMcCallumMcCoyMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMercerMitchellMocklerMoncionNgoOhOmidvarPatePattersonPetitclercPoirierPratteRichardsSaint-GermainSeidmanSmithStewart OlsenTkachukWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

AndreychukAtaullahjanBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyBrazeauCarignanChristmasCoolsCordyCormierCoyleDagenaisDawsonDayDeanDowneDoyleDuffyDupuisDyckEatonEggletonForestFrumFureyGagnéGoldGreeneGriffinHarderHartlingHousakosJoyalLankinLovelace Nicholas*MacDonaldMaltais*ManningMarshallMartinMassicotteMcCallumMcCoyMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMercerMitchellMocklerMoncion*MunsonNgoOhOmidvarPatePattersonPetitclercPoirierPratte*RaineRichardsSaint-GermainSeidmanSmithStewart OlsenTkachukWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

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.

WRITTEN DECLARATION OF ROYAL ASSENT

At 1:49 p.m., the Honourable the Speaker informed the Senate that the following communication had been received:

RIDEAU HALL

March 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 1st day of March, 2018, at 1:06 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Assunta Di Lorenzo

Secretary to the Governor General

The Honourable

The Speaker of the Senate

Ottawa

Schedule

Bills Assented To

Thursday, March 1, 2018

An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act (Bill S-2, Chapter 2, 2018)

An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day) (Bill C-311, Chapter 3, 2018)

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Presenting or Tabling Reports from Committees

The Honourable Senator Andreychuk, Chair of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators, tabled the fourth report of the committee (Consideration of an inquiry report from the Senate Ethics Officer).—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1882S.

Introduction and First Reading of Senate Public Bills

The Honourable Senator Day introduced Bill S-246, An Act to amend the Borrowing Authority Act.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Day moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Cordy, 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.

Tabling of Reports from Interparliamentary Delegations

The Honourable Senator Forest tabled the following:

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) respecting its participation at the meeting of the Cooperation and Development Committee of the APF, held in Réunion Island, France, from March 2 to 4, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1883.

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) respecting its participation at the meeting of the Parliamentary Network on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria of the APF, held in Rabat, Morocco, on November 21 and 22, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1884.

Notices of Motions

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Dagenais moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Oh:

That, given serious potential implications for Canada’s relations with India as well as for Canada’s national security arising out of the recent visit by the Prime Minister to that country, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be authorized to:

(a)Invite Mr. Daniel Jean, the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor, to appear before the Committee to answer questions related to the issues arising from the recent visit by the Prime Minister to India;

(b)Invite additional witnesses from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Global Affairs Canada and any other relevant agencies to explain how an individual convicted of serious criminal offences was permitted to attend official events involving the Prime Minister, Ministers and senior Canadian officials; and

(c)Provide any recommendations that the Committee believes may be warranted as a result of this incident;

That the Committee submit its final report no later than June 1, 2018, and retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.

After debate,

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

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted on the following vote:

YEAS

The Honourable Senators

BellemareBernardBonifaceBoveyChristmasCordyCormierCoyleDawsonDayDeanDuffyDupuisDyckEggletonForestGagnéGoldHarderHartlingJoyalLovelace NicholasMcCallumMcPhedranMégieMercerMitchellMoncionOmidvarPatePetitclercPratteSaint-GermainWetstonWoo—35

NAYS

The Honourable Senators

AtaullahjanBattersBeyakBoisvenuCarignanCoolsDagenaisDoyleFrumGreeneHousakosMaltaisMarshallMartinMcIntyreMocklerNgoOhPoirierRichardsSeidmanSmithStewart OlsenTkachukWells—25

ABSTENTIONS

The Honourable Senators

DowneLankinWhite—3

Question Period

The Senate proceeded to Question Period.

SPEAKER'S RULING

Honourable senators, I am prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the Honourable Senator McPhedran on February 13, 2018. The senator argued that a communication to the media of information contained in confidential correspondence from the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration constituted a breach of her parliamentary privileges. In particular, she suggested that this breach affected her ability to perform her parliamentary functions without obstruction or interference.

Senator McPhedran explained that the information communicated to the media related to a letter from the subcommittee asking for additional information about a request for a service contract she had submitted. The correspondence from the subcommittee was marked “confidential”. Senator McPhedran was of the view that the communication to the media included material contained in that letter and that its contents should not have been shared. The senator suggested that her privilege was breached, since this release of information had the effect of obstructing her aim of providing what she has referred to as a “safe and confidential setting to survivors of harassment within the Senate environment”.

Senator Campbell, the chair of the subcommittee, argued that the information provided to the media followed requests for comment regarding Senator McPhedran’s publicly expressed intentions to pay for these types of services from her office budget. He explained that the information shared was not confidential; it was a simple explanation of policy. He indicated that the label “confidential” was “administrative in nature”, and that it was meant to “ensure that it would be dealt with privately within her office”. Senator Campbell stated that the label “was not an indication that the letter contained any confidential in camera proceedings”. It was his view that Senator McPhedran’s privileges had not been breached. The subcommittee was simply being transparent regarding Senate rules and decisions concerning expenditures.

Other senators who intervened in the debate focused on the essence of the question of privilege and noted the seriousness and importance of the complaint. I thank all colleagues for their contributions.

I have taken the facts surrounding this question of privilege into consideration in evaluating the complaint in terms of the four criteria listed in rule 13-2(1). A question of privilege must meet all four criteria to advance to the next stage.

It is clear that the first criterion — that the matter be raised at the earliest opportunity — was indeed met.

The second criterion is whether the matter “directly concerns the privileges of the Senate, any of its committees or any Senator”. As noted in Senate Procedure in Practice at page 224, “The term ‘privilege,’ in this context, does not refer to a special benefit, advantage or arrangement given to Parliament or its members. Rather, parliamentary privilege is ‘an immunity from the ordinary law which is recognized … as a right of the Houses and their members.’” The purpose of privilege is to enable Parliament and its members to fulfill their legislative and deliberative functions, without undue interference. Not all activities undertaken by senators in the course of their work, no matter how valuable or commendable, are always covered by privilege.

In this case, and taking into account the information that was already publicly known, it does not seem that the material sent to the media directly concerned privilege. The second criterion of rule 13-2(1) has, therefore, not been met.

This is not to say that the communication does not raise concerns. Senators should expect that sensitive matters will be treated in confidence, at the very least until a final resolution is reached. Publicly revealing information about exchanges on the use of resources harms the bonds of respect and trust that must exist both between senators, and between senators and the administration that supports our work.

I also wish to raise a note of caution here. The Senate has been through a difficult period these past few years. Lessons were learned regarding the importance of conducting our business in a transparent and accountable manner, including being responsive to requests for information from the media and the public. We cannot, however, allow our eagerness to respond to such requests to override our obligation to respect our administrative processes. I am confident, however, that we can find an appropriate balance so that the interests of both the public and senators are well served.

Before concluding, let me also take a moment to address the issue of confidentiality. The term “confidential” is one that must be understood by senators and everyone working at the Senate, and it may not always be clear how certain confidential documents should be handled. This is a matter of which the Internal Economy Committee is already seized, and I am sure that the results of their work will be useful to the Senate as a whole.

Honourable senators, a question of privilege must meet all the criteria of rule 13-2(1) to be dealt with under the special procedures in Chapter 13 of the Rules. Since this question of privilege has not met the second criterion, there is no need to explore the other criteria, and the ruling must be here that there is no prima facie question of privilege.

Orders of the Day

Government Business

Bills – Second Reading

Second reading of Bill C-70, An Act to give effect to the Agreement on Cree Nation Governance between the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and the Government of Canada, to amend the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

The Honourable Senator Pate moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gold, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

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

The bill was then read the second time.

The Honourable Senator Pate moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moncion, that the bill be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

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

Bills – Third Reading

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

Bills – Second Reading

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Harder, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Wetston, for the second reading of Bill C-24, An Act to amend the Salaries Act and to make a consequential amendment to the Financial Administration Act.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Martin moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Wells, 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

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Dean, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forest, for the second reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Martin moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Smith, 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

Second reading of Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (political financing).

The Honourable Senator Mercer moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Frum moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Housakos, 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. 4 and 5 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Cormier, seconded by the Honourable Senator Petitclerc, for the second reading of Bill C-66, An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and to make related amendments to other Acts.

After debate,

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

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

Motions

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

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Harder, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Bellemare:

That in accordance with subsection 54(1) of the Access to Information Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1, the Senate approve the appointment of Caroline Maynard as Information Commissioner.

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

o o o

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

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, March 20, 2018, Question Period shall begin at 3:30 p.m., with any proceedings then before the Senate being interrupted until the end of Question Period, which shall last a maximum of 40 minutes;

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

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

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

The 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, March 20, 2018, at 2 p.m.

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

Inquiries

Order No. 2 was withdrawn pursuant to rule 5-10(2).

Other Business

Senate Public Bills – Third Reading

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

o o o

Third reading of Bill S-214, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (cruelty-free cosmetics), as amended.

The Honourable Senator Stewart Olsen moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator White, that the bill, as amended, be read for a third time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Mercer moved, for the Honourable Senator Dyck, 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. 3 and 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Senate Public Bills – Reports of Committees

Orders No. 1 to 3 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Senate Public Bills – Second Reading

Orders No. 1 to 3 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Ataullahjan, seconded by the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, for the second reading of Bill S-240, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs).

The Honourable Senator Richards moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercer, 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. 5 to 8 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Commons Public Bills – Second Reading

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

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Mégie, seconded by the Honourable Senator Dupuis, for the second reading of Bill C-243, An Act respecting the development of a national maternity assistance program strategy.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Marshall moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boisvenu, 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.

Reports of Committees – Other

Orders No. 1, 5 to 8, 10, 15, 29, 33, 50 to 52, 64 and 66 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

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

o o o

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

That the Senate call upon the government of Canada:

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

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

The Honourable Senator Marshall moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boisvenu, 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. 189, 215, 245, 286, 292 and 302 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

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

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, in accordance with rule 12-7(10), be authorized to examine and report on such issues as may arise from time to time relating to agriculture and forestry; and

That the committee report to the Senate no later than June 30, 2019.

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

Inquiries

Orders No. 8, 12 and 13, 19 and 20, 24 to 26, 28, 31 to 33, and 35 and 36 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

MOTIONS

The Honourable Senator Eggleton, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercer:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology have the power to meet on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

o o o

The Honourable Senator Griffin moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Dean:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate, between March 2 and March 9, 2018, a report relating to its study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector, 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.

ADJOURNMENT

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

That the Senate do now adjourn.

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

(Accordingly, at 5:59 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 2 p.m.)

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

Regulations related to the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) (P.C. 2018-146), pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), S.C. 2017, c. 21, sbs. 4(4).—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1881.


Changes in Membership of Committees Pursuant to Rule 12-5

Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

The Honourable Senator Boniface replaced the Honourable Senator Coyle (March 1, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

The Honourable Senator Pratte replaced the Honourable Senator Bovey (March 1, 2018).

Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

The Honourable Senator Plett replaced the Honourable Senator Housakos (March 1, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Verner, P.C., replaced the Honourable Senator McCallum (March 1, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

The Honourable Senator Sinclair replaced the Honourable Senator Pate (March 1, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on National Finance

The Honourable Senator Neufeld replaced the Honourable Senator Ngo (February 28, 2018).

Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

The Honourable Senator Woo replaced the Honourable Senator Gold (March 1, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications

The Honourable Senator MacDonald replaced the Honourable Senator Housakos (March 1, 2018).