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67 Elizabeth II , A.D. 2018, Canada

1st Session, 42nd Parliament

Issue 189 (Unrevised)

Thursday, March 22, 2018
1:30 p.m.

The Honourable GEORGE J. FUREY, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

AndreychukBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)Black (Centre Wellington)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyBoyerBrazeauCampbellCarignanCoolsCormierCoyleDagenaisDeaconDeanDowneDuffyDupuisEatonEggletonFureyGagnéGalvezGoldGreeneHarderHartlingHousakosJafferJoyalLankinMacDonaldManningMarshallMartinMarwahMcCoyMcInnisMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMitchellMocklerMoncionMunsonNeufeldNgoOhOmidvarPatePetitclercPlettPoirierPratteRaineRichardsRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanSinclairSmithStewart OlsenTkachukUngerVernerWallinWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

AndreychukBattersBellemareBernardBeyakBlack (Alberta)Black (Centre Wellington)BoisvenuBonifaceBoveyBoyerBrazeauCampbellCarignan*ChristmasCoolsCormierCoyleDagenais*Dawson*DayDeaconDeanDowne*DoyleDuffyDupuis*DyckEatonEggletonFureyGagnéGalvezGoldGreene*GriffinHarderHartlingHousakosJafferJoyalLankinMacDonald*MaltaisManningMarshallMartinMarwah*MassicotteMcCoyMcInnisMcIntyreMcPhedranMégieMitchellMocklerMoncionMunsonNeufeldNgoOhOmidvarPate*PattersonPetitclercPlettPoirierPratteRaineRichardsRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanSinclairSmithStewart Olsen*TannasTkachukUngerVernerWallinWellsWetstonWhiteWoo

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

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Harder, P.C., tabled the following:

A document entitled Child well-being in rich countries: A comparative overview.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1910.

A document entitled Prevalence and correlates of marijuana use in Canada, 2012.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1911.

A document entitled Social determinants of health and well-being among young people.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1912.

Presenting or Tabling Reports from Committees

The Honourable Senator Mockler, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, tabled the twenty-fifth report of the committee, entitled Final Report on the Supplementary Estimates (C), 2017-18.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1913S.

The Honourable Senator Mockler moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator MacDonald, that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

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

o o o

The Honourable Senator Mockler, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, tabled the twenty-sixth report of the committee, entitled Final Report on the 2018-19 Interim Estimates.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1914S.

The Honourable Senator Mockler moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator MacDonald, that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

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

Introduction and First Reading of Senate Public Bills

The Honourable Senator Jaffer introduced Bill S-247, An Act to establish International Mother Language Day.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Jaffer moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Bovey, 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 MacDonald tabled the following:

Report of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas respecting its participation at the 44th Board of Directors meeting and the 14th Plenary Assembly of ParlAmericas, held in Medellin, Columbia, from November 15 to 17, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1915.

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region 27th annual summit, held in Portland, Oregon, United States of America, from July 23 to 27, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1916.

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the 71st annual meeting of the Council of State Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference, held in Biloxi, Mississippi, United States of America, from July 29 to August 2, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1917.

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at United States Congressional Meetings, held in Washington, D.C., United States of America, from November 27 to 29, 2017.—Sessional Paper No. 1/42-1918.

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 Senator Beyak on February 26, concerning Motion 302, which was moved by Senator Pate. If adopted, this motion would direct the Senate administration to temporarily cease to support Senator Beyak’s website. Many senators took part in the debate on the matter, and I thank all colleagues for their contributions.

During the debate, the terms “point of order” and “question of privilege” were sometimes used interchangeably. There are, however, important differences between the two. A question of privilege arises when there is an alleged breach of the powers, rights or immunities of the Senate, a committee or a senator — what we refer to as parliamentary privilege. A point of order, on the other hand, relates strictly to procedural issues — the internal proceedings of the Senate or a committee — and arises when there may have been a departure from the Rules of the Senate, established procedure or customary practice.

Although senators enjoy the protection of privilege to enable them to carry out their parliamentary functions, they are nonetheless subject to the Rules, procedures and practices, which are expressions of the Senate’s own parliamentary privileges, both to manage its internal affairs and to control its proceedings. As part of the exercise of this right, the Senate has established specific procedures that govern how to deal with questions of privilege, such as the one raised by Senator Beyak. As Speaker, my role at this stage is solely to evaluate an alleged breach in terms of those procedural requirements, and to determine whether there is a prima facie question of privilege. I do not deal with the substance of a complaint, which would be for the Senate itself to deal with after a ruling if a matter goes to the next stage.

Rule 13-2(1) requires that four criteria be met for a question of privilege to be accorded priority. All four criteria must be met, and it is always helpful if senators frame their remarks around these four criteria when debating a question of privilege. Doing so can help the Speaker in evaluating the issue.

The first criterion is that the issue must “be raised at the earliest opportunity”. When a question of privilege deals with a notice, which is the case here, rule 4-11(2)(a) must also be considered. This rule requires that the question of privilege be raised “only at the time the order is first called for consideration”. Notice of Motion 302 was given on February 14. It was called for consideration at the next sitting, on February 15, and moved for adoption. Senator Beyak’s question of privilege should, therefore, have been raised on that day, and not on February 26.

The second criterion is that the issue must “be a matter that directly concerns the privileges of the Senate, any of its committees or any Senator”. Before actually dealing with this criterion, let me be clear; I am not determining whether a senator’s website is protected by privilege or not. I am, instead, simply considering what the effects would be, in the current case, if one were to accept that a web site is protected.

The second criterion mentions the privileges of the entire Senate, of its committees and of individual senators. This can sometimes create situations in which consideration must be given to how the privileges of the institution and those of individuals relate to each other. Privilege allows each senator to contribute fully and freely to the work of the Senate. However, as noted in a ruling of February 24, 2016, to which Senator Pratte made reference:

Our privileges as individuals cannot trump those of the Senate itself. As stated in Erskine May, at page 203 of the 24th edition, “Fundamentally … it is only as a means to the effective discharge of the collective functions of the House that the individual privileges are enjoyed by Members”.

A similar point was made in a ruling of May 23, 2013, which noted “… that the privileges and rights exercised by the Senate itself take precedence over those of individual senators”, and that the Senate can regulate its internal affairs.

The rights or benefits of individual senators may therefore be restricted by decisions of the Senate. As in the case of Motion 302, this means that the Senate has a preeminent right to decide how it will manage its internal affairs, including the use of resources by honourable senators.

This analysis also helps us when considering the third criterion, which requires that a question of privilege “be raised to correct a grave and serious breach”. In a situation where there is, potentially, a divergence between the Senate’s rights and those of an individual senator, the former must be given preeminence. To quote the ruling of February 24, 2016, “… privileges exist to serve the institution itself. The Senate’s decisions cannot breach the Senate’s privileges.”

The fourth criterion states that a question of privilege must “be raised to seek a genuine remedy that the Senate has the power to provide and for which no other parliamentary process is reasonably available”. In the case of Motion 302, there are alternate processes available. These include debate, amendments, referral to committee, and, eventually, defeat or adoption of the motion. If the Senate were either to adopt or reject the motion, this decision would be an expression of its right to manage its internal affairs and to decide how its resources can be used.

Before concluding, honourable senators, let me recognize that issues relating to privilege can be complicated. I therefore invite all colleagues to review the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, tabled in the Senate on June 2, 2015, which provided a comprehensive overview of the state of privilege in Canada.

Based on this analysis of the four criteria, the requirements of rule 13-2(1) have not been met. I must, therefore, rule that there is no prima facie question of privilege. I do, however, encourage colleagues to take part in the debate on Motion 302. As many senators expressed concerns regarding the motion, it is obviously a matter of great interest to the Senate. I thank all honourable senators for their attention and their interest in this important matter.

Orders of the Day

Government Business

Bills – Second Reading

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

YEAS

The Honourable Senators

BellemareBernardBlack (Alberta)Black (Ontario)BonifaceBoveyBoyerBrazeauCampbellCoolsCormierCoyleDeacon (Ontario)DeanDupuisEggletonFureyGagnéGalvezGoldGreeneHarderHartlingJafferJoyalLankinMarwahMcCoyMcPhedranMégieMitchellMoncionMunsonOmidvarPatePetitclercPratteRichardsRinguetteSaint-GermainSinclairVernerWetstonWoo—44

NAYS

The Honourable Senators

AndreychukBattersBeyakBoisvenuCarignanDagenaisDuffyEatonHousakosMacDonaldManningMarshallMartinMcInnisMcIntyreMocklerNeufeldNgoOhPlettPoirierRaineSeidmanSmithStewart OlsenTkachukUngerWellsWhite—29

ABSTENTIONS

The Honourable Senators

Nil

Accordingly, Bill C-45 was read a second time.

Pursuant to the order adopted on February 15, 2018, the bill was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Bills – Third Reading

The order was called for resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Wetston, seconded by the Honourable Senator Cormier, for the third reading of Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and the Competition Act, as amended.

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

The bill, as amended, was then read the third time and passed.

Ordered, That a message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that House that the Senate has passed this bill with certain amendments, to which it desires its concurrence.

Bills – Second Reading

Orders No. 2 to 5 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

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

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 27, 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 27, 2018, at 2 p.m.

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

Inquiries

Order No. 3 was called and postponed until the next sitting.


Ordered, That the Senate proceed to the Notice Paper.

MOTIONS

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

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, October 26, 2017, 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 March 31, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

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

o o o

The Honourable Senator Manning moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Unger:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans have the power to meet on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 5 p.m., even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

o o o

The Honourable Senator Bernard moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Dupuis:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights in relation to its study on issues relating to human rights and, inter alia, to review the machinery of government dealing with Canada’s international and national human right obligations be extended from March 31, 2018 to October 31, 2019.

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

o o o

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

That, for the purposes of its consideration of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology:

(a)be authorized to sit even though the Senate may then be sitting, with the application of rule 12-18(1) being suspended in relation thereto; and

(b) be authorized, notwithstanding rule 12-18(2), to meet from Monday to Friday, even though the Senate may be then be adjourned for more than a week, or for more than a day but less than a week.

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

o o o

The Honourable Senator Galvez moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Bernard:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources have the power to meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 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.

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 6:44 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 2 p.m.)

Changes in Membership of Committees Pursuant to Rule 12-5

Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

The Honourable Senator Tannas replaced the Honourable Senator Marshall (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Marshall replaced the Honourable Senator MacDonald (March 22, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade

The Honourable Senator Massicotte replaced the Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C. (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C., replaced the Honourable Senator Massicotte (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Saint-Germain replaced the Honourable Senator Cormier (March 22, 2018).

Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

The Honourable Senator Tannas replaced the Honourable Senator Housakos (March 22, 2018).

Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization

The Honourable Senator Massicotte replaced the Honourable Senator Pratte (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Maltais replaced the Honourable Senator Tkachuk (March 21, 2018).

Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications

The Honourable Senator Eggleton, P.C., replaced the Honourable Senator Mercer (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Day replaced the Honourable Senator Dawson (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Gagné replaced the Honourable Senator Omidvar (March 22, 2018).

The Honourable Senator Griffin replaced the Honourable Senator Duffy (March 22, 2018).