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69 Elizabeth II , A.D. 2020, Canada

1st Session, 43rd Parliament

Issue 24 (Unrevised)

Thursday, June 18, 2020
1:30 p.m.

The Honourable GEORGE J. FUREY, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

AndersonBattersBlack (Ontario)BoehmBonifaceCampbellCormierCotterDalphondForest-NiesingFureyGagnéGalvezGoldHarderHousakosLaBoucane-BensonLankinMartinMcPhedranMégieMiville-DechêneMoncionMoodieMunsonOmidvarPatePattersonPlettRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanTannasVernerWallinWellsWhiteWoo

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

AndersonBattersBlack (Ontario)BoehmBonifaceCampbellCormierCotterDalphondForest-NiesingFureyGagnéGalvezGoldHarderHousakosLaBoucane-BensonLankinMartinMcPhedranMégieMiville-DechêneMoncionMoodieMunsonOmidvarPatePattersonPlettRinguetteSaint-GermainSeidmanTannasVernerWallinWellsWhiteWoo

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

REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY DEBATE

Pursuant to rule 8-3(1), the Honourable Senator Moodie requested that the Senate do now adjourn for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the rise in reports of acts of racism against Afro-Canadians, Indigenous Canadians and Asian Canadians.

Debate.

Ordered, That the sitting be suspended to reassemble at the call of the chair, with a five minute bell.

(Accordingly, at 1:52 p.m., the sitting was suspended.)

At 2:21 p.m., the sitting resumed.

SPEAKER'S RULING

In reaching a determination on the request for an emergency debate, the Speaker must make reference to the criteria in rules 8-2(1) and 8-3(2). Senators are apprised of, and recognize, the critical importance of the issues raised in the request. The request addresses the rise in acts of racism against Afro-Canadians, Indigenous Canadians and Asian Canadians, and specifically draws attention to the rapid changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is obviously a field involving federal action. It may not be perfectly clear how the request meets the specific requirement of rule 8-3(2)(b), which is that “the Senate is unlikely to have another opportunity to debate the matter within a reasonable period of time.”

However, as Speaker, the Rules give me some latitude with respect to determining what constitutes an emergency, a responsibility I take seriously. I recognize that this is a grey zone. Of course, having a debate would not preclude an inquiry, a Committee of the Whole or a special committee, which are options that have been raised. Given the particular circumstances of this case, I am prepared to allow the emergency debate to proceed.

Honourable senators, the emergency debate will take place at the earlier of 8 p.m. or the end of the Orders of the Day. At that time, Senator Moodie will move that the Senate do now adjourn — this is the procedure that is normally used in these circumstances — and we will debate the emergency matter for up to four hours. Each senator has only 15 minutes to speak, and no motion, except that a senator be now heard, can be moved during the debate.

What happens after the emergency debate will depend on when the debate actually started and the time it concludes, but no items on the Notice Paper will be called today.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Presenting or Tabling Reports from Committees

The Honourable Senator Patterson, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators, presented the second report of the committee, entitled Consideration of an inquiry report of the Senate Ethics Officer.

(The report is printed as an appendix at pages 525-551 (available in print format PDF).)

(The HTML version of the report is available on the committee website.)

The Honourable Senator Patterson moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Seidman, 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 Government Bills

A message was brought from the House of Commons with Bill C-18, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, to which it desires the concurrence of the Senate.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Gold, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C., 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.

o o o

A message was brought from the House of Commons with Bill C-19, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, to which it desires the concurrence of the Senate.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Gold, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C., 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 prepared to rule on Senator Wallin’s question of privilege from June 16, 2020, which raised concerns about the right of senators to participate in proceedings of the Senate during the current pandemic.

This question of privilege was raised under rule 13-4. Chapter 13 of the Rules contains precise requirements for raising questions of privilege in order for them to be considered under the special processes of that chapter. In general, except for a matter to be raised on a Friday, written notice must be provided at least three hours before the Senate sits. Rule 13-4 is an exception to this notice requirement, and it exists to allow senators to raise questions of privilege if they become aware of a concern either after the time for giving written notice or during the sitting itself. The issues identified by Senator Wallin related to the fact that the Senate sat on June 16 and dealt with its business. This had been known since May 29, 2020, and there was no explanation to explain why recourse was made to the exceptional provisions of rule 13-4.

Rule 13-2(2) deals with cases where a question of privilege is neither raised at the first opportunity, nor covered by rule 13-4. Rule 13-2(2) states that in such situations:

… a Senator may still raise the matter on a substantive motion following notice, but the matter cannot be proceeded with under the terms of this chapter.

Our Rules do not, therefore, allow Senator Wallin’s question of privilege to be considered under the procedures of Chapter 13 of the Rules, although Senator Wallin remains free to raise the matter as a substantive motion after the required notice.

Government Business

Motions

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Gold, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator LaBoucane-Benson:

That the following Address be presented to Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada:

To Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY:

We, Her Majesty’s most loyal and dutiful subjects, the Senate of Canada in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious Speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Gagné moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator LaBoucane-Benson, 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

Order No. 7 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Gagné moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator LaBoucane-Benson:

That, notwithstanding any provisions of the Rules or usual practice:

1.the Senate resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole at the start of Orders of the Day on Monday, June 22, 2020, to consider the expenditures set out in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, and in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021;

2. the Committee of the Whole receive the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., President of the Treasury Board, accompanied by one official;

3.the Committee of the Whole rise no later than 125 minutes after it begins;

4.the witnesses’ introductory remarks last a maximum total of five minutes; and

5.if a senator does not use the entire period of 10 minutes for debate provided under rule 12-32(3)(d), including the responses of the witnesses, that senator may yield the balance of time to another senator.

After debate,

In amendment, the Honourable Senator Omidvar moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Woo:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended:

1.by adding the following new paragraphs 3 and 4:

“3. the Committee of the Whole separately receive one or more ministers of the Crown, to be determined by the government, accompanied by one official each, to examine the estimates as they pertain to the individual and collective responsibility of ministers to combat systemic racism;

4. proceedings of the Committee of the Whole not be suspended at 6 p.m., with the committee continuing to meet until it has completed its business, and going beyond the ordinary hour of adjournment if required;”;

2.by renumbering current paragraphs 3 to 5 as paragraphs 5 to 7;

3.by changing the words “125 minutes” to “250 minutes”; and

4.by changing the words “witnesses’ introductory remarks last a maximum total” to “introductory remarks for each witness last a maximum”.


A point of order was raised with respect to the receivability of the motion in amendment.

After debate,

The Acting Speaker reserved her decision.

o o o

The Honourable Senator Gagné moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator LaBoucane-Benson:

That, when the Senate next adjourns after the adoption of this motion, it do stand adjourned until Monday, June 22, 2020, at 6 p.m.;

That, notwithstanding any provision of the Rules, if a vote is deferred to that day, the bells for the vote ring at the start of Orders of the Day, for 15 minutes, with the vote to be held thereafter; and

That rule 3-3(1) be suspended on that day.

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

Other Business

Senate Public Bills – Second Reading

Orders No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Second reading of Bill S-218, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (property qualifications of Senators).

The Honourable Senator Patterson moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Seidman, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Omidvar moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Saint-Germain, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

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

Private Bills – Second Reading

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

Reports of Committees – Other

Orders No. 1, 3, 4, 8 and 9 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

Orders No. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lankin, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Gagné:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, when and if it is formed, be authorized to examine and report on the future of workers in order to evaluate:

(a)how data and information on the gig economy in Canada is being collected and potential gaps in knowledge;

(b)the effectiveness of current labour protections for people who work through digital platforms and temporary foreign workers programs;

(c)the negative impacts of precarious work and the gig economy on benefits, pensions and other government services relating to employment; and

(d)the accessibility of retraining and skills development programs for workers;

That in conducting this evaluation the committee pay particular attention to the negative effects of precarious employment being disproportionately felt by workers of colour, new immigrant and indigenous workers; and

That the committee submit its final report on this study to the Senate no later than April 7, 2022.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Martin moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Plett, 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. 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 and 22 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

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

That the workplace assessment report commissioned by the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration during the second session of the Forty-first Parliament, entitled Report of Evidence Relating to the Workplace in the Office of Senator Don Meredith, dated July 13, 2015, be referred to the committee during the current session for the purposes of its work on related issues, subject to normal practices relating to confidential documents.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Moncion moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Saint-Germain, 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. 26, 30, 31 and 47 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

o o o

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Dalphond, seconded by the Honourable Senator Boniface:

That, notwithstanding any provision of the Rules or usual practice:

1.for the remainder of the session, any vacancy in the position of Speaker pro tempore be filled by means of a secret ballot, using a process to be established by the Speaker after consulting with the Leader of the Government, the Leader of the Opposition, and the leader or facilitator of any other recognized party or recognized parliamentary group; and

2.the first report of the Committee of Selection, if not disposed of before the adoption of this order, be discharged from the Order Paper.

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Saint-Germain, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moncion:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended:

1.by adding the following before the last paragraph:

“2. the senator elected to serve as Speaker pro tempore shall be required to possess the full and practical knowledge of the official language which is not that of the Speaker for the time being;”; and

2.by renumbering the final paragraph as number 3.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Miville-Dechêne moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Saint-Germain, that further debate on the motion in amendment 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 Mégie, seconded by the Honourable Senator Anderson:

That, notwithstanding any provision of the Rules or usual practice, at the start of the Orders of the Day on the sitting day following the adoption of this order, the Senate resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole in order to receive a minister or ministers of the Crown to discuss the role of the Government of Canada in combatting anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, and ending systemic racism;

That the committee report to the Senate no later than 120 minutes after it begins;

That the provisions of rule 3-3(1) be suspended while the committee is meeting;

That the application of any provision of the Rules or previous order concerning the time of adjournment be suspended until the committee has completed its work; and

That the ringing of the bells for any deferred vote that would conflict with the committee be deferred until the committee has completed its work.

After debate,

In amendment, the Honourable Senator Black (Ontario) moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Verner, P.C.:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended:

1.by replacing the words “following the adoption of” with “provided for in”; and

2.by adding, after the words “systemic racism;”, the following new paragraph:

“That the sitting day provided for in this order be the earlier of the following:

(a)the first sitting day that follows the adjournment of the third successive sitting of the Senate with a daily attendance of at least 60 senators that follows the adoption of this order; or

(b)the first sitting day on which senators are permitted to participate in the proceedings of the Senate by video or teleconference;”.

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

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

YEAS

The Honourable Senators

BattersCampbellHousakosMartinMoncionPattersonPlettSeidmanWells—9

NAYS

The Honourable Senators

AndersonBlack (Ontario)BoehmBonifaceCormierCotterForest-NiesingGagnéGalvezGoldLaBoucane-BensonLankinMcPhedranMégieMiville-DechêneMoodiePateRinguetteSaint-GermainVernerWoo—21

ABSTENTIONS

The Honourable Senators

DalphondHarderMunson—3

The Senate resumed debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Mégie, seconded by the Honourable Senator Anderson:

That, notwithstanding any provision of the Rules or usual practice, at the start of the Orders of the Day on the sitting day following the adoption of this order, the Senate resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole in order to receive a minister or ministers of the Crown to discuss the role of the Government of Canada in combatting anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, and ending systemic racism;

That the committee report to the Senate no later than 120 minutes after it begins;

That the provisions of rule 3-3(1) be suspended while the committee is meeting;

That the application of any provision of the Rules or previous order concerning the time of adjournment be suspended until the committee has completed its work; and

That the ringing of the bells for any deferred vote that would conflict with the committee be deferred until the committee has completed its work.

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Black (Ontario), seconded by the Honourable Senator Verner, P.C.:

That the motion be not now adopted, but that it be amended

1.by replacing the words “following the adoption of” with “provided for in”; and

2.by adding, after the words “systemic racism;”, the following new paragraph:

“That the sitting day provided for in this order be the earlier of the following:

(a)the first sitting day that follows the adjournment of the third successive sitting of the Senate with a daily attendance of at least 60 senators that follows the adoption of this order; or

(b)the first sitting day on which senators are permitted to participate in the proceedings of the Senate by video or teleconference;”.

After debate,

In amendment, the Honourable Senator Plett moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Martin:

That the motion in amendment be not now adopted, but that it be amended by deleting:

1. the words “the earlier of the following:

(a)”; and

2. the words “; or

(b)the first sitting day on which senators are permitted to participate in the proceedings of the Senate by video or teleconference”.

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

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

YEAS

The Honourable Senators

BattersBoehmCampbellHousakosMartinMcPhedranMégieMoncionOmidvarPattersonPlettSeidmanWellsWoo—14

NAYS

The Honourable Senators

Black (Ontario)BonifaceForest-NiesingGagnéGoldLaBoucane-BensonLankinPateRinguetteVerner—10

ABSTENTIONS

The Honourable Senators

AndersonCormierCotterDalphondHarderMiville-DechêneMoodieMunson—8


Pursuant to rule 3-3(1), the Speaker left the Chair to resume the same at 8 p.m.

The sitting resumed.

EMERGENCY DEBATE

Pursuant to rule 8-4(1), the Senate proceeded to the consideration of a motion to adjourn the Senate for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the rise in reports of acts of racism against Afro-Canadians, Indigenous Canadians and Asian Canadians.

Accordingly, the Honourable Senator Moodie moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moncion:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

After debate,

Pursuant to rule 8-4(7), the adjournment motion was deemed withdrawn.

ADJOURNMENT

The Honourable Senator Gagné moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gold, P.C.:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

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

(Accordingly, at 12 a.m., the Senate was continued until Monday, June 22, 2020, at 6 p.m.)

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

Report of the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled Scenario Analysis Update: COVID-19 Pandemic and Oil Price Shocks June 18, 2020, pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, sbs. 79.2(2).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-569.

Legislative Costing Note of the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled Financial Support for Indigenous Businesses and Aboriginal Financial Institutions, pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, sbs. 79.2(2).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-570.

Legislative Costing Note of the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for Employers with Reduced Revenues, pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, sbs. 79.2(2).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-571.

Legislative Costing Note of the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Update, pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, sbs. 79.2(2).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-572.

Copy of Order in Council P.C. 2020-223 concerning the Order Amending the Import Control List and the summary of the intergovernmental commitment, pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-19, sbs. 5(2).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-573.

Report of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, together with the Auditor General’s Report, for the year ended December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 150(1).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-574.

Report of the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, together with the Auditor General’s Report, for the year ended December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 150(1).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-575.

Report of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, together with the Auditor General’s Report, for the year ended December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 150(1).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-576.

Report of the Pacific Pilotage Authority, together with the Auditor General’s Report, for the year ended December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 150(1).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-577.

Summary of the Corporate Plan for 2020-24 of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-578.

Report of VIA Rail Canada Inc., together with the Auditor General’s Report, for the year ended December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 150(1).—Sessional Paper No. 1/43-579.