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Previous Sittings

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 44th Parliament
Volume 153, Issue 156

Thursday, November 2, 2023
The Honourable Raymonde Gagné, Speaker


Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.



Royal Assent

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


November 1, 2023

Madam Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 1st day of November, 2023, at 4:12 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Maia Welbourne

Acting Secretary to the Governor General

The Honourable

The Speaker of the Senate


Bill Assented to Wednesday, November 1, 2023:

An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts (Bill C-42, Chapter 29, 2023)


Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I received a notice from the Government Representative in the Senate, who requests, pursuant to rule 4-3(1), that the time provided for the consideration of Senators’ Statements be extended today for the purpose of paying tribute to the Honourable Ian Shugart, whose death occurred on October 25, 2023.

I remind senators that pursuant to our rules, each senator will be allowed only 3 minutes and they may speak only once, and that the time for tributes should not exceed 15 minutes.



The Late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to Senator Ian Shugart, who left us too young and too early in his Senate career. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a valued colleague, and it’s all the more difficult when that colleague has become a friend; such is the case for me today.

Let me begin by extending my sincere condolences to his wife, Linda, his children, Robin, James and Heather, his family and his many friends. May his memory be a blessing, and may you be spared further sorrow.

Ian Shugart was a public servant in the very best sense of the term. For more than 40 years, he served Canada and Canadians as an assistant deputy minister or deputy minister in various departments, and as the twenty-fourth Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. His service to our country was exemplary and much admired by all who worked with him, and one would need far more time than we have today to list all of his contributions and accomplishments.

But it is Ian Shugart the man, the person, whom I want to celebrate today. Although we had met on a few occasions in the past, it was only when he joined us here in the chamber that I got to know him well — very well. Indeed, colleagues, speaking for myself, very rarely in life do you meet someone that you can get to know so deeply and so intimately in such a short period of time.

In his first few months as a senator, we spent many hours together in my office. We talked about the Senate as an institution, the policy process and our responsibilities as public office holders, parliamentarians and citizens. He was knowledgeable, thoughtful, curious and open-minded, and I know that all of us in the chamber experienced those qualities through our interactions with him and during his interventions in both the chamber and committee.

Senator Shugart came to the Senate after battling serious health challenges, which returned not long after he joined us. Yet he stayed focused on the contribution that he hoped to make to our work here in the Senate. Even as he endured his treatments and surgeries, he never wavered in his commitment to serving our country.

He and I spoke on several occasions throughout the summer and into the fall. Given his deteriorating health, it was incredibly moving — indeed, it was inspiring — to witness his thoughtfulness toward all those around him — including myself — his determination to serve and the peace of mind that his unwavering faith provided him.

Colleagues, during the very last two conversations we had together, he was throwing out ideas for a speech to be delivered in the chamber — by him if he were physically able to be here, or by someone else if he were not. Even in his last weeks, as he was fighting his final battle, he was contemplating how to best express his continued devotion to Canada and to service.


It is said that in the face of adversity, we reveal our true selves. In the face of his own mortality, Ian Shugart’s true self shone through — a dedicated public servant, a loving husband and father, a caring and considerate person and a man of deep religious conviction.

I am grateful to have had the privilege of knowing the Honourable Ian Shugart albeit for far too short a time. He will be missed by all who knew, admired and loved him. May he rest in peace.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, with great sadness, I also rise today to pay tribute to a dear friend and a colleague, the Honourable Ian Shugart.

Ian liked to remind me that he was the only deputy minister whom our leader, Pierre Poilievre, ever had when he was a minister. Our time goes back to the days of my good friends Jake Epp, Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark.

I know we say this often when someone passes, but with regard to our friend Ian, the words were never truer: He left us too soon. Too soon because he was loved as a husband, a father, a family member and a friend. Too soon because he was a man of integrity with a depth of experience and knowledge, and yet a man of great humility. Too soon because he was a man with immense wisdom and significant experience that would have enriched our discussions and deliberations in this chamber.

When Ian Shugart gave his maiden speech in this chamber last June, we did not know that it would also be his farewell speech. His words were not addressed to the nation, nor to the Prime Minister, nor to any political party. They were addressed to us. He challenged us, each and every one of us, to be at our best and to exercise restraint. Allow me to read just a few lines from his speech when he said:

Canada is facing great challenges on many fronts: social justice, environmental crises and major economic and international security threats. To survive these realities, let alone thrive, we have to be at our best. The alternative is mediocrity. . . .

Canada is a big, diverse country — geographically, socially, culturally, economically and philosophically. For each of us, for parties and for institutions, restraint may begin with acknowledging that our point of view — legitimate as it is — is not the only point of view.

We have benefited from restraint in this country, and, in these times, we need it again. May we all find it within ourselves to practise restraint.

May Senator Shugart’s remarks be an inspiration to me, for all of us, to be at our best so that Canada not only survives but thrives. May we, too, live our lives with humility and integrity, as Ian did. May we, too, run our race well and finish strong, as he did.

Ian shared with me personally that he had hoped to have more time with us in this chamber, but as a man with deep faith in his God and his Saviour, he only wanted God’s will for his life, and he would accept that with no complaint.

Today, Ian is home in the arms of Jesus, but his loss is felt among all of us. I extend my heartfelt condolences on behalf of not only myself but our Conservative caucus to his wife Linda, his children Robin, James and Heather and to his entire family. May God strengthen all who are grieving his departure.

Thank you, colleagues.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Hon. Scott Tannas: Good afternoon, honourable senators. My colleagues in the Canadian Senators Group and I were deeply saddened by the passing of Senator Shugart. I had the privilege to speak with him on several occasions, including over this summer. We discussed governments’ use of omnibus bills. He provided wise counsel and keen insight into the relationship between the executive and the legislative branches. This conversation, and others, were always rich, thoughtful and with action-oriented alternatives to consider.

His final words to me were ones of encouragement, and came at a time when he was in his final days. How extraordinary he was to bravely and relentlessly continue to pursue his service to Canada as long as he possibly could. When I think of public service and duty, I will always think of Ian.

His contribution to the Senate, while only for a brief time, was the tip of a great iceberg of what Senator Shugart could and would have given us if he’d had the chance.

We will greatly miss Ian. Our deepest condolences to his family, his staff and his friends.

After he took his oath as senator on that first day, I said in my welcome remarks that Senator Shugart was telling new Parliaments the following during his tenure as the Clerk of the Privy Council, and I think it’s worth repeating here as a message from him to us. He said:

Never ever lose that sense of expectancy that brought you here. That sense of purpose that brought you here. That flame should never go out. . . . We are here for a time and a purpose, and that purpose is the institutions and the public welfare. We’re holders of an amazing privilege — to be responsible, to be representative of the public interest.

For our dear friend and colleague Ian, his flame may have gone out, but we continue to serve as the holders of this amazing privilege, and we shall do so in his honour. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group to join other senators in paying tribute to the late Honourable Ian Shugart. It was only just over a year ago that we rose to welcome him to this place, and it still feels both surreal and unfair that we are now speaking of him in memoriam.

Upon his appointment as Clerk of the Privy Council, it was noted that he “. . . has rarely made headlines during his long tenure in government, and is a careful, thoughtful speaker.” Though he did indeed work admirably and quietly behind the scenes for most of his career, it was certainly headline news when we learned of his passing.

As a man who truly embodied what it means to be a public servant, the outpouring of tributes to him in the past week have had a definite theme, highlighting his devotion to service, his wit and wisdom and certainly his kindness and grace.

I would like to quote from one such tribute:

The fact that few knew that Ian Shugart was a regular gospel preacher in many Ottawa churches leads to a fitting way to describe the man. Ian rose to be the head of Canada’s public service, some 300-thousand people strong. He was a quick mind with steady judgement and an observer of character. He was cautious, wise, and thorough—a model public servant. . . . In the most straightforward way, he got to the heart of things. He had an eye for things that matter to the heart without losing sight of the job at hand.


Honourable colleagues, as we’ve already heard, back in June, we were treated to what seems like a fairly characteristic speech from Senator Shugart — his first and only intervention in this chamber. He chose his words and opportunity wisely, and I dare say he caught our attention and left a lasting impression.

He said:

Honourable senators, whether it is what we say to or about each other, or how we learn again to listen and dialogue with others who don’t share our outlook, or how we guard the health of our institutions — we need to relearn the virtue of restraint.

What a legacy Ian Shugart will have left in his short tenure here if we can all heed those words.

It is a tremendous shame that he did not get the chance to participate more fully in the Senate’s work — a loss we will certainly all feel deeply. Still, I am grateful for the short time that he spent in this chamber.

On behalf of the Progressive senators, I offer my sincere condolences to his wife, Linda; his children, Robin, James and Heather; and all the family and friends who feel this loss so deeply. May he rest in peace.

Hon. Peter M. Boehm: Honourable senators, I am deeply saddened to rise today on behalf of the Independent Senators Group to pay tribute to our late colleague the Honourable Ian Shugart, who left us far too soon.

Ian was many things: an excellent colleague, a scholar, a teacher, a leader, an intellectual and a patriot. To me, he was also a mentor, a role model and a friend.

I first met Ian about 20 years ago, when he was an assistant deputy minister at Health Canada and I was transitioning from my assignment at our embassy in Washington to an assistant deputy minister job here at what was then the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

At the time, Ian had successfully managed policies regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome, a.k.a. SARS, and I attended a few interdepartmental meetings on the subject. I was struck by the calm, highly intelligent interventions he made on ways forward once others had expressed their views. I remember him saying that Canada had to develop standard operating procedures to prepare for the next mass health scare or even a pandemic — how very prescient.

I left for my assignment in Germany a few years later, and, unsurprisingly, Ian moved upward to associate deputy minister and then deputy minister at Environment Canada. By the time I returned to Ottawa in 2012, Ian was Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada, and I was what in bureaucratic slang was referred to as a “baby DM.” I felt I needed a mentor who could help me find my way through Ottawa officialdom. He took me on and always had time to discuss policy issues and approaches. To my delight, a few years later, we also ended up working together in the same portfolio.

He hosted my retirement event at Global Affairs Canada, presenting a slide show full of wry cartoons from the acerbic comic strip The Far Side. The highlight was the two bears seen through the hunter’s scope with one smiling and pointing at the other as the preferred target. “You are the one smiling, Peter,” Ian said.

Colleagues, I was not the only one mentored and shaped by Ian Shugart. Since his passing last Wednesday, in addition to the grief felt by his beloved family — his wife, Linda, and their children, Robin, James and Heather, who are here with us today — there has been a tremendous outpouring of gratitude from many, not just in the public service but across the country, whose lives and careers he touched in his gentle, helpful way. It is this quality, coupled with his deep spiritual faith and love for his country and its institutions, that took him to the pinnacle of the public service as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet.

Ian Shugart was a leader without peer. This rings true in the remarkable speech he gave in this chamber on June 20 on the value of restraint in political discourse and action. As with SARS all those years ago, he was telling us to be prepared, to exercise our best judgment and to be mindful of the consequences of our actions. He said this diplomatically, of course, because after all, the art of diplomacy is letting someone else have your way.

Rest in peace, my friend, you great Canadian.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Linda Shugart, wife of the late Honourable Ian Shugart, and their three children, Robin, James and Heather.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

Silent Tribute

The Hon. the Speaker: On behalf of all senators, I express my sincere condolences and share my deepest sympathies with you during this difficult time.

Honourable senators, I would ask that you all rise and join me in a minute of silence.

(Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.)


The Hon. the Speaker: Thank you, colleagues.


Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Myla Plett, Alyssa Nedohin, Chloe Fediuk and Allie Iskiw, who are national curling champions, and others supporting the Canadian team, which will represent the country at the World Junior Curling Championships in Finland. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Plett.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Curling Success

Hon. Brent Cotter: Honourable senators, on a sad day, as we honour the passing of our colleague Ian Shugart, I want to turn, though, to a moment of celebration.

I rise to speak about curling in the presence of curling royalty. You would not know it to look at me today, but I was once a competitive curler and curled once in the Brier in 1981. I can hear you asking, “How did you do?” Well, a partial answer is this: After eight games in the competition, we had zero wins and eight losses.

Over the decades since, people like me were driven out of curling when true athletes were let in. So let’s jump ahead a generation to an era when native Nova Scotian Beth Iskiw, Allie Iskiw’s mother, was one of the outstanding skips and then thirds in women’s curling. She represented both Nova Scotia and Alberta in numerous national championships and, upon joining a team in Alberta as third, was part of the 2012 Scotties Canadian women’s champions and bronze medallists at the world championships.

The team Ms. Iskiw joined was skipped by Heather Nedohin, Alyssa Nedohin’s mother. During that era, Heather Nedohin was one of the top skips in our country, representing Alberta on a number of occasions in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and she was national champion twice. And, if I may say so, she had one of the most beautiful curling deliveries ever — far more beautiful than her husband’s.


This brings me to Alyssa Nedohin’s father, David Nedohin. David Nedohin will, perhaps, be known to you, but not as well as he should be. He threw the fourth — or skip’s — rocks for the Ferbey Four, a team named after Randy Ferbey. This team won four Canadian men’s championships in the early 2000s and three world championships. Last month, the team was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

If you know anything about curling, you will know that the fourth — or skip’s — rocks, are by far the most important shots that a team executes during a game; as a former lead, it pains me to admit this. Dave Nedohin’s skip’s rocks led that team to those four Brier and three world championships. During those six or so years, Dave Nedohin was, indisputably, the best curler in the world.

Today, we have before us the future of women’s curling in Ms. Plett, Ms. Nedohin, Ms. Fediuk and Ms. Iskiw. These four young women of incredible talent, intellect, commitment and determination have rocketed to the forefront of women’s curling. My daughter and I follow their exploits, and earlier this week she reported to me that Team Plett, although still at a tender age for a curling team, has broken into the top 100 women’s teams in the world.

Let me end on this point: It is said that talent is passed down through the generations. That seems to be the case here. If so, we can only be grateful, Ms. Plett, that your inheritance of curling talent skipped right over your grandfather and landed in you.

Thank you.

Canadian Women’s Curling

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Now I know why he insisted on speaking before I did.

Honourable senators, I present Chapter 6 in the legacy of Team Plett. I am thrilled to be standing here in this chamber welcoming not only my granddaughter Myla but also her curling teammates Alyssa, Chloe and Allie, along with their coach Blair Lenton. David Nedohin, the other coach, has promised he will be at our reception tonight.

To say that I am proud of the quest for excellence that these girls have undertaken would be an understatement. They have done what no other junior curling team has ever accomplished: winning back-to-back Under-18 national championships, winning the silver medal at the Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island, then winning the Under-21 junior championship in Quebec, which allowed them to represent Canada in Finland at the World Junior Curling Championships 2024 and become the first women’s junior team in Canadian history to ever win the Under-18 and Under-21 championships in the same year.

Because of their curling accomplishments and past record, Team Plett was invited to curl in the PointsBet Invitational tournament in Oakville, Ontario, where they curled against professional curlers.

On September 27, they were given the unenviable task of curling in their first game against none other than the world champion Jennifer Jones. They took Jennifer all the way through 10 ends before losing in a very close game. In this game, Myla almost mirrored Jennifer Jones’s curling record of 82% with her own, which was 81%.

In the words of Canadian champion, Curling Canada Hall of Fame inductee and TSN commentator Cathy Gauthier, “Every so often there is somebody that comes along that you call the next best thing.” That is how she described my granddaughter Myla — as the best next thing in curling.

Colleagues, Team Plett then went on to curl in the Saville U25 Challenge, where they curled against women 25 years of age and under from around the world. Again, they went all the way to the final before losing a very close game.

This weekend, colleagues, they are here in Ottawa curling at the Ottawa Valley Curling Association U21 Junior SuperSpiel. I know we want to wish them all well, and although you may not be able to cheer for an Alberta team while they are here in Ottawa, I know you will want to encourage them and cheer them on when they represent Canada at the world championships.

Colleagues, I want to invite everyone to the third-floor boardroom this evening at 6 p.m. for a little get-together and reception to meet the girls. For many of you, supporting Team Plett might be much easier when it’s regarding curling rather than politics, and I hope you will all join us. I know the girls would love to meet each and every one of you.

Thank you very much.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Repatriation of Unknown Soldier

Hon. Iris G. Petten: Honourable senators, I am rising today to deliver my first statement in this chamber.

Remembrance Day is next Saturday, and I want to draw attention to a topic that is dear to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — the repatriation of an unknown First World War soldier from Northern France.

When the First World War broke out, Newfoundland’s population was 240,000, and over 12,000 Newfoundlanders would volunteer for service. That is 5% of the population. This is a legacy that remains important to this day, and shows that if we as a province are commited to a cause, we are fully committed.

The Newfoundland Regiment’s advance at Beaumont-Hamel on the morning of July 1, 1916, is an enduring symbol of valour and terrible wartime sacrifice. Of the 800 Newfoundlanders who fought on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, only 68 answered the roll call the next day. More than 700 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in action.

The regiment went on to rebuild its strength and to fight in other important battles in France. It gained such a reputation for reliability under fire that, in 1917, it was renamed the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

Next year, an unknown soldier from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who died in France will be repatriated and his remains interred in a new tomb at the foot of the Newfoundland National War Memorial in St. John’s. The unveiling ceremony will be held on July 1, 2024, the one hundred and eighth anniversary of the Somme offensive and the advance at Beaumont-Hamel, and the centennial of the Newfoundland National War Memorial.

When the unknown soldier is interred, he will represent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have served in all branches of the military.

Just last month, I had the honour and privilege of visiting the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in Northern France. It was a moving and emotional experience to walk in the same trenches as my forebears and to read these words on so many of the headstones: “A Soldier of the Great War, Royal Newfoundland Regiment.”

And because these soldiers’ remains were not able to be identified, their headstones simply read, “Known unto God.”

Let us honour the service and sacrifice of these brave Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and of all Canadians who have served their country with valour and distinction by continuing to support important initiatives like this one.

Lest we forget.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

International Inuit Day

Hon. Brian Francis: Honourable senators, November 7 is International Inuit Day. In Canada, there are approximately 70,000 Inuit. Most live in 51 communities spread across the Inuit homeland, also known as Nunangat, which encompasses 40% of Canada’s land area and 72% of its coastline.

To date, Inuit communities have settled four comprehensive land claims agreements with the Government of Canada aimed at strengthening their inherent right to self‑government and self‑determination as well as reclaiming, preserving and protecting their culture, language, land and resources.

The first agreement was the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, Nunavik, in 1975. The second was the Inuvialuit Final Agreement in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in 1984. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement — Nunavut — came in 1999, followed shortly by the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement — Nunatsiavut — in 2005.


In anticipation of November 7, we must reflect and celebrate Inuit and amplify their voices. This year in particular, I want to honour the adaptability, resilience and leadership of Inuit. Among the remarkable individuals who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of their families and communities are our colleague Senator Margaret Dawn Anderson from Tuktoyaktuk and, of course, Governor General Mary Simon from Kangiqsualujjuaq.

Inuit youth are also powerful agents of change. This year, I had the pleasure to welcome Christian Spence, a third-year student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, who is a beneficiary of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement but also identifies as Cree. I am grateful for his support during this internship and look forward to seeing what he will accomplish in the years to come.

Colleagues, as I pause to recognize and celebrate the remarkable determination of the Inuit, I also reflect on how the violence of colonialism continues to impact their lives. A lack of affordable and safe housing and one of the highest rates of suicide around the world are among their most pressing issues. As parliamentarians, we must do a better job at listening to and amplifying the voices of the Inuit as well as supporting their self‑determination. A more strategic and systemic approach is needed to address the root causes of their distinct issues and challenges.

Quyanainni, wela’lin, thank you.


Study on Issues Relating to Human Rights Generally

Sixth Report of Human Rights Committee Deposited with Clerk During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Salma Ataullahjan: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform the Senate that pursuant to the orders adopted by the Senate on March 3, 2022, and October 26, 2023, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on November 2, 2023, its sixth report (interim) entitled Combatting Hate: Islamophobia and its impact on Muslims in Canada and I move that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

(On motion of Senator Ataullahjan, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)

The Late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Patti LaBoucane-Benson (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 5-6(2), I give notice that, later this day:

I will call the attention of the Senate to the life of the late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Environment and Climate Change

Carbon Tax

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Government leader, contrary to what the Prime Minister might believe, Manitobans are also suffering under his carbon tax. People in my province who are struggling to pay their bills know he’s not worth the cost.

Yesterday, the new provincial government said that, in light of the recent carbon tax changes, it wants greater fairness extended to Manitobans as well. Four Liberals and three MPs from their coalition partners, the NDP, represent Manitoba ridings in the House of Commons, yet not a single one of them was able to convince the Prime Minister to give Manitobans a break on their home heating.

Why is that, leader? Why are they all so useless?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question.

As the Prime Minister stated, the government remains committed to fighting climate change and using a price on pollution as one of the tools appropriate to address the existential crisis.

My understanding is, senator, that further exemptions are not being considered at this time. The government will continue to hear from provinces and will work with provinces and territories to accelerate the emissions reductions in ways that make life affordable for Canadians.

Senator Plett: The majority of households in my province rely upon natural gas to heat their homes. It gets very cold in Manitoba. The Prime Minister might not know that. The Prime Minister doesn’t live in the real world, Senator Gold. He’s never had to worry about a budget or how to pay for home heating. The PBO has repeatedly said that Manitobans will be in the red because of the carbon tax, yet the Prime Minister says he’s still doubling down on his plan to quadruple the tax. It’s unbelievable.

How much more does he think Manitobans can afford to pay? What has record food bank usage in my province done? How much more does he want from them?

Senator Gold: The Government of Canada is keenly aware of the challenges that Canadians are facing, whether in Manitoba, Alberta or other parts of the country, whether cold or more temperate. That’s why the government has put into place a suite of measures to target those who are most affected. It will continue to do its best to assist Canadians through these difficult times.



Clean Technology Fund

Hon. Claude Carignan: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Leader, it seems another Liberal scandal is brewing involving funding for a foundation called Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which manages over a billion dollars. Apparently, there was evidence of misappropriation and mismanagement that would make the minister “flip out.” Rather than flipping out, the minister instead decided to ask the arsonists to put out the fire.

Can you explain what the private auditors found in terms of conflicts of interest and mismanagement?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question and for underscoring the importance of applying procedures and processes with integrity.

I’m not in a position to give you details about what you mentioned. I’m confident that existing procedures will allow us to determine what happened and the ensuing outcomes. The findings will be made public once they are ready to be made public.

Senator Carignan: The Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton firm has already completed its report. This seems to be reminiscent of the sponsorship scandal. Monies were allegedly allocated to companies without following the rules of sound management or the established framework.

Who benefited from the fund’s largesse, which companies, what people and for what purpose? How are they connected to the government?


Senator Gold: Thank you for the question, but I’m not in a position to answer it. The government takes any allegations of this nature seriously and will do whatever is necessary to protect Canadians from malfeasance.

Canadian Heritage

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Hon. René Cormier: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Senator Gold, last summer and again recently, the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française wrote to the Minister of Canadian Heritage to express its concern that none of the eight commissioners of the Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, speak French as their main language. According to that letter, a few commissioners — including Alicia Barin who held the position before being appointed vice-chair — speak and understand French, but the CRTC should have some commissioners from francophone backgrounds who live their lives in French and understand that reality.

Considering the colossal amount of work involved in implementing the new version of the Broadcasting Act and the Online News Act, I share the federation’s concern.

Senator Gold, it is the prerogative of the Governor-in-Council to appoint CRTC commissioners. Can you assure us that the next appointments will be francophone?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. The next CRTC regional commissioners will definitely be high-calibre, talented individuals who represent their communities. These appointments will occur in a timely manner to ensure that the CRTC continues to be an independent regulator that makes sound decisions. As always, Governor-in-Council appointments, including CRTC appointments, are subject to cabinet confidence.

Senator Cormier: Thank you for that answer, which is already in the public domain.

I see that the CRTC can be composed of a maximum 13 members appointed by the Governor-in-Council. However, it currently has only eight members. Why not appoint more advisers to achieve better francophone minority representation?

Senator Gold: I’d like to point out that the CRTC chair, the two vice-chairs and certain regional commissioners, including the new commissioner for Ontario, are either bilingual or working on becoming bilingual.

As a reminder, section 41 of the Official Languages Act specifically requires the CRTC to ensure that positive measures are taken to promote the vitality of francophone and anglophone minorities in Canada.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Labour Shortage

Hon. Tony Loffreda: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold, yesterday, the government released its new Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-26. Despite some calls to reduce immigration levels in Canada, the government has opted to maintain the current trend. The government will stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000 starting in 2026 to allow time for successful integration. That is great news.

I’m happy to note that the government renewed its long-term focus on economic growth with over 60% of permanent resident admissions dedicated to the economic class. I remain quite close to the business community, and most are telling me that the current labour shortage is a major impediment to our country’s economic growth.

Can you speak to us about the government’s consultations with entrepreneurs and business owners and how those consultations helped shape the new immigration plan?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. We all know that Canada’s population is aging, and that immigration is now driving most of our population growth and labour force stability. It is concerning that the worker-to-retiree ratio of 7 to 1 from 50 years ago has dropped to 3 to 1 now. While I cannot speak to the specific consultations, the new immigration levels have taken this reality into consideration and will permit the government to bring in the skills and talent needed to fill labour gaps and to ensure our ongoing prosperity.


Senator Loffreda: Thank you for your answer. I trust that our entrepreneurs are happy with this decision. I hope that is also the case among francophone entrepreneurs outside Quebec, who will soon have a larger pool of francophone candidates thanks to your new francophone immigration targets, which will be increased from 6% to 8% by 2026. The vitality of our francophone community depends on it.

How do you explain the decision to stop at 8% when some organizations were calling for a target of 12%?

Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. The government is committed to ensuring the long-term strength and growth of francophone communities outside Quebec. That’s why the government is setting ambitious goals to support francophone minority communities and will continue to work closely with community stakeholders to support francophone minority communities across Canada.

Global Affairs

Trade Agreements

Hon. Jean-Guy Dagenais: Leader, polls predicting the Prime Minister’s defeat in the next election may have been the wake-up call that prompted him to reverse course on a number of things, including the carbon tax and immigration. Canada has cut ties with Russia, China and even India, and now the United States is threatening harsh reprisals if the government goes ahead with its plan to slap a “discriminatory” tax on foreign streaming services come January 1.

Given that the new Liberal tax will surely be passed on to taxpayers, is the Prime Minister prepared to admit his mistake and reverse course on this as he has on other issues before it’s too late?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. Canada’s ties — economic, political and otherwise — to the United States are so deep, close and substantial that it’s to be expected our two sovereign governments would have differences of opinion and even disputes about decisions made by one or the other to protect its interests as it perceives them.

I have confidence, and the Senate and Canadians should have confidence, in the professionalism, expertise and experience of the Canadians who are working with their American counterparts to find amicable solutions and, failing that, will follow the established dispute resolution process.

Senator Dagenais: Just this past Tuesday, the American ambassador to Canada was emphatic about the reprisals to come; the Canada-United States-Mexico free trade agreement is under threat. Canada cannot be the only G20 country to be in step.

Could Mr. Trudeau care enough about Canada’s economy to quickly consider the suggestion that a few lucid Liberals have politely been making for the past few days, namely to make way for someone more competent to lead our country?

Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. I’m not in the Prime Minister’s head and I have no comments to make about the suggestions that everyone is free to make in a free and democratic society. Canada, the Prime Minister and this government are managing their relationship with the United States well and will continue to do so.


Canada Pension Plan Fund

Hon. Clément Gignac: Senator Gold, I’d like to talk to you about the current confrontation between the federal government and the Government of Alberta regarding the province’s possible withdrawal from the Canada Pension Plan.

In response to Alberta’s bill to create its own pension plan, like Quebec has, Prime Minister Trudeau has publicly stated that he has asked his cabinet and officials to take every necessary measure to ensure that Albertans and Canadians are fully aware of the risks involved in this bill and, above all, to make every possible effort to keep the Canada Pension Plan intact.

Yesterday, in a letter to the Premier of Alberta, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance acknowledged, naturally, Alberta’s right to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan, but challenged the figures put forward by Alberta concerning its fair share of the current assets managed by its CPP investment funds.

Senator Gold, would it not be appropriate for the federal government and the Province of Alberta to agree on or identify a third party to determine the correct figures?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. The Canada Pension Plan enables all Canadians to have a dignified retirement with a stable and secure pension, and Canadians rightly expect that their retirement savings will be available to them when they need them.

I was assured that the government will always defend the pensions of Canadians and the security of their retirement. As you mentioned, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance is looking forward to meeting with her provincial and territorial counterparts to discuss this issue.

Senator Gignac: Thank you, Senator Gold. Given that the Minister of Finance will be meeting with her provincial and territorial counterparts tomorrow, wouldn’t it be a good opportunity to discuss the possibility of a dual mandate approach to these Canada Pension Plan investment funds, as is the case in Quebec with the Caisse de dépôt et placement? That is one of the recommendations in the most recent report of the Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy. Could we look into the possibility of a dual mandate to simulate economic development, as is the case in Quebec?


Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. I have every confidence in the minister and her team, as well as in her counterparts, and I’m sure they’ll be discussing this pertinent subject.

Given your experience, senator, I will endeavour to convey your suggestion to the minister, but perhaps not by tomorrow, since time is short. Still, thank you for the suggestion.


Prime Minister’s Office

Access to Information

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Government leader, on October 16, Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard spoke to a committee of the other place about the poor state of access to information after eight years of the Trudeau government. The commissioner said:

. . . some government institutions now routinely violate this law on a daily basis and . . . there is no or little indication that the government intends to act to rectify the situation. . . .

Leader, you told us last year that transparency, accountability and openness are guiding principles of your government. How can that be when the NDP-Liberal government breaks our transparency laws every day?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): You’re right to underline the importance of openness and transparency. These are goals that are — and should be — the guiding principles of a government in a democratic society. They are essential to our democracy, and they are principles to which this government is committed.

It should be recalled that this government — as I’m advised, and I think I’m correct — was the first in over 30 years to introduce major reforms to the Access to Information Act, and has invested significant additional funds to improve access to information. As I recall from some years ago, in reviewing the legislation at committee — of which I was a member and heard that testimony — improving access to information is a complicated problem that has a lot to do with human resources, retention and the like. This is an explanation, not a justification, and more needs to be done.

Senator Martin: The fact is that millions of taxpayers’ dollars are spent each year on the access to information system that this government routinely violates. They are just not worth the cost. In any government, the tone is set from the top. If the Prime Minister’s Office wouldn’t provide all relevant documents to the RCMP regarding the SNC-Lavalin scandal, why should public servants worry about breaking Canada’s transparency laws every day?

Senator Gold: Thank you for your question. I do believe that the challenges to full compliance are multi-faceted, and, with respect, I am not prepared to accept the characterization or the linkage that you made in your question. The fact is that more work needs to be done, more resources are being placed and progress needs to be made.

Confidence in Prime Minister

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Leader, as you know, the shady “ArriveScam” contract is under RCMP investigation. NDP and Liberal coalition MPs recently shut down a committee that was about to hear from the RCMP Commissioner regarding a different Liberal scandal: the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Yesterday, a senior government official compared the Prime Minister’s green slush fund to the sponsorship scandal, and last week, we heard confirmation that the carbon tax is a form of punishment for those not voting Liberal.

What does Prime Minister Trudeau do amidst all this? He skips Question Period. He’s not worth the cost, leader. He provides no serious leadership, and has zero interest in accountability. Isn’t that right, leader?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): No, that is not correct, Senator Plett, despite the litany of things that you have cobbled together in your question.

Senators are entitled to view their role as they see fit. This government is focusing on policy, not politics — certainly in this chamber. The government and the Prime Minister are engaged in the important work of governing this country and guiding this country’s policies — both domestic and foreign — through these difficult times, and shall continue to do so.

Senator Plett: Well, you’re right, and we are doing a job. You’re doing your job, leader; you’re here. You show up and attend Question Period. Your boss was in West Block yesterday, and couldn’t be bothered to go downstairs to answer questions in the House.

You may have noticed, leader, that it has been lightly snowing on and off in Ottawa over the last few days, and that hasn’t escaped Senator Downe’s notice. Senator Downe thinks the Prime Minister could be gone by February. Senator Gold, why wait? Why doesn’t he just go now?

Senator Gold: I’m sure that the Prime Minister is waiting with bated breath for suggestions from others as to what he should do. I don’t mean to be sarcastic, and it’s no disrespect to the right of all of us to express ourselves. But, snow or no snow, my understanding is that this government remains focused on the work that they are required to do — which they are continuing to do for Canadians.

Environment and Climate Change

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Hon. Stan Kutcher: Senator Gold, Bill S-5 was a significant step forward in enhancing Canada’s environmental health protections, and this government should be proud of that. But — and, sadly, there is a “but” — as we learned during the study of this bill, Canada does not have the capacity to be able to provide the essential, robust and comprehensive biomonitoring, biobanking, ongoing longitudinal cohort studies and toxicogenomic research needed to support the goals of this legislation. Can you please provide us with the plans that the government has to rapidly develop these needed scientific capabilities?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question, and for underlining the significance and importance of Bill S-5. It’s a complicated and far-reaching bill. I’ve been informed that the funding for the implementation of the changes to the act has already been allocated and is, indeed, available. The work to implement the act is well under way, but it will take some time to get it right before the act can be fully implemented, including the measures that you referenced. That’s why the government is working to ensure that they provide policy statements, guidelines and regulation updates to approve and align with the updated act.

Senator Kutcher: In addition to the additional resources needed, existing biomonitoring activities currently do not appropriately survey Indigenous peoples, and this perpetuates environmental inequity. What immediate action will the government take to rectify this problem?

Senator Gold: Again, Senator Kutcher, the measures to take the steps to implement the act are well under way. The importance of the issue that you raised is, no doubt, part of the ongoing plans — for which funding and resources have been devoted. It will take some time for all of the measures to be fully implemented.



Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

Hon. Raymonde Saint-Germain: My question is for Senator Gold.

On October 26, 2022, more than 12 months ago, I asked you a question about Yves Bourque, a Canadian Paralympic athlete and a victim of thalidomide, who has been forced to deal with the extremely cumbersome, even inhumane, administration of the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program, a program that the government has entrusted to the firm Epiq.

Since then, my team and I have discussed Mr. Bourque’s case with the former minister of health, Jean-Yves Duclos, and his team, and more recently, with the team of his successor, Mark Holland. I was assured that follow-up had been done with Epiq, and the former minister even publicly stated that he had put pressure on Epiq to get things moving more quickly. However, nothing has changed.

Can the government assure us that additional measures will be taken to ensure that this program can be better administered immediately and to ensure accountability to address these unacceptable delays?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. I’m disappointed to learn that no progress has been made on this file. Thalidomide had devastatingly tragic results for a whole generation of children. It is only by chance that I escaped it myself.

I need to consult the current minister to better understand the progress that, I hope, is being made. I’ll undertake to do that.


Senator Saint-Germain: Could you also ask the minister to consider making public Epiq’s report and the government’s assessment of the quality of Epiq’s work? Of course the report will protect the confidentiality of thalidomide victims’ files.

Senator Gold: Of course, I’ll add that to my list of questions for the minister.


Public Safety

Firearms Legislation

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Leader, after eight long years, the NDP-Liberal government has played political games on the backs of licensed and responsible firearms owners. The latest example of this is another two-year extension of the amnesty for owners of firearms that the Trudeau cabinet banned in 2020. The amnesty is now set to expire on October 30, 2025, a few days after the next election is scheduled to take place. What a coincidence, leader.

Canadians can see this for what it is: A failed government willing to try anything to save itself. Are Canadians actually expected to think that your government picked this date randomly?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. This government’s commitment to moving forward with legislation and to regulate, in an appropriate way, the use of firearms that are used to cause harm and to cause death while protecting the rights of law‑abiding Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike — and in cases of Indigenous rights holders, their rights to use firearms — is clear and will continue.

The extension was for the benefit of those Canadians to give them more time in order to comply. It’s out of respect for gun owners in Canada. That is something for which the government will continue to do.

Senator Plett: Your government arbitrarily banned 1,500 types of firearms three years ago. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, or PBO, says the price tag for this will be at least three quarters of a billion dollars — not worth the cost. It’s been three years, and nothing has been paid. The minister claimed last week that he’s still working on it.

When will this NDP-Liberal government actually complete its never-ending work and do what it promised to do?

Senator Gold: The legislation regulating and strengthening our firearm laws is currently before the Senate, and is being studied responsibly and diligently by our committee, as is our practice here in the Senate. I look forward to the conclusions of the study and of the robust debate here in the chamber that I know we will have.

Natural Resources

The 2 Billion Trees Program

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Senator Gold, a senior official from Natural Resources Canada recently revealed the truth behind the Prime Minister’s 2019 election promise to plant 2 billion trees over 10 years. Appearing before a House committee on October 17, the official confirmed the 2 Billion Trees program will not actually plant 2 billion trees. She said the program is still called 2 Billion Trees, “. . . to rally interest among Canadians.”

Leader, your government often talks about misinformation. Isn’t that what you’ve engaged in here? After eight long years of this Prime Minister, why should Canadians believe anything he has to say about this particular promise?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. The government has been very clear from the beginning that the 2 billion trees target would be achieved through various programs and various departments. The government continues to use every tool that is at its disposal.

My understanding is that the government has supported the planting of over 110 million trees since 2021 alone and has commitments to plant 374 million trees in addition.

Senator Martin: Well, at this committee meeting, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development said the program is, “. . . becoming partly a tree-counting program instead of a tree-planting program.” That’s because the NDP-Liberal government is double counting trees from other programs to boost the 2 Billion Trees program. When asked why the government would do that, Commissioner DeMarco said, “I don’t know what the motivation was, other than good news is better than bad news.” Leader, is he right?

Senator Gold: The government values the work of the Auditor General and its departments. The audits are taken seriously and inform government policy going forward.

Again, the government has been clear from the beginning: The important thing is to plant the trees. Trees are an important tool in combatting climate change.



National Council for Reconciliation Bill

Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Michèle Audette moved third reading of Bill C-29, An Act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation, as amended.

(On motion of Senator Audette, debate adjourned.)



Motion Adopted

Hon. Patti LaBoucane-Benson (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate), pursuant to notice of November 1, 2023, moved:

That, when the Senate next adjourns after the adoption of this motion, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 2 p.m.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

Bill to Amend—Twelfth Report of Agriculture and Forestry Committee—Vote Deferred

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Black, seconded by the Honourable Senator Osler, for the adoption of the twelfth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, with an amendment and observations), presented in the Senate on October 26, 2023.

Hon. Pat Duncan: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to the twelfth report of our Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry which amends Bill C-234, an Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

As we’re all very well aware, federalism must be one of the more difficult if not the most difficult form of government. We are a very large and diverse country — a country that is also, perhaps more than any other, challenged by the global crisis of climate change.

Crafting legislation, especially taxation and rebate policy, with these two challenges alone is incredibly difficult. It’s tough to have the legislation or the taxation mechanisms address the issues, change behaviour and be cognizant of all the differences that we share.


Reviewing the legislation and listening to the debate, a former member of our National Finance Committee, I needed to go back and look at the file on climate taxation. It’s not an easy file for those with PhDs in economics, whom I am not, let alone the average Canadian, whom I consider myself to be.

Having once occupied a seat with ministers of finance, as they are meeting tomorrow, and at what is now called the Council of the Federation, I can only imagine the challenging conversations that they are going to have.

The approach to climate change, taxation and climate change and rebate policy varies across the whole country.

Originally, the relief for farmers on fuel taxation was modelled after the program in British Columbia. That became evident at the committee hearings. A legislative oversight omitted the fuel used in grain drying and used largely by poultry farmers. Those are two very salient points. They prompted Bill C-234. The bill, as drafted and passed by the House of Commons, equitably addresses those two points and provides a time limit for the measure.

Honourable senators, I’d be remiss if I did not also flag that in addition to sober second thought, we represent our regions. Western Canada — where a good many of these farmers are located and where there are very specific differences in climate taxation programs that exist — is missing senators from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Dear colleagues, this does not denigrate any of the individuals sitting in this chamber today. It’s recognition that there are voices that we are not hearing.

Honourable senators, I note that much focus is put on aggregate expenses and aggregate benefits, and we see numbers from analysts that are based on averages, national or provincial. It’s a very urban and centralized way of thinking about this particular issue. It’s exactly to counter such aggregation and to identify weak spots of the current carbon pricing regime that is the purpose of the bill.

It’s quite evident from what I’ve read and heard from the committee study and from speaking with farmers that there’s a gap between the desired reduction in carbon emissions through technological innovation and adjustment and what is readily available. Let’s give the farmers the time they claim they need to fix it, to be an honest and participating partner in finding climate solutions that are realistic.

Honourable senators, this bill corrects an oversight. Some farmers that this bill addresses were left out.

I was deeply moved by the tributes today to a very honourable public servant. I was also reminded of the prayer that you’ve often heard me reference in the Yukon legislature, where we pray to the Creator that we may make only sound, fair and wise decisions on behalf of the people we represent.

It’s the fairness that strikes me about this bill over and over again. It’s fair to include the farmers who were left out and to correct this oversight.

I don’t see it as a purposeful omission, and I would not reference it as a drafting error in the original bill. I recognize that Bill C-234 corrects an oversight. It’s not the first time we’ve been asked to do this. Over and over at National Finance, when we were dealing with the difficult situation of the pandemic and the benefits to reach Canadians, we corrected bills repeatedly because people were left out. First it was the artists and the artistic community.

This is a similar situation. I believe it has been somewhat usurped by events of the past week and discussions of other situations that go on in our country. We must focus our efforts on this bill itself. That’s why I believe we should not accept the recommendations that were put forward in the Agriculture Committee report, but to reject the report and allow for fulsome, thorough third reading debate that enables a fair discussion of all amendments and points of view throughout the chamber so that we can hear from everyone.

I believe we have a chance, with a full discussion of Bill C-234, to fix an oversight. It will not cause an extraordinary burden on federal coffers to enact Bill C-234. Let’s remember that natural gas and propane are the cleanest burning fuels. Will allowing this rebate and passing Bill C-234 make a tremendous difference to Canada reaching the climate change goals? I don’t think so. It will correct an oversight and be fair to all concerned.

I believe that we should adopt the bill as we received it and send a message to inform the House of Commons that it is adopted without amendment.

I will encourage all senators to hear from one another, as I understand we will — perhaps not today — be expressing our views on the Agriculture report. I encourage senators to hear what I have said in terms of fairness, to take a look. Again, by rejecting this report and adopting and having a fulsome, fair, thorough and extensive debate on Bill C-234 as we received it, we can do our best work for Canadians and for the whole country. Thank you, honourable senators.

Hon. Colin Deacon: Honourable senators, I’m rising to speak against the adoption of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry report and amendment to Bill C-234 and in defence of an unamended bill.

I want to explain why I think the amended bill harms Canadian farm-gate incomes, food security and our efforts to fight climate change.

For my first five years in the Senate, I was a member of the Agriculture Committee. I love that committee totally. I was and continue to be inspired by the producers and processors whom I met through our work. Being on the committee took me back to my youth, when I raised cattle and worked for my cousin after school, on weekends and in the summer, helping in every aspect of his wheat, soybean and corn operation.

Farmers are innovative. To survive, they have to be solution-oriented Jills or Jacks of all trade. Today, Canada’s agricultural sector is even more innovative simply as a way to survive, but they have to do so very carefully because all of the external risks they constantly face.

When I tuned into the Agriculture Committee meeting two weeks ago, I was surprised to see so many new faces. I quickly realized that the attendance of these new members was part of a coordinated effort to push back on Bill C-234. I have the highest regard for my colleagues, but because they came with a single narrow focus, they were likely unaware of the important study on soil health that the committee has been undertaking. The committee members are, as the T-shirt says, “loyal to the soil,” and the topic of soil health is directly related to Bill C-234.

It was evident in the debate in committee that led to the tabling of the report that of the two amendments proposed, the one proposed by Senator Dalphond that made it into the report removed the heating of barns or greenhouses from the list of activities that would be exempted from the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. In other words, if the bill passes with this amendment, barn or greenhouse heating will be subjected to the carbon pricing regime.

I will speak to that specific amendment later, but first I want to speak to how efforts to amend this bill miss a much larger problem or opportunity. Three years ago, I started to really dig into the issue of soil health — pardon the pun. Well before the Agriculture Committee started to study this issue, I became amazed by the powerful role that our agricultural soils could play in helping us to sequester atmospheric carbon into our soil. This field of research is commonly referred to as regenerative agriculture.


The power and potential of regenerative agriculture was so inspiring that it became the focus of my office during the spring and summer of 2020. All of the evidence we heard showed the huge potential that regenerative agriculture could unlock for farmers. We spoke to leading researchers across North America, companies that were developing the new technologies to measure soil carbon affordably and accurately and farmers who had first‑hand experience in implementing regenerative agricultural practices. I was really excited to have found a powerful strategy for sequestering atmospheric greenhouse gases while increasing soil productivity, reducing input costs for farmers and creating new farm-gate revenues thanks to the sale of carbon credits.

This excitement was short-lived. I engaged with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and realized that the systems and incentives designed to support and reward farmers for sequestering carbon are deeply flawed.

As an example, the farmers who were early practitioners and early adopters of soil carbon sequestration are not allowed to receive any of the financial benefits for being trailblazers in this space. Remarkably, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials who came to the Agriculture Committee — AGFO — restated this decision to not reward early adopters when they testified before the committee in our soil study.

Colleagues, this is why we need to pass an unamended Bill C-234.

To simplify the question, how does it make any sense to punish farmers for the carbon-based fuels they must use to produce our food, when the market-based incentives to reward them for the carbon they sequester are blocked or ignored? If we are to achieve our net-zero targets by 2050, we cannot just limit our production of greenhouse gases. We must also begin to pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Farmers can play an incredibly powerful role in that process.

For instance, we found evidence that agriculture can be a net carbon sink, having the potential to sequester between 11% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions — which is more than what the sector produces — and up to 82% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Senators Black and Cotter travelled to Glasgow in the summer of 2022 for the World Soil Congress. What they found is that Canada is a global laggard in the public policy area of soil carbon sequestration. There are excellent policy examples to follow that are delivering reliable results to farmers and governments in countries like Australia, New Zealand, France and the United States.

These incentive plans are needed because, globally, it is recognized that farmers are constantly managing risks and variables that are completely outside of their control. Between global trade challenges such as China’s canola ban, our ban on Russian fertilizer, increasingly severe weather events in terms of droughts and overly wet springs or falls, and agricultural stabilization programs that delay relief for 18 months or more, our farmers are going through a lot.

Farming is a very risky business. In my youth, some years I made more money per hour than my cousin netted per hour from his entire farming operation. Sadly, this reality still exists today. A recent study from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture showed that total farm debt in Canada rose to $138 billion in 2022, up 15% in just two years. Meanwhile, the operating expenses for farmers also increased 21.2% last year alone. As a result, it is now more difficult for our producers to acquire and even maintain essential equipment. When you consider the fact that farmers currently don’t have the right to repair their own equipment — something that has been a money-saving essential in the past — the costs rise even further.

Colleagues, I think you will agree that these are very tough times. However, our farmers continue to innovate, not because of an abundance of incentives and opportunities but, rather, in spite of their absence. An unamended Bill C-234 will free up cash flow and capital that will allow farmers to invest in innovative alternatives.

I find it deeply concerning when I hear the argument that this amendment will somehow push farmers and other companies to innovate faster as they search for alternative heating solutions. Specifically, the amendment undermines the existing efforts of our farmers, who are already trying to do as much as they can with very little financial support. I am concerned that this amendment not only goes against the intention of the original bill but jeopardizes ongoing practices to improve soil health and fight climate change.

It also does not consider the conditions needed to produce low‑cost, efficient alternative solutions that farmers can adopt at scale. Colleagues, as you know, I used to be an entrepreneur. I have successfully commercialized products and sold them globally. I can tell you from experience that it takes much longer for new, innovative products to enter Canadian markets than it does elsewhere. Governments across all levels need to address regulatory stagnation and enable the conditions needed to catalyze private sector efforts in scaling public policy solutions.

Let me bring these points to life. In August, my team and I visited agricultural businesses across Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. One business was run by Luke teStroete, a third-generation chicken farmer. His state-of-the-art facility was truly impressive. It includes measures that are crucial to maximizing animal health, fighting avian influenza and reducing energy consumption. It included everything from specialized lighting, ventilation and energy-efficient trucks to an entirely digitized farm management system.

However, his next big planned investment in solar power was being delayed because of limitations in Nova Scotia for selling power back to the grid. This investment would help him to reduce his propane use, which is his only option right now for his operation. He is therefore advocating heavily for feed-in tariff rates to be changed to allow for his innovative, climate-friendly investment, but he’s being prevented.

So I ask again: How can we justify penalizing farmers for the emissions they are already working to reduce when we are not creating the conditions to allow them to make innovative, climate-forward investments on the farm?

Rather than amending Bill C-234, let’s focus on delivering an agile regulatory system across different levels of government that catalyzes, rather than prevents, the implementation of affordable existing technologies that both reduce atmospheric carbon and farm costs. We cannot allow our farmers, such as Luke, to continue paying higher costs with no support.

Colleagues, helping farmers to innovate, using carrots and not sticks, will be important to keep in mind as we reflect on how to address the critical challenge of rising food security needs.

The Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph has predicted that, at our current rate of population growth, our species will have to deliver more food in the next 35 years than in the previous 10,000 years combined. It’s a frightful challenge, especially when we consider the extent to which we currently take our farmers for granted and the fast pace at which we are planting the last crop on our most productive farmland. In Ontario, for example, the current rate at which homes, malls and roads are being planted on our farmland is removing over 300 acres every single day of our most productive farmland. This is incredibly alarming.

I’d like to leave you with one last thought before I wrap up. You may recall the debate over Bill C-208 in the Forty-third Parliament in June 2021. It was an act to amend the Income Tax Act that would allow for the equitable intergenerational transfer of a small business, family farm or fishing operation.

After some considerable debate, we chose not to amend that bill, which had, similarly to Bill C-234, achieved cross-party support in the House of Commons. We heard warnings from the Department of Finance Canada that delivering fairness to intergenerational transfers of farm, fishing or small business operations would unleash a wave of tax evasion and cost untold billions.

In the end, because we held fast, the government chose to work with stakeholders to develop some simple safeguards that were put in place in Budget 2023. I’m proud of the fact that the Senate held firm, accepted that bill unamended and, consequently, caused the government to work with stakeholders to find an equitable solution. I can only hope that we will choose the same path here.

Colleagues, let me summarize why I’m asking you to reject this amendment at the report stage and move to approve an unamended Bill C-234. The amendment will nominally reduce farmers’ use of fossil fuels. Additionally, it risks driving them to convert from natural gas or propane to diesel because, for them, it is not subject to carbon tax. Passing this bill unamended will free up financial resources farmers need at a time of enormous financial strain — and capital to invest in innovative alternatives to meaningfully address the climate crisis. We cannot continue to punish farmers for the carbon they use to produce our food when incentives to reward them for sequestering carbon and other greenhouse gases are absent. This is especially important at a time when they are carrying an enormous debt load and other expenses that have risen across their businesses.


Colleagues, we have an opportunity to do the right thing for Canada’s food producers, helping them to increase farm gate incomes while sequestering greenhouse gases to achieve climate objectives. Our food security, our ability to respond to the climate crisis and the resilience of Canada’s agricultural sector depend on our rejecting this report and passing Bill C-234 unamended. Thank you, colleagues.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak against the twelfth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry with regards to Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Honourable senators, farming has a special place in my heart. I mentioned in a previous debate that I met Dr. Robert Glenn in 1972, when I worked with him as a dental assistant. He took me under his wing and became a surrogate father to me.

While working as a dentist, he was also a farmer and would talk to me about farming. I asked him why he continued to farm when so much could be against him, such as the weather, the costs and the time. I soon understood, despite the time and work ethic required and the possibility that he might not have made any money by the end of the season, the love he had for farming. He said, “My girl, it’s in your blood.”

So when I see farmers, I see that.

If we divide the earth into four quarters, three quarters would represent water — the oceans, lakes and rivers. The remaining quarter would represent the land. Half of that land, one eighth of the earth, is too hostile to support us. That leaves one eighth of the earth for us to live on. I urge you to remember that as we’re having this debate.

In October 2023, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs stated:

Energy-efficient barns traditionally were barns that were well insulated. The primary cost factors in poultry farming were considered to be feed costs and chick costs, not energy costs. But now farmers are facing a situation where energy costs may double in the next few years.

“We really started to focus on energy costs about three years ago, particularly when we had threats of rolling blackouts in the summer months,” comments Bill Revington . . .

— who is general manager of farm operations for a large commercial poultry producer.

The 2022 Independent Auditor’s Report entitled Carbon Pricing — Environment and Climate Change Canada, under the subheading “Supporting burdened groups,” states that “Some groups remain disproportionately burdened by carbon pricing.” The report notes that these groups include “ . . . low-income households; Indigenous peoples; northern and remote communities; emission-intensive, trade-exposed industries; and small- and medium-sized enterprises.”

The federal government implemented measures to mitigate the burden of the federal backstop on the groups that would be disproportionately burdened by carbon pricing. However, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada found that small- and medium-sized enterprises were still disproportionately burdened.

One of the principles used to guide the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution was that carbon-pricing policies should use some of the revenue from carbon pricing to avoid a disproportionate burden on certain groups. Environment and Climate Change Canada made efforts to identify groups that could be disproportionately burdened by carbon pricing and included small- and medium-sized enterprises. Without mitigating measures, these burdens could include an increase in the cost of living, potential employment losses and increases in operating costs for some trade-exposed industries. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada stated that the relative effects of carbon-pricing systems on burdened groups and Indigenous peoples will not be assessed until the next interim review of the benchmark in 2026. That’s a long time to leave our farmers in limbo.

To support certain organizations, $218 million of the fuel charge proceeds was allocated to Environment and Climate Change Canada to be delivered through the Climate Action Incentive Fund over two years. The fund was created to help organizations make energy-efficient improvements and retrofits to reduce energy use, costs and carbon pollution, with funding delivered through three separate funding streams. Eligible recipients include small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.

In the 2019-20 fiscal year, none of the funds allocated to the Climate Action Incentive Fund had been spent. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, 44%, which amounted to $95 million, of the allocated funds had been spent. The department told the Office of the Auditor General of Canada that modifications aimed to address these issues were not implemented because the Climate Action Incentive Fund was sunsetting. The department had not addressed the burden from carbon pricing faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The recommendation made by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada was to address the disproportionate burden that carbon pricing may have on certain groups and Indigenous peoples. Environment and Climate Change Canada should work with provinces and territories to assess the burden of carbon-pricing systems on certain groups and report publicly on measures implemented in jurisdictions to mitigate the burden of carbon pricing on these groups.

Honourable senators, the cost of producing food and the land on which it is produced is increasingly at odds with the tighter and tighter concentration and distribution of economic power. Urban sprawl and land rezoned for residential subdivisions have the ability to reduce the farmland available to feed Canadians. Why would people allow the land that is the basis of a central food source to be flipped into housing, causing farmers to lose their businesses?

As Jeff Rubin explained in an autumn 2013 article in The Globe and Mail:

The price of farmland in Canada has outpaced both residential and commercial real estate, gaining an average of 12 per cent over the last five years. In some hotspots, such as southwestern Ontario, the price-per-acre has been going up by as much as 50 per cent a year. Even pension plans and hedge funds have become players in the pursuit of prime agricultural land, interest that is only sending prices that much higher.

The pressure to rezone is a reality for many farms.


The EU’s common agricultural policy, or CAP, launched in 1962 and it is a partnership between agriculture and society, and between Europe and its farmers. Its main aims are to improve agricultural productivity so that consumers have a stable supply of affordable food, and to ensure that EU farmers can make a reasonable living. Fifty years after CAP was implemented, the EU recognized the need to address the following challenges: food security — at the global level, food production will have to double in order to feed a world population of 9 billion people in 2050; climate change and sustainable management of natural resources; looking after the countryside across the EU and keeping the rural economy alive; providing training for land managers, farmers and farm advisers; providing specialist advice and assistance in preparing conservation plans; and paying farmers for the ecological goods and services they provide, such as clean water and habitats for wildlife.

Honourable senators, don’t you think we owe it to all types of food production in Canada to do the same? This is not only an issue of carbon pricing; it is also one of food security and sovereignty.

As I said, I am speaking against the report, and ask that you pass Bill C-234 as soon as possible. Thank you.

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, first of all, let me thank Senator Duncan, Senator McCallum and Senator Deacon for their speeches. I certainly concur with their remarks, and I want to add my voice to this debate.

I think Senator Deacon said that he had been on the Agriculture Committee for five years. I think I was there for nine years, and I think I was there for our government’s entire tenure and past that. I was privileged enough to be the sponsor, I believe, of every farm bill that our government introduced in the nine years that we were in power. It was a great experience.

However, I do now want to speak, as well, against the report on Bill C-234.

Senator Wells, of course, is our sponsor of this bill, but I have followed it closely. I was present at the committee meetings for clause-by-clause consideration, and I would like to share a few comments.

The rationale for this bill is very simple, colleagues. When the government designed the carbon tax, it provided some exemptions — one of them was for the agricultural use of gasoline and diesel fuel. With Bill C-234, these current exemptions for gasoline and diesel fuel — which make up about 88% of agricultural greenhouse gas, or GHG, fuel emissions — would be expanded to include natural gas, which makes up only 10% of farm fuel emissions, as well as propane, which makes up only 2% of farm fuel emissions.

The exemption would also be expanded to apply to these fuels when they’re used for grain drying, or for the heating and cooling of barn buildings.

After initially neglecting to provide an exemption for natural gas and propane, the government later announced a rebate for those fuels in their Economic and Fiscal Update 2021. Regrettably, however, that rebate has proven to be neither as effective nor as targeted as it should be — and possibly was intended to be — and needs to be replaced with an exemption. That, of course, is what Bill C-234 would do.

If the government is willing to offer a rebate for the use of natural gas and propane, it is because it considers that such use does not imperil its greenhouse gas reduction goals. Giving an exemption instead of a rebate has no effect on this.

However, while its impact on the environment is negligible, Bill C-234 is essential for farmers.

Do not just take my word for it, colleagues, but listen to the Green Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP who all supported this legislation unanimously.

Listen to the Liberal Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, who not only voted for Bill C-234, but who is also a great defender of this bill.

Listen to the countless witnesses from the agricultural sector who came to our committee to testify, and provided us with briefs — all supportive of the bill unamended.

Listen to the farmers from all over the country who want this bill passed urgently because winter is coming. Even right here in Ottawa, we saw some snow yesterday.

So what is the report in front of us? The version of Bill C-234 sent to us from the House of Commons was left intact by our Agriculture Committee, except for one thing: The exemption for the use of propane or natural gas for the heating or cooling of farm buildings was removed. Colleagues, this is both regrettable and alarming for a number of reasons, and I would like to briefly explain those.

First of all, as the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry ruled on Senator Burey’s point of order, the amendment adopted contradicts the spirit and the intent of the bill — that was Senator Black’s ruling.

Although this decision of the chair of the committee may have been overruled, it still remains true. In fact, the same decision was taken by the chair of the House of Commons committee — a Liberal member, as I’ve pointed out. In any event, this amendment was adopted. If we do not reverse course, the amended bill will be sent back to the House of Commons, where there is no clear timeline or deadline for its consideration. It is well expected to languish there until it dies on the Order Paper.

Senator Cotter noted this at committee when he said:

. . . every amendment that we introduce into this bill puts in jeopardy the likelihood that the exemption in any form doesn’t see the light of day, and that seems to me to be sad and ironic since . . . we supported an aspect of the exemption itself at this committee particularly with respect to grain drying.

Senator Cotter is quite correct; with this bill, it is all or nothing. Amending the bill is the same, colleagues, as defeating the bill — let there be no question about that. If you want to defeat the bill, then, of course, you need to vote your conscience on that; there’s no argument there. Let’s not think that we will amend the bill, and have an amended bill passed in the House of Commons.

The Senate needs to reject the report from the committee, return Bill C-234 to its original form and then adopt it.

Colleagues, I’m certain that, like me, you have all received a flurry of emails from anxious producers from across the country. They are extremely concerned that this bill will pass unamended through the Senate.

In case you did not have the opportunity to read them, let me read from, at least, one of those letters sent by Keith Currie, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. On October 27, Mr. Currie wrote, in part, the following:

Dear Honourable Senators, on behalf of the members of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), we urgently call on senators to vote against the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (AGFO) report that puts forward amendments to Bill C-234. . . .

In addition to the fact that these amendments exclude thousands of Canadian farmers from receiving critical financial relief, introducing these amendments raises the potential for a significant delay in the passage of Bill C-234. This piece of legislation has been long overdue for our farmers, and further delays the potential to effectively kill the bill.

That is why we are now urgently calling on the Senate to reject the amendment and return the bill to its original form, as was passed in the House of Commons.


There are, in essence, six reasons to vote against the report. The first reason is that, as I said, I firmly believe the amendment is out of scope. This has been noted repeatedly by the sponsor of the bill and agricultural organizations across the country, along with both the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Chair of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee.

For example, in a letter you have received from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, or SCA, they said:

. . . SCA has grave concerns regarding the amendment proposed by the AGFO Committee to remove provisions related to heating and cooling of livestock barns, greenhouses and other buildings used to grow food. This amendment dramatically changes the scope and principle of Bill C-234.

It is regrettable that the chair’s decision was reversed, and this should be corrected. Voting against the report would allow senators to do that.

Senators Dalphond and Woo have been, respectfully, trying to kill Bill C-234, I believe, and have insisted that any additional exemptions to the carbon tax will jeopardize the government’s fight against climate change.

I see two problems with that reasoning. First, as I said earlier, exemptions to the application of carbon tax are a feature of the program. Even as amended, Bill C-234 will give an exemption for grain dryers but not for buildings. One has to wonder how a group of senators, again, respectfully, none of whom are farmers — including myself — can decide that using propane for grain drying is less dangerous for the climate than using the same propane to heat chicken barns.

Second, the government was already planning an announcement to lift the carbon tax from home heating fuel while the opponents of Bill C-234 were telling us that it is impossible to grant exemptions. The inconsistency, colleagues, is staggering. The argument for the amendment that was made to Bill C-234 at committee is that exempting the farmers from the carbon tax when they heat their barns with propane and natural gas would go against fighting climate change. In the very same week, the government announced that home heating oil will now be exempted from the carbon tax. I don’t understand. Why is it okay to exempt one category of heating fuel for one type of building but not another type of heating fuel for another type of building? How come the fight against greenhouse gas is necessary for some and optional for others?

As the Prime Minister said when he made his announcement last week, “This is an important moment where we’re adjusting policies so that they have the right outcome.”

That, colleagues, is precisely what Bill C-234 is designed to do — ensure the right outcome.

The objective is to continue the fight against climate change while not damaging our agricultural industry or negatively impacting our food security. Acknowledging that home heating oil should be exempt from carbon tax while refusing an exemption for the heating of barn buildings is profoundly inconsistent and illogical. The Senate should make sure that the carbon tax, as any other policy, is applied fairly across regions and sectors. I think that was really at the heart of what Senator Duncan said in her speech when she talked about fairness across regions and sectors.

Voting against the report and putting the exemption for farm buildings back into this bill is not going against the spirit of the carbon tax system. It is not allowing an impediment to the fight against climate change. It is simply following logic and being fair with farmers.

A third reason to vote against the report is that the amendment is based on a false premise. The authors of the amendment argued that keeping the exemption may discourage farmers from taking steps to improve the heating efficiency of their buildings.

Colleagues, this is simply not true. Think about this. Farmers have long been motivated to improve heating efficiency. Heating their barns is one of the largest costs they have, so heating efficiency saves them money in heating and cooling costs. Piling a carbon tax on top of this does not strengthen this already‑existing incentive. It only penalizes farmers who are already doing what the carbon tax is supposed to incentivize them to do.

The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association put it this way:

Rather than having the intended effect of changing behaviour, reducing emissions and decarbonizing, the millions of dollars collected by the federal government are not being returned and impede real climate action by these same businesses. The rising price on carbon cannot incentivize the many Canadian greenhouse growers who, driven by efforts to reduce their operating costs, have already invested in retrofits and upgrades including energy curtains, upgrades to insulation on walls, and installation of a third layer of roof cover.

The carbon tax only serves to increase the cost of producing food, placing inflationary pressures on consumers through the price of food, but also on the financial sustainability and competitiveness of Canadian farmers.

Refusing to give farmers the exemption for their barns will not help them go to alternatives. They don’t exist. And even if some alternatives come up in the near future, a lot of farmers will have been driven out of business before they can do anything.

The fourth reason to vote down the report is the impact of the amendment on food inflation. Like the letter from the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association said, the amendment on Bill C-234 will simply drive up the operating costs of farmers and, in doing so, drive up the cost of food for Canadians. We hear day after day how many people are lined up at the food banks because of the cost of food. In the present situation, adopting a measure that would raise the cost of food for no valid reason is the worst thing that this Senate can do. We have a concrete way to fight inflation, colleagues: by voting down this report.

A fifth reason to vote against the report is the grave danger the amendment poses to some farmers. The authors of the amendment suggested that because heating fuel expenses relative to total farming operating expenses are quite small, the exemption for farm buildings is not necessary. Once again, they are incorrect.

Although heating fuel expenses relative to total farm operating expenses are less than 1% across all sectors of agriculture, the burden of these costs is distributed disproportionately. For example, greenhouses utilize 34% of total heating expenses, and animal production uses over 41%. Furthermore, some operations are critically sensitive to even the smallest of changes in temperature, and failure to maintain the required heat levels can have catastrophic outcomes.

Colleagues, as I said, I am not a farmer. I never have been a farmer, but I have had the pleasure of working on farms and with farmers. As a teenager, I worked in chicken barns. I was catching chickens. I saw them when they came in as little chicks. I helped unload them. Then I woke up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning as a 15-year-old and I caught chickens and sent them off to market. I have worked both as a labourer in my teens and, later, as a heating contractor. We worked in barns across our province of Manitoba. As a contractor, I installed many heating systems in chicken barns and hog barns, where temperatures must be diligently monitored because even the smallest of variations can have devastating impacts on the health of the animals. Cooler temperatures can elevate the risk of disease outbreaks while warmer temperatures can cause heat stress and elevate humidity levels. Both can exacerbate the chance of respiratory issues and diseases, which can literally cost a producer millions of dollars.


The suggestion that these risks can be mitigated by installing heat pumps or more insulation is simply ludicrous, colleagues. It’s not there. Mark Reusser, a turkey farmer in Ontario, explained it this way:

We raise turkeys from baby to market age. At the outset, a baby turkey requires an ambient temperature of 32 degrees Celsius and can’t live below that temperature.

The reality is that you can’t raise poultry without supplemental heat in our climate. Even in the summer on the hottest day, it requires supplemental heat through the evening.

If this temperature varies by more than 2 degrees, it creates acute animal health and mortality concerns.

In our climate, poultry simply can’t be raised without supplemental heat. As a farm business, we have invested —

— colleagues, listen to this —

— in every available technology from insulation to high‑efficiency heating and ventilation.

On our farm, which is an average sized turkey operation, we have gone as far as we can with the technology available today, but there is no fuel alternative available to me today except for propane and natural gas.

The $10,000 annual cost the carbon tax imposes today will rise to over $32,000 by 2030, making it prohibitive to afford new technology as it becomes available.

Allow me also to quote from a letter that you all would have received from the Manitoba Pork Council, who wrote:

This amendment adopted by the Committee will remove hog farmers from the provisions of the Act. We find this difficult to comprehend.

Hog farmers in Manitoba take great pride in the care provided to the animals. This includes ensuring a safe and comfortable environment. A “safe and comfortable environment”, of course, includes heating barns during our prairie winter. Heating represents one of the largest costs for producers. They have no options. They cannot use less energy. There are no “green” sources of energy available to them. Barns must be heated with natural gas or electricity, and the carbon tax increases this unavoidable cost significantly — up to 25% according to some estimates.

Hog production is exactly the type of operation that is targeted by C-234 — critical agricultural operations that have no energy alternative.

The final reason to vote against this report is that its adoption, again, as I said earlier and as others have said, will kill the bill. But as you know, if we pass the bill unamended it goes from here to Royal Assent. Farmers will be protected for the winter season that is starting as we speak. Manitoba is much colder already than it is here in Ottawa.

Colleagues, today I join my voice with those of farmers and farm organizations across the country who have been flooding our inboxes with letters urging us, begging us and pleading with us to reject the committee’s report and promptly pass the original bill as it was approved in the House of Commons. Our agricultural sector, colleagues, is counting on us, and it is my hope that we are all listening. Thank you.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Black, seconded by the Honourable Senator Osler, that this report be adopted. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Okay. All those in favour of the motion, please say “yea.”

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: All those opposed to the motion will please say “nay.”

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I believe the “nays” have it.

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I see two senators rising. Do we have an agreement on the bell?


Hon. Michèle Audette: Honourable senators, I’d like the vote to be deferred to the next sitting of the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Pursuant to rule 9-10(1), the vote is deferred to 5:30 p.m. on the next day the Senate sits, with the bells to ring at 5:15 p.m.


Criminal Code

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Boisvenu, seconded by the Honourable Senator Seidman, for the second reading of Bill S-255, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (murder of an intimate partner, one’s own child or an intimate partner’s child).

Hon. Tony Loffreda: Honourable senators, I note that this item is at day 15. Therefore, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 4-15(3), on behalf of Senator Clement, I move the adjournment of the debate for the balance of her time.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Debate adjourned.)

National Diffuse Midline Glioma Awareness Day Bill

Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Martin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Housakos, for the second reading of Bill S-260, An Act respecting National Diffuse Midline Glioma Awareness Day.

Hon. Tony Loffreda: Honourable senators, I note that this item is at day 15. Therefore, I move the adjournment of the debate.

(On motion of Senator Loffreda, debate adjourned.)

Criminal Code

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

On Other Business, Senate Public Bills, Second Reading, Order No. 23, by the Honourable Yonah Martin:

Second reading of Bill S-267, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (aggravating circumstance — evacuation order or emergency).

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I note this item is at day 15. Therefore, with leave of the Senate, I ask that consideration of this item be postponed until the next sitting of the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Debate postponed until the next sitting of the Senate.)

Horse Protection Bill

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

On Other Business, Senate Public Bills, Second Reading, Order No. 26, by the Honourable Jane Cordy:

Second reading of Bill S-270, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (live horses).

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I note that this item also is at day 15. Therefore, with leave of the Senate, I ask that consideration of this item be postponed until the next sitting of the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Debate postponed until the next sitting of the Senate.)


Chignecto Isthmus Dykeland System Bill

Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Quinn, seconded by the Honourable Senator Verner, P.C., for the second reading of Bill S-273, An Act to declare the Chignecto Isthmus Dykeland System and related works to be for the general advantage of Canada.

Hon. René Cormier: Colleagues, I rise today to speak to Bill S-273, An Act to declare the Chignecto Isthmus Dykeland System and related works to be for the general advantage of Canada, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Jim Quinn on September 19.

I’d like to acknowledge that I am speaking to you from the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.

Our study of this bill must take into account the historical, political and legal context surrounding it. I think these perspectives are essential to understanding the purpose of this legislative measure and the questions it raises.


The Chignecto Isthmus is the piece of land that connects New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The system of dykes and aboiteaux that has been protecting it for centuries from the high tides in the Bay of Fundy holds a special historical and cultural place in the collective psyche of the region’s residents, particularly Indigenous people and Acadians.


The Mi’kmaq people occupied these lands long before Europeans arrived on the continent. The name “Chignecto” is, in fact, a European adaptation of a Mi’kmaq term for a much larger region: Siknikt, meaning drainage place.

In an article entitled “Revealing the History of the Isthmus of Chignecto: Toward Truth and Reconciliation,” Anne Marie Lane Jonah wrote:

. . . Archaeological investigations have found objects for hunting and food processing, trade goods, and cultural practices, demonstrating the sustained and consistent use and the importance of the region for trade and habitation over millennia. . . .

. . . The first Acadian settlers came to this area not only because they recognized its agricultural potential, but as importantly, because it was a Mi’kmaw place and a centre for trade.


When the Acadians arrived in this area in the early 17th century, they used an Indigenous agricultural technique to farm the Bay of Fundy’s saltwater marshes. It involved a water control system equipped with a breakwater to prevent the high tide from flooding the fields, while still allowing rainwater to drain off. This system of dykes and aboiteaux that enabled the Acadians to drain many hectares of marsh in order to farm is a fundamental aspect of Acadian culture.

Historian Ronald Rudin, distinguished professor emeritus at Concordia University’s history department said the following, and I quote:

 . . . when the Acadians were deported in the mid-18th century, 8,000 hectares of marshland had been drained, while on higher ground, only 200 hectares of forest had been cleared. That is why Acadians were known as “défricheurs d’eau” or clearers of water.

Roger Blais’s 1955 fictional documentary The Dikes, one of the first Acadian films made by the National Film Board, depicts this unique reality.

Although it is a work of fiction, this film shows how, in the 1950s, Acadians were dealing with the rapid deterioration of their dyke system and how major repairs were done in that region, including on the Chignecto Isthmus, to hold back the waters of the Bay of Fundy.

We have no choice but to acknowledge that, over the past few decades, new threats have arisen that were not contemplated at the time. Today, colleagues, the Chignecto Isthmus is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels and weather conditions caused by climate change.

Last year’s Chignecto Isthmus Climate Change Adaptation Comprehensive Engineering and Feasibility Study by the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia notes the following:

Induced Sea Level Rise (SLR) and coastal subsidence is forecasted to threaten a large portion of the coastal infrastructure in Atlantic Canada before the year 2100. The current Chignecto Isthmus dykes are at risk along with the various Trade Corridor infrastructure components they protect such as: TransCanada Highway, CN Rail, 138 kV and 345 kV electrical transmission lines, fibre-optical cables, a wind farm, agricultural cropland activities and various other utilities.

Given its importance to the country as a trade and transportation route, not to mention is agricultural value to the inhabitants of the region, it would indeed be catastrophic if the isthmus were to be flooded by 2100.


The Senate Committee on Transport and Communications is currently studying the impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure in the transportation and communications sectors — for instance, those located on the isthmus — and its members have heard relevant testimony on this subject.

Colleagues, allow me to quote David Kogon, the current mayor of the Town of Amherst, Nova Scotia:

We now feel that because we are seeing the sea levels rise, it will take less of a storm to breach the dikes, and our storms are getting more frequent and more intense. . . . the storm of a lifetime has become an annual event. When we look back over the last three or four years, we’ve had more hurricanes than we’ve had in many years prior.

The vulnerability due to climate change is the issue. It’s not that the dikes are destroyed, but they’ll be overcome by one of these storms. So the rail line being in good condition, the road being in good condition and the power lines being in good condition will all be for naught when the flood occurs.

We are vulnerable. We could have a high tide, full moon and hurricane at any time. That’s why we feel there is a major urgency to getting mitigation efforts started.


It is clear, then, that we need to adapt the isthmus dyke system to the effects of climate change before it’s too late.

The federal government and the provincial governments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agree on the need to restore this system, but do not agree on how it should be funded. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia feel that the federal government is entirely responsible for the work and for footing the bill, although Nova Scotia is proposing to pay 50%, based partially on the fact that the provinces own the Trans-Canada Highway that crosses the isthmus. The cost of the project to restore the system is estimated at $650 million.

Against that backdrop, the Nova Scotia government asked the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to clarify whether the federal government has “exclusive” responsibility to maintain the dykes and other structures in place to protect the isthmus. It goes without saying, colleagues, that this legal process raises constitutional questions that go beyond the issue of funding.

With that in mind, Bill S-273 would make the federal government responsible for dyke restoration work through a statement by Parliament indicating that this work is for “the general Advantage of Canada” under paragraph 92(10)(c) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

In doing so, we can reasonably assume that it will be responsible for footing the entire bill for the work, thus fulfilling the wishes of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia governments.


In his second reading speech on October 3, Senator Quinn presented some of the reasons for using the federal declaratory power, including the national importance of the dike restoration project given that it protects a number of elements essential to the country’s economic well-being such as the Trans-Canada Highway and the CN railway. He insisted that the planned 50% federal funding was insufficient given that this was a project of national interest.

Considering the context of Bill S-273 — and while I recognize the historical, cultural, economic and, shall we say, national importance of the dike system that protects the isthmus, including the related works — I have a few questions about the merits of this legislation.


As the legislative body in charge of providing sober second thought on legislation, is the Senate best placed to determine who is constitutionally responsible for the work in the Chignecto Isthmus?

Is it the best forum for adopting a bill likely to have a financial impact on the federal government?

Should the Senate interfere in this type of federal-provincial relationship, especially when we’re awaiting the outcome of the legal proceedings initiated by the Government of Nova Scotia?

In a spirit of cooperative federalism, shouldn’t we be promoting federal-provincial diplomacy for resolving the impasse? These are the questions I ask myself and I think they should be carefully considered in committee.

In this chamber, our former colleague André Pratte said that the declaratory power is a measure that should be used only as a last resort.

He said the following:

The declaratory power is the least federalist measure a central government can take. Some have called it the nuclear bomb of the federal government’s arsenal.

He went on to say this:

Renowned constitutional law professor Peter Hogg has commented that the federal Parliament’s power under section 92(10)(c) is in conflict with classical principles of federalism.


These assertions are all the more reason to take the time to carefully study the nature and potential scope of using declaratory power.


Colleagues, there is no doubt that the rapid and effective restoration of the Chignecto Isthmus Dykeland System in the face of the growing threat of climate change is in the interest of all Canadians, a national reality that underlies Bill S-273, and I sincerely thank Senator Quinn for bringing this issue to our attention.


As one of our most talented Acadian songwriters wrote in his famous song called “Les Aboiteaux”:

but somewhere the dikes are waiting

for the land around them to stir

telling us to set off before arriving

whispering of wonders to discover

It is indeed time to wake up and take action in the face of the fragility of this piece of land that unites not only New Brunswick and Nova Scotia but our entire country.

However, I feel that this legislation raises more questions than it attempts to resolve. I therefore invite my colleagues to examine this legislation in committee with all due attention.

Thank you.


Hon. Percy E. Downe: Would the senator take a question?

Senator Cormier: Yes.

Senator Downe: Thank you very much, and as always, Senator Cormier, that was a very informative and interesting speech. We have come to expect nothing less from you over the years.

I’m interested, though, in your analysis of the power transfer. My understanding is that transferring the power doesn’t compel the federal government to spend the money; it gives them the option if they so choose. And the reason — and I hate to raise this late on a Thursday afternoon — is this is part of the Confederation Bridge and Champlain Bridge problem over the years that I’ve been involved in. My research indicates that this goes back to 1886 when there was a dike in Montreal that the federal government used, but they declined to fund the actual construction afterwards. Then, of course, we have the Confederation Bridge, and the Champlain Bridge, in particular, falls under this category, as well.

My understanding is that the government can fund, but is not required to fund. Is that your understanding?

Senator Cormier: Yes, that is my understanding, and that’s why I think it is so important that we bring this bill to committee to study it because I think it is an important question about the Constitution and relations between the federal government and the provinces and territories. I think it’s an important question, and that’s why I applaud Senator Quinn for tabling this bill, but I hope we’ll have a chance to discuss and study this bill in committee. Thank you, Senator Downe.

(On motion of Senator Coyle, debate adjourned.)

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: We will suspend to take care of our sound issue.

(The sitting of the Senate was suspended.)

(The sitting of the Senate was resumed.)


Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Gerba, seconded by the Honourable Senator Klyne, for the second reading of Bill C-282, An Act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (supply management).

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill C-282, An Act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (supply management). I would like to thank Senator Gerba for sponsoring this very important bill.

Colleagues, I would like to begin by repeating part of her speech because it bears repeating. In her remarks, Senator Gerba stated:

Honourable senators, Bill C-282 is about protecting the supply management system. It is very simple. The bill amends section 10 of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to safeguard the system by making it a ministerial responsibility. It adds supply management to the list of directives that the minister must adhere to in conducting Canada’s external affairs, specifically during free trade agreement negotiations. The minister responsible for international trade won’t be able to do anything that would hurt supply management. It can no longer be used as a bargaining chip. Taking supply management off the table in international negotiations will preserve it forever.

Supply management in dairy, eggs and poultry has been a polarizing topic both nationally and internationally. What are the rifts that exist between those who support and those who oppose the system? In a 2017 article entitled “’Milk is Milk’: Marketing Milk in Ontario and the Origins of Supply Management,” author Jodey Nurse-Gupta examines the divisions between industry stakeholders during the implementation of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board, or OMMB, in order to better understand why some saw the board’s plan as rational and fair while others believed that OMMB policies infringed on their freedom and retarded the rationalization of the Ontario dairy industry.

Before the OMMB was established, chronic oversupply of milk resulted in devastatingly low milk prices. The divisions that existed between dairy producers were based on the differing purposes of milk production — those who produced fluid milk for the consumer; those who produced milk for cheese making; those who separated cream on the farm for butter making; and those who supplied industrial milk for manufacturing items like powdered or condensed milk — resulted in conflict between producers when milk prices were low. The OMMB was formed in 1965 to ensure that all producers received the same, fair price for their milk.

The reaction to pooling milk was met with anger among those producers who had held advantages in the dairy industry but who were now forced to participate in what they called:

. . . nothing more than a socialist grab of the money paid to some producers, so that other producers can get paid for their milk. . . .

William Macpherson, the OMMB’s director of finance, responded by saying:

. . . no question at all that we are taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That’s what we’re here for. . . .

. . . milk is milk, and it deserves a price based on the total market.

Others had reservations about a system of controlled production and marketing that did not allow for individuals to act independently in the market. Marketing boards in general had a history of being criticized for their interference with the laws of supply and demand and forced producer participation. By definition, a marketing board is a system of compulsory cooperation. Marketing boards require all producers of a certain product in a specified region to be compelled by law to adhere to the regulations of a marketing plan, which typically has the approval of the majority of producers of the product. The main objective was to maintain or increase, stabilize and equalize the income of producers.

Honourable senators, while milk is not the only supply-managed commodity in Canada — eggs and poultry are also supply managed — the dairy industry is most criticized because it holds significant market opportunities for dairy-exporting nations like the United States, New Zealand and states of the European Union.

Dairy producers elsewhere in the world have struggled in recent years to receive milk prices that cover their cost of production. Add in the issue of power asymmetry between producer and processor and/or supermarket and the result is a volatile mix. This contrasts with the Canadian system, suggesting that the stability Canada’s industry has in terms of reducing chronic milk surpluses and providing stable income for farmers will allow supply management to survive calls for it to be repealed.

The system of supply management as it exists today has undergone transformation over the decades. The basic pillars of the system — import controls, producer pricing and production discipline — were established in the 1960s and 1970s under the direction of provincial marketing boards with national coordination. Senator Gerba spoke articulately on these pillars in her speech. The creation of the OMMB was a significant catalyst in the development of supply management nationally.

Honourable senators, there were conflicts over market intervention. Some saw marketing board plans as rational and fair; others demonized the board for infringing on their freedom. Those who supported the OMMB included most of the provinces’ dairy producers who were suffering financial hardship; farmer representatives who witnessed the unfairness and instability inherent in previous dairy policies; and politicians and bureaucrats who were well aware of the social and economic costs of chronic overproduction. They recognized the necessity of controlling the milk supply and instituting fair farmer pricing in order to provide some balance within the historically unstable industry.

Those in opposition were fluid milk producers who believed they would lose market share to other dairy producers under the new system; dairy processors who resisted any interference in their ability to bargain for milk at the lowest possible cost; and consumers who were told by media outlets that they would be forced to pay more for their milk and other dairy products. Critics of controlled marketing also charged that such systems supported small-scale farmers at the expense of more modern, efficient and large-scale operations.

Opponents reinforced the idea that the OMMB’s policies were misguided by labelling such regulation as undemocratic and contrary to a free market system. The OMMB and their supporters defended the board’s policies as beginning the process of bringing rationality and stability to an industry where none had existed before.

Why was the supply system created? Why has it been maintained despite the proliferation of neo-liberal policies that dominate the discourse on international agricultural trade?

Colleagues, marketing boards first became popular in Canada after World War I because of the wartime grain price stabilization through the Canadian Wheat Board. The attraction for farmers and government was peace in the industry and reasonable pricing not subject to wild market fluctuations as well as a sense of fair play.

In 1929, during the Great Depression, marketing adjustments were sought by farmers in an effort to resist declining incomes. The result was the passage of two acts in 1927 and 1929 which were later repealed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1931. However, they encouraged farmers to organize and demand orderly marketing from their governments.


Between 1929 and 1934, Ontario farm incomes had declined by over 40%. Dairy farmers were hit hard when dairy processors lost significant export contracts to Britain for items like cheese and domestic milk prices plummeted because of the “milk wars” between competing dairy processors and distributors.

While consumers benefited from the resulting cheap milk, price wars devastated the producers. Producers urged the government to pass legislation that would allow farmers more bargaining power to secure their “fair share of the consumer’s dollar.”

In 1934, the Milk Control Board, MCB, was established:

. . . to “bring some order out of the chaos” that the dairy industry had become. The MCB was given jurisdiction to “inquire into any matter relating to the producing, supplying, processing, handling, distributing, or sale of milk.”

Many governments around the world with valuable dairy industries retained more control over the dairy business after the war than before and moved to enact new regulations governing dairy production and trade.

Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Austria all introduced new legislation in the postwar period that enabled some sort of dairy support measures, including import restrictions, export subsidies, equalization schemes and price supports.

In the 1940s and 1950s, dairy exports declined in spite of increasing production. As stated by Nurse-Gupta:

Dairy farmers and their representatives insisted that more marketing control was needed to stabilize the industry and provide fair pricing for farm products. Critics insisted, however, that farmers had to “help themselves,” specifically by becoming modern and efficient producers.

Honourable senators, surplus dairy products continued to plague the industry in the 1960s. The federal subsidies for export dairy products such as butter, cheese, condensed milk and powdered milk caused overproduction.

It was the division of responsibility between the two governments based on the idea that fluid milk was a domestic issue, while other dairy products fell under export and trade responsibilities that was artificial and needed to be resolved.

While dairy processors had benefitted from oversupplies of milk through depressed prices, many farmers and farm leaders realized that the asymmetrical power relationships that existed between producers and processors in the dairy industry meant that farmers were price takers with little ability to negotiate fair terms individually. While critics of marketing schemes charged that marketing plans were dictatorial and socialist, supporters employed the language of exploitation and injustice to defend increased regulation in the industry.

The OMMB was able to establish the first milk pool in northern Ontario. It involved 342 farmers in the Nipissing, Sudbury and Manitoulin districts and served as a testing ground before the board began a milk pool for fluid shippers in southern Ontario in 1968. The pool was ultimately effective in raising milk producers’ incomes, and the response from area farmers was generally positive.

As the author of “Milk is Milk” writes:

Supply management was, and continues to be, a divisive topic because it challenges elements of neoliberal policies that are central to the discourse of international trade.

Increasingly, scholars and policy-makers are acknowledging that neoliberal policies:

. . . have been unable to secure healthy and sustainable returns for producers and have had serious consequences on animal welfare, the environment, agricultural workers, and food security and sovereignty.

In the 2014 article “Crying over Spilt Milk: The History of Dairy Supply Management and Its Role in Recent Trade Negotiations” —

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator McCallum, I hate to interrupt you, but your 15 minutes has expired.

Senator McCallum: Can I have two minutes?

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Do we agree on two minutes, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator McCallum: Thank you.

Bruce Muirhead states:

To date, Canadian governments have committed themselves to maintaining the system. . . . To lose it, however, would be a tragedy — it has served dairy farmers, consumers and processors well over the years, providing cost-effective, safe and secure dairy products in a world where those realities are increasingly difficult to guarantee.

Honourable senators, I urge you to support this bill.


Thank you.

(On motion of Senator Loffreda, debate adjourned.)

Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa
Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall

Private Bill to Replace an Act of Incorporation—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Clement, seconded by the Honourable Senator Duncan, for the second reading of Bill S-1001, An Act to amalgamate The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa and The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, in Ontario, Canada.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

(On motion of Senator Loffreda, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy.)

The Senate

Motion to Amend Chapter 3:05 of the Senate Administrative Rules Adopted

On the Order:

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

That, in light of the adoption of the Financial Policy for Senate Committees by the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration on June 1, 2023, the Senate Administrative Rules be amended in Chapter 3:05

(a)by repealing the heading before section 1, section 1, subsections 10(2) and (3) and section 11; and

(b)by replacing the heading before section 2 and subsections 2(1) and (2) with the following:

“Committee Budgets

2. (1) A committee budget for special expenses must be

(a) adopted by the committee;

(b) submitted by the committee to the Internal Economy Committee for its consideration; and

(c) presented to the Senate by committee report, with the budget and a report of the Internal Economy Committee attached.

(2) A budget prepared for the purposes of subsection (1) must contain a detailed estimate of the committee’s special expenses for the fiscal year.”; and

That the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel be authorized to make any necessary technical, editorial, grammatical, or other required, non-substantive changes to the Senate Administrative Rules as a result of these amendments, including the updating of cross-references and the renumbering of provisions.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)



Motion to Amend Chapters 5:03 and 5:04 of the Senate Administrative Rules Adopted

Hon. Lucie Moncion, pursuant to notice of September 27, 2023, moved:

That, in light of the recent changes to the Senate Room Allocation Policy by the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, the Senate Administrative Rules be amended as follows:

1.That the Senate Administrative Rules be amended

(a)in Chapter 5:03 by replacing sections 2 and 3 with the following:

“Basic staff

2. (1) The Clerk Assistant, Committees, will assign a clerk to each Senate committee.”

Additional Staff

(2) The Internal Economy Committee may direct the Clerk Assistant, Committees, to provide a committee with any additional staff that the Committee sees fit.

Schedule and room allocation

3. The Clerk Assistant, Committees, in consultation with all leaders and facilitators, will assign a meeting schedule and reserve a room for each Senate committee and subcommittee that meets regularly.”, and

(b)in Chapter 5:04 by replacing subsection 2(2) with the following:

“Meeting schedule

(2) The Clerk Assistant, Committees, in consultation with the caucus spokespersons, will assign a meeting schedule and reserve a room for each caucus that meets regularly. Due consideration should be given to the size of a caucus and its status as a recognized party or recognized parliamentary group, as defined by the Rules of the Senate.”; and

2.That the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel be authorized to make any necessary technical, editorial, grammatical or other required, non-substantive changes to the Senate Administrative Rules as a result of these amendments, including the updating of cross-references and the renumbering of provisions.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)


National Security, Defence and Veterans Affairs

Committee Authorized to Deposit Reports on Study of Veterans Affairs with Clerk During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Tony Dean, pursuant to notice of October 24, 2023, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Veterans Affairs be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate reports related to its study on issues relating to Veterans Affairs, including services and benefits provided, commemorative activities, and the continuing implementation of the Veteran’s Well-being Act, if the Senate is not then sitting, and that the reports be deemed to have been tabled in the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

The Late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Patti LaBoucane-Benson (Legislative Deputy to the Government Representative in the Senate), rose pursuant to notice of earlier this day:

That she will call the attention of the Senate to the life of the late Honourable Ian Shugart, P.C.

(On motion of Senator LaBoucane-Benson, debate adjourned.)

(At 5:03 p.m., the Senate was continued until Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 2 p.m.)

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