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Speech in Senate Chamber: Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament-First Report of Committee—Report of Committee of the Whole—Motion in Amendment

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

First Report of Committee—Report of Committee of the Whole—Motion in Amendment


On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Oliver, seconded by the Honourable Senator Eaton, for the adoption of the first report of the Committee of the Whole (First report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (Revised Rules of the Senate), with amendments), presented in the Senate on June 13, 2012;

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Carignan, seconded by the Honourable Senator Marshall, that the report be not now adopted but that it be amended

(a) by adding the following new recommendation number 4:

"4. Replace the French text of rule 4-11(3), at page 42 of the First Appendix of the report (page 458 of the Journals of the Senate), with the following:

"Rappels au Règlement et questions de privilège non permis au cours des affaires courantes et la période des questions

4-11. (3) Les rappels au Règlement et les questions de privilège sont irrecevables au cours des affaires courantes et de la période des questions."; and

(b) by renumbering current recommendations 4 to 16 in the report as recommendations 5 to 17.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to you today on Senator Carignan's amendment. Today, in a special way, I want to honour all of those members of Parliament and senators who have worked so hard over the years in this place, but in particular those who were broken or damaged or wounded or injured by the proceedings in the houses. I shall tell you why as I come to it later on.

In particular, as I have been working on these notes for the last few days, two men came to mind. I would like to say a bit about those men, very little. One was Senator Charbonneau, who was the Speaker of the Senate during the GST debates; the other was the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, who was the Prime Minister at that time. I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing both of those men and knowing that both of them were very fine gentlemen. It is no secret here that when conflict arose between Mr. Mulroney and the then Minister of Justice Allan Rock, that I rose here in the Senate as a Liberal senator and made a speech about it.

I was one of the few members who would even touch the issue. I was thinking a few weeks ago, as I attended the Speaker's annual remembrance of members ceremony, what a wonderful thing he was doing to honour so many past members. I thought that we should one day do something in honour of Mr. Mulroney.

This is just a passing thought. Many would say, and have said, much about Mr. Mulroney. However, this record has shown on more than one occasion that my personal opinion has always been that perhaps Mr. Mulroney has done some foolish things in his life, but I have never doubted for a moment that he committed no crime. I would like to say that because it is very important.

The second man is Senator Charbonneau, who was the Senate Speaker during the GST debates. I took a lot of persecution at the time, honourable senators, from the Liberal caucus for daring to raise these names and speak about them in this place.

I speak about Senator Charbonneau because I want to particularly speak to Senator Tardif's invocation of the GST debates. I am sure that all senators know that I was an active player in those debates. The anger and the rage at Senator Charbonneau took years to subside in this place. However, when the Liberals eventually regained power in 1993, there were vigorous debates in the Liberal caucus, and those who wanted to abandon the pursuit to destruction of Senator Charbonneau prevailed.

I would also like to say to honourable senators that during those exchanges, the names of two Conservative senators came up frequently — one is still serving in this place and one recently retired — in those basically secret caucus discussions. Those two names were Senator Lowell Murray and Senator Marjory LeBreton. This is the kind of thing one may only read in memoirs, but I just wanted to say to honourable senators that there is not any senator who went through those GST debates that was not damaged in the process.

Honourable senators, recently I have been talking about our parliamentary privileges; well, when a house wants to take a decision using its privileges to pursue a man to destruction, it is a deadly and serious matter, and I am glad that we did not. I am prepared to say that after all these years that Senator Charbonneau was a fine man, a nice man, a kind man and a veteran. He served in World War II. He served Canada. I saw him totally destroyed because he took advice, not from seasoned practitioners experienced on the floor of this house but from lawyers. He had several of them; he told me that himself. I want to remind honourable senators that the art of politics is really the art of managing human relations in respect of ideas and decisions. This subject has been on my mind a little while so I wanted to say this. I shall proceed; it took more time than I thought.

What did you say, Senator Stratton?

Senator Stratton: Well done, keep going.

Senator Cools: Thank you.

Honourable senators, on June 12 last, in her remarks responding to my assertions that rule 59(10) has been totally repealed and that the new rules will enlarge the Senate Speaker's powers and privileges in respect of his granting permission to other senators to speak, Senator Tardif invoked the GST debates. I would like to read from her speech and then I will let the record speak for itself.

Honourable senators, in her speech Senator Tardif identified me by name twice. I shall show that her statements are totally specious, and far from defeating mine, they, in fact, prove my assertions.

At page 2080 of Senate Debates she began:

Honourable senators . . . in the amendment that I put forward I have taken into consideration the last amendment that Senator Cools presented . . . The amendment that I proposed . . . does . . . preserve the rights of senators to raise questions of privilege without notice. That is already in the amendment before you . . .

My amendment was to preserve the ancient privilege of senators to move a motion for a question of privilege with no notice for that. We have to understand, honourable senators, that this no notice motion for a question of privilege is not the same as no notice for a prima facie ruling of the Senate Speaker. They are two different animals. I shall try for the last time to explain.

Honourable senators, seeking a prima facie ruling from a Senate Speaker with or without notice — it does not matter — is a situation where there is no debate. There is no question or motion before the house. It is a private process in which senators are supplicants, mendicants to a Senate Speaker in a private dyadic conversation; an exchange. The supplicant prays that the Senate Speaker will rule prima facie. At this time, there is no question of privilege before the house and there is no motion before the house.

Honourable senators, a question of privilege is only before the house when a motion so moved and duly seconded is moved by a senator. There has not been a debate in this Senate on a question of privilege for years. There has not been one, and it has been so long that senators have forgotten what a question of privilege is. It is not a complaint; it is not a private exchange between a good Senate Speaker and senators. It is a situation where the individual senator, by virtue of ancient privileges, moves a motion without notice directly to the house to engage all senators in debate without the Senate Speaker.

There is much confusion, honourable senators, about the term "prima facie." The term prima facie used to be used alongside of the term "bona fide" — and I am speaking without my notes — in all the old debates. Prima facie has always meant that the member's, the complainant's matter must affect the Senate or senators. It must also be recently or suddenly arising, and it must need urgent and immediate Senate interposition, meaning a motion.

Honourable senators will find the term "prima facie" used; lawyers use it all the time, members and senators used to use it all the time. Prima facie — or proof, in other words — is genuine proof that those three things, once they are there, are proof that a matter of privilege is involved. At some point in time, this prima facie concept was transformed into a need for a Speaker's ruling, which is what Senator Robertson did. However, let us understand that the process created was very new to the Senate in 1991, and it still remains very new.

In that Senate prima facie process, Your Honour, no motion is before the house until or if the Speaker makes a finding. At that point then, the senator complaining sheds his role as a supplicant, repossesses his full and ancient privileges as a member of Parliament by rule 59(10), and moves a motion with no notice. Remember, honourable senators, every question must begin and originate in a motion. At that point, a question is before the Senate.

That is the last time I will try to explain this.

Let us understand, honourable senators, that these new rules are repealing rule 59(10) and that motion is the single most important motion for the Senate to defend itself or to defend its members. It is a power that every high court has — the power to defend itself — because it is that power that creates Senate independence.

I will move rapidly now. In the same vein, I want to quote Senator Tardif. She said:

I wanted as well to make a few points regarding Senator Cools' statements . . . However, in regard to her comment that it appears we are giving the Speaker greater privileges and a greater role, I have had the opportunity to look at the Debates of the Senate relating to the amendment that we have moved on questions of privilege.

A careful examination of the Senate Debates, even prior to 1991, shows that senators had a general expectation that the Speaker would have an important role to play when serious questions of privilege were raised. That was even the case under. . . the old rule 33 and the old rule 46 which indicated an expectation that the Speaker would rule and establish a prima facie case of privilege.

She then went on, honourable senators, to quote two senators, Senator Frith and Senator MacEachen, both of whom I knew very, very well — I could say I was very close to them. She quoted Senator Frith saying on September 25, 1990, during the GST debates, on page 2239:

. . . Your Honour has a duty to decide when you have heard enough on this point of privilege to make up your mind as to whether a prima facie case is made.

She quoted Senator MacEachen saying something similar. Then, she turned around and, speaking about them, she said on page 2080:

. . . in view of what was said by these distinguished parliamentarians more than 20 years ago, I think we can see that there was an expectation with regard to how questions of privilege have traditionally been dealt with in the Senate, particularly the view that the Speaker does have a role to play in a decision about whether a prima facie case has been made.

It is true. If honourable senators go through all the old debates, you will find senators and members in the other place as well using that term "prima facie," but it was never referring to a ruling of the Speaker pursuant to a rule or an order of either house. This is not that subtle a thing to understand, but it is an important matter.

When Senator Tardif moved into the GST, I want honourable senators to know she has —

The Hon. the Speaker: An additional 15 minutes are granted to the honourable senator.

Senator Cools: Thank you.

Senator Tardif traversed into very serious territory. It was my intention to show that her statements are misinterpretations and misunderstandings, and actually create misleading thoughts in the minds of senators listening.

Honourable senators, I will fast-track and let Senator Frith answer Senator Tardif's specious words.

Honourable senators, let us fast-forward. Remember Senate Speaker Senator Charbonneau had assumed unto himself this new power of ruling prima facie raised by Senator Ottenheimer. Conservative senators were running willy-nilly with questions of privilege day after day after day. Senator Charbonneau would not rule prima facie, so those statements from Senators Frith and MacEachen were trying to get him to rule.

Finally, Senator Frith sheds all that. I shall read what he had to say at page 2312 of Senate Debates on October 3 to answer Senator Tardif. One must understand the atmosphere. In a filibuster like that, it is an art as to who can get the floor, because whoever gets the floor has the microphone. At that time, Senator Frith got the floor and holding it stated the following:

Rule 33 says the following:

When a matter or question directly concerning the privileges of the Senate, of any committee thereof, or of any senator, has arisen, . . . a motion calling upon the Senate to take action thereon may be moved without notice and, until decided, shall, unless the debate be adjourned, suspend the consideration of other motions and of the Orders of the Day.

He added:

That does not say, "or if the Speaker finds a prima facie case . . .

In my submission, that is the rule governing the procedure for points and questions of privilege in the Senate. The whole concept of a role for the Speaker is foreign to this place and is a role that takes place in the other House. It is clear that the Rules Committee has decided, and the Senate has agreed and has had it as part of its rules for a long time, that questions of privilege are dealt with in the Senate in accordance with Rule 33. They are dealt with by senators and I do not believe that the Speaker should be called upon to talk about prima facie cases, as he is called upon in the House of Commons and in some other legislatures. . . . The Senate has dealt with these situations not through Beauchesne, not through anybody else's customs, but through our own black and white rules.

Honourable senators, I was there, shoulder to shoulder with these men, these Liberal senators. As a matter of fact, these two chose me personally to be a part of the Senate Banking Committee, bringing in the report to the Senate on September 25. That is what caused the filibuster, because the Conservative senators were then trying to block the report from being moved, presented or debated because they were trying to give Prime Minister Mulroney time to get 23 senators appointed to the Senate, including the eight divisionals under the British North America Act, 1867, section 26.

I am speaking without making any judgments today, because I went through this, and honourable senators have never seen in their lives anyone keep members in their seats like Prime Minister Brian Mulroney did. Honourable senators have never seen anyone loved by his followers like Mr. Brian Mulroney was. His senators were in their seats like glue. This is to be admired and respected. As a Liberal, I disagreed, but I respected them. I respected them.

To come to my conclusion, Senator Charbonneau believed that he was helping his side and his prime minister. He joined the filibuster and used that prima facie power not to rule. As Conservative senator after Conservative senator rose with questions of privilege he would not rule.

Honourable senators, I come to a conclusion. I have had to abandon most of what I had to say. These matters are far more complex than we understand.

However, I want to tell honourable senators that by October 4, Senator Charbonneau had locked Liberal senators out of the chamber. He took the authority himself to stop the division bells from ringing. It was a sad thing — a terrible thing. Even now, I can still feel a lot of sorrow about it. He even called in Senate security to police senators.

Let us understand, honourable senators, right or wrong, both sides thought they were right. Both sides felt very committed and I respect all those senators. That is why, Senator LeBreton, your pleasant nature and name came up as many Liberal senators wanted to abandon that nasty hunt for Senator Charbonneau. I am very glad that we did, but he did not leave this place a happy man.

I would like to close by quoting Liberal Senator Frith from October 4, after Liberal senators were locked out from the 5:30 p.m. vote. Maybe one of these days I will write about it; I do not know. There is so much.

Senator Frith said, on page 2345, talking about Senator Charbonneau:

Let us make it clear. Let us have no misunderstanding about this. There is no limit whatever to the powers of Senator Charbonneau as he sees them. So that no matter what happens in here now, there is no point in raising a point of order. What is to stop them if the rules do not apply? The very rules that are supposed to be here to protect us he totally ignores!

The Hon. the Speaker: I regret to advise the honourable senator that the 15 minutes and the extra 5 minutes have been exhausted.

Continuing debate?

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question? It was moved by the Honourable Senator Oliver, seconded by the Honourable Senator Eaton:

That the first report of the Committee of the Whole be adopted and, on a motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Carignan, seconded by the Honourable Senator Marshall, that the report not now be adopted but that it be amended

(a) by adding the following new recommendation number 4:

Shall I dispense?

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the question before the house is the motion in amendment by Honourable Senator Carignan, seconded by the Honourable Senator Marshall.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, now the question before the house is the motion as amended.

Are you ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I wish to speak to the main motion. I would like to move an amendment to the main motion if I could just give the pages a moment to distribute that.

The Hon. the Speaker: I would ask the pages not to distribute the document until we have a motion.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I move:

That the motion for the adoption of the First Report of the Committee of the Whole be not now adopted, but that it be amended, by deleting all the words after the word "That" and substituting the following therefore:

"the Senate declines to proceed with further consideration of the First Report of the Committee of the Whole (First report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (Revised Rules of the Senate), with amendments), presented in the Senate on June 13, 2012, and the First Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, (Revised Rules of the Senate), presented in the Senate on November 16, 2011, for the reasons that:

(a) the motion is inconsistent with the law and custom of Parliament and would have considerable impact on the privileges of the Senate and those of all Senators;

(b) the motion arises from actions in excess of the delegated authority of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, under subparagraph 86(1)(d)(i) of the Rules, since the substantive changes in the mass repeal and replacement of all the Rules of the Senate were made by a committee that met primarily in camera, while empowered only to propose amendments to the Rules of the Senate from time to time on its own initiative, whereas the repeal and replacement of all the Rules of the Senate cannot be such an amendment to the Rules of the Senate and are therefore a departure from the Committee's custodial responsibility to the Senate and all Senators; and

(c) the Committee of the Whole did not proceed in a flexible and appropriate manner to ensure due consultation of all Senators before being asked to decide on the work itself, and thereby failed to address the concerns raised by the Speaker's Ruling of April 25, 2012, specifically, whether the First Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament was too far-reaching and exceeded the Committee's authority.".

Honourable senators, my seconder is Senator Mitchell.

The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by Senator Cools, seconded by Senator Mitchell, that the motion for the adoption of the first report — shall I dispense?

Senator Carignan: Dispense.

Senator Joyal: Dispense.

The Hon. the Speaker: We have a question before the house. On debate, Senator Cools.

Senator Cools: I will be very brief, honourable senators. I will go to the first question, which I have spoken enough on so that I can be very brief. Our Senate rules that have come to us are an entailed inheritance, a patrimony from the pre-Confederation legislative assemblies and councils and from our forefathers. Many of our rules were given under the hand and scripted by those forefathers themselves.

On the question of the Rules Committee exceeding its delegated authority, I deeply regret that the Committee of the Whole did not see fit to consider this matter. Senator Tardif's preoccupation was that senators have an expectation for the important role of the Senate Speaker in prima facie rulings on privilege. I would also say that senators would have a general expectation that the Speaker's ruling would have been taken seriously and attended to in the Committee of the Whole.

Honourable senators, I would move on to the other point because the question as to whether or not the Rules Committee exercised proper authority in bringing forward these rules remains open and unanswered. I think that that is undesirable. Perhaps I could put one quotation from Senate Speaker Senator Noël Kinsella's ruling on the record very quickly. I shall quote from Senate Debates of April 25, page 1682:

The finding is that there could be a procedural issue involved here.

It continues:

The consideration of matters in Committee of the Whole is more flexible and appropriate to fully explore and debate these proposals that are before us than the restrictive nature of the formal debate in the Senate itself. This suggestion would serve the dual purpose of providing all honourable senators with an opportunity to clarify the purposes and principles behind the work of the report and express themselves on it before being asked to decide on the work itself.

Honourable senators, at no time was any question before the Committee of the Whole other than the decision on the rules themselves.

The second part of my motion addresses the question of the delegated authority. I would like to cite Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law on the subject of delegated authority. I have already placed references on the record here that a committee cannot delegated its own authority, its mandate. However, I would like to record here Mr. Jowitt, a very distinguished mind of a long time ago. He cites in Latin. I know that some honourable senators do not want to hear Latin anymore. I do not know how I shall say "Magna Carta"; I really do not know. I see Senator Smith shrugging, but the legal principles have always been expressed in Latin: delegata potestas non potest delegari — a delegated power cannot be delegated. The Speaker's concerns remain unanswered, honourable senators, whether or not the Rules Committee exceeded its authority in bringing forth its First Report. It would have been nicer and cleaner if the Senate Speaker's questions had been addressed and clearly answered.

Honourable senators, I would like to move now, very quickly, to some very unusual oddities that have happened with this report. The first one, I would like to say that, if it stays as a practice, will create great grief and chaos in this place, especially for the government. In particular, I speak of the fact that Senator Carignan simply assumes sponsorship, ownership of the Rules Committee Chairman Senator Smith's motion and Senator Smith's committee report. This is strictly forbidden, under the whole notion of law, which is called coexisting motions or coexisting questions. The proper way to deal with any situation like that is for one motion to be cleared away before the second motion on the matter can be moved — not after, but before. I have often cited here the October 2, 2001 precedent of Senator Lynch-Staunton and Senator Carstairs on the Royal Assent bill, Bill S-34.

I hope honourable senators now understand that the problem is this: If Senator Carignan's actions stand as a precedent, any day now any two senators can go through the entire Order Paper and simply take over, take ownership of other senators' motions without the authority of the house. I do not know what the limit is because, theoretically, then the other senator could take it back. Since these motions are duly put and seconded, they would be before the house and in possession of the house. I think at some point in time this action should be brought forward to ensure that this action is not a precedent. Thus, it will not hurt the government's or any other private member's motion later on.

Another unusual practice is that it is quite novel for two reports to be the subject of any one motion. Again, the same concept, no coexistence of motions. The Senate presently has an odd situation here where this one motion before us is adopting two reports from two different committees. It is also odd because Senator Kinsella's suggestion, had it been dealt with, would never have created this problem because the Committee of the Whole would have been asked only to study the single question as to whether or not there was an excess of authority by the Rules Committee. However, I put a question to honourable senators: Can we have two bills in one report? Can we have three bills? Here we have two reports in one motion. What is the limit? Can we do ten? Can a committee decide that there are four bills before it and that it will report all four with one report all by one motion, is this an omnibus report?

Honourable senators, there are strict constitutional rules to protect the individual interests of every single senator in every single motion moved in this place — what Mr. Bourinot used to call the "single voice" of the individual senator.

The final thing that I want to raise is that this report — again, another oddity — had three different sponsors in its life in the Senate. I have always understood, and I think I may have said this before, that committee chairmen simply cannot abandon the defence and explanation of their reports as occurred here with the Rules Committee chairman. Such abandonment is considered to be a disavowal of the report and a hint or signal to cease and desist from its consideration.

Honourable senators, some of these questions remain quite muddled and unclear. I can say that the Senate has never expected that one Senate committee should review the conclusions of another Senate committee, because no Senate committee is supposed to act as an appeal on another Senate committee's findings. It is a different proposition if the Senate wants a particular question answered like a point of law, as in the case of Senator Kinsella's ruling. That question alone may be referred to another committee, or its subject matter. The Senate does not take kindly to having its reports of its Senate committees readopted or not readopted in other Senate committees because the notion is that every single senator here has equal privileges. Even the Senate Speaker is one among equals, having no more privileges than any others. No senator can sit in appeal over the findings of another senator.

Honourable senators, the Senate is not in the habit of asking one of its committee to do an appeal on another committee. Had this Committee of the Whole proceeded differently, this dilemma would never have arisen. Even now, as we are about to vote on two reports, if they had been considered individually, if the Committee of the Whole's report had been considered and voted on and then the Rules Committee report had come forward for a different vote, it would be a different proposition.

Now I know, honourable senators, that in today's climate it is easy to dismiss a lot of these questions and to be thought of as some kind of legalistic nitpicker. I would submit that the only thing that ever stands between civility and chaos are our rules. Those of us who saw that during the GST debate understand that too well. There are not many of us left. We understand what can arise when rules are usurped.

Honourable senators, there is something very wrong when a measure begins here and its proponents will accept very little change. If they accept change, it is from one of them, their group. Well, you could call it parliamentary apartheid, if you want; however, I believe it is wrong. It is very wrong. I will say more than that. A lot of these practices are unconscionable.

I thank honourable senators. I stand by what I have said. It is a sad day that Senator Tardif went to the GST debates — a sad, terrible day. In addition, it also establishes the current problem of the day, namely that political party leadership will not stay close to the ideas and the principles of their previous leaders. It was Senator Tardif's duty to uphold Liberal leaders Senator Frith and Senator MacEachen because on whichever side senators were fighting they were equally convinced that they were right. I have had many conversations with many of the big players in the GST debates.

Honourable senators, in a way, I have said what I wanted to say, but I am deeply sorry that Senator Tardif brought up the GST debates. This Rules Committee report is a proposition of a few senators that began as a proposition from a Senate staffer. I sincerely believe that you could win the arguments on reason and law rather than force. I recommend it to you. Reasoned argument is a solid base upon which to stand.

Honourable senators, I cite as my authorities no other than the giants of this country. I am old enough to know people who knew some of them. I knew people who knew people who knew Sir John A. Macdonald. I knew people who knew people who knew Sir Wilfrid Laurier. At one point, Mackenzie King had a government leader in this place named George McIlraith. He is dead now; I went to his funeral. Every time he was in town, after coming back from Florida, he was in my office. He would always give me great advice, such as what Mr. King said, and he would tell me to go to a particular debate in a particular year. I am close to the history of this country.

Honourable senators, I call you "colleagues." You can always win because you have the numbers but it would be nice to win the argument. It would have been very easy for you to hear my single voice, which you did not. You may vote me down. I have nothing in this place but the record. I will always use it.

Honourable senators, thank you very much. I will say "bonne chance." I live near the river. When you see an individual on a boat headed towards shoals and dangerous waters you say, "Don't go there. Stop!" They keep on going. "Don't go there. Stop!" They keep on going. There comes a point when you have to say, "Bon voyage, bonne chance." Your new rules will bite you so badly you will not even know what is happening.

I will tell you something: You are young, Senator Carignan, and being in opposition seems far away to you. I swear to God that I have seen senators come and go. I love you dearly; I love you all. It is my nature. You could have given me that one rule, rule 59(10). You could have. Thank you so much.

The Hon. the Speaker: Further debate? Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mitchell, that the motion for the adoption of the first report of the Committee of the Whole be not now adopted but that it be amended by deleting all the words after the word —

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Senator Cools: On division. You should ask the others. You should really ask them.

The Hon. the Speaker: I will put the question formally. Those in favour of the motion, will please say "yea."

Senator Cools: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: Those opposed to the motion, will please say "nay."

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: The "nays" have it.

Senator Cools: On division.

The Hon. the Speaker: On division.

The question before the house is the motion of the Honourable Senator Oliver, seconded by the Honourable Senator Eaton, as amended, for the adoption of the first report of the Committee of the Whole, as adopted.

Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Carried.

(Motion, as amended, agreed to and report adopted.)
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words of thanks at the conclusion of this long, long journey that we have taken.

I would first like to thank the Speaker for coming up with a solution to the problem we had and allow the Committee of the Whole to deal with it, thereby allowing all senators to participate and gain a better understanding of what we are dealing with in rewriting the existing rules, trying desperately hard not to change rules. Changes came about, for the most part, in this chamber.

I would also like to thank all the senators in this chamber for their forbearance, understanding and patience with what has just taken place. It is critical for us at times to have that patience with a situation to properly and appropriately deal with it.

I would like to thank Senator Fraser and Senator Carignan for their work throughout this entire endeavor. Yes, I was the wagon master, but they dealt with the issues as they should be dealt with. As a result, we will all agree a couple of years from now that this was well worth doing.

I would also like to say a particular thank you to Mr. Charles Robert and Mr. Till Heyde for their work on this endeavor. Although Charles was behind this for quite a while, so was I from a long way back. Thank you, gentlemen, for that. Mr. Sebastien Spano, from the Library of Parliament, gave us sage advice throughout all of this; thank you, Sebastien.

I would like to thank Senator Cools for finally dealing with the last set of rules and how they came about. There was a very high level of passion as a result of the GST debate. As she stated clearly, everyone bore the scars of that event. Although I was not here, I recall it vividly while it was taking place.

For example, the committee reported on June 11, 1991. Remember that they were revising rules in 1991 that were first established in 1906. The committee tabled the report in the Senate on June 11 and on June 18 that same year the report was adopted by the Senate. On June 19 — the day after — the rule changes took effect.

Honourable senators have to agree that we have had a fulsome discussion and that we have allowed everyone, thanks to the Speaker, to have their input. It will take the summer, until September 15, for these rules that take effect on September 17, to allow the administration to appropriately deal with all of this. We have had a fulsome debate and I thank you all.

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I would draw to the Senate's attention that in Senator Stratton's excellent and heartfelt remarks, he omitted two names. The first was his own. He did wonderful and critical constructive work throughout this long procedure. The second was the name of former Speaker Molgat, our late colleague, who launched this whole process. I thought the record should show that, Your Honour.

The Hon. the Speaker: I will accept the Honourable Senator Stratton's intervention as a point of order under that rubric.


The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.