This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to Content

Speech in Senate Chamber: Bill to Amend—Third Reading Bill C-51—Allotment of Time—Motion Adopted

Anti-terrorism Bill, 2015

Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Allotment of Time—Motion Adopted

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to notice of June 3, 2015, moved:

That, pursuant to rule 7-2, not more than a further six hours of debate be allocated for consideration at third reading stage of Bill C-51, An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

 .  .  ..

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I would like to say just a few words in the debate on closure. I have a strange feeling that I am having to be repetitive and having to repeat, as if to children or to my dog, again and again, for the dog to get it: repetition.

Colleagues, closure motions are known to be throwing the chamber or the house into a state of dictatorship. They are supposed to be used rarely, and when used, used for very good and serious reasons. Those reasons are, one, that the measure itself is urgently required by the public for the public good, and two, it can only be used in situations when the opposition has been involved in sustained and prolonged obstruction of the passage of a government measure that is urgently needed by the public for the public good. I repeat: long and sustained.

Colleagues, this Senate does not know what a long and sustained opposition is.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Cools: In the last many years, there's not been one. Sustained opposition is not two or three weeks. It's sustained and prolonged.

Finally — and this is going to be a very serious question, and the government has to address it — such motions are intended to be moved only by ministers of the Crown. It is a privilege that belongs to a minister of the Crown. This house has no ministers of the Crown in it. No one in this house is qualified and privileged to be able to move such a motion.

This thing is getting out of hand because this Senate cannot keep operating in this area of grey illegality. The rule is that a minister of the Crown can use these motions because it is urgently needed for the public.

I have said this — this is about the fourth time, in the last few years — and the use of these motions — closure, disclosure, time allocation, or whatever you want to call them — has become habitual. They are these supposed to be used in exceptional circumstances. I do not think this is an exceptional circumstance.

I think some of the supporters of the government over there should prevail upon the Prime Minister to make someone in this Senate a minister, if you want to use these motions. In the absence of that, I propose that some bold and learned senator move an address soon to ask the Governor General to make a senator a minister of the Crown so that the wishes of the Crown can be properly expressed in this chamber. Thank you.

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