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Debate concerning Bill S-8
An Act respecting the selection of senators

Extract from the Hansard, 40th Parliament, 3rd session: July 7, 2010  2

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Brown, seconded by the Honourable Senator Runciman, for the second reading of Bill S-8, An Act respecting the selection of senators.  3

Hon. Richard Neufeld: Honourable senators, I want to put a few of my thoughts on the record in regard to Bill S-8, An Act respecting the selection of senators.  4

I want to start by saying that I listened carefully to Senator Brown, a supporter of Bill S-8 and a long-time crusader for the Triple-E Senate — equal, elected, and effective. One could say Senator Brown's passion before and after being appointed to the Senate in 2007 has not changed much. I thank Senator Brown for his hard work on this issue.  4-1

Before I share my thoughts, I would like to talk about some of my background, as some honourable senators may not know it. I spent nine years as a councillor and mayor of a small community in a remote part of British Columbia, always arguing with larger centres to try to get recognized for services. That was a good lesson for me to learn, because later I became the MLA for a region called Peace River North in northern British Columbia for just under eighteen years, eight of those as a minister.  4-2

It was a large constituency, the size of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Vancouver Island with room to spare, with about 35,000 people. It was a constituency that continually provided up to 8 per cent of the net revenue for the province of British Columbia to provide services to all British Columbians, and the population was sparse. It is sparse outside the golden triangle of Vancouver, Victoria and the lower part of Vancouver Island.  4-3

I fought four elections and ran for three different parties. I was elected with over 50 per cent of the vote in each of those elections.  4-4

I learned a few things doing that, with ten years in opposition and eight years in government. I learned that working with people, trying to get things done in a working fashion, was the way to do it. One might not always have agreement, but one ought to be able to speak with everyone. Even if there are differences sometimes, that is fine — one still should be able to talk.  4-5

One must identify a common goal, if possible, and work towards that. Legislation must be enacted that is workable and enforceable.  4-6

I want to deal briefly with the three Es: equal, elected, and effective.  4-7

Before I came here, as a member of the B.C. legislature I can tell you that, although I like all honourable senators, you were not on my mind all the time. However, understanding government, being there, I totally respected what took place in this place and in the other place.  4-8

I cannot remember thinking that this place was ineffective. I never thought that. Having not spent any time here, how could I? What the Senate does in preparing reports on all kinds of subjects is a huge benefit for Canadians and for government, regardless of what stripe the government is, as long as it pays attention to those reports. Regardless of party stature, I think it does.  4-9

The regions must be represented by a Senate. As I said earlier, I can relate to sparsely populated regions. I know that the Atlantic regions and western regions sometimes feel alienated — rightfully so sometimes — from central Canada, from Ottawa, from the central part of the country where most of the people live. We often think that all the services go there. Whether they do or not is immaterial, but we often think that. It is important for us, as representatives from those areas, to continue to bring that word to the centre about being thought about in those ways and to try to garner as much as we possibly can.  4-10

Honourable senators, I have only been here a short period of time, not nearly as long as many of you, but I believe this place is effective. I believe this place does do good work. We work well together and it is healthy to have different positions. If we all had the same position, it would not be very good. We need different positions on different issues and to be able to work them out.  4-11

Second, there is nothing in this act that talks about "equal." Unelected is what this act talks about mainly. Before I came here, I only thought about Senate elections when they were brought up in newspaper articles or when someone was ranting or raving about the Senate, but I did think we should have an elected Senate. However, since I have been here, I am not sure that an elected Senate is the way to go. Obviously there need to be a few changes, but I do not think the election of senators is the top thing on my mind.  4-12

When I go back to my community, honourable senators, not one person has said to me, "I like you, but I would have liked to have elected you." Not one. I returned home in the afternoon of July 1. I was at a car show because I like cars and happen to have an old car. I was standing there when a great person who is highly regarded in the community — someone against whom I fought elections four times — said to me, "I am glad you are there." He is from a different party yet he said, "We are happy you are there." In fact, he said, "I never heard anyone say you should not be there because we finally have someone there that we know."  4-13

Honourable senators, this is the first time that a person in northern British Columbia has ever been appointed to the Senate. I think the furthest north we ever got was Ross Fitzpatrick in the Okanagan, which is southern British Columbia. That is a long distance away.  4-14

Earlier, I talked about the major population being in the Lower Mainland. If I had to run as an elected senator, I would have to leave where I live, where I have spent most of my life, where people know me, and go to the major centre and say, "Pick me." I do not think that would make the people where I live happy, and I do not think I would get anywhere down there in that big city. People there are well known. Senator Larry Campbell, a former Mayor of Vancouver, is a well-known personality. Maybe he would have an easier time of it.  4-15

It is said that you can divide the province — I guess you can, but in the case of B.C., you would have to divide from Hope. Vancouver would have five senators and then there would be the rest of the province. I do not think that is good for the province of British Columbia. When explained to British Columbians, I think they would want representation to be more scattered around the province.  4-16

Honourable senators, as I understand the bill, you must be nominated by a provincial party. My experience is that you would have to be nominated at a party convention. The last time I went to a party convention on a provincial issue, I do not think anyone wanted to talk about federal politics — not one person. I would not want to do that, and I go to the conventions of my party.  4-17

In British Columbia, we are a little different. Politics is a blood sport where I come from. As I said, I ran for three different parties. I was elected as a B.C. Liberal and I spent about 10 years as a B.C. Liberal. In British Columbia, there is a mixture of federal Conservatives and federal Liberals. That is how we defeated the NDP and the Socreds. They were federal Liberals and federal Conservatives. I do not care how you work it out, but it takes good leadership — and Premier Campbell shows it — to be able to keep that together. W.A.C. Bennett was able to do it; Bill Bennett was able to do it; and Bill Vander Zalm could not manage anything and destroyed the party. I will never forgive the man for that.  4-18

Do I run as a B.C. Liberal? Is there a B.C. Liberal Party in here? No.  4-19

An Hon. Senator: Thank God!  5

Senator Neufeld: One senator said, "Thank God." It was someone from Central Canada who has not come to British Columbia to see what a B.C. Liberal Party is.  6

The bill says that the costs should be borne by the province. This is a federal institution, as far as I am concerned. If I was still a politician in British Columbia, I would say that that is not B.C.'s responsibility. That is a responsibility of the federal government; all Canadian taxpayers should share those costs. It explains how to finance a campaign — the same as you do for a provincial campaign. If you can raise $5 million to $8 million, good on you, because that is what it will take.  6-1

Next is the election platform. The bill refers to provincial elections or municipal elections. If there is a provincial election going on and the province chooses to have senators elected at the same time, all of a sudden, you have a senator who is running either as a Conservative or as a Liberal in a campaign that is provincial. I do not think the provincial party wants you there, even though you went to their party convention and were nominated. I do not think they want a federal person in there at election time; I would not. That might work in some places that have both provincial Liberal and provincial Conservative parties — there are some provinces like that, but not mine. Mine is a bit different.  6-2

We are told that this bill is a guide only. Provinces can make up their own minds as to what they want or do not want. I guess some could not be subject to this bill and could still follow the present appointment process. However, it is inconsistent for some provinces to hold elections while others do not. That is neither workable nor effective. Thought must be given to some of those things.  6-3

I am a firm believer that the appointment process is quick and cheap. You can have regional representation and do all kinds of things. You can get a cross-section of the people that you want in this place to be those involved in the sober second thought process.  6-4

Senator Segal: Krushchev said the same thing!  7

Senator Neufeld: Even my own members are telling me that Krushchev had the same idea.  8

Senator Segal: That is right. Appointments are very efficacious.  9

Senator Neufeld: I was not here to heckle Senator Segal and I would appreciate it if he did not heckle me.  10

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!  11

An Hon. Senator: You can dish it out but you cannot take it!  12

Senator Neufeld: I can take lots of heckling. Listen, I come from British Columbia.  13

I have heard some people say that the Senate is too partisan, that we have to elect senators so that we do not have a partisan Senate. My goodness! Take a look at the other place or at any other legislature. Are they not partisan? Of course not.  13-1

I think we work well here. Do we have differences of opinion? Of course we do, but if we cannot sit down and talk them out, sometimes we agree to disagree. That is democracy and I do not mind that kind of democracy.  13-2

If Canadians actually want an elected Senate, they need to be told both sides of the story. I do not think you can just continue to rant about how terrible the Senate is without telling people what the Senate does, what it has done and the good work that it does.  13-3

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!  14

Senator Neufeld: I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we do those things. I am not saying that everyone does it, but it happens. Each and every one of you can think back about what you have heard, for example, that people fall asleep here and that you are appointed until you die, and so on.  15

Honourable senators, we have to rethink the process. Is there a need for constitutional change? I am not a scholar on the Senate, but I believe it requires a constitutional change. In fact, even the writers of this bill agree. They say that eight years hence — and I heard that in a speech — we will have constitutional change. That is quite a statement.  15-1

I think it takes federal legislation to change the Senate. It is a federal institution. It is a federal responsibility. It should be financed federally. If we want to reform some things, we could easily reform some things in here. However, understand that there are over 100 years of tradition in this place, which do not come easy. Maybe there are some things that we could do.  15-2

Could I have an extra five minutes, honourable senators?  15-3

Hon. Senators: Agreed.  16

Senator Neufeld: Honourable senators, there are some things that we could do in here. I have no problem with term limits, none whatsoever. If it is eight years or twelve years, whatever people decide collectively at the end of the day, I am okay with that. However, I do not think you should be appointed to the Senate at 35 years of age and be able to stay until you are 75 years old.  17

I fully agree with term limits and I am on record as saying that I agree with term limits. We should bring that change in relatively quickly. Canadians would say that the Senate is reforming itself and it is a better institution because of the reform. Getting new blood in here once in a while — no offence to anyone — does not hurt one bit.  17-1

Honourable senators, look at the big picture. What are Canadians thinking about? Are they thinking about the economy? Yes, Canadians are likely thinking about the economy. Are they thinking about health care? Yes, Canadians are likely thinking about health care.  17-2

In my province, I spent 18 years with health care at the top of the list and before the NDP took us to a have-not province, the economy was the other big item at the top of the list. Canadians are thinking about jobs, their families, crime and education.  17-3

Honourable senators, I would like to put on the record that if you polled Canadians and asked what six things are on their minds, I do not think any of them — or maybe one or two — out of the millions polled would say that the most important thing would be an elected senate. They would mention many other things first. CTV did a poll a while ago and asked about an elected Senate and the yes/no results were pretty even.  17-4

Thank you.  

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.  18

Senator Munson: It was worth it to stay the summer.  19

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Will the honourable senator accept a question?  20

Senator Neufeld: From my good friend, Senator St. Germain, of course I will accept a question.  21

Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, I have been a strong proponent of an elected Senate; and that is on the record. I said when I joined the Alliance Party with Stockwell Day that I would resign my seat and run if we could have an elected Senate. That statement still stands.  22

Senator Neufeld would have been a shoo-in to an elected Senate, given that he was elected in the Reform Party, the Social Credit Party and the B.C. Liberals.  22-1

Honourable senators, where do we start if we do not start somewhere? I agree that it will most likely take a constitutional change to bring proper reform to this place so that our province, for example, has proper representation, which it has not had for years.  22-2

Senator Brown was elected in Alberta. I know the politics in Western Canada and right across the country. I was the President of the Progressive Conservative Party for five years. Do you not think this is an honourable start to something?  22-3

Senator Neufeld, I agree that it is not on the minds of people but, when it comes up at a political rally, there is a burst of applause for this type of initiative. How would the honourable senator go about initiating the required changes to bring about fairness to the province of British Columbia?  22-4

Senator Neufeld: I thank the honourable senator for the question. I would get a round of applause at a B.C. Liberal convention if I got up and said let us defeat the NDP. There are many ways to get a round of applause when you stand up as a speaker. Senator St. Germain, you know that as well as I know it. That is the part I talked about. It is time to quit kicking the Senate. It is time to start talking about the good things we do. I said that to an environmental group that came to our committee meeting a while ago. People do not always want to hear the negative. They want to hear about the good things we do.  23

As to where to start, I do not think it should be at the back end of the process. I said of Senator Brown that I appreciate very much the hard work; and that is what he has on his mind. There is a mishmash of legislation across the provinces and the territories with different ways of appointing people. It is amazing how confused things would be if each province and territory had different election legislation. That would not be effective.  23-1

We need to start at the top with a constitutional issue. We need to talk to the premiers and the territorial leaders to find agreement and work from there. Otherwise, the mishmash we would have over eight-year terms would be detrimental.  23-2

Hon. Donald Neil Plett: Honourable senators, I agree with my honourable colleague that we have the right to differing opinions, so I will give my opinion on this matter.  24

Honourable senators, change is in the air. The appetite for reform is spreading, not just among the Canadian population and in the governments of the provinces and territories of Canada but also in the Senate. I can tell you that it transcends party lines.  24-1

Honourable senators, not only Canada has an appetite for reform. Lord Andrew Adonis recently stood in the House of Lords in London and addressed that chamber, where Lords have been appointed for some 700 years. He told the chamber:  24-2

    The time has now come to make it legitimate in the only way that a legislative assembly can be legitimate in the modern world, which is to be elected.  24-3

As you know, Ancient Greece was home to the first democracy. The Romans later created a system of government whereby senators were appointed. They may not have had Liberals on one side and Conservatives on the other, but it did not take long for Emperor Caligula to try to appoint his horse to the Senate. I trust that the Prime Minister was not trying to make that same point when he appointed me here recently.  24-4

Like the emperors of old, Canada's prime minister can appoint almost anyone he or she chooses to the Senate. However, our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, wants to see our senators elected. Recent polls show that the Canadian public is with him on that point.  24-5

I will share the results of two recent polls with honourable senators. Harris/Decima released a poll that made clear that few Canadians are satisfied to keep the Senate as it is. However difficult it seems to achieve, a call for reform is loud and clear. A majority of Canadians, 60 per cent, would like to see senators elected by the voters from the province or territory that they represent. In fact, Canadians under the age of 35 years are 70 per cent more likely than any other demographic group to prefer an elected Senate.  24-6

Interestingly, supporters of the Liberals were 66 per cent more likely and the Greens were 75 per cent more likely, across voting intention lines, to prefer an elected Senate. Angus Reid also released the results of a poll of Canadians on Senate reform. Honourable senators, the poll found that two thirds of respondents want to elect their senators directly. A staggering 73 per cent of Canadians want a new approach to the Senate, and 67 per cent want a method to elect senators directly. It is clear that Canadians want, demand and deserve a democratic choice in their Senate representative.  24-7

Currently, our appointed senators can sit until the age of 75 years with no fear of ever having to face voters in an election. Being elected means that you must be accountable to your constituents. Once senators are elected, they will have the democratic legitimacy and independence necessary to represent the interests of their home provinces rather than the interests of a political party. The Constitution of Canada, the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Constitution Act, 1982 make very clear that the purpose of the Senate is to represent the provinces and territories of Canada.  24-8

Honourable senators, it is important to realize that we are not here in the Senate as Conservatives or Liberals first. Being a senator transcends party lines, and I am testimony to that. The fact of the matter is that we are here as senators to represent our constituents first, to represent the parts of Canada from which we come. We are here together, representing all of Canada.  24-9

In the short time I have been in the Senate, I have noticed that, despite the fact that many of us have differing opinions, there is a sense of teamwork regardless of political affiliation. I have noticed this especially in the committees on which I serve. I have sincerely enjoyed working with all of my colleagues and look forward to continuing our relationships into the future.  24-10

I have made numerous friends on both sides of this chamber. Unfortunately, none of the friends I have made on the other side are in the chamber now. They include Senators Mercer, Robichaud, Dawson and Zimmer, just to name a few. However, I must say that I struggle a bit with Senator Zimmer, as he cheers for the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, even though he represents the province of Manitoba.  24-11

When I was appointed last year, Senator Maria Chaput was the first person from the other side of the chamber to welcome me to the Senate. Some years ago, I played hockey against her brother Maurice, and I must admit that my back is still sore from some of his hits. Although the competition was fierce, he was always the first person to buy a round of drinks after the game. I always shared a sense of camaraderie with her brother, even though we were fierce competitors. Senator Chaput and I continue that non-partisanship, even though we are from opposing parties. Ironically, I also worked with Senator Chaput's other brother, André, in politics for the Conservative Party.  24-12

Senator Chaput is a classic example of someone appointed to the Senate not for her political beliefs but rather for her passionate work for her causes, including her great work in the francophone school divisions in Manitoba.  24-13

Senator Mercer and I were clearly not appointed for such noble causes as Senator Chaput and recently retired Senator Keon. Having said that, I would be proud to run in an election and put my service record to the country on the line as my campaign platform.  24-14

As a senator, I have the opportunity to effect change. Youth justice is a cause close to my heart. Although I believe strongly in our government's youth justice bills, I also believe that the problem goes beyond putting children in jail. We must find out what the root problem is in order to find the solution.  24-15

I recently began working on this cause with my good friend Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was working with Dr. Axworthy on youth justice, he joked that I was so far right and Dr. Axworthy so far left that we would meet on the back end. All jokes aside, Dr. Axworthy is a good friend and a good man, and I am looking forward to continuing our efforts on this great cause.  24-16

Senators, before you think I have gone over to the dark side, let me speak about our Conservative government and what it means for me to be a Conservative. To me, being a Conservative is to deal with the reality of the world in its natural state. I believe in the rights and responsibilities and the natural dignity of the individual. I believe that human nature is not perfectible. Government control is not the answer. I am suspicious of government efforts to fix problems. Often what they are attempting to fix is human nature, which is impossible. That does not mean we are resigned to a negative destiny. I believe in striving for ideals, but within the realistic confines of human nature.  24-16

Liberalism holds that there is no human problem that government cannot fix if we have the right people in charge. Unfortunately, history and common sense are not on their side. Conservatives do not trust in utopian promises. Conservatives deal with human nature in its natural state. To me, conservatism is not merely about being political. Canadians expect public office-holders to seek office for the right reason, and the right reason is to challenge the norms and to serve the public's common good.  24-18

Recently, when I went to see my doctor in Steinbach, Manitoba, for a check-up, he praised Senator Carstairs for all of her hard work on palliative care. Palliative care is not a political issue; it is an issue of concern to us all. I believe that all parliamentarians should put aside their partisanship and work together on causes such as these for our constituents and all Canadians, and we in the Senate should lead this reform.  24-19

It is my true desire to have Senate reform within the upper chamber, and this should go beyond simply reforming how we arrive here. I agree that we should move toward having term limits for senators and look for a method for people to choose who represents them in the Senate.  24-20

Above and beyond our government's vision for Senate reform, I also wish to see the elimination of stalling legislation within the Senate, as we are seeing today. It is frustrating for me to see a senator speaking for 45 minutes when what they said could have been said in 15 minutes. The role of a senator should be to enhance the work of the House of Commons, not to be a hindrance in its path. I believe that our role is to ensure that legislation that comes into this house passes the constitutional and legal tests, and not to second-guess the will of the democratically elected House of Commons.  24-21

Honourable senators, there are obvious benefits to having an elected Senate. However, debate on Senate reform often slips into a discussion of technical details. Rarely do we examine the ultimate goal of reform, which is a healthier and stronger Canadian democracy.  24-22

It is important to note that reforming the Senate does not require a constitutional amendment. In fact, the province of Alberta has held three senatorial elections, and the winners of two of those elections have been appointed without any constitutional changes.  24-23

The President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation, Dr. Roger Gibbins, released a paper outlining the reasons the Senate should be reformed. He brought up two very good points that we should consider. A reformed Senate could provide a check on the power of future prime ministers and also provide permanent and effective provincial representation within the national Parliament.  24-24

Honourable senators, as we contemplate the future of the Senate, I want to remind you that we are having this conversation right now because of our Prime Minister. Not only has Prime Minister Stephen Harper taken action on Senate reform through legislation and through establishing a Minister of State for Democratic Reform, but he is also the first sitting Prime Minister to testify before a standing Senate committee. In fact, our Prime Minister has been dedicated to Senate reform since he entered politics in 1987. As you may recall, Prime Minister Harper also proudly appointed the winner of Alberta's Senate election, our colleague Bert Brown, to the Senate in 2007. Senator Brown has worked tirelessly on Senate reform for nearly three decades, from both outside and inside the Senate.  24-25

Senator Brown often uses this quote, and I would like to share it with you today.  24-26

    Politics has sometimes been described as a battle of ideas. But in democratic politics, one non-partisan idea above all others is supposed to rule supreme: those who govern derive their moral authority to do so only with the consent of the governed, and that such consent comes through free and fair elections.  24-27

Thank you very much.  24-28

Hon. Mac Harb: I wonder if my colleague will take a question.  25

Senator Plett: Certainly.  26

Senator Harb: As happened when Senator Brown was elected in the province of Alberta, I am sure my colleague would agree that nothing stopped the Prime Minister from going to the premiers, before he appointed a series of senators on the other side, to have them elected. Is the honourable senator aware that the Prime Minister has in fact approached some of the premiers to run elections?  27

Second, for all of the colleagues on the other side who were appointed, did any one of them make a statement that after eight years they will voluntarily retire and, if not, why not?  27-1

Senator Plett: I thank the honourable senator for those questions. I cannot answer on behalf of other people entirely, but I am quite sure that my colleague Senator Brown would bear out that he, in fact, has spoken at one point or another to every premier in the country and has had the consent of many premiers over a period of time, and is still actively soliciting the support of premiers across the country. He would have to answer as to where he is in that. Senator Brown has worked closely with the Prime Minister, and I certainly believe that he is the Prime Minister's representative.  28

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Plett, your time is up. Are you asking for more time? Two other senators wish to ask questions.  29

Senator Plett: If there are questions, I will ask for more time.  30

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Five minutes.  31

Senator Plett: Let me try to answer the honourable senator's second question, and that was dealing with senators agreeing to term limits. I will again say only what I have agreed to, and I have agreed to support the Prime Minister's Senate reforms.  32

Hon. Dennis Dawson: Honourable senators, I refer to rule 52 of the Rules of the Senate, dealing with redress of an injured senator. When a senator is absent from the room, a senator is not supposed to say that that senator is absent. I am sure Senator Plett would want to take the opportunity, since he mentioned Senator Robichaud and myself as being absent from the Senate, to stand up and apologize.  33

Senator Plett: I would certainly want to stand up and say that I was not aware that I should not do that. I will certainly try to improve myself in the future. If it is an apology you want, Senator Dawson, as I did say that you were one of my friends on that side, I would be happy to apologize to both of my friends.  34

Hon. Jim Munson: Earlier, Senator Plett asked the chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration what it costs to have senators return each week, and I think the answer was $200,000. That is approximately $2,000 per senator. From my perspective, listening to the debate between Senator Plett and Senator Neufeld, it is priceless. What is his view?  35

Senator Plett: Let me first say, Senator Munson, before my friend Senator Mercer attacks me on the same issue that my good friend Senator Dawson did, I would apologize to all honourable senators who are not in the chamber and whom I may or may not have offended.  36

In terms of the debate between Senator Neufeld and myself, honourable senators, it is priceless when we debate behind closed doors. You should see that.  

Senator St. Germain: Senator Plett, the indication is that this side is not a bunch of sheep. We have Senator Neufeld. He is man enough to stand up and state his position. You are man enough to state your position. I think this is what builds a strong Conservative Party. That is why we are in power: we have the ability to differ on certain issues. However, on the national issues, the important issues such as those being dealt with now in the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, we take on the responsibility to Canadians.  37

On certain issues, we have personal positions. I think that brings strength to this side, and I think we should build on that. Does the honourable senator agree?  37-1

Senator Plett: Thank you very much, Senator St. Germain. I would simply echo those exact comments. I have been accused of being many things, but a sheep has never been one of them, and I do agree with that.  38

I also agree that we need to start building somewhere.  38-1

If we just simply say that every type of Senate reform cannot be achieved, then we will not achieve Senate reform. We have to bite the bullet at some point and say we need to start somewhere, whether that is term limits, an elected Senate, or shortening the speeches here in the chamber. Any one of those will do.  38-2

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Honourable senators, the honourable senator and his colleagues are united in their ideas about reform, but something about their argument bothers me.  39

Not that long ago, several of the senator's colleagues defended the right to express opinions in public. I consider this to be a public place, and to maintain order, time limits must be imposed. So a party that is concerned about protecting freedom of expression...  39-1

Some Hon. Senators: Order.  40

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Dallaire, Senator Plett's time is up. Answer very briefly, Senator Plett.  41

Senator Plett: I think the honourable senator was speaking about time limits and the freedom of speech. If I in fact have the time later on today, I want to make sure I get 45 minutes of speaking time in the chamber, and I am hoping I will be able to speak on the inquiry of freedom of speech later on today.  42

(On motion of Senator Fraser, debate adjourned.)  43

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Hon. Richard Neufeld
An Hon. Senator
Senator Neufeld
Senator Segal
Senator Neufeld
Senator Segal
Senator Neufeld
Some Hon. Senators
An Hon. Senator
Senator Neufeld
Some Hon. Senators
Senator Neufeld
Hon. Senators
Senator Neufeld
Some Hon. Senators
Senator Munson
Hon. Gerry St. Germain
Senator Neufeld
Hon. Gerry St. Germain
Senator Neufeld
Hon. Donald Neil Plett
Hon. Mac Harb
Senator Plett
Senator Harb
Senator Plett
The Hon. the Speaker
Senator Plett
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau
Senator Plett
Hon. Dennis Dawson
Senator Plett
Hon. Jim Munson
Senator Plett
Senator St. Germain
Senator Plett
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire
Some Hon. Senators
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore
Senator Plett