Le Senateur

Share this website!

  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Mixx
  • Sphinn
  • Technorati
  • Wikio
Send to a friend Send to a friend

Send to a friend:

S'enregistrer au Flux RSS Le Sénat du Canada

Archive from June 2010

How much will provinces pay for Harper’s law and order?

30 June 2021 at 09h30



Public Safety

Costs of Public Safety Legislation

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

We are currently studying a 900-page bill. Yet the government has introduced a number of bills to amend the Criminal Code. All the so-called law and order bills have certain consequences and carry huge costs.

Before Bill C-25 on truth in sentencing was passed, the Minister of Public Safety had estimated that the additional costs would be $90 million. Once the bill was passed by the House of Commons, the minister revised his prediction and said that the bill would cost $2 billion over the next five years.

This sort of mistaken estimate reminds us of a certain G8 and G20 summit, whose costs went up by 500 per cent. I am talking about the original costs compared to the bill we are going to get in the coming weeks.

The Leader of the Government in the Senate will tell us that it is a matter of security. But the government has to be able to put a figure to the services it provides for the public.

In spite of the government’s refusal to cooperate, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, redid the calculations using the data that were available to him. In his opinion, costs will go up by between $8 billion and $13 billion, an increase of 400 to 650 per cent.

Given that the government has once again shown a total lack of transparency toward Parliament and the Parliamentary Budget Officer, can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give this chamber a clear indication of how much the passage of Bill C-25 will cost?


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, in mentioning the summits, Senator Hervieux-Payette has obviously misstated the facts when talking about the amount of security costs for the event. They were not increased tenfold; they were costs put out transparently and openly, and the government was even congratulated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer for being transparent and open about the security costs. Once everyone has had a chance to assess the costs, they will be reported openly and transparently.


With regard to the costs of the Correctional Service of Canada, there is no secret of the fact that the Minister of Public Safety differs significantly from the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. As the minister pointed out, the objective of this legislation is to protect Canadians. Our primary objective is to keep dangerous criminals in prison. It is rather interesting to note that crime across the board costs Canadians $70 billion. Minister Toews was referring to figures that were provided by the Correctional Service of Canada.

We have no reason to doubt the figures that were given to us by the Correctional Service of Canada. However, on this, I refer honourable senators to the views of the NDP Manitoba minister as published in The Globe and Mail on June 23. Here is what Public Safety Minister Toews said on this issue:

The cost of the crime to Canadians is approximately $70 billion a year and the cost of incarcerating dangerous repeat offenders is warranted in that context.

I could not agree with him more.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I hope I understood correctly that the leader will ensure she will reconcile the figures that she has given us and the ones Mr. Page was providing, because at this time there is confusion. We are accountable to the taxpayers and we need to know the exact cost. We need to know the cost for the federal government and the provincial government. As honourable senators know, prisoners with a sentence of less than two years are incarcerated under the auspices of the provinces. We need to know those costs because taxpayers are paying these bills.

Senator LeBreton: I could not agree more. That was one reason that all provincial and territorial attorneys general were supportive of the government’s initiative on the two-for-one credit. Knowing that they will not get some special two-for-one deal through the courts, many people are now facing their trials and going into the federal system; whereas before they cost the provinces a considerable amount of money the longer they delayed their trial as they fought the system. Since these individuals were being compensated in their sentencing with the time they had served in advance of their trial, it has taken a considerable amount of pressure off the provinces. These people are no longer in their institutions and therefore this has created considerable savings for the provinces.

Absolutely, honourable senators, the government will be open and upfront about the cost. However, as I said before, the government and the minister rely on the figures provided to us by public servants at the Correctional Service of Canada, and we have no reason to doubt their estimates.

French connection in AECL sale sparks conflict concerns

28 June 2021 at 10h21
June 25, 2021

Joan Bryden


OTTAWA—French nuclear giant Areva may have been given the inside track to snap up Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s reactor business, critics say.

Some industry watchers and politicians are raising concerns about potential conflict of interest after learning that N.M. Rothschild and Sons — the investment bank hired by Ottawa to develop the restructuring plan for AECL — has also acted as financial adviser to Areva on numerous acquisitions and takeovers in the past.

The bidding process for AECL’s commercial reactor business is a closely guarded secret. But there are only a handful of major nuclear players in a position to bid and industry insiders say the Paris-based, state-owned Areva is likely one of them.

Finalists could be announced as early as this month.

“I’m calling that an incestuous relationship,” said Liberal Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette, who uncovered the link during examination of the Harper government’s massive budget bill.

“The investment banker that is analysing (the bids) on behalf of our government has a very close relationship with a company that I suspect has made a proposal.”

The omnibus budget bill has been approved by the House of Commons and is currently being studied by a Senate committee. It contains a host of non-budgetary provisions, including provisions for the potential privatization of AECL.

Hervieux-Payette’s suspicions were further fuelled when she discovered that Areva, which for years employed a small army of outside consultants to lobby the federal government, abruptly stopped all lobbying activity three months after the government hired Rothschild in May 2009.

According to the federal lobbyist registry, no one has lobbied on Areva’s behalf since last August.

“By some coincidence, they have been using (lobbyists) for many years … and all of a sudden, no more, they don’t need anybody,” Hervieux-Payette said in an interview.

“Well, if they have somebody inside, they really don’t need a lobbyist.”

Rothschild did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Roger Alexander, president and CEO of Areva Canada Inc., confirmed his company “has been engaged with the Rothschild process with the federal government” related to restructuring proposals for AECL.

He would not confirm or deny that Areva has made an offer for AECL, citing confidentiality of the bidding process.

Other than that, he said: “I’m not aware of any prior relationships that Areva and Rothschild may have had in the past.”

However, records show Rothschild was listed as financial adviser to Areva on numerous deals around the globe, including the $2.5-billion takeover of UraMin, an international uranium mining company with operations in Canada, in 2007.

Also that year, Rothschild advised Areva on a strategic alliance with Summit Resources Ltd. and the acquisition of Northern Uranium Ltd.

Alexander acknowledged Areva’s parent company may have worked closely with Rothschild — hardly surprising given that both are based in Paris. He likened it to a Canadian company seeking financial advice from the Royal Bank.

But he doubted any of the deals involved operations in Canada.

In any event, Alexander said, Rothschild is running an “independent, verifiable” process for evaluating AECL proposals and doubted any concerns about apparent conflict of interest with regards to Areva would arise.

“I can’t imagine that there’s any issue with any of that.”

Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis’ office referred questions about Rothschild’s relationship with Areva to a departmental spokesman who, in turn, referred the matter to the Public Works Department, which awards government contracts.

Public Works spokeswoman Marjolaine Rocheleau said in an email that Rothschild was chosen through a competitive process from a list of 25 candidates to advise the government on AECL’s restructuring.

As part of the terms of its contract, she said Rothschild “must not have a conflict of interest in connection with the performance of its obligations and is required to declare any such conflict should it arise at any time.”

As for the sudden absence of lobbyists employed by Areva, Alexander said that’s “not related to the AECL activity or Rothschild’s activity.”

“Just for internal Areva strategic and financial reasons, we decided to not continue with those lobbying relationships,” he said.

Still, some industry players are concerned that Areva’s past relationships with Rothschild may give the company a leg up when it comes to AECL.

If Rothschild ends up recommending the sale of AECL to Areva, David Shier, president of the Canadian Nuclear Workers Council, said: “I definitely think it would be more than us saying, hey, there’s a conflict there.”

Indeed, sale of AECL’s reactor business to Areva is among the worst-case scenarios envisaged by some of those involved in the Canadian nuclear industry. They fear Areva, which manufactures a reactor that is incompatible with AECL’s unique Candu technology, would move the cream of Canadian nuclear engineers to France while shutting down the entire Candu operation in Canada.

“Of all the competitors out there, Areva is the one I’d be most concerned about grabbing the talent pool and basically shutting down the business,” said Chris Hughes, president and owner of Laker Energy Products Ltd., which manufactures Candu components.

“If Rothschild is working tightly with them, the more I think about it, the more concerned I get.”

Shier echoed the concern: “We’re quite clear on the fact that if it was bought by Areva, then that would be the end of our industry. … There’d be lots of jobs in France but there wouldn’t be that many left in Canada.”

However, David Novog, associate professor of nuclear engineering at McMaster University, said Areva shouldn’t be viewed as “the bogeyman.”

Whether AECL ends up in Canadian or foreign hands or in some sort of public-private partnership doesn’t matter, he said, provided the restructuring ensures the continued survival of the domestic nuclear industry with its many ties to the high tech, nuclear medicine and university sectors — the combination of which has made Canada a world leader in nuclear science.

Done properly, Novog said: “I think (AECL) can come out of this much stronger than they were before.”

Nevertheless, Novog said he’s concerned the entire process has been carried out secretly thus far so there’s no way of knowing if such matters are being taken into consideration.

“So far, there’s been no information available on how that process will work or how we ensure that we’re getting the appropriate debate or public input with respect to those indirect but very important parts of the industry.”

Delayed: exclusive interview on CBC The National regarding the incestuous business relationships of the Harper government

21 June 2021 at 14h36


Child rearing violence leads to agressive children. Support S-204!

11 June 2021 at 16h12


Does violence leads to the use of force, or does using force lead to violence?

According to the religious precepts of Christianity, violence was innate in man — and I must say, women also.

This meant that the proper way to raise them was to submit them to parental authority, and to control them through authority rather than through argument in order to bring them under control or domination. The Church and, beyond that, society itself felt that it was legitimate for parents to strike their children and they acknowledged parental corrective action to be effective.

But, honourable senators, the whole centuries-old concept of parental authority is based on religious beliefs and on empirical knowledge whose basis was laid down long before we began to understand the psychology of child development.

Since then, science has worked wonders, if I may put it that way.

Twentieth-century science has shown us that men and women are not aggressive by nature, but that they become aggressive because of forces in their environment. External stimuli play such an important role in the origin of violence that talking of an “innate” tendency to be aggressive makes little sense for animals, let alone for humans. Children learn to become aggressive when they are treated aggressively.

A solemn declaration to reflect a global scientific consensus was written in Seville, Spain, in 1986, and was made public during UNESCO’s general conference in Paris in 1989.

In 1917, science began to report on the disastrous consequences of corporal punishment. The following signs were evident in children: rebellion, hypocrisy, a taste for cruelty, vengeful feelings, anti-social tendencies, onset of nervous illnesses, loss of activities, and loss of capacity to enjoy and to act.

Since we now know that the way today’s children are raised will map society’s future and since we know that the community can pay dearly for parental use of force, state intervention is apparently not only justified but necessary. The use of force in child rearing, spanking for example, is not a problem that affects only families. It also affects society as a whole.

There is no reason to keep allowing ourselves to believe the traditional argument, under the guise of religious beliefs or some kind of empirical knowledge, that authoritarian child rearing, which includes physical violence, is necessary or more effective.

Consequently, please, support Bill S-204

Please read my full speech


Harper: $875,000 for a fence in 2007 is good, but $5.5 million in 2010 is better!

11 June 2021 at 13h45



Public Safety

Security at G8 and G20 Summits

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

I think I am having a déjà vu. In 2007, the government began its experiment with so-called good financial management at the summit in Montebello. A fence surrounding the summit site cost $875,000, or nearly four times its market value.

Honourable senators, according to La Presse, the fence that will surround the G20 summit in downtown Toronto will cost $5.5 million. I am sure Canadians are dying to know why the fences from the Quebec City and Montebello summits are not being reused. According to the minister at the time, those fences were to go into storage.

Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us how many more millions of dollars have been budgeted to add to this fence? In order to provide absolute security to the heads of state, does the government intend to install an electric fence, trenches, searchlights, German shepherds, gate houses and barbed wire? I would like to know whether this fence is part of the government’s action plan or part of the G20′s security.


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, summits are very expensive, especially in this day and age with the security threats that all governments face, and we are hosting back-to-back summits, the G8 and the G20.

With regard to the use of the fence, I am not certain whether any of the fences that were used previously are being put to use now, but there is obviously a large area that must be fenced off. The fact is that we have between 10,000 and 12,000 people coming to Canada to attend the G8 and G20 summits, more people than the number of athletes who attended the Olympics, with a security level much higher because many of the world’s leaders will attend these summits at the same time.

There is obviously a significant cost, but there is not a single security expert in the world who has criticized the government for the extreme measures that are being taken to secure the safety of our world leaders, their delegations and the large contingent of international media that will be attending as well.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I remind the leader that the World Trade Center disaster took place in 2001 and I am talking about a fence in 2007. I suppose if there was a threat, we would know about it.

To be more specific, when did the leader’s government file a request for the proposal for the fence? Who established the specifications? Who selected the supplier? Could the leader tell me the origin of the fence? At Montebello, the main supplier was from Alabama, to the great amazement of Canadian entrepreneurs who asserted they were able to supply the same product at four times less the price actually paid.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, we could get into trivial arguments about fences, but there is a significant difference between Montebello and where the summit is being held in downtown Toronto.

In addition, and I continue to point this out, the G8 and the G20 are back-to-back events. The security measures are being taken by the government on the recommendation of our public safety and security officials. We have outstanding public servants, outstanding police and outstanding experts on whom we are relying. Surely no one would suggest that the government should question the advice and the direction we are getting from security experts who are trained and skilled in this area. Surely no one would want us to question their advice to us when such important meetings are being held in Canada.


It is a chance for Canada to showcase this wonderful country to the world. Surely no one is suggesting that we take measures that in any way would jeopardize the safety of world leaders, their delegations and our other guests.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Since the leader belongs to a government that insisted, supported and drafted the accountability bill, at least she will understand why we hold them to account on these principles.

I would like to quote someone who has written about the G8, because the minister seems to attach a lot of importance to it and the fact that we spent several hundred million dollars for that event.


Today in La Presse, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner — who is not new to politics — had this to say about the G8:

Too much money is spent on these things. Billions of dollars is too much.

France’s top diplomat thinks the G8 is bound to disappear.

It is a meeting. We push some paper around and then we leave.

How does the government justify such an expensive tab for the event in Huntsville and why is it going beyond the expectations of the other heads of state?


Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I am aware of the comments of the French foreign minister. These summits are expensive. I read his comments. He was talking about summits in general. That is how I interpreted what he said. I said in this place a couple weeks ago that it is true that these summits are very expensive. However, with the summit about to take place, we cannot be questioning security officials. The advice that we are getting with regard to what they are saying must be followed in order to provide security for the world leaders and for these large delegations that accompany them.

However, I can understand the French foreign minister’s concern, because next year France is hosting both the G8 and the G20 summits. When I saw his remarks, I did not take offence because he is realizing, as we are, that to host these meetings is hugely expensive. One would not expect any government to take shortcuts or question the advice that government is receiving from the people who are skilled in the areas of intelligence and security. That is what we are doing; we are taking their advice. Not one single security expert has told the government or suggested, either privately or publicly, that we are not taking this matter seriously. We will do everything possible to provide security for our guests.


You need to log in to vote

The blog owner requires users to be logged in to be able to vote for this post.

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.

Powered by Vote It Up