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Archive from October 2010

The Cruelty of the Animal Boycott

29 October 2021 at 16h28

Europe Falls Into the Hands of Anti-seal Hunt Vegetarian Groups

Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette Condemns the Cruelty of the Animal Boycott


OTTAWA, October 29th, 2010 - “Yesterday, Europe endangered seals and the Canadians who live off this resource”, declared Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette who regrets the decision of the European Court of Justice’s decision to uphold the boycott of seal products. “The overpopulation of seals will require, no matter what, a balance of the ecosystem. If we don’t find an alternate market to Europe to sell seal products we will be condemned to throw seals into the garbage. At that point, I don’t think there will be the same level of supervision by the Canadian government to guarantee ethical hunting standards.”

Senator Hervieux-Payette reiterates that this boycott is both immoral and illegal under the rules of the World Trade Organization. “Europeans want to impose their universal vision of animal ethics even though they are unable to enforce these same rules to sport hunting, which has greater consequences than seal hunting.” She also asked, “where are their regulations, their supervision and their independent scientific reports?”

The Senator realizes that the vegetarian movement fuelled by Hollywood is structured to such a point that it can influence European decisions without any scientific merit. “The social vision of the Jet Set is completely disconnected from a reality derived from B-movies and spreading into parliaments. It’s pathetic” added the Senator.

Senator Hervieux-Payette is actively seeking the federal government’s intervention in insuring that Seal hunters receive basic income that could help develop new markets. “I consider that as long as we will have to fight against this unfair ban, the revenues from 2005 should be minimally insured by the Government of Canada”.

– 30 –

Read the official Press Release

Question on the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan

27 October 2021 at 14h19

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. As you know, Canada is the world leader in potash production. The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is primarily Canadian-owned, generates revenue of more than $9 million, and employs almost 5,000 people.

Canada can be proud of this company, which helps farmers in Canada and throughout the world continue to produce food for a growing population. The Investment Canada Act clearly states that the government can block the sale of a Canadian corporation for reasons of national security.

I will read the first paragraph of section 25.2:

If the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that an investment by a non-Canadian could be injurious to national security, the Minister may, within the prescribed period, send to the non-Canadian a notice that an order for the review of the investment may be made under subsection 25.3(1).

I remind you that it is a review and that we are not talking at this point about blocking the sale. I do not have to tell you that Potash Corporation is of strategic importance to Canada and its farmers. Through this corporation, we are well positioned internationally in terms of agricultural products and food security.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently indicated that he would not oppose the sale of Potash Corporation to BHP Billiton, an Australian corporation, even though it is strongly opposed by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

Will the Canadian government block this sale, or review it in the interests of Canadians, and protect an industry of strategic importance to the future of Canada?


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for her question. I will repeat what I stated last week in answer to the same question. The minister and the government will only approve applications for review where an investment demonstrates that it is likely to be of net benefit to Canada. The review process is rigorous. Under the Investment Canada Act, we are the only government to reject a deal — MDA, in 2008 — and to take a company to court, U.S. Steel, in 2009. In the 13 years previous, the Liberal government did neither.

I repeat that we will only approve applications for review where an investment demonstrates that it is likely to be of net benefit for Canada.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: The situation that Potash Corporation is facing is familiar: a large multinational corporation that is an industrial gem, creates thousands of jobs, invests in research and development and invests in its communities. This situation sounds exactly the same as other situations with corporations that the federal government allowed to be taken over, and all those corporations failed to ensure that the new foreign owners would respect their promises to protect Canadian jobs.

Furthermore, the federal government failed to appropriately examine those transactions, to the detriment of Canadians. I think of the employees of Inco, Alcan, Noranda, and Stelco, all of whom were told that their jobs would be safe under these new foreign owners but rapidly realized that their interests would not be respected, that only the interests of the foreign investors would be taken into account.

I would like to correct the honourable senator with respect to foreign investment and takeovers in Canada and tell her that there has been more such activity in the past three years than in the previous 15 years under both Conservative and Liberal governments.

Will the government commit to protecting the jobs and livelihoods of workers of Potash Corporation by blocking this sale, or will it let 5,000 workers see their benefits reduced, their livelihoods destroyed and Canada lose its competitive advantage?

Senator LeBreton: First, with regard to the steel industry, the honourable senator missed the point I made in answer to the first question. We took U.S. Steel to court over their inaction in living up to their agreements.

Honourable senators, I repeat that the government will not enter approve review of any investment that is not of direct benefit to Canada. The honourable senator cites statistics. We are now in a global economy. We are embarking on many free trade agreements with many countries around the world. We had gone over a decade without signing even a small free trade agreement. The honourable senator failed to mention the number of Canadian companies that have moved into the global market and taken over companies around the world. We are, in fact, in a global economy, as honourable senators well know.

Senator Tkachuk: We are a global player.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: It does not create jobs here.

Retirement Savings: What do you think?

25 October 2021 at 21h33

Dear readers,

I would like to hear your opinion on recommendations made by the Standing Senate Committe on Banking and Commerce who published a report called: Canadians Saving for their Future: A Secure Retirement.

I would like to consult you on three priniple recommendations.

  1. The federal government amend the Income Tax Act to permit contributions to registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) to be increase from 71 years of age to 75 years of age. The increase from age 71 to age 75 should be phased in over an eight-year period.
  2. The federal government amend the Income Tax Act to establish, in addition to the existing annual contribution room, an amount for lifetime contributions to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) should be set at $100,000. This amount should be increased annually in accordance with changes in the Consumer Price Index.
  3. The federal government work with the provinces and territories to establish a Canada-wide voluntary plan to encourage adequate retirement saving by Canadians and to enable them to benefit from the lower fees and lower risks.

You may write to me on this webiste or via my email: hervic@sen.parl.gc.ca with your comments.

Thank you.

Official Letter to the President of Chile

22 October 2021 at 15h51


Dear Mr. President,

My Canadian parliamentary colleagues and I cried tears of joy with you this week as the 33 heroic and courageous miners were safely rescued.

We also shared your nervousness while awaiting their safe rescue.

Through your intermediary, let me transmit to them our wishes of health and happiness with their families.

We also transmit our congratulations for the incredible effort your country has invested in such an unprecedented rescue operation. We admire the solidarity your country demonstrated in such a trying time.

Long life to these brave miners! You can count on our cooperation, as a country already present in the mining sector in Chile, to prevent any accidents in the future.

Assuring you of our deep friendship, please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

The Honourable Céline Hervieux-Payette P.C.


 CC: The Minister of mining of Chile -  Hon. Laurence Golborne Riveros
The President of the Senate of Chile  - Hon. Jorge Pizarro
The President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile - Hon. Alejandra Sepúlveda Orbenes
Members of the Foreign Affairs commissions

Official Letter to the President of Chile

What will the conservative government do to help canadians get out of debt?

7 October 2021 at 15h52

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. A recent report from the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada examining 20 OECD countries revealed that Canadians are deeper in debt than anyone else. Canada’s position is worse than that of the United States, the Czech Republic, and even Greece.

Contrary to what all those government-funded advertisements would have us believe, nothing is being done to change that trend and avoid a financial crisis here in Canada.

When will this Conservative government stop patting itself on the back and claiming that our country is leading the economic recovery, and admit that the measures it took in its stimulus budget only made things worse and created an unbelievable deficit?


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I hate to break the news to the honourable senator, but today the International Monetary Fund again reported that Canada leads the industrialized world in economic growth.

There is no question that personal household debt is a matter of concern to the government and to others. The state of the economy in the country shows that we are emerging from the economic recession better than any other country in the G7 although, as we have also pointed out, the recovery is fragile, and we are not immune to the instability that still threatens the global economy.

Many Canadians are still feeling the effects of the recession. That is why the government’s primary focus is the economy, jobs and creating an economic climate in this country that allows Canadians to work, save money and provide for their families. Obviously, we have some way to go yet, but we are still in the best position of any other country in the world.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I guess there is only one way I can agree with the leader, and that is to say that we are indeed in a fragile situation.

Honourable senators, the figure that the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada provided as the total debt of Canadians was $41,740. In 2009, this amount represented a debt-to-income ratio of 144.4 per cent.

At the same time, the federal government bought roughly $70 billion worth of mortgages from Canadian banks, effectively wiping their books clean of possible toxic assets while, at the same time, failing to regulate the percentage rate of credit cards, something that even the United States did.

When will the government stop aiding big corporations and Canadian banks, and increasing their profits, while Canadians become buried under even more debt and their situation becomes more fragile as interest rates go up?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, we clearly do not want Canadians to be overextended. Ensuring that individual Canadians and Canadian households make informed financial decisions is important and to prove that this is a priority of our government, let me put on the record a few of the things we have done. Obviously, the honourable senator is misinformed.

We set up an independent task force to work towards a national strategy on financial literacy. We introduced credit card reform to ensure Canadians have the information they need, and all payment networks, major credit card and debit card insurers and payment processors have adopted this code of conduct, in case the honourable senator had not noticed. We changed mortgage rules to protect Canadians when they buy their homes; we want to ensure appropriate and prudent lending by financial institutions. We have acted and, if necessary, will act again, to prevent lenders from facilitating unhealthy trends.


In 2008, we took pre-emptive steps to limit the kinds of excesses that caused trouble in other countries, including the percentage for a down payment when buying a home. We cut taxes. Total tax savings for a typical family is over $3,000. We also created the Tax-Free Savings Account, which has been used extensively by Canadians to save for their future.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I have a correction, honourable senators. The new tax break is for people who have money to put aside. I am talking about those who are in debt, and I doubt they will be able to save $5,000 from money they do not have.

The leader has done nothing about credit card debt. The interest rate of many credit cards stands at 19.5 per cent. The interest rate charge on credit cards from the regular banks — I looked at this area recently and it was studied by our committee — is currently at 19.5 per cent. These rates are totally unacceptable. They are hurting Canadians and, as far as I am concerned, those with low and medium incomes are the ones affected. The government can offer all the tax credits it wants, but people need a decent income and they need to work. At the same time, people also need back-up from government policy and we are not seeing those policies.

Senator LeBreton: We do have these policies, honourable senators. As Senator Segal said many years ago, the best social policy is a job. We are working hard to focus on jobs and the economy. Reducing taxes for families does help. We have brought in many other measures, including the Child Tax Benefit, to help low-income families. The government has brought in many things, honourable senators.

We brought in a code of conduct on the use of credit cards. Unfortunately, we see situations where people — have experienced difficulty as a result of activities that they were not responsible for. We saw that situation in the United States. We are doing everything we can to assist these people through many programs of government. We are trying to create a climate with our manufacturers, our industries and our businesses, by keeping taxes low, so that they will be in a position to expand their businesses, and bring in new equipment, increase their productivity, hire more Canadians to work and, therefore, help our economy in the long run.


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