Canada, Senate Debates, “Text of Resolution to be Tabled in Parliament”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (18 November 1981)

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Date: 1981-11-18
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 3027-3028.
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[Page 3027]

SENATE DEBATES — November 18, 1981




Hon. Jacques Flynn (Leader of the Opposition): Could the Leader of the Government tell us whether or not, as was suggested yesterday, the new constitutional resolution will be tabled today in the other place and here also, if we are still sitting?


Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I spoke with the house leader in the other place only l0 minutes ago. The honourable the minister stated that as of now there is a 99 per cent chance that the notice of motion will be tabled in the other place at some point this afternoon, and it is anticipated that debate on the motion may well commence on Friday of this week. That is the latest information made known to me.


Senator Flynn: Does that mean that the consultations which have been going on for a few days between the federal government, on the one hand, and the provinces and other groups, such as Indians, on the other, are now over? Is that phase completely finished and is the drafting of the final text the only thing left to do?


Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, I understand that a helpful amount of useful consultation has been held, the details of which are not available to me at this time.


Senator Flynn: In particular, have consultations been held with the premier-elect of Manitoba?

Hon. Joseph-Philippe Guay: That would go smoother.

Senator Flynn: Not with the Manitoba Liberal opposition though!



Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, I too have a question for Senator Austin. I heard this morning that there is no chance of getting section 34, on native rights, back in the accord. I was wondering if the minister has had a chance to meet the people from Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories.

Hon. Jack Austin (Minister of State): Honourable senators, I thank Senator Adams for his question. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and I met with the Council of the Northwest Territories during the lunch hour today, and discussed their representations, which are, essentially, three in number. They are: First, that section 34 be reinstated in the joint resolution so far as federal jurisdiction is concerned; secondly, that paragraph 9(e) of the so-called Vancouver formula—the provision allowing extension of provincial boundaries northward—be deleted from the accord, or agreement, of November 5; and thirdly, that section 9(f) of the so-called Vancouver formula be deleted, this being a provision that would require the federal government, if it sought to create new provinces in the Yukon or the Northwest Territories, to proceed under the general amending formula to obtain the concurrence of the provinces.

Those matters were discussed, Senator Adams. I cannot tell you the outcome of representations made during a visit by the Council of the Northwest Territories to Ottawa this week but, as Senator Perrault has said, some time later today the joint resolution will be made available in the other place, and perhaps here, if we have not adjourned prior to that time, and we will then have the actual document before us.

Hon. Jacques Flynn (Leader of the Opposition): Do you mean that at that time we will finally be given the replies to the questions we have raised?

[Page 3028]



Hon. G. I. Smith: Honourable senators, I wonder if I might direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate regarding the text of the draft resolution to which reference has been made. If it should happen that that draft is unavailable for distribution in this chamber before we adjourn, could arrangements be made to distribute it to the offices of senators as soon as it is available?

Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, as soon as the information is made available, it will be circulated to the best of the ability of the government.

Hon. Ernest C. Manning: Honourable senators, may I ask the Leader of the Government a question on the same matter? In light of the anticipated presentation of the resolution today or tomorrow in the other place, should we assume that the resolution will be debated in this chamber next week, or is the timetable firm enough to indicate a date at this time?

Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, when the notice of motion has been tabled in the other place, it is the intention of the government to hold meetings involving the leadership of the parties in both chambers to discuss how this matter may be most usefully debated. It is expected that the debate will commence first in the other place and at some later point—which date will most certainly be discussed with the Leader of the Opposition here—debate in this chamber will be held.

Discussions may well take place in the other place this evening or tomorrow morning with respect to the length and terms of the debate, whether or not it may be possible to establish a set time for a vote, and matters of that kind. It is the intention to table the notice of motion as soon as possible in the Senate as well, so that the motion will be on our order paper. From that point we can then proceed to determine our debating schedule here.

Senator Smith: On that point I wonder if I might ask a supplementary question of the Leader of the Government. Is it reasonable to assume that the house order in the other place limiting the length of the debate to two days is no longer considered by the leadership in that place to be applicable?

Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, of course, the original motion has been withdrawn in the other place. I may have a similar proposal later this afternoon with respect to that same motion on our order paper. It may be that the wording of the new motion will be received so ccstatically that the members of the other place may wish to give it immediate unanimous consent. That is always a possibility. It is more likely, however, that the debate will go on for at least two days, and perhaps longer.

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