Canada, Senate Debates, “Statement by Clerk of Privy Council”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (21 October 1980)

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Date: 1980-10-21
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1980 at 897-898.
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SENATE DEBATES — October 21, 1980

[Page 897]



Hon. Charles McElman: Honourable senators, my question is directed to the Leader of the Government. It was reported in the press last week that in a recent speech given in the United States by the Clerk of the Privy Council, Mr. Michael Pitfield, he informed his audience that the only way meaningful and effective reform of the Canadian Constitution could be brought about was when the nation was in a state of crisis. Would the leader undertake to determine if this report has any accuracy, and, if so, to table that part of the transcript of the speech making such a reference.

Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): The question will be taken as notice.

[Page 898]

Senator McElman: When the leader is making his inquiry, will he find a method of delivering a message to the effect that when matters of great portent, such as the Constitution of Canada, are being debated in the Parliament of Canada, public servants, no matter how high or low in the pecking order, might be little seen and less heard.

Hon. Duff Roblin: Honourable senators, I could not have said it better myself. I congratulate my honourable friend on his wise counsel.


Hon. Duff Roblin: Honourable senators. my question is prompted by the statement read to us tonight by the Leader of the Opposition with respect to the letter the Prime Minister gave to the Leader of the New Democratic Party in the other place.

My curiosity is piqued by a word on which I would like clarification. The paragraph numbered I at the bottom of page 2 of the Prime Minister’s letter says that the amendment would:

(1) confirm the jurisdiction of the provinces with respect to exploration, development, conservation, and management of non-renewable natural resources—

I wonder if my honourable friend could give me an idea as to what the word “management” means. I take it it means, among other things, not merely the physical management but the economic management of the resource in question. Is that a fair interpretation?

Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will take that question as notice.

Senator Roblin: I would like to expand on the question by giving my honourable friend the reason for asking. Obviously this involves a question of price if economic management is included in that expression. I think it will be of some interest to members of this house to know whether or not this is the case.

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