In the Chamber
Click the links below to review past speeches/statements I have given in the Senate.
Air Force Appreciation Day 2010
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, recently we heard a lot about the Canadian Navy and quite rightly as the navy is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary this year. Honourable senators will recall that last year we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of aviation in Canada.
Today, honourable senators, I draw your attention to Air Force Appreciation Day on Parliament Hill. A reception will take place on May 25, the first Tuesday following our break. I hope that all honourable senators will join me in helping to thank the men and women in uniform, in particular the sky-blue uniform of the Canadian Air Force.
Honourable senators, the Royal Canadian Air Force was officially formed on April 1, 1924. Canadian aircrews had served previously as part of the British Army, Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy Air Service during World War I. That was also known as the Fleet Air Arm. During the Second World War, the Canadian Air Force grew to be the fourth largest of the Allied air forces, having at its peak an enrolment of over 200,000 personnel, which can be compared to today's total air force numbers of only 14,500. It was through great effort, perseverance and bravery that the Canadian Air Force was able to develop into the proud organization that it is today.
Today, the Royal Canadian Air Force is known as the Canadian Air Forces Air Command, which is an important and integral part of the Canadian Armed Forces. It provides many important services, including search-and-rescue operations, military security and NATO training missions. The Canadian Air Force is also actively involved internationally, transporting Canadian personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies to many places throughout the world, including NATO and NORAD missions. The Canadian Air Force has also taken on additional responsibilities recently in Afghanistan with the creation of Air Wing Kandahar. The CAF was a critical part of the success of the recent Canadian Forces mission to Haiti.
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, which is more commonly known as the Snowbirds. This year's show season officially began yesterday and will continue with 56 performances throughout Canada and the United States. Honourable senators will be interested to know that 2010 is a notable year for the Snowbirds for another reason: Following an organizational restructure, Lieutenant Colonel Maryse Carmichael took over as Commanding Officer of the squadron, the first woman to do so in the 40-year history of the Snowbirds.
It is my hope that honourable senators will take the time to visit on Tuesday, May 25, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in room 256-S, to thank the men and women of the Canadian Air Force for the tremendous work that they do to preserve our security.
World Intellectual Property Day 2010
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, I rise today to discuss intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Today we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. Intellectual property rights apply to intangible goods, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights. This day is officially celebrated on April 26, but since it fell on a Monday this year, we decided to mark the occasion on Parliament Hill today.
World Intellectual Property Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva. This United Nations agency is focused on the understanding of and respect for intellectual property rights worldwide.
This afternoon we will host members of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. The Institute, founded in 1926, is the professional association of patent agents, trademark agents, artists, engineers, lawyers and science graduates practising in the area of copyright and technology and the law. There are over 1,300 members of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada practising within and outside Canada, including some of us who are no longer engaged in active practice but who continue to be interested in the good work of the Institute.
The term "intellectual property" may be contrasted with real or personal property. Real or personal property is tangible, like a house or a car. Intellectual property is non-physical. It is a legal right that can be enforced in the courts and arises by virtue of creativity, such as composing music, writing a poem or designing a new widget. The creator of that work does not own each note or word, nor the material, but the creator does have a right to the particular arrangement of those words, notes or material.
We may all have the opportunity to delve into the world of intellectual property if the long-promised revision to the Copyright Act reaches this chamber. One of the main issues we will have to consider is balancing the rights of creators with the rights of citizens to access and use such works made readily available by reason of the digital revolution in electronics.
This year, 2010, marks the tenth anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day. This year's World Intellectual Property Day focuses on innovation. In support of World Intellectual Property Day on the Hill, it is my hope that honourable senators will visit room 256-S this afternoon between five o'clock and seven o'clock for the opportunity to greet and thank those members of the IPIC who do so much to help Canada's competitive position in the world.
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, recently I heard a story, which is allegedly true, that I thought might be of interest to you.
Judy Wallman, a professional genealogist doing research in Southern California, was doing some work on her own family tree. She discovered that she and United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shared a common ancestor, one Remus Reid who died in Montana in 1889.
On the back of a picture which Judy Wallman obtained during her research was the following inscription:
Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.
Judy recently emailed Congressman Harry Reid for information he might have about their common ancestor, Remus Reid. Harry Reid's staff from Congress sent back the following biographical sketch for her research:
Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include the acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.
Honourable senators, this sketch is a perfect example of what is commonly referred to as "political spin." The words we hear and the explanations we receive should not always be taken at face value.
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, today I would like to speak to you about the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Since its creation, the CFI has had a transformative impact on the research landscape in Canada, in its work with the provinces, the private sector and colleges and universities.
The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.
Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed $5.27 billion in support of over 6,600 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.
Under the Budget Implementation Act, 1997, the CFI received $3.65 billion, which, together with accrued interest and subsequent appropriations, allowed the foundation to do its good work.
Following a recent performance evaluation and value-for- money audit of the Canada Foundation for Innovation by an independent international review panel, CFI has been declared the most successful research funding organization of its kind in the world. KPMG conducted the overall audit of CFI and an international panel of seven experts in global research and research funding reviewed the findings and produced an independent report. The audit looked at CFI's management practices and processes and whether they had been carried out with regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Honourable senators may recall that there was some unease expressed in some quarters during the creation of foundations in the 1990s. While an independent review panel carried out this audit, the Auditor General of Canada does have the authority to audit the CFI, powers which that office obtained with the passing of the Federal Accountability Act. The Auditor General has chosen not to audit the CFI, presumably because she has been satisfied with the audit results presented by the independent panel.
Honourable senators, some of the words used by the international panel to describe this Canadian foundation included "uncompromising commitment to excellence," "strong advantage for Canada" and "world best practice."
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the foundation and to wish it much success in the future.
Congratulations, Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Fortieth Anniversary of Canada-China Relations
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, last week we saw the beginning of celebrations marking the fortieth anniversary of relations between Canada and the People's Republic of China. There will be several events throughout the year to mark the occasion. The first event took place at the National Arts Centre with a wonderful evening of music presented by an orchestra of over 80 Chinese musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments.
On October 13, 1970, honourable senators, Canada officially recognized the People's Republic of China. In 1973, Pierre Elliott Trudeau became the first prime minister to pay an official visit to China, helping expand those fledgling Canada-China relations. With the foundation of diplomatic relations in place, the two countries turned to their economic relationship.
In 1973, Canada and China signed the Canada-Chinese Trade Agreement, which allowed for mutual extension of ``most favoured nation'' status. The same year, a Canadian trade fair was held in Beijing, attracting over 600 Canadian officials and business leaders. It was the first such trade fair attended by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The two countries also established a joint economic and trade committee that provided a forum for discussions of economic and trade-related concerns.
By 2003, China had become Canada's second largest trading partner after the United States. In the decade 1993 to 2003, trade between Canada and the People's Republic of China increased fivefold.
China's economy has grown to be the second largest single- country economy in the world, next to the United States, recently surpassing that of Japan. China is also the world's largest single- country exporter in the world, having recently surpassed Germany in that regard.
China has weathered the economic downturn very well, posting an 8 per cent economic growth last year, while most other nations of the world have had negative growth. A strong Chinese economy presents great opportunities for Canada. This rapidly developing economy has always held Canada in special regard.
Prime Minister Harper and his cabinet have recognized the potential for Canada. Visits by the Prime Minister and several other cabinet ministers took place last year. Those visits resulted in a series of agreements and exchanges, and we have those visits to build on, honourable senators, in the year to come.
Honourable senators, many events will take place this year to recognize the fortieth year of relations between Canada and China, and I hope honourable senators will take the opportunity to help expand that relationship both culturally and economically as the year progresses.