Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck:
Would the honourable senator take a question?
Senator Segal: Yes, by all means.
Senator Dyck: I listened carefully to your speech. As you know, last week I talked about the notwithstanding clause in the three motions, that notwithstanding any usual practice or provision of the rules, we're going to suspend these senators without pay and benefits and so on. After listening to you today, I'm wondering about the first part of that, "notwithstanding any usual practice."
From what you said, the new rules have been applied to Senator Wallin's case, which is not the way it should have been done. When Appendix A came in, that was applied to her audit. I believe that's what you said.
Now, if you look at what this says, "notwithstanding any usual practice," if we pass that then we would be saying that that was correct, and clearly you're saying it was not correct. Does what I'm saying make sense?
Senator Segal: I believe you are correct.
Colleagues, let me offer a cautionary tale. Last week I was invited to go to the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative, in Saint John, to speak of the work that had been done by both the committee on rural poverty and the committee on urban poverty, and I was delighted to do so. Because of the new practice of applying new rules retroactively, I wrote to the Finance Directorate to see if I could do that and use my 64 points. I knew, Senator Munson, I had the right to do that, but I no longer trust the operation of the system because of the "under revision" stamp on the new rules. They were very gracious. They gave me a letter and approved my travel to go and speak in Saint John and meet some wonderful people who are working their hearts out to end poverty and not just to help people live within poverty. I learned from them and I tried to be helpful to them, but the reason I did that is because I don't want to be facing — and none of us in this chamber wants to be facing — a retroactive audit based on new rules that come into effect in a year from now on things that did follow the rules now.
To make the case of my colleague from Saskatchewan, that's where we're headed because of the nature of this report and the nature of this motion before us.