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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting No. 79

Tuesday, June 13, 2000

The Standing Committee on Finance met in camera at 11:15 a.m. this day, in Room 536, Wellington Building, the Chair, Maurizio Bevilacqua, presiding.

Members of the Committee present: Maurizio Bevilacqua, Scott Brison, Ken Epp, Roger Gallaway, Albina Guarnieri, Sophia Leung, Richard Marceau, Lorne Nystrom, Gary Pillitteri, Karen Redman and Paul Szabo.

Acting Members present: Paul Forseth for Monte Solberg, Gerry Byrne for Roy Cullen and David Pratt for Nick Discepola.

In attendance: From the Library of Parliament: Jean Soucy and Blayne Haggart, Researchers; Marion Wrobel, Senior Analyst.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee resumed its study on Cost Recovery. (See Minutes of Proceedings of Tuesday, May 2, 2000, Meeting No. 54).

The Committee proceeded to consider a draft report.

Debate arose thereon.

It was agreed, – That Recommendation 1 be amended in the second sentence to read: "Therefore, the Committee recommends that a Committee of Parliament conduct a government-wide study of the Cost Recovery and User Charge Policy to evaluate both its benefits and costs. This should serve as the basis of any policy reform."

It was agreed, – That Recommendation 11 be amended by deleting the last two sentences.

It was agreed – That Recommendation 10 be amended in the first line by deleting the words: "and where desirable".

It was agreed, – That paragraph 135 in the draft report be replaced by the following:

"As this Committee has already noted, this kind of openness, clarity and responsiveness is what it has found to be lacking in the implementation of user charges in Canada. Further, in keeping with this Report’s recommendations, the government should consider implementing a "regulatory budget", which would detail estimates of the total cost of regulation, including enforcement and compliance costs, and a risk-benefit analysis, as was suggested by the Finance Committee in 1993. An examination of Canada’s regulatory structure would help determine whether Canada’s previous attempts at implementing sound regulatory policy have been successful."

It was agreed, – That the following new paragraph be inserted after paragraph 75 of the draft report:

"The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) pointed out to the Committee that one of the elements to be considered in determining the impact of cost recovery is the issue of productivity. In fact, cost recovery is perceived as a major impediment to improving small business productivity. More than one out of four CFIB members identified this issue as a priority to improve their firm's productivity."

It was agreed, – That Recommendation 8 be amended by adding at the end the following new sentence. "Wherever possible, international comparisons should be made."

It was agreed, – That the draft report, as amended, be adopted as the Ninth Report of the Committee.

It was agreed, – That the title of the Report be: "Challenge for Change… A Study on Cost Recovery".

It was agreed – That the Committee append to its report supplementary opinions from the opposition parties provided that they be no more than 3 pages in length (font = 12; line spacing = 1.5) and submitted to the clerk in both official languages no later than 5:00 o’clock, p.m., Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

It was agreed – That, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Committee request that the government table a comprehensive response to this report within one hundred and fifty (150) days.

It was agreed, – That the Chair, researchers and clerk be authorized to make such typographical and editorial changes as may be necessary without changing the substance of the report.

It was agreed, – That the Chair be instructed to present the Ninth Report of the Committee to the House.

It was agreed, – That the Committee print 2500 copies of the report in English and 550 copies in French, with a distinctive cover.

At 12:03 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

Pat Steenberg

Clerk of the Committee