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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 47
 
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
 

The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates met in a televised session at 3:35 p.m. this day, in Room 253-D Centre Block, the Chair, Leon Benoit, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Leon Benoit, Ken Boshcoff, Marc Godbout, Guy Lauzon, Diane Marleau, Pat Martin, Joe Preston, Francis Scarpaleggia, Paul Szabo and Louise Thibault.

 

Acting Members present: Mark Holland for Marc Godbout, Pierre Poilievre for Randy White and Benoît Sauvageau for Marcel Gagnon.

 

Associate Members present: Kevin Sorenson.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Philippe Le Goff, Analyst. Parliamentary Information and Research Service: Tara Gray, Economics Division. House of Commons: Susan Baldwin, Legislative Clerk; Jean-François Lafleur, Legislative Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada: Ralph Heintzman, Vice-President, Public Service Values and Ethics. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Michel Lefrançois, General Counsel, Secretariat Legal Services Branch; Jane Graham, Counsel, Legal Services.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Monday, October 18, 2004, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-11, An Act to establish a procedure for the disclosure of wrongdoings in the public sector, including the protection of persons who disclose the wrongdoings.
 

The Committee resumed its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

 

On Clause 2,

 
Benoît Sauvageau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 3 with the following:

““public servant” means every person that is or was employed in the public sector or that is or was appointed by the Governor in Council, including chief executives.”

 

On motion of Benoît Sauvageau, it was agreed, — That the amendment be amended by adding the words “recently” after the word “every person that is or was ”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Benoît Sauvageau, as amended, and it was negatived.

 
Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 2 on page 3 with the following:

“in the public sector or appointed by the Governor in Council, including chief executives.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Joe Preston and it was negatived.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 2 on page 3 with the following:

“in the public sector, every member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and every chief executive.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to.

 
Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 3 to 16 on page 3 with the following:

““reprisal” means dismissal, suspension, demotion, disciplining, harassment or any other disadvantage suffered by a public servant, including denial of an employment benefit, by reason that

(a) the public servant, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has made a protected disclosure that a person has committed a wrongdoing;

(b) the public servant, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has refused or has stated an intention of refusing to do anything that is a wrongdoing;

(c) the public servant, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has done or has stated an intention of doing anything that is required to be done in order to prevent a wrongdoing from being committed; or

(d) a supervisor believes that the public servant will do anything referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Joe Preston and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 6.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 11 on page 3 with the following:

“public servant, including, in the case of a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a discharge or dismissal;”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 9 on page 2 the following:

“ “member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police” means a person who is a member or a special constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or who is employed by that force under terms and conditions substantially the same as those of one of its members.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to.

 

By unanimous consent, Clause 2 was allowed to stand.

 

On New Clause 2.1,

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11 be amended by adding after line 20 on page 3 the following new clause:

“2.1 The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may authorize a Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to exercise the powers or perform the duties and functions of the Commissioner as a chief executive in respect of any of paragraphs 22(g) and (h), subsections 27(1), 28(1) and (3), 29(1) and 30(3) and sections 37 and 50.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to.

 

New Clause 2.1 carried.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11 be amended by replacing the heading before line 21 on page 3 with the following:

“AMENDING THE SCHEDULES”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was allowed to stand.

 

By unanimous consent, Clause 3 was allowed to stand.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 21 to 24 on page 3 with the following:

“3. The Governor in Council may, by order, amend

(a) Schedule 1 by adding or deleting the name of any Crown corporation or other public body; and

(b) Schedule 2 by adding or deleting any provision of any Act of Parliament.”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was allowed to stand.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 21 to 24 on page 3 with the following:

“3. The Governor in Council may, by order, amend

(a) Schedule 1 by adding or deleting the name of any Crown corporation or other public body; and

(b) Schedule 2 by adding or deleting the name of any portion of the public sector that has a statutory mandate to investigate other portions of the public sector.”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was allowed to stand.

 
Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 22 on page 3 with the following:

“amend the schedule by adding the”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Joe Preston and it was negatived.

 

Clauses 4 and 5 carried severally.

 

On Clause 6,

Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 6, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 4 with the following:

6. (1) Every chief executive shall establish a”

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the amendment of Joe Preston and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 6, as amended, carried.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 7, be amended by replacing lines 20 to 23 on page 4 with the following:

“7. (1) The codes of conduct applicable to a portion of the public sector apply to every public servant employed in that portion of the public sector.

(2) In the event of a conflict between the code of conduct established under subsection 5(1) or 6(1) and the code of conduct established under section 38 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, the code of conduct established under that section prevails to the extent of the conflict.”

 

Clause 7, as amended, carried.

 

On Clause 8,

Paul Szabo moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing lines 24 to 31 on page 4 with the following:

“8. This Act applies in respect of the following wrongdoings in or relating to the public sector:

(a) a contravention of any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, or of any regulations made under any such Act;”

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the amendment of Paul Szabo and it was agreed to.

 
Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 31 on page 4 the following:

“(a.1) a failure to comply with section 41, 42 or 43;”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 33 on page 4 with the following:

“(c) mismanagement in the public”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing lines 35 and 36 on page 4 with the following:

“(d) an act or omission that creates a danger to the life, health”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
On motion of Diane Marleau, it was agreed on division, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 37 on page 4 with the following:

“or safety of persons, or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of a public servant;”

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 37 on page 4 the following:

“(d.1) an act or omission that contravenes a Treasury Board requirement, policy or guideline;”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Guy Lauzon and it was negatived.

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 38 on page 4 with the following:

“(e) a breach of a code of conduct”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 41 on page 4 the following:

“(g) the directing or counselling of a person to commit a wrongdoing set out in any of paragraphs (a) to (f).”

 

Guy Lauzon moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the first word “the” with the word “knowingly”

 

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Guy Lauzon and it was agreed to.

 

The question was put on the amendment of Guy Lauzon, as amended, and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 8, as amended, carried.

 
Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 9, be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 5 with the following:

“9. In addition to, and apart from, any penalty provided for by law, a public servant is”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 9, as amended, carried.

 
Paul Szabo moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 10, be amended by replacing lines 6 to 8 on page 5 with the following:

“10. (1) Each chief executive must establish internal procedures to manage disclosures made under this Act by public servants employed”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Paul Szabo and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 10, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 11 carried.

 

On Clause 12,

Paul Szabo moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 12, be amended by replacing lines 1 to 8 on page 6 with the following:

“12. A public servant may disclose to his or her supervisor or to the senior officer designated for the purpose by the chief executive of the portion of the public sector in which the public servant is employed any information that the public servant believes could show that a wrongdoing has been committed or is about to be committed, or that could show that the public servant has been asked to commit a wrongdoing.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Paul Szabo and it was agreed to.

 
Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 12, be amended by replacing lines 1 to 8 on page 6 with the following:

12. (1) Any public servant who believes that he or she is being asked to commit a wrongdoing, or who believes that a wrongdoing has been committed or will be committed, may disclose the matter in writing to his or her supervisor, the senior officer designated for that purpose by the chief executive of the portion of the public sector in which the public servant is employed or the President of the Public Service Commission.

(2) Any former public servant who believes that he or she was asked to commit a wrongdoing while a public servant, or who believes that a wrongdoing has been committed or will be committed, may disclose the matter in writing to the President of the Public Service Commission.”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
Benoît Sauvageau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 12, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 6 with the following:

“committed, or will be committed, may disclose the matter in writing to his or her”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 

Clause 12, as amended, carried.

 
Ken Boshcoff moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 13, be amended by replacing lines 9 to 19 on page 6 with the following:

“13. (1) A public servant may disclose information referred to in section 12 to the President of the Public Service Commission if

(a) the public servant believes on reasonable grounds that it would not be appropriate to disclose the information to his or her supervisor, or to the appropriate senior officer, by reason of the subject-matter of the wrongdoing or the person alleged to have committed it;

(b) the public servant has already disclosed the information to his or her supervisor or to the”

 

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was allowed to stand.

 

At 5:30 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Elizabeth B. Kingston
Committee Clerk

 
 
2005-10-17 9:42 a.m.