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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 51
 
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
 

The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates met in a televised session at 3:31 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, Hon. Diane Marleau, Pat Martin, Joe Preston, Francis Scarpaleggia, Paul Szabo and Louise Thibault.

 

Acting Members present: Pierre Poilievre for Randy White, Benoît Sauvageau for Marcel Gagnon and Andrew Scheer for Randy White.

 

In attendance: House of Commons: Susan Baldwin, Legislative Clerk; Jean-François Lafleur, Legislative Clerk. Library of Parliament: Tara Gray, Analyst.

 

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

 
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 clause-by-clause study of the Bill.
 
On Clause 36,
 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 36, be amended by adding after line 29 on page 15 the following:

“(1.1) If the information relates to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the President may remit the information only to the Attorney General of Canada.”

 

Clause 36, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 37 carried.

 

On Clause 38,

Joe Preston moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing line 10 on page 16 with the following:

“must report a matter to the Minister responsible”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Joe Preston and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 8.

 

Clause 38 carried.

 

On Clause 39,

Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 39, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 16 the following:

“(b.1) a summary by category of all wrongdoings disclosed under this Act;”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Guy Lauzon and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 8.

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 39, be amended by adding after line 38 on page 16 the following:

“(c.1) the number of investigations commenced by law enforcement authorities under the Criminal Code that originated with a disclosure made to the Commissioner under this Act;”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Guy Lauzon and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 8.

 

Clause 39 carried.

 

Clause 40 carried.

 

On Clause 41,

Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 41, be amended by replacing lines 28 to 32 on page 17 with the following:

“officer or the Commissioner, or any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of a senior officer or the Commissioner, in the performance of the senior officer’s, or the Commissioner’s, as the case may be,”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 

Clause 41 carried.

 

Clause 42 carried.

 

Clause 43 carried.

 

Clause 44 carried.

 
On New Clause 44.1,
 
On motion of Diane Marleau, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11 be amended by adding after line 22 on page 18 the following new clause:

“44.1 Nothing in this Act is to be construed as limiting the application of the Canada Evidence Act to any disclosure, or proposed disclosure, of information under this Act by the President of the Public Service Commission or any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the President.”

 

Clause 44.1 carried.

 

Clauses 45 to 47 inclusive carried severally.

 
On New Clause 47.1,
 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11 be amended by adding after line 12 on page 19 the following new clause:

47.1 No disciplinary action may be taken against any person who, in good faith, makes a disclosure that, upon investigation by the Commissioner, proves to be inaccurate or cannot be proven to be accurate.”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 

Clause 48 carried.

 

On Clause 49,

Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 49, be amended by replacing line 18 on page 19 to line 9 on page 20 with the following:

“49. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), when referring any matter under section 35 or making a special or annual report under this Act, the President of the Public Service Commission shall not disclose any information that the Government of Canada or any portion of the public sector is taking measures to protect, including, but not limited to, information that

(a) is a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in respect of which subsection 39(1) of the Canada Evidence Act applies;

(b) is subject to solicitor-client privilege;

(c) is special operational information within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act;

(d) is subject to any restriction on disclosure created by or under any other Act of Parliament;

(e) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to international relations, national defence or national security, or to the detection, prevention or suppression of criminal, subversive or hostile activities;

(f) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to the privacy interests of an individual; or

(g) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to commercial interests.

(2) The President may disclose any information referred to in subsection (1) if it has already been disclosed following a request under the Access to Information Act or with the consent of the relevant individual or an authorized person in the organization that has a primary interest in the information.

(3) The President may disclose any information referred to in subsection (1) if, in his or her opinion,

(a) the disclosure is necessary to refer any matter under section 35 or to establish the grounds for any finding or recommendation in a special or annual report under this Act; and

(b) the public interest in making the disclosure clearly outweighs the potential harm from the disclosure.

(4) Before disclosing any information as permitted by subsection (3), the President must

(a) comply with subsection 38.02(1.1) of the Canada Evidence Act; and

(b) except for information that only affects the privacy interests of an individual, consult with the organization that has a primary interest in the information.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 10; NAYS: 1.

 

Clause 49, as amended, carried.

 
On Clause 50,
 
On motion of Diane Marleau, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 50, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 20 with the following:

“relating to the disclosure of information, and despite any other Act of Parliament that restricts the disclosure of information, a report”

 

Clause 50, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 51 carried.

 

Clause 52 carried.

 

Clause 53 carried.

 

On Clause 54,

Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 54, be amended by replacing line 8 on page 21 with the following:

“force, a committee of both Houses of Parliament designated or established for that purpose must cause to be conducted”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Guy Lauzon and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 8.

 

Clause 54 carried.

 

On Clause 55,

Diane Marleau moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 55, be amended by replacing lines 18 to 30 on page 21 with the following:

“(1.1) If the record came into existence less than five years before the request, the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information

(a) prepared in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act; or

(b) obtained by a supervisor or a senior officer designated under subsection 10(2) of that Act, or by the President of the Public Service Commission, in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under that Act, if the information identifies, or could reasonably be expected to lead to the identification of, a public servant who made a disclosure under that Act or who cooperated in an investigation under that Act.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Diane Marleau and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 2.

 

Clause 55, as amended, carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 3.

 

Clause 56 carried.

 
On Clause 57,
 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 57, be amended by replacing lines 7 to 15 on page 22 with the following:

“(e) the information came into existence less than five years before it is requested and the information was

(i) prepared in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act; or

(ii) collected or used by a supervisor or a senior officer designated under subsection 10(2) of that Act, or by the President of the Public Service Commission, in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under that Act, if the information identifies, or could reasonably be expected to lead to the identification of, a public servant who made a disclosure under that Act or who cooperated in an investigation under that Act.”

 

Clause 57, as amended, carried.

 
On Clause 58,
 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 58, be amended by replacing lines 19 to 31 on page 22 with the following:

“(1.1) If the information came into existence less than five years before the request, the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that was

(a) prepared in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act; or

(b) obtained by a supervisor or a senior officer designated under subsection 10(2) of that Act, or by the President of the Public Service Commission, in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under that Act, if the information identifies, or could reasonably be expected to lead to the identification of, a public servant who made a disclosure under that Act or who cooperated in an investigation under that Act.”

 

Clause 58, as amended, carried.

 
On Clause 59,
 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 59, be amended by replacing lines 5 to 12 on page 23 with the following:

“(a) paragraph 20(1)(b) of this Act is replaced by the following:

(b) in relation to any other public servant who is employed in any portion of the public sector referred to in Schedule I, IV or V to the Financial Administration Act or a person whose complaint relates to a reprisal taken while he or she was so employed, the Public”

 
Guy Lauzon moved, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 59, be amended by replacing lines 31 and 32 on page 23 with the following:

“(b) the Bank of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the International Development Research Centre, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Arts Centre Corporation, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Telefilm Canada.”

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 59, be amended by replacing lines 35 to 41 on page 23 with the following:

“the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Communications Security Establishment.”

 

Clause 59, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 60 carried.

 
Schedule 1 carried.
 
Paul Szabo moved, — That Bill C-11 be amended by adding, after Schedule 1, the following:

“SCHEDULE 2

(Paragraph 3(b) and section 14.1)

Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Bureau du vérificateur général du Canada

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Commissariat aux langues officielles

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Commissariat à l’information au Canada

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée au Canada”

 

Guy Lauzon moved, — That the amendment be amended by adding the words “Public Service Commission”.

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Guy Lauzon and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 

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

 

By unanimous consent, it was agreed, — That the result of the vote on the previous amendment be applied to the following four (4) amendments which are therefore also adopted:

That Bill C-11, in Clause 2, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 17 and 18 on page 2 with the following:

“ (a) in accordance with this Act; ”

(b) replacing, in the French version, line 22 on page 2 with the following:

“ Personne employée dans le ”

(c) replacing line 31 on page 2 with the following:

“public bodies named in Schedule 1.”

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

“AMENDING THE SCHEDULES”

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.”

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;

(b) Schedule 2 by adding or deleting any provision of any Act of Parliament; and

(c) 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.”

 
On motion of Diane Marleau, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11, in Clause 15, be amended by replacing line 9 on page 7 with the following:

“information, other than a restriction created by or under any provision set out in Schedule 3.”

 
On motion of Paul Szabo, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11 be amended by adding, after Schedule 1, the following:

“SCHEDULE 2

(Paragraph 3(b) and section 15)

Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, section 18

DNA Identification Act, section 6

Sex Offender Information Registration Act, section 16

Witness Protection Program Act, section 11

Youth Criminal Justice Act, section 129”

 

Clause 2, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 3 carried.

 
On motion of Benoît Sauvageau, it was agreed, — That Bill C-11 be amended by replacing, in the French version, with such modifications as the circumstances require,

a) “dénonciation” with “divulgation”;

b) “dénonciateur” with “divulgateur”.

 

The Preamble, as amended, carried.

 

The Short Title carried.

 

The Title, as amended, carried.

 

The Bill, as amended, carried.

 

ORDERED, — That the Chair report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

 

ORDERED, — That Bill C-11, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

 

At 5:18 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 5:21 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 

At 5:21 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Miriam Burke
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2005-10-17 9:34 a.m.