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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 20
 
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
 

The Legislative Committee on Bill C-2 met in a televised session at 3:31 p.m. this day, in Room 253-D, Centre Block, the Chair, David Tilson, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Monique Guay, Hon. Marlene Jennings, Tom Lukiwski, Pat Martin, James Moore, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Hon. Stephen Owen, Daniel Petit, Pierre Poilievre, Benoît Sauvageau, David Tilson and Alan Tonks.

 

In attendance: House of Commons: Susan Baldwin, Legislative Clerk; Joann Garbig, Legislative Clerk. Library of Parliament: Katherine Kirkwood, Analyst; Kristen Douglas, Analyst.

 

Witnesses: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Susan M.W. Cartwright, Assistant Secretary, Accountability in Government. Privy Council Office: Patrick Hill, Acting Assistant Secretary, Machinery of Government; James Stringham, Legal Counsel, Office of the Counsel to the Clerk of the Privy Council. Department of Justice: Joe Wild, Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Treasury Board Portfolio; Warren J. Newman, General Counsel, Constitutional and Administrative Law.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Thursday, April 27, 2006, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-2, An Act providing for conflict of interest rules, restrictions on election financing and measures respecting administrative transparency, oversight and accountability.
 

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

 

The witnesses answered questions.

 

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of Clause 1 is postponed.

The Chair calls Clause 2.

 

STATEMENT BY THE CHAIR

We're now about to embark on the next stage of our examination of Bill C-2, the detailed clause-by-clause consideration of the text of this legislative initiative. I'm told that there are 208 proposed amendments so far.

In accordance with Standing Order 75(1), Clause 1 of the Bill, the short title, would be postponed until the end of our examination. Clause 2, on the other hand, is something that we need to look at. We need to spend some time on it, and I'd like to make a statement as to how the chair intends to proceed.

Clause 2 contains the new Conflict of Interest Act, which has some 66 proposed sections. Other Clauses in Bill C-2 also relate directly to Clause 2. For example, Clause 4 contains a consequential amendment to the Canada Post Corporation Act. In order for us to proceed in a cogent fashion and consider all amendments that have an impact on one another, I will proceed to propose all such amendments before putting the question on Clause 2. This means that the amendments to Clause 2, Clause 3, SubClause 3(1), Clause 28, and Clause 38 should be considered and voted on before we vote on Clause 2.

I am proceeding in this fashion so that this very complex Bill will be considered in a coherent manner and so that any decisions taken by the committee are being consistently applied throughout those Clauses of the Bill that are linked together. In this way, we will complete our study with a Bill that accurately reflects the committee's decisions. Once again, I intend to call one by one for debate each amendment in our package that relates to Clause 2, Clause 3, SubClause 3(1), Clause 28, and Clause 38. Then, once all those amendments are decided, I would put the question on Clause 2.

The manner of voting would then proceed as follows: the vote on Clause 2 will apply to Clauses 4 to 38, SubClauses 108(1) and 108(2), and Clause 227. If Clause 2 is agreed to, a separate vote is needed on Clause 3. If Clause 2 is negatived, the vote applies to Clause 3.

 

On Clause 2

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 2 on page 3 with the following:

“Ex-titulaire de charge publique qui, pendant son”

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 25 on page 5 with the following:

“décider s’il y a eu contravention à la”

 
Marlene Jennings moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended

(a) by deleting lines 12 to 17 on page 6;

(b) by adding after line 5 on page 33 the following:

“(2) Nothing in this Part abrogates or derogates from any of the privileges, immunities and powers referred to in section 4 of the Parliament of Canada Act.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Marlene Jennings and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 5.

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 18 on page 7 with the following:

“cadeau ou autre avantage visé à l’alinéa (2)c)”

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 24 on page 7 with the following:

“ministerial staff shall”

 
Pierre Poilievre moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 28 on page 7 with the following:

“raison que ce soit, sauf si leurs fonctions de titulaire de charge publique l’exigent ou sauf dans des circonstances”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pierre Poilievre and it was agreed to.

 
Pat Martin moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 3 on page 8 the following:

13.1 (1) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall offer membership in the caucus of the registered political party to which the minister or parliamentary secretary belongs to a member of the caucus of another registered political party.

(2) No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary shall accept an offer from a member of the caucus of another registered political party for that member to join the caucus of the registered political party to which the minister or parliamentary secretary belongs.”

 

RULING BY THE CHAIR

This motion proposes that a minister or parliamentary secretary cannot offer membership in his or her party to a member of the opposition or accept membership in an opposition party.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice states, at page 654: “An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

I therefore rule that this motion is a new concept that is beyond the scope of Bill C-2 and is consequently inadmissible.

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 33 on page 8 with the following:

“agit en son nom de conclure un contrat ou d’entretenir une relation d’emploi avec”

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 4 on page 9 with the following:

“the general public.“

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 18 to 20 on page 9 with the following:

“(2) Despite paragraph (1)(c), a reporting public office holder who is a director or officer in a Crown corporation as defined in”

(b) replacing line 27 on page 9 with the following:

“(3) Despite paragraph (1)(c), a reporting public office”

(c) replacing line 35 on page 9 with the following:

“restricts the political activities of a reporting public office”

 
Pierre Poilievre moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 40 on page 9 with the following:

“publique de solliciter personnellement des fonds d’une personne”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pierre Poilievre and it was agreed to.

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 8 on page 12 with the following:

“himself or herself from any discussion, decision, debate or”

 
Pierre Poilievre moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 22 and 23 on page 13 with the following:

“ment, as a result of a contract with a public sector entity and the report must”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pierre Poilievre and it was agreed to.

 
Pierre Poilievre moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 14 with the following:

“interest, the reporting public office holder shall, within 30 days after the day on which the recusal took place,”

 

Marlene Jennings moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the word “30” with the word “60”

 

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Marlene Jennings and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pierre Poilievre, as amended, and it was agreed to.

 
Benoît Sauvageau moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 3 on page 21 the following:

“(4) On application, the Commissioner may, on any conditions that the Commissioner specifies, exempt a former reporting public office holder from the application of subsections (1) and (2) if the Commissioner is of the opinion that the exemption would not be contrary to the purposes of this Act.

(5) After granting an exemption under subsection (4), the Commissioner shall, without delay, publish a notice setting out

(a) the name of the former reporting public office holder who was exempted;

(b) the conditions on which the exemption was granted; and

(c) the reasons for granting the exemption under subsection (4).”

 

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 
Benoît Sauvageau moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 1 to 7 on page 22 with the following:

38. (1) The Commissioner may exempt from the application of section 35 or 37 a former reporting public office holder who, while in office, was a member of ministerial staff who worked on average 15 hours or more a week.”

(b) by replacing line 12 on page 22 with the following:

“the staff of a minister of the Crown or a minister of state;”

(c) by replacing line 18 on page 22 with the following:

“or decision-making power in a minister's”

 

Pierre Poilievre moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing section (b) of the amendment with the following:

“(b) by replacing, in the French version, lines 10 and 11 on page 22 with the following:

a) l'intéressé n'était pas membre supérieur d'un personnel ministériel;”

 

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Pierre Poilievre and it was agreed to.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Benoît Sauvageau, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 
Benoît Sauvageau moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 18 to 40 on page 24, lines 1 to 47 on page 25 and lines 1 to 10 on page 26 with the following:

44. (1) Any person or group of persons who believes that a public office holder or former public office holder has contravened this Act may request that the Commissioner examine the matter.

(2) The Commissioner shall examine the matter described in the request.

(3) The Commissioner shall provide the Prime Minister, the author of the request and the public office holder or former public office holder with a report on each request received setting out the facts in question as well as the Commissioner’s analysis and conclusions in relation to the request, and make the report available to the public.

(4) The Commissioner may not include in the report any information that he or she is required to keep confidential.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Benoît Sauvageau and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 10.

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 30 on page 24 with the following:

“mettre fin à l’étude.”

 
Pat Martin moved, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 2 and 3 on page 25 with the following:

“vention and set out the reasons for believing a contravention has occurred.”

(b) by deleting lines 4 to 26 on page 25

(c) by replacing lines 31 and 32 on page 25 with the following:

“attention of the Commissioner, shall not disclose that information to”

 

Stephen Owen moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the word “reasons” with the following:

“reasonable grounds”

 

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Stephen Owen and it was agreed to.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pat Martin, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 5.

 
On motion of Pierre Poilievre, it was agreed, — That Bill C-2, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 35 on page 25 with the following:

“mauvaise foi, ou s’il a mis fin à l’étude en”

 

At 5:29 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 5:31 p.m., the Committee resumed sitting in camera.

 
The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.
 

At 5:32 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Miriam Burke
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2006/06/30 11:49 a.m.