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CC30 Committee Meeting

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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 19
 
Thursday, March 22, 2007
 

The Legislative Committee on Bill C-30 met in a televised session at 9:05 a.m. this day, in Room 253-D, Centre Block, the Chair, Laurie Hawn, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Bernard Bigras, Nathan Cullen, Hon. John Godfrey, Laurie Hawn, Mark Holland, Brian Jean, Marcel Lussier, Fabian Manning, David J. McGuinty, Hon. Christian Paradis, Francis Scarpaleggia, Lloyd St. Amand, Mark Warawa and Jeff Watson.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Sam Banks, Analyst. Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development: Tim Williams.

 

Participants present: Department of the Environment: John Moffet, Acting Director General. Department of Justice Canada: Mr. Michel Ares, Counsel. Department of Health: Phil Blagden, Manager.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Monday, December 4, 2006, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Energy Efficiency Act and the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act (Canada's Clean Air Act).
 

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

 

At 9:34 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 9:41 a.m., the sitting resumed.

 

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

 

On new Clause 1.1,

David J. McGuinty moved, — That Bill C-30 be amended

(a) by adding after line 5 on page 1 the following new clause:

“PART 1

AMENDMENTS TO THE PARLIAMENT OF CANADA ACT

1.1 The Parliament of Canada Act is amended by adding the following after section 72.13:

COMMISSIONER OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

72.14 The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint a Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development after approval of the appointment by resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

72.15 (1) The purpose of the Commissioner is to monitor and report on the state and integrity of the environment in Canada, and to monitor and report on the progress of federal institutions towards sustainable development through the integration of social, economic and environmental concerns, including

(a) the integration of the environment and the economy;

(b) the protection of the health of Canadians;

(c) the protection of ecosystems;

(d) compliance with international commitments and obligations;

(e) the promotion of equity;

(f) an integrated approach to planning and making decisions that takes into account the environmental and natural resource costs of different economic options and the economic costs of different environmental and natural resource options;

(g) the prevention of pollution;

(h) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;

(i) the avoidance of climate change; and

(j) respect for nature and the needs of future generations.

(2) The Commissioner shall carry out such duties and functions as are assigned to the Commissioner by this Act or any other Act of Parliament, and may carry out or engage in such other related assignments or activities as may be authorized by the Governor in Council.

(3) The Commissioner shall, in carrying out all actions and measures within the authority of the Commissioner, have regard to the state or integrity of the environment in Canada and the role of sustainable development in the administration of the affairs of federal institutions, including any of their activities relating to the improvement of the environment.

(4) The Commissioner, shall, in accordance with subsection (3), conduct and carry out investigations on his or her initiative or further to any complaint made to the Commissioner and shall report and make recommendations in respect of such investigations as provided for in this Act.

(5) The Commissioner may initiate a review of any regulations or directives made under any Act of Parliament that are directly or indirectly related to the state or integrity of the environment or that may affect the state or integrity of the environment in Canada, and may refer to and comment on any findings made in the course of such a review in a report made to both Houses of Parliament.

72.16 (1) The Commissioner shall investigate any complaint made to the Commissioner arising from any act or omission to the effect that, in any particular case relating to the administration of the affairs of a federal institution

(a) the state or integrity of the environment in Canada is not being adequately taken into account;

(b) any provision of any Act of Parliament or regulation relating to the state or integrity of the environment in Canada was not or is not being complied with; or

(c) the spirit and intent of any measure to protect the environment was not or is not being complied with.

(2) If, in the course of investigating a complaint, it appears to the Commissioner that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, any further investigation is unnecessary, the Commissioner may terminate the investigation.

(3) The Commissioner may refuse to investigate a complaint or may terminate an investigation if, in the opinion of the Commissioner

(a) the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial;

(b) the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or is not made in good faith; or

(c) the subject-matter of the complaint does not involve a contravention or failure to comply with the spirit and intent of this Act, or does not, for any other reason, come within the authority of the Commissioner under this Act.

(4) Where the Commissioner decides to refuse to investigate a complaint or decides to terminate an investigation, the Commissioner shall inform the complainant of that decision and shall give the reasons therefore.

(5) Before commencing an investigation under this Act, the Commissioner shall inform the deputy head or other administrative head of any federal institution concerned of his intention to carry out the investigation.

(6) Every investigation by the Commissioner under this Act shall be conducted in private.

(7) In carrying out an investigation under this Act, the Commissioner is not required to conduct a hearing. However, if at any time during the course of an investigation, it appears to the Commissioner that sufficient grounds may exist on which to base a report or recommendation that may have an adverse effect on any individual or any federal institution, the Commissioner shall, before completing the investigation, take every reasonable measure to give to that individual or institution a full and ample opportunity to answer any adverse allegation or criticism, and to be assisted or represented by counsel for that purpose.

72.17 (1) The Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of five years and may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on address of the House of Commons and the Senate. He or she may be reappointed for one or more terms of up to five years each.

(2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint any qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term not exceeding six months, and that person shall, while holding office, be paid the salary or other remuneration and expenses that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

72.18 (1) The Commissioner shall be paid the remuneration set by the Governor in Council, which shall not be less than the remuneration of the Auditor General.

(2) The Commissioner is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties or functions while absent from his or her ordinary place of work.

(3) The Commissioner shall engage exclusively in the duties and functions of the Commissioner and may not hold any other office under Her Majesty or engage in any other employment for reward.

72.19 (1) The Commissioner has the rank of a deputy head of a department of the Government of Canada and has the control and management of the office of the Commissioner.

(2) The Commissioner may, in carrying out the work of the office of the Commissioner, enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements.

(3) The Commissioner may employ any officers and employees and may engage the services of any agents, advisers and consultants that the Commissioner considers necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the office of the Commissioner.

(4) The Commissioner may, subject to the conditions he or she sets, authorize any person to exercise any powers under subsection (2) or (3) on behalf of the Commissioner that he or she may determine.

(5) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Commissioner shall be fixed according to the scale provided by law.

(6) The salaries of the officers and employees of the office of the Commissioner, and any casual expenses connected with the office, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament for that purpose.

(7) Prior to each fiscal year, the Commissioner shall cause to be prepared an estimate of the sums that will be required to pay the charges and expenses of the office of the Commissioner during the fiscal year.

(8) The estimate referred to in subsection (7) shall be considered by the Speaker of the House of Commons and then transmitted to the President of the Treasury Board, who shall lay it before the House of Commons with the estimates of the government for the fiscal year.

72.20 (1) The Commissioner shall report annually to the House of Commons and the Senate and may make additional reports to the House of Commons and the Senate respecting the Commissioner’s work, including whether, in carrying out this work, the Commissioner received the information and explanations that were requested.

(2) Each report of the Commissioner under subsection (1) shall call attention to anything that the Commissioner considers to be of significance and of a nature that should be brought to the attention of Parliament, including any cases in which the Commissioner has observed that

(a) the sustainable development obligations of any federal institution have not been complied with in a timely and effective manner;

(b) essential records have not been maintained or the rules and procedures applied have been insufficient to safeguard the environment; or

(c) money has been expended without due regard to the environmental effects of those expenditures in the context of sustainable development.

(3) Each annual report by the Commissioner to the House of Commons shall be submitted to the Speakers of the House of Commons and the Senate on or before December 31 in the year to which the report relates and the Speakers of both Houses shall lay each such report before their respective Houses immediately after receiving it or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first five days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

(4) Where the Commissioner proposes to make an additional report under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall send written notice to the Speaker of each House of the subject-matter of the proposed report.

(5) Each additional report of the Commissioner to the House of Commons and the Senate made under subsection (1) shall be submitted to the House of Commons and the Senate on the expiration of thirty days after the notice is sent pursuant to subsection (4) or any longer period that is specified in the notice and the Speakers of the House of Commons and the Senate shall lay each such report before their respective Houses immediately after receiving it or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

72.21 (1) The Commissioner shall, in 2013 and every two years after that until 2051, prepare a report that includes

(a) an analysis of Canada’s progress in implementing the Climate Change Plans;

(b) an analysis of Canada's progress in meeting its international commitments and obligations with respect to climate change and greenhouse gases;

(c) an analysis of the operations of any agency that has been created or designated as a result of negotiations conducted by the Minister of the Environment under section 63.1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999;

(d) an analysis of the progress of the Minister of the Environment in establishing a reliable methodology for estimating and auditing annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions for Canada as a whole and for each economic sector and large industrial emitter; and

(e) any observations and recommendations on any matter that the Commissioner considers relevant.

(2) The Commissioner shall submit the report referred to in subsection (1) to the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, who shall each table the report in the House over which he or she presides.

72.22 In sections 72.14 to 72.21, “federal institution“ means a category I department, as that term is defined in section 2 of the Auditor General Act.”

(b) by renumbering PART 1 as PART 1.1.

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown, as provided on page 655 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

The Chair ruled that the following two (2) amendments were consequential to the previous amendment and therefore they were also inadmissible:

That Bill C-30 be amended by adding after line 39 on page 35 the following new clause:

“PART 4

AMENDMENTS TO THE AUDITOR GENERAL ACT

51.1 Section 15.1 of the Auditor General Act is repealed.”

That Bill C-30, in Clause 52, be amended by replacing line 40 on page 35 with the following:

“52. (1) Part 1.1 comes into force on a day to”

 

Whereupon, Nathan Cullen appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division: YEAS: Bernard Bigras, Brian Jean, Marcel Lussier, Fabian Manning, Christian Paradis, Mark Warawa, Jeff Watson — 7; NAYS: Nathan Cullen, John Godfrey, David J. McGuinty, Francis Scarpaleggia, Lloyd St. Amand — 5.

 

Mark Warawa moved, — That the Committee do now adjourn.

 

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Bernard Bigras, Nathan Cullen, Brian Jean, Marcel Lussier, Fabian Manning, Christian Paradis, Mark Warawa, Jeff Watson — 8; NAYS: John Godfrey, David J. McGuinty, Francis Scarpaleggia, Lloyd St. Amand — 4.

 

At 10:17 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Chad Mariage
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2007/03/23 10:43 a.m.