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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 52
 
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
 

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 9:00 a.m. this day, in Room 208, West Block, the Chair, Art Hanger, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Patrick Brown, Joe Comartin, Carole Freeman, Art Hanger, Hon. Marlene Jennings, Derek Lee, Réal Ménard, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Daniel Petit and Myron Thompson.

 

Acting Members present: Hon. Sue Barnes for Derek Lee, Raymond Bonin for Hon. Larry Bagnell and Jean-Claude D'Amours for Hon. Larry Bagnell.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Robin MacKay, Analyst; Dominique Valiquet, Analyst. House of Commons: Susan Baldwin, Legislative Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Royal Canadian Mounted Police: David Bird, Senior Legal Counsel; J. Bowen, Acting Director, Biology Project; Joe Buckle, Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services; Anne-Elizabeth Charland, Officer in Charge, Management Services.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2006, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to DNA identification.
 

Joe Buckle made a statement and, with the other witnesses, answered questions.

 

At 10:51 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 10:55 a.m., the sitting resumed.

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

The Committee resumed consideration of the motion of Réal Ménard, — Whereas the Conservative government has decided to revise the procedure for selecting judges without consultation;

Whereas this modified review procedure bears flagrant signs of partisanship and ideological influence;

It is moved:

1. That the Government postpone the reform made to the composition of the judge selection committees and that it restore the previous procedure for these committees.

2. That, as soon as the study of Bill C-18 is completed, the Committee devote three sessions to hearing witnesses who will inform the Committee of the consequences the government’s proposed changes will have on the integrity of the legal system.

3. That the Chair report the Committee’s conclusions to the House .

 

Marlene Jennings moved, — That the motion be amended by:

a) adding in the second paragraph after the word "devote" the following: "a minimum of";

b) adding, in the second paragraph, after the word "sessions," the following: "beginning in the week of March 19th at the latest, which would be added to the two regular weekly sessions"; and

c) adding, in the third paragraph, before the words "to hearing" the following: "That these additional sessions be dedicated".

Debate arose thereon.

 

Daniel Petit moved, — That the debate be now adjourned.

 

The question was put on the motion and it was negatived on the following recorded division:YEAS: Patrick Brown, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit, Myron Thompson — 4; NAYS: Raymond Bonin, Joe Comartin, Carole Freeman, Marlene Jennings, Derek Lee, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 7.

 

At 11:02 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 11:26 a.m., the sitting resumed.

 

Daniel Petit proposed to move - That the Committee make an in-depth study, by creating a sub-committee to do so, of the whole of all nominations of federally appointed judges since 1993, up to the time that the sub-committee files its report, to determine what links or ties federally appointed judges had, before their nomination, with the Liberal Party of Canada, ties such as:

Family ties, as well as those through marriage or common law arrangements, with members or officers of the Liberal Party of Canada;

Financial or business ties, such as contributions, donations, loans or free services given by these judges before their nomination, or by their employers, associates or corporations to or for the Liberal Party of Canada, to the members or officers of the Liberal Party of Canada;

That the sub-committee be able to compel as witnesses before it, all members who have been part of these Judicial appointments committees (JACs) from 1993 up to the time the special sub-committee files its report;

That the sub-committee be able to obtain all names of all candidates who have applied since 1993, both recommended and highly recommended;

That the sub-committee make the necessary recommendations to improve, remove, amend or delete the composition of said Judicial Advisory committees.

 

The Chair ruled the proposed subamendment inadmissible as it introduced a new proposition that should be moved as a substantive motion, as provided on page 453 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Rob Moore moved, — That the amendment be amended by:

a) deleting the words: “Whereas the Conservative government has decided to revise the procedure for selecting judges without consultation;

Whereas this modified review procedure bears flagrant signs of partisanship and ideological influence;

1. That the Government postpone the reform made to the composition of the judge selection committees and that it restore the previous procedure for these committees”;

b) replacing in the second paragraph the word "three' by "two";

c) deleting in the third paragraph, after the word "on" the following: "the integrity of".

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Rob Moore and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Patrick Brown, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit, Myron Thompson — 4; NAYS: Sue Barnes, Jean-Claude D'Amours, Carole Freeman, Marlene Jennings, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 6.

 

The question was put on the amendment of Marlene Jennings and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Sue Barnes, Jean-Claude D'Amours, Carole Freeman, Marlene Jennings, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 6; NAYS: Patrick Brown, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit, Myron Thompson — 4.

 

The question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Sue Barnes, Jean-Claude D'Amours, Carole Freeman, Marlene Jennings, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 6; NAYS: Patrick Brown, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit, Myron Thompson — 4.

 

At 11:04 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Diane Diotte
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2007/03/02 12:13 p.m.