I want to go back to something that Mr. Abbott said, because the first two or three points he was making would indicate that essentially what the motion is recommending already exists. If the Governor in Council wishes to issue a directive, that directive is given to both houses and is referred to the appropriate committee, who can do what they want with it—either ignore it, or report back to the House, and so forth. That is the way things are currently, and I don't dispute that.
I may not share the conclusion he reached, but on those points, if I apply them to here, I would therefore conclude that when what I'll call the Bernier directive, for want of a better term—I forgot the exact number of it, but I think we all know what I'm referring to—was issued, when the notice of it was given to Parliament, both houses, it was referred to the industry committee. I don't recall it having been referred to the heritage committee. And there lies a problem, if I may say.
I suspect that because it was directed at telecommunications, it was sent to the industry committee. What they did with it, I don't know, but if it had been sent here, I expect this committee might have had something to say about it and the government could have amended its directive or not, according to the input. So there is merit in the motion in the sense that this committee, because of its work in broadcasting, writ large, has something to say perhaps in other areas that may be sent to another committee.
In that case, I would support a motion—it would have to be somewhat rewritten—that would say that directives that are sent to the House for consideration or opinion or input, if they can possibly touch on broadcasting, be referred to this committee, because that is indeed the impression out there, that the current directive on telecommunications is having an impact on broadcasting and it's not just the telecommunication side.
So there is merit in the motion, and I'm not contradicting what Mr. Fast said in the sense of whether it's ultra vires or not. I think the committee should express that it wishes to deal with it. I don't know if we need to do it in this format, or just, whenever there's a directive issued, that we ask our clerk to make us aware of any notice of directive being published in the Canada Gazette. I think there's merit to that, and as a committee we should be made aware of directives that we may or may not be following because we're caught in something else.
That brings me to how we should end today's session. Perhaps—and that would depend on Madame Mourani—there would be another attempt at crafting it and coming back in a way we can all be comfortable with.
Just an idea, that is all.