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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 23
 
Monday, February 11, 2008
 

The Standing Committee on Finance met in a televised session at 3:33 p.m. this day, in Room 253-D, Centre Block, the Chair, Rob Merrifield, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Paul Crête, Dean Del Mastro, Rick Dykstra, Jean-Yves Laforest, Hon. John McCallum, Hon. John McKay, Ted Menzies, Rob Merrifield, Thomas J. Mulcair, Massimo Pacetti, Hon. Garth Turner and Mike Wallace.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: June Dewetering, Principal Analyst.

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

Massimo Pacetti moved, — Recognizing that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is mentioned in The Federal Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent on December 12th, 2006, and that the Committee has not been consulted or provided with any information about the Parliamentary Budget Officer mentioned in the Act, it is recommended that the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board and the Parliamentary Librarian appear before the Committee to provide an update on the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

As well, recognizing the impending end of the fiscal year, the Committee should, by Feburary 26, 2008 at the latest, have appear before it no more than four independent experts. These experts, to be selected by the research staff of the Committee, should provide an updated estimate of federal fiscal revenues and expenses for the April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 period and April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 period.

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

Massimo Pacetti moved, — Recognizing that the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) falls within the purview of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, has not appeared before the Committee in more than two years, and plays a critical role in assuring that the savings of Canadians are secure in CDIC member institutions, it is recommended that the CDIC appear before the Finance Committee to discuss issues that include:

*the Corporation’s corporate plan;

*the Corporation’s most recent annual report;

*the impact of the recent rise in the insured limit to $100,000; and

*the Corporation’s assessment of any exposure to loss that Canadians might reasonably expect to experience in the near- and medium-term as a consequence of volatility in credit markets and changes in the valuation of Canadian financial institutions.

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

Massimo Pacetti moved, — Recognizing that the Office of the Superintended of Financial Institutions (OSFI) falls within the purview of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, typically has appeared before the Committee only during hearings on the Main Estimates, and plays a critical role in contributing to public confidence in the Canadian financial system, it is recommended that the OSFI appear before the Finance Committee to discuss issues that include:

*the OSFI’s Plans and Priorities for 2007-2010;

*the OSFI’s most recent annual report;

*current actions it is taking to supervise its regulated entities (deposit-taking institutions and insurance companies) to ensure that they are in sound financial condition as well as complying with legal and supervisory requirements;

*current activities related to its mandate to monitor and evaluate system-wide or sectoral issues that may affect its regulated entities; and

the OSFI’s assessment of any exposure to loss that Canadians might reasonably expect to experience in the near- and medium-term as a consequence of volatility in credit markets and changes in the valuation of Canadian financial institutions.

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

Massimo Pacetti moved, — Recognizing that the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is a financial institution wholly owned by the federal government, complements the services of private-sector financial institutions as it delivers services to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, and finances its operations by borrowing funds in domestic and international financial markets, it is recommended that the BDC appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in order to discuss issues that include:

*the BDC’s most recent corporate plan;

*the BDC’s most recent annual report;

*the range of services provided by the BDC to small and medium-sized businesses as well as the nature and extent of its competition with private-sector financial institutions in this regard; and

*the manner in which its financing requirements have changed as a consequence of volatility in domestic and international financial markets.

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

Massimo Pacetti moved, — Recognizing that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is a federal regulatory agency with the mandate to ensure that federally regulated financial institutions comply with federal consumer protection laws and regulations as well as to provide timely and objective information and tools to help consumers select financial products and services, it is recommended that the FCAC appear before the Finance Committee to discuss issues that include:

*the FCAC’s most recent business plan;

*the FCAC’s most recent annual report;

*the extent to which the FCAC is being called upon to help consumers who are having difficulties in selecting financial products and services in light of volatility in credit markets and any consequent effects on access to, or the price of, credit.

 

By unanimous consent, after debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

Garth Turner moved, — That this committee investigate, and hold hearings into, the recent Cabinet decision to issue a remission order canceling the obligation of certain former employees of SDL Optical to pay tax related to stock options, to ascertain whether this order contravenes the Canadian Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Witnesses to include, but not be limited to, the Minister of National Revenue, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Natural Resources.

 

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 4.

 

At 3:58 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:01 p.m., the sitting resumed in camera.

 

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

 

At 4:27 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Jean-François Pagé
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2008/02/13 1:26 p.m.