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FINA Committee Meeting

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Meeting No. 27
Monday, March 3, 2008

The Standing Committee on Finance met in a televised session at 3:31 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; Alexandre Laurin, Analyst.


Witnesses: Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada: Margaret Baxter, Assistant Director, Finance and Administration; Janet DiFrancesco, Assistant Director, Macro-Analysis and Integration, Operation Sector.

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(5), the Committee commenced consideration of the Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008: Vote 25b under FINANCE referred to the Committee on Thursday, February 14, 2008.

The witnesses made statements and answered questions.

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

Garth Turner moved, — That the Committee hold a hearing on February 25 to investigate the tendering process for contracts in the Department of Finance, in view of the disproportionate share of awarded contracts priced between $24,000 and $24,999 and therefore falling just below the level at which contracts must be subject to competitive tendering, and in view of the $122,000 in untendered contracts awarded to the company of Hugh MacPhie, a former speech-writer for the Mike Harris Ontario government, to which the Finance Minister has admitted that “administrative functions were not followed”, and it is recommended that the Committee call the Minister of Finance, the President of the Treasury Board, senior officials from the Department of Finance, and Mr. Hugh MacPhie to appear as witnesses before the committee.


The question was put on the motion and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 6.


Paul Crête moved, — That the Committee, in view of the serious challenges faced by the forestry and manufacturing sectors, engage in a study on direct assistance measures and fiscal environment consisting of no more than four consecutive meetings commencing on March 5th, 2008, hearing testimony from 24 witnesses on the matter (6 from each party).

Debate arose thereon.


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


On motion of Paul Crête, it was agreed, — That the Standing Committee on Finance be granted an operational budget of $31,650 for its study on the Manufacturing and Forestry Sectors.


Mike Wallace moved, — That, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(1), the Committee request an extension of thirty sitting days to consider Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States social security payments to Canadian residents) thereby providing the Committee with a total of ninety sittings days during which to complete its study of the Bill.


The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.


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


Jean-François Pagé
Clerk of the Committee

2008/04/02 4:43 p.m.