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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 2
 
Thursday, February 5, 2009
 

The Standing Committee on Finance met in a televised session at 9:01 a.m. this day, in Room 253-D, Centre Block, the Chair, James Rajotte, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Hon. Maxime Bernier, Robert Carrier, Bob Dechert, Daryl Kramp, Jean-Yves Laforest, Hon. John McCallum, Hon. John McKay, Ted Menzies, Thomas J. Mulcair, Massimo Pacetti, James Rajotte and Mike Wallace.

 

Acting Members present: John Weston for Daryl Kramp.

 

Associate Members present: Dean Del Mastro and Martha Hall Findlay.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Philippe Bergevin, Analyst; Mark Mahabir, Analyst. House of Commons: Catherine Millar, Committee Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Library of Parliament: Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer; Mostafa Askari, Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer, Economic and Fiscal Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer; Sahir Khan, Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer, Expenditure and Revenue Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer; Chris Matier, Senior Advisor, Economic and Fiscal Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Committee on February 3, 2009, the Committee commenced its study of the 2009 Federal Budget and Recent Economic and Fiscal Forecasts.
 

Kevin Page made a statement and, with the other witnesses, answered questions.

 

At 10:18 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 10:21 a.m., the sitting resumed.

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

Jean-Yves Laforest moved, — That the Finance Committee invite the Finance Minister, the President of the Treasury Board, the Parliamentary Librarian and the Parliamentary Budget Officer to appear regarding the decision to reduce funding for the Parliamentary Budget Officer by 30% and that at least two meetings be devoted to this study.

 

RULING BY THE CHAIR

The Chair ruled the proposed motion inadmissible as it exceeds the mandate of the Standing Committee on Finance, but it is within the mandate of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament as provided on pages 813-814 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Jean-Yves Laforest moved, — That the Finance Committee undertake a study on government assistance to the Canadian financial sector, the impact of this assistance on public finance, the accountability measures concerning financial sector assistance, access to credit for individuals and businesses, the protection of Canadian investors and the stability of the Canadian financial system;

That eight be held with officials from the Department of Finance and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and industry representatives (Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and the ratings agencies) in order to propose measures that will promote transparency and accountability while minimizing risks for public finance; and

That two meetings be held to study and prepare its recommendations to the Minister.

 

John McKay moved, — That the motion be amended by adding the words “at least” before the words “eight meetings”.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of John McKay and it was agreed to.

 

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to.

 

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That the Finance Committee undertake a study on government assistance to the Canadian financial sector, the impact of this assistance on public finance, the accountability measures concerning financial sector assistance, access to credit for individuals and businesses, the protection of Canadian investors and the stability of the Canadian financial system;

That at least eight be held with officials from the Department of Finance and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and industry representatives (Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and the ratings agencies) in order to propose measures that will promote transparency and accountability while minimizing risks for public finance; and

That two meetings be held to study and prepare its recommendations to the Minister.

 

It was agreed, — That the Committee study the government’s plans on Infrastructures and Employment Insurance.

 

It was agreed, — That the Budget Implementation Bill will be the first priority and that the study on financial sector will be the first study of the committee and that it should be completed by April 30, 2009.

 

It was agreed, — That the Committee study the Supplementary Estimates (B) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

 

At 11:01 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Jean-François Pagé
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2010/01/05 10:57 a.m.