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JUST Committee Meeting

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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 1
 
Monday, February 2, 2009
 

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 3:36 p.m. this day, in Room 237-C, Centre Block, for the purpose of electing a Chair, pursuant to Standing Order 106(1).

 

Members of the Committee present: Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh, Ed Fast, Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Rick Norlock, Daniel Petit, Brent Rathgeber and Brian Storseth.

 

Acting Members present: Libby Davies for Joe Comartin and Borys Wrzesnewskyj for Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh.

 

Associate Members present: Megan Leslie.

 

In attendance: House of Commons: Joann Garbig, Procedural Clerk; Isabelle Dumas, Procedural Clerk. Library of Parliament: Robin MacKay, Analyst; Dominique Valiquet, Analyst.

 
The Clerk of the Committee presided over the election of a Chair.
 

On motion of Dominic LeBlanc, it was agreed, — That Ed Fast be elected Chair of the Committee.

 

The Clerk of the Committee presided over the election of the Vice-Chairs.

 

On motion of Rob Moore, it was agreed, — That Brian Murphy be elected First Vice-Chair of the Committee.

 

On motion of Marc Lemay, it was agreed, — That Réal Ménard be elected Second Vice-Chair of the Committee.

 

Ed Fast took the Chair.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That the Committee retain, as needed and at the discretion of the Chair, the services of one or more analysts from the Library of Parliament to assist it in its work.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of the Chair, the two Vice-Chairs and a member of the other opposition party.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence printed when a quorum is not present, provided that at least three (3) members are present, including one member of the opposition.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That only the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to distribute to the members of the Committee only documents that are available in both official languages.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the Committee and its Subcommittees.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That if requested, reasonable travel, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnessses not exceeding two (2) representatives per organization; and that, in exceptional circumstances, payment for more representatives be made at the discretion of the Chair.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That unless otherwise ordered, each Committee member be allowed to be accompanied by one staff person as designated by the member, as well as one person representing the Party Leadership in the House at an in camera meeting.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That one (1) copy of the transcript of each in camera meeting be kept in the Committee Clerk’s office for consultation by members of the Committee.

 

On motion of Brian Murphy, it was agreed, — That when a Private Members’ Bill is referred to the Committee, it be placed on the Agenda and that its sponsor be invited to appear before the Committee.

 

Rob Moore moved, — That 48 hours’ notice be required for any substantive motion to be considered by the Committee, and that the notice of motion be filed with the Clerk of the Committee and distributed to members in both official languages.

 

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

 

Brian Murphy moved, — That 48 hours’ notice be required for any substantive motion to be considered by the Committee, unless the susbstantive motion relates directly to business then under consideration; and that the notice of motion be filed with the Clerk of the Committee and distributed to members in both official languages.

 

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 

Libby Davies moved, — That witnesses be given up to ten (10) minutes for their opening statement; that, at the discretion of the Chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated seven (7) minutes for the first questioner of each party; and that thereafter five (5) minutes be allocated to each subsequent questioner (alternating between Government and Opposition parties) until all Members have had a chance to participate, after which, if time permits a new round will commence.

 

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

 

Rob Moore moved, — That the consideration and examination of any bill, government or private member's bill, which falls within the express mandate of the committee shall take precedence over any study or non-legislative examination, other than questions of privilege. In such circumstances the non-legislative study shall be deferred until such time as the bill is reported back to the House.

 

By unanimous consent, the motion was withdrawn.

 

It was agreed, — That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure meet on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at 3:30 p.m.

 

Brian Storseth gave notice of the following motion: Whereas concerns have been raised regarding the investigative techniques of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") and the interpretation and application of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act; and

Whereas the Commission operates independently and reports to Parliament;

Be it resolved that the Justice and Human Rights Committee examine and make recommendations with respect to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and in particular: a) review the mandate and operations of the Commission; b) review the Commission's application and interpretation of section 13 of the Act; c) Solicit and consider oral submissions from the Chief Commissioner and oral or written submissions from other interested persons or organizations; d) Submit a report, including any proposed amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act arising out of the results of the Committee’s inquiry.

 

It was agreed, — That Brian Saunders, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, be invited to appear before the Committee on Monday, February 9, 2009, at 3:30 p.m.

 

At 4:30 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Miriam Burke
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2009/06/29 3:39 p.m.