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Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our twelfth meeting of the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
Before we go in camera, during which we will be discussing our draft report, we brought forward the suggestion at the last steering committee meeting on Monday that we would go to committee business at the beginning of the meeting today and deal with a number of motions.
I think we have two motions, perhaps one from Monsieur Bachand, and also some procedural motions from Mr. Hawn.
I don't have a copy of the first motion here in front of me, but it was a motion that we all agreed with in principle a month or two ago. It's Mr. Bachand's motion.
Monsieur Bachand had a motion that each one of these meetings be televised. We had an agreement on that, but it wasn't formalized in a vote. Can I just call the question on that? Is there any debate?
Mr. Bachand moves it. Are we all in favour?
(Motion agreed to)
The Chair: All right. So that is carried.
Each one of you received a paper that just deals with some of the procedural moves. I would now entertain a motion from Mr. Hawn.
Secondly, the motion is: “That the Committee agreed to rescind the motion adopted on March 25, with respect to Canada's preparations and plans for the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan in 2011”. Obviously this is leading to the new motion.
Mr. Chair, I belive Mr. Hawn is withdrawing the motion he put forward on March 25. I think we agreed last time around that we would conduct two studies at the same time, that is, one on Afghan detainees and one on post-2011 plans.
Is that not what we discussed at the last meeting of the select committee?
Yes, we're on three now. So this means in parallel; basically, what he is moving here is that we begin “to investigate and study Canada's preparation and plans” but it does not “disclude”, I guess, if that's the word...that's not the word...disinclude--
The original motion that we just agreed to rescind was amended to say “...on condition that it first complete its study on the transfer of Afghan detainees...”. This next motion will say: “That the Committee begin without delay to investigate and study Canada's preparation and plans for the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan in 2011, and Canada's Whole of Government efforts and plans...post 2011”.
Yes. Again, Mr. Bachand, there can be two studies conducted at the same time, but with the original motion we wouldn't have been able to have two. So this is basically just saying that we will allow a study of the post-2011 mission in Afghanistan, but it does not say that we have concluded the other.
We have not filed a report. That study is ongoing, but this gives us the opportunity at steering committee to come back in the fall and begin on this next one, even though you don't want the other one to be concluded.
Mr. Chair, I attended the committee meeting. As an MP, I feel it is my duty to speak up when I think something is missing or when there's an issue of some kind. Otherwise, all we do is simply vote down the motion. Therefore, I don't appreciate the parliamentary secretary's comments.
I'm here to do my job, and I would like to have two minutes to do just that as effectively as possible. Do I have your consent?
You know what? Thank you, Mr. Bachand. I don't think it's part of what you were debating for, but I would also just.... Because this has been moved and I think this has been a misprint or whatever, I'm going to ask that we take out those two words “without delay”.
An hon. member: Yes.
The Chair: Are you all right with that, then, Monsieur Bachand?
Okay. So I'll just reread that: “That the Committee begin to investigate and study Canada's preparation and plans for the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan in 2011, and Canada's Whole of Government efforts and plans in Afghanistan post 2011”.
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, maybe the clerk can help here. Are these actually in the form of motions that are being accepted? Because we just don't agree with number two. There would have to be a motion to rescind the previous motion, I assume. Because all we're dealing with is suggestions here, according to the documents--
I would move: “That the Committee begin to investigate and study Canada's preparation and plans for the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan in 2011, and Canada's Whole of Government efforts and plans in Afghanistan, post 2011”.