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CANADA

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics


NUMBER 001 
l
3rd SESSION 
l
40th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, March 11, 2010

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1115)  

[Translation]

    Good day to all of the members of the committee.

[English]

    I see a quorum. We can now proceed with the election of the chair. I'm ready to receive motions to that effect.
    Mr. Easter.
    I move that Mr. Szabo be chair.
    It has been moved by Mr. Easter that Mr. Szabo be elected chair of the committee.
    Are there any further motions? No.
    Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Clerk: I declare the motion carried and Mr. Szabo duly elected chair of the committee.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Clerk: Before inviting Mr. Szabo to take the chair, is it the wish of the committee to proceed to the election of the vice-chairs?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Clerk: I'm now prepared to receive motions for the first vice-chair.
    Mr. Siksay.
    I move that Pat Davidson be the first vice-chair.
    It has been moved by Mr. Siksay that Madam Davidson be elected first vice-chair of the committee.
    Are there any further motions?
    Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Clerk: I declare the motion carried and Madam Davidson duly elected vice-chair of the committee.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

    The Clerk: I am now ready to receive motions for the position of second vice-chair.
    I nominate Mr. Bill Siksay for the position of second vice-chair.
    Mrs. Freeman moves that Mr. Siksay be elected second vice-chair.
    Are there any other motions?
    Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Clerk: I declare the motion carried and Mr. Siksay duly elected second vice-chair of the committee.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Clerk: I invite Mr. Szabo to take the chair.

[English]

    Thank you, Jacques, for starting us off on the best committee on Parliament Hill--and the hardest working. I know the members here have had an opportunity to work with each other in the past, and we do have some very interesting work.
    I'm proposing that next Tuesday, since our routine motions as to the construct of the steering committee are in place, our steering committee would meet at our regular meeting time. We'll give notice of that meeting for the members: Madam Freeman, Mr. Siksay, Madam Davidson, and myself.
    I'm suggesting that each of the members of the steering committee would circulate to the others any general suggestions for consideration at the steering committee, so we could come somewhat prepared to formulate a recommendation to the full committee when our first full committee will occur on that following Thursday.
    Madam Davidson.
    Are we going to circulate them through the clerk?
    No, no, I think the members informally, because I think that would be expeditious.
    We'll do it amongst ourselves. Okay.
    There is only one other item, although it is not on our agenda. I have had some consultation with each of the parties. It has to do with the 10th and 11th reports of this committee from the last session. They were tabled in the House. We requested a response from the government within 120 days. We did receive a response from the Minister of Justice on both those reports. The committee considered the response of the minister and we have had correspondence requesting, and the minister has agreed to provide, a comprehensive response, which will be coming forward. We will continue to pursue that for the committee's consideration.
    Prorogation, however, has taken those two reports that we referred to the House off the table. So in consultation with the parties, I would propose that those two reports be retabled in the House. I will specifically state that we are not requesting the government response within 120 days, simply because the government has already responded, but we have ongoing work there.
    Mr. Siksay.
    I'll propose a motion to that effect. With regard to the report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, entitled “The Privacy Act: First Steps Towards Renewal”, I move that it be retabled in the House.
    Thank you.
    Is there any discussion?
    Mr. Poilievre.
    I'm sorry. I was premature. I think that seems reasonable, but I had a separate point on a separate report that related to the investigation on the Google mapping systems. I don't want to take us off subject.
    Is there anything further on Mr. Siksay's motion?
    There being nothing further, all those in favour?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: Madam Freeman.

[Translation]

    I'm proposing that the report on the Access to Information Act be tabled once again to the House. I would like to make that a motion.

  (1120)  

[English]

    That's the eleventh report.
    Is there any discussion? All those in favour?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: Mr. Poilievre.
    What was your plan, Mr. Chair, regarding studies that we commenced and in fact completed, like the one on the Google mapping system, but whose reports are not yet authored? Do we have a plan to reopen the study just for the purpose of report drafting? Would you wrap them in a motion to that effect?
    I believe our standard practice is that, first of all, at our first full meeting, there would be a motion to bring forward the evidence, minutes, and transcripts from the prior session and adopt that into the current session. Then we could proceed as you have suggested, in that we would take the necessary steps to complete that work and report it to the House. But because of the prorogation, we don't have that testimony and that information still.
     There's a precedent for that. We had a case with the Afghan study in the prior session. We actually brought forward the whole study and the report was done in one session. It came forward, we adopted it, and actually produced that report.
    We'll just deal with that at the next meeting.
    Yes. I think we will possibly have some further discussion as to the content of that report because it hasn't been drafted, but certainly that's something I think we should do since we have invested some good time in it.
    So you would welcome a motion at the next meeting.
    I think we'll certainly be discussing this at the steering committee meeting next Tuesday. I'm very sure that it will be on our list of matters to suggest to the committee on how we might proceed.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Easter.
    On that matter, we all sit on other committees, and certainly on the agriculture committee that I sit on we had a competitive study that went way back to last February, actually, and was lost to a great extent because of prorogation. All we did was put a motion that all the evidence received on the issue of the competitive study be brought forward to this session. Then you can get on and do the report, but you need the motion to be able to do it. So we'll do it at the next meeting.
    I think we have a plan. So we'll have steering committee next Tuesday and the first full committee on Thursday. Proper notices will be issued by our clerk, Jacques Maziade.
     I hope that you get to know our clerk and Alysia and Dara, our analysts, who have provided excellent service, support, and assistance to our committee in the past. We are very blessed to have them.
     It's nice to see all of you.
    By the way, we had a baby, right?
    You didn't.
    Oh, oh; that's how rumours get started.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    No, there was another analyst, but Alysia, maybe you could advise the committee.
    Élise Hurtubise-Loranger had a little boy named Émile. He came to visit us in the office a few days ago. He's very cute and doing very well, so everyone is happy.
    That's excellent.
    Well, that's a very good start for us.
    Colleagues, I know we're all busy. There's no further business, so we're adjourned.
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