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CANADA

Standing Committee on Finance


NUMBER 020 
l
3rd SESSION 
l
40th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, May 13, 2010

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1535)  

[English]

     I call to order this twentieth meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance. The orders of the day are pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, April 19, 2010: Bill C-9, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010, and other measures.
     This is the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-9. Colleagues, we have before us here this afternoon and evening 2,200 clauses, so we have a lot of clauses and work to do.
    We did the briefing sessions with officials by part, and there are 24 parts to this bill. So that is how I will proceed, through the different parts of the bill, and then we'll do the schedules, the title, and such.
    Clause 1 is the short title, but pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), this is postponed until after, for consideration at the end.
    We will start with part 1. The way we will proceed is that I will identify which clauses that refers to, and then I will call for any discussion on any of the clauses within that part.
    In part 1, we have clauses 2 to 36, amendments to the Income Tax Act and related acts and regulations.
    Is there any discussion?
    Mr. Martin, please.
    It's more of a question, because I'm substituting for my colleague Mr. Mulcair.
    Within this section, clauses 2 to 36, do we find the clauses dealing with EI?
    No, we do not.
    Thank you.
    The section dealing with EI is part 24. I'll note that you want to speak to that part.
    Thank you.

[Translation]

    Mr. Paillé, you have the floor.
    Mr. Chair, as a gesture of solidarity with the Department of Finance officials, a department that I, myself, used to work in, I will not ask that all the clauses be read before we vote on them. Rest assured.
    For part 1, I would ask for a recorded vote on clauses 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15 and 22. Those are not the winning 6/49 numbers. For the other clauses in part 1, I would ask for a vote on division.
    An hon. member: Clauses 15 to 22 or clauses 15 and 22?
    Mr. Daniel Paillé: Clauses 15 and 22. So clauses 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15 and 22.

[English]

    My suggestion was simply to call for a vote, and we can either do it recorded or not. But if you want a recorded vote, we could do so on clauses 2 to 36.
    Is that okay?

[Translation]

    I am not sure whether others want....

[English]

    Okay, so I'll call the vote on—
    Sorry, Mr. Martin.
    Just so I'm clear, if you're calling for one vote on clauses 2 through 36, we're in a bit of a quandary, because we do support most of those clauses, but we do not support clauses 19 and 22, and we'd like to have those broken out so that we can be on the record to oppose. In fact, we would ask for a recorded vote on those two clauses that we oppose.
    My understanding is that Monsieur Paillé wants a recorded vote on clauses 2, 3, 6, 11, 15....

[Translation]

    No?
    Clauses 6 to 11, so 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

[English]

    So that's clauses 6 to 11.

[Translation]

    Fine, thank you.
    Then clauses 15 and 22. Is that all?
    Yes.

[English]

    Mr. Martin, you want votes on which ones?
    Clauses 19 and 22.
    Okay, I'll just mark that.
    Monsieur Paillé wants a recorded vote.
    (Clause 2 agreed to: yeas 5; nays 3)
    (Clause 3 agreed to: yeas 5; nays 3)
    (Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to on division)
    (Clause 6 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 4)

  (1540)  

     This could be a long afternoon.
    (Clauses 7 to 11 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 4)
    (Clauses 12 to 14 inclusive agreed to on division)
    (Clause 15 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 4)
    (Clauses 16 to 18 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: We'll have a recorded vote on clause 19.
    All right, we have a tie vote. The chair votes in favour.
    (Clause 19 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    (Clauses 20 and 21 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: A recorded vote on clause 22.
    Again we have a tie. The chair votes in favour.
    (Clause 22 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    (Clauses 23 to 36 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: That's part 1. We turn now to part 2, amendments in respect of excise duties and sales and excise taxes. This part deals with clauses 37 to 95.
     Mr. Martin.
    My notes here ask me to ask the clerk for direction regarding HST/GST on financial services. Parts 55 to 95 we oppose, and I'd ask for a recorded vote on that cluster. They're all to deal with the HST/GST on financial services.
    Is it possible to ask for a recorded vote on that group?
    Sure. So clauses 37 to 54 will carry on division?
    Agreed.
    (Clauses 37 to 54 inclusive agreed to on division)

  (1545)  

    We'll have a recorded vote on clauses 55 to 95.
     There is a tie vote. The chair votes yes.
    (Clauses 55 to 95 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    Mr. Chair: We will now move to part 3, amendments in respect of Air Travellers Security Charge Act. This deals with clauses 96 and 97. It's on division?
     We'd like a recorded vote on the air travellers section.
    Okay, Mr. McKay wants a recorded vote. Can I group the two clauses together?
    Yes, that's fine.
    The Chair: There is a tie vote. The chair votes yes.
    (Clauses 96 and 97 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
     Part 4 deals with clauses 98 to 103, the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006.
    Mr. Chair, I'd like a recorded vote on that.
    On these clauses?
    Clauses 98 to 103.
    Okay, we'll group them together and ask for a recorded vote on clauses 98 to 103.
    (Clauses 98 to 103 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    The Chair: We have part 5, the customs tariff. This deals with clauses 104 to 1645. I would appreciate it if we didn't debate every clause, although the officials are willing to brief us on each one. These deal with all the tariff changes.
    (Clauses 104 to 1645 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: We will now go to part 6, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act. This deals with clauses 1646 to 1648.
    (Clauses 1646 to 1648 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: On part 7, Expenditure Restraint Act, clause 1649.
    (Clause 1649 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 8, amendments relating to certain governmental bodies, clauses 1650 to 1785.
    (Clauses 1650 to 1785 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 9, the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, clauses 1786 to 1827.
    (Clauses 1786 to 1827 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Okay. We now move to part 10, agreement on social security between Canada and the Republic of Poland, retroactive coming into force, clauses 1828 to 1830.
    (Clauses 1828 to 1830 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 11, the Export Development Act, clauses 1831 to 1833.
    (Clauses 1831 to 1833 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 12, payment card networks, clauses 1834 to 1850.
    (Clauses 1834 to 1850 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 13, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act, clauses 1851 to 1861.
    (Clauses 1851 to 1861 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 14, Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, clauses 1862 to 1884.
    (Clauses 1862 to 1884 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 15, Canada Post Corporation Act, clause 1885.
    Monsieur Paillé.

  (1550)  

[Translation]

    I want a recorded vote.

[English]

    (Clause 1885 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 4)
    Part 16, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act, clauses 1886 to 1893.
    (Clauses 1886 to 1893 inclusive agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Part 17, federal credit unions, clauses 1894 to 2136.
    Monsieur Paillé.

[Translation]

    I want a recorded vote.

[English]

    Do you mean on the group?
    Yes, it's on the group.
    (Clauses 1894 to 2136 inclusive agreed to: yeas 7; nays 3)
     For part 18, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, clauses 2137 to 2148, we have had a request for a recorded vote on the group.
    There is a tie, and the chair votes yes.
    (Clauses 2137 to 2148 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)

[Translation]

    Given the kind of questions you asked, I thought you were opposed to these clauses.

[English]

    The quality of the answers convinced me to support the clauses.
    We are at part 19, participant funding programs, clauses 2149 to 2151. Is this being carried on division?
    No. I'd like a recorded vote on it, please.
    Is that on part 19?
    Are we dealing with part 19, clauses 2149 to 2151?
    We are, yes.
    Yes, please, I'd like a recorded vote.
    The Chair: There is a tie vote, and the chair votes in favour.
    (Clauses 2149 to 2151 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
     We will go to part 20, environmental assessment, clauses 2152 to 2171.
    There is a tie vote. The chair is in favour.
    (Clauses 2152 to 2171 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    The Chair: We are at part 21, the Canada Labour Code, clauses 2172 to 2179.
    (Clauses 2172 to 2179 inclusive agreed to on division)
    Part 22 is on payments to certain entities, clauses 2180 to 2183.
    I want it on division, but I record my vote in favour of it.
    An hon. member: A business tax? How can that be?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Do you want a recorded vote, or do you want it on division?
    I'm not desperate. Occasionally you actually have a good idea around here. This one is actually a good one.

  (1555)  

    I just vote no to everything.
    It's all right. Let it go.
    So it's on division?
     John McKay is in a good mood. We will record that.
    Let the record show....
    (Clauses 2180 to 2183 inclusive agreed to on division)
    We're at part 23, Telecommunications Act, clause 2184.

[Translation]

    I want a recorded vote.

[English]

    There is a tie vote. The chair is in favour.
    (Clause 2184 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
    The Chair: We're at part 24, employment insurance financing, clauses 2185 to 2207.
    Mr. Martin, do you want a recorded vote?
    I'd like to speak to it.
    You would like to speak to these clauses?
    Yes.
     Okay.
     Just very briefly, I think what's worth noting and should be pointed out, Mr. Chairman, especially given the importance of this particular clause and how vehemently the NDP stands in opposition to these particular clauses, is that even though we're in a minority Parliament, and even though the composition of committees is such that it's supposed to reflect the membership of the parties in Parliament—in other words, committees are constituted in such a way that the opposition in fact has the majority at committees, and a vote like this would not normally carry, if all of the opposition parties brought all of their members to the committee today....
    Now, the NDP brought all the members they're allowed to have, which is one, which is me. The Bloc Québécois is in full attendance; they're represented by both of the committee members they're allowed to have. For some reason, the Liberals are lacking one member of the committee.
     Many of the important votes that we've just seen pass in a tie, with the chair breaking the tie—which is a rare occasion.... In fact, committees are constituted in such a way that a neutral chair is not often put in the position of having to break a tie. It's the exception, not the rule; yet we have just seen the chair vote in favour of a number of articles that the three opposition parties combined are opposed to. In any normal setting, that would mean that those clauses would not succeed, but would fail.
    I think it's worth noting and putting on the record that the majority of Parliament is opposed to these very clauses that have been passing—hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of clauses that have been passing in the budget implementation bill. People can draw their own conclusion on the dynamics that are at play here, especially in terms of this one last part, part 24, dealing with the Employment Insurance Act. We've let the public down. We've let down the people who voted to send us here to Parliament, by not showing up for work to vote against the very clauses they sent us here to vote against.
    So I'd like to see a recorded vote on part 24, and I'd like it duly noted that the opposition is not here in full numbers and that this is why these appalling clauses are in fact being passed at the committee stage.
    Okay, thank you.
    Is there debate on these clauses?
    Mr. Del Mastro.
     I have just a quick comment, Mr. Chairman.
    In fact, as the member would well know, bills are often brought before the House. We don't presuppose at committee whether a bill would pass or not; that's why we have standing votes in the House of Commons.
    The member presupposes that the absence of a given member is in fact determining whether these clauses or this bill would succeed or fail. I'd suggest that it's not fair to project onto anyone whether something would pass or fail if the membership were in fact somewhat different. It may be changing the number of times that the chair is being asked to break ties, but I think it's unfair to suggest that the outcome of these votes would be any different.
    Thank you.
    We have a call for a recorded vote on clauses 2185 to 2207.
    There is a tie vote. The chair votes yes.
    (Clauses 2185 to 2207 inclusive agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5.)
    The Chair: We have clause 2208, the coming-into-force clause.
    (Clause 2208 agreed to on division)
    (Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to on division)
    (Clause 1 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Shall the title carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: On division.
    The Chair: It is carried on division.
    The Chair: Shall the bill carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: On division.
    The Chair: The bill is carried on division.
    The Chair: Shall the chair report the bill to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: The bill shall be reported to the House right away.
    Is it on division? It is on division.
    Merci, mes collègues. Thank you very much. It was a very productive session.
    Monsieur Paillé.

  (1600)  

[Translation]

    We should thank the Department of Finance officials for being so patient.

[English]

     Yes. Thank you very much to all the officials, both for today and for your presentations to the committee. Thank you very much.
    The meeting is adjourned.
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