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Mr. Chair, as I have said before in this committee, I think this motion should rather be moved in the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. This is a matter of security, and nothing indicates that bilingualism is not respected in any rescue centres. The Quebec City centre has had the same staff for a number of years.
If my colleague opposite really has concerns about security, he could perhaps ask the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to conduct a more comprehensive study on the issue. I don't know whether he wants to debate the matter, but I can continue to do so if he likes. I am just making a suggestion to Mr. Godin.
I am wondering if this is really a topic we should be studying. If Mr. Godin thinks that this is a matter of security, our committee should not be handling it. There is no evidence that a bilingualism issue currently exists. Nothing has changed recently. We studied the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and I think he did an excellent job. I don't know what you think. Could you elaborate, Mr. Godin?
I would like to support my colleague. I think that this kind of a study should rather be undertaken by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. I don't think this is just a matter of language. Many operational and security issues are also involved. It is a matter of equipment, staff and locations. It's not just a matter of linguistics. So I think it would be a good idea to refer to the mandates of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
We could ask the chair of that committee whether they would like to study this topic. As Mr. Gourde said, these operations are important. A connection should be established between operations and this official languages issue.
If this is a study on the closing of the marine rescue sub-centre in Quebec City, and it has to do with issues related to the two official languages, it is our committee's responsibility. However, if this motion is adopted, it will be impossible for the chair to do what the motion asks for because it talks about 2012. We cannot produce a study before September 30, 2012.
Sorry, Mr. Godin. I know that you are concerned, but rules must apply to all members of the committee.
I understand that you want to make this amendment. We obviously cannot leave September 30, 2012 as the date, since that was last year. However, the motion put forward lapsed about seven or eight months ago. I thought that such a situation would simply require another motion. We cannot vote against an amendment that consists in changing a date, but if we are already opposed to the motion, there is a problem. In a way, you are putting us in a difficult position.
You should have simply proposed a new motion with a later date. That certainly would have been simpler for everyone. I think this is a difficult situation for us. We cannot reject your refusal, but we will probably vote against the amendment, and that will lead to a strange situation.
We have an opportunity to work together in this committee. It would be easier—for you and for us—if you proposed a new motion that complies with this committee's current rules.
As you know, we are currently conducting a study on immersion. So we would have to look at our schedule. I am wondering how many meetings we will need to carry out the study if we do decide to undertake it. We should nevertheless complete the immersion study. We still have a few meetings to hold on that topic.
Mr. Chair, could you tell us how many meetings we will need to complete the study on immersion?
Mr. Chair, in light of that, I don't think we could begin the study on the rescue centre. We will not be able to hold enough meetings. With four meetings starting in mid-September, we would complete the study in mid-October. I don't think that's feasible. We should perhaps propose a new amendment or a new date.
Moving another motion at this point would violate the rules. We have to deal with the amendment that is before the committee.
We're on the debate on the amendment, and the only way we can move to a new motion is if we dispose of the amendment. We can dispose of the main motion either as amended or not amended, and then frankly at that point we're on to the next motion from Monsieur Godin. He has given notice. That's the order in which we're going to consider this.
If you want to amend the main motion after we dispose of this.... If we dispose of this amendment and then you introduce an amendment to the main motion that would call for the suspension of the other study. That's fine, but you can't present another motion at this point.
That is not really pertaining to the language issue. I think it is a technical issue. I don't see any real advance to bilingualism and so on, with the closing of the marine rescue sub-centre.
Where is that? Is it bilingual? Is it not bilingual? I don't understand how it pertains to this committee. If somebody could explain it to me, I might eventually agree, but I need further explanation of why this has been brought forward in this committee when it is not pertaining to bilingualism.
This does not concern the amendment. The purpose of the amendment is to change the date. I don't know whether the member listened to what I said or not, but he should get his facts straight. I apologize, but we have been talking about it for long enough.
I think the relevance of the date is that it takes a certain number of meetings to do an exhaustive study. I think just looking at the language component of marine rescue sub-centres is not looking at the problem holistically. If we're going to do a study, I don't think it should be this committee. Fisheries and Oceans should do it because I think you need to look at the operational requirements, things like response times and the deployment of equipment and resources. These are well beyond the scope of the official languages committee.
There is a small slice of this which has to do with language capability. But I'd say the question of marine rescue sub-centres is something that Fisheries and Oceans has to deal with, and language is one aspect of it.
The question is on how many meetings are required to actually do a study. If you're only looking at one aspect of something as important as marine rescue sub-centres.... Of course, peoples lives are involved, and I think it's important to take those things into consideration.
Can this really be done in just two or three meetings? To my colleague's point, would you maybe need six or eight meetings to do that holistic study? We could bring in the experts from Fisheries and Oceans, as well as the ministry of defence, who could talk about the operations and deployment of equipment and the work with the coast guard. That's why I think we need to discuss the date in that context.
I think it might be helpful, given some of the logistical challenges of the construction on Parliament Hill, just to do a very brief recap for our colleagues who were just able to arrive—just in terms of there being an amendment that's been proposed and also the debate that's at hand here. I can do that, Mr. Chair.
The date was problematic. According to Mr. Trottier, we may not have the time to conduct a comprehensive study because, if it takes longer, we will have to check how the system works. This may have to do with Trenton or Halifax, as that is where the whole thing should be transferred.
As for the date, I think the committee should decide what date to go with. I don't think we had set a specific date for the other study. I have seen studies begin and stop over time. So another study would be carried out, and then the first study would be continued. In the case of the other study, the motion did not set a date; it did not state that the study should be completed without interruption. We have had similar situations in the past, so relevant jurisprudence does exist. We can suspend a study we are conducting and decide which of the two studies is more important. We could say that the study with a deadline would become a priority. That can still be the committee's mandate.
Mr. Chair, that's all I have to say about the date.
Mr. Chair, you asked who agreed with the motion and those people voted. I called for a recorded division, and you said that, for a recorded division, I should have put in the request earlier, but you did not ask who was in favour of the motion.