Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.
We are here today for two reasons: one is to deal with clause-by-clause of Bill C-5, and the second is to have a meeting on future business of the committee, which we will do at the completion of Bill C-5.
We have with us today officials from the Department of Natural Resources. We have with us today Jeff Labonté, director general, energy safety and security branch. Welcome. We have Samuel Millar, senior director, frontier lands management division, petroleum resources branch. Welcome. We have Anne-Marie Fortin, senior counsel, legal services. Welcome to you. We have Tyler Cummings, deputy director, frontier lands management division, petroleum resources branch. Welcome to you.
From the Department of Employment and Social Development, we have Brenda Baxter, acting director general, workplace directorate, labour program. Welcome to you.
I think we've had you all at our committee before, if I'm not mistaken. You are welcome back again. We really do appreciate your taking the time to be here today and helping us with this important legislation.
Before we get started, I would just like to ask for the consent of the committee to group, as we go along, the clauses where there have been no amendments brought forth, and to vote on those. Then we'll stop at each clause that is amended and deal with those separately.
Is it agreed by the committee that we proceed in that fashion, group all clauses for voting that have no amendments proposed, and then stop at the first amendment, deal with that, and then go on to the next group and vote on the group together? Is it agreed that we proceed in that fashion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: I hope I was clear. It's a little awkward.
Of course, we start with the title, which we put aside until the end. The discussion on the title is postponed.
So we have clauses 2 to 44. There were no amendments proposed for those clauses.
Is it agreed that we pass those clauses unamended?
Yes, Mr. Chairman, I move this amendment. It would require consultation with, obviously, the provinces. That's already required in the legislation, but also with other interested stakeholders. I think this coincides with the testimony we heard at committee about the importance of consultation on this question of the word “danger”, which is of importance to all parts of this industry and all those who work in it.
I would start and then turn to one of my colleagues.
In starting with this particular proposed amendment it's correct that the current Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador accord act and the Canada-Nova Scotia accord act both require consent and agreement between the provincial governments and the federal government to move forward with any kinds of aspects in this regard. So there is an element that already accounts for the fact that the provinces have mirror legislation and would be required to work collaboratively with the federal government.
I'll turn to my colleague Sam Millar, who would be able to explain a little bit more. But the approach in which this particular aspect of how one might define this would occur, would occur through regulations.
If I add to that step, the regulation-making authority would require that any change or definition would be made public and that there would be an opportunity for any interested party to comment on the regulations that are being proposed by both governments. Therefore, the regulations being made would go through two public processes. There would be an opportunity for labour groups or environmental groups or concerned citizens to comment on the regulations before they were ever enacted.
I want to point out, Mr. Chairman, that there's a difference between consulting someone and publishing regulations in the Royal Gazette and hoping that they might be aware of the Royal Gazette and notice them, and therefore be able to comment. It seems to me that the responsible thing in this kind of case is to in fact consult those groups that clearly have an interest, and that's what I'm proposing.
This is a fairly technical amendment. It changes the wording from
the 1st Session of the 41st Parliament
to—wait for it—
the 2nd session of the 41st Parliament
Then there's some other wording here required to allow for the tabling of the transitional regulations pursuant to the Canada-Newfoundland accord act. This motion is also required to amend the titles of the transitional regulations to include the word “Canada” in the title of each regulation in clause 53. So this is purely about changing the wording to put in “Canada” and to make sure we're in the right session of Parliament.
I'm sure it was. You're sure I read this in such detail and came up with this amendment myself. This is just one of those technical amendments that the lawyers come up with, and I'm the guy presenting it today.
I honestly couldn't tell you, because I haven't talked with the minister about it. The first portion of my answer was slightly sarcastic, but the serious portion is that I haven't really talked with anyone about this. I'm just presenting it today.
Mr. Chair, I think we can infer that there were some problems with the initial bill as brought forward, which are now being corrected by the government side. Certainly, though we would have preferred that it be in more perfect form when it was brought forward, we're at least happy that the government is trying to adjust for the mistakes that were made initially.
Yes, this is going to be a bit of a theme. It's another technical amendment. This motion is to amend the title of the transitional regulations to include the word “Canada” in each regulation's title in clause 54. So "Canada", vote for it.
Apparently this motion is required to renumber the English text of one subsection of the bill that was incorrectly numbered.
Therefore I am moving to renumber, in clause 72, proposed subsection 194.2(4.1), page 138 in the English text of the bill, as 194.2(5). Then each of the proposed subsections that follow in the English text of the bill will likewise need to be renumbered. This is just renumbering things that were incorrectly numbered.
You should all be thankful I'm working to fix this bill.
Yes. As I understand it, this amendment, this motion, is required to correct the reference to a provincial statute in the Canada-Nova Scotia accord act.
In clause 84, in proposed subsection 210.101(8) of the act, page 224, we are moving to replace the name of the incorrect statute, the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act, with the correct name, the Labour Board Act.
The Province of Nova Scotia has written to request this change, which was made in error during the drafting process. The change is necessary for the federal and provincial legislations to mirror each other.
This was due to the fact that the Province of Nova Scotia made amendments to their act. They wrote to advise us that the act had changed; therefore, it required a change in the mirror federal legislation. It was an error on Nova Scotia's part that we are accommodating to ensure the mirror exists between the two accord acts.
To be clear, Mr. Chairman, I take it that the powers, privileges, and immunities that are granted to the members of the provincial Labour Board of Nova Scotia were previously provided for under the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act but are now under the Labour Board Act.
Could we table it, Mr. Chair? We're moving along and we're making a lot of progress, thanks to Mr. Trost's eagle eye in reading through the legislation. I think we can set this aside and come back to it.
This motion deletes subclause 115(e) on page 258 of the bill, since those amendments already have royal assent as part of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1. The bill and the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 both contain the same amendments to the fiscal arrangements act.
Since the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 has already passed, the amendments contained in this bill are no longer necessary.
Since I don't see an amendment that would be consequential to this amendment, that would change the next paragraph to paragraph 115(e) instead of 115(f). Aren't we going to go from 115(d) to 115(f) now?
I have a question to our witnesses, just to have them provide some information as to what they think the impacts are of that amendment. Secondly through you, Mr. Chair, then following up on Mr. Regan's points, paragraph 115(e) would be the Hibernia Development Project Act, paragraph 115(f) would be the Income Tax Act, and paragraph 115(g) would be the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments Act, if we're looking at the rejigging of that clause. Could you answer those two questions?
This is a reference again to the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador act and the reflection of the titling of the acts. The Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments Act was enacted to protect the equalization. The act required payments by the federal government to Newfoundland and Labrador, which have since expired, I believe in 2012.
There was a period of 10 years in which the federal government ensured that the equalization of the province would not be harmed from the revenues that were accrued from offshore oil and gas activity, such that it would be a period of stability. The payments that were made ended for Newfoundland and Labrador, I believe in March of 2012 or 2013. I can't give you a precise date.
The same applied for Canada and Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia equalization payments offsets ended earlier, as production had occurred earlier in Nova Scotia. So there was an amendment to recognize that those payments are no longer made.
When Mr. Trost tabled removing paragraph (e), he said that it was replaced by the new legislation. I'm just wondering why then you don't reference the new legislation. Or is this agreement not referenced in that new legislation?
What I thought was that the effect of this paragraph (e) has already been achieved in the act that was passed last year, so there's no need to achieve it again. That's my understanding from what Mr. Trost read.
What this essentially does, given the concerns that were raised by a number of witnesses around an independent offshore area regulator.... We understand that the legislation is going forward without that, which is understandable because there were a number of witnesses who also said that they didn't see the need at this time for an independent offshore area regulator.
What we are doing is building into the legislation the ability to come back to that question if there's a need, to have a report tabled by the minister not later than five years after the act comes into force. If then this committee or the minister himself or herself decides it is best to move in that direction, we have a review mechanism that allows us to ensure that this legislation is doing everything it is set out to do.
It's a bit of an insurance policy. I think government members can support this as well. It allows for, subsequent to the act being passed, having a review mechanism to ensure that the operation and implementation of the act is increasing the safety mechanisms in the way that we all want to see them increased.
I'd like to move the amendment and I hope that it gets support from the government side.
I very strongly support this amendment. It's quite a common provision at the federal level. We are introducing a new legislative regulatory regime. This is a completely new regime and will be highly complex because it involves three jurisdictions in the legislation and three jurisdictions covering a very complex sector.
As Mr. Julian said, there was still a difference of opinion from the witnesses across the three jurisdictions about whether or not some mechanisms would be more appropriate than others. It's similar to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. There actually is a provision in there as well as in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, because when you're dealing with something, let's say, in an energy sector, things evolve and new information comes to light.
It is a very reasonable proposal. It enables the public to know that the government is going to closely watch the implementation of this legislation to make sure it actually delivers on what the intent was, and whether all parts of the legislation are working in the way it was thought they would in the beginning.
Paragraph 119.1(2)(b) is a very good one because it gives total discretion to determine what aspects of the bill should be reviewed to whatever committee the review is assigned to, having consulted with the three governments and other authorities, namely, industry, workers, and so forth. It is a very wise provision. It is the kind of provision in modern legislation that is often included when you're putting in place a new regime of a nature such as this one.
The speed at which this bill is progressing so far today is not an indication that it is not an important bill. If we think about the devastating loss of life we've seen, we know what the importance of this legislation is and what it's trying to achieve.
I agree with the arguments that have been made so far in support of this amendment. I'd like to point out that, in my view, if it were passed, this would not cause the bill to be in conflict with provincial legislation because it simply applies to the section that concerns the federal government and the federal Parliament.
I agree with my colleagues. This is just an insurance policy. We all have insurance policies here at this table. This ensures that this piece of legislation will be reviewed after five years. It is nothing outrageous. If it's working, fine, and if it's not working, we can make some changes after five years. That's all it is.
The explanation for government amendment 10 is as follows.
First, this motion seeks to delete the current clause 120 of the bill, pages 261 and 262, as those provisions were achieved through the amendment of clause 88. That was achieved in the motion under government amendment 5. The full text of this motion also includes changes necessary to coordinate with amendments to the Canada Labour Code, which were included in Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2.
This motion seeks to coordinate amendments made by Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2—to replace the references to “health and safety officer” with the reference to “delegated” officials—with that act's amendments to the disclosure of information provisions in the Canada Labour Code. Those amendments ensure consistency with the disclosure information provisions developed for the offshore.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 added new proposed subsection 144(1.1) to provide the Minister of Labour with similar protections as those covered under proposed subsection 144(1). A coordinating amendment is therefore necessary to ensure consistency and, more specifically, to add the concept of “administrative proceedings” to proposed subsection 144(1).
The changes are to provide coordination with the changes that came about under Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2. Specifically, those amendments removed the reference to health and safety officers and replaced them with the term “delegated” officials, so the changes proposed here under the Canada Labour Code are making that same sort of coordinating amendments. They're removing the reference to health and safety officers and replacing it with a reference to delegated officials.
As well, the coordination is required around the protections that are provided to the minister and that exist within the Canada Labour Code with regard to a minister giving testimony in, as it says currently, civil proceedings. These amendments refer to “civil and administrative proceedings”, which include arbitration hearings. It's that one change to make that same reference so that “[t]he Minister shall not be required to give testimony in civil or administrative proceedings, other than proceedings under this Part” of the Canada Labour Code.
For the witnesses, proposed subsection 144(1.1) of this amendment provides that the minister isn't required to give testimony, and then at the end says “except for those powers, duties or functions that shall not be the subject of an agreement entered into under subsection 140(2)”.
What would that mean? In other words, what are the functions, etc., that would not be under such an agreement, in which case, I presume, the minister would have to give testimony...? What are the conditions under which the minister has to give testimony?
Through you I'd like to ask the witness, is it clause 120, subclause 2? Is that the one you were speaking to? I'm not sure exactly what in the Canada Labour Code.... As I recall there was a problem that this legislation contradicted the new federal labour act on who decides what is dangerous work. Does this resolve that?
These are specifically related to the amendments that are proposed under Bill C-5, and specifically those relate to the ability for delegated officials to make representation at certain civil and administrative proceedings. We've changed the word “civil” to include administrative proceedings, which would include things like arbitration hearings. Those are the changes. Specifically the coordination is required around the reference to a delegated official, where previously the code referred to health and safety officer.
Mr. Chair, since we didn't get an answer to Mr. Regan's question, I think it would be wise to set that aside for now. We can come back to it later once we have the answers to the questions on subsection 144(1.1), which compels the minister to give testimony in civil or administrative proceedings.
Mr. Regan is asking some very pertinent questions, and I think it's important that we get those answers before we vote. And I don't think it will take long for us to get them.
I just have one comment that this section is not a change; this currently exists within the code. This is not any proposed change. That language exists within the Canada Labour Code currently with regard to powers, duties, or functions that shall not be subject of an agreement entered into under subsection 140(2).
Can we come back to that section later, Mr. Chair? We're making good progress, so it's not a problem. All we need to do is set it aside for now and come back to it at the end. We could also come back to the other amendment from Mr. Trost.
Ms. Block, do you want to speak? Mr. Julian actually has asked to stand this amendment until after we've dealt with the government amendment 4 to clause 84, and then clause 84. He's made that proposal so I think we have to go to a vote on that.
Is it agreed that we stand this amendment and clause until later? Is it agreed?
I'm looking for clarification. I believe that we heard from the witness that this doesn't change anything significant in the labour code, if that was the concern across the table. I wonder if we could have clarification, because I believe that may be the question that Mr. Julian wants to get at.
I don't have the labour code with me, but in the subsection they are referring to, the only change is to change the wording to include “or administrative proceeding”. The rest currently exists within the Canada Labour Code.
The purpose of this consequential amendment is to allow presentations to be made at administrative proceedings and not just civil proceedings, which include arbitration hearings.
Ms. Duncan, if you want to refer to that particular part of the labour code, I'm sure somebody can get it electronically. That's being done right now. That clause is stood, so we can come back and deal with that.
(Clause 120 allowed to stand)
(On clause 121)
The Chair: The next clause is clause 121. There is a proposed amendment.
That's not the one. I have the wrong one. We just go to a vote on clause 121. Shall clause 121 carry?
The language in the bill was covered via the amendment that was made to the economic action plan act. Therefore, it has already received royal assent, so it's redundant, if you will, in this bill. The two bills were moving forward at the same time previously.
No, we're just voting on the clause. We're handling it just by voting on the clause. You could do it that way too; there are to two ways of doing it. This is the way the government side has....
We can't do it by amendment, the expert says, and that's true.
(Clause 121 negatived)
(On clause 122—Order in council)
The Chair: There is an amendment being brought forth by the Bloc Québécois.
Monsieur Fortin is here today. Our committee passed a motion that allows an independent member who has a proposed amendment to the legislation to come to the committee and speak to that amendment, whether the amendment is in order or not.
Monsieur Fortin, go ahead and make your comments on your proposed motion, which is amendment BQ-1, an amendment proposed to clause 122.
Good morning everyone. Thank you to the witnesses for being with us today.
My amendment is fairly simple. Although it's not very complex, its impact would be very significant.
One thing is obvious: the Gulf of St. Lawrence is a special body of water with an important and unique ecosystem. So we're talking about a fragile environment, a unique environment. Decisions regarding oil and gas development in the gulf will have an impact on all adjacent land. Today, beyond the land boundaries, oil and gas activities are having an impact on the gulf. Agreements with certain provinces are in place, but other provinces, like Quebec, have no agreement. The purpose of the amendment is to make it clear that an ecosystem-based approach must be adopted in the management of oil and gas development.
The Quebec government is currently in talks with the federal government to reach an agreement that could lead to legislation. As long as no such agreement exists, a sort of status quo must prevail. The goal of my amendment is to make sure that this bill comes into force on the same day that the agreement between the federal government and the Quebec government on the shared management of petroleum resources in the gulf comes into force.
It is important to respect the talks under way with the Quebec government and to ensure that the outcome achieved allows Quebec to voice its environmental and energy concerns, in order to adopt a fair approach to managing the gulf's ecosystem.
I am, on the advice of the legislative clerk, ruling this proposed amendment out of order. Clause 122 provides for the coming into force of certain sections by order of the Governor in Council. The amendment seeks to make the coming into force of the bill conditional to the coming into force of the accord between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for the shared management of petroleum resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
As House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition states, on page 769:
An amendment intended to alter the coming into force clause of a bill, making it conditional, is out of order since it exceeds the scope of the bill and attempts to introduce a new question into it.
Following the opinion of the clerk, which I fully support, I am ruling this amendment out of order.
Thank you very much, by the way, Monsieur Fortin, for coming today and taking part in this relatively new procedure. This is your first time at our committee. I hope to see you in the future with amendments to other legislation that we deal with in this committee.
Mr. Chair, I think it would still be worthwhile to discuss it. It would be important to provide a follow-up for all the independent members. The problem they have now is that once they bring forward an amendment, they have no real way of knowing whether it will be included in the bill.
For that reason, it may be helpful if you could make a recommendation that independent members be allowed to work with the legislative clerk as part of a process to fine-tune the amendments they wish to propose. That would ensure that the process took their objectives into account and that their amendments were in order.
Since we're talking about a new process, I think next time it would be helpful for those members to be able to work with the legislative clerk to make any necessary changes to their amendments to ensure they are in order.
First of all, of course, all independents have full access to legislative clerks, to have them comment on whether a proposed amendment is likely to be in order. But in a case in which it will be ruled out of order by the chair, I think it would save the independent's time, if the chair delivered that message to them in advance. They could still choose to come to speak to the amendment—which is unusual, because usually, if a proposed amendment is ruled out of order, you're not allowed to speak to it. That would still be a choice that the independent making the proposed amendment could make.
But it's a good point. I certainly will consider it in the future. It may be worthwhile to deliver that proposal to other chairs as well, so that we can save the time of an independent who might choose not to come to speak to a proposed motion, if it will be ruled out of order.
Monsieur Fortin, I apologize for not catching that in advance and delivering the message to you.
But even though you know that your amendment will be defeated, it is still important to come and propose it. That is all the more important now, given that the government has a majority. As chair, you, yourself, have witnessed the fact that most opposition amendments are defeated by members of the government party. Even though I knew my amendment had little chance of getting through, it was important for me to come and propose it. You would see that it was political in nature.
The idea behind government amendment 11 is to seek to change the coming into force provisions to allow clause 45—part III.1 of the Canada-Newfoundland act—and clause 84, which is part III.1 of the Canada-Nova Scotia act, to come into force at a time fixed by the Governor in Council.
The reasoning behind this, apparently, is that this change is necessary to ensure that the officers who enforce occupational health and safety are vested with all of their new authorities when the other provisions of the act come into force. This will ensure a seamless operation of the safety regime.
I would, Mr. Chair, but I do have a question. I thank you very much, and I thank the clerk for lending us his iPad so we could read the letter, and I thank the ministry staff for providing us with the letter.
But it's dated May 29th, which is prior to the tabling of the legislation, so I guess my question is to Mr. Trost. Why did it take him so long to catch something that was communicated by the Nova Scotia government back in May?
I'd say it's the delicate balance of the three governments working together to put forth a very technical bill that has an exceptionally large number of pages. Nova Scotia wrote to us in late May, just before they introduced their bill, to identify this particular error.
At that point in time, we had already gone to the printing stages of this bill. We think this bill was originally introduced on May 2nd, so we had already introduced the bill into the federal House, and then the government rose. We returned to the table today.
We introduced first; Nova Scotia introduced next. They had identified the error with us. By then the House had already risen, and we had the amendment as the next occasion to deal with the error.
The bill was originally introduced in the last session of Parliament.
With all due respect to the witnesses, Mr. Chair, I don't consider adding “administrative proceedings” to be minor. That's actually quite substantive. But I'm trying to figure out what the implications of this provision are in terms of the decision-making by the minister that will now be excluded in terms of his having to speak to or give testimony on.
It is my understanding, if we go back to the rationale that was provided when this motion was made, that the full text of this motion includes changes that are necessary to coordinate with amendments that were made to the Canada Labour Code. Those changes have already been placed into the Canada Labour Code, which was included in the economic action plan. So in fact, what we're doing is mirroring those amendments that were made in the Canada Labour Code.
It's already in the Canada Labour Code, and we want to reflect the same in this act.
We could read the exact language that's in Bill C-4, which has already passed. We could read the exact clauses, or show them on the iPad, if someone wants to see them, to demonstrate that this is a mirror of that and that it is being imported into this particular piece of legislation for consistency purposes.
Mr. Chair, I need clarification, because when I asked before, I was told—and it is a coordinating amendment—that this actually amends the labour code, but now I'm being told it simply mirrors changes made to the labour code.
As with the previous amendment, these consequential amendments to the labour code were put forward in the last session of Parliament. Since then, Bill C-4 has come forward and made some changes to the Canada Labour Code. The amendment we're making here is to include “administrative proceedings”. That is the consequential amendment to the Canada Labour Code that's being made here under Bill C-5. But in addition, because Bill C-4 passed and made some adjustments, this also requires a coordination with the wording under Bill C-4.
So in spite of the fact that it's already received royal assent, it's still necessary to have this section talk about “if” it receives royal assent. Does that make sense? In other words, it's saying that these will apply “if” it receives royal assent.
This amendment does two things. It coordinates with Bill C-4, but it also includes a consequential amendment to the Canada Labour Code to include the ability for delegated officials to make representation at civil and administrative hearings.
I'm just not sure why you really need subclause 120(1) if it's already received royal assent. Clearly, the rest of it, subsections 120(2) and (3), is going to apply because it has received royal assent.
However, I think it probably still works. It's not going to cause this section not to work. It just doesn't seem to be a logical way to do it.
I have another question. We are amending the Canada Labour Code, and just so I understand it, the minister we're referring to in proposed subsections 144(1) and 144(1.1) would be the Minister of Labour of Canada, right?
Proposed subsection 144(1) basically says that unless the minister gives written permission, departmental officials wouldn't have to give testimony with regard to information they've obtained in exercising their powers, which I presume includes investigations and so forth.
I don't quite understand what kind of information they would not have to give testimony about. Do you have any idea?
Proposed subsection 144(1.1) is the change in Bill C-4. That's the clause referred to as a result of Bill C-4. So the change that we're referring to is to provide officers the ability to make representation at other types of administrative hearings. That could include arbitration hearings, at which they are not permitted to make representation currently.
Proposed subsection 144(1.1) basically says that the minister is not required to give testimony, except in certain circumstances. Right? Then proposed subsection 144(1), what I was asking about, basically says that her delegated officials or those who have assisted those officials can't be required to give testimony unless the minister gives written permission.
The change that's being proposed is under 144(1.1) of the Canada Labour Code, which now reads:
The Minister shall not be required to give testimony in a civil suit with regard to information obtained in the exercise of powers or the performance of duties or functions the Minister is authorized to exercise or perform under this Part
—which is part 2 of the Canada Labour Code—
except for those powers, duties or functions that shall not be the subject of an agreement entered into under subsection 140(2).
Right, but what this provision provides for is.... None of those officers under this new legislation can testify in an administrative proceeding unless the minister gives approval. That's a political decision. That's my understanding of what.... Is this something that exists in other federal legislation?
Ms. Duncan, this committee can't deal with other legislation. This is an expansion. As long as you understand that it's actually expanding testimony—you've heard the explanation—to administrative hearings.
It's changing it to say not just civil but also administrative. The difficulty, of course, is that it talks in part of how no person can testify without the written permission of the minister. That's the essence of the provision.
The thing is it used to just say civil, which apparently meant that with her permission they could give testimony in civil actions, but she couldn't even give permission for them to give testimony in administrative actions, and now under this she could.
We're talking protections to the minister as well, specifying that she'll not be required to give testimony in suit except with respect to provisions of the code or where they are subject to an agreement under certain provisions of the code. Those portions currently exist within the code. Again, it's changing the description from just civil to administrative.
The ability to make representation and the protections provided to the minister currently exist, but just for civil proceedings. This is expanding it from civil to include administrative.
Thank you all very much for your cooperation. This was a very fruitful exercise this morning.
We will suspend the committee for just a couple of minutes to go in camera to discuss future business. But before I do that, I want to thank all the witnesses very much for being here today and for giving us the explanations that you did to certain clauses of the bill and to certain proposed amendments.
So thank you all very much once again. It's much appreciated.