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Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs


NUMBER 001 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1110)  

[Translation]

    Honourable members of the committee, I see a quorum.
    I must inform members that the clerk of the committee can only receive motions for the election of the chair.
    The clerk cannot receive other types of motions, cannot entertain points of order, nor participate in debate.

[English]

    We can now proceed to the election of the chair. Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the chair must be a member of the governing party.
    I am now ready to receive motions for the chair.

[Translation]

    I move that Mr. Neil Ellis be elected chair of the committee.
    It has been moved by Mrs. Romanado that Mr. Neil Ellis be elected chair of the committee.
    Are there any further motions?
    Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    I declare the motion carried and Mr. Ellis duly elected chair of the committee.
    I invite Mr. Ellis to take the chair.

[English]

     I'd like to thank everybody.
    If the committee is in agreement, we'll proceed with election of the vice-chairs.
    I see agreement.
     I move that Robert Kitchen, Souris—Moose Mountain, sit as vice-chair.
    Go ahead, Christine.

[Translation]

    I move that Ms. Irene Mathyssen be elected second vice-chair.

[English]

    We'll do the first vice-chair and then the second.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the first vice-chair must be a member of the official opposition.
    It has been moved by Mrs. Wagantall that Mr. Kitchen be elected as 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)

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the second vice-chair must be a member of an opposition party other than the official opposition.
    I am now prepared to receive motions for the second vice-chair.
    I move that Ms. Irene Mathyssen be elected second vice-chair.
    It has been moved by Ms. Moore that Ms. Mathyssen be elected as second vice-chair of the committee.
    Are there any further motions?
    Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    I declare the motion carried and Ms. Mathyssen duly elected second vice-chair of the committee.

[English]

    We have some routine motions that everybody has here. We could pass these in order or pull some of them with the will of the committee. If we're ready today, we could form the subcommittees on agenda and procedure with the will of the committee.
    On that, we would have myself and the two vice-chairs automatically, and we need two members from government.
    Could we get copies?
     We'll start with analyst services. I need a motion moved:
That the Committee retain, as needed and at the discretion of the Chair, the services of one or more analysts from the Library of Parliament to assist it in its work.
    An hon. member: So moved.
    The Chair: Discussion? All in favour?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: We'll invite the analysts to the table.
    Next, for the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure, can we have someone move this motion:
That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of the Chair, the two Vice-Chairs and two members from the government.
    An hon. member: So moved.
    The Chair: Do we want to appoint them today or at the next meeting?
    Okay, it's today. Names?
    I move that the motion be amended to read:
That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of the Chair, the two Vice-Chairs, Colin Fraser and Alaina Lockhart.
    First we need to agree on the amendment to the motion. All those in favour?
    (Amendment agreed to)
    The Chair: We will now vote on the motion as amended. All in favour?
    (Motion as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Thank you.
    The next routine motion is on meetings without a quorum. It reads:
That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence printed when a quorum is not present, provided that at least three (3) members are present, including one member of the opposition and one member of the government.
    That's moved by Colin Fraser. Is there discussion?
    All in favour?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next one is on the time for opening remarks and questioning of witnesses. It reads, “That witnesses be given 10 minutes to make their opening statement, round one consisting of Conservatives, six minutes; Liberals, six minutes; NDP, six minutes; Liberals, six minutes; and in round two, Liberals, six minutes; Conservatives, six minutes; Liberals, three minutes—”

  (1115)  

    The French is not the same. In the French, it says five minutes.
    The version you have is from the briefing books of old notes, I guess, and this is what is suggested for the new committee.
    So now it's six minutes?
    What's posted on...? Did you get a copy of this?
    Ms. Christine Moore: I have the copy in French, and in French it says five minutes.
    The Chair: It has to be a printing mistake, then, in French.
    An hon. member: That's the old one.
    The Chair: Okay. It's the old one. It's in English in the new one.
    Ms. Christine Moore: Okay. Fine.
    The Chair: For round two, it would be Liberals, six minutes; Conservatives, six minutes; Liberals, six minutes; Conservatives, five minutes; NDP, three minutes.
    Can I get somebody to move this?
That witnesses be given ten (10) minutes to make their opening statements, and that the order and time allotted for the questioning of witnesses in the first round be as follows: Conservative Party – six (6) minutes, Liberal Party – six (6) minutes, New Democratic Party – six (6) minutes, Liberal Party – six (6) minutes; that the order and time allotted for the questioning of witnesses in the second round be as follows: Liberal Party – six (6) minutes, Conservative Party – six (6) minutes, Liberal Party – six (6) minutes, Conservative Party – five (5) minutes, New Democratic Party – three (3) minutes.
     Is there any discussion?
    All in favour?
    (Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: The next one is on distribution of documents. Would someone move this motion?
That only the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to distribute documents to members of the Committee and only when such documents exist in both official languages and that witnesses be advised accordingly.
    Is there any discussion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next motion is on working meals. Could we have a mover?
    I move:
That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the Committee and its Subcommittees.
    Is there discussion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next one is on travel, accommodation, and living expenses of witnesses. Would someone like to move the motion?
That, if requested, reasonable travel, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnesses not exceeding two (2) representatives per organization; and that, in exceptional circumstances, payment for less or more representatives be made at the discretion of the Chair.
    That's moved by Bob. Is there any discussion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next routine motion is on access to in camera meetings. Could someone move the motion?
That, unless otherwise ordered, each Committee member be allowed to be accompanied by, and be responsible for, one staff person at in camera meetings and, in addition, each party shall be permitted to have one staff member from a House Officer attend in camera meetings.
    Is there discussion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next one is on transcripts of in camera meetings.
    I move:
That one copy of the transcript of each in camera meeting be kept in the Committee Clerk's office for consultation by Members of Parliament.
    Any discussion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: The next one has to do with notice of motion.
    I move:
That 48 hours' notice be required for any substantive motion to be considered by the Committee, and that the notice of motion be filed with the Clerk of the Committee and distributed to members in both official languages; and, that completed motions that are received by the close of business day shall be distributed to members the same day.
     For the 48 hours, do we have to stipulate that it is “open” hours, so that a Saturday motion is available on a Monday, or do we exclude weekend days?
    It's two overnights. I think it's in the big book.
    It doesn't have to be 48 hours; it's two nights. The House uses the same system.
    Okay.
    (Motion agreed to)
    The next one is on ministers appearing before the committee. It reads:
That whenever a minister is appearing before the Committee, every effort should be made in order for this meeting to be televised.
    That's been moved by Ms. Lockhart.
    (Motion agreed to)
    Chair, could I have another motion? This might be either an extra motion or a revision to the travel accommodation. I'd like to move that when witnesses wish to appear but are unable to travel, they can appear by teleconference. Would that be a reasonable option?
    I don't think that has to be in a motion. If a witness is not available, we could just offer him accommodation by video conference. I don't think it has to be on paper.

  (1120)  

    We can subpoena them and make them come, or as a committee we could decide that they could teleconference.
    Sure.
    I guess the other procedural discussion is whether we could teleconference in, but that would be a discussion for another day.
    A voice: It's more logistical than anything.
    The Chair: Yes, it's a question of logistics.
    This is all we have on the agenda for today. We could adjourn or we could discuss where we want to go right now. Otherwise, we could wait until we have a meeting on Thursday and there would be an agenda coming out on that.
    Are there any suggestions?
    I would propose that we wait until Thursday to do that, so I'll make a motion to adjourn.
    Robert.
    Before we entertain that motion, I wonder if we could invite the minister to attend at his pleasure to discuss the mandate letter at his earliest convenience.
    The motion is as follows:
That the Minister of Veterans Affairs be invited to appear in front of the Committee at his earliest convenience.
    Is there discussion on that? If not, we could call the vote.
    I think maybe we could first check on the availability of the minister. When we discuss our agenda at our next meeting on Thursday, we'll figure out when he is available and decide then. I think it's an easier way to proceed.
    If that's fine with Mr. Kitchen, we could ask the minister if he could give us some dates on which he could attend, and we'll try to bring him back at the earliest convenience.
    That motion has no date constraint.
    Okay. That's perfect.
    (Motion agreed to)
     We have a motion to adjourn.
    (Motion agreed to)
    Thank you, everybody. The meeting is adjourned.
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