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Minutes of Proceedings

42nd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting No. 76
Monday, November 6, 2017, 4:00 p.m. to 5:29 p.m.
Televised
Presiding
Bob Zimmer (Conservative)

House of Commons
• Olivier Champagne, Legislative Clerk
 
Library of Parliament
• Chloé Forget, Analyst
• Maxime-Olivier Thibodeau, Analyst
Department of Justice
• Sarah Geh, Director and General Counsel, Centre for Information and Privacy Law
Treasury Board Secretariat
• Ruth Naylor, Executive Director, Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch
Privy Council Office
• Riri Shen, Director of Operations, Democratic Institutions
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, September 27, 2017, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

Peter Kent and Murray Rankin made statements and Ruth Naylor answered questions.

The Chair called Clause 1.

Clause 1 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 1.

Clause 2 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 1.

On Clause 3,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 16 on page 2 the following:

“(1.1) Paragraph (b) of the definition government institution in section 3 of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) any corporation

(i) that is a parent Crown corporation, within the meaning of section 83 of the Financial Administration Act,

(ii) that is a wholly-owned subsidiary, within the meaning of section 83 of the Financial Administration Act,

(iii) that is a subsidiary of a parent Crown corporation or of a wholly-owned subsidiary, within the meaning of subsection 83(6) of the Financial Administration Act,

(iv) that is controlled by the Crown, within the meaning of subsection 83(7) of the Financial Administration Act,

(v) in which more than 50% of the directors of the corporation, other than ex officio directors, are appointed by the Governor in Council or by a minister of the Crown with the approval of the Governor in Council; (institution fédérale)”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 766 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 2 the following:

“(3) Section 3 of the Act is renumbered as subsection 3(1) and is amended by adding the following:

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a reference to a department includes a reference to the administrative unit of that department known as the Minister’s Office.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 5.

Clause 3 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

On Clause 4,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 27 to 31 on page 2 with the following:

“4 The headings “Access to Government Records” and “Right of Access” after section 3.2 of the Act are replaced by the following:

PART 1

Access to Government Records

Other Entities

3.3 This Part applies to the administrative unit known as the Prime Minister’s Office in the same manner and to the same extent as if the Prime Minister’s Office were a government institution except that, for the purpose of that application, any reference to “head” is to be read as a reference to “Prime Minister”.

3.4 This Part applies to the parliamentary entities referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) of the definition head of a parliamentary entity in the same manner and to the same extent as if the parliamentary entity were a government institution except that, for the purpose of that application,

(a) any reference to “head” is to be read as a reference to “head of a parliamentary entity”; and

(b) sections 71.12 to 71.14 apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, in respect of any of the information or any part of the information referred to in this Part.

3.5 This Part applies to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, as defined in section 90.02, to the Courts Administration Service and to the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs in the same manner and to the same extent as if they were government institutions except that, for the purpose of that application,

(a) any reference to “head” is to be read as a reference to

(i) in the case of the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, the “Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada”,

(ii) in the case of the Courts Administration Service, the “Chief Administrator”, and

(iii) in the case of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, the “Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs”; and

(b) sections 90.22 to 90.25 apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, in respect of any of the information or any part of the information referred to in this Part.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 766 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Whereupon, Murray Rankin appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 1.

Clause 4 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 3.

On Clause 5,

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing line 33 on page 2 to line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“5 (1) The portion of subsection 5(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

5 (1) The designated Minister shall cause to be published a publication containing

(2) Subsections 5(2) to (4) of the Act are replaced by the following:

(2) The designated Minister shall cause to be published on the Internet site of each government institution a bulletin that updates the material referred to in subsection (1) and that provides to the public other useful information relating to the operation of this Act.

(3) Any information that is required to be published under subsection (1) or (2) may be formulated in such a manner that the description does not itself constitute information on the basis of which the head of a government institution would be authorized to refuse to disclose a part of a record requested under this Act.”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Clause 5 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 1.

On Clause 6,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended by replacing lines 10 to 17 on page 3 with the following:

“control of the record and shall provide sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the institution to identify the record with a reasonable effort.”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Raj Saini moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended

(a) by replacing line 18 on page 3 with the following:

“6.1 (1) With the Information Commissioner’s written approval, the head of a government institution may, be-”

(b) by deleting lines 22 and 23 on page 3.

(c) by replacing line 24 on page 3 with the following:

“(b) the person has already been given access to an identical”

(d) by replacing line 36 on page 3 to line 7 on page 4 with the following:

“on the person’s request, they shall give the person written notice of their decision to decline to act on the request and their reasons for doing so.”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Raj Saini and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 0.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 3 with the following:

“record or the record may reasonably be accessed by other means;”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 0.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended by deleting lines 26 to 31 on page 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 5.

Raj Saini moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended by adding after line 34 on page 3 the following:

(1.1) The head of a government institution is not authorized under paragraph (1)(b) to decline to act on a person’s request for a record for the sole reason that the information contained in it has been published under Part 2.

The question was put on the amendment of Raj Saini and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 0.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 6, be amended by adding after line 7 on page 4 the following:

“(3) In exercising discretion pursuant to subsection (1), the Information Commissioner shall balance the reasons for non-disclosure against the public interest in the disclosure of any records.”

At 4:53 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:56 p.m., the sitting resumed.

The question was put on the amendment of Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

After debate, Clause 6, as amended, carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

On Clause 7,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 7, be amended by replacing line 8 on page 4 to line 2 on page 5 with the following:

“7 Section 11 of the Act is repealed.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 766 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Whereupon, Murray Rankin appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 1.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 7, be amended by replacing line 8 on page 4 to line 2 on page 5 with the following:

“7 Section 11 of the Act is replaced by the following:

11 A person who makes a request for access to a record under this Part shall pay, at the time the request is made, any application fee of not more than five dollars, that may be prescribed by regulation.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 7, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 4 with the following:

“more than five dollars, that may be prescribed by regulation.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 5.

Clause 7 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 0.

Clause 8 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 0.

On new Clause 8.1,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following new clause:

“8.1 Section 13 of the Act is replaced by the following:

13 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part if

(a) the record contains information that was obtained in confidence from

(i) the government of a foreign state or an institution of such a state,

(ii) an international organization of states or an institution of such an organization,

(iii) the government of a province or an institution of such a government,

(iv) a municipal or regional government established by or pursuant to an Act of the legislature of a province or an institution of such a government, or

(v) an aboriginal government; and

(b) disclosure of the information would be injurious to relations with the government, institution or organization.

(2) The head of a government institution shall disclose any record requested under this Part that contains information described in subsection (1) if the government, organization or institution from which the information was obtained

(a) consents to the disclosure; or

(b) makes the information public.

(3) In this section, aboriginal government means an aboriginal government listed in Schedule I.1.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following new clause:

“8.1 Paragraph 14(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) on strategy or tactics adopted or to be adopted by the Government of Canada relating to the conduct of federal-provincial negotiations.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following new clause:

“8.1 (1) Paragraphs 16(1)(a) and (b) of the Act are repealed.

(2) Subsection 16(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(4) The head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the integrity or independence of the institution’s news gathering or programming activities.

(5) In this section, investigation means an investigation or audit that

(a) pertains to the administration or enforcement of an Act of Parliament;

(b) is authorized by or pursuant to an Act of Parliament; or

(c) is within a class of investigations or audits specified in the regulations.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following new clause:

“8.1 Section 17 of the Act is replaced by the following:

17 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or mental or physical health of individuals, or that could reasonably be expected to increase the risk of extinction of an endangered species or increase the risk of damage to a sensitive ecological or historic site.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following new clause:

“8.1 Paragraph 18(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(a) trade secrets of a government institution;”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Clause 9 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 0.

On new Clause 9.1,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 11 on page 5 the following new clause:

“9.1 (1) Paragraph 20(1)(b) of the Act is repealed.

(2) Subsection 20(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) The head of a government institution shall not, under subsection (1), refuse to disclose a record or a part of a record if that record or part contains

(a) the results of product or environmental testing carried out by or on behalf of a government institution unless the testing was done as a service to a person, a group of persons or an organization other than a government institution and for a fee; or

(b) details of a contract or a bid for a contract with a government institution.

(3) Subsection 20(6) of the Act is repealed.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 11 on page 5 the following new clause:

“9.1 Section 21 of the Act is replaced by the following:

21 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that came into existence less than five years prior to the request if the record contains

(a) advice or recommendations developed by or for a government institution or a minister of the Crown and disclosure of the record could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the internal advice-giving process of the government institution;

(b) an account of consultations or deliberations involving officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the staff of a minister of the Crown and disclosure of the record could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the internal decision-making process of the government; or

(c) positions or plans developed for the purpose of negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the Government of Canada and considerations relating to it and disclosure of the record could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of the negotiations.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a record that contains

(a) any factual material;

(b) the results of a public opinion poll, survey or focus group;

(c) a statistical survey;

(d) an appraisal or a report by an appraiser, whether or not the appraiser is an officer or employee of a government institution;

(e) an economic forecast;

(f) an environmental impact statement or similar information;

(g) a final report, final study or final audit on the performance or efficiency of a government institution or on any of its programs or policies;

(h) a consumer test report or a report of a test carried out on a product to assess equipment of a government institution;

(i) a feasibility or technical study, including a cost estimate, relating to a policy or project of a government institution;

(j) a report on the results of field research undertaken before a policy proposal is formulated;

(k) a report of a task force, committee, council or similar body that has been established to consider any matter and make reports or recommendations to a government institution;

(l) a plan or proposal of a government institution to establish a new program or to change a program, or that relates to the management of personnel or the administration of the institution, if the plan or proposal has been approved or rejected by the head of the institution;

(m) information that the head of a government institution has cited publicly as the basis for making a decision or formulating a policy;

(n) a decision, including reasons, that is made in the exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function and that affects the rights of the person making the request; or

(o) a report or advice prepared by a consultant or an adviser who was not, at the time the report was prepared, an officer or employee of a government institution or a member of the staff of a minister of the Crown.

(3) In this section, advice means an opinion, proposal or reasoned analysis offered, implicitly or explicitly, as to action.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

On Clause 10,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 10, be amended by replacing lines 15 to 18 on page 5 with the following:

“disclose any record requested under this Part if

(a) the record contains information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege; and

(b) disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the interests of the Crown.”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 6.

Clause 10 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 2.

On Clause 11,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 11, be amended by replacing line 19 on page 5 with the following:

“11 Section 24 of the Act is repealed.

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 766 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Clause 11 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 0.

On new Clause 11.1,

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following new clause:

“11.1 Section 25 of the Act is renumbered as subsection 25(1) and is amended by adding the following:

(2) If, under subsection (1), a part of a record is, for the purpose of being disclosed, severed from a record that is otherwise subject to solicitor-client privilege, the remaining part of the record continues to be subject to that privilege.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following new clause:

“11.1 Section 26 of the Act is replaced by the following:

26 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part or any part of this Part if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material, or part of the material, in the record will be published in any form by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Crown within 60 days after the request is made or within a further period of time that may be necessary for printing or translating the material for the purpose of printing it.

26.1 The head of a government institution may, if the Information Commissioner so recommends after the investigation of a complaint under paragraph 30(1)(d.2), disregard an access request that is contrary to the purposes of this Act.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it sought to amend sections of the parent Act not amended by the Bill, as provided on page 767 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

Frank Baylis moved, — That Bill C-58 be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following new clause:

“11.1 Section 26 of the Act is replaced by the following:

26 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part or any part of a record if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material in the record or in part of the record will be published by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Crown — other than under Part 2 — within 90 days after the request is made or within any further period of time that may be necessary for printing or translating the material for the purpose of printing it.”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Frank Baylis and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 0.

Clause 12 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 0.

On Clause 13,

Emmanuel Dubourg moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 13, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 25 on page 5.

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Emmanuel Dubourg and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 0.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-58, in Clause 13, be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following:

“(1.1) Subsection 30(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (d.1):

(d.2) from heads of government institutions who believe that an access request should be disregarded as being contrary to the purposes of this Part;”

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 5.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 13, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 22 on page 6.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 4.

The Chair ruled that the following four (4) amendments were consequential to the previous amendment and therefore they were also negatived:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 14, be amended by replacing lines 41 to 43 on page 6 with the following:

“(d) the Privacy Commissioner, if the head of the government institution concerned”

That Bill C-58, in Clause 16, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 26 on page 8.

That Bill C-58, in Clause 48, be amended by replacing lines 2 to 4 on page 51 with the following:

“as the result of being notified by the head”

That Bill C-58, in Clause 53, be amended by deleting lines 35 to 38 on page 52.

Clause 13, as amended, carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 2.

At 5:29 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Hugues La Rue
Clerk of the Committee