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Good morning, everybody. We have one item on the agenda. We're going to finish the clause-by-clause and then go in camera to do some committee business.
Where we are on the clause-by-clause, as I understand it, is that we were discussing the amendment proposed by Ms. Ng. It had been moved. There had been discussion about a subamendment but it had not been formally moved. I think that's where we left it.
Does everybody agree with that summation? Just say yes.
Thank you, everyone, for the input and the good discussion we had at the last meeting when we were looking through the clauses.
We were going to go back to consider some of the thinking and the comments that Ms. Stubbs put forward in her amendment. We've had an opportunity to go back to legislative counsel to look at it. We are satisfied that the word “thing” and the dash.... Because it was suggested for the word “thing” and the dash that we actually remove it, we had gone back on it in our discussions, and that language is actually the correct language for the purposes of legislation for this.
Here's the rationale, and I'll try to explain it as best I can, based on our understanding. When we are looking at what the intent of this amendment or this legislation is going to be, we see that it is going to allow, as we've heard from a lot of people in the sector and elsewhere, that as wood would be a material of consideration if this were to pass, part of the consideration of its use and the application of it is going to include some innovations. The word “thing” is actually in there to give it that kind of flexibility. We agree with that, and we want to leave that as is.
I'm proposing that we don't have a subamendment. We're satisfied that we've done another round of due diligence and that the amendment I proposed at the last round ought to stay. I would just reiterate that what we're trying to do here is to have an amendment that respects our compliance, the country's compliance to trade agreements like the free trade agreements that we have. Ultimately what this legislation is about is a consideration of wood to allow for the use of wood for the purposes of giving the minister an ability to consider in the course of decision-making that will actually allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and other sustainable material, wood being one of them.
On that, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee, I would propose that we leave the amendment as put forward at last meeting.
Obviously, mathematics would dictate how this discussion is going to go, but I would just, for the sake of doing due diligence, as was mentioned.... We have also done ours. Again, if the argument is around what is necessary or not necessary to have in legislation, it remains the fact, if you actually do look at the powers, duties, and functions under the Public Works act, that there are a variety of powers and considerations the minister must make, but there remains nothing about safety whatsoever explicitly mentioned, as was claimed at the last meeting. On top of that, there are numerous other acts and guidelines and policy frameworks that already mandate the consideration of the life-cycle emissions in federal procurement of buildings.
If your argument is that a reference to safety is not necessary based on the assertion that it is mentioned in other legislation, it isn't. If you want to use that logic, then it also does hold that there are a number of other frameworks in legislation that talk about the submissions piece that you want to maintain in this legislation. I think we've dropped the other factors, but we are sticking to the importance of having safety, given the testimony of the witnesses. If you want to argue that that's not included because it's covered elsewhere, well, so is the emissions and carbon-impact piece on federal procurement and acquisition and architecture of federal buildings. That already exists in pre-existing legislation, so the same argument would defeat your own.