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.
Good afternoon, dear committee members. As you can see, the chair of this committee is not present, and as this committee doesn't have any vice-chair, I'm bound by the rules to proceed with the election of an acting chair for this meeting.
Do I have a motion from the floor about any potential candidates?
I don't know if I have to go through all of the list, but there is one item that I want to bring to your attention.
It's item 13, Bill C-324. This bill is similar to another bill that was tabled by the government, Bill C-37.
The objective of Bill C-324 is to prohibit the possession, production, sale, or importation of anything if it is known that it will be used in the production or trafficking of certain substances included in schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Currently, the provision it would amend only applies to one item. With Bill C-324, clause 7.1 would apply also to other items, among them fentanyl and other drugs.
Government Bill C-37 would do something very similar, except that it would extend the application of section 7.1 of the act to all of the substances that are listed in the schedule of the act.
Those are the similarities between the two. Basically, Bill C-37 would achieve what Bill C-324 seeks to achieve.
First, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs would have five sitting days to deal with the decision of this committee, either to be in agreement or disagreement. Then it would table a report. After that, there would be a period of five sitting days given to Mr. Saroya to let the Clerk of the House know what he wants to do next. One of his options is, indeed, to substitute for Bill C-324 another item of his choice.
In the event he doesn't have any other item of PMB business on the Order Paper, he's going to be given 20 calendar days to put another PMB of his choice on the Order Paper.
In fact, the rule is to determine whether or not those two bills seek to achieve the same things in the same way. I know that Bill C-37 is a bit broader. It includes more substance, but it tries to achieve the same thing in the same way. It's just the scope of it. The scope of C-37 could also be dealt with in committee or by the House afterwards. There could be amendments to the bill to change its scope if members would like to change it.
Right, it's the exact same section. It's really just the scope of it. The government would include all of the scheduled substances, whereas Bill C-324 would only add a few substances to the prohibition.
I don't think he's been officially notified or anything, but I did ask him about his bill. I think he's aware that the government bill deals with the same subject matter, so I don't think he'll be surprised by the decision—if this is the decision we make. Obviously, he'll have to be prepared to come up with something new.