I'm calling the meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities to order.
We are dealing with, pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, June 19, Bill .
I have a script that I've been asked to read, so that everyone understands exactly how we go through this procedure. I'd like to provide members of the committee with a few comments on how committees proceed with the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.
As the name indicates, this is an examination of all the clauses in the order in which they appear in the bill. I will call each clause successively, and each clause is subject to debate and a vote. If there is an amendment to the clause in question, I will recognize the member proposing it, who may explain it. The amendment will then be open for debate. When no further members wish to intervene, the amendment will be voted on. Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the package each member received from the clerk. If there are amendments that are consequential to each other, they will be voted on together.
In addition to having to be properly drafted in a legal sense, amendments must also be procedurally admissible. The chair may be called upon to rule amendments inadmissible if they go against the principle of the bill or beyond the scope of the bill, both of which were adopted by the House when it agreed to the bill at second reading, or if they offend a financial prerogative of the crown.
If you wish to eliminate a clause of the bill altogether, the proper course of action is to vote against that clause when the time comes, not to propose an amendment to delete it.
Since this is the first exercise for many new members, I will go slowly to allow all members to follow the proceedings properly. If during the process the committee decides not to vote on a clause, that clause can be put aside by the committee, and revisited later. Amendments have been given a number in the top right corner to indicate which party submitted them. There is no need for a seconder to move an amendment. Once moved, an amendment will need unanimous consent to be withdrawn.
During debate on an amendment, members are permitted to move subamendments. These subamendments do not require the approval of the mover of the amendment. Only one subamendment may be considered at a time, and that subamendment cannot be amended. When a subamendment is moved to an amendment, it is voted on first. Then another subamendment may be moved, or the committee may consider the main amendment and vote on it. Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the title and the bill itself, and an order to reprint the bill may be required, if amendments are adopted, so that the House has a proper copy for use at report stage.
Finally, the committee will have to order the chair to report the bill to the House. That report contains only the text of any adopted amendments as well as an indication of any deleted clauses.
I thank the members for their attention. I wish everyone a productive clause-by-clause consideration of Bill .
Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, which is the short title, is postponed.
I will now call clause 2 to open up today's discussion.
Yes, on a very small point of order, very briefly, Madam Chair, I'm wondering if for future meetings we could ensure that we meet between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is our normally allotted time, and if there are circumstances that require us to meet outside of those times, that we be given forewarning about those hours, preferably a week or so in advance, so that we can plan our schedules. I only became aware of this meeting, which sits until 8:30 tonight, yesterday afternoon, and it has caused my office quite a bit of work to find duty coverage and to cover the other responsibilities that I have.
I put this out there as maybe something we can all work toward for future meetings, that is, that we meet during those regularly allotted time slots, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and if there are extenuating circumstances that require us to meet beyond those times, that's fine, but I would ask that we have forewarning of a week or so so we could plan our schedules accordingly.
We have had tremendous co-operation among all of the party members throughout this whole process. I hope we will continue that, so that we might be finished this much faster than some of us have anticipated.
I'm going to move on now.
Shall clauses 2 to 8 inclusive be adopted?
(Clauses 2 to 8 inclusive agreed to)
(On clause 9)
The Chair: There is a Conservative amendment.
Go ahead, Ms. Block.
Madam Chair, I have proposed some of these amendments, because the concern I have with the bill as it is currently worded is that it would allow the minister to approve a joint venture that would not be subject to a full competition review. I think that this would weaken competition in Canada. It would weaken the ability of the bureau to ensure a competitive economy in Canada.
By making these amendments, we can ensure that the commissioner of competition has a much bigger role to play in approving joint ventures, as they have in the past, when they have disallowed certain transporter routes in order to ensure that Canadians have the best prices available to them for travel.
The purpose of the amendment in front of us, and we're considering just the single amendment right now—
The Chair: That is amendment CPC-4.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Unless the officials tell me that I am wrong, it seems to me that, before Bill , the Commissioner of Competition could, on his own initiative, block an agreement. So, my impression is that, although I agreed with all the amendments proposed by my Conservative colleagues—and that is an interesting realization, I confess—basically, the fact is that the minister can still circumvent the recommendation. The commissioner would therefore no longer have the means to block an agreement that, in his opinion, would be detrimental to competition.
Just to be sure that I understand the procedure correctly—because this is the first time I have done this kind of exercise—I could support each of the Conservative measures but, in the end, vote against section 14, because, in my opinion and in our opinion, it gives unreasonable powers to the minister and takes them away from the Commissioner of Competition.
Is my reading of the procedure correct?
Madam Chair, regarding these clause discussions, I don't like the vibe created in the room if we just sit silently. If we're opposed to a motion, I like to offer some logic, including perhaps on some data issues that impacted the first proposed amendments.
With respect to this one, one reservation I have is really about the public interest. I know that was the intent of the proposal, but I think the policy reason behind the proposal makes sense. I don't think the competition regulator is particularly well-positioned to assess the public interest. I think that is a policy decision.
For that reason, I'll be voting against the proposed amendment. I think that sometimes we owe it to one another to explain our rationale rather than sit silently.
Madam Chair, whether the amendment passes or not, I want to make this point. I think it's really important to understand that Canada has some of the best competition framework legislation in the world. It began with the anti-combines act some 100 years ago, if my memory serves me correctly, and it evolved with the modernization of the Competition Act in more recent decades.
The Competition Bureau and the commissioner of competition, along with the tribunals, are considered world class in their enforcement, and to that end, we enjoy a competitive economy. The conditions imposed on Air Canada and United Airlines in the 2011 time period are evidence of that.
I think the current bill weakens our competition law. It allows the minister, frankly, to override a system that I believe is in the public interest, which is to have an arm's-length competition bureau enforcing competition law and leads to less choice for consumers and higher prices for the travelling public.
That's why I proposed these amendments. I'm not going to delay much further, but I want to make the point that this is a significant deviation from current competition law, which is, in my view, world class, and will weaken what is a world-class bureau and tribunal.
Why don't we just postpone clause 14 and come back to it when our great committee members find the right words.
(Clause 14 allowed to stand)
The Chair: There are no amendments to clauses 15 to 18.
(Clauses 15 to clause 18 inclusive agreed to)
(On clause 19)
The Chair: Mr. Aubin, would you like to speak to your amendment, please?
My argument in favour is very simple.
Bill contains a proposal that is not really a proposal, in my opinion. It is actually a solution designed to save time. What for? We could spend a lot of time discussing that.
As for the air passenger bill of rights, Canada does not have to reinvent the wheel because bills of rights of that kind already exist. Many witnesses spoke very positively about the European bill of rights, for example.
The purpose of most of the proposals in this amendment is to include in the bill the main rights that passengers could rely on in case of a problem. The NDP is not actually insensitive to the Liberal approach, under which all that work would be done by regulation, because, when conditions change, it is easier to amend a regulation than an act. We are also sensitive to certain of the details, like the amount of fines.
However, in terms of rights, it seems to me that the problems have been known for a long time, and it is possible to enact the equivalent of the proposals in the European bill of rights, for example. That is actually what the text of the amendment proposes. It is a concrete proposal that I invite my colleagues to consider and take a position on.
The bill states that the specifics of the compensation measures or any other measures would be developed in regulation. The reason we believe this is most appropriate is that it allows for proper consultation on the various elements that are listed in the legislation. By including them in the bill, we will not have time to consult with Canadians about what they believe are the important features that should be in there for compensation or for duty of care of the passenger.
If we then have to make changes at some point because the regime is altered, it's also much faster to make the changes through the regulatory system than having to change a bill or having to come back just to change the section of the bill for those amendments.
For those reasons, as is normal when we have something very detailed like this, it's more appropriate to do it through the regulatory process. I think that, as committed to when he was here, we have every intention to get on with this and to have this regime in place in 2018.
I understand. We are dealing with a fundamental difference in point of view.
The great majority of the witnesses we have heard, with the exception of the representatives from one or two major airlines, were of the opinion that we do not have to reinvent the wheel because the bill of rights already exists.
Are we going to use this whole consultation process to end up with something that already exists and on which there seems to be consensus, in order to respond to the pressure from a few airlines? The question has to be asked. It seems to me that we could actually take a position on the issue and provide Canadians, right from the moment that this bill receives royal assent, not a consultation, but a real passenger bill of rights. A number of parties have promised Canadians that on a number of occasions, including during the election campaign.
I feel that the time has come to adopt an air passenger bill of rights.
If there any further discussion on NDP-1?
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
(Clause 19 agreed to)
The Chair: Clauses 20, 21, and 22 have no amendments.
(Clauses 20, 21, and 22 agreed to)
(On clause 23)
The Chair: We have amendment CPC-8.
Madam Chair, this speaks in particular to level of service. We heard from a number of witnesses some concerns about some of the wording in Bill .
This bill includes an addition to the level of service provisions that requires the agency to dismiss a complaint if it is satisfied that the railway has provided the highest level of service that is reasonable in the circumstances. What we heard was that this unfortunately does not tell shippers what they must prove in order to succeed in a level of service complaint.
If the intent is that unless the railway has provided the highest level of service that is reasonable in the circumstances it will be found in breach of its obligations, then the proposed new subsection should be amended to say so clearly. That's what this amendment is intended to do, Madam Chair.
As both the minister and I said at one of the last appearances, the extended interswitching provision was really a temporary measure under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. It was introduced to address the very unusual situation that happened in 2013 and 2014, with the largest grain crop ever as well as a very difficult winter.
That provision presented numerous difficulties in terms of the cost-based rates. In continuing it, we were just propagating a problem: that there will at some point arise a scenario whereby the railways will not be investing in their infrastructure, which will then lead to the deterioration of the system.
For that reason, we did not renew that provision in this bill. The provision actually ceased to exist as of August 1 of this year because it was not renewed. That was in the previous bill.
As a general comment, I think this amendment is, as you described, to say that some people like the extended interswitching and that in your view it's superior to the proposed long-haul interswitching.
To follow up on the comments made by our officials here, I think that Bill was the right thing to do. It was actually very smart at the time to help move product that was stranded, and I would have supported it at the time.
We've now had the benefit to consult across Canada. I keep thinking to myself that the starting point is not the draft legislation we all started with. Right now, there's not a system in place. I see long-haul interswitching as part of a pretty intricate balance that extends the ability of producers and shippers to move goods in different geographies, in different commodities.
When I look at some of the protections that are available here to shippers, I view this as a very positive bill from a shipper's perspective. I'm looking at data disclosure, retaining the maximum revenue entitlement, reciprocal penalties, adequate and suitable service.
I understand that there are some shippers in the grain industry in a limited geography who are familiar with a certain system, but I want to have my voice on the record as saying, given the starting point that we have right now, this is a pretty intricate balance that I think is really going to help shippers in different commodities, in different geographies, get their goods to market. I can't in good faith support an amendment that's going to essentially dismantle the long-haul interswitching system that is really the focus of a major portion of this bill.
I think the previous government wisely put a sunset clause on this because it was brought in to apply to a particular situation. Although the distance prescribed, 160 kilometres, was I think never used—it might have been used once in that period of time—what it did was introduce, if you like, a replacement for what would ordinarily or hopefully be a competitive situation.
The extended distance in the long-haul interswitching would do two things. First of all, it would open up more of the country to competitive rates. Second, it would also open up more commodities. The original provision was specifically, of course, to move grain. Now we have a lot of interest in the mining and forestry sectors in British Columbia, in northern Quebec, etc., and I think there are some amendments coming up that will also address those interests and, in my view anyway, enhance the ability of long-haul interswitching to do what it was intended to do.
Mr. Aubin, if you can work with your staff and Ms. Block's staff and put something together that the legislative clerk is comfortable with, we can deal with it again.
We'll allow clause 26 to stand, then. Everybody is good with that.
(Clause 26 allowed to stand)
(Clauses 27 and 28 agreed to)
(On clause 29)
The Chair: Before you start, Ms. Block, let me say to Mr. Aubin that amendment NDP-2 is identical to amendment CPC-10, so it cannot be moved until there is a vote on amendment CPC-10.
Ms. Block will speak to it now.
Given that we are talking about two separate provisions, one proposed and one already in the act.... The act already contains a 30-kilometre interswitching zone, which any shipper can use. They can take the traffic within that 30 kilometres and have it switched to another railway. That is done at a cost-based rate. You use the long-haul interswitching when you are beyond the 30 kilometres. You would be going way beyond that. You don't, then, have to have access to the 30-kilometre interswitch. In fact, you're going further than that. If you had the 30-kilometre...that's what you would in fact be using, not the long-haul interswitching.
This is, then, really conflicting with the long-haul interswitching. It duplicates it.
When the railway is asked to move a product to an interchange under the long-haul interswitching, it's already in that direction, but it will be longer than the 30 kilometres, because they don't have access to the 30 kilometres.
I think the amendment conflicts with a provision already in the act, and it conflicts with a proposed new portion of the act, that being long-haul interswitching.
I am trying to understand what the officials are saying. I am going to take a few minutes to read the text.
My first comment was not about that; it was about congratulating Ms. Block for pipping me at the post in presenting the amendment. However, since we are proposing exactly the same thing, I was clearly going to acquiesce.
However, I am now going to take a few minutes to read over the text again in the light of what we have been told.
Yes, thank you very much, Madam Chair.
This is the one that has been circulated.
Amendment CPC-11 is deleting lines 5 to 42 on page 23, which contains the proposed section that has the exclusion corridors built into it. Although we're hearing that long-haul interswitching and all the remedies contemplated in this bill are an answer for our captive shippers, we heard testimony from many of our witnesses saying that this would do no such thing. In fact, it serves to act like the competitive line rates that they used to have to use and which were rarely used. Therefore, we have put forward this amendment.
Let me repeat, the long-haul interswitching is meant to give captive shippers the access to a second carrier that they do not have today. Shippers already located within the 30-kilometre interswitch distance have access to a second carrier and in some cases more than a second carrier, so they already have competition and access to more than one railway.
The other exemptions in there refer to traffic such as intermodal traffic, automotive traffic. They also already have access to competitive transportation alternatives. That's why they were excluded.
There were other exclusions proposed because of the nature of the handling of particular traffic, such as radioactive goods or oversized shipments, because it would be really difficult to switch that traffic between one carrier and another.
All of this is to say that the exemptions that were put in were well thought out and that there was a valid reason for each and every one of them: either that they have competition or that there would be difficulty in switching that traffic between carriers.
We cannot support this in the context of what the LHI was meant to do from a policy perspective, which was to give the captive shippers a new remedy that they don't have today.
Yes, I would like to respond to two things.
First, with all due respect, I think it's highly inappropriate for the departmental staff to tell us what they can or cannot support in terms of an amendment that's come forward from a parliamentarian when we are working through a bill clause by clause.
I appreciate the explanation of the bill as it is written by the departmental officials, but knowing what they can and can't support I think is inappropriate. I think it's for the parliamentarians to determine that.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
My question goes to the officials, but also to Ms. Block.
Ever since the beginning, when we talked about interswitching, it was about the economic advantage that a shipper can get. Now, we have just been told that all those who are subject to an exception would have no right to the competitive advantage. I wonder whether we are putting the problem in the right place.
In the transportation of hazardous materials, I understand that we do not want to increase the risk by doing this interswitching, but is that the real problem? If we are transporting hazardous materials, like petroleum in the DOT-111 cars, the problem is not about the interswitching but about the cars themselves. In my opinion, we should solve this problem in a way other than through this provision in the bill. I see no reason to deprive a grain producer, or a producer of anything else, of an economic advantage, if the problem is with the car in which products are transported.
Am I wrong?
For the information of the committee, before we vote on the amendment, if CPC-11 is adopted, CPC-12, NDP-3, and CPC-13 cannot be moved, because this is effectively deleting that section.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Next we have amendment CPC-12. For the information of the committee, again we have like minds. Amendment NDP-3 is identical to CPC-12.
Ms. Block, would you like to speak to this?
This amendment seeks to address something that came up in the examination of the long-haul interchange scheme that was put forward. It concerns the exclusion corridors and the limitations on shippers that were outside those exclusion corridors and needed access. The exclusion corridors themselves, as we understand, do provide ample competition for shippers, because there are at least two railways operating in those corridors, and in many cases more.
In order to open up long-haul interswitching to more places in the country, the places that need it, I'm proposing adding after line 42 on page 23 the following:
||(4) For the purpose of paragraph (3)(b), an interchange located in the metropolitan area of Montreal is deemed to be outside the Quebec-Windsor corridor for a shipper who has access to the lines of only one class 1 rail carrier at the point of origin of the movement of its traffic at a point north of the Quebec-Windsor corridor in the Province of Quebec if the nearest interchange in Canada is located in the Quebec-Windsor corridor.
The practical outcome of this would be to open up long-haul interswitching and, obviously, competitive rates in communities in northern Quebec, such as Chibougamau, Val-d'Or, and Lac-Saint-Jean.
Similarly, I'm proposing the following:
||(5) For the purpose of paragraph (3)(b), an interchange located in the City of Kamloops is deemed to be outside the Vancouver-Kamloops corridor for a shipper who has access to the lines of only one class 1 rail carrier at the point of origin of the movement of its traffic at a point north or southeast of the Vancouver-Kamloops corridor in the Province of British Columbia if the nearest interchange in Canada is located in the Vancouver-Kamloops corridor.
Again, this would open up long-haul interswitching competition, this time for communities in southern B.C. in the Columbia-Kootenay area, as well as north, up through Blue River, north of Kamloops, and all the way to Prince George and that area.
I believe, Madam Chair, that this addresses some limiting impacts of those exclusion zones and, per my earlier comments, certainly opens up the ability for shippers of other commodities in the mining sector and the forestry sector to have access to competitive rates.
The reason we excluded interchanges in those two corridors was simply because of the amount of traffic that moves in those corridors. The interchange points in those corridors normally offer competition, but we recognize the point you made about the captive shippers, particularly in northern Quebec and northern B.C., and in fact in northern and southern Alberta as well, which is that where they have access to only one railway, the nearest interchange point for some of them happens to be the point inside that corridor.
For example, in British Columbia, the interchange point is Kamloops. The other interchange points are further south. In fact, with the way we worded it in the bill, they would be precluded from interchanging traffic at that point. I think giving them access to Kamloops will enable a lot of those shippers in those remote area to have access to a proper interchange.
I think the same point applies to the Quebec-Windsor corridor for the traffic in northern Quebec, because they have access to only one railway. In the corridor, the logical interchange point would be Montreal, because there would be no other in-between interchange point. I think the member is correct: this would give them the opportunity to interchange at those two locations.
I think we would. In particular, I think the wording for Quebec is a little easier, in that we can just focus on the north, but on the wording for the Vancouver-Kamloops area, the way the corridor is defined right now, in the definition section in the bill, it's really from Kamloops west.
If we're going to make Kamloops the interchange point, it would be better to exclude it from the definition and start the corridor just west of Kamloops. We can change the longitudinal definition in the bill. Right now, I think it's 120.25°. We would move that further west to the nearest point, which is probably Ashcroft, British Columbia. They have an interchange there, which would be at 121.21° longitude. That's a simpler change to make.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The intent of this amendment is to refer to subsections 127(1) and 127(2), which, under the heading “Interswitching”, describe a process under which all interested parties can ask the agency to order an interchange and under which the agency has the power to require a rail carrier to provide facilities suitable for interswitching at interchanges.
We think that the same should apply both to “interswitching” and “long-haul interswitching“. We are proposing this amendment in the interests of consistency.
I can respond to that and clarify a couple of the points.
To be clear, the LHI remedy is designed so that short-line rail carriers are not subject to an LHI order, so if this amendment is aimed at subjecting short-line rail carriers to interswitching or long-haul interswitching provisions, that was a deliberate design of the remedy. Of course, care was taken in designing the LHI remedy so that shippers on short-lines are able to access LHI at the point of connection with the class I railway.
In terms of what provisions apply for the movement of traffic within a 30-kilometre radius, the interswitching provisions will continue to apply.
I hope that addresses your questions.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
First, I would like to reassure the chair that Ms. Block and I have not been consulting each other. However, it is clear that we have heard the same witnesses. If two parties often come to the same conclusions without consulting each other, it is probably because there was a broad consensus among the witnesses.
I have to say that I am a little disappointed to see the speed with which the amendments are being rejected given that, in my opinion, there seemed to be a broad consensus about them.
My hope is that, on this side of the table, we will be able to succeed where success was not possible before.
We have a duopoly situation. So, if we compare the previous prices and we are not able to include them in the range of competitive prices, there is no point to the process. The goal of the amendment is to make sure that the items being compared can also be based on a competitive measure.
I appreciate where you're both coming from.
One of the things I really struggled with was trying to comprehend how LHI is going to create a competitive rate when you're dealing with pseudo-competition realistically.
One of the things that stuck out for me from the testimony we heard was that right now, Canada has maybe the most competitive shipping rates worldwide. I don't know if we had explicit testimony that considered every single country, but we're certainly among them.
I remember there was a witness, I believe from Teck Resources, who explained that some of these bigger captive shippers are operating in more or less a competitive circumstance when they have a lot of bargaining power at the table. I forget the gentleman's name, but he explained that when we compare the rates they were getting, despite the fact that they were captive to the rates they were getting in competitive U.S. markets, they were pretty much on par.
I'm very concerned about upsetting the balance that has been struck in long-haul interswitching. I see certain measures being proposed in the amendments that could cause the railways to not be economic. I think we have a lot of measures for shippers that I'm very, very happy about, but if the railways aren't thriving as well, the whole system could collapse on itself.
I'm hypersensitive to measures that will in a major way change the balance that has been struck through the consultation process that, frankly, a lot of witnesses said was quite good. I'm very hesitant about these very major amendments to the long-haul interswitching system.
The interswitching regime that was brought forward in the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act provided for interswitching rates to be set. They weren't subject to any kind of commercial test.
In this case, and maybe this is something that staff can speak to, it says, “determine the rate by having regard to the revenue per 5 tonne kilometre for the movement by the local carrier of comparable traffic in respect of which no long-haul interswitching rate applies.”
First of all, “having regard to” suggests that there is some subjectivity there. Maybe you could explain what that leeway might be. Second, why would you look at the rates in areas where there were no long-haul interswitching rates available to use as a comparison?
Sure. I can add clarification there.
The legislation provides that the agency will set the rate based on comparable traffic, as you mentioned. Proposed subsection 135(3) actually lists the factors the agency can use to determine comparable traffic. That traffic wouldn't necessarily have an LHI rate. It would be traffic that moves similar kind of traffic a similar distance, under similar conditions. It would be commercially based traffic, or traffic that is moving right now without being subject to any remedy at all.
When the agency sets the traffic, it does two things, what we call a blended rate. The first 30 kilometres will be a cost-based rate, equivalent to the regular interswitching, the 30-kilometre interswitching. That's regulated. By nature, that will be a very low rate. The rest of the rate will be based on this comparable traffic, which will be taking into account other traffic that moves. It's really trying to get a sense of what other kinds of traffic move a similar distance with a similar kind of handling and all that. That will determine how the agency sets the rate.
They have quite a bit of discretion in terms of how they build the comparable traffic, but the factors for them to take into account are listed on page 26 of the bill.
Is there any further discussion on amendment CPC-14?
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Ms. Block, you have passed an amendment to the clerk. I guess we'll call it “CPC-17”, or put it at the end.
Could we possibly hand it out so that members can look at it in advance?
Sure. Notwithstanding that we've had rulings already on similar amendments that I've put forward, such as a review no later than three years of this bill coming into force, and appointing one or more persons, I guess I would state two things.
I respect the ruling of our assistants in this. I guess that might suggest that it wouldn't happen within the department itself to review the legislation. If the ruling is that there's a cost to it because we don't know who would be appointed, I think we assumed it would have been Transport Canada.
Finally, I'm just disappointed that this review wasn't included in the legislation originally, as it seems to be something that a number of witnesses said would be a really good idea, especially given the new remedy that's included in this legislation, the long-haul interswitching. A review would have seen how effective it was and whether or not it was accomplishing the purpose for which it was created.
Madam Chair, there is a bit of a wrinkle to this one. In an attempt to accommodate some other related or similar amendments that could be built in to one, I fear if we pass one, we may mistakenly negate the others.
The essence of the proposed amendment is to give more notice to shippers on the potential removal of an interchange and to confirm that the removal of an interchange does not impact service level obligations. I think the other parties represented at the table had similar amendments.
In addition, I think it was Ms. Block, although it may have been another member, who raised something that I hadn't thought of. It had to do with keeping the agency looped into the process of removing interchanges.
I think there is something being circulated right now—I've included a French-language translation as well—that proposes a subamendment to my own proposal here as a way to try to accommodate the different pieces.
There are essentially three main pieces to the proposed subamendment.
The first would see the number of days increase from 60 to 120 so that shippers have more notice. This is something that I believe both the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association and the Western Grain Elevator Association asked for, so that nobody is surprised and they have a little more certainty.
With regard to the second proposal, there was differing language between the parties, and I hope this captures the same spirit. I've added a proposed subsection that reads:
||(3) For greater certainty, the removal of an interchange under subsection (2) does not relieve a railway company from its service obligations.
I can't recall who put forward the other version I saw. I think both Monsieur Aubin and Ms. Block had something that talked about if the level of service was compromised. I had some concerns around the use of what I viewed to be ambiguous language because I didn't know what “compromised service” would be. I thought it was a little clearer to state that this does not impact their service obligations.
Finally, I've added into the subamendment that an interchange can only be removed from the list after the previously mentioned steps are taken and a copy of the notice is sent to the agency.
That's my proposal. I think everyone has received a copy.
All right, we are going to hold down LIB-3 as well.
(Amendment LIB-3 allowed to stand)
The Chair: Okay, on CPC-16.... We'll stand the remainder of that. We've done very well with that clause, but we'll stand the remainder of clause 29 until later.
(Clause 29 allowed to stand)
The Chair: There are no amendments to clauses 30 to 41.
Is there anyone wishing to comment? If not, can we vote on clauses 30 to 41?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
(Clauses 30 to 41 inclusive agreed to)
(On clause 42)
The Chair: We have amendment CPC-17.
This bill, in addition to provisions that are already in the act, requires that the railways make available lots of data, and that data will be made available through performance reporting. Some of it will be made available to the department and to the agency for rates, so already we have a lot of information, and that information is in the public domain. There will be more data coming.
In addition to that, in this bill the minister is given the flexibility to ask the railways to provide the relevant information for the carriage of their crops for the crop year, and how that information will be communicated, the form it will take, the details of the data to be provided, will be done through the regulatory system. We believe it is better to leave that to the regulation, because we need to consult with all the parties, the shippers, the railways, to make sure we are getting the information of greatest value to the users of that information. The minister also reserves the right to ask the railways for their contingency plans on an annual basis.
I think we have in the bill what the amendment is proposing, and it's really the mechanism, whether we do it through regulation or through the bill. We believe it is more appropriate to do the details in the regulation.
Yes. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Again, I will refer to some testimony that we heard with regard to this recommendation. It was, again, from Mr. Tougas. He said:
||C-49 imposes an obligation in new s.169.37(3) on an arbitrator to render decisions in a balanced way. The Agency enjoys a reputation for fairness and impartiality and has enjoyed deference from the appellate courts. Arbitrators are rarely appealed. Why would such a provision be necessary? The SLA process exists precisely because a rail carrier will not provide what the shipper requires. If it turns out, upon examination, that a shipper does not require the service it seeks, the shipper won’t get it. An arbitrator has discretion in such circumstances to make the judgement calls that arise upon the very infrequent submission to SLA by a shipper.
SLA is service-level arbitration.
We recommended this amendment based on that testimony.
Okay, I do have a comment. I just want to make sure I am looking at the right provision.
I remember Mr. Tougas' testimony well. I think there is a valuable part of this provision right now, when it talks about considering efficiency in the system. When I am looking at the efficient network of rails that we have in Canada.... An arbitrator is going to have to decide whether the dispute at present fits within something I'd compare to a bus service. If we remove this provision, we would be saying, essentially, that an arbitrator decided that this is a fair rate for a taxi that takes you from a specific spot to another spot, rather than in a way that works in an overall system. If I am sitting as an arbitrator, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to say, “How can I render a decision that's fair, and in the best interests of an efficient system as well?”
Just as a side point, I forget, off the top of my head, which witness gave the testimony, but I do recall someone mentioning that, except in two cases, shippers have won every final offer arbitration that we have considered.
I don't think it's inappropriate to include efficiency. I don't know if the department officials want to add anything to that comment.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would simply like to understand one thing. In what has just been read, it states, “The Minister shall … appoint”, then the idea of people being appointed is removed. If I understand correctly, the minister no longer has to appoint anyone. It should read “no later than three years after the first day on which sections 2 to 59 of this Act are all in force, the Minister shall proceed”, as there is no longer an appointment. Is that it? In my opinion, the word “appoints” should be struck out at the beginning of the amendment.
I haven't, but I understand that the amendment is for a review of the legislation.
The minister can at any time review the legislation. In fact, I think the previous minister demonstrated, with the recent review by Mr. Emerson, that that was moved up in time. The provisions of the act were also reviewed in 2013 and 2014. The act can basically be opened at any time, and the minister has the authority already to do this. We don't think that an amendment is needed at this point to accomplish that.
We haven't included anything in this bill in regard to that, but the minister already has existing authorities for reviews.
Madam Chair, I would have to agree with the members of staff for the most part. Transportation is looked at not only in isolation with transportation-related issues but also with respect to ongoing monitoring of the economy.
If we look at the CPA review, that was the case. The previous government, rightly so, recognized the economic downturn situation we were in at the time and, of course, also recognized how much it would impact the review of the Canada Transportation Act. When this government came into office, we also recognized not only the need for review of the act but also the need to review and put forward an actual transportation strategy that would align with our economic strategy. I think that goes without saying for the most part, because transportation is a big part of our economic strength.
With that said, I think this would simply be redundant.
First, I agree that what we're discussing requires review. I find the three-year period sufficient as long as it's three years after the first day on which sections 2 to 59 are in force. What we were told was that a transition period is not part of the calculation. It's three years from when everything will be in place, which I think is quite reasonable.
The second aspect is to give the department full responsibility rather than assigning the evaluation to another committee. There are two elements in the amendment that must be taken into account: the obligation to conduct an evaluation after three years and that it is the direct responsibility of the department.
It's not up to me to decide whether the friendly amendment will be in order or not, but as far as I am concerned, I agree with those three years.
Is there any further discussion?
Not seeing any, we have a subamendment moved by Mr. Chong, changing “three years” to “five years”.
(Subamendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Then we have Ms. Block's amendment, “no later than three years after the first day”. You have it in front of you.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
(Clause 60 agreed to)
The Chair: Amendment LIB-4 is proposed clause 60.1. Who would like to speak to that?
Thank you, Madam Chair.
In the next few minutes, you will see a number of amendments proposed by the New Democratic Party. They are all similar, because the discourse must be consistent.
In all the presentations, we were told that tapes of these voice and video recorders would not be used in any particular situation. The only thing on which all witnesses agreed was that these recordings should only be used by members of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, or TSB. The bill should not contain any clauses that give the railways the power to do anything else because of criteria that are not quite clear. That's what we are trying to correct or eliminate.
Amendment NDP-8 proposes that Bill , in clause 61, be amended by replacing lines 13 to 16 on page 42 with the following:
||(2) No company referred to in subsection (1) shall use the information that it records, collects or preserves under that subsection. Instead of explaining how the company should not do it in unfortunate situations, let's say from the start that it cannot do it.
Yes, perhaps just to address the point of why we're making the LVVR data available to the company as well as Transport Canada, and not just to the safety board. Really, this comes from the recommendations the Transportation Safety Board made, those being that safety is paramount, and that in the rail system there are three parties that have a big role in safety.
One is the safety board, because it provides recommendations to us on how to improve safety, based on the accidents that happen. The other one is Transport Canada, because we set the legislative and regulatory regime for rail safety.
The third party is the actual railways themselves, and they have these safety management systems that help build a culture of safety. The LVVR data is considered a key input in that, and if we don't make that data available to them, they may have practices in place that are actually jeopardizing safety. It would be good for them to benefit from the data.
It is for this reason that the amendments propose access for the three parties: so that each party can use the information gathered to improve the part of the safety mandate that each one of us plays in the system.
—that you can easily see a scenario, though, where an LVVR captures some pretty egregious conduct in a cab and I think a right-thinking, reasonable person would want some kind of discipline. This is where I believe the regulations will have to be as watertight as possible to ensure the right thing is done the right way.
The testimony by Ms. Fox, who has been calling for the use of this technology for quite some time, clarified that in an environment of trust, or in a just environment, you can easily see how this could be a very productive measure, but she also left unsaid the fact that especially in the union they don't consider it to be a very just environment.
There have to be some protections, but at the same time we have to meet the overarching need for public safety. I think things will certainly come clear in the regulations. It's something that we would need to keep a very close eye on.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I found Mr. Hardie's presentation particularly eloquent. He spoke about an environment of trust, and that's precisely what is lacking.
All the situations in which voice and video recorders cannot be used are being listed, but we are told that we are going to define them later in the regulations in order to specify them. We are against that. In any case, we aren't necessarily working on safety. If we really wanted to work on safety, it would have been good for Bill to propose measures against train operator fatigue. We had to face the same problem in aviation safety.
In our view, voice and video recorders are tools that allow the TSB to measure, after the fact, that is, after the accident, unfortunately, what was lacking or not. If we really want to talk about safety, we must review all the measures that affect events before an accident happens. Voice and video recorders do nothing to prevent accidents
Personally, I wouldn't want a voice and video camera installed in my office to monitor my daily work. I guess the and Mr. Hardie wouldn't like that either. Yet that is what we are offering to train drivers. We tell them that whenever they enter their office, meaning their locomotive, their actions will be recorded on a voice and video tape.
Madam Chair, I have to say this emphatically, because I heard it throughout the testimony we heard that week, from everyone in the industry, that this is about safety and about being proactive, not reactive. We are trying to use this—when I say “we” I mean the companies, the government—video footage to prevent accidents and prevent people from getting hurt. That's what we're in the business of doing in government. It's to put that mechanism out there to enable those in the business to prevent accidents and save lives. I believe that LVVR can do that. Instead of being reactive and looking at a tape of what happened, we can be reactive and use it as a tool to teach, to learn, and of course to continually prevent accidents.
This is new information that we've learned through the testimony we received. This is the value of LVVR for training. We recognize that.
Last, the TSB doesn't want the information. They don't want to be the sole owners of the information. They would like and are encouraging the companies to in fact be proactive in using this footage for training, saving lives, and preventing accidents.
Madam Chair, this is one of the issues that I struggled with in my deliberations on the bill, perhaps more than any other. I take privacy rights, my own and everyone else's, very seriously, and I have some concerns, particularly with the testimony from one of the railways that talked about potentially using this information.
When I was thinking of how we actually do this the right way, I considered that on the flip side of the coin, people's lives are literally at stake, and I think there's a potential to save lives by having LVVRs used properly. My recollection of the testimony—and I believe it was with department officials—is that the regulation was intended to be used in limited circumstances for a systemic audit to identify systemic safety concerns. Unless there was a specific accident that was not being investigated, it was limited to that scope. Provided we received honest testimony during our hearing, it is not possible for a company to use this for punitive purposes, except maybe in the extraordinary case where a systemic audit is being undertaken and an auditor happens to catch egregious behaviour, which is highly unlikely.
Can you confirm for us that the regulations will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be limited to that systemic audit for safety concerns that are not about the individual, but are about what's happening in the system as whole, so we can implement policies to save lives?
You're correct. In fact, I would point to page 43 in the bill, where it speaks about the information that can be accessed by the railway company. It's proposed subsection 17.91(2), which is in clause 62. It indicates that the information can only be randomly selected. That precludes the day-to-day watching of an employee for how they're performing, so that they can't do that. Based on that information, which goes to the next subsection, if they were to find through the use of the information a threat to safety of railway operations and if in accessing that randomly selected data they found something that was considered a prescribed safety threat, which is defined in the act, then they could use that for disciplinary purposes, if that were the case. However, that would be, I'll say, a very rare and egregious situation.
There are limits as to how the data can be selected. We will be enforcing that. The regulations will have how the data has to be treated. Somebody mentioned the Privacy Commissioner. As part of the development of the regulations, we have to develop a privacy impact statement that would show how the regulations would impact the privacy of an individual. We are working with that and we are contacting the Privacy Commissioner, as we need to make sure that we're doing it properly.
There are limits as to how the data can be accessed, limits as to how the data can be used, limits as to how the data will be retained. There are a lot of controls for that data.
In terms of the proposal, it was really important to put in the legislation the two uses, or what the companies will be permitted to use the information for. It was really to ensure that there was no discretion or interpretation about the use of information, and that through regulation we would be defining clearly the privacy control that needs to be put in place.
When we talk about random selection of the data, the intent is to put in regulation what are the parameters that a company would need to put in place to do that random selection. Again, it's not leaving 100% discretion to railway companies to determine that process for the policies they would need to put in place to protect the information, to prevent unauthorized use, to ensure that there is a tracking of who has access to the data and for what, and to ensure that we build into the system an audit record. It's not just us taking the word of railway companies in terms of submitting to us documentation about how they are tracking information. We can match that against an electronic audit trail that would really be able to confirm that what we are seeing in the tracking documents is indeed what the electronic signature is telling us.
So the intent is for those policies to be submitted to Transport Canada for review in terms of the random sampling.
Is there any further discussion?
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: We have amendment PV-2, another one from Ms. May, that Bill C-49 in clause 62 be amended by adding after line 4 on page 43 the following:
|| (1.1) For greater certainty, the information that a company records, collects or preserves under subsection 17.31(1) is not to be used for any purposes other than the one referred to in paragraph (1), including managerial review or productivity and employee output measurement.
(Clause 62 agreed to)
(Clauses 63 and 64 agreed to)
(On clause 65)
The Chair: We have amendment NDP-10.
Thank you very much, Mr. Aubin.
Based on the information from the legislative clerk, it is unacceptable as it is an amendment to a bill that was referred to committee after second reading. It is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.
I have to rule that NDP-12 is out of order.
(Clause 69 agreed to)
(Clauses 70 to 76 inclusive agreed to)
(On clause 77)
That would be pretty difficult. Two months is hard to get....
They have to go back and get data, because the requirement is also backdated. We're getting data from the previous year. With regard to getting all of that data organized—this is for the whole of their operations in Canada—for all of the commodity groups, two months would be very, very tight.
I don't think they can even do a systems improvement on their information technology systems in order to calculate the data in the way it needs to be presented to us, and for making it public to the shippers. I think six months can work.
All right, we have a subamendment to change 60 days to 180 days.
(Subamendment agreed to)
(Amendment as amended agreed to)
The Chair: LIB-6 cannot be moved, so that's deleted.
(Clause 98 as amended agreed to)
(On clause 14)
The Chair: We have to go back to a bit of work on clause 14.
Madam Chair, I'll admit that we initially proposed some clumsily worded amendments to clause 14 earlier in our meeting to try to allow the legislation to give the minister the power to override concerns about competition in the name of the public interest. Clearly, those amendments failed, so now we have in front of us the main clause as amended by Mr. Fraser.
I just want to make the point—and I know members opposite are going to vote in favour of clause 14 as amended, or at least I expect them to—that I really am opposed to clause 14.
I think this is a real step back for competition law in Canada. I remember the changes to the Competition Act in 2004 that were introduced by the government of then Prime Minister Paul Martin, which worked their way through a minority Parliament, whereby we strengthened competition law in Canada by introducing civil remedies for the bureau to go after people who would engage in anti-competitive behaviours. Those civil remedies were significant in administrative monetary penalties, making Canada once again a world leader in competition law.
We've traditionally been a leader in competition law. I understand from memory that sometimes it isn't perfect. We introduced competition law in this country before the United States did, in an era where there was monopolistic competition, and through the decades that competition law has been continually strengthened.
It was made clear to us in committee here by the bureau in, I think, testimony that was fairly direct that this law weakens competition, because it would allow the minister to ignore competition in the name of public interest, which is not very clearly defined—in other words, in the name of politics—to allow for joint ventures to take place without the kinds of conditions that the bureau would put on them.
I'll be the first to say, as a member of Parliament who represents a greater Toronto area riding, that I support a robust airline industry in this country. I think both Air Canada and WestJet are great carriers and I think they provide excellent service, but I also believe in competition. I've heard from constituents time and time again that they feel that flying here in Canada is more expensive than it is abroad, and while there are a variety of factors that play into that, such as airport landing fees and airport rents and other factors, such as fuel taxes and the like, it's also clear that increasing competition would also lead to lower fares.
This is not an insignificant issue. We're talking about an industry that has tens of billions of dollars a year in revenue. I think Air Canada's revenues are in the range of $13 billion to $14 billion a year, and WestJet's revenues are in the range of $4 billion or $5 billion a year, and the rest are smaller airlines. You're looking at an industry that accounts for 1% of GDP. To allow an airline to enter into a joint venture without the bureau being able to impose conditions on it would obviously be hugely advantageous to an airline like Air Canada but disadvantageous to competition and to Canadian consumers. Especially in light of the fact that the airlines have been reporting record profits, which I'm very happy to see, and in light of the fact that they've emerged out of the great recession intact, I think this is a real step backwards. I just want us to vote on this with our eyes wide open, because I think the government has taken a pretty big step in this bill by proposing an exemption to the act that would allow the minister, in the name of public interest, to override competition concerns.
I don't know if Mr. Disend, from the industry department—sorry, I forget the new name—has any comments on this, but that's my big concern about this bill.
A lot of this bill deals with sectors of the Canadian transportation system that are not subject to the kind of competition the airline industry is. We've spent a lot of time on the rail issue, precisely because we have monopolistic competition in the delivery of western Canadian farmers' grains and oilseeds products, and we have an industry in this bill, the airline industry, that went from being government-owned, quite inefficient, and not customer-oriented to an industry that is a robust industry 20 or 30 years after those big changes were introduced, the privatization of Air Canada and the quasi-privatization of our major airports. This industry is growing, providing employment, profitability, and much better customer service.
I'm concerned about this. I would be interested to hear what Mr. Disend has to say about this particular clause 14 of the bill, particularly in respect to this. If clause 14 had been in effect in 2011, and the minister of the day and the airlines of the day, Air Canada, had decided to appeal to the minister in the name of public interest, and the minister had agreed in the name of that public interest to override the concerns about competition and allow the Air Canada-United Airlines joint venture to go ahead without any conditions, would that have strengthened or weakened competition in Canada's airline industry?
Obviously, I can't speak to the government's position on the bill as a whole. I can clarify that the way the bill is structured—and this was obviously stated by the Competition Bureau members when they were at committee—so that the commissioner of competition does not have the final say on a joint venture that has been applied for, obviously. That's not to say the commissioner's views are shut out of the process or not taken into account. One of the main reasons there's a public report aspect of it is obviously so that there is some accountability behind the minister of transport's ultimate decision.
The public can judge, essentially, based on the findings of the Competition Bureau, whether they agree with the public interest rationale. It's deliberately designed to be a transparent process that weighs different factors.
At the end of the day, I wouldn't say that bureau representatives stated this would weaken competition. I don't think they would want to speculate on what the outcomes would be following any passage of the bill, but obviously their role in the process becomes a little bit different, keeping in mind that at present already the commissioner of competition cannot unilaterally impose constraints. It's still done in an adjudicative process.
Effectively, the commissioner still has a forum to air his or her views on a potential transaction, purely based on antitrust principles and competition economics. At the end of the day, that gets weighed by the minister of transport, who rules on a broader variety of factors that take into account other considerations that might go beyond a more strict antitrust analysis.
Ultimately, I can't comment on what might have happened in the 2011 proposal by Air Canada and United. Obviously, a consent agreement was reached in that case that did seek to remedy routes, but that's not to say that something like that wouldn't happen, because obviously there's an opportunity for conditions still to be imposed upon approval of a JV.
You gentlemen more or less covered in much more technical perfection the points that I wanted to make. I get the sense, and this is maybe a little inexperience speaking here, that the Competition Bureau has a fairly narrow view of what the public interest is.
Obviously they want to see robust competition. They don't want to see predatory activities taking place, but it occurs to me, just from other things that I've dealt with in my careers, that sometimes the public interest has to take a broader view. The spotlight has to shine a little more broadly. It would appear that this will certainly allow the Competition Bureau to do its job, but then put somebody like the minister in a position to apply the broader view of the public interest and adjust accordingly.
Of course, everything will be out in the open and under scrutiny. Certainly we'll be doing our jobs if we have a look at something and ask questions.
Since it has been a little bit of time since we first talked about it, I'd like to reiterate some of the reasons we brought this forward. A number of our witnesses told us many things about regulated interswitching. They believe that it has worked well as a pro-competitive remedy because rail carriers have been prepared to compete for traffic using it and because the applicable rates are known to all prospective participants at the time when they are negotiating potential routes, rates, and other conditions.
They have also noted that the long-haul interswitching remedy in Bill is far less user friendly. They made many points, but there are two that I would highlight at the end of this conversation. First, on a more fundamental level, LHI is very similar in concept and overall structure to the competitive line rate remedy that has been in the legislation since 1988. That remedy has been inoperative since the early 1990s because CN and CP have effectively declined to compete for traffic using the CLR. That was the conclusion reached in the statutory review of the National Transportation Act in 1993, which was almost 25 years ago.
Second, when speaking with regard to the four western provinces, the witness group stated that for most shippers in western Canada, the nearest interchange with a second carrier was an interchange between CN and CP, and they provided a map to us when they made their testimony. They stated that, like CLR, whether LHI provides competitive alternatives to any shipper will depend largely on whether CN and CP are prepared to compete with each other using this remedy. Unless they are, LHI will remain a concept on paper that has little or no practical application.
Where we left it was at my misunderstanding of the fact that there was additional French language required to accommodate the fact that we had a turn of phrase that wasn't defined in both languages.
Do we have another copy of this to pass out? Okay.
There is some proposed language. I understand the legislative clerk has seen this already, so essentially what we are going to do is adopt Monsieur Aubin's language for proposed subsection 136.9(3) in the French version.
In the revised language that you are receiving, I note that it does not include the proposed subsection 136.9(3) for the English version, which was in the initial amendment document I sent around. That should still remain in the document. I believe it tackles a problem that was raised by multiple parties, because it ensures that when a company removes an interchange, doing so does not relieve the railway of its service obligations.
The department might be able to offer some thought on this as well, but there's a process built in—I think it's a 90-day process—that allows a shipper to complain upon the removal of an interchange. They can complain to CTA, who would have input at that stage. Forcing that to happen each time might create an unnecessary step in the bureaucracy. If we increase the notice provision to 120 days, this will allow more time to get the word out there, reducing the impact on a shipper's service level obligations and allowing them to take advantage of the complaints process by launching a level of service complaint. I don't know that it would be necessary to include the language that you've suggested.
I would love to hear the department's point of view because, quite frankly, that wasn't part of my motion to begin with, and this is the thought process I've had during this committee meeting. I'm open to feedback and further commentary as well.
According to the act, currently there is no notification required. The bill was proposing that the railway be required to provide notification, and that the notification stay up for 60 days. In all the consultations we had with shippers, that was the complaint we heard the most, that there wasn't any notification.
According to the amendment that was introduced, we'd be doing two things. The agency would have to be notified, and the period of time for the notice to be up would go from 60 days to 120 days. Also, as Mr. Fraser said, if a shipper had concerns, the amendment would allow a shipper to go to the agency and ask it to do a service review to determine if they would need to keep an interchange. The act also reduces the length of time required for a service level decision by the agency from 120 days down to 90 days, so that the agency would have time to do that service review.
If we wanted a process where every time a railway decided to discontinue an interchange they could do so, we would have to create a whole new system for how that would apply according to legislation, because right now there's no process to account for that. The proposed amendment would require even more subamendments to make sure we have a process that's transparent and works. We believe, however, that with the amendments, any shipper who has an interest in keeping an interchange open will have time to go to the agency and ask the agency to make a decision to keep it open.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
(Clause 29 as amended agreed to)
The Chair: Shall clause 1, which is the short title, carry?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall the title carry?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall the bill as amended carry?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall I report the bill to the House?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall the committee order a reprint of the bill?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Thank you to everybody for your patience, and to the departmental officials.
Madam Chair, I, too, want to congratulate the committee for moving this bill forward.
Madam Chair, in that spirit, I would like to move that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill , an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another act, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Members should submit their suggested amendments to the clerk of the committee no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2017.