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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans


NUMBER 002 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
43rd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Monday, October 19, 2020

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1620)  

[English]

     I now call this meeting to order.
    Welcome to meeting number two of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. The committee is meeting to discuss committee business.
    Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format. I would like to start the meeting by providing you with some information following the motion that was adopted in the House on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
    The committee is now sitting in a hybrid format, meaning that members can participate either in person or by video conference. Witnesses must appear by video conference.
    All members, regardless of their method of participation, will be counted for the purpose of quorum. The committee's power to sit is, however, limited by the priority use of House resources, which is determined by the party whips.
    All questions must be decided by recorded vote unless the committee disposes of them with unanimous consent or on division.
    Finally, the committee may deliberate in camera, provided that it takes into account the potential risks to confidentiality inherent to such deliberations with remote participants.
    The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Members should be aware that the webcast will always show the person speaking, rather than the entirety of the committee.
    To ensure an orderly meeting, we would like to outline a few rules to follow.
    For the purpose of participating virtually, these are the rules: Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting. You have the choice, at the bottom of your screen, of either “Floor”, “English” or “French”.
    Before speaking, click on the microphone icon to activate your own mike. When you are done speaking, please put your mike on mute to minimize any interference.
    Should members need to request the floor outside of their designated time for questions, they should activate their mike and state that they have a point of order.
    If a member wishes to intervene on a point of order that has been raised by another member, they should use the “raise hand” function. This will signal to the chair your interest to speak and create a speakers list. In order to do so, you should click on “Participants” at the bottom of the screen. When the list pops up, you will see next to your name that you can click on “raise hand”.
    When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly.
    Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the use of headsets with a boom microphone is mandatory for everyone participating remotely.
    Should any technical challenges arise, please advise the chair. Please note that we may need to suspend for a few minutes in that case, as we need to ensure all members are able to participate fully.
    For those participating in person, these are the rules: Proceed as you usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in a committee room. Keep in mind the directives from the Board of Internal Economy regarding masking and health protocols.
    Should you wish to get my attention, signal me with a hand gesture or, at an appropriate time, get the attention of the clerk, who will add you to the speaking order. Should you wish to raise a point of order, wait for an appropriate time and indicate to me clearly that you wish to raise a point of order.
    With regard to a speaking list, the committee clerk and I will do the best we can to maintain consolidated order of speaking for all members, whether they are participating virtually or in person.
    That said, the speakers list is now open. Please make your desire to speak known by using the “raise hand” function or by raising your hand visibly on camera.
    Mr. Battiste, I believe you raised your hand first. We will now go to you.

  (1625)  

    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair—
     Okay, you have a point of order, Mr. Calkins.
    I send my apologies to my colleague Mr. Battiste. I know he wants to get to the point.
    Chair, in your initial readout, you basically said that the committee would wait to make sure that anybody experiencing technical difficulties could join the meeting. We spent quite a bit of time at the start of the meeting to ensure that everybody could be on, but my colleague from Manitoba, Dan Mazier, is having some technical difficulties, and I don't believe he's on the meeting right now. He is trying to use some alternative devices to bypass whatever technical difficulties he may be having. I'm hoping, Chair, you will show Mr. Mazier the same consideration that we showed others before the meeting started.
    I certainly will.
    Nancy, do we...?
    Yes, Mr. Chair, we are looking after this. I will leave it up to you, Mr. Chair, if you want to suspend for a second.
    Okay. We'll suspend for a moment to see if they can get Mr. Mazier online so he can fully participate in the meeting.

  (1625)  


  (1630)  

    Thank you, Clerk. Thank you, everyone, for your patience.
    We'll now go to the speakers list I developed. I didn't punish anyone who got disconnected or had their hand raised in the speaking order I have.
    Go ahead, Mr. Battiste.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair. I hope I can go now.
     I'm going to introduce the motion again. I understand that it's in both languages now.
    The motion is as follows: “That the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans undertake a study to examine the implementation of the Mi'kmaq constitutionally protected treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, in order to evaluate the current Rights and Reconciliation Agreement process and identify issues that need to be addressed and a recommended path forward; that the Committee call witnesses including senior officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations, Fisheries association, scientists and interested stakeholder groups to testify before the Committee, that the Chair be empowered to coordinate the necessary witnesses, resources and scheduling to complete this task; and that the Committee report its conclusions and recommendations to the House of Commons.”
    Mr. Chair, I know I said this last week and I think we've all seen the urgency. I say this not only as a Mi'kmaq person but as someone who represents a riding that has a lot of commercial fishermen as well.
    I feel we have an urgent situation that needs to be addressed. I hope we will take a look at this and be able to move forward on an urgent basis and put in place the proper meetings that we need to do this. I would suggest no fewer than five meetings to make sure we're hearing from all stakeholders.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Battiste.
    Do I hear any discussion on that motion?
    Mr. Chair, it's the first hybrid meeting, so I'm not sure how you want to do this, but I submit that Madame Gill has her hand up.
    Okay. Go ahead, Madame Gill, when you're ready.

[Translation]

    I want to move an amendment. I think that I can move it right now.
    I agree with Mr. Battiste. It's important and even urgent. We agree that the Marshall decision dates back to 1999 and that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans could have addressed certain concepts. These concepts are still unclear and are at the root of the ongoing disputes today. The Marshall decision refers to the Mi'kmaq nation, but it also refers to the Maliseet nation.
    I'll read my amendment to the motion. I'll go slowly for the sake of the interpreters and so that my colleagues can hear me properly. I experienced the opposite last week, when things went very quickly.
That the motion be amended by replacing the words “that the Committee call witnesses including senior officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations” with the following: “That the Committee respectfully invite the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations to come and share their historical traditional knowledge with the Committee members, and that, in the event of a positive response, a minimum of two hours be set aside to hear this evidence, and that the Committee call witnesses including senior officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada”.

  (1635)  

[English]

    Okay. We've heard the amendment. Do we have any discussion on the amendment?
    Go ahead, Mr. Battiste.
    I'm not sure of the purpose of the amendment. It's all covered within the current motion I've put forward. I'm wondering if there's a reason for it.
     Madame Gill, do you want to respond?

[Translation]

     Of course, I'll respond.
    The motion is less clear, which is exactly why I'm moving an amendment. The motion refers to “officials from First Nations”. This is very broad, when we think of the consultations taking place. Each band council is consulted in order to reach agreements. Obviously, in this case, we want to hear from the people representing the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet nations.
    In Quebec, there are nine first nations. We won't be inviting witnesses from all the first nations in Canada, but specifically witnesses from the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet nations. I thought that it would be useful to specify this in order to establish the focus of our discussions around this virtual and physical table.

[English]

    Is there any further discussion, Mr. Battiste?
    On a point of order, Mr. Chair—
    Yes, Go ahead, Mr. Beech.
    I have a question of clarification.
     This particular amendment wasn't too complex. I was able follow along with it. I can get the general gist by scribbling it down as we're going. Amendments can get much more complicated than this. As a matter of process, are we going to take the time to be emailing out the text of amendments as they go? How do you see us dealing with amendments in this hybrid process, especially if the amendments are more complex than this one?
    If anybody finds the text complex, my first thought, Mr. Beech, is to maybe ask for a moment to review the text of the amendment. We could suspend to do that. You could talk among your other committee members, whether by text or otherwise, to try to get a thorough understanding of it.
     I think it's a process that we have to learn to adapt to. I'm sure we're going to have many times when there will be amendments added to a motion. If we have to get it in writing afterwards and explain it, we're going to take away a lot of committee time. I'm hoping to avoid as much of that as possible.
    On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I just want to draw your attention to Mr. Johns being online. I'll take my leave from the committee now.
    I'm sorry to see you go, sir, but I will welcome Mr. Johns.
    Is there any further discussion on the amendment?
    Mr. Chair, if I may make an intervention, as Conservatives, we also will be moving an amendment once this particular amendment has been dealt with.
    I'm concerned that in the depth and breadth of what the committee is being asked to do here, it is trying to have this boiled down to something that's very simple when in fact it's not simple. This motion is asking the committee to undergo basically an examination of not just this particular instance, because this challenge and the situation unfolding in Atlantic Canada right now likely will be setting the first steps in the definition of a “moderate livelihood”.
     As such, I believe the committee has a responsibility if we're going to adopt this motion, and I suggest to you that there's no reason to think the committee wouldn't adopt it. I think we would have before us a significant task in order to provide some type of clarity and in order for all parties to have a venue or an avenue to be heard.
    I'll be moving an amendment after this that would broaden the number of people this committee would invite to talk to this—

  (1640)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, I have a point of order.

[English]

    —particular issue, because it involves a lot of people.
    While I respect what Madame Gill is putting forward, I don't think that in its entirety it's going to be enough to make everybody feel that they've had a chance to be heard in this matter.
    Thank you, Mr. Calkins.
    Hearing no further discussion on the amendment—
    Mr. Chair, I'm sorry. I'm in an uncomfortable position. I believe Ms. Gill has a point of order.
     Go ahead, Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    I thought that we were moving an amendment without discussing the previous amendment.
    Perhaps Mr. Battiste can enlighten me. I thought that the purpose of the motion was to discuss the current case, in particular the issue concerning the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia. However, my colleague Mr. Calkins said that the discussion should be broader. I want to know where things stand. I don't see how we could have just five two-hour committee meetings to discuss such a broad topic with all the first nations.
    I'm a bit surprised. I don't think that we should meet with all the first nations. However, at the same time, everything is negotiated between the first nations and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
    Mr. Battiste, I want to know the purpose of your motion. We can then clarify it one way or another. I maintain that your motion is very important.

[English]

    Go ahead, Mr. Battiste.
    I think it's very clear that there are a lot of stakeholders involved in what we're talking about. The key ones we need in order to define moving forward on this.... We need to speak to the Mi’kmaq themselves, as well as the fisheries associations that are part of this, as well as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, scientists and interested stakeholders. I wanted to keep it pretty broad, but I think five meetings would be enough to bring in the leadership from the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet communities and to hear from the different associations, the scientists and DFO, as well as any other interested stakeholders we can put together in a list. I feel that this is the way forward. We should be able to vote quickly on this and stop the delays. There are lives at stake.
    Go ahead, Mr. Cormier.

[Translation]

    I want to add to what Mr. Battiste and Ms. Gill just said.
    The motion refers to first nations, in the plural form. I suppose that several other first nations are included, for example the Maliseet, whom we can certainly invite to take part in these discussions. Mr. Battiste also moved his motion with this in mind.
    Whether we're talking about one or several groups, the words “first nations”—

[English]

    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair. I cannot hear the translation over top of the original. I can't hear the translation.
    Make sure you have your computer or iPhone, or whatever, set on the language that you're speaking.
    I do, Mr. Chair. The original sound was coming through louder than the interpretation.
    I'm actually talking to Mr. Cormier, as he was the person you could not hear.
     Sometimes if you're not on the right translation, it will come through louder than what we're hearing from the interpreters.

[Translation]

    I'm on the French channel, Mr. Chair. Can people hear the interpretation?

  (1645)  

[English]

    Yes.

[Translation]

    I want to shed some light on Ms. Gill's concern regarding the inclusion of the Maliseet nation. The text of the motion refers to inviting the first nations, in the plural form. This includes other groups. As Mr. Battiste said earlier, we can still invite other nations to take part in the committee's discussions. The words “first nations” include other nations, and not only the Mi'kmaq.
    Ms. Gill, I think that this sheds some light on the issue that you raised.
    May I respond?

[English]

    Yes, go ahead, Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    I want to point out to everyone that there are 634 first nations in Canada. I move that we amend the amendment to ensure that we ask the committee to specifically invite the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet nations. We can also make another amendment. You know that the term notamment means “among others”, so the term isn't restrictive. There may be others. However, at the same time, we're making sure that the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet nations will be invited. As Mr. Battiste so aptly put it, this is a troubling and urgent situation involving these communities, which are affected by the Marshall decision. As Mr. Cormier so aptly put it, we're obviously talking about first nations with an s, but particularly the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq nations.
    That said, we're talking about the fact that I'm naming these communities. However, the amendment also included an important component concerning traditional knowledge. I believe that one of the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report is to always take into account this traditional knowledge, which I may not be aware of as a member of this committee. If I could hear from these people, I may be able to make more informed recommendations.
    Although I don't want to make any assumptions, I imagine that the same is true for several of my colleagues, who may not be familiar with the culture and history of the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq nations.

[English]

     Thank you.
    Mr. Johns is next.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I certainly appreciate my colleague at the committee bringing forward this motion. Clearly this is a topic we all want to have a conversation about, and we want to make sure we're getting expert opinion.
    I guess I'm trying to figure out what outcome he's looking for. Is he looking for an idea of where things have been at? Is he looking at what the government has been doing through their government officials to deliver the mandate to accommodate the right that clearly is protected under the Constitution—and these are treaty rights—so they can exercise their right, which they are doing now in the moderate living—
    Mr. Johns, we're dealing with the amendment.
    No, I am. I'm going to go there.
    Madame Gill brings forward a very good point. Whether we look at the Maliseet or the Nuu-chah-nulth, where I live, or the four big decisions that have protected rights inherent in our Constitution, whether it be the Gladstone, Sparrow, Ahousaht et al v. Canada, or Marshall decisions, they are relative. I think it's important that we get an idea of where Canada is at in terms of supporting and accommodating those court decisions that have been clearly in support of the nations exercising their rights, whether it be a moderate livelihood or their right to catch and sell fish. The government hasn't been sending their negotiators to the table with a mandate to accommodate the exercising of those rights.
    I am in support of expanding it, but if we do expand it, I think we should have a narrow focus for a few meetings, and then expand it in separate meetings. I too believe that the Nuu-chah-nulth would like to be part of this conversation, and I think it's warranted, given the situation.
    Where he's going and what he wants, I believe, and what she wants, are actually intertwined. They intersect. I think there's an opportunity, but we also want to mitigate any sort of conflict in the future in those other communities where they're also looking at implementing their own fisheries plans because of the lack of consultation with the government and the lack of resources provided to the regions to actually negotiate fairly. They want to earn a livelihood and participate in exercising their rights, but the government has failed to accommodate in every court case. The amount of money the government is spending in fighting these nations would also be of interest to this committee, I believe.
    I think it's very important that this study take place and I support Madame Gill's push, but I'd like to further expand that. I hope she's willing to be open and amenable to a friendly amendment to modify her amendment to broaden the scope of this study. I believe it's warranted.

  (1650)  

[Translation]

     May I respond to Mr. Johns?

[English]

     Okay.

[Translation]

    We agree that the Marshall decision concerns both the Maliseet and the Mi'kmaq. This is exactly what I've just done. I've expanded the motion by adding the word notamment, which means “among others” and which isn't exclusive. I completely agree that there are other first nations. However, at the same time, I didn't want us to be naive about the scope of the committee's work, given that there are 634 first nations. In five committee meetings, I don't think that we'll resolve all future cases, unfortunately. This isn't cynicism. This is plain realism.
    I move that we amend the amendment by saying “including the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq First Nations”, but that of course we keep the idea of talking about their culture, history and traditional knowledge.
    I haven't repeated the amendment verbatim, but I could do so while making this change. I know [Technical difficulty—Editor] my amendment, but I can move a subamendment.

[English]

    Go ahead, Mr. Battiste.

[Translation]

    Someone could move a subamendment.

[English]

    I have to be very clear here that when we talk about the Mi’kmaq right to a moderate livelihood, it's based on the Marshall decision. The Marshall decision is based on a treaty right. That is a specific treaty right of 1760 and 1761. If we include indigenous nations from all across Canada, we muddy the waters a bit on inherent right versus treaty right versus a specific treaty right.
    I am in favour of saying that we include notamment the Mi'kmaq and the Maliseet. The Passamaquoddy are part of that, but they're not recognized in Canada as having a band there, so it's the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet. As well, if you want to include indigenous knowledge as part of this, I have scientists whom I'm looking to call who have that indigenous knowledge. They have both science and indigenous knowledge. I have no problem with the amendment saying that it's the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet, and adding additional indigenous knowledge stakeholders to the amendment if that's agreeable.
    If we get into other first nations and other treaties that are outside of the realm of the moderate livelihood, we do a disservice to the current urgency that's going on and that we need answers to. In the long term, what I'm looking to get from this is a study that hears from the different stakeholders and for us to move forward on this in such a way that they feel heard and they get a chance to say their piece in the fisheries committee.
    I would hope that's agreeable to Madame Gill and MP Johns.
    Thank you, Mr. Battiste.
    Mr. Arnold—

[Translation]

    I can just stop here, but we're proceeding to the vote—

[English]

    Excuse me, Madame Gill—

[Translation]

    Sorry.

[English]

    Actually, Mr. Arnold had his hand up, I guess to speak to the amendment.
    Go ahead, Mr. Arnold.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Through all of this, I'm still not really certain what Mr. Battiste is looking to garner out of the motion. The motion has in it things that need to be addressed—

  (1655)  

    Perhaps, Mr. Arnold, we can deal with that after we deal with the amendment. Then we'll go to the main motion as amended. It'll be open for discussion.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, but I think it pertains to how we may consider this amendment. I'm just looking for clarification from Mr. Battiste. Is he hoping that the committee may come up with a definition of “moderate livelihood” to help resolve this issue, or is he looking at how we should change the consultation process or...?
    What is the original motion aimed at achieving?
    Go ahead, Mr. Battiste.
    I don't want to presuppose the destination before we have the journey of having the conversation. I'd like to be able to hear from the various stakeholders. “Moderate livelihood” is bound to come up, and we will report back our findings.
    I believe that's what this motion gives us the opportunity to do. I think it's broad enough to include all those who want to be a part of this discussion in a way that doesn't keep this committee from having an urgent study that moves recommendations forward. That's important. I think I've left it broad enough to attempt to capture all those who want to be a part of this discussion, but the focus has to be around the Marshall decision, the moderate livelihood and the two nations that are part of this.
     I'm seeing no other hands raised for an intervention on this. I'll ask for the call of the vote on the amendment to the original motion.
     I believe Ms. Gill wants to say something.
    I'm sorry.
    Go ahead, Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    It's not your fault. We're getting used to things. Sorry, Mr. Chair. It's difficult on this side of the screen as well.
    I don't think that my proposal limits the motion in any way. Rather, it ensures that everyone will be heard. Mr. Battiste was asking for this. My proposal will also enable them to share their traditional knowledge. I'm asking for a clarification that doesn't exclude other possibilities. The proposal only provides some assurance with regard to the topics that will be addressed, such as the issue of a moderate livelihood. This issue could be clarified, as Mr. Arnold was saying, although I don't want to put words in his mouth.
    I'm proposing a clarification that keeps all the options open. I don't see how the amendment could be rejected, since we want to make sure that these people will be heard from.

[English]

    Mr. Chair.
    Yes, Mr. Calkins.
    If there are going to be no other interventions or no other subamendments to this amendment, would it be possible to have the English version of the text as it would appear should the amendment pass, so that I know exactly what I'm voting for?
    I'm sure we can provide that.
    Mr. Battiste, you had your hand up.
    I know that Madame Gill cannot amend her own amendment, so I'm asking for people to look at the original motion, and when it says “first nations”, put “including the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet”, and right before “stakeholders”, say “associations, scientists and indigenous knowledge holders”. I think that captures the two things that she was asking for in an amendment. It's clear so that everyone knows what they're voting for.
    Is that agreeable to Madame Gill?

[Translation]

    Yes, absolutely, Mr. Battiste.

[English]

    Yes, Madam Clerk.
    Mr. Chair, I believe Mr. Calkins asked for a written text. Am I correct?
    Yes.
    If I can clarify.... If you look at the original motion, you will see that after “Fisheries and Oceans Canada, first nations”, we can put “including Mi'kmaq and Maliseet”, and then you'll see the comma. It would say, “fisheries associations, scientists, indigenous knowledge holders, and interested stakeholders”.
    We're only amending that to include the specificity of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet, as well as to include indigenous knowledge holders as part of that.
    I could read the whole thing for you, if everyone would like me to read it all.

  (1700)  

    Mr. Bragdon.
    Just in regard to what Mr. Battiste is proposing, in large part incorporating the amendment from Madame Gill, I believe that there is one other regional group of first nations members who have been officially recognized from this region as the Passamaquoddy people. Perhaps that needs to be taken into consideration as well, that there are Passamaquoddy.
    Mr. Battiste.
    MP Bragdon, I just want you to clarify which community out of the Atlantic—the 35 first nations recognized in Canada—is the Passamaquoddy.
    I believe it was recognized in affiliation with the Marshall decision. It confirmed the rights of the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy. I know they're closely affiliated with the Maliseet first nations in our region, but I do believe that they were recognized under Marshall as well.
    Mr. Battiste.
    You are correct, Mr. Bragdon. It does say Passamaquoddy. However, the Passamaquoddy—as I understand it from being in the Atlantic and being part of the Assembly of First Nations and APC—are in the United States and not Canada. They don't have a recognized community in Canada, unless you have information for me that I don't have.
     Mr. Bragdon.
    No, I don't have any further information, other than that I do know it was recognized in the Marshall decision as one of the recognized groups, and I am aware of some first nations individuals who refer to themselves as Passamaquoddy.
    Mr. Battiste, am I to assume that you've made a subamendment to the amendment?
    Yes.
    Okay.
    Nancy, can you read that out so that everybody knows what the subamendment is exactly?

[Translation]

     It's the amendment of the other—

[English]

    It isn't clear to me if Ms. Gill wants to talk, or if it's a confusion with the microphone.

[Translation]

    It automatically turns on then? Yes, I also want to speak. So it obeys my thoughts, as far as that's possible!
    The first amendment is being distorted in relation to the Maliseet and the Mi'kmaq. My amendment must be voted on before another amendment is moved. There's no concrete, objective, clear and reliable information about what Mr. Bragdon is saying. I'd stick to the two first nations that we spoke about, but without stopping there, as we said earlier.
    The English version was sent, Ms. Vohl.

[English]

    Thank you, Madame Gill. It's my understanding that we first have the vote on the subamendment made by Mr. Battiste, then on your amendment as amended, and then on the motion as amended.
    Hearing no further discussion, we'll vote on the subamendment by Mr. Battiste first.
    Can I just be clear and read it off for everyone?
    Go ahead, please, Mr. Battiste.
    I'll read this slowly so that everyone can follow: “That the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans undertake a study to examine the implementation of the Mi'kmaq constitutionally protected treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, in order to evaluate the current Rights and Reconciliation Agreement process and identify issues that need to be addressed and a recommended path forward; that the Committee call witnesses including senior officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations, including the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet, fisheries associations, scientists, indigenous knowledge holders and interested stakeholder groups to testify before the Committee; that the Chair be empowered to coordinate the necessary witnesses, resources and scheduling to complete this task; and that the Committee report its conclusions and recommendations to the House of Commons.”

  (1705)  

    Thank you, Mr. Battiste.
    Hearing no intervention, I guess we'll go to a vote on that subamendment.
    Mr. Chair?
    The Chair: Yes, Mr. Calkins.

[Translation]

    I want to ask a question about the procedure. I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    Who has the floor, Chair?
    You do.
    Thank you, Chair.
    It's just for clarification. We're dealing with the subamendment by Mr. Battiste to the amendment proposed by Madame Gill. I don't know what the outcome of this is going to be. I just want clarification from you, Chair, because I would like to propose an amendment to that section of the motion as well, and if we go with the—

[Translation]

    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    Madame Gill has a point of order.

[Translation]

    I gather that Mr. Battiste isn't moving a subamendment to my amendment. He's moving an amendment to the main motion. We should first vote on my amendment and then vote on Mr. Battiste's amendment.

[English]

    I understood, and correct me if I'm wrong, Madam Clerk, that Mr. Battiste originally wanted to do a subamendment to Madame Gill's amendment. He read it out in its entirety, I know, but it was suggested originally that it would be a subamendment to your amendment, Madame Gill.
    Is that correct, Madam Clerk?
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I do not have the text of all those amendments and subamendments, but I believe that Mr. Battiste just moved a different version of the amendment from Madame Gill, which is not exactly the same as a subamendment. It is my understanding that it is not exactly a subamendment. It's a bit complicated because Madame Gill is here in the room and you're not. She seems to imply that maybe she would modify it, but I would appreciate it if you can let her speak to this.
    Yes, Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    Mr. Battiste's changes apply to the text of his own motion, not to my amendment. It's that simple. If necessary, I can withdraw my amendment. In any event, I don't mind if my amendment is rejected so that we can get to Mr. Battiste's subamendment. Perhaps this would simplify things. However, as we did when we submitted the English version, he must include in his draft the two additions to the main motion relating to the two first nations and traditional knowledge.
    I'm prepared to withdraw my own amendment so that it can be replaced by the amendment that he read to us, provided that the written texts are available for us to vote on afterwards.

[English]

    I don't have Mr. Battiste's written text.
    Nancy.
    Mr. Chair, I'm not sure if you need clarification, but for Ms. Gill to withdraw her amendment—and she is willing to do so—the committee would have to agree to that. If the committee does agree, then Mr. Battiste's amendment, which is not a subamendment, could be voted on.
    Do I have the consent of the committee for Madame Gill to withdraw her amendment?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (Amendment withdrawn)
    The Chair: Now we'll go Mr. Battiste's amendment.
    Would you like me to read it out again?
    No, I think everybody has heard it two or three times now.
    Mr. Chair, if I may have the floor, I would add something to it through a subamendment to Mr. Battiste's amendment.
    I propose that we also include local authorities. At some point, after “fisheries associations, scientists”, let's put in “local authorities and interested stakeholders”, if that's amenable to the committee. Also, just prior to the language “fisheries associations”, if we make that “non-indigenous and indigenous fisheries associations”, that would be a little more inclusive as to who might be on the witness list.
    I assume this would be amenable to Mr. Battiste.

  (1710)  

    I see Mr. Battiste with a thumbs-up for that, Mr. Calkins.
    Hearing no further discussion on that, can we vote on the subamendment by Mr. Calkins as stated?
    Mr. Chair, before we proceed to a vote, I would ask if Mr. Calkins can repeat the final part of what he just said.
    I'm looking to add two words: a comma after the word “scientists”, and then putting in two words in English, “local authorities”. Then it would go on to “and interested stakeholder groups”.
    Then, prior to the words “fisheries associations” on that list, it would be qualifying it as “non-indigenous and indigenous” fisheries associations.
    That subamendment would be an addition to the language that Mr. Battiste put in dealing with the indigenous knowledge holders, etc.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Battiste.
    I can clarify. I think this would be agreeable to everyone and we can move forward. We are looking at the original portion of that amendment. I will read it because I will get Mr. Calkins' on that as well: “that the Committee call witnesses including senior officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, First Nations including Mi'kmaq and Maliseet, fisheries associations, both non-indigenous and indigenous, scientists, indigenous knowledge holders and interested stakeholder groups to testify”.
    I believe that encompasses everything. I hope it's agreeable to everyone that we can do this by consensus. I think it's a thing that all parties—
     Jaime, did you miss “local authorities” or did you have it included?
    That was part of DFO, but yes, for “local authorities”, I think I must have missed that. It wasn't intentional.
    Yes, that was part of my amendment. Where it goes on the list doesn't matter to me as long as it's in there.
    Okay.
    Nancy, can we get some direction, please, as to what we are voting on first?
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    This modification from Mr. Calkins is a subamendment.
    Has everybody heard the terms of the subamendment?
    I'm seeing a nodding of heads.
    Thank you very much.
    Pursuant to the motion adopted by the House on September 23, we will vote on the subamendment by Mr. Calkins.
    (Subamendment agreed to: yeas, 11; nays 0)
    We got that subamendment out of the way.
    Now we'll go to the amendment proposed by Mr. Battiste.

  (1715)  

    If there is no more debate, the vote would be on the amendment from Mr. Battiste.
    (Amendment as amended agreed to: yeas, 11; nays 0 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Now we will vote on the motion as amended.
    Mr. Chair, there might be other amendments to the motion.
    All right.
     Is there any further discussion on the motion as amended?
    Yes. If I may, Mr. Chair, do I have the floor?
    Yes, Mr. Calkins.
    Thank you, colleagues.
    If it would be considered worthwhile by colleagues at the table, I would simply suggest that we also add this. After the words “current Rights and Reconciliation Agreement process”, put in a comma and then add this text: “identify better ways to engage interested parties in order to improve communication, reduce tensions and prioritize conservation”.
    If somebody would like me to speak to that proposed amendment, I'd be happy to do so, but I think it pretty much speaks for itself. I don't think it necessarily changes any of the intent of the mover of the motion, but I do think it's important that as members of the fisheries and oceans committee we take a look at conservation. This is very consistent with the language that a multitude of ministers used today in their press conferences in talking about this particular issue. I think it adds to the value of the text of the motion and doesn't substantively change it in any way that is contrary to the intent of the mover of the motion.
     Mr. Battiste.
    To be honest, I don't feel that the subamendment adds anything more. We have DFO and scientists who will speak to conservation. I just don't think there's a need to muddy up what we've already agreed to, so I'm going to say no. Let's just get this over with.
    Mr. Chair, if I may, I don't know why somebody would suggest that conservation of a natural resource is muddying the water. As I said, I think the whole thing is a breakdown in communications. There are frustrations. There's tension in the communities.
     I would think that our amendment to the motion would be a welcome change: to “identify better ways to engage interested parties”. Who would vote against engaging interested parties, improving communication? Who would possibly want to vote against improving communication of the interested parties? What about reducing tension? Is that not a goal of why we're doing this in the first place—and prioritizing conservation? If those are not goals or they're not consistent with the intent of this motion, then I would have to question what the intent of the motion was in the first place.
    Thank you, Mr. Calkins.
    Hearing no further discussion—
    Mr. Chair, I believe Madame Gill wants to speak here.
    Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    I want to continue along the same lines.
    I'm very interested in the conservation aspect, of course. We also spoke about communication. However, once again, according to the Marshall decision, the way in which rights are limited or defined reflects a desire for management and conservation, which I find worthwhile.
    Of course, we spoke about senior officials. However, we could have included scientists, for example, who are involved in stock management and conservation.

  (1720)  

[English]

    Thank you, Madame Gill.
    Seeing no further intervention, we'll vote on the amendment as proposed by Mr. Calkins.
    Mr. Chair, maybe I could ask Mr. Calkins to provide the full text again. I have the beginning but not the end.
    Could you repeat the full sentence, please?
    Certainly. I'll just say the whole thing, because I don't know where you were.
    After the words “Rights and Reconciliation Agreement process”, I would insert a comma and say, “identify better ways to engage interested parties in order to improve communication, reduce tensions and prioritize conservation”, and then return to the text of the motion that goes “and identify issues” and so on.
    Thank you, Mr. Calkins.
    Okay, we've all heard the text of the proposed amendment.
    Seeing no further interventions, Nancy will go to a vote on the amendment.
    Mr. Chair, before I do that, can I have a quick communication with you?
    Yes. We will suspend for a moment.

  (1720)  


  (1720)  

    Okay, we're back.
    Nancy, when you're ready, you can do the taking of the vote, please.

  (1725)  

     Pursuant to the order of the House, the recorded vote would be on the new amendment from Mr. Calkins.
    (Amendment agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Now we'll go on to the vote on the motion as amended, if there are no further amendments.
    Proceed when you're ready, Nancy.
    I see Madame Gill here.
     I apologize, Madame Gill. I depend on Nancy to let me know when people intervene.

[Translation]

    I apologize for unintentionally cutting you off earlier, Mr. Chair.
    I have an amendment that I find very important, given the situation that still persists to this day, unfortunately. Here it is:
That the motion be amended by adding, after the words “path forward”, the words “that the Committee use this broad study as an opportunity to propose a definition of moderate livelihood.”

[English]

    Okay. We heard the context of the amendment. I'm hearing no discussion and seeing no sign of intervention.
     Nancy, could we go to a vote on that proposed amendment, please?
    Mr. Chair, if you don't mind, could we just have it one more time? It was just read out once. Could we have the amendment read a second time?
    Yes.

[Translation]

    Of course.
That the motion be amended by adding, after the words “path forward”, the words “that the Committee use this broad study as an opportunity to propose a definition of moderate livelihood.”

[English]

    Okay. Everybody has heard the context of the amendment.
    Mr. Johns.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Chair, I don't think it's this committee's role to define “moderate livelihood”. I think this is something that is for the nation to define, with the Crown. They're defining it right now. It's something that the Crown needs to accommodate. I don't believe this is the committee to do it.
    I just wanted to add that. I'll be voting against it.
    Mr. Beech, you had your hand up.
    No, I think it was very well articulated by our colleague.
    Hearing no further intervention, could we do...?
    Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    If it isn't the role of the committee, it also isn't the role of the Supreme Court, which is asking legislators to fill this legal and semantic void. There will need to be some discussion on this topic. Since the Marshall decision in 1999, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is supposed to have been dealing with this. The current situation concerns the concept of a moderate livelihood. I don't think that we can remove from the discussion the core issue with regard to the current tensions.
    If it isn't the Supreme Court's job, then whose job is it? I'm asking Mr. Beech and Mr. Johns.

  (1730)  

[English]

     Let's vote.
    Mr. Chair, you're muted.
    Now I've made the ultimate sin.
    Seeing no further interventions, I'd ask for the clerk to call a recorded vote on the amendment as proposed by Madame Gill.
    (Amendment negatived: nays 10; yeas 1 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Before I go on, I would like to remind members that we have exhausted all of the time that was allotted for committee today, but if I have the consent of the majority of members, I believe we can extend the time frame.
    Nancy, could you let us know if staff and interpreters are available for us to continue, and for how long they'd be available? Can we agree on a length of time for the extension?
    I believe so. I can verify that, Mr. Chair.
    Yes, please do.
    It seems that it's okay, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you, Nancy.
    Do I have unanimous consent, or do you want to go to a vote for extending?
    Mr. Beech.
    Mr. Chair, I'd be happy to sit a while longer. However, I would note that there is an emergency debate coming up that some of us are planning to participate in. Depending on the will of the members, I would certainly be greatly appreciative if this were over before 3 p.m. Pacific time. That's my own view.
    I believe that would be 7:30 here in Newfoundland. That would be a half-hour extension.
    I see no further interventions. Do we agree to extend for half an hour?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: We have unanimous consent.
    I can't see Madame Gill, but I'm sure she would have hit a button or something to intervene if she were against it. We'll push the time to 7:30 Newfoundland time.

[Translation]

     You're right, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    I'm catching on.
    We'll extend to three o'clock Pacific time or six o'clock eastern time.
    Now we'll vote on the actual motion as amended.
    If there is no more debate on the motion as amended, we'll have a recorded vote.
    (Motion as amended agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0 [See Minutes of Proceedings])

  (1735)  

     I know it's probably the intent of the committee, having heard the motion, to get started on this as soon as possible.
    Nancy, could we set a deadline for submission of proposed witnesses? Would it be appropriate to set that now?
    It is up to the members of the committee to do that.
    Is everybody okay with setting a deadline for the proposal of witnesses to take part in this study?

[Translation]

     I propose Friday.

[English]

    Madame Gill proposes Friday as the deadline to propose witnesses for this study. Is everybody okay with that?
    Mr. Arnold.
    If I may, I propose next Tuesday. This is moving along fairly quickly. We've expanded the scope on it a little bit today. We can certainly start submitting the witnesses prior to that, but I would ask for next Tuesday, October 27.
    Mr. Arnold, are you suggesting stretching it out to next Monday for submission of witnesses to the list?
    I'm proposing next Tuesday, October 27.
    Okay. That gives us a week.
    Mr. Morrissey.
    Mr. Chair, the whole intent of this motion was one of urgency. Now we're losing, in particular, meeting time by delaying witnesses until next week. I'm sure we could come up with a couple of witnesses by tomorrow. That would at least allow us to begin the meeting process.
    Because of the urgency of this meeting, could we do a two-stage witness timeline? We can submit by tomorrow—and everybody can get names in by tomorrow—and then put a final deadline for next Tuesday, in accordance with Mr. Arnold's proposal.
    I see Mr. Arnold giving a thumbs-up to that idea.
    Mr. Hardie.
    Mr. Chair, given the number of meetings that are being proposed and given the urgency, I'm wondering if the committee would like to consider asking for an additional meeting next week on Wednesday.
    We can certainly ask the clerk to check whether time is available for us on Wednesday, Mr. Hardie. I don't know if we can give an answer to that this evening. We probably won't know, but I think what you're asking is that the clerk investigate the possibility of adding a meeting to our regular weekly meeting for next Wednesday, at whatever appropriate time may be available.
    Mr. Morrissey.
    Let's not overlook this Wednesday. This is urgent. Everybody on this committee has agreed with that, but if we keep delaying it to next week.... As the mover of the motion pointed out, this is something we have to get on with urgently so that we're sending a signal from this committee that we're serious about looking at this and hearing from the parties. We should be moving on this as quickly as possible. I do not see why anybody would want to delay the process.
     So, I would say this Wednesday as well as next Wednesday.
    Also, could we get clarification on whether it's acceptable to the committee—I see Mr. Arnold agreed—that we submit witnesses by tomorrow, which would allow us to have the meeting on Wednesday, if we could? Then we could have a final date for witnesses next week, as suggested by Mr. Arnold.

  (1740)  

    Mr. Morrissey, I think everybody agrees with the two-stage witness list, initially by tomorrow and then again by next Monday or Tuesday to have the final list of witnesses.
    Whether we could have a meeting this Wednesday as well would depend on whether the clerk can find an available time, whether we could get it on such short notice, and whether indeed witnesses are available to appear, either departmental officials or groups that have been identified as those who should be invited to appear.
    Mr. Chair, if I may, could we have an indication of how many witnesses in total and how many witnesses per party, how many slots, might be available?
     I think that would depend on how far out we go.
    I think we'd like to see an initial witness list to determine the number of days that this is going to take. I wouldn't want to say that each party gets four or three or two or six without seeing the actual witness list, and then we can determine how many meetings we need. I know that Mr. Battiste originally said five meetings. Once we see the witness list, we may find that we can do it in four, or that we have to go to six to make it more inclusive. I think everybody would be in agreement with that.
    I guess the onus—

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair—

[English]

    Madame Gill, go ahead.

[Translation]

    It isn't 3 p.m. Pacific time here. Can you tell me by what time tomorrow we need to find witnesses? What's the deadline?

[English]

    How about 5 p.m. eastern time? Would that be okay, Madame Gill?
    Hearing nothing, I'll assume it is.

[Translation]

    I completely agree, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    We'll get the initial list by 5 p.m. tomorrow, and the final list by 5 p.m. the following Tuesday. We'll leave it to the clerk to see if we can get a meeting time for this Wednesday and next Wednesday as an additional time slot in these two weeks.
    I would leave it to the clerk to see if witnesses can be available in those time frames from the list that she gets tomorrow, so try to get them in as early as you can. Don't leave it to the last minute, so that if the time slot is available for this Wednesday, we can get witnesses lined up and get this study started.
    Does that seem reasonable to you, Madam Clerk?
    I will do whatever the committee tells me. It's good for me if it's good for the committee.
    Seeing that we have that issue dealt with, I'll go back to my original speakers list with the time that we may have left.
    Mr. Hardie.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     I want to go back to the notice of motion that I put forward last week, which has now been distributed in both official languages.
    Do I need to read it all out again?
    You probably should read it into the record, yes.
    Okay. Here we go then:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and given the decline in Pacific salmon stocks and the ongoing situation with Big Bar Landslide, the committee undertake a study on the state of Pacific salmon and make recommendations on next steps to ensure for the long-term health of these stocks, as well as the commercial, indigenous and recreational fisheries that depend on them; that this study consist of at least six meetings, with two of those meetings focused on the Big Bar slide, that the committee call witnesses including senior departmental officials, First Nations, and relevant stakeholder groups to testify before committee; that the committee report to the House; that the Committee reintroduce all testimony and submissions on this subject from the First Session of the 43rd Parliament to be included and used for considering and drafting a report, and that all previous Committee meetings on this subject be considered as meetings as a part of this study as outlined in this motion.
    Perhaps to shorten the time frame to deal with this one, I would add that I'm aware that Mel had two motions that relate to this. If he's agreeable, I would accept those as friendlies to be included, because they certainly flesh out what we're attempting to do.

  (1745)  

    Okay, we've heard the motion.
    Mr. Arnold, do you want to comment?
    Thank you, Chair.
    Yes, I have two amendments to the motion, and I think they will improve and clarify the motion.
    The first amendment would be: “That in its remaining meetings studying the Pacific salmon, the committee invite witnesses from British Columbia's salmon farming industry to provide testimony on actions currently being taken by the sector to reduce impacts on wild salmon, and witnesses from DFO to provide an update on recently published risk assessment related to open-net pen aquaculture.”
     Okay, we've heard the proposed amendment.
    Is there any discussion?
    I'm sorry, but I'd like to hear the motion again. Did he say “DFO officials” or did he say “any”?
    Mr. Arnold, would you agree to add “any relevant stakeholders”? I believe it would be important to hear not just from department officials but also others.
    Mr. Chair, we have heard from stakeholders on one side of the net pen aquaculture, but we haven't heard from the aquaculture sector itself. If you feel there are other witnesses who may need to be included, those could probably be in there.
    I will read it out again: “That in its remaining meetings studying the Pacific salmon, the committee invite witnesses from British Columbia's salmon farming industry to provide testimony on actions currently being taken by the sector to reduce impacts on wild salmon, and witnesses from DFO to provide an update on the recently published risk assessment related to open-net pen aquaculture.”
    Okay, we've heard the proposed amendment.
    Seeing no further discussion, can we please vote on the amendment as proposed?
    I believe Madame Gill has a comment.
    Madame Gill, go ahead.

[Translation]

    I just need to clarify something. You're telling me that these witnesses will be part of the mandatory meetings that were already scheduled. Is that right? So there are no additions.

[English]

    Yes.
    That is correct.
    Hearing no further discussion, we'll vote on the proposed amendment.
    (Amendment agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0 [See Minutes of Proceedings])

  (1750)  

    The amendment to the motion is adopted.
    Hearing no further amendments, can we vote on the motion?
    Mr. Johns.
    Mr. Chair, I'd like to propose an amendment to the motion, and I hope that Mr. Hardie would agree to it.
    Mr. Chair, at the opening I did mention I had two amendments. I have the second one ready as well.
    Yes, you did, Mr. Arnold.
    I will get right back to you, Mr. Johns, after Mr. Arnold is finished.
    Okay, the first one went over fairly smoothly. I hope the second one is just as smooth.
    The second amendment is at the end of the motion and reads, “That the Pacific salmon study incorporate the committee's examination and recommendations related to the Big Bar Landslide study undertaken in the first session of the 43rd Parliament in the final report.”
     Mr. Hardie, do you want to speak to that amendment?
    Yes. If it will speed things up, I'm happy to have that as a friendly amendment so that we don't have to take the time to vote on it, if we can do that.
    All right.
    Mr. Johns, did you have your hand up to speak to that, or are you waiting to make an additional amendment afterwards?
    I have an additional amendment, Chair.
    Okay. We will get to that shortly.
    Hearing no further discussion on the proposed amendment by Mr. Arnold, and knowing that Mr. Hardie has indicated that he's willing to accept the amendment to his original motion, do we need to have a vote or can we call for unanimous consent?
    For the second amendment by Mr. Arnold, I believe it was implied in the motion by Mr. Hardie that whatever was heard on the Big Bar would be part of the report. Is it the consent of the members to agree to that?
     (Amendment agreed to)
    Okay. We're seeing all thumbs-up.
     Mr. Johns, go ahead.
    Mr. Chair, we need to hear from indigenous knowledge when it comes to this study, and I hope Mr. Hardie would agree. I don't believe we've listened to indigenous communities and indigenous leaders in depth. I would like to see two additional meetings dedicated to indigenous knowledge when it comes to Pacific wild salmon, given that it's the bedrock species and it's obviously the cornerstone of their culture for coastal first nations.
    I'm hopeful that this committee would support an amendment to include two additional meetings to embody, encompass and listen for prioritizing indigenous knowledge into this conversation.
    Mr. Hardie.
    We had scoped out some of the ground that we wanted to cover. We thought that would take two meetings.
    Just to be clear, Mr. Johns, you would want two additional meetings for a total of four meetings to conclude this study.
    That's correct.
    As there's no discussion wanted, can I ask if we have unanimous consent to accept the amendment by Mr. Johns to add two additional meetings?
    I see thumbs-up. All right. Unanimous consent it is.
    (Amendment agreed to)
     Now we should probably vote on the motion as amended.
    Mr. Chair, this is on the motion as amended. If there is the consent of the committee, then I will not proceed to a recorded vote.

  (1755)  

    Do we have the unanimous consent of the committee?
     You'll have to let me know, Madame Gill, if you're in favour of that as well, because I can't see you on the screen.

[Translation]

    Yes.

[English]

    All right. We have unanimous consent.
    (Motion as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
     The motion is adopted as amended. Thank you, everyone.
    Now, on my speakers list, number three is Mr. Mazier.
    Good day. I hope everyone can hear me. I want to bring forward two motions today.
    The first one is this: “That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study of at least two meetings to identify the impact of the indigenous freshwater fish marketing limited partnership initiative, whereby the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation transitions from a harvester-led partnership model; that the committee call witnesses, including senior departmental officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and interested stakeholder groups to testify, including commentary on sustainability and regulation of the commercial freshwater fishing industry; and that the committee report its conclusions and recommendations to the House.”
    That's the first motion.
    Mr. Chair, I do have a copy of the motion in the two languages, which I could distribute to the members.
    Okay. If you could, Nancy, that would be great.
     Yes, Madame Gill.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, would it be possible to suspend the meeting briefly so that I can look over the motion in French?

[English]

    Yes, that's fine. I understand the clerk is going to send this out in both official languages.
    I will let everyone know that we have approximately three minutes left for committee.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, we could simply make this a notice of motion, since we must adjourn soon.

[English]

     I see Mr. Mazier is in agreement, and he's the one who proposed the motion.
     I don't think we have much time left to do much in the way of debate or moving another motion, so I suggest that anybody with motions come forward and we'll deal with it at committee business at the next go-around. We'll vote on this motion when we come back to our next meeting.
    I wish everybody a good evening, and thank you.
    Mr. Chair.
    Yes, Mr. Calkins.
    Thank you for your adept handling of the committee today.
    Just so we're clear, are you committing to having committee business on the agenda for the next meeting regardless of what the next meeting has?
    That will be up to the committee. Of course—
    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt you, sir, but you basically just told my colleague that we don't have time today to deal with his issues, and the next time we'll be able to deal with this is at committee business. I'm just looking for a commitment from you, Chair, that committee business will be on the agenda at the next meeting, regardless of whether we're hearing from witnesses. If we could take five or 10 minutes to deal with these motions, it's important.
    I'm just looking for that clarification, sir.
    Okay. I think I'll ask for consent from the committee to carve off the last 10 or 15 minutes, if we can get a two-hour session, to deal with committee business at the end of the meeting, especially if we get extra time this Wednesday.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair:Seeing all thumbs-up, I think we're good to go.
    Again, thank you, everyone.
    Hopefully we'll do a bit better with the mute and unmute next time, and hopefully when the clerk checks on it we can add an additional meeting this coming Wednesday. Please get in your witnesses to the clerk as soon as possible.
    Good evening, everyone. We now stand adjourned.
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