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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans


NUMBER 027 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
43rd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1535)  

[English]

     I call this meeting to order. Welcome to meeting number 27 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
    Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of Monday, January 25, 2021. Therefore, members can attend in person in the room or remotely, using the Zoom application.
    The committee is considering committee business and future business. With respect to the routine motion adopted by the committee, the meeting is in public. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Just so you are aware, the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee.
    Mr. Battiste, you have your hand raised.
    At the end of the last meeting, I had put a motion on the floor and we ran out of time. The motion was to move forward on the prawn study and then to extend the Pacific salmon study, as well as get to Mr. Morrissey's motion on owner-operator and inshore sales.
    I'm willing to move that forward as the next three studies, if there is support.
    Are you moving that in the form of a motion?
    Yes.
    Okay.
    For discussion, we'll go to Madam Gill.

[Translation]

    I believe Mr. Bragdon raised his hand before I did, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    Okay.
     Mr. Bragdon, you've been shoved up the line.
    I'm fine either way. Madam Gill would be welcome to go, if she wants.
    With regard to what Mr. Battiste has brought forward, I have just a couple of questions about trying to complete one study and then moving into the next, followed by the next. I'm wondering if it's possible to seek clarity around this as it pertains to the current study we're on, which is the Pacific salmon study, the west coast salmon study. I believe Mr. Hardie brought in a motion about extending it.
    After reflecting on it and thinking about it, I'm wondering if we could finish up the west coast Pacific salmon study first, if at all possible, and then move directly to either the prawn harvester issue or Mr. Morrissey's motion as it relates to the owner-operator study, just to give us finality. I know that this west coast study is very important, but it's been going for quite some time. It would be nice to move that toward a conclusion. Perhaps we'd be able to do that in even less than three future sessions.
    I want to put that on the floor to consider before we start to interrupt this study with another study and then go to another one. Perhaps we could try to wrap up one before we go on to the others. That's just a suggestion.
    Thank you, Mr. Bragdon.
    Tina, before I go to Mr. Hardie or back to Madam Gill, some staff are telling me that they are trying to get into the meeting and haven't been let in. Could that please be done? Thank you.
    Madam Gill.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I would also like to speak to the motion.
    I agree with Mr. Bragdon that the Pacific salmon study must come to an end. We have been at it for a really long time. At the last meeting we also talked about the budget, how the money should be spent. We wanted to increase the number of meetings to deal with that. In my opinion, it can be done in two stages, conclude the study and write a report, before moving on to other work.
    I understand that the schedule is tight and that there are several important studies to do. Right now, our studies are focused on the Atlantic and Pacific, and I absolutely understand that. However, as the lone Quebec representative, I have put forward motions to propose other subjects for study, including a short study on recreational fishing from the perspective of the recovery and of land use. We are hearing a lot about this in our region. I would have liked this study I am proposing to be part of the package. I believe we have room in the schedule to do it by the end of June.
    If I'm not mistaken, we even spoke of continuing our studies over the summer. I heard that at one point. I don't know if it's still in the plans, like last year.
    In short, I would like the committee to consider my proposal. We could slip this short study in between the various others. This would allow the Quebec issue to be included in our work. It could also be beneficial to other regions. In fact, I believe we had expanded the scope of my motion to the Atlantic.

  (1540)  

[English]

     Thank you, Madam Gill.
    We'll now go to Mr. Hardie.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I appreciate the interest from the group about getting that Pacific salmon study done. It's been off and on now for literally months, as we've dealt with clearly important things. We added meetings simply because the advent of the 2021 budget announced $647 million to be invested in dealing with the situation on the west coast.
    In terms of the timing, we have time to get those additional meetings in, but I would want to defer to the clerk or whoever to see how quickly we can get the witnesses in place to basically go forward with those additional salmon study meetings, or whether or not we could, in fact, work in two meetings on the prawn issue if those witnesses aren't available to us for next week.
    Thank you, Mr. Hardie.
    Mr. Arnold.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I appreciate everybody's enthusiasm in this committee for covering so many topics, but we're talking about squeezing in more studies and more meetings. We haven't even covered off the studies that were approved by the entire group months ago. There's the IUU study on illegal and unreported non-regulated fisheries, the pinniped or seal management study put forward by Mr. Morrissey, and Madam Gill's motion to study the potential of recreational fisheries in Quebec. Are we discarding all of those other motions?
    We really only have a few meetings left, possibly 13, and possibly even fewer than that, depending on when the House rises. I really think we need to be considerate here.
    The Pacific salmon study, as others have mentioned, has been going on for months. I believe it's extremely important that we've heard so much testimony on that. That's been such a long study. It's going to take us, I think, a reasonable amount of time to look at the report for what should be in there for recommendations and then go through the review of the draft report. To try to fit anything else in now, there really isn't time, so I would prefer that we focus on the Pacific salmon study as a priority overall right now.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Arnold.
    All I will say today on the discussion that has taken place up to this point is that we wanted today set aside to actually discuss future business. That's where we're to. If somebody makes a motion to do such-and-such, we have to deal with it, as we're doing here now. I'm not suggesting in any way which study should be done next or which one should be completed, but it was the committee members who asked to have committee business so that we could discuss what we have left in the time frame and what we can do in that time frame. That's exactly what I expect to be done today.
    Is there any other discussion on Mr. Battiste's motion?
    Mr. Arnold, you have your hand up.
     I would like to offer an amendment to Mr. Battiste's motion to, in some way, identify the Pacific salmon study as the first priority to get done. If we can get through the witness testimony on this, then we could have time to draft a report and study that report. That would be my recommendation: an amendment to the motion to prioritize the Pacific salmon study.
    We've heard the proposed amendment. Is there any discussion?
    Mr. Johns.
    Just for clarity's sake, it's to finish the salmon study and then do the prawns. Is that the amendment, Mr. Arnold?
    I didn't identify what was next. I just identified the salmon study as a priority.

  (1545)  

    It was presented as an amendment, Mr. Johns, to Mr. Battiste's motion of doing the prawns study next. This is an amendment to finish up the salmon part of the study, to get that done first, before....
    We can vote on the amendment when the discussion ends, and then we'll vote on the motion as amended, if the amendment goes through.
    Mr. Morrissey.
    Mr. Chair, I believe that, in the motion, Mr. Battiste prioritized the three studies for reports. The salmon one would be the priority. However, it's my understanding that there was probably an issue with scheduling additional witnesses. That may leave a day or two earlier, at which time.... That's why the prawns study would move into that time slot.
    I believe that most on the committee would agree that we'd like to wrap up the salmon study as quickly as possible. I assume that it's a priority for the committee, but it's my understanding from the clerks that there was an issue with confirming the witnesses' ability to communicate effectively with the committee. That could create a day or two—or some meeting time—that would be available, at which time we would move ahead with prawns. That's my understanding.
    Thank you, Mr. Morrissey.
    Madam Gill.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'd like to talk about two issues.
    First, can we determine when we will have completed the study and written the report? As my colleague Mr. Arnold said, there's no point in scheduling more studies if we don't have time to do them. I mentioned the idea of adding a summer schedule. Since the committee is sovereign, if something needs to be addressed urgently, as is the case with shrimp, we can certainly meet. I would agree to do that. That said, I would like to at least have an idea of what we are planning.
    Second, I would like to hear from my colleagues on the issue of studies involving Quebec. I've heard absolutely nothing about it. We are trying to achieve gender parity and we want to represent all the people, but I would not feel represented here at all if we did not deal with Quebec issues. Of course, I know that emergencies do happen, although any emergency is relative.
    Can I at least get an idea of the schedule between now and the end of June?

[English]

    Thank you, Madam Gill.
    Twice now you've raised the issue of meetings in the summer. We did do it last summer, but I think that was an agreement among the whips at the time because the House, like the rest of Canada, got turned upside down in March. There wasn't much that took place for a certain length of time. We were just trying to catch up as we went with a number of meetings throughout the summer.
    I don't know. That's not for the committee to decide right now. I guess the whips will discuss that among the various parties and see what they want to do about this summer, if it's going to be any different.
    Mr. Bragdon.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    This could be a bit of a question. We're saying that the holdup on the Pacific salmon study could be with regard to the arranging of witnesses. Let's say there's a seven-day period between now and next Wednesday. Tentatively we could look at that one for furthering the west coast and the Pacific salmon study.
     I'm wondering if something within the department as it relates to the budgetary aspect of the Pacific salmon study could be arranged for Monday's meeting since it's within the department. I think that's something that should be considered. We could cover quite a bit of ground and, again, be focused on the Pacific salmon study and keep moving the ball down the court to get as much of this done as possible in a timely fashion. I just raise this as a possibility.
     Thank you, Mr. Bradgon, but right now I think we're dealing with the amendment by Mr. Arnold.
    Mr. Mazier.
    To be clear, the amendment is just to make it a priority. It's to make it a priority but to clean it up and to complete it.
    That's the amendment right now.
     I agree. That's what I understand is the amendment to Mr. Battiste's original motion.
    If there are no other interventions on the amendment, could we go to a vote, please?
    (Amendment negatived: nays 6; yeas 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: The amendment has been voted down. Now we'll go back to the original motion by Mr. Battiste.
    Is there any further discussion?
    Seeing no hands up, Tina, when you're ready, could you go to a vote, please?
    Maybe for clarity, Mr. Battiste could read out the proposed motion once again.

  (1550)  

    It's that we get to the prawn study next and then finish off the Pacific salmon study, and then go into Mr. Morrissey's motion on the transfer and sales.
    I think that he has the wording better than I do.
    Okay, I think we get the message. Thank you, Mr. Battiste, for that.
    We'll go to the recorded vote.
    (Motion agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Now that that motion is carried, if we're doing the prawn study first, which was put forward by Mr. Johns, we should look at a deadline for witnesses.
    We don't have a lot of time before our next meeting. I don't know if it was the intent to bring officials in first. They may be readily available, because they are probably in Ottawa.
    Mr. Johns, do you have any thoughts on that, since that was your motion?
    We have witnesses that we can contact right away. It's about getting the headsets to them and whatnot.
    That's why, Mr. Johns, I mentioned that if the officials were to come, they could probably come. They may already have headsets and be in Ottawa.
     Sure, we'd be fine with that.
    Our next meeting is Monday, so if we had to mail out headsets, say for example, to start salmon first, it may not be guaranteed that we will get the headsets to the people in time and we'd be wasting—

  (1555)  

    Got you.
    —a meeting allocation where we could have done something else.
    We could maybe do the officials for Monday for the prawn study, if they're available. If not, we still need to have a deadline for the presentation of witnesses.
     Mr. Johns, I know it was your motion. Do you want to suggest a date that would give the clerks time to get something moving sooner rather than later?
    Yes, end of Friday would be fine for us. It's just whether that works for the other parties.
    Okay. Tina, does the end of Friday, or say 4 p.m. Friday, eastern time, work for you for the witnesses for the prawn study?
    I would need some names by tomorrow morning, and noon at the latest, to make it work for Monday, if that's possible.
    We mentioned Monday as being the officials.
    It's not all the names, just a few tomorrow morning. That can be quickly set up. We don't know about the officials. As long as there are some in advance that can be set up quickly and that works, we can start as early as tomorrow. After that, for that study, the others we can do after if we get them on Friday, and that's fine. Tomorrow morning we definitely need to have a few—
    I saw Mr. Johns shaking his head when you said we'd need to have someone for tomorrow morning, so I think that won't be a problem. Also, we could work on the officials as well for at least Monday.
    Mr. Chair, I'm sorry to cut everybody off. Am I the only one having connection problems? It's cutting out a lot. You guys are all talking and then it's cutting off for two or three seconds, and then it goes back. Am I the only one experiencing that?
    I'm not experiencing it on my end, Mr. Cormier. It may be just the Internet connection of where you're to—or where you're at. Depending on which part of the country you're in, you say “where you're to” or “where you're at”.
    I've never experienced this before, but I'll keep on and I'll check with IT if is still doing it. Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Now, I don't know if Mr. Arnold had his hand up first or if Mr. Morrissey did.
    We'll go to you, Mr. Arnold.
    Okay, he's not listening.
    Mr. Arnold.
    Thank you. Everything froze for a minute here as well.
    Yes, it did.
    Okay. I would like to seek some clarification on how many meetings we're going to be able to have for witnesses on this and then what is going to be the end result of the report and so on. How many witnesses might we have space for, so that we know how many to line up?
    I understand, Mr. Arnold, that it was for two meetings, and I have to go back to Mr. Johns to see if it was his intent to have a report adopted by the committee and presented in the House, or if it was just for information purposes, only or a letter or whatever.
    Mr. Johns, could you enlighten us?
    Yes, thanks.
    I do hope there would be a short report back to the House. It's two meetings so it shouldn't be very long. Obviously we would want the department to appear to testify. It shouldn't be that difficult. I imagine it should be pretty straightforward.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Morrissey.
    Mr. Chair, possibly Mr. Johns could indicate which department officials. I'm not familiar with this issue, so if we were submitting witnesses, I take it there would be people in the department who would be specialized in this. I'd be curious to hear from Mr. Johns on which department officials he thinks would be beneficial to the committee.
    I think certainly Rebecca Reid would be able to identify who in her department she'd like to put forward. I imagine anyone who is in charge of reinterpreting these rules should be testifying in front of us so that we can ask them what they're doing and why they're doing it, and pose questions about what the ramifications are and their process and whatnot. I'm sure we can all come up with some questions about whether they've explored the impact this is going to have on the industry.

  (1600)  

     Thank you, Mr. Johns.
    Mr. Battiste.
    I'm wondering if Gord would be open to this. Instead of a study, since there are two meetings on prawns, would a letter suffice in terms of getting something back to the House?
    I would be open to that. I'd love to hear what my other colleagues would like to say about that.
    Mr. Arnold might have a comment.
    With regard to witnesses, we probably should hear from the CFIA as well. I think they would have pertinent testimony relating to this.
    Thank you, Mr. Bragdon. I don't know if the clerk has made note of it. If not, I would suggest that you submit that to the clerk at your earliest possible convenience so that she has it.
    Mr. Arnold.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Yes, as far as the department is concerned, I believe we need to hear from the decision-makers as well as the enforcement personnel. It's the enforcement personnel who need to enact what is taking place.
    I'm just offering that out there. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Arnold.
    Seeing nothing else, somebody mentioned just now what's coming up. Am I to take it that our next two meetings will be dedicated to the prawn study, or will we start with the prawn study, go back and finish Pacific salmon, and then come back to finish up with the prawn study?
    Nancy or Tina, do we still have witnesses on our list that we haven't contacted for the actual salmon study?
    Maybe I will answer this one, Mr. Chair, since I was the one in charge of the list at the time.
    There are some witnesses on salmon that we can go down the list for, either the list submitted last fall, although not a lot, or the list if we go back in time and—

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, I have a point of order. The interpreter is saying that a technical difficulty is preventing them from interpreting. The sound is bad.
    Sorry, I will move closer.
    As I was saying, I will answer the question because I was responsible for the list of witnesses at the time.
    A few witnesses are still on the fall list, as are a few from the lists sent out in the first session of the 43rd Parliament. We are in a new session, but the study is the same.
    However, when it comes to the salmon study, unless I am mistaken, I believe Mr. Hardie wanted to invite new witnesses.

[English]

    Okay.
    Mr. Johns.
    Perhaps we can clarify a couple of things.
    First, going back to the prawn study, a letter would be fine as long as we can include recommendations to the House and to the minister.
    On the salmon, Nancy, because we're extending those three meetings purely for the budget, we might want to bring some witnesses back. Is there a deadline on when we can resubmit those names? This is about the money that Mr. Hardie has put forward, those three meetings.
    Are we saying that there are three meetings for the money, to talk about the $647 million, and another meeting where we're looking at the previous witnesses left from the original salmon study? Or are we done the study and now we're just looking at the $647 million? I'm trying to figure this out. They're two different things.
    If we have names left over, and we're bringing them back to talk about the $647 million, I don't know if that's everybody's priority. I certainly know that, from our priority, we're going to be wanting to bring back stakeholders who can talk about the money. Some of them have already appeared before the committee, but we're going to want to bring them back.
    Mr. Johns, do you want to possibly set a deadline for the proposal of witnesses to the clerk to be able to contact them to come back for the salmon study, whether it's a repeat of a witness or a new witness?

  (1605)  

    That would be great, Mr. Chair. Can I just clarify, though, that we have three meetings left on salmon no matter what? Is there just one left of the original and we have three more on the money, or are we just going to the money for the next three?
    I can see Mr. Beech indicating three, so I imagine that's....
     Yes.
    Okay. I propose that we have some time—maybe until Friday—to get names to the clerk in terms of our witnesses for the money, if everybody agrees to that.
    Okay. Could we say noon on Friday?
    That's fine for us.
    Okay. The deadline for additional or repeat witnesses to finish off the salmon study is noon eastern, this Friday, which is April 30, of course, the end of the month.
    Mr. Morrissey, you have your hand up.
    Mr. Chair, you may have clarified it, but we can submit new names. I had a list that I forwarded to the clerk. They would be new names. They were not on the old list, but we can consider those as well on the Friday deadline. Am I clear?
    Yes.
    Okay. Thanks.
    In other words, we'll start Monday on the prawn study and then we'll move to the Pacific salmon for the three meetings, which will bring us up to May 12, and then, on the 26th, the Wednesday, we will do the second day of the prawn study.
    Then I would probably suggest that if we want to get the draft report for salmon started on May 31, that brings us up to June. June 2 would be our next meeting. Are we going to do the corporate licences study, as per Mr. Battiste's motion? On that particular day, we'll start the corporate licences study, on June 2. I see Mr. Morrissey giving a thumbs-up for that. We have a lot of time to submit witnesses for that as we go forward.
    That would leave us Monday, June 7, to do the draft report for Pacific salmon and that brings us up—feel free to interrupt at any time, please—to the 9th, which would be the second—the last—meeting dedicated to corporate licences, because I think that was left at two particular meetings.
    Mr. Bragdon, I see that you have your hand up.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I have a quick question in regard to the budget aspect as it relates to the Pacific salmon study. As one of the witnesses—I want to be sure adequate notice and time are given—I feel that it would be very much appropriate, as this is pertaining to the budget, that we request that the minister appear before this committee pertaining to that, to be able to answer questions and to speak to the committee regarding the budget announcement for Pacific salmon.
     If I need to make that a formal request or a motion.... I just think it would be only appropriate to have the minister appear before the committee to speak to the budget.
    I think, Mr. Bragdon, that it would probably be more appropriate or, for the sake of a better word, that it would carry a little more weight, if you actually said that it was a motion to have the minister appear on the budget for Pacific salmon.
    If that's okay, Mr. Chair, I so move to request that the minister appear before the committee to speak to the budget as it relates to the Pacific salmon study.
    Okay. Thank you, Mr. Bragdon. It's just to make it official.
    We've heard the motion. Are there any interventions?
    I see that Michael, the analyst, had his hand up first.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I didn't want to pre-empt any other member, but I just wanted to raise this. If we get drafting instructions for Pacific salmon on May 31, that wouldn't give us enough time to have a report ready for June 7. We would need at least, at the very minimum, a week and a half for drafting and a week and a half for translation. I just wanted to flag that.

  (1610)  

    Okay. Thank you. That part we don't have to straighten out just yet, I don't think.
    Mr. Arnold.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I would second the motion from Mr. Bragdon and actually further refine the motion to say that the minister appear for one two-hour meeting to discuss the budget and the measures it contains for Pacific salmon.
     I will consider that an amendment to the motion. I don't think there's any such thing as a motion being seconded at committee. Members just make the motion and we deal with it, but you can certainly amend it.
    Mr. Battiste.
    It's my understanding that the minister will be coming in to discuss the supplementaries anyway. Does that not give us time to ask her those questions instead of asking her to come back twice? That takes away from our time to hear from witnesses and conclude studies.
    I see the clerk's hand is up, so maybe I'm wrong on this.
    I'm sorry, Mr. Chair, the bells are ringing.
    Did they just start?
    Yes.
    Are they 30-minute bells?
    Yes.
     Okay, could I get unanimous consent to carry on for 15 minutes? That would give everybody time to sign out and sign in.
    I see that there are no objections.
    Thank you, Mr. Battiste.
    We're dealing with Mr. Arnold's amendment first.
    Mr. Gord Johns, you have your hand up.
    I think whether the minister is coming for budget supplementaries or not, we need to speak to her separately on salmon overall. I think we need her specifically on the salmon, because it's only two hours that we're asking for.
    It's going to take two hours. The $647 million is a lot of money, and it's very critical to the west coast.
    I guess if the minister appears, it's up to the members what questions they ask while the minister is here—or any minister, for that matter.
    Seeing no further intervention, can we vote on the amendment to Mr. Bragdon's motion, please?
    Mr. Chair, I had my hand up on a point of order.
    I don't believe you can do a point of order on a vote, can you?
    I had my hand up before the vote was called, but it wasn't acknowledged.
    Okay. I'm sorry.
    I just want the main motion and the amendment to be reread, please.
    Do you want the main motion to be reread, or the amendment, or both?
    I'd like both reread. Thank you.
    Okay. Mr. Arnold, could you read your amendment, please?
    Certainly, Mr. Chair.
    The amendment would be that the committee invite the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to appear for one two-hour meeting to discuss budget 2021, including the measures it contains for Pacific salmon.
    Okay, we have heard the amendment.
    Mr. Bragdon, would you read the original motion, please?
    The original motion is that we request the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to appear before the committee regarding the Pacific salmon study and the budget pertaining to it.
    Thank you, Mr. Bragdon.
    Now we will go to the vote on the amendment, please.
    (Amendment agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0)
    (Motion as amended agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0)

  (1615)  

    We'll now have a look at continuing on.
     I think we'll say that's enough with regard to the schedule. We have two things on our plate. As we go forward, we'll carve off a little time for committee business when we see where we're to at that particular time. We won't schedule anything beyond what we have done today.
    Does anybody have any other committee business before we all rush away to the vote?
    Ms. Gill.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    We have a number of studies, but I see some empty space in the calendar at the end of June. I would imagine that's because we're going to come back to the salmon report, right? Will it be possible to get the report done by the end of June? It's urgent; I'd like to make sure we can finish the salmon study before there are no more salmon to study.

[English]

    I think that's the intent of all the motions that have been made, including Mr. Battiste's motion and Mr. Bragdon's motion. I think it's fully the intent of the committee to make sure that we get this finished and the report done and presented in the House before the House rises, whenever that might be—if it's in June or if it's beyond that.
    Mr. Arnold, you have your hand up again.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    The analyst indicated the time needed for the drafting of the report. I would request that, if needed, we look at possibly fitting in an additional or extraordinary meeting in the week of May 10 in order to provide drafting instructions in that week so that version one could be ready in time for us to consider.
    Okay. Before I go to Mr. Bragdon, would it be easier to try to do drafting instructions at the end of the third meeting on the Pacific salmon?
    It will depend, I guess, on what we feel we'll need for time for drafting instructions. I'm just suggesting that it may be beneficial to add some time into that week to make sure we get the instructions to the analysts by that time.
    Before I forget, could I also ask the clerk to send out some clarity on what the deadlines are now for the additional or revised witness list for the salmon study and for the prawn study, so that we're very clear on when those deadlines are?
    Okay. I thought that for the prawn study it was tomorrow at 12, and I thought that for the Pacific salmon study it was Friday at 12, if that clarifies that part of it for you.
    With regard to looking at extra time, we can do that along the way, but right now I'd like to suggest.... Because usually drafting instructions don't take very long, I don't think we need to allocate a full meeting to drafting instructions. We'll try to look at the 12th when we finish up the study, and we'll know going forward, once we figure out how the witnesses are being scheduled and filled in. Some may not be available. Maybe we'll get enough witnesses for the two meetings, including the one with the minister, and another half a meeting might do it. Then we can dedicate half a meeting to the actual drafting instructions.
     I think we'll leave that to the chair's discretion—that might be the easiest way to say it—with the full intent of making sure we get time to do it so that we can make sure the study is done and completed before the House rises.
    Mr. Bragdon.

  (1620)  

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I have just a quick request. I wonder if we can have the clerk send to each of the members an updated calendar of everything that we've discussed here today, just so that we have it, everybody is on the same page and we're good to go.
    Yes. I see that Tina is nodding her head, so I'm sure that will be looked after.
    Barring nothing else, can I suggest that we now go to the vote and see what time is left over afterwards, if we want to come back to committee or if we have time? So the clerk will know, is it everyone's intent to try to come back?
    I see some people shaking their heads no. I'm not hearing any disagreement with that, so we will—
    Mr. Arnold.
     I'm just curious as to how much time we have left. I'll leave that to you, sir.
    Okay, we've had close to an hour, so we'll adjourn.
    Mr. Battiste has his hand up.
    I was just putting my hand up in support of.... I think we've covered off what we needed to cover today, and after the vote we should just adjourn...or we should just adjourn and then go vote.
    If you look at the time, there's still probably 10 or close to 15 minutes before the vote is called, then it's another 10 minutes of time and then the time the vote takes. There's not going to be much left anyway.
    I think I'll take Mr. Battiste's advice and I will adjourn the meeting for now. If I don't give everyone the notice that we're coming back, we'll see you all at the next committee meeting.
    Thank you, everyone. The meeting is adjourned.
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