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Minutes of Proceedings

43rd Parliament, 2nd Session
Meeting 18
Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:04 a.m. to 2:38 p.m.
Webcast
Presiding
Ron McKinnon, Chair (Liberal)

• Michael Barrett for Larry Maguire (Conservative)
• Hon. Candice Bergen for Larry Maguire (Conservative)
• John Brassard for Chris d'Entremont (Conservative)
• Wayne Long for Tony Van Bynen (Liberal)
• Julie Vignola for Luc Thériault (Bloc Québécois)
Library of Parliament
• Tu-Quynh Trinh, Analyst
• Sonya Norris, Analyst
Pursuant to Standing Order 106(4), the committee commenced consideration of the request by four members of the committee to undertake a study of the emergence of COVID-19 variants in Canada.

Motion

Michelle Rempel Garner moved, — That the committee invite the following representatives from the Public Health Agency of Canada to give a joint presentation of no more than 15 minutes:

  • Roman Szumski, Senior Vice President of the Vaccine Acquisition Branch
  • Gina Charos and / or Stephen Bent, Director General level official for the Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases
  • Bersabel Ephrem, Director General of the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
  • Cindy Evans, Acting Vice President of the Emergency Management Branch
  • Kim Elmslie, Vice President of the Immunization Branch

That Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization be invited to give a presentation of no more than 7 minutes;

That the above witnesses be asked to present on the following:

  1. current outbreaks, occurrences, and modelling for COVID-19 variant spread in Canada as it relates to projected vaccination rollout timelines;
  2. capacity to surveil the emergence, prevalence, and spread of variants;
  3. current federal government assumptions regarding vaccine effectiveness on variants in the context of the federal government’s vaccine portfolio;
  4. Canada’s procurement of variant related booster shots;

That the witnesses remain available for question rounds after their presentations, that the meeting be no less than two hours duration, and that it be held no later than February 19, 2021.

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, Don Davies, Chris d'Entremont, Darren Fisher, Mike Kelloway, Larry Maguire, Marcus Powlowski, Michelle Rempel Garner, Sonia Sidhu, Luc Thériault, Tony Van Bynen — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

Motion

John Barlow moved, — That the Chair of the committee write to the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel inquiring on whether or not the contracts for Canada’s seven vaccine agreements with suppliers have been provided to his office as part of the motion adopted on October 26, 2020 by the House of Commons.

Should the law clerk have copies of any of these documents, that the committee instruct the law clerk to prioritize the translation of these documents and that these documents be published as soon as possible in accordance with the parameters set out in the house motion.

If the law clerk does not have such documents, that the committee request from the government the contracts for Canada’s seven vaccine agreements with suppliers be tabled with the committee, that the documents be vetted in accordance with the parameters set out in the house motion, and that the members of the Standing Committee on Health review these documents in camera.

By unanimous consent, on motion of Luc Thériault, it was agreed, — That the motion be amended by adding after the words “tabled with the committee” the following: “in both official languages,”.

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That the Chair of the committee write to the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel inquiring on whether or not the contracts for Canada’s seven vaccine agreements with suppliers have been provided to his office as part of the motion adopted on October 26, 2020 by the House of Commons.

Should the law clerk have copies of any of these documents, that the committee instruct the law clerk to prioritize the translation of these documents and that these documents be published as soon as possible in accordance with the parameters set out in the house motion.

If the law clerk does not have such documents, that the committee request from the government the contracts for Canada’s seven vaccine agreements with suppliers be tabled with the committee in both official languages, that the documents be vetted in accordance with the parameters set out in the house motion, and that the members of the Standing Committee on Health review these documents in camera.

At 1:58 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 2:11 p.m., the sitting resumed.

The Chair informed the committee that the meeting had to adjourn at 4:30 p.m. due to technical constraints

Michelle Rempel Garner cited parliamentary privilege and called for the meeting to continue.

RULING BY THE CHAIR

The Chair ruled that the matter is not related to parliamentary privilege.

Whereupon, Michelle Rempel Garner appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Don Davies, Darren Fisher, Mike Kelloway, Wayne Long, Marcus Powlowski, Sonia Sidhu — 6;

NAYS: John Barlow, Michael Barrett, Larry Maguire, Michelle Rempel Garner — 4.

At 4:50 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

Friday, February 19, 2021, at 1:08 p.m., the sitting resumed.

Resuming debate on the motion of John Barlow.

At 1:18 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 115(5), the sitting was suspended.

At 2:33 p.m., the sitting resumed.

The question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: John Barlow, John Brassard, Don Davies, Larry Maguire, Michelle Rempel Garner, Luc Thériault — 6;

NAYS: Darren Fisher, Mike Kelloway, Marcus Powlowski, Sonia Sidhu, Tony Van Bynen — 5.

At 2:38 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Jean-François Pagé
Clerk of the Committee