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Minutes of Proceedings

43rd Parliament, 2nd Session
Meeting 1
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 3:36 p.m. to 4:47 p.m.
Webcast
Presiding
Karen McCrimmon, Chair (Liberal)

Library of Parliament
• Marie Dumont, Analyst
Pursuant to Standing Order 106(1), the committee met for the purpose of electing a chair. Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the clerk of the committee presided over the election of a chair.

Sven Spengemann moved, — That Karen McCrimmon be elected Chair of the committee.

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

YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Yvan Baker, Bob Benzen, James Bezan, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Terry Dowdall, Cheryl Gallant, Randall Garrison, Karen McCrimmon, Yves Robillard, Sven Spengemann, Anita Vandenbeld — 12;

NAYS: — 0.

At 3:40 p.m., Karen McCrimmon took the Chair.

Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the clerk of the committee presided over the election of vice-chairs.

Cheryl Gallant moved, — That James Bezan be elected first vice-chair of the committee.

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

YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Yvan Baker, Bob Benzen, James Bezan, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Terry Dowdall, Cheryl Gallant, Randall Garrison, Yves Robillard, Sven Spengemann, Anita Vandenbeld — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

Yvan Baker moved, — That Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe be elected second vice-chair of the committee.

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

YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Yvan Baker, Bob Benzen, James Bezan, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Terry Dowdall, Cheryl Gallant, Randall Garrison, Yves Robillard, Sven Spengemann, Anita Vandenbeld — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

The committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to committee business.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That the committee retain, as needed and at the discretion of the Chair, the services of one or more analysts from the Library of Parliament to assist it in its work.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of five members, namely the Chair and one member from each recognized party; and that the subcommittee work in a spirit of collaboration.

Yvan Baker moved, — That the chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive and publish evidence when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four (4) members are present, including a member of the opposition and one member of the government, but when travelling outside the parliamentary precinct, that the meeting begin after fifteen (15) minutes, regardless of members present.

Amendment

James Bezan moved, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words “one member of the opposition and one member of the government” with the words “two members of the opposition and two members of the government”.

Debate arose thereon.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of James Bezan and it was agreed to.

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That the chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive and publish evidence when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four (4) members are present, including two members of the opposition and two members of the government, but when travelling outside the parliamentary precinct, that the meeting begin after fifteen (15) minutes, regardless of members present.

Yvan Baker moved, — That the witnesses be given ten (10) minutes for their opening statement; That, at the discretion of the chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated six (6) minutes for the first questioner of each party as follows:

Round 1: Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Bloc Québécois, New Democratic Party.

For the second and subsequent rounds, the order and time for questioning be as follows: Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes, Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes, Bloc Québécois: 2.5 minutes, New Democratic Party: 2.5 minutes.

Debate arose thereon.

On motion of Randall Garrison, it was agreed, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words “Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes, Bloc Québécois: 2.5 minutes, New Democratic Party: 2.5 minutes” with the words “Bloc Québécois: 2.5 minutes, New Democratic Party: 2.5 minutes, Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes”.

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to.

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That the witnesses be given ten (10) minutes for their opening statement; That, at the discretion of the chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated six (6) minutes for the first questioner of each party as follows:

Round 1: Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Bloc Québécois, New Democratic Party.

For the second and subsequent rounds, the order and time for questioning be as follows: Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes, Bloc Québécois: 2.5 minutes, New Democratic Party: 2.5 minutes, Conservative Party: 5 minutes, Liberal Party: 5 minutes.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That only the clerk of the committee be authorized to distribute documents to members of the committee and only when such documents exist in both official languages, and that witnesses be advised accordingly.

Yvan Baker moved, — That the clerk of the committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the committee and its subcommittees.

Debate arose thereon.

Amendment

James Bezan moved, — That the motion be amended by adding after the word “subcommittees” the following: “provided that members have confirmed their physical presence”.

Debate arose thereon.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of James Bezan and it was agreed to.

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to.

The motion, as amended, read as follows:

That the clerk of the committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the committee and its subcommittees, provided that members have confirmed their physical presence.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That, if requested, reasonable travel, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnesses not exceeding two representatives per organization; and that, in exceptional circumstances, payment for more representatives be made at the discretion of the Chair.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That, unless otherwise ordered, each committee member be allowed to be accompanied by one staff person at an in camera meetings and that each party be allowed one additional staff person at such meetings.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That one copy of the transcript of each in camera meeting be kept in the committee clerk’s office for consultation by members of the committee.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That forty-eight (48) hours' notice, interpreted as two nights, shall be required for any substantive motion to be considered by the committee, unless the substantive motion relates directly to business then under consideration, provided that one notice be filed with the clerk of the committee no later than 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday; that the motion be distributed to members in both official languages by the clerk on the same day the said notice was transmitted if it was received no later than the deadline hour; and that notices received after the deadline hour or on non-business days be deemed to have been received during the next business day and that when the committee is travelling on official business, no substantive motions be moved.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That, in relation to Orders of Reference from the House respecting Bills, (a) the clerk of the committee shall, upon the committee receiving such an Order of Reference, write to each member who is not a member of a caucus represented on the committee to invite those members to file with the clerk of the committee, in both official languages, any amendments to the Bill, which is the subject of the said Order, which they would suggest that the committee consider; (b) suggested amendments filed, pursuant to paragraph (a), at least 48 hours prior to the start of clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill to which the amendments relate shall be deemed to be proposed during the said consideration, provided that the committee may, by motion, vary this deadline in respect of a given Bill; and (c) during the clause-by-clause consideration of a Bill, the chair shall allow a member who filed suggested amendments, pursuant to paragraph (a), an opportunity to make brief representations in support of them.

On motion of Yvan Baker, it was agreed, — That when a minister, the Chief of Defence Staff, or any other officer of Parliament and/or ombudsman appear before the committee, that any public meetings be televised, or if not possible, webcast.

Motion

James Bezan moved, — That the Committee invite the Minister of National Defence to appear regarding the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 2021, no later than November 4th, 2020, for no fewer than two hours, and that the meeting be televised.

Debate arose thereon.

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

Motion

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe moved, — That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on the effects of the aging of the CF-18 fleet and the operational capacity of the Canadian Armed Forces; that, as part of this study, the Committee examine the impacts of the repeated delays in procuring new aircraft, the growing workload involved in maintaining the current aircraft and the availability of personnel to carry out these operations, among other issues; that, in so doing, the Committee assess the options for improving the operational process of replacing the CF-18, including by engaging the services of Quebec’s aerospace industry; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

Debate arose thereon.

Amendment

Cheryl Gallant moved, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words “Quebec's aerospace industry” with the words “the aerospace industries in Quebec as well as the rest of Canada” and, adding after the words " recommendations to the House" the words “and that the Government table a comprehensive response thereto”.

On motion of Randall Garrison, it was agreed, — That the motion be referred to the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure.

Motion

It was agreed, — That the Standing Committee on National Defence invite Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security, Jacqueline O’Neill, to appear before the committee to provide a briefing on the work being done by her office and how the office of the Ambassador is contributing to Canadian defence policy and how the operations of the Department of National Defence can contribute to the work of the Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security, and that this briefing would be made the first item in priority for the Committee to study once routine motions and the election of the Chair and Vice-Chairs have been decided.

Motion

It was agreed, — That the Committee undertake a study of no fewer than three meetings concerning SARS CoV-2 and its impact on Canadian Armed Forces operations domestically and abroad and that the meetings be televised.

It was agreed, — That the committee invite senior officials to provide a briefing on the impacts of SARS CoV-2.

Motion

It was agreed, — That the following notices of motion be referred to the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure.

James Bezan gave notice of the following motion:

That the Committee undertake a study on the military justice system in the Canadian Armed Forces, that the study be composed of no fewer than 7 meetings, that the findings be reported to the House, and that the Government table a comprehensive response.

Sven Spengemann gave notice of the following motion:

That the Committee undertake a study of no fewer than 4 meetings studying the prevalence of white supremacy, racism and discrimination within the Canadian Armed Forces, the impact on Canadian Forces recruitment, morale, operational effectiveness, and recommend actions to combat, minimize and eliminate them - in a report to be presented to the House.

Randall Garrison gave notice of the following motion:

That the Standing Committee on National Defence conduct a study on access to mental health services within the Canadian Armed Forces. The study will consist of witness testimony from Department officials and stakeholder groups to address the suicide epidemic within the Canadian Armed Forces and will also study the proposed effects of removing self-harm, Section 98(c) of the Military Justice Act, would have on the access to mental health care for military service members as outlined in Private Members’ Bill C-203. The findings shall be reported to the House of Commons upon completion of the study.

At 4:47 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Michael MacPherson
Clerk of the Committee