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Minutes of Proceedings

43rd Parliament, 2nd Session
Meeting 2
Monday, October 26, 2020, 11:10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Karen McCrimmon, Chair (Liberal)

Library of Parliament
• Marie Dumont, Analyst
Department of National Defence
• Lise Bourgon, Defence Champion, Women, Peace and Security
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
• Jacqueline O'Neill, Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Monday, October 19, 2020, the committee proceeded to a briefing on the work of the Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security.

The witnesses made statements and answered questions.

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

The Chair presented the First Report from the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure, which read as follows:

Your subcommittee met on Monday, October 19, 2020, to consider the business of the committee and agreed to make the following recommendations:

1. That upon the completion of the previously agreed to studies (Briefing from Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security, Jacqueline O’Neill; Main Estimates 2020-21; Military response to COVID-19), the business of the committee be considered in the following order of precedence:

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

3. 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 three meetings, that the findings be reported to the House, and that the Government table a comprehensive response.

4. 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 and other Canadian technology and aerospace industries; that the study consist of minimum four meetings; that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House; and that the committee request a comprehensive Government response.

5. That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Standing Committee on National Defence conduct a study of Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER, which the Government of Canada last year extended to 2022; that the study consist of minimum three meetings; and that the study include an examination of the mission’s impact on the following: a) Ukraine’s ability to defend and re-establish its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as Ukraine’s ability to protect its national security including through but not limited to hybrid warfare and other threats; b) Ukraine’s progress towards its goal of participating in joint missions with Allies and achieving NATO interoperability, standards and principles; c) Ukraine’s progress towards reforms in the defence sector including capacity building and professionalization of Ukraine’s security forces at all levels of the military; d) how the mission complements NATO’s strategy to contain Russia in conjunction with Operation REASSURANCE, including the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia.

It was agreed, — That the First Report from the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be concurred in.


James Bezan moved, — That the Committee take note that the Government mislead Parliament by tabling a document at this Committee in February of 2019 that erroneously stated that Canada's Quick Reaction Force has been registered with the United Nations, and that the Government has publicly apologized, therefore the Committee is of the opinion that the Minister should issue a written apology to this Committee, that the chair table this motion as a report in the House of Commons, that a copy of the relevant testimony be appended to the report, and that the testimony in question be stricken from the record of this Committee.

Debate arose thereon.

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

YEAS: Bob Benzen, James Bezan, Terry Dowdall, Cheryl Gallant — 4;

NAYS: Larry Bagnell, Yvan Baker, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Heather McPherson, Yves Robillard, Sven Spengemann, Anita Vandenbeld — 7.

At 1:00 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

Michael MacPherson
Clerk of the Committee