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ETHI Committee Meeting

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Minutes of Proceedings

44th Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting 1
Monday, December 13, 2021, 11:18 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Webcast
Presiding
Pat Kelly, Acting Chair (Conservative)

House of Commons
• Angela Crandall, Procedural Clerk
 
Library of Parliament
• Sabrina Charland, Analyst
• Alexandra Savoie, Analyst
Pursuant to Standing Order 106(1) and the Order adopted by the House of Commons on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 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.

On motion of John Brassard, it was agreed, — That Pat Kelly be elected Chair of the committee.

At 11:22 a.m., Pat Kelly took the Chair.

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

On motion of Ya'ara Saks, it was agreed, — That Iqra Khalid be elected First Vice-Chair of the committee.

On motion of Greg Fergus, it was agreed, — That René Villemure be elected Second Vice-Chair of the committee.

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

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, 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 Lisa Hepfner, 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.

Motion

Lisa Hepfner moved, — That the chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence published when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four members are present, including two members of the opposition parties and two members of the government, but when travelling outside the parliamentary precinct, that the meeting begin after 15 minutes regardless of members present.

Debate arose thereon.

It was agreed, — That the debate be now adjourned.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That witnesses be given five minutes for their opening statement; that whenever possible, witnesses provide the committee with their opening statement 72 hours in advance; that at the discretion of the Chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated six minutes for the first questioner of each party as follows: 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, five minutes; Liberal Party, five minutes; Bloc Québécois, two and a half minutes; New Democratic Party, two and a half minutes; Conservative party, five minutes; Liberal party, five minutes.

Motion

Matthew Green moved, — That each party represented on the committee be entitled to select one witness per two-hour witness panel.

Debate arose thereon.

Motion

Ya'ara Saks moved, — That the debate be now adjourned.

The question was put on the motion and the result of the vote was announced:

YEAS: Paramvir Bains, Lisa Hepfner, Iqra Khalid, Ya’ara Saks, René Villemure — 5;

NAYS: John Brassard, Greg Fergus, Matthew Green, Damien Kurek, Lianne Rood — 5.

Whereupon, the Chair voted in the affirmative.

Accordingly, the motion was agreed to.

Motion

Matthew Green moved, — That the committee hold in camera meetings only on for the following purposes:

  1. to consider a draft report;
  2. to attend briefings concerning national security;
  3. to consider lists of witnesses;
  4. for any other reason, with the unanimous consent of the committee;

That all votes taken in camera, with the exception of votes regarding the consideration of draft reports, be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings, including how each member voted when recorded votes are requested;

That any motion to sit in camera is debatable and amendable.

The Chair ruled the motion on in-camera proceedings inadmissible as the Standing Orders consider a motion to go in public or in camera to be a non-debatable motion (SO 67(1) and67(2)), as provided in of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition, page 1089

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, 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.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That the clerk of the committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the committee and its subcommittees.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, 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 Lisa Hepfner, 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 one additional person from each House officer's office be allowed to be present.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, 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 or by their staff and that the analysts assigned to the committee also have access to the in camera transcripts.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That a 48-hour notice, interpreted as two nights, be required for any substantive motion to be moved in committee, unless the substantive motion relates directly to business then under consideration, provided that:

  1. the notice be filed with the clerk of the committee no later than 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday;
  2. the motion be distributed to members and the offices of the whips of each recognized party 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;
  3. 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 holding meetings outside of the parliamentary precinct, no substantive motion may be moved

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That in relation to orders of reference from the House respecting bills,

  1. 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;
  2. 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
  3. 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 Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That the clerk inform each witness who is to appear before the committee that the House administration support team must conduct technical tests to check the connectivity and the equipment used to ensure the best possible sound quality; and that the chair advise the committee at the start of each meeting of any witness who did not perform the required technical tests.

On motion of Lisa Hepfner, it was agreed, — That all documents submitted for committee business that do not come from a federal department or members' offices, or that have not been translated by the Translation Bureau, be sent for prior linguistic review by the Translation Bureau before being distributed to members.

Motion

The committee resumed consideration of the motion of Lisa Hepfner, — That the chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence published when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four members are present, including two members of the opposition parties and two members of the government, but when travelling outside the parliamentary precinct, that the meeting begin after 15 minutes regardless of members present.

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

Motion

John Brassard moved, — That pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), the committee undertake a study into issues of conflict of interest and the Lobbying Act in relation to pandemic spending, provided that: (a) the evidence and documentation received by the committee during the first and second sessions of the 43rd Parliament on the subject be taken into consideration by the committee in the current session; (b) the committee adopt the report entitled “Questions of Conflict of Interest and Lobbying in Relation to Pandemic Spending”,originally adopted as the committee's second report in the second session of the 43rd Parliament; and (c) dissenting or supplementary opinions be submitted electronically in both official languages to the clerk of the committee within 24 hours of the adoption of this motion.

Debate arose thereon.

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

YEAS: John Brassard, Matthew Green, Damien C. Kurek, Lianne Rood — 4;

NAYS: Parm Bains, Greg Fergus, Lisa Hepfner, Iqra Khalid, Ya'ara Saks, René Villemure — 6.

Motion

Matthew Green moved, — That pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h)(vii), the committee study the use or possible use of facial recognition technology by various levels of government in Canada, law enforcement agencies, private corporations and individuals; that the committee investigate how this technology will impact the privacy, security and safety of children, seniors and vulnerable populations; that the committee examine the impact of facial recognition technology on racialized communities; and that the study include how this technology may be used nefariously, such as a tool for criminal harassment or for other unlawful surveillance purposes; that the committee investigate any possible link, formal or informal, between Canadian law-enforcement agencies and private technology corporations or start-ups including, but not limited to Clearview AI and Palantir; that the committee examine the impacts of facial recognition technology and the growing power of artificial intelligence.

Amendment

René Villemure moved, — That the motion be amended by adding after the words "growing power of artificial intelligence” the following: “; and that a maximum of six meetings be dedicated to this study.”.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of René Villemure 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, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h)(vii), the committee study the use or possible use of facial recognition technology by various levels of government in Canada, law enforcement agencies, private corporations and individuals; that the committee investigate how this technology will impact the privacy, security and safety of children, seniors and vulnerable populations; that the committee examine the impact of facial recognition technology on racialized communities; that the study include how this technology may be used nefariously, such as a tool for criminal harassment or for other unlawful surveillance purposes; that the committee investigate any possible link, formal or informal, between Canadian law-enforcement agencies and private technology corporations or start-ups including, but not limited to Clearview AI and Palantir; that the committee examine the impacts of facial recognition technology and the growing power of artificial intelligence; and that a maximum of six meetings be dedicated to this study.

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



Nancy Vohl
Clerk of the Committee