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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security



Monday, May 6, 2024

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



     I call this meeting to order.
    Welcome to meeting number 105 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
     Pursuant to the order of reference referred to the committee on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, the committee is commencing its study of Bill S-210, an act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material.
     Before we begin, I would like to remind all members and other meeting participants in the room of the following important preventive measures.
    To prevent disruptive and potentially harmful audio feedback incidents that can cause injuries, all in-person participants are reminded to keep their earpieces away from all microphones at all times.
    As indicated in the communiqué from the Speaker to all members on Monday, April 29, the following measures have been taken to help prevent audio feedback incidents. All earpieces have been replaced by a model that greatly reduces the probability of audio feedback. The new earpieces are black in colour, whereas the former earpieces were grey. Please use only an approved black earpiece. By default, all unused earpieces will be unplugged at the start of a meeting.
     When you are not using your earpiece, please place it face down on the middle of the sticker for this purpose that you will find on the table, as indicated. Please consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents.
    The room layout has been adjusted to increase the distance between microphones and reduce the chance of feedback from an ambient earpiece. These measures are in place so that we can conduct our business without interruption and protect the health and safety of all participants, including our interpreters.
    Thank you for your co-operation.
    Today’s meeting is taking place in a hybrid format.
    I would like to make a few comments for the benefits of members and witnesses.
    Please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. All comments should be addressed through the Chair.
    I would now like to welcome our witnesses and the person who is the sponsor of Bill S-210
    I'm sorry, Chair; I have a point of order.
    Go ahead on a point of order.
    Thank you, Chair.
    My understanding is that these witnesses have been invited because of a subcommittee report that hasn't yet been adopted. I have one or two brief comments I wanted to make on that subcommittee report. I assume that you're planning on having it adopted prior to hearing from the witnesses.
    That's correct.
    Okay. All right.
    I would like now to welcome our witnesses. We have the sponsor of Bill S-210 in the Senate, the Honourable Julie Miville-Dechêne, senator. We have Jérôme Lussier, director of parliamentary affairs from the office of Senator Miville-Dechêne. Our colleague MP Karen Vecchio, who was the sponsor of the bill in the House, was scheduled to appear this afternoon. Unfortunately, she had to cancel her appearance.
    Before we get started, I would like to go back to the business report of the subcommittee.
    Members, your subcommittee met on Thursday, May 2, 2024, to consider the business of the committee, and agreed on several items. You all received by email last Friday a copy of the seventh report of the subcommittee on agenda and procedure.
     Does the committee wish to adopt the report?
    Chair, I would like to make a couple of comments before adoption.
    Thanks very much, Chair. I appreciate the opportunity to substitute on this committee. I did review the subcommittee report in detail—
    On a point of order, Mr. Genuis has a habit of getting very close to the microphone. He was even pulling it closer. Just for our translators, he's like me: Volume isn't his issue. He can sit back and talk, and the mics will be fine.
    Thank you.
    Continue, Mr. Genuis, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Bittle. I appreciate that point. For the technical people, if I go astray again, let me know.
    Chair, I have an amendment that I would like to propose to the subcommittee report, and it affects a number of the different items. I will start by going through the amendment, and hopefully it's clear. Then I'll present some rationale as to why I'm proposing the amendment.
    The first change is in item 3—


    I have a point of order.
    Go ahead on a point of order, Mr. McKinnon.
    Could we have some clarification from the clerk as to whether it's appropriate to amend a report from the subcommittee?
    Yes, it's in order.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Genuis, please continue.
     Thank you, Mr. McKinnon. I'm happy to have members have that clarification.
    I will proceed. I think it's better if I lay out the amendment in its entirety first and leave the rationale for the different pieces until after I have enumerated the particular amendments. That way there won't be confusion about which parts are amendment and which parts are rationale. I think that's probably the most logical way to proceed.
    There are no proposed changes to paragraphs 1 and 2 or the preamble. Then in part 3, I would like to add, after the word “invited”, the words “to appear separately for one hour each on the committee's” and then strike out the words “for the first hour of the meeting on Thursday, May 23, 2024, to”, then leave in the word “study”, add the word “of” and then leave in the words “the growing issue of auto theft in Canada; and that the Minister of Public Safety be invited”, then add, after “invited” the words “to appear separately”, then leave in the word “for” and add in the words “two hours”—
    Mr. Bittle has a point of order.
    Perhaps it would be easier if we suspended for a minute. Maybe Mr. Genuis could go through it and provide a copy.
    This is very confusing. If he has a copy in both official languages—and I know this is not his first rodeo, so I'm sure he does—maybe he could present that rather than filibustering a Conservative private member's bill, which is shocking, especially given Mr. Genuis' and Mr. Viersen's passion on this topic. It's genuinely surprising, but I guess—
    Mr. Genuis, do you have a copy of it that I could give to the clerk to have...?
    Chair, I do.


    This isn't my first rodeo, after all.


    I can send a copy of it.
    I will just say to Mr. Bittle's point...well, I will come back to that.
    Yes, I'm happy to share it. Would you like to suspend?
    We're going to suspend for five minutes.



     I would like to reconvene the meeting, please.
    I think we're all very well aware that the bells are going to start ringing.
    An hon. member: They are ringing.
    The Chair: Have they started?
    Basically, what's going to transpire here is I'm going to ask for unanimous consent to continue.
     No. We have to go vote.
    You have to go vote. Okay. That's out.
    What I am going to do now is dismiss the witnesses. Thank you for your time sitting here.
    We're going to be allowed to vote, but I am also going to adjourn the meeting.
     The meeting is adjourned.
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