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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security



Wednesday, October 18, 2023

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



    Welcome to meeting number 76 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    I will recognize Mr. Julian shortly, once I get through this preamble.
    Can I be on the list after him, please, Chair?
    Thank you.
    You'll be next.
    Pursuant to the order of reference of Friday, November 25, 2022, the committee continues its consideration of Bill C-20, an act establishing the public complaints and review commission and amending certain acts and statutory instruments.
    Today the committee resumes clause-by-clause consideration.
    Today’s meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the Standing Orders. Members are attending in person in the room and remotely using the Zoom application.
    I remind you that all comments should be addressed through the chair.
    When we adjourned last, we did not continue the debate, so strictly speaking, the matters that were under debate at that time are terminated.
    Mr. Julian, please go ahead.


    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'd like to propose a motion, which I will speak to, of course. It's already gone out to the committee members. It reads as follows:
That the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security hold a 3‑hour meeting, immediately after the committee’s study of Bill C‑20, on the rights of victims of crime and the security reclassification and transfer of offenders within federal corrections.

That the committee invite:

1. The current Minister of Public Safety

2. The Commissioner of Correctional Service Canada, Anne Kelly, Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Shawn Tupper, and the Correctional Investigator, and the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Tim Danson, to appear,

3. Representative(s) of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO) to appear,

4. Representative(s) of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE) to appear.

Furthermore, that the committee invite immediately the Minister of Public Safety and ministry departmental officials to come to committee for two hours to discuss the Public Safety Minister’s mandate.

Finally, that the committee hold a 1‑hour in camera meeting to be briefed on trauma informed questioning of at committee for future testimony from victims.


    There's just a bit of a typo. “The Minister of Public Safety” should appear just in that second section.
    The reason I'm proposing this is that, having listened very attentively to Liberal colleagues, Conservative colleagues and also Madame Michaud from the Bloc Québécois, we seem to have a consensus around having meetings. There was an insistence, I understand, from the Conservatives, who talked about six hours. You'll see that this motion refers to six hours of meetings and that we have the Minister of Public Safety before us. That invitation is on this subject, but also on all other subjects in the mandate. Also, it adds in Ms. Rempel Garner's comments about trauma-informed questioning.
    Hopefully, with a bit of tweaking, we can get this motion adopted and go on to Bill C-20. We have our witnesses here today, and I think they will be giving us a lot of good wisdom as we move forward on Bill C-20.
    Then, following Bill C-20, we would have that three-hour meeting with the witnesses. We'll have the minister, who's invited on the mandate, which also includes this issue, and we'll have an in camera meeting on trauma-informed questioning at committee.
    I'm hoping this is a consensus that we can treat relatively quickly and move on to Bill C-20 tonight.


    Thank you, Mr. Julian.
    I note that we have been seized with this issue for the last three meetings, so I will regard this as continuation of that business. Therefore, there's no requirement for 48 hours' notice.
    I have a point of order, Chair.
    Go ahead on a point of order, Mr. Genuis.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I'm open to a discussion about some aspects of this, but Mr. Julian did not provide the required 48 hours' notice. The matter at hand, according to the agenda, is Bill C-20, which means that a motion has to be either on Bill C-20 or on a matter being discussed. The fact that we discussed this issue at a previous meeting does not make it the matter at hand. The fact that it was discussed two days ago does not make it the matter at hand at the beginning of this meeting.
    Mr. Julian got the floor and moved this motion, which he would be entitled to do if it had been on notice for 48 hours. Respectfully, it is not plausible to say that something having been discussed at a previous meeting 48 hours ago makes it the matter at hand.
    I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Julian can present some of these proposals in the context of an amendment to a motion under discussion. It is very clearly not the matter at hand.
    Thank you, Mr. Genuis.
    This matter is not something we just happened to discuss in a previous meeting. This has been the focus of the last three meetings. As chair, I have ruled it in order. If you wish to challenge the chair, please do so.
    Chair, before I make a decision about challenging the chair, would you allow the clerk to provide clarification on what is meant by “matter at hand” in the rules? If you would allow it, I would welcome the clerk's providing clarification to the committee.
    Mr. Clerk, go ahead.
     What I can do is read the routine motion regarding the notice of motions, which reads:
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....
    That's the routine motion.
    My judgment is that this is de facto a matter under consideration.
    Chair, just as a point of order, what the clerk read said “matter currently under consideration”. You're interpreting “currently under consideration” as meaning a matter that has been discussed frequently at previous meetings. That is quite obviously not the same as a matter currently under consideration. That is the rule.
    If members of the committee choose to.... If the chair, who is obviously elected as a member of the governing party, and a majority of the committee choose to show flagrant disregard for the rules, then I would suggest it puts this committee on a further troubling path and is not the way to move forward constructively.
    Regardless of the creativity being shown, I think the rules are pretty clear that “matter at hand” means “matter at hand”, not something that has been discussed at previous meetings.
    I think we've gone beyond a point of order.
    The chair has ruled on this matter.
    I will, of course, challenge the chair.
    Very well.
    The question is, shall the decision of the chair be sustained? If you vote yes, you vote to sustain the decision of the chair that this motion is in order. If you vote no, you vote that the decision of the chair is not in order.
    (Ruling of the chair sustained: yeas 7; nays 4)
    The Chair: The decision of the chair is sustained. This motion is in order and it is moved.
    Mr. Julian, do you wish to carry on with presenting your debate?


    Yes, thank you—
    On a point of clarification, Chair, you're waiving the two days' notice for the presentation of this motion.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: He's making up rules.
    As I said, I believe this is a matter that we were engaged with, seized with for all of the last three meetings, essentially, so in my mind it is a continuation.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: He's following PMO instructions.
    The Chair: The matter has been decided, and we need to carry on.
    Go ahead, Mr. Julian.
    I'm just seeking clarification, Chair, because I wasn't here before. If you were seized with the motion, why did we have to move a new motion? If the matter was already before this committee, why is there notice of motion present today? Why is it not an amendment?
    We're getting into debate.
    No, I'm just asking for the purposes of procedure. That's what—
    I will answer you. We have been seized with this matter for three solid meetings. At the end of the last meeting, we adjourned but we did not continue the debate on those motions, so the floor is basically open to Mr. Julian's motion. In my estimation, it is a continuation of the business we were very thoroughly embroiled in.
    We'll go now to—
    On a point of order, that wasn't my question, Chair. My question was, specifically, why do we have a new notice of motion? If we were seized with a motion that was—
     This has been asked and answered. Mr. Julian brought—
    I'm asking for procedural purposes, Chair.
    Mr. Julian brought forward a motion—
    Why are we not dealing with an amendment, Chair?
    It's because the motions that were previously on the floor were not continued at the adjournment, so they're dead. If they were moved again, they could be considered again, but Mr. Julian's motion is ruled in order.
    On a point of order, Chair, you said they're dead. If they're dead, that means they have to be resurrected, and the rules clearly state that to resurrect or to bring forward a motion, you need a two days' notice.
    I think the proper procedure, Chair, would be to do an amendment.
    This matter has been addressed. The chair has made a ruling. The committee has sustained the chair's ruling. It's not a matter under discussion any further.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I think the other—
    I have a point of order, Chair.
    Yes, Mr. Genuis, go ahead on a point of order.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Maybe I can just be helpful. My colleague was looking for clarification about how this made sense. It doesn't make sense. The chair has clearly been directed by the PMO to implement a ruling. It has nothing to do with the rules—
    The Chair: Mr. Genuis, you do not have the floor—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: —no precedent, no basis in this place, and I think it's clear that the way he's behaving is out of step with the rules.
    Mr. Genuis, you are out of order.
    This was a decision by the chair, by the chair alone, for the good of this committee.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Who advised you, Chair?
    On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I'd like to make a statement—
    The Chair: A statement is not a point of order—
    Ms. Leslyn Lewis: You're a creature of statute and this brings the entire procedure into disrepute.
    You're out of order.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Ms. Lewis wasn't here 48 hours ago, but Mr. Genuis was, and he'll recall that I gave the notice of motion 48 hours ago. Even if that was his point of order, he understands that I spoke to this issue, spoke to this amendment, spoke to this motion 48 hours ago. Therefore, Conservatives have no excuse, no pretext. They got their 48 hours' notice, even if they disagree with the chair's ruling.
    Can we please have consideration of the motion, rather than these incredibly wasteful...? For taxpayers' purposes, tens of thousands of dollars have been invested now into this Conservative filibuster, when we have people from Public Safety, people from the RCMP, people who have very busy jobs, who are here to answer questions on Bill C-20. I would hope that the Conservatives would not destroy another committee meeting, at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars, and would allow this discussion and, hopefully, a consensus on this motion.
    Forty-eight hours ago, I gave notice of this. It was also distributed, as a courtesy, to all members of the committee. Quite frankly, I'm flabbergasted by Conservatives' trying to pretend that the notice wasn't given 48 hours ago and trying to overturn a decision that was made by this committee a few minutes ago, so thank you, Mr. Chair. I will speak to this motion.
    I will read the motion into the record a second time, just to make sure that everyone is aware and that the typo is corrected:
That the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security hold a 3-hour meeting, immediately after the committee's study of Bill C-20, on the rights of victims of crime and the security reclassification and transfer of offenders within federal corrections.
That the committee invite:
1. The Commissioner of Correctional Service Canada, Anne Kelly; Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Shawn Tupper; the Correctional Investigator; the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Benjamin Roebuck; and Tim Danson, lawyer for the victims to appear,
2. Representative(s) of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO) to appear,
3. Representative(s) of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE) to appear.
Furthermore, that the committee invite immediately the Minister of Public Safety and ministry departmental officials to come to committee for two hours to discuss the Public Safety Minister's mandate.
Finally, that the committee hold a 1-hour in camera meeting to be briefed on trauma-informed questioning at committee for future testimony from victims.
    After “That the committee invite”, we strike the first line. That was a duplicate, so I've renumbered these.
    This is a consensus of all the comments that were made—


    I have a point of order. It's just for clarification.
    I'm very, very sorry. I'm not trying to be obstreperous, but—
     I will recognize you on a point of order. Be brief, please.
    Do the Conservatives have a current motion on this issue on the floor?
    No, they do not.
    The Chair: No, they do not.
    Mr. Glen Motz: Did that get withdrawn?
    A voice: We adjourned.
    Can the clerk clarify that matter?
    The clerk doesn't need to clarify. As I have said several times already in this meeting, we did not continue that debate. We did not continue those motions when we adjourned our last meeting; therefore, those motions are no longer on the floor.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    I have a point of order.
    Yes, Mr. Genuis, go ahead on a point of order.
     Thank you, Chair.
    The rule is that when a verbal notice of motion is provided, it appears in the minutes of the meeting—
    Mr. Genuis—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: May I finish the sentence, Chair?
    The Chair: No, you may not.
    Mr. Julian—
    Excuse me, but we're debating a matter that's already been decided by the committee and confirmed by the committee, so let's carry on.
     Chair, that's not what I'm raising. You haven't even heard my point of order and you're already proactively ruling on it.
    My point of order is with respect to the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting. Mr. Julian is quite convinced, and I'm sure he's sincerely convinced, that he gave a verbal notice of motion at the last meeting. However, I reviewed the minutes, and the minutes do not contain that notice of motion. Either Mr. Julian is not correct or the minutes are not correct. However, for the benefit of members, the minutes should be correct so that we know what's—
    We will encourage the clerk to address that matter.
    However, the matter is irrelevant at this point, because a decision has been made and confirmed by the committee.
    Mr. Chair, it's not irrelevant.
    The Chair: We are going forward with this meeting.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: I understand that you ruled that the motion is on the floor, but my issue is—
    Mr. Bittle, yes, it is annoying when you talk over me.
    Okay, guys, settle down, please.
    Please come to your point.
     My point, Chair, is that if this motion was put on notice—which I agree, to Mr. Julian's point, is an important fact—then he is in a very strong position in terms of being able to move the motion. However, it is not in the minutes. We should have accurate minutes, as members, so we know what motions to expect. Certainly my expectation coming here was that this motion was not on notice, because it was not in the minutes.
    You could ask us to review the written record of what every member said, but it is not in the minutes. So I would like you to come back to the committee about the accuracy of the minutes, Chair.
    Mr. Genuis, you're debating a matter that's already been decided.
    No, I'm not. I'm talking about the minutes, the accuracy of the minutes.
    As said—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: That is not a matter that has been decided.
    The Chair: Excuse me, but I have the floor.
    As said, I've asked the clerk to take a look at the minutes and address any deficiencies.
    Mr. Julian, please go ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I don't want to take any more time on this. I think we've had, as you pointed out, three meetings, at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars to Canadians, where Conservatives—and I mentioned this before—would agree to something off-line that was then changed online.
    We had this discussion. It incorporates what the Conservatives were asking for. It incorporates what the government was proposing. It incorporates Madame Michaud's comments. Unless there is some tweaking that needs to be done, I would hope we could just vote on this and move forward.
    If any member of this committee feels that we may want to go further after having these meetings on this issue, I would agree in the same way, in the same spirit that we brought to the Canadian heritage committee, with all parties coming together, to look at the issue of safe sport. With an initial meeting that we had on Hockey Canada, it led to—for those who followed the Hockey Canada and Soccer Canada hearings—a study that lasted about six months.
    I think all members of this committee will be interested, first, in hearing from the witnesses. Second, we will have the Minister of Public Safety, and it is important for him to answer questions on this and other aspects of his mandate. A third aspect is having this committee be trauma-informed, which was extremely helpful for the Canadian heritage hearings. After that, as a committee, we can decide whether to move forward, whether to continue or whether to invite additional witnesses.
    But for goodness' sake, let us stop the incredible waste of resources. We have before us witnesses who come from a wide variety of backgrounds in terms of public safety and who are here to answer questions on Bill C-20. Let us keep the commitment we have to the House and to Canadians to get the Bill C-20 amendments through—and hopefully a bill that is improved—and out of committee and back to the House. That's our responsibility. As the Conservatives indicated, they want to do this study, and this study is now before us.
    I'm hoping, given that it is now 5:45 p.m. on day four of this filibuster, that Conservatives will accept the yes, vote for it, and let us move on to the important amendments and improvements that we have to make to Bill C-20.


    Were you seeking unanimous consent, or did you wish to carry on with the debate?
     Well, hopefully we can just have a vote.
    We can't have a vote, because we have a speakers list. If you were seeking unanimous consent—
    You mentioned a little tweaking. I'm up next. Can we try to do a little tweaking?
    I don't believe we'll have unanimous consent, just by reading the room, or part of the room, but I will try.
    Can we have unanimous consent to adopt the motion as written?
    Is it the will of the committee to adopt this motion by unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Chair: We don't have unanimous consent.
    Mr. Shipley, go ahead.
    Thank you, Chair.
    It's a rocky start to this one, again.
    I think we're getting very close here. I think—
    Mr. Chris Bittle: [Inaudible—Editor]
    Mr. Doug Shipley: That really helps. I was actually just going to do my amendments and carry on, but when you just get in the cheap seats, throwing out the cheap comments—
    An hon. member: [Inaudible—Editor]
    No, he didn't say a word to them. I'm trying to focus. They're the ones.... I had the floor.
    Let's try to avoid crosstalk, please.
    But that wasn't me.
    No crosstalk, please.
    When he is speaking, I don't say a word.
    No crosstalk, please.
    He's the one doing it. I have the floor.
    I just advised everyone to have no crosstalk. Please let us carry on.
    You're just carrying water for the PMO.
    Anyway, I'm just trying to.... I was actually just going to put forward—
    Excuse me, Mr. Shipley.
    Mr. Genuis, your remarks are offensive, and you should apologize for them.
    Mr. Shipley, carry on.
    I like the word my friend from the NDP used, “tweaking”, so I'm going to bring forward a very small.... I think it's small, but the way this has been going lately, with emotions revving so high, comments flowing already and everybody with their hearts beating and stressing up, it will probably turn into another horror show, but here we go.
    My amendments are for a reason. The reason....
    Mr. Chair, every time I speak, he's throwing—
    I'm sorry; I didn't hear anything.


    Well, I can hear him loud and clear. I'm sure the whole room can.
    I have an earpiece in. Maybe that's what made the difference.
    It's not bothering me. It's just annoying me because—
    Let's avoid crosstalk.
    Carry on, please.
    The reason I'd like to do a little tweak to it is that I had many texts, as well as a lengthy discussion with Mr. Danson, who is a very busy man. He informed me of that. He does want to attend. It would probably be virtually. My concern is that if we hold one three-hour meeting, it's going to be a little difficult. We're really putting him under the gun for a busy guy.
    He has spoken to the families. It's just too much for them to attend, but they do want to have their words spoken to this committee through him, so I really think, in fairness, that if we just.... Basically, it's going to be the exact same amount of time, but if we do it over a couple of different meetings instead of the one three-hour meeting, I think that will make it easier for people to attend. Even taking something like today.... Let's say we had this three-hour meeting scheduled for today and we ended up having all of these votes, as we did; it would be very hard to get that three-hour meeting in.
    My simple tweak—I'll use the word that my colleague used—is that I would like to put forward an amendment to replace the words “a 3-hour meeting” with “three meetings”—
    Oh, come on, seriously?
     He's not serious about doing this study.
    Keep the crosstalk down, please.
    It turns out to be the same thing. It's just that we're not doing it all in one day. It's three meetings, and adding number five to still invite the former minister of public safety, Marco Mendicino. It's still six hours. We're not trying to do anything longer. I'm just trying to do it over three meetings so that we can make it a little easier, as I mentioned, for time constraints.
    Let's clarify what amendments you're proposing.
    I want to replace “a 3-hour meeting” with “three separate meetings”—so that's still just six hours—and add number five to Mr. Julian's motion that we still invite the former minister of public safety, Marco Mendicino.
    I believe it is a tweak. I think that if everybody just steps back for a minute and takes a deep breath.... It's still six hours. It's the same. We're just doing it so that people have some options. It's very hard to invite witnesses and get people who are busy to attend.
    I'm trying to make it easier for us—for you, Chair—to organize this, to get people here. It's not any longer. It's the same amount of time. It's just over three different meetings.
     We have an amendment on the floor—
    I'm not quite finished yet. I was just stopping so I could hear Mr. Bittle. It's always interesting.
    So, that's all I'm looking for. I really do want to get this done. I think it's the same concept; it's not any more hours. We're just trying to make it a little easier. All of our meetings are usually two hours long. I want to have three two-hour meetings instead of, as we're saying here, one three-hour, one two-hour and one one-hour meeting. That's the only difference I'm putting in here, and I'm still inviting the minister. That's the only change to this.
    I honestly thought this was just a tweak, but this has gone on so long—
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Are you still speaking?
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: That's because you're still speaking.
    Let's try to speak through the chair, please.
    Every time you talk, I'm just going to go on longer because it's just annoying.
     You're going to delay the representative of the victims' families from appearing. You're just going to filibuster even more. I thought you cared about witnesses—
    You don't want them to come.
    I do want them to come. I actually spoke to them—
     Is this allowed? I have the floor.
     —unlike you guys, who lied about it.
    What was the big speech we just had in the House about accusing someone of lying?
    Just hold up, everybody.
    Mr. Bittle, please come to order.
    I have a point of order, Chair.
    I want to draw your attention to rule 10, rule 16 and rule 18. Those all deal with decorum and with how we communicate with each other.
    Mr. Bittle referred to my colleagues as liars. That is contrary to the rules, and I'm going to ask that he be admonished for that.


    I didn't hear any such thing, but if he feels the need to apologize, I'm sure he will do so.
    Let us try to get through this.
    Mr. Shipley, you still have the floor.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I agree. I heard those exact words, too.
    Anyway, I know there are other people who want to speak to this. I'm really hoping we can get through this today. I don't think it is a huge change. I'll leave it at that and see where it goes.
    Thank you, Mr. Shipley.
    The debate is now on Mr. Shipley's amendment to Mr. Julian's motion.
    Up next we have Mr. Motz.
     I heard the same comment, as a matter of reference to what was just said about referring to us as liars.
    I am troubled by the circus that we have. Every circus has a monkey, and I guess there are some of them across the way, right over there.
    I have a point of order.
    On a point of order, I would just like to say that I resent any of us being referred to as a monkey. If I were any animal, I would be an elephant, at the very least.
    I'd admonish everyone to keep their remarks civil and polite.
    Mr. Motz, please carry on.
    Thank you—
    I have a point of order.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead on a point of order.
    Mr. Chair, I'm very embarrassed for our witnesses, who've come now four times. If there is going to be another filibuster today, I think we certainly owe it to them, given their important work in public safety and protecting Canadians, to let them go.
    May I speak on the same point of order, Mr. Chair?
    Yes, Mr. Bittle, go ahead on the same point of order.
    I have optimism. I agree with Mr. Julian that typically we should let the witnesses go, but I take Mr. Shipley at his word that he cares about the witnesses and their time. For three meetings in a row, he's had about 10 to 20 of them here. Since he has this new-found love for witnesses' time, I think we should keep the witnesses here, because I really have optimism that Mr. Shipley and the Conservatives intend to keep this short and that we will get through it and get to Bill C-20. If they're going to filibuster, then they'll filibuster, but I take them at their word that this is going to be fast.
    May I speak to the same point of order, Chair?
    Yes, Mr. Genuis, go ahead on the same point of order.
    Thank you, Chair.
    In terms of the witnesses' time, the curious thing about today's meeting is that the chair invited a group of witnesses and yet also ruled that the Bernardo case was the matter at hand. In the interest of preserving the witnesses' time, I would suggest that if the chair's view is that the matter at hand is the matter of the Bernardo transfer, then he shouldn't also invite witnesses—
    Thank you, Mr. Genuis.
    It's curious to invite witnesses on a different topic from what he has ruled to be the matter at hand.
     Mr. Genuis, you keep going back over a decision that has been made. We're not going back to that decision. It has been made. It has been supported by the committee.
    The question is whether or not to release the witnesses, to whom I am eternally grateful for being here yet again, but I don't see any unanimous consent to do so.
    Chair, just on that point of order, if I may, I am not going back to the previous matter, although I maintain the view that your decision was deeply flawed—
    You may have whatever opinion you like on that. The matter—
    The issue here is the question of the witnesses.
    If you believe, as you've concluded, that something else was the matter at hand, then you shouldn't have invited witnesses on a different matter. It doesn't make any sense. Out of respect for the witnesses' time, you shouldn't have invited them if there was a different matter at hand.
    Mr. Genuis, you are out of order.
    The matter has been decided. We're not going to debate it at length.
    Mr. Julian came up with a suggestion, but there is no unanimous consent, so the witnesses, at this time, cannot be released. We will carry on with the debate.
    Mr. Motz, you were under way.
    Thank you, Chair.
    First of all, let me begin by apologizing to Mr. Bittle for the comment I made. It certainly doesn't foster a conversation that we're hoping to resolve. He can accept it or not. That's up to him.
    I will continue with this motion and the conversation on this motion.
    We all agreed around this table—at least I hope we did. There certainly wasn't any support initially when we began this process in mid-September about having any committee time spent on security transfers, security reclassifications, all those things related to the subject matter. I think we've come around to the fact that yes, we need to have meetings on this.
    The issue boils down not so much to whom we're going to invite, because I think there is some agreement on the majority of the people we want to invite to do this study—we might want to add a name or take one off, whatever—and we're close on time.
    As I said the other day, I don't know why the government would be so concerned about giving a study that has implications more far-reaching than just the Bernardo transfer.... There are dozens of transfers that occur with similar individuals, some with more than one murder conviction—multiple murder convictions—and they are moved from maximum-security to medium-security prisons. It impacts a significant number of victims and victims' families in this country.
    I think it would be important for us to have not just lip service to a study, but at least an attempt to hear from those who have something to tell us that might actually allow the government to change legislation to prevent these things from happening at the rate they're happening, and actually deal with victims' rights. That's exactly what this should be about.
    I support the effort of Mr. Julian to bring something forward that is close to workable. I still can't agree to a three-hour meeting. It's not sufficient, in my opinion, to deal with the people who will be called to present at committee. I would ask colleagues to consider adding hours to meetings, and then we can move on. We've spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with this issue. For the Canadian public, who are embarrassed for all of us at this table, on all sides, the issue is why: Why would the government be so dug in on an issue for an hour or two of time? That is the question I get asked by people who have watched us online.
    Excuse me?


    Let's avoid crosstalk, please.
    Mr. Motz, carry on.
    Thank you.
    Those are the questions I get, Mr. Chair. Why would the government not want this discussed? Why would the government not want its bill to be reviewed so there is a mechanism that has appropriate communication to victims' families and has the ability to limit those transfers? It surprises me, but I hope we can come to some sort of a compromise today with respect to the work we have at hand. I would hope that colleagues from all sides would come to a reasonable decision on how we move forward with this.
    I'm sorry, Mr. Julian, but I can't commit to one three-hour meeting, or three hours total. It just doesn't work for the level of importance that this holds with our justice system.
    Thank you, Chair.
     We go now to Madame Michaud.


    Go ahead.
    We have spent more than six and a half hours debating a number of motions that all deal with the same thing. The opinion of every party represented here has been heard. I think the Liberals proposed a motion in good faith at our last meeting, and I think Mr. Julian has in good faith moved a motion that provides a reasonable compromise so as not to further delay the study of Bill C‑20.
    I'm not sure whether my fellow committee members feel the same, but I struggle to look witnesses in the eye because I'm embarrassed to bring them before the committee. I know this is costing taxpayers a ton of money. I'm not sure whether you know how much, Mr. Chair. Perhaps the clerk can send us the information. Our constituents need to know what we're doing here. The study of a very important bill is being held up.
    People are writing us. Every single member here has gotten emails from people who are very eager for our study of Bill C‑20. I've even met stakeholders who are also worried about the study of Bill C‑26, which we are supposed to deal with after the study on Bill C‑20. That means the Bill C‑26 study is also being delayed. I think it's tremendously unfortunate, not to mention disrespectful to the people here, who surely have better things to do. Their expertise could be helping us in our study of Bill C‑20.
    As I said, I think Mr. Julian has put forward an acceptable compromise, but I do have a few minor technical questions. The French version of the motion starts off, “Que le Comité permanent de la sécurité publique et nationale tienne immédiatement une réunion de 3 heures, à la suite de l’étude du projet de loi C‑20”. I was wondering whether “immédiatement” is really what's meant, as opposed to “après”, meaning after the study of Bill C‑20. The English version says, “immediately after”, so the meaning may have gotten lost in translation. I'm not sure whether we can sort that so the French version is clear as well, without necessarily going through a subamendment.
    I also have a question about the one-hour in camera meeting being requested so the committee can be briefed on trauma-informed questioning at committee. I'm wondering what purpose that will serve, since the people we hear from are not necessarily victims. Is that additional hour really necessary?
    As for Mr. Shipley's amendment, we'll be back to square one if we hold three meetings on this. I think inviting the minister for one three-hour meeting and another two-hour meeting is an acceptable compromise. That is five hours of debate, after all. When it comes to inviting former public safety minister Marco Mendicino, he lost his portfolio, so I think we can leave him out of this. It's not his job to answer these questions. The motion already calls on the committee to invite the current Minister of Public Safety to answer our questions.
    I'm ready to vote on the amendment and the motion so we can move on to studying Bill C‑20, but I would appreciate it if Mr. Julian could answer my questions.



    The clerk has taken notice of the deficiencies and will address them.
    I would point out that if we were to pass this motion.... When we finish clause-by-clause on Bill C-20, we still have to ramp up for Bill C-26. We don't know when it is, so this might be an opportunity to fill in between the two studies in an effective, useful way. That's how I think we would approach it if we were to pass this motion.
    Mr. Julian, do you wish to respond to those questions?


    Yes, of course, Mr. Chair.
    In the first case, you rightly explained that this would come after the Bill C‑20 study.
    The briefing on trauma-informed questioning at committee is something we included for the Conservatives, who wanted to ask victims about the issue. Those of us on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage found it very helpful to have that education before hearing from victims. The motion doesn't close the door to that at all, but the committee members aren't currently equipped for the appearance of victims.
    I feel it's important for the committee to be briefed on how to question victims in a trauma-informed way, and I believe Ms. Rempel Garner was in agreement. We would be more equipped and better educated if, as a committee, we decided to invite victims to appear on this matter or any other down the road. As I said, the heritage committee found the briefing very beneficial. We learned a lot, and it improved how we interacted with victims.


     Thank you, Mr. Julian.
    Madame Michaud, are you finished?


    Could I just have a point of clarification on Mr. Julian's comment?
    Yes, go ahead on a quick point of clarification, which we'll take as a brief point of order.
    On this motion, is the one hour...? I think having trauma-informed training is very important, not only on this matter but on other ones that we possibly could deal with, as you mentioned. Are you suggesting, then, that this is additional time, that this isn't part of our study time? This is additional time—ahead of time or whenever—to have this training in camera that's not part of any sort of time that we set aside for the study. Is that correct?
    Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that it opens the door, if this committee decides later, after hearing the testimony from the first two meetings, the first meeting being that three-hour meeting that was proposed with the witnesses, which I think we all agreed on.... The second meeting would be the Minister of Public Safety on this issue and any other issue that deals with the minister's mandate. Following that, if we have the trauma-informed briefing, it allows the committee, potentially, if we decide to invite witnesses who are victims either on this issue or on any other issue, to be better prepared.
    If you ask me right now if I would be prepared to invite victims, as I mentioned two days ago at our committee, I would not be prepared at this point to invite victims to the committee, in the same way that I don't think we as a committee were ready for the Canadian heritage committee to invite the victims of the sexual assaults that, tragically, we saw in far too many Canadian sport organizations.
    I believe the committee needs to do the work first, before we can contemplate what the next steps may be.
    Thank you very much.
     We go now to Mr. Genuis.
    I will remind everyone that we're debating at this time the amendment by Mr. Shipley, which is about whether we do three meetings or one three-hour meeting plus the others.
    Thank you very much, Chair, for the opportunity to address the committee on this amendment.
    I did want to make a comment on the issue of decorum, because it has been raised by a number of members. Look, there has been some back-and-forth, some talking over, some interrupting that has happened at the meeting—
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Just by you.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Thank you, Mr. Bittle, for helping to reinforce my point. It is helpful. It's illustrative of the phenomenon we're dealing with.
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Thou doth protest too much.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: When there are questions of—
    Let's please avoid the crosstalk.
    Chair, I think the way to have an orderly and well-structured committee is to recognize the clear rules that come from our traditions in Parliament—
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    We have Mr. Bittle on a point of order.
    This is not related to the debate. I think Mr. Genuis is again trying to come back on your ruling. He is doing indirectly what he can't do directly and needs to move on. Or perhaps you should exercise your discretion as chair, if he's not going to be relevant to the topic at hand, to move on with the speakers list.
    May I address the point of order, Chair?
    Thank you, Mr. Bittle.
    I do agree with Mr. Bittle. I believe—
    May I address the point of order, Chair?
    —you are off topic. I would ask you to get back on topic.
    If you wish to address the point of order, carry on, on this point of order.
     Chair, have you invited me to comment on the point of order or to return to my comments? I wasn't clear.
    I'm inviting you to comment on the point of order.
    Okay. Thank you, Chair.
    The rules of the committee very clearly provide to members to comment on matters that are presently being debated, and I think every one of the speeches before me has commented at some length on the context of the situation the committee finds itself in. I intend to be more brief in commenting on that context than others have been, but it would be unfortunate to find that rules were being selectively enforced in a different way for some members as opposed to others.
    That concludes my comment on the point of order. I'll now proceed to make further comments on the substantive matter at hand, Chair.
    There ought to be clear and consistent enforcement of the rules of the committee. Those rules come from the rule book, from our long-standing traditions, and all members should be committed to the clear—
    The Chair: Pardon me, Mr. Genuis—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: —adherence to those rules—
    The Chair: Mr. Genuis—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: —if they wish the committee to function well.


    Mr. Genuis, please come to order. I called your name several times. You must have heard it.
    I would ask you to confine your remarks to the matter at hand and not to question the rules and how they're being enforced. If you wish to bring that up as a separate matter at some other time.... We are engaged right now in a debate on the motion put forward by Mr. Julian and the amendment proposed by Mr. Shipley. Please try to confine your remarks to those matters.
    Thank you, Chair. I will move on at this point, because I think you've actually made my argument for me better than I could have myself.
    On the issue of the witnesses present, as well, I just want to touch on that, though. This is the reality—
    Mr. Genuis, we've dealt with that. Let's move on.
    The witnesses have been invited. We have asked the committee if it's okay to release them. We're not able to do so at this time—
    Chair, every other member who has spoken as part of this debate has addressed this matter. I haven't even finished a sentence on the matter and you're interrupting me and preventing me from doing so.
    Again, the selective application of the rules by a member of the Liberal caucus is transparent. It's not in your interest to show such flagrant disregard for the consistency of the rules of the committee. It just undermines your credibility before this committee in the public mind. I know that it might seem convenient in the moment not to enforce the rules—
    The Chair: Mr. Genuis—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: —but my suggestion to you is that the institution depends on your willingness to do so—
    Mr. Genuis, please stop. You can have personal grievances with how I manage the meeting, but please, let's get back on topic here. We're debating Mr. Julian's motion subject to Mr. Shipley's amendment. Let's stick to that topic.
    I will, Chair. I do want to say, with respect to you, that it is not a personal grievance. It is a concern for the integrity of our processes that should rise above individuals' opinions of one another or the parties they are a part of.
    Now, I do hope that I will be able to say something regarding the presence of the witnesses here in due course, and the rules, of course, would allow me to do so under normal circumstances.
    The motion that Mr. Julian has brought before the committee identifies many individuals who should appear before the committee: the Minister of Public Safety; the commissioner of Correctional Service Canada; the deputy minister of public safety; the correctional investigator; the federal ombudsman for victims of crime; Tim Danson; a representative or representatives of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers; and a representative or representatives of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees.
    By my count, that is eight individuals and/or entities. In some cases, the entities will send multiple people to the same meeting, naturally, as happens. The proposal is that all of those people would appear in one three-hour meeting. I would submit to this committee that these are good names and organizations to hear from with respect to the matter of the transfer of Paul Bernardo from maximum- to medium-security prison, but I would respectfully suggest that hearing from all those people in the course of one three-hour meeting is fundamentally not an adequate way of dealing with the subject matter.
    It requires a number of things to be in place. For one, it requires all of these people to be available on the same day. If we hear, for instance, that the union is not available on a given day but is available on a different day, and that the minister is available on the day the union is not available but not available on other days, then the committee will be in the position of needing to schedule that one meeting—and one meeting only, as authorized by this motion—at a time when either the minister or the union is not available, when it would obviously, logically, make much more sense to have those meetings take place on different days and to allow the committee to be more flexible in response to the availability of the various people we wish to hear from.


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    We have Mr. Julian on a point of order.
     Again, Mr. Chair, we have witnesses who have incredibly intense workplaces. They're doing so much for us on public safety. I would ask that we release them.
    I'm saddened by that, because there are so many people, as Madame Michaud just said, in terms of the bill...and how important it is to get the bill adopted, but I know they all have work to do. I think we're being disrespectful just having them listen to a Conservative filibuster rather than letting them get back to the work they have to do on behalf of Canadians.
    I'd ask that they be released.
    This is on the same point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Bittle, go ahead.
    I think I'm going to change my position from last time and agree with Mr. Julian. I don't think Mr. Shipley or the Conservatives are genuine in saving witness time. We have all these witnesses before us, and we should let them go.
    This is on the same point of order, Chair.
    Mr. Genuis, go ahead on the same point of order.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I would have had a better plan for saving the witness time, which would have been that if the chair considers the matter at hand to be this matter, then we should have scheduled the meeting on committee business or on this matter and not invited the witnesses.
    I would happily agree to dismiss the witnesses. I would say that, going forward, it would be wise for the chair to respect witness time by not inviting witnesses who are going to appear on a matter different from the matter that is actually the matter at hand before the committee, in his view.
    Thank you, Mr. Genuis.
    Substantial time having passed since the last time we considered this question, is it the will of the committee to invite the witnesses to leave or to be released?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: I see unanimous consent.
    We can release them with an apology, perhaps, Mr. Chair.
    I certainly apologize. I have to keep scheduling you, because if we—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: No, you don't.
    The Chair: Keep your counsel to yourself.
    I have a point of order, Chair.
    I am speaking. I have the floor.
    I would like to apologize to all for wasting your time yet again. It is a serious matter that we have before us to deal with Bill C-20. We are trying to get it done and we are doing our best. The alternative is to capitulate to matters that are out of our control.
    With apologies, I will continue to invite you and continue to schedule this matter. Hopefully, we will get it done sooner rather than later. I do heartily thank you for your time and for having to put up with committee in this way. Thank you to all.
    Please feel free to depart, if it is your wish. If you want to stay for the show, you're welcome to do that as well.
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    Could you commit to bringing cookies for the next meeting? If there is still a filibuster going on, at least they'll get something out of it.
    The chair will consider that.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: A point of order, Chair—
    Mr. Chair, Ms. May has had her hand up for quite some time. I just wanted to point that out.
    Ms. May, I'm sorry. I didn't notice you there. I apologize.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Chair, I have a point of order when you're—
    There's no need to apologize, Mr. Chair.
    As you know, and as the committee members will know, I have some amendments submitted for clause-by-clause.
    I think I know the answer to this question, but I'd hate to not be here if we actually moved to clause-by-clause and I didn't have a chance to speak to my amendments. I am assuming that, as with the witnesses, it would not be fruitful to stay in the room just in case you called on me. Is that a correct assumption? I just don't want to miss the chance to present my amendments at clause-by-clause.
    Ms. May, I personally will commit that if we get to the point where we expect to have your amendments, I will inform you of my expectation. As you may know, it's kind of not in our control. Thank you for your patience as well.
    I'm aware of the circumstances.
    I extend love and sympathy to you all. Goodbye.
    Thank you.
    I had a point of order as well, Chair.
    Mr. Genuis, go ahead on your point of order.
    Chair, I hope this is helpful.
    You are not under any obligation to bring the witnesses back at subsequent meetings. You may schedule meetings at your discretion. I think many chairs under these circumstances would schedule a meeting of committee business. They might schedule a meeting of the subcommittee on agenda and procedure. You are not under any obligation to schedule clause-by-clause on Bill C-20 and bring witnesses when you expect the discussion to be on another matter.
    Out of respect for the witnesses, and also fully in keeping with the rules—I don't need an answer now, but you can consult with the clerk—I think you would be fully within your rights as chair to schedule something else, or to convene the subcommittee on agenda and procedure, or to take other such matters that would potentially focus the discussion where it seems to be going anyway.
    I just provide that as hopefully helpful advice, and hopefully it's received in the spirit of that. I don't need a response now. You can certainly consult with the clerk. We'll see in the notice of the next meeting what you decide to do.


     Thank you for your advice.
    I will note that my expectation was informed by the notion that the motions that were before us were fully in keeping with what was being asked for. I had every expectation that we could get through this quickly and get on to Bill C-20.
    Mr. Peter Julian: I have a point of order.
    The Chair: Mr. Julian, go ahead.
    You were absolutely right to do so, Mr. Chair—I want to compliment you—because we do have from the House of Commons the obligation to do Bill C-20. The fact that this filibuster has killed a month of committee work is not something that any committee chair should countenance.
    I think your approach has been very effective. I just wish that the filibuster that has now lasted a month would end.
    Thank you, Mr. Julian.
    Mr. Genuis, I'm not sure where we were with you. I think you were in the process of speaking.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Yes, I had the floor.
    The Chair: Okay, carry on.
     Thank you, Chair.
    For the benefit of Mr. Julian, who just raised a point of order, I think I will underline our overall position around this issue and this motion before I return to the specific matter that I was enumerating prior to his initial point of order.
    Our position is that it is critically important to get to the bottom of the fact that the government transferred this heinous rapist and killer from a maximum-security to a medium-security prison. This is a matter that we—
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Schiefke, go ahead on a point of order.
    I just want to make sure that the translation is working.
    Is it working for everybody?


    I'm not sure.
    Is the interpretation coming through for you, Mrs. DeBellefeuille?
    The member is speaking really fast, which is making it hard for the interpreter to do their job. It would be great if the member could slow down.


    Thank you.
    I hate to say this, Mr. Genuis, but can you speak more slowly?
    All right. Thank you, Chair.
I'm happy to show deference in this matter, as in all things, to our good translators. In this matter, I thought that some members might appreciate my moving through the substance of my comments more quickly, but I appreciate the importance of the two official languages.


    It's important that our remarks be understood in both languages, so I will slow down a bit.
    Thank you, Mr. Schiefke.


     Our position overall in the Conservative Party is that we believe it is critically important for this committee to do the work of getting to the bottom of what happened in the context of the prison transfer of Mr. Bernardo, not just because we need to find out what happened in this case but also because we know that there have been previous instances where people have been transferred and families have not been properly informed. There has been significant public concern.
    I recall a number of debates associated with specific instances of this in years past. Those debates were very fraught, I think, and understandably so. Conservatives at the time took, I think, very principled positions on those issues, but they don't seem to have actually led to a change by the government. In every one of these cases, we have the government saying, “Whoa, what happened here? Someone should look into this.” That's from the people who are in charge of running our government—or who are supposed to be.
    The importance of doing the work we need to do as a committee is to find out what happened in the case of the transfer of Mr. Bernardo—to get to the bottom of it, but also to make sure we don't find ourselves back here in another 12 months or 18 months dealing with another instance like this, where families were not properly informed when a very dangerous, violent person was moved to medium security. Let's do the work now so that we can actually solve the problem, and let's do it in a serious way.
    There are some members who find this discussion uncomfortable and find the discussion of the government's record on criminal justice to be embarrassing, but look, after eight years, we need to get to the bottom of why this has repeatedly happened and how we can make sure it doesn't happen again. That is what is motivating us to push, to insist and, yes, to use the rules of this committee to insist on having this discussion in a proper way, to hear the people who need to be heard and to get to the bottom of the matter that took place. It would be unfortunate if we were coming back again and again to this issue without having decisively dealt with it. It would be unfortunate from the perspective of the committee's agenda, but also, much more importantly, from the perspective of the well-being of the public, who are certainly following this issue with great concern.
    This is what we are trying to do: to propel the committee towards doing this work, work that requires, in our view, three meetings to substantively get to the bottom of the matter at hand.
    Actually, Mr. Chair, I want to propose a subamendment in that context, because I think it would just further align the amendment with some of the language we had previously talked about.
    The subamendment I want to propose is to add the words “at least” in front of “three”. The revised text would read, “That the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security hold at least three meetings”, and then it continues as before. I'm hopeful that three meetings would be enough, but for the reasons I was speaking to earlier, the fact is that we can't always control people's schedules and there may be instances where we schedule the three meetings but there's one person we need to hear from who is not available on any of those days.


     Out of great deference to our esteemed chair, I think we want to provide the greatest possible flexibility around the scheduling of those meetings. Requiring a minimum of three meetings ensures that the matter will be treated with the seriousness that is required and also that we will be able to have the flexibility around scheduling.
    Why is it important to have at least three meetings? Looking at the text of the original motion by Mr. Julian, I counted eight people or entities he wants to hear from. In our view, there is a need to hear from at least a ninth, Mr. Mendicino. In previous versions, we have said there may be other witnesses, in addition to the ones enumerated, that parties or individuals on the committee want to put forward, which can be considered as well.
    At a minimum, the eight entities or individuals in Mr. Julian's original motion are the current Minister of Public Safety; the commissioner of Correctional Service Canada; the deputy minister for public safety; the correctional investigator; the federal ombudsperson for victims of crime; Tim Danson; representatives of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers; and representatives of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees. That does not include, by the way, the possibility that in the process of these discussions there might be other individuals or other victims who wish to come forward. From what I understand, we're not currently aware of those other instances, but we should certainly countenance the possibility that there will be other people, in the course of the discussion, who want to come forward.
    We're talking about a minimum of eight individuals or entities. We're proposing a ninth: It makes sense that the minister responsible for the decision, when the decision happened, be invited to appear. It's been noted previously, of course, that the committee can't compel people to appear, so in the worst-case scenario, if the elected officials invited—Mr. Mendicino and the Minister of Public Safety—chose not to appear, I would submit that it would be unfortunate but we would still have seven individuals to schedule in one meeting.
    Mr. Julian's additional framing of the motion was to say that it gets to three meetings because we're going to have one meeting in which we're going to hear from all of these witnesses, one meeting in which we're going to hear from Public Safety ostensibly on other matters, and one meeting that is an in camera briefing on trauma-informed questioning at committee.
    As my colleague Mr. Motz has said, we see value in the one-hour briefing, but a private briefing intended to inform members of Parliament on these kinds of techniques is not the same as a public hearing. It shouldn't be seen as one of those hearings people are looking for to get to the bottom of the issue. That briefing on trauma-informed questioning will naturally not be exclusive to preparing us for this discussion. It will be, I think, a broader tool for informing the committee about what's on the agenda and what's important to consider in these kinds of cases or situations.
    I am just trying to envision the logic of the motion. There is a desire to be able to question the Minister of Public Safety on the broad mandate of the minister. There are so many issues related to public safety that are on the table for public discussion right now in this country—everything from crime to foreign interference and many other issues—so that doesn't obviate the need to have the minister here to address this specific issue. That is actually implied by Mr. Julian's original motion, because it does involve the committee inviting this particular group of people, which includes the minister, for the matter at hand, as well as separately inviting the Minister of Public Safety on other matters.


     Our position is that we need to have a serious look at the issue of the prison transfer—not to throw in other meetings as part of that calculation that are actually on other topics, but to have that minimum of three meetings that are actually looking at the issues on the table: the issue of the transfer of dangerous criminals to medium-security prison and the issue of how members of the families, representatives of the families, etc., are notified or included in the conversation.
    Our view, respectfully, is that the people who have sent us here would want us to get to the bottom of this issue, which has been a reoccurring issue. If you look back at the debates that have happened in various cases, you will see that it has been a recurring issue. We want to make sure that we get to the bottom of it and that we do it in a serious way, and that requires us to have the number of meetings that are required.
    If you have one meeting where you have all of these individuals or groups, let's say eight or nine individuals or groups, first of all you're going to have to get a three-hour meeting. These committee meetings are normally scheduled in two-hour slots, so to say that we're going to have one meeting that's going to be three hours is not necessarily something that the committee can just say is going to happen. The committee may need to engage the House of Commons and the whips and others, depending on the priorities of other committees, in order to get that to happen. It doesn't make sense to say, necessarily, that that's just going to be an easy or automatic thing. It certainly constrains when the meeting could occur. It means that we wouldn't just meet in our regular time slot for the regular amount of time. I think that's fairly obvious. Saying right away that it's going to be one three-hour meeting bumps that back, and it puts at risk the idea that this is actually going to be something that we can get done or get done in a reasonable amount of time.
    Then I also just try to envision what that's going to look like in terms of the potential combinations of witnesses. One way to do a three-hour meeting is to divide it up into three one-hour segments so that we have one group of witnesses in the first hour, one in the second hour and one in the third hour. If we have nine witnesses, ostensibly we could say that we're going to have an average of three witnesses for each hour and we're going to proceed in that fashion.


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Before we continue, I just want to make sure that we have quorum.
    Do we have quorum, Mr. Chair?
    I believe we do. We just need to have half of us in the room, and we do.
    I was just making sure that we have quorum.
    Thank you for your observation.
    I just want to make sure that we're following all the rules, Mr. Chair, as always.
    Absolutely. Thank you.
    I'd be open to suspending if people want to talk, but I'm happy to keep going.
    Mr. Chair, I admire Mr. Schiefke's concern for the rules of quorum being enforced. I think that sometimes that's been interpreted as being at the table or in the room. I don't know how that's interpreted by the chair here because I think we have some folks who are in the room but not at the table.
    Mr. Genuis, the chair has already observed that. You don't need to second-guess the chair all the time.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    There might be some value in second-guessing the chair under the circumstances, but I gather that second-guessing the chair isn't encouraged by the chair, which is understandable on a psychological level if not on a substantive level.
    Mr. Genuis, if you wish to differ with the chair's decisions, you're free to challenge them.
    Otherwise, let's just move on with the business at hand.
     Chair, I don't think the chair had made a decision, nor had I challenged it. I was simply pointing out some matters of context.
    I'll return to the previous matter that I was discussing, which was the way in which Mr. Julian's motion as originally written could notionally be operationalized. The motion as it's written involves eight witnesses, or nine with a potential addition. Considering the possibility that the minister might not show up, we're looking at eight or nine people or groups that would need to come. I was saying that one way of operationalizing the desire to have nine different people or groups at the same three-hour committee meeting is to have three stakeholders appear in each hour.
    This is what that would look like. You would have, say, the minister with the deputy minister and the commissioner of Correctional Services. Then you would have the correctional investigator, the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, and Tim Danson all appear together. Then you would need to have the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, the Union of Safety and Justice Employees and the former minister, Mr. Mendicino, sitting at the same time. Either way, you end up with some awkward combinations.
    My colleague was just pointing out that of course it's normal and expected to have ministers appear on their own, and I agree. I think it would also make sense to have Mr. Danson appear alone and be able to have the time that's required to present and answer questions.
    I'm simply pointing out that the framework we've been given in terms of the motion from Mr. Julian requires us to create these kinds of awkward witness combinations where people with very different experience and perspectives on the same topic are therefore required to sit at the table together and potentially debate with each other or focus on very different aspects of the topic. In committees that I've been a part of in the past, our general practice has been not to do that. The practice has been to say, first of all, are there witnesses for whom, given the nature of their experience or their position, it makes sense to appear alone? Generally, in the case of the former minister and Mr. Danson, I think with the nature of their experience and what they bring to the topic, it makes sense for them to appear alone or, in the case of the minister, with the officials he would want to bring with him to play a supporting role.
    It doesn't seem to me to be a serious approach to the committee managing its agenda to try to say that these are the kinds of combinations that would be required. I'm obviously naturally suspicious of what's going on here. Why would we say that we have to pack all of these individuals and groups into one three-hour session?
    The other thing about having the meeting set up as three consecutive one-hour meetings is that once you've heard from the witnesses, you have very limited time for questions. If you have a one-hour session and you have three witnesses, you can allow conservatively five minutes for each opening statement. Again, given the sensitivities of the matter and given the issues we're dealing with, we may want to give more time. In fact, I think a trauma-informed approach might lend itself, in this kind of situation, especially with either victims or their representatives, to not being as rigorous in terms of time. If somebody is in the midst of sharing very personal reflections about how certain events impacted them, it would potentially be a judgment call of the committee and/or the chair to say that we want to let that person finish what they're saying.
    If you allow, theoretically, a minimum of 15 minutes for three witnesses or witness groups to present—but more likely, because of people going slightly overtime or because of other aspects of context, you're going to get that out to at least 20 minutes—and then you have to allow probably five to 10 minutes between witness groups—


    Mr. Peter Julian: I have a point of order.
    We have Mr. Julian on a point of order.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Genuis talked earlier about the minutes. To clarify for the minutes, I want to say that a fresh copy of the motion we're debating has been sent to the clerk, including the name of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, Benjamin Roebuck, and clarifying “Tim Danson, lawyer for the victims, to appear”. I want to make sure the minutes reflect what was said at the mike.
     Thank you.
    This is basically just to update us.
    Okay. Thank you.
    On that point of order, because I am confused—
    Mr. Genuis has a point of order.
    Mr. Julian, are you saying that the form of the motion you moved is the same as the form that you put on notice verbally on Monday? It seems like it's different from the written version that was distributed.
    Mr. Genuis, Mr. Julian just said that. When he moved the motion, what he said was somewhat different from what is actually in the written motion. He's just clarifying that he sent an updated copy—hard copies to everybody—so that we're on the same page.
    Mr. Julian, did you want to respond as well?
    As Mr. Genuis knows, we talked about the federal ombudsman for victims of crime. I included his name in the updated motion sent to the clerk. Tim Danson was listed in the original motion, but not with his title, which is “lawyer for the victims”.
    For the purposes of the minutes, I wanted to ensure that both the name and the title of those two individuals were in the motion we are considering.
    Thank you for your clarification. It is, of course, important that the minutes are accurate.
    On the same point of order, it wasn't clear to me.
    I'm sorry, Mr. Julian, but my question was, is the text that you moved the same as the text of what was read on Monday?
    You're nodding that it is, so fair enough.
    I believe not.
     The text of what you moved is what you just sent out to us. Is that correct?
    It's the same as what you read out on Monday, which I understand you believe should have been in the minutes but wasn't.
    The name and title are the same as what I read out on Monday, but for further clarification it includes the name of the federal ombudsman and the title for Tim Danson.
    Thank you for the clarification.
    Mr. Genuis, do you wish to carry on with the point of order or carry on with your arguments?
    I'll return to my remarks, but I'll just say that it would be helpful if the clerk could distribute the text of what was read to the members, given that it was not in Monday's minutes.
    I believe that is already done.
    I have been refreshing my email and I have not received it yet.
    It's under way.


    It's going to be sent imminently. Is that what you're saying, Chair?
    The Chair: Yes.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Okay. It is important for the committee to know precisely what it is debating and to have the text of what it is debating in front of it, although I don't get the impression that the clarification substantively changed the direction. It just provides clarification about names and titles.
    Before Mr. Julian's intervention, I was walking through why I think the changes we're proposing are necessary logistically, given the inevitable practical problems that arise from the framework for studying this issue that was presented by Mr. Julian.
    We have nine entities that could or are likely to appear. We have, although not directly stated—but I hope implied—the possibility that committee members might be able to suggest additional witnesses or members of the public who have some perspective to offer and who might wish to come forward on this issue, but at a minimum, we're talking about nine. If our amendment on Mr. Mendicino doesn't pass, we're talking about a minimum of eight. If it's eight, we have three, three and two, so I just want—
     I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    I have Ms. O'Connell on a point of order.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    In the rules.... It's clear this is a filibuster, but according to the rules, there still cannot be repetitiveness. We've actually already heard—I believe three times, but at least once before—Mr. Genuis describing the difference between nine witnesses and eight witnesses. It would be important if he's going to filibuster that he at least provide new content.
     Can I just comment on the point of order, Chair?
    I have Mr. Genuis on a point of order.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I accept that I said the number. I was just correcting myself because I said nine, and I wanted to be accurate. I think that was a relatively perfunctory and brief comment, but I wanted to provide that clarification. It's a small point.
    The point I was just making, Chair, is that if you're trying to slot that in, one way of doing this is to have three consecutive one-hour blocks. Inevitably, there will be five to 10 minutes of turnover in between, when witnesses come and go, hands are shaken and so forth. You're talking, in practice, about 55 minutes per witness group, of which, almost certainly, about 20 minutes will be testimony. That leaves 35 minutes for questioning rounds. That likely means one round of questioning, with two or three minutes extra for each party at the end.
    We're supposed to be studying the issue in a serious way. Committee members will be faced with a situation where they have likely three, in most cases, witnesses or witness groups with substantive and different things to say, and members of each party are then expected to cram all the things they might wish to say or the questions they might wish to ask into one round of questioning, with a bit of change at the end, a bit of extra time.
    That seems to be fundamentally and obviously unserious. I don't mean “unserious” to be pejorative or insulting. It may be that the motion was brought with the best of intentions, but if you really break it down and ask how much time we are going to have to be able to ask the questions and get the answers, we're going to have one slot with two minutes extra, at best, to try to go through three very distinct witness groups. Then we're going to try to have a fast turnover and do it all again in the same crammed bit of time, and then we'll have another turnover and do it all again in a crammed space of time, and it will be done. This obviously doesn't make sense from a structural standpoint.
    Now, the alternative approach you could take.... Theoretically, there are numerous alternatives. I guess you could have all nine groups sit there for three hours, but I suspect that wouldn't happen. Another way, and I've been on committees that.... I was previously the vice-chair of the special committee on Canada-China relations, which regularly met for three hours, so we had to consider these questions of how to structure its time in the context of a three-hour meeting. We would do it, typically, in one of two ways. One way would be three consecutive one-hour blocks, which required a very fast turnover and had a limited number of questioning opportunities, as I've illustrated. The other way was to do two groupings for an hour and a half each. You have an hour and a half, and potentially more witnesses. If we were to do it that way, we would have to have four or five witness groups for an hour and a half.
    Again, having four or five witness groups at the same time would mean that you have more rounds of questioning in each case, though I think not many more. In that case, you'd likely have all of the witness testimony and then you would have, perhaps, an hour of questions, which would be substantively two rounds. However, if you wanted to focus each round of questioning on one witness group, as is often done, you could ask questions of only two out of the four or five witness groups. I don't think that....
    I think a good rule of thumb for committees managing their time vis-à-vis witnesses is that each party would have roughly one round per witness group, so if you wanted to spend a round questioning a witness, you would have enough rounds to be able to make sure that.... You might not want to do it that way, of course. You might want to use multiple rounds on the same witness, or jump between witnesses in the same round, but I think that is a good rule of thumb for a committee that is serious about getting to the bottom of the issue.


     There would be other, more ad hoc ways of doing it. You could have one witness appear for just half an hour, and then you could have other witnesses appear for an hour and a half. However, either way, we're talking about really cramming people together and almost certainly not giving the kind of solo opportunity to be heard that some of these people really deserve to have.
    I think that if we do have the courtesy of having the former minister of public safety come before the committee.... I hope he would agree. If he does agree to come and then we say, “Okay, we want you to sit for an hour and a half while we also question a whole bunch of other people who have important things to say on the subject”, I don't think that would make sense in terms of respect for his time or the choice that he has made to appear before the committee. I think that is fairly obvious.
    Mr. Chair, behind this, then, having deconstructed the inevitable challenges associated with hearing from each of the witnesses in the sequence described, I'm left with the question “Why?” Why was the motion proposed with a structure that is obviously not workable? Maybe Mr. Julian, in concert with those he was negotiating with around this, was working quickly and didn't do that kind of structured analysis of how each of the hearings would occur, or maybe somebody did. Maybe somebody on the government side looked at this and said, “Well, this is an embarrassing issue for us. The Conservatives are insisting that it be talked about, so we want to do issues management, if you like, and talk about it as little as possible.”
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Genuis is doing a fantastic job. I actually find it invigorating.
    This room is booked for another committee meeting at 7:30 p.m. I am wondering if we could ask the clerk to officially look into what the transfer time would be and whether or not there's a specific time we would need to adjourn to ensure that the next meeting is able to start on time. We do have witnesses booked for that meeting, as well.
    It looks like the other committee is in the other room, so it's not going to be a problem.
    That's fantastic. I'm sure Dr. Lewis is very pleased, as well, as we will be sitting on that committee together, and I look forward to that.
    Ms. Leslyn Lewis: I got subbed out.
    Mr. Peter Schiefke: You got subbed out. Now I'm very sad—I want that on record, Mr. Chair.
     I'll turn the floor back over to Mr. Genuis.


    Thank you, Mr. Schiefke. That's an important clarification.
    I don't know exactly what the plan is, on the other side, around time. I do want to make sure, before I continue with my remarks.... I do have a number of verbal notices of motion that I want to provide on other matters, so I will just read those verbal notices of motion now, and then I'll proceed with my remarks.
    I would encourage you to file those. We are debating the motion before us, the amendment and the subamendment. It would be better if we could stick to that.
    Mr. Chair, I'll be brief, but it is a long-standing convention that members can provide verbal notices of motion. I hope that you'll indulge me to do that just briefly.
    The first of those motions—and maybe some information could be provided in writing—is that, in the opinion of the committee, the government should immediately list the IRGC as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code, and that this be reported to the House.
    The second is that the committee report to the House that it should give second reading to Bill C-350, the combatting torture and terrorism act, and that it be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    The third notice of motion is that the committee recognize the rise in hateful attacks against people of faith and the places where they worship in Canada, affirm the constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion, and call upon the government to immediately increase protection for synagogues—
    Mr. Chair, I have a point of order.
    Can I get clarification? Can a non-committee member provide a notice of motion for a topic that is not actually being debated at the time?
     Well, strictly speaking, these notices of motion are not part of the debate we're undertaking. They're not on the issue. Mr. Genuis is, however, properly subbed into this meeting, so, in my opinion, he's free to make those notices of motion. It's really an inappropriate time to do so, but I'm becoming brain-weary and half-dead, so I'm going to let it go.
    I'm sorry, Mr. Chair, but, on that, can any member at any time provide a notice of motion, even for a committee that they do not sit on?
    When they're properly subbed into that committee, I believe it is true.
    Can we get clarification?
    I'll ask the clerk and I'll get back to you.
     Thank you.
    Thank you, Chair, for your wise ruling. That certainly accords with my understanding of the rules—
    I'm sorry. On a point of order, Chair, you didn't give the floor back, and I'd like to hear the ruling before someone just moves on.
    He certainly didn't give it to you, Ms. O'Connell.
    Mr. Genuis, I'm sorry for interrupting.
    Yes, Mr. Genuis is properly subbed in for Mr. Lloyd, and therefore he has the same powers that Mr. Lloyd would have in this particular committee at this time.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thank you, Ms. O'Connell, for assisting the committee with that clarification of the rules.
    I will just start from the beginning the notice of motion I was reading so that there is clarity about what it says:
That the committee recognize the rise in hateful attacks against people of faith and the places where they worship in Canada, affirm the constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion and call upon the government to immediately increase protection for synagogues, mosques and churches in Canada, and that this be reported to the House.


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.


    I have Madame DeBellefeuille on a point of order.


    I've been here for about 45 minutes, and I must say I'm having trouble keeping up. Can you tell me what we are doing? I thought we were going to discuss the proposed amendments to the motion. I understood the amendments. In fact, Mr. Genuis did a great job explaining to us what he wants as well as the subamendments he proposed to Mr. Julian's motion.
    However, I don't understand why a notice of motion is being discussed. Can you explain that, please? I am the Bloc Québécois whip, and I'm standing in for another member, because we have a full plate right now. I feel as though I'm wasting my time here. I don't really know what's happening procedurally right now, so maybe I'm wrong. My understanding is that we started debating proposed subamendments to a motion, and now we are listening to notices of motion.
    Can you please tell me what exactly is going on right now?



    I certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak to you on this and certainly welcome you to the committee. Thank you for sitting here for these 45 minutes.
    Yes, we are engaged in a motion that Mr. Shipley has offered an amendment on, and Mr. Genuis has offered a subamendment. Strictly speaking, that's what we should be talking about. Notices of motion on various other matters are, strictly speaking, not in order, and I have advised Mr. Genuis of this. Hopefully, he is done at this point with those notices of motion and we can carry on with the substantive matters of the subamendment that he has moved.
    Mr. Chair, I am almost done on that.
    I just want to clarify—because you did say that I could provide them, and they were provided—that those do count as having been provided as notices of motion.
    I don't think I said you could provide them. I said that it was not really in order to do it at this time, but that I was kind of worn down and would probably let it go.
    Are you letting it go or not letting it go?
    I don't agree with your interpretation of their not being in order, but I have read them.
    You have given the committee notice of motion.
    Thank you.
     Okay, so they will be in the minutes for the meeting.
    Everything you've said, as far as I know, is going to be in the minutes.
    Well, everything I say goes into the evidence, but the minutes are the decisions or the notices, etc.
    Can I maybe get a nod from the clerk if there is an understanding based on the chair that those will be in the minutes?
    The clerk has so nodded.
    Okay, that's duly nodded.
    I'll just provide one more notice of motion that is related to the matter at hand. The motion is that, in the opinion of the committee, the families of Paul Bernardo's victims should have been meaningfully consulted on his transfer to medium security, and that this be reported to the House.
    Having provided those four notices of motion—


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Go ahead, Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
    I am ever so sorry for interrupting Mr. Genuis. What he's talking about is fascinating, but I'd like to know something. Is the member challenging your authority by continuing to read notices of motion? Do I understand that correctly?
    I don't often attend committee meetings, so I'm trying to learn here. Do I understand correctly that he's challenging your authority? After all, you did tell him that this was not the time to put motions on notice, that they were out of order, but he keeps doing it. Do I have that right, or am I way off base?


     I certainly would interpret it this way.
    It's 10 minutes after seven and late at night. We've been here all day. As I said, I'm a little bit worn down. I really would hope that Mr. Genuis would get back to the matter at hand and let us get done so that we can vote on this motion or this subamendment and whatnot and actually get to the point where we can do the study.
    Mr. Genuis, I believe you still have the floor.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I do have more to say on the substantive topic, but I have received a note that there have been informal discussions among the parties and there is a universal will to adjourn the meeting. I don't know if I'm correct in that, but I will move adjournment of the meeting on the basis of, I think, discussions that have happened.
    So I'll move that and we'll see if my understanding of that was correct or not.
    If you move a motion to adjourn on the basis of whatever, that makes it debatable. Why don't you—
    No, no. I am providing rationale as to what I think has happened.
    Why don't you just move to adjourn?
    I am moving the dilatory motion. I move to adjourn.
    Thank you.
    The motion on the floor is to adjourn.
    Are we all in favour?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: The meeting is adjourned.
    Thank you.
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