Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
We are now in public on the orders of the day, pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the question of privilege relating to the statements made by the Minister of International Cooperation.
When we were last together, which somehow seems like yesterday, I believe we had proceeded as far as paragraph 32. Am I correct?
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
Had we voted on paragraph 32 and accepted it? No, we had not. We were still doing things to paragraph 32. I can only assume if we hadn't passed it that there--
Nicolas Auclair
View Nicolas Auclair Profile
Nicolas Auclair
2011-03-25 12:11
If I may, the committee had adopted the changes, but not the paragraph as such.
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
I wasn't here for paragraph 32. I was out of the room at the time, so I'm not sure if we're now looking at the new version of paragraph 32 or the old version as we see it here in the report.
Andre Barnes
View Andre Barnes Profile
Andre Barnes
2011-03-25 12:11
The difference would be the addition of English, at least, following “April 23, 2010”. We added “as well as in response to question 106 on the Order Paper of that same date”. If you have that on your copy, that's the most recent version.
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
On that point, there were some other changes yesterday that we had asked for as a committee. Up until paragraph 32 and including...I think there's a change later on that has to do with something we voted on yesterday, so if you have that document, you now have the latest one with the changes already in place. Excellent work.
On paragraph 32, further discussion? Seeing none--
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
Any other changes suggested to paragraph 32?
Seeing none, all those in favour of paragraph 32?
(Paragraph 32 agreed to)
The Chair: Great.
Now on paragraph 33, are there any changes?
View Marcel Proulx Profile
Lib. (QC)
I need the English version.
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
I'll just let Mr. Proulx get caught up. I count on him for some of the translation.
Mr. Reid, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you.
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
That's okay.
Whatever we may think about the whole contempt issue, we all agree that the point of this report is to summarize the evidence that was presented to the committee, either for or against the final argument that the minister either was or was not in contempt of the House.
View Scott Reid Profile
CPC (ON)
So there's something here, and I don't see its relevance to that question. It says here:
...some members questioned the Minister as to whether “political” criteria had been employed to assess KAIROS' funding proposal, considering that the proposal had been recommended by CIDA officials using departmental criteria. The Minister responded that the responsibility for making funding decisions on proposals such as KAIROS' proposal was hers alone. Once her decision has been made, it becomes the department's decision as well as that of the government.
So the question is, was the minister using political criteria? By definition, isn't she using political criteria? If she is, that's problematic. If she isn't, I don't think she can't not use it whether she's approving it or not. Everything she does is political by definition, so it just strikes me that this is effectively a paragraph that need not be here.
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay. You got to that point. I was going to ask you, then, if that was correct, what was wrong with it? Are you suggesting that we remove paragraph 33?
Andre Barnes
View Andre Barnes Profile
Andre Barnes
2011-03-25 12:15
That point makes reference to paragraph 38 later on, to testimony by Mr. Walsh: “...Mr. Walsh asserted that a distinction must be made between a political decision and an administrative one....” That might need to be removed as well.
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay. I'll make a speakers list. I have Mr. Reid speaking, and Mr. Dewar's hand was up. I assume that since there was an intervention from Mr. Rae, he will put his name on the list.
View Paul Dewar Profile
NDP (ON)
View Paul Dewar Profile
2011-03-25 12:16
Chair, it's very straightforward. The role of the department is to follow the wishes of the government, and they follow criteria. That's what Ms. Biggs did. That's why she signed off on it. That's what the dossier is all about.
The fact of the matter is that it was with the minister for a couple of months. We know that. What Mr. Walsh refers to is the fact that there was a political lens put on this. It's straightforward. Whether the government wants to say that's just the way it should be or not, it was....
My final point is that this is CIDA. CIDA is an agency; it has a president. It is different from other agencies. They conduct themselves in accordance with the criteria they've been given. They did that. The minister, at the last minute, directed one of her political officials to change that determination.
That has to stay in. Leave it as is.
View Bob Rae Profile
Lib. (ON)
I think both paragraphs are relevant. I think it's an attempt to give a more complete view of the evidence and the various views expressed by members and parliamentary counsel. I think it's an important part of the balance that the staff has been trying to present as we go down that list.
View Joe Preston Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Rae.
Monsieur Laframboise.
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