Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
One of the key principles underlying responsible parliamentary government is that the House of Commons holds the power of the purse. This amendment that we're proposing will make the tabling of a budget with financial information mandatory to give MPs time to assess the budget before the beginning of the fiscal year. With the public relations brochures we get from time to time in the form of economic action plans, which are devoid of detailed accounting, and with budgets tabled in April instead of February and March, this government has eroded parliamentarians' ability to perform their duty in holding the government accountable on spending.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
We can't have or we shouldn't have a government that's afraid to borrow to build the infrastructure we need because it's worried about the penalties that might occur. This amendment will make it so this legislation is careful not to restrict borrowing for prudent capital investment.
Thank you.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
This amendment deletes the clauses within the bill that will allow for secret evidence as well as evidence inadmissible in a Canadian court of law. It also requires an appellant to be informed of the minister's case against them, not just “reasonably informed”.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
This amendment appoints a special advocate to be present whenever an appellant and their counsel can't be present due to issues of national security. This is the scheme from security certificates. In my opinion, these secret trials are unjust, but at least a special advocate would make things a bit more fair.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Again, this amendment deletes the clauses within the bill that allow for secret evidence and for decisions to be made based on evidence that neither the opponent nor the counsel has even seen.
It also requires the opponent to be actually informed of the minister's case, and not just “reasonably informed”.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
This amendment appoints a special advocate to be present whenever an appellant and their counsel cannot be present due to issues of national security. If we have enough information to revoke somebody's passport, we should have enough to look into charges of laying a recognizance without conditions. A special advocate would at least make sure that the person accused who can't defend themselves has someone looking out for them.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
There are very good reasons for and against extending privilege to patent agents. However, this needs to happen in a separate intellectual property bill, partly because it's extremely controversial. In the meantime, things could be clearer if these common law principles were present here. This amendment seeks to incorporate the elements of the Wigmore test.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
This one will be very short.
This amendment would do exactly the same thing as PV-14 but for trademark agents. I should perhaps use that bit of extra time to explain the Wigmore test. It was summarized by the Supreme Court in 1991, in the Gruenke case:
The Wigmore test as to whether or not a communications is privileged requires that: (1) the communications must originate in a confidence that they will not be disclosed; (2) this element of confidentiality must be essential to the full and satisfactory maintenance of the relation between the parties; (3) the relation must be one which in the opinion of the community ought to be [diligently] fostered; and (4) the injury...to the relation by the disclosure of the communications must be greater than the benefit thereby gained for the correct disposal of litigation.
Thank you.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Together is fine. It makes sense, they do the same thing.
This bill changes the years of copyright for a song recording, not a song, but a recording from 50 years to an astounding 70 years. The big three foreign record companies lobbied the Prime Minister directly for this, and this came hidden here in this omnibus budget bill with no study or consultation.
Our amendments will change it back to 50 years, still very long, but more reasonable. Numerous studies in Europe have shown that extending the copyright for sound recordings does not benefit artists at all, but does benefit the big record labels. The artists quite often don't hold the copyright for the sound recording, while they do for the actual song, which goes for 50 years after death.
Thank you.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
This amendment seeks to do two things, as recommended by James Haga, VP of Engineers without Borders. The first is poverty reduction, and specifically that Canada's development goals should be at the very heart of the development finance initiative's, DFI's, core mandate. Second, DFIs' investments should complement but be quite distinct from Canada's official development assistance.
Thank you.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
This amendment doesn't have anything to say about pay or non-pay, and it's very simple and straightforward. It emphasizes part of the point that Mr. Rankin was making, that on this point alone legislation would be better than regulation and make it certain.
This amendment will make sections 247.1 to 247.4 of the Canada Labour Code applicable to federal interns, and these are the sexual harassment provisions only.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you very much.
I'll start with amendment PV-27. We have serious and deep reservations on two major points. The first is the potential for such a service to unintentionally place what is now wholly legislative jurisdiction, the protection of parliamentary privilege, into the hands of the executive.
The second is the job security—
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Sorry. I stand corrected. Thank you very much.
This amendment would undo the change proposed by Bill C-59 to expand the maximum natural gas exportation licence to 40 years from the current maximum which is 25. Recognizing the importance of responsible and sustainable resource development, this change would mean that all stakeholders would get fewer opportunities to revisit projects that had previously received approval, depending on their positive or negative impact on the environment and economies of the communities that they affect.
As West Coast Environmental Law, a B.C. environmental law advocacy group that opposes the change, says, “It is quite possible that something thought to be a good idea today may not be in 25 years' time with the advent of climate change, economic shifts, increasingly harmed environment, and other potentially unforeseen alterations to the landscape. By lengthening the maximum term of licencing we're removing our ability to revisit these important questions and continue to ensure that our decisions are working to the advantage of everyone.”
Thank you.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
You have to listen to a few words again.
We have serious and deep reservations on two major points here: the first is the potential for such a service to unintentionally place what is now wholly legislative jurisdiction, that being the protection of parliamentary privilege, into the hands of the executive; the second is the job security of the men and women of the current House and Senate parliamentary protective services.
That's it.
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