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View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I don't have a fiver on me, so I'll call you “Commissioner”.
My question is essentially around your role. I understand that your independence gives you that moral authority to get reluctant participants to take part in the debate. I think that's one of the most important aspects of your role. It's quite a complex role, and you have quite a complex machine with an advisory council and a consortium and using the government to help choose the right producers and so on.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your role? What will you have a direct say in? What are those things where you're overseeing a process that will unfold—
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
I do have a fiver, actually.
Your Excellency, thank you for your answer. I'll split my time with my colleague.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
No, that's a very good answer. I appreciate it. It helps me understand better.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
This is a very interesting conversation. I'd like to bring the conversation back to the discussion of water and how water impacts GHG emissions from agriculture or forestry. I forget who discussed it, but there was talk before about how a runoff, which would carry fertilizer, would have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, if I understood correctly, and that planting trees that are more water absorbent could mitigate that problem.
Could whoever answered that question previously elaborate on that?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Does water carrying nitrates into larger bodies of water have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Given that they're in a water stream, would they be released into the atmosphere? Is this the...? I don't want to get stuck on the science because I'm not a scientist either, but if anyone has any insight, please, I'd like to hear it. Then I'll move on to another topic.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I imagine that these are some of things that the agricultural GHG program is looking into. I believe there was a grant made to Macdonald College in my riding.
Dr. Javier Gracia-Garza: [Inaudible—Editor]
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Yes, that's why I'm asking.
There's also another organization in my riding. I don't mean to bring it all back to my own constituency, but at FPInnovations they seem to be doing fantastic work in developing new products for the forestry sector. Do any of these new products help with this battle against greenhouse gas emissions, or is it not really relevant to the issue?
Is it more of a commercial product development issue that has no bearing on greenhouse gas emissions, or are some of the things they're doing helping in the area of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions as well?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Is my time over?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'm flattered that you've adopted my mechanism.
Voices: Oh, oh!
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I apologize in advance if some of these questions seem a little simplistic or naive. I'm subbing here today, and I wasn't here for the first part of the study. I wish I had been, because this has been an extraordinarily fascinating discussion.
I think I need to get some terms straight so that I can better understand. For example, what specifically does a donation physician do? Is that the surgeon who does the transplant, or somebody who studies whether the organ is healthy and can be used, or studies the criteria for a match? What precisely does a donation physician do?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
In your estimation, roughly speaking, what percentage of hospitals across Canada would have somebody within the hospital who could fulfill this particular role? I would imagine that would be a key obstacle to...because somebody would have to do it before a donation could be made, I would think.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
It came up a little while ago. Let's say a facility does have that position; how does it work in practice, in real time? If someone is deceased and there's a sense that certain organs are healthy enough, how is contact made with potential recipients? I can't visualize how this whole process works.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I will begin by sort of echoing Mr. Attaran's comments in saying that, in Canada, drinking water is generally of good quality, with the exception, of course, of the drinking water in many rural or first nations communities.
Bill C-326 does not address the issue of boil water advisories in first nations and other communities. Resolving these issues requires a political will, a significant commitment of financial resources and highly likely, in my opinion, new governance structures in some cases. Fortunately, the government is dealing with this challenge with great determination, and so far, the results have been promising.
When any changes are made to the drinking water standard development system, we must make sure not to unduly increase the burden on Health Canada or, perhaps more importantly, on public water services and their operators. To do otherwise would be counterproductive to achieving the objective of Bill C-326, which aims to reduce Canadians' exposure to harmful contaminants in drinking water. Interfering in how Health Canada and public water services are fulfilling their mandate of providing quality drinking water unintentionally compromises the quality of our drinking water.
Bill C-326 aims to be a small practical step. It's objective is to modestly increase the rigour and accountability of the process of developing Canada's guidelines for drinking water quality, hopefully resulting in Canadians being able to access the best drinking water in the world on an ongoing basis, even as new contaminants are identified over the long term.
The bill seeks to do this by requiring Health Canada to systematically scan the international environment to compare Canada's drinking water guidelines with those of other comparable nations, and report on discrepancies. Such an exercise would provide the public, NGOs, and the media with the information needed to judge whether the government is being timely and thorough in recommending maximum allowable concentrations for contaminants in drinking water.
Bill C-326 is inspired by the work of the environmental NGO Ecojustice, namely by its report entitled “Waterproof”, which is a report card on Canada's drinking water guidelines in comparison to those of the U.S., Australia, and European Union countries and guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.
According to the report, published in 2014, there are 189 substances regulated in other countries for which Canada has no standard. This gap, however, is justifiable in 84 cases, where Canada has either banned a particular substance or the substance is otherwise not in use here. That leaves 105 substances that are regulated in at least one other country, but for which a guideline does not exist in this country. For example, Canada lacks a guideline for styrene, a possible human carcinogen, but the U.S., Australia, and the World Health Organization have set maximum allowable limits for this substance in drinking water.
Furthermore, according to the Ecojustice report, there are 27 substances for which Canada has the weakest standard of the countries that do have standards, or is tied for the weakest standard. For example, the standard for the herbicide 2,4-D is 1.5 to 3 times stronger in other countries than it is in Canada.
It is important, in my view, to note the distinction between microbial pathogens known to cause human disease through drinking water, and contaminants that, because of their low concentration, pose very little risk to human health. This doesn't mean that low-risk contaminants should not be assigned maximum allowable concentrations. This should be done on precautionary grounds, in my view. However, care must also be taken to avoid diverting plant operator attention from those pathogens that provide a clear, quick, and certain risk of harm if not properly monitored and controlled in drinking water systems.
There may be legitimate reasons why a Canadian guideline remains weaker than that of another comparable country. Guidelines are a function of risk, and risk depends on many factors. A contaminant's presence—arsenic would be an example—may pose an insignificant risk in a particular geographic area, and thus, pouring large sums into eliminating that risk could come at the expense of other important health priorities. To quote Dr. Steve Hrudey in a paper he wrote for the C.D. Howe Institute:
...there needs to be acceptance...of the reality that all risks to drinking water safety are not equal and that drinking water treatment strategies must address the important risks before limited resources are substantially diverted to dealing with the hypothetical issues.
Some believe we should move further in the direction of a cookbook or numerical approach to regulating drinking water as in, for example, the U.S. with its stricter emphasis on legally binding standards for drinking water contaminants. However, it may be better, and in line with emerging international practice, to put a strong emphasis on ensuring the highest operational standards in water utilities. To again quote Dr. Hrudey, speaking of over 70 case studies of outbreaks since 1974 from 15 different affluent nations:
Despite having the most detailed and onerous regulatory regime for drinking water in the world, the US accounted for 23 of the 70 disease outbreaks....
Owing to our constitutional division of responsibilities with respect to drinking water, where the provinces select guidelines to enforce, our system of regulating drinking water has built-in flexibility that prevents an over-reliance on a rigid numerical approach at the expense of focusing on ensuring good operational standards in drinking-water plants. While stricter guidelines can be recommended, provinces can decide on their relevance given local conditions and other factors to be considered in evaluating risk.
Canadians have the right to know how Canada's drinking-water guidelines measure up against international standards and whether there are valid reasons for any observed discrepancies. Such analysis could prove transformative for the process of updating Canada's drinking-water guidelines.
Bill C-326 thus imposes a statutory requirement on the government to conduct a comprehensive analysis of Canada's drinking-water guidelines in comparison with international standards and report on the results.
Specifically, Bill C-326 would require the health minister, within three months after the end of each calendar year, to conduct a review of the drinking water standards in OECD member countries in the previous year, and prepare a report on the review. The minister would be required to table the report before the House and Senate essentially within 15 days of the report's completion. The report would also have to be published on the department's website within 30 days from the day the report is laid before the House and Senate. If the Minister of Health is of the view that standards in an OECD country provide for a higher level of water quality than the Canadian guidelines and that it would be in the interests of Canadians that those guidelines be amended accordingly, the minister would be required to include such a recommendation in his or her report.
Bill C-326 creates a process analogous to the one by which pesticide regulations are updated in Canada. Subsection 17(2) of the Pest Control Products Act states:
...when a member country of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development prohibits all uses of an active ingredient for health or environmental reasons, the Minister shall initiate a special review of registered pest control products containing that active ingredient.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
No, I don't think that would be terribly consequential in terms of undermining the objective of the bill.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
That's a good question. I'm not sure what the practical impact would be. If the practical impact were essentially to get away from looking at countries that are comparable to Canada and that have strict standards, then I would be a little more reticent. I'm not sure which agencies you're referring to, or the government would be referring to. I understand that some countries' situations may not be truly comparable to Canada's. For example, we may be talking about tropical countries that, in some cases, have different situations with regards to contaminants that may be linked to climate and so on. I can understand where it would not be useful to make comparisons with those countries. However, my only caveat is not to provide the minister with so much discretion that the bill really has no teeth. I don't know if there's a workable compromise that could still allow the bill to have meaning, but I understand that we don't want to overburden Health Canada with making comparisons that are not necessarily relevant.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I agree that they're not mutually exclusive at all. Yes, we need to make the investments in first nations water systems that will eliminate boil water advisories. Typically, when you're looking at boil water advisories in first nations, you're not dealing with the long-term contaminants that are low risk. You're dealing with the contaminants that can cause sickness very quickly and they tend to be microbial contaminants, of course, so they're not mutually exclusive at all. To Dr. Hrudey's analogy, yes, if I'm going to fly in a plane, I want the best pilot, but I also want the plane to have been built to the highest standards, even for those items on the plane that are maybe not essential to keeping it in the air. You know that when the audio visual system goes down, you sometimes wonder what else is wrong with the plane, so I don't think they're mutually exclusive at all.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
The main issue is not to compromise the operations of drinking water systems—and this is to Dr. Hrudey's point—by imposing so many numerical standards to meet that somehow these become overwhelming for operators. I think that's a very good point, but I think the beauty of our federation, if you will, or our constitutional division of powers, in this particular case, is that the federal government can make recommendations and provinces can decide whether to adopt certain standards based on a number of factors. There's flexibility built into our system that should prevent this bill from having unintended consequences.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
You really put your finger on it when you said that Health Canada does an excellent job at developing standards, or recommending standards, but that its transparency can always be enhanced. I think that's really the purpose of this bill. It's not to cast doubt on the good work that Health Canada does; we know that Health Canada is an international leader. But we need a way of keeping a check on the level of Health Canada's excellence, if you will, so that Canadians, NGOs, and the media can see whether it is operating up to its own standards of excellence. One could see a situation where funding constraints may lead to Health Canada's work being, perhaps, a little less rigorous, and so on.
The point of this bill is really to require some accountability on the part of Health Canada as to whether it's fully carrying out its mandate to do international comparisons. That's really the purpose. It's not to cast doubt on Health Canada.
I would like to comment on your remarks on the U.S. system. I know that the U.S. system relies a lot on legally enforceable contaminant guidelines, but that's not really what I want to look at. They have a different system in that respect, but they do have a system wherein they have what's called the “contaminant candidate list”. Every five years the EPA is required to select at least five contaminants from the contaminant list and make decisions on whether to regulate those contaminants—and they can decide not to. It's a way of keeping the system dynamic and forward-looking.
I'm wondering whether you think this bill, by just requiring Health Canada to look more closely at the comparisons it's making internationally, would not set in motion that kind of forward-looking process or outlook.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I call the meeting to order.
This is meeting number 46 of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.
We finished our witness hearings; last night we had our last set of witnesses. Tonight is our big open-mic evening here in Ottawa. We've had open-mic sessions all over the country. We spent about three and a half weeks travelling the country.
We have crossed the country and visited the three territories and 10 provinces. At each stop, we heard from witnesses but also set aside time to listen to comments from the public.
We will do the same thing today.
We're going to basically use the formula we used on the road when we had public open-mic sessions.
Those of you who wish to speak have registered, which is great. Essentially, each person at the mic has two minutes. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it has worked very well everywhere we've gone.
I'll call two people up to the mic. At any given time we'll have two people at the mics, the person speaking and the person waiting to speak. The person waiting to speak can gather their thoughts, and when the person speaking is finished, we'll go to the person who's waiting. Then we'll call another person up to the mic that's free, and they can wait for their turn.
We have, to start off, Ms. Helen Johansen and Mr. Mark Batten-Carew.
Go ahead, Ms. Johansen, please, for two minutes.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I've heard that.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Johansen.
I call Mr. Stephen Nickerson to mic number 1.
I have a couple of cards here. From time to time, when there's about 20 seconds' time remaining, if we're really going over time, I'll put up the yellow card. That will be followed, at some point, by the red card, which signals that time is up.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Green means go. At the start, it's a green light.
We'll give the green light for two minutes to Mr. Batten-Carew.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I just have a little note of caution to speakers. The interpreters have to keep up. I understand you want to get it all into two minutes, but we'll give you a little flexibility for the sake of the interpreters. Every now and then, I can tell that they're struggling. Thank you very much.
Also, we are in a House of Commons committee room, and the formal rules of committee proceedings apply. That means there cannot be any pictures until the gavel comes down at the end of the meeting. If you could respect that rule, that would be greatly appreciated.
I call Mr. Christopher Wilson to mic number two, please.
Mr. Nickerson, go ahead, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Nickerson.
I'll call Gerald Ackerman to mic number one.
Now we'll hear from Christopher Wilson, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
You threw us for a loop there.
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: Mr. Wilson, unfortunately, the format doesn't lend itself to that, but I'll take a stab at it. We travelled across the country and we heard that a great many people would like to see their vote better reflected in the seat count of the House of Commons, but it's a highly technical issue. We've learned about different voting systems that typically aren't discussed and about experiences in other countries. I think you'll find our report full of interesting facts and insights.
We'll go to Mr. Ackerman, and I'll ask Bradley Mullen to come to mic number two, please.
Go ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
David Shostal—
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you for letting us know. I was wondering where; it was in your riding.
Thank you for being here, Mr. Ackerman.
Go ahead, Mr. Mullen.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
As a point of information, when we are travelling, typically a committee holds hearings during the day and travels at night. We travelled in the morning so that we could hold hearings in the afternoon and evening, so that people who were working could come out in the evening. I guess some people prefer the afternoon, but it was an attempt to open it up to as many people as possible. That's the reason.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I call Mr. Denzil Feinberg to mic number two, please.
We'll go to Mr. Shostal.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Shostal.
I'd call Mr. Cosgrove to mic number one while we give the floor to Mr. Feinberg.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Ian MacDonald may advance to mic number two, and we'll hear from Mr. Paul Cosgrove.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Cosgrove.
I ask Mr. Andrew Madill to come to mic number one.
Mr. MacDonald, you have the floor.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Not really. It's not the format.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
You can still ask it. It's just that we're not going to get into a conversation. Ask it rhetorically, if you'd like.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I don't believe the society was for a referendum.
The point is well taken. It's important that people be adequately informed. We'll leave the timelines to the committee's report, but it's important to engage the public. This is why we're doing this and why we've had hearings both in Ottawa and across the country.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Thompson, could you please go to mic number two?
Now we'll hear from Mr. Madill.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Madill.
I would invite Roderick Ramsden to mic number one.
Mr. Thompson, please go ahead. You have two minutes.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Thompson.
I would mention, though, this committee is a consultative committee and not a decision-making committee, so those decisions will belong to the government. We will be making recommendations, but we won't be making those kinds of decisions.
Ms. Darian Bittle, please go to mic number two.
Mr. Ramsden, it's your turn.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Ramsden.
Mr. David Gibbons, please come to mic number one.
Ms. Bittle, go ahead, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Harding, please come to mic number two.
Mr. Gibbons, go ahead, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Is Mr. Harding in the room? No.
Ms. Chelsea Mahon and also Ms. Emma McLennan, please both come to the mics.
Go ahead, Ms. Mahon.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I must say you're all respecting the time limits.
Is Ms. McLennan here? No.
Okay, is Mr. Carley here?
Go ahead, sir. Mr. Redins, please go to the mic.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, it's come up many times in our hearings.
Okay, thank you.
Mr. Redins, I'll call Mr. Gussow to mic number two while you speak.
Go ahead, sir.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Andrea Strathdee, go to mic number one, please.
Mr. Gussow, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Gussow.
Mr. Martin Laplante, proceed to mic number two, please.
Go ahead, Ms. Strathdee.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Jerry Dan Kovacs, please go to mic number one.
Go ahead, Mr. Laplante.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you for your remarks.
Could Sharon Reeves come to microphone number 2?
Go ahead, Jerry Dan Kovaks.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Jay Fallis, please go to mic number one.
Ms. Reeves, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. McKinnon, you'll go after Mr. Fallis.
Go ahead, Mr. Fallis.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Ted Cragg, please go to microphone two while we listen to MP Ron McKinnon.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. McKinnon.
I'd invite Jon Legg to mic number one, and we'll give the floor to Mr. Ted Cragg.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Lavergne, please come to mic number two.
Mr. Legg, go ahead, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Gary Corbett, please go to mic number one.
Mr. Lavergne, nice to see you again.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Okay. Next are Mr. Corbett and Mr. Lucas Holtvluwer, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Holtvluwer—am I pronouncing it properly?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'll call Mr. Michael Mallett to go to mic number one, and Mr. Holtvluwer can now proceed.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Would Jean-Nicholas Martineau please come to mic number 2?
Now it's Michael Mallett's turn to speak.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Carl Stieren, please go to the mic.
Go ahead, Mr. Martineau.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Martineau.
Jon Westlund, please go to mic number two.
Mr. Stieren, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Carole Bezaire, please go to mic number one.
Mr. Westlund, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Ms. Aurora Arrioja, please go to the mic.
Go ahead, Ms. Bezaire.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, we met him in Quebec City.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Bezaire, for attentively following our committee's work. It is greatly encouraging.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Ms. Olsen, please come forward.
First we'll hear from Ms. Arrioja.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Is Ms. Olsen here? Please come to the mic. You will be followed by Ms. Sonia Smee.
I'll let you go ahead, Ms. Olsen.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Is Mr. Alan White here? Would you come to mic number one, please?
Go ahead, Ms. Smee.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you. We'll have to—
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Well, the yellow card came late.
Go ahead, you've got another 10 to 15 seconds, but then we'll have to move on.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Is Mr. Matthew Hauch in the room?
Go ahead, Mr. White.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. White.
Is Mr. Hauch here, Matthew Hauch?
Mr. Joel Charbonneau and Mr. Julian Potvin-Bernal are next.
Welcome, Mr. Charbonneau. Go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Charbonneau.
Is Mr. Clive Doucet here tonight?
Could you come to mic number one, Mr. Doucet?
Go ahead, Mr. Potvin-Bernal.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Potvin-Bernal.
Mr. Doucet, it's nice to have you here tonight.
It's Clive Doucet, the councillor and writer.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Doucet.
Next are Mr. Cardozo and Mr. Lamarche.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'll invite Teresa Legrand to the mic.
Now it's time for Mr. Lamarche.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Eric McCabe, please go to mic number two.
We'll hear now from Ms. Legrand.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Ms. LeGrand.
I'd invite Daniel Horn to mic number one while we listen to Mr. McCabe.
Go ahead, sir.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. McCabe.
Would Colin Betts come to mic two, please?
Mr. Horn, go ahead; you have two minutes.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Andrew Hodgson, please go to the mic, but first we'll hear from Mr. Betts.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I'd ask Mr. Brett Hodnett to come to mic number two.
Mr. Hodgson, the floor is yours.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Marlene Koehler, please go to the mic.
Mr. Hodnett, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Nathan Hauch, please come to mic number two.
Ms. Koehler, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Ms. Koehler.
Before we go to Mr. Hauch, I'd like Mr. Gullon to come to mic number one.
Go ahead, Mr. Hauch.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Hauch.
Mr. Christopher Mahon, please go to the other mic.
Mr. Gullon, go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, and thank you for your consideration for the interpreters. I'm sure they appreciate it.
Ms. Ann-Marie Balasubramaniam, please go to a mic.
Go ahead, Mr. Mahon.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
But in Canada, it's that everyone gets to have their say.
Go ahead.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
Mr. Schioler, please go to the mic.
Now we'll go to Ms. Balasubramaniam.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Well, when you have a name like Scarpaleggia....
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I'd ask Mr. Adam Houblen to come to mic number one.
Now we'll hear from Mr. Schioler.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
The subject has come up quite a bit in the hearings, both on the road and here in Ottawa. Some have said we should follow the New Zealand example of two referenda prior to a change and then one after the change to give approval or not to that change. Some have said, for example, that the 60% threshold in the B.C. referendum was arbitrary and too high, so some extent, yes, people have touched on the details, but it has revolved mostly around the principle of a referendum.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Finally, last but not least, we'll hear from Mr. Houblen, please.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Houblen.
I'd like to thank everyone here tonight and those who came to the mics to share your considered views. Thank you also for respecting the time limits, which allowed for a full and orderly discussion.
To the committee members, we meet again tomorrow morning at 7:45 a.m.
We will reconvene tomorrow at 7:45 a.m.
Thank you to the participants for their comments and participation.
We hope that you will carefully read our report, which must be tabled by December 1.
The meeting is adjourned.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
We are beginning our 43rd meeting of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. If I'm not mistaken, this is the last meeting in which we will hear from witnesses. So we are reaching the end of this stage, which has been extremely interesting and during which we have learned a great deal about electoral systems. We have had an opportunity to hear from many Canadians in our tour of the country.
Today, we are hearing from five groups of witnesses who will have 10 minutes each for their presentations.
From the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, we are welcoming R. Bruce Fitch, the interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick.
Welcome, Mr. Fitch.
We also have Jerome Dias, the national president of Unifor.
A voice: “Jerome” Dias?
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Jerry: okay, got it. Well, I'll call you “Mr.” Dias—
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: —being as we're in committee and so on.
As an individual, we have Professor Arthur Lupia of the department of political science at the University of Michigan. He is joining us tonight by video conference from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Thank you for being before the committee and sharing your views and knowledge on the issue with us. We appreciate it very much.
From CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, we have Wanda Morris, chief operating officer and vice-president of advocacy, and we have Wade Poziomka, director of policy and general counsel of advocacy.
Then, from the Canadian Armed Forces, we have Gordon Dave Corbould, commanding officer of the Joint Personnel Support Unit, and we have Deputy Judge Advocate General Vihar Joshi, administrative law.
We have a great lineup this evening. It should be very interesting. There should be a great deal to learn from all of you. Of course, we'll be interacting through questions and answers. The way it works is that after all the witnesses have done their presentations, we'll have one round of questions and each member will have seven minutes to engage with the witnesses. At the seven-minute mark, unfortunately, we'll have to move on to the next questioner. That doesn't prevent you from addressing an issue that has been asked about later on when you have the floor if you didn't get a chance to respond because of the time limits.
Without any further ado, we'll start with Mr. Bruce Fitch for 10 minutes, please.
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