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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good evening or afternoon, everyone. I call this meeting to order. This is the 10th meeting for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
For some very quick housekeeping, if members would like to speak, please unmute yourself. If you're not speaking, please make sure that you're on mute. When you are speaking, please speak slowly and clearly so that's there's no lag in interpretation.
We'll get right into it. We have our witnesses, as we consider clause-by-clause for Bill C-7, from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health. Members are obviously welcome to ask questions of them. I will name them very quickly. We have Carole Morency, Joanne Klineberg and Caroline Quesnel. They are from the Department of Justice. From the Department of Health, we have Abby Hoffman, Sharon Harper and Karen Kusch.
Very quickly, before we go into clause-by-clause of Bill C-7, there was a question that the clerk had asked me with respect to Mr. Cooper's motion to allow for briefs past the November 12 deadline. I am seeking clarity from members as to when we should stop receiving briefs. Right now we don't have an end date.
Mr. Cooper, would you like to speak to that?
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Chair, I think we should continue to accept briefs until these hearings conclude.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. Thank you. That was the direction I needed.
Are there any members who want to say something?
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-23 18:37
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I have a point of order, Madam Chair.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Just give us one second, Mr. Moore. We're just dealing with a technical challenge here.
Thank you very much for that.
Just to clarify what Mr. Cooper said, the written briefs for Bill C-7 should be allowed until the end of our consideration of clause-by-clause. Is that correct, Mr. Cooper?
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
Actually, I don't see any reason briefs couldn't continue to be submitted even after.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. Does anybody have any—
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
I don't know that I have a specific date, other than to say that we should continue to allow briefs to be submitted to the committee for our benefit. Even after clause-by-clause, if it's going back to the House, I don't know that there would be any prejudice in.... Why would there be any issue with briefs continuing to be submitted for members to reference?
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Specifically, the briefs we're talking about are in reference to Bill C-7.
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
Right.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Once a brief is submitted to the clerk, there's a whole process of translation that also has to happen.
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
Yes, I understand that, but I guess at this point I'm just suggesting we allow maximum flexibility.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Right, and that's exactly why everybody voted in support of your motion at the last meeting. The question from the clerk was whether there was going to be an end date to the briefs that were submitted on Bill C-7.
Mr. Moore, is that on this question?
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-23 18:38
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No, Madam Chair, it's on another matter.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
Then we'll go to Mr. Virani, if that's okay.
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View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Arif Virani Profile
2020-11-23 18:39
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Madam Chair, I would submit that we should receive the briefs until we have concluded the clause-by-clause review of the bill. Presumably, the purpose of submitting briefs to the committee is so that the committee members can use them to inform the positions they take on the various amendments. After that time, this is reported back to the House and obviously stakeholders can submit whatever information they want to all 338 members of Parliament. They can also avail themselves of the study that will take place in the Senate on the bill.
Sending them to the committee after the bill has left the committee and been reported back to the House, to my mind, would not be useful.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thanks, Mr. Virani.
Mr. Maloney, is this on the same issue?
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View James Maloney Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, it is, Madam Chair.
Very simply, Mr. Virani said what I was thinking. I agree with Mr Cooper's intention. I agree that there is no prejudice. The flip side is of course that we don't want to be disrespectful to anybody who is submitting a brief. If it's submitted after the clause-by-clause examination is concluded and there is an expectation that the committee is still in a position to review it, I don't want them to be misled. That's all. I think, therefore, we need to be conscientious regarding their intent.
Thank you.
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View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
I think that's reasonable. I will leave it at that.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Is it the will of the committee, then, to stop receiving written submissions once we have completed clause-by-clause?
Let me see a thumbs-up from everybody, if that's the case.
Perfect. Thank you very much, everyone.
Mr. Moore, I believe you had a point of order.
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-23 18:40
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Yes. Our staff are to be able to phone in. Apparently there is a phone line they use to follow the proceedings, and we're each able to have one staff person on it. I am told by a couple of them that they are unable to connect right now.
Could someone look into the technical issue they are having in trying to follow in real time with us? I know there are two or three from the Conservative party. I don't know whether the other parties are experiencing the same thing.
Could we get that addressed so that we can have them fully engage with what's happening?
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Moore.
Are there other members whose staff are experiencing the same problems?
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View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
My staff member also says the line is dead, Madam Chair.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
IT is looking into it right now.
The phone lines have been activated. If you want to have them try again—
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-23 18:42
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Yes, it's working now.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you for raising that, Mr. Moore.
(On clause 1)
The Chair: Now that everybody has been sorted out, we left off at the last meeting in a bit of confusion around the language of amendment NDP-2. My understanding is that at around five o'clock today, revised language was submitted. Would members be comfortable if we subbed in this language to replace what was discussed under amendment NDP-2 at the last meeting?
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View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-23 18:43
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I'm just curious. Notwithstanding the fact that it is amendment NDP-2, and I respect that, I'm curious because it now becomes a Liberal amendment. Is it still an NDP amendment to Bill C-7, a Liberal-NDP amendment or a Liberal amendment?
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
My understanding is that because the original amendment was moved by Mr. Garrison and what happened at the last meeting was that there were some friendly amendments that Mr. Virani attempted to provide, and then some confusion caused with respect to the language of the friendly amendments, this is what the friendly amendments now look like.
I'm suggesting to committee members that we just use this language to continue the debate on amendment NDP-2. I believe all members have it in front of them.
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View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-11-23 18:44
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Thank you, Madam Chair.
Just for clarification, this stays as amendment NDP-2. It is an NDP amendment. Is that correct?
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, that is my understanding.
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