Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 9 of 9
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I just want to note that we had close to 45 minutes of sound checks and then 10 minutes of explanation on how to use Zoom, so I hope that can be rectified in the future just so that we have more time to question the government and scrutinize this issue.
I would like to start with a couple of housekeeping items.
I note that we invited the Minister of Industry to this committee. The Minister of Industry has not appeared before this committee at all in this Parliament, and we're quite a few months away from the election at this point in time. Even though he's been invited several times, it's always been told to this committee that he's not available or that he can't find time in his schedule. I find that completely unacceptable.
I hope that my colleagues on the government side share my concern that he has elected to not find time to be accountable to this committee at all. As such, pursuant to section 1(n) of the motion passed in the House of Commons on Saturday, April 11, I move:
That the Minister of Innovation appear before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology at any time that accommodates his schedule before April 30th for a meeting of 2 hours on the subject of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collapse
View Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, so they're obviously amenable to coming and, of course, the Minister of Industry should come before this committee.
Collapse
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Chair, if I may, "the coming weeks" is not acceptable. It's been months since the election. The minister has not appeared before us for things like estimates and his mandate letter, and he is a key member of the COVID-19 response cabinet committee. If we're talking about his coming in weeks, I can't imagine somebody sitting at home in their lockdown right now going, “Well, he can't find time for weeks.” It is completely unacceptable. He needs to be before this committee before April 30.
I am willing to meet whenever he wants to meet. I don't care if it's two in the morning at this point in time. He needs to get before this committee. It is ridiculous that he has not been here. Weeks is not acceptable. Brushing this committee off is not acceptable, especially when what the government said last week was that somehow we were going to be able to do Parliament virtually, and then to have the minister just blow us off.... He needs to be here for two full hours before next Thursday. It's ridiculous. I don't want to hear any excuses from him that he can't make a certain time or that a teleconference isn't going to work. Find the time and get here. That is the nature of this motion.
Collapse
View Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, I agree that the minister should attend next week. It would be ideal. We have Minister Ng here today. We should, I think, have the industry and innovation minister before us in the first few meetings that we have to set the course for our work.
I would object a little bit to the framing of this. As anyone who follows parliamentary process knows, we didn't really hit the ground running with this committee until the end of January, and we have not had all that many meetings of actual work, frankly, other than planning meetings.
I don't know that there has been any delay previously from the minister. Blowing us off, I think, is overstating the case, but I do agree with Ms. Rempel Garner that Minister Bains should attend this committee, and I agree that he should attend next week.
Collapse
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
I'll just interject one last time and say this. The minister actually has blown us off. He has not found time to appear on the estimates. He hasn't been before this committee at all, and we have had meetings that he could have attended.
Certainly it is within the purview of our committee to say we will accommodate him whenever he wants to attend. It just needs to happen before next week. It's too much at this point.
Collapse
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Again, is there any further debate on this?
What we can do is move to adopt the motion to invite the minister to appear.
Would all those in favour raise their hands, please.
Collapse
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Chair, on a point of order, I believe that the motion passed in the House of Commons requires a recorded vote on motions related to the witness, so I call for a recorded vote.
Thank you.
(Motion agreed to: yeas 10; nays 1 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
Collapse
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
I move:
That the Standing Committee on International Trade recommend that Canada declare a reservation from Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for all measures concerning water, including water in its natural state and as a public trust and that this be reported to the House.
Mr. Chair, that's my motion, and I would like to take a few minutes to talk about it.
First of all, the committee has already recognized the importance of declaring a reservation in terms of water. That was done in 2007, when the Bloc Québécois introduced a motion before the committee. The committee then passed the motion and the committee's report was sent to the House of Commons. And, Mr. Chair, as you well know, the House of Commons unanimously passed the Bloc Québécois motion. So, this committee has already said in the past that it was important to declare a reservation from chapter 11, for all measures concerning water.
Given the committee's history and the fact that on June 4, 2007, we had a clear vote from the House of Commons, with Liberals, Bloc, and NDP voting in favour of the motion that came out of the committee report from the international trade committee in this regard, I am hoping we can get unanimous support for the motion today.
I'm not going to take too much time, but I think it's important to bring forward some of the arguments. All committee members have heard some of the comments from the AbitibiBowater hearings a few weeks ago. The witnesses were very clear in raising the importance of this issue.
I want to take the time to read a speech by Navdeep Bains, who is the member for Mississauga—Brampton South. He was the Liberal trade critic at the time. He spoke in the House of Commons on Thursday, May 31, 2007. This is what he said about the very same motion that was adopted by the committee in 2007. He said that he was supporting it. The Liberal Party, as you know, did support the motion. He said the following:
“Whereas Canada's water resources must be protected;
“Whereas a simple agreement by exchange of letters among the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico specifying that water is not covered by NAFTA must be respected by international tribunals as if it were an integral part of NAFTA;”
That is very straightforward. It is not complicated. This report really emerged out of a discussion that we had with respect to the security-prosperity partnership.
We had multiple meetings on that subject matter where we discussed this initiative, and the initiative Mr. Bains raised was brought forth in 2005 by the former prime minister, the former member for LaSalle—Émard.
Mr. Bains then went on to talk about a particular committee witness who had spoken to this issue--
Collapse
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Through you, Mr. Chair, I'll assure Mr. Keddy that I have no intention of filibustering. But I do think it's important to put on the record Mr. Bains' comments in regard to a very similar motion that was brought forward and passed by this trade committee.
I'm going to read a few more paragraphs, and then I know that Mr. Laforest has what I believe will be considered a friendly amendment. Hopefully, other members of the committee will want to wade in.
Mr. Bains continued:
During that particular meeting, an individual from Alberta was speaking to the very important subject matter of bulk water. Although he was completely on topic, because the security-prosperity partnership is such a wide ranging initiative, as I...described earlier, the chair--
--not you, Mr. Chair, but the former chair--
--abruptly stopped the meeting and walked out. It was unfortunate that the parliamentary secretary did the same thing--
--not this parliamentary secretary, but a former parliamentary secretary--
--and accompanied him out. I would have expected better of him. It was very disappointing to see that.
Again, speaking of Mr. Bains' comments in the House of Commons, he said:
As I have indicated before, the Liberal Party does not support the bulk water export diversion and commoditization of Canada's water resources. That is our clear-cut position.
That's the Liberal Party position. He said:
I will tell the House why we supported this motion in committee. As I alluded to before, I was very disappointed with the government's behaviour with respect to how it conducted itself in committee by not allowing witnesses to express their thoughts. The idea of committee hearings is to get a wide range of viewpoints on various subject matters, [and this] is one of those key issues that need...to be discussed in committee.
Mr. Bains continued:
I have articulated before the position of the Liberal Party on bulk water, which is very clear. The Liberal Party does not support the bulk water export diversion and commoditization of Canada's water resources, plain and simple.
Mr. Chair, I raised those points from Mr. Bains' comments of May 31, 2007 because the motion before the committee is a replica of the committee's motion that was adopted back in 2007, that was brought to the House and which received support. Of course, it was a Bloc motion, but it received support from the Liberal Party and the NDP.
I'm suggesting that, given that it's World Water Day, it would be very appropriate for this committee to adopt this motion and forward it to the House for discussion, in light of our hearings on AbitibiBowater, and in light of very clear indications from a number of witnesses that the AbitibiBowater compensation does open up in a very wide range the possibility of chapter 11 provisions being used by companies that are seeking compensation for water rights that belong in the public domain.
That is why I brought forward this motion. I certainly hope it receives support from all members of this committee.
Collapse
Results: 1 - 9 of 9

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data