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Results: 1 - 30 of 56
Serge Joyal
View Serge Joyal Profile
Hon. Serge Joyal
2016-01-26 18:06
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Thank you, Mr. Joint Chair.
Welcome, Mr. Pelletier.
I would like to talk to you about item 2, which is titled “Mature Minors.” That is on page 54 of your report.
As you know, the Carter decision refers to competent adults. Yesterday, your colleague, Professor Hogg, said that there can be different ages of majority in the Criminal Code. In other words, people can reach the age of majority at 21, 18 or 16 years of age.
The Carter decision established that a competent adult had the right to physician-assisted death. I think that Parliament is not limited by that decision or by a strict interpretation of the definition of an adult. It is Parliament's duty to define what the mental capacity of an individual to express their decision and intention should be.
Setting aside what you noted in your report—especially when it comes to Ontario's Health Care Consent Act, 1996, which does not specify the age at which a minor can express their agreement or disagreement with a treatment—as a law professor, can you suggest what approach the committee should use to define the age of accessibility?
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Serge Joyal
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Hon. Serge Joyal
2016-01-26 18:10
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So should we not follow the same procedure as Ontario's Health Care Consent Act, 1996, which has been in practice for 20 years and which basically leaves practicians—the professionals—the role or responsibility to decide on the individual's mental capacity in the case of those referred to as “below the adult age of 18 or 21”?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 18:25
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Thank you.
Thank you for being here, and thank you for the work you've done.
I want to return briefly to the question that Mr. Rankin asked you earlier with regard to the proposition that Professor Hogg put to us yesterday. I want to get your view as a lawyer and constitutional scholar as well about the authority that the Canada Health Act gives to the Parliament of Canada to act and to move in areas if the provinces or territories do not act.
I think what Professor Hogg was saying was not that we should assume that the provinces wouldn't act, but that we cannot assume that all of them will act and that all of them will act in a way that is consistent with Carter.
Does the Canada Health Act give this Parliament the authority to act in that situation?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 18:27
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To assure equality of access and opportunity, if that's the proper term—
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James S. Cowan
View James S. Cowan Profile
Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 18:27
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—there is a responsibility on the part of the federal Parliament.
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 18:28
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We're both going to be cut off here in a minute, but if I could just say this, I think Professor Hogg's answer to that was equivalency, meaning that there could be a declaration of equivalency if a province came up to a certain standard, even if they did it in a slightly different way. Would you agree with that?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 18:28
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It initially has to be amended accordingly.
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 19:00
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Thank you for being here, and thank you for your work.
In Carter, the terminology used was “grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual”. Do you see any reason to distinguish between mental illness and physical illness?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 19:02
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The courts have been very clear on that.
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 19:02
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I have one more question.
There's the business of conscientious objection. Nobody is trying to force anybody to participate in this process. That protects the practitioner, whether they're a physician or another medical professional. The corollary of that, in looking at it from the point of view of the patient, is how we ensure that there is what I would call an effective referral. That means something more than simply saying, “I can't be involved in this. You're on your own. Go and look it up on the Internet. Go call the medical society, and they may be able to help you”. Don't you agree that we need to design a regime that ensures there is a more effective referral than that?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 19:04
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That's the role of the regulatory authorities, the colleges of physicians and such?
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James S. Cowan
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Hon. James S. Cowan
2016-01-26 19:05
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Exactly. Can I just make sure that your comments would also apply to institutions?
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Serge Joyal
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Hon. Serge Joyal
2016-01-26 19:20
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I'd like to come back to your recommendation 17, where you propose that competence should be substituted for age as a criteria to have access to physician-assisted dying. Could you explain why you removed the age factor? It could apply below 21 years of age, but it would apply over 21 years of age also. If there's no age factor and no more adult status, then, of course, everything becomes a matter of evaluating the competence.
Could you explain why you proposed that approach to the issue of age as a criteria of eligibility?
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Serge Joyal
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Hon. Serge Joyal
2016-01-26 19:23
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If I may, I would like to come back to the issue of initial consent given by persons who become incompetent later in life. I would like to understand clearly the distinction between this and a will, whereby a person provides that in a case where the person is suffering from an accident or another disease and loses his autonomy, the person can decide to opt for somebody to consent that they not be maintained artificially in life. It is suicide, in a way, to decide that in such a condition you prefer to die.
What you've proposed, if I understand well, would mean that when a person is diagnosed with a disease or a physical or mental condition that is irremediable, that person could opt at some point in time to have somebody express consent to terminate their life. Do I understand well these conditions through which you would add to the capacity of a person to decide when that person would be dying at a point in life because her physical or mental condition would be totally irremediable?
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View David Christopherson Profile
NDP (ON)
Yes, at the risk of blowing up all this great kumbaya, the first thing I'd like to do is serve notice of a motion:That the Committee conduct a study into the provision of services to the House of Commons Liberal Caucus out of resources of the Senate of Canada in contravention of the Members By-Laws of the House of Commons since the 2011 election, and that in preparation for these hearings the Liberal Research Bureau provide to the Committee all organizational charts, all employment records (with personal information redacted), and all the briefing materials which were produced by employees of the Senate of Canada and then distributed to the Liberal House of Commons Caucus.
That now serves as notice, Chair. We'll deal with it at the appropriate time.
Mr. Mayrand, I'd like to deal right off the top with recent media reports regarding investigations that you may or may not be currently conducting. Certainly, if you read some of the media, you would be left with the impression that the NDP is specifically under investigation, and yet when we look at the recent letter that you sent to the Speaker, there isn't the word “investigation” nor “NDP” there.
I would ask you, sir, with respect, as much as you can in light of the confidentiality around your procedures of investigation, can you tell us whether or not it is indeed specifically only the NDP that is under some kind of investigation, or are you looking at the mailing system itself and therefore all the parties, or, indeed, is there nothing going on and everybody should move along as there's nothing here to see?
Perhaps you could help clarify, sir.
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View Ed Komarnicki Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Part of the issue here is that the motion requests us to study the practice and procedures for appealing a decision from the board of referees to the umpire, and we've strayed in many various different directions. Most of the evidence related to presentations to the board of referees in some of the issues they had with that aspect of it; I'm not sure that's actually within the purview of our study, but quite a bit of evidence was heard on that, so I'd like to pose a few questions on that to you.
One of the issues they were concerned about is that in the assignment of the cases, you might have a person coming before the board of referees who would have an obvious conflict with either the employer representative or the employee representative, which meant that they would have to disqualify themselves and the thing would then have to be reset. They'd have to find a new person because of this issue of conflict.
Now, it would seem to me it would be a relatively simple matter to resolve that issue by making the cases and the people who are sitting on the cases known much earlier. Whose purview would that be under? Is that under the department's purview, or would that be something that the commission would need to deal with to improve that area? Do you know?
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View Pat Martin Profile
NDP (MB)
View Pat Martin Profile
2010-05-13 15:56
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Just very briefly, I think what's worth noting and should be pointed out, Mr. Chairman, especially given the importance of this particular clause and how vehemently the NDP stands in opposition to these particular clauses, is that even though we're in a minority Parliament, and even though the composition of committees is such that it's supposed to reflect the membership of the parties in Parliament—in other words, committees are constituted in such a way that the opposition in fact has the majority at committees, and a vote like this would not normally carry, if all of the opposition parties brought all of their members to the committee today....
Now, the NDP brought all the members they're allowed to have, which is one, which is me. The Bloc Québécois is in full attendance; they're represented by both of the committee members they're allowed to have. For some reason, the Liberals are lacking one member of the committee.
Many of the important votes that we've just seen pass in a tie, with the chair breaking the tie—which is a rare occasion.... In fact, committees are constituted in such a way that a neutral chair is not often put in the position of having to break a tie. It's the exception, not the rule; yet we have just seen the chair vote in favour of a number of articles that the three opposition parties combined are opposed to. In any normal setting, that would mean that those clauses would not succeed, but would fail.
I think it's worth noting and putting on the record that the majority of Parliament is opposed to these very clauses that have been passing—hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of clauses that have been passing in the budget implementation bill. People can draw their own conclusion on the dynamics that are at play here, especially in terms of this one last part, part 24, dealing with the Employment Insurance Act. We've let the public down. We've let down the people who voted to send us here to Parliament, by not showing up for work to vote against the very clauses they sent us here to vote against.
So I'd like to see a recorded vote on part 24, and I'd like it duly noted that the opposition is not here in full numbers and that this is why these appalling clauses are in fact being passed at the committee stage.
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View Thomas Mulcair Profile
NDP (QC)
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2010-05-11 16:27
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, I'm going to make a general comment to thank all the environmental groups that have made their presentations here today. They were to the point and extraordinarily clear. They concerned the entirely foreseeable harmful effects of the amendments provided for under Bill C-9. What you said is entirely consistent with my analysis. My friend and colleague Linda Duncan, an NDP member from Alberta, was one of the first to sound the alarm on this subject.
I also want to tell you that your presence here today is essential. Last week, we heard from departmental representatives who tried to stuff our heads. They told us a lot of nonsense about the foreseeable effects of this legislation, and it's scandalous. We are elected members. We agree or we do not agree, we dispute but we do our jobs as best we can. On the other hand, officials, agency leaders, the people who are paid to serve the government—if we literally translated the English term, we could say functionaries—are supposed to be a little more neutral. However, neutrality comes more from your side because you have an enormous amount of experience. You examined the bill and you say it cannot produce the anticipated results.
I also take the liberty of thanking you particularly, Mr. Lindgren, for your comments on what you call “the red herring”. It's true that the feared duplication and overlapping of roles is nonsense.
When I was Quebec's minister of the environment, I had no difficulty signing agreements with the federal government. We brought together two members of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement and a federal government assessor. The results were excellent. The concerns that are expressed in piecemeal fashion by the Canadian right, that all this is too complicated and we have to try to simplify matters for the public, are nonsense and bunkum. It's not true.
What we have before us is an attempt to destroy a system that exists to protect future generations. Earlier I was listening to my friend and colleague Ms. Menzies, who said that last year an attempt was made to improve matters so that infrastructure spending would be done more quickly. In fact, they ruined a 100-year-old act respecting the protection of navigable waterways. That's what they did, period.
Now I want to come back to Mr. Lemelin, from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. I'd like to ask him whether he received a signal from the Liberal Party. The Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party share the idea that Part 15 must simply be deleted from Bill C-9. On the Liberal Party, you have a worthy representative of the left wing in Mr. Pacetti, of the centre in Mr. MacKay and of the extreme right in Ms. Hall Findlay. This will depend on the group that wins the internal battle. That's why I would like to know whether the people from the Liberal Party told you whether they were going to support you in the effort to delete Part 15 from the bill.
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View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, can we propose that we simply adopt routine motions?
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:38
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So the speaking order and rotation remain the same?
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View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Because one of the motions in particular does make reference to a desire to have the meetings with the minister televised, it would probably be nice if we at least talk about that motion.
I believe the other motions will probably be able to be dealt with rather quickly. If it looks like they're not going to be, I'd say we refer them over to a steering committee and we can discuss them another time. But if we can get them out of the way, it would be nice to start with just covering these motions and getting them done, if there's no discussion or not too much discussion around them.
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View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Instead of talking around this, let's get back to the simple motion that was put forward on that.
The other issue is around scheduling. We have a time for meetings, 3:30 to 5:30, and it's awkward with flights and getting back home to the ridings on Thursday evenings. I understand that, but those are our times. I have to say, from just a quick conference with the three of us, that we're not available at 6 o'clock next Tuesday. We're sort of stuck right now. We have to leave at 5:30. There's going to be difficulty with that.
But rather than referring things to a steering committee, we're here in this meeting right now, so let's try to deal with these motions and get past them, particularly since on the first one, which we felt was the big one, with the minister appearing and being televised.... If we could dispense with that together right now, I think that would be a more efficient use of our time than talking about it some other time.
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:48
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Absolutely. Thanks, Chair.
This is a very simple motion: That the committee immediately write to the Minister of the Environment to request that he appear before the committee on the estimates and the supplementary estimates and that those meetings be televised.
As I move this, I'd also like to ask a question of clarification or a point of order, Mr. Chair. The matter of inviting the minister to appear has to be passed by motion, I understand. The matter of having hearings televised must be passed by motion. Is that correct?
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:48
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All right. And that's why this motion has been brought.
The Chair: Very good.
Mr. David McGuinty: Going forward, then, Chair, just for clarification, if the minister were to appear again on other estimates or some other process, it would take another motion.
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:49
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Right. If he were to appear more than once, then on each occasion it would be televised.
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:49
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Right. It would be televised as a matter of course through this motion?
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:53
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Mr. Chair, just moments ago the government House leader said in the House, if I recall, that the government's prorogation annulled 22 sitting days in the House of Commons. One of the problems we're facing now, as we bottleneck towards the work that's been presented by Mr. Warawa, or the motion that I presented...we're bottlenecked because 22 days of working time has evaporated.
We have until March 23. I can't recall how many sitting days that is. It's generous of the minister to offer us one hour between now and the 23rd. We are sitting next week, the constituency week, the March break week, our children's week, because the Prime Minister decided to have this House of Commons sit. So I'm asking the chair here, perhaps with a letter to the minister, to explore the possibility that we don't have to simply meet with the minister during normal sitting times of this committee. There are all kinds of flexible times in which the minister can join us. We have many days from now until the 23rd, and I'm sure the minister's schedule is not so busy that he can't give us more than one hour in the next....
By calculation, Mr. Chair, how many sitting days do we have until the 23rd?
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View David McGuinty Profile
Lib. (ON)
View David McGuinty Profile
2010-03-11 15:54
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Okay. Perhaps in your letter you could express the situation with the committee for the minister. I'm sure the minister will want to accommodate this, and I suspect most of us would want to accommodate that flexibility here.
But as for Tuesday night, we know we have votes, Monday night we have votes, and I have another event at six o'clock sharp that has been booked for months, so I've got to be out of here probably at 5:20, Mr. Chair.
That's my suggestion. You may want to take that into consideration when you write to the minister going forward.
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2010-03-10 16:18
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Is probably not enough.
To be honest, I don't mind if we could even take a committee meeting that starts at 3:30, if it were possible. I wouldn't even mind going into the evening to try to get through a fair bit of work, but that's up to the committee to decide.
I do think that before the break week, which starts Easter Monday, we absolutely have to meet on the hog crisis for a couple of meetings. We need to give some direction to the government. We need to hear from the industry where it's at. We're losing farmers every day.
On the SRM issue, which has been on the go a long time, unless somebody can tell us where the government's at.... I do know of two plants that are in trouble over SRM. I don't want to end up meeting some of these people on the Easter break week, wondering why in the hell we're not anywhere on the issue. I really do think it's urgent that we deal with at least those two questions specifically, the SRM removal and the hog industry question, right off the bat so that we can make some recommendations to the minister.
Just a question. Pierre's not here, but maybe somebody.... When do we have to have the estimates dealt with?
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