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Results: 1 - 15 of 85
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I don't agree with Mr. Poilievre's amendment, and there are a couple of things I want to say. The first is that I don't think this would be fair to the witnesses. Some of the questions can be answered in the same time as the question is asked, but many of them cannot. In general—there are exceptions, but in general—it takes less time to ask a question than it does to answer it, especially if it's a question that doesn't require a yes-or-no answer. I don't think this would be fair to the witnesses or to the other members, because they wouldn't get to hear the answers. I also don't think it would be fair to the members of the public who are trying to watch and follow.
The second thing is a point of clarification for Mr. Poilievre. Would this also mean that witnesses are guaranteed the same amount of time as the member to speak? For example, if a member spoke for two and a half minutes, would that guarantee the witness two and a half minutes of response time, or if the member spoke for four minutes, would it guarantee the witness an equal amount of response time?
At the very least, I would think that if Mr. Poilievre is putting forward something balanced, then balance or equality in terms of time would require that this be guaranteed to the witness as well, and I'm not sure whether members on this committee would be comfortable with that.
In truth, what Mr. Poilievre is proposing, unless we make that change, would not be balanced or fair.
Once again, I am opposed to the amendment. It's not fair to ask a witness to answer questions that are asked in five seconds, when sometimes it requires a 20- or 30-second answer. I don't think it would advance the work of the committee.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have just a couple of thoughts.
One is that I haven't seen this rule applied on the committees I've served on—for example, environment and defence in the last Parliament—but I think a couple of points are important.
The first—and maybe, Mr. Poilievre, you support this—is I just want to be sure I understand. There is a bit of discretion, so that if you ask for a dissertation on inflation, for example, and you do that in three seconds, the witness has some time, and some discretion is given to the chair or some mechanism is in place to ensure we treat witnesses appropriately and respectfully and we get answers to the questions you've indicated you want answers to. That's one point of clarification I would put to Mr. Poilievre and any other members of the committee about, to see if they agree.
On the second point, I just want to make sure we're clear.
I want to follow up on what Mr. Ste‑Marie said about the amount of time allocated to witnesses. I'd like some clarity on a few things.
Everyone agrees that witnesses should have the same amount of time to answer as members have to ask their question. For instance, if a member has five minutes, two and a half minutes go to the member for questioning and two and a half minutes go to the witness for answering. The chair is the one who interrupts the member to give the witness the necessary time to answer.
I'd like some clarification on that. I want to be sure I understand what Mr. Poilievre is trying to do and what Mr. Ste‑Marie said.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thanks, Chair.
I would just like some clarification from committee members.
Mr. Blaikie talked about the importance of clarity, and I agree with him that it's very important. He said it was one of the reasons why he was in favour of this motion.
However, I want some clarity on what would happen if a member took more than half of their allocated time to question the witness. I would just like to be clear on that.
For instance, if I have five minutes, and I go on for two and a half minutes, the chair is supposed to interrupt me to give the remaining two and a half minutes to the witness and thus make sure that the witness has the same amount of time to respond. Is that indeed the committee's intention? Is that how this will work?
I just want that to be clear before we vote, because it will be pointless to debate the motion afterwards. If a member could shed some light on that for me, I would certainly appreciate it.
Thank you.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thanks, Chair.
I very much respect the intention of my colleagues who are trying to solve a major problem. I don't think there's much disagreement about the problem we are trying to solve. The disagreement is more about the solution to the problem.
While Mr. McLean's intentions are good, I am concerned about the potential implications of this subamendment. We don't know what those implications are, and we won't be able to figure them out this evening before we vote on this subamendment. By trying to solve a big problem, we could create a much bigger problem for the companies we want to help.
I remind my colleagues that we are talking here about companies whose revenues have dropped by 40% or 50%. Companies that qualify for these programs are already suffering and are already doing everything they can to retain their employees. Despite our good intentions, this change could create additional problems for those companies. If we unwittingly create a problem tonight, companies may no longer be eligible for these programs under Bill C‑2. Unfortunately, if we make such a mistake, we will only realize it in the coming months.
I am not saying there is a problem, but rather that we do not know whether there is a problem. Despite the intelligence and experience of everyone around this table, no one here can say with certainty that we won't cause a problem for the companies we are trying to help. While the underlying intent is good, it is very risky to pass amendments that would change the wording of the bill.
That is all I wanted to say.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have a question for Mr. McLean, a point of clarification.
Could you articulate again for me why you're proposing the change?
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
Can I ask another question?
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
You're answering my question with a question, which may be a fair question, but I'm genuinely trying to understand how it's an overstep. I'm not trying to put you on the spot.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I don't know if this is a question I can ask of the officials, Chair, but my question for our officials would be this: What would be the implications, positive or negative, of adopting Mr. McLean's suggestion?
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I don't understand. I don't know if Mr. Blaikie is out of order here, Chair. I'm asking a question of the officials. I think Mr. Blaikie is answering my question. My question is for the officials.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Blaikie, I don't need you to tell me that they can't answer it. They'll tell me themselves if they can't answer it.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you for that, Mr. Cadieux.
What I hear you saying is that.... If we adopted an earlier date, as proposed by Mr. McLean, and there were post-payment verifications or collections that weren't complete by that time, would that mean that those collections could not be executed after that date?
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
I wanted to ask our officials to help us understand what the implications of this would be. Maybe I will give the clerk a second to do that.
My concern is understanding.... Now that we have this new language—and I know it was developed with the best of intentions—what are the implications? I'm not a tax lawyer, but let me ask this. Is it possible that the language in yellow—“taxable dividends to an individual who is a holder of common shares of the company or of the subsidiary of the company”—would in any way inadvertently capture funds that were meant for business operations? Would that inhibit a company from operating a business in any way?
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