Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 314
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you to all of the witnesses. It has been very informative.
I'm going to start with Mr. Byrne from the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
I note that you observed that we've gone from being a grain importer over the last 10 years to now being a grain exporter, which is terrific news, and it demonstrates the importance of diversifying our trade and pursuing further trade arrangements around the planet, including with less traditional partners. That is really important.
I also note that you indicated that notwithstanding the important work that you and all of your members are doing as grain farmers in Essex and around Ontario, you have never before seen extreme weather conditions of the type you've seen this year, which, to my mind, just underscores the importance of addressing climate change and addressing it aggressively because it affects all of us whether we're individual residents or running massive farming operations.
In terms of the question for you, Mr. Byrne, you commented about China and what had happened over the past few years with that trading relationship, and you emphasized the importance of exploring different markets and opening up new markets and volunteered your assistance in that regard. Among the ASEAN group—we're talking the Indo-Pacific and more broadly ASEAN—are there specific nations you'd identify? I draw your attention to the fact that the speaker just after Mr. Innes was talking about Vietnam and Indonesia. Can you target us toward a few different nations that you think would be particularly attractive for us to be pursuing initiatives on with respect to freer trade, particularly in grains?
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you for that.
Could I turn to Mr. Gaudreault?
Your testimony was really fascinating, in keeping with your experience and your point of view. Thank you very much.
Mr. Gaudreault, you commented on this issue with respect to not just traditional fertilizer uses of phosphate but also obviously with respect to electric vehicle battery production, and I wonder if you could comment on this. Last year we spent some time specifically on combatting the Build Back Better Act and some of the potentially punitive aspects that would have applied to vehicle battery production here in Canada had it not been scaled back, and we saw that Build Back Better has been scaled back and now we're looking at the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.
Could you comment upon that turn of events, how that impacts an industry like yours and where you see phosphate in terms of the future of battery production for electric vehicles in this country so that we can aid the move toward electrical vehicles both in North America and around the planet?
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm also seized by the fact that you mentioned food security, and phosphate is a fertilizer. Obviously, we've taken a very aggressive position with respect to Russia and Ukraine, and the sanctions applied to many parts coming out of Russia, including fertilizers. That's had a knock-on impact upon the agricultural industry and farming communities around the country. We're quite alive to that and trying to address it.
How does phosphate production here, including the potential mine you're hoping to open, help us feed into that piece so that we could be sourcing phosphate as a fertilizer for Canadian farmers and, potentially, farmers in other parts of the world as well?
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
I'll say very briefly, Monsieur Gaudreault, that you've been well heard with respect to the critical minerals list. I will take that information back to the team in the minister's office.
Mr. Innes, I would indicate to you that having more regulatory conversations between the nations working on these trade agreements is something we're actively pursuing, particularly on sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
Thank you, all, for your evidence today.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am pleased to see you and all my colleagues again. I hope everyone had a nice summer.
With respect to this motion, it may be wise to address it now or we could table it until a bit later.
Our principal preoccupation with this motion is that it seems somewhat premature as we don't know which witnesses will be arriving or what the testimony of those witnesses will be. We do have some concerns. The analysts have done a lot of work. A lot of names have been suggested by the analysts and by the various parties. It might be wise and more prudent to vet those lists and cull them to reduce the number to something more manageable before we entertain motions such as this about submitting briefs.
I will leave my submission there.
Merci.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Along similar lines, I think the practicality of this motion number three is seriously in question in terms of there being no actual limitation, for example, on the number of questions. You could have 100 questions being provided, only five of which would be prioritized.
I think this was raised earlier in a different context, but on the notion of also having written questions submitted and then answered, if that person didn't appear, you lose the ability to cross-examine or challenge the people on their evidence, and you also can't use written interrogatories as a form of compelling information from a witness who otherwise has the discretion whether or not to appear. I think that's important.
The notion of potentially following up after the fact, as Senator White has mentioned, after a witness has appeared, if there were still outstanding issues, that I think would probably circumscribe a number of questions and force us to be a bit more targeted in the questions that we pose and also allow us to pose fewer questions thereby facilitating the work of the committee.
For those reasons, I would be opposing this.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would like to hear it again, but I'll raise two things right off the top. One is that there's still no limit on the number of questions, but even more importantly, two more points arise. A situation could arise where you are then posing written interrogatories towards a Mr. John Doe or Ms. Jane Doe who we think is going to show up. Life intervenes and they never show up, so we never have a chance to cross-examine them on that information.
In that situation, I would say that—
Hon. Vernon White: No, no. This is after the evidence.
Mr. Arif Virani: It's only after the evidence? Okay. But I also have some concern—
A voice: [Inaudible—Editor] don't get to cross-examine all the time.
Mr. Arif Virani: Well, then, we still don't get to cross-examine on their responses, because it's after the evidence has been tendered.
The last piece is on the point in (c)(ii):
provided that a failure to respond to questions shall be approached by the Committee as if a witness declined to respond to an oral question asked at a Committee meeting
That to me seems to be going down the slope of actually sanctioning the individual who has failed to respond. Sanctioning people for failing to respond in committee is something that can only be done in our chamber, in the House of Commons itself. If that's leading us towards contempt proceedings, then I have significant issues with the way this is phrased.
I'll remind my friends opposite that among people on their witness list are Conservative politicians such as the Premier of Ontario.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would like to point out two things, and add something else.
I still don't see the ability to cross-examine on the answers to the interrogatories. I still don't see, pursuant to what Senator White just mentioned, a limit on the number of questions.
I'll inject a third element here, and we know this works on both sides. Sometimes the questions you pose are, in part, triggered by what you've heard from the other people around the table. If, perhaps, Mr. Brock asked certain questions that elicited certain types of testimony and I wanted to perhaps respond to it, I would phrase my questions accordingly to elicit some sort of response. That's the natural to and fro of a committee process. That possibility is completely eliminated when we don't see the types of written interrogatories that are put to the witnesses after the fact, and I think that diminishes the quality of the kind of evidence we will hear.
Thank you.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I thought, for the purposes of expediting the precious time we have to meet in person, perhaps this could be addressed in writing by the law clerk of each chamber. They could provide this advice to us in writing, as opposed to taking up a precious two-hour session, talking us through what the rules are from their perspective.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm trying to think how I would amend it.
One moment, please.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Not everyone is in agreement on that.
I think that this is, first of all, extremely premature. We haven't finished with the RCMP witnesses yet, so it's presuming a great deal. Also, it's finding a fairly significant conclusion, which I would oppose, namely, that the finding of potential contempt has occurred. So I would not be minded to support this motion.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have a just few points, Mr. Fortin. Thank you.
First, I feel that the text is a little misleading. It says, “though the order was silent on authorized redactions”. The text of the order may not reference redactions, but I have extensive memory about the discussions that went into our preparation for that motion. We talked quite openly about the possibility of redactions occurring. I felt it was understood by all of the members of this committee that there would very likely be redactions based on a number of types of privilege that can be asserted. That's the first point.
The second point is that I feel that burrowing into some of these redactions has the potential to derail the work of this committee to a great extent, especially since we're trying to work on a timely basis to address what we need to do to fulfill our statutory mandate.
Based on that, my last point is that I would be in favour of voting down this motion as it's currently worded.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
Could I politely suggest 90 minutes as a compromise? I'm conscious of getting through stuff in a somewhat efficient manner.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
I think that's helpful. We did have a discussion with Mr. Lewis and other colleagues from other parties during the adjournment. We are in favour of those changes. We just would ask that, as per the normal course, the invitation to the ministers be subject to their availability.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
That's why I was just proposing, Madam Chair, that after the list of ministers, where it has, “each be invited to appear”, we just inject the words, “subject to their availability”.
Results: 1 - 15 of 314 | Page: 1 of 21

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data