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Results: 1 - 15 of 28
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Mr. Chair, as we haven't established ground rules, I'm just wondering if I could provide you with notice at the appropriate time of some motions that are outside the routine motions.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Mr. Chair, I also have a routine motion that I would like to put on notice of motions before we get to the next one. It's regarding witnesses. It's not on your list. It's a routine motion that I would like to add.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you. It reads:
That each party represented on the committee be entitled to select one witness per two-hour witness panel.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As this is the inaugural or initial meeting, there's no requirement for notices of motion. This is a routine motion, particularly for this committee, the rationale being that hearing from a diverse group of witnesses is a vital part of committee work. Whether these committees are doing their own studies or reviewing a bill that has been passed at second reading by the House, if witnesses are apportioned based on the proportional makeup of the House and the committee, roughly half the witnesses will come from the government side, and the opposition will have to split the other half.
In the last Parliament, this rotation was put in place through an opposition motion sponsored by Michelle Rempel Garner, which instructed the health committee that studied COVID-19. We found it worked very well, and we would also like the opportunity at this committee to have input on the selection of witnesses.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I'm happy to restate the motion, which would also perhaps some time for the translators. I'll read it slowly so that everybody can gather it:
That each party represented on the committee be entitled to select one witness per two-hour witness panel.
This would be shared in proportion to the makeup of the committee.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I'm fascinated by all the interventions today. It's good to be back. I think this is going to be a very interesting committee.
What I would say through you, Mr. Chair, to the members of this committee, is that each committee is the master of its own domain. We don't have to wait for PROC. If that were the case, why would we have independent committees? We would basically concede everything to the whips, and 300 members of Parliament could go home.
I would ask that this motion is on the table. I would like to test the will of this committee. Having the ability in a minority situation....
I don't believe in consensus in this committee. I think that we're going to be working on straight-up votes, so I'll put that out there. We're going to need each and every vote, each and every time.
What I would like to do is test the will of this committee. When that's done, I'd like to move another motion.
Thank you.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I just want to reference, in the routine motions, for folks who may have been around for a long time or what have you, that the next motion we're about to do will set in stone how we're going to operate motions. If I had waited to put these, what I believe to be, routine motions, which constitute the framework and the operations of this committee, then there is an opportunity where, in the next motion on notice of motions, I would have been bound by that.
I don't want to get too far afoot on this, but there is a procedural order in which this stuff happens, and it is quite right that I move this motion at this time to ensure that I didn't get any other opinions or interpretations as to what it might look like in terms of the time requirements for a notice of motion.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Mr. Chair, I have another motion.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
That's correct. I have another motion pertaining to in camera committees, and it's pretty germane, so at this time I'd like to move it.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you very much.
I do have this in two official languages, should anybody require it:
That the committee may meet in camera only for the following purposes: (a) to consider a draft report; (b) to attend briefings concerning national security; (c) to consider lists of witnesses; (d) for any other reason, with the unanimous consent of the committee;That all votes taken in camera, with the exception of votes regarding the consideration of draft reports, be recorded in the Minutes of Proceeding, including how each member voted when recorded votes are requested; That any motion to sit in camera is debatable and amendable.
Mr. Chair, there have been times in previous Parliaments where the government has tried to move committee meetings in camera to force difficult issues and votes behind closed doors and to avoid public scrutiny.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Through you, just to make sure, did the honourable member also receive a translated version?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I'm happy to go slowly. That's not a problem.
I will repeat, in the event that it was missed by translation.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
There have been times in previous Parliaments when the government has tried to move committee meetings in camera to force difficult issues and votes behind closed doors and to avoid public scrutiny. Even in minority Parliaments in which the government could not act unilaterally, there were times when this was attempted, and as a consequence valuable committee time ended up being wasted debating this.
For that reason, there is value to set out parameters at the front end and in routine motions that specify when in camera meetings can take place. Otherwise, we may be in situations where the work of the committee can be wasted in debating frivolous attempts to move in camera.
Mr. Chair, we have heard in preceding comments on previous motions put how people are envisioning the nature of this committee. Just so we're clear, I will share with you that my intention at this committee is to provide a certain level of transparency and accountability to the proceedings of this government.
This is a significant moment in time coming out of COVID, Mr. Chair, and there are likely going to be some very significant conversations. As we have heard time and time again from the government side, sunshine is the best antiseptic. I would like to see this committee operate at the highest level of all committees pertaining to this House, with the highest levels of transparency and accountability, and without attempts to filibuster or to frivolously move things in camera and out of the public eye.
I would call upon all members of this committee to consider this motion in its seriousness, given our experience in the last minority Parliament, to ensure that the discussions of this committee are done in such a way that we know from the outset exactly how we're going to deal with matters pertaining to public interest within this committee.
This has been provided in both official languages, and I'm looking forward to hearing the remarks of members around this table.
Thank you.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Mr. Chair, is now the appropriate time to present motions?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
How does that happen, Mr. Chair?
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