An Act respecting the Administration of Oaths of Office

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in December 2009.

This bill, the first introduced in any session, is a formal tradition rather than proposed legislation. (It has nothing to do with oaths of office. The Senate equivalent is called An Act relating to Railways and—you guessed it!—in no way relates to railways.)

Sponsor

Stephen Harper  Conservative

Status

Not active, as of Jan. 26, 2009
(This bill did not become law.)

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

December 13th, 2010 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you all for being with us today.

Thank you very much for sharing your opinion with us. It appears pretty generalized.

It would seem that this bill is completely useless and unnecessary, and that there is a consensus on that. That is what I understood, and I agree.

It seems to us that this bill is reiterating several of the positions that were in the former Bill C-19. Am I correct in this, according to the legal minds? These were clauses that were integral elements of the Anti-terrorism Act, which we know expired in 2007.

Even the public safety minister's annual reports say that no investigative hearings have been held under these statutes and that there's no reported use of the provisions. Am I correct?

November 18th, 2009 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Thank you.

Mr. Murphy, several of our witnesses have suggested, like Mr. Carroll today, that the liability level is too low compared to international standards. There was a reference to the OECD's Paris Convention, which I am not familiar with, unfortunately. What is your view about it?

As an insurer, I suppose that if you have set a limit of $650 million, there was a reason for it. We were given some idea of the costs, which seem very high to me, that will follow an increase of the limit.

What could you say to those who are suggesting that the liability limit is too low in Bill C-20?

June 2nd, 2009 / 6:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

I come from a small and medium business background, with 25 years as a business owner, and I'm very sympathetic to the presentation of the CFIB.

Were your organizations consulted in a meaningful way, as in your input was sought, you saw your input taken into account as Bill C-6 or Bill C-52 were being drafted?

May 6th, 2009 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Minister, I'd like to thank you and your officials for your attendance here this afternoon.

Once again, I'd like to congratulate you on all the proposed legislation before the House--Bill C-14, Bill C-15, Bill C-25, and Bill C-26, plus the identity theft bill, the number of which escapes me; I believe it's in the Senate.

Mr. Minister, as you are aware, this committee travelled to Vancouver last week. In Vancouver I had the opportunity, and again subsequently on Monday when we were examining Bill C-15, to ask questions of a Mr. Kirk Tousaw, who was speaking on behalf of the BC Civil Liberties Association and an anti-prohibition league, whose name escapes me. He's also a one-time New Democratic candidate in the electoral district of Vancouver--Quadra.

You might be interested to know...and perhaps you do know, because I know that you and your staff follow these proceedings quite closely. Mr. Tousaw indicated a couple of things that I found disconcerting, to say the least.

First of all, in his view, very hard drugs, very serious chemical substances such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine and even heroin, ought to be legalized. In fact, he indicated to me that, in his view, the entire Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ought to be repealed.

As you might know--if you heard my S.O. 31 in the House today, you will know--a young 14-year-old girl in Edmonton, the city that I represent, recently died, tragically, from an overdose of ecstasy, which she had purchased at West Edmonton Mall, a place that is frequented by children and other young persons. In light of these events, I just wondered if you had any comment on the suggestion that the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ought to be repealed and that hard drugs ought to be no longer subject to prohibition.

April 27th, 2009 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Commissioner, Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Christiane Ouimet

First of all, we had a wave of inquiries. There were well over 200 inquiries about what the legislation was about. It is confusing. The legislation, Bill C-2, has created a series of mechanisms. As well, as I recall, in the debates leading to the creation of this office, some machinery issues were discussed as to whether it was going to be a stand-alone agent of Parliament or joined with, for instance, the Public Service Commission, whether the tribunal should be created and what would be the role. But in the end, in the context of Bill C-2, in the context of the creation of a series of new agents of Parliament, some of which were called before this committee, we absolutely need to continue to inform about what we are and what we're not.

So we had well over 200--

April 20th, 2009 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Randall Richmond Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, Organized Crime Prosecutions Bureau, Department of Justice (Quebec)

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the committee, thank you for having invited me to testify before you in the context of your study of Bill C-14.

I share your deep concern with regard to the fight against organized crime and the search for new means of combatting it.

Allow me to begin by stating clearly that I support Bill C-14 without reservation and that I hope that it will be passed without delay. This bill, though not revolutionary, adds a certain number of tools to our tool box to fight organized crime.

Decreeing that a murder is murder in the first degree when committed in connection with a criminal organization remedies what I always considered to be an oversight in the 1997 anti-gang legislation otherwise known as Bill C-95. Parliament had at that time stated that murder was murder in the first degree when it was committed in association with a criminal organization and involved the use of explosives, thus excluding other homicides committed in association with a criminal organization.

The 1997 provision was useless and was never used for two reasons. Firstly, if a murder is committed with explosives it is clear that premeditation was involved. Secondly, shortly after the death of young Daniel Desrochers in 1995, organized crime in Quebec practically abandoned the use of explosives there and turned to firearms.

It is a good thing that Bill C-14 will apply the rule to all homicides committed in connection with a criminal organization, whatever means are used.

The new Criminal Code section 231, proposed subsection (6.1), as proposed by Bill C-14, will turn an unused section of the Criminal Code into one with a much greater likelihood of real applications. Although many gangland murders are obviously planned and premeditated, others are not. A typical example we have seen on many occasions is this: two or more criminal organizations are present in a city or in a geographical area; the territory is divided up between organizations, each one controlling the rackets on its turf. Bars, taverns, and nightclubs are typically divided up between criminal organizations, and on their own turf they have a monopoly on the drug sales, prostitution, and other criminal activities. Occasionally, someone associated with, or perceived to be associated with, a particular organization shows up in the bar or nightclub controlled by another criminal organization. He is not welcome and is told to leave. He refuses, an argument breaks out and turns into a fight, someone pulls out a knife or a gun, and someone gets killed. No one planned for this to happen, so there is no premeditation. The normal charge would be second-degree murder.

But with the amendment proposed by Bill C-14, we could envisage a conviction for first-degree murder. We had a case just like this in Montreal where a completely innocent person was killed by a gang of thugs in a bar. It was a case of mistaken identity, because the victim in reality had no association at all with the opposing criminal gang, but his murder was nonetheless gang-related and gang-motivated.

As for the new offence of recklessly discharging a firearm, as proposed by Bill C-14, it fills the void presently existing between disturbing the peace by discharging a firearm, which is a summary conviction offence and therefore punishable by only six months maximum, or careless use of a firearm punishable by no more than two years, and discharging a firearm with intent to wound or endanger life, punishable by 14 years and a five-year minimum when committed with a handgun.

In the case of drive-by shootings, it can be very difficult to prove the specific intent to wound or endanger life. This can be even harder to prove if no one is hit by the bullets, yet the conduct is much more dangerous than simply disturbing the peace or carelessly firing bullets into the air. Drive-by shootings can and do kill people, including innocent bystanders. So the new offence of recklessly discharging a firearm as proposed by Bill C-14 would allow us to go for more significant sentences up to 14 years and with important minimums when committed with handguns or for a criminal organization.

The two new offences of assault against peace officers don't appear at first view to change anything, because the maximum sentences are no higher than those for similar assaults against any person. However, when viewed in conjunction with the new proposed section 718.02, one can see the significance of these new offences. Proposed section 718.02 will call upon courts to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence when sentencing for these offences. This should lead courts to give stiffer sentences and consequently this should lead to greater respect for peace officers. I believe this change is needed, for we're continuously reminded that there's increasingly a lack of respect for police officers and consequently their capacity to keep the peace is impaired.

The new proposed section 718.02 will also call upon courts to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence when sentencing for intimidation of justice system participants in general. This too should lead to greater respect for all those working in the interests of justice.

The amendments proposed by Bill C-14 for preventive peace bonds under section 810.01 are good ideas, in my opinion, but I have to admit that in Quebec we have never used this section of the code. That is probably because in our efforts to fight organized crime, we have concentrated our energy on gathering enough evidence to lay criminal charges and get criminal convictions. However, I do know that the organized crime recognizance is used in Ontario as part of their guns and gangs strategy, particularly for what they call “small fry”; in Quebec we call that le menu “frettin”. In Quebec we hope to start using these provisions in the future as a part of our own strategy against street gangs.

The Quebec Bar Association has expressed its opposition to a couple of the suggested conditions in the new legislation. The new legislation proposes certain specific conditions for the preventive peace bonds, and the Quebec Bar Association has expressed its opposition to those conditions, particularly the one involving participation in a treatment program and also the wearing of an electronic monitoring device.

Some lawyers say these are drastic measures for someone who is not even charged with, let alone convicted of, an offence. However, I believe that since these measures are at the discretion of the provincial court judge, we can trust our judges to use their discretion wisely and impose these conditions only where there are reasonable grounds to believe they are necessary, which will probably be quite rare.

So I support Bill C-14; however, I would like to point out that many of the legislative changes found in Bill C-14, as well as in Bill C-15, are dependent upon a determination by the court of the existence of a criminal organization. If you really want to give us a boost in our fight against organized crime, I would ask you to stop for a moment and consider why Parliament continues to treat criminal organizations so differently from terrorist organizations.

As of 2001, Parliament simply decreed that dozens of organizations set out in a list were terrorist organizations. Prosecutors don't have to prove that they are terrorist organizations; they are declared to be terrorist organizations by the Governor in Council. Most of these groups have never been convicted of terrorism in Canada. In fact, most of these groups do not even exist in Canada, let alone carry on terrorist activities here.

On the other hand, ever since the adoption of the first anti-gang act in 1997, Parliament has required that prosecutors prove that an organization is criminal in each and every case, even if it is the same organization. Consequently, each time we charge someone in the Hells Angels on anti-gang charges, we have to start from scratch and prove that the Hells Angels motorcycle club is a criminal organization.

In the past 12 years, there have been dozens of convictions establishing that the Hells Angels motorcycle club is a criminal organization. In Quebec, there were even full-patch members who admitted that they belonged to a criminal organization. On at least three occasions, courts in Ontario have decided that the Hells Angels motorcycle club is a criminal organization across Canada. These were decisions by the superior court of Ontario.

Yet courts in British Columbia, Ontario, and Manitoba have also decided that because of the present state of our law, those findings apply only to the particular accused in those particular cases. As prosecutors, we haven't complained, and we have gone about our duty diligently and successfully, but this constant requirement that we prove the same thing over and over again is monopolizing valuable resources that could be used elsewhere in the fight against organized crime.

Proving that a group is criminal organization is usually one of the most time-consuming parts of an organized crime prosecution. It can take literally months to make this evidence before the court. I'll give you some examples.

On March 28, 2001, in Quebec, police carried out a massive round-up of Hells Angels, called Operation Springtime 2001. There were 119 members and associates charged by the organized crime prosecutions bureau, in which I work, in three different files. Project Rush alone--which was part of these people being arrested--united 42 accused in one file, of which 36 were arrested, and 35 were denied bail.

A new courthouse had to be built just to allow a trial this big to take place. However, the justices of the superior court decided to break up the co-accused into smaller, more manageable groups. One trial involved 14 accused, lasted eight months before a jury, and heard 73 witnesses before a guilty plea was worked out.

A second group of 17 co-accused began another trial, which lasted three months before one jury and then had to start all over again before a new judge and jury when the first judge quit. The new trial lasted 13 months before a jury, saw 1,383 exhibits filed, and heard 151 witnesses. Some of the accused threw in the towel along the way and pleaded guilty. In the end, the jury rendered verdicts on the nine remaining accused and declared them all guilty.

The third trial, in English, united two accused, took three and a half months before a justice of the superior court, sitting without a jury, and also resulted in convictions. But in that case, it only took three and a half months because they admitted that Hells Angels was a criminal organization.

While the Hells Angels trials were getting under way, Montreal police were completing another investigation, called Amigos, which focused on the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. It culminated in another massive roundup that effectively put an end to the Bandidos club in Quebec. A trial was held for five of the accused in 2004. It lasted eight months before a jury; 68 witnesses were heard, and all of the accused were convicted.

Last week, we broke all our previous records when we charged 156 Hells Angels and their associates in one single file. This is considerably larger than in the spring of 2001. There will almost definitely be more than one trial, and each trial that is held will be very lengthy. We can predict this already. We will have to start all over again and prove that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is a criminal organization. Although we are confident of our capacity to be successful, the fact is that the longer the trial lasts, the greater the danger that something might go wrong along the way. For example, for the trial to abort, all you have to do is have somebody very important get sick. If the judge, the lead prosecutor, or more than two members of the jury get sick along the way and have to quit, it can cause the whole trial to abort, and you have to start all over again. The longer the trial, the more the chances that something will go wrong.

Consequently, I urge you to seriously consider legislation that will declare the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club to be a criminal organization once and for all.

Thank you for your attention.

March 24th, 2009 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Thank you very much, Chairman Tweed. I am very pleased to be here today to discuss Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act. As a northern country, Canada's Arctic is central to our national identity. It's an expression of our deepest aspirations, our sense of exploration, and our limitless potential.

Over the last three years this government has demonstrated its commitment to Canada's Arctic by introducing measures to help the north realize its vast potential. We have pressed Canada's Arctic sovereignty to the world, protected our environmental heritage for the benefit of all Canadians, and promoted economic and social development throughout this important region of Canada.

On a personal note, my time as Minister of the Environment and particularly as Minister responsible for Parks Canada offered me the opportunity to help protect our northern region. I'm particularly proud of significant land conservation measures we undertook in the Northwest Territories, proud of the progress we made toward expanding Nahanni, and proud of the efforts we undertook around Slave Lake, to name a few successes.

The bill before us today, the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, allows Canada to carry out its responsibility to preserve the fragile ecological balance in the water, ice, and land areas of the Canadian Arctic by prohibiting the dumping of waste in Arctic waters. This act also requires that Arctic waters adjacent to the mainland and islands of the Canadian Arctic be navigated in a way that respects the residents of Canada's northern communities. Bill C-3 seeks to replace the definition of Arctic waters in the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act. It extends the geographical application from 100 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles, which is the maximum area Canada is allowed under international law. The doubling of the application allows us to strengthen our pollution protection regime, not just now but particularly in the years and decades to come as the Northwest Passage and the Arctic waters become more traversable.

Bill C-3 proposes a relatively simple amendment, yet it demonstrates to the world that Canada is serious about protecting the Arctic marine environment and more. The potential growth of international shipping, while key to the economic development of our Arctic, may also bring challenges. It raises the potential of environmental threats like oil spills, poaching, and contamination, which would be particularly acute in the sensitive Arctic ecosystem. The extension from 100 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles will ensure an appropriate basis for managing risks of pollution from vessels. For Canada to truly exercise effective management in the Arctic, we need to put in place a strong and proactive regulatory framework for marine transportation and we need to back that up with real action. We're very much being proactive in this regard, not waiting for next year, or 10 years, or 25 years from now for an accident to happen and for us to regret not taking more proactive measures.

Transport Canada is already planning to assess the transportation infrastructure needs in the north for the next 20 to 30 years. Over the next five years Transport Canada is dedicating $1 million, under the gateways and border crossings fund, to support a northern transportation research program. We are increasing support for the coast guard, and in the coming years we will welcome a new icebreaker, the John George Diefenbaker, which will play an important role in enforcing our Arctic sovereignty. I know all members of the committee share my enthusiasm not just because it's a new coast guard vessel but particularly because it's so aptly named. The Prime Minister made this announcement in Inuvik, where Prime Minister Diefenbaker officially opened the community some 50 years ago.

We've seen an increased number of environmental enforcement officers, many of whom were trained at Algonquin College in my own riding of Ottawa West--Nepean. It should be noted that my colleague the Minister of the Environment, has also introduced Bill C-16, the Environmental Enforcement Act, which addresses the important issue of enforcement of our environmental protection and wildlife conservation laws. I had the opportunity to work on that before the last cabinet shuffle.

While Bill C-3 helps to provide an appropriate basis for managing the environmental risks of the intensification of marine activities in the Arctic, it is only the beginning. Further amendments are also needed to protect the environment, increase the security of our waterways, establish the framework for future economic development, and to strengthen the exercise of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. We have done that through many ways, whether it's through our military, through science, through research, through the coast guard, through economic development, but we can also do it environmentally.

This government is committed to introducing regulations under the Canada Shipping Act to require vessels entering Canada's Arctic waters to report to the Canadian Coast Guard's NORDREG reporting system. We are working toward having these regulations in place for the 2010 shipping season.

Under the current regime, reporting is voluntary. Our changes will make reporting mandatory and will apply to all Canadian waters north of sixty, including the increased area of application of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act that will result if and when Bill C-3 is passed.

These measures will send a clear message to the world that Canada takes responsibility for environmental protection and enforcement in our Arctic waters. Extending the application of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act will demonstrate the government's commitment to the Arctic and to managing the environmental tasks associated with marine transport in the Arctic.

Canada's future is tied to an Arctic that is vibrant and thriving. With this legislation we're protecting our sovereignty over the Arctic and we're developing our northern resources. Together we are protecting this precious and sensitive ecosystem for future generations of this planet.

Thank you very much.

March 5th, 2009 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Thank you, Mr. Chair and colleagues.

This is actually my very first time, as a junior minister, or any other kind of minister, appearing before a parliamentary committee. I'm very pleased that it's with you all. I'm also very pleased that it's about a bill we very much want to finally get into law. So thank you for this opportunity to address you on Bill C-4.

Bill C-4 has a gripping title. I know that you're going to be on the edge of your seats. It's an act respecting not-for-profit corporations and certain other corporations. We can say that this is a bill whose time has definitely come. It represents the eighth time, colleagues, the third time in the past year alone, that a Canadian government has attempted to reform a statute. This statute was first brought into law in 1917, and of course you can appreciate that it no longer serves the needs of its principal stakeholders.

As I said when the bill was introduced in the House, not-for-profit organizations are a crucial part of Canada's economic structure. There are more than 160,000 not-for-profits, of which some 19,000 are federally incorporated. They accounted for over $136 billion in revenues in 2003 and employed some two million people.

So this is what the core of Bill C-4 is about. We have before us an opportunity to update and modernize an important marketplace framework statute that has not been substantially amended in over 90 years, which is older than any of us, fortunately. In that time, the world in which not-for-profit corporations operate has changed dramatically. In 1917, when the concept of a not-for-profit corporation was added to the general corporations statute, most such corporations were very small, self-financing entities that provided much-needed local services and that operated in a non-electronic world. Such small local organizations still exist, of course, but they share the landscape with huge national, even international, organizations with annual budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The trick in modernizing legislation of this kind is to balance the needs of the small with the large, the local with the national, the member-financed mutual aid society with the organization that solicits public money. That is not easy. Business corporations typically have interests that are largely homogenous: consistent profits, good public relations, keeping shareholders and other stakeholders happy. Not-for-profit corporations and other corporations without share capital, by contrast, have the most divergent interests imaginable.

The proposed legislation would apply to churches and other religious organizations, industry associations, charities, foundations, special interest groups, political parties, and sporting organizations, to name a few. What the proposed act does, then, is establish broad rules for setting up a not-for-profit corporation, or one without share capital, to ensure that it operates in a fair and transparent manner before its members and the public and to allow for an orderly dissolution of the corporation if circumstances warrant.

The proposed act definitely does not address the granting of charitable status or taxation policy of any kind. That is the role of the Canada Revenue Agency. Nor does it deal with the question of funding for federal not-for-profit corporations. This is a bill that simply proposes broad ground rules for modern not-for-profit corporations. That is all it does and all it is intended to do.

One area I want to deal with right at the outset is the apparent size and complexity of the proposed legislation. I can easily imagine how anyone looking at a 170-page bill with some 373 sections could question how this could possibly make life easier for not-for-profit corporations. In fact, the bill does exactly that. Let me explain in detail.

What the new statute proposes is to clarify areas that are not now currently addressed in the federal not-for-profit law. It would do so without imposing any significant burden on small or medium-sized corporations while at the same time ensuring that they are covered by a modern corporate governance framework.

For most not-for-profit corporations, the regulatory burden will be minimal. At the initial incorporation stage, an applicant will have to fill out relatively simple forms, file their articles, and pay the incorporation fee. That's it.

Annually, most corporations will have to complete financial statements, which they would have to do anyway for tax purposes, and send that financial information to members. Soliciting corporations, those that receive money from governments or the public, will also have to file these with Corporations Canada.

Additionally, corporations will be required to convene an annual meeting and file an annual return. This is not new. Corporations are required to do this now. But the new act will allow almost unlimited flexibility in how corporations do this. They will be able to communicate, hold meetings, and file documents with Corporations Canada electronically if they so choose. This represents a significant reduction in the regulatory and paper burden. The new audit requirements represent a potential further reduction of the regulatory and paper burden on smaller corporations.

Under the current statute, all corporations are required to have their financial statements audited. As members well know, this can cost several thousand dollars, potentially representing a sizeable portion of the budget of small corporations. The new provisions provide a graduated audit requirement based on the source of a corporation's funding, whether it's from members or whether from the public or governments, and the amount of its gross annual revenue. Under the new rules, soliciting corporations, those that derive their revenue from donations or government grants, that have revenues of less than $25,000 can dispense with audits entirely. This is also the case with non-soliciting corporations with revenues of less than $1 million. Of course, this represents an immediate and very substantial cost saving, especially for small soliciting corporations operating on shoestring budgets.

Most of the rest of the proposed act establishes rules of good corporation governance or provisions that address contingent situations. The corporate governance rules include provisions dealing with areas such as directors' liabilities, members' rights, and responsibilities of directors, officers, and the auditor. These are all areas familiar to the legal and professional communities, and the principles in the bill are just good, modern corporate business practice. I know that the not-for-profit sector will welcome clear and understandable corporate governance standards. Charities and other soliciting corporations that compete for limited donor dollars will find them especially useful.

Finally, there are the provisions that deal with the contingent situations, which for most corporations will probably never arise. These include, for example, provisions for corporate reorganizations. Most corporations will never amalgamate with another corporation, but it is incumbent upon the government to provide clear, fair, and transparent rules for those corporations that choose to do so.

What these contingent rules do is establish procedures, in some cases by filling in holes that exist in the current law. For example, an amalgamation of two or more corporations under the current act can actually take years with untold legal and accounting costs. Under the proposed statute, a short-form amalgamation would take days at most, with minimal costs. While as I said, most corporations will never amalgamate, this represents real streamlining for those that will.

The flexibility and clarity built into the act is why we decided that a classification scheme under the act was necessary; that is, we chose not to regulate different types of corporations differently. Rather, we chose to provide a framework that will allow corporations the maximum flexibility to organize themselves in a manner that works best for them.

A classification system establishing different rules for different categories of corporations would cause an admittedly complex piece of legislation to be even more complicated. By necessity, some rules, such as those related to directors' liability, would have to apply to all corporations, while other rules would apply to only one corporation. Added to this would be the difficulties in classifying some corporations. There are some organizations that would easily fit within several categories. For example, a corporation could be a mutual benefits society, such as a religion-based community club, but it could also collect funds for sending children to summer camp, operate a shelter for homeless individuals, and also engage in family counselling. So what classification is it? What rules would apply if there was a conflict in interpretation?

Instead, much like the Canada Business Corporations Act, this act provides for a system of self-regulation and self-enforcement. This is done by allowing corporations the maximum flexibility in writing their own articles and bylaws, and providing for civil remedies in the event of internal disputes. This would allow federal not-for-profit corporations to devote their time, energies, and money to fulfilling the purpose for which they organized in the first place.

Members of the committee, it is time that this bill be examined and passed as expeditiously as possible. Not-for-profit corporations have been waiting for a new governing statute for literally years, and they have been extremely disappointed every time it has died on the order paper.

Let me close by saying that I'm happy to have had the opportunity to be here with you today, and I also want to introduce the Industry Canada officials here today: Roger Charland is a senior director for the corporate and insolvency law policy and internal trade directorate--I think he gets paid by the words in his title. Also we have Wayne Lennon, who is a senior project leader on the not-for-profit file, and he's done all the heavy lifting on this bill. And Coleen Kirby is here; she's the manager of the policy section at Corporations Canada, and is especially knowledgeable about all the regulations.

We look forward to responding to any questions or concerns you may have about this bill.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

February 10th, 2009 / 10:45 a.m.
See context

Conservative

The Chair Bruce Stanton

All right, that's fine.

I think there seems to be consensus that it's okay if we stay public for the time being.

Is that okay?

As I mentioned, the subcommittee met last Thursday and briefly considered what we have in front of us. By and large, members agreed that with two potential bills in front of us in the fairly near future, we ought not to proceed into any substantive studies. Therefore, we opted, as we did today, to receive briefings and updates from relevant departments on three topics, the one we did today, of course; and on Thursday there will be an update on the TRC and the residential schools issue, and where we stand on that issue; and a third meeting will be an update from Statistics Canada and the First Nations Statistics on their work as well.

The understanding now seems to be that Bill C-5, the Indian oil and gas bill, may not get through the House this week. They're putting it off until the week after the break, perhaps. When we had our discussions on Thursday, we considered that in all likelihood we would have the oil and gas bill commencing in the week after the break. But it appears that might not happen now.

At your pleasure, I think we should consider moving the Statistics Canada meeting and update to February 24, and then consider having an additional briefing day on February 26. That will leave the first week of March open, hopefully to receive the bill on Indian oil and gas. So that's the proposal.

I have a question from Monsieur Lemay.

Oaths of Office
Opening of the Second Session of the 40th Parliament

January 26th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.
See context

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-1, An Act respecting the administration of oaths of office, and sought the unanimous consent of the House to have the bill printed.