Evidence of meeting #3 for Bill C-18 (41st Parliament, 1st Session) in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was farmers.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Allen Oberg  Chair, Canadian Wheat Board
  • Ian McCreary  Former Director and Farmer, Canadian Wheat Board
  • Kenneth A. Rosaasen  Professor, University of Saskatchewan
  • Stewart Wells  Director, District 3, Canadian Wheat Board
  • Henry Vos  Former Director, Canadian Wheat Board
  • Ron Bonnett  President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture
  • Jeff Nielsen  Former Director, Canadian Wheat Board
  • John Knubley  Deputy Minister, Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food
  • Greg Meredith  Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Blaine Calkins

Just give me one second and we'll distribute it so that members have it in front of them when you're discussing it, Mr. Vos.

After conferring with the clerk, who is more able to determine both official languages than I am, I am satisfied there are two copies in each of the official languages, and I will circulate these now.

I will remind you, Mr. Dreeshen, that you only do have about 30 seconds left.

Mr. Vos, when you resume speaking about this letter, keep that in mind.

November 2nd, 2011 / 8 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

On a point of order, could you ask the clerk to hold those copies for a second?

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Blaine Calkins

Certainly.

8 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

I know you've ruled on it, but could you at least relate to me how you see the relevance of this particular document versus the bill in front of us?

I know you've been very lenient, and we really appreciate that leniency—and this may be part of that leniency—but I'm looking for an explanation as to what exactly you feel is the value this particular document in regard to the bill before this legislative committee. That's all.

8 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

I'd like to briefly respond.

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Blaine Calkins

I'll allow a brief response to the point of order.

8 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Dreeshen's question was directed to board governance, which is pertinent, as the opposition has already mentioned. Mr. Vos is simply providing evidence. We don't know what he's about to say, but he's providing evidence on board governance, the way governance has been in the past and how he hopes it will go in the future. I think this is absolutely germane to the bill.

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Blaine Calkins

Okay, thank you.

Colleagues, I have—

8 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Chair, I have a point of order.

I'm not sure what's in the document. Your eyes have seen it and the clerk's eyes have seen it. Would there be any violation of confidentiality or a violation of the fiduciary duties that Mr. Vos had to the corporation while he was a director?

Before that document is released, could you give that some thought?

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Blaine Calkins

Thank you, Mr. Valeriote.

I have conferred with the clerk on this. Your question was whether this document appears to be acceptable according to the rules and procedures we have as a committee. My eyes have seen this document: It is supporting the testimony that Mr. Vos is giving in the line of questioning that Mr. Dreeshen proceeded on pursuant to board governance. I don't see any reason for me to rule that this document is unacceptable. It meets the criteria of both officials languages. Unless I hear something to the contrary, I don't think there's anything preventing this.

Now, if Mr. Vos wants to take the risk upon himself of tabling this document, for whatever action it might cause—and I need to find this particular reference in the book I just read a few moments ago that testimony given at a committee is protected by parliamentary privilege—this document, I would assume, would be covered by that parliamentary privilege. So unless somebody is objecting to this, I think the most important thing we can do right now is to circulate the document.

I'll allow committee members a few seconds to review it, but my ruling is that the document appears to meet all of the requirements that we need for it to be accepted at this committee.

Clerk, please circulate the document.

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I would like say this is about the second or third time I feel that the witnesses, particularly Mr. Vos and Mr. Nielsen, have intimated they're being intimidated and therefore are not being fulsome in their disclosure to Parliament on the actions that may have happened. As you correctly ruled, Mr. Chair, they are protected under parliamentary privilege.

This is just the history of the Liberal Party of Canada, starting when we first got elected in 2006 as the government. When we first tried moving the Federal Accountability Act, and since we've been reviewing the cloak of darkness around the Canadian Wheat Board—

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

—the member for [Inaudible--Editor] constantly stood up and—

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

It's absolutely irrelevant what's he saying right now.

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

—kept Canadians and the Western Canadians from having the ability to see what was going on.