Evidence of meeting #38 for Public Accounts in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was chair.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

A suggestion I can take.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

I'm making a friendly suggestion, Mr. Chair—

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

No, it's not friendly; it's just a suggestion.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

—that we stop playing to the games of Mr. Byrne, which are becoming clearer the more he talks. Let's just get moving on with the business of this committee, which has worked very well in the past.

I've been on this committee for three and a half years. We've done some very good work on this committee. It's different now that we have a member such as Mr. Byrne on the committee, but we're dealing with it.

I suggest that we now move on and vote on this motion.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

I caution the personal comments. You were close there. I don't want to see anybody get that close again.

The floor is open for further debate.

Mr. Byrne.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm kind of glad I rattle the chains of the government, because that's what the public accounts committee is supposed to be all about. It is supposed to hold the government to account. I don't apologize for asking for this meeting and having other members support it. But he's quite right; Mr. Saxton has pointed out that I do stand alone here in many respects calling this government to account. And I do appreciate the fact that we have time on our hands and that to not use that time effectively and use this as a planning session, quite frankly, is a waste of resources. I really believe very strongly that we should be using this time today as a planning session so we can get to work.

I'm glad the NDP in the recorded vote did indeed vote with my motions and say that there were requirements, that there was value to the witnesses I brought forward. I recognize now that the government is saying that disharmony is being created by the Liberal Party of Canada representative on the committee because I actually want this committee to hear witnesses quickly and I want to have a full list of witnesses. I make no apologies for that.

Now, Mr. Chair, with that said, I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Yes, this is not a planning session, but we can make it a planning session if we so choose. But apparently we do not choose to, so let's get on with the vote.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

Thank you.

The floor is open for debate. This is the last call.

Hearing no one, I close debate on the amendment and I will put the amendment to the committee.

Is there anyone who doesn't understand the amendment and would like it read out again?

Hearing no one, once again I will call on the clerk to give us a formal recorded vote. Madam Clerk.

(Amendment agreed to: yeas 10; nays 1)

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

The amendment is carried.

Is there further business?

Mr. Allen.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Chair, I'm assuming we're now going back to the motion as amended. If I'm correct on that, I would like to now speak to the motion as it has now just been amended.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

That amendment carried. We now have the main motion as amended. That's where we are.

Does everybody understand where we are? The amendment carried. The main motion is now amended. The main motion is now back before the committee.

Mr. Allen has the floor. Please continue.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Thank you, Chair.

As much as we're part-way there, we are not the whole way there, and let it not be left unsaid that what we were invited to today was not a planning meeting.

Are we prepared, as New Democrats, as the official opposition? Yes.

Am I disappointed that my counterparts across the way aren't prepared to have a planning meeting today? Yes.

We have seasoned veterans on that side of the table who would have known the process and could have acted accordingly, and we actually could have moved forward today.

So my expectation, Chair—and I say this only as an expectation—is that at four o'clock the government will look to adjourn and look for a planning meeting on April 24. So I would move the following amendment to the main motion, beginning with the third line, where it says “and that the committee hold a planning session at the meeting of April 24”: that the session be held open and in public, not in camera.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

That is, “hold a planning session at the meeting of April 24, 2012, and that it be held in public”.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

That's correct.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

I will take that as an amendment. That amendment is in order.

Are there any challenges? Do you challenge that?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

I will be supporting that amendment.