I call the meeting to order, and I would ask the media to take their leave.
I want to welcome you all to the 19th meeting of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-30. The easy part is over. This is where the recycled rubber hits the road.
I want to say at the beginning that in the process, we have a lot of expertise in the room. I intend to be methodical as we go through this, and rely on this expertise that we have in the room, both at the front and at the back. We have some members from Environment Canada here today. They are John Moffet and Michel Arès. Phil Blagden is here from Health Canada. We'll also have other officials from NRCan and Transport Canada here as we need them, as we go along.
You also have a document called “Bill C-30 Clause-by-Clause for Members”. That's from the department, and it is the department's expertise on the bill.
I would also like to share some information with committee members before we proceed with the clause-by-clause study of this bill. As you know, there is a possibility that divisions on certain clauses, amendments or subamendments may result in tied votes, at which point I will be asked to deliver a casting vote.
The issue of the casting vote is explained on pages 268 and 269 of Marleau and Montpetit's House of Commons Procedure and Practice.
Therefore, without anticipating any results in clause-by-clause, I want to inform members that if there are tied votes on clauses of the bill, I will vote in the affirmative in order to leave the bill in its existing form. If there are tied votes on amendments or subamendments, the chair will vote in the negative in order to maintain the status quo and to keep the question open to further amendment, either here in committee or in the House at report stage.
Finally, I intend to notify the Speaker of any casting votes delivered on amendments. Normally, the Speaker will not select, at report stage, any motions that are defeated in committee. However, the Speaker does exercise a discretionary power of selection, and I intend to provide him with as much information as possible on which to base his selection decisions for report stage in the House. I trust this information will assist the committee in the decision-making process on this bill.
We're now going to embark on the detailed clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-30. I'd like to take a minute to ensure that committee members have the documents they will need. I think they do.
At the end of last week, 66 amendments had been received by the clerk. These were packaged into a binder and distributed to members first thing on Monday morning, March 19. One additional amendment was received from the NDP after the binders were sent out, and this has just now been distributed this morning. Earlier this morning, we received 34 amendments from the Liberal Party. We are advised that they are to replace the Liberal amendments currently found in your binders. These have been copied, and I believe you have been given them.