When we hit one, please indicate to the clerk if you'd like to comment.
Other than the mains, etc., the report cards are coming from the various commissioners. I think we just received one, did we not, from privacy...? It's the plans and priorities and the report cards. They're not coming until the 26th. We won't be in a position to deal with the mains until after we get that, which is at the end of the month. Our challenge is going to be to schedule business for us until we get those and have an opportunity to review it. We talked about the report cards.
Madam Freeman had raised an interest with regard to the process followed by the government in terms of order in council appointments. You will have received in your office from the clerk an e-mail that has the links to all of that information. I did print off most of it. It's quite comprehensive, but it's quite helpful because it goes through, step by step, all of the different checkpoints in terms of considering someone for an appointment, including security checks, etc. Unless Madam Freeman brings forward any further matters, I think that's already been take care of.
She also asked for a list of appointees for our committee. We're working on that.
When the issue with the two reports that I tabled today... I have spoken with the minister, and he was under the impression from his staff that they had already responded and there was no further work to do. I gave him copies of all of the correspondence, including his letter to us saying he will respond to the recommendations, but he wanted an extension until February 15. The prorogation stopped all of that. He is going to come back to me to indicate when they would be able to get the comprehensive response to each of the recommendations and a date.
He also wanted to remind me that he has not agreed to appear before the committee. I assume the committee would like to see the minister after we have received the response to those two reports and had a chance to review them.
We will plan at some point to try to get dates. Certainly, that is going to happen before the summer. The minister is a busy person, but we will extend an invitation to him to come before us so we can discuss his comprehensive response to both our reports.
We are expecting an order in council appointment of the new Information Commissioner. As you all know, we have an acting commissioner right now. We don't know when that's coming. I'm hopeful that we have a full-time appointee. We will have a special, separate meeting dedicated to having the nominee of the government come before us, which is the traditional practice. We would then do a report to the House with the committee's recommendation, and propose a motion of an appointment, which the House will vote on.
In addition to the things Mr. Rickford raised in terms of the broader privacy issues related to emerging...there are lots of things. We have two matters before us, and this is where we want to get a little bit of input from the committee.
The first one has to do with the whole question of camera surveillance. There have been court cases in the past. We've had balloons carrying cameras around the border. Mr. Siksay put together a fairly extensive package on this matter, the whole emerging risks or problems related to camera surveillance in our society. It would take a little time to study. We have no idea right now as to the dimension, but we do hope to discuss it at our steering meeting next Tuesday.
The other item is something that was considered in the last session of Parliament, and in fact the researchers were asked to prepare for the committee a document related to proactive disclosure and access to information.
You may know, for instance, that in the United States, President Obama has his whole economic plan on the web--every project, how many jobs, and other things. They have partial proactive disclosure in terms of access to information. But there are other countries that have, in fact, full proactive disclosure. Virtually everything the government does that's accessible to the public is accessible on the web, other than those matters that are, for instance, cabinet confidences, national security and public interest concerns, and so on, which the government, in their opinion, would not release under access to information because of their nature.
It goes to the question of the possibility of eliminating a tremendous volume of work in terms of processing and delays. This is one the committee expressed an interest in. We will have a copy of a document in a week. For next Thursday's meeting you will have the research information they have available to date on the jurisdictions in which this is occurring.
I wanted to inform you of the two areas the steering committee considered.
Now we also have the matter Mr. Rickford has brought up on the Google sphere of things, which is not exactly camera surveillance. There may be some overlap in terms of the privacy issues, but we'll have to see. We're going to have to get a little bit more information, okay?
We'll consider any other item the members would like to recommend the steering committee consider.
We'll go to Mr. Easter, and then we're going to Madam Freeman and Mr. Rickford.