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Evidence of meeting #26 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was consider.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Roger Scott-Douglas  Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning, Treasury Board Secretariat
Janice Young  Senior Advisor, Strategic Policy, Treasury Board Secretariat
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Chad Mariage

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Perhaps we could encourage parties that have specific recommendations...we will bring them forward. We'll try to get them out to everyone on Monday. We'll send them, obviously, through the clerk, get them out on Monday so that we can discuss them on Tuesday during the first hour, and then we could have the second hour for committee business, Madam Chair.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Is everybody okay with that: draft recommendations on the Lobbying Act to the clerk by Monday so that we can have them translated and circulated at the meeting on Tuesday? Is everybody fine with that?

I would really urge us to actually look beyond Tuesday for committee business, because it makes the clerk's job a little easier if we're not scheduling one meeting at a time, so that if we're actually going to call any witnesses, such as the commissioners, we can give them a heads up about coming.

Mr. Butt.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

I'm relatively new to the process, obviously, Madam Chair, but for the estimates, is there a timeframe in which the committee needs to deal with those? Is there a deadline? Does it have to be by the end of this fiscal year, March 31? How does that normally work?

I think you'd mentioned maybe having each commissioner come in, maybe an hour for each commissioner. I wouldn't say a day for each commissioner; I think that might be a little bit of overkill. I'm not sure what the process is for that, but obviously if that's something we need to get done regardless, then maybe we should be looking at some scheduling around that.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Before I go to Mr. Dusseault, I'm just going to go to the clerk on the timing on the main estimates.

March 1st, 2012 / 12:05 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mr. Chad Mariage

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Standing Order 81.4 states that the main estimates are to be reported or will be deemed reported back to the House no later than May 31 of the current fiscal year.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

So we do have time on scheduling the commissioners, but if the committee is in agreement with doing that, it would be useful to give the commissioners a heads up, because they also have busy schedules.

Mr. Dusseault, you have the floor.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

I agree with my colleague. I think it is important that we look at that in the next few weeks. In our view, that should be one of the committee's next steps. As you say, there isn't much on the agenda for the next few committee meetings. That is something important that should be dealt with quickly.

Moreover, I appreciated what you raised regarding the comments by the Privacy Commissioner on the new rules for confidentiality of private information on Google. I think we could also look at that shortly, perhaps after the estimates, of course, as they are very important.

You also said that a report was tabled in Parliament. So I support, in general, what you are proposing for the upcoming meetings.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Mr. Del Mastro.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.

With respect to scheduling, you indicated that the estimates are available to be reviewed. I think that's something the committee should do. I think responsible committees undertake to do that, so I think it would be wise to make the commissioners aware that we would like to review the estimates with them.

I also would support what Mr. Dusseault just indicated, that this privacy issue that's been flagged is worth looking into as well. However, the motion that I'd moved at this point indicates a single meeting. We don't know if that would be the only meeting required to dispense with the issue related to the motion.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Single meeting with regard—

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

The motion that I'm proposing on Tuesday so far is a single meeting.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

The motion that you had proposed. Okay, sorry.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

It may wind up being a single meeting; it may wind up being more than a single meeting. So we'll have to be open, and there may be no meetings; that's up to the Liberal Party.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Thanks, Mr. Del Mastro.

The clerk is just pointing out...and because he's a great clerk, he's actually drafted a motion for us with regard to the estimates. It doesn't actually mean we have to start the study Thursday.

I'll just read it: Pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, February 28, 2012, the committee undertake the study of the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, specifically votes 40 and 45 under Justice, 15 and 20 under Parliament, and 45 under Treasury Board.

There's no timeframe on that. So if the committee is interested in moving that motion—if somebody would move that motion—then the clerk could at least start contacting the commissioners' offices, recognizing that over the next two weeks may not be a good time to call them. I would suggest we actually wait until later.

Mr. Dusseault, you have the floor.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

I move the motion as you read it.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

Mr. Dusseault has moved that motion. All in favour?

(Motion agreed to)

So we will undertake that.

Now, the only thing we didn't clarify on this—and Mr. Butt, I believe, made the suggestion—is that it's one hour per commissioner, not one meeting.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Yes, I did.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

I just think we need to give the commissioners a bit of a heads up on that.

The second piece I had, Monsieur Dusseault and Mr. Del Mastro, is that you both said something about the Google privacy policy. It would be useful if we had a motion on that. The clerk did draft something.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Can we deal with that on Tuesday?

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

We can deal with that on Tuesday, yes. That would be fine. We could actually have a motion come before the committee that talked about what you want to do about the Google privacy policy.

Mr. Del Mastro.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Thank you.

Perhaps the clerk could just extend that proposed motion to all members and give us a heads up. We can have a look at it, determine if it's exactly what we want to do, and vote on it on Tuesday.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

The clerk has drafted a general motion. We can read it now for your consideration and consider it on Tuesday.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Okay.

12:10 p.m.

The Clerk

The way I've drafted it, it just says that the committee undertake, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), a study of the new Google privacy policy.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Jean Crowder

It's pretty general.