Evidence of meeting #76 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was section.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Olivier Champagne  Legislative Clerk, House of Commons
Ruth Naylor  Executive Director, Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

It is?

5:10 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Whoa—let me start again.

It's consistent with all the other efforts I've made to make sure there's an injury test. I'm just hoping that people will see fit to amend it accordingly, because otherwise, as I said earlier, lawyer-laundering is a well-known fate in this country: bring a lawyer to a meeting, call it solicitor-client, and close the door.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Is there any further debate? If not, I'll call the vote.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

(Clause 10 agreed to)

(On clause 11)

On NDP-16, Mr. Rankin.

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Okay, I got sort of lucky that time. Hopefully, I'll get a little luckier this time.

Section 24 of the act consists of a schedule of a lot of other acts that have non-disclosure clauses. Way back in the early 1990s, it was recommended that this section be repealed because the interests protected by that list of acts is actually protected elsewhere in the exceptions. I note that schedule II is growing. In 1983, there were 40 provisions and 33 statutes. As of 2014, there were 81 of these provisions and 58 statutes. So much for the right to know.

I'm hoping that this committee will go along with the Information Commissioner's recommendation in this regard and fix this problem.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Mr. Rankin, this is another ruling from the chair.

Bill C-58 removes a moot subsection from section 24 of the Access to Information Act. The amendment seeks to repeal section 24 of the act. As House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition, states on page 766, “An amendment to a bill that was referred to committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

In the opinion of the chair, due to the very technical modification it makes to section 24, the scope and principle of the bill don't allow for a complete elimination of the section. Therefore, I rule the amendment inadmissible.

We'll move on.

(Clause 11 agreed to)

Next is NDP-17.

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

I believe NDP-17 is consistent with the Information Commissioner's recommendation and the amendment simply would say:

if, under subsection (1), a part of a record is, for the purpose of being disclosed, severed from a record that is otherwise subject to solicitor-client privilege, the remaining part of the record continues to be subject to that privilege.

It's an amendment to section 25.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Thank you, Mr. Rankin.

Unfortunately, again, it's inadmissible based on the parent act principle.

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Chair, the good news is that I can withdraw NDP-18 because it's essentially a duplicate of the other one.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

NDP-18 has been withdrawn, so we'll move on to NDP-19.

Go ahead, Mr. Rankin.

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

This amendment is relatively straightforward. We are suggesting that section 26 be replaced with the following.

There is a requirement where, if an institution believes that material is going to be published by the government, and currently it says within 90 days, then they can withhold it. We're suggesting that that be limited or reduced to 60 days.

Proposed section 26.1 would say that, if the Information Commissioner recommends after an investigation, the head may disregard an access request that's contrary to the purposes of the act, which is again, something recommended by our Information Commissioner.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Again, Mr. Rankin, amendment NDP-19 is ruled inadmissible based on the parent act rule.

We have another amendment.

Mr. Erskine-Smith or is it Mr. Baylis?

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Baylis Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

I have an amendment, LIB-4.2, new clause 11.1. Section 26 of the act is replaced by the following:

The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part or any part of a record if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material in the record or in part of the record will be published by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Crown—other than under Part 2—within 90 days after the request is made or within any further period of time that may be necessary for printing or translating the material for the purpose of printing it.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Thank you, Mr. Baylis.

Is there debate?

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Through you, Chair, just to understand what this does that's different from the current section 26, what is the effect of this change? Is it just to reference part 2 now? Is it just a technical amendment, or is it a substantive change that is intended?

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Mr. Baylis.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Baylis Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

I'm going to attempt to answer Mr. Rankin's question.

It's a clarification, so that if there is an ATIP under part 1, the government could not use this section to not publish information. It's a clarification on that aspect of it. The government could not use part 2 to stop something in part 1.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Is there any further debate?

(Amendment agreed to)

Shall clause 12 carry?

(Clause 12 agreed to)

(On clause 13)

Mr. Dubourg.

November 6th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I propose:

That Bill C-58, in Clause 13, be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following:

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Mr. Rankin.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Once again, what is the purpose of this amendment?

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

It is a consequential amendment to what we did earlier.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

So it is a technical amendment?

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Yes, exactly.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Bob Zimmer

Is there any further debate?

(Amendment agreed to)

We'll move to NDP-20.

Mr. Rankin.