Evidence of meeting #62 for Finance in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was clause.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Trevor McGowan  Acting Chief, Tax Legislation Division, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance
Glenn Campbell  Director, Financial Institutions, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance
Jean-François Girard  Senior Project Leader, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance
Eleanor Ryan  Senior Chief, Financial Institutions Division, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Suzie Cadieux

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Chair, the idea of the member opposite is quite good.

I think these kinds of motions really draw the ire of someone who actually wants us to do our work. This has obviously received.... This is a government bill. It should be treated with respect. However, so should Parliament.

If parliamentarians cannot be given the time to, first of all, see which witnesses we should be inviting to our study, then we will not have good testimony. If we do not have good testimony, we are not doing our jobs.

I think that this is completely abhorrent to proper process and proper conduct by parliamentarians. I think no one will disagree with me that this is fast and loose and is not going to, at the end of day, produce a parliamentary study that we can be proud of.

If members opposite are okay with that, then just simply say yes to Mr. MacKinnon's motion, but we owe a bit more to this place than simply rubber-stamping what comes in from the government.

Believe me, I heard the same kind of stuff when I was on that side. But you have a greater appreciation for this place when we actually let it function, and committee is the one chance where parliamentarians get to do a deeper dive into these bills.

S I would ask Mr. MacKinnon to push back on this and to not engage in such a quick and hurried study. We are not doing our jobs. We are not doing service to this place, and I think at the end of the day, we let ourselves down, Mr. Chair.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. Deltell.

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I think I understand that the approach being presented here is, technically speaking, the usual approach. Bill S-4 is no small matter. The schedule is extremely tight.

Can we assume that everything can be done within the time frames set out in the motion? We first need to know the number of witnesses to determine whether that's possible. Seventeen hours and 33 minutes to find witnesses is not much time. We should at least extend the deadlines for submitting the list of witnesses. If necessary, we should provide more time. We can't get ahead of ourselves.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay.

Mr. MacKinnon.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

I would consider it to be a friendly amendment to adjust the timing until Wednesday at noon. I think that would be fine, noting the clerk's comments about getting witnesses in tomorrow if at all possible so that she may contact them more quickly.

As for Mr. Albas, it has been 13 months, but I didn't think his memory was getting that short about how committees used to work around here and how they work now. The amount of public hearings and rigorous study that we're giving to bills, the pre-budget process, and frankly, the amount of opposition input that we are allowing—I remember discussing with my friends on the other side about the pre-budget recommendations last year—

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I think we're going down a road that we perhaps should not—

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

He went down the road, Mr. Chairman.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Could we stay on the topic of this bill?

The fact of the matter is, if they don't get this bill to us from the Senate, this could be a problem.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

There's a prestudy.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

It's a prestudy, but I think we're looking at going to clause-by-clause consideration on the 12th, and that means we have to have the bill before then.

I'm going to stick to the essence of this motion.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

It's a friendly amendment.

November 28th, 2016 / 6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Are we agreed to the friendly amendment?

6:25 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

I guess it's not friendly then.

We'll have to stick with the motion that's—

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

On the original motion, you're not moving the amendment then?

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

I'm moving the amendment.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

You're moving the amendment for it to be Wednesday at noon.

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

That's right.

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Then the amendment would be that the deadline to submit witness lists for Bill S-4 to the clerk will be Wednesday at noon.

The amendment is on the floor. That's what we're discussing.

(Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

With discussion on the motion as amended, we have Mr. Albas and then Mr. Ouellette

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I'm going to be very brief.

I served as a parliamentary secretary. I worked with members on a committee that was opposition chaired and we got more unanimous reports done than any other iteration of that committee did in 10 years.

We did that by going across and talking about these things ahead of time, asking for input, and working together on what was reasonable. There are always going to be politics in this place, but that doesn't mean we can't be good parliamentarians.

This approach, Mr. MacKinnon through the chair, is not a productive way to do that. If you want to antagonize one another, these are the kinds of things that drive people nuts. I do have a very good memory, and I do know that that process worked. Perhaps members opposite may want to reconsider their approach.

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. Ouellette and then Mr. MacKinnon.

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Thank you, Dan, for the comment. I think we can work together.

I'd just like to point out that it is a Senate bill. It's at second reading in the Senate as of November 24. This is actually a very interesting bill. It's not a very big bill, but it looks at the:

...convention between the Government of Canada and the Government of the State of Israel for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and an arrangement between the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. It also amends the Canada–Hong Kong Tax Agreement Act, 2013 to add to it, for greater certainty, an interpretation provision. The convention and arrangement are generally patterned on the Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

It has two main objectives:

...the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion. Once implemented, they will provide relief from taxation rules in, or related to, the Income Tax Act. Their implementation requires the enactment of this Act.

It's a very small thing. Often you see these things go by. There was, for instance, a trade treaty with Mongolia that was tabled in the House just last September. These are the types of things that, for whatever reason, were introduced in the Senate. I understand that we would love to study the taxation issues of double taxation of Taipei and Hong Kong. I would also love to have had a bit more advance warning. I hope the whip's office hears that, because I do like to get information beforehand. It's something that I think we can deal with swiftly and see through to ensure that we can actually build these economic bridges with Taipei and Hong Kong and with the State of Israel to ensure that a few companies aren't double taxed.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. MacKinnon, you had your hand up and Mr. Liepert.

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Chair, I can't let Mr. Albas' comments go without a response, only to say that I took care to walk over to the other side last week. I can't remember specifically if you were there, but I know I spoke to members from both parties last week. I took care to run this motion by you and I filed notice five days ago, so we've had all that time to consider it. This is hardly anything precipitous.

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Could you mention why it's so urgent that this be dealt with?

Go ahead, Mr. Liepert.