Evidence of meeting #44 for Finance in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was chair.

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On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Caroline Bosc

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

That's excellent. I wish I had this in writing in front of me. It would make the exercise perhaps easier, but—

5:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Do you want me to repeat it?

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

If you could, I would. I'm struggling because the pen I've picked up has also run out of ink, if I can be frank. Give me a moment and I'll have you read it again.

Please go ahead.

5:35 p.m.

The Clerk

I'll go even more slowly.

It reads, “That the finance committee continue to hold hearings until the list of witnesses committee members submit is exhausted, and that the subcommittee convene to discuss scheduling of meetings for witnesses to attend.”

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Perhaps I will move an amendment to the motion on the floor such that the amended motion would read: “That the finance committee continue to hold hearings and that the subcommittee convene...”, and just finish the motion as it was there.

The effective change is only to delete the middle portion, which insists that all witnesses from every party be exhausted before this study concludes, which, I believe, is in accordance with the point that the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has made; although, regrettably, in this instance, she's not a voting member of this committee.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay. Is it seen as a friendly amendment, Mr. Poilievre, and we will meet as a subcommittee on, say, Friday?

Go ahead.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

I didn't actually hear the motion as now proposed as amended in its totality. If there's a way that the clerk could read that, then I could make sense of what's being proposed.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

We'll ask the clerk to read the original motion and then either Mr. Fraser or Madam Clerk to read the amendment.

Go ahead, Madam Clerk.

5:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Would it be preferable maybe for me to read the motion as amended if it were to be adopted?

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

That would be helpful. Yes, please.

5:35 p.m.

The Clerk

If it were to be adopted, the motion would read, “That the finance committee continue to hold hearings, and that the subcommittee convene to discuss scheduling of meetings for witnesses to attend.”

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Okay.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

If it were to carry, Mr. Poilievre, I'd suggest that we have that subcommittee meeting on Friday so as to give the clerk enough time to start inviting witnesses for next week.

We have as witnesses now the Kielburger brothers for four hours, Mr. Li next week, and the PM and chief of staff on Thursday. Then we could prepare the list on Friday to give time to have the witnesses invited.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Okay. I think we'll just have a debate on the amendment and let members jump in. I'll be curious to hear what the other opposition members think of it.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

All right.

We're on the amendment, folks. Mr. Julian is first, and then it's Mr. Fragiskatos.

5:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

I think, Mr. Chair, that the amendment goes in the same sense as the original motion. It extends committee hearings and gives the ability to the steering committee to do the scheduling and to map out how things are going to look in the coming weeks. That is always subject to committee approval, so I don't actually see a huge difference at all. I think it's the same substance.

The concern here is moving beyond the original study. Three weeks ago, we set up a study. A lot has happened since then. A lot of revelations have come out, as Mr. Cooper mentioned. What this does is allow the steering committee to bring a plan back to the main committee and for the main committee to adopt it. I'm, quite frankly, fine either way, and if we can get a consensus around the amendment, then that's good moving forward as well. If you recall, Mr. Chair, the original motion that the NDP brought forward and the original motion that Mr. Poilievre brought forward both were adopted with the support of members from all four parties on the committee, and that kind of collaboration is important.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay. We will go now to Mr. Fragiskatos. Do you want in as well, Mr. Ste-Marie? I didn't see your hand there. Do you want in? No? Okay.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Chair, I have no problem with what Mr. Fraser has suggested to the committee. It certainly will give a bit more work to the subcommittee. I can say that because I sit on the subcommittee, Mr. Chair. Mr. Julian's there, and Mr. Poilievre's there.

Your suggestion about a Friday meeting is a good one. It gets us past this original problem with the word “exhaustive”. I legitimately believe that would have stood in the way of the committee's carrying out important work on matters relating to COVID-19. This motion allows for further analysis of the WE Charity issue, but in a way that is not prohibitive of the committee's wider mandate, which is to examine economic matters relating to cabinet.

I'm very much in favour of what's been proposed.

July 27th, 2020 / 5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay.

Ms. Koutrakis is next.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Annie Koutrakis Liberal Vimy, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm in favour of this proposal as well. I think it's an efficient way to work this through and get to what my colleague Mr. Poilievre recommended in his motion. I think it's an efficient way. It meets the objective.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay.

Go ahead, Mr. McLeod.

I was going to ask if we have consensus here to go ahead with the proposed amendment. We can vote on it if—

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

I think if we can just make it a friendly amendment I'm fine with that.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay. Mr. McLeod, did you want to speak?

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Yes, Mr. Chair. I think Pierre just cancelled my reason to speak—

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay.