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Evidence of meeting #16 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was study.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee

Honourable members of the committee, I see that there is a quorum.

Pursuant to Standing Order 106(1), I'm ready to receive motions for the election of the chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

I nominate Kevin Sorenson for chair.

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Okay. Are there any other nominations for the position of chair?

Is it the will of the committee to adopt the motion?

(Motion agreed to)

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Mr. Sorenson is elected chair of the committee.

Does the committee wish to proceed at this time with the election of vice-chairs? I'm ready to receive nominations for the position of the first vice-chair in the opposition.

Mr. Martin.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

I nominate Dr. Bernard Patry.

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Are there any other motions for vice-chair?

The committee has heard the motion.

(Motion agreed to)

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Mr. Patry is elected vice-chair for the official opposition.

I am now ready to receive motions for the second opposition vice-chair.

September 25th, 2006 / 3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

I nominate Ms. Lalonde.

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

Ms. Bourgeois nominates Ms. Lalonde.

Are there any other nominations for second vice-chair.

The motion is that Ms. Lalonde be the second vice-chair.

(Motion agreed to)

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Thank you, committee. It is good to be back in the House and have our committees up and going again.

Our steering committee has met, and we may have an opportunity to--

3:35 p.m.

The Clerk

This is the report from the steering committee.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

We do have a report from the steering committee, and we want to make sure that is passed out.

Madame Bourgeois.

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Chairman, I would first of all like to congratulate you on your election as chair. You have our confidence once again because you have deserved it well.

Reference has been made to the report, which is quite lengthy.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Madame Bourgeois, we are passing out a little brief--I guess it's almost like the minutes--that we went through on the steering committee. We just want to make sure you have that and everyone gets a look at it before we go into the study on Haiti.

Before we get to the study on Haiti, there's some housekeeping we want to take care of. We don't want to cut out a lot of time on the Haiti draft report. If you have any questions on what the steering committee discussed last week, you have the minutes before you. We also need a motion to pass the budget. It gives us the opportunity to bring in witnesses and proceed with our study this fall.

So you see the steering committee report in front of you. We're still trying to make some changes to our meetings. The committee will meet on Tuesdays rather than Mondays commencing October 17, 2006. That's one of the issues. We will continue our study on democratic development. We will move forward with the plan to travel to the Nordic countries from October 7 to 14.

We can come back to any of these points. I want to encourage all members of this committee to speak to their whips.

The purpose of this afternoon's meeting is to discuss the draft report on Haiti; that the Hon. Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, be invited before the committee on September 27, 2006, in regard to Afghanistan; that the committee set aside some time immediately after the break in October--that's after our travel week in October--to look at the situation in Afghanistan; that the clerk investigate the possibility of holding periodic joint meetings with the Standing Committee on National Defence to receive updates from the department concerning ongoing activities in Afghanistan; and that the committee invite witnesses to appear on the study of democratic development, beginning with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on September 27.

Point seven is that a proposed budget--that's what we've already talked about--of $35,000 be adopted so we can send it forward to the Liaison Committee; and that the committee invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Cooperation to appear on its study of the estimates in the first week of November. That timeline is pretty well confined to the end of October, the first part of November. It has to be reported back to the House.

Mr. Van Loan.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

I'd like to move adoption of the report.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Madam McDonough.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Congratulations, Mr. Chair, on your reappointment.

When we held the steering committee and were setting the agenda, it was noted that Bill C-293, which really concerns official international development assistance overseas, was coming before the House, but we didn't know the outcome at that time. It has now passed second reading, and this committee has responsibility to be seized with that legislation. I wonder if we can talk about the scheduling of that matter dealing with the legislation before the committee.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

You're correct on the timeline for when that needs to come in. The Speaker ruled that the committee will have some definite work to do on this, because the bill will need royal recommendation. So for a private member's bill to do that, it was somewhat flawed. It's a challenge to our committee to make sure that those issues are addressed. So I think it's fairly important that we look at when that bill can be brought to the committee.

Mr. Martin.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

I have a couple of things, Mr. Chair, and, again, congratulations on your—

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Thank you.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

—hard-fought win. You were sweating over there. I saw that.

On Bill C-293, I would echo Madam McDonough's comments. I propose that we bring this up as soon as we can after the first break week in October, so that we can start this process, which may take a little bit of time.

The second thing is that I had put in a request for three ministers to appear in front of the committee and I was very happy that Minister O'Connor and Minister MacKay have chosen to appear. I would also ask that Minister Verner appear in front of our committee and that all three of these meetings be televised. It's important that the public have an opportunity to listen to the interventions by all three ministers on an issue we all know is very important to the Canadian public.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

I think the ministers are fairly open to appearing if the times are suitable. I know some are away. In fact, in the case of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is going to be appearing, I think we had to do a little shuffle, didn't we?

3:45 p.m.

The Clerk

Originally I had requested the first week the House came back, but he wasn't here.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

We were trying to get them into time slots, and it's duly noted that all three ministers have been requested to come. I think that should be all right.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Those sessions are to be televised, too.