Colleagues, I'll bring the meeting to order. Even though we're missing two members, I think we'll begin.
First I'd like to welcome the new members to our committee for today's meeting, Madame Lapointe and Monsieur Ellis.
Before we begin, I'd also like to introduce and welcome our two members from Privy Council, Madame Boyle and Monsieur Hill. Their primary purpose in being here will be to answer questions that committee members may have about any of the clauses in Bill C-24, which we will be examining today. They're here as a resource, and I would encourage you, should you have any questions, to ask them your questions directly. I'm sure they'll be more than prepared to answer any queries you may have.
Before we start, particularly since we have a couple of new members and since we will be dealing with a few amendments that have been provided for consideration in today's examination, I'd like to go over a bit of a pro forma discussion, or introductory remarks, that you may find helpful. For those of you who have not gone through a clause-by-clause examination before, I would ask you to please pay some attention to this information.
The committee will consider each of the clauses in the order in which they appear in the bill. Once I have called a clause, it is subject to debate and a vote. If there are amendments to clauses in question—and we do have a few of them—I will recognize the member proposing the amendment, who may explain it. The amendment will then be open for debate. When no further members intervene, the amendment will be voted on.
Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the package that each member should have in front of them. If there are amendments that are consequential to each other—and there are a couple—they will be voted on together. In addition to having to be properly drafted in a legal sense, amendments must be also procedurally admissible. I have with me some bright procedural minds. They will be able to advise us, and particularly the chair, if amendments are inadmissible. I have examined them and I don't believe that they are inadmissible; we should be able to go forward. The amendments would be inadmissible if they went against the principle of the bill or beyond the scope of the bill—both of which were adopted, of course, at second reading—or if they offended the financial prerogative of the crown. Again, I don't think that is the case in this matter.
If you wish to eliminate a clause of the bill altogether, the proper course of action is to vote against the clause when the time comes, not to propose an amendment to the clause. If you vote against it, the clause will be eliminated.
If, during the process, the committee decides not to vote on a clause, that clause can be put aside by the committee if the committee so wishes, and we can revisit it later in the process.
Amendments have been given a number in the top right-hand corner of your package to indicate which party submitted them. There is no need for a seconder to move an amendment, and once an amendment is moved, unanimous consent is required to withdraw it. Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the title and the bill itself, and an order to reprint the bill may be required if amendments are adopted, so that the House will have a proper copy for use at report stage.
Finally, the committee will have to order the chair to report the bill to the House. That report contains only the text of any adopted amendments as well as an indication of any deleted clauses.
If we're clear, we will proceed, unless there are any questions from committee members.
We will start with clause 1.
(Clause 1 agreed to on division)
(On clause 2)
We have an amendment to clause 2, and I'll call upon Mr. Blaikie to speak to the amendment.