Evidence of meeting #70 for Health in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendments.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. David Gagnon
Karin Phillips  Committee Researcher

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We will start the meeting. Welcome to meeting number 70 of the Standing Committee on Health. We're going to have all committee business and no witnesses today.

The first thing we have on our agenda is the election of a new vice-chair. The chair has received the resignation of Mr. Webber.

I want to thank you for your exemplary service as vice-chair. You made no mistakes and did everything really well.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

I don't think that's correct, but thank you.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Thank you very much on behalf of the committee.

Mr. Clerk, I turn it over to you.

3:30 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mr. David Gagnon

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the first vice-chair must be a member of the official opposition.

I am now prepared to receive motions for the first vice-chair.

Mr. Webber.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

I'd like to make a motion that we elect Marilyn Gladu as the vice-chair of this committee.

3:30 p.m.

The Clerk

Are there any further motions?

(Motion agreed to)

I declare Marilyn Gladu duly elected first vice-chair of the committee.

Congratulations.

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Thank you, Clerk. Thank you, Chair.

I promise to try to do my best, as good a job as Mr. Webber did.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right. I hope everything goes as well as that one did.

Now the second thing on our agenda is the budget concerning the Bill C-45 study. We have gone overboard. We have a deficit and we need a new motion. We need approval of the new budget, which is an additional $33,800, or our witnesses who have already been here will not get paid for their expenses. This is a reflection of our 100 witnesses or so.

Do we have a motion to approve the budget? Thank you, Mr. McKinnon.

Is there any discussion?

(Motion agreed to)

All right. That's good.

Are there any other motions? I think, Mr. Oliver, you have a motion.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I have two motions. I'll deal with them one at a time.

Just by way of introduction, in dealing with Bill C-45, I realize that the expert task force instructed part of Bill C-45. They travelled for six months across Canada listening to Canadians, and they received 30,000 submissions in the course of that work. Our committee, when we received the bill, heard from over 100 witnesses and received over 100 submissions. I think that was the count I had. Because of the efficient and, I think, very effective way that we dealt with it, we consolidated what would have been about four months of committee work into that one-week period. By my count, we as a committee in this sitting have not yet heard from 100 people on any other study. Even for our study on national pharmacare, we haven't heard from this many witnesses, so we have done extensive work.

We also heard that it was important that we get moving with the legislation. We heard from municipalities, police, and from one province that they really need to understand the federal legislation in order to do their next level of government work so that they can be ready to roll out in July 2018, which is the government's committed date to enact the legislation.

With that preamble, I would make the following motion:

That, the Committee, in its consideration of the Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts proceed as follows: a) that the Committee proceed with the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-45 no later than October 2, 2017, provided that the Chair may limit debate on each clause to a maximum of five minutes per party, per clause; b) that amendments be submitted to the Clerk of the Committee no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 28, 2017 and distributed to members in both official languages; and c) that if the Committee has not completed the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-45 by 6:00 p.m. on October 5, 2017, all remaining amendments submitted to the Committee shall be deemed moved, the Chair shall put the question, forthwith and successively, without further debate on all remaining clauses and amendments submitted to the Committee, as well as each and every question necessary to dispose of clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill, as well as all questions necessary to report the Bill to the House and to order the Chair to report the Bill to the House as early as possible.

I would so move.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Is there any debate? Mr. Davies.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Thank you.

Just from a structural point of view, I appreciate the desire of the government to move quickly, but I want to put on the record that I think this is moving too quickly. I won't belabour the point or repeat points made before, but I do think that carefully considering this bill is the proper way to go. I think we can all say that we learned a lot from the witnesses last week. I know I did. There were a number of issues that I didn't think of and a lot of points made that I wasn't aware of, so I would anticipate that if we heard from more stakeholder groups, we would probably continue to hear things that we weren't aware of, and learn things that we should know.

Having said that, I can tell that the government is obviously locked into an approach on this bill to rush it as expeditiously as it can through this committee and get it into the House.

I would point out as well that we have a full parliamentary year to get this bill passed by July 1. I've been in Parliament for nine years and I'm aware of the cadence. With the power of a majority government to impose time allocation when it wishes to, there's really no reason, I think, that we have to, as Mr. Oliver said, compress four months' work into one week. I don't think that's a healthy way to legislate and to properly consider this bill. We're going to move forward without hearing from a lot of groups that we should be hearing from, and without considering things that we ought to.

I also was going to move a motion that we tour, as committee travel, to visit a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis, a cannabis dispensary, a cannabis compassion club, and a producer of edible cannabis products so that we could actually have first-hand knowledge of what's going on in the real world, but I'm not going to move that motion because I know the Liberals will oppose it and won't do it given this timeline. That being the case then, with the motion before us, which I understand is going to be pressed by the government regardless of what the opposition has to say on it, I will make a couple of small suggestions.

October 2 is the day the Governor General is being sworn in at the Senate. My understanding from our House leader and whip is that the parties have secured unanimous agreement that we're going to be treating that Monday as a Wednesday, meaning that there will be no sitting of the House. We're treating it as if we have caucus meetings. I think it would be both inappropriate for us to be meeting at the same time that every other member of Parliament is invited to go see the swearing in of the Governor General and disrespectful, frankly, to the Governor General's office, for us to schedule work at the same time that important transition is taking place.

I also would propose that we start on October 3, which is the Tuesday, so we have October 3 to October 5, which is three days. I know John hasn't indicated in the motion how the committee will sit, unless I missed it. We haven't decided yet, but I'm in John's hands on that. If we want to go for eight hours a day, as we did before, or have multiple meetings, that's fine.

Of course, it's all moot at the end of the day anyway, because the text of the motion will deem the bill passed at a certain point on October 5, regardless of where we're at, so the motion takes away any attempt by the opposition parties to try to hold up the bill or be deleterious, which, for the record, the NDP has no intention of doing in any event. We have about, I'd say, probably somewhere around 10 amendments. I plan on speaking briefly and effectively to each one of those, not with a motive to hold things up but just to get our reasons on the record, so I see no reason why we won't be able to move through the clause-by-clause easily within the three days in any event.

It also, frankly, gives us one more day to get ready. We have a lot of material to go through, and I want to take a moment to congratulate all my colleagues on this committee on all sides for what I thought were a lot of penetrating questions on a lot of different issues. I've started the process of looking through the evidence that we heard, and there's a lot of it. A lot of it was very good.

One of the reasons I don't think we should start this clause-by-clause quite so quickly is that it forces us next week to have to process all of that information we received, analyze it, internalize it, place it into effective amendments, work with legislative counsel, make sure it's within the scope of the bill, and then have it translated in both languages, all within the next seven days. That's very tight for an important bill of this magnitude, but if we're going to do that, then at least we can have Friday and the Monday to get prepared for the clause-by-clause.

I'm going to speak to this a little bit later, but I do think we cannot adequately plan for the clause-by-clause study of Bill C-45 without also knowing our schedule for next week, so I'll take the opportunity now to say that it will be my suggestion—and I will move this at the appropriate time—that we don't sit on Tuesday or Thursday. I know that the PBO is planning to release his report on pharmacare, I think, on the Thursday, and I'll speak to that when it comes to that. But these two—

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I think he's releasing it on Wednesday to us.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Yes, I heard he's releasing it Thursday, but Wednesday an embargoed copy will come to us, which gives us, I don't know, 18 hours to internalize the PBO's report that they took months and months to write, costing out the largest social program envisioned by the federal government in a generation. We will not be in any position whatsoever to offer meaningful comment on that PBO report on the Thursday, if the PBO comes. It will do injustice to the PBO, frankly, to invite the PBO here on a Thursday, with that level of preparation.

I'm happy to co-operate with this sort of expedited process on Bill C-45, but I hope the Liberals will work with us in a good-faith attempt to make sure that we have time next week to really work on the amendments to Bill C-45, and then we can invite the PBO back in a couple of weeks.

I see John nodding. If that's the case, and I don't want to put words in his mouth, but—

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I just need a clarification. What are you proposing for October 2?

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

That we don't meet. I think we should meet on October 3, 4, and 5, and we'll easily pass this bill by the deadline that the government has set in the motion.

I look forward to hearing from my other colleagues. I don't know if the Liberals have any amendments, and if my colleagues on the Conservative side do, but with 20 or 30 amendments we can pass that bill in clauses of 10, like we often do. There's a lot of this bill that is not controversial, a lot of it's regulatory and only enabling, so I think we can meet the government's objective and also, I think, take a rational and reasonable approach to scheduling.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Are you moving an amendment to the motion?

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I guess I would. I guess I would move that we amend this to “no later than October 3”. Again, that's purely so we'll have the ability to get ready, and also to respect the Governor General's swearing-in, which some of us around this table would like to see. I know I would.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Ms. Gladu, did you want to speak to this or speak to something else?

September 21st, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Yes, I'd like to speak to this. Thank you, Chair.

I would agree with many of my colleague's comments. I do feel the government is rushing this bill and I would have liked to have seen more witnesses, but we won't belabour that point.

My real disappointment is that the clause-by-clause stage is going to be done in a week when Mr. Davies is going to be out of the country, and I am previously committed to go and be a speaker at a palliative care conference. Knowing that, and knowing that this government is choosing this week anyway, I think that's a bad idea and it does indicate that they're rushing.

I would say, further, that I do want to start on October 2, because I'm not going to be here on October 5 and October 6, and I think if Mr. Davies is not here, then he can pick anybody who can be flexible to attend that day. That would be my suggestion.

The only thing I would say is that I don't intend to be deleterious either. Certainly, we want to move through the amendments. We don't have a lot of amendments from the Conservative side, but I wouldn't want to come to 6 p.m. on October 5 and still have things outstanding. I can't imagine we would, but I wouldn't want to arbitrarily cut it off. I think it's really important to make sure we look at this bill and get it right.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I'm not clear. On October 2 your proposal is that we do meet on—

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

My proposal is to keep your language, but this subamendment has been made so we'll have to vote on that first.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Okay.

Mr. Oliver.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Thank you for that discussion around the motion.

We didn't know the Governor General's swearing-in was coming. I would think we should begin our clause-by-clause after QP on Monday. If it's a Wednesday, we could begin our clause-by-clause at 3:30 p.m. and commence on the Monday. I think that might then allow a bit more flexibility on the amendments being in. I know it's important to the clerk that he has time to organize them and coordinate them. I was going to suggest maybe noon on September 29 for the amendments to be in. We'll have a bit of time, then, to get them distributed on the Monday morning.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

What's your vision for the meetings on October 3, 4, and 5? Are these two-hour meetings or all day?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I think we're looking at all-day meetings until we are sure and confident that we will be able to finish the clause-by-clause. We'd be moving into eight-hour meetings.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Okay, except for Monday. Monday would be just after question period.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

We would start our clause-by-clause at 3:30 on Monday afternoon.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right.

Mr. Davies, did you want to comment on that amendment to the amendment to the amendment?

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I think that's a nice compromise. I guess we'd go 3:30 to 5:30 on Monday, or something like that, and then—

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I think the reception.... Sorry.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I was just going to say I've done a number of these. If you have all day Tuesday, all day Wednesday, and all day Thursday, you will have lots of time. That's 24 hours. I'll predict now that we'll be finished this bill in half that time.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I've never done this before. Will we be sitting through question period? Will we miss question period?

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

No.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

You could miss it....

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

I would love to.

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

This will be all day, except we'll attend question period.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

When you say all day, I'm imagining it to mean the way we sat to hear the witnesses, so 8:30 to 6:00. Is that what you mean by “all day”?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Yes. That should give us lots of time. It's a good idea for your motion to include no meetings next week, because that gives us time to prepare for all these things, amendments and clause-by-clause.

Mr. Oliver.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I think 3:30 to 5:30 is a reasonable start. It will give us a good sense of how we're doing. Let's set up for 9:00 to 6:00 for the next days. If we're moving expeditiously through it, then maybe we can look at shortening that, but we should make sure that as a committee we have time to do the clause-by-clause.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right. We seem to have a little bit of a consensus here.

The clerk was just asking about the amendments deadline for September 28, just to make sure everybody understands the date.

Mr. Davies.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Just to make completely sure this door is closed, we're talking about the clause-by-clause the week of October 2. The following week is a break week. The week after that, we return. Is there any possibility on the government side to move the clause-by-clause to that week, on exactly the same basis as we have here?

This would be for a couple of reasons. It allows me to be here. It allows Marilyn to be here. It gives us a bit of breathing room on the amendments. It doesn't really hold back the government's legislative agenda very much, because you lose the week after as a break week anyway. Really, it just puts it back one parliamentary week.

I'm just wondering, John, if there's any appetite. That would be perfect, from my point of view, and I'll stop saying you're rushing the bill, too, if you do that.

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

I'm not so sure about that.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

The date that's in the motion is the date that needs to stand.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right.

Is there any further debate?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

The motion, then, will be that the Committee proceed with clause-by-clause consideration “no later than 3:30 on October 2, 2017”. Do we need to spell out in the motion the agreement that we're ending at 5:30 that day and then doing eight-hour days after that? Is that clear enough from the discussion here?

3:45 p.m.

A voice

I think it's clear, yes.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Are we going to leave the amendments in at the same time? The clerk is indicating some concern about circulation of material if we do it at noon on September 29. We have a bit more time on the Monday to get it out, but then we wouldn't have time to process it and look at it. He wants to—

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

I would just say that the amendments we're going to make have been submitted to the legislative clerk to have a look at. They thought the timing was very tight, so I'm hoping they'll be back in time, by end of business day September 28, which is what we told them.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Davies.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I'm going to continue to make a pitch for John's suggestion that we make it noon on September 29, for a couple of reasons. I don't really understand the need for the rush. We can move amendments from the floor. I don't have to send my amendments in whatsoever. I know it's better to, and I'm going to, but that being the case—given what we're working towards—we're already under the gun right now. There's a lot of stuff and we're working on amendments with legislative counsel.

I'm just wondering.... I don't know if the clerk can advise why we have to have them in on that day.

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

Of course, you're the ones deciding, but the reason it is September 28 is for us to take all of the amendments and put them in a package so that you can have a look at them the following day. If you do it on the Friday, I'm not sure we're going to be able to send them around on Friday. It might be on Monday, and you'll start clause-by-clause consideration on Monday. That's the reason I think it would be preferable to do it on September 28, but you're the ones deciding.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

There's a lot of work to do.

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

Let me add also that if you do it on September 28, it is going to be the same thing for the independents. They're going to have the same deadline as you.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Let me ask a question, then. We're working toward that deadline, but that doesn't preclude our moving an amendment even if we don't have it in by that deadline. Am I correct in that?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

No, it doesn't, but the reason that committees often adopt deadlines is that you want to give members time to look at the amendments. If you don't provide them in advance, it's really hard. We might have to suspend the meeting so that members have time to look at the amendments. That's the reason committees usually adopt deadlines.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I understand that, but I'm still not clear on your answer, because I know that I can move an amendment from the floor—not that I'm going to do so, but there's no requirement to give notice.

Again, then, nothing in this motion would preclude our moving a motion at the time of clause-by-clause, even if we haven't put it in by September 28. Am I right about that?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

Yes, but since it would be the will of the committee to have amendments submitted beforehand, it would be preferable. It does not take out your right to submit amendments, especially if something new happens during the debate. This sometimes happens, because you cannot know in advance what the debate will be.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I might just say one more thing. I've already found one part of the bill, maybe two, on which I'm not going to draft an amendment in advance, because I want to ask the legislative counsel who are present what the text means, and I may or may not want to amend it, depending on what they say.

I'll give the example. There's something in the bill that says—I'm going by memory—that Canadians are prohibited from being in possession of more than four plants that are not flowering or budding. Does that mean you can have more plants that are flowering or budding?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

I don't know.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

In that example I'm not preparing an amendment, because I don't even really know what this means yet. There are often things that come up when you're going through the bill clause by clause that mean you may want to move to amend it to clarify.

Am I clear that this is the deadline, but that we're not precluded from moving amendments on the day, if we want?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

Yes.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Is there any way to get clarification from the officials before that meeting, so that Mr. Davies could have a clarification on his question? Can he approach—

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

Do you mean officials from the department? They will probably be there.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

There's a broader question here. Do we want any resources available to us as we do the clause-by-clause?

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I would say we should have.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Don't they come automatically? I think the departmental officials come.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right. Is everybody happy so far?

The one big, important thing is, are we going to have food?

3:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I assume we're going to sit from 9:00 a.m. right through to question period.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

To clarify, part (b) will stay as it's written, and part (c) will stay as it's written.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Then the subamendment is to part (a).

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

That's correct.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Just going back to my question, are we sitting from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., straight through, and then going to question period?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

It's from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

But we are going to attend question period. Then we come back after question period and sit until 6:00 p.m.

That means food, then, isn't that right?

3:50 p.m.

The Clerk

We can, yes.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right. I think we have that clarified. I appreciate everybody's input.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I'm assuming there's flexibility for the chair to give us proper bio breaks, lunch breaks, and such as we proceed during the day.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Only if you're good.

3:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Do we have to do the amendment first, or can we consolidate it?

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

We have to do the subamendment for the October 3 amendment.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All in favour of the October 3 amendment, Mr. Davies' amendment, please signify.

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

No, we're not.... We're going to October 2 at 3:30 p.m.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I'm sorry. We have agreed on October 2, but later, after question period.

I didn't mean October 3. I meant adjusting so that October 2 is just a part day, not a whole day.

All in favour of that motion, please signify.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

The protocol is that when he has made an amendment to say “October 3”, we have to vote on that first. When we turn that down, we can vote on the amended motion that Mr. Oliver has, which says we're going to start right after QP on October 2.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I just saw that we had a consensus going here. That's all.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Chair, I'll withdraw my amendment. I can tell I don't have the support of the majority, so I'll withdraw the proposed change of date to October 3.

(Amendment withdrawn)

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Thank you very much.

(Motion agreed to)

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I have a second motion on Bill C-45.

When we heard from the witnesses, many issues came up that were not necessarily part of Bill C-45, but very impassioned discussion and concerns were raised around them. I was going to move that we request that the analysts draft a short letter, no longer than five pages, to be sent to the Minister of Health.

The letter would summarize the most credible evidence and best advice the committee had received regarding several discrete issues that we believe are important. On the list I had of discrete issues was the need for public health education and an awareness campaign; establishing metrics and baseline measurements to evaluate the success of Bill C-45; collaborative and respectful outreach and support to first nations, Inuit, and Métis communities to ensure appropriate implementation; legalizing alternatives, especially edibles; pardons for those who were charged or convicted of crimes now legalized by Bill C-45; and concerns regarding management of international treaties.

I would move that, but I would be open to adding to that list of issues or shrinking it.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

When would we have a crack at the draft letter, at what stage? Would that be in clause-by-clause?

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

At some point, we would need to take the time to review the letter.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Davies.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I think it's a good idea, and certainly some of those issues are appropriate to direct the analysts to write on, but some of them are not because they're actually the subject of the bill. You're previewing an outcome prior to the clause-by-clause and amendments.

For instance, on edibles, it's no surprise that I'll be moving amendments on that. I don't think the Liberals want to look as though they're instructing the analysts to write a letter to the minister to study the introduction of edibles into the bill before we've had a chance to do clause-by-clause and entertain the amendments that I'm going to be moving on it, and the same thing for pardons.

On education, on metrics, on outreach to indigenous groups, and on international treaties, I believe those subjects are appropriate right now for the analysts to work on. On public education, metrics, and outreach to first nations, Inuit, and Métis, and then the last one, the management of international treaties, none of those are actually touched by the bill, so I think it's appropriate to start working.

However, we can't anticipate where this committee is not going to pass an amendment. If we actually feel strongly that edibles should be included in the bill, instead of writing the minister, maybe we'll do our job and amend the bill next week or the week after.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Are you saying it shouldn't be in the letter?

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

No, I think it's bad form to instruct the analysts to start writing a letter to the minister on subjects that we have the opportunity to amend at this committee.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. McKinnon.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

I take Mr. Davies' point, but I think this list of topics is suggestive. I don't believe the letter should go out before we've finished deliberations on the clause-by-clause. We can revise this list, and add to it or subtract from it, once we've finished the clause-by-clause. I personally would like to see that kind of language from our analysts to have an idea what the letter would look like in the end. Actually, to that list, I would also suggest adding a provision to consider licensees who have had previous convictions relating to cannabis.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Do you mean people who have participated in the industry, who had been convicted at an earlier stage?

4 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Correct. These are all things that we may or may not deal with in clause-by-clause. I think currently they are not part of the bill. It's something reasonable to consider as potential text.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Ms. Gladu.

4 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

I think it's more powerful when we come with a unanimous letter. I like the idea of that. I would be prepared to support the four that Mr. Davies indicated: the public health education and awareness; the establishing of metrics; the outreach and support to first nations, Inuit, and Métis; and the concerns regarding management of international treaties.

I would exclude the other two because I expect the NDP to bring amendments on those and I would not be supportive of the one that's been proposed by Mr. McKinnon.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Oliver.

4 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

On the consideration for the licensing of producers with prior convictions, if there were a successful amendment to the bill and they were subsequently able to be pardoned, that probably wouldn't stand in the way of their applications.

I would accept those changes. I also agree with the comment that this is probably something we look at after we've finished clause-by-clause because there is no intent here to attempt to pre-empt the work of the committee.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Davies.

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

If John is in agreement, then I am. I was just going to respond to Ron's point, but yes, I think it's bad form to have a piece of paper in advance that's basically just telling people you're not going to entertain any amendments. That's not really—

4 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

That wasn't the intent of this motion.

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

No.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We have Mr. Oliver's motion on the floor as amended, removing two subjects and adding one. Is that correct?

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

No. There are four: the first one, the second one, the third one, and the last one. We are removing the fourth and fifth.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

What about the proposal by Mr. McKinnon to talk about people who have previous convictions?

4 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

I'll withdraw that suggestion.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right.

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Incidently, if we are looking at this letter after clause-by-clause, if we haven't amended the bill then it would be appropriate at that time to put those back in the letter.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All in favour of the amended motion?

(Motion agreed to)

Amazing. It's unanimous.

Thanks very much.

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Chair, I have a quick question—I'm sorry—about the clause by clause. I can't remember if those are in camera or televised. Are they public?

I'll request that we televise mainly—and I will give credit to the government for their televising of the witness testimony—to finish off this loop, particularly because we're doing it quite quickly. It would be wise to have Canadians see the amendment process.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Is that a motion?

4 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

It is indeed. I move that the clause-by-clause meetings be televised.

(Motion agreed to)

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Excellent.

Now, we had a proposed schedule for the PBO report, but that just got changed. Next week we are not going to have any meetings. We have to decide when we're going to have the PBO give his report and then we are going to.... Are we going to have one meeting with him? Are we going to have a draft report meeting? How are we going to do this?

Would you like to suggest timing for this? We're now scheduled for up until October 5.

4:05 p.m.

Karin Phillips Committee Researcher

I will leave the timing of the meeting with the PBO up to you.

We redistributed the work plan, or the remaining meetings of the work plan, and that consists of getting a presentation from the PBO, who will present his report. After that, the other thing that was on the work plan was a final round table discussion, which the committee agreed would be longer. It would be about a three-hour meeting, and then in a subsequent meeting, you would provide us with drafting instructions for the final report.

Yesterday, or maybe it was today, the summary of evidence was distributed. I tried out a new format, so I'm open to feedback if you want me to do it differently. I did it in a series of tables so that you could clearly see what the witness said, a summary of the key points, and then their recommendations. I thought that would be helpful when you're providing me with drafting instructions if you could see very clearly who said what without my providing a kind of narrative.

The testimony is divided based on subjects. I know it's a bit long, so each table is prefaced with a little summary within the summary. That's on the pharmacare.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Basically, we would have a meeting with the PBO to make the report. Then we're going to have a round table meeting to discuss it, and we already have a list here. Then we'll have another meeting for drafting instructions for the PBO.

I believe Ms. Gladu is first and then Mr. Oliver.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Thank you, Chair.

I was going to suggest that the first date after October 5 is, I believe, the week after Thanksgiving.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

The 17th is the Tuesday.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

If the PBO is available then, my recommendation would be that we try to do it that day, and then the meetings would follow as you suggested.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

On the 19th we would have the round table, and then the next week on the 24th we would have the drafting instructions.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Those would be my suggestions.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Oliver.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

I certainly have no problem with the timing on the PBO report, but I thought there were still two meetings with witnesses that we had not yet accomplished. Was there not one on provincial-federal jurisdictions, and was there not one more on other jurisdictions? I thought we had two meetings left.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We did the constitutional meeting, right?

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Did we do the constitutional?

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We don't have one on our list.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Okay, so we finished off all of our witnesses? That's good. We were more efficient in the spring than I remember.

I guess that's because I was away.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Mr. Davies.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I just want to clarify that too, because one of the reasons it's confusing is that we were going to have a big constitutional lawyers meeting, and I think just about every witness that we invited did not come, so it was rather anticlimactic, if I remember.

We have the PBO, and then we have the final round table, so we have two more meetings.

Sorry, Marilyn, I was talking when you were talking, and I didn't catch it. Can you tell me what your proposal is for when we should schedule those two meetings? Is it the week after we come back?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

It's the week after we come back from Thanksgiving, but if Mr. Oliver is correct and we have other witnesses.... We have no other witnesses. Okay, then I just said see if the PBO is available and if he's available, then why don't we do it right after the week of Thanksgiving.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

That's with the final round table.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

That's correct. Then the final round table would be the Thursday, and then the following week would be the drafting instructions.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

The 17th we'll have the PBO, the presentation. The 19th is the round table. The 24th would be the drafting instructions.

This is a big deal this one, a big deal, so it's important.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Can I just ask my colleagues something? Is that a little quick for the drafting instructions? I'll admit that I'm cold on this. I have to go back and review a lot. Is that quick to get into drafting instructions?

Maybe the analyst can answer. I don't want to put you on the spot again.

4:05 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Karin Phillips

No, it's fine. That was one of the hopes or objectives, I would say, of the summary of evidence, that it should at least help refresh your memories, because it does summarize the testimony along with the briefs we received and the recommendations. Hopefully, if you work your way through that, and then take some time with the PBO report, that should be....

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I just want to say thank you for doing it.

We didn't ask for this summary in advance. She anticipated our needs.

4:10 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Karin Phillips

You actually did ask.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I did? We did?

4:10 p.m.

Committee Researcher

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

I wasn't expecting it, so I appreciated getting it on my desk.

Mr. Davies.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Could we maybe push the drafting instructions to the Thursday of that week, because we have two very important panels the week before. We've come right back full circle to the people who started, and then we have the PBO. That will give us a few days. Maybe we don't meet on a Tuesday, and then we meet on the Thursday for drafting instructions.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We could have an antimicrobial meeting on Tuesday, or are you proposing no meeting on Tuesday so we can do our homework for Thursday?

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I just think that this is the flagship study by this committee.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

It is. There is no question.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

We can either be together for two hours or we can take that time—time is precious on the Hill here—to actually get ready for the drafting instructions. That's what I would suggest.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Is that a motion?

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Yes.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

The motion is October 17th for the PBO study, the 19th for the round table, and the drafting instructions on the 26th.

Is there any more debate?

Mr. Oliver.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Because we are now meeting on Thursday afternoons, the other option would be that we do the drafting instructions on Tuesday the 31st.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Take the whole next week off...?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

It's a lot of thinking.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Are you proposing to do the drafting on the 7th of November?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

No, the 31st of October.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Sorry, yes.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I think that's wise.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

We can all wear costumes.

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Would you like to make that amendment with that inclusion, to make it nice and simple?

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Yes, I will move that we meet 17th, 19th, and 31st.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

And that the 24th and the 26th we will not meet.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Yes.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

All right, all in favour of that agenda?

(Motion agreed to)

That's good. I don't think we have to go any further than that right now.

We'll see what happens with everything, and then we have to bring back our antimicrobial resistance study. Is everybody happy if we just leave it the way it is now? Maybe in two weeks we'll have another look at it and things may change.

Mr. Clerk, is there anything else we have to do today?

4:10 p.m.

The Clerk

I don't think so.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Is there any other business?

Mr. Davies.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I just want to take the opportunity on behalf of the New Democrats to thank the clerk, the analysts, and all of the staff who staffed us through that very gruelling week of hearings. I know I found it tiring, so I can only imagine that the staff found it equally tiring. I just want to express my thanks to everybody who supported us in that work.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

Good comment. I've seen a lot of committees where people lose interest and are reading the paper and everything, but even after a week, nobody here was distracted. Everybody was paying attention, and I think we showed great respect to the witnesses and actually gave them the respect they deserved.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Chair, I just want to echo the comments. My colleague always seems to say what's on my mind, but I thank all the people who supported us. I thought there was just excellent engagement, and excellent questions were asked. This committee is a pleasure.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

With that, I end the committee.

The meeting is adjourned.