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Evidence of meeting #21 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was camera.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Audrey O'Brien  Clerk of the House of Commons
Louis Bard  Chief Information Officer, House of Commons
Michel Bédard  Committee Researcher

Noon

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

I'll turn it back to your mother now, Mr. Chair.

Noon

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Mr. Lukiwski wants to cut off mom now.

Noon

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

I've met your mom; I'd never cut her off.

I want to go back to a scenario that I think I outlined a little earlier. That's the wide-angled shots and the uncomfortable feeling when the camera picks up a lot of empty chairs. Particularly on Fridays, I notice there are behind-the-shoulder shots coming from behind the Speaker. Of course on Fridays, we all know the attendance is down. A lot of members have to get back to their ridings for events and that type of thing. I know all parties try to do their best with the members they have remaining by putting them on the front benches. That's great, but still that one shot from behind the shoulder of the Speaker, wide-angled—I don't care how you try to put members on the front benches and disguise the fact, it's still showing a lot of empty seats, and I don't think that's helpful.

I'm wondering if we could discourage that particular camera angle on Fridays. During the regular question period Monday through Thursday, I think it's fine, but on Fridays, because of the lower attendance figures, if we could get away from that one particular shot I think you'd find that most members would be very much in favour of that. That would be my only suggestion.

Noon

Clerk of the House of Commons

Audrey O'Brien

We'll certainly look at that and see how we can improve things, because obviously everything you say is quite true about Fridays. Many members have left for their ridings.

Noon

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

On to mom.

Noon

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

I'm making sure no one else has something.

My mother is my biggest critic, of course. Whether it was my former TV show or the radio show I have now, she loves to give her input.

Monsieur Bard, she disagrees with you on that scroll across the bottom. She asks that you find another place to put it. If it's at the top, maybe it's blocking the empty seats. We are creatures of habit and tend to sit near our colleagues when they're speaking, and she says she often believes that's my head....

Noon

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Noon

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

She tells her friends that's my head, but she's not 100% sure because the scroll of whatever it is is now going across the people who are sitting near the people who are speaking.

Certainly that used to be to prove to the people back home we're here doing our job once in a while, sitting near someone who's speaking. I understand it now. I certainly watch enough TV, and it bothers me just as much. I'm sure it doesn't bother moms on the sports channel, but it's always there. There's always activity with the scroll and the size of that bottom banner. It has grown now to be a full one-third. Her suggestion is move it to the top and centre everything below it, then she could see who was sitting near the speakers.

I'll leave it at that. If we are finished with comments, there were things that were mentioned. Is it possible to put a light on the camera? I'm not torn to it being red; it could be any colour.

Noon

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Noon

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

We talked a bit about the bottom scroll. We talked about the wide angle, specifically on certain days. And there was a request from Monsieur Lamoureux about how many people are watching. If we can get the GRPs from CPAC as to what that is, that would be a summary of what we discussed here today.

But for the most part, Monsieur Bard and Madam O'Brien, I think Canadians are well served by the broadcasts of this place. The content may not be what they're looking for day-to-day, but the quality of the broadcast certainly is. I commend you both for making sure that happens, and CPAC for what they do too. You're right, around the world what we have is well respected. For those of us who get to watch C-SPAN and the quality of the U.S., the quality of the content's no greater there, but I think the quality of the broadcast is.

So thank you very much for joining us today and covering that with us.

Is there anything else for the committee today?

Mr. Lukiwski.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

I don't know if this would be considered committee business or not. It's fine with me if we stay in public; I don't really care about that.

I believe in preparation for our study on the Standing Orders, we had talked about getting some of our suggestions to the analysts. We will have some, but I think Joe is probably more advanced than we are.

February 14th, 2012 / 12:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

In many ways.

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

We'll have that debate another day, Joe.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Right. Thank you very much.

Yes?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

We'll have a fair amount. I've identified a lot of this modernization and stuff like that, some minor things, but as we go through the study, I suspect we'll probably end up coming up with more. I just want to say that we'll get what we can to the analysts by Friday, and then I'll continue to examine the Standing Orders as we continue our study. There may be others, just so the analysts aren't blindsided by something that comes up in the middle of a week, if that's okay with the analysts.

12:05 p.m.

Michel Bédard Committee Researcher

We'll prepare a chart and have it available on the Tuesday when the committee comes back, and as other issues are identified, we'll add them to the chart with the description and briefing.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Okay.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Lamoureux.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

In terms of the process, because this is exceptionally new for someone like me, do you have a subcommittee that will review some suggestions, or is it the committee—

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

It's going to be the committee as a whole, much as we did with the Elections Act. Even as we found pieces from the Chief Electoral Officer that weren't even in his recommendations, a suggestion from the table would come up and we just deferred it to the bottom and then covered it. We certainly did take new suggestions as the day went on.

We've set aside a number of meetings to be able to look at the Standing Orders, but as the analyst has suggested, he'll put out a chart of what's been suggested, we'll start from the top and go to the bottom, but as we get through that there may be times when we add or agree to take off or....

Madam Charlton.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Just let me understand what this chart is going to look like. I thought there was an agreement at the last meeting to prioritize things that were raised in the debate. I'm assuming the chart is not numerical from one to the end of the Standing Orders, that some priority is given.

12:05 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

It will be for the members to decide which item they want to prioritize. The order in the chart won't be compelling to the members.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Mr. Lukiwski.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Chair, to answer what Chris is saying, all kidding aside, I think Joe has been working from the NDP side on some proposed changes to the Standing Orders maybe a little longer than I've been taking a look at it, or our folks.

When we come back, I have no problem whatsoever in terms of determining what Standing Orders are examined first. If you've got a full slate of suggestions, we can start with yours and we'll add ours as we get to them.