Evidence of meeting #148 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was changes.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Charles Robert  Clerk of the House of Commons
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Andrew Lauzon

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

I have one final comment to make for the record. If we are going ahead with any kind of changes to the Standing Orders, I still fundamentally believe that, no matter how relatively small they are, they should be done by and led by parliamentarians, whether it's in the way that McGrath did so, or the way we did in the previous Parliament. That's the direction that should be taken. It should be parliamentarian-led, and not otherwise.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Thank you, Mr. Nater.

Now we'll go back to Mr. Graham.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Is it a 14-year process to fix the Standing Orders in the Senate? Is it 12 or 14 years?

12:20 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

It's 14 years.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

That's what I thought you said.

I've been around here a long time, but not 14 years yet.

At any time in that process, did it become a partisan issue in the Senate?

12:20 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

When we pass a report and present it to the House, we always adopt a motion. I forget exactly how it's phrased. The last motion to be passed is that we give permission to the committee clerk and the analyst to make corrections, as necessary. Do you have the wording handy, by any chance?

12:20 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mr. Andrew Lauzon

I don't have it offhand. I can find it for you, but it's essentially that the clerk, analyst and chair be authorized to make any necessary editorial changes.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Would any of these changes qualify, were we to send you the Standing Orders?

12:20 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

No, these would not count that way.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

When you changed Standing Order 71 to replace a typo that's existed for I don't know how long—

12:20 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

A typo is an editorial change. This goes far beyond that.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

We began studying this issue under Standing Order 51 on October 6, 2016, or thereabouts. When looking at this, did you review any of the speeches made in that debate, or is this a case of your looking objectively at the Standing Orders and saying, this is an issue that we should flag and discuss?

April 9th, 2019 / 12:25 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

It was basically an objective attempt to provide a service to the members.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

As has been clarified before, there's nothing that you can do without our approval, regardless.

12:25 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

Of course.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Of course. Okay.

I don't have a lot more questions on this subject, but one question would be on Standing Order 31. Is that still going to be Standing Order 31, because that's a big thing here?

12:25 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

There's a numbering convention that has been proposed for your consideration. If you want to keep to the consecutive numbering pattern, that, again, is a decision you can take.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

That's all I've got for the moment, but if we're still going, I might come back to you.

Thank you, Clerk.

12:25 p.m.

The Clerk

The text of the motion you referred to is that “the chair, clerk and analyst be authorized to make such grammatical and editorial changes as may be necessary without changing the substance of the report.”

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Now we'll go to Mr. Reid for five minutes.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Thank you very much.

I am a long-time member of this committee, and in the past we've dealt, in some cases quite extensively, with suggested changes to the Standing Orders. The tendency has been for us to engage in a significant amount of discussion without necessarily producing a large amount of substantive change, because we haven't come to consensus.

We went quite far in the last Parliament, and I think those discussions were in camera, so have you had access to those?

12:25 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

You have not. Okay.

Do our rules—I should know this and I don't, but there's no one better to ask than you—permit you, as the Clerk, to have access to in camera meetings of committees?

12:25 p.m.

Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Robert

I can't answer that with any sort of certainty, but I would doubt it, and I wouldn't try.