Evidence of meeting #74 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was event.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Olivier Champagne  Legislative Clerk, House of Commons
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Andrew Lauzon
Madeleine Dupuis  Policy Advisor, Democratic Institutions, Privy Council Office

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Thank you for allowing us to have that back-and-forth.

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

That's the best you've got?

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

That's better than what you would have had, Hoback.

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

October 19th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

I wanted to make some observations. I think this amendment by Mr. Christopherson was very well intended and I want to explain why I don't support it.

I should mention, by the way, that some of the comments I'm going to make are related to a situation that exists when you're in government but doesn't exist for us as an opposition party right now. In opposition, we only have to worry about the leader. He's the only person whose presence is guaranteed at the Leader's Circle event, which is our equivalent of the Laurier Club. Obviously, he'll be there, so we'd record that. However, if you're in government, you have ministers who will potentially be available depending upon the other things going on at the convention. Everybody knows that conventions are very chaotic events. You're dealing with all kinds of things. You have people doing interviews, which are hard to plan, with various media outlets. It's hard to plan which events will be top of mind at the time of a convention. For disclosure purposes, you could list every minister without actually promising the people who are being invited that they'll be there. That seems problematic, and it's one concern.

My more significant reason for not supporting this amendment is that at a convention you already have, by the nature of the event, media present, so it's easy to keep track of who's coming in and out. I think it was Chris Bittle who said that they are somewhat chaotic events in that people are wandering in and out, getting canapés. You may have more than one such event at a convention in order to accommodate people who are arriving at different times and so on, but the key thing is that reporters are there anyway. You have media accreditation. There's no danger of any sort of secret meeting.

Also, you have the largest number of donors who are donating for the traditional reasons. They already believe in the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party. They're willing to give the maximum. They're now a delegate at their convention. You have so many of those people that it would be a very odd time to try to have a quiet meeting with a Chinese billionaire, say. It doesn't seem like the sort of thing that's going to happen. Therefore, I think this is an area that was never a problem to start with.

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

We're voting on amendment NDP-5.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

We're now on NDP-6, and this vote will apply to NDP-8 as well, which is the consequential amendment.

We'll get David to present NDP-6, but first, go ahead, Mr. Reid,

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Under the formal rules, because clause 2 is being amended by NDP-6 in line 15, and LIB-2 is amending it differently, are these not the same thing nonetheless, or am I misunderstanding? In practice, if this were done, it wouldn't make sense to do LIB-2, or would it still make sense? I'm asking whether it's sensible, as opposed to what the formal rules are.

11:35 a.m.

Legislative Clerk, House of Commons

Olivier Champagne

I'm sorry; could you repeat?

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

I'm wondering whether they duplicate the same thing in different sections, and therefore whether the de facto result would be that one makes the other unnecessary.

11:35 a.m.

Legislative Clerk, House of Commons

Olivier Champagne

I would turn to the officials, because you're really asking what the results are in terms of legal effect.

11:35 a.m.

Policy Advisor, Democratic Institutions, Privy Council Office

Madeleine Dupuis

Yes, Mr. Reid, both amendments would add a notice to Elections Canada, so they have the same goal. They're identical in terms of practical effect.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Okay.

I'll just ask the obvious question, then. To the Liberals here, given that fact, would you guys be comfortable in just withdrawing LIB-2 if NDP-6 passes?

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Andy Fillmore Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Chair, could I ask the officials to clarify, through an implementation lens, which of the two options is favourable?

11:35 a.m.

Policy Advisor, Democratic Institutions, Privy Council Office

Madeleine Dupuis

The motion in LIB-2 sets out the obligation to provide a notice separate from the obligation to advertise instead of putting them together, so it'll be easier from an enforcement perspective that the two obligations are separate, because then the offences are separate as well.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Andy Fillmore Liberal Halifax, NS

Then LIB-2 is preferable in that context.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

In that case, Mr. Chair, would it be the case that Mr. Christopherson would be willing to withdraw his motion in order to allow the Liberal one to go ahead?

11:35 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Yes.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Okay. NDP-6 is withdrawn. Can we have a vote on LIB-2? Everyone seems to be on side.

It applies to LIB-6. I guess it would be similar to the NDP amendment consequential to NDP-8. If we vote on this, it also applies to LIB-6.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Does LIB-6 automatically apply as a result of this? Is that how it works?

11:35 a.m.

Legislative Clerk, House of Commons

Olivier Champagne

It's because LIB-2 would add a new subsection, proposed subsection 384.2(4.1), and there's a reference to that new subsection of the bill, so it's really a technical reference.

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

I'm just going to find LIB-6, if you don't mind.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

I will call the vote.

(Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

We'll go on to NDP-7. If this passes, or whatever happens with the vote, it'll apply to NDP-9 as well, which is another consequential amendment.

David, do you want to introduce this amendment?

11:35 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Thank you.

Again, it was Mr. Kingsley and I think Mr. Nater, to give credit for the thought, who suggested that without some kind of backup insurance policy, you could end up with senior people just showing up at the last minute; some might know they were coming—wink, wink, nudge, nudge—and some might not.

There was also this idea that if one minister can't make it, it's reasonable that, gee, if they are sick, a couple of days later it would be somebody else who would attend. I'm sorry: if it's the minister of tourism who is scheduled, but—wink, wink, nudge, nudge—everybody knows that they're going to have parliamentary flu and it's going to be the minister of finance, so you'd be wise to get your tail down there, that's doable. That is entirely possible.

When I raised that possibility with Mr. Kingsley when he was here, he said to just put it in the law that if you're not on the list five days beforehand, you can't go. I like that. That's what this amendment is about.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Go ahead, Mr. Bittle.