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Evidence of meeting #15 for Justice and Human Rights in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was minimums.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Catherine Kane  Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice
Philippe Massé  Director, Temporary Resident Policy and Program, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Paul Saint-Denis  Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

We'll call the meeting to order.

This is meeting number 15 dealing with Bill C-10, an act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other acts. We're doing clause-by-clause consideration.

However, before we begin that, there are a couple of committee business items. Tomorrow our regularly scheduled meeting is at 8:30, and the clerk says we have to meet at 7:30 or not at all. So I decided we wouldn't meet.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

I'd move for not at all.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Because we've put in our hours, and more than our hours, this week, there will not be a meeting tomorrow morning.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

I think I can agree, without any sense of guilt or dereliction of duty on behalf of myself and all of our colleagues. I think we've put in our share of time on this committee this week and last.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Thank you.

Mr. Harris has indicated he has a....

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

I have a motion for which notice has been given. It reads:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 81(5), the Committee consider the Supplementary Estimates (B) 2011-12 under JUSTICE, and that the Committee invite the Minister to appear on or before December 1, 2011.

I submit that.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

I believe there is an error in the French version that has been corrected.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

I have changed the French version on the one submitted to the clerk to read le 1er décembre.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Jean.

November 23rd, 2011 / 3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Chair, what is the last day we can consider supplementary estimates before the expiry? How many days do we have?

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

That may be the last day. That's why it's “on or before”. That leaves at least two meetings next week when we can do that.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

That's what I'm wondering, first of all. And also, of course, we have no idea of the availability of the minister at this time, so we'd have to consult before we could deal with any of this.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

We left that time available, but ministers traditionally make themselves available for committee estimates.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Absolutely.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

That's been the convention of Parliament.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Can I just suggest that, first of all, we find out what the last day is that the minister can come and give evidence, because obviously that's extremely important, and secondly, that the parliamentary secretary have an opportunity to talk to the minister's staff to find out what days he is available? Then we can deal with it on that basis and maybe table this at the next meeting.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

The minister may be available on Tuesday. We may be dealing with this on Tuesday. I would suspect that to be the case, in fact. I believe December 1 is the last day we can consider these estimates, lest they're deemed reported or something like that.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Reported, absolutely.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

So if we're going to be able to do that, we're not going to meet tomorrow. It's too short a notice for the minister, in any event. That makes it available for either Tuesday or Thursday of next week, which should be adequate.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

I think Mr. Goguen has a comment.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

I've just been advised that these supplementary estimates were in fact presented by court administration and prosecution services, so it wasn't directly from the Department of Justice. So I don't think it would be the minister who would be called to come and appear in this instance.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Just a minute. I think we're talking about different things. This is for the supplementary estimates.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

This is just what I've been advised. You heard me correctly.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Harris.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

I don't think it matters who prepared them. It's under the purview of the minister. He can bring officials with him if he wishes, but my understanding of our system is that for the response from the government, the minister is responsible to the House and to the committee for the estimates.

This is brand new to me. It has been my experience in parliaments that the minister comes, and if he wants to bring the person who prepared those particular estimates to deal with the technicalities of it, then that's quite all right. But estimates have traditionally been an open-ended opportunity for questions to be asked of the minister on the department's activities.