Evidence of meeting #3 for Subcommittee on Private Members' Business in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was clearly.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Alexandre Lavoie  Committee Researcher
Dara Lithwick  Analyst, Library of Parliament
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Jacques Maziade

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

I call the meeting to order. This is meeting number three of the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and in accordance with the orders of the day, the determination of non-votable items pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(1).

We will begin with item one.

11 a.m.

Alexandre Lavoie Committee Researcher

Thank you.

The first is Bill C-586. This bill would amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act to regulate nomination contests in electoral districts and provide for the expulsion and the readmission of a caucus member and their election and removal of a caucus chair.

The bill does not concern questions outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution Act. It does not concern a question that is essentially the same as one already voted on by the House of Commons. It does not concern a question that is currently on the order paper or notice paper as a government business item.

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Satisfied?

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

The consensus is that we move on.

11 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Motion M-496, respecting the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union calls on the government to reveal details related to the compensation to be paid to dairy producers and the cheese industry, provide for a longer implementation period for the agreement, put an end to the circumvention of tariff quotas and the misclassification of products at the border, impose the same production and processing requirements on domestic and imported products, and provide support for commercialization.

The motion does not concern a question that is outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution Act. It does not concern a question that is substantially the same as one already voted on by the House of Commons. It does not concern a question that is currently on the order paper.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Good.

The consensus is that it's acceptable.

May 8th, 2014 / 11 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Bill C-579 requires the Minister of Health, in consultation with the provincial minister responsible for health and representatives of municipalities, to establish a national strategy to reduce the effects of urban heat islands and table a report to Parliament on the implementation of this strategy.

The bill does not concern a question that is outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution Act. It does not concern a question that is substantially the same as one already voted on by the House of Commons in the current session of Parliament. It does not concern a question that is currently on the order paper or notice paper.

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Okay. It looks as if it's acceptable.

11 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Bill C-587 amends the Criminal Code so that a person convicted of the abduction, sexual assault and murder of the same victim in respect of the same event or series of events is not eligible for parole until serving a sentence of between 25 and 40 years.

The bill does not concern a question that is outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution Act. It does not concern a question that is substantially the same as one already voted on by the House of Commons. It does not concern a question that is currently on the order paper or notice paper.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Valeriote.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

There have been a couple of successful challenges before the courts on minimum sentences. I'm not suggesting at all that there shouldn't be this kind of sentence in association with abduction, sexual assault, and murder—it's pretty abhorrent—but notwithstanding, when you are assessing its constitutionality, can you tell me what it is you do? Do you just rely on your own review of the bill? Is there not a process the government has to go through where its legal department attempts to determine whether, in fact, it is judgment proof?

11:05 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Since it's a private member's bill, it's only the library that does the analysis. I consult my colleagues, but the government is not involved. If it were a government bill, then the Department of Justice would have to review the constitutionality before.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

So for a private member's bill, you don't?

11:05 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

I do that with my colleagues. What my colleagues who are specialists in criminal law tell me is that generally, minimum sentences have been accepted by the Supreme Court. In some particular cases, it's a case-by-case analysis which the Supreme Court does, and some have been rejected. But, in general, the court will accept these as a general principle, unless it's against the charter. That's why I considered that one as not clearly unconstitutional against the charter.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Toone.

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Yes, although I suspect that the law itself might not be challenged, certainly when it gets to sentencing, I would fully expect that there's going to be a court challenge if and when this bill is adopted. It's a terrible waste of resources, time, and suffering for the persons involved.

But we're talking about the four criteria at this committee. Under the four criteria of this committee, this bill passes muster. I'll be voting in favour of.... I'll be voting against not—

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

But in favour of moving it.

11:05 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

However it works, whatever the wording is.... I forget.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

That's fine. Thank you.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

So we're all in favour of it?

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

For our consensus, yes.

11:05 a.m.

A voice

Or against....

11:05 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Next, Bill C-585 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act so that, to receive the Canada social transfer, a province must not impose a minimum period of residence on victims of human trafficking who receive temporary resident permits and certain other protected persons in order to receive social assistance.

The bill does not concern a question that is outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution Act. It does not concern a question that is substantially the same as one already voted on by the House of Commons. It does not concern a question that is currently on the order paper or notice paper.