Evidence of meeting #5 for Subcommittee on Private Members' Business in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was c-324.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Marc-Olivier Girard
Alexandre Lavoie  Committee Researcher

1:20 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mr. Marc-Olivier Girard

Good afternoon, dear committee members. As you can see, the chair of this committee is not present, and as this committee doesn't have any vice-chair, I'm bound by the rules to proceed with the election of an acting chair for this meeting.

Do I have a motion from the floor about any potential candidates?

Go ahead, Mr. Chan.

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Arnold Chan Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

I move that Mr. David de Burgh Graham serve as interim chair for the purposes of this meeting.

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Hello.

1:20 p.m.

The Clerk

All of you have heard the terms of the motion. Is the committee in agreement with it?

(Motion agreed to)

I invite Mr. Graham to take the chair.

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham) Liberal David Graham

Thank you. It's my first time ever chairing a meeting.

We are here to discuss the private members' bills tabled. The analyst would like to go through the list and discuss them.

February 2nd, 2017 / 1:20 p.m.

Alexandre Lavoie Committee Researcher

I don't know if I have to go through all of the list, but there is one item that I want to bring to your attention.

It's item 13, Bill C-324. This bill is similar to another bill that was tabled by the government, Bill C-37.

The objective of Bill C-324 is to prohibit the possession, production, sale, or importation of anything if it is known that it will be used in the production or trafficking of certain substances included in schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Currently, the provision it would amend only applies to one item. With Bill C-324, clause 7.1 would apply also to other items, among them fentanyl and other drugs.

Government Bill C-37 would do something very similar, except that it would extend the application of section 7.1 of the act to all of the substances that are listed in the schedule of the act.

Those are the similarities between the two. Basically, Bill C-37 would achieve what Bill C-324 seeks to achieve.

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham) Liberal David Graham

Thank you.

Does anybody have any comments on how you would like to proceed?

Go ahead, Blake.

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

My only comment would be that, if only we could get the government to take on more Conservative ideas, we would be in better shape.

Clearly, they are the same subject matter, so it would be for us to rule that one would not be a votable item.

Then Mr. Saroya, I would assume, would need to have another idea to fill the spot he has been given. Is he given some time to do that?

1:20 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

I can let the clerk discuss the rules, but yes, I think he would be able to propose another item.

1:20 p.m.

The Clerk

Yes. You're absolutely right.

First, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs would have five sitting days to deal with the decision of this committee, either to be in agreement or disagreement. Then it would table a report. After that, there would be a period of five sitting days given to Mr. Saroya to let the Clerk of the House know what he wants to do next. One of his options is, indeed, to substitute for Bill C-324 another item of his choice.

In the event he doesn't have any other item of PMB business on the Order Paper, he's going to be given 20 calendar days to put another PMB of his choice on the Order Paper.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Okay. First of all, if he has other items that are currently sitting there, he has that ability, but if not, he's given 20 sitting days or—

1:25 p.m.

The Clerk

Those are calendar days.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

—calendar days. Would he then be notified of this decision?

1:25 p.m.

The Clerk

Absolutely.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Good.

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham) Liberal David Graham

He doesn't lose his slot.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

I just wanted to make sure we are fair to the member.

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham) Liberal David Graham

Could I also ask the analyst and the clerk if—

Go ahead, Irene.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

My question is if Bill C-324 is significantly dissimilar to Bill C-37, because I know that even in the case of similar bills, if there are differences, then the bill can go ahead.

I would like to hear your take on it.

1:25 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

If they are similar?

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Oui.

1:25 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

In fact, the rule is to determine whether or not those two bills seek to achieve the same things in the same way. I know that Bill C-37 is a bit broader. It includes more substance, but it tries to achieve the same thing in the same way. It's just the scope of it. The scope of C-37 could also be dealt with in committee or by the House afterwards. There could be amendments to the bill to change its scope if members would like to change it.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

It's the exact same section.

1:25 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Alexandre Lavoie

Right, it's the exact same section. It's really just the scope of it. The government would include all of the scheduled substances, whereas Bill C-324 would only add a few substances to the prohibition.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

How does Mr. Saroya feel about it being deemed non-votable? Is he upset about it, opposed to it, or happy about it?