Evidence of meeting #1 for Public Accounts in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was clerk.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Michel Marcotte
Dillan Theckedath  Committee Researcher

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Excellent.

Mr. Longfield, would you like to proceed?

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

I move:

That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of five (5) members; the Chair, one Member from each Party; and that the subcommittee work in the spirit of collaboration.

(Motion agreed to)

On reduced quorum, I move:

That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence printed when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four (4) members are present, including one member of the opposition and one member of the government, but when travelling outside the parliamentary precinct, that the meeting begin after fifteen (15) minutes, regardless of members present.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

We have a motion on the floor.

Mr. Green, you wanted to add some comments here.

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Thank you very much.

Just to reflect the changing dynamic of the minority government, I would amend the motion to read:

That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive and publish evidence when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four (4) members are present, including two (2) members from the opposition and two (2) members from the government; and that in the case of previously scheduled meetings taking place outside of the Parliamentary Precinct, the Committee members in attendance be required to wait for 15 minutes following the designated start of the meeting before they may proceed to hear witnesses and receive evidence, regardless of whether opposition or government members are present.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

As I see the difference, you're asking for two members of the opposition and two members of government versus one and one.

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

That's right.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Mr. Blois.

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

This motion on reduced quorum was adopted in the agriculture committee. It was brought forward by the NDP member there. I can only speak to my experience on that committee, but we saw it as no problem and accepted it.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Are you speaking for the Liberals when you say you have no issue with this current motion?

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

I'm not. I'm speaking on behalf of myself in discussion, and I believe on behalf of the Liberals we are okay with this.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Is there any other discussion from the Conservatives or from the Bloc?

Mr. Longfield, we'll need to withdraw your motion, and then we'll put forward Mr. Green's motion.

We're going to make a slight change in the French, just to make it more legible. We'll have the clerk do that.

They both have the same mistake.

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

I apologize.

I'm still learning.

(Motion agreed to)

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Thank you.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Thank you very much.

We'll move forward with Mr. Longfield.

February 25th, 2020 / 11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

On the questioning of witnesses, I move:

That witnesses be given ten (10) minutes for their opening statement; that, at the discretion of the Chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated six (6) minutes for the first questioner of each party as follows: Round 1:

Conservative Party

Liberal Party

Bloc Québécois

New Democratic Party;

For the second and subsequent rounds, the order and time for questioning be as follows:

Conservative Party, five (5) minutes

Liberal Party, five (5) minutes

Conservative Party, five (5) minutes

Liberal Party, five (5) minutes

Bloc Québécois, two and a half (2.5) minutes

New Democratic Party, two and a half (2.5) minutes.

(Motion agreed to)

On documents distribution, I move:

That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to distribute documents to members of the Committee only when the documents are available in both official languages and that witnesses be advised accordingly.

(Motion agreed to)

On working meals, I move:

That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements to provide working meals for the Committee and its Subcommittees.

(Motion agreed to)

On witnesses' expenses, I move:

That, if requested, reasonable travel, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnesses not exceeding two (2) representatives per organization; provided that, in exceptional circumstances, payment for more representatives be made at the discretion of the Chair.

(Motion agreed to)

Concerning staff at in camera meetings, I move:

That, unless otherwise ordered, each Committee member be allowed to have one staff member at an in camera meeting and that one additional person from each House officer's office be allowed to be present.

(Motion agreed to)

Concerning in camera meetings and transcripts, I move:

That one copy of the transcript of each in camera meeting be kept in the Committee Clerk's office for consultation by members of the Committee or by their staff.

(Motion agreed to)

Concerning notice of motions, I move:

That a forty-eight (48) hours notice, interpreted as two (2) nights, shall be required for any substantive motion to be considered by the Committee, unless the substantive motion relates directly to the business then under consideration, provided that (1) the notice be filed with the Clerk of the Committee no later than 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday; that (2) the motion be distributed to Members in both official languages by the Clerk on the same day the said notice was transmitted if it was received no later than the deadline hour; and that (3) notices received after the deadline hour or on non-business days be deemed to have been received during the next business day and that when the committee is travelling on official business, no substantive motions may be moved

(Motion agreed to)

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

The next motion concerns independent members and clause-by-clause. This is the new motion.

I move:

That, in relation to the Orders of Reference from the House respecting Bills, (a) the Clerk of the Committee shall, upon the Committee receiving such an Order of Reference, write to each Member who is not a member of a caucus represented on the Committee to invite those Members to file with the Clerk of the Committee, in both official languages, any amendments to the Bill, which is the subject of the said Order, which they would suggest that the Committee consider; (b) suggested amendments filed, pursuant to paragraph (a), at least 48 hours prior to the start of clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill to which amendments relate shall be deemed to be proposed during the said consideration, provided that the Committee may, by motion, vary this deadline in respect of a given Bill; and (c) during the clause-by-clause consideration of a Bill, the Chair shall allow a Member who filed suggested amendments, pursuant to paragraph (a), an opportunity to make brief representations in support of them.

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Mr. Green.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

While I appreciate the spirit of the motion, I have a question, as a relatively new person. Do we receive bills in public accounts? Through you to the clerks or the analysts, have we ever received bills here?

11:30 a.m.

The Clerk

I don't remember in the past 10 years that there were any.

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

There were just reports, for the most part from the OAG.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

We can pass it, I guess. It's empty and meaningless. We'll just go for it.

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Mr. Theckedath.

11:30 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Dillan Theckedath

If something were to amend legislation regarding the statutory powers of the Auditor General, which isn't very common, that is the typical legislation that could come here. There could also be something pertaining to the presentation and release of the public accounts within the spectrum of the Receiver General and the office of the comptroller general, in that the Office of the Auditor General provides an audit opinion on them, but for the most part, no.

I just wanted to give context to the committee about that.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

That's fair.

(Motion agreed to)

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dean Allison

Mr. Green, let's go now to your additional motion.