Evidence of meeting #9 for Public Safety and National Security in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was meeting.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Louise Hayes

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Okay.

Now let's go to the second part of the decision. Mr. Day can come at 10 for one hour. If we meet with him for one hour, then at 11, if Mr. Zaccardelli is able to come, can we meet? Maybe I'll ask the clerk.

Do you know if we can meet for two hours? Is a room available from 11 until 1? The answer is yes.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

I think, though, it might be beneficial to the committee to have the minister after the commissioner.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Okay. Would the committee like to have Mr. Zaccardelli from 10 until 12?

9:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Agreed.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Is that what you are saying? We haven't confirmed a room yet. Is there a consensus to go from 10 until 12 with Mr. Zaccardelli?

Yes?

9:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Yes, we're in agreement on this matter.

As for the following item, given that Commissioner Zaccardelli's testimony before the committee will generate a certain amount of interest, we should have cameras in the room to video tape and maybe even broadcast his testimony.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Okay.

Now the clerk tells us that the rooms that normally have the cameras are booked up.

9:15 a.m.

The Clerk

We'll try to intervene on that. We'll try to work something out.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Maybe we'd better have some options here. It may be dangerous to think out loud here, but if no rooms with cameras are available, do you want to postpone it until next Tuesday? How does the committee feel about that?

9:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

As I understand it, the Auditor General has the two rooms in Centre Block booked right now. I don't know what issue she's addressing. Normally there's a lock-up in one and she and her officials are in the other one, in which there is no need for televisions as the meeting is closed. I don't understand why one or frankly both of those rooms wouldn't be available, as the Auditor General's meeting could be moved someplace else.

I think, Mr. Chair, it is very important, given the interest in this, that the Canadian public have access to those hearings.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Sure. Mr. Comartin, I have faith that the House of Commons can work this out. Maybe I'll ask the clerk to make a comment on that.

9:20 a.m.

The Clerk

We'll look into it and we'll figure out a solution.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

The committee therefore has agreed that we have Mr. Zaccardelli....

Yes, Mr. MacKenzie.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

I have just had confirmation that the commissioner is available from 10 until 12 on Thursday.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

All right. That solves that problem.

Are there any more concerns about that?

Is Mr. Day available on the same day, or should we invite him?

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

I'm not sure, but maybe we can schedule it. We're going to confirm that.

September 26th, 2006 / 9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Does anybody have any concerns about having Mr. Day in for one hour after the commissioner appears?

Do you have enough faith in the chair here to try to work this all out? I think I sense what you as a committee would like to see. Am I misreading any of the signals that I hear from you?

Okay, that takes care of that piece of business.

Is there anything else we should be discussing? Should we be discussing future business of the committee? I see here that Bill C-12, the Emergency Management Act, has been referred to the committee. Do you want to discuss that today, or do you want to leave that for another day to see how we're going to handle that?

I understand we could discuss the steering report.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

There are two other issues that will eventually be before the committee. On the proposed amendments to the gun registry legislation, maybe we could have the parliamentary secretary give some indication as to when he expects that to get to the House. I am asking this in light of whether we should proceed with Bill C-12.

Perhaps even more importantly, Mr. Chair, it would be appropriate at this time to have some sense of what we're going to do with the O'Connor report.

Let me make a comment on that. I think everybody on the committee knows that Justice O'Connor will be issuing a second, supplementary report, which in some respects will be more relevant to our discussion. That's scheduled for late November or perhaps the first week of December. That report will address oversight and governance issues very specifically, as opposed to the findings of fact he made in the initial report, some of which are very helpful to the oversight of our intelligence services. But it is fairly limited, as opposed to what I expect will be in the second report, which will be much more detailed. In that light, we are caught in a bit of a quandary. Should we be doing more with the initial report, or should we be putting it off until the winter or spring session, when we have the full report? Quite frankly, I don't have a position on that, but it may be worthwhile having some discussion.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Mr. Comartin, could we postpone that discussion until after we hear from the commissioner and the minister on Thursday? Maybe it is a bit premature at this point to jump way ahead to discuss something that may change our opinion of what we want to do or where we want to go.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

If we are going to proceed that way, then perhaps at the meeting the following week we could have agenda items that deal with Bill C-12 and the report. I forgot the gun registry, Bill C-21. Perhaps we could have that on the agenda to discuss how we're going to proceed.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Is there any further discussion?

I gather you're suggesting that we leave all this until maybe next Tuesday or Thursday to discuss.

Mr. Holland.

9:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In the steering committee meeting I raised the issue of doing a study with respect to arming the border guards. We know now that this process is going to take 10 years, but what we're not 100% clear on is the cost and how the program should be rolled out, its efficacy.

Certainly we have the time; it's a major undertaking. It's one that all parties believe is important to understand as we move forward, so I asked the steering committee to propose a list of potential witnesses. I put them in order of preference and listed those who I think would be relevant to the discussion. I don't see the bottom four as particularly critical, but certainly the first four are, as well as a few in the centre.

I have this in both official languages and will pass it to the clerk to be distributed.

9:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Okay, you've all had a chance to think about this for a minute.

Mr. Holland, do you want to discuss this further, or should we leave this until next Tuesday when we discuss future business of the committee?

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Well, yes. I'm happy to discuss this now or later, whatever the pleasure of the committee is.

I think the list is fairly self-explanatory. If you look at the suggested witness list, all of those on the committee know the position that different groups have taken. I think it would give us a pretty good overview of both sides of the issue. And it would give us an opportunity, as an example, to take a look at why it is going to take 10 years to roll it out, what exactly the costs are going to be, some of the alternatives, for example, that the RCMP has suggested will be better, and the potential impact of this change as it pertains to trade, commerce, and tourism.

So I think the list is fairly self-explanatory. I said the bottom four, but it was actually the bottom three who were the ones I didn't see as being germane to the discussion. I think the others are fairly relevant, and they would be helpful for the purposes of conducting a study.

9:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Yes, Mr. Brown.