Evidence of meeting #1 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was toyota.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Bonnie Charron

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Just in the mode of trying to establish a sense of principle and collegiality so that we can go forward and make the decision, I don't think there's a need for that. As long as I understand that Mr. Watson is not excluding the minister or ministers from the officials in Transport, then I'm okay with moving forward.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Just to understand the substance of my motion, I've stated where I want to start preliminarily. If we determine that more is needed--and I think Mr. Laframboise has spoken in a very similar regard--then fine, the committee can make that decision. But I think we have a good starting point, at least, in involving the industry committee folks and have them attend the meetings.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

I don't want to be obdurate, Mr. Watson and Mr. Jean, but I didn't hear you say that you were not going to exclude the ministers. If there's not going to be an obstruction to getting the ministers forward, that's fine.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I was going to propose a friendly amendment. Can I propose a friendly amendment?

9:35 a.m.

An hon. member

Go ahead.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I'd like to do so. It's to Mr. Watson's motion. In particular, after “Communities engage”, in the third line down, I would add “and invite industry members to participate in a study into the recall...”. It's just to make sure that we invite industry members to participate in that.

9:35 a.m.

An hon. member

Industry committee members?

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Yes, industry committee members. Is that satisfactory?

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

I think that just for clarity I'll read this, based on what I have: “pursuant to the request by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in a letter to Committee members...the Standing Committee on Transport...engage and invite industry committee members to participate in a study into the recall of vehicles manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation, calling relevant witnesses for testimony, including Transport Canada and Toyota officials, and that the results of the study be reported to the House of Commons”.

Are you okay with that?

Mr. Volpe.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Chairman, again, I don't want to be punctilious here. There was no committee and there were no committee members on March 3, so I think on the basis of that, there was no letter.

But again, I think we're trying to build consensus. All I ask for is that Mr. Watson and Mr. Jean would be prepared not to obstruct the calling of ministers before the committee so that the steering committee can make its decision. I think you quite rightly said, “Let the steering committee do its work.” This discussion on principle is designed to make things go faster on Thursday. If they're prepared to say that, I'm not asking for anything else. Then we can just move on.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

Monsieur Laframboise.

9:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

I understand there is a bit of a debate there, but the motion introduced by Mr. Watson states: “...calling relevant witnesses for testimony including...“ This could be the minister if we decide to call him. You know that the committee is always free to call whatever witnesses it wants, and ministers are free to appear or not. They can decide when they will appear, so we must keep that in mind.

The only thing with your amendment, Mr. Jean... Mr. Tweed, you read: “invites the committee“. I would prefer it if we wrote: “invites the committee members“. Because if you invite the committee, it means that the committee must absolutely be there. If its schedule does not permit... Could you say “invites the committee members“? At that point, those who can come will come, and those who cannot will not come. I would not want wording that prevents us from meeting.

March 9th, 2010 / 9:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

Mr. Volpe.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Laframboise, although we always agree, this time, I can only accept the first version, in which we “invite the committee.“ If the committee, in its wisdom, decides not to send all the members, it will be its decision—a decision of the other committee—not ours. So I prefer the original version.

But I accept what you are saying, Mr. Laframboise, about “relevant“ witnesses for this study, which does not exclude ministers.

I noticed that government members were saying yes or no. The only question that I am raising is simply that they accept this principle: the witnesses will be those the committee considers “relevant“ for the study; that means not excluding ministers right from the start.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

There's nothing exclusive about the language.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

No. If I left it out, it was by accident. It is written here. It basically says “and invite industry committee members to participate”. That is the way Mr. Jean presented it. If I didn't say “committee members”, it was written there.

I do believe that saying “relevant witnesses” includes anybody we as a committee choose to invite. I would interpret it that way. If you want to be more specific, then I guess we'd have to agree on it.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

So there's no need. I think we've agreed generally in consensus, in spirit, and then we can move on to the steering committee. We don't need to have a vote on anything.

9:40 a.m.

An hon. member

We're going to have a vote.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

We don't need to.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I'm asking to deal with it now.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

A vote has been requested on Mr. Watson's motion, which is amended to read: “That, pursuant to the request by the Minister of Transport, in a letter to committee members dated March 3, 2010, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities engage and invite industry committee members to participate in a study into the recall of vehicles manufactured by the Toyota Motor Company, calling relevant witnesses for testimony, including Transport Canada and Toyota officials, and that the results of the study be reported to the House of Commons”.

All those in favour of the motion?

Mr. Volpe.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

My motion is tabled.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

Mr. Volpe's motion has been tabled, not defeated.

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Thank you.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

All those in favour of the motion as amended? Opposed?

(Motion as amended agreed to)

With that, I'm going to adjourn this committee, and we'll break into a subcommittee to finish the planning of the agenda for the next month or so.

This meeting is adjourned.