Evidence of meeting #74 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was amendments.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Olivier Champagne  Legislative Clerk, House of Commons
Helena Borges  Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Transport
Alain Langlois  General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director, Department of Transport
Marcia Jones  Director, Rail Policy Analysis and Legislative Initiatives, Department of Transport
Brigitte Diogo  Director General, Rail Safety, Department of Transport
Ian Disend  Senior Policy Analyst, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Department of Industry

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I'm calling the meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities to order.

We are dealing with, pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, June 19, Bill C-49, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.

I have a script that I've been asked to read, so that everyone understands exactly how we go through this procedure. I'd like to provide members of the committee with a few comments on how committees proceed with the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

As the name indicates, this is an examination of all the clauses in the order in which they appear in the bill. I will call each clause successively, and each clause is subject to debate and a vote. If there is an amendment to the clause in question, I will recognize the member proposing it, who may explain it. The amendment will then be open for debate. When no further members wish to intervene, the amendment will be voted on. Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the package each member received from the clerk. If there are amendments that are consequential to each other, they will be voted on together.

In addition to having to be properly drafted in a legal sense, amendments must also be procedurally admissible. The chair may be called upon to rule amendments inadmissible if they go against the principle of the bill or beyond the scope of the bill, both of which were adopted by the House when it agreed to the bill at second reading, or if they offend a financial prerogative of the crown.

If you wish to eliminate a clause of the bill altogether, the proper course of action is to vote against that clause when the time comes, not to propose an amendment to delete it.

Since this is the first exercise for many new members, I will go slowly to allow all members to follow the proceedings properly. If during the process the committee decides not to vote on a clause, that clause can be put aside by the committee, and revisited later. Amendments have been given a number in the top right corner to indicate which party submitted them. There is no need for a seconder to move an amendment. Once moved, an amendment will need unanimous consent to be withdrawn.

During debate on an amendment, members are permitted to move subamendments. These subamendments do not require the approval of the mover of the amendment. Only one subamendment may be considered at a time, and that subamendment cannot be amended. When a subamendment is moved to an amendment, it is voted on first. Then another subamendment may be moved, or the committee may consider the main amendment and vote on it. Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the title and the bill itself, and an order to reprint the bill may be required, if amendments are adopted, so that the House has a proper copy for use at report stage.

Finally, the committee will have to order the chair to report the bill to the House. That report contains only the text of any adopted amendments as well as an indication of any deleted clauses.

I thank the members for their attention. I wish everyone a productive clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-49, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act.

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, which is the short title, is postponed.

I will now call clause 2 to open up today's discussion.

Mr. Chong.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Yes, on a very small point of order, very briefly, Madam Chair, I'm wondering if for future meetings we could ensure that we meet between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is our normally allotted time, and if there are circumstances that require us to meet outside of those times, that we be given forewarning about those hours, preferably a week or so in advance, so that we can plan our schedules. I only became aware of this meeting, which sits until 8:30 tonight, yesterday afternoon, and it has caused my office quite a bit of work to find duty coverage and to cover the other responsibilities that I have.

I put this out there as maybe something we can all work toward for future meetings, that is, that we meet during those regularly allotted time slots, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and if there are extenuating circumstances that require us to meet beyond those times, that's fine, but I would ask that we have forewarning of a week or so so we could plan our schedules accordingly.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you very much, Mr. Chong.

One thing I wanted to mention is that if the committee agrees, we will put together groups of clauses that have no amendments, but if any of the members want to speak to any of the clauses to get some comments on the record, please make sure you flag that. That's perfectly acceptable, if you want to get some comments on particular clauses on the record.

Mr. Lobb.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Madam Chair, I wonder if the clerk could tell us at this point, how many of the amendments he's ruled out of order because they don't directly pertain to the bill.

If there are some, you'll be notifying us before we go into it, so we don't waste time debating amendments you're going to rule out of order. Is that correct?

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Right at the beginning.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Okay, thank you.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

That's not a problem.

We have had tremendous co-operation among all of the party members throughout this whole process. I hope we will continue that, so that we might be finished this much faster than some of us have anticipated.

I'm going to move on now.

Shall clauses 2 to 8 inclusive be adopted?

(Clauses 2 to 8 inclusive agreed to)

(On clause 9)

There is a Conservative amendment.

Go ahead, Ms. Block.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Chair, I don't intend to spend a lot of time providing rationale to the amendments that our party has submitted. Certainly, almost everybody around this table was in attendance at all of the testimony that we heard from our witnesses, but suffice it to say that this amendment is in keeping with a recommendation from François Tougas.

Do I need to read the amendment into the record? I can just leave it at that and state that the rationale for that proposal was that Bill C-49 is not oriented toward fulsome disclosure, not to customers, not to the agency, and not to the minister. Therefore, the proposal that was provided by this witness is a simpler revision to the performance data provisions of Bill C-49.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Is there any further discussion on the amendment proposed by Ms. Block?

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Chair, I do have an amendment that I would like to introduce at this time to clause 9. I move that Bill C-49, in cluse 9, be amended by adding after line 33 on page 4 the following:

(4.1) The Minister shall, no later than three years after the day on which this section comes into force, appoint one or more persons to carry out a comprehensive review of its operation and shall, within a year after the review is undertaken or within such further time a the House of Commons may authorize, submit a report to Parliament on that review, including recommendations for any changes.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

It appears that the amendment of Ms. Block is out of order, as it impacts on the financial prerogative of the crown.

I'll ask the legislative clerk if he wants to add some further comment.

3:40 p.m.

Olivier Champagne Legislative Clerk, House of Commons

The appointment of one or more persons would typically require compensation for their services, so that explains the ruling.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you.

The floor is yours, Mr. Aubin.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

I have a question about the procedure, Madam Chair.

When amendments are presented to us in this impromptu way, could we be assured that translation has a copy before they come to us? The wording I have in front of me, which came after the translation, does not quite correspond to the initial text and it takes quite a bit of time to compare the two texts.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Would you like us to hold this down?

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

No, it's okay.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

You're okay? All right.

(Clause 9 agreed to)

Clauses 10, 11, and 12 have no amendments.

(Clauses 10 to 12 inclusive agreed to on division)

(On clause 13)

Ms. Block.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Chair, we have a motion to amend clause 13, replacing lines 9 and 10 with the following:

purpose of carrying out its powers, duties and functions respecting any matter that comes within its jurisdiction under an Act of Parliament and, despite subsec-

This was brought forward by one of our witnesses, who believed that this was something quite important, in order for them to continue in their business of shipping.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Is there any further discussion or comment?

Mr. Sikand, go ahead.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

I guess great minds think alike, because I have a similar amendment to make. I would like to withdraw—

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Sorry, I hate to interrupt. I am just looking ahead. I think you guys are talking about two different amendments.

Kelly, would you mind repeating which one it is? I am unsure which of your proposed amendments we are dealing with.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Sure. It's clause 13, lines 9 and 10 on page 6.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

It's CPC-2.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Yes.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

You're right. My apologies.