I wish to inform the House of an administrative error that occurred with regard to Bill C-22, an act to establish the national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians and to make consequential amendments to certain acts.
Members may recall that the House studied a number of motions at report stage. On March 20, 2017, the House adopted some of those motions and rejected others. One of the rejected motions was Motion No. 7, moved by the hon. member for Victoria, which was intended to delete clause 31 of the bill.
The House concurred in the bill, as amended, at report stage with further amendments and eventually adopted the bill at third reading on April 4, 2017.
As is the usual practice following passage at third reading, House officials prepared a parchment version of the bill and transmitted this parchment to the Senate. Due to an administrative error, the version of the bill that was transmitted to the other place was prepared as if Motion No. 7 had been adopted and clause 31 had been deleted, with the renumbering of another clause in the bill as a result. Unfortunately, the mistake was not detected before the bill was sent to the other place.
I wish to reassure the House that this error was strictly administrative in nature and occurred after third reading was given to Bill C-22. The proceedings that took place in this House and the decisions made by the House with respect to Bill C-22 remain entirely valid. The records of the House relating to this bill are complete and accurate.
However, the documents relating to Bill C-22 that were sent to the other place were not an accurate reflection of the House’s decisions.
Speaker Milliken addressed a similar situation in a ruling given on November 22, 2001, found on page 7455 of Debates. My predecessor also dealt with a similar situation in a statement made on September 15, 2014, found on page 7239 of Debates. Guided by these precedents, similar steps have been undertaken in this case.
First, once this discrepancy was detected, House officials immediately communicated with their counterparts in the Senate to set about resolving it. Next, I have instructed the Acting Clerk and his officials to take the necessary steps to rectify this error and to ensure that the other place has a corrected copy of Bill C-22 that reflects the proceedings that occurred in this House. Thus, a revised version of the bill will be transmitted to the other place through the usual administrative procedures of Parliament. Finally, I have asked that the “as passed at third reading” version of the bill be reprinted.
The Senate will, of course, make its own determination about how it proceeds with Bill C-22 in light of this situation. I wish to reassure members that steps have been taken to ensure that similar errors, rare though they may be, do not reoccur.
I thank hon. members for their attention.