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Health committee  I don't want to indicate what's possible or not for the government to do. That would be for them to say. I can say that certainly my office can start looking at documents as soon as we receive them in terms of sequencing, but I really can't say what the government can or cannot d

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  In the instance that you refer to, with respect to the finance committee, we received documents; we looked at what they were, and we reported to the committee as to the concerns we had and the fact that we were not able to do what the House had asked us or what the committee had

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  My view, Mr. Davies, is that the House has allowed the exclusion of cabinet minutes. The minutes of meetings of the cabinet and its committees are to be excluded from this order, so those would not be considered at all by my office. However, the motion otherwise requests that the

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  If they come to my office redacted, I would be in a situation of reporting it to the committee, because it makes it difficult, if not impossible, for my office to vet and to determine whether the redactions are valid. Some of them may seem like valid redactions to us, and sometim

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  They're not the same words, obviously, and we would look at any proposed redaction in a given document. That said, the House's criterion says, “information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with contractual or other negotiations between the Governm

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  Your interpretation of the motion does indeed reflect what I noted in my remarks. The motion stated that the grounds related to the confidentiality of the information or possible prejudice to contract negotiations were justifiable. However, the redaction must be approved by me or

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  These are obligations that fall on the government and the executive in terms of what documents can be requested by Canadians, the grounds for redactions and the process for complaints. There are obligations on Parliament and the House itself in terms of proactive disclosures, and

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  Do you mean the obligations required on the government or on the House? As counsel to the House and as counsel to the committee, I would say that the obligations do not apply to the House and to the committee. So these would be questions really for the government, as to what it i

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  One of the unknowns is that we have not received the documents yet, so one of the things we do not know is whether the government will have proposed redactions or not. If they have, then we would look to those and we would expect to be able to see behind those redactions to what

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  In its motion, the House really linked the vaccine development and the contractual negotiations. It said that this ground of “information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere” would apply with respect to paragraph (y). Paragraph (y) is the paragraph o

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  We will be implementing what the House has ordered and the grounds the House has provided in its motion. It has provided, as one of the grounds, the protection of information the disclosure of which could interfere with the government's ability to contract or negotiate with third

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  We would have to see what is provided to us by the government and we would have to see the context and, again, what concerns may be raised with that. Is the information you're describing something the disclosure of which could interfere with the government's ability to contract o

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  We were approached by senior government officials to exchange and discuss the practical implications of this motion and complying with the motion. And so, exchanges have been had in terms of what to expect. So yes, there have been exchanges.

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  Discussions centred around what the motion required and how best the government could comply with it, and the implications for my office. It was really in the sense of a pragmatic consideration looking at how to meet this task that's set out by the House.

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne

Health committee  As set out in my statement, we are setting up a team to review the documents, to look at the proposed redactions from the government, if there are any, and really to go page by page, line by line, making sure that given the grounds that the House has identified in terms of the ap

November 27th, 2020Committee meeting

Philippe Dufresne