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Joint Interparliamentary Council

Conseil interparlementaire mixte


Meeting No. 189

February 14, 2022

The Joint Interparliamentary Council met in camera this day at 10:10 a.m., in a hybrid format, Mr. Chris d’Entremont, MP, presiding.

Representing the Senate: Hon. Donald Plett and Hon. Raymonde Saint-Germain for Hon. Ratna Omidvar.

Representing the House of Commons:  Rachel Blaney for Lindsay Mathyssen, Chris d’Entremont, Marilène Gill, Lianne Rood, Ruby Sahota, Marc Serré and Terry Sheehan for Hon. David McGuinty, MPs.

In attendance:

From the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate:
Marie-Ève Belzile, Principal Clerk, Parliamentary Exchanges and Protocol;
Andrew Lauzon, Acting Deputy Principal Clerk, Parliamentary Associations;
Jubilee Jackson, Acting Deputy Principal Clerk, Parliamentary Associations, Conferences and Logistics;
Caroline Belley, Manager, Resource Planning and Administration.

From the House of Commons:
Samuel Maheu, Financial Management Advisor, Financial Planning.

From the Library of Parliament:
Christine Ivory, Senior Director, Economics, Resources and International Affairs;
Laura Barnett, Senior Manager, Human Rights, Immigration and Citizenship.

1. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of December 8, 2021, were adopted.

2. Moratorium on associations’ activities:

Council members discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and current travel restrictions. It was agreed, – That the Council consider the moratorium at a meeting to be held during the week of March 7, 2022.

3. Subcommittee on the Review of Parliamentary Associations:

The Council considered the mandate, membership and work plan for the subcommittee.

It was agreed, – That a subcommittee be appointed to review the structure, governance and financial administration of parliamentary associations and to consult with chairs of associations, with whips and liaisons in both Houses and others it deems advisable;

That the subcommittee be composed of one senator from the ISG, one senator from the CPC, one senator from the CSG and one member from each recognized party in the House of Commons to be named by their respective whip or liaison no later than March 31, 2022;

That, as part of its review, the subcommittee be instructed to consider the following issues:

(a) representation on executive committees, delegations and the Council, including gender equity and the participation of parliamentarians from all recognized parties and groups in both Houses;

(b) the advisability of ensuring greater consistency between the constitutions of parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups;

(c) the appropriateness of the current mandates and structures of parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups, including their alignment with various geographic regions and Canada’s international partnerships and priorities;

(d) ways of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the activities of parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups, including lessons learned from the increased use of virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic;

(e) reporting requirements, financial management and accountability mechanisms for associations;

(f) the support provided by the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate and the Library of Parliament; and

That the subcommittee submit its final report to the Council no later than October 31, 2022.

4. Budgetary process for 2022-2023:

It was agreed – That, in advance of further consideration with regards to associations’ budgets for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, there be an allotment of $30,000 to each association, in order to meet expenses related to activities coming up early in the new fiscal year; and

That the Co-Chairs write to association chairs and co-chairs indicating that the Council will study written budget requests in June and that requests should be submitted no later than May 20, 2022.

5. Update on conferences:

The Clerk of the Council gave an update on parliamentary conferences to be held in Canada in 2022.

At 10:55 a.m. the Council adjourned to the call of the Co-Chairs

Jeremy LeBlanc