Skip to main content

REGS Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at

Previous day publication Next day publication

Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations

Issue 3 - Evidence, December 2, 2004

OTTAWA, Thursday, December 2, 2004

The Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:31 a.m. for the review of statutory instruments.

Senator John G. Bryden and Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Joint Chairmen) in the chair.


The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): I call the meeting to order. I do not know if counsel has received this note from the Minister of Health, but we will put it in the record. The letter is addressed to the joint chairs of the committee and states:

Dear Senator Bryden and Mr. Grewal:

Re: SOR/97-313 Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations

Further to the letter of June 24, 2004, from my official, Ms. Caroline Weber, Director General, Health Policy and Communications Branch, I want to express my appreciation for the diligence of your committee in reviewing the above regulations, and for conveying your concerns to this Department. I am pleased to inform you that Health Canada is taking action to address these concerns.

Today, the Government of Canada tabled legislation Bill C-28 An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act in the House of Commons to provide the Minister of Health with the authority to issue interim marketing authorizations (IMAs) for foods containing specified substances.

I thank you for your continued interest in this important issue and trust that the above proposed legislation will resolve the concerns of your committee.

It is interesting to note that the particular issue started in 1997; by the time it worked its way through the system, it did receive a response. I will give this copy to Mr. Michaud, Clerk of the Committee, to complete that file.

We will proceed to today's agenda with "Letters to and from Ministers.''


(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 3A:1)

Mr. François-R. Bernier, General Counsel to the Committee: Section 14 of the Indian Estates Regulations purported to authorize the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to deem persons to be the widow of an Indian who died intestate for purposes of the distribution of the estate. The joint committee objected to the legality of this provision on the ground that section 48 of the Indian Act provided for the property of an intestate to be divided between his issue, if any, and his widow. The term "widow'' as used in the statute did not include common-law spouses. The grant of the discretion to the minister to disregard the application of section 48 of the act and to deem common- law spouses to be widows in certain circumstances represented an attempt to confer on the minister a power to amend the statute on a case-by-case basis.

In its Report No. 65, the joint committee drew the attention of the Houses to this issue. In its response to that report, the government undertook to revoke section 14 of the Indian Estates Regulations, which has now been done, and also to validate all orders previously made under that illegal provision.

In February 2003, the minister wrote to the chairs of the joint committee to suggest that validation of previously made orders "would cause undue turmoil to First Nations widows and family members,'' and requested that the committee reconsider the need for such validation.

The September 23, 2003, letter from the chairs of the joint committee was written after the committee considered and rejected that request from Minister Nault, for the reasons mentioned in that letter. The minister was informed that "members strongly incline to the view that the commitment given on behalf of the Government in the comprehensive government response to the Sixth Report of the Committee...should be honoured and that the promised validating legislation ought to be presented to Parliament.''

In the minister's reply of May 7, 2004, he stated that "Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will be commencing additional consultations with Department of Justice Canada colleagues in order to ensure that these issues are fully addressed.''

It may be in order at this time for the joint chairs to write again to the minister to ask what progress has been made in terms of those consultations.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): That would be your recommendation.

Mr. Bernier: Yes.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Are there any objections to following up in that manner?

Mr. Bouchard: No problem.

Hon. Members: Agreed.


(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 3B:1)

Mr. Rob Billingsley, Counsel to the Committee: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There is an inconsistency between the English and French versions of an item in the schedule to General Import Permit No. 100. The inconsistency was brought to the attention of the department by counsel in September 1999. The department indicated in March 2000 that a correcting amendment was being prepared and that the inconsistency was a result of an error in the English version of the schedule.

Counsel wrote to the department in September 2002, still not having had any word about the amendment, and then three additional times to inquire as to the status of the amendment, without a response to any of those letters. As a result, the joint chairs of the committee wrote to Minister Peterson in April 2004 to ask that the amendment be processed without further delay.

A response from the Designated Instruments Officer for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade dated April 23, 2004, promising action on a priority basis, was received. However, the amendment has not been gazetted, as of December 1, 2004. I note that the amendment does not require the approval of the Governor in Council because the minister has the authority to make the amendment. I would suggest that perhaps another letter should go to the minister from the joint chairs pointing out that the commitment to amend the permit remains unfulfilled.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Is it agreed that we follow up on it in that manner?

Hon. Members: Agreed.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Is there a standard form letter that we use in such a case? We will remind the department that we are following the case. It may be a good idea to have a standard follow-up letter to go to. If there is a conflict going on, then that is an entirely different situation.


(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 3C:1)

Mr. Billingsley: These are regulations amending the Canada Pension Plan Regulations. I would note, as a preliminary matter, that there is a typographical error in the note accompanying this agenda item. The subsection of the regulations in question is section 8.1(1.1,), not section 8(1.1.). I apologize for any confusion this may have caused members of the committee.

As stated in the note, the committee had objected to subsection 1.1 as being ultra vires. An amendment has now been made to the Canada Pension Plan, which is the enabling act, to provide the necessary authority for the challenged provision. However, the amendment is not yet in force. We will monitor the coming into force of the amendment; once it is in force, the file can be closed.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): There is no action, other than the fact that it is being monitored?

Mr. Billingsley: That is right.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.


Mr. Bernier: The correspondence before the committee, Mr. Chairman, explains why the same instrument was revoked twice. This is explanatory and no further action is required.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Agreed?

Mr. Bouchard: Agreed.


(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 3D:1)

Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, with respect to the first point, dealing with section 2.9(3), the department indicates that discussions are continuing, with a view to giving this provision greater specificity. This, in turn, would diminish the force of the objection that the provision, as currently drafted, adds nothing to the statutory obligation that employees take all reasonable and necessary safety precautions. If the committee agrees, we will monitor the progress of those discussions.

On the second issue, the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations impose various standards and requirements applicable to heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems — HVAC — in a building used by an employer within the meaning of the Canada Labour Code. Section 2.20(1) of the regulations provides that those standards and requirements apply to buildings in which the employer is the principal tenant, even though the employer does not have the control of the HVAC system.

Counsel questioned the imposition of a legal duty on an employer in relation to systems over which they exercise no control. The reply from the department is that it is incumbent on an employer to negotiate a lease that provides for the requirements being met by the landlord in relation to an HVAC system. I do not think this addresses the problem.

If we take, for example, section 2.22 of the regulations, which requires modification of an HVAC in certain circumstances, an employer who is a principal tenant signs a lease providing that the building owner must ensure that section 2.22 is respected. If it eventually turns out that the owner of the building never made the required modifications to the HVAC system, what happens? Are we then going to consider that the employer is in breach of the regulations? How can anyone be held responsible for a breach of regulations with regard to a system over which they have no control?

I would suggest that this be pursued with the department. If the intent is that employers who lease building space must include in their lease agreement a clause requiring compliance with certain regulatory standards by the landlord, that is what the regulations should provide for — assuming, of course, that such a regulation can, in fact, be made under the Canada Labour Code.

The third item concerns section 2.24(2)(a) of the regulations, which requires instructions prepared by the person appointed by the employer to "take into account'' a certain guideline identified as Z204-94. The question was asked as to precisely what is meant by "take into account.'' The intent, according to the department, is to impose an obligation on employers to "consider its contents carefully'' — referring to the guideline — when preparing the instructions. However, the department, according to the same letter, is not looking for compliance with the provisions of that guideline. According to the department, "employers must demonstrate how the standard was taken into account when the instructions were developed.''

It would appear that, practically speaking, the only way in which one could demonstrate how the guideline was taken into account is by having the instructions reflect the provisions of the guideline. If that is the case, an employer is obviously required to do more than simply take the guideline into account. If the instructions must reflect the guideline, section 2.24(2)(a) should say so.

If, at the other end of the spectrum, all that is required is that the employer examine the guideline — that he is free to adopt instructions that do not reflect that guideline — then section 2.24(2)(a) amounts to little else than a mere suggestion, and the place for that kind of suggestion is not in regulations. This is the second issue that we believe deserves to be pursued with the department.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Are there any comments with respect to this matter?

I had a chance to go through the material earlier, and I think I follow where we are. It appears there are things in there that either have to be changed, in order to make the regulations effective, or removed, so that they become something other than a regulation.

Is it agreed that counsel should proceed with that.

Hon. Members: Agreed.


Mr. Bernier: Progress on this item appears to be satisfactory at the moment. The preliminary draft is now with the Department of Justice. I would suggest following up, perhaps in a month or so.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Will you follow up on your own initiative?

Mr. Bernier: Yes.


Mr. Bernier: In this case, Mr. Chairman, it was anticipated that the corrections requested by the committee would be made this fall. As of November 17, those have not been gazetted, and I would suggest that an inquiry be directed to the department.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Is it agreed, honourable members, that Mr. Bernier follow up this matter?

Hon. Members: Agreed.



(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. 3E:1)

Mr. Billingsley: These are regulations amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations. SOR/2000- 290 made comprehensive changes to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations. In a letter dated May 21, 2003, counsel raised five matters with the department with respect to this regulation. The department responded in a letter dated September 25, 2003. Subsequent amendments to the regulations were made by SOR/2004-120, which is the second regulation under this item. That regulation addresses some of the matters raised in counsel's letter.

With regard to those concerns of counsel, action has been taken by the department with respect to matters 1 and 3, and part of matter 4. Action has been promised with respect to matter number 2.

The outstanding items are as follows: With respect to matter 4, clarification is required from the department. Counsel had questioned the validity of section 41(1) of the regulations, which provides that those persons and bodies mentioned in the subsection "shall collect, use and disclose any information and records necessary for the purposes of carrying out their powers and duties in accordance with, and for the purposes of, the administration and enforcement of the Act, these Regulations, the Canada Student Loans Act, and any regulations made thereunder.''

In its reply, although maintaining that paragraph 15(k) of the act provides sufficient authority for the provision, the department agreed to take counsel's observations into account and "revise the wording of section 41(1).''

The only changes made to section 41 in the subsequent regulation, 2004-120, relate to the concerns raised in respect of item 3 of counsel's letter and are restricted to the English version. In other words, no changes were made to address counsel's concerns in respect of item 4.

In view of this, the department should be asked to clarify what revisions it intends to make to section 41(1) and, given its failure to use the opportunity provided by regulation 2004-120, when it intends to make those revisions.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Are members agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.

Mr. Billingsley: Turning to item 5, section 43.1 of the regulations provides for the termination of the minister's rights with respect to loans made by the minister and repayable to the Crown in situations where the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled. In his letter of May 2003, counsel questioned whether there was authority for this provision in the act. Clear authority is required to terminate the rights of the Crown. In its letter of September 2003, the department commented on two provisions, paragraphs 15(o) and 15(r) of the act, as the source of its authority. However, neither provision clearly gives the department the necessary authority.

The department also argues that "section 43.1 is essential to the carrying into effect of the Act'' and that "the Minister should have the same powers as those granted to lenders in sections 10 and 11'' of the act in the event of death or permanent disability of the borrower. However, the department provides no evidence to suggest the authority for the provision exists by necessary implication. Further, the fact that, in enacting sections 10 and 11, Parliament chose not to deal with the effect of death or disability on loans made by the minister, only by lenders, suggests that Parliament did not intend for the Governor-in-Council to do so in the regulations.

In the absence of an appropriate enabling provision, the need for a particular provision from a policy perspective is irrelevant to its legality. If section 43.1 is essential to the operation of the act, as claimed by the department, then the department should request that the act be amended to provide clear enabling authority.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Is that what you recommend in terms of following up?

Mr. Billingsley: Yes.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Are members agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.



(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 3F:!)

Mr. Bernier: These regulations are interrelated because some of the issues are common to both, and I will deal with the common issues first.

Section 8 of SOR/2001-219 and section 10 of SOR/2001-220 provide that an applicant may be refused a permit if the conditions of any previous permit issued by any country were contravened and the contravention was not remedied by the applicant. Counsel wanted to know how facts occurring in a foreign jurisdiction would be ascertained for the purposes of these provisions. The reply is that the designated agency, which is the licence-issuing authority, would make that determination based on evidence provided by those foreign authorities. Considering that the nature of that evidence may, at times, be such that it would not be acceptable in Canada to justify a finding that permit conditions have been breached, the committee may want to consider suggesting to the department that it include in the regulations an administrative review mechanism that would allow an applicant the opportunity to challenge the evidence provided by a foreign country as to compliance with a permit issued by that country.

In this case, the applicant is someone who is applying in Canada to do an archaeological dig within Canada but who may be refused a permit. If, under a permit issued in Russia, for example, he had failed to comply with the conditions of that permit and the Russian government informed the designated authority in Canada, that archaeologist would not be permitted to obtain a permit in Canada based on a contravention, or alleged contravention, of the previously issued Russian permit in an earlier excavation.

The suggestion is that, because the nature of the evidence may not always meet our standards, perhaps it would be better if the regulations were to include an opportunity for an applicant to challenge, or at least to seek a review of information provided by a foreign jurisdiction or be informed of it, and to respond to it.

Mr. Macklin: Is there a common registry for this purpose? Where would one check to know whether someone had received a permit from another jurisdiction? If such a registry exists, would it contain permit contraventions for the purpose of making that determination?

Mr. Bernier: In the September 20, 2003, reply from DIAND, after stating that a determination would be made on the basis of evidence provided by foreign authority, the Designated Instruments Officer added, "Such a determination is to be made by the territorial minister, who has an established network of experts with respect to archaeological permitting in other jurisdictions.'' From that, one has the impression that it is almost by word of mouth.

Mr. Macklin: There is no formal process of registration or permitting that one could check. It seems to be quite loose and, as you say, by word of mouth. It would certainly seem then that anyone caught in that position would certainly want an opportunity to appeal if they believed the alleged contravention was inappropriate or in error and, thereby, stopping them from getting a permit. That would be a wise suggestion to raise with the department, to see what the reaction would be.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): There is similar wording for a determination of this nature under the regulations pertaining to the Nunavut Act, such that the permit would not be issued because of something that had occurred in another jurisdiction. The September 2003 letter states, "Any determination of this nature in Nunavut is to be made by the designated agency, which has established sources with respect to archaeological permitting in other jurisdictions, and would be made on the basis of evidence provided by a foreign authority.''

At this stage, that does not allow any recourse for the person in Canada who has been denied on the basis of a contravention.

If it is the wish of the committee, we should ask counsel to communicate with the department to pursue an amendment to provide the evidence on which the rejection of the application is based. Are members agreed?

Mr. Macklin: That should also include an opportunity for the applicant to appeal the determination.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Yes. Are members agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.

Mr. Bernier: The second issue common to both sets of regulations concerns sections 6(2) and 7(2) of SOR/2001-219, and section 8(2) and 9(2) of SOR/2001-220. These provisions require the issue of a permit within a set number of days or after any longer period required. It was pointed out to the department that there is no purpose in providing that the permit shall issue within X number of days, when the same provision also provides that it can be issued at any time after the expiry of that period.

The explanation given for mentioning a particular number of days does not address the point. The explanation for including that was to serve as information to people that, generally, it is expected that the permit will be issued within that period of time but that there is no guarantee because it could be longer.

It would be our suggestion that these provisions should simply require the minister to issue the permit when the prescribed circumstances are met. If members agree, that point would also be pursued.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): A reading of the material would indicate that they did not just drop the 60 days or 90 days for no reason. The explanation, as I understand it, is to give to the public an indication of what the normal time frame would be but that there are circumstances in which the permitting agency does not have complete control over the time period, because consultation has to take place, in a number of instances, with First Nations organizations and corporations. In other words, it is an indication of what would be a normal practice, with a saving provision that allows that, if that cannot be done, the time will be extended as required to get all the information collected.

I do not know whether it is legitimate to use a regulation or use a time period in the fashion that is being suggested here. As an administration of a wide-ranging program, I can see how it would be helpful, if one could not get a permit within the time frame, due to circumstances beyond one's control, to go beyond that date, rather than starting the process over from the beginning. I would ask for counsel's reply.

Mr. Bernier: Generally, in looking at a regulation, we look at whether the provision is legally necessary. In here, the 60-day or 90-day deadline has no real legal meaning; there is no requirement for the permit to be issued within that time because you can go beyond the period. The purpose is to provide information to the public.

Generally, the committee's approach has been that there are other means available to governments to provide information to the public, that regulations are not really the proper vehicle, and the public can be informed through a variety of means as to how long an agency needs to process a permit.

That being said, it is not a cardinal sin if this were to be left in regulations; there are certainly worse things that have been seen in regulations.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): If a person is making an application under a scheme and the regulations provide for an unlimited period of time in which to reply, then it is unlikely that that individual will go to some sort of direction from the department as overriding that.

While it is a little bit messy, I do not see any real objection. In one case, there is a 60-day provision, in the other a 90- day provision, but if the Nunavut Corporation drags its feet, and the 90-day provision is missed, then the minister or the agency can still issue as soon as the information is obtained. Unless counsel has strong objection, that would be my recommendation to the committee. Is that agreed?


Ms. Guay: Provided that we still have the 60-day and 90-day option, and that more time can be granted if ever we go beyond this time frame. I agree with that.


The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.

Mr. Bernier: Turning to the comments that are specific to SOR/2001-220. Two minor drafting amendments are promised — specifically, the definition of "fossil'' and section 8(2)(a).

The first question regarding the definition of fossil has not been answered. That question is whether there is anything other than the enumerated items that constitutes a fossil. If not, then the defined term should be said to "mean'' rather than "include'' the enumerated fossil forms.

That point should be pursued.

As regards the interplay between sections 8(2) and 9(2) of the regulations, and section 33.5.6 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the point that was made, and that has apparently been missed by the department, is that even in the absence of the word "subject to'' in sections 8(2) and 9(2) there is no conflict between the agreement and the regulations. Any potential conflict is resolved by section 6(1) of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, which provides that that agreement takes precedence over any inconsistent regulation.

The "subject to'' clause that has been inserted in 8(2) and 9(2) is unnecessary and should be removed.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.


(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 3G:1)

Mr. Bernier: On the first point, the reply is that technicians are certified according to the standard mentioned in the associate deputy minister's letter. If that is the case, a suggestion could be made to the department that the definition of NDT technician refer to a person certified in accordance with the name standard.

Action is promised on item 2 of Mr. Bernhardt's letter.

As regards item 3, the department has acknowledged that the two versions are not to the same effect and proposes to return to the pre-2001 wording. That wording, however, also gives rise to an issue of equivalence. The verb "manier'' is not the same thing as "interfere with,'' and this issue would have to be explored further with the department.

With respect to item 4, regarding section 5.11(8), the reply appears to be satisfactory.

Finally, with respect to item 5, a correction is promised in relation to section 5.16(1).

If members agree, a further letter would go regarding the matters raised in connection with items 1 and 3 of the correspondence.

Hon. Members: Agreed.


(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 3H:1)

Mr. Bernier: Action is promised on the issues raised in the first paragraph of point 1 and in point 2 of Mr. Rousseau's letter. As regards the question raised in the second paragraph of point 1, the reply is satisfactory.

With the agreement of the committee, we will monitor the progress of the two promised amendments.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): The first one really is a question of resolving the different uses of French terms to refer to the same thing — in other words, to bring those into line. What was the other one?

The Joint Chairman (Mr. Grewal): It concerned a person under one year of age, for children to request a passport at no cost.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Agreed?

Hon. Members: Agreed.


(For text of documents, see Appendix I, p. 3I:1)

Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, the committee wished to receive an undertaking that the ultra vires provisions of the Canada Student Loans Regulations would not be relied on pending their formal revocation. That assurance has been given by the department and there now remains to monitor the repeal of the two provisions in question.




Mr. Billingsley: Mr. Chairman, these specifications relate to the design, composition, construction and performance of the electronic automatic weighing devices. The authority is for the minister to make these specifications under section 13 of the weights and measures regulations. In November 2003, counsel wrote to the department, at the committee's request, to communicate the committee's expectation that, if revised specifications envisioned by the department were not in place within a reasonable time, the existing specifications would be amended, to address the committee's concerns. The department was told that, historically, two years or so was considered to be a reasonable time for the deferral of relatively minor amendments, which is what we are dealing with here.

The department wrote back in January 2004 to indicate that it would prefer "to defer making any changes to the specifications at this time'' and to ask for the committee's support in this regard. The department reiterated that it intends to revise the specifications in conjunction with a review to be conducted by an international body that establishes international requirements for these devices. However, the department is unable to say when the international review will occur. The department did not specifically address the committee's expectation that the amendments proceed within two years, should the international review be delayed beyond that time.

The committee may wish to consider whether to continue to pursue a commitment from the department to make the necessary amendments within a reasonable time.

The Joint Chairman (Mr. Grewal): What is SGM? When we talk about an international review requirement for these devices, is that in the sense of harmonization?

Mr. Billingsley: Yes, it is my understanding, from the department's letters, that the international body is concerned about a harmonization exercise.

With respect to what SGM refers to, I am not sure.

Mr. Bernier: We will obtain the answer.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Do we have the time frame for international action?

Mr. Billingsley: No. The department identifies the amendments to their specifications as a medium-term priority. Apparently, this international body has a plan to review these requirements, but there are no details as to when that review will take place.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): If we were to order them to deal with items within their jurisdiction, what would be the time frame? Would it be two or three years?

Mr. Billingsley: Yes. In the previous letter, the committee requested that the amendment occur within a reasonable time, being two years or so.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): In following up on that, could counsel request a realistic estimate as to when the international review would be conducted, if the two are closely matched. I would prefer that they concentrate on the one that will provide the timeliest benefit rather than have their amendment interrupted halfway and taken over by the other.



(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. 3J:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. 3K:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix L, p. 3L:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. 3M:1)

Mr. Bernier: The instruments under "Action Promised'' include 11 undertakings to amend regulations as a result of comments made by the committee or by counsel.

In respect of SOR/2001-155, the undertaking was to table those rules before Parliament, as required by statute. Even after the failure to table was drawn to the attention of the government in the fall of 2003, the rules remained untabled, even though, as pointed out by Mr. Bernhardt, in his letter May 27, 2004, there was ample time for tabling prior to the dissolution of Parliament in May 2004. Counsel also took the opportunity to remind the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada that the tabling requirement is not a matter of convenience but of complying with a statutory duty. Counsel reminded them that a 1993 ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons, which Mr. Lee will be familiar with, confirmed that failure to observe a statutory tabling requirement is a breach of the privileges of the House and may be treated as contempt of the House. The rules were eventually tabled on October 7, 2004, in the House of Commons and on October 19 in the Senate.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): The next items are under "Action Taken.''


(For text of documents, see Appendix N, p. 3N:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix O, p. 3O:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix P, p. 3P:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix Q, p. 3Q:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix R, p. 3R:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix S, p. 3S:1)


(For text of documents, see Appendix T, p. 3T:1)



(For text of documents, see Appendix U, p. 3U:1)

Mr. Bernier: Under the heading "Action Taken,'' two instruments are revoked and 16 amendments have been made as a result of the work of the joint committee.

The remaining 79 instruments on this agenda are submitted without comment.

The Joint Chairman (Mr. Grewal): Under "Action Promised,'' what was the argument for not tabling the response to Parliament in respect of SOR/2001-155?

Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, that has now been done. I think it was no more than an oversight.

The Joint Chairman (Mr. Grewal): Does anything remain untabled?

Mr. Bernier: It was pointed out that, once we drew the fact to their attention in 2003, they still did not table them, although they had time prior to the 2004 dissolution of Parliament. It was only after we followed up again that, eventually, in this session of Parliament, the rules were tabled, some three years after they were made.

The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): Members, the next meeting would normally be in two weeks, on December 16. The Clerk of the Committee will advise of any change in that date, should the Houses not be sitting.

Mr. Lee: My view is that we proceed with the meeting in any event, but members may take a different view.


Ms. Guay: The Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure is scheduled to meet a little later. I think we should discuss our next meeting in that forum. Right now, I think we should wrap up our routine business.


The Joint Chairman (Senator Bryden): In my experience, when Parliament is recessed, meetings do not take place without permission. If the Senate is not sitting the week of December 16 but the committee meets, I will not be here as joint chair. I believe the agenda items before the committee could be included on a subsequent agenda, for a future meeting.

I will suggest to the steering committee that it make the decision that we proceed to schedule a December 16 meeting but that meeting not proceed if Parliament is not sitting.

The committee adjourned.

Top of document