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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 39 - Evidence - September 27, 2018
OTTAWA, Thursday, September 27, 2018
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:32 a.m. for review of Statutory Instruments.
Senator Joseph A. Day and Mr. Harold Albrecht (Joint Chairs) in the chair.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Welcome to all committee members and those who are filling in for others who are not here today. I’m glad to see everyone here so early. We have a number of items to deal with today. There are 14 agenda items. Senator Day and I will share the chair. I will chair for the first five items and Senator Day will continue on after that.
Before we get into the public meeting, we do have to convene in camera to deal with staffing issues. I’m going to ask someone to move the following motion:
That the committee now proceed to sit in camera, and that notwithstanding usual practice, committee members’ assistants be allowed to remain;
That the committee allow the transcription of today’s in camera meeting, and that one copy be kept in the office of the general counsel for consultation by committee members.
All in favour?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
(The committee continued in camera.)
(The committee resumed in public.)
PROPOSED COMMITTEE PRACTICES AND OPTIONS (SF2018-2)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Committee members who have served on this committee for some time will know some of the frustrations that we face with the inconsistency with which we follow up on communications or lack thereof with various departments. We’ve asked our counsel to prepare material for us that would improve our efficiency. That is before you. It’s my understanding that this would also be sent to the departments so they would recognize our expectations as well, or is this primarily for committee use?
Cynthia Kirkby, Acting General Counsel to the Committee: We did send something similar to the departments a couple of years ago. If members wish to send it again. We could do that, or it could be something —
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Let’s first have the discussion on the principles before you in terms of the joint committee expectations and practices. You have the item before you. We will have discussion or comments about adopting this as our model of practice going forward.
Mr. El-Khoury: Welcome and good morning.
Regarding the promised action and the decision we took for such things, we will have a delay of 12 months or six months if we do not receive an answer from the required department to take some action, or we could ask for witnesses to appear. How do you see the general idea and the response to the decision we are taking here?
Ms. Kirkby: We’re expecting the substantive response within four months. We’re expecting progress of some sort within 12 months, failing which we might take a step such as inviting witnesses to appear. That generally goes over with some force. Witnesses generally find it intimidating to come to committees, so that is a certain power that we have.
I think that’s easier to get as an action than having the amendments made. That does bring it to the attention of departments more strongly than just writing letters. When we ask them to appear as witnesses, that seems to cause more response.
Penny Becklumb, Counsel to the Committee: In putting this document together, it became apparent that consequences should not always attach specifically to the problem which is arising, but rather consequences should be contemplated looking at the whole file, the whole history, what has happened before and what consequences have already been imposed.
For that reason, we prepared a second document, which is on the other side. It’s entitled “Principal Powers and Options of the Joint Committee.” I hope this will be helpful to members. As files go wrong and you contemplate what the consequence should be, you can see an escalation of all the powers you have and which consequences have already been imposed. So you can contemplate what the next steps should be in light of the whole history of the file.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think it would be fair to say that, generally speaking, in the last year and a half we have made progress, Mr. El-Khoury. We’ve gotten better, but we still have a long way to go. I think that for this document before us, both sides of it, it would be wise for committee members to have our staff laminate it and put it in the front of our binders so when we come to these issues, we don’t have to ask each other, “What did we do last time?” Rather, we would ask about the expectations that we previously adopted as a committee and do our best to follow those scrupulously.
Mr. Benzen: I like the way this is set up. We’ve seen over the years some of these cases going on a decade, and I think it’s because we haven’t had a structure to follow and we haven’t been disciplined to follow it. I think we’ve caved in at times and said, “Well, send them a letter or get another witness,” escalating it up to the next step on the ladder. I think if we follow this closely, we’ll close more files and make more progress.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to send this to the departments to refresh their sense of what we expect. I look forward to following it this year, and I think it will work.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): My comment follows Mr. Benzen’s comment that we are imposing extra work on counsel.
You understand that. You’re going to have to be following these time limits and this committee is asking you to strictly follow these time limits.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): It could be argued that we’re helping our general counsel because we’ve been lax in having them write. Now we’re going to take action and I think we’ll speed up the process.
Ms. Kirkby: There have been instances where, for one reason or another, we have deemed it not appropriate to follow one of these. It’s very contextual. In instances, for example, when we haven’t received a substantive response within four months, the ordinary process would be to write a letter to the minister; but depending on the context, we might do something different, such as reach out to somebody in the department to see if there is something going on. We’ve had certain bureaucratic issues which have led to the delay of a response, as opposed to just not responding within a prompt time. So if there’s some discretion built in, that might be helpful.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Good point.
On the back of the page you have “Principal Powers and Options of the Joint Committee.” The third item is “Counsel Meets with Department Officials (unusual).” I wouldn’t be opposed to having those reversed, or at least you can do whichever fits the occasion best. Rather than write to a minister, if it’s more expeditious to pick up the phone and talk to a bureaucrat in the department to speed it up, I don’t think there’s any opposition from our side for you to do that, if it’s helpful. I don’t know if people understand where I’m coming from on that. I see nodding heads, so I think there is general agreement that you don’t necessarily have to follow those.
I think we’ve had a good discussion on the principles here. Can someone move that we adopt this as our method of practice moving forward and that we send a copy to the departments outlining our expectations so that we’re all on the same page and there are no questions later? Anybody prepared to make that motion? Mr. Dusseault?
All in favour, please raise your hand. Carried.
Thanks again to our counsel for great work on that file.
SOR/2002- 164 — NATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION ANIMAL REGULATIONS
SOR/2002-165 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE NATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION TRAFFIC AND PROPERTY REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix A, p. A:1.)
Ms. Becklumb: As indicated in the background note, amendments promised to two regulations that pertain to the National Capital Commission have been pending since 2004. Despite three letters sent to the minister, we have been unable to obtain a commitment to a specific time frame to amend said regulations.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): You see before you, committee members, a detailed outline of the years from 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and the very last report does not give us a lot of hope. What does our committee feel we should be doing? If you look at our agenda for the template we’ve just adopted, what are our next steps?
Mr. Dusseault: I think it’s one of the worst files, but they promised to do something. Certainly we have to follow up on the promised action. I wonder if we could do more than that.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it time to consider tabling a report? Again, this committee works very well in a nonpartisan way and it’s clear from that file that all stripes of government bears the blame in this one. This is not partisan, but this has gone on way too long it’s time that some action is taken.
Mr. Dusseault: Have we called a witness on this file?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We have not called witnesses, no, at this point.
Mr. El-Khoury: I would like to hear the advice of counsel before we go to a decision, please.
Ms. Becklumb: We’ve written to the minister three times, got a very vague response after 14 years. She didn’t even respond on both files. So writing to the minister hasn’t been useful.
As for next steps, disallowance isn’t really an option because these regulations aren’t to be repealed. They need to be amended. So what’s left is calling witnesses or tabling a report.
Mr. El-Khoury: I believe it is the only option that remains to us and we have to follow it.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Which follow-up? We have the option of calling witnesses or tabling a report in Parliament. Those are the options that we have before us. I think that is something we need to think about as a committee.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Just to refresh my memory, we had a similar case around the close of the spring session where we made it known that we were either going to call witnesses or we were going to report to the house. I can’t remember which one it was. In other words, it wasn’t just a letter saying please fix this. It was: If you don’t fix it, either we’re calling you to the committee, or we’re tabling a report in the house, and that gets quick action. I can’t remember which one it was.
Ms. Becklumb: Was it the species at risk file with Environment Canada, where we asked the minister to respond by June 1st?
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Or, what was the consequence?
Ms. Becklumb: Or we table a report in Parliament, and she responded.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Yes. So maybe — should we take the same approach here? We send one more letter saying: Look, if you don’t respond by a certain date, then — or maybe we just call witnesses and then we’ll tell them point-blank if you don’t respond —
Ms. Kirkby: We’ll just mention that this is Canadian Heritage and we don’t deal with them frequently, so it’s possible they’re not as aware of our committee as certain other regulation-making authorities. I think calling witnesses might be helpful to drive home the point that this is a parliamentary committee, you have to take this stuff seriously.
Mr. Sidhu: Mr. Chair, thank you. I would prefer actually calling witnesses over introducing it into Parliament or sending a letter back. If you need a motion, I’m ready to make a motion.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): One more person has asked for the floor and then we’re prepared to make a motion, or actually, two.
Ms. Romanado: Given the fact that there was a change in ministries as well, of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, over the summer, I think it would be wise to invite them to come and present. We don’t want to have a further delay because of a change in ministers, which sometimes will happen when there’s a change in leadership. I would suggest that perhaps inviting them to attend, with a specific deadline, that they come and present to this committee.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think we’re arriving at consensus.
Mr. Dusseault: My point is a little related to that, but I thought it was mostly the NCC that is responsible for the regulations. Who do we invite? Is it Canadian Heritage or the National Capital Commission?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): My understanding is that NCC is under Heritage, but I look to counsel for direction.
Ms. Kirkby: Generally, what would happen is that we would write to invite the minister, or send a letter to the minister, inviting her or her representatives to appear.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Mr. Sidhu, you’re prepared to make that motion?
Mr. Sidhu: So moved.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Further discussion on that motion? Other opinions as to how we should handle this? If not, we’ll go to the motion. All in favour, raise your hand.
That is carried. Thank you.
SOR/2009-324 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ESQUIMALT GRAVING DOCK REGULATIONS, 1989
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. B:1)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item No. 3 on our agenda.
Ms. Kirkby: This file is being presented today for two reasons, the first is that an access to information request was received in relation to some correspondence that had not yet been presented to the joint committee. All three letters are included in the materials today and will now form part of the public record. Unless the committee instructs otherwise, we will advise the access to information officer that they can now be released.
The second reason this file is being presented is that amendments promised in 2010 have still not been made. Since members last considered this file, general counsel sent two letters to Public Services and Procurement Canada but received no response, so the joint chairs wrote directly to the minister.
The minister replied quickly, stating that the repeated delays were not acceptable and that the amendments were expected to be published in April 2018.
That time frame was also not met, and the latest letter from the department says the target date is now fall 2018.
As of this past week, the amendments had not yet been made.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We are in fall, so I’m going to suggest that we put the date of the deadline as December 21, which is the end of fall. I look to committee members for their counsel.
First of all, is it your general agreement that the documents can be released? I think we agree with that.
On the second item, how do we want to deal with the fact the department advises publication in the fall? We’re here now. We technically have three months to allow them to fulfill their mandate. Do we want to write a letter to indicate that we actually expect it no later than December 21?
Mr. Scarpaleggia: I believe we should write a letter and say that if the amendments aren’t in the Canada Gazette, Part I — is that how it would work? What’s the process?
Ms. Kirkby: I think they indicated somewhere they were going to go directly in Part II. That’s what they had said.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: If it’s not directly in Part II by December 21, we will invite them to the committee.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Any further comments or questions on that? Is there general agreement that we proceed with a letter thanking them for the “action,” in quotation marks, and expecting more by December 21? I see general agreement on that. I don’t think I need a motion for that. So ordered.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME (U2014-2)
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. C:1)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Item No. 4 on our agenda is under the heading “Reply Unsatisfactory.”
Ms. Becklumb: There are three decisions we need from you on this file. The first relates to six issues that the joint committee raised and that the Department of Justice has flagged for consideration for future amendments. The amendments would correct drafting deficiencies, clarify the ombudsman’s scope of jurisdiction and set out a specific time period in which a person must be informed of the results of a review that they requested.
Given that the department’s commitment to consider these issues for future amendments is not particularly firm and provides no timeline, counsel could follow up with the department to try to firm that up a bit.
The second issue relates to a seventh issue that the joint committee and the department have yet to agree on. It relates to paragraph 5(2)(c) of the instrument that lists types of matters that the ombudsman doesn’t have jurisdiction to review. The list is not exhaustive. It starts by stating: “The Ombudsman shall not review such matters as,” and then it lists examples of the types of matters the ombudsman may not review.
The joint committee took issue with paragraph (c), which states, in part, that the ombudsman may not review “a decision of the Correctional Service of Canada as to whether or not to transfer an inmate to another penitentiary.” A penitentiary is a federal prison. There are also provincial prisons, known as provincial correctional facilities, to which an inmate may be transferred.
The question asked was why paragraph (c) specifies a transfer to a penitentiary. Does that mean that the ombudsman can review a decision to transfer an inmate to a provincial correctional facility?
The department confirmed that the ombudsman cannot review such a decision. It pointed to the non-exhaustive nature of the listing and provided another example of a type of decision that the ombudsman cannot review; namely, a decision to charge an offender for a disciplinary offence. It’s not listed in subsection 5(2), but according to the department, it’s nevertheless outside the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
This just raises another problem with the provision: There’s no item listed in subsection 5(2) that you can look at and conclude that that category of matter covers a decision to charge an offender for a disciplinary offence.
It’s suggested that subsection 5(2) could be clarified with two amendments: First, adding to the list a decision to transfer an inmate to a provincial correctional facility; and, second, either specifically a reference to a decision to charge an offender for a disciplinary offence or a general class of decisions under which this specific type of decision would obviously fall.
There’s also a third item on which we need your input. There’s an access to information request. The committee has been requested to release two of the letters that counsel sent to the Department of Justice on this file. They’re in the package before you. These letters will be posted on the committee website and available to the public after the meeting, in any event. So unless there’s any objection, that will be released for the ATIP request.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Moving backward, Item No. 3 is dealt with.
Regarding Items No. 1 and 2, we do need some action. Committee members, what’s your view as to the appropriate action to take on these two items?
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Sorry, chair. Where are we with the first?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): If you look at the first page under item 4, you see three issues listed.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: I see the issues, but has the department said they’re going to fix this?
Ms. Becklumb: For the first six issues, they said they’ve flagged them for consideration for future amendments. We recommend that we follow up with them and try to pin them down to get a specific timeline and a more specific and firm commitment.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Agreed.
Ms. Becklumb: Then the other issue, the one on which we haven’t yet agreed, is subsection 5(2). They’re stating that no amendment is needed because the list is non-exhaustive. So these two other items are just included there. We’re suggesting that it could be made more specific so that it’s obvious that those two items are included in the list, which means they’re excluded from the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: We could suggest, but where does it go from there? What if they disagree? Does it just die?
Ms. Becklumb: It’s up to the committee whether you want to press the point or accept their views.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know how strong the case is for clarification.
Ms. Becklumb: The problem is it’s just not clear. There’s a legal principle that says if you include one specific item, then you’re excluding other items. So when they said “penitentiary,” you would assume they said “penitentiary.” If they meant “provincial correctional facility,” they would have said that. Therefore, it’s excluded. However, the list starts with the words “such as,” meaning that this isn’t an exhaustive list and there must be other items.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: If it’s violating a legal principle, then —
Ms. Becklumb: There are arguments on both sides. It’s just not clear. That’s the point. It’s not obvious whether it’s in or out, so we’re proposing to make it obvious. Put it in if it’s in.
Furthermore, on this other point, they raised this other item and said, “This is included,” but there’s no general category under which you would look and say, “Oh yes, of course, that falls under this category.”
Mr. Scarpaleggia: Can we not write and explain there’s a contradiction here and ask for a response? What is their response to the fact there’s an apparent contradiction?
Ms. Becklumb: Their response has been this: “Look at the beginning words. They say ‘matters such as’ and therefore it’s a non-exhaustive list. We’ve listed some items.” Perhaps an argument we could put back at them is the following: “If you’re going to include a non-exhaustive list, then you should include general categories under which all of the sub-items clearly fall.”
For example, they include “any court decision, or decisions of judges or justices of the peace.” They don’t say a court decision to do such-and-such a matter, which then would prompt one to ask, “Does that mean a court decision on this other matter is excluded?” They said a “court decision,” so we know that all court decisions are covered. They also refer to “a decision . . . to transfer . . . to a penitentiary.” Why didn’t they say to “a decision to transfer to a correctional facility”? Then we would know that it includes both a penitentiary and a provincial correctional facility. They were very specific on this one item, which suggests that the others —
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Just to follow up on Mr. Scarpaleggia’s comment that he’s not a lawyer, I think part of the wisdom of this committee is that we’re not all lawyers. There are some lawyers, and we need you. This comes down to some common-sense principles, and that’s why we’re all here. Let’s not abrogate our responsibility.
Mr. Scarpaleggia: That wasn’t my intention, chair.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): That’s a great point. Let’s look at this from a common-sense perspective.
With regard to this particular item under paragraph 5(2)(c), it makes total sense that that should be clarified. Then if we could add a general category at the end that encompasses some of the things counsel has pointed out, that would be great.
Welcome to the committee, Senator Dean.
Senator Dean: Thank you. I’m delighted to be here.
I was going to touch on “such as,” because I was looking for the loophole. Do we know whether this regulation was released for public consultation or any consultation in which somebody likely would have raised the question of why “such as” is in here?
It is not common in a regulation, I think, to see something such as “such as.” I just wonder if there’s anything in the record of the development of this regulation that would give us guidance. Was a question asked of the department? Was clarification sought?
It’s a minor point, but it’s odd that this language found its way in here. It is about ombudsmen’s powers. I would assume this attracted some attention at the time the regulation was developed, and it might be worth having a look back if that hasn’t already been done.
Ms. Kirkby: I’m not actually sure about the history of developing this particular one. It has a slightly odd history. We’ve looked at some of the history but not all of it, so we can certainly do that research and see if we can get a sense of the issues raised during the development of it.
Mr. El-Khoury: Actually, for me, really it’s grey. There is a clear ambiguity. I read it, and it remains grey to me. Is it possible to ask for more clarification in order to clarify this ambiguity to this committee?
Ms. Becklumb: Could you elaborate on the clarification you’re looking for?
Mr. El-Khoury: There is ambiguity in this text. Could we have clarification to clarify this ambiguity?
Ms. Becklumb: You mean through an amendment to the regulation?
Mr. El-Khoury: Yes.
Ms. Becklumb: I think what we’re asking is this: Do you want us to pursue, on behalf of the committee, an amendment to the regulation? Do you need more information from the department, or are you prepared to pursue this as a required amendment?
Mr. El-Khoury: We would like to see it as crystal clear. We have to understand perfectly in order to take a decision. It is not clear.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think, Mr. El-Khoury, in all fairness, that’s exactly the reason this matter is before us. Because of the ambiguity, we’re asking, as a committee, for them to clarify it, possibly — probably — through amendments.
Ms. Romanado: I’m not sure if you’re able to answer this, but according to the document, it says that the Office of the Ombudsman is currently vacant. Is that still correct?
Ms. Becklumb: The last time I checked the website, it didn’t say who the ombudsman is, so I assume it is.
Ms. Romanado: In terms of a sense of urgency to appoint a person to this position, if there’s going to be a change in the mandate, responsibilities and scope of the ombudsman, and if this is preventing the department from moving forward for an appointment because of the fact there’s ambiguity, I’m trying to get a sense of the urgency in dealing with this file in terms of our actions going forward and any timelines we attach to it. That’s why I’m curious with respect to the appointment. Where are we in the appointment of this position, and does it require us to expedite the request of the ambiguity and the clarification of this file?
Ms. Becklumb: I don’t think we need clarification on this point for them to appoint an ombudsman. I’m not sure where they are in the process of finding someone for that position.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): But I do think, committee members, considering the fact there’s ambiguity and we’re dealing here with the Department of Justice — we’re not dealing with a department that is not seized with judicial matters — it seems rather strange that we’re having this back and forth debate.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I have a question to counsel. We go back and forth and you make suggestions and say, “That’s not clear,” but you’ve put enough time in on this that you know what you think should be done. Are we going down a slippery slope if we offer proposed words, or is the rule always that the department always has to come up with the wording?
Ms. Becklumb: I don’t think we want to do the drafting or suggest the exact wording, but we could give them an outline. We could suggest that they could include a general category that would cover these items.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): You’ve done that?
Ms. Becklumb: I don’t know that that has been done, no.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Be sure to use the words “such as.”
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Another opportunity.
Mr. Dusseault: I often like to imagine a real-life situation where this can affect someone. What would be for you a real situation where a victim could argue that the ombudsman could review the case, and then the ombudsman could argue in court or somewhere that he has the power and mandate to review the case of an inmate going to a provincial facility? Is that the kind of real-life situation that could happen if we don’t clarify this?
Ms. Becklumb: Yes, I suppose so. An inmate charged with a disciplinary offence is an inmate who has done something wrong while incarcerated, such as theft, being in the wrong place that’s out-of-bounds for inmates, or not obeying the instructions of a staff member. They’re very upset by this. They will speak to the ombudsman about it. They want the ombudsman to become involved. The ombudsman says, “That’s outside my jurisdiction.” They look at the instrument here and say, “No, it isn’t. Look at 5(2). It’s not listed. It’s in your jurisdiction.” The ombudsman says, “No, it’s not. It’s a non-exhaustive list.” It’s ambiguous. What does that inmate do? They can give up or try to appeal to the court.
Ms. Kirkby: I would point out that section 4 of the terms and conditions sets out the scope of the ombudsman’s powers, and it generally has to relate to victims of crime. So it’s a little complicated to try to figure out a specific example of the scenario because it first has to relate to victims of crime and then it can’t be any of these things.
I would think that somebody reading this, where there is some circumstance that involves victims of crime, might say, “Well, this specifically refers to another penitentiary. I know from the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that somebody may be transferred instead to a provincial facility that, if it’s not listed, must be included.” But in terms of the scope of the federal ombudsman’s mandate, it is limited to instances involving victims of crime.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Committee members, we need to come to a decision on this. I feel a general consensus that we’re asking our counsel to follow up to clarify, especially 5(2)(c), and add a general section that would encompass, not exhaustively, a broad array of potential scenarios.
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj: Just to this particular point, because it deals with the criminal justice system, I think there’s greater importance than perhaps in other regulatory matters. So perhaps in that letter it should be stressed that because clarity is of the utmost importance in our criminal justice system, this should be dealt with in an expeditious manner, and the expectation is that it’s dealt with in an expeditious manner.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Thank you. We’ll add that to our communication.
Again, I see general agreement. All in favour of that direction?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Thank you very much.
Thank you again to counsel for your perseverance on these matters. I mean that sincerely.
SI/2016-32 — BANFF NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA SIKSIKA NATION CASTLE MOUNTAIN LAND AND TIMBER CLAIM SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT RENT AND FEE REMISSION ORDER
(For text of document, see Appendix D, p. D:1.)
Ms. Kirkby: The only issue in this file concerns a discrepancy between the French and English versions of the definition of “Siksika entity.” The department stated in 2017 that the English version was correct, and the committee asked when the French version would be amended. Parks Canada answered that it had a few items to correct and that it intended to recommend a miscellaneous amendments regulations package, still without providing a timeline.
However, I should mention that the order is still not in effect. So it is still possible to ask the department to ensure that the order will be amended before the effective date.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Action is promised but, again, there is no timeline. We have to clarify that the order is modified before it comes into force.
Mr. Shields: This is a settlement that happened with this particular Indigenous group. They would like to move forward, and this is part of the process that’s holding it up. This needs to be done. They have some very forward-looking ideas to pursue but are being held up. This needs to be done quickly so there can be movement on this with Parks and the plans they have to deal with it.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Committee members, what is a realistic timeline?
Counsel, can you suggest a timeline that we would demand action? Within two months? I don’t want to hamstring them, but at the same time we want action. Is there a reasonable timeline? Is two months reasonable, or is that too long?
Mr. Sidhu: At the end of the year.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Which year?
Mr. Sidhu: This year.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): At the end of —
Ms. Kirkby: The calendar year?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is that adequate? Does that address your issues, Mr. Shields? Okay, by December 31, 2018.
All in agreement with that course of action?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Thank you. I’ll turn it over to Senator Day.
SOR/2017-162 — UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING DEFENCE MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE (VANCOUVER 2017) – PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. E:1 )
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Colleagues, we’re dealing with Item No. 6 under the heading “Reply Satisfactory” and the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference a year ago in Vancouver. This was before the committee on June 7 of this year.
Ms. Kirkby: The Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act authorizes the granting of privileges and immunities in respect of representatives of a foreign state, but the order purported to grant privileges and immunities in respect of representatives of a foreign state or a foreign government. Members decided to seek assurances from Global Affairs Canada that future such orders would refer only to representatives of a foreign state unless the act was amended to authorize the granting of privileges and immunities in respect of representatives of a foreign government as well.
The department has now provided the requested assurance. So if members are satisfied, this file can be closed and future orders will be reviewed to ensure the authority granted by the enabling act is respected.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that course of action satisfactory? Seeing consensus, we’ll do that. We’ll keep an eye out for it.
SOR/2017-228 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE RADIATION EMITTING DEVICES REGULATIONS (DENTAL X-RAY EQUIPMENT)
(For text of document, see Appendix F, p. F:1.)
Ms. Becklumb: Two issues were raised in this file. The first is that the term “exit field” in the regulations is undefined. In its answer the department suggested that a definition is unnecessary because the term is a well understood and commonly used term in the industry. In addition, the term is not defined in the 2012 International Electrotechnical Commission standards, with which the regulations are proposed to align. We may consider this explanation satisfactory.
The second issue was simply a typo which the department has already corrected.
So, if you are in agreement, we may close this file.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is everyone in agreement that this file be closed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): There’s consensus and we will do that. It’s always nice to close one.
SOR/94-753 — INDIAN OIL AND GAS REGULATIONS, 1995
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. G:1 )
Ms. Kirkby: Nineteen points were raised in respect of these regulations in 2006, and in 2007 the department agreed to address all of them. Although the promised amendments have not yet been made, some recent progress is worth noting.
First, the proposed amendments have now been prepublished in Part I of the Canada Gazette, and that happened on May 19, 2018. In addition, since 2017, the department has proactively sent regular status reports, with the next update expected by the end of January. If members are satisfied with this approach, counsel could continue to monitor the file and return it to committee when there is further news of note.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): It appears to me that we’re getting cooperation and you’re prepared to keep an eye on it. Can we agree with that approach, just keep monitoring it, as long as they’re cooperating?
Ms. Kirkby: Yes.
SOR/2017-21— REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN PARKS CANADA AGENCY REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of document, see Appendix H, p. H:1.)
Ms. Becklumb: The wording of two provisions in the National Parks of Canada Fishing Regulations has been called into question. Parks Canada agreed to amend these provisions through a package of miscellaneous amendments that was to be presented to Treasury Board in November 2018. We can follow up on this file and inform you when the amendments have been made.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we in agreement? We’ll keep an eye on this one? Thank you.
SOR/2017-58 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of document, see Appendix I, p. I:1.)
Ms. Kirkby: This is the first time this instrument is presented to the committee. As described in the background note, the instrument addressed various issues in relation to different fisheries regulations, but it gave rise to three new issues.
Two of them concern sections that are not clear because of a discrepancy between the French and English versions. The department has said that those two issues will be addressed in a miscellaneous regulatory package in the course of this fiscal year.
The third issue involved a scientific name that was in regular font when it should have been in italics. The department indicated that that matter had already been rectified, probably pursuant to the power to correct typographical errors conferred by the Legislation Revision and Consolidation Act.
If the committee is in agreement, counsel may follow up to verify that the promised amendments are made according to the time frame provided.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Clarification: When you say this fiscal year, by April 1, 2019, the miscellaneous amendments are automatically put in place?
Ms. Kirkby: They said it would be initiated during the 2018-19 fiscal year through a miscellaneous amendments package.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Before April 1. And you’ll keep an eye on that? That’s French, English, and the printing —
Ms. Kirkby: The printing has already been corrected.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): It has already been done. So we will continue to monitor this.
C.R.C. C. 1486 — SMALL FISHING VESSELS INSPECTION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. J:1)
SOR/93-195 — QUEBEC MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCERS’ LEVY (INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE) ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. K:1)
SOR/2013-219 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES’ REPUBLIC OF KOREA
(For text of documents, see Appendix L, p. L:1)
SOR/2018-62 — REGULATIONS REPEALING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS APPARATUS REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. M:1)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next on our agenda is Item No. 11 under “Action Taken.”
Ms. Becklumb: I propose to present Items No. 11 to 14 together because they all relate to action taken, with no decisions needed. The files can be closed if the committee agrees.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Do we agree with that approach?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
Ms. Becklumb: I’ll give you a summary of each one.
Item No. 11: The Small Fishing Vessels Inspection Regulations has been open since 1982. Over the years, various issues were addressed until only one remained outstanding. This past February, the committee lost patience with Transport Canada and you gave them a three-month deadline to address this last issue, which required only an amendment to an administrative document to remove an obsolete reference. The department met that deadline. They updated their document in May 2018, so now the file can be closed.
Item No. 12 relates to the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers’ Levy. This file has been open since 1984 when a single issue was raised. There was a particularly productive meeting between counsel and the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec in April, and it resulted in the long sought amendment finally being made this past July. So that file can be closed.
With regard to Item No. 13, a missing reference was added to the regulations implementing the United Nations resolutions on North Korea. This issue was first raised in 2010.
Finally, for Item No. 14, issues related to the Telecommunications Apparatus Regulations that were first raised in 2004 have finally been addressed by the repeal of the regulations. Of note on this file is that the committee gave the department a three-month deadline to show progress on that repeal, and this might have been a factor in the regulations being repealed less than five months later.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Thank you very much. For agenda Items No. 11, 12, 13 and 14, it has been recommended by counsel that those files be closed. Is there consensus? There is a consensus to close those files.
SOR/2017-287 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2017-288 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1986
SOR/2017-289 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1986
SOR/2018-3 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2018-4 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND SEX OFFENDER INFORMATION REGISTRATION REGULATIONS
SOR/2018-17 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2018-18 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2018-21 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS (FEES FOR MINOR APPLICATIONS)
SOR/2018-25 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF CORRUPT FOREIGN OFFICIALS REGULATIONS
SOR/2018-35 —PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK ORDER
SOR/2018-76 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2018-90 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (METEPENAGIAG)
SOR/2018-91 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (METEPENAGIAG)
SOR/2018-92 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (WAGMATCOOK)
SOR/2018-93 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (WAGMATCOOK)
SOR/2018-94 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (NIGIGOONSIMINIKAANING)
SOR/2018-95 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (NIGIGOONSIMINIKAANING)
SOR/2018-97 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2018-124 — ORDER 2018-87-04-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2018-127 — ISSUANCE OF TWO $2 COMMEMORATIVE CIRCULATION COINS WITH DESIGN HONOURING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARMISTICE (END OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR)
SOR/2018-129 — ORDER ADDING A TOXIC SUBSTANCE TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2018-130 — ORDER ADDING A TOXIC SUBSTANCE TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2018-154 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (DAKOTA TIPI)
SOR/2018-155 — ORDER REPEALING THE DAKOTA TIPI BAND COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER
SOR/2018-171 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
Ms. Becklumb: Finally, for the record, there are 25 instruments listed under “Statutory Instruments Without Comment” which have been reviewed and found to comply with all of the committee’s criteria. If members wish to consult any of those instruments, we have brought copies with us.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): The fact that they are on the agenda is comment that no further comment is necessary. They’re available to look at, but counsel didn’t find anything in the regulations that requires further action by this committee.
Are there any questions on that?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): All members have just received the proposed schedule of meetings for the fall of 2018: September 27, October 4, et cetera, down to December 6.
On October 4, we have Transport officials appearing as witnesses. On October 18, we have Parks Canada, and November 8, Justice. They are coming as witnesses to our committee for the first hour of each of those meetings.
I don’t want committee members to think that because we’re proposing to adjourn shortly that this is always the pattern here. Don’t plan something for 9:30 the next time we have a meeting. This is very unusual. But we’re grateful that we’ve made such good progress.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): And these witnesses are by our invitation, so it’s important that we have a good turnout and that we deal well with the witnesses when we bring them here before us, because that’s the next escalation of the problem.
(The committee adjourned.)