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OTTAWA, Monday, May 1, 2023

The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met with videoconference this day at 11:06 a.m. [ET] to review Statutory Instruments.

Mr. Dan Albas and Senator Yuen Pau Woo (Joint Chairs) in the chair.


The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Good morning, everyone. Let’s turn to our special agenda items for today. The first is on Canadian Forces Superannuation Regulations, amendment, which is something we have dealt with many times before.



(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 10A:1.)

Tanya Dupuis, General Counsel to the Committee: If I may, I’d like to take a few minutes to review the history of the file.

The first file on the committee’s agenda today was considered by the committee on May 16, 2022. At that meeting, owing to the general lack of progress on the file, the committee had passed a motion to invite the Minister of National Defence to appear before the committee to discuss how the promised amendments to the regulations could be made within a reasonable time frame.

On February 13, 2023, the committee was again seized of the file and agreed that the joint chairs would write a letter to the minister inviting her to appear, and that the joint clerks would contact her office to set a date for her appearance.

At that meeting, I informed the committee that, should the joint chairs’ letter remain unanswered, the file would be brought to the committee’s attention for follow-up. I now yield the floor to our Senate joint clerk, who has some information to share with you.


Sara Gajic, Joint Clerk of the Committee: I would like to provide an update on the invitation by the committee to the Minister of National Defence regarding SOR/94-276, the Canadian Forces Superannuation Regulations, amendment.

Legal counsel sent a letter outlining the committee’s concerns on March 1, 2023, as directed by the committee. On March 2, I followed up with an invitation to the minister to appear before the committee. Between March 2 and April 17, I followed up five times with the minister’s office regarding this invitation.

On the last follow-up, I indicated that this item would be on the agenda for today’s meeting of the committee. So far, I have not received a response — in the affirmative or a refusal to appear — from the minister’s office.

I’ll now pass it over to Shawn Abel, who is on Zoom, who will be able to talk the committee through options at this point.

Shawn Abel, Counsel to the Committee: Thank you, Sara.

There are essentially two different paths the committee could choose to follow at this point. First, if members wish to continue efforts to invite the minister to appear or perhaps to have departmental officials appear in the minister’s stead, the committee staff can continue to pursue that goal and continue to try to find a time when either the minister or departmental officials will appear at a future committee meeting. Alternatively, given the very lengthy history the file — almost a quarter of a century — the committee could consider issuing a notice of disallowance regarding the relevant provisions. I would note that the committee has not objected to the existence of these provisions but has merely, for a very long time, sought corrections. There are inconsistencies between the French and English versions of the regulations, as well as, in one case, between the regulations and the parent act.

Disallowance could force the Governor-in-Council to remake the provisions without the inconsistencies identified by the committee. If this approach is taken, it would be the first time the committee has pursued disallowance of provisions solely for the purpose of having them re-enacted in proper form. In the past, disallowance has been pursued for portions of regulations that the committee considered to be invalid. However, the Statutory Instruments Act empowers the committee to propose that any regulation or portion thereof be revoked for any reason. Disallowance would compel the Governor-in-Council to revoke the provisions. Since the provisions are not invalid and the Governor-in-Council still retains the same regulation-making powers, the provisions could be re-enacted in a better form at the same time that they are revoked.

If the committee does wish to pursue disallowance, there are a few aspects of the procedures set out in the act that I think are worth noting. First, the committee would have to issue a notice of disallowance to the minister and then provide a minimum of 30 days for the government to respond or take action. The committee may take as much time as it wishes beyond 30 days before moving on to the next step, which is to decide whether to adopt a disallowance report. The committee is never obligated to adopt a disallowance report. After issuing the notice, the committee may find that the amendments are simply made or that the committee receives a persuasive response as to why it should not proceed.

Given the current date, and being mindful of the parliamentary calendar, if a notice is issued to the minister in the next few weeks, and with the requirement to wait at least 30 days, there will likely not be time before the houses rise to move on to the next step. However, it would simply allow for a longer period during which the government may respond or take action. The committee could then consider, at its earliest convenience after the summer, whether it is necessary to move on to the next step and to adopt a disallowance report.

With all of that said, does the committee have a preference on which path it would like to pursue at this time?

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): We are open for questions. Let me start with my joint chair, Mr. Albas.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): I have a quick question for Mr. Abel. If the committee was to take a notice and we did our usual routine, as you said, where this would give the government more time, is it possible that the committee could convene over the summer and then submit it? I just want to know if it is an option for the committee to send it over to be tabled by the Speakers, because I believe they do table — it’s called the back-door provision. Could you answer that? Thank you.

Mr. Abel: As long as the committee waits the minimum 30 days required by the act, then at any time the committee convenes after that time, it could choose to adopt and table a disallowance report.

The hitch, I suppose, is that the next steps provided in the Statutory Instruments Act are that there is a set time for consideration and debate if a minister objects to the report, or a certain number of sitting days that have to pass in both houses before the reports would be adopted. If the committee were to adopt a disallowance report during the summer, none of those further steps could take place until the houses reconvened.

Mr. Webber: First, I find it actually quite disgusting that, after all these efforts, the minister will not come here and meet with us and, even more so, the fact that she doesn’t even respond to our requests, even after five times in April. I applaud you, Madam Clerk, for your efforts to do that. But it’s disappointing that she will not meet with us.

Your first recommendation, Mr. Abel, to continue efforts, absolutely not. It’s to no avail. We need to move on. As for a notice of disallowance, absolutely. I’m willing to convene over the summer, as the co-chair suggested, in order to get this back-door provision going. Of course, after the 30 days that you had mentioned to wait for a response from the minister — I’ll be surprised if she does respond. However, it is disappointing, and so I would recommend disallowance to end this practice.


Mr. Garon: My understanding is that the institutional functioning of the committee is based on two types of respect that must be mutual. The first is the respect of the committee members and of Parliament for the executive power, which is important.

The second is mutual respect on the part of the executive council towards the committee, in this case, for legitimate requests. Indeed, disallowance is a last resort. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we have any other recourse. After 25 years and the steps taken, this must be communicated to the minister in very, very good faith.

I feel there are possibly two options left. The first would be to insist on meeting with the minister and issuing a summons to appear, if possible, and if so, it’s a question of whether that helps us advance and brings more progress.

In the current circumstances, if we don’t move forward with the notice of disallowance, it’s like accepting the committee becoming useless and disrespected, institutionally, and losing the essence of its mandate.

I would, in a manner respectful of the institutions, agree with my Conservative colleagues.


The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): I’ve just received advice from our clerk that we cannot compel the minister to appear. We can compel witnesses to appear, but we have done all the insisting that we can insist upon that she appear, and she has not responded.

Mr. Garrison: I certainly agree with the previous two speakers that we have gone the extra nine yards, and probably nine years, in trying to get ministers to respond on this topic. It’s wrapped up with subsection 31(1), the “marriage over 60,” because as the department indicated, if they simply repealed that part of the act, none of this would be necessary.

At this point, the only way to get attention on one of the two solutions is to issue a notice of disallowance. I know that is a strong step, but I too salute the clerks’ efforts to get an answer. Perhaps I would feel differently if we had any kind of answer at all from the minister, or if we had a suggestion from the minister that her staff would appear in her stead, but we have had none of those things. We clearly do not have their attention on this. It’s disrespectful to the responsibilities of this committee. I’m in favour of issuing a notice of disallowance.

Mr. Zuberi: Can I have an explanation on the two paths again? What are the ramifications of disallowance? I’d just like an explanation around that.

Mr. Abel: The first option would be to continue to do what the committee has done over the past year, which is finding an opportunity for the minister to appear if she wishes to respond to the committee and then finding a mutually agreeable time, or directing departmental officials to appear, which the committee could compel if it needed to.

The other option is to proceed down the disallowance procedure in the Statutory Instruments Act. That has a number of steps in it. The first being that the committee would issue a notice of disallowance, and that simply alerts the minister that the committee is moving down the process. There is time for the minister to respond, to make amendments or to provide a response, and then after 30 or more days, as much as time as the committee would like to take, the committee could then turn to consider adopting a disallowance report or not. Again, the committee is not obligated to do so. It can find that it is satisfied with what happens in the intervening time. The committee can essentially keep that door open for as long as it wishes once it issues a notice of disallowance until the end of a Parliament.

Mr. Zuberi: During what period of time were the five communications done?

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): The past three weeks, I think.

The Joint Clerk (Ms. Gajic): I can advise us to the exact dates.

They were between March 2 and April 17, 2023

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Very recently. We can come back to you if you have questions later.

Does anyone on video or in person have a question?


Senator Dalphond: My question is this: If there were a prorogation during the summer, what would happen to the notice that had been issued? Would it all have to be done over again?


The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Mr. Abel, would you like to respond? This is specific to prorogation as opposed to just having the break over the summer.

Mr. Abel: The truth is I’m not entirely sure what effect prorogation would have. The clerks may be able to answer that question better than I can. The Statutory Instruments Act refers to the committee in this process, so to the extent that this committee remains constituted during the life of a Parliament, that would be the same committee that issued the notice of disallowance.

I don’t have enough expertise to say whether prorogation would cause a break in that understanding of the constituted committee. Perhaps our clerks can help; I’m not sure.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): I think the clerks are doing some consultation and research, and if and when they are ready, we will turn to them for an answer.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): It’s my understanding that the committee — regardless of where it stands, whatever the clerks come up with and even if something is struck from the Order Paper, so to speak — can say that we’ll go back to it, and then we’ll just recertify the notice of disallowance.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): We can start the clock again.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): Yes.

Mr. Abel: It would always be possible to issue another notice of disallowance.

Mr. Zuberi: I recognize that it’s an embarrassing situation for the government to have five communications and for them not be answered. I also recognize that this is a very limited period of time — in some senses where it’s about six weeks. It must have been week after week.

Obviously, I respect the professionalism of the clerks and the parliamentary staff — always. I want to make sure that we are communicating to the right individual. Is that the one that is regularly communicated with? I’m just flagging that as a question. While understanding that the staff is very professional, I think there should be some examination of that.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Okay. I’ll let the clerk respond later. They are consulting a few different things.

Mr. Davidson: Do we need a motion, then, to vote on the move for disallowance? I agree with my colleague. It is embarrassing for the government. I have a number of issues they don’t respond on time and time again. So I put a motion on the table for a vote on a notice for disallowance on this. The committee has to be respected, Mr. Chair.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Thank you. We will come to a decision point — I guarantee you — but I just want to make sure we have enough discussion and people feel they have aired their views.

On the question of prorogation, why don’t I let the clerk explain. Would you like to do that?

Christine Holke, Joint Clerk of the Committee: If we issue a notice of disallowance, that notice is simply a letter sent to the department and the minister. Therefore, a prorogation wouldn’t affect a notice of disallowance since it’s not going through both houses. It’s simply a letter to the minister.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): So it would not be affected by prorogation. Thank you.

Just to go back to the question of meeting in the summer under a situation where Parliament is not prorogued, that does not help us at all — or that is my understanding — because the clock doesn’t tick while it’s not in session.

Are there any other comments?

Mr. Webber: This is with regard to an honourable member asking whether or not the clerk is perhaps dialling the right phone number to get ahold of the minister. We have the letter to the minister right here, and it is addressed directly to her with her email address. So it’s pretty clear that we are hitting the right buttons on the phone. I just wanted to bring that up. Thanks.

The Joint Clerk (Ms. Holke): I would like to add that my colleague has also spoken to people within the department in Parliamentary Affairs in order to get an answer. We did talk to someone, but we just did not receive a response.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Can I ask Mr. Abel to talk about the material consequence of this disallowance one more time? It’s not as great, if I can put it that way, as classical disallowances because we don’t disagree as such. I wonder a little bit if the minister is inviting us to do this — to help them out, almost. You don’t have to speculate on that, but Mr. Abel, would you comment on the material impact of going ahead with disallowance?

Mr. Abel: Of course, Mr. Chair. If the disallowance report is adopted or deemed adopted by both houses, in law, according to the Statutory Instruments Act, the regulation maker — in this case the Governor-in-Council — is compelled within 30 days to revoke the provisions in question. That is the sum total of the requirement that follows a disallowance report.

Were the committee proposing to disallow something on the basis of invalidity, then there would be a real question as to whether the regulation maker could then possibly re-enact a provision of the same type. That is not in question here. The committee has never questioned the ability to make these provisions. It is just the question of how well they are drafted, essentially.

Therefore, in that case, there is no reason the regulation maker could not re-enact the provisions and avoid the inconsistencies between the linguistic versions and between the regulations and the act that have been identified. Presumably, that would be done if the provisions were re-enacted.

That is the effect.

Mr. Noormohamed: Given where we are at, I think it would be worthwhile — who knows what happens in the minister’s office and who knows whether the communication gets to her — to request that the minister appear at one of the next two meetings. We can give her 30 days to appear, and if not, the intention would be to issue the letter of prorogation. Let’s give one more opportunity for them to actually come and present. Maybe there is a conversation to be had.

I would recommend that we take the position that it’s worth asking, with the caveat that if we don’t get an affirmative response of an appearance, then the letter might be issued. That might be one way to do it. We don’t know whether she is available or not, but I think it’s worth it for us to make the ask.


Mr. Garon: Of course, I understand the situation our Liberal colleagues are in, because yes, it’s an embarrassing situation. I’d be embarrassed if I were them. We have to remember one thing: The minister put herself in this embarrassing position and it’s a voluntary decision; she received the communications.

I hear my colleague Mr. Noormohamed saying that a conversation would still need to be had. That’s actually what we’ve been trying to do for some time. What makes me uncomfortable is that, when the file was opened, I didn’t have the right to vote, and today we’re still working on it. I find that more uncomfortable than a minister who can’t answer a letter. There’s the whole issue of measuring the means used.

As I understand it, if I may use a comparison, this notice of disallowance is the civil law equivalent of a formal notice, essentially. We’re offering the minister another opportunity to show some sign of life, but in a slightly stronger way, because obviously — and I understand your discomfort, I wouldn’t like to be in your position — she needs an incentive other than kindness.

Good faith exists, but sometimes it’s hidden and we don’t know where we put it. I think this notice of disallowance would help the minister find her good faith — wherever it’s hidden — and send us correspondence and provide a follow-up within 30 days.

Obviously, I deeply believe that, at this point, if we still decide to give time to kindness, understanding and unanswered correspondence, as parliamentarians — and I’m disregarding the parties — it’s like disrespecting ourselves and agreeing to disrespect the institution. It’s not funny when a sovereignist says that. It’s the equivalent of disrespecting the institution.

So we must issue a notice of disallowance and let the minister know as quickly as possible. The goal is for her to regain her good faith and respond to this threat — which she should have done before — to do what she’s paid to do. It’s her job to do that and she hasn’t done it.

I understand your discomfort, but I think we’re way beyond managing discomfort; we have legislative work to do.


Mr. Garrison: We need to be honest about what’s going on here. There are two issues. One is the imperfections in the regulations; the other is the promise the government made that it would repeal section 31(1) of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, which would make fixing these regulations irrelevant, a moot question. These two things are actually before us. As a committee, there is only one we can deal with, namely, asking to fix the regulations.

I can assure you that at least one member of my caucus has spoken directly with one member of cabinet about this. It is not that cabinet or the minister is not aware of this issue. This is not something that got lost. This is something that is being stonewalled. I think we have to be straightforward about that. There are obvious ways that this could have been fixed a long time ago. This committee’s direct approach to the minister is not the first time this committee has tried to deal with this. As Mr. Garon has pointed out, we have had 25 years of trying to deal with this. I think the government is out of time on this one. I don’t think there is any question that the government and the minister is not aware of our concerns.

Mr. Davidson: I’m going to agree with my two colleagues. This has gone on long enough. The clerk has done the work, the emails and the letters have been sent. It’s not our fault. We saw the Minister of International Development not checking his email in the House of Commons. If they’re not checking their emails, they’re going to check them once there’s a disallowance rendered against them. I think we have to move with this. Again, I would like to put forward a motion to vote on this.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): If you don’t mind, perhaps we can have a full round of discussion before we go to any motions.

Mr. Noormohamed: I don’t disagree with my colleagues. This has taken a long time. Ministers have an obligation to respond to the committee. I think we all agree on that. I can’t speak to whether or not Mr. Garrison is correct and if we’re being stonewalled. I can say that I looked at the letter again in detail and here is what I noticed. I noticed that it’s been sent to her general MP inbox. I don’t know how many of you on this committee check your general inboxes. I admit that I do on occasion, but I check my P9. If the correspondence was going to the minister in her capacity as minister, someone might have considered that step.

I am perhaps naive in giving her the benefit of the doubt in this regard. Again, I go back to saying it may be worthwhile for us to say that it is our intention to move forward with a disallowance if we don’t have an appearance by a certain date. If, as Mr. Garrison has said, people have been talking about this and there is communication about it, then let’s give her the opportunity to come here.

I don’t know how many ministers check their general inboxes, if parliamentarians do. I know a lot of our colleagues don’t. It may be worthwhile considering where the email actually went. That may be one way for us to try and resolve this. I know the minister reasonably well. I am fairly certain that she is a good‑intentioned human being. She has never shied away from an appearance. I wonder if that is something for us to think about, namely, why it wasn’t sent to the departmental email. I’m curious about that, but let’s leave that where that is.

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): We would all agree that she is well intentioned. I might encourage my Liberal colleagues to not overplay the embarrassment factor. It’s actually not as great as I think you might be making it out to be.

Senator Dalphond: I don’t know how many budget implementation bills were adopted since the first letter was sent regarding this file, but I suspect it is about 20. It is very easy to remove one section in the Budget Implementation Act — even this year it would have been easy to do. However, it wasn’t done either because someone is opposed to it or someone is sleeping. I assume it is someone who is opposed.

Notice is just notice. It says, “Please act. Otherwise, we’re going to do a report.” We’re not yet at the report stage. It is a minimum of 30 days and we’re at the beginning of May. That gives the minister some time to find time in her busy schedule. I understand there are a lot of people to evacuate from Sudan and there are many burning issues around the world, but the deputy ministers and officials can find an hour or an hour and a half to come here and give us an explanation.

I support the motion to give notice. If there are good reasons not to pursue the next stage, namely pursuing a report, we will revisit the issue then. Let’s engage in the process and say, “Sorry, but we’ve been waiting long enough.”

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): I’m just going to finish this round and then I propose we come to a decision.

Mr. Webber: Looking over my notes here regarding Mr. Garrison raising the “gold-digger” clause from this, I see that it was a Liberal Party election promise in 2015 to address this. The elimination of that clause was also in the mandate letters of several Veterans Affairs ministers since 2019. Of course, Budget 2019 also vowed to give Veterans Affairs Canada $150 million over five years for a Veterans Survivors Fund that would work with the community to identify impacted survivors and ensure that they have the support that they need. That was supposed to start in 2019. So far, nothing has happened, and it’s frustrating.

I wholeheartedly support the motion to go forward with this notice of disallowance.

Mr. Zuberi: First, I’d like to note — and we all have acknowledged this already — that this has been an ongoing issue over the last 25 years, with successive governments and successive ministers, et cetera. This has been an open issue since then.

My preferred mode of action would be to give a two-meeting delay for either the minister or departmental officials to appear. If they don’t, that would trigger an automatic notice. Give them the final moment to appear within the next two meetings; that is, either the minister or departmental officials. I include that flexibility because we don’t know the minister’s schedule and the departmental officials should be able to respond to whatever questions or concerns we have around this table. If they don’t do that, then automatically we have this notice that there is a strong willingness to be triggered after the failure of two meetings for these two parties to attend.

That’s my suggestion around this. I think it would give us the answers we’re looking for. We would have the witnesses here to respond directly to us verbally, but we have an alternate pathway where we can have that notice, which many want to have, if they fail to appear here.


Mr. Garon: Gentlemen, I’m uncomfortable with the argument being made that this was sent to the general inbox. Look, I did my tax return this weekend, and I’ll owe the Canada Revenue Agency some money. However, I won’t have as an excuse, when I don’t want to pay or I’m late, to say that the agency didn’t send it to my P9; I check my emails.

When I had to renew my health card, it was mailed to me. When I was late for renewal, I wasn’t given my card right away, as I said I wasn’t looking at my mail and they delivered it by mail. This is true of all the documentation sent to us. When you’re a minister — especially since you have employees and a team to do this — the least you can do is read the messages in the inbox.

Mr. Chair, I have to tell you that, when I was renewing my passport, Passport Canada didn’t send things to my mail, but hey, that was because of the delays.

When it comes to excuses like, “you didn’t send that to the right email address,” and the poor minister who’s all alone in her corner and has no one to help her, so we feel sorry for her, Mr. Chair, I think it shows the absurdity of the conversation level we’ve reached.

I agree with Senator Dalphond. We mustn’t be uncompromising. The goal is not to threaten, but rather to move forward. We’ve reached the point where this tool is available to us. We can absolutely make amends afterwards and, in a very responsible way, react properly to the minister’s good faith.

I remind the elected members here and the senators, whom the Canadian public trusts to legislate, that people are affected by this regulatory text. This issue has been unresolved for decades. We’re at the point where we have to choose between the embarrassment of subsequent ministers who haven’t done their job — it’s true that there are some from all parties — and the embarrassment of Quebecers and Canadians who are suffering the effects of questionable regulations.

In the vote on the motion, that’s exactly what’s at stake: Do we decide to protect ministers who don’t do their job, or do we decide to do what we were elected to do on election day? I think that’s what the vote will reflect. Thank you.


The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): We are beginning to go in circles a bit. I will invite two more comments.

Mr. Zuberi: I just want to clarify that when I used the term “stonewalling,” that was between the department; I did not wish to ascribe a personal motive to the minister. The fact the department does read correspondence and schedule meetings means that, at a departmental level, something has gone on such that we did not get a response. I did not mean to imply the minister ordered a stonewall, but it’s happening.

With respect to the suggestion that we have two more meetings, we have had two meetings since we sent this letter; already, two meetings have passed. I think we’ve done that and been around the block. I agree with the chair. I’m not sure the argument now will shed any new light, but I am strongly in favour of issuing the notice of disallowance.

Mr. Davidson: For the sake of everybody in this committee, regarding the motion that was verbally stated, I think it should be written, ideally — put on paper to us, minimally restated — so we can know exactly what we’re talking about. Can we have that?

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): I would rather go to the recommendations that Mr. Abel put to us, which were very clear. Option one is to continue to chase the minister — essentially, a variant of your suggestion. Option two is to proceed with the disallowance.

If it’s okay, Mr. Davidson, I won’t move your motion. Instead, I’ll just ask members to decide on option one or option two.

Before we do that, I want to remind members that back in May 2022, we took a vote to invite the minister to come to this meeting. That vote was passed unanimously. That was almost exactly one year ago.

Mr. Davidson: Just to be clear, did you invite the minister a year ago to appear and she has not appeared as of yet? So it has been one year?

The Joint Chair (Senator Woo): Correct. Yes, we moved a motion one year ago to invite the minister to come as soon as possible — one year ago — and efforts have been made since that time. We haven’t met a lot since that time, to be fair, but this is at least a year old.

Colleagues, we don’t typically vote in this committee; it’s done by consensus. I think I’m sensing that there is a majority in favour of a disallowance. I know some of you are opposed to it and I will hear you out one more time if you want to have a vote on it or to make one more representation. However, my sense is that if we were to go with option two, which is disallowance, it would be supported by a good majority of this committee.

I’m looking around the room to see if we can go in that direction. I don’t think we’re going to go to a vote — that’s my point — unless somebody feels it’s necessary to do that. But I think we have consensus on this issue, so we will proceed to option two, which is the disallowance notice. Thank you.

Let me now turn the gavel to my joint chair to talk about items 2 and 3.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): Thank you, members.

First, before we jump into the next item, it’s a typical practice of this committee to actually do its draft writing in the open. I believe we’re going to be skipping item 2 because of some issues that have come up with it. Maybe we should just give an explanation to the committee first before we jump to item 3.

Ms. Dupuis: The second item has been struck from the agenda. As we were preparing and reviewing the file for the committee, a novel legal issue was identified. We would like to bring the file back to the committee at a later date with a proper legal briefing note and recommendations for the members to consider.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): Okay. If there are no questions for counsel, we will move to item 3 and the question about drafting the report. There is obviously a draft report before you, but in order to have a full and frank discussion of it, some members might deem going in camera to be appropriate. I leave it to members whether they want to have the meeting in the open or if they want to go in camera. I’m open to receiving a motion to go in camera, if that’s the case.

Mr. Zuberi: I suggest we go in camera.

The Joint Chair (Mr. Albas): It is moved by Mr. Zuberi that we do now proceed in camera. Do we have agreement on that? Consensus. Excellent. We’ll go in camera now. Thank you.

(The committee continued in camera.)

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