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Joint Interparliamentary Council

Conseil interparlementaire mixte


Meeting No. 134

February 5, 2014

The Joint Interparliamentary Council met this day at 3:38 p.m., in room 356 S of the Centre Block, Mr. Joe Comartin, M.P., presiding.

Representing the Senate:  Hon. David Tkachuk, Marjory LeBreton, and Jim Munson, Senators.

Representing the House of Commons:  Joe Comartin, Dave Mackenzie, Sadia Groguhé, Frank Valeriote, Randy Hoback and Gordon Brown, MPs.

In attendance:

From the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate: Natalie Foster, Deputy Principal Clerk, Parliamentary Associations; and Marie-Andrée Rainville, Manager, Resource Planning and Administration.

From the Senate: Sloane Mask, Financial Advisor, Planning and Corporate Reporting, Finance and Procurement Directorate.

From the House of Commons: Jeremy LeBlanc, Deputy Principal Clerk, Journals Branch; and Naim Bellemare, Senior Financial Advisor, Policy and Financial Planning.

1. Approval of Minutes:

It was agreed that the minutes of the meeting of November 27, 2013, be approved.

2. Supplementary Budget Requests:

The Chair reported that the President of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was to have made a presentation to the Council on December 11, 2013, requesting an additional $119,291 to finance three association activities to the end of the fiscal year.  As the meeting was cancelled due to the adjournment of the House of Commons for the winter break, the Co-Chairs met and agreed to recommend to the JIC that an amount of $100,000 be allotted to the IPU. A motion was then sent electronically to all members of the Council.

By electronic means, it was agreed by a vote of 7-1 that the Canadian Group of the IPU be allotted $100,000 to fund its activities.

The Clerk provided an overview of a request from the Chair of the NATO Parliamentary Association, who had written requesting an additional $20,000 to finance the Association’s upcoming activity in Brussels, Belgium, to attend the Joint Meeting of the Defence and Security, Economics and Security, and Political Committees.  He also provided an update on the financial situation of the JIC budgetary envelope.

After discussion, on motion of Mr. Hoback, it was agreed that the NATO Parliamentary Association be allotted an additional $20,000 in order to fund this activity.

3. Update on the implementation of the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Restructuring Parliamentary Associations:

The Clerk and staff of the JIC provided an update on the implementation of the recommendations of the Subcommittee on restructuring Parliamentary Associations, and answered questions from JIC Members. A discussion ensued and it was agreed to revisit the issue after the JIC had heard the 2014-15 budget submissions from the various association chairs.

4. Varia:

The Chair drew to the attention of the Council a letter received from the Chair of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, who had also written to the Leader of the Liberal Party, to request clarification regarding the status of Liberal Senators’ participation in parliamentary associations.

After discussion, Senator LeBreton moved that the decision on the issue be deferred to a subsequent meeting of the Council.

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to by a show of hands: Yeas: 4; Nays: 2.

It was also agreed that pending more information and a final decision by the JIC on the matter, the status quo would remain regarding the participation of Liberal Senators on association executive committees, visit delegations and the JIC itself.

At 4:55 p.m., the Council adjourned to the call of the Co-Chairs

Eric Janse