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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 11 - Evidence of March 22, 2007
OTTAWA, Thursday, March 22, 2007
The Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:32 a.m. for the review of statutory instruments.
Senator J. Trevor Eyton and Mr. Paul Szabo (Joint Chairmen) in the chair.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Welcome. This morning we will hear testimony from officials at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mr. Gilles Belzile, Mr. Barry Rashotte and Ms. Ruth Grealis, in respect of regulations amending certain regulations made under the Fisheries Act. As evident from the correspondence, the joint committee has had some long-standing concerns about token close times and is anxious to have an update from DFO officials on progress and undertakings. The objective of the joint committee is to ensure that these files move forward on a reasonable and timely basis.
Mr. Belzile, please proceed with a brief opening statement, after which we will move to questions from members of the joint committee.
SOR/2004-263 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS MADE UNDER THE FISHERIES ACT
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 11A:1)
Gilles Belzile, Acting Director General, Policy Coordination and Liaison, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Acting Director General for Policy Coordination and Liaison at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. With me today are my colleagues Barry Rashotte, Associate Director General with the Resource Management Branch at DFO, and Ruth Grealis, Senior Counsel with DFO Legal Services.
Thank you for inviting us at this time to discuss issues that relate to the use of close times to manage fisheries. DFO believes that its close times have been validly enacted. At the same time, however, DFO is comfortable with seeking to address the issues raised by the joint committee through regulatory and other legislative amendments. Today, I will provide the joint committee with an update on the progress of regulatory and legislative amendments that DFO is seeking. I will also outline future efforts, after which my colleagues and I will be happy to answer your questions.
While we are here today to address specific issues the joint committee has in respect of close times, it is important to remember that both DFO and the joint committee share the goal of a healthy fishery based on the principles of sustainable development and conservation.
It is no secret that effective fisheries management relies on flexible and timely tools. To this end, the ability to vary close times on very short notice is a valuable instrument for DFO in its effective management and control of the fisheries as well as in the conservation and protection of the resource.
It is also an important tool for provincial officials in provinces with delegated management responsibility for inland fisheries. The department continues to make efforts to update close times to more closely reflect when fishing is or is not anticipated.
Some examples where close times have been changed more recently include changes to the Marine Mammals Regulations and the Atlantic Fishery Regulations. More specifically, a recent amendment to the Marine Mammal Regulations changed the 12-month close time to a 9-month closure for bowhead whales in a portion of the Beaufort Sea. This change reflects more closely when bowheads might be harvested in that particular area. However, at the same time, we maintained the 12-month closure for other areas, such as those adjacent to Nunavut, to allow, from time to time, the potential to harvest a whale in accordance with the terms under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
With regard to future changes to close times, each year DFO seeks to make amendments to regulations. In this process, close times have been and will continue to be reviewed to determine whether they correspondence to the times that fishing would likely occur or not occur. Where amendments are appropriate, they will be made as part of the overall change to the regulations.
The joint committee will be kept apprised of any new changes to close times that more closely reflect when fishing would likely occur and not occur. DFO is committed to providing the joint committee with a yearly summary of the changes made. This will allow the joint committee to see the progress that is being made on that front.
The department will continue to communicate amendments to the regulations on close times to those impacted. The department has also introduced legislative changes to better address modern fishery management needs through Bill C- 45, the renewed Fisheries Act. The bill was developed in part to respond to the Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, the Standing Joint Committee, and other parliamentary concerns and recommendations.
To this end, Bill C-45 includes provisions to authorize department officials to use fisheries management orders for setting close times, quota restrictions and limits on fish size and weight. Fisheries management orders would replace the existing authority to make variation orders that is currently granted to DFO regional managers through the Fishery (General) Regulations and provincial fishery managers.
I see the fisheries management orders provisions in the bill as addressing the issue raised by the committee respecting close times and variation orders.
This legislative approach would be one way to address the committee's concerns.
Bill C-45 is an example of the approach taken by DFO to pursue both regulatory amendments and legislative changes. It is anticipated that the replacement of the use of variation orders with fisheries management orders will allow approximately 2,000 pages of current fisheries regulations to be significantly reduced.
Given that close times are an important tool in the effective management of the fishery, DFO is committed to ongoing efforts to review and, where appropriate, to amend close times in regulation. Ongoing revisions to regulations, as outlined in the department's 2007-08 legislative and regulatory plans, will help to ensure that close times more closely reflect when fishing would most likely occur and not occur.
In the coming years, most if not all regulations under the Fisheries Act will be reviewed and amended to conform to fishing seasons.
While legislative changes would be more efficient, we will continue to make regulatory changes to close times where appropriate on an ongoing basis.
Thank you again for this opportunity to apprise you of what the department has been doing in regard to issues raised by the committee about close times.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Thank you. I will speak to the mandate and the concerns of the joint committee before we move to questions from members.
Mr. Belzile, your statement indicates that over the years ahead we will begin to work on most, if not all, of the regulations to bring them into line. The concern and the responsibility is that these regulations are not in order, which means that the joint committee will see this issue come before it year after year simply because it suits DFO's mode of operation. The joint committee has a statutory responsibility to ensure that the regulations are in proper order and that there are no unintended consequences.
Therefore, I would ask you once more to respond to the specific request in respect of the time frame for the department to deal with these matters. I understand there are many of them, but there does not appear to be a proposed permanent solution for the long term, and so this issue will continue to be a matter for the attention of the joint committee for years to come.
Counsel, how long has this issue been before the joint committee?
Peter Bernhardt, General Counsel to the Committee: I believe that the joint committee's objections to the practices reflected in the regulations go back to the early to mid-1980s.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): This has been an ongoing matter for 25 years. To the extent that any agenda matter is on anyone's plate, it involves many people. This is, quite frankly, not a productive way of doing business. We need to have a little more certitude about the intent of DFO on these matters.
Mr. Belzile, can you clarify the intent or give us an indication of the intent of the department?
Mr. Belzile: As I mentioned in my opening statement, we believe that the existing close times have been properly enacted. As you said, there are a number of them and, to a certain extent, the most efficient way of dealing with the issue quickly would be through legislative changes. That is why the government has moved forward with Bill C-45. That would be the most efficient way of dealing with the issue because we would move on from having to set regulations and do variation orders to fisheries management orders.
However, on a regular basis the department does modify regulations, although it takes quite a bit of time to modify each one. Each time changes are made, we go through these and reflect some of the changes that might have occurred in terms of close times. For example, with respect to the Maritime Provinces Fisheries Regulations, new species were added and close times for those species were set to reflect when fishing would most likely occur. Changes were made to reflect that clams would not be fished from January through March.
Therefore, the department has begun to move forward on close times. I am saying that as the department goes through the regulatory changes that it must make on a yearly basis, close times will be looked at to ensure that they properly reflect the actual times that the species is closed to harvest. As I said, the most efficient way of dealing with the issue would be through legislative changes.
Mr. Lee: This file is long-standing, but no one is suggesting bad faith on the part of the department, although it might be slow to act. I realize that part of the objective of previous pieces of legislation was to cure this continuing regulatory problem. The alleged illegality of fake closing times still exists and I am not sure that the department has accepted that, although I can understand why it would not want to accept it publicly. Members of the joint committee are having difficulty envisioning a resolution to this issue even well into the future, and that is part of the reason that you are testifying before the joint committee today. If Bill C-45 were passed, then it would be a fairly quick route to repair the problem. However, if the fisheries bill is not passed, and none of the members here today is optimistic that in this particular Parliament it will receive quick passage, if at all, then the joint committee must fall back on the regulations, which are numerous, to find a resolution to the matter of close times.
Therefore, I would ask officials to speculate as to how soon the department might review all of these relevant regulations should it choose to do so, even though it might be counterproductive to try to fix them all before Bill C-45 is passed. Should a new fisheries act come to be in the future, it might prove to have been a waste of time to change these many regulations in that manner.
Mr. Belzile, could you speculate on how long it might take for the department to fix all of the relevant regulations?
I can offer a hypothetical possibility at this time that the joint committee, with an understanding with the department, might disallow six or more of these regulations each month. Six reports could be done in a month that would result in disallowance of six allegedly illegal, ultra vires regulations. Surely the government would then find a quick fix because the disallowances would consume House and departmental time. Would it be helpful to the department in its work if the joint committee were to become administratively aggressive in such a way as to force the government to undertake a regime of change?
Mr. Belzile: My initial response is probably not. I mentioned in my opening statement that the department has been looking into those regulations on a regular basis over the last few years. Each time a regulation is modified, DFO ensures that the close times reflect, as closely as possible, the actual times that fishing either occurs or does not occur; and we will continue to do that.
Also, I have committed to providing the joint committee with an indication of progress in an annual report that outlines the regulations modified and where modifications to close times have been made.
In terms of how long it will take to do all of the regs, we work on a number of regulations every year. As to how many are passed every year, in addition to all the other work, we make changes to about 10 or 15 of them. Not all contain close times.
Over the next few years, we probably will be going through all of these close times. It is not a situation where in 10 years' time you will be coming back and saying the department has not made progress. We will continue that progress and report on a yearly basis to the committee. That is the undertaking we are making. The committee will be able to assess the progress that is being made.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Part of your statement gave me the impression that the form presently used for the close times — basically being January 1 to December 31, which is not the specific time and therefore is not in conformance with the definition — is a valuable instrument for you. However, it is contrary to the requirements and the form of the regulations. Do we have a problem that will recur?
Let us assume that Bill C-45 passes. We will not see regulations for some time after that. Are you working on those regulations right now because you have confidence that Bill C-45 eventually will be passed? If so, how long will it take? In fact, will we have enough time between now and however long it takes to do all the necessary regulations so that this same problem is not carried over into a new bill?
Mr. Belzile: At the present time, we are working on Bill C-45. As part of the work being done to prepare for possibly going to committee, et cetera, we are developing an implementation plan. Part of that plan deals with regulatory changes that will have to be made. We are establishing a list of all of these changes and placing them on a priority basis.
If Bill C-45 were to be enacted, I do not think it would take 10 years to make all of these changes. We will try to go through and make those regulatory changes as quickly as possible.
With regard to the statement to which you referred regarding year-long close times, I gave you the example of the bowhead whale, where this is a valuable instrument we use in a situation where the fishery is closed on a yearly basis. From time to time, in accordance with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, we may allow one whale to be harvested. Therefore, we are able, through a variation order, to open the fishery for that particular purpose even though it is closed on a regular basis. That is a valuable tool.
If you want, we can provide you other management examples.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): That is fine. Certainly, there is an example.
Senator Bryden: To follow up on Mr. Lee's suggestion, if we decided to disallow six or 10 illegal regulations per month, would you be interested in providing us with a priority list of which ones we would do first and which would be delayed, rather than us randomly picking six or 10 illegal regulations and disallowing them? It may provide more order to the process.
The Joint Chairman (Senator Eyton): As a supplementary to that, could you quantify the number of regulations that, according to our standards, are illegal or improper? How many are there in total and what is the quantum we are dealing with?
Mr. Belzile: Based on the review that we have done, there are 15 of a total of 26 regulations under the Fisheries Act that contain close times. Of the 15 regulations, nine include year-long close times and six include short close times.
Let me just qualify that by saying that this also includes an extensive list of schedules referring to various bodies of water, lakes and others. This is quite an extensive list. We have limited resources, as we are working on a number of regulations at the same time. We are currently doing a major review of the Ontario and Quebec fisheries regulations, and Nunavut regulations are being worked on as well. There is extensive work on the regulatory front that is happening. Trying to deal with just close times, for example, would mean that we would have to set aside extensive work that is being done on an urgent basis on a number of other issues.
We believe, first of all, that the close times that have been set have been properly set. However, as we review each of the regulations, we will make certain that the regulations reflect the close times.
The Joint Chairman (Senator Eyton): Could you respond to Senator Bryden's question as well? My supplementary got you off track.
Mr. Belzile: The only response I can give is that I do not think we can necessarily provide you with a list of priorities. There are a certain number that contain close times and we can tell you which ones we are working on.
Senator Bryden: What was the number?
Mr. Belzile: Out of 26 regulations, 15 contain close times. Out of those, nine include year-long close times and six include short close times.
Senator Bryden: Basically, there are nine regulations that are a problem to us; is that correct?
Mr. Belzile: No, if you are talking about reviewing all of the regulations that contain close times, there are 15 of them. That includes hundreds and hundreds of pages of schedules, so it is a massive amount of material. That is why I was saying that going through the legislative route and having a change in the legislation would help us.
Senator Bryden: One of the reasons that you said you cannot meet my request is because you are so busy doing other things. This is not rocket science; it is just hard, slogging work. Many law firms and other places would love to have the contracts to do this. There seems to be lots of money floating around to do virtually anything else except do it here, to the law, in the case of the Department of Fisheries when it comes to these regulations. I do not think it is an answer to say that you do not have the resources with which to do it. It may be your answer because you do not determine that. However, you are basically telling us that the Department of Fisheries cannot do the legal thing because it is too busy and is not prepared to put forth the resources to resolve this problem.
Mr. Belzile: I would just qualify that comment; that is not what we are really saying. We are saying that we believe the close times that have been established in the regulations have been properly established. We are saying that we work on a number of regulations on an ongoing basis every year. As appropriate, we will review close times in all of the relevant regulations to reflect, as closely as possible, the times that the fishing occurs or does not occur. That work has been underway for the past couple of years and will continue over the next few years. By that time, all of the regulations will have been reviewed.
Senator Bryden: Would you prefer the joint committee to follow Mr. Lee's suggested action? We are going to do something. If committee members are agreed, a disallowance report on one regulation could be sent each month to the House to try to gain the attention of DFO or someone else. That may be what we are left with. Perhaps that would be the last possible solution.
Mr. Belzile, I understand you to be saying that the joint committee can act and say as it chooses but the department will proceed in its own way and fix what it wants to fix when it chooses to do so. Perhaps that is how it will ultimately work. However, the joint committee simply cannot sit still, abrogate its responsibility and do nothing.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Thank you very much, senator. That was well put.
Mr. Asselin: Mr. Belzile, you referred to the new Bill C-45. I represent a constituency on the North Shore, the riding of Manicouagan, where the Mid and Lower North Shore depend almost entirely on the fishing industry. There are villages in the Lower North Shore where the only industry is fishing.
There is a feeling that the Fisheries Act must be changed. It is obsolete, and was written almost a century ago. But, Mr. Chairman, there are potential problems in the fact that Bill C-45 has been drafted without consultation with fishers and their associations. These are the people on the spot, the people who live with the problems. In some places, even DFO officials have not been consulted. We have been presented with a fait accompli. Bill C-45 runs the risk of being completely overhauled, if not rejected, although we are all aware that the Fisheries Act needs to be changed.
Before this bill is passed, there will be a full consultation process, and I hope that the government will include fishers' associations, officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as processing industries.
As we wait for this bill to be passed, I am hoping that the minister will not make any political decisions. We know that making political decisions is what a minister does, but in the fishery, when a minister's political decisions are made because of pressure — from associations or from some fishers — without having consulted DFO officials in the regions concerned, precedents are set. That creates problems.
We know that, in practice, the minister has to make some decisions, but he cannot make decisions as important as these, with consequences that adversely affect other fishers. The decisions ought to be administrative; there are officials and managers in these regions, and they should be consulted.
In Quebec, for example, the Institut Maurice Lamontagne is equipped to study biomass, the size of fish stocks, their durability and their ability to regenerate. So the Institut Lamontagne must be consulted before the minister decides to increase or decrease quotas.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Mr. Belzile, are you in a position to comment on consultations in respect of the Fisheries Act?
Mr. Belzile: The question of consultation is one that we frequently hear. But before the bill was finalized and introduced, for about two or three years, the department held discussions and consultations with people in the industry, various stakeholders across the country, about the different policy directions and the new objectives needed to ensure healthy management of the fisheries. At discussions like those on policy development for Atlantic fisheries, for example, which brought together representatives from all parts of the industry in the Atlantic region including Quebec, people were consulted and they gave their opinions on the objectives to be set. They were the ones who identified the need for new legislative tools, for legislative changes that would allow the objectives to be met. Bill C-45 was developed and introduced in response to those views and those requests.
I would say that, between August 2005 and the moment the bill was introduced last December, almost 300 stakeholders and stakeholders' groups all across the country were consulted and invited to speak precisely about the direction that they wanted the new bill to take.
Mr. Asselin: Mr. Belzile, will you concur with me that when the minister makes a political decision because of pressure from some fishers' groups or from the fishing industry, without having consulted with DFO officials, he runs the risk of contravening regulations and of hurting other fishers? I refer to the issuing of licences for pilot projects, to the allocation of quotas, the increase or decrease of the quotas in some areas, the opening or closing of areas, and landing log violations. When the minister makes decisions like that, it puts DFO officials in some regions in a difficult position.
Mr. Belzile: I cannot speak to the minister's decisions. But section 7 of the current Fisheries Act gives full and total authority to the minister, and leaves decisions about the issuing of licences to his discretion. This is one of the things we want to address with Bill C-45 by introducing a transparent and consultative decisions code that would provide some stability to the process. This is exactly what we are trying to do in Bill C-45.
Mr. Asselin: By giving such considerable discretionary power to the minister, are you not afraid that he might be influenced by the squeaky wheels?
Mr. Belzile: I am just saying that the minister has that power already.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): If time were available today, I would pursue this line of discussion because it has been indicated that Bill C-45 will replace an ancient instrument that has caused problems for the joint committee in respect of the regulations. Members will need time to discuss the matter and reflect on the best way to proceed.
Mr. Epp: I would ask Mr. Bernhardt and Ms. Grealis to provide clarification. The report received by the joint committee indicates that it is the view of DFO that the close times are legal. The view of counsel of the joint committee is that the close times are not legal. I would like to hear both cases stated as succinctly as possible for clarification of the matter.
Mr. Bernhardt: It is not a case of me stating my case. The committee has reported and has had a fixed position on this issue for a quarter of a century. At this point, it is not a question of counsel's legal opinion; it is the long- established view of this committee, as reported to the Houses on more than one occasion.
In the note submitted to members this morning, there is a quote. The germane portions of that report, which goes back to the Thirty-third Parliament, are clearly set out there. I could really do no more than to read the quote in the second and third paragraphs of that note.
Mr. Belzile: On that front, we have indicated that as far as we are concerned, the close times have been legally set. I will ask Ms. Grealis to provide more explanation.
Mr. Epp: I would like to know the grounds on which you are saying that what you are doing is okay.
Ruth Grealis, Senior Counsel, Legal Services, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: In our view, as Mr. Belzile has stated, the close times are validly enacted. The broad regulation-making power in section 43 of the Fisheries Act, as your report notes, authorizes the Governor-in-Council to fix in regulations close times and to identify who can vary them.
We see only two requirements, both of these in paragraph 43(m), before a variation order can be made with respect to a close time. One is that the close time is fixed in the regulation; the other is that it is fixed in respect of an area.
In our view, Parliament did not make any requirements with respect to the length of a close time or any requirements with respect to how precise they have to be.
The Fisheries Act defines ``close time'' as ``a specified period during which fish to which it applies may not be fished.'' The definition of ``close time'' does not refer to a species of fish but fish to which it applies. In our view, fish caught with a particular gear — for example, a herring caught with gill nets — falls within the scope of that definition and the regulation-making authority.
In light of the complexities of fisheries management, Parliament, in our view, clearly intended to give this flexible tool and broad discretion to those who are responsible to manage fisheries on the ground so they are able to respond in a timely manner to changes in a given fishery during the course of the fishery.
Mr. Epp: If I may just finish, I think this focuses the matter. What we have here are people working on regulations which, according to our committee and the House, are illegal. All the work they do in the world will never solve this problem. The issue is that we need to change the legislation that enables it. Is that not the issue, or am I wrong?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Not the legislation, but the regulations. The point is that the regulations do not conform to the statutory definition of ``close time.'' Close time, which is January 1 to December 31, is not a specific period of time.
Mr. Epp: In the previous Parliament, did Bill C-52 propose to fix this whole thing by simply saying that for the purposes of this act, those are not statutory instruments?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): We will end up spending a lot of time on this. The fact remains that it is clear from the department's position statement today that as far as they are concerned everything is legal. The committee, in its history, has a different view. It begs the question of what you are fixing if it has been legal all this time and you will be fixing it for the next number of years.
I think we will excuse the witnesses at this time. The committee will want to make an assessment of the options it wishes to consider after giving careful thought to the facts and our responsibilities.
With that, I will thank the witnesses for appearing today; you are excused.
We will move on with the rest of our agenda. As a consequence of our witnesses' presentations and representations, I would ask counsel to prepare a discussion paper with recommendations, or at least an identification of options for consideration, to be circulated to members. Can this be done in advance of the next meeting?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): We will do it in advance of the next meeting for discussion at the next meeting. Would that be acceptable?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): We will continue with our agenda, ``Letters to and from Ministers.''
SOR/99-324 — BOOK IMPORTATION REGULATIONS
SOR/99-325 — EXCEPTIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 11B:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: In their letter of October 31, 2006, the joint chairs sought the cooperation of the Minister of Industry in ensuring that amendments to the book importation regulations would be made without further delay. In addition, assurance was sought that a promised amendment to the other regulations — the exception for educational institutions, libraries, archives and museums' regulations — would also proceed at once. Finally, there was an outstanding reply dealing with certain other matters on these minor regulations that was asked for as well.
In his February 9 reply, the minister advised that he had instructed his officials to develop a plan to move forward and that a more complete response would be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
At its last meeting, the committee determined the minister should be informed that these files would be considered at this morning's meeting, and it was hoped that the promised, more detailed response would be available by then. The chairman's letter of March 5 also asked that the committee be informed if this time frame proved to be insufficient and, in such a case, when a reply could be provided.
That brings us to this morning's meeting. To this point, no communication from the minister has been received.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Are there any suggestions from members as to how to proceed? Mr. Lee, in the committee's history, I am sure this has happened before. It appears to have been a reasonable request — can you do it and, if not, why not?
Mr. Lee: I would give the minister as much time as he reasonably needs to get back to us by providing a game plan for dealing with these items. If it appears the minister or the minister's office is being insincere, we tell it like we see it. However, right now, the file is reasonably current — or at least I think it is, unless counsel has detected some dilatory attitude somewhere.
The Joint Chairman (Senator Eyton): Counsel, have you heard anything at all?
Mr. Bernhardt: No. We endeavoured to check yesterday and the day before to ensure there was nothing in the mail, as it were. To date, nothing has been prepared.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Mr. Lee has given us some wisdom on this matter.
Mr. Lee: Let us indicate that ``in the forthcoming weeks'' have just about passed, and we would like to benchmark this matter.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): We should write him back, indicate that we regret he has not been able to respond to our letter and that we look forward to hearing from him at his earliest convenience.
Mr. Lee: We could say the absence of a reply has been noted at a meeting of a parliamentary committee.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): At this point, perhaps we should just indicate that the committee is looking forward to his response and to please advise us. Again, this is virtually a second request; let us not jump to conclusions.
Senator Bryden: Mr. Chairman, is this not awfully quick? If I am reading the correspondence correctly, the letter was on March 5 of this year. We are giving a reminder because he has not answered us within two weeks.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The letter asked if he could respond, but if not, to let us know when. He did not even do that. It does not take a long time to say, ``I do not know when, so we will get back to you in three weeks or a month.'' There was no acknowledgement of the letter.
Senator Bryden: Was the request for him to appear before the committee?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): No, just to respond.
Senator Bryden: I was thinking, in most busy ministers' offices, the mail from March 5 probably is just being opened. We put up with stuff for years at a time, and then we jump on someone for not responding right away. I would give it another meeting.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): I indicated that the joint committee would advise him of its decision.
Senator Bryden: This should happen prior to writing to the minister again. Familiarity can also breed contempt. If the joint committee is forever in the department's face, it will not worry about the matter because it will simply expect another letter. I would suggest giving the minister one month or six weeks to act on this before another letter is sent. Give the minister an opportunity to do the right thing.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): That is the recommendation. Are members agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The next item on the agenda is ``New Instruments.''
SI/2002-17 — ORDER FIXING THE DATES OF THE COMING INTO FORCE OF CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT
(For text of document, see Appendix C, p. 11C:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: This instrument fixes coming-into-force dates for Bill C-24, to amend the Criminal Code and make consequential amendments to other acts, which received Royal Assent in 2001. However, sections 80 to 83 of this act came into force on Royal Assent. The instrument does not specifically mention these sections and could give the mistaken impression that these sections come into force on one of the specified dates.
This was brought to the attention of the Department of Justice in October 2004. We received a reply in July 2006 indicating that the drafting of this instrument was deliberate, reflecting:
. . . a long standing practice of not specifically referencing coming into force provisions or co-ordinating amendments which come into force on the assent of an Act.
It was suggested that the instrument must simply be interpreted as not applying to those sections since the Governor-in-Council would not have the authority to name the coming-into-force date of those sections.
I note the department's reply did not provide any justification for this long-standing policy. I would point out that at least on some occasions with other unrelated instruments the department has expressly stated that certain sections came into force on Royal Assent. If the committee so desires, a letter could be drafted to point out this prior contradictory practice and seeking an explanation.
Mr. Lee: I am searching for some institutional memory. I was not aware that this alleged practice existed.
Mr. Bernhardt, you have the longest history with the joint committee. Do you recall this practice being articulated and explained before? I do not have a memory of it.
Mr. Bernhardt: No. The first letter from counsel is reflective of the fact that we were not aware of such a practice. In fact, we have found examples where this practice was not followed, so I am not sure how much of a practice it has been. Nothing in particular turns on it, aside from doing it in as clear a manner as possible. In other cases they have clearly stated, ``This act comes into force, except for these provisions, which came into force on Royal Assent.'' That is all that is required to be abundantly clear. There have been cases in the past when that has been done. If there were such a practice, there have been considerable exceptions to it over the years.
Mr. Lee: I am happy with counsel's suggestion that the joint committee seek clarifications so that the status of this practice is known.
Mr. Bernhardt: In any event, it seems that the practice is under review.
Mr. Lee: Yes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Are members agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Thank you.
The next items on the agenda fall under the heading ``Reply Unsatisfactory.''
SOR/99-256 — CANADA COOPERATIVES REGULATIONS
SOR/2001-513 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA COOPERATIVES REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 11D:1)
Shawn Abel, Counsel to the Committee: Following the previous review of this file by the joint committee in November 2005, counsel requested updates regarding the promised amendments and pursued 10 other points not addressed in the department's earlier replies. The department has indicated that work on the previously promised amendments is still in the hands of the Department of Justice. It was also indicated that seven of the 10 remaining points are also being prepared for amendment by the department of Justice.
In a response to counsel's queries about whether an agreement had been reached on those seven points, the department indicated that the expected changes dealt mainly with language rather than with policy and, therefore, they had left it to the Department of Justice to work out. It was promised that a more substantive response would be forthcoming once the proposed amendments had been drafted.
I suggest that this is not an entirely satisfactory answer and that a further letter could be drafted, pressing the department to indicate whether there is actually an agreement with the committee on these points.
Mr. Lee: I was disappointed with the response. Who is the designated instruments officer of the department?
Mr. Abel: The last letter was from Mr. Richard Shaw in February 2006, but I believe there is a new DIO.
Mr. Lee: I am detecting a problem, Mr. Chairman. The infrastructure that we rely on is such that each department has a designated instruments officer, and when counsel writes a letter to a department, it is assumed to be to someone who understands the drill and the envelope we are talking about.
In this case, counsel wrote a letter on February 6, 2006, to someone that was assumed to be the DIO and described as the acting director. Subsequently, counsel receives replies from someone else who might not be the DIO and who does not seem to understand the process. The joint committee does not accept, as a rule, that all departments must have their replies and reasonings prepared and vetted by the Department of Justice. Rather, it is the practice to rely on each department to have its own counsel to deal with such issues. I am not being critical of this individual's competency, but I question whether he or she does not understand or is not the DIO. Could counsel identify the DIO? If there is no DIO in the saddle, could we insist that the department name a DIO. Following that, could counsel write a letter to insist on a substantive reply from the department and to inform the department that the joint committee does not accept subcontracting of these issues to the Department of Justice, other than in the process of blue stamping?
Mr. Bernhardt: Perhaps it is time to write directly to the minister on this file.
Mr. Lee: The department's house is not in order and they do not understand what is going on.
Mr. Bernhardt: This is not an unheard-of difficulty when the joint committee raises points and receives in response a rather nebulous reply stating that the department is looking at amendments. The difficulty for the joint committee occurs when it has six concrete points for which it requests the view of the department.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): That is the value of the experience of time. This seems to be a situation that could get worse or cause difficulty over the long term. Perhaps it is time to write to the minister.
Mr. Abel: Mr. Chairman, there is one more point on which it might be necessary to write to the minister as well, so the suggested letter to the minister on both points could be the best course of action.
With respect to the other three outstanding points, the department promised that two of the relevant provisions pointed out by the joint committee would be deleted. The one remaining point concerns section 33(2)(a) of the regulations, which requires a dissident, when sending a copy of a dissident's proxy circular to the director, to include a statement that the circular complies with the regulations. Given that such dissidents must in any case comply with the regulations, the purpose of this provision was questioned.
Various purposes were put forth in a series of replies by the department, the latest of which is to provide disclosure to the director and to the public that the dissident is aware of the requirements of the regulations, and, in respect of the last point, to maintain investor confidence in the market.
Counsel pointed out to the department that management proxy circulars are not subject to the same requirement, to which the reply essentially stated that directors are under a fiduciary duty to comply with the act and the requirements and, therefore, do not need to state they have done so. However, I would point out that dissidents are under the same duty as management in this regard. If a requirement should apply to dissident proxy circulars, it seems evident that they should apply also to management proxy circulars. The department promised that the next time consultations on the regulations are conducted, it would ask whether such a requirement should be added to the management proxy circular. The underlying question remains: If this requirement is necessary here, then why is it not necessary in every form and application that must be made under the regulations?
In this case, I suggest that the department's reply is not satisfactory. Perhaps, as with earlier points, a letter to the minister should be drafted and assurance sought that this provision be removed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Is there any further input? Is that proposed approach agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2001-532 — TELECOMMUNICATIONS APPARATUS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. 11E:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: The issue here is one of subdelegation. The relevant provision of the Telecommunications Act authorizes the Governor-in-Council to make a regulation prescribing apparatus or classes of apparatus in respect of which a technical acceptance certificate is required.
Section 3 of the regulations provides that every apparatus in respect of which the minister has established a technical specification requires a certificate. The committee has taken the view that this does not prescribe ``apparatus.'' In effect, the relevant determination as to which apparatus will be covered is made by the minister when he decides whether or not to develop a technical specification in each instance. The regulatory power given to the Governor-in- Council, in effect, has been subdelegated to the minister to be exercised on an administrative basis.
Industry Canada has made the argument that it is sufficient for the regulations to set out a method that makes it possible to ascertain which apparatus is required to have a certificate. The argument appears to be based on the mistaken view that what we are dealing with here is an incorporation by reference of technical specifications established by the minister. This is simply not so. The regulations do not require that prescribed apparatus comply with the minister's specifications. If they did, that would be fine; it would a simple incorporation by reference. What they do is say that if the minister establishes the technical specifications, then the apparatus to which those specifications relate automatically becomes a prescribed apparatus. In effect, they put the cart before the horse.
In view of this, most of the department's latest response is simply beside the point. It deals with provisions in the act that govern incorporation by reference. It refers to cases dealing with incorporation by reference, none of which is relevant.
The other case it mentions, which is Peralta, deals with a different enabling provision. It was one that authorized regulations ``respecting'' a particular matter. Obviously, the power to make a regulation respecting something is much broader than the power to make a regulation prescribing something, which is what we have here.
Ironically, they cite a passage from that decision in which the court says you have to look carefully at the exact words of the enabling provision in each instance. Then they proceed to ignore this advice.
They also argue it would be impossible for the regulations to develop specifications for each individual model of apparatus. This is not what the regulations require. They simply require that you list classes of apparatus. The minister is still free to do exactly what he is doing now, which is then develop technical specifications for the listed apparatus.
Finally, the department continues to rely on the need for Canada to comply with its international obligations. The short answer to this is that if the act is insufficient in this regard, the act must be amended.
In a nutshell, nothing in the department's latest reply would lead the committee to change its view that section 3 of the regulations is ultra vires. At this point, I suspect counsel has exhausted the avenues of dealing with officials from Industry. It may be time for the chairmen to write to the minister directly on these matters.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Is that agreed?
Mr. Lee: I would agree. The conceptual difference between us and the department is very similar to that found in the artificial close times under the Fisheries Act. The department has adopted a device intended to avoid the necessity of listing apparatus that requires these certificates. It is cute the way they have done it. I do appreciate all the effort they have gone into to try and justify the legality of it, even to the point of digging up an old Arthur Driedger quote on subdelegation. They have gone to so much work, yet they will not hit a home run here, as I see it. I cannot speak for the rest of the members of committee, but it falls short.
However, it is interesting to see this. Just as our witnesses today made every effort to paint the legality of the government's position, these well-intentioned individuals come up very short, in my view. Just as the minister and the department are capable of conceiving of technical specifications for a class of apparatus, they are just as capable of listing that class of apparatus in the regulation. They are stubbornly refusing to do it because it takes too much work, so what they do is establish a specification. They have a regulation that says, ``If we establish a specification, then you are deemed to be regulated.''
We must ensure we are very clear on this matter, indicating this is an artificial device to do an end run. They need to properly regulate and we view it as illegal. Do write to the minister and express that view. The clock will start to run on this item, because I think as long as I am around here, at some point we will have to act.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): That is helpful direction. I think using the route through the minister at this point is probably appropriate.
Are there any further comments on that? Is that agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The next item is ``Progress (?).''
SOR/2001-520 — CANADA INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS BOARD REGULATIONS, 2001
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 11F:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: A number of points concerning these regulations were first raised in 2003. A number of amendments were promised and other matters were pursued in further correspondence. While the committee was advised in June 2005 that amendments to the regulations were expected once the board's client consultation committee had finished its work, the substance of the specific points pursued in the correspondence from counsel was not dealt with. That is a common theme this morning.
Counsel's letter of June 23, 2005, asked for a reply that did that. Since then, the board has explained a need to first solicit feedback from the labour relations community through a regulations working group. The work of this group is apparently proceeding, but there is still no indication as to when it will conclude the review. In the meantime, the committee does not even know if the board accepts the points raised or not.
I would suggest that the chairmen write to the chairman of the board, asking yet again for a reply that deals with the precise substance of the outstanding issues.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The timeline on this agenda item also is quite extensive, which is unfortunate. Is it agreed that a letter be written?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The next item falls under the rubric ``Part Action Promised.''
SOR/2005-111 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CONTRAVENTIONS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 11G:1)
Mr. Abel: This instrument corrects an error previously noted in connection with SOR/2003-381 and raises one new point. An amendment was promised in April 2006 on this point, which involved a minor change in language. At this stage, a letter could be drafted asking about progress in this regard.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Is that agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Next item is item under ``Reply Satisfactory.''
SOR/2006-236 — CANADA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION APPLICATION FOR DEPOSIT INSURANCE BY-LAW
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 11H:1)
Mr. Abel: This probably should have been marked as ``Reply Satisfactory (?)'' — particularly on this first point.
There were two points in this letter raised with CDIC. The first point related to the use of the term ``affiliate'' in relation to an applicant for deposit insurance. Counsel noted that affiliate is defined in the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act with respect to a member institution; since applicants were not yet member institutions, the definition would not appear to apply at this stage.
CDIC replied that where the defined term does not apply, it was meant that the usual and ordinary meaning of the term apply and that this was their intent. While this is technically correct, I would suggest that a further letter could perhaps ask what the differences are between the usual and ordinary meaning and the statutory meaning; and why the usual and ordinary meaning should apply to an applicant where the statutory meaning would apply forever after once it became a member institution.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Are members agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
Mr. Abel: The second point concerned a requirement that the applicant include a sensitivity analysis of the projected financial results under various assumptions and scenarios. Counsel asked whether the bylaw could be more specific on these assumptions and scenarios. The reply indicated it was not possible to do so because the assumptions and scenarios vary tremendously from institution to institution and that, in any case, they would relate to the specific business plan of the institution and should be apparent from the business plan. Given that, in this case, we are dealing with banks and trust companies, the reply seems satisfactory.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): There is a small question mark beside this instrument. Are members agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): The next items fall under ``Action Promised.''
Mr. Bernhardt: Mr. Chairman, if members are agreed, I propose to follow the usual practice and deal with the remaining items under headings ``Action Promised,'' ``Action Taken'' and ``Statutory Instruments Without Comment'' as three groups.
SOR/2003-28 — RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR BOARDS OF REVIEW
(For text of document, see Appendix I, p. 11I:1)
SOR/2003-355 — OFF-ROAD SMALL SPARK-IGNITION ENGINE EMISSION REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix J, p. 11J:1)
SOR/2006-75 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA BUSINESS CORPORATIONS REGULATIONS, 2001
(For text of document, see Appendix K, p. 11K:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: Under ``Action Promised,'' 11 amendments are promised to the joint committee in connection with these instruments. This includes the revocation of an ultra vires provision as well as an amendment to an act to resolve a discrepancy between the English and French versions of an enabling provision.
SOR/2005-213 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE REFUND OF DUTIES REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix L, p. 11L:1)
SOR/2006-206 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA GRAIN REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix M. p. 11M:1)
SOR/2006-221 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS ADMINISTERED AND ENFORCED BY THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of document, see Appendix N, p. 11N:1)
SOR/2006-222 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE REFUND OF DUTIES REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of document, see Appendix O, p. 11O:1)
Mr. Bernhardt: Under ``Action Taken,'' the instruments make 31 amendments that were promised to the committee.
SI/2005-71 — ORDER ACKNOWLEDGING RECEIPT OF THE ASSESSMENTS DONE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 23(1) OF THE ACT
SI/2005-72 — ORDER GIVING NOTICE OF DECISIONS NOT TO ADD CERTAIN SPECIES TO THE LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
SI/2005-115 — ORDER ACKNOWLEDGING RECEIPT OF THE ASSESSMENTS DONE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 23(1) OF THE ACT
SI/2006-61 — ORDER GIVING NOTICE OF DECISIONS NOT TO ADD CERTAIN SPECIES TO THE LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
SI/2006-108 — ORDER DECLINING TO REFER BACK TO THE CRTC DECISION CRTC 2006-193
SI/2006-110 — ORDER GIVING NOTICE OF DECISIONS NOT TO ADD CERTAIN SPECIES TO THE LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
SI/2006-112 — ORDER AMENDING THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2006-113 — ORDER AMENDING THE PRIVACY ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2006-114 — ORDER AMENDING THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2006-115 — ORDER AMENDING THE PRIVACY ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2006-128 — ORDER DESIGNATING THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AS APPROPRIATE MINISTER WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSISTED HUMAN REPRODUCTION AGENCY OF CANADA FOR PURPOSES OF THE ACT
SI/2006-131 — WESLEY KOOL REMISSION ORDER
SI/2006-132 — ORDER FIXING NOVEMBER 10, 2006 AS THE DATE OF THE COMING INTO FORCE OF CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT
SI/2006-141 — ORDER GOVERNING THE GRANT OF THE MEMORIAL CROSS (CANADIAN FORCES)
SOR/90-799 — NON-MAILABLE MATTER REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
SOR/93-603 — FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
SOR/99-33 — ORDER AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2002-142 — CANADA TURKEY MARKETING PRODUCERS LEVY ORDER
SOR/2003-388 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MARIHUANA EXEMPTION (FOOD AND DRUGS ACT) REGULATIONS
SOR/2003-415 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE REGULATIONS
SOR/2004-119 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS REGULATIONS (SPECIAL ACCESS)
SOR/2004-197 — UNITED NATIONS SUDAN REGULATIONS
SOR/2004-222 — UNITED NATIONS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-122 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNITED NATIONS SUDAN REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-192 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-224 — ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULES 1 TO 3 TO THE SPECIES AT RISK ACT
SOR/2005-281 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE TARIFF REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-282 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ASSISTANCE FUND (W.V.A. AND C.W.A.) REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-283 — ORDER AMENDING THE DIRECTION TO THE CRTC (RESERVATION OF CHANNELS FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF CPAC) (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
SOR/2005-286 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE NEW SUBSTANCES FEES REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-287 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-289 — OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SECRETARY PRIORITY REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-290 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE DAIRY PRODUCTS MARKETING REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-291 — UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES ORDER
SOR/2005-300 — ORDER 2005-66-07-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2005-301 — ORDER 2005-87-07-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2005-302 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNITED NATIONS SUPPRESSION OF TERRORISM REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-304 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE DESIGNATED PROVISIONS (CUSTOMS) REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-307 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (1385 — VITAMIN K)
SOR/2005-308 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS REGULATIONS (VITAMIN K)
SOR/2005-309 — DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-310 — ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULE IV TO THE FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
SOR/2005-311 — DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-312 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (PREMIÈRE NATION TSAWWASSEN FIRST NATION)
SOR/2005-314 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS MADE UNDER THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT ACT
SOR/2005-315 — LE GROUPE SIMONEAU INC. ANTI-DUMPING REMISSION ORDER
SOR/2005-316 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (1170 — FOOD ADDITIVES)
SOR/2005-318 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CENTRAL REGISTRY OF DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-321 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PACIFIC PILOTAGE TARIFF REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-322 — ORDER AMENDING PART 1 OF THE SCHEDULE TO THE ACT
SOR/2005-323 — ORDER AMENDING PART 1 OF THE SCHEDULE TO THE ACT
SOR/2005-324 — ORDER AMENDING PART 1 OF THE SCHEDULE TO THE ACT
SOR/2005-325 — ORDER AMENDING PART 1 OF THE SCHEDULE TO THE ACT
SOR/2005-327 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ATLANTIC PILOTAGE AUTHORITY REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-331 — ORDER AMENDING THE ALBERTA HOG MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2005-332 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-333 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN BROILER HATCHING EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-335 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE COMPREHENSIVE STUDY LIST REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-336 — SPECIAL APPOINTMENT REGULATIONS, NO. 2005-12
SOR/2005-337 — ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT
SOR/2005-338 — FENNER DUNLOP (BRACEBRIDGE) INC. REMISSION ORDER
SOR/2005-345 — ORDER ADDING TOXIC SUBSTANCES TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2005-349 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-352 — TEMPORARY IMPORTATION REMISSION ORDER, NO. 1 (CUSTOMS TARIFF)
SOR/2005-353 — HUNTER DOUGLAS CANADA REMISSION ORDER
SOR/2005-356 — ORDER AUTHORIZING THE ISSUE AND DETERMINING THE DESIGN OF A ONE DOLLAR CIRCULATION COIN
SOR/2005-358 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE LETTER MAIL REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-359 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INTERNATIONAL LETTER-POST ITEMS REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-360 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL SERVICES AND FEES REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-362 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT, 2000 (LITTLE SHUSWAP LAKE)
SOR/2005-372 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE CUSTOMS TARIFF, 2005-4
SOR/2005-374 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
Mr. Bernhardt: Under ``Statutory Instruments Without Comment,'' 72 instruments have been examined by counsel and found to comply with all of the committee's criteria.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Thank you.
Mr. Lee: I am looking at the draft budget. Will we deal with it today?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Yes. It is in the usual form as submitted for the previous budget. We have not had an opportunity to do much with the budget, and I am not sure whether we will have such an opportunity. Are there recommendations from the joint clerks? Is the budget authorization satisfactory?
The Joint Chairman (Senator Eyton): Could I have information on the history of spending in years past, the budgeted numbers and the expenditure figures?
François Michaud, Joint Clerk of the Committee: Mr. Chairman, the page is distributing the draft budget to all members. On the second page, the budget is a little clearer. This is in all respects the same budget as the one adopted for the current financial year, which will allow us to pay for working meals, some hospitality functions, and certainly the printing of documents pertaining to the agenda that are distributed at all meetings.
In response to your question, Mr. Chairman, you will find the information on the spending patterns of the joint committee for the last few sessions at page 2. As you can see, the joint committee is frugal in its spending habits, although we ask for much more than that because it is difficult to predict whether the joint committee will have a need to invite witnesses to appear and/or be required to pay for their out-of-town expenses; or whether the joint committee will have expenses related to attendance of conferences held elsewhere in Canada. For that reason, we request a bit more than we usually spend so that we are covered should such needs arise.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Are there comments?
Mr. Lee: I move adoption of the budget.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Are members agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Senator Eyton): I just wonder if we are entitled to the benefits of the accumulated surplus that we have here.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): I can say that our efforts are appreciated; liaison tells us that all the time. They have not forgotten that we have expressed an interest in the joint committee doing consultations domestically or internationally at some point in time. However, this is probably not a good time to discuss that matter.
Mr. Lee: Mr. Chairman, this is an excellent time for members to ask that the joint chairs look for a means of upgrading our knowledge of similar regulatory scrutiny systems in various parts of the world so that we could share our expertise. If the joint chairs could do that, I am sure members would appreciate it.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. Szabo): Yes, that is an excellent idea.
Is there further business for the committee? Seeing none, we are adjourned.
The committee adjourned.