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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 8 - Evidence - March 1, 2012
OTTAWA, Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:30 a.m. for the review of statutory instruments.
Senator Bob Runciman and Ms. Françoise Boivin (Joint Chairs) in the chair.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): The first item on this morning's agenda is consideration of a draft budget. A copy was circulated to everyone. Senator Braley has moved its adoption and we do not need a seconder.
Are there any comments or concerns? Do members agree to adopt it?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We will now move to the review of statutory instruments, and I would ask counsel to proceed with the first item on the agenda.
SOR/2002-352 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PARTS I, VI AND VIII)
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 8A:1.)
Peter Bernhardt, General Counsel to the Committee: The first item is the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The joint committee has always been of the view, as a general principle, that requirements to submit documents in regulations require express authority. This is because they place a substantive obligation on citizens.
In the case of certain requirements under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, however, the committee concluded that the power to make regulations requiring people to provide records can be seen to be implicit in the Aeronautics Act and to follow from powers to enter and inspect conferred on the minister under the act, and because of the duty of the owner or the person who has control of the place being inspected to provide information relevant to administering the regulations. At the same time, the committee also felt it would be preferable for this requirement to be clearly set out in the Aeronautics Act, or at least to have the power to make regulations requiring people to provide records be expressly included in the act.
The department advised that such an amendment would be made when the Aeronautics Act was next reviewed. Last November the minister was asked if he could say when amendments to the act might be introduced. The minister's reply of February 14 indicates that a policy review in advance of amendments to the act is under way but that it is too early to forecast a time for introducing a bill.
Given the committee has accepted there is implicit authority in the act at present for regulations that impose requirements to submit records, and the amendment the committee was asking for is simply one to clarify the situation, I suppose it might be an appropriate case here for the committee to simply continue to monitor developments and ask for an update from time to time. If members concur with such an approach, we can bring the file forward later in the spring for a follow-up.
Senator Braley: I concur 100 per cent. He is a new minister, and they have changed the ministry three times. He is actually in a review stage. Let us monitor it maybe four to five months from now and see where we sit with regards to the potential of something addressing our needs.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Is everyone content with that approach? Are we agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We are at "Letters To and From Ministers."
SOR/2010-28 — ORDER EXEMPTING BANDS FROM THE OPERATION OF SECTION 32 OF THE INDIAN ACT
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 8B:1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: This order exempts all Indian bands and all their members in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta from section 32 of the Indian Act. Section 32 requires the written approval of the superintendent for any transaction involving disposal of agricultural products by a band or a band member from a reserve. Not surprisingly, section 32 had not been enforced for a considerable period of time and was considered outdated and possibly contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Rather than repealing section 32 of the act, however, the minister's power to grant exemptions from it was used to simply exempt everybody. The committee has concluded this contravenes the committee's scrutiny criteria because it amounts to the exercise of a substantive legislative power properly the subject of direct parliamentary enactment, and makes an unusual and unexpected use of the powers conferred by the enabling legislation.
The very essence of a power to exempt is that it is to be for use in specific exceptional circumstances, not as a means to effectively amend the act by rendering one of its provisions an empty vessel. It was therefore put to the minister that the use of the exemption power in this manner to simply override the very legislation that gives the minister the exemption power in the first place is contrary to fundamental principles of law and government.
The March 24 letter from the joint chairs of the committee sought an assurance from the minister that an amendment to the act to repeal section 32 would be introduced. In reply, the minister thanks the committee for its efforts and advises that section 32 will be repealed if the Indian Act is to be amended in a broad manner in the future.
In light of the committee's position that the appropriateness of this order is questionable, even as a temporary measure, I suppose it falls to the committee this morning to consider whether this undertaking is sufficiently concrete. It seems unlikely that a broad revision of the Indian Act will be coming any time soon. If members feel that assessment is likely to prove correct, the minister could be asked again to agree to introduce a bill that would simply repeal section 32. Alternatively, given that the principle here is somewhat significant, I suppose members might consider whether to make a report, drawing the matter to the attention of the houses.
Mr. Albas: I can appreciate that this is a difficult file because a proposed amendment to the Indian Act would probably be a whole issue on its own. I think the minister has shown good faith in responding to the concerns of the committee. In this case, we might want to consider writing back and thanking the minister for his proper reply but asking him for further details or other options, just to see if we have explored that. There are a variety of options that he might have, or it is possible that they might be looking at a broader revision.
Therefore, I think we ought to clarify to see what options the minister might have at his disposal and what he might do. When the minister replies to us in good faith, it is perfectly within the satisfaction of the committee to ask for clarification.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Is it practice in the house to have an annual housekeeping bill — a red tape bill — that could incorporate this kind of amendment?
Mr. Albas: I am aware of the miscellaneous amendment process. However, I am not sure about the timing as to whether this particular part could be included.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): It is something we may want to inquire about rather than await amendment to the act.
Mr. Bernhardt: It is something the committee has asked about. Senator Moore is quite interested in that process, and there has been correspondence with the Minister of Justice because it has been 10 years since the last miscellaneous bill.
In the last advice, the committee was given to understand that a bill is being prepared. I do not think there is any firm time frame when it might go forward; but you are quite right, this is the kind of thing, perhaps, that could be included.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We could incorporate a query in the letter that could be looked at as a possible avenue to deal with this.
Mr. Albas: That is an excellent idea. We should include that as a potential option. It is one thing to demand of a minister, but it is helpful when you come with some suggestions; so I like that.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Are we in agreement?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2010-276 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FIREARMS MARKING REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-103 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FIREARMS LICENCES REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-111 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FIREARMS FEES REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 8C:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We are moving on now to "New Instruments."
The act requires that the regulations pursuant to it must be tabled in both houses of Parliament except in cases where the changes are immaterial or insubstantial in the minister's opinion, in which case he or she must file a statement of reasons in both houses. In these cases, that requirement was either not complied with or not done so in a timely manner. Is there anything to add to that?
Evelyne Borkowski-Parent, Counsel to the Committee: The only thing I would add is that the act does not provide for a specific time frame for the statement to be filed. At some point, delays defeat the purpose of the tabling requirement and violate the spirit of the law, in addition to possibly constituting a prima facie breach of privileges of the house. For the benefit of new members, this is not a new problem to the committee. This very matter was the subject of a speaker's ruling on November 21, 2001. In 2006, the committee concluded in its report number 77 on the tabling of statutory instruments that regulation-making authorities should be more vigilant of statutory tabling requirements and review their internal procedures to avoid oversight.
With regard to these files, the statements were late respectively one year, eight months and six months after the amendments to the regulations were enacted. This is the third time that the question of delay in tabling has been raised regarding these regulations. It casts doubt on the statement that the department takes the tabling requirement "very seriously."
Mr. Wilks: Having reviewed this, a couple of things come to mind. I am certain the minister has filed all three of the regulations before both houses. I would suggest that we close the file and recognize that some time was taken; but it has been done as counsel has referred to in the past and has been acknowledged by the minister's staff that they take this seriously. This was an oversight. If the committee feels so compelled, we could send a letter to the minister's staff indicating that this did take a little while. I would strongly suggest that we just close the file.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Is there any problem with that? Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2008-278 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MANITOBA FISHERY REGULATIONS, 1987
(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 8D:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Under "Reply Unsatisfactory," concerns were raised by the committee in 2010 to three sections of these regulations. One was over discretion given to the provincial minister to authorize or refuse any person to introduce into Manitoba live fish of a species set out in an accompanying schedule even if the person met the conditions set forth in the regulations. The question is why the discretion is needed if the conditions are met. The second has to do with the wording in the French version; and the third has to do with the schedule.
Mr. Bernhardt: As the joint chair indicated, three points were raised. The department has promised amendments to correct the second and third points. The more substantive issue, which you referred to, is the discretion in the regulations to refuse to issue a permit even if a person meets the criteria set out in the regulations. I suggest that point should be pursued with further correspondence with the department. Again, it is an issue that the committee encounters fairly frequently. The question it always asks is: If there is to be this discretion, when and on what considerations would the provincial minister refuse to issue a permit to someone who met all the criteria?
If there are going to be those situations, then those criteria should be in the regulations as well. I suggest that is the point that should be pursued again with the department.
Mr. Wilks: On a humorous side, there is a spelling error: it says "DFO" and it should say "GOD." Aside from that, I suggest that we write back to the department and get them to clarify their position because we need to know what the changes are. Maybe we need to crack the whip a little harder.
Senator Braley: Did I hear correctly that items two and three are already cleared up and that there is just the one item?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes, they have agreed to make those corrections so it is just the one item.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Crack the whip.
SOR/2001-532 — TELECOMMUNICATIONS APPARATUS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. 8E:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Under "Reply Unsatisfactory (?)," I am told this matter has been before the committee for nearly seven years. In 2008, the then Industry Ministry advised that consultations had started toward amending the Telecommunications Act and the regulations to resolve the committee's concerns. In 2010, the committee was told that the amendments would be presented to cabinet in the fall of that year. Correspondence last year was far less definitive. However, with no time frame provided for the appropriate amendments, it is still hanging around.
Mr. Bernhardt: You have summarized it in a nutshell, Mr. Chair. The issue and the reason for the question mark is, if anything, the latest reply seems to be a step backwards. Their phrase is that they hope to be in a position to provide further clarity on a way forward in the near future.
The way forward is fairly simple: You either amend the act to permit the regulation or you revoke the regulation. I suppose by way of options, it might be time to consider writing to the minister to ask for his assistance in pushing this forward.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Are there suggestions?
Mr. Breitkreuz: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Mr. Breitkreuz is recommending that we accept that advice.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): We even asked that it be answered in 30 days, but it was not. We have to be a bit more firm this time.
Mr. Breitkreuz: Maybe we can get a more definite time frame.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Exactly. I thought your wording, if I might say respectfully, was too respectful. The letter asked for 30 days, if possible. I remember the conversation was that we wanted it in 30 days. This is our committee, and we cannot speak for past committees.
We have most certainly started to change our course toward an attitude that is perhaps a little stricter. I sometimes have the feeling that people are laughing at us.
Mr. Albas: I appreciate your concerns, Madam Chair, but we are a serious committee and we should keep going back. There are probably other reasons involved because I do not think anyone in either house or any department would consider that kind of thing laughing at us. I suggest we go with what Mr. Breitkreuz has said. We need to keep following up professionally as much as possible; and we will get the result we are looking for.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): To clarify, Mr. Albas, I am just saying when we give 30 days, there are words that can be very formal, but saying "30 days" is not impolite. If you said "30 days if possible," and if I was at the other end, I would see that as being pretty much anything. You understand what I am saying? It is either we ask for it in 30 days or we do not ask for it, but let us make up our mind. That is my point. I am all for being diplomatic, but at some point in time they need to know we have a job to do and they have theirs to do as well.
If I understood Mr. Breitkreuz, we are asking for the help of the minister.
Mr. Breitkreuz: My suggestion was that we get some kind of a commitment. I did not mention 30 days, but they should come up with a time frame and assure us they will do something within that time frame.
Mr. Albas: I would agree with that, and simply asking them to come back to committee with a clear time for when they will address our concerns. That is fine.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): This is a letter to the minister. I think we can outline some of the past history with respect to our disappointment with their response.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): My point on the 30 days was not for the minister. So far, the ministers have pretty much all been very helpful. The 30 days was for the civil servant that we wrote to.
SOR/2006-275 — SOLVENCY FUNDING RELIEF REGULATIONS
SOR/2009-182 — SOLVENCY FUNDING RELIEF REGULATIONS, 2009
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 8F:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Under "Part Action Promised," these items relate to three outstanding concerns. One is about a regulation that is no longer applicable and the committee felt it should be repealed. The others are of a technical nature.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: After the meeting on September 29, 2011, we requested clarification on those three issues. In the first instance, that is the spent provision, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions provided a good explanation as to why to keep it in the regulations. Although it is spent, in this case it might be useful to keep it in there in order to fully understand the special scheme that was put in place in those regulations.
As far as the other points, OSFI agreed to proceed to the amendments. With your agreement, counsel could just do the usual follow-up.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Are we agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2007-295 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE LETTER MAIL REGULATIONS
SOR/2007-296 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INTERNATIONAL LETTER-POST ITEMS REGULATIONS
SOR/2007-297 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL SERVICES AND FEES REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 8:G1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: In the course of examining these amendments, it came to light that they were not made in accordance with the procedures set out in the Canada Post Corporations Act and the Statutory Instruments Act. Our questions arose initially because of delays between the making of the regulations and their approval by the Governor- in-Council. It turned out that these delays were because, rather than submitting draft regulations to the Department of Justice for examination, Canada Post submitted regulations only after they had been made by the corporation. This led to the question of what was done to incorporate any changes to those regulations that the department proposed after it examined them. It was implied that some changes would have been formally adopted by the board, but that others might be simply inserted by officials.
Legally, of course, nobody other than the board of directors can exercise the power to make legislation that Parliament has delegated to the corporation. As well, no one can legally alter the text that has been adopted by the board.
Last March, Canada Post provided a description of a new procedure that would ensure the proposed amendments, in its words "have been approved in their entirety by the board of directors before being submitted to the Governor-in- Council."
That seemed fine. In looking at subsequent amendments however, it seemed there did not appear to be any improvement in the delay between making the regulation and having it approved by the Governor-in-Council. The corporation then explained that even though it now has a proper sequence of actions in place, it has no control over how long it takes the minister to make the recommendation to the Governor-in-Council and send the documentation over to the Privy Council Office. Under the act, the minister is supposed to do this forthwith, but there is no fixed time period.
Canada Post seems to have done everything it can do from its end to regularize the situation. That being the case, I suppose the outcome could be considered to be satisfactory. As a final point, the committee also wanted an assurance that no regulations made in the past were flawed in a way that would result in their validity being challenged because of the incorrect procedure that was used. The corporation reviewed all its files and found only one instance of a possible problem. The change that was inserted in that case was so minor — it was the correction of a reference to a schedule — that there is likely no need for any remedial action on that point. If members are satisfied with that as well as having the corporation's new procedures in place, even though things may linger in the minister's office for a certain time, I suppose these files could be closed.
Senator Harb: Closed.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/94-276 — CANADIAN FORCES SUPERANNUATION REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
SOR/94-277 — DEFENCE SERVICES PENSION CONTINUATION REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 8H:1.)
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: These files concern a number of drafting issues. Amendments were promised back in 1998, but in 2008 the committee was advised that because of other sensitive policy issues the promised amendments had been delayed. Following the March 3, 2011 meeting of this committee, the department was asked if they could not, in the interim, proceed to the housekeeping amendment rather than delay them until the policy issues were resolved.
In a letter dated October 6, 2011, the department agreed to include the promised amendments in a package already being prepared with a projected enactment for 2012. If this is acceptable to members, counsel could monitor the progress on these files.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Agreed?
Senator Verner: This was the point I wanted to raise, write to the department to keep us informed of the progress.
SOR/2007-33 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN FORCES SUPERANNUATION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix I, p. 8I:1.)
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: As to progress, it is the intention of the department to enact the promised amendments, which vary in nature, in 2012. On a side note, this file deals with a complicated subject matter, which is the modernization of the CF Superannuation Plan. Under the new rules of the plan, certain members already serving on a 20-year intermediate engagement when regulations came into force on March 1, 2007, are grandfathered and can elect to have their annuity calculated under the old rules. What transpires from the regulation is those who did not have 10 years of pensionable service as of March 1, 2007 did not fall within the grandfather clause. In the initial letter, counsel asked how the annuity of a member with less than 10 years of pensionable service as of March 1, 2007, would be calculated. The department's answers have thus far been elusive on that point.
In a letter dated October 6, 2011, to counsel's statement that members on an intermediate engagement of 20 years with less than 10 years of pensionable service as of March 1, 2007 would now have to complete 25 years of service in order to receive an unreduced annuity, the department answered that the statement was not accurate, but yet proceeded to give examples of members who were grandfathered but in fact had more than 10 years of pensionable service.
From other documentation available through the CF it appears as though, as is maintained by counsel, a member in this situation would not be grandfathered and therefore would receive a full unreduced annuity after 25 years of service. It would nevertheless be nice if the department was able to provide an appropriate answer on this query. The committee wants to be sure it understands the scheme.
Mr. Albas: I appreciate that this is a very complicated subject, so I am very glad that committee's counsel has put forward a report that I would hope I grasp, at least somewhat.
I do see there have been some challenges with this. I think one of the appropriate ways to do it is to ask for a status update on this to see what progress has been made. I know they said in early 2012 that there would be some amendments they were looking at. I think we should ask for an update and continue to encourage them to deal with this.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Are there any other comments? My only concern with this file is we do not seem to understand the same thing. I thought you were being polite by saying "elusive."
I agree that it is really not easy. Even if we are asking for some progress, if we are not seeing the file the same way, will we not have a problem at some point in time? How do we intend to correct this?
Mr. Bernhardt: I think you are right. That was why, when counsel first reviewed it, we asked the question. It is a very complicated provision. We looked at it and we said, "This is what we think it says." Then we simply wrote and asked, "Could you please confirm whether that is correct?" What we received was, "No, it is not, and here are the examples," but the examples are different than the question we are asking. We are asking for people with less than 10 years. They are giving us examples of people with more than 10 years, so we are still not sure.
Before the committee leaves it, it would probably be a good idea to get a clear explanation, because if that is the understanding, then the regulation is fine. If they mean it to say something else, there might conceivably be a need for a further amendment.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Exactly.
Mr. Albas: I certainly understand where the counsel is coming from. I think we ought to ask for a progress report, but also get confirmation that we are talking about the same things. I think that is fine.
Again, it sounds like this is an area that even the department has taken a view that it is a bulky matter, and I think the word "elusive" probably describes it rather well. However, it is their job to present what they are doing as an amendment; it is our job to ensure it fits with the enabling act.
SOR/2001-34 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE EXPORT PERMITS REGULATIONS
SOR/2003-216 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE EXPORT PERMITS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. 8J:1.)
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Here are two long-standing files, and the primary difficulty has been getting a response from the department to the correspondence sent by the committee. As mentioned at the last meeting, the department was informed that this was not the most effective way of addressing the committee's correspondence.
In the case of SOR/2001-34, a discrepancy between the French and English versions on the type of proof to be presented when applying for a permit had been noted.
With respect to SOR/2003-216, paragraph 3(1)(j) of the regulations did not determine the information that needs to be provided by individuals applying for export permits, as set out by the enabling authority in the act.
Drafting of the amendments required would have been started in 2006. In light of the department's letter of November 25, 2011, it would seem that we can hope for a pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in 2012.
If the committee members consider this response acceptable, the customary follow-up could be done by counsel.
Mr. Chisu: I think it is necessary to request an update with a firm time frame. It is very important for the regulation for export permits. They are quite important when you are requesting an export permit. I think that enough time has passed and maybe we should ask for a time frame.
I understand that they are ready to publish this one in 2012, but we should ask for more clarification in this matter. It is very important. A lot of time has passed. If you do not have clarity there, issuing an export permit can create a lot of problems. I understand that they made progress on these things, but we would like to ask a little bit more strongly that they give us a better explanation.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Thank you, Mr. Chisu. Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2002-18 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE COMPETENCY OF OPERATORS OF PLEASURE CRAFT REGULATIONS
SOR/2007-124 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE COMPETENCY OF OPERATORS OF PLEASURE CRAFT REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. 8K:1.)
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Issues raised on SOR/2002-18 ranged from redundancy with the act to administrative discretion and ultra vires provisions. The department agreed to the proposed amendments in 2005, and publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I took place in the fall of that year.
This led to the second file, which is SOR/2007-124, which made all the promised amendments except for three, but in turn gave rise to seven other objections. Amendments were promised in 2007, but the time frame for completion has been systematically pushed back since then. In a letter dated December 21, 2011, the department wished to advise the committee it was unable to meet its projected time for enactment for the fall of 2011 and instead now anticipates the pre-publication to happen in the spring of 2012.
At this point, members may want to consider the possibility of advising the minister of the systematic delays occurring with this file and seek his assistance in ensuring that the latest deadline is met.
Mr. Albas: I agree that there has been some progress made. Unfortunately, it looks like the time frame keeps getting pushed back further, so I think it would be a very good time to just ask for an update on it, to see if they are on track for the pre-publication. Again, this is one of the items I think we need to stay on top of and continue to write to them. We will see this file through.
Senator Harb: I thought we got the update. If we ought to do anything, it will show concerns, because they have promised to do something in the spring of 2012. The options would be to wait or to write and say we are concerned. That is the question.
I think it probably will not hurt us to write a letter to the minister. In the meantime, if it happens, great; if not, at least we have listed our own concerns.
Mr. Albas: I can appreciate the concern because, as I noted in my comments, time frames have been set and they have not met them. However, this is again under progress and they have said to us previously that it would be tabled. I think it is very timely for us to simply ask them if this time frame is still happening, and ask for a proper update.
It is probably a little early to take it to a minister when they have already made a commitment that they would have it tabled sometime this spring, is probably a little early. It is still snowing outside, so writing a letter to a minister at this time is a little early.
I can appreciate the concern and would just ask that we move ahead with an update and then look at the senator's options if we do not get satisfaction.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): I just want to comment that it is under the heading "Progress (?)" — with a question mark.
Counsel is asking if we are seeing progress. I hear two things: one, that it seems satisfactory; and, two, maybe we need to do a bit more. We keep receiving. My cue is when I get the same letter every year.
I have a problem with this. At the least, that you change a sentence, that you say you are making progress, that you have done something, but do not tell me every year that this is going to go there because it is complicated. I do not see what harm there would be in, perhaps, just having the minister's help so that he simply speak to his employees, in hoping that it is done this year.
Mr. Albas: Again, I appreciate the concern. However, they have said they would table it in the spring. Therefore, until they have not shown that they are not working in good faith, I think it is presumptuous of us to start talking to the minister, specifically if they have made that commitment.
I do recognize that this is a troubling file for the committee and we should show concern. However, one of the things I know is that you help the process by letting them know that we are still expecting that result to be made, and continuing to encourage them to complete it on the time frame. If the time frame is missed, then we have all those options of bringing in the minister or asking for satisfaction in another way.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): I know spring is coming in about three weeks, so please put a note in.
Senator Verner: I understand the concerns of my senator colleague here, but at the same time, I somewhat agree with my MP colleague, Mr. Albas, who says that, since spring has not yet arrived, we would seem to be getting ahead of things.
Let us at least wait until they have done their update, after the spring, as they said.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Okay. Do we have a consensus? We are taking note that we are waiting until spring is over.
The bets are on.
Senator Harb: We have time.
Senator Braley: They are referencing mid-2012; they did not say "spring 2012."
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Actually, I have "d'ici la fin 2012" in my text. It is not even the spring; we are talking about the end of 2012.
Where did you get the "spring" notification in there?
Mr. Albas: If it was human error, then I admit I am human.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Excellent. We have been talking about spring for nothing?
Mr. Bernhardt: The translation is different.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): I have to check the translation. Do not tell me I have to read the English and the French.
Mr. Bernhardt: The original English version refers to mid-2012. The French version refers to the end of 2012.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): That is why we were of different opinions. I figured they were still pushing us to the end of the year. That was the basis of my argument.
Mr. Albas: Maybe we should look at scrutinizing our translations; just having fun with counsel.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Can we get clarification? My French text says "by the end of 2012;" and the English text is "mid-2012." I have no problem with waiting until then; I understand a bit more your concern. For me, it was just that we kept being pushed from end of year to end of year to end of year. Thank you for noticing.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): What are the implications of not having these regulations in place?
Mr. Bernhardt: In this case, these were largely points of drafting and clarification.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): Are there safety concerns or issues of legality?
Mr. Bernhardt: No. It was a case of improving clarity to reconcile the English and French versions. I am advised that there are also provisions that simply repeat what is in the act; and we asked for those to be taken out because they are redundant.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): We understand that it is mid-2012, so we can wait.
Senator Braley: If you want to make it gentler, you can say in the letter that we are expecting a reply in mid-2012. That is another gentle way of putting them on the record.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): That is very diplomatic.
SOR/94-753 — INDIAN OIL AND GAS REGULATIONS, 1995
(For text of documents, see Appendix L. p. 8L:1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: There is a promise to remove some unnecessary wording from one provision. It is said that they expect the drafting to be completed by the end of 2014. That may seem like a fairly long time frame; however, in this case, the amendment is relatively minor. If members are happy with that timeline, we can update the progress and report back.
SOR/2006-352 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PARTS I AND IV)
(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. 8:M1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: We have, I believe, 10 promised amendments. As far as highlighting them, I just note that several of these include amendments to remove unnecessary discretionary powers. Again, we will follow up on progress.
SOR/2010-261 — CRIBS, CRADLES AND BASSINETS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix N, p. 8N:1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: Three points were raised in connection with these regulations. Action has been promised on all three. One involves re-enacting a provision that the committee found unlawful under the old Hazardous Products Act. However, there is now authority for it under the new Canada Consumer Products Safety Act, so re-enacting it under the new act will solve that problem. I should also note, as indicated in the note prepared for members, that the enactment of these regulations solved eight problems that the committee had raised with respect to their predecessors. Again, we will follow up on the progress of what has been promised.
SOR/2011-185 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INSURANCE BUSINESS (COOPERATIVE CREDIT ASSOCIATIONS) REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix O, p. 8O:1.)
SOR/2011-196 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDANT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix P, p. 8P:1.)
SOR/2011-232 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE CUSTOMS TARIFF, 2011-2
(For text of documents, see Appendix Q, p. 8Q:1.)
SOR/2011-301 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS MADE UNDER SUBSECTION 93(1) OF THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999 (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix R, p. 8R:1.)
Mr. Bernhardt: If members concur, I will deal with the four items under "Action Taken" as a group. I note that in total they make 21 amendments that the committee had asked for.
Mr. Albas: At times we get frustrated that we do not see as many actions taken as we would like to see. This kind of proactive work does have a big effect over a period of time, and we should take some comfort in knowing that actions have been taken on a number of these files without us having to prod.
SOR/2011-226 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD CONTINGENCY FUND REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-227 — CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD DIRECTION ORDER
SOR/2011-228 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-230 — PRESCRIBED ENTITIES AND CLASSES OF MORTGAGES AND HYPOTHECS REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-245 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD CONTINGENCY FUND REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-246 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-247 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-248 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE CANADIAN NUCLEAR SAFETY COMMISSION REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-249 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS AND REPORTS ANALYSIS CENTRE OF CANADA REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-250 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE PARKS CANADA AGENCY REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-251 — TRANSFER OF PORTIONS OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-265 — PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION CUSTODIANS IN NEW BRUNSWICK EXEMPTION ORDER
SOR/2011-270 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN HATCHING EGG PRODUCERS QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-271 — ORDER 2011-87-09-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2011-277 — ORDER AMENDING THE BRITISH COLUMBIA VEGETABLE MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2011-279 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (1609 — TALC)
SOR/2011-282 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FOOD AND DRUG REGULATIONS (1634 — FOOD ADDITIVE)
SOR/2011-283 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT OF NUCLEAR SUBSTANCES REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-286 — ORDER ADDING A TOXIC SUBSTANCE TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2011-287 — ORDER ADDING TOXIC SUBSTANCES TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2011-289 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL METHOD OF ELECTION REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
SOR/2011-290 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS FISCAL AND STATISTICAL MANAGEMENT ACT (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
SOR/2011-297 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL SERVICES AND FEES REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-309 — ORDER AMENDING THE GENERAL IMPORT PERMIT NO. 8 — EGGS FOR PERSONAL USE
SOR/2011-313 — ORDER AMENDING THE APPROVED SCREENING DEVICES ORDER
SOR/2011-314 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-315 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING LEVIES ORDER
SOR/2011-317 — ASSESSMENT OF PENSION PLANS REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-319 — ORDER AMENDING THE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITES OF CANADA ORDER
SOR/2011-324 — ORDER AMENDING PART 2 OF THE SCHEDULE TO THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT ACT
SOR/2011-325 — ORDER AUTHORIZING THE ISSUE OF CIRCULATION COINS OF TWO DOLLARS AND ONE DOLLAR, SPECIFYING THEIR CHARACTERISTICS AND DETERMINING THEIR DESIGN
SOR/2011-326 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADA TURKEY MARKETING PRODUCERS LEVY ORDER
SOR/2011-327 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN TURKEY MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1990
SOR/2011-329 — ORDER 2011-87-10-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
Mr. Bernhardt: Under "Statutory Instruments Without Comment," we list 34 instruments that have been reviewed and found to comply with all of the committee's criteria. As always, we do not circulate copies of those but they are available this morning if any member wishes to see them.
The Joint Chair (Ms. Boivin): That concludes this meeting.
(The committee adjourned.)