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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 7 - Evidence - May 1, 2014
OTTAWA, Thursday, May 1, 2014
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 (Joint Chair) and Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Vice-Chair) in the chair.
SOR/2002-145 — MANNER OF DISPOSAL OF DETAINED, SEIZED OR FORFEITED GOODS REGULATIONS (PRECLEARANCE ACT)
SOR/2002-148 — REGULATIONS DESIGNATING PERSONS AND CATEGORIES OF PERSONS — OTHER THAN TRAVELLERS DESTINED FOR THE UNITED STATES — WHO MAY ENTER A PRECLEARANCE AREA
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): There are a couple of items off the top. For Item 1 on our agenda, I think the letter has been circulated. It was received just yesterday, so you will be seeing it today for the first time.
There is another letter dealing with a request that the committee made dealing with regulations amending the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations when we had requested a response within 60 days. Counsel has just received correspondence indicating a request for an extension for another 60 days. These are both in your hands for the first time this morning. I am just asking if you would like to defer consideration and discussion of these two items until our next meeting.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We're in agreement. Thank you.
SOR/89-93 — ONTARIO FISHERY REGULATIONS, 1989
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 7A:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We will move on to Item No. 2, ``Letters To and From Ministers,'' Ontario Fishery Regulations 1989, SOR/89-93. This has been before the committee numerous times over the last 16 years.
Peter Bernhardt, General Counsel to the Committee: That's correct, Mr. Chair.
As members know, it has long been the position of the committee that, in the absence of express authority, provisions in regulations that result in criminal liability for contravening the terms and conditions of a licence or a permit are unlawful. A licence, of course, is an administrative document, and the terms and conditions attached to that licence will be imposed on a case-by-case basis by the official that issues the licence. The result then, in short, under these provisions, is that the exercise of an administrative discretion by an official is enforced as if it were legislation.
This is the basis of the committee's objection to subsection 4(2) of the Ontario Fishery Regulations.
As a result of amendments made to the Fisheries Act back in 2012, paragraph 40(3)(a) of the Fisheries Act now provides, in part, that anyone commits an offence who, in carrying on a work, undertaking or activity, fails to comply with a condition established under any authorization issued under the act. If this new provision in the act would cover authorizations in the form of permits and licences, generally speaking, provisions like the one in the Ontario Fishery Regulations that the committee has taken issue with would become unnecessary and could simply be deleted.
When asked about this, however, the department replied it was not the government's intent to have paragraph 40(3) (a) of the act apply to fishing-related activities. They explained that, here, the word ``activity'' is intended to capture physical activities, such as activities to maintain water flow, fish passage, placing of barriers that might cause harm to fish habitat and so on, and these are the types of activities that are dealt with under this part of the act rather than, strictly speaking, fishing activities.
Notwithstanding the department's advice that it was not the government's intent to address the committee's concern, the committee then sought confirmation that, in the government's view, paragraph 40(3)(a) could not be read, nonetheless, as having this effect. The minister's letter of February 26 reiterates that the amendments were not meant to have the effect of responding to the committee's objection. The minister advises that he has instructed his officials to consider clarifying this in any future amendment to the act.
While continuing to assert that subsection 4(2) of the regulations is lawful, apparently the department is still considering a possible future amendment for the purposes, in its words, of ``providing greater clarity.'' As members may recall, there have been several such amendments introduced in the past, in the various forms. Unfortunately, none of those have managed to receive passage, and there is no indication in the minister's letter as to when the next amendment to achieve the desired result might be introduced.
Senator Batters: In the last letter from the minister, now Gail Shea, it indicates that once the department is in a position to provide a timeline, the committee will be notified. Why don't we just write back and ask for the timeline rather than waiting for them to get back to us?
Mr. Albas: I agree with what the senator is suggesting to counsel. Is it possible that this particular kind of amendment would be dealt with through a miscellaneous statute amendment bill?
Mr. Bernhardt: I suppose, on the department's characterization that it's simply providing clarity, that could be a possibility. That will be something they would have to take to the Department of Justice and get their views, but it's something the committee could propose in the letter, if it wants to make that suggestion.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Are we in agreement with that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2005-127 — UNITED NATIONS CÔTE D'IVOIRE REGULATIONS
SOR/2005-306 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNITED NATIONS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO REGULATIONS
SOR/2006-164 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNITED NATIONS AFGHANISTAN REGULATIONS
SOR/2007-44 — REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON IRAN
SOR/2007-204 — REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON LEBANON
SOR/2007-285 — SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (BURMA) REGULATIONS
SOR/2008-248 — SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (ZIMBABWE) REGULATIONS
SOR/2009-23 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNITED NATIONS LIBERIA REGULATIONS AND THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON LEBANON
SOR/2012-121 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS ON SOMALIA
SOR/2009-92 — REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS ON SOMALIA
SOR/2009-232 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA
SOR/2010-84 — REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION ON ERITREA
SOR/2011-114 — SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-220 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-330 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS
SOR/2012-85 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (BURMA) REGULATIONS
SOR/2012-107 REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 7B:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Item 3 on our agenda bundles together 17 different files involving a range of concerns.
Mr. Bernhardt: It's a very unwieldy package, I realize. For each of these files, the problem was that letters remained unanswered despite a number of reminders. This, of course, is not a new state of affairs.
On the committee's instruction, we met with the Department of Foreign Affairs corporate secretary in January of 2012 to discuss communications between the department and the committee. Unfortunately, this appears to have had little real result. It continues to be the case that Foreign Affairs seems to have more difficulty than most other departments in providing timely replies to the committee.
Last May 30, the joint chairs wrote to the minister to inform him of delays in obtaining replies in connection with a number of the committee's files. The replies that are outstanding range from major concerns for which no substantive response has been given to simply information regarding when promised amendments are expected to be made. The result, as I say, is a very large volume of correspondence that's accumulated, although there is a summary of each of the files in the note in the materials.
Basically crossing in the mail with that letter was a letter dated May 28 from the department. It stated that work addressing the committee's concerns would continue through the summer and they hoped to have substantive responses later in the year. No responses were received.
Then again on November 29, the chairs wrote to the minister in relation to both the 12 files that had originally been dealt with in the first letter to the minister and a number of other files on which subsequently responses had not been received.
The minister replied on December 17. His letter states the department remains fully committed to working with the committee and that a comprehensive set of draft amendments is expected to be completed early in 2014. Be that as it may, it's up to members whether or not they're confident that this timeline will be met.
The difficulty is that substantive replies on many of these matters have never been provided in the first place. As a result, there's no way of knowing which concerns the department agrees with and what particular amendments might be in this upcoming package. Obviously it's impossible for the committee to discharge its mandate without knowing the department's views on the substance of each matter, particularly, as in the case here, where some of these are of significant concern.
Mr. Albas: I appreciate counsel's diligence on this. Obviously getting responses to each individual file and seeking clarification or amendments on each one is very important. I believe that we currently are at the level of the minister. That was the last communication we had; is that correct?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes.
Mr. Albas: It would make sense that we write back to the minister and point out we appreciate that the amendments will be forthcoming. However, the way the committee works is that we usually try to work with the agency in question so that everyone is clear as to what is being amended, make sure that it is satisfactory to the concerns of the committee, but also to seek a timeline for it, and that we do appreciate the minister's personal involvement and would like to see these issues resolved so everyone can focus in on their important work in other areas.
Ms. Quach: Obviously, we could ask for a timeline, given that we have been waiting since March of 2013.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We will do as suggested by Mr. Albas.
SI/2008-85 — CERTAIN FEES RELATING TO EXPORT CERTIFICATION REMISSION ORDER
SI/2008-86 — CERTAIN FEES RELATING TO FEEDER CATTLE IMPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES REMISSION ORDER
SI/2008-87 — CERTAIN FEES RELATING TO REGISTERED ESTABLISHMENTS REMISSION ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 7C:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Next is Item 4 under ``Reply Unsatisfactory.'' The order to remit fees in these three cases was made by the Governor-in-Council under the general remission authority of the Financial Administration Act, and counsel is advising the committee that he believes the minister should have done it under a different authority, the authority of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act.
Mr. Bernhardt: Given that the food inspection agency act is a newer act and a more specific one than the Financial Administration Act, the preliminary conclusion was reached was that that act should be the vehicle for remitting fees collected under the food inspection agency act.
Of course the reply from the agency was that, in its view, there are two concurrent powers and it's a question of choice in a particular instance whether to go under the one act or under the other. The agency also advised that they were in the process of developing a policy that would provide guidance internally as to when they would act under the one statute and when they would act under the other statute.
What the committee has been seeking is some indication as to what those considerations will be, which would then allow it to make a final determination as to whether, in the committee's view, the powers could be seen as concurrent, that is, there were circumstances where logically you would say the one should be used and circumstances where logically you would say the other should be used.
The agency offered to meet to discuss its position on two occasions. They cancelled that meeting both times.
Back in July, the agency wrote and stated it was not its role to fetter or hinder the minister's authority to remit fees by creating a list of circumstances in which the minister would be expected to exercise the authority. This is never really what the committee has asked for. What the committee was attempting to ascertain were simply the factors that govern the choice so that it could decide whether there are, in fact, concurrent powers.
The agency again indicated last July that this policy framework was nearing completion. We asked for further details and at that time again suggested that this could be combined with another meeting the agency had scheduled in which it wanted to discuss more broadly its overall regulatory modernization initiative, which the committee has been hearing quite a bit about. That meeting was to take place on September 20, and again it was cancelled by the agency.
Most recently, on December 9, the agency wrote again. It still seems to be misconstruing the concerns of the committee. Contrary to what the agency seems to believe, the question the committee is seeking to understand is not how it's decided whether a remission is justified but rather how it's decided how the remission will be issued once it's been decided that the remission is justified. Again the agency refers to the policy that it's developing. Again the agency has claimed it's ready to meet to discuss the point, although it also says it would not be possible to disclose the draft policy. I'm not sure what the point of a meeting would be to discuss how the draft policy is coming if they're not going to indicate what the draft policy might have in it.
In any event, given that the past three meetings were all cancelled by the agency, we considered it best to bring the file back to the committee before doing anything else and getting some instruction on how to proceed.
Mr. Albas: I appreciate that counsel is trying to bring forward this issue so we can have a discussion on it.
I think we first have to lay to rest that obviously there are two methods the government can use to proceed: the process of the Governor-in-Council or through the newer act, which allows the minister to deal with these kinds of issues through his or her own means. We should always be respectful that there is the prerogative of the Crown.
Our mandate really is to actually see that when statutory authorities are given, they are exercised correctly; that when we debate things in Parliament and pass an act, that the regulations mirror those when they come in; and that the will of Parliament is being followed.
What I see in this case is that there are questions about what leads to the choice of a minister to either go with one route or the other. If we are seeking a better understanding, that's fine, but I think we are stepping probably a little bit further out than we would on most files. I appreciate that a better understanding of how this particular minister decides to do the business of the people is fair to ask.
I would suggest we write back and ask for a timeline as to when we can discuss this. Obviously, if there is a forthcoming policy, it should be able to clearly enunciate when the choice will be taken, and the committee could be better informed. We can go from there.
I don't see this as being an issue other than that it is more one of understanding and less an issue of the implementation.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: First of all, you are talking about the privilege of the Crown. In this case, we have two Crowns. One Crown should decide but not two. I have problems with that.
We are probably talking about a lot of money; we're talking about issuing cheques to different people. Where it's coming from, for what, and so on — it seems this is what is being decided. As far as I'm concerned, even though I don't disagree with your idea of writing, we need a specific date and a specific answer this year.
I don't see how the government can issue cheques and remittances over and over again, depending on the recommendations of a technocrat, because I don't think the minister is administrating that on a daily basis. We are probably talking about many producers.
As far as I'm concerned, since it involves government money, we need to be specific in our letter with regard to a specific time frame to answer, policy-wise. They have been studying this question for quite a while, so they should know where they're going. We should know where they're going, because even the taxpayers don't know how the decision is made.
I would agree to go before the end of the session, but dragging that on for another six months is not very reasonable.
Mr. Albas: I appreciate that the senator has an interest in this; I think we all do. Ultimately, when Parliament says that the minister has certain authorities through this new act and a previous Parliament, which is still the host of us, had given the Governor-in-Council similar authorities through another means, it's up to the government.
There is only one government or Crown in Canada, and they are given the responsibility to act on that. If we are unhappy with it, we can hold them accountable through one of two means. With our form of responsible government, if we're unhappy with it, we can cause a government to fall. But that's beside the point.
Counsel, is the government doing anything untoward here? Is everything following through? Is it just a question of understanding what thinking goes into when they choose to go Governor-in-Council versus the minister's own authority?
Mr. Bernhardt: In a sense, the two questions are connected. I think that's why the committee has been looking for that information. If the answer comes back and says, ``Well, we have the two acts, and here's the framework we've come up with, and what we think Parliament intended is that in these kinds of situations, we should probably favour using this act. In these kinds of situations, we should probably favour using the other act.'' That may not be a hard or fast rule, but those are kind of the starting points.
The committee could well conclude that's what Parliament intended if that seems to be a reasonable approach. That's why the committee first asked the question. It felt it would help it understand whether there was a basis to distinguish how the two acts would be used.
If one says that it's simply a coin flip and you can use either statute, I think we are back to the general principles of statutory interpretation, which would favour that if you have a more specific and a newer statute, that's the one that should override the older one.
As I say, the department said, ``No, and we've got a framework to make sense of using the two together.'' The committee simply asked, ``What's that framework, then?''
Mr. Albas: There is some value in that, but again, this committee is not in charge of policy; that's up for the government to decide how it implements. And it's up to Parliament itself to decide what powers they can exercise under their authority.
Mr. Bernhardt: But I think the committee is still at the stage of trying to decide if it's a question of policy.
You're right: If the committee concludes it is a question of policy, for the committee that's the end of the discussion.
Mr. Albas: I think that's fair.
Ms. Ayala: What worries me about this is the fact that the minister is cancelling meetings. There is an underlying problem. Since we operate democratically, it is a bit awkward when a colleague talks about policy decisions made by the government. Our job here is not to stand up for the government, but to stand up for the fact that the acts have to be respected. And that is why we have to remain very objective in this committee and be guided by the spirit of the law. And to that end, we have to work together.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: In this case, to have the discretion to use one law over the other, how many other cases do we have with other legislation that the government is choosing the law that best serves its interests at a certain point? It's a little awkward that you take one way or the other. It's rather unusual to go this way — that we deal with the same matter, but we have some options. For me, it's not a policy matter, per se; it's a matter of knowing which one applies. As far as I'm concerned, applying both is certainly not in the best interests of Canadian taxpayers.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): I think we have a bit of a consensus here in terms of getting clarification. I think Senator Hervieux-Payette is suggesting attaching a timeline in terms of a response.
Mr. Albas: Again, the government is in charge of its own policy. I would just reiterate that we should try and work productively with them. We should not be saying, ``You have to have a policy in place in 60 days,'' because we may not be satisfied with how that policy comes out.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: It's not —
Mr. Albas: I have the floor, thank you very much.
I would suggest we write back and ask to see if they can give us an idea of when this policy could be discussed. At the end of the day, we are trying to understand the issue, not necessarily force a policy to come forward that maybe none of us are happy with. All departments are under pressure, and I would much rather have a fully developed policy to better understand the situation.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Rather than demanding something in writing, did they personally request the meeting, counsel?
Mr. Bernhardt: They offered again, yes, in the December 9 letter.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Why don't we write back, encouraging this meeting to take place, and hopefully counsel can report back to us with respect to the results of that meeting.
Senator Moore: That's a good idea, chair. If they cancel the next meeting, have them come in here.
Mr. Albas: We can make that decision, Mr. Chair.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Yes, we will make a decision at that time if we want to pursue it further.
SOR/2005-151 — CANADA EDUCATION SAVINGS REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix D, p. 7D:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Next is Item 6 under ``Reply Unsatisfactory (?)''. We've had two promised amendments, one to remove subjective wording and another to harmonize the French version. As of today, the department is making no promises as to when the amendments will be made and is indicating that it won't in a position to determine a timeframe until sometime in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Are there any comments or directions from the committee?
Mr. Clarke: I request that we monitor the file.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): That we monitor the file has been recommended by Mr. Clarke.
Senator Moore: You want to wait for another year?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): That's Mr. Clarke's suggestion.
Ms. Quach: I was wondering whether they could explain why the timeframe could not be determined until 2015 and why we cannot have an answer sooner, given that we are still waiting.
Would it be possible to write to the department and ask for an explanation?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): They have indicated that they are taking a review and that it won't completed. That's the explanation they have provided to date, whether that's satisfactory or not.
Counsel, do you want to comment further on that?
Evelyne Borkowski-Parent, Counsel to the Committee: I have nothing further to add.
They have undertaken a full review of the Canadian Education Savings Program and expect to have the answers to the questions once the review is complete.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): The suggestion is that it would be premature to move ahead with these until the review is completed.
Mr. Albas: I think we should follow Mr. Clarke's suggestion of monitoring simply because it sounds like we have the department's agreement that our points are well said and that they agree with them. It's just that they are modernizing the rest of the regulations, and this may have impacts on them. I think it's reasonable to wait. It seems to be that these are more questions of drafting and objective change versus a subjective interpretation right now. I think that the proposal is reasonable.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I object to that. I think having objective, as opposed to subjective, conditions turns back the policy clock 50 years. Having clear criteria is paramount when we are dealing with the education of young Canadians and program access.
This is unacceptable, right from the get-go. So it is more unacceptable still to wait another year. I want the record to at least reflect that. Everyone understands that Mr. Albas is the one making all the decisions. I think it is unreasonable to say that we will wait another year.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): There may have been something lost in translation, here. I think that the department is trying to make them objective, not subjective.
Senator Moore: It doesn't say that they agree. It says they agree that the requested amendments must be addressed. It doesn't say that they're going to agree with the amendments and put them in the way our counsel has been suggesting. I'd like to know that, yes, it's going to be addressed and, yes, they're going to put in the amendments as requested by our counsel. It doesn't say here that they're going to do that. It just says they're going to look at it — ``addressed.'' So if we're going to write back, I'd ask for that confirmation.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Counsel was asked a question there, I thought. Were you not directing a question to counsel?
Senator Moore: Yes.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: You're correct. The word used was ``addressed,'' whatever that means. We usually take it as meaning we will correct the situation, but a firmer commitment could certainly be requested.
Mr. Albas: Again, if you look at the document summary, amendments have been promised to address two issues. Those are the two issues that we raised. They've been promised to be addressed. Those are counsel's own words.
You can't have everything a priority and have priorities. I think you, at some point, have to say that the department agrees. They are making an effort to modernize, in the public interest. To change it now will take resources from another file, maybe a file that is much more important for this committee. At some point, we have to reconcile that we would like to have everything the way we would like it now, but we have to work with departments in a positive, straightforward manner. We have asked for their support. They have said they agree with the committee, and they have proposed a date by which to comply. I wish it was tomorrow. Unfortunately, that's what we have now.
Mr. Chair, I would again suggest that we hurry up and wait and get on to the next file because I think we have higher priority issues in this meeting.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Yes, I won't allow this to be prolonged for too much longer, and I will ask for a motion.
Senator Batters: Counsel just told us that in her experience on these types of files the word ``addressed,'' when received from these types of departments, means that it will be corrected. I think that's important to note. Of course, if it isn't satisfactorily corrected, we can come back.
Senator Moore: To the point that I am speaking to here, it's not about the timing, not about 2015-16. I want to know that the department is going to make the amendments sought by our counsel. I want them to confirm that, not that they will address it. They could do anything. It could be changing or saying, ``We're not going to do it now.'' I want to know that they're going to make the amendments. I'm prepared to wait until 2015-16. If that's the process, that's fine, but I want to know in writing from them that they're going to do what they say. That's all I'm asking.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Can we get a consensus on writing back and saying there was some question raised at committee in terms of the commitment? Then, we'll deal with it when we receive a response.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Okay, let's do that.
SOR/2010-120 — MARITIME OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix E, p. 7E:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Item 6 deals with the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. There have been 153 points noted, again involving subjective standards. We have, as yet, not received a substantive reply, and we have been waiting three years.
Mr. Bernhardt: That's correct, Mr. Chair.
Last June 6, the committee considered this and other files dealing with regulations under the Canada Labour Code, and the committee decided that counsel should contact the appropriate officials to discuss the delays encountered in connection with these various files. That discussion took place last June. The department provided a chart, which is in the materials, setting out the status of all of the files in question.
On this particular file, it was indicated that they first had to undertake consultations with Transport Canada because that's the department that actually administers and enforces the regulations. Because of this, the process of providing a substantive response wasn't entirely within Labour Canada's control, so it was difficult for them to give a precise time frame. They undertook to provide the committee with further details regarding the consultations required.
In its January 10 letter, Labour Canada indicates simply that a substantive response on these 153 points will be provided once amendments addressing concerns raised in connection with several other files have been resolved. Those other amendments were anticipated to be made in the spring of 2014. We have yet to see those.
As for the promised future details on the relationship between Labour Canada and Transport Canada, the reply simply states that while these regulations are under the authority of the Minister of Labour, they're enforced by Transport Canada who will need to be consulted before the Minister of Labour can substantially respond to the committee's concerns.
As you indicated, Mr. Chair, we are now coming up on three years and have yet to receive a reply.
Mr. Vellacott: It's simply because they are wanting to or anticipating to bring these amendments back in the spring of 2014, or shortly. I think it would be best that we monitor it, bring it up in the fall again and just see if they follow through and have something in place in the spring here. So monitor until we get into the fall of the year.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Monitor until the fall. Is there agreement with that approach?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2010-158 — BEEF CATTLE RESEARCH, MARKET DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTIONS LEVIES ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 7F:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Next is Item 7, Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotions Levies Order. The Farm Products Council of Canada is indicating that levies will be paid, deducted and remitted only when an agreement with a province is in place. The order doesn't say that. The committee has indicated that it believes this should be made explicit by amending the order, and the Farm Products Council takes a different view. Advice?
Ms. Ambler: I'm not sure if counsel has any comments, but it seems there's a retroactive component. There seem to be two issues, but the one we're concentrating on is more the issue of the signed agreements from the provinces.
I'm wondering if it's worth it for us, Mr. Chair, to find out which provinces have agreements and which don't, if that's useful to us. It seems perhaps we might want a little bit more information on that aspect of it. The Farm Products Council seems to have a different view of it than we do, and possibly the agency.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Counsel, do you have any observations with respect to that?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: To go back to your first point, the question of retroactivity dealt with the previous order called the Beef Cattle Research Market Development and Promotion Levies Order, which was deemed of no force and effect because the condition precedent hadn't been fulfilled at the time the order was made. The committee had asked for retroactive legislation to validate the past collection of those levies. That point was subsequently dropped. The order was remade. At least for the future, the levies are now collected legally.
The problem at hand is that you have a requirement in the order that applies to everybody, as it is worded right now in the order, except in practice the Farm Products Council applies that requirement only to those provinces that have negotiated service agreements. There is no requirement to have a service agreement, but it is our view that if there is a legal requirement that applies to everybody but that you're not going to apply it to everybody in practice, then maybe you should state it in the order.
Ms. Ambler: Right, so then the law matches the practice.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: To mention that this requirement applies to those provinces that have a service agreement with the agency.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I would like to know which province signed the agreement. More than one? Did Quebec sign? If it did not, everyone else should worry about their own province. As for me, I think it is rather appalling to have a policy that applies on a case-by-case basis. Do we know which provinces have signed?
Mr. Bernhardt: At one point, the committee was told that there were only four provinces, but that was several years ago, so any information would need to be updated. That's certainly something we can ask.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I think it's important. Right now, we're going to talk about services. First of all, I wonder what kind of services we're talking about and if they are important. I want to deal more with the substance than just having a piece of paper that is legal or not legal. What is the effect of that piece of paper?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Ms. Ambler is, I think, suggesting clarification with respect to how many provinces are actually involved in this and what the impacts are, and then we can deal with it from that point on.
Ms. Ambler: Yes.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2011-87 — AVIATION OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Moving on to Item 8 on our agenda, there were 39 points noted in connection with these regulations, and there is a letter dated July 14, 2011, which I think is in your file. The department has yet to provide a substantive reply.
Mr. Bernhardt: The situation here, Mr. Chair, is basically identical to the situation that we dealt with for the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations under Item 6. Subject to being advised otherwise, we would apply the same decision there and bring the file back in the fall. Hopefully by then these other amendments will be made and we can move forward and get a substantive reply on this.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Does everyone agree with that?
Ms. Quach: Since we are dealing with subjective standards, is there a way to get some clarification on the standards to be made more objective? We did raise 39 points and have yet to receive an answer. That is a significant number of points, after all. Would it be possible to get a few more details on this?
Mr. Bernhardt: I suppose in a sense that may be where the committee gets to eventually. We're still waiting on a reply from the department that says whether they agree that the standards are overly subjective or not. We don't have the department's position yet. Once we have that position, then we can bring that to the committee and perhaps come back to the department with some requests as to, if action is proposed, exactly what form it might take.
Ms. Quach: We have been waiting three years now to find out whether they consider the standards to be subjective or not. How long must the committee wait? Can we demand a response, or must we just sit around and hope one will be forthcoming? This is a bit ridiculous.
Mr. Bernhardt: In a sense, that's why the file is in front of the committee this morning. Previously, when it came to the committee, we were instructed to meet with the appropriate officials. We did that. This is the advice that we were presented with that is back to the committee. Basically, the committee is being told yes, they would love to respond, but they're going to complete their amendments on these other regulations first and then deal with these issues. As you say, we're three years down the road, but there it is.
Ms. Quach: Is the practice to simply just wait? Earlier, we asked to have ministers appear before the committee. Is that a regular occurrence? We just want to know whether this is subjective or objective, period. It does not strike me as all that complicated.
Mr. Bernhardt: Those are certainly always decisions for the committee to take, whether it wishes to, for lack of a better phrase, kick it upstairs to the minister, whether it wishes to call witnesses or whether it wishes to make a report to Parliament. Those are the things that the committee has to decide on. We can suggest the possible courses of action, but those are decisions for the committee.
Ms. Quach: Since we are talking about health and safety in the workplace, this does seem rather important for those working around aircraft or ships. I think it is important to have the answer at least. If it is possible to hear from the ministers and if it is necessary, I suggest we invite them to appear in regard to that question at least. In other words, I suggest we ask them whether they consider the standards to be subjective or objective and whether they plan to work on making them more objective. At least then we would have a timely answer.
Mr. Albas: Counsel pointed out that we just made a decision on Item 6 that has almost exact parallels, and we decided we would wait until the fall for updates, get the information and then make a decision from there. Why the member would want to deviate from that thinking is, to me, very inconsistent.
However, the member raises some very good concerns. These are aviation occupational health and safety regulations.
Counsel, this is more again on the best drafting practices and points we've raised as far as subjectivity; is that correct?
Mr. Bernhardt: That's correct.
Mr. Albas: Is anyone's health and safety being called into question here at all?
Mr. Bernhardt: That's not for me to say.
Mr. Albas: But, again, this is more about best drafting principles and modernization of regulations so that they are as clear and tight as they can be. Again, there is a —
Senator Moore: We are —
Mr. Albas: Constant interruptions, senator, do not help your cause.
I would simply remind the committee that counsel gave us a presentation, we took a path. Let's get onto actual priorities. We had a plan. Let's be consistent.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We have a recommendation on the floor to monitor the file and bring it back for consideration in the fall. We have a dissenting view.
If you wish to pursue that further, we will require a motion and a vote. We try to operation by consensus, but that isn't always possible.
Ms. Quach: As I see it, having at least one opinion on whether the standards are objective or subjective would influence things. As it stands, the issue is unclear and we need some clarification. The health and safety of workers is at stake. If no one else agrees, I will vote against the committee. Sorry.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Why don't you make a motion?
Ms. Quach: Does it have to be in writing, or can it simply be done orally? How does that work?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): I didn't get a translation of that. Do you want to repeat it, please? Maybe slowly; I'm not sure what the problem was there.
Ms. Quach: Yes. I propose the following motion: That the ministers be invited to appear before the committee so that it can ascertain whether the department considers the standards to be objective or subjective, thereby allowing the committee to move forward on the issue of aviation occupational health and safety.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): We have a motion on the floor.
Senator Moore: In terms of being consistent with our earlier decision, which I think we should do, would the member consider waiting until the fall until we got an answer, and then we can consider it? If we don't have something then, I would be prepared to support her motion, but I would like to see us go through the process until then.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): There is a request from Senator Moore for you to reconsider and place your motion in the fall in an effort to be consistent with the decision we took on Item No. 6. Are you prepared to do that? The question is before the member.
Ms. Quach: Actually, I think it is too late, but I will propose the same motion for Item 6 simultaneously, given that it relates to 150 points.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Okay. All right.
Mr. Pilon: This is a matter of being consistent. Regarding Item 6, they indicate that the amendments are anticipated in the spring. That is why we waited until the fall. No timeframe has been provided for Item 8. So why wait until the fall?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): All right, you've made your point.
Mr. Albas: I would like the member to let the committee know which minister. Is it the Minister of Transport, with whom these regulations have to be consulted, or the Minister of Labour, which is the minister responsible?
Ms. Quach: The Minister of Transport has to consult the Minister of Labour. Or both. If both appear, they will not be able to contradict one another.
Mr. Albas: Can you clarify your motion? I don't know who you're asking to have come, or both.
Ms. Quach: We are asking for both to appear. That way, both ministers will be here and have the chance to talk to one another and give us an answer at the same time.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Okay, let's get on with this.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I just want to ask Ms. Quach whether this is an early motion that will be discussed in the fall. If so, we will move ahead with Items 6 and 8 and apply your motion to have the two ministers appear before the committee if we receive an unsatisfactory reply or no reply before the fall. Does that work for you?
Ms. Quach: Yes, it does.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): So you are amending your motion to say that if we have not received satisfactory replies by the fall, the committee invite the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Transport to appear before it.
Ms. Quach: Perfect.
Mr. Garneau: Sorry, I'm a new person here. If nothing comes in the fall, when does the motion take effect? Would it be next spring or next winter? When is it?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): It will be the committee's decision in the fall that, if we haven't received it, prior to us rising for the Christmas break, we would deal with it. Counsel would put it on the agenda.
Mr. Garneau: So we might wait until the end of the fall before making a decision, and it could happen in 2015?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): That's right.
Do we understand the motion?
Mr. Albas: Is that for Item 6 or Item 8?
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Item 8. We've already dealt with 6.
Senator Batters: I'm wondering if this is a normal course that we would vote on such a motion prior to so seeing if the reply is satisfactory, or if this could be tabled until even our first meeting back in the fall.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): I would just as soon deal with the motion. There may be some procedural issue here, but I don't know what it would be. Let's resolve it and move on. We all have other commitments today.
We have the motion in front of us, moved by Ms. Quach:
That if we have not received a satisfactory response by the fall, the ministers of Transport and Labour be called before the committee.
All in favour of Ms. Quach's motion? Opposed?
It is six to nine. The motion fails. So we're back to the original proposal that we monitor the file.
Mr. Vellacott: I move a motion:
That we go to a vote to monitor to see what other amendments come in the spring and bring it back in the fall.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): That is probably the best way to deal with it. We have a motion from Mr. Vellacott to monitor until the fall. Those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
SOR/86-1004 — ATLANTIC PILOTAGE AUTHORITY NON-COMPULSORY AREA REGULATIONS
SOR/2007-60 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ATLANTIC PILOTAGE AUTHORITY NON-COMPULSORY AREA REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 7G:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Next is Item 9 under ``Part Action Promised.'' The department promised to make 13 changes in response to 14 points the committee raised at that time and provided a response that could be considered satisfactory in relation to the last point.
Counsel, do you have any elaboration on this matter?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Of the 14 points initially raised, the department promised to make the necessary amendments to correct 13 of them. The points can be summarized as follows: five involve amendments to either the English or French version of the regulations; one concerns an amendment to correct a discrepancy; one involves the correction of inconsistent terminology used in the regulations and the Pilotage Act; two involve the correction of incorrect references; three relate to the repeal of unnecessary provisions; and one concerns the repeal of an unlawful provision.
Just quickly, I will tell you that the unlawful provision is section 18 of the regulations. It stipulates that, in the event of a conflict with the General Pilotage Regulations made by the Governor-in-Council, the regulations in section 18 would take precedence. However, that clearly goes against what Parliament intended, as set out in the Piloting Act.
Regarding section 15, counsel inquired as to how the requirement to report an incident involving a ship to the Pilotage Authority helped the authority fulfill its mandate. On the surface, it was difficult to reconcile the requirement with the authority's mandate to establish, operate, maintain and administer, in the interests of safety, an efficient pilotage service.
In reality, the reporting requirement enables the authority to determine whether it can continue to provide safe pilotage service. Therefore, the department's answer could be deemed satisfactory and counsel could continue to monitor progress on the other 13 points, as per usual.
Senator Tannas: I propose that we do continue to monitor this file. In comparison to other files, I note that there's a blizzard of fresh correspondence. I think we should continue to watch.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Continue to leave this in the hands of counsel. Do you want any report back, timeline or indication to counsel of when you'd like to —
Senator Tannas: I would suggest we leave that to counsel's discretion.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Are we in agreement with that approach?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2003-196 — NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 7H:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Moving on and continuing under the heading ``Part Action Promised,'' next is Item 10. There were 26 points raised with the Department of Health. Most of them concerned requests for clarification. Some were matters of drafting and discrepancies between the French and English. When this was last before the committee in 2011, three points remained in dispute. Amendments have been promised in connection with two of them, but no timeframe has been promised.
Are there any more comments, counsel, with regard to this item?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: The only issue in connection with which the department's explanation cannot be deemed acceptable is point 4. Subparagraph 5(j)(i) requires the applicant to provide, in support of the application, an attestation that the imported natural health product will be manufactured, packaged, labelled, imported, distributed and stored in accordance with requirements set out in Part 3 or equivalent to those set out in Part 3. The reference to equivalent requirements also appears in two other provisions.
This gives rise to two problems. First, the committee objected to the notion of equivalence because it could unduly subject the applicant to arbitrary risk. In fact, who is responsible for determining whether the requirements are equivalent to those set out in Part 3 and according to what criteria?
The department responded that the determination as to equivalence was made by the minister and was guided by information contained in the Site Licencing Guidance Document. The document provides a detailed list of the documents and types of evidence that will be accepted as demonstrating the existence of equivalence. The guidance document, however, brought to light a second problem: why was that information not set out in the regulations?
The guidance document is purely administrative in nature and is therefore not legally binding on anyone, even the minister. According to the department, such an approach is used to allow for flexibility, but the committee cannot help but conclude that ensuring the desired flexibility comes at the expense of applying the regulations consistently and transparently. If the minister must exercise a degree of discretion in determining equivalence, the parameters governing that discretion should, at the very least, be set out in the regulations.
In its letter dated March 4, 2014, the department acknowledged that, although the guidance document was not legally binding, a regulatory amendment was not practical at this time. Its reasons were twofold: on the one hand, the current approach was working and thus a provision setting out the parameters of the minister's discretion would have little effect in the practical sense and, on the other hand, the department was not in a position to say whether the rules regarding importers would stay the same.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Thank you, counsel.
You've heard the comments. What's the wish of the committee?
Senator Batters: I think on this one that we should write back asking for a timeframe and then seek clarification on that last point about the guidance document.
Ms. Quach: In addition to requesting a timeframe in the letter, could we ask the department to explain the decision-making process it uses? That remains a grey area; things are still arbitrary. Although the department seems to disagree, an arbitrary risk still exists. Does the guidance document contain any binding criteria or not? Even though there is not necessarily any danger in terms of how the legislation is currently being applied, there is still a risk of subjectivity. Will the department address that after all?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Would the committee be willing to add that to the letter?
Mr. Albas: We've already tread this ground, Mr. Chair. It says clearly, on page 3:
The Guidance Document in fact provides a detailed list of the documents and types of evidence that will be accepted as demonstrating the existence of equivalent standards, as well as the particular countries in respect of which certain of these documents are acceptable.
I think what we're saying here is that we've identified that the minister already has at her disposal the ability to define what is equivalent through this document. I think counsel is suggesting that it would be more helpful to the industry and to the Canadian public to have it enshrined in the regulations. I don't think we need to tread upon ground that we already have information on. I think the suggestion put forward by Senator Batters is good advice. We don't want to apply thinking and questioning that has already been answered.
Ms. Quach: What I gathered from counsel's explanation is that the only issue that is still a bit fuzzy is the decision-making process used by officials who make the decisions; each official seems to have some discretion in that regard. But I will let counsel continue.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: My point was that although the document is very detailed and informally helps the minister to apply the regulations, it's not mandatory. Hence, it's non-binding even to the minister. If those criteria are to be applied, it would be proper to have them in the regulations.
Mr. Albas: That's why I made the suggestion that the elements of the policy document should be enshrined in the regulations, therefore giving that clarification all in one source. You were looking in my direction.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: I might have misconstrued.
Mr. Albas: That's why I'm saying that, for the suggestion of the member, while it's well-intentioned, we have already gone past that. I think counsel has outlined a very practical solution. Take the criteria that gives equivalency, place it in the regulations, and Bob's my uncle.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Would the committee then agree? I see everyone nodding.
Okay, so we will follow the course of action suggested by Senator Batters.
SOR/2013-88 — EXPORT OF SUBSTANCES ON THE EXPORT CONTROL LIST REGULATIONS
(For text of document, see Appendix I, p. 7I:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Moving on to Item 11 under the same topic of ``Part Action Promised,'' there were eight matters raised concerning drafting, discrepancies between French and English and requests for information. The department has agreed to address seven of these when the regulations are next amended, although this isn't expected to happen for at least three years. The explanation on the remaining matter appears to be satisfactory.
Any comments that counsel would like to make with regard to this? No comments. Anybody else?
Mr. Anders: I think, due to the fact that they've agreed to seven of the eight concerns, we should probably write back and express our desire for further resolution of the outstanding items.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Seeing no other comments, does the committee agree with that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2003-2 — ON-ROAD VEHICLE AND ENGINE EMISSION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. 7J:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Moving on to Item 12 under the topic ``Part Action Taken,'' several amendments have already been made to address the committee's concerns. Two amendments have been promised, but it is unclear as to when they will be made.
Are there any comments by counsel?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: The only outstanding matters pertain to a French-English discrepancy in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and to information missing from sections 44(2) and (3) of the regulations.
The last correspondence from the departments states that on the former issue, it will forward the committee the details on the legislative amendment once they become clearer. On the latter issue, it is not clear why the addition of the requirement to provide documentation establishing that an exemption from a standard would not substantially diminish the control of emissions in subsection 44(2) and (3) was not included in the most recent package of regulatory amendments, which were made in 2013. The department failed to provide a timeframe to correct this deficiency.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): You have heard the comments by counsel. How does the committee wish to proceed?
Mr. Brown: I would suggest that we seek an amendment that clarifies the committee's concerns.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Any other comments? Seeing none, we all agree?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2012-77 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. 7K:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Next is Item 13 under ``Reply Satisfactory.'' Counsel raised questions regarding what appeared to be an overly broad wording but has been provided a satisfactory response that the wording is deliberately broad and is consistent with the enabling provision.
Are there any comments? No comments from counsel.
Are there any comments from the committee?
Senator Nancy Ruth: Close the file.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Does the committee agrees to that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/95-26 — SPECIAL IMPORT MEASURES REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
SOR/2000-138 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL IMPORT MEASURES REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix L, p. 7L:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): We will move on to Item 14 under ``Progress.'' All of this involves overly broad criteria to be considered by the Commissioner of Customs and Revenue. The Department of Finance advised that it intended to recommend to the minister in first quarter of 2014 that amendments be made to address the committee's concerns.
Are there any comments from counsel? None.
Ms. Ambler: It is disappointing that it should have really wrapped up in 2010 but for the reason of combining and then other reasons, here we are. We do have on record a commitment to act in the first quarter of 2014. Since we're in the second quarter, I would suggest that we write back to ask if that was done in the first quarter or if it could be done forthwith.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): You have heard the suggestion that we ask for a progress report. Does anybody have any comments on this? Seeing none, do you all agree?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/95-189 — NOVA SCOTIA OFFSHORE AREA PETROLEUM DIVING REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. 7M:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Moving on to Item 15, amendments were promised to 16 points raised by the joint committee involving French-English discrepancies, a reference to the wrong provision of the regulations, clarifications, objective criteria and validity. The regulations are to be repealed and new ones made under a new enabling act that was introduced and given first reading this fall.
Are there any comments?
Mr. Bernhardt: Just quickly to update members, Bill C-5, which would do away with these regulations is now, as members in the house will know, at the report stage in the House of Commons. Members may recall that this bill was mentioned at the last meeting in connection with other files. This again is all part of this frontier and offshore regulatory renewal initiative. As I say, that bill is now at the report stage at the Commons.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): I understand that those provisions could possibly be revoked.
Mr. Bernhardt: The bill revokes them expressly.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): You have heard the comments.
Mr. Albas: Let's just monitor the file and see what comes out of it. I would ask counsel to continue to follow it.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Monitor the file. Does everyone agree?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2009-324 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ESQUIMALT GRAVING DOCK REGULATIONS, 1989
(For text of documents, see Appendix N, p. 7N:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Moving on to Item 16, still under ``Progress,'' the French version of the regulations uses units of measurement that no longer represent the current tonnage measurement system under the International Convention on Tonnage Measurements of Ships. Amendments are promised for this fall.
Are there any comments by counsel? No comments. Anybody else?
Mr. Brown: Monitor the file.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Does the committee agree?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/96-423 — PATENT RULES
SOR/2003-208 — RULES AMENDING THE PATENT RULES
(For text of documents, see Appendix O, p. 7O:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Next is Item 17 under ``Progress (?)''. Two sections of these rules do not appear to be authorized by the Patent Act. In addition, there are discrepancies between French and English. Amendments were promised in 2009 but have been repeatedly pushed back.
Are there any comments by counsel?
Mr. Bernhardt: Last July the department was asked to provide a progress report and, at that time, it was indicated that because it had been some time since the file was put before the committee, it would come back in the new session and it would be desirable to have that update, that reply, in hand at that time. To date, we have received nothing from the department.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): You have heard the comments of counsel. How does the committee wish to proceed?
Mr. Anders: As far as I understand it, it's merely a discrepancy between English and French on the Patent Act, more precisely that the French says that a patent application ``may'' be reinstated, whereas the English version says that it ``shall'' be reinstated. That's the nature of it. It's just with regard to the renewal of applications. I suggest we write back asking for a timeline.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Does the committee agree with that suggestion?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2006-347 — 2-BUTOXYETHANOL REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix P, p. 7P:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Next is Item 18. Amendments to address three drafting concerns were agreed to in March, 2011. They have yet to be made. This is still under the heading ``Progress (?)''.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: This morning, I am pleased to tell you that the three corrections promised in connection with this file were published last Wednesday in Part II of the Canada Gazette, and therefore, the file can be closed.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): I don't expect any comments from the committee. Thank you very much.
SOR/2007-33 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN FORCES SUPERANNUATION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix Q, p. 7Q:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Item 19 on our agenda concerns amendments to eight provisions were promised to clarify and remove redundancies and inconsistencies, and they were expected to be submitted to Treasury Board in late 2014 or early — is that a mistake? Or early 2014; I think late 2013. But they are now anticipated by late 2014.
Are there any comments?
Mr. Albas: We might want to follow up in the first meeting in the new year to see where this is at, though I'll leave that to the discretion of counsel. To me, if we were promised action by the end of 2014, to come back to this in 2015 at one of our earlier meetings will be fine, earlier in the year.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Just monitor the file.
Mr. Albas: Monitor and bring it up next year.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Does the committee agree with that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2010-138 — REGULATIONS PRESCRIBING CIRCUMSTANCES FOR GRANTING WAIVERS PURSUANT TO SECTION 147 OF THE ACT
(For text of documents, see Appendix R, p. 7R:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Next is Item 20 under ``Action Promised.'' Three points were raised by counsel. The Department of Environment provided an explanation for one of them and has agreed to amend the regulations to deal with the other two points. However, no time frame was given to make the amendments.
Are there any comments?
Mr. Bernhardt: Perhaps we can follow up on that and ask for the anticipated time frame.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Does the committee agree with that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2013-84 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA PENSION PLAN (SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBERS) REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix S, p. 7S:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Next is Item 21 under the same heading. Three points were raised. The department agreed to correct discrepancies between the French and English and to repeal two sections that served no legislative purpose.
Are there any comments?
Senator Moore: On this item, chair, are we seeking anything in writing or are we just going to monitor the file?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): I understood we will just continue to monitor the file.
Senator Moore: Okay. Thank you.
SOR/2013-220 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY REGULATIONS (STANDARDS 121, 206, 223 AND 301.2)
(For text of documents, see Appendix T, p. 7T:1.)
SOR/2013-234 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE COMPETENCY OF OPERATORS OF PLEASURE CRAFT REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix U, p. 7U:1.)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Agenda Items 22 and 23 are under the heading ``Action Taken.'' I won't repeat them; I think they're self-explanatory.
Are there any other issues?
Mr. Albas: I want to point out that we closed a few files today, and we have some other ones that have already been addressed. Thank you, counsel, and we are getting stuff done and resolved.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Counsel has a comment.
Mr. Bernhardt: I would like to quickly sum up for the record and for all the avid listeners: Those two items under ``Action Taken'' that were just mentioned make 11 amendments the committee had requested.
SI/2013-113 — ORDER FIXING OCTOBER 18, 2013 AS THE DAY ON WHICH CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2013-121— ORDER FIXING JANUARY 1, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH SECTIONS 441 TO 443 OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2013-124 — ORDER FIXING DECEMBER 1, 2013 AS THE DAY ON WHICH PART 1 AND SECTION 15 OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2013-127 — ORDER FIXING CERTAIN DATES AS THE DAYS ON WHICH CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2013-128 — ORDER FIXING DECEMBER 16, 2013 AS THE DAY ON WHICH CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2014-2 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT DEPUTY HEADS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA ORDER
SI/2014-3 — ORDER AMENDING THE PRIVACY ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2014-4 — ORDER AMENDING THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT HEADS OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATION ORDER
SI/2014-6 — ORDER FIXING SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2014-7 — ORDER FIXING FEBRUARY 6, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH SUBSECTION 162(2) OF THE ACT COMES INTO FORCE
SI/2014-8 — ORDER FIXING FEBRUARY 6, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH SECTIONS 170 AND 171 OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2014-12 — ORDER FIXING FEBRUARY 13, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH SECTIONS 178 AND 185 OF THE ACT COME INTO FORCE
SI/2014-17 — ORDER FIXING APRIL 1, 2014 AS THE DAY ON WHICH DIVISION 27 OF PART 4 OF THE ACT COMES INTO FORCE
SOR/2009-115 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INCOME TAX REGULATIONS (CAPITAL COST ALLOWANCE — 2007 BUDGET MEASURES)
SOR/2012-178 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS
SOR/2013-226 — REGULATIONS REPEALING THE HEALTH REFORM TRANSFER REGULATIONS
SOR/2013-248 — ORDER AMENDING THE ONTARIO HOG CHARGES (INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT) ORDER
SOR/2013-250 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN EGG MARKETING AGENCY QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1986
SOR/2014-2 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
SOR/2014-20 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS
Mr. Bernhardt: As always, there is a list of ``Instruments Without Comment.'' There are 20 on the list that have been reviewed and found to comply with all the committee's criteria.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): Thank you, counsel.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): I have a brief comment to explain that our joint chair, Chris Charlton, is in the hospital at the moment. Hopefully it is nothing serious. She's having some gallbladder problems and will return shortly, we're all optimistic. If you want to drop her a note, she is in Hamilton in the hospital there.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Breitkreuz): I would just want to remind her that we are thinking of her and we miss her.
The Joint Chair (Senator Runciman): Absolutely.
(The committee adjourned.)