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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 20 - Evidence - May 11, 2017
OTTAWA, Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:30 a.m. for the review of statutory instruments; and in camera, for the consideration of a draft agenda (future business).
Senator Joseph A. Day and Mr. Harold Albrecht (Joint Chairs) in the chair.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I'd like to call the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations to order. If you look at your agenda, committee members, you'll see we have 10 items to deal with today.
We will start off with committee business. As we were discussing at our last meeting, we'll make that our first agenda item. I'll look to the committee for direction.
Mr. Oliver: I move that we move in camera for that discussion and that our office staff and whip's office staff be allowed to stay for that discussion.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I'll just point out one other peculiarity that I became aware of, Mr. Oliver, since our last meeting. As a House of Commons person, I was not aware that under Senate guidelines there was no transcription of in camera meetings. I don't know if that's important to committee members or not but if it is, that could, or not be, included in the motion.
Mr. Oliver: I would add that the record of the in camera portion be retained.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We have a motion to go in camera, allowing committee staff and whip staff to remain in the room and that there be transcription of the in camera session.
All in favour? Opposed?
(The committee continued in camera.)
(The committee resumed in public.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We are reconvening in public session. Senator Day?
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): If you're following the agenda that we have, under the heading "New Instruments,'' Item No. 2, can someone help us with that?
SOR/2015-12 — CERTAIN FOREIGN EXTRATERRITORIAL MEASURES (UNITED STATES) ORDER, 2014
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 20A:1.)
Evelyne Borkowski-Parent, General Counsel to the Committee: Section 10 of the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act requires orders made under section 5 to be laid before each house of Parliament within 15 sitting days after they are made. In this case, the order was made on January 20, 2015, but had still not been tabled by April 2016, when the first letter was sent to the department. The order was subsequently laid before the House of Commons on October 7, 2016, and before the Senate on October 18, 2016.
In its reply, the department stated that its failure to table the order was an oversight.
Since the order has now been tabled and the department has been reminded of its obligations, with the committee members' permission, the file may be closed and counsel will monitor the requirement to table future orders.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): So, as I understand it, they're asking for forgiveness. They missed the time limit but they rectified it?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Correct.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Any further action recommended?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: That we close the file, but continue monitoring future orders.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we all okay with that? Do we need a motion to cover that? That's the action we'll take, and you'll continue to monitor and close the file. Thank you.
SOR/2016-242 — ORDER 2016-87-09-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2016-243 — ORDER 2016-112-09-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 20B:1.)
Cynthia Kirkby, Counsel to the Committee: I'll begin by suggesting that this may be easier to understand by looking at page 3485 of the Canada Gazette, which is near the back of the package. It just gives a better example of what exactly the issue is.
It's clear that certain substances have been added to the English version of the Domestic Substances List, but it is unclear from a visual inspection of these instruments whether they were also added to the French version of the list.
As described in the materials, various other sources were consulted to try to find a definitive answer, and ultimately the question was put to the department. The department's letter indicates it is simply a visual anomaly that causes the uncertainty about whether the substances were added to the French version of the list, resulting from the fact that there aren't enough characters in the amended text to cover both the English and French columns.
The letter further advises that the Department of Justice will no longer format amendments in this manner, where the text does not cross both language columns. Counsel will monitor future orders to ensure the issue does not arise again.
Finally, Environment Canada advises it is following up with the Department of Justice and the Canada Gazette to discuss options to correct the published version of these orders. Counsel could ask for an update on those corrections.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that what you're recommending, to ask for an update?
Ms. Kirkby: Yes.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Has any period of time been discussed between you and Environment Canada?
Ms. Kirkby: There hasn't been yet, no.
Mr. Genuis: I'd say we should ask for a timeline from them. I don't know if we need to be too prescriptive, but basically, can we get feedback from them as to how long this will take and be able to make a judgment on whether we think that's a reasonable amount of time or not?
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that a satisfactory course of action? Is everyone in favour of that? We'll do that, then, and then let us know.
Ms. Kirkby: Yes.
SOR/2007-290 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS (PARTS I, III AND VIII)
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 20C:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 4 under "Reply Unsatisfactory.''
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: There are three issues for which an agreement to amend the regulations has yet to be achieved. By way of background, I should point out that the remaining issues all relate directly or indirectly to the implementation of the Safety Management System in the regulations.
The SMS is a framework or a cycle where a stakeholder is expected to plan its approach to safety risks, implement it, assess it and then change it periodically. That work is usually done through a series of administrative policies that are implemented by each certificate holder.
Whether you consult the International Civil Aviation Organization documents or the FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, documents in the U.S., it's clear that SMS is meant to supplement the regulatory system; it's not meant to supersede it. In other words, the requirement to implement SMS does not relieve Transport Canada of its obligations as a regulator.
The remaining three issues deal with the interaction between SMS and the operation of the regulations. For example, point 5 deals with the issue of having the requirement for a policy on the reporting of hazards, which includes provisions on the immunity from disciplinary action.
At the outset, I would point out that the regulations do not contain a provision requiring that hazards be reported by anyone. So the department has indicated that the purpose of these sections is to allow for the reporting of hazards without fear of punishment. While that is no doubt a laudable goal, an administrative document created by a certificate holder should not be the vehicle used to protect individuals that might fear reprisal, and, most of all, this document should not be drawing conclusions as to the state of employment or labour law.
The department's latest letter reiterates its earlier position that there's no positive regulatory requirement to report hazards and that, as a matter of course, it prefers to leave the discretion to the certificate holder to define its policy, with the expectation, tacit if it ever was, that the certificate holders would comply with employment and labour law principles.
Point 6 is an iteration of a problem the committee has encountered in different forms in the past, and that is the issue of making the lack of compliance with an administrative document an offence under the act or the regulations. The issue of compliance with administrative documents can be found in many provisions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, and the department had indicated it would undertake a certification and service review project to review these issues. The review was to start in January 2015 and was expected to take a number of years.
At the last semi-annual meeting with Transport Canada officials in November 2016 — and I apologize; the note says November 2017 — counsel was made aware that the project did not go ahead and that a reply to the committee's concerns was forthcoming. On that point, no response has been received as of today.
Point 8 deals with the ambiguity surrounding the expression "the size, nature and complexity of the operations and activities'' of the operator. Since those terms are vague, the department was asked to clarify their meaning, and from their response it's clear that the terms could be further clarified in the regulations. The response also refers to another project to take place over the next 18 months on SMS and says that clarifying the relevant sections would be taken into consideration at that time.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): This has been around for six or seven years. We've used up an awful lot of time on this.
Counsel, from your reading, it's not clear to me that the department is going to do something. If we set a timeline on it, do you think something might happen?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Maybe I can add a bit of background.
There are 19 files, now 21, dealing with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. In 2013, when I took carriage of these files, we weren't able to receive any correspondence from Transport Canada on any of the issues. That's when the committee decided for counsel to have semi-annual meetings where we would discuss the issues, try to help to bring some kind of resolution and be updated on all of the 21 files.
So this has gone on for three years, where I meet with them twice a year, and I was given the impression that they were working on the certification project. To my surprise, I was told that the project did not go ahead as it should have.
At this point, I would suggest that those meetings no longer serve the purpose for which they were intended and that Transport Canada should be asked to update the committee on each file, like other departments are asked to do.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Comments in relation to that recommendation?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I would just like to comment that these have been outstanding. I would suggest that if amendments have been promised to address the issue, the other issue is that the reply remains unsatisfactory. We need to clarify that and then put a clear timeline on it. We should expect a response to these issues by, I would say, September at the latest.
Mr. Genuis: There are some items where we need to get a clear timeline because they said they have moved forward but they have not been moving forward. You mentioned at least one item — I think more — where there's specific disagreement still in terms of position. We need to treat those two questions separately. I agree with asking for a timeline on the points where they've agreed that there need to be changes, but we still need to resolve the outstanding issue.
I don't have a fully formed sense of what the next step should be, but probably something where we can just chalk it up a little bit, whether that's inviting witnesses, sending a letter to the minister's office, as well as to the department, to make sure they're aware of it and can bring some of that to bear. These are some of the options we've used the past that might be appropriate for resolving, in particular, the items where there still isn't agreement.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Any other comment? Is that a good course of action?
Counsel, you have listed quite a few different items here. It gets a little confusing because, on some of them, they've satisfactorily met our request. With respect to others, they say they're working on them, and others they say they don't need to work on them. They're all mixed together here. Am I reading that correctly?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: To summarize, there are a certain number of points — 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 11 and parts of 5, where amendments have been agreed on but no timeline has been provided.
Point 6 is still being debated, and that is the issue of the certification project. As of now, there's no answer to the committee's concerns on that point.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): You don't have an avenue of the meetings any longer, where you might be able to come up with a solution?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: So far the meetings have been, "Well, we'll deal with this and we have this project going on,'' and it didn't go on.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think it's come to the point where, at the very least, as Mr. Genuis suggested, we should send a letter from the co-chairs directly to the minister on all of these issues. Yes, some of them are timeline sensitive and others relate to disagreement. I think it's important for the co-chairs to point out, not just general counsel — I shouldn't say "just'' — the committee's point of view on these issues and that we expect those to be implemented.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): That may raise it.
Do we ask them for a timeline, or do we fix a timeline for those where they're just slow?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: It's up to the committee.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): What is your thought, Mr. Genuis?
Mr. Genuis: I welcome comments from others. My inclination, given the seriousness of some of this — Ms. Borkowski-Parent, you said that they had said, at some point, that there's no positive requirement to report hazards, which had me back on my chair.
I think we should send a letter from the co-chairs to the minister. I think that this is a logical candidate for calling witnesses. I know that we don't want to overdo that because of the time of the committee, but given that there are a number of different issues and items, this is one where inviting witnesses probably makes sense as well. I'm going to propose that we do both of those things.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): In relation to point 6, do we include that? That's the one where there appears to be no agreement.
Mr. Genuis: That's the biggest reason why it's important, from my perspective, to have witnesses. I would, in the context of that letter and the conversation with witnesses, discuss all the items, the timeline for the areas where there is agreement, and also the outstanding areas of disagreement.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I just think we should take one step at a time, personally. As to the letter, we could suggest that if we can't find a satisfactory resolution, we will need to call witnesses because we can't come to agreement. I'm just not sure if putting them together at the same time is a wise way of doing it.
Mr. Genuis: Fair enough, but we may want to attach a timeline to that letter and say, "We want to hear back by this point and, if we don't hear back, we're prepared to call witnesses.'' Let's signal our interest in doing that right up front.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We can point out that parliamentarians' time has been used up on this for the last six years plus. Would that help?
Are we in agreement that we should proceed in that manner? Then we'll do so. Thank you very much.
SOR/2010-119 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 20D:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 5 under the heading "Part Action Taken.''
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Amendments made to the regulations by SOR/2016-61 have addressed four matters, so that's the part action taken. The amendments resolve drafting and clarification issues, including the removal of a requirement that was not actually intended to be mandatory and for which contravention would have constituted an offence under the enabling act.
The committee also sought a further explanation concerning the definition of "minor use'' set out in section 17.1 of the regulations. The committee noted that there were no criteria to require that the quantity or scope of the usage actually be minor. It seems possible that the use of a pest control product would result in significant usage if the group of growers was relatively large or the pest outbreak was relatively widespread.
The department's July 28, 2016 letter explained that the intent is not to define minor use in respect to the breadth of the application of a particular pest control product but rather in terms of the anticipated volumes of sales of the product in Canada. According to the department, this is meant as an incentive to persuade manufacturers to register and sell pest control products in Canada that may be necessary to protect crops in cases where the anticipated demand is too low and that it would not otherwise make it worth the cost of registration.
The overall purpose of the act is to balance the potential risks to persons and to the environment from pest control products, with the importance of those products to the quality of life and the economy of Canada. This is to be achieved by way of the registration scheme established under the act.
Following the department's explanation, if the approach taken in defining "minor use'' encourages the registration of useful pest control products, it can be said to be a definition within the scope of the authority granted under the act, and the department's answer on the specific point could be considered satisfactory.
One further amendment is promised and was expected to be made during the last fiscal year. This would address a requirement imposed by subsection 17.91(4), which may not always be possible to fulfill.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): So you will monitor the outstanding issue.
Are we content to take the recommendation of counsel that this should be considered satisfactorily replied to, other than with respect to this outstanding promised item?
Seeing consensus, that's the action we'll take.
SOR/2016-227 — ORDER 2016-66-08-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2016-228 — ORDER 2016-87-08-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2016-229 — ORDER 2016-112-08-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
(For text of documents, see Appendix E, p. 20E:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 6 on our agenda, under the heading "Reply Satisfactory.''
Is there anything you need to tell us on this item?
Ms. Kirkby: It was just a question about the transmitting for registration. They satisfied the deadline, but it just wasn't registered. However, since the requirement is to transmit for registration, they complied with the —
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Oh, yes, I'm reading that. That is what they pointed out.
Ms. Kirkby: They pointed out they had complied with the requirement to transmit for registration.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): As far as the statutory requirements are concerned —
Ms. Kirkby: That was me, yes.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Should we close the file?
Ms. Kirkby: We can close the file.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we in agreement that we close thee three items?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2016-281 — CRITICAL HABITAT OF THE ROSEATE TERN (STERNA DOUGALLII) ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 20F:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 7 under "Reply Satisfactory (?)''.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: The Species at Risk Act deals with a number of provisions dealing with the protection of critical habitat. Section 57 states that the purpose of section 58 is to ensure that within 180 days after the recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat, that critical habitat be included in the public registry and protected by measures made under the act or by the application of subsection 58(1).
Subsection 58(1) makes it an offence to destroy a designated critical habitat. Section 58(5) imposes on the minister the obligation to make an order specifying the area of the critical habitat. In this instance, the 180-day requirement for the minister to make the order was not met. In fact, it took 10 years for the order to be made.
When asked for an explanation for such a delay, the department indicated that several legal and policy issues needed to be resolved before bringing forward the order. Considering the act was adopted four years prior to that, it is disconcerting it took 14 years after the enactment of this act to resolve the issue.
The department states that it is "committed to implementing its obligations'' under the Species at Risk Act and continues to improve its processes for doing so.
Lastly, I would note that litigation is currently pending against the department for the failure to follow through on its statutory obligations under the Species at Risk Act.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): And what is the recommended course of action?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Other than monitoring to make sure that future critical habitat orders are made within the 180-day time frame, I don't know if the committee wants to take further action.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): It took 10 years, but you say it has been done now. They've admitted they've had challenges and problems, but we've raised that issue with them.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I would suggest, based on the last paragraph of our notes, that we take the responsibility as a committee to identify our displeasure with the repeated difficulty in meeting timelines. I wasn't aware of the pending litigation, but that certainly increases the temperature and should increase our desire to have this carried out more efficiently.
I think a letter from the co-chairs would give a clear message that the committee is monitoring and that we expect better behaviour in the future. I don't want to cause unnecessary work for our general counsel, but to me that would improve the situation.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are we all in agreement on that?
Do you understand what we'd like you to do?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: A letter from the joint chairs to the minister.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Keep an eye on it for us.
SOR/2011-136 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 20G:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 8 under "Progress.''
Ms. Kirkby: Seven issues were raised on March 30 of last year, including failure to consistently use a defined term, missing or extra words, and questions about the application of provisions relating to qualifications and competence.
Transport Canada had initially indicated that the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority had reviewed the issues and agreed to amend the regulations, and would be proposing amendments in the fall of 2017. As the initial response lacked detail, the joint committee decided at its meeting on December 8 to seek confirmation that all seven issues would be addressed. An update on the expected timeline was also requested.
The latest response from Transport Canada confirms that each point will be addressed but advises that due to the complexity of the project and ongoing consultations, prepublication is now expected by the end of spring 2018.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that reasonable?
Ms. Kirkby: We can monitor, if that's what the committee wants.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): They have given us a rather extended timeline. We can monitor this.
Ms. Kirkby: Perhaps follow up closer to that date.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Do we agree that that course of action should be followed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/92-620 — CORRECTIONS AND CONDITIONAL RELEASE REGULATIONS
SOR/96-108 — CORRECTIONS AND CONDITIONAL RELEASE REGULATIONS, AMENDMENT
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 20H:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Next is Item 9 on our agenda, under the heading "Progress (?)''.
Ms. Kirkby: Some 41 outstanding issues remain to be addressed in relation to these regulations, including French/ English discrepancies, outdated or otherwise incorrect cross-references, and instances of undue administrative discretion.
In addition, provisions that were previously unauthorized need to be remade now that the act has been amended to provide authority for them. Further, a provision relating to urine samples was declared ultra vires by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2003, and the department had indicated it would take any necessary action after the appeal had been decided.
When the file was last before the committee, the department had indicated it expected to propose new regulations in 2016 to address these issues. This timeline was not met, however, and members asked for an update by March 31 regarding when the promised amendments would in fact be made.
An update was provided on March 15, advising that a review of corrections legislation and regulations is currently under way "with a view to advancing amendments in 2017 that align with the objectives of the criminal justice system.'' This review is said to include an examination of the issues raised by the committee.
This could be a step backwards if it means that these are now seen not as promised amendments but rather as issues to be examined. In any event, Public Safety Canada advises that it will keep the committee informed of the results of the review.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Do we want to do anything more than monitor this? Is monitoring satisfactory?
Mr. Genuis: I don't see monitoring as being satisfactory in this case. They said they would resolve technical issues. Those should be resolved as quickly as possible without clarity on the timeline of the substantive package.
I would suggest we at least reassert our position. We can ask for a timeline, but I would write to the minister on this as well. I don't think this is quite at the "call witnesses'' level, but I would try and take the pressure up just a little bit.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Any further comments in relation to raising the temperature a little bit?
Mr. Oliver: I am wondering about the concern about a step backward you referenced. I'm wondering if we shouldn't be reiterating our expectation the amendments we proposed be made, that commitments have been made, that a review isn't sufficient and that we're looking for action on them. Is that too strong? It has to be something to make sure we don't have backward movement.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Are all agreed with that?
Mr. Genuis: It's not a huge deal for me, but I wonder if sending a letter to reassert our position to the same people who are taking the step backward is going to be sufficient.
I'm open to other suggestions. I don't know if repeating the same thing and expecting a different result is going to be the most efficacious step to take.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Just for clarification, I think Mr. Oliver was suggesting that we have a letter come from the co-chairs.
Mr. Oliver: I don't think it was either/or. We can do both.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We respect resolution and expect it in a timely manner. We can put both of them into a letter from the co-chairs.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Is that clear enough for you? Everybody agree with that course of action?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2015-71 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE TARIFF REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix I, p. 20I:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Item 10 on our agenda is under the heading "Action Promised.''
Ms. Kirkby: The only outstanding issue on this file is why the regulations use the undefined term "Canadian pilot'' rather than the term "licensed pilot,'' which is defined in the Pilotage Act.
Transport Canada advised in November that this point would be addressed as part of an anticipated tariffs proposal in mid-2017. Those proposed regulations were prepublished in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette on March 11, so counsel will monitor for when the regulations are made and published.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We won't close the file. We'll just monitor and make sure they're done. Agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2016-250 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (BEAVER)
SOR/2016-251 — ORDER ADDING TOXIC SUBSTANCES TO SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
SOR/2016-256 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA GRAIN REGULATIONS
SOR/2016-259 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL METHOD OF ELECTION REGULATIONS (STSWECEMC XGATTEM FIRST NATION) (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
SOR/2016-262 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INCOME TAX REGULATIONS (FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTIONS, 2016)
SOR/2016-263 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (PINE CREEK)
SOR/2016-264 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (PINE CREEK)
SOR/2016-265 — ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (FLYING DUST)
SOR/2016-266 — ORDER AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT (FLYING DUST)
SOR/2016-267 — ORDER 2016-87-10-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2016-268 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE VESSEL OPERATION RESTRICTION REGULATIONS
SOR/2016-269 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SCHEDULE TO THE NAVIGATION PROTECTION ACT
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Does anybody wish to comment on the list of "Statutory Instruments Without Comment''?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: For the record, there are 12 statutory instruments without comment. They have been examined by counsel and found to comply with all the committee's criteria. We do have copies should you want to see them.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I think that's good you should tell us about that so we know what you're doing when you're not with us.
Senator Runciman: I had a miscellaneous statute law amendment act dropped at my office the other day. I don't know whether it was introduced or going to be introduced in the Senate. It came from the Senate leader's office, but I haven't had a chance to talk to him. I wondered if counsel is aware of this.
For the last act, I think Mr. Bernhardt was here, and he may have even testified. I'm not sure. But I think the committee had some role in at least taking a look at it and passing on some observations.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: Yes. At the very least, we had sent a list of outstanding statutory amendments that could be resolved by a miscellaneous statute law amendments act and that would resolve some of the committee issues. We are still keeping track of those.
Senator Runciman: So you're not aware of an act being introduced?
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: No.
Senator Runciman: Given the fact it was dropped on my doorstep, I guess it's going to be introduced in the Senate. We're not sure. We'll try to confirm and get back to you.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I think it has been introduced.
Senator Runciman: It was? Okay.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): I'm told there was a motion on the Order Paper in the Senate in relation to it.
Senator Runciman: It should be brought to this committee's attention.
Ms. Borkowski-Parent: If you so desire, at the next meeting, we could bring you the table that we provided the last time around. There are a number of files where it's not a regulatory amendment that is required; it is an amendment to an act. The miscellaneous statute law amendments act deals with non-policy changes, but a number of those items could be corrected through that. We'll make sure you have the information.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We'll look into that. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Mr. Badawey: I just need some clarification. As I was walking into the room for the committee today, I believe I heard a motion that allowed minutes to be taken during this past in camera session.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): We just moved it for that particular session.
Mr. Badawey: There is a reason why minutes are not taken in camera: Quite frankly, they can't be distributed anywhere. So my question is: Where are those minutes going to be available?
Maxwell Hollins, Joint Clerk of the Committee: Typically one copy of the transcript of the in camera portion is kept at the clerk's and counsel's offices. They're destroyed in due course, typically at the end of the session.
Mr. Badawey: But the key is that they would be available for members and members only?
The Joint Clerk (Mr. Hollins): Correct.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Any other points?
Mr. Di Iorio: My understanding is they're kept for a period of time.
The Joint Clerk (Mr. Hollins): Correct, typically until the end of the session.
Mr. Di Iorio: Not longer than that?
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): It could be if it were part of a motion.
The Joint Clerk (Mr. Hollins): The typical wording we put —
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): One of the points that came up at our last meeting is the difference in procedure between the house and the Senate in relation to certain items. That's why we added that to the motion this time.
Are there any other points?
The minutes are kept typically until the end of the session.
Jean-Marie David, Joint Clerk of the Committee: That's on the Senate side. For the House of Commons, they're archived and not made public for 30 years.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): Do we follow Senate process here or House of Commons process? We have to have in the motion regarding what we want to do with it. If we want a transcript, we should make sure that we put in that motion that the transcript be kept and that it be available, in whichever way we want, to each of the individual members — and that the record be destroyed within a period of time.
Mr. Di Iorio: I'll ask the question because the work that has to be done might extend beyond the end of the session, so we might need it for reference.
Mr. Badawey: At an in camera meeting.
Mr. Di Iorio: Yes.
The Joint Clerk (Mr. Hollins): Because it's done so infrequently, I will double check on the particular practice as to whether it's the end of session or the end of Parliament, and I will advise all of you by email, if you wish.
All of the elements that Senator Day has pointed out in terms of being kept by the clerk, those would typically appear in the minutes as part of the motion. I can get back to all of you to clarify how long they would typically be kept by the Senate.
Mr. Di Iorio: Some of our friends wish that the end of session and the end of Parliament be the same thing.
The Joint Chair (Senator Day): The next meeting will be June 1. Thank you very much.
(The committee adjourned.)