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Proceedings of the Standing Joint Committee for the
Scrutiny of Regulations
Issue 3 - Evidence - May 5, 2016
OTTAWA, Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations met this day at 8:31 a.m. for the review of statutory instruments.
Senator Pana Merchant and Mr. Harold Albrecht (Joint Chairs) in the chair.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Colleagues, we will finish at ten o'clock this morning, please, because I think you have a reason to be out of here by 10. We can try to get through these agenda items a little more quickly to get as far as we can
SOR/2012-138 — FIREARMS INFORMATION REGULATIONS (NON-RESTRICTED FIREARMS)
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Item 1 on today's agenda is under the heading "Reconsideration." You will remember that this was before the committee sometime in April, and nothing has happened, really.
Peter Bernhardt, General Counsel to the Committee: That's right, Madam Chair.
To refresh members' memories, the committee concluded that the regulations constituted an unauthorized fettering of the authority of the chief firearms officer to attach business conditions to a business licence. The Department of Public Safety maintained the regulations were valid. There have been amendments to the Firearms Act to provide clear authority for these regulations, but because subsequent amendments to enabling legislation do not have the effect of validating regulations for which no authority existed at the time they were made, the committee suggested the regulations should be remade under the new enabling provision to avoid any potential uncertainties.
The department didn't commit to doing so, and back in April members wanted to receive information on the potential consequences if the regulations are not reenacted.
In a nutshell, if a business objects to being required by the chief firearms officer to collect and retain information about the transfer of a non-restricted firearm as a condition of its business licence, a court could potentially conclude that the regulations are unauthorized and that, therefore, this condition was lawfully imposed.
On its face, if a chief firearms officer required a business to collect and retain information as a condition of its licence despite the regulations, that condition would be unlawful prima facie. However, the counter-argument would be that the regulations themselves are unauthorized. If a court agreed that the regulations were unauthorized, it would follow that the condition that the chief firearms officer had imposed was lawfully imposed.
Even after the amendment to the Firearms Act, the situation would really be the same because the argument would be that those regulations were unlawful at the time they were made. The amendment to the Firearms Act didn't have the effect of validating those. Therefore, that condition imposed by the chief firearms officer was authorized if it was found that the regulations were not authorized.
If the regulations were remade, now that you have subsection 58(1.1) of the Firearms Act, any uncertainty as to the state of the law would be resolved. It would be clear that the chief firearms officer cannot impose requirements to keep information as a condition of the licence.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Discussion? Shall we just leave it at that? Does somebody have a comment?
Mr. Kmiec: I was satisfied.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2015-118 — ORDER AMENDING THE PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR RELATIONS ACT SEPARATE AGENCY DESIGNATION ORDER
(For text of documents, see Appendix A, p. 3A:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Item No. 2 is under the heading "New Instruments." The French version is correct, but the English needs some correction.
Cynthia Kirkby, Counsel to the Committee: It was an error in the citation in the English version. I am pleased to report that an erratum was published in yesterday's Gazette, so this file can now be closed.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Great.
SOR/2015-216 — ORDER 2015-87-10-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
(For text of documents, see Appendix B, p. 3B:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Under the same heading, Item 3 on our agenda concerns something that was supposed to go to the PCO. Was this transmission requirement met in this instance?
Ms. Kirkby: No, in this instance, the requirement to transmit the order for registration within seven days of its making was not met. As general counsel noted in his letter, amongst all federal departments and agencies, it is Environment Canada that seems to have the greatest difficulty complying with this requirement.
In its letter, the department responded that with the exception of this order, all orders amending the Domestic Substances List have met the transmission requirement since it changed its processes in January of 2014. The only explanation it provides for why it failed to do so in this instance, however, is that it was an oversight.
Environment Canada also writes that it has updated its staff training to emphasize the importance of meeting this requirement. Counsel will monitor future instruments to ensure the same error is not repeated.
Mr. Brassard: I am satisfied that there is no further action required on this matter, but I do have a question as it relates to Environment Canada.
Eleven out of the 27 issues we are dealing with today are related to Environment Canada. In your opinion, Mr. Bernhardt, is there a problem within Environment Canada to deal with regulations? Is this a systemic problem within Environment Canada?
Mr. Bernhardt: I think I could say that probably more than most other federal regulators, Environment Canada seems to have difficulty meeting its own timelines.
It is very typical that you will get a forecast, as you will see as we go through the materials, and it gets pushed back once, twice, three, four, five, six times. Whether that is a symptom of a problem in their forecasting or a problem in their processing of regulations, I don't know. Certainly it's typical, when you have an Environment Canada file, that you will see a number of postponements and that you will be given a timeline that then gets pushed back repeatedly.
Mr. Brassard: I'm curious as to whether it's a staffing issue or a quality issue. It seems to be an issue that we are dealing with on a weekly basis, so it's something that I think we need to monitor. If it continues, perhaps we should ask the minister to come in and speak to the account of Environment Canada on these issues.
Mr. Bernhardt: In connection with the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations, the committee is hearing witnesses from Environment Canada on June 2. If members wish to expand the scope of that meeting, there might be some potential to deal with some of these broader issues at that time.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): You will recall last week that we said we were going to take action if we didn't hear from departments and they were delayed. I think we have to start out by making it clear that we are here to get work done. If we just talk about regulations and skip over them all the time, we'll have to do something about it. I think it would be a good idea to do it early. People will get comfortable and see business as usual if we don't start doing something.
Mr. Brassard: I agree with you, Madam Chair. It's particularly problematic when we are seeing, as in this case, 11 out of the 27 items from one department. I think we need to stay on top of it.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): I think we should monitor it.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2006-124 — PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix C, p. 3C:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Next is Item 4 under "Reply Unsatisfactory." This was conveyed to the department more than eight years ago.
Ms. Kirkby: That's correct. The three outstanding issues on this file were first raised in May 2008.
The first two issues concern the use of the word "guarantee" and the phrase "user assumes risk," which would appear to relate to civil liability, although Health Canada indicates that is not its intent.
The third issue relates to the meaning of the term "bulk container," which is not defined in the regulations, although it appears that the department intends it to refer, at least in some instances, to rail cars and tanker trucks.
Since March of 2011, Health Canada has been indicating that further study and stakeholder consultation is required, and these issues are now being raised in the context of a broader regulatory review. Its latest letter indicates that it anticipates that this review will be completed by spring 2017.
It should be noted that the department has never provided a firm commitment to address any of these issues, but presumably any amendments to address the outstanding issues would begin to be drafted only after that date.
Mr. Genuis: This is one of those recurring issues where it is just not getting done and is being delayed and delayed. My understanding of our authority as a committee is that we can suspend the application of regulations.
With regard to point 3, there is nothing to suspend. We are looking for a definition, so we should follow up on that point.
With respect to elements of points 1 and 2, these are cases that would be fairly good candidates for us to go ahead and exercise that power. We've repeatedly expressed the view that certain elements of these regulations are inappropriate and unnecessary. If we go ahead and use the power that we have to address that, I think that's a good thing to do, but in terms of our insistence on getting work done, it also sends a pretty strong message about the will of this committee to actually move forward on some of these matters.
I won't lead off with a motion, but I'll start by asking for the advice of counsel on the use of that power in this context.
Mr. Bernhardt: The first thing to remember, of course, is that the committee can only recommend disallowance. It does that by tabling a report in both houses. That report then has to be adopted or deemed adopted. There is an automatic adoption process if no debate is requested. That needs to be borne in mind. The committee can certainly draft and table in the houses a report that contains a motion that a particular provision be disallowed. It would then have to be adopted by both houses.
The other thing to bear in mind is that, before doing that, the committee has to give 30 days' notice to the appropriate minister, the appropriate regulation-making authority. That notice doesn't bind the committee to proceed. All it does is open the path that would allow, after 30 days, the committee to go ahead if it wished.
I say that simply because in some jurisdictions that's proven to be a useful tool as well, simply giving notice of the committee's intention, which may or may not necessitate proceeding with the disallowance report after those 30 days.
That is the process that members need to bear in mind. There's the need to give notice and to wait for the 30 days. The committee has to adopt a report, and then that report is tabled in the houses. That report then has to be adopted.
If all those steps proceed to fruition, then under the Statutory Instruments Act the regulation-maker has 30 days to remove the provision.
Senator Runciman: The minister can grant it, can't he?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes. The way it would work is if there is no debate asked for on the report, it's deemed adopted after 15 sitting days. In the interim, the minister can request a debate, and it's followed, obviously, by a one-hour debate on the report, followed by a vote.
Ms. Jordan: For anything that takes more than a year to receive an adequate response, last week we had discussed the possibility of automatically following up with the minister by sending a letter stating, "This has been going on now for eight years and we need to deal with it." In a lot of cases, the minister may not even be aware that this is happening.
To invoke powers without actually going through that channel first I think might be a mistake. I would like to see us send that letter to the minister, asking her department to address the issue that has been on the books for eight years.
Ms. Sgro: I am filling in this morning. It is the first time that I have attended the committee.
Waiting for responses for five years, six years, seven years — I am sorry — is just ridiculous. I would think just giving notice would shake the department up and start to get some action. Boy, it seems like some action should be taken.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Some things go longer than eight years.
Ms. Sgro: It sounds ridiculous to me as someone who is filling in today.
Senator Moore: I want to follow up on Ms. Jordan's idea. In the letter, if that's what we are going to do, we should mention that the committee is considering disallowance in view of the inappropriate delay. That will, I think, get a response.
Mr. Genuis: To follow up on the other comments, I completely agree with Ms. Sgro.
It seems that based on the analysis you have provided, Mr. Bernhardt, we can start this 30-day process, give notice and prepare the appropriate motion. Certainly that has the same effect as a letter, but it is a letter with a timeline. The minister may write back and say, "Please hold off; we're working on it. It's going to take us another month or so, but we'll do it within this timeline." Then the committee can say, "At least they've committed to some kind of timeline, and we don't need to proceed."
But if we begin the notice process, it puts us in a position to action this at the end of those 30 days if, at that time, we deem it necessary. Of course, like every committee, this committee has a government majority, so that final decision will be sensitive to whatever concerns the government has at that point.
For us to begin the process now by providing notice puts us in a position to move forward within that 30-day period rather than sending a letter, waiting for a response to the letter in who knows how long. Even if we write a letter to the minister, there are other staff that intervene before a letter would get to the minister, typically. These are the mechanics of any office. If we start that process, we ensure that this committee will get some substantial results.
That would be my preference.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): I need your guidance on this, those of you who have been on the committee for much longer than some of us.
Counsel, has this ever happened or is there some advantage to calling in the Clerk of the Privy Council and asking him if he is aware of what is going on in all of these departments, that we are having frustration, not just with the one department because this seems to repeat itself? Have you ever had the clerk come in so that he can hear our frustrations?
Mr. Bernhardt: Not that I recall. I know that at the last meeting members decided to have the steering committee look into the committee's practices and procedures and what could be done. This might be something it could consider.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Instead of calling the ministers, why don't we first see where the problems are?
Senator Moore: I just want to tell committee members that under Senator Runciman's chairmanship we did an analysis of the delinquents, and we had a list of the departments. There was this one and I think Transport was the other that was really tardy in responding and getting things done. We got on it and things improved, but now it is sliding.
Senator Runciman: Has that list has not been circulated to committee members?
Mr. Bernhardt: No. It should have been, but we will do that.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Thank you, senator, for your note. I'll talk to the chair and we'll proceed on that basis.
Mr. Genuis: We have had this discussion, but as a matter of process I would like to make a motion that we provide the 30-day notice of our intention to undertake disallowance on the first and second items. I move that we do that right now.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): So we have a motion on the floor. Discussion? All in favour?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2012-252 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix D, p. 3D:1.)
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): We will now move to Item No. 5 under "Reply Unsatisfactory."
Mr. Bernhardt: The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship apparently sees no need for amendments to address the three matters that were raised.
Taking these in turn, the first concerns subsection 159.8(1) of the regulations. It provides that a person who makes a claim for refugee protection inside Canada, other than at a port of entry, must provide an officer with documents and information referred to in subsection 99(3.1) of the act, not later than the day on which the officer determines the eligibility of their claim. The act requires this to be done within three working days.
Because a claimant will not know in advance when the officer will actually make the determination, the only way to ensure compliance with this provision is to provide the documents and information at the same time the claim is made.
The department agrees but goes on to suggest that the provision is worded so as to provide flexibility where a claimant submitted incomplete or incorrectly completed applications. In such instances, they have a chance to amend their documents prior to the making of the determination.
It's true that subsection 159.8(1) can work to the benefit of the claimant, but this will only be so if any amended documents are submitted before the decision on the claim is made, and the claimant has no way of knowing when that's going to be. All that the person knows is that a determination has to be made within three working days.
The department's reply seems to suggest that, in practice, decisions are not made until the period of three working days has passed. If that is in fact the case, perhaps the regulation should provide that a person who makes a claim for refugee protection inside Canada, other than at a port of entry, must provide an officer with the required documents and information within three working days after making the claim. That would seem to fit the practice, and it would also give the claimants the exact time within which they knew for sure they had to submit everything.
Point 2 concerns paragraph 159.9(3)(c), which permits a hearing to be held as soon as feasible where the hearing cannot be held within the required time because of the operational limitations of the Refugee Protection Division. It seems that if it is so likely that the division's operational limitations will make it impossible to comply with the time limit set out in the regulations that you have to expressly deal with this in the regulations, maybe there is really no point to prescribing time limits in the first place.
The department suggests that the purpose of this flexibility is to ensure rigorous and efficient processing of claims by prescribing time limits, while accommodating vulnerable claimants and respecting principles of fairness and natural justice. However, the ground for not holding a hearing within the required time is the operational limitations of the Refugee Protection Division.
This has nothing to do with the vulnerability of claimants or natural justice or fairness. It is concerned solely and exclusively with the resources of the division. In fact, fairness and natural justice are set out elsewhere in the regulations as reasons for postponing a hearing, in any event.
The only real requirement here is that the division hold a hearing as soon as feasible, based on its resources. In fact, it's assumed that in some cases it will be impossible to hold the hearing within the time required. Prescribing that time is really more a guideline than a rule. Although it is desirable to do it, it is not really expected that you will do it.
As one authority quoted in the correspondence we sent to the department puts it:
While vigorous exhortation might be laudable in a non-legal setting, it has no place in legal texts . . . .
The department also suggests that processing times have decreased since the enactment of the provision, but it is difficult to see how this can be attributed to simply putting in place a requirement that doesn't actually have to be met if you don't have the resources to meet it.
Similar comments were raised in point 3 in connection with another provision in the regulations. Similarly, the only real effect of this provision is to require the appeal division to render its decision within 90 days, if feasible.
This is the first time this file has been before the committee. We have just an initial response from the department, so in this case I would suggest that we write back and have another kick at the cat.
Mr. Kmiec: I totally agree with counsel. There is a letter here from Fraser Valentine, Director General, Strategic Policy and Planning Branch. He makes the case that this section is purely for tracking performance and meeting the time limits. I don't think government regulations are intended to be a performance-tracking mechanism for the civil service.
Subsection 2 of 159.92 totally defeats subsection 1. This is exactly that vigorous exhortation in the written word that you mentioned. It is totally useless. If it is not 90 days, it is like a hopeful, inspirational message. We hope for 90 days, but it could be anything else.
Subsection 2 defeats subsection 1, and to have it even written here and then to give this explanation seems nonsensical. Government regulations are not there for the civil service. They are there for the claimants. That is the purpose of this entire act and the regulations. I think we should write back to them and indicate that it doesn't exist for the human resources department, for tracking purposes, so that they can report back on their excellence in meeting their performance targets. It should be that blunt.
Mr. Di Iorio: I agree entirely with my learned colleague who just spoke.
The idea is that Parliament enacts legislation and it also delegates a tremendous power to government. Government can enact regulations, but government does have to act responsibly when it does so.
Here, we have a situation where a civil servant will, on any given day of the week or the year or the month, decide what the law of the land is. That's not how we proceed in Canada.
In this country, citizens pay taxes — high taxes — and they deserve, in return, a minimum requirement in terms of respect from their government. It's our duty to make sure that it is done.
In this case, this has certainly not been done. I'm embarrassed when I see this kind of poor — I will choose my words carefully — legislative or regulatory drafting technique. It's unacceptable.
The Joint Chair (Senator Merchant): Yes.
Is there agreement on that?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SI/2008-85 — CERTAIN FEES RELATING TO EXPORT CERTIFICATES 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 E, p. 3E:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Item 6 on our agenda falls under the heading "Reply Unsatisfactory (?)."
Mr. Bernhardt: Mr. Chair, these three orders grant remission of fees charged under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. That notice is made by the minister under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act. That act provides that the minister may remit all or part of any fee fixed under it. However, these orders were not made by the minister under that act; they were made by the Governor-in-Council under the Financial Administration Act. That act grants a general power to make remissions.
There are principles of statutory interpretation to the effect that a more specific and recent statute takes precedence over a more general and older one. Based on this, the committee suggested that this would lead to the conclusion that remissions of fees paid under the CFIA Act should be made by the minister under that act, rather than by the Governor-in-Council under the FAA.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency argued that the minister and the Governor-in-Council have concurrent power to grant remission. Even so, you would think there must be some basis for deciding which act to proceed under. Presumably, these decisions wouldn't be completely arbitrary.
When Parliament gave the minister the remission power in the CFIA Act, it must be taken to have known there was a general power given to the Governor-in-Council under the FAA. It still gave the minister that power, so one must assume that Parliament envisioned there would be some circumstances in which the minister would use that power.
Since the agency rejected the suggestion that Parliament intended that fees imposed under the CFIA act be remitted under that act, the committee asked the agency to advance an alternative explanation as to why Parliament included that remission power in the CFIA Act.
The responses from the agency were not helpful.
In 2012, however, the agency indicated it was developing a systematic approach for exercising the remission power granted under the CFIA Act. In 2013, the agency advised that its policy and framework were nearly complete. However, in its latest letter the agency now makes no mention of any draft policy. It does indicate it might make a recommendation as to which authority to rely on for granting a remission in a particular instance. It suggests some factors that might go into formulating such a recommendation, including the scope of the remission, its potential impact and the relevant regulations that it related to.
For example, where a remission is limited to one transaction or one company, it says the recommendation would likely be to use the CFIA Act. Where the remission would impact an entire industry or have a significant impact on the agency's resources, the agency may recommend that broader policy approval be sought through a request to the Governor-in-Council to issue the remission under the Financial Administration Act.
The question for the committee is whether it feels that this is what Parliament was contemplating when it decided to give this second remission power to the minister, that this is why it thought it was needed, or whether Parliament simply intended remission of fees under the CFIA Act should be remitted under the CFIA Act.
Apparently one thing that is learned from the most recent letter is that the last two remissions were granted under the CFIA Act. In fact, one replaced an expired remission order relating to animal health exports that had previously been put in place under the FAA. It might be useful, if members consider it so, to find out why in this case it was decided to replace a remission order made under one act with a new order made under the other. Apparently the agency changed its mind in that case.
Senator Runciman: Counsel, can you remind us whether the CFIA is on the worst offender list?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes.
Senator Runciman: I thought so.
A number of things bother me, including the fact this has been going on for so long. They didn't respond to your last letter until well over a year later and then apologized for that.
It might be appropriate in this instance to call them as witnesses and talk about the broader issue while they are here in terms of their performance, or lack thereof, with respect to responding to this committee. I think they see us as a pain in the butt. I think that not even acknowledging receipt of your letter and finally responding more than a year later is a pretty strong sign of disrespect. We should shake them up a bit and call some witnesses.
Mr. Bernhardt: I should add that there apparently have been some issues at the agency in processing correspondence. We did recently get a call from a lawyer who was asking for lists of correspondence, open files and so on. It seems like a fair bit of stuff has gone missing at the agency for whatever reason. I don't know why, but they did approach us recently, asking for that.
Senator Runciman: It is my suggestion, Mr. Chair, that we call witnesses and not confine our conversation to this particular issue but include the history of this agency responding to our committee.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): And the very late responses to those two letters.
What is particularly troubling for me is that the remission order issued under the general one was actually replaced by what I would consider a body that had more specific responsibility, as opposed to the general.
Is it agreed that we will call the CFIA officials to the committee?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): So ordered.
Mr. Bernhardt: I'm trying to think whether we can get that done in time for the summer break.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it possible to move that in before June 23? Let's leave it with our counsel. With respect to the comments already made about the lateness, if we can work it in before the end of June, I think we should try, realizing that there are limitations on your side as well.
SOR/97-109 — PCB WASTE EXPORT REGULATIONS, 1996
(For text of documents, see Appendix F, p. 3F:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item 7 under the same heading.
Mr. Bernhardt: The amendments here promise to address five concerns. The amendments were agreed to in 2006.
In light of numerous delays in completing the amendments to address the committee's concerns — those are described in the note in the materials — the Department of the Environment was informed, in the last letter to the department, that the committee fully expected there will be no further delays and that the department's forecast that proposed amendments would be prepublished in Part I of the Canada Gazette in 2016 will be met.
The department's response is that the 2016 forecast will not be met. It states that:
Although competing regulatory priorities could force us to revise our target once again in the future, we are now anticipating a timeline of spring 2017.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): This fits in the category we talked about earlier. Items 8, 9 and 10 are all related to the same department's tardiness.
What is your wish?
Mr. Brassard: What is particularly concerning about this item is that we are not dealing with vegetable transportation. We are actually dealing with the exportation of PCB waste. I think the ministry certainly has to get on its horse on this one. These delays have been going on far too long, as far as I am concerned. Obviously we need to monitor this.
Mr. Bernhardt, perhaps it is appropriate to send another letter back or perhaps — and this seems to be a trend today — have someone come in from the ministry to talk about this and make sure that these delays no longer occur. I would be seeking guidance on that. If you think that is an appropriate course of action, then that is what I could move.
Mr. Bernhardt: If that is the will of the committee, it is certainly appropriate. There are officials from Environment Canada coming June 2 to deal with the one particular file. We could simply advise them that the committee would also like to discuss the more systemic aspects at the same time.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think we could add that for the next three items — 8, 9 and 10 — and say that we expect them to have answers on all of them.
Mr. Brassard: We likely could. On this one in particular, considering the length of time it has been going on, I think we need to push hard on it.
Mr. Kmiec: Please forgive my ignorance about this, but with regard to Items 8, 9 and 10 on our agenda, whenever there is an amendment to a specific act, does the government actually coordinate? Can't they proceed by way of a miscellaneous statutes amendment act? I know those are done quite often provincially: You group all these housekeeping things together. They would have to coordinate amongst each other to do them. Is that done here?
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes, there is something called the MARS program, or miscellaneous amendments regulations, where a department can bundle up a package of routine housekeeping amendments and proceed with that.
Now there are some restrictions. They have to get approval from Treasury Board and an agreement that these are routine housekeeping matters. It happens on a one-department basis, so there is no possibility for interdepartmental coordination, which is something I suppose the committee could explore and suggest that that program could be expanded.
Usually, although not always, they are confined to amendments to various regulations under one particular statute, but that is not always the case. Some departments make use of it fairly regularly, while others seem more reluctant to use that process. The system in place actually came from a recommendation of this committee.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): As chair, I made the suggestion that we put Items 8, 9 and 10 on the list as well. I'm not directing the committee. Let us do them one at a time to be precise.
Are we agreed we put Item No. 7 on the agenda when Environment Canada officials come to meet us in June?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2002-301 — INTERPROVINCIAL MOVEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix G, p. 3G:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is No. 8 the same situation?
Mr. Di Iorio: I agree with putting it on the agenda, but I don't want to dilute the impact of it. In accounting practices there is a notion of "the big bath." Let's take a big bath, walk out of there and continue what we were doing. I want to make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that even though we have multiple issues, it doesn't dilute the importance of each one.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I see it in the opposite way and would suggest concentrating it if I was bombarded by six different issues on the same principle.
Anyway, we agreed that No. 8 will proceed.
SOR/2005-149 — EXPORT AND IMPORT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE AND HAZARDOUS RECYCLABLE MATERIAL REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix H, p. 3H:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Item No. 9? The same thing?
Mr. Bernhardt: Item 9 is a little different in the sense that here the committee is waiting for an amendment to the act itself.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): What is your recommendation?
Mr. Bernhardt: I suppose at this point one option would be to write to the minister. The officials are a little more constrained when it comes to the timing of introducing bills in Parliament. That is something that the committee might wish to take up directly with the minister and ask if and when there are plans to introduce amendments to the act.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Yet this began in 2010. We are six years beyond that.
Mr. Bernhardt: Yes.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is the committee comfortable with Mr. Bernhardt writing another letter requesting action on this item?
Mr. Kmiec: I have one point about this one. It is a statute amendment, so they are at the tender mercies of the minister.
The "Background" section on page 2 of the analysis states that a review should be undertaken every five years. What they are talking about is actually getting rid of the sunset clause — that five-year review — and that a review could take place "the next time a government bill regarding Part 7 of the Act is introduced in Parliament." That is totally different than every five years. They are talking about less scrutiny and transparency, not more.
Mr. Bernhardt: In fairness to the department, that five-year review was to have commenced in 2010 and Parliament has yet to undertake it.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): That was my point, but if we are comfortable with just another letter, that is the committee's choice. Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2009-162 — CHROMIUM ELECTROPLATING, CHROMIUM ANODIZING AND REVERSE ETCHING REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix I, p. 3I:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is No. 10 under "Reply Unsatisfactory (?)."
Ms. Kirkby: As was the case with Items 7 and 8, the issue here is the delay in making promised amendments. In addition, however, as a result of amendments to the Statutory Instruments Act that came into force last June, Environment Canada now has an obligation to ensure that the standard incorporated by reference into paragraph 7(4) (a) of the regulations is accessible.
Although the department indicated in 2013 that it might no longer be necessary to incorporate that particular standard, an amendment to that effect has yet to be made.
The relevant standard appears to be available only in English at a cost of $46.80 — most likely American currency. The department could be asked what steps it has taken to ensure that the standard is accessible until such time as it is no longer incorporated by reference.
Senator Runciman: I thought there was some comment in here about some Ontario legislation and technical standards.
Senator Moore: There is, in the last paragraph.
Senator Runciman: Yes. That seems to be their latest ploy. Is that a reasonable position that we should respect?
Ms. Kirkby: At the moment, what is incorporated by reference is still the old standard. Until such time as they choose to go with the new standard, the question would be how they are making the old one accessible.
Senator Runciman: So the position they have taken isn't relevant. Is that what you are saying?
Mr. Bernhardt: It is relevant in the sense that it seems to be the case that they are proposing to stop using the American standard and replace it with a new one that emanates from the Province of Ontario. They are still reviewing it. The new standard was published last May and now they are trying to determine whether that is the appropriate way to go.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I understand the primary issue, though, is the accessibility of the incorporated document. It is only available in English and at a cost of $46 every time someone wants to access that document. It sounds unreasonable.
What direction does the committee wish to give the department? Should they speed up the process of making it available online at no cost and in both languages?
Senator Runciman: Why don't we write back to them and indicate that we are unhappy with the response and see no reason why they cannot move ahead and ask for a response in 30 or 60 days?
Ms. Jordan: Why is it only available in English?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): It is the U.S.
Ms. Jordan: Yes, but this is Canada and it should be in both official languages.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I agree.
Ms. Jordan: That is another thing that has to be addressed in the letter.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We asked for accessibility in both languages and at no cost until the new standards are put into place. Are we all agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2010-119 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix J, p. 3J:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Item No. 11 is next on our agenda and falls under the heading "Part Action Promised."
Ms. Kirkby: Eight matters were raised regarding these amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations. As described in the note, Health Canada promised to make amendments addressing five of these points. The department indicated that these amendments would be submitted to Treasury Board as soon as possible after the election. The committee could ask it whether any progress has been made. With regard to the other three points, the department provided explanations which the committee may consider satisfactory.
First of all, the definitions of the expressions "crop group" and "representative crop" are framed in very general terms, but the department has published a list of crops on its website. The question was why the regulations are less precise than the list. The department explained that the list provides additional information that facilitates the application of the regulations, but that list is not exhaustive and does not limit the definitions in it, and so it is preferable to not refer to the list in the regulations.
Concerning point 2 in the correspondence, which deals with the definition of the expression "minor use," the department indicated that the definition sets the criteria according to which the use of a product is considered to be minor. It is rather unusual to have the definition of a "minor use" which does not necessarily refer to the scope or breadth of the usage of the product. However, the definition sets out clear criteria upon which to determine whether a particular usage would qualify.
Finally, regarding point 8, the department confirmed that the applicant does not always submit a written offer at the end of negotiations, but that in those cases, the applicant may not benefit from the anticipated registration. In the case of these three points, the committee could consider the replies satisfactory.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I like the way you worded it in your analysis. They appear to provide it on an objective basis, but in reality it is very subjective and the definitions of "small" and "infrequent" are the sticking points.
Mr. Brassard: I would suggest that the responses to point 1 and point 8 are satisfactory.
There is still some concern with the word "minor," and I would like to see if there is a similar concern among committee members. There seems to be a contradiction. One part of this analysis states:
None of these criteria appear to require that the quantity or scope of uses actually be "minor."
Yet two paragraphs down, it says:
Pursuant to paragraph 67(1)(f.1) of the Pest Control Products Act, the Governor-in-Council is empowered to define "minor use . . . ."
There seems to be a contradiction there. Do we want to narrow it down a little bit more or will that create more red tape?
Mr. Bernhardt: I am in members' hands. That requires a subjective assessment, and it's not really something I can give a legal opinion on.
Mr. Brassard: Will it cause more red tape, Mr. Chair, for agricultural producers, for example?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think that is the crux of the issue. This committee probably can't define "minor," but we should ask them to define it more stringently. Otherwise it is meaningless.
Mr. Brassard: I would like to see that because it is ambiguous, and it is contradictory in the sense that the Governor- in-Council is empowered to define "minor use." So I would suggest we seek that definition, if it's the will of the committee. That would be my recommendation.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2003-2 — ON-ROAD VEHICLE AND ENGINE EMISSION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix K, p. 3K:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We will move on to Item 12 under "Part Action Taken."
Ms. Kirkby: Most of the amendments promised in relation to this file were made in 2013. The one outstanding issue in relation to the regulations concerned the need to explicitly prescribe certain information to be submitted when seeking an exemption. That amendment was made in 2015.
The only issue remaining on this file is an amendment that has been promised in relation to the enabling act, which is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The English version of two provisions refers to the main assembly or manufacture of the vehicle, engine or equipment. The corresponding French provisions distinguish between the assembly of the vehicle and the manufacture of the engine or equipment.
In January 2009, Environment Canada indicated it would address the ambiguity in the English version in the context of its ongoing review of the act. There has been no indication since then of when this measure will be introduced.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it simply a matter of asking them for a date and asking them to reinsert the omitted part? I think we are agreed on the action we need there.
Senator Moore: When we ask, are we looking for an answer within 30 days? Are we putting a time frame on this? I think we should. They have been looking at it for a while.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Your suggestion is asking for a response within 30 days or action within 30 days?
Senator Moore: A response.
Mr. Bernhardt: We can certainly do that. I am looking at the calendar, because it probably will not come back to the committee before the fall, regardless. I don't know if that is a factor.
Senator Moore: It won't come back until the fall?
Mr. Bernhardt: Our last meeting is June 16.
Yes, we can do that.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Even if the committee doesn't deal with it, the response would be in your hands. Then we can deal with it first thing in the fall when we come back under "Action Promised."
Senator Moore: When does the staff do these letters?
Mr. Bernhardt: I will be scurrying back at ten o'clock this morning.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Ten after five it will be in the mail.
Senator Moore: Okay.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Are we comfortable with that direction?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2010-221 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE NARCOTIC CONTROL REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix L, p. 3L:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Item 13, again under "Part Action Taken."
Ms. Kirkby: Subsection 28(1) of the Narcotic Control Regulations requires a narcotic that is not a drug to be tabled in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations. The question raised was how a narcotic can be labelled in accordance with those regulations when it is not a drug and those regulations apply to specific classes of drugs.
Health Canada's latest letter indicates that as a result of amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations in 2013, the labelling requirements of those regulations now apply to these drugs. As a result, there is no longer a need for subsection 28(1) under the Narcotic Control Regulations, and it will be repealed alongside other amendments currently under development. There is no indication as to when this is expected to occur.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I didn't realize a narcotic was not a drug.
Is there a direction that members wish to pursue?
Mr. Kmiec: Requesting a timeline from the department. That is the nicest thing I can say about this one.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We will ask them to give us indication as to when it will be done.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2013-231 — RULES AMENDING THE PATENT RULES
(For text of documents, see Appendix M, p. 3M:1.)
SOR/2013-232 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE TRADE-MARKS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix N, p. 3N:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next are Items 14 and 15 under "Reply Satisfactory."
Ms. Kirkby: The same issue arises in relation to items 14 and 15, so I propose to deal with them together.
Both the patent rules and the trade-marks regulations seem to suggest that a person who no longer met the qualifications to be on the register of patent agents or trademark agents should nonetheless be permitted to remain on that register.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office explained, however, that the relevant provisions allow an agent to remain on the register when they don't meet the original requirements they qualified under but instead now qualify under other requirements. This is explained as a way to recognize the mobility of intellectual property professionals so that those who qualify domestically will still qualify if they are no longer a resident of Canada and vice versa.
If the committee agrees that this explanation is satisfactory, these two files could be closed.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/86-1004 — ATLANTIC PILOTAGE AUTHORITY NON-COMPULSORY AREA REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix O, p. 3O:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): The next five items on our agenda all fall under the heading "Progress (?)," beginning with No. 16.
Mr. Bernhardt: Thirteen amendments were to be made to these regulations. In 2014, the department advised that the Atlantic Pilotage Authority expected to publish the promised amendments by the middle of this year. However, the authority no longer intends to proceed with the amendments because it will simply repeal the regulations given that it no longer provides services under the regulations.
Apparently this issue is to be addressed with the authority's pilots at a meeting next month. According to the authority, if all parties are in agreement at that time, it expects to be able to move forward with the repeal.
I suppose at this point it would be simply a matter of monitoring and following up after that June meeting.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): All agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2003-296 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE WILDLIFE AREA REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix P, p. 3P:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item 17.
Mr. Bernhardt: The committee is seeking two amendments here. In 2005, Environment Canada stated the amendments would be made in the coming months. They are still outstanding. Apparently one reason for this was that they have been combined in a larger package. The committee asked that the amendments addressing its concerns be separated out. In February 2014, the minister advised the committee that that was going to be done. At that point, there was an expected completion date of sometime in 2014. That has been pushed back a couple of times.
Now the department advises that contrary to what the committee had asked for and what the former minister had assured the committee, the amendments promised have again been combined with other additional amendments with the projected time frame for 2017, subject to competing regulatory priorities that may force them to revise their timelines once again in the future.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Yet you sense there is progress here, so you are happy?
Mr. Bernhardt: There is a question mark.
Mr. Kmiec: Outside of the fact this is a perfect example of over-regulation because they can't see the forest for the trees here, this actually only affects one area, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area.
So what happens right now? Until they figure this out, when a child under the age of 12 goes in there with a non- parent, they are collecting fees?
Mr. Bernhardt: I guess the person behind the wicket makes up a rule and applies it. That's the only thing I can assume.
Mr. Kmiec: That is the only thing that can be happening right now. They are charging a fee to people who are trying to enter.
What will happen with all the fees they have collected? Will they go into the department's general revenue?
Mr. Bernhardt: They will go to support our national parks, I presume.
Mr. Kmiec: But these fees aren't being collected through any statutes?
Mr. Bernhardt: In a sense, we don't know what fee is being charged, because they simply don't deal with a situation of a child under 12 accompanied by an adult who is not a parent — for example, a grandparent. I don't know if the committee has ever asked what happens in those cases, whether they charge a fee for the child or whether they treat them as being accompanied by any adult and just don't charge.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): It doesn't say the "child's parent"; it just says "parent."
Mr. Kmiec: Bring a birth certificate to prove it.
Mr. Bernhardt: My guess is simply that if you are under 12, the practice is they don't charge.
Mr. Kmiec: But we don't know.
Mr. Bernhardt: No.
Mr. Kmiec: There was an agricultural regulation two committee meetings ago about levying a fee upon turkey producers. They wanted to return that levy and didn't know who to return it to. Could that happen in this situation?
Mr. Bernhardt: It could. If they were, in fact, collecting entrance fees in respect of children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult who is not a parent, then most people would have paid a fee without proper authority. I presume there would be no way to identify those people and give them their money back.
Mr. Kmiec: So we should request a timeline. I'm going to go find where this is and talk to the member of Parliament for that area.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Are we suggesting that we request an update?
Mr. Kmiec: Yes, an update on the timeline.
Are we allowed to ask them what they are doing right now?
Mr. Bernhardt: We can ask.
Ms. Sansoucy: In the context where the government has announced that access to national parks would be free as of 2017, how does this issue fit in?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I think we are dealing with this current situation. We can't change laws ahead of time until they are changed, so I don't know.
Ms. Sansoucy: Are we not focusing on something that will be obsolete in a few months?
Mr. Di Iorio: According to my understanding, access will be free in 2017 but not in subsequent years. The problem will remain. What is strange is that we are adopting regulations determining that something is free. Are we also going to say that we have the right to breathe freely, to have ideas, and to use our eyes? There is something somewhat illogical here.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Do we wish to leave it or take action? I think we had a suggestion that we write and ask for clarification as to what is happening and the date of change of the actual regulation. Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2005-247 — NEW SUBSTANCES NOTIFICATION REGULATIONS (CHEMICALS AND POLYMERS)
(For text of documents, see Appendix Q, p. 3Q:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item 18.
Mr. Bernhardt: Two amendments were to be prepublished in Part I of the Gazette in the winter of 2014. They had been postponed to the fall of 2014 and then to the spring or summer of 2015. Part I publication is now expected to take place this summer, with the caveat that competing regulatory priorities may change that.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I would suggest we write a letter asking for confirmation by September 30 of this year.
Should we just leave it, or do you want to ask for action?
Mr. Di Iorio: Action.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Ask for confirmation?
Mr. Di Iorio: September 30.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): All in agreement?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2009-20 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE WILD ANIMAL AND PLANT TRADE REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix R, p. 3R:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item 19.
Ms. Kirkby: When an endangered species is added to the international convention, the act requires that the species be added to the regulations within 90 days. Environment Canada has stated that it is difficult, if not impossible, to meet this legal requirement.
In recent years, the department has taken the approach of entering a reservation when a new species is added to the convention to avoid breaching its legal obligations. The department then lifts the reservation once the species is added to the regulations, however long that takes. For example, as indicated in the correspondence, Canada submitted a reservation on all 78 of the amendments made at the sixteenth conference of the parties that took place in Thailand in March 2013. The amendments to the regulations to add these species came into force April 1, 2015, following which the reservation was lifted.
The committee has indicated that this approach cannot be viewed as a permanent solution to the department's inability to comply with the timeline required by law. Environment Canada has attributed at least some of the delay in meeting the 90-day timeline to government policy, such as a 21-day tabling period for treaties.
The committee has repeatedly emphasized that the requirements in the act take precedence over internal policies and has suggested that exemptions be sought to expedite the process. Environment Canada has been somewhat non- committal in this regard, indicating only that finding a solution remains a priority.
It is perhaps worth noting the seventeenth conference of the parties is scheduled to take place in South Africa in September, so amendments to the regulations may again be required in the near future. The department could be asked whether it expects to have a solution in place by then.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): It sounds like we should add it to the agenda of our June meeting. We may have an all-day meeting that day.
Mr. Brassard: If we are going to add it, then we will do that.
My recommendation, Mr. Chair, is that you send a letter to both ministers, indicating that a permanent solution is required in this situation in advance of the June 2 meeting.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is there any disagreement or further discussion on that?
Mr. Anandasangaree: This particular regulation has implications on our international commitment. We need to emphasize that if the other countries can comply, and they have entered into this convention, we certainly should make every effort to do that.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): So you are in agreement with the suggestion to write a letter?
Mr. Anandasangaree: Absolutely.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2012-135 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SULPHUR IN DIESEL FUEL REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix S, p. 3S:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Moving on to Item 20 on our agenda.
Ms. Kirkby: Environment Canada agreed to amend the Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations to address certain drafting issues such as ambiguous and outdated wording. Initially, these amendments were to be prepublished in 2014, but in its latest letter the department said they would instead be prepublished in 2015. To date, however, prepublication has not yet occurred.
No timeline has been provided in respect of one other promised amendment that the department indicated could not be included with the other amendments being prepared for prepublication. An update on all promised amendments could be sought.
The issue described in the note as potentially satisfactory relates to subsection 6(2) of the regulations. The issue raised was why producers and importers are required to keep records about sulphur concentration on the date of dispatch when the regulations establish sulphur concentration limits in relation to production rather than dispatch.
The note describes the correspondence to date on this issue, but Environment Canada now seems to be indicating that dispatch is either the final stage of production or the only point at which it can conclusively be said that production has ended.
Although the sulphur concentration can change as fuels are moved and blended, it seems the point is that the sulphur concentration at the beginning of dispatch would be identical to the sulphur concentration at the end of production, so the limits that apply to production can therefore be enforced on the date of dispatch.
If the committee is satisfied with this explanation, no further action need be taken on this point.
With respect to subsection 6(3), described on page 2 of the note, that subsection requires a producer or importer to keep at the primary place of business, for a period of five years after dispatch, a record indicating that the fuel was not suitable for certain uses. The purpose of this requirement was questioned since there is no requirement that the record accompany the fuel to indicate what uses it is not suitable for.
Environment Canada's latest letter simply indicates that the place of business is the location where an enforcement officer would perform an inspection of records.
Further questions could perhaps be asked about what use specifically an enforcement officer will make of the statement that fuel dispatched at some point in the past five years was not suitable for certain uses.
As the remaining points indicate, however, starting at page 3 of the note, the department has not been forthcoming about how exactly the information required by the regulations is useful in enforcing them. For example, subsections 5.1(2) and (3), and Schedule 2 require a producer or importer to specify any other use, if known, for the diesel fuel beyond the uses enumerated in the regulations. Despite multiple requests for an explanation of precisely why this information is required beyond the other information already provided, the department has repeatedly offered only general statements that it aids in enforcement activities.
Finally, the schedules to the regulations require producers to distinguish between different types of diesel fuel, including biomass-based diesel fuel and a blend of biomass-based diesel fuel and diesel fuel. Nothing in the regulations turns on whether the diesel fuel is biomass-based, et cetera, so the department has repeatedly been asked what use is made of this information.
In its most recent response, Environment Canada indicated that it helps make producers and importers of such fuels aware that they are subject to the regulations. This appears to mean that the schedules are being used for educational rather than legal purposes. The committee has consistently taken the position that administrative means, such as bulletins or websites, are the appropriate vehicles for alerting the public about such matters.
To conclude on these last points, the authority to make regulations does not extend to the collection of information unrelated to the purposes of the regulations. Despite multiple requests, the department has failed to identify a precise legal purpose for the collection of this information.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): There are many different avenues here. On point 1, are we asking for an update?
Ms. Kirkby: Yes, an update about when the promised amendments can be expected.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): And on the other point, it is asking them to remove the unnecessary regulations. Is that what you are suggesting?
Ms. Kirkby: If there is a purpose to them, perhaps a better explanation of what exactly that information is used for.
Senator Moore: A legal purpose.
Ms. Kirkby: A clear legal purpose, as opposed to an educational purpose.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): So we can request those two things — the update and confirmation of what legal purpose is — and if there is none, we need a talk.
Senator Moore: So we can send a letter and ask the questions, but we are going to have witnesses here in June. We can ask questions then, too.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): We will need good help from our counsel to help us remember all the questions we need to ask.
Senator Moore: Make a list, counsel.
Mr. Bernhardt: I'm checking it twice.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): I hope the binder isn't quite as thick as the one today.
Are you comfortable, counsel, with our action on Item No. 20?
Mr. Bernhardt: That it be added to the meeting?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Yes, add it to the meeting and also proceed with the letter.
Is it agreed?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2014-24 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix T, p. 3T:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): The next agenda item, No. 21, is under "Action Promised."
Ms. Kirkby: This statutory instrument addresses thirty of the points raised by the report regarding SOR/2006-124, which was the fourth file on today's agenda. Eight new points were raised with regard to this instrument, as described in the correspondence. Health Canada promised to make amendments regarding six of these points to correct drafting errors and clarify procedural requirements. The department indicated that these changes would be submitted to Treasury Board as soon as possible after the election. The committee could ask it either it has made any progress on this.
With regard to the other two matters, the department provided explanations which the committee may consider satisfactory. First, it seems that the bilingualism requirements that applied to labels did not apply to brochures or leaflets authorized by the minister. The department explained that the definition of "label", in section 2 of the act, is broad enough to include those documents. They must consequently also be in both languages.
Finally, subsection 39(2) of the regulations provides that a certificate of equivalency in relation to a foreign pest control product may be reissued following the expiry of that certificate, but the process has not been streamlined at all. The department explained that a new application must be made to confirm that the pest control product still meets regulatory requirements. Although it seems odd to call this a reissue if the process is identical to the one that needs to be followed to obtain a new certificate, it appears to achieve the department's intentions. Consequently, the committee could consider these two responses satisfactory.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Are you satisfied with these responses?
Mr. Kmiec: I am satisfied, generally, with the responses. All I want is to request a timeline from the department. That is it.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Seeing no other input, we will proceed in that fashion.
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2014-302 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE TRIBUNAL REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix U, p. 3U:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Next is Item 22, again under the heading "Action Promised."
Ms. Kirkby: The English version of subsection 5(1) of these regulations refers to a paragraph of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act that does not exist. The French version refers to paragraph 27(1)(a.97), which exists, but the English version refers to paragraph 27(1)(a.97)(b), which does not. Finance Canada has agreed to correct this error at the next available opportunity.
Senator Runciman: Bring it back in the fall?
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Follow up in the fall on that under "Action Promised"?
Hon. Members: Agreed.
SOR/2005-380 — DECISION BODY TIME PERIODS AND CONSULTATION REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix V, p. 3V:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): The next five agenda items fall under the heading "Action Taken," starting with No. 23.
Mr. Bernhardt: A discrepancy identified by the committee between the French and English versions of subsection 76(1) of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act has now been resolved by legislative amendment, so that file can be closed.
SOR/2013-235 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix W, p. 3W:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): No. 24.
Mr. Bernhardt: This instrument amends several regulations administered by Transport Canada and addresses 31 matters raised by the committee concerning drafting issues and English/French discrepancies.
SOR/2015-161 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT REGULATIONS CONCERNING MARINE SAFETY AND SECURITY (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix X, p. 3X:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): And No. 25.
Mr. Bernhardt: This instrument makes 55 promised amendments to various regulations under the Canada Shipping Act to resolve matters raised by the committee.
SOR/2015-85 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ORDERLY PAYMENT OF DEBTS REGULATIONS (MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM)
(For text of documents, see Appendix Y, p. 3Y:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): No. 26.
Mr. Bernhardt: We have amendments to four provisions requested by the committee to render consistent certain terminology used in the French version of the regulations.
SOR/2015-199 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE UNSOLICITED TELECOMMUNICATIONS FEES REGULATIONS
(For text of documents, see Appendix Z, p. 3Z:1.)
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): And No. 27.
Mr. Bernhardt: This instrument resolves all four drafting issues that had been raised in relation to the Unsolicited Telecommunications Fees Regulations.
SI/2014-89 — PROCLAMATION GIVING NOTICE THAT THE AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA COMES INTO FORCE ON DECEMBER 1, 2014
SI/2015-72 — PROCLAMATION GIVING NOTICE THAT THE AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA COMES INTO FORCE ON AUGUST 1, 2015
SOR/2007-246 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY REGULATIONS (THEFT PROTECTION AND ROLLAWAY PREVENTION — STANDARD 114)
SOR/2007-303 — FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS REGULATIONS, 2007
SOR/2008-229 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY REGULATIONS (LOW- SPEED VEHICLES)
SOR/2008-318 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS ACT AND THE FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS REGULATIONS, 2007
SOR/2009-234 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE BROADCASTING DISTRIBUTION REGULATIONS
SOR/2009-297 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE REGULATIONS
SOR/2011-146 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE RADIO REGULATIONS, 1986
SOR/2014-193 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE RAILWAY INTERSWITCHING REGULATIONS
SOR/2014-278 — TEXTILES AND APPAREL REMISSION ORDER, 2014
SOR/2015-36 — RADIOCOMMUNICATION ACT (SUBSECTION 4(4) AND PARAGRAPH 9(1)(B)) EXEMPTION ORDER, NO. 2015-1
SOR/2015-91 — REGULATIONS AMENDING CERTAIN REGULATIONS MADE UNDER THE BROADCASTING ACT
SOR/2015-92 — RULES AMENDING THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
SOR/2015-109 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE HOUSING LOAN (INSURANCE, GUARANTEE AND PROTECTION) REGULATIONS
SOR/2015-138 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS
SOR/2015-200 — GENERAL EXPORT PERMIT NO. 41 — DUAL-USE GOODS AND TECHNOLOGY TO CERTAIN DESTINATIONS
SOR/2015-215 — RULES AMENDING THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
SOR/2015-253 — ORDER AMENDING THE CANADA TURKEY MARKETING PRODUCERS LEVY ORDER
SOR/2015-254 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN TURKEY MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS, 1990
SOR/2015-255 — ORDER 2015-87-13-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2015-256 — ORDER 2015-66-13-01 AMENDING THE DOMESTIC SUBSTANCES LIST
SOR/2015-257 — REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADIAN CHICKEN MARKETING QUOTA REGULATIONS
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): Do you want to make any comments on any of the items under the heading "Statutory Instruments Without Comment"?
Mr. Bernhardt: Only that these are instruments that have been reviewed by counsel and found to comply with all the committee's criteria.
The Joint Chair (Mr. Albrecht): To end on a positive note, while we had glaring examples of lack of action, we have also had lots of action. So don't leave here in despair.
Thank you very much, everyone.
(The committee adjourned.)