THE COMMITTEE OF SELECTION

EVIDENCE


OTTAWA, Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Committee of Selection, pursuant to the orders of the Senate of December 7 and December 12, 2016, met this day at 11 a.m. to consider the election of the deputy chair and membership changes.

Senator Donald Neil Plett (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Honourable senators, the purpose of today's meeting is to recommend membership changes to committees pursuant to the orders of the Senate of December 7 and December 12, 2016.

As a result of these motions, Senator Munson, the former deputy chair, is no longer a member of this committee. We therefore have a vacancy in this role. Accordingly, it is my duty as chair to preside over the election of a new deputy chair. That will be our first item of business, so I will entertain a motion to that effect.

Senator Wells: Chair, I move that Senator Fraser be Deputy Chair of the Selection Committee.

The Chair: It is moved by Senator Wells that the Honourable Senator Fraser be the Deputy Chair of the Selection Committee.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: I declare the motion carried.

Welcome, and congratulations. Do you want to do an acceptance speech or are you okay?

Senator Fraser: I'm overcome with honour and I'll work day and night.

The Chair: I am very pleased to welcome Senator Fraser as deputy chair.

I am now ready to proceed to the next item of business.

Senator Pratte: Mr. Chairman, I have a question, if you don't mind.

The Chair: I don't mind; just don't ask difficult ones.

Senator Pratte: No. I never do, as you know. This one is easy.

On the agenda where the names of the future members of committees are to be written, I see a new expression that I've never seen before: "Non-recognized Party," or "Parti non reconnu," in French. I wonder where that comes from and what exactly that means. It used to be "independents," then it became "non-affiliated," and now it's written "non-recognized party." What does that mean? Will that replace something?

The Chair: Clause (c) of Motion No. 3 says: "four independent Liberal senators, and seven senators who are not members of a recognized party." That is what the motion says: "not members of a recognized party." That is why it is a non-recognized party.

Senator McCoy: I wonder if you would entertain a suggestion.

The Chair: I would certainly entertain a suggestion, and then we will determine whether it is the ability of this committee to make name changes. I'm certainly willing to entertain a suggestion.

Senator McCoy: I agree with you 100 per cent. The order of December 7 as modified later in 3(c) talks about "senators who are not members of a recognized party."

The Chair: Right.

Senator McCoy: But that's not what the title says. The title on the top here says "Non-recognized party." I am not a party and I don't belong to a party federally. Could we be a little more precise?

I gather you were attempting to be precise in following the order of the Senate. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I recognize that it's an order of the Senate. I just wish that the heading would reflect the order of the Senate.

The Chair: Well, Senator McCoy, in the spirit of Christmas and in the spirit of collaboration, I think we will take that under consideration and work together to have a title that we can all identify with. Is that fair?

Senator Pratte: Thank you.

Senator Omidvar: That's great.

The Chair: For the purpose of moving forward today, I will simply say that you object to this particular title, the third group on this paper.

Senator Pratte: Great.

Senator McCoy: Excellent. We are getting closer and closer, Senator Plett.

The Chair: There you go. Good thing Christmas is coming up. When we come back in January, we can be back to our feisty spirits again.

I propose that we proceed as follows: For each committee affected by the motions, a representative from each of the parties or groups reads out the names of each of their respective senators to be named to that committee.

There are 15 members of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. We need to read these names somewhat deliberately because they need to be recorded.

I will start with the Conservative Party of Canada, if that is okay. Senator Wells, I think you have a list of names.

Senator Wells: I have six names representing the Conservative Party of Canada. They are Senator Beyak, Senator Enverga, Senator Patterson, Senator Greene Raine, Senator Tannas and Senator Oh.

The Chair: Thank you.

I will then go to the independent Liberals.

Senator Fraser: The Honourable Senators Dyck, Lovelace Nicholas, and Moore.

The Chair: Next, the group that is being represented by some members who are not of a recognized party.

Senator Omidvar: The independent senators.

Senator Black: In respect of, for example, Senator Moore — and we will see Senator Wallace later — what do we do in that case?

Senator Carignan: I can answer. The motion says that when the seat is vacant, it will be for the group or the party to name another one.

The Chair: Are you happy with that, Senator Black?

Senator Black: I could not be happier.

The Chair: It is going to be fun this week.

Senator Omidvar, are you providing the names?

Senator Omidvar: Yes. The independent senators on the Aboriginal Committee are Senator Boniface, Senator McPhedran, Senator Meredith, Senator Pate, Senator Sinclair, and we have Senator McCoy as a placeholder for Senator Christmas, who will be inducted today.

The Chair: So after today that will change. I think we can accept that. We're good.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

The next committee is the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. We need 15 members again. For the sake of collaboration, we will start with the independent Liberals.

Senator Tardif: We have Senators Mercer, Merchant and Tardif.

The Chair: And then Senator Omidvar?

Senator Omidvar: We have Senators Woo, Gagné, Bernard, Petitclerc and Pratte. As a placeholder for Senator Galvez who will be inducted today we will have Senator McCoy.

Senator Wells: We have the Honourable Senators Beyak, Dagenais, Maltais, Ogilvie, Oh and Plett.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Carried.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. We will start with Senator Omidvar.

Senator Omidvar: The independents on Banking are Senators Black, Campbell, Moncion, Ringuette, Wallin and Wetston.

Senator Wells: I have Senators Enverga, Greene, Plett, Smith, Tannas and Tkachuk.

Senator Fraser: We are nominating the Honourable Senators Day and Massicotte, but we have a third slot which we are still discussing. I want to be clear that we are retaining the slot. We're not giving up the seat. I don't know how you will handle that in your report to the Senate. Senator Tardif will be a placeholder.

The Chair: I was just going to suggest that. Thank you very much and thank you for volunteering, Senator Tardif.

Senator Tardif: I couldn't be more grateful.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Now is the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate Senators Lang, MacDonald, Mockler, Neufeld, Patterson and Seidman.

Senator Fraser: I would nominate Senators Massicotte, Fraser and Day.

Senator Omidvar: Senators Griffin, Black, Meredith, Wetston, and as a placeholder as Senator Galvez, myself, and another placeholder Senator McCoy. That is six.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Let’s start with the independent Liberals.

Senator Tardif: Senators Hubley, Munson and Watt.

Senator Omidvar: Since we're doing names, I just want to make a point. My name is Omidvar. It's very simple; break it down into two syllables — Omid-var.

The Chair: Keep on reminding me.

Senator Omidvar: I will do that for sure.

The independent senators on Fisheries are Senator McCoy, who is a placeholder for Senator Christmas, Forest, Gold, Hartling, McCoy and Sinclair.

Senator McCoy: I think it might be you for the second place.

Senator Omidvar: Let's put my name as the placeholder.

Senator Fraser: So we have Senators Sinclair, Omidvar, McCoy, Gold, Hartling and who else?

Senator Omidvar: Forest.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate Senators Enverga, Manning, McInnis, Poirier, Greene Raine, and Stewart Olsen.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate Senators Andreychuk, Ataullahjan, Housakos, Eaton, Ngo and Oh.

The Chair: The independent Liberals.

Senator Fraser: Senators Downe, Cordy and Dawson.

The Chair: Senator Omidvar.

Senator Omidvar: We have Senators Saint-Germain, Cools, Bovey, Gold, Marwah and Woo.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. Independent Liberals, please?

Senator Tardif: Senators Munson, Hubley and Day.

The Chair: I think there should only be two names.

Senator Tardif: Sorry. That's right. It's a nine-member committee. We nominate Senators Munson and Hubley.

The Chair: Independent senators.

Senator Omidvar: Senators Omidvar, Bernard, Hartling, McPhedran and Pate.

The Chair: And the Conservative Party.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate Senators Andreychuk, Ataullahjan, Ngo, Martin and Unger.

The Chair: The third one, Senator Wells?

Senator Wells: Senator Ngo.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, 18 people. This is a large committee. We'll start with Senator Omidvar.

Senator Omidvar: The independents nominate Senators Campbell, Dupuis, Lankin, Marwah, McCoy, Omidvar and Wallace. Senator Mitchell is on that too.

The Chair: We need seven.

Senator McCoy: We will sub you in.

Senator Omidvar: Senators Campbell, Dupuis, Lankin, Marwah, McCoy, Omidvar and Mitchell.

The Chair: The Conservative Party?

Senator Wells: I'd like to nominate Senators Batters, Housakos, Marshall, Smith, Tannas, Tkachuk and Wells.

The Chair: The independent Liberals, four.

Senator Fraser: Honourable Senators Cordy, Downe, Jaffer and Munson.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, 15 members.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate Senators Batters, Boisvenu, Dagenais, McIntyre, Runciman and White.

The Chair: The independent Liberals?

Senator Tardif: I would like to nominate the Honourable Senators Baker, Jaffer and Joyal.

The Chair: The independents?

Senator Omidvar: We nominate Senators Dupuis, Omidvar, Pate and Pratte.

Senator McCoy: As well as the two on the previous page.

Senator Omidvar: Senators Sinclair and Boniface.

The Chair: Do you want to start over?

Senator Omidvar: Yes. Senators Sinclair, Boniface, Dupuis, Omidvar, Pate and Pratte.

The Chair: Are we agreed with that motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Next is the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, 15 members.

Senator Fraser, can I ask you to go first?

Senator Fraser: We are nominating the Honourable Senators Baker, Cowan and Day.

Senator Omidvar: We are nominating Senators Cools, Black, Forest, Moncion, Pratte and Woo.

Senator Black: It's my wish, as I have indicated, that I would prefer to sit on that committee as a placeholder until we find someone to take my place.

The Chair: Sure, that's fine.

The Conservatives?

Senator Wells: For the National Finance Committee, I would like to nominate Senators Andreychuk, Eaton, Marshall, Mockler, Neufeld and Smith.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, 12 members. I will start with Senator Wells.

Senator Wells: I'm just putting my list together for that.

The Chair: Senator Fraser?

Senator Fraser: Senators Jaffer and Kenny.

The Chair: Senator Wells, do you have your list complete?

Senator Wells: I do not have my list complete.

Senator Omidvar: On Defence, we have Senators Boniface, Lankin, McPhedran, Saint-Germain, and as a placeholder we have Senator Omidvar.

The Chair: Let me see whether I have your list here. It doesn't look like I do.

If it is agreeable, colleagues, we will skip that one and come back to it.

Senator Omidvar: That will be great. I will take that back and we will come back to that.

Senator Carignan: You don't have the list for Defence? Maybe I could go?

The Chair: Certainly, if you want to give it to us.

Senator Carignan: Senators Carignan, Lang, Dagenais, White and Beyak.

The Chair: Now Senator Omidvar.

Senator Omidvar: We have Senators Boniface, Lankin, McPhedran, Meredith, Saint-Germain, and as a placeholder myself, Senator Omidvar.

Senator Pratte: There are only five seats.

Senator Omidvar: Then we will take the placeholder off.

The Chair: Thank you.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, 12 members.

Senator Wells: For Official Languages, I would like to nominate Senators Maltais, McIntyre, Mockler, Poirier and Seidman.

The Chair: For the independent Liberals?

Senator Tardif: Senator Tardif and Senator Fraser.

The Chair: And Senator Omidvar?

Senator Omidvar: For the independents, we have Senators Gagné, Bovey, Cormier, Mégie and Moncion.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, a large committee again, 18 members.

Senator Omidvar: We nominate Senators Lankin, Bellemare, Cools, Dupuis, Gold, McCoy and Ringuette.

Senator Wells: I would like to nominate for the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament the Honourable Senators Batters, Frum, McInnis, Seidman, Tkachuk, Wells and White.

Senator Fraser: For the Rules Committee, Senators Fraser, Jaffer and Joyal.

The Chair: You are entitled to four.

Senator Fraser: Senator Day. He is a lucky man.

The Chair: It is nice to have volunteers in the party.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 15 members.

Senator Tardif: Honourable Senators Eggleton, Merchant and Day.

Senator Wells: For the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, I would like to nominate Senators Frum, Neufeld, Ogilvie, Greene Raine, Seidman and Stewart Olsen.

The Chair: That leaves us with Senator Omidvar.

Senator Omidvar: We nominate Senators Demers, Cormier, Dean, Mégie, Meredith and Petitclerc.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Next is the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, 15 members.

Senator Omidvar: We nominate Senators Bovey, Cormier, Griffin, Hartling, Saint-Germain, and the place holder for Senator Galvez will be me, Senator Omidvar.

Senator Wells: For Transport and Communications, I would nominate Senators Boisvenu, Doyle, Greene, MacDonald, Runciman and Unger.

The Chair: And the independent Liberals?

Senator Fraser: The Honourable Senators Dawson, Eggleton and Mercer.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Next is the Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization. This committee has 18 members. We'll start with Senator Fraser.

Senator Fraser: Senators Joyal, Eggleton, Massicotte and Tardif.

Senator Omidvar: Our nominations are Senators McCoy, Dean, Dupuis, Forest, Gagné, Lankin and Bellemare.

Senator Wells: For Senate Modernization, I would like to nominate Senators Frum, Greene, McInnis, McIntyre, Stewart Olsen, Tkachuk and Wells.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Before we conclude, colleagues, I would like to propose some additional wording to be included in our report in order to clarify some of the provisions of the December 7 motion. It is being handed out. The clerk will read it out for us.

Shaila Anwar, Clerk of the Committee: It reads as follows:

Pursuant to rule 12-3(3) of the Rules of the Senate, the Honourable Senator Harder, P.C., (or Bellemare) and the Honourable Senator Carignan, P.C., (or Martin) are ex officio members of all committees except the Committee of Selection, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators and the joint committees.

Pursuant to the motion adopted on December 7, 2016, the Honourable Senator Bellemare (or Mitchell) and the Honourable Senator Carignan, P.C., (or Martin) are ex officio members of the Committee of Selection.

For greater certainty, your committee recommends that because the order adopted by the Senate on December 7, 2016 introduces a comprehensive system for committee membership changes covering all senators, letters that may have been sent to the Speaker to authorize one the whips to make membership changes for independent senators should no longer be considered valid.

The Chair: Are we good with that?

Senator Fraser: No, I have a question.

Senator McCoy: I would defer to Senator Fraser, but I do believe — I'm sorry Senator Carignan has left. I believe that in our discussions leading to the final wording for the order that came forward to the Senate floor, it was pointed out to us by procedural clerks that one didn't appoint people by name to ex officio positions; it was appointed by title. Was that your point, Senator Fraser?

Senator Fraser: That was not, but that's a good point.

Senator McCoy: So would you endorse that point? I'm in agreement with what it says here, but if you would just run that by the table officers, they would insert the titles, not the individual names. That's just not done.

The Chair: Thank you Senator McCoy.

Senator Fraser?

Senator Fraser: Two things: One, I'd like to have my memory refreshed about how people who do not belong to a recognized party get substituted on committees; and, second, the motion that was adopted by the Senate referred, as I recall, to senators who do not belong to a recognized party, rather than independent senators.

The Rules Committee is tasked with finding a label for these people — sorry, my esteemed colleagues. So far, we have not been able to reach a consensus on the appropriate label. If we could stick with the language that was used in the motion adopted by the Senate, that would be convenient, if that's all right.

Senator McCoy: I draw your attention, Senator Fraser, to page 2 of the order from December 7. Clause 6(a) reads:

6. Notwithstanding rule 12-2(3) . . .:

(a) changes may be made for committee members recognized as belonging to the Independent Senators Group by the Facilitator chosen by that group filing a signed notice to replace the member with another member of the group with the Clerk the Senate . . . .

That, then, will be filed. That's following normal practice.

The next subclause reads:

(b) changes may be made for committee members who are not covered by the provisions of rule 12-5 and who are not recognized as belonging to the Independent Senators Group by the senator . . . .

So there is a provision for that.

Senator Fraser: Well, not to be picky about this, but the capitalized ISG — Independent Senators Group — is a label that has become known. It is the lower case "independent" senators that we are still tussling over, so I would be content if we referred to authorizing one the whips to make membership changes for members of the Independent Senators Group.

Senator McCoy: No, we would do that for ourselves and that's the order of the —

The Chair: We have to keep the comments going through the chair, please, instead of having a debate.

Senator Fraser: I'm not trying to change the content of this resolution, Senator McCoy, just that particular label. The content as far as it goes, I certainly accept. I'm not sure how membership changes would be arranged, and that was my initial question, but at the moment I'm just focusing on wording.

Senator McCoy: But it's covered in the order of the Senate, Mr. Chair.

Maybe I'm not understanding your point fully, Senator Fraser.

The Chair: Let me read a suggestion that we have here:

For greater certainty, your committee recommends that because the order adopted by the Senate on December 7, 2016 introduces a comprehensive system for committee membership changes covering all senators, letters that may have been sent to the Speaker to authorize one the whips to make membership changes for senators should no longer be considered valid.

Senator Fraser: No, because that leaves Conservatives and Liberals out in the cold.

Senator McCoy: I see what you're saying.

The Chair: We'll have the clerk explain it to us.

Ms. Anwar: Prior to this motion being adopted and prior to the new group of senators being appointed, there was a workaround for membership changes for what we knew as "independent senators." where they could send a letter to the Speaker to go under the authority of one the two whips. We have those letters for senators who are currently members of the committee. For instance, I think we have one for Senator Mitchell, that he is under the authority of the Liberal whip for the duration of this session. With the adoption of this motion, that letter becomes problematic.

The intent of this is to nullify the existence of those letters, because we now have, through this motion, a regime for all senators to be replaced on a committee, whether they are members of the ISG, a member of a recognized party or even not part of any one of those parties or groups. I think there are three senators who fit that category, and they can now make membership changes by way of a letter that's co-signed by each of the senators involved in the change. So whereas the rules didn't provide for membership changes for those senators before, this motion does. Those letters no longer need to be used, so we would like to cancel them, essentially.

The Chair: Is that understood?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Senator Fraser: I'm still stuck with the word "independent." If you want to take that out and say "for senators" — some people are going to be confused by that, but I will be happier.

Ms. Anwar: "For certain senators"?

Senator Martin: Finally I am now following this discussion.

Senator Fraser, what you are saying is that in this report you would like to replace "independent senators" in the last line of the motion to reflect the current status of this phrase not being formally used. What was the suggested phrasing?

Senator Fraser: I had initially suggested senators who are members of the Independent Senators Group. I have since recalled that there are a few who are not.

Perhaps, the neatest and cleanest way to do it is to take out the word "independent." The clerk assures us that will work, and I trust her.

Senator Martin: In that first part, it covers those senators who may have sent such letters. I think that would do it if we remove the word "independent" for now.

Senator Fraser: Can you live with that?

Senator Omidvar: By taking out the word "independent," I wonder whether you are not also referring to members of the Conservative and independent Liberals when you just leave "membership changes for senators."

Senator Martin: No, because it's part of the entire phrase that begins "letters that may have been sent to the Speaker to authorize one the whips to make membership changes for senators should no longer be considered valid." The senators in the latter part of the sentence are within the context of letters that were sent to the Speaker.

Senator Omidvar: Again, because I'm new to this, does your whip not often send letters to the Speaker about changes of nominations to committee members from your own group? No? Then I stand back. Okay.

Senator McCoy: Can I make another suggestion?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator McCoy: As of today with the Selection Committee, or at least as soon as the Selection Committee files its report in the Senate and it's adopted, all of the committees are populated. All these letters are for substitutions, so what we're talking about is any letter of substitution sent prior to that date being invalid. But you don't then interfere with the authority of the political caucus —

The Chair: A suggestion was just made, Senator McCoy, that this even be changed for senators who have sent such a letter.

Senator McCoy: That could be fine as well. Let's put a date in there.

The Chair: That's what we will do. Are we happy then? "Prior to today."

Ms. Anwar: That will cover it.

The Chair: We're happy with that? In that case, there are no changes.

Ms. Anwar: A couple of little changes.

The Chair: There are a couple of little changes to the text. Would we be okay with the chair, the deputy chair and a third member of the ISG being authorized to approve the final version?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.

Senator McCoy: Were you going to address the joint committees?

The Chair: Our clerk has assured us that she will make every effort to have the report ready by this afternoon for me to report it in the Senate. We will make an effort to do that. If it is not ready, it will be reported tomorrow. But hopefully we will report it this afternoon.

Is it agreed that the chair report to the Senate the nominations agreed to today?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Mitchell: Is it the intention that we pass it tomorrow so everyone can go away and prepare for Christmas?

The Chair: Yes, the intent is to pass it tomorrow. If it's there today, there is no problem; it will be adopted tomorrow. If we don't present it until tomorrow, we would agree for leave to adopt it tomorrow. Agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator McCoy: I believe you mentioned the joint committees that you were going to come back to at the end. You had a plan for the joint committees.

The Chair: That was Modernization. We are not dealing with the joint committees.

Senator McCoy: The Selection Committee deals with them at some other time?

The Chair: That's correct.

Thank you again. If I don't talk to you later, please have a great Christmas.

(The committee adjourned.)


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