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THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL FINANCE

ORDER OF REFERENCE


Extract from the Journals of the Senate of Saturday, April 11, 2020:

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Gold, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senators Plett, Woo and Verner, P.C.:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report on:

  1. all actions undertaken pursuant to parts 3, 8 and 19 of Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, which received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020, as well as the provisions and operations of the act in general;
  2. the provisions and operations of Bill C-14, A second Act respecting measures in response to COVID-19, if and when it receives Royal Assent; and
  3. the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences;

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be authorized to examine and report on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

That the government be authorized to table with the Clerk of the Senate, following the processes of rule 14-1(6), any report or document relating to its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects, and to actions undertaken pursuant to either Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, which received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020, or Bill C-14, A second Act respecting measures in response to COVID-19, if and when it receives Royal Assent, as well as the provisions and operations of the acts, including any regular report on this subject tabled in the House of Commons, and that the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be authorized to consider any such reports or documents for the purposes of the studies authorized by this order;

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be permitted to deposit with the Clerk of the Senate any reports on studies authorized by this order, if the Senate is not then sitting, with the reports then being deemed to have been tabled or presented in the Chamber;

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology have power to meet for the purposes of the studies authorized by this order when the Senate is adjourned, and that rule 12-18(2) be suspended in relation thereto;

That, notwithstanding any provision of the Rules or usual practices, and taking into account the exceptional circumstances of the current pandemic of COVID-19, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology have the power to meet by videoconference or teleconference, if technically feasible for the purposes of:

  1. the studies authorized by this order;
  2. any business, in the case of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration;
  3. an organization meeting pursuant to rule 12-13;
  4. electing a chair or deputy chair if there is a vacancy in either of those positions; or
  5. holding a meeting called pursuant to the final paragraph of this order or the order of March 11, 2020, to which it makes reference;

That both senators and witnesses be allowed to participate in meetings of these committees by videoconference or teleconference, with such meetings being considered for all purposes to be meetings of the committee in question, and senators taking part in such meetings being considered for all purposes to be present at the meeting;

That, for greater certainty, and without limiting the general authority granted by this order, when a committee meets by videoconference or teleconference:

  1. members of the committee participating count towards quorum;
  2. priority be given to ensuring that members of the committee are able to participate;
  3. such meetings be considered to be occurring in the parliamentary precinct, irrespective of where participants may be; and
  4. the committee be directed to approach in camera meetings with all necessary precaution, taking account of the risks to confidentiality inherent in such technologies;

That, when a committee meets by videoconference or teleconference, the provisions of rule 14-7(2) be applied so as to allow recording or broadcasting through any facilities arranged by the Clerk of the Senate, and, if a meeting being broadcast or recorded cannot be broadcast live, the committee be considered to have fulfilled the requirement that a meeting be public by making any available recording publicly available as soon as possible thereafter;

That there be a minimum of 72 hours’ notice for a meeting of a committee by videoconference or teleconference, subject to technical feasibility; and

That, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph five of the order of March 11, 2020, allowing certain members of a Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure to direct the convening of a meeting of a committee, in the case of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, the terms of that paragraph also apply so as to allow the members of their respective Subcommittees on Agenda and Procedure, other than the chair, to direct the convening of a meeting of the relevant committee, and, if such a request is made during a period that the Senate is adjourned, the meeting be convened at the earlier of the time provided for in that paragraph or, if technically feasible, 2 p.m., Ottawa time, on the fourth day during the period from Monday to Friday after the clerk of the committee receives the letter.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Interim Clerk of the Senate

Richard Denis