Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Banking, Trade and Commerce

Issue 37 - Evidence - June 13, 2013


OTTAWA, Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, to which were referred Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Income tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the First Nations Goods and Services Tax Act, and related legislation; and Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations), met this day at 10:30 a.m. to give clause-by-clause consideration to the bills.

Senator Irving Gerstein (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Good morning. Today we have on our agenda, which was circulated to all senators as well as being posted online, two items; clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-48 to be followed by clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-377.

As we have a heavy agenda and would like to get both bills done today, I would like to ask senators to be brief in their comments.

Before proceeding to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-48, there have been discussions between the two sides and it is proposed that we proceed section by section as opposed to clause by clause. Is that agreeable?

I take that as being unanimous. Thank you.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Chair, I know that we have agreed to that procedure, but will we deal with observations at the end of those proceedings?

The Chair: Agreed.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Thank you. I just wanted to add that to the agenda.

The Chair: Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the First Nations Goods and Services Tax Act and related legislation?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the title stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 1, which contains the short title, stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 1, which contains clauses 2 to 28 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 2, which contains clauses 29 to 53 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 3, which contains clauses 54 to 90 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 4, which contains clauses 91 to 168 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 5, which contains clauses 169 to 412 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 6, which contains clauses 413 to 416 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 7, which contains clauses 417 to 425 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Part 8, which contains clauses 426 and 427 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the schedule carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 1, which contains the short title, carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the title carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the bill carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Is it agreed that I report this bill to the Senate?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: The deputy chair, Senator Hervieux-Payette, please.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I have prepared an English and French version of my text, and I would like the clerk to circulate it.

We can see the size of the bill. We have just learned that this process started in 2001. Of course, over the years it came before Parliament a few times, and this is an addition to an addition to an addition.

The experts who testified, most of whom were lawyers and accountants, made two recommendations to us, not on the content but on the process, so this has nothing to do with the bill itself. As you see, we just voted for the bill, but I think we can make recommendations to the minister.

First, they recommended that technical amendments should be made every year or each two years. I felt that it would be fair to those who will sit on this committee in the future if it is not another 13 years before amendments are made. The explanation of the witnesses was that taxpayers and Canadian companies would benefit from that. It would diminish costs for the implementation of these measures, so it is in the best interests of Canadians.

The second recommendation was a more general one; that we should simplify the Income Tax Act. I said that they have all probably heard in their contacts with the general public that the public would agree with that. Some members of the associations that appeared yesterday recommended that either a task force or a royal commission be set up. I have not concluded that we recommend one or the other but that we recommend that the minister make an effort at simplification over the next number of years.

These are two observations that I think will make us look more intelligent to the public. As we were not able to go through each clause and had to rely on experts, I believe that the next senators who sit on this committee would appreciate having a smaller bill that they will be able to examine properly.

That is my proposal. I discussed it with the chair yesterday evening, and he seemed to agree. I tried to capture what was said to us by the experts yesterday. I did this early this morning because I had another committee after this one yesterday.

You may want to change the wording, but it is very general. It is a question of the principle of being more efficient.

The Chair: Thank you, Senator Hervieux-Payette, and thank you for raising this with me last night. I agreed, and I have just read it now. It is very well taken on your part.

I would like to get your reaction to the use of one particular word. You have far more experience on the Banking Committee than I, but my understanding is that the wording in observations is a little softer. I wonder if you might consider the phrase "Therefore, the committee suggests" as distinct from it being a recommendation. Is that okay with you?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I have no problem with that.

The Chair: In that case, we will say, "Therefore, the committee suggests that the responsible minister for these technical amendments legislate more quickly and frequently," and, in the last paragraph, "The committee suggests that the minister consider the possibility."

Is there further discussion? Is that agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

We will now proceed to consideration of Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).

Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration —

Senator Massicotte: Before we get into that, on a more technical basis, it would be beneficial to me, anyway, to allow me to develop a firmer opinion; I have an opinion, but I would not mind having an in camera discussion about the logic and consequences and our reasoning before we get into the technical approval or disapproval of the bill, if that would be agreeable to all of you.

Senator Moore: I concur.

Senator Greene: I just would like to know what the parameters of the discussion will be.

Senator Massicotte: I could exemplify what my own reasoning would be. We heard from the proponent of the bill in terms of why he thinks it is necessary. I would not mind discussing that.

Senator Moore: I want to interrupt Senator Massicotte for a second. If the staff is going to stay, I ask that they not be using their electronic devices.

Senator Tkachuk: I think that if we are going to have a discussion — because we have to do clause-by-clause consideration today — that we should have a time limit on it so that we have a beginning and an end. If we do not have an end, the discussion could go on forever.

The Chair: I would put a time frame of 20 minutes on it. Twenty minutes?

Senator Massicotte: I am okay with that. Do you still want me to answer the question?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Massicotte: Personally, I want to go through —

The Chair: We are not in camera yet.

Senator Massicotte: It does not matter to me whether we are in camera or not.

The Chair: We will go in camera, at your request.

Senator Massicotte: The question is, before you decide to go in camera, do you want to know the answer?

The Chair: Senator Greene, would you allow us to do that?

Senator Greene: Sure; yes.

The Chair: I have a motion to go in camera for 20 minutes, with the Moore amendment that staff be allowed to stay, provided they do not use any cellphones or other devices. I would ask the gallery to exit.

(The committee continued in camera.)

——————

(The committee resumed in public.)

The Chair: Thank you, guests, for coming back and joining us at this time. I would like to make an opening comment before we go to clause-by-clause consideration. I would like to ask honourable senators if they would like to have a roll call vote, and, if so, I will ask the clerk to call a roll call on each item we are voting on. Do I have approval for that?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Clerk, if you would proceed in that manner, please.

Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

The Chair: Shall the title stand postponed?

Senator Segal: Point of Order. Are the abstentions being reported?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Segal: Thank you.

Adam Thompson, Acting Clerk of the Committee: Senator, perhaps, then, for the motion to go to clause-by-clause, I should do a roll call.

The Chair: All right. Will you do that, please?

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, seven; nays, four; abstentions, one.

The Chair: Thank you.

Shall the title stand postponed?

An Hon. Senator: There are five.

The Chair: Are you sure? I think it is five. We might have to bring in the auditor.

Shall the title stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Everyone is agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 1 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, six; nays, five; abstentions, one.

The Chair: Thank you. Clause 1 is carried.

Shall clause 2 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, six; nays, five; abstentions, one.

The Chair: Clause 2 carries.

Shall clause 3 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, six; nays, five; abstentions, one.

The Chair: Clause 3 carries.

Shall the title carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, six; nays, five; abstentions, one.

The Chair: The title carries.

Shall the bill carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, 7; nays, 4; abstentions, 1.

An Hon. Senator: That cannot be right.

Mr. Thompson: I am sorry. Senator Massicotte, I heard you say "yes."

Senator Massicotte: No.

The Chair: The bill carries.

I recognize Senator Black.

Senator Black: Mr. Chair, I move that the following be appended to the report as observations of the committee. I would like the observations circulated, if possible, please, in both official languages, and I would like to read my proposed observations into the record. May I proceed?

The Chair: We will circulate it first. Senator Black.

Senator Black: I wish to read into the record the observations of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).

While the Committee is reporting Bill C-377 without amendment, it wishes to observe that after three weeks of study — hearing from forty-four witnesses and receiving numerous submissions from governments, labour unions, academics, professional associations and others — the vast majority of testimony and submissions raised serious concerns about this legislation.

Principle among these concerns was the constitutional validity of the legislation both with respect to the division of powers and the Charter. Other issues raised include the protection of personal information and the vagueness as to whom this legislation would apply.

The Committee shares these concerns.

The Committee did not offer any amendments because these substantial issues are best debated by the Senate as a whole.

The Chair: Thank you, Senator Black.

Senator Massicotte: Can I propose an amendment to the second paragraph? Line five, when you say, "Other issues raised include the production of personal information" I propose adding, "the cost and need for greater transparency" and vagueness . . .

Senator Tkachuk: The purpose of the legislation is greater transparency, so I do not have a problem with greater transparency. I was not convinced by the arguments that it was too costly. I would say that we do not go there unless we do not agree with transparency.

Senator Segal: Let me agree with Senator Massicotte.

The Chair: One minute, please, Senator Segal.

Senator Tkachuk: I am done. I just wanted to make that statement.

Senator Campbell: I support Senator Massicotte. I think we are trying to figure out how many angels are dancing on the head of a pin here. In fact, cost was one of the major concerns that we heard from the unions and others, that this would be incredibly costly, so that is an issue. Transparency is supposedly where this is going. I support Senator Massicotte in that amendment. Without that amendment, I will be voting against this observation.

Senator Segal: Let me just say that the reason I support Senator Massicotte is because that paragraph refers to the burden of the testimony we received. It does not reflect our collective views as a committee. If it did reflect that, then my colleague Senator Tkachuk's concern is absolutely valid because there would not be a consensus around the table on those issues. This paragraph, as I understand it, seeks to reflect what the vast majority of those people who appeared before us said, and the vast majority of those people did raise these concerns, including the ones that were added in the proposed amendment by Senator Massicotte. It is an honourable reflection of the testimony. It does not reflect our committee's views, other than the committee is listing this as a reporting part of our observation about what we heard from testimony. As to whether or not we agree with what the testimony is, that is a matter that clearly has already been voted upon in the approval of the bill for going forward at the report stage to the chamber.

Senator Tkachuk: They may have argued strongly about the cost, and they did argue, saying that was going to be very costly, but I did not hear them not supporting the question of transparency. I did not hear the witnesses.

[Translation]

Senator Maltais: I agree with Senator Tkachuk. I asked a number of witnesses how much it would cost. Everyone says it will be expensive, but no one could put a figure on it. No one could tell me whether it would cost $1 or $2 million. We were shown a brick of a document. Senator Ringuette told us it had to be filled out every day. That document was supposed to be submitted to us, and it was not.

Senator Ringuette: Yes, I submitted it yesterday.

Senator Maltais: I did not get it then. We should be provided with some figures somewhere, before we say that it is too expensive. When I go car shopping, if the list price is $30,000 but I have only $20,000 to spend, I will say that car is too expensive, because the math is clear. In this case, however, no one has told us what the cost is going to be. Transparency is a two-way street, in my opinion.

[English]

Senator Oliver: My only point is that I am not offended by the two new suggestions to the second paragraph, that is, adding costs and the need for greater transparency, because they did in fact flow from the evidence we heard. Several witnesses did raise questions about costs. As to whether there is a definitive conclusion is not important, but they were raised, so we are putting that before the Senate.

Senator Campbell: I agree with Senator Oliver. There must be a parallel world, because how would you know what the cost is, since the bill has not been enacted? However, you can bet there will be costs, and they went through what the costs would be, and they will be substantive. Whether you agree with that or not, that is not the issue. The issue is that that was one of the issues raised by the witnesses, and it will be up to the full Senate to decide on that. Again, I support the amendment and will not vote if it is not passed.

Senator Tkachuk: Could we repeat that amendment again?

Senator Massicotte: Let us pay attention.

Senator Tkachuk: I am paying attention.

The Chair: That was not necessary. Everyone is paying attention. Senator Massicotte will repeat the amendment.

Senator Massicotte: "Other issues raised include the protection of personal information, the costs and need for greater transparency and the vagueness as to whom this legislation would apply." That is what is being proposed.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Senator Greene: I agree with the wording as presented by Senator Massicotte and the reasons for it, very well elaborated on by Senator Segal.

Senator Ringuette: I gather that we are discussing the subamendment or the amendment to the observations.

First, I would like to reiterate, Senator Maltais, that I did give the brick to the clerk the day that I presented it in front of this committee. I am not in charge of the duties of the clerk and how the process works.

I certainly agree with the observations that Senator Massicotte has put forward in amendment, because it is a cost factor. All the witnesses who appeared before us did indicate that it is a cost factor. CRA has also indicated that there is a cost factor. I think that we would not be straight with our Senate colleagues if we did not include that in our observations.

[Translation]

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I approve of the overall text with the amendment. As far as the cost is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that it applies to all the unions and not just the labour confederations. Some unions have 10, 15 or 20 members and they will have to report the information. Small local unions do not have regular staff. Bear in mind that it is not the big unions that will be hardest hit by the cost implications, but the smaller ones, and there are many more of them.

Originally, the number of unions was pegged at around 2,500. At the end of the day, however, the number is much higher. We are talking about more than 10,000 unions across Canada because small local unions are included. As a result, it is clear that workers will have to either volunteer to do the work or be paid to do it. And do not ask me where the money to pay them will come from because the union dues are modest. Those small unions do not have budgets for this kind of thing. We have to consider the effect at the local level, as far as operations and reporting are concerned. These small groups will also have to provide information to the Canada Revenue Agency, which will keep track of all these small organizations and bring them into line if they do not meet their obligation properly. In my view, this obligation has tremendous direct and indirect costs.

[English]

The Chair: Thank you. I have no further questions or comments. I will have the clerk repeat the amendment that has been put to the floor, which is paragraph 2.

Mr. Thompson: It reads:

Other issues raised include the protection of personal information, the cost and need for greater transparency, and the vagueness as to whom this legislation would apply.

The Chair: We have two amendments, but we will combine them as one.

Those in favour of the amendment?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: We have agreed to the amendment. Now we go back to the observation, as amended.

Senator Massicotte: I have a question of interest. Senator Segal raised an issue in the debate — I think it was in the in camera session — whereby this bill is so important that it merits being debated in the Senate.

The Chair: I do not think we should be talking in public about what was in the in camera session.

Senator Massicotte: Let us deal with the essence of this observation. The essence of this observation said that this bill is so important that it merits being discussed in the Senate as a whole. It seems to suggest that if the committee had voted against the bill, that would not occur. However, I had thought that is not the case. The committee only recommends its opinion to the Senate, and if it came back and the committee recommended to not approve the bill, I thought the Senate would debate it anyway.

The Chair: I do not believe that is correct. That is not correct.

Senator Massicotte: It does not get reported to the Senate?

The Chair: No.

Senator Massicotte: However, it gets reported, say, if we refuse the bill? It never goes back to the Senate?

The Chair: No.

Do I have a question from anyone on the observation?

Senator Ringuette: Not a question but a comment. We have heard, as the observations say, from 44 witnesses. My gut feeling, before we started with the witnesses, was that it was pretty much a different perspective from different people.

How can we expect our colleagues in the Senate, who will not have had the opportunity to hear the 44 witnesses, to have the same apprehension about the bill? They will not be afforded the information and documents that we have had. We are kind of abdicating our responsibility and saying, "We will go with the flow, but we will ask our colleagues to discuss this bill, in respect of which they have not heard the 44 witness and have not read the documents."

I honestly question the onus that we seem to be putting on the Senate as a whole and for us as committee members in abdicating our responsibility as a committee, which was requested by the Senate as a whole to study this bill and to make recommendations.

For me, I think it is a little bit hypocritical, or just passing the ball, not taking responsibility, when we spent hours and hours in this committee listening to witnesses. I honestly find that this is an abdication of our responsibility as a committee towards all our colleagues in the Senate.

Senator Oliver: A number of senators have said to me that they have an interest in the bill and look forward to being able to speak to it. Electronically, anyone can follow the debates of a committee, as I do from time to time with other committees. There is interest in this bill. I know that a number of senators have been watching it, and I think you will find that there will be a lot of people who will want to speak to it, based upon the evidence that has come before this committee. Therefore, I do not see that as an issue, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Question?

An Hon. Senator: Question.

The Chair: Does the observation, as amended, carry?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Roll call, please. The question is the approval of the observation, as amended.

Senator Massicotte: On the observation, how is it presented to the Senate? We have had this debate before.

Senator Oliver: It is the report of the committee.

Senator Massicotte: So it can be read.

The Chair: It is appended.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: No.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: Yes.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: No.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, 8; nays, 3; abstentions, 1.

The Chair: The observation, as amended, carries. Is it agreed that I report this bill without amendment but with observations, as amended, to the Senate?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: I am sorry; we are going to have a recorded vote, please.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: What are we voting on?

The Chair: This is the vote on reporting back to the Senate.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Gerstein?

Senator Gerstein: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Black?

Senator Black: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Campbell?

Senator Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Greene?

Senator Greene: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette?

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Maltais?

Senator Maltais: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Massicotte?

Senator Massicotte: Yes.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth?

Senator Nancy Ruth: Abstain.

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Oliver?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

[Translation]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Ringuette?

Senator Ringuette: No.

[English]

Mr. Thompson: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Mr. Thompson: Yeas, 10; nays, 1; abstentions, 1.

The Chair: Carried.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank the members of the committee for the study of this bill.

(The committee adjourned.)