Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
 

THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE

EVIDENCE


OTTAWA, Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to which was referred Bill S-6, An Act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, met this day at 10:30 a.m. to give clause-by-clause consideration to the bill; and, in camera, to study the impact and utilization of Canadian culture and arts in Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy, and other related matters — consideration of a draft agenda (future business).

Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Honourable senators, we are meeting to complete our examination of Bill S-6, An Act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The committee heard from government officials. No other witnesses asked to appear on this bill. Accordingly, the committee is now at the stage where it will go through the bill clause by clause.

Senators, is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill S-6?

Senator Massicotte: Chair, I have a number of recommendations and amendments to propose. Do I do it now?

I’m just joking.

The Chair: Santa is not coming to your house now.

Are we ready to proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill S-6? I need on-the-record agreement.

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Before we begin, I would like to make members aware that we have government officials from Finance in the room should members have any technical questions to raise as we go through the bill clause by clause. If at any point a senator is not clear where we are in the process, please ask for clarification. I want to ensure that at all times we all have the same understanding of where we are in the process.

In terms of the mechanics of the process, I wish to remind senators that when more than one amendment is proposed to be moved in a clause, amendments should be proposed in the order of the lines of a clause. If a senator is opposed to an entire clause, I would remind you that, in committee, the proper process is not to move a motion to delete the entire clause but, rather, to vote against the clause as standing as part of the bill.

I would also remind senators that some amendments that are moved may be consequential — shall I dispense?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: All right. We will move on, and if there is need for clarification, by all means, ask throughout the process.

Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill S-6, An Act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income?

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 clause 2 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 3 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 4 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 5 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 6 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Schedule 1, pages 3 to 24, carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall Schedule 2, page 25, 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: Does the committee wish to consider appending observations to the report?

Senators, I have a short observation that can be circulated, if you agree. It is to take into account that there is an election process in Madagascar, and the political situation is of issue to the government. As a Foreign Affairs Committee, so that we don’t look like we’re not mindful of the political situation, et cetera — it is not to slow the bill down in any way or to do anything about it — I would suggest the following:

The committee encourages the government to continue monitoring the political situation in Madagascar as it implements the convention.

So it is due diligence on our part, but it is not, in any way, at least in my opinion — and that’s why I want it on the record in a public forum — to attempt to defeat the bill or slow down the bill in any implementation. We’ve agreed that we should go forward, but we are saying to the government, “Be mindful of the situation.” After all, they have 94 others. We’re saying, right now, pay attention.

I don’t know if there is agreement.

Senator Massicotte: You don’t recommend a letter with that, do you?

The Chair: No, we leave that you, senator.

In our duties, we do monitor situations around the world. We have a general term in that we can do any investigation, but it’s not intended as anything more than to note the situation there. It is a unique situation.

Is there agreement for this observation?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Then it is agreed and noted.

Is it agreed that I report this bill, with the observation, to the Senate?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: If there are no further issues, we could probably report this afternoon.

We will now go in camera briefly.

(The committee continued in camera.)