Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Issue No. 21 - Evidence - February 8, 2017


OTTAWA, Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, to which was referred Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act, met this day at 4:16 p.m. to give clause-by-clause consideration to the bill.

Senator Bob Runciman (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Welcome, senators, members of the public with us in the room and viewers across the country who are watching on television.

We are meeting to resume consideration of Bill C-4. We've heard from several witnesses and are now at the stage where we will soon begin to go through the bill clause by clause. Before starting that process, we will review a number of points that I think would be especially helpful to new members of the committee.

If at any point a senator is not clear where we are in the process, put your hand up; don't hesitate to ask for clarification. We want to do our utmost to ensure that at all times we have the same understanding of where we are in the process.

In terms of the mechanics, I want to remind senators that when more than one amendment is going to be moved in a clause, the amendments should be proposed in the order of the lines of a clause. Before we take up an amendment in a clause, I'll be verifying whether any senators had intended to move an amendment earlier in that clause. If you do intend to move an earlier amendment, we'll make sure you get the chance to do so.

One other point: 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 standing as part of a bill.

If members have any questions about the process or the propriety of anything going on, they can always raise a point of order. We will listen to your argument and decide when there has been sufficient discussion on the matter, and make a ruling. Of course, the committee is the ultimate master of its own business within the bounds set by the Senate, and the ruling can be appealed to the full committee as to whether the ruling will be sustained.

I'll try to ensure that all senators wishing to speak have the opportunity to do so. However, again, I'm going to depend on your cooperation. I ask all of you to think of other senators and to keep remarks to the point and as brief as possible.

Finally, I wish to remind honourable senators that if there is ever any uncertainty as to the results of a voice vote or a show of hands, the cleanest route is to request a roll call vote. That will provide some clarity if there is a question about that. Senators are aware that any tied vote negates the motion in question.

Are there any questions with respect to the process?

Senator Bellemare: It's just that the Senate finished right at 4 p.m. People took their time, and I know people are coming who are not yet here. We started right on time, but people are coming.

The Chair: We have a start time and we try to keep to it. We have a quorum. If we start waiting for people and we have no idea what time they're going to show up, we'll never get through our business. We have a lot of members on our committee now and many want to participate, so that would be doing them a disservice as well.

Senator Bellemare: I don't know what to say, Mr. Chair, but I would ask you to compromise.

The Chair: I've already made a ruling on that.

Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the title stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Agreed.

Shall clause 1 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 2 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 3 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 4 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 5 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 6 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 7 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 8 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 9 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 10 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 11 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 12 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 13 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 14 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 15 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 16 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall clause 17 carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Shall the title carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Carried.

Shall the bill carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

The Chair: Carried, on division.

Does the committee wish to consider appending observations to the report?

Hon. Senators: No.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: That concludes our business.

Before we adjourn, I'm going to ask the clerk to review what's coming up in the days ahead.

Jessica Richardson, Clerk of the Committee: The notice is already out tomorrow, but we will be hearing from witnesses on Bill C-224, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Bill.

Notices will come out next week to hear from witnesses on Bill S-231. This is the bill about protecting journalistic sources.

The Chair: Any questions or comments, any additional concerns? Seeing none, meeting adjourned.

(The committee adjourned.)

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