THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
OTTAWA, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications met this day at 9:30 a.m., to study the subject matter of those elements contained in Divisions 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part 4, and in Subdivision I of Division 9 of Part 4 of Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures.
Senator David Tkachuk (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Honourable senators, this morning we’re beginning our study of the subject matter of those elements contained in Divisions 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part 4, and in Subdivision I of Division 9 of Part 4 of Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures.
For our panel this morning, we are pleased to have appearing before us, from Transport Canada, Michael DeJong, Director General, Multi-modal and Road Safety Programs; Mr. Colin Stacey, Acting Director General, pilotage Review Act; Ms. Sara Wiebe, Director General, Air Policy; Mr. Keith Jones, Director, International Marine Policy.
Honourable senators, please note that the department has requested about 20 minutes. There is about five minutes each for opening remarks. We’ll begin with Mr. DeJong.
Michael DeJong, Director General, Multimodal and Road Safety Programs, Transport Canada: Thank you, Mr. Chair and honourable senators. Transport Canada is proposing two amendments to the Canada Transportation Act.
Clause 214 is in support of improved modern service delivery to Canadians and industry. We are seeking discretionary authority for the Minister of Transport to establish digital equivalency where existing legislation and regulations still require physical documents, such as signatures, original copies, or in-person transactions. An example is Marine Personnel Regulations that currently require seafarers to provide original copies of medical examination reports. In this case the minister could allow electronic submissions.
We are expecting to gain efficiency.
They will also provide reduced administrative burden and also, importantly, an improved experience for Canadians and industry in transacting with Transport Canada.
The 2015 reference was used in the context of growth in the transport sector involving new technologies.
We are seeking authority for the Minister of Transport to grant, upon application, time-limited exemptions in a time of five years for the distinct and limited purpose of research, development or testing in the transportation sector.
The overarching objective is to allow for regulatory sandboxes. These refer to industry tests for new technology, prototypes, processes or business models in a safe and controlled environment. This includes innovations that could produce safety, security or environmental protection benefits. Exemptions would be subject to public disclosure.
It is important to note that Transport Canada already has a robust regime in place. This proposed amendment would ensure a structured, consistent and transparent approach across all transportation modes and programs for exemptions, putting a sharper focus on innovation.
In addition, the proposed amendment includes a number of safeguards to protect public safety, such as including a public interest test, providing clear authority for the minister to establish conditions and set enforceable safety and security parameters and allows Transport Canada to maintain oversight. It has the authority to repeal the exemption at any time should there be safety or security concerns.
Thank you again.
The Chair: Mr. Stacey.
Colin Stacey, Acting Director General, Pilotage Act Review, Transport Canada: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair and honourable members.
I am pleased to speak to you today about amendments to the Pilotage Act included in Bill C-97.
Marine pilotage is essential to ensure safe navigation, prevent marine incidents and protect coastal environments. Marine pilots are highly trained mariners with extensive knowledge of local waters who board ships and safely guide them to their destinations through compulsory pilotage areas. The Pilotage Act establishes the authorities to determine where and how pilotage services are provided, as well as the framework for pilot certification, fee setting and enforcement.
Much of this act has remained largely unchanged since it was created in 1972. An independent review of the Pilotage Act, completed in spring 2018 under the Oceans Protection Plan, identified the need to modernize the legislation. Building on the review’s recommendations, the amendments in Bill C-97 will strengthen the safety, efficiency and transparency of Canada’s pilotage authorities.
Let me begin with the amendments that would improve the safety regime. The act currently creates a system in which each Pilotage Authority, which is a Crown corporation, is responsible for both delivering services, on the one hand, and regulating pilotage requirements and enforcement on the other.
Amendments transferring the responsibility for developing regulations from the Pilotage Authorities to the Minister of Transport would separate the regulatory and service-delivery roles, and establish a nationally coherent pilotage service, aligned with the Canadian marine safety and security regime.
The minister would also be responsible for issuing licences and certificates.
The enforcement regime would be placed under the minister’s responsibility and would be enhanced, bringing it into line with other marine safety legislation.
For example, the act currently only allows for summary convictions, with very low fines. Under the amendments, maximum fines would be increased for more serious contraventions, for example, if a ship does not use a pilot when required, along with possible prison terms.
Furthermore, the reinforced compliance system would include administrative monetary penalties, which would allow Transport Canada officials to conduct regular oversight and to work with stakeholders to ensure compliance.
The minister would also obtain the authority to issue interim and exemption orders and direction to pilots, to deal with exceptional circumstances and promote innovation.
Where efficiency is concerned, the act currently requires Pilotage Authorities’ fees to be set in regulations, resulting in an unnecessary administrative burden and delays and making it difficult to respond to changing market conditions.
The amendments would allow the Pilotage Authorities to directly set tariffs without regulations, subject to requirements for consultation and a process for stakeholders to submit objections to the Canadian Transportation Agency.
To augment transparency and limit conflicts of interest, the act would prohibit pilots, users or suppliers of pilotage services from being on Pilotage Authorities’ boards of directors.
Furthermore, service contracts between Pilotage Authorities and pilots’ corporations would be made publicly available, as these have implications for other stakeholders.
Amendments would prevent regulatory matters from being addressed in those service contracts, to ensure that regulations are established based on a thorough assessment of risks and consultation.
A new purpose and principles section in the act would increase national consistency and clarify the pilotage mandate, with a focus on safety, risk management, efficiency and the financial self-sufficiency of the Pilotage Authorities.
Moreover, arbitrators would be required to consider these principles in final offer selection processes between Pilotage Authorities and pilot corporations.
In conclusion, the proposed amendments address the most significant issues identified in the Pilotage Act review. The amendments provide for a stronger, modernized pilotage system, with increased national consistency, and greater efficiency and accountability.
I thank you for your time. I welcome any questions on these proposed legislative changes. Thank you.
The Chair: Thanks, Mr. Stacey. Ms. Wiebe.
Sara Wiebe, Director General, Air Policy, Transport Canada: Mr. Chair, we thank you for the opportunity to speak to committee members today about the security screening services commercialization act, and amendments to the Aviation Industry Indemnity Act.
With regard to section 12 in part 4, we feel that, while CATSA staff work tirelessly and with great professionalism, the changes proposed in this legislation would provide for a new entity to be established with a corporate structure that would better position it to carry out the airport security screening currently provided by CATSA.
The SSSCA achieves four main objectives. First, it allows for the sale of CATSA’s assets to a private, not-for-profit corporation, referred to in the legislation as the designated screening authority, or DSA.
Second, the legislation provides that the DSA will be the sole provider of security screening services unless the DSA specifically authorizes a screening contractor to provide such services.
Third, the legislation also includes an economic regime to regulate the DSA’s charges. Similar to NAV Canada’s legislation, the SSSCA requires the DSA to set charges based on a set of legislated charging principles and provides interested parties with an opportunity to object to the charges through the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Finally, the legislation allows for the winding up of CATSA’s affairs. Once CATSA’s assets have been sold, CATSA as a Crown corporation would be wound up.
I would also note that the new entity would be subject to the Official Languages Act. From a privacy perspective, it is our expectation that, like other private, not-for-profit organizations like airport authorities and Nav Canada, the new entity would be subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
This legislation does not create the DSA; industry would be responsible for incorporating the corporation that will be designated as the DSA under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. Government and industry would negotiate certain key provisions that would be set out in the constating documents, that is, the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the corporation.
I would like to stress that the sale of CATSA’s assets to this private, not-for-profit corporation would in no way compromise security. The Minister of Transport would retain his authorities with regard to the aviation security regulations, and Transport Canada would continue to play an exclusive regulatory and oversight role for security screening services at Canadian airports.
I would like to take a few more minutes to address some of the concerns raised by Canada’s airlines. With regard to concerns over adequate consultations, we undertook important analyses and consultations on different models for airport security screening in Canada in 2017. Further engagement with the air industry took place following the Budget 2019 announcement and the introduction of the Budget Implementation Act.
In response to concerns about the impact on the traveller, since its creation in 1996, NAV Canada has been very successful in reducing fees, driving technological innovation and improving services while maintaining a world-class safety record. This is the government objective for the creation of a new not-for-profit corporation that will provide security screening services at Canada’s airports.
Once the DSA is operational, the government is confident that it would ensure a long-term efficient and sustainable approach to a critical service that Canadian and international travellers rely on, while ensuring security remains the utmost priority.
With regard to Division 13, the Aviation Industry Indemnity Act authorizes the Minister of Transport to issue one or more undertakings to Canadian aviation industry participants to provide coverage for aviation war risks that is consistent with commercial insurance coverage in circumstances where commercial coverage is not practically available.
The proposed amendments included in Bill C-97, the Budget Implementation Act, would authorize the Minister of Transport to undertake to indemnify NAV Canada for acts or omissions it commits in accordance with an instruction given under an agreement entered into between NAV Canada and Her Majesty respecting the provision of air navigation services to the Department of National Defence and any beneficiary under an insurance policy held by an aviation industry participant.
In both cases, the amendments will authorize, they will not guarantee or require an indemnity to the relevant aviation industry participants or their beneficiaries. In either case, the decision whether or not to provide an indemnity would be subject to a determination by the Minister of Transport.
The government, led by Transport Canada, signed an indemnification agreement with Nav Canada in December 2018 for their support of the Scramble, Intercept and Recovery Agreement. Should the two parties deem it appropriate to replace this indemnity with an indemnity under this act, Transport Canada would work with Nav Canada to negotiate the terms of this new agreement.
This concludes my opening remarks. I would be happy to answer any questions.
The Chair: Thank you, Ms. Wiebe. Mr. Jones?
Keith Jones, Director, International Marine Policy, Transport Canada: Good morning, honourable senators. I’m here to speak to the proposed amendment to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, or TATC Act. By way of background, the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada can provide recourse to participants in the national transportation sector regarding administrative actions taken by the Minister of Transport and/or the Canadian Transportation Agency under different federal transportation acts. That includes administrative monetary penalties.
In late 2018, amendments to the Marine Liability Act that received Royal Assent as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, included the introduction of administrative monetary penalties.
The proposed housekeeping amendment to the TATC Act is to clarify that the tribunal has the appropriate jurisdiction with respect to any appeals of the new monetary penalties introduced under the Marine Liability Act. The proposed amendment is for clarification purposes, is not contentious, is highly unlikely to generate any reaction from stakeholders or the public and does not involve any cost. My comments are very brief. I’m happy to answer any questions.
The Chair: No cost. No complaints.
Senator Manning: My first question is for Mr. Stacey in relation to your comment:
To augment transparency and limit conflict of interest, the act would prohibit pilotage users or suppliers of pilotage services from being on the pilotage authority board of directors.
I’m wondering who would be eligible to sit on a pilotage authority board of directors if the people who are pretty well on the ground and involved in the process are not there? It is the expertise I’m concerned about.
Mr. Stacey: In terms of the board membership, as with all Crown corporations, and as you’re aware, the government has a process that’s focused on transparency and merit in terms of selecting members of any board of directors, as well as a particular focus on ensuring diversity. The members typically on a board of directors for a Crown corporation would represent a diversity of perspectives and professions. The assumption would be that you would have a strong basis in terms of coming at it from different points of view — for example, legal, accounting, business, labour, et cetera.
In terms of expertise in the maritime sector, it’s quite possible that there could be individuals who are no longer practising or involved in certain professions or who have that knowledge but aren’t necessarily currently engaged in providing or using the service.
Senator Manning: Former users, former pilots could qualify?
Mr. Stacey: Possibly.
Senator Manning: I’m wondering about the expertise around the table.
My next question is for Ms. Wiebe. When you talk about selling off the assets of CATSA, are you talking about airport authorities in that case? Are they among the not-for-profit associations or corporations that could purchase CATSA’s assets? Or are we talking about somebody altogether outside the process?
Ms. Wiebe: In this particular context, the buyer, as it were, would be a consortium of Canada’s airlines and airports. We would enter into negotiations with them if this legislation were to receive Royal Assent. We would negotiate to define some of the details of the final agreement of that purchase. At the end of the day, it would be Canada’s airports and airlines that would take ownership of the new entity.
Senator Manning: The fees that would be associated with that — just to make sure I heard you 100 per cent correctly — would still be administered by the Ministry of Transport? They would dictate or okay the fees? Once we take it from CATSA and put it into not-for-profits, the not-for-profits still must operate and make money. Who controls the fee process at that time?
Ms. Wiebe: If this legislation were to receive Royal Assent, it would be the new corporation that would manage the fees. They would set the fees consistent with the cost of their operations. The legislation includes a series of charging principles, as I mentioned, that govern how those new service charges would be set.
Senator Manning: Would the ministry have any say in the setting of the fees?
Ms. Wiebe: There are a couple of things. First, there is a provision in the legislation whereby, when the corporation first sets up its charges, it would have the option to have those new charges vetted either by the Canadian Transportation Agency or the minister.
If they choose the minister to review their new services to ensure they’re consistent with the charging principles, they could do that and the minister would render that decision.
Generally the process would be that the new corporation would determine its new service charges, would make a public notice of those charges and the rationale and why they’re consistent with the charging principles. If there is an objection to those service charges, then that objection would be reviewed and heard by the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Senator Dawson: Good morning, madam. My first question is for you. You spoke to us about the industry.
I think on a scale of the most popular people in Canada, at the bottom you’ll find politicians, obviously, then airlines and airports. You’re basically telling us that the airlines and the airports will be deciding. What about the customers? What about the people who go and pay to use CATSA? They are clients; they pay for a service. According to what I’ve read and what you’ve said this morning, consumers are not part of the equation.
Clients are not part of the process. As I told you, people from airlines and airports are not the most popular people on “Planet Canada”. Why is there no client sensitivity in your comments? Why is there not this sensitivity that would allow consumers to have a say in what is going to happen, not just airports and airlines? I understand very well that safety is paramount. We hear a lot about security at CATSA, but what about customer service?
When you queue to get searched, customer service is not a high priority. Yes, the people in charge of security are very concerned if they see that you have a key ring a little longer than expected, but if they realize that they have made a mistake, will they apologize? Never. It is this culture that I hope the new corporation will not adopt. I await your comments.
Ms. Wiebe: You raise an important issue. You may recall that when Minister Garneau launched his Transportation 2030 vision in the fall of 2016, one of his key themes was the passenger experience. This is also an important lens for us.
First, a couple of things. When I spoke about the opportunity to file an objection, it is the traveller who will also have that ability to file an objection to any service charges. Also, from the perspective of the airlines and airports, you won’t be surprised — maybe a little — to hear that one of the concerns they’ve been raising with regard to CATSA is the client service side. It is their intention and vision that they would enhance that aspect of CATSA’s operations.
Finally, with regard to the creation of the new board of directors that would govern this new corporation, it is one thing the government is keeping a close eye on in terms of ensuring — and again, this is something that has to be negotiated with industry — that the traveller perspective is present at the board when important decisions are being made.
Absolutely, the traveller experience continues to be a constant theme in the preparations for the creation of this new corporation.
Senator Dawson: Mr. DeJong, we did a study, as you might know, a few years ago on automated cars. One of the things that is quite clear is that we are behind, technologically, on the issue. We are behind the Americans. We are behind many European countries. You’re saying we’re going to be catching up because we’re going to start doing things with a digital environment. It’s that catching up that worries me. You said five years. Business cycles used to be 20 years. Now they have business cycles of two years.
How can you assure us that if technology does arrive that could help people register their boats, cars or airplanes — that if it does exist, that we don’t have to wait and that we can do it as quickly as possible? Do you have that leeway with the legislation?
Mr. DeJong: Indeed, the Senate study on automated and connected vehicles very much set a strong tone for how Transport Canada has moved forward with supporting policies, programs and regulatory measures to help position Canada to be considered an early adopter of automated and connected technologies. As recent examples, we’ve worked closely with provinces and territories to put together testing guidelines to facilitate the testing of automated vehicles in Canada. We have also put forward safety assessment methodology to ensure that when those vehicles are deployed or for testing in Canada, they can be done safely.
Similarly, these exemptions simply provide a sharper and consistent focus on innovation — on an exemption authority that exists under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. By working closely with industry partners, we’re starting to be approached by manufacturers to be able to apply for these exemptions.
Senator Simons: My first question is for Ms. Wiebe. I’m curious about what you said in your presentation about privacy. From some of the CATSA exams I have had, I think CATSA knows more about my body than my GP. I’ve never gone through the automated ones, but presumably those are private records.
I’m a little concerned when I see the language that says “you expect that the new organization would be covered by PIPEDA.” Why don’t you know? Also, how certain can we be that privacy legislation would apply to this new organization?
Ms. Wiebe: This was primarily an issue that we went through when we were drafting the proposed legislation. First, we did the policy analysis with regard to which privacy framework would be more appropriate for this new corporation. This included conversations with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. As I mentioned, there are examples of other not-for-profit, private corporations, such as NAV Canada and the airport authorities in terms of the privacy framework that they were subject to.
This is where we made the policy decision that the new corporation would be subject to PIPEDA rather than the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.
In terms of specific phrasing in my opening remarks, as I mentioned, in terms of the legislative drafting, it was determined that the legislation would be silent on this but that, in my remarks, I would make it clear that it was our expectation that the new corporation would be subject to PIPEDA. This is where I wanted to make it clear to the new corporation, and we will be making it clear in the negotiations with industry, that there will be privacy requirements for this new corporation and that we expect those requirements to be those framed in PIPEDA.
Senator Simons: How will those privacy protections vary from what they would have been had they been covered by the Privacy Act?
Ms. Wiebe: In our assessment of the different policy options and from our discussions with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, we determined that the provisions of PIPEDA would be stronger than the Privacy Act. This is with regard to specific elements, including disclosure and engagement with law enforcement. This is, again, one of the reasons why we decided that we would go toward PIPEDA instead the Privacy Act.
Senator Simons: I had a question for Mr. Stacey. I fly often. I’ve never piloted a ship. I’m still very much learning about this piece of legislation.
One of the things we learned in our briefing notes is that the current regime prohibits employee pilots and contract pilots from providing pilotage services in the same region. It seemed really peculiar to me. Could you explain why that is so and why this new legislation doesn’t change that?
Mr. Stacey: Certainly. Under the current legislation, for any given particular area — and that can include sub-areas within a region — the pilots themselves typically choose whether they want to be employees or members of a body corporate — of a pilot corporation. If they choose to be members of a body corporate, then the Pilotage Authority contracts with that body corporate.
There are also some areas — and this is something that we clarify in the law — where neither of those are available, and the Pilotage Authority contracts directly with individual pilots. But typically, that’s the choice that’s made.
There was a recommendation in the Pilotage Act review that the pilotage authorities would be allowed in the same area to contract, effectively, both. We examined that. We did not identify in our examination of that recommendation that it would lead to significant benefits; we found that it would likely lead to challenges — administrative challenges, in particular. Those challenges would effectively be associated with the issue of how you integrate two labour forces providing the same service in the same area, one of which is a unionized-employee labour force and the other one is a private labour force contracted through an external private corporation.
The challenges could involve things like how you organize a roster to have the two different groups engaged at the same time, and how you deal with issues like training and apprenticeship. Quite simply, challenges could be how you would even engage pilots to be employees if the primary model is that they’re members of a body corporate.
There are a number of different challenges we identified, but they effectively revolve around this issue of how you would integrate two different groups that are organized differently to provide the same work in the same area.
Senator Boisvenu: First of all, I thank you all for your participation. As I understand it, CATSA will disappear in favour of the designated screening authority, the DSA; is this a bureaucratic change?
Ms. Wiebe: It’s a little more than that in the sense that it would require a transaction whereby industry would first set itself up as this new corporation, then it would buy the assets of CATSA from the government, and CATSA, as a Crown corporation, would be wound down. It would be up to this new corporation to determine its membership classes, also its board of directors and who its CEO and chair of the board would be. Then it would decide on the human resources and the staffing of this new corporation.
Senator Boisvenu: NAV CANADA has a role to play in airport security, does it not?
Ms. Wiebe: At one point, I believe NAV Canada was involved a bit, but they’ve stepped away since then. They are now focusing uniquely on their mandate with regard to Canada’s air navigation services.
Senator Boisvenu: I was surprised by this sentence, that NAV CANADA has been successful in reducing costs and stimulating innovation. When we look at what is happening at the Quebec City airport, I am not too sure... It is a small airport, which is neither an international nor a regional airport, and which requires the airlines to pay the highest fees to land there. The landing fees at Quebec airports are among the highest in the world, in my opinion. I think the privatization of airports in Canada is a complete failure, because we have some of the highest transportation costs, if we compare ourselves to the Americans. I look at the transformations that have been made at the Quebec City airport, and for many people in the Quebec City area, the airport is a white elephant, there is almost no activity left. There used to be flights to points south or to Europe, and many flights were cancelled due to the costs. When will all this bureaucracy that has been imposed at airports stop? Quebec users must stop paying a fortune for travel on airlines, and fees at Quebec airports must be comparable to those at American and European airports. I think that the bureaucracy is a failure and wastes a lot of resources, to the detriment of safety and quality of services. When you get to the point where you travel by plane and have to bring your sandwich, there is a problem. Is the objective you are presenting to us with this bill really to improve services for users?
Ms. Wiebe: Thank you for the question. First, when I refer to the ability and the history of NAV Canada to reduce its charges, I refer specifically to the charges from NAV Canada. I think, senator, you may be aware that when we talk about costs at Canada’s airports and the cost of flying in Canada, various charges are implicated. In Canada, the government has taken the position that it is a user-pay system. For those individuals who travel through Canada’s airports, they are the ones who pay. This is where it is the responsibility of Canada’s airports, through the management of its airport authorities, to determine what those costs will be and, of course, the airport authorities must charge those fees to fund the infrastructure enhancements that they deem as required.
From this perspective, if you take a look across the variety of airports across Canada, not only Jean Lesage but other airports such as Toronto Pearson or Vancouver International, I think you will see that Canada’s airports have strengthened significantly since deregulation in the mid-1990s and are renowned worldwide for the services they provide.
Returning to the matter at hand today with regard to NAV Canada, I repeat that NAV Canada, as a result of the work that it has done since it was created in the mid-1990s, since the government sold the assets of its air navigation services to NAV Canada, it has reduced charges, increased innovations and service while maintaining a world-class safety record.
Senator Boisvenu: Are you aware of the decision Aéroports de Montréal recently made to reduce its costs? Do you know who paid the price? The staff. When I see the salary of the director of the Quebec City airport, which is between $350,000 and $400,000, I think it is a disgrace. Employees in Montreal were told, “You have the choice to accept or leave”. They are the ones who paid the bill; the users and staff paid the bill, the low wage earners. Bureaucracy is constantly being fattened up. I think that with this bill, that is also what we will do. Is it normal that it is the low wage earners in airports who pay the bill for a growing bureaucracy?
Ms. Wiebe: With regard to the comments you’ve made, I would simply offer that today we are talking about legislation that is proposing to create a new corporation to provide, in a more efficient and effective way, the essential services of aviation security screening at Canada’s airports. That is what the legislation is referring to today.
Senator Gagné: Thank you for your participation this morning. My question is for Mr. Stacey. There is a law called the Service Fees Act, which sets out the framework within which departments can recover costs for services provided to users. In the proposal—I’m talking about section 11 of part 4—we’re talking about financial provisions, and in that context, if I understand correctly, it opens the door to much broader cost recovery opportunities. Am I right to believe that? I would like to hear your comments on that.
Mr. Stacey: Certainly. Currently, the pilotage authorities are responsible for different elements of the provision of the overall service, including providing the service itself, regulation, oversight, enforcement, licensing and certification.
Pilotage authorities are obligated to be financially self-sustaining. In other words, by way of the tariffs they charge to users, they’re covering the cost of all of those different activities in terms of the provision of the service. What will be different under the amended legislation is that certain aspects of that activity will be carried out by Transport Canada. Our intention is to maintain the same practice whereby users would continue to cover the costs of the provision of the service. They are the same services and activities that they were paying for before but we would take into account the fact that there would be a different entity that would be responsible for aspects of this. For that reason, there would be a payment made so that it would continue to be recovered from the users, but there would be a payment then made by the pilotage authorities to Transport Canada to cover off those same costs that are currently covered by the users.
Senator Gagné: Thank you.
Senator MacDonald: I’ll also direct my question to Mr. Stacey. I’m concerned about the pilotage stuff. I don’t quite understand why we’re making the changes. I’d like some clarification.
There are a number of things mentioned here. You mentioned that to augment transparency and limit conflicts of interest, the act would prohibit pilotage users or suppliers of pilotage services from being on pilotage authorities’ boards of directors. I’m curious why experienced pilots would be in a conflict of interest on a board of this nature? I don’t quite understand it.
Mr. Stacey: There has been a long-standing practice where there was a representation by pilots, industry and the public of the six board members. Typically, on a board of directors for a Crown corporation, the fiduciary responsibility is to the entity itself.
It creates at least a perception of a conflict of interest and the possibility of a conflict of interest if individuals who are actually engaged in the service and benefit from the activity are actually on the board of directors. Again, there are other means by which expertise can be obtained to serve on a board of directors without necessarily having someone who would be a direct beneficiary of the decisions that would be made by that board.
Senator MacDonald: You talked about safety. The act currently creates a system in which each pilotage authority is responsibility for both delivery and services, on the one hand, and regulating the pilotage requirements and enforcement on the other.
You mentioned the amendments that are coming forward that will make the system better. Why does it make it better by taking the authority and transferring it from the pilotage authority to the Minister of Transport? I’m not saying it doesn’t. I’m just curious why it makes it better. How does it improve safety?
Mr. Stacey: Currently, you have a system whereby the same entity is responsible for providing a service, for regulating the service and enforcing it. It is a duplication of activities within the same entity.
What we are seeking to do is to clarify that the responsibility for that role will be within the Department of Transport or under the minister in the same way that would work in any other area of transportation.
In doing so, we can integrate the safety regime for pilotage within the larger marine safety and security system that the department has. We can also leverage, for example, the expertise in the department, including in the regions, the infrastructure, the knowledge of our inspectors and our overall system for marine safety and security.
I would note other aspects in terms of what these amendments bring about. There is a significant modernization of the enforcement regime within the act. Currently, that enforcement regime is effectively not strong, and again, it’s administered by the pilotage authorities themselves.
As one example, right now the main means of enforcement is a summary conviction, which is very much a punitive measure. At the same time, that summary conviction can only carry a maximum fine of $5,000. For a start, the disincentive is not particularly high, but also the incentive to even pursue a summary conviction is not particularly significant.
Amongst other changes, we’re increasing the fines, and also bringing in the possibility of administrative monetary penalties. What that allows for is more of a focus on compliance as opposed to the punitive measure, which is a summary conviction. It also allows Transport Canada officials, for example, safety inspectors, to pursue and work with stakeholders and industry to bring them into compliance as opposed to going straight at a summary conviction or a punitive measure in the instance where there’s a suspicion of inappropriate activity. There is a significant modernization of the enforcement mechanism or the enforcement regime.
Again, for circumstances that are urgent or unforeseen, there will be the ability of interim orders and direction. To encourage innovation, there will be the possibility of exemption orders. These are things that exist in other legislation but currently do not exist now under the Pilotage Act, as well as the possibility of court orders. For example, if there’s an instance where someone has acted inappropriately, in the current act there’s no ability for the court to actually prevent them from continuing to operate, even though they might have been found not to have acted appropriately.
This basically means a significant modernization which will bring the pilotage regime in line with what’s happening in, I would say, transport safety writ large, but also in the rest of the marine safety and security world. It will allow the pilotage authorities to focus very much on their regional role and the provision of services and allow the department to focus on the question of oversight and regulations.
Senator MacDonald: What had the response been from pilotage authorities around the country? Are they on board? Do they like the new approach?
Mr. Stacey: We’ve discussed it with the pilotage authorities. I don’t think I could speak for them.
Senator MacDonald: Are they supportive or unsupportive?
Mr. Stacey: I have not heard them being unsupportive. The wider approach, I have not heard that they are unsupportive.
The Chair: Ms. Wiebe, whose initiative was it? Was it the government’s or the airlines’ and airports’ initiative to transfer security from CATSA to a non-profit corporation?
Ms. Wiebe: The airlines and airports had been indicating their concern to the government and Transport Canada for a number of years. They were focused primarily on the service standards for CATSA, which had been declining, but, as we discussed earlier, they were also expressing concern about client service. They were anxious that the government take an approach that would address those concerns.
It is the government’s initiative based on our consultations with industry, on our analysis and detailed review of the NAV Canada experience where the government brought forward the proposal, as outlined in this legislation, to create a new not-for-profit corporation.
The Chair: How is CATSA funded?
Ms. Wiebe: CATSA is currently funded as are all government entities. I think you’re aware CATSA is a Crown corporation through government appropriations.
The Chair: Does the government charge? Is there a charge to passengers at the airport for security screening?
Ms. Wiebe: When CATSA was created in 2002, the government also created the Air Travellers Security Charge to fund the operations of CATSA as well as a few other aviation security measures, including some aviation security resources for Transport Canada.
The Air Travellers Security Charge flows into the Consolidated Revenue Fund out of which the appropriations for CATSA flow.
The Chair: The reporting of the costs of the operation are public?
Ms. Wiebe: Of CATSA’s operations, yes.
The Chair: Do they show up in estimates? Is that the way they show up?
Ms. Wiebe: That is correct.
The Chair: What happens now? How will that non-profit be funded?
All I’m getting at is that these people are buying the security company. They are private companies plus, supposedly, non-profit airports. They’re buying this. They will want a return on investment, I would think.
Will the government still have this security screening charge? What will happen here?
Ms. Wiebe: Assuming that this legislation receives Royal Assent — again, once the negotiations are completed — once the new corporation is set up, it would establish its own service charges to fund its own operations separate from government.
The Chair: The government won’t have to fund it anymore, right?
Ms. Wiebe: That is correct.
The Chair: They will fund it themselves. How will that be reported? How will the public find out the cost of security?
Ms. Wiebe: First, whenever the new corporation would implement an initiative to either create new or increase service charges, they would have to file a public notice for the public to be aware of what they are proposing to do and why they are proposing to do it, their rationale. This is where I mentioned earlier the public would be aware of that.
If they had concerns around the approach being taken by the new corporation or whether the approach is not consistent with the charging principles, they could file an objection with the Canadian Transportation Agency. It would then review that charge.
The Chair: The fee that’s charged at the airport for security, does that surpass the amount that it costs to actually provide the security?
Ms. Wiebe: The Air Travellers Security Charge is charged by the airlines, and it appears on your ticket. Whenever you buy a ticket to fly somewhere, you see that charge. The airlines then remit that to the government and, as I mentioned, that flows into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The amount of revenue acquired by the government through the collection of the Air Travellers Security Charge has, at times, been in excess of the cost of CATSA’s operations as well as the other requirements with regard to aviation security resources, as I mentioned earlier.
The Chair: When you say “at times,” do you mean every year? Is there a profit every year by the government on security?
Ms. Wiebe: There has been a certain surplus that the government has experienced over the years that CATSA has been operating.
The Chair: Approximately how much?
Ms. Wiebe: I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but since 2002, an estimate would be around $186 million.
The Chair: That’s interesting.
Senator Galvez: At the beginning, it seemed very confusing, but after questions, the picture appears clearer. There are still so many questions.
There is a contradiction. On the one hand, we are saying it has to be more efficient and take into consideration the modernization and the new needs, but I agree with Senator Boisvenu and the line of questions from the chair: This bill doesn’t create your new corporation; it doesn’t create it. Somebody is going to create it eventually, and you are hoping that it’s going to be after negotiations between the government, the airlines and airports. How can you ensure that this is going to be more efficient and less costly for clients and users? To me, it appears that it will be an opportunity to increase everything and therefore be more expensive.
I want to know what the basis is in saying that this is more efficient and that it will end up in a better situation than what we have now. Of course, there is a need for modernization and digitalization. Apart from that, where is the substance? What are the real arguments?
Ms. Wiebe: I think you can imagine that this is something we’ve debated quite significantly in the development of this proposal.
First, I would refer again to the experience that we have with regard to the creation of NAV Canada. I’ve repeated this a few times, but it is the best example of why the government is seeking to pursue this particular model.
We essentially took the same approach with the provision of the government’s air navigation services in the mid-1990s. We determined that the government was falling behind in terms of technological advances and funding was not keeping pace. We and the industry were concerned with regard to the future of the provision of air navigation services. This was where the government of the day made the decision to sell the assets of the air navigation services to industry, at that point represented by Canada’s airlines.
They did exactly what I’m proposing to you today: The industry created a not-for-profit corporation, which became NAV Canada. They bought the assets from government that represented the assets required to provide those services. They have managed that corporation since 1996 in terms of the provision of Canada’s air navigation services.
It is my view and the view of my colleagues that this has been a significant success. They have managed Canada’s air navigation services very effectively. They have reduced charges and have increased service while maintaining a world-class safety record.
I would also point out that NAV Canada went through the challenges of the terrible events of September 11 and the challenges of the SARS crisis. Throughout that entire time, they did not once approach the government in terms of financial support. Canada’s airlines and airports did.
This is why I keep referring to this recipe of NAV Canada as a success and model we wanted to replicate in terms of the provision of aviation security screening at Canada’s airports.
Then in terms of how I think this applies to this particular circumstance of aviation security screening, my vision for this new corporation is that this corporation will be self-funded — and we’ve talked about that. They will no longer have to go through government appropriations to gain funding. They will be able to adjust their operations in a more flexible way to adapt or adjust to fluctuations in passenger volumes, which have been increasing by 7 per cent every year to address any new and evolving security requirements the government will require.
They will be able to do long-term planning in terms of how to manage their operations. They will also have that important private-sector perspective that will be brought to bear by the new board of directors of this corporation, which I would suggest CATSA does not currently have.
Again, given the example of NAV Canada and given the opportunities that are before us today in terms of aviation security screening at Canada’s airports, I again take the position that this is a framework that will greatly enhance the passenger experiences, especially for those of us who travel so frequently and go through this service on a regular basis.
Senator Galvez: Thank you.
Senator Dasko: I think most of my questions have been answered. To follow up on this line of questioning that we’ve just heard. I am understanding that you’re expecting both an improvement in security and a lowering of costs with respect to the new arrangements. That’s just a basic question I have.
It’s very interesting to understand the motivations behind the change, because it seems like a significant change; it’s not just tinkering or admin changes but significant changes. You mentioned earlier that there were security concerns with the current previous arrangements. Can you elaborate what those concerns might be?
Also, with respect to costs, are we actually expecting the costs of these operations to go down under the new arrangements? Obviously, you’ve just mentioned that profit was made. You’re creating a not-for-profit organization, so obviously they cannot generate profit.
Ms. Wiebe: That’s correct.
Senator Dasko: Am I understanding that the costs of the operation will go down?
My questions are about the security concerns you mentioned earlier and the expectation of better security and lower costs. Thank you.
Ms. Wiebe: First, with regard to security, just to clarify: When I referred to security earlier, I wanted to reassure and reinforce with this committee that we do not expect security to change. The authority will continue to rest with the Minister of Transport under the Aviation Security Regulations. The oversight of those regulations will continue to remain with the department in terms of ongoing review of this new corporation’s operations. From that perspective, it is not my expectation that security would get better; it is my expectation that security would remain as it is now in terms of a high-functioning security organization.
With regard to costs, again, if you refer back and if you believe my review of the experience of NAV Canada, NAV Canada was able to overtime and find efficiencies and reduce costs. This new corporation — if this legislation receives Royal Assent and we are able to complete the negotiations — if it’s able to undertake those elements that I just referred to in terms of long-term planning, more of a focus on innovation and looking for those efficiencies — again, bringing that private sector perspective to the corporation. This is where I would suggest to you that, over time, this corporation could, as NAV Canada did, bring those costs down.
Senator Dasko: Thank you.
Senator Gagné: Ms. Wiebe, what about safety in terms of the experience of the passenger, the traveller? What about the issue of official languages in the context of a transfer of responsibilities from this company to a private company? How can we ensure that services will be offered in both official languages, given that, with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, services are already quite limited, as well as their quality?
Ms. Wiebe: Thank you for the question.
As I mentioned, the legislation that is before you today explicitly obliges the new corporations to be subject to the Official Languages Act. This then means that Canada’s Official Languages Commissioner will continue to have oversight over the ability of this corporation to achieve the outcome that is expected as a result of its legislative obligations.
Senator Gagné: Can you assure me of that? Publicly, can you repeat it, so that we can find this twice on the record?
Ms. Wiebe: To be clear, the legislation clearly obliges the new corporation to be subject to the Official Languages Act. As such, it will be subject to review by the Official Languages Commissioner.
Senator Boisvenu: I would like to specify, Ms. Wiebe, that my comments this morning were not directed at you. I was simply expressing my opinion that the one who should be here with us is Mr. Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport. This bill represents a very important political decision that will have an impact on users and staff in the future.
A non-profit organization aims to avoid making a profit; however, there is also a trend to reduce wages to a level below the private sector. Aéroports de Montréal has asked staff to agree to a wage cut. The Minister of Transport has refused to intervene in this conflict.
Under these new measures, do you provide a safety net for employees if these new organizations want to reduce their costs by lowering employee salaries? Will the minister have an obligation to intervene in the event of a conflict, or will he just throw a ball up in the air and hope it will roll well afterwards?
My concern is that often, once the actions have been taken, if there are repercussions for the staff in the field, there is no one in the political arena who wants to intervene.
Moreover, when it comes to the salaries of security personnel, if their income is not interesting enough, they will be tempted to round up their monthly income in a different way. We have observed that this makes it easier for organized crime to infiltrate. The people who are responsible for security, issuing passes and baggage handlers work in a critical area of the airport. If staff salaries are undercut without arbitration mechanisms, it is a bad decision. The Minister of Transport should come and explain to us how he plans to manage this, in order to minimize the impact on staff, users and carriers.
The Chair: Would you like to make a comment?
Ms. Wiebe: Certainly. Respectfully, I would disagree that it is automatic that employees of a not-for-profit are paid less than for-profit entities. I think it depends on the skill sets that are required and what it costs for that corporation to acquire those skill sets.
With regard to the specifics of how this corporation will be set up for its human resources and its salaries, that is something that will be subject to the negotiations between the government and industry in terms of the set-up of the new corporation. At this point in time, respectfully, I would decline to refer to those issues.
Senator Boisvenu: Did you know that in Montreal, a non-profit organization decided to subcontract, and wages were reduced by 30%? If this is repeated at other airports, will the minister commit to taking action so that staff do not have to pay the price? My question is clear: will the minister intervene, or wash his hands of it, and let the staff deal with the drama on their own?
Ms. Wiebe: Thank you for the question.
With regard to Canada’s airports and airport authorities, the government made a decision in the mid-1990s, around the same time NAV Canada was created, to put the management of Canada’s airports in the hands of airport authorities. These are not-for-profit corporations, as the senator mentioned.
This is where the government made the decision that the management of Canada’s airports would be in the hands of these authorities, and it would be up to them to undertake the day-to-day operations. Although there are some concerns with individual airports, I would suggest that deregulation was a success. If you take a look at Canada’s airports today and you think about what they were before the government transferred them over to airport authorities, the contrast is quite stark. You see world-class airports that are now in Canada serving not only Canadians but international passengers.
I even refer to Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island. You have Pearson Airport and you have Vancouver. These are all airports that are, as I mentioned earlier, renowned globally for the type of service they provide and the infrastructure they have implemented to serve the traveller.
Senator Dawson: I totally agree with you. For those who have been following the industry for a long time, the privatization of the airports was a great success compared to the other option.
I think there is some confusion about airport employees and CATSA employees, but I’m not here on a pedagogical level. I would like to know: Is there a timetable? Because you have all these nice objectives, but I did not hear any timetable about how much time you want to take to do this. Again, I want to clarify. CATSA, because there was no transparency, we never knew how much money it gave to the government. One thing is clear: They were a profit-generating organization for the government. They were a source of income for the government, not a source of expenses. Again, the consumer is the one who is paying.
I’m repeating again: I want to be sure the consumers and the clients will have more influence in the future than they had in the recent past. I agree that Quebec is the exception. I think it’s a little bit embarrassing. I’m from Quebec, but it is probably the most embarrassing of the 26 national airports. How do we assure ourselves that you will put the clients’ needs in the process of the board? When you talk airlines and airports, you’re not talking clients. You’re talking users. You’re talking operators. I want to hear about what you will be doing for the consumer and the timetable.
Ms. Wiebe: First, with regard to the timetable, we’ve set a fairly aggressive timetable for planning purposes. It is the government’s aspiration to complete the negotiations and have the new corporation established, set up and to begin providing services as a not-for-profit corporation by April 1, 2020. There would then be a transition year during which the government would fund this new corporation while it set itself up and began to prepare itself to levy and collect its own service charges. It is our aspiration that by April 1, 2021, the new corporation would be set up, charging its own fees, and independent, inclusive financially, from the government.
I think you’ll find some of the airlines will talk about how they find this timeline quite aggressive, but we think it is an appropriate and achievable timeline.
With regard to your concerns about the traveller, again I want to reassure you that it is a constant theme for us. We’ll be speaking about this during the negotiations in terms of the set-up of the membership classes and the board of directors. I don’t want to go too far into this in terms of, again, as I mentioned earlier, there are some issues that will be subject to negotiations. The government is committed to ensuring that the traveller perspective is represented at the board.
Senator Dawson: I have one final question. Senator Tkachuk and I have been on this committee long enough to know that we’ve gone from not CATSA to CATSA, from CATSA to something else. When they went from government to CATSA, they got separation pay for leaving their government status and raises when they went to CATSA.
We never knew how much they got because it’s never been transparent. Now they will be leaving CATSA to go to a not-for-profit organization. I want to be sure. I know some of them have done the transition and will be doing it again. There has to be some kind of oversight of how much of that you will not tolerate. It was a bad example to give in the past. I don’t want us to do it again in the future.
Ms. Wiebe: In terms of the compensation for any individuals that would go from CATSA to this new corporation, it will also be subject to the negotiations between government and industry. We are seeking to ensure job security while I’m sure the corporation will want to make sure they have appropriate compensation measures for these new individuals.
The Chair: May I ask a policy question on the NEXUS card? I’m asking this as a senator, but also as a traveller. When I travel to the States and I go to global entry, they send you to global entry, which is a separate line. When I get into security, I probably do half of what the regular customer would have to go through. In other words, I can wear shoes, I don’t have to take off my jacket, I don’t have to remove my computer from my bag; there’s a whole list of things, and zip, zip, you’re through.
In Canada, with a NEXUS card, all you do is a separate line, which is usually longer than the other lines because you do exactly the same thing in the NEXUS line that you do in the regular line.
What’s the benefit of the NEXUS system as a preferred traveller and less of a security risk if you put him through exactly the same thing as you do if you’re not a NEXUS holder? Why is that? That’s been going on for years. I complain about it at security. No one seems to care.
Ms. Wiebe: We care, senator.
The Chair: Well, no, you don’t, because it should be changed by now. If you go to Detroit airport, you don’t go through that. If you go through Chicago, you don’t. Any airport I’ve been to in the States, Green Bay, Wisconsin, for God’s sake, has global entry that’s better, and 110,000 people live there.
Ms. Wiebe: Thank you for the question. With regard to NEXUS and the trusted traveller lane for CATSA screening at this point in time, there are ongoing discussions between CATSA and my colleagues in aviation security at Transport Canada with regard to additional measures that could be taken to — I don’t want to say reduce, but to take a different approach to security screening for trusted travellers to reflect that they are, in fact, as we keep saying, trusted and should be treated to a different standard.
There are some measures CATSA is currently taking in those lanes. As I said, discussions are ongoing with regard to enhancement.
The Chair: Is it because it’s the union? In other words, if you have more people having a NEXUS card and less of a burden on security, you need fewer people. Is that an issue?
Ms. Wiebe: No, senator. The constant refrain, as I said during my opening remarks, is reassurance with regard to the level of security and our commitment to ensuring appropriate aviation security screening at Canadian airports. This is the debate in terms of how we treat travellers in those lanes in a way that reflects their trusted status, but still achieve the outcome we’re seeking to achieve with regard to aviation security.
The Chair: Okay. That’s hardly the answer I was looking for, but I think it’s the best I’m going to get.
Senator McCoy: I am particularly interested in the changes that are being made to the Pilotage Act. I have a series of questions.
First, the amendments that are being brought in an omnibus bill slipped under our noses and is going to take the authority for the Pilotage Authority and put it in the minister’s hands; is that correct?
Mr. Stacey: Specifically the amendments, amongst other things, the Pilotage Authorities, as Crown corporations with a strong regional presence, will continue to play an extremely important role in terms of the provision of the services. What will be different will be that the responsibility for the development of the regulatory framework and for oversight and enforcement, as well as the framework for licensing and certification, will fall under the Minister of Transport.
Senator McCoy: It’s the politicization of what has been an independent arm’s-length organization?
Mr. Stacey: The things the department and the minister will be focusing on are precisely the things we focus on across the transport sector in general, and particularly in marine safety and security. The safety aspects of pilotage will be integrated into the wider marine safety and security regime of the federal government. I can assure you that is not politicized. It’s very much focused on the question of safety.
Senator McCoy: It may be, but it’s the politician making the decision.
Mr. Stacey: Ultimately, it’s actually the Governor-in-Council who would be responsible for making regulations and it would be the minister who would recommend those.
Senator McCoy: Exactly; so it’s either cabinet or a minister.
Another question: The minister would have the authority to issue interim and exemption orders and direction to pilots. That direct authority to tell pilots what to do, is that new?
Mr. Stacey: Yes, it is. Subject to specific limits and requirements that are laid out in the bill, under very specific circumstances and to achieve particular ends, the minister would be able to issue either an interim order based on a regulatory matter or direction for a period — and I think it’s 30 days — or an exemption order particularly to allow for experimentation for the promotion of innovation.
Senator McCoy: Going through your document, you now are not going to put Pilotage Authorities’ fees in regulations, because that takes too much time, having to go through cabinet. It’s just going to be tariffs, subject to requirements for consultation and objections going through the Canadian Transportation Agency. That’s a comment.
Let me skip through to the transparency issue. You’re talking about augmenting transparency and limiting conflict of interest. Then you prohibit pilots, users or suppliers of pilotage services from being on Pilotage Authorities’ boards of directors.
It’s a bit of an echo of your point, Senator Dawson. In a sense, the knowledge holders are being prohibited from sitting on a board of directors to help inform decisions. I find that also a regrettable consideration in this framework. You say it’s to augment transparency. Maybe you can explain how that augments transparency.
Mr. Stacey: In this particular instance the focus is really on the possibility of conflict of interest, but also in terms of ensuring that the members of the board are focused on the fiduciary responsibility to the Pilotage Authorities as Crown corporations themselves, and avoid a situation in which individuals are on a board of directors, which is a relatively small board of directors, and are involved in decision-making that has direct implications or may result in benefits for them.
At the same time, there would certainly be other means by which individuals with expertise in the area would be able to participate in the board of directors who aren’t necessarily actively involved in the provision of the services or the use of those services.
Senator McCoy: It’s hard to debate something in a format like this, but at least I’ll put it on record.
Do you have any documented cases of conflict of interest as the situation exists today?
Mr. Stacey: I do not have anything at hand right now that I could specifically speak to. As a general principle, in terms of the provision of or membership on a board of directors, it’s very important that the fiduciary responsibility be to the entity itself and that you avoid circumstances where somebody would be possibly a beneficiary or directly affected by that decision-making.
Senator McCoy: I don’t know that that’s a universal rule. However, my final question: Why do you find it necessary to go to final offer selection processes between Pilotage Authorities and private corporations? That is a rather extreme form of labour relations, having been a labour minister in Alberta in my day, some years ago now. We all age, some more gracefully than others.
Having said that, that is a pretty drastic change. Again, it takes power away from the less powerful partner in a negotiating situation.
Mr. Stacey: In this particular instance, I would underscore that the role of final offer selection in negotiations precisely — and here I want to underscore that this is for negotiations between the Pilotage Authorities and private pilot corporations that collectively represent pilots. I think what we’re talking about here is not negotiations with the pilots who are employees but, rather, with the corporations themselves. This is not new. This is something that has been in the act for quite some time and is seen as a means of arriving at appropriate outcomes in terms of negotiations where there otherwise is not an agreement. I want to underscore that we’re not changing that in terms of adding that — final offer selection has been in the act for some time.
The Chair: Thank you very much. Mr. DeJong, Mr. Stacey, Ms. Wiebe and Mr. Jones, thanks very much for your testimony today.
Tomorrow we have the report to deal with and then further witnesses from Finance. Then, the following week, on Tuesday, we have witnesses from Finance — or from Transport, sorry, not Finance. Then Wednesday we deal with the report; and Thursday report the report in.
That’s the schedule. We have to meet a deadline on the budget report. We’ll do that. We should have all our business done by next Thursday and hopefully we don’t have to meet again.
Senator Galvez: We received this agenda. This agenda says we were going to hear from the officials until 10:30 and then we were going to go into an in camera discussion about the report. Could you explain, please, why —
The Chair: The report has not been translated. It’s against the rules to discuss the report if we don’t have it in a bilingual fashion. I met with Senator Miville-Dechêne yesterday. I talked to Senator Dawson. We weren’t going to discuss the report today. We’re discussing it tomorrow.
Senator Galvez: A second question.
The Chair: You can ask any question you want, Senator Galvez.
Senator Galvez: Thank you. Yesterday I had a talk with Senator Miville-Dechêne. She mentioned that you had a draft in English of the report and that, if we wanted, we could have access to this report. She asked if I wanted it, and I said yes. I received that report. There is a draft report. I want to ask who drafted this report?
The Chair: Who drafted it?
Senator Galvez: Yes, who?
The Chair: The senators who voted — who did not support the report drafted the report.
Senator Galvez: The senators who did not support —
The Chair: Did not support the bill.
Senator Galvez: We drafted? I was part of — I didn’t participate in the drafting.
The Chair: Here’s what happened: You can talk to your own representative on the steering committee, but originally there was going to be a majority and minority report. Then I was told by Senator Miville-Dechêne that there was going to be no minority report, simply a majority report. The majority report was those people who voted against the bill. We prepared the report. That report will be tabled tomorrow in both official languages. We’ll have a discussion and go from there. It’s not that complicated.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: It’s not exactly what I said. I said —
The Chair: Well, that is what you said.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: Yes, for one report. I didn’t say majority, minority report. You’re right that —
The Chair: Originally, you did, Senator Miville-Dechêne.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: Yes, originally — one report.
The Chair: I got the email, Senator Miville-Dechêne.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: Yes, but not one majority report. One report.
The Chair: You said that we would do the report and you wouldn’t be participating. We’ll have the report here tomorrow. The report is written and we’ll discuss it.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: Could we —
The Chair: If you want to change the report, you’re more than welcome to do that.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: No, it’s not what I’m saying. Could we be clear, for tomorrow’s meeting, how are we going to do the schedule? Are we going to start with discussing —
The Chair: We’re starting with the report.
Senator Miville-Dechêne: Okay, at 6:45?
The Chair: At 6:45. At 7:45 we have witnesses.
Senator Galvez: One question for the analyst. You wrote the draft of the report?
Jed Chong, Analyst, Library of Parliament: No, we did not.
Senator Galvez: You did not. Thank you very much.
The Chair: Senator, just so you understand, we write the report. Senators write the report. They write it on our behalf and we decide what the report is. Before we had this big bureaucracy, the senators wrote all the reports. There was no analyst writing a report. We now have analysts who contribute to the report. In the end it’s the senators who write the report. Please remember that, Senator Galvez.
(The committee adjourned.)