Skip to Content
 

Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 11 - Evidence - December 14, 2009


OTTAWA, Monday, December 14, 2009

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 4:12 p.m. for the consideration of a draft report on the national security policy of Canada (topic: RCMP in transition).

Senator Colin Kenny (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Welcome to the meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair, I would like to take up where I left off in my motion immediately before we adjourned the last meeting, which was in camera, so that members fully understand.

We have been considering this report since September 28. It is now December 14. I know that members do not like to talk about how we used to do things, but the fact is that this committee, when required in the interests of time, used to meet from six to eight hours per day. Our requests that we do that from time to time, and we have done so on occasion, have not met with approval by some members of the committee. As I said at the last in camera meeting, which I repeat today in public, we have to get on with the report.

I do not see the prospect of consensus, let alone unanimity, on the thrust of the report, given that we have been working on it since September 28. My personal opinion is that some members of the committee do not want the report to proceed in anything like the form in which it exists. That form says, in effect, that the RCMP is perhaps our most important national and cultural icon. The ability of that force to maintain the trust of Canadians is of paramount importance across this country in ways that have to do with the operation of their police business and also culturally. I believe that the committee's report in its current form, although we have changed it a few times in a few ways, pretty much reflects that.

We need to get on with the report. It is timely. If we do not deal with the report now, then the timeliness of it and of the recommendations contained therein will be less cogent. Even if we proceed, as I will now propose, we will not be able to make this report public, if I understand correctly, until at least January. Therefore, I move:

That, subject to the provisions of this motion, the committee meet today for a total of three hours, with additional time being added in order to account for any time taken because of suspensions of the committee for votes in the Senate or caucus meetings;

That the committee consider the draft report on the RCMP in transition, using the version dated December 7, 2009;

That, no later than thirty minutes before the expiration of the total time set for the committee's meeting, the chair shall put successively all questions necessary for final disposition of the report, and all such motions put after that time shall be dealt with without further debate or amendment; and

That, notwithstanding the limit on the total time set forth in this meeting, if the committee has not adopted all motions necessary for final disposition of the report by the expiration of the total time set for this meeting, the committee shall continue to meet for the purpose of putting all questions necessary for the final disposition of the report, after which, if the committee has gone beyond the total time set for this meeting, a motion to adjourn the committee shall be deemed moved and adopted.

Senator Wallin: I find it exceedingly difficult to imagine that Senator Banks would think that before our discussions and debate have concluded, we would agree to a final outcome. The purpose of these committee meetings is to discuss and debate the things that have been put before us.

I raised several issues with the chair privately in a letter, but we left many matters unresolved at the meeting last week about how to proceed. We had contradictory motions on the table, however, there seemed to be general agreement that we would continue the process as we have begun this process. I think members will find that the chair made a commitment earlier in the process that we would discuss this report in its entirety.

As a group, we have not even looked at chapter 6. In this document presented to us and dated December 7, recommendations are attached to most chapters, which we have never raised, discussed or debated. The issue was still a question as to whether or not it was appropriate to have recommendations in such a report.

Last week, members received an email from the chair to say that the contributions from members of the committee would be reduced to email submissions to him through the clerk of the committee. I believe that this contravenes the spirit of anything done in the Senate. Certainly, it contravenes the spirit of committees. We all serve on other committees where, I am sure, we do not find that kind of behavior. We have things left to discuss. Changes have been made to this document dated December 7, 2009, which people on all sides agreed at our last meeting did not necessarily reflect what we had agreed to as a group. We have had neither the time nor the ability to check all of that against the transcripts that sit in the clerk's office because, for obvious reasons, we have been busy with the work of the Senate chamber. We have a document before us tonight on which we have not completed our work, even the basic level of review and reflection. We need to debate chapter 6 and review the changes added by the drafters to know that they reflect the views on all sides. Suggestions were made by both sides.

Certainly, it is unacceptable to submit cursory changes by email, followed by some discussion tonight, as Senator Banks suggests, but that in the end, we know what the outcome would be. Regardless of what is said, we will have to agree.

It is an odd motion to put, Senator Banks, that you would usurp the right of all of us to have the debate. Maybe the minds on this side would be changed or maybe the minds on the honourable senator's side would be changed, but why should there be a motion that says we could debate for a while and then have a vote anyway.

It is insulting, as was the request to submit changes by email. I do not think that is what the committee process is about in the Senate.

Senator Banks: I have a short response, after which I promise that I will be quiet.

This is an unusual motion. It is made because we are proceeding with the business of this committee in an unusual way by comparison with any experience I have had here. My motion is in response precisely to that fact.

I did not suggest that we would determine the approval of the report on the basis of this motion. I am presuming that we will talk about the report today. However, since we began this practically three months ago, we should be able to come to a final decision today. The way that committees operate, at least the ones with which I am familiar, is that they make determinations, vote and decide what the view of the committee is on that basis.

With respect to chapter 6, I agree that we did not, for reasons which I will not go into, have a full discussion of chapter 6, but we have read it word for word in the committee, not page by page or chapter by chapter.

Senator Wallin: It was read aloud; we did not go through it as a group.

Senator Banks: All of the members have had, since the time we did that — sometime before December 7 — the capacity to consider what they want. The chair's request, that we all submit whatever changes we would like to make in the report through the clerk, based on the December 7 version of it, is perfectly in order. I know some of us have done it. I do not know whether Senator Wallin has done that — I think she has — but many of us have responded to that, and it is perfectly in order.

Mr. Chair, I will not say any more about it.

Senator Wallin: What I find most bizarre, and I cannot believe, certainly in my discussions with others, is that a committee would be presented with recommendations that were not discussed and were simply written into a report, and that document was presented and we still today have had no discussion about, first, whether there should be recommendations in this kind of a report. We have raised concerns about the tenor and tone of this report, and its timeliness, given the fact that so many other reports are out there and some of the major ones are still pending, and we are last at the gate here. Should we even be having recommendations? The second issue is that they have been spelled out and we have not discussed them.

Senator Banks: I just want to make the point that we should be discussing them now. We have three hours.

Senator Zimmer: Mr. Chair, if we did not continue to repeat ourselves and go over and over, we would have the time to get this report done, ergo, at the last meeting. It is making me dizzy. In fact, I passed out. I had not eaten. I am getting tired. What we have to do is hear someone, and then we have to move on. We spent an hour at the last meeting rehashing everything, and we have not done anything.

I have to say this: The organization has not improved that much. I had great respect many years ago for the RCMP. They were my heroes. But over the years, I lost that respect because of things that I saw, professionally and personally. They would stop my wife to get her phone number and had the nerve to call me at home. They stopped us two weeks ago on the street, driving by Elgin because the cab stopped, so this guy could get around. Turned out to be an RCMP officer. He pulled out his badge and started rating on us. Well, we trumped him

The Chair: If we could stay with the report.

Senator Zimmer: I am frustrated. If we take the time to get through this report and not rehash it over on one point for an hour, we would have had it done weeks ago.

Mr. Chair, you have to take the role here. If we speak too long — as you just did with me, politely, with respect — you have to do it with everyone, please.

Senator Banks: Question.

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to enter the debate, such as it is.

Clerk, do not we have a motion now as to how we conduct a report that was duly passed at the last meeting?

Shaila Anwar, Clerk of the Committee: There was a motion passed at the last meeting.

Senator Tkachuk: Could you read that motion, please.

Ms. Anwar: Yes. This is from the Monday, December 7 meeting of the Defence Committee.

It was agreed that the committee consider each chapter of the draft report by asking committee members to provide their comments page by page.

Senator Tkachuk: Are we not still operating under that motion?

The Chair: Are you addressing that question to me?

Senator Tkachuk: To whoever can answer it for me.

The Chair: We are until and unless Senator Banks' motion is adopted.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Banks' motion contradicts that motion. You would need to rescind that motion; would you not?

The Chair: No, you would not.

Senator Tkachuk: You make new motions as time goes by. You do not care what happens previously?

The Chair: That is the practice in committees.

Senator Tkachuk: This is a closure motion; isn't it? Debate will end at the end of three hours; is that right?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: I have been on this committee for a couple of years, Senator Banks, and your rendition of history is rather jaded.

My experience with the two reports that I was involved with is that once we passed them. . . . The chair had called a meeting in July of 2007 or 2008 — I cannot remember. It was so bad, I am trying to forget about it. Motions were passed. One was referred. The chair was instructed to take the motion and table it in the Senate, which the chair did not do, even though the Senate was sitting.

There was another one that we passed and had not yet passed a secondary motion, and then we were called back in July. There were two whole reports that we had all agreed upon. Senator Meighen was there and had agreed upon them originally. In his absence, the majority rescinded them both and passed brand new ones.

That is a poor history of how the Defence Committee does reports, but that is the way the Defence Committee does reports. That is what you did with those two. Even though the committee instructs, it was not the chair's wish to follow the instructions.

Now, we have general agreement on chapters 1, 2 and 3. We have a few issues here and there. We had 4, 5, and 6. However, I did not adjourn the meeting last week at 6:00. The Liberals did. They adjourned the meeting. They did not like all the debate and discussion that was going on; therefore, they adjourned the meeting and said: "Well, that is it. We do not like the debate. We are leaving''. Usually, the minority does that when it is overwhelmed by the majority, but it is a rare case that the majority would leave because they do not like the minority debate.

Senator Banks: It certainly is.

Senator Tkachuk: Time, obviously, is not of the essence, Senator Banks. I, personally, have a history with you passing a report when no members of the minority were there. The rules were used to do that, and a whole bill was quickly passed in committee. If the majority of this committee would like to have a committee where they can do whatever they want and not have a minority there, you are living in the wrong country, Senator Banks. That is not the way we should do business here.

I hope, Mr. Chair, that you will withdraw and ask your member to withdraw that motion so that we can proceed and do our best to finish this report in due time. I do not think time is pressing on it. I do not think there is anything there that the national security of the country depends upon.

My view is that this would be a horrible motion to pass. It would set a very bad precedent. It is a closure motion, which stops debate, so I disagree with it.

Actually, since we already have that motion, I will call a point of order, Chair, on the basis that we already have a motion on the floor as to how we deal with it. That motion has not yet been rescinded and we have to govern ourselves by that motion before any other motion that contradicts it is contemplated.

The Chair: Thank you. Are there any comments on the point of order?

Senator Mitchell: We certainly do not have to rescind another motion and this was made apparent last week. Committees are masters of their own fate; they can change their minds. We could find many cases where committees that Senator Tkachuk has been on have done that and he has quite happily supported it, I am sure.

Senator Tkachuk: It has never happened. If you do not know, you should not make it up.

Senator Mitchell: Okay, I am sorry. The fact is that it is absolutely within our purview to do it. He talks about the debate last week that went for two hours or so; it was all procedural. It was so repetitive. It is so frustrating that we cannot get to talk about the substance of this.

My belief fundamentally is that there is a deep difference of opinion about what this report should say and what its tenor should be. Yes, Senator Tkachuk can say we went through the first three chapters and we just have a few more changes, but it never ends. There is always a reason, because there is discomfort on the other side with that tenor and we are not going to change that. Why do we not just rise above it, do what we can in these three hours, have a vote, and get it done? If the Conservative members do not like it, they can write their own report, put it out there and we will see which one has more credibility.

Senator Lang: I just have a couple of points I would like to make as a member who has attended a great number of these meetings. I find it quite disturbing, as a new member of the Senate, to see how this particular committee functions compared to another one that I am a member of as well.

There seems to be a number of aspects that members have to look at in respect to a report that will come out about one of our national institutions, and that is the RCMP. I, for one, although I have been a time or two taken to task by the RCMP, I still do not begrudge them the overall responsibility they have and how they carry out their tasks.

The concern I have about this report is, first, the tenor. We really have to ask ourselves what the purpose of the report is. Is it to take a really concentrated criticism of the RCMP, or is it to try to give some guidance looking ahead to where the RCMP should be heading?

The Chair: Senator, we have a point of order, if you could speak to it, please.

Senator Lang: I am talking about this point of order. Mr. Chair, we were to be discussing the report as laid out by that previous motion.

The Chair: When we do discuss it, you will be fine, but right now Senator Tkachuk has made a point of order and I am looking for advice to assist me in dealing with that point of order. If you have advice, I would be happy to have it.

Senator Lang: I would say that that particular motion has to be rescinded before this other motion will be dealt with. I would think it would be the Chair's prerogative, as a chair of the committee, to see that that was done. That is one of your responsibilities as chair.

The Chair: Thank you.

Senator Tkachuk: We had to rescind those reports before we introduced new ones, if I remember, at that last meeting.

Senator Banks: Yes, the reports.

Senator Manning: To the point of order, Mr. Chair, and I have comments on the original discussion we were having. To the point of order, I am sitting next to Senator Banks, but I was making notes while he was speaking. I am just wondering for clarity here, could you explain exactly what this process will do in regard to the plan for the day?

The Chair: I would ask Senator Banks to clarify his motion.

Senator Banks: It suggests that in the time that we have today, which would end at 7 p.m., unless it is extended by whatever amount of time is taken up today by caucus meetings of either party and/or votes in the Senate, that a half an hour before that time comes, the chair will ask for a determination on all the questions that are necessary to determine what the final content of this report will be.

I contemplated a second motion, which I will make if this one passes, which will propose certain amendments, based on what all members have sent to the clerk so that we can discuss them in the time. I would hope that we would spend the time on substantive discussions rather than procedural ones and that we would by the end of today have arrived at a report that will be the report of the committee so that it can be sent for translation, printing, et cetera, and that it could be then filed, today being December 14, and tabled in the Senate near the end of January. That would be the time line.

Senator Manning: Mr. Chair, I am not sure this is the right place to ask these questions. If it is not, I am sure you will tell me and we can go back after we deal with the point of order. My understanding is that you received several emails of some proposed changes to the December 7 report in the past couple of days from both sides. Those changes will be instituted in what we call the final report. Would that be correct?

The Chair: That depends on whether the committee wants to adopt them or not.

Senator Manning: Do we have a copy of all the emails?

The Chair: We do.

Senator Manning: Do you have it here?

The Chair: We have it and it is available. It has not been passed out yet, but it is in the room.

Senator Manning: Okay. My concern is, as an example, if Senator Banks proposed a change and I proposed a change that would be different, we would have to deal with that today somehow before we conclude. We will decide today that the discussions are over. If this motion is adopted, as Senator Banks has put forward, the discussions on the draft report will be completed today.

Senator Banks: Right.

Senator Manning: It is pretty well whatever comes out of this meeting at the end of the day, so we will have to have clarification on exactly what comes out because that is the report that we all supposedly will be signing off.

Senator Banks: Right. I am hopeful that we will get to discussing those proposed amendments sooner rather than later.

Senator Tkachuk: We could have been doing it for 45 minutes already.

Senator Banks: Right.

Senator Tkachuk: Once you move that motion —

Senator Meighen: Just refresh my memory, would you, Mr. Chair. In the past, given the absence of a permanent francophone member on this committee, it has been our practice to ask Senator Nolin to look at the French translation and report back to us. How would that happen, should the motion of Senator Banks be adopted?

The Chair: The committee passed a motion essentially giving Senator Nolin carte blanche.

Senator Meighen: It was not the practice to bring it back to committee once he had seen it?

The Chair: He never brought it back to committee.

Senator Meighen: He reported back?

The Chair: He never reported back. He took the report and it went from him to the printer.

Senator Wallin: In fairness, he has a dated report.

Senator Meighen: Surely, he signified to you or someone in some fashion that he was satisfied with the translation?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Wallin: I spoke to Senator Nolin on Friday. That is not what he said. He had not even finished reading it yet.

The Chair: I am sorry, you have not been recognized. That is not the question, Senator Wallin. The question was, what has happened in the past with previous reports.

Senator Tkachuk: That was not the question.

Senator Meighen: He reported to you? Is that the case?

The Chair: He simply sent it back to the clerk.

Senator Meighen: With any corrections?

The Chair: With any corrections, and that is how it was dealt with.

You do have a motion and, inasmuch as everyone has had a chance to comment on it —

Senator Wallin: No, I actually have something on the point of order.

Senator Tkachuk: We have a motion to address Senator Meighen's question.

The Chair: Senator Wallin, on your motion.

Senator Wallin: If we can come back to that after, I just want to respond to Senator Banks on this. You are the author of your own delays on this, I am sorry, by putting forward, for all intents and purposes, a closure motion. This is exactly what Senator Tkachuk, Senator Manning and I are asking about.

If you are saying that in two and a half hours from the beginning of this meeting, you have to agree to everything we agree to, or in Senator Mitchell's words, "If you do not like it, too bad; write your own report and see who wins in the media.''

Senator Mitchell: That is not what I said.

Senator Wallin: You said, "Write your own report and see who has most credibility.''

Senator Mitchell: That is what I said, in the public.

Senator Wallin: "Write your own report.''

In the first place, you can't, so it is actually not an option. We would need the majority vote to have any of our observations even appended and, the way things have been going around here, I doubt that would be forthcoming.

We go back to that original point about the report here, which is what are you trying to do? What is the point of us sitting here, Senator Banks, for two and a half hours, if you do not care what we think of the changes, and if you do not care what we think of the recommendations that you have proposed that you know some of us have concerns about? Why are you even going through this exercise? You clearly are in the end at two and an half hours.

The Chair: With respect, Senator Wallin, this has no bearing on the motion.

Senator Wallin: It does. It goes to Senator Tkachuk's point precisely. It does. That is what you have asked.

Senator Banks: I rest my case.

Senator Mitchell: Can we progress somehow? Is there something the chair can do to help us get past this?

The Chair: I am happy to roll on your motion.

Senator Tkachuk: Can we have an explanation? Senator Meighen asked a question, which I think is important to my point of order. There are two motions, actually. There is one on Senator Nolin's question on French translation, and the other is on the motion we decided at the last meeting on the December 7 report.

The Chair: There is just one point of order, and that is what I will deal with now, if I may. The point of order that you have asked is: Which is binding right now? The motion that was passed a week or two ago is binding, because that was adopted by the committee. On the other hand, if the question is put, or when the question is put, we will see. If the question carries, then Senator Banks' current motion will be what pertains. That is the answer to your question.

Senator Tkachuk: Would it be in order, then, after we deal with this, to delete the previous motion?

The Chair: There is no requirement to do that.

Senator Tkachuk: Would it be in order? From what you say, it would be.

The Chair: No. Committees are permitted to do as they choose.

Senator Tkachuk: Exactly.

The Chair: They are their own master.

Senator Tkachuk: That is my point, chair. If what you say is correct, then after we deal with Senator Banks' motion — and I think we know how that will turn out — I will make a motion that we delete his motion, and we will go through this whole thing again, because that would be properly in order by what you are saying regarding the motion of a week ago. We do not have to deal with that motion. We ignore the motion that we passed, and we will go on to this motion. If you can ignore every motion passed and contradict it each time, what is the point of moving it in the first place?

The Chair: I am advised here, Senator Tkachuk, that the previous question may not be moved in Committee of the Whole or in any select committee, and you are moving the previous motion.

Senator Tkachuk: No, I am not moving the previous motion. I am not doing that at all. That is not what I am saying.

The Chair: That is the advice I am getting from the clerk.

Senator Wallin: No, we were asking about its status.

Senator Mitchell: Is there a question on this?

The Chair: There is.

Senator Banks: Have you ruled? What is next? Can we get on with it, please?

The Chair: What is next is you asked the question as to which pertains. As of now, Senator Banks' initial motion pertains, because we have not adopted any other motion. Until another motion is adopted, his motion is on the floor, but the question has not been put. Until the question is put, the previous motion pertains.

Senator Mitchell: Okay.

Senator Banks: Question.

The Chair: Call for the question. Those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Senator Lang: Mr. Chair, we can speak to that motion.

The Chair: We just have, and you did.

Senator Lang: No, I spoke to the point of order, Mr. Chair.

Senator Tkachuk: He spoke to the point of order. He can speak to the motion. We can speak as many times as we want to a motion.

The Chair: You can.

Senator Tkachuk: Yes. That is exactly right.

The Chair: We have called the question.

Senator Lang: Mr. Chair?

Senator Banks: I certainly do not mind if Senator Lang would like to speak to the motion, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: Senator Lang.

Senator Lang: I appreciate the opportunity, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: In fairness, you are not a member of the committee.

Senator Lang: Mr. Chair, I have every right to speak at a committee meeting, other than to vote.

The Chair: You absolutely do.

Senator Lang: Do not challenge me on that. I would appreciate that.

The Chair: It is a question of making sure the people, as Senator Wallin prefers, who are on the committee get recognized first. That is all.

Senator Lang: Mr. Chairman, I did not see anyone else. Does anyone else want to speak?

The Chair: I was looking around to see who else was interested.

Senator Lang: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just want to make a couple points, if I could, as far as the report is concerned before we have a closure motion. I raised a couple of items or aspects of it previously.

I think that the committee is definitely going in the wrong way if we will be going ahead and authorizing various recommendations in the context of the report that are well beyond what was discussed by the committee when witnesses were appearing before the committee. I, for one, never heard the number 5,000 come up as far as new regular members to be hired in the next seven years. It is something that I would submit would cost the Canadian government and the taxpayer in the neighbourhood of half a billion dollars. I would question the temerity of us, as committee members, going ahead with a number as large as that. It is almost increasing the size of the existing RCMP complement by 25 per cent. I am not saying there should not be increases, but I am also saying that I do not think we heard anything to that extent that should be done.

The other point —

The Chair: Senator Lang, I would have to ask you to confine your comments to the motion we have.

Senator Lang: I am confining myself to the motion as to why there should not be closure at this stage of discussing the report. These are the items that will be discussed in the next two and a half hours. We will discuss, Mr. Chair, the question about a commission being set up when there were requests from members of the committee here to discuss various commissions and how they could be set up with some guidance from the provinces, and it was denied. Yet, we have in this report a very broad recommendation in that area. That, in itself, I would submit to you, Mr. Chair, should require at least two or three, if not more, meetings for a committee to deliberate what should be recommended for the RCMP and what should be done. That is an area of very crucial importance. To have it in a report when it has not even been discussed by the committee, Mr. Chair, I have to say that I wonder where we are going as far as the report is concerned.

Those are my two comments with respect to that. There are some overriding issues and we have not discussed it as far as witnesses appearing.

Senator Banks: Briefly in response to Senator Lang's points and one that he made before as well, the number 5,000 comes from a previous report of this committee from a long time ago, and this report refers to the fact of this committee's previously having recommended the 5,000 number. It is not new.

Senator Lang, I absolutely agree with everything you said when you were speaking about the point of order and just now. There is a fundamental disagreement in the committee about whether this report should tell the truth as it is seen by some or as it is seen by others. That has to do with whether there is a problem, the nature of the problem, and how this committee would recommend that the problem — if there is one — be solved, including recommendations.

I do not know how many reports this committee has made. How many reports have we made?

Senator Mitchell: Twenty-eight.

Senator Banks: No report has ever not included recommendations. Very few reports of Senate committees do not contain recommendations.

I agree with everything you said. It is precisely the reason I introduced my motion if you refer to what I said earlier.

Senator Wallin: I want to continue on this point of the recommendations that I think are core. We have had no discussion. Senator Lang indicated that it is completely irrelevant if some earlier report of this committee agreed on the number 5,000. There was no discussion and no costing. Even in looking at the recommendations as they sit now, is that inclusive of the expansion of small detachments? Is that a separate motion because they appear as a separate recommendation?

You want to talk about substance and we are trying to do that. We have circumvented and gone around the question of civilian oversight. There is a recommendation on civilian oversight. We have, at the best, contradictory testimony on that. We certainly have different views on this committee as to where civilian oversight is appropriate, where the oversight or study provided by another police force to examine behaviour might be appropriate, or where some mix of civilian and police oversight might be appropriate. Those are peculiar to the circumstances. Mr. McAusland was clear that you have to wrestle that issue down to ensure you did not say civilian oversight in one fell swoop and then have that apply in situations where it could prove to be very troubling and people would not have the experience or the facts at hand to do that.

Again, I think we have a crucial issue that has been raised directly and indirectly over the course of our discussion, which has not yet been resolved and it appeared in the December 7 document that was distributed to us as a recommendation. It is a fundamental debate over what we would say. We have to tread very carefully because of the evidence we heard.

Senator Banks: When will we get to it?

Senator Wallin: You are the one, Senator Banks, who has imposed closure. You cannot argue with us whether we have used the time inappropriately.

Senator Mitchell: Of course, we can.

Senator Wallin: You are the author of your own misfortunate. When you put forward a closure motion, you must assume people will debate it.

Senator Tkachuk: Regarding Senator Nolin's role on this, the minutes for the October 19 meeting state:

It was agreed that the Honourable Senator Nolin will review the final translation of the draft report, when it had been agreed upon by the committee. . .

I read this to say that the committee has to approve the final translation of the draft report.

Senator Wallin: The final version and translation.

Senator Tkachuk: Exactly. Then it will go to Senator Nolin.

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair —

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Banks, you want to strike every motion that we have made here. I brought up one motion already that we made on how we will handle this report. You do not like it because you do not like the way it is going, so you are moving a new one.

I think your motion contradicts this motion as well. We had agreed that the Honourable Senator Nolin will review the final translation of the draft report when it had been agreed upon by the committee. In other words, we have to agree on the final report and then he has to okay it. That is what I thought we agreed to in order to ensure concordance of the text in both official languages. That is what the motion says. It will require this committee not only to approve the report as we agree upon it, but we also have to approve the French translation, which we do not have yet.

An Hon. Senator: That is not what the motion says.

Senator Tkachuk: I am just reading the motion.

What has been distributed here today regarding the French translation?

Ms. Anwar: The December 7 version.

Senator Tkachuk: Do we have a copy of the December 7 meeting?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: Do we have French translation of all our letters sent in last Wednesday for the report as well?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: Where would they be?

Ms. Anwar: I have copies here.

Senator Tkachuk: We do not have them.

The Chair: We had not got to that point yet. That is why we did not distribute them.

Senator Wallin: But Senator Lang —

The Chair: Excuse me, Senator Wallin, if I may. The work that Senator Nolin does is not a requirement. It is something that the committee has requested in the past and one would anticipate Senator Nolin would do it again if he was willing.

Senator Tkachuk: We have a motion to this effect.

The Chair: I understand that.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Nolin was at the meeting when we had that motion and he agreed to it.

The Chair: Yes. The question from Senator Meighen was how it happened in the past. I simply answered the question about how it happened in the past.

Senator Tkachuk: How do you interpret this motion?

The Chair: I interpret it that once there is agreement on the English version, translation will still done by the government translators of any changes we make. A copy of that then goes to Senator Nolin and he does the final cut and sends it back.

Senator Tkachuk: Therefore, Senator Meighen, as a bilingual Canadian, does not have a chance to approve the French report?

The Chair: This is the process that has happened on each previous report.

Senator Meighen: That may be, Mr. Chair. It only seems that when we look at it in the cold light today, this committee approves only half of the report. It approves the English language version and never sees the French version of the final report, other than through the eyes of Senator Nolin — and God bless him for doing the work; he has done it very well.

The Chair: Frankly, it is no different than the motion to give the chair and deputy chair the right to make minor corrections — missing commas, correct words and those sorts of things — which is the practice of all committees in the Senate. The report never goes back to any committee after that. This is something that Senator Tkachuk is making up out of —

Senator Meighen: I would suggest that translation of the entire report is somewhat different than a comma here and there.

The Chair: The entire translation of the report, in fact, takes place by officials of Public Works or whoever. They do the translation. Senator Nolin has never taken an English text from scratch and rendered it into French. He takes the French text and perfects it, which is no different than what would happen with the chair and the vice chair doing it. The committee has never had it come back afterward in my 26 years of experience.

Senator Meighen: I know we have not received it back from Senator Nolin in the past. However, I now wonder whether that is the right way of doing it.

Senator Banks: Regarding the point Senator Tkachuk raised, I think the wording of the motion that he read into the record shows that the word "it'' in the motion refers to the version of the report we have been working on, which ordinarily is English in this committee. The word "it'' refers to the object of the sentence, which is the final report. That report is then sent for translation.

Senator Tkachuk: No, it is the final translation of the report.

Senator Banks: That is not what it says. Read it again.

Senator Tkachuk: You want me to give you a copy of that?

The Chair: Senator Banks still has the floor.

Senator Banks: Which motion do you want me to look at?

Senator Tkachuk: The motion that we adopted is at the bottom.

Senator Banks: Is it the motion that Senator Nolin be allowed to perform his study of the French translation?

Senator Tkachuk: No, Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: It states: "It was agreed that the Honourable Senator Nolin will review the final translation of the draft report when it had been agreed upon by the committee. . .''

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Senator Banks: ". . . in order to ensure the concordance. . .''

Senator Tkachuk: We have never seen the final translation.

Senator Banks: It is always vetted by everyone, because there is always a French version and an English version of the report at the same time.

Senator Tkachuk: I do not really care what you always do. I am trying to say that this is what the motion says.

Senator Mitchell: You were caring about it when it came to rescinding motions.

Senator Mitchell: Why do we not just talk about the report, please?

Senator Tkachuk: If we can remove this motion, we will get to the report. What is the point of having any discussion with this motion hanging over our heads, because it does not really matter?

The Chair: I understand that you would like to deal with the motion.

Senator Tkachuk: No, we would like to remove it. Otherwise, we will move another motion when this one is over to delete that motion. We will go through this all over again. I am telling you that right now, chair. We will be here until seven o'clock. We do not accept closure.

Senator Wallin: Closure is not a good way to proceed.

The Chair: Are there any other comments? Not seeing any, I call the question.

All those in favour of the motion will please say, yea.

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

The Chair: All those opposed will please say, nay.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Senator Wallin: Could you read the motion so that it is clear that this is a motion of closure that we are voting on?

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Banks moved:

That, subject to the provisions of this motion, the committee meet today for a total of three hours with additional time being added in order to account for any time taken because of suspensions of the committee for votes in the Senate or caucus meetings;

That the committee consider the draft report on the RCMP in transition using the version dated December 7, 2009;

That no later than thirty minutes before the expiration of the total time set for the committee's meeting, the chair shall put successively all questions necessary for the final disposition of the report, and all such motions put after that time shall be dealt with without further debate or amendment; and

That, notwithstanding the limit on the total time set forth in this meeting, if the committee has not adopted all motions necessary for final disposition of the report by the expiration of the total time set for this meeting, the committee shall continue to meet for the purpose of putting all questions necessary for the final disposition of the report, after which, if the committee has gone beyond the total time set for this meeting, a motion to adjourn the committee shall be deemed moved and adopted.

[The clerk called the names]

Senator Kenny: Yes.

Senator Dallaire: Yes.

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Manning: No.

Senator Meighen: No.

Senator Moore: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: No.

Senator Wallin: No.

Senator Mitchell: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: Yeas — 5 Nays — 4

The Chair: The motion is carried.

Senator Banks: I have a further motion. I will distribute the relevant amendments in a moment. I move:

That the proposed amendments indicated in the document entitled "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report'' be adopted and integrated into the draft text as indicated in that document;

That the draft report on the RCMP in Transition, date stamped December 7, 2009, as amended, be adopted;

That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be authorized to approve minor changes to (i) the draft dated December 7, 2009, as amended by the committee, that are required to integrate the agreed-upon amendments into the report, without otherwise substantively affecting the report's contents, and (ii) such minor typographical and grammatical corrections as are deemed necessary, again without substantively affecting the report's contents or conclusions; and

That the chair table the report in the Senate at the earliest convenient opportunity.

In connection with that motion, chair, I request permission to distribute to members a list that has been compiled of the proposed amendments, selected from and based upon those amendments proposed by members sent to the clerk of the committee, which in the aggregate are the amendments that I referred to in the above motion. May I do that?

The Chair: You may. I have Senator Wallin, Senator Manning, but I am not sure whether I have Senator Tkachuk.

Senator Wallin: I would ask Senator Banks to rescind the motion he just proposed.

Senator Banks: I am sorry. Do you ask that I rescind the motion I have just proposed?

Senator Wallin: Yes.

Senator Banks: Why would I do that?

Senator Wallin: We are attempting to have some discussion. You have already imposed a closure motion and now you are imposing a different kind of closure and a restriction on the debate.

Members of the committee were only allowed to submit our comments by email. I know you do not like repetition, but it is good for everyone to understand that the committee has been reduced to sending the chair an email, which the majority will then decide whether they like it or not. This is not what committees are supposed to be. As Senator Tkachuk said: If that is how you want to do business, you live in the wrong country. We are supposed to have some debate about the security of our country and those people who are in charge of it. You do not like the debate, the questions and the comments that some of us propose. You have said that you want to talk about the content, but every time we raise content, you move to shut it down.

The Chair: Excuse me, Senator Wallin, there is a factual error in what you said. I have a copy of the note that was sent around by the clerk of the committee dated December 8. It says:

Honourable senators, on behalf of the Chair of the Committee, now that you have had an opportunity to read the full draft, please send any proposed, specific changes to Shaila Anwar, Clerk of the Committee, by 5 p.m. this Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Please indicate the specific line and page numbers where you propose changes to the text. Please use the document distributed by the clerk at the meeting on December 7, 2009 in order to facilitate this process.

This was a request for information. This was a request to augment and to improve the report. It in no way limits anyone from providing other information, putting forward other amendments, or doing whatever they wish. It is a request for assistance in facilitating the report — no more, no less. To suggest that it limits anyone on the committee in any way from making a contribution to the debate here is in error.

Senator Wallin: A closure motion has just been passed by the majority, so there is not much time for a fulsome discussion.

I wrote to you about this matter, Mr. Chair. You know that. I communicated to you that we felt it was important to continue the examination because last week, when we were presented with the final draft of the report, it was clear even on page 1 that some of the wishes of the committee had not been reflected in the latest draft.

The Chair: One of the difficult things, Senator Wallin —

Senator Wallin: Dan agreed with that, and we all agreed with that.

The Chair: You have repeated that allegation a number of times.

Senator Wallin: It happens to be true.

The Chair: Excuse me, Senator Wallin, if you would let me finish my sentence.

Senator Wallin: I was in the middle of saying something, when you interrupted me.

The Chair: None of us know what exactly you have in mind.

Senator Wallin: That is precisely the point.

The Chair: You have not pointed out in the text where it exists.

Senator Wallin: It was the wording we all agreed to; Senator Moore agreed, we agreed, and Dan Turner agreed. There was agreement that it had not been a reflection. Then we agreed to some changes.

If you cannot have that discussion, and if you cannot go down that road, and, as I said in my letter to you, part of the problem when you give us a deadline like Wednesday to look at a report when we are all, as you know, in the chamber doing our jobs, which is to deal with the legislation that the House of Commons sends us, we do not have the ability to go to the clerk's office and go through the documents. There is just not time. There was not time to find a list of other specific examples, which is exactly what I said to you in my letter, which was the problem with all of this.

Over and above that are all of the other issues we have already raised, which are recommendations that have not even been discussed, were not even on the table, not anywhere debated or proposed or anything. They just appeared.

Senator Mitchell: We are going over and over and over again. They want to get stuck in procedural.

The Chair: I understand.

Senator Banks: I am responding to Senator Wallin's request that I rescind — I believe that is the word she used — or take back my motion.

I do not, and the reason that I do not is precisely that it is now 10 minutes after five o'clock. We have been sitting here since four o'clock, and have dealt with nothing substantive. It has been going on and on since September 25. These proposed amendments which are before you, colleagues — Senator Wallin, you said you did not have time to do this.

Senator Wallin: We did not get this document until one second ago.

Senator Banks: Other members of the committee did. Senator Tkachuk did.

Senator Wallin: This document here?

Senator Banks: Senator Tkachuk sent responses in.

Senator Wallin: It was not to this document.

Senator Banks: Senator Tkachuk sent in responses in response to the chair's request to send suggestions to the clerk, and some of them are included in the list that is before you.

Senator Wallin: That is correct.

Senator Tkachuk: Who made the decision of what should be included and what should not?

Senator Banks: I am proposing that these be the amendments that we now discuss. You can propose whatever else you like, but that is my motion.

Senator Tkachuk: Did any Liberal member submit any recommendations?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: You gave them my submission, but I did not see any copies of anyone else's. How does Senator Banks get privilege to getting all the emails?

The Chair: It was available to anyone who asked.

Senator Wallin: Surely you jest.

The Chair: No. I am absolutely serious.

Senator Banks: Why is that funny?

Senator Wallin: It is not funny. It is an insult to the bloody process. It is unbelievable.

The Chair: I am sorry, but Senator Wallin, just to clarify things, you complain about not being able to see the transcripts —

Senator Wallin: We do not have time. We do not have a staff of nine.

Senator Banks: Others have time.

The Chair: If you would just let me finish the sentence. You complain about not having the opportunity to see the transcripts, yet seven times you have voted that the transcripts be kept down in the clerk's office.

Senator Wallin: Please, do not use that fake argument.

The Chair: I am sorry, Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: We discussed whether or not the transcripts would be brought here to work off of.

Senator Moore: The chair was speaking. You have to let him do that.

The Chair: I am simply making a point that you are in error and that we raised the opportunity to have the transcript. We brought the transcript to every meeting since you raised it. If you wanted the transcripts, I said to you that you could have them in your office if you so passed a motion. You chose not to. The fact that you did not ask for the transcripts in your office, which you could have had, is not my fault.

You persist in complaining that you did not have enough time to go down to see these things, whereas, in fact, they were available to you any time you wanted them.

Senator Manning: Just for clarification, these proposed amendments put forward by Senator Banks are based on all the information that came in from the emails that were sent to the clerk, based on the request for any changes you made in December, whatever the date was; is that correct?

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Manning: Senator Banks, again, I am not putting words in your mouth but I am just trying to see the process here. You went and reviewed all the summations that were made.

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Manning: Based on your review, you put forward this report to accept these recommendations to the report. Would that be correct?

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Manning: So we do not get a chance to screen them, to look at what was sent in?

Senator Banks: Sure, you do.

The Chair: Yes. If you want it now, you can have it.

Senator Banks: I did last week.

Senator Wallin: You got the merged copy last week, the copy of all the recommendations?

Senator Banks: They were not merged. They were all separate.

Senator Wallin: You got a copy of that?

Senator Banks: I looked at them.

Senator Wallin: That is not in the transcript.

Senator Banks: There were several hundred.

Senator Wallin: The comments sent in by the members of this committee, did you see them last week?

Senator Banks: Yes.

The Chair: They are not secret.

Senator Wallin: Where were they? They are not in the transcripts.

Senator Mitchell: Of course, not.

Senator Wallin: I would just walk in and say: I want to see anything that you have received from another senator. Please show me all your email from another senator.

The Chair: Everyone was asked to send them in. These were for public discussion.

Senator Tkachuk: Only those edited by Senator Banks are public. Are all mine there?

Senator Banks: These are not in themselves final amendments, members and chair. You will note that some of these refer to comments that were made by people that just say we have to rewrite this. For example, on page 3 of this, number 22 the question was asked by a member:

What does this sentence mean? It is bit of a non sequitur. Just because CSIS stays out of the spotlight doesn't mean they are not doing their share of the work. Rewrite.

We have to address that question. It was sent in by an honourable member of this committee.

I am proposing that we address these questions now. We cannot accept this thing holus-bolus, because it does not fix that and other examples. These are things that members have brought up that I think we should deal with now.

Senator Tkachuk: You think.

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: We do not have a choice on that.

Senator Banks: You can propose all the ones that you think we ought to.

Senator Tkachuk: That is what I would like to do, then.

Senator Banks: Please do.

Senator Tkachuk: I brought mine with me, and I will read them right now. I will go through them.

The Chair: Senator Moore has not had an opportunity.

Senator Moore: I just want to ask a question: Has this list of proposed changes been vetted to delete duplications?

The Chair: Madam Clerk, nothing has been deleted from this list; has it? Were there duplications in the master list? Are they all on the master list?

Ms. Anwar: They are all on the master list.

The Chair: They are not on what Senator Banks is proposing, but on the master list they are all there.

Senator Moore: We want to read this once here.

Senator Tkachuk: Do we have a copy of this in both official languages? Can all the emails that were sent in be distributed?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: We can see everyone's?

The Chair: The emails are in the language they were submitted in, but the recommendations or the amendments are in both languages.

Senator Tkachuk: Do you have all of my recommendations in both official languages?

Ms. Anwar: In one form or another, not in the form of your email.

Senator Tkachuk: In what form are they?

Ms. Anwar: They are in an aggregated list.

Senator Tkachuk: If I made a suggestion and Senator Banks made the same one, you, as clerk, would say: This is the same thing; we will make an aggregate point.

Ms. Anwar: No. If five senators sent in recommendations for page 1, I put them on a table, one after another.

Senator Tkachuk: Can we have that distributed?

Senator Wallin: I have a point of clarification.

Senator Banks, you went and actually read the original emails? Is that what you did, with our names attached that were sent to the clerk?

Senator Banks: I asked to see the submissions that had been made by everyone, in whatever form they were made.

Senator Wallin: Did you see all those individually with our names attached?

Senator Banks: I had to, because they were not merged into a single document.

Senator Wallin: So that was not a document that was distributed or available?

The Chair: It is available.

Senator Banks: It was available.

Senator Wallin: Do you often do that? Is that your process for emails sent to you. If someone comes to your office, you say, "Here, read all the emails that were sent to me''?

The Chair: All of the proposed amendments were available to anyone who asked for them.

Senator Wallin: Just as a point of principle, I am trying to determine this. You just make all of the emails that people send to you available to members that come into your office and ask for them?

The Chair: No, I do not, Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: This is important. How did Senator Banks get it, then?

The Chair: Because he saw —

Senator Wallin: That is my point. He asked for it and he got it.

The Chair: Senator Wallin, he did not get your email.

Senator Wallin: No. He just said he did.

The Chair: Senator Wallin, then why are you asking me a question?

Senator Wallin: I want to ask you about your practice.

The Chair: Fine.

Senator Wallin: I asked Senator Banks about what he read.

The Chair: Promise you will let me answer and I will give you an answer.

Senator Wallin: I have asked you a question. I wanted the answer to the question I asked. I asked Senator Banks about the other one and he told me he read our individual emails.

Senator Banks: No, that is not what I said.

Senator Wallin: Yes, it was.

Senator Banks: That is not what I said.

The Chair: Nice try, Senator Wallin.

Senator Banks: I said that I looked at them in whatever form they were presently.

Senator Wallin: Emails.

The Chair: They were not in the form of emails. They were in the form of this document, which has the substance of each amendment on it; it has the words that people put in; it lists the page and line numbers, and it lists the proposed change.

Senator Tkachuk: My recommendations are not included in this; only some are.

Ms. Anwar: Everything that every senator submitted in an email was put on this chart.

Senator Tkachuk: This is an edited version of Senator Banks. I did not say he was not. I am asking what this is.

The Chair: I cannot see it, but what I am presuming is —

Senator Tkachuk: That is what he is making as a motion, in support.

The Chair: That is what Senator Banks wishes to have adopted.

Senator Banks: This is the place from which I got these. This is what everyone sent in.

Senator Wallin: Is this your document?

Senator Banks: This is.

Senator Wallin: It is your personal document?

Senator Banks: No. I went through these and checked them off.

Senator Wallin: I understand.

Senator Banks: I said I like these ones; I will make a motion that we consider these ones.

Senator Wallin: These are your favourites.

Senator Tkachuk: So once we pass your motion, we cannot deal with these; we can only deal with yours.

Senator Banks: You can deal with whatever you like.

Senator Tkachuk: No, read the motion again.

Senator Banks: I will happily read it again.

Senator Mitchell: You can move amendments, too.

Senator Tkachuk: Why should I have to move amendments? I was asked by the chair to submit an email for consideration. I did that.

The Chair: Right.

Senator Tkachuk: So did Senator Wallin. I do not know if any Liberal senators did. Senator Moore did as well.

The Chair: All of them are aggregated on this document.

Senator Tkachuk: I just want to make clear, because from what I understand from Senator Banks' motion —

Senator Banks: Let me read the motion again.

Senator Tkachuk: Okay, let us try that again.

Senator Banks: I move "that the proposed amendments indicated in the document entitled "Proposed Amendments to the December 7 draft report'' be adopted and integrated into the draft text as indicated in that document.''

I will pause. It does not say "only these''; it does not say "that is the end of it;'' and it does not say "no one else can make any suggestions.''

The motion continues: "That the draft report. . . as amended, be adopted.''

Senator Meighen: That is without further discussion by implication, is it not?

The Chair: No.

Senator Banks: No. I am presuming that other members will make other suggestions and proposals and that we will discuss these in substance. It does not say "exclusively.'' How do you want me to word it?

Senator Wallin: They may be pre-emptive of other changes.

Senator Banks: My point is that we should consider these proposed subjects and amendments and put them into the report. I hope that every member will feel perfectly free to propose other amendments to the report. In the meantime, I propose these.

The Chair: You deny Senator Banks the right to move a motion. He has that right.

Senator Tkachuk: I do not deny him that.

The Chair: I am talking to Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: I just think it should be very clear that he went to your office and read documents that people had sent. He came with a list of his own and without making it particularly clear and this is what we are trying to clarify in this debate. This is a list of Senator Banks' favourite amendments, chosen from a partial list that was submitted by some members. For instance, I said in my note that it was only a very cursory look and I had many more amendments to propose. This was only a short list and I was very clear about that, because the proposal on the books, the rule on the books, was that we were going to have a full discussion, page by page, of the document.

I think that by accepting your selected hits of amendments here, because we have just got this document, I cannot read them through at this point, I do not know, but I fear that some of them might then be pre-emptive of other changes that not only appear here, but that we might want to put forward upon reading this.

Senator Banks: Why do we not discuss them?

Senator Wallin: Because you are putting them forward as a motion.

The Chair: That is how one discusses things in a committee. One puts forward —

Senator Wallin: Actually, no. We went through —

The Chair: I am sorry, I am still talking and I still have the floor. Actually, no. The way the Senate discusses things is that you put forward a motion and then people debate it. Senator Banks has put forward a motion and people are entitled to debate it.

Senator Manning, you have the floor.

Senator Manning: I have a question, for clarification. These are all the recommendations that you sent in for changes, sent in by several senators; right? They are all here. Senator Banks picked what he thought were good amendments, or whatever the case will be, and he has put forward those.

The Chair: Right.

Senator Manning: On page 1, line 9, "change "difficult'' to "complicated''; everything they do is difficult.'' Is that the RCMP or the committee you are talking about?

Senator Banks: I am talking about the RCMP.

Senator Manning: I just want to make sure. It is difficult to complicate it.

If we adopt Senator Banks' motion, is the plan then to go through these one at a time, to look at them?

Senator Banks: Chair, can I answer that question? We have to, because some of these are quite specific, like the one that you see where there are underlined words. We can change these words and we can vote on that in two seconds.

Others, for example, at the top of page 3, in which a member asked a question, a legitimate question, we have to deal with that, so we cannot adopt it lock, stock and barrel. We have to go through them one at a time.

Senator Manning: If we adopt those and go through them one at a time, then there are other ones here we need to discuss.

The Chair: If they want to talk about them, we can.

Senator Tkachuk: We have to go through these one at a time.

Senator Manning: Are these taken out of this?

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Manning: Can we just go through these ones? I am just trying to start somewhere.

The Chair: My problem is that I did not hear you.

Senator Manning: Sorry. Senator Banks' recommendations come from the master list.

The Chair: Right.

Senator Manning: Senator Banks says, and I concur, that if we adopt his motion, we will go through each one of his examples that he has taken from here, line by line. Then our plan is to go through this line by line, if people want to move other ones. I am thinking to move things along, if that is possible, we go through the master list line by line.

The Chair: There is a motion on the floor.

Senator Manning: I know. I am just trying to get clarification. Do we have to go down through each one of these and mark off on the master list which ones are here? You said a duplication afterwards, if we ever get to that point.

Senator Banks: The point of my motion, Senator Manning, is precisely because I think we will go quickly through many of these and I think we can approve where there is a word change and we can get a lot done quickly, and then deal with whatever else we want to deal with.

Senator Tkachuk: Just so I am clear on your motion, does your motion mean we adopt these changes? Does your motion say we adopt these changes?

Senator Banks: Yes, but the changes that are on this list reflect exactly what members said, and some of them are not specific changes. I will give you a specific example. On page 3, 26 and 27, "RCMP, and what remains to be done to maintain the'' is a specific recommendation to change the words of the draft report of December 7.

To refer to my other example at the top of page 3 of my list, page 22, lines 5 to 9, says, "What does this sentence mean?'' This is a question that was asked by a member, so we cannot adopt that. We have to deal with that question and decide how we will say this. We have to go through these one at a time and adopt them. I think if we do that, we will have moved a long way quickly.

Senator Tkachuk: We will go through these one at a time while we are discussing your motion. Once we adopt them, there is no point in going through them. If they are already adopted, why would we even discuss them?

Senator Banks: It does not say that. It says:

That the proposed amendments indicated in the document . . . be adopted and integrated into the draft text as indicated in that document;

That the draft report . . ., as amended, be adopted;

As amended. We have to adopt these.

Senator Wallin: You are doing it backwards.

Senator Tkachuk: You are doing it backwards because what you are saying in the motion, so it is clear, if we discuss this point by point while his motion is on the floor, that is fair enough. We tick them off and say that what we do not tick is amended or deleted. That is fine. Then we can move to adopt this motion, which means all of this will pass. However, if we just adopt it, then this is all done. There is no point talking about it.

The Chair: At the risk of putting words in Senator Banks' mouth, I think he intended to go down every item listed here and to have a discussion as he got to each item.

Senator Wallin: Then we need different wording in his motion to reflect that.

Senator Tkachuk: We do not have to pass his motion.

The Chair: No, that is how I read his motion.

Senator Tkachuk: Why not have a discussion while his motion is on the floor?

The Chair: And then decide to adopt or amend it.

Senator Tkachuk: Go through each one of these. If we get agreement, we are done; if we do not get agreement, we cross it off his list.

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: That is fair.

The Chair: That is what we are trying to do.

Senator Manning: I thought someone suggested that a half hour ago.

Senator Tkachuk: We did.

Senator Wallin: The way the motion reads right now, if I understand it, is that —

The Chair: With respect, let us stop talking about that and let us talk about what is on page 1, line 7, regarding the proposed amendments: "This brief interim report is a check on progress being made to.''

Senator Banks: I move to approve that amendment.

Senator Tkachuk: What was that?

The Chair: This document. You cannot see it from over there, can you?

Senator Tkachuk: No, I have it here.

The Chair: I am suggesting that we move on to the top of the page and work our way down.

Senator Tkachuk: We will adopt each one as we go. Can someone keep track of this so we know what has been subtracted from this main report so we know what is left over?

Senator Wallin: That is a different list. That is the problem. We are working off a different list.

Senator Moore: Are we doing the horizontal or the vertical?

The Chair: Vertical.

Senator Wallin: That is the trouble.

The Chair: The document we are working from is entitled "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report.'' The top of the page says 1.1, page 1, line 7: "This brief interim report is a check on progress being made to.''

I take it, Senator Banks, that you are referring to the words "on progress being.''

Senator Banks: Yes. The underlined words represent the change from the text in the version of December 7.

The Chair: Does anyone have a problem with that?

Senator Banks: I move the adoption of that amendment.

Wait a minute. How do you want to do this procedurally?

The Chair: I will simply ask if anyone has a problem with it. If you are okay with it, let me know.

Are you okay with that first change?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: I take it that everyone is agreed.

Item 1.2 deals with page 1, line 9: "change "difficult'' to "complicated''; everything they do is difficult.''

Senator Wallin: I have to ask a procedural question. In our initial discussion about this, we had a discussion about the word "recent'' in line 10. There is no reference to that in either this document or this document.

The Chair: Then it would be appropriate, Senator Wallin, for you to draft an amendment and put it forward to see whether there is support for it.

Senator Wallin: But we did have this discussion already.

Senator Moore: We are onto the next line, please. Deal the lines chronologically. Let us get some order here.

The Chair: Are there any comments regarding this change? Is it acceptable to committee members?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Agreed.

With respect to Item No. 1.3, I am not sure I understand what "N. B.'' means. That item reads: "conflict declaration needs to be at the bottom of the first page.'' We have agreed to that? Fine.

Senator Wallin: I am sorry. We had discussions about this as a group. This is what I mean. All of the changes we have agreed to and discussed. We talk about recent incidents, and in fact many of these incidents are far from recent. This is just jumping out at me because, as we planned at the last meeting, we were going to go through this page by page. It is very hard for me to sit here and now make up declarations on every word that comes along as we are speeding through with Senator Banks' motion.

Senator Moore: We are not speeding here. Man oh man. Editorial comment. Come on.

Senator Wallin: Well, how am I supposed to incorporate that?

Senator Banks: These are my proposals. Under the motion that we are dealing with now, the chair has decided that we will deal with this motion by going through these items as was intended, line by line, so they can be disposed of. Then other committee members may wish to make further amendments to the draft. This is not exclusive. I am proposing we deal with these because I think we can find consensus on them and deal with them quickly. If we cannot find consensus, we will at least determine that. We can come back, and other members can make other proposals for other amendments. I propose we stick to the list called "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report'' and then come back and do whatever else we want later.

Senator Wallin: There is no later.

Senator Tkachuk: You have a motion that we have already passed. If we go until 6:30, it does not matter what our motions are.

Senator Banks: That is why we should deal with these items with some alacrity, senator.

Senator Lang: On a point of procedure and clarification, my understanding was that at the last meeting, in sentence number 10, I thought there was common agreement that we would include something along the lines that, "A number of years ago, a series of incidents had cast a shadow over the Force's achievements.'' I just assumed that the writers would put that in. There was common understanding around the table at that time.

Further down, in line 13, we recommended that the words "been blunt about'' be changed to "recognized.'' On the one hand, we agree to something, and then we come back a week later and we have not agreed on it. Subsequently, we have to make a motion. I would like Senator Banks' point of view because this makes it somewhat confusing for all of us.

Senator Banks: I will say again, senators, that the list you have called "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report'' are things that I think we can deal with quickly now. We can then come back and any other committee member can make any other proposal for any other amendment in any other line of the report that they wish. However, since we are dealing with this list line by line as discussion on my present motion, I suggest that we should go through these. If we want to change something on line 10, which I did not propose, then we can come back and someone can propose a change to that line. We should stick to this list because it is the motion we are discussing now.

The Chair: I would also like to point out that there have been no changes to the December 7 draft since that date.

Senator Lang: My understanding is we got through pages 1 and 2. I know it was not a lot, but we did move ahead.

The Chair: I am saying that there have been no changes made to the December 7 version.

Senator Lang: I am saying there was an understanding around the table that those were changes we would like to have. I understood that they were to be done.

Senator Wallin: I would like to reinforce that point. Both parties, in fact, agreed to the two changes that Senator Lang mentioned. I had noted the first one.

With Senator Banks' motion on the table, we will likely not have time to go back and include the things both sides had agreed to. We now have to sit down and write motions for all of this at the same time as we are going through Senator Banks' proposed changes. It is hard to be looking at page 31 while proposing an amendment on things that we have already agreed in the first two pages. I know that is as far as we have gone, but that is why we believed Senator Banks' original motion was on the table. We understood that would go through this draft page by page as a group to capture the things we had agreed to and to have a discussion on things we had not covered yet. It is 5:45 p.m. I do not know how we can go through his —

Senator Banks: There are 88 items.

Senator Wallin: And then have time left to write motions that, in some cases, are not contentious.

Senator Banks: I am sorry to insist. However, I insist, Mr. Chair, that you restrict the discussion on the substance of the present motion to things that have to do with the present motion. You have determined that the present motion is being dealt with by discussing, line by line, the items contained in the document entitled "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report.'' I insist that we do that. Discussion of other matters is not in order. There is a motion on the floor.

Senator Wallin: Would you be prepared to entertain extensions?

The Chair: It is fair to say that we have a motion before us. We should hear the comments of committee members on these items and move on from there.

Senator Tkachuk: I think Senator Banks also said that we can make amendments.

The Chair: Yes, of course.

Senator Banks: Of course.

Senator Tkachuk: When we are on a certain page and we know that there will be some general discussion, why not simply amend your proposed change list by adding an extra piece to it? This is an amendment, Senator Banks, because that is what you agreed to.

Senator Banks: Senator Tkachuk, in the interests of moving more quickly — and I guess it is not working — my motion contemplates that we deal with these items. After we have done that, we can deal with whatever other items come up. We could be on page 5 by now if we would stop talking about it and deal with these things. Then we can get on with other matters. I insist that we deal with this motion, which contemplates this list, and that we talk about these items.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Banks, you are the one who said that amendments would be accepted.

Senator Banks: Of course.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Wallin wanted to add an amendment on the first page in saying, "We should do the following because we all agreed to it.'' That would then amend your proposed change list, which would be perfectly in order, Senator Banks. That is also the case with the other item that we had also agreed to. By adding it to your proposed list, it is also an amendment and would also be in order, Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: I do not think it is.

Senator Tkachuk: Well, Senator Banks, now we have a whole different set of circumstances.

Senator Banks: No, we are discussing a motion.

Senator Tkachuk: Only what you want to discuss.

Senator Banks: This list is part of my motion. If we do not like the amendments I have proposed, we should vote them down and come back to deal with that section later.

We are now on Item No. 3.1, page 3, lines 26 and 27. The proposal is that instead of what is there, we should say: "and what remains to be done to maintain the.'' We should either approve that or 86 it, make a mark beside it and come back to fix it later. That is the proposal and we should deal with it.

Senator Wallin: I suggest that if Senator Banks "insists'' on this — to use his word — perhaps we should entertain another motion that all of the other changes, some of which have been agreed by the group, could be discussed in full on January 25, I think it is. I do not have a calendar. It is right after the holidays, so it would be the following week. We clearly will not have time to do this if Senator Banks does not consider changes to his proposed amendments. If he is to decide what constitutes an amendment, it will be very restrictive.

The Chair: Are you making a motion, Senator Wallin?

Senator Wallin: Yes, I would like to move that I do not know whether —

Senator Banks: There is a motion on the floor.

Senator Wallin: Then I would ask Senator Banks to incorporate into the motion on the floor that those issues we do not get to today be put over to the next official meeting of the committee.

Senator Banks: No. I have a motion on the floor. If it is defeated, it will fail because we have not discussed these matters. If someone wants to call the question on the motion now and defeat it, that is fine. I made the motion in what I hoped would be a matter of efficiency. We can see clearly what I have proposed.

Senator Tkachuk: You can see clearly.

Senator Banks: Senator Tkachuk, these have been extrapolated from submissions that were made by every member that responded.

Senator Tkachuk: A couple of them are mine.

Senator Banks: That is right. If we would do that, we could dispense with this in a matter of minutes.

Senator Wallin: I will not ask Senator Banks to make that amendment. I will propose that amendment to his motion.

The Chair: Yes, once we deal with the motion.

Senator Wallin: We will have to vote on it.

Senator Tkachuk: She can make an amendment before the motion.

Senator Banks: I give up.

Senator Tkachuk: It is on the table. She can move an amendment.

The Chair: Don't give up.

What is the amendment, Senator Wallin?

Senator Tkachuk: We wanted to go back to the original motion on the floor that Senator Banks moved to begin discussions.

Senator Wallin: I will move this amendment. We will have the right to speak, I believe, if there is an amendment.

I move that those changes that have been agreed to —

The Chair: Please specify the changes.

Senator Wallin: No, I do not want to limit it to that. It would be that all other changes not captured by Senator Banks' document, but which have been discussed, proposed or, in some cases, agreed to — as in the two that the senator proposed — be put over for discussion until the next official meeting.

The Chair: It is very difficult to support an amendment if you do not tell us specifically what changes you want made.

Senator Wallin: I can read them all into the record. I can take my changes and read them. Senator Lang has put forward two and I have several pages of changes. If you want me to read them into the record, I will. That would capture some of my concerns. I am sure Senator Tkachuk would want to do the same.

We do not know which of our amendments or the amendments of others have caught the fancy of Senator Banks. I have not even had time to read this. It was only —

Senator Tkachuk: Distributed today.

If Senator Banks had this, he should have distributed it to us last week.

Senator Mitchell: Normally, we would simply be working together and Senator Banks would propose a change to that line now. Now you say he should have given you the list before we started.

Senator Wallin: It has —

Senator Mitchell: I am talking this time.

It does not matter what we offer, what we do, how far we bend over backwards. The fact of the matter is that it is never good enough for you. We have spent two hours talking procedure today, and we spent three hours talking procedure last time. If you were on our side, you would think that maybe these people do not want to do a report. I can appreciate that. It is clear that the report you want will be different from the report we want. This is a democracy and that is the way it goes. We think of it differently than you think of it. We have to get at it. You might think that I am being facetious, but I am not. You can do a minority report — you cannot do one officially under the committee — and put it out there. We will never agree. All this toing and froing is just a proxy for that fact.

Senator Wallin: Is that your position?

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair, I withdraw the motion that is before us. I call senators' attention to the motion that we have passed. I withdraw the motion that is before us. We can 86 it and forget it.

Let us refer to the first motion, which says that within about 40 minutes from now —

Senator Wallin: I have a motion on the floor.

Senator Banks: I had the impression that I have the floor. Did you have the impression that you have the floor?

Senator Wallin: There is another motion on the floor. It is an amendment. I do not know what the rules are.

The Chair: The rules are: Senator Banks has the floor.

Senator Banks: Your amendment is to my second motion, which I have withdrawn.

Senator Wallin: I have an amendment on the floor.

Senator Banks: I do not know what the procedure is.

May I withdraw the main motion?

The Chair: Senator Banks has the floor for the moment, please.

Senator Banks: May I arbitrarily, without any other approval, withdraw my present motion?

Senator Mitchell: You cannot amend something that has been withdrawn.

Senator Wallin: My motion is on the floor.

The Chair: Excuse me, colleagues. I am advised by the clerk that the correct way to proceed is to deal with Senator Wallin's amendment first and then with Senator Banks' desire to withdraw the main motion.

Senator Banks: Call the question on Senator Wallin's amendment.

Senator Tkachuk: I have not had a chance to speak.

The Chair: Would you care to speak to it, Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Could you repeat that amendment for me just to be sure?

Ms. Anwar: I can paraphrase. Senator Wallin moved that all other changes that have not been agreed to be put at the next meeting of the committee.

Senator Wallin: We have to capture in the language "all other changes,'' some of which have been agreed to and some of which have yet to be agreed to, those that are not captured by Senator Banks' document.

Ms. Anwar: All other changes including ones not contained in Senator Banks' document?

Senator Wallin: Yes. Page 1 — the two changes made by Senator Lang — is not included. We are talking about Senator Banks' document only — all of those changes that we just discussed concerning page 1 and everything else outstanding in the changes other members may have put forward.

The Chair: Senator Wallin, you have to go slowly because it is difficult to write this down.

Ms. Anwar: How about this: "All other changes, including some not captured in Senator Banks' documents that have not been discussed or agreed to, be put at the next meeting of the committee''?

Senator Wallin: Senator Tkachuk proposed the ones agreed to on page 1, where there had been all-party agreement. Senator Banks refused to take those as amendments. We have to capture them as well.

The Chair: You have to do the wording on your own amendments, Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: I will think about that. Maybe we could pause for a minute.

Senator Meighen: Can we have a ruling or advice from the clerk?

The Chair: How can we help you, Senator Meighen?

Senator Meighen: I once got into trouble because a document like this was not circulated in both official languages. I had my knuckles rapped. No one complained about it at the time, but it came back to haunt me. Will we run into the same problem?

The Chair: I believe we have the documents in both official languages, Senator Meighen.

Senator Meighen: May I have a copy in French, please?

The Chair: I narrowly avoided having my knuckles rapped.

Senator Wallin: How would you like me to describe this document?

The Chair: What is the title at the top?

Senator Wallin: The title reads, "TB (Black) TK (Green) WM (blue) PW (orange) CK (red) . . . .''

Ms. Anwar: It is the aggregated list.

Senator Wallin: May I refer to this other one as Senator Banks' document?

Senator Moore: Refer to it as "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report,'' which is the heading.

Senator Wallin: Do you want me to try this?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Wallin: I move an amendment to Senator Banks' motion.

The Chair: We have that.

Senator Wallin: I move:

That we might capture other proposed changes from committee members, some of which are noted on the aggregated list; others of which have been agreed to by both parties and not captured in either Senator Banks' document or the aggregated document; and those which may arise from discussion here; and

That they be put over for consideration to the next meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

Ms. Anwar: Can you repeat the last two phrases?

Senator Wallin: It says:

. . . and those that may arise from discussion tonight; and

That they be put over for consideration to the next meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

The Chair: Would you read it back, please?

Ms. Anwar: Senator Wallin's motion in amendment states:

That Senator Banks' motion be amended so that we might capture other proposed changes from committee members, some of which are noted on the aggregated list; others which have been agreed to by both parties and are not on the aggregated list or Senator Banks' document; and those which may arise today; and

That they be put over for consideration at the next meeting of the committee.

Senator Wallin: That is close enough. Does that sound about right to you?

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to speak in favour of that motion. I will try to put this into some context.

I followed the instructions of the clerk, who sent a note on behalf of the chair of the committee, asking that we send any proposed changes to Shaila Anwar, Clerk of the Committee, by 5 p.m. this Wednesday, which I did. I believe our office specified the specific line and page number where we wanted the change made.

I also sent a covering letter, expressing some displeasure with the process itself, because I thought the process was a little unreasonable. Nonetheless, we had a process that we duly adopted, and the process was to consider this committee report page by page. We were not moving quickly enough, it seems, at the last meeting, so the majority decided that they would adjourn the meeting at 6:00, two hours after it started.

Now we have Senator Banks' motion. Not knowing that we could just go get them, I thought these changes would have been brought to this committee for us to discuss, so I would see Senator Moore's changes, my changes and Senator Banks' changes, if he had any.

Senator Banks: They are here.

Senator Tkachuk: I understand that. I thought we would then go through them and incorporate them as we went page by page, which is what we agreed to.

That is the process set up by the majority of the committee, and no one here would disagree. We acted in good faith on the process that was passed and established by the committee.

We followed up by being cooperative and sending in the changes. I had hoped that we would be sitting here today discussing those changes in some orderly fashion. Instead, we get a closure motion on the assumption that somehow we do not want a report, which is not true at all. What we would like is a consensus report.

Second, we have an abbreviated version of recommendations made by all senators. That is what we have here. Senator Banks has taken the suggestions we have made, has selected the ones he likes, and has put them in this motion for us to consider. That is not a good way to start a meeting, considering that was not the process we established. We got a closure motion. Then, for some reason, we are being criticized for slowing down the process.

In actual fact, the heavy-handed method of the majority is slowing down the process. We were prepared to come to this meeting to discuss a process that was established by the majority members themselves — not the minority, but the majority. We all voted for it and agreed to it, which the majority wanted and Senator Banks wanted.

The majority members are not happy, so they have a new motion that stops all debate. We had one meeting on December 7. We have not been discussing this since the end of September because we have had a lot of cancellations in the meantime, and they were the fault of both sides. In one case, the Liberals were not here, and we agreed; in one case, we were not here. We did not really miss a lot of meetings.

All of a sudden, we are sitting here today having the report forced upon us and being passed by the majority, with closure motions, after only one meeting and two hours of deliberations.

Then you have the effrontery to change the process and the policy that you established as the majority. That is what you did today, and you did not expect us to complain.

Senator Banks: I always expect you to complain.

Senator Tkachuk: You thought that we were going to sit here and take it — the process that you established last time and the new process you established here, as the majority. You did not expect us to complain. At the same time, you sit here and debate motions, one at a time, and then when we want to bring something up that we agreed upon at the last meeting, you say, "Oh, that is a problem; I will withdraw this motion now because I do not like the way you are doing business.''

You said we would be able to make amendments to this, so we are making amendments page by page, and you are saying, "Oh, no; that is not good enough; you cannot have your amendments and things we agreed to; we want to go to our stuff.''

Senator Banks and Mr. Chair, you are responsible for this, not us. You are the majority. We are trying to do the best we can, considering the positions you continually put us in with your motions, not by motions we are making.

I agree with this amendment. I want this amendment passed so that we have lots of time. If we cannot deal with this report by today, we should be able to deal with it at the end of January and finish the report. If we had started the process agreed upon by you, which we were all willing to do when we got here — we had the first three chapters organized for the most part, but we had to make some changes because we all had these letters — we would almost have been done the report by now. However, no, that is not what you wanted; you wanted it done faster than that. Well, you are not going to get it done faster than that, Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: Senator Tkachuk, in light of the reservations and complaints you have just made, I have already proposed to withdraw my motion, but we have to deal with the amendment first. In light of your complaints, I have proposed to withdraw the motion.

Senator Tkachuk: Why do you not delete your first motion?

Senator Manning: There have been some conversations here about how things were done in the past. In speaking to the amendment put forward by Senator Wallin, in the committees I have been involved with in the past, there is first a draft report. We go through the draft report, making recommendations and changes, and then we finalize the report. That final copy is adopted by the committee. Everyone sees it and has input into it.

We were going through the first five chapters of the report, and I thought things were going fairly well. Maybe I am naive, but I thought they were. We were heading into chapter 6 and then established this process of emailing the changes.

My concern with that process is contradictory emails, but it seems the clerk has addressed those in the aggregated list. All the recommendations or proposals for changes were put forward there.

We noticed today as we started this process that three seems to be the magic number. We got to the third one and noticed that some of the changes we had discussed at our last meeting on the first page had not been addressed in the proposed amendments. They were brought forward.

At the end of the day, it is important that our report reflects as much as it can what we have heard and discussed amongst ourselves. I support the amendment put forward by Senator Wallin.

I have a question that goes back to the first motion. Once we deal with the proposed amendments — and I stand to be corrected because I am not sure of the procedure — do committee members have a chance to see the final report before it is tabled in the Senate for adoption?

Senator Wallin: That is a good question.

Senator Manning: If we finish this process today, one way or the other, someone will finalize the wording. Someone or a group of people will get together, take the proposed changes, the ones not necessarily on these pages that we discussed, and put them into what we call a final report that, as I understand it, will be tabled in the Senate.

The Chair: The usual procedure, Senator Manning, is that the steering committee is authorized to make no substantive changes but to make minor changes to ensure that the amendments that are adopted fit properly. Sometimes they will change a word or two to make sure the sentence reads properly or the grammar is correct. The final report normally does not come back to the committee. The members of the steering committee are the last people to see it. They have the authority of this committee to go ahead and sign off on it.

Senator Banks: It is important to say that the steering committee's authority does not include making substantive changes to the report, only grammatical, typographical, language and syntax — not substance.

Senator Manning: The chair said that.

Basically, whatever we finalize is viewed by the steering committee before you table it in the house.

The Chair: That is correct.

Senator Meighen: I want to add my voice in support of the amendment. However, I want to use it as a jumping-off point to stress that in order to avoid these situations going forward, it behooves us all to figure out ways in which verbally agreed-to changes and can be recorded, if not officially, at least by agreement by someone so that we do not lose them. When amendments come forward in a new draft, perhaps we could adopt the practice of the corporate law world, whereby there are black-lined copies showing the original version and the proposed new version or agreed-to new version.

The Chair: I understand what you are saying, Senator Meighen, and I accept what you are saying. Inasmuch as there were two pages involved, a new draft was not prepared. There is no new draft. What we do have is the transcript of what was said, and it is possible for anyone to take a look at it.

One of the difficulties is that some committee members allege that there was agreement on changes. In reviewing the transcript, there was in fact no agreement. That poses a great difficulty for the people who are trying to write the words down, because when they read what senators had to say, at no point was there a process of going around the room saying, "Are we all onside?''

Senator Meighen: The transcript speaks for itself. I agree with you. I am just suggesting that there seem to have been, however, agreed-to changes that did not find their way into subsequent drafts.

The Chair: Would you care to name them, Senator Meighen?

Senator Meighen: One was just pointed out.

The Chair: Tell me the line and tell me the page.

Senator Meighen: We did that, chair. We did that three quarters of an hour ago.

The Chair: My hearing may be going, but I did not hear it.

Senator Wallin: Senator Lang read them out.

The Chair: I did not hear Senator Lang read them out.

Senator Lang: I did.

The Chair: Senator Lang, if I said I did not hear you, that is all I am saying. I am not saying you did not say it; I am saying I did not hear you.

The transcript has been available and remains available. All it takes is a motion that every member get a copy of it and that will happen. That is a point we have made at prior meetings.

Senator Meighen: The point of my intervention was to underline the fact that what it takes, when all is said and done, is to restore a balance of trust and cooperation. If we had that, we would move more quickly. I am not casting aspersions on anyone; I am just stating the fact, as I see it, that it does not exist to the degree it should right now.

Senator Lang: I would like to speak to the motion for a minute and have Senator Banks consider this.

This particular document is a very good one. The proposed amendments put forward by Senator Banks are clear and concise, referring to this change, this change and this change.

It would behoove us to accept the amendment proposed by Senator Wallin, with the understanding that a similarly clear and concise document will be brought forward detailing other changes in the document from the perspective of others committee members. Maybe they could be merged together and reviewed. I would submit to the good senator that within a number of hours we might have a report.

From my perspective, as an active member working with the committee, I would really like to see a report. If you look at the amendment put forward by Senator Wallin with the understanding that at that meeting on January 25, or whenever it will be, there will be a page-by-page review of these changes and those that any other member has incorporated in a chronological order, you will find that more progress will be made than you might think. I would for Senator Banks' observations on that comment.

The Chair: Do you wish to respond, Senator Banks?

Senator Banks: Senator Lang, taken by itself, what you just said would be perfectly reasonable. However, a review of the transcript of this meeting today will show why I do not think that will work. Half of what you said is what we have been arguing about procedurally for two hours and change. We approved three of the specific changes to which you referred.

I wish very much, Senator Lang, that what you said would be true, but I just do not think it would be. That is why I have proposed, in light of the reservations of some members of the committee, to withdraw the present motion, which is the one to which Senator Wallin has now moved an amendment. Members of the committee made it clear that they did not like the idea of dealing with alacrity with a list of proposed changes.

Senator Wallin: That is not true.

Senator Tkachuk: Do not make up stuff.

Senator Banks: What am I making up?

Senator Tkachuk: We were going through this. We made a couple of suggestions based on decisions of the last meeting, and you said you did not want to deal with it that way; you just wanted to deal with your changes, even though you previously said you would be willing to take amendments. Do not say things that —

Senator Wallin: It is not us.

Senator Tkachuk: It is not us. You are in charge of the committee. Are you not in charge of the committee?

Senator Banks: No, I am not in charge of the committee.

Senator Tkachuk: I think the majority is.

Senator Banks: I am not in charge of the committee and it is not up to me to say whether or not amendments can be either accepted or considered. What I said was that I wanted the matters in my motion to be dealt with because I thought that would, as Senator Lang suggested, move us ahead very quickly on a large number of matters. However, since members objected to that procedure —

Senator Tkachuk: No, we did not.

Senator Banks: — which you did, I will propose taking back my motion, but we first must deal with the amendment.

Senator Tkachuk: I asked whether you would take amendments and you said you would. I do not even know if I asked this. Someone did. You said you would, but when amendments came up, you did not want to deal with them. You wanted to go straight to your stuff.

Senator Mitchell: To be fair, these are not all his. Many of them came from most of us. We could have done this and moved on to something else.

Every time we start to make some progress, there is a procedural reason or some other reason as to why we cannot go on. I do not know how long we talked about procedure at the last meeting, but we finally moved on to substance. How long did it take us to deal with two pages? There is always something. That is why we are where we are right now. It is time we dealt with it.

Senator Tkachuk: Just so the transcript is accurate, I point out to Senator Mitchell that when we first considered the report, we went through chapters 1, 2 and 3 and were beginning to make some progress on chapters 4 and 5. That is what happened. I am not making this up. Then we ran into a series of cancelled meetings, which was nobody's fault. One was related to a weather situation and the Liberals were not here. One was related to us because our chair got the flu. Those two meetings were cancelled.

There has been no attempt, except in your own minds it seems, to move this process along. If you remember correctly, at the last meeting we said, "Why do we not go to chapter 6 and finish it?'' That is what we said. We had already gone, in some survey way, all the way to the end of chapter 5. We said, "Let us deal with chapter 6.'' Oh, no, the majority did not want that; back to page 1.

That is what happened historically, Senator Mitchell. It was not that we were trying to stop the report. The members of the majority did not have their act together as to how they wanted to proceed, and therefore changed their minds with every meeting that took place and expected us to go along with the process. That is what happened, Senator Mitchell. If you check the record, that is what it will show.

It was your decision at the last meeting to not go on to chapter 6, which is what we wanted to do. It was not that complicated. We would have done chapter 6 and gone to chapter 1. Perhaps Senator Zimmer would not have gotten sick. We would have moved right along. Instead, you wanted to change the whole process. Now you want to change it again today, and you are blaming us for slowing it down.

You cannot have it both ways, Senator Mitchell and Senator Banks, even though you are trying hard to do it. We are not going to let you have it both ways. You have to make up your mind as to how you want to do it. I say we go all the way back and start on chapter 6, finish it, and then deal with all these amendments so that we can complete the report.

Senator Mitchell: Do we want to do Senator Wallin's amendment, her process, or do we want to follow your process and go back to chapter 6? Which way do you want it? Now you are changing your mind.

Senator Banks: Question on the amendment!

The Chair: Senator Manning, and then the question.

Senator Manning: I make a motion to adjourn, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: Those in favour of adjourning, raise their hands.

Those opposed, raise their hands.

Senator Manning: Could we please have a recorded vote, Mr. Chair?

The Chair: Yes, you may.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Kenny.

Senator Kenny: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Dallaire.

Senator Dallaire: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Manning.

Senator Manning: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Meighen?

Senator Meighen: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Moore.

Senator Moore: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk.

Senator Tkachuk: Agreed.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: Agreed.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Mitchell.

Senator Mitchell: No.

Ms. Anwar: Four "yeas''; five "nays.''

The Chair: This brings us back to Senator Wallin's amendment.

Senator Banks: The question on the amendment.

The Chair: Those in favour of the amendment, please signify.

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Those opposed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Chair: Hands in the air, please.

Senator Dallaire: I am abstaining, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: Okay.

Do you want a recorded vote now?

Senator Wallin: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Kenny?

Senator Kenny: I am sorry. What is the motion again?

Ms. Anwar: This is Senator Wallin's motion in amendment.

Senator Kenny: I think I am voting no.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Dallaire? Are you abstaining?

The Chair: Please let him say it.

Ms. Anwar: Senator Wallin has asked for a recorded vote. This is on the motion in amendment.

The Chair: She is asking how you are voting, please.

Senator Dallaire: Can you read the amendment one more time?

Ms. Anwar: It reads:

That Senator Banks' motion be amended so that we might capture other proposed changes from committee members, some of which are noted on the aggregated list; others which have been agreed to by both parties and are not on the aggregated list or Senator Banks' document; and those which may arise today; and

That they be put over for consideration at the next meeting of the committee.

Senator Dallaire: Abstain.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Banks?

Senator Banks: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Manning?

Senator Manning: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Meighen.

Senator Meighen: Agree.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Moore.

Senator Moore: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk.

Senator Tkachuk: Agreed.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: Agreed.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Mitchell.

Senator Mitchell: No.

The Chair: The results, please?

Ms. Anwar: Four "yeas''; four "nays''; one abstention.

The Chair: That is a tie, and ties fail.

Senator Tkachuk: How many Liberals voted there?

Senator Mitchell: Five.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Zimmer did not vote. Senator Mitchell voted, Senator Banks voted, Senator Moore voted. That is six.

The Chair: How many people voted?

Senator Tkachuk: Senator Dallaire voted. Who did not vote?

Senator Mitchell: Senator Zimmer did not vote.

Ms. Anwar: Senator Dallaire did not vote.

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair, I have a procedural question. It being 6:30, the motion that we have already passed now obtains, and you are required by that motion to put all the questions necessary to deal with the substance of the report. I remind members that, unfortunately, if this motion is dealt with now, it will mean that the report of December 7, with the exception of the three amendments that we have already agreed to today, will be the report. It is too bad we spent all the time today discussing everything but substance.

My procedural question is this: We have passed a motion that we must do that now, but can I still withdraw my motion, or is that in order, or do we just go to the question on the report?

The Chair: It depends whether members see the clock.

Senator Moore: Your second motion?

The Chair: It is a question of requiring leave.

Ms. Anwar: To withdraw the motion.

Senator Lang: What are you asking?

The Chair: I was not asking anything. Senator Banks was asking me whether it is in order for him to withdraw his second motion, not his original motion.

Senator Meighen: Which is what?

The Chair: My answer was that he needs leave to do so.

Senator Banks: I seek leave of the committee that we do not see the clock for the purposes specifically of withdrawing my second motion.

The Chair: You simply need leave. That is all.

Senator Banks wants to withdraw his motion, and everyone in the room must agree that he can withdraw it.

Senator Tkachuk: Otherwise his motion stays on the floor.

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: What happens at 6:30, one half hour before closing time? It is like a Leonard Cohen song.

Senator Banks: The answer to that is part of my question to the chair. The motion that we passed today requires that the chair now put to us all questions necessary to dispose of the report. I am asking whether we want to do that now or whether I will withdraw my previous motion. I require leave if I am to withdraw the previous motion. It is almost immaterial, moot. I am asking whether I have leave that we not see the clock with specific respect to allowing an intervening time during which I would propose the withdrawal of my motion, the motion to which Senator Wallin proposed an amendment.

Senator Meighen: If we do not see the clock, meaning for how long? Are you suggesting that there are enough hours in this day to go through the entire report and finish it?

Senator Banks: No. The question I am asking specifically is whether I have leave from members not to see the clock, which would otherwise require that the chair now put all motions necessary to dispose of the report —

Senator Meighen: I understand.

Senator Banks: — for the specific purpose of the time necessary for me to propose the withdrawal of the motion to which Senator Wallin just proposed an amendment. It is almost moot, so it is almost unnecessary, but it would be a nicety. I am seeking leave of members for that specific purpose.

Senator Wallin: How would you see things unfolding?

Senator Banks: The chair would then be obliged to put forward all questions necessary for final disposition of the report.

Senator Wallin: You are asking to withdraw that.

Senator Banks: No. I am asking to withdraw the motion to which you proposed an amendment, which had to do with dealing with this document, which no one likes, so I want to withdraw it.

Senator Tkachuk: Does it really matter? It is 6:30. It is one half hour before the time stipulated in your own motion.

Senator Banks: It does not make any difference. I thought it would be a nicety to withdraw it because committee members did not agree with the process. Taking that into account, I thought it would be a nice idea if I showed that I was prepared to withdraw the motion.

Senator Wallin: What about the closure motion?

Senator Banks: We have done that.

Senator Tkachuk: We agreed with the process.

Senator Banks: It cannot be whatever anyone wants because the report will now be amended by those things that we approved at this meeting, which happen to be the first three items on the document called "Proposed Amendments to December 7 Draft Report.'' We have agreed to those amendments.

Senator Tkachuk: No, you said you wanted to withdraw the motion.

Senator Wallin: You said it was all or nothing. You would not allow any other amendments.

Senator Banks: You are right.

Senator Dallaire: May I ask a question of clarification? If you go to page 32 of the draft report, it is written "Recommendation 1.''

Senator Manning: Is that the December 7 report, Senator Dallaire?

Senator Dallaire: Yes. I listened to the discussion, and it was stated that the three first —

The Chair: I am sorry, but I did not hear the page number.

Senator Dallaire: Page 32.

Senator Dallaire: Line 20.

I heard that the first three chapters had been reviewed in previous meetings. Did those reviews include the recommendations?

Senator Wallin: No.

Senator Dallaire: The recommendations in chapters 1, 3 and 3 —

Senator Wallin: They are new.

Senator Dallaire: The chapters have not been fully reviewed; is that correct? Are these recommendations being presented for the first time?

An Hon. Senator: Yes.

Senator Wallin: There was no discussion of them. They were in the document we received dated December 7, and they just arrived. They were not part of anything.

Senator Dallaire: They were in that document but that was not —

Senator Wallin: That was not agreed to, no. They were not discussed.

Senator Manning: As a question of clarification, when we started the review, we decided to leave the recommendations to the end and review whether we would make recommendations or not. There was another question that came up here somewhere along the line.

There are recommendations throughout the report. Somewhere along the line, we had a discussion that we would decide whether we were going to make recommendations or not, so we did not really review the recommendations. Would that be correct? I am referring to Senator Dallaire's point.

The Chair: That is not my recollection.

Senator Manning: What did we say about the recommendations?

The Chair: I think it is fair to say that Senator Wallin was of the view that an interim report should not have recommendations. I must say that I was of a contrary view. It was never put to a vote because I do not think anyone thought it was worth a motion.

Senator Manning: Most of the reports I have been involved with have contained recommendations.

Senator Dallaire asked a good question. In regard to recommendations themselves, I cannot remember the committee discussing recommendations to this report. I cannot remember saying, "Here is Recommendation 1; let us discuss it.''

There are other recommendations throughout the report. At the end of a report, usually there is a list of 12, 15 or 20 recommendations. Here, they are dispersed throughout the report. For example, there are recommendations at the end of chapter 4. I cannot remember discussing these recommendations. Am I correct in saying that?

The Chair: I think you are correct.

Senator Manning: The report we will go forward with recommendations we have not discussed. Okay.

Senator Wallin: I just want to clarify for Senator Dallaire that, actually, I do not think it was me who said that. I think it was Senator Lang; I do not think I made that recommendation.

My concern was that in general we had not discussed, first, whether there would be recommendations; second, what form they would take; and, third, most importantly, the actual content of them. There had been no debate at any point about, for example, on page 32, whether there would be 5,000 regular members of the RCMP or 3,000 or 2,000 or none; nor has there been any costing. There was never any discussion of that as a committee. I am not even sure we even heard testimony on that, although I stand to be corrected.

Senator Banks: I will simply refer committee members and the three people in this country who might take the time to read the transcript of this meeting to my opening remarks before I made my first motion. I will say again that the entire proceedings here reflect precisely the reasons why I made that motion.

It is true, Senator Wallin, that you have questioned from the very beginning whether this report ought to contain any recommendations. We have discussed that. However, from the other end of the stick, the short answer to Senator Dallaire's question is that all members have had the document to which he refers, the one dated December 7, since that date and were asked to comment and make suggestions for changes and amendments to that report, as you have heard discussed here today. All honourable senators had the opportunity to do that, to be specific, and some did. Other members choose to complain in general ways about the content of the report but failed to say, "Here are the words by which I think it ought to be amended.'' For that reason, I made my initial motion, to which I now call the chair's attention, and we have been discussing the matter. The motion requires that forthwith, all questions necessary for the disposition of this report be now put.

Senator Wallin: I need to clarify a point that Senator Banks made. In my letter to you, I said the following. I raised some concerns about specific things that we had not dealt with — chapter 6 and on and on. I said there were many outstanding issues that have not been resolved and should be discussed by committee; for example, whether or not we should be presenting recommendations in an interim report.

That was my attachment; that was my letter. That is why I did not suggest changes to "recommendations'' that had not been discussed, agreed to, debated or anything. They showed up in this document and it was a fait accompli. There was no debate to get us there; there was no discussion of them.

The one discussion we had on this draft copy, distributed on December 7, was in reference to pages 1 and 2. That is what we debated. We had some general overall agreement from an earlier draft, which we thought would get us further down the road. However, there was no discussion amongst committee members of recommendations; they just appeared.

The Chair: As did every other draft.

In a letter you sent to me on December 8, you wrote:

I will also be asking the Chair, through you, to assure us and the public with a written declaration to the Ethics Commissioner that there is no real or perceived conflict of interest on his part and that he Chairs a committee study on the RCMP and has supervised and directed a written report on the RCMP and lives with (he calls her a spouse) —

Senator Wallin: I was trying to be accurate.

The Chair: "— a senior member of the RCMP.''

You are the most remarkably offensive person.

Senator Wallin: We had this discussion in full committee about what was going to be added to page 1.

The Chair: I am sorry, but that is what I noticed in terms of your letter. I do not see any of the other material you are talking about.

Senator Wallin: That is not on the topic we are discussing.

The Chair: You asked me —

Senator Wallin: If you would like to raise it, then we can have that discussion.

The Chair: You asked me to look at your letter and I have it here in my hands; December 8, from Pamela Wallin.

Senator Wallin: Right, but we are talking about recommendations.

The Chair: There is no mention of recommendations in this letter.

Senator Wallin: I think it is on page 2.

The Chair: There is no page 2. There is one page to this letter and it is three paragraphs long.

Senator Wallin: Okay, so this is the letter I am referring to.

The Chair: You did not say that.

Senator Wallin: This is the letter dated December 8, 2009.

The Chair: I have a letter dated December 8, 2009.

Senator Wallin: I think that is an email that I attached, and I also sent you a letter. They are both there.

What we were discussing was recommendations.

Senator Meighen: Can I make a comment about Senator Banks' intervention?

Senator Banks, you and I have sat on this committee, and regrettably not too many others. I think what you recited was, to the best of my knowledge, factually correct. Given your knowledge and mine, I find it very surprising that you would suggest that most people focus on recommendations and not the text; that therefore any recommendations of any report are pretty key; and that as committee members we would be prepared to go forward with a report containing recommendations that had not been debated in open committee. In committee, first, we examine them extremely carefully and, second, we learn from the interventions of fellow committee members.

To suggest that this process can be done as well through an exchange of correspondence is not accurate and not the best way to proceed. I, for one, would wish to do everything I could do ensure that the normal process is followed when it comes to recommendations.

The Chair: Before Senator Banks responds, I think everyone agrees with that. There was an assumption that by asking for comments, people would comment on whatever they chose and then there would be a discussion and debate on it. We thought that debate would take place tonight. Instead, we have been on —

Senator Meighen: Fine. Senator Banks, I thought, was suggesting we blast ahead without that interaction between committee members and adopt the recommendations as they appear in this draft report.

Senator Banks: Senator Meighen, I absolutely agree with you. That would be best. However, an examination of how this committee has dealt with those questions from the beginning will show that there has been a reluctance — I use that word in the kindest possible way; others might use the words "obstruction,'' "delay,'' "obfuscation,'' "ragging the puck'' — in order to avoid substantive discussions about not only the recommendations but the contents of this report, excepting those who have said that we ought not to raise any questions or recognize that there are any problems or recognize that there are things that need to be corrected. It is for that reason that I made the original motion. You are exactly right, Senator Meighen, but that has not been what happened.

In light of my first motion, which I think is before us, Mr. Chair, and I believe we are obliged now to deal with it, I move —

Senator Tkachuk: We have a right to finish the discussion before you move your motion. It is not up to you to move it, anyway.

Senator Banks: I am just making a motion which, I think, any member can do at any time.

Senator Tkachuk: Okay, then do that.

Senator Banks: Which I presume we will discuss. We have about 15 minutes to discuss it.

The motion is that the draft report on the RCMP in Transition, date stamped December 7, 2009, as amended, be adopted today.

A parenthetical to that is if we agree we have amended it today. If we have not, we have not.

And that the steering committee — this is the usual motion — be authorized to approve minor changes to the draft of December 7, 2009, as amended by the committee — if we have made any amendments — without modifying the substance of the report, along with such minor typographical and grammatical changes that might be required, without changing the substance of the report, and that the chair table this report in the Senate at the earliest opportunity.

Senator Wallin: I have two points.

I think the words we heard Senator Banks use to justify this action are highly inaccurate. We have heard them before — "ragging the puck'' and comments like that.

The majority has twice introduced closure motions today to forego debate, to shut down comments and to deny discussion on something — as Senator Meighen pointed out — as crucial as the recommendations that will appear in a report of this Defence Committee that we will all have to sign. It has been alleged that this is a deliberate strategy on our part and that we are out to stop the report. We have sat through meeting after meeting, we have lost votes — and we will always do that — and yet have come back and proposed pages of amendments.

I have a document here. This is what we did with the first draft? Everything in blue is suggestions that we have made and put forward. This is hardly the work of a group of people that are not interested in improving the document.

Yes, we found much of the language in it offensive. Yes, we did not like the tone, which assumed that every member of the RCMP engaged in the misuse of tasers or engaged in some illegal behaviour. All groups have people in them who do things that reflect poorly on the whole group. We did not want that to be the case. We did not want the RCMP to be sideswiped by concerns about problem members or issues that years ago were a problem and that the RCMP have been working on actively. We heard testimony to the effect that they get that there is a problem and that they are trying to fix it.

We did not think it was really constructive to tar them all with the same brush and say, "You are all a disaster.'' That is not what I believe, and I do not think it is what anyone believes on this side. To use those phrases is to suggest that we did not take this seriously. I submit that there is a lot of evidence on the record to suggest that we took it very seriously. We are taking it seriously right now.

What we are debating and discussing is the most fundamental thing that any committee, but certainly this committee, does; that is, what the committee puts its name to in terms of recommendations and the things we believe should and must be done to and inside of our national police force. This is very important, as discussion and debate has shown over the last several weeks. We got down to business. When we had open discussions, we agreed to and made changes, many of which are reflected in this document. We made changes when we were allowed to have a discussion as a committee.

We would like now to have the same right. When our name goes on a report that makes fundamental recommendations in which we all have to say "that is the committee report,'' at the very least, there should be some discussion.

Mr. Chair, we know what happens in the end. You have a majority. If you want to vote — as Senator Banks suggests — simply to put through the draft the way it is, you can do that. That is what majority means in these committees.

We are asking that the same process be employed now. I think it will be a better document as a result because we did our homework and we came to the table with constructive suggestions and language. We came to the table today with two more suggestions on page 1.

I truly resent that this is characterized as "ragging the puck,'' that we did not want to have a report and that we have been stalling. We have made this a better report through our contributions. Before this report sees the light of day, I would like to ensure that we put the same energy into the recommendations. I think the recommendations will be better; they will have more credibility and weight if we can say in all honesty that we discussed them as a committee and agreed that we actually thought this was something that might help to improve the RCMP, ensure its future and protect its once-iconic status. We want to ensure that we do not engage in the "sideswipe'' and "drive-by'' of a national institution.

We can be constructively critical, but we cannot do that if we cannot have discussion and debate. The recommendations are the core and the heart of the report. Senator Meighen is correct; people will go directly to that page. I beg you to allow us to have input and discussion on the recommendations coming forward from this committee.

Senator Meighen: Senator Wallin has said many of the things I wanted to say.

I want to point out, Mr. Chair, that we have a tradition in the Senate such that we come forward with unanimous reports. We do not have minority reports. The chair will recall, as will other members of this committee, that in the past we have pointed out that some committee members had different opinions than the report stated. That seemed to satisfy the views of everyone and we achieved unanimity.

With all due respect, we are having this debate over the question of six weeks. This is an important report and we should release it with all due speed, but I do not think six weeks will render it out of date. Six weeks will not prejudice the value of it. As Senator Wallin says, if we were able to have a list of all the proposed amendments, go through them in one meeting and work on the recommendations, I think we would have a report that we could all be happy with, live with and be proud of.

People say this and mean the exact opposite, but I believe it — the RCMP should not be a political football. I think we are all in this for the same purpose — to ensure that Canada's national police force continues and is worthy of its reputation as one of the best in the world, if not the best. That is our objective. I think this report can contribute to that, but it sure as heck will not if it goes out with text and recommendations that have not been debated amongst us and it is rushed out six weeks earlier than it would otherwise come to the light of day.

I join with Senator Wallin in suggesting that the best action for us all would be to finalize the report when we come back from the break and not now.

Senator Tkachuk: I want to speak to the constant reminder of the way we used to do things in this committee. We bring experiences to this committee from committees on which we have been members. I have been a member of many committees. I have been the chair and the deputy chair of committees since 1994. I bring experience to the table about how other committees work.

Although this committee may have a particular way of adopting its work, the experiences of new senators and senators with experience from other committees have much to contribute to this process. I am sorry to say that I do not agree with the process you had before. I take affront to that.

We did our homework as far as the report was concerned. We prepared the information that Senator Wallin refers to on this report. Our office put a lot of work into this, and I do not want it to go waste.

All of a sudden Senator Banks got involved. For some reason, the Liberal majority on this committee got involved again in the question of process. Given what you did, did you really think that you would not get a debate on process? Did any Liberal senator here think that the Conservative senators would say, "Oh, that sounds like a great idea, so let us move a motion to stop debate and just do what we want to do''? There is no way that will happen.

Liberal senators have made this committee discuss process rather than substance. When we got to substance, it was not quick enough; it was not speedy enough; it was not fast enough. In fact, you adjourned debate so you would not have to deal with us anymore, so you could get your own way and go back to process again, which is what you did with two motions today.

Mr. Chair, to make my experience a pleasant one, I want to read the letter I sent to you and go through the proposed specific changes that I made —

Senator Banks: Chair, on a point of order.

Senator Tkachuk: A point of order? That is debatable, too.

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair, I call to your attention that in a motion we passed earlier today, you are now required to put successively all questions necessary for final disposition of the report. That would include the motion on the floor before us. All such motions put after that time shall be dealt with without further debate or amendment. We passed that motion. Therefore, I call the question on the motion.

Senator Tkachuk: The motion has already been passed. Senator Banks has raised a point of order.

Mr. Chair, I think we can discuss the point of order because a point of order is debatable.

Senator Banks: Which I made.

Senator Tkachuk: You made the point of order, Senator Banks, not us.

Senator Banks: Correct.

Senator Tkachuk: So live with it. It is debatable.

Senator Manning: It is seven o'clock anyway.

Senator Mitchell: We do not want to stay past seven o'clock.

The Chair: The motion that was adopted states:

That, no later than thirty minutes before the expiration of the total time set for the committee's meeting, the chair shall put successively all questions necessary for final disposition of the report, and all such motions put after that time shall be dealt with without further debate or amendment —

— "without further debate.'' That was adopted by this committee.

Senator Manning: Senator Banks raised a point of order. I want to speak to the point of order.

The Chair: I am sorry. A motion has been adopted that says there shall be no further debate.

Senator Manning: That means debate on the motion.

The Chair: You can appeal my ruling if you do not agree with me.

Senator Manning: I want a clarification. Are you talking about discussion on the motion or on the point of order?

The Chair: The motion does not differentiate. The words are clear. There is no discussion. This covers everything. There is no opportunity for debate on the point of order.

You can challenge me if you care to do so.

Senator Manning: Are you telling me that there is no opportunity to debate Senator Banks' point of order?

The Chair: That is correct.

Senator Manning: I challenge the ruling.

Senator Meighen: I am not sure.

Senator Moore will know that you cannot contract out of some things. I seek his opinion as a lawyer.

Senator Moore: This has been a fruitful three hours.

Senator Manning: I challenge your ruling, Mr. Chair. I have been cooperative all day.

The Chair: He is entitled to challenge the ruling.

Senator Manning: I challenge the ruling because the point of order was raised by Senator Banks in relation to the motion that he made earlier today. Is the point of order based on the previous motion made earlier today? I understand the frustration on all sides but the minute we started discussion this afternoon, Senator Banks introduced a motion to stop the discussion, for all intents and purposes, this evening.

As a member of this committee, I have a grave concern. The wording of the report matters. Whether all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed does not concern me a whole lot, Mr. Chair. I understand fully that Senator Banks' motion today included these recommendations. We have discussed them back and forth on a couple of occasions and there is no big problem with most of them, but I would like to discuss a couple of them.

As a member of the committee, my concern is that we will adopt the report dated December 7, 2009, that most members have agreed contains problems. If you go back and read the record, you will find that we agreed that there are problems with the wording in that December 7 document.

We will now agree to accept the motion to adopt the December 7 report, which we disagreed with before in the minutes of the meeting. As well, we will accept a motion to adopt the report that lists a series of recommendations at the end of each chapter, which we have not discussed in any way, shape or form here with regard to issues that might have been raised. We have not discussed the recommendations. As a matter of fact, my understanding was that we had not made a final decision.

I want to make the point that I support the inclusion of recommendations at the end of the report. However, at the last meeting, which the minutes will show, we had not decided whether we would go with recommendations or with what some deemed to be observations. I have not done a report with observations before. Any reports I have been involved in had a series of recommendations. We will make recommendations in this report that all members of the committee have concerns with.

All I can say at this point is, first, I challenge the chair's ruling; second, we need to proceed with caution.

I understand the frustrations, but this report in its entirety is something that every one of us had a problem with two or three weeks ago and now we are asking —

Senator Tkachuk: Mr. Chair, it is past 7 p.m. The meeting was scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. I move the adjournment of the meeting.

The Chair: The question —

Senator Tkachuk: I move the adjournment. There is no debate.

The Chair: I understand that, Senator Tkachuk. I was not debating but simply wanting to say that the meeting time in this motion is three hours. In any event, I am prepared to have a vote on adjournment.

Senator Tkachuk: I do not think there is much —

The Chair: All in favour of the adjournment motion?

Senator Wallin: It is not debatable. That is what they agreed to.

The Chair: It is a votable motion.

Senator Tkachuk: I move the adjournment.

The Chair: All those opposed?

Senator Wallin: Are you voting in favour of adjourning?

Senator Moore: Yes.

The Chair: What is the recorded vote?

Senator Banks: We are taking a recorded vote on the motion to adjourn.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Kenny.

Senator Kenny: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Dallaire.

Senator Dallaire: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: No.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Manning.

Senator Manning: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Meighen.

Senator Meighen: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Moore.

Senator Moore: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk.

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Wallin.

Senator Wallin: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Mitchell.

Senator Mitchell: No.

Ms. Anwar: The "yeas'' are six; the "nays'' are three.

The Chair: This meeting is now adjourned.

(The committee adjourned.)