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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Issue 2 - Second, Third and Fourth Reports of the Committee


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

SECOND REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Energy Efficiency Act, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Tuesday, February 24, 2009, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

THIRD REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred the document entitled "Proposed Revision to User Fees, November 2008," has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, January 28, 2009, examined certain proposed changes to existing user fees under, and, in accordance with section 5 of the User Fees Act, recommends that they be approved.

The 2004 User Fees Act of Parliament gives the power to examine the introduction or change to any user fee by any regulatory authority in Canada.

Your committee notes that this process provides important measures in transparency, accountability and value for money.

Under the legislative authority of the Explosives Act, the Minister of Natural Resources Canada has proposed a revised fee schedule and additional user fees for cost recovery related to Explosives Regulatory Division ("the Division") activities.

User fees for the Division were last set by regulations in 1993. The Division sought authority to increase its user fees through the User Fees Act and regulations in 2005 and 2008. In both cases, the Division was unsuccessful because federal elections were called before the amendments were approved or before the required 20 sitting days elapsed. Therefore, the user fees proposed represent the first regulatory increase in 16 years and as a result some of these fees have increased significantly.

Your Committee heard from officials from Natural Resources Canada on Thursday, March 5, 2009 and questioned them extensively on the proposed user fee increases. In particular, your committee wanted to know details concerning consultations the Division had with stakeholders, as required by the User Fees Act. Your committee sought assurance that stakeholder concerns had been heard and addressed. Upon hearing testimony on this matter, your committee is satisfied that this had taken place. For example, a proposal for a cost recovery of 80 per cent for a particular item was reduced to 45 per cent after stakeholder feedback. Department officials stated that stakeholders gave written approval that they were satisfied with the approach taken for the cost recovery of that item.

Having had the opportunity to hear testimony on this matter and examine the proposed changes to user fees, your committee recommends that they be approved.

Respectfully submitted,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

FOURTH REPORT

Your Committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 to examine and report on emerging issues related to its mandate, respectfully requests that it be empowered to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its study.

Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative Rules, the budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that Committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

W. DAVID ANGUS

Chair


STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON
ENERGY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND
NATURAL RESOURCES

SPECIAL STUDY, EMERGING ISSUES

APPLICATION FOR BUDGET AUTHORIZATION
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING MARCH 31, 2009

Extract from the Journals of the Senate of March 3, 2009:

The Honourable Senator Angus moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Johnson:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be authorized to examine and report on emerging issues related to its mandate:

(a) The current state and future direction of production, distribution, consumption, trade, security and sustainability of Canada's energy resources;

(b) Environmental challenges facing Canada including responses to global climate change, air pollution, biodiversity and ecological integrity;

(c) Sustainable development and management of renewable and non-renewable natural resources including but not limited to water, minerals, soils, flora and fauna; and

(d) Canada's international treaty obligations affecting energy, the environment and natural resources and their influence on Canada's economic and social development.

That the papers and evidence received and taken and work accomplished by the committee on this subject since the beginning of the Second Session of the Thirty-ninth Parliament be referred to the committee; and

That the committee submit its final report no later than June 30, 2010 and that the committee retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Paul C. Bélisle

Clerk of the Senate

SUMMARY OF EXPENDITURES

Professional and Other Services $ 5,500
Transportation and Communications 100
All Other Expenditures 900
TOTAL $6,500

 

The above budget was approved by the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on March 5, 2009.

The undersigned or an alternate will be in attendance on the date that this budget is considered.

_________________________________________________________________________________
Date                        W. DAVID ANGUS
                               Chair, Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources           

_________________________________________________________________________________
Date                        GEORGE J. FUREY   
                               Chair, Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

 

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Budget $198,816 $211,388 $22,070 $64,643 $292,170
Expenses $89,163 $111,326 $21,506 $21,519 $125,590

STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON
ENERGY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

SPECIAL STUDY, EMERGING ISSUES

EXPLANATION OF BUDGET ITEMS
APPLICATION FOR BUDGET AUTHORIZATION
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING MARCH 31, 2009

GENERAL EXPENSES

PROFESSIONAL AND OTHER SERVICES

1. Working meals (0415)

1,500

    (3 meals, $500/meal)

2. Editing/Revision Services Sole source Dan Turner (0446)

4,000

Sub-total

$ 5,500

TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

1. Courier charges (0261)

100

Sub-total

$ 100

ALL OTHER EXPENDITURES

1. Books (0702)

250

2. Stationery & supplies (0707)

250

3. Miscellaneous expenses (0798)

400

Sub-total

$ 900

Total

$ 6,500

The Senate administration has reviewed this budget application.

 

_____________________________________________________________
Heather Lank, Principal Clerk, Committees Directorate        Date

_____________________________________________________________
Nicole Proulx, Director of Finance                                       Date


APPENDIX (B) TO THE REPORT

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has examined the budget presented to it by the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for the proposed expenditures of the said Committee for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 for the purpose of its special study on emerging issues, as authorized by the Senate on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. The said budget is as follows:

Professional and Other Services    $ 5,500
Transportation and Communications    100
All Other Expenditures    900
Total    $ 6,500

Respectfully submitted,

GEORGE J. FUREY

Chair