OTTAWA, Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration met this day at 10:30 a.m., in public and in camera, pursuant to rule 12-7(1), for the consideration of financial and administrative matters.

Senator Sabi Marwah (Chair) in the chair.


The Chair: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

I am Sabi Marwah, and I have the privilege of chairing this committee. I would ask the senators to introduce themselves.

Senator Munson: Jim Munson, deputy chair.


Senator Dawson: Senator Dennis Dawson from Quebec.

Senator Forest-Niesing: Senator Josée Forest-Niesing from northern Ontario.

Senator Verner: Josée Verner from Quebec.

Senator Smith: Larry Smith from Quebec.


Senator Harder: Peter Harder, Ontario.


Senator Dalphond: Senator Pierre Dalphond from Quebec.


Senator Wetston: Howard Wetston, Ontario.

Senator Plett: Don Plett, Manitoba.

Senator Doyle: Norman Doyle, Newfoundland.


Senator Seidman: Judith Seidman from Montreal, Quebec.


Senator Tkachuk: David Tkachuk, Saskatchewan.

Senator Batters: Denise Batters, Saskatchewan, deputy chair.

The Chair: Thank you. A copy of the public minutes — sorry.


Senator Forest: Éric Forest from the Gulf region, Quebec.

Senator Moncion: Senator Lucie Moncion from Ontario.


The Chair: Senators, a copy of the public minutes from June 2019 is in your package. Are there any questions or changes?

Can I have a motion to adopt the minutes?

It is moved by Senator Saint-Germain to adopt the minutes. Agreed? Carried.

Honourable senators, is there any other public business before we go in camera?

Senator Tkachuk: I’m just trying to find it right now. I didn’t think we’d be at it so quickly. I have got it here.

I have a copy of a letter that was addressed to Jason Kenney and then was sent to a number of senators from a gentleman by the name of William Lacey. I think this is an important issue, so I’m going to read it. It’s not that long. It’s addressed, actually, to the Prime Minister:

I’m writing to you today regarding a recent experience that I had in our nation’s capital. My wife and I travelled out East to drop our youngest child off at Queen’s University for his first year of engineering. Seeing as this was a fairly long trip, we decided we should extend our trip by a few days so as to take in the sights and sounds of Ottawa.

Over the following few days we made plans to go on a bike tour of the city — highly recommended — visit the science museum and National Gallery and tour the core buildings of our nation’s capital: House of Commons, Senate and the Supreme Court.

In all, the experience was a good one with one very notable exception. When my wife and I went to visit the Senate, we were taken aside by security and told that the shirt I was wearing needed to be removed as it may offend some people. What was the offending shirt?

Nowhere does the shirt say anything negative, defamatory or insulting to others. Far from it. It advocates a responsible and ethical approach to resource development. Last I checked, freedom of expression is protected under section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

He includes a picture of himself with his T-shirt, which says, “I love oil and gas.” And for “love,” it’s got a heart.

Moreover, there were other people on the tour who had graphics of things like a skull with a cross on the forehead, an anti-discrimination shirt (ironic) and one with a peace symbol on it.

Last time I checked, there was nothing illegal about the Canadian energy sector, and yet I was made to feel as though I should be embarrassed for what I was wearing. The solution? I was told I could either leave or I could turn my shirt inside out and take part in the tour. I chose the latter option. The next stop on our tour was the House of Commons, where I was welcomed and there were absolutely no concerns expressed regarding my shirt. I went out of my way to talk with various members of security and not one of them raised an eyebrow at my shirt.

I would like an answer as to why I was treated in such a manner at the Senate and if it is the policy of the Government of Canada to shame members of the Canadian energy industry. I am proud of the industry I work for and I know first-hand that we are leading the way globally in terms of improving environmental performance as well as other aspects related to ESG (environment, social and governance) standards.

I look forward to your response. Kindest regards, William Lacey.

So I’d like to know what happened here. That’s what I’d like to know.

The Chair: Fair enough, Senator Tkachuk. I think I would like to know, too. Richard Denis is on vacation. Cathy Piccinin is here replacing Richard, and the PPS reports up through them. I will have them look into the matter and report back to us.

Senator Tkachuk: Has she received a complaint of any kind?

Catherine Piccinin, Acting Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments and Chief Legislative Services Officer, Senate of Canada: No, senator. This is the first that I’ve heard of the matter. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information to provide to this committee on it. Again, it’s corporate security that reports directly to the Clerk of the Senate and not PPS. But I will take the instruction from the chair and look into the matter and report back to the committee as required.

Senator Tkachuk: Is there a policy on what security can deem offensive before they allow — is there some kind of a policy? It seems odd to me that they would pick this out. Very odd. It obviously seemed odd to Mr. Lacey. He’s a Canadian citizen from Alberta and was turned back from the Senate of Canada. Is the head of corporate security here? Could we get that person to come forward? Is the head of corporate security here?

Julie Lacroix, Director, Corporate Security Directorate, Senate of Canada: The letter of complaint was forwarded to me. I immediately reached out to my counterpart at the PPS, the Director of PPS, Mr. Kevin Leahy, and together we will look into the matter. We’ve reached out to Mr. Lacey in order to narrow down the timeline of his arrival at the Senate so we can look into any necessary footage to help us determine what transpired.

I have asked the Director of PPS for their operational procedures so that it can help me understand what may have transpired.

Senator Tkachuk: Do they have any guidelines as to what material is offensive? There must be some guidelines of some sort about what people wear inside.

Ms. Lacroix: They do have standard operating procedures, and we have asked for those and we’ll take a look at what’s —

Senator Tkachuk: Could we have a copy of those?

Ms. Lacroix: I’d have to discuss that with the Speaker as they fall under the authority of the Speaker.

Senator Tkachuk: Oh, okay.

Senator Batters: Why would there be a difference between what the Parliamentary Protective Service is considering to be offensive in the Senate as compared to the House of Commons, because it should be the same security force for all?

Ms. Lacroix: That’s a very good question. I cannot answer that. It should be the same across the board.

Senator Batters: Yes. Just as a Western Canadian, I find that outrageous. Thank you.

Senator Tkachuk: As a Canadian, I find it outrageous.

Senator Plett: Julie, in your opinion — and I don’t know if you can see this — but in your opinion, would our policy state that that is offensive?

Ms. Lacroix: I’d have to look at the policy to confirm.

Senator Plett: So possibly saying, “I love oil and gas,” might be considered offensive? Is that what you’re saying?

Ms. Lacroix: No, senator. I think that there are different scenarios. I don’t think “offensive” is the right word. I think that there are different circumstances where, for example, if you were attending the galleries and wearing anything as to, perhaps, protest, then that’s where we have guidelines. So I need to take a look at all the guidelines we have in place, consult with the PPS and then I’d come back with a proper response and analysis.


Senator Saint-Germain: Mr. Chair, I think that the issue raised is important and the facts need to be checked and carefully studied. Our Security Directorate team hasn’t had the opportunity to receive it and check all aspects of it, so I propose that we discuss this in public at a future meeting.


The Chair: She recommended that it be postponed and have an answer for the next meeting.

Senator Saint-Germain: It’s an important question. We need answers. We need fact-checking, and we don’t have it now. I’d like this question to be really studied and our questions answered in a very precise and factual way. This is why I believe that we can speak about this for 10 or 15 minutes today, but we won’t receive all the answers that, rightly, you are requiring. This is why I recommend that we have a discussion in public but at the next meeting.

The Chair: Let’s get the answers.

Senator Plett: Chair, I’m okay with that under the proviso that we know if our friends from Alberta or, in fact, from Atlantic Canada in the oil industry, if they come into this building sometime in the next few months, before our next meeting, and they’re wearing a shirt saying they love oil and gas, are they going to be turned away?

I think it’s important that we have at least that answer, Senator Saint-Germain.

Senator Saint-Germain: I believe that the answer is —

Senator Plett: I fully plan, if I don’t get an answer, on buying myself that T-shirt and coming here and seeing how far I can get in the building wearing it, because this is ridiculous.

The Chair: Fair enough. Rather than wait for the next meeting of the committee, Julie, if you can develop the response and circulate that to all senators as soon as you can.

Ms. Lacroix: Yes.

The Chair: Moving on to other items. Are there any other items?

Senator Saint-Germain: I’d like topic No. 7 to be studied in public, which is the interim resolution process for handling of harassment complaints-clarifications.

The Chair: Any particular reason why?

Senator Saint-Germain: First, we discussed the report in public, the draft report in public. We made a decision with regard to this interim process in public. I believe it would be logical to stay in public for further discussion, especially if we want to amend an interim process that we have adopted.

The Chair: Any problems, senators?

Senator Plett: I have a problem with that, absolutely. It’s on the agenda that it’s not in public. If we want to, in camera, make a decision to come out of public to report a decision, we can do that.

I certainly believe we need to at least start that conversation in camera, so I am absolutely opposed to us changing that. It’s a very private matter, and we should at least first determine, as a group, after discussion, as to whether we want to go in public.

I have one other item as soon as we’ve dealt with this, chair.

Senator Saint-Germain: I ask for a standing vote.

Senator Munson: Do you think there’s an election coming?

Senator Batters: Perhaps the law clerk could indicate why this was deemed to be an issue that should be dealt with in camera, because there could be some potentially sensitive personnel issues that could be discussed as part of this item.

Philippe Hallée, Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Senate of Canada: Thank you, senator. I think it could actually be something that might best be discussed in camera for this one in terms of the discussions that could revolve around explaining the details of this. It could indeed be appropriate to discuss this one in camera.

Senator Saint-Germain: It’s very easy for us to use parliamentary privilege or so-called confidential information not to sit in public. I, too, believe that often we are abusive of this. There is a way to speak about this issue without naming names, but I will defer to you, Mr. Clerk.

Senator Verner: We first discussed this matter publicly, so I don’t know why we could not follow up publicly.

Senator Plett: The law clerk has suggested we don’t.

Senator Dalphond: Sorry.

Senator Verner: That’s fine.

Senator Dalphond: I was going to raise a question. Is the interim policy on the website of the Senate? Is it public?

Mr. Hallée: Yes.

Senator Dalphond: Then why can’t we discuss clarifications to a public policy in public? What do we have to hide?

Mr. Hallée: It’s a decision for to you make on this. We could go either way. The only reason why I think it could be appropriate to discuss it in camera is that there are some legal analyses, such as this reporting, the reason why we want to clarify some of these elements. Depending on where the discussion goes, it could be —

Senator Dalphond: In my view, policy-making is always done in the public, and it’s good for the public to understand why the policy is made.

The Chair: Two senators have asked for a vote on this issue.

Senator Batters: Just following up on what the law clerk said, the context of this, this is no longer a situation where we’re simply looking at a draft policy, we’re looking at what the specific As and Bs of that draft policy are. This is a situation where, because of the context behind this particular item coming to us now, there’s a context that the law clerk has indicated that it would be appropriate to be dealt with in camera. That’s why the law clerk proposed that and steering agreed with that.

Senator Saint-Germain: Steering is a subcommittee of this committee.

Senator Forest-Niesing: Very briefly, I’m not a voting member of this committee, but I am interested in the subject matter of the discussion. It’s clear that it’s a very sensitive topic, a very unpleasant topic, but it’s 2019. We have evolved as a society to a point where such matters need to be discussed professionally and completely.

Given the public nature of the policy itself and previous discussions, I would see no reason why the discussion — with very careful attention being placed on no revelation of the identity of any of the individuals involved — there’s no reason why this subject matter should be the subject of any in camera discussion at this point.

I believe it is a knee-jerk reaction given the sensitivity and the unpleasantness of the topic in question.

The Chair: Any other comments? Given that two members have asked for a vote, it calls on me to go to a vote.

Colleagues, before we proceed —

Senator Tkachuk: I don’t understand why, if we’re going to have an in camera discussion, we don’t have an in camera discussion and then decide as to whether we go in public. There are sensitive issues here. We are talking about employees. We’re talking about legal matters that may put — I agree with our law clerk. We have an administrative and a fiduciary duty to protect the Senate as well.

I don’t have a problem with any of this stuff becoming public if we decide to make it public, but I have a problem with making the decision before we even get into it and we put ourselves in jeopardy.

How are we going to speak openly about something that people can sue us for? I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why we’d want to put ourselves in a position of that.

We should have a free and open discussion. If we want to make a big show, then let’s make a big show, but let’s not pretend that we’re doing it for professional purposes, because we’re not. We’re doing it for political purposes, and that’s not a way to deal with this issue.

The Chair: Senator, I won’t ascribe any motive to it.

Senator Tkachuk: I am ascribing motives.

The Chair: Let’s move on. Is it still your view that you wish to have a vote?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

The Chair: Colleagues, before we proceed to the roll-call vote, I would like to remind senators that the rules indicate that ex officio members enjoy the same status as other members of the committee, including the right to vote. However, there’s currently a convention that ex officio members do not vote in committee by mutual agreement.

I ask that any ex officio committee members who wish not to vote to please indicate it now.

Yes, Senator Harder. Anyone else? There is no one else here.

The ex officio member just named will not be called and will not be recorded in the minutes as having voted or abstained.

I now ask the clerk to proceed to the vote.

Pascale Legault, Chief Corporate Services Officer and Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, Senate of Canada: Honourable senators, I will call the members’ names, beginning with the chair and then going in alphabetical order. Senators should verbally indicate whether they vote for having the discussion in public or against or abstain.

The Honourable Senator Marwah?

Senator Marwah: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Batters.

Senator Batters: Against, and in accordance with the law clerk.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Dalphond?


Senator Dalphond: For, as the law clerk said he had no particular opinion.


Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Dawson?

Senator Dawson: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Doyle?

Senator Doyle: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Forest?

Senator Forest: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Moncion?

Senator Moncion: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Munson?

Senator Munson: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Plett?

Senator Plett: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Saint-Germain?

Senator Saint-Germain: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Seidman?

Senator Seidman: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Smith?

Senator Smith: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Verner?

Senator Verner: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Wetston?

Senator Wetston: For.

The Chair: The motion is defeated by 8 votes to 7, so we shall proceed to hear the item in camera.

Are there any other items in “Other Matters”?

Senator Plett: Thank you. One other issue. I’m just going to request that we get a report on this later as well.

I received some information. One of my staff was touring some people through the Senate. She toured them through partly on her own, but partly they joined one of the official tours of the Senate.

When they reached the chamber of the Senate, the tour guide was asked, rightfully, about what groups sat on what side of the chamber, so on and so forth. The tour guide proceeded to explain how much the Senate had improved with our new Prime Minister having adopted rules of a non-partisan Senate and that the Senate was typically a non-partisan chamber now, except, of course, there was still a few that insisted on being partisan. This was evolving in a very positive manner and over a period of time the Senate would become an entirely non-partisan Senate.

My staffer interjected at one point and corrected the tour guide, but later on had a discussion with the tour guide, who was very apologetic, and asked what she should be saying on these tours. My staff said she wasn’t in authority to tell her what to say, but she would like to know where she got her marching orders from. She was told that they were given their talking points by the Library of Parliament.

I would like, chair, for us to have the Library of Parliament let us know — and I’m sure we don’t have time to do that today and I’m bringing this up for information as much as anything — I would like to know from the Library of Parliament what kind of instructions they’re giving to tour guides because the last time I checked we have not officially declared the Senate either partisan or non-partisan. We still have some different political parties in the Senate that are proud to be that. So I would like to know what the Library of Parliament is instructing the tour guides to say. I am requesting here that at least I get — if there is an official document — that official document for me to look at and maybe other senators are interested in it as well. But I’m asking that that be looked into.

The Chair: You raise a fair question. I shall have administration follow up with the Library of Parliament and get you an answer.


Senator Verner: I would like to provide a bit of context for what I am about to table. Further to Senate Ethics Officer Pierre Legault’s report, you received a public meeting request, Mr. Chair.


What I can see now this morning is that a number of the matters which we will be discussing on 4(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) are in the in-camera part of the meeting.

This is not what we asked of you. I know that we will have discussion about that matter, but before I could be tied by any in camera discussion, I would like to table the motion I was to table, if it has to be in public.

The first one is this:


• the Senate Ethics Officer stated at page 14 of his June 2019 report that: “(...) the various parties participating in the inquiry did not have the same information available to them.”; and

• that Canadians are entitled to be informed about the content of the report prepared by Quintet Consulting upon which a formal investigation has been requested in 2015.

It is moved that the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration allow the full disclosure of the Quintet report while protecting the identity of victims as well as any other sensitive information that could lead to their identification.

This is one of my motions.

The second one is as follows:


• the claim of parliamentary privilege has damaged the public’s perception of the investigation process employed by the Senate Ethics Officer, as well as the reputation of the Senate of Canada as a responsible and fair employer;

• the Senate Ethics Officer stated in his report dated June 29, 2019, that having to wait for the CIBA to approve his requests and, in some cases, deny those requests while asking for further details and information about them, may result in unnecessary delays and undermined his independence (p. ii-iii, annex);

• two former members of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure (steering committee) could not be interviewed by the Senate Ethics Officer during this investigation due to claims of parliamentary privilege, as stated in his report (p. 7);

• the members of the CIBA must seek more detailed explanations on behalf of the victims, honourable senators and Canadians regarding what motivated members of the steering committee to invoke parliamentary privilege;

• the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators (CONF) pointed out the distinction that must be made between the privileges held by the Senate as an institution and the privileges held by individual senators;

• the privileges of individual senators do not override those of the institution, nor can they be asserted in any way that undermines those of the institution (p. 7);

• the Senate Ethics Officer recommended that the Senate consider how to strike the right balance between ensuring that inquiries are conducted expeditiously and with all the relevant evidence required on the one hand, and claims of parliamentary privilege on the other; and

• the seventh report of the CONF invited senators to reflect on the nature of parliamentary privilege and to understand its limits in relation to their activities under the Code and in their engagements with the Senate Ethics Officer (p. 47).

It is moved:

• that a public meeting of the CIBA be convened at the earliest opportunity with key players on that committee and from the Senate Administration, in order to address the questions raised by this investigation and mentioned in the reports of the Senate Ethics Officer and the CONF; and

• that the committee invite the following witnesses and any other person whose testimony could be relevant.

Former members of the Steering Committee :

• The Hon. George Furey, C.R.

• The Hon. Leo Housakos

• The Hon. Larry Smith

Office of the Ethics Senate Officer

• Pierre Legault

• Lyse Ricard

Senate Clerks

• Charles Robert

• Nicole Proulx

• Richard Denis

Senate Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel

• Michel Patrice

• Jacqueline Kuehl

• Philippe Hallée

Human Resources Directorate

• Darshan Singh

• Reina Bernier

Those are my two motions.

The Chair: I think, senators, those are very long motions. I think it would be prudent for us to have a copy. I can’t even comprehend things.

Senator Verner: Absolutely.

The Chair: So can we suspend for two minutes until we get copies to everybody? We will suspend for two minutes while we get copies to everybody.

It would be my hope that these are motions that Senator Verner has made, but both of these items are on the topic of the in camera session. I suggest we hear the discussions in the in camera session so we fully understand the range of issues and the range of analysis done by the law clerk. If we are dissatisfied with the outcome of those discussions, then it would be fair to raise those issues and suggest a meeting to be held in public if you are dissatisfied with whatever transpires in the in camera session. You always keep that option open, but we should not vote on this before having a full understanding of the items and the discussion. It becomes very difficult to vote on something that is on the agenda in camera. If you are dissatisfied with it, let’s go back to it.

Senator Verner: There are two things about that, Mr. Chair. If we go in camera, I won’t be allowed to refer to our discussion.

The Chair: No, we can decide. You can always table that at the next meeting saying you want to discuss the issue because you were dissatisfied with the response or with the discussions that took place in camera. You can’t disclose the content but you can still raise the issue.

Senator Verner: The other thing is that we asked from you earlier to have a public meeting. Regarding all those items on number 4, can we vote on whether we want to discuss all those items in camera?

The Chair: There is no motion on that. We can’t have a vote on something when we don’t have a motion for it.

We have two motions on the table. Motion 1 is about the Quintet report and whether we want that released; we can have a motion on that. Again, that is Item 4(d) on the discussion. I would recommend that we hear the pros and cons, hear the legal analysis, hear the points made and then decide whether we want this thing in public. To do this prematurely — I would have to abstain from the vote because I would like to hear the discussion and everybody’s views on Item 4(d) before I decide whether I want to proceed.

Senator Verner: Okay. The other question is, do we want to have all the items of No. 4 discussed in camera?

The Chair: Yes. Then we can decide. If we are dissatisfied with that, we can decide whether we want to take certain items in public.

Senator Verner: We have a vote on No. 7, Senator Plett. I’m talking about No. 4. Can we vote on whether we want to have all the —

The Chair: Let’s vote on the first motion.

Senator Verner: No, Mr. Chair —

The Chair: We don’t have a motion. What are you voting on?

Senator Verner: Sorry, I’m asking you to have a vote on whether we want to have all the items of No. 4 discussed in camera instead of in public.

Senator Tkachuk: Make a motion.

Senator Verner: Okay.

The Chair: You have to make a motion.

Senator Verner: Are there any comments about that?

Senator Batters: First, before we have any sort of vote on this, Senator Verner indicated she made a request that these items be heard in public. I don’t know who she made the request to, but I’m on steering and I never personally received that. I’m not sure if the request went just to the chair or to whom. I’ve only seen Senator Verner’s comments in the newspaper article, but I have not received any request from her. That wasn’t something that came to steering.

Some of these items have been previously on the agenda for almost a week now to be dealt with in camera. There are legitimate legal consequences — real, major consequences — for the Senate that could be — of course, I’m extremely sympathetic to the victims. However, we want to make sure their rights are dealt with in a proper, confidential manner, as some of the particular victims continue to want to have. Perhaps we could have the law clerk explain his reasoning as to why he believes these particular items should be dealt with in camera. He can discuss the legal consequences for the Senate if these types of issues are discussed in public.

Mr. Hallée: The main reason is found in these four or five briefing notes which I provided to this committee. These are all, essentially, legal analyses, for the most part. They get into the details of everything that happened in this case and the legal context applicable to it. I would highly recommend that this be treated in camera for the reason of solicitor-client privilege.

Senator Batters: People could have lawsuits against the Senate, otherwise, correct?

Mr. Hallée: There could also be repercussions.

The Chair: Are there any other comments from members? Do you want to start with Motion No. 1 and we’ll go in order? Do you want to go to Motion 3? The motion is: Are members in agreement to vote on this third motion that items on Item No. 4 be considered in public? I shall again read the preamble.

Senator Wetston: Could I get a clarification? How does that auger with the motion you just mentioned publicly? How do they square in the sense of how you intend your motions to be considered in relation to this matter? I want to understand the relationship between dealing with these matters publicly and the motions that you have indicated that you intend to bring.

Senator Verner: When you look at all the items on No. 4, there will be, for instance, an item that we will be discussing about the delays on that inquiry. If we go in camera on that, I won’t be able to discuss publicly the questions I have about Pierre Legault’s report. That is why I did it now. The question is the third motion is like the chair just said. Are we going to go in camera for all of those items or just some of them, or in public with all of those or just some of them?

And to answer Senator Batters’ question, Senator Saint-Germain sent a formal request on July 21 to the chair of the committee to convene for a mainly public meeting as soon as possible. This is why.

The Chair: Senator Verner, I respectfully disagree. I think just because we have the discussions in camera does not mean you cannot raise questions subsequently. You can’t divulge the content of our deliberations, but you certainly can raise issues if you’re dissatisfied with the deliberation or any aspects of them. So to say this really prevents you from raising the issue subsequently I think is incorrect.

In my view, I think we should have the discussion in camera. If members wish to raise issues after that, they’re welcome to do so. Any member is welcome to raise any issue after discussion. You can’t talk about specifics or what took place in the discussion, but you can say that I would like this to happen or that to happen in a subsequent meeting. If you’re not happy, you’re always welcome to raise issues subsequently. That’s still my view.

Senator Moncion: Items (c), (d) and (e) are not necessarily items that — I always question the intent of why they are put under “in camera”. I think the public wants to know why it took so long. Item (c), why did it take years for this to be taken care of? I’m not sure there’s parliamentary privilege here. This is something that is important.

Access to the report, we’re not divulging anything here. We’re just discussing whether or not that report is going to be made public.

The process for leaks of information, that is also something that I think is important to discuss in public. So that’s why some of these items are put under “in camera,” I guess, not to have public access to that information. Some of these items, again, I question the intent.

Senator Plett: Well, very briefly, chair, when we go in camera, there’s nothing that prevents us from in camera deciding to come out of camera and discuss what was decided in camera. So Senator Moncion, just because we start discussing them in camera doesn’t mean we can’t come out.

We are getting legal advice here. We’ve got our law clerk giving us legal advice, and we have motions here that are directly contrary to what our law clerk is telling us to do. I’m not sure, chair, why we’re almost an hour into a meeting here and we haven’t started the meeting.

I’m not a lawyer. We have all kinds of legal minds here and I can’t understand why they would vote against legal advice. But anyway, that’s a plumber’s opinion as opposed to a legal opinion.

The Chair: So we shall go to a vote on Motion No. 3. Colleagues, before we proceed to the roll call vote, I would again like —

Senator Batters: Chair, on that, I’m not sure, is Senator Verner now amending her motion to say just some of these items would be in camera? Because her motion right now as it stands is that all of those items would be in public. So I just want to be clear about that. Also, our law clerk can give us confirmation as to why those particular items need to be that.

Senator Tkachuk: Let’s go to question.

Senator Batters: Okay. If it’s all of them, then it’s all of them.

Senator Verner: Items (a) and (b) will be removed from the motion?

Senator Batters: Now you’re amending it?

The Chair: Now we’re amending to amendments. This is getting out of control. We should move on. We have the motion and we read the motion.

Before we proceed to the roll call vote, I would like to remind senators that the rules indicate that ex officio members enjoy the same status as other members of the committee, including the right to vote.

There’s currently a convention that ex officio members do not vote in committee by mutual agreement. I ask that any ex officio committee members who wish not to vote please indicate it now. Senator Harder.

So Senator Harder will not be called and not recorded in the minutes as having voted. I now ask the clerk to proceed.

Senator Dalphond: Before we proceed to the vote, I want to know exactly what we’re voting on; going in camera or not on the five items or just the three remaining items?

The Chair: Yes, on all the items.

Senator Verner: Senator Moncion amended it by removing (a) and (b). Did you do that?

Senator Moncion: I didn’t make a motion, but I said that.

Senator Verner: Do you want to table a motion?

The Chair: One person talking, please. Senator Moncion?

Senator Moncion: I didn’t make the motion.


I didn’t move to amend. What I said was that those three items were discussed in camera, and I asked what the motivation was for including those three items in section 4. Now I am asking why Senator Verner is unable to amend her resolution — her motion — so that we can remove items (a) and (b).


The Chair: You can raise another motion after that if you don’t like this one. Do you want to amend the motion? I’ll allow the motion to be amended.

Senator Verner: I want to amend the motion and remove items (a) and (b).

The Chair: So you want items (a) and (b) in the public?

Senator Verner: No, (a) and (b) in camera and the other three in public.

Senator Plett: The law clerk’s opinion is still the same?

The Chair: Would members like me to read out the motion again?

Are members in agreement to vote on this third motion that items 4(c), (d) and (e) be considered in public?

Ms. Legault: Honourable senators, I will call the members’ names beginning with the chair and going in alphabetical order. Senators should indicate whether they vote for, against or abstain.

The Honourable Senator Marwah?

Senator Marwah: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Batters?

Senator Batters: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Dalphond?

Senator Dalphond: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Dawson?

Senator Dawson: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Doyle?

Senator Doyle: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Forest?

Senator Forest: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Moncion?

Senator Moncion: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Munson?

Senator Munson: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Plett?

Senator Plett: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Saint-Germain?

Senator Saint-Germain: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Seidman?

Senator Seidman: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Smith?

Senator Smith: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: Against.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Verner?

Senator Verner: For.

Ms. Legault: The Honourable Senator Wetston?

Senator Wetston: For.

The Chair: The motion is defeated 9 to 6.

We want to go to Motion No. 1 and Motion No. 2. Motion No. 1, I think everybody has read the motion. Do you want me to read the motion again?

Senator Plett: We’re going to deal with this after in camera, chair.

The Chair: All right. It was superseded by number 3. Now finally we can go in camera and proceed to Item No. 3.

(The committee continued in camera.)

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