G031 - Wed 18 Oct 2017 / Mer 18 oct 2017



Wednesday 18 October 2017 Mercredi 18 octobre 2017

Subcommittee report

Committee business


The committee met at 1602 in committee room 2.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): I’d like to call the Standing Committee on General Government to order. I apologize for the delay in commencing the meeting, as the Clerk and I were consulting on an issue that we will be bringing forward very shortly.

Subcommittee report

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): We are here this afternoon to discuss the report of the subcommittee which took place yesterday just after question period in the opposition lobby. It went very well. Is there anyone who would like to read the report of the subcommittee into the record?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I can, Chair.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Mr. Rinaldi.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: This is a report of the Standing Committee on General Government’s subcommittee on committee business: Report of the subcommittee dated Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Your subcommittee on committee business met on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, to consider the method of proceeding on Bill 163, An Act to enact the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, 2017 and to amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in relation to abortion services, and recommends the following:

(1) That the committee hold public hearings on Bill 163 on Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (as per the order of the House dated Monday, October 16, 2017).

(2) That the Chair, in consultation with the Clerk of the Committee, be authorized to make arrangements to advertise (as per the order of the House dated Monday, October 16, 2017); and that the Clerk of the Committee, with the authorization of the Chair, post information regarding the committee’s business with respect to Bill 163 on the Ontario parliamentary channel, the Legislative Assembly website, and Canada NewsWire.

(3) That interested people who wish to be considered to appear before the committee on Bill 163 contact the committee Clerk by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

(4) That witnesses be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

(5) That groups and individuals be offered five minutes for their presentations, followed by up to nine minutes for questions by committee members, three minutes per caucus.

(6) That the committee Clerk send a revised agenda to committee members whenever the schedule of presentations is updated.

(7) That the deadline for written submissions be 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2017 (as per the order of the House dated Monday, October 16, 2017).

(8) That amendments to the bill be filed with the Clerk of the Committee by 12 noon on Friday, October 20, 2017 (as per the order of the House dated Monday, October 16, 2017).

(9) That the committee meet on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill (as per the order of the House dated Monday, October 16, 2017).

That is your report of the subcommittee, Chair.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Thank you very much, and well done, Mr. Rinaldi.

Is there further discussion on the report of the subcommittee? Ms. Thompson.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Thank you, Chair. I’m just wondering what kind of response you’ve had.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): We’re subscribed up to, I think, 3:30 or 4 o’clock on Thursday afternoon, and the deadline is 5.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Okay. Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Any further discussion? There being none, I shall call for the vote on the report of the subcommittee. Those in favour? Those opposed? I declare the report of the subcommittee carried, passed, adopted—whichever word you prefer.

Committee business

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): This leads us to another issue that the Clerk has brought to my attention. We do have an individual who is interested in presenting to us tomorrow via teleconference. This particular individual has requested that part of her presentation be in camera as some of the issues that she is bringing forward are sensitive and she does not want to discuss this in open forum. My questions to the committee are:

(1) Would you entertain this?

(2) What format would we use? Would she do four minutes of her presentation in public, followed by two-two-two, or three minutes, followed by three-three-three or whatever? I’m just throwing it out for you here.

Number one, is the committee agreeable?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: So Chair—or maybe to the Clerk—has this kind of practice happened before? Do you know?

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki): Yes, there have been instances where committees have listened to public testimony in camera.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: How would you deal with it, though? I mean, we’re going to have people sitting here, right?

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): So in essence, we would vacate the room. Hansard and communications would leave. We would listen, take notes—do whatever you need to do. When it’s finished—because she does have only 15 minutes, like every other presenter, but we will provide a few minutes for people to vacate and re-enter without affecting her time. The only issue would be that it would take us a little later, I would think, during the day.

Ms. Wong?

Ms. Soo Wong: Mr. Chair, I’ll get this clarification from the Clerk. This particular individual, we don’t know the name, we don’t know—

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Sorry; if you don’t mind, I’ll interrupt, just to clarify. Her name is Catherine Macnab. She’s the executive director of Planned Parenthood Ottawa.

Ms. Soo Wong: Okay, now we know who she is. Because sometimes, you’ll want to speak but with no name, no agency, but now we know. Okay. That’s good. Because it’s related to this particular bill and given the concern has been raised—and I think I heard the debate from the opposition member about the concerns raised.

Is it oversubscribed to date? No. Okay. So we’ve already scheduled, according to this report we just adopted, that tomorrow, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., we can hear from witnesses across Ontario. So she’s prepared to come in person? Am I correct? No, on the phone. Okay.

Given the time has been allocated, I think, respectfully, I’m quite all right with it, as long as I know what we’re dealing with.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Mr. Berardinetti.

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti: I have no problem with this either.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Mr. Anderson.

Mr. Granville Anderson: Is there a problem making that the last one for the day? Wouldn’t that be easier, if you made that the last presentation for the day?

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): That’s an excellent option. So far, 3:45 p.m. is the last one; however, the deadline is 5 p.m. and we could receive a few more. We want to make sure that we’re not oversubscribed. But if the Clerk can make those arrangements with Ms. Macnab, that does make a lot of sense: that everybody just vacate and that’s it.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: I would concur with that.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Okay, thank you.

Mr. Berardinetti.

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti: I think Mr. Anderson has got a good idea. If we can keep the last slot open—I mean, we may get some more coming in today, but keep one always open so that it would be the last one, so that when we vacate the room, there’s not people waiting outside for us to come back in.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: I totally agree.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Mr. Baker.

Mr. Yvan Baker: Your other question, Chair, was just around the issue of how you would deal with part of the testimony being in camera and part of it being on the public record. From my vantage point, I’m indifferent. It’s really up to her. From my vantage point, I would suggest we let her use her time as she sees fit. She may want all her testimony in camera; she may want to have something on the record and something in camera. I don’t know. But I would defer to her preferences as far as that element of it is concerned.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): I believe that that is an option.

Is it possible that the Clerk could have a discussion with this particular presenter and then come back to me so that I can make the coordinates work? Is that fair?

Mr. Yvan Baker: Yes.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): First and foremost, we have to determine whether or not she can come in at the end, whether it’s 3:45—we’ll have to move a few of the others up; correct? Is that a lot of work? Has everybody been confirmed at this point, or could we just maybe switch one?

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki): Yes, we can do it. We’ll do our best.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Okay. The Clerks’ office will do their best to accommodate this particular request, and we can get back to you.

Would the committee want to know—

Interjections: No.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Okay. Further discussion? I think that provides us with a direction that we need in order to facilitate easy proceedings here.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Chair, you can handle that.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): You taught me well, sir.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Between you and the Clerk—I know the Clerk is going to do all the heavy lifting—

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Yes.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: —but you make sure you make it look like you’ve done something.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Thank you very much.

He’s a veteran.

Mr. Yvan Baker: That was on the record.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Yes, of course it is.

Further discussion?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Oops.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Further discussion?

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: It’s all good.

The Chair (Mr. Grant Crack): Okay, there being none, then I believe that concludes the business for today. This meeting is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1612.


Chair / Président

Mr. Grant Crack (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Granville Anderson (Durham L)

Mr. Granville Anderson (Durham L)

Mr. Yvan Baker (Etobicoke Centre / Etobicoke-Centre L)

Mr. Grant Crack (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell L)

Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South L)

Mrs. Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West / Windsor-Ouest ND)

Mrs. Julia Munro (York–Simcoe PC)

Mr. Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland–Quinte West L)

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson (Huron–Bruce PC)

Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)

Mrs. Gila Martow (Thornhill PC)

Ms. Peggy Sattler (London West ND)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Erin Fowler, research officer,
Research Services