In what is becoming a regular occurrence on the House committee circuit, PROCEDURE AND HOUSE AFFAIRS members will retreat behind closed doors to go over the scope — and, where applicable, limitations — of parliamentary privilege and cabinet secrecy — this time, in relation to internal data on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Last month, the committee agreed to convene an in camera panel with senior officials from the Privy Council Office, the Office of the Auditor General and the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the House “to explain and clarify the administrative procedures for invoking the concept of ‘Cabinet secrecy’ respecting the data the Department of Finance shared with the Office of the Auditor General for her audit of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy,” which, as per the motion, “are not available to parliamentarians, even though the Auditor General is an officer of Parliament, not the government.”
That meeting is set to take place later this morning with appearances by deputy law clerk Michel Bédard, Deputy Auditor General Andrew Hayes and Privy Counsel Office legal expert Jodie Van Dienn. (11 AM – 12 PM)
Over at JUSTICE, meanwhile, MPs explore “elder abuse” during back-to-back panel discussions with representatives from the Canadian Association of Social Workers, Canadian Nurses Association and Pak Pioneers Community Association of Canada, among others. (11 AM – 1 PM)
Later this afternoon, HUMAN RESOURCES members will hear from CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts and Canadian Support Workers Association CEO Miranda Ferrier, as well as representatives from AGE-WELL and the National Institute on Ageing, as MPs focus their attention on the impact that the pandemic has had on seniors. (3:30 – 5:30 PM)
Also on the committee agenda today:
- INDIGENOUS AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS members hold two rounds of hearings as part of a new investigation into “enforcement on First Nations reserves,” which will include expert testimony from the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Tla’amin Nation and Nishnawbe Aski Police Service, among other groups. (11 – 1 PM/6:30 – 7:30 PM)
- INDUSTRY members continue to look ahead to the eventual “economic recovery from COVID-19” in conversation with various academics, industry representatives and other expert witnesses. (11 AM – 1 PM)
- AGRICULTURE members explore the “environmental impact of agriculture.” (3:30 – 5:30 PM)
- FINANCE hears from a panel of Finance Canada officials as members resumes their preliminary review of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s omnibus budget bill, which is still awaiting second-reading approval of the House. (4 PM)
On the Senate side, budget pre-study sessions continue at SOCIAL AFFAIRS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY and FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE.
Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at iPoliticsINTEL.