1998 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament

SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO APPOINT AN OMBUDSMAN


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


TRANSCRIPTS OF PROCEEDINGS
(Hansard)

THURSDAY, JULY 30, 1998

Issue No. 1


Chair: * Pietro Calendino (Burnaby North NDP)
Deputy Chair: * Christy Clark (Port Moody-Burnaby L)
Members: Tim Stevenson (Vancouver-Burrard NDP)
* Steve Orcherton (Victoria-Hillside NDP)
Rick Kasper (Malahat-Juan de Fuca NDP)
* Joan Smallwood (Surrey-Whalley NDP)
* Erda Walsh (Kootenay NDP)
* Rich Coleman (Fort Langley-Aldergrove L)
* Sindi Hawkins (Okanagan West L)
* Bonnie McKinnon (Surrey-Cloverdale L)
Clerk of Committees: Craig James


* denotes member present


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The committee met at 9:37 a.m.

C. James: Okay, this being the first meeting of the Special Committee to Appoint an Ombudsman, and there not being a Chairperson, I call for nominations for Chair.

J. Smallwood: I nominate Pietro.

C. James: Any further nominations?

There being no further nominations, I presume. . . .

P. Calendino: I accept.

C. James: He accepts. I'll put the question on the motion.

Motion approved.

[P. Calendino in the chair.]

The Chair: Now we go to the election of the Deputy Chair. I open the floor for nominations.

J. Smallwood: I nominate Christy.

The Chair: Any other nominations? Does Christy accept?

C. Clark: Yes.

The Chair: Congratulations.

The next item is the election of a subcommittee on agenda and procedure. Do you want to explain to everybody what agenda and procedure are?

C. James: Well, ordinarily what committees do at the beginning of their business is set a subcommittee on agenda and procedure to which a variety of matters are referred -- ordinarily the agenda, setting out a business plan for the ensuing business and dealing with the process by which they can actually conduct the business. They would deal with this in draft form and bring it to the committee, and then the committee would approve whatever form it is. It's an administratively expedient way to conduct the business of the committee.

The Chair: Is it the same subcommittee that will screen the applications, or will that take another one?

Interjection.

The Chair: Okay, so there will also be that work for the subcommittee: screening the applications and bringing the numbers down for the whole committee to consider.

Interjection.

The Chair: The shortlist -- okay.

J. Smallwood: Recommended numbers?

The Chair: Okay, numbers. There are three from the government side and two from the other side -- right?

C. James: Yes, ordinarily.

The Chair: Ordinarily. Are there three volunteers here? I'll be one volunteer.

J. Smallwood: Who have we got that's not here?

The Chair: We have. . . .

S. Orcherton: Can I make a suggestion?

The Chair: Yes, you can make a suggestion.

S. Orcherton: I apologize for being late. I was tied up on a personal issue.

If there are three from government and two from opposition, why doesn't the government put forward three names and the opposition put forward two names, and that's the subcommittee, and we'll move forward from there?

The Chair: Okay, we'll just give them to Craig. Steve, would you make that a motion?

S. Orcherton: I move that the government have three people on the subcommittee and that the opposition have two, and that the names be submitted to the Chairperson of the committee.

Motion approved.

The Chair: Any other business? I guess what we should be doing here is setting some dates for our next meetings. The next date should be to look at the criteria for selecting the ombudsman, which I think have already been developed. We don't have to go through the process we had to last time. Plus we need to look at some kind of advertising for the position and set some dates for when to advertise and when to have the applications in. Then we need to set dates for the subcommittee to meet and start screening. Is that correct?

C. James: Yes. If I could just make a few comments about the previous process. . . .

The Chair: Comments by Craig.

C. James: In 1992 we undertook the process, through the same special committee, to appoint an ombudsman. The route we followed, over the course of practically a year, was to issue an advertisement. A decision was made to pursue advertising to call for applications for the position. I think we ended up with something like 350 applications for the position. That took the better part of about six months. Just so members know, the current ombudsman's position expires, by statute, in early August. I believe it's August 4, but it's certainly within

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the first two weeks of August. I understand that an order-in-council will be passed extending her position until the committee reports. The position can't be refilled until this committee actually reports to the House and the House has adopted the recommendation. That could be as early as the fall or as late as the spring.

R. Coleman: Is this a unanimous-consent committee, for the selection?

C. James: Yes.

The committee adjourned at 9:42 a.m.


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