Post-Meeting Review

We hope you've enjoyed the first CACN committee monitoring product. Below, you'll find the post-meeting review on today's committee.

The Recap:

  • Liberal MP and former Speaker of the House from 2015-2019, Hon. Geoff Regan, unanimously elected as Chair of the committee.

  • Vice-Chairs were elected from each opposition party, including Conservative MP Chris Warkentin, Bloc Quebecois MP Stephane Bergeron, and NDP MP Jack Harris.

  • Routine motions were passed establishing regular committee functions, including staff, travel, expenses and broadcasting.

  • A planning sub-committee has been created to negotiate and determine recommendations to the full committee on agenda, witnesses, travel and other important operating matters.


Follow link to full committee video on ParlVu 


Meeting Review:

  • The meeting proceeded as planned in Room 225-A, West Block and sat for a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Hon. Geoff Regan was unanimously elected as Chair, and Conservative MP Chris Warkentin, Bloc Quebecois MP Stephane Bergeron, and NDP MP Jack Harris were elected Vice-Chairs.

  • In the debate about the mandate of the sub-committee for planning, a lengthy discussion unfolded between government and opposition members about the operating principle of the sub-committee and broader committee, whether by majority-rules decision making or to be mandated to seek “consensus” recommendations, in the manner some other sensitive House of Commons committees operate.

  • Bloc Quebecois MP Bergeron proposed amending the motion to use “collaboration” in lieu of “consensus” to break the disagreement, and the motion was adopted.

  • A number of routine motions were passed establishing regular committee functions, including:

    • Committee staffing

    • Committee travel

    • Broadcasting of committee meetings

    • Reimbursement of travel expenses for all witnesses called to testify

    • Other routine matters usually passed at the formation of a House of Commons committee

  • The committee debated protocol for witness testimony and questions from committee members at some length, in particular about whether VIP witnesses (such as the Prime Minister) should have more time allotted than more routine witnesses.

  • The committee agreed to adopt the standard witness format but to consider VIP witness issues in the planning subcommittee. The committee is able to alter the standard format by “unanimous consent” any time, including during a meeting, to allow for more time for testimony or additional questions from committee members.

    • Unless otherwise agreed by the committee, witness appearances will follow the following template:

      • 10 minutes for opening remarks

      • 6 minutes Q&A with Liberal MPs

      • 6 minutes Q&A with Conservative MPs

      • 6 minutes Q&A with Bloc MP

      • 6 minutes Q&A with NDP MP

      • 5 minutes Q&A with Liberal MPs

      • 5 minutes Q&A with Conservative MPs

      • 5 minutes Q&A with Liberal MPs

      • 5 minutes Q&A with Conservative MPs

      • 2.5 minutes Q&A with BQ MP

      • 2.5 minutes Q&A with NDP MP

  • Conservative MP Leona Alleslev tabled a motion to invite Canada’s Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, as the first witness, as soon as Monday, January 27, 2020.

  • Considerable debate followed, in particular on the merits of the committee hearing and being briefed from officials on key diplomatic, security and file-background issues, prior to the Ambassador.

  • Following this debate, MP Alleslev withdrew the motion in favour of a revised motion that the sub-committee meet as soon as possible to discuss, and that Ambassador Barton should present no later than February 7, 2020, for 2 hours. The motion passed unanimously.

  • The final debate was regarding the anticipated meeting schedule of the committee, with the subcommittee mandated to consider the most appropriate approach. The likely outcome is a once-per-week meeting on Mondays, for three hours.

Meeting Attendees:

Attendees are marked present by a blue checkmark below. Members with a red icon are substituting members. 

Media Alert:

Top News Clips:

Special Canada-China parliamentary committee holds first meeting in Ottawa

CTV News 

A new special parliamentary committee created to examine Canada's fraught relationship with China is holding its first meeting in Ottawa.

The committee's creation was the result of a Conservative motion passed in December, thanks to support from other opposition parties in the minority Parliament.

The motion authorizes the committee to order the prime minister, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Canada's ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, to appear as witnesses "from time to time as the committee sees fit."

Canadian envoy Dominic Barton to testify at Canada-China parliamentary committee

Mike Blanchfield (CP), The Toronto Star

Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, will be among the first witnesses to testify before a new special parliamentary committee created to examine Canada’s fraught relationship with China.

The committee held its first meeting Monday, largely a planning session, and MPs from all parties agreed it was essential to hear from Barton, despite some minor differences of opinion on the timing. Eventually, they agreed he would testify before Feb. 7. Conservatives are pushing for an earlier appearance because Barton will be in Houston next Tuesday.

Top Social Posts:

Click the photo for the original digital content link..


David Akin, Chief Political Correspondent. Global News

#CACN meets now. Election of Chair. Details and location: #cdnpoli

Followers: 76k


Rob Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West, Ontario


RT: @HoCCommittees : #CACN at 1:00 p.m. EST: Election of Chair #cdnpoli

Followers: 8.06k


G.T. Lem


Despite #CPC MP Alice Wong & #NDP MP Jenny Kwan both being Chinese-Canadian - BOTH the Conservatives & NDP appoint ALL WHITE PEOPLE from their caucus to the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations Liberals did appoint MP Jean Yip (Chinese Canadian) to the committee #cdnpoli

Followers: 5.4k


Conservative Party of Canada (Official)


Canadians deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to Canada’s relationship with the Chinese government. We wrote to Canada’s Ambassador to China, notifying him that we intend to invite him as our first witness before the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations.

Followers: 193.1k


Rachel Gilmore, Web Journalist and Producer, CTV News

I’m sitting in the room where MPs are meeting for the special committee on Canada-China relations. So far they’ve elected a chair (@geoffregan) and three vice chairs (@chriswarkentin,@JackHarrisNDP

and the Bloc’s Stéphane Bergeron). #cdnpoli

Followers: 3k