40th Parliament, 3rd Session
March 3, 2010 -
March 26, 2011
About this Committee
Throughout recent Canadian parliamentary history, one or more standing committees of the House of Commons have always dealt with matters related to fisheries and oceans. As early as the 6th session of the 21st Parliament, in 1952, there was an active Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries. It is significant that these matters were regarded as deserving the attention of a standing committee at a time where both the role and the number of such committees were limited.
The current Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (“the Committee”) was established in 1994 for the 35th Parliament. Prior to 1994, the Committee went under several different titles.
Standing committees are established under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons for the life of a Parliament. They generally reflect the departmental organization of government. Thus, the range of issues studied by the Committee parallels the mandate of the department assigned to it, namely, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
Besides DFO, various independent agencies are also assigned to the Committee:
Under the Standing Orders, the Committee studies and reports on matters referred to it by the House of Commons, or on topics the Committee itself chooses to examine. The Committee also studies any matters that are required by legislation. Legislation, departmental activities and spending, and other matters related to the general subject matter of the Committee may be referred to it from time to time. For a list of studies, select a session of Parliament from the drop-down menu above and then click on "Studies and Activities" in the left-hand column.
The role of the Committee has been strengthened by the use of instruments such as Standing Order 73, which allows for a bill to be referred to the Committee before second reading, thus providing the committee with the opportunity to amend the draft legislation more substantially. Furthermore, the Committee may be asked by the House of Commons to review draft legislation before it is introduced in the House.
The Committee can send for persons or records, and delegate their powers to subcommittees. It can sit whether the House is sitting or adjourned, and may sit jointly with another standing committee.