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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1643


Mr N.A. Brown(9.00) —I move:

(5) Clause 9, page 6, at the end of subclause (4) add

`in which case the Minister shall cause a copy of the annual report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the annual report'.

This amendment proposes to add words to the end of sub-clause (4), which covers those cases where the authority decides to give its equal employment opportunity report, not separately, but as part of the annual report which it would otherwise make. The effect of this amendment will be to require the annual report in that case to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after the Minister receives the annual report. There is no objection on our part to the equal employment opportunity program report being included in the annual report of the authority. That is not the point. It seems on reading the Bill-no explanation to the contrary has been given-that what can happen is that the equal employment opportunity report can be included in the annual report and the annual report follow the leisurely progress which annual reports of authorities in this country so frequently follow. In many cases it may be a long time before there is any report to the Parliament on the equal employment opportunity program of the authority. In other words, it is not enough in our view simply to say, as the Bill does, that the equal employment opportunity report may be included in the annual report. That is fair enough, but we believe that the law should then provide that, if the authority follows that course, there must be some time limit within which the report must be presented to the Parliament so that the Parliament will know what has been going on in this area in the authority.

As the Minister has said in his speech on the previous amendment, reports may come forward anyway, perhaps to the Public Service Board and then to the Prime Minister and then eventually to the Parliament but, with respect to the proposal we are putting now and, if I might go back to the previous proposal, with respect to that proposal also, we hope that the Minister will give an assurance that in the case of all authorities by some means or other there will be a report to the Parliament on these programs being implemented for the simple reason that there is an obligation imposed on private employers to report. The same obligation should be imposed on the public authorities.