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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development



Monday, May 26, 2014

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



    I want to mention that the bells are ringing right now for votes. I need unanimous consent to move forward here. If we want to do the main estimates fairly quickly, my suggestion is that if we had a couple of minutes to do this, we could do it, and then we would not need to come back.
    Do we have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Okay, if we could do the main estimates, then I would have one budget—I won't keep you more than 15 minutes, if that's the case, and then we won't come back after votes. Is that all right?
    I want to look at the main estimates. I am going to start with Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, votes 1, 5, 10, 15, L20, and L25, and on the International Development Research Centre.
    Mr. Dewar, go ahead.
    Mr. Chair, I want to make three comments, and then I'll let you go right through it.
     With respect to the estimates, I note that there is a 17% cut to IDRC, that there's a 28% cut to pensions and social security benefits for diplomats included in this, that there's an $8-million debt relief to Burma, which I found interesting. Some of us have concerns about the continuing repression going on in parts of Burma.
    I also note, Mr. Chair, that the plans and priorities metrics for trade success still emphasize quantity over quality. I noted that in the estimates.
    One final thing I noted, Mr. Chair, is that many of the objectives assessed are seemingly arbitrary on this one to five scale, when we looked at how things are assessed in the votes we're passing right now. I note that, because it's a concern when you're grading yourself on a subjective one to five scale, that it's based on your own intuition of how you have done.
    One last thing I hadn't written down here, Mr. Chair, but while I have the microphone....then I'll just carry on with the votes. At some point—and I guess I'm looking to government, parliamentary secretaries—we would love to see an organizational chart of the new department. It's been a while. We've had them in front of the committee, but it would be nice to see an organizational chart of what DFATD looks like. I just want to mention that.
    That's all, Mr. Chair. Thanks very much.
    I'm going to ask a question on how we proceed. Would it be okay if we grouped all of the votes together? We have the comments on the record. Is it all right with the opposition to move forward?
    My question is with respect to votes 1, 5, 10, 15, L20, and L25.
    On division.
    On division, thank you very much.

Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$1,379,893,098

Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$145,274,489

Vote 10—The grants listed in the Estimates and contributions..........$3,431,944,508

Vote 15—Payments, in respect of pension, insurance and social security programs..........$ 50,779,000

Vote L20—Pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the International Development (Financial Institutions) Assistance Act..........$1

Vote L25—Pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the International Development (Financial Institutions) Assistance Act..........$1

ç (Votes 1, 5, 10, 15, L20, and L25 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Payments to the International Development Research Centre..........$188,019,646

ç Vote 1 agreed to on division


Vote 1—International Joint Commission (Canadian Section)..........$6,169,457

ç (Vote 1 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Shall the chair report votes 1, 5,10, 15, L20, and L25 under Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, vote 1 under International Development Research Centre, and vote 1 under International Joint Commission (Canadian Section) to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: We have a budget here for the subcommittee on international human rights. It's for $11,700 for witnesses. I know, they always come and spend our money; I understand. I call the question on the budget.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Thank you very much.
    The last thing I need to deal with is the UNHCR high commissioner would like to come and do a lunch on the 29th. There are a number of people who are going to be away. We want to get a sense of commitment, whether there is some interest for those people who are still going to be around on Thursday if they would like to do something.
    I'm looking at you, Paul. Are you interested? We'll talk off camera.
    Thank you very much.
    With that, the meeting is adjourned.
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