Our presentation will be on sub-division A of division 3 of part 4, which proposes four amendments to financial institutions legislation. The first two amendments are substantive but targeted, and the last two are corrections.
The first set of amendments, clause 130 to 134, would reduce unnecessary administrative burden for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and for financial institutions.
Superintendent approval is required for substantial investment in entities that engage in financial intermediation activities that expose them to market or credit risk, for example, a non-regulated lender. In practice, because OSFI's supervisory framework focuses on material risk, superintendent approval is granted as a matter of course when investments are relatively small.
The proposed amendments would exempt financial institutions from seeking superintendent approval when the value of a proposed investment relative to the value of the acquiring institution is below a materiality threshold, reflecting superintendent practice.
For large financial institutions, the threshold would be 1% for the acquisition of control and 0.5% for non-controlling substantial investments. Corresponding thresholds for small and mid-sized institutions would be twice as large. The objective of the lower threshold for large financial institutions is to ensure that sizeable investments made by large institutions remain subject to prudential approval by the superintendent.
The second set of amendments, clause 135 to 151, would allow financial institutions to indefinitely hold a substantial investment in the Canadian Business Growth Fund. The fund was established by Canada's largest financial institutions following a recommendation of the advisory council on economic growth.
The fund will make long-term, patient, minority investments in small and medium enterprises that have an established customer base and a compelling growth potential. The financial institutions statute generally prohibits financial institutions from acquiring substantial investment in commercial non-financial entities. The amendments would create an exception for this general prohibition.
The amendments would include a number or restrictions to ensure that this new flexibility is circumscribed.
First, to avoid crowding out capital from other sources, the amount of capital that each financial institution is authorized to invest will be limited to $200 million.
Second, to be consistent with existing venture capital rules and to maintain the commercial financial distinction, financial institutions will not be allowed to invest through the fund in regulated financial institutions and in entities that are primarily engaged in leasing or that are acting as insurance brokers or agents.
Finally, third, to ensure the fund remains focused on small and medium enterprises, the total exposure to a single business will be limited to $100 million. These restrictions are consistent with the fund's business plan.
The third set of proposed amendments, clause 152 to 154, would align the legislation with the policy intent of enabling financial institutions to provide information to customers or shareholders electronically. These amendments would make it explicit that consent can be provided electronically.
In conclusion, the purpose of the fourth amendment, which concerns clauses 155 and 156, is to correct an erroneous reference in the English version of the previous Budget Implementation Act from last fall.
Thank you. We will be happy to answer your questions or to provide further details on these proposals.
We're here for part 4, division 3, subdivisions B and C. Perhaps I'll start with subdivision B, give an overview of each type of amendment, and then pause for questions.
All of subdivision B relates to amendments to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act, or CDIC Act. There are three different types of amendments and they're covered under clauses 157 to 166. The first type of amendment relates to technical amendments, the second relates to set-off; and the third relates to CDIC's borrowing authority.
The government is proposing technical amendments to the CDIC Act to clarify ambiguous language and to ensure that the statute remains clear and reflects its underlying policy intent. There are a few different amendments under this section.
Clause 163 would clarify the provision of the calculation of insured deposits by limiting it to a calculation methodology approved for use for that premium year.
Clauses 157, 162 and 164 would repeal outdated references to the deposit insurance fund and accumulated net earnings, as these references reflect outdated accounting practices.
Clauses 165 and 166 would repeal amendments not in force relating to the minimum annual premium payable by CDIC member institutions.
Finally, clauses 159 to 160 would clarify rules for extended deposit insurance coverage following the amalgamation of two or more CDIC members, or the establishment of a federal credit union.
Also under subdivision B are changes related to set-off, and that would be clause number 161. The proposed amendments to the CDIC Act seek to specify that the liquidator of a CDIC member institution may not apply the law of set-off or compensation to a claim related to insured deposits. This amendment would protect the CDIC by ensuring that it can claim the full payment of insured deposits made to depositors.
Last, under subdivision B, in clause 158, the proposed amendment to the CDIC Act seeks to exempt borrowing by the CDIC under section 60.2 of the Financial Administration Act in the calculation of its borrowing limit. This amendment would support the government's ability to loan money to the CDIC in a timely manner to promote financial stability and efficiency.
The limit is specified under the CDIC Act. It's currently around $23 billion. It is indexed to the growth of insured deposits, so it does increase over time.
Then, there's the Financial Administration Act, which has separate powers related to the minister's ability, for example, to lend money where he considers it necessary to promote financial stability or to maintain the efficiency of the financial system.
Currently the minister could lend money under those existing powers to CDIC. However, that money would count towards CDIC's borrowing limit. There may be circumstances where, with sums of money going from the minister to CDIC, the government may not want that money to go towards CDIC's limit, or there may be large amounts of funds.
CDIC's mandate includes paying out deposit insurance and also being the resolution authority for its members. It can use its powers and its money to fulfill those functions. This would allow more flexible, more timely, money to flow from the government to the CDIC if the minister and the Governor in Council deem it appropriate.
People have the notes in front of them, I assume.
Are there any questions?
Hearing none, I thank you very much.
We're calling up part 4, division 10. We're going out of order here at the request of officials, so we'll go to part 4, division 10, financial consumer protection framework. The witnesses will give us the clauses we need to look for in the bill.
Ms. Ryan is director general, financial institutions division, financial sector policy branch. Mr. Girard is the Director, Consumer Affairs, Financial Institutions Division. Mr. Saeedi is the Economist, Consumer Affairs, Financial Institutions Division. Ms. Goulard is the Deputy Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
Welcome, all. The floor is yours.
My name is Eleanor Ryan. I'm here with my colleagues from the Department of Finance and with Brigitte Goulard, Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. We're honoured to have the opportunity to present this legislation to you.
Division 10 of Part 4 of Bill , entitled “Financial Consumer Protection Framework”, follows upon the government's commitment made in Budget 2018 to continue to advance consumers' rights and interests when they deal with their bank, and to strengthen the tools at the disposal of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
Division 10 represents a consolidation of the existing legislation and regulatory provisions applying to the relationship between banks and their customers, and new measures intended to address the issues identified in two reports published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada in the spring of 2018.
The first report was a comprehensive review of bank sale practices. This report identified a number of risks relating to how bank products are sold to customers. The second report examined best practices for supervision of financial consumer protection.
No, I very much appreciate that.
Before discussing specific points in division 10, I want to point out that the bill does not explicitly affirm an exclusive federal jurisdiction over bank clients.
The proposed bill does not affect the provinces' capacity to enact regulations to protect consumers, and does not replace the existing rights consumers have under provincial legislation.
In addition to relying on the evidence collected in the two FCAC reports, the Department of Finance consulted extensively on the policy proposals that are reflected in the bill before you. We engaged 100 representatives from the provinces and territories, consumer groups, banks and external complaint bodies. Overall, the proposals were viewed as significantly improving protection for bank consumers.
The proposed amendments to the Bank Act and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada focus around three themes: to require banks to have new internal bank practices to further strengthen outcomes for consumers; to provide the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada with additional tools to implement supervisory best practices; and to further empower and protect consumers.
If I may, I would like to just go through and explain how each of these themes are reflected in division 10.
First, division 10, as I said, indicates that there are new modifications required for internal bank practices. Perhaps I could start with clause 317. This new measure would require a bank to designate a committee of its board of directors to oversee the bank's obligations to its customers. The committee would report annually to the commissioner of the FCAC on what the committee did in performing its duties. This measure is intended to ensure that the most senior management of the bank assumes responsibility for the protection of consumers in their customers' dealings with the bank.
Another measure is to be found in proposed section 627.06, and there are two related provisions that I will highlight: proposed sections 627.07 and 627.02. These new measures together would require banks to have policies and procedures to ensure that the products and services offered to a person are appropriate, having regard to the person's circumstances and financial needs. In addition, banks would be required to ensure that remuneration practices, including benefits, do not interfere with the ability of employees or agents to comply with the suitability procedures. As well, employees of the bank would need to be trained on the institution's procedures for complying with the consumer provisions. Taken together, these measures are intended to ensure that consumers receive the products and services that are right for them.
I would like to highlight another group of proposed sections: proposed sections 979.1 to 979.4. These measures, taken together, would require banks to establish a whistle-blowing program. The legislation would also protect employees from reprisal by their employers, whether they report on information on suspected wrongdoings through the bank's internal whistle-blowing program or report this information to an appropriate authority. Effective whistle-blowing programs can help to foster transparency, promote integrity and detect misconduct that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
On the second theme, new tools for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the legislation also, as indicated earlier, provides new tools so as to better align the agency with supervision best practices and promote compliance with the consumer protection framework.
I would highlight the change proposed by section 661.1. In this provision, the commissioner would have the power to direct a bank to take actions to remediate non-compliance by a bank with their legal obligations towards their customer under the consumer protection framework. There is a complementary provision in proposed section 627.997 and this power would extend to ordering restitution to consumers where a bank has collected charges improperly.
A second set of amendments are around subsection 19(1) of the Financial Consumer Agency Act of Canada. That is in clause 344. These proposed amendments to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act would increase from $500,000 to $10 million per violation the maximum penalty that can be imposed on banks that are found by the commissioner to have breached their legal obligation under the framework.
There is a further complementary provision in clause 347, proposed subsection 31(1) of the FCAC Act, which would require the name of the bank that has been subject to a penalty to be publicly identified in the commissioner's decision.
Higher penalties and public naming of banks subject to penalties are intended to increase the incentives for banks to comply with the consumer provisions.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act would also be amended to add an “object” provision. Financial institutions governed by the act would be regulated by a Canadian government organization, in order to contribute to the financial protection of Canadian consumers, notably by strengthening financial literacy.
In addition, the objects of the FCAC would be modified to expressly include that the agency should strive to protect the rights and interests of consumers. That is in clause 338.
Finally, I'll highlight a couple of new measures that would be empowering to consumers.
First, banks would be required to offer consumers the opportunity to receive electronic alerts when their account reaches or exceeds a low-balance threshold on deposit products, or approaches or exceeds a limit on credit products. That's in clause 329, proposed section 627.13. The provision of timely information to consumers is intended to help them better manage the fees they pay.
As well, in proposed section 627.03, the legislation proposes new prohibitions on providing consumers with misleading information, and in proposed section 627.04, applying undue pressure or taking advantage of consumers under any circumstances.
I'll highlight a couple of other provisions.
There are a number of improvements made to the way banks handle complaints from consumers. While banks are expected to address complaints directly with consumers, safeguards are still required to ensure the process is fair and transparent. To this end, banks are already required in the current framework to be a member of an independent external complaint body that must provide its services free of charge and in both official languages.
The proposed legislation would bring improvements to the complaint-handling process. It is proposed that banks keep a record of all complaints, making this information available to the commissioner of the FCAC. That's in proposed sections 627.44 to 627.46. “Establish”—complaint handling—“procedures that are satisfactory to the Commissioner” is in proposed paragraph 627.43(1)(a). A prohibition on using misleading terms, including “ombudsman” to describe the banks' internal complaint handling procedures is in clause 329, proposed subsection 627.43(2).
With respect to improved external complaints bodies, new requirements are being proposed to increase the transparency of the complaint handling process. These include, in proposed paragraph 627.49(i), a requirement for external complaints bodies to publish a summary of each final recommendation regarding a complaint, including the reasons for the recommendation.
Again in proposed paragraphs section 627.49(j) and (k)—
Okay. Thank you for that.
Are there any other questions?
Thank you all for appearing and answering questions.
Turning to division 6, Canada Business Corporations Act, part 4, tab 6 in your books, we have Mark Schaan, who is the director general, marketplace framework policy branch with ISED; and Mr. Patterson, director, corporate, insolvency and competition policy directorate. You need a longer name. With Finance, we have Mr. Wright, director, financial crimes governance and operations.
Mr. Schaan, would you like to lead off?
Today, I am presenting division 6 of part 4 of the bill, which amends the Canada Business Corporations Act, or CBCA, to force corporations to collect and hold information on their effective properties, that is to say the individuals who in the final analysis own and control the enterprises.
I'll be speaking about changes to the Canada Business Corporation Act, with a perspective to beneficial ownership and transparency.
Very quickly, this relates back to a bunch of work we have been doing with the federal, provincial and territorial groups of corporate registries and tax officials, following budget 2017 commitments to increase transparency of beneficial ownership information.
Budget 2018 codified that, by highlighting the agreement of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers in December 2017, which committed all provinces, territories and the federal government to increase measures of beneficial ownership transparency by July of 2019. In the first instance, they were to do so by amending their corporate statute to require private corporations to hold beneficial ownership information of those possessing more than 25% or control, in fact, of a private corporation. They were also to do so by binding directors and officers of the corporation to pursue best efforts to assemble that registry, to hold it in their corporate books and to provide penalties in place where that was not followed.
This is part of our international commitment related to money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. We're doing so, in recognition of the shared jurisdiction that is incorporation in Canada, by working together with our provincial and territorial colleagues to bring these changes into effect.
With that, I am happy to take any questions.
Great. I will walk you through the various clauses related to division 7, clauses 187 to 302. They're all related to Canada's national intellectual property strategy. I'll try to walk you through each act as we go.
By a very quick way of background, budget 2017 committed the government to creating a comprehensive national intellectual property strategy within one year. Budget 2018 then provided $85 million, with $10 million ongoing for a number of programs and services related to that intellectual property strategy, and similarly committed to making amendments to the various intellectual property statutes to try to ensure that it was preventing any undue barriers to innovation and also encouraging and attracting investment and an efficient and fair economy.
I'll start with part 4, division 7, subdivision A, which is clauses 187 to 213. They relate to the Patent Act. The changes to the Patent Act essentially relate to five specific measures. The first is to establish minimum requirements for patent demand letters, to allow the recipients to assess the merits of the claims. This essentially ensures that any recipient of a patent demand letter will have sufficient information to be able to make an appropriate adjudication of its merits.
The second is to allow the court to admit patent examination history, sometimes called file wrappers, as evidence to prevent patent owners from taking different positions during litigation than that which they took before the office. The third is to codify the common law patent research exception. The fourth is to modernize prior user rights to ensure that a subsequently patented invention doesn't require a business to cease operations.
Finally, the last is to require subsequent patent owners to honour licensing commitments made by previous owners to standard-setting organizations when incorporating patented technologies into standards. This is sometimes called standard essential patents, and this simply ensures that the negotiated agreements reached between a standard essential patent owner and its users continue even when there's a transfer of ownership.
I'll pause on the Patent Act changes because that's subdivision A, and I can take any questions on that before I move to subdivision B.
Then we'll switch to the Trade-marks Act changes. This is part 4, division 7, subdivision B, clauses 214 to 242.
Just by very quick way of background, this is in part related to concerns from trademark stakeholders about the possibility for what some people call “trademark squatters”, individuals who take out trademarks with no intention of using them for the purposes of trying to shake down individuals who they believe are already using that trademark in a non-trademarked way, or likely will anticipate the need of someone for that trademark.
What this does is a number of things. First, it adds bad faith as a ground of opposition to the register of a trademark and for the invalidation of a trademark.
Second, it prevents the owner of a registered trademark from obtaining relief for acts done contrary to that trademark during the first three years after the trademark is registered, unless the trademark was in use during that period or special circumstances exist that excuse the absence of use.
Very quickly, without getting into too much of the technical details of trademark law, one of the exceptions to use in the trademark process is during the first three years of a trademark, because, in many cases, you will have trademarked a good, but you can't use it because you're just getting going.
Our concern was that it could be a trademark squatter who is hiding under that three-year exception to be able to potentially still use that three years to shake someone down for cash. What we have said is that, during those three years, you have no access to remedies, so you can't pursue damages against that individual if you're not using the trademark.
We also clarify that the prohibitions in subparagraph 9(1)(n)(iii) do not apply in section 11 of the act with respect to a badge, crest, emblem or mark that was the subject of a public notice of adoption and used as an official mark if the entity that made the request for the public notice is not a public authority or no longer exists.
Very briefly, this relates to the system of official marks in Canada. Official marks are, by and large, relegated or are subscribed to public authorities and public entities. The Canada Wordmark is a good example. There is a whole host of other badges and crests that are official marks. They're put on the registry by public authorities. There are a lot of them, and one of the challenges is that some of the people who put them on the list weren't public authorities under the definition, so when people seek to use that official mark, they're prevented from doing so because this public authority put the official mark on the registry.
The other thing is that many of them no longer exist. There are many official marks related to the 1976 Montreal Olympics. There are many related to Canada Games in most cities and provinces across the country, and many for events that took place decades ago. People are prevented from using those official marks currently, despite the fact that they can't reach an agreement with the entity to use them, because the entity doesn't exist anymore. This, essentially, will allow people to be able to use those official marks without having to seek an entity when the entity is no longer in place.
We then also modernized the conduct of various proceedings before the registrar of trademarks under the act, including by providing the registrar with additional powers in such proceedings. This is essentially to give some additional teeth to the trademarks opposition board, including the opportunity for case management and the ability to potentially levy costs in cases where people are making frivolous use of the trademarks opposition board.
Finally, we make certain housekeeping amendments to provisions of the act that are enacted by the and the , which is essentially to bring us in line with changes in anticipation of Canada's accession to the Madrid protocol and that lay on from these provisions that I laid out earlier.
Mr. Simard, I am going to follow in the same vein as Mr. Julian.
Mr. Schaan said that in the warning preceding the notice, the Internet providers must tell people that they are not obliged to provide their personal information, nor anything else, as they are asked to do further on. However, companies like WarnerMedia, for example, might consider that to be a breach of the law.
Mr. Schaan already answered my question, but I'd simply like to know whether it would be possible to make that more user-friendly. I'm afraid this will be too complicated for a grandmother in Manitoba, for instance, who would have to read the warning and the notice as such. Could we not simply prevent companies like WarnerMedia from asking for this personal information? It seems that we are blowing hot and cold at the same time.
Great. I will switch to part 4, division 7, subdivision D.
This is the one that pertains to your question, Mr. Vice-Chair.
Subdivision D of division 7 of part 4 enacts, through clauses 247 to 264, the college of patent agents and trademark agents act. The act establishes the college of patent agents and trademark agents, which is to be responsible for the regulation of patent and trademark agents in the public interest.
Among other things, the act requires that agents obtain a licence and that licences comply with a code of professional conduct. It authorizes the college's investigation committee to receive complaints and conduct investigations into potential professional misconduct. It authorizes the college's discipline committee to impose disciplinary measures. It also creates the new offences of claiming to be a patent agent or trademark agent, and unauthorized practice before the patent office or the office of the registrar of trademarks.
Very quickly, by way of background, patent and trademark agents are an essential part of the intellectual property system. The regulations of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office require in the cases of patents that actions before the office are pursued by a registered agent. In the cases of trademarks, while individuals can pursue their own trademarks, a significant practice of expertise has been built up by the trademark agent community.
Under our existing governance framework for patent and trademark agents, the system is both opaque and incomplete. Right now the commissioner of patents has the capacity to list agents to the registry of registered agents before the office and to remove them from that list, but those are the only powers she possesses. In the case where an infraction, were there to be one, necessitated potentially some other remedial measure, the only option available currently to the commissioner of patents is to simply remove the person from the ability to practice before the office.
Second of all, right now there's no guidance or transparency to the process to investigate complaints. There is no set-upon approved process by which someone may want to take issue with their agent, nor, potentially, transparency to the process through which that individual would be able to either resuscitate their reputation or potentially have the offence confirmed.
Third, part of the reason we're also creating an independent self-regulating body is that the same office that currently grants people access to become registrants is the same office for which those agents litigate their matters. One can imagine that there could be a perceived conflict of interest there. We don't believe there is one. The office acts in extremely good faith. But an agent who consistently and significantly appeals all of their decisions before the office may be perceived as potentially problematic, and should there ever be a movement to remove them from the list, there could be a perceived conflict of interest that perhaps they were being removed not because of the offence they were being accused of but in fact because they were a challenge to the office.
This creates a self-regulating body with significant checks with respect to the public interest to ensure that this doesn't constrain access to the profession or access to the services of the profession.
With fewer than 10,000, then, it would be like a mid-size professional association.
I notice a lot of the rules governing how the election of the board will happen. There are some transitory rules. The minister gets to appoint, and for a transition period, that's fine, but I see that a lot of the ones setting out the terms for elected directors are set in bylaws. I find that a little unusual.
Typically the accounting profession, for instance, provincially, sets those terms out in a regulation. The board itself cannot decide suddenly, well, the elected terms of office are going to be longer than we thought they were going to be, so we're going to extend our terms longer because we're the board and we can do such things.
Is there any mechanism in the legislation to prevent a board from doing that?
This is part 4, division 7, subdivision E, clauses 265 to 272.
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangements Act were amended in 2009 to allow insolvent entities that are restructuring under those acts to disclaim agreements in contracts, including intellectual property usage agreements, where doing so would facilitate a successful restructuring. The amendments also sought to protect intellectual property users who relied on the continued use of that intellectual property, subject to the usage agreements. If an intellectual property agreement were disclaimed in a restructuring, the user's right to ongoing use of the intellectual property would not be affected, as long as the user continued to abide by the terms of the initial agreement.
The 2009 amendments only protected intellectual property users affected by the disclaimer of intellectual property agreements in a BIA or CCAA restructuring.
Subdivision E of division 7 of part 4 of the budget implementation act, no. 2, amends the BIA and CCAA to extend those protections afforded to the users of intellectual property in 2009 further, to include asset sales by restructuring companies under the BIA and CCAA as well as liquidations and receiverships under the BIA.
Essentially, if you had a licence to utilize intellectual property with an entity and that entity goes insolvent, we want to ensure that we're preserving those contractually agreed-upon terms so that you're not faced with a potential new owner who's disclaimed your licence, forcing you to renegotiate terms with someone who knows you need the licence so desperately that there can be no level playing field in that negotiation.
No, actually, this is just to fulfill...because we can acquire property, we can manage it, but we are over a hundred years old and from time to time we do find that we have facilities, land, properties that become surplus to our requirements, particularly as we partner with other organizations and as our needs change through operations.
Now when we identify something that's surplus to our needs, we consult with other federal partners, provincial, municipal and indigenous groups, etc., and perhaps even go to open market, and once all of that process is completed and we have a potential way forward on a disposition, we currently have to go back to Treasury Board to gain the authority to complete that disposition.
What we're seeking is to be able to complete that process. If we do sell something on the open market, any funds received go into the consolidated revenue fund, and we still have to go back to Treasury Board through the estimates process to access those funds, which would also be reinvested in any kind of real property holdings.
This is just a general request in order to complete the whole process for property management.
I think you have another group of witnesses to come up for subdivision H.
Thank you for waiting around this long.
In this next group, we have Mr. Schaan again and we have Mr. Simard.
With Canadian Heritage, we have Ms. Beaton, who is director general, creative marketplace and innovation branch; Mr. Cappuccino, who is the director, copyright policy; and Ms. Vigneault, who is policy analyst, legislation and parliamentary affairs.
The floor is yours again, Mark.
The Copyright Board is a quasi-judicial independent tribunal which establishes fees for the use of works that are protected by copyright. In almost all cases, the board's jurisdiction only applies to the rights managed by collective management organizations. The board facilitates the development and growth of the market that counts on copyright; it acts as a specialized, independent decision maker and protects public interests.
Subdivision H of division 7 of part 4, clauses 280 to 302, amends the Copyright Act to modernize the legislative framework in which the board operates so as to improve the timeliness, predictability and clarity of board proceedings by codifying the board's mandate, establishing decision-making criteria, modifying timelines, formalizing case management and modernizing the existing language and structure.
It also allows more collective societies to enter into agreements directly with users to ensure that the board is adjudicating matters only when needed.
Very quickly, I'll simply say that the board has been the subject of considerable study in both Houses as well as in research reports written by many, and the legislative amendments that we have set out today set out a number of important modernizations. As I indicated, there are clear rules and processes that provide the board with a clear mandate not only formalizing its de facto substantive mandate, which is to set fair and equitable rates, but also proposing amendments that would include a procedural mandate for the board to act as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness allow.
It will create clear criteria that require the board to consider two criteria in its decisions: what would be agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller in a competitive market, and the public interest. It would empower case management, which has been demonstrated to be a highly effective tool to advance contested proceedings in a flexible and efficient manner.
It also sets out streamlined timelines, including earlier filing for longer duration. This is all aimed at ending the practice of retroactive tariffs. In the majority cases when the board sets tariffs, they are retroactive in nature, sometimes as many as four to six years retroactive, which obviously freezes capital, forces parties to hold on to significant sums, creates uncertainty and unpredictability in the marketplace and potentially deprives Canadian creators and the Canadian marketplace of new services.
The act sets the need for earlier filing for a longer duration, a modernized publication regime, a shorter opposition period and decision-making deadlines through a new regulatory power that would enable the Governor in Council to establish timelines or deadlines for how the board pursues its work.
It lets willing buyers and willing sellers come to agreements through direct negotiation between users and collectives for communication and public performance rights, but it also allows for individual dispute settlement to ensure there's no undue pressure for someone to enter into an agreement and that there's due process around that.
Finally, on enforcement and remedies, it maintains the current balance with regard to remedies. Existing statutory damages would continue to be available to collectives and their members in respect of communication and public performance.
With regard to filing and review of agreements, the existing mechanisms that allow either party to file agreements with the board to have them available for potential review would be extended.
Finally, on robust protection of the public interest, first of all, as I indicated, the board will be required to consider the public interest and the board plans, as its part of this modernization, to propose regulations that would formalize the ways for the public to be involved without having to incur the cost of full participation.
That is the modernization of the Copyright Board. I'm happy to take any questions.
The board structure is staying the same. There's a vice-chair of the board appointed through the GIC process. There's a chair of the board, who has to be a retired justice. Then there are up to three additional lay members of the board, who have the capacity to oversee hearings.
What is changing in the process, in terms of the structure, is how they go about their business. As I said, we refer to it as the accordion model. We've set out regulations that will dictate the process leading up to a hearing. Hearings will then be case-managed, which is empowered by this legislation, and then there will be deadlines imposed through regulatory powers on what happens post-hearing towards the decision.
In addition, this relates to new appointments. There have been new appointments to the board, including a new vice-chair and a new lay member. There are additional resources. The board's been given a 30% increase in their resources to allow them to more efficiently work through their scope, which will be significantly expanded since their rules were last updated. Really, it's a comprehensive approach to the structure of the board.
In theory, it doesn't change, because you still have hearings with a vice-chair and a chair and lay members, but every aspect of the process is changing by regulating the starting point of how the process gets kicked off, when to file and for how long, what happens in the hearing process, and then what the deadlines are after a hearing is concluded.
That will end that session.
Thank you, Mark, for your long time at the table.
I thank all of the other witnesses for appearing as well. Some of you got off easy.
We will now turn to part 4, divisions 11,12 and 19, dealing with the First Nations Land Management Act, the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, and the addition of land to reserves and reserve creation act.
We have Mr. Eric Grant, Director of Community Lands Development, Lands and Environmental Management; Ms. Waters, Director General of Lands and Environmental Management; Ms. Van De Ligt, Policy Analyst for the Fiscal Policy and Investment Readiness Directorate; and Ms. Walsh, Director for the Fiscal Policy and Investment Readiness Directorate as well.
The floor is yours. Welcome.
We're starting with part 4, division 11.
I'm here today to provide a briefing on clauses 352 to 384 of the BIA. They deal with amendments to the First Nations Land Management Act, a long-standing piece of legislation that received royal assent way back in 1999. When it came into force, the act ratified the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management. This was a nation-to-nation agreement signed between Canada and 14 first nations in 1996.
Together, the framework agreement and accompanying federal legislation provide a mechanism for first nations to opt out of one-third of the Indian Act and take on authority, control and responsibility for their lands, resources and the environment. It's worth noting that first nations land management only applies to reserve lands, defined as federal lands that have been set aside for the use and benefit of first nations in accordance with section 91(24) of the Constitution.
Today more than 150 first nations from across Canada have opted in to first nations land management, with 77 fully operating their land laws. The community must vote to pass these laws. I'll speak a little bit more about that later.
The department has been working in partnership with the indigenous rights holders since 2016 on the current bundle of legislative amendments. The Land Advisory Board is the indigenous institution that represents the interests of first nations land management communities. A resolution was passed unanimously giving the Land Advisory Board their current mandate in this regard. I mention this just to demonstrate that there is great interest and support among participating first nations in these changes.
While significant, the proposed amendments to the First Nations Land Management Act are categorized as administrative and practical in nature. They form the first phase of a broader land reform strategy that will roll out over the next three to five years. As mentioned previously, the legislative proposal parallels amendments that have been made to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, which must then be approved by two-thirds of the first nations that are active in this. I mention this because to date, more than 80% have already signalled their interest by signing on to the proposed amendments, and none have opposed thus far.
I'll move on now to a few specifics. I mentioned earlier that the amendments could be categorized as administrative, but they will also make meaningful improvements to communities and simplify the entry process for new communities as they come on.
First, the amendments to the First Nations Land Management Act are proposing to including a statement that acknowledges Canada's pre-existing commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In May 2016, the Government of Canada adopted UNDRIP without qualification, and committed to its full and effective implementation in accordance with the Canadian Constitution. Acknowledging UNDRIP within the First Nations Land Management Act aligns with the Government of Canada's commitment to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous people based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. It is a symbolic statement and furthers Canada's reconciliation efforts.
Another set of amendments aligns voting procedures to other democratic processes in Canada by removing the participation requirement that currently exists. As I mentioned earlier, communities must vote for their leadership to exercise the law-making powers of first nation land management. Currently, a minimum number of voters must vote, and of those who vote, more than half must vote to approve. The proposed amendments would allow first nations to decide if they want to use a participation threshold or if they want to align their voting practices to simple majority rules that are used in many other voting processes in Canada.
The proposed amendments will make improvements to how new lands are added to the reserve land base or additions to reserve. Rather than having these new lands come on as Indian Act lands before they then get transferred to first nation lands under this act, the proposed amendments would do an automatic transfer. When the lands are added, they automatically become first nation lands. This eliminates a significant administrative step and a time-consuming step in that process.
The amendments will also transfer what we call “capital” monies—that is, monies generated from non-renewable resources like oil and gas—directly to first nations. Currently, the department manages those monies on behalf of first nations. Right now under first nations land management, only “revenue” monies—that is, monies from permits, leasing and revenue-generating opportunities—are included as part of first nations land management. This would move all Indian monies, as we call them, over to first nation control.
Next, the amendments will provide for first nation employees a protection from liability that's similar to the protection provided for those in other governments. What we mean by this is that employees cannot be personally sued in the conduct of their official duties.
There are several other housekeeping amendments, such as eliminating obsolete clauses that no longer apply due to certain sections of the Indian Act being repealed. We'll clean those up. I won't bother mentioning those here, but I'm happy to take questions on them.
Just to close, the amendments are strongly supported by first nation partners and will further strengthen a successful first nation-led sectoral self-government initiative, one that supports first nations to operate at the speed of business and to enhance community economic development.
I'm happy to take any questions.
Thank you. I'm here to speak to clauses 385 to 414 regarding the First Nations Fiscal Management Act changes in front of you.
This act came into effect in 2006 and has established a strong framework for first nations who opted into the regime to implement taxation and fiscal management and to access long-term financing to meet their economic development and infrastructure needs. There are three first nation institutions that operate under this act. We refer to these as the fiscal institutions. They include the First Nations Financial Management Board, the First Nations Finance Authority and the First Nations Tax Commission.
This act, like the First Nations Land Management Act, is optional. However, more than one-third of first nations across the country have chosen to exercise their fiscal powers under this regime. That's 239 first nations and soon to be 266 first nations.
These amendments are mainly administrative but they are important to the continued evolution of the regime. These were developed in partnership with our first nation fiscal institutions in order to improve their daily operations and respond to the needs of their member first nations.
Budget 2018 committed an additional $50 million over five years, with $11 million ongoing for these institutions to expand their operations nationally. These changes will help them do so.
I would like to give you a few concrete examples of what these amendments will achieve.
There are bijural concerns with the current act. This means that there are inconsistencies between the civil law and common law concepts that speak to rights and interests on reserve lands. These must be addressed in order to ensure national consistency, particularly as we implement in Quebec.
There is a need to strengthen the liability protections for the institutions and their staff as their work continues to evolve. For example, the financial management board is partnering with the Assembly of First Nations and the government to develop a new fiscal relationship. We need to ensure that this work is included.
There is a need for regulations for taxation on lands that are shared by more than one first nation. We refer to these as joint reserves. First nations under this regime want to be able to tax these lands. These amendments will help them do that.
To continue to evolve the regime, there is also a need for regulations to enable aggregate indigenous organizations delivering public services to be able to access the regime to meet their infrastructure needs. For example, the First Nation Health Authority in British Columbia, which delivers health services to all the first nations in that province, has asked for access to the regime for this purpose.
Finally, these amendments will enable first nations under this regime to access their Indian monies upon a successful vote by their communities. These are monies held by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of first nations.
In summary, this regime is optional and first nation-led. These amendments are mostly administrative. They are clarifying language, addressing operational issues for the fiscal institutions and their members, and expanding access to those who have asked for access to the regime.
I'm open for questions.
I'm pleased to provide you with an overview of the legislative proposal to enact the addition of lands to reserves and reserve creation act, clauses 675 to 685 of the budget implementation act.
This is an act to facilitate the setting apart of lands as reserves for the use and benefit of first nations. First, I will provide some brief context for the legislation.
Land is core to the identity of indigenous people. It is their greatest asset and provides the foundations for first nations to contribute to their own self-determination and self-sufficiency through community and economic development. Additions to reserves and reserve creation are part of the Government of Canada's overall efforts to help advance reconciliation from historical practices and honour commitments.
There are currently over 8.8 million acres of reserve land in Canada. Canada's historical practices of administering reserve land under the Indian Act and non-fulfillment of treaty obligations have left first nations with thousands of legacy land issues, including boundary disputes, environmental contamination and unexploded ordnance from military activity.
Over four million acres of reserve land is still owed to first nations, stemming from legal obligations in historical treaties and settlement agreements. Land requirements are also increasing to accommodate community population growth, demand for new housing and public infrastructure.
First nations are progressively interested in adding on to reserves to take advantage of economic development opportunities, in particular in urban areas. The current process of adding land to reserve is complex and time-consuming, with many additions to reserve taking over five years to process.
The proposed legislation is largely administrative in nature and has been called upon by first nations leaders and organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association and the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. It also follows feedback from engagements with first nations communities and organizations, leading up to and following the release of the 2016 policy on additions to reserve, in response to the need for additional tools and improvements to streamline the additions to reserve and the reserve creation process. In addition, the proposal reflects recommendations made by the Senate and House standing committees' reports.
Specifically, the changes propose to extend the same benefits that are currently only available in the prairie provinces to all first nations in Canada, for all types of reserve creation or addition to reserve proposals. The proposed changes are part of a number of actions the government is taking to support first nations' efforts to increase their reserve land base. This includes the adoption of the additions to reserve policy in 2016. These changes include repealing the Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan claim settlements implementation acts, and consolidating them into one piece of legislation that would be extended nationally. The proposed legislation would incorporate the best aspects of these acts into national legislation.
The legislation would also authorize all additions to reserve to be approved by ministerial order, rather than Governor in Council, which will result in more timely decisions. It will also better facilitate economic development on reserve land by enabling first nations to designate or zone the land prior to transfer, therefore facilitating the transfer of third party interest through leases or permits prior to lands being added.
The proposed legislation will also authorize the minister to sign off on all statutory easements granted under the Indian Act that it required to address third party interests such as hydro utilities and pipelines that are related to an addition to reserve, rather than having these go to Governor in Council.
The minister will also be able to sign off on voluntary land exchanges in relation to corresponding additions to reserve. The ability to prepare paperwork before reserve creation, which is a lengthy and complex process, and the shortening of the decision-making process will provide access to economically viable lands and resources to first nations in a more efficient manner. As a result, the proposed legislation will better facilitate economic development on reserve land, allowing first nations to operate at the speed of business.
Currently under the Export and Import Permits Act....
Let me step back for just a minute. Governor in Council can put goods on the import control list for a variety of purposes. It can be to support supply management, to implement a free trade agreement, that sort of thing.
The act also gives the minister under the act, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the ability to allocate certain goods for which she has determined an access quantity. That's with reference to the purpose of implementing an intergovernmental arrangement or commitment. A free trade agreement like CETA, for example, is something where the minister has the authority to determine access quantities, which is generally the negotiated quantity. Once she has done that, she then has the ability to determine how to allocate those quantities, and then to issue allocations and permits for those quantities. That is the only purpose right now under the act for which the minister can determine an allocation method and issue allocations.
What this does, as my colleague mentioned earlier, is add an additional purpose for which she can do that. That's under a separate subsection of the act, which is subsection 5(6) of the act, and that's to implement certain actions that are taken under the customs tariff.
Essentially what it means, as my colleague mentioned, is that currently we have the provisional safeguards. The only means of administering those is by way of the issuance of permits on a first-come, first-served basis. Many stakeholders feel that is not conducive to orderly import marketing. Most of them, whether they are in favour of the safeguard, or are not necessarily in favour of the safeguard but are subject to it, would like to have greater transparency and predictability in terms of how those safeguards are administered. They are, therefore, pushing for the minister to have the ability to allocate the quantities under the safeguards.
Are there any further questions on the division, Export and Import Permits Act, from members?
All in, all done. Thank you very much, ladies.
We go to division 17, international financial assistance, and there is subdivision A and subdivision B, I gather.
The first grouping is Global Affairs and Finance. Is everyone coming up together? That's fine, too.
I hear some sighs around the room. If people want to suspend for five minutes and take a stretch, we can do that after this panel, or we can keep on going. You can think about it.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
We'll first speak to the reporting and amendments to certain acts, which deals with clauses 654 to 658 in division 17. Budget 2018 announced that Canada would be enhancing its international assistance reporting, which is currently based on different historical and legislative requirements that result in Canada's reporting on its international assistance levels through several different means—multiple reports at different dates with different scopes.
The first component of division 17 proposes legislative amendments to three existing acts in order to align reporting timelines. The first is the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, which falls under the responsibility of the Minister of Finance. The second is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act, also under the Minister of Finance. The third is the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, which falls under the responsibility of the Minister of International Development.
The goal is to establish timelines to allow for one consolidated report explaining international assistance activities to Parliament and to Canadians
This report will relay in an effective and transparent way the efforts deployed by Canada in the area of international aid.
The amendments to the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, or ODAAA, seek to repeal the outdated definition of official development assistance currently in the act. These amendments allow for official development assistance to be defined and updated in regulations so that it can be kept consistent with the internationally agreed definition.
I'll now turn it over to my Global Affairs colleague for any additional comments.
The second component, part B of division 17, is new legislation. It's the international financial assistance act, referred to in clauses 659 to 660. This is to implement a budget 2018 commitment to provide $1.5 billion over five years to support innovation in Canada's international assistance through the creation of two new programs. First is the international assistance innovation program, the IAIP, and the second is the sovereign loans program.
To provide a bit more context, there is an international consensus that global development needs overwhelmingly exceed the amount of official development assistance that is available. To help fill this financing gap, the international community needs to invest in mobilizing new sources of financing, particularly private sector resources. Other G7 countries and international development partners have been using a variety of tools including development finance institutions, sovereign loans and guarantees as part of their development tool kit.
That is why in 2015 the government created a new funding and development institution, FinDev Canada, which encourages investments in developing countries.
The creation of FinDev Canada was an important first step to modernize the tools deployed by the Government of Canada. The authorities of Global Affairs were designed at a time when the focus was almost exclusively a grants and contributions approach. Other development aid partners have expanded beyond this mindset, and it is proposed that Canada do so as well. While these tools are tried and true in other countries, their deployment as consolidated programs will be new for the Government of Canada. For this reason, a pilot approach is being taken to enable an assessment of the effectiveness of the programs after five years. The legislation includes high-level authorities being sought, whereas regulations will be developed to provide more precision on the boundaries of the program, including eligibility criteria and terms and conditions that will be used amongst others.
The Minister of Finance, as per the Financial Administration Act, is tasked with ensuring prudent fiscal management for the Government of Canada. As outlined in the legislation, the regulations that will be developed will provide that certain transactions or classes of transactions will require consultation with or the approval of the Minister of Finance.
I'll turn to my Global Affairs colleagues.
In order to support the execution of the two new programs, the and the need new legislative powers, notably: the power to grant sovereign loans to eligible developing countries, to any order of government, as well as to entities or persons, on condition that those loans be guaranteed by the government of the foreign state that will benefit from the loan; the power to provide financial guarantees to ensure the partial execution of an agreement in case the principal contracting party does not do so, which would allow the related investments to proceed;
the authority to acquire, hold, and dispose of equity, ownership in a stock, or any other security representing an ownership interest to catalyze investments, and/or preserve the value of Canada's interest; and the authority to charge fees and to issue guarantees and interest on loans they make in the context of the two new programs.
The IFA Act also provides the authority for equity to be acquired, held and sold in the context of Global Affairs' climate change repayable contributions programming to preserve the value of the government's assets. Overall, by supporting innovation and enabling a broader range of development partnerships including with the private sector, these new financial tools will enable Global Affairs Canada to use Canadian official development assistance more strategically to mobilize additional resources in support of sustainable development.
I'd be happy to take your questions.
The objective, as you note, in particular for the international assistance innovation program, is to mobilize additional financing in support of sustainable development. What we would be doing through this is providing risk-absorbing capital to catalyze private sector investments that would otherwise not take place. The intention is not to necessarily enrich the private sector. Of course, there will be profits, but when we provide this funding, we will be applying blended finance principles, which include, for example, ensuring that the funding is additional and is not displacing private sector resources, assuring that the amount of concessionality provided to catalyze this private sector investment is the minimum amount necessary.
This, of course, contrasts with what we currently do, which is that, as Mark was saying, we provide grants for everything. Now what we're trying to do is expand our tool kit to allow us to tailor the type of assistance we provide to be appropriate to the particular instances—the capacity of recipients and also their needs.
I'm going to be speaking to clauses 661 to 674. My name is Danielle Bélanger. I'm from Status of Women Canada.
The department for women and gender equality act, which is proposed in these clauses, formalizes the important role of the former Office of the Coordinator at Status of Women and its minister and legislation by creating this new department and minister for women and gender equality. Budget 2018 pledged to formalize into law the important roles of these two, and this is what is being proposed at the moment.
Status of Women Canada was originally created through an OIC and through the appropriation act of 1976. The appropriation act was a procedural budget bill of the type that is no longer used today.
In terms of this proposal, the minister will have a mandate for women and gender equality, including advancing social, economic and political equality with respect to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and promoting a greater understanding of the government's gender and diversity lens.
By the gender and diversity lens, we mean gender-based analysis plus, which is commonly referred to by the Government of Canada. It is the government's approach to ensuring that all decisions have taken into account how people experience government activities and decisions differently based on the way sex and gender interact with other identity factors such as race, indigenous identity, national and ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, geographic location and disability.
In order to promote gender equality, and in particular to continue to improve the lives of women, the minister responsible for women and gender equality will rely on the previous work of the office of the coordinator of the status of women and of organizations that promote equality by developing and implementing policies and programs, carrying out research, and awarding grants and contributions.
Finally, in carrying out this mandate, the minister may conclude agreements with provincial and territorial counterparts and establish advisory boards.
I am now ready for your questions.
We are here to discuss section 9 of part 4, which implements the Gender Budgeting Act.
This bill is introducing gender budgeting into the federal government's budgetary and financial management processes.
Beyond the preamble, it has two parts. The first part is a statement of policy that articulates the government's policy of promoting gender equality and inclusiveness by taking gender and diversity into consideration in the budget decision-making process, and by making information available to the public on the impacts of government decisions from a gender and diversity perspective.
The second part of the bill establishes reporting requirements related to the analysis of gender equality and diversity impacts of various measures.
There are three requirements in particular. Proposed section 3 establishes a new responsibility for the Minister of Finance to publicly report on the gender and diversity impacts of all new, announced budget measures. This is a requirement that is in place every time there is a federal budget plan published.
Proposed section 4 establishes a new responsibility for the Minister of Finance to publicly report on the analysis of gender and diversity impacts of tax expenditures. These are deductions and other tax revenues forgone. I'll tell you more about tax expenditures. This is an annual requirement to make this analysis available. There is some discretion on the part of the Minister of Finance with respect to which part of tax expenditures to report on annually, but there's a requirement to report once a year.
Finally, proposed section 5 establishes a new responsibility for the President of the Treasury Board to make analysis of the gender and diversity impacts of existing government programs that are program expenditures, and to make that information available on an annual basis. That's an annual requirement as well. Again, there's some discretion on the part of the president to determine in consultation with the Minister of Finance which programs to cover in what order and in which years.
I'm happy at this point to take your questions.
All in, all done. Thank you very much, folks.
We turn to division 14, pay equity.
I believe you're remaining, Ms. McDermott, for this one.
All right, I believe we have a full delegation for this one. We have with us from Treasury Board Ms. McDermott, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Stuart; Ms. Straznicky and Mr. Kennedy with ESDC; Mr. Bernard and Ms. Gagné from PSPC.
Welcome, all. Who's the lead?
Ms. Straznicky, go ahead.
Division 14 introduces new, proactive pay equity legislation. It repeals the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act and it amends both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. The legislation and proposed amendments are intended to create a proactive pay equity regime that ensures equal compensation for work of equal value for employees in female-predominant jobs in federally regulated workplaces.
In terms of how the act applies, the pay equity act will apply to all federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees, including the federal private sector, the federal public service, and the Prime Minister and ministers' offices. In addition, the regime will apply to parliamentary workplaces through amendments to the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. Individuals and workplaces with fewer than 10 employees would remain covered under the current regime of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
In terms of the key elements and the process, the pay equity act establishes requirements for all employers with 10 or more employees. However, the requirements are different for small employers—those with 10 to 99 employees—and large employers, which have 100 employees or more. Regardless of their size, all employers will be required to develop a single pay equity plan within three years from the coming into force of the legislation, or from becoming subject to the act.
That plan would set out a number of pieces of information, including job classes that have been identified in the workplace; gender predominance of job classes; value of work of job classes that have been assessed based on skill, responsibilities, effort and working conditions; compensation associated with each job class, using a total compensation approach; and results of comparison of the compensation of female- and male-predominant job classes of similar value, using an equal line or equal average model. It will identify those female-predominant job classes that require an increase in compensation, it will set out when those increases are due, and it will provide information on the dispute resolution procedures available to employees.
Plans are to be developed by joint committees for large employers, or those with unionized employees irrespective of their size. These joint committees would have both employer and employee representatives. Two-thirds would be employee representatives, and 50% of them would be women. For small employers or those with no unionized employees, the plan would be developed by an employer-led process. Regardless of the size or the way the plan is developed, all employees will be given an opportunity to comment on the plan before it's finalized.
Increases in compensation will be required to be made by employers within three to five years, depending on the size. Large employers would have up to three years to phase in increases, so long as the payments are at least 1% of their annual payroll. Small employers would have up to five years to phase in those payments, provided again that those payments are 1% of their annual payroll.
Employers would be required to review their plans at least every five years in order to identify and close any pay gaps that may have emerged. They would also be required to provide a short annual statement to the pay equity commissioner each year to ensure sufficient oversight. In terms of that oversight and enforcement and compliance with the pay equity act, a pay equity commissioner would be appointed by the Governor in Council to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The pay equity commissioner would administer and enforce the act through a range of compliance and enforcement tools that would include administrative monetary penalties. There would be an appeal mechanism for certain decisions or orders of the pay equity commissioner to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
There would be a creation of a pay equity unit that would consist of officers and employees of the Canadian Human Rights Commission that would support the pay equity commissioner in fulfilling her or his duties under the act. There would also be the creation of a pay equity division within the CHRC, which the pay equity commissioner would preside over in order to address complaints of discriminatory practice related to pay equity in federally regulated workplaces with fewer than 10 employees.
Finally, there would a provision for three additional members with knowledge and expertise in pay equity matters to be appointed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
In terms of the amendments that would be made to the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, there would be the creation of a new part of the PESRA that would provide that the pay equity act applies to all parliamentary employers and employees in a manner that's tailored to respect parliamentary privilege.
Oversight would also be by the pay equity commissioner, who would have the authority to conduct compliance audits and investigations of parliamentary employers and issue compliance orders and notices of contravention to deal with complaints. However, the pay equity commissioner would need to provide notice to the Speaker before entering any place under the authority of parliamentary employers.
Sanctions for non-compliance with decisions or orders of the pay equity commissioner would be tabled in Parliament by the Speaker, and appeal for decisions or orders of the pay equity commissioner would be made to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.
At this time, if you have any questions we would be happy to answer them.
I'll come to Bev in a second.
There's no question in my mind, regardless of gender, that people who do equivalent work should be paid equivalently.
However, I want to look at the other side of it. What's the cost, in terms of more public servants, etc., to administer this? We have a new pay equity commissioner. We have three more people in another agency. Is there any desire within the federal government to balance that off by reducing public servants in other sectors? Are we going to add to the cost of administration in government?
I have a question for Mr. Graham with the Treasury Board, and maybe you can't answer this question, but I'll ask it anyway. It's a loaded question. I'll tell you that up front.
Could you tell me how many managers there are today versus front-line workers, compared to say, 10 years ago? What I'm seeing—and I'll tell you right up front—is that in the outlying areas, there's always a shortage of front-line workers, but Ottawa seems to grow a little bit with more managers. I'd like to see the workers.
In any event, can you answer that question, before I get astray here?