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ACVA Committee Meeting

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Minutes of Proceedings

43rd Parliament, 2nd Session
Meeting 4
Thursday, November 12, 2020, 11:04 a.m. to 3:06 p.m.
Televised
Presiding
Bryan May, Chair (Liberal)

House of Commons
• Christine Lafrance, Procedural Clerk
 
Library of Parliament
• Jean-Rodrigue Paré, Analyst
• Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
• Walter Natynczyk, Gen (Retired), Deputy Minister
• Charlotte Bastien, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Oversight and Communications
• Rick Christopher, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Commemoration
• Steven Harris, Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery
• Sara Lantz, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Services Branch


• Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
• Walter Natynczyk, Gen (Retired), Deputy Minister
• Charlotte Bastien, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Oversight and Communications
• Rick Christopher, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Commemoration
• Steven Harris, Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery
• Sara Lantz, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Services Branch
Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), the committee commenced consideration of the Main Estimates 2020-21: Votes 1 and 5 under Department of Veterans Affairs, Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board, referred to the committee on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(5), the committee commenced consideration of the Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020-21: Votes 1b and 5b under Department of Veterans Affairs, referred to the committee on Thursday, October 22, 2020.


The Chair called Vote 1 under Department of Veterans Affairs and Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board.

The Minister made a statement and, with Walter Natynczyk, answered questions.

By unanimous consent, the Chair called Vote 5 under Department of Veterans Affairs.

Votes 1 and 5 under Department of Veterans Affairs and Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board carried on division.

ORDERED, — That the Chair report Votes 1 and 5 under Department of Veterans Affairs and Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board, less the amounts voted in the Interim Estimates, to the House.

By unanimous consent, the Chair called Votes1b and 5b under Department of Veterans Affairs.

Votes 1b and 5b under Department of Veterans Affairs carried on division.

ORDERED, — That the Chair report Votes 1b and 5b under Department of Veterans Affairs, less the amounts voted in the Interim Estimates, to the House.

At 12:07 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 12:16 p.m., the sitting resumed.

As an individual
• Gary Walbourne
• Charles Scott
National Association of Federal Retirees
• Simon Coakeley, Chief Executive Officer
Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer
• Yves Giroux, Parliamentary Budget Officer
Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
• Doreen Weatherbie, President, Members
• Paul Hartigan, Manager, Atlantic Region
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), and the motion adopted by the committee on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the committee resumed its study of the backlog of disability benefit claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The witnesses made statements and answered questions.

At 12:47 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 12:49 p.m., the sitting resumed.

The committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to committee business.

Motion

John Brassard moved, — That this committee is disappointed with the lack of progress shown by the government in clearing the backlog of applications for veterans disability benefits and reports this motion to the House.

Debate arose thereon.

Amendment

Andy Fillmore moved, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words "with the lack of progress shown by the government in clearing the backlog of applications for veterans disability benefits" with the following: "with the previous government’s decision to cut jobs within Veterans Affairs Canada and to close veteran services offices around the country, as far too many veterans are awaiting far too long for their application to be processed".

At 2:35 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 2:45 p.m., the sitting resumed.

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

Amendment

Marie-France Lalonde moved, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words “with the lack of progress shown by the government in clearing the” with the words “in the” and add after the word “House” the following: “and that the government provide a response”.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Marie-France Lalonde and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: William Amos, James Bezan, Rachel Blaney, John Brassard, Colin Carrie, Luc Desilets, Andy Fillmore, Marie-France Lalonde, Darrell Samson, Kyle Seeback — 10;

NAYS: Sean Casey — 1.

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to.

The motion, as amended, reads: “That the committee is disappointed in the backlog of applications for veterans disability benefits and report this to the House, and that the government provide a response.”

It was agreed, — That, in the context of the committee’s review of the Royal Canadian Legion and other Veteran Organizations and their financial health during and after COVID-19, Members submit their witness lists to the clerk of the committee no later than Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

At 3:06 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Jolène Savoie-Day
Clerk of the Committee