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View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, we are supposed to vote in 11 minutes. I know Mr. Julian has more questions, but I had hoped we would be finished before the vote. I do not know if we will make it, so I will be brief.
I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Wright and his team as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada for a number of years. I also worked with Mr. d'Entremont and, before him, Mr. Stanton. In my opinion, they have done an outstanding job representing the House of Commons on this project.
I have another comment related to Mr. Brassard's question about costs. From what I know, this is a difficult project to manage. The administrations of both houses are involved, and there are a lot of consultations. The National Capital Commission, the NCC, is also involved, and I think that should be reviewed at some point. The management of the project and the delays it can cause in decision-making are key factors in a possible increase in costs. At all stages of this project, we must promptly make the appropriate decisions that are required, and do what we have to do to cooperate with our friends from the Senate.
We had a good discussion about offices last Friday, Mr. d'Entremont. Thank you.
I would also like to share my opinion on the space above the Hall of Honour. Limiting access to a space will inevitably mean that it will not be used optimally. I very much want this space to be shared with the Senate.
Moreover, the old Centre Block, which will be renovated, was very short on working space. It was hard for small groups to hold informal meetings. We know that fewer members are on the Hill right now, in the Centre Block, and so there will be a greater need to hold small informal meetings of four, six, seven or eight people. We will also need working spaces for members, who will be further from their offices. I think therefore that we should collaborate with the Senate in order to maximize this space and to make it available to all parliamentarians. I know it will be useful to the members who need it.
Regarding the tunnels, I firmly believe that we need this underground network for security issues and materials management, for the reasons Mr. Julian raised. As Mr. Julian stated, other parliaments have similar spaces, which enable parliamentarians and their staff to save time and maximize efficiency in their comings and goings within the parliamentary precinct. I think some good work has been done in this regard.
In closing, I have been impressed by the process to select the design for Block 2. It was very well thought out. The Government of Canada could use that kind of process in many more cases. Congratulations on your work.
For all these reasons, I support all the ingenious recommendations presented today, including the proposed site of the public café in the Parliamentary Welcome Centre.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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