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View Bill Siksay Profile
NDP (BC)
Okay.
Did anyone train you in how to do your job? Were you offered training in your position?
Kasra Nejatian
View Kasra Nejatian Profile
Kasra Nejatian
2011-03-21 19:32
I received various types of different training, both from the department and from sources outside the department.
Kasra Nejatian
View Kasra Nejatian Profile
Kasra Nejatian
2011-03-21 19:32
I received I think--if I had to guess--about 10 or 12 briefings from the department on various things the department does. I received a briefing from the ethics commissioner and a briefing from the lobbying commissioner. I believe it's fairly frequent for the minister's staff to go through those two briefings. I got one I think about two weeks after I started--those two back to back--with everyone else in the office.
View Bill Siksay Profile
NDP (BC)
Did anyone train you in the importance of keeping track of partisan activity or doing partisan activity in the minister's office?
Who trained you in that aspect of the job? Who talked to you about those issues?
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
You've acknowledged that you made a mistake in issuing this type of letter on parliamentary letterhead. Do you think there is a need for new parliamentary staff and political staff from all parties to have a little bit more training, perhaps, in the rules and the protocols so that we might see young people enter and avoid making similar mistakes in the future?
Kasra Nejatian
View Kasra Nejatian Profile
Kasra Nejatian
2011-03-21 19:38
Thank you for the question.
I think it's obviously open to Parliament to require that it be done. I felt that in my six weeks in the department I received lots of training. I had lots of meetings and lots of briefings. It was--I don't have a better way of putting it--a dumb mistake. I will never, ever not look at the top of another letter, ever again, and I apologize to committee for having made the mistake.
View Bill Siksay Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
Mr. Nejatian, I have to say that you need a union. If you're working those kinds of hours, it's not surprising that you screw up eventually. I don't think any human being can work those kinds of hours and do so effectively and efficiently. If this is the standard that is demanded of people working for this government, it doesn't surprise me that people screw up and then lose their jobs.
That's coming from somebody who works long hours himself. I have to get that in there, because something's wrong with this picture if we're hiring somebody who's never worked on the Hill before, giving him responsibility in a minister's office in a complicated job, and not really training or supervising him, and then six weeks later something bad happens and he takes the fall for it.
I'm a little frustrated from the point of view of someone who was a staff person for many years on the Hill before I got this job. There's something wrong with this picture, and I don't think we're going to get that here. But the more I hear about it--and I don't really want you to comment on that, because that's neither here nor there.
I want to ask you, though, who was responsible for training you in office procedure, or was it assumed that because you were the director, you didn't need that, and somebody else was going to assist you with office procedure?
Kasra Nejatian
View Kasra Nejatian Profile
Kasra Nejatian
2011-03-21 20:10
No, I received a briefing. I sat down with the person who had been doing my job on an acting basis, for a couple of hours, I'd say. I'm ashamed to say that the topic of letterhead just never came up; it just didn't.
Diane Jacovella
View Diane Jacovella Profile
Diane Jacovella
2011-02-17 9:10
I fully agree with you. When we received our ratings, we were very disappointed. I think it's like anything else. The first assessment has helped us to identify shortcomings.
However, we are happy to note that some figures are very positive. We want to maintain them. The purpose of our action plan is to enable us to keep the good ratings. We received some ratings of 90% and we want to keep them.
We noted that people didn't have the right reflexes in terms of the active offer. In that regard, people sometimes thought that doing half of their message in French and the other half in English was sufficient. We have done that for years.
This year, in addition to doing an investigation to see if the follow-up is being done, we are going to provide very intensive training. We have also added training to the initiation courses at CIDA so that it is very clear from the outset and that people do not take that for granted. We must remind people that it is the law, and remind them of their obligations and rights.
Diane Jacovella
View Diane Jacovella Profile
Diane Jacovella
2011-02-17 9:11
CIDA provides training courses, as a way of welcoming new employees to CIDA. We talk about official languages generally at those courses, but we will reinforce the rights and obligations side.
View Monique Guay Profile
BQ (QC)
We will surely have some once we have finished meeting with all of the groups.
I'd like to know how much money you earmark annually for official languages. Do you have a specific budget for training?
Sheila Tenasco-Banerjee
View Sheila Tenasco-Banerjee Profile
Sheila Tenasco-Banerjee
2011-02-17 9:13
The figures are $300,000 for mandatory training and $150,000 for training that employees can ask for as part of their learning plan.
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