Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Again, the differences between the French and English are referring to subsection 10(1.1), All we would be doing is removing that from the English version so that it would be identical to the French version here. I'm not quite sure why that would be controversial for anyone, but there you have it. It would bring them both into line.
That's all we were trying to do with the previous one, but this is the English version of it. Okay, remove subsection 10(1.1) from there so it will be identical. This is, I think, our job. That's what we have to do.
(Amendment negatived)
(Clause 4 agreed to)
(On clause 5)
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, if you don't mind, I'd like to propose a subamendment to that and I'm sure this will be well received by the committee, “That this act come into force on January 1, 2021.”
The reason for that is if this bill comes into effect in the next month or so, the pregnancy period of these cetaceans is, many times, about 18 months. If you're going to ask them to start splitting up, as they do in a place such as Marineland, where you have to start separating them all so none of them gets pregnant, that will be the law and that's fine. However, for those times that the whale or dolphin is pregnant already, they need 18 months, so we don't want to have a situation where charges are being laid because a cetacean is born 14 or 15 months from now.
That would be helpful. It wouldn't be inconsistent with the intent of the bill, but it would come into effect on January 1, 2021.
That is my subamendment.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Let's go with three fives, Mr. Chair.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, thank you very much.
Thank you all for your testimony here. What you had to say, Dr. Graham, was very significant with respect to the extinction of a particular species here because more effort wasn't made to do what we can to help them repopulate.
Mr. Burns, you said that if a beluga whale is pregnant and gives birth after the implementation of this bill, those who are there at Marineland and other places immediately face criminal charges.
If they postponed the enactment of this, how would that change? Don't these whales get pregnant on a regular basis?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
The treatment of these animals is always foremost in everybody's mind. What you're saying is that if this bill gets passed, Marineland and others would have no choice but to start separating these families. How many years have some of these families been together?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
You're saying that this bill here means that they'll have to be broken up and separated to make sure that—
A voice: It will cause stress.
Hon. Rob Nicholson: Yes, that's right.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
In your previous testimony, you said, “Marineland continues to evolve. It's committed to evolving.” Could you please elaborate on that for us?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
When you testified about this bill here, you said what a disaster it would be. You elaborated in a number of different ways on that.
The bill has been changed in some ways over the last couple of years or so. Does this alleviate any of your concerns?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Not only unconstitutional, but the implications of the Criminal Code and the possibility of charges that—
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Well, I would hope, Mr. Chairman, that we could have that individual, that former prosecutor, testify. We've just started the testimony on this bill here, so that's—
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
—one of the suggestions I'd like to make, because I don't think we're in any hurry to—
This is it? We only have one day?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, and thank you, Minister and all those with you here today.
Minister, you have a very busy portfolio, I have to say. You've been in this portfolio for, I think, about a year and a half now, and there is lots going on.
You did talk in your opening statement—and I wanted to go to that first—about the Phoenix pay backlog. It seemed to me that you have, I think you said, about $25 million as part of these estimates to work on this.
I'll tell you what concerns me. It's an article I saw just a couple of days ago. It was reported on CBC that there was a document “prepared in August 2018 for a deputy minister in Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) ahead of a meeting with the Treasury Board official in charge of helping find a system to replace Phoenix.” It says, “As the federal government forges ahead to replace the Phoenix payroll system, internal documents obtained by CBC News through access to information suggest clearing the backlog could take another three to five years,” and then it goes on to say that it actually “could take 10 or more years for the system to achieve 'overall stability'.”
It's one thing to be waiting 10 years for the rehabilitation of one of our Parliament Buildings, but this Phoenix estimate seems way out of line. Don't you agree? I mean, three to five years.... Many of these employees have suffered enough, and I'm sure you've heard from them, just as I have. It has to be very discouraging to see that report. What are your thoughts on that?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
That is somewhat reassuring.
People have approached me about problems with either getting paid or having been overpaid and then having problems with their taxes. Do you have people within the department who can look at one of these issues, see how to fix it and send out a cheque?
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