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View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
We'll make sure we take note of that here.
Thank you very much for your comments.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much.
Ms. Burns, let me start with you. You read off some statistics earlier that showed that most of the settlements in property cases or divorce cases don't involve violence. Don't you think that those numbers underestimate how much violence there is? I know that many times lawyers will file for divorce for a one-year separation rather than have the woman testify about how disgustingly she's been treated. Don't you think those statistics are underestimating the level of violence?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
That leads to my next question, which is for you, Mr. Cheriton.
You said that violence gets reduced when they don't give sole custody, but isn't that why sole custody is generally given in the first place? Isn't it to protect the child against violence, usually promoted by addictions to alcohol and drugs or other issues? Isn't that why many times somebody is given sole custody, because of the danger to the child?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Do you support the comments that were made earlier? When you were in the audience, you probably heard Professor Irvine saying that, in fact, when you have representation for the child, one way or the other, this in and of itself helps collapse this and bring about an agreement on this, because the child is now represented and gets to have his or her voice heard.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
The responsibility of any lawyer is to represent the interests of his or her client, which in this case would be a child.
That being said, I know my time is running out.
Ms. Christianson-Wood, I agree with you about changing the wording to “parenting orders” and “parenting time”, as opposed to “custody” and “access”, but then you tossed in a line saying that it might take a generation to sink in. Would you elaborate on that?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Very good. Thank you very much.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
I think it is an excellent suggestion here to do this. I think it remedies any of the issues that arose when this was initially proposed. We're completely supportive of it.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you for your testimony and your illumination of of this, but....
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank all the witnesses here today for their testimony. I'm pleased to be here as recently appointed shadow minister for public services and procurement.
I'd like to address the motion that's been put forward by my colleague Kelly McCauley. The motion requests that this committee undertake a study of the federal government's defence procurement process.
I think, Mr. Chair, that this is simply a good idea. I think it would present an opportunity for the committee to address what I think—and I think most Canadians would agree with me—is an urgent need in the Canadian Armed Forces.
I appreciate the study that you're doing on greening and I certainly appreciated the witness testimony here. That said, it has been studied quite a bit over the last number of years. Conversely, a non-partisan study on cleaning up the extremely cumbersome procurement process gives an opportunity to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates to work in tandem to address the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces and the security of all Canadians at the same time.
Mr. Chair, the burdensome procurement process, as you know, is not something new; it has been around for years. I have been told by a number of officials, for instance in the Department of National Defence, that this can and should be a top priority. As procurement ombudsman Alexander Jeglic noted, the present process is complicated, time-consuming, and bureaucratic, with far too many overlapping procurement rules.
One suggestion was to implement training for every bureaucrat. I unreservedly agree with that recommendation, as they are in the best position to simplify the process and make it accessible.
Getting feedback from those who bid on contracts, I think, is also of key importance for this improvement. I've heard time and again, particularly from small businesses, that the administrative process is too burdensome. I'm sure all my colleagues have heard this from small businesses that have wanted to be part of this process.
Colleagues, I think we have the opportunity to make a real difference with this study, to streamline the process. Naming a decision-maker for timeline approval alone would make a tremendous difference. It shouldn't take years to see the construction of a single Arctic patrol ship and select a preferred designer. Our allies are able to deliver these projects in less than two years. I think we should certainly look at the processes of our allies, such as Belgium and Australia, within this study.
It should be noted that the scope of the study would not encompass decisions made; it would rather focus on restructuring the process for maximum efficiency. We need to do better, and if we commit to working together, we can do better.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for your time. I look forward to further discussion on this matter. I hope it is something that will have the support of everyone here. I think it is very timely.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much. Thank you to all our witnesses today for your presentations. They were all very insightful and very helpful to this committee.
Ms. Lemay, you talked about the disposal of assets. One thing you said in your opening remarks was that we always strive to obtain the best value for the crown. I think maybe you heard Monsieur Berthelette's comments that very often these things are sold at less than two-thirds of their value. What do you think the reason is for that? Can you give us any insight on that? Do people expect that if they're buying it off the government, they're going to get a bargain, perhaps, or are there just not enough people aware of the site to go on it and check things out?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Monsieur Berthelette, perhaps you could comment on that, or Monsieur Dompierre. Is it that they're just getting two-thirds of the book value of it? I can appreciate that goods depreciate in value. Are they getting the market value, do you think?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
I guess that's one point my colleague Mr. Christopherson was making—the lack of information. Indeed one recommendation with respect to donations, some of the background material, said that 84% of federal organizations rarely or never donate assets. I'm surprised that this is a new idea now, the idea of donating these things, or recycling them, as you heard CRA was doing at the time. What's been the problem? What do you think has been the holdup?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Is it possible that there might be a liability if there is some problem with the product? Do you think that is part of the hesitation that's taken place over the years?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
The idea of recycling or reusing office equipment or other assets is something else that makes a lot of sense. It would be pretty straightforward to—
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