Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'm very pleased to be here today.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here and giving up your time to reassure Canadians and answer our questions.
One of the cornerstones of the social contract that exists across this land is the protection of citizens, not just the protection they offer one another, but also the protection provided to them by the government. For the past three weeks, constituents in all of our ridings have been profoundly concerned. Two days after the data breach was made public, people started coming to my office. When I would knock on people's doors, that's all they would talk about. That tells me people are genuinely concerned and feel that the government has done nothing in response.
The question my constituents want you to answer, Mr. Boucher, is very simple. Can the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security indeed ensure the 2.9 million Canadians affected by this data breach are properly protected, yes or no?
Does your centre have the tools to respond to the situation and ensure the victims of identity theft are protected?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm not talking about what's already happened. I'm talking about what's going to happen next. That's what worries people. I want to know whether the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has the capacity to deal with international or national fraudsters who send text messages or whatever it may be.
Does your centre have the capacity to deal with that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm going to take advantage of your cybersecurity expertise.
Is Canada's current social insurance number regime appropriate in a modern age dominated by the Internet? We are at the point now where people shop on their cell phones and pay for their purchases at the cash in mere seconds. Is our system of social insurance numbers adequate in the world we live in?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Superintendent, my next question is along the same lines as that of my fellow member, Mr. Motz.
Whether they've approached me on the street, come to my office or answered the door when I was canvassing, everyone has asked me the same question. They want to know what crimes these fraudsters are going to commit down the road. They want to know what to expect. What crimes will the 2.9 million victims of this massive data breach be the target of in the future?
In addition, how long will it be before those crimes are committed? The media are reporting all kinds of things. We are hearing that it will take five or 10 years before the fraudsters do anything—that they'll wait until the dust has settled.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to intervene with these witnesses, please.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Cormier, I would just like to reiterate what my colleague said. The fundamental objective of today's meeting, for us Conservatives, is to determine what the government, its agencies and institutions could do to help you and, in turn, to help Desjardins members, which is the most important thing. They are Canadian and Quebec citizens.
As you know, I have contacted the three directors of the Desjardins branches in my riding to express my support.
Has Canada's Department of Employment and Social Development contacted you to obtain the list of the 2.9 million citizens? This is a very important question.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When you have the answer, could you give it to the analysts or the clerk? It would be important for us to know that. If the request has been made, could you provide a list of these Canadians? We are trying to find out what the government can do, but first it should know who it is talking about. So would you be able to send this list to the Canadian government? Unfortunately, it would still involve sending data, but the recipient would be the government.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Next, I would like to know if a member of the current cabinet has contacted you since June 20.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I am talking about the federal cabinet. So it would be a minister.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
In your introduction, you mentioned very humbly and respectfully that you had some questions. Personally, I would have liked to know your answers as an expert in your field. I don't remember your first question very well, but it was still interesting. You were wondering if Canada had an adequate system for social insurance numbers, for example. I would like to know your perspective on this.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to have your answers on both points.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have a supplementary question, which will probably be the last one. I am addressing Mr. Cormier, the citizen.
You made a very important announcement this morning. You said that the protection applies to all members, whether or not they are affected by this unfortunate event. You said all they have to do is call you and you can take care of them. You will establish contacts, take action and take the necessary steps.
Do you think that's exactly the kind of attitude that the government, the federal state, should have right now towards the 2.9 million Canadian citizens?
Citizens are being asked to contact us, and I think it is the federal government that should contact citizens. Let's say that citizens are communicating with the federal government, shouldn't the federal government have the same approach as you and say that it takes care of everything?
The representative of Employment and Social Development Canada said that, if citizens' social insurance numbers were changed, they would have to call all their former employers. That's not what you're doing. You, incredibly, say you're going to take care of everyone at the last minute.
As a citizen, would you like the federal government to act in the same way towards the affected members?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, everyone.
Thank you for waiting and staying here.
Ms. Boisjoly, you are the assistant deputy minister at the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada. Did your minister instruct you to get the list? I asked the same question of Mr. Cormier. Have you received ministerial instructions to obtain the list of the 2.9 million Canadians affected by the massive data leak at Desjardins?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
So there were no guidelines. In other words, you are reactive. I'm not talking about you, of course. You follow political orders, and we understand that. At the moment, everything is reactive and absolutely nothing is proactive.
You said you received 1,500 requests or calls about the social insurance number. Our goal is to know how the government can help people proactively. Since you don't know which Canadians are affected, you necessarily have to wait for them to contact you. That is what is happening right now. You wait for the people affected to contact you, not the other way around. That's impossible, because you don't have the data. Mr. Cormier, from Desjardins, seemed to say that they would be ready to send this data. I know I'm asking you to give a political opinion, but you can't.
I have to express something that royally disgusts the people in my riding. I went door-to-door a lot last week and the week before that. People have consistently told me that they doubt that the government can do anything. It saddened me very much. How is that possible? I would like to break the cynicism and listen to people. People contribute 50% of their income to the Canadian government. We Conservatives want the government to work for citizens, not the other way around.
Mr. Cormier said that when someone calls Desjardins, they are proactive and take care of things for them.
We learned something very important today. In fact, we already knew that because it had been mentioned here and there. I learned from an official like you that you can change your social insurance number. I know it's complex and that even if we change it, we still have to reach a myriad of institutions, our former employers, and so on. However, it is the government that requires that citizens have a social insurance number. It is a system that should perhaps even be called into question, and we are discussing it today, in a way.
Wouldn't it be your duty to contact the 2.9 million people? The Liberal government should do this to be proactive. It knows these people. For example, at the Pizzeria D'Youville, where I worked in 2004 when I was 17, it was the boss who sent the GST to the federal government. All these things are well known. Your departments could easily link this information and change the social insurance number, perhaps not in a comprehensive way, but it should support the citizen in the very difficult task of reaching all former employers or government agencies.
I really don't like this. I know it's not your fault. You have political directives from the Liberal government, but it is not proactive at the moment. I don't like it at all. What can you say about this?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Boisjoly.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
We are going to start meeting 147, which is being televised today.
We have the honour of having Raymond Théberge, the Commissioner of Official Languages, with us today.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), we are studying the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Official Languages 2018-19, referred to the committee on May 9, 2019.
To give some context to today's meeting for everyone watching, I would like to point out that the act provides for the presentation of an annual report by the Commissioner of Official Languages. This has been the case since 1969, if I'm not mistaken. The committee's conventions and traditions provide that we shall promptly receive the Commissioner each time so that he can submit his report directly.
Mr. Commissioner, you will have 10 minutes, as is customary, to make your opening remarks. Then, according to the committee's procedure, we will have a one-hour roundtable discussion.
Thank you to you and your team for being here today, including Ms. Giguère, Assistant Commissioner, and Ms. Saikaley.
Go ahead, Mr. Commissioner. We are listening.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Commissioner, thank you for your opening remarks and your annual report. I think this is your second report since you've been in the position. It's a captivating report, and I am sure that my colleagues will have some interesting questions for you.
I will take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Ouellette to the largest House of Commons committee. In fact, this is where national unity is played out from day to day.
Thank you for being here, sir.
We'll start with our questions. Mrs. Boucher, you have the floor.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have 50 seconds left.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mrs. Boucher.
I'll now give the floor to Ms. Lambropoulos.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have one minute left, Ms. Lambropoulos.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Commissioner.
We'll now go to Mr. Choquette, from the entrepreneurial region of Drummondville.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have 15 seconds, Mr. Choquette.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We now go to Mr. Arseneault.
You have six minutes.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have two minutes left, Mr. Arseneault.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Commissioner.
I would like to welcome Mr. Long to this committee. Thank you for joining us today.
The floor now goes to Mr. Samson.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
A 20-second answer, if you please.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Samson.
We now move to Mr. Gourde, who has the floor for six.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Gourde.
Mr. Ouellette, the floor is yours for six minutes.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Commissioner.
For the last person questioning,
Mrs. Boucher, you have four minutes.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mrs. Boucher.
Mr. Choquette has honourably given up his three minutes.
Commissioner, I have two questions for you, and I am sure that Mr. Samson will be happy to hear the first one.
I would like to talk about bilingualism for the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada. I do not think I am mistaken in saying that all members of this committee would like to see the legislation change so that the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada must be bilingual. After all, we all voted in favour of Mr. Choquette's commendable bill.
I have a special request for you, which goes beyond the work of this committee. We only have three weeks left, but you have at least six years.
At the moment, there is a serious problem. Some lawyers from the Department of Justice claim to be constitutional experts, and some really are. Let me throw this idea at you, although I do not know whether you have the authority to do it. They do not work for nothing, but would you be able to employ some constitutional experts to help you to write a legal text, a solid, well-supported counter-argument in opposition to the legal minds in the Department of Justice? That is a text that we could use in the future.
We need you. As members of Parliament, we do not have the resources we need to employ eminent constitutional scholars, but your office does. You have a substantial budget. Would it be worthwhile to prepare a constitutional argument in support of Mr. Choquette's motion?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Consider it, please. We need your help on this.
Finally, Commissioner, I want to thank you for the work you have done in the last year, especially for your second report. I want you to know that you have our moral support. We are with you. You do not stand alone in Canada. You have important tasks and heavy responsibilities. I strongly encourage you to continue in the same direction, even to exert a little more pressure, no matter which government is in power. You have nothing to fear. I want to say that we support you. Surveys seem to demonstrate that most Canadians support your work, and that is positive. I really want you to know that we are behind you. In turn, we expect you to be behind us.
Thank you for appearing before us today, Commissioner.
My thanks to my colleagues for their questions.
Would you like to say a few words?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much. This is probably the last time that we will welcome you to this committee in the 42nd Parliament.
We will pause for 15 minutes and then resume in camera to focus on our work.
[Proceedings continued in camera.]
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Hello, Mr. MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary, and all the senior public servants who are with us today.
I am very pleased to receive you. We have been waiting for your attendance for several months. That is not a criticism at all; I know that you have a busy agenda. I am pleased to have you here.
Mr. MacKinnon, I will ask you questions today about the report from the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages in May 2017, which recommended that your department act as soon as possible regarding Francophone schools in Vancouver.
You say that, in July 2017, you implemented a new procedure. As I understand it, following the zoning change approved by the municipality, the project can move ahead. Can we understand that this is almost complete?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When we Committee members visited Vancouver a year and a half ago, we adopted a unanimous motion to give moral and political support to the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.
If I called the members of the CSF today, are you sure that they would say that everythign is going well, that the matter is progressing and that they are convinced that the project will go ahead?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
On page 6, under "Positive Measures", you refer to the implementation of a new procedure.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Could you give some more information on the new procedure that you allowed you to advance the project in Vancouver?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. McBain.
Mr. MacKinnon, I will nevertheless ask you a question, given that you are the political stakeholder in this matter.
I know that, like Mr. McBain said, there are several stakeholders, particularly the municipalities and school boards, and that we need to work together. What the Committee understands is that according to the provisions governing real estate companies, there is a hierarchy that must be respected when disposing of a property. I checked this and, based on the latest news, your department does not place official-language minority communities at the top of the hierarchy.
Beyond that cooperation, wouldn't it be commendable and even necessary to raise the position of OLMCs on that list so that they are nearly at the top?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
However, official-language minority communities have not been officially placed higher in the hierarchy as provided by the Act.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Alright. Thank you, Mr. MacKinnon. We will certainly send them to you.
To close your presentation, you said that PSPC is committed "to promoting and supporting bilingualism in Canada in everything we do." For my part, I noted during all of my meetings with representatives of OLMCs that they were a bit tired of hearing about promotion and all the rest. You make these speeches, while at the same time, we noted that two months ago, your department's Internet sites that featured calls for tenders were riddled with errors in the French. I am not saying you are guilty of anything, but I am telling you this respectfully. These were grammar or even translation errors. It is interesting and all the more since we have Mr. Déry from the Translation Bureau with us.
It seems that we currently have a lack of leadership in Cabinet. How do you answer for this?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Déry, I have a question further to that of Mr. Samson.
Do you personally think the departments should be required to use your bureau's services?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I see.
Thank you, Mr. Déry.
Madame Sultan, you explained quite clearly the difference between the disposal as routine or strategic, which is the third step in the disposal process.
Is step 4, which emphasizes aboriginal consultation, routine disposal or strategic disposal?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, because it seems to me that routine and strategic are part of steps 3, 4, and 5, kind of.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much.
Madame Levesque.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It's the Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement, or SCHL.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much for your explanation, Mrs. Levesque.
I have a very important question because this is the first time I've heard this.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's really important for the committee.
So does priority go back to the party that responds first?
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