Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Fréchette. It is an honour to meet you and your team. Thank you for joining us this morning.
Last fall, in 2016, we debated some reforms of the main estimates a little. We did so without focusing on whether the figures or the accounting methods were exact and without discussing all those questions of a technical nature. Instead, from a more philosophic perspective, we spent time discussing whether the reforms would actually reduce the time allocated to members to scrutinize government spending in depth.
In your opinion, if these reforms were adopted, would that actually reduce the time allowed to scrutinize the expenditures?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Right.
On the third page of your document, you say: “the government may be able to address some of these challenges by preparing and presenting its budget and estimates concurrently…”
What exactly do you mean? Does concurrently mean on the same day and with the same figures? Is that what you mean?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, in Australia, when changes were made to align the budgets, it seems to me that it was done immediately, was it not? They did not take two or three years to conduct pilot projects.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Fréchette, I will let you have the floor for the two final minutes, so that you can make any comments.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Right.
I have one final question.
Is the alignment of the budget and the supplementary estimates designed to improve the management of the public purse or to make the documents easier to study in committee and for the public and MPs to understand? Basically, we have been operating in this way since 1867. I feel that Canada is a fantastic, rich country anyway. We all agree that it is a great democracy.
Is the goal of the reform to manage an internal process on Parliament Hill or is it really to improve the management of the public purse?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Fréchette, I am going to come back to my last question and rephrase it.
Is there anything normative behind the harmonization of budgets, meaning the supplementary estimates tabled in March are more reflective of the budget for the current fiscal year? Is it really to improve the accountability or democratic accountability that Canadians can expect from their government? Are we looking for a better way to live together or is it really about helping us to do our work better on a technical level?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have one last question.
Did research institutes, university chairs or professors tell you that studying budgets was an important process for them, as it would help them in their research?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Right.
I will turn things over to Mr. McCauley.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Hello and thank you to our witnesses for being here with us this morning. Your presence is very much appreciated.
I do not know who can answer this question, so it is open to everyone.
How much does Canada spend on advertising in other countries?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Global Affairs Canada advises departments on their spending on advertising outside Canada. That is why I would like to know how much is spent.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand, sir, but that is not what I am referring to. I mean actual advertising, according to your definition.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Do you also keep statistics on the results of advertising campaigns? How Canadians responded to such a campaign? To what extent did Canadians understand it, see it or digest it? Do you have targets? Do you have statistics on the results of advertising campaigns?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Good.
Are those public opinion research contracts included in the costs as such or are they additional costs?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Very well.
Are there techniques or tools to maximize those costs for taxpayers, to ensure that advertising truly reaches out to the intended group so as to maximize the effectiveness of that spending?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Baird, my colleague from the NDP, asked a very good question about the Treasury Board Secretariat website. You referred to human error. I would like to point, Mr. Chair, what a paradox it is that changes to the site were made last night. We received our analysts' fine work yesterday or the day before. It seems that someone relayed that information to Treasury Board.
I wanted to mention that, Mr. Chair, before my next question.
What is the forecast spending for advertising campaigns in 2017-18?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Hello, Minister Brison.
In February, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance shared a concern with you. I don't think you were there, but your senior officials were there. The committee was concerned about the recurring practice of using supplementary estimates—what we're studying today—to pay the salaries of certain ministers, ministers without portfolio. These include the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Minister of Science, the Minister of Small Business and Tourism, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and the Minister of Status of Women.
Your department responded by specifying that the increase in the salaries of ministers without portfolio was part of a practice established in 1995. That said, the practice violates parliamentary rules.
I have a quick and easy question. Why do you want to increase the salaries of ministers without portfolio?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Exactly, yes.
First, I would say that those ministers without portfolio don't have to take care of a ministry, so their workload is much less for sure, so I don't understand why we would increase their salary.
But the other question is—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Why didn't you take it seriously as soon as you were elected as a government and put forward Bill C-24? Now, after two years, you are still repeating the same scenario of going on another route. You're supposed to go through the law...and not through the votes. Why are you still, two years after your election, going down the wrong avenue?
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