Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The objective of this submission is to seek the Board of Internal Economy's approval of temporary exceptions to some of its bylaws and policies regarding transition support services for members who are not seeking re-election or were not re-elected in the 43rd general election. I will refer to these two groups as “former members”. This is naturally due to the COVID-19 situation.
The existing transition support provisions have been put in place to help former members transition out of their roles as members. Former members who wish to pursue new career opportunities and entrepreneurial paths or to transition into retirement have access to a transition support budget in the amount of $15,000, which can be used for counselling, education, training, other eligible career transition expenses, as well as accommodations, meals and incidentals for four round trips in Canada.
The situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of educational institutions and the partial suspension of air travel by several carriers. As a result, former members of Parliament have contacted the House Administration to request an extension of the transition period so that they may receive their career transition services or begin or complete an education or training program. Some of them have received notices of cancellations of study programs that would have been started in the spring or summer, while others have already begun to take advantage of transition support services but will not be able to complete their program within the established timelines.
In light of these impacts, it is recommended that, as part of the response to this unusual and exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both the transition period set out in Standing Order 113 of the Members' By-Laws, during which Members of Parliament may avail themselves of transition support services, and the time limits set out in Standing Order 113.1(3) and Standing Order 114 of the Members' By-Laws, within which Members of Parliament may be reimbursed, be extended.
Details of the proposed extensions can be found in the table on page 3 of the submission.
We are happy to answer any questions board members may have.