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Results: 31 - 60 of 570
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:33
As soon as the board makes some of these final determinations on the options, we will be able to come back with the budget.
It's important to note that there are thousands of decisions that form the scope for this project, but even a handful can swing the project price in hundreds of millions of dollars. It will be difficult to come back to you with a budget without having inputs on those decisions. They have a tremendous impact on the budget.
On the size of the Chamber, we have that. That was an important decision. On the size of the parliamentary welcome centre, we have that. That was an extremely important decision. There are probably another 10 to 15 critical decisions that will really allow us to have a base. There will be more decisions to come. Once we have those big boulder decisions behind us, we'll be able to establish that baseline budget. Our hope would be to move through that by the Christmastime period.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Stanton is next, and then Mr. Richards.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I'm sorry that I missed that critical element of Mr. Julian's question pertaining to expenses. My sound actually gapped there for a few seconds. My apologies for not zoning in on the expenses related to Centre Block. It was not to Block 2. My apologies.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good. Now we'll go to Mr. Richards.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I had some questions similar to Mr. Julian's, but I'll add a couple of brief questions.
With regard to the recommendations in terms of the design for the chamber, etc., will those recommendations include various seating options? Will there be scenarios for various seating options? Will there be one that's brought forward? Will it have that kind of detail? Will seating options be included as part of those recommendations?
Rob Wright
View Rob Wright Profile
Rob Wright
2020-10-08 11:36
Mr. Richards, our first look at this was very preliminary. We looked at different options extending out to 2050. The notions around this planning, especially for galleries and space for members in the galleries in the House itself, are all impacted by the trajectory of population growth and therefore the growth in the number of parliamentarians as well, over literally decades. We just had a first look at that.
You may know that a while back the decision was taken to ensure that the footprint of the House of Commons chamber itself would not be changed. We're going to stay with the existing footprint that's there. Once the working group has had some further discussion on this, we will bring it back to the board with suggestions. We'll see what the working group decides, but we'll bring our best suggestions and we'll let the board take a look at it at that time.
Suffice it to say that as we go forward, the demands and requirements on this space are certainly going to increase.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I would like to follow up on that.
Is the understanding that you're going to bring forward one recommendation instead of a set of options? Is that the intention? I also understood that it was indicated in March that the board really wanted to see the chamber remain as close as it is to its current format. Perhaps you can answer both of those in concert.
Also, I'll just throw one more in and let you answer all three.
In terms of the galleries themselves, is there contemplation to ensuring they are more secure? Obviously, we've seen things dropped over, and things like that in the past. Is there thought being given to how those will look going forward?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
On the last point on security, we didn't deal specifically with that point. I think it's certainly a valid one. We did look at some comparisons in terms of the size of the gallery in relation to the number of members in the chamber, and certainly Canada was blessed as we were in the old House of Commons, in Centre Block House of Commons. We had considerably higher numbers of gallery visitors than many other chambers in the Westminster system.
Going forward, certainly there will likely be impacts there. You're right about one of your three points, exactly right. The current footprint of the chambers in terms of the beautiful Gothic revival design and structure is all going to stay put. We have to work within the confines of that existing footprint.
As we look at accommodating more members, it has to be done in favour of a layout that will be in keeping with this board's direction around.... Of course, the ideal preference was to continue with the centre aisle and have government and opposition members opposing one another across that common aisle. That was a preference that has been expressed to our working group, and we'll certainly keep that in mind.
As to whether we'll have just one recommendation for you, I honestly don't feel comfortable speaking for the working group at this early stage. I'm taking a cue from your comments. I suggest that we might want to consider more than one. I'll certainly be guided by the working group and what we think is probably our best preference, but leave open.... I think this is an area that obviously needs vigorous discussion and consideration. We want to make sure we get this right.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other...?
Mr. Deltell, please go ahead.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Stanton.
It's always nice to talk to you, in any circumstance, but this is a first for me.
I think I know the answer, but I'm wondering whether we could safely have a guided tour of the Centre Block to see the work under way.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Stanton, go ahead.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Deltell. Welcome to the Board of Internal Economy.
All the working group members toured the Centre Block. For the time being, we aren't planning another tour, but I think it's a good idea. We'll look into arranging one for the members of the board, if possible, in the coming weeks or months.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll look into that, then, and try to arrange another tour, in the hope that everyone is available. I know it's worthwhile to see the work that's happening.
Are there any other questions?
Mr. Stanton was seeking approval from the board in relation to the architectural design competition for Block 2 and to the chair of the working group, Mr. Stanton, being designated as the juror representing the House of Commons. Is everyone in favour of that?
Good. It's unanimous. Congratulations or condolences, Mr. Stanton; I'm not sure which, but I'm sure you'll do an excellent job.
We'll now move on to item 5, the 48th annual session of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, taking place in Montreal from July 7 to 12, 2022.
Once again, it's over to you, Mr. Stanton.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Once again, thank you, Mr. Chair.
Before I begin, I'd like to thank Francis Drouin, chair of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, or APF, for joining me today. He'll be giving a detailed presentation on the request before you to have the Parliament of Canada host the 48th annual session of the APF. I should point out that the Joint Interparliamentary Council, or JIC, examined the proposal at its July 15, 2020 meeting.
As with all of these international conference requests, the Joint Interparliamentary Council, the JIC, is somewhat limited in the role that we have in reviewing these requests for international conferences. For us, it comes down to ensuring that there are no conflicts with the resources that International and Interparliamentary Affairs has in terms of providing the appropriate support. We realize that of course the spending authority for these conferences rests with you, and with CIBA on the Senate side. However, we still take the occasion of these requests—as has come from APF in this case—to discuss some of the issues around that conference.
In this case, we talked about the challenges involved with doing a large-scale event of this nature in the era of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Admittedly, the conference is intended for July of 2022, but nonetheless we have no clear idea as to what conditions may prevail at that time. To that end, we had a discussion and gave direction in terms of the planning for this conference that due to the uncertainties around COVID-19, they be prepared to consider revising the format and to changing the format to a virtual or partially virtual format if they're faced with those kinds of restrictions in 2022.
The council also recommended that the conference planners ensure that things like contracts for hotels, conference space, AV, interpretation and transportation have the appropriate escape clauses for force majeure, exit clauses that will help them have contracts in place that can be modified should those situations prevail.
All of us on the JIC, to a person, stand behind the necessity of ensuring that Canada stays engaged and involved in interparliamentary work, even in a time of pandemic. We also noted—and, members of council, I should note to you—that we were satisfied that the approach APF took to their budget proposals was certainly in line with the usual practices and parameters that JIC considers for conferences of this type.
Therefore, it was agreed that the proposal be submitted to the Board of Internal Economy and the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
I will now turn the floor over to my colleague Mr. Drouin.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Stanton.
As Mr. Stanton mentioned, I am here today to formally request that the Parliament of Canada host the 48th annual session of the APF. At its May 7 meeting, the executive committee of the Canadian Branch of the APF adopted a motion recommending that the JIC study the matter. As Mr. Stanton pointed out, at its July 15 meeting, the JIC studied the proposal and recommended that it be submitted to you and the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration for study.
If the Board of Internal Economy and the Senate committee approve the request, it will be the third time the Canadian Branch of the APF hosts the annual session in 25 years. The Canadian Branch has hosted the annual session every time it has held the international presidency, usually on an eight-year rotation, and the Canadian Branch will hold the presidency from July 2022 to July 2024.
The members of the board should know that this is not the result of Canada volunteering to host the annual session. The responsibility of hosting merely rotates every eight years, and Canada must assume its role in parliamentary diplomacy.
The annual session of the APF draws between 350 and 500 delegates each year, giving Canada an opportunity to showcase its leadership within the Francophonie. Internationally, the Canadian Branch promotes Canada's parliamentary expertise at every level of the APF and plays a leadership role. International parliamentarians often seek out our expertise to successfully complete major projects and ask us to assist with seminars, debates and training.
The Canadian Branch also fulfills numerous key roles within the APF, including chairing the Parliamentary Affairs Committee and holding five rapporteur positions, helping to highlight Canada's priorities in relation to important issues such as cyber-violence against women and children, cooperation to address climate change and youth parliamentary involvement.
In terms of scheduling, the annual session always begins on a Thursday and ends the following Tuesday, at the end of the day. Consequently, the provisional dates for the annual session are July 7 to 12, 2022. The conference will have multiple parts: a Bureau meeting; an APF session, including meetings of the women's network, the young parliamentarians' network, the four committees and the plenary assembly; the accompanying persons program; and the Ordre de la Pléiade award ceremony.
The budget estimate before you has been studied and approved by the Canadian Branch of the APF and by the JIC. Every effort has been made to keep costs low, and everything possible will be done to protect the Parliament of Canada against the risks associated with holding an event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are recommending that the funding be shared according to the usual formula for these types of conferences. In other words, the House of Commons would cover 70% of the costs, and the Senate would cover the remaining 30%. The House of Commons' share for fiscal 2022-23 would be $767,905. If approved, this request for additional temporary funding would be included in the main estimates for fiscal 2022-23.
This estimate is based on the assumption that approximately 450 delegates will participate, and the temporary funding for fiscal 2020-21 and 2021-22 is $19,564 and $124,671 respectively, to be absorbed from the anticipated budget surpluses of the parliamentary associations.
In closing, thank you for listening and for considering this request. Canada has always played a leading role on the international stage, and the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how interconnected our world is and how important strong relationships with our neighbours and allies are.
I would now be happy to answer any questions you have. For budget details, I'll refer you to my colleague Jeremy LeBlanc.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The next speakers on my list are Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Julian, but Mr. Stanton may have something to add.
Mr. Stanton, did you want to add anything to Mr. Drouin's statement, or did you have a question?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I'm ready to answer the committee's questions. However, Mr. LeBlanc and Mr. Drouin may answer as well, depending on the topic.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Great. Thank you.
We'll go to Mr. Rodriguez, followed by Mr. Julian and, then, Mr. Deltell.
Mr. Rodriguez, the floor is yours.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Drouin.
I ask this out of curiosity more than anything else. This time, the conference will be held in Montreal, but which cities was it held in the other two times?
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'll answer that. In 2013, it was in Ottawa, and before that….
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-10-08 11:52
It was also in Ottawa.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
You mentioned the ongoing pandemic. I thought I heard you say that, given the circumstances, all the contracts for the event would include a force majeure clause so they could be cancelled without triggering significant penalties. Is that right?
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
At line 3, the budget lists logistics, transportation and accommodation. For the 2022 conference, $465,000 is allocated for transportation and accommodation.
Does that mean we're paying the expenses for all the delegates or those from less fortunate countries? How does that work?
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-10-08 11:53
We don't cover the logistics and accommodation costs for delegates from other countries. That line covers the travel and accommodation costs for staff who have to be at the conference. It also includes the cost of taking delegates from the airport to the conference centre and hotels, not to mention the audiovisual costs, including the rooms and equipment to put on the conference, which actually make up the bulk of the logistics costs.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
I have one last question.
Do we ever give delegates from less fortunate countries a helping hand? Not every country in the Francophonie is wealthy, after all.
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-10-08 11:54
There is no fee for delegates to participate in the conference, but the travel and accommodation costs are assumed by their branches. I'm not sure whether the international secretariat has any assistance programs, but there may be other funding available. It's not part of the budget request before you today.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian, you may go ahead.
Results: 31 - 60 of 570 | Page: 2 of 19

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