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Results: 1 - 30 of 37
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-10-08 12:18
We'll delve into more details later, but just for further information, the virtual chamber and virtual committees were a result of a decision of the House, so yes, the administration did enter into expenditures in relation to that.
In terms of the estimates in the report you have for the expenses as of September 17, it does include overtime costs in terms of the resources that had to be deployed to support the virtual or hybrid committees and the chamber. We'll get more information for you.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:09
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Actually, it's a correction to the minutes of the March 12 meeting. There was an administrative error that was made in relation to the membership of the working group, and it has been corrected. Since it was approved at the last meeting, the amendment needs to be agreed to by the board.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:10
The information has been sent. I'm just trying to locate the information right now.
I don't know, Rebekah, if you have the information right at your fingertips. We're looking for it.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:29
Thank you, Mr. Stanton.
Mr. Julian, in terms of paring back, I don't have information for all the partners, but definitely from the House of Commons I can tell you that the requirements were pared down to what we felt was needed to support the work of the House of Commons and the members.
The Library of Parliament also did its part in terms of paring down its requirements. I don't have the exact number, but at least 1,000 square meters, if not more. In terms of the exercise, that would be going to the medium option. The partners have been working since last year—not necessarily in relation to this working group—on making sure that nobody was asking too much. These are the partners I can talk about, in terms of paring down the requirements of what's required to support the work of Parliament.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:46
I will ask Susan Kulba to maybe give a bit of detail.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:55
Thank you for that question.
I'm just going to say a bit about the gross and the net square metres, because I kind of had the same reaction when I saw the different data. Just for the benefit of the board, I'm going to say that at that time, while we were discussing net, the amount was about the same. It was around the same number in terms of the estimated costs when we were looking at that issue, but it did create for me some kind of angst when I saw the two different sets of numbers.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:56
Yes.
In terms of the decision, obviously the working group is looking at it and making a recommendation to the board in terms of what they think the requirements of the House would be. The board here is responsible for the facilities, and in terms of the administration of the House of Commons is basically informing the government, through the minister, what we have identified as our requirements and our needs. The decision rests with the minister and the government in terms of whether or not they will go through and undertake that spending.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:56
My understanding is that there is no decision. I personally would be surprised if a decision had been made by the minister before hearing the views of the House of Commons. So nothing has been done—
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 14:14
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We have located the information. The mailing cost for the member at that time was $6,590 at the rate he was charged. If he'd been charged the preferred bulk rate, it would have been $177. The difference was $6,400, essentially.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 14:18
I think it would be beneficial for the board to do it in two steps, so we'll send a report, in terms of information that could come up in the following weeks, and maybe come to the board itself at its meeting to have the discussion and the exchange.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-06-01 16:23
Your question was about interpretation, Ms. DeBellefeuille, correct?
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-06-01 16:24
Ms. DeBellefeuille, I'm going to ask Mr. Eric Janse to answer, since he's the ideal person, being the director for committees.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-03-12 11:27
That's correct.
Those kinds of instructions, directives or directions are very helpful in a way in going forward, for example, by taking off the footprint of the chamber. If we don't look at that and we keep the same footprint, then we can focus on other elements, yes.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-03-12 11:36
That would be very helpful. It would be our pleasure to prepare such a list and submit it for your consideration, with maybe a little background on each.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-03-12 11:36
I think we're done.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-03-12 11:36
Thank you very much.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:22
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Actually, Susan Kulba will start. She and Ms. Garrett will provide an update on the activities that have taken place since our last presentation in June.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:36
We've outlined the decisions that we believe parliamentarians should be involved in and consulted on so that they can share their opinion and ultimately make a decision. A number of decisions will be required in the coming months to continue making progress on the project.
It's not my intent to go into all of those decisions. Obviously, the objective of this meeting is not to get one decision on any of those topics, but just to give you a sense of what needs to be reviewed in designing the program and designing the building. I would say that governance is more the objective, in terms of putting that on the board's agenda to discuss and obtain direction on where the board wants to go.
In a simplified way, the governance for the parliamentary precinct involves many players.
First, the legislative power, in this case the House of Commons, determines the requirements for buildings and offices.
The executive power is the custodian and is responsible for carrying out projects and implementing budgets.
There are obviously other stakeholders, including the Department of Canadian Heritage, the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa.
The devil's in the details. That's simplified, but when it's time to really get to answers and discussion, the decision becomes a bit more complex. The parliamentary administration is the lead for engagement with parliamentarians. It is our responsibility to ensure that members are properly engaged to allow for effective decision-making as it relates to defining the requirements of your workplace for the next 100 years.
Historically, the board has been the decision-maker for LTVP and related projects.
In the previous Parliament, for example, the board appointed a working group that was created to help it make decisions. This concerned the excavation required for the future Visitor Welcome Centre.
We remember the discussions. It may not have been a perfect model yet, but the fact that you were kept informed and that you received help with making decisions was a step in the right direction.
I have reflected quite a bit over the past year on what could be an efficient decision-making process that would ensure that members are engaged in the level of details both on the requirements and potential cost of options.
Obviously, you must receive enough information to ensure that you're satisfied and assured that any potential decision will be made with full knowledge of the facts. In my view, our obligation as an administration is to act transparently and to respond to your requests and concerns.
I would add that our job is to make recommendations. Your job is to study them.
I believe that the working group named by the board is a good model, but we also need to reflect on the interplay with PROC, which also has an interest in the Centre Block or the projects. For example, as Susan has mentioned in terms of the chamber, one of the big decisions that will need to be made is whether or not to expand the chamber. This has implications and I believe it merits the necessary study by members to arrive at a conclusion. I believe that PROC would be well placed to do that kind of study and make recommendations to the board.
For example, if the decision is not to expand the chamber, we know because of the growth in the number of MPs that the rules will have to be adapted. Because of the growth in those numbers, assigned seating will no longer be possible. There are all sorts of procedural implications that would need to be examined with respect to the rules.
I believe that another aspect could be the level of effort for other types of decisions, as we did in the past for the visitor welcome centre, for example. I suggest that for a series of the decisions, it will take hours of iterative discussions between members, the administration and Public Works, so that the members, whoever they are, feel they have all of the information necessary to make a decision in the best interest of the House of Commons, and also Canadian taxpayers.
I would suggest that the level of effort, in terms of the members engaged in that exercise, would be a minimum of probably two hours per week.
I'm leaving you with that at a very high level. That's how I see the way that everybody could work in a complementary fashion in a working group, PROC and the board itself. I will leave it at that.
I am ready for questions.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:47
Being a shared building and a shared facility obviously creates another level of complexity with each House setting up its requirements, so it could have an impact on the overall project. As to how those dialogues take place between the two Houses, frankly I don't really have a response.
I'm going to talk about myself here. Our responsibility is basically to come to you with proposals and options, and listen to what your requirements are and what is the most taxpayer-responsible approach to what we're going to propose.
For example, if you look at the plans in the past in terms of the vision for the visitor welcome centre and the House of Commons requirements, one of the latter was that there be committee rooms in the visitor welcome centre. The team reviewing those requirements surveyed the committee rooms that we have across the precinct and the new committee rooms in this building that have been put online, and it is our collective view that we don't need committee rooms in the visitor welcome centre. We're well served with what we have around our facilities.
That is the type of work that we can do and the challenge for us that we need to address in terms of the requirements. Therefore, committee rooms are no longer a requirement for the visitor welcome centre.
I suspect that the other chamber may do exactly the same, but I cannot speak to that.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:51
Obviously, these are projections. We suspect that there's a point in time when Parliament will modify the—
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:51
—the representation and the balance, but we have to work with certain figures. For example, if you look at one of the plans for this chamber, it was projected that there would be 320 MPs, and we're now at 338.
These are projections based on population growth, and so on.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:51
That's a projection, but as I said, obviously there are many things that can happen between now and then in terms of changes in the number or representation formula, and all of that.
What was your first question?
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:52
I'll give you my personal perspective on the consultation, because I wasn't here when the plans were made.
Basically, the decisions were made in such great detail that I would have found it appropriate for the parliamentarians to be consulted. However, the House of Commons Administration made those decisions.
The Board of Internal Economy has indeed, on several occasions, seen plans that I would describe as high level. However, when it came to things that mattered, such as office allocations and things of that nature, the parliamentarians weren't consulted. For example, the office allocations were done by the administration, which I find deplorable.
In terms of committee rooms, we do have four committee rooms in this building. One of the House plans includes a model that proposes the possibility of transforming the House by adding a floor and more committee rooms. However, at this point, it would be too early to say that this will happen, because we don't know the needs of the House 10 years from now. That said, we've built in some flexibility so that we can adapt the House to meet our needs when we return to the Centre Block.
I think that I answered your questions.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:54
I talked about a subgroup of this group, but it could be another committee established using a different route. Definitely it would be a group that would delve into the details of the project. I estimate that the level of effort required for that group in terms of meeting time would be a minium of an average of two hours per week, because quite important discussions need to be had. The members, I suspect, as this happened with a past working group, will say that they need or want more information on a cost scenario and things like that. Then we need to prepare it, and then we meet again to pursue the discussion.
Michel Patrice
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Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:56
Definitely guiding principles are always helpful in terms of guiding any person in decision-making. We presented draft guiding principles at the last meeting in June. We could distribute those again in a working document. You could then work on them in terms of, for example, the one that you're talking about.
Guiding principles are helpful. That being said, it's when you get into the granularity of things that guiding principles don't cover things. That's why the engagement with members is very important to us.
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