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Results: 1 - 10 of 10
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I appreciate the Auditor General's work. This is my first time on this committee, but we've been studying the various infrastructure programs at the transport committee, so I appreciate my colleagues' allowing me to sub in today.
There's a lot to unpack, with such a large department administering a large amount of money, as you point out, over many different funding envelopes. I suppose that's one of the reasons we flagged the challenge of getting accurate information back on the department's spending, based on the fact that it is spread out over so many projects.
I have a couple of questions for the Auditor General, just to get some clarity on them.
In your report, you indicated that there was quite a significant delay in terms of the program spending, and that not all the money that was allocated was being spent every year. We just heard from the deputy minister—I believe she said this but she can clarify if I've misquoted her—that they have spent 43% of the funds 40% of the way through the plan.
Is there a contradiction there? Is the plan behind? Have they taken that lapsed money and put it onto later years? Are we currently behind, or am I misreading something?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks very much for that clarification. We are hyperaware of the difference between funding commitments and actual results. We've been studying the Canadian infrastructure bank at the transport committee. That is perhaps the most famous example of money allocated without results to show for it: $35 billion allocated and so far not a single project completed, so thank you very much for clarifying that.
Can you speak to the dynamic of the legacy projects and the lack of reporting on those? In your report and your news release, you flagged this, or someone flagged this, because this issue was raised as early as 2017 by one of the plan's oversight committees. Why is it important that the previous government's previous legacy programs be included in terms of the reporting? If they are going to claim the money as money they're spending and allocating, why is it important that the reporting follow it?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Were there shortfalls in reporting only specific to the legacy projects or, within the newly created programs by the current government, were there also some reporting shortfalls in those envelopes, as well?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much.
It's so important, because when a government says to Canadians that this is how it is going to address economic decline and kick-start the economy, especially moving out of the impacts of the pandemic, in order to be able to trust the government, we have to be able to see if the money is actually doing what it is intended to do.
I'll go back to your point about committing money. Yes, it's easy to commit money. It's more challenging to spend money, but it's even more challenging to spend money properly. That's why these reporting mechanisms are so important.
If I have time left, Madam Chair, maybe I could ask the deputy minister....
Again, I've tried to take notes as you've spoken, so if I misquote you, please clarify. I believe you said that some of the programs don't require reporting by design. When we're talking about tracking the effectiveness of taxpayers' money, can you explain which types of programs you would specifically design not to have some kind of a reporting or tracking mechanism?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I can come back to that in my follow-up round, Madam Chair, if you'd prefer because of time.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I have a few questions for, I believe, Ms. Bowers from CMHC.
What would you say is the largest demographic in terms of income of Canadians who use the mortgage insurance that CMHC provides?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
In terms of income, would you say that it skews towards the lower and middle brackets than wealthier Canadians, first-time homebuyers who can afford to put down more than 20% and therefore don't require the products you offer?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
First-time homebuyers who can't afford to put more than 20% down on the mortgage are the people who pay CMHC premiums.
Now, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, you fund housing programs and various social benefit programs within your own agency. Is that correct? Do you manage and fund your own programs?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
This year, on March 31, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, announced a special dividend payment of $3.5 billion to the Government of Canada; that is, a transfer from CMHC directly to the Government of Canada. This means the premiums of those first-time homebuyers, who are low- and middle-income Canadians who can't afford to put more than 20% down on their mortgage, went to pay a $3.5-billion dividend to the government. Is that correct?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
It says here on CMHC's website that that quarterly dividend is $250 million, so that's exactly a billion dollars a year if it's $250 million a quarter. That's off the backs of premium payers. That special dividend that goes into the government's coffers is directly on the backs of low- and middle-income Canadians and, as you just mentioned, first-time homebuyers. The federal government has scooped up the profits made on the backs of hard-working first-time homebuyers. Is that correct?
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