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View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I'd like to move that one, Mr. Chair.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks.
I'm going to move CPC‑14, and I'll just read it into the record here. It's that Bill C‑12, in clause 15, be amended by adding, after line 21 on page 6, the following:
(a.1) a summary of the measures undertaken by the governments of the provinces to contribute to Canada's efforts to achieve the national greenhouse gas emissions target for that year and of their impacts on those efforts;
This kind of carries on with what we were just speaking about, and I think it expands upon it quite nicely.
The government has already proposed in G‑11, and just now in G‑12, that we would add some key co-operative measures or agreements with the provinces. It's very critical that we have provincial buy-in to the plan. That's why I'd like to propose this amendment, to deepen this a little bit more.
Ultimately, the vast majority of the reductions that are going to occur in Canada are going to come from measures that are under provincial jurisdiction. It's the provinces that control our natural resources and our electrical grids, and they also regulate a large portion of the transportation industry. We absolutely need the provinces on board or this isn't going to work.
Now, unlike the Liberals and the NDP, which have tended to be more combative with the provincial governments in Canada, Conservatives believe that we need to work together with the provinces. For example, under Liberals, we've seen lawsuits, such as the carbon tax lawsuit we recently saw, and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. It tied up a lot of time and energy and created some animosity between governments. We don't want to do that. We want to be more co-operative.
Also, I think it's the people on the ground who know what they need to do to reduce emissions. They don't need Ottawa to tell them what to do. In Saskatchewan, for example, our environment has always been a very high priority, because our agricultural-based economy depends on a healthy environment.
I'll give you an example. For many years, I was involved in an agricultural company based in Saskatoon that brought a new innovation to farming, and it brought this new farming technique right into the mainstream. That technique was called “zero tillage”. In a nutshell, it's essentially allowing stubble to stand over the winter and then using an air seeder and air drill to seed directly into the stubble. Farmers are able to retain carbon in the ground and minimize fuel use by reducing the number of passes they have to take over the ground.
In Saskatchewan, when it comes to the environment, our farmers were doing what they should long before being told what they have to do.
We've heard testimony after testimony from pulse farmers, cattlemen, CAPP and the Chamber of Commerce about the need for provincial co-operation. I know that the federal government should work with the provinces, but the reality is that this act says very little about the provinces. In fact, it seems to me that it goes out of its way to avoid talking about the provinces. It seems that the government is being very careful to create a situation where it can work in isolation if it feels that it needs to. My fear, too, is that if we don't achieve our targets as set out in the legislation, then we're setting it up for finger pointing, where the federal government can accuse the provinces of not doing their part, because they weren't a part of this initially.
I believe that we need to modify this legislation and bring the provinces into this discussion in a more formal way. Instead of generating laws and fighting each other in court, the federal and provincial governments should be working together. This legislation should set the foundation for the provinces and the federal government to work together. It should set things up for a co-operative arrangement where everybody is pulling in the same direction.
I'll just end with a reference back to Ecojustice, from their joint submission to the committee. I believe it's one of the ones we didn't have a chance to hear from in testimony, but their submission called for regional and provincial jurisdiction to be respected. This amendment does exactly that.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
I just want to comment a little further on this with some personal examples. In my prior life, I was an accountant. I guess I still am technically an accountant. I worked for many years, as I said, at a manufacturing company, and we measured a lot of things. It has been said previously in this committee that you manage what you measure.
A lot of what's we have discussed so far about this legislation has been focused on what we're doing to reduce greenhouse gases, and rightly so. The nice thing about this amendment is that it kind of forces us to look at balancing some of the pieces of this puzzle. If we focus on just one thing, we may miss some important details on other things. This is one of those very critical pieces of the puzzle.
We can, to use a simple example, force all of our vehicles to be electric, but if we don't have the charging capacity to deal with that, then we're actually not getting to where we want to go. That's what I like about this. It allows us to take a bit of a more balanced approach to some of the metrics we are watching, making sure that while we might achieve goals on this side of the fence, we've also achieved goals on the other side of the fence so that this whole thing is going to work when it's done. If we don't look at the whole picture, we could end up with something that isn't doable or functional at the end of the day. Ultimately that would let Canadians down, and they wouldn't be able to do the things they need to do if we do this wrong.
I have another example, just to further reinforce this. I live in a condo building in downtown Saskatoon. We have a three- or four-floor parkade. At the moment, we have just a couple of electric vehicles plugging into the power that's in that building. As more and more electric cars start showing up in our particular parkade, that's going to start causing stress to the electrical power grid that's coming into the building. I think it's fair to say that, at some point, we're going to have to add another trunk line coming into the building in order to handle the capacity there. If you look around—
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I think the point is about measuring what we're talking about in an electric grid, so yes, I think it's exactly what we're dealing with.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
My point is that the electric grid in Saskatoon runs down the back alley of my building and other buildings. If you look outside of my building, you'll see multiple other multi-storey buildings that are all going to have the same issue. It's not just a simple matter of running another power line into the building. We're actually going to have to add an entire trunk line down the back alley to service all of these buildings. You can multiply that out by multiple times.
That's why I think this is an especially critical point to look at. If we do not get this right, then we won't be able to achieve the results on the other side—or we may achieve the results to a certain point, and then the whole house of cards will fall apart because we didn't deal with this one issue. That's why I'm saying I think this is a particularly good point to look at, because it really helps us to see the balanced picture. As I said, you manage what you measure, and I think it's important that we measure this and manage it properly.
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I do have a question.
Essentially, if I read this right, the minister can publish the target before informing Parliament. As a parliamentarian, should that be a concern of ours?
I would maybe ask that of Mr. Moffet.
Is that usual practice, that things get published and then after the fact reported to Parliament, or is it better that things are reported to Parliament first? Could you comment on that?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay, it may just be because I haven't seen much yet. I've only been here for two years, so I've not seen enough to know.
I thank you for that answer.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Just to help you maybe a little bit with this point.... I'm a full believer and a strong believer that we need our two official languages. In fact, I'm learning French as we speak, although I haven't quite graduated to the point where I can listen to French. I have to listen to the English channel.
Maybe just for your reference—because you are far more advanced in French than I am—I will mention that there is always a pause. Sometimes I know you get a little excited and want to carry on with it, but sometimes it's not obvious that the speaker has quit speaking, so if somebody wants to put up their hand, they have to wait for the last of the translation and go, “Oh, that person's done. I'd better put my hand up.”
I appreciate your comment to get our hands up sooner. I appreciate that, and I will try to do that, but also bear in mind that there is a second there.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate that.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes, that's it.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
One of the things that I heard Madam Pauzé say—and hopefully this was correct—is that she wants to strengthen this area to compel the minister and not just.... I can't quite remember the words that she used. However, essentially, the idea is that this would strengthen it to make the committee more powerful towards the minister and maybe force some things to happen.
I guess maybe, Mr. Moffet, you could answer this question: Does the amendment, in your view, compel anything of the minister, or does it just, more or less, clarify some things in the existing legislation?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
It's mostly just a tweaking of the words, then. It's not really changing the meaning of this section. Is that what you're saying?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Albas asked about “independent”, but I guess I'm going to ask about “expert”. Does that change anything either?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
That was my next question. It needs to be defined somewhere what exactly “expert” means.
What you're saying is that we need to define “expert” if we're going to have it in here and that may or may not change the intent of the legislation. Am I understanding that correctly?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
In other words, “expert” isn't defined at the moment. Is that correct?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I'll leave it at that for now, Mr. Chair.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Can I take a swing at this one? The point is relatively simple. In part (b), BQ-18 is changing it to “subsection 7(2)”. In the original.... I believe it was amended by G-3, as it only refers to 2030.
This is where I'm confused, because it doesn't refer to all the targets. It just refers to 2030. If I'm reading this right, this would not apply to 2035, 2040, 2045 or 2050.
I'm not sure who can comment on that, but that's the confusion we have here.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I'll move that one, Mr. Chair.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks.
I'm going to move CPC-16, that Bill C-12, in clause 20, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 8 with the following:
(2) The Governor in Council may, on the advice of the Minister, determine and amend the terms of
Mr. Albas has kind of struck out on some of these, so I'm going to take a swing at this as well.
We have highlighted over and over why it's important to have a whole-of-government approach when it comes to this legislation, and not just a single minister in charge of this. We've heard from witnesses. There have been briefs. Even the Prime Minister himself said that a whole-of government approach is necessary. However, this Liberal-NDP agreement continues to argue for this one-man show.
Let's see how the one-man show has worked out for Canada.
On April 21, 2021, there was a news article published in The New York Times called, “Trudeau was a Global Climate Hero. Now Canada Risks Falling Behind”. It says, “Between [the] election in 2015 and 2019, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions increased...despite decreases in other rich nations during the same period”. It goes on to say, “If Canada lags too far behind the United States...it could face repercussions” and, “It'll be quite obvious to the world who's really serious about climate change and who's taking half measures”.
This government's one-man show approach is leaving Canada open to trade reprisals from the U.S. If we fall too far behind, then we're going to potentially have U.S. carbon tariffs on goods crossing the border. There are lots of problems here.
This example of trade, for example, shows that we need to have input from other ministers, such as finance, international trade, agriculture and many others. CPC-16 is an amendment that would make important changes to make this stronger.
This is what the Tsleil-Waututh Nation from British Columbia told this committee in a brief, and I'll end with this, Mr. Chair.
Our experience shows us that the government of Canada remains structurally siloed, rather than positioned to respond holistically to the climate crisis, limiting the federal government's ability to address this overarching and complex issue. Tsleil-Waututh Nation's engagement with Canada demonstrates potential for a whole-of-government approach, adds value by working towards this end, and contributes a necessary, rights-based Indigenous perspective. Our concerns and recommendations often require cross fertilization between varying ministries, such as [Environment and Climate Change Canada], Department of Fisheries and Oceans...and Transport Canada. The climate change challenge requires us to work together for decades to come—and we must start now.
Thank you.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I just want to clarify one quick thing. When Mr. Baker introduced this, I believe he said clause 22. I'm reading it and it's clause 20. If you could just please clarify—
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay, maybe that's why I was confused.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I just want to clarify this. The wording in this is “independent expert committee”. I believe Madam Pauzé modified that wording as she introduced this motion. Could I just have what the revised wording is going to be and in what locations it is, just so I'm clear on what we're voting on?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Further to my question, do we need a subamendment or do we need a new copy? How does this work?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Just for perfect clarity, that occurs in subclause 20(3) and also down at the bottom in subclause 20(4)—in two places in this amendment.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, let me put some context to this amendment.
You will remember that Mr. Chan of Facebook came to committee. I asked him this question. Do you know that Facebook is used today for broadcasting? This is where this amendment came from. I know hundreds of former broadcasters who have been laid off or let go who now have a show on Facebook, a one-hour show, or maybe two- or three-hour shows—Bob McCown, Rod Pedersen, Don Cherry—and this is where the amendment comes from, Mr. Housefather.
Mr. Chan could not answer my question when he came to committee with a Facebook group in February as I asked Facebook the question: Do you know people are using Facebook as a broadcasting tool? They're selling advertising on Facebook for their shows. They have subscribers. He claimed he knew nothing about this, which I found hard to believe, but this is where this amendment comes from.
Then I flagged it with our side, saying this is going to explode because what's happening is these people are entrepreneurs and to keep their hand in the broadcasting industry they've taken to Facebook to do these shows.
Mr. Ripley, you were correct when you answered that. This amendment by Mr. Rayes talks about this.
Do we want the CRTC regulating everyone with 10 subscribers and $1,000 coming in? No, we don't want that. This figure arrived from the Australian figure, more or less. We went to the former commissioner of the CRTC and vice-commissioner and asked. This is a big issue in this country. You know it's going to get more and more common as we see less and less conventional broadcasting, whether it's radio or TV stations going dark. This is something that has been coming for the last three or four years on social media. I flagged it in February with Mr. Chan, who claimed at the time Facebook knew nothing about it.
Therefore, this amendment is very important to the Broadcasting Act. I would say it's one of the most important amendments that we can make, because people in this country are using Facebook to generate subscribers. They're using Facebook to generate money and advertising, which according to Mr. Chan is fine.
I'm going to back up what Mr. Rayes said, and just in layman's terms this is where this amendment came from. In the discussion, Mr. Chair, that we had with Facebook officials in February or March, when they came, I flagged this because I see many people in this country making money off Facebook, which is fine, but are we going to over-regulate them with the CRTC, or is there going to be a threshold? We think that 500,000 subscribers and $80 million per year is the threshold.
If I can give you some context on the amendment, here it is. It was through the questions that I posed to Mr. Chan and Facebook that we felt this amendment had to be included in the regulations.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
Thanks for the clarification. We were just wondering about the same thing. It's kind of a different circumstance, especially today with votes, and I think you've cleared it up pretty well. We do know that Mr. Champoux from the Bloc, for example, could not be with us today because of House duty. We also have two members, and I see one—
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
I was just going to say that there's a rare sighting—two members in committee. Isn't that nice to see.
Mr. Chair, you've made some good points here today. The NDP motion should be discussed. With the recent developments of today, it might be a short discussion, but we'll see.
That's all I have to say.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Chair.
Welcome to the officials of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
I, too, want to thank Mr. Manly for his efforts in bringing forward amendments to the Broadcasting Act. As you've all talked about, it hasn't been updated for 10 years. I think for the last several months we forgot about the conventional broadcasters. We've dipped into the digital world, and when we first started this it was all about the conventional broadcasters, who are suffering badly in this country.
Many radio and television stations are leaving the airwaves almost monthly. Mr. Manly would know that because he was a part of community radio for many years. He's a producer. It gets harder and harder to sell a product when there is black on TV channels. I look at B.C. and see that all the radio stations out there have gone dark over the last year, and he's seen that too.
I want to thank Mr. Manly for talking about the point system, because it's very complicated. You need the score of six out 10. When we talk about Canadians.... Where is it being shot? Where is it being produced? Who are the actors or actresses involved? Then there's the MAPL system. Those are the discussions we can't forget about here in committee, Mr. Chair. I want to thank Mr. Manly for bringing that out, because he's been involved in community radio for decades, and as a producer he gives us some insight into that.
To the department officials, this is an interesting proposition, because Ian Scott, the current chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, came to the committee on March 26. Now what we're seeing, and the departmental officials have acknowledged this today, is that this will be an operational challenge. Since proposed section 4.1 was eliminated in April, Mr. Scott hasn't had the ability to talk about the CRTC.
When Mr. Scott was in committee and I asked him point-blank whether he had the capability to enforce Bill C-10, the first answer coming out of his mouth was “yes” but that he had to go to Treasury Board. We all know what that's going to be, asking for more money on behalf of the CRTC to operate this. It is a concern.
Mr. Ripley, I'm just going to ask you this, because like I said, on March 26 we had the CRTC in front of us, and then we've seen all of these changes and operational challenges. What you've told us here today will be front and centre with the CRTC. Could you elaborate on those operational challenges, not only money-wise but with the capacity of the CRTC?
You have heard me and Mr. Manly talk about the capacity of the CRTC for years. They give the seven-year licences and then walk away, and then come back six and a half years later to have a peek. When I hear operational challenges tied into the CRTC, wow, I see a red flag.
I will leave it up to the department officials. I would like you to explain the operational challenges to the committee as we move forward with this amendment. What are the operational challenges that you, as a department, see the CRTC will have to be aware of going forward here?
This is for anyone in the department.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
I have one other question if I can, Mr. Chair, to Mr. Ripley.
Really what you're saying is that this would still mean those creators approved and licensed by the CRTC would still see their social media videos and posts prioritized over those of other social media creators and the issues would still be the same, I believe.
The question of what kind of content gets deprioritized is just as important, in my mind, as those that would be prioritized. I can see a big issue here with cultural and art groups because many of them are well connected and lobby the CRTC. They'll still be able to gain a major advantage, I think, of having the CRTC force social media sites to promote their content over that of the universe of independent YouTube creators, artists and influencers who really don't have the same advantages. It's really not a level playing field.
Am I reading that right, Mr. Ripley?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
The Sheepdogs.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Does the CRTC have to do this nine months after this bill passes?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, witnesses, for what you have shared today and for your work during the pandemic and the public service that you're doing representing an important segment of our population, which I think, especially during the first and second wave, was overlooked. Unfortunately, the pandemic has ravaged the senior population more than any other segment, whether in terms of actual direct effects of COVID or indirectly in suffering during the restrictions. I think as a country we should have bubble-wrapped our seniors and supported them a lot better than we have.
I'd like to hear from both of you whether you have individual stories about seniors who have passed away, unfortunately, from COVID and how the grieving process has changed during a pandemic and all the restrictions. Do you have any individual stories you'd like to share?
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
Before we hear Victor's comments on this, have you heard of more seniors turning, unfortunately, to MAID? There have been media reports that seniors are just giving up. Getting vaccines into the province or into the country has been too slow. Have you heard of that?
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
That's unfortunate.
Victor.
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
Victor, have you heard of, unfortunately, more people accessing MAID in some of your studies?
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate that.
I understand that you have a study coming out shortly on the loneliness and the aspects of mental health in seniors during these trying times.
Just quickly, have you heard of many seniors who are waiting to access surgical care or health care outside of COVID concerns?
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
I'm very concerned about the health care system, because we know that a huge backlog of care needs to be provided. The provinces will be stretched to the limit once we're on the back end and we finally get enough second doses out there. There will be immense pressure on the health care sector.
Thank you again for the work you do.
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
I believe Brad is up on the schedule.
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Chair.
Today, we are talking a lot about the different classes of seniors, unfortunately, that the last budget changed. We were discussing the OAS increase. Ms. Tassé-Goodman, you brought it up, but we didn't talk about the GIS.
Would you agree that it would be fairer to increase the GIS versus the OAS?
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
Ms. Tassé-Goodman.
View Corey Tochor Profile
CPC (SK)
That supports some of the reports we are hearing in the media about the pandemic relief having gone to the most well off versus going to families and seniors who need help the most. That's where I question why that was done and especially for that age group.
My office has been talking with seniors, and it's more the younger seniors who are in tougher financial situations than the older seniors. You'll find low-income seniors in every age group. If you were going to design a program.... Let's think about those who are under 75 years of age versus the ones who are older, It's not just the years they would have worked, and perhaps accumulated more savings; it's the lower-income seniors who are retiring or have retired in the last five years for whom I feel the worst.
The last time our country was facing runaway inflation, they experienced hyperinflation with fewer dollars. They had more debt, such as mortgages. What occurred was that once interest rates skyrocketed for those individuals back in the 1980s, their savings accounts were negatively affected by inflation more so than older seniors. For older seniors who went through that time period and were fortunate enough to have had work at that time, they were actually better off. I question why the Liberals have drawn that line and made two different classes.
It brings up the point of inflation, and you talked about it before. What are you hearing from seniors anecdotally? The cost of living is up. They're making different decisions. I'd like to hear if you have some first-hand stories of what decisions seniors are making, because of inflation and the increase in the cost of living.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank all the witnesses for being here today on Bill C-205, which we believe is a very important bill.
Mr. de Graaf, you mentioned the fact that you guys have already implemented the Raised by a Canadian Farmer animal care program. We know that it's credible and science-based, but is it static or is it ever-changing and evolving as your industry evolves? Can you answer that for me?
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Would it then make sense that we always review and maybe make changes to the Health of Animals Act and bring in some new regulations to ensure that there are more on-farm safety procedures? Would that make sense for a review of the Health of Animals Act and maybe adding some regulations to that?
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
I know your producers and people within your industry group have had some instances of activism on their farms. Have they seen an increase in—I wouldn't say “aggressiveness” of—some of the activism that has happened on farms?
Could one of the reasons that this bill could be so important be that there needs to be more regulation put into place so that people realize there are consequences to their actions when they go on farms and put animals' health in jeopardy?
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
A couple of witnesses and Mr. de Graaf had mentioned that maybe sometimes activists aren't aware of the harms they could be perpetrating on the animals when they're coming into barns and the stress they're bringing.
Do you think Bill C-205 would actually help educate some of the activists on some of the dangers they do bring forward with some of the activism that's taken place on farms across the country?
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much.
Maybe I'll jump over to Dr. Evans, with all his expertise.
We heard a very emotional story about a young farm that had just started. They had activists come on their farm. It actually led them to get out of farming, because not only did they have some animal concerns, but also family concerns and some biosecurity concerns.
Do you think a bill like this helps with maybe taking some of that mental stress off of the farmer so that there is something in place to ensure that not only the family but also the animals are going to be safe from activists coming onto the farm, or do you believe this is just something that is going to educate activists as well?
It's a question similar to what I asked Ms. Bishop-Spencer.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes, Henry, please do so. I grew up on a dairy farm. I'd love to have your perspective here for the last 25 seconds.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Henry. Do you—
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, can I interrupt you for a second? Your boom is up.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I have a really quick question. This amendment will say, “That Bill C-12, in clause 13, be amended (b) by replacing”....
Is there going to be a (b) in there, and is that a problem? Is that okay, or should the first item in there be (a)? Does that matter? Maybe the clerk could advise me on that.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I have a question for Mr. Moffet.
I'm trying to understand something. We have referred a lot to the Paris Agreement as forming one of our international obligations that this has to respect. I suppose I could have asked this question at other times too, but it speaks to, in this case, public participation.
Do the participation and the impacts received for this cause or compel the government to do anything with respect to the Paris Agreement? In other words, do the decisions, input and information that come from this process compel the government or influence it when it makes commitments, for example, revising its commitments to the Paris accord, or is that completely separate from this and these are two completely separate issues?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Thank you.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I have a couple of questions on this one, again for Mr. Moffet.
Would this be enforceable? I don't see any penalties, unless those are coming later and I might have missed them. Is this enforceable?
That's my first question for you. I have another one as well.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes, because my next question was going to be.... You can't hold the minister accountable, which is, obviously, what we just discussed. I think that's the challenge in this. Who exactly are we trying to hold accountable, and what would the remedies be if they didn't do it?
Yes, I think that answers my question.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, as my colleague Mr. Albas just mentioned, this government has been rather slow at being transparent.
To Mr. Bachrach, it's nice to see that you actually got at least a little something from your deal. This is a positive that I like.
I have one question, though, for Mr. Moffet on this.
I noticed there's nothing in this amendment that speaks to the time frame. It talks about publishing a report, yes, but it doesn't give any sort of time frame. I'm not sure it's necessary.
Mr. Moffet, with the way this is written, and given standard practice in the department, what is a reasonable expectation for me as a parliamentarian for when this report would happen? Would it be one month after, six months after, or in one year, two years, five years? What is standard practice? Could you also comment on whether there should be, and it would be helpful to have, some sort of time frame in this amendment?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes, certainly.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I really like this amendment. I thank my colleague for proposing it. I don't think there's any risk that the government wouldn't publish a report or that they would wait until the deadline to do it. I don't think that's an issue.
My view on this, and the reason I think this is good, is that it eliminates a loophole for the government to use. If a future government decided they didn't want to publish a report for whatever reason, this clause doesn't compel them to do it in any time frame. It essentially creates a loophole for them to not release the report in a timely manner. I think one year is a very reasonable time. As we heard from Mr. Ngan, three to six months is typical.
I don't think it's an onerous limitation in any way. In my mind, it just removes that loophole at the end and precludes any government from not producing the report. That's why I like this.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I do agree with what my colleague just said. I won't rehash that.
I just want, again, to highlight the fact that to me, this is all about removing a loophole. Considering what Mr. Ngan said, it's not inconceivable that a future government—you Liberal members of the committee might picture yourselves as opposition members someday—could very much consult for years and never actually produce a report. I think this does compel the government. It removes a loophole essentially. I just want to reinforce the fact that this is really what that would be doing.
Thank you.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, before I ask my question, I'd like you to confirm something for me so that I know I'm on the right track.
If we were to adopt this amendment to subclauses 14(1) and 14(2), it would replace subclause 14(1) and paragraphs 14(2)(a), (b) and (c) so that paragraphs 14(2)(a), (b) and (c) would disappear and be replaced by subclauses 14(1) and 14(2).
Am I reading this correctly?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
My question is for Madam Pauzé.
Basically, this is removing the “content of report” section, or what is currently subclause 14(2) with paragraphs (a), (b) and (c). In my view, having a little more detail on what is required in the content of the report is important. I think it provides some guidance to government.
I'm curious as to the reasoning of Madam Pauzé on why she would remove the more detailed description of what's required in the content of the report, and instead replace it with, I assume, subclause 14(2) in her amendment. There are no real specifics there; it's quite general. What is the reasoning for deleting the “content of report” details?
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Actually, I just answered my own question, so I don't need to ask it.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, to push that a little bit further, I think it's very relevant information to have that, and this is why. If all of a sudden we found out, through measurements, that the unmanaged forest—to pick on them—were sequestering, say, 50 megatonnes more carbon per year than expected, that has a huge impact on the plans that the government needs to make. It could save us from doing a lot of things that we don't need to do, if the earth is naturally doing it. That's just hypothetical, but the point is that if we don't know, then we don't know.
We're making very big commitments, spending a lot of money and making some major shifts in what we need to do as people on this planet. If we don't understand what's happening naturally, we may be making the wrong decisions.
It can go the other way too. We might find that we have to do more because the unmanaged forests are producing more GHGs than we think, or whatever. To me, this is very, very important, because it's a significant piece of the puzzle. If we don't know what that is, then we're making decisions with only partial information.
I think the important goal here is that we have all of the information in front of us so that we can make the best decisions possible for our Canadian people.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I had to pre-emptively raise my hand so that you didn't miss me while I was trying to figure out a few things.
Is this redundant, given the previous changes we've made to the reporting? I was just looking that up. It seems as though we already covered off the interim reporting with the reports in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
Perhaps Mr. Moffet or Mr. Ngan could explain that a bit better.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
Did we not have a big discussion about exactly this point, though, and the question that they would be reporting back on that? We also had the discussion about how many months it took to get the data from 2026, etc.
Perhaps the lateness of the day is causing my brain to miss the point here.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
I think in that discussion, though, we did discuss that these interim reports would be addressing the 2026 targets. Yes, we did talk a lot about [Technical difficulty—Editor] the final targets, or interim or whatever.
Perhaps others can shed some light on this.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I call the meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 34 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. The committee is meeting today from 4:33 p.m. until 6:33 p.m. today to hear from the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada and officials on the subject matter of the main estimates 2021-22 and the departmental plan 2021-22.
During the last 30 minutes of the meeting, we will go in camera to consider our report on the Nuctech security equipment contract study.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all participants at this meeting that screenshots or taking photos of your screen are not permitted.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline the following. Interpretation in this video conference will work very much like a regular committee meeting. You have a choice at the bottom of your screen of floor, English or French. Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are ready to speak, you can click on the microphone icon to activate your mike. When you are not speaking, your mike should be on mute.
To raise a point of order during the meeting, committee members should ensure that their microphone is unmuted and say “point of order” to get the chair’s attention.
The clerk and the analysts are participating in the meeting virtually today. If you need to speak with them during the meeting, please email them through the committee email address. The clerk can also be reached on his mobile phone.
For those people who are participating in the committee room, please note that masks are required unless seated and when physical distancing is not possible.
I will now invite the minister to make her opening statement.
Please go ahead, Minister.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
We will start our first six-minute round of questions with Mr. McCauley.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Kusmierczyk.
I would ask that everybody be respectful of time commitments, giving quality answers as well as questions, and allowing for that discussion to continue.
Thank you.
Minister, perhaps you could answer.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. McCauley, you still have 35 seconds.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister. Thank you, Mr. McCauley.
We will now go to Mr. Jowhari for six minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
We will now go to Ms. Vignola for six minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
I would ask that the deputy minister provide that answer in writing to the clerk. I would appreciate that.
We'll now go to Mr. Green for six minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
Thank you, Mr. Green.
We will now go to our second round, starting with Mr. Paul-Hus for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
We will now go to Mr. Zuberi.
Welcome to the committee, Mr. Zuberi. You have five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
We will now go to Ms. Vignola for two and a half minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister.
Thank you, Ms. Vignola.
We'll now go to Mr. Green for two and a half minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Green. That is unfortunately the end of time but we would ask the minister—
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
—or Mr. Matthew to provide the committee with a written answer to Mr. Green's question. I appreciate it.
Thank you. We'll now go to Ms. Harder for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I would ask that everybody be respectful of each other in their responses, on both sides, along those lines.
Carry on, Minister.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
We will suspend for a second.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
We will bring the meeting back to order.
I thank the member for his comments. I appreciate that.
At this point in time, I see that in the context of the discussion, and therefore I will allow it to stand at this point.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
We will go to Mr. Weiler for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes, Minister, this is the last person up for questions.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate your bearing with us, as we're a couple of minutes over time. We appreciate it.
Mr. Weiler.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Minister. I appreciate that. I want to be respectful of your time, and appreciate your being here.
That's the end of the time for questions for the minister. The officials are going to remain with us.
In order for us to get a bit back on time, we're going to go with five minutes for the first round, and we will be done at six o'clock so that we can continue in camera.
We'll start with Mr. Paul-Hus for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. McCauley.
We'll now go to Mr. Kusmierczyk for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Kusmierczyk, you have five seconds.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
We'll now go to Ms. Vignola for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Matthews.
Ms. Vignola, I gave you a little extra time because of the translation issue to make sure we got the answer.
We'll now go to Mr. Green for five minutes.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Matthews.
Thank you, Mr. Green.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
With that, we have come to the end of our questioning.
I want to thank Mr. Matthews, Mr. Vandergrift and Mr. Zielonka for being with us today.
I appreciate your coming back to our meetings when we ask you to be here. You are free to go.
That said, the public portion of our meeting is now complete. We will proceed to the in camera portion.
When I suspend the meeting, technical staff will end this part of the Zoom. Therefore, every member will need to log off and then log back in using the Zoom identification and passcode sent to you by the clerk.
With that, I will suspend temporarily.
[Proceedings continue in camera]
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you so much, Chair.
I would like to thank both of our witnesses for their time today and for contributing their expertise to our study.
Special thanks to you, Dr. Boscart, for your continued commitment to care for our seniors on the front lines throughout this pandemic.
Tragically, long-term care has been the epicentre of the pandemic. While the problems in long-term care aren't new—we know they're not new—they have been highlighted and heightened during this health crisis. We know the delivery of quality of care for our seniors depends on a skilled workforce.
Dr. Boscart, in the report that you co-authored, “Restoring trust: COVID-19 and the future of long-term care in Canada”, it suggests that the priority in addressing long-term care should be to solve the workforce crisis. In fact, it says that if we do nothing else, we need to address staffing.
That report was released in the first wave of COVID, so it was a few waves ago. Would you say that it is still accurate to prioritize the workforce crisis in long-term care? Could you also share with this committee in more detail the existing challenges in the long-term care workforce?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Dr. Porter, do you have anything that you would like to add to that as well?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
What would either of you say is the greatest barrier to recruitment, then? Out of everything that was said or listed, what would be the greatest barrier to that recruitment and retention of staff?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
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