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Results: 201 - 300 of 1055
Robyn Daigle
View Robyn Daigle Profile
Robyn Daigle
2022-06-16 11:39
Thank you, Mr. Julian.
That's a very good question.
The pilot project, which was launched last summer, during the election period, was offered at an opportune time. This is an important factor.
In terms of promotion and awareness of the pilot project, I have to say that not all MPs' offices were necessarily aware of it, even though there were communications to that effect.
This time, we have set up a messaging system for whips' offices so that they can inform their caucus members, who in turn will inform MPs and their staff. I think that's an important point.
Another issue is the availability of employees to participate in training and the various service offerings.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much.
That would have been really important.
In my opinion and in the opinion of the people who work in my office, the idea of contributing to the training of our employees was successful. Employees wanted to take the training, and they used the budget allocated to it.
In my view, this is a success, but we need to know what the next steps will be before we can assess whether the pilot is truly a success. It would be important to make this a permanent project.
How do you see the next steps for this pilot project? If this is seen as a success, what steps would be needed to make this pilot project a permanent one?
Robyn Daigle
View Robyn Daigle Profile
Robyn Daigle
2022-06-16 11:41
Thank you, Mr. Julian.
Promoting the program is the next step to ensure that everyone is aware of it. Before the end of the pilot project, the Board of Internal Economy will review the results. We will also work closely with the whips' offices to ensure that the information is shared with MPs and their staff.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
Mr. Holland, go ahead.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-06-16 11:41
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
I want to thank Madame Daigle for all of her incredible work. It's absolutely been a wonderful pleasure working with you. I wish you every success in the future. It will be very well deserved, I'm sure.
Similarly, I want to say that we've used this in our own constituency office to great success we suggest that it's something that every office would benefit from. I think a lot of employees aren't aware of it, so we need to do whatever we can do to raise awareness of it and make sure that it is as successful as possible. Giving our employees an opportunity to have access to funds dedicated to their betterment and training is, I think, incredibly important.
I'm very appreciative of all the work that has been done at this point.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Are there any other comments or questions?
I take it that we are all in accordance with this and the recommendation is going through. Very good.
I think—
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian, go ahead.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to get a sense of when we will be reviewing this program. I know that Madame Daigle said it would be before the end of the pilot project, but it seems to me that it's possible, perhaps, to have an interim evaluation even prior to that, and perhaps have the Board of Internal Economy decide, even before the end of the program, whether we feel that the pilot program has been a success.
I wouldn't want to put all of that consideration off into 2023. I think it is something we could examine as early as this fall.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. We're good till March 31.
Is there a date you want to suggest?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
I was going to suggest before the end of the year.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
You're suggesting the end of the year.
Does that sound good to everyone?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: Okay. We'll come back with it before the end of the year. Very good.
Ms. Daigle, on behalf of the board, thank you very much for your service. I wish you all the best. I'm very happy you're not leaving the Hill. You're still going to be within arm's reach—I should say “arm's length”—if we need you. You are leaving a void, but we wish you all the best in your new endeavour.
Thank you.
Robyn Daigle
View Robyn Daigle Profile
Robyn Daigle
2022-06-16 11:43
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Voices: Hear, hear!
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now go in camera.
The meeting was suspended for a few minutes.
I would ask everyone to stick around. As soon as we go in camera, we'll continue.
Thank you.
[Proceedings continue in camera]
[Public proceedings resume]
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We're going to number 5. It's the “2021-2022 Year-End Financial Report” and carry-forward to 2022-2023.
We have Monsieur St George and Monsieur Fernandez.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
You have the floor.
Paul St George
View Paul St George Profile
Paul St George
2022-06-16 12:19
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I would like to present to you the 2021‑22 Year‑End Financial Report. It compares the year‑to‑date financial information for this year with the previous year.
This is the first of two year‑end financial reports. The second report will be presented to the board this fall following the external audit. This report, prepared by House Administration staff, was not audited and is based on modified cash basis of accounting in accordance with Public Accounts of Canada.
I attest to the accuracy and reliability of the information contained therein.
Turning your attention to slide number 2, which relates to the year-end results, the authorities for 2021-22 total $547.6 million. Expenditures amounted to $510 million, leaving a surplus of $37.5 million. This surplus corresponds to the lapse that will be reported in the Public Accounts of Canada.
In next slide, as shown in the surplus analysis, the amount of $37.5 million is broken down as follows: 55% pertains to office budgets of members and House officers attributable to the general election, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other various items; 17% relates to the budgets of committee associations and exchanges, mainly due to the impact of the pandemic; while 28% pertains to House Administration, mainly attributable to job vacancies, the pandemic, as well as delays caused by global supply chain issues.
Annually, with the board approval, the House carries forward lapsed amounts of up to 5% of the main estimates, which corresponds to $19.2 million for this fiscal year. Therefore, a total of $6.8 million would be allocated to the office budgets of members and House officers. The remaining $12.4 million would be allocated to the House Administration and could be used to offset unforeseen operating pressures, as well as various member-related projects and initiatives: for example, the life-cycling of IT infrastructure not received last year due to supply chain issues, the continuation of corporate prevention programs related to occupational health and safety, improvements to members' financial management tools and the management of corporate assets.
Therefore, I am seeking the board's approval to include a carry forward of $19.2 million in the 2022‑23 supplementary estimates.
This concludes my opening remarks, Mr. Speaker.
I look forward to your questions.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
Mr. Calkins.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you for the presentation.
Based on the slide that I saw, the carry-forward that MPs have from the fiscal prudence or the election-related savings is $6.8 million. Is that right? And of that, the lapsed budgets for members of Parliament was $20.58 million. Did I remember that number correctly?
Paul St George
View Paul St George Profile
Paul St George
2022-06-16 12:23
From the prior year, that's $20.6 million.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
Yes, $20.6 million. That's that difference of $12.4 million you had up on the slide—and you listed a few projects that would be covered by that. I'm wondering if you could give me some more clarification.
It seems to me that it's money that should be allocated to improving the quality of service that members of Parliament can deliver. Can you assure me that the $12.4 million will be spent directly on things that improve the ability of members of Parliament and their offices?
Paul St George
View Paul St George Profile
Paul St George
2022-06-16 12:24
That is a very good question.
The surplus itself—the $12.4 million targeted for next year—as in previous years, is used for initiatives the House implements for various systems. For example, we have a very significant one next year that is referred to as the “expense management system”. That's creating a significant change to the way claims and transactions are processed by members directly. It's providing a system that is more efficient, at the end of the day.
It is also used to cover various pressures. For example, at the last meeting, we talked about retroactivity of salaries for certain members within administration. That is not a budget item within the authorities. Sometimes we will look at those surpluses. They may carry forward and be utilized to offset some of that.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Are there any questions or comments?
Everyone is in accordance with the recommendation.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: We'll move on to number 10.
We have Ian McDonald, who will be presenting to us.
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:26
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The annual report was distributed to Board of Internal Economy members yesterday, following its adoption by the Liaison Committee yesterday. It includes information on the activities of each joint and special standing committee during the 2021‑22 fiscal year.
In the last fiscal year, committees held 852 meetings, heard from 3,725 witnesses and presented 148 reports to the House. Total expenditures were $156,000.
The current period included an election in the fall of 2021, which helps to explain a small decrease in the level of activity compared with other full.... It's comparable to election years and a small decrease over previous full years. However, if we look a the level of activity from January 1 to March 31, 2022, there have been more meetings, witnesses and more hours of meetings than at any other time for the same period during the last eight fiscal years.
The report also contains an updated virtual committees dashboard as an appendix, which is also the next item on the board's agenda.
With that, if board members have any questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
You know how much I like to have this item on the agenda of Board of Internal Economy meetings.
I'll try not to take too much time. These dashboards and reports reflect all the work done in committee by members. As we read the report, we can see that this represents a lot of work for the administration, the clerks, the analysts and the researchers, but also for all members and their staff.
Mr. McDonald, you have written this to us, but I would like to hear you to say it publicly. At my request, as a member of the Board of Internal Economy, you have produced an appendix in our documents on the number of witnesses who testify entirely in French or in English.
Could you tell us what percentages you mentioned in your letter?
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:28
Certainly. I'll be happy to do so.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm sorry to interrupt.
Are you referring to item 10 or item 11 of the agenda?
I see that we're at item 10.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
I can save my questions for item 11, if you like. It's still the report, but the dashboard is appended.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The question will still be for Mr. McDonald, but I want to make sure that all the participants know what item we're referring to.
Eric Janse
View Eric Janse Profile
Eric Janse
2022-06-16 12:29
Mr. Speaker, this is part of item 10.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. That's great.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
You know that I do my reading, Mr. Speaker.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
You do it very well. I have no doubt about that.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
I saw that the dashboard was in the appendix of the report tabled in the House.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Perfect. We're going to continue.
Perhaps we can discuss items 10 and 11 at the same time.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Does my question stand, Mr. Speaker?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:29
Thank you for the question.
As you mentioned, Mrs. DeBellefeuille, we did research that information. Since the beginning of this Parliament, we have observed the situation and taken into account all the participants, that is, members and witnesses. This research found that 20% of all participants spoke French and 80% spoke English. For witnesses only, 17% spoke French, and 83% spoke English.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
So the witnesses spoke in French 17% of the time. The others spoke in English.
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:30
That's just the witnesses.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
All right.
I feel it's important that we take a look at those percentages.
Mr. McDonald, it's been two years since our last update, and the situation seems to be unchanged. Since Parliament resumed in 2019, the ratio has been fairly consistent, with 80% of witnesses choosing to speak English instead of French.
That explains why francophone members become annoyed from time to time. Interpretation and technical issues take a much greater toll on members who speak French or who are unilingual francophones, so I want you to know that.
You also talk about technical issues in your report. We have noticed a definite improvement in the number of interruptions, even though February was a challenging month, from what I gather. We felt it, and we alerted you to numerous issues at that time. The dashboard figures illustrate that, in fact.
I think headsets are one of the key issues. You bought better-quality headsets at a cost of $120 each. As I understand it, all 338 members of the House each received three headsets.
Have you noticed that few members wear the headsets, which aren't all that popular?
I was at Friday's Liaison Committee meeting, and I noticed that more than half of the chairs weren't wearing their prescribed headsets, which were purchased at great expense to improve sound quality for the interpreters.
How do you plan to improve compliance with the headset rule? How much of the responsibility falls on the clerks?
It's a real problem.
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:30
Thank you for your question.
Since the pandemic began, we have worked very hard to do everything we can to ensure good sound quality and make improvements.
As we saw recently, one of the reasons why the headsets were chosen was their high-quality built‑in microphones, and that improves sound quality for everyone—the interpreters as well as in‑person and virtual participants.
Through our research, we came to understand the important role these microphones play in sound quality. We realized that they were even more important than we had thought, so we certainly need to continue educating witnesses and members on the importance of these devices.
We rely on members to use the tools we make available to them. Members who feel that it's not the best device for them need to know that other options are available. They can choose a headset that goes over only one ear, as you mentioned in another meeting, an earpiece, a desktop microphone and so forth. Members who don't find the headset suitable have other options. Mr. Aubé's team and the House of Commons staff can certainly help anyone needing that type of assistance.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Who is responsible for letting members know that they aren't wearing the proper headset and that not wearing it could cause hearing loss for the interpreters?
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:34
I think that responsibility falls on the members, themselves. Many times in the House, when an interruption occurs, the Speaker moves on to the next person. It is very important that members use the equipment available to them.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Very well.
My next question has to do with the number of interpreters. You don't specify in your report whether the number of interpreters is sufficient or not. In the hybrid Parliament, a number of committee meetings have been cancelled because there weren't enough staff or technical personnel to accommodate parliamentary committees and the legislative agenda at the same time. The part about the interpreters isn't very thorough.
I will focus on item 11, unless the chair would prefer that I discuss the matter of the interpreters. I am actually very worried about committee travel. The Liaison Committee oversees that funding. Interpreters are going to accompany many committees on international trips.
Let's say all those committees travel so they can conduct their studies and take parliamentary interpreters with them on those trips. Will Parliament—which may or may not be hybrid—have enough interpreters left so that parliamentarians, in Parliament and on committees, can carry out their duties?
Are you able to answer that question?
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:36
That's very hard to answer because of all the variables involved. As you mentioned, we are not sure whether meetings will be held in a hybrid format or not. Whether meetings take place in person or in a hybrid format will have an impact on the availability of interpreters.
Something else to consider is whether the committees will all be travelling at the same time and whether they can hire interpreters on site or whether they will need parliamentary interpreters.
Those are three variables, but there are certainly more.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
From what I've read and heard on the board, only one committee will be hiring interpreters locally, the Standing Committee on International Trade, I believe. Interpreters will be accompanying the other committees.
I'm not asking you to say for sure that we won't have enough interpreters. Would you agree, however, that the situation poses risks given the shortage of interpreters and the fact that Parliament will probably continue to sit in a hybrid format?
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-16 12:37
Yes, that's certainly a possibility, but there are ways to manage things. Committees could travel during weeks when the House is not sitting. As you mentioned, only one committee plans to hire interpreters on site, while outside the country. The funds that would be used to send interpreters with the committees could be used to hire interpreters locally, where the committee is meeting.
Although this isn't something that was planned for, there are solutions. We will look at how to make the best use of interpreter resources to support committee meetings here, in Ottawa, even when committees are travelling.
However, interpreters travelling with a committee likely won't be available to accommodate another meeting being held that day or even another day. It will depend on the length of the trip. As I said, a number of variables enter into the mix. Each case has to be examined to identify the specific consequences. To some extent, we do that now when we look at the availability of interpreters for committee meetings. We reach out to your offices every day to keep you informed.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
You're quite good at answering the questions, so my hats off to you, Mr. McDonald. Nevertheless, you aren't making me feel any better about the possibility of finding ourselves in a tight spot as far as having enough interpreters for the next session of Parliament is concerned.
Over the past two weeks, some chairs have got into a bad habit. They are convening informal meetings, arranged by the clerk, without interpreters, because none are available, since a number of committees have been cancelled as a result of the hybrid model.
You can't tell me for sure, but what you are saying isn't all that reassuring since the decision has yet to be made as to whether the hybrid Parliament will continue. We don't know how Parliament is going to work in the fall.
I know enough at this point to conclude that it's not necessarily the best time for committees to travel outside the country.
I greatly appreciate your answers, and I commend you on your report.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
Thank you very much, Mr. McDonald.
This item doesn't require a decision, but it certainly brought some issues to our attention.
Shall we move on to item 11?
I'm sorry. We have to table....
Are we okay with tabling this report?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: Good. I think that's fair.
We're down to item number 11. Have we already covered that?
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
I have a question for Mr. Aubé about item 11.
Mr. Aubé, my question is fairly straightforward. You have appeared before the board throughout the year to update us on the improvements you had made to the audio system, to meet audio quality standards for the interpreters.
The last time you were here, you told us that a study was under way.
Will you be sharing the findings of that study soon, or will we have to wait until the fall?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Aubé, please go ahead.
Stéphan Aubé
View Stéphan Aubé Profile
Stéphan Aubé
2022-06-16 12:42
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, the consultants actually submitted their report last week.
The first step was to meet with the people at the translation bureau. We sent them the full report as well as the summary. We are in talks with them about possibly sharing the report with the NRC to identify where the report differs from what our records show. We will be sending the report to the Board of Internal Economy and presenting the findings to you.
As we thought, our in-person systems comply with ISO standards. Our virtual systems were shown to be of excellent quality. The report contains recommendations on standardized headsets and microphones. You asked earlier whether it was important to standardize the use of microphones for all users participating virtually. The answer is yes. All the tools that were recommended are the ones we are currently using.
All the board members will receive a copy of the report. We don't want to make it widely available because we need to meet with the stakeholders first, the interpreters and the translation bureau.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Go ahead, Mr. Julian.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Aubé, when will the report go out to the members of the Board of Internal Economy?
Stéphan Aubé
View Stéphan Aubé Profile
Stéphan Aubé
2022-06-16 12:43
We can send it to you soon, Mr. Julian.
Stéphan Aubé
View Stéphan Aubé Profile
Stéphan Aubé
2022-06-16 12:44
That's what we would like to do.
Stéphan Aubé
View Stéphan Aubé Profile
Stéphan Aubé
2022-06-16 12:44
We will check with the translation bureau to see whether we can get the translated report as soon as possible.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Mrs. DeBellefeuille asked some important questions. As you know, we have been discussing the issue for weeks. A pilot project will be conducted in the next few months.
The interpreters are performing a colossal task, one of tremendous value. Every effort needs to be made to ensure their health and safety in the workplace. All of us on the Board of Internal Economy believe that. This information could be crucial. If next Thursday is our last official meeting for a while, we need to be able to discuss this issue.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
What I've heard is that the report will be shared with members once it has been translated.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions or comments?
We will now go to item 12, “Report to Canadians 2022”. The presenter will be Charles Robert, the Clerk of the House of Commons.
Go ahead, Mr. Robert.
Charles Robert
View Charles Robert Profile
Charles Robert
2022-06-16 12:45
Hello.
I am pleased to present today the Report to Canadians 2022, the annual report of the House of Commons.
This report provides an overview of the work carried out by members of Parliament during the fiscal year 2021-22, as well as the efforts of the House of Commons administration to support you.
This year's report showcases the House's pursuit of service excellence. It demonstrates how the House Administration was able to ensure that business would continue while introducing new programs and enhancing services to members.
For example, the “Highlights from the Hill” section speaks about the efforts to support the opening of the 44th Parliament. For the first time, the members' orientation program was offered in a hybrid format. This included welcoming and swearing in re-elected and newly elected members and accompanying outgoing members in person or virtually.
This section also details the launch of a new application that enables members to easily submit employment-related requests.
It showcases a timeline of significant events during the year, including the dissolution of the 43rd Parliament in August and the 44th general election in September, and the opening of the 44th Parliament and the election of the Speaker.
To mark 100 years since the historic election of the first woman member of Parliament, the section includes a list of pioneering women who have marked the evolution of our parliamentary institutions over the past hundred years. Under “Members' Activities”, the Report to Canadians 2022 describes the scope of work done in the House, in committees and during international and interparliamentary activities over the past year.
The “Reporting on Results” section describes how the employees of the House administration offered continuous support to members, in particular by ensuring the continuity of House activities and by protecting the health and safety of employees over the past year. For instance, it includes an overview of the latest developments and the rehabilitation work on the Parliament building, the renewal of the LEGISinfo website, and House administration's adoption of the new core value of inclusion.
Further to your approval, the report will be tabled in the House and made available to you on ourcommons.ca.
A promotional image of the report for use in householders and constituency mail has been prepared for you and will be available on the printing and mailing services website. This will give you an opportunity to highlight the report in your communications with your constituents.
We will also share the report through our social media channels and with our parliamentary partners and legislative counterparts.
The “Report to Canadians 2022” is offered in a printable HTML format. It is mobile friendly and accessible.
Thank you for your attention.
I am ready to answer your questions.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, I have read the entire report. It was so interesting that I thought I would show excerpts to the students we sometimes meet, because it is very concise and well done, and includes Internet links.
Congratulations, Mr. Robert, for the accessibility of this report. In many cases, reports are produced, but are not meant to be read. They are meant to be stored in a library.
Your report was very interesting this year, Mr. Robert.
Charles Robert
View Charles Robert Profile
Charles Robert
2022-06-16 12:49
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, the goal of our communications team was indeed to make the report much more available, accessible and interesting for all Canadians, because Parliament's activities are so important for the nation.
We think is is useful to present the report in a format that is more interesting and intriguing for all Canadians. This is helpful when you meet your constituents because it allows you to easily show them that you are not alone in doing your work, and that all members and all of Parliament contribute.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Just the part about the whips I thought you had not provided a lot of information.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Congratulations on your report. It is a good report that deserves to be read.
Charles Robert
View Charles Robert Profile
Charles Robert
2022-06-16 12:50
Thank you very much.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Any other questions or comments?
We should table it in the House of Commons.
Thank you very much.
There is just item 6 remaining, and the meeting will end in 10 minutes. I do not think we have enough time.
I will give Mr. Julian the floor, and then over to Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Item 3 should be the first item on the agenda for Thursday's meeting. There will be some discussions in the coming days.
There is also the issue of the interpreters.
I think we already have enough on our plate for next week's meeting.
I propose that we begin with the LTVP working group for the parliamentary precinct and the rehabilitation of Centre Block.
I think Mrs. DeBellefeuille also suggested that we obtain a report on security incidents and on the opinion sent to members last week.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, do you have something to add?
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
I think it would be best not to start on another topic today. If you wish, we may adjourn, if the members of the committee agree.
After the meeting, I would like to talk with my colleagues about the interpreters and committee travel.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Brassard, do you have an intervention?
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
I'm okay with the agenda next week. I think we should defer item six, as well. We'll talk about what Mrs. DeBellefeuille wants to talk about afterwards.
Thank you.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Thank you very much for your co-operation today. We did cover a lot of ground.
The meeting is adjourned.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
This is the 10th meeting of the Board of Internal Economy in the 44th Parliament.
We're going to start with the minutes of the previous meeting, number one.
Are there any questions about the first item in the minutes of the previous meeting? No? Everything is in place.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll continue with number two.
This is business arising from the previous meeting. Are there any questions or comments on this? No? Good.
Let's move on to the third item: the Special Committee on the Canada-People's Republic of China. The speaker will be Ian McDonald, the clerk assistant.
Mr. McDonald, I'll let you take it from here.
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-09 11:10
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
You have before you the request for an interim budget for the Special Committee on the Canada-People's Republic of China. This is the normal practice, which is to make a budget request whenever the House decides to create a special committee. The budget is set at $50,000 only for the start of the committee's work. After that, if the committee wants to travel, conduct other work, or incur more expenses, it must submit another budget request to the Board of Internal Economy.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions?
Mr. Brassard, you have the floor.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. McDonald, the House order allowed for a travel authority for this committee. I just want to make sure that the proper rules will be in place, including having the approval of this body if there is a need for this committee to travel.
Is that still part of your understanding?
Ian McDonald
View Ian McDonald Profile
Ian McDonald
2022-06-09 11:11
Absolutely.
Through you, Mr. Speaker, the $50,000 is really a start-up budget in case the committee incurs any expenses. If they need more than $50,000—if they want to travel or if they want to hire professional services—then all of those requests would have to come back to the board.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Are there any other questions?
Very good, so we're okay with the recommendation of the $50,000?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: Very good.
We'll go on to number four, members' advertising and hospitality expenses.
The presenter will be Monsieur St George, chief financial officer, and Monsieur Fernandez.
Paul St George
View Paul St George Profile
Paul St George
2022-06-09 11:12
I am pleased to be here today to seek approval from the Board of Internal Economy to update certain provisions of the advertising and hospitality expense policies.
The first item relates to the current policy, which provides that advertising costs incurred at third-party events cannot exceed $500 per event. This limit has not been revised since it was established in April 2014. On the other hand, MPs' office budgets are increased annually in line with the consumer price index. Therefore, the administration recommends that the Board of Internal Economy increase the limit for advertising to $660, in line with increases in members' office budgets since April 1, 2015. In addition, it requests that the Board of Internal Economy authorize that the chief financial officer may review the limit on an annual basis in the future and amend it as necessary. The chief financial officer will then inform the Board of Internal Economy of any changes to the limit.
The second item relates to tickets for events.
Under the current policy, members may claim the cost of a ticket for a community event, inclusive of a meal. In recent years an increasing number of organizations have started to charge an entry fee for their activities and organized virtual events without meals. The administration recommends that the board approve a policy change to allow the reimbursement of event tickets regardless of a meal.
Also for your information, on April 1, 2022, the maximum rate for tickets increased from $125 to $140. The chief financial officer would review this rate, along with the advertising limit, on an annual basis and adjust it accordingly.
Mr. Speaker, this concludes my presentation and I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
Yes, Mr. Brassard.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
Just for clarification's sake on two issues, on the issue of charitable tax donations, if a member is to receive a charitable tax donation, the actual cost of the ticket would not be reimbursed. That remains in effect?
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay.
And political fundraising events are not eligible for these types of expenses?
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, sir.
Paul St George
View Paul St George Profile
Paul St George
2022-06-09 11:15
You're welcome.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Are there other questions or comments?
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.
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