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Results: 1 - 56 of 56
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to our witnesses for their opening comments and for being available to the committee.
I want to ask Ms. Gillis a question about the recommendation in the Auditor General's report that better monitoring and tracking would be implemented for project delays. At the time the report from the Auditor General was presented, it was highlighted that there were significant delays across the program delivery and that there was no tracking of the effects of those delays.
I want to know if the department counts how long it takes for a project to be approved from the time it hits the minister's desk. Does the department capture that data? When the clock starts ticking, once the municipal and provincial levels have approved a project and submitted it to the government, does the department track how long it takes for a decision to be made on those applications?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
How long has the department been providing that kind of tracking service? Is that since the Auditor General's report or does that predate the Auditor General's report?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
In terms of tracking the effects of delays, what's the progress been for the department to start to include measures to capture that impact?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much.
I have a question for the representative from CMHC.
I believe you mentioned in your opening comments that CMHC manages approximately $32 billion in funds. Am I correct in that number?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
In terms of allocating funding for housing projects from CMHC, what is the ratio between funding that's delivered from the consolidated revenue fund from the government versus funds that you collect from mortgage holders who are paying CMHC premiums?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks very much.
I have a quick question for Ms. Fox.
You mentioned that some of the legacy program funding was being used to pay for things like utility bills. That left me with the impression that a program that was designed to build infrastructure is being used to perhaps pay ongoing operating costs.
Is that the case with some of the legacy program funding?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Were those original legacy programs designed to allow for funding for...?
When people think of infrastructure projects they think of infrastructure funding. I certainly didn't expect that funding intended to be used to upgrade facilities—to improve access to clean water or waste water—would be used to pay for things like utility bills or operating costs.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
In the interest of the committee's time, I'll cede my time.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I have a point of order, Madam Chair.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I just wonder if there might be agreement for the rest of the clauses, instead of recorded divisions—just to test the will of the committee—if we might adopt them on division. If somebody isn't enthusiastically supportive, maybe we could just do them on division.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Or at least one by one—if you want to go through them one by one—rather than recorded divisions, just on division if somebody objects....
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
There were certainly a lot of allegations made at the time of the protests that have since been debunked. A lot of inflammatory language used by certain politicians and the corporate media to try to characterize these protests into something that they weren't, and a lot of those types of allegations have also been debunked.
Many politicians and many media observers used the term “occupation”, in that Parliament Hill was occupied or that the protesters were occupying the precinct or parts of Ottawa.
I just wanted to clarify that, because that's a particularly precise word with a lot of meaning behind it.
Monsieur Duheme, are you aware of any parliamentary buildings that were occupied by protesters?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
To Chief Bell, are you aware of any buildings near the parliamentary precinct that were occupied, where protesters entered buildings and occupied them?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
It's also important to use precise language, because the parliamentary precinct is very specifically defined and the word “occupation” means something very specific.
I have one more question on this line, Mr. Duheme. Were you aware or did anybody in the Parliamentary Protective Service give you any indication that protesters were preventing access to any of the parliamentary buildings during the protest?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
No buildings were occupied and nobody was prevented from entering any buildings on Parliament Hill. Thank you for that.
Chief Bell, there were reports.... A number of security concerns that were raised during the protests arose from the number of trucks that were allowed to park outside this building on Wellington Street in front of West Block. Did the Ottawa Police Service receive any requests from the Sergeant-at-Arms or the Parliamentary Protective Service before the convoy arrived to prevent parking on Wellington Street? Was there ever a specific request from the PPS to prevent trucks from parking right on Wellington Street?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
Many of the streets that were blocked during the protests were blocked by police vehicles. Is that true that many of the streets in downtown were blocked by the Ottawa police?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
The trucks themselves were parked on several streets, but not on others. Were there any negotiations between the organizers of the protest and the Ottawa police as to where the trucks would be allowed to park and requests made to keep certain streets open? Was there that type of conversation going back and forth?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I'm sorry. I only have about 30 seconds left. I would like to get a yes or no answer.
Were there conversations, negotiations or discussions about where the protesters would be allowed to park their trucks? Please answer yes or no.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I have one final question.
Did the Ottawa police make a request to the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act? Please answer yes or no.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Madam Chair. I will be splitting my time with Ms. Block, if that's all right with everyone.
I have a series of very short yes-or-no questions to Minister Mendicino, through you, Madam Chair.
Did the Ottawa Police Service request the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Is that a yes or a no? Did the Ottawa Police Service request that the Emergencies Act be invoked?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Which police service during the protest made the request?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Surely, the minister should be able to tell us which law enforcement agency requested the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, could I respond to the point of order without taking up my time on the questioning?
If the members of the Liberal Party don't like the line of questioning, they're free to pursue a different line. We're talking about expanding the jurisdiction of the parliamentary police service in response to a series of events during which the federal government used the Emergencies Act.
I'm trying to understand which of the police entities around Parliament Hill made that request. I think it is absolutely relevant when we're discussing and contemplating expanding the jurisdiction of the parliamentary police service.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Are you complaining about assigning motive, Mr. Gerretsen?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate that, Madam Chair.
I will point out that although my questions were responded to, I haven't received an answer.
There are several police institutions responsible for the area around Parliament Hill. I'm trying to find out which one of them made the request for the Emergencies Act to be used. That is a question that the ministers should be able to answer.
Mr. Mendicino has made statements about having consulted, so I'd like a simple answer to a simple question. Which police agency asked for the Emergencies Act?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Before passing over my time to Mrs. Block, I'll read, for the committee, Commissioner Lucki's testimony. She stated, “No, there was never a question of requesting the Emergencies Act.”
It's very telling that the Liberals got very squirrelly when I asked this line of questioning. The RCMP have denied asking for the emergency measures act. Mr. Mendicino can't name which agency. I think that's very telling.
With that, I will pass my time over to Mrs. Block.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I'm surprised you missed your opportunity to cut off the Speaker.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Hon. Andrew Scheer: That would have been amazing for an MP to tell the Speaker that he had run out of time, but I understand why you did not.
Thanks very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for joining us today.
I would like to clarify something you said. I think you said 12% of the increase was related to inflation.
Was that correct?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
Do you have a dollar amount of how much the inflation the government is causing is affecting the line item for the Parliamentary Protective Service?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
All in all, in the last few years we've seen some pretty big increases to the House of Commons' overall spending. The House grew by 10% after the 2015 election, but in some years since we have had 17% or 19% increases. In 2019-20, we had a 19.4% increase. In 2020-21, we had 23.6%, and now, again, another big increase.
What are some of the reasons for these big increases in spending above inflation and above the growth of the House of Commons' membership?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
One of the challenges we've had with the pandemic and the restrictions that have been brought in with it is that all members have experienced the strain that's been put on House resources, such as accommodating various committees in a hybrid format, and challenges with technology and with translation especially.
We have been told over the past few years that when there is something extra, sometimes committee have to get cancelled because there's a complete lack of resources. Now we're facing a situation in the coming weeks, if the House passes the Liberal motion, in which we're going to be sitting until midnight regularly until the end of the session.
What impact do you think this is going to have on the ability of the committees to do their work if they've already been strained and now more resources are going to have to be diverted to the late night House sittings?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
When the House had midnight sittings last spring, we understand that there were about eight committee meetings per week that were cancelled.
Is that about what we could expect? Has the House ramped up in anticipation of this?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
So there is one parliamentary envelope or pool for interpretation that the Senate and the House both draw from?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
The House doesn't have its own pool?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I see. Where does Parliament fit in the pecking order?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. I just wanted to make sure of that.
I'm sorry to loop back to the increase, but can you just repeat what the overall increase is? Is the 3.5% the only increase this year over last year?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
What's the total percentage increase year over year if you add in everything, such as the CPI and inflation?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Total?
Mr. Paul St George: Total.
Hon. Andrew Scheer: So that was the total increase. Okay.
On the Parliamentary Protective Service side, I was Speaker at the tail end, just as the entity was being constructed. Overall, is there any feedback on whether or not that has achieved the goal of streamlining, of finding efficiencies and of eliminating duplications, especially as it relates to cost? Have we seen increases or decreases or about the same level of spending? Where would you rate the impact of the new service on the cost of providing security on the Hill?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks very much.
I just have a quick question for Ms. Mack. I believe you were listing some of the languages that you offer services in or produce materials in. I believe I heard you mention Tagalog as well. Is that correct?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Obviously, a lot of the discussion flows from some of the things we've heard about reconciliation and acknowledging the unique role the government has with respect to indigenous languages. Of course, Tagalog would, as far as I understand, not fall into that type of category, but is maybe more the offering of services to people who require it because it's their language. Is that the spirit of why that language would be included in the services you offer?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
You mentioned it's a federal requirement. Is that specific to Tagalog, or is there a requirement that once a language reaches a certain threshold in terms of percentages of the overall population, then that must be included? What would the regulation be that would make that a requirement?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
That is interesting. I appreciate that clarification because that does open up a whole other rationale or motivation in the inclusion of different languages. If the goal is for federal governments, departments and services to be relevant, or at least have an impact on people's lives, then they need to facilitate that understanding. It is a little bit of a different philosophical approach than some of the reconciliation ideas, but they all lead to the end result, with the difference being that, in your system, this is much more expansive. That would really open up the possibility for literally almost any language.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Indigenous languages then have their own set of criteria, I suppose, that are more unique than just any language that might attain the 5% rule?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I only have one other question, and I'll open this to any of the panellists who would like to respond to it. We're looking at the inclusion of indigenous languages on the ballot itself. A number of you have talked about the number of languages that are used in your jurisdictions. I was wondering if anybody would like to comment on the dynamic of providing services or support at the polling locations, beyond just the ballots.
In other words, I've scrutineered before at different levels of elections, so I have often had people who were maybe in the wrong polling location, who may not have the right ID or who have questions about some of the aspects of the voting process. Is it a requirement in any of your areas to provide that ability? In our federal system, we have deputy returning officers, the DROs, who oversee the polling locations and answer questions.
Is there a need, requirement or rule for the ability to have somebody who could speak to people who may only use that one indigenous language? In addition to having it on the ballot, is there any requirement for the staff operating the polling locations to be able to offer clarification, instructions or support in indigenous languages as well?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I really appreciate the testimony that we've heard today. It's been a great discussion, and I think we can all agree on the goal of facilitating participation in elections. Some of the discussion has touched upon some of the challenges that many speakers of Inuit and indigenous languages face on a more general basis.
Mr. Vollant, I was wondering if you could expand a bit on the comment you made about directing resources toward ensuring that the ballots are printed in more languages than just English and French. You said that members in your community have other areas where they believe the investment of those resources could have a bigger impact. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but that's the impression I got.
Could you speak about some of the areas where you might consider resources like this being directed, instead of focusing solely on the ballots? What other types of programming or services may help the people you represent have more ability to use their indigenous languages?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, I don't have any other questions on this now so I will hand my time over to either one of my colleagues or one of the other committee members.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Madam Chair. I have a couple of clarification questions.
The commissioner described the pilot project. I think you referred to it as putting up posters in polling locations using what I believe you termed “a facsimile” of the ballot, with indigenous languages and how that would translate into the ballot.
One of the practical concerns or issues you flagged about using these types of languages on the ballot was related to who would validate the translation. I believe that's how you put it.
I am just wondering if you could explain the process to validate the translation for those facsimile posters. Whose version do you take, or on what basis do you have confidence that this is the proper translation—the proper transcription, I guess, for lack of a better word?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate that. I guess the point is that there's a different level...partially because the ballot requirements aren't laid out in statute, but also because the official ballot would have to be 100% certain. You would have to have an extremely high level of confidence that there is accuracy on the ballot itself, whereas with informational posters, you have a bit of leeway there. It's a bit easier to amend. If you catch a mistake, you can likely amend it a lot more easily than reprinting tens of thousands of ballots.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
This was the first election in which Elections Canada used this pilot project.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Has Elections Canada had time to do any kind of analysis of how the project worked, and have you drawn any conclusions from that, or is it too soon after the last election to accurately summarize how it went?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Madam Chair. That's all I have.
Results: 1 - 56 of 56

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