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Results: 1 - 60 of 8220
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2022-09-20 11:28
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for moving this motion. I support it entirely.
We did have one meeting on this. I want to go back to that testimony. We had testimony from CBSA officials that this was a temporary measure. I want to look at that testimony and see whether it was entirely factual. I appreciate following up on this, because ArriveCAN has caused significant problems for the auto industry, for tourism and even for family visitation.
As well, there are concerns over this being a reason to circumvent hiring customs officers. We've seen the loss of customs officers at a number of different facilities and locations, and they have been quite clear as to the stress they've had. In fact, I'm told that some of them were on mandatory overtime this summer because there has been a lack of process in actually hiring and retaining officers. I think that should be part of what we need to do here.
This is one issue on the border particularly, but it's an important issue that needs to be addressed, especially because ArriveCAN was described as something that was related to the pandemic as to its implementation. As we're going through this current stage right now, and from some of the information that we've received, that doesn't seem to be the case; it's now a policy that has existed beyond what it was supposedly intentionally created for. Hopefully, we can get some research done by the clerk or our team as to when the contracts went out for ArriveCAN. I'd be interested to know whether it was an in-house design or whether it was contracted out to a third party. I'd like to find out how the government went about creating the app to begin with, when that took place, who actually created it and what the contract was. It would be nice to have some of that information in front of us, because we're dealing with a particular situation here.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate the committee.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Like all of my colleagues, I would like to thank the members from the UCC for being here today.
I'd also like to take a moment and acknowledge the generosity that they have shown with regard to their time throughout this entire period. I know that many of us request information from them and are informed by them on a very regular basis. Orest and Ihor, thank you very much for that.
I would be remiss as well if I didn't acknowledge the UCC-Alberta Provincial Council and what an amazing job it is doing in my province.
I want to start today with the waiver question; that's ultimately why we are here. Similar to my colleague, Mr. Bergeron, I just don't understand why at this point the government has not been willing to revoke that waiver.
When this first came up and we were first hearing that this was something the government was considering, similar to many of the people in this room, I wondered why on earth we would trust that Putin would do what he said; he's never done what he has said. He's clearly weaponizing energy and food; he's weaponizing all kinds of those things, so why would we put trust in this? He has made it very clear, and his government has made it clear, that they will not be shipping gas to Germany. I cannot get my head around why the government fails to revoke that waiver.
When Ambassador Kovaliv was in front of our committee, she talked about this being a “dangerous precedent”. I'd love to hear from both of you why you think this is a dangerous precedent and what examples you've seen of how this has proven to be a dangerous precedent.
Ihor, I think you mentioned that the Russians have asked for “further concessions”. Any more clarity you can give on that would be very welcome.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Knowing that this is an attempt to poke holes in the sanctions regime or the cohesiveness with our allies, which nobody wants to see, do you think that this waiver has impacted, and continues to impact, Canada's credibility around the world? If so, what are the implications of that?
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I was also surprised at Minister Joly's not agreeing to look at that. This committee should be looking at that as we go forward.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
This whole conversation is around the sanctions regime. I have found it incredibly difficult to get information about the sanctions. It's the details of what's been seized and the details of the sanctions. It's not who has been sanctioned, but how much and what.
I would like to take a moment, if I could. Please bear with me to read into the record a motion that I brought forward on May 31, 2022:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee conduct a follow-up study to the 2017 FAAE Committee study on Canada's sanctions regime titled “A Coherent and Effective Approach to Canada's Sanctions Regimes: Sergei Magnitsky and Beyond”; that the Committee review the Government's implementation of the recommendations in the 2017 report; that the Committee review the need for new recommendations, if any, resulting from Canada's response to the situation in Ukraine and other situations since 2017; that the Committee hold no fewer than (4) four meetings; that the Committee report its findings to the House; and that pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Government table a comprehensive response to the report.
I would like the subcommittee to have an opportunity to discuss this. I think we've heard from our witnesses from the UCC that our sanctions regime needs to be re-examined very carefully. We've heard that the waiver has fundamentally damaged our sanctions regime and fundamentally damaged the credibility of Canada. It is imperative that this committee undertake a study as soon as possible.
I will end at that point because I know I'm very close to my two minutes.
Orest and Ihor, I would like to thank you both very much for being here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us again.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank our witnesses today. It's been very enlightening. Before I start I just want to take a moment. One of the biggest issues for me has been the efficacy, the transparency and the ability of Canadians to understand how our sanctions regime is working. I think that probably some of you saw that I brought forward a motion in the previous session, but I think it's important to note.
Mr. Kolga, you were one of the key witnesses for the 2017 study, but we also had another witness who testified for this committee. Vladimir Kara-Murza was one of the witnesses. He was arrested in Russia in April and he's facing 10 years. Today is his birthday. I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that he has testified for this committee and that he is in a very difficult place looking at 10 years in prison for criticizing the war in Ukraine. I am sorry, Mr. Kolga, and those who know Mr. Kara-Murza.
I would like to start with you, Mr. Kolga. You were a key witness in 2017. You have talked about how this particular waiver has harmed our sanctions regime. There were recommendations that came out of the study of the sanctions regime in 2017 that have not been acted upon. Can you talk a little bit about how we could strengthen our sanctions regime and how we should be making it more transparent, more accountable and easier to understand for Canadians?
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you.
You talk about transparency and accountability. I've asked about it multiple times in the House of Commons and I've put in Order Paper questions through access to information, and I cannot get the answers I need. In fact, I've been told that because they can't give a pure or 100% accurate answer, they won't give me an answer at all.
We asked to have representatives from the CBSA and the RCMP attend this committee so that we could get a better understanding of that. I fully agree with you when you talk about the need for us to do that.
In terms of that review and the Magnitsky sanctions, are there other people who should be added to those lists? Is there more that should be done using that tool? We know that some are being used, but is there more that should be done using the Magnitsky tools?
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Kolga.
Mr. Chair, I believe that's my time.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I'm sorry, Mr. Chair. I have two minutes and Mr. Bergeron had four?
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
It would be all right with me if you miscalculated again; just a heads-up.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Ms. Heather McPherson: Thank you. I'll be very, very quick, then.
I believe all of our witnesses today spoke about the weaponization of energy, but we also have some deep concerns, of course, about the weaponization of food and the impacts that will have around the world; the weaponization of climate; and the weaponization of nuclear power. I am somebody who is very deeply afraid of what we're seeing happening in the nuclear plant in Ukraine. I'm deeply concerned about what we're hearing from the UN observers who are there.
I'm wondering if I could just very quickly ask all three of our witnesses—perhaps, Mr. Kolga, I can start with you—what Canada can be doing more to help with regard to the grain weaponization and with regard to other aspects like the weaponization of nuclear.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Kolga.
Would either of our guests from the chamber also be interested in answering that?
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you.
Mr. Schmitt.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
That's an excellent place to end. Thank you very much.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm wondering whether or not it would be appropriate to let our guests leave while the committee has this discussion. It seems that we asked them to come, they [Technical difficulty—Editor] their schedules and we've made them sit through longer testimony than we had originally planned for.
Perhaps the next step would be to allow them to depart and thank them very much for their testimony today.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 10:53
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 10:54
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 10:55
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 10:56
[Member spoke in Inuktitut, interpreted as follows:]
[Technical difficulty—Editor]
If you wish, I will speak now so we can look into this technical issue while I speak.
While I speak, it will be translated into English, then it will be relayed into French. Is that my understanding?
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:03
[Member spoke in Inuktitut, interpreted as follows:]
Thank you. Shall we start again?
First of all, I am extremely happy to be here. I thank you for allowing me to be part of this, and that I can speak to you in my own language. I am very grateful for that.
I know, we all know, that Canada is multicultural, but it was also indigenous before there were other arrivals. We've always had our own traditional legal processes and systems. We still use our legal systems today. Sadly, they are no longer recognized in the court system, although we will try to apply traditional knowledge on legal issues within the court system. It should be recognized and promoted.
I am happy that I am able to sit here and say to you that when I went to the University of Ottawa, I took legal studies. I enjoyed my instructor, Tracey Lindberg. She has worked with aboriginal students and has studied aboriginal legal issues and systems, and I learned a lot from her.
Minister David Lametti, this morning, I enjoyed it when you said that the court system has to look at all the legal systems, not only in English or French, but it should also include indigenous legal systems and processes that work.
With Ms. O'Bonsawin now nominated, that is very hopeful and it will help us to introduce a third legal system, which will be indigenous. Whether she's the first person appointed or not, I look forward to the day when we will do more to include indigenous traditional legal systems.
We have many issues whereby we cannot run for many positions. Not being able to speak French is one. Will you look into that as a barrier for us? If more indigenous lawyers are to be involved in policy in government, we need to consider bilingualism in other ways.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:09
If I may interrupt you—
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:09
—I think there was a misunderstanding about my question.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
My question wasn't interpreted properly, and he ended up giving a different kind of response.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
Could I...?
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
Could I ask the committee—
The Chair: I believe you'll have another round in a few minutes.
Ms. Lori Idlout: —if I could ask my question?
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:25
Thank you so much. I will be speaking in English and hope my intervention can be interpreted into Inuktitut.
As I was saying, Canada is founded on indigenous lands, the lands of the first nations, Métis and Inuit, who had their own lives before colonialism. Justice O'Bonsawin's appointment really opens up the opportunity for a pluralistic legal system to be established and recognized.
I'm wondering if you could respond to this question. What next steps can be taken to ensure that this is not a one-time appointment of an indigenous judge so we can make sure there's actual reconciliation with indigenous peoples, whose lands have been stolen in Canada and whose lives need to be revitalized, as you've said?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being with us today despite your illness. It's much appreciated because the topic we're discussing is one that affects thousands, if not millions, of Canadians.
You mentioned in your opening remarks the extraordinary circumstances that we've seen over the past number of years. That is indeed true. Obviously, there's been a global pandemic, a surge in travel, and staffing shortages, and all of that has had an impact.
However, within that context, the treatment of air passengers has been atrocious. You mentioned people sleeping on the floors of our airports. The cancellations, the delays and the ways air passengers have been treated, both by the government and by the major airlines, have been nothing short of shameful. I think everyone in this meeting has seen this first-hand when travelling through Canada's major airports.
Your government brought in with great fanfare the air passenger bill of rights, or the APPR, which was supposed to have air passengers' backs. Can you tell me with a straight face that those regulations have protected air passengers over the past year?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, I only have six minutes. I have a lot of questions for you, so if you could—
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, what is the current backlog of complaints submitted to the CTA?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
The last time we checked, it was 18,000.
The service standard for the CTA is 20 days to resolve a complaint. How long is it currently taking the CTA to resolve a passenger complaint?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, let's say there's a backlog of roughly 18,000 complaints before the CTA. How many complaints has the CTA resolved over the past year?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
We can see Mr. Keenan getting ready there, but we're going to have the officials during the next hour, so I'll save that question for then.
The CTA is also able to issue fines in situations of non-compliance, fines to the airlines of up to $25,000. Are you aware of any fines being issued under the APPR directly related to the passenger bill of rights?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Maybe, Minister, I'll ask you this. All these questions have been about the CTA's area of jurisdiction. You brought to this meeting a number of officials from different agencies. Why didn't you bring anyone from the CTA?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, do you agree with me that the treatment of air passengers over the past year has been inappropriate, has been atrocious?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, I'll pick up where my colleague left off.
On December 29, Air Canada issued an internal memo stating, “Effective immediately, flight cancellations due to crew are considered as Within Carrier Control—For Safety”, and, further, that passengers “will no longer be eligible for APPR claims/monetary compensation”.
Does this reflect your understanding of the spirit of the air passenger protection regulations?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you for that, Minister.
You've repeatedly said that the CTA is an independent body, yet cabinet and you as Minister of Transport are ultimately accountable. You created the legislation, you created the regulations and you're responsible for the CTA.
Section 43 of the Canada Transportation Act empowers you and cabinet to issue policy directives to the CTA. Will you use this, in light of what has happened to air passengers over the past year and in light of the fact that airlines continue to treat passengers in atrocious ways when it comes to delays and cancellations? Will you use this policy directive to strengthen the APPR?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to begin my questioning with the officials who are here from CATSA. At past meetings, I've asked about the summer attendance incentive program, which is a program that CATSA's contractors have put in place using public money to offer a financial incentive to screening officers and other CATSA employees who don't take their booked summer holidays and don't take any sick time over the summer months.
In my past questioning, the response from CATSA has been that this was put in place to address absenteeism. I wonder if the officials from CATSA could define absenteeism for me.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Sure, that's fair enough, but these employees wear CATSA badges on their shoulders, so you'll forgive me if we conflate the two. These are employees working for CATSA contractors, and this program uses public money through CATSA in order to provide the incentive to address absenteeism.
How do you define absenteeism?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Parry, what you've just said contradicts the documents that we've seen from CATSA contractors, which very clearly indicate that, if workers take sick time, they are disqualified from receiving the bonus for the week in which they took that time.
Are you aware of this?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
To be clear, Mr. Parry, if I am working for a CATSA contractor and I wake up with a sore throat and stay home to protect my co-workers and the travelling public, do I still qualify for the $200-a-week bonus for that week in which I stayed home sick for one day?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Parry, can you not see how this puts workers in a very difficult situation? Essentially, you wake up with a sore throat and you're making that decision about whether to go into work and there's $200 on the line. Is this not an incentive to go to work sick?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
I think you know where I'm going with this. They would get $200 if they went in sick with a sore throat. They lose the $200 bonus if they stay home.
Have the unions conveyed concern about this program directly to CATSA?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Am I clear to understand, then, that CATSA has no issues with the way this program is currently being rolled out?
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have a question for Mr. Keenan regarding the air passenger protection regulations.
You mentioned the new amendments to the regulations that are coming into effect on September 8. Last week, on August 10, Transport Canada issued a statement stating that “amendments to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations will come into force to ensure passengers are compensated for flight delays, cancellations, and other incidents that may be out of an air carrier's control.” We looked into those amendments, and the amendments don't do that at all. The amendments essentially refund passengers their airfare if they're not able to complete their trip within a certain amount of time.
Can you speak to why Transport Canada put out such a misleading press release and is not clear about what these amendments actually achieve?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Deputy Minister, for appearing before our committee. I'd also like to thank you for the letter you provided to our committee just explaining the process before we held today's meeting.
In your letter, you mentioned the 35 pages that were held back and retained for further review. Those 35 pages actually contained four sets of notes. I think there were some from Superintendent Campbell. There were some from others. Out of the 35 pages, 13 were from Superintendent Campbell's notes that were held back. Out of the 13 pages from Superintendent Campbell, it's the four of his 13 pages that specifically referenced the April 28 teleconference with the commissioner.
What I would like to know from you, Deputy Minister, is this. When your officials were looking at those 13 pages from Superintendent Campbell specifically, were those 13 pages sequential in nature? Were they all written in one sequential line, or were they 13 individual pages that were sort of hand-picked out of the entirety?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Just to be clear, you're not aware if the 13 pages that were held back from Superintendent Campbell specifically.... You're not aware if those 13 pages were actually written sequentially in a specific timeline, like a journal entry. You're not clear on that information.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
You've taken some time to identify the kinds of privilege that might exist for why they're withheld. Would notes referencing a phone call with the commissioner constitute something that people in your department might take as privilege? Were they concerned that the handwritten notes of a teleconference might contain sensitive information?
I mean, four pages out of 13—that is actually a significant percentage to hold back. I'm just trying to get a sense of the thought process of your department's lawyers that led to those four pages being held back.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Deputy Minister. I'm sorry for interrupting, but my time is short here.
Can you explain to us who is the ranking person in the Department of Justice who makes the final call on whether information is to be considered privileged or not? What level of person in your department makes that final call?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
But she would ultimately be responsible for the decisions made in her department on that final call, on what information is to be considered privileged or not. Is that right?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
In your letter, you also referred to times when there might be a conflict between the MCC and the Department of Justice. For example, if the MCC raises questions about determinations of privilege, there are meetings held between your department and the MCC to find a way through it.
I don't have a lot of time, but can you explain, generally, how those are resolved? Have they been resolved satisfactorily to date?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
My question is very much related to the last one.
Deputy Minister, at the end of page 5 of the letter that you provided to the committee, you say, “The Department of Justice recognizes that not advising...that the 35 pages were retained for further review was an error.” You also went on to say that justice counsel have “explained how the oversight occurred”, that you've “provided a full accounting of the 35 pages” and that you're “also engaged in extensive discussions with MCC counsel regarding the...document production processes”.
I know you've touched on this a bit, but given the term “extensive discussions”, what our committee would like to know is what tangible processes are now in place to ensure these oversights don't occur any further. Can you elaborate a bit on what's changed within the Department of Justice to ensure that this isn't going to be happening in the future?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
If you could table them with the committee, it would be appreciated.
Madam Chair, that concludes my questions. Thank you.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I'd like to echo my colleagues in thanking all of the witnesses for being before our committee and helping guide us through this inquiry of ours.
Chief Superintendent Campbell, I would like to start with you. Can you just reiterate for the committee how long it's been a practice of yours within the RCMP to use handwritten notes?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
You stated quite clearly that you stand by your notes. I would say the same about my notes. I frequently use them for committee hearings like the one we're having today.
Could you also explain to the committee, when members of the RCMP are using handwritten notes, what's the process whereby they are logged? Do they go into an official logbook? How are those records kept? Are there some examples where there are personal handwritten notes only for the officer in question's recollection, or are they logged with the detachment? I just want to know a little bit more about that process.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
To be clear, when you wrote the notes on the April 28 conference call, this was simply a normal course of your duties, something you've done since you were an RCMP recruit. You really had no idea that the notes from that time would result in what all of Canada knows today.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you for clarifying that.
In the previous meeting that our committee held at the end of July, we did hear from a number of witnesses. The previous minister of public safety, the Honourable Bill Blair, was very clear to point out that there's a hard line that he's never crossed in terms of giving operational directives to the RCMP. I think, however, there might be some confusion over whether this was an operational directive or a communication directive.
In your view, could you help clarify what your interpretation was during that conference call, or was it a little bit of both?
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
When Commissioner Lucki stated on the call that this was tied to pending gun control legislation, we know with the benefit of hindsight that the order in council came in May 2020. Was any clarification given on that particular point on gun control legislation? Did anyone ask for further details, or was it just simply announced that it was tied to impending gun control legislation?
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