Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 30 of 24587
View Robert Aubin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Given the discussion we've been having since the meeting began, I would like to share a few thoughts with my colleagues, respectfully, of course .
I think my colleague Ms. Chow did an excellent job of explaining the problem. We can well imagine that the eyes of the entire Lac-Mégantic community are on us as we discuss this issue, but that's only part of the picture. The truth is every resident of a town whose urban landscape is dotted by a railway now lives in fear because of what happened in Lac-Mégantic. Just as the brave people of Lac-Mégantic are rolling up their sleeves and working tirelessly to put their community back together, I believe the entire population expects the country's politicians to support them throughout the process.
That being said, we are more or less in agreement that we aren't going to rush the findings of the investigation under way as we speak, on the ground. Never was there any question of taking resources or money away from the investigation into the Lac-Mégantic disaster so the committee could undertake a more comprehensive study on transport safety.
Be that as it may, we seem to be dealing with some inconsistencies, or considerations, that we need to address. Take, for instance, the measures that were re-introduced at around 2:30 this afternoon. They were put in place for a period of six months, but everyone here knows that we probably won't have the report on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy in six months' time. Once that period is up, we'll be confronted with the same questions the people are asking right now, questions that are causing them to feel increasingly unsafe. Someone has to try to allay that fear, and if not the federal administration or this committee, then who? Isn't that our true mandate? I think enough pre-Lac-Mégantic reports on rail incidents have come out to allow us to start examining the situation and looking for answers to many of the questions that the Lac-Mégantic tragedy has brought to light.
Will the Lac-Mégantic report give us more insight into rail safety and shed more light on the issues? We'll respond accordingly at that point, and that is the reason for the second part of the motion. The motion, as presented, in essence focuses solely on Lac-Mégantic and suggests that we would wait for the report, because we can't do anything now. What that motion does is send all Canadians the message that they will have to continue feeling unsafe and asking questions that we might address at some point down the road if we have all the information.
And once we have all the facts on the tragic incident in Lac-Mégantic, does that mean we'll be able to alleviate the concerns of the other municipalities? They're asking how do they figure out what products are being transported through their region. They want to know what emergency measures the mayor can put in place, when they don't even know which goods are moving through their municipalities or who the first responders are. The bottom line is that there are numerous issues we could start discussing now to work together on finding solutions.
I was—and still am—hopeful that we won't spend this meeting hiding behind partisan politics and strategies. My hope is that we will listen and respond to the fears and concerns of not just the people of Lac-Mégantic, but also the residents of many municipalities across Quebec. They are looking to their politicians for guidance now, not in two years.
Some people are even speculating that the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic could have been prevented. I don't know. Perhaps the report will tell us. It's too early to draw any conclusions in that regard.
What is clear, however, is that we have a responsibility to do everything possible to prevent another accident of this magnitude or worse, even one that is less serious. And that means we must get to work now. What's more, because it's summertime and the House isn't sitting, we have more time. And people expect us to tackle these questions as a matter of priority. That is our job. I hope we can work out a schedule very quickly, instead of arguing about commas in a motion whose relevance, I repeat, extends far beyond the Lac-Mégantic accident.
Who are people supposed to rely on for peace of mind when they go to bed at night, for total assurance that they are now safe, no matter where they live in the country?
Thank you.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to start by thanking Mr. Holder for putting the discussion back on a constructive track, contrary to the tone taken by Mr. Adler, when he falsely accused me of finding some sort of humour in such a tragic situation. There is no doubt that we share the sorrow of the people who suffered in this tragedy, and that our thoughts are with all Canadians, all Quebeckers and all the people of Montérégie who are worried about the situation.
I would like to point out that, because it is absolutely necessary to let the key experts stay in Lac-Mégantic—and that goes without saying—it would be heresy to even consider pulling away anyone serving as a first responder or whose particular skill set is needed now. But it also goes without saying that the sooner we begin this study, the better off everyone will be.
I can tell you that the people in Boucherville, who were mentioned in a La Presse article the day before yesterday, are troubled by the fact that certain railway cars carrying unknown goods pass 20 feet away from a school. This isn't a matter of whether to move the railway line or not, but a matter of getting the necessary information.
The residents of Longueuil are a bit less anxious because they know they have a planning committee managing rail transport, and that's a good thing. Does every city have such a committee? Based on the recommendations of a study like ours, which should begin immediately, Transport Canada could open up the lines of communication with municipalities to ensure each of them is better informed about what's going on in their backyard. It could do that, couldn't it?
These are crucial considerations, to my mind, and I see no reason to oppose them. I think everyone can see the importance of examining the issue quickly. We're being accused of playing partisan politics, and yet Transport Canada made the decision to implement temporary emergency measures as a pragmatic and immediate response to the accident. It took action that needed to be taken now.
I wouldn't want to give Canadians who are following this committee's proceedings the impression that all politicians do is talk. On the contrary, let's get on with it and do our job, please.
View Jean Rousseau Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank everyone who travelled to be here today.
What I can speak to is the human element in all this and the serious concerns of the elected officials, mayors and reeves of regional county municipalities in my riding. Railways that have been privatized in recent decades run through a dozen or so of the municipalities in my riding, sometimes in the centre of town, sometimes just on the outskirts. People have a lot of questions, and they could get answers to those questions right away. The fact of the matter is that all kinds of studies and reports have already been done but were simply ignored. They were never given any real consideration.
People are worried. One month before the Lac-Mégantic disaster, a spill occurred just a few kilometres away. About 3 feet of track was damaged, resulting in a toxic spill. In Farnham, the week following the tragedy, two wheels of a rail car came off the track but didn't cause any damage. Just a few days later, a tourist train collided with a vehicle at a railway crossing because the lights didn't come on.
All of that is weighing heavily on our elected representatives and people. They are seriously worried. I've been to the site of the tragedy twice, once with our leader. Six of the municipalities in my riding are close to Lac-Mégantic. I went to those areas to talk to people who had loved ones, family or businesses that were affected. All the small agribusinesses saw their revenues drop by 80% right after the tragedy. That was one part of the immediate collateral damage. Those people, too, are worried. They are worried about their income. Their concern doesn't have to do with rail safety but is still a legitimate worry.
What happens if an accident occurs right in the heart of downtown Sherbrooke? The mayors are extremely concerned and don't have the answers to their questions. The same goes for me and the members for other ridings in Quebec where the MMA rail company or other American companies have acquired railway lines in recent decades.
We're hearing about railway bridges that were built in the late 19th century. Municipal officials are saying they don't really know who does what or whether anyone even inspects these sites. People need reassurance, and that will only come from a study. We have to work together. We have to keep in mind the human tragedy that happened. How will the people react when the trains start running again? What will happen? Will we see barricades? What will happen on the ground if we don't reassure people?
A sure way to reassure people is to do our duty as elected officials, and that means pulling together and studying a whole slew of reports that have come out in past years. The study on the disaster will produce other findings, but right now, people have a multitude of questions that aren't being answered. Rail transportation is our responsibility because it comes under federal jurisdiction. What we must do quickly is assume our responsibility and reassure Canadians.
I would appeal to the chair to have the committee conduct a study and gather information. All of us need to join forces and work together. I am calling on every member to put partisanship aside. Partisan politics have no place in this matter. We've got a human tragedy on our hands, and I want us to give Canadians across the country some reassurance, and quickly.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, as I have said before in this committee, I think this motion should rather be moved in the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. This is a matter of security, and nothing indicates that bilingualism is not respected in any rescue centres. The Quebec City centre has had the same staff for a number of years.
If my colleague opposite really has concerns about security, he could perhaps ask the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to conduct a more comprehensive study on the issue. I don't know whether he wants to debate the matter, but I can continue to do so if he likes. I am just making a suggestion to Mr. Godin.
I am wondering if this is really a topic we should be studying. If Mr. Godin thinks that this is a matter of security, our committee should not be handling it. There is no evidence that a bilingualism issue currently exists. Nothing has changed recently. We studied the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and I think he did an excellent job. I don't know what you think. Could you elaborate, Mr. Godin?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
As for my colleague's proposal to amend this motion....
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you for letting me speak, Mr. Chair.
Sorry, Mr. Godin. I know that you are concerned, but rules must apply to all members of the committee.
I understand that you want to make this amendment. We obviously cannot leave September 30, 2012 as the date, since that was last year. However, the motion put forward lapsed about seven or eight months ago. I thought that such a situation would simply require another motion. We cannot vote against an amendment that consists in changing a date, but if we are already opposed to the motion, there is a problem. In a way, you are putting us in a difficult position.
You should have simply proposed a new motion with a later date. That certainly would have been simpler for everyone. I think this is a difficult situation for us. We cannot reject your refusal, but we will probably vote against the amendment, and that will lead to a strange situation.
We have an opportunity to work together in this committee. It would be easier—for you and for us—if you proposed a new motion that complies with this committee's current rules.
View Élaine Michaud Profile
NDP (QC)
I think that we could suspend the current study to undertake this other one. I don't think that would be a problem.
View Pierre Dionne Labelle Profile
NDP (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to introduce a motion to sit in camera, Mr. Chair.
View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:32
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the witnesses for joining us today.
In my opinion, there's kind of an elephant in the room at this meeting when we talk about pensions. Most Canadians and most pension holders are wondering whether the finance minister is still scheduled to meet his provincial counterparts to discuss expanding the CPP and QPP.
Are you getting signals or signs that the government is still committed to negotiating, with the provinces and territories, the retirement security for all Canadians, or are they not?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:33
Does anybody else want to give a response?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:33
Fair enough. Thanks for the answer.
Did TBS make the planned savings of $20 million in 2012-2013 as a result of the recent changes to the Public Service Pension Plan?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:33
Are we expecting that those savings will hit $20 million?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:34
Does TBS expect the cumulative savings to reach $2.075 billion by 2017 and 2018, as projected?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:34
I can repeat the question if you like.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:34
Thank you very much.
Of course, some public servants are worried about the changes being made to the plan. As you know, the employee contribution rate to the Public Service Pension Plan will steadily increase until the employer and the employees are splitting the plan's cost 50/50.
Will employees have more of a say in the plan's management, or will they continue to have their voices heard through their representatives within the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee?
What is the plan in terms of public sector unions' involvement?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:35
In other words, they will pay more, but they will not have more of a say in the process.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:35
So no changes will be made in that area.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:35
Okay.
Do I have any time left, Mr. Chair?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:35
Does the Chief Actuary provide actuarial estimates of the costs and obligations stemming from the changes made to the contribution rates of the Public Service Pension Plan?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:36
Do the actuarial evaluations stem from the changes to the contribution rate coming into effect?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:36
Could you describe how that worked?
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:37
Very well.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:37
The compensation package will change because the public service pension plan amounts are changing. Will that have an impact on the public service's appeal as an employer? It is seen as an employer of choice, after all.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:37
Thank you.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the witnesses for being with us this morning.
Mr. Ménard, earlier, you explained that the number of years during which a beneficiary could draw on the pension plan had gone up. Basically, those who retired before 2012 could receive benefits at 60 years of age. You said it was possible for them to receive benefits for 20 years after turning 65, so until the age of 85. Can people expect to receive benefits for about 25 years?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
My next question is for Ms. Gowing.
When a pensioner dies, does a portion of the pension benefits always go to the spouse? Is it 50% or 60%?
Results: 1 - 30 of 24587 | Page: 1 of 820

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data