Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'm very pleased to be here today.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being here and giving up your time to reassure Canadians and answer our questions.
One of the cornerstones of the social contract that exists across this land is the protection of citizens, not just the protection they offer one another, but also the protection provided to them by the government. For the past three weeks, constituents in all of our ridings have been profoundly concerned. Two days after the data breach was made public, people started coming to my office. When I would knock on people's doors, that's all they would talk about. That tells me people are genuinely concerned and feel that the government has done nothing in response.
The question my constituents want you to answer, Mr. Boucher, is very simple. Can the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security indeed ensure the 2.9 million Canadians affected by this data breach are properly protected, yes or no?
Does your centre have the tools to respond to the situation and ensure the victims of identity theft are protected?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm not talking about what's already happened. I'm talking about what's going to happen next. That's what worries people. I want to know whether the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has the capacity to deal with international or national fraudsters who send text messages or whatever it may be.
Does your centre have the capacity to deal with that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm going to take advantage of your cybersecurity expertise.
Is Canada's current social insurance number regime appropriate in a modern age dominated by the Internet? We are at the point now where people shop on their cell phones and pay for their purchases at the cash in mere seconds. Is our system of social insurance numbers adequate in the world we live in?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Superintendent, my next question is along the same lines as that of my fellow member, Mr. Motz.
Whether they've approached me on the street, come to my office or answered the door when I was canvassing, everyone has asked me the same question. They want to know what crimes these fraudsters are going to commit down the road. They want to know what to expect. What crimes will the 2.9 million victims of this massive data breach be the target of in the future?
In addition, how long will it be before those crimes are committed? The media are reporting all kinds of things. We are hearing that it will take five or 10 years before the fraudsters do anything—that they'll wait until the dust has settled.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to intervene with these witnesses, please.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Cormier, I would just like to reiterate what my colleague said. The fundamental objective of today's meeting, for us Conservatives, is to determine what the government, its agencies and institutions could do to help you and, in turn, to help Desjardins members, which is the most important thing. They are Canadian and Quebec citizens.
As you know, I have contacted the three directors of the Desjardins branches in my riding to express my support.
Has Canada's Department of Employment and Social Development contacted you to obtain the list of the 2.9 million citizens? This is a very important question.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When you have the answer, could you give it to the analysts or the clerk? It would be important for us to know that. If the request has been made, could you provide a list of these Canadians? We are trying to find out what the government can do, but first it should know who it is talking about. So would you be able to send this list to the Canadian government? Unfortunately, it would still involve sending data, but the recipient would be the government.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Next, I would like to know if a member of the current cabinet has contacted you since June 20.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I am talking about the federal cabinet. So it would be a minister.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
In your introduction, you mentioned very humbly and respectfully that you had some questions. Personally, I would have liked to know your answers as an expert in your field. I don't remember your first question very well, but it was still interesting. You were wondering if Canada had an adequate system for social insurance numbers, for example. I would like to know your perspective on this.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to have your answers on both points.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have a supplementary question, which will probably be the last one. I am addressing Mr. Cormier, the citizen.
You made a very important announcement this morning. You said that the protection applies to all members, whether or not they are affected by this unfortunate event. You said all they have to do is call you and you can take care of them. You will establish contacts, take action and take the necessary steps.
Do you think that's exactly the kind of attitude that the government, the federal state, should have right now towards the 2.9 million Canadian citizens?
Citizens are being asked to contact us, and I think it is the federal government that should contact citizens. Let's say that citizens are communicating with the federal government, shouldn't the federal government have the same approach as you and say that it takes care of everything?
The representative of Employment and Social Development Canada said that, if citizens' social insurance numbers were changed, they would have to call all their former employers. That's not what you're doing. You, incredibly, say you're going to take care of everyone at the last minute.
As a citizen, would you like the federal government to act in the same way towards the affected members?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, everyone.
Thank you for waiting and staying here.
Ms. Boisjoly, you are the assistant deputy minister at the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada. Did your minister instruct you to get the list? I asked the same question of Mr. Cormier. Have you received ministerial instructions to obtain the list of the 2.9 million Canadians affected by the massive data leak at Desjardins?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
So there were no guidelines. In other words, you are reactive. I'm not talking about you, of course. You follow political orders, and we understand that. At the moment, everything is reactive and absolutely nothing is proactive.
You said you received 1,500 requests or calls about the social insurance number. Our goal is to know how the government can help people proactively. Since you don't know which Canadians are affected, you necessarily have to wait for them to contact you. That is what is happening right now. You wait for the people affected to contact you, not the other way around. That's impossible, because you don't have the data. Mr. Cormier, from Desjardins, seemed to say that they would be ready to send this data. I know I'm asking you to give a political opinion, but you can't.
I have to express something that royally disgusts the people in my riding. I went door-to-door a lot last week and the week before that. People have consistently told me that they doubt that the government can do anything. It saddened me very much. How is that possible? I would like to break the cynicism and listen to people. People contribute 50% of their income to the Canadian government. We Conservatives want the government to work for citizens, not the other way around.
Mr. Cormier said that when someone calls Desjardins, they are proactive and take care of things for them.
We learned something very important today. In fact, we already knew that because it had been mentioned here and there. I learned from an official like you that you can change your social insurance number. I know it's complex and that even if we change it, we still have to reach a myriad of institutions, our former employers, and so on. However, it is the government that requires that citizens have a social insurance number. It is a system that should perhaps even be called into question, and we are discussing it today, in a way.
Wouldn't it be your duty to contact the 2.9 million people? The Liberal government should do this to be proactive. It knows these people. For example, at the Pizzeria D'Youville, where I worked in 2004 when I was 17, it was the boss who sent the GST to the federal government. All these things are well known. Your departments could easily link this information and change the social insurance number, perhaps not in a comprehensive way, but it should support the citizen in the very difficult task of reaching all former employers or government agencies.
I really don't like this. I know it's not your fault. You have political directives from the Liberal government, but it is not proactive at the moment. I don't like it at all. What can you say about this?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Ms. Boisjoly.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
We are going to start meeting 147, which is being televised today.
We have the honour of having Raymond Théberge, the Commissioner of Official Languages, with us today.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), we are studying the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Official Languages 2018-19, referred to the committee on May 9, 2019.
To give some context to today's meeting for everyone watching, I would like to point out that the act provides for the presentation of an annual report by the Commissioner of Official Languages. This has been the case since 1969, if I'm not mistaken. The committee's conventions and traditions provide that we shall promptly receive the Commissioner each time so that he can submit his report directly.
Mr. Commissioner, you will have 10 minutes, as is customary, to make your opening remarks. Then, according to the committee's procedure, we will have a one-hour roundtable discussion.
Thank you to you and your team for being here today, including Ms. Giguère, Assistant Commissioner, and Ms. Saikaley.
Go ahead, Mr. Commissioner. We are listening.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Commissioner, thank you for your opening remarks and your annual report. I think this is your second report since you've been in the position. It's a captivating report, and I am sure that my colleagues will have some interesting questions for you.
I will take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Ouellette to the largest House of Commons committee. In fact, this is where national unity is played out from day to day.
Thank you for being here, sir.
We'll start with our questions. Mrs. Boucher, you have the floor.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have 50 seconds left.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mrs. Boucher.
I'll now give the floor to Ms. Lambropoulos.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have one minute left, Ms. Lambropoulos.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Commissioner.
We'll now go to Mr. Choquette, from the entrepreneurial region of Drummondville.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have 15 seconds, Mr. Choquette.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We now go to Mr. Arseneault.
You have six minutes.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You have two minutes left, Mr. Arseneault.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Commissioner.
I would like to welcome Mr. Long to this committee. Thank you for joining us today.
The floor now goes to Mr. Samson.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
A 20-second answer, if you please.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Samson.
We now move to Mr. Gourde, who has the floor for six.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Gourde.
Mr. Ouellette, the floor is yours for six minutes.
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