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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us today, Madam Minister.
I want to remind you that we are here to talk about the main estimates. We will see you again soon on supplementary estimates (B).
Minister, Davie shipyard is important to Quebec. However, it is still in the prequalification stage and we are awaiting final qualification for inclusion in the national shipbuilding strategy.
Will we have the answer before the end of 2020, yes or no?
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much for the question. It's very important.
First, I would say that Davie is a strong and reliable partner that is working hard to help our government get results for Canadians.
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
Of course we are undertaking a fair and transparent process to add a third Canadian shipyard. The process is being overseen by an independent fairness monitor. We are aiming to have a decision in the next few months. We hope we will be able to be timely in this regard.
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
That's correct. We have been working very hard on this process. I will say that the Davie shipyard has benefited considerably over the last years. Regardless of the third shipyard qualification, we value the work that Davie does. I will be working very hard with my department to render a decision in this regard shortly.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
We hope it will happen quickly.
Right now, there are three major shipyards in the country: Seaspan Shipyards, Davie, and Irving Shipbuilding.
Madam Minister, which of those shipyards is capable of building a polar icebreaker like the John G. Diefenbaker?
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
I appreciate the question about the polar icebreaker. We do have very well-equipped shipyards as part of our NSS. We're very pleased to be working with them. As you know, we have a process in place regarding the polar—
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Excuse me, Madam Minister, but my question is clear.
Do you know which of the three major shipyards in Canada are capable of building a ship like the John G. Diefenbaker? Which shipyards are capable of doing so?
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
As you know, perhaps, all Canadian shipyards were able to participate in the request for information, which closed on March 13, 2020. Those responses were received by our department. We are now reviewing those responses regarding how best to proceed so that the polar icebreaker can be delivered in the most timely and most efficient manner.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
During question period in the House of Commons, I asked you a question about the $237 million contract awarded to Frank Baylis, and you answered that there was no contract between the federal government and Baylis Medical.
Do you still maintain that position?
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
A few weeks ago, during question period, I asked you a question about Frank Baylis and you answered that there was no contract between the federal government and Baylis Medical.
Do you maintain that position?
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
As the Minister for Public Services and Procurement, I can say that we oversaw the build-up of domestic industry, and that process was initiated with ISED. The contract that was ultimately signed in this regard was with a company called FTI. That is the contract I was referring to in the House of Commons when we were discussing it at that time.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I have here, in black and white, a document from the Government of Canada confirming that the government awarded a contract to Baylis Medical. The document comes from Health Canada. I can forward it to you if you wish.
You are new. You were elected last fall. So you may never have met Frank Baylis. However, when the contract was awarded, when you learned that FTI Professional Grade was created a week before the contract was awarded and there was a scheme to award a contract to Frank Baylis, did you, as Minister of Public Services and Procurement, feel any discomfort, or did it seem natural to you?
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
I really appreciate the chance to have a conversation about this, because I have no idea who Frank Baylis is. I've never met him. I've never seen him. I couldn't pick him out of a crowd.
The point you are making is well taken. This process of choosing the ventilator companies, which would stand up domestic production at a time when Canada had no domestic production and there was global demand for ventilators, was initiated by ISED under its made-in-Canada initiative.
After an independent process of experts reviewed proposals and chose five suppliers, those suppliers were told to...our department at PSPC, and they continued to go forward with the contracts in this regard. Our government's priority was to build up domestic capacity, and that is exactly what we have done in this area to stand Canada in good stead, to have supply chains for ventilators, in response to urgent needs of the provinces and the territories.
I'll ask my deputy minister if he has anything to add.
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