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Results: 1 - 30 of 47
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
View Pat Kelly Profile
2020-07-08 12:53 [p.2543]
Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General tabled only three reports. Typically in a session they would table seven or eight.
When will the government fully fund the Auditor General so the Auditor General can do her job?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-07-08 12:54 [p.2543]
Mr. Speaker, there is unfortunately not enough time to commend the work of the Auditor General and to say how much work we need to do. We look forward to working with her.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2020-07-08 15:12 [p.2565]
Madam Chair, I believe if you seek it you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
Whereas the fiscal snapshot identifies “increased capacity at the Privy Council Office”, this measure would increase the capacity of the Privy Council Office to ensure that it can continue to meet its mandate following the creation of the role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and International Trade in the amount of $7 million next year and $15 million for each year after that, the House calls on the government to transfer this full sum from the Office of the Privy Council to the Office of the Auditor General.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
As was mentioned earlier today, we are doing things a bit differently because of the format we are in. Therefore, at this point I am going to ask all those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion to please say nay. Also, I would ask anybody who is saying no virtually to raise the hand on his or her virtual screen. That would be of assistance.
Some hon. members: Nay.
Resuming debate. The hon. member for Joliette.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
View Warren Steinley Profile
2020-06-17 16:42 [p.2505]
Madam Chair, I will be opening with a few comments and ending with a round of questions.
This is my first opportunity to be in the chamber since the pandemic struck in March, and I am happy to be here to represent my constituents in Regina—Lewvan. They have had a lot of questions over the last 12 weeks and want to know exactly what the government's plan is to re-launch our economy, and these estimates are going to be a big part of that.
As a member of the public accounts committee, I was wondering if any of the funding in these supplementary estimates is going toward ensuring that the Auditor General's office has the funding it needs to do audits after COVID-19 is over.
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-06-17 16:42 [p.2505]
Madam Chair, I am pleased that the member suggests the important role of the Auditor General. We are pleased with her new nomination, and, as she knows fully well and is worth repeating, we are there to support her important work.
View Warren Steinley Profile
CPC (SK)
View Warren Steinley Profile
2020-06-17 16:42 [p.2505]
Madam Chair, I am on that committee, and she has requested several times now that her funding be increased over the next few years, so that she will be able to perform her audits. They are doing half the audits they were doing a few years ago.
Will the funding be there so she can do her job successfully?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-06-17 16:42 [p.2506]
Madam Chair, I am grateful for the additional time. It enables me to let the member know something that he already knows, which is how important her job is, particularly in this particular context.
We were pleased to welcome her as a new Auditor General. I will be pleased to receive any comments and suggestions she would like to make on her new position.
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2020-05-25 11:48 [p.2327]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to stand in the House of Commons today on behalf of my constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country, as we debate an important motion, which will set the path of Parliament for the upcoming months and potentially years. I also want to take the time to thank my constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country for doing their part in helping to flatten the curve in Okanagan and British Columbia and, in fact, all Canadians for helping in their communities.
It was over 70 days ago when the House had its last regular meeting. It was on that day, Friday the 13, that our Canadian democracy was put to the test, and it is once again.
Since then, we have lost over 6,300 of our friends and relatives. Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs and livelihood and every one of us has had our lives affected in such a profound way that when we talk about getting back to normal, we are not really sure what that is or what it will look like. We do know it will not be exactly the same. We are seeing it already: Plexiglas everywhere and human touch discouraged.
The committees matter. Each and every committee in the House of Commons has a role to play in studying their area of mandate and how it has been effected. It is absolutely essential that all standing and special committees begin to meet virtually immediately and for all committees to have their normal powers restored.
As provinces and territories begin to open, Parliament has an important role to be present and sitting as this happens. The federal government also has a key role in ensuring the reopening goes effectively.
For example, I have been speaking with many business owners in my riding. In the sectors that are opening, they have raised concerns about not having enough PPE and cleaning supplies and not being able to safely reopen. These are important concerns.
This motion is misleading. What is being proposed is not Parliament. There are no opposition motions, no private members' bills and no emergency debates. It is not only about asking questions, although that is important. Let us be clear that what is being proposed today is not Parliament; it is a committee with limited functions.
Opposition day motions have value. The Liberals have 157 seats out of 338 and opposition parties can bring forth good ideas.
I have a list of some successful Conservative Party opposition motions we have had so far in this Parliament. First, we created a Canada-China committee. This was voted against by the Liberals. Second was auditing government infrastructure plans. This was also voted against by the Liberals. Third was a review of the Parole Board nomination process. Fourth was the tabling of economic downturn documents. Fifth was additional supply days, more opposition motions.
Why would the government not want Parliament to sit at this time and have regular opposition days? Is it because the Conservatives have good ideas and the Liberals feel we will upstage them? Is it because the Liberals feel a lack of control? All I know is that the opposition days are part of our democratic institution that the government has taken away for now and it will be at least four to six months before it will be returning based on what has been proposed.
In a time of crisis such as this, what we are facing now in the role of Parliament is fundamental and essential. Greg Tardi, a former lawyer for the House of Commons, told the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs that if there was no Parliament, if there was no give and take, if there was no communication between the government and the people, essentially, in his view, democracy would break down.
I would also like to share a quote from my colleague, the member for Vancouver Quadra and Minister of Digital Government, which I feel effectively sums up the importance of having Parliament return. She said, “There is an economic crisis that needs us to band together and think about why we are here as members of Parliament. We are not here to spend government money. We are here to serve taxpayers and think about their well-being.”
Thinking about the well-being of our constituents during this pandemic is important, and I hear it every day. I have a few comments from my constituents on why they believe Parliament should return with full authority and functions.
Teresa from my riding emailed in saying, “I believe [the Prime Minister] has forgotten that a politician is there to serve the people of the country in a democratic way....I do not understand why the Conservatives are on their own as the other opposition parties are siding with the Liberals.”
Donna emailed me to inquire, “I would like to know why parliament is presently not in session and why PM...is making decisions without parliamentary input.”
Lloyd from my riding says, “The level of despair and frustration in my heart grows daily and I see no help on the horizon. Are there no checks and balances in our institutions? If there are, they are not apparent, at least not to me.”
Canada must be governed through Parliament, not from a podium in front of a cottage or in a committee. Questions are important, but they are not enough. Our institutions must have the tools and resources to scrutinize the decisions made during a time of crisis. This includes institutions such as the Office of the Auditor General. It concerns me greatly the lack of sufficient funding for that office, with outdated technology and insufficient staffing to effectively scrutinize government spending.
We are in a minority government. No political party, no caucus, has majority control of the House of Commons. Let us not forget the government called Parliament back in March to approve of its economic response plan. It added to the bill, at the last minute, the ability for itself to have the power to raise taxes, debt and spending without any parliamentary approval until January 1, 2022.
This is the same government that use an order in council to amend firearms legislation in the middle of a pandemic. One of the questions my constituents ask me often is what other orders in council the minority government is planning.
Crisis management 101 is identifying the crisis. The official opposition members were asking tough questions of the government in the House back in January. One has to put a plan together, and it has become evident the government did not put any kinds of plans together.
We were in a weakened economic position prior to the declaration of the pandemic. Our forestry and oil and gas sectors have been hit hard, mostly due to policies of the government; farmers are coming off a very financially challenging 2019; and we have had four years of deficits at a time when we should have been putting money away to weather uncertain times such as this.
Uncertainty causes a lot of stress for people, and yet the government has failed to address many of the concerns the Conservatives have raised. We have to create substantial plans to give business and our citizens certainty, and the official opposition has made very good recommendations. Are we simply wanting to get by or are we laying the foundation so in the coming months and years we can confidently say yes we will be getting ahead?
To quote a friend, “We need courage, strength and endurance to lead our country, Canada.” The decisions we make today will affect our future generations. This is important. While we follow safety protocols, we must allow all committees to sit fully and we must allow Parliament to sit with its full functions. Our democracy depends on it.
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2020-05-25 14:57 [p.2357]
Mr. Speaker, the role of the Auditor General is very important to Canadians. An auditor general provides information based on facts and expert advice on government programs and activities. Never before has an auditor general said that his or her budget was insufficient because of the increased workload caused by the additional audits required to review the Liberal government's out-of-control spending.
When will the minister fully fund the Auditor General's budget?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-05-25 14:58 [p.2357]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
First, his question gives me the opportunity to congratulate the new Auditor General. Second, it gives me an opportunity to assure her of our full co-operation. Third, it gives me the opportunity to remind all members of the House of the importance of the Auditor General, access to information, follow-up measures and analyses, particularly in a context as difficult as that of COVID-19. In closing, I want to assure the member that we will take note of all the information and recommendations that the Auditor General would like to share with us.
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2020-05-25 14:58 [p.2357]
Mr. Speaker, quite honestly, the answer says, “We are going to look at it, but we are not necessarily going to do it.”
No auditor general has ever had to cut audits under any prime minister until now. The government should be ashamed of that. We know that Liberals are not fans of auditors general. Who could forget when Sheila Fraser blew the whistle on the Liberal sponsorship scandal?
It is clear that the work of the Auditor General is critical to the functioning of our democracy. When will the government give the Office of the Auditor General the money it needs to audit Liberal spending?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-05-25 14:59 [p.2357]
Mr. Speaker, that allows me to say in English what I said briefly in French, which is that we are congratulating a new Auditor General. We are fully supportive of her important role.
However, there is something that the member unfortunately said incorrectly. The member may remember that what happened in terms of cuts was previous to 2015, when indeed the former government cut the budget of the Auditor General. We increased it in 2018.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, since the House just approved the motion for a permanent Auditor General, I hope that in that spirit I will get unanimous consent for the following motion: That the House call on the Auditor General of Canada to audit all federal programs associated with Canada's COVID-19 response and to complete all previously scheduled audits and all audits requested by the House; and call on the government to provide the Office of the Auditor General all the funding it needs to carry out these audits and any other work it deems appropriate.
View Tim Uppal Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tim Uppal Profile
2020-02-28 11:30 [p.1742]
Madam Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General appeared before the public accounts committee and said that his office does not have the financial resources required to fulfill his mandate to properly audit the government. He is forced to conduct fewer audits, and his IT system is completely out of date. He is still running on the old DOS system. He has made several unsuccessful requests for more funding.
Why is the Prime Minister hampering the Auditor General's office and restricting him from conducting more audits into his government?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-02-28 11:30 [p.1742]
Madam Speaker, taking a question from the Conservatives on officers of Parliament is like taking a question about the well-being of chickens from Colonel Sanders. When it comes to the Office of the Auditor General, I will point out to the hon. member that the Conservatives cut $6.5 million from its budget and removed 60 employees.
As part of budget 2018, during the past Parliament we committed to investing more than $41 million in additional funding for the Office of the Auditor General.
I will start taking these questions seriously when the Conservatives step up with actions, not just words.
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-02-28 11:31 [p.1742]
Madam Speaker, the Auditor General has launched an investigation into the Liberals' $186-billion infrastructure plan. He has said again and again that he does not have the resources to do his job.
Yesterday, I asked the Minister of Infrastructure if cabinet is going to support this request, to ensure that the Auditor General has the money he needs to conduct his investigation. She answered that they want to be held accountable for what they are doing.
Will the Minister of Finance also act responsibly and give the Auditor General the funds he has requested to conduct his audits?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-02-28 11:32 [p.1742]
Madam Speaker, again I find it rich to take questions on the adequacy of funding to officers of Parliament given the Conservatives' track record of cutting those resources in order to avoid scrutiny of the government when they were in power.
In budget 2018, our government beefed up the funding for the Office of the Auditor General by $41 million, which represents a 16% increase relative to the 2015-16 fiscal year. When it comes to ensuring that officers of Parliament have the resources they need, we are going to work with them to ensure they benefit not only our government but all Canadians.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
View Pat Kelly Profile
2020-02-28 11:32 [p.1742]
Madam Speaker, the answers we have received to those two questions are ridiculous.
In 2011, the Auditor General voluntarily participated in a deficit reduction action plan. He told the NDP committee chair he had enough money then to do his job, but now he is saying he does not. The main estimates reveal the Liberals have cut $300,000 from the budget. When will the minister do the right thing and fully fund the Auditor General, like the former Liberal co-chair advised in the letter that went to him in June?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-02-28 11:33 [p.1743]
Madam Speaker, I have already given a detailed answer on both Conservative cuts to officers of Parliament by the Conservatives and the investments we made in budget 2018.
The fact of the matter is we remain committed to supporting the work of the Auditor General and other officers of Parliament. We are going to ensure they are able to have the tools they need to do their job to ensure Canadians benefit from their advice and Parliament can work to its greatest capacity.
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-02-26 15:35 [p.1615]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 87 departments and agencies, I have the honour and pleasure to present, in both official languages, the departmental results for 2018-19.
8563-431-1 Performance Report of Adminis ...8563-431-10 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-11 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-12 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-13 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-14 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-15 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-16 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-17 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-18 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-19 Performance Report of Canadi ... ...Show all topics
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-02-20 18:26 [p.1362]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to follow up on a question I put to the Prime Minister some time ago. It is worth repeating the question I asked at the time. The Prime Minister loves talking about politics, transparency and openness. However, he led the Liberals in voting against our motion calling for the Auditor General to investigate the Liberal infrastructure fiasco.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer reported on the Liberal infrastructure fiasco. He revealed that in 2017, the Liberals spent only half of the infrastructure money they had promised to invest.
In 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote another report calling on the Liberals to release their infrastructure plan. I would remind the House that the Liberals' infrastructure plan totalled $186 billion. That is not chump change. It is a lot of money. It is Canadians' hard-earned money that they handed over to the government to take care of. Unfortunately, what was the response to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's request? What response did he receive?
It does not exist.
The plan did not exist in 2018, and we are talking about $186 billion spread across 30 agencies and departments, in over 50 programs. It is no surprise that there is no trace of the money if there was no plan and the money was scattered all over the place.
In 2019, when the Parliamentary Budget Officer asked for the list of all of the commitments the government had made in the $186-billion investing in Canada plan, the government said that it would not be able to provide the data.
The Liberals lost track of the $186 billion they had promised to invest. That is completely unacceptable. That is why the House voted in favour of asking the Auditor General to investigate the Liberals' fiasco.
Members will recall that 166 parliamentarians voted in favour of our motion, while 152 others, namely all the Liberals who were present, voted against transparency and openness, even though that was one of their mantras in all the election campaigns. They said that they would be open and transparent, that they would open the books, that they would do things differently. They are not doing things differently. In fact, they are doing worse than all the other previous governments. Members will recall that the Liberals were elected on the promise to run small deficits. They talked about a small deficit, followed by another small deficit, and another very small deficit after which they would finally balance the budget.
The reality today is that the Liberals have not only run huge deficits, but also lost track of the money they used to rack up those deficits. I am very pleased that the Auditor General finally agreed to look into the situation. He heard the call of the House and is going to conduct an investigation. We will have the opportunity to talk about that again in a few moments.
I look forward to hearing what the Liberals have to say. They are doing everything in their power to appear above reproach, but we saw that, unfortunately, when it came time to show it, they voted against the majority of the House and lost a vote. That is how a minority government works.
View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2020-02-20 18:30 [p.1363]
Mr. Speaker, a joke keeps playing in my head, but it is better if I keep it to myself. We can talk about it after the debate.
It is a pleasure for me to rise in the House of Commons to speak to the significance of the Auditor General's role.
As everyone in the House knows, the Auditor General provides Parliament with independent, impartial audits of the management of public funds. Through audits, the Auditor General's office provides Parliament with objective, factual information and specialized advice on the government's programs and activities.
This review allows parliamentarians to monitor the government's activities and hold it to account on how it manages taxpayers' money.
It bears repeating that the Auditor General is not accountable to the government of the day. As an officer of Parliament, he reports directly to the House of Commons with objective information so that members of Parliament can hold the government to account.
The Office of the Auditor General has a legislative basis in the Auditor General Act, the Financial Administration Act and a number of other statutes. In fact, it has a long Canadian tradition. The first independent Auditor General of Canada was established in 1878, over 140 years ago. In 1977, the Auditor General Act clarified and expanded the Auditor General's responsibilities.
In addition to examining the accuracy of financial statements, the Auditor General's mandate was expanded to examine how effectively the government managed its affairs. Importantly, the act maintained the principle that the Auditor General does not comment on policy choices, but does examine how policies are implemented.
In 1995, the Auditor General Act was amended to include a specific mandate related to the environment and sustainable development. This mandate is carried out by the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, on behalf of the Auditor General.
Our government appreciates the important work and the history of this institution. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, the reference levels of the Office of the Auditor General increased as a result of the greater volume and complexity of the government's operations and transactions.
This funding helped ensure that the office was able to continue meeting service standards, providing accurate and timely information regarding audits and upgrading its information technology systems.
As a result, the number of full-time employees at the Office of the Auditor General has increased in order to meet its needs.
I see I am almost out of time, but I would like to add one final point.
As my colleagues in the House will know, in order to receive additional funding, any officer of Parliament, including the Auditor General, may make a request to the Minister of Finance, and the government regularly considers such requests to ensure that the office can continue to fulfill its mandate efficiently and effectively.
As an office of Parliament, the Office of the Auditor General will then work closely with the Treasury Board Secretariat to develop a submission to access the funding. This is the standard procedure for any department or office of Parliament seeking funding.
Our government is open to having good conversations with all officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General. We want to make sure that our investments are as effective as possible so that the government continues to work effectively for all Canadians.
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-02-20 18:34 [p.1363]
Mr. Speaker, it is true that last year's increase in the Auditor General's budget allowed the Auditor General to hire more people.
However, it is important to remember that the government, the Prime Minister, is the biggest spender in Canadian history. The Auditor General's work needs to be more and more comprehensive because more and more money is being spent. More spending means more books to open.
The government had no trouble finding $50 million to give to Mastercard. The Liberals are blithely using Canadians' credit cards without looking at what they are doing with the money being spent. They have not been able to meet 100% of the request for additional funding the Auditor General made last year based on the criteria my colleague just talked about.
Unfortunately, the Liberals were not able to respond. They did not want to respond. That did not prevent them from running a deficit of nearly $30 billion this year.
Maybe instead of talking points and a history lesson about the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, interesting though it is, my colleague should have stuck with the joke he wanted to tell me off the top rather than spouting information available to everyone on the Auditor General's website.
View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2020-02-20 18:35 [p.1364]
Mr. Speaker, I completely understand why my hon. colleague does not want to talk about the history of the Auditor General. After all, his party's chapter in that history is pretty bleak. The Conservatives slashed the Auditor General's budget.
Since taking office in 2015, our government has not only increased the Auditor General's budget, but also erased the previous cuts. We also made it possible for the Office of the Auditor General to hire 38 full-time people to ensure that all Canadians can get accurate, timely and complete information about government spending.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have the honour to lay upon the table the fall 2019 reports of the Interim Auditor General of Canada.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), these documents are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-02-18 15:04 [p.1163]
Mr. Speaker, the House spoke and the Auditor General listened. Light will be shone on the $186-billion infrastructure plan. This minority government boasts about being open and transparent at every opportunity it can find.
Can the Prime Minister assure all parliamentarians in the House that the Auditor General will have the resources to investigate the Liberal infrastructure fiasco?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-02-18 15:04 [p.1163]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for this excellent question. There are two things. First, the Auditor General will have the necessary resources to carry out this important work. Second, we expect that he will find again and again what the Conservative members may have forgotten: Over the past four years, four times as many infrastructure projects have been developed in Canada, and six times as many in Quebec, as in the previous four years.
View Doug Shipley Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer recently released its report on infrastructure spending. Alarmingly, this report tells Canadians there is no way of tracking where money is being spent. The report went so far as to say the Liberals' infrastructure plan “does not exist”.
The House recently passed an important motion calling on the Auditor General to investigate these lost billions of dollars. Will the Prime Minister commit today to ensuring that the Auditor General has the resources he needs to do this important work?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-02-05 14:47 [p.953]
Mr. Speaker, we made historic investments in infrastructure in order to grow the economy and improve Canadians' quality of life. We remember that in the last campaign, just a few months ago, the Conservatives campaigned on 18 billion dollars' worth of cuts to much-needed infrastructure across this country. We choose to invest in infrastructure to grow the economy.
On the Auditor General, we have given more resources to the Auditor General, and I will highlight that it was the Conservative government that cut millions of dollars from the Auditor General's budget. We believe in and support our officers of Parliament and we will continue to.
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