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Results: 1 - 15 of 213
View Kelly McCauley Profile
Madam, thank you for joining us today. I appreciate all the work you're doing on behalf of Canadians and transparency.
On April 28, you wrote to the TBS president, warning that we were at a breaking point for federal transparency. How did he respond? Did he respond with any actual actions or just mere words?
Caroline Maynard
View Caroline Maynard Profile
Caroline Maynard
2020-06-19 11:03
So far, I've had a couple of conversations with Monsieur Duclos and his team. They've been promising to.... They were saying they were taking this very seriously. They understand that this is a serious matter.
I've noticed that Monsieur Duclos has sent a letter to all institutions reminding them of their responsibilities and the need for openness and transparency in government. I am optimistic, but I am still waiting for actual, real, concrete actions.
As I said in my opening statement, some institutions have since reopened their business, so I think the message is getting through slowly but—
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
Thank you, Chair.
In the spirit of the transparency discussion around today's session, I was hoping that the government members would have supported the motion of my colleague Mr. McCauley when it comes to getting some reports from the PBO. It's too bad.
Speaking of which, my question is for Mr. Cutler on anti-corruption and accountability in Canada. Would you be able to shed light on corruption in Canada, please, on the status quo, how much we've fallen compared to the past and where we're heading?
Allan Cutler
View Allan Cutler Profile
Allan Cutler
2020-06-19 12:55
There are no actual statistics, but I can give you a personal opinion. We're going downhill, and we're going downhill fast. The anti-corruption perception index done by Transparency International Canada has seen us dropping positions, but nobody who talks about it considers white-collar crime corruption. In Canada, for white-collar crime, you get a slap on your wrist and it's “go back and don't do it anymore, please”. It is really sad.
Brad Birkenfeld, who is the one who tried to expose $1 billion in unpaid offshore taxes in 2008—and we're still trying to get that looked at—literally has stated that Canada is the most corrupt economy he knows of. He goes around the world. This is a person who goes into every country. He is in Italy. Malta is where he lives now. He goes into Asia. The one country he will not go into is Canada. When asked, he said it was because he felt that if he went across the Canadian border they'd find a reason to charge him for something. That gives you an attitude of an outsider who is an international expert in what goes on in the whistle-blowing community and the corruption that goes around.
Sean Holman
View Sean Holman Profile
Sean Holman
2020-06-19 12:57
I think Mr. Cutler is absolutely right. We need to have a broader conversation about the issue of corruption in this country. We need to have a broader conversation about the issue of accountability in this country. We need to protect those who are best-positioned to blow the whistle on these kinds of problems.
As I said before, we often talk, and have often talked during the pandemic, about the need to recognize the bravery of first responders. A first responder who provides information about something that is going wrong in society, in our public or private institutions, should be respected.
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
To the panel as a whole, I have heard concerns that because some of the screening that happens under the ICA happens under a division of Global Affairs that is also responsible for the promotion of trade, this might be an actual conflict of interest within the government department.
Do you think the responsibility for screening should be separated out from any department that has responsibility for the promotion of trade?
Mitch Davies
View Mitch Davies Profile
Mitch Davies
2020-06-18 15:24
Madam Chair, perhaps I could address the question.
The screening process is initiated in part by notices. Some 900 notices are received under the Investment Canada Act each year. There were over 900 the last fiscal year. Those are all made available in the system to our investigative bodies. They are able to come to their own conclusions and review the information—
View Michelle Rempel Garner Profile
That is not the question I asked. I asked if you thought there was a conflict of interest in having screening happen in a department that also has a mandate or deliverable where they are measured on the attraction of trade and FDI.
Mitch Davies
View Mitch Davies Profile
Mitch Davies
2020-06-18 15:25
Madam Chair, in this case the two ministers involved in the process are the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Those are the two ministers who are involved in the identification of cases for which notices need to be offered, and also the recommendation of the Governor in Council. So to that extent—
Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner: Thank you. That's [Inaudible—Editor].
Mr. Mitch Davies: —that's a strong process built into the law.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
Thank you, Mr. Davies.
My last question is for Mr. Rochon.
Mr. Rochon, you say there are two options: give the green light to the investment and impose mitigation measures, or prohibit the investment.
Wouldn't it be better to be more transparent in the interest of Canadians?
Dominic Rochon
View Dominic Rochon Profile
Dominic Rochon
2020-06-18 15:39
Thank you for the question.
I think we have enough transparency in place with regard to reporting on decisions that are being made through annual reporting and such. Obviously, national security matters have a certain level of classification that needs to be respected.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's estimates week in Ottawa, so I thought I would take a look at some of the government's spending.
We had an Order Paper question come back recently, listing thousands and millions of dollars of Canadian taxpayers' money spent on hospitality in a period of just a couple of months.
I want to start with the CRA. In their departmental plan, they state that they're deeply committed to open and honest communication and to transparency. In the Order Paper, there are 620 items of hospitality listed and over $1 million of spending, without a single detail released about the description of goods, number of employees, attendees or hospitality, except to mention a $2,100 order for Subway.
Why is the CRA transparent on nothing except for Subway sandwiches?
View Diane Lebouthillier Profile
Lib. (QC)
I can tell my colleague that, at Revenue Canada, we are very proud of the work that we have done, whether it is on the issue of tax evasion or in terms of customer service. This is also National Public Service Week. We have arranged for 8.5 million people to be able to receive the CERB.
View Warren Steinley Profile
Mr. Chair, I'd say they've responded, but they haven't answered one question over the last three months. I wouldn't say they've answered anything, and no one in Saskatchewan and Alberta thinks they answer a question any day in this chamber.
If the Minister of Foreign Affairs can go to New York City for an in-person vote and the Prime Minister can take a drive to an Ottawa business for a campaign stop, then surely the House should be able to operate safely in full Parliament.
When will the Liberals admit that shutting down Parliament was about avoiding accountability and hiding from Canadians, not about safety?
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, again, we answered almost 3,000 questions from the opposition, way more than in regular sittings, with our colleagues on the screen. Why is the member against the participation of his colleagues on the screen?
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