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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We are beginning the 17th meeting of the Board of Internal Economy.
The first item on the agenda is the minutes of the previous meeting, on April 22. Are there any comments on that?
Mrs. DeBellefeuille has the floor, and she will be followed by Mr. Holland.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I have a question. We've noticed that over the past two weeks there have been significant technological problems with interpretation, whether in the House of Commons or in committees. Last week, we were having difficulty going from French to English or English to French. This week, we're noticing that it's difficult to go from French to English.
Can someone explain the nature of the problem? Is it a technological or specific problem?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Aubé could answer that question.
Stéphan Aubé
View Stéphan Aubé Profile
Stéphan Aubé
2021-05-13 11:04
Thank you for your question.
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, in preparation for the meeting, we always look at our statistics. Statistically, it's clear that we have had some issues in the past two weeks, but I would still say that the number of incidents this week is down from the beginning of April. This week, we've had some technical difficulties in the House.
We had technical difficulties in the House on Monday, and some difficulties this week in committees. As you know, we are in a very difficult time to do infrastructure maintenance. We're trying our best to resolve these issues in the evening, and we are on our way to a solution. We're trying to maintain the functional environment of the House and committees. We're working on it day and night, I assure you.
However, it's true that we saw five or six incidents in the House on Monday this week. We noted a few incidents on Tuesday in the House and in committees. That's more than normal, compared to past weeks. We have some solutions, but it's a matter of finding the time to do the maintenance. It's very difficult right now. We can only work on it at night and on weekends, but we're trying to make the changes. We're doing everything possible. The technical difficulties are with some of the equipment.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you.
If I may, Mr. Speaker, I'll ask another question.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
It's a question for Mr. Janse.
Mr. Janse, you sent all the whips' offices your desire, in response to the clerks' request, to hold virtual rather than hybrid meetings in committees. Some clerks would be at home or elsewhere, but not on site.
The Bloc Québécois made an effort to ask members who liked attending committee meetings in person not to do so, because you had asked us to. We found that it was not necessarily a directive or an instruction that was followed by the other parties. We've asked our members to do that, because we want to listen to the clerks, as you've asked. However, we see that members from other parties are physically sitting in the meeting rooms. It seems difficult for them to comply.
We in the Bloc Québécois have strictly respected what you asked for, but when we return from the break, some members will probably come and attend committees in person. I wanted to warn you of that. We've made our effort. I think that when we return from the break, some members will want to use their parliamentary privilege to be physically present in committee. It's not out of disrespect for the clerks, but in order to work better.
For them, it's a more efficient way of working. I wanted to formally notify you of this at the BIE. I'm proud to say that we made our effort when you asked us to.
Eric Janse
View Eric Janse Profile
Eric Janse
2021-05-13 11:08
Thank you very much for the information, Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
I'd like to make a small clarification. We did not request that members not come into the committee room. We only notified the whips' offices that we had given our clerks the choice of coming in person or working from home. A large number of committee clerks still come into the committee room to work, but others have taken up the offer to work from home. We're still here to see members, either virtually or in person, in committee rooms.
Perhaps the message you are referring to is about next week's meetings, next week technically being a break week, although many committees will be in session. When we talked with other departments and our partners, some questions arose about resources. We wondered if the whips would consider the possibility of some committees meeting only virtually, given that it will be a break week and most members will be at home. If no members attend in person, it's going to require fewer resources, so all departments will be better able to accommodate all meetings requested for next week.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
All right.
The Bloc Québécois will support you on this. No problem.
Eric Janse
View Eric Janse Profile
Eric Janse
2021-05-13 11:10
Thank you very much.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
We'll continue with Mr. Holland, followed by Mr. Richards.
Mr. Holland.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2021-05-13 11:10
I'm not addressing this matter. I believe Mr. Julian had his hand up. If either Peter or Blake has something related to this matter, I'll wait. I don't want to interrupt the flow.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
Mr. Richards is addressing a different matter as well.
Mr. Julian, are you addressing the same matter or a different matter?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
It's about the same matter raised by Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
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