BOIE
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 60 of 63
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I wasn't sure if this should be in the minutes or the business.
I asked a question at the last meeting when we were deciding on an exception for printing costs. I asked what the difference in the costs of the postage would have been for Mr. Waugh if he had used the House's preferred rate as compared to when he chose to do that mailing himself. I'm just wondering if that information has been found and if it could be shared with the group.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, I remember going through that.
Who will be able to answer that with detail?
Monsieur Patrice.
Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 13:10
The information has been sent. I'm just trying to locate the information right now.
I don't know, Rebekah, if you have the information right at your fingertips. We're looking for it.
Rebekah Kletke
View Rebekah Kletke Profile
Rebekah Kletke
2020-07-10 13:10
I'll find it and I'll pull it up.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
If it's okay with everyone, we'll proceed. When it does come up, we'll interrupt and present the information.
Does that work, Mr. Strahl?
Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 14:14
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We have located the information. The mailing cost for the member at that time was $6,590 at the rate he was charged. If he'd been charged the preferred bulk rate, it would have been $177. The difference was $6,400, essentially.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, I guess. That's a tough bill to swallow, but thank you.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other comments on that?
Everybody's had the chance to swallow? They can talk now? Okay. Very good.
We'll now address item five, the extension of temporary exceptions for advertising and Internet service expenses.
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-07-10 14:15
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
At their meeting in April, the board approved temporary measures to include additional detailed information in their advertising around local, community, government and not-for-profit organizations that could be of interest to their constituents with regard to COVID-related matters, and to be able to solicit donations for registered Canadian charities, also pertaining to COVID-related programs. This decision also included the possibility for members to reimburse Internet service charges to their employees who are now teleworking. This decision had an expiry date of June 30. Given the continued challenges around COVID, the administration is proposing that the board approve the extension of these temporary measures until the end of the fiscal year.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
I support this. I would like, perhaps, the staff to come back. One of the provisions here that we are not extending is the ability to do printing in our constituencies, to have a local printer provide services. I would like to see a report on what the uptake was and what we found the cost differences were. I personally did two householders in that time frame, both printed locally, which helped a struggling local business and I had a great interaction with them. I've heard from a number of my colleagues as well who quite liked that arrangement. I would like to get an idea of how it went, perhaps for a future meeting.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, very good.
I'm just getting a message here that that's not a problem. The report will be sent.
Maybe I'll defer to Monsieur Patrice. What time frame would we be looking at for that report to come in?
Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-07-10 14:18
I think it would be beneficial for the board to do it in two steps, so we'll send a report, in terms of information that could come up in the following weeks, and maybe come to the board itself at its meeting to have the discussion and the exchange.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
I agree with Mr. Strahl.
In terms of the printing in the riding, normally, since we are on the other side of the Rockies, 5,000 kilometres away from Ottawa, printed material that goes out takes weeks to arrive in B.C. With local printing, it landed on the steps of people's homes in New Westminster—Burnaby five days after being printed. That's five days compared to often a month. I'd be very interested in seeing that report as well, because there is no doubt, for those of us who are far away from Ottawa, that it makes a huge difference in terms of our constituents actually getting timely information, and around COVID-19 that was extremely important.
I certainly agree with renewing this, and I would even suggest extending it in terms of printing. My concern is that we're putting these on MOBs. Again, for example, the cost of Internet access isn't the same in ridings across the country. In an urban riding like mine, it will cost a lot less than it might in a rural or northern riding. It seems to me, for fairness, so that all members of Parliament are treated the same way, that it would make a lot more sense to have those costs go onto the central budget than to have them assumed by members of Parliament, meaning that members of Parliament in certain parts of the country will have to pay more out of their MOB, which means they will have fewer resources to actually serve their constituents.
I'd like to put that out for the appreciation of the board. We'll also get a sense of whether the administration would have any opposition to having those Internet costs absorbed centrally.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-07-10 14:20
Yes. I think part of the discussion and decision to put it into the MOB was that when we established the possibility of charging them for Internet connection for their employees, it was one way of just putting it out there, having that permission and not putting a lot of instructions or parameters around it.
We know there are various Internet packages out there that are often in the form of bundles, with different speeds or data capacity. By putting it into the MOB, we gave the responsibility to the members to ensure that whatever was being charged was appropriate for their needs. If we were to put it into the central budget—and, given the current circumstances, I can't say I would have any objections—we would have to establish the parameters and have those approved by the board to make sure that this is what we are accepting will be charged for the central budget.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. Are there any other questions?
Do we have approval for this? Is everybody fine with this?
I can see that you're fine.
We're expecting this report in a few weeks.
We are on number six, “Annual report on the House of Commons policy on preventing and addressing harassment for 2019-2020”.
Ms. Daigle, you have the floor.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm sorry, but just going back a bit—we kind of cruised through this—I don't believe I signed off on the “communicating with constituents” part. We moved quite quickly through this, and I'm trying to follow along on my iPhone. I have a question on this part of the agenda.
I guess printing and mailing services restarted today. The previous policy allowed us to print materials in our ridings until June 30. I just want to make sure we're still being allowed to print materials in our ridings until June 30. I'm a little unclear as to whether or not that's allowed for all products. Is it still strictly for COVID-19-related communications? How strictly is that being interpreted?
I know that a lot of our colleagues will want to move ahead, but I just want to make sure we aren't being too restrictive on printing in the ridings scenario. I think it will help clear the backlog right now if we do allow some flexibility for printing to occur in the ridings. I just want clarification on how that clause is being interpreted.
Rebekah Kletke
View Rebekah Kletke Profile
Rebekah Kletke
2020-06-01 15:09
The purpose of our presentation today is to give an update on the original “communicating with constituents during the COVID-19 situation” initiative, as well as to ask for an extension of the policy changes that were put into effect surrounding that initiative. As well, we'll be talking a little about some adjustments we've made internally to the services we'll be providing to MPs.
Very quickly on your question, Mr. Strahl, on the content for the current initiative that allows MPs to print externally, we are reviewing that content and ensuring there is some COVID-19, but we are not applying a strict percentage on the content to allow it to go ahead or not with external printers.
During the implementation of the communicating with constituents program, we've been able to serve the needs of 150 MPs. Actually, this week, it's up to 200 requests that we've received. Those requests are currently at various stages of production. Those 150 requests alone have generated over 1,300 emails with external suppliers and MPs, and a lot of administrative back and forth. On average, there have been 12 days between the submission of a request and the delivery of the product to external providers for delivery to Canada Post, around the same time frames we see with our own printing and mailing services time frames.
There have been several other challenges related to the program. To your point, Mr. Strahl, we see expanding content needs and other service needs coming in, such as envelopes and stationery. The availability of Canada Post has been a challenge, as well as availability of external suppliers in some regions of the country. The challenges are outlined in detail in the submission you received last week.
Even though we've been able to find solutions to some of the challenges with the program, we have still decided to reopen the printing and mailing services to meet the needs of MPs. We will be reopening with a limited format in order to continue to expedite the production time frames and distribution of materials.
Another key aspect of limiting the formats will allow us, as the House administration, to manage our staffing levels and respect physical distancing protocols on the floor of our production facility. We keep the health and safety of our employees front of mind in this decision. Other services, such as envelope processing and personalized stationery, will also be available to members. The program approved by the board on April 17 will continue to be available to members to communicate COVID-19-related messages with external service providers until the end date originally approved by the board.
The decision we're seeking from you today is to consider extending the policy changes related to the inclusion of logos and COVID-19-related messages from local community, government or not-for-profit organizations that would be of interest to constituents and to encourage donations for registered Canadian charities on matters related to COVID-19 in printing content for the remainder of the fiscal year, whether it's printed internally or externally.
We look forward to expanding the suite of printing services to meet the evolving communication needs of MPs, and I will be happy to take your questions.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Actually, I want to make sure I understand what this is all about. You're proposing to extend until the end of the fiscal year, March 2021, the suspension of regulations and policy that were supposed to end on June 30.
You also suggest that members of Parliament could communicate information related to COVID-19 through advertisements for food banks, or solicit donations that are related to COVID-19. Having said that, will we also be able to communicate content that is not related to COVID-19 in future parliamentary mailings?
Before the House was suspended, several members had already sent business cards or stationery to the printing department. Will the work of the printing department resume where it left off or will requests related to other aspects be set aside altogether?
Rebekah Kletke
View Rebekah Kletke Profile
Rebekah Kletke
2020-06-01 15:15
Briefly, I would say yes to both questions.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
In short, if members have put work on hold, work which was delayed because of the suspension, that work will resume. Do I understand you correctly?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
I apologize for jumping ahead, Mr. Rota. Clearly, I should have just waited for item number four. I appreciate Rebekah's presentation.
Again, we're extending the policy until March 2021, but we are only extending the external printing exemption until June 30. Is that what we agree to?
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-06-01 16:02
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am here today to present a request for exception pertaining to a member's expense claim for external printing. The submission provides a summary of the timelines and the facts of the situation.
The expense claim is for external printing in excess of the 5,000 copy limit allowed in the current member's policy. The member incurred these expenses during the period after the internal printing facilities were closed and before the board approved its alternative measures during the COVID pandemic.
The member's policy requires that all printing in excess of 5,000 similar copies must be done through our internal printing facilities to ensure conformity to the policy and, very importantly, access to the preferred mail rates. The current policy also makes the member personally responsible for any amount in excess of the allowed limits.
Given the current situation, the member is asking the Board of Internal Economy to consider a departure from existing practices. The administration proposed two options in the submission. The first option would be to maintain current practices and have the member be personally liable for the excess amount. The second option would be to allow an exceptional waiver and that the excess amount be charged to the budget of the member's office.
We are seeking direction from the Board of Internal Economy on this matter.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:03
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
It's not a question; it's a comment.
We make a lot of requests for people who make mistakes, and it's very uncommon that I would suggest a member bring this forward.
I appreciate that normally these matters wouldn't come forward, but after I spoke with Mr. Blois, I realized it was an honest mistake that was happening around wanting to get out information on COVID-19. We did change the policy a couple of weeks later, and in this case, the member is proposing that he charge his member's—
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:06
I was just going to say that the member acknowledges that he made a mistake. I just feel that it was an honest mistake. It was an effort to communicate around COVID-19, and I know there was a lot of anxiousness that a lot of members had. The policy for external printing was changed a few weeks later.
The member is not proposing to charge the House of Commons central budget, but is suggesting that he charge his own MOB. Given that it would go against his own MOB, and given the fact that I think the error was made innocently, and having had conversations with him, I would seek approval from the board to provide support on that basis.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My question is for Mr. Paquette.
Are many of the members who inadvertently made this mistake paying for the expense without having requested an exception from the Board of Internal Economy?
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-06-01 16:07
I am currently aware of only one case, but it is not at all on the same scale. We are only talking about a few hundred dollars. It is not on the same scale as the situation we are talking about.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Quickly, I know what we're going to do here is to charge the member's office budget. It didn't take a lot of work to figure out that a lot of the staff members had come over from Mr. Brison, so I'm a little unsure. I've been involved in politics at the staff and MP levels for a number of years, and you've never been able to do what he did, certainly not without the approval of PAMS.
He was a month ahead of where the policy was, but there was apparently enough COVID stuff in there to allow it. Was the printing expense within the acceptable range? I know that issue was raised in our previous document. The cost for some external suppliers was way too high and PAMS had to go back and either say no or negotiate. Was the range acceptable?
I certainly have never heard of members going out on their own and mailing things under anything other than the negotiated frank rate or the rate for unaddressed ad mail. What was the additional cost because the member went outside of the contract for unaddressed ad mail that the House of Commons has with Canada Post?
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-06-01 16:10
The member did meet the requirement. There was COVID-19 content in the document. The printing itself was within reasonable parameters, and the cost for printing, although a little higher than we'd seen, was not excessive.
The big part of the cost was the post, because, from my understanding, it was the printer who went to Canada Post and got the normal bulk rate, no corporate discounts whatsoever. Canada Post was not aware that this mailing was for a member of Parliament, so it didn't invoke any of the advantages we have for that. That's where the large majority of his excess cost came from. It's the postage, because it was a third party that mailed it for him.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
That's my question. Are we allowed to use our MOB for bulk mailing? We're trying to retroactively cover him a bit here because of what he did. He made a mistake, but does the mistake ever extend to...? What is the cap on postage? Is that the 5,000? Is that where that comes in? I'm trying to understand this.
We want to give some grace when mistakes are made, even though we might have questions about them, but the mailing part is concerning to me because we have never had a policy allowing us to contract for bulk mail, not that I'm aware of. That is what I'd like to know. What was the difference in cost between what he did and what would have been done had he waited a month and been approved?
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2020-06-01 16:12
I don't have the exact difference between what it would have cost had we processed it ourselves and what it cost him doing it on his own.
The 5,000 limit is just on the printed materials. There has to be more than 50% difference in the material if you are going to print more than 5,000. At this point, we really don't have that many specifics in our guidelines on the limitations of using any kind of mail couriers for packages or things of that nature. We don't have that in our parameters. It's really just about the printed copies.
I don't have the specifics of what would have been the cost for us, at this point. We can probably get it for you after the meeting.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
I would just say, if we take members at their word that it was an honest mistake, and obviously the buck stops with those of us who sign of on these things, so, if it's charged to his MOB.... We don't want to put a member out $13,000 or whatever it would be, but I would simply say I hope that when other members come with the same honest mistake type of defence, that we extend similar grace in those situations and not simply act based on what colour hat we wear around the table.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
Duly noted—and will do, I'm told.
Are the minutes approved otherwise?
They're approved. Okay.
Is there any business arising from the previous meeting?
Not seeing any, we will now move on to the modernization of policies related to communicating with constituents.
During the board's meeting on February 28, 2019, changes to the ten percenter program were presented for approval. Members discussed the introduction of a limit on the number of mailings that an MP can distribute under the proposed new program.
The initial proposal included a limit of six times the number of households in a member's constituency per calendar year. It was agreed that further examination of this limit was required. It's my understanding that since the last meeting, a revised proposal to establish the limit at eight times the number of households in a member's constituency per calendar year has been put forward and is supported. If this is indeed the case, the administration will monitor volumes and financial forecasts and return to the board for direction in any given year, if required.
Is it the will of the board to approve this revised proposal?
I think I'm seeing “yes”, so that's agreed.
That finishes point number three. You guys are really good.
Mr. Strahl.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Perhaps we could just have some clarification. I have the package of the different constituency mailers that are now available. Obviously, the 30-day rule now comes into effect, which we're used to having with our householder package.
Could you maybe just describe for our members, who I'm sure will be watching and also reading this transcript later, the differences between a constituency mailer and a householder, and whether or not the 30-day exclusionary period will apply just for certain types of mail? For instance, could you do two householders 30 days apart and a constituency mailer in between? Is there a coordination of those printed pieces, or are they on separate tracks?
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2019-04-11 11:47
Thank you, Mr. Strahl. Indeed they're on separate tracks. They are two different programs and they will remain two different programs. The main difference is the householder. You use one year of your allocation of a householder and you can cover your full riding. If you decide to do less in the householder, then it's your allocation. You use your allocation even if you do less.
For constituency mailings, you can break it out. Let's say you have a riding of 50,000. You can decide to send 5,000 in a given area of your riding, the next day 10,000 somewhere else, and so on and so on, up to your full household. That resets every 30 days. You can indeed do one householder and a full constituency mail at the same time, because the counter is for each program. They are not dependent on each other.
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2019-02-28 12:08
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The communications that MPs send to their constituents represent an important part of their duties. This is why several services for this purpose are chargeable to central funds. MPs may also charge external printing costs to their office budget.
In order to ensure that members' needs continue to be met, the House administration proposes changes to modernize the ten percenter regime.
In addition, other policy changes are proposed regarding external printing and advertising services.
Let's start with the modernization of ten percenters. In line with the 2018 changes to the householder program, our consultation revealed that members wanted colour and simplified processes. We propose to replace the current ten percenter program with what would be named constituency mail. It consists of eight formats, which include four new formats. All formats are available in black, two-colour and full colour. The formats are available for your viewing in the sample kit prepared by the printing and mailing services group. It consists mainly of flyers, reply cards and postcards.
Of importance is the proposal to simplify the overall planning and submission process by eliminating the 50% content difference rule and introducing a limit consisting of a maximum of six times the number of households in the member's constituency per calendar year. As for shipping, the member can continue to mail through unaddressed Admail or use the new option provided for addressed Admail.
Finally, it is proposed to allow for the display of third party community resources and not-for-profit website addresses.
In conclusion, the proposed changes provide additional benefits to members while removing rules that were no longer in compliance.
I will now turn things over to Mr. Paquette, who will explain changes related to certain policies.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2019-02-28 12:13
I'll say very quickly, Mr. Speaker, that I very much support these changes. Dealing with ten percenters since I was elected in 2004— with an involuntary break—has been a major challenge. You're constantly trying to MacGyver a solution to get correspondence to your constituents and, as a result, they were abused in all kinds of bizarre and strange ways.
Creating a uniform process for that makes a great deal of sense to me, so that, on the one hand, people don't get too frustrated to use it, and, on the other hand, people don't use it excessively in a way it wasn't intended to be used. I'm very supportive.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Obviously, a major change is the maximum of six times that a member can put out one of these new constituency mailers. What is the rationale for that? What are the projected savings by limiting members to that number?
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2019-02-28 12:15
Well, we've looked at the volumes that the members were sending as ten percenters for the last two fiscal years, which we believe were good baseline years. With respect to the limit of six times and the number of households in your constituencies, 92% of all members are actually within that limit, sending within that limit. We have 8% who are high flyers and would be outside that limit, so we believe we've covered the vast majority of members sufficiently. The other consideration is that we are confident that with those limits we would still be operating within the current budget, which was looked at as well.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Right, so the question is.... There will be some push-back. What was the impetus for the 8% who are doing more than six times a year? What are you trying to prevent here? I guess that's the question. Why have that limit? I can tell you that for some members it will be like waving a red flag in front of a bull: “You're telling me that I can't communicate with my constituents.”
I guess I'm trying to understand the rationale. If 92% of MPs are not going to go over six, why are you limiting it to six?
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2019-02-28 12:16
The other thing we looked at is our production capacity. By introducing full-colour products for this new constituency mail, we also had to make sure that we're sufficiently able to produce on an efficient basis. That was also part of looking at establishing the limit at six. It's to make sure that we can continue to support members in their communications in an efficient way within the production limits and production timelines that we currently have established.
If we augment that limit, then we're putting ourselves into a situation where we could go overbudget or where we would have way too much demand that is going to extend the production time for those constituency mailings.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you.
I won't add a lot to what Mark said. I agree fully with everything he articulated.
On the issue of changing ten percenters to a maximum number of mail-outs, I think we should err on the side of making sure that those 8% can still do what they've been doing. If 92% are going to do fewer than six a year, then why wouldn't we say you can do 10 a year, with the knowledge that that probably won't happen? Budgets are increasing, and there's more and more. All of a sudden now, to go back to our caucus and say that their ability to communicate with their constituents is going to be scaled back, when the only argument we can give is that we might not have the ability to pay for it, first of all, I think that probably wouldn't be the case, so I think we should rather look at this and expand that.
I would add to what Mark talked about. I agree. When I get up every day, the work I do is to do two things: to move out what I believe is a government that is not good for Canadians, which is what my constituents elected me to do, and to put in a government that I believe is good for Canadians, which means I'm going to ask them to support me. I'm going to ask them to listen to my arguments. I think the measurement should be that if we can say it in the House of Commons, we should be able to say it in our communication with our constituents. If it is slanderous or defamatory, then we will be held accountable for that, and we will be held accountable by our electorate, in whether they vote for us again.
I wrote a letter, and I said, “That's why, in 2019, Conservatives...”, and I was told I wasn't allowed to say that. It became unbelievable. We are partisan; that is what we do. We are political, and we're having more and more restrictions from people when we don't even know who they are and who they're accountable to. I think it's something that has to be looked at. That way we would all have the same freedom and ability to communicate in the way we believe we should.
Thank you.
View Ruth Ellen Brosseau Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I would like to thank Mr. Giroux and Mr. Paquette for their presentation.
I would like to say that the comments that I have gotten back from my constituents, after we went to colour, have been very positive. I think people appreciate getting news from their members of Parliament, and I think the way we're doing it is a lot more interesting to them.
Given the concerns raised by Candice and Mark, I don't know if there's an appetite from other members of the committee to see what it would be like to review some of the ten percenters or householders that have been refused, or ads that have been refused. I don't know if that is a possibility. I don't know what a review would look like. I don't know if there's an appetite from other members to look into this. I think this happens frequently. It hasn't been a big concern for our caucus. I don't know if there's an appetite from members of the board to look at this. I would like some more information, maybe some feedback, if a review is requested, on what that could look like.
Philippe Dufresne
View Philippe Dufresne Profile
Philippe Dufresne
2019-02-28 12:25
If I may jump in, I think that if there is a lack of consensus at this time to approve this recommendation, and there are some questions about the criteria that are being applied in approving or not—and ultimately, the approval can always be brought to the board—we could put these examples, and these issues could be looked at and some examples given, in the revised note that would come back for your consideration at our next board meeting. That would be part of the discussion about whether there are concerns about the criteria being used, whether these criteria flow from the bylaw, whether there is a need for a change in the bylaw, and whether the bylaw is being interpreted too strictly.
Those things could be brought back for your consideration and direction.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2019-02-28 12:26
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I have two items. One is that perhaps we can divide the two matters that are here. I'm hearing that there are two separate matters: one is relating to the number of mailings that can be sent out, which is a more scoped issue; and then there's a broader conversation that I'm hearing around what sort of material can be sent out or what the boundaries are on that.
I would hate to entangle those two items. I think one can move forward separate from the other, and one is a more detailed conversation that we have to have. That would be my first suggestion.
On the volume, I hear what members are saying, and I think that communication is incredibly important. However, I would point out that 10 times a year is an extraordinary number of mailings. There is a point at which perhaps people need to work on their brevity or how succinct they are. There are serious costs involved in mailing, and if you want to mail more than 10 times a year to your constituents, to me that starts crossing the line of being relatively excessive.
This was exactly the problem with the ten percenter program. There were no rules or boundaries on how it was used, so theoretically you could be putting out ten percenters every single day. I think it's moving to some kind of uniformity and giving some kind of clarity to members.
Again, we can have that conversation. If there's a slight upwards adjustment, for example, if 92% of people are covered by 10, and we can get up to 98% by doing 11, then let's do 11 and move on with it. That's the one point.
On the second point, I just have to put it on as a matter of record that I think there's a material difference between the debates we have in the House and the materials that we send out to constituents. I say this as somebody who has spent nearly six years in opposition as well and agrees with the general thrust of what's being said. However, we don't want to be in a situation where we're effectively funding partisan undertakings.
If you get to a point where you're unable to distinguish between a campaign flyer and a householder, that's a serious problem. I think that matters of debate around policy, around issues, are of course fair game. If we're talking about keeping that line between a difference of opinion and policy, I think that's a fair boundary, but I get concerned if we're drawing in the use of House resources to fund essentially partisan propaganda. We all have it; we all have a particular partisan message that we're disseminating, but I think that line, that wall, is important. It's a judicious line, and it's one that I would defend rather vociferously.
If we're going to have a conversation on that, I would want to extricate it from this particular matter. I think if the two are entwined, it could lead us to a circumstance where we don't change this, and then if we don't change it, we're left with the continuance of something that has been in long need of overhaul.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
To Mr. Holland's point, though, I think that's exactly what I'm trying to raise: who is making those determinations. Who determines if something is too partisan? Who determines if something crosses over from a member's role to a partisan role, and if that is being done, where is the direction coming from? Who is monitoring that to ensure it is consistent?
That is an increasing frustration. We have members who.... I sent out a particular ten percenter; another colleague tried to submit the same ten percenter, and it was rejected. This is what I am concerned about. There are people who are making these determinations. I don't know who they are. I don't know who is giving them direction. I don't know where the feedback mechanism is for that, and I think it's incredibly inconsistent. That's why I would err on the side of allowing more products to go out and allowing our constituents, who pay for them and receive them, to make the determination as to whether or not they are acceptable.
That is my concern. When the deciders are not known and we don't have control over that process, I would suggest that it becomes extremely arbitrary. I don't want that to be the case. I would like us to have broad interpretations as to what is fair comment, and I think we have strayed away from that into where there is now an arbitrary determination. One member to the next can submit the same item for printing; one gets printed and sent, and the other one gets held up for weeks.
On matters that are currently before the House especially, something may be before us only for a matter of days or weeks, and if we are going through a cumbersome appeal process to try to get something out, and whether it meets the requirements, no one will do it. It won't be timely, and we won't get that feedback in a timely fashion.
I appreciate what Mark is saying, that we don't want to turn this into printing houses for our parties. At the same time, we want it to be broadly interpreted, from our side anyway, based on certain principles that allow us to make those determinations as much as possible.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
To his other point, about getting certain things passed or not, other than recommendation number 2 in this list, we can talk about going through 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 if you want to separate this out.
I would commit to coming back in a timely fashion. I recognize that this needs to be decided prior to the dissolution of this Parliament, but I simply need to go to my caucus with these very specific proposals to ask for their feedback.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2019-02-28 12:32
Just very quickly, my suggestion is that it's totally appropriate, and I think that Mr. Strahl should have an opportunity. If we're going to hold this item down so that we can have an opportunity for consultation, maybe we can also get a clarification of whether, if we take that dial a little bit higher, that encapsulates 95%, 96% or whatever the percentage is.
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2019-02-28 12:33
We have all that.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2019-02-28 12:33
If we could look at that data, that would be helpful.
The simple point I was making is that it sounds to me like there's a discussion that's worthwhile around ensuring a policy that is consistently applied, transparent and understood by all as to what constitutes fair ball for sending out these constituency mailers or householders. To me, that shouldn't be examined in the same item. That's all I'm saying.
If we could have a separate conversation as a body on that matter as a different agenda item, it would allow this item to move forward expeditiously. I just don't want to hitch that issue to this wagon.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
I will go briefly to Monsieur Dufresne, just to get a response in terms of what the process currently is for examining content and so forth.
Is there, then, agreement to approve recommendations 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, on page 5 of the note?
Agreed, okay.
Monsieur Dufresne.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
When I think of the broadcasting, I'm glad that the lights here aren't as harsh as they are in the House of Commons. There's probably a little less glare for members who have to deal with this or for the public who have to see it.
Are there any questions or comments?
No. Okay.
Thank you very much, Philippe.
Oh, sorry. You're Charles. Don't get confused about that.
Sorry about that. I'm still thanking Philippe for his presentation earlier for an update.
We'll go on to number seven. This is also an update, I think, on the modernization of printing and mailing householder formats.
We have Mr. Benoit Giroux, who is director general of parliamentary precinct operations.
I believe that he is accompanied by Julie Allard.
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2018-03-01 12:39
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I am here to present you with an update on the printing and mailing services project to modernize printing and mailing householder formats.
Let me put this into context. You surely remember that you approved the modernization of new formats at your June 8, 2017 meeting.
There are currently 28 different householder options available in letter, flyer and booklet formats. Before ordering the new formats, we conducted an in-depth analysis, and we studied the level of use for each format.
In the new suite of formats, 15 options will be available in letter, flyer, booklet and card formats. All formats will be available in one colour, two colours, or full colour, and will be printed on Enviro Satin paper to improve the quality of colour printing.
These changes are in line with the results of a market analysis, and will provide members with products that follow the most up-to-date publishing trends, which will allow them to communicate with their constituents using easier-to-read products.
Consultations took place with party research offices prior to the new formats being approved by the Board of Internal Economy. The research offices participated in meetings, and received an update in January 2018 as the official launch date nears.
We have initiated the launch process, and we are here today to show you the changes that will be made.
We're very excited as we launch the transition period. Actually a testing period has started with the group of selected members, and we have members from each party who are participating, and that period started on February 9 and will go until March 30. Basically, they will produce their householder in the new format, and it allows us also to test it and make sure we're ready to implement fully. It will be launched on April 16, 2018. The new suite will be available, and from that date all new submissions will be in the new formats. Obviously, we will offer extensive support to members to transition, and there will be personalized support as well, and we will even assist them in converting their text into the new templates.
We also launched a multi-faceted communication plan. There will be road shows to the different members' offices, where we will go visit each member and make sure that they have all the available support they need to transition. As well, we'll provide all types of guides and we've produced how-to videos on sourcing, which will be readily accessible starting at the end of March and early April.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Giroux. Can you just comment on the cost per piece perhaps as when you go to full colour are we going to see a dramatic increase in cost to members office budgets, or taxpayers in general?
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2018-03-01 12:43
I will compare apples to apples. I'll take the example of a 32-page booklet. The current format is in a 32-page booklet. In the new format, in full colour, it will be the equivalent cost or less. All the formats that are currently available converted into full colour will be at the equivalent cost or less.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
That's good to know.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
I gather this is because we changed a bit of the size. Is it technology that's changed as well?
Benoit Giroux
View Benoit Giroux Profile
Benoit Giroux
2018-03-01 12:43
In the design of the new formats we also ensured that we were efficient in the production of all these formats. We have also, within our current budgets, through our life-cycle investment of equipment, made wise choices in terms of investment so we could produce those at a lesser cost.
Results: 1 - 60 of 63 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data