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Results: 46 - 60 of 159
Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 11:57
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The construction manager, meaning Public Works and Government Services Canada, is responsible for the budgets.
I'll ask Ms. Garrett to explain the absence of costs at this stage.
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Jennifer Garrett
View Jennifer Garrett Profile
Jennifer Garrett
2020-02-27 11:58
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We really do understand that cost is a critical factor in determining and informing the decisions along with other key aspects like, as you indicated earlier, the heritage interventions and things like that. We would never ask parliamentarians to make decisions without understanding those cost details.
In terms of the functional programming, we are here to start the engagement process to see if we have those options right in terms of their functional capabilities to support parliamentary operations. From there we are happy to re-engage and come back to provide you cost ranges on what that might mean. We are at step one of a further discussion about cost to help inform the decision-making process.
The other aspect is the comprehensive assessment program. It's also a key factor in what we learned about the building and what that will involve in terms of modernization. The combination of the functional program and the base-building modernization ultimately inform a building scope, and it's only from there that you can baseline your cost scope and schedule. As you can imagine, there's a very big difference, just to take the chamber, for example, between remaining within the existing chamber versus completely deconstructing a very significant portion of the building and rebuilding it.
We are really not trying to not provide those details, and we're happy to come back with that information. We just need to know and get a better sense, as part of the initial engagement, as to whether the hard work we've done at the staff level with the House of Commons administration is landing in terms of options that make sense operationally for Parliament.
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View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you for that.
There's no doubt that this is important to Canadians; it's the centre of Canadian democracy. At the same time, among those at this table, I represent the riding that's farthest away from Ottawa and most of my constituents will never come to Ottawa. They'll never see the House of Commons and Parliament Hill.
It's about making sure that we do justice to the Centre Block and to the importance of Parliament, but I would certainly disagree with any Cadillac approach where we're putting excessive funds into the building. I think, coming back to the comments that Ms. Bergen and Mr. Holland mentioned—I would agree with both of them—that we need to establish those principles as a starting point so that going into this, we know that we can provide direction. Perhaps, since we don't have the figures in front of us, it's very difficult to even imagine the scope of the project right now, but putting those principles into place can make a real difference.
As Mr. Holland mentioned, moving forward quickly is important because there's also a cost element to not making those decisions. I was part of the building committee that met prior to the election. We basically went with the stripped-down option, but that allowed for some flexibility about decisions post-election. The longer we delay the decisions, the more costs there are for the taxpayers. It's about finding that balance, moving forward immediately with the principles—I agree with Mr. Holland on that—and meeting in a couple of weeks.
I also agree with Mr. Holland on his real reservations about having a joint process with the Senate. We're the elected members. We're the ones who will have to justify decisions back to our voters, perhaps in a few months, perhaps in a few years, so I think, because of that, that there is a principle to our hearing from them but also providing the leadership on that. Moving forward quickly will be important. We'll move forward with principles so we can get this right and in a way that is reasonable to people across the country, including in New Westminster—Burnaby. People will say that we got it right on the House of Commons and Parliament Hill. It's a good building, and we didn't spend excessively to preserve the heritage and the symbolism that is the Parliament building.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Ms. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.
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View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
First, Mr. Patrice, I want to thank you for the quality of the documents that we received in advance. As a result, we can better appreciate today's presentation.
I gather that you're inviting us to take a step forward rather than to simply participate in a committee. This process would continue over time. The process, which has started, would not end with our Parliament, but rather in several Parliaments.
I also understand that all recognized parties in the House of Commons are committed to working in a committee. Regardless of whether the whips or leaders change, the work must continue. In this way, the administration and the experts in the House will shape the new Parliament, with the support and advice of the members who spend a great deal of time there, sometimes even more time than in their own homes.
Perhaps we'll soon resolve one of your issues, and there will be 78 fewer seats in the House of Commons.
We think so, don't we, Mr. Rodriguez?
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View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
That's it. That may be one of the solutions.
All kidding aside, I agree. I share Mr. Holland's view that we should have a joint committee. I think that it's easier for you and for us to be together and to share our common concerns.
We can't be against a guiding principle. However, as a whip, I would like to have known one thing. Members are very busy in parliamentary committees right now. How do you view meetings every two weeks?
Will each two-hour period require decisions every week? We should have time to consult at least with the members of our parties. I don't see how one member can make a decision. It isn't a personal decision, but a decision shared by a few members of caucus, at least.
What do you think of this schedule whereby we meet every two weeks once the committee has started its work? How much work will be required between the two meetings to come up with recommendations or advice from our caucus members?
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Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 12:05
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I think that it will vary. Obviously, we'll adapt to the consultation needs of the members of this working group.
I'll be honest. I think that some decisions will be simple. For example, I'm thinking of the Hall of Honour. I don't believe that anyone is expecting any changes to the Hall of Honour. On the other hand, other decisions will require a longer discussion or more extensive sharing of information.
I'm suggesting two hours a week to give you an idea of the level of effort required. I may be completely wrong, but it could take six hours of meetings—or three weeks, or a month—before a decision is made. There's no structured goal whereby, every two hours, three decisions must be made. It will depend on the topics discussed and the committee members' need for reflection and consultations.
In addition, it will depend on the amount of information needed. For example, if a cost projection is required to make a decision, I hope or dare hope that the members wouldn't make a decision without knowing the cost. If it takes a month to obtain the costs, it will take another month to make the decisions. In short, it will take as long as is necessary to make a decision. It's certainly not my goal to hold a gun to your head and say that you must make a decision now without considering the costs.
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View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
That's fine.
I imagine that you have an idea of the sequence of events, from the first decision to the last, and ideally the costs involved. You must have a sense of how long it could take to make all the major decisions that guide the start of the work.
Is this specified in the document, or did I miss it?
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Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 12:07
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It isn't really specified. However, in terms of the House, the halls are very important because they constitute your working environment. The visitors centre is important to us. We must move forward as quickly as possible with these areas.
That said, once again, we don't intend to rush you in your decision making. However, for the sake of responsiveness and to avoid delaying the project, at some point, we may work with parallel designs.
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Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 12:08
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Yes, thank you. They would be concepts, parallel scenarios A or B. We would have already done some work on them once the decision is made.
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View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
This will be my last comment, but I want to talk about something that concerns me. The issue is the space reserved for members who are young parents. The Bloc Québécois currently has about a dozen young members with young children. If we want to draw more young people or women towards politics, I think that we must also provide a space that makes it possible to balance the roles of parent and member.
The renovation of the West Block incorporated a family room, which I don't think is being used to its full potential. The idea is good, but perhaps that room doesn't necessarily meet all the needs identified by the members of my party. I'm thinking of the room's location, size and design.
I don't know whether this issue is part of your plans, but I want each party to have a space that I'll call a “family room,” where parliamentarians could meet with their spouses while waiting to make a speech, and cradle a child and work at the same time. I think that we must keep up with the times. We made the effort to create a family room here. However, if we want to look to the future, I think that we must be mindful of this issue. The needs will be even greater in this area.
It may not be too late for you to bear this in mind, Ms. Kulba.
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Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2020-02-27 12:10
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Thank you. That's also one of our main concerns.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Strahl.
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Results: 46 - 60 of 159 | Page: 4 of 11

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