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Results: 1 - 100 of 202
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
2015-03-30 17:14
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Jennings, how and when do you plan to report the final cost of the financial assistance to Parliament?
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View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
2015-03-30 17:15
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Why do Parliament and Canadians have to wait until 2017 or 2018 to know whether the program achieved its goals? That's a long time.
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View Gerry Byrne Profile
Lib. (NL)
Yes. This is getting murkier, Mr. Chair. If I understand it, the requirement under the Governor in Council is for an order in council to be issued for his nomination to be extended as the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
Work with me, Mr. Chair, if you can, because I think we need to get this clarified. As I understood it, the nomination of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner was forwarded to this committee because we have an opportunity as a committee to oversee and to make a recommendation about this particular appointment. The referral was required because the commissioner's former appointment had expired and he is being renominated. Is that—?
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View Gerry Byrne Profile
Lib. (NL)
Therefore, he is acting, so it's fairly clear that—
Has he not yet obtained the order in council? Has the order in council been authorized?
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View Gerry Byrne Profile
Lib. (NL)
This makes absolutely no sense. That's why I wanted to work this through, so that we're communicating to Canadians that there is a new commissioner who has never been vetted by a parliamentary committee. The commissioner has been invited, we understand, under very specific directions to appear concerning the nomination itself, and the interim commissioner is saying, “No, I don't think so.”
Mr. Chair, with all due respect to those who have made a decision in this matter—and those decision-makers are not in this committee, but outside of this committee—we have had a very serious breach of trust already occur with a former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. That commissioner was never allowed to appear before this committee. That commissioner was never asked.... The report of the Auditor General was never allowed to be heard by the public accounts committee, which interfaces with the Office of the Auditor General.
Now we have an interim commissioner who holds a very important office—important not only to us as Canadians, but to our parliamentary system and to our system of governing the public sector in a fair and responsible way—and this person has just said he won't appear before us because he's a bit confused.
I am very confused, Mr. Chair. I would like to have the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner come before us so that we can meet him.
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View Gerry Byrne Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Chair, this is where we move into murky waters because those who would suggest that we should be careful about our relationships with officers of Parliament, and that we should understand that they are the masters of the House, not us, does no service to the work we do in this committee or as parliamentarians.
An alternative, a reasoned amendment, was offered to collapse the situation and provide some diplomatic resolution to this, which was refused by the government, clearly for a good reason, because while they may protest that this is inflammatory and unnecessary and that their motives should not be impugned here, it is clear to everyone listening to this and watching us and hearing our words that there's more to this than meets the eye.
Mr. Chair, the government was offered a reasoned solution to a diplomatic problem that has now morphed into something clearly much larger because now the government wants us to invite. We are going to the lowest common denominator now because a meeting was offered and rejected, and now this committee is left to simply invite an officer of Parliament to appear before us, as opposed to expressing the expectation that they must appear before us.
This has become escalated at this point in time, and unnecessarily so. I'm not very comfortable about the notion of inviting an officer of Parliament to come before us so that we can examine the nomination and offer a report to the House of Commons as to whether or not we agree or disagree with the nomination. It is our fundamental responsibility as a committee to examine this nomination and to report to the House, not to invite, to expect an appearance by someone who would assume such an office.
I'm not very pleased right now. I thought we had a reasoned opportunity to de-escalate the situation, but now I think we are getting very clear instructions from the government as to who is in charge. Is it the executive or Parliament? The government is telling us it's the executive.
I will not support this.
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:14
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Okay, thank you.
I understand that your office is not allowed to review any access to information complaints regarding redactions that are deemed to be cabinet confidences. Is that a hindrance to you in terms of fulfilling your mandate?
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:14
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Thank you.
Are there any other methods that your office would like to implement that Parliament could assist you with to reduce delays in reviewing redactions?
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:15
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Perhaps I can ask the question in a different way.
If your budget were not increased—and we've heard about the pressures on your budget—what might you have to cut in terms of services to Canadians?
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View Frank Valeriote Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Frank Valeriote Profile
2014-10-07 13:21
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I think as well there's probably some sufficient difference between the actual wording—and I know where you're coming from—of the motion of which you speak and the wording and the requirements of this. There's a point where it diverges from exactly what the motion was, and I think this diverges sufficiently from the motion that it makes it different in its requirements.
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View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2014-05-08 12:31
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I'm going to ask about a different set of issues.
Mr. Robertson, you mentioned, I think, the key aspects of defence: land, sea, air, space, and cyber. In terms of defence of Canada and defence of North America, I want to ask a bit about cyber.
There has been some controversy recently that Communications Security Establishment Canada has been tracking Canadians through their IP addresses as part of creating a framework for analysis. Also, there has been some concern that there are large amounts of data that are being gathered by the government without warrant, and potentially under ministerial authorities. There's also controversy that there is not really a mechanism that's accountable to the public through Parliament for the activities of CSEC.
In our attempts to have a good balance between information privacy, so people don't feel that Big Brother is watching over their every move, and having security so the kind of intelligence gathering that we need to do for real security needs can happen, are there improvements needed in reporting and in authorization?
What are the pros and cons of allowing this system now that is so much an outlier compared with the other five eyes, in terms of no need for a warrant and broadcast authorizations and lack of clear accountability to the public?
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View Gerry Byrne Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I was interested to hear, Mr. Eaves, one of your comments. One of the objectives, I guess, of this study would be to assist the government in moving the initiative along. You mentioned that there was one practice, at Industry Canada, that you found contrary to the spirit of the G-8 commitment that Canada was making.
Are there any other circumstances or practices that you may be aware of that you could share with the committee, where you sort of question or want to raise whether or not the Government of Canada is running contrary to the G-8 charter or to the spirit, generally speaking, of what an open data portal, an open government, is supposed to be about?
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View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2014-03-31 16:12
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You talked about the fact that you had been requested by the Senate to do an audit of the Senate.
Do you want to tell us a little bit about the particular aspects you will be looking at in that audit and what timeframe it will cover?
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View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2014-03-31 16:42
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Have there been any other particular audits that have been done like that more recently and would not have been done in the past that have been added to the work of your office?
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View Lise St-Denis Profile
Lib. (QC)
You mentioned grants that you give out. Your report lists dozens upon dozens of small programs. You hand out grants for activities involving three people, and no follow-up is done to ensure accountability. You measure neither the direct nor indirect effects of the funding you give out to numerous small groups of individuals, small programs. Are these small programs making things better for francophone groups? Or is the thinking that it's better to run them even if they don't do much?
Don't these programs warrant better evaluation so you can determine which ones are really making a difference for Canada's francophonie?
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View Jim Karygiannis Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Scott, I want to ask the three servicemen.
Do you think your government is truly representing you? Do you think that truly your government is looking after you today?
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View Jim Karygiannis Profile
Lib. (ON)
Is your government doing the best for you in representing you? Do you feel we're doing the best for you, or are we letting you down?
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View Jim Karygiannis Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Chair.
I'm glad you pointed out, sir, that the old pension was non-taxable and the new one is taxable.
I'm going to pick up on Mr. Rafferty's point about the closing of the VAC centres. There are going to be 27,688 vets who will be affected by the closing of these centres. We are told that there are all kinds.... I mean, for My VAC—this portfolio, I think, is what you or some people referred to—people can actually go online, use phones, go in person, use mail, and whatever else there is.
With the closing of these centres, how would the older vets, vets who are 80 or 90, be able to get assistance? We get from the department that there are 600 points of reference and that they're going to do this.... You even mentioned that you're going to train personnel in service centres. But there is a feeling out there that you can't trust VAC. That was certainly obvious when it was mentioned to them that 27,388 boxes of medical records were destroyed, and they kept saying, “No, no, nobody was affected.” Then vets were coming up and saying, “We've lost our records.” That was proven.
My question is, how can the department be trusted when time and time again it has shown that their methods and their figures, as well as what they do, are incorrect? I mean, breaching personal files of Dennis Manuge, Harold Leduc...I could go on ad infinitum. How can the department be trusted? I know you might not want to answer this, but you are even reporting to the minister that you, your shop, should be reporting directly to the department.
I'm going to put it out there. I don't think that what you get from the department is something that you can take home and say, “this is it”, you know, it's firm, because time and time again they've been caught not saying the truth. They've been caught misleading and even doing stuff to members of their own board, such that in the private sector they'd be fired. I mean, for breaching somebody's medical records, you would be totally fired. I'm just wondering if you have a comment or any thoughts on that.
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View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Then we go back to what you say in chapter 1, about the monitoring issues that seem to be severely lacking. It's been going on for quite some time, where we really need to do a lot of catch up on monitoring of these programs to find out if we're getting the measured success that we so desire. Certainly, when it comes to procurement, such as ship building, or even other types of equipment of that size, and the right decision about options, it seems to me that it's prolific across many departments where we lack the amount of monitoring in order to make these decisions.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 11:20
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Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
In listening to your presentation, Ms. Legault, my ears perked up when you indicated that proactive disclosure is a good thing. I think that we and the vast majority of Canadians, if not all, would agree that proactive disclosure is a good thing. I notice that Mr. Lukiwski also picked up on that particular point. It is something on which, even though there are two parties in agreement about progressing, we have already taken the next step. We are saying that Liberal MPs and Liberal senators have to participate in proactive disclosure.
The issue, of course, is that it has that much more meaning if in fact it is administered to all political parties and is done through the administration. We hope to be able to achieve that. It's been difficult, because the NDP do not want to participate in proactive disclosure, but we'll continue to try to get those reforms brought in.
That was more of a political statement than anything else. I will get to my question.
You also made the comment that “in order to promote trust in public institutions...”. Well, we have made other suggestions, such as having performance audits conducted on expenditures on a more regular basis.
I'm interested in knowing your thoughts about the value of having performance audits be conducted by Canada's Auditor General.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 11:24
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I guess, Ms. Legault, what I am getting to is that, whether it's a question of more detailed reports coming from the Auditor General or of putting in a mandate under which they are doing these audits every three years, it actually complements that process to see forward movement on access to information, so that the two of them, hand in hand, can ensure more accountability and transparency.
Would you not agree to that?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 11:25
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In an ideal world, let's say I meet with a senior on pension because he's having issues with the Canada Pension Plan, and I meet him over at McDonald's for lunch. What should I state on the form?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 11:26
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If we look at that specific example, should I be putting in the constituent's name? Whether it is disclosed or not, should I be putting that constituent's name on the receipt, saying “I met with John Doe over lunch”?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:18
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Well, actually, Mr. Chair, there are some things I cannot resist, of course, and I want to pick up on Ms. O'Brien's comments in terms of applying rules to everyone.
Mr. Scott was making reference to the Liberal Party leader. He wants to know where the Liberal Party leader flies. The good news is that in regard to where the Liberal Party is flying at taxpayers' expense, you can find out. We have what they call proactive disclosure.
It's something that you refuse to participate in. A good example is, we would say that we should also be able to know where your leader flies. We understand that he flew to Winnipeg in first class while our leader was flying economy. We want to be able to know how much your leader is spending on airfare.
Through you, Mr. Chair, of course....
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:18
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But of course, Mr. Chair.
We believe that Canadians have a right to know who's flying first class, to know if they choose first class, like your leader, or who's flying economy, like our leader is flying economy. These are things on which, at the very least, everyone within the Liberal caucus has taken a step forward through proactive disclosure.
When the member makes reference to “we want more, we want more”, it's a kind of childish game that they're entering into. You can have this, what we have today, and we can do what Madam O'Brien is suggesting in terms of having a rule that applies to all political parties and is administered by the government, as opposed to a political party. All we need is the consent of the New Democrats in order to make that happen.
My specific question is for you, Madam O'Brien. The Auditor General of Canada has provided performance audits on MPs' expenditures in the past. One of the suggestions is that we have that on a more regular basis, so that every three years there would be a performance audit conducted by the Auditor General. Do you feel that would be helpful?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:20
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Do you think there would be value in terms of having performance audits conducted, then, on the expenditures of members of Parliament?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:22
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I think one of the things that's quite upsetting to many people is the fact that the Board of Internal Economy meets in camera as often as it does. My understanding is that, under the IPSA model, it also meets in camera. So even the outside independent body—both meet in camera.
Is there not a compromise here? One of the suggestions is that you have a subcommittee, and that subcommittee is the one that meets in camera. Anything decided would then come to the full committee for discussion. Can you provide comment on that?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:24
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But you see, the information discussed in the subcommittee ultimately would come in the form of recommendations for the entire board, where there would be a discussion about those recommendations, and you're able to bypass the sensitivity issues. Do you not think that would be helpful?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-21 12:24
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I think there is a great deal of pressure in terms of this whole in camera situation. There's this feeling that a lot of things happen behind closed doors, especially with politicians, in that sense. But having a subcommittee of sorts that's dealing with in camera issues, and then bringing them forward for ultimate ratification or decision, and allowing for some debate, that's always open to the public to participate.
Perhaps you can provide comment on this. If you had a mechanism like that, to what degree do you think it would change the amount of discussion within the typical board meeting?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 19:34
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Thank you, Speaker Milliken and Speaker Fraser. It's great to see the two of you here.
I have some experience from the Manitoba perspective. I sat on the Legislative Assembly Management Commission, which operates in a similar fashion to the internal board here in Ottawa. When I reflect and I try to understand why it was that we moved in a certain direction in the Province of Manitoba, I can't help but apply some of that here in Ottawa. For example, Canadians as a whole want to see more transparency. They want to see more accountability. The issue of proactive disclosure seems to be talked about a great deal. When you look at the things the Board of Internal Economy does, are there things we can take out of the Board of Internal Economy that might appease the need to be more transparent and accountable?
I'll give you a specific example. We have a commissioner in the Province of Manitoba. It's the commissioner who sets the pay and the pensions for MLAs. The Canadian public, as a whole, don't believe politicians should set their own pay or determine their pensions. Having that independent commission proves to be of value.
The idea of movement toward more public meetings and not to have in camera meetings, may be an issue. Can we set up a subcommittee that deals with highly personal, in camera type topics that do come up but ultimately have to go back to the full committee in order to ultimately be approved?
Can I get each of your thoughts with regard to answering those types of need? Are there some things that we can kind of hybrid away from the Board of Internal Economy, thereby giving more attention to those critical issues?
Speaker Milliken, do you want to start off?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:26
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I find it very interesting, the NDP pushing for more transparency and accountability. I hadn't witnessed that first-hand when we asked for the New Democrats to participate in proactive disclosure. I'll continue to hold my breath. Maybe that might be one of the first things on the agenda, whatever that new body might be, because of the hesitation and reluctance of the NDP to get involved in more proactive disclosure.
I do have a few specific questions I would like to ask.
Do you think it would be in the public's best interest if we actually had performance audits conducted on a regular basis? By regular, I mean every three years we would actually have performance audits conducted on MPs and how they're spending the money, done by the Auditor General.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:27
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What about the idea that we look at the Auditor General looking at ways in which they can provide more detailed audits on how those tax dollars are being spent? Is that something else you would support?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:28
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I understand you make reference to the rule versus the exception. There is this other independent body, IPSA, on the other side of the ocean. In your opinion, is there a difference if it's IPSA in camera versus the current system in camera?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:28
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But in principle, if we change the system so that it's not a group of individuals on the Hill going in camera, it's some other group that does its meetings in camera, are they both problematic in your opinion?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:29
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What about the idea that we virtually put it into law that the Board of Internal Economy has to meet in public, with some possible exceptions—there might be issues related to security or staff responsibilities, but with odd exceptions—and maybe even require unanimous consent of all the members?
How would you respond to that?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:29
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But what we would be seeing here is that the Board of Internal Economy would be meeting in public. It would always be open to the public to participate. What Mr. Walsh was referring to, and I'm definitely open to the idea with respect to the Board of Internal Economy, is that it meet in public, almost without exception. It would almost be the law of the land that it would be meeting in public.
But then Mr. Walsh brings in a new idea: that we might establish a subcommittee. That subcommittee might deal with those issues it had to deal with—examples might be security or personnel issues—but then would report back to the Board of Internal Economy or whatever that other group might be, and the discussion would continue before it could be ultimately passed or accepted, but it would occur in public.
What do you think of that?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:31
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I'm not sure how long you've been a journalist. One issue for me for many years, and I've raised it with Speaker Milliken, is the issue of pay and pensions. There's the expectation or public perception that politicians should not be directly or indirectly setting their pay and pension.
In Manitoba they have established a commission. Do you have any thoughts regarding that issue, or could you provide some thoughts on it?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:32
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Do you feel it is appropriate that money, whether it's the Minister of Finance or the Board of Internal Economy involved, be shuffled between the two of them? Is this something that's appropriate at this level, or should it be done independently—much as occurs in the case of Elections Canada with the boundaries redistribution, for example?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:32
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With the idea of proactive disclosure, we're saying that Canadians have a right to know where you're flying from and to, and that you should be listing how much you've paid and your hospitality expenses and so forth, and that we're putting it on the Internet. Is this something that you think all parties should have to do eventually ?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-20 20:33
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Should we have to wait until the law or regulation is changed to do that, or do you think we should be able to do it on our own?
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View Kirsty Duncan Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
And thank you all for your work and for coming today.
I'm new. Is the Auditor General's office receiving enough information from the government for the Auditor General's office to do its work?
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View Kirsty Duncan Profile
Lib. (ON)
How do you ensure that the departments implement your recommendations? You have talked for 10 years about National Defence. We haven't seen those changes.
How do we ensure that, and do you have recommendations for doing so?
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View Kirsty Duncan Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
I'm concerned that there's little follow-up. For example, there's an audit and a few years later there's another audit and we learn the recommendations weren't implemented. Would it be possible to table with the committee what's done to ensure the recommendations are followed? Is that possible?
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View Kirsty Duncan Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
How accurate do the government's consolidated financial statements have to be to receive a clean audit opinion?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 11:21
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Our New Democratic friend was starting to play a childish game. Maybe the NDP should just take the initiative and do what the Liberals and the Conservatives are saying, which is to move forward and say that we're prepared to provide proactive disclosure.
Anyway, it is about public trust. Politicians can only dream about having the type of public trust, Mr. Ferguson, that Canadians have in the Auditor General's office.
What I have found is that quite often when we find ourselves in trouble, because of the way affairs have been managed, one of the offices we always turn to is the Auditor General's office. Once again, in the last number of months, we find ourselves in a situation where we're turning to the Auditor General's office to get some assistance, some direction.
With respect to the idea that we need to undertake performance audits for the House of Commons administration, do you have any short thoughts you could share with us on performance audits, or the benefits of such audits?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 11:23
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To the best of your knowledge, has that been the case? Has there been follow-through on that?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 11:24
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That's right. So there's a need for us to invite you back.
Performing more detailed audits of parliamentary spending seems to be what Canadians are wanting to see. Do you feel this is something the Auditor General's office would be able to provide—looking at ways we could perform more detailed reporting of our expenditures? Do you believe this would help out in furthering accountability and transparency, Mr. Ferguson?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 11:26
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It is about trying to say to Canadians that we want to reform the system. One of the things that seems to come up is this whole idea of in camera meetings, to the degree that the leader of my party wants to see legislation that would in essence make it a law that we could not have in camera meetings of the Board of Internal Economy, with the odd exception, such as when dealing with security or personnel matters.
Are you able to comment on in camera meetings?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 11:27
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Currently there is proactive disclosure by ministers on such things as flights and hospitality. Have you ever had the opportunity to audit those things? If so, can you comment?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:26
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Welcome, Mr. Sills.
I have a few questions that I would like to get on the record. One of them is dealing with the process when members of Parliament say they want to be able to move in a certain direction and incur another expense. For example, with advertising, we don't think we should have a party logo on it. There would be a discussion and a decision would be made by the Board of Internal Economy, and then it's passed on.
What role does IPSA play in regard to guidelines for what a member of Parliament can or cannot spend money on? Or is that brought to IPSA?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:27
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Are you approached by the House or any of the committees who say they would like you to consider extending that sort of a benefit of expenditure, or to change something?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:28
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So the board would take it upon itself to meet with different caucuses, and independents, to get a sense of their feelings and thoughts.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:28
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What sort of an appeal mechanism do you have in place? For example, what happens when an MP puts in a claim, he or she gets a response, and they are not happy with the response? Who do they appeal to?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:29
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As a committee, you don't meet publicly. Is there any sense that there could be a need or a justification to allow it to be open? Can someone come in and participate, or watch?
What would the rationale be for not having it open to the public?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:30
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One of the issues that has come up in the province of Manitoba—and I really believe in this—is that they have actually appointed a commissioner who sets the salaries and pensions of MPs. It's non-debatable, and it takes effect after the following provincial election.
How precisely do you establish a member of Parliament's salary and pension benefits, and when does it take effect?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-19 12:32
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Through the committee and the establishment of the committee itself of IPSA, there are some mandatory positions, I believe. You said, for example, there's the High Court judge; I think you mentioned the auditor. Then it is left, is it, for the other three spots to be appointed by a hiring committee of the Speaker, which the Speaker would chair?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-07 11:24
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to pick up on the Manitoba example. I was present as an MLA representing the Liberal caucus when in fact we adopted the principle of the commission. I think it's actually worked quite well.
The primary purpose of it was actually that we did not feel that MLAs—or in this particular case politicians—should be setting their own pay or determining what their pensions were going to be. We wanted to ensure that there was an independent appeal mechanism. There are individuals who are not a part of the recognized party system, so it was felt that it would be more independent by having a commissioner designate it.
I'm wondering if you would acknowledge that there could be value to having that independent commissioner, who is actually appointed after an election takes place. Do you see any merit to that sort of a bringing in...? It appears to be working in Manitoba.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-07 11:27
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Mr. Walsh, one of the interesting things that I thought you said was about the makeup of the Board of Internal Economy: no ministers. Did you also say no House leaders and no government House leaders? Is that universal? Is it your recommendation that the House leadership of the respective caucuses not be allowed to have membership on the committee?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-07 11:28
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Finally, if I were to attempt to simplify your suggestion that we have these subcommittees, what do you think of the idea that anything that goes in camera has to go through the subcommittee, and that's only for a recommendation that would go before the full committee of the Board of Internal Economy, or whatever the name of that board might be?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-07 11:28
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Mr. Thomas, I did want to get your thoughts. One of the initiatives we've been espousing has been that we want more transparent accountability, more of a proactive disclosure, similar to what ministers use in terms of issues like travel and hospitality. I'm not too sure if you're familiar with the proposal, but if you are, perhaps you could provide a comment. I know it's not all-encompassing, but do you think this is the right direction we should be moving toward?
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View Carolyn Bennett Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-05 12:26
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I do want to address the issue of what I believe is the public perception, which is something that we all have a responsibility to deal with.
To use an example, we and the leader of our party have been talking a great deal about proactive disclosure, making reference to ministers and how they would proactively declare the actual costs of making that flight in terms of where it is they're flying to, and the costs of meals in terms of where they're having those meals, and so forth. Here is an expectation that we're hearing from Canadians as a whole: they want to see more proactive disclosure.
I can appreciate that there might be additional costs for that, but we're in a democracy. We have to meet those costs in order to provide what it is that Canadians ultimately would like to see.
The question—and it might be best for Mr. Watters—is in regard to what steps we could be taking to make proactive disclosure to the same degree to which ministers have proactive disclosure on their trips. Is that something that's doable within your administration?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-05 12:29
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Yes, but that would be on the assumption that the proactive disclosure we're talking about is just limited to that in the future. If we look at it as a starting point.... I'm very much wanting to provide and deliver what Canadians are asking for. We had the opportunity, for example, to use this as a starting point back in June. We came very, very close to actually having it pass in the House. If it weren't for the New Democrats, in fact, we would have had the support to see it actually pass, and it could have been in place today. That is indeed a starting point.
You made reference to the fact that you went to other provinces. I was intrigued by Manitoba. I served in the Manitoba legislature for 20 years. I was a part of the process that brought us the commissioner. I can tell you that when we talked about bringing in the commissioner—I was part of those discussions and representing the Liberal Party at that time—we needed to make a clear statement that politicians should not be setting politicians' salaries—
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-05 12:31
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—nor should we be determining what our pensions are.
There was also a feeling that there needs to be an appeal mechanism that is not the Board of Internal Economy—we knew it as the Legislative Assembly Management Commission in the Province of Manitoba—so that if in fact a member has an issue, they could go to someone, and that was determined with the commissioner.
Here's the question I have for you. Do you believe that the potential role a commissioner could play here on the national scene could be of benefit to Canadians as a possible add-on? You talked about how we have the established Board of Internal Economy. Do you see the potential role that a commissioner could play in dealing with what Manitobans thought was important, but applying that nationally?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-11-05 12:32
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I have one last question for you, Ms. O'Brien. I appreciated your comments about the importance of being in camera and how, if you remove the in camera aspect, decisions might ultimately end up being made in hallways as opposed to through a more formal process. I can appreciate that.
Something I have advocated for years is to allow for the assumption that meetings are in fact public, and if it is deemed necessary that a meeting go in camera, that it be done through unanimous consent of all the members of the Board of Internal Economy.
Do you feel that would be a problem? I'm familiar with the give and take and the nature of the discussions of a group such as the Board of Internal Economy. I wouldn't think it would be a problem, because, generally speaking, people from all political parties are sensitive about having to go in camera.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-09-08 13:12
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Thank you.
I actually appreciate the opportunity to come here today, as I suspect that a great deal of discussion has taken place in all of our ridings across the country, from coast to coast to coast, since Canadians are, in fact, quite concerned about what is taking place and what has been taking place in Ottawa over the last number of months.
In the past we attempted to deal with this, even prior to the House adjourning, or taking a recess, back in June. As members would know, it was the leader of the Liberal Party who brought forward four motions of substance. We attempted to get those passed. They are now referred to in the letter that Mr. Cullen has brought forward. I think it is important to note just how those motions, had they been passed, would have resolved a lot of concerns that many Canadians have today.
Unfortunately—and the record will show this—it was the New Democrats who actually prevented the motions from passing in the first place. So, on the one hand, we're glad to be here: we want to see changes. We want more transparency. We want those things, because we know that Canadians want them and are demanding them. We have seen strong leadership within our own party with regard to coming up with ideas on how we will be able to do just that.
I really believe that one of the first things we as a committee should do on this agenda—given the fact that back in June there appeared to be just a minority of New Democrats who were uncomfortable with the motions proposed by the Liberal Party—is to review those motions put forward by Mr. Trudeau and get the unanimous support of the committee. I think that would be a reasonable thing to ask. We've had the opportunity to review the motions. Everyone has had a copy of them, Mr. Chair. People are familiar with them. We would be doing a great service to Canadians if people would agree to let those motions pass.
Whether it passes unanimously today or not—and I will ask for that, Mr. Chair—as much as that would be great to see, I can tell you that we as a caucus are prepared to do it. We are committed, because we recognize what Canadians want us to do, and we're prepared to demonstrate that through leadership and to implement certain aspects of it ourselves. The question is to what degree other members are as well. I suspect that all members have had the opportunity to canvass their constituents and to find out that there should be support.
Mr. Chair, I'm not entirely sure of the proper procedure, but I am going to ask if you could canvass to see whether, in fact, there would be unanimous support for the four motions that were brought forward by Mr. Trudeau back on June 10.
I can quickly read them, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Trudeau moved:that the Board of Internal Economy begin posting the travel and hospitality expenses—
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-09-08 13:18
Expand
I think a big part of it, Tom, is recognizing—which I wasn't too sure of in terms of the most appropriate way of bringing it forward in the form of an amendment—that what we're looking for is just getting the recognition from all three political parties that these suggestions or motions that were brought forward back on June 10 are very tangible and whether in fact they're supported by all political parties.
Now, it might not necessarily be appropriate as an amendment. That's why I was looking to see if we could get the unanimous support of the committee to at least acknowledge their existence and in fact support them, because what we're talking about is not studying them per se, but rather adopting them.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-09-08 13:20
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Okay. On that particular point, then, Mr. Chair, I appreciate your comments and I'll look forward to maybe a more appropriate time, when we could actually have some dialogue on the four motions that were brought forward by Mr. Trudeau.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-09-08 13:20
Expand
Yes. I was hopeful that maybe we'd be able to draw some conclusions if possible, at least before the end of the day, so that we would have something tangible prior to the end of the meeting. I will hold off on providing more comments in regard to those particular motions, but suffice it to say that we're glad to be here today. We're anxious to see some movement in this area. We'll have to wait and see where it goes.
Thank you.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:02
Expand
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Kenney, I am replacing Mr. Stéphane Dion. I am going to quote a few of his comments that have appeared in the newspapers and I would invite you to respond.
First of all, I need to give you a little bit of background.
The new Roadmap indicates that your department intends to refocus its official languages activities in order to take the modernization of the immigration system into account. Here is a comment made by Mr. Dion on this issue:
There is always the danger that the Roadmap be used as a showcase enabling the Conservative government to hide its program cutbacks. We see an example of this with the use of part of its plan to finance another government objective, an objective other than the one to promote the vitality of our official language minority communities.
Do you have a response to this issue?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:03
Expand
It is a big challenge. I started learning French immediately after the election.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:06
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I want to focus in on the concern that this $120 million and the change in emphasis is going to result in teaching the official language of the majority to economic immigrants.
Mr. Minister, you know that this subject was raised at this committee by the Commissioner of Official Languages. He expressed concern that the road map had gone through a change of name, from being a road map for linguistic duality to being a road map for official languages. He shared Mr. Dion's concern that this is exactly what would happen. His concern was that this fund for official language training would end up being spent on something other than the promotion of linguistic duality.
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 16:09
Expand
If, as you say, we're being realistic and this isn't necessarily about linguistic duality, is the funding really aimed at majority language training as opposed to minority language training?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:08
Expand
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
After hearing some of the questions from my colleagues from the NDP, I'm very, very tempted to ask you about the closure of the CIC office in Charlottetown, and to explain to you how devastating it has been. I do hope that at some point I will be able to get you to listen to me on that.
Today, I have an obligation to carry out my marching orders issued by Mr. Dion.
Minister, you don't need me to tell you that under the Official Languages Act and under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, your department has certain positive obligations with respect to official language minority communities.
Now we have a road map. The title has changed from emphasizing linguistic duality to different wording. We know that the financial commitment under the old road map and the new road map has gone up really only because of this $120-million fund, which you admitted today is demand-based, and will likely very well be used for purposes other than promoting the languages of the minority.
I guess my question for you is, do you not see that this is not only not fulfilling the role you are statutorily obliged to fulfill, but it is actually taking away from it, given the change in emphasis and the fact that the funding that is in there now, based on your frank admission, is likely to be used to teach people the language of the majority?
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:12
Expand
You candidly indicated in the first round of questions, though, that you fully expect that people who go to Calgary are going to be looking to learn English—
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View Sean Casey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Sean Casey Profile
2013-06-13 17:12
Expand
—and this $120 million is there to help them learn English.
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View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Irwin Cotler Profile
2013-06-06 13:46
Expand
Do you see it as your role to advise the government in terms of government accountability with respect to, let us say, matters such as corruption or human rights violations? For example, Honduras is ranked very low in terms of corruption, and particularly the corruption in the public sector. For yourselves, in terms of part of good corporate social responsibility, would you consider that you should be speaking to the government authorities on that matter in terms of ensuring better accountability in these matters?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Let's suppose that one or more executives of a company are convicted of a crime, so that bans the company from doing business. But those bad people, as it were, subsequently leave the company or are fired, would the company be reinstated or would it continue to be banned?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
But somebody has to be convicted of the crime. Is it only the directors, not the CEO?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. But let's say the CEO is convicted and that bans the company from doing business and the CEO then leaves and sells his or her interest, does that mean the company would then be reinstated?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would have thought that if there were a culture of corruption, if you wish, the simple removal of that one person might not make the company honest overnight, yet they're allowed to do business as usual. Is that correct?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Who makes the decision whether the public interest exemption will be granted or not?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
Can you tell me, since this began in November 2012 how often have public interest exemptions been granted and under what types of situations?
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View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
Finally, on the fairness monitors, I gather that the program was established in 2005, but I believe similar things happened before then. What was the change? How did things change in 2005?
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View Kirsty Duncan Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Mr. Sawyer, you talked about improving governance. What would you recommend to improve governance?
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2013-06-03 16:00
Expand
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
And thank you, folks, for your presentations.
No, Ed, I'm not going to take the bait. The fact is that under this government, we do have—
Voices: Oh, oh!
Hon. Wayne Easter: —a fairly substantial trade deficit, and for some reason, people do not want to look at the real reasons behind that merchandise trade deficit. Those are the things we should be looking at. We support trade, but we need to find ways to ensure that we're gaining value in Canada.
Mr. Geist, you're not the first one who's come before this committee on this whole “lack of transparency” business. I submit that you are absolutely correct. This is not just a negotiation on trade in commodities and on tariffs. It's a much broader agreement that can have implications for—you named copyright, intellectual property—a whole range of other areas. In fact, previous governments did provide texts to groups that held that information confidential. So those groups could actually see the text and comment on it, and were not just given a briefing on it, which might either have been accurate or just somebody's opinion. Previous governments did have a much more.... It wasn't open to the public, no, but it was open to a cross-section of representatives of the public, who could actually deal with it. That's not happening any more, and I think that's a problem.
How would you suggest going about ensuring that transparency, in terms of a good cross-section of the public, and still maintaining confidentiality, which we have to do?
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2013-06-03 17:04
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm sorry I missed your presentations. They were the ones I really wanted to hear, especially Charlie being a fellow islander. I don't know if he's a resident there or not; we have some who are not. In any event, you both know how this place operates, so I had to go over and give the government a little praise for their current budget implementation bill.
Both of you had fairly extensive involvement in previous agreements on the inside, and one of the things that we're hearing a lot about at this committee is the extreme secrecy surrounding TPP. In some previous negotiations, committees, a broad section of Canadian society, did actually see the texts. We're under confidentiality, and that's understandable, but I think in the past it did provide the public and organizations with some confidence that they were getting firsthand knowledge of what was happening in the negotiations and that they could sincerely critique or praise that relevant sections of the agreement.
In this one there's no such thing. There are briefings but there's no text. How do you see getting around that and how important is it to be at least relatively open? You have to protect confidentiality and I think we all understand that, but how do you see getting around that?
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View Scott Andrews Profile
Ind. (NL)
View Scott Andrews Profile
2013-05-29 17:14
Expand
What would Stephen Harper have said about someone in the PMO giving a $90,000 cheque to a sitting parliamentarian?
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View Scott Andrews Profile
Ind. (NL)
View Scott Andrews Profile
2013-05-29 17:14
Expand
What would Stephen Harper say, as president of the National Citizens Coalition, about accountability? Who would be accountable for those actions?
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