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Results: 1 - 37 of 37
View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:46
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to thank Minister Kenney for being with us today. The questions that will be asked during the coming discussion are very important. Knowing our colleague Mr. Kenney, we will surely obtain answers.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to let you know that motions have been tabled before the committee.
First of all, a motion has been tabled for a study to be conducted before September 30 about the closing of the Marine Rescue Sub-Centre in Quebec.
There is also another motion asking the committee to invite Ms. Donna Achimov, the CEO of the Translation Bureau, to appear before the committee between now and June 14 for a two-hour public and televised meeting about official languages in the public service.
A third motion proposes that the committee invite the Minister of Industry to speak with us about the Industry Canada report entitled Language of Work in Federally Regulated Private Businesses in Quebec not subject to the Official Languages Act. We plan to discuss the issue next Tuesday.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:48
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We also have another motion which reads as follows:
That the Committee invite the Privy Council Office to appear for a two-hour meeting about official languages and the Governor in Council appointment process before June 1, 2013.
Mr. Gourde is saying that the government is in favour of this motion but that he would prefer waiting until the fall to debate it and that is what we will do. Does that suit you?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:48
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Minister Kenney, I must confess that something has been bothering me a great deal recently. We have immigrants who come to Canada, but we also have temporary immigrants. I think you may already know what I am going to say. In your presentation, you said that Canadians should be the first to get jobs. Do you agree with that?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:49
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I do not believe that you have understood the meaning of my question. I will get straight to the point.
What happens when a company in Fort McMurray has gone through all of the applications submitted to the Human Resources Canada job bank but is still looking for a rigger with five years of experience? Think about it. Such a job requires 11 weeks of training, however, and in addition, this person must speak English. That is the case here. I can provide you with a copy of a document that I have with me. You said that this came under the purview of Human Resources Canada. The applicant must speak English and that is one of the hiring criteria. Then, if you keep reading the criteria, the other spoken language must be Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi or Spanish, and not French. And the job posting goes even further, then stipulating that the people in these positions don't even have to be able to speak English. I am talking about an isolated camp located two hours north of Fort McMurray. The company offers on-site housing and there is a work schedule of 14 continuous days followed by 7 days of leave.
Is that not against the law? Because when I asked you the question, you said that this came under Human Resources Canada. When I met with Minister Finley and asked her about this issue, she told me that that did not make sense.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:51
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Are you the minister responsible for bringing immigrants to Canada when there are French-Canadians who are not able to go to Alberta to work because of the fact that temporary immigrant workers are being hired?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:51
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I am talking about last year. So this took place a year ago.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:51
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How could that be legal when the people in my region...
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:52
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How could it be legal when people from my region have the training to work as riggers but do not get the job because they are francophone and do not speak English? When we have the skills here in Canada, how can it be legal to bring in foreign workers to do the jobs that Canadians should be doing?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:52
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I have another question for the minister.
$120 million dollars has been earmarked for the new Roadmap. Earlier, you announced that $149.5 million had been allocated for the language training of economic immigrants. Your department already provides such training under the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program for newcomers. Is this new money or is this money transferred by your department?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:54
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The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages said that the Roadmap represented new funding, but that is not really the case. There is some new money, but not all of it is.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 15:54
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Minister Kenney, could you ask your officials to send the committee a table breaking down, per province, the amounts allocated to immigration under the former Roadmap and the one that has just been developed? I would like to know how much each province received and how much each one will receive.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 16:58
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Thank you Mr. Chair.
I will try to understand the situation.
Minister Kenney, a little earlier you said that no offices were closed. However, in the May 4, 2012 issue of the newspaper L'Acadie Nouvelle, we can read the following:
The Société Nationale de l'Acadie is concerned by the cutbacks announced in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The federal government recently made the significant changes to the administrative structure of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The CIC offices in the Atlantic provinces, including those in Moncton, St. John's and Charlottetown, will be closed, and personnel will be downsized in those in St. John's and Halifax.
In addition, the federal government confirms that the Atlantic administrative region will be merged with that of Quebec. Therefore the regional office that was in Halifax will from now on be in Montreal.
So, is all of that false?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 16:59
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No, I was listening just fine. You said that there are only three people in the offices.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 16:59
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You said there were only three people in the offices, which is not a lot, and that they were not doing the job. I can tell you that they were doing their job very well. We were in communication with these offices for a number of years. At one point, we could no longer even talk to the people in these offices. Everything was redirected to Ottawa at the time of the closure.
Mr. Kenney, to be honest, you cannot even imagine how much these offices helped us, even if it was minimal, as you say.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 17:00
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A little earlier, you said that there had not been any cutbacks. Unless my French is not very good either, you said that it was more of a question of trips to Paris. However, in New Brunswick, an agreement was signed with the federal government in order to grant an amount of $10 million for the New Brunswick francophone immigration support program between 2008 and 2013. Fredericton is in charge of managing these funds.
The program has just been renewed by Ottawa for the period of 2013 to 2018, but with only $4 million, which is a reduction of $1.2 million per year. A flight to Paris is expensive. Organizations in our province are saying that it is an unfortunate decision, because these centres were starting to show results even if the number of francophone immigrants fell below the objectives. The government is so proud to announce that they injected money into the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, but that is not what we see on the ground.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-06-13 17:01
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I would like the department to send this information to the committee. I still believe there has been a reduction. It went from $10 million down to $4 million. That is a hefty amount!
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View Tilly O'Neill Gordon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Tilly O'Neill Gordon Profile
2013-06-13 17:03
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here. As you probably figured out, I'm just subbing today; I'm not usually a member of this committee, but I'm happy to be here the day that you are here. I guess it's the luck of the Irish in my being here. I want to thank you for being here with such a busy schedule.
I just want to refer to what you said about immigrants more and more coming to the east. I see that regularly in the Miramichi. People are settling there, and very comfortably. I have regular rapport with our community college and other colleges in New Brunswick. Recently there have been more and more immigrants studying at their schools. Regularly, every year, I participate in multicultural events that are going on in the Miramichi, and more people are attending each year.
You mentioned that the destination Canada job fair has become especially more popular in the last five years. I'm wondering if you could elaborate on what you attribute that to.
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View Tilly O'Neill Gordon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Tilly O'Neill Gordon Profile
2013-06-13 17:06
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And I want to take this opportunity now to congratulate and thank Mr. Sylvester for writing that letter and retracting it, because I did have constituents who were concerned about the first article, and it did make a difference when it was made clear as to what really was happening.
The other question I had was that the “Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities” has earmarked $120 million over a period of five years for language training for economic immigrants. I'm just wondering how these funds will be distributed and who will be responsible for providing the language training.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2013-04-24 16:31
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Legault, welcome to the committee.
Earlier, you said something that bothered me a bit. It had to do with your responsibilities as commissioner, especially with a government that was elected on the promise of transparency. It seems to me that things should be going better than what we are seeing now. When the rate drops by 10%, it's vital to examine what's happening.
You mentioned earlier that you meet with your colleagues on Friday morning and you go through your files. You said that was something you shouldn't do. I'd like you to explain that practice because it bothers me. I would think the commissioner has more important things to do. The next thing we know you'll be doing the janitor's job.
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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
This is I think to the auditor's side. I'm curious to probe the idea of the long-term reporting that involves the provinces and territories. I know it's in the report and I know you've mentioned it again, but can you just explain it to me? I'm trying to get my head around the point you're trying to get to with this data and the precision.
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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Okay. That's good. I'm going to come back to you. I want to speak to the assistant auditor general.
I'm concerned with your review of the old programs, TPC and DIPP, particularly the line in section 6.80, “We found that, of the repayments we reviewed as part of our audit, the Department obtained most repayments on time.”
I'd like a very quick answer. This wasn't a value for money audit. It was looking at procedures, I suppose, and how the program worked. Is that right?
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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you.
My time is running out. I want to return to Mr. Davies.
Mr. Davies, you talked about repayments that could in theory total 155% if you look at the interest, but the reality is that past programs never came anywhere near that. Otherwise, repayments would have been much higher and much, much closer to the amounts that were disbursed.
My problem is that we're falling into the trap that existed for the last two programs. You're not being transparent with taxpayers. I want to know how the department is going to respond to this report and the concerns that the assistant auditor general has that you're not meeting those requirements and that we don't end up with another program like TPC and DIPP, which were sold to taxpayers as value for money. At the end of the day, we saw that the forecasts weren't there, and the moneys were never recouped by the government and therefore the taxpayers.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-05-31 9:47
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Responsibility for official languages is increasingly being handed over to human resources. Does human resources seriously have the power and analytical capability to discharge that responsibility?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-04-24 9:26
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When talking about the roadmap, people always tell me that they don't know where the money is going, how it is being spent, the province—
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View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
2012-04-04 16:06
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Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Professor Campbell and Mr. Watson, for your presentations and for what I think are some very useful suggestions inspired by the profound experiences of both of you directly in the area of international development or in the area of Canadian companies operating abroad, and particularly in the extractive industry.
I'm struggling a little bit to reconcile views that I think are increasingly seeing things as an either/or proposition. I think there can be a complementary role, a partnership role, for the private sector in achieving some development objectives that the Government of Canada would set. I don't see, however, that you can use private sector money and initiatives to replace what has to be a robust role for a state actor—a governmental agency or department of government—that can develop the government-to-government relations.
As you said, Professor Campbell, often with some of these emerging countries with emerging and developing economies, there are basic rule-of-law issues, basic judicial independence issues. If you have a country where the judges haven't been paid for a number of years and they live off tips, it's not hard to imagine how difficult it is to enforce some contract, whatever the nature of that contract or however legitimate a claim might be.
I wonder whether you would explain, each of you, your view of the concept that private sector participation and corporate social responsibility is not in and of itself contradictory to a country's international development objectives.
By the same token, do you share my worry that we can find ourselves suddenly in a circumstance in which—in error, in my own view—you think you can replace a role for a public governmental agency by simply leveraging private funds?
I'm worried that we seem to think it's an either/or proposition. In my view, in many ways these can be complementary, but one shouldn't be used to offset another, both of which might be legitimate public policy efforts from a government.
Would either or both of you share your views on that notion?
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View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
2012-04-04 16:12
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But then, Mr. Watson, very briefly going back to your point about the GDP going from $2 billion to $8 billion, is there not a risk that without governmental pressure—international multilateral organizations pressuring those governments, but maybe not that specific one—the $6 billion increase in the GDP will go into a very few hands and end up in bank accounts not even on that continent, and that the poverty of the people will either accentuate, and the violence....?
The GDP in and of itself is a good measure, but how is that prosperity shared? It will never be shared perfectly, but if it's not shared at all, I'm not sure we're any further ahead.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-27 9:28
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank our witnesses.
It's really good to hear what you have to say, Justin, and congratulations.
I want to tell you this. When I started, I went to northern Ontario. I didn't know one word in English. I started learning it at the age of 16. I remember my first job was at a gas pump. My boss came to me and asked if my restroom was clean. I thought she was talking about the restaurant and I said, no, not here, across the road. I almost lost the first job I had. The little bit I have today I'm so proud of, and I want to translate that to my children.
I really believe our country is a bilingual country, and it should be bilingual. The services should be. We're not asking all the anglophones to become French. We're not asking all the francophones to become English. But we have to give services in both languages. We created and fought hard and worked hard to build this country with the aboriginals, and to be in peace instead of dividing ourselves. Your message to me is very positive.
And for you, Madam Perkins, it is the same thing. You did learn and it's not easy. It's not an easy task and I really believe you're proud of it. Parents for French, I lift my hat to you people because you're doing a great job.
In New Brunswick, for the first time in my life, I saw anglophones rally in the streets because they wanted to learn French. They did that in Fredericton. There were about 350 people in front of the legislature. When the government decided to start immersion at grade 5 instead of grade 1, parents were not happy. The government was not listening to the parents. The government of the only officially bilingual province in our country—in the Constitution—told parents that they were not allowed to have their children in immersion until grade 5.
I saw that in your report you gave to us this morning, you spoke about four other provinces, but you didn't speak about New Brunswick, except to say that New Brunswick is not doing its job. Now, this morning, the Premier of New Brunswick will hear Yvon Godin tell him that they are not doing their job. They should listen to the parents, work with the parents, and help them to do what needs to be done. I hope it gets done and I want to say that.
Now, Madame Perkins, I want to hear more about the road map and the money put into the provinces. The Commissioner of Official Languages says that he cannot go in the provinces and see where the money is spent. You know that money is going to the provinces. It's supposed to put money towards the language, to help francophones be able to stay alive and keep their language. At the same time, anglophones would be able to learn the other language. Do you feel that there is enough transparency in this, or do you just not know where the money is going?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-15 8:59
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The Commissioner of Official Languages prepares a report, has studied the entire problem and has made recommendations. However, the government didn't even tell you whether it was going to respond to your report. Is that in fact what you're telling me?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-15 9:00
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Commissioner, after hearing the representatives of one department say before this committee that they considered the committee's proceedings as consultations, you said that there had been a number of complaints on the subject and that you did not want to state an opinion on the subject. I believe you wanted to tell us in advance not to ask any questions on this point because we were not going to get any answers.
I just want to read you a passage from part VII of the Official Languages Act, which is very clear about consultations:(2) The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall take such measures as that Minister considers appropriate to ensure public consultation in the development of policies and review of programs relating to the advancement and the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society.
It also talks about public consultations. Do you believe that we, the members of this committee, are the only members of the public? We are members of the public, if you will, but we are also elected representatives. There is a difference between us, the members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, and the general public.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-15 10:21
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Mr. Fraser, section 43 in part VII of the Official Languages Act states:
(d) encourage and assist provincial governments to support the development of English and French linguistic minority communities generally and, in particular, to offer provincial and municipal services in both English and French and to provide opportunities for members of English or French linguistic minority communities to be educated in their own language;
The government is responsible for transferring funding to the provinces. You say that it is not part of your mandate to verify whether the money goes to the right place. You also said that officials and ministers had said they used that funding for other purposes.
What are our commissioner's powers? If you are unable to investigate in the province, you could at least do so in the departments in order to see whether there is any accountability.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-01 9:19
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And yet that's what is stated in your Report on Plan and Priorities tabled in Parliament. This is unacceptable, and it has been going on for years.
How can you say that the institutions have to be more rigorous about official languages performance, oversight and governance plans when you yourselves are not? One would think that the approach you prefer, which is to draw on best practices, doesn't work.
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-01 9:21
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I am going to cite a passage from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Annual Report on Official Languages for 2008-2009: "...the Official Languages Centre of Excellence modified its usual practice in 2008-2009. Rather than requesting all federal institutions to submit a review of their official languages activities, only some were asked to submit a report."
In your view, does that run counter to section 48 of the Official Languages Act, which reads as follows:
48. The President of the Treasury Board shall, within such time as is reasonably practicable after the termination of each financial year, submit an annual report to Parliament on the status of programs relating to the official languages of Canada in the various federal institutions in respect of which it has responsibility under section 46.
That is set out in the act. In 2010, the NDP filed a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages because you asked only certain institutions to submit a report on official languages to you, which is contrary to the Official Languages Act. Has the situation been corrected? Can you confirm for us that you now require a report from all institutions every year?
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View Yvon Godin Profile
NDP (NB)
View Yvon Godin Profile
2012-03-01 10:27
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If we are talking about the Roadmap, we must be able to talk about government programs, Mr. Chairman. As to whether the reports may be favourable to the language training school, it seems to me that we are entitled to answers. This is supposedly a transparent government. So we'll have to resort to the Access to Information Act in order to have a right to the government's transparency.
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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
I will be quick and skip my preamble.
Dr. Turnbull, you said something earlier that was like a V-8 moment. You said that you'd like to move some beds out to save some money so that you could serve patients better.
All too often the solution to health care in this country is more money. We have the second most expensive system in the world. Some things we do very well; others we don't. How do we push innovation? How does the federal government ensure that the provinces and health authorities are making choices that ensure that dollars are spent wisely and are addressing some of these issues?
If you're waiting for a bureaucrat in Ottawa to push those beds out the door, I suspect you'll be waiting forever.
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View Mike Allen Profile
CPC (NB)
View Mike Allen Profile
2011-10-05 15:47
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Can you comment on whether the major projects management office has helped the process in its early stages? Are you seeing a change in some of the duplication that might have been in the process before?
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