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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 15:27
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I call this meeting to order. Thank you for being here.
Today, for this hour, we're at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, meeting number 76. Today, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), we're dealing with the main estimates: vote 1 under Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada, vote 1 under Canadian Human Rights Commission, votes 1 and 5 under Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, vote 1 under Courts Administration Service, votes 1 and 5 under Justice, vote 1 under the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and vote 1 under Supreme Court of Canada, referred to the committee on Tuesday, February 24.
We had the minister here for the first hour on Monday. Today, we're fortunate to have witnesses from the Department of Justice.
Mr. Legault, the associate deputy minister, will introduce the team that is with him. We will have some opening remarks from a number of the organizations and then we'll go to questions.
Mr. Legault, the floor is yours.
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of our officials for being here. I'd just like to say on my behalf and on behalf of the committee that we're grateful for the good work that you and all your colleagues do at the Department of Justice, the Administrative Tribunals Support Service, and the Public Prosecutor service. I think your colleagues do a tremendous service to the people of Canada, so thank you for that.
I have a couple of questions about some of the increases I've seen in the spending in the estimates over the last year.
I'll start with you, Mr. Legault. The Department of Justice shows an increase of $14.4 million in funding for the delivery of immigration and refugee legal aid in the provinces and territories. Can you give us a little more detail on those programs?
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
Very good. I notice with respect to the new prostitution legislation, there's an allocation for an increase of $1.9 million in support of funding for non-legislative measures to address prostitution. Can you give us some details of the types of programs this money will be applied to?
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
That's very helpful. Thank you.
I also noticed in the estimates an increase of $11 million for renewal of the aboriginal justice strategy. Could you provide us with some specifics on how these programs help aboriginal communities?
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
I have a question for Mr. Saunders, from the director of public prosecutions office.
The main estimates provide for an expenditure of $130 million, and it comes under the rubric of “Drug, Criminal Code, and terrorism prosecution program”. Could you give us more details and explain the effectiveness of these programs for the committee?
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:22
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Thank you for those questions and answers, Madam Péclet.
My name is on the list now, so I'm going to ask a few questions, if you don't mind. They'll be easy ones today. Also, I do appreciate the questions from my colleagues today. I thought they were very good.
To follow up on what's been asked, when does the member of Parliament...? It's been announced that we're doing something. It's in the fiscal framework, as you would put it, and it's in front of Treasury Board. When does it hit the paper so that a member of Parliament can see that it's actually being voted on to be expended?
Does something under the framework come into the main estimates or into the supplementaries? There's an example they're using now, but even with the money that has been sunset, I completely understand that you can't.... For a program that's sunsetting, obviously the bureaucratic level cannot reallocate money until it's approved by Parliament.
But on that $25 million—I know you're only getting part of it—it was announced in a budget last year, and I don't understand why it could not have been reflected in this year's main estimates. It shows here that there's a deduction of $1.6 million or whatever it is. It looks like we're not funding it anymore, but in fact we're funding more, on which I agree with you.
I don't understand why it wasn't reflected in the main estimates. Maybe somebody could explain that to me.
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:25
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I appreciate that.
Just so I have a clear understanding, I had to underline here the net vote revenue and I would ask, does it net to zero? Are you recovering all the money? Does your invoice cover all your costs?
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:25
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The minister—rightly so—compared the main estimates of this year to the main estimates of last year and noted that there's an increase. The actual expenditure is higher because of pay list and a number of other things that come into being. I don't think we had supplementary estimates (C) at this committee, but in the estimates to date that we see in the actual piece of 2014-15 it's an 8.2% increase. It's not huge, less than 10% for the year. If we had supplementary estimates (C) would they be reflected in that or is that too late for supplementary estimates (C) to be captured?
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:27
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Then on the grants and contributions piece I have two questions and a comment.
The first question is that the movement from the youth justice fund in grants went significantly down but the contributions, under “Contributions in support of the Youth Justice Fund”, went significantly up. I'm assuming that's just money being transferred from grants to contributions.
Am I not correct?
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:28
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Because both existed simultaneously anyway, right?
My second question is this. When I see a program like the supporting families fund, which we funded it in 2013-14, for which there was nothing in the main estimates for 2014-15, and which then appears again in these main estimates, is that because it's a two-year program and the money was allocated...? I don't understand why there was nothing last year and it's the same money that there was two years ago. It happens in a couple of spots. I just need to understand why that is.
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:30
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I have one more very quick question. Maybe I am completely misreading the English or don't understand. Under “Contributions”, it says “Contributions from the Victims Fund”. Shouldn't it be contributions “to” the victims fund?
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:30
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If you are getting money from the victims fund, Donald, we should put little brackets around it, I think, and get it back.
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: That is actually my time. You're getting off a little bit.... I did a comparison. I have one last little question on the plans and priorities document. There are some evaluation criteria; you have 60% in support of the criminal justice system in there somewhere. It is the same as the year before. Are we trying to improve people's view of...?
I am making a comment. It seems funny to me that we have the same criteria every year, that we hope 60% like the services we provide.
Thank you very much for that.
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:32
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Okay, thank you.
First of all, I wanted to thank the officials for joining us today and answering those questions. I know that dealing with estimates can sometimes be difficult for you, and I appreciate your coming.
We do have a series of votes on the estimates. We'll do that first, and then I have a comment. I believe Mr. Dechert has indicated he'd like to speak, so we'll do that.
Thank you.
ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS SUPPORT SERVICE OF CANADA
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$52,297,037
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$19,650,241
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
COMMISSIONER FOR FEDERAL JUDICIAL AFFAIRS
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$7,942,728
Vote 5—Canadian Judicial Council - Operating expenditures..........$1,513,611
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
COURTS ADMINISTRATION SERVICE
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$57,320,466
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
JUSTICE
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$241,797,227
Vote 5—The grants listed in the Estimates and contributions..........$354,900,159
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$149,298,354
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$22,304,846
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-13 16:33
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Shall the chair report vote 1 under the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada, vote 1 under the Canadian Human Rights Commission, votes 1 and 5 under Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, vote 1 under Courts Administration Service, votes 1 and 5 under Justice, vote 1 under the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and vote 1 under the Supreme Court of Canada to the House, less amounts granted in interim supply?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2015-05-11 15:30
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Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to call to order this meeting of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. This is meeting number 75. We're televised today.
For the first hour, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), we will be dealing with the main estimates and then a number of organizations under the justice portfolio. If you have questions specifically for an organization that is listed here in regard to their estimates—we're hoping they have representation, whether it's the Supreme Court or the Director of Public Prosecutions—let us know so that we can have them here on Wednesday, if there's a question that the minister may not be able to answer specifically about their estimates.
We are joined for the first hour by the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and a number of officials from the justice department.
Mr. MacKay, the floor is yours for an opening statement.
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View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here today and sharing your comments with us.
You mentioned in your opening comments, Minister, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, formerly known as Bill C-13. You mentioned that it's come into force, which is good news. I understand that you have been visiting some schools across Canada and talking to young Canadians about the dangers of cyberbullying and other forms of online predatory actions. In particular, I note that you will be coming to my city, Mississauga, later this month, visiting a school and speaking to students about this very important issue.
I wonder, Minister, if you could explain both the importance of the passage of Bill C-13 and discuss some of the experiences you have had with students in some of your meetings across Canada.
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