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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Welcome to meeting number seven of the BOIE committee. The meeting will be going from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., maximum, so three hours if need be. It's televised, as well as teleconferenced.
I thank all of you for being here today, especially on a beautiful day like today for most parts of the country. For some of you who are avoiding the rain, this is working out very well.
We'll move on to the first point of order, which is the minutes of the previous meeting. Before moving to acceptance, I understand there are two small corrections that have to be made to the minutes that were circulated.
Maybe I can call on Michel Patrice to clarify what those changes are and to make sure everyone is in accordance with them.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do we have agreement from everyone on these changes?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: Okay, we'll go on to the second one.
Number two, is there any business arising from the previous meeting?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, I remember going through that.
Who will be able to answer that with detail?
Monsieur Patrice.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
If it's okay with everyone, we'll proceed. When it does come up, we'll interrupt and present the information.
Does that work, Mr. Strahl?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Is there any other business arising from the previous meeting?
Seeing none, we'll proceed to point number three on the agenda, the LTVP working group recommendations. The presenter with us today is Mr. Stanton, who is the chair of the working group on Centre Block.
I'll just hand it over, and I'm sure we'll get a wonderful report.
Bruce, it's all yours.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:11
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, colleagues.
I'm here today as chair of the second iteration of the long-term vision and plan, or LTVP, working group. The first working group served during the 42nd Parliament.
I'm here to report to the Board of Internal Economy, or BOIE, on our work to date and to seek endorsement of our recommendation regarding phase 2 of the Parliament welcome centre, or PWC, which is part of the Centre Block rehabilitation program. For clarity, phase 1 of the welcome centre is what currently exists at the main visitor entrance to the West Block.
The working group has been mandated to provide updates to the BOIE on the rehabilitation project and to make recommendations as required. In addition, it will guide and inform consultations with members and stakeholders, including joint consultations with the Senate when necessary.
The working group met on June 17 to review the proposed mandate and to begin deliberations on the Centre Block rehabilitation at this stage of the project. The House of Commons administration and Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, provided an overview of the project. They gave an update on the progress made and the approvals to date. The working group was also informed of the guiding principles for the Centre Block established by the BOIE.
The overview provided us with a look at how the heritage conservation is being planned and is taking place in Centre Block and the importance of this significant heritage architecture. Included in the presentation was the list of architecturally significant rooms and spaces in Centre Block that require special attention and that should not be outwardly modified in a way that undermines their heritage value. The BOIE noted several of these spaces at their June 2019 meeting and asked for a recommended broader list to be reviewed by the working group. I understand that this list was provided to you, and the administration has since received additional spaces that should be included for consideration by our working group.
As this was our initial meeting, we were provided with an overview of the project plan and the roles of the various stakeholders. This very complex project is being delivered following a fast-track methodology consisting of many overlapping activities. We understand that early decisions needed to be made while requirements were still being developed.
The Centre Block rehabilitation, including the Parliament welcome centre, phase two, is one of the most significant capital works projects being undertaken in Canada. The significance ranges from its heritage value to its continued symbolism of Canadian democracy, as well as from the magnitude of the work and technical requirements. The parliamentary partners and PSPC are designing to meet the anticipated future needs that will be required to sustain the work of Canada's Parliament for the next 50 to 100 years.
As you're aware, the parliamentary welcome centre was initially planned early in the long-term vision and plan as a phased project to be delivered in sync with the major rehabilitation of the triad buildings of West Block, Centre Block and East Block. Phase one was completed at the same time as the West Block rehabilitation. It provided the secure entry that is there now for visitors, MPs and staff to West Block. That was phase one.
The design was based on serving the capacity of West Block with the anticipation of further phases being added to handle full capacity for the triad buildings. When completed, the Parliament welcome centre entity as a whole, phases one and two, will provide a secure and efficient entry for parliamentarians, business visitors and the public, and also meet the operational requirements of the House and Senate administrations to support the work of parliamentarians. It will also provide a visitor experience for the many thousands of visitors who are not able to pre-book a tour of the Parliament Buildings. We were surprised, quite honestly, to see what a big percentage that is.
Going forward, we will be looking at detailed requirements for key functions in Centre Block and the parliamentary welcome centre complex to ensure that building functions reflect the operations of Parliament and the members' needs in our workplace.
In terms of activities of the Centre Block rehabilitation and the parliamentary welcome centre project that needed the working group's immediate attention at our meeting, there was one main item that required further study as part of our BOIE approval in June of last year—namely, the excavation contract strategy for the welcome centre. The BOIE had tentatively approved the medium-sized welcome centre option based on a scalable excavation contracting strategy to allow enough time to review the requirements, options and associated costs while allowing the project work to still progress. The working group has reviewed the detailed information and options analysis, and brings forward our recommendation for the BOIE's consideration today.
The working group looked at three options for phase two of the welcome centre. All options considered the following implications: security, visitor experience, parliamentary functional requirements, heritage design considerations and cost. It is clear to us that excavation is required to accommodate the base building requirements, such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and to connect the triad buildings of East Block, West Block and Centre Block for utilities, material handling, circulation and security in order to support operations.
What we were intent on reviewing was the remainder of Parliament's requirements for the PWC. The meeting allowed us to look at those options and have our questions answered. It provided us with a fulsome understanding of those requirements and the incremental costs associated with the excavation and construction for the respective size of the welcome centre—the small, the medium and the large options.
Accordingly, the working group recommends going forward with the excavation and construction of the medium option. That's 32,600 square metres for phase two of the welcome centre. This option adequately meets the requirements of all parliamentary partners.
We had good discussions and exchanges in order to arrive at this consensus. I'll point out that one important consideration on our minds was the preservation of the lawn, the central stairs and the Vaux wall in their current state.
This recommended option will have no impact on these items because the PWC will be below grade. The Parliament welcome centre will provide the necessary support functions to ensure that the Centre Block is fully operational and secure for Parliament, and to ensure that Canadians and visitors have access to Parliament.
Over the summer, the working group will further review the overall requirements for the Centre Block to ensure that the BOIE can make key rehabilitation project decisions in a timely and reasonable manner so that the project can move forward with as little risk as possible.
Thank you for your attention. I'm happy to take questions or to elaborate on any of the information provided.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Stanton.
We'll now move on to the questions.
The list starts with Mr. Holland and then goes to Mr. Julian and Mr. Strahl.
Mr. Holland, you're on first.
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View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-07-10 13:21
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Thank you.
Thank you so much, Mr. Stanton. Thank you for your report. Thank you for the work being done by the working group. I do support the recommendations.
My question isn't with respect to the recommendations before us today. This question is for the House administration and those involved on the staff side of the project. I'm wondering whether we could get a bit of an update on the implications of COVID on construction timelines. I know that there was some concern, when we were initially talking about this project, around the decisions we were making, the speed of those decisions, and their implications for the timeline of the project. I'm wondering if we could have a bit of an update on those items.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Stanton.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:22
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I think that, in light of the question, it might be better.... This is more or less a scheduling issue
I don't know, Michel, whether PSPC might be the best to respond on that. What's your observation there?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
We'll go on to Mr. Julian, followed by Mr. Strahl.
We'll then continue with Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. Julian.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:26
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Thank you, Mr. Julian.
On the first point....
I'm sorry, Mr. Chair. I just sort of jumped into that right away. My apologies.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
You did an excellent job. Please continue.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:27
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On the first point, I don't know if we're able to put on one of the slides that we looked at in our committee meeting. It showed how and to what degree each of the options—small, medium and large—was able to meet the demands of both Houses, both chambers, as well as the administration requirements. We were satisfied that the medium option best met the prevailing necessities of both.
To your point, Mr. Julian, it allowed.... A key point for the group, when it was looking at this, was that the medium option would not create any kind of further encroachment onto the lawn of the Commons and effectively all of the new works would be below ground, so the surface-level appearance of Centre Block would be unchanged, save entranceways on either side of the centre stairs where the access for the welcome centre would be.
The medium option gave sufficient space for things like the visitor centre, to have that for the many who are unable to take a tour of Centre Block, as is done in other nations' capitals. There's a place where people can go to hear and see the amazing story about what our Parliament Buildings bring to our country and, at the same time, it meets the centre requirements. We were satisfied that the middle option satisfies the demands.
As to the specific things that were pared back, I would maybe ask Michel if there's another person who might best be able to pinpoint some of those specifics.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:30
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Thanks, Michel.
On the second point, Mr. Julian, with respect to the House of Commons, we proceeded on the basis of the overview that we were given. We accepted the recommendation of this board, in fact, that there was no anticipation of a larger footprint for the House of Commons, so the additional capacities and necessities of the chamber, the House of Commons section of Centre Block, that we know of will have to be accommodated within the existing footprint.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Now we'll go to Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
What we're looking at is very detailed, so I think it would be better if you did them one at a time rather than rush through them. That way, you can make sure you have all the answers.
Is it okay with everyone if we continue that way? I think it will be a little more detailed. It's not like we get a lot of shots at this. Let's make sure we get all our details in place and our questions answered.
Mr. Stanton.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:33
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Thank you, Mr. Rota.
Mr. Strahl, thank you for your kind words. I still hope to be around for a little while longer. I mean, one never knows when the next election event may come. Who knows? It could be three years from now. I still have lots of time for fun at Parliament, that's for sure.
I can answer the question on the difference in square metres. To my knowledge and understanding, the numbers you previously looked at were square metres based on usable space for the medium option. In terms of the numbers, the size has not changed. The square metres number that you see in the medium option now is the entirety of the gross square metres of the actual footprint of this phase two welcome centre. That's why the number of square metres has risen.
I'd look to Michel or perhaps Mr. Wright for any further clarification on that, but that's my understanding.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:37
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Thanks, Mr. Strahl.
I think it would be fair to say that the parliamentary welcome centre in this medium option does include additional meeting space for the Senate side. We certainly recognize that in the expansion of services to West Block, the number of committee rooms and resources now available to the House side has significantly increased. The same has certainly not been the case for the Senate side. This was, again, a co-operative exchange to look at what those needs might be, and the medium option does provide these additional spaces for the Senate on the one floor.
I'm not party to how those discussions took place or the specifics of the square footage allocation on that. I'm looking at the deck here to see, in fact, if there is anything more specific there, but I'm not finding it right at the moment. I think it's fair to say, when you balance the committee requirements, that, yes, it's true, a portion of this parliamentary welcome centre would be dedicated to some of those additional Senate resources.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:40
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Thank you, Mr. Strahl.
I'm going to ask if Mr. Wright from PSPC could speak to that. I see the numbers that you're speaking of, and I think it's certainly a very relevant question.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Strahl, has everything been answered? Very good.
We'll now continue with Mr. Rodriguez.
Then we'll go on to Ms. Bergen.
Mr. Rodriguez, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Wright or Mr. Patrice could answer your question.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do you have any other questions, Mr. Rodriguez?
That's fine? Thank you.
Now we'll continue with Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Who would like to start on that one?
Mr. Stanton, maybe I'll let you start, and then you can direct it to wherever you see fit.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:51
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I think on the specific questions, especially those relating to the costs, I'll leave that perhaps to Mr. Wright or Mr. Patrice.
Ms. Bergen, I couldn't agree more. I think one of the profound responsibilities we have as a working group of MPs is, in fact, to take that responsibility seriously and make sure we are aware of how the project is going. We have a responsibility to report to you and this board as to the progress as it continues. I think that was one of the bases of informing how an MP working group should be there in the first place. We need to be aware and completely informed of the progress of the project and report to you on some of the key decisions that would speak to how...if issues come up that you need to be fully aware of. I think the MPs on the working group take that responsibility seriously, and we'll make sure that we follow through on that.
As to the cost questions, perhaps Mr. Wright would be best.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Patrice.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:58
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That's an excellent point. Thank you.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions? Very good.
Before we go on, I just want to comment on the fact that Mr. Stanton will not be running again in the next election. I've had a chance to work with Bruce over the last few years as both Assistant Deputy Speaker and Speaker. Rarely do we find someone with the level of integrity and dedication that Bruce has. He is just an exceptional individual, and he will be missed at all levels. I've often said that we try to keep the good guys in Ottawa, and he is one of the greats, so we will miss him.
Bruce, it's been a real pleasure.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-07-10 13:59
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That's very nice. Thank you.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now move on to item four, which includes the 2019-20 year-end financial report and the 2020-21 supplementary estimates (B).
I'll turn the floor over to Daniel Paquette, the chief financial officer.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
No, you're absolutely right. We did not proceed to accept that.
Is everyone in accordance with number three? Was the questioning and everything in order?
I see a lot of heads nodding.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Strahl. I appreciate the heads-up on that one. That works out well.
We'll now proceed with Mr. Paquette.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do we have any questions?
Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now continue with Ms. DeBellefeuille.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Go ahead, Mr. Paquette.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions?
Do we have approval for the proposal put forward by Monsieur Paquette?
Looking around, I see heads nodding.
Very good. We have approval.
Before continuing to item five, there was a question raised by Mr. Strahl. I believe Mr. Patrice has the answer to the printing discrepancy, or the delta between the two printing levels.
Monsieur Patrice.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other comments on that?
Everybody's had the chance to swallow? They can talk now? Okay. Very good.
We'll now address item five, the extension of temporary exceptions for advertising and Internet service expenses.
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
No, you're fine.
Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, very good.
I'm just getting a message here that that's not a problem. The report will be sent.
Maybe I'll defer to Monsieur Patrice. What time frame would we be looking at for that report to come in?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Are there any questions?
Mr. Julian, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
Is there anyone who would like to speak to that for the administration?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. Are there any other questions?
Do we have approval for this? Is everybody fine with this?
I can see that you're fine.
We're expecting this report in a few weeks.
We are on number six, “Annual report on the House of Commons policy on preventing and addressing harassment for 2019-2020”.
Ms. Daigle, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, Ms. DeBellefeuille.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
No problem. Go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
If there are no further questions or comments, I'd like to ask a question, even though I think I know the answer. It's about members' staff.
I know members have to complete the training, but do their staff? Should more people have to take it?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good. It's not just for new staff, but also for existing staff. Is that right?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
All right.
Any other questions or comments?
We don't have to get approval for that. It was strictly a report.
We'll go on to number seven, “Report to Canadians”, and it will be the Clerk, Mr. Charles Robert.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do we have any questions or comments?
I see none.
Do we have approval of the report?
I see heads nodding. Very good.
We will now move on to item 8, which pertains to a request for exception for outdoor furniture.
Mr. Paquette, you may go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
We have Mr. Rodriguez, followed by Mr. Julian.
Mr. Rodriguez, please go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian, you may go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, please go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian, go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, would you care to comment?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very well.
It is now over to Mr. Strahl, followed by Ms. DeBellefeuille.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ms. DeBellefeuille, you may go ahead.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Any further comments?
Do we have a consensus, or do we have approval for the report that's being presented to us right now?
Mr. Julian, did you have something to add to that? I noticed your hand went up.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, that's exactly right. Do we have unanimous agreement on the recommendation?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: All right.
I'll just clarify that, if the recommendation isn't unanimous, the existing decision stands, in other words, the request is denied.
We're going to go in camera. I'm going to ask everyone to sign out for a few minutes, and we'll start again in 10 minutes. It's now 2:46. Let's say we will start again in camera at 2:55, if that's okay. That should work out well.
[Proceedings continue in camera]
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I want to welcome everyone.
Welcome to the sixth meeting of the Board of Internal Economy.
I want to thank everyone for coming and for being in our virtual space today. As you know, this is all done through video conference and it is being televised, so we have people out there watching. I'm sure they're all very riveted to the screen. Welcome to everyone who's watching.
We'll start off today with the minutes from our previous meeting. Is everyone okay with the meeting? Are there any comments? Should anything be brought up?
We'll accept the minutes and continue.
Two, is there any business arising from the previous meeting? Okay.
The next step, then, number three, is the ratification of the walk-arounds. The three items were signed by all members in the past couple of weeks.
The first item is communication with constituents during the COVID-19 situation. Is everyone still okay with that? We can ratify it? Good, that one's done.
The second item is House of Commons preventative measures during the COVID-19 situation. Is everybody fine with that? Then we'll continue.
The third item is constituency office expenses related to COVID-19 prevention in the workplace. Is everybody fine with that as well?
Yes, Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I will pass that on to Ms. Rebekah Kletke. Maybe she can answer that question and make sure that we have it all covered.
Rebekah, it's all yours.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do we have any questions?
Ms. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ms. Kletke, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good. Are there any other questions?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Perfect. When I heard the answer, I was kind of worried that she wasn't answering you directly, but she got to it and it was part of the next presentation, so it all worked out very well.
Are there any other questions or comments? Are we all in agreement?
We'll continue then.
The next one will be the implementation of the proactive disclosure requirements of the Access to Information Act in the House of Commons. The presenters will be Daniel Paquette, chief financial officer; Philippe Dufresne, law clerk and parliamentary counsel; and José Fernandez, deputy chief financial officer.
We'll let Daniel start.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
We have Mr. Strahl, followed by Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I believe that Monsieur Dufresne has an answer for Mr. Strahl.
Monsieur Dufresne.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Strahl, is everything fine? Okay.
We'll go to Ms. Bergen and then to Madame DeBellefeuille.
Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ms. Bergen, do you have any follow-up?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We will continue with Ms. DeBellefeuille.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll continue with Mr. Julian.
Mr. Julian, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions?
We'll have Mr. Strahl, followed by Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Strahl, did you have a follow-up to that? No.
We'll go to Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other questions or is there any follow-up?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Dufresne, you have the floor.
Afterwards we will hear from Ms. DeBellefeuille.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ms. DeBellefeuille has the floor.
We will then hear from Mr. Julian.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I didn't hear a question. I think it was more of a comment.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Now we'll go to Mr. Julian, and then Ms. Bergen.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Now we'll go to Ms. Bergen, followed by Mr. Rodriguez.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I now yield the floor to Mr. Rodriguez.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I think we've reached a point where we're going around in circles, as Mr. Rodriguez just said. However, I see that there is no consensus and that some people are not comfortable with this project.
I would suggest that we do more analysis and come back to this at the next meeting of the Board of Internal Economy. In the meantime, if you are agreed, we'll ask the clerk to provide us with more information. At our next meeting we'll discuss it further and perhaps everyone will be more comfortable and agree, or at least have a better understanding of the issue.
Let us therefore put this issue aside and continue with item 6, that is, the temporary extension of transition support for former members of Parliament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first speaker will be Mr. Pierre Parent, Chief Human Resources Officer. He will be followed by Mr. Daniel Paquette, Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Parent, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions or comments?
I'm not seeing any. I believe we can proceed with this. Everybody is nodding.
We will move on to item number seven.
There's been a request for an exemption, so I'm going to ask Mr. Paquette, Chief Financial Officer, to explain it to us.
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Holland, do you have a question?
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View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:03
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Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
It's not a question; it's a comment.
We make a lot of requests for people who make mistakes, and it's very uncommon that I would suggest a member bring this forward.
I appreciate that normally these matters wouldn't come forward, but after I spoke with Mr. Blois, I realized it was an honest mistake that was happening around wanting to get out information on COVID-19. We did change the policy a couple of weeks later, and in this case, the member is proposing that he charge his member's—
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I believe we have a problem with the bandwidth on Mr. Holland's line. It's breaking up. I know I'm struggling, so I could imagine what an interpreter would have to go through. I'm not sure now we solve that.
Mr. Holland, maybe you could try again, and we'll see if we can hear it.
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View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:05
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I'll try to be very brief and to the point. I don't know if anybody can hear me. I'm not sure what's happened. I seem to have had a major technological malfunction here.
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View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:06
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Ajax could use better Internet.
I will try. I don't know what to say. Can folks hear me right now?
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We can hear you. There is some kind of breakup in there. I can make out what you're saying, but I can understand that an interpreter would have a hard time taking it and translating.
I'll ask you to continue and maybe you can repeat it in French, if you like.
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View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2020-06-01 16:06
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I was just going to say that the member acknowledges that he made a mistake. I just feel that it was an honest mistake. It was an effort to communicate around COVID-19, and I know there was a lot of anxiousness that a lot of members had. The policy for external printing was changed a few weeks later.
The member is not proposing to charge the House of Commons central budget, but is suggesting that he charge his own MOB. Given that it would go against his own MOB, and given the fact that I think the error was made innocently, and having had conversations with him, I would seek approval from the board to provide support on that basis.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, that time everything went smoothly. I don't know what you did, but it almost seems like a light came from your computer. You lit it and we heard you. I'm not sure if it was divine intervention.
We'll hear from Madam DeBellefeuille, and then Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Now we'll go to Mr. Strahl.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll go back to Mr. Paquette.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Paquette, you have the floor.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any other comments or questions?
Do I understand that we have consensus here?
Everybody's in agreement, so we will proceed in the way it's proposed. Very good.
If I can, I'm going to go back to item number five, the brief comment from the clerk. The proactive disclosure requirements will be coming into effect on June 21, whether we like it or not, so I don't have much of a choice there, but I do have a commitment from the clerk that they will come back and explain what the exemptions are and whether the person travelling, the family member, is actually named or what information is disclosed, and they'll have a lot more detail on that for us.
If it's okay with you, we'll let that one pass and have the information come back to us.
Do I have agreement on that?
Ms. Bergen.
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