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View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Jaime Battiste Profile
2020-07-21 16:10
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[Member spoke in Mi'kmaq]
[English]
I want to say at the outset that I'll be sharing my time with MP May from the Green Party. Before I pass it on to her, I would like to acknowledge the chiefs and technicians for their time.
As a Mi'kmaw from Nova Scotia, I remember studying the Sparrow decision in law school and knowing how important that case was to indigenous fisheries all across Canada, and for that I thank you. I'm also looking forward to hearing more about the culture change, as you call it, that you would like to see within DFO.
At this point, I want to give time to MP May to ask her questions.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I just want to see what Mr. Jeneroux thinks of this. I think this motion is almost identical to a motion that was passed by OGGO. The documents are already being produced for August 10. I'm wondering if Mr. Jeneroux would consider withdrawing this motion because of this overlap.
I'll read this for the benefit of Matt here and the rest of the committee. The motion by Kelly Block passed in OGGO on June 5, as follows:
That, in the context of its study of the government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and pursuant to Standing Order 108(1)(a), the committee send for the following documents to be provided by the government by Monday, August 3, 2020 and that the documents be published publicly on the committee’s website by Monday, August 10, 2020 and that departments tasked with gathering and releasing the following documents do their assessment and vetting as would be done through the access to information process....
5. All briefing notes, memorandums for information, memorandums for decision, and documents related to the Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Interim Order by the Minister of Health entitled “Interim Order Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for use in Relation to COVID-19”;
6. All briefing notes, memorandums for information, memorandums for decision, and documents related to the Monday, March 30, 2020 Interim Order by the Minister of Health entitled “Interim Order Respecting Drugs, Medical Devices and Foods for a Special Dietary Purpose in Relation to COVID-19”;
7. All briefing notes, memorandums for information, memorandums for decision, and documents related to the issuance of Medical Device Establishment Licenses (MDELs) between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Monday, May 11, 2020;
8. All briefing notes, memorandums for information, memorandums for decision, and documents related to the issuance of Medical Device Licenses (MDLs) between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Monday, May 11, 2020;
9. All briefing notes, memorandums for information, memorandums for decision, and documents related to the recall of N95/KN95 masks including documents pertaining to the Monday, May 11, 2020 MDEL Bulletin produced by the Medical Devices Compliance Program....
This passed unanimously at the OGGO committee. I'm sorry for reading it maybe a little too quickly and for the committee not having the benefit of seeing all the things that were moved, but it seems as though everything Mr. Jeneroux is seeking on behalf of this committee is in this motion, unless I'm missing something.
I'm wondering if perhaps taking the findings of OGGO, and maybe even putting them on the health committee's website by that particular date, might do the same thing that Mr. Jeneroux is seeking of this committee.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-20 11:18
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I put up my hand prior to Darren speaking. It was with regard to a certain aspect of the motion, just to comment on the time change that Mr. Jeneroux put forward. I think it's spot on. It was something that I was going to highlight just in relation to the notices of motions that were given on June 12, with the request that documents be produced by August 3. That was about seven and a half weeks. I think pushing it back to August 31 and September 7 respectively is appropriate.
I'll chime in on this item as well in a few minutes.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I understand where MP Jeneroux is coming from, but I think it would be another task for public servants to collect all these documents, other than being given the opportunity to just find out what was presented to OGGO and put on the OGGO website. It's not a hill I want to die on here, but it does seem like a less efficient way to get the exact same documents. I do think there's value in allowing OGGO to do that and then finding out what is presented to OGGO. Mr. Davies asked if there were any gaps. I don't see any gaps. In fact, the motion that Ms. Block moved was so fulsome that I think it covers this and more.
I know it's not appropriate to move a motion to withdraw Mr. Jeneroux's motion. I would never do that, but perhaps we'll see where we go with this particular motion.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-20 11:23
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
Just briefly, I mentioned at the last meeting that obviously I'm relatively new to politics, but I do think that in this case, when you look at OGGO.... I stand by what I said at the last meeting, that the words “transparency”, “consistency” and “efficiency” are not mutually exclusive. I think in this case we would achieve the same results. That would be my two cents on it at the moment.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Are you speaking to me, Mr. Chair?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Moving on from seeking withdrawal—and Mr. Jeneroux predicted this would happen—I would move, as we've done at all the other committees and with all of our other motions here, to remove the emails and take away that onerous level of work from our public servants, who have served us so well during COVID-19.
I move that we do the same thing we've done in the past, with emails being removed from all of our motions, as they have been from all the committees.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-20 11:36
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
MP Van Bynen said a lot of what I was going to say around emails. Certainly there is a search function that would be able to bring up a lot of emails at one time, but, again, it's a matter of going through them, and it is the individual who sends or has received the email. You can't delegate that to someone else. I make that point.
Let's put it on the table. Everybody on this Zoom is for transparency; everyone is for accuracy, but it astonishes me to a degree: Can we not be efficient? Can we achieve both? Clearly, that's not the case, and we'll be voting on that. I think Canadians are focused on transparency and accuracy, but also efficiency, so I will be voting for the amendment, obviously, going forward.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, I want to know, based on what Mr. Jeneroux said there, if we could ask the clerk for clarification. I've been on multiple committees where it's gone back and forth at different times. I know that in the health committee we've always started with the government side, but is this something that we need to do?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
No, my hand just didn't come back down.
I don't really have a problem with the way we did it. Whenever we did it that way, I thought back to my past committees, and it seemed strange that we always did it in that particular way. I wasn't sure whether that was a precedent we had set, or whether it was just a thing based on different clerks. It's all good.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, on the past few motions at this committee, we talked about adding the vetting line, so I will move now to add at the end of that motion:
, provided that the government does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I could speak to that for a quick second.
A lot was said at the last committee meeting about how we ended up with a motion that had more redactions than the committee was happy with. I have the wording here of the motion we used, and I'll put it out there for the committee's thoughts. It seems more like what we did last Monday when MP Kwan amended the motion and we had come to an agreement with that and passed that, but this is the wording that gave us the response that was more redacted than we wanted, which was what led us to move forward with Conservative vetting language from previous committees. This was what we had passed back in the day that provided less volume or detail than we'd wanted:
that matters of Cabinet confidence and national security be excluded from the request; and that any redactions to protect the privacy of Canadian citizens whose names and personal information may be included in the documents, as well as public servants who have been providing assistance on this matter, be made by the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the House of Commons.
That's the wording we used that gave us the documents that we felt were more heavily redacted. We felt the wording provided—that the department would do its assessment and vetting and gathering and releasing of the documents as would be done through the access to information process, a process passed by Parliament—made more sense and would likely give us more of what the motion is seeking. I know Mr. Jeneroux loves it when I read Conservative motions into the record, which I won't do now, but we've seen that passed at various committees with that wording, so I will move that amendment.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
That is the wording. That is the addition to Mr. Jeneroux's motion.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, I have a point of order. Are we going again the way we have traditionally gone in voting, or are we going to shake it up a bit?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, on a point of order, I think it's that the “department” does its assessment, not that the “government” does its assessment.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I'm just putting it out there that it's the same as with the last motion. This one is very much covered in the OGGO one. I won't read that back into the record again. It's the same one that covers all this.
I'm just putting it out there to see if Mr. Jeneroux would be willing to withdraw this motion and have the information that OGGO collects, and we can put that on our website.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-20 12:30
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In terms of the motion, I would make an amendment around the removal of “emails” in the first paragraph, the first line.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-20 12:32
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Allow me to be transparent. I have no talking notes or briefing notes on it.
I think one of the hallmarks of this committee is to have real, substantive discussion, whether it's from the NDP, the Conservatives, the Bloc, or my own party. I think we get into these generalizations that yes, Canadians are worried, and yes, Canadians want action, but when you use words like “don't trust”, there seems to be.... I wish there wasn't so much gaslighting that's happening on this committee in terms of certain terminologies that are used.
I'll stand by my belief around the removal of “emails”, as stated in the last motion, but I think we can have a really good debate without that kind of discussion.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The privacy and things that should be redacted because of this proposed amendment.... Imagine conversations with a province or a territory. Imagine names of ministers and public figures. I think it's important that we consider privacy.
I get what MP Kwan is saying. It's important to ensure that the proper people are vetting this, but the language that is used by MP Sidhu is the exact language that was put forward by.... I read this and Matt got a great chuckle out of it last time, but this wording comes from Conservative motions.
John Barlow moved:
That, given the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s written response to M.P. Philip Lawrence’s question on the cost of the carbon tax to the agriculture industry, in which their analysis and estimates do not reflect the federal backstop, the committee send for a copy of all reports, briefing notes, memorandums, emails and documents related to the federal carbon tax and its cost, directly or indirectly, to the agriculture industry, to be provided in both official languages by Saturday, August 1, 2020, provided that the department does its assessment and vetting in gathering and releasing the documents as it would be done through the access to information process.
We hear this angst about keeping things from the public. This is strictly about privacy, relationships and discussions.
Kelly Block moved:
That, in the context of its study of the government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and pursuant to Standing Order 108(1)(a), the committee send for the following documents to be provided by the government by Monday, August 3, 2020 and that the documents be published publicly on the committee’s website by Monday, August 10, 2020 and that departments tasked with gathering and releasing the following documents do their assessment and vetting as would be done through the access to information process[.]
There are more. There are many of these, and they all appear to be Conservative motions, so I'm not sure why folks are up in arms about this.
I will agree with Jenny that it's important that any vetting that is done be the proper vetting for the real reason of privacy. I share her concern about making sure that not too much is redacted and that the right people do the redacting.
Thank you for that, Mr. Chair.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
I'm sorry to interrupt, Dr. Kitchen.
Those motions I just read, which were moved by Conservatives, were for documents that have not even been produced yet. Those are for August production of documents, so they're not old. That's not in relation to the one you're talking about that came back already previously redacted.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 15:20
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
I'll certainly be supporting the amendment being posed here by MP Sidhu.
We talk about the importance of transparency, and I think everyone would agree with that. Every Canadian would agree with that. Everyone on this panel and every staff member would, but I also think there are two other elements that go with transparency, and they are efficiency and consistency. I look at MP Barlow or MP Block, and, if it's good for those folks, I think it should be good for us, in this case.
I think you can have all three elements: transparency, efficiency and consistency. I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Matt talked about this committee working very well together, and he's right. This committee has worked well together. In fact, I think if you look back on most of the motions that have come up through this committee, you will see they have been, for the most part, unanimous.
We also have, for the first time ever, a really good relationship among the provinces and territories and the federal government because of the importance of this pandemic and the importance of working together. I'm quite proud of the way the provinces, territories and the federal government have worked together, just like, within the House of Commons, I'm quite proud that the opposition parties and the government have all worked well together. Parties have come up with great suggestions, and the government has enacted those great suggestions. I don't want to see what we're talking about here today interfere with that.
We want to make sure that we get all the information we are seeking as a committee, but also that we protect the privacy of Canadians. That's what's important. MP Kwan said it very well. I can't even imagine the examples, but let's think about someone in Quebec being part of a briefing note or being part of documentation, and being named. That person does not deserve to have his or her name.... Matt's right about public figures. Public figures sign up for this stuff; a lot of people don't sign up for this stuff.
I just think that if we have the ability to provide the level of privacy that Canadians deserve and expect from government, we should put this language in there. Again, going back to MP Kwan's points, making sure that this is done in the proper way so that it protects the privacy of Canadians is the outcome that we want. But, as Mrs. Jansen said, it's also about coming up with all of the information that answers all the questions of the people on this committee.
I will continue. I have not yet heard any reason not to support Ms. Sidhu's amendment to ensure the privacy of Canadians.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I was going to speak on the main one, but I would like to get the wording of the subamendment so that I can write it down and see how it fits in with the amendment. I wonder if MP Kwan would reiterate her subamendment. I wasn't fast enough to write it down.
I'll keep my hand up for the main motion as well.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
On a point of order, Mr. Chair—and I see Jenny has frozen for a second—could we get the clerk to tell us what that looks like, in its entirety? Sorry, Jenny.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
It does, although I think it gets us to where MP Jeneroux didn't want us to go. I think it's more like the old motion and is not quite as good as the wording we had in using the Access to Information Act. I will defer to the folks who have been here longer than I have, but I think what we proposed would get us to the place that MP Jansen and MP Jeneroux were trying to get to. I'm going to continue to think about this.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 15:43
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
I was going through two trains of thought here. I was listening to Darren talking about the original amendment and perhaps positioning where I thought my original points would be. To go back to MP Kwan for just a second, I'd like to build on what she was talking about, but in any event, I think I'll leave it at that. I think I need some time to think about Darren's point regarding the original amendment, as opposed to the subamendment, and what its original intent was.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Kwan's argument is exactly why I think we want to use our language, because the language that was very close to what is in the subamendment is perhaps what caused a lot of the redactions last time.
I totally appreciate what you're trying to get at, MP Kwan. I still think ours allows for more information that the committee is seeking to come back.
Mr. Chair, I'm not sure exactly how we proceed on this. I guess we have to—
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Okay. Can we go back to a question that Dr. Jaczek asked?
This seems to be significantly different, not just a tweak. You did rule that it could be a subamendment, but it seems it's significantly different from what was proposed by Ms. Sidhu. I'm by no means second-guessing your decision, Mr. Chair, but I do think this takes us in a different direction, so I'm wondering how we proceed here.
Is there a way of finding out if this subamendment does represent the integrity of Ms. Sidhu's amendment?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm wondering about the vetting process and whether a public servant can take the documents and vet them. I'm just thinking about the legal ramifications.
Ms. Kwan, you took out the access to information process, which is what Parliament uses to vet documents. Did you take that out on purpose because you like the other possibility more?
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:00
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
It may be my small-town mindset here, but it seems like we tried what's being proposed here in February, and it didn't work. Now we're proposing something in the original amendment that we think will. If it didn't work the first time, why would we expect a different result?
The other aspect that I want an answer to—maybe here or at another time—is about the law clerk. Would they have the same training or ability to vet that an ATIP official would have? That's a question as well.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you.
I'll just ask a question of the clerk, if I may. Is the law clerk able to vet cabinet confidence?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I can't imagine that the law clerk would want to determine what is cabinet confidence as well. Have we thought about asking?
I know MP Kwan gave an awful lot of information there that I was trying to follow. Was there something in what you read there, Jenny, that spoke to the fact that the law clerk would do this on behalf of the committee?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I guess I've done as much thinking and talking about this as I possibly can. I still don't believe that law clerks can handle the cabinet confidence portion, maybe not even the national security portion. Ms. Kwan has talked about the clerk's office and the law clerk's office. I understand they're two different offices.
I think I will continue to support MP Sidhu on this. I guess we vote on the subamendment and then, if that doesn't go through, we go back and vote on Ms. Sidhu's amendment.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:11
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This is a question for the clerk or my fellow parliamentarians who have been here longer than I have. Does the law clerk have the security clearance to view the original document, or is security clearance not a factor in this?
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:14
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I'd like to make an amendment to the date, but I'm not sure that's what you're asking.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:15
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Okay. Thanks.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Could you tell me that again? Sorry, the committee just voted for the subamendment.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I have a quick point of order, Mr. Chair. What did we just vote on, then? That's what I voted on.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
That was a leftover, sorry.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:19
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I talked about this before, in terms of the original amendment. I'm looking at the two dates in question, August 3 and August 10, that are in the original motion. Given that summer is going by so quickly and August is just around the corner, I'd like to make a friendly amendment in terms of the dates being changed respectively to August 31 and August 31.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:20
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That would be an amendment to what's in the motion, yes.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:20
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Sure. The documents would be provided by the government by Monday, August 31, 2020, and the documents would be published publicly on the committee's website by Monday, August 31, 2020.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I think that's reasonable. Hopefully, a lot of our wonderful public servants will be getting a little bit of time off during the summer. I think we can all agree that they've been tasked with Herculean work and effort in the last 110 to 115 days. August 3 is not very far away. I think it's a good compromise to move it up to August 31.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:23
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Sure. Given what you just said, we'd be looking at the changing the first date, so that documents be provided by the government by Monday, August 31.
What I'm hearing is that it obviously can't be done the same day. I think it's reasonable to look at a week later—September 7, perhaps.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:28
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Sorry about this, Mr. Chair. Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but can you explain to me what we're talking about right now? I have some additional changes that I'd like to make; I just don't want to overshoot.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:29
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It's not coming off, Mr. Chair.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, sorry but is this the whole, entire amendment? No more amendments can be made to this motion?
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:29
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It is.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:30
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Sure, and thanks for that. That's what I was looking to do, so perhaps the confusion was on my part.
In the original motion, I'm looking to have removed the references to the Minister of Health's office and the Prime Minister's Office respectively.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:31
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Sure. Do you want me to read it?
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:31
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In the following—
All documents, briefing notes and memorandums...regarding the emerging evidence that altered the government's advice on the wearing of masks referenced by Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer, at her appearance before the Standing Committee on Health on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, including...documents, briefing notes...to/from/between Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Minister of Health's office, The Privy Council and the Prime Minister's office....
—I'm looking to strike “the Minister of Health's Office...and the Prime Ministers office”.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:33
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I have a point of order, Mr. Chair. I think it was clearly evident that I was trying to get my points across, and there was some confusion there.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, sorry to interrupt, but also as a point of order, Mr. Kelloway asked if it was an appropriate time for him to move...as he had another amendment. You said that we were still on the previous thing, so he held back.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:34
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I have a point of order. I assure you that no balls were dropped, and I think—
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
When you have a memo going from one place to another, having that memo and having that memo are exactly the same. I think this is just a little bit of redundancy. You have your Public Health Agency in there. You have all the other groups in there. I think it makes sense that you don't necessarily have to have the “to” and the “from”.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
When you talk about transparency and opening up, that's what we've done in this committee. On every motion that has come forward, this committee has worked very well together to come out with an outcome, so I take a little offence to this “open up and be transparent” thing when there's no lack of transparency here.
There's no need to have the "to" and the “from” in the same memos and briefing notes, to have it all and to put these public servants to this level of work and effort to get a carbon copy of what we're getting from another group. Also, a lot of these things are going to other committees as well.
I think it's relatively reasonable to think that we.... We just voted. The Liberal side didn't vote to support MP Kwan's motion. However, the rest of you voted to support MP Kwan's motion to narrow the scope, while we are trying to open it up to actually get to where people were wanting us to go. I think that what you'll see when things come out is that narrow motion is going to get you maybe less than you thought, but I could be wrong. We'll see when that comes forward.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Can we read the amended motion that we are getting ready to support? My understanding is that “the health minister's office” and “the Prime Minister's office” are now removed.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Yes, please. I'd like to hear what the motion says. Mine is all scratched up.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Got it.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:56
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In the spirit of MP Van Bynen's amendment, my understanding is that we should move to amend to exclude “Min O” in a separate amendment, if I'm not mistaken. I defer to my colleague on that, MP Van Bynen.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:57
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I wish to move that amendment, yes.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:57
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It was the health “Min O”.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 16:57
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That's correct.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The motion asks for all the “emerging evidence that altered the government’s advice on the wearing of masks referenced by Dr. Theresa Tam”. You're going to get that. You're going to get that from the chief public health officer, and you're going to get that from the Public Health Agency of Canada. You're going to get that from Health Canada; you're going to get that from the Privy Council. Again, a lot of the rest of it will be redundancy.
The emerging evidence, the science that has directed COVID-19 since the start, the fact that we've said at this committee before that politics did not enter into the response to COVID-19 in Canada.... Probably the reason we've done so well in this pandemic is that we've used science to provide outcomes on how we proceed each and every day, and we have not allowed politics to get involved in this.
So that's what you're looking for, that's what the committee is looking for: “emerging evidence that altered the government’s advice on the wearing of masks referenced by Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer, at her appearance before the Standing Committee on Health on Tuesday, May 19, 2020”. That's exactly what this motion will bring us.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
With all these amendments, I'd like to move my own amendment. I would like to change the date of “2015” to “2010” in the middle of the motion, where it says, “regarding the management of the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile from 2015-2020, including supply inventory broken down by number and all updates sent to the government”.
The reason I do so is that, tragically, when we came to government we saw that we had a stockpile that had, essentially, expired. It had expired equipment. The previous government somehow allowed that equipment to sit there and did not rotate it. Of course, we had a lot of feedback from members of this committee about how atrocious that was, and how this government inherited a very out-of-date and expired stockpile.
I suggest that if we move back to 2010, we could, perhaps, get some information and data as to why that sat there gathering dust in the strategic stockpile.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Yes, it's where it speaks specifically to “the management of the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile”, not in the other parts of the motion.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, I'll speak to that briefly.
You suggested that there were no friendly amendments earlier. Of course, Dr. Kitchen has every ability to move a subamendment. I chose 2010 because the purchase of the equipment that was out of date and had to be disposed of was around the 2010 era. It wasn't in 2003 or 2004.
I wouldn't mind clarity as well. I don't know exactly when the NESS started. I believe Dr. Jaczek would know that for sure, but I stuck with 2010 because that's when the products, the masks and the PPE, were considered to be new.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Again, knowing full well that Dr. Kitchen can move a subamendment, I will stick with 2010.
I've used the argument—and I believe in that argument—about putting our public servants to too much effort. I've questioned numerous times whether I would actually do the 2010 date, but I do think that when it comes to the national emergency stockpile, going back to when that product was considered new is what I would like to do.
Again, Dr. Kitchen has the ability to move a subamendment, but I'll support the 2010 date.
Thank you.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 17:23
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Thanks, Mr. Chair.
In relation to the dates that we passed here, September 8 or September 7, if we do this, I think we're going to have to push the date back a bit in terms of the ability of staff to pull the information together.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-13 17:28
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MP Jaczek took the words right out of my mouth. I believe that 15 years of documents and whatnot will require the amount of time MP Jaczek has put forward, so I'll be supporting that.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I don't know if it's dissent or not, but none of us really knows exactly what's involved in pulling all of this stuff together and how easy that is to do. I think it simplifies things to keep it as September 30. If Dr. Jaczek says that she's okay with her motion being amended, I'm happy to support her, but I do have some concern about that time frame and then complicating things by splitting it up.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Well, again, my feeling is that September 30 is a better time frame for this.
Again, I will go with Ms. Jaczek's motion. If she says that she's okay with MP Kwan's subamendment, then, I guess, who am I to disagree?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
I can't argue with Jenny's logic there, Mr. Chair.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Come on, Kelloway.
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View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-07-08 15:14
Expand
John, is this you? Can you step in here?
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View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-07-08 15:14
Expand
I think he's frozen.
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View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-07-08 15:36
Expand
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of the witnesses for their testimony here today.
As one of the youngest members of the House of Commons, I'd like to direct my questions today to the Canadian Young Farmers' Forum. I'll start with Mr. Glenn.
You mentioned some of the Olympic averages, the thresholds, as part of AgriStability. For new entrants into agriculture, the young farmers, particularly around AgriStability, can you give us a sense how that five-year average is established if you haven't been in the industry for five years? This also applies to programs like the advance payments program, which I understand takes averages to decide how much money might be available. Do you have any thoughts on how that might impact young farmers and any thoughts on how those programs work for you?
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View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-07-08 15:38
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No, it's fine. I have to keep moving on. I'm going to switch over to French for Madame Bissonnette.
Ms. Bissonnette, how could we enable young farmers to receive subsidies so that they can access business risk management programs? Could this option be available to new farmers, or could it also be available to people who are taking over the family farm? I can think of some scenarios, such as young farmers inheriting very profitable farms and having to pay compensation.
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View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-07-08 15:39
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Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd like to turn the rest of my time over to Mr. Louis, please.
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 15:10
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On the same issue, substantively I don't have a problem with what you're proposing, Peter. There's a technical piece that I have a little bit of a concern about. I spent a little bit of time working for an access to information organization and the way that you framed the motion has two issues that I have a concern about. First, to the point of national security and cabinet confidence, those would routinely be excluded under the ordinary process, as would things like solicitor-client privilege and real estate transactions. There's a handful of them in the Access to Information Act.
The second piece is about the law clerk and parliamentary counsel and the disclosure of Canadians' personal information that could be included in these documents to the people you've requested make the redactions. I understand that, in and of itself, would be a violation of federal privacy legislation. You're right. I've seen this type of a motion in a couple of committees and I've seen as many or more essentially try to do the same thing, by tasking the department with producing them in accordance with the required access to information practices. Is there a reason?
I really don't have a strong preference here, but there are similar kinds of issues that I've seen cause problems before. I'm wondering if there's a reason why you have the preferred approach with the language you've used as opposed to, say, the health committee...or I think the government operations committee had a similar one to what Peter has mentioned. I'm not going to dig my heels in and be difficult here, but if there's a reason to go your way I'd be interesting in knowing it, because I do see there could be a bit of an administrative difficulty and a potential privacy violation by proceeding with the motion as is.
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:33
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Thanks so much. What a perfect place to pick up.
You mentioned that there may be solutions that can be found that avoid filings at all. I'm curious to know if you have thoughts on what the federal government might be able to do to encourage those sorts of informal conversations that lead to solutions and prevent filings in the first place.
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:33
Expand
I struggle a little because you stick so hard to the data, and I think we're in the business of trying to find solutions before the problems arise, so maybe I'll approach it in a different way.
Before the pandemic, were there certain systemic bottlenecks that existed in the receivership and bankruptcy process? You mentioned that the courts to date have been holding up. I'm wondering, if there is an increase in the volume of filings.... Are there any sorts of links in the chain or steps along the critical path towards bankruptcy that were close to capacity and that might fail if there is an increase in bankruptcies?
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:34
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I was thinking on the business side, but I'm interested in both answers.
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:35
Expand
I'm curious. Obviously, the provincial court systems would be the place where most of these CCAA cases would end up in the first instance, but are there certain regions or even cities...? I used to practise in Calgary, which had a very well-orchestrated commercial bench. I moved back home a few years ago to small-town Nova Scotia, where I'm from, and we don't exactly have the same capacity within our court system here.
Have you ever done an analysis or do you have any views on which regions of the country may be busiest or—I guess this is a better way to put it—closest to capacity?
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:35
Expand
It's funny. I have a local judge who just moved into the house next to me, so maybe I'll chat with him about it.
I have an additional question that I'm quite concerned about. I think one of the reasons why you haven't seen the dominoes start falling is that there has been a mix of emergency supports that are landing in the right place. There have been, as you pointed out, informal dealings, as there's an incentive for a creditor not to force a debtor into bankruptcy, because they might come out on the other side.
I want to make sure that we don't get into the business of throwing good money after bad if there are companies that are not going to come through this. I would rather deal with that now than spend a lot of taxpayers' money to float structurally unsound companies through a difficult period. Are there particular factors that you've observed historically that would be indicators as to when a company is likely to succeed in a financial storm like this?
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2020-07-07 18:37
Expand
I'm curious. One of the things I've seen from commentaries in the news on the issue of bankruptcies is about what we're likely to see. Perhaps when the emergency supports are no longer in place or when taxes become due, or whatever the case may be, when we have a clearer picture of what “normal” looks like, to use your analogy, that's when we'll have a handle on whether things have gone wrong or not.
Certain sectors have been hit very hard. I'm thinking of restaurants, for example, and tourism operators. I've seen some concerns raised about the potential for significant liquidation efforts across entire industries, essentially, all at the same time. Have you ever seen an instance where an entire sector faced extraordinary pressure that led to difficulties in the liquidation process?
Essentially, I'm trying to find all the things that could go wrong should there be an uptick in bankruptcies. I'm wondering if you've seen them before and what lessons there may be. Have you ever seen anything like that on the liquidation side of things?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Sorry, Mr. Chair, but can you just...?
I was going to agree to the removal of emails, as Ms. Jaczek and Mr. Jeneroux had suggested. Are you suggesting now that we're voting on the motion or that we're voting on that unanimous...and then, if there are other possible amendments to this motion, they would come after that?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm wondering if Mr. Jeneroux would be willing to remove the PMO and the Minister of Health's office from this as well.
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View Mike Kelloway Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mike Kelloway Profile
2020-07-07 11:43
Expand
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
I just want to echo what MP Don Davies said. I absolutely believe we have to have this discussion with respect to the motions on the table and, of course, our response and our suggestions to them.
At the same time, as MP Davies mentioned, this is an important conversation as well, which I think we could look at, whether in a separate meeting or an in camera meeting, and we could address and discuss collegially the motions on the table and at that point be able to provide some feedback into those motions.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Chair, but on a point of order—I don't know the committee stuff like you do—Mr. Davies was talking about moving a motion for a separate meeting, but then he moved a motion to adjourn debate.
I think I would like to ask the clerk, perhaps, what happens when that has been moved. As I understand it, there is no discussion after a member has moved to adjourn debate. I'm just seeking clarity.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Okay. You see? You are smarter than me.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the witnesses for being here. I also want to thank Mr. Jeneroux. This is part of the process of committee, and he has every right to move those motions, and we could sit here and talk about those motions and hash them out for the full couple hours of the meeting.
So thank you, MP Jeneroux, for agreeing that we could seek some type of discussion at a later date.
Dr. Siddiqi, first of all, I just want to say that both of you gave so much wonderful testimony that is so valuable. One of the MPs, I think Mr. Van Bynen, commented about the importance of having this testimony in our report. This is our last meeting to get your testimony into this report, so that makes it so important that we get this testimony. If I ask you a question that you feel you've already sort of touched on, feel free to broaden those comments if you wish, because you gave so much stuff and I was trying to scribble things down and it just wasn't possible.
I'll start with you on this question, Dr. Siddiqi. The pandemic, we agree, has disproportionately affected vulnerable communities. How can we do better going forward to address this disproportionate effect?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Dr. McKenzie, you listed many recommendations. Again, I was scribbling as fast as I could, but would you care to comment on this before my time runs out?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to all of you for being here today. My first question would be for the Communications Security Establishment folks.
We're hearing about coronavirus scams and phishing. Just this week, we're hearing about seniors who are getting calls about the top-up to COVID-19 assistance from the government on OAS and GIS, calls that are asking for information to access their bank accounts in order to deposit this money, when of course they don't have to apply for this money.
How does your organization work with the local RCMP or with local police forces, I guess, to investigate something like this? Also, how do you work to ensure that the public is aware of these scams? We put it on our Facebook today, and it's been shared over 300 times.
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you for that.
For the folks at CIHI, we were all shocked at this committee—we have heard a lot about this, and Nova Scotia has been hit just as hard—to find out that four of every five deaths from coronavirus were those of residents in long-term care.
What kinds of measures do you believe the provinces and territories should implement in long-term care? I know that you folks touched on this a bit during your opening remarks, but how are other countries tackling this problem?
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View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
They had higher death rates possibly across the board, but they were lower in long-term care.
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