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Results: 1 - 15 of 202
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ministers, welcome again.
I want to pick up on what Madam Gagnon was alluding to. I have worked in the volunteer sector for a very long time, Madam Minister, and I think the process you put in place is the process that should have been there a long time ago, in my opinion, where there is consultation with the stakeholders and through the stakeholders have the appropriate measures in place to avoid coming to the situation we did with the call for proposals. I also want to commend you for putting together a permanent advisory committee. I think that will help us move forward and improve the system. Secondly, I also want to commend you on the fairness issue. I know that will contribute to making the system more fair.
I want to go back to something I've been a champion of for a long time: multi-year funding. It seems we are very averse to multi-year funding in the federal government. I won't say it was any different when I was in provincial politics, but I think for any organization to be able to move forward, we must have assurances of a certain amount of money in order to build on that and to go on to present new projects and new programs. It is alluded to in your report, and I'd like you to elaborate a little on how you see multi-year funding.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
I look forward to hearing how they want to implement it.
My other question is addressed to Minister Bradshaw. I also want to give my compliments to my colleagues in the secretariat. I have two literacy groups in my own constituency, and I know they're very pleased with the way we have moved forward in terms of ensuring that some of the challenges that a lot of them face on the ground are met by the secretariat.
I know you have a vision that is more long term, Madam Bradshaw. I was wondering if you would like to give us a long-term vision on where you want to go in terms of literacy, without giving any secrets away.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to thank all those who have taken the time to come here today. We're discussing a program that I consider very important for my riding. I'd also like to thank Linda for being with us. This is the first time she's appeared before a committee.
First of all, I'd like to know whether, in the context of this program, there have been administrative problems with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. I don't think that's the case in my riding. I meet with officials in September to examine the program and the problems that have arisen. The deadline is brought up every time. I'd like it to be later than January, say in September, for the organizations that are already in the system. Those that have proven themselves should receive their funding immediately. I've been advocating this idea for a long time now. In that way, the answer would be known in January. That would give officials and members time. In the case of my riding, the demand is rising every year. That's also the case in the private sector.
As regards administration, first I'd like to know what relations and type of communication your organization has with local officials. Then I'd like to talk about the priority given to certain clienteles. I asked Linda Bourassa to come here today because, among other reasons, the Table de concertation jeunesse Ahuntsic does a lot of work with visible minorities. I think this is a very vulnerable clientele that requires organizations with slightly more resources and additional supervisory effort.
Should priority be given to regional projects? For example, La popote roulante in Montreal has submitted a regional project. Committee members will have the opportunity to discuss it. It doesn't involve just one riding. To meet its needs, that organization is required under program rules to make a number of applications to a number of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada offices. I believe priority should also be given to regional projects.
Linda, perhaps you'd like to speak on the subject of visible minorities?
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Going back to my first question, which concerns program management, tell me briefly whether things are going well or whether there are any problems. The purpose of our study is to determine whether there are any problems in relations between the organizations and the local offices. I believe you all talked about resources.
I also want to go back to the question of which clientele should be given priority. It's often said that poverty, visible minorities and persons with disabilities could be criteria. We received the brief of a group that works with children with disabilities. They obviously have different problems. Should those criteria be considered?
Who wants to answer my first question?
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
I started a similar project for bike patrols in Montreal parks, together with the police and various members from Montreal Island. A portion of the Summer Career Placement Program is paid for out of our member budgets.
Does anyone else want to answer? Time's running out, unfortunately. Ms. Durand?
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
It's up to the organizations to decide?
Ms. Linda Bourassa: Yes.
The Hon. Elini Bakopanos: Isn't there some question of giving priority to available resources? That's my question. It's already been said that we don't have unlimited resources, and that's what we have to examine. In any case, we'll have an opportunity to come back to this question.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Ms. Mathieu spoke about the project, and she has already given a copy to Ms. Bonsant. Ms. Mathieu, could you send the document on the regional project to the clerk so that each of us can have a copy?
I didn't think to have the document on the Montreal project sent to us. It's an excellent project that is producing very positive results for youths who want to become police officers. I'd like to have a copy, as would all other committee members.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
I agree 100% about moving the date we have to file. I've raised that issue many times before, and I agree with all the participants that we have to have a faster process in terms of those non-governmental agencies that already have experience with those programs, especially after they've been in the program as long as you have, Mrs. Beck and others, who have been in it about ten years or whatever. That should seem simple enough; apparently there are variables, but I certainly support that.
I want to pick up on something my colleague Mr. D'Amours asked that you may not have had time to answer, and that's really addressed to Ms. Walliser and Mr. Bloor and the other members from Saskatchewan, Mr. Setrum and Mr. Roach. He raised an issue I thought was very important--it was answered by Mrs. Beck--in terms of whether we should be focusing more on high school students or on college students and what the ratio should in fact be. Perhaps there should be a ratio where we devote half the projects, perhaps, to high school students and the other half, perhaps, to college students, also taking into account what Mrs. Finlay said about mature students. Perhaps there should be some formula. Do you have any opinion on that?
Secondly, do you have any other variables that should be taken into account in terms of distribution between rural and urban? I know there were some suggestions made, but feel free to add anything.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
That was my question, actually. Should there be some allocation in terms of secondary and post-secondary and then perhaps mature students? I think that was the point of my question. If you haven't had any feedback, perhaps that's something you should be looking at on the ground.
But I'd like to stop there, Madam Chair, because one of my colleagues wants to ask another question.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I also want to say that I have a very good relationship with the local employees at my local office.
There are two issues that I've raised every year since I've been a member of Parliament, which Madame Bonsant has raised also. One is the deadline. It's practically impossible, whether it's for high-school students, college, or university, for a non-governmental organization with very few resources to try to budget when they get the answer from our local offices at the end of May. If I'm really good, I can do it in one day. As a member of Parliament, I'm sure everybody tries to rush through the recommendations that are made by public servants. But I've asked that the deadline...and I've done it in writing, both to the minister and the local director. We do a consultation together with the public servants once a year; I meet with them in September, and we go over what works in the program and what doesn't work. So I have put it in writing.
But the deadline is definitely a problem for non-governmental agencies, and even businesses, and students themselves, because there will continue to be real insecurity for them in not knowing where they're going to work in the summer if we do not, in my opinion, move up that deadline to January and give them an answer by March. So I fully agree with my colleague, Madame Bonsant, that we have to change the deadline.
This year, yes, it was late, I accept that. It did cause problems, both in my riding and in others.
I want to go over the formula that you've used. I'm going to look only at my province. When I looked at Quebec, for example, I looked at Abitibi, Gaspésie, and Jonquière.
During your opening remarks, Mrs. Achimov, you said there was a shift from rural to urban. Well, I'm in an urban riding. I know that I'm in Montreal, and that is another dynamic place. But when looking at the figures, based on what you said, Abitibi gets 507,000 and my riding is about 270,000. When you know that the migration is going to urban areas, are you telling me that there will be a shift next year, because it was the first year that we had to adapt?
If I'm to understand, I suppose they're leaving Abitibi and coming to Quebec City, or perhaps Montreal, or one of the larger cities. I have students from Abitibi studying at Collège Ahuntsic and at some other colleges in my riding. In fact, I have two colleges.
The numbers do not reflect what you said. Am I wrong?
I'll ask those two questions, and I'll come back, if there's time.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'm not questioning people missing the deadline. That's going to happen in any program.
I'm saying that to facilitate this, both on the side of the students who know where they're going in the summer and on the side of the organization, I think the date could be moved. I think you said that you tried it once. Where did you do that? How far did it go?
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
It hasn't been done in the 12 years that I've been a member of Parliament.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Unless I missed it, it hasn't been done in the 12 years that I've been a member of Parliament.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
May I perhaps add an element that I didn't add earlier? Perhaps Mrs. Bonsant didn't add it either. In my case, and I think in the case of most members of Parliament—and they can correct me—normally 80% of the requests are the same from year to year.
View Eleni Bakopanos Profile
Lib. (QC)
I absolutely understand that we have to assess them, but in general, it's the same organizations, except for a small percentage. That then plays into the budget with regard to how you allocate the budget.
I realize all the complexities. But I think it would be more effective if those same organizations that have been in the system for a long time—not the new ones, and perhaps we have to look at a different category—were given an opportunity to put in their requests well before the new year.
I'm certainly going to make that recommendation after we do the analysis of this program. As a committee, that's what I'm going to suggest, because it has been the biggest irritant in my riding.
Anyway, I think I'm running out of time, and I need an answer to the second question.
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