Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-30 9:38
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Since this is the last public hearing, I would like to place on the record my sincere appreciation of Mr. David Christopherson for his long, long years of service, especially on this public accounts committee. We have had differences of opinion on several issues on several occasions but I do recognize the great work you have done in this public accounts committee—the most important committee.
General Natynczyk, I have to say that the services from Veterans Affairs Canada have improved tremendously during the last three and a half years. I have in Nepean a veterans advisory committee. One of the committee members is Ted Bransfield, who has personally assisted 387 members, to be exact, since they submitted their claims. He too is of the opinion that the service has improved.
From the cuts that your department had faced to this position, I think it's only because of a kind of frank acceptance. Whenever there was a shortcoming, I have seen that you don't hesitate to accept it and take remedial measures.
Ms. MacDonald, I am tempted today to talk on a slightly different subject. The CBC reported today that the lawsuits related to parental reunification have been settled and those people who went to the court have been given the option of applying—whereas hundreds of my constituents didn't get the same opportunity.
However, we are on a different subject so I can't deal with that.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-30 9:39
Coming back, Mr. Flack, you mentioned that you had done the client experience survey, which found that 82% of the respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied. One of the previous Auditor General's reports on CRA call centres noted that the Auditor General conducted a study that found 36% of the answers provided by the agents were wrong.
Did your survey do that?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-30 9:40
Fourteen per cent of the answers were incorrect. That's still a big number, especially because, as a citizen, when I call, I take whatever the agent says as the gospel truth and I do or don't take action based on what I've been told.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-30 9:40
With my limited time, I would like to go to the Shared Services Canada.
Mr. Glover, I had interactions with you when you were the president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but Shared Services Canada is a different kind of animal.
As a member of Parliament in the national capital region, I hear from a lot of people working in government departments. One of the things I've heard about Shared Services is that it's so big and so complex. We are seeing that here, you know. Only eight of the 222 call centres have been done. This has been going on for years.
It's too big and too complex. One of the things I've heard is that your department is facing a problem with respect to human resources, that you are unable to find qualified technical personnel based on the rigid language requirements. Is that a fact?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-30 10:45
Mr. Chair, on a point of order, it's 10:45. With how much time is left, some of us have other engagements and consent is needed for continuation.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-28 9:15
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. MacDonald, you mentioned certain very important things—that the world is now witnessing unprecedented levels of migration, that 258 million people are on the move, and that more than 25.4 million are refugees. That is a very, very huge thing. You also said that because of this trend, Canada's asylum system has experienced increased pressure, and increases in global migration suggest that this trend will likely continue.
Having already identified that, do you think you have taken the measures to take care of the system going forward?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-28 9:17
My next question is for Ms. McCalla. It may be an unfair question.
Subsequent to your audit, you have seen government taking various measures. You have also seen the responses from all three principals here. In your view, do you think the measures taken since your audit was completed are sufficient?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-28 9:19
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Mr. Wex, I saw it in your remarks, but I want to ask this again. The reason for postponing 49% of the hearings was that board members were unavailable. The scheduling of hearings is based on the availability of members to hear them. Why is this happening?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-28 9:22
The next reason for postponed hearings is that the claimant or claimant's counsel is unavailable.
With the recent cut by the provincial government to legal aid, do you think that the 14% due to the claimant’s counsel being unavailable is going to go up? Most of the asylum seekers depend on legal aid for counsel.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-09 9:50
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to ask the Auditor General this. You submit the reports twice a year, the fall report and then in the spring. Would it be a good idea for you to submit the report of audit of any department or any Crown corporation as soon as you complete it?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-09 9:51
Are there any barriers or constraints that you are facing that would stop you from doing that?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-09 9:52
My next question is about the special examination of the BDC.
I wish I had known that you were going to examine BDC. Maybe I would have given at least my suggestion that you examine the very fundamental things that BDC has achieved or whether it is addressing the reason for why it was set up.
BDC was set up to help entrepreneurship, to help small and medium-sized businesses. I wanted to know whether BDC has achieved that instead of making another venture capital fund or another chartered bank.
I have worked in several countries. I have worked in a financial institution, which was a development bank, so I know a bit about development banking. In my view, BDC is almost acting like any other commercial entity, commercial bank, rather than a developmental financial institution.
For next time, is there a way, when you do this special examination of certain Crown corporations, that we know well in advance?
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2019-05-09 9:53
Okay, thank you.
On the call centres, is the government—any government, the current or the previous government—setting up unrealistic expectations in terms of meeting service standards?
I want to know how much the role of Shared Services played in not addressing the entire 221 call centres. During the last five years or so, they have upgraded only three of the 221. How much did that play a role in the current low quality of service being provided to Canadians?
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