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Results: 1 - 15 of 223
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Absolutely, I can concur with Mr. Berthold on that. To get the information sooner would certainly help.
I thank Ms. Hogan and Ms. Fox for their presentations today.
Ms. Fox, you talked a bit about the budget, and that was something that I jumped into. I sifted through the budget and found that on page 265 it says there's “$1.7 billion over five years to cover operations and maintenance costs of on reserve community infrastructure in First Nations communities.” You mentioned the number of billions of dollars going into community infrastructure as well, but that could be a hockey arena or anything other than a water treatment facility.
Page 245 of the budget indicated “new investment of over $18 billion over the next five years, to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities.” It also said, “These investments will support continued action on infrastructure”, and then mentions “and clean water”, which is nice to see in the document. On page 248, it says there's $125 million over four years, beginning next year, “to continue to support First Nations communities' reliable access to clean water and help ensure the safe delivery of health and social services on reserve.”
None of these three points that I bring up really specify what type of money is going directly into water and water treatment. Have you any idea of what money you're getting in this new budget that is targeted specifically for water and water treatment in indigenous first nation communities?
Thanks.
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Great.
You mentioned that this is a huge amount of money, obviously. It's $4.2 billion. Do you think that is a sufficient amount of money to alleviate the problems in these first nations communities and reserves?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Ms. Fox.
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I had originally asked this question of you, Ms. Hogan, back in March when you tabled the reports. It's about the hiring practices on first nation communities.
Ms. Hogan indicated that it wasn't part of her audit, so I will ask you, Ms. Fox, about what role the federal government has in the hiring practices of first nation communities. I specifically asked Ms. Hogan, so I'll ask you, Ms. Fox, whether or not any first nation reserves have restricted water supply jobs to indigenous and band workers only. If so, does this affect their ability to find qualified people to fill these positions? Has this created any continuity issues in the plants' operations?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you for that. That leads to my question here also.
First of all, there was a survey conducted by a consortium of universities led by Concordia. They found that two-thirds of water operators on first nations reserves were earning lower than the median wage of operators elsewhere, outside reserves. Sometimes they are working for close to minium wage, often while on call 24-7. Many of the operations operate this way in first nation communities, with the safety of their drinking water reliant on just one or a few underpaid and overworked operators.
I know, as you indicated, that it's not your role to determine salaries and such, but certainly with this new funding in place, they can look at these wages, as you've indicated. I just think that it's incredibly important that we look at retention. It was brought up by Mr. Longfield and Mr. Sorbara as well. Retention seems to be a recurring issue.
Again, it is up to the first nation communities, then, to determine the wages and salaries. Would bonuses be much cheaper than the costs associated with water advisories? It just makes sense to me to pay them fair wages. Do you have any comments on that, Ms. Fox?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
That's right, Madam Chair. Thank you.
Thank you to everyone for being here today.
To the Auditor General, in your opening remarks, you seemed to suggest that the Public Health Agency is slow and mismanaged, failing to respond to audits, etc. Would you say that the root cause is poor management or a lack of funding resources?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Yes, absolutely.
Ms. Hogan, the Global Public Health Intelligence Network was, of course, shut down by the current government, even though it was considered a world leader in its work. Who made that decision and how much did the government stand to save by doing so?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Again, who made the decision to shut it down at that time?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Did Canada consult at all with the World Health Organization or our allies about shutting down GPHIN?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
I'll continue on here.
The network has now been restarted, I take it. Is the system fully functional now? Does it have a larger or smaller budget than it did back in 2016?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Ms. Hogan, do you plan on doing an audit on GPHIN in the near future?
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay.
Madam Chair, I must be close to the end.
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Are there any comments from any of the witnesses on any of these questions with regard to PHAC? Is there any information there?
I take it there's not, Madam Chair. I will pass on my time.
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Ms. Hogan, for your wonderful work and thank you to your staff the good work they do.
I want to focus on a couple of comments you made in your opening remarks, particularly the remarks on the Investing in Canada plan and the $188 billion for that plan. You've indicated that you found that Infrastructure Canada's reporting was very poor and excluded “almost half” of the government's investment. You said that it did not capture “more than $92 billion” in funding.
The fact that it cannot report on these amounts I find incredible.
You mentioned that “the absence of clear and complete reporting on the Investing in Canada plan makes it difficult for parliamentarians and Canadians to know whether progress is being made against the intended objectives.” That is absolutely the case.
What reason did they give you for this “absence of clear and complete reporting” when you did the audit?
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