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Recent entries

  1. A podcast with Michael Geist on technology and politics
  2. Next steps
  3. On what electoral reform reforms
  4. 2019 Fall campaign newsletter / infolettre campagne d'automne 2019
  5. 2019 Summer newsletter / infolettre été 2019
  6. 2019-07-15 SECU 171
  7. 2019-06-20 RNNR 140
  8. 2019-06-17 14:14 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  9. 2019-06-17 SECU 169
  10. 2019-06-13 PROC 162
  11. 2019-06-10 SECU 167
  12. 2019-06-06 PROC 160
  13. 2019-06-06 INDU 167
  14. 2019-06-05 23:27 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  15. 2019-06-05 15:11 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  16. older entries...

Latest comments

Michael D on Keeping Track - Bus system overhaul coming to Guelph while GO station might go to Lafarge after all
Steve Host on Keeping Track - Bus system overhaul coming to Guelph while GO station might go to Lafarge after all
G. T. on Abolish the Ontario Municipal Board
Anonymous on The myth of the wasted vote
fellow guelphite on Keeping Track - Rethinking the commute

Links of interest

  1. 2009-03-27: The Mother of All Rejection Letters
  2. 2009-02: Road Worriers
  3. 2008-12-29: Who should go to university?
  4. 2008-12-24: Tory aide tried to scuttle Hanukah event, school says
  5. 2008-11-07: You might not like Obama's promises
  6. 2008-09-19: Harper a threat to democracy: independent
  7. 2008-09-16: Tory dissenters 'idiots, turds'
  8. 2008-09-02: Canadians willing to ride bus, but transit systems are letting them down: survey
  9. 2008-08-19: Guelph transit riders happy with 20-minute bus service changes
  10. 2008=08-06: More people riding Edmonton buses, LRT
  11. 2008-08-01: U.S. border agents given power to seize travellers' laptops, cellphones
  12. 2008-07-14: Planning for new roads with a green blueprint
  13. 2008-07-12: Disappointed by Layton, former MPP likes `pretty solid' Dion
  14. 2008-07-11: Riders on the GO
  15. 2008-07-09: MPs took donations from firm in RCMP deal
  16. older links...

A podcast with Michael Geist on technology and politics

Over the few years I had the responsibility of representing Laurentides--Labelle in Parliament, I spent a great deal of time and effort talking about technology and their related issues within politics.

One of the people I had the opportunity to meet along the way is Professor Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, who I had been following for years.

After my defeat, he invited me to his office for a conversation about the experience of being a technologist in national politics, and you can listen to the conversation on his blog:

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 32: Reflections from the Open Source Member of Parliament -- A Conversation with Ex-MP David Graham.

internet legal 132 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 11:21 on November 18, 2019

Next steps

Welcome back! Almost a decade since my last entry, this site is back on.

It has been an interesting decade.

In 2009, I started working for an MP in his constituency office.

In 2010, I moved back to Quebec and looked for, and found, work on Parliament Hill.

In 2012, I met Mishiel.

In 2013, I decided to seek the Liberal nomination in Laurentides--Labelle, the riding where I grew up and where I had moved back to live.

In 2014, I had a daughter, and then won that nomination.

In 2015, I won the election and became the Member of Parliament for Laurentides--Labelle.

In 2018, I was acclaimed to run a second time in Laurentides--Labelle.

In 2019, while my vote percentage and raw numbers rose, I was defeated in the Bloc wave.

So, as I consider my next steps, I will go over some of those events and post some analysis of that time and what happened, and backdate entries based on publications and Hansard from my time in office.

Enjoy!

musings 173 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 15:06 on November 12, 2019

On what electoral reform reforms

For the past several days, I have watched as many people miss the point on electoral reform.

Way too much effort is being spent on the question of "proportional" and not nearly enough on the question of "representation."

Changing voting systems changes voting behaviour, so one cannot simply apply the results of one system to a different system.

Poll aggregators are self-fulfilling prophecies. Voters check for local momentum where none is measured, and share that information with their networks, while the data they are using is national numbers aggregated historically to local campaigns without any measurement of the current impact of the local campaign.

The fundamental breakage of our democracy is that we have 338 local elections, but we vote in a presidential manner - as if the party name or the leader's name are what is on the ballot.

I did not win in 2015 nor lose in 2019 because we did not have a proportional or preferential system; the results I had in both cases had a great deal more to do with the national campaign and the horse race numbers than my own efforts on the ground or those of my opponents. Yet the intent of our electoral system is to send local representatives to Ottawa to work together to find common ground with others across the country (not only the province) to solve our issues together, and do so by adopting a party banner that represents the issues those representatives intend to address.

The problem, at its core, is that local representation matters less and less and national campaigns matter more and more. The two solutions are either

- to say, ok, sure, national campaigns are easier than local campaigns to run and to cover, and we group-think anyway, so let's institutionalize this system by going to a proportional model of some sort, which puts more emphasis on the party and reduces the pretence that local representatives are relevant;

or

- to eliminate the horse-race and national narrative in favour of encouraging each community to make its own decision, and figure out how to make local representatives become once again relevant as local representatives, bringing that power and influence back to the communities that are choosing those representatives.

It comes down to a values question: proportionality and representation are essentially mutually exclusive; which one is more important to you?

Originally posted on facebook.

essays politics 402 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 14:31 on October 26, 2019

2019 Fall campaign newsletter / infolettre campagne d'automne 2019

From here, for here

Dear Friends,

By choosing to move forward together, we can fight the climate crisis, as we demonstrated in Val-David during the “Planète s’invite au Parlement” march. I have always said that to properly represent you I have to know our community. Over the past four years, I have worked ceaselessly to make the federal government a partner for our region. I have participated in thousands of community events and meetings with residents in every one of the 43 municipalities in Laurentides—Labelle.

Together we have accomplished great things. Our region has benefited from historic investments, both in infrastructure and in social programs. However, I am aware that there is still much work to do so I am simply asking you the question:

Can I count on your support to continue this work for a second term?

I was born in the heart of the Laurentians, and I live on a multigenerational homestead in Sainte-Lucie-desLaurentides. Environmental factors have always been a part of my upbringing and I want to work together with you to deal with the climate crisis. I firmly believe that the Liberal Party has the best and most realistic plan to protect our environment while helping our economy to grow.

I began my career as a journalist specializing in technology. This expertise helps me a lot when dealing with the internet connectivity file. We have brought one of the biggest connectivity projects in Quebec here: within the next two years, fibre optics will be available to more than 18,000 homes in the riding that have been poorly served until now.

In Ottawa, I founded the Liberal National Rural Caucus to ensure that the voice of the regions is listened to and understood. I was a member of four permanent parliamentary committees and worked on hundreds of files to ensure that government decisions had a real and positive impact for the people here.

What I have done, and what I hope to do, is intimately connected to who I am. I am from here, and I work for here! I am offering to continue being your link to the federal government and to continue the partnership to develop Laurentides—Labelle.

Choose forward, together!

- David

D'ici, pour ici

Chers amis,

C'est en choisissant d'avancer, ensemble, qu'on peut lutter contre la crise des changements climatiques, comme on l'a démontré à Val-David lors de la marche “la Planète s'invite au Parlement”. J’ai toujours dit que pour bien vous représenter, je dois bien connaître notre communauté. Au cours des quatre dernières années, j’ai travaillé sans relâche pour que le fédéral soit partenaire de notre région. J’ai participé à des milliers d’activités communautaires et de rencontres avec les citoyens, dans chacune des 43 municipalités de Laurentides—Labelle.

Ensemble, on a réalisé de grandes choses. Notre région a bénéficié d’investissements historiques, autant dans les infrastructures que dans les programmes sociaux. Cependant, conscient qu’il reste beaucoup de travail à faire, je vous pose simplement la question:

Est-ce que je peux compter sur votre appui pour continuer le travail pour un deuxième mandat?

Je suis né au cœur des Laurentides, et je demeure avec ma famille sur une petite ferme multi-générationnelle à Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides. Les considérations environnementales ont toujours fait partie de mon éducation, et je veux agir avec vous sur la crise des changements climatiques. Je crois fermement que le Parti Libéral a le meilleur plan, et le plus réaliste, pour protéger notre environnement tout en faisant croître notre économie.

J’ai débuté ma carrière comme journaliste spécialisé en technologies. Cette expertise me sert grandement pour ce qui est de régler les enjeux de branchement à Internet. Nous avons amené ici un des plus gros projets de branchement au Québec: d’ici deux ans, la fibre optique sera offerte à plus de 18 000 foyers qui étaient mal desservis dans la circonscription.

À Ottawa, j'ai fondé le Caucus rural national libéral, pour assurer que la voix des régions soit bien entendue et écoutée. J’ai été membre de quatre comités parlementaires permanents et travaillé sur des centaines de dossiers, pour assurer que les décisions gouvernementales aient un réel impact positif pour les gens ici.

Ce que j’ai fait, et ce que je souhaite faire, est lié à qui je suis. Je suis d’ici, et je travaille pour ici! Je vous offre de continuer à être votre lien avec le fédéral et de poursuivre en partenariat le développement de Laurentides—Labelle.

Choisissons d’avancer, ensemble !

- David

From here...

My son, David, has always been conscious of social justice. He made his first charitable donation in the community when he was just 13, and from a very young age showed a desire to make a difference. Like all parents, we hoped to provide lots of opportunities to our children to prepare them for adult life but had no idea of what route they would follow. We are proud that David became a Member of Parliament, not because of the title but because he has put himself at the service of his fellow citizens and plays a part in the development of his native region, where our family has roots going back nearly a century.

Born in Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides in July 1981, David is proud of his Paré roots. His great-great-grandfather, Louis Paré, served as a doctor with the North-West Mounted Police and his great-grandfather, Alphonse Paré, a mining engineer who settled in Val-Morin in 1920, spoke French, English, Ojibwe and Cree. His grandmother, Patricia Paré, who lived in Sainte-Lucie, was the first female ski instructor in Canada and taught until she was 80. His mother Sheila has been involved in politics since her youth and she inspired his interest. He also cites my community involvement, focused on Laurentian history and the saving of the railroad stations and other built heritage, as additional motivation.

He was, and is still, fascinated by trains, as much for their mechanics and workings as because they are an excellent mode of public transport. He loves music, learned to play piano and violin, and has always admired cultural creation. He learned the value of work and respect for the environment from his earliest youth, helping look after our vegetable gardens and chickens, and assisting when we enlarged the house we built with our own hands. His daughter, Ozara, is following in his footsteps, beginning her education at Fleur-des-Neiges, the school he attended.

After high school, David studied information technology and history in Guelph, Ontario. There he dedicated himself to improving the public transit system. There, too, he founded an organization promoting open source software. After working as a journalist, he was hired as a political aide and then made the leap to Parliament Hill where he continued to work for several MPs. It was during that period that he met his partner, Roemishiel. It was also at that stage of his life that David said to himself that in order to contribute more to improving his country, he had to go back to his roots.

David heads out every morning from our multigenerational family home, working to improve life here. We see him devoting himself to his fellowcitizens with respect, diligence, rigour and conviction. We see him in turn passing on the values that are important to him to his daughter Ozara, and recounting the stories and the history of Laurentides—Labelle.

- Joseph Graham

... for here

D'ici...

Mon fils, David, a toujours été sensible aux inégalités sociales. Il a fait son premier don à un organisme à l'âge de 13 ans et a manifesté très jeune le désir de travailler pour faire une différence. Comme tous les parents, nous souhaitions offrir plusieurs opportunités à nos enfants pour les préparer à leur vie d'adulte, mais n'avions aucune idée du chemin qu’ils prendraient. Nous sommes fiers que David soit devenu député, non pas pour le titre, mais bien parce qu'il est au service des gens et contribue au développement de sa région natale, où sa famille est présente depuis près d’un siècle.

Né à Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides en juillet 1981, David est fier de ses racines Paré. Son arrière-arrière-grand-père, Louis Paré a servi comme médecin au sein de la police montée du Nord-Ouest et son arrière-grandpère, Alphonse Paré, ingénieur minier établi à Val-Morin en 1920, parlait Français, Anglais, Ojibwe et Cri. Sa grand-mère, Patricia Paré, résidait à Sainte-Lucie, a été la première monitrice de ski au Canada et a enseigné jusqu’à 80 ans. Sa mère Sheila s’implique en politique depuis qu’elle a 16 ans. Mon engagement communautaire, plus axé sur l’histoire des Laurentides et la sauvegarde des gares et du patrimoine bâti, l’a également influencé.

Il était, et est encore, fasciné par les trains, autant pour leur mécanique et leur fonctionnement que parce qu'ils sont un moyen de transport en commun par excellence. Il aime la musique, a appris le piano et le violon et a toujours eu du respect pour la création culturelle. Il a appris dès son enfance la valeur du travail et le respect de l'environnement, alors qu'il a entretenu avec nous les potagers et le poulailler et aidé à agrandir la maison que nous avons bâtie de nos mains. Sa fille Ozara suit les traces de son père, alors qu’elle débute son primaire à l’école Fleur-des-Neiges.

Après son secondaire, David a étudié à Guelph, en Ontario, en technologies informatiques et en histoire. Il s'est grandement dévoué dans cette communauté pour le développement du transport en commun. C'est aussi à partir de là qu'il a fondé un organisme prônant l'accès aux logiciels libres, aujourd'hui connu dans le monde entier. Après avoir travaillé comme journaliste, il a été embauché comme adjoint politique, puis a fait le saut vers la colline parlementaire, où il a continué de travailler auprès de plusieurs députés. C'est durant cette période qu'il a rencontré sa conjointe, Roemishiel. C'est aussi à cette époque de sa vie que David s'est dit que pour contribuer encore plus à améliorer son pays, il devait le faire chez lui.

C'est donc à partir de la maison familiale, qui est maintenant multigénérationnelle, que notre garçon part tous les matins, pour faire avancerles choses, ici. On le voit se dévouer pour ses concitoyens en faisant preuve de respect, de droiture, de rigueur et de convictions. On le voit à son tour transmettre les valeurs qui lui sont chères à sa fille Ozara, et lui raconter l'histoire des Laurentides, notre chez-nous !

- Joseph Graham

... pour ici

View the original publication.

Voir la publication originale.

history newsletter 1718 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:42 on September 19, 2019

2019 Summer newsletter / infolettre été 2019

A Word From David

Dear friends,

I grew up in Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides and went to school in Sainte-Agathe-desMonts. The heavy community involvement of my parents, Joseph Graham and Sheila Eskenazi, taught me the rich local history and the value of community engagement.

In 2010, after years of being away, I sought work in politics in Ottawa, coming home almost every weekend to the multigenerational homestead my parents had built, which allowed me to keep deep, strong ties to the region where I had grown up.

Through the work of my parents and Mishiel, my wife, our homestead produces almost three-quarters of what we eat, including fowl, vegetables, and maple syrup. We compost extensively and use no chemical fertilisers or pesticides. For us, this is part of living green, a value we are passing on to our young daughter Ozara.

Two years before the last election, I looked around at the state of the country and my own region, and I asked myself: is there something I can do to help? I undertook to tour and explore my whole riding -- and I realised how little of it I actually knew. I visited the extremities of the territory, from Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs to Sainte-Anne-du-Lac, from Val -des-Lacs to Notre-Dame-du-Laus, and the thousands of kilometres of non-municipalised territory, controlled exploitation zones, and crown lands around them. Every day, I learned of the richness of our region: the lakes, the forests, the agriculture, the community heritage, the events, and most of all, the people that make our region so fine.

I have found myself in constant awe of the strength of our communities, their will to succeed in the face of economic adversity and demographic and technological challenges, and the undying dedication of the volunteers who hold them all together for the fostering of our community and the improvement of our local quality of life.

I also learned that few had any understanding of what the federal government does, or can do, for a region like ours. Every discussion contributed more to my determination to work for my community, to work to support local projects, to make federal support options known, and to defend our rural needs in Ottawa.

In the nearly four years I have now been your MP, we have brought federal partnership back to the Laurentians. We have found ways of improving the lives of the people of each one of the 43 municipalities of Laurentides—Labelle. And we have learned how much more there is to do.

Together with a dedicated and determined team, we will continue to provide help, to encourage the initiatives we see and to seek solutions where there is need.

- David

Mot de David

Chers amis,

J'ai grandi à Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides et suis allé à l’école à Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. Fortement impliqués, mes parents Joseph Graham et Sheila Eskenazi m’ont appris la riche histoire régionale et m’ont transmis la valeur de l’engagement communautaire.

En 2010, après avoir été journaliste en informatique, j'ai débuté un emploi d’attaché politique à Ottawa. Les fins de semaine, je revenais chez moi, dans notre chaleureuse maison multigénérationnelle. Ça me permettait de vivre mon profond attachement pour ma région natale.

Grâce au travail de mes parents et de Mishiel, ma conjointe, on produit sur la fermette familiale près de 75% de ce que nous mangeons, dont la volaille, les légumes et le sirop d’érable. Nous utilisons notre compost, aucun fertilisant chimique, et pas de pesticide. C’est une de nos façons de contribuer à la protection environnementale, une valeur que je souhaite transmettre à ma fille Ozara.

Deux ans avant la dernière élection, je regardais l’état de notre pays et de ma région natale, et je me suis dit : est-ce que je peux faire quelque chose pour aider ? J’ai donc entamé une grande tournée et j’ai réalisé que je connaissais moins ma circonscription que je pensais. Le territoire est immense, de Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs jusqu'à Sainte-Anne-du-Lac, de Val-desLacs jusqu'à Notre-Dame-du-Laus, et des milliers de kilomètres carrés de territoires nonorganisés, de parcs, de ZECs et de terres de la Couronne. À chaque jour, je réalisais encore plus les richesses de notre territoire: les lacs, les forêts, l'agriculture, le patrimoine villageois, les événements et surtout les gens qui font de notre région, la plus belle.

J’ai été impressionné par la force des communautés et la volonté de réussir collectivement malgré les défis démographiques, technologiques et les besoins de soutien financier. Je rencontrais des citoyens, des élus, des bénévoles, des travailleurs et dirigeants d'organismes fiers de participer à l'épanouissement du milieu et à l'amélioration de la qualité de vie locale.

Au fil des rencontres, j'ai réalisé que peu de gens comprenaient ce que le gouvernement fédéral faisait ou pouvait faire pour une région comme la nôtre. Chaque discussion contribuait de plus en plus à ma détermination de travailler pour mes concitoyens, de collaborer aux solutions et de soutenir les projets, de faire connaitre les opportunités d'appui du fédéral et de défendre nos besoins régionaux à Ottawa.

Depuis près de quatre ans, nous avons ramené un partenariat fédéral à succès dans les Laurentides. Ensemble, nous avons trouvé des moyens d’améliorer la vie des citoyens de chacune des 43 municipalités de Laurentides—Labelle, et des régions rurales en général. Nous sommes sur un bon élan mais il reste encore beaucoup à faire.

Avec une équipe dédiée et déterminée; j'entends poursuivre de tout cœur le travail d'aide, de soutien des initiatives et de représentation politique pour le mieux-être des gens d'ici.

A bientôt,

- David

KNOWING OUR REGION: from the past to the present

As the saying goes, "you have to know where you come from to know where you’re going." As he did over the last years, in each edition of this Newsletter, my father, local historian, Joseph Graham, presents us with different aspects of our regional history. Enjoy the read!

CONNAÎTRE NOTRE RÉGION : d’hier à aujourd’hui

Il y a un adage qui dit: « il faut savoir d’où l’on vient pour savoir où l’on va ». Comme il l’a fait au cours des dernières années dans chacune des éditions de cette Infolettre, mon père, l’historien local Joseph Graham, nous présente différents pans de notre histoire régionale. Bonne lecture !

A Region Cleared by Strength and Determination

Big, powerful men, giants, dominated the growth of our region in the 19th century. Like Gilgamesh and Enkidu from the first written story, chiselled out in cuneiform by the Sumer people of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, we also have our mythological heroes. Jos. Montferrand, perhaps the best known, would have pleased Gilgamesh.

Montferrand’s story, like that of Gilgamesh, was not simply about fighting. He epitomized the Canadiens, already a legendary people in his time. Acknowledged by the Indigenous Nations in 1701, they were the only Euro-American people who had learned and adopted the ways of their host nations. Respected in war and trade, they, together with their Indigenous partners, became the voyageurs, maintaining a huge network along the myriad rivers and lakes across the continent. Jos. Montferrand, both voyageur and lumberjack, made the transition from one to the other with all of those values carried into the new forestry epoch that would see Laurentides—Labelle develop.

It is thanks to Benjamin Sulte, who published ‘Histoire de Jos. Montferrand in 1899 that we have access to these stories. Montferrand’s most celebrated story was his taking on 150 ‘Shiners,’ Irish immigrants who wanted to monopolize the Gatineau-Ottawa lumber trade. They attacked Montferrand on the suspended bridge over the Chaudière Falls. It dropped towards the centre and was only wide enough for two people to pass each other. His advantage was that the Shiners had to meet Montferrand one or two at the time in the narrow space. Many got tossed into the raging waters and many others fled.

Montferrand stood six foot four and had long legs and arms. Other strong men wanted to prove themselves by beating him in a fight, but legend has it he was never bested. He had a strong punch, but his feet were the terror of his foes with stories of opponents, realizing they were beaten, begging him to not kick. His footprint was his trademark or calling card, and in one story, invited to a hostel where he thought he was known, he discovered mostly strangers and a new hostess. Having anticipated being able to pay later, he apologised to the hostess that he had no funds with him. Most women melted at the sight of him and she was no exception, insisting that he need not pay. Before he left, he jumped up, stamping his bootmark into a beam on the ceiling, and thanked her. The bootmark became a draw, and her success was assured.

The area of Lac des Sables in Notre-Dame-du-Laus was particularly close to his heart, and he spent much time there, encouraging Canadiens to take up the plough and settle down on its excellent soil.

Montferrand was much more than a strong man and much more than a legend. He influenced, not simply the lumberjacks, but also the very nature and future development of Laurentides—Labelle, and beyond that, both Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Curé Antoine Labelle himself.

To be continued...

- Joseph Graham

Une région défrichée par la force et la volonté

Les hommes forts et puissants, les géants, ont marqué la croissance de notre région au XIXe siècle. Comme Gilgamesh et Enkidu, dont nous connaissons l’histoire grâce aux écrits du peuple sumérien des vallées du Tigre et de l’Euphrate, nous avons aussi nos héros mythologiques. Jos Montferrand, qui est sans doute le plus connu, aurait plu à Gilgamesh.

De son vivant, Jos Montferrand personnifiait les « Canadiens », qui constituaient un peuple légendaire. Les Canadiens étaient reconnus par les Nations autochtones en 1701 et formaient le seul peuple euroaméricain à avoir appris et adopté les modes de vie de leurs hôtes. Ils étaient respectés à la guerre et dans le commerce. Avec leurs partenaires autochtones, ils sont devenus les « voyageurs » établissant un vaste réseau de postes de traite le long des multiples rivières et lacs du continent. Montferrand, qui était à la fois voyageur et bûcheron, a opéré la transition de l’un à l’autre dans la nouvelle ère de l’industrie forestière qui allait favoriser le développement des Laurentides et du comté de Labelle.

C’est grâce à Benjamin Sulte et son livre de 1899 intitulé Histoire de Jos Montferrand, que nous pouvons lire sur lui. Le plus célèbre récit à son sujet est lorsque Montferrand s’est opposé à 150 immigrants irlandais «Shiners», qui voulaient monopoliser le commerce du bois d’œuvre dans la région de la Gatineau et de l’Outaouais. Ils ont attaqué Montferrand sur le pont Union, suspendu au-dessus des chutes de la Chaudière de la rivière des Outaouais. Le pont descendait en son centre, et sa largeur permettait tout juste à deux personnes de se rencontrer. Les adversaires devaient affronter Montferrand un ou deux à la fois. Beaucoup d’irlandais ont été projetés dans les eaux tumultueuses, et de nombreux autres ont fui.

Montferrand mesurait six pieds et quatre pouces, avec de longues jambes et de grands bras. D’autres hommes forts ont voulu s’affirmer en essayant de le battre au cours d’un combat, mais selon la légende, personne ne l’a jamais vaincu. Il pouvait décocher un puissant coup de poing, mais c’était ses pieds qui inspiraient la terreur à ses adversaires : certains, comprenant qu’ils étaient battus, le suppliaient de ne pas leur infliger un coup de pied. L’empreinte de son pied était sa marque de commerce, sa carte de visite. Dans un récit, on lit qu’il avait été invité dans un hôtel où il croyait être connu. Rendu à destination, il s’est trouvé en présence d’étrangers et surtout, d’une nouvelle hôtesse. Comme il avait pensé qu’il pourrait payer plus tard, il a présenté ses excuses à l’hôtesse. La plupart des femmes fondaient à la vue de cet homme, et la patronne de l’hôtel n’a pas fait exception : elle lui a dit avec insistance qu’il n’avait rien à payer. Avant de partir, Montferrand a donné un coup de pied très haut en sautant, imprimant la marque de sa botte sur une poutre du plafond, puis il a remercié la dame et est parti. Cette marque est devenue une attraction, de sorte que la réussite de l’hôtelière a été assurée.

La région du lac des Sables à Notre-Dame-du-Laus était très chère à Montferrand, de sorte qu’il y a passé beaucoup de temps. Il a encouragé les Canadiens à y labourer les champs et à s’y établir, car la qualité du terroir y était excellente. Montferrand a été beaucoup plus qu’un homme fort et qu’un personnage légendaire. Il a exercé son influence non seulement sur les bûcherons, mais aussi sur la nature même et le développement futur de Laurentides—Labelle, ainsi que sur le premier ministre Sir Wilfrid Laurier et sur le curé Antoine Labelle lui-même...

À suivre...

- Joseph Graham

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history newsletter 2124 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:43 on September 01, 2019

2019-07-15 SECU 171

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1330)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

Folks, we're trying to get back on our timeline here. We are waiting for our other witness, but in the meantime, we will proceed with RCMP captain Mark Flynn.

You will make your presentation, and if the folks from the Communications Security Establishment come, we'll make arrangements for them to speak as well.

The meeting is now public, by the way.

For those who are presenters, the real issue here is that the members wish to ask questions. Therefore, shorter presentations are preferable to longer ones.

With that, Superintendent Flynn, I'll ask you to make your presentation.

Chief Superintendent Mark Flynn (Director General, Financial Crime and Cybercrime, Federal Policing Criminal Operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):

You'll be happy to hear, as I understand the committee was informed, that I won't be making any opening remarks. I am present here today simply to address any questions you may have. As this, on its surface, does relate to an ongoing criminal investigative matter, it would be inappropriate for me to provide details of an investigation, particularly an investigation that is not being undertaken by the RCMP.

I welcome all questions. I am here to provide whatever assistance I can.

The Chair:

Mr. Graham.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

It's a little harder to ask questions without an opening to work off.

The first question I have is this. If somebody calls the RCMP with a suspicion of data theft complaint, how does the RCMP treat that from the get-go?

C/Supt Mark Flynn:

That will depend on the jurisdiction where it occurs. In the jurisdiction where we are, the police have jurisdiction, so they have the provincial and municipal responsibility. It would be forwarded to our intake process there, whether it be our telecoms office, the front desk of a detachment or a particular investigative unit that's identified for that.

In cases where we are not the police of jurisdiction, like in Ontario and Quebec where we are the federal police, we will become aware of these instances through our collaboration with our provincial and municipal partners. We will look at the information and determine whether or not there are any connections to other investigations that we have ongoing, and offer our assistance to the police of jurisdiction should they require it, although on many occasions this type of incident is very well handled. We have very competent provincial and municipal police forces that are able to handle these on their own.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

At what point does something become federal? If something is provincial jurisdiction but affects multiple provinces, does each province have to deal with it separately or is the RCMP able to step in at that point?

C/Supt Mark Flynn:

The RCMP doesn't automatically step in solely because it crosses multiple provinces. As occurs with traditional crimes, whether a theft ring on a border between two provinces, or homicides, the police forces in those jurisdictions are used to collaborating and do so very well.

When there's an incident that occurs from a cyber perspective, if it's going to have an impact on a Government of Canada system, a critical infrastructure operator or there are national security considerations to it, or if it's connected to a transnational, serious and organized crime group that already falls within the priority areas we're investigating, then that matter will be something we will step into.

From a cyber perspective, we have ongoing relationships and regular communication with most of the provinces and municipalities that have cyber capabilities within their investigative areas. We know that many of these incidents occur in multiple jurisdictions, whether they be domestic or international, so coordination and collaboration are really important.

That's why the national cybercrime coordination unit is being stood up as a national police service to aid in that collaboration, but prior to that being implemented, one of the responsibilities of my team in our headquarters unit is to have regular engagement, whether regular telephone conference calls or formal meetings where we discuss things that are happening in multiple jurisdictions to ensure that collaboration and deconfliction occurs, or on an ad hoc basis. When a significant incident occurs, our staff in the multiple police forces will be on the phone speaking to each other and identifying and ensuring that an appropriate and non-duplicating response is provided.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

In the case of the incident we're here to discuss, which is obviously a major incident, is the RCMP being kept apprised of what's happening, even if it's not their investigation?

C/Supt Mark Flynn:

I'd like to stay away from discussing this particular investigation, but I can tell you that investigations of this nature absolutely will lead to discussions occurring. That happens as a consequence of the fact that we do have those regular meetings, whether it be in cyber or other types of crime that are going on in different jurisdictions. These, obviously, on a scale of this nature, would lead to discussions.

I am not involved involved in any of those discussions at this time. It is not something I have knowledge about.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

Understood.

Okay.

The Chair:

Mr. Drouin, welcome to the committee.

Mr. Francis Drouin (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Flynn, thank you for being here. I know that you will not comment on the ongoing investigation, but as a member of Parliament who represents a lot of members who have been impacted—I have been impacted as well—I am looking more at the potential impacts of fraud.

I know that many Canadians get fraudulent calls from CRA. I myself called back somebody who pretended they were you guys. They wanted to collect some money for a particular person. They were demanding. They were really adamant. They gave a callback number, and I provided that callback number to the police. Is that something you would advise Canadians to do where obviously the RCMP, or your local police force, is the first point of contact?

(1335)

C/Supt Mark Flynn:

Absolutely. We actually have a program at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and a close relationship with telecommunications service providers, who have been very helpful in addressing some of the challenges we've had around telemarketing and the mass fraud committed over the telephone. As we learn about numbers that are utilized for fraud, we are validating that, and the telecoms industry is blocking those numbers to reduce the victimization. We have adapted some of our practices to ensure that this occurs at a much more timely rate than it has historically.

Mr. Francis Drouin:

Just from your experience, and learning from cases of fraud, we know that some of them may have my social insurance number. They may have my email address, as well as my civic address. It could be a very convincing case for them to pretend that they're either a government official or from some type of financial institution. What would you advise Canadians on the best way to protect themselves?

C/Supt Mark Flynn:

With any mass fraud campaign, whether it be tied to an instance like this or just in general, people need to have a strong sense of skepticism and take action to protect themselves. There are many resources under the Government of Canada, with such organizations as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Get Cyber Safe, that provide a list of advice for Canadians. It simply comes down to protecting your information and having a good sense of doubt when somebody is calling you. If it's a bank calling, call your local branch and use your local number. Don't respond to the number they provide and don't immediately call back the number they provide. Go with your trusted sources to validate any questions that are coming in.

I have experienced calls similar to yours. I had a very convincing call from my own bank. I contacted my bank and they gave me the advice that it was not legitimate. It was interesting, because in the end it turned out to be legitimate, but we all felt very safe in the fact that the appropriate steps were taken. I would rather risk not getting a service than compromising my identity or my financial information.

Mr. Francis Drouin:

Okay. Great.

Thank you.

The Chair:

Mr. Paul-Hus, you have seven minutes. [Translation]

committee hansard secu 65897 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on July 15, 2019

2019-06-20 RNNR 140

Standing Committee on Natural Resources

(1605)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

I call the meeting to order.

Good afternoon, everybody. I hope everybody is doing well. I know that everybody's quite excited about today's events and the fact that this is our last official act before we can all go home.

Before we get going, Minister, I want to say thank you to a number of people, starting with our clerk and our analysts.

Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

The Chair: We all started this journey three years ago. Richard, Shannon, T.J. and I were all original members of this committee and gang. We've come a long way since then.

Speaking for myself, I know that I never would have made it this far if it weren't for the support of everybody on this side of the table. Thank you very much. I honestly can't thank you enough. You've been tremendous. There were lots of times, I will readily admit, when I wasn't sure what I was doing.

A voice: We were going to point that out.

The Chair: Yes, I know. Actually, sometimes you did.

I also want to say thank you to all the committee members. For four years now, we've prided ourselves in having a committee in which we worked incredibly well together. We disagreed at times, but we did so respectfully.

As a result, we've had a committee that other people have looked at with envy, I think, and it's something that we should all be very, very proud of. Thanks to all of you. It's been my pleasure to work with all of you. Honestly, it has. I hope to see all of you again in the fall, and I know you feel the same way too.

Also, there are the other people behind us. They're the ones who really add a lot to this equation as well. Without all of you, none of us could do our jobs, so I want to thank everybody who's on the perimeter of this room.

Voices: Hear, hear!

The Chair: You make it all happen.

An hon. member: Except for the water people.

The Chair: Except for the water people. They want to make sure we get out of here quickly, David.

Voices: Oh, oh!

The Chair: Minister, I want to thank you. I know you've had a busy schedule for the last couple of days. We've had to move the time for this meeting a number of times, and you've been quite gracious in accommodating us and making yourself available. I believe you're in Calgary right now. We're grateful that you were able to make some time to do this.

You only have an hour, we know, so I'm going to stop talking now and turn the floor over to you. Thank you for joining us, Minister.

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Natural Resources):

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and good afternoon, everyone.

I first of all want to acknowledge something that is on everyone's mind today, which is the passing of a colleague and a friend to many. On behalf of our government and my family, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mark Warawa, my colleague, and to our colleagues from the Conservative Party and many others who have lost a friend today.

I would also like to take a moment to recognize that I am speaking to you from Treaty No. 7 territory. Such acknowledgements are important, particularly when we are meeting to talk about doing resource development the right way. Our government's approach to the Trans Mountain expansion project and the start of the construction season is a great example of that—of resource development done right.

Let me also begin by recognizing that I know this expansion project inspires strong opinions on both sides—for and against—and with respect to both sides of the debate, I want to assure everyone that our government took the time required to do the hard work necessary to hear all voices, to consider all evidence and to be able to follow the guidance we received from the Federal Court of Appeal last August.

That included asking the National Energy Board to reconsider its recommendation, taking into account the environmental impact of project-related marine shipping. It also included relaunching phase III consultations with indigenous groups potentially impacted by the project, by doing things differently and engaging in a meaningful two-way dialogue.

On that note, I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the many indigenous communities that welcomed me into their communities for meetings over the last several months. I appreciate your openness, your honesty and your constructive ideas and sincerity of views.

Honourable members, no matter where you stand on TMX, this decision is a positive step forward for all Canadians. It shows how in 2019, good projects can move forward when we do the hard work necessary to meet our duty to consult indigenous peoples and when we take concrete action to protect the environment for our kids, grandkids and future generations.

When we came into office, we took immediate steps to fix the broken review system the Conservatives left behind. When the risks made it too difficult for the private sector to move forward, we stepped in to save the project. When the Federal Court of Appeal made its decision back in August of 2018, we made the choice to move forward in the right way.

When we finished this process, we were able to come to the right decision to deliver for workers in our energy sector, for Albertans and for all Canadians, a decision to support a project that will create jobs, diversify markets, support clean energy and open up new avenues for indigenous economic prosperity in the process.

Where do we go from here, now that the expansion has been approved? While these are still early days, we have a clear path forward for construction to begin this season and beyond. The Prime Minister laid out a lot of this on Tuesday afternoon as he announced our decision. Minister Morneau expanded on some of these details when he was in Calgary yesterday, talking about the road ahead and about launching exploratory discussions with indigenous groups interested in economic participation and about using TMX's revenues to ensure Canada is a leader in providing more energy choices.

We have also heard from the Trans Mountain Corporation about both its readiness and its ambition to get started on construction. Ian Anderson, the CEO of the Trans Mountain Corporation, made this very clear yesterday.

(1610)



That's also what I heard when I visited with Trans Mountain Corporation workers yesterday in Edmonton. There were a number of contractors there. They are ready to proceed on the expansion of the Edmonton terminal, as well as on many of the pumping stations that are required to be built in this expansion.

The message is clear. We want to get shovels in the ground this season, while continuing to do things differently in the right way.

The NEB will soon issue an amended certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project. It will also ensure that TMC has met the NEB's binding pre-construction conditions. The Trans Mountain Corporation, meanwhile, will continue to advance its applications for municipal, provincial and federal permits. We stand ready to get the federal permits moving.

As all of that is happening, our government continues to consult with indigenous groups, building and expanding our dialogue with indigenous groups as part of phase IV consultations by discussing the potential impacts of the regulatory process on aboriginal and treaty rights and by working with indigenous groups to implement the eight accommodation measures that were co-developed during consultations, including building marine response capacity, restoring fish and fish habitats, enhancing spill prevention, monitoring cumulative effects and conducting further land studies.

We are also moving forward with the NEB's 16 recommendations for enhancing marine safety, protecting species at risk, improving how shipping is managed and boosting emergency response.

What is the bottom line? There is no doubt that there are a lot of moving parts. This is a project that stretches over 1,000 kilometres, but it is moving forward in the right way, as we have already proven with our $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, our $167-million whale initiative, our additional $61.5 million to protect the southern resident killer whale, and our investment of all of the new corporate tax revenues, as well as profits earned from the sale of TMX, in the clean energy projects that will power our homes, businesses and communities for generations to come.

Before making a decision, we needed to be satisfied that we had met our constitutional obligations, including our legal duty to consult with indigenous groups potentially affected by the project, upholding the honour of the Crown and addressing the issues identified by the Federal Court of Appeal last summer.

We have done that. We accomplished this by doing the hard work required by the court, not by invoking sections of the Constitution that don't apply or by launching fruitless appeals, both of which would have taken longer than the process we brought in.

While Conservatives were focused on making up solutions that wouldn't work, we focused on moving this process forward in the right way. We have confirmation of that, including from the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, former Supreme Court justice, who was appointed as a federal representative to provide us with oversight and direction on the revised consultation and accommodation process.

I will close where I began, which is by saying that we have done the hard work necessary to move forward on TMX in the right way, proving that Canada can get good resource projects approved and that we can grow the economy and deliver our natural resources to international markets to support workers, their families and their communities, all while safeguarding the environment, investing in clean growth and advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Mr. Chair, I think this is a good place to stop and invite questions.

Thank you so much once again for having me here today.

(1615)

The Chair:

Thank you very much, Minister.

Mr. Hehr, you're going to start us off, I believe.

Hon. Kent Hehr (Calgary Centre, Lib.):

committee hansard rnnr 20444 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 20, 2019

2019-06-17 14:14 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Broadband Internet services, Rural development, Statements by Members

Déclarations de députés, Développement rural, Services Internet à large bande

Mr. Speaker, after years of counterproductive efforts by political parties that only wanted to prove that federalism does not work, or that the federal government is the adversary, we have been an unrivalled federal partner in Laurentides—Labelle.

Half of the 43 municipalities will soon have access to modern high-speed Internet across their territory, and we are well on the way to getting full coverage throughout the riding. Les Pays-d'en-Haut, the only RCM in Quebec without an arena, will finally get its sports centre. Poverty and unemployment are declining. There are more opportunities for families to remain in the region.

In under four years, we have made a difference that has benefited the people of the Laurentians. This fall, we will have to decide whether the federal government is an adversary or a partner of our region. I believe the answer is clear. Together, we will succeed.

Monsieur le Président, après des années de contre-productivité par des formations politiques qui avaient pour seul but de démontrer que le fédéral ne fonctionne pas, ou que le fédéral est notre adversaire, nous avons offert un partenariat fédéral inégalé dans Laurentides—Labelle.

La moitié des 43 municipalités auront bientôt un accès à Internet haute vitesse moderne sur tout leur territoire, et nous sommes sur la bonne voie relativement à une couverture complète de la circonscription. Les Pays-d'en-Haut vont enfin voir leur centre sportif. C'est la seule MRC au Québec où il n'y a pas d'aréna. La pauvreté et le chômage sont à la baisse. Les familles ont plus d'occasions et de capacité de rester en région.

En moins de quatre ans, nous avons changé la donne, au bénéfice des citoyens des Laurentides. Cet automne, nous aurons un choix à faire: le fédéral est-il un adversaire ou un partenaire de notre région? Selon moi, la réponse est claire. C'est ensemble qu'on réussit.

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr statements 329 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 15:26 on June 17, 2019

2019-06-17 SECU 169

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1540)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

I call the meeting to order.

I see quorum. It is well past 3:30 p.m., and I see that the minister is in his place. The minister is obviously pretty serious, because he has taken off his jacket. I think we're ready to proceed.

As colleagues will know, we did have an understanding as of last week as to how this session on Bill C-98 would proceed. That agreement has changed. In exchange, there won't be any further debate in the House.

The way I intend to proceed is to give the minister his time, and perhaps when he can be brief, he will be brief. We'll go through one round of questions and see whether there's still an appetite for further questions. From there, we'll proceed to the witnesses and then to clause-by-clause consideration. I'm assuming this is agreeable to all members.

That said, I'll ask the minister to present.

Thank you.

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

In the spirit of brevity and efficiency, I think I will forgo the opportunity to put a 10-minute statement on the record and just speak informally for a couple of minutes about Bill C-98. Evan Travers and Jacques Talbot from Public Safety Canada are with me and can help to go into the intricacies of the legislation and then respond to any questions you may have. They may also be able to assist if any issues arise when you're hearing from other witnesses, in terms of further information about the meaning or the purpose of the legislation.

Colleagues will know that Bill C-98 is intended to fill the last major gap in the architecture that exists for overseeing, reviewing and monitoring the activities of some of our major public safety and national security agencies. This is a gap that has existed for the better part of 18 years.

The problem arose in the aftermath of 9/11, when there was a significant readjustment around the world in how security agencies would operate. In the Canadian context at that time, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency was divided, with the customs part joining the public safety department and ultimately evolving into CBSA, the Canada Border Services Agency. That left CRA, the Canada Revenue Agency, on its own.

In the reconfiguration of responsibilities following 9/11, many interest groups, stakeholders and public policy observers noted that CBSA, as it emerged, did not have a specific review body assigned to it to perform the watchdog function that SIRC was providing with respect to CSIS or the commissioner's office was providing with respect to the Communications Security Establishment.

The Senate came forward with a proposal, if members will remember, to fix that problem. Senator Willie Moore introduced Bill S-205, which was an inspector general kind of model for filling the gap with respect to oversight of CBSA. While Senator Moore was coming forward with his proposal, we were moving on the House side with NSICOP, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, by virtue of Bill C-22, and the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency which is the subject of Bill C-59.

We tried to accommodate Senator Moore's concept in the new context of NSICOP and NSIRA, but it was just too complicated to sort that out that we decided it would not be possible to salvage Senator Moore's proposal and convert it into a workable model. What we arrived at instead is Bill C-98.

(1545)



Under NSICOP and NSIRA, the national security functions of CBSA are already covered. What's left is the non-security part of the activities of CBSA. When, for example, a person comes to the border, has an awkward or difficult or unpleasant experience, whom do they go to with a complaint? They can complain to CBSA itself, and CBSA investigates all of that and replies, but the expert opinion is that in addition to what CBSA may do as a matter of internal good policy, there needs to be an independent review mechanism for the non-security dimensions of CBSA's work. The security side is covered by NSICOP, which is the committee of parliamentarians, and NSIRA, the new security agency under Bill C-59, but the other functions of CBSA are not covered, so how do you create a review body to cover that?

We examined two alternatives. One was to create a brand new stand-alone creature with those responsibilities; otherwise, was there an agency already within the Government of Canada, a review body, that had the capacity to perform that function? We settled on CRCC, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, which performs that exact function for the RCMP.

What is proposed in the legislation is a revamping of the CRCC to expand its jurisdiction to cover the RCMP and CBSA and to increase its capacity and its resources to be able to do that job. The legislation would make sure that there is a chair and a vice-chair of the new agency, which would be called the public complaints and review commission. It would deal with both the RCMP and the CBSA, but it would have a chair and a vice-chair. They would assume responsibilities, one for the RCMP and one for CBSA, to make sure that both agencies were getting top-flight attention—that we weren't robbing Peter to pay Paul and that everybody would be receiving the appropriate attention in the new structure. Our analysis showed that we could move faster and more expeditiously and more efficiently if we reconfigured CRCC instead of building a new agency from the ground up.

That is the legislation you have before you. The commission will be able to receive public complaints. It will be able to initiate investigations if it deems that course to be appropriate. The minister would be able to ask the agency to investigate or examine something if the minister felt an inquiry was necessary. Bill C-98 is the legislative framework that will put that all together.

That's the purpose of the bill, and I am very grateful for the willingness of the committee at this stage in our parliamentary life to look at this question in a very efficient manner. Thank you.

The Chair:

Thank you, Minister.

With that, we'll begin the first round of questions of seven minutes each, starting with Ms. Dabrusin.

I just offer a point of caution. I know all members are always relevant at all times about the subject matter that is before the committee, and I just point that out. Thank you.

Ms. Dabrusin, you have seven minutes.

(1550)

Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Toronto—Danforth, Lib.):

Thank you.

I was very happy to see this bill because, Minister, as you know, pretty much every time you have been before this committee, I have asked you about CBSA oversight and when it would be forthcoming, so when I saw this bill had been tabled, it was a happy day for me.

You talked a little about the history of the bill. You talked about Senator Wilfred Moore's bill and how you dealt with the different oversights in Bill C-59 and NSICOP.

Why did we have to wait so long to see this bill come forward?

Hon. Ralph Goodale:

I think, Ms. Dabrusin, it's simply a product of the large flow of public safety business and activity that we have had to deal with. I added it up a couple of days ago. We have asked this Parliament to address at least 13 major pieces of legislation, which has kept this committee, as well as your counterparts in the Senate, particularly busy.

As you will know from my previous answers, I have wanted to get on with this legislation. It's part of the matrix that is absolutely required to complete the picture. It's here now. It's a pretty simple and straightforward piece of legislation. I don't think it involves any legal intricacies that make it too complex.

If we had had a slot on the public policy agenda earlier, we would have used it, but when I look at the list of what we've had to bring forward—13 major pieces of legislation—it is one that I hope is going to get to the finish line, but along the way, it was giving way to things like Bill C-66, Bill C-71, Bill C-83, Bill C-59 and Bill C-93. There's a lot to do.

Ms. Julie Dabrusin:

Yes, thank you.

It's my understanding that when budget 2019 was tabled, there was a section within the budget that referred specifically to the funding for this oversight. Am I correct on that?

Hon. Ralph Goodale:

The funding is provided for. It will be coming through the estimates in due course. We're picking up the base funding that's available to the CRCC, and then, as the responsibilities for CBSA get added and the CRCC transforms into—I have to get the acronyms right—the PCRC, the public complaints and review commission, the necessary money will be added to add the required staff and operational capacity.

Ms. Julie Dabrusin:

You touched upon it briefly when you were talking about the different mechanisms and the decision for it to extend within the RCMP review system. Perhaps you can help me to understand it a bit better. Why not a separate review committee for the CBSA specifically? Why build it within the RCMP system and then expand it, as opposed to having a separate oversight?

Hon. Ralph Goodale:

It's simply because the expertise required on both sides is quite similar. It's not identical, granted, but it is quite similar. There is a foundation piece already in place with the CRCC. There are expertise and capacity that already exist, and the analysis that was done by officials and by Treasury Board and others led to the conclusion that we could move faster and we could move more cost effectively if we built on the existing structure and expanded it, rather than start a whole new agency from scratch.

Ms. Julie Dabrusin:

One of the issues that's come up is that I've had questions from constituents about privacy issues crossing the border, for example, border guards being able to access information on telephones and the like. How would this oversight be able to deal with that privacy issue?

(1555)

Hon. Ralph Goodale:

If an individual thought they had been mistreated in some way at the border, or if their privacy rights had been violated, or if a border officer conducted themselves in a manner that the traveller found to be intrusive or offensive, they would have now, or as soon as the legislation is passed, the ability to file an independent complaint with the new agency. The agency would investigate and offer their conclusions as to whether the procedure at the border had been appropriate or not.

Ms. Julie Dabrusin:

committee hansard secu 26723 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 17, 2019

2019-06-13 PROC 162

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

(1100)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning. Welcome to the 162nd meeting of the standing committee. Although it says we're in camera, we won't be for a few minutes because we have to do just one thing first.

I'll read the notes from the clerk. They say, “The committee would like to thank the best clerk in the history of the House of Commons”—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Chair:—“and the best researchers.”

Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

The Chair: Those are good notes. Thank you.

Actually, what I'd like to do is this. We have a cake here to present which says on it, “Happy Retirement from Filibustering to the Great Parliamentarian from Hamilton Centre.”

Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

The Chair: Yes, you can take pictures.

I'll take requests to speak.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Chair, I move that we put the recipe in the Hansard.

The Chair:

There are pictures.

Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP):

That is amazing. Who arranged for that? Thank you so much.

An hon. member: You're famous.

An hon. member: Is it bilingual?

The Chair: Oh, yes, we can't present this: It's not bilingual.

An hon. member: It should be in braille too.

An hon. member: Hey, David, if you want to share that cake, it has to be in two languages.

Mr. David Christopherson: I wonder how much sugar is in it.

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.):

You deserve it. You impress me, you know that?

Mr. David Christopherson:

You're very kind.

Listen, thank you to whoever did this. I'm blown away.

The Chair:

So it goes without saying—and I'll get a speaking list here—that obviously you're a very passionate member. I think you've been very principled. Each of us, in theory, should have one-tenth of the influence on this committee, but I think that's not true. I think you have more than your one-tenth of influence on this committee. There's making a point and there's making a point, and you can certainly make a point very passionately, and although members might often disagree, we think the points you're making are principled—I do, anyway. You believe in them and you're a great asset to this Parliament, and I know there are some people who will add to my comments.

Mr. Bittle.

Mr. Chris Bittle (St. Catharines, Lib.):

Thank you so much.

When I was appointed deputy House leader, they told me I was on PROC and the only thing I knew about PROC was the filibuster that had happened, and I wasn't looking forward to it.

I came to my first meeting and I had an idea about something, and immediately Mr. Christopherson said, “Oh, the parliamentary secretary came and he's imposing his will on committee,” and I thought, “Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into accepting this position and coming down here, and how are we going to do this going forward?”

But over the past couple of years, I have been just amazed and have incredible respect for what you do for your constituents and our country. The residents of Hamilton are incredibly fortunate to have someone as passionate and with such great integrity as you. We can disagree with you, but no one can question the integrity with which you raise and bring forward your points, and that you fervently believe in what you bring forward. Without any level of bullshit, you get straight to the point. I had to use swearing in this, and Hamilton can appreciate that.

I'll speak for myself and say that I'm fortunate enough to have a mentor in Jim Bradley. He may not be as loud, but I think he brings that same level of commitment to the point that you'd better not stand between me and my constituents, because you're going to have to go through me. It's something I strive to do, and I appreciate seeing it in this place. You will be incredibly missed in this chamber by all sides of the House.

Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

(1105)

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, CPC):

First of all, I was given seven or eight minutes' notice that I'd be doing this, which puts me in mind of Gladstone's famous comment that if he were given a month to prepare a speech, he could deliver a five-minute speech; if he were given a week, he could deliver a 20-minute speech; if he is told immediately beforehand, it could take hours for him to get to his point.

Nonetheless, I do want to say this. First of all, David is a colleague who, as we all know, gets directly to the point, but then can persist in making that point for a very long time.

It's been a pleasure, David, a real pleasure working with you. Other members won't know this, but I have been pestering him about where he is going to live in retirement, because I am hoping to have a chance to hang out, have a beer on his dock, just chat and enjoy the company of a really remarkable colleague.

I did have enough time to ask a few other colleagues about you. I mentioned to them, of course, the fact that you started in municipal politics, and after a successful elected career there, went on to provincial politics, and then from there to federal politics. I asked what people thought of that, and some of my Conservative colleagues thought that it shows you are persistent and determined. I also heard the suggestion that it shows that you are multi-talented. The one I thought was most fitting was the observation that you're just a slow learner.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Mr. Scott Reid: You are retiring now, which shows that you've finally learned that it's worth spending as much time as possible with family—something we'll all learn sooner or later. I do hope you get to share some of that retirement time with us, and with me in particular.

Thank you.

Mr. John Nater (Perth—Wellington, CPC):

Thank you, Chair.

I'll echo what Mr. Reid has said, but I want to say as well that it's been a privilege sitting next to you and that I've had the honour—usually Scott sits here—of sitting between two distinguished parliamentarians who actually know what they're talking about, what this committee is about and what's being done.

committee hansard proc 10013 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 13, 2019

2019-06-10 SECU 167

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1535)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

Colleagues, it's 3:30, and I see quorum and Mr. Amos is in his place.

Welcome to the committee, Mr. Amos.

This is a study of rural digital infrastructure under motion 208 and under the name of Mr. Amos, the honourable member for Pontiac.

If you would proceed with your presentation, Mr. Amos, you have 10 minutes.

Mr. William Amos (Pontiac, Lib.):

Thank you, Chair, and thank you to the members.[Translation]

Thank you for this opportunity to discuss what represents [technical difficulties] for my fellow Pontiac residents, but also for Canadians across the country. Whether in rural or urban areas, this is a very important issue.[English]

I believe the importance of this issue is clearly demonstrated by the unanimous vote. I thank each of you individually—and also your colleagues—for that support, because I think it was a unifying vote around motion 208.

When urban Canada recognizes the challenges that rural Canada faces with regard to what we now consider to be basic telecommunication services—good cellphone access, high-speed Internet—I think these are the things that bring Canada together when there's an appreciation of our challenges.

I think there's an appreciation at this point in time that rural Canada needs to make up for lost time with the digital divide. For too many years, private sector telecommunications companies did not invest sufficiently in that necessary digital infrastructure. Governments at that time, in the past, weren't up to the challenge of recognizing that the market needed to be corrected.

I feel fortunate, in a way, to have been able to bring this motion forward, because I feel that all I was doing was stating the obvious: that a Canadian in northern Alberta or the B.C. interior who is challenged with serious forest fires, just like a Canadian in New Brunswick, Quebec or Ontario who is dealing with floods, deserves access to the digital infrastructure that most Canadians take for granted, so as to ensure their public safety.

As your committee is well aware, the motion was divided into two follow-up components, one with respect to the economic and regulatory aspects of digital infrastructure. That process in the industry committee has been moving forward well. A number of witnesses have been brought forth. The process is proceeding apace. I'm looking forward to their conclusions. I've had an opportunity to participate, and I thank that committee for enabling that participation.

I'm particularly appreciative, Chair, that this committee has seen fit to move forward, even if only with a brief set of interactions on this subject matter, because Canadians across this country recognize that it is time to get to solutions on the public safety dimensions of digital infrastructure.

I'm constantly attempting to channel the voices of my small-town mayors, mayors such as David Rochon, the mayor of Waltham, Quebec. Waltham is about an hour and 45 minutes away from Parliament Hill. It's a straight shot down Highway 148 once you cross the Chaudière Bridge or the Portage Bridge. You get over to Gatineau and just drive straight west down Highway 148, and you can't miss it. It's just across the way from Pembroke.

In that community, they have no cellphone service. The 300-and-some souls who live there, when they're faced with flooding for the second time in three years, get extremely frustrated, and they have every right to be frustrated. I'm frustrated for them, and I'm channelling their voices as I sit before you. This is no more than me speaking on behalf of a range of small-town mayors.

I know the voices of those mayors are magnified by those of so many others across this country. That's why the Federation of Canadian Municipalities supported motion 208, because they hear those mayors' voices as well. That's why the rural caucus of the Quebec Union of Municipalities supported this motion, because they hear those same voices.[Translation]

It is our responsibility to address this issue directly. I am very pleased to see that since motion M-208 was introduced in the House of Commons, digital infrastructure has been a major success, thanks to Budget 2019. The investments are historic, very concrete and very targeted.

The goal is to have high-speed Internet access across Canada by 2030. The target is 95% by 2025. Our government is the first to set these kinds of targets and invest these amounts. In the past, we were talking about a few hundred million dollars, but now we are talking about billions of dollars. The issue is recognized. For a government, this recognition comes first and foremost through its budget. Our government has recognized this. I really appreciate the actions of our Liberal government.

With respect to wireless and cellular communications in the context of public safety, there is agreement that, in any emergency situation, a cellular phone is required. It is very useful for managing personal emergencies, but it is also very useful for public servants, mayors, councillors who are in the field and want to help their fellow citizens. These people need access to a reliable cellular network to be able to connect with and help their fellow citizens.

(1540)

[English]

I see that I'm being given the two-minute warning. I will conclude in advance of that simply by saying that I think it's important for us not to descend into rhetoric on this topic. Canadians deserve better than that. I read today's opposition day motion. With no disrespect intended, it didn't spend any time recognizing what our government has done but spent so much time focusing on the problems without getting to the solutions. In the Pontiac, people want solutions. They want to know how they're going to get their cellphone service, and soon. They want their high-speed Internet hookup yesterday, not two years from now. I know that every rural member of Parliament—Conservative, NDP, Liberal and otherwise—is working very hard in their own way to make sure that happens. I am as well. Right now I appreciate this opportunity to focus our attention very specifically on the public safety dimensions.

I also want to say a thank you to our local and national media, who have taken on this issue and are recognizing that in an era of climate change and extreme weather, we're going to need our cellphones more and more; we're going to need this digital infrastructure more and more, to ensure Canadians' safety and security.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Amos.

Mr. Graham, for seven minutes.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Amos, when you brought forward M-208, it had two aspects to it. One was for the industry committee to study these services, and two, for SECU to study the public safety aspect of it. Would you like to expand a bit on how you saw the split committee approach to this.

Mr. William Amos:

My feeling was that there are most certainly economic dimensions to this issue. There are questions around competition. There are questions around the nature of a return on investment that can and cannot be made in rural Canada. These are real considerations that I think merit serious consideration. The independent regulator, the CRTC, has distinct responsibilities as established under the Telecommunications Act. Those obligations provide it, in many aspects, with a fair amount of latitude to achieve the public interest objectives of the Telecommunications Act.

I felt that those issues, both regulatory and economic, which ultimately help to frame how we will get to digital infrastructure access for rural Canada, are not the same issues necessarily, or they're not entirely the same, as the public safety issues. I felt that if the study were to be done by one committee on its own, public safety in particular might end up getting short shrift. I felt that would be inappropriate. I felt that one of the most important arguments in favour of making the massive investments that are necessary, and that our government is stepping forward to make, would be on the basis of public safety considerations.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

Fair enough.

In terms of public safety considerations, both your riding and mine have experienced significant problems with dispatching emergency services at a time of emergency. You've described it at great length in the past. When tornadoes hit your riding, when floods hit your riding and my riding, emergency services have to come to city hall, coordinate, and go back out in the field. Can you speak to that? Is that the basis of the focus?

(1545)

Mr. William Amos:

I think for the average Canadian who's thinking about how their family in a certain small town is dealing with an emergency related to extreme weather, it's plain to see that when a local official needs to spend an extra 20 to 40 minutes driving from a particular location on the ground—during a fire or a flood or a tornado or otherwise—back to town hall in order to make the necessary phone calls, it's inefficient. It brings about unnecessary delays in providing proper emergency response.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

In the same vein, a lot of citizens have trouble reaching 911 because there's no service available to do so. Phone lines are no longer up. If you're in a field or in the country—our ridings have recreational areas that are tens of thousands of kilometres—there is no means for people to reach emergency services. Would you find that to be true?

Mr. William Amos:

In fact, there are areas in the riding of Pontiac where a fixed wireline service is not available, or circumstances where the fixed wireline service, due to a falling tree or otherwise, has been cut off. Yes, it does create a public safety issue, because many, many seniors in my riding don't have a cellphone. Even if they wanted one, they wouldn't have access to the cellphone service.

Absolutely there are issues, and I think it's important to address these in their totality, but to my mind, the conversation is headed mostly to the access to cellular. That's how people will most often solve the predicament they may find themselves in. I can't tell you the number of times I've had constituents come to me to say, “My car broke down. I was between location X and location Y. There was no cellphone service. I thought I was going to die.” That is a run-of-the-mill conversation in the Pontiac. In this day and age, I think we have a mature enough and wealthy enough society to address these issues if we focus on them.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

To your point, though, there's been a lot of confusion in the public about what motion 208 is about, because it talks about “wireless” without being too specific. In your view, this is about cellphone service, and not about broadband Internet to the same extent. This is about making sure that we can reach emergency services, that emergency services can reach each other, and that the cellphone signal we need on our back roads is available to us.

Mr. William Amos:

That's correct. My greatest concern was the cellphone aspect. In M-208, where I refer to wireless, the intention is to mean cellphone, meaning mobile wireless.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

When I was younger, we had cellphone service in the Laurentians through analog. When we switched to digital, we lost a lot of that service. Did you have the same experience?

Mr. William Amos:

committee hansard secu 17175 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 10, 2019

2019-06-06 PROC 160

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

(1100)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning.

Welcome to the 160th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. This meeting is being held in public at the moment. The first order of business today is consideration of regulations respecting the non-attendance of members by reason of maternity or care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

We're pleased to be joined by Philippe Dufresne, the House law clerk and parliamentary counsel, and Robyn Daigle, director, members' HR services. Thank you both for being here.

Members will recall that our 48th report recommended that the Parliament of Canada Act be amended to provide members of Parliament with access to some form of pregnancy and parental leave. The legislation was subsequently amended to empower the House of Commons to make regulations. As you're aware, the Board of Internal Economy considered the matter last week and recommended that PROC consider a set of draft regulations that it unanimously endorsed.

I would note for the members that the draft regulations distributed in the morning have some slight differences from what we received from the board last week, and it's my understanding that the law clerk will explain the reasons for the changes.

With that I'll turn it over to you, Mr. Dufresne, for your opening remarks.

Mr. Philippe Dufresne (Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.[Translation]

Mr. Chair and members of the committee, following last week's letter from the Board of Internal Economy, I am pleased to appear before you today with my colleague Robyn Daigle, director of Members' Human Resources Services, to discuss the potential regulations on non-attendance related to maternity and paternity.

You will likely be familiar with this issue because, as the chair mentioned, it comes from a recommendation the committee itself issued in one of its reports presented to the House earlier in this session.[English]

Under the Parliament of Canada Act, a deduction of $120 is to be made to the sessional allowance of a member for each day the member does not attend a sitting of the House of Commons beyond 21 sitting days per session. Days in which a member is absent by reason of public or official business, illness or service in the armed forces are not computed as days of non-attendance and no deductions are made in such circumstances.

There is, however, no similar exemption if a member does not attend a sitting due to pregnancy or providing care for a newborn or a newly adopted child. Your committee considered this issue earlier in this session. In its 48th report entitled "Support for Members of Parliament with Young Children", this committee, after reviewing the relevant provisions respecting deductions for non-attendance, concluded and recommended as follows: It is the Committee’s view that a member should not be penalized monetarily for his or her absence from Parliament due to pregnancy and/or parental leave. Therefore, the Committee recommends That the minister responsible for the Parliament of Canada Act consider introducing legislation to amend section 57(3) of the Parliament of Canada Act to add that pregnancy and parental leave be reckoned as a day of attendance of the member during a parliamentary session for the purposes of tabulating deductions for non-attendance from the sessional allowance of a member. [Translation]

Following that committee recommendation, Bill C-74 was introduced in Parliament and passed. It amended the Parliament of Canada Act to authorize the two Houses of Parliament to make regulations regarding the attendance of their respective members and regarding amounts to be deducted from the sessional allowance for the parliamentarian missing meetings owing to their pregnancy or any parliamentarians missing meetings to take care of their new-born or newly adopted child.

Earlier this year, the Board of Internal Economy asked the House Administration to prepare a bill for its review. While preparing the proposal, the administration took into account the fact that members are not employees. Members hold public office and are not replaced when they are absent as would be, for example, an employee on parental leave. National emergencies or other important matters can always occur and force the member to return to the House or to take care of an issue in their riding.

So the issue before you is not a matter of leave in the strict sense. It is rather about whether absences related to maternity or paternity should be considered as less justified than those related to other motives such as illness, public or official business, or service in the armed forces.

The administration examined the rules in provincial and territorial legislative assemblies in Canada. We have also reviewed Great Britain's practice. That review helped us see that the majority of legislative assemblies allow members to miss sittings, without a financial deduction, by reason of maternity or paternity, over a definite or indefinite period of time.

(1105)

[English]

The members of the Board of Internal Economy unanimously endorsed the following proposal in terms of potential regulation: first, that no deduction be made to the sessional allowance of a pregnant member who does not attend a sitting during the period of four weeks before the due date; second, that there be no deduction to the sessional allowance of a member providing care for his or her newborn child during the period of 12 months from the child's date of birth; and, third, that there be no deduction to the sessional allowance of a member providing care for a newly adopted child during the period of 12 months from the date the child is placed with the member for the purpose of adoption.

This proposal is in line, in my view, with this committee's 48th report, presented in 2017, and with new section 59.1 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

I note that the proposal is not about a period where members will not attend at all to their parliamentary functions, but rather, as mentioned, members of Parliament are not replaced when absent. They are not in the same situation as employees and there will always be issues of either national or local importance that will warrant members and require members to attend either to Parliament or to their constituency. As such, the aim of the proposal is to make sure that no deduction is made to the sessional allowance of a member who misses a sitting of the House because the member is pregnant or providing care for his or her newborn or newly adopted child.

The document entitled “Draft Regulations”, which has been circulated to the members of the committee, contains the legal text that, if adopted by the House, would implement what is proposed. I note that we've made small editorial changes since it was first sent to the members by the board. They do not affect the substance of the proposal. We also removed the coming into force provision, presuming that the committee and the House would want the regulations to come into force immediately upon their adoption, but if the will is otherwise, a different date could be inserted.

I also note that the letter from the Board Of Internal Economy to this committee indicated that the board was also supportive of having no deductions made for the period of four weeks before the due date for a member whose partner is pregnant. In so doing, the board recognized the important role that the non-pregnant partner plays in the weeks leading up to the due date.[Translation]

That idea is certainly worth exploring. We have analyzed the provisions of the Parliament of Canada act to determine whether, in its current form, the act would make it possible to include those circumstances in the proposed regulations.

Following that analysis, I'm of the opinion that extending the application of the four-week non-deduction period to members whose spouse is pregnant would go beyond the wording of the new section 59.1 of the Parliament of Canada Act, which sets out situations where the House of Commons can make regulations. It states that non-attendance could apply to its members who are unable to attend a sitting of the House by reason of: (a) being pregnant; or (b) caring for a new-born or newly-adopted child ... or for a child placed with the member for the purpose of adoption. [English]

The English version is similarly drafted and does not include the situation of a member whose partner is pregnant, and so I note that under the existing regime a member whose partner is pregnant could still be absent prior to the due date for some or all of the 21 sitting days without any deductions.[Translation]

Under the circumstances, I am not suggesting that the committee recommend extending the application of the non-deduction period prior to the child's birth to members whose spouse is pregnant. The implementation of that suggestion would require an amendment to section 59.1 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

However, this is an important issue that is worthy of consideration. The committee could decide to explore this issue in the next session to find potential options. Those options could include legislative amendments or data analysis to clarify trends and measure the repercussions of the current rules on pregnant individuals' spouses.

(1110)

[English]

Last, the board raised the issue of vote pairing for members who are absent from the chamber for family reasons. The committee may also wish to consider this as a topic for a subsequent report.

This will conclude my presentation, but we will of course be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Chair:

Thank you very much. That adds some great clarity.

I have two things for the committee. One, I want to deal with just the recommendation first and come to a conclusion as to whatever we're going to do with this. Two, I'm going to do open rounds so anyone can ask questions, because there may be different interests here.

Madam Moore. [Translation]

Ms. Christine Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, NDP):

I would like to clarify certain aspects, to ensure that we understand the situation properly.

Let's use the example of a pregnant member whose riding is very far. If ever, as of the 28th week of pregnancy, it became very complicated for her, medically speaking, to get to Parliament, she would have to provide a medical certificate justifying her absence from the House, as far as I understand. Basically, the days in the period between the 28th week and the 36th week of pregnancy would be considered sick days. As of the 36th week, they would be considered pregnancy days.

In short, before the 36th week of pregnancy, a member's non-attendance must be justified through medical reasons that prevent her from coming to Parliament. In that case, the individual must provide a medical certificate.

Mr. Philippe Dufresne:

Yes, that's right.

In its current form, the Parliament of Canada Act already accepts absences due to illness. In any circumstances where medical or illness reasons can be established, be it related to pregnancy or not, members can miss sittings.

The idea behind the committee's recommendation is that the period leading up to the birth be included even without a medical certificate.

Ms. Christine Moore:

Great.

I want to clarify something else.

During those days of non-attendance, the member remains responsible for all the administrative aspects—so anything that cannot be delegated to employees. The member continues to fulfil their duties, such as by approving their employees' various absences and their office's spending. The whole administrative component related to the management of the member's office remains the member's responsibility, correct?

committee hansard proc 16180 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 06, 2019

2019-06-06 INDU 167

Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

(0915)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)):

Okay, everybody. We only have an hour today, so we'll skip the preliminaries and get right to it.

Welcome to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. We pursue the reference from Wednesday, May 8, on the study of M-208 on rural digital infrastructure.

Today we have with us from the CRTC, Christopher Seidl, executive director, telecommunications; Ian Baggley, director general, telecommunications; and Renée Doiron, director, broadband and network engineering.

From the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, we have Robert Ghiz, president and chief executive officer; and Eric Smith, vice-president, regulatory affairs.

From Telesat Canada we have Daniel Goldberg, president and chief executive officer; and Michele Beck, vice-president of sales, North America.

Welcome, everybody. We have a very short agenda today so you each have five minutes for your presentation and then we'll go into our rounds of questions. We'll be starting off with the CRTC, Mr. Seidl.

Mr. Christopher Seidl (Executive Director, Telecommunications, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We appreciate this opportunity to contribute to your committee's study of M-208. This study addresses important areas within the scope of Canada's telecommunications regulators, being Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada as a spectrum regulator, and the CRTC.

Reliable and accessible digital infrastructure is indispensable to individuals, public institutions and businesses of all sizes in today's world, regardless of where Canadians live.[Translation]

That's why, in December 2016, the commission announced that broadband Internet is now considered a basic telecommunications service.

The CRTC's universal service objective calls for all Canadians to have access to fixed broadband at download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 10 Mbps, as well as an unlimited data option.

As well, the latest mobile wireless technology not only needs to be available to all homes and businesses, but also along major Canadian roads. Our goal is to achieve 90% coverage by the end of 2021 and 100% as soon as possible within the following decade. We want all Canadians—in rural and remote areas as well as in urban centres—to have access to voice and broadband Internet services on fixed and mobile wireless networks so they can be connected and effectively participate in the digital economy. Reaching this goal will require the efforts of federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as of the private sector.[English]

We're taking action on multiple fronts to realize that goal. One of our most important initiatives this year is the CRTC broadband fund. The commission established the fund to improve broadband services in rural and remote regions that lack an acceptable level of access. The broadband fund will disburse up to $750 million over the first five years to build or upgrade access in transport infrastructure by fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet services in underserved areas.

The contributions to the broadband fund are collected from telecommunications service providers based on their revenue.

The fund is meant to be complementary to, but not a replacement for, existing and future private investment and public funding. Up to 10% of the annual amount will be provided to satellite-dependent communities. Special consideration may also be given to projects targeted to indigenous or official language minority communities.

Earlier this week, we launched the first call for applications for funding from the broadband fund for projects in Canada's three territories as well as in satellite-dependent communities. According to the latest data, no households north of 60 currently have access to a broadband Internet service that meets the CRTC's universal service objective. Only about one quarter of major roads in the territories are covered by LTE mobile wireless service.

The digital divide is also evident in satellite-dependent communities across the country where there is no terrestrial connectivity.

Canadian corporations of all sizes: provincial, territorial and municipal government organizations; band councils and indigenous governments with the necessary experience or a consortium composed of any of these parties can apply for funding.

The CRTC will announce the selected projects from the first call for applications in 2020. A second call, open to all types of projects and all regions in Canada, will be launched this fall.

The CRTC's fund is only one part of the work that must be accomplished by the public and private sectors. To this end, we noted in the most recent federal budget a commitment of $1.7 billion in new funding to provide high-speed Internet to all Canadians. The government intends to coordinate its activities with the provinces, territories and federal institutions such as the CRTC to maximize the impact of these investments.

We support the government's efforts to the extent we can under our mandate and status as an independent regulator.

Mr. Chairman, even with the financial support from the CRTC broadband fund or other public sources, some Internet service providers may still face challenges and barriers that limit their ability to improve broadband access in rural and remote areas.

(0920)

[Translation]

For this reason, we are planning a new proceeding related to rural broadband deployment. We will examine factors such as the availability of both rural transport services and access to support structures. These services are crucial to expand broadband Internet access and to foster competition, particularly in rural and remote areas. Extending broadband to underserved households, businesses and along major roads is an absolute necessity in every corner of the country—including rural and remote areas.

Extending broadband to underserved households, businesses and along major roads is an absolute necessity in every corner of the country—including rural and remote areas.

Access to digital technologies will enhance public safety and enable all Canadians to take advantage of existing and new and innovative digital services that are now central to their daily lives.[English]

I'd be pleased to answer any of your questions.

The Chair:

Thank you very much.

We'll move on to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

Mr. Ghiz.

Mr. Robert Ghiz (President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association):

Thank you very much.[Translation]

Good morning.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak here this morning.[English]

Motion M-208 asked this committee to study fiscal and regulatory approaches to encourage investment in rural wireless infrastructure.

Since Canada launched wireless services, Canada's facilities-based providers, the companies that invest capital to build networks and acquire spectrum rights, have embraced the challenge of building Canada's wireless network infrastructure across our country's vast and difficult geography.

To date, Canada's facilities-based wireless carriers have invested more than $50 billion to build our wireless networks. This is more, on a relative basis, than any other country in the G7 or Australia. They have also spent approximately $20 billion at spectrum auctions and in annual spectrum licence fees. Our members are also funding the new CRTC broadband fund.

As a result of these investments, Canadians enjoy the second-fastest networks in the world, twice as fast as those of the United States. According to the CRTC, 99% of Canadians have access to LTE wireless networks where they live.

While this is a great achievement, much work remains. In just the last few months we have seen announcements of significant investments that will bring increased coverage to rural areas.

For example, Bell announced expansion of its fixed wireless services to more than 30 small towns and rural communities in Ontario and Quebec. Rogers announced investments of $100 million to bring mobile wireless coverage for 1,000 kilometres of rural and remote highways across Canada. Similar investments are being made by regional wireless providers, such as Freedom Mobile, Vidéotron, Eastlink, Xplornet and SaskTel.

Unfortunately, investment, especially in rural areas, faces an uncertain future. As motion M-208 recognizes, regulation can encourage investment but can also have the opposite effect. [Translation]

Unfortunately, investment, especially in rural areas, faces an uncertain future. As motion 208 recognizes, regulation can encourage investment. But it can also have the opposite effect.[English]

Canada's telecommunications policy has long recognized the importance of facilities-based competition as the best way to encourage investment. Under policies supporting facilities-based competition, sustainable competition in the wireless retail market is starting to gain momentum, resulting in continuing growth in the number of wireless subscribers, increased data consumption, declining prices and more choice for consumers.

Equally important, ongoing investment by Canada's facilities-based carriers is continuing to expand the reach of Canada's wireless networks for both fixed and mobile wireless services. Yet at a time when the government is stressing the importance of continuing to invest in and expand wireless infrastructure and when they are introducing targeted fiscal measures towards this goal, government is considering measures that, if they proceed, will discourage investment and disproportionately harm rural Canadians.

Earlier this year, ISED issued a proposed policy direction that would direct the CRTC to give priority to the goals of increased competition and more affordable prices when making regulatory decisions. We support these goals, but we were surprised by the absence of any mention of investment in infrastructure by facilities-based carriers.

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2019-06-05 23:27 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Government bills, Third reading and adoption,

Troisième lecture et adoption

Mr. Speaker, if my friend from Provencher is so convinced that we can cut our way to growth, how is it that his government left the country completely penniless?

Monsieur le Président, si mon ami de Provencher est tellement convaincu que l'on peut exercer des compressions pour favoriser la croissance, comment se fait-il que son gouvernement ait laissé le pays sans le sou?

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr 84 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 15:26 on June 05, 2019

2019-06-05 15:11 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Drowning, Government assistance, Information dissemination, Oral questions, Pleasure craft

Aide gouvernementale, Bateaux de plaisance, Noyades, Questions orales,

Mr. Speaker, my riding, Laurentides—Labelle, has an estimated 10,800 lakes and bodies of water, and many of them are used recreationally during the summer. We are working on a number of issues concerning the management and protection of our lakes, but we hear less about boating safety.

According to the Red Cross, every year there are about 160 boating-related fatalities in Canada.

Can the Minister of Transport talk about what is being done to raise awareness about pleasure craft safety?

Monsieur le Président, on estime que ma circonscription, Laurentides—Labelle, a environ 10 800 lacs et plans d’eau, dont beaucoup sont utilisés à des fins récréatives pendant l’été. Nous travaillons à plusieurs enjeux autour de la gestion et la protection de nos lacs, mais celui dont on parle moins est la sécurité nautique.

Selon la Croix-Rouge, il y a environ 160 morts liés aux activités nautiques chaque année au Canada.

Le ministre des Transports peut-il nous dire ce qu’on fait pour la sensibilisation de la sécurité des plaisanciers?

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr qp 190 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 15:26 on June 05, 2019

2019-06-04 INDU 166

Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

(0915)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)):

Good morning, everybody.

Good morning, Mr. Allison. Welcome to our committee.

Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West, CPC):

It's good to be here.

The Chair:

And Ms. Rudd, welcome to our committee.

Ms. Kim Rudd (Northumberland—Peterborough South, Lib.):

Thank you.

The Chair:

Welcome, everybody, to meeting 166 of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, May 8, we're continuing our study of M-208 on rural digital infrastructure.

We have with us by video conference, from Left, John Lyotier, co-founder and chief executive officer of RightMesh Project; Chris Jensen, co-founder and chief executive officer of RightMesh Project; and Jason Ernst, chief networking scientist and chief technology officer, RightMesh Project.

Welcome, gentlemen, from my home town.

Dr. Jason Ernst (Chief Networking Scientist and Chief Technology Officer, RightMesh Project, Left):

Good morning.

The Chair:

You can hear us. Right?

Dr. Jason Ernst:

We can.

The Chair:

Excellent.

From Xplornet we have Christine J. Prudham, executive vice-president and general counsel.

Do you hear us, Christine?

Ms. Christine J. Prudham (Executive Vice-President, General Counsel, Xplornet Communications Inc.):

Yes. Good morning.

The Chair:

Good morning. Great, that's two for two.[Translation]

We also have Mr. André Nepton, coordinator at the Agence interrégionale de développement des technologies de l'information et des communications.

Good morning, Mr. Nepton. How are you?

Mr. André Nepton (Coordinator, Agence interrégionale de développement des technologies de l'information et des communications):

I'm fine, thank you. [English]

The Chair:

We're going to get started. We basically have five-minute presentations and then we'll get into our round of questioning.

We're going to start with Jason from Left.

Sir, you have the floor.

Mr. Chris Jensen (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RightMesh Project, Left):

Actually, it's going to be Chris from Left, but very similar.

Thank you for inviting us. We refer back to the mandate of this committee where you said that reliable and accessible digital infrastructure from broadband Internet to wireless telecommunications and beyond is essential. We're focused on the beyond part and John will tell you why.

Mr. John Lyotier (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RightMesh Project, Left):

I grew up in a small town in northern B.C., one of your classic rural communities. I was very fortunate to discover technology at an early age, which brings me here today. For the last several years I've been working on technology called RightMesh, which is mobile mesh networking technology focused on connectivity decisions around the world.

In large parts of the world, including Canada, connectivity is not sufficient. Our focus is on helping to bridge the digital divide. We know that 5G technology is not going to be sufficient in the future to address the needs of the population. There are large parts of the world where 5G will be inadequate due to cost structures, network infrastructure densities and other reasons.

We have been working on a project up in northern Canada in a town called Rigolet in northern Labrador for the last few years. Jason will talk a bit more about that.

Dr. Jason Ernst:

In Rigolet there are no cellphone towers and the throughput of the network there when we first started going there was about one megabit per second. It's now usually around two to four megabits per second, and there are still many people in the town who aren't connected. About 300 people live there and there are about a hundred houses. Many of the people don't actually have a direct connection to the Internet. So they gave us a map of everyone in the town showing the houses that have connections and the houses that are sharing with other people and the houses that aren't connected at all.

They've built this app to try to document the climate change that's going on there. They're monitoring the environment. They're documenting their experiences, but the problem is that it doesn't work very well because the Internet is so limited up there. They invited us in to try to use some of the technology we're building to be able to improve the connectivity in the town. So rather than going up through the Internet for everything, they're able to share from phone to phone to phone and offload some of the traffic from the Internet.

Some of the work that we're doing that supports this is through a Mitacs grant. We received this grant about six months ago now. It was a $2.13 million grant supporting 15 or 16 Ph.D. students and four post-docs over the next three to five years. That's mainly to help with the really technical challenges for some of this stuff, but it's also to support [Technical difficulty--Editor] within the community, doing trials and doing pilot projects up in the north.

We've also had a lot of interest from other communities in the north. This is just our first community up in Rigolet, but many of the other places in Nunatsiavut have also been interested, places like Nain. The other partner in the project, Dan Gillis from the University of Guelph—that's the main university we're working with—has also been meeting with people in Nunavut. We've also partnered with a bunch of the other universities involved in the project. The app they're building is called eNuk. It involves Memorial University and the University of Alberta. We're also working with UBC. This grant is really the way we've been bringing together universities across Canada to solve this problem in a unique way that doesn't necessarily depend on infrastructure.

We know about the types of initiatives where you can throw a lot of money out the window, build a lot of expensive infrastructure, but there are also unique ways to solve the problem using the things that people already have, the funds they already have. We're coming at it with that type of approach.

(0920)

Mr. John Lyotier:

Really from a technology standpoint, what we've created is a mesh networking software protocol that allows phones to talk to each other; so it's phone-to-phone communication. Should one person have connectivity, the entire network can have connectivity from that one person.

committee hansard indu 15510 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 04, 2019

2019-06-03 SECU 166

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1530)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

I'm calling this meeting to order.

I want to thank Minister Goodale for his presence. He is here to talk about the main estimates.

Before he starts, I want to note that this is possibly the last time the minister will appear before this particular committee. On behalf of the committee, I want to thank him not only for his attendance here, but for his willingness to co-operate with the committee and to review all of the amendments that have been put forward by this committee to him, and his willingness to accept quite a high percentage of them.

Minister, I want to thank you for your co-operation and for your relationship with the committee.

With that—

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

You mean in this Parliament, right?

The Chair:

Pardon?

Mr. David de Burgh Graham: You mean in this Parliament, right?

The Chair: Yes, in this Parliament. We're not going back to the days of Laurier or anything of that nature.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham: It's not the last time ever.

The Chair:

No. Thank you.

Minister.

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness):

Mr. Chairman, thank you for your very kind remarks. They are much appreciated, and I'm glad to be back with the committee once again, this time, of course, presenting the 2019-20 main estimates for the public safety portfolio.

To help explain all of those numbers in more detail and to answer your questions today, I am pleased to be joined by Gina Wilson, the new deputy minister of Public Safety Canada. I believe this is her first appearance before this committee. She is no stranger, of course, in the Department of Public Safety, but she has been, for the last couple of years, the deputy minister in the Department for Women and Gender Equality, a department she presided over the creation of.

With the deputy minister today, we have Brian Brennan, deputy commissioner of the RCMP; David Vigneault, director of CSIS; John Ossowski, president of CBSA; Anne Kelly, commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada; and Anik Lapointe, chief financial officer for the Parole Board of Canada.

The top priority of any government, Mr. Chair, is to keep its citizens safe and secure, and I'm very proud of the tremendous work that is being done by these officials and the employees who work following their lead diligently to serve Canadians and protect them from all manner of public threats. The nature and severity of those threats continue to evolve and change over time and, as a government, we are committed to supporting the skilled men and women who work so hard to protect us by giving them the resources they need to ensure that they can respond. The estimates, of course, are the principal vehicle for doing that.

The main estimates for 2019-20 reflect that commitment to keep Canadians safe while safeguarding their rights and freedoms. You will note that, portfolio-wide, the total authorities requested this year would result in a net increase of $256.1 million for this fiscal year, or 2.7% more than last year's main estimates. Of course, some of the figures go up and some go down, but the net result is a 2.7% increase.

One key item is an investment of $135 million in fiscal year 2019-20 for the sustainability and modernization of Canada's border operations. The second is $42 million for Public Safety Canada, the RCMP and CBSA to take action against guns and gangs. Minister Blair will be speaking in much more detail about the work being done under these initiatives when he appears before the committee.

For my part today I will simply summarize several other funding matters affecting my department, Public Safety Canada, and all of the related agencies.

The department is estimating a net spending decrease of $246.8 million this fiscal year, 21.2% less than last year. That is due to a decrease of $410.7 million in funding levels that expired last year under the disaster financial assistance arrangements. There is another item coming later on whereby the number goes up for the future year. You have to offset those two in order to follow the flow of the cash. That rather significant drop in the funding for the department itself, 21.2%, is largely due to that change in the DFAA, for which the funding level expired in 2018-19.

There was also a decrease of some $79 million related to the completion of Canada's presidency of the G7 in the year 2018.

These decreases are partially offset by a number of funding increases, including a $25-million grant to Avalanche Canada to support its life-saving safety and awareness efforts; $14.9 million for infrastructure projects related to security in indigenous communities; $10.1 million in additional funding for the first nations policing program; and $3.3 million to address post-traumatic stress injuries affecting our skilled public safety personnel.

(1535)



The main estimates also reflect measures announced a few weeks ago in budget 2019. For Public Safety Canada, that is, the department, these include $158.5 million to improve our ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters in Canada, including in indigenous communities, of which $155 million partially offsets that reduction in DFAA that I just referred to.

There's also $4.4 million to combat the truly heinous and growing crime of child sexual exploitation online.

There is $2 million for the security infrastructure program to continue to help communities at risk of hate-motivated crime to improve their security infrastructure.

There is $2 million to support efforts to assess and respond to economic-based national security threats, and there's $1.8 million to support a new cybersecurity framework to protect Canada's critical infrastructure, including in the finance, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors.

As you know, in the 2019 federal budget, we also announced $65 million as a one-time capital investment in the STARS air rescue system to acquire new emergency helicopters. That important investment does not appear in the 2019-20 main estimates because it was accounted for in the 2018-19 fiscal year, that is, before this past March 31.

Let me turn now to the 2019-20 main estimates for the other public safety portfolio organizations, other than the department itself.

I'll start with CBSA, which is seeking a total net increase this fiscal year of $316.9 million. That's 17.5% over the 2018-19 estimates. In addition to that large sustainability and modernization for border operations item that I previously mentioned, some other notable increases include $10.7 million to support activities related to the immigration levels plan that was announced for the three years 2018 to 2020. Those things include security screening, identity verification, the processing of permanent residents when they arrive at the border and so forth—all the responsibilities of CBSA.

There's an item for $10.3 million for the CBSA's postal modernization initiative, which is critically important at the border. There is $7.2 million to expand safe examination sites, increase intelligence and risk assessment capacity and enhance the detector dog program to give our officers the tools they need to combat Canada's ongoing opioid crisis.

There's also approximately $100 million for compensation and employee benefit plans related to collective bargaining agreements.

Budget 2019 investments affecting CBSA main estimates this year include a total of $381.8 million over five years to enhance the integrity of Canada's borders and the asylum system. While my colleague Minister Blair will provide more details on this, the CBSA would be receiving $106.3 million of that funding in this fiscal year.

Budget 2019 also includes $12.9 million to ensure that immigration and border officials have the resources to process a growing number of applications for Canadian visitor visas and work and study permits.

There is $5.6 million to increase the number of detector dogs deployed across the country in order to protect Canada's hog farmers and meat processors from the serious economic threat posed by African swine fever.

Also, there's $1.5 million to protect people from unscrupulous immigration consultants by improving oversight and strengthening compliance and enforcement measures.

I would also note that the government announced through the budget its intention to introduce the legislation necessary to expand the role of the RCMP's Civilian Review and Complaints Commission so it can also serve as an independent review body for CBSA. That proposed legislation, Bill C-98, was introduced in the House last month.

(1540)



I will turn now to the RCMP. Its estimates for 2019-20 reflect a $9.2-million increase over last year's funding levels. The main factors contributing to that change include increases of $32.8 million to compensate members injured in the performance of their duties, $26.6 million for the initiative to ensure security and prosperity in the digital age, and $10.4 million for forensic toxicology in Canada's new drug-impaired driving regime.

The RCMP's main estimates also reflect an additional $123 million related to budget 2019, including $96.2 million to strengthen the RCMP's overall policing operations, and $3.3 million to ensure that air travellers and workers at airports are effectively screened on site. The increases in funding to the RCMP are offset by certain decreases in the 2019-20 main estimates, including $132 million related to the completion of Canada's G7 presidency in 2018 and $51.7 million related to sunsetting capital infrastructure projects.

I will now move to the Correctional Service of Canada. It is seeking an increase of $136 million, or 5.6%, over last year's estimates. The two main factors contributing to the change are a $32.5-million increase in the care and custody program, most of which, $27.6 million, is for employee compensation, and $95 million announced in budget 2019 to support CSC's custodial operations.

The Parole Board of Canada is estimating a decrease of approximately $700,000 in these main estimates or 1.6% less than the amount requested last year. That's due to one-time funding received last year to assist with negotiated salary adjustments. There is also, of course, information in the estimates about the Office of the Correctional Investigator, CSIS and other agencies that are part of my portfolio. I simply make the point that this is a very busy portfolio and the people who work within Public Safety Canada and all the related agencies carry a huge load of public responsibilities in the interests of public safety. They always put public safety first while at the same time ensuring that the rights and freedoms of Canadians are properly protected.

With that, Mr. Chair, my colleagues and I would be happy to try to answer your questions.

(1545)

The Chair:

committee hansard secu 34724 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on June 03, 2019

2019 June newsletter / infolettre juin 2019

A Word From David

Dear friends,

There have been two principal objectives to my time in office: see what Canada can do for the Laurentians, and to show how the Laurentians is a leader across Canada.

I was born at the Sainte-Agathe hospital and grew up in neighbouring Sainte-Lucie. My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents on both side were closely connected to the Laurentians. This is my home and I am very proud to be from here. We are a community that comes together, works together, and finds solutions.

We are the first community in the history of Canada to have a universal public Internet access project categorised and funded by the federal government as infrastructure, for all residences in Antoine-Labelle. We are the number one tourist region outside of the big cities in Quebec. We have innovative companies that are active internationally. Many of our fellow citizens are doing us proud all over the world in sports and in cultural activities.

But for a generation, we had federal representatives whose principal objective was to show that the federal government could not work, could not be a part of our region, that Canada was a fundamentally bad idea.

Over the past four years, in partnership with people working in the provincial government, in the three MRCs of our territory, in each of our 43 municipalities and especially with you, we have demonstrated that we are, in fact, stronger working together than we are working against each other. We have managed to bring major, serious, real Internet access solutions to communities in every MRC in Laurentides— Labelle. The struggle of an entire generation culminated in the creation of a sports centre in Pays-d’en-Haut. We have helped lift thousands of children in the region out of poverty and maximized programs to support seniors. And while the solutions are not always easy, we continue to work and make progress on critical issues: protecting our lakes and rivers and doing everything we can to combat climate change so as to preserve and protect our environment.

We can realistically say that this federal partnership has brought more to our region than we have seen in decades. We must work together to protect our social fabric. We have a duty to do so, in order to keep it healthy for future generations. We are stronger when we work together. Laurentides–Labelle is proof of this!

- David

Mot de David

Chers amis,

Parmi les objectifs que je me suis fixé depuis le début de mon mandat, deux me tiennent à cœur: démontrer ce que le Canada peut offrir dans la région des Laurentides, et démontrer comment la région des Laurentides est un leader d’un bout à l’autre du Canada.

Je suis à né à l’hôpital de Sainte-Agathe et j’ai grandi dans le village voisin de Sainte-Lucie. Mes parents, mes grands-parents et mes arrière-grands-parents étaient tous liés intimement à la région. Je suis d’ici et j’en suis fier. Collectivement, nous formons une communauté qui sait comment s’unir et travailler ensemble pour trouver des solutions.

La communauté qui compose la MRC au nord de la circonscription est la première, dans l’histoire du Canada, qui déploie un projet d’accès à Internet reconnu comme un projet public d’infrastructure et financé en ce sens. À l’exception de la métropole et de la Capitale nationale, nous sommes la région touristique numéro un au Québec. Nous avons des entreprises innovantes qui sont présentes sur la scène internationale. Plusieurs de nos concitoyens nous font honneur partout dans le monde sur les scènes sportives et culturelles.

Mais durant toute une génération, nos députés fédéraux avaient comme principal objectif de démontrer que le fédéral ne peut pas fonctionner, qu’il ne peut pas faire partie intégrante de notre région. Ils s’assuraient de faire obstruction au travail du gouvernement pour les citoyens, en disant que le Canada est en soi un concept impossible ou une mauvaise idée.

Depuis quatre ans, en partenariat avec les gens qui œuvrent au gouvernement provincial, au sein des trois MRC de notre territoire, dans chacune de nos 43 municipalités et surtout avec chacun d’entre vous, nous avons démontré que nous sommes plus forts unis que lorsque nous nous opposons. Nous travaillons à mettre en place des vraies solutions pour un vrai accès Internet sur tout le territoire de Laurentides—Labelle. Le combat de toute une génération culmine pour l’obtention d’un centre sportif dans les Pays-d’en-Haut. Nous avons contribué à ce que des milliers d’enfants de la région puissent sortir de la pauvreté et avons maximisé des programmes de soutien aux aînés. Et malgré qu’ils soient parfois difficiles à régler, nous continuons à travailler et progresser dans les enjeux primordiaux – protéger nos plans d’eau et tout mettre en œuvre pour lutter contre les changements climatiques afin de préserver et valoriser notre environnement.

Nous pouvons, de façon réaliste, affirmer que ce partenariat fédéral a apporté plus dans notre région que tout ce qui avait été fait au cours des dernières décennies. Nous devons travailler ensemble à protéger notre tissu social. Nous avons le devoir de le faire, afin de le garder en santé pour les prochaines générations. Nous sommes plus forts lorsque nous travaillons ensemble. Laurentides—Labelle en est la preuve !

- David

KNOWING OUR REGION: from the past to the present...

There is an adage that goes: “You have to know where you come from to know where you’re going.” In recent years, my father, local historian Joseph Graham, has presented different elements of our regional history through this newsletter. For this edition, he takes us back to another century, when people’s biggest fears were disease, fire and the wrath of the clergy. Enjoy!

CONNAÎTRE NOTRE RÉGION : d’hier à aujourd’hui

Il y a un adage qui dit: « il faut savoir d’où l’on vient pour savoir où l’on va ». Au cours des dernières années, mon père, l’historien local Joseph Graham, nous a présenté différents pans de notre histoire régionale via cette Infolettre. Pour cette édition, il nous ramène à un autre siècle, alors que les maladies, le feu et les foudres du clergé étaient les principales craintes des citoyens. Bonne lecture !

Consecration by Fire and Faith

The summer of 1907 promised great things for Sainte-Agathe. After four years of planning and hard work, the new stone church, modelled on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, was to be inaugurated. Mgr. J. Thomas Duhamel, Archbishop of Ottawa, who had long conspired with Curé Antoine Labelle to create a new diocese in the Laurentians, would come personally to consecrate the church. The parish had raised $75,000, the price of a hospital, to finance the construction, and the event was set for August 22. Nothing could dampen the excitement.

Spring weather has always been unpredictable. Wednesday June 12 started off cold and gusty. Joseph Saint-Louis decided to keep the gasoline heater going in his barbershop on Rue Principale in SainteAgathe. The warmth might draw people in for a haircut.

The wind became violent after lunch and it blew the fire back down the chimney. Within minutes, the whole building was engulfed in flames, fed by the explosion of gasoline from the stove. It licked its way out of the building and the wind carried it south-east, away from the lake. By the time the volunteer firemen arrived on the scene, it was working its way along both sides of the street. Four buildings had already been lost as the fire raged towards the old wooden church, right next to the new one. Around four o’clock, Archbishop Duhamel arrived from a pastoral visit along with the parish priest. Seeing the state of affairs, they joined the women and children in the old church to lead them in prayer, asking God to intervene. Mayor H. A. Bélisle, having less faith, used the modern telegraph to send an emergency message to Saint-Jérôme.

Commandeering the railway, the Saint-Jérôme fire brigade set a new record, making the trip in only 53 minutes, ready to fight the blaze. But according to contemporary accounts, the priests, women and children praying in the wooden church had the problem in hand. As the flames approached the church, the winds turned around, driving the fire north-west towards the lake, taking 20 more houses with it. Their prayers had been answered; God had intervened. By the time the Saint-Jérôme brigade arrived, all they had left to do was help finish putting out the embers. Dr. Edmond Grignon, who recorded the incidents surrounding this devastating fire, makes no mention of casualties, although there must have been at least some injuries. He, like other parishioners, was not going to let the huge, black scar between the church and the lake dampen down enthusiasm for the consecration of the new church.

God played a big role in those times and the good doctor could write of His intervention with complete conviction, never questioning the wind that blew the fire across town and back. I can’t help but wonder, if I had been standing there after the 1907 fire, would I have believed that the archbishop’s prayers had induced God to redirect the wind?

The archbishop returned to consecrate the new church on August 22, along with the priests of almost every parish between Saint-Jérôme and Aylmer. The whole town, right down to the youngest children, dressed all in their finery, were waiting at the station from long before the train arrived. It was a sunny August day, perfect weather for such a grand event.

Nearly 112 years later, the lake's wind continues to blow softly and the sun shines brightly on this monument that reminds us of the bond that was once very strong between the Laurentians and its beliefs.

- Joseph Graham

Une consécration par le feu et la prière

L’été 1907 s’annonçait bien à Sainte-Agathe. Après quatre ans de planification et d’efforts, la nouvelle église de pierre, inspirée de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, allait être bientôt inaugurée. Pour la construire, la paroisse avait réussi à amasser 75 000$, l’équivalent du même coût que pour construire un hôpital. L’archevêque d’Ottawa, Mgr J. Thomas Duhamel, qui souhaitait depuis longtemps, comme le curé Antoine Labelle, qu’un nouveau diocèse soit créé dans les Laurentides, allait lui-même venir inaugurer l’église. L’événement, prévu le 22 août, suscitait déjà beaucoup d’enthousiasme.

La météo printanière avait toujours été impossible à prédire et le mercredi 12 juin s’annonçait frais et venteux. Dans l’espoir d’attirer quelques clients, le barbier Joseph Saint-Louis décida de laisser marcher son poêle à essence dans sa boutique de la rue Principale. Au début de l’après-midi, le vent, devenu violent, refoula à l’intérieur de la cheminée et déclencha l’explosion du poêle.

En quelques minutes, tout le bâtiment est la proie des flammes. Le vent, soufflant depuis le lac des Sables, transporte l’incendie vers le sud-est. Le temps que les pompiers arrivent, le feu fait rage des deux côtés de la rue. Quatre bâtiments sont déjà ravagés, et le brasier se propage vers la vieille église en bois, située à côté de la nouvelle. Vers 16 heures, l’archevêque Duhamel et le curé Corbeil, reviennent d’une tournée paroissiale et devant l’ampleur de la situation, rassemblent les femmes et les enfants dans la vieille église, les invitant à prier Dieu d’agir. Le maire H.A. Bélisle, un peu moins fervent, envoie de toute urgence un message par télégraphe vers Saint-Jérôme. Les pompiers de cette ville réquisitionnent alors le chemin de fer et arrivent en un temps record, soit 53 minutes !

Selon les témoignages de l’époque, les femmes et les enfants en prière ont toutefois les choses bien en main. Les flammes s’approchent de l’église, mais le vent finit par tourner et pousse le feu au nord-ouest, vers le lac, emportant une vingtaine d’autres maisons au passage. Les prières des fidèles sont exaucées : Dieu est intervenu.

Quand les pompiers de SaintJérôme arrivent, il ne reste plus qu’à éteindre les braises. Le docteur Edmond Grignon, qui a consigné les circonstances de cet incendie dévastateur, ne parle pas de victimes, mais il y a probablement bien dû y avoir quelques blessés. Comme les autres paroissiens, il refuse de laisser la grande traînée noire qui s’étend de l’église au lac refroidir leur enthousiasme à la veille de la consécration de la nouvelle église.

La relation à Dieu était très présente à l’époque, et le bon docteur n’hésite pas à parler avec conviction d’une intervention divine, sans jamais mentionner le vent qui a entraîné puis repoussé l’incendie. Si j’avais été sur place, en cette journée de 1907, est-ce que j’aurais cru moi aussi que les prières avaient convaincu Dieu de faire tourner le vent ?

L’archevêque et les prêtres de presque toutes les paroisses entre Saint -Jérôme et Aylmer arrivent le 22 août, pour consacrer et inaugurer la nouvelle église. Bien avant que le train entre en gare, tous les villageois, du plus jeune au plus vieux, les attendent sur le quai, tirés à quatre épingles. Le soleil brille et il fait un temps parfait pour ce grand événement.

Près de 112 ans plus tard, le vent du lac continue de souffler doucement et le soleil de briller ardemment sur ce monument qui rappelle l’union de la communauté laurentienne et le pouvoir des croyances populaires.

- Joseph Graham

View the original publication.

Voir la publication originale.

history newsletter 2184 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:42 on June 01, 2019

2019-05-30 RNNR 137

Standing Committee on Natural Resources

(1530)

[English]

The Vice-Chair (Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)):

I would like to bring this meeting to order and recognize Mr. Whalen.

Mr. Nick Whalen (St. John's East, Lib.):

Thank you, Ms. Stubbs.

In light of your motion, consideration of which was postponed on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, and which I understand you would like to debate now, I move for unanimous consent that David de Burgh Graham be appointed as acting chair of the committee for the duration of the consideration of Ms. Stubbs' motion only.

Do we have unanimous consent?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.)):

On the discussion, Ms. Stubbs.

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC):

Thank you, Chair.

I appreciate the opportunity to be able to revisit this motion today. To remind everybody of the subject that we're talking about, I'll read the motion that I moved on April 30: That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee immediately invite the Minister of Natural Resources to appear before the committee on June 20, 2019, for no less than a full meeting, to advise the Committee of the government's plan to build the Trans Mountain Expansion; and that this meeting be televised.

I hope that this motion will receive support from all members of this natural resources committee. I want to make the case for why it's important and why I'm confident that we'll have the minister here to explain to Canadians exactly what the next steps will be after the June 18 decision.

Of course, the Trans Mountain expansion was already approved by the independent expert National Energy Board and then by the current Liberal government three years ago, and was recently recommended for approval a second time by the independent expert regulator. However, not a single inch of the Trans Mountain expansion has actually been built to date.

The majority of British Columbians, Albertans, Canadians and also indigenous communities directly impacted by the Trans Mountain expansion support it. However, the issue around the Trans Mountain expansion has become about more than just the pipeline itself, and even more than about the long-term sustainability of Canada's world-class oil and gas sector, which is, of course, the biggest Canadian export and the biggest private-sector investor in the Canadian economy. This is especially given the almost unprecedented flight of capital from the Canadian energy sector in the last three years, and the news again this week that yet another oil and gas operator in Canada has been bought out and will be leaving the country.

It's really about confidence in Canada, about the ability to build big projects and to ensure that major investment can be retained in Canada, and that when big projects are approved in the national interest, they can then go ahead and be built.

I want to make the case to all of my colleagues here that on June 18, Canadians expect, and I'm confident, that the Liberals will again approve the Trans Mountain expansion in the best interests of all of Canada.

However, I think at the same time that the Liberals must also present a concrete plan on how and when the Trans Mountain expansion will be built. I think it's the least that the Liberals owe Canadians, since they've spent $4.5 billion in tax dollars on the existing pipeline and said that would ensure the expansion would be built immediately.

I hope that the natural resources minister will join us to answer outstanding questions, like what will the Liberals do in response to immediate court challenges from anti-energy activists that will be launched as soon as the Trans Mountain expansion is approved again? What will the cost be to taxpayers? How will that litigation take place? How exactly will the Liberals exert federal jurisdiction to prevent construction from being obstructed or delayed by say, weaponizing bylaws and permits by other levels of government or other measures that other levels of government might take? When will construction start? When will it be completed? When will the Trans Mountain expansion be in service? What will be the total cost to taxpayers? What's the plan for ongoing operation and ownership of the Trans Mountain expansion? Will there be a private sector proponent? Will taxpayers be expected to provide a backstop for the costs?

There has been an ongoing discussion, started about a year ago and more recently, about potential split ownership between an investment fund and perhaps an indigenous-owned organization. I think we all know that there are at least four organizations seeking indigenous purchase and ownership of the Trans Mountain expansion right now. I hope that the Liberals will be able to answer how that will work.

If that is a possibility, will there be transparent and regular reporting to Canadians about both the progress of construction and also the total costs incurred? Will there be dividends paid to Canadians if the ownership of the Trans Mountain expansion is transferred and purchased by somebody else, since of course every single Canadian now owns the pipeline because of the Liberal's $4.5-billion expenditure?

I think those are, at the very least, a number of the issues that need to be addressed immediately after June 18, when we all hope and are confident that the Trans Mountain expansion will be approved by the Liberals once again.

(1535)



That's why I hope all members will support the natural resources minister's coming to committee on June 20 to let all Canadians know those answers.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham):

Thank you, Ms. Stubbs.

Mr. Schmale.

Mr. Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC):

Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's good to see you there.

I had quite a bit to say, actually, but I do get the impression that there might be a positive response on the other side, so I will just support what Shannon Stubbs has said. I do agree with everything she has said. Hopefully, we can get some progress on this and, hopefully, the Liberals will support this motion and Canadians will be able to get a view of what the government's plan is to build that Trans Mountain expansion.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham):

Mr. Whalen.

Mr. Nick Whalen:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

While I, obviously, take some issue with a lot of the axioms that underpin Ms. Stubbs' motion, the motion itself is largely fine.

I do want to reassure her that in a similar context, when investors had pulled out of the Hibernia oil field development back in the eighties and nineties, Canada came in and invested, and it turned out to be one of the best investments, from a return-on-capital perspective, that the Government of Canada ever made. Those investments now are, under the Atlantic Accord, paid back to Newfoundland and Labrador on an ongoing basis for the life of the field. Ultimately, I would like to see, at some point, a situation where British Columbians and Albertans get to benefit from this what I hope will be an excellent investment.

I also take some issue with the concerns about foreign direct investment because, of course, Canada's been a world leader in that now during our tenure in government.

Missing from her statement, of course, was Tsleil-Waututh Nation et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al—the citation for that at the Federal Court of Appeal is 2018 FCA 153—which makes it pretty clear where the problems lie and whose process failed and had the injunction that required Canada to step in to save Albertans and this project.

We would be delighted to have the minister come to speak to all these matters and be able to give Canadians confidence that this was the right decision.

In fact, Ms. Stubbs has said June 20, 2019. I would propose to amend that slightly because it may be possible to do it earlier, and we would actually like to make it clear that it will happen as soon as possible following the announcement on the decision.

If she would accept that friendly amendment that he appear before the committee as soon as possible following the announcement of the decision by the Government of Canada on TMX....

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham):

Ms. Stubbs, is that a friendly amendment?

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:

I think it would be at little...to just say “on or before” June 20 since the decision is supposed to be rendered on June 18.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David de Burgh Graham):

Mr. Whalen.

Mr. Nick Whalen:

Is it on June 18, 19, 20 or 21? I have no idea. I can't tell you what day it's going to be.

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:

committee hansard rnnr 9196 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 30, 2019

2019-05-30 PROC 158

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

(1105)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning. Welcome to the 158th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(a)(iii) and the motion adopted on May 16, we are studying several proposed changes to the Standing Orders.

Today we are pleased to be joined by Frank Baylis, member of Parliament for Pierrefonds—Dollard, as well as Elizabeth May, member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands and leader of the Green Party of Canada. Thank you both for being here.

I would just remind members that we've set some precedents on this committee, new ideas. One is the Simms protocol, and another one for today's meeting is that, probably for the first time ever, we're giving the witnesses unlimited time as opposed to a 10-minute limit.

We're going to start with Mr. Baylis and then go to Ms. May.

Mr. Frank Baylis (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.):

Thank you, Chair.

First of all, I'd like to express my gratitude to PROC for agreeing to look at this motion, to Mr. Christopherson for presenting it and to everybody on PROC who had an open mind. I understand that agreement isn't to say we accept it or we agree with everything in the motion, but that you would have a serious look at it. I'm very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.

Two things brought me to bring this motion forward. Since I arrived here, I was shocked, and I think anybody I spoke to was shocked, at the lack of civility and decorum in the House and lack of productive debate. I don't believe any one party or one person is to blame. I think we all share a little of the responsibility.

I spent the first year or two asking people, talking to people, trying to cajole people to be a little politer or have better debates. And I realized at some point that it was no longer paying. It was better to have confrontation than collaboration. That had happened over time. There had been changes and things had progressed away from how we used to run the place to a point where now it was better to have confrontation.

We probably need to look at our Standing Orders. This phenomenon of consolidation of power into the centre is not new. It's not unique to Canada. Professors will tell you what they call the third wave of autocratization, as we heard at one of our committees with Ms. Kusie.

In any system, democracy is always in a constant battle with autocracy. As we see right now in the world, many great nations are moving toward autocracy. We can see this in one place where a leader has named himself dictator for life. We see another great nation where a leader is a dictator in all but name because they have the pretenses of elections, and we see another nation where another leader is constantly attacking the very foundations of their democracy. And we see that in so many countries.

Here in Canada we don't have a leader who's done this, but over time power has been centralized, seeped inward towards what we call the PMO or the OLO. With this pulling together of power, many things have happened. The role of the MP has been slightly modified. The role of the Speaker has been drastically changed. Citizens have been disenfranchised.

People often say to me that when we brought the cameras in, that's when it all got bad. I don't believe that for a second. I looked at many ideas. One of the ideas was if we had cameras on everybody all the time, I bet you it would change overnight. It was explained that can't be done because we have certain rules that the camera can only be on a person speaking.

I looked at how they run the audiovisuals. That rule is such that bad behaviour can go unpunished because it's never seen.

For example, the Senate moved and they now have the right to show all camera angles. They said it makes for much better, much more interesting TV, but it's also going to have an impact. One of my ideas was let's put cameras everywhere and if someone is behaving badly all the time, everybody will know that. I didn't use that idea here. Why? Because we're in politics and we look at the art of the possible.

I read all the ideas that had been presented over the last dozen years or so. Then I chewed on it; I thought about it and then I tried to say what is doable. I considered low-hanging fruit. I thought this motion was very simple.

Many people have said to me this is way too big, it's way too much. I don't think it is, and I'm going to challenge all of you in PROC to look at it from that perspective.

Serendipitously, you have just done a study on second chambers, and the majority of this motion turns around the implementation of a second chamber, so I don't think we need to do another study on a second chamber. I believe you have done a good study. If you've done a study on a second chamber, you can now ask yourselves whether you should try or not bother trying it. Or you could say, “Let's do another study again next Parliament”, but if you're going to do another study again next Parliament, I would challenge you to ask what questions you didn't ask during this Parliament, in your study right now. I believe we're ready to try something.

What is it that I'm proposing and how did I come to these packages? There are three areas where I want to take power that's been centralized over time and just decentralize it. At this point, I want to say none of these ideas are new, except for one part of one idea, and that's the one I'm getting the most push-back on. That was my idea, so I'm pretty sure it won't make the cut. Having said that, none of these ideas are mine, number one.

Number two, I didn't write most of this motion.

Here I'd like to stop to say thank you to the people who did do it. First of all, I'd like to thank Scott Reid, and especially his assistant, Dennis Laurie. They did the brunt of the work writing the whole section on a second chamber.

I'd like to thank Michael Chong, because he collaborated a lot and he's very knowledgeable on issues of decorum, powers of the Speaker, and how things changed over time.

I'd like to thank Daniel Blaikie and Murray Rankin, because they took the ideas that had been proposed by Kennedy Stewart, who had taken these ideas from the United Kingdom about how to give citizens the right to bring matters of debate into Parliament.

I'd like to thank David Graham, because he looked at ideas for how to make it fairer for people who are doing private members' business to have their chance, because sometimes you may have people who have been elected three times and they never get up, but someone who was elected once gets up. There's a core unfairness in how we do private members' business, and he had ideas about that, which I incorporated.

I'd like to thank Scott Simms, because he studied how the United Kingdom has strengthened its committees and brought those ideas into the package.

Obviously, I'd like to thank Elizabeth May, because as everybody knows, she has been a strong voice for strengthening Parliament overall, for changing—or even, I would say, honouring—our rules. She'll speak a bit about that idea in a moment.

I thank all those people. I also recognize that none of those ideas are new; none of them have not been debated; none of them have not been studied. To hear the argument that it's too much, I tell you now, if you're going to make a second chamber today, tomorrow, in a year or 10 years from now, it'll be a big motion. You can't get around that. You have to write it.

What's inside the actual motion now? The first thing is the Speaker, powers to the Speaker. The Speaker has the name “Speaker” for a simple reason: in every Westminster system, including ours, up until the 1980s and early 1990s, the Speaker has decided who speaks. It seems pretty reasonable. He's not called “the reader of the list”; he's called the Speaker, because his job is to decide who speaks. It's that simple. I'd like him to do his job. I think we all want him to do his job. If he does his job, two things will happen: decorum will shoot up, because he'll have a carrot and a stick to let people who are behaving speak and let people who are not behaving not speak. The second thing is that debate will improve. This is how it's done in every other Westminster system. We are unique: We are wrong.

I spoke at length with other Speakers—I spoke at length with our longest-serving Speaker, Mr. Peter Milliken—and they all agree that this is a perversion of the system and it should be put back to the way it was.

How did it happen? There was a lady, Madam Jeanne Sauvé, who couldn't see very far, and she asked for help with people at a distance who might be getting up to speak, so they were giving her a few names.

(1110)



There was another speaker—I won't give his name—who was not that interested in doing his job, and said, “Can you just make it easier for me? Just put them in alphabetical order, or whatever, and just....”

Then, over time, the whips decided we had more power, and the whips got stricter with the lists, until something happened in the previous government where a ruling had to be made about what the powers of the whips, the House leadership and the Speaker really were.

We need to put it back the way it was, and the way it should be. That's number one.

The second thing is powers to the citizens—a simple idea. Bruce Stanton mentioned this when he came and spoke about the second chamber. In the United Kingdom, if they reach the threshold of 100,000 signatures on a petition, it gets debated in their second chamber. Of note is that these are the debates that everybody watches. This is what people care about. This is what their citizens watch.

We took that number of 100,000 and made it 25% higher by population so that we don't have any spurious debates, and we ensured that anything that meets that threshold would still come to PROC to be looked at, to make sure it's not some silly thing, or something that's already been debated. As long as it hasn't, it would get a take-note debate in the second chamber.

That would re-engage our citizens to say, “Hey, I have a say in what goes on. It's not just once every four years that you ask me my opinion. If I really care about, say, the salmon run in B.C., and it's really important to me, and I have 70,000 other Canadians who say it's really important, then I want to hear Parliament express themselves.” They'll get a chance to do it. They'll engage themselves. Just like what happened in the United Kingdom, they'll be more engaged in their democracy.

The third thing is powers to the members of Parliament.

Again, over time there has been a degradation of power and a degradation of the role of the member of Parliament, who is a representative of her constituents. When she is elected and has to come to Ottawa, she is elected under a banner. We have to always answer the balance. I'm elected as an NDP/Liberal/Conservative/Green Party, but I'm also elected because I'm Frank Baylis, or Elizabeth May or Linda Lapointe. I have to balance what my citizens want with what I think, sometimes, is morally right, and with what the party wants.

But I am not elected as a trained seal, to simply do each and every time exactly what the party demands. If so, then they don't need any of us. We have no role to play, if that is our role. If I say that all I do in my job is to vote 100% the way the party votes, every single time, well, great, they don't actually need me. They'll just take the percentages, do the math and get out of the way.

We have a role to play. We have a role to play sometimes if enough of our constituents.... And this has happened to me. A lot of them wrote to me on a certain subject, and I said, “Okay, I have to listen to them. I'm not going to vote with my party on something here, because I'm going to represent them.”

This is our role. We need to give our members of Parliament their power back. How do we do that?

We looked, first of all, at our ability to bring private members' bills forward. Right now, it's fundamentally unfair. If you're lucky, you may get one. If you're unlucky, you won't get one. If you're half lucky, like me, you might get your first hour, which you might blow; but that's another question.

There might a lesson there. I haven't found it yet.

Voices: Oh, oh!

(1115)

The Chair:

committee hansard proc 31093 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 30, 2019

2019-05-30 INDU 165

Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

(0845)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)):

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to meeting 165 of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), we're resuming our study of the main estimates 2019-20.

With us today we have the honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.

Welcome, Minister. Thank you for coming today.

From the Department of Industry we have David McGovern, Associate Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

You have up to 10 minutes to tell us your story.

Hon. Kirsty Duncan (Minister of Science and Sport):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Esteemed committee members, thank you for the opportunity to be here on the occasion of the tabling of the main estimates for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Science research and evidence-based decision-making matter. They matter more than ever as the voices that seek to undermine science, evidence and fact continue to grow.

Canadians understand that science and research lead to a better environment—cleaner air, cleaner water—new medical treatments or cures, stronger communities, and new and effective technologies.

Our talented researchers and students are developing robotic devices to help people recover from strokes and injuries, making it easier for seniors and persons with disabilities to lead fully independent lives.[Translation]

Researchers are also developing vaccines and technologies to combat infectious diseases.[English]

Canadians understand that science and research are essential to innovation and to the foundations of a 21st century economy. At the same time, the world's top economies systematically invest in research for its own sake.[Translation]

The growth of modern economies has been driven largely by science, technology and engineering.[English]

Investments in fundamental research come back to Canadians in the form of new jobs and higher wages. It's for these many reasons that our government has prioritized science and research since day one. We reinstated the long-form census, encouraged our scientists to speak freely and reinstated the position of the chief science adviser.

I requested that Canada's chief science adviser work with science-based departments to create departmental chief scientist positions in order to strengthen science advice to government and to develop a scientific integrity policy.

We have taken a very different approach in working with the science and research community. We have listened carefully to the community and have undertaken six major consultations.[Translation]

One of those consultations was the first review of federal funding for basic science in 40 years.[English]

We are committed to returning science and research to their rightful place. Four successive federal budgets have invested a total of more than $10 billion in science and research and in our researchers and students. We are putting them at the centre of everything we do. That means ensuring they have the necessary funding, state-of-the-art labs and tools, and digital tools to make discoveries and innovations.

(0850)

[Translation]

We invested $4 billion in science and research in 2018.[English]

This included the largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history. In fact, we increased funding to the granting councils by 25% after 10 years of stagnant funding. The impact of this decision was profound and positive. We are hearing directly from researchers who say that because of increases to NSERC and SSHRC, they are able to hire students who gain the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

We provided $2 billion for 300 research and innovation infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions from coast to coast to coast. We also invested $763 million over five years in the Canada Foundation for Innovation and have committed predictable, sustainable, long-term funding for the organization.

We also devoted $2.8 billion to renewing our federal science laboratories because we understand the critical role that government researchers play in Canada's science and research community.

In parallel to these historic investments, our government is making important changes to the research system itself. We will shortly announce the establishment of the council on science and innovation to help strengthen Canada's efforts to stimulate innovation across our country's economy. Minister Petitpas Taylor and I have already announced the establishment of the Canada research coordinating committee to better coordinate and harmonize programs of the three federal granting councils—CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC—as well as the CFI.

The Canada research coordinating committee's action over the last year has led to the creation of the new frontiers in research fund, which supports international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and high-reward research.

The committee also launched the first-ever dialogue with first nations, Métis and Inuit regarding research. We provided 116 research connection grants to support community workshops and the development of position papers to inform this effort. More than half of these grants were awarded to indigenous researchers and indigenous not-for-profit organizations to help chart a shared path to reconciliation.

As we put into place the foundations for this significant culture change, we vowed that each and every Canadian would benefit.[Translation]

To achieve our vision, the scientific and research communities must reflect Canada's diversity.[English]

We want as many people as possible experiencing our world-class institutions, but it is not enough to attract people. We also have to retain them. That's why I put in place new equity and diversity requirements for our internationally recognized Canada excellence research chairs and Canada research chairs.

Because of our changes, more than half of the Canada excellence research chairs resulting from the last competition are women. I'm thrilled to say that in the most recent competition, for the first time in Canadian history, we had 50% women nominated for the Canada research chairs, and we had the highest percentage of indigenous and racialized researchers and scholars, as well as researchers with a disability.

Earlier this month, we took the historic step of launching a program that we are calling “Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada”.[Translation]

This is a pilot program inspired by the internationally recognized Athena SWAN program.[English]

We are encouraging universities, colleges, polytechnics and CEGEPs to endorse the dimensions charter to signal their commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to equal opportunities, treatment and recognition in our post-secondary institutions. I am pleased to share that 32 institutions have already signed the charter.

We have repeatedly heard that inadequate parental leave creates many challenges, especially for early-career researchers who are women.

(0855)

[Translation]

No one should ever have to choose between having a research career and raising a family.[English]

We know that a delay in career progress early on can often mean that women achieve lower levels of academic seniority and earn a lower salary and pension. That's why, in budget 2019, we are doubling parental leave from six to 12 months for students and post-doctoral fellows who are funded by the granting councils.

Budget 2019 also plans to provide for 500 more master's level scholarships annually and 500 doctoral scholarships, so that more Canadian students can pursue research.

Remaking Canada's science and research culture is a huge and complex undertaking, but we are hearing from G7 countries that Canada is now viewed as a beacon for research because of the investments we are making. We saw it first-hand with the international interest in the Canada 150 research chairs.[Translation]

Obviously, there's still much more to do and it will take time.[English]

Canadians can be proud, however, that in a short period, the landscape of science and research has forever been altered. We want Canada to be an international research leader, continuing to make discoveries that positively impact the lives of Canadians, the environment, our communities and our economy.[Translation]

I'm sure that all committee members share this goal.[English]

Mr. Chair, I'd like to finish by saying thank you to all the members of this committee for the work they have done over these last three and a half years.

I'd be pleased to answer any questions you may have.[Translation]

Thank you. [English]

committee hansard indu 21532 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 30, 2019

2019-05-29 SECU 165

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1615)

[Translation]

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)):

Good afternoon, everyone. We will begin the meeting, now that we finally have enough government and opposition members here.

Before I give the floor to our witness, who will be joining us by videoconference, I would like to take a moment to discuss today's proceedings.

Given the time we have already lost, and the uncertainty about this afternoon's schedule due, in part, to the possibility of further votes following the procedural manoeuvres in the House, I would like to make a suggestion.[English]

What I would suggest is, given the fact that we still do have time in the remaining meetings to accommodate Mr. Amos, and given the uncertainty.... He is a member of Parliament, and he is around these parts more often than not, so it's easier to reaccommodate him. We would hear from the witness, do questioning and then, depending on how time is going, move on from there, and put Mr. Amos' testimony to another day.[Translation]

I would like to hear what committee members think.

Let us start with Mr. Graham.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Mr. Amos plans to attend the meeting in any case. He has arranged to be replaced in his duties in order to be here.

I suggest that we do all the work we can until there are no further questions. If there is no vote in the House, the PayPal representative could appear for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the number of questions. Then Mr. Amos could have the time to give his presentation at the end.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Matthew Dubé):

It is a possibility, but the problem—and this is what concerns me—is that Mr. Amos is sponsoring the motion. We may not have an opportunity to question him if it is nearly 5:30 p.m. or if the bells call us to vote.

The clerk informs me that this would have little effect on our schedule in the next weeks before the end of the session.

That is my personal, very sincere opinion. I am replacing Mr. McKay, but I do not want to impose my point of view. Even so, because of the number of days we have left, we may well not be able to move forward the study that Mr. Amos is asking for in a meaningful way.

I am still open to your suggestion, Mr. Graham.

What do you think, Mr. Paul-Hus?

Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC):

I agree with you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Johnson from PayPal has been waiting for an hour. Let us hear his presentation and take the time to ask our questions properly. Then we can adjourn.

Mr. Amos can appear at another time.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Matthew Dubé):

Does anyone object to proceeding in that way?

It seems unnecessary to do otherwise.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

It depends when we will be able to come back.

A motion has been unanimously adopted by the House recommending that we undertake this study. I want to ensure that we come to grips with it as quickly as possible. This must not drag on for another month. We have already lost our time today.

That is why I suggest that Mr. Amos introduce his motion. That way, we can move on with the study.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Matthew Dubé):

Once again, the clerk has informed me that there is no problem with the schedule. I have checked the information. Mr. Graham, that may reassure you about our ability to hear from Mr. Amos at another time. As Mr. Paul-Hus said, we have already kept our witness waiting.

We have an hour and a quarter, but, even if this witness's testimony takes only 45 minutes and Mr. Amos then appears, we still may run out of time or be called to vote. So I prefer to avoid that uncertainty, especially considering the ease with which we can invite an MP to another meeting. With most witnesses, we can rarely do that.

So let us continue the meeting.

(1620)

Mr. David de Burgh Graham:

Okay.

Let us begin; let us not waste any more time. [English]

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Matthew Dubé):

Thank you, colleagues.

I will now move to our witness. I want to thank Mr. Johnson for his patience. The procedural wrangling that goes on in this place does have that impact sometimes. Joining us by video conference, we have Brian Johnson, who is Senior Director for Information Security at PayPal.

You have 10 minutes, Mr. Johnson, for your opening statement. We'll take questions from the members, and we thank you for taking the time this afternoon.

Mr. Brian Johnson (Senior Director, Information Security, PayPal, Inc.):

Thank you very much. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

Again, my name is Brian Johnson and I do serve as the Senior Director of Information Security at PayPal. I appreciate your giving us the opportunity to speak with you today and for making the time in your busy schedule.

I suspect you all know a bit about PayPal generally speaking, but allow me to add a bit of detail.

Founded in 1998, PayPal is a leading technology platform company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of more than 277 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets worldwide. We offer online and mobile merchant acquiring and money transfer services. PayPal is the most popular digital wallet in Canada.

We are based in San Jose, California, and our Canadian headquarters is in Toronto with offices in Vancouver. PayPal Canada was incorporated in 2006. We have more that 7.1 million customers including more than 250,000 small business customers in Canada.

Fuelled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal's 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online or on a mobile device. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid.

We believe now is the time to reimagine money and to democratize financial services so that managing and moving money is a right for all citizens, not just the affluent. We believe that every person has a right to participate fully in the global economy. We have an obligation to empower people to exercise this right and improve their financial health. As a fintech pioneer and an established leader, we believe in providing simple, affordable, secure and reliable financial services and digital payments that enable the hopes, dreams and ambitions of millions of people around the world. We have a fundamental commitment to put our customers at the centre of everything we do.

Securing our customers and their data is central to our mission. For financial companies, data security is the main pillar. Through strong partnerships, strategic investments and a tireless commitment to protecting consumers, PayPal has resolved to be an industry leader in cybersecurity capabilities and to help make the Internet safer.

We have in our favour more than 20 years of experience in processing electronic transactions safely. PayPal has one of the most sophisticated fraud prevention engines in the world, which gets smarter with every transaction that goes through our system. With our advanced fraud monitoring technology, we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

committee hansard secu 14640 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 29, 2019

2019-05-29 ETHI 155

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

(0835)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

I call to order this meeting of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. This is meeting 155.

This is the last of our international grand committee meetings this week, the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy.

With us today from Amazon, we have Mark Ryland, director of security engineering, office of the chief information officer of the Amazon web services.

From Microsoft Canada Inc., we have Marlene Floyd, national director of corporate affairs, and John Weigelt, national technology officer.

From the Mozilla Foundation, we have Alan Davidson, vice-president of global policy, trust and security.

From Apple Inc., we have Erik Neuenschwander. He is manager of user privacy.

We're going to get into your testimony. I wanted to say that the CEOs were invited today, and it's unfortunate that they didn't come. Again, as I've said to many of you just prior to the meeting, this is supposed to be a constructive meeting on how to make it better, and some of the proposals that your companies have right from the top are good ones, and that's why we wanted to hear them today and have the CEOs answer our questions, but we do appreciate that you're here.

We'll start off with Mr. Ryland for 10 minutes.

Mr. Mark Ryland (Director, Security Engineering, Office of the Chief Information Security Officer for Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com):

Thank you very much.

Good morning, Chair Zimmer, members of the committee, and international guests.

My name is Mark Ryland. I serve as the director of security engineering in the office of the chief information security officer at Amazon web services, the cloud computing division of Amazon.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today. I'm pleased to join this important discussion. I'd like to focus my remarks today on how Amazon puts security and customer trust at the centre of everything we do.

Amazon's mission is to be the earth's most customer-centric company. Our corporate philosophy is firmly rooted in working backwards from what customers want and continuously innovating to provide customers better service, more selection and lower prices. We apply this approach across all our areas of business, including those that touch on consumer privacy and cybersecurity.

Amazon has been serving Canadian customers since we first launched amazon.ca in 2002. Amazon now has more than 10,000 full-time employees in Canada. In 2018, we announced plans to create an additional 6,300 jobs.

We also have two tech hubs, one in Toronto and another in Vancouver. These are clusters of offices employing more than 1,000 software engineers and a number of supporting technical workers, building some of our most advanced global systems. We also have offices in Victoria for www.abebooks.com, and our AWS Thinkbox subsidiary in Winnipeg.

We operate seven fulfillment centres in Canada, and four more have been announced. They will all open this year, in 2019.

I would now like to talk about our cloud platform.

Just over 13 years ago, Amazon launched Amazon web services, which is our cloud computing business. Montreal is home to our AWS Canada region, which is made up of a number of distinct data centres. We launched AWS, because after over a decade of building and running amazon.com, we realized we had developed a core competency in operating massively scaled technology infrastructure and data centres. We embarked on a broader mission of serving developers and businesses with information technology services that they can use to run their own businesses.

The term “cloud computing” refers to the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet or over private networks. The AWS cloud spans a network of data centres across 21 geographic regions around the globe. Instead of owning and maintaining their own data centres, our customers can acquire technology such as compute power, storage, and databases in a matter of seconds on an as-needed basis by simply calling an API or clicking a mouse on a graphical console.

We provide IT infrastructure and services in the same way that you just flip a switch to turn on the lights in your home and the power company sends you electricity.

One of this committee's concerns was democracy. Well, we're really democratizing access to IT services, things that only very large organizations could previously do, in terms of the scale involved. Now the smallest organizations can get access to that same type of very sophisticated advanced technology with simply a click of a button and just paying for their consumption.

Today AWS provides IT services to millions of active customers in over 190 countries. Companies that leverage AWS range from large Canadian enterprises such as Porter Airlines, Shaw, the National Bank of Canada, TMX Group, Corus, Capital One, and Blackberry to innovative start-ups like Vidyard and Sequence Bio.

I want to underline that privacy really starts with security. Privacy regulations and expectations cannot be met unless systems are maintaining the confidentiality of data according to their design. At AWS, we say that security is “job zero”, by which we mean it's even more important than a number one priority. We know that if we don't get security right, we don't really have a business.

AWS and Amazon are vigilant about the security and privacy of our costumers and have implemented sophisticated technical and physical measures to prevent unauthorized access to data.

Security is everyone's responsibility. While we have a world-class team of security experts monitoring our systems 24-7 to protect customer data, every AWS employee, regardless of role, is responsible for ensuring that security is an integral component of every facet of our business.

Security and privacy are a shared responsibility between AWS and the customer. What that means is that AWS is responsible for the security and privacy of the cloud itself, and customers are responsible for their security and the privacy of their systems and their applications that run in the cloud. For example, customers should consider the sensitivity of their data and decide if and how to encrypt their data. We provide a wide variety of encryption tools and guidance to help customers meet their cybersecurity objectives.

We sometimes say, “Dance like no one's watching. Encrypt like everyone is.” Encryption is also helpful when it comes to data privacy. In many cases, data can be effectively and permanently erased simply by deleting encryption keys, for example.

(0840)



More and more, organizations are realizing the link between IT modernization offered by the cloud and a better security posture. Security depends on the ability to stay a step ahead of a rapidly and continuously evolving threat landscape, requiring both operational agility and the latest technologies.

The cloud offers many advanced security features that ensure that data is securely stored and handled. In a traditional on-premises environment, organizations spend a lot of time and money managing their own data centres, and worry about defending themselves against a complete range of nimble, continuously evolving threats that are difficult to anticipate. AWS implements baseline protections, such as DDoS protection, or distributed denial of service protection; authentication; access control; and encryption. From there, most organizations supplement these protections with added security measures of their own to bolster cloud data protections and tighten access to sensitive information in the cloud. They also have many tools at their disposal for meeting their data privacy goals.

As the concept of “cloud” is often new to people, I want to emphasize that AWS customers own their own data. Customers choose the geographic location in which to store their data in our highly secure data centres. Their data does not move unless the customer decides to move it. We do not access or use our customers' data without their consent.

Technology is an important part of modern life, and has the potential to offer extraordinary benefits that we are just beginning to realize. Data-driven solutions possess potentially limitless opportunities to improve the lives of people, from making far faster medical diagnoses to making farming far more efficient and sustainable. In addressing emerging technology issues, new regulatory approaches may be required, but they should avoid harming incentives to innovate and avoid constraining important efficiencies like economies of scale and scope.

We believe policy-makers and companies like Amazon have very similar goals—protecting consumer trust and privacy and promoting new technologies. We share the goal of finding common solutions, especially during times of fast-moving innovation. As technology evolves, so too will the opportunities for all of us in this room to work together.

Thank you. I look forward to taking your questions.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Ryland.

Next up is Microsoft. Will it be Ms. Floyd or Mr. Weigelt?

Ms. Marlene Floyd (National Director, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Canada Inc.):

We will share.

The Chair:

Okay. Go ahead. [Translation]

Mr. John Weigelt (National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada Inc.):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We're pleased to be here today.[English]

My name is John Weigelt. I'm the national technology officer for Microsoft here in Canada. My colleague Marlene Floyd, national director of corporate affairs for Microsoft Canada, joins me. We appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee today. The work you've undertaken is important given our increasingly digital world and the impact of technology on jobs, privacy, safety, inclusiveness and fairness.

Since the establishment of Microsoft Canada in 1985, our presence here has grown to include 10 regional offices around the country, employing more than 2,300 people. At our Microsoft Vancouver development centre, over 700 employees are developing products that are being used around the world. Cutting-edge research on artificial intelligence is also being conducted by Ph.D.s and engineers at the Microsoft research lab in Montreal. That's in partnership with the universities there.

Powerful technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence are transforming how we live and work, and are presenting solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. At Microsoft we are optimistic about the benefits of these technologies but also clear-eyed about the challenges that require thinking beyond technology itself to ensure the inclusion of strong ethical principles and appropriate laws. Determining the role that technology should play in society requires those in government, academia, business and civil society to come together to help shape the future.

committee ethi hansard 68302 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 29, 2019

2019-05-28 ETHI 154

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

(1530)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

We'll call to order the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics for meeting 154, an by extension, the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy.

I don't need to go through the list of countries that we have already mentioned, but I will go through our witnesses very briefly.

From the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, we have Mr. Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

As an individual, we have Joseph A. Cannataci, special rapporteur on the right to privacy for the United Nations.

We are having some challenges with the live video feed from Malta. We'll keep working through that. I'm told by the clerk that we may have to go to an audio feed to get the conversation. We will do what we have to do.

Also we'd like to welcome the chair of the United States Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub.

First of all, I would like to speak to the meeting's order and structure. It will be very similar to that of our first meeting this morning. We'll have one question per delegation. The Canadian group will have one from each party, and we'll go through until we run out of time with different representatives to speak to the issue.

I hope that makes sense. It will make sense more as we go along.

I would like to thank the members who came to our question period today. I personally thank the Speaker for recognizing the delegation.

I'll give Mr. Collins the opportunity for to open it up.

Mr. Collins.

Mr. Damian Collins (Chair, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, United Kingdom House of Commons):

Thank you.

Let me put my first question to all three of the witnesses.

The Chair:

Shall we have statements first?

Mr. Damian Collins:

Okay.

The Chair:

We'll have opening statements. We'll start with Mr. Therrien.

Go ahead for 10 minutes.

Mr. Daniel Therrien (Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Members of the grand committee, thank you for the invitation to address you today.

My remarks will address three points that I think go to the heart of your study: first, that freedom and democracy cannot exist without privacy and the protection of our personal information; second, that in meeting the risks posed by digital harms, such as disinformation campaigns, we need to strengthen our laws in order to better protect rights; lastly, I will share suggestions on what needs to be done in Canada, as I'm an expert in Canadian privacy regulation, so that we have 21st century laws in place to ensure that the privacy rights of Canadians are protected effectively.

I trust that these suggestions made in a Canadian context can also be relevant in an international context.

As you know, my U.K. counterpart, the Information Commissioner's Office, in its report on privacy and the political process, clearly found that lax privacy compliance and micro-targeting by political parties had exposed gaps in the regulatory landscape. These gaps in turn have been exploited to target voters via social media and to spread disinformation. [Translation]

The Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted the unexpected uses to which personal information can be put and, as my office concluded in our Facebook investigation, uncovered a privacy framework that was actually an empty shell. It reminded citizens that privacy is a fundamental right and a necessary precondition for the exercise of other fundamental rights, including democracy. In fact, privacy is nothing less than a prerequisite for freedom: the freedom to live and develop independently as individuals, away from the watchful eye of surveillance by the state or commercial enterprises, while participating voluntarily and actively in the regular, day-to-day activities of a modern society.[English]

As members of this committee are gravely aware, the incidents and breaches that have now become all too common go well beyond matters of privacy as serious as I believe those to be. Beyond questions of privacy and data protection, democratic institutions' and citizens' very faith in our electoral process is now under a cloud of distrust and suspicion. The same digital tools like social networks, which public agencies like electoral regulators thought could be leveraged to effectively engage a new generation of citizens, are also being used to subvert, not strengthen, our democracies.

The interplay between data protection, micro-targeting and disinformation represents a real threat to our laws and institutions. Some parts of the world have started to mount a response to these risks with various forms of proposed regulation. I will note a few.

First, the recent U.K. white paper on digital harms proposes the creation of a digital regulatory body and offers a range of potential interventions with commercial organizations to regulate a whole spectrum of problems. The proposed model for the U.K. is to add a regulator agency for digital platforms that will help them develop specific codes of conduct to deal with child exploitation, hate propaganda, foreign election interference and other pernicious online harms.

Second, earlier this month, the Christchurch call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online highlighted the need for effective enforcement, the application of ethical standards and appropriate co-operation.

Finally, just last week here in Canada, the government released a new proposal for an update to our federal commercial data protection law as well as an overarching digital charter meant to help protect privacy, counter misuse of data and help ensure companies are communicating clearly with users.

(1535)

[Translation]

Underlying all these approaches is the need to adapt our laws to the new realities of our digitally interconnected world. There is a growing realization that the age of self-regulation has come to an end. The solution is not to get people to turn off their computers or to stop using social media, search engines, or other digital services. Many of these services meet real needs. Rather, the ultimate goal is to allow individuals to benefit from digital services—to socialize, learn and generally develop as persons—while remaining safe and confident that their privacy rights will be respected.[English]

There are certain fundamental principles that I believe can guide government efforts to re-establish citizens' trust. Putting citizens and their rights at the centre of these discussions is vitally important, in my view, and legislators' work should focus on rights-based solutions.

In Canada, the starting point, in my view, should be to give the law a rights-based foundation worthy of privacy's quasi-constitutional status in this country. This rights-based foundation is applicable in many countries where their law frames certain privacy rights explicitly as such, as rights, with practices and processes that support and enforce this important right.

I think Canada should continue to have a law that is technologically neutral and principles based. Having a law that is based on internationally recognized principles, such as those of the OECD, is important for the interoperability of the legislation. Adopting an international treaty for privacy and data protection would be an excellent idea, but in the meantime, countries should aim to develop interoperable laws.

We also need a rights-based statute, meaning a law that confers enforceable rights to individuals while also allowing for responsible innovation. Such a law would define privacy in its broadest and truest sense, such as freedom from unjustified surveillance, recognizing its value in correlation to other fundamental rights.

Privacy is not limited to consent, access and transparency. These are important mechanisms, but they do not define the right itself. Codifying the right, in its broadest sense, along the principles-based and technologically neutral nature of the current Canadian law would ensure it can endure over time, despite the certainty of technological developments.

One final point I wish to make has to do with independent oversight. Privacy cannot be protected without independent regulators and the power to impose fines and to verify compliance proactively to ensure organizations are truly accountable for the protection of information.

This last notion, demonstrable accountability, is a needed response to today's world, where business models are opaque and information flows are increasingly complex. Individuals are unlikely to file a complaint when they are unaware of a practice that may harm them. This is why it is so important for the regulator to have the authority to proactively inspect the practices of organizations. Where consent is not practical or effective, which is a point made by many organizations in this day and age, and organizations are expected to fill the protective void through accountability, these organizations must be required to demonstrate true accountability upon request.

What I have presented today as solutions are not new concepts, but as this committee takes a global approach to the problem of disinformation, it's also an opportunity for domestic actors—regulators, government officials and elected representatives—to recognize what best practices and solutions are emerging and to take action to protect our citizens, our rights, and our institutions.

Thank you. I look forward to your questions.

(1540)

The Chair:

Thank you once again, Mr. Therrien.

We're going to double-check whether Mr. Cannataci is able to stream. No.

committee ethi hansard 37857 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 28, 2019

2019-05-28 ETHI 153

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

(1040)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

We'll bring to order meeting 153 of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics and by extension the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy. We will have countries' representatives speak as well. We'll start off with my co-chair, Mr. Damian Collins from the U.K.

The way it will work structurally is that we'll go through the delegations, one representative per country initially and then the second representative. You each should have your own five-minute time slot exclusive to yourself.

Before we begin, Mr. Angus has a comment.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Mr. Chair, just as a point of order for our committee, we are very surprised, I think, that Mr. Zuckerberg decided—and Ms. Sandberg—to ignore the summons of a parliamentary committee, particularly as we have international representatives here. As far as I know, we were not even informed that he wasn't showing up. I have never seen a situation where a corporate head ignores a legal summons.

In light of that, I would like to bring notice of a motion to vote on: That the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, on account of the refusal of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and Ms. Sheryl Sandberg to appear before it on May 28th, direct the Chair to serve either or both with a formal summons should they arrive in Canada for any purpose to appear before the Committee at the date of the next meeting from the date of their summons, and should they be served with a summons when the House is not sitting, that the Chair reconvene the Committee for a special meeting as soon as practicable for the purpose of obtaining evidence from them.

Mr. Chair, I don't know if we've ever used an open summons in Parliament—we've checked and we haven't found one—but I believe you'll find that this is in order. If Mr. Zuckerberg or Ms. Sandberg decide to come here for a tech conference or to go fishing, Parliament will be able serve that summons and have them brought here.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Angus.

For the ex officio members of the committee, we have a motion before our committee that we will have to vote on, so there will be some discussion.

Is there any discussion from any other members about the motion?

Mr. Kent.

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC):

Thank you, Chair.

Yes, the official opposition, the Conservative Party, is fully willing to support Mr. Angus's motion. As we heard in some of the previous testimony, Facebook, among others of the large platforms, has shown extreme disrespect and disregard for sovereign governments and for committees representing sovereign governments, with regard to their concerns and the search for explanations as to why meaningful action has not been taken to date and for a clear and explicit explanation of their response to the concerns from around the world and certainly within democracies and the members of this international grand committee.

We will support this motion. Thank you.

The Chair:

There was a discussion previously about no substantive motions being brought before the committee. That said, with all agreement at the table here, I think we can agree to have that heard—and we are hearing it today—and voted on.

Do we have...? I see all in favour of having that motion moved before us.

Are there any other comments about the motion?

Mr. Lucas.

Mr. Ian Lucas (Member, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, United Kingdom House of Commons):

This is a case of recidivism by Mr. Zuckerberg. This has happened previously, and it is a matter of deep concern. It's particularly of great concern to me, because unfortunately governments are continuing to meet with Mr. Zuckerberg, and I think it important that we should communicate, as parliamentarians, our concern about the disrespect that Mr. Zuckerberg is showing to parliamentarians from across the world. They should consider the access they give Mr. Zuckerberg, access to governments and to ministers, operated in private, without respect to us as parliamentarians and without respect to our constituents, who are excluded from the confidential discussions that are happening on these crucial matters.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Lucas.

Mr. Erskine-Smith.

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.):

I would just note that it's funny that less than two months ago, on March 30, Mark Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He wrote that he believes Facebook has a responsibility to address harmful content, protecting elections, privacy and data protection and data portability—the very issues we're discussing today—and that he was looking forward to discussing them with lawmakers around the world. Those were his words less than two months ago. If he were an honest individual in writing those words, he'd be sitting in that chair today.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Erskine-Smith.

Are there any further comments on the motion?

Frankly, to answer your question, being the chair of this committee on both levels, the international and our ethics committee, it's abhorrent that he's not here today and that Ms. Sandberg is not here today. It was very clearly communicated to them that they were to appear today before us. A summons was issued, which is already an unusual act for a committee. I think it's only fitting that there be an ongoing summons. As soon as either Mr. Zuckerberg or Ms. Sandberg step foot into our country, they will be served and expected to appear before our committee. If they choose not to, then the next step will be to hold them in contempt.

I think the words are strong, Mr. Angus, and I applaud you for your motion.

If there is not any further discussion on the motion, we'll go to the vote.

(Motion agreed to)

The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Angus.

Next, we'll go to the platforms. We'll start with Facebook, go to Google, and then....

I'll mention the names. With Facebook Inc., we have Kevin Chan, Global Policy Director for Canada, and Neil Potts, Global Policy Director. With Google LLC, we have Derek Slater, Global Director of Information Policy; and with Google Canada, Colin McKay, Head, Government Affairs and Public Policy. From Twitter Inc., we have Carlos Monje, Director of Public Policy, and Michele Austin, Head, Government and Public Policy, Twitter Canada.

I would like to say that it wasn't just the CEOs of Facebook who were invited today. The CEOs of Google were invited. The CEO of Twitter was invited. We are more than disappointed that they as well chose not to show up.

We'll start off with Mr. Chan, for seven minutes.

Thank you.

(1045)

Mr. Kevin Chan (Global Policy Director, Facebook Inc.):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

My name is Kevin Chan, and I am here today with my colleague Neil Potts. We are both global policy directors at Facebook.

The Internet has transformed how billions of people live, work and connect with each other. Companies such as Facebook have immense responsibilities to keep people safe on their services. Every day we are tasked with the challenge of making decisions about what speech is harmful, what constitutes political advertising and how to prevent sophisticated cyber-attacks. This is vital work to keeping our community safe, and we recognize this work is not something that companies like ours should do alone.[Translation]

New rules for the Internet should preserve what is best about the Internet and the digital economy—fostering innovation, supporting growth for small businesses, and enabling freedom of expression—while simultaneously protecting society from broader harms. These are incredibly complex issues to get right, and we want to work with governments, academics and civil society around the world to ensure new regulations are effective.[English]

We are pleased to share with you today some of our emerging thinking in four areas of possible regulatory action: harmful content, privacy, data portability and election integrity.

committee ethi hansard 63340 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 28, 2019

2019-05-27 ETHI 151

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

(1900)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

We'll call to order our meeting of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, and to a larger extent, our international grand committee.

We'd like to welcome especially the visitors from around the globe tonight.

You will notice some empty seats beside you. We've heard of some unexpected flight delays for some of the delegations. They will definitely be here. Some are arriving as we speak. Some are arriving in about an hour from now. Again, my apologies for their not being here as planned.

I'd like to go through, first of all, the countries that are going to be represented tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. Then we'll go around and have some brief introductions, and get right into the presentations.

We're still expecting some of our witnesses to come, as well.

We'll start off with the countries that are represented, confirmed just today—Canada, of course, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Ireland, Germany, Chile, Estonia, Mexico, Morocco, Ecuador, St. Lucia, and Costa Rica.

I will say that we have lost a few due to something called elections around the globe that we can't really have control over. Those have gotten in the way of some of the other countries being able to get here.

I see some of our witnesses. Mr. Balsillie and Mr. McNamee, please take your seats at the front. We're just getting started. Welcome.

I want to go around the table quickly and have the delegates say their name and introduce the country they're from.

Let's start off with our member from Estonia.

Ms. Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Vice-Chairwoman, Reform Party, Parliament of the Republic of Estonia (Riigikogu)):

Hello, everyone.

I am Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, representing the Estonian Parliament today.

Ms. Sun Xueling (Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, Parliament of Singapore):

Hi, everyone.

I am Sun Xueling. I'm the senior parliamentary secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, from Singapore.

Thank you.

Mr. Edwin Tong (Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, Parliament of Singapore):

Good evening, everyone.

I'm a member of Parliament from Singapore and also Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Law in Singapore.

Thank you.

Mr. Jens Zimmermann (Social Democratic Party, Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany):

Hello.

My name is Jens Zimmermann. I'm a member of the German Bundestag, and I'm the spokesperson on digitalization for the Social Democrats.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

I am Charlie Angus, vice-chair of this committee and a member of the New Democratic Party. I represent the constituency of Timmins—James Bay, which isn't a country, but it is larger than France. [Translation]

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC):

I'm Jacques Gourde, Conservative member for Lévis—Lotbinière. [English]

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC):

I am Peter Kent, the member of Parliament for Thornhill on the northern city limits of Toronto. I am the critic for the official opposition, the Conservative Party, on the ethics committee, which is responsible for ethics, lobbying, information and privacy.

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.):

I'm Nate Erskine-Smith. I'm a Liberal member, representing a Toronto area riding called Beaches—East York. I'm the Liberal vice-chair of this committee.

Mr. Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre, Lib.):

My name is Raj Saini. I'm the member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre. I'm a Liberal member. I also sit on the foreign affairs and international development committee.

Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.):

I am Anita Vandenbeld. I'm the Liberal member of Parliament for Ottawa West—Nepean, which is about 15 minutes west of here. I'm also on the foreign affairs committee and chair of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

My name is David Graham. I represent the riding of Laurentides—Labelle, which is a much smaller riding than Charlie's, but it is much bigger than Singapore. I'm on four other committees. In terms of this one, I'm not a regular member but I am a regular member, if you can call it that.

Thank you for this.

(1905)

The Chair:

Thank you.

I'll finish.

My name is Bob Zimmer, member of Parliament for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, the beautiful northern British Columbia riding with the Rockies running right through it. I also chair the access to information, privacy and ethics committee that we sit before tonight.

Also, I'll give Mr. Kint some credit today. I gave you some credit earlier. This whole idea of the international grand committee came out of a Washington summit meeting in a pub with me, Mr. Erskine-Smith, Ian Lucas and Damian Collins. That's how it really started. We wanted to do something better—we thought better together as a coalition of countries to work out some solutions to these problems. So I'll give you some credit for probably buying one of the beers that one night. I appreciate that.

Mr. Angus has a comment, and then we'll get into the presentations.

Mr. Charlie Angus:

I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Chair, but I just wanted to confirm that our committee, through all-party consensus, issued a subpoena to Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg. I do believe that's unprecedented. I am reading reports that Facebook is speaking to media, saying they're not showing up to our committee. I am not aware whether they have officially responded to the subpoena.

Can you inform this committee whether they have bothered to respond to us on this issue?

committee ethi hansard 19595 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 27, 2019

2019-05-27 SECU 164

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

(1530)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

Ladies and gentlemen, it's close enough to 3:30 to get started. I see quorum, so I will bring the meeting to order.

We are dealing with Bill C-93 clause by clause.

The first clause has no amendments.

(Clause 1 agreed to)

(On clause 2)

The Chair: On clause 2 we have amendment NDP-1, but I have received a note from the legislative clerk that we want to deal with NDP-1 and NDP-2 together. Consequential to NDP-2, the suggested ruling is that it is inadmissible, which would render NDP-1 null.

As this is, in effect, a discussion about the scope of the bill, I'm perfectly prepared to hear Mr. Dubé's arguments as to why both amendments are within the scope of the bill.

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP):

Thank you, Chair.

NDP-1 and NDP-2 both seek to do something we heard from, dare I say, all witnesses—or nearly all, certainly if we exclude the minister—which is to make the process automatic. In other words, instead of putting the burden on individuals seeking to apply.... We did a lot of research on this, my office in particular, because there were a few back-and-forths about certain considerations.

For example, with regard to the Privacy Act, the exemption already exists with the Parole Board to be able to do the work, instead of asking marginalized Canadians who have been saddled with these records for something that is now legal to be doing the work.

Ultimately, I think it's within the scope of the bill, because we'd be putting the onus on the Parole Board as opposed to on Canadians. Especially if it's not an issue of royal recommendation. In other words, if we're not talking about an issue of money, I think the mechanism for the process that's been created by this bill, which seeks to remediate what the minister refuses to qualify as a historical injustice, is certainly well within our prerogative as a committee, if not something that unfortunately could have been done from the get-go in the drafting of the legislation.

As I said, there was enough back and forth with people who are much smarter than me on this to know that the amendment covers all of our bases in terms of giving the appropriate powers to the Parole Board.

The Chair:

Do any other colleagues have any comments on the admissibility or inadmissibility of amendment NDP-2? Do the witnesses have any comments? Is there any other debate?

Yes, Mr. Dubé.

Mr. Matthew Dubé:

I would seek a clear understanding of why it's beyond the scope of the bill. We haven't even gotten to the discussion about expungement yet. This is simply making the record suspension process automatic, and giving the appropriate powers to the Parole Board.

Could any clarification be provided there?

The Chair:

My reaction—and I will turn to the clerk for some clarification here—is that it's a positive obligation on the part of the Parole Board, requiring positive actions. While I agree that we heard a lot of evidence to the effect that this process could be made a lot more, if you will, user friendly by positive actions by the board, it is at this point apparently beyond the scope of the bill.

I will let the legislative clerk weigh in on it.

Mr. William Stephenson (Legislative Clerk):

Essentially, as Mr. McKay said, in this case the scope of the bill is fairly narrow. It creates an onus on the applicant and allows them to apply for a record suspension. It also waives the fee. Because of that fairly narrow scope in this bill, introducing a new concept that would essentially create a positive obligation on the board is beyond the scope of the bill.

(1535)

Mr. Matthew Dubé:

I'm just wondering because I can think of tons of amendments that create positive obligations on other entities. I'm not sure I'm following the argument here. For many pieces of legislation that I've studied in committee, we adopted amendments that would clearly force different bodies to undertake actions that were not initially codified in the bill, so I'm not sure if I'm following what the distinction is there.

Mr. William Stephenson:

In other circumstances, there are examples of creating an obligation to report back to the House or something like that, and it's still within what the department does and within what the bill foresees.

In this case, the concept is clearly to allow the applicants to apply on their own initiative. It's kind of meant to restrain the administrative action or the administrative onus, from what I understand. Maybe officials would like to weigh in on that. In this case, the issue of causing the board to identify those records on its own is a new concept.

The Chair:

Do officials want to weigh in?

Mr. Broom.

Mr. Ian Broom (Acting Director General, Policy and Operations, Parole Board of Canada):

Sure, I can weigh in. Thank you very much.

Under this amendment, from the Parole Board of Canada's perspective, we don't currently have the technological capacity to implement what is outlined in this motion. We'd need to consult with partners. We would want to verify some of the privacy and consent implications that could be involved in automatically ordering a records suspension.

As was mentioned, current process now is that applications are received with supporting documents. The onus is placed on the applicant. Examples would be court documents that would outline the nature of the conviction, dispositions involved, or whether or not the sentence was complete. We don't have any memorandum of understanding or information-sharing framework or infrastructure in place that would permit us to do that when conducting inquiries. I think, from the board's perspective of what we could implement, there are a number of challenges that we'd want to assess.

The Chair:

Mr. Dubé.

Mr. Matthew Dubé:

Thank you, Chair.

As for the privacy considerations, as far as I've understood, given that the records suspension branch of the Parole Board is an investigative body, they do have Privacy Act exemptions. We spoke with them, and they confirmed they have access to CPIC, so I do find it a bit unfortunate that we're basically saying it would be too much work and we're not accepting to make it automatic, when the reality is, as has been pointed out by numerous people, that the burden is then put onto marginalized Canadians.

I would also just ask for clarification from the clerk, perhaps. I think back to Bill C-83 when we were studying SIUs and I believe amendments were adopted that created additional criteria for health care professional reviews, for example. I'm not clear on the distinction that creating additional actions on the part of public servants in one instance would be acceptable, but here, because we're prescribing the process in a certain way—even though the end result this amendment seeks would still be one of these individuals having records suspensions—it would no longer be within the scope of the bill. I mean, it's titled “no-cost, expedited”. Ultimately is that what we're relying on, the title? It doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

The Chair:

The general argument is that, when you're going beyond the scope, you're going beyond the purpose of the bill. That's the general argument. I agree that we are down to some fairly narrow points at this point, but I'm perfectly open to any other interpretation or information as to why we would consider this to be beyond the scope.

Mr. William Stephenson:

In the case of adding criteria to something in a bill, when you have a list of criteria, you can always play around within the scope of what's required. In this case, we're going beyond just requirements and giving the board additional responsibility, creating an additional administrative burden. In arriving at our analysis of the bill, we looked at the summary of the bill and we looked to the way the bill is drafted.

The summary of the bill reads as follows: This enactment amends the Criminal Records Act to, among other things, allow persons who have been convicted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Narcotic Control Act and the National Defence Act only of simple possession of cannabis offences committed before October 17, 2018 to apply for a record suspension without being subject to the period required by the Criminal Records Act for other offences or to the fee that is otherwise payable in applying for a suspension.

Basically, the bill does two fairly narrow things. It allows people to apply for a record suspension without being subject to the period required by the Criminal Records Act for other offences, and it waives the fee that's otherwise payable in applying for that suspension. That is what guides us in our analysis, as well as the way the bill is drafted. You'll note there are clauses that specify that the onus is on the applicant to prove various things.

committee hansard secu 32087 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 27, 2019

2019-05-17 10:59 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Deaths and funerals, Statements by Members,

Décès et funérailles, Déclarations de députés,

Mr. Speaker, I learned just a few hours ago that one of the most interesting people I have ever met passed away suddenly during the night. Journalist, storyteller, war correspondent, constituent and friend, Paul William Roberts is known for his coverage of the two Iraq wars for Harper's Magazine, as well as his many books, including Empire of the Soul, Journey of the Magi and A War Against Truth.

He was born in Wales, and his career spanned the world, having studied in England and taught in India before working as a producer for both the BBC and the CBC, among others. In 2005, he was the inaugural winner of the PEN Canada Paul Kidd award for courage in journalism.

A humble man, Paul suffered the effects of the many wars he had covered, and about a decade ago, he lost the ability to see. He was felled by a sudden brain hemorrhage last night and was transferred to Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal early this morning to offer his organs for transplant. It should encourage all of us to know that his enormous heart will live on.

To his wife Kara and his kids, my deepest condolences.

Monsieur le Président, j'ai appris, il y a quelques heures à peine, que l'une des personnes les plus intéressantes que j'aie rencontrées est décédée subitement dans la nuit. Journaliste, conteur, correspondant de guerre, habitant de ma circonscription et ami, Paul William Roberts est connu pour avoir couvert les deux guerres en Irak pour le magazine Harper's ainsi que pour avoir écrit de nombreux livres, dont Empire of the Soul, Journey of the Magi et A War Against Truth.

Né au Pays de Galles, il a parcouru le monde au cours de sa carrière. Il a étudié en Angleterre et enseigné en Inde puis travaillé comme producteur à la BBC et à la CBC, notamment. En 2005, il a été le premier lauréat du prix Paul Kidd de PEN Canada pour le courage en journalisme.

Homme humble, Paul a subi les conséquences des nombreuses guerres qu'il avait couvertes et, il y a une dizaine d'années, il a perdu la vue. Victime hier soir d'une hémorragie cérébrale soudaine, il a été transféré tôt ce matin à l'Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur, à Montréal, afin que ses organes puissent être transplantés. Nous devrions tous être encouragés de savoir que son cœur rempli de bonté continuera de battre.

Je présente mes plus sincères condoléances à sa femme Kara et à ses enfants.

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr statements tributes 429 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 15:26 on May 17, 2019

2019-05-16 ETHI 150

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

(1545)

[English]

The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

We'll call the meeting to order. This is the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, meeting 150.

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), we are considering the main estimates 2019-20, vote 1 under Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, vote 1 under the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, vote 1 under the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer and votes 1, 5, 10 and 15 under the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Canada, referred to the committee on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

With us today we have, from the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Mr. Mario Dion. With the commissioner, we have Sandy Tremblay, director of corporate management.

In the second hour, we're going to have the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying. With us will be Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying, and Charles Dutrisac, director of finance and chief financial officer.

Mr. Dion, it's good to see you. You have 10 minutes.

Mr. Mario Dion (Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner):

Thank you, Chair.[Translation]

Mr. Chair and honourable members of the Committee, first of all I would like to thank you for inviting me to appear before you today as the Committee considers my Office's budgetary submission for the 2019-2020 Main Estimates.

As the Chair said, with me is Sandy Tremblay, our Director of Corporate Management.

As you know, the purpose of my appearance today is to discuss the current budgetary requirements of the Office. For context, I will begin by reviewing some of the projects and activities we undertook last year, as well as some of the activities planned for this fiscal year.

I will start with our mission, because it is key; it is the basis of everything we do. The Office established a mission a little more than a year ago, and it describes what we do.

Our Office provides independent, rigorous and consistent direction and advice to Members of Parliament and federal public office holders. That is the first thing. Second, it conducts investigations. And third, where necessary, it makes use of appropriate sanctions in order to ensure full compliance with the Conflict of lnterest Code for Members of the House of Commons and the Conflict of Interest Act.

Last year, we implemented a rolling three-year strategic plan to guide our projects and activities in support of our mission. It identified three key priorities, those being to improve communications and outreach, to modernize technology and information management structures, and to maintain operational excellence. It also identified how we would achieve them.

One key priority is to build and improve communications and outreach processes to help Members and public office holders understand and meet their obligations under the Code and the Act.

Education and outreach have been a key focus of my approach as Commissioner for a year and a half now. We strive to ensure that Members and public office holders are fully aware of their obligations. As for the methods used to do that, I intend to go beyond the traditional classroom approach and instead leverage new media technology for presentations and other educational uses.

We looked at all of the educational materials that our Office has issued over the past 12 years, in fact since it was established, to explain how the rules of the Code and the Act apply. The goal was to simplify that material and make it a more effective source of information for Members and public office holders.

Last year, we revised and updated 12 of those documents, condensing their content into seven new information notices that explain various requirements of the Act. This year, we will focus on modernizing and simplifying the instruments that relate to the code governing the conduct of members.

Our new educational tools included two webinars about gifts that I hosted with my colleague the Lobbying Commissioner, who will be appearing immediately after me. We adopted a more proactive approach with our use of Twitter to communicate directly with Members and public office holders. We also produced a few short videos to provide additional channels to reach our stakeholders.

(1550)

[English]

That was it on the communications and outreach side of things.

A second priority in our strategic plan was to modernize technology and information management structures. Last November we launched a new version of our case management system. All the information from our old system was migrated to the new one. Our upgraded information technology infrastructure is compatible with existing systems and allows the office to explore new technology options for delivering our mandate. We are still dealing with technical and procedural issues but I am confident that they will be resolved by the end of this fiscal year.

We're also presently working on the development of a new website that will make it a more effective source of information for members of Parliament and public office holders. It will be mobile-friendly, which is not the case now, so that it better reaches our busy stakeholders on the device platforms available today. We're planning to launch our new website before the October 2019 election.

Our third key priority identified in our strategic plan is to maintain operational excellence with a focus on our people and on the tools we have at our disposal. In my first year I took steps to ensure that our office invested in employee training and professional development, and provided the tools and equipment employees needed to perform their jobs. I also acted to ensure that we offered a respectful, diverse and inclusive workplace.

I was asked last year whether I'd be making recommendations in my annual reports to strengthen the regimes that we administer. At this time last year, with only a few months of experience, I did not feel ready to do so in the annual reports. I did express the hope last year that the committee would invite me to present my thoughts on possible amendments last fall. Otherwise, I would include something in this year's annual reports.

Indeed that is what we'll do shortly. Next month, June, the office will be tabling its two annual reports: one under the act and one under the code. We have drafted some potential amendments that would strengthen the operation of the act in the event that there is another review of the legislation, and we will include some of those key points in our annual report under the act.

Our strategic plan also provides my organization with a guiding document. It's used to align our priorities as we deliver on our mission to provide independent, rigorous and consistent direction and advice, and I will report on our achievements under the strategic plan in future annual reports to Parliament.

Investigations continues to be an area where there is a lot of interest on the part of the public and parliamentarians. We've been very active in relation to investigations. In 2018-19, we issued eight investigation reports: five under the act and three under the code. There are currently four matters that I have yet to report on, and our investigation team must balance confidentiality, integrity and procedural fairness with work that is very complex and time sensitive. [Translation]

Our Office conducts its operations in support of its mission with a total of 49 full-time positions. The Advisory and Compliance Division accounts for over one-third of our staff resources. This total is reflective of their daily interactions with those individuals-over 3,000 who fall under the Act or Code. Those interactions form the majority of the work the Office undertakes in compliance, accounting for over 2,000 calls or inquiries last year.

The remainder of the Office falls into three broad categories: corporate services, which Ms. Tremblay directs, communications, directed by Ms. Rushworth, and investigations and legal services. A daily demonstration of rigour, professionalism and guidance on compliance matters is what we are aiming for.

I have complete confidence in the quality of work and the integrity of all members of my senior management team and indeed in all the Office staff. [English]

Unless there are unexpected increases in the demands on our resources, I expect our office will be able to implement its mission in this upcoming fiscal year with a budget of $7.1 million. It represents a slight increase of 4% from the last fiscal year. The base budget has been unchanged in the 12 years of existence of the office. This is the first actual increase of 4%, and it's needed this year to enable our office to prepare for the election while continuing to ensure operational excellence.

There has traditionally been a significant increase in the workload whenever there is a general election, and we wanted to be ready and to prepare for it. Election readiness is a key focus of our activity already at this point in time. We've started to hire term employees to help with the increased workload. We're also updating letters and information kits for, potentially, new members of Parliament, for people who, in the future, will be joining offices, ministerial offices, and so on and so forth. All of these elements flow from our strategic plan and will enable the office to better serve its stakeholders in a busy election year.

As part of this planning we always have a reserve. We have $100,000 that we do not allocate in order to face, in a nimble way, important changes and what the needs would be.

I am confident that we'll be able, with this budget that is before you, to operate efficiently, effectively and also economically in carrying out our mission.

Mr. Chair, this concludes my opening statement. I'll now be happy to discuss any questions the committee may have. Thank you.

(1555)

The Chair:

Thank you, Commissioner.

Just for the sake of the committee, too, we did have an amended agenda. The agenda before you is incorrect. We're going until 4:15 p.m. It gives us enough time. I'm going to try to get us through the first four questioners—Ms. Fortier, Mr. Kent, Mr. Cullen and Mr. Erskine-Smith—and then we'll move to the next commissioner. That's all the time we have. Just to clarify again, the agenda is amended. It will take us to about 4:20 p.m., or so. Thanks.

Go ahead, Madam Fortier. [Translation]

Mrs. Mona Fortier (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.):

Thank you very much.

Mr. Dion and Ms. Tremblay, thank you for being here today.

We know you work very hard. You had a chance to prepare a presentation, and I would like to ask you a few questions about the challenges your office is facing. I understand the strategic planning and your priorities. Would you please tell us about your current challenges and the steps you're taking to address them?

Mr. Mario Dion:

We're still facing a challenge associated with timelines, as I mentioned earlier. By that I mean we are required provide our services on a timely basis. We have service standards regarding the first contact we make, and that always creates pressure.

We also have service standards for responding to media representatives and members of the public who communicate with us. We are always under pressure, even if no service standards or timeframes are prescribed by the act when we investigate a matter. We're always under pressure to do things punctually, promptly, so that our report is relevant when it becomes available. That's one of our challenges, but we always have to operate with a sense that things have to move, and move quickly.

committee ethi hansard 24141 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 16, 2019

2019-05-16 PROC 156

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

(1105)

[English]

The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning. I call the meeting to order.

Welcome to the 156th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. This meeting is being televised.

Our first order of business today is consideration of the main estimates under the Leaders' Debates Commission.

We are pleased to have with us the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions.

She is joined by officials from the Privy Council Office. They are Allen Sutherland, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Machinery of Government and Democratic Institutions; and Matthew Shea, Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services.

Thank you for being here. I'll now turn the floor over to the minister for her opening statement.

Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of Democratic Institutions):

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the committee for inviting me back here today. I am pleased to be here to discuss the main estimates of 2019-20 for the independent Leaders' Debates Commission.

I am grateful to be joined by Mr. Al Sutherland, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Machinery of Government and Democratic Institutions, as well as Mr. Matthew Shea, Assistant Deputy Minister for Corporate Services.[Translation]

During my February 19 appearance before this committee, I reiterated the essential role that leaders' debates play in Canada's democracy, and I emphasized that such debates should be organized in a manner that puts the public interest first.[English]

The commission is exercising its independence and impartiality in executing its primary mandate, which is to organize two leaders debates, one in each official language, in advance of the 2019 general election, and in related spending. Through these estimates, the commission is requesting $4.6 million to organize these debates. [Translation]

The commission, led by the Right Honourable David Johnston, has established a small secretariat made up of Michel Cormier, Executive Director, Stephen Wallace, Senior Advisor, and four other staff members. [English]

On March 22, 2019, the members of its advisory board were announced, and on March 25 it held its first in-person meeting with the commissioner and the executive director. The board will provide advice to the commissioner on how to carry out its mandate. It is composed of seven individuals who reflect gender balance, Canada's diversity, and a broad swath of political affiliations and expertise.

The commission has established a web presence, and on April 4 it launched a request for interest related to debates production, which informed a full request for proposals that was issued earlier this week.[Translation]

Additional costs are expected for the contracting of a production entity to produce and broadcast the debates, the ongoing operation of the advisory board, awareness raising and engagement of Canadians, and administrative costs.

As the members around the table will know, the commission has the independence to determine how best to spend the operating funds it has been allocated while remaining within the funding envelope.[English]

In his recent appearance before this committee on May 2, 2019, the debates commissioner, the Right Honourable David Johnston, reiterated his intention and duty to use funding in a responsible manner. Furthermore, he emphasized that the funding being sought is an “up to” amount and that the commission will ensure it operates cost-effectively in all of its work.[Translation]

Finally, the Order in Council setting the mandate of the commission is clear: the Leaders’ Debates Commission is to be guided by the pursuit of the public interest and by the principles of independence, impartiality and cost-effectiveness.

The commission provides a unique opportunity for Canadians to hear from those looking to lead the country, from reliable, impartial sources.[English]

As we know, online disinformation is something we will all contend with leading up to the next election.[Translation]

The leaders' debates become even more important this year as they provide a venue to communicate clear and reliable information that is accessible to everyone at the same time.

I am pleased to answer any questions members may have on this topic.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. [English]

The Chair:

Thank you very much, Minister. Thanks for coming. You come here a lot.

I'd like to welcome Bob Bratina to the committee.

Mr. Bob Bratina (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, Lib.):

Thank you.

The Chair:

We'll open the questioning with Madam Lapointe.[Translation]

Thank you.

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I'm trying to start up my computer. Yesterday, I visited the commission's website. We have been told that the commission is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I was looking at the financial aspect in particular. I don't know if you have checked out the commission's site, but there is no link to Instagram. The site only indicates which platforms the commission is using.

Are you aware of this?

(1110)

Hon. Karina Gould:

No.

Ms. Linda Lapointe:

You didn't check it out? Yesterday, I checked it out.

That was my first question. I am trying to start up my computer but it is not co-operating.

Hon. Karina Gould:

I know that my staff looked everywhere today and found the link to Instagram. It may be easier to access from the app than from the computer.

Ms. Linda Lapointe:

No. I tried it.

Hon. Karina Gould:

We could show you how to do it.

Ms. Linda Lapointe:

Okay.

committee hansard proc 28631 words - whole entry and permanent link. Posted at 17:44 on May 16, 2019

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