Evidence of meeting #39 for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was estimates.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Michael Wernick  Deputy Minister, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

I would ask that members ask questions with regard to the supplementary estimates (A).

I'll turn it over to you, Ms. Bennett.

5 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Thank you.

I would just like to get it on the record that seeing there's been a refusal to divide up the budget implementation bill and that it will not be studied at the aboriginal peoples committee in the Senate, this is the time when the minister is before us to examine the implications of the budget, as well as the supplementary (A)s. The supplementary (A)s have already been reported back to the House.

We have the minister before us. This ought to be an opportunity for us to ask the minister what we want, and it won't be about non-aboriginal youth in downtown Toronto. It will be only about things that are the direct responsibility of the minister. I will try again.

The supplementary (A)s include $7.4 million for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As you know from the interim report of February 24, the commission has asked about extending the time of the mandate of the commission, but as well for significant dollars to properly do their work. I'd like to know what the minister thinks the $7.4 million will do, when clearly the commission is asking for a great deal more than that in order to do their work properly.

5 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

As you know, the—

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

I hate to do this, and I recognize the words are there and there's a reference to that program, but as you know, there are no adjustments for supplementary (A)s with regard to that. I take the point that members want to ask questions with regard to different files that may be under the minister's purview, but the committee specifically asked the minister to come here to speak about the supplementary estimates (A). These are allocations of cash that were put forward for the purpose of additional funds.

I'll turn it over to you, Ms. Bennett.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

With due respect, Mr. Chair, when the invitation was extended, we had not been led to believe that they would have already been reported back by the time the minister arrived. What is under scrutiny right now is the impact of the budget, as well as the supplementary (A)s. I do not think it's unreasonable to ask the minister to answer questions about the impact of the budget, as well as the supplementary (A)s, and particularly the things that actually are listed in the supplementary (A)s as an issue.

I would really encourage that you allow the minister to answer the question on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

Ms. Bennett, I again have asked members to keep it to the subject matter that committee members asked the minister to come here to speak about.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

The $7.4 million is in the supplementary (A)s.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

Ms. Bennett, I think maybe you and I are reading the document differently. I don't see an adjustment for supplementary (A)s with regard to that particular envelope. I'm sorry, but that's not within the supplementary (A)s, so I'd ask that you refer to a different line item—

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

I hope that these questions you have deemed out of order will be answered by the minister in writing.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

I'd welcome the committee to invite the minister to discuss a different subject matter at a later date, but there are committee members who are desperately looking for answers with regard to the supplementary estimates (A). I think it's important that we give members that opportunity. The minister really has only one hour, and I want to ensure that on the subject matter he's been asked to bring us information about he is asked those questions and that he is allowed to answer questions with regard to that subject matter.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

In the supplementary estimates (A), as of April of this year, the administration and control of the urban aboriginal youth and community programs unit has been transferred from the Department of Canadian Heritage to Indian Affairs and Northern Development. There was a report last year saying that didn't seem to make any sense. Can you tell me why that's happening?

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Certainly, the—

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

What specific programs are you taking from Canadian Heritage?

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

All the programs, the three major program elements that were under the aboriginal friendship centre program, which were funded from Canadian Heritage, are being transferred.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Is there any reduction in the money or the staff?