Evidence of meeting #18 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was billion.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Michelle d'Auray  Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Bill Matthews  Assistant Secretary, Expenditure Management, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Christine Walker  Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Sally Thornton  Executive Director, Expenditure Operations and Estimates, Expenditure Management, Treasury Board Secretariat

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

I'm on the last bullet. I think you're on the first one.

4:45 p.m.

Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat

Michelle d'Auray

Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, this one, okay.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Now if you've got an extra $800 million kicking around, and you want to....

4:45 p.m.

An hon. member

It's a lot of potatoes.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Yes, it is a lot of potatoes.

Anyway, go ahead.

4:45 p.m.

Assistant Secretary, Expenditure Management, Treasury Board Secretariat

Bill Matthews

I'm just going to refer to the Department of Finance's estimates themselves on page 51 of the supplementary estimates (B) document.

What you should see in there is the list of the voted items first, and then you'll see the statutory bit, and on the federal-provincial payments to Ontario and P.E.I., I have to say that I'm actually struggling to find these in my list here, so bear with me for one moment.

I think, Mr. Chair, we're going to have to get back to you on the details on just what that is, if that's all right.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Thank you.

Now, within Treasury Board itself, $4.3 million has been identified as a reduction. Do I have that right?

November 24th, 2011 / 4:45 p.m.

Christine Walker Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services, Treasury Board Secretariat

Right.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Can you break down that $4.3 million in terms of what has already been identified, and what is yet to come?

4:45 p.m.

Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat

Michelle d'Auray

Most of those, Mr. Chair, are really in relation to the adjustments that we've done as a result of the strategic review decisions announced in the last budget. For us, those consisted largely of elimination of positions as a result of the administrative services review, and the service sector that we have redeployed. Most of those positions were managed through attrition, but the savings were accrued, and were taken as a result of the strategic review decisions and, therefore, are in the budget.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

And that accounts for the full $4.3 million?

4:45 p.m.

Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat

Michelle d'Auray

That's correct, yes.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

This relates back to what you just said, but also to something that was in the opening remarks of the minister, and that's the $11.5 million compensation adjustment for employees that's related to your collective agreements. Am I correct in understanding that, in some cases with these collective agreements, employees were afforded an opportunity to buy back their severance?

4:45 p.m.

Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat

Michelle d'Auray

This particular request in the supplementary estimates is not related to the severance. This is specifically related to pay increases for periods prior to the cost containment measures. I'll give you a couple of examples.

We have restructuring elements for ships' officers classification. We have an agreement with economists, and university teachers. So there are adjustments and special allocations, and they are covered by a central vote. The total of all of these adjustments is $11.5 million.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Okay, so either you're not prepared to answer or I've asked the wrong question in asking you specifically about the buyback of severance provisions negotiated with the collective agreements.