House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Royal Canadian Legion
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, recently members of Branch 10 of the Royal Canadian Legion in my riding developed a resolution to make the veterans' independence program more accessible to veterans. The motion proposes to increase the cut-off threshold from approximately $17,000 of income to $25,000, more in line with the poverty level for Canada and only reasonable.

This motion was moved by Mr. Harold Ettinger and seconded by Mr. George Evans. It was signed branch president Peter Lind and branch secretary Virginia Chandler, and has the support of zone commander Les Nash.

A prime supporter on this issue has always been Pastor Harold Higgens who served in many positions in the Legion and is himself a veteran who works tirelessly for veterans.

My office has forwarded the information about this resolution to over 1000 branches of the Royal Canadian Legion across the country asking them to support the motion at the upcoming Dominion Command meeting in Halifax. If it is passed, thousands of veterans will have their lives improved at a small cost to the government.

I ask the Minister of Veterans Affairs to move as quickly as possible once the motion is passed by Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

May 17th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister most famous for mismanagement and bungling is collecting sensitive information on 33 million Canadians. Tax and employment information, travel details, immigration and ethnicity details, information on families, disabilities, moving patterns and education are now under the control of the biggest bungler in this government.

Why does the government think that it needs to—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would prefer if we called each other just by our regular titles.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, here again we have that party trying to scare Canadians.

Let us look at what the privacy commissioner actually did say about the department, and I quote:

I don't question that they had, and they have, good reasons for doing this and that it is useful information in terms of improving the quality of their programs. I am not suggesting either that they've done anything unlawful here. They are complying with the strict letter of the law....

The commissioner goes on to note “the very responsible management that this file is getting right now”.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at some irresponsible management. I have just uncovered another internal audit on the assessment of information technology security which was brought forward in September 1999. It is about information technology. The audit states:

Since few people know of the existence of the IT security policies and procedures, personnel knowledge of IT security standards and practices needs improvement.

This is the minister's own department. Could she stand up and defend the fact that her own department does not even need to know what it is doing in terms of information technology security?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what I will stand up and defend is the fact that my department does internal audits and that these audits are very useful tools in helping us to continuously improve the operation of the programs in my department. Is she suggesting that we should not be looking at ourselves or that we should not be challenging ourselves to get better? Is that what the hon. member would like?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

No. Mr. Speaker. What we would like is for the department to do the job that it was hired to do and not be so involved with political manipulation from the top. The minister needs to come forward with ministerial responsibility and accountability.

I will again quote from the document:

Additionally, hard copies of IT security-related documents are regularly distributed to HRDC personnel, however, their knowledge level of IT security policies and procedures is not good.

Either this minister takes responsibility or she does not. Will she stand in her place today and say that things are a mess under her watch?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I will stand in my place today and say that I do take my job responsibly. If nothing else, the last five months in this House prove that.

I want to remind the hon. member again that it is a department that is continuously looking at itself, using audits to identify areas where we can make improvements and it is a department that makes changes to improve the services that we provide to Canadians.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty scary when a minister who has the most private information about each and every one of us says that we need to make improvements in the security arrangements with which we handle this information. This is our life. This is information about every single Canadian and the minister—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's own departmental audits talk about inconsistent security measures and security risks not being appropriately addressed. We have a minister that cannot keep personal information secure. Why is the minister not concerned?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, in the context of this issue, let us again look at what the privacy commissioner said about the men and women in my department. He said “We have over at HRDC right now some very well motivated public servants who are being very careful”. He understands that the men and women in my department appreciate the issue of privacy.

I want to confirm to the House that indeed we are ensuring that the information we use is encrypted, that it is secure. I would note that in March a deputy of my department wrote to the privacy commissioner and asked him to join us in a working group to ensure that we continue to provide privacy into the future.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.