An Act respecting regulatory modernization


In committee (Senate), as of April 28, 2022

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April 26th, 2022 / 4:40 p.m.
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Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Treasury Board Secretariat

Karen Cahill

As stated by the minister in the first hour, Bill S-6 will offer more, make it easier for businesses to do business across borders. It will provide a more digital environment for Canadians to deal with our Canadian business. This bill will also ensure that we are able to make it less burdensome for businesses to do what they have to do. Therefore this will help them with the restart of the economy postpandemic.

April 26th, 2022 / 4:40 p.m.
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Parm Bains Liberal Steveston—Richmond East, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all of our witnesses here today.

I'm going to talk a little bit about a question around barriers on innovation and economic growth. Since the minister last appeared in front of this committee, the government introduced Bill S-6. The bill repeals or amends regulations that have over time become barriers to innovation and economic growth.

Can any member of the team maybe comment on how that bill will do this?

April 26th, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Ottawa—Vanier Ontario


Mona Fortier LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you for having me again, this time to discuss the main estimates for the 2022-23 fiscal year, and the departmental plan for the Treasury Board Secretariat for the same period.

Today, I am accompanied in person and virtually by the following Treasury Board Secretariat officials: Annie Boudreau, assistant secretary, expenditure management sector; Karen Cahill, assistant secretary and chief financial officer; Marie‑Chantal Girard, assistant deputy minister, employee relations and total compensation; Monia Lahaie, assistant comptroller general, financial management sector; Samantha Tattersall, assistant comptroller general, acquired services and assets sector; and Paul Wagner, assistant deputy minister, strategy and transformation.

Mr. Chair, I would like to start by recognizing the excellent work done by these officials. I'm most grateful for all their efforts.

The 2022-23 main estimates seek funding to address Canada's key priorities. They include infrastructure investments, benefits for seniors and students, transfers to the provinces and territories for health care and child care, and action to reduce emissions and green our economy.

The government is also seeking the necessary investments to continue protecting and supporting Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, and to foster economic recovery.

The main estimates contain information on planned budget expenditures totalling $397.6 billion, which will allow 126 organizations to provide programs and services to Canadians. This amount will be allocated through voted expenditures of $190.3 billion as well as $207.3 billion worth of statutory spending, which is already authorized under current laws.

As always, details about each organization's work can be found in the departmental plans. The plans were tabled the day after the main estimates, supporting parliamentary scrutiny.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is seeking $7.8 billion in funding in these main estimates, and $4.3 billion is broken down as follows: $750 million for government contingencies, $152 million for government-wide initiatives, $2.1 billion for operating and $750 million for capital budget carry-forward, and $600 million for paylist expenditures.

These central votes support Treasury Board in its role as the expenditure manager, employer and general manager for the Government of Canada.

There are also funds totalling $3.2 billion for payments to pension, benefit and insurance plans, which include employer contributions for employment insurance, wage loss insurance and life insurance. The remaining $320 million will be used for the department's operations and activities.

Before closing, Mr. Chair, allow me to touch briefly on some of my department's objectives and priorities. In its spending oversight, TBS is beginning an ongoing strategic policy review to ensure that programs are effective on challenges like climate change, the pandemic and growing the economy. It will also adapt government to our postpandemic reality, such as digitization.

I want to be clear: The review is about smarter government, not smaller government.

TBS will also work with Environment and Climate Change Canada to ensure that climate considerations are integrated throughout the government's decision-making.

In its role as employer, TBS will continue to ensure that Canadians can receive services in both official languages. We'll work to bolster our role through Bill C-13, an act for the substantive equality of Canada's official languages, which will strengthen our monitoring, auditing and evaluation.

We'll also begin a review of how to best protect the courageous whistle-blowers who disclose serious wrongdoing within government.

As to the Treasury Board Secretariat's administrative leadership role within government, it will continue to improve Canadians' digital experience when they access government services. The secretariat will work with its governmental partners to help departments and agencies attain the required minimum of at least 5% of the value of federal contracts being awarded to indigenous communities.

Moreover, the secretariat will work with departments and agencies towards fulfilling the government's commitment to purchasing completely clean electricity wherever possible by the end of 2022, electrifying the federal fleet of light vehicles by 2030, and reducing waste production and water consumption.

In its people management role, TBS will bring forward a plan for the future of work in the public service. It will also support departments in removing barriers for public servants with disabilities, and in implementing plans outlined in their responses to the call to action on anti-racism, equity and inclusion in the public service.

Finally, in its regulatory oversight role, TBS will continue to lead efforts to ensure that regulations maintain high health and safety standards while improving the competitiveness of Canadian businesses. A key measure is Bill S-6, the second annual regulatory modernization bill. This legislation will reduce administrative burden for businesses, facilitate digital interactions with government and simplify regulatory processes. Bill S-6 will support our economic recovery by helping businesses do what they do best and by making it easier for Canadians to get things done.

Mr. Chair, these priorities set out in the Treasury Board Secretariat's departmental plan and the investments requested in the main estimates reflect our efforts to meet the evolving needs of Canadians.

With these documents, the government continues to provide information in an open, transparent and responsible matter so that parliamentarians and Canadians have a clear idea of the way the government intends to invest money for Canadians and for Canada.

Again, I would like to thank the committee for its work and the valuable role you play in the estimates and parliamentary supply process.

In closing, thank you again for the invitation. My officials and I would be pleased to answer your questions at this time.