Evidence of meeting #140 for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was funding.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Seamus O'Regan  Minister of Indigenous Services
Yves Robillard  Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.
Jean-François Tremblay  Deputy Minister, Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Paul Thoppil  Chief Finances, Results and Delivery Officer, Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Alex Lakroni  Chief Finances, Results and Delivery Officer, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Diane Lafleur  Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

No, it's related to the new minister.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

Well, I would ask all members—I know we're very anxious to be talking about what happened yesterday—to focus your questions on the supplementary estimates. I encourage you to keep your questions focused in that direction.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Fine.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

MP McLeod.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

On a point of order, there has always been considerable flexibility when we have a minister who has come to the table. It's probably only once or twice a year. In the past, considerable flexibility has been given by the chair in terms of more general things related to the department. I would just put on the record that we need to be consistent with how we've dealt with this in the past.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

I'm going to suggest that anything related to the fiscal management of the department and the services that Indigenous Services provides would be appropriate. We have been fairly lenient, but in my interpretation, testimony related to the politics revealed yesterday exceeds the demands or the guidance of it being relevant.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Well, I will ask a fiscal question, then.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

All right.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Minister, I couldn't help but notice that you were in our province last week, and I couldn't also help but notice this one picture. You were in a jet. Was that a Challenger?

9:05 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

Seamus O'Regan

No, that was an unfortunate tweet.

Georgina, what was it? It was a Beechcraft 1900, whose chairs are normally right on your knees. I had an official with me who got a new telephoto lens and put the seat down in front of me, so it looks as though I'm G5-ing it. However, I can tell you, it was absolutely not the case.

We were on a plane with elders, with members of the community, and if you don't mind my saying so, with the member of the committee here, Georgina Jolibois. This is a normal way for people in the north to travel. It's the most cost-efficient way when we're going from place to place.

I thought the view outside the window looked cool. It turned out to be an absolute disaster of a tweet, as they go. It in no way reflects the way we travel. It certainly in no way reflects our priorities. It's just a stupid old tweet.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

What was the cost of the...?

9:05 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

Seamus O'Regan

It would be in keeping with our departmental costs. You know, these things would be out there.

Honestly, Mr. Waugh, if you saw the plane it's something that you would see normally in northern Saskatchewan. A Beechcraft 1900 ain't sexy. There is not much legroom. It's just how we get back and forth. I can say, as a former baggage handler at Goose Bay International Airport in Labrador and flying around all over Labrador, this is—

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

It's fun, right?

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

Seamus O'Regan

—pretty typical stuff. I have to be honest with you, I'm used to a Twin Otter or a Beaver, so this is pretty high end for me.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

You were in Regina that week and then you flew to Saskatoon—

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

—for the Fond-du-Lac announcement—

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

—and then you chartered this plane up north.

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

Seamus O'Regan

Yes, because there were a number of people with us. It also looks like I'm alone. Most of the people were near the front of the plane because they knew the heat was better up there.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

And you made an announcement in La Ronge, I think. Did you?

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

How much?

9:10 a.m.

Minister of Indigenous Services

Seamus O'Regan

For the treatment and wellness centre there I think it was close to $10 million. It will affect tens of thousands of people in neighbouring communities. It was something that they had worked on for quite some time. Addictions are a huge problem out there. In fact, I could expand on this at a later point but we recognize it's a huge problem in many communities in the north. The people there got together and they have done exemplary work in finding programming in a facility that will meet their specific needs. It was an honour to be up there with them.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

Thank you.

We move on to MP Georgina Jolibois.