Evidence of meeting #60 for Finance in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was ppp.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Martine Lajoie  Chief, Sectoral Policy Analysis, Transport and Corporate Analysis, Economic Development and Corporate Finance Branch, Department of Finance
  • Maxime Beaupré  Senior Economist, Sectoral Policy Analysis, Transport and Corporate Analysis, Economic Development and Corporate Finance Branch, Department of Finance
  • Daniel Macdonald  Chief, Federal-Provincial Relations Division, CHT/CST and Northern Policy, Department of Finance
  • Nicholas S. Wise  Excutive Director, Strategic Policy, Priorities and Planning, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Christiane Allard  Advisor, Strategic Policy, Priorities and Planning, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Sue Foster  Director General, Policy, Quality and Appeals Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • Peter Edwards  Acting Corporate Secretary, Corporate Secretariat, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • Peter Boyd  Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • Margaret Strysio  Director, Strategic Planning and Reporting, Parks Canada Agency
  • Jonah Mitchell  Assistant Director, Parks Canada Agency
  • Stephen Bolton  Director, Border Law Enforcement Strategies Division, Public Safety Canada
  • Superintendent Joe Oliver  Director General, Border Integrity, Federal and International Operations, Department of Public Safety

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Okay. I appreciate that. That's helpful.

Are there any other members with questions?

Go ahead, Mr. Brison.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

How does the whole emerging issue of identity theft affect this decision to establish a registry then? I guess the expectation would have been that we were already doing this. People would have thought that we were already doing this. How does the issue of identity theft inform the decision to make these changes?

11:40 a.m.

Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Peter Boyd

Sorry, what would people have thought we were already doing?

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

To what extent does the issue of identity theft help inform the decision to make these changes?

11:40 a.m.

Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Peter Boyd

It's one of a variety of considerations that we've taken into account. It is an initiative that's been discussed in the department for quite some time. More and more we recognize that the physical card is not required in order for us to do our business or for other government departments to do their business. So phasing it out, in that context, makes a lot of sense.

Identity theft is also a consideration. It's not the only one. But a department such as HRSDC is very attuned to the privacy of personal information, as my colleagues were just saying about the changes to the privacy framework for the department. Safeguarding that personal information is a prime concern. Anything we can do to reduce the opportunities for identity theft, the better. This is one of the reasons we encourage people not to use the card inappropriately. The more widely the number becomes available, the more likely that someone will be able to take advantage of it.

When you issue a card, people come to rely on it as a piece of identification, a document. We do not encourage the use of the card as an identity document. It has no security features on it—no picture of the holder, no fingerprint, no retinal scan.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Is the change informed by a recognition of what's happening with smart phones, and in commerce? People in some countries now are not carrying credit cards or bank cards. Is that part of the process? We're de-carding, in general, and moving toward a digital format, whether it's commercially or for identification. Is that informing part of this?

11:40 a.m.

Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Peter Boyd

It's certainly part of the context in which the decision was made. I wouldn't say it was a direct factor. But we are modernizing the way we deliver services. As we do that, we recognize that more and more of these transactions will be done online, electronically, using a smart phone, using a home computer. That reinforces our assessment that the physical card is not something that is required in order for us to deliver our services effectively and efficiently.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

What about the $1,000 fine and the potential of imprisonment for a term of not more than one year? What was the rationale for the $1,000 penalty? Why $1,000?

11:45 a.m.

Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Peter Boyd

That number was already in the act, so it is not a new provision. I don't know if a specific methodology was used to develop it. But they wanted to have something in the act to discourage inappropriate use and creation of cards. Recently, it was also added to the Criminal Code, making the creation and the collection of things such as a social insurance card a criminal offence.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Thank you.

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Thank you, Mr. Brison.

Mr. Boyd, I want to thank you for being with us here today and giving us an overview of this division of the bill.

11:45 a.m.

Director General and Departmental Security Officer, Integrity Services Branch - Internal Integrity and Security, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Peter Boyd

My pleasure. Thank you very much.

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Thank you.

We will now call forward officials from Parks Canada to discuss division 9.

I want to welcome you to the committee and encourage you to provide, if you can, an overview of the division for members. Then we'll proceed to questions from members.

11:45 a.m.

Margaret Strysio Director, Strategic Planning and Reporting, Parks Canada Agency

Good morning. My name is Margaret Strysio, and I'm responsible for strategic planning and reporting at Parks Canada. I'm joined this morning by Jonah Mitchell, who is responsible for law enforcement.

Division 9 of the bill proposes changes in two areas for Parks Canada. The first relates to collaboration on environmental enforcement activities, and this is covered by clauses 315, 316, 322, and 323. Mr. Mitchell will take the committee through those clauses, and then I'll speak to the remaining clauses that deal with the streamlining of planning and reporting.

May 17th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.

Jonah Mitchell Assistant Director, Parks Canada Agency

For context, the enforcement activity of park wardens is limited to the agency mandate for national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas.

Clause 315 would allow for park wardens to assist other ministers to enforce their acts and regulations outside of parks and sites with the following constraints: the act or regulation must relate to the environment; the act or regulation must be listed in the schedule to the Parks Canada Agency Act; the location of the enforcement activity must be such that it is more convenient and efficient for park wardens to respond than other federal enforcement officers; there must be an agreement to provide these enforcement activities on behalf of the other minister; and park wardens must be designated and trained to enforce the other act.

Essentially the intent of the change is to allow for a faster and lower-cost response to environmental enforcement incidents, particularly in remote areas in the north where Environment Canada does not have an ongoing presence, but Parks Canada has a park warden nearby who could act on its behalf.

Clause 316 allows the Governor in Council to add acts and regulations to the schedule of the Parks Canada Agency Act for which park wardens could assist other bodies in enforcement activities.

Finally, clauses 322 and 323 restructure the schedules of the act to add part 3 and part 4 for the listing of the associated regulations.