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Evidence of meeting #61 for Finance in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was transfer.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Glenn Campbell  Director, International Policy and Analysis Division , Department of Finance
Gilles Moreau  Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety
Jonathan Roy  Senior Policy Analyst, Social Policy, Health, Justice, Culture, Department of Finance
Daniel MacDonald  Chief, Federal-Provincial Relations Division, CHT/CST and Northern Policy, Department of Finance
John Davies  Director General, National Security Policy, Department of Public Safety
Darryl Hirsch  Senior Policy Analyst, Intelligence Policy and Coordination, Department of Public Safety
Nigel Harrison  Manager, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
David Gillis  Director General, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
David Lee  Director, Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization; Policy, Planning and International Affairs Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Department of Health
Samuel Godefroy  Director General, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Department of Health
Alwyn Child  Director General, Program Development and Guidance Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Annette Nicholson  Secretary and General Counsel, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Lenore Duff  Senior Director, Strategic Policy and Legislative Reform, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Dominique La Salle  Director General, Seniors and Pensions Policy Secretariat, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Nathalie Martel  Director, Old Age Security Policy, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Bruno Rodrigue  Chief, Social policy, Income Security, Department of Finance
Annette Vermaeten  Director, Task Force, Special Projects, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Eileen Boyd  Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Senior Personnel, Privy Council Office
Neil Bouwer  Vice-President, Policy and Programs, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Lynn Tassé  Director, Canada Gazette, Department of Public Works and Government Services
Gerard Peets  Senior Director, Strategy and Planning Directorate, Department of Industry
Patricia Brady  Director, Investment, Insolvency, Competition and Corporate Policy Directorate, Department of Industry
Andy Lalonde  Manager, Preclearance, Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Public Safety
Lynn Hemmings  Senior Chief, Payments, Payments and Pensions, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance

May 17th, 2012 / 3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

That's helpful. I guess to a certain extent it's a subjective judgment. Certainly primary creditor status helps, but you're a maritimer, so if you don't mind my saying, if the arse falls out of the euro, even with primary creditor status these are uncharted territories.

Do you think your firewall commitment is going to be sufficient to get us through this, or is there some analysis now that the current firewall is not going to potentially be a large enough commitment?

3:40 p.m.

Director, International Policy and Analysis Division , Department of Finance

Glenn Campbell

For clarification, are you pertaining to the European firewall or the--

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Yes, the European firewall.

3:40 p.m.

Director, International Policy and Analysis Division , Department of Finance

Glenn Campbell

It's very delicate for me to comment on the situation in Europe at the present time, and perhaps it falls outside the scope of the provision here. However, again on behalf of the minister, we are certainly following closely and are very concerned and mindful of what's happening, and we hope that the European governments make full use of their support facilities.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Thank you.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

I don't have any other colleagues on the list, so I'll thank Mr. Campbell very much for presenting to us today.

We will bring forward officials for division 14, Canada Health Act. For colleagues' information, that's on page 281 of Bill C-38.

Welcome to the committee. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. We'd appreciate it if you had an opening statement, an overview, then we'll have questions from members.

Thank you.

3:40 p.m.

Gilles Moreau Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

I would first like to thank the committee for inviting the RCMP to appear at this meeting today on the study of clause 377, where it is proposed that paragraph (b) of the definition “insured person“ in section 2 of the Canada Health Act be repealed to enable the modernization of the RCMP's health services program. The amendment to the definition of an insured person within the Canada Health Act will allow members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to be included as insurable persons under the provincial and territorial health programs.

The RCMP would divest itself of the administrative functions of providing basic health care services for its members, and in turn eliminate the indirect costs related to the administration and management of this activity.

Provinces and territories would assume the provision of basic health care to RCMP members under the provincial and territorial health programs. The provincial and territorial health programs are currently funded to provide and administer basic health care services for the force's members, as they receive federal transfer payments based on total population figures that include RCMP members as part of their overall population base.

The amendment to the Canada Health Act would come into force upon royal assent to the proposed Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act.

Again, thank you for inviting me today. I look forward to answering your questions.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Thank you for your presentation.

We'll start with Monsieur Caron, s'il vous plait.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

I will be brief.

If services are no longer provided by the federal government, I assume the costs will be borne by the provinces. Is that correct?

3:40 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Have the provinces been consulted?

3:40 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

The provinces with which we have contracts have been consulted. They asked us to look at this last year when we were negotiating police services contracts with them. It was at their request that we suggested the government make this change.

As regards the health departments, I will be in Toronto next week with a Health Canada representative to meet with officials from every province.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

You say the provinces. Have all the provinces been consulted?

3:40 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

We haven't signed a contract with Ontario or Quebec.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

All right.

However, you are going to meet with the representatives of the health departments of those two provinces.

3:40 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

We will be meeting them next week with the other health partners.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

All right.

Do you have an idea of the amount that would go to the provinces as a result of this decision?

3:45 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

If we are talking about the costs to provide basic care to regular members of the RCMP, it's about $40 million. The cost to the federal government is $25 million. The cost to the provinces is $15 million.

That cost is incurred because, when we receive services in the provinces, we are not considered residents. So we pay more than a resident. In some places, it's two or three time more expensive. That's how we will be saving money.

We conducted an analysis of what the costs will be in each province. That analysis is based on what residents would be charged for the same services that have been received in the past.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

What you say is interesting. People weren't considered residents of a particular province, but were Canadian. So they were considered residents of another province.

3:45 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

That's it. We are not considered residents because we don't have health insurance cards.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

I see.

3:45 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

For example, in British Columbia, a medical procedure that normally costs a resident $100 costs an RCMP member $300. We bill the provinces 70% of that amount under the agreements and contracts. So the province had to pay $210 for that service and the federal government, that is to say the RCMP, paid $90. Under what is being proposed, that transaction would cost the provincial government $100. That's one example among many.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

What were the arguments of the provinces that you consulted for repatriating those services? I find this a bit strange since it will result in additional costs to them.

3:45 p.m.

Director General, National Compensation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Public Safety

Gilles Moreau

When we renegotiated the RCMP's service contracts, which were signed in early 2012, the provinces with which we have a contract said that this was one of the points they wanted to discuss. They wondered why RCMP members were not covered by the provincial plans. In this way, we could reduce the costs that are billed to RCMP members and then, indirectly, to the province when we send it a bill. That consultation was conducted with the provinces and territories with which we have contracts.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

I have a final question to finish with.

You tell me you have not yet started discussions with Quebec and Ontario. It is possible that those provinces may find themselves facing a fait accompli before the negotiations culminate in a decision. Is that correct?