Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for your decision. I'm not quite happy to hear it, but I understand it and I understand the rules. As you know, this would have greatly strengthened the role of the federal housing advocate, which, in the absence of the amendments, is unfortunately a little meaningless. In any event, I heard a few minutes ago that my colleague had taken good note of these recommendations and that he would follow up on them. I will wait to see what happens, but know that we will be following this closely. In addition, we expect that this person will have significant powers, including the ability to undertake studies and receive petitions. I don't want to go into the details, since you've ruled that inadmissible.
I will therefore move on to amendment NDP-12. Its purpose is to have the minister respond to the recommendations that the federal housing advocate will make to him. This advocacy role is created in the bill. It doesn't have the bite I would have liked, but at least it was created. My amendment is to add subclause 17.1 after clause 17, since the advocate is accountable to the minister and to Parliament.
I also thought it would be good to ensure that the minister has an obligation to respond to the recommendations. I propose that he be required to do so within sixty days of receiving the recommendation. When the defender makes recommendations, they should not remain unanswered. In other words, the government must not shelve them, thank people for their work, wish them a good day and then move on to the next task.
We want some transparency in the government's responses. This is the case when we ask it to respond to committee reports, petitions or questions on the Order Paper. We are asking ministers to be responsible and answer all of this, and of course to do so publicly. This is what justifies amendment NDP-12, which concerns the addition of subclause 17.1.