Evidence of meeting #96 for Finance in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was project.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Patricia Brady  Director General, Investment Review Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Andrew Brown  Executive Director, Employment Insurance Policy, Skills and Employment Branch, Department of Employment and Social Development
Sébastien St-Arnaud  Senior Policy Strategist, Strategic Policy and Legislative Reform, Labour Program, Department of Employment and Social Development
Marie-Pier Côté  Director, Express Entry Policy, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Glenn Campbell  Assistant Deputy Minister, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada
Shawn Grover  Senior Policy Analyst, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada
Niko Fleming  Chief, Infrastructure, Sectoral Policy Analysis, Economic Development and Corporate Finance Branch, Department of Finance
Victoria Henderson  Acting Director, Cost Management, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Louis Marcotte  Director General, International Business Development, Investment and Innovation, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
Roger Ermuth  Assistant Comptroller General, Financial Management Sector, Office of the Comptroller General, Treasury Board Secretariat

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Does the...?

10:35 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada

Glenn Campbell

We can reiterate the point that PPP Canada is a procurement...about how a project is constructed downstream. The Canada infrastructure bank is designed to arrange the project financing. This could include a P3 structure for procurement if that's what the project wants. We see them, however, as two distinct functions and skill sets.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I'm speaking as someone who sees the value of a dollar, who sees that there could be more private investment in Canada, and who sees that if you were able to bundle those together there might be some further strides that could be made. I do not believe fundamentally that you need a new bureaucracy in Ottawa, particularly when it's going to take five years before this thing actually starts operating smoothly.

I see the hammer here, and I appreciate this submission. I just wanted to have it on the record that I believe there are innovations in infrastructure funding that could be made, but not through this mechanism.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Are there any other comments?

Is this going to take five years to be up and running?

10:35 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada

Glenn Campbell

With the objective set out for the bank and the mandate subject to parliamentary approval, the bank could be operating this fall. We have a planning date of November, and then, really right out of the gate, we'll be working on the advisory function and working with our municipal, territorial, provincial, and other partners on structuring projects. Many of these projects do take time to develop.

As you may know, the government decided to locate the bank in Toronto closer to the ecosystem and infrastructure universe, so it will not be an Ottawa-based entity.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay. We're not exactly on any amendments but the discussion is a valid one.

Next are Mr. Albas and Mr. Ouellette, and let's hope that will end the discussion.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Just on the point about five years, any crown corporation is going to take a while before all the policies...and before the people begin to have a working structure. That's before it starts to step in stride. I appreciate that the mechanism will be there, but whether or not all the value-for-money protocols and internal processes can be set up.... Just having people in a leased location does not an institution make.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. Ouellette.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

I was interested in the comment you made, Mr. Campbell, about information and setting up the advisory in November. I was just wondering how you were going to be sharing information with municipalities, provinces, and potential partners. How are you going to be building the bank and informing those partners about the possibilities of using this new entity?

10:35 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada

Glenn Campbell

I'm already in continuous engagement with both sets of stakeholders involved in the bank, and I'm having a discussion with my ADM colleagues in the federal, provincial, and territorial universes tomorrow, really to tee up, so that the moment the bank is operating and, quite frankly, the moment we have established people, they will be interfacing with many of our counterparts on envisioning projects.

We have a lot of demand now from our municipal, territorial, and provincial colleagues, who want to interface with the experts at the bank so that they can start thinking and doing their long-term planning as envisioned.

We anticipate it being a centre of expertise, having an advisory function to help other orders of government think through whether this is a viable option or not for them. Then, over time, we will develop the data for all parties to help better inform long-term infrastructure decision-making.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

How will you be connecting, for instance, private investors and private funds with the partners, the municipalities, and the provinces?

10:40 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office, Office of Infrastructure of Canada

Glenn Campbell

The precise value-added role of having an independent, arm's-length entity is that a public sponsor brings forward a project. Then, really, it's up to the bank to determine with that sponsor whether or not there is an appropriate investor base for that particular project. That really is a market-determining function of whether or not a project is bankable, and that provides the feedback mechanism to the sponsor of that project as to whether they want to continue under the infrastructure bank model.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Okay, thank you. That ends the discussion on clause 403.

Shall clause 403 carry?

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I request a recorded vote.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

A recorded vote, please, Madam Clerk.

(Clause 403 agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)

Clause 403 carries, and we do have a person on the line from Veterans Affairs, but I'm wondering about this. There are still three sections related to infrastructure. There are no amendments to clauses 404, 405, and 406. Could we see them as a block and carry them on division? Is that agreed?

(Clauses 404 to 406 inclusive agreed to on division)

I thank our witnesses. You are released.

Can we go back, then, to division 12? That is “Canadian Forces Members and Veterans” in clauses 270 to 299. From Veterans Affairs Canada, we have on the line, from Charlottetown, Shawn MacDougall, who is the senior director, policy directorate, strategic policy and commemoration.

We have the witness with Veterans Affairs Canada on the line if there are any questions on these clauses in the bill, clauses 270 to 299. There are no amendments. Is everybody okay to see them as a block and move them as a block? Before we do that, are there any questions for Mr. MacDougall, who has been waiting on the line for about an hour in case there are questions?

Okay, Mr. MacDougall, thank you very much for waiting on the line. There are no questions.

(Clauses 270 to 299 inclusive agreed to on division)

We'll go back to clause 304, but I'm wondering, seeing as we've been at it two hours, if people want to take a 10-minute suspension. Are we agreed?

10:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Could we reconvene?

(On clause 304)

Clause 304 is on the floor. There was a question by Mr. Albas. We have with us now Victoria Henderson, assistant director, cost management, with IRCC.

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I appreciate that this is based on the NDP amendment specifically laying out the status of an applicant. Right now my understanding is that there is a practice that if someone whose permit has come up, regardless of what the permit is, and they have applied for another, whether a work permit or a study permit, etc., they are given implied status until.... If the application is turned down, then they have no status. I think that's the amendment he's trying to make to this bill.

If you can say if this is already happening in practice, yes or no, maybe we'll go from there.

May 30th, 2017 / 10:55 a.m.

Victoria Henderson Acting Director, Cost Management, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

I'd like to apologize, first, for my delay in appearing.

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

We got here faster than you expected. That's not a problem. Go ahead.

10:55 a.m.

Acting Director, Cost Management, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Victoria Henderson

I'm not the operational expert, but what I can say is that for temporary residents, if they did apply for an extension to their status, and if that application is received prior to its expiry, then, yes, they do have an implied status until a decision is rendered.

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Given that this has been the practice, both under the previous and current governments, is there a need for further legislation on this topic?

10:55 a.m.

Acting Director, Cost Management, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Victoria Henderson

I can't comment on any specific further legislation that would be required in that context. The context for our proposal is specifically an exemption for permanent residents, and not temporary residents.

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Okay. Maybe I'll let Mr. Dusseault ask some of his questions. I'm sympathetic, but my experience as a member of Parliament is that this practice happens every day. I'm not entirely convinced it needs to be legislated further.

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. Dusseault, we are on amendment NDP-18.