Evidence of meeting #3 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was million.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Nadir Patel  Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
  • Sabine Nolke  Director General, Non-Proliferation and Security Threat Reduction Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
  • Charles Lamarre  Director General of Operations, Strategic Joint Staff, Department of National Defence
  • Christopher Ram  Legal Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

3:45 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

No, it was $123.4 million in vote 1, then in the grants and contributions it was $150 million, and the majority of that or a good chunk was assessed contributions to international organizations where the assessments came in a lot lower than we had expected.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Right. If I could cut through so people might actually understand this, there's about $300 million you could have spent that wasn't spent.

3:45 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

The way I would characterize it, it's $300 million that we actually—

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

That you had available to you to spend.

3:45 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

Well, we couldn't in fact spend it.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

This is beautiful.

3:45 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

Assessments, as an example, for international organizations was less than—

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

No, I get that.

3:45 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

We wouldn't have given them more than what we were assessed. So there's an example of money—

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

But you had access to that money to spend.

3:50 p.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Finance and Operations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Nadir Patel

We had it in our reference levels, yes.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Yes, thank you.

That is really what we're talking about here, that in this past year, Minister, you had a good sum of money that you could have accessed but went unallocated.

You might need help with this, Minister, but I don't think so because I actually have the numbers from your department. In the first quarter of last year, 2012-13, you had 33 projects of over $25,000 that were approved. In this first quarter of 2013-14, you only have approved six projects over that amount. What's going on here? There seems to be a real slowing down of approvals.

November 19th, 2013 / 3:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

We're doing smaller ones.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Okay. How many?

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

We'd certainly be happy to get you that information.