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Evidence of meeting #33 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was billion.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

François Guimont  Deputy Minister, Deputy Receiver General for Canada, Department of Public Works and Government Services
Liseanne Forand  President, Shared Services Canada
Alex Lakroni  Chief Financial Officer, Finance Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services
Renée Jolicoeur  Assistant Deputy Minister, Accounting, Banking and Compensation Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services
Pierre-Marc Mongeau  Assistant Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Precinct Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services
Tom Ring  Assistant Deputy Minister, Acquisitions Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services

3:50 p.m.

Liseanne Forand President, Shared Services Canada

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I simply want to clarify something. In fact, the amounts from the departments, whether it's public works or any other department, were transferred in full to Shared Services Canada, during the transfer, which was August 4 in the case of public works, or November 15 for the other departments.

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Thank you very much.

Madam Minister, Shared Services Canada has existed since 2011. You are currently requesting a transfer of $1.4 billion, but we have yet to see anything from this organization.

Is it not inappropriate to say that you will work with $1.4 billion when you have nothing to show? I know that you will perhaps tell me about the report on plans and priorities; however, your expenses are not in the Supplementary Estimates (A), but directly in the estimates.

Could you please give me an idea of your schedule for the publication of what I would call your "game plan", with respect to Shared Services Canada?

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

I'll make one comment, and then I'll ask Liseanne to speak to that specifically.

The mandate of Shared Services Canada is stabilization and consolidation, so part of that is the budgets—consolidating the budgets from the departments and consolidating the IT sections from all of these departments into one new entity. That's part of why this funding is being transferred.

In terms of the RPP, I'll let Liseanne answer.

3:55 p.m.

President, Shared Services Canada

Liseanne Forand

Thank you, Minister.

Thank you for the question.

As the documents issued with the Main Estimates explain, when government responsibilities are transferred mid-year, the credits are automatically transferred. That's what happened on August 4 and November 15, 2011.

For 2011-2012, Shared Services Canada does not have credits as such, but we will as of April 1st, 2012. To explain the use of these credits, we will present a report on our plans and priorities, which will be tabled in the House at the same time as those of the other departments.

Since August 4, 2011, our main priority has been to maintain operational stability in the 43 departments. They have transferred money and employees to us, and we have continued our activities under the plans and projects in effect in those departments until the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

Denis, that concludes your time.

Thank you.

The bells are not going yet, so we'll keep going.

Kelly Block, for the Conservatives, you have five minutes.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

It always seems that I have a cold and I am sometimes struggling with my voice when I have an opportunity to ask questions of you and the department.

I want to....

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

I apologize for interrupting you, Mrs. Block, but I think we have agreed as a committee that when the bell rings, it's over.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

We have 30-minute bells. If there's unanimous consent, we can finish this round.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

No.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

Apparently there is no consent.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

We would agree to prolong the period for questions.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

There's interest on this side at least to conclude one round of questioning. If we finish Kelly's five minutes and let the Liberals have five minutes, at least all three parties would have had an opportunity. That would leave us still 20 minutes to get back for this vote. What's the will of the committee? Is there consent?

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

The answer is no, on the condition that it may be convenient today or sound like a good idea today, but trust me being here six years that once you decide to go that route, then you have to open it up always.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

That's not true. I've been here 15 years.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

My view is that we follow the rules. When the bells ring, you're supposed to attend the House of Commons, and so you do not have unanimous consent.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

I'm very disappointed, because it's so rare to have a minister here.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Chair, that's exactly what I wanted to point out. It is very rare that we have the opportunity to ask the Minister or other ministers and their assistants questions. We don't have just any witness here today. It would be good to have another 10 minutes. We can make it in 20 minutes.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

It also seems to me that we can use our judgment when the bell rings while we're in the middle of asking questions.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

We can argue the issue as long as we want. If there's no consent—

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Can we check with the clerk to see if it's debatable? I don't know why we're debating it. It's not debatable.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

There was no motion to adjourn made actually. We're talking about whether or not we should avail ourselves—

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

I think it's procedural. When the bells ring, the day's over.

March 12th, 2012 / 3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

My suggestion was that perhaps since the officials have budgeted two hours, they could come back after we vote, and we could continue with them.

4 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

That's the second question we have to ask. Is there a willingness of the committee to come back after the vote? They're half-hour bells. We won't be voting until 4:30. If it takes 15 minutes to vote, we can be back here by ten to five.

4 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

I'm fine with coming back for the officials.