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Evidence of meeting #50 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was commission.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Paul Thompson  Assistant Deputy Minister, Processing and Payment Services Branch, Service Canada
Éric Giguère  Director, Employment Insurance Appeal Division, Service Canada

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Yes, there were several questions.

12:30 p.m.

Director, Employment Insurance Appeal Division, Service Canada

Éric Giguère

I am going to start with the question concerning communication with...

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

The worker's representative.

12:30 p.m.

Director, Employment Insurance Appeal Division, Service Canada

Éric Giguère

...the representative or the claimant. I think communication is with the claimant, but I would have to confirm that.

Is more time allocated in certain cases? We want to be fair, so the same time frame is applied to everyone, whether the person has a representative or not. We do not want to give anyone preferential treatment and so we do not necessarily consider whether a person has an advocate or not.

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

However, if the claimant tells you that he has a lawyer, if he provides you with a name or contact information or tells you that someone will be representing him, why do not you communicate with that person?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Employment Insurance Appeal Division, Service Canada

Éric Giguère

I will have to verify that point.

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

I would appreciate that.

When a claimant does not have enough knowledge to defend himself and must call on someone to represent him, that second person should be informed quickly.

On the matter of time frames, we have heard that it takes six to seven days to prepare a file. Do you think you can improve that?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Employment Insurance Appeal Division, Service Canada

Éric Giguère

When we prepare files we try and do that as quickly as possible, given the complexity of files. This 10-day standard was put in place to make sure a date was set for the hearing, and to try and give the person as much time as possible.

If need be, we can ask that everything be postponed to give claimants more time.

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Since these workers do not have any income while this is going on, they want things to get settled as quickly as possible.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Thank you very much.

Seeing no more questions from members, I will say thank you to the witnesses for being here. Thank you for answering our questions.

I want to speak with the committee briefly about our next two meetings.

Right now we are scheduled to be planning our disability study. For the first hour, we are scheduled to be discussing and planning the disability study. The adoption draft report is ready, so I would suggest, if the committee is in agreement, that we could take a look at that in the second hour of Tuesday's meeting. Then, on Thursday, I would like us to begin the disability study, even though we won't have all of the parameters.

12:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Is this next week?

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Yes, we're talking about next week.

On Tuesday, then, for the first hour we'd be looking at and discussing the parameters of the disability study.

Would the committee be in agreement to use the second hour for looking at the draft report on adoption? I think we probably need only an hour to get it completed. Then, on the following Thursday, we'd begin our disability study, if that's all right with the committee. That is what we had planned.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Isn't the minister here Thursday?

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

I'm sorry; yes, I'm mistaken. The minister's here Thursday.

March 22nd, 2011 / 12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

That's the day after tomorrow.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Yes.

I'm just thinking about next week, about getting ready, because we'll have to have a few....

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

We'll have to ask Tony about...[Inaudible--Editor]

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Yes, this coming Thursday the minister is here for the estimates.

12:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Are we in public?

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

We're in public.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

I have a quick question.

We have the minister on Thursday. Will that be a televised meeting, as is usually the case?

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

I think that according to the Standing Orders it is, yes.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Thank you.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Go ahead, Mr. Lessard.

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

How much time had we scheduled with the minister? Was it one hour or two?