Evidence of meeting #19 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was women.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Paulette Senior  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Women's Foundation
Angela Bonfanti  Senior Vice-President, Foundation Programs, Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Marie-France Lafleur
Elizabeth Cahill  Committee Researcher

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Housefather Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Chair, I believe that Ms. Young had put forward an amendment that was on the floor. The clerk has just clarified it, but I don't believe that amendment can be amended by Mr. Albas to change the date to another date.

Right now a date is stated in Mr. Albas' motion. There is a date to change it in Ms. Young's amendment, and I think Mr. Albas can't change it again to another date.

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Chair, I have a point of order.

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

I was ready to rule on it, but go ahead, Mr. Albas, if you're speaking to the same point of order.

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

It was gracious that MP Young offered a friendly amendment, which I declined. She did not put forward a motion.

If it's ruled ineligible for me to put forward an amendment, I would simply ask that one of my other colleagues put forward the same amendment, because obviously, we want to get on this right away. I understand that some members want to push it back a little, but I think December is too far.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Albas.

Here's where we are. Mr. Albas is correct: A friendly amendment was proposed, but a formal amendment was not made. Mr. Albas attempted to put forward an amendment, but he can't amend his own motion.

Where we are now is that we have the main motion and only the main motion, and we have Ms. Young on the speakers list.

Ms. Young, you have the floor.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

I'd like to put forward an amendment to change the date of the completion of the study so that the motion would read “this study be completed no later than December 15, 2020.”

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Ms. Young.

Now the amendment has been moved, and the debate is on the amendment.

Ms. Vecchio has her hand up.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Chair, I'm not sure if we can amend this amendment, and I should know that as a chair.

However, I recognize that one of the biggest things people are talking about is the fiscal program that will start in April 2021. Just from experience, I recognize that this program usually rolls out in the third week of December. It has been late in the last couple of years, but this program is already in the rollout with people already having had to apply by the end of January and beginning of February.

I'm also concerned with timelines, and I hope that Ms. Young would accept, potentially, a deadline of October 31. I'm asking for a friendly amendment that switches that to a deadline of October 31, 2020.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

We have a request, Ms. Young, that you alter your proposed amendment from December 15 to October 31. What say you?

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

Thank you very much.

I think that even though it doesn't seem like much time, that would almost be two months, the month of November and part of December. I think it's necessary to have that time to hear the impact over the summer months. We need time to work on that report. I really hope that the committee will vote on the amendment which refers to December.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Mr. Albas, please.

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I was going to just say, much as Ms. Vecchio has said, that in order for us to make recommendations for what the government needs to do next time, we need to do it before they start rolling out the next time.

I've already expressed that if we were to look at making some change, let's make it a moderate change, not all the way to the end of December. We're going to be winding up for Christmas, and I don't think the bureaucracy is going to be doing much over that time as well.

My suggestion is that we get this while they're still designing the program before it actually begins to roll out. Perhaps we could vote this one down, and then we'll simply find something that addresses some of the concerns of MP Young, but that also can be productive for the next round of Canada summer jobs.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Ms. Chabot, you have the floor.

June 15th, 2020 / 3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

We are talking about a new motion with a new timeline, but we have not yet discussed our timeline. I feel it is going to lead to more work for us in the summer period.

For the sake of consensus, I would like to propose November 30, but I do not want to get caught up in procedure by adding motions. It seems to me that we will have time to finish our work by November if we give ourselves an extra month to write the report. I believe we would be well within next year's timeline. I feel September would come much too quickly. As for October, that can be changed.

We are still in the process. I would really prefer not to be, but some jobs are still not posted. I am not taking stock even if I could. I feel it would be good to give ourselves until November to complete our study and prepare our recommendations for next year, and to allow for a month, until December, to write our report. I feel that would be good.

To keep from dragging this out, I will not make another motion, but it seems to me that December is more definitive in terms of the schedule.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Ms. Chabot.

Next we have Ms. Kwan and then Ms. Young.

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Chair, on the schedule for the committee, aside from the COVID issue, I expect the motion on inviting the minister for the supplementary estimates will likely be injected in there as well. I wonder how that places the other priorities of the committee. One of the issues to be prioritized would be housing related to indigenous communities. How will all of this fit in there in terms of the timeline? I'd like to get a better sense of things.

If we make it October, that will decide what our schedule would look like without considering what the items are that we should be considering on the whole. I support a study for the Canada summer jobs program. I have some issues with it, and I would love to get a study in there so that we can find ways to improve that. If we do it by October, would that displace all of the other stuff? I just want to be able to make an informed decision in terms of what the priorities are.

That being said, I'd also like to ask the analyst a question with respect to timelines. The idea, I think, is to get the study completed and recommendations submitted to the minister for consideration for next year's program. It's too late for this year, so before next year's program, what is the timeline for our needing to complete that study in order to fit our timeline?

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Please go ahead.

3:35 p.m.

Elizabeth Cahill Committee Researcher

Depending on the timeline, it could be very challenging, because we would want to hear from the correct number of witnesses, and it would be good if at the outset you could establish how many meetings you would like to have. We would also need time to draft the report. It would then need to be translated and be available in both official languages. Then the committee would also have to consider the report. That process of drafting, translation and report consideration could take up to four weeks.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Ms. Young, go ahead, please.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

I just want to make sure that we are all aware that the program won't actually end until February 2021, because we've extended it.

At first when I saw the motion, I thought we should extend this study until after it was over, but I understand that we want to get some information before the next program is rolled out. December 15, I think, is a date that's realistic both from the analysts' perspective and to make sure that we get the people in whom we want to hear from.

It's an important study. Canada summer jobs is important to all of us as MPs. I certainly think having the report end on December 15 is the right time, and I hope everyone agrees.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Ms. Young.

We're going to Mr. Dong and then Mr. Vaughan.

Mr. Dong.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Han Dong Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Chair, I was going to say something similar to what Ms. Young just said. The end of the program is in February and, obviously, we want this report to have some impact on next year's program design. I understand it has to be done perhaps before February.

At the same time, I've heard from my community that a lot of organizations that applied and were approved also have to deal with COVID-19 and all the changes they have to bring forward to their original application to make sure social distancing is practised. Some of them are waiting for further direction from the provincial government.

My point is that I see that a lot of programs, a lot of projects, will not be completed if we decide that the end of October is the date to complete this report. I think it makes a lot of sense for us to have this report completed by mid-December. That way we can include more evidence from those who actually carry out this program for us.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Dong.

Mr. Vaughan, please.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Chair, most of the organizations in my riding that have received the funding are non-profits, and there is a fairly extensive reporting procedure to send back to the department as to who was hired, how they were hired and gaps in the system. We rely on funding partners to provide most of the data and much of the information as to what worked and didn't work on the program so we can remodel it for next year. That's how, for example, youth who were not returning to school but maybe were contemplating that were included in the programs. We broadened the net as we doubled the funding to include more vulnerable youth or youth in vulnerable settings. That information, in terms of the data, in terms of how I make decisions around prioritization in the next year, is critical to my assessing the program and the recommendations I make as an MP, let alone as a parliamentary secretary.

We're walking between two timetables: the first, if we do it too soon, we don't get the full scope of the program; the second, if we do it too late, we don't have time to make recommendations for the changes. From my perspective, the motion put forward by my colleague Kate Young from London walks that balance very appropriately. We need good data to make analysis and we need time to make the recommendations. If we do it too soon, we just won't have that data and we will put a burden on non-profits to generate that data, which I don't think is appropriate at this particular time.

I will support Ms. Young and hope that we can then set a schedule, which I think speaks to the valid point that MP Kwan made: There is a standing priority of this committee to get to urban, rural, northern indigenous housing, which was prioritized, and with the support of the MP for Winnipeg Centre, I think we need to respect that. I think there are COVID-related issues related to urban indigenous housing that are fundamental to the work that needs to happen immediately. We really shouldn't be delaying that study too much longer.

I will finish with this. I support MP Young's position, but I also think MP Kwan has raised a really important issue. We have an established priority. We need to get to the work this committee needs to do. I hope we can get on to studying the agenda and the number of meetings between now and then so we can start to fill that timetable and achieve what we need to achieve as a committee.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Vaughan.

Ms. Falk, please.