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Evidence of meeting #7 for Natural Resources in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was north.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Mitch Bloom  Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Janet King  Assistant Deputy Minister, Northern Affairs Organization, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Sara Filbee  Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

I'm saying I wasn't there two years ago.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

So you have no knowledge of this?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

I wasn't there two years ago, so I can't—

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

You have no knowledge of when the financial management framework was established?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

Mr. Anderson, go ahead on a point of order.

October 17th, 2011 / 4:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

For one thing, I think the witness is being badgered, and from another perspective, the audit is not finished. Mr. Bevington wants the witness to speak about an audit that he has not done. It's incomplete. The draft's been given. When that audit is completed, it will be released and he can criticize it at that point.

I think he needs to stay on topic today.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

Thank you, Mr. Anderson.

Mr. Bevington, if you—

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Can I respond to that point of order?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

You can if you want to.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Okay. To the point of order, the financial management framework is not part of the audit; it's part of the department. When I ask a question about the financial management framework, I'm asking about whether one is in place in the department. That's a little different from asking him what the content of an audit is, Mr. Chair.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

Mr. Bevington, I was actually just going to interrupt you and ask you to ask questions through the chair. Don't get too aggressive with the witnesses. Ask any question you want, but give them time to respond.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Okay.

I guess my question is, how much political pressure was put on this agency to set it up quickly. Were normal controls and practices to safeguard Canadians' money tossed out the window?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

The short answer to your question is this. I'm a public servant. I'm under no pressure other than to deliver the best-quality service, with proper efficacy and due diligence. And certainly since I've joined the organization, as far as I know, it has operated on that basis throughout its existence.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

That's certainly not the information I've heard from many people who have worked in this department or in this agency. I think this is something that needs further examination, but I guess we'll have to wait.

How's my time doing, Mr. Chair?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

You have a minute left, Mr. Bevington.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Thank you.

What is the current situation with the chief executive officer of the organization?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

We currently have an interim president who would serve as the deputy head of the organization. That person has been appointed, by order in council, by the Prime Minister.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Is that person on contract? What's the name of that person?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

She is Colleen Swords. She is an existing deputy-level individual within the public service. She happens to be the associate deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as well as, now, the interim president.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Is the previous executive officer now working in or on contract with CanNor?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Nicole Jauvin is not on contract with CanNor.

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Is she on contract with the minister?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Planning, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom

I couldn't speak to that.