Mr. Speaker, it was rather ironic that the President of the Treasury Board would stand to tell us that this is always about merit. When we think back to his nomination we think of the fight he had. He was picked by the Prime Minister to fight the election in his riding rather than having to go through the competition of a real nomination process so that he could demonstrate to his constituents that he deserved their merit by winning the nomination.
I would like to ask a question of the President of the Treasury Board. If he is to try to achieve these quotas or targets that he speaks about-he can choose his word-basically he can influence only two opportunities in the make-up of the federal civil service: first, when people are hired and second, when people are fired. He has no control over those who go of their own volition.
Does the President of the Treasury Board intend to advance the civil service toward achieving the targets he talks about through the early departure incentive program, through the early retirement incentive program, where he will end up with a different ratio or mix in the civil service as we advance toward the numbers and targets he has set out?
When he and Treasury Board go through this exercise of downsizing, are those who dominate the civil service at this time likely to find a pink slip on their desks because he wants to move toward achieving the targets that he has set out?