Mr. Speaker, with regard to the operating budget freeze at Environment Canada, in response to (a), the key driver of the cost containment measures is the operating budget freeze that was articulated in the 2010 federal budget tabled in the House of Commons on March 4, 2010.
Two significant actions were announced in the budget to reduce growth in operating expenditures: operating budgets will be capped at the 2010-11 levels for the two fiscal years, 2011-12 and 2012-13; any wage and salary increases set in the Expenditure Restraint Act and in collective agreements applying from the beginning of 2010-11 and until the end of 2012 13 are to be absorbed by organizations.
These measures apply to all federal organizations appropriated by Parliament including departments, agencies and crown corporations.
The following items are excluded from the freeze: economic action plan spending which ends in March 2011; budget 2010 measures not included in the main estimates 2010-11; new policy initiatives approved by cabinet; non-discretionary labour costs, such as parental benefits or severance pay.
There was no government-wide freeze on hiring.
Within this context, Environment Canada has taken the following measures to limit spending for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Impact of budget 2010 measures for 2010-11 fiscal year have been included in 2010-11 supplementary estimates (A or B). There are no budget 2010 measures in supplementary estimates (C); budget 2010 measures for 2011-12 have been included in the 2011-12 main estimates. Travel, conferences and hospitality are within 2008-09 levels as directed by budget 2009 and are monitored by monthly reports. Efficiencies in the procurement process have been implemented. Human resources allocation has been re-evaluated and optimized.
In response to (b), the transactional data available in Environment Canada’s human resources management system,HRMS, does not provide information on whether any employees separated from the department as a result of the operating budget freeze. In the course of normal operations, however, during fiscal year 2010-11, 582 full-time employees and 1127 part-time employees left Environment Canada.
In response to (c), from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011, one full-time employee was laid off at Environment Canada. No part-time employees were laid off. The one layoff was a result of a lack of work due to the sudden ending of a research project, but it was not as a result of the operating budget freeze.
In response to (d), from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2011, Environment Canada hired 432 full-time employees and 1,031 part-time employees in the course of normal operations.
In response to (e), in the next five years, it is estimated that Environment Canada will lose between 550 and 600 full-time employees each year to attrition for various separation reasons in the course of normal operations. No projections are available for the attrition of part-time employees due to the transitory nature of the types of work involved.