Mr. Speaker, before I begin, as it is my last occasion in 2017, I wish you and your family as well as all of the staff in the House of Commons, those who serve all members so well and dedicate themselves so entirely to the good functioning of this place, a happy holiday. I also wish a happy holiday to my hon. colleague with whom I have had the pleasure of exchanging many constructive comments with respect to the Phoenix pay system.
We make no bones about the fact that the Phoenix pay system is a major public administration challenge. We make no bones about the fact that we have had to essentially rebuild a capacity that was yanked from the Government of Canada by our predecessor. There were 700 specialists, people who had spent careers learning about collective agreements, pay rules, and the administration of compensation in the public service. These people were no longer available to us and no longer available to implement the new system, breaking almost every rule of business transformation and IT transformation that exists.
What we have had to do with absolute single-mindedness since the beginning of our mandate is rebuild this capacity, and I think our track record demonstrates this. The former member for Burin—Trinity and the former minister of public services and procurement initially opened satellite pay centres to ensure that capacity remained close to where public servants worked. These have continued to grow and develop across the country. Miramichi has seen major investments of human and technological resources and will see the opening, probably before we meet again in the House of Commons, of a brand new pay centre early in the new year. We have made major investments, and we are rebuilding the capability to execute public servants' pay.
Our public service labour partners, such as the public service unions, have made the point continuously that we need to rebuild capacity of all kinds inside the public service, whether it be technological, compensation, or others. I think we have a demonstrated track record.
I do not think for a minute that my friend believes that there is any difference between his, mine, or any public employee's motivation to solve the problems with respect to the Phoenix pay system.
As the year comes to a close, I want to assure my constituents in Gatineau, as well as all Canadians, that we are on the job, we are working hard, and we are allocating all possible resources. Knowing that we are testing the patience of our public servants, we are providing the officials in charge with every tool in the toolbox. We are fully motivated to fix the problems associated with the Phoenix pay system. I am confident that we will see continuous improvement in the new year.