Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Bloc MP for La Prairie (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 8% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Main Estimates, 1996-97 March 7th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the President of Treasury Board this morning tabled the Estimates of nearly $157 billion, of which $76 billion is earmarked for various transfer payments to individuals and the provinces primarily and nearly $48 billion will go to service the public debt, which is the government's largest budget item each year.

The minister said that deficit control, improved government ability to assess and react in time to new pressures exerted on Canadian society and support for a motivated and dynamic public service are the three main pillars underlying the 1996-97 Estimates.

Let us have a closer look at the merits of the minister's objectives and try to assess the means he will use to achieve them.

To control the deficit, they talk of controlling government expenditure through program review. What has come of these

program reviews? We should point out that all major regional development agencies are seriously affected in this time of high unemployment, when young people are leaving the regions for the cities.

There is, for example, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, whose budget has been cut by 36.1 per cent; the Western economic diversification program, cut by 24.3 per cent, and the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec, the hardest hit by a budget cut of $102 million or 21.3 per cent of its total budget.

Meanwhile, the budget of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs has been increased by $6.3 million, an increase related to judges' salaries, allowances and pensions.

Although cut, defence spending still represents 21 per cent of direct program expenditures, excluding transfer programs. This is still far too much in a post cold war period.

The minister says we have to look and see whether, in the federal context, another level of government would be better placed to deliver a specific program more effectively. I would say to the minister that 11 years as councillor with the city of St. Lambert, a city in my riding, 13 years as a Quebec provincial official and two years here in this House as a federal elected representative have shown me very clearly that the closer a government is to the people, the more effectively it delivers a program and that the client approach the minister seems to favour requires the transfer of as many powers as possible to the provinces, the regions and the municipalities.

The increased control the government is preparing to exercise is what hurts the most. While it is talking about a client approach, the government is planning to create three new agencies, as mentioned this morning by the minister: a national parks board, a single food inspection agency and a national revenue commission that will be competing directly with Revenue Quebec, which already collects the GST and the QST on its territory.

There is a lack on consistency between the goals set by the minister and the means he intends to use to meet them. The government is talking about flexible arrangements with the provinces, but whenever it has a chance, it tries to centralize.

Similarly, we are told that, by the end of the 1998-99 fiscal period, the new measures brought about by this year's program review will allow the government to cut its program spending by $9 billion. However, the documents tabled yesterday in this House by the Minister of Finance clearly show that, due to the reallocation of funds to other programs, the net result of the program review will be a net increase of $34 million this year and a drop of barely $200 million next year, as the effect of this year's new measures will obviously be felt only in two or three years.

In short, cuts are badly targeted, reallocations are badly targeted, and, for the time being, these new measures have absolutely no impact on the fiscal situation.

To conclude, I would like to ask the minister how he thinks he will be able to rely on a motivated and dynamic civil service, when a more generous package is being offered to employees belonging to the unions with which the government has reached a settlement regarding the transition to a new structure, and when the Minister of Finance announced in yesterday's budget the possibility of more layoffs?

Petitions March 5th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present today a petition signed by a group of constituents in my riding of La Prairie and the city of Laval. They are opposed to an increase in the federal excise tax on gasoline, for the following reasons:

"In view of the fact that the availability of sources of affordable fuel is a natural advantage to Canadians in reducing the high cost of shipping between source and market;

In view of the fact that Canadians are paying approximately 52 per cent of the cost of a litre of gasoline in the form of government taxes;

In view of the fact that there was a tax increase of 1.5 litres in the last budget;

In view of the fact that a parliamentary committee has recommended an additional excise tax increase in the next federal budget; and

In view of the fact that over the past 10 years the excise tax on gasoline has rise by 556 per cent" as the member for Saint-Hubert has pointed out;

The petitioners therefore request that Parliament not increase the federal excise tax on gasoline in the next federal budget.

Finance December 14th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate on prebudget consultations and to draw the attention of this House to certain statements made by the Minister of Finance in tabling his economic and financial update this past December 6.

In tabling the document, the minister said "Our fundamental problem is still a debt that is growing faster than our economy. Twenty years ago, the federal government's debt to GDP ratio was 19 per cent. Ten years ago it was 50 and today it is close to 75 per cent".

This spiralling rise in the debt began, as we all know, during the long Liberal reign between 1968 and 1984. In 1970, Liberal finance minister Edgar Benson reported an annual deficit of $800 million. In 1976 the figure was $6.3 billion, and at that time the Liberal finance minister was Donald Macdonald.

When the present Prime Minister took over the finance portfolio in 1978, the annual Canadian deficit reached $12.6 billion, or 5.2 per cent of that year's GDP.

But the record for catastrophic management, leading the country to the brink of bankruptcy, goes to the ineffable Marc Lalonde, who was then Prime Minister Trudeau's right hand man. When he was Minister of Finance in 1983, Mr. Lalonde chalked up a deficit of $32.4 billion, or 8 per cent of the GDP, while the next year he hit a record high of $38.3 billion, or 8.6 per cent of the GDP. That year the deficit exceeded 50 per cent of the government's fiscal receipts of $75 billion.

After that, the Conservatives tried to put the brakes on the relative size of the annual deficit, but were unable to reverse the trend toward indebtedness year after year that had been started by the Liberals.

The Minister of Finance has today given us a sermon on the virtues of thrift, telling us "Yes, we will reach a zero deficit".

How can the people of this country trust a Minister of Finance whose party made its name by starting Canada on this downward slide of successive annual deficits, this vicious circle of endless debt? It is a bit like putting a professional safecracker in charge of a vault, and giving him the keys to boot. How can one believe a minister whose party has led this country to the brink of social and politicalruin?

The minister promises us a deficit of 2 per cent of the GDP in 1997-98. The federal deficit has never been less than that since 1974, one might well point out. What is more, the Government of Quebec's deficit was already 2.4 per cent of the GDP in 1994, $4 billion-far too high.

Quebec's deficit was still under the 2 per cent level in 1988, 1989 and 1990, but even that resulted in far too great a debt. In other words, the federal government's efforts to get their deficit down below that 2 per cent of GDP figure will still leave it far too high, given the accumulated debt to date.

This promise to get the deficit down to $17 billion by 1997-98 comes from the mouth of a Liberal minister. When we look at his party's record on government administration for the past 25 years, we might as well kiss that promise goodbye.

Recent economic trends do not coincide with the picture painted by the Minister of Finance. After a strong increase in 1994, economic activity in Canada has been stagnating since early 1995. As Statistics Canada pointed out: "Except for increased exports, the economy remains weak. Domestic demand continues to languish for the third consecutive quarter".

The weaknesses in Canada's domestic economy are visible everywhere: business investment, housing starts and so forth. When the latest economic and financial update was presented, the finance minister also announced that he would meet his pseudo-target of a $32.7 billion budget deficit for 1995-96 and $24.3 billion for 1996-97. He even talks about bringing the federal deficit down to $17 billion in 1997-98, when the next federal election is due.

The Unemployment Insurance account will show an annual surplus of about $5 billion for 1995-96 and each subsequent year. As was pointed out by my Bloc Quebecois colleagues who spoke previously, by including this surplus in its consolidated revenue fund, the federal government is in fact using it to artificially reduce its annual deficit.

Without this surplus, the actual deficit for 1995-96 would be $37.7 billion instead of $32.7 billion, as forecast. With $37.7 billion, the federal deficit is not that far away from the historic highs of $40 billion and more we saw all too frequently in the past.

To defend the minister's decision to use the surplus in the unemployment insurance account to balance the budget, the Liberals claim that in 1986 the auditor general had already suggested including the unemployment insurance account in the federal government's revenues and expenditures.

What the Liberals failed to say is that since 1990, in other words, after the auditor general made his recommendation, the government has no longer contributed towards the financing of the unemployment insurance account which is now fully funded by employers and workers. And in that case, what justification is there for the federal government to grab a surplus that, in fact, belongs to the workers and their employers and should be used to alleviate the impact of unemployment? The government could reduce premiums and increase unemployment insurance benefits instead.

Not so. The government is using this surplus as a source of revenue to hide the true level of its deficit and its failure to govern responsibly. The unemployment insurance account's surplus belongs to the middle class, to the workers and employers who are the heart and soul of our economy. At a time when the government is cutting assistance to the unemployed, it turns around and attacks those who still have jobs by taking even more of their hard earned money in a desperate attempt to clean up the federal government's finances.

This cowardly trick masquerades as a new tax that the average taxpayer has trouble understanding or even calculating. This looks more like another of the government's clever accounting strategies. Meanwhile, the government talks about openness and balanced budgets while it is doing everything to keep the truth from the taxpayers.

To meet its pseudo-target of $17 billion in 1997-98, the government will make cuts totalling several billion dollars. The finance minister was not coy about his plans to cut old age security in a review already announced in the budget last February. With my party colleagues, I want to make it clear that we strenuously object to such cuts in old age security pensions. We favour other ways to fight the deficit, and I will elaborate later on.

After attacking the middle class which is already overtaxed, the Liberal government is going after those who have worked all their lives to enjoy a well earned rest in the twilight of their lives. Where is the compassion the Minister of Finance crows so much about?

The third part of this failed deficit struggle focuses on the provincial governments. The federal government is reducing its deficit at the cost of increasing provincial deficits. It is not really going at the total deficit, which continues to be borne by the same taxpayers, it is shifting it to each of the provinces.

It is the old policy of dumping on the neighbour, who in turn dumps on his neighbour, and so on. The latest budget cuts in transfers to the provinces will mean a shortfall for the provinces of $2.5 billion in 1996-97 and of $4.5 billion in 1997-98. The provinces will have to look for money elsewhere. Federal policies will force these same provinces to increase their deficit or to cut

services to the public, since the cuts to the transfer payments will reduce their revenues precipitously.

During the referendum campaign, the Liberal big guns tried to link a no victory to political uncertainty and its negative effect on financial markets. They were wrong, since, in his recent testimony before the Standing Committee on Finance, the Governor of the Bank of Canada confirmed there was uncertainty, expressed in the difference in the long term interest rates in the United States and Canada, and said it was related Canada's excessive debt.

Permit me to quote the Governor of the Bank of Canada, who said the following on October 12, 1994: "Had Canada not had a big debt, the uncertainty over Quebec would have caused concern socially, but not financially for investors. The political uncertainty adds a cause for concern only because of the size of the debt and the deficit. The political uncertainty is due much more to the Liberal government's inability to limit the country's debt than to Quebecers deciding on their political future.

Canada's Prime Minister should not forget that, following the unilateral patriation of the Constitution in 1982, and the scuttling of the Meech Lake accord, Canada's political uncertainty will not be resolved through the passing of a motion vaguely recognizing Quebec as a distinct society, a purely symbolic, even folkloric, recognition without either value or scope.

Everything with this Liberal government smells of improvisation, both the behaviour of the Prime Minister in the final hours of the Quebec referendum campaign and the tabling of the Minister of Finance's financial and economic update on December 6.

By way of conclusion, I would add that the official opposition absolutely does not share the opinion of the Liberal majority on the progress made in deficit reduction.

The official opposition dissociates itself completely from the approach of the Liberal government, which consists in cutting its aid on the backs of the unemployed and dumping its deficit into the backyard of the provinces.

We in the Bloc Quebecois believe that the fight against the deficit must be based the following conditions. The federal government must: cut the annual budget of the Department of National Defence by an additional $1.5 billion, starting this year; review all tax conventions signed with countries considered to be tax havens; completely review of the tax system and eliminate tax inequities favouring big business and high income taxpayers; establish a real minimum income tax on business, which is intended only for profitable businesses that avoid paying one cent of income tax and, finally, stop funding the Hibernia project and turn its share over to the private sector.

No real and serious attack on the deficit can start without this price being paid.

Committees Of The House December 7th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 18th report of the standing committee on public accounts, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)( d ). The committee reviewed chapter VI of the May 1995 auditor general's report and is now reporting on this chapter, which concerns federal transportation subsidies, and the Atlantic Region Freight Assistance Program in particular.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Renewal Of Canadian Federalism November 28th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, in view of the proposals made yesterday by the Prime Minister, Quebecers can now see for themselves that the federal government has no intention of responding to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Quebec.

It has become obvious that Ottawa never intended to renew federalism, as the proposals which have been put on the table amply show. Quebecers will never accept to have the wool pulled over their eyes in such a manner, and they will reject these empty proposals outright.

Quebecers who voted no at the last referendum, but who wanted real changes, will be even more disappointed and will feel betrayed once again by a prime minister who could not care less about their aspirations. As for those who voted yes, these proposals only confirm what they already knew. Ottawa's proposals will never meet Quebec's expectations, Quebecers bar none know it full well.

Bank Act November 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. member that we already have a deposit insurance corporation in Quebec. Savers and investors' savings are already protected under the law, and I agree with him. A government majority member who spoke previously mentioned that the attitude displayed by both Bloc and Reform members could be described as a provincialist attitude or, in the case of the Bloc Quebecois, a separatist attitude.

I would like to tell these hon. members that all we, Quebecers, want is to be able to manage our own affairs. We certainly have nothing against any streamlining effort, any legislation or measure that Canada may want to make, pass or take to better protect people's savings. But as Quebecers and members representing the single largest minority in Canada, we must point out that we have a unique culture, a unique language, and have always defined ourselves as a distinct nation. All we want is to manage our own affairs. Whether in finance or in any other area, we want to be regulated and protected by our own laws.

We have absolutely nothing against any legislation being introduced before this Parliament to improve the way financial markets operate, or the way Canada operates. As I said earlier in my remarks, Canada is indeed an exceptional country. And I think it is destined for further growth in the future. But as Quebecers, that is not our goal as a society. It is not our goal as a country. All we want is just to manage our own affairs. And in a future referendum, in two, three or four years from now, I think that the majority of Quebecers will vote yes, and then, as I indicated earlier, we will have the opportunity to keep working together, hand in hand, not as one of nine or one of ten, but with all nine English provinces and the federal government. We will have the opportunity to keep working together on an equal footing, one on one, with Quebec on one side of the table and Ottawa on the other side.

That is all I wanted to say on this subject today. That is the context in which we want to continue to co-operate with you: as two peoples on equal footing.

Bank Act November 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I will take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the debate on Bill C-100 to draw the attention of this House to the inconsistencies and poor decision-making that undermine the very foundation of the federation.

I have had an opportunity during the past thirty years to observe, as many of us have, the evolution of Canadian federalism. A system based on certain relations between the federal government and the provinces, federalism has never been able to settle the issue of Quebec, Quebec which has the largest national minority in Canada. The Fathers of Confederation designed a system of government in which the provinces maintained a large measure of autonomy. In the twentieth century, two world wars, the emergence of the welfare state and the modernization of institutions as part of today's worldwide trend towards globalization gave the central government a chance to intervene increasingly in the administration of the provinces.

This normal development in a country whose geography was continental in size was never well received by the Quebec government which, for most French Canadians and later Quebecers, had always come first. Any attempt or decision made by the government in Ottawa to improve the way this country was governed has always been perceived by successive governments in Quebec as an encroachment on the prerogatives of the Quebec National Assembly.

The sovereignty plus partnership proposal of Quebec sovereignists constitutes the only concrete and realistic initiative to get out of the vicious circle that has poisoned the existence of this beautiful and great country that is Canada. Yes, Canada is an exceptional country. Although the current state of its public finances has prevented it from developing its full potential, this is due to the legacy left by former Prime Minister Trudeau and to the inept financial management of the present Prime Minister who was then Minister of Finance.

Under his stewardship, the deficit rose to $10.4 billion in 1977-78 and to $12.6 billion in 1978-79. For the first time, the annual deficit exceeded the 10 billion dollar mark, before spiralling completely out of control during the years that followed. In power for far too long and instructed by English Canada to deal with the Quebec problem, Pierre Trudeau believed he could unite the country by wooing voters with wall to wall social programs. He temporarily reduced certain disparities which today reappear with a vengeance as a result of the debt left us by the former Prime Minister.

Yes, Canada is an exceptional country, and the only way to deal with the crisis in our public finances, with useless administrative overlap and internal constitutional bickering, is to create a new economic and political partnership between Quebec and Canada, with a sovereign Quebec engaging in continuing negotiations between two sovereign and equal states. Yes, Canada is an exceptional country, but as Quebecers, we want our own country.

We know Quebec will also be an exceptional country and will be Canada's first global partner. Canada will be an even better country, once it has stopped the bickering and useless power struggles with a sovereign Quebec that will maintain special ties with Canada, based on equality and friendship.

Instead of supporting this view of relations between modern states, instead of supporting the proposals for renewal and change which the Prime Minister promised us during the last days of the referendum campaign in Quebec, the government proposes Bill C-100 on financial institutions, after tabling C-76 in which Ottawa assumed the power to impose national standards on social programs. Ottawa made another attempt at centralization with Bill C-88, to implement the agreement on internal trade, an agreement that would allow the government to act as the ultimate arbiter in interprovincial disputes.

The federal government and Quebec are going to be at each other's throat over regional development. Under Bill C-91, Ottawa will also be able to sign agreements with local authorities directly, without regard for provincial governments or existing regional structures.

All these legislative efforts aimed at centralization and at building a modern country could be meaningful and have some implication, if Quebec's situation were settled once and for all. Canada could blithely carry on with its efforts at economic modernization and streamlining the administration of its structures, if Quebec's situation were settled through the sovereignty-partnership arrangement we sovereignists are proposing to Quebecers. Ottawa will always be too centralizing for most Quebecers, whereas the majority of Canadians believe, quite legitimately, honestly and proudly in a strong central government.

In the meantime, no attempt can really reform Canadian federalism without the resolution of the Quebec-Canada issue, through the emergence of a sovereign Quebec that would keep close ties with its Canadian partner.

Instead, the Liberal government is proposing Bill C-100, which simply fuels the flames of federal-provincial relations. Let us have a closer look at the implications of this bill for Quebec's financial institutions.

Bill C-100 is very clear. It enables the federal government to take action faster when a financial institution is in difficulty. It also aims to reduce the risks inherent in Canada's financial system.

Under clause 6 of Schedule I, which establishes a Canadian clearing system, the Governor of the Bank of Canada reserves the right to issue directives, not only to clearing houses but to financial institutions as well, regardless of their charter. So, for example, Bill C-100 would allow the Governor of the Bank of Canada to issue directives and orders to institutions that are institutions of Quebec essentially, such as: Fiducie Desjardins, the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec or the Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion brokerage firm, to name but a few.

The Superintendent of Financial Institutions and of the Winding-up Act will be given more powers and will be able to intervene directly with provincial charter institutions.

The increased options available to the federal Superintendent of Financial Institutions will mean costly duplication and inefficient management of savings. The Inspecteur général des institutions financières du Québec already monitors the situation in this regard so that the federal superintendent's new powers will simply duplicate those that already exist.

The federal superintendent's broader powers may prompt Ottawa and Quebec City to issue court challenges that will leave struggling financial institutions and their depositors in the lurch.

Bill C-100 shows that the federal government is more concerned about assuming new powers than about ensuring the viability of financial institutions and protecting savings.

Bill C-100 will make major changes to the deposit insurance system in Canada. To become members, financial institutions now pay premiums based on deposit liabilities. The bill provides that the premiums will no longer be based on the financial institution's deposit liabilities but on its level or degree of risk. This raises many questions. For example, what criteria will be used to determine a financial institution's risk rating? The federal government now refuses to make public the regulations that will set risk ratings.

What will be the impact of federal risk ratings on financial institutions? No one knows.

Basing premium amounts on risk levels may penalize Quebec financial institutions particularly because they are relatively small. Since large corporations are generally seen as less risky and since Quebec has its own deposit insurance scheme, in which premiums are not based on risk levels as such, we will end up with two systems: one based on risk and the other on deposit liabilities, with all the inconsistencies and contradictions that this entails.

Bill C-100 shows once again Ottawa's determination to centralize activities. By establishing Canada-wide clearing and settlement systems, this bill encroaches on powers exercised by the Quebec securities commission and the Quebec inspector general of financial institutions.

All this results in costly overlap. Financial institutions will be subject to two levels of control, a situation which will result in unnecessary administrative duplication.

As I already mentioned, in addition to Bill C-100, the government has tabled three other centralizing pieces of legislation since the last federal budget, namely Bill C-76, Bill C-88 and Bill C-91. The centralization exercise is continuing as strongly as ever.

A 1991 Treasury Board study showed that 67 per cent of federal programs overlap provincial ones. With Bill C-100, Ottawa keeps heading in the same direction, towards a dead end. According to Julien and Proulx, from the University of Montreal, close to 1,000 meetings take place every year between Ottawa and Quebec public servants, simply to harmonize program objectives, or to ensure that provincial and federal programs are not incompatible with one another. Bill C-100 will give all these public servants another opportunity to meet, simply to try to harmonize the criteria used to determine premiums paid by financial institutions.

Pierre Fortin, who is an economist, estimates that three billion dollars is wasted annually because of overlapping Quebec and federal programs. Such overlap results in unnecessary costs for taxpayers, businesses and citizens. These costs have an impact on the debt and, in the end, jeopardize institutions which were set up to support our country's blueprint for society. From that perspective, Bill C-100 is nothing but an ill-considered attempt by this government to centralize, under the pretence of protecting investors, when the system in Quebec works very well.

This bill is also an unacceptable intrusion into the securities industry, when the private sector and major business associations already complain about excessive government involvement. Such abusive interference always results in lower productivity and in a shortfall, this at a time when there is an urgent need to improve the sad state of public finances. Instead of withdrawing and concentrating on the essential, as it should, given its chronic state of indebtedness, the federal government is increasingly interfering in fields of provincial jurisdiction, as well as in the activities of our businesses.

In Quebec, the various governments which have been in office over the last 30 years have all strongly defended Quebec's jurisdiction over the securities industry. Even Daniel Johnson reaffirmed that position in February 1994, when he was Quebec's

premier. The authority given to the Governor of the Bank of Canada to issue directives or orders to participants goes squarely against that traditional Quebec position, which was upheld even by provincial Liberals, which is quite something. As in the case of manpower training, there is a strong consensus in Quebec regarding this issue.

Consequently, the official opposition cannot support Bill C-100 on financial institutions, because it maintains a situation which, for more than 25 years now, has led to disputes which have drained the country and put it into debt. In order to end the current financial crisis, the federal government must stop getting involved in the activities of businesses. Similarly, in order to end the current constitutional crisis, Ottawa must stop getting involved in fields of provincial jurisdiction and let Quebec take charge of its own destiny. Unfortunately, this is just the opposite of what is proposed in Bill C-100, which is yet another stage in the exercise conducted by a centralizing government which is out of step with current events.

Regional Development November 21st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general indicates that program overlap in regional development is a source of waste, as we all know, and that FORD-Q had no influence on the policies of other federal governments.

Will the minister finally understand that the federal government must get out of this area of jurisdiction and transfer the funds to the provinces, which are in a better position to act, in any case?

Regional Development November 21st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for regional development in Quebec.

In his report tabled today in the House, the auditor general casts doubt on the ability of the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec to create sustainable jobs and revenues. In Quebec alone, since 1988 FORD-Q has spent $1.15 billion on businesses and organizations without first verifying their financial viability. Of 11 businesses examined, five had to close their doors before receiving the final government subsidy payment.

How does the minister explain that, in the midst of a public financial crisis, FORD-Q is incapable of awarding federal funding more judiciously? Why is it taking so long to put a stop to this endless wasting of taxpayers' money?

Committees Of The House November 20th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(d), I have the honour to present the seventeenth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(d), the committee reviewed chapter five of the May 1995 auditor general's report, concerning the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, deposit-taking institutions sector.

The importance of the financial services industry in the Canadian economy, as well as the concerns expressed by the auditor general, prompted the committee to take a look at the operations of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Consequently, the committee held a meeting on this issue on October 3, with officials from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee asks the government to table a comprehensive response to this report.