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2019-04-04 RNNR 132

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, everybody.

We have no witnesses in person today. We had one cancellation, but we still have three groups of witnesses.

On the screen on our right, we have Brenda Gunn, associate professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.

On the telephone we have Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh. We thought he was coming from the University of Dublin, but he's not.

You're actually in Australia, right?

Professor Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh (Professor, Griffith University, As an Individual):

I am indeed in Brisbane.

The Chair:

We also have Gunn-Britt Retter, head of the Arctic and environment unit of the Saami Council, by video conference from Norway. Correct?

Ms. Gunn-Britt Retter (Head, Arctic and Environment Unit, Saami Council):


The Chair:

Thank you, all of you, for joining us.

We have a number of committee members around the table. Our format is that each of you will be given up to 10 minutes to do a presentation, and then after all three of you complete your presentations, we'll open the table to questions.

I may have to cut you off if we're getting short of time or you're getting close to your time or go over it, so I'll apologize in advance.

Why don't we start with Ms. Retter?

Ms. Gunn-Britt Retter:

Thank you for inviting me to speak before the committee. It is a great honour. It is also interesting that Canada is the one looking for international best practices for engaging with indigenous peoples. Usually we look to Canada for good practices for engaging with indigenous peoples.

At the outset, it is worth noting the fundamental difference between indigenous peoples in large parts of Canada, I believe in particular in the Canadian north, who have completed land claim agreements. In Sápmi, the Sami, areas, there are few or close to zero, territories where Sami rights are recognized. The exception is the county of Finnmark in Norway, where the Finnmark Act establishes the Finnmark Estate, which is considered to be co-management of the land, as the Sami Parliament and Finnmark County Council each appoints three members to the board. The Finnmark Act transfers the common land, which the national state claims to own, to the Finnmark Estate. The Finnmark Estate, as the land owner, can be engaged in energy projects as well. So far, to my knowledge there has not been any mechanism in place to engage with indigenous peoples in particular in the one established over Windmill Park, beyond the usual standard national procedures, of course, of conducting environmental impact assessments related to local authority and their spatial planning procedures and applying for licence and the hearing process connected to that applied in national law and for involving stakeholders.

No other considerations are carried out related to Sami peoples. Sami interests are considered part of the Finnmark Estate Board, as I said.

Industry and authorities often call for dialogue. The Sami people often claim that dialogue is needed as well. This is also related to energy projects, as is the question. But we also have gained experiences that tell us that entering a dialogue is a risky business, as the Sami people who are impacted by a project go into a dialogue hoping for understanding of their needs for access to land end up coming out of it without a satisfying outcome, while the project leads go ahead claiming that a dialogue has been conducted, the boxed is ticked and they move on. Without recognition of land rights, it is hard to match the industry that simply follows the national legislation. We end up depending entirely on goodwill.

With no recognition of territory, Sami rights to land are also in the hands of goodwill from the authorities and the legislation they develop. In speeches and jubilees, ministers claim the Sami culture is valuable and important, and enriches Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish or Russian culture, but often some interests have to give way to more important national interests. Now that is the green shift to mitigate climate change.

A recent example in Norway is the permission given to the Nussir copper mine in Fâlesnuorri/Kvalsund. In the name of supporting a green shift and the need for copper to, among other things, produce batteries to replace fossil fuel, both reindeer herding lands and the health of the fjord are put at risk by the mine tailings being deposited on the sea floor. Marine experts have pointed to the environmental risk of this, but through a political decision to support the green shift, the mine has deliberately chosen to take that risk.

There are also several examples of huge windmill plants placed on Sami reindeer herding land, representing a fundamental change in land use in the name of reducing CO2 emissions to promote the green shift. This is a very delicate dilemma.

The Sami people are constantly under pressure to give up land use and fishing grounds for the good of the nation states' interest in the name of mitigating climate change and promoting the green shift.

I am sorry I was not able to provide best practices so far. There is, however, one here in my neighbourhood where the windmill project and reindeer herding entity came to an agreement on the placement the windmill park. I am not aware of the degree to which the company informed the reindeer herders of the fact that the project will produce much more energy than the electricity lines—the grid—to have capacity to send out to the market. Now the company is working hard to get a huge new electricity line established to be able to transfer the energy out to the market.

This is why free, prior and informed consent would be very important when engaging with the indigenous peoples. The information part, as in this example, would have been essential to understanding the full picture through the engagement process.

I would also like to add before I conclude that beyond the Sami region I could mention that, as I'm engaged in the Arctic Council work, there are two forthcoming reports prepared through the Arctic Council. One is on the Arctic environmental impact assessment conducted through the Sustainable Development Working Group, and the other is through the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment, PAME, Working Group, a project called Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities. This is an inventory of good practices in the engagement of indigenous peoples, mostly examples from Canada and America actually.

I don't know your deadlines, but these will be published at the beginning of May at the Arctic Council ministerial meeting, so it might be worthwhile for the committee to consider these two reports.

In conclusion, from my perspective, best practice should be to focused on our own consumption patterns to spend and waste less, use energy and resources more efficiently, and reuse resources that are already taken. I would rather do this than occupy more territory for the mitigation efforts.

I hope I kept to the time limit.

Thank you.


The Chair:

You did. You had time to spare. We're grateful for that, so thank you.

Professor O'Faircheallaigh, why don't you go next.

Prof. Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh:

Thank you.

Just very briefly, good morning from Brisbane and thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you.

By way of background, my research for the last 25 years has focused on the interrelationship between indigenous people and extractive industries. Over that time I've also worked as a negotiator for aboriginal peoples. I have worked with them to conduct what I refer to as indigenous or aboriginal impact assessments. A number of these have related to large energy projects, particularly to a number of liquefied natural gas projects in the northwest of Western Australia. My experience extends to Canada. I've undertaken fieldwork in Newfoundland and Labrador, in Alberta and in the Northwest Territories.

My comments on international best practice draw on that 25 years of both research and professional engagement.

I want to stress that I am addressing what I consider to be best practice. That, to me, involves two components. It involves the conduct of indigenous or aboriginal impact assessments of major energy projects and, based on those, the negotiation of legally binding agreements between aboriginal peoples, governments and proponents, covering the whole life of energy projects.

The reason for stressing those two points is as follows. Conventional impact assessment has dismally failed indigenous people. That applies in Australia, it applies in Canada, it applies throughout the globe. There are numerous reasons for that. Time means I can't go into them in detail, but I am happy to take follow-up questions.

The major issues are that conventional impact assessment is driven by proponents and the consultants they employ. Their objective is to get approval for projects and, as a result, they tend, for example, to systematically understate problems and issues associated with projects, and to overstate particularly their economic benefits.

Conventional impact assessment tends to deny the validity and knowledge of indigenous knowing, indigenous views of the world. It fails to adopt appropriate methodologies and it tends to be very much project focused. It tends to deal with one project at a time.

The result of that last point is that cumulative impacts tend to be either ignored or very much understated. That, for example, is very evident in the context of oil sands in Alberta.

In response to these fundamental problems, what is happening increasingly is the emergence of indigenous-conducted impact assessment. There are a number of different models that can be applied in developing indigenous-controlled impact assessment. Again, I am happy to elaborate.

Just to mention one, for a proposed liquefied natural gas hub in the northwest of Western Australia, a strategic assessment was conducted by the federal government and the state government in Western Australia. There were a number of terms of reference for the strategic assessment that related to indigenous impacts.

committee hansard rnnr 26238 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 04, 2019

2019-04-04 PROC 147

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

We'll call this meeting to order. [Translation]

Good morning.

Welcome to the 147th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

This morning, we are continuing our study of parallel debating chambers. We are pleased to welcome Charles Robert, the Clerk of the House of Commons, to share his expertise on parallel chambers.

Mr. Clerk, it's a pleasure to have you here. [English]

Just before we start, you may remember that about a year ago the Clerk told us that he was embarking on reorganizing the Standing Orders just to make them clear and easy to access, not making changes to them, and that he would report back to us. He's available on Tuesday, if the committee would be willing, to just update us on the progress of that report and on getting it ready for the next Parliament. By that time it would be ready, I think. If it's okay, he could report to us next meeting.

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, CPC):

If you are looking for consent from the members, I'd be happy to indicate on behalf of the Conservatives that we would very much welcome that.

The Chair:

Okay, so we'll put you on the agenda for Tuesday and you can update us on that project.

Mr. Charles Robert (Clerk of the House of Commons):

I look forward to it. [Translation]

The Chair:

You can now have the floor for your presentation.[English]

We look forward to hearing your views on this exciting initiative.

Mr. Charles Robert:

Thank you, Mr. Chair and honourable members of the committee.

I am pleased to be here today to talk about parallel debating chambers. I understand that the former clerk of the United Kingdom House of Commons, my good friend Sir David Natzler, who retired recently, as you know, has also appeared to discuss that legislature's experience with its parallel chamber, Westminster Hall.

I would like to begin by reminding the committee of an updated briefing note that was initially submitted in 2016 during your study of initiatives towards a family-friendly House of Commons. This updated note was sent to you a few weeks ago, and I hope the information it offers will be helpful as you discuss the possibility of establishing a parallel debating chamber. [Translation]

My presentation today is intended as an open discussion on establishing a second debating chamber parallel to the House of Commons, and on the implications for our practices and procedures. I would like to share a few thoughts on the issues being studied by the committee.

The work of the House is governed by practices and rules of procedure that structure each sitting, from government orders and private members' business to routine proceedings. These rules also apply to the House of Commons calendar, voting and many other areas.[English]

Changes in House practices have often been influenced by the needs of members themselves. Major procedural reforms are often the result of a consensus among MPs.

Establishing a second chamber could open up some interesting opportunities for members, and I encourage you to study innovative recommendations and proposed options that, as Mr. Natzler explains so well in his testimony, could be new, unexpected and different from the operations of the House.

It is up to you, as a committee, to determine the scope of your study and the recommendations you wish to make. It will then be the responsibility of the entire House to decide whether to proceed with this reform.

Australia and the United Kingdom offer starting points for a look at how our own House of Commons could introduce a parallel chamber. Some elements could be copied and applied to our legislature. Others may not be as easy to apply since our practices and procedures differ in many respects from those of our counterparts. It is therefore a good idea to analyze how parallel chambers function elsewhere, but still take into account our own rules and way of doing things. [Translation]

And so, if your committee intends to recommend a parallel chamber, you must determine how it will operate. This involves such issues as where the chamber would sit, what limitations would be placed on its activities and what decisions it could take.

There are many, more specific questions to be answered as well. In terms of logistics, where would members want this new chamber to be housed? How would the chamber be laid out? Would members debate face to face as they do in the House of Commons or would the room be arranged in a hemicycle?[English]

The committee might also address some important questions concerning the debates themselves. For example, how would the work of the House, such as bills, the business of supply, and private members' business, be managed? Would the parallel chamber be empowered to make decisions? Similarly, what would be the quorum requirement? Would members be able to move motions and amendments during debates in the parallel chamber? How would the two chambers be allowed to communicate to ensure continuity in proceedings? What rules of debate would apply? Would they be similar to the rules of the House or more like those used in committee? What would be the hours of sitting for the parallel chamber? What would happen if there were a sitting in the second chamber and the bells rang for a vote in the House of Commons, or if it were time for oral questions or other activities that required all MPs to be present in the House?

These are a few of the procedural matters that the committee will want to consider. As you discuss these questions and their answers, you may find that they give rise to other complex issues.[Translation]

And so, while I encourage the committee to pursue your study and report back to the House, I am tempted to recommend, if I may, that you use this report as a springboard and a starting point for the debate on procedure at the beginning of the next parliament. Your report would serve as a benchmark and its recommendations would be food for thought in the debate pursuant to Standing Order 51.

As always, your committee is the master of its own proceedings and is solely responsible for deciding on the next steps to take. If your committee, and subsequently the House, decides to proceed with a parallel chamber, it goes without saying that the administration, my procedural team and I will be pleased to provide our support. We will be ready to act on your recommendations and provide you with all the resources necessary to implement them.

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Clerk.[English]

I'd like to welcome Linda Duncan and Scot Davidson to the procedure and House affairs committee. I know everyone wants to be here, so you've drawn the lucky straws today.

While the boss is here, Mr. Clerk, I think the committee would agree that we'd like to thank you for providing us with the best clerk in the House of Commons for our committee.

Mr. Charles Robert: I don't know how long you'll keep him. [Translation]

The Chair:

We'll move to questions.

Mr. Simms, go ahead. [English]

Mr. Scott Simms (Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, Lib.):

I am the second Scott—any more Scotts and we'd have a country.

Mr. Robert, first of all, it's a pleasure to have you here, sir. We spoke to the clerk in the U.K. He speaks highly of you.

Mr. Charles Robert:

Does he?

Mr. Scott Simms:

Yes, he does. I guess you've probably already figured that out, but I thought I'd let you know.

committee hansard proc 37948 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 04, 2019

2019-04-03 SECU 155

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security



The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

I see quorum.

I also see that it's 4:10, and we have a vote at 5:45, I believe, in which case we will likely have to be done by 5:30, or a little bit later than that, but not much later.

We have, from the Privacy Commissioner's office, Mr. Smolynec—

Dr. Gregory Smolynec (Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Promotion Sector, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada):

That's correct.

The Chair:

—and Ms. Fournier-Dupelle.

I'm going to invite them to make their opening statement. The TD witness who is about to arrive is a little concerned that what TD has to say is a little different from what the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has to say.

I'm going to play it by ear a little bit as to whether we merge the two witnesses, or go back and forth.

With that, we'll ask you to make your opening statement. [Translation]

Dr. Gregory Smolynec:

Good afternoon, Mr. Chair and members of the committee.

Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. I'm grateful for the opportunity given your study touches on issues with which Canadians and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, or OPC, are seized.

I will reiterate the concerns I voiced when I appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on its study of open banking: the financial sector must be built upon a foundation that includes respect for privacy and other fundamental rights at its core. Banks and other financial institutions must have robust standards for both cybersecurity and privacy.

It is important to clarify the difference between a privacy breach and a security breach as the two terms are often used interchangeably.

A security breach is any incident that results in unauthorized access of data, applications, services, networks and/or devices by bypassing their underlying security mechanisms. A privacy breach is the loss of, unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, personal information, regardless of the means. A privacy breach is broader and can occur without any compromise of security systems.

And this is the challenge: cybersecurity and privacy have some overlap in that the former can help protect the latter, but in some cases, cybersecurity can create risks for privacy. For example, it is vital to ensure that cybersecurity strategies and activities do not lead to the development of massive surveillance regimes for unlimited and unending monitoring and analysis of the personal information of individuals.

Both the public and private sectors have obligations to report breaches. Under the public sector Privacy Act, that obligation resides in Treasury Board policy, which requires that OPC officials be notified of material privacy breaches. A breach is “material” if it involves sensitive personal information, could reasonably be expected to cause harm or involves a large number of individuals.

On the private sector side, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA, requires organizations to report breaches of security safeguards involving personal information that pose a real risk of significant harm to individuals. Organizations must notify affected individuals about those breaches and keep records of all breaches.



An example of a high-profile privacy breach is the World Anti-Doping Agency—otherwise known as WADA—case. As a result of a phishing attack in 2016, WADA's database containing extremely sensitive personal information of athletes was compromised by Russian military intelligence operators, who subsequently released some of this data into the public domain, with the threat of releasing more.

ln the OPC's WADA investigation, we concluded that cybersecurity measures should be proportionate both to the sensitivity of the personal information being protected and to the attractiveness of the information to malign actors. This reasoning also applies to cybersecurity in the financial sector. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that financial information is indeed sensitive. Other major breaches in recent memory have been those concerning Equifax, Ashley Madison and the Phoenix pay system.

Privacy breach reporting in the private sector has been mandatory since November 1, 2018. Since then, we have seen an approximately fourfold increase in breach reports from the private sector. With six months of private sector data breach reporting under our belt, and considerably more experience on the public sector side of the house, we have made a number of observations. These include that institutions are not always aware of the personal information they hold, where it goes or who has access to it. Oftentimes in the rush to protect against hackers, the internal threat is overlooked, yet privacy breaches involve not only loss of personal information to external forces, but also inappropriate access by internal actors. Mandatory breach reporting requirements can be a tool to enable institutions to confront the adequacy, or lack thereof, of cybersecurity plans and preparations. Furthermore, the OPC uses this information to inform our guidance to organizations.

The challenge for our office and for Canadians is to keep pace with technology. Understanding how personal data will be used, by whom and for what purpose, is equally difficult. While it's the case that privacy policies are seldom read, we may be approaching a time where how data is used is equally ill-understood. The office has done work in the area of examining notions of consent in this space, and has recently launched guidelines for organizations subject to PIPEDA on how best to obtain meaningful consent for the use of personal information.

As others have indicated before this committee, we believe that these issues are best addressed with a collaborative approach. To that end, we work together with other data protection and privacy offices on joint investigations. We participate in Global Privacy Enforcement Network sweeps, and have found that this enables sharing of best practices. The OPC also participates in the cyber security analysts network group, chaired by Public Safety, with the participation of other federal government departments. Our government advisory directorate also provides advice to federal government stakeholders in this area. Other solutions involve education and outreach for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, which are often hard pressed to ensure their information, including personal information, is adequately safeguarded.

ln conclusion, privacy regulators and advocates have a role to play to ensure that cybersecurity strategies, principles, action plans and implementation activities promote privacy protection both as a guiding principle and an enduring standard. We also need to reform our privacy legislation to make it fit for purpose to ensure that the privacy of Canadians is protected as technologies and economies change, including those in the financial sector.

I welcome your questions.


The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Smolynec.

Just to update colleagues before I ask Mr. de Burgh Graham for his seven minutes of questions, TD does have a concern about sitting at the same table with a regulator. I think we should respect that concern, so I'm therefore going to have to divide the time in half, in which case members are not going to get the same amount of time for questions of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which I think is quite regrettable.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Chair, I have a quick question.

I've never seen a precedent where the witnesses asked to be separated that way. We often have contradictory witnesses in same panel. I don't see why this is necessary, given the time we have.

The Chair:

It's not so much about having contradictory witnesses, and on that I generally agree with your point, but about having a financial institution with one of its regulators sitting side by each on a panel. That's a concern that's been raised by the financial institution. There is an issue of appearance, if not a reality issue.

That does make it difficult to allocate time for some questions here—

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC):

When do we have to be done, Mr. Chair?

The Chair:

I'm just calculating that. We have to be done by 5:30. That will pretty well be a hard stop, because you have a vote at 5:45. We might press that—

Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC):

The vote is at 6 o'clock. The bell is at 5:30.

The Chair:

Well, if colleagues will grant the chair the opportunity to extend the hearings....

An hon. member: [Inaudible—Editor]

The Chair: All right. Thanks very much.

Let's start with six-minute rounds, because, regardless, it's going to be cut back—

Mr. Glen Motz:

committee hansard secu 27238 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 03, 2019

2019-04-02 RNNR 131

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Thank you all for joining us today. It's been a while since we've been together. I can tell just by everybody's demeanour just how much they miss being here. We're glad to be back together. I'd like to thank our two witnesses in the first hour.

From Woodland Cree First Nation, we have Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom.

From Amnesty International, we have Craig Benjamin.

Thank you both for joining us today. The format is that each of you will be given up to 10 minutes to deliver your opening remarks, and then we'll open the table to questions from around the table.

I will open the floor to either one of you, whoever wants to go first.

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom (Chief, Woodland Cree First Nation):

Tansi. Kinana'skomitina'wa'w.

It's a pleasure and an honour to be here. My name is Chief Isaac Ausinis Laboucan-Avirom. I'm from the Woodland Cree First Nation. I was grand chief of the Treaty No. 8 territory not too long ago, grand chief of my tribal council, but today I'm here just as chief of my first nation. I'd like to say that I know that this is a good effort to do, but this is not in consultation with other first nations. I don't want to be accountable....

As for Woodland Cree, we are surrounded by natural resource activity, from oil and gas development to forestry to green energy projects like Site C. There are always negative and positive impacts when doing resource development, but we're in a day and age in which there has to be more accountability to first nations communities and to the environment. We have to make sure we're making good decisions so that we can have sustainability and so that generations of our children can grow in a country that is not fully polluted and that still has healthy jobs for people to get to.

You have to forgive me; I'm supposed to be on spring break, and my executive assistant is on spring break, so I'll be jumping back and forth in some of my notes here.

Companies should be encouraged to develop some understanding of the legal and constitutional rights of first nations. In Canada, first nations were not defeated in war. We have treaties. These treaty rights are constitutionally protected. Many international companies do not understand this, and they come from different perspectives. From my understanding of this, sometimes it gets very difficult when we are dealing with this mindset. We have to re-educate them and tell them who we are and why we have our rights. A best practice would include an educational component for international companies to understand the landscape in Canada so that first nations don't have to consistently recreate this work.

You know, one of the biggest struggles for first nations is that we are always looking for better and better human capacity. As I look around this room, I know that some of the best mindsets in Canada are here. As a first nations chief, sometimes I'm obligated to work with some of the best on the other side of the table, where I'm going against people such.... They used to be Shell, CNRL...where they have some of the best minds money can buy.

In order to have meaningful consultation, first nations need to have the capacity to understand the technical aspects of the projects, communicate information to community members, and gather information from community members and knowledge-keepers. This takes much more funding than is currently offered by Canada. The nation spends a lot of time and energy building the case for capacity funding and negotiating capacity funding, etc. The time and energy would be better spent actually engaging in the consultation and the search for accommodation measures. Best practices should include a requirement to provide adequate funding, which could be expressed as a percentage of the amount the company expects to spend on environmental, geotechnical and other types of studies.

I have the example of Site C. I'll be jumping back and forth between oil and gas and other resource departments. I had lawyers come to my nation one time, saying that they wanted to build Site C. My nation does not have monies to spend on lawyers. We'd rather build houses and put money into education and the elders. One of the questions I asked the Site C legal team was around what environmental impacts would be caused. They said, oh, there won't be much. Well, they'd be extinguishing two species of fish in the reservoir, the Arctic grayling and the goldeye. It doesn't take a university individual to understand that this has a direct impact on other ecological systems. Those are feeder fish for bigger fish, etc. Woodland Cree at that time did not have a million dollars to spend in the courts, so it's something.... And then also through the consultation process, that the borders between Alberta and B.C....said that the consultation process was basically a no-go zone.


Indigenous knowledge and input from the community should be incorporated into all aspects of the environment and social investigations into the projects. A best practice would include encouraging companies to look at the inclusion of indigenous communities through project development, design and implementation. Ultimately, the goal of any best practice would be to actually arrive at a meaningful mitigation or accommodation of impacts. When I think of meaningful consultation, that means I know exactly what the other side of the table, the proponent producer, is talking about.

When I look at these bills such as Bill C-69, I see this is just an example of where, at one of my chiefs meetings in Alberta, we condoned it, and then just last week we rescinded it. That's a good example of how it was so complex and misunderstood, and then now we're sitting here today where it's already gone so far in the process. I don't believe there was proper and meaningful consultation on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, and we're at a place where we shouldn't be at.

In most cases today, the parties have become much better at exchanging information, but there is still a resistance to making meaningful changes to the projects to lessen impacts on traditional land uses and resistance to involving indigenous communities in long-term economic development benefits.

Woodland is one nation that has been working hard to make strong and meaningful partnerships with business to develop business capacities, local employment, etc., but these have to be long-term opportunities not just brush-clearing and construction.

Woodland Cree needs to get into the business of developing and eventually owning resources such as the Eagle Spirit pipeline. I am on the chiefs' committee of that group. I can only talk so much to companies. Yes, they will nod their head and they will say yes, we tried, but if we were actually owners and operators of those companies, then our corporate values would follow that company.

For example, if I'm an owner of a company, I want to say I want to be the best in the world. I want to make that pipeline as indestructible as we can. I know there's technology and the abilities to do that. We're at this meeting today to be the best in the world, and I know we can do that.

It also goes into trading aspects of it. If we had ownership of these pipelines, then we could tell our customers that they need a better environmental standard on the products they develop from our resources.

Best practices would include encouraging companies to dig into business development with indigenous communities to share with them what types of businesses should also be pursued in order to support the project. Companies should also be willing to learn about capacities that different first nations have to offer. If both parties come to the table with a willingness to share information and work together to build first nations' capacity, then we will achieve meaningful accommodation.

Sometimes the feds are typically avoiding absolutely any language in the question that alludes to free, prior and informed consent. There are also quite a few articles written specifically about this within UNDRIP. We know this, especially if we're looking internationally.

There is no perfect international example of projects. However, projects in Bolivia entrenched the rights of nature—they actually used “mother earth” in Spanish—using indigenous law. New Zealand protected the rivers using Maori law. The Sami have a parliament and can pass laws in their territory. If a corporation has personhood, so then should the same things that make first nations....

Project approval currently only represents one culture's law and relations with the land. In order for a project to be truly collaborative and successful from a first nations' viewpoint, it should also respect our culture and our laws too.


That can seem almost impossible when our laws in Canada aren't respected or admitted into courts of regulatory.... If we want projects to go through, then consent is the only way.

The Chair:

I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up in about 30 seconds.

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom:

Basically I'm here to find a solution and to be part of the solution. There are a lot of misconceptions in the media all the time. As a first nations individual, I think our land, our water, the air and the animals are important to all of us. They are sustainability for future generations to come.

It frustrates me, as a first nations individual, when I have to almost beg for monies when we're living in one of the most resource-rich countries in the world. Why should our people be living in third-class or second-class communities when we are surrounded by natural resources that go into paving our roads, putting in rec centres, and so on?

I have children and I want my children to have the same abilities your children have. I know that a treaty is a nation-to-nation relationship. We need to encourage that to keep going on, and to understand and be more respectful to each other.

The Chair:

Thank you.

Mr. Benjamin.

Mr. Craig Benjamin (Campaigner, Indigenous Rights, Amnesty International Canada):

Thank you.

I'd like to begin by acknowledging the Algonquin people on whose territory we have the privilege of meeting today.

I would like to thank the members of the committee for this opportunity to come to speak to you. I would also like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to share the table with Chief Laboucan-Avirom.

The subject of this study is one of great interest to Amnesty International, and to me personally. There are a lot of things I could talk about, but what I'd like to do is focus on one specific example of international guidelines for engagement with indigenous peoples, which is the International Finance Corporation's performance standards on indigenous peoples.

Members of the committee will know that the International Finance Corporation, IFC, is the institution within the World Bank group that focuses exclusively on support to the private sector in development activities.

After the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, the IFC undertook a review of its social and environmental performance standards. In 2012 it adopted a dramatically revised requirement for projects potentially affecting indigenous peoples.

These performance standards take a precautionary approach, setting out measures needed to reduce the risk of significant harm to indigenous peoples, regardless of the recognition or lack of recognition of indigenous people's rights in national law. The performance standards do not directly address indigenous people's right to self-determination, nor do the standards address indigenous people's continued right to exercise jurisdiction over their traditional lands. These are matters at the very heart of the UN declaration, but the performance standards leave them to national governments to resolve.

Strikingly, however, even in the absence of explicit requirements to respect and uphold traditional land title and to engage with indigenous peoples as an order of government exercising jurisdiction within their territories, the standards that were adopted by the IFC are still, in many ways, considerably more stringent than Canada's current domestic laws and regulations around resource extraction.

In particular, I would like to draw the committee's attention to the IFC's provisions on free, prior and informed consent, FPIC. The IFC states that FPIC is both a process and an outcome. In other words, it doesn't just call on the private sector to seek consent; it makes consent a formal requirement for its support.

The performance standard specifically requires FPIC in four broad areas: where there is potential for significant impacts on indigenous peoples's identities or the cultural, ceremonial or spiritual aspects of their lives; where there are impacts on lands and natural resources subject to traditional ownership or under customary use; where a project might lead to displacement from lands and resources; or where a project proposes to exploit indigenous people's cultural heritage.

committee hansard rnnr 30288 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 02, 2019

2019-04-02 PROC 146

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning. Welcome to the 146th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

This morning, the committee is looking into a situation involving PSPC's plans for the white elm tree that lies on the east side of Centre Block, as you can see in the photo on the screen before you. There are three other photos that I took, and we'll run through them, too, so you get a closer look. It's just next to the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. This matter was brought to our attention by today's first witness, Mr. Paul Johanis, Chair of Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital.

Before we start, I'll read to the committee a letter from the Speakers, so you know what their interest is. The Speakers wrote to the ADM of Public Services and Procurement Canada: It has come to our attention that Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital has expressed concerns about the potential uprooting of a number of mature trees on the grounds of Parliament Hill to make way for the upcoming renovations to Centre Block. In particular, Greenspace is worried about a particular heritage elm tree, located next to the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, just east of Centre Block. With the understanding that such decisions are not taken lightly, we are asking Public Services and Procurement Canada to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of these mature and now vulnerable trees during the Centre Block restoration. It is our hope that with your support, a solution can be found to address the concerns that have been raised.

Welcome, Mr. Johanis. Maybe before you start, you could identify anyone in the audience who is related to the four organizations you said had an interest in this topic.

Mr. Paul Johanis (Chair, Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital):

Good morning.

Yes, there are members of Greenspace Alliance here, and members of Big Trees of Kitchissippi, which is a neighbourhood in the western part of Ottawa. We have Daniel Buckles and Debra Huron. Also here is Robert McAulay, president of the Beaverbrook Community Association in the Kanata area of Ottawa, who is very active in tree protection. Jennifer Humphries has just joined us. She is a member of the Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability, CAFES.

The Chair:

Thank you.

The clerk will cycle through a couple more photos.

Mr. Johanis, we look forward to some opening remarks, and then we'll have some questions from the committee members.

Mr. Paul Johanis:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, vice-chairs and members of the standing committee.

We're very honoured to be here. I have to say that we never expected to be here, but we're very happy to be here. Thank you for putting this on the agenda for the committee's consideration, and for inviting me to speak to you today.

I speak to you on behalf of four organizations that sent you the letter concerning the elm on March 18: Ecology Ottawa, a grassroots organization with a broad environmental mandate and a large following, mostly aimed at a younger demographic; the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, founded in 1863 and the oldest natural history club in Canada, with 800-odd members; the Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability, CAFES, a collective of about 30 neighbourhood associations in Ottawa, including all or most of those in this riding, Ottawa Centre; and the Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital, of which I'm the current chair. We're a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving green space in the Ottawa-Gatineau area since 1997.

We're here to ask for two things. The first is to delay the removal of the centenary elm until after “leaf out”, so that its condition can be ascertained clearly and without controversy. The second is to reconsider the currently held assumptions about the size and location of phase two of the visitor welcome complex.

Why reconsider these assumptions? These assumptions are the proximate cause of the planned removal of the elm. We believe they should be revisited to confirm that the implicit trade-off that is being made between preserving the elm and building phase two of the visitor welcome complex in the same location still holds. To be clear, unless the government is open to considering or reconsidering these assumptions, the elm cannot be saved.

Why delay the removal of the elm? Well, to reconsider this trade-off, you as parliamentarians really need up-to-date, conclusive information about its condition.

Why this tree? Why are we going all-out to protect this one tree? First, it's not just any tree. It's an American elm. It's a species that was widespread in this part of Ontario until it was all but wiped out by Dutch elm disease in our area in the 1970s and 1980s. There were many on Parliament Hill, but this one is the sole survivor. It is unique. It's distinctive. It's historic.

For our colleagues in the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, on this basis alone it would deserve protection and preservation wherever it might be located, but it's not located just anywhere. It stands next to Canada's most iconic building, Centre Block of Parliament. From this close proximity, it acquires an added significance and takes on an emblematic quality. Whatever happens to this elm makes a statement, which gets magnified and resonates far and wide.

To community organizations such as CAFES, the elm is emblematic of every mature tree being routinely taken down in their neighbourhoods to make way for infill and renovation. The loss of mature trees in Ottawa's core, and in urban centres across Canada, has reached crisis proportions. Community associations are desperate to stop the loss of tree canopy in their neighbourhoods. They are aghast to see the same dynamic being played out on Parliament Hill—they really can't understand it—wherein a builder with a plan always trumps green space.

To Ecology Ottawa, whatever happens to the elm is emblematic of the federal response to climate change. Mr. Reid, at the last meeting, referred to the 2006 long-term vision and plan for the parliamentary precinct. The rehabilitation of Centre Block represents the culmination of this vision. At the same meeting, deputy clerk Michel Patrice emphasized the need to reassess plans when things have changed.

Well, things have changed in a fundamental way since 2006. In 2019, climate change is real and action is urgently required to mitigate its impact. This is why the scope of the visitor centre now needs to be reconsidered. In this new context, different relative weights would likely be applied in the implicit trade-offs being made between preserving the elm and locating phase two of the visitor complex in that same space.


At this time of climate crisis, every action matters. Every bit of warming matters. Every year matters, and every choice matters. This is the message the youth strike for climate brought to Parliament Hill and all over the world on March 15. I was with them on the Hill that day, and I spoke with maybe 100 of them, singly and in groups. When I pointed out the elm to them and informed them of the government's intention to cut it down, all reacted with shock, disbelief and disgust. They don't think you have your priorities right.

Up until last Tuesday, the elm did not stand alone. It was surrounded by many other mature trees. Most or all were removed by PSPC when they stripped the site of vegetation last week and turned it into a construction zone. This little enclave was part of the city's urban forest, which is one of the city's most important assets in its defence against climate change. It provided shade for visitors to the Hill, which is otherwise quite denuded, cooling and filtering the ambient air, absorbing and fixing carbon and releasing the oxygen we breathe, just the basic life-preserving work that trees do for us.

This clear-cut may seem catastrophic, but in fact it is also an opportunity. One of the arborist's reports commissioned by PSPC in September 2018 includes this recommendation: If this tree is to be preserved where it stands, multiple measures will need to be taken....If we are to see any improvement in the trees health the entire critical root zone measuring 9 meters from the trees trunk in all directions should be carefully excavated and cleared of all unnatural debris. This area...would have to be closed off to the public and all soil within the area would need to be remediated.

If the option of preserving the tree were selected rather than cutting it down, the clear-cut and vegetation stripping carried out by PSPC has in fact made a good start towards doing this remediation work. It's an opportunity.

In prior communications, both PSPC and the NCC have asked us to consider how their plan includes the regreening of the area after the renovations are complete. To replace the elm with like for like would take 100 years. It is, for all practical purposes, irreplaceable.

Regarding the planting of other trees in 10, 13 or however many years it will take to complete this renovation project, all we can say is that it's literally too little too late. We have the same 10 or 12 years to take effective action against climate change if we wish to keep its impact within adaptable limits. Again, however, the clear-cut may present an opportunity. The field is now clear to proceed with this replanting immediately with large caliper trees and the 4:1 replacement ratio recommended by the NCC to recreate a new, improved green enclave in this location.

Every one of us is being called upon to take action against climate change in whatever small way we can, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions or preserving or increasing green space as carbon sinks in our homes, in our lifestyles and in our own backyards. Preserving the centenary elm and restoring this green space is something parliamentarians can do right here on Parliament Hill in your own backyard.

PSPC has referred to the poor condition of the centenary elm as justification for its removal. We have found that the information supporting this judgment is contradictory and inconclusive. Our technical report on the subject was sent to you on March 18. I will read out only its conclusion here: Given the conflicting information concerning the condition of the tree, the dramatic unexplained changes observed in September 2018, the lack of testing or other inspection other than ground level visual observation and the fact that weather conditions in September 2018 might well indicate that heat and water stress were at the root of the tree’s observed condition, it would seem appropriate to delay the removal until such time as 1) it is ascertained whether the tree has survived into spring 2019, and 2) further testing is done to determine if the tree is affected by any disease.


Destruction of this elm must not happen, and it can be stopped by you, Canada's parliamentarians.

While the National Capital Commission provides federal land use authorization and Public Services and Procurement Canada, as custodian of the land and buildings, executes the construction and renovation project, both are working to requirements approved by the Speakers of the House and Senate who, on your behalf, exercise the powers of Parliament to regulate its own affairs and to administer its precinct. Indeed, this standing committee has rightly taken upon itself the exercise of oversight that is so badly needed for this renovation project.

We've heard from PSPC and parliamentary staff, at the last meeting, that designs for the second phase of the visitor's centre are still very preliminary. All they know right now is how big a hole they want to excavate. It's very big—wiping out the centenary elm and forestalling the growth of any greenery in the northeast quadrant of the Hill for many years. Is this what you want? Is this what Canadians want?

Please do the right thing. Preserve the elm and restore its retinue of trees for the benefits they provide locally here on Parliament Hill. Also, take this opportunity to send the right message to all Canadians watching. Every action matters. Every choice matters. Please delay the removal of the centenary elm until leaf out and initiate a process whereby the currently held assumptions about the size and location of phase two of the visitor welcome complex are reconsidered.

Thank you.


The Chair:

Thank you very much.

Before we go to questions I just want to add a little bit of information that may affect your questions, or Mr. Johanis you could comment on them in your answers to questions.

First of all, I want to know how long these trees can live. The researcher looked that up for me. Do you want to read the quote?

Mr. Andre Barnes (Committee Researcher):

The chair wanted to know the life expectancy. According to the University of Kentucky, many white or American elms can live to 100 to 200 years old, and some have been recorded as more than 300 years old.

The Chair:

We also have a dendrologist from Natural Resources Canada, who was asked to provide information to Public Works Canada.

committee hansard proc 37274 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 02, 2019

2019-04-01 14:12 House intervention / intervention en chambre

International relations, Montana, Statements by Members

Déclarations de députés, Montana, Relations internationales

Mr. Speaker, it has come to our attention that there is a petition across the United States that calls on Canada to buy Montana for a trillion dollars. While we appreciate their interest, we would like to present our counter-offer.

We will annex Washington state, Oregon, California, New England and enough of New York to get the rest of Niagara Falls and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, with her values, would be a pretty average Canadian. We will offer, in exchange, to take over Puerto Rico and make it a province, to provide the 74 million new immigrants created by this deal universal free health care, regardless of what they believe or wear, and to take Montana.

We believe that this is a fair deal that would also help compensate for our century-old reticence to accept the Turks and Caicos, which was a grave error, we now recognize. In that spirit, if they are not intending to help make Britain great again, we could also make room for Scotland in our Confederation

Monsieur le Président, nous avons appris qu'il existe une pétition aux États-Unis qui demande au Canada d'acheter le Montana pour un billion de dollars. Nous sommes certes heureux de cet intérêt, mais nous aimerions faire une contre-offre.

Nous annexerons l'État de Washington, l'Oregon, la Californie, la Nouvelle-Angleterre et une partie suffisante de l'État de New York pour que nous puissions obtenir le reste des chutes Niagara et Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, dont les valeurs rejoindraient celles de l'ensemble des Canadiens. En échange, nous proposons de prendre Porto Rico et d'en faire une province, d'offrir aux 74 millions de nouveaux immigrants par suite de cet accord des soins de santé universels gratuits, peu importe ce en quoi ils croient ou ce qu'ils portent, et de prendre aussi le Montana.

Nous croyons qu'il s'agit d'un accord juste qui permettrait aussi de compenser notre réticence, depuis 100 ans, à accepter les îles Turques et Caïques, ce qui a été — nous le reconnaissons maintenant — une grave erreur. Dans cet esprit, si les États-Unis n'ont pas l'intention d'aider la Grande-Bretagne à retrouver sa grandeur, nous pourrions également faire de la place à l'Écosse dans la Confédération.

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr satire statements tv 377 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 20:26 on April 01, 2019

2019-04-01 SECU 154

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security



The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

Ladies and gentleman, we have quorum, and we have lost half an hour.

I'm just going to ask all the witnesses to come up to the table directly.

My proposal, colleagues, is that we mash the panels. I've spoken to all the witnesses and asked that they be prepared to speak for less than 10 minutes. My thought is to give the panellists seven minutes each to make their presentations.

The first round of questions will be six minutes, and the next round, four minutes. We'll just run as long as we can.

I think there's another vote. We're not sure.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Are we not going all night tonight?

The Chair:

Did you bring your cot?

An hon. member: Oh, oh!

The Chair: Okay, with that, the meeting has come to order.

I'll simply call the witnesses in the order that we have on the agenda, which starts with Mr. Green from Mastercard, followed by Mr. Davies from EY, Mr. Finlay from Cybersecure Catalyst and Mr. Gordon from Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange.

With that, Mr Green, you have seven minutes, please.

Mr. Ron Green (Executive Vice-President and Chief Security Officer, Mastercard Canada):

Good afternoon, and thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

First, I want to praise the committee for launching this study. Cybersecurity is one of the greatest challenges governments and businesses are facing at the present time, with serious implications for national security, financial stability and consumer protection.

I also want to congratulate the Government of Canada for launching its national cybersecurity strategy and establishing the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. I had the opportunity to meet with the leadership of the centre today, and we at Mastercard look forward to supporting their work however we can.

Cybersecurity is a top global priority for Mastercard. Safety and security are foundational principles for every part of our business and the innovative technology platforms and services we enable. We know that secure products and services are essential to the trust our customers, cardholders, merchants and other partners place in us. Let me contextualize this.

As you probably know, Mastercard does not issue credit cards or have a direct relationship with consumers. That is the purview of the banks that issue our cards.

Mastercard is a technology company. We provide the network that allows consumers to use their Mastercard virtually anywhere in the world, in more than 210 countries and territories, and have those transactions processed in seconds, connecting 2.5 billion cardholders with tens of millions of merchants.

For us to provide value to banks, merchants and consumers who use our network, we must provide safety and security. We cannot afford to have any interruptions in the operations of our network.

We are also investing in innovation: enhancing our capabilities in-house; acquiring cutting-edge technology companies; and nurturing our Start Path group of curated start-ups, including five in Canada, connecting with our issuing partners to grow their business. Just last month, Mastercard entered into an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Ethoca, a fraud solution powered by collaboration between banks and merchants.

At a very high level, that's what we're doing. Please let me now turn to our advice for government, which falls into six main areas.

First, in a networked, interconnected digital world, we need cybersecurity solutions tailored to small and medium-sized businesses. Cybercriminals will seek out the weakest point in the system to launch an attack. Therefore, we need to provide a framework for small businesses to protect their operations. Mastercard is playing a leading role in defending SMEs as we stand up our Cyber Readiness Institute, which emphasizes the practical application of tools for small and medium-sized businesses. The institute also facilitates the workforce development needed to implement these cybersecurity risk management tools.

In addition, keeping with this focus, in February, Mastercard and the Global Cyber Alliance released a new cybersecurity tool kit specifically designed for SMEs. This is a free online resource available worldwide. It offers actionable guidance and tools with clear direction to combat the increasing volume of cyber-attacks. There are operational tools, how-to materials and recognized best practices, all with an action focus. This tool kit will be updated regularly.

Second, global companies frequently confront an expanding and overlapping set of cybersecurity regulations in different jurisdictions. Those need to be harmonized using a baseline framework. We understand good trilateral progress was made here in the context of the NAFTA renegotiation, developing a common framework to align and manage cybersecurity risks, which is encouraging.

Third, there is a need to improve identity management and authentication as more devices are connected online. We need a robust identity ecosystem to enable easier and more secure digital interactions and transactions that safeguard the privacy of our cardholders.

Fourth, with the Internet of things there will soon be 30 billion connected devices. This creates enormous opportunities for the digital economy, but it also increases cyber-risk. Therefore, governments and the private sector should develop standards to improve the interoperability and cyber-threat detection and prevention while removing friction from commerce.

Fifth, as cyber-threats grow, governments and the private sector face a shortage of employees with cybersecurity skills. The world needs to start training the next generation of cybersecurity experts, and government has a role to play. If you have kids or grandkids, get them hooked on cybersecurity and they can make a lot of money in their lifetime, because right now the needs are there but the qualified security personnel are not.

Finally, collaboration, information-sharing and bringing all stakeholders to the table are required to fight cybercrime. President Obama commissioned an expert task force on cybersecurity on which our CEO sat. The task force issued a series of recommendations. The CRI, which I mentioned earlier, is a direct offshoot of the task force's emphasis on securing SMEs.

I believe this issue is so fundamental to the future of our economy and society that it needs attention from leadership at the highest levels. Mastercard is ready to lend its expertise to the Government of Canada in much the same way.

I could talk for hours on the subject but I will stop here and happily take questions on the areas that are of most interest to you. I have tried to provide a snapshot of what we are doing and what we think governments should be doing.

Thank you again to the committee for having me here, and I look forward to your questions.


The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Green, and thank you for respecting the time.

Mr. Davies is next for seven minutes, please.

Mr. Thomas Davies (National Financial Services Cyber Leader, EY):

Thank you for inviting us to this session to provide insights and field questions on cybersecurity in the financial sector.

My name is Thomas Davies, and I am the National Financial Services Cybersecurity Leader for EY in Canada. I'm also a special adviser for financial crime for the firm globally with a focus on insider and outsider threats. Prior to joining EY, I spent eight years as a director of Scotiabank, supporting all three lines of defence.

Cyber-attacks are on the rise and the financial services industry is considered a high value target globally. The number of individuals, organizations and nation states with access to advanced tools has grown exponentially as service offerings for hacking have been developed and optimized by criminal organizations. Attacks on financial services are not limited to cyber-breaches. They can quickly move to fraud and money-laundering activities, which then create a strain on the talent and financial resources of any organization. These concerns are exacerbated by the shortage of skilled professionals across financial crime domains. A successful breach of payment systems, transaction networks or customer data could have a material impact on the economy.

Consider for a moment the implications of not being able to use your debit or credit card for a day or even a week. Imagine over one million Canadians trying to withdraw cash to pay for groceries, gas or medicine. Many global regulators consider the resiliency of financial services against a cyber-event to be a top priority for ensured economic health, as exhibited by new security requirements in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and New York.

As Canadians demand greater access to financial services through digital platforms such as open banking, we need to consider embedding security and privacy principles into the design phase of a solution. In doing so, we will help to build customer trust, encourage adoption and proactively reduce the likelihood of costly fixes later. Implementing preventative measures such as training and awareness, access management, system hygiene, third party risk and corporate governance will reduce both the attack surface of these platforms and the maintenance required to support them.

Canada has an opportunity to become a global leader in security and privacy while continuing to be a great innovator of fintech. Through the continued support of shared intelligence, the development of talent through early and continuous education, and by enhancing public awareness of cyber-threats leading to financial crime, we can ready ourselves against this growing threat.

Thank you.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Davies.

I encourage colleagues to take note of the way in which these presentations are made in a timely fashion.

committee hansard secu 27278 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on April 01, 2019

2019 Spring newsletter / infolettre printemps 2019

A Word From David

Dear friends,

Over the past three-and-a-half years that I have been working on your behalf all across the region, I have been very impressed by the level of community engagement on display in our towns and cities.

Everywhere I go I meet people involved in many ways, by organizing and participating in fundraising meals and social, sport and cultural activities, all on a volunteer basis in the service of their fellow-citizens. The degree of engagement provides a measure of the health of our society.

Our communities are so dynamic thanks to the directors, staff, elected officials and volunteers of all ages who give their all so that other people, often those who are less privileged or more isolated, can enjoy a better quality of life. Thank you for crucial support and the contributions you make to local vitality! You are inspiring!

Across the region groups provide necessary services like food banks, caregiver support, seniors’ clubs, youth and family centres, assistance to the intellectually and physically handicapped and other vulnerable individuals. Other groups work to improve things for the entire community they serve, starting with the important role of the medical foundations. Others work on a different aspect of our social fabric, such as lake and environmental associations, and cultural, sport and recreational activities and events. All contribute to building and maintaining our local identity.

My team and I are here to provide you our help in achieving your goals, and our recognition of all that you have accomplished so far.

As historian Michel Allard said during a talk on volunteering to the CAB des Laurentides in December 2017, “In the Laurentians, volunteering is based on a tradition of mutual assistance,” explaining the history of old-time work bees. This tradition of mutual help and community involvement is ongoing. I am proud to participate as often as possible.

This issue is dedicated to the people who work so hard as well as the community organizations that contribute to maintaining and strengthening the social fabric of our community.

- David

Mot de David

Chers amis,

Au cours de ces trois années et demie durant lesquelles j’ai travaillé avec vous dans toute la région, j’ai toujours été impressionné par le niveau d’engagement communautaire que l’on retrouve dans nos villes et municipalités.

Partout où je vais, je rencontre des gens qui s’impliquent dans tous les domaines, en organisant et participant à des repas-bénéfice ou à des activités sociales, sportives ou culturelles et qui le font de façon bénévole, au service de leurs concitoyens. Leur degré d’engagement permet de mesurer la santé de notre société.

Nous devons ce dynamisme dans la communauté aux dirigeants, travailleurs, élus et bénévoles de tous âges qui s’investissent pour que d’autres, souvent moins privilégiés ou plus isolés, puissent apprécier une meilleure qualité de vie. Je vous remercie pour votre essentiel dévouement et la contribution qu’il apporte à la vitalité locale. Vous êtes inspirants!

Des organisations de toute la région offrent des services nécessaires, comme les banques alimentaires, les groupes de proches aidants, les fondations médicales, les clubs d’aînés, les maisons de la famille, l’aide aux personnes handicapées ou l’aide aux citoyens plus vulnérables. D’autres organismes travaillent à l’amélioration de certains aspects de leur communauté, tels que les associations de lac et de protection de l’environnement ou l’organisation d’activités et évènements de loisir, culturels et sportifs. Tous contribuent à bâtir et préserver notre identité régionale. Mon équipe et moi sommes à votre service, pour vous aider à atteindre vos objectifs et pour reconnaitre, humblement, tout ce que vous accomplissez.

En décembre 2017, l’historien Michel Allard a animé un atelier au CAB des Laurentides, portant sur l’histoire du bénévolat. Faisant le parallèle avec les abeilles et leur organisation du travail, il a expliqué que « dans les Laurentides, le bénévolat est basé sur une tradition d’assistance mutuelle ». Cette tradition d’assistance et d’engagement communautaire est toujours en vigueur et je suis fier d’y participer aussi souvent que possible.

Cette édition de mon Infolettre est dédiée à tous ces bénévoles ainsi qu’à toutes ces organisations qui contribuent à maintenir et renforcer le tissu social de notre communauté.

- David

KNOWING OUR REGION: from the past to the present

As the saying goes, “You have to know where you come from to know where you’re going.” In the past three years, my father, local historian Joseph Graham, has passed on various parts of our regional history via this Newsletter. For this edition, he presents us a family that has been living in the Laurentians for over 150 years and has contributed to the local community. Enjoy the read!

CONNAÎTRE NOTRE RÉGION : d’hier à aujourd’hui

Il y a un adage qui dit: « il faut savoir d’où l’on vient pour savoir où l’on va ». Au cours des trois dernières années, mon père, l’historien local Joseph Graham, nous a présenté différents pans de notre histoire régionale via cette Infolettre. Pour cette édition, il nous présente une famille implantée dans les Laurentides depuis plus de 150 ans. Et son apport au milieu communautaire de la région. Bonne lecture !

The Grignons, Community Builders

Claude-Henri Grignon, author of Un Homme et son Péché, televised as Les Belles Histoires des Pays d’en Haut, is known well beyond the hills of Séraphin and is one of the most significant people in our local cultural history. Perhaps less well known is that he came from a large family that contributed enormously to our greater community.

His grandparents, Médard Grignon and Henriette Lalande of Saint-Jérome, had 11 children and did not stint on making sure they had an education. They could not resist cultural demands made on them and are mentioned as active members of the Institut canadien des artisans de Dumontville, conceived for the cultural development of its members. They were also known to willingly extend themselves to help anyone who was at a disadvantage, and, as owners of a popular auberge, their home became a local destination. In those days of the early 1900s, Médard’s facility on the fiddle and a large drum of whisky contributed to the ambiance.

Their large family grew to include three doctors and many other professionals. Wilfrid Grignon, the eldest, became a doctor in Ste. Adele and a noted lecturer on agriculture, while Dr. Edmond Grignon set up practice in Ste. Agathe. The third doctor practiced medicine in Menominee, Michigan, the largest lumbering centre in the United States in the 19th century. According to our local histories, many farmers left to work as lumberjacks in Michigan.

Two sons of Ste. Adele’s Dr. Wilfrid are also well remembered; the elder, Louis, a veterinarian, set up his practice in Mont Laurier, and the younger was Claude-Henri.

Dr. Edmond, remembered as Le Vieux Doc, wrote that it was Curé Labelle who encouraged him to go to Ste. Agathe. In his book En Guettant les Ours, he described his role not just as a doctor, but also as an educator. He was also a community builder. He was secretary of the Cercle Agricole as well as of two municipal corporations. In 1912, Grignon accepted to write the history of the parish to commemorate its first fifty years, and the book, L’Album Historique de la Paroise de Sainte Agathe des Monts, is still an extremely useful reference work, loaded with anecdotes and perspectives on the times. Back then, doctors fulfilled a lot of different roles, not limited to the health and social services, and, as a master community builder, Curé Labelle had good instincts in encouraging the right people to come north to help him build our community. Le Vieux Doc’s eldest son, Henri, also became a doctor, carrying the family mission to St. Jovite, and we must recall the next generations, notably Pierre Grignon, the former mayor of Ste. Adele.

There is a humour, a perspective on the world, in the family. Médard and Henriette’s happy, worldly home echoed down the generations as their other children and their spouses, including a lawyer, a notary, an engineer and various others, carried that spirit with them to their communities.

Through their values and actions, the Grignons and many other families helped build the community.

- Joseph Graham

Les Grignon, bâtisseurs de communautés

Claude-Henri Grignon, l’auteur d’Un homme et son péché, qui a inspiré le téléroman Les belles histoires des Pays-d’en-Haut, est connu bien au-delà des montagnes du pays de Séraphin et figure parmi les personnalités les plus marquantes de notre histoire culturelle locale. Ce que peu de gens savent peut-être, c’est qu’il est issu d’une famille nombreuse qui a fourni un apport énorme à l’ensemble de nos communautés.

Ses grands-parents, Médard Grignon et Henriette Lalande, étaient propriétaires d’un populaire hôtel à SaintJérôme. La virtuosité de Médard au violon et un grand fût de whisky aidant, leur résidence est devenue une destination incontournable. On leur connaissait une bienveillance à l’égard de quiconque était dans le besoin. De plus, ils ne refusaient aucune demande de nature culturelle, et leur nom figure parmi les membres actifs de l’Institut canadien des artisans de Dumontville, voué à la promotion culturelle de ses membres. En ce milieu du 19 e siècle, Médard et Henriette n’ont ménagé aucun effort pour que chacun de leurs 11 enfants fassent des études.

Trois fils de leur grande famille sont devenus médecins et de nombreux autres ont porté des titres professionnels. L’aîné, Wilfrid, a pratiqué la médecine à Sainte-Adèle en plus d’être un conférencier renommé en matière d’agriculture. Son frère, Edmond, a établi sa clinique médicale à Sainte-Agathe. Le troisième médecin de la famille s’est établi à Menominee, au Michigan, plaque tournante de l’exploitation forestière au 19e siècle. Selon les récits, nombre d’agriculteurs locaux quittaient la terre pendant l’hiver pour aller gagner leur vie comme bûcherons au Michigan.

Le docteur Edmond, dont on se souvient comme le Vieux Doc, a écrit que c’est le curé Labelle qui l’a motivé à s’établir à Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. Le curé Labelle, en sa qualité de maître bâtisseur, savait d’instinct encourager les bonnes personnes à s’établir au Nord pour contribuer à l’essor de la communauté. Outre les soins de santé et les service sociaux, les médecins assumaient alors différents rôles. Dans son ouvrage En guettant les ours, le Dr Grignon se décrivait comme un médecin, mais également comme un enseignant. Il était aussi un bâtisseur, agissant comme juge de paix et comme secrétaire du Cercle agricole et de deux corporations municipales.

En 1912, il accepte d’écrire l’histoire de la paroisse pour commémorer le 50e anniversaire de sa fondation; l’Album historique de la paroisse de Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts est ainsi demeuré un ouvrage de référence très utile rempli d’anecdotes et de perspectives d’époque. Henri Grignon, l’aîné des fils du Vieux Doc, est également devenu médecin et a poursuivi la mission de la lignée familiale à Saint-Jovite. Ses cousins, deux des fils du docteur Wilfrid de Sainte-Adèle, ont également acquis une certaine notoriété: l’aîné, Louis en tant que vétérinaire à MontLaurier, et le benjamin, qui est Claude-Henri, sans oublier les contributions des générations suivantes, notamment Pierre Grignon, ancien maire de Sainte-Adèle.

On retrouve chez les membres de la famille Grignon une perspective sur le monde bien caractéristique. L’esprit de Médard et Henriette d’offrir d’un foyer heureux et ouvert s’est répercuté sur les générations suivantes. Leurs autres enfants et leurs conjoints, parmi lesquels un avocat, un notaire, un ingénieur et d’autres professionnels, ont à leur tour répandu cet esprit dans leur milieu.

Par leurs valeurs et leurs actions, des familles comme les Grignon et de nombreuses autres dans notre région ont contribué à bâtir la communauté.

- Joseph Graham

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history newsletter 1909 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:42 on April 01, 2019

2019-03-19 PROC 145

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Welcome to the 145th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Today, as we continue our study of parallel debating chambers, we are pleased to be joined by Mr. Bruce Stanton, member of Parliament for Simcoe North, who is also the Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committee of the Whole. As a personal note, he is also the chair of the Canada-Myanmar Friendship Group. For members' information, Mr. Stanton has authored articles on the subject of parallel chambers in both the IRPP's Policy Options magazine and the Canadian Parliamentary Review.

Thank you for being here.

Just before you start, I want to let members know that the delegation from Kenya never made it, so the meeting you got a notice for is not on. Take it off your schedule if you did include it.

Mr. Stanton, we're delighted you're here. I actually think this is one of the most exciting projects that PROC has undertaken, so we look forward to your suggestions. [Translation]

Mr. Bruce Stanton (Simcoe North, CPC):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Good morning.

Thank you for the invitation to appear as part of your study of a parallel or concurrent debating chamber for the House of Commons.[English]

Before I get into this, I'd first like to say that I really don't consider myself to be an expert in these matters, but I have shared and will share my perspective today on some of the research I have done in this area. Of course, as some of you may know, some of this was published in the Canadian Parliamentary Review and in the IRPP op-ed the chair mentioned, but these are also my own observations, as a parliamentarian, here since 2006.

I am going to touch on three main things here in my opening comments. The first will be a general description of the concept; second will be some reasons we might be considering this kind of innovation; and third will be some thoughts on how, if the decision were to proceed, that might be dealt with.

After that, of course, I'd be happy to take your questions. [Translation]

Firstly, in terms of the second chamber itself, the briefing materials and the testimony of Mr. Natzler, the clerk of the UK House, will give you a rough idea of how the system works. Both Australia's House of Representatives and the UK Parliament use them. Australia was the first country to implement the structure, in 1993, and the UK followed, to a degree inspired by Australia’s experience, in 1999.[English]

Each has evolved into a permanent and valued part of its parliamentary institution, and it's noteworthy that their functions and the way they serve MPs and Parliament are somewhat different.

The Federation Chamber in Australia, for example, is used as an adjacent lane for parts of the legislative process, such as second reading and report-stage debates, whereas the U.K. keeps all its consideration of government legislation in the main chamber.

In my view, this is telling. While we share the Westminster parliamentary tradition with our Commonwealth friends in the U.K. and Australia, our Standing Orders, conventions and practices have evolved differently to suit our needs and the priorities of parliamentarians here.[Translation]

However, there are some common virtues of the two second chambers. These virtues include the following.

They have a low quorum of three people, including the chair occupant, a member from the government side and member from the opposition. The forum is less controversial, since the debates by their nature are less divided.


The parallel structure affords more time for members of Parliament to debate and to speak about issues that have direct relevance in their constituencies. The second chambers operate on a fixed schedule that’s around 30% to 35% of the time in the main chamber.

The second chambers are seen as a way of managing or supplementing the noncontroversial aspects of the day's business that would otherwise take debating time away from the more consequential business of the main chamber, such as routine proceedings, adjournment debates and members statements.[English]

They can act as a proving ground for testing new procedures that may be considered for implementation in the House, and for MPs to hone their debating skills and familiarity with procedures. They are also a help for newer presiding officers to gain knowledge of their roles and points of procedure that will invariably become helpful when they preside in the House.

They generally operate on the same rules of order as the main chamber. They are televised, transcribed and journaled, and provide a small gallery for the public. In our case we would have to add to that simultaneous translation—in essence, the same way that we support standing committees.

The physical setting is similar to a large committee room. The more intimate setting aids decorum. The U.K. and Australia use a U-shaped design to invite more collegiality across party lines.

Since their inception, each of the two chambers has created new features that have become very popular. In the U.K., as you heard, they use the chamber for e-petition debates that can have in excess of 100,000 signatures. Due to the high level of public interest in these debates, they can attract a big online audience, which have been noted to be sometimes higher than for other debates that are broadcast. In Australia, time is reserved for what is called “constituency statements”, like a three-minute S.O. 31, which both members and ministers can use to tailor messages to their own constituents. You'll know that our ministers are prohibited from using that in our S.O. 31 system.[Translation]

The reviews of each second chamber after more than a decade of use—two decades in the case of Australia—show that each overcame the early concerns and skepticism regarding their merit and usefulness.

Secondly, I want to address the reasons for embarking on a project like this. I believe that it's important that any effort to establish a second chamber be based on a reasonable need or short-coming with our current parliamentary system and procedures.

Understanding the scope of the problems would be instrumental in explaining how a proposed second chamber would work, and more importantly, why it's worth doing. Though the outcomes were favourable for the parliaments in our fellow Commonwealth countries, it's recommended that we understand what issue or gap a second chamber would be intended to address.[English]

There should be a cross-party consensus on this before proceeding much further, and it would take some additional work even to land on what the rationale for such a project would be in the Canadian context.

For the examination of where these gaps or areas of improvement could lie, Samara has done some excellent exit surveys of MPs and tapping of the views of MPs currently serving. House leaders, whips past and present, and table officers have an understanding and experience of parliamentary processes that is unique compared with that of the average backbencher, and their insights on where the current system could be improved would be invaluable.


I would also suggest getting a firm understanding of the original motivations for both the Federation Chamber and Westminster Hall, because they are instructive. The way these two chambers operate today reflects very much their initial raison d’être. That is why, for example, Westminster Hall is more a domain for backbench business versus the main chamber, whereas the Federation Chamber acts as more of an adjacent lane for a wider array of House business.

Finally, as you look at possible steps for your study and recommendations, it is worth looking at how the Select Committee on Modernisation proceeded with their investigations into what eventually became Westminster Hall.[Translation]

The select committee was aware that creating a second chamber would be, for the institution, a radical and broad innovation to the usual practices. The UK first looked into the second chamber idea in 1994, based on Australia's success. It wasn't until December 1998 that the select committee tabled a discussion document for members of Parliament presenting the possible advantages of the chamber. At that point, the select committee wasn't even proposing to start a second chamber on an experimental basis.[English]

Their intent was to set the idea out in some detail, so members could give their views on the basis of as much information as possible. They then invited members to comment on the proposal over several months, after which they could determine whether to proceed, but if so, how it might best be implemented. As they explained, members will wish to consider it with care, not only in principle but how it might work in practice.

With the inputs they received from MPs in hand, the modernisation committee tabled its second report in the House on March 24, 1999. It was debated in the House in May, and that second report became the basis of a trial of Westminster Hall starting in November of that year. It was not until 2001-02 that Westminster Hall became a permanent part of the U.K. House of Commons parliamentary process.[Translation]

In summary, I believe that your consideration of this idea is a constructive exercise. Parliament, like any other organization with which we have worked, must constantly seek to improve the efficiency of its internal and administrative processes and make good use of its time. The time demands on parliamentarians is a recurring theme throughout the evolution of our standing orders and our practices and traditions.[English]Moreover, we should always be looking for ways to demonstrate to our constituents the value and consequence of the exercise of our duties as MPs.

There are many possible advantages to moving ahead with this idea, and the success in the U.K. and in Australia is well established. For our Parliament, having a good grasp of the issues, obstacles or limits that a second parallel chamber could address is the crucial first step.

I thank you for your attention. I'm happy to take your questions, Mr. Chair. [Translation]

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Stanton.[English]


In the report, you referred to the information from Samara. We have a report here. It's in English, but it's in translation, so you will get a copy of that shortly.

Also, we have someone from Samara here. Could you put your hand up, in case anyone wants to talk to you later?

I have just a quick question. Am I correct that the Australian double chamber evolved because the Canberra state chamber did it first? Are you aware of that?

Mr. Bruce Stanton:

I'm not certain of that, Mr. Chair. I do know that, in the original evolution of this around 1993, it was a fairly volatile time politically for the House of Representatives. They were having real issues with essentially closure of debates, time allocation—“guillotining” was the word they used at that time. They really got to somewhat of an impasse there. I think that got them looking at finding other ways to get on with it. The Federation Chamber was born out of that.

The Chair:

committee hansard proc 38418 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on March 19, 2019

2019-03-18 15:11 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Employment opportunities, Mining industry, Oral questions

Industrie minière, Questions orales,

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the metal and mining industry is important for our economy and for our communities across the country, including many municipalities in Laurentides—Labelle. That is why our government is working hard to ensure that this industry continues to create jobs and generate economic growth.

Could the minister tell the House how our government is focusing on innovation, the development of clean technologies and strengthening the regulatory framework to ensure that the exploration and mining sector is prosperous, resilient and sustainable?

Monsieur le Président, les Canadiens savent que l'industrie des mines et des métaux est importante pour notre économie et pour nos communautés partout au pays, comme c'est le cas dans plusieurs municipalités de Laurentides—Labelle. C'est pourquoi notre gouvernement travaille fort pour s'assurer que cette industrie demeure une source de création d'emplois et de croissance économique.

Est-ce que le ministre peut indiquer à la Chambre de quelle façon notre gouvernement met l'accent sur l'innovation, le développement des technologies propres et le renforcement du cadre réglementaire pour assurer un secteur d'exploration et d'exploitation prospère, résilient et durable?

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr qp tv 199 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 20:26 on March 18, 2019

2019-03-18 SECU 152

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security



The Chair (Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)):

It's my privilege to open the meeting and invite the Canadian Bankers Association and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to address the committee. Both groups have been instructed on the parameters of their presentations.

Did you do rock, paper, scissors as to who will go first, or will we just go with the Canadian Bankers Association?

Mr. Docherty.

Mr. Charles Docherty (Assistant General Counsel, Canadian Bankers Association):

Thank you very much. Good afternoon.

I would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to speak with you today about cybersecurity in the financial sector.

My name is Charles Docherty. I am the assistant general counsel for the Canadian Bankers Association, or CBA. Joining me is my colleague Andrew Ross, director, payments and cybersecurity.

The CBA is the voice of more than 60 domestic and foreign banks that help drive Canada's economic growth and prosperity. The CBA advocates for public policies that contribute to a sound, thriving banking system to ensure Canadians can succeed in their financial goals.

Banks in Canada are leaders in cybersecurity and have invested heavily to protect the financial system and the personal information of their customers from cyber-threats. Despite the growing number of attempts, banks have an excellent record of protecting their systems from cyber-threats. Banks take seriously the trust that has been placed in them by Canadians to keep their money safe and to protect their personal and financial information.

Canadians have come to expect greater convenience when using and accessing financial services, and banks have embraced innovation to provide Canadians faster and more convenient ways to do their banking. Now consumers can bank any time from virtually anywhere in the world through online banking and mobile apps that provide real-time access to their financial information. Today 76% of Canadians primarily do their banking online or on their mobile device. That's up from 52% just four years ago. As more and more transactions are done electronically, networks and systems are becoming interconnected. This requires banks, government and other sectors to work together to ensure that Canada's cybersecurity framework is strong and able to adapt to the digital economy.

The CBA was an active participant in the Department of Public Safety's consultation on the new national cybersecurity strategy. Our industry is a willing and active partner that supports the government in working to achieve the outcomes outlined in the strategy with the common goal of improving cyber-resiliency in Canada.

The banking industry is strongly supportive of the federal government's move to establish the Canadian centre for cybersecurity under the Communications Security Establishment as a unified source of expert guidance, advice and support on cybersecurity operational matters. We also welcome the creation of the centralized cybercrime unit under the RCMP.

A key priority for the new centre will be to ensure cyber-resiliency across key industry sectors in Canada. Encouraging a collaborative environment with the centre providing a focus where the public and private sectors can turn for expertise and guidance will enhance Canada's cyber-resiliency.

The security of Canada's critical infrastructure sectors is essential in order to protect the safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians. The banking industry counts on other critical infrastructures such as telecommunications and energy to deliver financial services for Canadians. We encourage the government to leverage and promote common industry cybersecurity standards that would apply to those within the critical infrastructure sectors.

We recognize that critical infrastructures such as energy cross jurisdictional boundaries, and we recommend that the federal government work with the provinces and territories to define a cybersecurity framework across all critical infrastructure sectors. Having consistent, well-defined cybersecurity standards will provide for greater oversight and assurance that these systems are effective and protected.

Effective sharing of information about cyber-threats and expertise about cyber-protection is a critical component to cyber-resiliency and increasingly important to Canada's digital and data-driven economy. The benefits from sharing threat information extend beyond the financial sector to other sectors, the federal government and law enforcement agencies. Sharing information is a highly effective means of minimizing the impact of cyber-attacks. Banks are supportive and active participants in initiatives such as the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange that promotes the exchange of cybersecurity information and best practices between businesses and government as a way to enhance cyber-resiliency across sectors.

To foster information sharing and for such forums to be effective, we recommend the government consider legislative options such as changes to privacy legislation and the introduction of safe harbour provisions to ensure that appropriate protections are in place when sharing information related to cyber-threats.

Protecting against threats from industries or other nations requires a defensive response that is coordinated between the government and the private sector. The government can play a pivotal role in coordinating among critical infrastructure partners and other stakeholders, building upon existing efforts to respond to cyber-threats. Establishing clear and streamlined processes among all major stakeholders will enhance Canada's ability to effectively respond to, and defend against, cyber-threats.

We understand that the government plans to introduce a new legislative framework that addresses the implications and obligations in a world that is increasingly connected. We look forward to engaging with the government on the framework.

The CBA also believes that raising awareness about cybersecurity among Canadians is imperative. Educating Canadian citizens is, and should be, a shared responsibility between the government and the private sector. General knowledge of the issues and an understanding of personal accountability to maintain a safe cyber environment are required to help ensure that comprehensive cybersecurity extends to the individual user level. The banking industry looks forward to further collaboration with the government on such common public awareness initiatives as incorporating online cybersecurity safety into federal efforts to promote financial literacy.

A skilled cybersecurity workforce that can adapt to a changing digital and data-driven economy is equally important, not only for our industry but for all Canadians as well. Every year the CBA works with members to organize one of Canada's largest cybersecurity summits, bringing banks together with leading experts to share the latest intelligence about threats and to deepen the knowledge of our cybersecurity professionals.

As cybersecurity threats continue to rise, there's a growing demand for cybersecurity talent in Canada and abroad. Canada's new cybersecurity strategy recognizes that the existing gap in cyber-talent is both a challenge and an opportunity for our country. To address this shortage, we encourage the federal government, in co-operation with provincial and territorial governments, to promote and establish cybersecurity curricula in grade schools, colleges, universities and continuing education programs to enable students to develop cybersecurity skills.

In conclusion, I want to reiterate that cybersecurity is a top priority for Canada's banks. They continue to collaborate and invest to protect Canadians' personal and financial information. Banks support the government's work to protect Canadians while promoting innovation and competition. However, the industry recognizes that threats and challenges are constantly evolving. We want to work more collaboratively with the government and with other sectors to ensure that Canada is a safe, strong and secure country to do business in.

Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your questions.


The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Docherty.

We now have the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. [Translation]

Dr. Trevin Stratton (Chief Economist, Canadian Chamber of Commerce):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair and members of the committee. It's a real pleasure to be here with you today.[English]

I'm Trevin Stratton. I'm the chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The Canadian chamber is the voice of business in Canada, and represents a network of over 200,000 firms from every sector and region and every size of business. I'm here with my colleague, Scott Smith, the senior director of intellectual property and innovation policy at the chamber.

Banking transactions are increasingly being conducted in new ways, with 72% of Canadians primarily doing their banking online or through their mobile device. Disruptive or destructive attacks against the financial sector could, therefore, have significant effects on the Canadian economy and threaten financial stability. This could occur directly through lost revenue, as well as indirectly through losses in consumer confidence and effects that reverberate beyond the financial sector, because it serves as the backbone of other parts of the economy. For example, cyber-attacks that disrupt critical services, reduce confidence in specific firms, or the market itself, or undermine data integrity could have systemic consequences for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Banks have invested heavily in state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures to protect the financial system and the personal information of their customers from cyber-threats. In fact, cybersecurity measures and procedures are part of the banks' overall security approach, which includes teams of security experts who monitor transactions, prevent and detect fraud and maintain the security of customer accounts.

The sophisticated security systems in place protect customers' personal and financial information. Banks actively monitor their networks and continuously conduct routine maintenance to help ensure that online threats do not harm their servers or disrupt service to customers.

However, cybersecurity issues are marked by significant information asymmetries, where a disproportionate amount of intelligence and capacity resides with large institutions like the federal government, the Bank of Canada and a few large private sector companies, including financial institutions. Yet, small and medium-sized enterprises are no less vulnerable. It is important for them to secure a cybersecurity ecosystem. They are also disproportionately subject to mounting asymmetries in resources, technologies and skills to defend against nefarious adversaries who, with relatively primitive skill sets and resourcing, can inflict excessive financial and reputational damage.

My colleague, Scott Smith, will now outline the cyber-threat landscape facing Canada's small and medium-sized enterprises.


Mr. Scott Smith (Senior Director, Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce):

I believe you've heard from several witnesses over the past few months about the evolving cyber-threat landscape, some of the attacks that are being experienced across the board and how that's changing, and the challenge that represents. Instead, today I'm going to draw your attention to the growing attack surface and how economic disruption that impacts national security can come from unexpected places.

Canada depends on small business for economic well-being. There are 99.7% of businesses in Canada that have fewer than 500 employees, but they employ over 70% of the total private labour force. Small to medium-sized enterprises contribute 50% of Canada's GDP, 75% of the service-producing sector and 44% of the goods-producing sector. They also represent 39% of the financial, insurance and real estate sector.

Fintech has a projected continuous annual growth rate of 55% through 2020. Canada is a hot spot for fintech growth, especially in mobile payments, and most of the emerging companies are SMEs. SMEs collectively constitute a very large attack surface. This attack surface has attracted the attention of hackers.

With regard to some examples of the link between supply chains and major disruptions, in 2018, five natural gas pipeline operators in the U.S. had their operations disrupted when a third party supplier of electronic data and communications services was hacked in the spring of that year. The hacking of a third party vendor to more than 100 manufacturing companies was discovered in July 2018. Approximately 157 gigabytes of data that Level One Robotics was holding was exposed via rsynch, a common file transfer protocol used to mirror or back up large datasets.

The 2017 NotPetya malware outbreak forced shipping giant Maersk to replace 4,000 new servers, 45,000 new PCs and 25 applications over a period of 10 days, causing major disruption.

Why is this happening? Criminals are a bit like flood water; they follow the path of least resistance. Small to medium-sized enterprises have several challenges when it comes to security: limited financial resources, limited human resources and a culture of disbelief, the so-called “we're too small to be hacked” syndrome.

The digital economy has been a boon to small business growth, enabling rapid entry to global supply chains. However, this innovation and growth comes with significant risk if security concerns are not addressed, particularly given the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals. They've moved from the disruption of viruses, trojans and worms 10 years ago, which were common to hear about, to now generating usable digital trust certificates that bypass the human element.

The goal must be to reduce the attack surface, making Canadian business a less attractive target to criminals. The solution is a culture shift, through education, awareness and setting achievable industry-led standards, without stifling innovation. It's a big challenge. It also means investing in international criminal enforcement relationships and capabilities.

I'll stop there, and I'm happy to answer any questions.

The Chair:

committee foss hansard secu 35174 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on March 18, 2019

2019-02-28 ETHI 139

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics



The Vice-Chair (Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)):

Good afternoon. We're going to begin.[Translation]

I would like to make an announcement first. There has been an uprising and I am the new captain of this committee. The anarchists have arrived.

An hon. member: Temporarily. [English]

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Charlie Angus): Welcome, my friends, to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. This is meeting 139, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h)(vii), for the study of the privacy of digital government services.

Today, we have two groups of witnesses. We have, from the Herjavec Group, Matthew Anthony, the vice-president, incident response and threat analysis, and Ira Goldstein, senior vice-president of corporate development. We also have, from SecureKey Technologies Inc., Andre Boysen, chief information officer, and Rene McIver, chief security officer.

Each group will have 10 minutes to present. We are pretty reasonable here, but when you get close to the 10 minutes, I will start to jump up and down very loudly, not to distract you, but just to let you know. Then our first round of questions will go for seven minutes and then we will go to a five-minute round.

Is the Herjavec Group ready to begin?

Mr. Ira Goldstein (Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development, Herjavec Group):

Good afternoon. My thanks to the chair and vice-chairs and the members of the committee for the opportunity to speak today.

My name is Ira Goldstein. I'm the senior vice-president of corporate development at the Herjavec Group. I've spent the last decade working in information security to help companies and governments secure their most critical digital assets.

I'm joined by Matt Anthony, our vice-president of security remediation services at Herjavec Group, whose remarks will follow mine.

Herjavec Group was founded in 2003 by Robert Herjavec, who immigrated to Canada with his parents from eastern Europe. A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built Herjavec Group to be one of the largest privately held cybersecurity firms in the world. Our experience includes working with private and public sector organizations in complex multi-technology environments to ensure their data security and privacy.

We are honoured to address the committee today on behalf of Robert, Herjavec Group and our fellow Canadians.

Our statement will address two subject areas related to the committee's study. First, I will outline why digital identity is a key building block in the transformation of government services. I will then outline steps to manage, govern and secure our digital identities.

My recommendation is for the government to tread lightly on the broader transformation path to ensure that privacy and security are top priorities. In parallel, the government should move quickly on a pilot project to expand the existing success of Canada's digital presence.

Digital government services must be built on a foundation of good identity governance. If our identities are to be digitized and managed by government, citizens expect a system that ensures security and privacy. Our identity attributes are assumed to be protected by the issuer, our federal government. In any system, physical or digital, fraud is a risk that must be mitigated through effective and ongoing assessment.

These concepts are not far from realization. When a baby is born or a new immigrant arrives, individuals may request their identity documentation online. Ultimately, physical artifacts are issued as proof of identity, but the fact that we have an online portal today to provision identification means that we have the foundation to leverage that data for use in digital government services.

Several government services are already online. One of the most critical functions of government, tax collection, is digitized through Canada Revenue Agency's EFILE system. Presumably the push to EFILE was supported by efficiency outcomes and stands as a successful case of digital transformation.

Any further steps to digitize citizen identity must consider the perception of the impact on individual privacy. Individuals may perceive digital identity as a threat to privacy despite the expected benefits. One recent example is the speed at which public perception soured over Statistics Canada's plan to collect personal financial information. Despite the involvement of the Privacy Commissioner and plans to anonymize the data, perception quickly turned negative toward this prospect.

The contrast between CRA's EFILE success and Statistics Canada's attempt to gather financial information is a guiding light for the committee. Digitizing government services will be welcomed by the public if managed and messaged thoughtfully. The upside of this effort is more access for historically marginalized groups and geography, so the opportunity cannot be ignored.

Historically, identity-proofing has required a trusted centralized authority to govern provisioning and usage. If I want to prove who I am, I need to show government-issued identification. I foresee this authoritative proof as a permanent feature of modern democracy, so despite the advances in decentralized identity, the government has an important role to play in identity management.

In sum, I strongly recommend that the committee seize the opportunity to further digitize components of citizen identity to enable the efficient and secure delivery of government services, while being cautious in the line that we must draw between centralizing data and ensuring that individual privacy is maintained.


Mr. Matthew Anthony (Vice-President, Security Remediation Services, Herjavec Group):

Thanks, Ira.

My name is Matt Anthony. I'm the vice-president of security remediation services. I've been working in information security for over 20 years. I'm honoured to be here today to address the committee. I'll keep my remarks focused on two main areas.

Firstly, I'd like to address the issue of e-government, specifically the pace and volume of change. There have been great successes. Ira has already mentioned tax filing. You can do anything from tax filing to pet registrations at all levels of government. I think we're seeing real advantages from some of those, but I also see that fear of missing out and reputation enhancement are drivers for a lot of the initiatives that influence the adoption of and adaptation to electronic government services.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is famous for saying, “Move fast and break things”. While that was taken on as a mantra for global developers in all areas of business and the private sector, I don't think the Government of Canada should or could have that same kind of capability to move fast and break things. Herjavec Group's cyber-incident response teams have see the direct impact of moving fast and breaking things. We come back and sweep some of that up. Breaches are large, costly and very damaging.

Adding to that, there is a global skills shortage in the core capabilities needed to securely govern, develop, test, deploy and maintain complex software systems. Current published figures show that there'll be about three and a half million cybersecurity job openings by 2021—that's worldwide, obviously. The global digital transformation is in direct tension with that. There are more projects, more services and more data being created, stored, managed and mined. Canada and Canadian governments will feel this tension very directly.

The committee has heard a great deal about three case studies. Ira mentioned this already, and I've heard some talk in the corridors about a couple of them. They are Sidewalk Toronto, Estonia and Australia.

I want to address the Estonian example briefly, because it's been held up as a high-water mark for digital transformation, but Estonia has had a few major advantages in doing this that Canada doesn't enjoy. They have a very small population, a very small geography, a relatively green field in the post-Soviet era for technology and a relatively homogenous population accustomed to central control.

When I talk about those things, I think you can reflect on Canada not having many of those advantages in trying to do these kinds of services. The model would look very different for Canada.

While that transformation appears successful, we also don't know a whole lot about the security and privacy concerns. The political and cultural aspects of what would be expected, including how much we might learn about security and privacy aspects, might not be evident for years, or even longer than that. I caution against using Estonia as a North Star for our transformations in Canada.

You can't stand still, obviously, and we have to move forward, but my hope is that we go slowly enough to be assured that the changes we do are fully governed and secured to the appropriate level. Go carefully according to strong principles. Wait for the necessary technology, such as AI and automation controls, to support us better. Don't allow fear of missing out in international comparisons to cause us to hurry ahead of our abilities and capabilities.

Secondly, I'd like to briefly address information-sharing. I want to commend the data strategy road map, in that there are six most important things laid out in that document. I can't do much more than say that they are precise and correct. I would like to amplify them.

The concepts are simple: develop a strategy; provide clarity on data stewardship; develop standards and guidelines for governance; improve recruitment to gather the needed skills; and, develop technology systems that support the strategy. Those are all easy to say, but enormously difficult to do, individually and severally.

In 1984, Stewart Brand presciently wrote, “Information wants to be free.” At the time, he was talking about how the technology costs were going lower and lower, but now it has become synonymous with the difficult problem of keeping access control. Once information is beyond the source's control, it will tend to get distributed widely. It follows, then, that secondary and tertiary uses of the government's data need to be as acutely and astutely controlled as primary use is.

The government faces a monumental task in understanding and managing legacy data and systems. Reconciling inconsistent or undocumented consents for use, information silos, usage rules, data structures, identity platforms and administrative processes will each also be monumental in scale.

I believe that taking a greenfield approach may be advantageous, that is, by establishing rules clearly for new data collection and allowing legacy data to be integrated in the future, as capabilities such as AI and other data collection and tagging can be paired with lower costs for transformation through automation. Don't rush to data lake models, as unexpected de-anonymization and information correlations will emerge—I've seen them—some of which may be contrary to public policy, law or intent.


There are a lot of assertions being made that opportunities will emerge and efficiencies will be achieved by aggressively mining, aggregating and sharing data. I urge the committee to show evidence for that. It's easy to get caught up in the rush to take that approach.

You cannot stand still, but I advise, indeed urge, the committee and industry to slow down, be more careful and do not allow ambition to overshadow capability. Go slowly enough to fully understand, measure and manage information risks. Remember, criminals like data, and breaches are messy, complicated and very expensive.

Thank you.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Charlie Angus):

Thank you very much.

We'll go to SecureKey Technologies, please.

Ms. Rene McIver (Chief Security Officer, SecureKey Technologies Inc.):

Good afternoon. I am Rene McIver, chief security and privacy officer at SecureKey.

committee ethi hansard 27825 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 28, 2019

2019-02-28 PROC 144

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Vice-Chair (Mrs. Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore, CPC)):

I call the meeting to order.

Good morning, and welcome to meeting 144 of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Today, as we begin our study of parallel debating chambers, we are pleased to be joined by Sir David Natzler, the Clerk of the United Kingdom House of Commons, who is appearing by video conference from London, and who is retiring.

Congratulations on your retirement, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Natzler, for making yourself available. Please go ahead with your opening statement.

Sir David Natzler (Clerk of the House, United Kingdom House of Commons):

Thank you.

It's a great pleasure for me to be talking to you. I think I did talk to your committee some years ago on the subject of child care.

Today is indeed my last day as a Clerk. This is practically my last hour, and there is nowhere I would rather be.

You've had a paper from us about Westminster Hall. What I thought I would do is just make a few general points, and then I'm happy to answer any questions.

My first point is that 20 years ago when this started, a lot of people thought it was a pretty batty idea. How could the House sit in two places at once? Either everybody would go to Westminster Hall and the chamber would be empty, or nobody would bother to go to the parallel chamber in Westminster Hall. There's no possibility of having votes there, so what's the point of having parliamentary business when you can't come to any decisions that are at all controversial? They thought the thing would be a dead duck.

It wasn't an original British idea, as you probably know and as the memo sets out. It actually comes from our Australian cousins, who'd had a parallel chamber for some years, which we'd observed. It was a straight steal from them. Therefore, if you do take it on, please remember where the parliamentary copyright belongs: It is in Canberra, and you might like to ask my colleague in Canberra for his experiences over a longer period.

Over the last 20 years it has become an absolutely understood part of our parliamentary life here. As with you, we have a lot of members. We have more than you; we have 650. You're all members; many members have speeches and issues they want to raise, and they don't have enough opportunity to do it. Westminster Hall offers them that possibility through a series every week of around 12 debates of different lengths, but most importantly, all of them are answered by ministers.

In other words, it is not a graffiti wall. This is a series of policy issues that are answered by ministers. In the longer debates, the opposition has a slot, as does indeed the second-largest opposition party.

It has also proven a popular space for doing slightly new or different things. It has always been a little more relaxed than the main chamber, partly because it's smaller and partly because of the layout. It was a deliberate decision to lay it out not in the face-to-face style that I know you have and that we have in the main chamber, but in a couple of horseshoes so that there is less of the sense of party. I wouldn't overstate that, but there's less of a sense of party. It's also slightly better lit and less panelled and forbidding, particularly for new members, who often start by making a speech in Westminster Hall before they make a speech in the main chamber. The Speaker allows that, so their maiden speech is in the chamber, but they can, as it were, get used to the idea of speaking in front of colleagues in Westminster Hall.

It's also, on a very domestic note, a good breeding ground for our clerks. Our more junior clerks are in charge there, sitting next to the chair, and both the chairman and the clerks benefit from that.

It has, to my mind, no downsides. There's no real evidence that it sucks people out of the chamber. The two buildings are very near one another. It is true that the chamber retains a type of seniority in that people will have a debate in Westminster Hall sometimes for an hour or 90 minutes, and then a couple of weeks later you hear in the chamber, “Well, we've had a debate in Westminster Hall, but it's time we had a debate in the chamber”, as if that were somehow slightly higher status.

In terms of the debates raised by backbenchers, it has no more or no fewer practical consequences, but there is that inherent pecking order. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. As I say, it has massively increased opportunities for individual backbenchers or groups of backbenchers to have debates heard and answered in reasonable time.


I'll add one more thing. We have an e-petition system that you may know about. If more than 100,000 people sign a petition online, it's not guaranteed, but they're given a very strong steer that it is likely to be debated. Those are debated on Monday evenings. It's the only thing we do on Mondays between 4:30 and 7:30 in Westminster Hall.

It is very popular with the public. It's not that they come along, but they watch online in astonishing numbers. It is, of course, a subject they themselves have chosen, an often slightly unexpected one—slightly off centre, if you like. We tell the petitioners that this is when the debate is going to be and that they might want to watch or listen to it, and they do.

In the last few years, I think eight of the 10 most-watched debates in Parliament here have been in fact on e-petitions at Westminster Hall. The most watched was not the debate as to whether we should extend our bombing campaign of northern Iraq into Syria, as you might expect, but a debate, which sounds facetious, on whether we should exclude President Trump from visiting the United Kingdom. He wasn't at that time a president, but that was a very heavily signed petition. Something like, from my memory, 300,000 people watched it, and not just from the U.K., but from literally almost every corner of the world, including southern Sudan, so don't imagine that Westminster Hall, because it doesn't have the main party debates on second readings or report stages of controversial bills, is not of interest to the public.

That's probably enough.

Did you hear all of that?

The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Yes. Thank you very much. That was very helpful.

We're excited to have you with us on the last day of your 43 years in office. Hopefully if you come to Canada, you'll visit us. You could probably tell us a lot more. You're welcome to come to our committee.

Thanks, Stephanie, for filling in for me.

We're going to have some questions now to see what we can mine from your 43 years of experience.

Go ahead, Mr. Simms.

Mr. Scott Simms (Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, Lib.):

Yes, and I have a very short period of time to do it, Mr. Natzler.

My name is Scott Simms. I'm from Newfoundland and Labrador. Thank you so much for being here.

I have a couple of specific questions, but before I get into the specifics, I want to ask you about participation rates in the parallel chamber. I've read quite a bit about Australia and the experience in Westminster.

Would you say that since its inception, participation rates have been better than expected, lower than expected, or as expected?


Sir David Natzler:

It's very nice to meet you.

I don't think anything in particular was expected, and that's not being evasive.

Mr. Scott Simms:

I understand.

Sir David Natzler:

Most of the debates are in a standard format. A member puts in for a half-hour debate, makes a 15-minute speech, and is then answered by a minister for 15 minutes. The minister is normally accompanied by a parliamentary private secretary—in other words, another member—an unpaid assistant, and/or a whip. However, the party representative from the opposition is not allowed to take part, and other members are not expected to take part. You only expect three members, and it would be unusual if there weren't, and there nearly always have been.

There were some misunderstandings early on with the government—they perhaps didn't take it with the full seriousness that they later realized they should—in that they were either supplying the wrong minister or mentioning that a whip could answer the debates. That was a very brief early misunderstanding, and they're now fully answered by sometimes senior ministers at Westminster Hall.

For the longer debates—and there are about three 90-minute debates and two 60-minute debates a week—other members can be expected to join in, and they do. In the application, the member is meant to show a belief that there are going to be people there, because it is a competitive process to get the slots. When that has happened, there have nearly always been more than enough people to have a decent number of speakers, if I can put it that way.

What we don't do is keep an exact count of who is there for any one debate. We have at times done that—about 10 years ago, I think—and it showed unexpectedly high participation. Members like going there. It's easy to drop in. It's easier, psychologically, to drop in to Westminster Hall than it is to the chamber. You're still meant to be there for the opening speech, but there's slightly less of the atmosphere of going to church, which we still have with the chamber.

I don't know if you have that in Newfoundland, but—

Mr. Scott Simms:

Yes, we do. It's my cabin in the woods.

committee hansard proc 37186 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 28, 2019

2019-02-26 RNNR 130

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for being with us this afternoon.

We have two witnesses. By video conference we have Liza Mack, from the Aleut International Association. With us in the room we have Chief Bill Erasmus, from the Arctic Athabaskan Council.

Thank you both for joining us today.

Chief, I know you travelled a long way. We're very grateful for that.

Each of you will be given 10 minutes to make a presentation, and then we are going to open the table to questions for about an hour. We have time for two full rounds today, so everybody will get lots of opportunity.

I know from our discussions earlier that Mr. Cannings is quite excited about that.

Ms. Mack, I was speaking with Chief Erasmus before you came on the line, and he kindly offered to let you go first, so the floor is yours.

Dr. Liza Mack (Executive Director, Aleut International Association):

Wonderful. Thank you so much.

Good afternoon, everybody. Qam agalaa. My name is Dr. Liza Mack. Qagaasakung for inviting me to speak with you today.

First I want to thank you for my being able to address this body about this very important topic of engaging indigenous communities when it comes to large energy projects.

As I begin, I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my background and the organization that I represent.

I am the executive director of the Aleut International Association. Aleut International is one of the six permanent participants on the Arctic Council. We represent the Aleut people, who live both in Russia and in Alaska, at the Arctic Council and all of its working groups and expert groups, and with many of their projects.

I was born and raised in the Aleutians. We grew up subsisting and living off the land. Our people are Unangan, or Aleut in English. We often say that when the tide is out, the table is set. We harvest. We preserve. We eat many things out of the tide pools and off the reefs. There's an abundance of seafood that actually sustains our communities. We are a coastal people. We've done this for thousands of generations. Some of the things that we harvest and eat include salmon—all five species—crab, halibut, cod and octopus; marine mammals such seals, whales and sea lions; and terrestrial animals such as caribou. We also eat different migratory birds as well as birds that live in and around our communities.

I left my hometown of King Cove when I was 15 to go to boarding school. This was the start of my education outside of our community. My educational background is in anthropology, cultural anthropology. I have both my bachelor's and my master's degrees in anthropology. Also, I just finished my doctorate in indigenous studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Most of the research that I did was with Aleut leaders and fishermen from around the state of Alaska. For my master's research, I analyzed the State of Alaska Board of Fisheries testimonies, and I also interviewed testifiers to see whether or not they felt their testimonies contributed to the regulations that were passed. In Alaska, the management of our resources, and especially fisheries, is sometimes very contentious, and the system is often daunting for people who are unfamiliar with the process.

Part of the reason this is important to the conversation today is that these types of decision-making processes are things that people in local communities around the Arctic need to be involved in as we move forward with some of these projects and some of these regulatory issues.

In my dissertation research, I was working with communities and also with Aleut leaders, and I helped to develop, implement and analyze a survey that had to do with natural resource management laws in Alaska. A lot of these laws actually affect local people in very unique ways. There are a lot of different boundaries, a lot of different guidelines, that people need to be aware of and cognizant of. There are also our cultural practices, the things we've done within our communities for generations. Understanding how these two worlds work together is very important.

Throughout the process of all of my background and research, and all of the things that I've been doing not only in this capacity but also as a researcher and as somebody who is involved with cultural revitalization and language within my community, there have been several issues that I think we could benefit from by mentioning them here.

We're starting to talk about energy projects and how to engage with indigenous communities. As I said, even though I am from the community, and that's where I did my research, there were certainly things that came up that I really hadn't put a lot of thought into until I was in the midst of that.


I think you have some of my talking points in front of you. Really, I tend to just talk and not write things down. I hope the little points here are things you guys can see.

A big one was early engagement. Speaking to a community when a project is still an idea is very important. There are different issues about whether or not the community is even interested in projects.

Before I went back to school to pursue my bachelor's, my master's and my doctoral degrees, I worked as the economic development coordinator for the tribal council in my community. Part of that work led me to surveying people to see what kinds of things we were interested in pursuing as a community.

Some of the obvious things that came up were tourism and various things of that nature, but many people in my community weren't actually interested in those. They didn't want a lot of people coming into the community. Just having those kinds of conversations at the onset of some projects is really important and can't be stressed enough.

Also, there's the question whether or not various projects are appropriate. There are people who have different belief systems, and so understanding what is important at the community level is something that I think should also be looked at.

Also, with early engagement we could look at whether some people might be able to help with instruction about whether a plan is actually a good one. Looking at things from maps and other ways in which information is presented when you're starting the planning isn't necessarily the same as accessing the knowledge that is held within a community. A thing isn't going to be accessible just because the project is on, for instance, a flatter part of the topography; you may not know that this is where there are bears or where there's a swamp. Those kinds of things are really important for planning some bigger projects and planning for projects within a community.

The next point concerns communication. To us it would mean speaking with the community members and also being available to answer questions in more than a “check the box” kind of way. It's not just one-way communication, but also communicating and being accessible to not only describe what you see is going to happen but being available for those conversations is concerned. People put a lot of stock in being heard.

This speaks to the next point I noted regarding cultural expectations and whether we're looking at community participation and the resources that are around these projects and the way those resources are going to be affected. I alluded to the way people look at some energy projects. An elder once had told me that he didn't believe that all of the wind farms were actually important. He thought they were disrupting not only the flow of the way the birds were migrating, but other sorts of things like that.

It's just a matter of taking a minute to understand the potential effects. As indigenous people, in our communities we look at things from a very holistic perspective. Everything we do affects all other parts of our communities and cultures. The cultural expectation of what is important to the community is, I think, really important to think about. So is understanding of the goals of the project. Are the goals of the project to increase capacity? Are they to generate income? Are they to reduce the way we are dependent on fossil fuels? Having those goals set out with the community is certainly very important.

When we talk about the goals of a project and how they're going to affect people at the community level and how important it is to engage indigenous communities, one really big thing that we have to think about is that there's a very limited capacity to engage in our communities both financially and in terms of time.


Even in my own research, being a very small project, some of the things that came up were that there are very small populations. Within these small populations, there's an even smaller subset of people who are kind of champions in the communities and who are trusted to fulfill leadership roles. People trust them to speak for them at different levels.

It's making sure that is looked at and also supported. By supported, I mean that it's important to give people funding so that they have both the time and the capacity to provide very thoughtful and meaningful engagement with the project.

Finally, the last note I had was that the timelines with these sorts of projects are culturally sensitive. It's understanding, for instance, that our region in the summertime is very busy. That's usually when people go out and do research, and they start building projects and different things. That's also when people are fishing, when the salmon are running. That's when these other things are happening.

As kind of an anecdote, when I was doing my dissertation research in my communities, I had planned to do the surveying in the summer. However, people were just not home. I would call, and people would say they were out berry picking and didn't expect to be home until the next day, or whenever. Unless I was willing to go and pick berries with them.... I mean, it may seem like you're not working or you're not doing what you have set out to do, but those kinds of things are [Technical difficulty—Editor]

I guess I would just say that a lot of these small—

The Chair:

I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up, if you could please, Ms. Mack.

Dr. Liza Mack:


Thank you for letting me mention some of these things to you. These are some of the things that I thought about on the importance of engaging with indigenous communities.

I'd be happy to answer questions. Thanks.


The Chair:

Thank you very much.

Chief Erasmus, the floor is yours.

Chief Bill Erasmus (International Chair, Arctic Athabaskan Council):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to present to you and have this discussion with this important committee.

committee hansard rnnr 25148 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 26, 2019

2019-02-26 SMEM 20

Subcommittee on Private Members' Business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Chair (Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, and welcome to the 20th meeting of the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. On our agenda is the determination of non-votable items, pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(1). Today, we are dealing with Bill S-238.

Do any members want to comment? If not, does our analyst have anything to say?

Go ahead, Mr. de Burgh Graham.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

If there is no objection, I move that we now decide that Bill S-238 can be votable.

The Chair:

I need a mover for the following:

That the Subcommittee present a report listing the item which it has determined should not be designated non-votable and recommending that it be considered by the House.

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP):

I so move.

The Chair:

Thank you.

Sous-comité des affaires émanant des députés du Comité permanent de la procédure et des affaires de la Chambre



La présidente (Mme Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)):

Bonjour et bienvenue à la 20e réunion du Sous-comité des affaires émanant des députés du Comité permanent de la procédure et des affaires de la Chambre. Nous avons à l'ordre du jour la détermination des affaires non votables, conformément à l'article 91.1(1) du Règlement. Aujourd'hui, il est question du projet de loi S-238.

Est-ce que des députés veulent émettre des commentaires? Sinon, l'analyste veut-il intervenir?

Vous avez la parole, monsieur de Burgh Graham.

M. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

S'il n'y a pas d'objection, je propose que nous déterminions dès maintenant que le projet de loi S-238 peut faire l'objet d'un vote.

La présidente:

J'ai besoin d'un proposeur pour ce qui suit: Que le Sous-comité présente un rapport énumérant l'affaire qui, selon lui, ne devrait pas être désignée non votable et recommandant à la Chambre de l'examiner.

Mme Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NPD):

J'en fais la proposition.

La présidente:




committee hansard smem 327 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 26, 2019

2019-02-21 TRAN 131

Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities



The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)):

I am calling to order meeting number 131 of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we are receiving a briefing on the transportation of flammable liquids by rail.

The witnesses we have here from 11 until 12 this morning are from the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board. We have with us the Chair, Kathleen Fox.

Welcome again, Ms. Fox. It's nice to see you.

Also with us are Faye Ackermans, Board Member.

We also have Kirby Jang, Director, Rail and Pipeline Investigations; and, Jean Laporte, Chief Operating Officer.

Welcome to all of you. Thank you for coming back.

Ms. Fox.

Ms. Kathleen Fox (Chair, Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board):

Madam Chair and honourable members, thank you for inviting the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to appear before you today so that we can answer your questions relating to the removal of the transportation of flammable liquids by rail from the most recent update to our watchlist.

First issued in 2010, the TSB's watchlist identifies the key safety issues that need to be addressed to make Canada's transportation system even safer. Each of the seven issues on the current edition is supported by a combination of investigation reports, board safety concerns and board recommendations. [Translation]

Over the years, the watchlist has served as both a call to action and a blueprint for change—a regular reminder to industry, to regulators, and to the public that the problems we highlight are complex, requiring coordinated action from multiple stakeholders in order to reduce the safety risks involved.

And that is exactly what has happened. As Canada's transportation network has evolved, so too has the watchlist: every two years, we put issues on it, call for change, and, when enough action has been taken that the risks have been sufficiently reduced, the issues are removed.[English]

As for the transportation of flammable liquids by rail, it was first added to the watchlist in 2014 in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and it was supported by a number of board recommendations. In 2016, we kept the issue on the watchlist. We were also explicit about the type of action we wanted to see—specifically, two things.

First, we called on railway companies to conduct thorough route planning and analysis and to perform risk assessments to ensure that risk control measures are effective. Second, we wanted more robust tank cars used when large quantities of flammable liquids are being transported by rail, in order to reduce the likelihood or consequences of a dangerous goods release following derailments.

Since then, Transport Canada and the industry have taken a number of positive steps. Notably, railway companies are conducting more route planning and risk assessments and have increased targeted track inspections when transporting large quantities of flammable liquids.

New standards were established for the construction of rail tank cars, and the replacement of the DOT-111 legacy cars—as in what occurred in Lac-Mégantic—was initiated. Then, in August 2018, the Minister of Transport ordered an accelerated timeline for removing the least crash-resistant rail tank cars. Specifically, as of November 2018, in addition to the earlier removal of the legacy DOT-111 cars, unjacketed CPC-1232s would no longer be used to carry crude oil and, as of January 1 of this year, they would not be transporting condensate either.

Given that kind of action, we removed the issue from the watchlist. However, that does not mean that all the risks have been eliminated or that the TSB has stopped watching.

On the contrary, we are still closely monitoring the transportation of flammable liquids by rail through our review of occurrence statistics, via our ongoing investigations and via the annual reassessment of our outstanding recommendations. To assist the committee, we are pleased to table today an extract from our most recent rail occurrence statistics showing accidents and incidents involving dangerous goods, including crude oil, from 2013 to 2018.

We are now prepared to answer your questions.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Chair:

Thank you very much, Ms. Fox. We'll go on to our questioners.

Ms. Block.

Mrs. Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, CPC):

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. In light of the fact that this motion was brought forward by Mr. Aubin, I am going to trade spots and allow him to have the first line of questioning.

The Chair:

I think we have the best committee ever, right? Everybody gets along so well. Look at that.

Voices: Oh, oh!

Mr. Ron Liepert (Calgary Signal Hill, CPC):

We aren't finished yet. Just wait.

The Chair:

Go ahead, Mr. Aubin. [Translation]

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you, Ms. Block.

I thank all the members of this committee for agreeing to hold this study.

We are looking into this issue because I feel that Canadians, who—like myself—are not experts on railway safety and are seeing the exponential growth of rail transportation, are generally worried about the increase in the number of incidents and need to be reassured, if that is possible.

Ms. Fox, you have already said that, if the risks increased, nothing was preventing the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, or TSB, from putting the issue back on the watchlist. What criteria would you use to make that decision? Instead of always reacting after an accident, would it to not be possible to proactively implement measures that help avoid those accidents?

Ms. Kathleen Fox:

When we put an issue on the watchlist, it is because we have determined that a risk has not been sufficiently reduced. We ask the government, the regulatory organization or the industrial sector in question to take steps that would help further reduce those risks. We consider the statistics we have on incidents and accidents, as well as the recommendations that have not yet been implemented.

In the case of transportation of flammable liquids, we have noted that the actions we requested were taken, and that is why we removed that issue from the watchlist. However, if we note that risk management is declining and that the number of accidents is increasing significantly, we will consider the possibility of putting that issue back on the list.


Mr. Robert Aubin:

You are talking about mitigation measures, which I understand. May I conclude from this that, if an issue is on the watchlist, it is because it poses an immediate danger requiring swift action, but if that issue is removed from the list, it is because the risk is considered to be controlled?

Ms. Kathleen Fox:

The determining factor here is not that the risk is immediate, but rather that it is ongoing and persistent. The issues we have kept on the watchlist are there because the actions we think would better mitigate the risk have not yet been taken.

Concerning the transportation of flammable liquids, we realize that the risk involved in the transportation of dangerous goods by any mode of transportation is ongoing. In this case, the actions we wanted to see in terms of analysis, risk management and use of more crash-resistant tank cars have been taken. So we have removed that issue from the list.

However, we continue to monitor the statistics and conduct our investigations when necessary. No action has yet been taken in response to three of the five recommendations we issued in relation to the Lac-Mégantic incident, or in response to two other recommendations we proposed after other derailments in 2015. So it is clear that we have not stopped monitoring that safety issue.

Mr. Robert Aubin:

committee hansard tran 25462 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 21, 2019

2019-02-21 PACP 128

Standing Committee on Public Accounts



The Chair (Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)):

Good morning, everyone.

This is meeting number 128 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for Thursday, February 21, 2019.

We are once again here in consideration of “Report 1—Connectivity in Rural and Remote Areas” of the 2018 fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada.

We're honoured to have with us this morning, from the Office of the Auditor General, Mr. Jerome Berthelette, the Assistant Auditor General, and Philippe Le Goff, Principal.

From the Department of Industry we have the Deputy Minister, Mr. John Knubley. We also have Lisa Setlakwe, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategy and Innovation Policy Sector. We also have Michelle Gravelle, Director General, Audit and Evaluation Branch.

From the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission we have Mr. Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Christopher Seidl, Executive Director of Telecommunications; and Mr. Ian Baggley, Director General, Telecommunications.

For those who may be interested, we are televised today. We had these folks with us before, but we were interrupted by votes in the House. Typically, all they did at that time was their opening statements. We didn't get into very much questioning.

They have complied with our request and are willing to again give us an opening statement. We thank them for that.

We will now turn our time over to Mr. Berthelette.

Mr. Jerome Berthelette (Assistant Auditor General, Performance Audit, Office of the Auditor General):

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for this opportunity to discuss our fall 2018 report on connectivity in rural and remote areas. Joining me at the table is Philippe Le Goff, the principal responsible for the audit.

This audit focused on whether Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, according to their respective roles and responsibilities, monitored the state of connectivity and developed and implemented a plan to meet the connectivity needs of Canadians in remote and rural areas.[Translation]

Over the past 12 years, detailed examinations of the state of broadband access in Canada have included recommendations that the federal government lead the creation of a national broadband strategy. However, at the time we finished our audit, the government had still not agreed to take that step.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada indicated that it was reluctant to establish a strategy with an objective that could not be reached with the available funding. The department had continued to follow an approach that expanded broadband coverage to underserved parts of the country according to when funds were available.

This approach left people in rural and remote parts of the country with less access to important online services, such as education, banking, and health care, and without information about when they could expect to have better access.

On October 26, 2018, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced that the federal, provincial, and territorial ministers for innovation and economic development agreed to make broadband a priority and to develop a long-term strategy to improve access to high-speed Internet services for all Canadians.

Ministers committed to a goal of establishing universal access to Internet speeds of 50 megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload.

Mr. Chair, with respect to the current state of connectivity in Canada, we found that the department relied on complete and accurate data to inform policy-making aimed at addressing the connectivity gap in rural and remote areas.[English]

In 2016, the government launched its connect to innovate funding program to bring high-speed Internet to 300 rural and remote communities in Canada. We examined whether the department designed and managed this program to maximize the value for taxpayers. We found that the department did not implement the program in a way that ensured the maximum broadband expansion for the public money spent. The program did not include a way to mitigate the risk that government funds might displace private sector funds.

We also found that the department did not provide key information to potential applicants for funding under the program. As a result, some applicants had to invest more effort in preparing their proposals, and all applicants lacked full knowledge of the basis for selecting funding proposals. For example, there were a number of considerations for selecting projects, but the application guide did not specify the relative weight of each criterion used in the project selection process. Also, projects were less likely to be funded if they did not align with provincial and territorial priorities. However, these priorities were not made public. In our view, the department should have made the weights and priorities public.

Many Canadians in rural and remote areas had to rely on fixed wireless broadband solutions. We found that small Internet service providers did not have sufficient access to high-quality spectrum to support broadband deployment in rural and remote areas. For example, the department auctioned spectrum licences for geographic areas that were too large for smaller service providers to bid on. The secondary market for unused spectrum did not function well, partly because licensees had little business incentive to make unused spectrum available for subordinate licensing. In addition, the information on unused spectrum was not readily available to interested Internet providers.[Translation]

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission have agreed with our six recommendations, and we understand that the department has prepared a detailed action plan.

Mr. Chair, this concludes my opening remarks.

We would be pleased to answer any questions the committee may have.

Thank you. [English]

The Chair:

Thank you very much, Mr. Berthelette.

We'll now turn to our deputy minister, Mr. Knubley, for his comments.

Mr. John Knubley (Deputy Minister, Department of Industry):

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Overall, the Government of Canada sees connectivity and broadband as a critical enabler. It really is the way for all Canadians to participate in economic growth, innovation and social inclusion.

Overall, we also agree with the recommendations of the Auditor General. I thought I should, at the outset, acknowledge the contribution of the former Auditor General Ferguson. We had several heated conversations—good conversations—about this topic.


The Chair:

Thank you. [Translation]

Mr. John Knubley:

I want to start by thanking the Auditor General and his office for their report. This is an extremely important set of issues. We accept the recommendations and are moving forward to improve rural and remote connectivity.[English]

I have just a few words, then, on the three specific areas of comment in the Auditor General's chapter: first, on strategy; second, on programs; and third, on spectrum.

On strategy, we agree on the need for a connectivity strategy, particularly in light of the CRTC decision in December 2016 declaring broadband a basic service and setting that 50/10 target. I personally believe that this declaration has created a significant inflection point for the delivery of broadband, which has required us to move from an evolutionary, step-by-step approach, addressing gaps, to a more collaborative, integrative approach to broadband.

As a basic service, the department's broadband programs predate this announcement from CRTC. As I said, they were designed to be step by step and to focus on specific gaps in services, coverages and speed. We focused on closing the gaps in speed between urban and rural areas in a way that carefully balances the public interest and private investment. We do want to avoid crowding out private investment in whatever we do.

I would also want to stress to members and to the chair that connectivity is very much a moving target. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and in this context, strategy is important, particularly as we set specific goals. However, it's constantly evolving. Only a few years ago our target was five and one, as opposed to 50 and 10.

As indicated earlier, work was already under way on a strategy this past spring. We established a federal-provincial-territorial connectivity committee. Federal-provincial groups have existed before, but we formalized it.

In June, the department launched a national digital and data strategy consultation, in which connectivity was the foundational component.

On September 25, Minister Bains released the economic strategy tables report, which focused on six sectors. This included the importance of broadband and digital infrastructure for economic growth, innovation and social inclusion.

Finally, on October 26 of last year, the federal-provincial-territorial ministers met. They agreed as a group to make broadband a priority, and to work together to that end. They agreed to a set of connectivity principles and to develop a long-term strategy to improve access for Canadians to high-speed Internet and mobile services. In other words, they accepted the 50/10 goal and the objective of serving Canadians with broadband as a basic service.

They did announce three specific principles: access to ensure reliable, high-quality service; collaboration to leverage all partners, and end fragmentation; and effective instruments, especially targeting market failures, so that government supports this where it is most needed in a real world context and does not crowd out private investment.

I would like to end my comments on the strategy by reminding members that the department has been very active in the digital and connectivity space for many years. It goes back to Minister Manley. There was a national broadband task force in 2001, led by David Johnston. If you look at their principles—I suspect I'll point them out to you later—you will see that they are remarkably similar to ones that are at the heart of our new strategy. The department has been committed for many years to providing programming around education related to digital and broadband activity. I can talk to you about some of those programs.

committee hansard pacp 33322 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 21, 2019

2019-02-20 19:28 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Digital divide, Rural communities, Rural development, Safety, Small communities

Communautés rurales, Développement rural, Fossé numérique, Motions émanant des députés, Petites collectivités, Sécurité publique,

Mr. Speaker, in 1983, my parents had an Osborne laptop with a detachable keyboard, a four-inch screen and dual five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy disk drives that could read 90-kilobyte disks.

In 1987, their company, Immeubles Doncaster in Saint-Agathe-des-Monts, got one of the first fax machines in the region. Since Bell Canada did not know quite what to do with this new technology, it gave every company nearly identical fax numbers. One company's fax number was 326-8819, ours was 326-8829, and another company's was 326-8839. I do not know what we would have done if there had been more fax machines.

Around 1988, my father had a Cantel car phone installed in his 1985 Chevette. The phone cost almost as much as the car. It had to be installed semi-permanently in the trunk with an antenna attached to the rear window. We always had the latest technology at home. We got email when it was first introduced to the market by CompuServe in the 1990s. We were able to communicate with other users through a dial-up connection. We had to make a long-distance call to Montreal to get it to work, but it worked. I still have our first family email address memorized. It was 76171.1725@compuserve.com.

Analog cell service was good enough to meet our needs. The signal dropped from time to time, but we could make calls. With our antenna, we could listen to CBC and Radio-Canada radio stations fairly well and watch a few television channels. To change the channel, my father would climb the ladder and turn the antenna with pliers, and we would use two-way radios to tell him when the signal came in.

We lived in a rural area, in Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides. That is where I grew up and where I still live today. My family was fully connected to the latest technology. Life was good. At the end of 1994, the digital divide had not yet affected the regions entirely.

Fast forward to 2000, the Internet was still on dial-up. The first satellite services had not yet arrived. I moved to Ontario to study computer science at the University of Guelph. I had learned Linux in high school and was involved in the freeware community. I found Rogers cable high-speed Internet readily available. Bell DSL followed a few years later, and at that time I switched over to a small reseller named Magma Communications. In 2004, I was living in a city where high-speed Internet was available, while Xplornet satellite service was starting up in the regions. My parents subscribed to the service after a year of suffering with Internet through ExpressVu, which used dial-up to send and satellite to receive. The digital divide was huge.

In 2001, my family and I visited my grandfather's childhood home in Turkey. When we arrived at Atatürk Airport, I heard cellphones around me going: dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot. I knew Morse code, so I wondered what an SMS was and why we did not have them back home. When we returned, my grandfather gave me my first cellphone, a digital analog Qualcomm through Telus.

As I am involved in the world of freeware, as an administrator of IRC networks and a journalist in the sector, I need the power to communicate with colleagues around the world. While everyone was texting internationally, my Telus phone could not send a text outside its own network. When I called customer service, I was told to use the web browser on my phone, which barely worked, and to go the website of the company that provided service to the person to whom I wanted to send a text message, and to use their form.

I did not remain a Telus customer for long. I quickly switched to Microcell, a cell company on the GSM worldwide network, which operated under the name Fido and offered the ability to send and receive texts internationally, except with its competitors in Canada. The problem with Fido was that the service was only available in cities. It was not profitable to install towers in rural areas. When I travelled, I could only communicate in the Toronto and Montreal metropolitan areas.

The digital divide also affected telephone service. In 2003, I purchased a PCMCIA card for my laptop. For $50 a month, I had unlimited Internet access on something called the GPRS platform. It was not quick, but it worked. That service also worked in the U.S. at no additional cost. With that technology, I wrote a little program connecting the maritime GPS in my server in order to create a web page tracking my movements with just a few seconds' delay.

In November 2004, Rogers bought Fido and, for an additional fee, provided service in the regions served by Rogers. After that, the Rogers-Fido GPRS system began cutting out after being connected for precisely 12 minutes, except in the Ottawa area, where it did not cut out. Was that so that the legislators in the capital would not notice? Thus began my mistrust in large telecommunications companies.

In 2006 I attended my brother Jonah and sister-in-law Tracy's wedding in Nairobi. After the wedding, our whole family went on safari. In the middle of the Maasai Mara, cellphones worked properly. That was an “a-ha” moment for me.

By 2006, after the digital shift, the cellular service we had in the Laurentians in the 1980s had almost completely disappeared. We were regressing as the digital divide grew wider.

Today, in 2019, I have boosters on both of my cars. At home, we have a booster on the roof to help us get by. What is more, our wireless Internet is expensive, slow and unreliable.

Many communities in my riding of Laurentides—Labelle still do not have any cell service. Telecommunications companies plan to do away with long-standing pager services, which will no longer exist in Canada by next summer. Dial-up, satellite and wireless Internet is available in the region, but it is slow and unreliable.

There is no obvious solution. As a result of spectrum auctions and spectrum management, small companies and local co-operatives cannot access the cell market to fill in those gaps. What is more, the large corporations do not want to see new stakeholders enter the market, even though they are not interested in resolving the issue themselves.

That is causing major problems. Our economic growth is suffering, young people are leaving and businesses and self-employed workers are reluctant to set up shop in the region. Emergency services have to find creative ways of communicating with first responders, volunteer firefighters.

The situation is critical. The study we are talking about in Motion No. 208 is so urgent that I would ask the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, of which I am a member, not to wait for this motion moved by my colleague from Pontiac to be adopted before beginning its study.

In closing, I would like to read the resolution that I received last week from one of the fire departments in my riding, which urged me to do something about the cell service in the region. They used the example of the Vendée community. Bell Canada is a company that was initially largely funded by the Crown. However, it has completely lost its social conscience. Bell offered to help the community only if the municipality covered 100% of the cost to install a telecommunication tower even though the Bell Canada Act states:

The works of the Company are hereby declared to be works for the general advantage of Canada.

Here is resolution 2019-01-256 in its entirety:

WHEREAS the Northwest Laurentians Fire Department, composed of the territories of the municipalities of the townships of Amherst, Arundel, Huberdeau, La Conception, Lac-Supérieur, La Minerve, Montcalm and Saint-Faustin-Lac—Carré, was created following the signing of an intermunicipal agreement for the organization, operation and administration of a fire service;

WHEREAS the municipality of Amherst, Vendée sector, has been experiencing various problems and deficiencies with cellphone coverage for more than two (2) years;

WHEREAS the pager technology used by firefighters and first responders will no longer be supported as of June;

WHEREAS the only technology that is supported and used by the Fire Department is cellphone technology;

WHEREAS the Vendée sector has close to 1,000 permanent and/or seasonal residents who are being deprived of adequate public safety services;

WHEREAS 80% of the population of Vendée consists of retirees and this demographic is more likely to need emergency services;

WHEREAS the Fire Department has approached Bell Canada and the federal member of Parliament [for Laurentides—Labelle] on this matter;

WHEREAS in 2017 and 2018, the municipality of Amherst approached the federal MP [for Laurentides—Labelle], the then MNA Sylvain Pagé, the department of public safety, the Sûreté du Québec, Bell Canada and the RCM of Laurentides on this matter;

WHEREAS the situation has reached a critical point for public safety for these residents;

THEREFORE it is moved by Steve Perreault, seconded by Richard Pépin, and unanimously resolved by the members present;

THAT the board of directors of the Fire Department support the actions of the municipality of Amherst.

THAT the board of directors call on the federal government, via the member for Laurentides—Labelle...to intercede with the authorities responsible for the public telephone network to require the implementation of cellular service in the Vendée sector by companies operating in this field.

ADOPTED at the meeting of January 17, 2019

We have work to do, and we cannot wait any longer. Companies are putting the lives of my constituents and rural Canadians at risk. That is unacceptable. 5G is not a magic bullet that will fix everything.

We need to take serious action, starting with this study.

Monsieur le Président, en 1983, mes parents avaient un ordinateur portatif de type Osborne, avec un clavier détachable, donnant accès à un écran de quatre pouces et à deux lecteurs de disquettes de cinq pouces et quart capables de lire des disquettes de 90 kilo-octets chacune.

En 1987, leur entreprise, les Immeubles Doncaster de Saint-Agathe-des-Monts, a eu un des premiers télécopieurs de la région. Bell Canada, ne sachant pas entièrement quoi faire avec cette nouvelle technologie, a donné à chaque entreprise un numéro de télécopieur presque identique. Une entreprise avait le numéro de télécopieur 326-8819. Nous avions le 326-8829. Le numéro de télécopieur suivant était le 326-8839. On ne sait pas ce qu'on aurait fait s'il y en avait eu plus.

Vers 1988, mon père a fait installer un téléphone cellulaire de Cantel dans sa Chevette 1985. Le téléphone avait coûté presque autant que l'automobile. Il devait être installé presque en permanence dans le coffre et une antenne était collée à la fenêtre arrière. Chez nous, nous étions toujours à l'avant-garde de la technologie. Nous avons commencé quand le premier service de courriel a été offert au grand marché, par CompuServe, dans les années 1990. Nous étions capables de communiquer avec les autres usagers par accès commuté. On devait faire un appel interurbain à Montréal pour que cela fonctionne, mais cela fonctionnait. Notre première adresse de courriel familiale demeure profondément inscrite dans ma tête. C'était 76171.1725@compuserve.com.

Le service cellulaire en mode analogique fonctionnait assez bien pour répondre à nos besoins. Il coupait de temps en temps, mais nous pouvions faire des appels. CBC et Radio-Canada entraient plus ou moins bien sur nos antennes de radios, mais nous étions capables d'écouter quelques postes de télévision. Pour changer de poste, mon père montait sur l'échelle et tournait l'antenne avec des pinces pendant qu'on lui disait par radio portable quand le signal entrait.

Nous vivions dans une région rurale, à Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides. C'est là où j'ai grandi et c'est là que je demeure aujourd'hui. Ma famille était pleinement branchée aux technologies du jour. La vie était belle. À la fin de 1994, la fracture numérique n'avait pas encore complètement touché les régions.

Avançons à l'an 2000. En région, Internet entrait toujours par accès commuté. Les premiers services de satellite n'étaient pas encore arrivés. Moi, j'étais parti en Ontario pour poursuivre mes études en informatique à l'Université de Guelph. J'avais appris le système d'opération Linux au secondaire et j'étais pleinement dans la communauté des logiciels libres. J'avais trouvé Internet haute vitesse par câble de Rogers facilement disponible. Le DSL de Bell a suivi quelques années plus tard et, à son arrivée, j'ai changé pour un petit revendeur qui s'appelait Magma Communications. En 2004, j'étais en ville, là où Internet haute vitesse illimité était disponible, pendant que le service de satellite Xplornet commençait en région. Mes parents s'y sont abonnés après un an de misère sur Internet par ExpressVu, qui fasait les envois par accès commuté alors que la réception se faisait par satellite. La fracture numérique frappait de plein fouet.

Revenons en 2001, quand ma famille en moi avons visité les lieux d'enfance de mon grand-père en Turquie. En arrivant à l'Aéroport Atatürk, j'ai vu que les cellulaires autour de moi émettaient ce qui suit: point-point-point-tiret-tiret-point-point-point. Connaissant déjà le code morse, je me suis demandé ce qu'était un SMS et pourquoi cela n'existait pas chez nous. À notre retour, mon grand-père m'a offert mon premier téléphone cellulaire, un Qualcomm numérique analogique, relié à Telus.

Vu mon implication dans le monde du logiciel libre, comme administrateur de réseaux IRC et journaliste dans le secteur, j'avais besoin de pouvoir communiquer avec des collègues de partout au monde. Pendant que le monde entier échangeait des textos entre les pays, mon téléphone de Telus n'était pas capable d'envoyer un texto à l'extérieur de son propre réseau. Quand j'ai appelé le service à la clientèle, on m'a dit d'utiliser le navigateur Web sur le téléphone, qui marchait à peine, pour aller sur le site Web de la compagnie à laquelle celui à qui je voulais envoyer un message texte était abonné, pour utiliser son formulaire.

Je ne suis pas resté longtemps avec Telus. J'ai vite changé pour Microcell, une compagnie cellulaire sur le réseau mondial GSM, qui opérait sous le nom de Fido et qui offrait la capacité d'échanger des textos avec le reste du monde, sauf ses concurrents au Canada. Sauf qu'avec Fido, le service fonctionnait seulement dans les villes. Installer des tours en région n'était pas rentable. Quand je voyageais, je pouvais donc seulement communiquer dans les grandes régions de Toronto et de Montréal.

La fracture numérique n'avait pas oublié la téléphonie. En 2003, j'ai acheté une carte PCMCIA pour mon ordinateur portable. Cela me donnait accès, pour 50 $ par mois, à Internet illimité sur le protocole qu'on appelait GPRS. Ce n'était pas vite, mais cela fonctionnait. Ce service fonctionnait également aux États-Unis, sans frais supplémentaires. Avec cette technologie, j'ai écrit un petit programme pour brancher le GPS maritime dans mon serveur afin de créer une page Web de mes déplacements avec un délai de quelques secondes.

En novembre 2004, Rogers a acheté Fido et nous a permis, pour des frais supplémentaires, d'avoir le service dans les régions desservies par Rogers. Ensuite, le système de GPRS de Rogers-Fido a commencé à couper après exactement 12 minutes de connexion, sauf dans la région d'Ottawa, où il n'arrêtait pas. Est-ce que c'était pour passer inaperçu auprès des législateurs de la capitale? Ma méfiance envers les grandes compagnies de télécommunications commença.

En 2006, j'ai assisté au mariage de mon frère Jonah et de sa femme Tracy à Nairobi. Après le mariage, nous avons fait un safari en famille. En plein milieu du Masai Mara, les téléphones cellulaires fonctionnaient comme il le faut. Cela a été pour moi un moment révélateur.

À la suite du virage numérique, le service cellulaire que nous avions dans les Laurentides pendant les années 1980 avait presque complètement disparu, en 2006. Nous reculions, la fracture numérique s'accélérant à toute vitesse.

Aujourd'hui, en 2019, mes deux automobiles ont des suramplificateurs. À la maison, nous avons un suramplificateur sur le toit pour nous dépanner. De plus, notre service Internet est sans fil, lent, peu fiable et cher.

Dans ma circonscription, Laurentides—Labelle, plusieurs communautés demeurent sans aucun service cellulaire. Les compagnies de télécommunications annulent et ferment les services de téléavertisseurs et, d'ici l'été prochain, ce service de longue date n'existera plus au Canada. On accède à l'Internet par accès commuté, par satellite ou par sans-fil. Il est lent et peu fiable pour la majorité de mes concitoyens.

Les solutions ne sont pas évidentes. Les encans de spectre et la gestion des ondes font en sorte que les petites compagnies et les coopératives locales ne peuvent pas accéder au marché cellulaire pour combler ces lacunes. De plus, les grandes compagnies ne sont pas enthousiastes à l'idée de voir de nouveaux acteurs, même si elles ne sont pas intéressées à régler le problème.

Cela cause des problèmes majeurs: notre croissance économique est attaquée; les jeunes sont incités à partir; et les entreprises et les travailleurs autonomes ne sont pas enclins à s'installer en région. Les services d'urgence doivent trouver des manières créatives de communiquer avec les premiers répondants, les pompiers volontaires.

La situation est critique. L'étude que nous abordons dans la motion M-208 est tellement urgente que je demanderais au Comité permanent de l'industrie, des sciences et de la technologie, auquel je siège, de ne pas attendre que cette motion de mon collègue de Pontiac soit adoptée pour commencer son étude.

En terminant, j'aimerais lire la résolution que j'ai reçue la semaine dernière d'une des régies d'incendie de ma circonscription, qui m'implorait de régler la question du service cellulaire en région. Ils ont utilisé l'exemple de la communauté de Vendée. Bell Canada est une compagnie initialement largement financée par la Couronne. Cependant, elle a complètement perdu sa conscience sociale. Bell a offert d'aider la communauté seulement si la municipalité assumait 100 % des coûts d'installation d'une tour de télécommunication, et ce, malgré cette phrase dans la Loi sur Bell Canada:

Les ouvrages de la Compagnie sont déclarés à l’avantage général du Canada.

Voici la résolution intégrale 2019-01-256:

CONSIDERANT la création de la Régie incendie Nord-Ouest Laurentides, composée des territoires des municipalités du canton d'Amherst, du canton d'Arundel, d'Huberdeau, de La Conception, de Lac-Supérieur, de La Minerve, de Montcalm et de Saint-Faustin-Lac—Carré, et ce, suite à la signature d'une entente inter municipale ayant pour objet l'organisation, l'opération et l'administration d'un service de protection contre les incendies;

CONSIDERANT QUE depuis plus de deux (2) ans, la municipalité d'Amherst secteur Vendée manifeste différentes problématiques et manquement au niveau de la téléphonie cellulaire;

CONSIDERANT QUE la technologie des téléavertisseurs utilisée par les pompiers et premiers répondants ne sera plus supportée à compter du mois de juin prochain;

CONSIDERANT QUE la seule technologie supportée et utilisée par la Régie incendie est la téléphonie cellulaire;

CONSIDERANT QUE le secteur de Vendée comporte près de 1 000 résidents et/ou villégiateurs qui sont privés de service adéquat quant à la sécurité publique;

CONSIDERANT QUE 80 % de la clientèle de Vendée sont des retraités et que ceux-ci représentent une clientèle plus à risque de devoir utiliser les services d'urgences;

CONSIDERANT QUE la Régie a fait des représentations auprès de la compagnie Bell Canada et du député fédéral [de Laurentides—Labelle];

CONSIDERANT QUE la municipalité d'Amherst a fait des représentations en 2017 et 2018 auprès du député fédéral [de Laurentides—Labelle], le député provincial de l'époque Monsieur Sylvain Pagé, le ministère de la sécurité publique, la sureté du Québec, la compagnie Bell Canada et la MRC des Laurentides;

CONSIDERANT QUE la situation est alarmante pour la sécurité publique de ces citoyens;

POUR CES MOTIFS, il est proposé par monsieur Steve Perreault, appuyé par monsieur Richard Pépin, et résolu unanimement des membres présents;

QUE le conseil d'administration de la Régie incendie appuie la municipalité d'Amherst dans ses démarches.

QUE le conseil d'administration demande au gouvernement fédéral via son député Laurentides—Labelle [...] d'intervenir auprès des responsables du réseau public de téléphonie afin d'exiger l'implantation de la téléphonie cellulaire dans le secteur de Vendée auprès des entreprises œuvrant dans le domaine.

ADOPTÉE à la séance du 17 janvier 2019

Nous avons du travail à faire et nous ne pouvons plus attendre. Ce sont les vies de mes concitoyens et celles des Canadiens des régions que les compagnies mettent en jeu. C'est inacceptable. Le 5G n'est pas une pilule magique qui va tout régler.

Nous devons agir sérieusement, et cela commence avec cette étude.

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foss hansard parlchmbr tv 3344 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 20:26 on February 20, 2019

2019-02-20 14:14 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Charitable organizations, Health and social services, Laurentides, Statements by Members,

Déclarations de députés, Laurentides, Oeuvres de bienfaisance, Santé et services sociaux,

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Fondation médicale des Laurentides et des Pays-d'en-Haut.

The foundation serves 32 municipalities along with several establishments and resources, and has invested more than $9.5 million in medical equipment and local health care services.

An organization is only as successful as the people behind it. I want to acknowledge the commitment of the founders and the past and current presidents: Christian Gélinas, François Bertrand, Louis Tourangeau, Marc Desforges, Raymond Douillard, Pierre Forget, Marie-Pier Fournier, Peter Hamé, Lise Hétu, Laurent Tremblay, Lise Forget-Therrien, the late Marc Desjardins, Michel Frenette, Justin Racette, Nancy Wilson and Michel Rochon.

I also want to acknowledge all those who, over the years, have helped create a big family of full-time employees and volunteers who are dedicated to the community.

We can be proud of these individuals, for they have taught us that, when it comes to taking care of your health, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

Monsieur le Président, cette année marque le 30e anniversaire de la Fondation médicale des Laurentides et des Pays-d'en-Haut.

La fondation couvre 32 municipalités, sert plusieurs établissements et ressources et a investi plus de 9,5 millions de dollars dans des équipements médicaux et dans des services de santé de proximité.

Ce sont les gens qui font le succès d'un organisme. Je salue l'engagement des membres fondateurs ainsi que des présidents passés et actuel: Christian Gélinas, François Bertrand, Louis Tourangeau, Marc Desforges, Raymond Douillard, Pierre Forget, Marie-Pier Fournier, Peter Hamé, Lise Hétu, Laurent Tremblay, Lise Forget-Therrien, feu Marc Desjardins, Michel Frenette, Justin Racette, Nancy Wilson et Michel Rochon.

Je salue aussi toutes celles et ceux qui se sont investis au fil des ans dans la formation d'une grande famille d'employés permanents et de bénévoles dévoués à la communauté.

Ces gens nous rendent fiers parce qu'ils démontrent que, lorsque vient le temps de veiller à notre santé, seul, on va vite, mais ensemble, on va loin.

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hansard parlchmbr statements tv 359 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 20:26 on February 20, 2019

2019-02-19 RNNR 128

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back. I hope everybody had an enjoyable and interesting break week or non-sitting week.

We have two groups of witnesses with us for the first hour. From Oxfam Canada, we have Mr. Ian Thomson.

Thank you, sir, for joining us.

From the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, we have Rumina Velshi and Liane Sauer.

You probably all know the process. Each group will be given up to 10 minutes for a presentation, and after both of you have completed your presentations, we will open the floor to questions from around the table.

Since you've been waiting patiently, why don't the two of you start?

Ms. Rumina Velshi (President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission):

Thank you.[Translation]

Good afternoon, Mr. Chair and members of the committee.

My name is Rumina Velshi. I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.[English]

I am joined this morning by Liane Sauer, director general of the strategic planning directorate at the CNSC.

Before beginning my remarks, I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

Thank you for inviting me to provide comments on best practices for engaging with indigenous communities regarding major energy projects.

Before giving you my thoughts on that subject, I will provide a bit of background about our organization.

The CNSC is Canada's nuclear life-cycle regulator and is responsible for regulating everything nuclear in Canada. Our mandate is, one, for the protection of health, safety, security and the environment; two, to respect Canada's international obligations on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and three, to disseminate information to the public. It is a clear mandate and one that we have fulfilled faithfully for over 70 years.

The commission is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal, comprised of up to seven members, that makes licensing and environmental assessment decisions for major nuclear facilities and activities.

Canada's nuclear sector is broad and ranges from uranium mining, nuclear reactors, nuclear medicine and industrial applications of nuclear technology to the safe management of nuclear waste. Our focus is safety at all times; however, we have many priorities. One of our top priorities is ensuring the meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in our processes.

During my six years as a commission member, I have had the opportunity to hear the perspectives of many different indigenous peoples and leaders during commission proceedings. Now, as president, I'm committed to meet with indigenous community leaders with a view to further enhance the CNSC's relationship-building efforts.

As an agent of the Crown, the CNSC fully embraces its responsibilities respecting engagement and consultation. Those responsibilities include acting honourably in all interactions with indigenous peoples. This means that we appropriately consult on, and accommodate when necessary, indigenous rights and interests when our regulatory decisions may adversely impact them. That is a responsibility we take very seriously.

We have mechanisms in place to ensure that indigenous peoples are consulted on projects that might have an impact on their rights. One important consultation mechanism is the commission's public hearing process. Leading up to a hearing, and beginning very early in a project, CNSC staff meet with potentially impacted indigenous communities to better understand potential impacts and identify ways to avoid, reduce or mitigate them.

Applicants are intimately involved in that process as well, whether in concert with CNSC staff, or separate from them. In fact, we have had a regulatory document in place since 2016, REGDOC-3.2.2, Aboriginal Engagement, which sets out various requirements and guidance for applicants. For example, applicants are required, before an application for a major project is even submitted, to identify potentially impacted indigenous communities and meaningfully engage with them throughout the process.

The outcome of those consultation and engagement activities, and any measures taken or committed to, are then presented to the commission in an open and transparent public hearing. During these hearings, CNSC staff, applicants and indigenous peoples each present to the commission. The commission considers all information presented, and before making a licensing decision, satisfies itself that what is required to uphold the honour of the Crown and to discharge any applicable duty to consult has been done.

We have recently published on our website a compendium of indigenous consultation and engagement best practices, which I have provided to this committee. It builds on our experiences with indigenous communities, as well as those of federal, provincial and international counterparts.

I have mentioned our regulatory document and meaningful participation in commission public hearings, but there are a few other practices that I would like to highlight as well.

Having a mechanism to assist indigenous groups with financial capacity to participate is key. We have a flexible and responsive participant funding program or PFP that we administer and that is funded by licensees. The PFP supports the participation of indigenous peoples as well as other eligible recipients in our regulatory processes. Recently it has been expanded to support indigenous knowledge and traditional land use studies, which will provide important information for the commission to consider in its deliberations.

The PFP also directly supports several other best practices, one of which is multi-party meetings. These meetings bring together indigenous groups, CNSC staff, licensees or applicants, and other governmental representatives, when appropriate, so many issues can be heard and addressed at once. These meetings are often held in indigenous communities, and they allow CNSC staff to get a better perspective of the issues of interest or concern to community members and their leadership. The PFP also supports participation in commission meetings, which are non-licensing proceedings.

The commission has recently decided to provide indigenous intervenors the opportunity to make oral submissions, whereas other intervenors are invited to make written submissions only. That decision was made in recognition of the indigenous oral tradition for sharing knowledge and in the spirit of reconciliation.

The PFP can also be used to support participation in our independent environmental monitoring program or IEMP, which is another best practice. Our IEMP takes environmental samples from public areas around nuclear facilities to independently verify whether the public and the environment are safe. In recent years we have supported the participation of indigenous peoples in sampling activities under the program, including the design of sampling campaigns so it reflects their values and interests.

A final best practice I would like to mention is the CNSC's ongoing engagement throughout the life of nuclear facilities and activities, not just during the licensing phase.

We are committed to building long-term, positive relationships with indigenous communities with a direct interest in nuclear facilities or on whose territory nuclear facilities or activities are found.

As a life-cycle regulator we want to understand all issues of interest or concern and work to address anything that is within our authority throughout the life of a project. We are committed to that and are currently implementing a long-term indigenous engagement strategy with 33 indigenous groups who represent 90 indigenous communities in eight regions in Canada. We welcome the opportunity to partner and work with these groups for many years to come.

I believe we are on a journey in Canada as we continue to explore how best to engage indigenous peoples in relation to major energy projects. Expectations and best practices are evolving, and it is critical that we continue to stay abreast of these developments. We have learned many lessons over time and continue to learn. We value and are committed to long-lasting and positive relationships with indigenous peoples in Canada and look forward to continuing to work together in the spirit of respect and reconciliation. This is how we will move forward together.

Thank you.


The Chair:

Thank you.

Mr. Thomson.

Mr. Ian Thomson (Policy Specialist, Extractive Industries, Oxfam Canada):

Good afternoon, committee members. Thank you for inviting Oxfam Canada to be part of this study today.

I'd like to join my fellow witness in acknowledging the Algonquin territory on which we're meeting.

My name is Ian Thomson. I'm a policy specialist with Oxfam Canada focused on the extractive industries.

Oxfam in an international NGO. We're active in more than 90 countries, working through humanitarian relief, long-term development programs and advocacy to end global poverty.

At Oxfam, we firmly believe that ending poverty and reducing inequality begins with gender justice and women's rights. Oxfam works with indigenous people's organizations in many parts of the world to support their struggles, to defend their rights and to protect their lands, territories and resources.

In 2015, Oxfam surveyed 40 leading oil, gas and mining companies to assess their commitments around indigenous engagement and community consent. Our community consent index revealed that extractive sector companies are increasingly adopting policies with commitments to seek and obtain community consent prior to developing major projects. It has become a recognized and accepted industry norm. It's good development and good business all at the same time.

Further research, however, has identified major gaps in the ways these commitments are being implemented. In several countries our indigenous partners have found that women face systemic barriers in participating fully and equally in decision-making by governments or companies around major resource development projects.

We have two recommendations for the committee to consider today.

First, indigenous engagement processes, whether by the Crown or by private sector actors in the energy sector, should become more gender-responsive and conducted in accordance with international human rights standards, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

committee hansard rnnr 32715 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 19, 2019

2019-02-19 PROC 142

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs



The Chair (Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)):

Good morning, everyone. Welcome back after constituency week. Welcome to the 142nd meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. This meeting is being televised.

Our first order of business today is the consideration of the votes of the interim estimates 2019-20 for the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Protective Service.

We are pleased to be joined by the Honourable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons. Accompanying the Speaker from the House of Commons are Charles Robert, Clerk of the House; Michel Patrice, deputy clerk, administration; and Daniel Paquette, chief financial officer.

Also, from the Parliamentary Protective Service, we welcome Superintendent Marie-Claude Côté, interim director; and Robert Graham, administration and personnel officer.

Thank you all for being here. I will now turn the floor over to you, Mr. Speaker, for your opening statement.

Hon. Geoff Regan (Speaker of the House of Commons):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and committee members. Thank you for welcoming us here today. [Translation]

I am pleased to be here to present the 2019-20 interim estimates and to address the funding required to maintain and enhance the House Administration's support to members of Parliament and the institution.

I am joined today by members of the House Administration's executive management team, who you know well: Charles Robert, clerk of the House of Commons; Michel Patrice, deputy clerk, Administration; and Daniel Paquette, chief financial officer.

I will also be presenting the interim estimates for the Parliamentary Protective Service. Therefore, I am also accompanied by Marie-Claude Côté, acting director of PPS, and Robert Graham, the service's Administration and Personnel Officer.[English]

The interim estimates for 2019-20 include an overview of spending requirements for the first three months of the fiscal year, with a comparison to the 2018-19 estimates, as well as the proposed schedules for the first appropriation bill.

The interim estimates of the House of Commons, as tabled in the House, total approximately $87.5 million and represent three-twelfths of the total voted authorities that will be included in the upcoming 2019-20 main estimates. Once the main estimates are tabled in the House, I anticipate that we will meet again in the spring, at which time I will provide an overview of the year-over-year changes.

Today, I'll give you a brief overview of the House of Commons' main priorities.

Ensuring that members and House officers have the services and resources to meet their needs is essential in supporting them in the fulfillment of their parliamentary functions.

By the way, Mr. Chairman, I will of course try to speak at a rate where it's possible for the interpreters to interpret, because we all appreciate the wonderful work they do, and I don't wish to make it more difficult.



The House Administration's top priority is to support members in their work as parliamentarians by focusing on service-delivery excellence and ongoing modernization. As an example, this past year, we have seen the opening of four multidisciplinary Source plus service centres, which are ready to provide members and their staff with in-person support.

A team of House of Commons employees is available to provide assistance related to finance, human resources, information technology and various operational services offered by the House Administration. If members ever have any comments about this, I would be very interested in hearing them.

Another service-delivery initiative has been the implementation of a standardized approach for computer and printing equipment in constituency offices across the country. This initiative was launched as a pilot project this year. Its purpose is threefold: to ensure parity between Hill and constituency computing services; to enhance IT support and security; and to simplify purchasing and life-cycling of equipment in the constituency offices.

In addition, all constituency offices will now be provided with a complete set of standard computer devices and applications following the next general election.[English]

The House administration aims to provide innovative, effective, accountable and non-partisan support to members. To do so, it must attract and retain an engaged, qualified and productive workforce that acts responsibly and with integrity.

Cost-of-living increases are essential to recruitment efforts for members, House officers and the House administration as employers, and funding for these increases is accounted for in the estimates.

Members will know that employee support programs are also a priority. These programs, which are offered to employees of members, House officers, research offices and the administration, include an employee and family assistance program and other resources and events, such as those taking place this February for Wellness Month.

The renewal of our physical spaces and the services provided within them is another priority for the House administration.

The opening of West Block and the visitor welcome centre is the most significant change to date to the parliamentary precinct. We believe that West Block is a model to other parliaments tackling similar challenges with respect to aging facilities. In fact, I know many of you are aware that, at Westminster, they're planning to move out and have a major renovation to the Palace of Westminster, which of course is an immense undertaking. That will be a few years away still.

The House of Commons works closely with its parliamentary partners and with Public Services and Procurement Canada in support of the long-term vision and plan.

For the coming years, the focus will be on decommissioning and restoring Centre Block. We will also continue to review and update the House of Commons' requirements and guiding principles for future renovations to the parliamentary precinct. The administration of the House of Commons will continue to look at ways to best engage members in the Centre Block project moving forward and to ensure they continue to be part of discussions on the design and operational requirements for that building.

An ongoing priority is the operation, support, maintenance and life-cycle management of equipment and connectivity elements in all buildings. This work is essential to providing a mobile work environment for members and the administration, which is something that we all, of course, now expect.[Translation]

I now turn to the interim estimates for the Parliamentary Protective Service. The Parliamentary Protective Service is requesting access to $28 million in these interim estimates.

The funding requirements align with the four key strategic priorities of the service: protective operational excellence; engaged and healthy employees; balanced security and access; and sound stewardship.

The majority of the PPS annual budget is attributed to its first priority, protective operational excellence, which includes personnel salaries and overtime costs.

In keeping with the service's aim to allocate existing resources as judiciously as possible, several posts were added to the overall security posture in response to the opening of the interim accommodations. I would suggest that, if members have any questions with respect to the security posture, the committee may wish to go in camera for that exchange.



The service recently reclassified the positions of all protection officers, which led to an increase in their salaries retroactive to April 1, 2018.

PPS has also successfully reached a bargaining agreement with the Senate Protective Service Employees Association and an extension of the previous agreement with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. For this reason, funding has been earmarked to make payments for retroactive economic increases as a result of these negotiations.

As PPS evolves, the service is gradually reducing the presence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in certain areas on Parliament Hill and within the parliamentary precinct and, in turn, increasing the resources and presence of PPS officers.

The remainder of the PPS budget ensures that the administration, which supports the operations of the service, is adequately equipped and resourced. This means ensuring that security assets and technology are properly managed and that employees are continuously supported in their health and well-being. As PPS approaches its fourth anniversary this June, its administration is becoming more agile and responsive to the needs of Parliament and of its own workforce.[Translation]

Mr. Chair, this concludes my overview of the 2019-20 interim estimates for the House of Commons and Parliamentary Protective Service.

My officials and I would be pleased to answer any questions from members.

The Chair:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Graham, you may go ahead. [English]

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, every time you come here, you apologize for the speed at which you speak, and I keep looking around and feeling all these eyes looking at me.[Translation]

Ms. Côté, you are the fourth interim director of the PPS since it was established. There have been many conflicts with the unions, all of which were based on an application to the Labour Relations and Employment Board, a response to which is still outstanding.

Do you have a new vision that could bring peace to the PPS?

Superintendent Marie-Claude Côté (Interim Director, Parliamentary Protective Service):

committee hansard proc 31831 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 19, 2019

2019-02-19 FAAE 127

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development



The Chair (Mr. Michael Levitt (York Centre, Lib.)):

Good morning, everyone. I call to order the 127th meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

This morning we will be continuing our study on Canada's support for international democratic development. We will be hearing from four individuals this morning. Our first two speakers are on the line.

First, from London, England, from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, we have Anthony Smith, the chief executive officer.

Good morning, sir, or good afternoon.

Mr. Anthony Smith (Chief Executive Officer, Westminster Foundation for Democracy):

Thank you very much.

The Chair:

From Washington, D.C., from the National Endowment for Democracy, we have Carl Gershman, the president.

Gentlemen, I would ask you to deliver your introductions, each taking maybe slightly less than 10 minutes. I know that everybody will have lots of questions for you. We'll finish off the hour with those.

Mr. Smith, perhaps I could have you begin.

Mr. Anthony Smith:

Thank you very much, Chair. I'll try to be quicker than that.

I'm very grateful for your invitation to give evidence to this inquiry. Having read the remarks of some of your previous witnesses, I won't repeat some of the general points they made about the recent trends in democratic governance and what they said about the importance of supporting democracy around the world. I fully endorse what they said and I also strongly endorse the points they made about the importance of Canadian support for democratic governance.

I think the most useful contribution I can make to your committee is probably to describe the origins and governance of my organization, its current work and some of the factors that have affected our approach in recent years.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy was established in 1992 at the initiative of a cross-party group of parliamentarians who wanted to support their counterparts in eastern Europe and in other regions that were enjoying new freedoms following the end of the Cold War. Since our Parliament did not have the means to fund such work, they approached the British government which, having looked at the practices in the U.S. and Germany in particular, decided to establish our foundation. Since then, our governance structure and mission have remained broadly the same.

We are an arm's-length body of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, so the board and the CEO are appointed by the foreign secretary. The board is non-executive and has six political members. At present, they are all members of Parliament—they don't have to be. It has four non-political members as well.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office approves our strategy, but we have operational independence in our work. Although we are not a parliamentary body, the Speaker of the House of Commons is our patron, and we work very closely with all the U.K.'s Parliaments, including the devolved Parliament and assemblies. The U.K. political parties are obviously critically important to us. Our mission remains the same now as it was in 1992: to support improvements in democratic governance in developing and transition countries.

Today we have offices in 30 countries and we work with four main stakeholders: Parliament, political parties, electoral bodies and civil society. Our focus is the quality of the political system in our partner countries, so our main areas of thematic focus are women's political participation, inclusion of marginalized groups, accountability and transparency.

Our dominant methodology is peer-to-peer support, sharing experiences among counterparts. The details of each program are different and tailored to the requirements of our individual partners. I can provide examples later on. There are also many in our annual report and on our website. We also have a small research program and a research partnership with the University of Birmingham in England.

On our funding, we receive an annual grant from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This has been steady at £3.5 million in recent years. We also receive grants from the U.K. government, and from a range of other donors for programs in specific countries or regions for which we usually compete with other organizations. Our overall revenue this year will be about £17 million.

Let me just mention three factors that have affected our recent approach to the work in this area. The first factor is interests versus values. We are very much a values-driven organization, but we can no long rely on values alone to persuade donors to invest in democracy support. We also point out that democracy is a critical contributor to all the U.K.'s international priorities from security through to prosperity, from poverty reduction through to carbon reduction. My guess is that it's the same for Canada and all our other allies in their international priorities.

We also want to be clearer than in the past about the specific elements of democratic practice that count, be it financial oversight, policy-driven political parties or gender-sensitive parliaments. It's no good anymore just to say that we support the general idea of democracy. We have to be much more specific than that.


The second factor that affects our work is that change takes time. We believe that progress comes through patient investment in a combination of institutions and leadership. Institutions need skills and a political culture that's adaptive, tolerant and resilient in the face of the inevitable challenges that every country will face, but every country also needs leadership to respond to those challenges and to take up opportunities when they arise.

In some ways, time in this work is more valuable than money. Democracy needs modest resources but abundant patience. I would add that for us as an organization, the position that we're in today, which is feeling pretty strong at home, has taken 25 years of work to get to. So we've needed patience domestically as well.

These two factors feed into the final one that I want to mention, namely, how to work as effectively as possible to support democracy. My feeling in the U.K., and my observation in other countries, is that effectiveness has to start with a clear policy. Each country, be it the U.K., the U.S., Canada or whichever it might be, needs a well-developed democracy support policy that will secure broad political consensus. We haven't all had that all of the time, but I think it is a very important element.

With a strong policy, we can establish a coherent approach across government and help to maintain support over a long period. Without a strong policy, there is a risk of incoherence and a short-term approach.

Mr. Chair, I'm happy to elaborate on any of those points, but those are the main things that I wanted to say to start off the discussion.

Thank you.

The Chair:

Thank you very much.

We are now going to Carl Gershman.

Sir, please begin your remarks.

Mr. Carl Gershman (President, National Endowment for Democracy):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to the committee for inviting me to testify this morning.

I applaud the fact that you're initiating a study of Canada's role in democratic development around the world. I've long believed that Canada has a critically important role to play in this field, never more so than at the present time.

NED was founded 35 years ago, at a hopeful moment, when what was subsequently called the third wave of democratization was just beginning to gather momentum. As, of course, we well know, the current period is very, very different. The year 2018 marked the 13th consecutive year, according to Freedom House, in which democracy has declined around the world. This period has seen the rising power and assertiveness of authoritarian states like China, Russia and Iran; the backsliding of once democratic countries like Turkey, Venezuela, the Philippines, Thailand and Hungary; and the rise of populist and nationalist movements and parties in the established democracies. Autocratic regimes have tried to repress independent groups working to promote greater freedom and to cut them off from international assistance, from institutions like the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, NED's party institutes. They've also passed harsh laws that make it illegal for NGOs to receive foreign assistance.

The work nonetheless goes on and has even been expanding, which is a testament to the determination and the courage of indigenous groups that want to continue to work and receive needed assistance despite the risks. We should not forget that despite all the backsliding, there have also been important gains over the past year in Ethiopia, Armenia and Malaysia. NED provided support to democrats in all of these countries before the political openings, which positioned us to quickly scale up our support once the openings occurred. This is an example of our commitment and ability to navigate around the obstacles created by authoritarian regimes and to continue to provide assistance, while taking care to protect the safety of our grantees.

NED is an unusual institution. It was built to take on tough challenges. Following President Reagan's historic Westminster address in 1982, which called for a new effort to support democracy throughout the world, NED was created as a non-governmental organization governed by a private and independent board of directors. NED receives its core funding in the form of an annual congressional appropriation that was authorized in the National Endowment for Democracy Act passed in 1983. The NED Act also built a firewall between the endowment and the executive branch of our government.

NED is a private, bipartisan, grant-making institution that steers clear of immediate policy disputes and takes a long-term approach to democratic development. In addition to supporting grassroots democratic initiatives, it also serves as a hub of activity, resources and intellectual exchange for democracy activists, practitioners and analysts around the world.

NED takes a multisectoral approach to democratic assistance, funding programs by its four core institutes, which represent our two major political parties, the business community and the labour movement. I'm aware that you heard from the presidents of our two party institutes, NDI and IRI, just two weeks ago. Each of the NED's four core institutes is able to access its sector's expertise and experience from all over the world. In addition, its targeted demand-driven small grants program responds directly to the needs of local NGOs, defends human rights, strengthens independent media and civic education, and empowers women and youth in a manner that enables them to establish credibility as independent democratizing forces in their own societies.

As an autonomous institution dedicated to supporting democracy, NED can steadily strengthen indigenous civil society organizations, learn through trial and error, and build important networks of trust and collaboration that can be effective over the long term.

As a nimble private organization with no field offices abroad, NED has developed a reputation for acting swiftly, flexibly and effectively in providing vital assistance to activists working in the most challenging environments. It also devotes enormous efforts to monitoring the work of our grantees and to fulfilling our fiduciary responsibilities in the careful management of taxpayer funds.


NED further leverages its grants program through networking and recognition activities that provide political support and solidarity to front-line activists. These activities include the World Movement for Democracy, which networks democracy activists globally; the Center for International Media Assistance; the Reagan-Fascell democracy fellows program; and our own democracy award events on Capitol Hill.

NED also promotes scholarly research through the International Forum for Democratic Studies and the Journal of Democracy, giving activists access to the latest insights on aiding democratic transitions and strengthening liberal values, and also helping to inform thinking internationally on critical new challenges facing democracy.

In 2015, the Congress provided NED with additional funds to develop a strategic plan to respond to resurgent authoritarianism. As part of this plan, NED now funds programs that address six strategic priorities: helping civil society respond to repression; defending the integrity of the information space; countering extremism and promoting pluralism and tolerance; reversing the failure of governance in many transitional countries; countering the kleptocracy that is a pillar of modern authoritarianism; and strengthening co-operation among democracies in meeting the threat to democracy.

By pursuing common strategic objectives, the entire net effort has become stronger and more integrated, with greater co-operation taking place across the different regions and among the five institutions—NED and its four core institutes—that comprise what we call the NED family.

committee faae hansard 33421 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 19, 2019

2019-02-07 RNNR 127

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us this afternoon.

We have two witnesses in our first hour. We're doing a study on international best practices and we have our first two international witnesses. Professor Turi is here with us today and Professor Hernes is joining us from Norway.

What's the time difference, Professor? It's quite late there, I believe, isn't it?

Professor Hans-Kristian Hernes (Professor, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, As an Individual):

I'm six hours ahead of you, so it's 9:30.

The Chair:

We're very grateful to you for taking the time, especially at that time of day.

The process for the meeting is that each of you will be given an opportunity to deliver opening remarks for up to 10 minutes and then, when both of you have concluded, we will open the floor to questions from around the table.

Professor Turi, since you're with us today, why don't we start with you?

Dr. Ellen Inga Turi (Associate Professor, Sámi University of Applied Sciences, As an Individual):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Let me first say that it's an honour for me to appear before the committee this afternoon. I work as a researcher on indigenous knowledge and environmental governance in the Nordics. I'm also indigenous Sami and I grew up in a reindeer-herding family in northern Norway.

I'm looking at your mandate and I've been thinking a little bit about what it is that I can contribute to your work. I'm not sure whether it will be best practices that I'm able to present this afternoon, but rather I believe my presentation will focus on challenges including indigenous knowledge and environmental governance and planning in the Nordics.

My testimony this afternoon represents research and engagement conducted by my fellow scientists and myself, in partnership with both reindeer herders and indigenous leaders over the past decade. I particularly want to acknowledge the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Association of World Reindeer Herders as leading institutions in this work.

I will focus mainly on experiences from the Nordics and highlight challenges that we have identified for engaging indigenous peoples and indigenous knowledge in governance processes and then focusing on reindeer herding, in particular.

I'll give a very brief introduction to reindeer herding for those of you who are maybe not familiar with it. It's the primary livelihood for over 20 indigenous peoples throughout the circumpolar North. It involves more than 100,000 people and around 2.5 million semi-domesticated reindeer in nine nation states. Most of this is focused in Eurasia, but you do also have a small reindeer herd in Canada.

Reindeer herding is a nomadic livelihood, which is characterized by extensive, yet low-impact, use of land. In Norway, where I focus my research, we have some 250,000 reindeer on approximately 150,000 square kilometres, which is equivalent to 40% of all the land area of Norway, yet only about 3,000 people are involved.

Reindeer herding is a very land extensive livelihood, but doesn't involve a lot of people and is not a huge economy. It can be seen as a human-coupled ecosystem that has a high resilience to climate variability and change and it is an indigenous model for sustainable management of marginal areas in the Arctic. A key source of resilience for reindeer herding is indigenous knowledge that has been accumulated over generations.

In this context, what I mean by indigenous knowledge—and this is a definition that I'm borrowing from the work of the permanent participants at the Arctic Council—is: ...a systematic way of thinking and knowing that is elaborated and applied to phenomena across biological, physical, cultural and linguistic systems. [Indigenous] knowledge is owned by the holders of that knowledge, often collectively, and is uniquely expressed and transmitted through Indigenous languages. It is a body of knowledge generated through cultural practices, lived experiences including extensive and multi-generational observations, lessons and skills. It has been developed and verified over millennia and is still developing in a living process, including knowledge acquired today and in the future, and it is passed on from generation to generation.

Within reindeer herding, significant knowledge has been generated over time about both reindeer and the human relationships to them and relationships between animals and the environment. There's also accumulated knowledge of dramatic changes in the natural environment and about strategies of how to adapt to such challenges.

This kind of knowledge still forms the main basis for survival for reindeer-herding peoples. It has not been replaced or suspended by research-based knowledge. It's very much available and it's in use every day, but such knowledge has historically been neglected by research and policy. Based on our research, we argue that perhaps more than ever, indigenous knowledge is now crucial for the future survival of reindeer herding in the face of major change.


As you all know, Arctic areas are undergoing a number of changes, ranging from social to environmental, and these are capable of adversely affecting traditional livelihoods. The extensive and nature-based character of reindeer herding means that it is directly impacted by the so-called “megatrends”, and by that I mean trends such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and land-use change. The impacts of these megatrends are inseparable.

Allow me to elaborate.

Future climate scenarios indicate that mean winter temperatures may increase by as much as 7°C to 8 °C over the next 100 years in Sami reindeer-herding pasturelands, and that the snow season may be one to three months shorter. This represents a significant shift, and it is likely that rapid and variable fluctuations between freezing and thawing will increase. Why is this important? Reindeer herding is a livelihood that depends on snow conditions for reindeer to be able to get through to the forage underneath. Warm temperatures and melting snow have periodically created bad grazing years in Sami reindeer herding. Extremely bad grazing conditions, which we in the Sami language call "goavvi", cause starvation and loss of reindeer and subsequently negatively impact reindeer herders' community and organization.

In the last 100 years, goavvi has occurred around 12 times in Guovdageaidnu, but we are seeing in climate projections that the frequency of this type of weather condition will likely increase in the future.

Yet, if you talk to Sami reindeer herders, they will often say they are much more alarmed by loss of grazing land than they are of climate change. Why? A reason for this is that mobility, moving your herd to a different area, is a key adaptive strategy for adverse snow conditions. Access to pasture resources will therefore be even more important under climate change. This has been recognized by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, which points out that protection of grazing land will be the most important adaptive strategy for reindeer herders under climate change.

Loss of pastures is a significant challenge for reindeer husbandry in all places where it's practised, but this has been particularly pronounced in the Nordic countries. Pastures are lost due to all sorts of developments: roads, infrastructure, military activities, power lines, pipelines, dams, leisure homes and related activities that all have contributed to decline in reindeer pastures.

Loss of pastures occurs principally in two ways: first, the physical destruction of pastures; and second, the effective though non-destructive removal of habitat or reduction of its value as a resource. By that I mean the gradual abandonment by reindeer of previously high-use areas due to avoidance of areas that are disturbed by human activities. The numbers are alarming. Studies show that approximately 25% of grazing land in northern Norway is now strongly disturbed, including 35% of key coastal areas. This figure has been estimated to increase to as much as 78% by 2050 if no changes are made in national or regional policies. That means that up to 1% of summer grazing grounds used by Sami reindeer herders along the coast of Norway are lost every year.


A major challenge for reindeer herding is that the majority of the loss of grazing land occurs through piecemeal loss. For example, in spite of Norway having ratified ILO convention 169 on the rights of indigenous people and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Sami reindeer herders have so far had very little influence on land rights and piecemeal development. Despite the fact that reindeer-herding groups and individuals are heard in decision-making processes—for example, through participatory processes—reindeer herders' indigenous knowledge is not included as part of the decision-making foundation.

Our research shows that the challenge of making use of indigenous knowledge in governance relates to more than just a conflict of what is known—i.e. an epistemological conflict—but also to a conflict in the logic of what constitutes appropriate functional and geographical scales of governance and, not least, what constitutes appropriate land use. Sectorial fragmentation in governmental administration leads to a situation in which assessments of the cumulative effects of all projects combined are not part of decision-making. In other words, one ministry is in charge of infrastructure, another is in charge of hydro power development, a third forestry, etc., while reindeer herding, on the other hand, due to its extensive nature and dependence on different types of pastures, constantly monitors and records any changes in land uses.

I argue that failure to integrate these perspectives into governance systems can be seen as a lost opportunity to account for cumulative long-term effects of land use changes in decision-making.

Our research suggests that the process of making use of indigenous knowledge in governance needs to start already at the policy formation stage; that is, when indigenous knowledge is not part of the policy formation process. Waiting until policy implementation to include it will be more challenging, if not downright impossible—


The Chair:

Professor, I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up very quickly, if you can.

Dr. Ellen Inga Turi:


I will end my testimony by giving you a very practical example in the words of reindeer herder Aslak Ante Sara, who has his reindeer in Hammerfest, the northern Norwegian city where Statoil has its LNG plant. He explains his experience with the planning process in Snøhvit as follows: We were sort of forgotten in the whole process and our perspectives were not focused on. Because the LNG-plant itself was not placed directly on reindeer pastures, we were not fully included in the total process of regulation. And with this start that we got, [when] we were not focussed on, we were continuously lagging behind in the process, not able to follow this up properly.... Due to the development we have seen an unexpected explosion in human activities. We have much more competition for our pastures now.... When you have this kind of major industrial development in Hammerfest, it makes the area around Hammerfest very attractive for other types of development. Also the society of Hammerfest is rapidly expanding because of the development. Now there is talk about several possible projects, and planning has begun. This includes petroleum development, new power lines, windmills, infrastructure development and roads. These are heavy investments driven by independent and influential economic sources, also in part independent of Statoil. We also see increasing human activities in our pasture areas in terms of outdoor leisure activities.

Thank you very much.

The Chair:

Thank you.

Professor Hernes.

Prof. Hans-Kristian Hernes:

Thank you very much for the invitation to take part in this meeting. I'm very honoured by it.

What I'm going to talk about is based on research projects here at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway. They are carried out through the co-operation of researchers in Norway, Sweden, Canada and Australia.

I must also say that I've thought a little bit about what Canada can learn from Norway. That was my first silly thought. But I've also been teaching in a joint master's program with a Canadian university and in my own, and I can see that we can learn from very different examples. What I'm going to talk about then is the situation in Norway. I have Norwegian examples, and maybe we can discuss how they can be used in the Canadian context.

committee hansard rnnr 30496 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 07, 2019

2019-02-07 TRAN 129

Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities



The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)):

I am calling the meeting to order. This is the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, 42nd Parliament. Pursuant to the order of reference from Wednesday, November 28, 2018, we are continuing our study of challenges facing flight schools in Canada.

I welcome all of you here today. This is our new meeting room in West Block and it's our first meeting here. We are joined today by, over and above the committee members, the mover of the motion, Mr. Fuhr. Welcome.

Today we have as witnesses, from Aéro Loisirs, Caroline Farly, Chief Pilot and Chief Instructor; from Air Canada Pilots Association, Captain Mike Hoff, External Affairs Committee; and from Carson Air, Marc Vanderaegen, Flight School Director, Southern Interior Flight Centre.

Mr. Vanderaegen, would you like to begin for five minutes?

Mr. Marc Vanderaegen (Flight School Director, Southern Interior Flight Centre, Carson Air):

Madam Chair, good morning and thank you for the invitation to participate today. I'm going to be reading from notes because I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

Southern Interior Flight Centre is a part of the Carson group of companies, which provides flight training in Kelowna, B.C., and medevac, freight and fuel and hangarage services in Kelowna, Calgary, Vancouver and Abbotsford. We get to face the challenges related to the pilot shortage in all aspects, not just training, but that's the focus for today.

At the flight school level, we train students to become recreational, general commercial, airline and instructor pilots, and we have a commercial aviation diploma program with Okanagan College. We have formal training partnerships with WestJet Encore, Jazz, Porter, and Carson Air, as well as informal connections with many companies seeking our graduates. As to the challenges, some of these you will recognize from previous meetings.

First, there is inadequate financial assistance for students. The high cost of initial training for a commercial pilot's licence combined with low funding leaves students deeply in debt. Available student loan assistance combined through Canada student loans and B.C. student loans, for example, in our province is a mere $5,440 per semester. Put this against the demonstrated need for $23,519 per semester and this means the typical unmet need in this is $18,000 for each semester, or over $90,000 one might need for a five-semester diploma program.

Second, we are facing increasing training costs. To acquire instructor staff, we now have to train flight instructors at a burden of $10,000 per instructor. This used to be a revenue stream generated from commercial pilots who wanted to instruct and has, instead, become a cost that now has to be passed along to the general flight training student group, thereby increasing their financial burden. The costs of aircraft parts and fuel are also unstable and increasing significantly. For example, a single-engine Cessna 172 aircraft new from the factory is currently $411,000 U.S. and requires a lead time of 14 months for delivery. Used aircraft result in bidding wars and still run 50% to 75% of new cost before adding in the high cost of overhauling major components like engines and propellers.

Not only is the domestic training demand fuelling aircraft sales and prices but international companies have been purchasing aircraft in groups of 25 or more for their own training use overseas. In addition to costs being increased through those means, the pool of aircraft maintenance engineers is also being depleted, thereby requiring higher pay and incentives to attract and retain qualified maintenance personnel.

Our third challenge is our general lack of access to potential staff. With the current state of hiring in the industry, new pilots do not need to spend time instructing to build experience to move to being commercial operators. Many graduates are going straight to airlines or other companies directly out of flight school. The lower availability of instructors equals fewer instructors who advance through the instructor class system in order to become supervising instructors or to be able to train new instructors.

As a temporary solution, hiring qualified international applicants for instructor positions is not a viable option for us as the current LMIA process is overly onerous and the lengthy Transport Canada licence conversion process also holds up the administrative processing of international applicants. Medical requirements are also overly restrictive in some circumstances, for example, when dealing with correctable colour blindness or when preventing retired airline pilots who no longer hold medicals from teaching in a simulator for us as they were already able to do at the airlines.

To counter that, our recommendations fall into two groups.

First, we need more aviation-specific funding. I think that's pretty clear. We need to increase federal funding in the way of additional student loans and loan forgiveness programs for students. We need to look at federal funding support in the way of instructor training or retention grants to help alleviate the financial burden passed along to the students. We also need to look at federal funding or tax credits for capital purchases to also help cover the extremely high and increasingly higher equipment costs.

The second group of recommendations involves being able to increase access to instructor staff. First, an increase in student funding would allow flight training units to pay instructors and aircraft maintenance engineers higher wages to be able to retain them. Next, providing easier access in the short term for international employees through the LMIA programs, either on a fast track or by exempting suitable candidates entirely, would allow us to hire pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers who are available internationally to fill the gap.

Reducing turnaround times at Transport Canada for the licence-conversion—


The Chair:

Excuse me, Mr. Vanderaegen, could you do your closing comments, please.

Mr. Marc Vanderaegen:

Sure. In closing, I'll get straight to the point. We need these challenges to be addressed to ensure that we cannot only stay in business today but to expand to meet the growing need that's coming up through the market.

The Chair:

Thank you very much.

Captain Hoff, you have five minutes, please.

Captain Mike Hoff (Captain, External Affairs Committee, Air Canada Pilots Association):

Good morning, and thank you.

My name is Michael Hoff. I am an airline pilot, and I love my job. I'm a Boeing 787 captain at Air Canada based in Vancouver. I'm here representing the Air Canada Pilots Association.

Before I begin my remarks, I'd like to thank all of you for taking on this issue. Stable and predictable access to aviation is important in a country as large as ours. Many sectors are struggling with labour supply issues. For pilots, the issue is complex. In our submission to the committee, you will see that the cost of pilot training and limited access to training flight time are factors, and not only that, so are the poor safety records and working conditions for entry-level pilots, factors that are borne out in research we have done to show that young Canadians are more likely to be interested in a career as a nurse, a firefighter or even a video gamer than as a pilot.

The easiest way for me to explain this is to tell my story through personal experience. Not only am I a pilot, but my 26-year-old son now flies for the regional airline Jazz. Let me explain. Pilot training can run upwards of $90,000, a tremendous cost burden for families, and a difficult case to make if you need to secure a loan. For my son to get the training and accumulate the hours he needed, I ended up buying a small airplane, a PA-22, and we hired our own instructor. Yes, if you're wondering, it is somewhat like learning to drive a car: It can be better if someone else tells your kid what to do.

Flight schools across Canada are fragmented. Some are aligned with accredited colleges; others are not. Many are small, family-run operations. The Canada Revenue Agency does not recognize tuition expenses for all of them. Personally, I can tell you it took three years of fighting before CRA recognized my son's flight school for tax purposes. Not only that, I wasn't able to deduct any of the flying time in my own aircraft. Now contrast this with how easy it was to claim my other son's university tuition.

A lot of students think that when they get their pilot's licence, they can walk into a job at WestJet or Air Canada. In reality, it's more like pro sports. Before you make it to the big leagues, you have to literally get thousands of hours on the farm team. In Canada, that often means flying up north.

Let me speak frankly. Day-to-day regulatory oversight can be totally disconnected from the reality on the ground. Rules require self-monitoring, and that means pilots are supposed to decide for themselves whether or not they are fit for duty, which can be a tough decision when you are new and out of your element. In some operations, if a pilot reports that they are unfit to fly due to fatigue, they will be asked if they need a blankie and a pacifier to facilitate their nap. That is the culture.

If you need the job to get a better job, it can create a tremendous amount of pressure on inexperienced pilots, and it's one of the reasons that, when we look at accident rates in Canadian aviation, the majority of hull losses—in other words, the total loss of an aircraft, and far too often the souls on board—are in the far north. I can tell you honestly that, as a parent, I did not get a good night's sleep when my son was flying up north.

What can we do about this? The survey we commissioned showed very clearly that parents and students today are more attracted to the stable, safe pathways and immediate benefits that more traditional careers might offer. We need to reduce and eliminate the barriers that students face.

That means, one, we need policies to help defray the costs of entry, including making loans and tax credits available for flight schools. Two, we need to find ways to make accumulating flight and simulator time easier. Three, we need to encourage accredited public institutions to build flight schools. Four, we need to work on making aviation safer, which includes ensuring strong regulatory oversight where our new pilots are flying, especially in the north. Statistics show that we must do better. This protects not only our newest pilots but also their passengers.

I am proud to be a pilot. Nothing makes me happier than encouraging young people to consider this as a career. We have the best view in the world from our office, but there's work to be done.

I am grateful for the attention from this committee on these important issues.


I would specifically like to thank Mr. Fuhr for bringing this forward.

The Chair:

Thank you very much, Captain Hoff.

Ms. Farly, go ahead, please.

Ms. Caroline Farly (Chief Pilot and Chief Instructor, Aéro Loisirs):

Thank you. I will also read, and I'm going to do this presentation in French.[Translation]

Good morning. Thank you for having me today.

I am Caroline Farly, owner of the Aéro Loisirs flying school. I am Chief Pilot and Chief Instructor, as well as the person in charge of aircraft maintenance and authorized agent for Transport Canada. I became an instructor in 2011 in order to pursue it as a career.

I want to thank Louise Gagnon, who was a pilot and class 1 instructor at Cargair for 25 years, and Rémi Cusach, founder of the ALM flying school, also class 1 instructor for 25 years and now retired. Both are currently delegated examiners at Transport Canada and helped me prepare this presentation.

Lengthy student admission delays are a problem for flying schools. Behind the problem is an instructor shortage, which is not improving. It is urgent to address our inability to meet the current and growing demand of commercial pilot licence candidates.

committee hansard tran 36210 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 07, 2019

2019-02-06 14:10 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Events, Statements by Members, Winter

Déclarations de députés, Évènements, Hiver

Mr. Speaker,

Now that January has finally passed
This bitter cold just cannot last
As temperatures begin to climb
February brings winter carnival time
Head to Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson to skate
Or to Brébeuf for a dancing date
Sainte-Adèle and Huberdeau fill with sledding squeals
While at Ferme-Neuve they race snowmobiles
In Val-Morin and Notre-Dame-du-Laus, the fishing divine
While Mont-Tremblant is the place to dine
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts can toot its own horn
Cause that's where Bonhomme Carnaval was born
Winter is about more than clearing snow
So Laurentides—Labelle is the place to go
That is why I give three cheers
To community members and volunteers
All of them are truly key
To enjoying this great party.

Monsieur le Président,

Alors que janvier est terminé
et les grands froids presque tous passés;
Février est le mois idéal
pour célébrer l'hiver au carnaval!
En patinant sur le lac à Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson;
en dansant à Brébeuf au rythme des rigodons;
En s'amusant à glisser à Sainte-Adèle ou Huberdeau;
en pratiquant la pêche blanche à Val-Morin ou Notre-Dame-du-Laus;
À Ferme-Neuve au Grand-Prix sur glace;
ou à Mont-Tremblant sur l'une des nombreuses terrasses;
D'un bout à l'autre de Laurentides—Labelle,
pour nous l'hiver c'est bien plus qu'user de la pelle.
Ça fait d'ailleurs longtemps que c'est une tradition:
Bonhomme Carnaval est né chez nous, à Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.
Je lève mon chapeau aux bénévoles et membres de la communauté,
à qui l'on doit l'organisation de toutes ces activités;
Et à toutes celles et ceux qui en profitent à fond;
vivant pleinement l'hiver dans ma circonscription!

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr statements tv 263 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 21:02 on February 06, 2019

2019-02-05 RNNR 126

Standing Committee on Natural Resources



The Chair (Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)):

Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome.

We are running a little bit late. I understand that there are some delays at security. We apologize to our witnesses, but we're grateful for your patience. We have one witness who, I understand, is still in line downstairs, but rather than wait for him, we will get going.

Before I get to the witnesses, I just want to formally welcome our newest committee member, Mr. Graham.

Thank you for joining us.

We have here three of our four witness groups. We have Mr. Brian Craik, Ms. Kate Darling, Mr. Duane Ningaqsiq Smith, Mr. Graeme Reed and Chief Byron Louis.

Thank you all for joining us today.

The format is that each group of you, each organization, will be given up to 10 minutes for your presentation.

Then once all of the presentations are done—and, hopefully, Mr. Helin will be with us by that point—we will open the table to questions from members.

Mr. Craik, since you're first on the list, why don't we start with you, sir?

Mr. Brian Craik (Director, Federal Relations, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)):

Thank you, Mr. Chair and Madam Vice-Chair. My name is Brian Craik and I'm the representative for federal issues for the Crees. I'm here in place of Mandy Gull, who I was supposed to be accompanied by, but she's ill and couldn't come.

The Cree of Eeyou Istchee do not suggest that our experience with energy projects necessarily holds lessons for others. Each case is unto itself and must be examined by the people who are searching for ways and means of moving ahead in the development of their communities.

In the past 40 years I've seen a radical change in the Crees of Eeyou Istchee with regard to energy and resource development. Forty years ago, development in our homeland was initiated and carried out by others with virtually no consultation or involvement of the Crees. Today this would be unthinkable. How did we get here from there?

In telling this story, I will review some of the major milestones of recent Cree history, which involve the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, the fight against the the Great Whale River hydroelectric project and the paix des braves. Before thousands of Europeans came into Eeyou Istchee, which means the people's land, the Crees where there winning their livelihood from trapping, hunting and fishing.

For centuries after the first Europeans had their presence in the Eeyou Istchee, there was minimal change, for approximately 400 years. The change came in the 20th century. The fur trade had fallen off and had been built back up again in the early 20th century. The Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada established basic health and education services in our territory. The Cree children were sent to residential schools, with all that those entailed, and we're still fighting against the problems those made. However, more positively, there was a beaver conservation program in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s that actually revived the economy in James Bay. People weren't rich, but they were proud of their livelihood.

In 1971, the Quebec government announced the massive James Bay hydroelectric project. It was an enormous project that would radically affect the Crees and their traditional way of life. At the time, most of our people spent most of the year in the bush, carrying out our traditional activities. From one day to the next, they faced an assault of airplanes, helicopters, bulldozers and heavy trucks. Roads were blasted through our lands, and our rivers were dammed and diked. To our people, this was an invasion.

Quebec did not consult us or seek our consent for this development. Quebec said that the Crees had no rights to land that they had occupied for thousands of years. It was seen that the Crees had no rights to our environment and our way of life, the Crees had no rights. That began a court case called the James Bay case, the Kanatewat case. In 1973 Judge Albert Malouf made a judgment that granted an injunction to the James Bay project.


This injunction was turned over after one week, but it scared the people who were financing these big projects. The Crees and Canada, the Inuit from northern Quebec and Quebec got together and negotiated an agreement. They spent two years negotiating it, and it was seen as a partnership. It was sold to the Crees and the Inuit as a partnership, a way to live together. The agreement is a complex document; it has 30 chapters. It has a land regime, local and regional government regimes. It has health, education, justice, police, economic development, community development and an innovative income security program to keep the economy of the Crees alive.

Section 22 of the agreement establishes an environmental and social protection regime, including the first environmental assessment and review process in Canada.

The Great Whale project is the next issue, and that arose in the 1980s and 1990s. Neither Quebec nor Canada lived up to the expectations of the Crees in terms of how Cree rights should be implemented. When Bourassa announced the Great Whale project, the Crees went to court against it, and they fought very hard to get this project stopped.

The Crees had signed an agreement with Canada and with Quebec, and although they signed an agreement, the agreement was not carried out by Quebec and Canada. The Great Whale River project was eventually shelved basically.

The paix des braves was the next issue. The Crees and Canada and Quebec were searching for a way to get together and to resolve their issues. Quebec and the Crees got together bilaterally and made an agreement. One thing you can take from this is that the Crees worked with the province, and they also worked with the federal government. They also, to some degree, worked with the Inuit in northern Quebec.

The paix des braves is a nation-to-nation agreement, and it's seen that way. Since the paix des braves was signed, the Crees have worked out other projects, and these projects have been basically designed to ease the fact that the projects before that, like the La Grande project, were causing huge problems. They cut off all of the flow in certain streams and caused problems for the ecology. There were problems with mercury in the fish and there were problems of all sorts, especially social problems.

Since the paix des braves, the Crees have found ways to work with Quebec, and it's been the difference between night and day.

Thank you.


The Chair:

Thank you very much.

Mr. Helin, thank you very much for joining us. My apologies for the lengthy wait at security, but we started in your absence.

The process is that we're going to let each witness group do their presentation, and that will be followed by questions.

Mr. Smith.

Mr. Duane Ningaqsiq Smith (Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation):

I'll apologize in advance if I am going a little quickly, because I think I have more than 10 minutes in my presentation here.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. First of all, my name is Duane Smith. You can just stick to the English name. I know my Inuvialuit name is a bit difficult. With me today is my general counsel, Kate Darling.

I come from what is known as the Inuvialuit settlement region. It's located in the very far northwest portion of Canada. It's only nine hours by jet, but you're still in Canada, so please come and visit sometime.

The area includes the land, ice and waters of the Mackenzie Delta, the Beaufort Sea and, of course, the Arctic Ocean. The area I represent is just under one million square kilometres, the vast majority of that, of course, is ocean or the Beaufort Sea. We have six communities in our region, either in the delta or along the coast. There are roughly 6,000 Inuvialuit beneficiaries.

In 1984 we signed the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the modern-day treaty. It's a land claim agreement pursued in response to increasing development activities in our land and waters. It's the first comprehensive land claim agreement settled north of the 60th parallel and the second settled in Canada's history. It's also the first modern-day treaty to create a national park in mutual agreement. It also created a territorial park out of this.

The IFA belongs to the Inuvialuit and to Canada. I keep reiterating that, because Canada is a signatory to it. It has its responsibilities and obligations in regard to the implementation of that treaty, as do we.

In regard to our area, we're very resource rich but infrastructure poor. We hold trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, both onshore and offshore. It's a clean source of energy relative to other non-renewable sources of energy.

Since the construction of the Dempster Highway, infrastructure development in the Arctic has not had a strategic plan. There is a lack of commercial access to the ocean, local energy production facilities, adequate telecommunications, etc. I'm sure you've heard a lot of these issues and points made in the past already.

Regarding the energy insecurity in my region, as an example, we truck most of our energy needs from thousands of kilometres away, either from British Columbia or Alberta, to fuel the energy in the communities. This doesn't make sense to us when we're sitting on nine trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Dempster Highway is subject to frequent road closures and longer freeze-ups. There are two major water bodies that we have to cross, which don't have bridges, so there again is a lack of infrastructure. We have to wait for these water bodies to freeze up in the fall so that we can make ice crossings, and/or for it to melt away for the ferries to operate in the spring and throughout the summer.

Another example is the nearest city, if you can call it that—Whitehorse, with 24,000 people—is over 1,200 kilometres away on this road, so we're trucking the stuff roughly 2,000 kilometres to our community to provide energy. You can imagine the greenhouse gas emissions from that. We are subject, as well, to high transportation surcharges, and there's a limited number of companies that can supply this energy.

The region has very limited disposable income among residents and inability to pay more. Residents give up nutritious food, home repairs and opportunities for their kids so that they can pay for heat and power. The energy costs in our region are probably the highest in Canada.

There is a real desire to develop local energy resources, but infrastructure, again, is needed.

In regard to the geopolitical considerations, states with emerging economies and growing populations want cleaner energy due, in part, to costs associated with local pollution as well as international targets.


committee hansard rnnr 21379 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 05, 2019

2019-02-05 14:59 House intervention / intervention en chambre

Broadband Internet services, Oral questions, Rural communities

Communautés rurales, Questions orales, Services Internet à large bande

Mr. Speaker, access to high-speed Internet is still one of the most serious economic and social problems facing Canada's rural regions, and that includes Laurentides—Labelle. Our government and our team have already done a great deal of work, but we still have a long way to go.

Internet access is key for growing businesses, creating good jobs, getting our Canadian products to global markets and for opportunity in general.

The new Minister of Rural Economic Development has this issue as one of the key priorities in her mandate letter. Could she update the House and rural Canada on her plans for the Internet?

Monsieur le Président, l'accès à Internet à haute vitesse demeure l'un des problèmes économiques et sociaux les plus graves pour l'ensemble des régions rurales du Canada, autant dans la circonscription de Laurentides—Labelle qu'ailleurs. Énormément de travail a déjà été fait par notre gouvernement et par notre équipe, mais il nous reste encore beaucoup à faire.

L'accès à Internet est essentiel pour la croissance des entreprises, la création de bons emplois, l'acheminement des produits canadiens vers les marchés globaux et les occasions économiques en général.

La lettre de mandat de la nouvelle ministre du Développement économique rural établit cette question comme une priorité clé. La ministre pourrait-elle informer la Chambre et les Canadiens des régions rurales de ses plans concernant Internet?

Watch | Hansard

Ecoutez | Hansard

hansard parlchmbr qp tv 245 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 20:26 on February 05, 2019

2019-02-05 FAAE 125

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development



The Chair (Mr. Michael Levitt (York Centre, Lib.)):

Good morning, everyone. I would like to call to order meeting 125 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

This is also our first session on the new study, which we will begin today, on Canada's support for international democratic development.

With that in mind, I would like to welcome our first two witnesses. We have Christopher MacLennan from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. He's the assistant deputy minister, global issues and development. We also have Shelley Whiting, director general, office of human rights, freedoms and inclusion.

We will ask you to provide your testimony. Then we will open it up to the members for questions.

Mr. MacLennan, please begin.

Mr. Christopher MacLennan (Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Issues and Development, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development):

Thank you very much. I will provide a brief statement on behalf of the department. Then both Shelley and I, obviously, will be very pleased to take any questions you might have.

I will mention off the top that I am assistant deputy minister responsible for, basically, the development assistance aspects of Canada's involvement in democracy promotion. Shelley is more involved on the foreign affairs side, which has to do mostly with our diplomacy and democratic promotion through other means.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss our support, past and present, to democratic development. Promoting democracy abroad, as everybody here is aware, has been a long-time integral part of Canada's foreign policy and international assistance, but as the 2007 committee report noted, despite remarkable progress, in their words, “the continued forward march of democracy is no sure thing, and that in the current environment retreat is threatening progress.

I think this is truer today in 2019 than it probably was in 2007. Indeed, the growing threats to the progress of democratic development 12 years ago have now resulted in an overall retreat in democracy, according to most experts.

Popular discontent has appeared in many countries as a result of the failure of these governments to provide effective solutions to important and legitimate domestic issues such as unemployment, a lack of opportunity, inequality and mass migration. Moreover, malicious actors, including authoritarian regimes and their proxies, have increased their efforts to shape public opinion and perception so as to undermine democracy and more broadly the rules-based international order.

While foreign interference is not new, its impact has grown in scale and speed due to cheaper and more accessible digital technology and data. As a result, we have seen declining citizen confidence and engagement in democratic institutions, growing distress between governments and civil society, and the manipulation and discrediting of political parties and their processes.

Of particular concern is the shrinking civic space, one of the key pillars of democracy. The largest democratic declines have taken place in the areas of civil liberties, freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, civil society participation and media integrity. It is in this context that we're working today.[Translation]

For its part, Global Affairs Canada has adapted. In 2013, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade were merged, which has resulted in a consistent use of government tools to promote democracy.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Development have now both made the commitment set out in their mandate letter to defend the values of inclusive and accountable governance, including through the promotion of human rights, gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, peaceful pluralism, and inclusion and respect for diversity.

In June 2017, the government adopted its feminist international aid policy, which emphasizes inclusive governance focused on democracy and political participation, human rights and the rule of law for all citizens, regardless of their gender identity or any other aspect of their identity. This policy underscores the Government of Canada's commitment to provide inclusive and human rights-based development assistance as recommended in the committee's 2007 study.

Global Affairs Canada supports a wide range of programs and initiatives in all regions of the world to promote inclusive governance. In working with a wide range of partners, we leverage the expertise of Canadian NGOs, multilateral organizations and international institutions, and the engagement of grassroots civil society. What we do and who we do it with depends a lot on local context; we often have to adapt and seize on opportunities as they arise.

Through a feminist approach, the government is giving priority to the leadership and political participation of women. For example, it is working with the Interparliamentary Union to strengthen women's decision-making in parliaments and increase the capacity of parliamentarians—women and men—to adopt gender-sensitive reforms and laws.

In countries like Indonesia and Kenya, Canada supports the equitable access of marginalized or vulnerable groups, including youth and persons with disabilities, to participate in electoral processes.


In addition, Canada is providing up to $24 million to support electoral observation missions in Ukraine in preparation for the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as to support longer-term and sustainable electoral reform.[English]

Globally, programming focused on inclusive governance in areas such as government and civil society, democracy and political participation, and the rule of law and human rights totalled approximately $293 million in 2017-18, with approximately $170 million channelled specifically to promoting democracy.

As mentioned previously, Canada's efforts in this domain are not limited to international development assistance. As part of its feminist foreign policy, Canada has taken actions to strengthen democracy and resilience in peaceful and inclusive societies, at both the international level and through our work through our network of missions abroad.

In the G7, Canada has been a vocal supporter of democratic values. As part of our 2018 presidency, we spearheaded a joint declaration with G7 members that held up democracy as critical in defending against foreign threats. At the G7 summit in Charlevoix, leaders announced the G7 rapid response mechanism. This mechanism strengthens G7 coordination in identifying and responding to diverse and evolving threats to G7 democratic processes. The coordination unit is hosted in Canada on an ongoing basis.

Furthermore, through our broad network of diplomatic missions, Canada engages government officials of other like-minded states and civil society partners to advocate for and provide support to democratic development in those countries. Depending on the context, this is done through quiet diplomacy or through more public and open dialogue. This includes Canada's support for international election observation missions, including the deployment of hundreds of Canadians in recent years as observers, and co-sponsoring resolutions on human rights defenders in supporting their participation in international fora. Our missions are also provided with the “Voices at risk” guidelines to support and protect human rights defenders.

In conclusion, Global Affairs Canada welcomes the committee's interest in what we all agree is an important priority area.

We look forward to taking your questions.

The Chair:

Wonderful. Thank you very much.

We are going to begin with MP Alleslev, please.

Ms. Leona Alleslev (Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, CPC):

Thank you very much for being here today.

This is certainly an important topic, and it's somewhat disconcerting. You're saying, if I understand you correctly, that democracy is in retreat.

We continue to invest and our investment hasn't drastically changed over the last 12 years.

If we continue on this path, what level of confidence do we have that the outcome will be different? Can you help us to understand the critical performance indicators? How do we know that the efforts we're making are achieving the objectives?


Mr. Christopher MacLennan:

This is a very difficult space to work in. In international development, everybody knows that we work in some of the most difficult places in the world with what is, relatively speaking, a very small amount of money to make a difference.

There are some types of development assistance where the opportunities are pretty direct to understanding what an investment will get you in terms of a return on your dollar. For example, when we invest in vaccinations, we have a clear understanding of how much the vaccination costs and what you get in return, which is a life saved if that person never contracts the disease.

This is fundamentally a different type of programming. Every country has a different culture, different understandings of governance, and all governance, as we understand in Canada, of course—

Ms. Leona Alleslev:

That's very fair, but I'm sorry, I don't have much time.

Of course, we understand the challenges. That's why we have experts like you to deal with those challenges. We need to be able to tell Canadian society that we're doing the right thing but that our investments, our efforts, are in fact achieving objectives and outcomes.

Can you please help us to understand how we are measuring that and, if democracy is in retreat, what are we doing differently that will achieve a different outcome?

Mr. Christopher MacLennan:

One of the things we're doing is placing a greater focus on working to ensure that there is a greater understanding at local levels, and a greater inclusion at local levels of a broader group of participation. In some of the places in which we're working, obviously the democratic space has been constricting. What we're trying to do is open up that democratic space.

We are doing that by ensuring that all communities are able to take part in democratic processes. For example, we're providing support to local women's organizations through the women's voice and leadership program to allow them to advocate on behalf of women's rights, including their right to take part in political processes. We are also working with LGBTQ groups to help them understand and exercise their rights within the context of the countries in which we're working.

The overall question of the retreat of democracy is obviously taking place at a global level, in terms of some of the Freedom House indices and whatnot. That's a really difficult indicator to move, because it's operating at a global perspective. What our programming attempts to achieve is to work at local levels, working directly with governments that are willing to work with us to strengthen their institutions, whether it be judicial institutions, their audit functions, to try to promote a better understanding of democracy.

Ms. Leona Alleslev:

committee faae hansard 34133 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on February 05, 2019

2019-01-31 ETHI 133

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics



The Chair (Mr. Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, CPC)):

Welcome, everybody.

Per the notice of meeting this is meeting 133 of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. The study is on the privacy of digital government services.

Today we have with us somebody we've had several times before, Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada. We also have Gregory Smolynec, deputy commissioner, policy and promotion sector, and Lara Ives, executive director, policy, research and parliamentary affairs directorate.

Before I go to Mr. Therrien, I want to go to Mr. Kent quickly.

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC):

Thank you, Chair.

Colleagues, I hope I'll get unanimous consent on this. In light of yesterday's announcement by the Minister of Democratic Institutions of this new panel to screen advertising, messaging and reporting during the upcoming election, I'd like to suggest that we allocate at least one meeting to call representatives of some of the seven organizations that the minister said would be looking to screen acceptable reportage and advertising.

The Chair:

Mr. Angus.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

If I hear the suggestion correctly, I think it would be worth our while. As with all-party unanimous recommendations about protecting the electoral system, our committee brought forward recommendations. I think it's worth our having a view on this.

It seems to me that I'm looking at something that's probably much more fitted to a plan right now that deals with cybersecurity and cyber-threats, whereas what we've found in threats to elections are much more subtle. The manipulations might be harder to find.

It would be good to see if these representatives have looked at our work and we can question them on it. I would be very much in favour of that.

The Chair:

Mr. Saini.

Mr. Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre, Lib.):

I don't mind, but I'd prefer a formal motion so at least I can think about exactly what you want and which organizations they are.

Hon. Peter Kent:


Mr. Raj Saini:

We would absolutely entertain it.

Hon. Peter Kent:

It's not required. I've moved it now. Let's vote on it now. If you see fit to defeat it, then we'll do a formal vote.

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.):

Can you repeat the exact language?

Hon. Peter Kent:

In light of the announcement made by the minister yesterday with regard to the special panel being created with representatives across—

The Chair:

The security task force, I think it is.

Hon. Peter Kent:

—the security task force, including Privy Council, CSIS—the seven organizations that were named.. We would invite them to find out exactly how they consider their new assignment, and perhaps give them a few weeks to get their heads around it. I assume they knew about it before the minister announced it yesterday, but it would be to have them talk about what they consider their mission to be, and how they'll carry it out.

The minister yesterday wasn't able to speak about where the red lines would be drawn in alerting Canadians to potential violation, or the intention of the panel, but I think it would be helpful, particularly given the work that we've done on this specifically for the past year.

The Chair:

Is it Raj next and then Charlie?

Mr. Charlie Angus:

I have language for a motion.

The Chair:

Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Angus.

Mr. Charlie Angus:

It's, “That the committee invite the appointed security task force of the seven organizations”—we could name them—“to brief the committee on their role in protecting the integrity of the Canadian electoral system for the 2019 election.”

The Chair:

Just to be clear, are you providing words for Mr. Kent?

Mr. Charlie Angus:

Yes. He was explaining what he wanted, but I think what we want very simply is a briefing from the appointed security task force on their role and plan for protecting the integrity of Canada's electoral system.

Hon. Peter Kent:

Chair, I can give you the specific list now; the app has loaded: the Clerk of the Privy Council, the federal national security and intelligence adviser, the deputy minister of justice, the deputy minister of public safety, and the deputy minister of global affairs Canada. It's a pretty esteemed panel.

The Chair:

Ms. Fortier.


Mrs. Mona Fortier (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.):

I would like to adjourn the debate on the motion and let the commissioner present.

The Chair:

committee ethi hansard 21612 words - read the full entry at permanent link - comments: 0. Posted at 22:44 on January 31, 2019

2019-01-31 INDU 146

Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology



The Chair (Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)):

Mr. Graham.

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

I move that we approve and report back the supplementary estimates (B) at this time.

The Chair:

Mr. Albas.

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC):

I'd like to state, for the record, that I believe, in having this motion go forward without having the capacity to bring in the minister or officials for us to review, that, on principle, we are not doing our job as parliamentarians. The public should judge this move by what it is, a deflection of our parliamentary duties and functions in this place.

The Chair:

We have a motion on the floor. We'll go to a vote.

Mr. Dan Albas:

I would like a recorded vote.

(Motion agreed to: yeas 6; nays 3 [See Minutes of Proceedings])

The Chair:

The motion is adopted.

The meeting is adjourned.

Comité permanent de l'industrie, des sciences et de la technologie



Le président (M. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)):

Monsieur Graham, vous avez la parole.

M. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.):

Je propose d'approuver le Budget supplémentaire des dépenses (B) et d'en faire rapport maintenant.

Le président:

Allez-y, monsieur Albas.

M. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, PCC):

Je tiens à mentionner, pour le compte rendu, que je crois que l'adoption de cette motion sans avoir pu faire venir devant nous le ministre ou des fonctionnaires à des fins d'examen revient, en principe, à ne pas faire notre travail de parlementaires. La population devrait juger cette façon de procéder pour ce qu'elle est, à savoir une façon de se dérober à nos devoirs et à nos fonctions parlementaires au sein du Comité.

Le président:

Nous sommes saisis d'une motion. Nous allons la mettre aux voix.

M. Dan Albas:

J'aimerais un vote par appel nominal.

(La motion est adoptée par 6 voix contre 3. [Voir le Procès-verbal])

Le président:

La motion est adoptée.

La séance est levée.



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