Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Issue 18 - Evidence - May 9, 2012 (evening meeting)
OTTAWA, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance met this day at 6:45 p.m. to examine the expenditures set out in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.
Senator Joseph A. Day (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, the best show in town.
Honourable senators, this evening, we are continuing our study on the 2012-2013 main estimates.
I remind honourable senators not to confuse the main budget work that we are doing now with the work that we were doing this afternoon on budget implementation. This is the last scheduled hearing that we will have on the Main Estimates, but we will certainly be continuing on Bill C-38, the budget implementation.
In our first session this evening, we are pleased to welcome officials from Environment Canada. Andrea Lyon is the Associate Deputy Minister of the department; Carol Najm is Assistant Deputy Minister, Finance Branch; and Michael Keenan is Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch. I do not know if I can call Parks Canada an agency, but it comes under the umbrella of Environment Canada. We welcome Alan Latourelle, Chief Executive Officer. Finally, from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, we welcome Elaine Feldman, President.
I understand that three of you have introductory remarks. Please proceed, Ms. Lyon.
Andrea Lyon, Associate Deputy Minister, Environment Canada: Honourable senators, my name is Andrea Lyon, and I am the Associate Deputy Minister of the Department of the Environment. I am pleased to be here to discuss Environment Canada's 2012-13 main estimates.
I am accompanied by my colleagues Michael Keenan and Carol Najm.
Budget 2012 made some key investments in the environment, such as the renewal of the Species at Risk Program and a commitment to continue improvements in Lake Winnipeg and Lake Simcoe.
Like other departments and agencies, Environment Canada is contributing to efforts to return to a balanced budget. In total, our deficit reduction measures amount to approximately 5 per cent of our budget last year. These savings are to be achieved over the next three years.
Some changes related to our deficit reduction efforts will affect our employees. Environment Canada will see a reduction in its overall workforce of about 3 percent. This amounts to approximately 200 people. We will be working hard to mitigate the effects on our employees using the full range of public service human resource policies and collective agreements.
In implementing the budget 2012 measures, Environment Canada remains committed to two principles: providing Canadians with a clean, safe and sustainable environment; and taking care of our employees.
In implementing our deficit reduction measures, we will ensure that we have the capacity to carry out our mandate. In fact, we have a very full mandate, and let me talk about some of those items.
Canada has made progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions despite a growing population and economy. Since 2005, emissions have declined in almost all sectors, including oil and gas and electricity generation. Between 2009 and 2010, our emissions remained steady, while the economy experienced growth of about 3.2 per cent.
We are continuing our work towards our 2020 emission reduction target of 17 per cent below 2005 levels and working on a sector-by-sector approach. In 2010, we introduced emissions regulations for cars and light duty trucks. We have also proposed new regulations for heavy-duty trucks that will be in line with U.S. standards.
In August 2011, we published proposed regulations for the electricity sector, creating new performance standards for coal-fired electricity generation. Final regulations are expected to be published in 2012 and scheduled to come into effect in July 2015.
We are also moving to introduce regulations in other major emitting sectors, including oil and gas.
On the international stage, Environment Canada has played a significant role by helping the government advance work towards a new international climate change agreement.
The Durban platform for enhanced action took another step forward by setting out a negotiating mandate for all countries in order to develop a new single international treaty that should include all major emitters and be implemented by 2020. That has been a long-standing Canadian objective.
The department is also helping to ensure that future developments of the oil sands are responsible and sustainable. Environment Canada's integrated monitoring plan for the oil sands of July 2011 outlined what was needed to develop a world-class monitoring program for this resource. In February, we announced the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for oil sands monitoring, a world-class, science-based program designed to deliver rigorous scientific data.
Environment Canada's scientific capacity is key to launching the implementation of the plan this fiscal year. In fact, Environment Canada and Alberta government scientists are already out in the field, and we expect to get results soon.
Environment Canada is strongly committed to operating as a world-class regulator, and we intend to improve on our track record of regulatory excellence.
We are working with provinces, industry and non-governmental organizations to implement the air quality management system. We are also working on the chemicals management plan.
The department is also carrying out its mandate to protect and conserve Canada's rich and abundant biodiversity. Under our new St. Lawrence plan, we are working with Quebec to ensure water quality and protect ecologically sensitive areas.
As well, we are working to enhance our weather and warning service across the country so that it continues to provide Canadians with a comprehensive national weather, water and climate monitoring system.
Let me turn to the Main Estimates.
These are the first request for departmental funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year. They do not take account of Budget 2012 and do not include supplementary estimates. Environment Canada is requesting $972.7 million in these Main Estimates. This amount represents a $100.6 million increase over last year's Main Estimates, due mainly to renewed programs such as the Clean Air Agenda, Canada's Chemical Management Plan, Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan and Canada's Weather Services.
The funding request before you will ensure that Environment Canada can support its domestic regulatory approach to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. Those funds will also help address health and environmental risks posed by harmful chemicals by accelerating the risk assessment pace to address the legacy of unassessed substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
In conclusion, this highlights some of the work these estimates will support at Environment Canada. Thank you for your time.
Alan Latourelle, Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada: Thank you for the opportunity to meet with the committee to discuss the 2012-13 Main Estimates for Parks Canada. I would like to point to some of the ways in which Parks Canada is building on a tremendous legacy of a century of conservation leadership internationally.
Recently, Parks Canada received both national and international acclaim from organizations such as World Wildlife Fund International, the National Geographic Society, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Hostelling International Canada.
We cannot rest on our laurels, and our challenges are daunting. As Canada becomes increasingly urban, as new immigrants make their homes in this great country and as a younger generation comes of age, they may not share the personal connection to the wilderness that defined past generations. Our challenge moving forward is to connect Canadians to their natural and historic treasures.
We build the legacy by adding the areas under our protection.
Today, Parks Canada's network includes 43 national parks, 167 national historic sites and 4 national marine conservation areas. Since 2006, we have taken actions that will lead to a 50-per-cent increase in the agency's system of national parks and other protected areas. Measures are under way to protect, for example, Sable Island in the Atlantic, Southern Strait of Georgia in the Pacific, and Lancaster Sound, described as "the Serengeti of the Arctic".
Within the national parks, we are bringing back native species. In Grasslands National Park, for example, we have reintroduced the plains bison and the blackfooted ferret, which was thought to have been extinct for the most of the twentieth century.
In La Mauricie National Park, we are completing a massive restoration of lakes and rivers damaged long ago by logging practices.
We use the latest technology to monitor the health and integrity of the country's treasured natural places. In collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing, we use space technology to map and monitor the ecological health of Canada's most remote northern parks.
One of our boldest and most innovative projects includes a new concept within driving distance of 10 million Canadians, a national urban park. We have been meeting with stakeholders and partners on such a protected area in the Rouge Valley of Greater Toronto. The existing Rouge Park is about 10 times the size of Central Park in New York or Stanley Park in Vancouver. It has one of the few examples in Canada of the rare Carolinian forest and is home to hundreds of species of plants bird, fish, reptiles and amphibians. The park also shows the long-standing interaction between the natural environment and the First Nations.
We envision Rouge National Urban Park as a "people's park" — a place to gather, enjoy the outdoors, and discover and learn about the Rouge Valley's rich natural and cultural heritage. The park will provide accessible and memorable experiences for all visitors and reflect the high-quality services provided by Parks Canada and its partners. As part of a national network, the park will also offer a window to inspire the discovery of Canada's national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and other similar sites.
The Main Estimates before you also include initiatives to commemorate the bicentennial of a defining moment in Canadian history, the War of 1812. At Parks Canada national historic sites, Canadians can personally experience many of the most important locations of the great fight for our country.
With more than twenty War of 1812 sites, Parks Canada is the leading presenter of historic experiences from this era.
The Economic Action Plan invested $16.3 million at many of our War of 1812 national historic sites, and with a $9.4 million share of the government's 1812 Commemoration Fund, Parks Canada is rolling out programming for national awareness events and commemoration, and legacy investments.
Initiatives such as a national urban park and the commemorations of the 200-year-old war will help us connect with Canadians, but I would like to also point out that Parks Canada is at the forefront of using new technology to reach Canadians.
In 2009, Parks Canada was among the first federal government agencies to adopt social media with the launch of a YouTube channel. Today, our YouTube channel has more than half a million videos watched by more than a thousand viewers. Our Twitter feed has surpassed 10,000 followers, and the Parks Canada national brand channel on Facebook has more than 6,500 fans who, collectively, have 1.6 million friends. We have also entered the smart phone era with the Heritage Gourmet application.
We have taken special care to address the legal and policy issues involved in social media, and our guidelines have inspired the Treasury Board's guidelines.
Mr. Chair, Parks Canada continues to find innovative ways to engage Canadians where they live, work and play. Last year, we celebrated our centennial by bringing genuine Parks Canada experiences to downtown Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Our "Learn to Camp" program allowed urban and new Canadians to experience a unique Canadian camping experience.
The My Parks Pass encourages grade 8 students and their families to come to their national parks and connect with nature. The Explorers program is targeted at children aged 6 to 11. We have partnered on innovative broadcast productions such as A Park for All Seasons, Operation Unplugged, The National Parks Project and La part du monde.
The Main Estimates before you outline many of these initiatives we are working this fiscal year to protect Canada's treasured places and help more Canadians discover these treasures and become enriched by them.
Thank you. I would be pleased to answer the committee's questions.
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Latourelle. Our next witness is Ms. Feldman.
Elaine Feldman, President, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency: I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee to speak to the agency's Main Estimates and priorities. My name is Elaine Feldman, and I am President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
The 2012-13 Main Estimates show a net decrease of $13 million in comparison to the agency's 2011-12 Main Estimates.
This is mainly attributable to five-year funding that was provided through Budget 2007, and was due to sunset at the end of March 2012.
This included funding of $11 million per year for the agency that was part of the Major Projects Management Office initiative.
I am pleased to tell you that budget 2012 renewed our sunsetting funding and also provided additional funds of $1.5 million per year to support consultations with aboriginal peoples related to projects assessed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
In addition, the Responsible Resource Development plan announced in Budget 2012 proposes to modernize the regulatory system for project reviews. This effort has four objectives: making the review process for major projects more predictable and timely; reducing duplication and regulatory burden; strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.
On April 26, the Minister of Finance introduced Bill C-38, the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity bill, which includes measures to implement this plan.
Bill C-38 proposes a new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, as well as other changes to acts that are part of the federal regulatory system.
This legislation is intended to make the review process for major economic projects more timely and transparent, while protecting the environment.
The goal is to have one project, one review in a clearly defined time period.
Given recent predictions that there may be $500 billion of new resource projects in Canada over the next 10 years, we recognize the importance of setting clear timelines for environmental assessment, reducing duplication and focusing resources on large projects that may have significant adverse environmental effects.
Under the new act, regulations will establish a list of project types that may require a federal environmental assessment.
There will be two types of environmental assessment — standard EAs and assessments by review panels.
Responsibility to carry out assessments will be consolidated among three entities: the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board.
The proposed legislation also includes authority for substitution and equivalency with provincial processes. These provisions will be applied if a province has the interest, the capacity and the process to fulfill the substantive requirements of the new act.
There are also new enforcement provisions and follow-up programs that would be mandatory after all environmental assessments.
With the renewal of our funding, I am confident that the agency will be ready and able to respond effectively to the direction set by the government.
Thank you. I would be pleased to answer your questions.
The Chair: Thank you, Ms. Feldman. The information that you have given us with respect to the budget is not reflected in the Main Estimates.
Colleagues will know that we are dealing with the Main Estimates at this stage, but it is helpful for us to know what might be coming and that your predictions and requests in the Main Estimates will be influenced by the budget, which came along afterwards, and we will see the effects of the budget and the impact on Main Estimates through supplementary estimates that will be coming before this committee as well.
With respect to the Budget Implementation Act and the provisions in the Budget Implementation Act No. 1, that portion dealing with the environmental assessments will be going initially to another committee within the Senate and then coming to us for clause-by-clause consideration at a later stage. I say that so that honourable honourables will make sure that their questions are directed to information that will help us with respect to doing our due diligence on these particular Main Estimates.
Senator Nancy Ruth: I want to ask about the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan. I note there is an increase of $7.6 million I think in that file.
I was concerned when looking at the report of the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development that the commissioner suggested that there is a priority ranking in the sites. The ones that are causing the most impact on public health will be dealt with first and so on. In the Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories, the arsenic will get cleaned up, and the low-level radioactive waste sites in Port Hope and so on. How will you have enough money to do those things and other stuff coming on?
Will there be money for those who have to look at disasters that will happen now? There is always a last question: Is there any way to get back at the corporations or the military, for instance, that leave all kinds of contaminated sites while they are training our troops, or can we get them to pay for it?
Ms. Lyon: Thank you for your question. It certainly is timely in the light of the CESD report that just came out the other day. I welcome the opportunity to clarify a couple of things.
First, as you correctly point out, the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan is indeed meant to use those monies for priority projects. That has led to the suggestion that there will not be sufficient money to deal with the range of contaminated sites. However, it is important to point out that departments do retain the responsibility for clean-up of sites over and above the monies that are outlined in the action plan.
For example, we have closed the books — that is, they have completed work — on about 9,000 sites. They have been resolved. Seventy per cent of those had been done with department's own money; i.e., not money from the action plan. There is a means, therefore, of achieving the totality.
Senator Nancy Ruth: Can you give us an example of a couple of those?
Ms. Lyon: I knew you would say that.
Senator Nancy Ruth: Does DND pay to clean up its sites?
Ms. Lyon: Yes, and we would likewise be responsible in those areas that we would have responsibility for, and so on. It is for the higher-priority locations where they can access the money in the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan.
Senator Nancy Ruth: What about risk management, for disasters that will come? The operating principle is that it would be a department. What happens if these are commercial sites; for instance, some mining enterprise created the mess?
Ms. Lyon: A lot of the sites that are identified in this plan predated the times when environmental assessments were done. Now, with the sorts of mechanisms that my colleague was just talking about, we do have enhanced measures to ensure that you identify the risks at the outset of the project; that you have measures in place to mitigate the risks; and, under the new legislation, there will be enforceable conditions imposed on that to ensure that people are respecting —
Senator Nancy Ruth: So it is part of the contractual building between the corporation and the relevant government departments?
Ms. Lyon: That is right.
Senator Nancy Ruth: In the initial phase.
I have a question to Parks Canada.
The Chair: This will be your final question for this round.
Senator Nancy Ruth: I had two, so I guess I will ask one.
Does Parks Canada have any money in the 13-mile trail that is being developed around Niagara Falls that is following Laura Secord's path?
Mr. Latourelle: Not that I am aware of.
Senator Nancy Ruth: Do you have any money to put into it?
Mr. Latourelle: The answer is short. No. I am kidding.
We do invest in a lot of the trail networks across Canada when they cross our lands.
Senator Nancy Ruth: Is this part of the Trans Canada Trail?
Mr. Latourelle: It is part of Trans Canada Trail but not Parks Canada lands. We contribute to the Trans Canada Trail on behalf of the federal government in the amount of $4.5 million. As part of that, they do trail work across Canada.
Senator Nancy Ruth: This is a PPP partnership?
Mr. Latourelle: Yes, with the provinces and usually with the local communities.
Senator Callbeck: I want to ask about the Sustainable Water Management Division. I do not see it referred to in here at all. I read an article not long ago entitled "Cuts to water programs, bad for business and the public." It talked about this division — the possibility that it would get downgraded or possibly cut. Does it still exist? If so, where would I find it in these figures?
Carol Najm, Assistant Deputy Minister, Finance Branch, Environment Canada: If you look at page 104 of the estimates, you will see the three strategic objectives outlined. The water resources are captured collectively in that one line item.
Senator Callbeck: Which line? Water resources?
Ms. Najm: Yes.
Senator Callbeck: This Sustainable Water Management Division would be in that. Does it exist? Can you tell me whether it has been cut?
Michael Keenan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, Environment Canada: In terms of the water management and water monitoring work in the department, we have done some reorganizing, so some division names have changed. It is possible that division has morphed into a different group in the Science and Technology Branch, for example. We would have to check.
One of the reasons we have made this change is that we are actually significantly expanding our work on water monitoring at Environmental Canada as a result of the oil sands monitoring agreement with the Province of Alberta, and we are currently expanding our capacity in that area.
I think you may have seen a division go away as part of an organizational change to increase our water monitoring capacity in the department.
Senator Callbeck: This article was talking about this division, because the division had signed an agreement for a program called WaterSense, which was successful in the United States. The article was saying that because this division may go, what will happen to this program? Are you aware of the program?
Ms. Lyon: Senator, we can certainly look into the issue. I think the WaterSense program that you are talking about was a program with respect to conservation measures for water use, long-standing. There had been some work done with the United States on this. We will have to clarify that. My understanding, however, is that with the evolution and the promotion, the work had essentially completed and the purpose had been attained. As I say, we will certainly clarify that for you.
Senator Callbeck: I will give you this article afterwards to follow through on that.
I know my time is limited here, so I want to ask about the Heritage Places Establishments. It is on page 110. That funding is going down about one third from the previous year. That will have a big effect on the sites in terms of Canadians visiting these places, and the sites that are there for their enjoyment. Take one in my own province, Province House, for example; I read in the press the hours that people can visit Province House will be cut back.
Do you know across Canada how many of these sites will be restricted, or whether any of them will be closed?
Mr. Latourelle: Thank you for the question. In terms of National Historic sites, we have 167 in Parks Canada that we are responsible for, including the interpretation program at Province House and the work we are doing with the province. We are investing $2 million on rehabilitation of the building and the interior.
We are not closing one single site; there are no sites being closed in national parks or National Historic sites. What we are doing, however, is reducing and putting our investment in periods of high use in those places; for example, in the summer these places will be fully operational and fully staffed. Often, for example, after mid-September, we see a decline in the visitation. That is when we will reduce our investment in some of those places across Canada.
Senator Callbeck: All of the 167 sites will be fully staffed?
Mr. Latourelle: For the summer they are staffed, except for about 30 National Historic sites that will be staffed by Parks Canada. However, some of the interpretation programs will be self-guided tours, using technology, for example, to communicate the importance of these places.
Senator Buth: Thank you, witnesses, for being here this evening.
I have one program question and then a couple of Main Estimates questions. I am interested in biodiversity and the protection of habitat that has national ecological importance. I understand that Environment Canada is responsible for the establishment of migratory bird sanctuaries and national wildlife areas. Can you tell me what progress you have made in establishing protected areas?
Ms. Lyon: Indeed, we have made some significant progress. I believe the number of protected areas in Canada has doubled since 1990, so there have been some important achievements.
I have some statistics that might be helpful to you. Since 2006, Environment Canada has taken actions to protect an additional 61,000 square kilometres — that is greater than the size of Nova Scotia — bringing our protected area network to 181,000 square kilometres and representing an increase of about 50 per cent.
In addition, there are other efforts that have been under way through my colleagues at Parks Canada, which they may wish to speak to.
Mr. Latourelle: In terms of new protected areas, there have been several. For example, Sable Island is now under the responsibility of Parks Canada. We have the Nahanni expansion, a 25,000-square-kilometre expansion that has occurred, For example, the Saoyu and Ehdacho National Historic Site is the first national historic site in the Northwest Territories. At 5,000 square kilometres, this is the first time internationally that a cultural landscape has been protected. In our case we have increased by about 50 per cent or are working on an initiative that will result in that 50 per cent increase.
Senator Buth: I have a couple of questions on page 105. In terms of your grants and contributions, looking at the contributions in support of biodiversity of wildlife habitat, there is an increase there of $1.7 million. In your Habitat Stewardship contribution program, there is a decline there of $4 million. Can you tell me who those contributions are with and why the changes in those?
Ms. Najm: I can speak to the changes. As a start, I am not sure I have the full detail of all the people who benefit from this. The $4 million reduction is with respect to a renewal of SARA money that has not yet been approved in time to be included in the Main Estimates, so that money will come through supplementary estimates.
With respect to the 1.6 increase in the biodiversity wildlife and habitat, you will see down below, where you see "Contribution to Wildlife Habitat Foundation," a reduction of $2.2 million. That was a regrouping of the program on biodiversity to put those two together. In effect, they net each other out; that is, the increase up top and the reduction below.
Senator Buth: I see that. Can you explain the renewal of SARA funding? What is that? I know what SARA is, Species at Risk.
Ms. Lyon: That is the funding, senator, to support work by Environment Canada for the Species at Risk Act by ourselves, by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and by Parks Canada. It is essentially A-base money to continue the program.
Senator Buth: It is listed under "contributions," though. I think contributions are contribution agreements. Is that not the case here?
Ms. Najm: Part of the renewal of SARA includes operating funds but also includes a component for grants and contributions to do community outreach.
Senator Buth: Those would be local community organizations, then?
Ms. Najm: I cannot speak to the details; I am sorry.
Senator Buth: Maybe you can provide us with some detail in terms of the SARA funding specifically.
Senator Eaton: Thank you all very much for coming. This could be a long, interesting conversation.
Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, you were saying that under the new act the regulations will establish a list. You then go on to name several points. Where does Canada stand in terms of the G8 countries in terms of our environmental assessment? How good or how bad are we? I am not asking you how good we are environmentally. I am saying how good are we from a regulation point of view in getting them passed, compared to our G8 competitors?
Ms. Feldman: It is a difficult question to answer because we all have different systems of environmental assessment. We at the agency believe that our standards are extremely high and that we carry out a rigorous environmental assessment.
The two countries with which we compare ourselves most often are the United States and Australia, because they have the systems that are most like ours, and particularly Australia, with their similar system of government. We are in regular contact with both of those jurisdictions and continually comparing, evaluating and learning from each other. The three of us consider that our systems are all of a very high and rigorous standard.
Senator Eaton: May I ask you a question? I am very interested in the North. I do not see any monies specifically, but I guess Environmental Canada does not divide monies. Do you divide it amongst regions? Have you done it regionally by parks? Do you have anything that you designate to do in the North?
Mr. Latourelle: In northern Canada, we have 11 national parks. As a country, I think we have done amazing work there. What we are working on currently, for example, there is Bathurst Island as a national park proposal; the east arm of Great Slave Lake is another area that we are working on currently for a proposal; and Lancaster Sound Marine Conservation Area. We have three or four new park or marine conservation initiatives. We also have an advanced monitoring program in terms of the ecological integrity of our northern parks. Again, as I mentioned earlier, we are working with the Canadian Space Agency. We distribute our budgets by geographic area or small groups of parks and sites with a field unit superintendent. If you are interested on getting information on what is the budget for the North, I can provide that.
Senator Eaton: I would very much and any information you can give me about polar bears would be appreciated.
The Chair: Normally when provide anything to the committee, we ask you to provide it to the clerk and then it will be circulated to everyone. That would be good.
Senator Ringuette: I do not expect that you will have the answers to these questions with you, but perhaps you could forward the answers to our clerk.
How many employees from your respective departments got notice letters of layoffs, by province and by classification? How many EX positions? How many DM positions? How many staffers in your department — not employees, but staffers that are not under the Public Service Employment Act, do you have, and under what classification? Last but not least, could you provide us with the management cost of your different programs?
I do not expect that you have that information at hand, unless in the last few weeks you have listened to our witnesses and know that I will raise that question.
Ms. Feldman: Thank you, senator. I think it will be easiest for me to answer your questions because I can tell you that we have not given out any layoff notices. There is a reason for that, and that is because the budget of the agency was small. We were therefore not part of the deficit reduction action plan. It is easy for me to answer. We have given no layoff notices to anyone.
Senator Ringuette: My question was also with regard to staffers. Do you have any staffers who are not public service employees under the act? What classification are they? Also, I asked you with respect to the management cost of your program.
Ms. Feldman: I can also tell you — because we have looked at the questions that you have been asking — that we have at the agency one person under a temporary help contract. As I said, we are small; we know these figures. We have 229 indeterminate employees, 19 term employees and 33 casual employees. We can get you the classifications of those employees.
Senator Ringuette: Yes, I would greatly appreciate that.
Ms. Feldman: We will provide it through the clerk.
Mr. Latourelle: We can provide you a quick summary and we can provide the detailed information.
In terms of executives, we have abolished nine executive positions. That is 11.5 per cent of our executive cadre of 78 executives at Parks Canada.
In terms of staffers, such as temporary office help, we have reduced our costs by roughly $600,000 since 2009, so about 33 per cent. We have only two that are more than one year that we are dealing with, and we are making the adjustments.
We have issued 638 surplus letters last week, and those are positions that are being abolished, and we have also issued 1,051 affected letters. The majority of those are because people's operating season or their employment period is being reduced. I have the summary here by province but not by classification.
Senator Ringuette: But you will provide that to the clerk?
Mr. Latourelle: Yes.
Senator Ringuette: Ms. Lyon, do you have information? Did you research my questions as well?
Ms. Lyon: With respect to Environment Canada, as I indicated in my opening remarks, we are anticipating a reduction in our work force of about 200 individuals. Our work force is about 6,800 individuals at the moment, so 200 is about 3 per cent.
In order to get to that 200, we need to go through what they call "selection for retention" processes. We had sent out roughly 342 letters to individuals, letting them know that they would be either affected or opting through these public service processes.
In terms of where they are located, we will have to follow up with specific information. Our staff, as you know, is regionally based; about 60 per cent of Environment Canada employees are outside of the National Capital Region. The reductions will be roughly in proportion to that.
You asked about executives. Twelve executives at Environment Canada received letters.
Senator Ringuette: You will provide us with the number of staffers that are not under the Public Service Employment Act and their classification, please.
Ms. Lyon: Yes, we will.
Senator Ringuette: I have time for one more question, so I will try to be selective here.
When I look at the Main Estimates for this year, Environment Canada is at $972 million, which is a real reduction of $129 million. I look at that and I look at the budget speech, and it says that you will be reduced by $13.3 million.
Can you explain to us this discrepancy in those numbers?
Ms. Lyon: I will start and then turn to my colleague.
Obviously, the numbers that you have do not account for the Budget 2012 numbers, nor do they account for the supplementary estimates, so they capture a point in time.
We are pleased to see in the budget that we did get renewed funding for our Species at Risk Act and for the cleanup of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Simcoe, which are important priorities for department.
Our estimate is that, at the end of the process, if one takes into account the reductions pursuant to the budget, the reduction on a year-over-year basis will be about 5 per cent. It will probably bring us to a level that we were at in 2006- 07. Our numbers did spike in the subsequent year because there was a number of programming initiatives that we received.
Senator Ringuette: Absolutely, and Budget 2005-06 had a major surplus and now we are facing a major deficit. Everyone has to bear the crunch of not-too-good fiscal management, bottom line, and I guess that Environment Canada will not escape the route that has been traced for all the other departments.
Thank you very much.
Senator Runciman: I think being the leading economy in the G8 is a pretty good record. In any event, Senator Buth raised the issue of protecting habitat and the protected areas network. I am interested in migratory bird sanctuaries, and I know that is referenced here.
How many designated migratory bird sanctuaries do we have across the country, and how does that process work in terms of designation?
Ms. Lyon: I do not know that we have the numbers of sanctuaries at our fingertips, but perhaps I can talk about the North American Water Fowl Management Plan.
Senator Runciman: No, thanks. I only have five minutes. Maybe you can get back to me on how the designation process works.
I am interested in this because of a situation in Eastern Ontario, outside of Kingston and Picton, dealing with Ostrander Point, which is an area where you do have a national wildlife area, fully designated. These are what are known as internationally designated important bird areas. They are in significant corridors for migratory birds.
I have been frustrated and concerned about this. I have seen the kill rate of birds on Wolfe Island with the wind generators. Now there is a thrust by the provincial government to go into these corridors even more intensively, with putting species at risk in jeopardy, as well. The silence on this has been deafening, especially from the environmental groups who publicly pretend to be concerned about that but when it is green energy, their mouths are zipped.
I am wondering whether there is a role here for the federal ministry that is involved in this issue to take a stand with respect to what is happening here. These are the areas that I am familiar with and I know what is happening there. However, there does not seem to be anyone outside of a small group of residents and a few others — Nature Canada, as an example — who have expressed public concern about what will occur here.
Does your department not have any role to play with respect to at least expressing concern?
Ms. Lyon: I guess it would depend on the activity in question. If you are referring to wind farms and environmental assessments done on wind farms, then the impact on bird loss would become a factor.
My understanding, and perhaps our colleague can clarify it, is that —
Senator Runciman: They have exempted them.
Ms. Lyon: — and is under provincial authorities.
Senator Runciman: I know that. They have exempted it from municipal involvement, environmental assessment — you name it. It does not matter. What bothers me is the silence of others with respect to what is happening here. You have indicated in your mandate this is a concern that you have right across this country. I am asking you why is there not a role here you can play in at least publicly expressing concern about what is happening and what the impacts will be?
Ms. Lyon: Again, if it is an environmental assessment that the province is leading in, we do coordinate and collaborate with provinces. We also respect their jurisdiction in those areas.
Senator Runciman: That is a non-answer. I suppose I am bumping up against frustration again. I just ask you to talk to other officials in the department and talk about collaboration and let the committee know exactly what kind of collaboration has occurred with respect to those two particular developments.
Ms. Lyon: Will do.
Senator Peterson: I thought I read somewhere that the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was to be curtailed, cancelled. Is that true?
Ms. Lyon: Yes.
Senator Peterson: You have $5.2 million at your disposal?
Ms. Lyon: We do not have it at our disposal.
Senator Peterson: Somebody will.
On the new streamlined assessment process, eliminating overlap and duplication and a number of other things, will that save you money?
Ms. Feldman: Our expectation at the outset is that the agency will continue to carry out the work that we have been doing, and I think that is why the budget has allocated us our sunsetting funding.
It will be a question of, as we work through discussions with provinces about the possibility of substitution and equivalency, whether the agency will be carrying out fewer environmental assessments, but it is too early to say and, therefore, too early to say whether there will be any money saved.
Senator Peterson: You are moving that way to achieve those savings to streamline the process and accelerate it.
Ms. Feldman: If provinces have the capacity and interest to carry out an environmental assessment that meets federal conditions, we would be willing to entertain substitution or equivalency.
Senator Peterson: On the $48.7 million that you have offset by transferring to Shared Services Canada, what makes up that $48.7 million?
Ms. Lyon: This is monies that Environment Canada contributed, like all other departments, in order to allow for the establishment of this new organization.
In our case, we transferred a number of positions. They had to create themselves as a new organization. Our contribution was 206 positions and people.
In terms of money, as you indicated, it was $48.7 million. That was our share in order to allow them to set up the coordinated email data centres and network or telecom services. Therefore, there are two things: one so they can undertake those activities on behalf of the Government of Canada, and secondly, in order to create themselves as a department. All other departments contributed a certain amount based on a percentage and on a base.
Senator Peterson: Are you buying desks and stuff for them? Is it physical equipment, or is it all people?
Ms. Lyon: It is people.
Senator Peterson: It is two hundred people, and that is what it is.
Ms. Lyon: Our share.
Senator McCoy: I am also part of the energy and environment committee. I think some of you will be there again, so I will save most of my questions.
To start on a positive note, congratulations for substantially increasing your contribution to Sustainable Development Technology Canada. It is a significant investment, and I congratulate you for that.
To restrict myself to one area of interest, where in your estimates does the monitoring program for the oil sands appear? Is it categorized?
Ms. Najm: If you look on page 105, it is identified as a contribution, and you see there that it was at $62.5 million in the Main Estimates for 2012-13.
Senator McCoy: Is this on page 105?
Ms. Najm: It is for the SDTC.
Senator McCoy: I saw that. I am talking about the monitoring program of the oil sands.
Ms. Najm: The oil sands monitoring is a new initiative, and it is, as Mr. Keenan suggested, a number of components in the department, so it is a bit dispersed, and you will not find it in one single line item in the Main Estimates. It is distributed across a number of program activities.
Senator McCoy: How much is it in total?
Ms. Najm: It is estimated to be overall $50 million.
Senator McCoy: Is that in one year?
Ms. Najm: Yes, and that is a joint contribution between ourselves and the Province of Alberta.
Senator McCoy: How much is the federal contribution?
Mr. Keenan: There are two things two point out. Regarding the oil sands monitoring program, the Environment Canada rate has in recent years increased its spending on environmental monitoring related to the oil sands from $3 million a year to $6 million a year. As a result of the agreement we reached with the Province of Alberta, the two of us together are deploying an oil sands monitoring program that will add an additional $50 million year that we are ramping up starting this year.
It is, however, a vote netted revenue item, so it is not departmental.
We are bringing the money in from industry, and between us and Alberta Environment, we are actually spending that money on cumulative effects monitoring.
We say that probably at least half of the $50 million will be spent by Environment Canada. I cannot give you the exact estimate because we are still working out the details with the government of Alberta in terms of exactly how we implement the program on the ground in a sustainable manner.
Senator McCoy: You are telling me that you will put a levy on the industry, on the owners of oil sands plants?
Mr. Keenan: It is not a levy per se. I would characterize it as a voluntary contribution on the part of the industry. They have indicated that they are willing to be a partner in this and to contribute the financial resources required to put in place a world class monitoring system. There is nothing that we are doing or the Alberta government is doing that compels them to do this.
We are, however, in the process of working out a funding agreement between the oil sands industry, the Province of Alberta, and Environment Canada that would run for a three-year period that would manage their voluntary financial contribution for this program.
Senator McCoy: You are saying it is $50 million year, none of which is coming out of your pocket.
Mr. Keenan: That is right.
Senator McCoy: To confirm that is my understanding, you will no longer be spending even the $6 million that you were spending before?
Mr. Keenan: In the recent past, the department was spending about $3 million on environmental monitoring related to the oil sands. Because it is a priority, we increased it to $6 million year, and will continue that $6 million of our money, and, in addition, there will be the $50 million that is provided by the industry.
Senator McCoy: In your opening remarks, you said that you had personnel out in the field. Again, you might wish to give this information to the clerk. Could you advise what personnel they are by classification and task?
Mr. Keenan: I can give you a fairly general answer right now.
Regarding the personnel in the field, we have launched the program this year, and we reached the agreement just in time to catch the spring runoff, so we have the scientific experts from our science and technology branch. They tend to be PCs, some of them would be PMs, some would be RESs, and some of our world class water scientists as well as the technical officials that support them are in the field starting the expanded monitoring program.
For example, we are ramping up. Over the next three years, we will add 22 new water monitoring sites, 11 new air monitoring sites and 37 new biodiversity monitoring sites.
Senator McCoy: I read about that kind of detail. I am curious about the personnel. Could you give me the details on that?
Could you give me also the detail on the cost of the monitoring equipment?
Finally, there is a promise to have the information made public, so could you talk about how you will do that — I presume it is website-based information — and how much of your resources are being devoted to that.
The Chair: Maybe you could provide an answer to that in writing.
Senator McCoy: Exactly.
The Chair: At the same time, if you can answer quickly that is fine, but Senator McCoy congratulated you on the increase in the grant to the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology at page 105. Is this an annual grant to that group? It went up from $25 million to $62.5 million. Can I look at last year and say that was all that went, or were there further funds that went in Supplementary Estimates?
Ms. Najm: The amount of increase in the 2012-13 Main Estimates is a result of a re-profile of $31 million from 2010- 11 to 2012-13, hence the increase in the amount.
The Chair: Did they not spend it last year?
Ms. Najm: In 2010-11.
The Chair: Therefore you brought it up to 2012-13.
The second point of clarification is in respect to Parks Canada. We had representatives from Justice the other day and they were telling us how great it was that they were able to have revenue brought back in and used as part of their annual budget.
Parks Canada collects money at the gates from people entering, but you do not show revenues received from other sources. Can I assume that is going into the Consolidated Revenue Fund?
Mr. Latourelle: No, all of the revenue generated by Parks Canada through entry fees, camping, type of services and rental all come back to Parks Canada. We generate about $111 million a year and that is reinvested and spent in Parks Canada.
The Chair: Why not show that? Maybe you do and I am not reading it correctly. I just see lines here under "Revenues and Other Reductions." That is on page 110.
Mr. Latourelle: On page 110, these are the amounts appropriated that you will see there and that is why. Usually we do get $110 million or so every year.
The Chair: May I suggest you might want to talk to Treasury Board about reflecting your revenues that you have coming in from other sources, like Justice and other departments do, so we can look at this and know you have other sources of revenue?
Mr. Latourelle: Will do.
The Chair: Thank you.
I have Senator Callbeck on my list for round two.
Senator Callbeck: My question relates to what is on page 107. It is in relation to the contributions for support of public participation in the environmental assessment review process. It says, "Participant Funding Program." It is being cut roughly 40 per cent, from $2.2 million to $1.4 million. Obviously that means we will have less public participation.
Ms. Feldman: That is because these estimates reflect the funding at a certain point in time. As I said at the outset, quite a lot of the funding, about 40 per cent, was through sunset funding, none of which shows up in these estimates.
Through the supplementary estimates we expect that we will be receiving additional funding to allow for the continuation of the Participant Funding Program.
Senator Callbeck: When can we expect that?
Ms. Feldman: I hope in Supplementary Estimates (A).
The Chair: I understand we will be receiving and the government will want this before we finish up this session at the end of June. Have you signed off on your sup As already? That is what I would have thought.
Thank you very much to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Parks Canada and Environment Canada. We appreciate your being here and helping us look to the point in time when you have prepared your Main Estimates. We will be following your Supplementary Estimates with interest.
I welcome the next panel to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance. This is the second session this evening, dealing with the Main Estimates for 2012-13.
This evening, we are continuing our study on the 2012-13 main estimates.
In our second session this evening we are pleased to welcome officials from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Mr. Nadir Patel is Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer. Robert Dufresne is Director General, Financial Resource Planning and Management Bureau. Andrew Stirling is Director General, Locally Engaged Staff Services.
Mr. Patel, I understand you may have introductory remarks and then we will proceed to an interesting discussion, I am sure.
Nadir Patel, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you for the opportunity to be here this evening. We are delighted to be here.
I will make a brief presentation, following which I will be pleased to answer your questions.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade — otherwise referred to from here on as DFAIT in some of my remarks — is responsible for the conduct of Canada's international affairs, including international trade and commerce.
The department advances Canada's interests internationally, shapes Canada's responses to international issues and events, manages bilateral and multilateral relationships and delivers programs worldwide. The department provides commercial, consular and passport services to Canadians at home and abroad and manages Canada's global network of missions. Providing more than 300 points of service to Canadians, including 160 missions in 105 countries abroad, this network supports DFAIT and the international work of 31 federal departments and agencies, Crown corporations and provincial governments.
The department's mandate is set out in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Act and can be summarized as follows: conduct all official diplomatic communications and negotiations between the Government of Canada and other countries and international organizations; coordinate Canada's economic relations and promote Canadian international trade and commerce; and manage Canada's diplomatic and consular missions and services abroad, including the administration of the Canadian Foreign Service.
The department advances Canada's priorities abroad by undertaking diplomacy and programming in support of international peace and security, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and provides whole-of-government coordination in response to international crises and natural disasters abroad.
DFAIT generates international opportunities for Canadian business by negotiating agreements to open and expand markets, facilitating two-way trade and investment, and encouraging innovation through international science and technology partnerships.
A word now about the Main Estimates.
The 2012-2013 main estimates are aligned with the breadth and scope of the department's mandate.
The main estimates are presented to include planned spending not only for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, but also for other crown corporations and agencies under the portfolio — for example, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the National Capital Commission.
Focusing on DFAIT itself, however, planned spending for the 2012-13 fiscal year for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as reflected in part 2 of the Main Estimates, is $2.6 billion. This is a net decrease of $32.9 million, or 1 per cent, from the previous fiscal year.
This decrease is due to a net or overall decrease of $40 million in operating expenditures, a net decrease of $12.1 million in capital expenditures, and a net decrease of $31.6 million in grants and contributions, offset by an increase of $50.8 million in funding in respect of pension, insurance, and social security programs for Locally Engaged Staff employed outside of Canada.
Notable changes within these decreases and increases include an increase of $35.5 million for the strengthening of security at missions abroad through risk-based initiatives to reinforce and professionalize mission security teams and strengthen physical infrastructures; a decrease of $55.2 million in the cost of assessed contributions, mainly due to currency fluctuations resulting from payment in the prescribed foreign currency of these contributions, which represents Canada's treaty obligations and legal commitments of international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization, for example; and finally, a decrease of $61.7 million for the transfer to Shared Services Canada to support the consolidation and transformation of the Government of Canada's information technology infrastructure.
Overall, the department's spending profile can be broken down as follows: 57 per cent for operating expenditures; 33 per cent for grants and contributions; 8 per cent for capital expenditures; and 2 per cent for locally employed staff pensions.
I will close with a word on financial management in the department. DFAIT is among the most complex departments in the Government of Canada, facing a wide array of challenges arising from uncertainties and volatility in the international environment in which it operates, such as natural disasters or security threats.
Moreover, given DFAIT's international operations, its annual expenditures are influenced by fluctuations in foreign currencies, varying rates of foreign inflation and changes in assessed contributions related to memberships in international organizations.
Given this backdrop of volatility and complexity, the department places a strong and robust and unwavering emphasis on prudent and careful financial management.
The department mandates at all levels the prudent use of public resources through effective and efficient budgeting, forecasting, spending, cost containment, reporting, control and oversight.
Through a strong financial management function, we provide strategic financial advice, analyses and support to senior management to implement specific initiatives and ensure the department's programs and priorities are achieved.
Looking ahead, ensuring financial resource sustainability and flexibility to ensure programs are delivered will remain a top priority within the department. DFAIT remains committed to sound financial management in order to ensure its priorities are met, its goals are fulfilled and program results are achieved.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for the opportunity to provide a statement. We look forward to your questions.
The Chair: Thank you very much. One point I wanted to clarify from your presentation: You have a decrease of $61.7 million for transfer to Shared Services Canada. Senator Peterson asked that question previously and we have seen it in a number of different departments. This is a one-time thing where the services for ICT, information and communications technology, is being transferred to a stand-alone agency that will provide that service, sort of taking some of your overhead and moving it over to one entity, for efficiency, as I understand it. That is a $61.7 million one- time reduction, but your decrease is net of $40 million, as I understand it, in operating expenditures. There must be some increases somewhere. It should be greater than $61.7 million. Am I interpreting this correctly?
Mr. Patel: The transfer of $61.7 million is to Shared Services Canada. There are other offsetting transfers in and out, including in a number of other smaller programs, there could be grants and contributions. What I have highlighted are a number of the bigger ones. Some of those include some operating money as well.
The Chair: You say this decrease is due to a net or overall decrease of $40 million in operating expenditures. That is net. That is everything. In that, it includes the amount for Shared Services Canada that has been moved out; is that correct?
Mr. Patel: That is correct, yes.
The Chair: I think it is important for honourable senators to understand that, that although you are showing a decrease, if you had not moved those shared services out, you would not be showing a decrease.
Mr. Patel: Right, and that attributes for a significant portion.
Senator Mercer: I have a series of questions with respect to Canadian embassies and residences of our ambassadors and High Commissioners around the world. Over the past few years there has been a movement to sell some of these. Some of these are beautiful properties and some of them have been owned by the Government of Canada for many years. They are in prime locations in many cities and they are the face of Canada. They are the place where we meet people who we are trying to entice to do business in Canada and where we perhaps entertain people who are doing business or with whom we want to do business in Canada, as well as world leaders for other diplomatic purposes.
In terms of the sale of some of these residences, the offset is that you can sell a residence if you want, but you have to replace it with another facility. The ambassador or High Commissioner still needs a place to live and a place to entertain, as well as the embassy needs facilities and office space. Of course, in many countries there is not just an embassy or high commission; there are consular offices around the country servicing the needs of immigration or trade.
Has there been a net savings to the department with these sales, and are there future sales that we can anticipate will put money to the bottom line of the department?
Mr. Patel: In terms of net savings, yes. What we would do is sell residences. When we do sell some of these residences, the money generated from the sales would be one-time generated revenue, capital revenue, but the operating and maintenance cost is what we would typically save. In some cases, if they are small properties, we may need less maintenance staff to maintain these properties. There are operational savings associated with the sale of some of these properties.
In addition to that, we look at continuously selling and reacquiring properties to factor in a number of elements, such as rust-out, as properties need to be upgraded or maintained. We look at security considerations in terms of high- risk areas where safety and security needs to be looked at because of evolving local conditions in the country. We have a real property program that goes through this on a regular basis, and at any given time we would have a number of projects in the pipeline.
In terms of any money generated from the sale of these properties, that money is reinvested to acquire either new properties or, in some cases, we will lease a property instead of purchasing, to ensure that our representation needs are met.
Even our representation needs could evolve over time. You may have different needs at a different period of time, given changes in the country in terms of various conditions. Part of this is to look at it on a regular basis, because that is one way of managing the money. Yes, when we do that, there may be operational savings and there likely will be.
In some cases, some of those savings can be generated immediately. Some of them will not be generated or in some cases there are no savings, but there is another reason to do that because of modernizing the space or ensuring that appropriate representation still takes place. That continues to drive what we are doing.
Senator Mercer: One of my concerns is that we are reducing our footprint and our visibility in many places and then, in the diplomatic world, decreasing our perceived level of importance or our perceived perception of the country in which that embassy or High Commission may be located. We know this is not ordinary business.
It is expensive to do business in many of these places and it is expensive to do business at this level, because of the types of facilities we have.
Is there a long-term plan, whether it be in this budget document or in future budget documents, that shows that at the end of a five-year, two-year, ten-year plan, here is where we want to go with our residence plan throughout the world? Most of us here have been fortunate enough to visit a few of them, and we know how nice they are, but also how important they are to conducting proper business diplomatically.
Mr. Patel: There is indeed a plan. We have a real property program that looks at the stage of properties, where there are needs and maintenance issues and some of the other issues that drive this, and that is done through a concerted plan where we have a number of projects in the pipeline and a number of different activities going on at concurrent times as well.
In addition to that, when we look at modernizing or right-sizing the spaces in places where there have been changes in conditions or various factors, we do have a series of criteria that we will look at — what is the size of the space we think would be appropriate for the needs of the mission, the size of the mission. We look at the type of activities that take place in that particular country, and we will map that against a plan. We certainly have criteria that we look at, and the criteria include representational needs. It also includes location in a particular city. For example, it will include security and other considerations among a number of other elements. There are some common threads throughout and there is tailoring as well to the particular country.
Senator L. Smith: Looking at the presentation, there is a high level of discussion on sound financial management. Could you give us some overview of why your system seems to be quite a complex system and a complex department? Can you give us some overview and maybe a little chat about how you manage currency, with the currency fluctuations? Do other departments come to you for guidance in terms of the types of financial systems you have that they could implement in their department, so you have some cross-pollination?
Mr. Patel: I commented briefly in my opening remarks about the complexity of the organization and some examples that define that. We are in over 100 countries, 300 points of service, so you see the footprint and the size of the footprint in itself.
I will talk about the way we manage currency fluctuations, but that in itself, we have the different currencies to manage. That is unique to our department. When I talk about the 31 partners, other government departments would include our friends at Citizenship and Immigration, National Defence, RCMP, et cetera. We manage the international platform and the funds to manage that international platform for their employees abroad as well. We work with a couple of dozen departments. We take their money; we are stewards of that money and then we invest that in the international platform, and that is everything from facilities to operational expenditures. We manage that money separately. There is a whole requirement to ensure that we are stewards of those funds in a responsible manner.
Senator L. Smith: Do you do hedging, too, in terms of protecting your money?
Mr. Patel: No. In terms of the currency fluctuations, we will benefit because of the strength of the Canadian dollar. Sometimes, if the Canadian dollar is weaker, we will not benefit. If we benefit, we return those funds to the Treasury Board. If we lose, we end up being funded by Treasury Board to offset those currency losses. It is revenue neutral for us in the context of currencies.
When we are managing these different elements, working with other partners, and we have a significant portion of our base or reference levels as grants and contributions, it brings in the need to ensure that we have robust mechanisms in place to manage our money. In addition to that, when we are implementing deficit reduction initiatives and other elements, we need to ensure that our mechanisms are such that we can accurately project where we are in the year, where we anticipate closing the fiscal year, so that we can be nimble and reallocate internally, where we can do so.
I also mentioned in my remarks the volatility of the international environment. We cannot predict instability in countries, the Arab Spring type of events, natural disasters abroad. We may have pressures on some of our consular services, emergency management, that we cannot anticipate. We need to ensure that our financial systems are robust enough for us to move in a nimble fashion. We place a lot of effort on this, and that leadership starts at the very top. In the CFO branch, we take a lot of time with our managers to ensure that we have good mechanisms in place to manage these surprises or potential surprises and are able to act in a nimble fashion.
Senator Buth: I am interested primarily in the trade agenda. We have a government that is very ambitious in terms of diplomacy and trade, rebuilding relationships and promoting economic interests. Can you describe some of the ways in which DFAIT enhances our network abroad and promotes Canadian political and economic interests?
Mr. Patel: The trade agenda for the department is a very significant element of the work we do. Our international commerce focus takes multiple forms. Market access is one of the big examples. We have a very ambitious trade agenda, a trade negotiations agenda, which includes free trade agreements, agreements such as the comprehensive economic agreement with the European Union, with multiple countries, looking at what we are doing with India, China, Japan and some of the ones we have already concluded.
It includes foreign investment protection agreements. It includes air transport agreements, where we negotiate around the world to open up markets for businesses and travellers. The market access dimension is a significant part of that. We have a branch that is dedicated to trade policy negotiation. We utilize our staff at missions abroad, where we have capacity. We have trade policy experts at some of our missions abroad to help facilitate some of that work.
In addition to that, we have an international commerce function that includes investment promotion. Our trade commissioners abroad will promote bilateral investment. We will be looking for opportunities to attract investment in Canada from foreign businesses, but we will also look for opportunities for Canadian companies to invest abroad because there is a benefit to Canada as well as companies that are investing abroad. That is two-way, and we do a lot in working with businesses abroad and companies.
Our trade commissioners abroad also promote bilateral trade, and we have a significant presence abroad. We also work collaboratively with our provincial partners. As an example, I recently came back from a posting in Shanghai, where we had a robust trade program. We had the Province of Quebec and the Province of Ontario co-located with us in the consulate, and then we had a presence on the ground from a number of other provinces, including Manitoba, and we worked closely with our provincial partners in promoting two-way trade for businesses as well as two-way investment. Those are two examples.
It continues to be a robust part of the work we do and it will continue to be.
Senator Buth: I am quite familiar with some of the trade issues because my background is in agriculture. I have been to China many times in terms of the agriculture issues.
In terms of China, where we are looking at increased diplomatic efforts and some of the trade issues that some of the agriculture products have faced, I am curious whether there are changes to that program. Do you see an increase in DFAIT's presence in China, as well as funding increases, et cetera?
Mr. Patel: In terms of what you have before you in the Main Estimates and looking forward, there will not be any decreases in funding to our trade programs in China. We are always looking at reallocating resources, where the demand might be. We may look and say we could look at additional resources from this country to this country, because there is a need to do that or a demand to do that.
Our presence in China has expanded to 10 local points of access on the mainland, including our trade offices. Our trade program there in terms of our trade commissioner presence is one of the largest that we have in any country around the world. It is significant. We are continuously looking at how to bolster these programs to capitalize on the activities.
In terms of agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is one of our partners. I mentioned the other government departments with whom we work closely. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has representatives in Shanghai and Beijing, with whom we work closely. They are housed in our trade commissioner program and our trade commissioners work closely with our agricultural experts.
Senator Ringuette: Since you have indicated that you are also able to talk about CCC, CIDA and EDC, I will ask for, along with your department, that you can supply the answers to the following questions if you do not have them at hand.
How many employees got notice letters of layoff — by province, by classification and by country? How many EX and how many DM? How many staffers are not under the Public Service Employment Act, what is their classification and where are they located? What are your program management costs?
I am sorry; I am continuing with other questions because I am assuming you do not have the answers to these questions at hand.
Mr. Patel: I can answer those questions, or perhaps some of them, from the perspective of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, but I cannot answer them from —
Senator Ringuette: Can you answer all of these for Foreign Affairs and International Trade?
Mr. Patel: I can try, based on the notes I have taken.
Senator Ringuette: I will settle for complete answers that you can send to the clerk. I think that would be most efficient for our time and for the purposes of accuracy.
You have indicated that you are very ambitious. However, I cannot help but notice that you are closing trade missions and consular offices abroad. Could you give us the details of where these Canadian presence offices will be closed?
Mr. Patel: I can say we have made a decision to close four of our consulates in the United States, as well as one of our trade offices in the United States. We have closed Anchorage, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham and our satellite office, which is a trade office in Princeton. Yes, we do have an ambitious trade agenda.
Senator Ringuette: Any other consular office?
Mr. Patel: Those are all trade offices. At this time, this is what we have decided to close. Any other decisions that may be forthcoming have not yet been decided or have not yet been announced. We also did close some of our regional offices across Canada, where we had trade commissioners working with Canadian business in different parts of Canada.
Senator Ringuette: Why is that and where are they closing?
Mr. Patel: The regional offices in Canada are closing in Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, St. John's, Charlottetown and Moncton. We will continue to serve each and every province through our existing offices, which will be maintained in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. We will still have a presence in those other provinces through these five regional offices where we have trade commissioners working through these offices.
In addition to that, we are moving people from a bricks-and-mortar Canada office in some of these cities to embed them in local business and trade associations in some of these cities. The fact that we close an office in some of these cities does not mean we will not have a trade commissioner in those offices. For example, you may have a business association or a trade association — and we call them embeds — so we will embed them in the organization.
For example, we have the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association in Toronto, and we have a trade commissioner physically located in that office. It saves us cost and it also allows that person to work closely with that industry or the businesses that are participating in that industry.
Senator Ringuette: With regard to Atlantic Canada, what will happen? You are talking about having an office in Montreal and an office in Halifax. It is half the size of the country with regard to geography.
Mr. Patel: We have maintained our office in Halifax and will continue to serve the Atlantic provinces through our office in Halifax. Right now, we are exploring opportunities to embed trade commissioners in other parts of Atlantic Canada. This work to negotiate these "embed" opportunities with different organizations or associations is under way.
Senator Ringuette: You indicate in your statement here a certain decrease in operating expenditures and so forth "to offset by an increase of $50.8 million in funding in respect of pension, insurance, and social security programs for locally engaged staff employed outside of Canada."
That is a considerable amount of money. Why all of a sudden do we have this bulk of money that is necessary to provide pension, insurance and social security for employees outside of Canada? I am assuming, and I hope, that a good portion of them are Canadians, but maybe not. Can you give us some more information about that specific item?
Mr. Patel: The $50.8 million in the increase to our reference levels is not new money; it is a transfer of money that was administered at the Treasury Board. This money for pension, social security programs, health insurance, et cetera, is for 5,700 locally engaged staff abroad.
Senator Ringuette: How many of them on assignment abroad are Canadian?
Mr. Patel: These are all locally hired.
Senator Ringuette: None of them are Canadians?
Mr. Patel: Some of them may be. They may be Canadians residing in another country as expats, and we could hire them locally, but they are not considered Canada-based staff in terms of our diplomatic or foreign service.
On the $50.8 million, Canadian-based staff have Canada Pension and a public service pension. Local staff do not because they are not covered under the Public Service Employment Act and they are hired locally, and they are subject to local laws and regulations and also local terms and conditions of employment when we hire them in a number of different jurisdictions.
Some countries require us to participate in a local pension plan. In others, it is part of the compensation in terms of market conditions or local market conditions for us to remain competitive. What happens is we have a pension plan for some of these countries, health insurance and other benefits like that. These programs were administered through Treasury Board for the past number of years. As of this year, that responsibility has transferred over to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as of January of this year.
The Chair: We are running out of time here.
Senator Ringuette: This is a very important amount of money.
The Chair: Everyone else has important items too. I will put you on round two.
Senator Ringuette: Yes, please.
Senator Eaton: It is nice to see you home. The last time I saw Mr. Patel was in Shanghai.
Can you tell us about the net decrease of $12 million in capital expenditures? Then I will tell you where I am going with that. What is that, mostly?
Mr. Patel: Net decrease in capital expenditures? It would be net because there would be some increases and some decreases.
One of the increases is around what we refer to as our critical infrastructure, so it is strengthening security at missions abroad where we have some capital funds related to that. It was a significant amount of money, and that was an increase.
That would be offset by a re-profiling of money from one fiscal year to another fiscal year related to one of our projects in Moscow, the development of a chancery. That was significant money. There are some increases and decreases and a net decrease. It is all capital and mostly related to real property abroad.
Senator Eaton: Picking up on what Senator Mercer was asking you, I have been in some wonderful Canadian embassies abroad, and I have been in some really badly kept embassies abroad, with not one piece of Canadian art on the wall. You would not know you were in Canada. You could be in a Holiday Inn somewhere. I know it is shallow, but it is our profile abroad. They do not have anything that says Canada about them. They hardly have a Canadian flag.
How about our artists? None of our artists are on the wall. There is nothing. In some major towns like Rome or even Shanghai where you were, Mr. Patel, is there a pocket of money to maintain our embassies, to make them look Canadian, or is it something that is not even thought about?
Mr. Patel: As part of our real property abroad program, we look at refurbishing properties and acquiring properties. We do refurbish over a periodic cycle.
Senator Eaton: It is a long cycle.
Mr. Patel: It is part of that, and it depends on the location. It depends on where we are relative to all those different projects in the pipeline. Part of that would be to ensure a Canadian presence of sorts, so whether it is artwork or just the fixtures or the interior design reflects Canada.
It is not always the case, because we do need to keep up with a number of projects in the pipeline, and that is sometimes a challenge. I think the important part of that is yes, it is part and parcel of what we do.
Senator Eaton: Do you have any liaison with Heritage Canada?
Mr. Patel: I cannot confirm if our real property folks interact with Heritage Canada. It is not something I can answer now, but I can confirm that and get back to you.
Senator Eaton: I am thinking of using some of the resources we have in Heritage Canada, such as art banks.
Mr. Patel: Building on that example, when we talk about these other government departments, sometimes we will work with Heritage Canada and some of our other partners on a specific basis. When we talk about our pavilion in Shanghai during Expo, Heritage had big role to play. We took some of that and expanded some of that design work in our trade offices that we developed in Shanghai. There could be targeted efforts like that. In terms of regular interaction, I will have to confirm that.
Senator Eaton: Thank you. I will disagree with you about the Shanghai office. It did not say Canada to me, but to each their own perspective.
Senator Peterson: Thank you for your presentation. At the bottom of page 132, we have Export Development Canada (Canada Account), payments to them to discharge duties, et cetera, $500,000. At the bottom of page 133, Export Development Canada (Canada Account), payments to Export Development Canada to discharge duties, et cetera. In 2011-12, we have $366 million, and in 2012-13 it looks like they have $146 million left over, or they won the lottery. What is that? Why would that be there? You have 500,000 over here plus over here?
Mr. Patel: Mr. Chair, this is not a question that I can answer at this time because EDC, Export Development Canada, has its own financial management. Along with a number of other organizations, the National Capital Commission, Canadian Commercial Corporation, their estimates are under our portfolio. They are also managed by their own independent chief financial officers and their finance shops.
We can undertake to get back on that precise question. I apologize. I cannot answer it on the spot right now.
The Chair: That would be appreciated.
Senator Peterson: On page 138, Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, 14.7 million. Are Canada Fund and Canada Account one and the same, or close to the same?
Mr. Patel: No. Canada Fund for Local Initiatives is a specific program. It is a program that is used by our missions abroad to promote various initiatives through funding that is available. The Canada Account is separate and apart from that. That relates to EDC.
Senator Peterson: The Canada Fund relates to you people, DFAIT?
Mr. Patel: Yes, to Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and we will use that funding for local initiatives at various missions abroad under the various embassies or consulates to promote the mandate of the department.
Senator Peterson: The Canada Account is controlled by whom?
Mr. Patel: Export Development Canada.
Senator Peterson: They determine where that money goes.
Mr. Patel: I am not sure of the specifics on that. I will get back to the committee on that.
Senator Peterson: One other thing, while you are talking to them: I presume that EDC still deals in political risk insurance and performance insurance.
Mr. Patel: That is my understanding, yes.
Senator Peterson: How much do you think they would have in force at this time? What is their exposure? What type of revenue do they receive on a yearly basis? I presume it may be in here, but I cannot find it.
Mr. Patel: It would not be in here, and I do not have the answers at this time, but that information is definitely available through EDC. We will undertake to come back. I know their programs are broad in scope and the revenues are significant, but I would not venture to guess at this time. I would be happy to come back with specifics on that.
Senator Runciman: I have a couple of questions about security issues. I am thinking of the Lebanon situation a few years ago. I guess there is a responsibility that falls upon DFAIT with respect to Canadian citizens being caught in a war zone to make your best efforts to get them out of danger.
You talked about the volatility of the world situation. How do you fund something like that? What line item would that fall under in terms of dealing with these unpredictable emergencies?
Mr. Patel: Our consular and emergency preparedness program has a baseline of funding to manage.
Senator Runciman: Is that in the estimates here?
Mr. Patel: It would not be specifically identified as a line item, but if you look at our general operating funds, there are salaries and operating money associated with that program. So there is a baseline or a reference level associated with that program.
As we have these unpredictable events, for the most part we would have sufficient flexibility in that program to manage them, but if not, on occasion we will need to look at other elements in the department where I see some flex and I can then provide additional flexibility there.
That is a good example. We need to have that flexibility within our management regime to be able to deal with some of these unpredictable elements that we cannot plan for.
Senator Runciman: You closed the Syrian embassy recently?
Mr. Patel: We did.
Senator Runciman: I am wondering about the rationale for that. I am old enough to remember the Iranian hostage crisis when the Canadian embassy stayed open and Ken Taylor became internationally famous.
What are the criteria with respect to completely closing down a mission in a situation like that?
Mr. Patel: To take the Syria example, we have not closed the mission; we have temporarily suspended its operations. There is a difference. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. One of the primary considerations, if not the foremost consideration, would be the safety and security of our employees. That would be the driver.
We left the Syrian operations ongoing for some time. We provided an opportunity for Canadians to leave the country and we offered services for as long as we could, but we decided to suspend operations where we felt it was necessary to do so to protect our employees.
If things change in terms of the security environment, we will revisit those operations.
Senator Runciman: In the estimates there is an item for $35.5 million for strengthening security of Canadian missions. Is that essentially focused in the Arab Spring countries, or is it more broadly dealt with?
Mr. Patel: It is more broadly dealt with. This really relates to improving physical infrastructure of our chanceries, embassies, consulates and staff quarters in places that we consider high-risk or where there are safety and security considerations, and these decisions are based on threat assessments.
It is beyond the Arab Spring-type countries. It could be other places in the world as well where we see high risk or threat, and the money is to improve physical infrastructure for the safety of our employees.
Senator Runciman: On page 136, the grants for anti-crime capacity building are grants given to other countries, I gather? Would Thailand be an example of this in terms of people smuggling? Is that the sort of thing that this deals with?
Mr. Patel: That is correct. On human smuggling, the Prime Minister announced support for the Thai police force, as an example.
Senator Runciman: Is that where the bulk of these monies is going?
Mr. Patel: No, that money is for the program. That could go to a number of different countries. I think the total was $12 million over two years, so there is about $5.9 million here in relation to that. That is for human smuggling initiatives under the anti-crime capacity building program.
Thailand would be one. There would be other countries in the Americas and Western Africa. The programs can be different. They could be for various types of police operations, combating crime.
Senator Runciman: These are countries that have difficulty meeting those challenges on their own, and I assume the same applies to the counterterrorism capacity.
Mr. Patel: That is correct. We look at countries where we can offer cooperation or support, and often we are not the only ones. There are other countries doing that as well.
Senator Runciman: What is happening in Libya with respect to establishing a mission? How is that turning out?
Mr. Patel: We have officially reopened our operations in Libya. Of course, our presence there continues to be watched closely from our perspective in the context of the security environment. It is not where it may have been a number of years ago, so we are mindful of the security environment, but we have resumed operations there.
Senator Runciman: Is it fully staffed up?
Mr. Patel: Yes, we may even have increased some presence there on a temporary basis. It is one of those where we suspended operations. We resumed operations, but we will watch those missions very carefully from a safety and security perspective first and foremost.
Senator Nancy Ruth: DFAIT has responsibility for Canada's Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. It is DFAIT's job to provide a framework for the cohesive whole-of-government approach in support of Canada and UN efforts to implement these UN resolutions. I cannot find the numbers in the book.
The other one that I am interested in for which I cannot find the numbers is the Prime Minister's very creative initiative on maternal and newborn child health. We heard there was to be $1.1 billion in new funding and $1.75 billion in ongoing spending from 2010 to 2015.
I do not know where that is. How are these funds allocated; for who, for what, over what time period, and where do I look?
Mr. Patel: On your second question, the maternal and child health care initiative, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada does not in fact deliver programming in this area. It is done through CIDA, so I cannot comment on that. However, I can tell you that it will not be reflected here because it is not under DFAIT directly.
Senator Nancy Ruth: I think I looked in CIDA, too, but I could not find it.
Mr. Patel: Coming back to the first question, women, peace and security; you will not see it here as a specific line item or see the program identified because it is mainstreamed in our programs within DFAIT as a whole. Through global peace and security, as an example, we will include women, peace and security initiatives under our broader programming, so you will not see it identified as a specific initiative.
Senator Nancy Ruth: It says global peace and security fund and sub programs. Is the fund, like some of these other things, things you give money to and they run the programs?
Mr. Patel: Yes.
Senator Nancy Ruth: Or is it actually part of DFAIT? It is $30 million.
Mr. Patel: DFAIT administers the Global Peace and Security Fund, and from that there would be a number of different elements, so women, peace and security could be a portion of that.
In terms of the Main Estimates here, there is no new funding for women, peace and security, which is why you do not see it identified here. That is not to say that there is not programming taking place that would not take place through some of our existing DFAIT programs.
Senator Nancy Ruth: It would be out of this $30 million?
Mr. Patel: It would likely be out of that $30 million.
Senator Callbeck: Thank you all for coming this evening.
One of the things your department is responsible for is passport service to Canadians. I live on Prince Edward Island; the only province in Canada that does not have a passport office, which I think is really unfair. We cannot even get an emergency passport in our province. We have to go out of our province to Halifax or Fredericton.
Let us say a young person is down in the States and is in a serious accident. They call home and their parents want to go down immediately to the hospital. They have to go to Halifax or Fredericton, and then they do not know how long it will take them to get their passport.
To me, it is a ridiculous situation. In an emergency situation, time is of the essence. They do not have the time to be going out of the province and going to Halifax and Fredericton.
First of all, I do not understand why we have not got a passport office, which we should. Second, I do not understand why arrangements cannot be made for Islanders to get an emergency passport in their own province. I would like you to comment on that.
Mr. Patel: I will say a couple of things and then offer a next step, if I may.
Through our Passport Canada office we are able to service over 95 per cent of Canadians within a 100-kilometre radius or point of service. Obviously, that is not going to be acceptable right across the board, but that is sort of a target that we have. Over 95 per cent of the population can access a point of service within 100 kilometres. By mail our service standards, from within Canada, are within 20 days.
In terms of emergency arrangements, I am not sure what arrangements Passport Canada has in place, if there are any arrangements for emergencies. I could speak to our Passport Canada CEO and provide a more fulsome answer on that, as I am sure it has come up in the past. Beyond that I cannot offer too much in the way of a specific comment related to that.
Senator Callbeck: I would really appreciate it if you would. As I say, it is a ridiculous situation that Islanders have to go out of their own province to get an emergency passport. If it is an emergency, you have to go right away. You cannot be going to another province to get a passport before you fly anywhere.
I would appreciate it if you would look into that. As I say, I do not understand for the life of me why it is so difficult to make arrangements in our province so that Islanders have access to that service.
On the budget, on page 143, it says that the —
The Chair: Of the Main Estimates?
Senator Callbeck: Yes. Not the budget but the estimates. On page 143 it says increase to the International Development Research Centre, increase in appropriations is due in part to $32 million, to implement the Development Innovation Fund. That fund was mentioned in the budget of 2008, and I do not think there has been any reference to it since. This is four years later.
My question is, why has it taken so long between the original commitment to the program until there was money put in the estimates?
Mr. Patel: I do not have an answer to that question at this time, primarily because the International Development Research Centre manages its own finances, even though their appropriations are under our portfolio. It is not included in the $2.6 billion under DFAIT's Main Estimates. Again, that is something that we will raise with the International Development Research Centre to provide an answer to the question.
Senator Callbeck: On page 146, if I look at this, it is apparent relabelling of the line items, as I see it, because you have capital stewardship and protection, that is in the Main Estimates for this year. However, last year, down below, you had real asset management which, to me, is the same thing.
This year you have capital experience, last year you had animating and promoting the capital which, to me, would be the same thing. This year you have capital planning, last year you called it planning, design and land use.
My question is why the relabelling?
Mr. Patel: This labelling, the labelling that you refer to, is for the National Capital Commission. I do not want to say the same thing so many times, but I will undertake to get back.
The Chair: We understand.
Mr. Patel: We work closely with the National Capital Commission, but they have their own finance director. I am not prepared to comment on theirs, because when I look at this it relates to program activity, which could be part of their corporate plan. I do not want to speculate, I would rather refer this to them for an appropriate reply.
Senator Callbeck: On page 136, down seven lines, the annual host country financial support to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity has gone from $76,000 last year to $1,114,000 this year.
I know there were some meetings, four meetings scheduled in Montreal around now, I believe, until June 1.
Is that the reason for the big increase?
Mr. Patel: This refers to the host country grant payment, which is an obligation that Canada undertook. This is the Convention on Biological Diversity, and we undertook an obligation when we were chosen to be the host country. The headquarters are in Montreal for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
At the time the right to host was contested strongly. We were chosen and, as part of the agreement, we agreed to contribute a certain amount above and beyond our regular, assessed contributions to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to the funding of the headquarters in Montreal for a period of a number of years. That is what that would refer to, the obligation that we undertook and the additional funding related to that.
Senator Callbeck: When is it happening in Montreal? Is that what is going on now, the meetings?
Mr. Patel: The actual headquarters for the Convention on Biological Diversity, over a period of time, is located in Montreal.
The Chair: Senator Callbeck, you are well over your time. Can I put you on round two?
Senator Callbeck: Sure.
The Chair: We are now on round two. Senator Callbeck, could you be very quick? I have Senator Ringuette and Senator Callbeck, very quickly.
Senator Callbeck: When was the last time Canada hosted meetings of this nature? Is it possible to get the cost figures for that time?
Mr. Patel: We can provide cost figures. I do not know the historical elements, so we can provide that based on if we have hosted. We will do that.
Senator Ringuette: I believe that there is an RCMP office within the complex of Foreign Affairs right here in Ottawa.
What was the purpose of that office?
Mr. Patel: I am not aware of an RCMP office within Foreign Affairs headquarters here in Ottawa.
Senator Ringuette: You have an RCMP coordinator within your office complex.
Mr. Patel: I cannot say that we have an office within — I know we do not have an office. We work closely with a number of our partners, so there is a possibility that we have RCMP and other departments seconded to the department, working in some of our programs that may be related to the mandate of the other departments or a joint mandate. I cannot say with certainty what that particular secondment or officer may be doing.
Again, I can explore that if you like and come back to the committee.
Senator Ringuette: Yes, please.
Mr. Patel: I can say that in terms of an office presence within our headquarters, there would not be one.
The Chair: Thank you. We would appreciate any information you can obtain for us.
On behalf of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, we would like to thank each of you for being here. You have given us some interesting information and you are taking back a lot of homework, but it will be helpful to us. On behalf of our committee we thank you very much for that.
(The committee adjourned.)