Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, Study of Procurement Practices at Shared Services Canada - Discussion on Documents Submitted to the Committee on March 31, 2021

Opening Statement by Paul Glover

Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates Committee

Release of the Gartner Report on Network Sourcing Decision Matrix Benchmark

April 28, 2021

Introduction

Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee, for your invitation to discuss the Gartner report you received.

I am pleased to be here today to address any questions the committee may have with respect to the report and the redactions that were done. I hope that my answers will be satisfactory.

Report

Chair, I want to state at the outset, that I have the utmost respect for this committee and its important function in our democracy.

I greatly support the work of the committee and I am committed to helping its members better understand how Shared Services Canada is working to modernize our networks in order to better serve Canadians.

I am here today to provide you with as much information as possible to aid you in this work. I am bound as the President of Shared Services Canada to steward our information in a manner that respects different priorities, including our democratic processes, the integrity of proprietary information and the Canadian economy, and national security. That said, know that I am fully committed to assisting the committee with your endeavour to understand the network space.

Chair, as President of Shared Services Canada, I support the Minister of Digital Government, to provide federal public servants with the tools and IT infrastructure they need to deliver the programs and services Canadians expect in the digital era – services that are delivered on secure and reliable networks.

When it was created, Shared Services Canada inherited many different independent and unstandardized departmental networks. Over the years, the department has taken an enterprise approach to modernization. This means we continue to consolidate, standardize and modernize networks across government.

It is essential that the Canadian government keep pace, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, it’s even more critical in a crisis.

Over the past year, we were able to respond quickly when urgent changes were needed and adopted digital solutions to unprecedented challenges and at lightning speed.

We were able to increase network capacity, provide widespread secure remote access and roll out collaboration tools, like MS Teams.

However, the complexity and pace of change in the digital environment means that we need to be prepared for significant and ongoing upgrades and technical innovations.

Emerging areas that the government needs to be ready for software-defined infrastructure, where critical IT functions within a network and data centres are fully automated and programmable.

We also need to ensure that we have the IT infrastructure that can take advantage of emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G capacity, and potential innovations that might transform federal service delivery such as multi-user super computers, and in time, quantum computing.

As we go forward, we are engaging with industry in advance of setting up the long-term contracting vehicles to implement new Enterprise Network Services. This will be a common set of services delivered to all partners, rather than customized services specific to a single partner.

To that end, SSC is developing a modern Enterprise Network and Security Strategy to increase network, cloud and mobile access and ensure agile service delivery to our partners.

The new model aligns our priorities to allow us to work smarter, and more efficiently and ensure reliability.

In developing this strategy, we must consult with third parties to ensure our approach is responsive, reflects trends and has sound governance.

In this context, SSC proactively engaged Gartner, an industry research and advisory firm.

We asked Gartner to review our Network and Security documentation, develop an approach for decision-making for future network equipment sourcing, and to look at specific case studies within SSC to provide insight and advice into decisions that we have made on sourcing equipment.

Gartner made a number of recommendations to ensure our documentation follows industry standard strategies, to help us standardize how we source our equipment through open and competitive procurements, and to provide us with review mechanisms for when we need to deviate from this approach.

These recommendations have provided SSC with potential approaches to help balance business, technical, security and procurement risks and create a Network Strategy that fosters accountability and transparency.

We subsequently updated our strategy paper and posted it Canada dot CA.

The “Network Modernization Way Forward,” paper solicits feedback from industry partners on this future state.

The Strategy will evolve as SSC works with industry as part of a collaborative procurement process.

To do our work, we must have good vendor relations.

We are dependent on them to effect our digital government transformation.

I take seriously disclosures of information that would affect this important relationship and possibly reduce the pool of willing vendors.

Transparency, trust and open dialogue with our industry partners is critical to this process.

I am mindful of the powers of the House of Commons to order the production of documents, and the role of members in holding the Government to account.

However, part of my job as a senior public servant is to reconcile the exercise of these privileges with others including, national security, Cabinet confidence and confidentiality of the business information.

In the report provided, a limited number of redactions were made to protect information deemed confidential and in keeping with practices of the public disclosures of such information, as per the letter that I sent, dated March 31, 2021, to the Clerk of Committee.

Making this information public would not only be making public Gartner’s intellectual property and commercially sensitive information, but could also be detrimental to the vendors included in this research and have impacts on the Canadian economy

We looked at the report and only took out parts that would be a security risk or could jeopardize industry partners.

The redacted information in the report includes the Gartner research related to vendors and its take on those vendors’ strengths and cautions. It also includes Gartner’s opinion of vendor and their capabilities relative to SSC requirements.

We take seriously the need for transparency along with the need to protect the proprietary information of companies that have entrusted us with it.

Conclusion

Thank you. We would be happy to take your questions.


Letter to the Clerk - Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates

P.O. Box 9808 STN T CSC

Ottawa, Ontario

K1G 4A8

March 31, 2021

Mr. Paul Cardegna

Clerk of the Committee

Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates

House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Cardegna:

Further to the Committee’s request dated March 19, 2021, please find attached the report entitled Network Sourcing Decision Matrix Benchmark—Final Report (Annex A), prepared by Gartner Canada [PDF, 11.7 MB], in both official languages. Please note, that while the Committee’s motion requests a final version of the aforementioned report dated January 25, 2021, the final version of the report is, in fact, dated February 4, 2021, as reflected in the attached.

Given the nature of some details in the report, minor redactions were deemed necessary in some cases to protect from disclosure information that would render Government of Canada data centres vulnerable, as well as the disclosure of information that could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of third parties. I am confident these redactions were necessary given obligations related to security and confidentiality. A complete list of redactions within the report has been included for the Committee’s reference (Annex B).

That said, I recognize the text of the motion and the privilege enjoyed by members of the House of Commons, and for this reason, should the Chair feel that it remains important to access an unredacted version, we would be open to discussing the circumstances under which the confidentiality of this sensitive information can be assured.

In the interest of supporting the Committee’s study, I am also including the departmental materials on which the Gartner report is based. SSC’s Network Modernization Way Forward (Annex C) and Network and Security Strategy (Annex D) will facilitate the Committee’s reading of the advice contained in the Gartner report. Additionally, I am including a targeted information package (Annex E) that speaks to SSC’s ongoing work to build the secure and reliable network infrastructure and services that are the backbone for delivery of Government of Canada programs and services to Canadians.

I trust this information will be helpful to you and I want to assure you that you have my commitment and the Department’s full cooperation as you undergo your study.

Sincerely,

Enclosures


Network Sourcing Decision Matrix – Redacted [PDF, 11.7 MB]


List of Redactions in the Gartner Report [PDF, 0.11 MB]


SSC Network Modernization Way Forward [PDF, 0.36 MB]


SSC Network Security Strategy [PDF, 1.50 MB]


Information for Parliamentarians [PDF, 5.65 MB]

Shared Services Canada

Network Modernization and Procurement

Network Modernization: Quick Facts

40+

The number of network infrastructures inherited by Shared Services Canada from government organizations upon its creation.

50

The number of aging network infrastructures.

4,000

The number of network sites in Canada and across the world that require Shared Services Canada’s attention.

300,000

The number of Secure Remote Access connections for public servants to work remotely and securely.

Network and Procurement: At a Glance

A Vision for the Future – The Strategy Moving Forward

Network security is more important than ever as Canadians access more programs and services online. Protecting the government’s IT infrastructure from vulnerabilities and responding to cyber security related attacks is critical to the safety and security of Canadians’ data and of services provided by the Government of Canada.

To effectively deliver services to Canadians, the federal government is investing resources to develop a dependable, fast, secure and reliable network to deliver programs and services to Canadian businesses and citizens.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatic shift in the federal government’s network landscape with the vast majority of public servants suddenly being forced to work from home. It is expected that public servants will continue to work from home or adopt a hybrid office/home work environment in the future. These factors, coupled with technical innovations such as software-defined infrastructure (SDI), where critical IT functions within a network and data centre are fully automated and programmable, and improved wireless technology, have caused SSC to reassess how it delivers and secures network services. A modernized approach, leveraging software-defined infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI), provides both improved manageability and performance to enable the Government of Canada’s “cloud-first” strategy. Now is the time to ensure our strategy is aligned with current best practices and is adaptable to future requirements for its network and security services.

To this end, SSC is engaged in a collaborative process to update the GC’s Enterprise Network and Security Strategy, to be transparent about our future directions and ensure that we achieve a future state that meets Government’s needs. Last month, we published the Network Modernization Way Forward to solicit feedback from our various partners and stakeholders on this future state. The draft GC Enterprise Network and Security Strategy will also be made available shortly for comment. SSC wants to hear from industry, as well as from partner departments and agencies and other stakeholders, to ensure that we develop an updated Strategy, and a strong and secure network in partnership. Transparency and open dialogue with industry and partners is essential to this process.


The delivery of Government of Canada Enterprise Network Services can be broken down into multiple sets of products and services, each with its own procurement and service delivery strategy.

Networking and Procurement – Mythbusters

Myth: Shared Services Canada (SSC) is determined to buy only Cisco infrastructure in the future

Fact: SSC is vendor agnostic and committed to openly competing procurement activities. Decisions about which technologies to acquire are determined by the specific requirements of each individual project. The Department uses directed buys for Cisco equipment (or equivalents) only when there is a technical requirement to do so.

SSC is currently designing the future state network solution, and establishing corresponding contracting vehicles to deliver new Enterprise Network Services. As we move forward with network modernization, SSC will move to standards-based generic technologies where possible, which offer compatibility and will continue to seek competitive solutions from industry leaders.

SSC’s Network and Security Strategy is aligned with current best practices and is adaptable to future requirements for its network and security services.

The key business drivers for the Network and Security Strategy include:

SSC regularly consults with industry to make transparent and validate its strategic direction and ensure it is acquiring and deploying the right technologies and getting the best pricing from vendors to deliver maximum value for Canadians. These consultations take numerous forms and include vendors, industry associations and third-party experts.

Myth: SSC awards sole source contracts to Cisco that could be openly competed.

Fact: Whenever possible, SSC uses competition to get the best value for Canadians. At times it is necessary to issue tenders for brand-name products. For example: when purchasing equipment for an existing network comprised of such products, technical requirements may dictate what products can be installed without compromising stability or security. When a brand name is indicated in the requirements, vendors have the option to bid equivalent products that meet the minimum requirements of the tender.

When established in 2011, Shared Services Canada inherited a large, complex network infrastructure. To maintain existing infrastructure, it is essential to acquire equipment that is compatible with what we already have. This ensures continued services to federal organizations who provide important services to Canadians. We are continuously working to maintain the Government of Canada network and legacy networks until such a time as they can be modernized.

As we move forward with network modernization, we will incorporate more standardized and generic technologies, where possible, that offer more compatibility. We will continue to seek competitive solutions from industry leaders.

SSC awarded a total of 153 Cisco related contracts last fiscal year valued at approximately $145 million. Contracts were issued to 25 different resellers of Cisco, 22 of which are SMEs. Some of the Cisco technology requirements have been procured via OEM specified procurements, but other requirements have been openly competed with the Cisco technology solution being the winning bid.

(SSC executed 2,855 procurement processes for the Government of Canada in fiscal year 2019–2020. Of these:

Myth: There has been plenty of time since SSC’s creation to hold competitive Requests for Proposals on networking gear. Much of SSC’s infrastructure has been refreshed several times since 2011.

Fact: While some elements of the Government of Canada’s infrastructure have been refreshed in the 10 years since SSC was created, this is not true for everything. The current digital landscape resides on a highly complex system of network infrastructure that SSC inherited from departments and agencies (referred to as SSC’s partners) when it was created 10 years ago. The operational lifecycle for many networking products can run to 20 or 30 years. This equipment is intended and expected to function as an organization’s network backbone for many years. SSC must maintain such equipment, as needed, until the government has maximized its return on investment and/or the equipment in question reaches end-of-life and needs to be replaced.

SSC is building a more secure, stable and agile environment for the Government of Canada’s digital operations, and continues to consolidate, standardize and modernize networks across the federal departments. The refresh of existing equipment will continue in tandem with the department's modernization plans for the foreseeable future.

Myth: The requirement that new equipment is “interoperable” with existing purchases is just an excuse to buy more Cisco products.

Fact: The Government of Canada’s current digital landscape resides on a highly complex system of network infrastructure throughout the country. This landscape includes approximately 50 networks spanning more than 4,000 sites in Canada and around the world.

There remains a significant backlog of aging network infrastructure that needs to be refreshed with products that ensure compatibility with existing systems. It is critical that products are interoperable with components of the existing infrastructure to maintain the stability and security of the network. Other benefits include a lower maintenance demand, a lower Total Cost of Ownership and increased organizational efficiency.

Interoperability can mean different things to different people in different circumstances and is of particular concern for healthcare, telecommunications, software, online search military, public safety and government stakeholders. For SSC, interoperability refers to the ability of different systems, devices, applications or products to connect and communicate in a coordinated way. Interoperable components provide seamless data access, data transmission and cross-organizational collaboration regardless of their developer or origin. This is usually enabled by the use of common engineering and software standards between manufacturers. For SSC, a critical requirement for the use of interoperable components is their ability to seamlessly fit into the Government of Canada’s existing IT infrastructure.

Interoperability increases complexity and costs. It is a balanced choice and there is a price. It is similar to replacing parts in a car. Using another manufacturer’s parts in a car is possible but could require customization—both with how the pieces interact with each other and are recognized by the car’s software. This could impact efficiency, increase overall costs, and possibly void the warranty. There are also aftermarket/generic parts designed to work with a specific make of car, but even then the fit may require additional work and cause complications. Imagine this same issue for a network infrastructure made of tens of thousands of components. Interoperability has benefits but adds exponentially more complexity and cost.

Myth: SSC should evenly disperse contracts awards among networking vendors.

Fact: SSC conducts transparent and fair procurement processes, as per the Government of Canada’s Contracting Policy. Whenever possible, SSC uses competition to get the best value for Canadians.

Key to our modernization efforts is the move toward open standards, which will open up competition to a multitude of networking vendors, increasing competition and reducing the Government of Canada’s reliance on any one vendor.

SSC Procurement by the Numbers

SSC Procurement by the numbers

Green Procurement

SSC supports the Greening Government Strategy, led by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

By purchasing IT products that meet sustainability certifications (Green Electronics Council) SSC is using its buying power to help reduce the environmental impacts of Government of Canada IT infrastructure. The industry-certified products purchased by SSC from 2014-2020 will consume less energy throughout their lifetime, resulting in:


Committee Members - Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates Committee (April 28, 2021)


Overview - Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates

Related Committee Activity – 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session

Anticipated Business

The House of Commons adopted a motion on January 25, 2021 to allow for the hybrid sittings of all committees until June 23, 2021.

Government Response to COVID-19

Meeting Summaries

February 22, 2021 – COVID-19 Supply Council

The COVID-19 Supply Council was created in May 2020 to provide the government with advice on the procurement of critical goods and services required as part of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery. It reported to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, who served as the Chair of the Council.

Questions from OGGO committee members focused on the number of meetings the Supply Council held, the role of its members, and the type of advice they provided. MPs also questioned the witnesses about why there were so few Supply Council meetings, whether their advice as members of the Supply Council was considered, and their opinions on specific procurement issues.

Both witnesses spoke favourably about their experience as part of the Supply Council. Mr. McHattie described the meetings as a collegial sharing of ideas, and said he felt that Minister Anand listened to the Council. Both shared that the meetings, although with a formal agenda and structure, were conducted with an informal feel and all members had the opportunity to present their ideas. Further, Ms. Bull said that having a voice at this table has increased the audience of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and networks have been established. She said aboriginal businesses have definitely suffered disproportionately, greater than non-Indigenous businesses, because many Indigenous entrepreneurs do not utilize traditional financial institutions and did not have access to some of the pandemic supports that were extended. Ms. Bull stressed that Indigenous businesses seem to be funneled only toward one department (Indigenous Services Canada) and there needs to be a government-wide approach with more inclusion across departments.

February 17, 2021 – Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner began by reiterating that the right to access cannot be ignored, even during an emergency. She outlined the ways in which departments and agencies should be working to help with this right to access to ensure accountability. The government has not met expectations, however, there are some encouraging signs such as institutions regaining ability to process ATI requests. The postponement of the ATIP online system and the delay in the ATIA review is disappointing. There were, and continue to be, steps that can be taken immediately that do not require legislative change. Mme Maynard outlined the measures in the  submission  she sent to the President of the Treasury Board.

The Information Commissioner was critical of the leadership and guidance provided by the Treasury Board and reiterated throughout the meeting that concrete action was not being taken. The Commissioner is concerned about the ability for the ATIP process to keep up and the lack of resources (both in human resources and IT technology). The Commissioner expressed concern with the way in which reporting is done by TBS, including monthly departmental statistics and a better understanding of the current situation with ATIP shops. The Commissioner believes that vaccine contracts could be disclosed with the protection of certain elements in them. She also reinforced that proactive disclosure would solve a lot of the strain on the ATIP system, using examples such as Australia.

The Committee adopted a motion moved by Mr. Kelly McCauley (CPC) to re-adopt the Committee’s 2017 Report (Strengthening the Protection of the Public Interest within the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act) and request a government response. The Committee will also request that the President of the Treasury Board appear for a progress update on the recommendations.

February 1, 2021 - Canadian COVID-19 Accountability Group

The witnesses provided their observations of the handling of transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic by all levels of government and commented on the way whistleblowers are being treated. Mr. Holman stressed that the precedent of decision making in secret is high risk, especially during an emergency when Canadians want to be kept informed. They were critical of the observed consequences for whistleblowers, especially during the pandemic.

The witnesses recommended that there be an Ombudsman for whistle blowing, that there will also be an awareness campaign to remind Canadians of rights, and that there are changes to the existing whistleblowing laws for both the public and private sectors. The witnesses all commented on the issue of culture and secrecy with an emphasis on the public sector and that public servants need a safe space for whistleblowing and the stigma of whistleblowing needs to be removed. All witnesses agreed that the government needs to improve transparency efforts.

The witnesses also put an emphasis that all government contracts should be accessible to the Canadian public. The witnesses also encouraged that the Whistleblowing laws and ATIP laws in Canada have consequences for organizations and individuals who do not follow them.

Following testimony from the witnesses that the Committee published a report in 2017 with very effective recommendations that were not implemented by the government, Mr. Matthew Green (NDP) suggested that the Committee re-adopt the report from 2017 (Strengthening the Protection of the Public Interest within the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act) and request a government response. A motion has not yet been moved to officially re-adopt the report or to begin a new study.

January 27, 2021 – Parliamentary Budget Officer

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) gave brief opening remarks on the progress of the tablings and projections his office has released, including the projections and analysis on the items outlined in the Federal Economic Statement 2020. The PBO is expecting to deliver the new shipbuilding cost analysis to the Committee on time (by the end of the month).

The meeting continued the discussion from the December 10, 2020 meeting with the PBO about the lack of transparency from the government on government spending. The PBO was adamant that the method being used before last summer’s prorogation was extremely helpful to the continued work of the PBO and ability to project information. When prompted by the LPC Members, the PBO stated that the measures announced and underway with the projected and actual expenditures would be helpful. The PBO also expressed concern about the lack of financial anchor or budget and expressed the opinion that there was not an apparent reason for not having either. Members on all sides expressed continued concern about departments ability to respond to the PBO in a timely fashion to allow for the continuation of costing and projection reports.

Interest in TBS/MDGO Portfolio

Conservative

Liberal

Bloc Quebecois

New Democratic Party

Other Relevant Parliamentary Activity:

Briefing on the Parliamentary Budget Officer's reports

Meeting Summaries

December 2, 2020 - Parliamentary Budget Officer

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) gave brief opening remarks on the change in timing in the Supply cycle and raised concerns about the authorities approved in legislation for COVID-19 relief, making it difficult to track the government’s spending.

The Committee was concerned about the PBO’s inability to get the information needed to properly track government spending and the inconsistencies in processes in the different departments to be able to provide information in response to his requests quickly. The PBO stated that the reports proactively provided to the Finance committee (FINA) were helpful for tracking the pandemic spending to date, but this request died with prorogation and the government has not continued this practice. He also stated that accountability has been lost in terms of expenditures in real time. The PBO commended the efforts by TBS of collecting as much information as possible on GC Infobase but was clear that not all the information was available on the website. CPC Members continued to express concern over the number of public servants still using leave code 699 for work limitations when the government has been clear that all public servants should have remote access. The PBO explained that the leave is still being used because some work is required to be physically in the workplace but that this category was very broad, and he could not list all the examples. He also commented on the low morale he has observed in the public service, particularly in the areas that are responding directly to the pandemic. When asked for his opinion, the PBO offered observations on the fact that it was unusual for a large program like the CSSG not to be approved through a Treasury Board submission.

Interest in TBS/MDGO Portfolio

Conservative

Liberal

Bloc Quebecois

New Democratic Party

Other Relevant Parliamentary Activity:

Nuctech Security Equipment Contract

December 9, 2020 – Nuctech Security Equipment Contract

Testimony and opening remarks repeated the theme that the conduct in awarding government contracts needs to be changed. The witnesses all agreed that the Canadian government should create ways to level the playing field for small Canadian businesses in government procurement, especially in the technology field. Canadian companies have the same capabilities as the bigger international companies but feel looked over. All parties asked the witnesses about ways to incorporate national security clauses into contracts with the federal government and how the federal government can better protect itself against cyber security threats.

December 7, 2020 – Nuctech Security Equipment Contract

The committee held its second meeting on the Nuctech contract. The witnesses discussed how Canada should engage with China when it comes to conducting business with them, including procurement, particularly with respect to state-owned enterprises. Some witnesses argued that Canada needs a more in-depth policy when it comes to the procurement and use of technology, and that this will require an entire government effort. Other witnesses argued that Canada’s engagement needs to be more nuanced, and that Canada’s agnostic approach to procurement should not be applied to state-owned enterprises.

Members focused their questions on what the national security threat is to Canada doing business with a company like Nuctech; what policies need to be implemented to better protect Canada, including whether or not certain countries should be excluded from competing for certain procurement contracts; whether or not Canada needs to consider bans on any type of Chinese product or investment; and the decision making process with respect to China.

November 18, 2020 – GAC, CBSA, PSPC and CSE

The committee questioned whether the government took the necessary steps to ensure that Nuctech was not a security risk, and how the government could do business with a company that is directly related to the Chinese Communist Party without going ahead with an in-depth security assessment. PSPC and GAC stated that during the procurement process no security risks were identified for Nuctech. PSPC said that Nuctech was compliant with all of the requirements of the standing offer. Witnesses were also asked about Canada’s obligations related to the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).

Supplementary Estimates (B) 2020-21

Meeting Summaries

November 30, 2020 – President of the Treasury Board

Members were mostly cordial with witnesses but expressed frustration at the answers provided in response to questions related to transparency. Questions focused on the responsibility of the requirements under the Official Languages Act for any new implementation of programs, as well as a request for clarity on the process. Members were also concerned with the lack of clarity in terms of the amount of funds allocated toward COVID-19 measures, as well as any future spending into these measures. The President also spoke of the Greening Government Strategy that was released earlier this week and the progress of Canada’s Centre for Regulatory Innovation.

Interest in TBS/MDGO Portfolio

Conservative

Liberal

Bloc Quebecois

New Democratic Party

Other Relevant Parliamentary Activity (QP, OPQs, Debate, Tablings):

Main Estimates 2020-21

Meeting Summaries

November 25, 2020 - Minister of Digital Government

The Members were primarily concerned with network security and the IT issues that the Government of Canada faces. The CPC Members were seized with the issue of quantum computing and how Canada is working towards preventing an attack by this system. The CPC and NDP Members also wanted more information and updates on the ATI progress that the Government has made after the initial problems in the Spring. The Minister of Digital Government and Officials highlighted that ATI requests and transparency remain a priority for the government. Shared Services Canada and TBS officials spoke of the efforts being made by the Government to modernize and maintain the IT systems, while ensuring security is a priority.

The Committee carried all votes referred to the Committee on the Main Estimates 2020-21 on division.

November 4, 2020 - President of the Treasury Board

Members were mostly cordial with the witnesses but were sometimes impatient with lengthier responses. The questions focused on the themes of transparency and accountability by the Treasury Board in spending and procurement policies. The comment in the most recent PBO Report on the lack of transparency in Supplementary Estimates (B) was brought to the attention of the witnesses by several Members. Members were also concerned about the mental health of public servants throughout the pandemic and the use of leave code 699, as well as the future of working from home (such as the purchase of home office furniture and the divesting of buildings). Officials from the Department of Finance were also asked about plans for the tabling of a Budget, which does not yet have a determined date.

Interest in TBS/MDGO Portfolio

Conservative

Liberal

Bloc Quebecois

New Democratic Party

Other Relevant Parliamentary Activity (QP, OPQs, Debate, Tablings):

Biographies

Robert Kitchen

Chair,
Conservative Member
(Souris—Moose Mountain, ON)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Souris— Moose Mountain in 2015.
  • Educated as a chiropractor and served on several provincial and federal committees prior to entering politics in 2015.
  • Served as a Member on the Health Committee in the 43­1 Parliament and as the Vice-Chair on the Veterans Affairs Committee in the 42nd
  • Has previously subbed for Conservative Members on the OGGO Committee in past Parliaments

Francis Drouin

1st Vice-Chair,
Liberal Member
(Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Glengarry— Prescott—Russell in 2015.
  • A member of the Standing Committee on Government
  • Operations and Estimates and the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. Also a previous member of both those Committees in the 42nd Parliament.
  • Prior to his election, Mr. Drouin worked as a special assistant in the Office of the Ontario Premier.

Julie Vignola

2nd Vice-Chair,
Bloc Québécois Member
(Beauport—Limoilou, QC)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Beauport— Limoilou in 2019.
  • BQ Critic for Public Services and Procurement and
    government operations.
  • Former high school teacher and vice-principal.
  • Interested in and involved with various community well­being organizations: ex: Lions Club, Canada World Youth
  • Advocate for Quebec’s independence.

Steven MacKinnon

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement,
Liberal Member
(Gatineau, QC)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Gatineau in 2015.
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
  • Previously a non-voting Member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
  • Previously a Member of the Standing Committee on Finance.
  • Prior to his election, Mr. MacKinnon was a senior vice president at a global consultancy firm.
  • MacKinnon served as an advisor to former Prime Minister Paul Martin and former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna.

Rachael Harder

Official Opposition Critic for Digital Government,
Conservative Member
(Lethbridge, AB)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Lethbridge in 2015.
  • Official Opposition Critic for Digital Government
  • Formerly served as the Shadow minister for Status of Women and the Shadow Minister for youth and Persons with Disabilities
  • Previously served as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) in the 43-1 Parliament
  • Serves as a Member on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources (RNNR)

Pierre Paul-Hus

Official Opposition Critic for Public Services and Procurement,
Conservative Member
(Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles in 2015.
  • Official Opposition Critic for Public Services and Procurement
  • Role as the lead editor for the PRESTIGE Media Group giving him experience with business, political and cultural sectors in Quebec City.
  • Previously served as the Official Opposition Critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
  • Served as Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) in the 43-1 and the 42nd Parliament.
  • Also a current Member of the Canada-China Relations Committee (CACN)

Kelly McCauley

Chairperson of the EI Board of Referres for Edmonton and Northern Alberta,
Conservative Member
(Edmonton West, AB)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Edmonton West in the 2015.
  • Previously served on the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
  • Served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Northlads, the Board of Alberta Aviation Museum.
  • Chairperson of the EI Board of Referres for Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
  • Hospitality professional (managing hotels and convention centres).

Matthew Green

NDP Critic for Treasury Board, National Revenue, Public Services and Procurement, and Deputy Critic for Ethics,
New Democratic Party Member
(Hamilton Centre, ON)

  • First elected in the 2019 federal election in the riding of Hamilton Centre (formerly held by NDP MP David Christopherson).
  • NDP Critic for Treasury Board, National Revenue, Public Services and Procurement, and Deputy Critic for Ethics.
  • Former Councillor for the City of Hamilton (2014 to 2018).
  • Member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PACP).
  • Member of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association (CAAF) and the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas (CPAM).

Majid Jowhari

Member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology,
Liberal Member
(Richmond Hill, ON)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Richmond Hill in the 2015.
  • Previously a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
  • A member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology
  • Prior to his election, Jowhari was a licensed Professional Engineer from 1995-1999 and founded his own boutique consulting firm to provide advice to chief financial officers.
  • In 2018, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH)      named Majid Jowhari as a Parliamentary Mental Health Champion.

Irek Kusmierczyk

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion,
Liberal Member
(Windsor—Tecumseh, ON)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Windsor— Tecumseh in the 2019.
  • A member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations.
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
  • Prior to his election, Mr. Kusmierczyk was a city councillor for the Windsor City Council.

Patrick Weiler

Member of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources,
Liberal Member
(West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC)

  • Elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country in 2019.
  • Member of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
  • Environmental and natural resource management lawyer.
  • Represented First Nations, municipalities, small businesses and non-profits on environmental and corporate legal matters within this riding.
  • He is a champion of the Liberal government’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

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