Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Issue 1 - Evidence - December 9, 2015
OTTAWA, Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance met this day at 2:30 p.m.
to examine the expenditures set out in Supplementary Estimates (B) for the
fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.
Senator Joseph A. Day (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: I call this meeting to order.
This afternoon we will resume our examination of Supplementary Estimates (B)
for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.
This Standing Senate Committee on National Finance considered the Main
Estimates earlier this year and then the supplementary estimates that followed.
Members have reconvened this week as a committee in order to provide the
Senate's input and the Senate's understanding with respect to Supplementary
We were very pleased to have the Treasury Board here this morning, but this
afternoon we have with us representatives of the Parliamentary Protective
Service: Chief Superintendent Michael Duheme, Director; Sloane Mask, Deputy
Chief Financial Officer; and Jean Forgues, Administrative & Personnel Officer.
Thank you very much for being here. Chief Superintendent, will you be the
spokesperson? If you have a few introductory remarks, we typically will go from
that into a question and answer period.
Chief Superintendent Michael Duheme, Director, Parliamentary Protective
Service: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the opportunity to spend
some time with you this afternoon.
I recognize that for many of you our paths have yet to cross. I'm a new face
for you, so let me introduce myself: Mike Duheme. I was appointed the new
Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service following the change in the
Parliament of Canada Act. As you mentioned, sir, with me is Sloane Mask. We
recruited Sloane from the Senate side to come and look after our corporate
finance. Jean Forgues looks after the admin personnel office.
We're here today to speak about the Parliamentary Protective Service
Supplementary Estimates (B). This obviously is the very first estimate in the
history of the newly created PPS. It was created following the Royal Assent of
In the MOU, if honourable senators have had a chance to read it, there is a
note signed by the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons,
the Commissioner of the RCMP, as well as the Minister of Public Safety, stating
that "If needed, the Director will seek additional funding in the year of the
implementation through the Estimates process," and that is why we're here today.
Specifically, the $3.1 million that was submitted will be used to fund items in
support of security enhancement initiatives that were previously approved by the
Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
Upon Royal Assent on June 23, 2015, the mandate for security throughout the
parliamentary precinct and the grounds of Parliament Hill, including the
obligation to obtain the necessary funding to support these initiatives, was
transferred to the PPS.
Additionally, while the legislation provided for the transfer of the amounts
appropriated by Parliament to defray the expenditures of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police related to its guarding and protecting the grounds of Parliament
Hill as well as the former Senate and House of Commons Protective Services, no
provisions were made for administrative and corporate resources. As such, this
funding will also be used to support administration for the transition period,
established to manage the creation of the new parliamentary institution as well
as various aspects of the transition to a unified force, including legal, human
resource and financial management issues.
These requirements were not anticipated at the time the 2015-16 Main
Estimates were prepared in December 2014.
I am now available to answer your questions.
The Chair: Thank you for your comments. Could you explain to us why
you are asking for $3.1 million?
Let's define the parliamentary precinct for the record. The protective
service you are now heading is for the parliamentary precinct. Could you tell us
what geographic area and what buildings are included with that?
Mr. Duheme: Everything that covers Parliament Hill, as well as the 34
buildings identified within the precinct, which is signed off on by the Speaker
of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the Senate. PPS is involved at
different levels for different precincts. The number of bodies required varies
from one area to another, depending on the type of work being done there. The 34
buildings are spread out within the Ottawa region.
The Chair: So they're not necessarily physically connected to one
Mr. Duheme: No, not necessarily.
The Chair: Or in the geographic area that we normally think of as
being Parliament Hill.
Mr. Duheme: No.
The Chair: Do you keep people on site at other areas?
Mr. Duheme: There are some on site and some where just the access
control into the building is contracted out. It depends on the offices that are
The Chair: You had some notes that you were following. For the
purposes of preparing a report, I wonder if we could have a copy.
Mr. Duheme: As soon as we're done, I'll provide you a copy.
The Chair: I do very much appreciate you making yourself available on
short notice. We're all working under short notice. Normally we would have had
an opportunity to review your notes beforehand, but in this instance we
Senator Mockler: Could you explain to us in detail where the $3.1
million for security services will be allocated?
Mr. Duheme: Yes, indeed. To break down the total amount, the first one
relates to — I am going to read it to you.
"Security enhancement initiative" and increased posture on Parliament Hill.
Following the events of October 22, what was formally the Senate Protective
The Senate security service had undertaken a review. It made certain
observations and recommendations, including that of enhancing its security
posture. In addition, regarding the arming of officers, there was to be
mandatory training, and in order to maintain that going forward, we had to
increase resources. The initial proposal was for 12, and the service confirmed
that. Afterwards, the proposal was submitted to the Board of Internal Economy in
December 2014, and it approved an envelope of $700,000.
Senator Mockler: And what about the other amounts?
Mr. Duheme: The amount allocated to the Financial Increase rubric
covers salary increases for the period from October 2014 to September 2015, that
is to say a salary increase of 1.5 per cent.
The other amount was for a salary bonus for the armed officers, which is
related to arming the Senate officers. The $300,000 amount also relates to the
bonus. That covers all of the activities that took place before the creation of
the Senate Parliamentary Protective Service, which it did not have time to
include in the main estimates in order to obtain the necessary funding. That is
why we have included it in our submission.
Senator Mockler: I want to congratulate you, sir, on the security
services, both on the House of Commons side and on the Senate side, in light of
the events of October 2014.
Will our Parliamentary Protection Service officers wear the same uniform, or
will they have a different uniform?
Mr. Duheme: Our unit will always have two uniforms, because the RCMP
officers must keep theirs, and they must follow the RCMP code of practice.
However, operationally, in connection with the training to be provided,
everything is being done jointly and in a standardized manner so that
ultimately, aside from the two different uniforms, the officers will be trained
in the same way, they will respond in the same way, and they will understand how
the other group works. The objective is to offer standardized training to
To reply to your question, our plan was to have common uniforms by December
3. Unfortunately, we were unable to respect that timeframe. The supplier had a
few problems. We are now targeting January 26 for the distribution of new
After the holidays, in January, everyone should have the same uniform. The
uniform will be a dark navy blue with a new shoulder patch unique to the
Parliamentary Protective Service. It will be a new outfit. I am anxious for that
day to come, because it is the first step toward greater integration of the
Senator Mockler: Is the RCMP code of practice different from the one
that existed previously on Parliament Hill? Has there been a fusion of the codes
Mr. Duheme: Not yet. The members of the RCMP are strictly subject to
their code of practice. It applies to the members of the RCMP. We cannot apply
that code to those who are not RCMP officers.
To reply to your question about the codes, working groups are as we speak
examining the possibility of integrating the various policies that exist among
the different security services of the House of Commons and the Senate, for the
purpose of drawing up a policy unique to the Parliamentary Protective Service.
The former House of Commons security and the former Senate security will
integrate these policies together so that we have a unified PPS approach.
In the very beginning, when the Parliamentary Protective Service was created,
the agreement was to respect the commitments and policies already in place for
each of the entities concerned until the new service created its own policy.
Senator Mockler: Do you think that the sum of $3.1 million you are
requesting is sufficient? How will you ensure better security on Parliament
Mr. Duheme: Most of the money being requested will not change the
security we provide. $1.1 million of the $3.1 million actually dates from the
period before the creation of the Parliamentary Protective Service. The rest is
to create the structure that will allow us to manage daily business and plan for
the future. We have given ourselves a two-year timeframe to draw up a real
picture of the financial and human resources needed for the entire Parliamentary
We have not yet reached the point where we can begin to analyze each
position. Before October 22, the positions were conceived for unarmed officers.
Now that the officers are being armed, the positions will probably change. We
have not begun that study yet. We began a first study of the entry point where
vehicles are searched. At this time, in that place, there are six or seven RCMP
officers — assigned to the Parliamentary Protective Service, of course — and two
agents from the Parliamentary Protective Service who were formerly with the
House of Commons and Senate security service, who are giving us a hand. That
ratio could easily be reversed in order to use the resources elsewhere.
Now that the executive structure has been drawn up, the other structure, that
of the managers and officers, has been established. What remains is to submit it
to the Speaker to obtain his approval. We are now beginning to look at each of
the sectors and locations to see whether things are effective, efficient and
For instance, when you go in through the Senate entrance, you will see that
there are now two security officers outside. If there is an altercation, it is
preferable to have two officers. We saw that when there was an incident
involving a person carrying a knife. We intercepted that person at the search
point at the main door. Because of the contact and cover principle, we always
post two people. Three people are also posted inside, one of them is armed and
is always behind the console and watches the surveillance camera screens. When
the officers were not armed, that was necessary. However, we are now wondering
if it is necessary to have an armed person posted behind a console while the
cameras are also hooked up to a central operational command post. We wonder if
it would not be simpler from now on to have that person simply answer the
telephone and facilitate access.
That is the type of reflection that is behind this; we want to ensure that
the officers will be posted in the right places. Our intention is not at all to
create an empire. Our purpose is, rather, to see what is needed and what has to
be put in place.
The Chair: To follow up on the point you are making in terms of the
common dark blue uniform, recent young graduates from the RCMP Depot in Regina
are not indoctrinated, but they're made to very much respect and have pride for
the RCMP uniform. When they get stationed here with protective services, do you
take them out of the RCMP uniform that they've worked so hard to get and put
them in another uniform?
Mr. Duheme: Maybe I wasn't clear. The RCMP will remain in its own
The Chair: Okay. I misunderstood that.
Mr. Duheme: I wouldn't even go down that road.
The Chair: No. That's good. I'm glad we clarified that.
Mr. Duheme: I wasn't clear when I answered the senator's question.
The Chair: The former Senate protective group and the former House of
Commons protective group will come together and wear this common uniform.
Mr. Duheme: Mr. Chair, you'd also include the scanners in that group.
The scanners have a distinct uniform right now. Again, going with my vision of
being one unified force with two different uniforms, the scanners will have the
same uniform as the rest of the PPS people.
The Chair: In terms of hierarchy of authority, how does the RCMP match
in terms of rank, for example?
Mr. Duheme: The rank is very similar. We have the same rank structure.
Within the RCMP, it's corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant. A commissioned
officer becomes an inspector, superintendent, chief superintendent.
Given what I have observed from both sides, it's the same structure. As we
move forward with the org chart, it's normalizing so that when we refer to
"inspector," we know that it is exactly an inspector. Regardless if it's RCMP or
PPS, it's all the same thing. We know inspectors that are in charge of three or
The Chair: Does PPS have RCMP in the protective service?
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
The Chair: RCMP is in there — not an adjunct to it, but part of it.
Mr. Duheme: The Parliamentary Protective Service is made up of the
three entities together.
The Chair: When we're doing the annual appropriation for the RCMP,
will those RCMP members who are with the protective service be paid out of the
protective service appropriation or the RCMP protective service appropriation?
Mr. Duheme: Right now Ms. Mask is working on getting a picture of the
actual budget from the former Senate security, the former House of Commons
security and the RCMP. When we have that picture, we will present it to both
Speakers to get the budget. Then we will have to work on how the funds will be
JV'd back through a memorandum of understanding with the RCMP. That's still in
the works. It's a work-in-progress.
The Chair: Sometime in the future, as the Senate Committee on National
Finance, will someone be able to come in and tell us how that will be done?
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
The Chair: We will keep in touch with you. Thank you.
Senator Chaput: In response to a question put by Senator Mockler, you
mentioned that a part of the money you are requesting was to improve the service
posture. I presume that you are referring to the fact that officers will now be
armed? What did you mean by "improve the posture"?
Mr. Duheme: Before the creation of the Parliamentary Protective
Service, the Senate had asked for 12 additional people. This followed a study
carried out on the events of October 22. Now, officers are armed. When we arm
officers, they have to undergo an annual qualification exam. They must also be
given tactical training.
Senator Chaput: That was my next question.
Mr. Duheme: The resources they had at that time did not provide a
structure or work schedule that would have allowed people to take training.
There was a minimum number of staff, and they could only take training in the
summer, when things were less busy on the Hill.
Senator Chaput: Here is my second question: do you have to reimburse
the RCMP for costs related to parliamentary security?
Mr. Duheme: Yes. The process and the mechanism are still being
discussed. Ms. Mask was a member of a working group also attended by a
representative of the House of Commons and of the RCMP, to discuss financial
matters. These people are analyzing all of the costs involved in providing
security on the Hill.
For instance, if the RCMP provides tactical and intervention experts to the
Parliamentary Protective Service, it is quite probable that the Parliamentary
Protective Service will be charged for the cost of that team. We are attempting
to determine the average expenditures.
In other words, when I submit the budget to the Speaker, I will be able to
give him the total costs, including the cost of the help the RCMP provides to us
during the year.
Senator Chaput: Do you have some idea of the percentage of costs the
services provided by the RCMP represent?
Mr. Duheme: No, not yet. The RCMP had a detachment on the Hill, in the
Parliamentary security service, which had a budget. RCMP services accounted for
about 42 per cent of the costs.
Senator Chaput: Has eliminating the RCMP as a partner ever been
considered? Will the RCMP always be a part of the three units?
Mr. Duheme: Yes and no. The ratio of members belonging to the RCMP is
being examined. I know that the fact that I am wearing an RCMP uniform may be
confusing, but I am the director of the Parliamentary Protective Service. I
should be wearing civilian clothes.
In the study I mentioned earlier, nothing is hidden. The RCMP-related costs
are higher than costs for non-members. This review, which has not yet begun,
will help us to determine which tasks must be performed by police officers.
As I explained earlier, ultimately, everyone will receive the same training.
The only difference, aside from the uniforms, is that some will have the status
of peace officers, and others will not. That is what we are looking at. We want
to minimize resources without cannibalizing the other groups. There is a need
for both. Our job is to balance the needs.
Senator Chaput: That leads me to my last question, regarding the use
of official languages and the image projected by Parliament, be it at the Senate
or in the House of Commons, when we are greeted at the entrance door by the
Parliamentary Protective Service.
Do you have a policy on the use of official languages, especially French? If
so, in that policy, does a certain percentage of officers have to be bilingual?
Mr. Duheme: The former Senate and House of Commons security service
did indeed have a policy on bilingualism.
The challenge for the RCMP, at this time, is that we have cadets who come
from the RCMP Depot Division for an eight-week period. These cadets are not
necessarily all bilingual.
We are working on staffing permanent positions with bilingual officers.
Unfortunately, I do not have the exact percentage of bilingual officers, but I
will be happy to send you that information.
Of course, when you work on Parliament Hill, you have to provide service in
both official languages.
Senator Chaput: What you have just said is excellent, but is it
written down in a policy? If you were unfortunately to be run over by a bus
tomorrow morning and someone had to replace you, would that point be well
integrated? Would your replacement say and do the same thing as you have?
Mr. Duheme: He would have to.
Senator Chaput: Is it written down somewhere?
Mr. Duheme: No, but the RCMP is subject to the Official Languages Act,
and there has to be a certain percentage of bilingual officers. Unfortunately I
cannot provide you with the exact data.
We do however provide an information sheet to unilingual anglophone officers,
so that they may communicate with a bilingual member who will be able to provide
the service. It is a band-aid solution, for the moment, but the idea is to have
Senator Chaput: Perhaps I should not add this, but I am going to. I
think that the Senate and House of Commons official languages policy is applied
more rigorously than that of the RCMP, and so I would not want the one to affect
the other adversely.
Mr. Duheme: Indeed.
The Chair: Thank you, Senator Chaput.
Could you tell us how many total you have in the protective service, how many
person years, I guess is the terminology that you use? Does that include the
RCMP? How many are RCMP?
Mr. Duheme: Following the creation of the PPS, we're looking at
roughly around 556 people that make up the PPS; hence, the need for a structure
to support all of this. There are some within that structure that will be
contracted out to existing sections on the Senate or the House of Commons side.
Out of 556, there are about 136 positions for the RCMP that are not all
filled, and then there are another 313 for the former House of Commons security
and close to 100 for the Senate.
The Chair: They are all part of the 556?
Mr. Duheme: Yes, they're all part of the newly created PPS.
The Chair: And are there any plans to move towards parity in
remuneration and benefits for all of these employees?
Mr. Duheme: I think out of fairness to the members that are there, now
that they're going to be doing the same job under one unit, we have no choice
but to look at that. Eventually it will be on the radar and on the list of
things to do. I'm surprised, actually, that the associations haven't been
knocking at our door yet, but it's something we have to look at because they're
doing the same job and should be paid the same amount.
Senator L. Smith: Chief, between Mr. Forgues and Ms. Mask, have you
guys looked at your projected costs? Have you looked back at what it cost the
Commons and what it cost the Senate? Where is the comparable cost going to be in
terms of your cost of operation?
Sloane Mask, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Parliamentary Protective
Service: Right now it's very difficult because we were created on June 23,
which doesn't align perfectly with the fiscal year, which runs from April to
March. However, right now we're looking at a budget of about $40 million,
including the combined amounts from the Senate.
Senator L. Smith: If you added up the Commons singularly, the Senate
singularly and the RCMP, how would that $40 million compare to what these
portions cost historically?
Ms. Mask: It's very much in line with the historical portions, with
the additional amounts for the security enhancements initiatives, as well as the
additional resources required to manage the administrative aspects of the
Senator L. Smith: So we're looking at a budget of approximately $40
million, give or take.
Ms. Mask: Yes, over the prorated period.
Senator L. Smith: Chief, you came to Internal Economy and gave us an
update when we first met you a couple of months ago. As you look at your new
operation coming together, what are your challenges? What are you happy with?
What are you not happy with? Where is the cultural evolution of your group at
this particular time?
Mr. Duheme: The interoperability right now is probably the best
success story we have, and that didn't exist pre- October 22 —
Senator L. Smith: And your definition of that?
Mr. Duheme: — in the sense that communication-wise, with the flick of
a switch, we can patch everyone through on the same channel. Right now, on a
day-to-day basis, because of the activities on the Hill, there are two separate
channels, one for inside and one for outside. If there is an incident, we just
activate and everybody is on the same common channel.
Senator L. Smith: They're on the same common channel, but are they on
the same common channel, if you know what I mean? When the incident occurred,
everybody worked hard together, but we were on different channels.
Mr. Duheme: No, that's going to come through training. There is a lot
of work being done with Superintendent Mike O'Beirne, who is responsible for
operations with me on that date when we met. Seventeen different SOPs have been
drafted and will be shared. That is a big step. Having standard operation
procedures will be a common way of operating within the precinct and on the
Hill. That is a big plus.
With regard to challenges, I will go back to a success story. We are looking
at integration on several fronts: interoperability, integration with regard to
our intelligence units and integration with our training cadre. When you come by
the VSF, you will probably notice that there are RCMP members and former House
of Commons and Senate PPS there. That is a big plus for us because most of the
people do identify the people as they come in through the VSF.
The Chair: What is the VSF, for the record?
Mr. Duheme: Vehicle screening facility.
There is also the operational command centre, where all the radio
communications funnel through. There is integration being done there. We have
members who are embedded within the RCMP at 1200 Vanier.
Regarding the SOPs, the challenge is time wise, namely, building the
structure and probably managing expectations. It is not because we have just
integrated three different units that we are ready to go. We have to deal with
three different collective bargaining agreements and over 100 years of culture
in each separate entity. It will take a while before we change that culture.
Senator L. Smith: What are you hearing back from each of those
cultures? What type of feedback are you getting?
Mr. Forgues, you are the HR guy. You might get even more of it. What are you
folks hearing back from your cultures?
Jean Forgues, Administrative & Personnel Officer, Parliamentary Protective
Service: I think we have come a long way; we still have a long way to go.
Essentially, it is just the start. The cultures are still very distinct. I would
say there is a Senate culture, a house culture and an RCMP culture.
I think that especially when we get into joint exercises and joint training,
the barriers will start coming down. Just co-locating these people at VSF — Joe
is talking to Jack; Jack is an RCMP person and Joe is a former Senate person.
All of a sudden, you have a relationship that starts and that is how you do it.
Senator L. Smith: Chief, as you look at that right now, are you 10 per
cent integrated, 20 per cent, 30 per cent? In your own mind, where are you? You
are the coach. You are looking at the people and making value judgments, too, as
you see the different players evolve.
Mr. Duheme: It would be difficult for me to put an actual percentage
Senator L. Smith: That is a good political answer and you are sitting
right in the middle of the group.
Mr. Duheme: As we move forward with the structure — and that, to me,
is important — at the executive level there is myself, Mr. Forgues, Melissa
Rusk, who is sitting here on the side; Michael O'Beirne, who is in integration;
and Alain Laniel, formerly from the Senate. There is a good parity there and a
great chemistry in terms of work.
We are bringing it down to another level where we are seeing inspectors
working together. There is a daily operational briefing every morning that
Superintendent O'Byrne has and people are around the table. The integration is
there; it is just rolling it down further.
With everything we are doing, we are trying to get everyone involved. Melissa
had the strategic planning group and we invited people to attend. We had a
mixture. We had three different cultures in the room preparing the future
mission and vision values for PPS.
We are chipping away, but there has to be willingness. There is still some
resentment because, let's face it, some people didn't want this integration, but
we are working through that.
I usually go for a little walk every second day and talk to people and they
seem pleased. They are anxious to see all these different changes. My only
concern would be that the changes are not coming fast enough because our team is
swamped with different priorities and we are not getting there as fast as I
would like. But we are chipping away and headed in the right direction, without
Senator L. Smith: If I understand correctly from what you are saying,
at your senior levels you feel a degree of more comfort as you are progressing.
You are bringing it down through the various secondary and third levels — I'm
not trying to be disparaging to the folks — and you are working it down through
your organization. If you had to look at a timeframe where you have expectations
and your team has expectations, what is the timeframe of expectations to get
yourself to the point where you have some degree of satisfaction for the whole
Mr. Forgues: Bill C-59 allowed us to submit for a single bargaining
unit. Recently, on November 20, we submitted for a single bargaining unit. That
would be an amalgamation of the Senate association, the house association and
If that happens, that will strive to amalgamate the three cultures, because
you do have the three camps.
To answer your question, a few things have to happen that will be game
changers. If they do happen, they will be very beneficial.
Mr. Duheme: If I may add, Senator Smith, we have just gone through an
exercise with finalizing the org chart that will be presented to the Speakers
probably next week. After that, we want to meet with all the supervisors, from
the first level supervisor all the way up to the chief and present that. Then we
want to show it to the members.
There is a sense with the members that they don't really know where to report
because we haven't changed the structures right now, and it wouldn't be fair to
manage someone under three collective bargaining units. As we move forward, we
are trying to restrain it to keep the groups somewhat together, but people will
see themselves on that org chart and will know who to report to. I am looking
forward to that.
The other thing we are looking forward to is September 2016, when the entire
PPS family is moving into 180 Wellington. They will be sharing lockers
downstairs and going up to the briefing room and then heading out to their
posts. That is a big plus there because they will start to be integrated. The
uniform is one, but once they move under a common roof, it will be a huge step.
Senator L. Smith: In terms of your reporting, to whom do you report?
The two Speakers?
Mr. Duheme: Yeah. I report right now — and Mr. Gilles Michaud for the
RCMP, the assistant commissioner — ultimately to Mr. Paulson, the commissioner.
I am dealing more often right now with the clerk's office than the Speaker's
office because of the vacation period and whatnot, but I did meet both the new
Speakers. We are planning a meeting so I can brief them as to where we are going
and the way forward; how they want to operate.
Senator L. Smith: I am sure you are adept now, but with the two
Speakers and Mr. Paulson at the RCMP, you will be dancing and have to be quick
on your feet.
Mr. Duheme: It is an interesting world.
Senator L. Smith: How do you feel about that?
Mr. Duheme: We are probably going to have growing pains; there is no
doubt. It is new, but from what I have seen so far, with the engagement from
both institutions, everyone has a willingness to make this work. There is no
doubt we are heading in the right direction.
The Chair: Senator Smith is deputy chair of the committee. That is why
we had all these good questions.
Senator Rivard: I think my colleagues have asked every imaginable
question, but I will add a final one. At this time, Parliamentary security
service officers are unionized. I am sure we have already looked at their salary
and benefit conditions, as they compare to those of the RCMP.
In percentage terms, do you have an approximate idea of the difference
between the two? Is it 20 per cent, 25 per cent? You may not have that
information, but it can be said that historically, the RCMP has been the best
paid police force in Canada. So there is no doubt that soon parity will be
Is there some collective agreement process that is being looked at so that
that comparison can be made, and an increase, or retroactive parity, be granted?
Or is it only at the end of the collective agreement that is in effect currently
that that request could be made, and at a certain date, parity would come into
Mr. Duheme: The short answer is no, but I will explain that. We have
to respect existing collective agreements, including one which will expire in
However, when it comes to amendments to the legislation, after a 120-day
period, we have 30 days to submit a request to the council, so that the employer
can make their intention known. Our intent was to negotiate the collective
agreement. We would look at the various existing conditions at that point.
Having read both conventions, I did not note any major differences between
them. There are some minor differences, but the texts are similar. That will
come with time, following the decision on whether we are to go ahead with a
collective agreement, if we suggest staying at three or going down to two.
Senator Rivard: As you say, it remains to be seen. I have one last
thing I want to bring up. We saw what happened in Paris on November 13, and we
saw how much damage three people caused with automatic weapons. Going back to
October 22, we were still relatively lucky, as there could have been two
individuals with automatic weapons instead of one. As for the damage caused in
Paris, there were 1,000 people at the theatre that was targeted. But when you
consider the fact that the two main parties were holding caucus meetings close
to the entry to Parliament Hill, with about 100 people on each side, had
shooters been armed with automatic weapons — as the crazy gunmen in Bataclan
were — there could have been a real massacre. We can never be too careful when
it comes to tightening the security rules for the good of the people working
Mr. Duheme: I completely agree with you, senator. I am working closely
with Gilles Duguay, of the Senate, and Pat MacDonald, of the House of Commons,
to figure out how we can monitor the entire Hill and develop measures to strike
a balance between the desire to develop airtight security and the right of
Canadians and tourists to come visit the Hill. We are trying to achieve that
We have begun discussions with an organization called Defence Research and
Development Canada, whose experts are carrying out a threat assessment. We will
look at the measures to be taken to increase or improve existing security on the
Hill in order to deal with today's new reality. Granted, people are limited by
their imagination in terms of what they can do. The sad Paris events are a
reminder of the vulnerabilities in certain locations. I would point out that,
during the tragic incidents in Paris, the media were talking about "vulnerable
targets" — places with a lot of people and little police presence. These are sad
events, and we have to look into this matter.
Senator Rivard: Thank you and good luck.
The Chair: Thank you, Senator Rivard.
Mr. Forgues, perhaps you could clarify a point that you made to a question
asked earlier by Senator Smith about one bargaining unit to deal with the three
different entities. How does that work with the RCMP officers who are here for a
period of time and then they will be posted somewhere else, whereas the other
two security groups, the House of Commons and the Senate, are more permanently
here? How will that work out?
Mr. Forgues: The RCMP is not a unionized employer.
The Chair: Not yet, no.
Mr. Forgues: Not yet. The comments I put forward were strictly for
non-RCMP members. Joining into a single bargaining unit applies currently to the
Senate association, the house association and the scanners. Those are the three
for which we proposed a single bargaining unit. When we applied to the labour
board, we had a series of operational reasons to back up that application, such
as one force, et cetera.
That is in front of the board right now. They haven't gotten back to us yet,
but it is being decided. There is a possibility of next steps. We could be
called to a hearing; they could make a call right away. It's their call,
The Chair: In your view, that could function well, even though the
RCMP, who are part of the parliamentary precinct security, are going to be
represented under a different association.
Mr. Forgues: Yes, and I believe that because they are under the RCMP
Act, they have to remain RCMP officers in rank and file, right up to the
The Chair: Is the long-term plan to keep the RCMP as part of the
Mr. Duheme: Yes, no doubt. The only thing we are looking at, as I
mentioned earlier, is reviewing the position and the structure and asking
ourselves if we really need a police officer to do this. If everyone will be
trained to the same standard, that is when we have to start doing that
reflection: Do we need an RCMP police officer presence here, or can we
substitute it by someone from the PPS who doesn't have peace officer status?
The Chair: Would that be contracted out, or would they be part of the
Mr. Duheme: They would be part of the PPS. The RCMP are part of the
PPS. They are within the structure. The budget presentation to the Speakers will
include the resources of the RCMP within the PPS.
The Chair: Do you see any role, for example, for retired members who
are part of the corps of commissionaires?
Mr. Duheme: There could be roles. I'm looking at the example I
provided at the outset, the fact that we have armed guards behind desks that are
viewing cameras that are being reviewed elsewhere. Do we really need an armed
presence? As we go through the different areas within the buildings, we'll have
a better understanding of what we really need.
The Chair: So there is no corps of commissionaire members working at
the parliamentary precinct at this time?
Mr. Duheme: No. I wouldn't venture down that route. It would probably
add another complexity. We realize there are three different entities. Do we
want to bring a fourth one in, or does that become an employee of the Senate or
the House of Commons instead of going with a corps of commissionaires? Those are
things that we would have to evaluate.
The Chair: The security provided to the Prime Minister and the
Governor General, is that within your realm or is that a separate group?
Mr. Duheme: That is a separate group. It is what we refer to as the
PMPD, which is the Prime Minister Protection Detail, part of the RCMP. That's a
separate unit altogether that reports through the National Division under Mr.
Gilles Michaud. It is the same thing with the Governor General. The RCMP has a
detachment with the Governor General, and they are responsible for ensuring the
security of the site and also the security of His Excellency.
The Chair: Who has authority when they come on Parliament Hill?
Mr. Duheme: We are informed every time they come here. Pre-October 22,
when the Prime Minister would come to the main door, plainclothes House of
Commons security individuals would take charge and escort him into the building.
With the change in the legislation now, the PMPD of the RCMP is allowed to enter
Parliament and continue the escort with the Prime Minister.
That is going well. The PPS is involved and we know every time they come on
the Hill. We provide a liaison person to them who is aware of the various
contingency plans and who will help out if required.
The Chair: That liaison person is just when they come on the Hill?
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
The Chair: Can we assume that you are already interoperable with those
two other groups?
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
The Chair: That doesn't present a problem?
Mr. Duheme: No. It worked well at the Speech from the Throne and it
continues to work well.
The Chair: Good.
Are there any questions that flow from those questions?
Senator Mockler: We are conforming to the Official Languages Act,
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
Senator Mockler: Okay. So if I go to the next level —
Mr. Duheme: I just want to correct something. I don't have the
percentage of resources to confirm that we are conforming. I would be happy to
get back to you with the number of positions that we have that are bilingual and
the number of people in those positions, but I can't say with certainty right
now that we're conforming 100 per cent because I don't have those numbers with
Senator Mockler: As long as our actions comply with the Official
Languages Act. I understand that you will send us the information once you know
what the percentage is as far as compliance goes. Is that right?
Mr. Duheme: That's exactly right. It's as if I was currently giving an
overview of the resources we have today, so as to determine whether we are
acting in compliance with the Official Languages Act. If that is not the case,
the objective will be to recruit bilingual staff from across the country.
Senator Mockler: Can you give us an overview of a dry run? If an
incident took place, such as an accident involving a parliamentarian, what would
be the role of the Ottawa Police Service? Does it still have a role to play in
Mr. Duheme: The Parliamentary Protective Service does not have a
mandate to investigate. Its mandate is strictly limited to providing protection
— in terms of access, site control, search of vehicles and individuals. Any
investigations that relate to national security are referred to the RCMP. If the
investigation is criminal in nature, depending on the crime committed, the case
is referred to the Ottawa Police Service.
Senator Mockler: The Ottawa police?
Mr. Duheme: Yes.
The Chair: You have no further questions?
Thank you very much, Chief Superintendent, Ms. Mask and Mr. Forgues.
Mr. Duheme: Mr. Chair and honourable senators, thank you very much. I
count on your support as we move forward with this new entity and build it so
that we are an example to the rest of the world.
The Chair: We count on your security. Thank you.
(The committee adjourned.)