Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20, 21, 32 and 36.
Question No. 4--Ms. Dawn Black
With regards to the use of Claymore munitions by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Afghanistan: (a) does the CF have special doctrine for the use of the Claymore in Afghanistan; (b) does the CF chain of command give instructions with regard to the use of the Claymore and obligations under the Ottawa Protocol; (c) is the chain of command aware of uses of the Claymore that have not followed standard procedures in Afghanistan; (d) is the Minister of National Defence aware of any use of the Claymore that violated the Ottawa Protocol; and (e) is the Minister or chain of command aware of any use of the Claymore in which the intended target of the weapon was responsible for its detonation?Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the use of a Defensive Command Detonated Weapon C19, sometimes referred to as a “Claymore”, is restricted by Canadian Forces doctrine, and further clarified by the rules of engagement for Operation ATHENA issued to Canadian Forces personnel in theatre.
In response to (b), yes, the Canadian Forces publication entitled “Defensive Operations” provides information on the use of the C19. The publication “Ambush and Counter-Ambush” provides further information on the use of support weapons, such as the C19, for ambush tactics, techniques and procedures.
Soldiers and officers are instructed in the use of the C19 and the associated doctrine during their infantry training. Each task force is provided with C19 training in Canada before deploying to Afghanistan. This allows the Infantry battle group to practise testing, setting up and initiating the C19.
In its use of the C19, the Canadian Forces follow the International Law of Armed Conflict as set out in the Joint Doctrine manual, “Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels”. The manual, at paragraph 511(4), provides as follows:
|| 4. The use of an anti-personnel mine that is manually detonated (for example, by land line or electronic signal from a remote or protected position) by a [Canadian Forces] member is not prohibited. Therefore, the use of an explosive device such as a “Claymore Mine” is not prohibited if it is manually detonated. Any anti-personnel mine that is designed to be exploded automatically by the “presence, proximity or contact of a person” cannot be lawfully used by the [Canadian Forces]. The “Claymore Area Defence System” is not prohibited if it is command detonated. If horizontal fragmentation weapons which propel fragments in a horizontal arc of less than 90 degrees, such as the Claymore, are placed on or above the ground, they may be used for a maximum period of 72 hours if they are located in the immediate proximity to the military unit that emplaced them, and the area is monitored by military personnel to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians.
In response to (c), (d) and (e), Canadian Forces leadership is not aware of any incident involving the placement or detonation of C19s in a manner inconsistent with Canadian Forces doctrine, rules of engagement, or the Ottawa convention.Question No. 6--Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
With respect to United Nations conventions and treaties to which Canada is a signatory: (a) what are the federal government’s criteria for assessing individual provincial and territorial endorsement for ratifying a treaty or convention; (b) as of November 1, 2008, which provinces and territories have, according to these criteria, endorsed ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention); (c) what steps will be undertaken by the government to secure endorsement by the remaining provinces and territories; (d) when is the next federal-provincial-territorial ministerial meeting on human rights scheduled and will Convention ratification be on the agenda of that meeting; (e) has the Convention been added to the list of international human rights treaties and conventions that are standing items on meeting agendas of the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights (CCOHR); (f) has progress on the ratification process for the Convention been discussed at CCOHR meetings and what is the status of that progress as of November 1, 2008 according to the minutes of those meetings; (g) is the target date for the completion of consultations with the provinces and territories on the ratification of the Convention within the required timeframe to permit Canada to participate fully in the first meeting of States party to the Convention, expected in November 2008, to chart the oversight committee’s future course and, if not, why not; (h) what is the federal government’s criteria for assessing individual provincial and territorial endorsement for signing the Optional Protocol of an international treaty; (i) as of November 1, 2008, which provinces and territories have, according to these criteria, endorsed Canada signing the Optional Protocol of the Convention; and (j) has progress on signing the Optional Protocol for the Convention been discussed at CCOHR meetings and what is the status of that progress as of November 1, 2008, according to the minutes of those meetings?Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Government of Canada has sole authority to ratify international treaties and seeks to ensure that domestic laws, policies and programs comply with the treaty in question prior to ratification. Where an international treaty has implications for provincial and territorial governments, as is the case with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD, e.g., regarding accessibility of buildings and services, legal capacity, health, education, family law, et cetera, these governments will do their own assessments to ensure conformity with the relevant provisions of the treaty. The Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments are currently reviewing their policies, programs and legislation with a view to ratifying the CRPD.
In response to (b), consultations with provincial and territorial governments are ongoing. It is essential that governments have the time required to consult in confidence in order to ensure Canada’s compliance and support for ratification of the CRPD.
In response to (c), the Government of Canada is providing support and assistance to provincial and territorial governments throughout the ongoing review and assessment process. All governments are actively reviewing their policies, programs and legislation as required prior to ratification. As is common practice, the Government of Canada will seek the formal support of provincial and territorial governments once these internal reviews are completed and following a decision by the federal government with respect to ratification.
In response to (d), a ministerial meeting has not been scheduled. The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces and territories through the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights.
In response to (e), the CRPD is a standing item on the agendas for biannual face-to-face meetings of the CCOHR and the monthly conference calls of the CCOHR.
In response to (f), discussions on ratification of the CRPD were held at the last in person meeting of the CCOHR as well as prior and subsequent conference calls. The review and consultations are ongoing.
In response to (g), the Government of Canada has not set a firm timeline for ratification in order to ensure that all governments have the time required to review their policies, programs and legislation for compliance with the CRPD prior to a final decision on ratification.
The timeframe in which governments are currently working is within the norms established by the process for ratification of other international human rights treaties which had similar implications for provincial and territorial governments.
In response to (h), (i) and (j), the process with respect to ratification of an optional protocol establishing an individual complaints mechanism in respect of an international human rights treaty, such as the optional protocol to the CRPD, is the same as the process for ratification of the treaty itself. The focus of current discussions with provinces and territories has been on the convention.Question No. 7--Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
With respect to the government’s cessation of funding for the First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Strategy announced on September 25, 2006: (a) as the evaluation of this strategy was not completed until March 2007, on what evidence of not providing “value for money” was the decision to cut funding based; (b) as the former Minister of Health, who has acknowledged the need to address the serious health implications of higher-than-average smoking rates in First Nations and Inuit populations, has given public reassurances – to the Standing Committee on Health on November 23, 2006 – that funding will be revived once a revised strategy has been developed, (i) what steps has the government taken since September 2006 to develop a revised strategy, (ii) what is the target date for the initiation of the revised strategy and its full funding; and (c) as the strategy’s evaluation document cited the absence of statistical data as an impediment in evaluation, will the collection of baseline and ongoing national tobacco use statistical data specific to First Nations and Inuit be included in the revised strategy and its funding?Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), in budget 2006, the Government of Canada promised to review programs to ensure every taxpayer dollar spent was achieving results, providing value for money and meeting the needs of Canadians. As a result of this expenditure review, funding for the first nations and Inuit tobacco control strategy, FNITCS, was eliminated because the program had been ineffective in achieving its goal of lowering the smoking rates among first nations and Inuit. Current data indicates that smoking rates among first nations and Inuit remain very high, at approximately triple the Canadian average; 59% of first nations and 58% of Inuit are smokers.
In response to (b)(i), in September 2006, the federal government committed to work with first nations and Inuit leaders to examine options for measures that would reduce smoking, prevent the harms of tobacco smoke, and show accountability for results not achieved by the former first nations and Inuit tobacco control program. First nations and Inuit leaders are important partners and have a major role to play in an effective program that will meet the needs of their community, address the issues of smoke-free spaces, youth smoking and access to tobacco products.
Canadian and international evidence shows that in order to achieve lasting results, tobacco control actions must be comprehensive, integrated and sustained. This includes the full range of interventions, including prevention, cessation, education, as well as protection--smoke-free spaces, retailer actions and compliance--, pricing, research, surveillance and evaluation.
Health Canada has worked with first nations and Inuit partners in a number of ways to promote evidence based approaches to tobacco control:
supported the Assembly of First Nations to hire a special adviser to the national chief;
collaborated with the Assembly of First Nations on public opinion research regarding first nations health directors’ perceptions of tobacco control activities; and
supported Inuit tobacco network to develop an evidence based, Inuit specific strategy.
In response to (b)(ii), this work, in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit tobacco network, has informed first nations and Inuit participation in the federal tobacco control strategy, FTCS. Funding is available to support first nations and Inuit projects through the FTCS proposals process. In addition, Health Canada supports a range of health promotion programs in first nations and Inuit communities, from diabetes prevention to maternal and child health promotion. These programs aim to enable first nations and Inuit to adopt healthy lifestyles, which includes tobacco cessation.
In response to (c), national tobacco use statistical data specific to first nations is being collected through the first nations regional longitudinal health survey. Data is currently being collected for the phase II 2008 survey. Tobacco use data specific to Inuit, as well as other aboriginal residents of Canada, is collected through Statistics Canada’s aboriginal peoples survey. Results of the 2006 survey were released December 3, 2008.
Question No. 9--Ms. Kirsty Duncan
With respect to mitigating the impacts of the next pandemic influenza: (a) have provincial pandemic plans been tested during the last twelve months and, if so, which ones were tested, and what revisions were made based on lessons learned; and (b) what legislative and logistical steps has the government taken regarding social distancing measures?Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to, (a), for the Canadian pandemic influenza plan, a number of provincial and territorial jurisdictions have either conducted comprehensive testing of their pandemic plans, have tested components of them, e.g, mass delivery and administration of vaccines, incident command system. In some jurisdictions, local exercises have occurred while others have also taken part in national exercises related to pandemic testing. Additionally, testing of the structures and processes that will be used during a pandemic has occurred as a result of recent avian influenza outbreaks or exercises related to other events, e.g., the 2010 Olympics. All of these activities have enabled jurisdictions to learn lessons that are being applied to pandemic preparedness and response.
In response to (b), the Quarantine Act is the legal authority under which the Government of Canada implements actions at Canadian points of entry to limit the introduction and spread of communicable diseases. Activities associated with this include screening of travellers at points of entry into or exit from Canada. Sick travellers are isolated and placed under this authority until believed to no longer pose a risk to the public. Social distancing measures are identified in Annex M, Public Health Measures, of the CPIP. Annex M provides overarching guidelines of logistical steps that can be taken by the provinces and territories s during a pandemic to control the spread of pandemic influenza. Decisions regarding implementation of these measures would be made at the discretion of provincial, territorial and local levels and will depend upon many factors including, but not limited to, severity of disease, level of disease in community, and societal impact. Social distancing measures are one component of a community based disease control strategy and can range from logistical recommendations to stay home if ill to closure of schools and daycare settings and restriction of public gatherings. These guidelines are considered by pandemic planners across the country. Timely communication of any public health measures and other relevant information to all affected will be important to help ensure compliance with the recommended interventions at the time of a pandemic. Provinces and territories would take logistical steps to implement guidelines according to the situation in their respective communities.
Question No. 10--Ms. Kirsty Duncan
With regards to the risk of a pandemic influenza: (a) what steps has the government taken to protect the health of Canadians during the initial delay in the availability of a specific influenza vaccine for the pandemic strain; (b) what human health and economic costs have been identified for Canada for the delay period, and what steps has the government taken to reduce these costs; (c) what is the government stockpile of Tamiflu, and has the government achieved the stockpile target for antivirals and, if not, when will it be reached; and (d) what specific steps has the government taken to address the limited shelf life of Tamiflu, and the development of resistance to the drug?Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Government of Canada, in partnership with provinces and territories, has developed the Canadian pandemic influenza plan for the health sector, a planning tool to guide all those involved in planning and responding to an influenza pandemic. The multi-faceted plan includes a pandemic vaccine and antiviral strategy. The national antiviral stockpile, NAS, has been established to protect Canadians while a vaccine is being developed. Additionally, non-pharmaceutical measures and public messaging will be implemented to reduce the risk of disease transmission during the initial period when a pandemic virus-specific vaccine is not available.
In response to (b), the Department of Finance has conducted preliminary assessments of the economic impact and concluded that a pandemic would have limited economic effects and that a 1918-type pandemic would likely reduce annual GDP growth by up to one percentage point in the pandemic year. Planning assumptions in the Canadian pandemic influenza plan for the health sector are that a pandemic may last 12 to 18 months and more than one wave may occur within a 12 month period; that 15% to 35% of the population will be clinically ill over the course of the pandemic and, that there would be an estimated 20% to 25% rate of workplace absenteeism during the peak one to two weeks of the pandemic wave. Canada’s comprehensive approach which includes vaccine and antiviral strategies, non-pharmaceutical measures, e.g., social distancing, and public communications, would reduce the impact on human health.
In response to (c), governments have achieved the stockpile target amount for the NAS and will continue to manage the stockpile to ensure that the appropriate composition and size is maintained. The NAS contains 55.7 million doses of antivirals. An additional 14.9 million doses of antiviral treatment are stockpiled in the national emergency stockpile system for surge capacity. These numbers do not include additional provincial and territorial stockpiles or other private or government departments stockpile amounts.
In response to (d), federal, provincial and territorial public health experts are reviewing options to address the limited shelf life of Tamiflu. Moreover, in order to ensure the best possible antiviral strategy for Canada, regular reviews are conducted on new and emerging evidence on antiviral resistance, the optimal mix and amount of drugs in a diversified stockpile.
Question No. 11--Ms. Kirsty Duncan
With regards to the stockpiling of Tamiflu for an influenza pandemic: (a) how does Canada rank among other G7 countries in terms of the number of antiviral treatments the government has stockpiled or intends to stockpile; (b) how do the steps of the government compare to the actions of other G7 countries in terms of using Tamiflu for prophylaxis and treatment; (c) what is the ethical framework for identifying priority groups during a pandemic, and what priority groups have been identified by the government for prophylaxis and treatment; and (d) what priority age groups in order of ranking for prophylaxis and treatment during an influenza pandemic have been identified?Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Canada is comparable to other G7 countries in having a stockpile of antivirals for approximately 25% of the population. This includes the provincial and territorial, P/T, stockpiles of the national antiviral stockpile, NAS, the federal national emergency stockpile system, NESS, and other federal and provincial and territorial stockpiles. Antivirals are only one component of Canada’s multi-facet approach for managing a pandemic. Canada is unique in having a domestic supply agreement for the provision of pandemic vaccine. Canada’s target for antiviral stockpiles was established to complement other aspects of our pandemic response.
In response to (b), the Government of Canada, in collaboration with provinces and territories, has developed policy recommendations for the use of antivirals during a pandemic. Canada’s recommendations of a limited prophylaxis strategy are well within the range of plans of G7 countries. The recommendations do not support widespread use of antivirals for prevention but limited use in the following two situations: in the pandemic alert period, should cases occur in Canada, to prevent illness among people who are known to have close contact with infected individuals and during a pandemic for controlling outbreaks in “closed settings” such as long-term care facilities.
In response to (c), the Canadian pandemic influenza plan for the health sector outlines the ethical framework for planning and response to an influenza pandemic. Canada has a “treat all who need it” strategy, so there are no priority groups identified for early treatment. A report and policy recommendations on the use of antivirals for prophylaxis during an influenza pandemic was released in 2008 and included the ethical considerations that informed the recommendations. The recommendations can be found at the following weblink: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/2008/prapip-uappi/07a-eng.php
In reponse to (d), Canada has not identified priority groups specifically for antiviral treatment during a pandemic. Age was not a factor when the policy recommendations for prophylaxis were made.
Question No. 18--Mr. Dennis Bevington
With regard to section 5.2 of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the issuance of oil and gas licenses to Paramount Resources in the Cameron Hills region of the Northwest Territories: (a) what rationale has the Minister used to determine that a benefits agreement with local Aboriginal people is not required; (b) why has the government refused to discuss a benefits agreement with the local Aboriginal people; and (c) why has the government insisted that such discussions be carried out through the Deh Cho Land Claims negotiations?Hon. Chuck Strahl (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), section 5.2(2) of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act provides the authority to the minister to approve or to waive the requirement of approval of a benefits plan in respect of any oil and gas-related work or activity in non-accord frontier areas. The minister has no authority with regard to section 5.2(2) to determine the requirement for a benefits agreement between Paramount Resources and local aboriginal people. A benefits agreement is a bilateral contractual agreement between an operator and a community.
In response to (b), a benefits agreement is a bilateral contractual agreement between an operator and a community. The minister has no authority pursuant to the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act to discuss benefits agreements with local aboriginal people. The Act does provide the authority to the minister to approve or to waive the requirement of approval of a benefits plan.
In response to (c), a benefits agreement is a bilateral contractual agreement between an operator and a community. Land claims negotiations have consistently provided the basis for the consideration of agreements of this nature.
Question No. 19--Mr. Tony Martin
With respect to the statement by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in the House of Commons on November 21, 2008, what is the evidence, statistical or otherwise, based on a number of standards to measure poverty in Canada, that the cuts to the goods and services tax and the introduction of the universal child care benefit are in fact reducing poverty?Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC)
this government is supporting the child care choices of all families with young children in a clear and tangible way through the universal child care benefit, UCCB.
Since July 2006 the UCCB has been providing $100 each month, that is $2.4 billion per year, for two million children under six years of age.
This direct financial support helps parents, regardless of where they live, their hours of work or the choices they make, pay for the type of care that is best for their family.
The UCCB has lifted an estimated 24,000 families with about 55,000 children out of low income. This estimate is based on the social Policy Directorate’s microsimulation model that examines the distributional impacts of changes to tax and transfer programs.
The two-point reduction in the GST rate, from 7% to 5%, provides substantial tax relief to all Canadians, including those who do not earn enough to pay income tax. Question No. 20--Hon. Anita Neville
With regard to decommissioned military bases: (a) how many homes are vacant at the Kapyong Barracks; (b) how many homes are presently vacant across the country at decommissioned military bases; (c) what is the cost to maintain the vacant homes at the Kapyong Barracks; (d) what is the cost to maintain all vacant homes across the country at decommissioned military bases; (e) what decommissioned bases across the country have been transferred to Canada Lands; (f) which decommissioned military bases are waiting to be transferred to Canada Lands; (g) what regulations are in place for decommissioned military bases with vacant housing that determines the use and occupancy of these houses; (h) when was the last time the regulations were changed with regard to the use of the houses on decommissioned military bases; and (i) is there any flexibility in the application of these regulations or the use of them?Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Kapyong Barracks site does not contain homes. The adjacent Winnipeg South Housing site has 110 vacant homes and is intended for transfer to Canada Lands Company.
In response to (b), 17 homes are vacant at the decommissioned military base in Jericho Beach, British Columbia, and 430 homes are vacant at the Rockcliffe site in Ottawa, Ontario.
There are also other sites that do not fit the Department of National Defence’s definition of decommissioned military bases; however, the sites are surplus to National Defence requirements and contain vacant homes. These sites include:
Winnipeg South Housing site, Winnipeg, Manitoba, (110 homes);
Oakville, Ontario, (61 homes); and
Shannon Park, Nova Scotia, (32 apartment buildings containing 420 apartment units).
In response to (c), Tthe Kapyong Barracks site does not contain homes; however, the operating and maintenance cost for the Winnipeg South housing site was $673,000 in fiscal year 2007-2008.
In response to (d), Tthe costs for operation and maintenance of the vacant homes at the decommissioned military bases for fiscal year 2007-2008 are as follows:
Jericho Beach, British Columbia,--$65,000; and
Rockcliffe site, Ottawa, Ontario,--$1,800,000.
There are also other sites that do not fit the Department of National Defence’s definition of decommissioned military bases; however, the sites are surplus to National Defence requirements and contain vacant homes. The costs associated with these sites are as follows:
Shannon Park, Nova Scotia, has 32 apartment buildings, which are not maintained due to severe disrepair and will be demolished.
In response to (e), tThe following decommissioned bases have been transferred to Canada Lands Company:
Chilliwack, British Columbia;
Greisbach, Alberta; --London, Ontario, no homes were on the site; and
Moncton, New Brunswick, no homes were on this site.
In response to (f), Ddecommissioned military bases waiting for transfer to Canada Lands Company include Jericho, British Columbia, and the Rockcliffe site in Ottawa, Ontario.
There are also other sites that do not fit the Department of National Defence’s definition of decommissioned military bases; however, the sites are surplus to National Defence requirements and are intended for transfer to Canada Lands Company and are at various stages of the transfer process. These sites include:
Kapyong Barracks, Winnipeg, Manitoba, no homes on this site;
Winnipeg South Hhousing site, Winnipeg, Manitoba;
Denison Armoury site, Toronto, Ontario, no homes on this site;
Highbury, Ontario, no homes on this site;
Terrebonne, Quebec, no homes on this site; and
Shannon Park, Nova Scotia, contains apartment buildings.
In response to (g), there are no regulations specific to vacant housing on decommissioned military bases.
For active military bases, Treasury Board’s Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive, the Defence Administrative Order and Directive 5024-0--Department of National Defence Living Accommodation and Queen’s Regulations and Orders--Appendix 4.1– Charges for Family Housing Regulations apply.
In response to (h), tThe Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive became effective 1 August 1, 2007. Defence Administrative Order and Directive 5024-0 became effective April 1, 2007. Queen’s Regulations and Orders Appendix 4.1 became effective September 1, 2001.
(In response to (i), Tthe Canadian Forces Housing Agency applies the regulations in order to meet the needs of Canadian Forces’ members and their families with respect to Department of National Defence accommodation housing. The regulations also contain a provision that allows the Canadian Forces Housing Agency to provide Department of National Defence housing to members of the RCMP, indeterminate employees of the Department of National Defence and other government departments.
Question No. 21--Hon. Anita Neville
With regard to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement: (a) what steps have been taken by the government to ensure that survivors of the Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School in Saskatchewan receive compensation that is set out in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement; (b) does the government have records of survivors from the Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School and, if so, how many does the department have record of; and (c) what are the unresolved issues of which the Prime Minister spoke about in the House of Commons on June 12, 2008 that are preventing the government from compensating the survivors of the Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School in Saskatchewan?Hon. Chuck Strahl (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in resonse to
(a), the government has received requests for compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement from former students of Île-à-la-Crosse. The government referred to schedule “E”, Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The government researched and provided a decision that the proposed institution, Île-à-la-Crosse, does not meet the test set forth under article 12 of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The government has been unable to approve applications for compensation naming the Île-à-la-Crosse institution because it is does not qualify under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
In response to (b), the government has two historical records relating to the potential or possible admission of 14 students to the Île-à-la-Crosse Institution.
In response to (c), the unresolved issues of which the Prime Minister spoke about in the House of Commons on
June 12, 2008 refer to the fact that Canada was not jointly or solely responsible for the operation of certain institutions and, as a result, cannot offer compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Île-à-la-Crosse is one of the institutions in this category. Question No. 32--Mr. Peter Stoffer
Since February 2006, has the government engaged in any discussions, initiatives, proposals, or directives concerning changes to the existing military supply chain process for the Canadian Forces?Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)
Military supply chains are among the most complex in the world. In order to adapt to an environment of constant change, continuous improvement is an integral part of military supply chain management. Discussions are held between stakeholders on an ongoing basis to review the performance of the supply chain and its ability to respond to change in a timely manner. Risks and opportunities for improvement are identified and ongoing in areas such as inventory visibility, inventory velocity, and integration of both financial and materiel accountabilities.Question No. 36--Ms. France Bonsant
With respect to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachments that were closed in Quebec in 2004: (a) five years later, what are the government’s plans for these nine detachments, specifically with respect to their possible reopening and to an increase in border staff; and (b) if an analysis of the positive and negative impacts of closing these detachments was done, what were the findings?Hon. Peter Van Loan (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)
in response to (a), the Government has no current plans to review the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment closures that took place in the province of Quebec in 2004. These closures stemmed from the force’s strategic planning exercise to better align its resources with its organizational priorities. Key municipal and policing stakeholders were consulted as part of the strategic planning exercise to help maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of RCMP resources.
This government has been, and remains committed to enhancing the security of our border and helping to stem the flow of contraband and weapons entering the country that pose an important threat to the safety and security of our communities. This includes increased investments in the RCMP, as well as working closely with provincial, municipal, and U.S. partners to conduct threat assessments, identify new and emerging threats at the border and building upon successful border enforcement programs, such as Integrated border enforcement teams, to better deter, identify, and interdict organizations and individuals involved in cross-border crime. There are 24 integrated border enforcement teams strategically located along the Canada-U.S. border, including four teams operating in the province of Quebec.
In response to (b), the RCMP conducts regular border specific assessments. Based on the risks identified in those assessments and other factors such as the need for critical mass in certain locations, our resources are adequately deployed.
Madam Speaker, if Questions Nos. 1, 5, 8, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34 and 37 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 1--Hon. Larry Bagnell
With respect to the Building Canada Fund (BCF): (a) in order of economic priority projects approved to date, (i) where are they located, (ii) who are the partners involved, (iii) what is the federal contribution, (iv) what is the partners' contribution, (v) what is the total estimated cost, (vi) what were the criteria used in ranking the importance of the project, (vii) what is the benefit to Canadians, (viii) what is the number of jobs created during the construction period and number of permanent jobs created after completion of the project, (ix) what are the results of any environmental assessments and impact studies of the project; (b) what are the environmental projects approved in order of priority to date, (i) where are they located, (ii) who are the partners involved, (iii) what is the federal contribution, (iv) what is the partners’ contribution, (v) what is the total estimated cost, (vi) what are the criteria used in ranking the importance of the project, (vii) what is the benefit to Canadians, (viii) what is the number of jobs created during the construction period and permanent jobs created after completion of the project, (ix) what are the results of any environmental assessments and impact studies of the project; (c) from the Public Private Partnership Fund which is a component of the BFC, (i) what are the number of projects approved, (ii) what are the locations of the projects, (iii) what is the cost per project, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what is the private partner contribution, (vi) what is the benefit of the project, (vii) what is the demonstrated need for the project, (viii) what is the number of jobs created during construction, (ix) what is the number of permanent jobs to be created after completion; (d) under the Gateways and Border Crossing Fund, another component of the BCF, (i) what are the approvals to date of funding expenditures under this program, (ii) what are the criteria for the approval and anticipated outcomes, (iii) what is the priority ranking of the expenditure approval, (iv) what are the results of any environmental assessment, (v) what is its policy, (vi) what is its governance, (vii) what were the technology and marketing assessments used in determining the funding approval; and (e) under the Provincial-Territorial Base Funding component in the BCF, (i) what are the amounts given to each province and territory since the creation of this funding, (ii) what is the amount of funding used for safety-related rehabilitation of infrastructure in each province and territory, (iii) what are the projects where the improvements were made, (iv) what are the expenditures involved and the projected outcome of each improvement, (v) what is the amount of funding that has been used on non-core national highway system infrastructure and where, (vi) what is the amount of each provinces’ and territories’ matching contribution compared to the federal contribution for a total project cost?
(Return tabled)Question No. 5--Ms. Dawn Black
With respect to Canada's mission in Afghanistan and the transfer of detainees by the Canadian Forces (CF): (a) what is the total number of detainees transferred by the CF to other entities since the beginning of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, (i) on an annual basis, (ii) over the total length of the mission; (b) of the number in (a), what is the breakdown by (i) citizenship, (ii) sex, (iii) age; (c) to which entities have the detainees been transferred; (d) to which locations have the detainees been transferred; (e) what is the total number of detainees currently held by the CF; (f) of the number in (e), what is the breakdown by (i) citizenship, (ii) sex, (iii) age; (g) what is the total number of reports and allegations of abuse of prisoners captured by the CF filed by (i) the CF, (ii) Corrections Canada, (iii) RCMP since February 1, 2008; and (h) what are the titles of each report on Afghan detainees produced by Canadian officials and their publication date?
(Return tabled)Question No. 8--Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
With respect to the government’s actions to detect, prevent and treat Lyme disease in Canada: (a) by what standard is the accuracy of Lyme disease testing conducted at the National Microbiological Laboratories evaluated; (b) when was the most recent independent evaluation of the proficiency of this testing conducted, by whom and what were the results; (c) what are the current criteria for determining whether a geographical area is deemed to be endemic for Lyme-infected ticks; (d) what is the projected schedule of field study with regard to such endemic areas; (e) with respect to the recommendations of the National Conference on Lyme Disease hosted by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in March 2006, (i) have the committees to develop new guidelines on surveillance, clinical and laboratory criteria been formed and, if so, when have they met, (ii) what stakeholder groups have participated in the development of new guidelines, what form has that participation taken, and when did it occur; (f) what is the government's strategy to protect canadians from the increase in incidents of Lyme disease anticipated by PHAC; (g) what is PHAC's strategy to increase (i) physicians' and other health professionals' awareness of the symptoms of Lyme disease, (ii) the canadian public's awareness of the symptoms of Lyme disease; (h) what measures has the PHAC taken in conjunction with provincial health authorities to increase professional and public awareness; (i) what are PHAC's measurable targets for the future increase of awareness and diagnostic accuracy of Lyme disease; (j) does Health Canada recommend the screening of blood for Lyme disease or co-infections such as babesiosis, as done in the United States and, if not, why not; and (k) what research projects into lyme borelia and tick-borne co-infections, their epidemiology, their possible role in the occurence of other diseases, and their treatment are currently being funded by the government and have been government funded during the past five years?
(Return tabled)Question No. 16--Mr. Marcel Proulx
With respect to the distribution of jobs in the government and all federal organizations in the National Capital Region: (a) how many jobs have there been on the Quebec side of the National Capital Region each year since March 31, 2004; and (b) how many jobs have there been on the Ontario side of the National Capital Region each year since March 31, 2004?
(Return tabled)Question No. 17--Mr. Marcel Proulx
With respect to the square meters occupied by the federal government and all federal organisations in the National Capital Regions: (a) how many square meters have been used on the Quebec side of the National Capital Region each year since March 31, 2004; and (b) how many square meters have been used on the Ontario side of the National Capital Region wach year since March 31, 2004?
(Return tabled)Question No. 22--Hon. Anita Neville
With regard to the National Parole Board and the Department of Public Safety: (a) what mechanisms are put in place to ensure a fair and culturally responsive approach to the parole board's administration; (b) are there specific considerations taken into account when Aboriginals appear before the parole board; (c) what mechanisms are put in place to ensure that there is suitable Aboriginal representation on the parole board; and (d) currently, what percentage of parole board members are Aboriginal?
(Return tabled)Question No. 23--Hon. Larry Bagnell
Given that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have recognized the security implications of climate change and have acted accordingly: (a) has the Prime Minister or any of his Ministers been briefed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Department of National Defense or Communications Security Establishment Canada on the security implications of climate change on Canada; (b) have security and government officials from the United Kingdom and the United States shared their information on this matter with the Canadian government; (c) as this is a matter of public record in the United Kingdom and the United States why has it not been disclosed in Canada; and (d) what has been the government response to the potential security issue that you have been alerted to by the British, U.S. or Canadian officials?
(Return tabled)Question No. 24--Hon. Hedy Fry
With regard to the forestry industry in British Columbia (BC): (a) what specific steps has the government taken to reduce the dependency of the BC industry on the United States construction business and to facilitate and expand the sale of BC lumber to Asia; (b) for the years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 what is the specific breakdown of the $400 million promised in the 2006 budget to deal with the mountain pine beetle and to stimulate new economic opportunities for lumbering-dependent communities and job retraining for forest industry workers in (i) terms of exact funds to communities for economic re-adjustsments together with the names of the communities, (ii) what are the projects and funds spent on pine beetle research and alleviation, (iii) what are the specific projects and funds spent on job retraining initiatives; (c) what money was transferred to the BC government for fire prevention initiatives for the years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, and to pine beetle ravaged communities which are at prime risk for summer forest fires; and (d) what specific initiatives and funds has the government allocated over 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 to the at “risk for fire” aboriginal communities in BC's interior?
(Return tabled)Question No. 25--Hon. Hedy Fry
With respect to grants and federal funding allocated or transferred by the Department of Canadian Heritage to arts and culture festivals in the province of British Columbia: (a) what was the total spending given to the province, broken down by festivals for the years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008; (b) what is the projected allocation of grants and federal funding for the years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010; and (c) specifically to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, what amount was given or is projected to fund, broken down by program, all cultural Olympiad programs, all bilingual initiatives and the francophone village and cultural events, for the fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010?
(Return tabled)Question No. 26--Hon. Hedy Fry
With respect to the British Columbia salmon fisheries industry: (a) what concrete steps has the government undertaken to the development and implementation of an ocean's management strategy given that the 10 year Ocean Management Plan sunsets this year and what particular steps have been taken with regard to conservation, including a precautionary approach to management of the salmon fisheries; (b) what steps have been taken to allocate the First Nations of British Columbia a 50% share of all fisheries, and to increase treaty settlement funds to enable purchase or buy-back licenses and allow for relocation; (c) considering the devastation the mountain pine beetle has caused to the salmon industry through erosion of watersheds, what actions has the government taken to mitigate the damage to salmon spawning beds; and (d) how much money has the government given to revitalize the salmon industry, in particular the sport fishing industry in British Columbia, which contribute a large part to the salmon industry?
(Return tabled)Question No. 27--Mr. Todd Russell
With respect to tax treatments offered to the fishermen from Atlantic Canada and Quebec: (a) were the fishermen who accepted the Atlantic Fisheries Groundfish Retirement Package and who permanently gave up their fishing licences in the years 1999 and 2000 advised in writing by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to report, at the time of filing their income tax, that the retirement lump-sum payment was to be counted as revenue from a capital gain and, if so, (i) why, (ii) why did the Department of Fisheries and Oceans issue this advice, (iii) how many fishermen did the Department of Fisheries and Oceans give that advice to; (b) why did Revenue Canada or the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency agree to give certain other fishermen a different tax treatment than the one outlined above, for the same retirement years; (c) how many fishermen received that different tax treatment; (d) why did the Minister of National Revenue and the Federal Minister of Fisheries advise these former fishermen (or their survivors in the case of deceased former fishermen) to appeal to the Regional Director of Taxation in St. John’s for a review; (e) has the Regional Director of Taxation informed the affected individuals that he will not accept their appeals and, if so, why; and (f) did Revenue Canada or the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency reach an out-of-court settlement in 2007 with a certain number of fishermen who had appealed their tax treatment and, if so, (i) why, (ii) why were the fishermen involved in that out-of-court settlement required to sign a secrecy or non-disclosure document, (iii) how many fishermen were involved in that out-of-court settlement?
(Return tabled)Question No. 28--Mr. Todd Russell
With regard to the Building Canada Fund (BCF): (a) what projects have been awarded funding; (b) for each of these projects, what was (i) the dollar share of project costs funded by the government, (ii) the percentage share of project costs funded by the government, (iii) the content and specifications of the project, (iv) the location of the project; (c) what are the government's plans to accelerate infrastructure spending under the BCF; (d) how much funding has been or will be allocated for each province and territory; and (e) what is the cost-sharing formula for cost-shared projects with other orders of government?
(Return tabled)Question No. 29--Mr. Todd Russell
With regard to 5 Wing Goose Bay, for each of the fiscal years 2004-2005 through 2008-2009 inclusive: (a) what was the total amount spent, or for the current year budgeted to be spent, by the Department of National Defence (DND) or the Canadian Armed Forces in respect of 5 Wing Goose Bay, indicating for each fiscal year the operational budget, capital budget, payroll, and other expenses; (b) what specific measures, if any, have been taken towards the establishment of a rapid reaction battalion and unmanned aerial vehicle squadron at 5 Wing Goose Bay; (c) what is the operational requirement for 5 Wing Goose Bay referred to by the former Minister of National Defence and when was it instituted; and (d) what specific marketing initiatives has DND undertaken with regards to attracting clients to 5 Wing Goose Bay, stating (i) who has undertaken this marketing for or on behalf of DND, (ii) what are the budgeted or actual expenditures for these marketing initiatives?
(Return tabled)Question No. 30--Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia
—With regard to the installation of cell phone communications towers and the electro-magnetic fields and radio-frequency radiation they emit: (a) when was a federal permit awarded to install a cell phone tower at Saint-Joachim church located at 2 Saint-Anne, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, H9S 4P5; (b) who is the service provider who applied for and was awarded the permit; (c) what justification was given by the service provider for requiring a cell phone tower permit for that particular location; (d) what are the technical specifications of the cell phone tower for which a permit was awarded; (e) what limits or conditions, if any, were attached to the permit; (f) do technical specifications and other permit conditions vary according to the nature of the surrounding environment, specifically as regards to whether schools, hospitals, or residential units are located in the vicinity; (g) what requirements were placed on the City of Pointe-Claire in regards to consulting local residents before a federal permit was awarded for the Saint-Joachim cell phone tower, and were these general requirements applicable to all municipalities in Canada or were all or some conditions specific to this particular tower; (h) how many other permits have been awarded in the past for installation of cell phone towers in Pointe-Claire, where are these located, and who are the providers who operate the towers; (i) what evidence has the government used to establish that cell phone towers are not a threat to human health generally and to the health of vulnerable populations like children specifically; (j) in establishing allowable risks associated with cell phone towers does the government apply a maximum acceptable threshold of risk that incorporates the precautionary principle as laid out in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (signed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) and, if not, what other standards, if any, of precaution are reflected in the applied risk threshold; and (k) is the government aware of literature or studies, including the most recent, that suggest there is risk, especially for children, associated with the close proximity of schools, hospitals, or residential units to cell phone towers and, if so, on what basis has the government dismissed these findings?
(Return tabled)Question No. 31--Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia
With regard to the two rerouted March 2008 Cubana Airlines flights flying from Havana and Varadero, Cuba to Montréal and the December 2008 Air Canada flight flying from Vancouver to Toronto that were stranded on the tarmacs of the Ottawa and Vancouver International Airports, respectively: (a) has the government investigated any or all of these incidents and, if so, what conclusions have been drawn regarding the cause of the passengers being held on a plane without enough food and water; (b) what steps or procedures were followed by the airport authority to finally deplane the passengers; (c) could any of these steps or procedures have been taken earlier and, if not, what constraints prevented these steps or procedures from being taken earlier; (d) are there currently any policies, laws, or regulations that set out a time limit for how long a plane with passengers can be held on the tarmac and, if not, has the government developed any recommendations for such policies, laws, or regulations; (e) is the government aware of any existing procedures, established voluntarily by airport authorities, to be followed in situations where a plane with passengers is left on the tarmac for a considerable period of time; (f) is there an accountability mechanism whereby tarmac delays above a reasonable threshold must be reported to the government; (g) to what extent, if any, was the RCMP involved in resolving any or all of these incidents; (h) if the RCMP was involved, what specific steps did they take to resolve any or all of these incidents; and (i) are there potential civil or criminal liabilities arising from these events?
(Return tabled)Question No. 33--Mr. Peter Stoffer
With regard to the HMCS Chicoutimi crew personnel who were on board during the October 2004 HMCS Chicoutimi fire: (a) what post-trauma services were offered to the personnel and following which timeline the services were offered; (b) what is the total number of hours of sick-leave taken post accident by month up to and including today's date; (c) how many individuals have applied for disability pensions or long-term disability directly related to this accident; and (d) how many were approved for disability pensions or long-term disability directly related to this accident to date?
(Return tabled)Question No. 34--Mr. Peter Stoffer
With regard to the anthrax vaccine administered to Canadian Forces (CF) serving in the Gulf War: (a) did the government complete independent testing on the safety of the vaccine; (b) did the government complete a study on the health of CF personnel who receive the vaccine; and (c) has the government continued to monitor or undertaken any follow up studies on the health of CF personnel who received the vaccine?
(Return tabled)Question No. 37--Mr. Bill Casey
With regard to the federal emergency preparedness funding to the provinces and territories over the last five years for firefighting equipment: (a) how much funding has the government contributed to those specific projects which involved the purchase of firefighting equipment through the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP); (b) what is the specific breakdown of the government's emergency preparedness contributions, by province and territory; and (c) other than the JEPP program, what other funding has been made available to the provinces, territories and municipalities to specifically support the purchase of firefighting equipment?
Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
Some hon. members: Agreed.