Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 534, 542, 543, 544 and 550.
Question No. 534--Mr. François Pilon
With respect to the 2020 biodiversity targets adopted by the Parties in Nagoya: (a) which targets does Canada plan to meet; (b) what strategies will it implement to meet these targets; and (c) what timetable has the government set to implement each of these strategies?Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), in Nagoya in 2010, Canada worked with parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, to adopt global targets that were both ambitious and realistic. The CBD strategic plan is a non-binding flexible framework that parties are expected to adopt or adapt as appropriate at the national level. Canada is committed to doing its part to contribute to achieving the Aichi biodiversity targets.
Canada’s domestic targets have not been finalized nor adopted yet. Over the past year, the government has been working with provinces and territories on a domestic adaptation of the Aichi targets as Canada’s response to the CBD strategic plan. Canada has a biodiversity outcomes framework, approved by federal, provincial and territorial ministers in 2006, which is a logical framework for 2020 goals and targets.
The government is currently developing a proposal for strategic goals and 2020 targets and will be seeking input from key stakeholders in the next few months. The government plans to finalize the domestic targets in advance of the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD in October 2012.
With regard to (b), given the crosscutting nature of biodiversity, all jurisdictions and sectors of society have an important role to play. A number of strategies will continue to be important in helping Canada achieve its objectives in this area, including in meeting whatever new domestic new targets are established.
The Canadian biodiversity strategy, developed jointly by federal, provincial and territorial governments, is the blueprint for the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s living resources. The biodiversity outcomes framework complements and builds on that work. As federal, provincial and territorial governments have shared responsibilities for managing biodiversity, continued co-operation is key. In addition, the federal government continues to work with provinces and territories in areas of mutual interest, including, for example, wildlife management, protected areas planning and strategies related to invasive alien species.
Ongoing delivery of relevant federal strategies, programs and legislation will be a core element of achieving Canada’s biodiversity outcomes. The federal government took an important step in 2010 with cabinet approval of a new federal sustainable development strategy, FSDS. Protecting nature is one of the central themes of the FSDS. The strategy includes biodiversity targets that all federal departments will need to report against in their departmental sustainable development strategies. The federal commitments and actions through the FSDS will support implementation of the Canadian biodiversity outcomes.
Many provinces, such as Ontario and Nova Scotia, have recently developed or updated their own biodiversity strategies. Similarly, a number of local governments are developing biodiversity strategies. Initiatives by aboriginal organizations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia will also continue to contribute to results.
With regard to (c), it is expected that Canada’s new domestic targets will be scoped within a 2020 timeframe, in line with the time period of the Aichi targets. The timetables to implement the complement of domestic strategies that will support achievement of the targets varies. However, Canada and other parties to the CBD are expected to report on domestic progress every four years, with the next national report to be submitted in 2014.
Question No. 542--Hon. Hedy Fry
With respect to oil tankers on the Pacific coast that receive oil and oil products from the Westridge terminal and/or any other facility in Burnaby that loads oil and oil products onto tankers: (a) what permits are required for tankers to receive and ship oil and oil products from this facility; (b) which department issues and oversees such permits; and (c) what public consultation, if any, is undertaken prior to the issuance of such permits?Hon. Denis Lebel (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b) and (c), no regulatory permits are required for tankers to receive and ship oil and oil products from Westridge terminal. However, a licence to export the oil and oil products may be required, as set out in the National Energy Board Act and the associated National Energy Board Act Part VI (Oil and Gas) Regulations.Question No. 543--Ms. Judy Foote
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Fleet Separation and Owner/Operator policies: (a) will the government proceed with a policy change and, if so, when will a decision be made in this regard; (b) has the government conducted an analysis in the past relating to a possible change to the policies; (c) what steps has the government taken to consult fishers regarding the policies and when, before holding consultations did the government give notice of the consultations; (d) how many consultative submissions have there been from corporations with regard to the policies and how many have there been from independent fishers; (e) what (i) economic, (ii) social, (iii) cultural ramifications would result from a policy change; and (f) what (i) research, (ii) actions, (iii) investments has the government undertaken to develop a plan to change the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Fleet Separation and Owner/Operator policies?Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), while the department seeks to continuously improve commercial fisheries management and undertakes various analyses as part of its regular policy work, no decision has been made by the government to proceed with a policy change regarding Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s, DFO’s, fleet separation and owner/operator policies. Formal processes have been used in the past to review various policies; for example, in 1999 the Atlantic fisheries policy review, AFPR, was launched to propose a framework for managing east coast fisheries and build consensus around a renewed vision for the fishery. DFO also receives frequent requests from stakeholders for flexibility from various commercial fisheries management policies and management measures. As a matter of process, this often results in thorough analysis of existing policies to see where change may be needed to help improve economic outcomes. Subsequently, flexibilities such as licence stacking, licence combining, exemptions and other actions have been taken for the benefit of harvesters.
For the most recent round of consultations on commercial fisheries policies and management measures, the purpose of the consultations was threefold: to consult with stakeholders on conservation policies under the sustainable fisheries framework, to inform stakeholders about plans for long-term stability in fisheries and to seek stakeholder views on measures to provide opportunities for the industry to achieve greater economic prosperity. It was another step in the ongoing effort to continuously improve commercial fisheries management and provide greater opportunities for economic prosperity in Canada’s fishing industry.
With regard to (c), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, developed a discussion document, "The Future of Canada’s Commercial Fisheries", detailing the department’s policy direction to modernize commercial fisheries management. DFO provided access to this document by posting it online, emailing it directly to various stakeholders and mailing it to aboriginal groups throughout Canada.
A two-pronged approach was developed to engage people in the discussion: face-to-face meetings and an online process. The full-day face-to-face meetings were held in each DFO administrative area over the course of January and February 2012. Invitations were sent out several weeks in advance of each respective meeting.
For the online component, email notifications were sent on January 12, 2012, to stakeholders in the commercial and processing sectors, as well as aboriginal groups, environmental non-governmental organizations, economists, academics and industry associations in an attempt to engage a wide variety of views.
As the process progressed, the consultation period was extended to March 14, 2012, and additional meetings were held to engage with specific groups to hear their unique perspectives separate from the industry.
With regard to (d), during the consultative process DFO did not require participants to identify themselves as “corporations” or “independent fishers” when making a submission. The categories used were ”aboriginal groups, academic, commercial, economist, ENGO, province/territory, DFO, other federal department, processing, recreational, other”. These are not easily transferable to the categories highlighted in this particular question.
With regard to (e)(i), (e)(ii) and (e)(iii), the purpose of the consultation process was to seek feedback from stakeholders on the entire fisheries management regime. This approach was taken so as to not restrict what stakeholders could comment on concerning their experiences with the current management practices.
With regard to (f)(i), (f)(ii) and (f)(iii), as indicated in the answer to (a), the department undertakes policy research and analysis work on a regular basis to improve the fisheries management regime in Canada.
Question No. 544--Mr. Scott Simms
With regard to the proposed Muskrat Falls hydro-electric development: (a) who conducted the economic analysis of the project for or on behalf of the government; (b) when was this analysis (i) started, (ii) completed, (iii) submitted to the government; (c) has the analysis been publicly released; (d) if the analysis has not been publicly released, (i) why not, (ii) when will it be publicly released; (e) if the analysis was conducted on behalf of the government by a third party, (i) who conducted it, (ii) on behalf of which department or agency was it conducted, (iii) what was the total cost of the analysis, (iv) was the contract for the analysis awarded on the basis of competitive bid or was it sole-sourced; and (f) what were the risks and uncertainties identified in the course of the analysis?Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the economic analysis was undertaken by Natural Resources Canada.
With regard to (b)(i) and (b)(ii), the economic analysis began on September 29, 2011 and was completed on January 25, 2012. With regard to (b)(iii), the report on the economic analysis was submitted to the government on March 9, 2012.
With regard to (c), yes, the economic analysis can be found at the following link: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/news-release/2012/31/6064.
Part (d) is not applicable, as the economic analysis has been publicly released.
Part (e) is not applicable, as the economic analysis was not conducted by a third party.
With regard to (f), the risks and uncertainties are discussed in the report. Briefly, they relate to the forecast assumptions of oil prices, capital and operating costs of various supply options; the drivers of future demand of Newfoundland and Labrador, including population, economic activity, technological change, consumer tastes; and opportunities for future electricity exports from the project.
Question No. 550--Ms. Joyce Murray
With regard to the 2011 General Election, for every federal electoral district in British Columbia and for the province of British Columbia as a whole: (a) how many contacts has Elections Canada received, including all contacts lodged directly with Elections Canada, forwarded by returning officers or from any other source, of (i) repetitive, late-evening, bizarre, or rude phone calls, (ii) misdirections to wrong polling station addresses; (b) how many of (a) were received (i) during the writ period, (ii) in the week following the general election, (iii) since then; (c) according to the contacts Elections Canada has received, how many of (a) indicated they were from (i) the Conservative Party of Canada, (ii) the Liberal Party of Canada, (iii) the New Democratic Party of Canada; and (d) how many late voter registration papers were approved in British Columbia by a returning officer without the voter’s current or previous address appearing on the voter registration form?Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, the Chief Electoral Officer appeared before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on March 29, 2012, in regard to the allegations of wrongdoing during the 41st general election.
During his appearance, the Chief Electoral Officer indicated that Elections Canada received approximately 70 complaints during or immediately after the election, alleging various forms of improper telephone communications. The Chief Electoral Officer further indicated that close to 40,000 people have since contacted Elections Canada to express concerns. Of these contacts, over 800 were complaints alleging specific occurrences of improper or fraudulent calls across the country. As indicated by the Chief Electoral Officer during his appearance, providing further details on the complaints would risk interfering with the confidentiality and integrity of the Commissioner of Canada Elections’ ongoing investigation. Therefore, consistent with the spirit of the Access to Information Act, which recognizes the importance of preserving the confidentiality of the Commissioner’s investigation, Elections Canada is not in a position at the present time to provide additional information, including information specific to the Province of British Columbia.
Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 533 and 551 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
The Speaker: Is that agreed?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 533--Ms. Jean Crowder
With regard to the Market Basket Measure: (a) which government department is responsible for deciding how it will be calculated; (b) what changes were made to the calculation of shelter costs within the past three years; (c) who made the decision to change the calculation of shelter costs; (d) who was consulted on the decision to change the calculation of shelter costs; (e) what kind of evaluation was performed on the new calculation of shelter costs to ensure that it still represented a reasonable measure of the actual costs of housing; (f) when will the government review the shelter cost calculation again; and (g) what will be the process for reviewing the shelter cost?
(Return tabled)Question No. 551--Ms. Joyce Murray
With regard to the Centenaries Program funded under the program authority of Western Economic Diversification (WD) and delivered by WD and Canadian Heritage: (a) what is the purpose, cost, and timeframe of all current, ongoing, or completed (i) programs, (ii) commitments, (iii) agreements, (iv) expenditures to commemorate the 100th anniversaries of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, including, but not limited to, capital legacy projects as well as commemorative and celebratory events or any projects or programs transferred at any point to other departments for implementation; (b) what is the (i) source, (ii) partner, (iii) commitment, (iv) value, (v) timeframe of all funds leveraged from other funding sources in support of (a); (c) how did the government measure the success, effectiveness, and efficiency of all projects, programs, commitments, agreements, expenditures, and timeframes referred to in (a) and (b); and (d) what steps has WD taken to ensure that recommendation number one of the March 2010 Evaluation of the Centenaries Program, which is that “the department should ensure its corporate database captures relevant project recommendations and financial information in a timely manner,” be implemented?
Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.
The Speaker: Is that agreed?
Some hon. members: Agreed.