Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 589, 591, 593 and 595.
Question No. 589--Ms. Rachel Blaney
With regard to the survey that examines the income and characteristics of survivors of veterans married after the age of 60, currently being conducted by Veterans Affairs Canada in collaboration with Statistics Canada, as detailed in the government’s response to Q-84 on September 30, 2020: (a) on what date did the survey start; (b) what is the total number of veterans that are expected to be surveyed; (c) how many veterans have been surveyed to date; (d) what are the questions on the survey; (e) who is responsible for providing the list of names of potential survey participants; (f) what method is used to select the veterans who participate in the survey; and (g) what is the expected date when the survey will be finished?Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, this is a data integration project based on records retrieved from administrative data. The population of interest for this project is living survivors who married or entered a common-law relationship with a veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The objective of the study is to estimate the size of the population of interest and provide its socio-economic portrait.
In response to (a), the project was initiated in October 2019.
In response to (b), the total number of veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces was included in the analysis, approximately 150,000.
In response to (c), the target reaches all veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces. The records were retrieved from administrative data.
In response to (d), there are no survey questions as this analysis was based on administrative records, which provide information on both Canadian Armed Forces employment history and veteran pension. The economic outcomes are retrieved for the total of the estimated population.
In response to (e), the target population of the study was found through administrative records provided by the Department of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement Canada. Data presented in these administrative records will strictly adhere to Statistics Canada privacy and confidentiality guidelines as prescribed under the Statistics Act. Outputs from the study remain subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act. Disclosure control rules will be applied in order to safeguard the privacy of individual Canadians' personal information.
In response to (f), the method used to estimate the population at study is based on two criteria: whether the married or common-law spouse of the veteran was still living and whether they entered a union with the veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The eligibility was determined on administrative record information.
In response to (g), the initial analysis was provided to Veterans Affairs Canada in January 2021. The results of the study are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022.Question No. 591--Mr. Kenny Chiu
With regard to the decision of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to ban the flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea: (a) prior to this decision, for how long has the practice of flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea been allowed; (b) on what date was this decision made; (c) who in the DFO made the decision; (d) on what date was the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard informed of this decision; (e) what are the details, including findings of any scientific research that led to this decision; (f) did the DFO conduct an economic impact assessment or engage in consultations before making this decision, and, (i) if so, what were the findings, (ii) if not, why not; (g) when will this decision come into effect; (h) what are the specific details regarding the current consultation and advisory period related to this decision, including timelines and targets for industry consultation; and (i) what is the government’s response to concerns that this decision will lead to a higher percentage of British Columbia spot prawns being exported as opposed to consumed domestically, as well as higher expenses for fishermen and higher prices for Canadian consumers?Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands how important the Pacific prawn fishery is to British Columbia’s economy and culture. That is why we are making sure that tubbing can continue and harvesters will be able to sell their catch to Canadians to enjoy. This season, we have confirmed our support for an interim protocol that was developed by the industry, which will help prawn harvesters ensure that their catch continues to be sustainable and will be available for sale. We will continue to a take a cautious approach to fisheries management, one that prioritizes the conservation and sustainability of the stocks while also supporting this important industry.
In response to (a), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, has not banned the flash-freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The practice of flash-freezing prawns whole and individually finger-packed at sea has occurred since the 1990s and remains the predominant product type since the mid-1990s. Tubbing prawn tails at sea in frozen sea water has occurred for a number of years but has not been prevalent, and has grown in recent years. The industry estimates that about 10% of the total prawn catch is tubbed. Prawns are also delivered live.
In response to (b), the requirement to pack prawns in a way such that the size can readily be determined is not a new or recent decision, nor has DFO recently changed its interpretation of the regulations. Any person who catches a fish while commercial fishing must have it packaged in a way that allows for the species, number, weight, and size to be readily determined. This regulation has been in place since 1993 and is essential for DFO to verify harvesters’ catches and properly manage fisheries, particularly in situations where size restrictions apply.
DFO has been actively working with the commercial prawn industry on market traceability for packaging and labelling of prawns frozen at sea. Among the objectives of this project is to limit access to markets for illegal products, and for packaging to be done in a manner that will meet all existing federal and provincial regulations. Over the course of this work, DFO identified our concerns about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water, also known as “tubbing”, in late January 2021.
DFO’s concerns with onboard packaging of prawn tails in tubs of frozen sea water are that this packaging does not enable the determination of the size of prawn tails in the tub, which is a requirement outlined in subsection 36(2) of the fishery general regulations, 1993. Size limits are an important component in managing conservation and the sustainability of the spot prawn. It is important that all packaging at sea allows for size limits to be readily determined by a fishery officer.
In response to (c), over the course of the market traceability work, DFO Pacific region fisheries management and conservation and protection staff identified DFO’s concerns to industry representatives about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water.
In response to (d), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The minister and her office were made aware of industry concerns about the prospect that tubbing may not meet regulatory requirements through industry outreach to her office and briefings from DFO officials in early March.
In response to (e), size limits were first introduced in 1988 based on scientific research published in 1985. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry. A size limit allows prawns to grow, reach sexual maturity, and mate prior to being harvested. It also allows for increased growth prior to harvest. Harvesting prawns at a larger size increases the weight and value, price paid per pound, improving economic return.
In response to (f), an analysis was conducted in 1985 estimating the increased dollar value and price to harvest prawns at a larger age and size. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry.
In response to (g), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. As a result of DFO’s collaboration with industry, the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, which represents commercial prawn fishery licence-holders, has developed a protocol that provides guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO supports its use as an interim approach for 2021. The commercial fishery is scheduled to open May 14, 2021 and usually closes by end of June. DFO will continue to engage with industry over the coming year to determine a longer-term solution.
In response to (h), DFO officials have been meeting with commercial prawn fishery representatives on this issue over the past several months. DFO recently convened a working group with fishing industry representatives to explore options for addressing the tubbing issue for 2021. The protocol is a result of this work. DFO will continue to work with industry to transition to packaging practices or other measures that will allow size limits to be readily determined over the coming year.
In response to (i), no negative impacts are expected for export or domestic markets. DFO does not anticipate higher expenses for fishermen or higher prices for Canadian consumers. DFO is aware of the importance of tubbing to some harvesters. A protocol has been developed to provide guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO conservation and protection will apply discretion in its enforcement approach for the 2021 fishing season, recognizing the effort industry has made to establish the protocol and the challenges industry faces this year, while the development of different packaging practices or other measures is completed over the coming year.Question No. 593--Ms. Laurel Collins
With regard to the granting of essential purpose permits under the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations: (a) for each permit granted, (i) to what entity was the permit granted, (ii) for what product was the permit granted, (iii) on what date was the permit issued, (iv) what is the permit's expiration date, (v) on what grounds did it meet the standard of necessity for the health and safety or the good functioning of society, encompassing its cultural and intellectual aspects, and being without technically or economically feasible alternatives that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health; and (b) in cases where the Department of Environment and Climate Change was made aware at any point during or after the permitting process of technically or economically feasible alternatives acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health to any product for which an essential purpose permit was granted, what steps has the department taken to revise or cancel the applicable permit?Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part a), please refer to the following weblink for the information requested: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environmental-protection-act-registry/permits/authorizations-ozone-depleting-substances/companies-essential-purpose-permits-foam.html
With regard to part b), the ozone-depleting substances and halocarbon alternatives regulations implement Canada’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol by controlling the import, export and manufacturing of ozone-depleting substances, ODS, and climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs. The regulations will help reduce Canada’s annual consumption of HFCs by 85% by 2036, making a significant contribution in Canada’s fight against climate change.
The objective of the essential purpose permit provision is to provide flexibility for a limited period of time in recognition of the challenges that some companies may face in producing or acquiring compliant products by the deadlines established in the regulations. Any person subject to the regulations may apply for an essential purpose permit at any time. In order to get such a permit, the criteria set out in section 66 of the regulations must be met.
The essential purpose permits provide a temporary exemption to the prohibitions. They can have a maximum duration of 36 months, and they include reporting and other obligations.
Essential purpose permit applications are evaluated by carefully assessing the sector and the specific circumstances of the applicant against the criteria in section 66 of the regulations. In assessing applications, ECCC expects applicants to demonstrate that efforts are being made to find an alternative, including mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact if possible.
These essential purpose permits do not affect Canada’s ability to meet its international obligations under the protocol or to achieve its HFC phase-down target. In fact, in both 2019 and 2020, Canada exceeded its HFC reduction obligations. The Montreal Protocol controls the production, import and export of bulk HFCs. The protocol does not cover the manufacture or importation of products that contain HFCs. The essential purpose permits only apply to regulated products that are not included in the Montreal Protocol. As such, these product prohibitions go beyond Canada’s obligations established under the protocol.Question No. 595--Mr. Paul Manly
With regard to the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights: (a) when is the statutory review of the act by a committee of Parliament expected to begin; (b) why has the said review been delayed beyond the required five years; (c) does the government plan to adopt any of the 15 recommendations of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime’s November 2020 Progress Report on the act, and, if so, which recommendations; and (d) has the Department of Justice assessed the outcomes of the act to date, and, if so, what are its findings?Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, section 2.1 of former Bill C-32, an act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain acts, S.C. 2015, c. 13, provides that a committee of Parliament is to be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, CVBR. The launch of this review is, therefore, the independent responsibility of Parliament.
The Government of Canada appreciates the importance of reviewing and assessing existing legal, policy and programmatic responses to increase access to justice for victims of crime in Canada. In support of these efforts, the government appreciates the contributions of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, including the recommendations included in its November 2020 progress report. These recommendations are currently being reviewed by federal officials, including at the Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice recognizes that implementing the CVBR takes many forms and involves all levels of government and agencies that have responsibility in the criminal justice system. Since the CVBR came into force, federal, provincial and territorial governments have been advancing legislative, programmatic and policy initiatives to support its full implementation.
A wide range of activities and investments have been made through the federal victims strategy in support of the CVBR, such as training for criminal justice professionals on victims’ rights, public legal education and awareness raising for victims to inform them about the rights they have in the criminal justice system, increasing access to critical services and supports for victims and survivors and their families, and increasing access to the information they need to help them through the criminal and corrections systems. At the same time, funding for new tools, such as testimonial aids and restitution programs, has been made available to help victims participate meaningfully and safely in the criminal justice system and have their voice heard. A formal evaluation of the federal victims strategy and the impact of those investments is forthcoming.
Madam Speaker, furthermore, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 592, 594 and to Starred Question No. 590 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 590--Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille
With regard to the one-time tax-free payment to seniors as part of the COVID-19 pandemic: how many eligible seniors (i) in Canada, (ii) in Quebec, were unable to access their benefit because their Guaranteed Income Supplement applications were processed by the Canada Revenue Agency after September 11, 2020?
(Return tabled)Question No. 592--Mr. Damien C. Kurek
With regard to correctional facilities under the purview of the Correctional Service of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 1, 2020, broken down by month, institution and the security level of the institution: (a) what was the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 contracted by (i) inmates, (ii) staff; (b) how many (i) inmates, (ii) staff, have died from COVID-19; (c) how many (i) inmates, (ii) staff, have died from suicide; (d) what methods were used to count or determine the number of COVID-19 cases in institution; (e) which department or government agency is responsible for developing measures used to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in correctional facilities; (f) what measures were instated to ensure personal protective equipment distribution to (i) guards, (ii) inmates, (iii) visitors; (g) since the pandemic began, what specific health guidelines have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 by or to (i) guards, (ii) inmates, (iii) visitors, and on what date was each measure put into place; and (h) for each guideline in (g), which advisory body or regional health authority recommended the guideline?
(Return tabled)Question No. 594--Ms. Laurel Collins
With regard to federal funding in the constituency of Victoria, between October 21, 2019, and March 31, 2021: (a) what applications for funding have been received, including for each (i) the name of the organization, (ii) the department, (iii) the program and sub-program under which applicants have requested funding, (iv) the date of the application, (v) the amount applied for, (vi) whether the funding was approved or not, (vii) the total amount of funding, if the funding was approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued through its various departments and agencies that did not require a direct application from the applicant, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which applicants have received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if the funding was approved; and (c) what projects have been funded by organizations tasked with subgranting government funds (e.g. Community Foundations of Canada), including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which applicants have received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if the funding was approved?
Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès): I wish to inform the House that, because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 41 minutes.