Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 610, 612, 613, 619 and 620.
Question No. 610--Mr. John Brassard
With regard to the awarding of the South West Asia Service Medal (SWASM), the General Campaign Star (GCS), the General Service Medal (GSM) and the South West Asia Service ribbon by the Minister of National Defense for service in Afghanistan: (a) how many (i) SWASMs, (ii) GSCs, (iii) GSMs, (iv) South West Asia ribbons, have been awarded to date, broken down by award; (b) how many requests for the SWASM have yet to be fulfilled; and (c) how many years of service are required to be eligible for the (i) SWASM, (ii) GSM, (iii) CGS, (iv) South West Asia Service ribbon, broken down by award?Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, National Defence is committed to recognizing the service and sacrifice of the brave women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who participated in, and civilians who supported, Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan.
The Canadian honours system recognizes their service and sacrifice by awarding service and campaign medals.
In response to part (a), as of December 31, 2020, National Defence awarded 12,760 recipients with the South-West Asia Service Medal; 32,646 recipients with the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia; and 5,867 recipients with the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.
National Defence recently changed its database that tracks awarded service medals. Statistics on medals awarded are now reported and tracked on an annual basis.
The General Campaign Star and General Service Medal are awarded with a ribbon specific to the operational theatre or type of service being recognized. Therefore, the ribbon for South-West Asia is not considered a separate award from the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, nor the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.
In response to part (b), National Defence searched its awards database and found one pending application for the South-West Asia Service Medal for a retired member, which is currently being processed.
In response to part (c), the official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the South-West Asia Service Medal, the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, and the General Service Medal—South-West Asia are available online: i) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/south-west-asia-service-medal-swasm.html; ii) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/general-campaign-star-south-west-asia-gcs-swa.html; iii) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/general-service-medal-south-west-asia-gsm-swa.html.
In response to part (c)(iv), as noted above, the ribbon for South-West Asia is not considered a separate award from the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, nor the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.Question No. 612--Mrs. Karen Vecchio
With regard to the government’s original response and revised response to question Q-373 on the Order Paper: (a) which official signed the Statement of Completeness for the original response; (b) which official signed the Statement of Completeness for the revised response; and (c) if an official signed the Statement of Completeness for the revised response, why did Public Safety’s response to the request made under Access to Information Act A-2020-00384 indicates that “Public Safety Canada was unable to locate any records”?Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), the official who signed the statement of completeness, SOC, for the original input provided by the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, is the vice-president, intelligence and enforcement branch.
The official who signed the SOC for the original input provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, is the senior director, strategic policy and government affairs.
In response to parts (b) and (c), no revised SOC was produced for the revised response as it did not require the agencies to consult new records, analysis or consultations.Question No. 613--Mr. Chris d'Entremont
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program: (a) how much has been invested in the Harbour Authority of Little River, Digby County; and (b) how much will be invested over the next five years?Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program has invested $40,366.50 in the Harbour Authority of Little River, Digby County since 2019, up to and including fiscal year 2020-21. It will invest $50,580 over the next five years, based on existing contribution agreements between the harbour authority and the program.
Please note that the Harbour Authority of Little River ceased to exist in 2018, at which time it was replaced by the Digby Neck Harbour Authority Association. The investments cited in this response include those made or to be made to both entities.Question No. 619--Mr. Warren Steinley
With regard to the federal quarantine facility at the Hilton Hotel on Dixon Road near the Toronto Pearson Airport: (a) how much is the government paying the hotel to be a quarantine facility; (b) what were the total expenditures to make modification to turn the hotel property into a quarantine facility, including the cost of fencing and barricades; (c) what is the breakdown of (b) by line item; and (d) why was this specific property chosen to be a quarantine facility?Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), on September 17, 2020, the Government of Canada launched a request for information, RFI, to seek input from industry about potential options and best practices for the third party provision of lodgings and/or management of services associated with federal quarantine sites. Any further breakdown of costs cannot be released at this time, as the information would hinder the prospective competitive process following the RFI.
Due to current contracting activities, including the potential competitive processes noted above, the exact breakdown of costs cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (b), between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, the federal government has spent $285 million on enhanced border and travel measures and isolation sites. These measures include the federal designated quarantine sites across Canada; a strengthened national border and travel health program, including enhanced compliance and enforcement; safe voluntary isolation spaces in municipalities; and enhanced surveillance initiatives to reduce COVID-19 importation and transmission at points of entry.
Due to current contracting activities, including potential competitive processes, the exact breakdown of costs cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (c), due to current contracting activities, including potential competitive processes, the breakdown of (b) by line item cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (d), the referenced hotel was chosen to be a designated quarantine facility because it met a set of site requirement criteria. Each designated quarantine facility is chosen based on minimum criteria, including proximity to the airport/port of entry and to an acute care hospital, and ability to meet the Public Health Agency of Canada’s requirements to safely lodge travellers while they complete their mandatory quarantine/isolation.Question No. 620--Mr. Warren Steinley
With regard to quarantine requirements and a CTV report of April 12, 2021, that an individual returning to Canada contracted COVID-19 while staying at a quarantine hotel and subsequently infected his entire family: (a) how many individuals have contracted COVID-19 while staying at a quarantine hotel of quarantine facility since the program began; (b) if the government does not track how many individuals have contracted COVID-19 while at a quarantine hotel, why is such information not tracked; and (c) when an individual tests positive while at a hotel or facility, is the room required to be put out of service and not available for other guests for a certain period of time and, if so, what is the time period the room must be out of service and when was this requirement set?Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), all federally designated quarantine facilities, DQFs, have strict infection prevention and control measures in place in order to safeguard the health of Canadians. There has not been any transmission of COVID-19 in DQFs in Canada.
The number of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 while staying in a government-approved accommodation, GAA, is not collected as it would be impossible to know whether an individual became infected with COVID-19 at a GAA, rather than during high-risk exposures such as during air travel.
Even with valid negative pre-departure and on-arrival test results, some individuals subsequently test positive during their quarantine period. This is because the amount of virus or viral load of the person being tested affects the test result. A low viral load, which can occur in the very early stage of the disease or during the recovery phase, could give a false negative result. In other words, the virus could be present in the individual but not be detected through testing during some stages of the illness. As such, it is not unexpected that some travellers receive a positive day 8 test result.
Tests at day 1 and 8, previously day 10, are effective in preventing secondary transmissions. In addition, travellers must remain in quarantine for the full 14-day quarantine period. Their quarantine will only end once they have received a negative test result and completed the full 14-day quarantine, and as long as they have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19.
Mandatory quarantine and testing requirements are part of the Government of Canada’s multi-layered strategy to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, and will continue to be part of enhanced measures.
With regard to part (b), this information is not collected because it would be impossible to know whether an individual became infected with COVID-19 at a GAA, rather than during high-risk exposures such as during air travel.
Positive results identified as part of the arrival testing program, day 1 and day 8, whether the person is in a GAA, DQF or at home, are collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
With regard to part (c), at GAAs and DQFs, rooms are thoroughly cleaned between guests, whether they are positive or negative.
In DQFs, the room is required to be put out of service and rendered unavailable for other guests for a period of 24 hours.
At GAAs, staff are advised to wait 24 hours before entering the room, or if 24 hours is not feasible, then to wait as long as possible. GAAs and DQFs are expected to meet a set of criteria, which include meeting infection prevention and control procedures and following cleaning guidelines. Staff are required to be trained on cleaning and disinfecting as per guidelines and know how to apply these best practices for cleaning public spaces as per instructions.
Mr. Speaker, if the government's response to Questions Nos. 607 to 609, 611, 614 to 618 and 621 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 607--Ms. Kristina Michaud
With regard to the Centennial Flame unveiled on July 1, 1967, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa: (a) what fuel is used to enable the flame to burn perpetually; (b) what is the price per cubic metre of the fuel used and, if applicable, how much gas is used annually to keep the flame burning; (c) what is the estimated amount of greenhouse gases emitted annually by (i) the flame itself, (ii) the infrastructure supporting the flame’s operation; (d) since the unveiling of the Centennial Flame in 1967, has the government estimated the cumulative amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere; and (e) has the government purchased carbon credits to offset these greenhouse gas emissions and, if so, what is the total amount that has been spent to offset greenhouse gas emissions, broken down by (i) year, (ii) annual amount spent?
(Return tabled)Question No. 608--Mr. Doug Shipley
With regard to the Supplementary Estimates (A), (B) and (C), 2020-21 and the items listed under Privy Council Office as COVID-19 communications and marketing: (a) what was the total amount actually spent under this line item; (b) what is the detailed breakdown of how the money was spent, including a detailed breakdown by (i) type of expenditure, (ii) type of communications and marketing, (iii) specific message being communicated; (c) what are the details of all contracts signed under this line item, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) detailed description of goods or services, including the volume; and (d) was any funding under this line item transferred to another department or agency, and, if so, what is the detailed breakdown and contract details of how that money was spent?
(Return tabled)Question No. 609--Mr. John Brassard
With regard to training and education benefits provided by Veterans Affairs Canada: (a) of applications for the Veterans Education and Training Benefit, since April 1, 2018, (i) how many veterans have applied for the benefit, (ii) how many family members of veterans have applied for the benefit, (iii) how many applications for the benefit have been received, (iv) how many applications have been denied, (v) how much money have been awarded to veterans and their family members, broken down by fiscal year; and (b) for the Rehabilitation and Vocational Assistance Program, broken down by year since 2009, (i) how many veterans have applied for the program, (ii) how many veterans were accepted into the program, (iii) how many veteran’s applications were denied, (iv) how much was paid to WCG Services to deliver the program, (v) how much was paid to March of Dimes to deliver the program?
(Return tabled)Question No. 611--Mrs. Karen Vecchio
With regard to the Translation Bureau operations: (a) how many hours of simultaneous interpretation of parliamentary proceedings were provided each year since 2016, broken down by (i) sittings of the Senate, (ii) sittings of the House of Commons, (iii) meetings of Senate committees, (iv) meetings of House committees; (b) how many employees have provided simultaneous interpretation each year since 2016 (i) of parliamentary proceedings, (ii) in total; (c) how many freelance contractors have provided simultaneous interpretation each year since 2016 (i) of parliamentary proceedings, (ii) in total; (d) what are the minimum employment qualifications for simultaneous interpreters employed by the Translation Bureau, including, but not limited to, (i) education, (ii) work experience, (iii) profession accreditation, (iv) security clearance; (e) how many of the employees and freelance contractors identified in (b) and (c) meet the Translation Bureau’s minimum employment qualifications listed in (d), including a breakdown of the qualifications specifically listed in (d)(i) to (iv); (f) what is the estimated number of total Canadians who currently meet the Translation Bureau’s minimum employment qualifications listed in (d); (g) what are the language profiles of employees and freelance contractors, listed in (b) and (c), as well as the estimated number of Canadians in (f), broken down by “A language” and “B language” pairings; (h) what was the cost associated with the services provided by freelance simultaneous interpreters, identified in (c), each year since 2016, broken down by (i) professional fees, (ii) air fare, (iii) other transportation, (iv) accommodation, (v) meals and incidental expenses, (vi) other expenses, (vii) the total amount; (i) what are the expenses listed in (h), broken down by “A language” and “B language” pairings; (j) what percentage of meetings or proceedings where simultaneous interpretation was provided in each year since 2016 has been considered to be (i) entirely remote or distance interpretation, (ii) partially remote or distance interpretation, and broken down between (A) parliamentary, (B) non-parliamentary work; (k) how many employees or freelance contractors providing simultaneous interpretation have reported workplace injuries each year since 2016, broken down by (i) nature of injury, (ii) whether the meeting or proceeding was (A) entirely remote, (B) partially remote, (C) neither, (iii) whether sick leave was required and, if sick leave was required, how much; (l) how many of the workplace injuries identified in (k) have occurred during (i) sittings of the Senate, (ii) sittings of the House of Commons, (iii) meetings of Senate committees, (iv) meetings of House committees, (v) meetings of the Cabinet or its committees, (vi) ministerial press conferences or events; (m) what is the current status of the turnkey interpreting solution, using ISO-compliant digital communications services, which was, in 2019, projected to be available by 2021, and what is the current projected date of availability; (n) how many requests for services in Indigenous languages have been made in each year since 2016, broken down by (i) parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, (ii) non-parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, (iii) parliamentary translation, (iv) non-parliamentary translation; (o) what is the breakdown of the responses to each of (n)(i) to (iv) by (i) A language pairing, (ii) B language pairing; (p) how many of the requests for parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, listed in (n)(i), were (i) fulfilled, (ii) not fulfilled, (iii) cancelled; (q) how many days’ notice was originally given of each service request which was not fulfilled, as identified in (p)(ii); (r) for each service request which was cancelled as listed in (p)(iii), (i) how soon after the request was made was it cancelled, (ii) how far in advance of the scheduled time of service was the request cancelled, (iii) what were the total expenses incurred; (s) how many documents have been translated with the use of machine translation, either in whole or in part, each year since 2016, broken down by original language and translated language pairings; and (t) how many of the machine-translated documents listed in (s) were translated for parliamentary clients, broken down by categories of documents, including (i) Debates, Journals, Order Paper and Notice Paper of the Senate and House of Commons, (ii) legislation, (iii) committee records, (iv) Library of Parliament briefing notes, (v) briefs and speaking notes submitted to committees by witnesses, (vi) correspondence, (vii) all other documents?
(Return tabled)Question No. 614--Mr. Terry Dowdall
With regard to the trips of the Minister of National Defence, broken down by each trip since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the dates, points of departure, and points of arrival for trips made with military search and rescue aircraft; and (b) what are the dates, points of departure, and points of arrival for trips using Canadian Armed Forces drivers (i) between the Vancouver International Airport and his personal residence, (ii) between his personal residence and the Vancouver International Airport, (iii) between the Vancouver International Airport and his constituency office, (iv) between his constituency office and the Vancouver International Airport, (v) between his constituency office and meetings with constituents, (vi) to and from personal appointments, including medical appointments, (vii) to and from the ministerial regional offices?
(Return tabled)Question No. 615--Mr. John Brassard
With regard to reports that some arriving air travelers are having their expenses for quarantining at a designated hotel or other quarantine facility covered by the government: (a) how many arriving travelers have had their quarantine expenses covered by the government since the hotel quarantine requirement began, broken down by airport point of entry; (b) what specific criteria is used by the government to determine which travelers are required to pay for their own hotel quarantine and which travelers have their quarantine paid for by the government; and (c) what are the estimated total expenditures by the government on expenses related to quarantining the travelers in (a), broken down by line item and type of expense?
(Return tabled)Question No. 616--Mr. Len Webber
With regard to expenditures on talent fees and other expenditures on models for media produced by the government since October 1, 2017, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what is the total amount of expenditures; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) project or campaign description, (iii) description of goods or services provided, (iv) date and duration of the contract, (v) file number, (vi) publication name where the related photographs are located, if applicable, (vii) relevant website, if applicable?
(Return tabled)Question No. 617--Mr. Paul Manly
With regard to the government funding in the constituency of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, between October 21, 2019, and March 31, 2021: (a) what are the details of all the applications for funding, grants, loans, and loan guarantees received, broken down by the (i) name of the organization(s), (ii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iii) program and any relevant sub-program, (iv) date of the application, (v) amount applied for, (vi) total amount of funding or loan approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued and that did not require a direct application, broken down by the (i) name of the organization(s), (ii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iii) program and any relevant sub-program, (iv) total amount of funding or loan approved; and (c) what projects have been funded by organizations responsible for sub-granting government funds, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient organization(s), (ii) name of the sub-granting organization, (iii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iv) program and any relevant sub-program, (v) total amount of funding?
(Return tabled)Question No. 618--Mr. Warren Steinley
With regard to reports, studies, assessments, and evaluations (herein referenced as deliverables) prepared for the government, including any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity, by McKinsey and Company, Ernst and Young, or PricewaterhouseCoopers, since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all such deliverables, broken down by firm, including the (i) date that the deliverable was finished, (ii) title, (iii) summary of recommendations, (iv) file number, (v) website where the deliverable is available online, if applicable, (vi) value of the contract related to the deliverable?
(Return tabled)Question No. 621--Mr. Warren Steinley
With regard to the report that the government threatened to pull funding from the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) if they awarded Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan with the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service: (a) what are the details of all communications, formal or informal, between the government, including any ministers or exempt staff, and representatives of the HFX, and where there was any reference to Taiwan since January 1, 2020, including the (i) date, (ii) individuals participating in the communication, (iii) the senders and recipients, if applicable, (iv) type of communication, (email, text message, conversation, etc.), (v) summary of topics discussed; and (b) which of the communications in (a) gave the impression to HFX that its funding would be pulled if it awarded the prize to the president of Taiwan, and (i) has the individual who made the representation been reprimanded by the government, (ii) was that individual acting on orders or advice, either formal or informal, from superiors within the government, and, if so, who were the superiors providing the orders or advice?
Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
Some hon. members: Agreed.