Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 360-362, 369 and 370, 372-378, 380-385 and 389.
Question No. 360--Mr. Alexandre Boulerice
With regard to the support units and bases of the Canadian Armed Forces and subcontracts, broken down by fiscal year since 2011-12: (a) what are the details of each contract, including (i) the supplier, (ii) the amount, (iii) the commodity description, (iv) the sourcing, sole or not; and (b) for each contract in (a), why was this work not performed by the Department of National Defence?Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence issues thousands of contracts each year to facilitate its operations and to better serve Canadians at home and abroad. These contracts are subject to national defence’s procurement processes, which allow the department to deliver the right equipment and quality service to the Canadian Armed Forces in a timely manner.
As part of its commitment to openness and transparency, the Department of National Defence proactively discloses all of its contracts over $10,000. Details of these contracts, ranging from 2011 to 2020, can be found at the Open Government website using the following link: https://open.canada.ca.
National defence does not centrally track subcontract data broken down by location. Providing the requested details would require a manual search and validation of over 160,000 contracts, which could not be completed in the allotted time.Question No. 361--Mr. Pierre Poilievre
With regard to private debt guaranteed by the government: what is its total value, including all Crown corporations like the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Export Development Canada?Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the outstanding principal under loan guarantees issued by the government on the borrowings of third parties stood at $14.5 billion at December 31, 2019. At September 30, 2020, the date of the most recent finalized quarterly data available, the outstanding principal under loan guarantees totalled $15.8 billion.
In addition, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, and the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, CDIC, operate insurance programs related to third-party debt for the government. CDIC operates the deposit insurance fund, which provides basic protection coverage to depositors for up to $100,000 of eligible deposits with each member bank, trust or loan company. CMHC operates the mortgage insurance fund, which provides insurance for mortgage lending on Canadian housing by private institutions. At December 31, 2019, total insurance in force amounted to $1,280,849 million. At September 30, 2020, the date of the most recent quarterly data available, total insurance in force amounted to $1,405,991 million. In the event that the corporations have insufficient funds, the government will have to provide financing. The government expects that the corporations will cover the cost of both current claims and possible future claims.Question No. 362--Mr. Randall Garrison
With regard to the government’s commitment to expunge the criminal records of LGBTQ2+ Canadians for historical offences that are no longer criminal offences as part of the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act: (a) how many people have applied to have their records expunged for unjust convictions; (b) what percentage of the applicants have been successful in having their records expunged; (c) of the unsuccessful applications, what reasons have been given for their rejection by category and how many rejected applications fall into each category; and (d) is there a deadline for applying for expungement under this act and, if so, will that deadline be extended to take into account the impact of the pandemic on the ability of those affected to complete applications?Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, from December 2019 to January 26, 2021, with regard to (a), PBC received 37 applications for expungement.
With regard to (b), 10) applications were accepted as eligible, and expungement was ordered for nine of them, 90%. The remaining application was refused because, upon investigation, the activity for which the person was convicted remains a criminal offence under the Criminal Code.
With regard to (c), 27 applications were returned or were not admissible because the individual did not meet one or more of the legislated eligibility criteria—i.e., their convictions were not on the list of eligible convictions for expungement. Additionally, the board did not have jurisdiction—i.e., expired absolute/conditional discharge—over two of the ineligible applications.
With regard to (d), there is no deadline for applying for expungement under this act.Question No. 369--Mr. Jack Harris
With regard to Global Affairs Canada, from August 2020 to the present: (a) how much funding was (i) allocated, (ii) spent by month to promote the candidacy of Bill Morneau to the presidency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; (b) how many public servants were involved in substantial activities related to Mr. Morneau’s candidacy; and (c) how many person-hours were dedicated to substantial activities related to Mr. Morneau’s candidacy?Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
The Government of Canada was disappointed to learn that Bill Morneau did not obtain sufficient support to become the next Secretary General of the OECD. Bill Morneau was an ideal candidate to lead the OECD in these difficult times and his commitment deserves to be recognized. Although this result was not what Canada hoped, Canada will work with the next Secretary General of the OECD, Mr. Mathias Cormann, and would like to congratulate him on his appointment.
In response to (a), consistent with its goals to contribute to an effective and high-performing rules-based system that serves Canadians and Canada’s interests, the government campaigned for a Canadian to become the next Secretary General of the OECD. It provided diplomatic support, advocacy and strategic advice.
As is the case in campaigns for leadership positions in multilateral organizations, outreach with key decision-makers in members’ capitals and members’ representatives to the organization is required. Based on the Treasury Board’s special travel authorities and the approach taken for travel-related costs in similar campaigns supported by the department in the past, existing resources of up to $98,385.19 were budgeted. No new resources were allocated. As of January 27, 2021, the total costs incurred by the government in relation to the campaign are $10,899.73.
In response to (b), the department has not assigned any officials exclusively for the purposes of the OECD Secretary-General campaign. Nevertheless, as the lead department responsible for the relationship with the organization, to varying degrees and in line with their regular duties, 19 officials in the department and at the permanent delegation of Canada to the OECD provided punctual support to the campaign at different moments in time.
In response to (c), the work performed by government officials is part of their regular duties, such as preparing briefing or communications materials, managing relations with the OECD and undertaking outreach with foreign countries.Question No. 370--Mr. Rob Morrison
With regard to the negotiations between Canada and the United States to renew the Columbia River Treaty: (a) what is the current schedule of the negotiations; (b) which organizations and individuals have been granted observer status for the negotiations; (c) which organizations and individuals have requested observer status but were not granted it; and (d) what is the government's specific reason for denying the request for each organization or individual in (c)?Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
With regard to (a), Canada and the United States have held 10 negotiation rounds on modernization of the Columbia River Treaty, the CRT. Round 11 has not yet been scheduled.
With regard to (b), in April 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs granted observer status to representatives from the Ktunaxa, Okanagan-Syilx and Secwepemc nations. These three indigenous nations work closely with Canada and British Columbia as part of these treaty negotiations.
With regard to (c), the member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia has requested observer status. This status has not been granted.
With regard to (d), the negotiating teams from both Canada and the United States are made up of non-political public servants. There are no political representatives from federal, provincial or state governments or other political representatives.
The Canadian delegation consists of personnel from the federal government, provincial government, BC Hydro and the three indigenous nations official observers covering the range of CRT-related issues. The Global Affairs Canada negotiating team and chief negotiator continue to engage with and update Columbia River basin community groups, the Local Governments Committee and political representatives at provincial and federal levels. The provincial members of the team provide regular updates to the responsible minister and B.C. political representatives and host regular town hall meetings to ensure local communities are briefed on the negotiations and to receive feedback from people in the basin. The representatives from the Ktunaxa, Okanagan-Syilx and Secwepemc nations engage their leadership and communities on the CRT and bring back their interests to the Canadian delegation.Question No. 372--Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner
With regard to COVID-19 vaccines: (a) how many will Canada receive, broken down by week, between January 29, 2021, and the end of 2021; and (b) what is the breakdown by manufacturer with whom Canada has procurement agreements, including those manufacturers whose vaccines have not yet received Health Canada approval?Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), as of March 16, 2021, the quarterly breakdown of expected deliveries of approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen) is eight million by the end of March, 28.5 million between April and the end of June, and 81.5 million between July and the end of September, for an aggregate total of 118 million by the end of September 2021. This includes accelerated doses of 1.5 million in March and one million in April and May. PSPC continues to work with vaccine suppliers to negotiate the early delivery of doses to Canadians, and as such, the information is subject to change.
In addition, information about the quantities of COVID-19 vaccines that have been delivered to provinces and territories to date is published by the Public Health Agency of Canada on the Vaccines and treatments for COVID-19: Vaccine rollout website at https://www.canada.ca/en/ public-health/services/diseases/ 2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/ prevention-risks/ covid-19-vaccine-treatment/ vaccine-rollout.html#a4. This information is updated weekly.
With regard to (b), information on Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine agreements, including a breakdown by supplier and number of doses, is published on Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Procuring vaccines for COVID-19 website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/ public-services-procurement/ services/procuring-vaccines- covid19.html.
To protect Canada’s negotiating position and to respect confidentiality clauses in our vaccine agreements, Public Services and Procurement Canada cannot unilaterally disclose details of specific agreements. We continue to seek opportunities to be as transparent as possible about our procurements in support of Canada’s COVID response, while respecting confidentiality agreements and protecting our negotiating position.Question No. 373--Mr. Bob Saroya
With regard to illegal firearms entering Canada: what is the government’s estimate of the number of illegal firearms that have entered the country since 2016, broken down by year and by method of entry (air cargo shipments, land passenger vehicle smuggling, etc.)?Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that our border remains open to legitimate trade and travel while closed to those who seek to traffic or smuggle weapons or drugs.
Following significant cuts by the previous Conservative government to our security agencies, in the last Parliament our government announced an investment of $327 million to combat gun and gang violence, with $86 million to prevent cross-border smuggling of illegal firearms. Of this, the CBSA is being provided an extra $51.5 million to enhance screening, detection and training around firearms smuggling, and $34.5 million for the RCMP’s integrated criminal firearms initiative to enhance intelligence gathering, technology and investigations.
Upon the introduction of new legislation that will strengthen gun control at our borders, we announced additional anti-smuggling investments for the RCMP worth $42.4 million over 5 years, with $6.1 million ongoing. At the same time, for the CBSA we announced enhanced intelligence and investigative capacity of $21.8 million over 5 years, and $3.3 million for ongoing AI threat detection, with $1.7 million over 5 years.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to prevent cross-border firearms smuggling, considering that during the study of Bill C-71 study at SECU, the Conservative MPs proposed amendments that “there be no punishment for include ‘false statements to procure licences’, ‘false statements to procure customs confirmations’—so, importing or trafficking”, as seen at https://openparliament.ca/search/?q=%22randall+koops%22&page=3
At every point in the travel continuum, the government undertakes activities to prevent the smuggling of illicit firearms. Pre-border, the government works closely with domestic and international law enforcement agencies to identify and disrupt criminal networks involved in smuggling or facilitating the smuggling of illicit firearms, through intelligence sharing and operations. The Canada Border Services Agency’s, CBSA’s, national targeting centre also uses intelligence, information and other indicators to conduct pre-arrival risk assessments of goods and people entering the country to identify high-risk shipments or travelers.
If firearms are smuggled into Canada, the CBSA works closely with its law enforcement partners to identify smuggling routes and individuals involved, and to lay the appropriate criminal charges after a thorough criminal investigation. Where a foreign national may be involved, the CBSA can also remove the individual from the country, as such criminal involvement would likely deem the individual as inadmissible to Canada. From January 1, 2014 to September 6, 2020, the CBSA seized 4263 undeclared firearms at the border.
Just recently, we announced that we will be re-establishing the cross-border crime forum with the U.S. while exploring the creation of a cross-border task force to address gun smuggling and trafficking.
To fight the criminal act of gun smuggling and trafficking at our border, under Bill C-21 we will increase the maximum prison sentence to highlight how serious this offence is. Additionally, we will increase sharing of data between the RCMP and local law enforcement agencies to better prosecute trafficking offences, and will table an annual report for greater transparency and accountability.
We welcome the support of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police who “wholeheartedly endorse all efforts to strengthen border controls and impose stronger penalties to combat firearms smuggling and trafficking”.Question No. 374--Mr. Pierre Poilievre
With regard to ownership of government bonds: what is the total ownership of bonds, broken down by wealth quintile?Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, a search of the records of the Department of Finance did not produce any results, as neither the department nor the Bank of Canada collects data regarding holdings of government bonds, either in general or by wealth quintiles.Question No. 375--Mrs. Cathay Wagantall
With regard to the directives outlined in the Supplementary mandate letter of January 15, 2021, addressed to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence and signed by the Prime Minister: (a) what are the specific programs and services that will be reviewed to ensure veterans, their families, and their primary caregivers receive the best possible mental health supports, including timely access to service; (b) what are the metrics by which each program and service will be reviewed; and (c) when will a review of each program and service begin and end?Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs Canada recognizes the impact that military service has on the mental health and well-being of both veterans and their family members, and understands the importance of family to the overall health and wellness of veterans. As emphasized in the Prime Minister’s supplementary mandate letter to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring that eligible veterans, their families and their primary caregivers have access to the mental health support they need, when they need it. Veterans Affairs Canada fully supports these efforts and is engaged in activities that are working towards delivering on this mandate commitment, including a review of mental health supports to ensure that veterans, their families and primary caregivers have the best possible mental health services. The timing and metrics are still being determined.Question No. 376--Mr. Michael Kram
With regard to the decision to layoff air traffic control workers at the Regina International Airport and the statement by the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons on January 28, 2021, that "No decision has been made. It is important to note that any changes in the level of service proposed by Nav Canada will be subjected to a rigorous safety assessment by Transport Canada": (a) why were layoff notices provided to workers prior to January 28, 2021, if "no decision has been made"; (b) on what date was the decision made; (c) on what date was Transport Canada first notified of the decision; (d) what are the details of how the "rigorous safety assessment by Transport Canada" was conducted; and (e) what were the results of the safety assessment?Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), Nav Canada is a private, arm’s-length entity and Transport Canada is not involved in the company’s day-to-day management decisions. That said, Transport Canada assesses service level reductions to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on safety.
With regard to parts (b) to (e), no decisions have been made by Transport Canada on a potential service level reduction. Transport Canada is still awaiting receipt of Nav Canada’s aeronautical study, which it will review to determine if the department is supportive of any proposed service level reduction at Regina International Airport. This assessment will begin once the study is received from Nav Canada.Question No. 377--Mr. Michael Barrett
With regard to the various travel restrictions and border measures put into place during the pandemic: (a) what is the government's criteria or exit strategy regarding when each restriction or measure will be eased, including the targeted number of vaccinations, cases or hospitalizations before the government will consider easing each measure; and (b) does the government have any projected timeline for when each criteria in (a) is expected to be met and, if so, what is the timeline?Hon. Patty Hajdu (Minister of Health, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the Government of Canada has taken unprecedented action to implement a comprehensive strategy with layers of precautionary measures.
Between February 3, 2020, and February 14, 2021, the Governor in Council has made 45 emergency orders under the Quarantine Act to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Canada, to reduce risks from other countries, to repatriate Canadians and to strengthen measures at the border to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in Canada. Together, these measures have been effective. By limiting incoming travel to Canada, requiring mandatory quarantine for asymptomatic travellers, with some exceptions, and requiring mandatory isolation for symptomatic travellers, the number of travel-related COVID-19 cases in December 2020 was a fraction of the travel-related cases seen in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
In consultation with provinces, territories, and industry stakeholders, and in recognition of the low number of domestic cases, some travel restrictions were eased in October 2020. These include restrictions for extended family members of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act; compassionate entry and limited release from quarantine for reasons such as funerals or to provide care to someone residing in Canada; international students; regular cross-border students; children in shared custody agreements; and residents of isolated border communities.
However, as the numbers increased again and new variants of concern emerged, more stringent measures were introduced once again. In December 2020, the Minister of Transport announced a 72-hour emergency travel ban on all incoming flights from the United Kingdom, and by January 7, 2021, travellers flying into Canadian airports were required to provide proof of a negative molecular test taken prior to departure, with exceptions. This was followed later in January with the ability of travellers to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test taken at least 14 days and not more than 90 days prior to travel. At this time, strengthened measures continue to be necessary as new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, which are more transmissible, may have an impact on the efficacy of some vaccines and drugs. Therefore, additional testing and quarantine requirements for travellers arriving by both air and land, as announced by the Prime Minister on January 29, 2021, came into effect on February 14. Under these new measures, travellers arriving at Canada’s land ports of entry are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test, and as of February 21, all travellers arriving in Canada will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and again later during their quarantine, with exceptions. Also as of February 21, travellers arriving by air will be required to reserve and stay in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for up to three nights, at their own cost, while they await the results of the COVID-19 molecular test they took upon arrival, with limited exceptions.
A certain proportion of travellers will require the use of clinical resources for care. In addition, infected travellers can cause secondary transmission to household members or in the community. Therefore, travel continues to present a risk of importing cases, including cases of new variants of the virus, and increases the potential for onward community transmission of COVID-19. To increase monitoring for importation of variants of concern, and to allow our health care system to recover, these stricter measures are necessary to reduce immediate risks associated with new variants and to protect Canadians.
Border measures are developed through consultation with provincial, territorial and international governments, and are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments, including evaluation of available scientific data and assessment of domestic and international public health measures. The Government of Canada continues to review the available scientific evidence to determine future border measures, including the use of both testing and vaccination to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
The Government of Canada recognizes that entry prohibitions, mandatory quarantine requirements and testing protocols place significant burden on the Canadian economy, Canadians, and their immediate and extended families. However, these measures remain the most effective means of limiting the introduction of new cases of COVID-19 into Canada. The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to gather evidence to guide policy and decision-making and to incorporate all available options to permit further easing of border measures. While approved COVID-19 vaccines protect an individual from the severe effects of illness, there is limited evidence regarding the ability of a vaccinated individual to transmit the virus to others. Questions also remain regarding the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing illness related to new variants of concern of COVID-19. We continue work towards a time where measures can be eased for those who are vaccinated.
With the advent of new, more transmissible variants of the virus, the Government of Canada continues to take a precautionary approach to border measures in an effort to preserve domestic health capacity and reduce the further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in Canada.Question No. 378--Mr. Marty Morantz
With regard to the impact of interest rate hikes on the government’s finances: what are the Department of Finance’s projections on the amount of interest the government will have to pay to service the debt in each of the next 10 years under the (i) current interest rate levels, (ii) increased interest rate levels, broken down by rate?Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the most recent projections for Government of Canada debt charges can be found in the fall economic statement 2020, which was released on November 30, 2020, and is available at https://www.budget.gc.ca/ fes-eea/2020/ home-accueil-en.html. Specifically, the projection for interest paid on the federal debt for the current and following five years can be found in Table A1.5 on page 126, in the row labelled “Public debt charges”. The Department of Finance does not produce 10-year projections.
These public debt charge projections have been calculated using interest rate projections provided by private sector forecasters through a survey conducted in September 2020. Further details and the results of the September survey can be found on pages 119 -121 of the fall economic statement 2020, including the private sector projection of the Government of Canada three-month treasury bill and the 10-year bond rates.Question No. 380--Mr. Bob Zimmer
With regard to the planned layoffs at the air traffic control towers in St-Jean, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Regina, Fort McMurray, Prince George and Whitehorse: (a) how many air traffic controllers have received layoff notices, broken down by each airport; (b) does the Minister of Transport agree with the decision to lay off these air traffic controllers, and, if not, has he asked Nav Canada to reverse the decision; and (c) did Transport Canada conduct an analysis on the impact of these layoff decisions, and, if so, what methodology was used, and what were the findings, broken down by airport?Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), Nav Canada is a private, arm’s-length entity, and Transport Canada is not involved in the company’s day-to-day management decisions.
In response to parts (b) and (c), and having said that, Transport Canada assesses service level reductions to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on safety. No decisions have been made by Transport Canada on potential service-level reductions currently under consideration. The department is still awaiting Nav Canada’s aeronautical study, after which the assessment will begin.Question No. 381--Mr. Chris Warkentin
With regard to the government’s response to Order Paper question Q-313, regarding SNC-Lavalin and COVID-19 programs and spending measures, and the $150,000,000 contract awarded on April 8, 2020, to SNC-Lavalin to design and deliver mobile health units: (a) was this contract solesourced, or was there an open competition; (b) if the contract was awarded through an open competition, how many other competing bids were received; (c) was the tender for this contract advertised and, if so, between what dates was the contract advertisement online, prior to the bid deadline; (d) on what date did the Minister of Public Works and Government Services approve the contract; (e) did this contract receive sign off or approval at any cabinet committee and, if so, on what date, and at which committee; (f) what are the terms of the contract, including any delivery dates; (g) what are the start and end dates of the contract; (h) has the value of the contract been amended since it was originally signed and, if so, what is the (i) original contract value, (ii) revised contract value, (iii) date of amendment; and (i) what specific products, and how many, have been delivered to date as a result of the contract, and where are each of the products currently located?Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), a contract in support of the government’s COVID-19 response was awarded to the SNC-Lavalin PAE Joint Venture, SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc., on April 9, 2020, to design and deliver mobile health units following a limited tender solicitation. This contract is valued at $150 million.
With regard to (b), two Canadian contractors were invited to submit proposals based on their proven record on complex logistics work: SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario, and Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. of Coquitlam British Columbia.
With regard to (c), the tender was not publicly advertised. The two contractors were invited to submit proposals based on their proven record on complex logistics work. SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc. was invited because of its past and current contracts related to supporting the Department of National Defence with camp logistics for deployed military operations, e.g., in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
With regard to (d), the deputy minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada approved the SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc. and Weatherhaven Global Resources Ltd. contracts on April 9.
With regard to (e), the $150,000,000 contract awarded on April 8, 2020, to SNC-Lavalin to design and deliver mobile health units did not receive approval from any cabinet committee.
With regard to (f), in accordance with the statement of work, the supplier is to provide up to 10 transportable 100-bed mobile health units, MHUs, with an option for additional units, and to also provide services, as and when required, through task-authorizations. Each MHU is to be a fully self-sufficient unit that can provide targeted care for persons with acute respiratory disease and distress.
During the MHU contract period, the supplier may be asked to provide and warehouse up to 10 MHUs deployable kits; establish a program management structure and team to execute the work; and provide logistic support services, on an as and when required basis.
With regard to (g), the contracts were issued with a six-month term and two six-month options. The award date for the two contracts was April 9, 2020. Both six-month extensions have been exercised on both contracts, which now have an end date of October 8, 2021.
With regard to (h), the maximum contract value of both contracts has not increased from the original value of $150 million.
With regard to (i), for the SNC-Lavalin PAE Inc. contract, the contractor was required to provide up to five MHUs’ worth of medical consumables and medical equipment. The contractor has delivered three designs for different MHU configurations, including a container and pod solution. Project management services and warehousing of products continues.
Some of the medical equipment has been transferred to the Public Health Agency of Canada for distribution to provinces to address provincial needs. The rest of the medical equipment and consumables remain within the contractor’s warehouse.Question No. 382--Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner
With regard to the government’s contracts for COVID-19 vaccines: (a) what recourse or financial penalties were written into each contract for (i) a delayed delivery schedule, (ii) deliveries with fewer doses than stated in the delivery schedule; (b) what was the original vaccine delivery schedule written into each contract; (c) what is the current vaccine delivery schedule for each contract; and (d) what intellectual property provisions were included in the contracts related to licensing for domestic manufacturing?Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, to protect Canada’s negotiating position and to respect confidentiality clauses in our vaccine agreements, Public Services and Procurement Canada cannot unilaterally disclose details of specific agreements. We continue to seek opportunities to be as transparent as possible about our procurements in support of Canada’s COVID response, while respecting confidentiality agreements and protecting our negotiating position.
For further information regarding vaccine procurement, please see https://www.canada.ca/en/public-services-procurement/services/procuring-vaccines-covid19.htmlQuestion No. 383--Mr. Jamie Schmale
With regard to procurement practices applied to contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what constitutes a COVID-19-related contract or supplier; (b) what policies or requirements have been paused, removed, suspended, or deferred for contracts related to COVID-19; (c) have integrity checks been downsized or compacted to accommodate tighter supply timelines; and (d) what policies or requirements have been waived for companies bidding on COVID-19-related contracts?Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), as a common service provider for procurement, PSPC has been engaged by its clients to procure a broad range of goods and services related to the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included requirements such as personal protective equipment; medical/laboratory equipment and supplies; vaccines, logistics; professional services; software; health related services; guard and security services; cleaning services; and communications, advertising, and contact center and construction services.
PSPC has been disclosing supplier names and contract values for contracts that it has entered into on behalf of other government departments and agencies for personal protective equipment, PPE, as well as medical/laboratory equipment and supplies at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/comm/aic-scr/contrats-contracts-eng.html. The information released will be adjusted over time as the procurement environment evolves.
With regard to part (b), no policies or requirements have been paused, removed, suspended, or deferred for contracts related to COVID-19. However, the Treasury Board amended the contracting policy to confer time-limited increased emergency contracting limits to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement for COVID-19-related procurements.
In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada made a request on behalf of the federal government that PSPC invoke a national security exception, NSE, with respect to the acquisition of goods and services required in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. That invocation, which covers a broad range of goods and services, is time-limited and applies only until the World Health Organization no longer declares the COVID-19 pandemic a public health emergency of international concern. An NSE invocation removes procurements from the obligations of Canada’s trade agreements for reasons of national security. NSEs are provided for in trade agreements to ensure that parties to the agreements are not required to compromise their national security interests through application of the trade agreements.
With regard to part (c), the Government of Canada’s integrity regime and its verification process have been consistently applied throughout the pandemic, including for applicable COVID-19 related procurements. The verification process has not been impacted and the department continues to provide high-quality services to complete all requests within its prescribed service standards.
With regard to part (d), no policies or requirements have been waived for companies bidding on COVID-19 related contracts.Question No. 384--Mrs. Cathy McLeod
With regard to the consultations conducted before the tabling of Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: (a) what are the details of all in-person and virtual consultations and meetings conducted by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs with all First Nations, Inuit, and Metis stakeholders, between August 1, 2018, and December 3, 2020, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) name and title of the First Nations, groups, organizations or individuals consulted, (iv) recommendations that were made to the minister; and (b) what are the details of all in-person and virtual consultations and meetings conducted by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, with all provincial ministers of Indigenous Affairs and all third-party stakeholders, between August 1, 2018, and December 3, 2020, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) name and title of the groups, organizations or individuals consulted, (iv) recommendations that were made to the minister?Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the question was interpreted as referring specifically to consultations conducted on Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Consultations on this bill began in early 2020, with a focused engagement period from September 2020 to November 2020. Between October and November 2020, the Government of Canada held 28 sessions with modern treaty and self-governing rights holders on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis as reflected in their agreements. The Government of Canada met bilaterally with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council. Our government also met with other national and regional organizations, including indigenous women’s organizations, LGBTQ2S+ groups, indigenous youth and indigenous law students.
Justice Canada, with the support of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, CIRNAC,, will publish a what-we-learned report, which will be made available to members of the public soon.Question No. 385--Mrs. Cathy McLeod
With regard to offers or proposals received by the government to manufacture or produce COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, or to develop facilities for such production, since January 1, 2020: what are the details of any such offers or proposals, including (i) the name of the individual or firm making the offer or proposal, (ii) the summary of the offer or proposal, including the timeline, (iii) whether or not the offer or proposal was accepted by the government, (iv) the reason the offer or proposal was rejected, if applicable?Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada does not comment on whether specific applications for federal funding, including from the strategic innovation fund, SIF, may be under consideration. Details related to applicants and/or applications are subject to commercial confidentiality and cannot be disclosed. The process for strategic innovation fund projects can be consulted on the program website at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/125.nsf/eng/00023.html.
In the course of the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s efforts to map the vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing landscape in Canada, departmental officials conducted a comprehensive outreach across a range of companies to better understand their capabilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature and content of these conversations are commercially confidential. The Government of Canada also established the Vaccine Task Force, Therapeutics Task Force and the joint manufacturing subcommittee, comprising scientific experts and industry leaders, to make evidence-based recommendations to the government. All promising leads and offers to the government have been thoroughly evaluated for their specific scientific and technical merits and their ability to make a timely contribution to Canada’s biomanufacturing landscape, and investment decisions are made on that basis.
To date, more than 20 proposals have been submitted that are related to biomanufacturing, vaccines and/or therapies. The Government has announced three of these projects, Precision NanoSystems, Abcellera and Medicago, and multiple others are in various stages of due diligence or other consideration, in consultation with the some of Canada’s leading scientists and industry experts in vaccinology, immunology, therapeutics and commercialization. Further projects will be announced in due course.
On May 3, 2020, the government announced a $175.6-million investment in AbCellera through SIF to support its antibody therapy discovery and to establish a good manufacturing practice facility in Vancouver.
On October 23, 2020, the government announced an investment of up to $173 million in Quebec City-based Medicago through SIF. The project, valued at a total of $428 million, will involve developing a vaccine through clinical trials, including phase 3, and establish a large-scale vaccine and antibody production facility to increase Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing capacity.
On February 2, 2021, the government announced an investment of up to $25.1 million in Vancouver-based Precision NanoSystems Inc. for a new biomanufacturing centre to expand Canada’s capabilities in the production of ribonucleic acid, RNA, vaccines and future genetic medicines.
A backgrounder that highlights the list of investments that have been made can be found at the following website: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2021/02/backgrounder--government-of-canada-investments-in-covid-19-vaccines-and-biomanufacturing-capacity.html.Question No. 389--Mrs. Cathy McLeod
With regard to the agreement between the government and the Enoch Cree Nation related to the Yekau Lake Practice Bombing Range: (a) what is the summary of the terms of the agreement; and (b) is the text of the agreement publicly available and, if so, how can the public access the agreement?Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, insofar as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is concerned, the response is as follows.
With regard to (a), the Enoch Cree Nation submitted its Yekau Lake Practice Bombing Range specific claim in November 2007, on the basis that the Crown breached both its fiduciary and statutory obligations under the Indian Act in respect of the lease of the former Yekau Lake Bombing Range as part of Canada's war effort during the Second World War. Canada has provided $91 million in compensation to fully and finally resolve the Yekau Lake Practice Bombing Range specific claim. Please see https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/attachment.php?attach=39817&lang=en for additional details.
With regard to (b), the text of the agreement is not publicly available and is protected by settlement privilege.