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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 149

CONTENTS

Monday, January 30, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 149
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, January 30, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer


  (1100)  

[English]

Vacancies

Calgary Heritage, Oxford 

    It is my duty to inform the House that vacancies have occurred in the representation, namely Mr. Bob Benzen, member for the electoral district of Calgary Heritage, by resignation effective Saturday, December 31, 2022; Mr. Dave MacKenzie, member for the electoral district of Oxford, by resignation effective Saturday, January 28, 2023.
    Pursuant to subsection 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed warrants to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of writs for the election of members to fill these vacancies.

[Translation]

Message from the Senate

    I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill, to which the concurrence of the House is desired: Bill S-11, A fourth Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law.

Acting Clerk of the House of Commons

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that consultations have taken place with the House leaders of the recognized parties and that, pending the conclusion of the formal process, the government intends to appoint Mr. Eric Janse to the role of Acting Clerk of the House of Commons.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Uighurs and Other Turkic Muslims

    The House resumed from October 26, 2022, consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to be the first member of the House to rise and speak in 2023. I would like to wish all my colleagues from all parties a happy new year.
    We hope that we all have a prosperous year, working together productively and introducing bills that will make a difference. We hope to see strong, decisive action, especially when it comes to language, but also in the fight against climate change. That is very important to me. We also want decisive action for our seniors, meaningful action for housing, and action that will really improve people's lives. I think we also want to hear the expression “triple, triple, triple” less often in the House. I think everyone would like that.
    I am very pleased to speak to Motion No. 62. I want to thank my colleague from Pierrefonds—Dollard, with whom I was lucky to work at the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. He is doing remarkable work. I think this motion is very important. There are all kinds of humanitarian and human rights crises going on in the world right now. I became aware of that, and it is something that matters very much to my colleague as well.
    I think it is especially important to talk about the motion before us this morning, which is about what is happening to the Uighurs. I would note that here in Ottawa today, on Parliament Hill, we have Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress; Omer Kanat, executive vice-president of the World Uyghur Congress; Mehmet Tohti, executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project; and many members of the Uighur diaspora. I thank them for being here on Parliament Hill, and I hope their presence here will help put some pressure on this government. I really think that is what we need.
    First, I would warn my colleagues who are sensitive and have a tender heart. I am about to tell members a really horrific story, one that will make our hearts pound, give us the chills and absolutely stun us. My colleagues should do what I did before becoming a politician. They should put themselves in the other person's shoes. They should try to see things from the perspective of the person I am going to talk about.
    This is the story of a Uighur woman who immigrated to Canada several years ago. Her father became very sick and this woman decided to return to her country. When she arrived in her home city, she was welcomed at the airport by her sisters. Her heart filled with joy as she was so happy to see them. It was a meaningful moment. However, a sense of unease came over her. She did not know why, but she sensed that she was not welcome. In the taxi, they asked her to remain silent and not to talk. She thought that things would be all right when she arrived at her home, but her sister asked everyone to turn off their cell phones. She whispered to her that something had been installed on their roof the previous evening and that she had to be careful about what she said.
    One night, at a restaurant, she noticed three men seated at the table next to her. She realized they were government agents. She was scared and did not finish her meal. These men watched her suspiciously. She slipped out into the market, which used to be quite vibrant, only to realize that no one was there. Her sister told her that most of the people had practically disappeared overnight, including her best friend. The situation was untenable and was jeopardizing her family. She had no choice but to leave. She left behind her dying father and her sisters, never to see them again. It was a heart-rending farewell. She returned to the comfort of her home in Quebec, while her family lives in fear in China.
    This is a very real story. The actions of this government have been very tentative and weak. The government has reluctantly acknowledged that China's treatment of the Uighurs constitutes genocide. While an entire people is being persecuted and employed in so-called vocational training schools, surrounded by walls and barbed wire, watched by guards equipped with batons and shields, the government across the way seems just a tad hesitant.

  (1105)  

    It is also important to remember that many women are being raped. Some women told the committee about the sexual and psychological abuse they have suffered. Children are being taken away from their families and placed in orphanages or state-run schools. Good people are being forced into factories as slaves, primarily outside the Xinjiang region, further contributing to the shrinking Muslim population.
    This is the same government that decided to boycott the Olympic Games, but to no effect. That is what it decided to do rather than demand that the games be moved so that the event could not be used for Chinese propaganda. It was as though the human rights violations and attacks on human dignity that we are talking about were somewhat or partially acceptable. The government will not go all the way with sanctions, because it thinks it can negotiate with people's suffering.
    This morning, it is very important to point out how ironic it is that Motion No. 62 states that the government determined that China's treatment of Uighurs is genocide, when, in reality, the executive, the council of ministers, cravenly abstained during the vote on the previous motion in February 2021. We sincerely hope that such will not be the case this time, that the government will take the bull by the horns, show some backbone and truly acknowledge that what is happening in China right now is a genocide against the Uighur people.
    We are talking about a regime that spies on and tracks Uighurs even beyond its own borders. Cameras and facial recognition technologies are used to track down deserters. Just like in bad sci-fi movies, this government introduces new family members through sponsorship programs. For example, one day I could end up with a new brother named George who would live with me and who my children would call their uncle. He would have me sent to a prison camp, beat my children and rape my wife. Meanwhile, my colleagues would turn a blind eye and wonder whether boycotting an event would have any kind of political impact.
    The government is talking about bringing 10,000 Uighurs to Canada, which is approximately 0.08%. Those are the lucky ones who will be able to enjoy our openness while hopefully avoiding the Chinese service stations set up in our country. They will avoid forced sterilizations and no longer be assimilated. That said, what about the 99.92% of Uighurs who will continue to be raped, assaulted and abused and who may end up with a new brother? Are we going to be complicit in the abuse that these people are going to suffer or will we finally take action to support and help these people, these humans?
    There is also talk of foreign interference, given that many of the bordering countries are participating in this genocide, some without the option of refusing. Canada is not immune to these pressures. While the House of Commons passed a motion in 2020 calling on the federal government to have a plan to counter foreign interference, nothing has been done so far. Even in Quebec, we now have Chinese police stations that are calling the shots.
    Are we going to do like we did with Yemen? Are we going to keep pretending we are not to blame by consenting to play a political game and by denying our responsibility when we sell arms to Saudi Arabia that are then used to kill Yemenites? Even as we give, we participate in torture. Is that who we are? Can we look forward to this government tabling a refugee resettlement plan quickly so that this does not fall off the radar while people are left to suffer?
    These people are enduring slavery, torture, rape, sterilization, abuse, persecution, suffering and death. I admire these deeply resilient human beings who are risking their lives to fight for their freedom and who are not giving up on that dream.

  (1110)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, today we are debating Motion No. 62, a motion that focuses on the human rights abuses and genocide being carried out against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims by the government of the People's Republic of China.
    I would first like to thank my colleague, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, for his important motion. All parliamentarians must stand firm in defence of fundamental human rights and condemn such gross violations, wherever they occur around the globe.
    Canada has an obligation to uphold and defend human rights in the international community and support Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, who are facing horrific persecution. I want to send a clear message that New Democrats support the motion, and we stand in solidarity with them in their fight for human rights.
    The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development has studied the human rights situation of the Uighurs. The subcommittee heard witness testimony documenting the mounting evidence of human rights abuses, including mass arbitrary detention, separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization, forced labour, torture and other atrocities.
    It was the subcommittee's conclusion that this organized and systematic persecution, which includes the largest mass detention of a minority since the Holocaust, constitutes a genocide, as per the genocide convention.
    Back in 2018, the subcommittee on international human rights stated:
if the international community does not condemn the human rights abuses in Xinjiang province by the Government of China, a precedent will be set and these methods will be adopted by other regimes. Complacency is entrenched by a lack of access to Xinjiang; by the lack of free press; and through the silencing and harassment of Uyghurs living abroad.
    Sadly, since then, human rights abuses have only intensified, and the situation has become even more urgent, demanding greater action. New Democrats have pushed the Canadian Parliament to recognize the treatment of Uighurs as genocide and have called on the government to use every tool at its disposal to help end these abuses. On February 22, 2021, the House unanimously recognized the actions of the Chinese government against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims as genocide, despite the Prime Minister and members of cabinet abstaining from the vote.
    Recognizing and fully condemning this genocide was a critical first step, but Canada can and must do more to take a stand against the horrific human rights abuses. Motion No. 62 recognizes that Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims who have fled to third countries face intimidation to return to China, where they face serious risks of detention and other atrocities. The motion also recognizes that many third countries face continued diplomatic and economic pressure from China to detain and deport Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, meaning that even in other countries, they are not safe.
    Importantly, in light of this grave situation, the motion calls on the Canadian government to urgently leverage IRCC’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program to expedite the entry of 10,000 Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection. Urgent action is needed.
    The NDP fully supports Motion No. 62. However, I will be introducing an amendment to ensure that Uighurs are admitted to Canada via a special immigration measure. New Democrats believe Canada should increase the total numbers of vulnerable people we welcome to our country, including those from East Turkestan, Ukraine, Afghanistan and other places where people are subject to the worst violations of their human rights.
    This is consistent with the subcommittee’s recommendations, which call for the creation of “an exceptional refugee stream” to expedite entry for Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. The creation of an emergency refugee program was also among the key recommendations advocated by the World Uyghur Congress. We should not be pitting communities against each other by robbing Peter to pay Paul.
    Further, while the NDP supports this important motion, there is much more work that needs to be done to put an end to the persecution of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.

  (1115)  

    Human rights advocacy organizations have been tireless in their work calling for greater action and highlighting the need for the Government of Canada to take a stronger stance for human rights. Some of them are here today.
    Groups such as the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project have called on the government to implement the recommendations of the subcommittee report. One of these recommendations is that the Department of Justice develop a comprehensive human rights due diligence law that would compel businesses to respect the most current international human rights standards across their global operations and supply chains, and be held accountable for harms caused in relation to their operations.
    Alarmingly, global supply chains are tainted with forced labour. Consequently, advocates have called on the government to strengthen trade restrictions to prohibit the importation of goods manufactured in the Uighur region. Products sold in Canadian supermarkets and stores are being made by Uighur forced labour. This includes products such as bath towels, quilts and clothes, which are made with cotton from the Uighur region. Corporations such as Nestlé, Del Monte and Unilever have also purchased tomatoes from Chinese companies in the Uighur region.
    China is one of only eight states that has not yet ratified the International Labour Organization's convention on ending forced labour. Between 2017 and 2019, it is estimated that more than 80,000 Uighurs were forcibly transferred out of the Uighur region to work in factories across China. In 2020 alone, reports revealed that 83 global companies were indirectly or directly involved in employing Uighur workers under forced labour.
    A recently released report on the automotive sector has revealed the use of Uighur forced labour throughout the supply chains of major auto manufacturers. The report found that more than 100 international automotive parts or car manufacturers have some exposure to goods made with forced Uighur labour.
     It is completely unacceptable that companies are allowed to profit off of persecution, that supply chains involve forced labour, and that the products we purchase are manufactured using forced labour.
    Advocates are also calling on Canada to push for an end to the arbitrary detention of Uighur human rights defenders in China. Canada should be working with civil society organizations to advocate for the release of those human rights defenders who have been imprisoned.
    New Democrats have also called for sanctions to be imposed on government of China officials responsible for the perpetration of grave human rights abuses. This is also consistent with the recommendations of the subcommittee on international human rights.
    The creation of a special immigration measure to expeditiously bring Uighurs and Turkic Muslims to safety is an essential part of Canada's role in defending human rights and taking a firm stand to denounce this ongoing genocide.
    I move:
    That the motion be amended:
a) in paragraph (c), by adding after the words “into Canada” the following: “and ensure corresponding additional immigration levels in the refugee streams so that other persecuted members in the global community seeking safety in Canada are not impacted”; and
b) in paragraph (d), by replacing the word “120” with the word “100”.
    I think that this is essential, if we are going to move forward, as a first step toward supporting Uighurs. It is essential for Canada to take this action to show leadership in the international community.

  (1120)  

    It is my duty to inform hon. members that pursuant to Standing Order 93(3), no amendments may be proposed to a private member's motion or to the motion for second reading for a private member's bill unless the sponsor of the item indicates his or her consent.

  (1125)  

[Translation]

    Therefore, I ask the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard if he consents to this amendment being moved.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, yes, I consent.
    The amendment is in order.
    Resuming debate, we have the hon. member for Scarborough Centre.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Motion No. 62 by my friend, the MP for Pierrefonds—Dollard, regarding Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.
    I want to thank him for his leadership on this and many other issues of human rights around the world in his role as the chair of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. The bipartisan support we have seen for this motion is a testament to his hard work across party lines, and I am pleased to add my voice and my vote in support of this important motion.
    What does this motion seek to do? It consists of four primary components.
    The first clause asks us to recognize that Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims who have fled to third countries face pressure and intimidation by the Chinese state to return to China. The evidence makes this an undeniable truth.
    In the second clause, we are asked to recognize that many of the third countries these refugees fleeing persecution and genocide are residing in are facing strong diplomatic and economic pressure from the Chinese government to deport these refugees. Again, there is ample evidence to support this undeniable truth.
    The heart of Motion No. 62 comes in the third clause, which calls for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the government, to undertake steps to expedite the entry into Canada of 10,000 Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection over two years starting in 2024. This is such an important measure.
    I have served on the immigration committee since I was first elected in 2015, and I know that we cannot solve the global immigration crisis through resettlement alone. We need a multi-faceted approach that includes humanitarian aid and diplomatic pressure to improve conditions on the ground. Many refugees want to stay near their country of origin, as they are hopeful conditions will improve to allow a safe return.
    We need to support those refugee host countries that often lack the resources to care for large refugee populations, but the Uighur community is facing an ongoing genocide. I was proud to stand with the yes votes in 2021 when the House of Commons voted to recognize this sad fact. Canada has agreed to accept 10,000 Uighur refugees fleeing genocide who are most in need of protection.
    It is our responsibility as a free and prosperous nation. It is our duty as a democratic nation to tell the world we are a voice for human rights. It will signal to China and the world who Canada is and where we stand. Hopefully, it will also encourage like-minded countries to step up to do the same.
     Canada has always done our share in times of crisis. In the late 1960s, we welcomed 1,100 Czech refugees fleeing from the Soviet invasion. In the 1970s, 7,000 Chilean and other Latin American refugees found safety in Canada after political upheaval. We welcomed Iranian refugees after the overthrow of the Shah, Bosnian Muslims escaping ethnic cleansing in the Yugoslav civil war, and more than 60,000 so-called boat people following the war in Vietnam. More recently, we resettled more than 25,000 Syrian refugees, provided a safe haven for thousands of Ukrainians, and we are well on our way to resettling at least 40,000 Afghan refugees.
    Canada punches above its weight, but this is not simple altruism. Refugees make Canada better. They enrich our nation, our economy and, of course, our lives. People whose families came to Canada through previous waves of immigration are today members of the House of Commons. They are giving back to this country with their service.
    In my community, the first waves of Syrian refugees found jobs in grocery stores, restaurants and landscaping companies. Now, more than five years later, they are opening their own businesses, running their own restaurants, hiring people and providing employment to others. They are also becoming Canadian citizens.

  (1130)  

    I have spoken here before about two Syrian success stories in Scarborough Centre. Aleppo Kebab serves delicious Syrian food, while Crown Pastries has the best sweets in Scarborough, especially at Eid. I cannot help but imagine what great things these 10,000 Uighur refugees will achieve in Canada. One of them may even be the next chocolate king, like Tareq Hadhad.
    What is clear, though, is that too many Uighur people will never have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, to realize their ambitions and their dreams. That is why Canada must act.
    Lastly, the final clause of Motion No. 62 calls for the government to table a report on how the refugee resettlement plan will be implemented within 120 days of the passage of this motion.
    I welcome this motion and its call for the urgent resettlement of 10,000 vulnerable Uighur refugees in Canada. It builds on our recognition of the genocide occurring in Xinjiang and sends a message to China and its Communist government that Canada and the world are still watching. I hope Parliament will ensure that the hard-working team at IRCC, whom we have asked to do so much in recent years, have the resources they need to do all we ask of them.
    As I said earlier, resettlement alone is not an option. Canada must go further to keep the plight of the Uighur people in the public eye, to keep up pressure on China and to rally our allies and the international world with all diplomatic means in defence of the Uighur people. When the government released its new Indo-Pacific strategy, some pundits complained there was not enough attention paid to China. Indeed, the goal is to diversify our commercial and diplomatic interests in the region.
    I recognize this may not be helpful to some of those with vested business interests, but I ask them, how can Canada have business as usual with a regime that is perpetrating genocide against an entire community, that puts a minority in re-education camps and then denies their very existence? How can Canada have business as usual with a regime that kidnaps our citizens to be held and used as pawns in business disputes? The answer is clear: We cannot.
    China must uphold its international human rights obligations. Human rights are universal. National sovereignty can never be used as a pretext or an excuse for the violation of human rights. We cannot let the world forget that an estimated one million Uighurs and other Turkic groups are in concentration camps in Xinjiang, where they are subjected to forced labour, gender-based violence and torture. Uighurs who have fled their homes to third countries are still at risk of deportation.
    I have always been a voice for human rights around the world, for the Afghans fleeing the Taliban, for the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, for Coptic Christians in northern Iraq and for the Palestinian people denied their basic rights, and I will always raise my voice for those in need.
    With my vote on this motion, we send a message: We will not look away.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I wish a happy new year to all.
    The word “genocide” is not one to be used lightly. According to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:
genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
    It was with that definition in mind that this House, on February 22, 2021, recognized that genocide is indeed taking place, being carried out by the People's Republic of China against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.
    Since that motion passed in the House, the government has not addressed the concerns it raised. The UN human rights commissioner recently released a report again highlighting the atrocities being committed against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims by the Chinese regime. If we do not act now, when will we?
    The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration unanimously passed a motion calling on the government to extend existing special immigration measures to Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, allow Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in third countries who are at risk of being deported back to China to seek refuge in Canada, and waive the UNHCR determination for Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. This motion is in the same spirit as that one.
    It is no surprise that the Chinese government, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, denies what is taking place. In doing this, it is following the pattern set by other autocratic regimes.
    The government of modern Russia continues to deny the death of millions of innocent Ukrainians in the Holodomor, even as once again it is assaulting the Ukrainian people. Like the Chinese, it denies the history. The world knows better.
    Germany at least has accepted that the Holocaust not only happened but is a national shame. The German people have worked hard to be able to say “never again”.
    Standing against genocide is very personal to many people, but there are times when we must do more than just take a stand. This motion is a call for action.
    Given the situation Uighurs face, this motion calls on the government to:
urgently leverage Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program to expedite the entry of 10,000 Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection, over two years starting in 2024 into Canada;
    This House has already stated that the crimes against the Uighur people are a genocide. The time has come to do more than just offer words of support, unless all we want is for the world to see how virtuous we are, how we are on the right side. We must do more, but what should that “more” look like?
    It seems simple to say that we must open our borders, that in a country with as much geography as Canada, 10,000 or more people are easily accommodated. Perhaps there are logistical questions in moving thousands of people from the other side of the world to Canada, but if there is a will, logistics can be overcome.
    However, we need to remember there is more to this equation than geography and seeing how many people can fit into a particular space. We are not talking about numbers here. We are talking about people, people who have been driven from their homes in fear of their lives and who have been persecuted in ways many of us cannot imagine.

  (1140)  

    It is not that they want to leave China, but faced with a choice of life or death, they have chosen life. A new life in Canada can offer hope, hope for a new life in a peaceful land where they will not suffer for their ethnicity or their religion.
    I know, first-hand, that it is possible, for I have experienced Canada as a welcoming place, but should it be the first choice? Has anyone thought to ask those fleeing the genocide if coming to Canada is their first choice or their second or their third? Maybe starting fresh in Canada seems more appealing than life in refugee camps, but do they know the reality of what life looks like in Canada? I applaud the spirit of this motion, but I wonder if we have explored all options.
    Would these refugees be happier if a way could be found for them to be integrated into community life in the countries where they have taken refuge, rather than travelling across the world to a place with an unfamiliar language and culture? Could Canada help with that?
    The government is not very good at hands-on compassion. Ask any recently arrived immigrant. Many who come here find that Canada is not that promised land after all. The truth is that people fleeing conflict zones and attempted genocide need more than just a roof over their heads and a few language lessons. They need to know that they are safe and accepted, that there are people in this new land who are very happy to see them, who want to be their friends and who value them for who they are.
    Government programs, no matter how well-meaning, cannot replace the personal touch. Those fleeing genocide, and indeed all newcomers to Canada, need someone who can help with the basics. For some, that would be a family member who has come here before them, but for most of those fleeing conflict, such as the Uighurs, it would be a Canadian reaching out in friendship to a newcomer.
    That is what we did with the boat people coming from Vietnam in the early 1980s. That is what we have been doing with those refugees who came from Syria seven years ago, and those who continue to arrive on our shores today. We, here, can say, “Let us bring in these people who need our help”, but it is the Canadian people who will make these newcomers feel welcome.
    Conservatives believe that Canada's immigration system should uphold Canada's humanitarian tradition of providing safe haven for refugees. I think that may be something that all political parties can agree on.
    There may be some who are concerned about the reaction from the government of the People's Republic of China, which has been trying to have the countries where the Uighurs have taken refuge return the refugees, in violation of international law.
    I would not be surprised if the Chinese ambassador to Canada calls me to complain about the words I have chosen to use today. His government insists that there is no genocide and feels insulted when people talk about it. I would invite the ambassador to take a trip with me to the border areas of the neighbouring countries where the Uighurs have fled. I would invite him to talk with the refugees, to hear their stories, and then I would ask him again if there is no genocide.
    I doubt I will have that opportunity, but we in this House do have the opportunity to show our support for the Uighur people. I urge all hon. members to do so.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to Motion No. 62. Doing so is a big and serious responsibility. When I talk about important subjects like this one, I feel responsible for bringing people together.
    I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my colleagues in the House of Commons and the people of Berthier—Maskinongé a very happy new year. My wish for us here in Parliament is that we will be able to work together across party lines with no regard for the interests of individual political parties. I dream of a world where an election campaign lasts only for the time allotted for that campaign and then, afterward, people work together for the common good. That is what we should always be trying to do. That is what I always try to do. I may not always be perfect at it, but I am definitely trying. I urge everyone to do the same.
    I would like to remind the House that members of the Uighurs' rights movement are on Parliament Hill today, including Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, Omer Kanat, chairman of the congress executive committee, Mehmet Tohti, executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, and many members of the Uighur diaspora in Quebec and Canada.
    I would like them to know that we truly respect them. We respect them and we are here to try to help them. I invite every member of Parliament here today to try to put themselves in their shoes for a moment. They are here in Canada’s Parliament, in a free world where people have the right to live according to their values and beliefs. They are thinking about their families and their nation, which do not have such opportunities.
    Let us truly think about it. Let us put ourselves in their place. Let us imagine that our brother, uncle, grandfather, daughter, wife are left all alone while we are forced to go to a re-education and training centre, which is actually a concentration camp. These are serious issues.
    We do not say this lightly. We have evidence. We have heard testimony, horror stories. Earlier, my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert eloquently shared the testimony of people who visited their family and cut their trip short to avoid hurting the people they love.
    I find it difficult to imagine how a member of the House of Commons could sleep peacefully after voting against a motion like this one. That is how I feel.
    Clearly, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of the motion. The Bloc Québécois rejects any partisanship and wishes to protect the oppressed. Of course, we cannot do it all. My Conservative colleague raised a good question earlier, wondering whether these people really want to come to Canada. Of course not.
    Anyone proud of their country would want to stay there and take part in its collective social, economic and cultural development, helping it thrive on the world stage. They would want to promote their nation throughout the world so that all could benefit from their values, progress and achievements in their own quest for improvement. Everyone wants that.
    However, this is a situation where people fled to avoid being imprisoned. They fled to avoid torture. They fled to save their wives from rape. They fled to save their daughters from forced sterilization.

  (1145)  

    Let us think about it for a minute. These women are being forcefully sterilized. It is all well and good to say that China is an important economic partner, but at some point we have to take a stand. We need to do more than take a stand: we need to do what we can. I think that welcoming people who are facing these risks into Canada is the least we can do. Let us do it and not be afraid to do it with our head held high.
    I hope that all the members in the House, including the cabinet, will support this motion. In 2022, we adopted a motion to recognize the genocide of the Uighur people and the members of the cabinet abstained. That sends a very sad message.
    We need to get as close as possible to a unanimous vote in the House. I would ask members of the government to have the courage to recognize and assert that there is a genocide in progress and to commit to welcoming these people into Canada and doing what it takes to help the Uighur nation.
    There are formalities in the motion. It mentions taking in 10,000 people. Of course, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour. In any case, the Bloc Québécois usually votes “yes”. However, we might have been able to do more. Why not take in 15,000 people?
    The motion mentions 120 days to implement the plan. The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, who is a member of the government, sponsored the motion. I congratulate him for it and give him a tip of my hat. As a member of the government, he is aware that the government moves slowly and that it set a 120-day time frame. The NDP has just proposed an amendment to change the time frame to 100 days, and this makes us very happy. However, we might have done better there as well.
    We are faced with a world power that is extending its tentacles on all sides thanks to its economy, which is based on miserable working conditions. Let us bear that in mind. I would also like us to take a moment to think about what we have here and everything we have consumed in our lifetime that was made in China.
    With this motion and the committee's work, we have learned that factories in the region where the Uighur people live run on forced labour. This is either slavery pure and simple, or horrific exploitation at starvation wages and in appalling conditions.

  (1150)  

     Let us be vigilant when we order things. I would very much like us to focus on the supply chains in these sectors. We have a duty to not encourage these systems.
    China also has the nerve to set up police stations abroad, including three in Canada. It is setting up police stations in Canada to harass, threaten and intimidate Chinese nationals who are allegedly dissidents, whether or not they are Uighurs.
    China is also threatening neighbouring countries. I am thinking about countries such as Mongolia. The geopolitical situation in Mongolia is not simple with Russia on one side and China on the other side. It is a landlocked country. It is easy to put pressure on a country like that.
    We must stand proud, straight and strong and say no. In fact, why have these police stations not been shut down? Let us shut them down as soon as possible. I am asking everyone to adopt this motion.

  (1155)  

    The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard has a five-minute right of reply.
    Madam Speaker, I thank everyone who spoke to this motion.

[English]

    It is a beautiful thing to hear voices united together, echoing as one, for this particular motion, a motion to help our human family and address a pressing issue. Whether one views it as genocide or grave and serious crimes against humanity, it is an issue that must be addressed with clarity.
    This motion will be looked at not only by Canadians, but also by the international community. It is critical that we are clear on this issue and show leadership. I hope and expect each and every member of this chamber, regardless of position or party, will vote for this motion.
    Why do I say that? We need to lead. Canada is a middle power. We have the ability to concretely move the needle on things in this world. I ask those who are making a decision right now on how to vote to take a deep and hard look at the information they have access to. Some have information that is only public and others have information that is confidential and classified. I ask individuals who are reflecting on this decision right now to take a look at that information to see what is actually happening.
    We know that at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic minorities are in concentration camps and have been forced into labour. Their identities are being erased and they are being forced to become people they are not. This is abhorrent.
    We have seen this happen in history to different people. We have seen communities wiped off the face of the earth, and the Uighur people are suffering that today. The one million of them who have been forced into concentration camps and forced to produce products that we unwittingly wear and consume are not only forced to work, but are also separated from their children. Hundreds of thousands of children are being made wards of the state permanently. They do not return home during the summer and remain permanent wards of the state.
    Women are being forcibly sterilized with IUDs that are so horrible and terrible that when physicians remove them, the whole womb has to be removed. The IUDs are so crude that they are fused to the womb, meaning these women can no longer have children. As a result, eminent jurists have said that, legally, the issue of sterilization and what is happening to the Uighur people meet the level of genocide.
    However, let us not debate too much on terms. Let us recognize that there is a minimal floor. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, recently came out with a report stating that what is happening likely amounts to crimes against humanity. Once that level is engaged, there is a responsibility for states to protect. That includes Canada.
    Former prime minister Brian Mulroney took leadership on the issue of apartheid and Canada went down in the history books. We speak about that moment in time as leadership. Today, we need leadership on this issue. That is why I implore each and every member of the House, regardless of position, to make their intent clear and vote for this motion when it comes up. Canadians and the international community will be watching. We need to take leadership.

[Translation]

    The question is on the amendment.

  (1200)  

[English]

    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the amendment be carried, carried on division or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.
    Madam Speaker, I would request a recorded division.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, February 1, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

[English]

Online News Act

    The Chair wishes to inform the House of an administrative error that occurred with regard to Bill C-18, an act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada.

[Translation]

     Members may recall that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage made a series of amendments to the bill, which were presented to the House in the committee's fourth report on December 9, 2022. The committee also ordered that the bill, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.
    The House concurred in the bill, as amended, at report stage on December 13, 2022, and adopted the bill at third reading the following day.

[English]

    Following passage at third reading, as per the usual practice, House officials prepared a parchment version of the bill, which was transmitted to the Senate. Due to an administrative error in the committee's report, which was also reflected in the version of the bill that was reprinted for the use of the House at report stage, the report and the bill both included a subamendment, adding a new clause 27(1.1) to the bill, which had been negatived by the committee and should not have appeared in the bill.
    Given the tight timelines between the presentation of the report and consideration of the bill at third reading, the error went unnoticed before the bill was passed. Nonetheless, the decision taken by the committee was clear, as recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The Chair has no reason to believe that members were misinformed when they adopted the bill.

[Translation]

    This error was nothing more than administrative in nature. The proceedings which took place in this House and the decisions made by the House with respect to Bill C‑18 remain entirely valid. The records of the House relating to this bill are complete and accurate. However, the documents relating to Bill C‑18 that were sent to the Senate included an error and were not an accurate reflection of the House's intentions.
    Similar situations have been addressed by my predecessors, such as in a ruling on April 12, 2017, found at page 10486 of Debates. Guided by this precedent and others, similar steps have been taken to address the current case.

  (1205)  

[English]

    Once the error was detected, House officials immediately communicated with their counterparts in the Senate to inform them of the situation. The Chair then instructed House officials to take all the necessary steps to correct the error in both the committee's report and the bill itself, and to ensure that the other place has a corrected copy of Bill C-18. A revised version of the bill will be transmitted to the Senate as per the usual administrative process.
    Furthermore, the Chair has asked that a rectified “as passed by the House of Commons” version of the bill be printed and that the fourth report of the committee be corrected accordingly.

[Translation]

    In light of this situation, the Senate will be in a position to make its own determination as to how it will proceed with Bill C‑18.
    I thank all members for their attention.
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard on a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Thank you for making that clarification on Bill C-18.
    There is a defect in the design of the House. While making your statement, there was much noise outside, quite disrespectfully, when you were trying to inform us of the corrections that are being made to this bill.
     I have raised this multiple times, but since this is the first day of the return of our session, I wonder if you, Mr. Speaker, would be able to ensure that, in the future, people who are walking in the courtyard around this chamber would reduce the amount of noise they are making. I am sure that when the minister rises to make her inaugural speech on the bill she will be moving she would like silence in the chamber, and I would like it as well.
    There is too much noise in this chamber that is interfering with the work of members on the floor of this House.
    I want to thank the hon. member for his interjection. I will be honest, while I was reading I heard the noise as well, and I was thinking, “What the heck is going on here?” It is a problem with the design. Aesthetically, it is a beautiful place, but when it was put together they did not count on the people.
    What I did notice is that it lasted for a short time and then somebody hushed them. I know we have signs out there. However, I will talk with the Sergeant-at-Arms, and we will see about getting that noise reduced to the best of our abilities. I do not want to make any promises I cannot keep. I thank the hon. member for bringing that up.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada Early Learning and Child Care Act

     moved that Bill C-35, An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    She said: Mr. Speaker, it gives me tremendous pleasure, and it is an honour to rise in the House today to kick off the debate on Bill C-35, an act respecting early learning and child care in Canada.
    I want to start with a few thanks. I first of all want to thank the thousands of advocates across this country who have been waiting and fighting for this day for just over 52 years. It was 52 years ago in December that the Royal Commission on the Status of Women came out with its landmark report that asked the Government of Canada and suggested that it put in place an affordable, high-quality, inclusive and accessible child care system across this country.
    Fifty-two years is a long time to wait, and there are lots of families who went through child care during that period of time. However, what I have heard from stakeholders and advocates across this country is that now is a good time to start. It is never too late to do the right thing, and here we are.
    Today, we have agreements signed with 13 provinces and territories. As of December, almost all of them have reduced fees by 50%, and we have one more that is going to be making a good announcement very soon. More of those fee reductions are on their way.
    What excites me about this system and about this bill is the impact it is having on families. I have had occasion to travel to almost every province and territory across the country over the past year, to engage with families and to hear from them the stories about how this system is making a difference in their lives. I have yet to speak to a child care centre representative or a family who has not talked about the very real and tangible impact that this reduction in fees is having on their families' bottom line.
    I will start by talking about one of the things that we have been doing as a federal government for a while, and that is the RESP, the registered education savings plan. For decades, we have been encouraging families to save for post-secondary education. We understand that this is a huge expense, but that it is important for all of our children across this country, for the future of our country, to make sure that they have the opportunity to attend post-secondary education.
    Child care fees can range between $12,000 and $24,000 or even more per year. Multiply that by three or four or five, depending on the province they are in, and it could be two or three times the cost that the average student would spend on post-secondary education, yet we did not have any mechanism, until recently, to support families for this major expense.
    It is an expense that starts right at the beginning of their family's journey, often when they have recently purchased a home or when they are just getting started in their careers. We are talking about tens of thousands of dollars. That is a huge impact and, not always but often, it results in the lower-income parent deciding to take a step outside of the workforce, because it just does not make financial sense for them to carry on.
    The stories I have heard over the past year are changing that. I have been to every province and almost every territory. I meet parents. It is often a mom, I have not heard from a dad yet, but I am looking forward to that as well. However, I hear from so many moms who talk about the fact that it is because of these lower child care fees that they are returning to work.
    There was the mom in Ottawa a couple of months ago who said that because of the 50% fee reduction she enrolled her daughter in day care, and she is returning to work full time as a real estate agent. She spoke of the impact that it had not only for her family's finances but also for her career development.
    In Richmond, B.C. in December, in talking to a mom of three, she said that it is because of these reductions that she is able to go from part-time to full-time work, because she can now afford to have two of her children in full-time day care, with one of her children in school.
    In Nova Scotia, a mom whom I was talking to said that because of these fee reductions, she is not only returning to full-time work, but she breathes a sigh of relief when she goes to the grocery store. She is not as worried about making sure that she can afford to buy healthy, nutritious food for her family because of the significant fee reductions.

  (1210)  

    Most recently I was talking to a mom in my community of Burlington, Ontario. She explained that when she and her husband saw the 50% reduction in child care fees, they decided they would not have to give up their house. Financially it made sense to keep her child enrolled in day care. They would be able to afford their mortgage and both of them could keep working.
     This initiative is having a real tangible impact on families across the country, and I could not be prouder to be part of a government that is delivering this important policy.
    That brings me to today and the introduction of this legislation at second reading. I hope all members in the House are going to support it and get it through committee quickly, so we can cement this important legacy for Canadian families, children and women right across the country.
    Let me talk a bit about what Bill C-35 would accomplish. It would provide support for the continued implementation of an affordable Canada-wide system by enshrining the vision, guiding principles and a commitment to long-term funding. It would enhance transparency and accountability by requiring the minister responsible to report annually to the public on progress being made on the system. It would establish in law the national advisory council, which, by the way, is having its first official meeting today in Ottawa. This legislation would also build on the early successes of the Canada-wide agreements.
    We are enshrining into law the federal government's commitment to strengthening and protecting this Canada-wide system.

[Translation]

     We are enshrining into law the federal government's commitment to strengthening and protecting these Canada-wide systems while respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Bill C-35 would build on the collaborative work we have undertaken with PTs and with indigenous peoples from coast to coast to coast, and it is driven by a shared interest, and close partnerships and collaboration. It respects provincial and territorial jurisdiction and the co-developed indigenous early learning and child care framework that was jointly released and endorsed in 2018 with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council.
    By enshrining these principles and vision into federal law, we are building stability into the child care system, and not just stability but also predictability and commitment.
    We want provinces, territories and indigenous peoples to know that the federal government is in there for the long term. Importantly, we want parents, families, child care providers and early childhood educators to know that the federal government is also there for the long term. That is so important with Bill C-35, because we have seen in the past, unfortunately, when in 2006 then-prime minister Stephen Harper ripped up the child care agreements with the provinces and territories. It was one of the first acts the Conservatives did when they came into government. We need to ensure we are doing everything we can to make it harder for any future government, like a future Conservative government, to take that away from families, to take that away from our children and to take that away from the Canadian economy.
    Let me talk a bit about the Canadian economy, because child care is one of those amazing policies that is not just good, smart, feminist, social policy, but it is good, smart, feminist economic policy. For every one dollar invested in child care, the economy sees a broader return of $1.50 to $1.80.
    It is estimated that the Canada-wide system could raise real GDP in our country by as much as 1.2% over the next two decades. An OECD report shows that improvement in gender equality and family friendly policies has boosted growth in per-capita GDP by between 10% and 20%.
     In Sweden, for example, when it brought in universal affordable child care, female employment rates increased by almost 30%. The IMF estimated that closing the participation gap between Canadian men and women in the workforce could raise Canada's GDP levels by 4% in the medium term. That is $92 billion.
    Gender equality, ensuring women have access to economic opportunities, ensuring our children get the best possible start in life, is not just good for us as a society; that is excellent for our economy.
    Let us talk a bit about what that means in real terms. We talk about the macro picture, but when we look at what that means, we have an example in Canada.
    Quebec is celebrating 25 years of universal day care. Quebec went from having the lowest female workforce participation in the country in 1998 to now having the highest. In fact, some of the highest rates of women with children under the age of four are working in the entire OECD. If Canadian women join the workforce at the same rates that Quebec women have over the last 25 years, that is an additional 240,000 workers entering our workforce today. That is an impressive number. Those are workers in Canada, people who want to be part of the workforce, but for economic reasons have not been able to justify it or make it work.
    As I said, I have talked to moms all across the country for whom this is making the difference. This is really exciting. As to where this is going to set us up as Canada in our future, for our economy and, most important, for Canadians, the potential is unmatched.
    I want to spend a bit of time talking about the workforce. We know there is no child care system in Canada without the talented, qualified, well-trained, caring early learning and child care workforce. I want to give a big thanks to each and every one of them. During the pandemic, they went to work so that Canada could keep working. We saw what happened when child care centres were closed. It meant parents were staying home with their children.
    It is pretty hard. I do not know about other members, but I was home during the pandemic for the first six months and my two and a half year old was home with me. It is pretty tricky to get work done when parents have a two year old or a two and a half year old with them. Anyone who is a parent or has been a parent of a young child can attest to that.
    Those child care workers went to work during the pandemic. They went when we needed them most. We need to recognize that, we need to say thanks and we need to ensure that we have the system in place to support them with good wages and that they have an environment in which they can thrive, grow and develop their careers as well.
    When we talk about child care, we talk about the economic impact and the social impact, but we also need to talk about the impact that it has on our children. Being in a safe, secure place is important, one where they feel loved, where they feel cared for, where they are well taken care of, but also where learning is part and parcel of the framework.
    The Minister of Finance likes to talk about setting up a generation of super kids in the country, and I could not agree with her more. As a mom who is so grateful to the child care workers who made it possible for me to do my job while my son was little, the absolute illumination that he had when he went to day care and the explosion in learning that I saw from him is one of those things for which I will be eternally grateful.
    When we talk about child care, there are so many spinoffs that are important for our society and our economy. I like to describe it as a home run, because it is good for our children, it is good for our families and it is good for the economy.
     Bill C-35 is going to help us cement the role of the federal government. It is going to ensure that we are there in the long run for Canadian women, families, children and Canadians in general. It is going to ensure we are setting the country up for the 21st century to take hold of those opportunities and ensure that every child in our country has the best possible start in life.
    I hope that my colleagues from all parties in this place will support Bill C-35 and move it forward so we can provide that commitment and assurance to Canadians and their families that the federal government is there in the long term, that we support our children and women, that we are setting Canada up for success.

  (1220)  

    Madam Speaker, I wish everyone a happy new year. It is nice to be back.
    It was wonderful to hear so many positive stories, and that is great, but it is not the reality of all the other parents who cannot access child care. How many of those families has the minister spoken to? What are the answers she is giving those families that have been on wait-lists for years, those who cannot go back to work because they cannot access affordable, quality child care?
    Madam Speaker, I hope my hon. colleague will be supporting this bill on the advancement of child care in Canada. It is an extremely important question and it forms part and parcel of the agreements that we signed with provinces and territories across the country.
     I was one of those parents who was on a wait list and was nervous about whether I would get a space for my son, so I understand what that is like. It is why we have committed, with our provincial and territorial counterparts, to increase the number of child care spaces by 250,000 over the course of these first five-year agreements that we have signed. In fact, I have been in many provinces and territories over the past year announcing thousands of new additional spaces that have been created, thanks to the $30 billion of federal investments that we have put in place. Access to these spaces is a key pillar and it forms part of our initiative.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the minister for her advocacy on behalf of families and child care services.
    I believe it is important to support them. We are pleased to see that the government is of the same mind and has the will to take action. However, I will nonetheless point out that, in theory, social matters such as the management of day care is a provincial and not a federal jurisdiction. That is very clear.
    Quebec already has a day care system and we are happy to have it. We are pleased that the government has decided to exempt Quebec from the federal government's centralizing policy on day care. I also want to point out that the government's approach is patterned after the Quebec model. That is an acknowledgment of the work Quebec has done and how advanced we are compared to the rest of Canada.
    More specifically, I would like to know why, in her bill, the minister has exempted Quebec for only five years. In five years' time, Quebec's day care program will still be in place. It is already in place. This is a provincial matter, and I assume that she would like her bill to be in effect for more than five years.
    Why is there only a five-year exemption for Quebec?

  (1225)  

    Madam Speaker, we have an excellent relationship with Quebec when it comes to early childhood education and child care. I have worked extensively with my Quebec counterparts on this issue.
    As my colleague mentioned, Quebec's child care system has been a source of inspiration for us. We want the rest of Canada to catch up with Quebec and its system. We negotiated an asymmetrical agreement with Quebec for exactly that reason.
    Bill C-35 fully respects provincial and territorial jurisdictions. It is based on the principles and objectives we have set out in the agreements with the provinces and territories.
    What I understand from the Government of Quebec is that they are happy with this bill precisely because it respects provincial and territorial jurisdictions. It also demonstrates that the Government of Canada will be there for the long term and will ensure that it is not just five years' worth of payments—
    I must leave time for other questions.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will start by saying how nice it was working alongside the minister in the drafting of this legislation.
     This is good legislation, but not perfect. One concern I have brought up many times in the House is how early childhood educators historically, and I would say even now, have been underpaid and undervalued. Noting that this is critical work, noting that this is work that is vital for women across the country, does the member support adding in Bill C-35 an explicit commitment to fair wages and working conditions for staff in this sector?
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure working with my hon. colleague. I would note that she started her career as an early childhood educator, so her input has been invaluable in this regard.
    It is important to reiterate that the legislation is complementary to the agreements we have signed with provinces and territories. Each one of those agreements does have a commitment to a wage grid, to benefits, to ensuring we are supporting the early childhood workforce. Of course, that is very much within the provincial and territorial jurisdictions, and provinces and territories decide what those wages are.
     However, we are in constant dialogue with them and based on the last FPT meeting we had, there is a concerted interest from all my counterparts at the provincial and territorial level to ensure there are fair wages, that the workforce is included and supported, because they all understand that will be key to having a successful child care system.
    Madam Speaker, I want to start by saying I agree with and appreciate the minister for bringing forward this legislation so early in this session, as well as how important this legislation is. I also appreciate her comments about the importance of investing in the workforce. As we have heard from our colleague from Winnipeg Centre, this is an ongoing concern.
    I will speak to the specifics in Ontario. The estimates are that we will need an additional 14,700 early childhood educators in Ontario by 2025-26. In the current agreement that the federal government signed with the Province of Ontario, the wage floor is $18 an hour, rising by one dollar per year until 2025.
    Recognizing the talented folks in this workforce and the need to not only retain but also to recruit at these numbers, and since it is not just the Province of Ontario but also the federal government that has a responsibility, can the minister comment on what more needs to be done to ensure we are investing in the workforce and getting wages lifted higher?

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, I could not agree with my hon. colleague more. We need to make sure we have a well-compensated and well-trained workforce.
    In the $30 billion the federal government is transferring to provinces, territories and indigenous organizations, there is room for provinces and territories to ensure wages are keeping up and in some cases exceeding what expectations are to maintain that workforce. I will give you a couple of examples. Yukon has set a minimum wage for ECEs at $30 an hour. In New Brunswick it has been set at $23.40. B.C. has given a four-dollar-an-hour top-up to ECEs. Alberta has done two dollars an hour. Manitoba has come up with a provincial benefit plan.
    There are many examples around the country of provinces and territories not only working with federal funds but also adding their own dollars to make sure that—
    I am going to allow for one more question.
    I want to remind the hon. minister that she is to address questions and comments through the Chair and not directly to the members.
    The hon. member for Fredericton has the floor. We have time for a brief question.
    Madam Speaker, the legislation sets out a vision for a Canada-wide system in which all families have access to high quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care, or ELCC, no matter where they live in Canada. Are there are any challenges to meeting this goal, and if so, how is our government meeting that challenge?
    Madam Speaker, yes, of course there are challenges to meeting this goal, but we have made sure within the pillar on inclusivity that we are working with provinces and territories to reach those places where child care is harder to access, whether that is in rural communities, remote communities or even in urban centres where there are child care deserts.
    There are some really terrific examples, like in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where they are doing really innovative things in rural and remote areas. I was just in Nunavut, which is doing really interesting things to make sure there are enough child care spaces in all 25 of its communities. This is an important pillar to make sure we are reaching all Canadian families where they are, with affordable, high-quality and accessible child care.
    Madam Speaker, as always, it is in an honour and privilege to speak on behalf of Canadians and the people of my community, Peterborough—Kawartha.
    Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to recognize the life and service of Hazel “Hurricane” McCallion. She was what all of us inside of the House should aspire to be, which is fierce, fair and for the people.
    “Rest in peace, Ms. McCallion. You made Canada better.”
    Today, we are debating Bill C-35, an act respecting early learning and child care in Canada. As a mom and as the shadow minister for families, children and social development, I cannot understate the importance and value of affordable, quality child care. However, affordable, quality child care does not exist if one cannot access it.
    As a shadow minister and critic, it is my job to speak up for all Canadians and point out what is wrong with the bill. It is my job to listen to the frontline staff and parents who are directly impacted by the bill and speak on their behalf.
    I do not think we will find a Canadian who does not want what is best for their children. However, we must acknowledge that it is not the government’s job to decide what is best for one's child. Rather, it is the parent, the caregiver.
    Every Canadian deserves to choose what works best for their family when it comes to child care. Every family dynamic is different, and our diversity and our culture are what make Canada Canada. What works for one family may not work for another. We all have different situations, circumstances and needs.
    Bill C-35 would not offer choice for families. In fact, it would exclude many Canadians from accessing quality, affordable child care. This bill speaks exclusively to those who already have a child care space with a public or not-for-profit child care operator. It does not offer anything to families who have been on wait-lists for years. It does not offer anything for families who choose to raise their children at home, use a grandparent or access a private or home-run day care.
    There is no freedom to choose in this bill, and there is absolutely no mention of how to manage the frontline burnout and labour shortage of child care providers.
    Bill C-35 would not solve the problem of the staff shortages and the out-of-control wait-lists to access child care across this country. In fact, the bill would do exactly the opposite. It would increase the demand for affordable child care and leave parents with no access. This bill would subsidize the wealthy instead of prioritizing our most vulnerable families who need child care.
    The bill specifically says, “enable families of varying incomes to benefit from affordable early learning and child care programs and services”. In a cost-of-living crisis, why is the Liberal government subsidizing the most wealthy?
    This message is from Morgan, who sent it to me. She says, “I think my story is pretty common among new parents right now. I have three children, one in school and I have to go back to work in February from my latest maternity leave. I’ve been on the waitlist since I was 8 weeks pregnant and still won’t have any care for at least another year likely.” She asks whether she is just supposed to give up her career, her income, her pension and her benefits. She continues, saying, “I’m not sure how I am supposed to provide for my family with no income. Many daycares I have reached out to say they have had to shut down some of their rooms, meaning even less child care spots.”
    Here is another story from an operator in Peterborough, Ontario. She says that they have a child in their preschool program who is eligible for the Canada-wide early learning and child care program, or, as many call it, the CWELCC, and who has a sibling in the senior before and after school program who is not eligible for CWELCC because of their age. Program eligibility, for those who do not know, is only for children under six.
    The day care operator says that the parent fee for the preschool child is $19.85 a day, for up to 10 hours of care. The day care is open 7:30 to 5:30. This fee includes a hot lunch prepared by their cook, as well as two snacks each day, also prepared by the cook. For the senior before and after school child, the fee is $24 a day for a maximum of three hours and 45 minutes. This includes one snack per day.

  (1235)  

    She asks where the equity is in this. Families who have children over six are not entitled to CWELCC program fee reductions and therefore are paying more for under four hours of care than families who are entitled to a full day of care with a hot lunch and two snacks.
    This example points out many of the flaws in the bill. What about parents who work shift work, are entrepreneurs or who work weekends? Where can they take their kids for child care?
     Second, how would the bill create more spaces when the child care operator who has written this letter is located in a school, and there are physically no more spaces to put in the school?
    Furthermore, how would this bill help with the labour shortage? There is no labour strategy in this bill.
     Matthew Lau’s synopsis of this bill and the Liberals' failed attempt at child care is spot-on. He writes that the challenges are the same across the board and there are not enough qualified staff to keep all existing child care centres running at full capacity, let alone staff new spaces.
     Bill C-35 has nothing in it to fix these problems.
     Andrea Hannen, the Executive Director of the Association of Day Care Operators of Ontario, or ADCO, gives many examples of what we can expect with this Liberal flawed bill. She says, for example, that taxpayers and the families who use the program will wind up paying more and more for it, while all children will wind up getting less and less.
    This bill, like most Liberal policy, says a lot of really nice things but gives zero details on how any of these nice things will be delivered or how they will be achieved. The Liberals love to promise unrealistic expectations, and then act shocked when they cannot achieve them. They also love to tell taxpayers to just trust them.
     After eight years of this Prime Minister and seeing how badly Canadians are suffering, we do not trust them. The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario says there is a committed shortfall of $1.2 billion in 2026-27 based on the minimum federal and provincial commitment. We have barely started, and we can already see there is no sustainability plan here.
     Susan Cake, chair of Child Care Now Alberta, an advocacy organization, says that there has been a giant frustration in Alberta about the lack of communication, that everybody does not know what is going on, does not know where funding is coming from and does not know where they are going to get money.
    I want to take a minute right now. This is very important to listen to, because as members may have heard earlier, the minister talked about how this is such an advancement for feminism. This bill would do exactly the opposite.
    Feedback from the Association of Alberta Childcare Entrepreneurs said that the majority of private child care in Alberta is operated by women, with a large number being immigrant women, and that the impact of this agreement and the intention of the federal government to prioritize the business model of child care rather than the affordability, accessibility or quality of care is having the opposite effect on women. It notes that we are seeing a women-led industry targeted and pushed out of business, and that women across our province are facing bankruptcy and losing their homes because they signed on to this agreement because they wanted and advocated for affordable child care.
    The association also notes the creation of a two-tiered child care system. For example, one of its directors has a centre in Grand Prairie. She had a wait-list of over 400 families, so she decided to expand even though she understood the new spaces would not have access to the affordability program. Now in her centre she has her original 120 spaces with families paying an average of $13 a day, and 86 new spaces with families paying an average of $65 a day for the same care in the same centre. This is an unintended consequence of this child care program.
    The written feedback also says that there are new centres sitting empty. They are fully operational and licensed, but because of their choice to be private operators, they cannot access subsidies for families. There are centres with wait-lists of 100 families but only four children attending, because the other families need the subsidy and cannot access it in that centre. These women who have invested their savings and taken the initiative to open centres and meet the needs of their communities are going bankrupt. They likely have signed 10- to 20-year leases with personal guarantees of their families' homes and assets, but the federal government is restricting them from having access to a fair market to operate their businesses. The message this sends is that the choice of these parents does not matter and that these women are collateral damage to meeting this Liberal campaign promise in an NDP coalition.

  (1240)  

    As the Association of Alberta Childcare Entrepreneurs has pointed out, we must have private child care along with public and not-for-profit centres to meet the demand and to offer the choice to fit what is best for families. However, the language and intention of this bill clearly leave private child care operators in the cold. The exact language from the bill reads that it is to “facilitate access to early learning and child care programs and services — in particular those that are provided by public and not for profit child care providers”.
     How can we expect to meet the demand without private operators? We cannot. We need them, yet this bill clearly leaves out any representation from private operators on the national council. What does that say? It says the same thing the Liberals always say, namely that they will decide what is best. They will decide how to spend our money. They will decide who the representatives are at the table. They do not believe in the fair market or having freedom of choice. It is not right. It is not good leadership, and it is not a good long-term strategy for our country.
    Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office projects that by 2026, there will be 602,000 children under the age of six whose families will want $10-a-day day care, but the province will only be able to accommodate 37,000 of them. That will leave 38% of children without access. Government estimates also suggest that by 2026, there could be a shortage of 8,500 early childhood workers.
     In British Columbia, 27% of child care centres turn away children because of a lack of staff. One director, who oversees 13 child care programs that comprise 350 spaces, said that in the past two years, they have had to close programs temporarily, whether by closing for a day or two or shortening hours for the week.
    In Peterborough, we have 4,200 licensed child care spaces in our city and county. There are 3,500 children on the wait-list. Frontline burnout is hurting our entire economy and contributing to our mental health crisis, as is not being able to access quality child care.
    When the minister says that more women will be able to go to work, she is misleading Canadians. One cannot go to work if one lacks access to child care. One cannot help address our labour shortage without available day care spots. They will say they are going to create more spaces but give zero details of a plan for achieving that.
    Bill C-35 does not solve these problems. It is not a child care strategy. It is a headline marketing plan.
    Women are rethinking having children because of the cost-of-living crisis and because there is just no access to child care. I know many women who put their name on a wait-list before they were pregnant; now they have toddlers but no indication if they will ever get a child care spot. Accessing quality child care is one of life’s greatest stressors. Any mom or parent watching this knows that leaving their child with somebody is the ultimate stressor in life. Parents need choice about who to leave their children with. It is an indescribable stress.
    Parents deserve access to quality child care; more importantly, our children deserve access to quality care. If we are not invested in our children's welfare, then what is our future? Children are our future. They are our most precious resource, and this bill does not put children first. It is a marketing plan.

  (1245)  

     The following is Meredith's story:
     “I have been on a wait list for my 21 month old son since the day he was born, I have never come off of it nor have I received notice that I am coming to the top of any list, let alone some of the choices I feel would best suit our families needs. I’m now pregnant with my second and have already registered this baby on the list in hopes of having more success next time. I have spent countless hours on Facebook groups, asking friends, on paid service websites trying to find adequate care. It’s sad to me because I thought I would be choosing the center/provider that best suited our needs as a family, but it would appear that we are being forced to just accept whatever we get. I have also heard from friends who applied strictly for part time care who gave gotten calls from centres that only accept full time spots. This makes me question how many people are taking up spots on a list for full time when in reality they only require part time care? This seems like a simple issue to fix in the application process. In Facebook groups I see posts every single day of mothers and fathers desperately seeking care as their time on leave has run out and they still don’t have a reliable option. I consider myself lucky, I decided to leave my job after maternity leave and start my own business because I don’t feel I will ever be comfortable leaving my children wherever I get to the top of the list first. This has presented its own challenges as a full time parent & a full time entrepreneur, but at least I am not desperately seeking care left between feeding my family & staying home to care for my children”.
    She goes on to state, “This entire thing breaks my heart as I also think that while there are certainly many dads highly involved in the search for care, it ultimately seems to fall on women who are now being forced to leave their careers and remain home with their children despite wanting to return to the workplace”.
    It is really unfortunate that someone cannot be present with their children because they are so stressed out about whether they will be able to find child care and go back to work. They do not have a choice; they have to go back to work to pay for food because of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
    In terms of poor planning, alongside not providing clear communication or details on this ideologically driven bill, we have reports coming from child care centres explaining that parents are being charged an extra fee because, as everyone watching knows, the cost of food has skyrocketed after eight years under the current Prime Minister.
    As reported by The Globe and Mail, “Governments' daycare budgets didn't account for inflation, and it's affecting how kids are fed”.
     Ashley Collins is co-chief executive officer of Compass Early Learning and Care, which operates 40 child care programs across Canada. She estimates that Compass has had to increase its food budget by up to 10%. She said, “There's so many multifaceted things like we need to do from an operational level – make sure that food can continue, but also our staff, being able to make sure we're still putting money into increasing wages”.
     According to The Globe and Mail, “Compass programs will continue to look for sales on food and adjust menus accordingly rather than cut food offerings or add them as an extra fee”.
    “How unfortunate would it be that centres are feeling like they have to add that extra fee at a time when fees are supposed to be going down,” Ashley Collins said.
    There is so much wrong with this bill, and I cannot stress enough that Conservatives believe in freedom of choice for quality, affordable child care. Everybody wants that. However, this bill is flawed, and simply listening to parents, child care operators and frontline workers should have given the knowledge needed to fix it.
    We just need to listen to the people who are impacted by this to know what not to do. Clearly, the Liberals believe that Ottawa knows best. Conservatives know that Canadians know best, not Ottawa bureaucrats. We are elected to serve the people, and service means listening and doing something that is better, not worse.
    There are concrete policy decisions that can help families. Affordable and quality child care is critical, but if it cannot be accessed, it does not exist. It is great that we are having this conversation. It is great that we are recognizing how important affordable and quality child care is, but this bill falls very short on achieving results and details, as well as providing equal opportunities for families to access quality, affordable child care.
    It is because we have listened to parents, frontline staff and operators across this country that Conservatives believe we can fix this. We do not want to leave Canadians without hope. We know how important hope is. We can offer the freedom for families to choose what is best for them.

  (1250)  

    The Conservatives will put forth strong amendments to address these glaring shortcomings in the legislation and ensure all Canadians can access affordable quality child care. Their children are important—
    I am sorry. The time is up.
    Questions and comments, the hon. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for her speech because she has pointed out exactly why this bill is important. All of the issues she raised are issues that have arisen because we did not have national leadership on child care. There was no system before. The system that was there was a patchwork, and it did not provide for the needs of families across this country. Wait-lists existed before and exist today. That is why we are committed to creating 250,000 new spaces. There was no affordability. If the Conservatives truly care about these issues, this is an opportunity for them to join us in supporting this bill.
    Can we count on the hon. minister's support to improve this for families across Canada?
    Madam Speaker, I just got called an hon. minister, so I thank the minister for that.
    The reality is there is nothing in the bill that shows any solutions. Yes, we are addressing the problems; that is what my whole speech was dedicated to doing. However, how is the government going to create 250,000 spaces when many of these day care locations physically do not have the space? How is it going to increase the labour force? There is no national strategy in this bill. Why is private day care not represented? Why is there no private representation on the national council? Yes, affordable quality child care is critical, but if it cannot be accessed, it does not exist. This bill does not cover it.

  (1255)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    It is clear to me that western Canada's vision is not the same as Quebec's. The member talked about parents who have to make a decision. They still have to make decisions. Let us look at what Quebec does for child care. It is really quite extraordinary, and we have been doing it for years. The impact on child development is clear both in terms of sociology and education.
    You talked about private child care. How much do you think that will cost, and who in your region will have access?
    I would remind the hon. member that she must address the Chair, not speak to members directly.
    The hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is wonderful to be able to examine Quebec. I think that is really beneficial for many of us.
    Sometimes we need to have really hard conversations. The reality is this. What we all want in utopia is lovely, but we have to figure out the cost analysis of everything. It must have a fair market value. Absolutely, publicly licensed child care would change the lives of some children, especially those who do not have an option for anything else or something at home. This is absolutely critical. However, the bill does not meet that demand; it would increase the demand for wait-lists, and it would not close the gap. Therefore, we need that private representation.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to work with my colleague on the status of women committee. She spoke a lot about the need for for-profit care. That was a bit concerning for me because research has shown that for-profit care is not good for workers and is paid for on the backs of parents and families. I know that in Ontario, the PC government has quietly removed some of the profit caps, allowing for the expansion of for-profit care. We know this is problematic, and it is not supported by main national child care organizations, such as Child Care Now and the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, or unions, such as NUPGE, CUPE and Unifor. We see unions backing workers. The NDP has always been the party of workers, and unions are saying the workers need public, not-for-profit care.
    Does the member believe that federal funds should be used to expand, as she indicated clearly, for-profit care at the expense of public non-profit care, something that has been supported by unions and national child care organizations across the country?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, and it is a pleasure to work with her on the status of women committee.
    We cannot meet the demand without both sectors, and every stakeholder will tell us that. We cannot access quality, affordable child care if it does not exist.
    What I would pull out of the member's comment, which is concerning, is that many of these private day cares are run by women. Some say that is hurting the workforce, but these women are trying to make a living and trying to provide for their family by offering day care. They are opening access to their communities.
    We need to come to the table and find a solution, because cutting them out is not fair; it is not equal access.
    Madam Speaker, the member really hit the nail on the head when she asked how we can create more spaces if we do not have the labour force to back that up. I hear that in rural Canada in my riding, where mothers and parents are waiting on lists for years to find child care. However, the bill does not address the shortage of child care in rural Canada.
    I wonder if my colleague could comment on what kind of strategy the Conservatives would have to help families that are in need of child care across this country, especially in the rural areas of Canada.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, the member is absolutely right. There is a wild promise of 250,000 child care spaces, but I have not heard one detail on how that is going to be achieved. It is certainly not in the bill. Let us sit down and listen, especially to these places that have no more space.
    What are we going to do? Well, the private sector is critical. We cannot meet the demand without both. We need equal access. We need fair access. Parents need to be able to choose, and then we need to figure out the labour strategy. There is no mention of a national labour strategy in the bill, and until that is addressed, this problem is not going to go away; it is going to get worse.
    Madam Speaker, I am disappointed in the Conservative Party. Here we have a very progressive policy for the children of our country and an opportunity for the Conservatives to reverse the position they took in the last election, when they said they would get rid of the child care program, a program that has been signed off on by provinces and territories. It is an opportunity for Canadians to have affordable child care.
    The legislation we are voting on today is not meant to provide the details the member is looking for. Look at the agreements. It is in the agreements. This is the framework.
    Why is the Conservative Party sticking to its election platform and throwing out a national child care program when, in fact, this is the type of program we should all be supporting? It is the only party in the chamber voting against this legislation.
    Madam Speaker, I think the member was listening to a different speech, because nowhere did we say that we were throwing it out and nowhere did we say that we were voting against it.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, as I listened to my Conservative colleague's remarks, I heard a lot of objections, a lot of—

[English]

    I do not think the hon. member will be able to hear the question if there are conversations going on with members of the government at the same time. I would ask the member to listen to the question so she will be able to answer it.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé may ask a brief question.
    Madam Speaker, obviously I have gotten pretty good at speaking while other people are talking. This is the result of three years of training as a member of Parliament.
    I listened to my colleague's speech, which raised many doubts and questions. Has she seen the progress made in Quebec since our child care programs were implemented? This goes for both private and public programs. Private day care facilities still exist in Quebec, and there are still tax credits, but in the early childhood education centres, there are also educational programs.
    I had the great privilege of contributing to the creation of the early childhood education network with my own children. I invite my colleague to consider that aspect. We must not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as they say. We must vote in favour of this bill and work to improve it.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I guess I need to be clear. We would not be throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but it is also really important to see the shortcomings that have happened in Quebec and how many people are still on a wait-list. How do we improve? How do we do better? That is what we need to focus on for solutions, because quality, affordable child care is critical for our country, and we need to recognize that we need solutions.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Laurentides—Labelle.
    The hon. member needs the unanimous consent of the House to share her time.

[English]

    Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member to share her time?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

  (1305)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be back here in the House. I would like to thank my team in Val‑d'Or, Lebel‑sur‑Quévillon and Chibougamau for the work they are doing for my constituents. I also want to say hello to the people of Abitibi—James Bay—Nunavik—Eeyou.
    I rise today to speak to Bill C-35, an act respecting early learning and child care in Canada, which was tabled by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on December 8.
    If passed, Bill C‑35 will enshrine in law the Liberal government's commitment to maintaining long-term program funding for the provinces and indigenous peoples, as well as guiding principles for that federal funding. The bill contains no specific financial promises for the national program, but enshrining it in law could make it more difficult for a future government to dismantle.
    As we know, for many years now, many Canadian families have been envious of Quebec's child care system, because child care often eats up a large portion of their household income. These families have long dreamed of being able to benefit from the same service that families in Quebec have been receiving for decades. It is therefore high time that all Canadian families were able to access child care without breaking the bank.
    In 2022, Quebec celebrated the 25th anniversary of its family policy. On January 23, 1997, the Parti Québécois government's Minister of Education, Pauline Marois, unveiled the Quebec family policy, which was based on five main pillars: child care services and parental leave; the family allowance; the work premium; the solidarity tax credit; and the refundable tax credit for child care expenses.
    The family policy was developed as a result of changes in Quebec's population, including an increase in the number of single-parent and blended families, greater numbers of women in the workforce, and the troubling rise of precarious employment. This groundbreaking policy allowed Quebeckers to improve their work-life or school-life balance and benefit from more generous maternity and parental leave, and it extended family assistance programs to self-employed workers and workers with atypical work schedules. This model is a valuable program that the entire Quebec nation is proud of.
    Providing early childhood educational services was also a giant step forward for education in Quebec. These services increase students' chances of academic success and prevent them from dropping out, positively impact early childhood development, allow for the early detection of learning disabilities and adjustment difficulties, and ensure that all young Quebeckers start off on the same footing, regardless of their sex, ethnic origin or social class.
    Considering the popular support they enjoy, the new child care centres rank among one of the greatest successes of the new social economy, being democratically managed using an approach that involves both parents and educators.
    The mission of Quebec's early childhood education services is threefold: one, to ensure the well-being, health and safety of the children receiving care; two, to provide an environment that stimulates their development in every way, from birth to school age; and three, to prevent learning, behavioural and social integration problems from appearing later on. Child care services provide a conduit for instilling values, culture and language. This system helps children grow and develop more healthily from an early age. This is an important principle of childhood socialization and sharing.
    In my opinion, a real family policy like the one in Quebec, which includes components such as family leave, income support and an accessible child care network, must be integrated into a coherent whole in order to be effective, so it should be overseen by just one level of government.
    I myself took advantage of our child care services, and my children received an education that contributed to their success in life. It is truly a pleasure to bring a child to the centre in the morning, knowing that they are safe, that they will learn something and discover their creativity, and that they are picking up life skills by making friends they can play with.
    I have to say that the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-35 in principle, but we think it is somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand, it does not comply with the distribution of powers set out in the Constitution, but on the other, it excludes Quebec from the federal family policy for the next five years.

  (1310)  

    Let me explain. The Constitution clearly states that education and family policy are not under federal jurisdiction. Moreover, although the bill states that the provinces will be able to certify child care services and determine the applicable criteria, it also states that every government in Canada will have to comply with the principles set out in the multilateral early learning and child care framework.
    This framework is full of good intentions and fine principles, but it is based on the federal government's supposed spending power, which Quebec does not consider legitimate or legal. One thing is clear: This bill was not tabled in the right parliament.
    On the other hand, the bill excludes Quebec from the federal family policy for the next five years. The Quebec government will receive $6 billion in compensation for opting out of the centralizing policy. This demonstrates respect for Quebec's aversion to federal meddling in its jurisdictions, especially since Quebec is not only a pioneer in child care services, but is hailed as a model for success.
    Nonetheless, unlike Bill C‑303, Bill C‑35's predecessor, there is no indication of any exemption for Quebec in the current wording of the bill. This is how clause 4 of Bill C‑303 was worded:
    
    Recognizing the unique nature of the jurisdiction of the Government of Quebec with regard to the education and development of children in Quebec society, and notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Government of Quebec may choose to be exempted from the application of this Act and, notwithstanding any such decision, shall receive the full transfer payment that would otherwise be paid under section 5.
    The agreement signed with the Quebec government is valid for five years. However, giving Quebec the full right to opt out of this program would help avoid another dispute between Ottawa and Quebec City when the federal government inevitably interferes in Quebec's jurisdiction, as it is wont to do.
    During the joint announcement by the federal government and the Legault government, the Premier of Quebec indicated that the federal government would continue to help Quebec and that the agreement would respect Quebec's jurisdictions. The Premier of Quebec, Mr. Legault, said that after 2026, he will expect help from the federal government.
    The passage of Bill C‑35 would make it possible for Quebec to recover significant sums that it could use to complete its network and enhance working conditions for workers in the sector. By allowing Quebec to opt out and be fully compensated, Bill C‑35 takes into consideration these two opposing tendencies in federal-provincial relations, which is rare on the part of the federal government. Outside Quebec, Ottawa is seen as a force for social progress, which results in a strong tendency towards centralization. In Quebec, we reject this interference.
    However, as I just mentioned, unlike its predecessor, Bill C‑303, specifically clause 4, this bill does not provide for the right to unconditionally opt out. It is essential that this be included in order to reflect this opposing view of Canada, that is centralization outside Quebec and respect for jurisdictions within Quebec.
    Finally, it would be a good idea for Bill C‑35 to emulate its predecessor by recognizing the Quebec government's unique expertise on day care services in North America, as the international community did in 2003. In its study of day care in Canada, the OECD stated that it is “important to underline...the extraordinary advance made by Quebec, which has launched one of the most ambitious and interesting early education and care policies in North America....none of [the Canadian provinces] showed the same clarity of vision as Quebec in addressing the needs of young children and families”.
    In closing, it is my hope that all Canadian families will one day be able to enjoy the same child care benefits as Quebec families. We know that, in addition to giving a financial boost to Canadian families, this would enable more mothers to enter the job market. It is an investment in a better future for our children, and our children are the future.
    Like her, I have been able to benefit from child care for my three boys. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the excellent educators at the Carrosse-Citrouille early childhood centre for taking such good care of my children.
    As my colleague pointed out, Quebec has had a universal low-fee child care program since 1997. Econometric studies have shown a positive correlation between this program and women's participation in the workforce.
    I would like to know whether my colleague agrees that this enables women to go back to work or to school. We need to invest in women. It can improve their financial situation and perhaps even get them out of an abusive environment.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, this will indeed help women return to the workforce, and it will help families support them. We know that child care is very expensive. This service will be a huge help to families, and it will also support early childhood education.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, one of the trends we are seeing, which has really been accelerated by the pandemic, is flexible work. People are working from home and looking to be able to combine family life with work in different ways. Therefore, they are still very much needing child care, but they are looking for more creative options, which may be in their neighbourhood, may be at odd hours and may reflect the particulars of their work situation.
     One of the concerns I have with the government's one-size-fits-all approach to child care is that it would fund a particular kind of child care model that is not consistent with the way many families live. As technology changes, the government's program is not keeping up with this evolution and how people are trying to combine work with family life. I wonder if the member could talk about whether she agrees that the government's approach is failing to be flexible to accommodate all families with the way the program is structured.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, all we have to do is look at child care in Quebec. That model gives women access to better benefits and enables them to stay home. That also means better outcomes for children, so I do not agree with my colleague's point of view. I actually agree with the government's point of view because it looked at how things are done in Quebec, which sets the bar.

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, I hope the member joins me in congratulating all the athletes who are going to the Arctic Winter Games. I am sure she has constituents in her riding who are attending that great event as well.
    I have read the bill, and it is great to see there are specific provisions not only for indigenous peoples and indigenous governance but also for implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I know that the member has huge indigenous communities, including I believe nine Cree communities and 14 Inuit communities. I wonder what the member has heard from those constituents regarding this bill.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I congratulate all the students heading off to the athletic event in western Canada.
    This bill will really help indigenous communities. We were waiting to see the document to make sure. I am sure it will help all communities in northern Quebec and in Abitibi—Baie‑James—Nunavik—Eeyou.
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint‑Hubert may ask a brief question.
    Madam Speaker, I do not know if I can be brief.
    My colleague did a great job explaining how progressive Quebec is. It is surprising and always a pleasure to see how the federal government can follow Quebec's example, instead of lecturing Quebec as it does most of the time. Every once in a while it looks at Quebec and decides to implement the Quebec model from coast to coast to coast.
    There are even more areas where it could follow Quebec's example but, unfortunately, does not. This bill respects provincial jurisdictions, which has never been the case with the health transfers we have been asking for for years.
    Does my colleague not think the federal government could use Bill C‑35 as an opportunity to really respond to the provinces' requests, specifically by putting more money into the system—
    I have already allowed more than enough time for a short question. I would ask for a short answer, please.
    Madam Speaker, yes, the government must provide the transfers that Quebec needs. This is very important. We must not forget this.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, my wish for my colleagues is that 2023 is a bit different than these past few years.
    A few minutes ago, I heard my colleague ask if we could encourage people to get into politics and set aside partisan rhetoric on the thousands of files before us.
    Today I have the great pleasure of speaking to Bill C‑35. I say bravo because we are entirely in favour in principle. I am very proud of that. I must also say that my colleague did a fine job explaining the ins and outs of everything that might be missing from this bill.
    I will talk more about the pride of Quebec for more than 25 years now. Having heard the speech by my Conservative colleague, I hope to give the others a bit more of an understanding of the purpose of this bill and the need to see it through.
    I want to look back because I want to talk about how proud I am. Just before being appointed, the first female premier of Quebec introduced a forward-thinking family policy that changed the lives of countless families and boosted the economy. It levelled the playing field for everyone and put children on the path to educational success, and I am very proud of that. What is more, the policy was implemented in a reasonable way that did not break parents' budgets. That is why, at the time, it was known as the groundbreaking $5 day care. Today, it does not even cost $9 a day. For us, it is still a good program with benefits that I will talk about in the next few minutes.
    As the minister said earlier, in 1997, this program made it possible for children from all walks of life and all social classes to attend day care and for all parents, both men and women, who had never even considered doing so, to go back to work and become independent, to prepare to take the path I talked about earlier.
    Madam Speaker, my colleagues are really bothering me. I thought we had set the stage for a minimum level of respect. They need to go talk somewhere else besides right in front of me because I am finding it difficult to keep speaking. I want to point that out.
    I would ask anyone who wants to have a conversation when someone is giving a speech in the House to do so in the lobby. All members should be shown that respect.
    The hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.
    Madam Speaker, in Quebec, we call them centres de la petite enfance, or CPEs.
    This has allowed parents, like me for that matter, to not have to make the agonizing choice of deciding which parent should stay home to educate and prepare children for school based on family income.
    Twenty-five years ago, many women often earned less than their spouses. The child care system has not only provided equal opportunity for children, but also equality and prosperity for women. If we look at the numbers, we can see there has been an increase in women in business and in the workforce. As we know, the numbers are incredible. A quarter of a century later, and the numbers do not lie. We cannot ignore them.
    Quebeckers are very proud of this model. Obviously, I am, too.
    Earlier, my colleague mentioned that Quebec has been cited as an example, particularly at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In 2003, it was noted that Quebec had implemented one of the most ambitious education and child care policies. It was very ambitious when you look at North America as a whole.
    Here is what I want to tell my Conservative colleagues. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in child care returns almost $2—$1.75, actually—in tax revenue. An extra dollar invested in health and early learning saves our health, social and judicial systems $9. As I said at the start, the child care system makes a huge contribution to economic development, equal opportunity and the prosperity of women who want to be in the workforce.
    We also have numbers that show lower drop-out rates, and I am very proud of that.
    We agree with the principle of the bill. Who would oppose giving our kids the best possible opportunity? If that is where we start from, I think we have a proposal that we can re-evaluate in five years. Quebec's child care model is not new; it has been around for over 25 years. We have numbers to prove all this. I think we might even see the Conservatives admit that helping the community as a whole has an enormous impact.
    As a brief aside, I can say that one plus one equals two. If we take the necessary steps to educate people in their workplace and improve their working conditions, we could see a significant reduction in the labour shortage that exists across Quebec and Canada. The labour shortage is therefore not a good argument.
    Since I have barely three minutes left, I would like to talk about what I experienced more than 15 years ago and why I am proud to have been so heavily involved. I was the president of La Fourmilière early child care centre. This was at a time when program coordinators had to be deployed to ensure that spaces were maximized and that the programs could be managed in both institutional and home-based settings. In fact, there are still home-based child care centres operating today.
    This is very important to me. I want to take 20 seconds to recognize a woman who dedicated her life to early childhood education. Thirty years ago, it was called kindergarten. Then there was a program called Passe-Partout. Today, it is called the CPE La Fourmilière.

  (1325)  

    Her name is Suzie Leblanc. I offer my condolences to her family. Suzie passed away over the holidays. My sympathies go out to Véro and her entire family. This does have an impact. We cannot forget that.
    Obviously, jurisdictions need to be respected. We in the Bloc Québécois keep saying that. Who could be against that? Just five minutes ago, we heard a member mention that, for once, jurisdictions were respected when it comes to the right to full compensation. I look forward to getting this bill passed. I hope things will turn around. Maybe the same will happen with health transfers. That is my biggest wish for 2023.
    On behalf of our children, the next generation, the economy and women's empowerment in the workforce, I want to congratulate the minister for taking action and standing her ground. The Bloc will be there.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague and all my Bloc Québécois colleagues for supporting this bill.
    Quebec is most definitely a leader in this area. We have learned so much from Quebec's experience over the past 25 years. I would also like to thank my colleague for speaking about her pride in Quebec's early childhood and day care centres.
    I would like to ask her the following question. Could she tell us a bit more about why a lack of access to child care is not a choice for women? Could she explain to the Conservatives what choice means?
    Madam Speaker, that is a good question. I thank the minister for asking it.
    Here is my answer. How do we judge whether parents, who are acting out of love for their children, have everything they need based on their situation?
    It seems to me that we should give everyone the opportunity to get an education in a safe setting in order to prepare children for the future. It is odd to be talking about this here, because education matters are usually discussed at the National Assembly. How can we say that the labour shortage and the lack of attention paid to the private sector mean that we are not going to go ahead and not even try it? The bill provides for a five-year timeline. Could we just try it, please?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am from Oshawa, and in Oshawa we do factory work. Conservatives believe in equal support and accessibility. I am wondering what my colleague's comments would be for people who are working shift work, whether that is overnight or in the afternoon, or people who are rural who would like to have equal access and support.
    It is very important for me. My wife has her ECE. It is very important for all Canadians, but on this idea of accessibility and equality, I was wondering if she maybe has some input and advice for the government.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, anything is possible after 25 years. As I said, I worked in the forestry industry for seven years. For 44 hours a week, there were three shifts, including a night shift, so day care centres that are open non-standard hours do exist.
    I would ask members not to get hung up on the wording, but instead to look at how we can seize this moment to create opportunities for those who work nights and weekends. Anything is possible. We are doing this out of love for our children and their future.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in my riding we are really struggling to find health care providers. One of the things that we have heard loud and clear as the biggest challenge is child care, and a lot of people in the health care industry are women.
    I am wondering if the member could speak a little about the impact this could have on women to open doors for them to enter the workforce and the very clear example we have seen in Quebec.

[Translation]

    That is a very good question, Madam Speaker.
    Studies have indeed shown that, when education is at the heart of a community, then health care prevention is possible. When individuals are fortunate enough to be informed, to feel safe and to be educated, it has a direct impact on health care.
    As I said at the outset, for every dollar we invest in health and social services, we save nine dollars. Often, a government will invest all of its pennies in prevention, but then it still has to take a curative approach.
    This bill will have positive effects, but we will not see the results right away. We need to give the children time to reach age three, four or five and start school. I can guarantee that this will bring about change, and there are statistics to prove it. That is what I wish for all of Canada, because we Quebeckers are very proud of the family policy we have had for the past 25 years.

  (1335)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today as the NDP's critic for children, families and social development to address this historic legislation, Bill C-35.
    Finally, after so many years of struggle, we have a national child care legislation that accompanies a system of national child care.
     Let me begin by acknowledging the people who made this system and the bill we are debating today possible. There are too many names to mention, but let me say this. Generations of feminists, trade unionists, child care workers and advocates made this victory possible. They never, ever gave up the fight. They did not give up after the 1970 Royal Commission on the Status of Women's recommendation for a national child care program was ignored by the government of the day. They did not give up after the 1993 Liberal red book promised national child care, only for that government to pursue deep cuts to social programs instead. They did not give up during the 10 years of a Harper government that viewed child care as a dirty word. It has been 30 years since the Liberals promised a national child care program and, as a result of their relentless advocacy, we finally find ourselves here today.
    I, a proud New Democrat, along with my colleagues, am proud to stand here today in support of Bill C-35 on behalf of our party, which has always prided itself on being a feminist movement and a vocal advocate for an affordable, accessible, universal child care program.
    Our party prides itself on standing alongside organizations, advocates and unions in their demonstration of courage and commitment even when the possibility of national child care seemed so unlikely. It is because of their tenacity and their refusal to quit even when the odds were against them that we are here today.
    I stand on their shoulders; we stand on their shoulders.
    I also want to acknowledge the role that our party and particularly women in the NDP have played in getting us to this point. Olivia Chow, the former MP for Trinity—Spadina is a child care champion. Her private member's bill, Bill C-373, laid out a foundation for an affordable, accessible and high-quality national child care system. More recently, my colleague, the member of Parliament for London—Fanshawe, built on these efforts with her Bill C-311.
    I am grateful to them both for their work in moving this issue forward and demonstrating what a positive role for the federal government in ensuring that families can have access to child care they need when they need it looks like.
    Finally, I wish to thank the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the member of Parliament for Burlington, and her team for the collaborative approach they have taken with this legislation. The minister sought out our feedback and was receptive to many of our suggestions about what should be included in this legislation.
    Although there are still areas where the bill can and should be strengthened, I am delighted that several of our key recommendations did find their way into the current version of the bill. I will address some of these key recommendations in more detail later, but I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge how I appreciated, very much, the minister's openness to our feedback.
    By establishing a long-term commitment for federal funding to provinces and indigenous peoples and enshrining the principles of a national system of early learning and child care, Bill C-35 would help ensure that parents across Canada can access affordable, accessible and high-quality child care now and into the future.
    In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, where the price of almost everything has increased, child care is a rare exception. Parents in many cities across the country are seeing child care savings as significant as 50%, providing real relief to thousands of families. It is vital that the target of $10-a-day child care by 2026 is not only achieved, but sustained for the long term.

  (1340)  

    I will note, however, that not all cities and provinces have met their fee reduction targets. One province in particular is Manitoba, which has conspicuously lagged behind. This is a topic I will return to later.
    Nevertheless, the child care agreements are delivering significant fee reductions for parents from coast to coast. It is important this continues indefinitely, not just for five years until the agreements need to be renewed. Much like our system of universal health care, child care must be a permanent feature of our social safety net.
    The commitment to long-term funding is also crucial for advancing gender equality in our country. Child care is a feminist issue. It gives working women the ability to choose when and how they wish to re-enter the workforce after having a child. The Quebec model of low-cost child care offers a powerful example of this. Indeed, Quebec's investment in a universal child care have resulted in women's participation in the workforce increasing by between 8% and 12%.
    Not only has this boosted Quebec's economy, it has improved the financial security of women. It means a greater portion of household income is now under the control of women, which gives them more security in the case of separation, including in cases where they need to leave an abusive relationship. This is what feminist public policy looks like.
     I often hear members of Parliament sharing stories about the struggling single parent mother trying to make ends meet. In fact, the member for Carleton, now the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, often invokes the experiences of single moms in Parliament.
    I can be certain that he has never been a single mother. If he had been, maybe he would not be so quick to oppose a national health care program, which will help thousands of single moms and children across the country have a better life.
    I, in fact, was a single mom. I was very fortunate at the time to have stable employment teaching in post-secondary education. However, even on an academic salary, I often had difficulty making ends meet, paying up to $650 a month in child care expenses. This resulted in me having to take on more employment, which resulted in my having less time with my precious son. I have lasting mother's guilt about having to leave him so I could provide for him.
     I am lucky to have such a wonderful son, whom I adore. Looking back, maybe if there had been a national child care program at the time, our life might have looked much different. I was exhausted, and my son missed his mother.
    More affordable child care, let alone $10-a-day child care, would have changed my life and my son's life. Therefore, for any member of the House who uses the story of struggling single mothers for political gain without having been one themselves, they should vote in favour of the bill and support a system of national child care now.
    Returning to the bill, beyond the long-term funding commitment, Bill C-35 contains other important provisions we pushed for and managed to have incorporated into the bill.
     First is the inclusion of international human rights conventions and declarations that enshrine access to child care as a human right.
    Preambular paragraph 3 affirms a commitment to further realization of the right to child care as recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is something for which child care advocates have long demanded and for which the NDP have fought. Preambular paragraph 3 also affirms the commitment to furthering the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and contains important references to other international conventions, including the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

  (1345)  

    An other inclusion for which the NDP fought for was that rights-based language be included in the bill. I am pleased that this has been included.
    Second and highly significant is that Bill C-35 would explicit priority to child care programs and services offered by public and not-for-profit providers as one of the principles guiding federal funding. This is a provision fought for and won by the NDP. It is a win for parents because public and non-profit child care means affordable, quality and accessible day care for families that need it rather than day cares that make a profit off of the backs of parents.
    We also know that an emphasis on public and non-profit child care means better wages and working conditions for staff in the system. Study after study, union after union have heeded these calls for a public not-for-profit child care system.
    Those in the House who say they stand with workers then they need to stand with a public, non-profit child care system. Taking care of our kids should not be on the backs of parents. Kids are not a business. The focus should be on providing the best possible care at a price that parents can afford, not delivering a profit for shareholders.
    While all of what I describe represents an important step forward, as I mentioned previously, there are areas where this bill can and should be improved. One of the improvements required is adding an explicit commitment to decent work for child care staff.
     At this point, I will digress briefly to say that I was once, as many people know in the House, an early childhood educator. If someone had told me all those years ago that I would be in this place debating national child care legislation, I would not have believed that person.
    Workers are at the heart and soul of a national child care system. For far too long, child care workers have been grossly underpaid and undervalued in spite of the fact that they perform some of society's most critical work. That is why I left the profession even though I loved the kids who I was teaching everyday. I loved the work but I could not afford to continue in a profession that did not pay a living wage or provide good benefits.
    A national child care program will only be successful and sustainable if the workers who make it possible are treated with dignity and paid fairly for their labour. That is why I support the Canadian Labour Congress' call for the legislation to include a clear commitment to decent work for child care staff. All child care workers deserve to earn a living wage with benefits with which they can support their families.
    As an aside, it is also vital for the federal government to develop a workforce strategy to address staffing shortages in the sector. When we talk about creating new spaces, the building is not the most important element. It is having trained staff to look after the kids in these new child care spaces, a workforce strategy that can help ensure we are continuously expanding child care options where the demand is greatest.
    The bill can also be strengthened with respect to the accountability and transparency it provides. While the creation of a national advisory council is welcome in terms of the expert advice that it will provide, it does not have the enforcement power to ensure that the provisions set out in Bill C-35 are followed. It is important for the bill to include strong accountability mechanisms so that the commitments it contains are upheld.
    The reporting requirements on the progress being made in establishing national child care and federal investments in this sector lack detail, stating only that the minister is required to make an annual report. This is too vague and the bill should specify the specific metrics, including new spaces being built, new child care workers being hired and other quantitative details. It is vital that members of the public and Parliament have access to this crucial information.

  (1350)  

    It should also establish conditions on federal child care funding, real accountability for when provinces fail to deliver on fee reductions or expanding public, not-for-profit care.
    I am deeply concerned that Manitoba is the only province where we have not seen an average reduction in fees. Instead, the government has made changes to who is eligible for the subsidy. This is unacceptable. Also concerning is the Ontario government's decision to remove profit caps, paving the way for an expansion of for-profit care.
    I know the government has said there are accountability mechanisms built into the bilateral agreements, but they are either inadequate, not being properly enforced, or both.
    I am also aware that Bill C-35 does not supersede the bilateral agreements, which are legally binding, so we cannot impose new terms on top of these existing agreements. However, I am hoping the bill could be amended to provide stronger conditions that would apply on an ongoing basis, or on a going forward basis, to future agreements after the current ones expire, five years from when they are concluded. Right now, the bill says nothing about how future agreements would be enforced to ensure accountability for the funding. This is a notable gap that we should address.
    While there are more opportunities to weigh in on the bill at committee and in the chamber, I want to conclude by again acknowledging the gravity of what we are discussing today. We have progressed from being a country where child care was seen as the sole responsibility of mothers, unpaid labour with which our society could not function, to a country where child care is not just an individual responsibility but a collective one. We have progressed to being a country where we will finally have national legislation underpinning a national system of child care in every province and territory.
    After years of false starts and broken promises, that is something we can all take pride in. To the women, the workers and the advocates who have helped make this dream a reality, I say their tenacious efforts have made our country fairer, more just and more inclusive.
    Madam Speaker, I want to begin by thanking my hon. colleague from Winnipeg Centre for the really positive and constructive working relationship we have developed over the past year. I also want to thank her colleagues in the NDP for their support of this legislation. I have great confidence in what we are going to be able to achieve with this for Canadians right across the country.
    I also want to thank her for recognizing the advocates and those who have worked for generations to get us to where we are today. I am hoping she can take a couple of minutes to explain to our Conservative colleagues why a national child care initiative supports women and children, and why this is really important progressive feminist policy.
    Madam Speaker, certainly I am willing to work with any party in the House that is willing to advance the human rights of children and women. Human rights should never be made a partisan issue. This has certainly been recognized by child care advocates who support feminist policy in advancing the rights of women.
    One cannot support women without a robust public and not-for-profit child care system. This has been recognized by unions and lead child advocacy groups in the country, who know that for-profit care hurts families, is paid for on the backs of families and mothers, and is not to the benefit of workers. I look forward to advancing this bill, putting forward some amendments to make it stronger and supporting more feminist policy in Canada with a national child care program.

  (1355)  

    Madam Speaker, as I said earlier, I really enjoy working with the member on FEWO.
    Does the member believe that, regardless of the model of operation, if a child care facility meets or exceeds the provincial, territorial and indigenous standards of quality of care, that it should have access to the national child care framework? If not, what data suggests otherwise?
    Madam Speaker, I do not think that public money should ever be used for profit. Public monies need to be used for not-for-profit, public child care spaces.
    We know the research shows that in early childhood education for-profit care often makes profit on the backs of children. We have certainly seen this in elder care, in private seniors' homes. We have also seen this in for-profit child care.
    We need a national child care strategy that supports the training of workers; supports without question a living wage of workers, with benefits; supports families; and expands our current system so we end up with a national child care system that has enough spaces to support the families needing it.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her excellent speech. For once, I am very pleased to be able to utterly and completely support a speech by one of my colleagues from the NDP.
    I would like to offer a solution to allow us to work together better in future.
    The bill before us includes an exemption for Quebec, which already has its own system. Over the past three years, there has been more than one occasion when I have shared essentially the same ideologies as my NDP colleagues, but ultimately had to vote the other way because there is always this centralizing tendency in national programs.
    I would like my colleague to respond sincerely, from the heart. Does she not believe that we have found a model that could be used more often? We could work like this more often to advance the causes of Quebec and Canada.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member has a good question. I want to reiterate that the federal government has made bilateral agreements with provinces.
     We are pushing for bilateral agreements with provinces that prioritize not-for-profit public spaces. This is something that Quebec is actually already doing. Quebec has been doing this for a million years. We know that it helps women. We know that it has improved the ability of women to participate in the workforce, should they choose. I think that is already in the bill. Again, there are areas where it could be improved.
    However, I think we are on the same page in saying to let us keep child care public so we can support accessible, affordable child care for all.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Health Care

    Madam Speaker, we all know we are in a fight to save our health care system. Public health care, our single payer, universal health care, is at risk, and I think it is important that we revisit our history. I know this history first-hand, not from books, but because a dear friend of mine, the late Jim MacNeill, was part of the Saskatchewan CCF government that brought in our health care.
     We forget that the profiteering doctors of Saskatchewan went out on strike to block health care. We forget that foreign doctors came in so the people of Saskatchewan would have medical care, mostly doctors from the U.K. I do not know how many Canadians know this, but Jim told me that when the foreign doctors got to Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan doctors blocked their access to hospitals, and U.K. doctors were operating on kitchen tables.
     Members of the Saskatchewan cabinet had family members who needed medical care. They were up against it, and they were brave. They held the line. We owe it to them to do the same to protect our public health care system from profiteering privatization.

  (1400)  

Shooting in Vaughan

    Madam Speaker, this Christmas season, when families were preparing to gather, celebrate and catch up with loved ones, our community was shaken to its core upon learning of a devastating mass shooting. One gun led to the loss of six lives and carved an unforgettable scar in the city of Vaughan. Our community, known for its generosity and can-do spirit, was shaken by this horrific act of violence.
    Like all Vaughan residents, I have kept the victims, Rita Camilleri, Vittorio Panza, Russell Manock, Lorraine Manock and Naveed Dada, and survivor, Doreen Di Nino, as well as their families, in my thoughts since that dark December 18.
    We know there is no place for gun violence in Canada, not in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Quebec City or the city of Vaughan. Our country will never forget the innocent lives lost and the bright futures that have been taken way too soon.
    To our first responders, I thank them for their response, their professionalism and their commitment to keeping our communities safe and secure.

Dairy Farming

    Madam Speaker, one of my favourite local events was back this year for the first time since the pandemic. Joe Loewith and Sons dairy farm in Copetown held its annual open house on December 27, so people from the city could learn more about where their food comes from.
    Other Hamilton-area dairy producers pitched in to help with the crowd of nearly a thousand people. Robotic milking, feeding and calving were all on full display. What is more exciting is that they were already showcasing a bright new building just steps from the dairy barns. This summer, it will open as a thriving new farm-to-table business and the latest agri-tourism attraction. Not only will Summit Station Dairy and Creamery be a landmark that celebrates local heritage, it is entrepreneurialism at its best.
    I send my congratulations to Ben, Jennifer, Carl, David and the entire Loewith family for their contribution to the local economy and their generations of innovation in the dairy industry.

Hockey Excellence

    Madam Speaker, two weeks ago, Gerard and Jenny Barron, neighbours and Halifax West residents, were the proudest parents in Montreal's Bell Centre. If members are asking why, it is because, for the first time ever, they got to watch their boys go head-to-head as the only siblings from Nova Scotia to ever play in the NHL. Morgan plays for the Winnipeg Jets, while Justin plays for the Montreal Canadiens.
     The story of their success is incredible. At 16, Morgan left home to play two seasons at St. Andrew's College, earning himself a scholarship to Cornell. He was later drafted by the New York Rangers and was later traded to Winnipeg. Justin spent his entire junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads. He was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2020 NHL draft and was then traded to the Habs.
    Please join me in congratulating both Barrons on their tremendous success on the ice.

[Translation]

Viola Léger

    Mr. Speaker, few performers have been able to embody a people quite the way Viola Léger did in the role of La Sagouine.
    Viola Léger was La Sagouine, and, for many of us, La Sagouine was Acadia.
    Thousands of times over more than 50 years, Ms. Léger transformed into this wise and insightful woman, deeply marked by a hard life and by the injustices and suffering perpetrated upon the Acadian people. The character may have been created by her friend Antonine Maillet, but Viola Léger was the one who brought it to life.
    Viola Léger was a proud Acadian. She was an outstanding ambassador for Acadia and spent her entire life contributing to its cultural development, including through her foundation to promote Acadian theatre.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois and all Quebeckers, I want to offer her family, everyone who loved her and all Acadians our most sincere condolences.
    I thank Ms. Léger for being the face, the voice and the soul of the Acadian nation for so long.

  (1405)  

World Junior Hockey Championship

    Mr. Speaker, five members of the Sherbrooke Phoenix made their mark at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
    Two Canadians, forward Joshua Roy and defenceman Tyson Hinds, along with their coach, Stéphane Julien, proudly represented Sherbrooke at this major hockey tournament, winning the gold medal with Team Canada.
    Two other Phoenix players, David Spacek and Jakub Brabenec, also stood out, winning the silver medal with the Czech team.
    Congratulations to all the medal winners and all tournament participants.
    Sherbrooke hockey fans are lucky to have the Phoenix, because they can gather every week to watch some of the world's best players in the electrifying atmosphere of the Palais des Sports. Together, let's continue to support and improve our national sport.

[English]

Order of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the motto of the Order of Canada is “They desire a better country.” I can think of few people who more truly embody that motto than the newly appointed member of the Order of Canada, Jean Aitcheson of Stratford.
    A nurse by career, Jean has dedicated her time and energy to the service to others. On countless medical mission trips, Jean has provided care to so many in need around the globe. She also founded the Stratford Mission Depot to help coordinate the donation and delivery of medical supplies and equipment. Just this past year, Jean and her team of volunteers saw the need for medical supplies for Ukrainian refugees and sprang into action, quickly amassing 14 cubic metres of medical supplies.
    Jean is quick to deflect praise away from herself and toward her team of volunteers, and it is that modesty that underscores why she is so deserving of this special recognition. I congratulate Jean Aitcheson.

Stilecroft Public School

    Mr. Speaker, as we start the winter session of Parliament, I want to recognize an amazing achievement from students in York Centre over the holidays.
    Our community rests on the values of kindness and compassion, giving back and showing up for one another. I am overwhelmed by the generosity that students, families and staff from Stilecroft Public School showed in December, collecting 200 pounds of food for the North York Harvest Food Bank. This amazing act of kindness allowed North York Harvest to provide hundreds of meals to the most vulnerable members of our community.
    A special thanks goes to principal Karen Barnes and the wonderful staff at Stilecroft P.S. who organized the campaign and did not hesitate for one moment when asked and jumped at the opportunity to help. I want to especially thank the generous students and families at Stilecroft. I also want to thank the staff at North York Harvest Food Bank, who provide such an important service every day to those who are facing food insecurity in our communities, with integrity and compassion.
    When we give at home, we grow a community that is strong and supportive.

Dwight Petten

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life of Mr. Dwight Petten, who passed away earlier this month after a short but valiant battle with cancer at the young age of 56.
    Dwight was a very successful and respected fisherman from my riding, who had an enthusiasm for the industry that was surpassed only by the love for his family and passion for his faith. Far away from his home and family in Port de Grave, he joined several missionaries throughout his lifetime around the world, including one in Africa and Thailand. Dwight was a successful fisherman and a proud owner of his family business, DMC Enterprises, which he operated side by side with his son Matthew. He took great pride in his fishing vessels and was respected as a leader in the industry. For 25 years, he served in the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
    Dwight will be remembered as a loving husband to his wife Cynthia and a wonderful father to his children Melanie, Matthew and Melissa and his grandchildren, who were his pride and joy and who knew him simply as Pop.
    Dwight was taken from us way too soon. His legacy will live on. Rest easy, my friend.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, it has been eight years since the Prime Minister took office, and his soft-on-crime policies have unleashed a crime wave in Canada. The government has made life easier for violent criminals by providing easy access to bail and repealing mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes. As a result, violent crime has gone up 32% in the past year, and gang-related killings have gone up by 92% since 2015.
    Furthermore, Liberals have failed to stop the flow of illegal firearms across the border. As a consequence, five police officers have tragically lost their lives this past fall in the line of duty. Our communities feel less safe, and the government is making it worse. Despite their dismal record, Liberals recently initiated a ban on hunting rifles and shotguns, making thousands of these firearms illegal. Hunters, farmers and target shooters are not the problem; Liberals are the problem. This Liberal made-in-Canada crime wave must stop.
    Only a Conservative government will do what is necessary to keep violent criminals off our streets.

  (1410)  

Iranian Women Activists

    Mr. Speaker, anger, pain, misery and violence, these are the words that have shaped the experience of Iranians, especially the brave women of Iran, as they are fuelled by their hope and courage in the face of the regime's tyranny and oppression for the past four decades.
    While no words are powerful enough to describe the atrocities, we can respond with powerful actions. I, alongside my colleagues in the York Region Liberal caucus, have sponsored seven environmental activists. Going beyond our borders, I have joined members of the Italian and German Parliaments, Laura Boldrini and Carmen Wegge, to sponsor Armita Abbasi.
     Niloufar Bayani is a courageous environmentalist who has been in prison for caring for her motherland, its wildlife and the environment. Armita Abbasi has been calling for equality for women. Instead of applauding these women, the Iranian regime responded with unlawful imprisonment, abduction, severe torture and brutal sexual assault.
    The women of Iran are the embodiment of bravery.
    [Member spoke in Farsi]
[English]

Government Contracts

    Mr. Speaker, over the last eight years under the Prime Minister, Canadians have been struggling. They are struggling under his wasteful, inflationary spending. Mortgage payments are taking a bigger bite out of paycheques. Food banks have seen a massive increase in families needing their services.
    Meanwhile, over the last eight years, Liberals and their well-connected friends have never had it so good. McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm surrounded by controversy and formerly run by the Prime Minister's friend, Dominic Barton, has received over $100 million in government contracts since 2015. Canadians deserve to know why the Liberals gave this consulting firm millions of dollars and what kind of influence McKinsey has over the government. The Liberals have created an unaccountable shadow government with their consultant friends, and Canadians are paying the price.
    The Prime Minister needs to come clean with Canadians, end his binge spending and—
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

[Translation]

Freedom of Religion

     Mr. Speaker, six years ago, one hundred or so people were gathered at the Quebec City mosque. Suddenly tragedy struck. Six men died and about twenty others were seriously injured. These people died for one reason and one reason only: They were Muslims united by faith. This horror showed the dark side of humanity. Racism is born of ignorance. That is why we have a duty to support dialogue no matter who we are. We must unite, not divide. We must unite with our words, with our actions and with our humanity.

[English]

    Six years ago, at a Quebec mosque, six Canadians died because of their faith. This tragedy reminds us that we always have to be cautious and we shall condemn any violence based on faith and ethnicity. It is our duty to be careful of any sign of racism, because there is no small racism. We shall unite, not divide: unite by words, by action, by humanity.

[Translation]

Viola Léger

    Mr. Speaker, on January 28, the great Viola Léger passed away at the age of 92.
    She was originally a nun and a teacher, but it was her dramatic role as La Sagouine in the work of Antonine Maillet that endeared her to Acadia and the world. During her career as an actress, Ms. Léger would portray this legendary character more than 3,000 times, in addition to playing many other roles in theatre, film and television.
    Ms. Léger went on to serve in the Senate of Canada, where she helped support causes such as the plight of minorities, the survival of the French language and the importance of arts and culture.
    She will be remembered for her incredible ability to showcase Acadia, as she was a formidable ambassador for our culture and language throughout her life. Today, all of Acadia mourns the loss of this great lady. I thank Ms. Léger for her invaluable contribution to Acadian culture and for the monumental legacy she leaves behind. I offer my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  (1415)  

Freedom of Religion

    Mr. Speaker, six years ago, a radicalized young man committed an act of hatred in an act of violence seldom seen in our history. He entered the Quebec City mosque and opened fire on everyone inside with a semi-automatic weapon and then a handgun.
    Six men lost their lives and 19 others were injured, leaving behind broken families and grieving loved ones. We said, “never again”, but are we really any further ahead six years later?
    Dangerous weapons that are used only to kill other human beings are still in circulation. Online hate, racism and Islamophobia still exist. Extreme right-wing rhetoric has become normalized, which only fuels this radicalization and hatred targeting minorities. The killer fed on such rhetoric, which pushed him to attack. He killed Muslims.
    We still have a lot of work to do through dialogue and a better understanding among cultures, but we also need to take an uncompromising stance on racism, discrimination and supremacy. That is an imposing but necessary task. It is our collective duty.

Freedom of Religion

    Mr. Speaker, there are defining moments in the history of a society, a community and a family. Sadly, January 17, 2017 was one such moment. Families and friends lost their loved ones when they were gunned down at the Quebec City mosque just for being Muslim.
    Yesterday marked the sixth commemoration for these men who were felled by hatred. It was a moment of reflection and sharing, but also a moment of hope: the hope of living and growing on a path to understanding and mutual respect.
     Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti wanted to live in peace, happy and without fear for their future.
    Let us make sure that everyone can achieve these aspirations, which were stolen from them. Let us stand up for the right of every Quebecker to practice the religion of their choice freely, safely and with dignity.
    Let us stand up every day to fight hate in all its forms.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this Prime Minister's high taxes and inflationary deficits, 22% of Canadians, 28% of them women, say they are completely broke. After eight years, 32% say they will be in the same boat if prices continue rising. After eight years, 52% are concerned they do not have enough money to feed their families. After eight years, 1.5 million Canadians are using food banks every month. After eight years, young people feel lied to and let down by this Prime Minister. After eight years, seniors can barely afford groceries and many are living in the cold, unable to heat their homes. After eight years, Canadians are anxious, angry and worried about their future.
    After eight years, this Prime Minister is completely out of touch and has no solutions to the problems that he has created. After eight years of dividing Canadians, this is a Prime Minister who cannot be redeemed; he can only be replaced. After eight years, Canada's Conservatives, led by the member for Carleton, are focused and ready to lead and as Parliament returns, we will show Canadians why.

Hazel McCallion

    Mr. Speaker, I sat with a force of nature two weeks ago: “Hurricane Hazel” McCallion, a dear friend, a mentor, a leader, someone who devoted her life to serving the people of Mississauga, Ontario and Canada. We are all overcome with sadness by her passing. Our hearts go out to her family.
    She was always there to lead and to help: helping with the biggest mass evacuation in Canadian history, helping people through the pandemic at 101 years of age young, and helping to build Mississauga to the successful city it is today.
    Hazel had great insight and vision, but her greatest strength was her connection with people. Loved by all who met her, with a big heart and a deep caring for community, she will always be remembered as the people's mayor. She was so proud of our country. The last thing she said to me was, “Peter, we live in the best place in the world, Canada.”
    On behalf of the Parliament of Canada, we thank Hazel. May she rest in peace.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1420)  

[English]

New Member

    I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Charles Sousa, member for the electoral district of Mississauga—Lakeshore.

New Member Introduced

    Charles Sousa, member for the electoral district of Mississauga—Lakeshore, introduced by the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, in eight years, this Prime Minister has doubled our national debt, adding $500 billion in inflationary deficit. What did we get for spending what Bill Morneau called too much money? More inflation, more poverty, more people having to rely on food banks. Where did the money go? Now we know: $15 billion worth of contracts were given to the Prime Minister's friends.
    How much of that money went to McKinsey?
    Mr. Speaker, seven years ago, when we were elected to lead the government, we made a promise to invest in the middle class and all those working hard to be part of it. That is exactly what we did with the Canada child benefit, assistance for seniors and help for students. We were able to create millions of jobs, while lifting millions of people out of poverty.
    Unfortunately, the Conservative Party opposed us at every step. Today, the Conservatives continue to oppose our investments in dental care, our investments to help renters and our investments in child care. We will continue to invest—

  (1425)  

    Order.
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I asked the Prime Minister how much McKinsey got. He said that it was all for the middle class. He has always had difficulty defining what the middle class is, and now we know his definition. It is his friends who make $1,500 an hour as high-priced consultants for his government over at McKinsey, where his personal friend Dominic Barton was the boss.
    We now know that he spent $15 billion-plus per year on high-priced consultants while Canadians are eating at food banks and living in homeless shelters and while house prices have more than doubled. Again, how much did the Prime Minister's government give McKinsey?
    Mr. Speaker, while the Leader of the Opposition snickers at the middle class, we will stay focused on supporting it.
    That is exactly what we did by bringing forward supports for low-income renters and supports for families to send their kids to the dentist. These are things that the Conservative Party voted against, just as they stood against the Canada child benefit, just as they stood against help for seniors and just as they have continued to stand against investments that have had Canadians backs before the pandemic, through the pandemic and since the pandemic. We will continue to be there for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, mortgage payments have doubled, up to $7,000 per month for an average house in Toronto, and rent prices have doubled, up to $2,500 per month for an average place in Toronto. The number of people eating at food banks has gone up to 1.5 million, and crime is up 32%. We wonder where all this half a trillion dollars of inflationary debt actually went. Now we know: Liberal friends got the money.
    I am going to ask a third time about the well-connected insiders at McKinsey. How much did the Prime Minister give them?
    Mr. Speaker, over the past number of years, we have invested in supporting Canadians from coast to coast to coast to lift families out of poverty, to help seniors make ends meet, to invest in low-income renters, to help people access dental care for their kids and to deliver the kinds of things that have made not just Canadians better off but our whole economy work better.
    We are going to continue to step up by investing in Canadians while the Conservatives continue to push cuts and austerity and to not be there for Canadians. We know that investing in Canadians is the best way to build a better future.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that Canadians have never had it so good as they face 40-year highs in inflation, as food prices are up 12% year over year after he brought in a carbon tax on our farmers, as the cost of housing has more than doubled and as students are living in homeless shelters.
    We know why, though, he is so out of touch with these people after eight years. It is because the people he surrounds himself with, like the high-priced consultants at McKinsey, are doing better than ever.
    I would like to ask him this again. This company did work of little or no value according to his own public servants. How much did Canadians have to pay for that?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, Canadians are struggling right now with high inflation caused by global crises, with interest rates and with disruptions in global supply chains. That is why we have stepped up to support Canadians, despite Conservative politicians voting against it.
    We have been able to keep investing in Canadians while maintaining the best balance sheet in the G7. We have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio and the lowest deficit of all our G7 partners. We have put that to work to support the Canadians who need it most. We will continue to be there for the middle class and people working hard to join it.
    Mr. Speaker, we finally got the Prime Minister to admit that Canadians are suffering, and it is after eight years of the Prime Minister. After eight years of the Prime Minister, we have 40-year highs in inflation, we have a 32% increase in crime and we have the TTC transit system in downtown Toronto overtaken by crime. We have more people eating at food banks and living in homeless shelters after eight years of the Prime Minister, but not everybody is doing badly. His friends at McKinsey are rolling in cash.
    First, the Liberals said it was $50 million, and now the government says it is over $100 million. We want to know the real number. Will the Prime Minister finally answer the question? How much did he give McKinsey?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House, from conversations with constituents and conversations with people right across the country, knows well that Canadians are facing tough times. What the difference is between the Conservative leader and me is that instead of proposing real solutions and instead of telling Canadians how he is going to help them and invest in them, the Conservative leader stands up, crosses his arms, throws his hands up and says, “everything is broken”.
    That is not what Canadians are living through. Canadians stick up for each other. We are there for each other. We support each other through the tough times. That is exactly what we have been doing through this pandemic through these past years. That is what we will continue to do, no matter how much—
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly.

[Translation]

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be back here with you and all my colleagues.
    As my colleagues know, the Prime Minister made an appointment of his own, choosing Amira Elghawaby. He surely looked into her statements and positions prior to her appointment, which many perceive as very insulting to Quebec. Nevertheless, he went ahead with the appointment.
    Here is my question for the Prime Minister: Does he really think this appointment will bring people together and build bridges rather than be divisive?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, I was honoured to be at the Quebec City mosque with the community that was the target of a dreadful terrorist attack committed six years ago by a person motivated by hate, intolerance and ignorance regarding the Muslim community in Quebec and across the country.
    We must all stand up every single day to recognize and fight Islamophobia. We must see it as our duty to be there for our fellow Muslim citizens, and we will always be there for them.
    Mr. Speaker, Ms. Elghawaby, who has described Bill 21 as Islamophobic, was unfortunately there, too. Her presence was commendable; her remarks, not so much.
    Rather than simply condemn her remarks out of hand, I asked to meet with Ms. Elghawaby so that we could try to understand, as parliamentarians, as elected officials, as those responsible for passing the budget that will fund her position.
    Can the Prime Minister tell me whether he supports such a meeting, whether he wants to see it happen and maybe could even facilitate it?
    Mr. Speaker, I would truly love to see this meeting happen. It would be a great conversation. I think Ms. Elghawaby would be able to explain how systemic racism and Islamophobia are a reality for people across the country.
    We all have a duty to listen to one another and understand how hurtful bills and words can be, even if that is not our intention. We have a duty to understand the impact of what we are doing on vulnerable communities in our country.
    Yes, I will certainly facilitate that meeting, and I know that Ms. Elghawaby would be delighted to meet the Bloc Québécois leader.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, in the last election, the Prime Minister criticized the Conservatives for proposing to increase for-profit private health care in our system.
    Now, Doug Ford is doing the exact same thing and the Prime Minister is calling it innovation. Why this big flip-flop?
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has always been very clear: We will stand up for our public health care system.
    We will continue to defend the principles of the Canada Health Act. This is non-negotiable and over the past few years we have taken back money several times from provinces that did not abide by the Canada Health Act. We will continue to stand up for our public system.
    In the current negotiations to improve health care for Canadians across the country, we will continue to be there to stand up for the public system.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Prime Minister says one thing and does another. In the last election, the Prime Minister made a really big deal of calling out the Conservatives for proposing the idea of bringing in more for-profit private health care, but now when Doug Ford is doing exactly that, he is calling it “innovation”.
    I am not surprised the Conservatives support this approach as they believe in for-profit private health care, but I am surprised at the Prime Minister. Why the flip-flop?
    Mr. Speaker, I and the Liberal government have always been very, very clear that we stand for a public health system that fully abides by the Canada Health Act. This is something that matters to most Canadians, that certainly matters to us, and that we will continue to defend.
    We know that even as we negotiate with the provinces to ensure we are delivering more family doctors, better mental health supports, moving forward on backlogs and supporting Canadians who need emergency care, we will ensure that the Canada Health Act is fully respected. In the past, this government has pulled back money from provinces that have not respected it. We will continue to do that.

  (1435)  

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of Liberal mismanagement, one in five Canadians is saying they are completely out of money, skipping meals and accessing charity services just to meet their basic needs. The Governor of the Bank of Canada said that the interest rate hikes were because of out-of-control wasteful Liberal spending. Even former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau had it right when he admitted that the Liberals overspent in the last eight years.
    When will the Prime Minister and Canada's worst money manager in Canadian history stop breaking Canada, rein in his spending and stop making the price of everything go up?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that many Canadians are facing real challenges, and that is why our government is there to help with a plan that is compassionate and fiscally responsible. Here is what we are doing: doubling the GST, providing $500 to people who are facing challenges paying their rent, providing dental care to Canadian kids, eliminating the interest on Canada student loans and improving the Canada workers benefit. The Conservatives voted against all of those essential measures.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of Liberal mismanagement, the only people getting help and ahead are the Prime Minister who gets lavish $6,000-a-night hotel rooms, his buddies over at McKinsey and the WE Charity who get hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of contracts, racists like Laith Marouf who gets hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of contracts, and prisoners and dead people who get free CERB cheques. It has never been so good for those people, but Canadians have never had it so bad. Recently, Canadians were just uppercut with another interest rate hike because of out-of-control Liberal spending.
    When will the Prime Minister stop rewarding his Liberal cronies and actually start helping struggling Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk for a minute about what the Conservatives would do to Canadians and the Canadian economy. The Conservatives are proposing to eviscerate our essential EI system. The Conservatives would endanger seniors' pensions and the CPP. The Conservatives would make pollution free again. The Conservatives would deny Canadian families climate incentive cheques. Those are all Conservative policies, and they would all hurt Canadians in their pocketbooks.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, Canadians have never found it so hard just to keep a roof over their heads. Rent increases have gone up at a record pace and the national average is now over $2,000 a month. Young adults are finding it virtually impossible to pay these rents and families are being squeezed.
    When will the Liberals reverse their inflationary policies that are driving up inflation and making it harder for everyday people to even just stay in their homes?
    Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives really believed in supporting those Canadians who are having the hardest time paying their rent, they should have supported our plan to give those people $500 to help. The best way to pay one's rent and to pay one's mortgage is to have a job, and that is why our government has been relentlessly focused on job creation. There were 100,000 jobs created in December alone. Today we have recovered 121% of the jobs lost to COVID compared to just 106% in the United States.
    Mr. Speaker, rental inflation is up 12%. Food inflation is up more than 11%. Any of these government programs will just get evaporated. We know that the former governor of the Bank of Canada said that Canada's inflation was “homegrown”, and the current governor said that inflation is as high as it is because of all of the extra spending that these Liberals have done.
    After eight years, when will the Liberals finally get their inflationary spending under control?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives continue to talk down the Canadian economy. That is reckless and that is irresponsible. We know Canadians need support. That is why we have a plan that is compassionate, but it is also fiscally responsible. That is why just hours after we tabled the fall economic statement, Moody's reaffirmed our AAA credit rating.
    Canada has the lowest deficit in the G7, the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio and, in 2022, Canada had the strongest economic growth.

  (1440)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this Prime Minister, the reality is that Canadians are suffering more and more, despite the fine words and promises made to the middle class.
    I visited the food banks in Thetford Mines, Lac‑Mégantic, Plessisville, Princeville and Disraeli. What I heard broke my heart. Demand for food bank services skyrocketed by over 30% in December. That is the result of eight years under a Liberal government.
    Will the Prime Minister finally realize that these measures have led more and more people to use food banks? When will he put an end to this?
    Mr. Speaker, this government has an impressive record when it comes to eliminating poverty in Canada. Over one million Canadians have been lifted out of poverty thanks to the measures that we put in place, including the Canada child benefit and the increase in benefits for seniors. The Conservatives voted against those measures.
    In fact, the Conservatives wanted to raise the retirement age for seniors. We did not let that happen. We will be there for Canadians at every stage of their lives, and I hope the Conservatives will support us.
    Mr. Speaker, the cost of food has increased by nearly 12%. I am very concerned that this Prime Minister, after eight years of promising sunny ways, has completely lost touch with reality.
    Day care centres are no longer offering meat on their menus because it costs too much. Food banks do not have enough fresh food because grocery stores no longer have any, since the middle class cannot afford to buy it.
    How could the Prime Minister allow things to get to this point?
    Mr. Speaker, right after we formed the government, 450,000 fewer children were in poverty than when the Conservatives were in power. It is because of our programs, such as the Canada child benefit or the child care and early childhood program, that fees have dropped by 50% across the country.
    Families across Canada tell me how much these programs have helped them reduce the cost of living and how this is changing their lives. It is a shame that the Conservatives do not support these measures.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec has the legitimacy required to democratically make its own societal choices.
    That is why it is unacceptable for the federal government to threaten to attack the notwithstanding clause. The notwithstanding clause is the only provision that guarantees to Quebec and the provinces that the federal government and the judges it appoints will not be the only ones to decide what we have the right to do in our province.
    The Quebec premier stated that it was a direct attack on the ability of our nation to protect its collective rights.
    Will Ottawa back off?
    Mr. Speaker, our government has always been very clear with respect to concerns about the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause by the provinces, and we are considering all our options.
    We are strongly committed to defending the rights and freedoms protected by the charter, a charter that was created to protect minorities across Canada.
    We have been clear and we will continue to be clear in the future.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a passage about the notwithstanding clause: “It is a way that the legislatures, federal and provincial, have of ensuring that the last word is held by the elected representatives of the people rather than by the courts.” Those are the words of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
    Even Pierre Elliott Trudeau recognized the importance of the notwithstanding clause in a healthy democracy. Now his son is doing the opposite. He wants the courts to take the last word away from elected officials.
    Will the government back down?
    Mr. Speaker, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was right. It was intended to give the last word, but when it is used pre-emptively, it becomes the first word and it cuts off debate in legislatures like ours and in the courts. We have expressed our concerns and we will continue to do so.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, we know the Liberals want to challenge Bill 21 on secularism, but Bill 96 is about the French language. Attacking the notwithstanding clause is to be expected. They want to make absolutely sure Quebec will never be able to introduce bills like 21 and 96, never be able to stand up for its collective rights, never have the right to its own distinct values. Basically, the problem is that Quebeckers are different and they cannot accept that.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague has a lot of parliamentary experience. He knows that the Government of Canada's position has not changed. We have always expressed concerns about the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause. My hon. colleague mentioned the last word. This should not be the first word. It should be the last resort.
    We accept and understand the purpose of the notwithstanding clause, but we will never agree to it being used pre-emptively. That should come as no surprise to my colleague.

[English]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal government, inflation is at a 40-year high as a result of its inflationary spending but it has managed to spend over $100 million, actually we do not know how much because the Prime Minister will not tell us, on a single consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.
    While Canadians have never had it so bad, Liberal insiders and consulting firms have never had it so good. Therefore, why does the Prime Minister not just admit that he and his good buddy Dominic Barton are running Canada and disappointing Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the procurement of professional services is used to complement the work of Canada's professional public service by meeting unexpected fluctuations in workload and to acquire special expertise. We are committed to ensuring that government contracts stand up to the highest standards.
    The Prime Minister has asked the President of the Treasury Board and me to conduct a review, take a close look at the numbers and look into the circumstances, and we are doing just that.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, Canadians have never had it so bad while Liberal insiders like Dominic Barton have never had it so good.
     Dominic Barton was running a government advisory body while at the same time his company was collecting over $100 million in contracts on the side. Barton and his cronies at McKinsey had privileged access to the Prime Minister and were using that access to make money. The government has done so much for Dominic Barton and McKinsey and so little for struggling Canadians.
     Once again, will the government answer how much money in total it has given to McKinsey?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House that Public Services and Procurement Canada takes its role as the central purchasing department very seriously. We ensure value for money and quality of services for Canadians.
    Minister Fortier's focus will rest on the policy, while I focus on the circumstances of the contracts. I will be testifying, alongside my officials, at the government operations committee to give more thorough and complete answers.
    I know we are all excited to be back, but I want to remind hon. members that when they are referring to someone else in the chamber they are to refer to them by their riding or the position they hold and not their name. I know we have been away for a bit so I just want to remind everyone.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps I can assist the minister in getting to the bottom of the circumstances around these contracts.
    The Prime Minister is a very close personal friend of Dominic Barton, who is the managing partner of McKinsey. Under Dominic Barton, McKinsey monitored dissident social media accounts for the Saudi government, had a corporate retreat down the road from a concentration camp in China and advised a pharmaceutical company to reward pharmacists for causing overdose deaths.
    We are the company we keep and the company the Prime Minister keeps is called McKinsey. Once again, how much money did the Prime Minister funnel to his friends at McKinsey?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House yet again that procurement contracts must adhere to Treasury Board policies and directives, which are intended to ensure that contracts are awarded in a fair, open and transparent manner.
    Given the volume of government procurement, controls are in place at various levels based on contract value, risk and complexity.
    Following recent concerns about contracts provided to McKinsey, we are undertaking a full review of all procurements with this company.
    Details are still being finalized but the intent will be to verify if these procurements were conducted in accordance with Treasury Board policies and directives.

  (1450)  

Air Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, two seasons of travel chaos left Canadians sleeping on airport floors, stranded in countries around the world and out thousands of dollars. The government has over 33,000 air passenger complaints before it and the folks who do manage to jump through all of the Liberals' hoops are having to wait over a year and a half to have their complaints reviewed. Despite all of this the government has not fined the airlines a single dollar for failing to compensate passengers.
    Why is it that Canada seems to have a minister for airlines but no minister for air passengers?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to protecting passengers' rights. In fact, our government was the first government in Canada's history to pass a bill in this chamber to support passengers' rights.
    Of course, the last couple of years have been very difficult on the aviation sector because of the pandemic and because of the public health situation. We are working with the Canadian Transportation Agency to provide the resources they need. The chair of the Canadian Transportation Agency was at committee, where the hon. member got the chance to ask his questions.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are dealing with the costs of the climate crisis while everyday costs are soaring. People are having to cut back on their already tight budgets, while huge grocery chains and oil and gas companies make billions.
    A windfall tax would force those rich CEOs to finally pay what they owe. With this, the government could put money back into the pockets of Canadians and invest in clean energy.
    Will the Prime Minister implement a windfall profits tax to make Canada more affordable for people instead of more profitable for billionaires?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is absolutely committed to ensuring that everyone pays his or her fair share in Canada. That is why our government implemented a 15% COVID recovery dividend levied on our largest banks and insurance companies. That is why our government has introduced a permanent 1.5% tax on the largest banks and insurance companies in Canada. That is why we are implementing a 2% tax on share buybacks. That is why we have put in place a luxury tax on planes, yachts and cars.

Child Care

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to stand before the House for the first time. Earlier today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development led off a debate on Bill C-35 to enshrine the Canada-wide early learning and child care system into law.
    My constituents all know so well how important access to affordable and inclusive child care is for our economy and women's empowerment.
    Could the minister please update the House on how Bill C-35 will ensure that affordable and accessible quality child care is here to stay?
    Mr. Speaker, let me begin by congratulating and welcoming my newest colleague from Mississauga—Lakeshore to the House.
    I am thrilled to talk about Bill C-35 and the important work that it is going to do to ensure to Canadians, to families, to children, to women, to day care providers that the federal government is there for the long term. I have no doubt that his constituents in Mississauga—Lakeshore voted for him because they know that he is a hard worker and that the Liberal government is going to be there in tough times.
    I am glad for the support of the NDP and the Bloc Québécois. I hope the Conservatives will reverse their position—
    The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, breaking ethics laws has become as synonymous with those Liberals as higher taxes. Now, for a record fifth time, a Liberal minister has been caught breaking ethics laws.
    At a time when Canadians are struggling to afford to heat their homes and put food on their table for their families, the trade minister was finding the time and taxpayer money to line the pockets of her insider friend: another day, another lawless Liberal under the lawless Prime Minister.
    Will the minister do the right thing and cut a cheque to make restitution for her corruption?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, the commissioner has reviewed this issue and has reached his conclusion. To the House, I apologize. I regret that I made a mistake. I should have recused myself. At the time, it was quite urgent that we communicated with Canadians, particularly with small businesses, about those urgent supports that were needed, but I do regret that I did not recuse myself, and for that I apologize to the House.
    Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate but not surprising that the minister will not make it right after serving under the Prime Minister who has twice himself been found guilty of breaking Canada's ethics laws. Those Liberals exist solely for the purpose to hold on to power. They divide Canadians, pit neighbour against neighbour and line the pockets of Liberal insiders while they are at it.
    Therefore, will the Prime Minister today ask for the minister's resignation?
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, yet again another Liberal patronage scandal. Not content with gifting lucrative government contracts to hateful anti-Semites, now the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, the member for York South—Weston, handed $93,000 to a staffer's sister for public relations advice.
    It is not difficult to realize that handing over taxpayer dollars to a staff's family is a bad idea, yet here we are again. Will the minister do the only responsible and dignified action and pay back the money?
    Mr. Speaker, one of the most important duties of any member of Parliament is to communicate with their riding. That is why members of Parliament are permitted to use their operating budgets to hire service providers to help them communicate with their constituents. In this case, a small business in Toronto was hired by my constituency office to offer assistance in providing communication services to my constituents.
     Let me be clear: The rules were followed. The contract with this organization was publicly disclosed and the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has advised that there is no conflict of interest.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, even after $50 million was spent on the ArriveCAN app, the Commissioner of Official Languages has reprimanded the government over the app's language issues.
    A Canadian travelling in the United States was unable to get the French version of the app, even though it is one of this country's two official languages. The government spent a fortune on a service that violated the rights of francophones.
    After eight years in power, will the government finally admit that it is incompetent, very incompetent?
    Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more with my colleague. When we launch services, it is essential that they be available in both official languages. That is exactly what we did with ArriveCAN. When the public raised some concerns, the Canada Border Services Agency made improvements to the service. We will continue to invest in providing service in both official languages, everywhere.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, after years of pressure from Quebec, the provinces and the Bloc Québécois, the first ministers will finally meet on February 7 to talk health transfers. However, the federal government is trying to manage expectations by calling it a working meeting to discuss demands. We all know what those demands are. Ottawa needs to cover 35% of health care costs. That is what the premiers have been saying for the past 28 months, and they said it yet again in this morning's press release.
    The federal government knows what they need. Is it going to bring its chequebook to the February 7 meeting?
    Mr. Speaker, we are very happy to be asked that question, because we are all looking forward to the next steps, which include the February 7 meeting. The first ministers will meet to build on the major progress that the health ministers have made in recent months, not only in the fight against COVID‑19, thereby saving tens of thousands of lives and tens of billions in economic costs, but also to ensure that people in Canada continue to receive the health care they need.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, meanwhile, the crisis is worsening in our hospitals.
    The situation is so untenable that exhausted nurses at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital refused to go back to work two weeks ago. They even threatened to quit. At this point, working meetings are not enough; they need results.
    Quebec and the provinces have been voicing their needs. They have been doing so for the past 28 months, and they did so again this morning.
    On February 7, will Ottawa at least put some money on the table, to prove that it is negotiating in good faith?
    Mr. Speaker, putting money on the table is exactly what we have been doing for several years now, with an additional investment of $72 billion in the Canada health transfer and by covering 80% of the costs associated with fighting COVID‑19. Last March, we increased the Canada health transfer by 5%, and we will increase it by another 10% in the next few weeks, in March. We also invested $2 billion just a few weeks ago to combat emergencies and problems facing hospitals.
    That is a lot of money, but more importantly, it is about outcomes that need to be achieved for patients and workers.

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Prime Minister's right-hand man in Quebec, had a strong reaction to the appointment of Amira Elghawaby, the federal representative to combat Islamophobia, who once made disparaging comments about the Quebec nation.
    He said, “As a Quebecker, I am deeply hurt by these comments, I am deeply insulted”.
    Given that he is hurt and insulted, will his words be backed up with action? Will the minister press for this irresponsible political appointment to be revoked?
    Mr. Speaker, our position is clear. We know that Quebeckers oppose any form of racism and hate.
    The special representative has already clarified her remarks, and I would refer the member to her statement on this matter.

[English]

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, last month, the OPP's Constable Greg Pierzchala was murdered by a violent criminal out on bail. Chief Myron Demkiw of the Toronto police said that this murder was senseless and preventable and that Canada needs bail reform. Unfortunately, access to bail for violent criminals was made easier by the Liberal government's Bill C-75. Countless Canadians have been harmed by the Liberal bail system; it must be reformed.
    Will the Liberal government make that commitment today?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve to be and feel safe, and we all have a role in protecting our communities. The laws on bail are clear: Detaining an accused person is justified if it is necessary to protect the safety of the public. As my colleague knows, provinces and territories, as well as police forces, are responsible the enforcement of bail conditions. We all have a role to play. We at the federal level are providing resources to support them. We will continue to do so in order to ensure that laws are applied appropriately.
    We remain open to good ideas and proposals from the opposition, and from provinces and territories, to reform our criminal justice system, including the bail system.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have had eight years to make our streets safer, and they have only made things worse. Last year in Toronto, of the 44 homicides by shooting, 24 of the criminals responsible were out on bail when they committed the murders. All 13 premiers in Canada signed a historic letter to the Prime Minister demanding bail reform. The Toronto police are demanding bail reform.
    What is it going to take for the Liberal government to reform the broken Liberal bail system?
    Mr. Speaker, in a number of important cases, the bail reform that we undertook in Bill C-75 made it harder to get bail. As I have said, we are open to any good proposal from the opposition, as well as from provinces and territories.
    At a conference of federal, provincial and territorial justice ministers in the fall, I committed to that long before this became a hot issue in the House of Commons. We are working with the provinces and territories to look at legitimate suggestions for bail reform.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the rapid decline of biodiversity is threatening the foundation of our economy, our food security, our health and our quality of life and poses serious and irreversible risks to our communities.
    Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell the House about the agreement on an historic global framework that was signed after 13 days of negotiations at COP15 in Montreal?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for the question, his involvement and his advocacy on this important issue.
    In December, countries from around the world met in Montreal to address biodiversity loss. More than one million species are at risk globally, including 640 species here in Canada. Representatives from more than 160 countries set their differences aside, and we committed to protecting 30% of our land and oceans by 2030.
    It is a landmark agreement that Canadians should be proud of, since we were at the centre of this agreement.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, under Bill C-21 on firearms, law-abiding citizens will no longer be able to hunt, but criminals will be able to continue terrorizing our streets.
    Meanwhile, the provincial premiers are unanimously calling on this Liberal government to take immediate action to strengthen Canada's bail system.
    In December, a police officer was killed by a criminal who had been granted bail even though he posed a real threat to society.
    Will this Prime Minister stop playing politics with the safety of Canadians and do what needs to be done?
    Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the laws on bail are clear. We all have a role to play. Provinces, territories and police forces must enforce federal laws.
    At a ministers' conference in November, my colleague, the Minister of Public Safety, and I committed to working with the provinces to look at suggestions for bail reform.
    We are doing the work. We are open to legitimate suggestions for bail reform.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, commuters in Toronto have been set on fire, stabbed and swarmed in a growing wave of violence. Our transit operators are scared to go to work. In the first three weeks of this year, Toronto police said that crimes were up more than 37%. We have repeat violent offenders out on our streets because of the government's weak bail system. The Minister of Public Safety says he is concerned, but he is not concerned enough to do anything about it.
    Canadians are a little more than just concerned. When are we going to see the bail reform that every premier, police union and police chief has called for in this country?
    Mr. Speaker, I am deeply concerned with the recent spike of violence on the TTC. I have spoken directly with Mayor Tory to express our unwavering support for him and the city.
    Our government, in fact, has doubled down on support for law enforcement, violence prevention, mental health supports, and supports to address homelessness and poverty. Most recently, along with the mayor, I announced $12 million in funding to address many of the social determinants that can lead to violence through the building safer communities fund, a fund that the Conservatives voted against.
    We will continue to work with the City of Toronto and all communities to keep our public transit safe.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the current Prime Minister, violent crime is up 32%. That is a record. The record is the weak bail system, and it keeps serious, violent criminals out of jail and on our streets. There is a former Toronto police chief sitting on that side of the House who has made more comments about crime in the U.S. than in his own city this week. Enough with the thoughts and prayers and the concern. People do not feel safe in their communities, and they fear riding public transit.
    What is it going to take to get the minister to pay attention to the random attacks happening on public transit and reform the bail system?
    Mr. Speaker, I assure my colleague and all members in this House that this government is paying attention to the situation in Toronto. This is why, without any hesitation or haste, I contacted the mayor to make sure that he knew that this government would be there to support the City of Toronto as we have done in the past with regard to law enforcement, as we have done in the past with regard to preventing crime, as in the $12-million announcement that we made last spring with the mayor, as we have done in the past with regard to our investments in Canada's summer jobs to support those young people who were at most risk.
    That is the record of this government, and we will continue to build on it to protect all residents and all communities to keep them safe.

  (1510)  

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. By continuing to make substantial investments in affordable housing, we are creating new jobs, building an inclusive economy and strengthening our economies. We also know many employers need access to a pool of workers as labour shortages are felt across Canada.
    Could the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship tell us how working migrant workers could be a part of the solution to address Canada's critical housing needs?
    Mr. Speaker, there are many thousands of people in this country who do not currently have immigration status but have been contributing to our communities for years. Many have families living in these communities. I am thrilled to share with this House that we have worked very closely with the organized labour movement in this country to launch the out-of-status construction workers pilot to bring those people out of the shadows, allow them to contribute and help build more homes for our communities.
    I thank the hon. member for Davenport for attending on my behalf to make an important announcement that we will be doubling the scale of this program to bring more people into the light, build more homes for Canadians and serve everyone's interest at the same time.
    Mr. Speaker, the suspected for-profit buyer of Lions Place, a 287-unit, non-profit seniors' housing building in Winnipeg Centre, is a company with a history of hiking rents. The province recently announced rental support for current tenants, but this is a band-aid solution that protects residents only for two years while subsidizing rent increases.
    The Minister of Northern Affairs said he wants to see Lions Place remain in non-profit hands. What are he and the Liberal government going to do to ensure this affordable seniors' housing does so?
    Mr. Speaker, our government and I have made it very clear that we are here to build more non-profit affordable housing. I have stated on the record that I feel Lions Club should provide non-profit affordable housing for generations in downtown Winnipeg. I have written to the chair of the board of directors asking for a meeting. I have not had a response to my letter, but I am here to work with Lions Club and the Province of Manitoba to make sure it remains affordable housing.

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, in August 2021 the government invested $20 million for urgent work at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. The rationale was that improving cultural and community infrastructure builds strong, prosperous and dynamic communities. Those objectives have fallen short of reality. Harbourfront Centre has ignored input from residents and local organizations. The centre claims that Canadian Heritage was informed of and approved the new plans, which included the elimination of a beloved and popular permanent skating rink. York Quay Neighbourhood Association and Waterfront for All were denied a meeting to discuss the rink's closure and the area's way forward.
    Is the minister okay with giving away $20 million with little public consultation?
    Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague understands the importance our government places on the appropriate investments in the Toronto waterfront. We have a history of collaborating with both the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto. I am happy to tell my colleague that I had a chance to meet with senior executives and board members of Waterfront Toronto in December. I have had conversations with both Mayor Tory and the provincial infrastructure minister in Ontario.
    We will continue to support the good work done by Waterfront Toronto.

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I believe, if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
    That, given reports of human rights abuses and attacks on civilians in Ukraine and other parts of the world by the Russian-supported Wagner Group, the House call upon the government to immediately designate the Wagner Group as a terrorist entity.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 199 petitions.
    These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

  (1515)  

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 20th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Future of Hybrid Proceedings in the House of Commons”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive report to this report.
    I thank all of the people who were involved in making this possible. It was a fruitful conversation that brought our Parliament into the 21st century. I give a special shout-out to Justin, who served as our clerk. I know he will be going on to other adventures. All committee members thank him for his service.
    With that, I hope that all members take the time to read this very invigorating report.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to table the Conservative Party's dissenting report.
    While there have been some benefits from some aspects of hybrid Parliament, we have undoubtedly witnessed first-hand a lot of shortcomings with it: ministers having an easier job deflecting accountability and an unacceptable burden being place on our interpreters, to name two.
    It is important to bear in mind that our experience with hybrid Parliament was forged as a pandemic necessity, and we have only now started to experience it in the postpandemic context. That is why Conservatives believe the majority's report goes too far and too fast in recommending a permanent extension of a hybrid Parliament practically as it exists today. Conservatives have long believed that permanent changes to procedural arrangements ought to be the result of multi-party consensus.
    In the interests of a consensus, Conservatives recommend that the renewal of hybrid proceedings be sunset one year into the next Parliament to allow us time to assess the ongoing implications. We also recommend other changes in the meantime to improve accountability and to reduce the burden on interpreters, such as reverting to entirely in-person chamber proceedings while maintaining the remote voting app and requiring ministers and senior officials to be physically present at committees.
    The committee's majority chose not to lay out any details to its vision or to suggest how the new standing orders would read. That has placed the ball in the government House leader's court to craft the way forward. A consensus is within reach. We challenge the government House leader to accept it and to turn his back on the divisive and confrontational approach he has preferred to take on the House's hybrid arrangements.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.

[English]

    If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 21st report.
    Mr. Speaker, since it is the first time I am standing in this House and it is the first day in 2023, I wish you and all loved ones a happy new year, especially the good people of the riding of Waterloo.
    If the House gives its consent, I move that the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

  (1520)  

    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

Petitions

Taxation  

    Mr. Speaker, happy new year.
    I am tabling a petition on behalf of my constituents who are calling on the Minister of Finance to suspend the federal excise tax and carbon tax for Canadians until the cost-of-living crisis has been resolved. The petitioners are reminding this Parliament and the government as well, in their petition, that the price of gasoline is intended to go up much more and the clean-fuel standard will add onto the cost. The petitioners also refer to the fact that the carbon tax will add even more onto the cost of gasoline and of diesel as well, for those who use diesel for work vehicles. Therefore, they are calling on the Minister of Finance to eliminate the excise tax.

Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from people within my riding and beyond. In Cloverdale—Langley City, immigration is very important, and there have been some concerns raised about how the interest to sponsor form was handled coming out of the pandemic. That is the intention of the petition.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to stand in this place to be able to share the concerns that are petitioned by so many Canadians, and today I would like to present two.
    The first petition is that many Canadians would like to draw the attention of the House of Commons to some recent comments that had been made at the joint committee studying medical assistance in dying. I quote Louis Roy from the Quebec college of physicians who said, “babies from birth to one year of age who come into the world with severe deformities and very serious syndromes”.
    The undersigned citizens on this petition call on the Government of Canada to block any attempt to allow the killing of children. It is shameful that it even has to be said in this place.

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by a host of Canadians. They draw attention to the fact that the Liberal Party, in its 2021 platform, promised to deny the charitable status of organizations that have certain convictions. It reeks of a values test 2.0 where the government politicized charitable status in this country.
     Therefore, the undersigned citizens of Canada call upon the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis, without discrimination on the basis of political or religious values and without the imposition of another values test.
    The petitioners affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    It is a pleasure to table these two petitions here today.

Russia  

    Mr. Speaker, almost a year ago, Russia launched an unprovoked war against the people of Ukraine. Every day, the world was shocked by numerous war crimes. Russian armed forces have repeatedly engaged in violent, indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, schools, residential buildings and shelters. Starting in October, Russia intensified its strikes on Ukraine's energy system to shut down the power grid and to cause a humanitarian disaster during the winter. In fact, it has launched more than 5,000 missiles at Ukraine since the beginning of this war.
     The PACE and NATO Parliamentary Assemblies have labelled Russia a terrorist regime. More so, the European Parliament has similarly declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. All members of the House unanimously recognized Russian aggression in Ukraine as an act of genocide. Now Canadians who have signed this petition are calling on the government to immediately designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Electoral Reform  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise this afternoon to present a petition on behalf of petitioners who note that Canada has had an electoral system since its inception called “first past the post” that allows a political party to win a majority of seats and all of the power while having less than half the popular vote.
    They point out that proportional representation is a really critical principle that calls for the percentage of seats in the House to equate to the percentage of votes received by that political party. If a party gets 40% of the popular vote, they say that it should get 40% of the seats.
    They also point out that countries around the world such as Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and many others have progressed from a first-past-the-post system to a proportional representation system already. The petitioners move for the Government of Canada to push toward a PR electoral system to bring credible representation to all Canadians.

  (1525)  

Foreign Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development is currently undertaking an important study on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, and the blockade of the Lachin corridor. I am tabling a petition about the situation in that region.
    It was a petition signed prior to the start of the blockade, but it does have a number of asks that are relevant to that ongoing situation, including a call on the Government of Canada to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to ensure the safety and viability of the population of Artsakh and facilitate the exchange of the remains of fatalities.
    It also calls on the Government of Canada to denounce aggressive rhetoric from Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia and Artsakh and to condemn state-sponsored hatred. Furthermore, it notes the illegal detention of prisoners of war and calls on the Government of Canada to use the tools available to it to advocate for the release of captives. I hope I join certainly all members of the House in calling for an end to the blockade of the Lachin corridor and efforts to pursue peace in the region.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am tabling highlights the ongoing detention of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen detained in China for over a decade and a half. The Chinese government has refused to accept Mr. Celil's Canadian citizenship and continues to deny access to lawyers, family members and Canadian officials. We must continue to be persistent in highlighting this case and calling for his release.
    Petitioners want to see the Government of Canada demand the recognition of Huseyin Celil's Canadian citizenship and provide him with consular and legal services in accordance with international law, to formally state that the release of Huseyin Celil is a priority of the Canadian government of equal concern to the unjust detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, to appoint a special envoy to work on securing Mr. Celil's release and to seek the assistance of the Biden administration and other allies around the world in obtaining Mr. Celil's release.

Aquaculture  

    Mr. Speaker, as it is my first chance to address you in the year 2023 and if there is no statute of limitations on it, happy new year.
    I am honoured to present a petition from my constituents. As many petitions before this one have attested, residents of British Columbia are deeply concerned that the populations of Pacific salmon are in free fall. One of the proximate reasons for that is the presence of what are referred to in some context as fish farms. My constituents prefer to call them toxic fish factories.
    There has been guidance from the Cohen commission and others that these operations should be removed from the migratory routes of Pacific salmon, but these petitioners point to a specific problem, and that is that the mandate for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans includes both regulating aquaculture and promoting aquaculture.
    The petitioners call for this conflict of interest to be removed such that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans protects the marine ecosystem particularly for the sustainability of the Fraser River sockeye.

COVID-19 Mandates  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and privilege to rise today to present a number of petitions.
    The first one is from Canadians from across the country who are still concerned around the implementation of vaccine passports on Canadian citizens. They note the Government of Canada has suspended these things for the time being and they are asking for the Government of Canada to abolish these things. They are calling for an end to all federally regulated COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.

  (1530)  

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, my next petition is from Canadians across the country who are concerned about the Liberal Party's campaign platform to revoke charitable status from pro-life organizations such as crisis pregnancy care centres, which counsel young women and save countless lives every day. Revoking charitable status would politicize charitable status and would be the first step to even more measures to eradicate the values and principles of Christian Canadians.
    Revoking the charitable status of pro-life organizations would result in an explosion in the number of folks who are unable to get help in a time of crisis. Therefore, the folks who have signed this petition are calling on members of Parliament to do everything they can to prevent the revocation of charitable status from pro-life organizations.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition is from Canadians across Canada who are appalled by the statements of Louis Roy of the Collège des médecins du Québec, who recommended that we legalize the killing of babies from birth to one year of age who have severe deformities and syndromes. The killing of infants is deeply disturbing to these Canadians and they state that infanticide is always wrong. Therefore, they call on the Government of Canada and this Parliament to block any attempt to legalize infanticide.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is not up to me to tell the Speaker about the rules of House, which you have such great respect for, but I have heard one editorializing comment after another, and that is not what petitions are for. Members are supposed to simply stick to the petition. Throwing in all of these extra attacks on people who believe in women's reproductive rights is not fair game.
    I am not here to bring judgment down on what is said and what is not said. The Speaker's role is to remind members of what the rules are.
    I was going to remind members before the next presentation that they should present a very short synopsis of every petition and not go on for a while. I am going to leave it at that. I will remind hon. members the next time I ask for petitions what petitions are for. I have let them run on a bit, and I will admit to that.
    I thank the member for bringing that up.
    I will let the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock continue.

Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, my final petition comes from Canadians across Canada who are concerned about the treatment of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party. Millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained. Family members of Canadians have gone missing. Extrajudicial imprisonment, forced labour, torture, rape, killing, forced abortion and these kinds of things have happened to Falun Gong practitioners in Canada.
    The petitioners note the 2016 report by the late David Kilgour. They also note that the U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament have passed resolutions recognizing the terrible treatment of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, they call on Canada to take every opportunity to call for the end of the persecution of Falun Gong and to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party's mass murder of innocent people for their organs is not allowed here in Canada.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 967, 969, 974, 979, 980, 983, 986, 987, 1000, 1001, 1008, 1009, 1013, 1015, 1019, 1021, 1022, 1026, 1034, 1038, 1040, 1048 to 1050, 1053, 1059, 1060, 1064, 1065, 1067, 1068, 1070, 1074 to 1076, 1078, 1079, 1082, 1087, 1091, 1095, 1097, 1098, 1100, 1109, 1110, 1112, 1118, 1123, 1131, 1133, 1136, 1137, 1141 and 1143.

[Text]

Question No. 967—
Ms. Melissa Lantsman:
    With regard to the government's response to recent media reports that the registered not-for-profit entity Samidoun has ties to entities that the government has listed as terrorist entities, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP): (a) when did Public Safety Canada (PS) first become aware of Samidoun's ties to the PFLP, and what specific actions, if any, did PS take after they became aware; (b) when did PS first become aware that events hosted by Samidoun glorified terrorist and armed militants from the PFLP and other designated terrorist entities, and what specific actions, if any, did PS take after they became aware; (c) when did PS first become aware that Samidoun was raising money for (i) the Union of Health Work Committees, (ii) other entities tied to the PFLP, broken down by each entity; (d) when did PS and the Canada Border Services Agency become aware that the Samidoun organizers, who currently reside in the Vancouver area, have been (i) denied entry to the European Union, (ii) deported from the United States; and (e) what actions, if any, is the government taking to ensure that Canadians are safe from the threat posed by Samidoun, including whether or not the government will be listing Samidoun as a terrorist entity?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes terrorist threats against Canada and its citizens seriously. Security and intelligence agencies are continuously monitoring entities that could pose such a threat and are taking appropriate action. The government cannot comment specifically on the activities of individual groups or what groups are being assessed or considered for listing.
    One of the underlying objectives of the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities is to ensure terrorist entities do not use Canada as a base from which to conduct terrorist activities, including fundraising, and to prohibit individuals from supporting terrorist entities. Assessing entities for possible listing under the Criminal Code is continuous. The process is rigorous, thorough and involves interdepartmental consultations. Pursuant to subsection 83.05(1) of the Criminal Code, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an entity “has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity” or “has knowingly acted on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with an entity” involved in a terrorist activity, then the Minister of Public Safety may recommend to the Governor in Council that it be added to the list.
    With regard to part (d)(i), the CBSA does not track individuals who have been denied entry to the European Union.
    With regard to part (d)(ii), the CBSA does not have any involvement with deportations from the United States.
Question No. 969—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to Indigenous Services Canada and programs and services offered to promote mental health and wellness in First Nations and Inuit communities, broken down by community and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what was the total amount of funding requested for recreational activities, programs, and activities; and (b) how much funding was delivered for the requests in (a)?
Mr. Vance Badawey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Indigenous Services Canada, or ISC, is concerned, the response is as follows.
    With regard to part (a), the mental wellness program of ISC does not have targeted funding specific to recreational activities. As such, recreational activities are not part of the reporting requirement for mental wellness program funding recipients.
    ISC’s mental wellness program provides annual funding to support first nations and Inuit access to mental wellness services to reduce risk factors, promote protective factors and improve associated health outcomes. This includes mental wellness promotion; substance use prevention and treatment; life promotion and suicide prevention; crisis response services; harm reduction; and emotional and cultural support services.
    ISC funds mental wellness services that include the following.
    A network of 45 treatment centres, as well as drug and alcohol prevention services, in the majority of indigenous communities across Canada began in 1975-76. Many treatment centres have reopened with reduced occupancy due to local public health measures. However, many centres are finding alternate ways of delivering services, including virtual approaches.
    A network of 71 mental wellness teams, which began in 2013-14, serves 359 first nations and Inuit communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, the Atlantic region, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.
    Access to mental health counselling and emotional and cultural support services has been provided to former students of Indian residential schools, beginning in 2007-08, and federal Indian day schools, beginning in 2020-21, and their families, and those affected by the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, beginning in 2018-19. Services include access to cultural and emotional supports, professional counselling services for individuals and families, and assistance with the cost of transportation services to access counselling services and/or cultural supports.
    The Hope for Wellness helpline began in 2016-17 and offers immediate help to all indigenous peoples across Canada. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers counselling and crisis intervention.
    Access to harm reduction measures, including naloxone, and funding for wraparound services at 72 opioid agonist therapy sites began in 2017-18. Opioid agonist therapy involves taking opioid agonists such as methadone or buprenorphine-naloxone to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioids. Wraparound services work to address underlying or associated issues through counselling and traditional practices.
    With regard to part (b), funding for the mental wellness program has increased from an approximate annual amount of $325 million in 2015-16 to $580 million in 2021-22. An off-cycle amount of $107 million in 2021-22 to expand trauma-informed supports to all forms of trauma increased this investment to approximately $687 million in 2021-22. Funding is allocated to communities based on priorities and needs established through regional partnership structures and decision-making processes.
Question No. 974—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to the list of 70 mining projects provided to U.S. counterparts that Canadian officials believe could warrant U.S. funding that was mentioned in the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) article entitled "U.S. military weighs funding mining projects in Canada amid rivalry with China": (a) what criteria was used to determine which projects were selected for the list; (b) what are the details of each project included on the list, including (i) the name and location of the project, (ii) the scope of the project, including the type of natural resource development proposed to be undertaken (e.g. gold mining, lithium, oilsands, etc.), (iii) the name of the parties involved in the project development (government, corporations, etc.), (iv) the location of the parties involved in the project development; (c) what U.S. funding programs or mechanisms does the Canadian government believe these projects should be selected for; (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by specific project; (e) what is the current state of approvals within the Canadian regulatory system for each project; (f) what is the amount of funding that is being sought for each project from the U.S. government; (g) which government official (i) decided to develop and send the list to the U.S. government, (ii) decided which projects would be included in the list, (iii) gave the interview to the CBC; and (h) which of the projects that the government assessed (i) require U.S. government funding to be completed, (ii) can be completed without U.S. government funding?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is working with allies around the world to develop secure critical minerals value chains. Collaboration with the United States on critical minerals has been driven by the Canada-U.S. joint action plan on critical minerals, finalized in January 2020 and renewed in 2021. Collaboration between Canada and the United States on mineral and metal supply chains extends beyond this given integrated supply chains. For example, in 2021 alone, there was over $94 billion U.S. in two-way minerals and metals trade between the two countries. It is in this context that the government shares information on Canada’s mining sector with allies.
    Canada has long been a trusted defence and security partner of the United States. Since its reactivation in 1985, the Defence Production Act, or DPA, Title III program recognizes this partnership, enables investments in Canadian projects and includes Canada as a domestic source for the purposes of the DPA Title III program. Information on company meetings that are being held with the DPA Title III program may involve sensitive commercial, scientific or technical information and represent potential contractual negotiations between third parties.
    The development of critical mineral projects and supply chains is a key priority for Canada. This is reflected through the announcement of $3.8 billion in budget 2022 to implement Canada’s first critical minerals strategy. For more information on Canada’s critical minerals projects, visit the interactive map on NRCan’s website at https://atlas.gc.ca/critical-minerals/en/. Released on December 9, Canada’s critical minerals strategy, which can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/critical-minerals-in-canada/canadian-critical-minerals-strategy.html, will advance the development of critical minerals value chains at home and abroad.
Question No. 979—
Mr. Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe:
    With regard to the impact of the immigration levels established by the federal government on the French presence in Canada: (a) what studies have been commissioned or conducted by the government to determine what impact the immigration levels will have on the vitality of French in Canada; (b) what studies or proposals for studies have been commissioned or conducted by the government on francophone immigration targets in Canada; (c) what studies or proposals for studies have been commissioned or conducted by the government on the refusal rates of francophone immigrants to Canada; (d) what studies or proposals for studies have been commissioned or conducted by the government to assess what levels of francophone immigration were necessary to maintain the demographic weight of francophone official language minority communities; (e) what were the conclusions of these studies; (f) what is the correspondence between Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the IRCC Research Evaluation Office, Francophone Immigration Policy Division, on the impact of immigration on French; and (g) can the government release the correspondence between IRCC and the IRCC Research Evaluation Office, Francophone Immigration Policy Division, regarding its francophone immigration target strategy?
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to parts (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e), as well as to the establishment of immigration levels in Canada and their effect on the francophone presence in Canada, IRCC has not conducted the type of impact studies referenced in the inquiry. The immigration levels plan is developed following extensive consultations with the provinces and territories, stakeholders and the general public. The French-speaking admission target included in the immigration levels plan highlights the number of francophone admissions required, relative to the overall annual targets and ranges of the levels plan, to meet the target of 4.4% French-speaking admissions outside of Quebec. Studies, reports and analyses suggest various courses of action and recognize the need to support the prosperity of French in Canada and the need to act to strengthen linguistic duality in Canada.
    IRCC regularly monitors all of its operations and pays particular attention to francophone immigration, which the department strives to promote. In addition, the department regularly monitors the approval rate of temporary and permanent resident applications around the world, with a constant focus on providing fair treatment to all its clients based on established selection criteria.
    With respect to part (f), the research and evaluation branch of IRCC corresponds with other teams across the department as required to support many aspects of the departmental mandate. It provides relevant, timely, rigorous evidence and strategic decision-making support to advance IRCC policies and programs. The policy research team of the research and evaluation branch develops and conducts research designed to deepen the understanding of immigration policies, including outcomes and impacts, in order to support policy development in the department.
    Finally, with respect to part (g), openness, transparency and accountability are guiding principles of the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada would provide correspondence based on the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.
Question No. 980—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to the 2022-23 departmental plan for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario: (a) what is the government's target for the percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in Northern Ontario; and (b) what is the government's target in terms of the dollar value of exports of clean technologies from Northern Ontario?
Hon. Patty Hajdu (Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the 2022-23 departmental plan for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, or FedNor, the response is as follows.
    With respect to part (a), FedNor has not set a target for the indicator “percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in Northern Ontario”. The regional development agencies, or RDAs, adopted a common departmental results framework, or DRF, in 2018-19, and as part of Innovation Science and Economic Development’s portfolio at the time, they were directed to select indicators that aligned with the innovation and skills plan. The RDAs continue to work with Statistics Canada to obtain the percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in each RDA’s region. Statistics Canada has informed the RDAs that distribution by RDA is not available for this indicator and has provided the outcomes for the following geographies: Canada, the Atlantic region, Quebec, Ontario and the rest of Canada.
    For 2017-19, the most recent years for which data is available, 14% of companies in Ontario engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions. FedNor has not set a target for this indicator, as the agency has not been able to obtain historical data for the region. FedNor does not report on or use the result for all of Ontario given that the majority of companies and higher education institutions are located in southern Ontario, and it is not known if the data for northern Ontario is in line with the province’s result.
    With respect to part (b), FedNor has not set a target for the indicator “dollar value of exports of clean technologies from Northern Ontario” because baseline data from Statistics Canada is not currently available. This indicator is part of the common RDA DRF structure implemented in 2018-19. The RDAs, particularly FedNor and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, or FedDev, continue to work with Statistics Canada to obtain this data at the sub-provincial level. This indicator tracks the innovation and skills plan charter commitment to double Canada’s exports of clean tech by 2025, and supports commitments to the growth of clean tech market share as a percentage of global exports in the clean growth and climate change charter.
    Clean technology export value is based on customs data using specific Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or HS, codes and weights associated with clean tech. This value will be provided directly from Statistics Canada through its clean technology satellite account when it is released publicly. Clean tech is understood as any process, product or service that reduces environmental impacts through environmental protection activities; the sustainable use of natural resources; and the use of goods that have been specifically modified or adapted to be significantly less energy- or resource-intensive than the industry standard.
    In the future, data will be developed and provided through Statistics Canada’s clean technology satellite account through customs data requests. Data is not currently available for northern Ontario. FedNor will work with Statistics Canada to obtain the necessary data.
Question No. 983—
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to the Twitter account of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate): (a) do the views expressed by the parliamentary secretary through that account represent the views or positions of the (i) Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, (ii) Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, (iii) government, in any way; and (b) what resources, including any assistance with content, has the government provided to the parliamentary secretary?
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to part (a), the views expressed by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate) on his Twitter account are his own.
    With respect to part (b), the work of the parliamentary secretary is supported by the office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
Question No. 986—
Mr. Randall Garrison:
    With regard to the Mutual Benefit Agreements (MBA) between First Nations and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) what is the legal obligation for the Government of Canada to fulfill the MBAs between First Nations and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project; (b) when will funding or resources contained within those MBAs be available to the T’souke, Sc’ianew, and Esquimalt First Nations; (c) what work has been done to fulfill the MBAs of the T’souke, Sc’ianew, and Esquimalt First Nations; and (d) how can funding or resources within these MBAs be accessed by the T’souke, Sc’ianew, and Esquimalt First Nations?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to ensuring that first nation, Métis and Inuit communities directly benefit from major resource projects. With regard to the mutual benefit agreements, or MBAs, between Trans Mountain and the relevant first nations, the response is as follows.
    With respect to part (a), the legal obligation in the MBAs is between the signatories, which are Trans Mountain and the relevant first nation. Trans Mountain is a separate legal entity from the Government of Canada and is governed by an independent board of directors.
    With respect to part (b), as is customary for agreements of this type, both Trans Mountain and the relevant first nation are contractually committed to the commercial obligations, including when and how funding is provided under the terms of the agreement. The commercial obligations are subject to confidentiality as per the terms of the agreement.
    With respect to part (c), the response is the same as the one for part (b).
    With respect to part (d), the response is the same as the one for part (b).
Question No. 987—
Mr. Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe:
    With regard to the new immigration targets revealed by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in the 2022 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration: (a) how many pieces of correspondence did the government exchange with the Government of Quebec to establish the immigration levels; and (b) what were the contents of these pieces of correspondence?
Ms. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC, is concerned, the answer is as follows.
    With respect to part (a), bilateral engagement with Quebec on immigration matters is governed by the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens, or the Canada-Quebec Accord. IRCC exchanged two formal pieces of correspondence with the Government of Quebec to establish the 2023-25 immigration levels at the assistant deputy minister level in July 2022 and September 2022. This exchange of letters is an established process that IRCC follows to conduct annual bilateral consultations on immigration levels with the Government of Quebec, in conjunction with the accord.
    With respect to part (b) and the contents of the exchange, IRCC reiterated the importance of continued collaboration between Canada and Quebec in setting immigration levels targets and acknowledged the efforts taken to align the targets in the 2022-24 federal levels plan and Quebec’s 2022 immigration plan. In addition, IRCC shared proposed scenarios for the federal 2023-25 immigration levels plan to solicit feedback from Quebec, and sought information from Quebec on its 2023 immigration plan.
Question No. 1000—
Mr. Doug Shipley:
    With regard to the statement in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement that “Enterprise Crown corporation revenues are projected to decline by $6 billion in 2022-23, largely reflecting Bank of Canada income losses”: (a) how much was the Bank of Canada’s income losses in fiscal year 2021-22; and (b) what are the projected Bank of Canada income losses for fiscal years (i) 2022-23, (ii) 2023-24, (iii) 2024-25, (iv) 2025-26?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the 2021-22 public accounts include a net profit of $2.8 billion for the Bank of Canada. This amount is reflected in the line “Other Revenues—Enterprise Crown corporations and other government business enterprises” on the consolidated statement of operations and accumulated deficit on page 57 of volume I of the Public Accounts of Canada 2022, and includes the $1-billion constructive loss on the bank’s 2021-22 purchases of Government of Canada bonds discussed on page 16 of volume I.
    Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem stated at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on November 23, 2022, “After a period of above-average income, our net interest income is now turning negative. Following a period of losses, the Bank of Canada will return to positive net earnings. The size and duration of the losses will ultimately depend on a number of factors, which include, in particular, the path for interest rates, the evolution of the economy and the balance sheet. The losses do not affect our ability to conduct monetary policy. I would also stress that our policy decisions are driven by our price and financial stability mandates. We don't make policy to maximize our income…. I want to stress that whatever solution is chosen, it's not going to affect how we run monetary policy. As a central bank, we are a going concern. We have liquidity. We will continue to run monetary policy guided by our mandate. We do not run monetary policy to maximize our income. Low inflation is a public good. We run monetary policy to deliver low, stable inflation.”
    The senior deputy governor of the bank, Carolyn Rogers, stated the following during the same hearing: “Yes, as the governor said, we actually expect that the bank will show negative equity in the coming months. This isn't a problem that's unique to the Bank of Canada. All of our peer central banks in G7 countries are experiencing the same thing.”
    The Bank of Canada’s most recent financial report was published on November 29, 2022, and can be found at https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2022/11/quarterly-financial-report-third-quarter-2022/. The bank’s 2022 annual report is expected to be published in spring 2023.
Question No. 1001—
Mr. Doug Shipley:
    With regard to foreign corporations claiming the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits, broken down by year for the last three years: (a) what is the total number of foreign companies which have claimed SR&ED tax credits; (b) what is the total value of the credits claimed; and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by country where the company was headquartered?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question above, what follows is the response from the CRA as of November 21, 2022, which is the date of the question.
    In order for an entity to qualify for scientific research and experimental development, or SR and ED, investment tax credits, it must file a T2 corporation income tax return with the CRA, and the SR and ED work being claimed must be undertaken in Canada by or on behalf of the entity. Please note that a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign parent entity, or a foreign entity with a Canadian branch, performing eligible SR and ED work in Canada can deduct eligible expenditures and claim the SR and ED tax credits on them to reduce taxes payable.
    With respect to parts (a), (b) and (c), the SR and ED program does not isolate the requested information for foreign-controlled corporations filing SR and ED investment tax credit claims. Therefore, the requested information cannot be provided in the manner requested.
Question No. 1008—
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, purchased by the government for delivery in 2023: (a) how many doses did the government procure for an expected delivery in 2023; and (b) of the doses in (a), how many does the government project will be (i) administered to Canadians, (ii) donated to foreign countries, (iii) discarded?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to part (a), through its existing COVID-19 advance purchase agreements, or APAs, Canada has access to up to 93.5 million mRNA doses in 2023. This includes 30 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine and 18.5 million doses of Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine, with options to access up to an additional 45 million mRNA doses should urgent or emergent needs arise. Canada’s APAs provide flexibility to obtain the latest formulations from suppliers, including bivalent, infant and pediatric vaccines. In addition, Canada has access to a number of non-mRNA doses. Together, these doses will ensure the COVID-19 vaccine needs of all Canadians will continue to be met.
    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada is working in close collaboration with provinces and territories to better understand their 2023 vaccine supply needs. The government is also actively working with suppliers to manage supply and schedule deliveries to ensure the most optimal product availability.
    With respect to part (b)(i), immunization is a shared responsibility among federal, provincial and territorial governments. The provinces and territories administer vaccines within their jurisdictions, which includes all policy and program decision-making, design and implementation required to determine which public programs to offer, which vaccines to buy, where to administer vaccines, and priority populations and eligibility criteria for vaccination.
    The Public Health Agency of Canada supports provinces and territories in delivering their immunization programs in many ways, including by bulk purchasing vaccines for all jurisdictions; conducting vaccine confidence research, policy and programming; managing vaccine coverage, effectiveness and safety surveillance; facilitating immunization research; enhancing domestic manufacturing capacity; and supporting the delivery of the vaccine injury support program.
    As of December 8, 2022, 94,981,582 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada since December 14, 2020.
    With respect to part (b)(ii), the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supports efforts to promote global access to vaccines. In 2023, Canada will continue to work closely with its key partners to identify doses surplus to Canada’s domestic needs and ensure these doses are made available for donation. This involves actively coordinating with provinces and territories to manage domestic vaccine supply, forecast demand and track product shelf life. This also includes working closely with Global Affairs Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, to ensure that surplus doses held in federal, provincial and manufacturer inventories can be offered for international donation in a timely manner.
    Lastly, with respect to part (b)(iii), as vaccination campaigns are ongoing, Canada is unable to determine at this time how many vaccines will be disposed of in 2023 due to expiration. We continue to work with provinces, territories and federal partners on demand planning and forecasting based on evolving scientific evidence and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations to determine supply requirements for future campaigns. Additionally, we are working closely with PSPC and vaccine suppliers to ensure that delivery schedules meet the needs of Canadians and to monitor vaccine shelf life and expiry date extensions to maximize the use of doses delivered in Canada. The Government of Canada continues to urge Canadians to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.
Question No. 1009—
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the economic modelling conducted by the Department of Finance for proposed government programs, since January 1, 2021: (a) for which government programs did the department conduct an economic modelling; (b) what are the details of how each economic modelling was done; and (c) what were the results or the findings of the economic modelling, broken down by program?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Department of Finance regularly undertakes economic modelling and analysis of policy and program proposals in order to support its advice to the Minister of Finance and cabinet. The department conducts this analysis using a wide variety of analytical modelling techniques reflecting international best practices and current academic standards. However, all economic models are subject to uncertainty, and generating precise estimates of the effects of specific policies poses considerable challenges.
    In processing parliamentary returns, the Department of Finance applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. As a result, the Department of Finance does not regularly publish internally modelled economic impact assessments for specific program proposals. However, in budget 2021, the department released estimates of short-term impacts on gross domestic product and employment from the combined investments made in the 2020 fall economic statement, the enhanced climate plan and budget 2021. For examples of broader economic research and modelling performed by the Department of Finance, please consult the annual “Report on Federal Tax Expenditures—Concepts, Estimates and Evaluations”, which can be found at the following website: https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2022/fin/F1-47-2022-eng.pdf.
Question No. 1013—
Mr. Dan Mazier:
    With regard to the government’s spectrum licensing, broken down by designated tier: (a) how many spectrum licenses are currently unused; (b) how many license holders have (i) failed to meet the deployment requirement, (ii) deployed less than 50 percent of their spectrum license; (iii) deployed less than 75 percent of their spectrum license, (iv) deployed less than 100 percent of their spectrum license; (c) what is the breakdown of each response in (a) and (b), by spectrum license (i) for mobile broadband services in the 700 MHz band, (ii) in the millimetre wave bands 26, 28 and 38 GHz, (iii) in the 3800 MHz band, (iv) in the 3500 MHz band, (v) in the 600 MHz band, (vi) for residual spectrum licences in the 700 MHz, (vii) 2500 MHz, 2300 MHz and PCS-G Block, (viii) for residual spectrum licences in the 700 MHz and AWS-3 bands, (ix) for broadband radio services in the 2500-2690 MHz band, (x) for advanced wireless services in the bands 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz (AWS-3); and (d) for each instance in (a) through (c), what is the name of the company that holds the license?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the spectrum licence deployment requirements of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, or ISED, are based on the provision of wireless services to a percentage of the population in a given service area, known as tiers, at specific times throughout the term of the licence. These graduated deployment requirements facilitate timely deployment of services across the country and include a number of milestones that must be reached during the licence term to remain compliant with the licence conditions.
    Deployment requirements are established by ISED following public consultation and take input from stakeholders into account as the department pursues its objective of maximizing the economic and social benefits of this valuable and finite public resource. Deployment milestones are set up to allow licensees the opportunity to plan and deploy their networks. Licensees may put the spectrum to use as the primary licensee or through alternative arrangements, such as subordinate licensing and the transferring or subdivision of licences to secondary providers. This use by secondary providers is encouraged by ISED as it promotes the deployment of services to rural areas.
    When a milestone is reached, ISED verifies that the deployment requirement has been met according to the deployment schedule. ISED’s approximately 15,000 spectrum licences are currently 100% compliant with their respective deployment conditions. If a licensee is not compliant with its deployment conditions, ISED may invoke various compliance and enforcement measures. These measures may include warnings, administrative monetary penalties, legal action, licence amendments, suspensions or other measures. However, in non-compliance cases, ISED first works with licensees to attain compliance to ensure that Canadians do not lose access to existing services that the licensee may have deployed. In the very rare instance that a licensee cannot be brought into compliance, ISED may determine that the most appropriate course of action is to not renew or even revoke the licence. Since 2015, ISED has not renewed 69 licences and has revoked three others for non-compliance.
Question No. 1015—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to the $938 million cost to deliver the interim dental benefits: what is the amount that will be spent on the administration of the program versus the actual payments for dental services?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, budget 2022 proposed funding of $5.3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $1.7 billion ongoing for a national dental care program for Canadians who earn under $90,000. The interim Canada dental benefit is the first stage of the government’s plan to improve dental care for Canadians in families with an adjusted net income of under $90,000. It is estimated that over 500,000 Canadian children could benefit from the targeted investment of $938 million. While this temporary program is in place, work is under way in parallel to develop a planned national dental care program.
    While Health Canada has estimated the number of children who will benefit at 500,000, this is an estimate, and the costing includes a buffer in case the actual number of eligible parents applying is higher than anticipated.
Question No. 1019—
Ms. Lianne Rood:
    With regard to the Canada Growth Fund: (a) how much funding has been released since the program's implementation; (b) which businesses and organizations will be the recipients of this funding; (c) are the recipients based in Canada; and (d) are the recipients wholly Canadian-owned and operated?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to part (a), no funding has been provided by the Canada growth fund, the CGF. Implementation of the first phase of the CGF is currently under way. Initial capitalization for the CGF was provided in Bill C-32.
    With respect to part (b), the CGF will make investments that catalyze substantial private sector investment in Canadian businesses and projects to help transform and grow Canada’s economy at speed and scale on the path to net zero. The CGF will determine which businesses and organizations will be the recipients of this financing, and it will apply rigorous criteria to each investment it makes.
    Finally, with respect to parts (c) and (d), the CGF will make investments that catalyze substantial private sector investment in Canadian businesses and projects. Among the CGF’s investment selection criteria will be long term benefits for Canada. Investments must have a reasonable chance to strengthen the development of Canadian human capital and knowledge and generate follow-on, long-term benefits for Canada beyond those realized by the specific investment. Potential long-term benefits could include activities done in Canada, the development or use of Canadian intellectual property and the creation or strengthening of Canadian value chains.
Question No. 1021—
Ms. Lianne Rood:
    With regard to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario: (a) what stakeholders have government representatives met with since January 12, 2016; (b) on what dates were the meetings in (a) held; and (c) what was discussed at each meeting?
Hon. Filomena Tassi (Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, or FedDev Ontario, plays numerous roles in southern Ontario, including that of coinvestor, champion, convenor, collaborator, pathfinder and intelligence source. This requires officials at every level of the agency to regularly engage with numerous stakeholders through various channels. For example, representatives from FedDev Ontario engage with prospective clients and funding recipients as part of standard program delivery practices. Funding recipients for all agency programs are also reported quarterly through proactive disclosure on grants and contributions, which is published on the Open Government website. Additionally, all lobbying activity is accessible via the registry of lobbyists.
    The agency is also able to share higher-level information on its multi-faceted approach to engaging with stakeholders. This includes regional, municipal and provincial governments; economic development organizations; industry associations; business accelerators and incubators; private sector firms; indigenous communities; post-secondary institutions; not-for-profit organizations that represent different communities; and under-represented groups.
    The multi-faceted engagement approach includes a variety of outreach activities that are undertaken at the ministerial, executive, management and staff levels. For example, the minister leads round tables and bilateral meetings with community and industry representatives, and there are funding announcements and site visits to businesses and organizations that are leading FedDev Ontario-funded projects. These engagements provide deeper insight into regional priorities and community-driven initiatives, allow for the development and strengthening of partnerships at the local level and enhance awareness of and access to agency programs and services.
    There are executive- and staff-led bilateral engagements with clients and prospective clients to promote agency programs and services to identify and catalyze opportunities for investment; provide feedback on proposals; notify applicants of funding decisions; monitor funded projects and conduct site visits; and serve as a single point of contact for clients, allowing for consistent support across projects.
    Businesses and organizations that are interested in learning more about agency and federal programs also have access to executive- and staff-led technical briefings to promote FedDev Ontario programming and to help ensure all eligible organizations are aware of program parameters and how to apply. For example, the agency provided five technical briefings over the month of November 2022 to walk over 400 participants through the tourism relief fund and answer questions they had.
    There is also FedDev Ontario’s contact centre and small business services team. These engagements by phone, by email or in person help entrepreneurs to better understand and improve access to the agency’s programming and government programming more broadly.
    Additional pathfinding and convening services to a wide range of federal and provincial resources and partnerships are provided across the region. This includes referrals under Canada’s accelerated growth strategy, global skills strategy and industrial and technological benefits, or ITB, policy, among other programs and initiatives. With respect to the ITB, agency officials engage with defence contractors at conferences, bilateral meetings and site visits, with the ultimate goal of showcasing the industrial, innovative and research capabilities of southern Ontario and facilitating connections with local small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs.
    There are executive- and staff-led bilateral engagements with community and industry leaders, including those with whom the agency does not have a funding relationship, to gather intelligence on economic growth opportunities and challenges across the region, as well as insight into the strategies and initiatives of different communities and industries. These engagements provide valuable feedback and insights that can inform agency and federal policies and programs.
    There are executive- and staff-led bilateral engagements with provincial and municipal officials to foster a culture of continued information sharing and collaboration on economic growth in southern Ontario. These engagements support alignment on strategic policy and program files, inform project development, identify areas for coinvestments, and enhance services to businesses and entrepreneurs through more coordinated, informed pathfinding services.
    There are executive-led round tables to gather on-the-ground intelligence from a broad cross-section of stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities facing a particular industry or community. These round tables can provide direct feedback on program efficacy, as well as facilitate information sharing and collaboration among participants. For example, in spring 2019, FedDev Ontario executives led a series of 20 round table events in urban and rural communities across southern Ontario.
    Executives and staff attend events to help promote the work of the agency by participating on panels, delivering remarks and networking at conferences. These engagements provide opportunities to develop new partnerships and to gather intelligence on issues, trends and promising initiatives across the region that can inform policy and program development.
    Beyond publicly available information and the high-level information provided, FedDev Ontario concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information, particularly given the high volume and complexity of engagement by the agency, as described above.
Question No. 1022—
Ms. Lianne Rood:
    With regard to funding provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to the Community Futures Development Corporations: (a) what metrics are being used to determine the funding amounts; (b) how is funding distributed amongst the 36 development corporations; and (c) what directions on the use of funds have been given to these development corporations?
Hon. Filomena Tassi (Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), operational funding provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to the community futures development corporations, or CFDCs, is allocated based on a model utilizing metrics that include those attributed to the size of the service area, investment fund activity and the provision of business services, and includes specific allocations for CFDCs designated as operating in an official language minority community.
    With regard to part (b), operational funding is distributed through a contribution agreement with each of the 36 CFDCs in southern Ontario, as well as two regional associations and one provincial association.
    Finally, with regard to part (c), under the program, operational funding is provided to deliver a range of small business services, to provide for the administration of repayable financing to new and existing enterprises and to support the development of strategic plans and community economic development projects to address community needs.
Question No. 1026—
Mr. Larry Maguire:
    With regard to the government’s announcement on November 14, 2022, about securing a foreign supply of children’s acetaminophen for sale at retail and in community pharmacies: (a) are there any measures in place to ensure that some of the supply will be sold in pharmacies located in small towns and other rural areas, and, if so, (i) what are those measures, (ii) how many doses are the measures expected to make available for small town and rural pharmacies; and (b) what is the breakdown of the doses expected to be available in each province or territory?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Health Canada is working closely with industry and key stakeholders to mitigate the shortage of pediatric analgesics. A primary focus of this work has been to increase the supply of these products. Over 1.9 million units of ibuprofen and record levels of acetaminophen have been released into the market by domestic suppliers in November and December. To date, nearly 1.9 million units of foreign-labelled product have also been imported to supply hospitals, community pharmacies and retailers.
    Health Canada is actively working with distributors and retailers to promote fair distribution of supply across Canada and to verify that product is in fact being dispensed and sold across all communities in Canada where there is a shortage. Through engagement with key stakeholders, Health Canada has confirmed that products have now reached hospitals and retail stores in urban, rural and remote communities.
Question No. 1034—
Mrs. Tracy Gray:
    With regard to the government's commitments on the completion of the Okanagan Rail Trail project and the federal Addition to Reserve (ATR) process for the Duck Lake Indian Reserve No. 7 (IR#7): (a) what is the status of the ATR to Duck Lake IR#7 of former CN Rail land; (b) what are the exact areas of negotiation which have (i) been resolved, (ii) not yet been resolved, to complete the ATR; (c) how many meetings or briefings have the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Minister of Indigenous Services had regarding the Okanagan Rail Trail project or the ATR to Duck Lake IR#7 since November 1, 2021, and what are the details of each meeting or briefing, including the dates and names or titles of participants; (d) when was the last communication sent by the government to the Duck Lake IR#7 or the Okanagan Indian Band regarding the ATR and what is the summary of contents or other details about the last communication; and (e) what is the estimated timeline for the completion of the ATR?
Mr. Vance Badawey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Indigenous Services Canada, or ISC, is concerned, the response is as follows.
    With respect to part (a), ISC continues to support the Okanagan Indian Band with the addition to reserve of the former Canadian National Railway corridor lands bisecting Duck Lake Indian Reserve No. 7. Canadian National Railway is currently the registered owner of the lands in fee simple, and Canada has previously provided Canadian National Railway with a draft agreement of purchase and sale to support the transfer of lands to Canada for the use and benefit of the band. Negotiations around the purchase and sale agreement are ongoing between Canadian National Railway, the Okanagan Indian Band and Canada.
    With respect to part (b)(i), since the parties are in confidential negotiations on terms of land instruments such as permits under the Indian Act, it is not appropriate for the department to comment.
    With respect to part (b)(ii), the Okanagan Indian Band continues to work to resolve third party interests, including property rights required by telecommunications providers, electrical transmission and distribution services, sewer utility interests and access agreements for on-reserve developments. The Okanagan Indian Band has taken the lead on these negotiations and has the support of legal and technical experts working to satisfy additions to reserve requirements. Canada has offered to support the band with its negotiations and has assisted with providing template documents.
    With respect to part (c), there have been no meetings or briefings on this project with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada since November 1, 2021.
    With respect to part (d), the last communication between ISC and the Okanagan Indian Band regarding the addition to reserve was sent on November 15, 2022. The email communication was regarding the City of Kelowna replacement sewer permit that is currently being reviewed by the respective legal counsel of the City of Kelowna, Canada and the Okanagan Indian Band as a requirement of the additions to reserve process.
    With respect to part (e), it is difficult to estimate timelines for completion, as completion of the addition to reserve is subject to the readiness and willingness of third party interest holders to terminate or negotiate and execute federal replacement interests with the Okanagan Indian Band. This is an ISC British Columbia region priority file, and the department continues to work in collaboration with the Okanagan Indian Band to complete the addition to reserve.
Question No. 1038—
Mr. Dean Allison:
    With regard to the statement on Twitter by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on November 28, 2022, that “Grand corruption is a threat to democracy and security”: (a) what specific actions, if any, has the (i) current Minister of Foreign Affairs, (ii) government, as a whole, taken since January 1, 2020, in order to combat corruption within the government; and (b) what assessments has the government made of the threat that corruption within the government poses to Canada’s democracy and security, and what were the dates and results of each assessment conducted since January 1, 2020?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) and (b), while in The Hague, Netherlands, the Minister of Foreign Affairs co-chaired the high-level round table on anti-corruption with her counterparts from Ecuador and the Netherlands. The ministers discussed efforts to advance global anti-corruption commitments, including the potential establishment of an international anti-corruption court, and committed to working together on fighting corruption to strengthen resilient democracies and promote human rights. These efforts correspond with the Minister of Foreign Affair’s mandate commitment to work with international partners to help establish an international anti-corruption court to prevent corrupt officials and authoritarian governments from impeding development that should benefit their citizens.
    Global Affairs Canada, through its network of missions, along with Canada’s security and intelligence agencies, regularly assesses the threats posed to Canada’s democracy and security. Global Affairs Canada continues to support an integrated government response by monitoring and reporting on threats and wrongdoings, and provides advice to protect our democracy.
    The government tables a report to Parliament on an annual basis regarding Canada’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the enforcement of Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, or CFPOA, prepared jointly by the three ministers responsible: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of International Trade and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
Question No. 1040—
Mrs. Kelly Block:
    With regard to the government's plan to provide automatic advance payments on the Canada workers benefit: (a) does the government have any projections on the number of overpayments and payments made to ineligible recipients that are expected to occur following the move to the automatic advance payment system, and, if so, what are the projections, in terms of (i) dollar value, (ii) number of recipients; (b) what mechanisms, if any, are in place for those who might not qualify for future payments to opt-out of the automatic advance payments; and (c) what are the details about how the government will be recovering the overpayments or payments made to ineligible recipients?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the 2022 fall economic statement proposes to automatically issue advance payments of the Canada workers benefit, or CWB, to people who qualified for the benefit in the previous year, starting in July 2023 for the 2023 taxation year. These advance payments would represent a new minimum entitlement to the program for a year based on their income in the previous year. Changes to individuals’ incomes in the year relative to the previous year would not affect their entitlement to advance payments.
    Some individuals would be entitled to more support with the implementation of this minimum entitlement than they would without it. This could include cases that are due to couple formation, such as marrying someone with a higher income, for example. This may also include individuals who received minor pay increases during the year, potentially from moving into a marginally more senior role in their workplace.
    Eligibility to receive advance payments during the course of a year would cease in cases where an individual is incarcerated for a period of 90 days or more; moves out of the country; or dies before the start of the benefit year. Individuals are encouraged to notify the Canada Revenue Agency promptly when any of these changes in circumstance occurs to ensure that payments cease. It is anticipated that overpayments due to payments made after one of these changes in circumstance would be rare.
    If an individual were to receive advance payments that exceed the advance payments to which they are legally entitled, either due to one of the changes in circumstance noted above not being reported on a timely basis or due to a reassessment of their tax return for the previous year, any resulting overpayment would be recovered in the same manner as for other benefits based on prior-year income, such as the GST credit. In particular, the Canada Revenue Agency may keep all or a portion of any future payments due to the individual until the amount is repaid.
    Overall disbursements of the Canada workers benefit to low- and middle-income Canadians will exceed $4 billion in 2023-24. These incremental entitlements are estimated to cost $750 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year. In a typical year, the Canada workers benefit supports over three million Canadians. Given the changes in employment that Canadians face, whether they are changes in the number of hours worked or in the role in which they are working, the advance payments would support up to 1.2 million additional individuals in a year.
Question No. 1048—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the Digital Citizen Contribution Program: (a) how much funding has been delivered to date; and (b) what are the details of all projects funded through the program, including, for each, the (i) recipient, (ii) amount of funding, (iii) project description or purpose of the funding, (iv) date on which the funding was allocated?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the digital citizen contribution program, or DCCP, supports the priorities of the digital citizen initiative by providing time-limited financial assistance for research and citizen-focused activities. To date, the DCCP has provided approximately $13.7 million in funding to recipients for approved projects.
    With regard to part (b), details of all projects funded by the DCCP are publicly available through proactive disclosure on this web page: https://search.open.canada.ca/grants/?sort=score%20desc&page=1&search_text=%22digital%20citizen%20contribution%20program%22.
Question No. 1049—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to funding provided by the government through the Digital Citizen Initiative: (a) what are the details of all projects funded through the initiative where the government provided more than $10,000 in funding, including, for each project, the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) project description, (v) component or specific program under which funding was provided; and (b) of the projects in (a), are there any currently conducting research on disinformation or misinformation disseminated by the prime minister, ministers or government departments, and, if so, which ones and on what government disinformation or misinformation are they conducting research?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the digital citizen initiative funds projects through the digital citizen contribution program, or DCCP, and a joint initiative with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, or SSHRC, called the joint initiative for digital citizen research.
    Details of all projects funded through the DCCP are publicly available through proactive disclosure on this web page: https://search.open.canada.ca/grants/?sort=score%20desc&page=1&search_text=%22digital%20citizen%20contribution%20program%22. Details of all projects funded through the joint initiative with SSHRC are publicly available through proactive disclosure on this web page: https://search.open.canada.ca/grants/?sort=score%20desc&page=1&search_text=%22initiative%20for%20digital%20citizen%20research%22.
    With regard to part (b), the digital citizen initiative is not currently funding research on information disseminated by the Prime Minister, ministers or government departments.
Question No. 1050—
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the statement on Twitter by the Minister of Natural Resources on November 28, 2022, that “Climate change will cost Canadians $100 billion a year by 2050 - unless we hit our climate targets”: (a) what methodology was used by the minister to come up with that figure; and (b) what are the government’s projections on how much climate change will cost Canadians each year, by 2050, if the government does hit its climate targets?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has committed over $100 billion to climate action. The Government of Canada’s “Budget 2021—A Healthy Environment for a Healthy Economy” provides a breakdown of this commitment and is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2021/04/budget-2021-a-healthy-environment-for-a-healthy-economy.html.
    The Canadian Climate Institute’s report on the costs of climate change, which is available at https://climateinstitute.ca/reports/the-costs-of-climate-change/, provides reports that explore the costs, impacts and consequences of accelerating climate change.
Question No. 1053—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to the Liidlii Kue First Nation’s efforts to open a women’s shelter in Fort Simpson: (a) which federal buildings has the government identified as available to the Liidlii Kue First Nation; (b) for each building in (a), what is the approximate cost to sell it to the Liidlii Kue First Nation; (c) for each building in (a), what are the reasons identified by the government as to why the transfer of ownership has not been completed; and (d) by what dates are the buildings in (a) expected to be available to the Liidlii Kue First Nation?
Mr. Anthony Housefather (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, has identified the following properties for disposal in Fort Simpson: 9829-102 Street, 10110-99 Avenue and 9817-101 Street.
    As per the Treasury Board directive on the management of real property, a property identified for disposal is circulated through a formal process, granting priority to stakeholders to determine if they have an interest in acquisition. During the circulation process, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, or CIRNAC, expressed interest in these units on behalf of local indigenous groups, including the Liidlii Kue First Nation. PSPC is continuing to provide support to CIRNAC as it determines next steps for the release of the properties. Planning for the future of these assets, in collaboration with stakeholders, is ongoing. Public Services and Procurement Canada is therefore unable to respond to parts (b), (c) and (d) of the question.
Question No. 1059—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to funding and expenditures for ministerial offices, including the Office of the Prime Minister, broken down by fiscal year, for the last three years since 2019-20: (a) what was the total amount of funding provided to (i) all ministerial offices, (ii) each minister's office, including the Office of the Prime Minister; and (b) what is the breakdown of the spending of each minister's office by type of expense (salaries, travel, stationary etc.)?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, a breakdown of expenses for ministers’ offices, including the Office of the Prime Minister, is published each year in the Public Accounts of Canada at the following links. For 2019-20, go to https://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/301/public_accounts_can/html/2020/recgen/cpc-pac/2020/vol3/s10/dcm-emo-eng.html; for 2020-21, go to https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2021/vol3/s10/dcm-emo-eng.html; and for 2021-22, go to https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2022/vol3/s10/dcm-emo-eng.html.
Question No. 1060—
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to the government's claim that it has lifted two million people out of poverty: how many of those two million people have since needed to use food banks or other charitable services due to high inflation?
Mr. Irek Kusmierczyk (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian income survey, or CIS, is the official data source for estimating annual poverty statistics based on Canada’s official poverty line. Results from the 2020 CIS, released on March 23, 2022, show that there were 2.7 million fewer people living in poverty in 2020 compared to 2015. As a cross-sectional survey, the CIS does not collect information on the past poverty status of surveyed individuals and families, nor does it collect information on current or prior utilization of food banks or services from charitable organizations. In addition, the latest available data on poverty is for the 2020 calendar year. Poverty statistics reflecting the higher inflation observed in 2021 and 2022 will be released by the CIS in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Question No. 1064—
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the $150 million announced in budget 2022 to support affordable housing and related infrastructure in the North, as of December 1, 2022, broken down by territory: (a) how much of this funding has been allocated; (b) how many housing units have been built; (c) how many of the units in (b) are currently occupied by residents; and (d) what is the breakdown of (a) though (c) by territory?
Hon. Dan Vandal (Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is concerned, the response is as follows.
    Canada’s northern, remote and isolated communities face unique housing needs because of the challenges presented by geography, climate change, infrastructure and remoteness. Partners of the Arctic and northern policy framework identified the need to address housing in the north as part of the goal of supporting resilient and healthy northern and indigenous people.
    In response to these challenges, the Government of Canada, through budget 2022, is providing $150 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to support affordable housing and related infrastructure in the north, of which $60 million will be provided to the Government of Nunavut; $60 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories; and $30 million to the Government of Yukon. Of this funding, recipients must use a minimum of 60% for housing, and the remaining amount for housing-related infrastructure.
    The first $75 million of budget 2022 funding, with $30 million for Nunavut, $30 million for the Northwest Territories and $15 million for the Yukon government, has been allocated to recipients, and the remaining $75 million in funding is to be allocated in fiscal year 2023-24. The funding provided through budget 2022 to territorial governments is through a flexible grant, allowing for the territorial governments to advance their most pressing housing and infrastructure needs immediately. Through this budget 2022 investment and ongoing partnerships with Canada’s territorial governments, the Government of Canada is empowering its territorial partners to ensure that all northerners, both indigenous and non-indigenous, have access to sustainable and safe housing and is supporting the health and welfare of northerners using made-in-the-north solutions.
    A large percentage of northerners live in social public housing, and it is the territorial governments, through their respective housing corporations, that are responsible for overseeing and maintaining the social housing stock. This budget 2022 funding allows for Canada’s territorial governments to continue to support housing and infrastructure projects in their respective territories.
    The funding allocated to these territorial initiatives is determined on a priority basis based on need, as determined by the territorial governments’ housing corporations. This budget 2022 funding is provided via grant, and as such, there are no reporting mechanisms associated with the granting mechanism. This approach of using grant funding is consistent with the principles of self-determination, where it is the recipients of this funding who are best positioned to determine how it should be used.
    As a result, the department is unable to provide numbers in relation to the number of housing units that have been built or constructed or the number of housing units that are occupied, given this responsibility resides with the territorial government.
Question No. 1065—
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the $25 million announced in budget 2021 to support short-term housing and infrastructure needs in Nunavut, as of December 1, 2022: (a) how much of this funding has been allocated; (b) how many housing units have been built; (c) of the units in (b), how many are occupied by residents; and (d) what is the breakdown of units (i) built, (ii) occupied, by community?
Hon. Dan Vandal (Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is concerned, the response is as follows.
    Canada’s northern, remote and isolated communities face unique housing needs because of the challenges presented by geography, climate change, infrastructure and remoteness. Partners of the Arctic and northern policy framework identified the need to address housing in the north as part of the goal of supporting resilient and healthy northern and indigenous people. In response to these challenges, the Government of Canada, through budget 2021, provided the Government of Nunavut with $25 million to support its immediate housing and infrastructure needs.
    The majority of Nunavummiut live in social public housing, and it is the territorial government, through its housing corporation, that is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the social housing stock. In the case of Nunavut, 14% of its operating budget is allocated specifically to support social housing.
    The entire budget 2021 funding amount of $25 million has been allocated to the Government of Nunavut during the fiscal year 2021-22, and project-specific allocations are determined on a priority basis based on need, as determined by the housing corporation. This budget 2021 funding was provided to the recipient via a grant. This approach of using grant funding is consistent with the principles of self-determination, whereby it is the recipients of this funding who are best positioned to determine how it should be used. As a result, the department is unable to provide numbers in relation to the number of housing units that have been built or constructed or the number of housing units that are occupied, given that this responsibility resides with the territorial government.
Question No. 1067—
Mr. Jeremy Patzer:
    With regard to government funding for safer supply programs: (a) what quantity of substances have been distributed through safer supply programs, broken down by year, type of substance, and province or territory, since 2016; (b) who are the recognized manufacturers for the substances provided through safer supply programs, broken down by type of substance; (c) what are the total yearly government expenditures related to safer supply programs; and (d) how much was each manufacturer in (b) paid each year for substances provided by safer supply programs?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to question (a), while recipients of Health Canada’s substance use and addictions program, or SUAP, funding are required to report back to Health Canada using standard performance metrics, this level of detail falls outside of what is collected by the department.
    With regard to question (b), there are a number of prescription drugs approved by Health Canada that provinces, territories and authorized health practitioners can access for both medication-assisted drug treatment programs and safer supply pilot projects. Information on the specific brands of medications dispensed to safer supply clients is often recorded at the pharmacy level only, not by the programs themselves. Health Canada does not formally collect information on the manufacturers for the medications provided through funded safer supply pilot projects.
    With regard to question (c), as of December 2022, the expenditures are as follows: $593,109 in 2018-19; $1,484,049 in 2019-20; $11,906,315 in 2020-21; $20,219,932 in 2021-22; $34,400,062 in 2022-23; and $9,282,388 in 2023-24.
    With regard to question (d), as previously mentioned, information regarding how much each manufacturer is paid each year for the range of substances prescribed falls outside of what is collected by the department.
Question No. 1068—
Mr. Jeremy Patzer:
    With regard to the government's announcement on August 12, 2021, to invest $1.44 billion into Telesat's advanced low Earth orbit satellite constellation, Telesat Lightspeed: (a) how much funding did the government invest in Telesat following this announcement, broken down by type of investment (grant, loan, purchase of equity, etc.); and (b) what are the details of all such investments, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) type of investment, (iii) amount, (iv) program under which the investment was made?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government remains in discussion with Telesat on a potential investment in the Lightspeed project. Completion of the government’s investment is dependent on Telesat satisfying a number of conditions, including Telesat successfully concluding agreements with other parties to fully finance the project. Accordingly, none of the government funds referenced in the agreement in principle that was announced on August 12, 2021, have been disbursed.
Question No. 1070—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the government's announcement on August 12, 2021, to invest $1.44 billion into Telesat's advanced low Earth orbit satellite constellation, Telesat Lightspeed: (a) what are the details of government purchases or sales of Telesat equity or shares since the announcement, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) total price or amount, (iii) type of transaction (bought or sold), (iv) number of shares or percentage of equity, (v) share price, if applicable; and (b) what is the government's current equity stake in Telesat in terms of value, percentage of equity, and number of shares?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government remains in discussion with Telesat on a potential investment in the Lightspeed project. Completion of the government’s investment is dependent on Telesat satisfying a number of conditions, including Telesat successfully concluding agreements with other parties to fully finance the project. Accordingly, none of the government funds referenced in the agreement in principle that was announced on August 12, 2021, have been disbursed.
Question No. 1074—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the report in the Public Accounts of Canada 2022 that Global Affairs Canada lost $82,902 due to a single instance of fraudulent activity: (a) what was the nature of the fraudulent activity; (b) were the individuals involved in this fraudulent activity identified, and, if so, (i) what were their names, (ii) what organizations or businesses were they affiliated with, (iii) were they prosecuted, (iv) what were the outcomes of any court proceeding involving this fraud; (c) were efforts made to recover the lost funds, and, if so, why weren't those efforts successful; and (d) did this incident lead to any policy changes, and, if so, what were those policy changes?
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada’s ministers.
    With regard to parts (a) and (b), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. Information has been withheld on the grounds that the disclosure of certain information is subject to solicitor-client privilege.
    With regard to part (c), all efforts were made to recover the lost funds. In December 2021, Global Affairs Canada’s legal team came to the conclusion that the department had pursued all necessary options and that the funds would not be returned.
    With regard to part (d), this incident did not lead to a policy change.
Question No. 1075—
Mr. Colin Carrie:
    With regard to subsidies for news outlets which the government has classified as a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO) and the call with stakeholders on July 20, 2020, involving the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance: (a) which QCJOs and other media organizations (i) were invited, (ii) attended the call with stakeholders; and (b) how did the government choose which organizations would be invited to participate in the event?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA.
    The CRA facilitated a public stakeholder engagement session in English on July 20, 2020, and in French on July 21, 2020, to discuss the qualified Canadian journalism organization, or QCJO, designation process, as well as proposed changes to legislation. The sessions were open to the general public, such as representatives from news media organizations, journalists and individuals interested in attending this type of event.
    With regard to part (a), the sessions on July 20 and 21, 2020, were not by invitation only; they were open to the general public. The CRA promoted the open sessions and the links to register on Twitter and LinkedIn in both official languages. In addition to social media promotion, the CRA sent the registration link via email distribution.
    The confidentiality provisions under section 241 of the Income Tax Act prevent the CRA from releasing taxpayer information, including identifying organizations that have been designated as QCJOs. With respect to the stakeholder engagement sessions on QCJO designation held on July 20 and 21, 2020, for reasons related to the Privacy Act, we are unable to release the list of contacts who received the email to register for the sessions. Furthermore, as per standard practice with teleconferences, a list of those who attended the July 20 and 21 sessions was not kept.
    With regard to part (b), as noted above, the stakeholder engagement sessions were open to the general public. The CRA promoted the sessions through social media and by email to an evergreen list of contacts. For reasons related to the Privacy Act, we are unable to release the list of contacts who received the email to register for the sessions.
Question No. 1076—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to box 9954 “Proceeds of disposition” on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) form T2091IND Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual (Other Than a Personal Trust): (a) why does the CRA or the government need to know the sale price of the person's primary residence; and (b) what is this information used for?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the above question, what follows is the response from the CRA as of December 5, 2022, the date of the question.
    With regard to part (a), in October 2016, the Government of Canada announced an administrative change to the CRA’s reporting requirements for the sale of a principal residence. Relevant links are noted below. This administrative change was made to improve compliance and the administration of the tax system.
    The October 2016 announcement can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2016/10/technical-backgrounder-mortgage-insurance-rules-income-proposals-revised-october-14-2016.html.
    Information on principal residences can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/personal-income/line-12700-capital-gains/principal-residence-other-real-estate/what-a-principal-residence.html.
    With regard to part (b), the new reporting requirements help the CRA to identify, risk-assess and audit real estate transactions where the criteria for benefiting from the principal residence exemption may not be met or where other tax non-compliance may exist.
Question No. 1078—
Mr. Rob Morrison:
    With regard to the findings by the Auditor General that the government paid $6.1 million in Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments to 1,522 recipients that were incarcerated for the entire benefit period: (a) how much of the $6.1 million has been recovered as of December 6, 2022; (b) how many of the 1,522 recipients have yet to repay the government; and (c) to date, why has the government not recovered the entire $6.1 million?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question above, what follows is the response from the CRA as of December 6, 2022. Regarding Canada emergency response benefit payments, please note the following.
    The CRA blocked any federally incarcerated individuals from applying at the time of launch, which was April 6, 2020. The CRA is notified of federal incarcerations by Correctional Service Canada. Since this information is only provided on a periodic basis, timing can be a factor with respect to when the block is placed.
    With respect to provincial incarceration, this segment of the population may have been eligible due to various provincial programs that allow for weekend-only incarceration, in order to allow for continued participation in the workplace, and day programs for inmates. The CRA is not notified of these incarcerations. However, individuals who had a mailing address located at a provincial institution were blocked beginning on May 11, 2020.
    With regard to parts (a), (b) and (c), the CRA has identified recipients whose federal incarceration dates cover the entire benefit periods. As part of the CRA's ongoing post-payment verifications, which began in January 2022 and are ongoing, these individuals will be contacted to validate their eligibility.
    Following a CRA manual review to verify an application for COVID-19 individual benefits, if an applicant is determined to be ineligible, they will receive a decision letter informing them that they were not eligible for benefit payments received, with the reason for the ineligibility, and that they will need to repay ineligible amounts. The decision letter also provides recourse options if the individual disagrees with the CRA’s decision.
    Following a decision letter, the applicant will receive a notice of redetermination. Notices of redetermination inform applicants of debts or credits that have been established on their CRA accounts related to COVID-19 individual benefits. Once these debts have been established, only then may collection activities begin.
    For these reasons, the CRA is unable to respond in the manner requested.
Question No. 1079—
Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille:
    With regard to temporary reductions in service hours at certain Canadian border crossings due to the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) which Quebec border crossings (i) temporarily reduced their service hours, (ii) have returned to their pre-pandemic service hours; and (b) what is the justification for the current service hours posted for each of the border crossings in (a)?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a)(i), border crossings in the Quebec region that reduced their operating hours due to the pandemic are Chartierville, Frelighsburg, Hemmingford, Highwater, Lacolle Route 221, Lacolle Route 223, Stanstead Route 143, Clarenceville, Morses Line and Trout River.
    With regard to part (a)(ii), Lacolle Route 223 has returned to its prepandemic operating hours. Prepandemic, Clarenceville border crossing operated from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. This port of entry has since returned to operating from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    With regard to part (b), in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBSA temporarily reduced service hours at certain Canadian border crossings, including the ports of entry at Chartierville, Frelighsburg, Hemmingford, Highwater, Lacolle Route 221, Lacolle Route 223, Stanstead Route 143, Morses Line and Trout River.
    The CBSA is taking a phased and measured approach to restoring border operations. The key consideration was to ensure the CBSA was positioned to deal with a return of volumes at major ports of entry as COVID measures were incrementally lifted, including in the land environment. The CBSA has restored services to pre-COVID levels in the air and maritime environments and is currently preparing for the highway land environment as the final area to adjust.
Question No. 1082—
Mr. Richard Cannings:
    With regard to the government’s commitment in the Fall Economic Statement 2022 to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses: (a) when does the government intend to begin negotiations with payment card networks, financial institutions, acquirers, payment processors, and businesses; (b) with whom does the government plan to negotiate; (c) if known, on which dates will the negotiations in (b) occur; and (d) has the government set a deadline after which it will introduce amendments to the Payment Cards Network Act if an agreed upon solution is not arrived at, and, if so, what is the date?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as announced in the 2022 fall economic statement, the government is working with the payment card industry and businesses to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses in a manner that does not adversely affect other businesses and protects existing reward points for consumers. The government is moving quickly and has initiated discussions with payment card networks, financial institutions, acquirers, payment processors and business associations.
    Concurrent with the fall economic statement announcement, the government released draft legislative amendments to the Payment Card Networks Act and indicated that should the industry not come to an agreement in the coming months, it would introduce legislation at the earliest possible opportunity in the new year and move forward with regulating credit card transaction fees.
Question No. 1087—
Mr. Luc Berthold:
    With regard to the Lac-Megantic rail bypass project: (a) what is the latest detailed timeline for the project between now and the projected completion date; (b) what is the latest estimate on the total cost of the project; (c) what is the current breakdown of how much funding, in percentage and total dollar amount values, will come from (i) the government, (ii) the Province of Quebec, (iii) other sources, broken down by source; and (d) what are the details of all communication between the Canadian Pacific Railway and the government about the project since 2018, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) type of communication, (v) title, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) summary of the response, if applicable?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), Transport Canada will continue to work with all stakeholders involved, including the Government of Quebec, the municipalities, and the Canadian Pacific Railway, toward the rapid completion of the Lac-Mégantic bypass. The project is being undertaken with consideration of the community and seeks to maintain broad social acceptability.
    Canadian Pacific, with the support of Transport Canada, is currently completing the application to the Canadian Transportation Agency to secure regulatory approval. Concurrently, Transport Canada is working with Public Services and Procurement Canada to complete the land acquisition required for the project. Finally, Transport Canada and Canadian Pacific are currently negotiating the construction contribution agreement for the project. These steps must be completed before construction of the rail bypass can commence.
    Prior to construction, Canadian Pacific will launch a request for proposals, which will be undertaken for four months.
    Once regulatory approvals have been secured and all necessary lands acquired and transferred to Canadian Pacific, construction will begin and is anticipated to take approximately 36 months to complete.
    Following the commissioning of the bypass, the existing track will be dismantled, which is expected to take 12-18 months.
    These times were publicly shared with the community during the June 2022 information session and the November 2022 public consultation.
    In response to part (b), on May 11, 2018, the Government of Canada announced that the construction costs of the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass were estimated at $133 million.
    As part of the 2022 federal budget, $237.2 million was allocated to Transport Canada over five years for the construction of the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass, the dismantling of the existing track and the implementation of environmental measures.
    On December 20, 2022, the Prime Minister and the Quebec premier agreed that, in the context of high inflation and other factors, both governments would increase their funding for infrastructure projects, including the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass, all in the same ratios as initially announced.
    Total project costs are not available at this time. Transport Canada is currently negotiating the construction contribution agreement with Canadian Pacific, which will include an updated project budget.
    In response to part (c), the Government of Canada confirmed on May 11, 2018, that it would fund 60% of the construction costs of the Lac-Mégantic bypass, estimated at $133 million at the time. The Government of Quebec has confirmed that it will fund 40% of this amount.
    As part of the 2022 federal budget, $237.2 million was allocated to Transport Canada over five years, starting in 2022–23, for the construction of the Lac-Mégantic bypass, the dismantling of the existing track and the implementation of environmental measures.
    The Prime Minister and the Premier of Quebec met on December 20, 2022, and agreed that both governments would increase their funding for the construction of the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass, all in the same ratios as initially announced. The funding agreement will need to be finalized with the Government of Quebec. There are no other sources of funding for this project.
    In response to part (d), Transport Canada undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. Transport Canada concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
Question No. 1091—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) is VAC aware of any veterans having died as a result of assisted suicide or euthanasia since the practice became legal, and, if so, how many; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what efforts were made by VAC to investigate whether any veterans who died as a result of assisted suicide or euthanasia did so after receiving end-of-life advice from VAC; and (c) of any investigation made in (b), what were the findings?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), veterans are not required to inform Veterans Affairs Canada, VAC, of their intentions to use medical assistance in dying, MAID, in advance, and their spouses, families and legal representatives are under no obligation to inform VAC of a veteran’s decision following their passing. However, VAC is aware that some veterans have died as a result of using the legislated process for MAID since the practice became legal on June 17, 2016. This remains a conversation between a veteran and their primary care provider. VAC cannot determine, definitively, how many veterans have used MAID. VAC does not specifically track cause of death; however, families can occasionally make VAC aware of cause of death.
    In response to (b), there is no evidence that MAID was ever discussed inappropriately with these veterans or the families by any VAC employee. A thorough and manual deep-dive review was conducted on each instance, including references to medical assistance in dying, file reviews and discussions with VAC employees who potentially had interactions with the veterans. As part of the investigation ordered by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, VAC has also reviewed and analyzed 402,000 unique client files dating back to 2016 across its systems: client service delivery network, GC Case and My VAC Account, as well as correspondence and case notes.
    In response to (c), there is no evidence that MAID was ever discussed inappropriately with these veterans or the families by any VAC employee. A thorough and manual deep-dive review was conducted on each instance, including references to medical assistance in dying, file reviews and discussions with VAC employees who potentially had interactions with the veterans. As part of the investigation ordered by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, VAC has also reviewed and analyzed 402,000 unique client files dating back to 2016 across its systems: client service delivery network, GC Case and My VAC Account, as well as correspondence and case notes.
Question No. 1095—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to grants provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, or the National Research Council Canada, broken down by year, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of each grant awarded, including, for each (i) the date, (ii) the amount, (iii) the recipient, (iv) the project description, (v) the start and end date of the project, (vi) whether the grant was co-financed by a third party or commercial partner, and, if so, what is the financing arrangement; (vii) whether the project has resulted in patents, and, if so, who owns them?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the National Research Council Canada, NRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NSERC, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's, SSHRC, funding is proactively disclosed and published in the Open Government portal at https://search.open.canada.ca/en/gc/, one month after the end of each quarter of a fiscal year for data from 2017 to the present.
    The next proactive disclosure report covering grants paid from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 will be uploaded to Open Government in January 2023.
    The NRC did not have grant programs prior to 2017. The collaborative science, technology, and innovation programs, CSTIP, program was established in 2018 and therefore there is no data to report.
    For NSERC grants prior to 2017, the data is also available at https://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/c1b0f627-8c29-427c-ab73-33968ad9176e.
    Prior to April 1, 2017, SSHRC’s funding was proactively disclosed on its website: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/transparency-transparence/disclosure-divulgation/grants-subventions/grants-subventions-eng.aspx.
    NSERC collaborates with national or international agencies, government departments and organizations across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver joint funding initiatives. Partner organizations on joint initiatives must comply with the following polices as applicable: guidelines for organizations participating in research partnerships, available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/policies-politiques/orgpartners-orgpartenaires_eng.asp; college and community innovation program partnership guidelines, available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/policies-politiques/cci_partners-icc_partenaires_eng.asp; alliance grants, role of partner organizations, available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Innovate-Innover/alliance-alliance/role_of_partner_organizations-role_des_organismes_partenaires_eng.asp#roleofpartner; and alliance grants, terms and conditions of applying for partner organizations, available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/_doc/alliance/TC-Partners_e.pdf.
    NSERC’s policy on intellectual property for grants is available at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/ip-pi_eng.asp. Each post-secondary institution has its own policy related to intellectual property that dictates who owns the rights.
    SSHRC collaborates with national or international agencies, government departments and organizations across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver joint funding initiatives: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/joint_initiatives-initiatives_conjointes-eng.aspx. Partner organizations on joint initiatives must agree to comply with SSHRC’s regulations governing grant applications, available at https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/policies-politiques/grant_regulations-reglements_subventionaires-eng.aspx, and the joint initiative must meet conditions set out in the guidelines for setting up joint initiatives with SSHRC, available at https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/partnerships-partenariats/joint_initiatives-initiatives_conjointes-eng.aspx. Joint initiatives funded by SSHRC are proactively disclosed and published by SSHRC on Open Government with the name of the joint initiative included in the publication.
    SSHRC’s policy on intellectual property and copyright for grants is available at the following links: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/policies-politiques/g_copyright-s_droits_auteur-eng.aspx and https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/policies-politiques/f_copyright-b_droits_auteur-eng.aspx.
    Though NSERC and SSHRC fund research that may result in patents, the patents are owned by academic institutions or third parties/companies, not NSERC and SSHRC.
    At this time, there are no issued patents that resulted from CSTIP grants. Information regarding terms applicable to intellectual property funded by NRC grants and contributions can be found on the NRC’s website: https://nrc.canada.ca/en/research-development/research-collaboration/grant-contribution-funding-collaborators.
Question No. 1097—
Mr. Marty Morantz:
    With regard to the government's response to findings from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the 2022 Fall Economic Statement included $14.2 billion in new measures without providing specific details on this spending: what is the itemized breakdown of how the $14.2 billion will be spent, by year?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in an effort to be transparent, the 2022 fall economic statement, FES, included provisions for anticipated funding pressures of a sensitive, pending, or uncertain nature. This includes but is not limited to amounts subject to negotiation, like contracts or litigation, as well as anticipated pressures that were expected to materialize in the near term, when developing the fall economic statement 2022, such as funding for the Indo-Pacific strategy and the national adaptation strategy, and biodiversity funding announced during COP15.
    The $14.2-billion figure that the Parliamentary Budget Officer is referring to is the sum of two items in the 2022 fall economic statement, which can be found at https://www.budget.canada.ca/fes-eea/2022/report-rapport/FES-EEA-2022-en.pdf. An $8.5-billion provision, over six years, for anticipated near-term pressures is shown on page 17 of the statement, and the total net fiscal impact of non-announced measures, which is $5.7 billion over six years, is reported on page 66 of the statement.
    The $8.5-billion provision for anticipated near-term pressures is a provision for possible decisions the government would take in the near term following the fall economic statement. For further clarity, it is not a prudence provision for economic risk. The government reports on the creation or use of provisions in budgets and updates.
    For non-announced measures, the $5.7-billion total reflects the aggregate fiscal impact of items that were deemed confidential at the time of print and could not be publicly disclosed. These may include, for example, funding decisions associated with national security, commercial sensitivity, contract negotiations and litigation issues.
Question No. 1098—
Mr. Richard Lehoux:
    With regard to the tariff on fertilizer originating from Russia: how much revenue has been collected as a result of the tariff on purchase orders which were made (i) prior to March 2, 2022, (ii) on or since March 2, 2022, (iii) in total?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, customs duties and taxes are assessed based on the time of importation of goods, as opposed to the date of when they are purchased. The government does not have information on when purchase orders were made.
    Since the general tariff of 35% took effect on virtually all goods imported from Russia on March 2, 2022, fertilizer importations with a value for duty of $95.8 million resulted in a total value of customs duties collected of $33.5 million. There have been no commercial importations of fertilizer from Russia into Canada since May 2022.
    On June 27, at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Elmau, Germany, Canada and other G7 members committed to explore possible pathways to use tariff revenues on imports from Russia and Belarus to assist Ukraine. Further to this commitment, on December 13, 2022, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced that Canada will provide these funds to Ukraine to help repair Kyiv’s power grid.
    Effective June 20, 2022, the Government of Canada also provided additional interest-free relief under the advance payment program. This change is forecasted to save producers $75.7 million, over two program years, to offset the rising costs of inputs, including fertilizers.
    The government is working with representatives from the sector to determine the best mechanisms to reinvest the equivalent of the amount on fertilizer imports into the sector.
Question No. 1100—
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to exemptions from Treasury Board guidelines in relation to the ArriveCAN application: (a) which exemptions did the Canada Border Services Agency or any other entity apply for; and (b) for each application in (a), was the exemption granted or denied?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the CBSA did not apply for any exemptions from the Treasury Board Secretariat in regard to the ArriveCAN application.
Question No. 1109—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the government’s procurement of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen in November 2022: did the government purchase any bottles of acetaminophen or ibuprofen directly, with the intention to resell and give those units to retailers, and, if so, what are the details of all contracts, including the (i) total amount paid, (ii) number of units procured, (iii) price per unit, (iv) signatories to the contract?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the November announcement related to the additional supply of acetaminophen and ibuprofen being available in Canada refers to the private sector-led importation of foreign-labelled product. No federal procurement took place in this regard.
Question No. 1110—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the government’s procurement of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen in November 2022: (a) of the units procured by the government, how many are being distributed to (i) for-profit retailers, (ii) non-profits or charitable institutions, (iii) medical clinics and hospitals; (b) what were the total costs incurred by Health Canada to approve the import of foreign supplies of acetaminophen and ibuprofen; and (c) does the government expect reimbursements from for-profit retailers for any costs incurred by the government for acquiring these emergency supplies?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the November announcement related to the additional supply of acetaminophen and ibuprofen being available in Canada refers to the private sector-led importation of foreign-labelled product. No federal procurement took place in this regard, nor were there incremental costs incurred by the Government of Canada.
    Addressing the complex issue of drug shortages requires collaborative action from provinces and territories, manufacturers, distributors, health care professionals, and the federal government. Health Canada has been working closely with manufacturers, provinces and territories, and stakeholders across the health care system on mitigation strategies to limit the impact of this shortage. This includes actively working to identify options to increase supply. Domestic manufacturing is now at record levels, and nearly 1.9 million units of foreign-labelled product have been authorized for importation to Canada. To date, the department has approved eight proposals to import foreign products. For updates, please visit “Infant and children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen shortage” at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medical-devices/safe-use-medication-for-children/infant-childrens-acetaminophen-ibuprofen-shortage.html. This web page is updated as information on more products becomes available.
    To help mitigate and prevent drug shortage, our government continues to support domestic manufacturing. Health Canada is actively working with distributors and retailers to promote fair distribution of supply across Canada. A particular focus of this effort has been to ensure that rural, remote, and indigenous populations have access to these needed medicines.
Question No. 1112—
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
    With regard to government measures to stop the importation of goods made using forced Uyghur labour in China, since 2016: (a) how many times have such goods been intercepted or seized at points of entry by the Canada Border Services Agency or the RCMP; and (b) what are the details of each instance in (a), including (i) the date, (ii) the description of goods, including quantity, (iii) the estimated value of the goods, (iv) the point of entry or location, (v) what happened to the intercepted or seized goods, (vi) the charges laid related to the interception or seizure?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, from January 1, 2016 to December 12, 2022, the CBSA has not intercepted or seized any goods made using forced Uighur labour in China.
    The RCMP does not have a mandate to seize items at ports of entry. This authority resides with the CBSA.
Question No. 1118—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to expanding access to safer alternatives to illegal substances: (a) is the government actively developing a national safer supply program; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) what steps have been completed or initiated to date, (ii) what, if any, timelines have been established in relation to this goal; and (c) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, has the mandate of the Expert Advisory Group on Safer Supply been amended to include leading the design of a national safer supply program?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to question (a) above, provincial, territorial and indigenous governments are primarily responsible for management, organization, and delivery of health care services to their populations. This includes drug treatment and harm reduction services, procurement of prescription drugs, and drug plan formularies. Provinces and territories are best placed to plan and deliver safer supply services that are responsive to the needs of their populations. As of December 2022, Health Canada has supported 28 safer supply pilot projects across Canada through the substance use and addictions program, SUAP, representing total funding commitments of over $77 million. Our government is supporting them as a partner in the delivery of such services and is constantly engaging with them to see how it can better assist them. That is why a national safer supply program led by the federal government is not being developed.
Question No. 1123—
Mr. Ryan Williams:
    With regard to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the $8,831,029,798 raised by the June 2021 3,500Mhz Wireless Spectrum Auction: (a) where are these revenues projected to be spent, broken down by (i) program, (ii) amount; (b) are any of these funds projected to be spent on programs related to expanding internet or wireless connectivity for Canadians; and (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what are the details, broken down by (i) program, (ii) amount, (iii) province, (iv) number of Canadians affected?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Radiocommunication Act does not give the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry the power to allocate auction payments for a particular purpose. As such, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada does not keep auction revenues. They are remitted to the consolidated revenue fund, where they are used to support government priorities and initiatives that benefit Canadians.
Question No. 1131—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency and linkage studies that link citizens who complete the census with tax data: what are the details of all such studies which have taken place since January 1, 2018, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the methodology, (iii) the scope, including the number of individuals whose data was linked, (iv) the topics studied, (v) the findings, (vi) who conducted the study?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question, here is the response from the CRA for the time period of January 1, 2018, to December 12, 2022, which is the date of the question.
    With regard to part (i), since January 1, 2018, only one linkage rate study has been undertaken in 2022 by Statistics Canada since there was only one census during this period, the 2021 census. This study linked individual tax data for the 2020 tax year to 2021 census data. The first results of this study were provided to the CRA by Statistics Canada in October 2022. The initial review is focused on indigenous peoples’ participation in Canada’s tax and benefit system. The focus of the linkage rate study is being expanded to include linked data from other population segments that comprise vulnerable or hard-to-reach populations.
    With regard to part (ii), the methodology is as follows. Statistics Canada links census data to individual tax data for the population aged 15 and over, using social insurance number and census subdivision to determine participation in the tax and benefit system.
    Only people in both databases are linked. The Canadian population who participated in the tax system are those who were enumerated in the 2021 census and completed the T1 income tax form in 2020, and non-filers are identified as those who received a T4 form or other tax slips but did not complete their T1 income tax form in 2020.
    The results for participation in benefits are expected by spring 2023. This methodology for participation in the Canada child benefit, or the CCB, is based on the percentage of families who received CCB benefits out of the total number of families with children under the age of 18 and who meet the other eligibility requirements.
    With regard to part (iii), for the participation in the tax system, the population linked who participated in the tax system is defined as persons aged 15 and over in the 2021 census and who filed a T1 form in 2020. The total population of T1 filers was 25,776,480 people. Of them, 869,755 people were indigenous, with 179,970 people from the indigenous population living on reserves.
    The total population linked is persons aged 15 and over in the 2021 census linked to CRA datasets, for example, T4, T5007 or T2202. The total population of linked individuals was 28,877,725 people. Of them, 1,055,695 people were indigenous, with 235,280 people from that indigenous population living on reserves.
    With regard to part (iv), the study will provide the participation rate in the tax system for indigenous peoples at the national, provincial, city and reserve level compared to non-indigenous; the CCB take-up rate for indigenous peoples at the national, provincial, city and reserve level compared to non-indigenous peoples; and the participation rate by indigenous group, that is, first nations, Métis and Inuit, and other important demographic variables such as age and income group.
    With regard to part (v), the findings are as follows. First results show a participation gap in the tax system between the non-indigenous and indigenous population at the national and provincial level. The participation rate at the national level in the tax system was estimated at 89.3% for all Canadians, 82.4% for indigenous peoples and 76.5% on reserves. The first results for CCB benefit take-up are expected in spring 2023.
    With regard to part (vi), the study was conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the CRA.
Question No. 1133—
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to statistics held by the government related to entities engaging in blending operations of renewable fuel and petroleum fuel in Canada: (a) what are the details of all known blending operations in Canada, including locations; (b) for each blending location, what are the countries of origin of the renewable feedstock; and (c) what percentage of renewable fuel used in Canadian blending operations originated from each country, broken down by year since 2015?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada does not publish location, facility or establishment-level information for the details of all known blending operations in Canada, nor the countries of origin of the renewable feedstock, nor information on the percentage of renewable fuel used in Canadian blending operations originated from each country.
    Statistics Canada publishes monthly aggregated statistics for Canada, province or territory on the supply and disposition of petroleum and other liquids in Canada in table 25-10-0081 of “Petroleum and other liquids, supply and disposition, monthly” on statcan.gc.ca. Data are available for net production, imports, stock change, net inputs, exports, products supplied and ending stocks of petroleum products, hydrocarbon gas liquids and other liquids, including renewable biofuels. This table includes data on blender inputs of fuel ethanol and renewable fuels except ethanol, for example, biodiesel.
    Statistics Canada publishes monthly aggregated statistics for Canada on the activities of all establishments engaged in the production of renewable biofuel liquids in table 25-10-0082 of “Renewable fuel plant statistics, supply and disposition, monthly” on statcan.gc.ca. Data are available for stocks, receipts and inputs of feedstocks, including cereal grains, vegetable oils and other feedstocks. Data are also available for the production and shipments of fuel ethanol and renewable fuels except ethanol, for example, biodiesel.
    In addition, the “Report on Energy Supply and Disposition” includes annual aggregated statistics for renewable fuels for Canada, geographical region of Canada or province or territory starting in reference year 2020. This total includes only ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel, and can be found in table 25-10-0030 of “Supply and demand of primary and secondary energy in natural units” on statcan.gc.ca; and table 25-10-0029 of “Supply and demand of primary and secondary energy in terajoules, annual” on statcan.gc.ca.
    Finally, for information on the origin of Canadian imports, including renewable fuels, please see “Canadian International Merchandise Trade Web Application – Imports” on statcan.gc.ca.
    This application allows users to select reference periods, provinces and commodities of interest. For ethanol, select harmonized system, HS, codes 2207.20.12.10 and 2207.10.00.10. For biodiesel, select 3826.00.00.00, and for renewable diesel, select 2710.19.99.93.
    Environment and Climate Change Canada, ECCC, may publish related information in “Renewable Fuels Regulations report: En11-16E-PDF” on Government of Canada Publications, Canada.ca.
    All cited data and information are publicly available.
Question No. 1136—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), since January 1, 2021: (a) what were the costs incurred during the due diligence period for the Lake Erie Connector Project, broken down by category and type of expenditure; (b) what is the summary of the terms of the project agreement with ITC Holdings Corporation; (c) what were the justifications provided to the CIB for the suspension of the Lake Erie Connector Project; (d) on what date was the CIB informed of the Lake Erie Connector Project’s suspension; and (e) on what date was the Minister of Infrastructure or his staff informed of the Lake Erie Connector Project’s suspension?
Ms. Jennifer O’Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, or CIB, and part (a) of the question, the CIB incurred costs in the amount of $875,332.62 in professional fees to conduct due diligence on the Lake Erie connector project. These costs are comprised of legal expenses and technical advisory expenses. Total due diligence costs incurred represent less than 0.1% of the CIB’s previously announced investment commitment in the Lake Erie connector project and are aligned with reasonable costs and expenses incurred by other private sector and institutional investors to support technical and legal due diligence activities related to financial transactions in infrastructure projects.
    With respect to part (b), commercial negotiations relating to the Lake Erie connector project have been suspended at this time. The CIB did not conclude a definitive project agreement with ITC Holding Corporation, the project proponent of the Lake Erie connector project, for the project to reach the financial close milestone, and no CIB financing has been provided in respect of the project. The CIB had previously announced an investment commitment in the amount of up to $650 million to the Lake Erie connector project. The CIB makes investment commitments to support proponents advancing their projects toward a final investment decision and to secure additional financing to enable the project to achieve financial close.
    With respect to part (c), as reported in Fortis Inc.’s press release regarding its second-quarter earnings dated July 28, 2022, ITC Holding Corporation suspended development activities and commercial negotiations due to recent macroeconomic conditions that have impacted the proponent’s ability to secure a viable transmission service agreement within the required timeline. As such, the CIB has removed this project from its total of CIB investment commitments, given that the conditions that are required for an investment commitment are not presently being met. The CIB remains committed to the project’s positive outcomes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the reliability and security of Ontario’s electricity grid. The CIB remains available to the project proponent as necessary to continue discussions should project development activities resume.
    With respect to part (d), representatives from ITC Holding Corporation notified the CIB after the close of business on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, that a press release would be issued the next day to provide an update on the Lake Erie connector project and inform market participants that ITC Holding Corporation suspended all project development activities and commercial negotiations on the project due to recent macroeconomic conditions.
    With respect to part (e), a press release announcing the Lake Erie connector project’s suspension was issued on July 28, 2022. The CIB communicated this information to Infrastructure Canada officials in August as part of the CIB’s regular engagement with Infrastructure Canada officials to provide an update on the CIB’s results and information included in the CIB’s quarterly financial reporting. The CIB’s quarterly financial report for Q1 fiscal 2022-23, which was published on the CIB’s website on August 29, 2022, includes subsequent events note disclosure regarding the announcement of the suspension of the Lake Erie connector project in late July 2022.
Question No. 1137—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the five-year review of the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act: (a) what is the status of the government’s five-year review; (b) what are the details of the review plan, including the (i) plan summary, (ii) stakeholders consulted to date and to be consulted, (iii) consultants or experts engaged and to be engaged, (iv) metrics by which the government is assessing the CIB’s performance, (v) formal meetings or initiatives taken place to date, (vi) formal meetings or initiatives scheduled to take place; (c) what plans does the government have to (i) consult the public, (ii) provide the public with details of the review; and (d) to what extent is the government considering the single recommendation of the third report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in its assessment of the CIB under the Act?
Ms. Jennifer O’Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following is with regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, or CIB, and the five-year review of the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act.
    With respect to part (a), the first legislative review of the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act, or CIB Act, was started in June 2022 and is being led by Infrastructure Canada. The review will culminate in a report tabled in Parliament by the designated minister in June 2023.
    With respect to part (b), as per the legislation, the legislative review will examine the provisions and operations of the CIB Act and is an opportunity to recognize the progress made to date and the evolution of the bank over the last five years. The review will look to assess whether the policy premises and context that underpinned the creation of the CIB are still sound and pertinent, whether the CIB’s legislated mandate and authorities to support its operations remain relevant in the context of the evolving policy and infrastructure landscape and whether any changes or clarifications are warranted to position the CIB for the future.
    Additional records requested would be subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act, namely subsection 21(1) on advice, recommendations, deliberations and/or plans; subsection 20(1) on third party information; and potentially section 69 on cabinet confidences. This is because the legislative review is in process and includes developing advice and recommendations for the designated minister and could contain confidences of the King’s Privy Council for Canada that are not releasable at this time.
    With respect to part (c), Infrastructure Canada officials are conducting targeted engagement with key stakeholders to inform the review. These include provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous partners; key market participants; and other relevant organizations. As per the act, a report on the findings of the review must be tabled by the designated minister before each House of Parliament in June 2023.
    With respect to part (d), the government’s response to the third report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was tabled on September 15, 2022. The government disagreed with the committee’s recommendation to abolish the CIB. The response can be found on the House of Commons website. The government response highlights the progress made by the Canada Infrastructure Bank to date in getting more infrastructure financed and built for Canadians, and notes its importance as a key tool in the government’s tool kit to close Canada’s infrastructure gap and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Question No. 1141—
Ms. Heather McPherson:
    With regard to the number of funding applications through international development projects processed by Global Affairs Canada: what percentage of successful and complete applications received by the department were processed within the department's stated delivery standards?
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    Global Affairs Canada tracks and publishes predefined service standards annually for the delivery of grants and contributions, precisely for funding under the international development assistance program. This can be found at https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/funding-financement/service_standards_pilot_project-projet_pilote_normes_service.aspx?lang=eng. The service standard is to inform applicants of funding decisions within 10 business days. This service standard represents the time the department takes to communicate a funding decision to successful applicants following an approval. For fiscal year 2021-22, the department reached an 87% compliance rate.
Question No. 1143—
Mr. Matthew Green:
    With regard to the government’s remote work policy, broken down by department and agency: (a) what is the total number of employees who are currently working (i) entirely from home, (ii) in a hybrid format; (b) what is the total number of employees under a formal remote work arrangement; (c) what is the total number of remote work arrangements (i) requested, (ii) approved, (iii) denied; (d) what is the total number of employees fully working in their regular workplace, broken down by classification and level; (e) what is the total number of employees using formal flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours, compressed hours, or variable hours; and (f) what is the total number of flexible work arrangements (i) requested, (ii) approved, (iii) declined?
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s remote work policy, as it relates to the data requested, the information is not systematically tracked in a centralized database.
    It should be noted that the federal public service is adopting a common hybrid work model that will see employees work on site at least two to three days each week, or 40% to 60% of their regular schedule. This new model will apply to all of the core public administration, and it is strongly recommended that separate agencies adopt a similar strategy.
    While many public servants are already working on site at least two to three days a week, this new approach will represent a change for others. To allow departments and employees to smoothly transition to a common hybrid model, a phased introduction will begin on January 16, 2023, with full implementation by March 31, 2023.
    Deputy heads assume responsibility for implementing verification regimes and maintaining human resources data for their department or agency.

  (1535)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I missed the part before Question No. 1100. Could the parliamentary secretary just repeat the first section? I have been trying to—
    I want to thank the hon. member for pointing out that he missed it.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary, please continue.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the member would like a copy, I would be pleased to provide him with a full list of the numbers.
    If a revised response to Question No. 881, originally tabled on December 2, 2022, and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 956, 966, 968, 970 to 973, 975 to 978, 981, 982, 984, 985, 988 to 999, 1002 to 1007, 1010 to 1012, 1014, 1016 to 1018, 1020, 1023 to 1025, 1027 to 1033, 1035 to 1037, 1039, 1041 to 1044, 1046, 1047, 1051, 1052, 1054 to 1058, 1061 to 1063, 1066, 1069, 1071 to 1073, 1077, 1080, 1081, 1083 to 1086, 1088 to 1090, 1092 to 1094, 1096, 1099, 1101 to 1108, 1111, 1113 to 1117, 1119 to 1122, 1124 to 1130, 1132, 1134, 1135, 1138 to 1140, 1142, 1144 and 1145 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 881—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the ArriveCAN application: (a) what are the details of all contracts the government awarded in relation to the development or operation of ArriveCAN, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods and services provided; (b) for each contract in (a), was it sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; (c) for each contract awarded through a competitive bidding process, how many qualifying bids were received; (d) for each sole-sourced contract, why was it sole-sourced and who made the final decision about which vendor would receive the contract; (e) what measures, if any, were in place to ensure that the government was being charged a fair market value; and (f) does the government plan on recovering any of the amounts that it paid which were higher than fair market value in relation to any of the ArriveCAN contracts, and, if so, what are the details, including which contracts and what amounts it expects to recover?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 965—
Mr. Dan Mazier:
    With regard to the government’s $2.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund: (a) how much of the $2.75 billion has actually been delivered to date; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by Rapid Response Stream fundings versus core fund; (c) of the Rapid Response Stream funding delivered to date, what is the breakdown by province or territory; (d) of the core funding delivered to date, what is the breakdown by province or territory; (e) which organizations or other entities have received Rapid Response Stream funding to date, and how much did each receive; and (f) which organizations or other entities have received core funding to date, and how much did each receive?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 966—
Mr. Glen Motz:
    With regard to the reforms to the superior courts judicial appointments process announced by the government in 2016: what are the details of all memoranda and documents sent from or received by the Office of the Prime Minister, the Privy Council Office or the Department of Justice, including the minister’s office, about the judicial appointments process between January 1, 2016, and October 31, 2016, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) type of document, (vi) summary of contents?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 968—
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
    With regard to the temporary resident programs of the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) for the calendar years 2019-2021, broken down by month: (a) what is the number of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) applications received, broken down by international student study permit holders, temporary foreign workers, International Mobility Program, and visitor visas; (b) what is the number of TRV applications received, broken down by channel, including, but not limited to, telephone, in person, mail, online, other; (c) what is the number of TRVs issued, broken down by international student study permit holders, temporary foreign workers, International Mobility Program, and visitor visas; (d) what is the number of Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) applications received broken down by channel, including, but not limited to, telephone, in person, mail, online, other; (e) what is the number of eTAs issued; (f) what is the number of backlogged TRV applications, broken down by international student study permit holders, temporary foreign workers, International Mobility Program, and visitor visas; (g) what is the number of backlogged eTA applications; (h) at the most detailed level possible, what is the number of IRCC full time equivalent employees working in the temporary resident programs, broken down by the various program streams, including, but not limited to, study permit holders, temporary foreign workers, International Mobility Program, visitor visas, and general administration; and (i) at the most detailed level possible, what is the IRCC's total budget and spending for the temporary resident programs, broken down by the various program streams (study permit holders, temporary foreign workers, International Mobility Program, visitor visas, and general administration)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 970—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the First Nations On-Reserve Housing Program, broken down by reserve and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) how much funding was (i) requested, (ii) delivered, through the program; and (b) what is the total number of new homes built with contributions from the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 971—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to ministerial loan guarantees used to secure loans to build, purchase or renovate on-reserve housing, broken down by fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what is the total number and dollar value of loans requested; (b) what is the total number and dollar value of loans in (a) that have been (i) committed, (ii) disbursed; and (c) how many total borrowers in (a) defaulted on loans, and what was the total loan amount that was defaulted on?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 972—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s investigations into overseas tax evasion and the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and Pandora Papers, broken down by paper and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) how many audits were initiated into Canadian companies; (b) how many of the audits in (a) are (i) currently under review, (ii) closed; (c) what was the average processing time for audits in (a); (d) what is the total cost of the audits in (a); (e) how many of the audits in (a) led to criminal investigations; and (f) what is the dollar value of sums recovered from each audit in (a)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 973—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to the RCMP’s delay in provision of pay stubs or tax notices: (a) why did the RCMP or the government not provide pay stubs or tax notices to members of the RCMP from the suspension of delivery of pay stubs or tax notices by epost to the delivery of pay stubs or tax notices by Gilmore Docuscan; (b) how long was or will be the time period between the end of delivery of pay stubs or tax notices by epost and delivery of pay stubs or tax notices by Gilmore Docuscan; (c) how many members of the RCMP did not or will not receive their pay stubs or tax notices during this period; (d) what are the details of discussions or meetings about this delay, including (i) violation of employment standards legislation, (ii) condition of employment, (iii) tax implications for members; (e) what departments, agencies, offices and individuals were involved in this issue; and (f) what supporting documents exist regarding this issue, including, but not limited to emails, texts, briefing notes, memos and reports, and what are the details of such documents?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 975—
Mrs. Tracy Gray:
    With regard to the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program: (a) what is the number of organizations that have applied to the program prior to the closing date; (b) what was the total value of funding requests received; (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by province or territory; (d) what was the number of organizations which have been approved for the program; (e) what was the dollar value of the funding (i) approved, (ii) transferred to the recipient, as of November 11, 2022; (f) what is the breakdown of (d) and (e) by province or territory; (g) what is the number of approved organizations which have already received funding through the program; (h) what is the eligibility of charitable or non-profit organizations for this program; (i) what are the details of all projects and entities funded through the program, including, for each, the (i) recipient name, (ii) location, (iii) amount of funding approved, (iv) amount of funding delivered, (v) project description, (vi) start date of the project; and (j) have any third parties outside of Employment and Social Development Canada been given any responsibilities related to the application process or administration of the program, and, if so, what are the details, including for each, the (i) name of the entity, (ii) summary of the mandate or work assigned, (iii) amount of financial compensation provided by the government?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 976—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to all restrictions imposed related to the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) applied to Canadian travellers re-entering Canada from March 2020 until June 2022: (a) how were these changes communicated to Canadians that do not have access to electronic forms of communication, including the Amish and similar communities with dual Canadian-USA citizenship who travel regularly between Canada and the United States; (b) what are the details of all such communication in (a), including, for each, the (i) date issued, (ii) medium (e.g. flyer, newspaper advertisement, direct mail, etc.), (iii) summary of content, (iv) name of the publication if applicable, (v) number of printed communications or circulation level of the publication; (c) what specific measures, if any, were made to ensure that these restrictions were communicated to the Amish and other similar communities in the riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound; and (d) what are the details of all such communications in (c), including, for each, the (i) date issued, (ii) medium, (iii) summary of the communication, (iv) name of the publication (if applicable), (v) number of printed communications or circulation level of the publication?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 977—
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to government expenditures made to the big three credit rating agencies (S&P Global Ratings, Moody's and Fitch Group) since January 1, 2016: what are the details of any such expenditures, including, for each, the (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) reason for the expenditure, (v) goods or services provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 978—
Mr. Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe:
    With regard to the awarding of contracts by the government to the private firm McKinsey: (a) how many contracts were awarded by the government to the private firm McKinsey; and (b) what is the value and nature of each of these contracts?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 981—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to applications received under the Northern Ontario Development Program, since 2018, broken down by year the applications were received: (a) how many applicants and what percentage did not receive a decision within 80 days of the government receiving the application; (b) of the applicants in (a), how many organizations were (i) Indigenous-owned or were from Indigenous communities, (ii) non-indigenous owned or were from non-indigenous communities; (c) what is the breakdown of (a) by federal riding in Northern Ontario; and (d) for each instance where the application did not receive a decision within 80 days, what was the reason for the delay?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 982—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to applications received for funding under the Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario, since 2018, broken down by the year the applications were received: (a) how many applicants and what percentage did not receive a decision within 80 days of government receiving the application; (b) of the applicants in (a), how many organizations were (i) Indigenous-owned or were from Indigenous communities, (ii) non-indigenous owned or were from non-indigenous communities; (c) what is the breakdown of (a) by federal riding in Northern Ontario; and (d) for each instance where the application did not receive a decision within 80 days, what was the reason for the delay?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 984—
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to proposals in Canada related to liquefied natural gas active since November 4, 2015, which were received or known by the government: (a) what are the details of all the proposals received or known by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), including, for each, (i) the date the proposal was received by NRCan, (ii) the date NRCan was made aware of the proposal, (iii) the summary of the proposal, (iv) who made the proposal, (v) the decisions made by the government related to the proposal, including the date of each, (vi) the current status of the proposal, (vii) the expected date for a decision to be made, if applicable; and (b) what are the details of all proposals received or known by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), including, for each, (i) the date the proposal was received by ECCC, (ii) the date ECCC was made aware of the proposal, (iii) the summary of the proposal, (iv) who made the proposal, (v) the decisions made by the government related to the proposal, including the date of each, (vi) the current status of the proposal, (vii) the date by which a decision is expected to be made, if applicable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 985—
Mr. Randall Garrison:
    With regard to the civilian firefighters working for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Phoenix pay system issues: (a) what is the current annual cost to manually administer payments for DND firefighters; (b) what is the annual cost to manually administer payments for the DND firefighters since the implementation of the Phoenix Pay System; and (c) what is the average number of (i) overtime hours, (ii) paternity and maternity leave days, (iii) acting pay hours, (iv) long-service pay hours and statutory holiday pay hours, claimed per full-time civilian firefighter every year from 2015 to 2021?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 988—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to the Housing Support Program in British Columbia, formerly known as the New Approach for Housing Support program, broken down by community and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) how much funding was requested through the program; (b) how much funding was delivered through the program; and (c) what is the total number of new homes built with contributions from the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 989—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to Indigenous housing: (a) what is the total amount of the $4.3 billion for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund announced in budget 2022 that has been committed to support housing (i) in First Nations on reserves, (ii) in Self-Governing and Modern Treaty Holder First Nations communities, (iii) in Inuit communities, (iv) in Métis communities, (v) as part of an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy; (b) what is the total amount of funding in (a) that has been disbursed; and (c) broken down by program and year since 2017, how much funding for housing has been (i) committed, (ii) disbursed, towards supporting the 87 percent of Indigenous households in Canada who live in urban, rural and northern regions outside of their traditional territories, as identified by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 990—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to the government and the commitment in the Liberal Party election platform to provide $3.2 billion to the provinces and territories for the hiring of new family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners: (a) how much of the $3.2 billion has been provided to date for this purpose; (b) how many (i) family doctors, (ii) nurses, (iii) nurse practitioners, have been hired to date, as a result of this funding; and (c) what is the breakdown of each point in (b) by province or territory?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 991—
Mr. Michael Cooper:
    With regard to the promotion or advertising expenditures related to the ArriveCAN application: (a) what are the total expenditures paid by the government related to advertising, public relations or other types of promotion for the ArriveCAN application; (b) what are the details of all contracts for such services, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods and services provided; (c) for each contract in (b), was it sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; (d) what is the breakdown of ArriveCAN advertising expenses by type of media (television, print, social media, etc.); and (e) what is the breakdown of ArriveCAN social media advertising expenditures by site (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 992—
Mr. Michael Cooper:
    With regard to advertising on social media by the government since 2016, broken down by year: what was the total amount spent by the government for advertisements on (i) Twitter, (ii) Facebook, (iii) TikTok, (iv) lnstagram, (v) Snapchat, (vi) WhatsApp, (vii) Linkedln, (viii) other social media platforms, broken down by platform?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 993—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to all federal funding committed to the creation and maintenance of housing stock in Nunavut, broken down by fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what was the total amount committed; (b) what was the total amount spent; (c) how much new housing stock was created in Nunavut; and (d) what are the government projections on the number of housing units that will be built in Nunavut by 2030?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 994—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to the Nutrition North program, broken down by fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what is the total budget for this program; (b) what portion of the budget in (a) was delivered to (i) for-profit retailers and suppliers, (ii) social institutions, such as schools or daycares, (iii) country food processors or distributors, (iv) food banks and charitable organizations, (v) local food growers; and (c) what actions has the government taken to ensure that funding for this program keeps up with inflation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 995—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to the Harvesters Support Grant and the Community Food Programs Fund, broken down by program and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) how much funding has been allocated to each program to support Northerners’ food priorities and improve conditions for food sovereignty in northern communities; (b) of the funding in (a), how much has been spent; and (c) what actions has the government taken to ensure that funding for these programs keeps pace with inflation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 996—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the annual $250 million sole-sourced security contract extended to the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires by Public Services and Procurement Canada: (a) how much of the $250 million contract was sole sourced to the Ottawa Division of the Commissionaires in 2021; (b) does Commissionaires Ottawa remain exempt from paying income taxes under the Income Tax Act; (c) when was the last time the government confirmed that the Ottawa Division of the Commissionaires maintained the 60 percent veteran ratio required to maintain their status as a sole source provider to the government for security services?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 997—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to funds and military material sent by the government to Ukraine since February 4, 2022: (a) what is the complete list of individually itemized goods already received by Ukraine corresponding to each of the announcements made on (i) February 4, 2022, regarding the donation of protective and load carriage equipment and surveillance and detection equipment, (ii) February 14, 2022, regarding the donation of defensive military equipment, (iii) February 27, 2022, regarding a donation of defensive military aid, (iv) February 28, 2022, regarding the donation of anti-armour weapons systems, (v) March 1, 2022, regarding the donation of meal packs and fragmentation vests, (vi) March 3, 2022, regarding the government's contribution towards the purchase of rocket launchers, hand grenades and high-resolution and modern imagery satellite, (vii) March 9, 2022, regarding the purchase of highly specialized equipment, including cameras for surveillance drones, (viii) April 22, 2022, regarding the delivery of M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, and anti-armour ammunition, (ix) April 26, 2022, regarding a service contract for the maintenance and repair of specialized drone cameras that Canada has already supplied to Ukraine, (x) April 28, 2022, regarding the training of Ukrainian forces on the use of M777 by the Canadian Armed Forces, (xi) May 8, 2022, regarding additional military aid, (xii) May 24, 2022, regarding the donation of artillery rounds and NATO standard ammunition, (xiii) June 15, 2022, regarding replacement barrels, (xiv) June 30, 2022, regarding the donation of additional Wescam drone cameras and armoured combat support vehicles, (xv) November 14, 2022, regarding the $500 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine; (b) what is the date on which each of these items or groups of items were received by Ukraine; (c) what are the quantities of each item received by Ukraine; (d) of the goods received by Ukraine, how many individual pieces of winter kit were sent; and (e) what is the total dollar value of all funds and material received by Ukraine?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 998—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to government contracts with the Westin Calgary Airport hotel and the Acclaim Calgary airport hotel for the provision of quarantine facilities and accommodations during the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by location: (a) on what dates were the contracts for each site signed; (b) what was the end date for each contract; (c) how much has the federal government paid to date for all services provided by these sites, broken down by site, type of cost (meals, security, etc.) and total cost per year; (d) what are the details of any other costs associated with the provision of these quarantine facilities and accommodations at these sites, including, for each, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount paid by the government, (iii) description of goods or services; (e) how many people elected to use these facilities as a designated quarantine facility, broken down by total users per month and year; (f) is the government contractually required to continue paying for any services at these sites following the end of pandemic restrictions, and, if so, what are the details, including amounts of any such required payment; and (g) has the government had to pay either site for any other cost related to the contract, such as damages, upkeep, or renovations, and, if so, what are the details, including dates and amounts of all such costs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 999—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to the funding provided to companies for projects through the Strategic Innovation Fund: (a) which companies have received funding; (b) how much funding did each company receive; and (c) what is the location or address of the headquarters of each company in (a)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1002—
Mr. Doug Shipley:
    With regard to meetings and other communications between the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety or their exempt staff, and the RCMP commissioner, Brenda Lucki, since January 1, 2020: what are the details of all such meetings or other communications, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) type of communication (text message, group chat, in-person meeting, etc.), (iii) participants, (iv) subject matter, (v) agenda items or summary of discussion, (vi) decisions made, if any?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1003—
Mr. John Williamson:
    With regard to the relocation of the Department of National Defense’s (DND) headquarters from the Major-General George R. Pearkes Building, in downtown Ottawa, to the former Nortel campus site, on Carling Avenue: (a) how many DND employees are still working in the downtown location; (b) what is the date by which all of the DND employees in (a) will be moved to the Carling location; (c) what are the ongoing costs associated with keeping the downtown building operational and functional for the DND employees who remain there; and (d) what are the government’s plans for the downtown location, including the (i) description of any planned renovations, including timelines, (ii) costs associated or projected with the renovations, (iii) details of the number of employees, including from which department, expected to work in the building following the completion of the renovations?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1004—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to government expenditures related to the renovation, rehabilitation, or construction of government buildings or properties in the National Capital Region, including within the Parliamentary Precinct, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the total expenditures to date related to the purchase or rental of scaffolding, broken down by year; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by building or location, including the name and address of each?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1005—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to the Canadian delegation at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference: (a) who were the members of the delegation, including, for each, the name of the organization they represented; (b) what are the total costs incurred to date by the government related to the delegation; (c) what are the total costs incurred by the government to date related to the delegation for (i) air transportation, (ii) land transportation, (iii) hotels or other accommodations, (iv) meals, (v) hospitality, (vi) room rentals, (vii) other costs; and (d) of the costs incurred by the government in (c), what was the total amount attributable to delegation members from the oil and gas industry?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1006—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to cleantech transactions signed by Export Development Canada (EDC), broken down by fiscal year since 2018-19: (a) what are the details of each transaction, including the (i) date of signing, (ii) country of transaction, (iii) principal counterpart, (iv) EDC product, (v) industry sector, (vi) financial range; and (b) of the transactions in (a), which transactions were intended to support (i) carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, (ii) blue hydrogen, (iii) grey hydrogen?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1007—
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to relocation applications from Afghan nationals who assisted the Canadian government, as of June 20, 2022: (a) how many applications has the government (i) received, (ii) approved, (iii) rejected; (b) what is the reason for any rejections in (a)(iii); (c) of the applicants in (a), how many (i) remain in Afghanistan, (ii) are waiting in a third country, (iii) are in Canada; and (d) how many relocation applicants is the government aware of who were (i) killed, or presumed killed, (ii) incarcerated, or otherwise punished by the Taliban?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1010—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the government’s promise to plant one billion trees: how many trees were planted to date, broken down by province or territory?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1011—
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
    With regard to the claim by the Prime Minister on November 22, 2022, that “there has never been any information given to me on the funding of federal candidates by China”: has anyone in the Office of the Prime Minister or the Privy Council Office received such information, and, if so, (i) who received the information, (ii) on what date was the information received, (iii) why did that person not inform the Prime Minister?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1012—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), broken down by year since 2018: (a) how many commercial (i) trains, (ii) train cars, crossed into Canada, in total, broken down by point of entry for each year since 2018; (b) how many of the (i) trains, (ii) train cars, in (a) were physically inspected by the CBSA; (c) how many of the inspected (i) trains, (ii) train cars, contained illegal items; and (d) what is the breakdown of illegal items seized from train cars, including the description and the volume of each item seized?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1014—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to government expenditures related to the cleanup of land or ground contamination at airports and aerodromes, broken down by year since 2015: (a) what is the total amount spent on such expenditures; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by airport; and (c) what are the details of each airport cleanup which has been completed since January 1, 2016, or is still ongoing, including, for each, (i) the name and location of the airport or aerodrome, (ii) the start date of the cleanup, (iii) the projected completion date, (iv) the description of the work conducted, (v) whether or not the removal of polyfluoroalkylated substances is part of the cleanup agreement, (vi) the name of the vendor contracted, (vii) the projected cost of the cleanup?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1016—
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to government procurement and contracts for the provision of research or speechwriting services to ministers, since January 1, 2020: (a) what are the details of the contracts, including the (i) start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work, (v) value of contract; and (b) for speechwriting contracts, what are the details, including the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be, delivered, (iv) number of speeches to be written, (v) cost charged per speech?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1017—
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to spending by the government on private investigators, since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each expenditure, including, for each, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount of the contract, (iii) date, (iv) file number, (v) situation overview or the reason for the investigation, (vi) findings of the investigation, if completed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1018—
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to guest speakers or other cases where individuals were contracted by the government to give speeches, either in person, virtually, or both, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all such contracts, including the (i) vendor, (ii) date of the contract (iii) amount of the contract, (iv) number of speeches to be provided per contract, (v) date of the speeches, (vi) topic or purpose of the speech, (vii) location of the speech, (viii) audience, (ix) format (in person, Zoom, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1020—
Ms. Lianne Rood:
    With regard to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario: what was the amount and percentage of all lapsed departmental spending, broken down by fiscal year from 2016-17 to present?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1023—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to the National Housing Co-Investment fund (NHCF), for projects with conditional commitments and finalized agreements, broken down by province, stream (new construction, revitalization) and stage (conditional commitment, finalized agreement and finalized agreement with construction completed): (a) what is the number of units that (i) do not charge rent, (ii) charge rent up to 80 percent of the average market rent affordability threshold, (iii) charge rent above the 80 percent average market rent affordability threshold; (b) what is the average rent of the units, excluding units that do not charge rent; (c) what is the number of units whose rent is above 30 percent of the maximum annual before-tax income for low-income households that rent of that province; and (d) how many households living in NHCF units are spending over 30 percent of their household income on rent?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1024—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regard to the consultations undertaken as part of the government’s intention to transition away from open-net pen aquaculture in British Columbia, since November 1, 2021: what are the details of all consultations undertaken, including the (i) date of the meeting, (ii) list of the attendees, (iii) components of the framework for sustainable aquaculture discussed, (iv) length of the meeting?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1025—
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to grants allocated by the Canada Greener Homes Initiative: (a) of the $69 million paid out between May 2021 and September 6, 2022, how much went to (i) appraisers, (ii) homeowners; (b) what is the breakdown of the funds paid out to date under the program, by province or territory; and (c) what is the breakdown of the number of recipients, by province or territory?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1027—
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to expenditures with the Internet media company BuzzFeed, since January 1, 2019, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date of the expenditure, (ii) amount, (iii) description of the expenditure or the advertisement campaign, (iv) description and the title for each quiz or story purchased, (v) date the quiz or the story was published?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1028—
Mr. Marty Morantz:
    With regard to written or electronic correspondence received by the Office of the Prime Minister from the general public since January 1, 2020: (a) what were the top 10 topics or subject matters, in terms of volume of correspondence; and (b) for each of the top 10 topics in (a), how many pieces of correspondence were received?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1029—
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
    With regard to the online application system run by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, since January 1, 2019: how many hours has the online system been down (i) in total, (ii) broken down by week?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1030—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to repayable grants and contributions provided by the government where the recipient of the grant failed to repay the government as per the terms of the agreement, since 2017, broken down by year and by funding program: (a) for how many grant and contribution agreements has there been a failure to repay; (b) what is the total value of such grants and contributions; and (c) what are the details of the top 10 highest valued grant and contribution agreements for each program where the recipient failed to repay the government, broken down by year, including, for each, the (i) recipient, (ii) amount of grant or contribution, (iii) reason why the recipient did not live up to the terms of the agreement, if known?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1031—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to the usage of artificial intelligence (Al) by the government: (a) which departments, agencies, Crown corporations, or other government entities currently use Al; (b) what specific tasks is Al used for; (c) what are the details of all expenditures on commercial Al technology and related products since January 1, 2019, including, for each, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of products or services, including the quantity, if applicable, (iv) date of the purchase, (v) file number; and (d) what is the government's policy regarding the use of Al?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1032—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to expenditures by the government on subscriptions and data access services in the 2021-22 fiscal year, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) titles of publications or data for each subscription, (vi) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1033—
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): (a) for each of the last five taxation years for which statistics are available, what is the percentage of taxpayers reassessed by the CRA who (i) received a northern living allowance, (ii) did not receive a northern living allowance; and (b) what is the percentage of taxpayers who were reassessed, broken down by province or territory of residence?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1035—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to the $1.5 billion funding announcement on April 14, 2021, under the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program: what are the details of the projects approved to date, broken down by project, including the (i) name, (ii) dollar amount of funds distributed, (iii) name of each recipient of the funding, (iv) location by city and province or territory?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1036—
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
    With regard to the RCMP: (a) what is the current vacancy rate, in terms of percentage and the number of open positions, nationally, and broken down by province or territory; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) officers, (ii) civilian employees?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1037—
Mr. Dean Allison:
    With regard to government expenditures on membership fees, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since October 1, 2020: (a) how much money has been spent; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) name of the organization or the vendor, (ii) date of the purchase, (iii) amount, (iv) number of memberships purchased?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1039—
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
    With regard to the government's participation in the UN Climate Change Conference, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27), in Egypt, in November 2022: (a) how many individuals were part of the Canadian delegation; (b) what were the titles of all individuals in (a); (c) what are the titles of all other individuals who attended the COP27 for whom the government paid expenses; (d) what are the total expenditures incurred by the government to date related to the conference, broken down by type; and (e) what is the government's estimate of the carbon footprint resulting from the Canadian delegation's travel to and from the conference?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1041—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to federal officials publicly communicating on the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020: (a) broken down by year, how much money was spent on external media training, image consulting, public relations support services, communications professional services, or similar types of service for (i) the Prime Minister, (ii) the Deputy Prime Minister, (iii) the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, (iv) the Minister of Health, (v) the Minister of Public Services and Procurement of Canada, (vi) the Chief Public Health Officer, (vii) the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada, (viii) the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, (ix) the representatives from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization; and (b) what are the details of all contracts related to (a), including, for each, (i) the vendor, (ii) the date, (iii) the amount, (iv) the description of goods or services provided, (v) who was given the training or consulting, (vi) who provided the training or consulting?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1042—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to hotels contracted to house asylum seekers or refugees in Canada since November 4, 2015: (a) how many hotels has the government contracted for housing asylum seekers or refugees; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by city or municipality; (c) what are the details of all contracts, including, for each, the (i) hotel name, (ii) vendor, if different than hotel name, (iii) amount, (iv) start and end date of the contract, (v) location of the hotel, (vi) number of rooms; (d) how many asylum seekers or refugees have stayed in each of the hotels, broken down by year and by location; (e) how many of those staying in hotels made an asylum claim after entering Canada irregularly through Roxham Road; and (f) what are the total costs incurred to date by the federal government for all relevant hotels, broken down by year and by hotel?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1043—
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to the $135,891,951 in the Supplementary Estimates (B), 2022-23 under Public Works and Government Services for "funding to provide supplies for the health system": (a) what is the itemized breakdown of how that money is being spent; (b) what are the details of all contracts funded with that amount which was related to the storing of field hospitals, including, for each contract, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) start and end dates of the storage, (iv) location of the storage, (v) inventory of what is being stored, (vi) details of whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; (c) what are the details of all contracts funded with that amount for items other than field hospitals, including, for each contract, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services, including the quantity, (iv) details of whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; (d) what specific supplies were provided to the health care system as a result of the funding; and (e) on what dates was each supply in (d) provided to the health care system, and which provincial health care system was each supply provided to?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1044—
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to the government's plan to increase electric vehicle (EV) usage and the impacts of this plan: (a) what are the government's projections related to the increased amount of electricity that will be needed to power the EV charging stations in (i) 2025, (ii) 2030, (iii) 2035; (b) has the government developed a detailed plan on how to increase the capacity of Canada's electricity grid, and, if so, what is the plan; (c) what are the projected costs of the investments needed to enhance Canada's electricity grid to meet the increased demand for electricity over the next 15 years; and (d) what are the government's plans related to how the costs in (c) will be funded?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1046—
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to government advertising, since January 1, 2020: (a) how much has been spent on billboards; and (b) for each expenditure in (a), what are the details, including the (i) start and end dates, (ii) cost, (iii) topic, (iv) number of billboards, (v) locations of billboards, (vi) vendor, (vii) types of billboards, such as electronic or traditional?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1047—
Mr. Ron Liepert:
    With regard to fraudulent payments made under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) that involved identity theft, or suspected identity theft: (a) how many such payments occurred; (b) how many different individuals received such payments; (c) what was the total value of such payments; and (d) to date, how many individuals have been criminally charged as a result of CERB-related identity theft?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1051—
Mr. Fraser Tolmie:
    With regard to government funding for third parties, including foreign nations, related to information promotion or advertising campaigns abroad, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all campaigns launched or that are still ongoing, including, for each, the (i) countries, (ii) start and end dates, (iii) key messages promoted, (iv) purpose, (v) amount of funding, (vi) type of media, platforms, and other communication methods used, (vii) name of the third party, (viii) type of third party (e.g., sovereign nation or non-governmental organization)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1052—
Mr. Fraser Tolmie:
    With regard to government information promotion or advertising campaigns abroad, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all campaigns launched or that are still ongoing, including, for each, the (i) countries, (ii) start and end dates, (iii) key messages promoted, (iv) purpose, (v) estimated cost, (vi) type of media, platforms, and other communication methods used?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1054—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to tweets made by the government that were later deleted, broken down by each instance, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of each instance, including the (i) Twitter handle and username, (ii) date the tweet was posted, (iii) date the tweet was deleted, (iv) summary of its contents, (v) reason the tweet was deleted, (vi) titles of who approved the initial tweet, (vii) titles of who ordered the tweet's removal?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1055—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to government expenditures on headhunters, executive search agencies, and similar types of firms, broken down by year, since January 1, 2019: (a) what is the total amount spent on such services, broken down by vendor; and (b) what are the details of all executive positions that were filled using the services of such firms, including, for each, (i) the title of the position, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the date the position was filled, (iv) the salary range of the position, (v) the amount paid to the firm to fill the position, (vi) whether the individual hired was already working in the public service?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1056—
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
    With regard to Parks Canada and the financial management of national parks, since 2015: (a) what are the names of each national park, broken down by province or territory; (b) what is the annual amount of funding received by Parks Canada from the federal government, broken down by year; (c) how much annual funding does each national park receive from Parks Canada, broken down by year; (d) what is the annual breakdown of fund allocation per national park, broken down by year; (e) what is the total annual visitation at each national park, broken down by (i) year, (ii) month; (f) how much total annual revenue does each national park generate for Parks Canada, broken down by year; (g) how much of the revenue generated by each national park is (i) allowed to be kept by the individual national park for local reinvestment, (ii) returned to the Parks Canada National Office, (iii) returned to the general revenue fund; (h) what are the different revenue streams for each national park; and (i) how much total annual revenue does each revenue stream generate for each national park, broken down by year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1057—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to Health Canada and medication shortages: (a) what are the details of all medications for which there is currently a shortage, including, for each, (i) the name of the medication, (ii) the purpose of the medication, (iii) who the medication is intended for (children, adults, etc.), (iv) the reason for the shortage, if known, (v) when the shortage is expected to end; and (b) what are the details of all medications for which Health Canada expects to see a shortage in 2023, including, for each, (i) the name of the medication, (ii) the purpose of the medication, (iii) who the medication is intended for, (iv) the reason for the shortage, if known, (v) the expected shortage period?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1058—
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
    With regard to the government's hydrogen strategy, since January 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount spent related to the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada or hydrogen development by (i) Natural Resources Canada, (ii) Environment and Climate Change Canada, (iii) Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by program or initiative; and (c) what are the details of all grants, contributions, or loans provided by the government related to hydrogen development, including, for each, the (i) recipient, (ii) location, (iii) date, (iv) amount, (v) type (grant, repayable loan, etc.), (vi) project summary?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1061—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to the prime minister's claim that there has never been a strong business case to export liquefied natural gas from Canada to Europe: on what specific evidence or analysis, if any, did the prime minister base such claim?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1062—
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
    With regard to senior managers (EX employees, contractors and GIC appointees) and Treasury Board guidelines for Government of Canada performance pay for senior managers, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation and all other government entities and by fiscal year from 2015-16 to 2021-22: (a) how many senior managers were there in total; (b) how many senior managers received (i) full performance pay, (ii) partial performance pay, (iii) no performance pay; (c) how many senior managers had their performance pay (i) adjusted downwards, (ii) revoked completely as a result of harassment complaints or other misconduct, broken down by type of misconduct; (d) of those who received full performance pay, did any of them have (i) formal, (ii) informal, harassment complaints against them at the time their performance pay was awarded; and (e) how many senior managers had their performance pay (i) adjusted downwards, (ii) revoked completely, as a result of fault being deemed from a harassment complaint?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1063—
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the Rapid Housing Initiative launched in 2020, as of December 1, 2022: (a) how much has been spent on (i) administering the program, (ii) promoting the program, (iii) investments in individual projects; (b) how many new housing units have been built, in total, broken down by province or territory and by federal electoral district; (c) what is the occupation rate of the new housing units; (d) how many buildings (i) have been acquired, (ii) have had their renovations completed, (iii) are currently occupied, in total, broken down by province or territory and by federal electoral district; and (e) what metrics are being used to measure the success of the program and to what extent have these metrics been achieved?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1066—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to Passport Canada: how many passport applications are currently being processed that were received more than (i) 20 business days, (ii) eight weeks, (iii) three months, (iv) 17 weeks, (v) six months, ago?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1069—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to vaccine injuries in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), since December 1, 2020: (a) how many vaccine-related injuries have occurred to CAF members; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by type of injury; (c) how many CAF members were placed on leave in relation to vaccine injuries, broken down by type of leave; and (d) how many CAF members are still on leave in relation to vaccine injuries?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1071—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s efforts to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: (a) what levels of greenhouse gas emissions were produced as a result of (i) the Prime Minister’s travel and work, (ii) publicly funded travel or official engagements by members of the Prime Minister’s family, (iii) the travel and work of staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, to date this year and in each preceding year, since 2015, broken down by individual and by year; and (b) what levels of greenhouse gas emissions were produced as a result of ministers’ travel and work to date this year and in each of the preceding years since 2015, broken out by Minister and by year.
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1072—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to a list submitted to the government in September 2021, containing 650 names of Afghan Ahmadi Muslims on the Taliban’s hit list: (a) has the government allowed any of these