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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 098

CONTENTS

Tuesday, September 20, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 098
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer


  (1005)  

[English]

Order Paper

    I wish to inform the House that, in accordance with the representation made by the government, pursuant to Standing Order 55(1), I have caused to be published a special Order Paper giving notice of two government bills.

[Translation]

    I therefore lay the relevant document upon the table.
[Speaker's Ruling]

[English]

Statement Concerning the Similarities Between Bill C-250 and Bill C-19—Speaker's Ruling

    I would like to provide a short update regarding a statement I made on May 11, 2022, concerning similarities between two bills that were before the House at that time. They were Bill C-250, an act to amend the Criminal Code (prohibition—promotion of antisemitism), standing in the name of the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, and Bill C-19, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures.

[Translation]

     As members will recall, clause 332 of Bill C-19 contained near identical text to Bill C-250. To be more specific, the two bills sought to amend section 319 of the Criminal Code pertaining to hate propaganda, for similar purposes. Both made it an offence to wilfully promote antisemitism by condoning, denying or downplaying the Holocaust through statements communicated other than in private conversation. There was only a minor difference in the wording of one of the acceptable defences.

[English]

    As indicated in my earlier statement on this matter, there is a long-standing principle to keep or avoid having the same question from being decided twice within the same session. On May 11, 2022, the Chair had therefore ordered that, pending the fate of Bill C-19, Bill C-250 may not be called for its second hour of debate at second reading.
    Bill C-19 received royal assent on June 23, 2022. Accordingly, I am ordering that the order for the second reading of Bill C-250 be discharged and that the bill be dropped from the Order Paper.
    I thank all the members for their attention.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[Translation]

Permanent Residency for Temporary Foreign Workers

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a detailed plan from my colleague, the hon. member for Surrey Centre, namely Motion No. 44, concerning permanent residency for temporary foreign workers, under Private Members' Business.

[English]

    This document includes plans to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and international students with significant Canadian work experience in sectors with persistent labour shortages.

[Translation]

Procurement and Distribution of COVID-19 Rapid Tests

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the report on the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 rapid tests.
    I would like to take a moment to welcome the new cohort of pages for 2022-23. The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer and I were also pages here in the House of Commons, many, many years ago. We have very fond memories of the happy moments, but also the responsibilities, that come with this position. We hope they have an excellent parliamentary year.

  (1010)  

[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 87 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 1

     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (temporary enhancement to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax credit).

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

[Translation]

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2 (Targeted Support for Households)

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

[English]

Tragedy in Saskatchewan

    Mr. Speaker, like many members of this House, the people of James Smith Cree Nation have been on my mind since the horrific and heartbreaking acts of violence on September 4.
    Early that morning, a community already living with the effects of intergenerational trauma faced an unthinkable situation. By the afternoon, the community was left reeling with the deaths of 10 loved ones and 18 others injured from acts of violence that were too terrible to contemplate. No one was left untouched. Each person lost a family member: a father or mother, an aunt or uncle, a brother or sister, or a friend. These are their names: Thomas Burns, Carol Burns, Gregory Burns, Lydia Gloria Burns, Bonnie Burns, Earl Burns, Lana Head, Christian Head, Robert Sanderson and Wesley Petterson.
    As the community grieves an unfathomable loss, it has been moving to see the outpouring of compassion from across the country and indeed around the world. In this tight-knit place of only 1,900, everyone is connected and many people outside of James Smith Cree Nation are too. Friends, colleagues, family from other parts of the country or world have all been left to ask, “How could something like this happen?”
    Last week, I went to the community to meet with members and listen to the stories of loved ones. I was honoured to attend the funeral of Lydia Gloria Burns, known as Gloria. It was clear that Gloria was a pillar of her community. Indeed, many considered her a dear friend, a person to turn to in times of trouble and a role model.
    Gloria was the mother of two, a crisis worker and a pillar of support. She regularly counselled young people and she was clearly beloved. She was a first responder, and in performing her duty, something so dear to her heart, her life was taken. It is hard to imagine how a community navigates the loss of someone like Gloria. At her funeral, her brother remarked, “Resilience means walking through anger, walking through pain, walking through grief.”
    The families of James Smith Cree Nation have long suffered from the trauma of colonization, including residential schools, and too often they have not had a reliable or fair partner in the federal government to improve things for the next generations. In meetings with the leaders of this community, we discussed the importance of forgiveness and healing and the equally important role of action to truly walk together. Chief Wally Burns said, “We all have to come together, as a community, as Canadians, as a whole.”
    Right now, the community is gripped with burying their dead, helping their injured family members heal and recovering from the shock of this life-changing event. I have stressed that the federal government will be with them as a strong and reliable partner as they chart a path forward in their healing journey.
    I go back to the idea of resilience. Of course, we all have to learn to weather the unpredictability of life, but nobody should have to be as resilient as the people of James Smith Cree Nation. We must do better together to help people heal and to see a future that works for everyone.
    The children of Brian Burns, left behind without their mother and their brother, and the many other children in James Smith Cree Nation facing life without a parent, are depending on us. We owe it to those children and to all of the families suffering to make sense of these tragic losses and to ensure that they have the tools and supports they need to heal.
    I will end on this. The people of James Smith Cree Nation are hurting, but they are also very proud. As they told me, they are “James Smith Cree Nation strong”. I stand with them, and I know that this entire House does as well.

  (1015)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am here today to honour the victims of the recent violence in southern Saskatchewan and particularly the James Smith Cree Nation: 10 lives lost, 18 lives changed forever, a community shattered, and a province and country in shock. We are here to honour the victims by remembering them, supporting their community in their grief and committing ourselves to doing whatever is necessary to make sure this kind of outrage never happens again.
    No death is solitary. Every death leaves a hole in the hearts of a family and a void in a community. This is especially true in rural and remote regions, where people rely on each other to survive and where so many people are related through blood and marriage. As Mark Arcand, whose sister was among the victims, put it, “This is how it is in our country.... It's all about relationships. It's all about family.”
    The violence two weeks ago took the lives of mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, neighbours, friends and familiar faces. Each one of them was known and loved.
    Let us pause to honour them by offering our respect to each of them by name: Bonnie Goodvoice-Burns, aged 48, a mother, grandmother and foster mother who died trying to protect her son, Gregory “Jonesy” Burns, who was also killed; Lydia Gloria Burns, a first responder who was attacked while responding to a call to help Bonnie and Gregory Burns; Carol Burns, who was visiting her two children, one of whom, Thomas Burns, also died; Earl Burns Sr., a veteran who had already survived an attempted stabbing by the same perpetrator seven years earlier; Lana Head and her partner Christian Head, who together leave behind 10 children and more grandchildren; Robert Sanderson, a father whose son was also injured in the attack; and Wesley Petterson, a 78-year-old widower from nearby Weldon, Saskatchewan. There are 10 enormous holes in the James Smith Cree Nation and surrounding communities. As one headline put it, “everyone lost someone”.
    Healing takes time. It is a journey. The families and friends left behind have a long journey ahead of them, but I have faith that strength will carry the James Smith Cree Nation through. It is the same strength that has helped that community survive and work through the immense trauma of history over many years. The reason I have faith and hope is that while evil is real and strong, faith, hope and love are stronger. Where we can help, we will.
    I know the federal government is working with local community leaders. I note that the minister has been to visit and I thank her for that. I offer my party's full support for any government actions that bring healing to the community, especially for the children who have seen what no child should ever see, and for those struggling with mental illness or addiction problems, who will find these times especially trying.
    We can honour the victims and survivors by providing more effective recovery services to more people to help them get out of the cycle of violence and toward hope and healing. That is the least that compassion and respect demand of us. However, we must not allow our compassion to tempt us into complacency and stop us from asking the hard questions about our criminal justice system.
    This tragedy was not a random act of fate. It was the result of a string of failings stretching back more than a decade. The question that Chief Wally Burns asked when he learned about the perpetrator's criminal history should be ringing in the ears of everyone in the House: “Why was this guy released when he was dangerous?” I also agree with Brian Burns, whose wife and son were killed, when he said, ”There needs to be some kind of an inquiry. The families need answers.”

  (1020)  

    As a husband and a father, I can only imagine the sense of deep betrayal he must feel when he thinks about the callous negligence of our criminal justice system, which let this violent criminal out to recommit offences again and again, not just in this case, but for more than a decade. The perpetrator, who I am deliberately not naming, had been charged with over 120 crimes in 47 cases over the last 14 years. He had been convicted 59 times. There are likely more, but his youth record is sealed.
    At least two of those previous victims were also victims of the most recent violence: his in-laws Earl Burns, who died, and Joyce Burns, who was wounded. The first time, back in 2015, he was charged with attempted murder, but he was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offence and was only sentenced to two years less a day in prison. It has also been reported that he assaulted the mother of his children five times between 2011 and 2018. He never received more than a two-month sentence for any of those assaults. Each time, he was set free to to attack again.
    What happened in northern Saskatchewan two weeks ago should be a national wake-up call. The James Smith Cree Nation was not only the victim of a violent criminal, but also the victim of a broken criminal justice system. We all agree in the possibility of redemption and in rehabilitation. We believe that, if someone makes a mistake and does their time, they should have a second chance at being part of society, but when someone commits one violent offence after another so that they number in the dozens, at some point they must stay behind bars for the protection of the public and out of respect for their victims. A system that allows a violent criminal to reoffend over and over again with impunity does not deserve to be called a justice system. Leaving victims vulnerable to repeat attacks by a violent felon is not criminal justice. It is criminal negligence.
    I agree with Brian Burns. I want to know how this could have happened, and most importantly, I want to know how we can make sure it never happens again. We will not honour the victims and the community if we do not listen to them. We must listen, and then we must act. There must be a top-to-bottom review. We need to know why criminal charges against this violent felon were so often stayed or withdrawn; why the parole boards repeatedly recommended his release despite deeming him a threat; why his sentences were so short, even after third and fourth violent convictions; and why Correctional Service Canada did not deem him sufficiently likely to reoffend, even after more than 50 convictions in 14 years, and failed to recommend against his statutory release.
    A thorough review is important because the devastation experienced by this community was not an isolated incident. Since 2015, violent crime has increased in Canada by 32%. The violent crime severity index is up 18 points, and there were more than 124,000 violent crimes last year than there were in 2015. The violent crime rate is up in all 13 provinces and territories. Clearly, something is wrong and getting worse. We need to know what it is, and we need to fix it.
    There are no words that can adequately capture the devastation that the James Smith Cree Nation has suffered and, indeed, the pain all Canadians felt at the stories of this unthinkable horror. The stories were of violence and an ongoing manhunt, but soon after the stories changed and we began to hear stories of the lives of the victims. These are the stories that had been previously filled with laughter, often amid personal struggle, and stories of a community bound together by bonds of love and support, now united by grief. They are the stories of people who are, in Mark Arcand's words, “broken but not defeated.”
    Today we offer our respect to the departed and the survivors. In words that can only imperfectly convey sorrow, we offer our sympathy, but if we have only words, then we will have failed the James Smith Cree Nation again. It is time for these failures to end. It is time for our words to transform into actions, and it is time for all of us to rally in support of this wonderful community and its beautiful members as they heal and recover from these terrible events.

  (1025)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, on a more sombre note, I would like, on behalf of all Bloc Québécois members, to offer my sincerest condolences to the victims of the horrific mass killings on the territory of the James Smith Cree Nation, in Weldon, in early September, as well as to their friends and family. Ten people were killed, 18 were wounded, and an entire community is now suffering and beginning a long healing process.
    Our thoughts also go out to the members of the community, at a time when the words “truth” and “reconciliation” often elicit painful memories. I can find no better way to express all of the compassion and sympathy such a traumatizing event deserves.
    However, words and good wishes are not enough. As members of Parliament, our duty is to see that events like this one never happen again.
    On that, a number of questions have been raised about the tragedy in the past few weeks, and they deserve answers. I sincerely hope that the House will have the wisdom and determination to find these answers in a bipartisan manner, without ulterior motives, for the benefit of the indigenous communities and the people we represent.
    A few hours after one of the two suspects was arrested, we learned that one was a repeat offender who had violated his parole conditions. According to an article in La Presse on September 7, last November, the suspect, whose name I will not mention, breached his parole conditions. In February the Parole Board of Canada, in its decision to maintain his release on parole, stated that the suspect did not represent “an undue risk to society”, after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
    The person convicted of no fewer than 59 criminal charges, including assault, assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer and theft, did not pose an undue risk to society, according to the Parole Board of Canada.
    The suspect’s unsavoury record raises questions about his release on parole. Here is a question that is certainly worthwhile asking: After how many criminal charges does the Parole Board of Canada believe that a person poses a risk to society?
    Please do not misunderstand me: I respect the Parole Board of Canada. This is the kind of institution that is essential for Canadians’ safety. Having discussed the issue with officers, I understand that the means available to them are not always the most effective. In fact, they are often far from effective.
    This seems illogical in light of the societal impact of a decision to release an offender before the end of their sentence. In this case, it is difficult not to ask questions considering what appeared on the criminal record of one of the suspects.
    One question it is normal to ask after such an event is whether the support and means needed to monitor inmates and their rehabilitation are available. I know that this is a lot of work for officers and that there can be elements that are hard to prove to convince the board that an offender could truly represent a risk to society, particularly at a time when officers are overloaded.
    Perhaps the time has come for institutional reform. We could suggest that the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security investigate to determine whether adjustments are necessary.
    We know that, in June, the Minister of Public Safety launched the federal framework to reduce recidivism. I would like to point that out. On the other hand, since this is the government's first step in the development of a plan to identify the determining factors that influence recidivism and the appropriate means of supporting successful social reintegration, given the recent events at the James Smith Cree Nation, the committee should look into the question, if only to make adjustments to the framework.
    There is also the issue of mental health services for individuals known to police, such as the suspects in the tragedy.
    That was one of the suggestions made by the Office of the Correctional Investigator, which, in its 48th report, recommended that Correctional Service Canada “develop a reliable method for administratively tracking individuals with mental health concerns”.
    An appalling, horrifying and unspeakable event such as this one demands that we reflect on issues beyond the prison system. How can two individuals stab so many people in so little time in such cold blood?
    Should we be looking at other administrations that have a better track record than the federal organizations concerned?
    Ought we not look at Norway, which has the lowest recidivism rate in the world at 16%?
    We could look at Quebec, which, according to a 2019 study by the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations, has programs aimed at facilitating the social reintegration of inmates of prisons under provincial management that not only reduce recidivism but do so in a way that is “far better” than elsewhere in the world.
    With all due respect and sympathy to the victims, we need to raise awareness, offer suggestions and find solutions.

  (1030)  

    The government can obviously count on the Bloc Québécois to find common and well-documented solutions to ensure that Canadians can feel completely safe. I sincerely hope that this appeal for collaboration will be heard and accepted and that it will lead to honest and necessary discussions that will benefit everyone.
    We could say that this was an isolated and very rare incident, ignore it and move on as though nothing had happened, and then turn away to not see the horror. However, I sincerely believe that we have a moral obligation to say to the people we represent, especially the community of James Smith, never again.

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, today, we recognize and mourn the loss of the victims in James Smith Cree Nation, the tragedy that occurred on September 4, 2022. My thoughts are with the many others wounded and with the community, which has been wounded by this event. The impacts of intergenerational trauma continue to be exposed through such acts of violence. My thoughts are with the community of James Smith Cree Nation, how strong they are and how strong they are being forced to be right now.
    Healing is the path forward and that cannot be done without recognizing that the ongoing process of colonialism has shaped this tragedy. We need to make sure that this tragedy does not go unrecognized by the government. This shows that true reconciliation is still necessary for our communities to move forward.
    We must begin the conversation to discuss the prevention of intergenerational trauma going forward. The impact of the tragedy is felt throughout Canada, and as a country, we mourn the loss of those who are no longer with us.
    I would like to acknowledge the victims and families of the Saskatchewan stabbings who lost their lives: Thomas Burns, Carol Burns, Gregory Burns, Lydia Gloria Burns, Bonnie Burns, Earl Burns, Lana Head, Christian Head, Robert Sanderson and Wesley Petterson.
    We, as a country, must ask for more to be done to support these individuals and their families. They are victims of crime, and this will have an ongoing impact on the families and friends within the community. We must recognize the impact of colonialism and its aftermath, which is related to the criminal justice system's impact on these communities. The New Democrats will fight to ensure that these families get the supports they deserve.
    As parliamentarians, we must ensure that reconciliation is forged by investing in the well-being of indigenous peoples. We must be the parliamentarians who focus our efforts on recognizing the strengths that indigenous peoples must realize in themselves. We must be the parliamentarians who invest in reconciliation, to ensure that tragedies such as these, as what happened in James Smith Cree Nation, do not happen again.
    We must ensure that we honour the memory of the victims and their families so that it never happens again. We must ensure that we do our best to talk about reconciliation in terms of justice, healing and making sure that we are the ones who will ensure real reconciliation with indigenous peoples, so we can see indigenous peoples contributing to society in a positive and proud Canada, which we must see and realize is so important. We must be the parliamentarians who focus on the strengths of what we see in indigenous peoples.

  (1035)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to request of my dear colleagues unanimous consent to allow the Green Party to put some words on the record about this dreadful tragedy.
    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)

    Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge that today, as on every day in this place, we stand on the territories of the Algonquin nation and want to express our gratitude to them. Meegwetch.
    I also want to express gratitude to someone else. This may be somewhat unusual for starting this morning, but I cannot say another word without expressing my deep gratitude to the Conservative caucus for allowing me to speak.
    I then extend my congratulations to the new leader of the official opposition. Not to complain, but some who pay close attention to this place may know that it has been since the 2021 election that Greens have been allowed to speak in moments of tribute and sadness. I am deeply grateful to the hon. member for Carleton for this change in policy. I appreciate it enormously.
    I also want to say that we can all agree with every word that has been spoken. I want to thank the hon. member and Minister of Indigenous Services, the new leader of the official opposition, my friend from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia for her words, and the hon. member for Nunavut. There is not one of us whose heart is not broken.
    I thought about taking off my black ribbon of mourning for Her Majesty the Queen this morning, but then I thought that I am still in mourning. Yes, Her Majesty the Queen has departed this earth, but so have members of the James Smith Cree Nation. Ten people, much loved in their communities and much loved by their families, are no longer with us, and they died in horrific circumstances. I will leave my ribbon of mourning on, for today at least, for the James Smith Cree Nation, the families of the victims and the families of the perpetrators, all of whom are in a period of deep suffering.
    There is much that has been said, and I will not trespass on the time for long, but I just want to say that there must be more than words. We speak words in this place of reconciliation, of a cry for justice and of a prayer for healing, and we say that we will do better. In this circumstance, what we must do is what I am so grateful to so many Canadians for, because in the words of so many members of James Smith Cree Nation, they express gratitude and almost surprise at how many Canadians are grieving with them. We grieve together. That is the very root of the word “compassion”, which is to suffer together. Compassion. We share it across indigenous and settler cultures. We grieve together, just as, in another horrific circumstance, we grieved with the people of Nova Scotia in Portapique.
    We need to look to all the calls I have heard across the room today for inquiry and for consideration. What must we do better? James Smith Cree Nation is saying maybe it would be better off if it had indigenous police services. The chiefs in Manitoba are saying the same thing. They do not feel secure in a situation like this. They have the policing that is needed to protect people. We have Gloria and others, like Bonnie, who were first responders and raced into the scene. That circumstance of dying while protecting one's family should not occur. We should have the police services that are needed and at the ready, and local, in my view, may be a solution that is better, whether it is in Portapique or James Smith Cree Nation. We need to examine policing and we need to examine, as the hon. leader of the official opposition said, release procedures when people are dangerous and should not be released into our population.
    I will not prescribe solutions at this point. We need to commit to listening, investigating and particularly supporting the people of James Smith Cree Nation and other places that are still wounded and suffering from events of violence.
    We can do better. We must do better, and to everybody touched by the tragedy at James Smith Cree Nation, we send our prayers, our love and our words, and we also say clearly that we know words are not enough. We will do more. We will do better. We are with them and their dear children as they process things that no child should ever see and no family should ever experience. I thank members for their time. Meegwetch.

  (1040)  

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs 

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
    If the House gives its consent, I move that the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be concurred in.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
     Hearing none, it is agreed.

[Translation]

    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Petitions

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from numerous constituents who are concerned about the climate emergency. They call on the government to reduce emissions to levels proposed by the international scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading global authority. They ask that Canada's emissions reduction target be increased to at least 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 and that Canada create good green jobs that include the workforce to ensure that effective workers and communities are protected in the transition away from fossil fuels. They ask that this transition be assisted through increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations, as well as financing through a national public bank.

  (1045)  

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, I table a petition expressing concern that the Liberal Party of Canada promised in its 2021 platform to deny the charitable status of organizations that have different views. The signatories are concerned this could jeopardize the charitable status of hospitals, houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations that do not agree with the Liberal Party for reasons of conscience. They are calling on 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 or the imposition of another values test, and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.

Persons with Disabilities  

    Madam Speaker, it is great to be back in the House with my colleagues. The petition I am tabling today is quite timely, given that the House is going to debate Bill C-22. The petition, which was started by Jeff Leggat, a constituent of mine in Duncan, refers to the fact that far too many Canadians with disabilities are living below the poverty line. There are about 1.5 million Canadians who are living in a state of legislated poverty. The petitioners who have taken the time to sign this e-petition are calling upon the government to end this current practice and ensure that Canadians living with disabilities have a federal disability benefit of $2,200 per month.

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, as always, it is an honour to be able to stand in this place. Today, I am presenting a petition to draw the attention of Canadians to the fact that the Liberals promised in their 2021 election platform to weaponize charitable status to discriminate against particular charities within Canada. The undersigned citizens of this petition 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 or the imposition of another “values test”, and to affirm the rights of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    It is an honour to present this petition in the House today.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today and present a petition on behalf of Canadians across this country.
    The petitioners are concerned about the possibility of the government imposing another values test on charitable organizations. The petitioners are asking that the government 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 or the imposition of another “values test”, and that it affirm the right of Canadians to the freedom of expression.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, it is good to be back in this House after the summer recess.
    I am rising to present two petitions. The first petition is in support of Senate Bill S-223, which seeks to combat the practice of forced organ harvesting, which is still going around the world. It is the practice of harvesting organs from healthy, living human beings without their consent, and the bill would combat this practice. The families of the victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. It is time to end the delays, and the petitioners are calling on the House and on Parliament to now get this done.

  (1050)  

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, my second petition calls attention to the fact that the current government, in its 2021 platform, proposes to deny charitable status to organizations that have deeply held, genuine convictions about protecting life in the womb.
    The Liberal Party considers these views to be dishonest, and this may jeopardize the charitable status of hospitals, houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations that do not agree with the Liberal Party of Canada.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to do two things: to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    I am not sure if the word “dishonest” was in that petition, but I would just ask members to make sure they are reading what is in the petition.
    Madam Speaker, I am rising to present this petition on behalf of Canadians who feel that the Liberal Party of Canada promised in its 2021 platform to deny the charitable status of organizations that have convictions about abortion that the Liberal government views as dishonest. This jeopardizes the charitable status of hospitals, places of worship, schools, homeless shelters and so many charitable organizations that do incredible work in this country and would leave a huge void under these circumstances. Canadians depend upon and benefit from these charities.
    The government had previously denied funding, tax dollars, to any organization that was not willing to check a box endorsing the political positions of the governing party. These petitioners believe that charities and non-profit organizations should not be discriminated against on the basis of their political views or religious values. They comment that all Canadians have a right to freedom of expression without discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis and to affirm the rights of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    Madam Speaker, I, too, am standing to present a petition in the House of Commons today. The petitioners are concerned about the values test that the Liberals have promised to impose on charitable status organizations across the country. The government has previously used a values test to discriminate against worthy applicants in the Canada summer jobs program, to deny funding to any organization that was not willing to check a box endorsing the political positions of the governing party.
     As such, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis and to affirm Canadians' freedom of expression.
    Madam Speaker, it is good to be back in the House.
    I am standing with countless Canadians who oppose this Prime Minister's values test. They 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. They also ask Parliament to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, when members stand up on a petition, they are supposed to be capturing the essence of the petition itself and not necessarily endorsing the petition. The member stood in his place saying, “I am standing with”, implying that he is fully endorsing the petition. That is something members know they are not supposed to do.
    I appreciate the hon. parliamentary secretary's point of order. I do want to remind members that they cannot endorse petitions; they can be pleased to present petitions. Therefore, I will leave it at that.
    I will allow the hon. member to speak to the point of order, but I do want to remind members again that they are to speak to the petition and not in support of the petition.
    The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    Madam Speaker, just in response to that comment, the petition actually calls for a signature of endorsement of my own to endorse this petition in this House. I would just say—

  (1055)  

    Order. The hon. member cannot endorse the petitions. Those are the rules that the clerks give us as well: that we should not sign petitions.
    Presenting petitions, the hon. member for Brantford—Brant.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to be back in the House. I am pleased to present a petition signed by Canadians across this great country who are concerned about the government's values test. Charities and other non-profit organizations should not be discriminated against on the basis of their political views or religious values and should not be subjected to a politicized values test. All Canadians have a right, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to expression without discrimination.
    Therefore, the petitioners ask the government two things: to protect and preserve the application of the 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; and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    Madam Speaker, we know the Liberal government has previously used a values test to discriminate against worthy applicants to the Canada summer jobs program, and did so by denying funding to any organization that was not willing to check a box endorsing the political positions of the governing party of the day.
    Therefore, I am presenting this petition. The undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon this 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; and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    Madam Speaker, I present a petition signed by Canadians across the country who are concerned about a Liberal Party platform promise in 2021 to deny charitable status to certain organizations. The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis. They are calling on this Parliament to affirm the rights of Canadians to freedom of expression.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, I have a second petition signed by a number of Canadians across the country who are in support of Senate Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today and present a petition on behalf of Canadians across the country who are deeply concerned by a policy put forward in the Liberal Party's platform in 2021 to deny charitable status to charitable organizations whose strongly held convictions the Liberals disagree with.
    More specifically, the petitioners 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; and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.

Foreign Affairs  

    Madam Speaker, the first petition I am tabling today is with respect to violent clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is timely in light of recent further aggression across the border from the Azeri side. Petitioners want to see peace, and they want to see a negotiated settlement.
    Petitioners are calling on the government to act specifically around the issue of the continuing detention of Armenian prisoners of war. Petitioners ask the government to condemn the continuing illegal detention of Armenian prisoners of war, to call for their immediate release, to use all diplomatic tools to support this objective, to denounce state-sponsored hateful rhetoric and aggressive attacks from Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia and Artsakh, and to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to ensure the safety and viability of the population of Artsakh.

  (1100)  

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition I am tabling is similar to that tabled by a number of colleagues. It is to support Bill S-223, a bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form. It is now stalled at the foreign affairs committee, and petitioners want to see this bill passed as soon as possible. Families of victims have been waiting 15 years, and hopefully these delays will end.

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, finally, I am tabling a petition that raises the concern of citizens about a Liberal plan to apply a political values test to charitable status determination. It is raising significant concern throughout the charitable sector that the Liberal plan to politicize charitable status will jeopardize the status of hospitals, houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations just because they do not agree with the Liberal Party of Canada.
    Petitioners want to see the government protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis without discrimination, and they also want to see the government substantively affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression whether or not the Liberal Party agrees with them.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 568, 570, 571, 576 to 578, 580 to 584, 587, 590 to 592, 594, 596, 599, 601, 603, 606, 608, 612, 613, 616, 617, 619, 620, 622, 626, 627, 629, 631, 634, 638, 641, 642, 644, 646, 647, 651, 658, 663, 668, 670, 684 to 687, 690, 695, 701, 704, 708 to 710, 713, 715, 717, 720, 726, 728, 733, 734, 739, 740, 742, 745, 751, 753 to 755 and 759.

[Text]

Question No. 568—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) instruction to tax preparation software providers to include changes proposed in Bill C-8 in 2021 tax returns while the bill was still under debate: (a) how many returns included invalid claims as a result; (b) what is the average processing time for cases of CRA employees assisting taxpayers to correct invalid claims; and (c) what was the total value of refunds owed to taxpayers delayed by invalid claims on returns?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government has always had the backs of Canadians in their time of need, and Bill C-8 is another example of how we’re making life more affordable for Canadians. The CRA was unable to administer the tax credits in question without Bill C-8 achieving royal assent. Royal assent for Bill C-8 was delayed because of procedural delays during the bill’s various stages of study.
    With regard to (a), regarding impacts of the aforementioned procedural delays, approximately 140,000 returns have been received with claims for the eligible educator school supply tax credit and the return of fuel charge proceeds to farmers tax credit pending royal assent.
    With regard to (b), as of May 11, 2022, all tax returns are being held in abeyance within CRA systems. Once royal assent is received, it is expected that all of the 140,000 returns would be processed within a few days, with the exception of a very small percentage that might require further upfront validation.
    With regard to part (c), as of May 11, 2022, as the returns have not been assessed, the CRA is unable to provide an answer in the manner requested. Once Bill C-8 for the eligible educator school supply tax credit and the return of fuel charge proceeds to farmers tax credit receives royal assent, the returns will be processed.
    The CRA has a long-standing practice to encourage taxpayers and registrant taxpayers to comply with the introduction of proposed tax measures on the assumption that the legislation for these tax measures will be enacted. This practice is consistent with parliamentary convention, helps provide consistency and fairness in the tax treatment of taxpayers, and eases both the compliance burden on taxpayers and the administrative burden on the CRA.
    When proposed legislation results in an increase to refundable credits or benefits such as the Canada child benefit, or CCB, the Canada workers benefit, or if a GST/HST rebate to the taxpayer or a significant rebate or refund is at stake, the CRA's practice is to wait until the legislation for that specific measure has been enacted before making any of these types of payments.
    This cautious approach recognizes that although parliamentary convention dictates that taxation proposals are effective as soon as a Notice of Ways and Means Motion is tabled, there is no clear authority for the CRA to make these increased payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
    The term “invalid claim”, which appears in the question, is not a term used by the CRA in this context. Therefore, for the purposes of this question, the CRA has responded in respect of “returns received”.
Question No. 570—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the government’s divestiture of the Summerland Research and Development Centre: (a) what is the purpose for the divestiture; (b) what are the lot numbers; (c) what is the estimated date for divestiture; (d) is there a map outlining the boundaries of those lots, and, if so, what is the map and outline description; and (e) has an entity been indemnified to divest the lots to, and, if so, what entity?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, is not currently divesting the Summerland Research and Development Centre property in whole or in part. Furthermore, this property has not been declared surplus by AAFC.
    AAFC is bound by the Treasury Board directive on the management of real property to demonstrate sound stewardship by reviewing our real property holdings on a cyclical basis to identify real property that is underutilized, inefficient or no longer needed to support departmental programs, and by disposing of surplus real property in a manner that minimizes liability and ensures best value to the Crown. Should lands become surplus and formally declared as such, divestiture would follow the prescribed process.
Question No. 571—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the Canadian Transportation Agency, since July 15, 2019: (a) how many notices of violation, within the meaning of Part VI of the Canada Transportation Act, have been issued for sections 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, broken down by (i) section, (ii) year; and (b) of the violations in (a), how many administrative monetary penalties have been issued to air carriers, broken down by (i) year, (ii) amount, (iii) violation?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, information regarding the two Canadian Transportation Agency enforcement actions pertaining to the air passenger protection regulations linked to sections mentioned in the question, are available on the following webpages: https://otc- cta.gc.ca/eng /enforcement-action/ westjet-2 and https://otc-cta. gc.ca/eng/ enforcement-action/ air-transat-at.
Question No. 576—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to completed access to information requests, broken down by each entity subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act: (a) how many release packages contained redactions, broken down by year, since 2019; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by type of exemption and section of the act used to justify the redaction?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, each fiscal year, Treasury Board Secretariat, TBS, collects data on the number of requests received, completed, closed and responded to according to legislative timelines, 30 days, extensions taken, and exemptions and exclusions invoked.
    In response to (a), TBS collects data on the volume of requests closed during the reporting period, including information on the disposition of each request, including disclosed in part, all exempted and all excluded.
    In response to (b), TBS also collects data on the number of requests to which particular exemptions were applied.
    TBS publishes a summary of this information annually in the access to information and privacy statistical report, as well as datasets that contain all the statistical data reported by all institutions, broken down by institution, at https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/access-information-privacy/statistics-atip.html. The information requested can be calculated based on the published datasets.
    The “Access to Information and Privacy Statistical Report for the 2021 to 2022 Fiscal Year” will be published by December 31, 2022.
    All data presented in the access to information and privacy statistical report, as well as the statistical data that is available in an open format, is based on fiscal years. As such, data since 2019 would include the 2018-19 fiscal year. 
Question No. 577—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to cod fishery policy and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): (a) what are DFO's estimates or projections on the number of cod that will be eaten by harp seals in Canadian waters in 2022; and (b) what is the total number of cod that can be legally caught by commercial fishermen in Canada in 2022?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to growing Canada’s fish and seafood sector, and we know that seals eat fish. We established the Atlantic seal science task team to bridge the gap between our existing science, and what harvesters were seeing out on the water. This fall, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be hosting a Seal Summit as per the task team’s recommendations, which will bring scientists, harvesters, indigenous peoples and communities together on this critical issue.
    The total number of cod that can be legally caught by all commercial means, directed and bycatch, in 2022 is 2,370 tonnes. This does not include two cod stocks that await ministerial decision for 2022. However, in 2021 the total amount that can be caught legally by commercial fishermen was 13,640 tonnes for the two stocks.
Question No. 578—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to actions taken by the Clerk of the Privy Council in response to statements made in public by the Prime Minister or any other minister, broken down by year since January 1, 2016: (a) how many times did the clerk (i) consider, (ii) inform the Office of the Prime Minister, that a statement made by the Prime Minister or another minister in public was false or misleading; and (b) what are the details of each instance in (a), including (i) the date, (ii) the false or misleading statement, (iii) who made the statement, (iv) the summary of any action taken to correct the false or misleading information?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Clerk of the Privy Council advises the Prime Minister and elected government officials from an objective, non-partisan, public policy perspective. In this capacity, she discusses a wide range of issues with the Prime Minister, his office, and other ministers on a regular basis. Further information on the clerk’s role and any announcements can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council.html.
Question No. 580—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to performance audits or similar types of assessments related to passport processing times which were ongoing, or have been conducted since January 1, 2022: what are the details of each audit or assessment, including for each the (i) start and end date of the time period audited or assessed, (ii) summary and scope of the audit or assessment, (iii) findings, (iv) recommended changes to improve processing times, if applicable, (v) changes actually implemented, (vi) entity responsible for conducting the audit or assessment?
Ms. Ya’ara Saks (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Internal Audit Services at ESDC has not completed a performance audit related to passport processing times since January 1, 2022.
Question No. 581—
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to the government's reaction to plans made by the United Kingdom to mandate computed tomography (CT) scanning equipment in all of their airports by 2024: (a) what is the timeline for when CT or similar 3D scanners will be installed into each Canadian airport; and (b) what is the timeline for when the restrictions on liquids in carry-on items by passengers can be modified as a result of such equipment being installed?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), computed tomography, CT, X-ray technology is an enhanced means to mitigate threats to aviation security. Through the screening authority, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, CATSA, Canada has leveraged CT X-ray technology for screening checked baggage for over 15 years and it is currently deployed at all major airports in Canada. Transport Canada is working closely with CATSA to further expand the use of CT X-ray technology to enhance screening.
    Transport Canada recently reached out to security partners such as the United Kingdom and the United States to gather information on CT X-ray technology and to align security requirements.
    Planning and coordination are under way by CATSA to trial a next generation CT X-ray technology at a passenger pre-board screening checkpoint during the summer of 2022.
    Transport Canada will assess CT X-ray technology during the upcoming trial to evaluate its performance on security effectiveness and operational efficiency.
    Following the trial, Transport Canada will assess findings and determine possible deployment of CT X-ray technology at passenger pre-board screening checkpoints.
    Canada’s timelines on the deployment of CT X-ray technology to enhance passenger screening shall be based on trial results and further consultation with security partners such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
    With regard to part (b), any modifications to Canada’s volumetric restrictions on liquids, gels and aerosols shall be determined based on threat risks and strategic alignment of program requirements.
Question No. 582—
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
    With regard to the government's ArriveCan application: (a) since January 1, 2022, how many individuals have been exempted from the requirement to submit the information required by the application prior to arriving in Canada; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by circumstance or reason for exemption (professional sports team, humanitarian refugee, no access to electronic device, etc.)?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, since January 1, 2022, there have been no exemptions to submitting the required information in ArriveCAN.
Question No. 583—
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
    With regard to VIA Rail's morning commuter service: when will train 651 between Kingston and Toronto (including stops in Coburg and Port Hope), be reinstated and begin operating again?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, VIA Rail’s ridership decreased 95% at the peak of the pandemic and demand is coming back.
    VIA Rail’s objective has always been the safe resumption of services when conditions allowed it, and the corporation is pleased to offer its passengers more options this summer with the return of most of its services across the country by the end of June 2022. This was announced on April 14, 2022, and is available at the following web address: https://media.viarail.ca/en/press-releases/2022/back-track-rail-increases-services-across-canada-time-summer.
    Throughout the pandemic, VIA Rail’s decision to add frequencies has been based on various factors, including demand and continuing to employ a balanced approach in order to fulfill VIA Rail’s important public service mandate and manage financial impacts.
    VIA Rail is therefore constantly evaluating its services, and after two years of the pandemic, VIA Rail is looking at the impact of the changes in travel habits on its operations, for example the new work-from-home reality.
    While train 651 is not slated to return in June 2022, VIA Rail continues to evaluate this route and several others. The corporation expects to complete an analysis of the impact of telecommuting and other business recovery considerations in the coming months.
Question No. 584—
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
    With regard to Royal Canadian Air Force flights, including training flights which flew over downtown Ottawa between January 1, 2022, and May 1, 2022: what are the details of each such flight, including (i) the date, (ii) the type of aircraft, (iii) the origin, (iv) the destination, (v) the number of individuals on board, (vi) the purpose of the flight, including the type of training, if applicable, (vii) whether there was any equipment on board that could be used for any type of surveillance, and, if so, the type of equipment on board, (viii) whether any surveillance was conducted, or equipment that conducts surveillance was used, even if as part of a training exercise, and, if so, the details of what was used and how it was used?
Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF, operates multiple fleets of aircraft across Canada. On a daily basis, these aircraft conduct routine operations, including search and rescue activities, transportation of cargo, pilot training, medical transportation, the secure transportation of VIPs and deployment of personnel for operations in Canada and abroad.
    As part of routine operations and training, the RCAF may fly over downtown Ottawa depending on air traffic, the runway required to depart or arrive at the Ottawa or Gatineau airports and the routings issued by the air traffic controller. Additionally, RCAF aircraft may fly over downtown Ottawa as part of public relations events and ceremonial activities, including Remembrance Day.
    Providing the requested details would require a manual search of data for over 115 RCAF flights that used the Ottawa or Gatineau airports between January 1, 2022, and May 1, 2022, which could not be completed in the allotted time.
    While not in the scope of this Order Paper question, National Defence previously shared information on this matter. The training was planned prior to, and was unrelated to, the domestic event that was taking place at the time. These flights are conducted in order to maintain essential qualifications and currency on airborne ISR-related equipment. The training was planned as part of annual training requirements, and the capabilities were booked in advance. Cancelling such training would have been costly and would have had a negative impact on maintaining required certifications and qualifications and thus on Canadian Armed Forces operational readiness.
Question No. 587—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the sum of $68,820,713 issued in remissions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to broadcasters that was listed on page 13 of the President of the Treasury Board's Fees Report for the 2020-21 fiscal year: what is the breakdown of this sum for each broadcaster, media outlet, or company?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Information has been withheld on the grounds that it constitutes financial information that is confidential information supplied to the commission by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party.
Question No. 590—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the tariff on fertilizer originating from Russia: how much revenue money 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. This includes products subject to the general tariff of 35% that now applies to virtually all goods from Russia and Belarus pursuant to the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff Withdrawal Order (2022-1) P.C. 2022-0182, which came into force on March 2, 2022. This order also specifies that it does not apply to goods that were in transit to Canada on or before March 2, 2022.
    From the time the order took effect until June 30, 2022, fertilizer importations with a value for duty of $75.5 million were subject to the in-transit exclusion, and no customs duties applied. Importations with a value for duty of $97.5 million were subject to the general tariff, with a total value of customs duties collected of $34.1 million.
    On June 27, at the G7 leaders’ summit in Elmau, Germany, Canada and other G7 members committed to explore possible pathways to use these tariff revenues to assist Ukraine.
    Effective June 20, 2022, the government also provided additional interest-free relief under the advance payment program. This change is forecast to save producers $61 million over two program years to offset the rising costs of inputs, including fertilizers.
Question No. 591—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to individuals requiring an urgent passport for travel commencing within two business days or less being turned away or told to return to passport offices another day, since March 1, 2022: (a) on how many days, broken down by month and by passport office location, were individuals turned away due to (i) lack of capacity, (ii) other reasons, broken down by reason; and (b) does the government have estimates on the number of individuals who were turned away in (a), and, if so, what are they?
Ms. Ya’ara Saks (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, passport applicants with proof of travel within two business days are not turned away from passport sites. In large urban centers, Service Canada has implemented triage measures to provide a more intensive, client-specific approach. Across the country, managers and executives are speaking directly with clients in order to triage lineups at specialized passport sites. This ensures that clients are prioritized by date of travel and, while wait times may be lengthy, are provided the service required.
    Clients travelling within two business days are instructed to visit a specialized passport site that offers urgent pickup service, while those travelling within 45 business days are encouraged to make an appointment and apply in person at one of the 35 passport sites across the country. Clients travelling beyond 45 business days can make an appointment and apply in person at a Service Canada centre or by mail. We do not track the number of individuals who do not receive service at passport offices.
    The service standard for processing the in-person passport applications done at one of the Service Canada specialized passport sites is 10 days. Service Canada has been continuously meeting the performance target for this service standard. For the week ending July 31, 96% of those who applied in person at a specialized passport office received their passports in under 10 business days, and 81% of Canadians currently receive their passports in under 40 business days.
Question No. 592—
Mr. Ryan Williams:
    With regard to the Canada Border Services Agency and the current backlog of 295,133 Nexus applications: (a) what is the government's projected timeframe for clearing the backlog; (b) what is the government's projection for what the backlog will be as of (i) October 1, 2022, (ii) January 1, 2023, (iii) April 1, 2023, (iv) July 1, 2023; (c) when will the Canadian enrollment centres open for applicant interviews, broken down by each location; and (d) what is the government's explanation for why the United States was able to open Nexus enrolment centres for applicant interviews in April 2022, yet the Canadian centres remain closed?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), CBSA jointly administers the Nexus trusted traveller program with United States Customs and Border Protection, or CBP. All initial applicants, along with approximately 30% of renewing members, require an interview for the purposes of identity or document verification and the collection of biometrics
    It is difficult to project future application numbers, as a number of factors contribute to interview demand, including travel intentions and the U.S. exchange rate. The CBSA is working closely with CBP to increase the capacity of existing enrolment centres, to return CBP officers to Canadian enrolment centres and to expand opportunities for applicants, such as the use of virtual interviews using video conferencing technologies. Given variability in demand and capacity, the CBSA cannot commit to a timeline to clear the interview backlog.
    With regard to part (b), the CBSA is working to address the interview capacity and is not able to provide a projection at this time.
    With regard to part (c), a date has not yet been determined regarding the reopening of Canadian enrolment centres. Canada and the U.S. are currently discussing the timing of the resumption of interviews at Canadian enrolment centres. CBSA has always taken a national approach to reopening all enrolment centres at the same time, and the agency plans on adopting the same approach once a decision is made to reopen enrolment centres.
    With regard to part (d), the Nexus program is jointly administered by Canada and the U.S. Canada and the U.S. are in discussions about the timing of the reopening of Canadian enrolment centres. Until that time, enrolment centres in Canada will continue to be closed.
Question No. 594—
Mr. Rob Morrison:
    With regard to the government's decision to allow the possession of up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs, including fentanyl, to be decriminalized in British Columbia: (a) does Health Canada consider a 2.5 gram dose of fentanyl to be potentially lethal; (b) does Health Canada still consider the statement on its website in reference to fentanyl that "A few grains can be enough to kill you" to be accurate; (c) if the response to (b) is negative, when did the position change and why; and (d) what does Health Canada consider to be a safe amount of fentanyl that may be consumed without causing death?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, a lethal dose can vary from person to person. The composition and purity of the illegal drug supply varies, including strong opioids such as fentanyl. In particular, the illegal drug supply remains contaminated by potent drugs like fentanyl and its analogues and has the potential to pose harm to people who use drugs. Health Canada recognizes that fentanyl is a dangerous drug due to its potency and risk of overdose, in particular if used in ways that increase risk of harm, such as using alone or mixed with other substances. For this reason, fentanyl and its analogues are controlled under Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Activities with fentanyl such as possession and production are illegal, unless authorized through the Act’s regulations or an exemption under the Act.
    With regard to 100% pure fentanyl, not to the illegal drug supply, the lethal dose of fentanyl has never been determined in humans. From a precautionary approach, it is generally considered that fentanyl has the potential to be lethal at doses over 2 milligrams.
    Substance use and its harms are shaped by several complex factors. A number of factors contribute to overdose fatalities, including mixing substances, as when taking opioids with alcohol or sedatives; method of use; level of tolerance, as someone with a higher tolerance may use more of a drug than someone else; unknown purity or potency as a result of contaminants in the illegal drug supply; or other health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease or breathing problems. Anyone who uses illegal drugs, including fentanyl, should continue to engage in harm reduction measures to reduce the risk of overdose and death.
    In response to a request from the Province of British Columbia, from January 31, 2023, to January 31, 2026, adults 18 and over in B.C. will not be subject to criminal charges for the possession of up to 2.5 grams of certain illegal drugs for personal use. More information on the exemption can be found at the Health Canada website.
    In assessing this exemption request, the dual objectives of the CDSA—to protect public health and maintain public safety—were considered. The inclusion of fentanyl in this exemption and the associated threshold should not be misconstrued as a statement on its safety. Anyone who uses illegal drugs, including fentanyl, should continue to engage in harm reduction measures to reduce the risk of overdose and death.
    With respect to B.C.’s exemption, it is important to note that the amount of the listed illegal drugs that a person may possess does not necessarily equate to the amount they will use at one time. Someone who uses drugs may be in possession of more than they plan to use at one time for a number of reasons, such as limited local availability of drugs for purchase; transportation/geographic considerations, such as living in rural or remote locations; or buying in bulk to reduce interaction with the illegal market.
    This exemption only relates to possession for personal use. Trafficking, as well as unauthorized possession for the purposes of trafficking, remain illegal regardless of the amount of controlled substances involved. Further, it is also important to note that law enforcement can still arrest and seize drugs at any amount, even under the 2.5-gram threshold, for other offences, such as trafficking. Above the threshold, law enforcement will continue to use their discretion to determine intent, and prosecutors will need to consider the Public Prosecution Service of Canada’s guidance on possession charges.
    Several sources of data were carefully considered with respect to the threshold in B.C.’s exemption, including purchasing and use patterns, public health data and law enforcement data such as drug seizures.
    As this is the first exemption of its kind in Canada, its implementation will be rigorously monitored to measure progress toward established objectives and intended outcomes, and to identify unintended consequences and other potential risks. Ongoing evaluation will take place throughout the duration of the exemption, including independent, peer-reviewed, third party evaluation.
    This exemption is one additional tool to support B.C.’s comprehensive response to this public health crisis. The Government of Canada’s approach to addressing the overdose crisis also aims to reduce stigma and harm associated with substance use and reduce the trafficking of illegal drugs. This includes increasing access to pharmaceutical-grade alternatives to the toxic drug supply to provide a safer supply, border enforcement of precursor chemical imports, investing in a robust system of care that includes mental health, and monitoring and evaluating efforts to inform an evidence base and identify best practices.
Question No. 596—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and its College of Reviewers: (a) what specific conflict of interest prohibitions, if any, are placed on the reviewers; (b) what specific prohibitions, if any, are placed on the reviewers' current or past activities related to conducting work, (including any previous employment), by a firm or organization that applied for funding through the CIHR; (c) since 2016, broken down by year, how many reviewers have been removed from their position due to conflict of interest prohibitions; and (d) what are the details or summary of each instance in (c)?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), all participants of the peer review process, including peer reviewers, are subject to the conflict of interest and confidentiality policy of the federal research funding organizations, which defines conditions under which an individual cannot be a peer reviewer, in particular sections 6.2.1 and 6.2.2. Those conditions are further detailed in the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Peer Reviewers and Peer Review Observers, the signing of which is a condition of participation in peer review.
    The agreement states that there may be a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest when the peer reviewer or observer would receive professional or personal benefit resulting from the funding opportunity or application being reviewed; has a professional or personal relationship with an applicant or the applicant’s institution; has a direct or indirect financial interest in a funding opportunity or application being reviewed; or is currently under investigation for an alleged breach of funding organization policies.
    A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist or perceived as such when peer reviewers or observers are applicants within the competition and have ability to bias or influence the process to the benefit of their application; are a relative or close friend, or have a personal relationship with an applicant; are in a position to gain or lose financially/materially from the funding of an application; have had long-standing scientific or personal differences with an applicant; are currently affiliated with an applicant’s institution, organization or company, including research hospitals and research institutes; or are closely professionally affiliated with an applicant because of having in the last six years frequent and regular interactions with an applicant in the course of their duties at their department, institution, organization or company; been a supervisor or a trainee of an applicant; collaborated, published, or shared funding with an applicant, or have plans to do so in the immediate future; or been employed by the institution when an institution is the applicant; and/or feel for any reason unable to provide an impartial review of the application.
    With regard to (b), as outlined above, there are numerous conditions defining a conflict of interest and which may prevent a fair review from proceeding, most notably when reviewers are closely professionally affiliated with an applicant, as a result of having in the last six years frequent and regular interactions with an applicant in the course of their duties at their department, institution, organization or company. Together with the list of other conditions, this is intended to mitigate against any conflict of interest situations.
    With regard to (c) and (d), CIHR does not “remove” members from their position as a member of the peer review committee; rather, their self-declared conflicts are used by CIHR to manage and avoid conflicts of interest during the peer review meetings. Practically speaking, this means that during peer review meetings, a member will be asked to leave the discussions for an application on which they declared a conflict of interest. That member is also not given access to any material related to that same application. Members in a conflict-of-interest situation are returned to the discussion once deliberations on the application in conflict have ended. This approach avoids conflict of interest situations in the scientific peer review process at the core of the CIHR mandate.
Question No. 599—
Mr. Jeremy Patzer:
    With regard to the government's claim that its decision to keep various pandemic-related restrictions in place, such as mask mandates and mandatory vaccination requirements, is based on science: (a) is it based on medical science or political science; (b) for each restriction still in place as of June 3, 2022, is there any specific scientific evidence to support the restriction, and, if so, what is the evidence; (c) is the scientific evidence in Canada different than the evidence used by governments in the European Union, the United States, and other parts of the world that have eliminated such restrictions; and (d) if the scientific evidence in (c) is different, how is it different?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as of June 3, 2022, the in-force Order in Council, or OIC, regarding COVID-19 is OIC 2022-0567, “Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order”. OIC 2022-0567 came into force on May 31, 2022. The OIC was repealed and replaced by “OIC 2022-0836 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order” on June 27 and remains in effect until September 30, 2022.
    With regard to (a), the Government of Canada’s decision with respect to COVID19 border measures continue to be based on epidemiological scientific evidence.
    The government’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the government has taken unprecedented action to implement a comprehensive strategy with layers of precautionary measures.
    SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and was a new strain of virus that had never before been seen in humans. SARS-CoV-2 causes the disease COVID-19. Canada’s first case of the disease was confirmed on January 27, 2020. Originally seen to be a local outbreak, COVID-19 spread rapidly, and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization, WHO, declared a COVI-19 pandemic. Five days later, Canada had 401 confirmed cases, and the chief public health officer, or CPHO, of Canada stated that COVID‑19 posed a serious health risk. COVID-19 has now affected the majority of countries around the world. As of June 13, 2022, over two years after the WHO declared a pandemic, the WHO COVID-19 dashboard was reporting more than 533 million global cases and more than 6.3 million global deaths.
    Between February 3, 2020, and May 31, 2022, 79 emergency OICs were made under the Quarantine Act to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Canada, to reduce the risk of importation from other countries, to repatriate Canadians and to strengthen measures at the border to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in Canada. Combined, these measures have been effective in significantly reducing the number of travel-related cases.
    Any changes to international travel restrictions and advice are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments. With the COVID-19 vaccines assisting in pandemic control measures, the government has used a phased approach to easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers and maintaining requirements for unvaccinated travellers. These decisions are grounded in meeting specific public health criteria, and based on scientific evidence and the epidemiological situation in Canada and globally.
    With regard to (b), epidemiological scientific evidence underpinned the government’s COVID-19 border measures, including those that remain in place as of June 3, 2022.
    As of June 3, 2022 under “OIC 2022-0567 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order”, foreign nationals intending to enter Canada must meet the specified vaccination requirements. In addition, travellers permitted entry into Canada are subject to requirements for tests, quarantine and other post-border measures, as applicable, in Canada.
    With regard to (c), the Government of Canada engages its international partners, and leverages the WHO’s unique convening role to bring together expertise and resources from nearly 200 member states via initiatives such as the technical advisory group on SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution and the WHO hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence to monitor and evaluate the evolution of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
    The scientific evidence used to inform Canada’s international border measures was based on the epidemiological situation in Canada, the global body of epidemiological evidence on COVID-19, and the effectiveness of related public health measures and global trends. Canadian measures are implemented in the interest of the health and safety of the Canadian public.
    Likewise, Canada’s high vaccination rates and epidemiological situation supported the lifting of pre-arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers as of April 1, 2022. Pre-arrival testing requirements remain in place for unvaccinated travellers five years of age or older, except for children under the age of 12 if they are accompanying a fully vaccinated adult. To protect against the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada and to reduce the potential burden on the health care system, the Government of Canada continues to take a precautionary approach by maintaining current quarantine and testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers and limiting entry to fully vaccinated foreign nationals and persons with right of entry into Canada, with limited exceptions.
    With regard to (d), the scientific evidence used to inform Canada’s international border measures was based on the epidemiological situation in Canada, the global body of epidemiological evidence on COVID-19, and the effectiveness of related public health measures and global trends. Canadian measures are implemented in the interest of the health and safety of the Canadian public.
Question No. 601—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): (a) have the shows (i) Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story, (ii) Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II, (iii) Trudeau, (iv) Trudeau II: Maverick in the Making, (v) Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, been removed from CBC Gem and other online CBC platforms; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of the removal of each show, including, for each, (i) why it was removed, (ii) what steps the CBC has taken to preserve the content, (iii) the dates on which it was removed, (iv) who made the decision to remove the content, (v) the date on which the Minister of Canadian Heritage became aware of the shows' removal, (vi) the actions taken by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, if any, to ensure that these and other heritage shows were preserved?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the requested titles, all were created by independent producers. CBC purchases the rights to broadcast and stream each show for a set period of time from the independent producer, who maintains ownership of the program.
    In response to (a), CBC did not take online viewing rights for Trudeau, Trudeau II: Maverick in the Making, and Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, as these programs were produced before online streaming. Those shows were therefore never on CBC Gem or any other online CBC platforms.
    In response to (b)(i), (b)(iii) and (b)(iv), CBC licensed online rights from the independent producer for Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story and Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II. Those programs were available for online viewing by audiences until the expiry of those agreements in January 2016 and March 2019 respectively.
    In response to (b)(ii), the titles enumerated in (b)(i) were funded by the former Canadian Television Fund, CTF, or the current Canada Media Fund, CMF. Pursuant to the independent producers’ agreement with the CTF/CMF, copies of these programs may have been provided to Library and Archives Canada.
    In response to (b)(v) and (b)(vi), CBC/Radio-Canada is an arm’s-length Crown corporation established by the Broadcasting Act that has full freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence. We do not inform the Minister of Canadian Heritage about specific programming decisions.
Question No. 603—
Mr. Jeremy Patzer:
    With regard to the government's decision to keep COVID-19 related travel and employment restrictions in place months longer than the United States, the European Union, and other countries around the world: (a) is the Prime Minister making this decision based on what scientists are telling him and, if so, what are the names and the titles of the scientists who the Prime Minister is actually listening to; and (b) what specific rationale did each scientist in (a) use to justify why Canada should maintain these restrictions despite the decision of other countries to drop them?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in regard to part (a) of the question, since the onset of the pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada, or PHAC, has provided guidance and advice on public health measures at both the individual and community level to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people living in Canada. PHAC’s guidance is informed by scientific evidence, expert opinion and established public health practices. The implementation of vaccine mandates in the fall of 2021 was a decision of the Government of Canada informed by public health advice.
    The vaccine mandate was introduced in recognition of the public health situation in Canada, specifically, to ensure the safety and security of the transportation system, passengers and transportation employees, and the public, delivering immediate protection from infection and severity of illness in workplaces and for travellers.
    Canada’s vaccination mandate for the transport sector was informed by scientific evidence and information on the efficacy, availability and uptake of vaccines; the evolving domestic and international epidemiological situation; and the effectiveness of public health and other measures.
    Since then, the epidemiological context has changed considerably, including regional trends, availability of health care system capacity, long-range modelling and evidence concerning vaccine effectiveness, specifically against infection and transmission of circulating variants. With regard to the easing of measures and suspending of mandates, the Minister of Health and the Government of Canada carefully considered the emerging evidence regarding the impact of omicron, as well as other relevant factors, including vaccination rates in Canada of those with two doses and boosted. The government administered necessary measures to keep Canadians safe from public health threats.
    In response to part (b), as announced on June 14, 2022, the government suspended the federal vaccine mandates effective June 20, 2022, for the federal public service and the federally regulated transportation sector. The Government of Canada’s decision to suspend the mandatory vaccination requirements was informed by key indicators, including the evolution of the virus; the epidemiologic situation and modelling, that is stabilization of infection and hospitalizations across the country; vaccine science; and high levels of vaccination in Canada against COVID-19.
    With higher levels of immunity, either through vaccination or infection, greater availability of anti-viral drugs and lower hospitalization rates, Canada is better equipped to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce pressure on the health care system. The government will continue to closely monitor domestic and international scientific evidence and evaluate the new public health measures, particularly as we approach the fall.
    Similarly, the scientific evidence used to inform Canada’s international border measures was based on the epidemiological situation in Canada, the global body of epidemiological evidence on COVID-19 and the effectiveness of related public health measures and global trends. Canadian measures are implemented in the interest of the health and safety of the Canadian public.
    Any changes to international travel restrictions and advice are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments. Consequently, as the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and circulate in Canada and around the world, and with the COVID-19 vaccines assisting in pandemic control measures, the government has used a phased approach to easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers and maintaining requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
    It is important to note that effectiveness varies depending on the COVID-19 vaccine product received, and that effectiveness decreases over time following vaccination. However, COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Further, Canada recognizes that, against omicron and its sublineages, a primary vaccine series is less effective at decreasing symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, but still offers reasonable protection against severe disease.
    To protect against the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada and to reduce the potential burden on the health care system, the Government of Canada continues to take a precautionary approach by maintaining current quarantine and testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers and limiting entry to fully vaccinated foreign nationals and persons with right of entry into Canada, with limited exceptions.
Question No. 606—
Mrs. Tracy Gray:
    With regard to the Canada Digital Adoption Program: (a) what is the number of businesses which have applied, as of June 7, 2022, to the (i) "Grow Your Business Online" stream, (ii) "Boost Your Business Technology" stream; (b) what is the number of students hired, as of June 7, 2022, via the (i) "Grow Your Business Online" stream, (ii) "Boost Your Business Technology" stream, broken down by week since April 6, 2022; and (c) of the $ 47,122,734 value of the contracts allocated to Magnet to administer the "Boost Your Business Technology" stream for the 2022-23 fiscal year, what (i) is the dollar amount that has so far been provided to Magnet, broken down by week since April 1, 2022, (ii) are the thresholds or criteria which Magnet is required to meet under the contract to receive allocated funding?
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a)(i), 23070 businesses have registered their interest with Grow Your Business Online, GYBO, intermediaries as of May 31, 2022. In addition, 632 of these businesses submitted a completed application to the intermediaries. Data is reported on a monthly basis and cannot be broken down by a specific day or week; so the number of businesses that have applied is reported as of May 31.
    With regard to (a)(ii), as of June 7, 2022, 2,579 businesses have applied to the Boost Your Business Technology stream.
    With regard to (b)(i), as of June 7, 2022, 263 e-commerce advisers have been hired via the GYBO stream. Following April 6, 2022, 109 e-commerce advisors were hired in April and 154 in May. Intermediaries provide monthly reports, which do not include a breakdown of data by week.
    With regard to (b)(ii) and (c), as of June 7, 2022, no students or recent graduates have yet been hired by eligible business for the CDAP – Boost Your Business Technology Stream-funded work placement. Eligible businesses must first obtain a digital adoption plan and receive their grant, or be approved through the fast-track process, before they are able to hire students to assist them with their digital transformation. It takes about three months for a digital adviser to develop a digital adoption plan for a business. Given that the program was launched in early March 2022, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, anticipates the first clients requesting the funded work placement wage subsidy in late June. The youth placement subsidy will be paid by Magnet at a cost of up to $7,300 as reimbursement upon production of proof of wage payment by the business. ISED will reimburse Magnet for the full costs of the wage subsidies to eligible small and medium enterprises. Under the contribution agreement, ISED also will dispense funding to Magnet based on administration costs incurred, up to a maximum of 12% of the total program funding budgeted for the funded youth work placements.
Question No. 608—
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to the findings in the Parliamentary Budget Officer's (PBO) report from March 24, 2022, that "Most households in provinces under the backstop will see a net loss resulting from federal carbon pricing": (a) why has the Minister of Environment and Climate Change continued to promote the government's talking point that 8 out of 10 families are better off under the carbon tax, even after the PBO's report shows that such a claim is either misinformation or disinformation; and (b) does the government have any policies against the promotion of misinformation or disinformation, and, if so, why are such policies not being implemented in this matter?
Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, there has been some confusion about the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, or PBO, and the details are important.
    The PBO report broadly consists of two main parts. The first part looks at direct costs like increased fuel prices, and the revenue that is returned to households. This first part is straightforward and underscores how carbon pricing works. By gradually increasing the cost of fossil fuels and returning proceeds to Canadians, carbon pricing delivers an incentive to choose greener options while keeping the policy affordable. Importantly, the PBO’s report confirms that, under the federal carbon pricing system, the average household receives more in climate action incentive, or CAI, payments than they face in direct costs due to carbon pricing. Most households come out ahead, and low-income households, in particular, do much better. This is because CAI payments are based on the average amount paid in the province, and high-income households tend to use more energy for larger and more vehicles and larger houses, but everyone gets the same amount of money back.
    The second part of the PBO report is where the confusion arises. The report claims that, in addition to paying the carbon price, each household also “pays” in the form of slower gross domestic product, or GDP, growth. The problem with this conclusion is that the PBO report compares GDP growth in a scenario with carbon pricing to GDP growth in a scenario in which there is no action of any kind to address climate change. This approach highlights the costs of one policy without considering real alternatives. This is not a valid comparison. Inaction on climate change is not an option. It would lead to massive costs in the future.
    An appropriate comparison would include a scenario with carbon pricing and a scenario in which climate change is addressed by measures other than carbon pricing. Compared to alternatives, such as more regulations or bigger spending, experts agree that carbon pricing is the least expensive of all the policies to address climate change. In that comparison, the carbon pricing scenario comes out ahead.
    The PBO report also acknowledges that its assessment of the impacts of carbon pricing does not account for the benefits of carbon pricing. Further, the study does not quantify the avoided climate damages associated with the greenhouse gas emissions reduced by carbon pricing. Without accounting for these, and other complementary policies and investments, including the numerous expected economic benefits of pricing, the report’s GDP projections likely overestimate the impact of carbon pricing on GDP growth. Finally, by presenting the difference between scenarios as a cost, a scenario where we put a price on pollution and one where we do nothing, the analysis contributes to a misconception that carbon pricing causes GDP to decline, when in fact, according to the PBO’s analysis, GDP and incomes rise in both scenarios, only at different rates. Carbon pricing drives innovation and new technologies, and this creates jobs and economic growth. When you compare carbon pricing with other options, study after study confirms the benefits of carbon pricing.
    Although the Government of Canada does not currently have any policies that specifically mention misinformation or disinformation, the policy on communications and federal identity requires all government communications to be “objective, factual, non-partisan, clear, and written in plain language.”
Question No. 612—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the statement, in June 2022, at the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is currently operating with approximately 600 fewer screening agents compared to pre-pandemic staffing levels: (a) why is CATSA operating with fewer screeners; (b) when will CATSA meet or exceed its pre-pandemic staffing levels; (c) what action, if any, did the Minister of Transport take in early 2022 to ensure that CATSA had enough screening agents, and why did such action still result in CATSA having 600 fewer screening agents; (d) on what specific date did the Minister of Transport first become aware that there would be a shortage of CATSA screening agents; and (e) on the date in (d), what were the projections regarding the shortage, including the number of screeners CATSA would be short by and the resulting wait times at airports as a result of the shortage?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (c), Transport Canada has been collaborating closely with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, CATSA, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including on the matter of helping to ensure sufficient screening agents to support air sector recovery.
    A key component of CATSA’s ability to secure sufficient screening officers is making sure that CATSA is sufficiently funded. CATSA typically seeks an annual funding supplement to cover its full year operations, and in early 2022, Transport Canada was working to secure funding for fiscal year 2022-23 of $330 million, which was subsequently secured via the supplementary estimates (A), 2022-23. The majority of these additional funds is intended for CATSA’s screening contactors and is based on CATSA’s projections for air traffic volumes and related requirements for sufficient screening agents and screening hours.
    Transport Canada also, working closely with CATSA, implemented a plan that facilitated the expedited hiring and training of new screening officers without compromising security. This measure proved effective at increasing the number of screening officers at passenger screening checkpoints.
    With regard to part (d), Transport Canada has been collaborating with CATSA throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. CATSA began planning for postpandemic recovery in 2020. From the outset of the pandemic, CATSA retained 75% of its workforce as a means to be positioned to support the recovery of air traffic volumes. CATSA began the process of recalling its screening officers in 2021 in preparation for a recovery and kept Transport Canada apprised of the situation. A resurgence of the virus with the delta and omicron variants delayed the start of that recovery. As the air sector began to recover, CATSA worked closely with Transport Canada, airports and air carriers to forecast the demand for a busy summer period.
    With regard to part (e), demand for air travel was originally anticipated to return to pre-COVID-19 air traffic levels in 2023-24. CATSA had forecast screening 59.6 million passengers in 2022-23 and 69.8 million passengers in 2023-24. The current recovery began with air traffic levels increasing materially in April and May 2022.
    According to its initial projections, CATSA was planning to have 7,100 screening officers on strength to meet demand in July 2022. The actual demand in spring 2022 was above CATSA’s forecast at a time when CATSA was ramping up its operations and navigating through a difficult labor market characterized by laid-off screening officers not returning to work, attrition and absenteeism due to illness, and COVID-19 isolation protocols. In April 2022, CATSA already had 6,500 screening officers on strength. However, by July 26, 2022, it had hired over 1,600 new security screening officers, bringing its target for officers required to manage summer volumes from 93% to 102%.
    Transport Canada acted quickly when it became clear that volumes were increasing to the point that they were challenging the capacity of the system. In addition to the expedited hiring and training measures noted in response (c), Transport Canada formed the airport recovery operations committee, which developed, jointly with industry representatives, concrete solutions to address the delays at the large airports during peak periods.
    With regard to part (a), in May 2021, CATSA and the authority’s screening contractors began recalling screening officers in anticipation of an increase in passenger traffic for 2022-23. At the same time, CATSA’s screening contractors began recruiting new screening officer candidates. The aviation industry as a whole has been affected by a number of challenges, including labour markets and the speed at which passenger traffic increased in April and May.
    With regard to part (b), CATSA continues to work with the authority’s screening contractors to increase the number of active screening officers at security screening checkpoints across the country, with a greater focus on the busiest airports.
    There is no specific target to meet or exceed prepandemic staffing levels. CATSA aims to increase the number of screening officers by 1,000 in fiscal year 2022-23 to address updated passenger volumes. As of June 8, 2022, screening officer staffing levels already meet or exceed prepandemic levels at several airports, including Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Question No. 613—
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
    With regard to the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act earlier this year: did any police force make a request for the Act to be invoked, and, if so, what are the specific details of any such requests, including which police forces submitted a request, and on what date each such request was received by the government?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to Public Safety Canada, PS, the reasons for issuing the declaration of a public order emergency were set in the public document of explanation pursuant to subsection 58(1) of the Emergencies Act, as well as a public document outlining the consultations that occurred around the invocation of the act. These documents highlight that between the end of January and February 14, 2022, the escalation of the threat across the country was regularly communicated by provinces and territories, PTs, and police of jurisdiction, POJs, to the federal government. They requested the federal government’s action in supporting PoJs to address the threat.
    Testifying before the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency on May 10, 2022, the commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki, explained that the RCMP did not request for the act to be invoked and that “[t]he measures enacted under the Emergencies Act provided all police officers across the country—not just the RCMP—with the ability to deal with blockades and unlawful public assemblies.” She testified that it was her belief “that the act provided [law enforcement agencies] with the tools to resolve the crisis swiftly and peacefully”.
    During the events of January and February 2022, federal ministers and senior officials continuously engaged provinces and territories, municipalities, and law enforcement agencies to assess the situation and to offer the support and assistance of the Government of Canada. Testifying before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, on Tuesday, May 17, the interim chief of the Ottawa Police Service, OPS, Steve Bell, confirmed that the OPS was “involved in conversations with our partners and the political ministries.” Interim Chief Bell also informed Parliament in his testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, on March 24, 2022, that, “[f]rom a policing perspective, the legislation provided the OPS with the ability to prevent people from participating in this unlawful protest.” He referred to the invocation of the act as “a critical piece of [their] efforts”.
    With regard to the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not make a request for the act to be invoked.
Question No. 616—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to the daily Changing of the Guard Ceremony on Parliament Hill during the summer: (a) why did the government cancel the event for the summer of 2022; (b) which minister is responsible for the decision to cancel the event, and on what date did the minister either make or sign off on the decision; (c) what are the government's estimates on the amount of economic activity and benefits that the event brings to Ottawa each year; and (d) on what dates will the ceremony take place in 2023?
Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) and (b), National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, CAF, have been taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of members, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and continue essential military operations, including in contributing to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAF has been unable to train to the same scale and levels due to essential force health protection measures, which, as a result, have stretched CAF operational resources both domestically and abroad. The chief of the defence staff, as the responsible authority for the command, control, and administration of the CAF, made the decision to cancel the changing of the guard in both Ottawa and Quebec. The decision to cancel these large-scale ceremonial events was not taken lightly and was part of a deliberate effort to ensure capacity for essential activities to regenerate the force and prioritize the defence of Canada.
    The ceremonial guard, who normally mount the changing of the guard, will support efforts to regenerate Canadian Army Reserve soldiers. They will focus their summer training on basic military qualification courses, which will enable them to train new recruits.
    Although the changing of the guard will not take place this summer, the national sentry program has resumed for 2022. Barring changes in health postures by the City of Ottawa or the CAF, sentries will be posted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 10, 2022.
    Further information about the sentry program can be found at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/programs/national-sentry-program.html.
    In response to part (c), National Defence does not create estimates of this nature. The decision was based on CAF operational requirements.
    In response to part (d), at this time, a decision has yet to be made for the 2023 season.
Question No. 617—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the June 7, 2022, testimony of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety to the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency during which he stated that the Minister of Public Safety was “misunderstood”: (a) in relation to the minister’s comments, in the House of Commons, on May 2, 2022, that “at the recommendation of police, we invoked the Emergencies Act to protect Canadians”, (i) is the minister’s claim accurate and true, (ii) what information was the minister relying upon in making that claim, and who provided it to him, (iii) was the minister “misunderstood”, and, if so, what is the nature of the “misunderstanding”, (iv) what are the details of the actions taken by the deputy minister or other officials in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to correct the minister’s “misunderstanding”, (v) has the minister corrected the “misunderstanding” in the House, and, if so, what are the details of that correction, (vi) did the deputy minister notify the Clerk of the Privy Council of the minister’s “misunderstood” comments, and, if so, what are the details of that notification, (vii) was the Prime Minister notified of the minister’s “misunderstood” comments, and, if so, what are the details of that notification; (b) in relation to the minister’s comments, in the House of Commons, on April 28, 2022, that “the invocation of the Emergencies Act was only put forward after police officials told us they needed this special power”, (i) is the minister’s claim accurate and true, (ii) what information was the minister relying upon in making that claim, and who provided it to him, (iii) was the minister “misunderstood”, and, if so, what is the nature of the “misunderstanding”, (iv) what are the details of the actions taken by the deputy minister or other officials in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to correct the minister’s “misunderstanding”, (v) has the minister corrected the “misunderstanding” in the House, and, if so, what are the details of that correction, (vi) did the deputy minister notify the Clerk of the Privy Council of the minister’s “misunderstood” comments, and, if so, what are the details of that notification, (vii) was the Prime Minister notified of the minister’s “misunderstood” comments, and, if so, what are the details of that notification; (c) are there any further comments made by the minister in the House of Commons or elsewhere, concerning the February 2022 public order emergency, which the deputy minister believes have been “misunderstood”, and, if so, what are the details of those comments and the nature of the “misunderstanding”; and (d) which of the minister’s “misunderstood” comments does the government believe constitute (i) misinformation, (ii) disinformation?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the reasons for issuing the declaration of a public order emergency were set out in the public document of explanation pursuant to subsection 58(1) of the Emergencies Act, as well as a public document outlining the consultations that occurred around the invocation of the act. These documents highlight that between the end of January and February 14, 2022, the escalation of the threat across the country was regularly communicated by provinces and territories, PTs, and police of jurisdiction, POJs, to the federal government. They requested the federal government’s action in supporting PoJs to address the threat. During the events of January and February 2022, federal ministers and senior officials continuously engaged provinces and territories, municipalities, and law enforcement agencies to assess the situation and to offer the support and assistance of the Government of Canada.
    Testifying before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, on March 24, 2022, the interim chief of the Ottawa Police Service, OPS, Steve Bell said, “From a policing perspective, the legislation provided the OPS with the ability to prevent people from participating in this unlawful protest”. He referred to the invocation of the act as “a critical piece of [their] efforts”.
    The minister’s comments on May 2, 2022, and April 28, 2022, were reflective of the requests by law enforcement for additional tools, not for use of a specific legislative vehicle, that in turn necessitated the invocation of the Emergencies Act, which was a decision of the government and clearly explained in the documents filed in the House.
Question No. 619—
Mr. Glen Motz:
    With regard to the June 7, 2022, evidence of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety to the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency that the Government of the United States of America offered tow trucks to the Government of Canada to address vehicle-based protests in February 2022: (a) by whom was the offer made; (b) to whom was the offer made; (c) on what date was the offer made; (d) how many tow trucks were offered; (e) who owned the tow trucks offered; (f) on what dates were tow trucks offered to be available; (g) in what locations were the tow trucks offered to be available; (h) was the offer accepted by the Government of Canada; (i) concerning the decision referred to in (h), (i) who made it, (ii) when was it made, (iii) when and by whom was it communicated to the United States government, (iv) to whom in the United States government was it communicated; (j) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, how many tow trucks were provided by the United States government, broken down by (i) locations in which they were deployed, (ii) dates on which they were deployed, (iii) who owned the tow trucks deployed; and (k) if the answer to (h) is negative, (i) why was the offer not accepted, (ii) how does this reconcile with the Government of Canada’s claims that a lack of available tow trucks, among other claims, required the proclamation of a national emergency?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada works closely with a range of partners, including provinces, territories and municipalities, to ensure the safety and security of our ports of entry. We also engage with our U.S. counterparts on points of mutual interest regarding the safety and security of our shared border. These dialogues continued throughout the public order emergency in winter 2022, and touched upon the potential sharing of towing resources as a way of ending the blockades peacefully.
Question No. 620—
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
    With regard to the Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on June 9, 2022: (a) what is the committee's total budget; (b) what portion of the budget is allocated for travel; (c) what portion of the budget is allocated for hospitality; (d) what, if any, ethical screens have been established for each co-chair and member; (e) when was it determined that current staffing resources at Global Affairs Canada were inadequate to develop Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy; (f) when does the government anticipate it will release Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy; and (g) has the anticipated timeline for the release of Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy changed in any way since October 26, 2021, and, if so, how?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b) and (c), the Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee will pursue its mandate in a cost-effective manner. In light of ongoing COVID-related considerations and the geographic diversity of committee members, a majority of committee engagements are expected to be pursued on a virtual basis. Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee members are participating on the committee in a personal and voluntary capacity and will not be compensated for their work. Travel and hospitality costs incurred by the committee members will be undertaken in a manner consistent with Government of Canada expense guidelines, including the Treasury Board “Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures” and the provisions of the National Joint Council travel directive and the Special Travel Authorities policy. and the special travel authorities policy.
    With regard to d), Global Affairs Canada and the members of the Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee are committed to upholding the highest standards of values and ethics. Global Affairs Canada consulted the office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and advised committee members that they are expected to provide advice exclusively in a personal capacity, and are required to recuse themselves from committee discussions or activities if potential, perceived or real conflicts of interest arise.
    With regard to (e), developments in the Indo-Pacific region will have profound impacts on the lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Finalizing and releasing an Indo-Pacific strategy is a priority for the Government of Canada, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and commensurate resources have been dedicated to supporting its development. The Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the private sector, civil society and government, and of indigenous peoples in Canada, will complement the work of the Government of Canada by ensuring that the Indo-Pacific strategy benefits from the diverse perspectives of Canadians.
    With regard to (f) and (g), the Government of Canada will take into consideration the views of the advisory committee as a basis to support the timely development and release of a made-in-Canada Indo-Pacific strategy that positions Canada for long-term success in this critical region, while supporting a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific area.
Question No. 622—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to fire control plans for each of Canada’s national parks, and broken down by individual park: (a) what are the specific parks' current fire control plans, including any plans for controlled burns; (b) what are the details of any agreements signed related to the plans, such as those for water bombers, mutual aid, or firefighting services; and (c) what are the details of all signed contracts which are currently in place related to the plans, including, for each, (i) the amount, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the start date, (iv) the end date, (v) the description of the goods or services, (vi) the list of the parks acquiring the goods or services, (vii) whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bid process, (viii) the file number?
Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Parks Canada concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a significant amount of time and effort, which is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
    The information requested in part (a) related to fire plans and controlled burns is specific to individual national parks and is therefore located in various business units across the agency. All national parks with fire-prone vegetation are required to have a fire management plan in place as per the Parks Canada agency wildland fire management directive. These plans provide strategic direction on fire management activities and provide planning and operational priorities for implementing the park/site fire management program. These plans include the following core fire program elements: prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, wildfire management and response, and prescribed fire implementation. Parks/sites that implement controlled burns, prescribed fires, are required to develop specific prescribed fire plans for each prescribed fire project. In any given year, there are several of those plans ready for implementation across the agency.
    The information pertaining to agreements and contracts for fire plans requested in parts (b) and (c) is not publicly available nor easily accessible. Overall, this request for all the plans, agreements and contracts would yield thousands of pages. Parks Canada has many wildfire mutual aid resource-sharing agreements in place at local, provincial and territorial levels, such as bilateral border zone agreements with most provinces and territories; nationally, such as the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resources Sharing Agreement; and internationally, with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Africa. Parks Canada uses contracts, supply arrangements, and standing offers for additional wildfire resources such as contract fire crews; structure protection specialists; aircraft; wildfire equipment, such as pumps and hoses; camps; catering services; and aircraft fuel.
Question No. 626—
Ms. Heather McPherson:
    With regard to sanctions imposed by Canada under the United Nations Act, the Special Economic Measures Act and the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, broken down by year, type of asset (e.g. property, finances) and assessed value, where available, notwithstanding that it may not reflect the entirety of sanctions enforced by other institutions: how many assets have Global Affairs Canada reported to the RCMP since 2014 concerning sanctions that are in relation to (i) Russia, (ii) Belarus, (iii) Ukraine (linked to Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity)?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Special Economic Measures Act, or SEMA, as well as its regulations. Every person in Canada and all Canadians outside of Canada must disclose to the RCMP the existence of property in their possession or control that is believed to be owned or controlled by a designated person.
    Global Affairs Canada has not reported any assets to the RCMP concerning sanctions in relation to Russia, Belarus or the Ukraine conflict. The RCMP’s role under SEMA consists of collecting information on assets owned or controlled by a designated person from financial institutions, entities and individuals.
    From February 24, 2022, to June 7, 2022, the RCMP reports that a total approximate equivalent of $123,031,866.85 Canadian in assets in Canada have been effectively frozen and a total approximate equivalent of $289,090,090.74 Canadian in transactions have been blocked as a result of the prohibitions in the SEMA Russia regulations.
    Given restrictions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be provided on these figures at this time.
Question No. 627—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the initial statement released by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) on June 10, 2022, to the Globe and Mail defending the presence of government officials at Russia Day festivities: (a) did the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs become aware of the statement that GAC gave to the Globe and Mail; (b) did the minister or her exempt staff approve the statement, or similar media lines, in any way, before GAC gave it to the Globe and Mail, and, if so, what are the details of what happened; (c) what was the highest level of official at GAC that approved the initial statement; and (d) did anyone in the Privy Council Office contact anyone at GAC regarding the statement between Friday, June 10, 2022, and the evening of Sunday, June 12, 2022, when the minister issued a statement with a different position, and, if so, what are the details of each contact, including the (i) direction communicated or the purpose of the communication, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) date and time, (v) method of communication (email, text, chat group, phone, etc.)?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) to (c), Canada is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Canada has also led in the international efforts to support Ukraine and will continue to be there for them.
    The decision to send a protocol officer to the Russia Day event hosted at the Russian embassy was made by Global Affairs Canada.
    No Canadian representative should have attended the event hosted at the Russian embassy, and no Canadian representative will attend this kind of event in the future.
    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian officials have not been and will not be invited to diplomatic events hosted by Canada, including events organized by the department’s office of protocol.
    Canada will continue to do everything in its power to hold Putin and his enablers accountable as we support Ukraine in the face of his illegal invasion.
    In response to part (d), based on the records available, the Privy Council Office did not contact anyone at Global Affairs Canada regarding the statement between Friday, June 10, 2022, and the evening of Sunday, June 12, 2022.
Question No. 629—
Mrs. Anna Roberts:
    With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada providing service dogs to certain veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: (a) since January 2020, how many dogs have been provided to veterans; (b) is there currently a backlog of requests for dogs, and, if so, how many requests are backlogged; (c) what is the average time between when a request is received and when the veterans receive the dogs; and (d) does the government have any plans to implement national standards for service dogs, and, if so, what are the details, including the timeline, of when such standards will be implemented?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs Canada recognizes that there is interest in using service dogs to assist veterans with mental health conditions. At this time, Veterans Affairs Canada does not directly provide any coverage for service dogs used for mental health conditions. However, Veterans Affairs Canada continues to review new studies and research to determine its future approach to mental health service dogs. Veterans Affairs Canada is always looking at ways to improve support for veterans based on evidence, while ensuring the health and safety of veterans.
    In 2015, Veterans Affairs Canada contracted with the Canadian General Standards Board to establish a set of national standards for mental health service dogs. In 2018, the board notified the technical committee members that it had withdrawn its intent to produce a national standard of Canada for service dogs, as there was no consensus among the committee members that the standard could be achieved. As a result, the initiative to develop a national standard was discontinued. Starting in 2019-20 through funding from Veterans Affairs Canada’s veteran and family well-being fund, Wounded Warriors Canada is establishing and implementing national standards for all post-traumatic stress disorder service dog providers, and clinically informed prescriber guidelines applicable to all applicants for a post-traumatic stress disorder service dog.
    The technical committee has 55 voting and non-voting members. The voting members include representatives from the Canadian Transportation Agency; Transport Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces directorate of mental health; Veterans Affairs Canada; the Government of Alberta; Brasseur, Paws Fur Thought; Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society; the National Service Dog Training Centre Inc.; MSAR Elite Service Dogs; Maritime Specialty Service Dogs Society; Citadel Canine Society; Courageous Companions Inc.; Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind; British Columbia Guide Dog Services; Lions Foundation of Canada, Dog Guides Canada; Assistance Dogs International; International Guide Dog Federation; Kristine Aanderson Counselling; Asista Foundation; the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association; the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies; the National Airline Council of Canada; the Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services; Canadian Service Dog Foundation; Guide Dog Users of Canada; Canadian Heritage; the Council of Canadians with Disabilities; the Alberta Service Dog Community; Vision Impaired Resource Network Inc.; and Wounded Warriors.
    The non-voting memberes include representatives from Employment and Social Development Canada; the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Community and Social Services; Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs Society; Thames Centre Service Dogs; an independent trainer; Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit; Indiana Canine Assistant Network; Audeamus; COPE Service Dogs; Dog Friendship Inc.; an independent trainer; Dominium Assistance Dogs; a psychologist; the Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command; Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen's office; York University, critical disability studies department; Nova Scotia Department of Justice; the Université Laval; Simcoe Trauma Recovery Clinic; and six independent individuals.
Question No. 631—
Mr. John Barlow:
    With regard to the government's financial and other participation in the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council: (a) what is the total amount of funding given to the members of the council to date; (b) who are the current and past members of the council; (c) what, if any, trackable metrics have been met by the council; and (d) which, if any, of the council's proposals have led, or will lead, to government legislation?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), to date no funding has been provided to the members of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, CFPAC. The CFPAC terms of reference indicate that AAFC will reimburse proper and reasonably incurred travel, accommodation and meal expenses that are directly related to a member’s participation in a council meeting, in accordance with Treasury Board policies and directives. Since the council was launched in February 2021, all meetings have been held virtually, and travel, accommodation and meal expenses have not been incurred.
    CFPAC members bring together diverse expertise, experience and perspectives from across the food system, including the agriculture and food sector, health professionals, academics, and non-profit organizations. Members also represent Canada’s geographic and demographic diversity. In the first year of the CFPAC’s mandate, it became apparent that some members lacked organizational support and were devoting significant personal time to advance the council’s work plan.
    At the April 25, 2022, CFPAC meeting, in recognition of the important insights council members have raised on systemic barriers to participation and the significant personal time devoted by members to advance an ambitious work plan, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food offered a one-time honorarium to those who faced barriers in participating on the council, as a token of appreciation. In order to disburse funds, AAFC is in the process of communicating with council members who are interested in receiving the one-time $4,000 payment.
    Information about the council, including records of proceedings for all council meetings, is available on the council’s webpage.
    With regard to (b), the CFPAC launched with 23 members in February 2021, and over the past 16 months, the following three members have resigned: Rosie Mensah, Chris Hatch and Gisèle Yasmeen.
    The 20 current members of the CFPAC are listed as follows in alphabetical order, and biographical information is available on the CFPAC web page: Jean-François Archambault; Sylvie Cloutier, co-chair; Heather Deck; Julie Dickson Olmstead; Evan Fraser, co-chair; Sonny Gray; Marcel Groleau; Lynda Kuhn; Elizabeth Kwan; Joseph LeBlanc; Catherine L. Mah; Larry McIntosh; Lori Nikkel; Denise Philippe; Melana Roberts; Mary Robinson; Brenda Schoepp; Wendy Smith; Avni Soma; and Connor Williamson.
    With regard to (c), since its launch, the CFPAC has held six virtual meetings, those being in March 2021, April 2021, May 2021, November 2021, January 2022, and April 2022.  Records of proceedings of each meeting are posted on the CFPAC webpage.
    The CFPAC has established four working groups and presented preliminary recommendations to the Minister on school nutrition, reducing food insecurity, reducing food loss and waste, and supporting sustainable agriculture. Each working group has met multiple times, conducted independent research and provided analysis as part of its recommendations.
    With regard to (d), working group leads presented advice to the minister at the January and April 2022 council meetings. AAFC is in the process of putting the advice from the four working groups into a consistent package and obtaining all members’ endorsement of the recommendations prior to formally submitting the package to the minister. The minister and government will consider the council’s advice in the context of advancing the food policy for Canada vision and delivering on the minister’s mandate letter commitments.
Question No. 634—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to the Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) prototype or pilot project announced by the government in January 2018: (a) what were the start and end dates of the pilot project; (b) how many Canadian travellers opted into the pilot project, or have opted-in to date if the project is still ongoing; (c) were travellers able to withdraw their consent to participate in the pilot project, and, if so, how many withdrew their participation; (d) for travellers who participated in the project, what type of data was shared with (i) the government, (ii) third parties; (e) what third parties received the data in (d)(ii); (f) what specific technologies of the KTDI is the government testing and what are the parameters around that testing; (g) what (i) benefits, (ii) problems, of the KTDI have been identified to date by the project; (h) have any government officials warned the government of risks related to participating in the KTDI, and, if so, what are the details; (i) what are the total expenditures related to the KTDI since 2018, broken down by type of item and type of expenditure; (j) what metrics are being used to evaluate the project, and how has the project performed to date in relation to those metrics; and (k) what are the details of documents related to, or which refer to, the KTDI in any way, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number, (viii) type of document (memorandum, correspondence, etc.)?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the known traveller digital identity project, or KTDI, was officially announced in January 2018. However, the pilot project has not been launched. The pandemic has also meant a shutdown of non-essential travel and, as such, project planning and implementation delays.
    With regard to part (a), there is currently no identified launch date.
    With regard to part (b), this information is not available. However, the volume of participants would be decided by participating air carriers.
    With regard to part (c), this information is not available. However, by design, the pilot would be completely voluntary for eligible travellers. The traveller remains in control of their data throughout the journey and can opt out at any time, and manual processes would remain in place for travellers choosing not to participate.
    With regard to part (d), this information is not available. However, proposed information to be shared will include elements derived from the ePassport used for the pilot.  
    With regard to part (e), as the pilot project was not launched, this information is not available.  
    With regard to part (f), this information is not available. However, prior to the deferral of the pilot, the proposed technologies to be used included distributed ledger technology, biometric technology and cryptography.
    With regard to part (g)(i), verifying travel documents and traveller identity is integral to aviation security and service delivery. The current practice of manually verifying various pieces of traveller identification, including passports and boarding passes, at multiple points throughout the air travel journey can be resource-intensive, unsanitary and subject to human error. The envisioned benefits to participating travellers depend on their ability to use touchless technologies in this project.
    Part (g)(ii) is not applicable as the pilot was deferred due to the pandemic.
    With regard to part (h), neither the department nor any project partners have been warned of any risks related to participating in the pilot.
    With regard to part (i), this project is based on voluntary contributions from project partners. All project partners are responsible for their respective costs associated with participation. Project partners include the Government of Canada, the Government of the Netherlands, Air Canada, Royal Dutch Airlines, the Toronto, Montreal and Schiphol international airports, and the World Economic Forum.
    Transport Canada has to date spent $428,671 on salaries and $220,830 on non-salaries. With respect to non-salaries, the breakdown of the amount is as follows: travel, $38,650; IT consultants for informatics, $177,351; and software licenses, $7,902.
    Budget 2021 proposed $105.3 million over five years starting in 2021-22, with $28.7 million in remaining amortization and $10.2 million per year ongoing, to Transport Canada to collaborate with international partners to further advance the KTDI pilot project.
    Part (j) is not applicable as the pilot was deferred due to the pandemic. However, the proposed implementation and performance framework included metrics related to technical performance, traveller experience and traveller processing time.  
    With regard to part (k), Transport Canada undertook an extensive preliminary search 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. 638—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the conclusion pilot at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) how is this pilot structured; (b) who is responsible for making decisions; (c) what are the criteria used in making determinations of whether or not to remove veterans from direct case management; (d) is the current or assigned case manager asked to provide input on the veteran’s file before a decision is made whether or not to remove the veteran from direct case management; (e) is there a review process and how does it work; (f) how are veterans informed of any decision regarding their file; (g) if the veteran disagrees with the decision is there a process to appeal; (h) what process is followed if a veteran services agent wants to challenge the movement of the veteran’s file from case management to guided support as part of this pilot; and (i) is there an option for the veteran to move back to case management if guided support through the conclusion pilot is not working for them?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, case management is a part of the continuum of service at Veterans Affairs Canada.
    Veterans Affairs Canada provides service based on the needs, risks and complexity of each individual veteran.
    Case management is a service offered to support veterans with complex unmet needs who are also facing multiple challenges. There is no need to make an application to access case management services. A screening tool is used to determine veterans’ level of needs, risks and complexity to ensure the appropriate level of service. If a veteran’s needs are complex, they are assigned a case manager following the screening.
    Case-managed veterans are assessed using a holistic assessment rooted in the seven domains of well-being, health, purpose, finances, social integration, life skills, housing and physical environment, and culture and social environment, at the beginning of their case management services to identify their current needs. They work collaboratively with their assigned case manager to set goals and achieve their highest level of independence, health and well-being. As part of the case management process, veterans’ needs are continually assessed in collaboration between veterans with their case manager.
    Through ongoing monitoring and evaluation of progress, the veteran’s case-managed needs and goals are addressed. Case managers discuss the eventual conclusion of case management services with their veteran clients and the decision is mutually agreed upon by both the veteran and the case manager. The case manager discusses the continuum of service, which includes the voluntary guided support service delivered by veterans service agents, or VSA, following the conclusion of case management.
    As veterans are receiving guided support services, VSAs review their progress and identify unmet needs that would require case management support and can refer them back to case management once the VSA and the veteran have determined that is the appropriate level of service.
    Veterans can, at any time, return to case management services to address their unmet needs. There is no application or appeal process for which level of service veterans receive. It is based on their needs; level of risk, if there are indicators of risk that suggest the need for case management; and their complexity. When veterans no longer have complex needs and no longer require the support of case management services, veterans can transition to the next level of service, which is guided support or targeted assistance managed by VSAs.
    The conclusion pilot was conducted from July 2, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The pilot allowed Veterans Affairs Canada to review the administrative process and barriers that needed to be streamlined to allow veterans to transition to the appropriate level of service when case management services are no longer the required or most appropriate service to meet their needs. This approach focused on streamlining the administrative process so case managers would have more time working with the most complex and vulnerable veterans to improve their well-being, while offering veterans who no longer required this level of service to transition to guided support or targeted assistance once the case manager and the veteran had agreed that case management services were no longer the required level of service.
Question No. 641—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Eastern Canyons Marine Refuge: (a) has DFO conducted any research activities showing that halibut fishing in the Eastern Canyons marine refuge is negatively impacting gorgonian coral, and, if so, what are the details, including the findings, of any such research; and (b) prior to announcing the Eastern Canyons Marine Refuge area, did DFO examine the potential impact of climate change and storms on this particular ecosystem, and, if so, what are the details, including the findings, of any such analysis?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Eastern Canyons Marine Refuge, ECMR, is unique in that it hosts one of the largest known aggregations of large gorgonian cold-water corals in Atlantic Canada, as well as a series of adjacent submarine canyons that connect the shallow waters of the continental shelf to the deep waters of the abyssal plain. The ECMR also hosts the only known living Lophelia pertusa coral reef in Atlantic Canada, as the Lophelia Coral Conservation Area, LCCA, was subsumed into the ECMR boundary.
    There is a body of science literature demonstrating impacts of bottom contact fisheries on sensitive benthic areas, including cold-water corals. The literature demonstrates that bottom longline gear has negative impacts on cold-water corals. Longline gear impacts on cold-water coral can be significant, especially during deployment and retrieval or as a result of lost gear. Through extensive consultation, DFO has been able to address the concerns of industry and a level of consensus was achieved, which includes a relatively small groundfish bottom longline-only fishing zone that requires 100% at-sea observer coverage and a commitment to further work to address gear drift for harvesters operating adjacent to closed areas. The upper slope area with small and large gorgonian coral in the ECMR overlapped with Atlantic halibut longline landings between 2008 and 2017. Bottom longline fishing is able to operate in rocky outcrops that are normally inaccessible to trawls. These outcrops represent important habitat of most of the cold-water corals present in the ECMR.
    In 1999, DFO added cold-water coral to the list of bycatch species recorded by fishery at-sea observers working on vessels fishing in the offshore of Nova Scotia. From 2000 to 2021, coral bycatch was reported on bottom longline trips within areas of known coral presence on the Scotian Shelf, that is, the Eastern Canyons area, Northeast Channel area, and Gully canyon area. The occurrence of coral bycatch on bottom longline trips in the Eastern Canyons area is 1%, and when scaled to the ECMR working boundary of July 27, 2021, the occurrence of bycatch in the area increased to 1.3%.
    The science literature, as well as direct observations of coral habitat on the Scotian Shelf, indicates that most damage to cold-water corals from bottom longline is not observed in bycatch, but rather remains on the seabed as coral “knock-over”, coral “break”, “hooks” in corals, and/or “lost” longlines, and DFO scientists have researched this topic. Thus, the bycatch from observer data is likely only a fraction of the total impact of longlining.
    In conclusion, the body of peer-reviewed science literature, as well as DFO science studies and fishery observer data, demonstrates that bottom longline fishing gear does have negative impacts on cold-water corals. Recent results that there was very little new recruitment of Lophelia pertusa, up to 11 years after the implementation of the LCCA closure, potentially indicate that impacts have a long timescale that may affect reproduction.
    In response to (b), climate change research in the ECMR area has been ongoing, with efforts by DFO in recent years to integrate climate change considerations within the regional conservation network planning process. Potential impacts of climate change to the ECMR and other Scotian Shelf bioregion network sites include rising ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, and reduced dissolved oxygen availability. ECMR protects a large, deep-water frontier area, thought to have areas exceeding 2,000 metres in depth, with the shallowest depths of the canyons on the scale of hundreds of metres in depth. Due to the depth of the site, impacts of storm activity on benthic organisms like corals are expected to be indirect and associated with sediment supply from the shelf. Though the impact of these episodic storm events is expected to be minimal, more direct studies are required.
    Basin-scale habitat suitability modeling has shown that North Atlantic deep-sea corals could experience a significant reduction in suitable habitat by 2100 as a result of climate change. A regional reassessment of the predicted distribution of the gorgonian coral Paragorgia arborea has recently been conducted for the northwest Atlantic, including projections to 2046-65 that include future ocean climates, and areas were identified in the upper slope in the eastern portion, including areas in ECMR, that will remain within suitable ranges for Paragorgia arborea at least through to the mid-century. Studies identified the existence of suitable habitat in the shallower portions of ECMR under present-day conditions and presented differing future projections.
Question No. 642—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and fishing licenses, since January 1, 2016, and broken down by year: (a) what has been DFO's budget when it comes to enacting their "willing-buyer, willing-seller" policy; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by license type and species; and (c) how many licenses have been acquired, broken down by license type and species?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to expanding access to rights-based fisheries for the 35 treaty nations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the Gaspé Peninsula for the purpose of pursuing a moderate livelihood. One of the key principles of the further implementation of the right to fish for a moderate livelihood is that fishing effort will not increase. This principle helps to ensure that conservation objectives will continue to be met for the benefit of all present and future harvesters. To fulfill this principle, the Government of Canada will provide additional first nations access by drawing on already available licences, meaning licences that were acquired by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, through previous voluntary licence relinquishment processes but not yet re-issued, as well as by the acquisition of additional licences supported by federal funding through a willing buyer, willing seller approach.
    While voluntary licence relinquishment through willing buyer, willing seller arrangements supported by federal funding has been the government’s approach since the Marshall response initiative and subsequently the Atlantic integrated commercial fisheries initiative, this approach is also an element of the current rights reconciliation agreement, or RRA, negotiation process and, most recently, the new pathway that was announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in March 2021, through which the department and a community arrive at an understanding whereby a moderate livelihood fishing plan is developed by the community and an authorization is issued by the department, subject to available access. The remainder of the response to this inquiry is focused on the latter initiative.
    With the launch of the RRA process in 2017, funds were made available through signed agreements for communities to acquire access according to their needs. As RRA negotiations were not successful with some communities, added flexibilities were obtained in 2020 for RRA funds to be used by the department to acquire access directly in cases where the RRA mandate was rejected but the community chooses to pursue a moderate livelihood fishing plan instead. With respect to funding amounts, this is a matter of cabinet confidence and confidential negotiations with treaty nations.
    Further to this new flexibility, DFO Maritimes and Gulf Regions have launched a number of expressions of interest processes for existing commercial lobster licence holders who are interested in either leaving or reducing their participation in the fishery in exchange for financial compensation. A key criterion for these ongoing processes is that licences are obtained based not only on a willing buyer, willing seller basis but also on fair market value. The willing buyer, willing seller approach to increasing fisheries access is well established and has been used to great effect by Atlantic integrated fisheries initiative participants and communities that have signed a RRA on an ongoing basis.
Question No. 644—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the RCMP and the government sharing information about individuals and entities involved in the demonstrations related to the government's use of the Emergencies Act, in February 2022, in order to flag their accounts to financial institutions: (a) how many (i) individuals, (ii) businesses, (iii) other entities, had their information shared; (b) with how many recipients was the information of the individuals or entities in (b) shared with; (c) who were the recipients in (b); (d) what identifying information was contained in the communication; and (e) what was the form of the communication, and what was done to ensure any personal information was kept confidential?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the RCMP made 57 separate disclosures on different entities, which included 62 individuals who were named in the disclosures, and 17 businesses that were named in the disclosures. No other entities were included in these disclosures.
    In response to (b), the information was shared with up to 50 financial institutions.
    In response to (c), as examples, the RCMP provided information to banks, the Canadian Bankers Association, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, the Canadian Securities Administrators, credit unions, and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association.
    In response to (d), the information provided included, but was not limited to, name/last name, date of birth, residential address, registered/associated vehicles, and associated businesses and phone numbers.
    In response to (e), the RCMP disclosed information by unencrypted email as the information was Protected A. The disclosures were shared with specific points of contacts within the corporate security and/or anti-money laundering teams within the recipient institutions. This ensured the safeguarding of personal information. In addition, the RCMP kept this information confidential within its national police reporting system, PROS, which is consistent with RCMP internal policies related to the collection, retention, and safeguarding of information.
Question No. 646—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to employees at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), as of June 14, 2022: (a) what is the total number of employees at the director general level or higher; (b) of the employees in (a), how many have an educational background in biology; and (c) what are the details of each employee at the director general level or higher that has such a background, including, for each, their (i) title, (ii) relevant degrees or certification?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), there were a total of 65 employees at the director general level or higher as of June 14, 2022.
    With regard to (b), of the employees in (a), 20 employees have a science degree and 12 of them have an educational background in biology.
    Additionally, 2009 employees across DFO occupy a science-related position in biological sciences, chemistry, scientific research and physical sciences, and therefore require a science degree upon appointment.
    With regard to (c), of the 12 employees, 11 hold a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, including two with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology, and one employee has a Ph.D in biology, all from various institutions. Employees’ titles are being withheld to protect their identity and adhere to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
Question No. 647—
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to Canada's diplomatic missions abroad: (a) did any Canadian diplomatic staff or locally engaged staff attend a Russia Day event in 2022; (b) if the response to (a) is affirmative, in what city was each attended event, and of those events, which ones took place at the Russian diplomatic mission; (c) what is the name and title of the Canadian representative at each event referred to in (b); (d) if the person in (c) was not the head of mission, when was the head of mission informed of each representative's attendance; and (e) when was (i) Global Affairs Canada headquarters, (ii) the Minister of Foreign Affairs or her office, informed of each representative's attendance?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    In response to parts (a) to (e), Canada is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Canada has also led in the international efforts to support Ukraine and will continue to do everything in its power to hold Putin and his enablers accountable as we support Ukraine in the face of his illegal invasion.
    Global Affairs Canada has sent instructions to its personnel working in diplomatic missions around the world not to participate in Russian government-hosted meetings or events.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs has strongly condemned President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine and announced the imposition of an unprecedented set of sanctions against those who have enabled Russia’s war of aggression. She has made clear that there is no more business as usual with Russia or its representatives.
    No Canadian representative should have attended the event hosted at the Russian embassy, and no Canadian representative will attend this kind of event in the future.
Question No. 651—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the O'Brien House on Meech Lake: (a) what specific measures, if any, were taken by the NCC to maintain the property and prevent it from falling into disrepair between November 1, 2019, and June 16, 2022; (b) on what dates, between November 1, 2019, and June 16, 2022, was the building without a tenant or occupant; (c) what measures, if any, are planned by the NCC over the next year to make any repairs or upgrades needed after being unoccupied for a period between November 1, 2019, and June 16, 2022; (d) who was the tenant or operator responsible for the upkeep of the property between November 1, 2019, and June 16, 2022; (e) how much was spent by the NCC on the renovations done to the property in 2018; and (f) what is the itemized breakdown of (e)?
Mr. Anthony Housefather (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the NCC contracts the services of a property management company to take care of the O’Brien House property. Measures taken to maintain the property include, but are not limited to, exterior maintenance such as landscaping and snow removal; cleaning; general repairs; and building security.
    With regard to part (b), the building was vacant during this time frame.
    With regard to part (c), the NCC is not planning any repairs or upgrades over the next year as the property is regularly being maintained by a contracted property management company.
    With regard to part (d), the NCC was responsible for the upkeep of the property between these dates.
    With regard to part (e), costs for the 2018 fiscal year, April 2017 to March 2018, amounted to $4,226,782.24. These costs are part of the complete renovation project which occurred between fiscal years 2016-17 and 2020-21, in which the NCC spent a total of $4,850,873.
    With regard to part (f), the information requested is not readily available in the NCC’s tracking systems. An extensive manual search would be necessary in order to provide a comprehensive response. This operation cannot be completed within the allotted time frame.
Question No. 658—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the Residential school missing children’s - Community Support Funding program and the search of unmarked burial sites: (a) how many requests for funding were received since the program began in June 2021; (b) of the requests in (a), how many projects were denied funding; and (c) of the requests in (a), how many requests are being considered for funding?
Mr. Jaime Battiste (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, so far as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada programming is concerned, the response to part (a) is that since June 2021, the residential school missing children community support funding has received 106 applications totalling $214,180,918 in requested funding from indigenous communities and organizations.
    In response to part (b), a total of four requests were denied funding under the residential school missing children community support funding. In addition, two requests were withdrawn and one was redirected to another federal program and received funding.
    With respect to part (c), all applications that are submitted are considered for funding. To date the program has received 106 applications for financial support, of which 84 applications have been approved for a total of $89,994,897 in funding, and seven have been withdrawn, redirected or denied, as described in part (b). Currently, the department is assessing 15 applications for funding support.
Question No. 663—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the modelling of opioid-related deaths by the Public Health Agency of Canada: (a) since December 15, 2021, has the agency updated its model on a quarterly basis as it publicly committed to do on that date; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, when was the first quarterly update made publicly available; (c) if the model in (b) was not made available to the public, what was the reason for that decision; and (d) if the answer to (a) is negative, why did the agency not fulfill this commitment?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, PHAC publishes updated observed national surveillance data, i.e., reports on opioid- and stimulant-related deaths, hospitalizations and emergency medical services responses, which are released every three months: March, June, September and December.
    Modelling releases happen every six months jointly with the June and December national surveillance data releases. The latest projections from the June 23, 2022, release are available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/opioids/data-surveillance-research/modelling-opioid-overdose-deaths-covid-19.html.
    The first release of modelling projections took place in October 2020. Thereafter, they were published every six months, starting in December 2020. PHAC publishes projection models every six months, because the use of two cycles of observed surveillance data, that is, six months of data, allows us to make more robust evidence-based updates to the model assumptions.
Question No. 668—
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
    With regard to immigration detention: (a) how many minors have been separated from at least one parent since 2021, broken down by quarter; (b) does the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) still intend on implementing its commitment to publish “statistics nationally on minors being separated from at least one parent”; (c) when does the CBSA intend to publish statistics on minors being separated from at least one parent; (d) was there any change in policy leading to the decision to publish statistics only when the minor was separated from both parents; (e) how does the CBSA measure compliance with the National Directive for the Detention or Housing of Minors (the directive); and (f) in how many cases involving minors has the CBSA been unable to preserve family unity as called for in part 8 of the directive since 2017, broken down by year?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the CBSA began manually tracking separated minor cases in January 2022. Prior to this date, the CBSA did not track data specific to separated minors and is unable to provide statistics retroactively. In the fourth quarter of the 2021-22 fiscal year, there were two minors temporarily separated from their accompanying parent. The first quarter of the 2022-23 fiscal year is still ongoing; however, there have been four minors temporarily separated from their parents thus far. In all cases, in both 2021-22 and 2022-23, the minors were reunited with family within the same day.
    With regard to (b), in fall 2022 the CBSA will commence publishing statistics on the number of minors who are subject to a detention order and are separated from an accompanying parent and/or guardian and who are released into the care of an entity other than a parent and/or legal guardian.
    With regard to (c), since January 2022, the CBSA has been sharing statistics on separated minors with external stakeholders and upon request. External stakeholders include, but are not limited to, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Canadian Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence and Action Réfugiés Montréal. Statistics on separated minors will begin to be published in fall 2022.
    With regard to (d), on December 16, 2021, the revised operational bulletin “Reporting of all Situations Involving the Detention, Housing, or Separation of an Accompanying Minor to the Border Operation Centre” was finalized and circulated nationally. This bulletin outlines the reporting requirements if a minor is separated. The CBSA reviews each report and tracks this information. Statistics on separated minors will begin to be published in fall 2022.
    With regard to (e), section 60 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, or IRPA, affirms the principle that the detention of a minor must be a measure of last resort, taking into account other applicable grounds and criteria, including the best interests of the child and potential alternatives to detention. In acknowledgement of this and in line with ministerial direction issued by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the CBSA developed the “National Directive for the Detention or Housing of Minors” and the “National Detention Standards on Unaccompanied and Accompanied Minors”. These documents are meant for operational use and take a balanced approach to achieving better and consistent outcomes for minors affected by Canada's national immigration detention system. The CBSA also notifies the Canadian Red Cross of any unaccompanied minors in detention. The Canadian Red Cross provides immigration detention monitoring services to support the CBSA in ensuring that individuals detained pursuant to IRPA are treated in accordance with applicable detention standards and international instruments to which Canada is signatory. The CBSA began capturing and publishing data in reference to detained and housed minors in 2017, following the publication of the ministerial directive. Data on separated minors has been tracked manually since January 2022.
    With regard to (f), in the fourth quarter of the 2021-22 fiscal year, there was one instance in which the family unit was not maintained and minors were separated from their accompanying parent. The two minors in this case were reunited with their parent that same day.
    The first quarter of the 2022-23 fiscal year is still ongoing; however, there have been two cases involving minors in which the CBSA was unable to preserve family unity. In one of these cases, the minors were separated from an accompanying adult until the identity of the adult could be established. The parents and guardian for both minors were identified and the minors were reunited with their family members later that same day. In the second case, the minors remained with the one parent while the other was detained. The second parent was reunited with the rest of the family later that same day.
Question No. 670—
Mr. Scott Reid:
    With regard to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP): (a) how many Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) does the RCMP possess, (i) in total, (ii) by location, province or detachment; (b) since January 1, 2011, how many AEDs has the RCMP purchased, by year of purchase; (c) since January 1, 2011, what has been the total amount spent relating to the purchase, use, and maintenance of AEDs, broken down by year; (d) are any instruments (such as contracts, requests for proposals, requests for information, or tendering processes) active, in progress, in force, or under negotiation, for the purchase or maintenance of AEDs; (e) with respect to (d), for each instrument, what was the (i) instrument in question, (ii) date it took effect or was made publicly available, (iii) purpose; (f) since January 1, 2011, have any briefing or informational materials pertaining to AEDs been provided to the Minister of Public Safety, the office of the Minister of Public Safety, the office of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, or the office of the Commissioner of the RCMP; (g) for each instance in (f), what was the (i) date the material was provided, (ii) recipient or office to which the material was provided, (iii) topic of the material provided?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) to (e) of the question, the RCMP’s departmental financial management system does not capture the requested information at the level of detail requested. As a result, the information requested cannot be obtained without an extensive manual review of financial files. This manual review could not be completed within the established timeline.
    In response to part (f) of the question, on November 13, 2014, the minister’s office informally requested information on the use and availability of automated external defibrillators by the RCMP.
    In response to part (g), a document on the use and availability of automated external defibrillators by the RCMP was transmitted to the Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness via the executive services and ministerial liaison unit on November 24, 2014.
    Our searches yielded no further results.
Question No. 684—
Mr. James Bezan:
    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?
Ms. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as of June 20, 2022, the Canadian government has received 14,951 applications in person for the special immigration measures program. 10,734 of those applications have been approved, including those that have arrived in Canada. Eight applications have been refused for eligibility and/or admissibility reasons.
    Of the above, 4,422 applicants are in various stages of processing or are approved and remain in Afghanistan. 3,268 are in third countries outside of Afghanistan and Canada, and 7,165 applicants have arrived in Canada.
    IRCC is not able to provide a response to part (d) of the question, as the department does not track information of this type.
Question No. 685—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2021: what are the details of all communication between Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Taliban since October 2021, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) titles of GAC officials involved, (iii) titles of Taliban officials, (iv) method of communication (email, in-person meeting, etc.), (v) summary of contents, including the topics?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    Canada has no intention of recognizing the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. Similar to likeminded partners, Canada engages the Taliban informally through its senior official for Afghanistan, based in Doha. Canada engages the Taliban informally to convey key messages including our expectations regarding safe passage and to ensure that the Taliban respect their international human rights obligations.
    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 could be expected to be injurious to the conduct of international affairs.
Question No. 686—
Mr. Eric Duncan:
    With regard to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the new labelling requirements for beef and pork products: (a) is the minister taking any action to prevent the government from implementing the new requirements, and, if so, what are the details; (b) has Agriculture and Agri-Food conducted any analysis on the negative impacts of the new requirements on the (i) beef, (ii) pork, industry, and, if so, what were the findings of the analysis; (c) what industry or producer concerns about the new requirements is the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food aware of; and (d) for each concern in (c), what is the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's response?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Health Canada is the department responsible for the development of the new front-of-package nutrition labelling requirements as part of its broad healthy eating strategy. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, supports the objective of the strategy, which is to help consumers make informed food choices. As part of the policy development process, AAFC provided Health Canada with relevant information to inform the policy.
    Health Canada developed the front-of-package nutrition labelling requirements based on available evidence and consulted widely on the policy. Where supported by evidence, Health Canada made adjustments, including some technical, practical and health-related exemptions.
    As announced on June 30, 2022, under the final regulations published in the Canada Gazette, part II, on July 20, 2022, Health Canada has provided a technical exemption for raw, single-ingredient ground meats to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts, which do not carry the front-of-package nutrition symbol. In certain cases, these exemptions will be lost, such as if a claim is made or if anything is added to the meat, such as salt, saturated fat or even spices. As well, to help industry adapt, there will be a transition period until January 2026 to come into compliance with the regulations.
    With regard to (b), AAFC provided Health Canada with relevant information to inform the policy development process. Information provided consisted primarily of sectoral and market information and intelligence as well as external research on the subject.
    With regard to (c), AAFC is aware of concerns expressed by the agriculture and agri-food industry about the proposed requirement that ground meats be subject to front-of-package nutrition labelling regulations. The primary concern revolved around the fact that a symbol on ground meat could give consumers the impression that it is nutritionally inferior to whole cuts. Stakeholders have pointed out that ground beef, pork, and veal are single-ingredient, nutrient-dense proteins. Some indicated that recent analyses showed that ground meats had a limited impact on Canadians’ saturated fat intake. Some mentioned the potential negative impacts of the label on the economy, environment, trade, food security and health of Canadians. Some also expressed concern with the signal that this labelling would send to Canada’s trading partners.
    With regard to (d), AAFC recognizes the important role that the beef and pork industries play in creating jobs, strengthening our economy and providing a variety of safe, high-quality foods to Canadians and the world. We also recognize that front-of-package nutrition labelling will require adjustments and investments from the food industry.
    AAFC supports policy that is based on evidence. Where supported by evidence, Health Canada made adjustments to the front-of-package labelling requirements, including some technical, practical, and health-related exemptions.
    As announced by Health Canada on June 30, 2022, under the final regulations to be published in the Canada Gazette, part II, on July 20, 2022, Health Canada has provided a technical exemption for raw, single-ingredient ground meats to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts, which do not carry the front-of-package nutrition symbol. In certain cases, these exemptions will be lost, such as if a health claim or nutrient content claim, such as “high in iron”, is made or if anything is added to the meat, such as salt, saturated fat or even spices. As well, to help the industry adapt, there will be a transition period until January 2026 to come into compliance with the regulations. This is a domestic policy that impacts labels of foods sold within Canada.
Question No. 687—
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to the current Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance and the government's new labelling requirements for beef and pork products: (a) what specific steps, if any, has the minister taken, or will the minister take, to prevent the labelling requirements from having a detrimental impact on Alberta beef and pork producers; (b) has the minister or his office sent any communication or correspondence to either the Minister of Health or the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada raising concerns about the labelling requirements, and, if so, what are the details of any such communication; and (c) does the government have any projections on the economic consequences the requirements may have on the Alberta beef and pork industry, and, if so, what are the projections?
Ms. Rachel Bendayan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in cabinet and cabinet committees, as well as in meetings, phone calls and other conversations with cabinet colleagues, the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance works to ensure that the voices of Alberta businesses, stakeholders, industries, communities and residents are heard.
    On July 20, 2022, Health Canada published new nutrition labelling regulations for packaged foods to help Canadians make informed food choices. These regulations will require a new symbol to be displayed on the front of packaged foods that are high in saturated fat, sugars and/or sodium.
    Health Canada exempted certain foods from the requirement to display a front-of-packaging nutrition symbol. This exemption included raw, single-ingredient ground meats such as beef and pork. As such, the government has not brought forward new labelling requirements for ground beef and pork products.
Question No. 690—
Mr. Randall Garrison:
    With regard to Canada’s guidelines on supporting human rights defenders and the human rights violations happening inside the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan areas in China such as Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu: (a) has Canada encouraged China to ratify the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; (b) has Canada encouraged China to sign the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; (c) since 2017, has Canada called upon the Chinese government to accept country missions which would visit the TAR and Tibetan areas in China by international human rights organizations; (d) since 2017, has Canada called upon the Chinese government to accept country missions which would visit the TAR and Tibetan areas of China by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and other relevant UN entities; (e) since 2018, how many requests has the Canadian government made for permission for Canadian officials and diplomats to visit the TAR, and (i) how many were approved and denied, (ii) were there any limits and restrictions placed on their travel, activities, and interaction with people; (f) since 2017, has Global Affairs Canada (GAC) requested that Chinese officials provide evidence of the whereabouts and well-being of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima the 11th Panchen Lama, and, if so, (i) when and where was this done, (ii) who was this addressed to; and (g) has GAC called upon the Chinese government to release information about the whereabouts and wellbeing of the leader of the search committee for the 11th Panchen Lama, Chadrel Rinpoche, and the rest of his team?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated. The promotion and protection of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, is a core priority of Canada’s foreign policy. Canada continues to call on the government of China, both privately and publicly, to respect the rights of Tibetans and to take steps to improve the human rights situation in all Tibetan areas across China.
    Canada remains gravely concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the TAR, and in particular with the increasing restrictions on the freedom of language, culture and religion; freedom of expression; freedom of movement; with the destruction of historic buildings, temples and mosques; and with the forced patriotic education of ethnic Tibetans.
    The Government of Canada urges China to ensure full respect for the rule of law, to comply with obligations under national and international law with regard to the protection of human rights and to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the ICCPR. In addition, the Government of Canada urges the Chinese government to provide meaningful and unfettered access for independent observers to the TAR, including UN special procedures. In 2018, during China’s third universal periodic review, or UPR, Canada recommended that China ratify the ICCPR. Canada also recommended that China end persecutions on the basis of religion or belief, including for Tibetan Buddhists.
    With regard to (b), Canada made recommendations to China on enforced disappearances in 2013 during its second UPR.
    Canada remains concerned about Tibetan prisoners of conscience and called for humane treatment and the release of prisoners. Canada has called on China to respect, protect and promote freedom of expression, assembly and association, as well as freedom of religion or belief for all. The Government of Canada has done so on numerous occasions, publicly and privately, in multilateral forums as well as in bilateral dialogues.
    With regard to (c), Canada consistently raises its concerns about violations of Tibetans' fundamental rights and freedoms with Chinese authorities, including through high-level meetings and speeches, official demarches, and bilateral and multilateral statements. Canada continues to advocate unhindered future access to the TAR for UN agencies, international human rights organizations, academics, researchers and foreign correspondents. Canada will continue to advocate in support of unfettered access to China in order to enable the independent analysis of the human rights situation.
    With regard to (d), on multiple occasions in bilateral and multilateral settings, Canada continues to call for independent and unfettered access to China related to human rights concerns.
    In 2015, Canada established the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the ICG-FoRB, convened biannually by Canada and the United States. It is an important platform that brings together nearly 30 countries committed to protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief. It has helped advance coordinated initiatives concerning issues of religious minorities, including Tibetan Buddhists.
    With regard to (e), while Canadian diplomats have on occasion been permitted to travel to Tibet, access to Tibet remains tightly controlled. Former ambassador Dominic Barton participated in a Chinese government-hosted visit to Lhasa, Tibet, on October 22 to 26, 2020. The ambassador met with the Deputy Party Secretary and Vice Chairman of Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region, TAR, to discuss an array of issues, including human rights, climate change and the environment. The meetings also included officials from United Front Work Department and the departments of education, human resources and social security; ecology and environment; and health. This was the last visit of a Canadian diplomat to the TAR. Between 2015 and 2020, Canada officially requested access to TAR on a regular basis.
    With regard to (f), Canada is deeply concerned by ongoing reports of continued restrictions on the rights and freedoms of Tibetans. Canada has consistently advocated substantive and meaningful dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives to work toward a resolution of issues, in a manner acceptable to both sides. Requests have been addressed to senior Government of China officials, both political and diplomatic.
    With regard to (g), the human rights situation in China, including in Tibet, remains a source of continuing concern for Canada. To that end, the Government of Canada will continue to raise concerns with Chinese officials on such matters, and the Government of Canada will continue to call on China to live up to its own laws and international obligations at every opportunity. Canada is committed to constructive exchanges with China on human rights, including through high-level visits, public statements, advocacy and diplomatic dialogue.
Question No. 695—
Mr. Colin Carrie:
    With regard to the purchase of single-use plastics by government departments, agencies and Crown corporations since January 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount spent, broken down by year; and (b) what are the details of all such purchases, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) amount spent, (iii) description of goods, including the volume, (iv) vendor?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, while the Government of Canada does not track single-use plastic purchases, it is reducing plastic waste by reducing the unnecessary use of single-use plastics, including straws, utensils, bags, and bottles in government operations. They are, however, sometimes necessary for accessibility, health, safety or security reasons.
    The government is also committed to the reuse and recycling of plastic in its operations, buying more products made from recycled plastics, and reducing packaging waste by prioritizing reusable or recyclable packaging. The government will track and report its waste diversion starting in fiscal year 2022-23, including progress towards diverting at least 75% by weight of plastic waste from landfills by 2030.
Question No. 701—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to Health Canada’s plan to label ground beef and pork as “high in saturated fat”: (a) has Health Canada conducted an economic impact assessment, and, if so, where can the Canadian public access it; (b) will the addition of this warning label increase the consumer price of beef or pork, and, if so, by how much; and (c) what are the anticipated economic impacts of adding this label on producers?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), in bringing the front-of-package, FOP, regulations forward, the government has given careful consideration and analyzed in detail the potential costs and benefits of its plan to inform Canadians of nutrients of concern in their food.
    All regulatory packages go through a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, which is summarized in the regulatory impact analysis statement, RIAS, published with the regulations. In addition, a more detailed cost-benefit analysis report will be available upon request after the regulations are published.
    The regulations and the RIAS were published in the Canada Gazette, part II, on July 20, 2022.
    Finally, to ensure that FOP regulations are efficient, technical exemptions were given in specific conditions. Raw, single-ingredient ground meat was given such exemption.
    In response to (b), the FOP nutrition symbol is not a warning and does not categorize a food as healthy or unhealthy. Rather, it provides a clear visual cue that a food is high in saturated fat, sugars or sodium.
    The FOP nutrition labelling regulations are not expected to raise food prices. The Canadian market is competitive, and evidence suggests that prices, in general, are not going to change because of these regulations.
    Canadians may see some small adjustments in price between products with and without symbols at first as their demand initially changes, but over time, prices are expected to equalize for products in the same category, for example as is the case currently for soups “lower in” versus “higher in” sodium. In most product categories, Canadians have many options for substitution.
    In response to (c), single-ingredient ground meats are conditionally exempt from the FOP nutrition symbol requirement.
    To become compliant with the new FOP nutrition symbol and vitamin D amounts, the food industry will incur a one-time cost to update labels, estimated at $1.09 billion or $887.02 million present value. The direct benefit of the additional information FOP nutrition labels will provide to Canadians is valued at an estimated $2.33 billion over 15 years.
Question No. 704—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to government spending on foreign aid: (a) does Global Affairs Canada consult Public Safety Canada’s terrorist entity list prior to providing any funding related to its grant agreements with international and non-governmental organizations, including, but not limited to, the United Nations and local non-governmental organizations implementing partners; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, since 2016, has any funding been denied or stopped after consulting the list, and what are the details, including, for each instance, the (i) date the funding was cancelled, (ii) entity which was slated to receive funding, (iii) amount to be received; and (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, is the government taking any other measures to ensure that foreign aid money does not end up financing terrorism, and, if so, what are the details of each measure?
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) to (c), Global Affairs Canada manages an extensive network of 178 missions in 110 countries. The department 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. The level of detail of the information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. The department 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.
Question No. 708—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s position related to allegations of genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide being committed: is it the position of the government that (i) Canada or actors in Canada are currently committing genocide against any group, (ii) the Government of Sri Lanka has committed genocide against Tamils, (iii) the Government of China is currently committing genocide against Uyghurs, (iv) the government of any other member state of the United Nations is currently committing genocide, and, if so, which ones, (v) any non-state actors is currently committing genocide, and, if so, which ones?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    In response to parts (i) to (v) of the question, the legal determination of whether a situation constitutes genocide must be done by a competent international or national court or tribunal, bearing in mind that the legal definition of genocide is precise and complex, as outlined in international treaties such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
    In Canada, different levels of political recognition of genocide can occur through actions or motions by legislatures, including motions in the House of Commons or statements by governments. Statements from the Government of Canada are made publicly and are available on Government of Canada websites.
    Canada takes all allegations of genocide very seriously and works with the international community to ensure that such allegations are investigated by an independent international body of legal experts.
Question No. 709—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to Canada’s international development assistance since 2016: (a) has the government funded the provision of any healthcare services in a country or place where those services are illegal, and, if so, what are the details, including what services were funded, broken down by country; (b) has the government funded any organizations that provide healthcare services in violation of local laws; and (c) with respect to (a) and (b), which organization, which programs, which countries, and on what dates were the programs funded?
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.
    In response to part (a), in accordance with the principles of good corporate citizenship, good global citizenship, and the rule of law, Canada is necessarily expected to abide by all applicable laws, both in Canada and abroad, and as such does not use development assistance to support activities that are illegal. For example, any support that Canada provides to strengthen national and local health care systems is in line with the legal frameworks and health priorities of recipient countries.
    Parts (b) and (c) are not applicable.
Question No. 710—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to COVID-19 transmission within Canada: (a) how many Canadians are known to have contracted COVID-19 while on a domestic flight (i) between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, (ii) between July 1, 2021, and October 29, 2021, (iii) between October 30, 2021, and November 29, 2021, (iv) since November 30, 2021; (b) how many Canadians are known to have contracted COVID-19 while in an airport (i) between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, (ii) between July 1, 2021, and October 29, 2021, (iii) between October 30, 2021, and November 29, 2021, (iv) since November 30, 2021; (c) how many Canadians are known to have contracted COVID-19 while on a VIA Rail train (i) between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, (ii) between July 1, 2021, and October 29, 2021, (iii) between October 30, 2021, and November 29, 2021, (iv) since November 30, 2021; and (d) how many Canadians are known to have contracted COVID-19 while in a VIA Rail train station (i) between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, (ii) between July 1, 2021, and October 29, 2021, (iii) between October 30, 2021, and November 29, 2021, (iv) since November 30, 2021?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, collective efforts by governments at all levels in gathering, sharing and analyzing data have allowed Canada to monitor and report on numbers and trends and make evidence-based public health decisions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    There is no circumstance in which a public health authority can confirm with certainty the location in which an individual contracts COVID-19. The Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, cannot confirm cases of transmission of COVID-19 while on board a flight, in an airport, on a train or in a train station.
Question No. 713—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regard to studies and reports completed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans: what completed studies have been done regarding (i) the creation of a public, online database that includes the beneficial holder of all fishing quota and licences in British Columbia, (ii) ending the sale of fishing quota and licences to non-Canadian beneficial owners, (iii) incentivizing independent ownership of licences and quota over corporate, overseas, or absentee ownership?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has undertaken work to understand the extent of foreign ownership in Canada’s commercial fishing industry though the completion of the beneficial ownership survey and has released a comparative analysis of east and west coast fishery policies.
    A study, the licence and quota registry proposal, has been conducted to examine the technical feasibility of developing a licence and quota registry to improve the transparency of where licences and quotas are held in Pacific region fisheries.
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada officials are working to finalize an engagement strategy in 2022 that will help us better understand the opportunities to improve our policies and programs and ensure that they are tailored to fisheries on the west coast.
Question No. 715—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the Stellantis-LG Energy Solution large scale lithium-ion battery production plant to be located in Windsor, Ontario: (a) what is the government’s financial contribution to the facility; (b) did the government evaluate and analyze the potential supply chain investments and companies that would follow the battery plant into the region; (c) what are those follow on plants and facilities; (d) does the government plan to provide additional financial support to secure those additional investments and companies for the region; (e) did the government evaluate the energy requirements needed for the battery production plant and follow on supply chain facilities; (f) did the government investigate supporting the province to ensure the power infrastructure and production was sufficient to secure all potential future investments in the supply chain for the battery plant; and (g) what would the government’s financial commitment be to support the determined power infrastructure and supply upgrades?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), details of this agreement are subject to commercial confidentiality and cannot be disclosed at this time.
    With regard to part (b), potential supply chain investments following this project were assessed. This investment will not only position Canada as a global leader in the production of electric vehicle, or EV, batteries, but also support the development of a sustainable domestic battery manufacturing sector in Canada. The project will create 2,000 direct jobs once the facility is in full operation. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, estimates that the project will contribute close to 3,100 jobs annually and $6.4 billion of cumulative GDP to the Canadian economy over a 15-year production period, directly and indirectly.
    Canada is well positioned to continue to be a leader in the shift to vehicle electrification, building on strong automotive, manufacturing and mining sectors. Investing in Canada’s battery supply chain builds on and feeds into Canada’s strong industrial economy, known around the world for its craftsmanship and sustainable practices. As Canada looks to attract battery companies, upstream and downstream opportunities exist to attract more investments in numerous areas including mining, automotive and digital technologies.
    These investments are also expected to produce high returns well beyond the battery sector. For example, an analysis of Canada’s existing automotive footprint reveals that one additional job created in vehicle assembly results in five additional jobs throughout the broader economy
    With regard to part (c), the Government of Canada is dedicated to attracting other companies in the battery value chain, such as companies involved in battery critical mineral extraction and refining and battery cell component manufacturing, and encouraging them to set up shop in Canada in order to create jobs, generate economic benefits and contribute to a net-zero emissions future. Such companies could range from those interested in buying the output from Canadian mines to those interested in further refining those minerals into products used for battery cell manufacturing. Further details cannot be disclosed at this time due to commercial confidentiality.
    With regard to part (d), the Government of Canada is committed to positioning Canada with a cleaner, stronger and better-prepared economy, one that is competitive in a low-carbon world. As a result, the government is looking to bring key international investments to Canada that will secure a strong battery supply chain for EVs. If additional investments that would secure key benefits such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were to be proposed, and which meet the requirements of the strategic innovation fund, the government would consider providing additional financial support.
    With regard to part (e), energy requirements for large-scale manufacturing in Canada are usually provided by provincial and local governments that participated in discussions with the project proponents. An analysis of energy requirements has been completed by provincial and municipal governments.
    With regard to part (f), the Government of Canada and its provincial and municipal counterparts understand the importance of positioning the country with a cleaner, stronger and better-prepared economy, one that is competitive in a low-carbon world. As such, all levels of government have undertaken a collaborative approach to securing investments that support this transition. Energy and power infrastructure requirements for large-scale manufacturing in Canada are usually provided by provincial and local governments.
    With regard to part (g), the Government of Canada continues to undertake work to build a strong battery innovation and industrial ecosystem. This includes scaling up domestic battery supply chain companies and necessary related infrastructure using a variety of existing programs, as appropriate.
    As previously indicated, energy and power infrastructure requirements for large-scale manufacturing in Canada are usually provided by provincial and local governments.
Question No. 717—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program, since its inception, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year: (a) which vehicles were eligible under the iZEV program; and (b) for each vehicle in (a), what was the (i) number of rebates claimed, (ii) total amount of rebate provided?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, all of the requested iZEV program data is publicly available information.
    With regard to part (a), please refer to the following web page to see the current list of eligible vehicles for the iZEV program: https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/innovative-technologies/zero-emission-vehicles/list-eligible-vehicles-under-izev-program
    The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range and Standard Range Plus trims stopped being eligible for the iZEV program as of November 23, 2021. Any Teslas listed in the iZEV statistics, see part (b) below, after that date were ordered by customers on or before November 23, 2021. This is noted within the following web page: https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/innovative-technologies/zero-emission-vehicles/questions-answers-consumers
    With regard to part (b), please refer to the following web page containing the link to download the iZEV statistics into a spreadsheet: https://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/42986a95-be23-436e-af15-7c6bf292a2e1
    The posted data on Open Government is current as of May 31, 2022. The statistics are updated on a monthly basis.
Question No. 720—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Greening Government Strategy’s on-road fleet targets: (a) what is the total number of new light-duty fleet vehicles purchased that are (i) zero-emission vehicles, (ii) hybrid electric vehicles; and (b) what is the total number of vehicles within Canada’s light-duty fleet vehicles that are either zero-emission or hybrid-electric, reflected both as a number and a total percentage?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, through the Greening Government Strategy, the Government of Canada has committed to make its conventional light-duty fleet greener and to transition to 100% zero emission vehicles, ZEVs, by 2030. ZEVs are vehicles that can operate on renewable energy without producing tailpipe emissions, such as battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. On this pathway, the government has committed that at least 75% of its new purchases will be hybrid electric vehicles, known as HEVs, or ZEVs where suitable options are available and after considering operational feasibility.
    The government of Canada has made progress on these commitments. In 2021-22, departments ordered more than 1,000 additional green vehicles, including approximately 280 ZEVs and 730 HEVs, in fleet segments and where suitable options were available, such as sedans and small sport utility vehicles.
    As of March 31, 2021, the conventional light-duty fleet was composed of approximately 17,800 vehicles, including 450 ZEVs, making up 2.5%, and 1,100 HEVs, making up 6.1%.
    The rate of ZEV adoption has been constrained by market availability of a supply of suitable vehicles that meet operational requirements. Limited ZEV options currently exist for the larger vehicle types, such as the vans and pickup trucks that make up the majority of the light-duty fleet, and supplies are limited due to ongoing global supply chain issues. ZEV purchases will increase rapidly as more suitable options become available in the market over the next one to three years.
Question No. 726—
Mr. Ted Falk:
    With regard to the government's Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP): (a) how many injuries related to COVID-19 vaccines is the government aware of; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by type of (i) vaccine received (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.), (ii) injury; (c) how many and what percentage of the injuries qualified for compensation from the VISP; (d) how many applications for compensation under the VISP (i) have been received, (ii) have been approved, (iii) have been denied, (iv) are still awaiting a decision, as of June 21, 2022; (e) what is the total amount paid out to date under the VISP; and (f) how many recipients does the money in (e) represent?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the vaccine injury support program, VISP, provides financial support to people in Canada in the rare event that they experience a serious and permanent injury as a result of receiving a Health Canada-authorized vaccine administered in Canada on or after December 8, 2020. The program also provides death benefits and support for funeral expenses in the rare case of a death as a result of receiving a Health Canada-authorized vaccine.
    The VISP was launched on June 1, 2021, and is being administered independently by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc., RCGT, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC. PHAC is not involved in individual cases, including in the determination of decisions regarding causality or compensation.
    As the independent third party administrator, RCGT oversees all aspects of claims intake and assessment and is responsible for providing periodic public reporting on program statistics. Public reporting from the launch of the program on June 1, 2021, to June 1, 2022, can be found at https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
    The Province of Quebec continues to administer its long-standing vaccine injury compensation program with federal funding. Information on Quebec’s vaccine injury compensation program, including program statistics, can be found at https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/advice-and-prevention/vaccination/vaccine-injury-compensation-program.
    In response to (a), (b) and (c), PHAC does not have access to real-time data on the number of claims submitted to the VISP or the nature of the claims submitted. Furthermore, as per the terms and conditions of the funding agreement with RCGT, PHAC will never receive disaggregated data on vaccine type, or details on the nature of injuries from RCGT.
    Health Canada, HC, PHAC, the provinces and territories, and manufacturers continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, using the Canadian adverse events after immunization surveillance system, CAEFISS, and the Canada vigilance program.
    An adverse event is any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunization. It is not necessarily causally related to the usage of the vaccine. Data on adverse events following COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada, overall and by type of vaccine and type of adverse event, is posted online on PHAC’s vaccine safety report website: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety. All reports of adverse events following immunization received by HC and PHAC are included in this report, regardless of whether they have been linked to the vaccines. PHAC looks at all the data available in order to detect any early signals of an issue.
    For example, as of May 13, 2022, a total of 84,559,822 vaccine doses have been administered in Canada, and adverse events, side effects, have been reported by 46,149 people. That is about five people out of every 10,000 people vaccinated who have reported one or more adverse events. Of the 46,149 individual reports, 36,634 were considered non-serious, 0.043% of all doses administered, and 9,515 were considered serious, 0.011% of all doses administered.
    It is important to note that although adverse events may occur after vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine, they are not necessarily related to the vaccine. In addition, it is important to note that the number of reported adverse events received by HC and PHAC following immunization is not reflective of the number of applications received by the VISP. The VISP is an application-based program for serious and permanent vaccine injuries.
    In response to (d), as of RCGT’s last public report on June 1, 2022, RCGT had received 774 claims: 26 claims had been assessed by a medical review board and eight had been deemed eligible for compensation; 71 claims were deemed inadmissible as they did not meet the eligibility criteria or were missing information; 654 claims have been deemed to meet the basic eligibility criteria and are proceeding to a preliminary medical review. Further information with regard to program statistics can be found at the following link: https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
    In response to (e) and (f), as of their last report on June 1, 2022, eight claims had been deemed eligible for compensation. Due to privacy reasons, the specific figures, including the total compensation, cannot be disclosed. This approach ensures anonymity of the claimants.
    The amount of compensation an eligible individual will receive is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the injury. Eligible individuals may receive income replacement indemnities, injury indemnities, death benefits, coverage for funeral expenses, and reimbursement of eligible costs such as otherwise uncovered medical expenses. Given the different types of supports available, the average dollar value of successful claims would not represent the amount an eligible claimant may receive through the VISP.
Question No. 728—
Mr. Ted Falk:
    With regard to the government's decision to suspend the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the federal public service as of June 20, 2022, broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) how many public servants impacted by the requirement were eligible to return to work on June 20, 2022; (b) how many of the public servants in (a)(i) actually returned to work on June 20, 2022, (ii) are scheduled or expected to return to work within 30 days of June 20, 2022, (iii) are expected to return to work, but not within 30 days of the requirement being suspended, (iv) are not expected to ever return to work in the public service?
Hon. Mona Fortier (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the policy on COVID-19 vaccination for the core public administration including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was implemented in the fall of 2021, with vaccination providing a high degree of protection against infection and transmission of COVID-19 viruses. This approach, which required public servants to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, served as an effective public health measure to protect public servants and the communities in which they worked.
    On June 14, 2022, following a review of the current public health situation, notably the evolution of the virus and vaccination rates in Canada, the Government of Canada announced that it would suspend the policy. Effective June 20, 2022, employees of the core public administration, CPA, were no longer required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. Consequently, on that date, employees of the CPA who had been placed on administrative leave without pay, LWOP, because they had declined to disclose their vaccination status or were unwilling to be vaccinated with two doses, could resume regular work duties with pay.
    At the time of the policy’s suspension, approximately 1,500 employees were on administrative LWOP. Of these employees, 895 returned to work on June 20; 435 have returned to work after June 20, or are no longer in the CPA, including those who have taken retirement; and approximately 165 remain on LWOP for other reasons, which could include personal leave, maternity leave, a leave of absence, etc.
    The Government of Canada will continue to keep Canadians safe, taking action based on the latest public health advice and science. This could include resuming vaccination requirements for federal government employees.
Question No. 733—
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
    With regard to the government's website for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, as of June 21, 2022: (a) why does the “Status of House Business” link direct visitors to a page from the last prorogation of Parliament, as of August 18, 2020; (b) who was responsible for keeping the website accurate and with current information; (c) are there any quality control measures in place to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate and up to date; and (d) why was the link not updated?
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the website of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is maintained by the Privy Council Office and the “Status of House Business” link has since been updated.
Question No. 734—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to the monthly stock-take meetings by an oversight group referenced in the March 22, 2022, news release from the Prime Minister about an agreement between the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party: what are the details of each stock-take meeting which has occurred to date, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) list of attendees, (iv) agenda items?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the agreement serves to ensure Parliament continues to function in the interest of Canadians. As part of the supply and confidence agreement announced on March 22, 2022, both parties have agreed to take part in monthly stock-take meetings by an oversight group. The oversight group consists of a small group of staff and politicians. This group discusses overall progress on key commitments and upcoming issues.
    The commitments under the agreement are publicly available at https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/03/22/delivering-canadians-now.
Question No. 739—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regard to the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program, since the fiscal year of 2015-16, broken down by fiscal year and community: (a) how many days has the Royal Canadian Mounted Police not been able to deploy a sufficient number of officers to meet agreed upon staffing levels; (b) what reasons were given for not being able to meet those staffing needs; (c) how many officers were assigned to provide community policing services in First Nations and Inuit communities; (d) when staffing levels were not met, what other resources and funding were provided in the absence of staff; and (e) how many officers are expected to provide community policing services in First Nations and Inuit Communities for the fiscal years of 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to Public Safety Canada and part (e), indigenous communities, like all communities in Canada, should be places where people and families feel safe and secure. Culturally sensitive, respectful and properly funded police services are essential for community safety and well-being.
    The first nations and Inuit policing program, FNIPP, is a contribution program that provides funding to support the provision of dedicated, culturally responsive policing services to first nations and Inuit communities across Canada. The services provided under the FNIPP are in addition to, and not in replacement of, the baseline policing services provided by the police service of local jurisdiction, including, in many instances, the RCMP.
    While Canada has a role as a funder, provinces and territories retain jurisdiction over the administration of justice, including policing. As well, operational decisions regarding the deployment of officers and police resources are made at the discretion of the commanding officer of the local police service or detachment.
    FNIPP policing agreements are cost-shared between the federal government, 52%, and the provincial/territorial, PT, government, 48%. The FNIPP currently serves 427, approximately 60%, first nations and Inuit communities in Canada. Funding under the FNIPP is provided to support two main policing models.
    The first is self-administered police service agreements, SAs, where a first nations or Inuit police service is authorized or established by the PT government and provides primary, day-to-day, policing services to a first nations or Inuit community. SAs account for 789 police officer positions through 36 agreements, covering 155 communities.
    The second is community tripartite agreements, CTAs, where a contingent of police officers from the RCMP provides dedicated policing to a first nations or Inuit community that is intended to supplement the level of PT police services provided to that community. CTAs are made pursuant to bilateral framework agreements between Canada and the participating PT. CTAs account for police officer positions through 144 agreements in 248 communities. For the 2022-23 fiscal year, 458.5 police officer positions are funded under CTAs. For the 2023-24 and 2024-25 fiscal years, it is estimated that, at minimum, 458.5 officer positions per year will be funded under CTAs, given that the CTAs will need to be renegotiated past 2023.
    In addition to these two main policing models, the FNIPP provides support to 23 other policing agreements, with an additional 83.5 police officer positions.
    In January 2018, the Government of Canada announced a federal investment of up to $291.2 million over five years, beginning in 2018-19, for policing in first nations and Inuit communities. This additional funding was intended to address matters such as officer safety, police equipment purchases and salaries, as well as support 110 additional police officer positions in first nations and Inuit communities currently served under the FNIPP.
    Building on these investments, budget 2021 proposes to provide $861 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $145 million ongoing, to support culturally responsive policing and community safety services in indigenous communities. This includes $43.7 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to co-develop a legislative framework for first nations policing that recognizes first nations policing as an essential service; $540.3 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $126.8 million ongoing, to support indigenous communities currently served under the first nations policing program and expand the program to new indigenous communities; $108.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to repair, renovate and replace policing facilities in first nations and Inuit communities; $64.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $18.1 million ongoing, to enhance indigenous-led crime prevention strategies and community safety services; and $103.8 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, for a new pathways to safe indigenous communities initiative, led by Indigenous Services Canada, to support indigenous communities to develop more holistic community-based safety and wellness models.
    With regard to parts (a) to (d), the RCMP management system does not capture the requested information at the level of detail requested. As a result, the information requested cannot be obtained without an extensive manual review of our files. This manual review could not be completed within the established timeline.
Question No. 740—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regard to the $20 million allocated in budget 2021 for the development of a responsible plan to transition open net-pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia by 2025: what are the details of each consultation, including the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) attendees, (iv) topic discussed, (v) cost of each meeting?
Mr. Mike Kelloway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is using this funding primarily to support indigenous engagement on the development of a net pen transition plan. This funding is for the current fiscal year, 2022-23. A call for applications for capacity funding was sent to all first nations in British Columbia on May 16, 2022. This application process was launched in advance of the upcoming engagement process on a draft framework for the development of a net pen transition plan, as announced by Minister Murray on June 22, 2022.
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada is currently reviewing initial applications received from first nations and expects further applications to be submitted once details on the engagement process and the draft framework are released.
    Opportunities for further consultation and engagement with Government of British Columbia, first nations, industry, local governments, stakeholders and British Columbians will be announced in midsummer to late summer 2022.
Question No. 742—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to communications between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner and the Office of the Prime Minister, between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020: what are the details of all communications, including all verbal, electronic, written, or other communication, including, for each the (i) date, (ii) time, (iii) sender or initiator, (iv) recipient, (v) form (email, text, etc.), (vi) topics discussed, (vii) summary of what was written or said?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the RCMP searched its records management system for memos from the commissioner to the Prime Minister or his office as well as a search of the commissioner’s emails to and from the Prime Minister or his office and no documents were found.
    While the RCMP does not have a record of any calls with the Prime Minister or his office, the commissioner recalls at least one instance in the days immediately following the mass casualty in Nova Scotia in April 2020, when the Prime Minister called to offer his condolences.
    Note however that this time period was early in the COVID-19 pandemic with most staff working remotely. Therefore, the commissioner’s regular administrative support for duties such as scheduling meetings/conference calls did not exist, and as such regular records of meetings and calendar entries are limited.
Question No. 745—
Mr. Don Davies:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency's criminal investigation of KPMG's offshore tax scheme: (a) what is the job title of the person who decided (i) to initiate the investigation, (ii) when to initiate the investigation, (iii) the mandate of the investigation, (iv) the date of completion of the investigation, (v) the drafting of the full investigation report, (vi) determination of the findings of the investigation; (b) for items in (a), was the minister or her exempt staff involved in these decisions, and, if so, to what extent; (c) when did the investigation begin; (d) what are the titles and numbers of the documents used in the investigation; (e) how many hours were spent on the investigation; (f) how many full-time equivalent employees were involved in the implementation of the investigation; (g) when did the investigation end; (h) what are the detailed findings of the investigation; (i) was the minister involved in the investigation, and, if so, to what extent; (j) were the exempt staff of the minister's office involved in the investigation, and, if so, to what extent; (k) when was the minister informed of the findings of the investigation; (l) was the minister or her exempt staff involved in (i) the drafting of the full investigation report, (ii) the review of the full investigation report; (m) are there different versions of the full investigation report, and, if so, why, and what are the titles and numbers of those versions; and (n) was the full investigation report sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, if not, why not, and, if so, did the Public Prosecution Service of Canada make a decision to prosecute, if not, why not?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the CRA is unable to respond to the question in the manner requested. In order to ensure the integrity of the work of the CRA and to respect the confidentiality provisions of the acts the CRA administers, as section 241 of the Income Tax Act as set by Parliament prohibits officials from disclosing information that is taxpayer information, the CRA cannot comment on investigations that it may or may not be undertaking.
    Furthermore, please be advised that the various acts administered by the CRA contain provisions vesting powers in the Minister of National Revenue. Most of the acts allow for the delegation of the minister's powers to designated officials. These officials are authorized to exercise powers or perform duties and functions of the minister through administrative delegation instruments signed either by the minister or by the commissioner. The Income Tax Act, ITA, is an example of this process, whereby the responsibilities of the minister as referenced in the ITA are delegated to officials within the CRA, all of whom are public servants.
    Please note that neither the Minister of National Revenue, nor her staff, are in any way involved in any investigations the CRA may or may not conduct, in order to fully respect the agency's arm’s-length status.
Question No. 751—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to First Nations policing legislation, since 2014-15: (a) what funding has the government dedicated towards the co-development of a legislative framework that recognizes policing as an essential service; and (b) what consultations have taken place to support policing services that are well-funded, culturally sensitive and respectful of the communities they serve?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), budget 2021 proposed to provide $43.7 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to co-develop a legislative framework for first nations policing that recognizes first nations policing as an essential service. This includes funding to support virtual engagement sessions and capacity funding for first nations organizations and first nations police services organizations
    With regard to part (b), the Government of Canada concluded 13 virtual engagement sessions with first nations, provinces and territories, first nations organizations, first nations police services, first nations police boards/commissions, first nations women's organizations, first nations youth organizations, first nations 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and organizations, subject matter experts and others to support the co-development of federal first nations police services legislation.
    Bilateral engagement continues with meetings, upon request, from first nations, police services and other organizations, as well as written comments and submissions to a public safety indigenous policing email address.
    Moving forward, the Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with provinces and territories, the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association, the First Nations Police Governance Council, and with first nations modern treaty and self-governing agreement signatories to identify practical considerations to inform the federal legislation.
Question No. 753—
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to communications between Dan Brien, the Director of Media Relations, Issues Management and Social Media for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Office of the Minister of Public Safety, including the minister, between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020: what are the details of all communications, including all verbal, electronic, written, or other communication, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) time, (iii) sender or initiator, (iv) recipient, (v) form (email, text, etc.), (vi) topics discussed, (vii) summary of what was written or said?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, can confirm that Dan Brien, Director of Media Relations, Issues Management and Social Media for the RCMP did not have any communications with the Office of the Minister of Public Safety, including the minister between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020.
Question No. 754—
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to communications between Dan Brien, the Director of Media Relations, Issues Management and Social Media for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Office of the Prime Minister, between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020: what are the details of all communications, including all verbal, electronic, written, or other communication, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) time, (iii) sender or initiator, (iv) recipient, (v) form (email, text, etc.), (vi) topics discussed, (vii) summary of what was written or said?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, can confirm that Dan Brien, director of media relations, issues management and social media for the RCMP did not have any communications with the office of the Minister of Public Safety, including the minister between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020.
Question No. 755—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS): (a) what is the process of registering a complaint against the PPS; (b) who is responsible for addressing the complaints; (c) is the complaint process made public; (d) broken down by year since 2012, (i) how many complaints have been received about the PPS, (ii) how many of the complaints received about the PPS were resolved, (iii) how many of the complaints against the PPS were submitted by Indigenous peoples or Indigenous organizations; and (d) how many complaints with PPS remain unresolved?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Protective Service, PPS, is a separate and distinct organization from the RCMP and the Government of Canada. As such, this question should be directed to the PPS directly, or the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, who are responsible for the service.
Question No. 759—
Ms. Heather McPherson:
    With regard to legal fees incurred by the government in relation to LC, EB, KG, VD, MT and CL v Canada Employment Insurance Commission: (a) what is the total amount paid to date; and (b) who will be required to be paid for outside counsel services, broken down by (i) department, (ii) agency, (iii) other government entity that incurred the expense?
Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to LC, EB, KG, VD, MT and CL v. Canada Employment Insurance Commission, to the extent that the requested information is or may be protected by any legal privileges, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, the federal Crown has waived solicitor-client privilege only as it relates to the total legal costs incurred by the government in relation to this matter, as defined below.
    The total legal costs, actual and notional costs, associated with the LC, EB, KG, VD, MT and CL v. Canada Employment Insurance Commission matter amount to approximately $264,309.74. This amount covers the costs associated with the numerous procedures filed and hearings held in various files related to this matter since 2018. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and therefore no legal fees are incurred for their services. However, a “notional amount” has been provided to account for those legal services. The “notional amount” is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable legal services hourly rates. The actual costs component is determined from recorded legal disbursements in the responsive files for the relevant period. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of June 21, 2022.
    There have been no outside counsel services related to this matter.

  (1105)  

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Madam Speaker, furthermore, if a revised response to Question No. 564, originally tabled on June 22, 2022, and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 567, 569, 572 to 575, 579, 585, 586, 588, 589, 593, 595, 597, 598, 600, 602, 604, 605, 607, 609 to 611, 614, 615, 618, 621, 623 to 625, 628, 630, 632, 633, 635 to 637, 639, 640, 643, 645, 648 to 650, 652 to 657, 659 to 662, 664 to 667, 669, 671 to 683, 688, 689, 691 to 694, 696 to 700, 702, 703, 705 to 707, 711, 712, 714, 716, 718, 719, 721 to 725, 727, 729 to 732, 735 to 738, 741, 743, 744, 746 to 750, 752 and 756 to 758 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I was listening very carefully and trying to keep track, but I missed 13, 51 and 79.
    Could he repeat those odd numbers for us please?
    It is the questions that were read that were presented. Therefore, if the hon. member is not sure about those other questions, we certainly will take a look at that after and come back to the House if need be.
    Is it the pleasure of the House that the aforementioned questions be made orders for return and that they be tabled immediately?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 564—
Mr. Dan Muys:
    With regard to government expenditures on Cisco and Cisco Systems products or services since January 1, 2020, including those obtained or purchased through a third party vendor: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date, (ii) amount or value, (iii) vendor, (iv) description of goods or services, including the volume, (v) file number, (vi) manner in which the contract was awarded (sole-sourced, competitive bid, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 567—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the government’s use of facial recognition technology between 2012 and 2022: (a) which departments or agencies contracted for facial recognition technology; (b) for each department or agency in (a), what are the start and end dates for its contracts for facial recognition technology; (c) for each department or agency in (a), for what purpose did it contract the use of facial recognition technology; (d) for each department or agency in (a) which terminated or declined to renew a contract for facial recognition technology, why did it choose to discontinue its use of the technology; and (e) are any departments or agencies currently considering contracting the use of facial recognition technology, and, if so, for what purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 569—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, broken down by year since its inception: (a) how many private sector investment dollars has it secured; (b) of the private investments in (a), how many unique investors do they represent; (c) how many projects funded in whole or in part by the bank were (i) completed, (ii) abandoned; (d) how many private investment dollars were refunded due to projects in (c)(ii) being abandoned; and (e) what percentage of funding for a project must be private for the bank to consider it successful?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 572—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to funding of talent and research, in particular the Canadian Graduate Scholarship - Master’s, the Canadian Graduate Scholarships (Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements, Master’s), the Canadian Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral, the Canadian Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela, the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships, the Canadian Graduate Scholarships (Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements, Doctoral), the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships and the Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowships, for each program and broken down by fiscal year since 2002: (a) what was the total value of all awards; (b) what were the highest and lowest possible awarded amounts as well as the average value; (c) what was the total number of recipients; (d) what was the total number of applicants; and (e) what was the success rate of applicants?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 573—
Mr. Jean-Denis Garon:
    With regard to the tax audits conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency, broken down by industry, administrative region, electoral district and year from 2015 to 2021: how many audits were conducted (i) for small and medium-sized enterprises, (ii) for charities, (iii) by audit programs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 574—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to Canada’s smallpox vaccine supply: (a) how many doses of smallpox vaccine does Canada have in its federal stockpile as of May 25, 2022; (b) what is Canada’s capacity to domestically manufacture smallpox vaccines, and over what time period; and (c) how many doses of smallpox vaccine, within other sources, is the government aware of being available in Canada, broken down by source (e.g. provincial stores)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 575—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and the statement from the spokesperson to the Minister of Finance in January 2021 that "We recognize that some state-owned enterprises have accessed the program to support jobs in Canada. We continue to actively assess adjustments to the Wage Subsidy.": (a) what state-owned enterprises accessed the CEWS program; (b) for each enterprise in (a), how much funding did it receive under CEWS; (c) did the government request that any funding provided in (b) be repaid, and, if so, how much was repaid; and (d) what adjustments were (i) assessed, (ii) made, to the CEWS program following the statement?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 579—
Mrs. Rachael Thomas:
    With regard to government travel, broken down by minister's office since January 1, 2019: (a) which ministers or exempt staff have rented vehicles, including, but not limited to, car and driver services, limousine services or car services, within Canada or elsewhere; (b) for each use identified in (a), what was the (i) date of the rental, (ii) pick-up location of the rental, (iii) drop-off location of the rental, (iv) nature of the official business, including events attended, (v) cost of the rental, (vi) vehicle description, including type and model, if available, (vii) names of passengers, if known, (viii) name of the vendor, (ix) duration of the rental; and (c) for each rental listed in (a), was a driver provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 585—
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
    With regard to the various user fees collected by the government, including those collected by any department or agency: what are the details of all fees which have increased in the past 12 months, or are scheduled to be increased in the next year, including, for each, the (i) title and description of fee, (ii) fee amount or structure prior to the increase, (iii) dates of increase, (iv) increased fee amounts or structures, (v) percentage of fee increase, (vi) additional revenue projected as a result of the fee increase?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 586—
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
    With regard to the electric vehicle charging stations installed on government property: (a) what are the locations of each station; (b) on what date did each station become operational; and (c) for each location in (a), what was the total cost to acquire and install the station?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 588—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to loan payback extensions for business owners who received loans through government business relief programs: (a) how many recipients of loans through the Tourism and Hospitality Relief Fund have (i) requested, (ii) received, extensions to their payback schedule; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by length of extension; (c) how many recipients of loans through the Canada Emergency Business Account have (i) requested, (ii) received, extensions to their payback schedule; (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by length of extension; (e) how many recipients of loans through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund have (i) requested, (ii) received, extensions to their payback schedule; (f) what is the breakdown of (e) by length of extension; (g) what impact will receiving a payback extension have on the partial forgiveness component of the loan, broken down by fund or program; and (h) of the businesses who received payback extensions, what percentage are projected to still receive a partial forgiveness to their loan, broken down by program, and percent of forgiveness?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 589—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the CCB young child supplement (CCBYCS) payments made between April 2020 and January 2022: (a) how many individuals received (i) CCB, (ii) CCBYCS; (b) of the individuals who received (i) CCB, (ii) CCBYEC, how many also received payments under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the same period; (c) of the individuals who received (i) CCB, (ii) CCBYEC, how many received Employment Insurance (El) payments during the same period; (d) of the individuals who received (i) CCB, (ii) CCBYEC, how many received payments under other income support programs, broken down by program; and (e) of the individuals who received payments under both CCBYEC and CERB, El or other income support programs, and broken down by each program, how many received payments at each of the payment levels ($150 and $300) based on their incomes for 2019 or 2020?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 593—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to bonuses paid out to government officials in the 2021-22 fiscal year, broken down by department or agency: (a) what was the total amount paid out in bonuses; and (b) how many and what percentage of officials (i) at, or above the executive (EX) level (or equivalent), (ii) below the EX level (or equivalent), received bonuses?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 595—
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
    With regard to the current deployment of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers in the province of Quebec, as of June 1, 2022: (a) how many RCMP officers are presently working in Quebec; (b) of the officers in (a), how many are working in the vicinity of the Roxham Road border crossing; (c) of the officers in (a), how many are not working directly in the vicinity of Roxham Road, but have been assigned to matters either directly or indirectly related to the Roxham Road border crossing; and (d) what is the breakdown of the number of RCMP officers deployed to each region or area of Quebec?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 597—
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to the ArriveCAN application: (a) how much money did the government spend developing the application; (b) what is the itemized breakdown of all expenditures related to (a); (c) how much has been spent to date maintaining, updating, or promoting the application; (d) how much money did Shared Services Canada spend to initially develop this application; (e) what is the itemized breakdown of all expenditures related to (d); (f) what are the details of all contracts signed by the government related to the application in any way, including, for each (i) the vendor, (ii) the date, (iii) the value, (iv) the start and end dates, if applicable, (v) the description of goods or services provided, (vi) whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; and (g) what is the total cumulative cost (i) incurred to date, (ii) budgeted related to the application?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 598—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit: (a) how much does the government estimate is owed in repayments; (b) how many individuals owe repayments; (c) how many individuals in (b) reported an income below the low income cut-off on their 2019 tax return; (d) what is the lowest amount owed; (e) what is the highest amount owed; (f) what is the average amount owed; (g) of the individuals owing money, how many does the government estimate were victims of fraud; (h) of the total estimated amount owed, how much does the government expect to (i) successfully recover, (ii) recover from those whose income is below the low income cut-off; and (i) how much does the government intend to spend on staff time and resources to recover these debts, broken down by (i) department, (ii) agency, (iii) other government entity?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 600—
Mrs. Anna Roberts:
    With regard to government statistics on court-imposed sentences for those convicted of crimes which carry a maximum possible sentence of 10 years or more, broken down by crime or criminal code violation, and by year in which the sentence was given, since January 1, 2016: (a) what percentage of those convicted were given the maximum sentence; and (b) how many people were (i) convicted, (ii) given the maximum sentence?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 602—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to the story published in La Presse on June 6, 2022, about the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) participating in secret trials in Quebec: (a) what is the total number of secret trials the PPSC has participated in since 2016; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by province or territory and by type and level of court?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 604—
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the government's COVID-19 vaccination attestation requirement, as of June 6, 2022: (a) how many CAF members were either (i) placed on leave, (ii) released or terminated due to either not being vaccinated or not fulfilling the attestation requirement; (b) of the individuals in (a) how many were (i) active duty, (ii) Reserve Force, (iii) other; (c) what is the breakdown of active duty individuals in (b)(i) by (i) branch of the CAF, (ii) location they were serving from prior to the punitive action being taken; and (d) what is the breakdown of Reserve Force individuals in (b)(ii) by each of the four force sub-components?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 605—
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to unconditional repayable contributions made be the government since January 1, 2016, broken down by department or agency: (a) what was the total (i) number (ii) value of contributions made, broken down by year; (b) of the contributions in (a) what is the (i) number (ii) value of contributions which have been written off to date; (c) what is the total amount of contributions written off, broken down by year; and (d) what are the details of all contributions in (b), including for each the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) project description or purpose of contribution, (v) reason it was written off?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 607—
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
    With regard to the Royal Canadian Air Force and its CC-295 Kingfisher search and rescue aircraft: (a) in what year will the aircraft (i) enter into service, (ii) reach the initial operational capability (IOC); (b) what specific modifications, upgrades or repairs must be completed before the aircraft (i) enters into service, (ii) reaches the IOC; (c) what is the projected or estimated cost for each item in (b); (d) what is the itemized breakdown, including costs and completion date, of all the work that has been conducted on the aircraft since 2016; and (e) what is the schedule of all ongoing or future work to be completed on the aircraft, including the projected costs and completion date of each item?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 609—
Mr. Marty Morantz:
    With regard to the ad hoc committee of parliamentarians announced by the government on April 27, 2022, concerning certain documents related to the National Microbiology Laboratory: (a) what are the terms of reference for the committee; (b) what specific legal authorities, if any, does the committee exercise or operate under; (c) what roles, responsibilities, operations, tenure and obligations were provided to the committee; (d) what is the scope, objective and mandate of the committee; (e) by what instrument (e.g., order in council, contract, memorandum of understanding, exchange of letters) is the committee constituted; (f) when will the instrument, referred to in (e), be laid upon the table of the House; (g) who are the signatories to any agreement related to the establishment, constitution or appointment of the committee, broken down by agreement; (h) who are the members, and, if any, alternate members of the committee; (i) by whom and on what date or dates were the members (and alternate members, if any) of the committee nominated, and, if a separate process, appointed; (j) who is the Chair, and, if any, vice-chair of the committee; (k) by whom and on what date was the Chair (and vice-chair, if applicable) of the committee nominated, and, if a separate process, appointed; (l) what security clearances are the members (and alternate members, if any) of the committee required to possess and (i) did each member already possess it, (ii) what was the process required to establish it, (iii) on what date did each member acquire it; (m) does the Chair or vice-chair require a different or higher security clearance than the other members of the committee, and, if so, what are the details, referred to in (l), concerning it; (n) what are the dates and locations for committee meetings (i) which have occurred, (ii) are scheduled in the future; (o) under what rules does the committee operate; (p) are official records of the committee's meetings kept, and, if so, (i) who is responsible for keeping them, (ii) where are they kept or deposited; (q) how are the committee's decisions, advice and recommendations being captured or recorded; (r) are the committee's meetings recorded via (i) video, (ii) audio, (iii) written transcripts; (s) where are the recordings, referred to in (r), kept or deposited; (t) what are the record-keeping procedures for written submissions to the committee and committee correspondence, including where they are kept or deposited; (u) did the government request the use of any House of Commons resources, including clerks and support staff, to support the committee's work, and, if so, what are the terms of any such agreement, including the cost paid for these services; (v) did the government request the use of any Translation Bureau resources, including translators and interpreters, to support the committee's work, and, if so, what are the terms of any such agreement, including the cost paid for these services; (w) did the government request the use of any Library of Parliament resources, including analysts, to support the committee's work, and, if so, what are the terms of any such agreement, including the cost paid for these services; (x) has the government or the committee retained outside legal counsel to support the committee's work, and, if so, what are the terms of any such retainer, including who was retained and the cost paid for their services; (y) when is the committee's work anticipated to conclude; (z) how will the committee report its findings, including whether the government will table a report and the subject documents in the House; (aa) who are the jurists who will act as the arbiters for the committee, and how were they selected, including by whom they were nominated, and, if a separate process, appointed; (bb) how much are the arbiters being paid for their work with the committee; (cc) by what instrument (e.g., orders in council, contracts) are the arbiters appointed; (dd) when will the instruments, referred to in (cc), be laid upon the table of the House; (ee) does the committee have the mandate to consider documents other than the documents referred to in the orders of the House of Commons, adopted on June 2 and 17, 2021, and, if so, what are the details concerning those documents and mandate; (ff) does the committee have the power to order the production of documents, and, if so, under what legal authority does it have such power; (gg) does the committee have the power to summon witnesses, and, if so, under what legal authority does it have such power; and (hh) what renumeration is paid to the Chair, vice-chairs, if any, and other members of the committee?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 610—
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
    With regard to complaints related to searches of electronic devices received by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), broken down by year since 2016: (a) how many searches involving the viewing of contents on individuals' electronic devices has the CBSA conducted (i) in total, (ii) broken down by point of entry; (b) how many complaints were received related to the searches (i) in total, (ii) broken down by point of entry; and (c) what are the statistics related to how the complaints were received, including how many complaints were deemed to be legitimate and what action was taken to address the complaints?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 611—
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
    With regard to government statistics on individuals charged with firearm related offences, broken down by each offence and by year since 2016: (a) what percentage of those charged had a previous criminal record; and (b) what was the total number of people (i) charged, (ii) charged, who had a previous criminal record, (iii) charged, who did not have a previous criminal record?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 614—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to international arrivals being forced to wait on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport (Pearson) for extended periods of time due to government restrictions or capacity problems with government agencies involved in the processing of arriving passengers: (a) what is the government's estimate of the number of (i) planes, (ii) passengers, which have been forced to spend extra time on the tarmac at Pearson, broken down by month since January 1, 2022; (b) what was the worst day in terms of the volume of passengers being forced to remain on the tarmac for extra time; (c) on the date in (b), what was the number of (i) flights, (ii) passengers, that were forced to remain on the tarmac; (d) does the government have any estimates on the number of connecting flights missed by passengers as a result of the delay, and, if so, what are the estimates; (e) has the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance taken any action to ensure that the delays at Pearson are fixed before the summer tourism season; (f) if the answer to (e) is affirmative, what specific action has been taken; (g) if the answer to (e) is negative, why has no action been taken by that particular minister; and (h) what are the government's estimates on the percentage of foreign tourists who arrive through Canada each year through Pearson versus other Canadian airports?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 615—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to federal funding for Métis, First Nations and Inuit organizations during the 2020-21 fiscal year: how much funding was allocated to (i) the Métis National Council and its affiliates (Metis Nation of Ontario, Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, Metis Nation of Alberta Association), (ii) non-affiliated Métis groups, specifically the Métis Settlements General Council and the Manitoba Metis Federation, (iii) Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, (iv) non-affiliated Inuit groups, specifically Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Kitikmeot Inuit Association and Kivalliq Inuit Association, (v) the Assembly of First Nations, (vi) non-affiliated First Nations, specifically Treaty 8?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 618—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to the public order emergency declared in February 2022: (a) did any minister, including the Prime Minister, minister’s exempt staff, including Prime Minister’s Office's employees, or departmental official, brief, prior to 4:30 p.m. on February 14, 2022, any New Democratic Party member of Parliament, or any of their staff, about plans to declare the emergency; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) what are the details of that briefing or briefings, (ii) was any representation made at a briefing that in declaring an emergency, the government would be acting on the advice of law enforcement, and, if so, what are the details of that representation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 621—
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
    With regard to government funding for flood mitigation measures in the Fraser Valley: what are the details of all federally funded projects which are either ongoing or planned, including, for each, the (i) title or description, (ii) summary of the work being completed, (iii) location, (iv) amount of federal contribution, (v) total project cost, (vi) breakdown of how much each level of government or other entity is contributing to the project, (vii) start date, (viii) expected completion date?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 623—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to buildings owned or leased by the government, excluding Service Canada centres, which are located in flood plains or flood zones: (a) how many government buildings are located in a flood plain or flood zone; (b) what are the details of each building in (a), including (i) the address and location, (ii) whether the building is owned or leased by the government, (iii) the number of government employees who work in the building, if applicable; and (c) are there contingency plans or temporary locations designated to be used in the event of a flood, and, if so, what are they, broken down by each building?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 624—
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
    With regard to Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), and its application to the House of Commons workplace: (a) what analysis or rationale has been conducted by or provided to the government with respect to the exclusion of member to member harassment (i.e. harassment and violence as opposed to solely sexual harassment) from the House of Commons harassment policy; (b) is the government aware of incidences of harassment (i.e. harassment and violence as opposed to solely sexual harassment) deemed to be between members, that have been reported and subsequently deemed not covered by the policy, and, if so, how many; (c) what analysis, if any, has been provided to or conducted by the government with respect to if or how the House of Commons harassment policy could be fully extended to include all member to member harassment (i.e. harassment and violence as opposed to solely sexual harassment); (d) what analysis, if any, has been provided to or conducted by the government to review if processes used during the application of any provision of the Reform Act, 2014, particularly the provision regarding expulsion of caucus members, could contradict the act, the House of Commons harassment policy, or any other piece of federal or provincial legislation regarding workplace harassment; (e) what analysis, if any, has been provided to or conducted by the government to define the responsibility of party caucus chairs (i.e. as defined in the Reform Act, 2014) to prevent harassment within party caucus meetings; and (f) what analysis, if any, has been provided to or conducted by the government to analyze if member to member harassment could constitute a breach of parliamentary privilege?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 625—
Ms. Heather McPherson:
    With regard to all orders in council that have been adopted by the government but have not been published in the orders in council online database: (a) since 2004, broken down by date, the statute from which they were issued and section of the statute, how many orders in council have been adopted but not published; (b) how many orders in council adopted but not published were in response to Russian aggression towards Ukraine (i) since 2014, (ii) in 2022; and (c) what is the breakdown of the orders in councils identified in (b) by statute and section of the statute?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 628—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to the government's social media accounts, broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) how many employees or full-time equivalents are assigned to the accounts, and what are their titles; (b) how many accounts or profiles does the government manage, broken down by social media platform; (c) what are the details of each account or profile, including, for each, the (i) name of the platform, (ii) handle or profile name; (d) what specific procedures are in place to ensure that any information put out through the government's accounts (i) does not contain disinformation, misinformation, or misleading information, (ii) is not politically biased towards the government or the Liberal Party of Canada; and (e) for any procedures related to (d), who has final approval before an item is posted?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 630—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the Table of Disabilities (Table) used by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) what is the process to make changes to the Table; (b) what changes have been made to the Table since 2015, and when were the changes made; (c) is there a project underway to make changes to the Table to better reflect the needs of women veterans, and, if so, (i) how many staff members are involved in this project, (ii) what are the titles of those staff members, (iii) what are the timelines of the project; and (d) has the Minister of Veterans Affairs taken any meetings with department officials and stakeholders to discuss edits to the Table, and, if so, (i) on what dates, (ii) with whom?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 632—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the reception "An Evening at Canada's House" attended by the Prime Minister at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles held on or around the evening of June 10, 2022: (a) how many individuals were invited to the reception; (b) who was invited; (c) how was the invite list determined; (d) what costs were incurred by the government related to the event, broken down by item and type of expense; (e) what are the details of all contracts worth more than $1,000 related to the event, including, for each, the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services provided; and (f) why was the event not listed on the Prime Minister's official itinerary for that day?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 633—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to government statistics on crimes committed with handguns since January 1, 2016, and broken down by province or territory where the crime occurred: (a) how many gun crimes were committed by individuals (i) in legal possession of the handguns, (ii) using an illegally obtained handgun; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a)(i) and (a)(ii) by type of crime?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 635—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to the government’s participation in the development of the World Health Organization's (WHO) proposed international treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response: (a) what is the government’s formal position with regard to a proposed legally binding international treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response; (b) what are the details of all documents the government has provided to the WHO or the World Health Assembly (WHA) related to the treaty, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number; (c) what are the details of Canada’s submission or contribution to the 75th WHA meeting with regard to strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies; (d) what formal participation, if any, has Canada had, or plans to have with the intergovernmental negotiating body formed in February 2022; (e) what are the details of all documents or recommendations the government provided to the WHO to inform discussions at the December 2021 Special Sessions, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number; (f) what specific measures, if any, are being taken to protect Canada’s independent decision-making authority with regard to future public health responses in a pandemic; (g) what specific measures, if any, are being taken to increase accountability and transparency in the WHO's and WHA's decision-making process; (h) which elected and unelected officials led Canada’s delegation at the WHA meetings, including the number of people in the delegations and their titles and positions, for each meeting since 2016; (i) what meetings are scheduled for public consultation overall and with Canadians; (j) what meetings are scheduled to discuss the drafting of the treaty; and (k) does the government have any plans to undertake a formal and public review of Canada’s whole-of-government pandemic response to inform future national pandemic planning, and, if so, what are the details?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 636—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to publicly available information on unpublished or secret orders in council (OIC) signed by the government since January 1, 2016: (a) on what date was each OIC signed; (b) who signed each OIC; (c) what was the general subject matter or purpose of each OIC; (d) who made the decision to keep the specific contents of each OIC secret; (e) what justification was claimed in keeping the contents of each OIC secret (national security, commercial competitiveness, detrimental to the Prime Minister’s image, etc.); and (f) what is the justification for the increased use of secret OICs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 637—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to case managers at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), broken down by year since 2018: (a) how many new employees have been hired as (i) temporary or term staff, (ii) permanent staff; (b) how many have left VAC; (c) how many vacant positions exist by office; (d) how many empty positions exist by office; (e) how many are currently on extended sick leave; (f) how many have been on sick leave for longer than two months; (g) how many are currently on short- or long-term disability; and (h) how many have been on short- or long-term disability?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 639—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to studies conducted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): (a) what specific studies, if any, has DFO conducted since January 1, 2016, on the impact of pinnipeds on fish stocks; (b) for each study in (a), (i) when was it conducted, (ii) what were the findings; (c) what is the current DFO science budget for seal stock assessments; and (d) what is the projected DFO science budget for seal stock assessments for each of the next five years?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 640—
Mr. Rick Perkins:
    With regard to employment within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): (a) what is the net increase or decrease of positions or full-time equivalents at DFO in total, between 2019 and 2022, broken down by section of DFO and type of position; (b) what is the breakdown of the number of jobs abolished, between 2019 and 2022, by type of jobs abolished and reason for abolishment; and (c) what was the total number of jobs abolished between 2019 and 2022 in the (i) ecosystem and fisheries management sector, (ii) ecosystems and oceans science sector?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 643—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to page 11 of the Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy 2020 Annual Report, where it indicates that $3,618,548,097 in contracts have been awarded in Ontario since 2012: (a) what is the total number of contracts that have been awarded since 2012; (b) which vendors received these contracts; (c) what is the total value of contracts awarded, broken down by vendor; (d) of the total amount listed in the report, how much was spent on (i) large vessel contracts, (ii) small vessel contracts, (iii) repair, refit or maintenance contracts, (iv) lease contracts, (v) other contracts, broken down by type; and (e) what is the breakdown of each part of the question by year since 2012?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 645—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada passport offices, since January 1, 2018: (a) how many public service employees or full-time equivalents were working physically in person at each passport office, broken down by office location and by month; and (b) how many passports were issued each month?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 648—
Ms. Heather McPherson:
    With regard to Canada’s commitment in the feminist international assistance policy to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and girls, and its 10-year commitment at Women Deliver 2019 to dedicate $700 million annually to the neglected areas of SRHR: (a) how much international assistance funding dedicated to SRHR has been disbursed annually by Canada in the fiscal year (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21, (iii) 2021-22; (b) how much of that has gone to the neglected areas of SRHR (abortion, advocacy, adolescent SRHR, including comprehensive sex ed and contraception); and (c) what steps is the government taking to ensure support for this work is scaled up to reach the 2023 funding commitment?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 649—
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to COVID-19 vaccine doses procured by the government, and broken down by manufacturer (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.): (a) how many doses obtained by the government have been delivered to Canada but have yet to be administered as of June 15, 2022; (b) how many doses are set to be delivered between June 15, 2022, and the end of September 2022; (c) of the doses currently on hand in (a), how many are set to expire each month until the entire batch is expired; and (d) of the doses scheduled to be delivered in (b), when are those doses scheduled to expire?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 650—
Mr. Marty Morantz:
    With regard to the attendance of Yasemin Heinbecker, Global Affairs Canada's (GAC) deputy chief of protocol, at an event to celebrate Russia Day at the Russian embassy in Canada: (a) who approved Ms. Heinbecker's attendance at this event; (b) what was the stated rationale for attending this event; (c) when was the Minister of Foreign Affairs' office made aware of Ms. Heinbecker's planned attendance at this event; (d) who in the Minister of Foreign Affairs' office approved the statement from departmental spokesperson Christelle Chartrand declaring that "this is not a business-as-usual situation, but we still maintain a diplomatic relation with Russia on matters of Canadian interests and GAC sent a protocol officer to the reception"; (e) was the quote in (d) the entire statement that was sent to the Globe and Mail from Christelle Chartrand, which was reported on June 12, 2022, and, if not, what was the entire statement; (f) what, if any, direction from the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been given to employees of GAC with respect to Canada's relations with Russia since February 24, 2022; and (g) what, if any, direction from the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been given to employees of GAC with respect to attending events at the Russian embassy since February 24, 2022?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 652—
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to the data held by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) related to COVID-19 measures: (a) what is the latest available data, as of June 15, 2022, on (i) the current rates related to the level of COVID-19 in wastewater, (ii) the random testing positivity rates, (iii) the available hospital capacity, (iv) other COVID-19 related metrics monitored by the PHAC; and (b) for each sub-part of (a), what is the breakdown by (i) province or territory, (ii) municipality?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 653—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to the Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program, since the 2014-15 fiscal year: (a) how many complaints of spoiled or expired products has NNC received, broken down by supplier and eligible community; (b) what quality assurance mechanisms are in place to ensure that perishable goods, from all sources, reach their final retail destination prior to their best before date; (c) what is the frequency that each of these mechanisms are applied for each recipient; (d) how many instances of non-compliance have been found, broken down by supplier and affected community; and (e) what actions has the government taken to address non-compliance by funding recipients?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 654—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to investments in on-reserve kindergarten to grade 12 education, broken down by fiscal year since 2014-15 and by province or territory: what was the annual investment in (i) language and culture, (ii) literacy and numeracy, (iii) special needs education, (iv) learning materials and supplies, (v) accommodation and transportation, (vi) information technology, (vii) teacher salaries?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 655—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to improvements to education infrastructure on-reserve, broken down by province or territory and year since 2015: (a) what new school construction projects have been supported; (b) what renovation projects, upgrading projects, supporting projects or feasibility studies have been completed; and (c) of the funding made available in budget 2016, how much of that funding has been (i) delivered, (ii) committed, (iii) lapsed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 656—
Mr. Don Davies:
    With regard to Canada’s pledge at the UN Women Generation Equality Forum in 2021 to commit $100 million in new funding for standalone programming addressing unpaid and paid care work in low-and middle-income countries: (a) how much international assistance funding dedicated to care programming has been dispersed by Canada since July 2021, broken down by month; (b) how much of that funding has been (i) channeled to multilateral institutions and processes, (ii) earmarked for standalone projects; and (c) what steps is the government taking to ensure that this funding supports and can be accessed by women’s rights organizations and feminist in-country partners in the Global South?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 657—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to the Afghans who were validated by the Department of National Defence (DND) or Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and referred to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in response to the 2021 crisis in Afghanistan, broken down by the department that referred the file: (a) how many of these referrals have been received by IRCC; (b) how many referrals resulted in the creation of an IRCC application; (c) how many of these applications (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been rejected, (iii) are still being processed, (iv) have been put on hold; (d) how many of the applicants have landed in Canada; (e) how many individual applicants are there in the applications; (f) how many, if any, Afghans referred to IRCC by DND and GAC were identified as duplicates resulting in the creation of only one application; (f) what is the average processing time for the applications that have been (i) accepted, (ii) refused, broken down by stream; and (g) what is the average length of time that unapproved or declined files have been in the system, broken down by stream?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 659—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Rental Construction Financing Initiative: (a) what is the current dollar value of monthly rent used by CMHC to qualify a project for the 30% median total income affordability requirement for at least 20% of units, broken down by region; and (b) what would be the dollar value of monthly rent for those regions if the affordability requirement were to change to 80% average market rent?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 660—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to the National Housing Strategy: (a) how many applications have been received under the (i) National Housing Co-Investment Fund, (ii) Rental Construction Financing Initiative, (iii) Rapid Housing Initiative, broken down by program, stream (e.g. new construction, housing repair and renewal), stage of the application, year of submission, province, number of units and dollar amount for each finalized application since 2017; (b) how much funding from the programs referred to in (a) have been allocated to (i) finalized agreements, (ii) conditional commitments, broken down by province, program and stream; (c) what is the current average processing time to reach a finalized agreement for applications under the (i) National Housing Co-Investment Fund, (ii) Rental Construction Financing Initiative, (iii) Rapid Housing Initiative; (d) what is Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s reasoning for redacting most provinces from projects in the government’s responses to question Q-40, submitted on September 23, 2020, and question Q-161, submitted on December 6, 2021; (e) why were redactions to provinces not made in the government’s response to question Q-282, submitted on February 4, 2020; and (f) what, if any, policies were implemented that resulted in the change in approach to redactions and when were they implemented?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 661—
Mr. Yves Perron:
    With regard to the AgriInvest program: (a) what is the most recent information on the aggregate balance of AgriInvest accounts paid by the (i) producer, (ii) government; and (b) what is the breakdown of the data in (a) by (i) province, (ii) administrative region of Quebec, (iii) production type?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 662—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to polling data obtained by the Privy Council Office since January 1, 2016, concerning the decriminalization of possession of controlled substances: what are the details of all such polling, including, for each poll, (i) who conducted the poll, (ii) the start and end dates of when the poll was conducted, (iii) the number of participants, (iv) the complete results of the poll, including the questions asked and the responses received, (v) the value of the contract related to the poll, (vi) the dates the polling data was shared with Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada, if applicable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 664—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park: (a) what is the detailed current state of the property; (b) what are the details, including the date, the project description and the cost, of every project the NCC has done since 2018 to improve, upgrade or maintain the property; and (c) what are the details of every project the NCC plans to do between now and 2025 to improve, upgrade, or maintain the property?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 665—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to the ArriveCAN application: (a) has Destination Canada done any analysis on the impact on Canada's tourism sector of the government's decision to continue requiring tourists entering Canada to submit their personal information through the application, and, if so, what are the details, including the findings, of the analysis; (b) as of June 16, 2022, how many organizations and entities is the government aware of which have called on the government to end the ArriveCAN application; (c) what are the names of the organizations and entities in (b); (d) does the government have any data which shows that maintaining the ArriveCAN application requirement has an overall net benefit; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, what is the specific data; and (f) if the answer to (d) is negative, or if there is no data provided in the response to (e), why has the government not ended the ArriveCAN application?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 666—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to representatives from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) attending Russia Day celebrations at the Russian embassy in Ottawa: (a) how many individuals at GAC received an invitation to the event; (b) what are the titles of the individuals who received an invitation; (c) how was it determined that Yasemin Heinbecker would attend the event on behalf of the government; (d) of the individuals who received an invitation, how many responded to the event; and (e) of the responses in (d), what were each of the responses, broken down by individual?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 667—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to the comments made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on June 14, 2022, that "I didn't want an explanation. I would have never approved it. So there's no explanation" in reference to Canadian diplomats attending Russia Day celebrations: (a) why did the minister not want an explanation; (b) how was the minister able to determine whether any disciplinary action was needed without hearing an explanation; (c) were any officials or exempt staff disciplined as a result of the incident, and, if so, what are the details; (d) did the minister or her office initially approve the attendance at this event; and (e) did the Office of the Prime Minister tell the minister to take the position that officials should not have attended the event, and, if so, when?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 669—
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) audit programs for business and particulars since November 2015, broken down by year and program: (a) what is the value of total reassessments resulting from the audits; (b) what is the total net revenue collected; (c) how many audits were performed; (d) how many audits resulted in reassessments with an amount owed to CRA; and (e) how many auditors were performing audits for each program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 671—
Mr. Scott Reid:
    With regard to the Universal Broadband Fund and other funds relating to the government's various commitments since October 2015 to provide broadband and high-speed Internet services to rural and underserved communities: (a) how many applications for funding have been received for projects located in whole or in part in Lanark County or Frontenac County, Ontario; (b) of those applications in (a), how many have been approved, and when was each approved; (c) what is the total dollar amount distributed to projects located in whole or in part in Lanark County or Frontenac County, Ontario; (d) what are the details of each approved project referred to in (b), including the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) location, (iv) project description or summary.
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 672—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regards to data held by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans regarding the interception of Pacific salmon stocks by Alaskan fisheries since 2000: (a) what is the estimated commercial harvest in Southeast Alaskan fisheries of Pacific salmon bound for Canadian rivers, as landed weight, number of fish and estimated value, broken down by (i) year, (ii) species of salmon, including steelhead, (iii) river system, (iv) conservation unit, (v) Alaska Department of Fish and Game statistical area; (b) of the amounts in (a), what is the estimated commercial harvest specific to Alaskan fisheries management area District 104, broken down by (i) year, (ii) species of salmon, including steelhead, (iii) river system; (c) of the amounts in (a), what was the estimated commercial harvest in 2020 and 2021 broken down by week for July, August and September; (d) of the amounts in (a), what was the amount, broken down by (i) seine fisheries, (ii) troll fisheries, (iii) gillnet fisheries, (iv) terminal-hatchery fisheries; (e) what was the total estimated bycatch of Pacific salmon bound for Canadian rivers in Southeast Alaskan fisheries broken down by (i) year, (ii) species of salmon, including steelhead, (iii) river system, (iv) conservation unit, (v) Alaska Department of Fish and Game statistical area; (f) of the amounts in (a), which species does Alaska provide direct information to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans concerning interception, based on genetic sampling or coded wire tagging; (g) for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, of the Conservation Units or Stock Management Units the Department of Fisheries and Oceans collect Alaskan catch information, what is the proportion of total Canadian and US recreational and commercial catch harvested by Alaska by Conservation Unit, Stock Management Unit, or Indicator Stock; (h) of the conversation units for which the Alaska Department of Fish and Game or the Pacific Salmon Commission does not provide catch information, which are deemed likely to be intercepted based on (i) past tagging studies, (ii) genetic stock information, (iii) coded wire tags, (iv) research conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or the Pacific Salmon Commission, (v) other information, because they have similar migration routes and timing as Conservation Units, Stock Management Units, or indicator stocks catch for which information is provided for?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 673—
Mr. Scott Reid:
    With regard to Correctional Service Canada’s (CSC) penitentiary farms and related CORCAN operations, related to the Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions: (a) what are the total amounts spent to build, repair, maintain, and operate all related infrastructure since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (b) what are the total amounts spent to operate all related programming since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (c) what are the total amounts spent to build, repair, maintain, and operate any infrastructure relating to goat dairy farming since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (d) what are the total amounts spent to build, repair, maintain, and operate any infrastructure relating to cow dairy farming since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (e) what are the total amounts spent to build, repair, maintain, and operate any infrastructure relating to animal slaughter since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (f) what are the total amounts spent to operate all programming related to goat dairy farming since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (g) what are the total amounts spent to operate all programming related to cow dairy farming since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (h) what are the total amounts spent to operate all programming related to animal slaughter since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (i) what are the projected total amounts to be spent on infrastructure and programming relating to goat dairy farming from fiscal year 2021-2022 through fiscal year 2025-26, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (j) what are the projected total amounts to be spent on infrastructure and programming relating to cow dairy farming from fiscal year 2021-22 through fiscal year 2025-26, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (k) what are the projected total amounts to be spent on infrastructure and programming relating to animal slaughter from fiscal year 2021-22 through fiscal year 2025-26, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (l) what are the total revenues that have been generated by the programming and operations referred to in parts (b), (f), (g), and (h), since January 1, 2016, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (m) what are the total revenues projected to be generated by the programming and operations referred to in parts (b), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), and (k), from fiscal year 2021-22 through fiscal year 2025-26, broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) source of funding; (n) how many animals are presently at each institution, how many are allocated for what purpose, and how many are projected to be purchased or added through fiscal year 2025-26, broken down by (i) type of animal, (ii) purpose; (o) what measures are in place, and what measures are planned, at each location, to protect the well-being of the animals present, and to reduce the likelihood or possibility of animal abuse, neglect, or inhumane treatment; (p) what measures are in place, and what measures are planned to (i) monitor, (ii) interdict, (iii) reduce, (iv) eliminate the smuggling of contraband into or out of the institutions, as those measures relate to the penitentiary farms, the abattoir, and related CORCAN operations, by location; (q) do any agreements, contracts, memorandums of understanding or analogous arrangements exist between CSC or CORCAN and (i) Feihe International Inc., (ii) Canada Royal Milk, (iii) Mariposa Dairy, (iv) Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited, (v) any subsidiary thereof, (vi) any other external entity, respecting the sale, purchase, transfer, or use of goat milk or cow milk and, if so, what is the nature and summary of the terms of each arrangement; (r) for each penitentiary farm operation, whether referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h) or of some other agricultural nature, how much of the product is (i) kept and used inside CSC institutions, (ii) sold to external entities, (iii) transferred on a non-commercial basis to external entities, (iv) disposed of without use; (s) what is the present monthly capacity of each operation referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h), is the present monthly capacity for each operation substantially similar to the maximum planned capacity and, if not, when is the maximum planned capacity projected to be reached for each operation; (t) what is the number of inmates who are now or were previously employed in each operation referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h), broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) job or function; (u) what is the number of inmates who are projected to be employed in each operation referred to in parts (i), (j), and (k), broken down by (i) year, (ii) location, (iii) job or function; (v) how many correctional personnel are presently required, for a normal 24 hour period, to supervise each operation referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h), by location; (w) how many individuals, who are neither inmates nor correctional personnel, are presently employed, for a normal 24 hour period, in each operation referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h), by (i) location, (ii) job or function; (x) what specific measures are in place, or planned, to monitor and assess the effect of employment in CORCAN operations related to the penitentiary farms on inmates’ post-release employment and recidivism rates; (y) what specific biosecurity measures are in place, or planned, to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks or negative health effects related to the penitentiary farms on inmates, correctional personnel, animals, and nearby residents; (z) what measures are in place to monitor and ensure that CORCAN operations related to the penitentiary farms are persistently in compliance with international and statutory obligations relating to inmate labour and inmate-produced goods and products; (aa) has CSC produced projections of the costs, excluding lost revenue, relating to ceasing each operation referred to in parts (f), (g), and (h), respectively and, if so, what are the details of those projections?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 674—
Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval:
    With regard to the Small Craft Harbours program and the status of the Verchères quay since 2015: (a) what are the amounts allocated to this program annually; (b) what is the list of approved projects, including the (i) amount allocated, (ii) year the project was approved, (iii) type of harbour; (c) what are the criteria for the allocation of funds; (d) what is the file status of the Verchères quay under this program; and (e) what priority is given to the file for the Verchères quay?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 675—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan, broken down by province and territory since their respective agreements were announced: (a) how many new childcare spaces have been created; (b) how many early childhood educators jobs have been created; (c) how much of the federal investment has been delivered; and (d) to date, what is the average savings per child (i) with 50% average fee reduction, (ii) at $10 per day?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 676—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to the government’s research and analysis on policies and programs that could positively impact Canada’s economy and society, since fiscal year 2014-15: (a) what reports, studies or analyses have been done on implementing a guaranteed liveable income; (b) what were the conclusions of each report listed in (a); and (c) which jurisdictions were included in the government’s review of existing basic income projects?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 677—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to supporting safe communities during resource extraction projects: (a) what funding has been dedicated towards establishing equitable benefits and community-led initiatives to ensure the safety and security of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people at all stages of major resource projects; (b) what activities have been co-developed to mitigate impacts of temporary work camps and worker influxes; (c) what plans have been implemented to improve the collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data in order to develop targeted measures in support of safe resource worksites and communities; and (d) how much funding has been delivered and allocated through the Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 678—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to Family Information Liaison Units (FILUs), since the fiscal year 2014-15, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year: (a) how much funding has the government provided to support FILUs as part of the Federal Victims Strategy; and (b) how many families have accessed services provided by FILUs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 679—
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to income support benefits and the population groups designated by the government as “hard-to-reach populations” or “vulnerable populations,” since November 2015, broken down by year and by type of income support benefit, including the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Workers Benefit, the Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the GST credit: (a) what are the designated groups; (b) what was the benefit take-up rate for each group in (a); (c) among the rates in (b), which rates exclude people who did not file a tax return; (d) what is the estimated gap between the rates in (b) and those observed in the general population; (e) among the groups in (a), what is the estimated number of people who are eligible for a benefit yet did not receive it; and (f) what is the estimated rate of people required to file a tax return who did not yet file one?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 680—
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to claims for regular employment insurance benefits, between January and June 2022, broken down by month: (a) what was the processing time for claims, broken down by (i) average length of time, (ii) median length of time; (b) how many claimants received their benefit after 28 days; (c) of the claimants in (b), how long did it take for them to receive their benefit, broken down by (i) average length of time, (ii) median length of time; (d) of the total claims submitted, how many claims are still pending; and (e) how many officers are processing claims?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 681—
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
    With regard to programs addressing food insecurity, since November 2015, broken down by year and by program: (a) what is the total funding received; (b) of the funding in (a), what is the total funding disbursed; (c) what is the total number of applications; (d) of the applications in (c), how many applications were (i) approved, (ii) denied; (e) what is the timeline for assessing, reviewing and approving or rejecting an application, broken down by (i) average time, (ii) median time; (f) of the applications in (e), what percentage met the service standard; (g) has the government finalized the development of a national emergency preparedness and response plan for Canada’s food system and, if not, why not; and (h) what is the current rate of food insecurity as measured by Statistics Canada?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 682—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the investment of more than $800 million in community-led harm reduction, treatment, and prevention initiatives the government has indicated it has committed since 2015 to address the overdose crisis: (a) how much funding has been allocated to date; (b) where has the funding been allocated to date, including, for each project, the (i) organization, (ii) project title (iii) description, (iv), primary focus, (v) location, (vi) contribution agreement amount from the federal government, (vii) project duration?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 683—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the Shared Health Priorities bilateral agreements, since fiscal year 2016-17, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year: (a) which federal investments have been directed towards (i) increasing the availability of mental health and addiction services in the community, excluding hospital and family physician funding, (ii) improving access to school-based programs for early prevention, detection and treatment, (iii) mental health promotion and mental illness prevention, (iv) expanding access to crisis intervention services and integrated multidisciplinary professional services, including peer support workers and mental health professionals on crisis response teams; (b) what measures or indicators are being tracked to monitor the effectiveness of the investments in (a); and (c) what reports, studies, or analyses has the government made publicly available concerning the effectiveness of these investments?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 688—
Mr. Randall Garrison:
    With regard to the effects of climate change in Tibet, the Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), and the United Nations’ (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports: (a) has the government ever raised (i) concerns regarding the detrimental effects of climate change and Chinese development policies on Tibet’s fragile ecosystem, and, if so, when, where, and with whom have these concerns been raised, (ii) environmental concerns relating to Tibet during UN climate change conferences, or other global climate change conferences; (b) has the government called for an external investigation of alleged violations of the human rights of environmental activists inside Tibet, and, specifically, has the government raised concerns about the imprisonment of the Tibetan nomad environmental activist A-Nya Sengdra who was imprisoned for his activism in 2019; (c) has the government called for an external investigation of human rights violations in Tibet concerning the mass removal of nomadic pastoralists; and (d) has the government raised with China the issue of expansive damn-building in Tibet, its impacts on Tibet’s fragile ecosystem, and whether there has been consultation with local Tibetan communities?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 689—
Mr. Randall Garrison:
    With regard to Canada’s trade relationship with China and human rights violations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan areas of China, such as Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu: (a) has Canada raised concerns over human rights violations during its possible Canada-China Free Trade agreement (FTA) exploratory discussions; (b) has Canada consulted with Tibetan human rights advocacy groups during its public consultations on a possible Canada-China FTA, and, if so, (i) how many were consulted and what were their names, (ii) what was the full report of their concerns and recommendations; (c) does Canada and China’s joint feasibility study examining the potential economic benefits of a FTA for both countries include considerations of human rights violations; (d) how does Canada ensure that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights are upheld within its Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China; (e) has the Canadian government prohibited the importation of goods from Chinese companies violating the Customs Tariff section 132(1)(m)(i.1) which prohibits the importation of goods that are produced wholly or in part by forced labour, and, if so, (i) how many companies were banned, (ii) when was this done, (iii) what are their names; and (f) has Global Affairs Canada conducted any investigation into recent reports stating that an estimated 500,000 Tibetans have been placed into labour camps similar to the ones in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 691—
Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval:
    With regard to the 2018 Canada–Quebec Integrated Bilateral Agreement for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: what are the details of all the relevant documents supporting the government’s decision to unilaterally amend the content of the bilateral agreement, including (i) communications such as letters, emails and messages from the ministers’ offices and departments concerned, (ii) the terms and conditions of programs and funding, (iii) final reports from the management and oversight committees and subcommittees, (iv) signed amendments, (v) notes and memos?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 692—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, since the date the program was created, broken down by the size of the business applying (small, medium, large): (a) how many audits have been conducted; (b) how many notices of determination have been sent to applicants; (c) for the notices in (b), what is the dollar value; (d) what is the dollar value of the total amounts previously paid that have been reimbursed; and (e) of the amounts reimbursed in (d), what is the dollar value of the total (i) applicable interest, (ii) penalties?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 693—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the whistleblower allegations concerning the Canada Revenue Agency advance pricing arrangement (APA) program, as reported by La Presse on May 24, 2022, since November 2015, and broken down by fiscal year: (a) how many APA agreements have been concluded; (b) what was the processing time for each of the agreements concluded in (a); (c) of the agreements concluded in (a), how many were retroactive agreements; (d) for each of the agreements in (a), what is the dollar value of the foregone tax revenue; (e) for each of the requests in (c), what is the dollar value of the foregone tax revenue; (f) for the agreements in (c), what was their processing time; (g) of the agreements in (a), which ones were not recommended by public servants; and (h) does the minister or their exempt staff participate in the decision-making process for accepting requests and concluding agreements, and, if so, to what extent and for which agreements?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 694—
Ms. Niki Ashton:
    With regard to the whistleblower allegations about the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Advance Pricing Arrangement program and the Minister of National Revenue’s statement in the House that “the investigation carried out by an independent tax expert showed that the terms of the agreement were favourable to the agency and did not provide any type of preferential treatment to the taxpayers involved”: (a) when was the minister informed of the allegations that the CRA had entered into certain arrangements without due diligence; (b) what is the job title of the individual who (i) made the decision to launch an investigation, (ii) made the decision to engage an independent tax expert, (iii) was responsible for setting the tax expert’s terms of reference, (iv) was responsible for hiring the tax expert; (c) with respect to the points in (b), was the minister or her exempt staff involved in these decisions, and, if so, to what extent; (d) what are the details of the process that led to the hiring of the tax expert; (e) what is the name of the tax expert; (f) what was the value of the contract awarded to the tax expert; (g) what were the details of the tax expert’s terms of reference; (h) on what date did the investigation start; (i) did the investigation start before the tax expert was hired; (j) what are the job titles of the individuals in charge of the investigation; (k) what are the job titles of the individuals who answered the investigator’s questions; (l) what are the titles and numbers of the documents analyzed as part of the investigation; (m) what laws and regulations were consulted as part of the investigation; (n) when did the investigation end; (o) what is the job title of the individual who made the decision to end the investigation; (p) what are the detailed findings of the investigation; (q) was the minister involved in the investigation, and, if so, to what extent; (r) were the exempt staff in the minister’s office involved in the investigation, and, if so, to what extent; (s) when was the minister informed of the investigation findings; (t) was the minister or her exempt staff involved in (i) drafting the investigation report, (ii) reviewing the investigation report; (u) are there different versions of the investigation report, and, if so, why and what are the version titles and numbers; and (v) was the investigation conducted an independent one?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 696—
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to the government's plans and statistics related to the disposal of medical waste produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including used rapid test kits: (a) what is the government's waste management plan for medical waste; (b) what are government's estimates on the amount of medical which has ended up in (i) landfills, (ii) the Great Lakes, (iii) the ocean, since the pandemic began, broken down by type of waste; (c) what measures, if any, did the government put into place to prevent used rapid test kits from ending up with other garbage; and (d) what (i) amount, (ii) percentage, of medical waste generated, since March 2020, has been exported to a foreign country?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 697—
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to the government's plans and statistics related to disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) used during the COVID-19 pandemic, including masks and disposable gloves: (a) what is the government's waste management plan for disposable PPE; (b) what are government's estimates on the amount of PPE which has ended up in (i) landfills, (ii) the Great Lakes, (iii) the ocean, since the pandemic began; (c) does Transport Canada have any estimates on the amount of waste generated by the government's mask mandate in airports and on airplanes, and, if so, what are the estimates; (d) has Environment and Climate Change Canada done any research on the negative environmental impact related to PPE, and, if so, what are the details, including the findings, of such research; (e) what percentage of PPE is currently being recycled; and (f) what (i) amount, (ii) percentage, of PPE waste generated, since March 2020, has been exported to a foreign country?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 698—
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
    With regard to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: (a) what is the number of applications (i) received in total, (ii) accepted, (iii) rejected, for visitor visas to Canada, broken down by year since 2016, and by reason for visiting; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by country of applicant?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 699—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to motion M-133 passed on February 7, 2018, during the 42nd Parliament: (a) how much money, broken down by year from 2018 to 2022, has the government spent to promote September 28 as British Home Child Day; (b) what activities has the government undertaken to promote September 28 as British Home Child Day, broken down by year, from 2018 to 2022; and (c) what are the government’s plans to promote September 28, 2022, as British Home Child Day in Canada?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 700—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to persons with disabilities (PWD) in Canada and the demographics of PWD, broken down by gender, age group, province or territory, ethnic background, income range and fiscal year: (a) what are the demographics of PWD who are eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC); (b) since 2010, how many Canadians have been denied the DTC; (c) since 2010, how many applications per year have been received for DTC; and (d) since 2010, what reasons for rejection of the DTC have been provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 702—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to persons with disabilities (PWD) in Canada and their interactions with government agencies, including, but not limited to, Service Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Employment and Skills Development Canada: (a) what are the known barriers for PWD communicating with the government; (b) what are the accessibility standards; (c) since 2015, how many complaints have been received from PWD; and (d) since 2015, how many positive comments have been received from PWD?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 703—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to passport applications received by Passport Canada between January 1, 2022 and June 15, 2022: (a) how many applications were received, broken down by (i) month, (ii) week; (b) how many applications were processed, broken down by (i) month, (ii) week; (c) how many Passport Canada employees have a Flexible Work Agreement in place, broken down by month; (d) how many personnel did Passport Canada employ on January 1, 2020; (e) how many personnel did Passport Canada employ on May 31, 2022; (f) as of May 31, 2022, how many employees have been hired in the last (i) 30, (ii) 60, (iii) 90, days; and (g) what actions is Passport Canada taking to improve service delivery of the Passport Canada program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 705—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the government's inventory of armoured vehicles and donation to Ukraine: (a) how many armoured vehicles, broken down by model, does the Department of National Defence (DND) currently hold of the (i) LAV II Coyote, (ii) M-113 or T-LAV, (iii) LAV II Bison; (b) how many armoured vehicles, broken down by model, does the DND currently hold that are surplus to Canadian Armed Forces immediate operational needs and in a serviceable condition of the (i) LAV II Coyote, (ii) M-113 or T-LAV, (iii) LAV II Bison; (c) how many armoured vehicles, broken down by model, does the DND currently hold that are surplus to Canadian Armed Forces immediate operational needs and are in a repairable condition of the (i) LAV II Coyote, (ii) M-113 or T-LAV, (iii) LAV II Bison; (d) how many (i) LAV II Coyote, (ii) M-113 or T-LAV, (iii) LAV II Bison, armoured vehicles has the DND considered donating to Ukraine; (e) when does the DND plan to donate the pledged 40 armoured vehicles to the Government of Ukraine; and (f) when can the Government of Ukraine expect to receive the donated armoured vehicles?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 706—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to notices of determination and notices of debt sent to applicants for COVID-19 financial support programs for individuals, since the date of inception of each program and broken down by each financial support program for individuals: (a) how many audits have been conducted; (b) how many notices have been issued to applicants, broken down by (i) notices of determination, (ii) notices of debt; (c) for the notices in (b), what is their dollar value; and (d) what is the dollar value of the total amounts previously received refunded?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 707—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the proposed Ojibway National Urban Park: (a) what is the official process that Parks Canada has initiated for consultation, including (i) who have they met with, (ii) who have they invited to participate, (iii) when did the process start, (iv) what is its anticipated end date; (b) has Parks Canada engaged with the City of Windsor to negotiate the transfer of the municipalities’ lands to Parks Canada for the proposed Ojibway National Urban Park; (c) has Parks Canada engaged with the government of the Province of Ontario to negotiate the transfer of the province’s land to Parks Canada for the proposed Ojibway National Urban Park; (d) what funding allocations or estimates has Parks Canada made (i) for the process of consultation for the proposed Ojibway National Urban Park, (ii) for the transfer of lands from the City of Windsor and the Province of Ontario, (iii) the establishment of Ojibway National Urban Park, (iv) for the ongoing parks management; and (e) has Parks Canada engaged with Caldwell First Nation to create a co-management agreement for Ojibway National Urban Park?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 711—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to engagement with the Russia embassy in Ottawa, since February 23, 2022: (a) how many meetings, phone calls, or email exchanges have occurred between ministers, ministerial staff, parliamentary secretaries, or public servants, and representatives of the Russian embassy; (b) what were the (i) dates, (ii) times, (iii) details, (iv) objectives, (v) outcomes, of the meetings or exchanges in (a); (c) how many social events hosted by the government were held where the Russian embassy or an employee of the Russian embassy received an invitation; (d) what were the (i) dates, (ii) times, (iii) locations, (iv) details, of the social events in (c); (e) how many social events hosted by the Russian embassy did a Canadian minister, ministerial staffer, parliamentary secretary, or public servant attend; and (f) what were the (i) dates, (ii) times, (iii) locations, (iv) details, of the social events in (e)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 712—
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
    With regard to the estimated 3,700 evacuees that Canada transported or facilitated the transport of from Afghanistan in August 2021: (a) how many evacuees were Afghan nationals who have been validated by the Department of National Defence as having an enduring relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces; (b) how many Afghan nationals who have been validated by the Department of National Defence as having an enduring relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces and were designated for those flights but did not make it on those flights; (c) how many Afghan evacuees were not on the lists provided by the Government of Canada prior to boarding the flight; (d) how many evacuees were Afghan women and girls; (e) how many evacuees were put on the list by other countries, broken down by nationality (Afghan or another nationality); (f) how many evacuees on those flights were related to referrals by (i) Global Affairs Canada, (ii) Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada; and (g) how many evacuees were Canadian citizens?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 714—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology from the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, entitled "Fraudulent Calls in Canada: A Federal Government’s First Start": what steps has the government taken to combat fraud and spam calls in Canada, including (i) legislative considerations, (ii) work with international partners to ensure that transnational offenders are held accountable, (iii) monitoring the progress of solutions combatting fraud and advance more transparent progress reporting, (iv) working closely with public and private stakeholders to promote fraud awareness for Canadians, (v) working with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and telecommunications service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework, (vi) promoting the class action suits in the United States that provide refunds to Canadian victims of phone fraud or cybercrime schemes, (vii) developing the new national cybercrime and fraud reporting system to improve the processes used to report fraud and cybercrime incidents to law enforcement, which was anticipated to be operational in 2022, to help improve the quality of data on fraud in Canada?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 716—
Mr. Richard Cannings:
    With regard to efforts that focus on education, training and economic opportunities for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, broken down by fiscal year since 2014-15: (a) how much funding has been dedicated through the (i) First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy, (ii) Indigenous Skills and Employment Training program, (iii) Women’s Employment Readiness Pilot, (iv) Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy; and (b) how much of the funding in (a) has been committed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 718—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Canada Greener Homes Grant Initiative, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year since the program's inception: (a) how many applications were received by Natural Resources Canada; (b) how many applications were approved for (i) home insulation, (ii) air-sealing, (iii) windows and doors, (iv) thermostats, (v) space and water heating, (vi) renewable energy, (vii) resiliency measures; and (c) what is the total amount of grant funding provided for each application type in (b)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 719—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year since the program's inception: (a) what is the total number of applications received from (i) not-for-profit organizations, (ii) for-profit organizations, (iii) municipal governments, (iv) Indigenous organizations, (v) provincial or territorial government bodies; (b) how many applications were approved for (i) building talent for the clean economy, (ii) supporting demand-driven solutions for sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and those key to recovery, (iii) investing in the health care sector; and (c) how much funding has been delivered to organizations in each policy area in (b)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 721—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the government's Future Fighter Capability Project: (a) what are the top 10; risks related to the planned procurement; (b) what are the specific actions to be taken to mitigate each risk; (c) what is the expected delivery date of (i) the first 20 jets, broken down by jets one through to 20, (ii) the remaining jets; (d) what is the total cost of acquisition for the jets; (e) what is the anticipated cost of maintaining the 88 jets, over their lifetime; (f) will the first batch of jets be part of the Block 4 build by Lockheed Martin, and, if not, what specific block of jets will; (g) what are the anticipated economic benefits for the 88 jets broken down by (i) province, (ii) year, (iii) type of industrial benefit, (iv) new jobs associated with each, (v) value of each benefit in dollars before taxes, (vi) tax benefits per province; (h) what are the core reasons why the F35s was selected over the Saab Grippen, including what the key mandatory requirements were, and how they were met; (i) which of the proponents delivered a fixed-price contract; and (j) what are the total costs of the industrial and technological benefits for the program, and for each of the two down-selected proponents?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 722—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the government measures related to space debris and space situational awareness: (a) what are the core policies and programs the government has in place to address these issues; (b) what policies and priorities are guiding the government's public declarations on these issues; (c) how much has the government budgeted in (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022, (iv) 2023, (v) 2024, (vi) 2025, to support its policies and programs related to space debris and space domain awareness; (d) what is the purpose of the Sapphire satellite, and how is it used by (i) Canada, (ii) Canadian allies; (e) what are the top 10 risks related to the Sapphire satellite; (f) what are the government's plans related to a replacement of the Sapphire satellite; (g) what specific measures will the government take to ensure that Canada can contribute to space domain awareness and other measures related to space debris; (h) how is Canada planning to work with (i) NORAD, (ii) the UN, (iii) NATO, on space domain awareness and space debris, broken down by year from 2022 to 2025 inclusively; (i) is the government planning to leverage space situational awareness and space debris management as part of NORAD modernization; and (j) does the government have any future plans to manage space debris and space situational awareness, and, if so, what are the details of the plans?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 723—
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to the federal minimum wage and all income support benefits indexed to Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation, since April 2021, broken down by month and by each monthly CPI measure: (a) what is the approximate percentage point difference between the monthly CPI increase and the federal minimum wage; and (b) what is the approximate percentage point difference between the monthly CPI increase and the monthly increase to the maximum payment of (i) Old Age Security, (ii) the Guaranteed Income Supplement, (iii) the Canada Child Benefit, (iv) the GST credit, (v) the Canada Workers Benefit?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 724—
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to notices of redetermination and notices of debt related to the COVID-19 individual benefits, broken down by notices of redetermination and notices of debt, since November 2021: (a) how many recipients have gotten these notices; (b) what is the estimated dollar value of the amounts that the government (i) intends to recover, (ii) has actually recovered; (c) of the recipients in (a), how many received a reduction in their Employment Insurance benefits; and (d) for the reduction in (c), what is the estimated dollar value of the amounts the government (i) intends to recover, (ii) has actually recovered?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 725—
Mr. Ted Falk:
    With regard to the federal carbon tax or price on carbon: (a) what is the total amount collected from the tax, broken down by province in the 2021-22 fiscal year; (b) what was the total amount dispersed in rebates, or Climate Action Incentive payments, broken down by province for the 2021-22 fiscal year; and (c) what is the itemized breakdown of how the government is spending the difference in the amount between (a) and (b), including how much of each provincial amount is going to back to that province, and in what form?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 727—
Mr. Ted Falk:
    With regard to the government's ArriveCAN appliation: (a) since January 1, 2022, how many travellers have presented themselves at the border for entry into Canada without having submitted their information through the application prior to arrival; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by month and point of entry?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 729—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to the new funding and policy approach for First Nations kindergarten to grade 12 education that took effect on April 1, 2019: (a) what meetings, consultations, and other engagements have taken place to develop and implement regional or local education agreements; and (b) for each meeting in (a), which (i) organizations, (ii) governments, (iii) rights-holding groups, (iv) other representatives, were in attendance at these meetings?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 730—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to the bilingual bonus governed by the Bilingualism Bonus Directive, broken down by province and territory: (a) how many employees have received the bilingual bonus since 2015; (b) of the recipients in (a), how many employees received the bilingual bonus for speaking an Indigenous language; and (c) how many employees are expected to speak an Indigenous language as part of their daily responsibilities?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 731—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to federal government funding for fiscal years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22, allocated within the constituency of London—Fanshawe: what is the total funding amount, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) department or agency, (iii) initiative, (iv) amount?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 732—
Mrs. Tracy Gray:
    With regard to Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI): (a) what is the total number of times the CPI basket weight was changed since November 2015; (b) what are the details of each change, including (i) the date the change was made, (ii) the products removed, (iii) the products added, (iv) the products remaining, (v) what changes were given to the weight of any products, (vi) the weight given to each product after the change; (c) what are the details of all changes to the products included in the "Food purchased from stores" basket share component since November 2015, including, for each change, the (i) date the product was removed, (ii) date the product was added, (iii) description of the changes or alterations to the weighting of the food products in the component; (d) what is the process to make decisions on amendments to the CPI basket weights, including which individuals are required to sign off on the changes; and (e) what is the scheduled date for the next amendment or change to the CPI basket weight?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 735—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to the Canada School of Public Service, broken down by department: (a) how many government employees, broken down by unit and percentage of total employees, have completed the Indigenous Learning Series, as of June 17, 2022; (b) is participation in the Indigenous Learning Series mandatory; (c) are new employees expected to complete any part of the Indigenous Learning Series as part of their training; (d) how many employees have access to the available learning products of the Indigenous Learning Series; (e) are employees, both new and experienced, given time to complete training through the Indigenous Learning Series during contracted working hours; and (f) what percentage of content available through the Canada School of Public Service is available in an Indigenous language?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 736—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program since October 1, 2020, broken down by month: (a) what is the total amount the government has collected in repayments of student loans; (b) what is the total amount of new loans delivered to (i) full-time and part-time students, (ii) students from low-income and middle-income families, (iii) students with dependants, (iv) students with permanent disabilities; (c) what is the total amount of new grants delivered to (i) full-time and part-time students, (ii) students from low-income and middle-income families, (iii) students with dependants, (iv) students with permanent disabilities; (c) how many new applications have been received under the (i) Repayment Assistance Plan, (ii) Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability; and (d) how many borrowers have defaulted on their student loans?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 737—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to the Review and Analysis Division (RAD) of the Canada Revenue Agency, broken down by fiscal year since 2014-15: (a) how many reviews or investigations were conducted on Muslim organizations and charities; (b) what criteria is used to determine whether an organization's work is (i) religious, (ii) social; (c) what are the criteria that must be met in order for an investigation or review to be initiated under RAD’s responsibilities; and (d) what is the average cost to taxpayers of RAD reviews or investigations?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 738—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the government's commitment to combatting systemic racism within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 2014-15: what steps have been taken to (i) reform the recruitment and training processes, (ii) collect, analyze, and report race-based data, (iii) establish the RCMP-Indigenous Collaboration, Co-development and Accountability Office, (iv) enhance the access, design and delivery of appropriate education and training using an Indigenous lens?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 741—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to communications between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner and the Office of the Minister of Public Safety, including the minister, between April 18, 2020, and May 1, 2020: what are the details of all communications, including all verbal, electronic, written, or other communication, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) time, (iii) sender or initiator, (iv) recipient, (v) form (email, text, etc.), (vi) topics discussed, (vii) summary of what was written or said?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 743—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to passport processing offices, since March 1, 2019, broken down by month until June 21, 2022: (a) how many public service employees or full-time equivalents were working in person at each passport office; (b) how many requests were received for (i) new passports, (ii) passport renewals, (iii) childrens' passports, (iv) urgent passports; (c) what service standards were communicated to the public about when they would receive their passports; (d) how many passports were issued; and (e) what was the number of unprocessed passport applications?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 744—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the licence for sale of cannabis for medical purposes under Section 26 of the Cannabis Regulations, broken down by province: (a) how many licences have been issued since 2018; (b) how many inspections of licence holders have been conducted by Health Canada, broken down by (i) province, (ii) year, (iii) municipality, (iv) licence classes and subclasses; (c) how many licence holders have been found to be non-compliant with the Cannabis Act or Cannabis Regulations, broken down by (i) province, (ii) year, (iii) municipality, (iv) licence classes and subclasses, (v) violation; (d) what number of enforcement actions have been taken by Health Canada to licence holders found to be in non-compliance, including the number of licences refused, suspended or revoked and the number of administrative monetary penalties issued, broken down by (i) province, (ii) year, (iii) municipality, (iv) licence classes and subclasses, (v) the value of administrative monetary penalties?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 746—
Mr. Don Davies:
    With regard to the Canadian Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) and the CCTI Infrastructure Fund, since their inception, broken down by fiscal year and by initiative: (a) what is the total amount of funding provided under each program to date; (b) how many projects have been funded; (c) in which communities have the projects been funded; (d) what is the timeframe for assessment, review, and approval or rejection of an application, broken down by (i) average timeframe, (ii) median timeframe; and (e) what accountability metrics are in place to ensure that (i) emission reduction targets are met, (ii) workers in the sector find employment in other industries?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 747—
Mr. Don Davies:
    With regard to disability benefits provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) since November 2015, broken down by year: (a) what is the median time to process (i) an initial application, (ii) a reassessment application; (b) of the applications in (a), how many were processed after 16 weeks of receiving all the information needed for processing; (c) of the applications in (a), what is the percentage of cases that VAC met its service standard target; (d) how many of the decisions on initial applications submitted for mental health conditions were made in more than 16 weeks, as a (i) percentage, (ii) raw number; (e) of the timeframes in (a), what are the application processing times broken down by recipient groups (i) male, (ii) female, (iii) anglophones, (iv) francophones; (f) what is the total number of applications; (g) how many officers process applications broken down by (i) temporary officers, (ii) permanent officers; (h) what is the volume of backlog of applications; and (i) were the number of total applications processed below the fiscal year target, and, if so, what is the target and what is the number of total applications processed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 748—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to study permits issued by the government since 2018-19, broken down by fiscal year and originating country: (a) how many applications for study permits were received; and (b) of those applications in (a), how many were (i) approved, (ii) rejected?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 749—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to funding received by National Sport Organizations (NSOs), broken down by fiscal year, since 2014-15: (a) what is the total amount of funding received by the NSOs for the (i) Sport Support Program, (ii) Athlete Assistance Program, (iii) Hosting Program; and (b) did any NSOs receive reduced funding or had funding denied during the accountability stage of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework tool?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 750—
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to government funding for fiscal years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22, allocated within the constituency of Victoria: what is the total funding amount, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) department or agency, (iii) initiative, (iv) amount?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 752—
Ms. Lori Idlout:
    With regard to the Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership signed on February 9, 2017, and the Inuit Nunangat Policy announced on April 21, 2022: (a) how much has been spent implementing the Partnership Declaration annually from fiscal years 2016-17 to date; (b) how has the government ensured accountability in the implementation of the Partnership Declaration; (c) in what ways has the implementation of the Partnership Declaration been audited for efficacy; and (d) what funding has been allocated and approved for the implementation of the Inuit Nunangat Policy annually?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 756—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) high net worth compliance program, broken down by year, from November 2015 to date: (a) how many audits were completed; (b) what is the number of auditors; (c) how many new files were opened; (d) how many files were closed; (e) of the files in (d), what was the average time taken to process the file before it was closed; (f) of the files in (d), what was the risk level of non-compliance of each file; (g) how much was spent on contractors and subcontractors; (h) of the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the initial and final value of each contract; (i) among the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the description of each service contract; (j) how many reassessments were issued; (k) what is the total net revenue collected; (l) how many taxpayer files were referred to the CRA's Criminal Investigations Program; (m) of the investigations in (l), how many were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and (n) of the investigations in (m), how many resulted in convictions?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 757—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the Pandora Papers, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers cases and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), broken down by each case: (a) how many auditors are currently assigned to each case, broken down by auditor category; (b) how many audits were completed; (c) how many high risk cases of non-compliance were identified; (d) how many new files were opened; (e) how many files were closed; (f) of the files closed in (e), what was the average time taken to process the file before it was closed; (g) of the files closed in (e), what was the risk level of each file; (h) how much money was spent on suppliers and subcontractors; (i) of the suppliers and subcontractors in (h), what was the initial and final value of each contract; (j) of the suppliers and subcontractors in (h), what is the description of each service contract; (k) how many notices of reassessment were issued; (l) what is the total amount recovered to date; (m) what is the value of total reassessments resulting from audits; (n) what is the total net revenue collected; (o) how many taxpayer files were referred to the CRA’s Criminal Investigations Program; (p) of the investigations in (o), how many were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and (q) of the investigations in (p), how many resulted in convictions?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 758—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Small and Medium Business Enterprises Directorate, broken down by year, from November 2015 to date: (a) how many audits were completed; (b) what is the number of auditors; (c) how many new files were opened; (d) how many files were closed; (e) of the files in (d), what was the average time taken to process the file before it was closed; (f) of the files in (d), what was the risk level of non-compliance of each file; (g) how much was spent on contractors and subcontractors; (h) of the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the initial and final value of each contract; (i) among the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the description of each service contract; (j) how many reassessments were issued; (k) what is the total net revenue collected; (l) how many taxpayer files were referred to the CRA's Criminal Investigations Program; (m) of the investigations in (l), how many were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and (n) of the investigations in (m), how many resulted in convictions?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the House that, because of the ministerial statement, Government Orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada Disability Benefit Act

     She said: Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today for second reading of Bill C-22, an act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit.
    I would like to acknowledge that I do so on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
    In 1967, during the 27th Parliament, the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson rose in the House of Commons and stated that no senior should live in poverty, and the guaranteed income supplement was born.
    In 2016, our government stated that no child in our country should live in poverty, and the Canada child benefit was born.
    Today, I begin with the following declaration: in Canada, no person with a disability should live in poverty.
    The values that drove past governments to reduce poverty and create benefits for seniors and children are the same values that have created the bill before us today. I am talking about equality, fairness and inclusion, Canadian values, values that guide us and define us as a country and bring out the very best in us.
    Let me begin by also telling the House about my community, the disability community. The disability community is vibrant, talented and diverse. Twenty-three percent of Canadians identify as having a disability. We are the largest minority. We are a family member, a friend, a neighbour and a co-worker.
    Let me also share a harsh truth. Working-age Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty than working-age Canadians without disabilities. The poverty rate for working-age Canadians with disabilities in 2017 was 23%. The situation is even worse for individuals with severe disabilities, women, indigenous people, LGBTQ+ and racialized Canadians with disabilities.

[Translation]

    When the pandemic hit, the situation only got worse.
    In a recent Statistics Canada survey, two-thirds of respondents with a disability said they had difficulty meeting their basic financial needs because of the pandemic. That is why Bill C-22 aims first and foremost to reduce poverty. It aims to close the long-standing economic disparity experienced by many Canadians with disabilities.
    Canada has a bold poverty reduction strategy and has set ambitious targets, including reducing poverty by half by 2030. The three pillars of Canada's poverty reduction strategy are living with dignity, fostering equal access to opportunity and inclusion, and improving resilience and security. These are the aims of Bill C-22.
    The Canada disability benefit would close the gaping hole in the federal social safety net for people with disabilities between the Canada child benefit, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement. It would provide continuity and assurance.

  (1110)  

[English]

    A common experience within the disability community is one of immense relief and often celebration at turning 65. Why? Because at age 65, OAS and GIS kick in, because there is income security, often for the first time in a person's life. In fact, the poverty levels of persons with disabilities decreases by almost 60% between the ages of 64 and 65, from 23% to 9%. For persons with severe disabilities, it goes from 31% to 11% just for having their birthday. Canadians should not have to wait until they are 65 years old to experience even a modest degree of financial security.
    We are also at a unique point in history where the first generation of persons with more complex disabilities are outliving their parents. Thanks to lower infant mortality rates and advances in medicine, people are living longer. This is certainly to be celebrated, but it also means that we must ensure there are adequate supports available to everyone throughout their entire lifetimes. We must reassure and demonstrate to families that worry about the future of their loved ones that these supports will be there when they are gone.
    How did this come to pass? How is it that in a country such as Canada, so many of our people live in such dire circumstances? How can we speak of equality of opportunity and fairness when such inequality exists? To understand the roots and extent of poverty that exists within Canada's disability community, we have to look at the history of how persons with disabilities in our country have been treated. That history is not a proud one. I believe it is not one with which we, as a country, have come to terms.
    Historically, persons with disabilities have been discriminated against, marginalized and excluded. Ours is a history of institutionalization, of lobotomization, of sterilization. We took away people's ability to make decisions for themselves. At one point in our history, we outlawed the use of sign language. We did this to our people. We took a medical approach to disability that told people they were broken and in need of fixing, and a charity approach to disability that told people they were objects of charity and pity, in need of saving. Individuals with disabilities were denied the opportunity to make choices, to control their lives and to develop their potential.
    Most Canadians are not aware of the pain and trauma that institutions, including federally run institutions, caused people with disabilities and their families, and we are not working with awareness of the aftermath of this trauma.
     Bill C-22 would give us the opportunity to send a clear message to working-aged persons with disabilities and, quite frankly, to every person with a disability that we will no longer sit by and watch them struggle to make ends meet, struggle to live with dignity, struggle as they live a life of uncertainty and poverty, that the equal opportunity to make for themselves the lives that they wish, as afforded to every Canadian, is theirs as well.

[Translation]

    Before getting into the details of the bill, I would like to place the benefit in the general context of the government's efforts to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities. Bill C-22 builds on the work done in the past six years to create a country that is more fair, accessible and inclusive.
    In 2016, we launched a national dialogue and consultation process that culminated in the enactment of the Accessible Canada Act. This historic legislation aims to realize a Canada without barriers by 2040. It is the most important step forward for the rights of Canadians with disabilities since the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.

  (1115)  

[English]

    The Accessible Canada Act lays out key principles that are guiding government decisions and actions as we work toward a disability-inclusive Canada. These include that all persons must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have regardless of their disabilities, and that persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures. With Bill C-22, we are remaining true to these principles.
    The bill before us today is also informed by our pandemic work and what we learned throughout these past years.
     In April 2020, we formed a COVID-19 disability advisory group to advise me, as minister, on the lived experience of persons with disabilities throughout the pandemic and to inform the federal government's response. It was the counsel of these individuals that led to actions like additional support for seniors and students with disabilities, as well as the one-time payment and other measures to help persons with disabilities mitigate the economic shock of the pandemic crisis.
    The inequality that was exposed and worsened by the pandemic also led to the creation of Canada's first-ever disability inclusion action plan. This is a plan that will modernize and revolutionize the way the federal government supports persons with disabilities.
     The action plan has four key pillars: financial security, employment, accessible and inclusive communities, and a modern approach to disabilities. This action plan will challenge our government and the networks and systems we operate in to do better. It will challenge Canada to be better. This is not a box we need to check off the list; it is a road map on how we consider persons with disabilities in all aspects of our society going forward. The development and implementation of this action plan is being done in collaboration with the disability community.
    In Canada, we are moving beyond the disability community mantra of “nothing about us without us”, in recognition of the fact that every decision the government makes, every program that is designed and every service that is delivered impacts persons with disabilities. We have moved to the shortened version of “nothing without us”, because everything is about us.
    In this spirit, we conducted an online survey to ask Canadians what was needed in the disability inclusion action plan and how it could make a concrete difference in the lives of people. Over 8,500 people responded. We have met with hundreds of members of the disability community and other experts, including through disability community-led engagement and indigenous-led engagement.
     The disability inclusion plan is a work in progress, but what the community has made clear to us, what we know for sure, is that poverty reduction will be the key metric by which we measure its and Canada's success, and we know that the Canada disability benefit must be the cornerstone of this work.

[Translation]

    Bill C-22 will create this benefit. It establishes the major principles and general provisions of the administration of the benefit, and authorizes the Governor in Council to implement most of the elements of the benefit by regulation.
    Along the same lines as the guaranteed income supplement for seniors, the benefit will be based on income and help low-income, working-age Canadians with disabilities.
    The framework format of this legislation is intentional. Not all details are contained in the bill. Why is that?
    First, in the spirit of “Nothing without us” and in recognition of the fact that governments have too often imposed ways of doing things on people with disabilities, we are collaborating with the disabled community on the benefit's design. People with disabilities are in the best position to know what they need. They are familiar with the challenges and barriers that prevent them from achieving financial security.
    The 2021 budget includes funding over three years to ensure people with disabilities will actually participate in the process, and work is well under way.

  (1120)  

[English]

    We are also doing important work with the disability community on the fourth pillar of the disability inclusion action plan to reform eligibility criteria for existing federal disability programs and benefits.
    As well, we need to work very closely with provinces and territories. Bill C-22 recognizes the leading role the provinces and territories play in providing supports and services to persons with disabilities, and the importance of engaging with them in developing income supports and other support services.
    The success of this benefit and the number of lives it will change will directly correspond to the work being done with provinces and territories on benefit interaction. Fundamentally, the Canada disability benefit would be an income supplement, not an income replacement. Like the GIS, it would not be intended to replace existing provincial and territorial support. Each month, it would put more money directly into the pockets of low-income persons with disabilities.
    We are working with provinces and territories to make sure this new benefit would align with and complement services, benefits and supports, because we cannot have a situation anywhere in this country where income supports are clawed back, or wraparound services are cut off, because of the Canada disability benefit. The disability community is concerned about this and has called upon provincial and territorial governments to not claw back existing income or other supports. These concerns are top of mind in every conversation I have. I am pleased to report that conversations in this regard are going well with the provinces and territories. There is a shared commitment to improving the lives of persons with disabilities across this country.
    In conclusion, Bill C-22 would allow Canada to create a thoughtfully designed benefit that would give financial security to working age persons with disabilities. As we move to debate this bill, I want to remind my colleagues that Canadians support the creation of the Canada disability benefit. According to a recent Angus Reid survey, nearly 90% of Canadians are in favour of the benefit.
    Support for the benefit was also expressed in an open letter to the Prime Minister and me from 200 prominent Canadians, including former parliamentarians, academics, business and union leaders, economists, health care professionals, and disability advocates. The urgent adoption of the CDB legislation was also called for in an open letter signed by nearly half of the members of the other place.
    That support is echoed in nearly 18,000 signatures on a House of Commons e-petition, and that e-petition asks that we fast-track the design and implementation of the benefit, and that we involve persons with disabilities at every stage. This was echoed in the House on May 10, when members of all parties unanimously supported the motion put forth by the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam to put in place the Canada disability benefit without delay.
    I hear from Canadians almost every day who are anxious to have this benefit in place. I too am anxious to have this benefit in place. This bill could be a game-changer in the lives of so many people.
    I want to thank members of the disability community who, for generations, have called for government action to support the financial security of persons with disabilities. What disability rights advocates have fought for and have achieved matters, and it has made a difference. Make no mistake. It is because of their efforts that I stand here, in this place, as a woman with a disability, and as Canada's first-ever minister responsible for disability inclusion. It is because of their efforts that we are debating Bill C-22 here today.
     I urge every member in the House to do the right thing and support this legislation. I urge them to join me and declare that no person with a disability in our country should live in poverty. Let us not miss this opportunity.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for bringing forward this important legislation. I have one thing to ask, though.
    It is not clear to me exactly how much the benefit would be for. Is the thought behind it that it might be a topping up, similar to CERB? What is the amount we are thinking of?

  (1125)  

    Madam Speaker, part of the thinking behind making this framework legislation was to recognize the important role that provinces and territories play in this space. Conceptually, this is modelled after the guaranteed income supplement, so it would be supplemental income, in addition to other supports that individuals receive. However, the negotiations with provinces and territories really will dictate the ambition of this because, if they are not willing to not claw it back, we are not willing to replace the income they already provide.
    It is roughly modelled after the GIS. The idea would be to lift people out of poverty and get people to a point where they are no longer living in poverty. However, the exact amount will be directly informed by the negotiations with the provinces and territories.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, as we begin the debate and this study, and since we are dealing with principles here, I would say from the outset that just because a person has an impairment does not mean that they have a disability. That is a basic principle, as far as I am concerned. Disability is a social construct.
    A person living with disabilities achieves autonomy when they have social and economic autonomy. If the bill and especially the regulations, which do not exist yet, are drafted with that in mind, then they will certainly have our attention and support.
    For a person living with disabilities to have dignity, to live in dignity, how much basic income should they receive annually?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I completely agree that a lot of the barriers that disable Canadians who have various impairments have been created by social construct. A lot of people are living in poverty in this country because they have been legislated into it and they cannot escape it, or they are afraid of taking that chance.
    With this bill we are sending a message that we understand and we will take people beyond that. We are also working, through our disability inclusion action plan, to address the other barriers people face, whether they are barriers to employment or inclusion, like not being able to get in the door to work somewhere, or attitudinal barriers, the assumptions people make and the bias and discrimination that exist in society. Quite frankly, a lot of the laws, policies and programs at all levels in this country discriminate. That is the big picture.
    Right now people are living in poverty, and this bill addresses lifting people up, giving them a chance and telling them that they matter and that they should not be living in poverty.
    Madam Speaker, as it stands, this bill is a promise. It is just a promise, but promises do not put food on the table.
    I raised with the minister the issue of adequacy and the need for certainty that this bill will provide adequate standard of living for people with disabilities.
    Is the minister prepared to include adequacy in this bill and move it from a promise to certainty?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for her collaboration on this really important piece of work.
    There are two fundamental reasons for proceeding in this way with framework legislation. One is because we want to include persons with disabilities and the disability community in this conversation. They are uniquely positioned to know what they need and what barriers they continue to face. The other, of course, is the reality of the dynamic, the interaction, and the need to harmonize benefits.
    Absolutely, the goal of this is to reduce poverty. Absolutely, the goal is to lift people out of poverty. As I said in my remarks, we have legislative poverty reduction targets, and we have a legislative poverty line. That is the goal, which is very clear in my mind.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the minister for her efforts to ensure Bill C-22 is the first bill debated in this fall session. She said earlier that no person with a disability should live in poverty. Everyone in this chamber would agree with that. However, we also know that this bill has no specificity about the amount of the benefit, who will be eligible for it and what will be done to prevent clawbacks.
    I wonder if the minister could share with us what she will do to ensure no person with a disability, regardless of their age, is living in poverty in this country.
    Madam Speaker, those are the exact points we are laser focused on as we move forward with this bill, and as we move forward into a regulatory process that would allow us the flexibility and public discourse to make sure we actually get where we want to go with this.
    We know there is such an important role to be played by provinces and territories. Working-age Canadians with disabilities are the target population. It is the gap we are trying to fill between children with disabilities, who get the Canada child benefit, and seniors with disabilities, who get OAS and GIS. This is the target population.
    Nobody, disability or not, deserves to live in poverty. This particular measure targets a specific cohort of the population in Canada that is disproportionately living in poverty.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister for tabling this bill, and more importantly, for the extremely well-thought-out and passionate speech she delivered to the House in presenting it.
    My question is about the economic impact on people living with disabilities. Before I became involved federally, I was involved municipally in my community, and I was a member of the accessibility standing committee of our city council. One of the things we came to realize very quickly is the economic impact on those with disabilities and what that means in our communities.
    I am wondering if the minister could comment on what the impact of lifting people out of poverty will be on this largest minority, as she referred to it, in our economies.
    Madam Speaker, as I said, financial security is one part of a four-part approach to disability inclusion in Canada. The second part is employment. There are significant barriers for this untapped labour pool, and in a time of labour shortages, this is a group that could be contributing and sharing their talent and expertise with us more meaningfully.
    We know that, if the available pool of persons with disabilities in this country were working, it could bump the GDP between 2% and 3%. What is stopping people is not the lack of ambition, will or talent. It is the entrenched barriers that exist within people's minds and within our systems. The exciting part is that we get to talk about it. We get to celebrate people, the contributions they could be making and the potential that exists out there. This is one piece of it.
     The CDB speaks to the other piece, which is financial security, and the reality is that people are living in poverty today, and we need to get them the assistance and support they deserve.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for her advocacy and for being an inspiration in this country.
    My question is more technical in nature. This is the second bill we have seen during this Parliament that would do substantial work in the regulations. There is actually not a lot of detail about what the bill would provide in terms of a benefit. I am curious if the minister is concerned about the precedent this sets and how much information we as parliamentarians will have before agreeing to pass this bill.
    I do support this bill fully in its spirit. I speak for me and not on behalf of my party, of course.
    Madam Speaker, I was concerned, in moving forward with this legislation, that we were not to impose requirements or criteria on a population that has always been imposed upon. I was concerned that we would make it more difficult for provinces and territories to collaborate and harmonize if we were to be too prescriptive.
    The whole notion of moving forward collaboratively in almost a co-development fashion is novel, and it feels a little uncertain, but it is the right thing to do. At the end of the day, after we go through this, we could look back and say that we had included people, we had given the provinces and territories the flexibility they needed to stand up and deliver, and people's lives were made better.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise to speak in the House. Before I begin, I would like to seek unanimous consent to share my time with another member.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Calgary Midnapore.

  (1135)  

    Thank you, Madam Speaker.

[English]

    It is certainly a pleasure to be back here in the House once again representing the good people of Calgary Midnapore and, even better, to be here under our new leader, the member for Carleton.
    Nobel Prize winner and humanitarian Pearl Buck once wrote, “the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.” I would certainly say the subjects of this act today are not helpless, but they do need our help. I believe that what Madam Buck was trying to say is how we treat the most vulnerable members of our society reflects the quality of it.
    Let me take a moment to reflect on how the government has treated the most vulnerable members of our society.
    Frankly, its track record is not very good. At best, there have been false aspirational words, strong statements and, of course, thoughts and prayers, with ultimately very little benefit to anyone. Is that the intention of the legislation here today and of the government here today? Is it a holding document, something the Liberals just want to put in the window but do not intend to deliver on?
     It would be easy to argue this, considering the legislation was the last piece of legislation placed before the House in the spring of 2019, right before we went into an election that summer, and the government knew it. It would be easy to think this, given it was the last piece of legislation tabled before our summer recess. It would be easy to assume that this is once again just thoughts and prayers and a hope for Canadians. However, I know the minister and know she wants the best for her community, and I believe her, so I do not think that these are aspirational words meant to simply inspire hope.
    That is the best of the legislation we have seen from the government, with this false inspiration; it is not the worst. What has been the worst? It has been legislation that divided Canadians. It has been legislation that left swaths of Canadians behind, to be absent from our society and to be ignored without recourse. Is this legislation the worst legislation we have seen from this government? No, it is not. Canadians have seen the worst and they will not forget.
    Where does this legislation today find itself? This legislation finds itself in the mushy middle. Why is it the mushy middle? It is because this legislation wants to help but falls short in convincing all Canadians that it actually would help. We have seen this with legislation before, where details were omitted and left to the regulations, including budgets and how they are able to balance themselves.
    There are many concerns with this legislation. For example, there is the eligibility for the benefit. Many are concerned about whether individuals with invisible disabilities would be eligible. When we are walking down the street and meet someone, we do not know what they are dealing with. We do not know if they are dealing with an invisible disability such as cancer or heart disease. We have no idea, and this legislation does not provide clarification as to whether these invisible disabilities would be covered.
    Then there is the amount of the benefit that Canadians with disabilities would receive. It is not yet clear how the amount would be determined in conjunction with the existing provincial benefits. Of course, many disability supports are currently provided provincially, but there is no indication as to whether this benefit could be considered income and would therefore disqualify individuals from receiving some provincial benefits.

  (1140)  

    There need to be assurances that there will be no provincial disparity so that no matter where someone lives in Canada, they are equally supported. “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian”, the Prime Minister has said, so let us show it.
    We need to know how the benefit will be impacted if there are provincial changes to the disability support. Because we do not know how much the benefit would be, how the benefit would be delivered or who would be eligible, we do not know what the cost would be to deliver the benefit. With last week's announcement of the affordability bill, we are now at $56.5 billion in budget 2022. We do not know when or how the benefit would be delivered. Would the benefit be delivered monthly, weekly or at tax time? It simply is not clear or outlined within this legislation.
    Another major concern is whether the benefit would be indexed to inflation. With rising inflation, Canadians are already suffering, with an unbelievable rate in June of 4.1%. It is unbelievable that we would even have to consider the impacts of inflation on people with disabilities.
    There is the process to appeal for persons with disabilities who are denied benefits. We know that disabilities are unique, and we know that there should be a fair and equitable appeal process for those who have been denied benefits.
    When persons with disabilities would start to receive the benefit is another major concern for us with this legislation. As well, right now the coming-into-force date would be determined by an order of the Governor in Council, so even if this legislation passes and receives royal assent, Canadians with disabilities may not receive the benefit for some time, if they receive it at all.
    One in five Canadians lives with a disability. They need our support to live full lives and participate fully in society, including in the workforce. The Conservatives believe that all Canadians living with disabilities deserve timely access to these benefits and services and should not be penalized for going to work, as is too often the case today.
    They do not need more uncertainty, and I would like to point out, with my apologies, that the rate in June was 8.1%, not 4.1%, as I said previously. They do not need bureaucracy; they need our help. If we want to be seen as a society that Pearl Buck would find worthy, then let us really help.
    In conclusion, this is not the worst of the legislation we have seen, but it is not the best of the legislation we have seen, of aspirational ideas and of the slogan “sunny ways”. With the worst of it, the government has consistently wedged, stigmatized and divided. It is the mushy middle, but if we really want to have a society that Pearl Buck would judge as worthy, then let us have an act that actually helps people.
    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister and Liberal members have been very clear. We want an economy that works for all Canadians, and Bill C-22 speaks to that. It would ensure that we give more disposable income to people with disabilities.
    The minister talked about how there is a disconnect in the issue of poverty for a person with a disability who is turning 65. The member opposite seems to want to mock the bill by challenging whether it will take effect. The Conservative Party of Canada can recognize what the government has been talking about: enabling Canadians to be actively engaged in the economy as full participants. Let us fight poverty.
    Will the member be clear in her indication of support for the bill and its quick passage?

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, the economy is working for nobody. This is very clear right now, as we had, as I mentioned, an inflation rate of 8.1% in June and have a budget in 2022 of $56.5 billion with the act that was recently announced. Canadians cannot buy groceries right now, they cannot fill up their vehicles with gas at this time and new families cannot purchase homes. The economy is not working for anyone, so I would suggest the member not discuss the economy.
    I made it clear in my speech that the Conservatives will be supporting the bill, but it is not super inspirational.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in French, we refer to people “en situation de handicap”, “vivant avec un handicap” or “handicapée”. There are a number of terms that are used. However, there is something that concerns me.
    Guillaume Parent, the director of the Centre d'expertise finances et handicap, recently told La Presse that, in Quebec, fewer people considered themselves as having a disability or living with a disability because the French word “handicap” does not have the same scope as the English word “disability”.
    Will a distinction be made between the two terms so that people understand what we are talking about and so that they are able to access the services in question?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I think the intention is the same no matter which term we use. That also means that the bill's shortcomings remain the same. Whatever term we use, I hope that the bill's flaws will be remedied in the regulations.
    This bill is just as flawed no matter which term we use.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the disability community has been clear: It needs help now.
    How did we get here? It is consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments that have failed the disability community. After seven years in power, the Liberal government has dragged its feet and now tabled a bill that is empty on the critical pieces and critical details of the bill. Who is eligible? When will people get the benefit? How much will the benefit be?
    Could the member comment on how, after seven years, a government could table something without details?
    Madam Speaker, it is very rich to point to Conservative and Liberal governments when the New Democrats are in fact in a coalition with the Liberals. The member should have done a better job of negotiating if she wanted to see that within the bill.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to return here to the House for a scintillating debate, and it is nice to start on a topic that all parties can agree on: the importance and the need for an increase to the support we are giving people who are living with disabilities.
    To start, I wanted to read a letter that I signed with members from all parties that went to the minister to request that we expeditiously get this benefit in place. The letter does a great job of summarizing the desperate need for such a benefit. It states:
    We write in support of the immediate re-introduction of the Canada Disability Benefit Act in order to reduce poverty and support the financial security of persons with disabilities.
    We also call on the government to ensure that people with disabilities are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the Canada Disability Benefit, and to work with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that the benefit complements provincial and territorial programs.
    One in five people in Canada has a disability and over one million Canadians with disabilities live in poverty. People with disabilities in Canada have a higher rate of unemployment and people with severe disabilities earn less than $13,000 per year on average. People with disabilities face many direct and indirect costs from having a disability, including medical expenses, specialized equipment, accessible housing, and reduced earnings. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these inequalities.
    The Canada Disability Benefit is an important step in removing the barriers that people with disabilities face in Canada, and it must be part of a comprehensive government approach that includes creating good quality jobs and disability-inclusive spaces.
    It is critical that we move forward more quickly to support people with disabilities and, as parliamentarians representing different parties, we are ready to work alongside you to ensure that we build a truly inclusive Canada.
    This is the kind of cross-party co-operation that Canadians are looking for.
    If we look at the plight of the disabled, I cannot speak to how much in benefits they are receiving in other provinces, but I can tell members I have a continual stream of people coming to my office who are unable to afford to live. In Ontario, they get about $1,200 a month as their benefit.
    We can think about the fact that affordable housing is a huge issue in this country. Across the country, Canadians cannot find a place to live that is affordable, but in my riding I would tell members that any place one can find is about $1,000 a month. We know a couple of years ago, before the pandemic started, 60% of Canadians were within $200 of not being able to pay their bills. That was before the pandemic and all the hardships that happened. It was before the subsequent, multiple increases to the carbon tax that the Liberal government put in place, which have increased the cost of home heating and increased the cost of groceries.
    There is now an added burden on disabled people. If they have $1,000 to find a place to live in Sarnia and they have $200 leftover for everything else, along with all the increases that have happened, it is no wonder that people cannot afford to live. We are seeing them increasingly trying to go to food banks. We see all these problems they are having.
    We also know that the health care system is in disarray in our country. For persons like me, trying to get a medical appointment to see a specialist, or whatever is needed, is difficult enough. However, to navigate that system for many persons living with disabilities is extra complicated and extra expensive. I think we would all agree in this House that there is a great need for the benefit.
    When it comes to implementing things, it is important to know the details. I find this document is almost a virtue-signal that this is important to do, and we all agree that it is. How much is it going to cost? There has been out-of-control spending everywhere from the Liberal government. We all agree it is a good idea to spend here. However, how much is it?

  (1150)  

    The implementation of this also needs to not exclude people. It was I, on a Friday, in the House, who highlighted the problem with the disability tax credit, when the government decided to make 80% of people who used to be eligible for the benefit no longer eligible. Then they denied it. We chased them around for months and months, with the disability stakeholders calling out the government on it. Finally, the situation was remediated, but it was not just about taking away their tax credit. That also made them eligible for the disability pension benefit. If one did not get the tax credit, one did not get the pension benefit. When we are talking about implementing supports for the disabled, it is important we know who is eligible. That is going to be critical.
    It is also important that we are not giving money with one hand and taking money away with the other hand. We are saying we are going to top them up, and I would argue the amount of topping up is important. The minister indicated that this would be like GIS, but she also said that people who are on OAS and GIS and are disabled go from 23% living in poverty to, when they turn 65, 9% living in poverty. If no disabled person should live in poverty, that tells me we do not have the right amount for the GIS, so that is going to be an important discussion as well.
    The government is going to raise the carbon tax again in January. If one is giving money with one hand, while driving up the cost of groceries and home heating and taking the money away with the other hand, that is not going to be helpful at all. Therefore, that will be very important.
    It has to be indexed to inflation. Certainly, we have the highest inflation that we have seen in this country in 40 years. Interest rates are up. People are concerned. If we are not keeping pace with that, it will be problematic. I do hear that, if everybody needs an 8.1% increase, it is going to be another inflationary pressure. It is more important than ever that we prioritize spending in the government and that we know clearly where we are going to spend.
    When it comes to helping the disabled, I find that we are not always on the same page. The member for Carleton, who is our new leader, had brought a private member's bill to help disabled people. The minister talked about preventing the clawbacks that happened. His bill was going to address the clawbacks that were happening, but the government did not support his bill and it did not pass.
    I think that all of us are looking for ways to help. I do not think we should only help by giving money to the disabled. I think we should be incentivizing their work, making it possible. I know that there are barriers they face in terms of accessibility, and the accessibility act, while well-intended, has not always come to fruition. In my riding, there are still places that were grandfathered under that and are inaccessible. Certainly, some attention needs to be paid there.
    In addition, I would say that we need to look at the history of how we have treated the disabled community. The remarks from the minister were very well taken on this. We have a lousy track record. We need to get it right. To do that, we need to not just consult with provinces and territories to make sure they are not clawing back the benefits we are going to give, but I we also need to consult with people in the disabled community so that we understand how they need to receive that benefit.
    My colleague from Calgary Midnapore mentioned that it is not clear whether it would be a monthly benefit or if it would come at tax time or what it would come as. People who are struggling to get by definitely need to receive this more regularly, so my opinion is that this would be something to take under consideration.
    Certainly we will support this bill in principle, but when it comes to committee and all of the details, I hope that the consultations with provinces and territories have been done so that we can see how much of the benefit we need to put in place, so that we can get a costing on it, perhaps from the Parliamentary Budget Officer. I also hope we will be clear on who is going to be eligible and how that is going to be determined, because I would not want to see people fall through the cracks unnecessarily.
    In terms of the implementation, it should be accelerated, but it is more important to do it right than to do it fast.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, I did hear the minister, in her comments earlier, talk about the consultations with those primarily affected by this, the disabled community. I think that she even indicated that this would be an ongoing thing and would continue to happen. That is to respond to one of the member's last points.
    With regard to the issue of trying to hone in on the exact amount, does the member not respect the fact that there are already services provided by the provinces and that one of the things we want to ensure we do not end up seeing is that we just end up transferring money to the provinces and they end up decreasing what they are spending?
    We have to ensure that money the federal government puts into this is genuinely redirected to those in need in addition to what they might already be receiving. Would she not agree this is a critical element?

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, we want to make sure we are not giving something to the provinces they are going to claw back, because disabled people will be worse off as a result. There is some evidence of how much money it takes to live, which I think varies by location. A lot of times we see that when people are assigned a salary, if they are working in Vancouver or Toronto there is a supplement for addressing the cost of housing there and things like that. Therefore, the amount may not be the same across the board depending on where people live. I think there is a private member's bill from one of the NDP members calling for $2,200 a month. We saw with the CERB that $2,000 a month seemed adequate, so I would say that might be a target. I would again encourage the government to look at the GIS, because single people who receive the OAS and GIS are living in poverty, so it is not the right amount.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in a June 15 article in La Presse, Guillaume Parent wrote that the consultations could go on for three years.
    What does my colleague think about that? Does she not think that is a rather long time to wait for people who are already in need?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question.
    I think that three years is too long to wait for benefits. I would rather see the government put measures in place immediately and then continue to hold consultations to determine whether those measures are working.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as a result of consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments' inaction, those living with disabilities in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith are increasingly homeless and reliant on food banks. Some are getting sicker instead of better as they do not have access to the medications they need or to adaptive equipment, for example. Instead of being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, those living with disabilities are being left behind.
    Does the member agree that we need to see the current government implement a bill that provides clear, immediate supports for those living with disabilities?
    Madam Speaker, I absolutely agree we need to hurry to get a benefit in place.
    With respect to the previous governments that have neglected this, I would say we cannot change the past. We can only change the future. Now is the time, and we need to move forward with this legislation.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise here today as the Bloc Québécois critic for disability inclusion.
    The government has introduced a bill that aims to improve the financial situation of Canadians with disabilities and of working age. The bill is intended to address certain gaps in the social safety net, which includes old age security, the guaranteed income supplement and the Canada child benefit.
    I think that this is an important goal, and I can say right now that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of the principle. We believe that it is important that Canadians have access to a strong social safety net and that it is the government’s role to ensure that they do. Today’s Quebec is built on these same principles, and we can only support any initiatives in this vein that could be of benefit to Quebecers.
    However, as it stands, Bill C-22 is woefully incomplete. Beyond the principle of solidarity and financial assistance for people with disabilities, the government gives no details on the form the benefit will take. We all know that the devil is in the details. We believe that this is a major shortcoming and that the bill should be enhanced and, especially, fleshed out.
    Right now, 22% of Canadians live with a disability. That is almost one out of every four. Unfortunately, we know that almost a third of all Canadians with disabilities live under the poverty line and that the unemployment rate for most of this group is higher. In Quebec alone, 37% of people with disabilities live on an income of less than $15,000 a year.
    In the government’s online survey, which we heard about before actually getting a hold of it through the library, 70% of respondents indicated that financial security should be the government’s main priority.
    The same respondents indicated that they found it hard to cover the costs associated with living with a disability. These include housing costs, medical costs and the cost of goods and services to assist people with disabilities.
    It is also important to remember that the pandemic made their financial hardship even worse. The COVID-19 crisis had an impact on the general health of Canadians with disabilities, and many had a hard time obtaining the assistance and services they had access to before.
    The government finally decided to send out a one-time payment of $600, an amount that is wholly insufficient to provide relief and help people meet their present and future needs. Frankly, it is high time that the government took this seriously. People with disabilities have waited long enough.
    A majority of groups and unions are in favour of this benefit, but only because the existing federal programs fall short. For example, the people with disabilities who are most in need cannot access the disability tax credit.
    Just 2.2% of the population in Quebec applies for the tax credit, even though 16% of Quebeckers live with a disability and are eligible. It is complicated to apply for the credit and not everyone with a disability is eligible. Furthermore, as one of my colleagues pointed out, there is an issue with the French word “handicap” and its meaning. There is a difference between the meanings of the French words “incapacité” and “handicap”, and some people do not consider they have a “handicap”.

  (1205)  

    The minister's action plan for people with disabilities includes employment, but its definition of disability and associated issues needs updating. Eligibility, for one thing, needs to be clear.
     I would also like to talk about the registered disability savings plan, the RDSP, a federally subsidized program that enables people with disabilities to save a lifetime maximum of $90,000. Only 26.6% of Quebeckers eligible for the disability tax credit participate in this program.
    The point is, there are programs, but people, especially Quebeckers, do not really know about them, and they tend to be flawed. We know that 59% of people believe that supports available to people with disabilities fail to ensure a decent quality of life. The government needs to realize that, and it is time to get serious about dealing with this issue.
    Now, 89% of Canadians support a benefit for persons with disabilities. In Quebec, it is 91%. Plus, 66% of Canadians believe that the ability to work and to receive financial support are the most important factors to consider in determining measures to improve financial security.
    Bill C-22 seems to be moving in the right direction there. However, at this point, I cannot say for certain whether Bill C-22 addresses the public's concerns. It is essentially a blank page. It sets out the broad principles, but all of the details, criteria and dollar amounts will be decided through regulations to be made by the minister.
    I am going to take the liberty of pointing out a few aspects that should be clarified, in order to help the government flesh this out. When will this happen? Our biggest concern is that the government has not given itself a timeline.
    The federal government is planning a three-year consultation process to work out the details of this benefit. Many people are concerned that the process is going to drag on and the benefit is not going to be created any time soon.
    While it is important to recognize the value of consultation, it must not become a barrier to implementing measures that are needed now. We cannot let the government drag this out with endless consultations, as it did with employment insurance reform, even though the solutions are clear.
    I should add that it is very disappointing that we are debating this Bill C-22 now when a similar bill had been introduced in June 2021. Unfortunately, Bill C-35 died on the Order Paper because the Prime Minister got election fever. Sadly, people with disabilities are the ones who are now paying for that delay, because they are still waiting.
    Who will receive this new benefit? Those are the people the minister must focus on. Bill C-22 is rather mum on that question. Other than mentioning working-age persons with disabilities, it does not define anything.
    The Bloc Québécois believes the benefit should cover as many persons with disabilities as possible, which is why it is important to have a broad, modern definition. Most importantly, the benefit needs to be easy to use and understand. I think we need to learn from our mistakes.
    What will be the actual financial repercussions of this benefit? No one has any idea how much money will be granted. According to several groups, this benefit needs to lift people out of poverty, and we agree. It is not enough to reduce poverty.
    Again, we have no clear idea of the terms of the benefit, other than the fact that it targets working-age people and will be considered an income supplement.
    Bill C-22 merely states an intention to reduce poverty. What we need, in the long term, is to eliminate poverty, not just reduce it.

  (1210)  

    How can we do that?
    Finally, the government's bill gives absolutely no indication as to how this benefit will be created. The bill does not say if Ottawa itself will deliver the benefit or if the federal government plans to transfer the money to Quebec and the other provinces for them to deliver the benefit. It is not clear whether this benefit will be paid on top of what already exists in the provinces. It is mentioned, but not specified.
    Virtually all the terms and conditions of the benefit will be determined through regulations made by the minister; they have not been included in the bill. Members will therefore understand why I feel so uncomfortable voting blindly for such a bill.
    I hope the minister will listen to this one point that I really want to emphasize. Overlap between programs must be considered. Programs already exist in Quebec and in the provinces to support things like health care costs, transportation allowances, grants for special equipment, employment supports, and the list goes on.
    The provinces must be allowed to adapt the program to their own realities. It is imperative that the federal government respect provincial jurisdictions and existing programs, and the new benefit must complement what already exists, as called for by all the stakeholders. We are waiting for the government to clarify these issues.
    I would like to add that we believe that helping people with disabilities must not stop there. In fact, the throne speech promised an action plan for this issue, but we are still waiting for it.
    According to the government's latest consultation, 45% of respondents said that they would prefer being reimbursed for disability-related costs as a way to improve their financial security, and 28% want tailored measures to ensure they have income security at different stages or transitions in their lives. We need to be able to increase assistance when someone with a disability experiences a change in their financial situation or a decline in their health. In addition, 17% want better access to existing government supports and services.
    It is good to create new programs that meet a need, but we must also ensure that we optimize the programs that already exist. We must also improve employment assistance. I would remind members that 59% of Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 are employed, compared to 80% of Canadians without disabilities. That shows that we have a problem. These people want to work but do not have the same opportunities as those who are not disabled. Furthermore, Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 earn less than Canadians without disabilities. In fact, those with mild disabilities earn 12% less, and those with more severe disabilities earn 51% less. That is a substantial difference.
    Therefore, there is an equity issue that we must address. Of those consulted, 67% noted they need to be equipped to succeed through workplace accommodations; 57% want help developing skills and obtaining appropriate training to get a job; 51% said they want support looking for quality jobs; and 70% said that employers must provide a work environment that is supportive of persons with disabilities. The government must tackle all these issues.

  (1215)  

    In closing, I would like to reiterate a few key points. The Bloc Québécois supports the general principle of the bill because it is high time that people with disabilities, particularly those living in poverty, got the help they need to live a decent life.
    However, the government needs to do its job. People with disabilities deserve better than a blank page and statements like “we will see” and “trust us”. We hope that the minister will soon give us more details so that we can comment on the substance of the bill, not just the form.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have heard some of the discussion today from Bloc members and they seem to be hung up on the issue of who would be a recipient of this disability credit. I would encourage the member, and all Bloc members who share this concern, to google the Accessible Canada Act. The very first link that pops up will be the actual legislation. If the members scroll down about five or six paragraphs to the interpretation, they will see the definition, which reads:
disability means any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.
    The definition of who would be a recipient, who would qualify, is very clear and is laid out in the act that already exists. I wonder if Bloc members have had an opportunity to review that interpretation as to who would be impacted by this legislation.

  (1220)  

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, of course we took the time to review it. I wonder whether my colleague took the time to listen carefully to my speech.
    We know that this targets people of working age, but the point we are trying to make when we talk about who is eligible is that the concepts of disability and impairment do not have the same linguistic and cultural scope. That is an important point.
    I would like to remind my colleague that, according to the September 23, 2020, throne speech, the disability inclusion plan includes a new inclusive process for determining eligibility for benefits that reflects a modern understanding of disability. We have questions about that, and I think I was very clear.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked a lot about the bill being incomplete, that it had no details and that it basically needed to be made more specific. These are questions that we all have, at least on this side of the House, about the legislation. We want to see the bill move forward. We are hoping that the government is listening to the conversation we are having right now, so it can pick up some of these points as it moves forward and make those changes so we can see them in the legislation.
    Disabled people do not want to be recognized. They do not want a big sign put above their heads saying “I am disabled.” They want to be able to move forward. I know many people who are disabled and they wonder if the people they talk to day in and day out even understand that they have a disability, These issues are invisible to a lot of Canadians.
    I wonder if the member could comment a little more about those people who are possibly included in this legislation. Unfortunately, we heard an answer from across the way a minute ago basically saying that the government was not putting that information in the legislation. Could the member comment on whether it should be and on other things she would like to see in the legislation?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    One thing that is clear about eligibility is that this legislation is intended for persons with disabilities who are of working age. Who are these people, however? We have the beginning of an answer.
    The clause entitled “Regulations” is what worries me about this bill because so much is left unsaid. Bills are passed on principle, which, in this case, is to provide income support to the poorest persons with disabilities. Regulations, on the other hand, set out the details, such as the eligibility criteria for the benefit; the conditions that are to be met in order to receive the benefit; the amount of the benefit or the method for determining the amount; the manner in which the benefit is to be indexed; the payment periods; and the applications for the benefit. Right now, the legislation is rather vague.
    We understand that there will be consultations and that the government wants to work for and with persons with disabilities. However, it has been a year, so I think that it should be able to specify certain things that we could actually work on in committee before the bill passes third reading.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Thérèse-De Blainville that the bill is empty of details and needs improvement.
    I wonder if the member could express what improvements the Bloc would like to see and what improvements would be necessary at committee.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.
    Basically, we need to get to work on this. Consultations have taken place, and in the interest of co-operation, we are told that discussions with the provinces are ongoing. What are the results so far? What do we already know?
    In all honesty, I would say that we cannot wait years for this. It is important to introduce this bill, and I must say that all the parties have lobbied by writing letters to everyone about having this bill reintroduced a year later. It is important because we are waiting for answers to these questions.
    Consultations cannot drag on forever. We cannot remain in the dark about the fundamental content of the bill and simply be told that it will be decided by regulations. That is not good enough. It needs to be done quickly and, structurally speaking, there needs to be more content.

  (1225)  

[English]

    I want to a moment to make a quick comment. We just experienced it, where people were on the other side in the hallway, which was really noisy. That noise bleeds into the chamber. I need to remind all members that if they are in that area on the outside to try to keep the volume and the laughter down. Sometimes the comments, the questioning and the topic we are discussing in the chamber are important and sensitive, and hearing the laughing going on outside cheapens what is happening in here.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate my colleague on her great work and on her speech.
    As members know, Quebec is the envy of many nations for its very strong social safety net. Obviously, the Bloc Québécois will certainly support any program that improves the lives of people with disabilities.
    My colleague from Thérèse-De Blainville already talked about the vagueness of the timelines. No one knows how long the consultation period will last. It is too slow.
    Another grey area has to do with how these future regulations will be applied. It is not clear whether Ottawa will pay the benefits directly to Quebec and the provinces or whether the federal government will pay the benefits directly to individuals eligible for this new benefit program.
    I wonder if my colleague has any suggestions for the government regarding the best and most effective way to deliver such a program.
     Mr. Speaker, there are two approaches that I think would be best.
    First, this program must respect and not interfere with the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. Second, the program must complement existing measures and not replace them. The government must guarantee that.
    The government can ensure that this program complements existing measures by sending the funding directly to the provinces or by providing additional money, taking into account Quebec's jurisdiction. These are the kinds of questions we want to see answered.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Thérèse-De Blainville for supporting the principle of this bill. I also want to thank her for endorsing our letter, which shows cross-party support for the Canada disability benefit.
    We know that respect for provincial jurisdictions is particularly important to her. Does she have any advice for the members of the House who want to get this benefit passed as quickly as possible with the support of the Bloc Québécois?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    As members know, during discussions to advance and pass this bill, I have always expressed my concern for respecting jurisdictions.
    I am not sure what measures exist in other provinces, but in Quebec, we have disability supports. The government is trying to create that kind of social safety net, but it cannot take a centralist approach and decide what is right.
    People living with disabilities need to be asked what they think is right. Likewise, the government must absolutely ask Quebec and the other provinces what can be done to improve the situation, instead of taking over their roles.

  (1230)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, before the House rose for the summer, all members called to put in place, without delay, a Canada disability benefit, and so I want to start by thanking the minister for respecting the will of the House and bringing Bill C-22 to the floor for second reading today.
    I would also like to thank every member for their support of my unanimous consent motion that brought unity to this place on an issue of human rights and dignity. It is clear everyone in the House wants to get to work on improving the lives of persons with disabilities.

[Translation]

    I look forward to working with all members to get the best possible bill passed, so we can put money in bank accounts and eradicate poverty among persons living with disabilities.

[English]

    I also want to express my gratitude to all the organizations, individuals and allies who have done the heavy lifting to get us to this pivotal point. Their work has been difficult and powerful. Every meeting, email, phone call, letter, research paper, round table, media campaign and petition has led us to this point. I thank the disability advocates and allies in my own riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, including the amazing staff and members of Community Ventures Society, Share, Kinsight, Inclusion BC, Special Olympics British Columbia, Douglas College, Community Volunteer Connections, Lelainia Lloyd, Elaine Willis and Merle Smith. They have shared their skills and stories of the barriers that people with disabilities navigate every single day in this discriminatory and ableist world.
    I acknowledge that the disability community has had to do much too much heavy lifting to fight for their basic human rights and equity. They should not have to face such discrimination, and I raise my hands to all of them for the work they do. I know their fight will continue even after the Canada disability benefit becomes law because the discrimination that persons with disabilities experience in this country is a moral, systemic and systematic failure that perpetuates in communities across this country. New Democrats are committed to doing the work for change.
    New Democrats want to see Bill C-22 become law as soon as possible. We want people with disabilities to be legislated out of poverty. We want to see the funding for this new benefit in the next budget, and we want this new benefit to get to people right away.
    We hope the Liberal government is committed to the same goal, but there is still work to do. This bill, as it currently stands, lacks the details, as many of my colleagues have mentioned. It lacks the details needed to know if it will achieve the goals it sets out to achieve. There is no clear eligibility, no details of how much the benefit will be or even when people can expect to start receiving it. This bill lacks the accountability and measures needed to be successful.
    If this were an NDP government bill, it would have looked very different. New Democrats would have outlined how we will eliminate poverty, not just express an aspiration to reduce it. Canadians have waited seven years for this promised benefit, yet there are no details of what it actually means, and people with disabilities are no closer to having money in the bank. This is unacceptable. The Liberal government has a responsibility to tell Canadians how this bill is really going to improve their lives. How will it do what it aspires to do? What are the tangible ways it will help?
    With the rising cost of food and the skyrocketing costs of housing and rent, too many persons with disabilities are suffering. COVID-19 has only amplified existing inequalities. People with disabilities have disproportionately been affected by loss of employment, social isolation, lack of access to transit and recreation. For those with immunity risks, just going out for necessities is still a risk.
    Throughout the summer, too many tragic situations have happened. This is not new suffering. It is just an amplification of how dire the situation is, and it speaks to why the Canada disability benefit must be fast-tracked so it can help those who are suffering and save lives. The stakes are high when dealing with lives, and that is why Canadians need to have assurance that this benefit will be adequate, will reach the people it needs to reach, and will be fast-tracked.

  (1235)  

    Poverty is a reality for almost one million people with disabilities. Poverty is not an accident. It is legislated. This is because there is no national framework to protect their basic needs. The longer the government turns away from the promised Canada disability benefit, the more dire the situation becomes.
     I want to share just a few of the stories from women who have reached out to me. For anonymity, I am just going to share their stories without names.
    Here is the first one: “I’m trying to find remote work part time but if I make over $200 a month, Doug Ford will take it back provincially. We desperately need help and no three-year study is needed. It's been done. So many studies. Why the Liberals are stalling as more people are applying for MAID. My daughter is 21, epileptic with a blood disorder, also on disability, and she said, 'Mom, maybe we should consider MAID.'”
    This is the second one: “This Canada disability benefit needs to get approved by all federal parties and 'fast-tracked!' This has nothing to do with working or not, as many cannot work! MAID is not a substitute for government aid to help pay for rent, groceries and medicine.”
    Here is the last one I will share today: “I sacrificed many comforts to make life almost affordable. I share an apartment with two others above a store. The room I sleep in is not legally allowed to be called a bedroom because it has no window. It probably used to, but now the space between my building and my neighbour has a roof. I chose it because it made it easier to find roommates, and it's quieter. But it gets so hot in the summer that I can't sleep. My roommates keep their doors closed most of the time, so I get no natural light or fresh air at home. But it's better than the alternatives.”
    I hear in these voices and the voices of many a call for urgent action. The rising cost of living is not slowing down, yet persons with disabilities are forced to wait for the government to see them, to prioritize them and to fulfill a promise it made years ago.
    Since 2015, the Liberals have spoken about the importance of lifting people with disabilities out of poverty and the need for dignity, autonomy and human rights, yet their actions and their timelines have not matched their words. The Liberal government does not seem to understand the importance of this bill and how the lack of urgency is hurting people. It is beyond time that the Liberals do better.
    Where past governments have failed, this House cannot. We can, through a united voice, hold the government to its promise of a Canada disability benefit that would actually lift people out of poverty and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable Canadians who are falling further and further behind. This is a historic opportunity to end legislated poverty for persons with disabilities. The government can end it by delivering some of the most significant national income security advancements for Canadians with disabilities in over 50 years. Economists predict that poverty in Canada would be reduced by as much as 40% by eliminating disability poverty. I will repeat that number: 40%. I ask members to imagine that in Canada.
     Done right, Bill C-22 has the potential to uphold the human rights and dignity of persons with disabilities and truly ensure they do not live in poverty. The key to the success, which many other members in the House today have also expressed, is that the amount of the benefit must be adequate. It must be enough to meet the basic needs of persons with disabilities.
    In Canada, we have an official poverty line that spells out the amount needed to cover the basic needs of everyday life. It is a marker of the minimum income that people need to survive, yet that measure has failings, as it does not take into consideration the additional costs of a disability. That is why the government must work closely, as has been said in the House today, with other levels of government to ensure that Canada's disability benefit is truly a poverty reduction benefit with no clawbacks of any current federal, provincial or territorial disability programs.
    Inclusion Canada says it this way: “provide a guaranteed adequate income floor for working age persons with disabilities.” This is what the committee has clearly expressed over and over again. A national benefit must be adequate.
    Over one million people with at least one disability in this country live in poverty. Done right, this bill would legislate a million people out of poverty. Let us get it right, and let us do that quickly.

  (1240)  

    I reiterate that adequacy cannot come with clawbacks. The number one worry about this new benefit in the disability community is that any new income support program would result in clawbacks somewhere else. The Liberal government has already shown a pattern of introducing income support programs only to claw them back. This cannot happen. In the past, New Democrats have successfully fought for Liberal government clawbacks to be reversed. We do not want to have to do that again. There needs to be protection in this bill for no clawbacks.
    I want to take a moment here to talk about choice. There can be no legitimate conversation on human rights, dignity, autonomy, or individual choice when people's most basic needs, such as housing, food, clothing and medication, are not met due to poverty. Governments say that everyone has equal and inherent rights, but we only need to look at the government's failure to deliver pandemic supports to persons with disabilities during this pandemic to remind ourselves that people living with disabilities are continually left behind.
    The continuing exclusion of persons with disabilities in government decision-making and in budgetary commitments, and the insurmountable barriers to full and equal participation in civic life, have led some of the most vulnerable in our society to consider ending their lives, not because they choose to die, but because they see no way to live.
    Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to offer people with disabilities equal protection under the law, including the income supports they need to survive. This is long-standing discrimination that needs to be corrected. Low-income persons with disabilities require, at minimum, a bill that commits to adequacy without clawbacks. It is a matter of life and death.
    New Democrats share the disappointment of the advocates and allies who spelled out their needs and concerns, shared their stories and took part in years of consultation with the government, only to have eligibility details missing from the bill. No one knows who would receive this benefit.
    People with disabilities are relying on the government to fast-track this benefit to deliver support without delay. The government has had a full year, seven years actually, to add that to this bill, and it makes no sense to New Democrats that the government has not been able to clearly articulate who will be eligible.
    As New Democrats, we are concerned that, without the details, the government will leave people behind. We saw this during the pandemic. Even though persons with disabilities were already more likely to live in poverty, persons with disabilities were the last group to get emergency supports from the government. While corporations benefited from quick and decisive government action on emergency supports, persons with disabilities were an afterthought, and when those supports did come, only a third of people who needed it actually received it because access to those supports was underpinned by a deeply flawed disability tax credit system.
    The disability tax credit does not work for those living in poverty. New Democrats support the calls from disability organizations and individuals for eligibility criteria to include persons with disabilities already eligible for provincial, territorial and federal disability programs. The government cannot rely solely on the disability tax credit, and the government must overcome its internal data problems because getting help to people must not be limited by the logistics of an antiquated system.
    Eligibility must also be accessible, consistent and dignified. For too long, governments have added the burden of excessive reporting requirements to persons with disabilities, including checking in and having to empty out their pockets in front of a government employee. This is a barrier that takes away a person's autonomy and dignity. It is essential that eligibility for this new benefit is modernized and does not strip people of their dignity.

  (1245)  

    In closing, Canada aspires to be a world leader in the eradication of poverty, and here is our chance to make that a reality for persons with disabilities. This bill needs to ensure adequacy, support and eligibility. Promises are not enough. The persons living with disabilities in this country deserve the adequacy that they are entitled to. I look forward to working with all of the House at committee on this bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her impassioned speech and for her advocacy on this really important issue. She has been a champion in poverty reduction for the community of persons with disabilities for so long.
    I have heard very clearly from the House about the need to get this done and the need to get it done quickly for persons with disabilities. I am wondering if the member can reflect on some of her thinking about how we can work together to ensure that the provinces and territories do not claw back this benefit and do not deny people services or supports inadvertently because of people getting the Canada disability benefit. How can we work together to find a way to weave a system that is so diverse across the country into a coherent support network for people with disabilities? I know that is the member's expertise and I would be really appreciative of any guidance she has.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for her collaboration up to this point with all members of the House.
    We talk about the provinces, and I have had conversations with a number of ministers across my province. They are waiting for some leadership from the federal government. They are open to having these conversations. I would say that given the seven years the disability community has been waiting for this, those conversations should be much further down the road.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her advocacy for persons with disabilities.
    I am not very familiar with what is in place in B.C. in terms of supports, so I wonder if she could comment on what the province does currently and how she would like to see that augmented in order to correctly support people living with disabilities.
    Mr. Speaker, fortunately, persons with disabilities across the country have provincial supports. They do not have enough, but they do have provincial support. In B.C., we have an NDP government and this is top of mind for it. This is definitely work that it wants to do around what those disability benefits need to look like. There are a number of them.
    I want to share with the minister that one of the most popular disability supports in B.C. is a bus pass, a transit pass. It is unbelievable how many people in the consultations I did were afraid to lose their bus pass and their ability to move to their job, to get their groceries and to move around in society and civic life.
    I just wanted to share that. The government in B.C. is working hard to ensure that persons with disabilities have free and active participation in civic life.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for introducing the topic of euthanasia or MAID into this conversation. The minister talked extensively about how people with disabilities need to feel valued. I hear over and over again from the disabilities community in my riding that they are very concerned about the euthanasia regime in Canada and how it makes them feel undervalued.
    I am wondering if the hon. member could comment on that.
    Mr. Speaker, that conversation should not have to be part of this bill, but over the summer we saw more and more of that conversation happen. It is our obligation in the House to make sure that every Canadian does not live in poverty.

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her advocacy for persons with disabilities.
    Canada has an obligation to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to ensure dignity and equality for all people. The government has been failing, and after seven years of dragging its feet, tabling a bill without the details of who is eligible, when the benefit is going to come forward and how much the benefit will be is extremely disappointing for the people in my riding who are struggling right now.
    I am curious if the member has more comments about the need for the government to speed up to ensure that all people with disabilities are included and that the level of benefit will actually meet the needs of the people who are struggling.
    Mr. Speaker, I think we need to get the bill to committee. We need to get the bill to committee so we can discuss it and get some details into the bill. Whether it happens in committee or we lose control of it by moving it out of committee before we get those details in place is a matter of importance in this space.
    We need to make sure that we get this bill right and we get it right fast. I am concerned that if this bill passes without comprehensive conversations in committee, where we do nothing and do not get information, it could take another seven years to get this benefit into people's hands.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam for her strong advocacy, both for Canadians with disabilities and for a guaranteed livable income.
    As she rightly points out, Canadians with disabilities need immediate support. In addition to moving forward and improving Bill C-22, we need to press to ensure that the benefit is funded as urgently as possible and press for emergency supports in the interim. As of now, though, the Canada disability benefit is not in the supply and confidence agreement with the governing party and the NDP, and important items that are, such as dental care, are being moved on more quickly as a result.
    Could the member share her advice for what all members can do to get all parties to put funding the Canada disability benefit at the top of the priority list?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said in my speech, I am very optimistic and very hopeful that all members of the House will be able to sit together and pass this bill quickly.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed the speech by my NDP colleague. It is great to see so much support for people with disabilities. The Bloc Québécois supports them as well. However, there is something missing, and I believe that it is important to address it. In that regard, we should also commend the fact that the government wants to improve the situation.
    Nevertheless, we have noted something that several of my colleagues talked about earlier. The bill is vague and short on details about guidelines and how exactly this will work. This seems to be a bill that gives the government too much leeway. There are few specifics. Therefore, it is difficult to know what it means in practical terms, given all the leeway given to the government.
    Does my colleague want to comment on that?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in my speech, I mentioned the tools for accountability and measurement. One of the areas that the NDP feels very strongly about is to have some measurement tools written into the bill. I know there will be some freedom about how this would be implemented, but we need to at least have security and certainty in the bill regarding what the amount will be.
    I am pleased to rise today to add my voice to those supporting Bill C-22 during second reading. I will use my allotted time to speak to the overarching themes, present the rationale for the bill and explain why it has been drafted the way it has.
    First, I want to read an excerpt from a letter I received from a constituent, a mother of two children with disabilities, herself struggling with the debilitating effects of long COVID-19. “Worry about finances creates an additional and unrelenting daily stress” she writes, “one that for many Canadians is on top of the physical pain, accessibility issues and often the accompanying mental anguish of constantly living in survival mode.” She goes on to describe the impact of Bill C-22 as a life preserver that “would allow Canadians with pressing health concerns a way to budget with dignity, and have some ability to plan their lives beyond today's most pressing needs.”
    Echoing former prime minister Lester B. Pearson, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion has said that no person with a disability should be living in poverty in Canada, just as no senior or child should be living in poverty. Canada is better than that.
    The values that drove past governments to create benefits for seniors and children are the same values that have led to this bill before us today. If passed, Bill C-22 would establish the Canada disability benefit and would reduce poverty, benefiting hundreds of thousands of working-age Canadians with disabilities. Not only that, Canada would make global history, as no other country has a similar benefit for working-age adults with disabilities.
    We know that persons with disabilities live in poverty at disproportionately much higher rates than we see in the general population. The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability showed that working-age Canadians with disabilities were twice as likely to be living in poverty as their peers without disabilities.
    The pandemic has only worsened this situation. In a recent survey, two-thirds of respondents with disabilities said they were having trouble making ends meet financially as a result of the pandemic, and one-third of respondents with disabilities reported a decrease in their income as a result of the pandemic. That is unacceptable and we must take action to address it.
    While the Government of Canada has done tremendous work to advance accessibility and the rights of persons with disabilities in Canada, the truth is that we are not yet there. We need a mechanism whereby we can lift people out of poverty while we continue implementing the Accessible Canada Act. We need a Canada disability benefit, and I am not alone in saying this. There is strong public support for the benefit.
    According to a recent Angus Reid survey, nine out of 10 Canadians are in favour of the benefit. We heard clearly while developing the disability inclusion action plan, which is being finalized, that financial security is the most urgent priority for the Government of Canada to address for persons with disabilities. We heard that persons with disabilities struggle with the costs associated with their disability, including housing, medical expenses and disability supports. We also heard feelings of hopelessness, exhaustion and anger from the experience of living in poverty.
    A recent House of Commons e-petition garnered nearly 18,000 signatures demanding that we fast-track the design and implementation of the benefit and involve persons with disabilities at every stage. Another e-petition on the same subject is still open and has gathered nearly 2,000 signatures. The urgency is palpable.
     I will now turn to the proposed bill and explain what it would do if passed into law.
    First and foremost, Bill C-22 would establish the Canada disability benefit. That is its purpose. That is its main raison d'être.

  (1255)  

    The legislation would set out the guiding principles and general provisions for how the benefit would be administered. It would de facto authorize the Governor in Council to implement most of the benefit's design elements later on through regulations.
     I know this is a worry to some. Are we not just writing a blank cheque, some may say. Are we not rubber-stamping something we have no control over? We need to know how we are going to define eligibility and how much the benefit is going to cost taxpayers. These are real concerns and excellent questions.
     I hope to address these and say that we cannot define eligibility in a vacuum. We cannot settle the terms of the benefit without the active participation of the disability community. For far too long, persons with disabilities have been left out of the process. Decisions have been made for them without their input.
     We cannot go ahead with designing such a groundbreaking generational benefit without obtaining the knowledge, expertise and help of persons with disabilities. Their guidance will ensure that the benefit enshrines the spirit of “nothing without us”.
    As the minister has said, persons with disabilities know best what they need, the challenges they face and which barriers most prevent them from having financial security. This framework bill is not a blank cheque; it is not a blank page.
     For example, we already know that the benefit would go to those most in need and we would do that through income testing. Conversely, we would also need to ensure the benefit would not create unintended consequences. The benefit should make persons with disabilities better off. That is our goal.
    Finally, we also recognize the leading role the provinces and territories play in providing supports and services to Canadians with disabilities. As such, we want to make absolutely sure this new benefit supplements and does not replace existing provincial and territorial benefits and supports.
    In summary, Bill C-22 sets out an approach that would establish the benefit in law, while we work with the disability community, the provinces, territories and the stakeholders, as well as the members of the House, to firm up the details.
     We have already begun this work. In the summer of 2021, bolstered by funding from budget 2021, the government launched an engagement process that resulted in valuable input from the disability community, national indigenous organizations and provincial and territorial governments. If Bill C-22 becomes law, it will compel Parliament to review it three years after it comes into force. That is a shortened timeline for a parliamentary review and will allow for adjustments or course corrections if needed.
    I hope I have been clear that with Bill C-22 we would enshrine an urgently needed benefit into law and then allow for the time to thoughtfully design it to make a real impact on the financial security of working-aged persons living with disabilities. Ultimately, this work we are embarking on could reduce poverty and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities.
    This is a truly landmark piece of legislation and I urge all my colleagues to support Bill C-22 with urgency.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have listened with interest to the debate today and would like the parliamentary secretary to comment on something my colleague from the NDP in British Columbia brought up about people with disabilities experiencing such despair with respect to not being able to find adequate housing, adequate supports or, in many cases, a family doctor in British Columbia. They are turning to MAID, medical assistance in dying, for what is not a terminal disease or what that legislation was promised to be.
     I wonder if the member could address whether he is concerned about the trend of people with disabilities considering MAID because they cannot get the supports they need from their governments at all levels, whether he thinks this legislation will have an impact on that and whether there is a whole-of-government approach being focused on this issue that should concern all Canadians and certainly all members of Parliament.

  (1305)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do share my hon. colleague's concerns, and I thank him for voicing those important concerns in the House.
    The legislation would lift hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty. This is legislation that would help make life more affordable for hundreds of thousands of Canadians living with disabilities. At the same time, this process provides a platform for Canadians with disabilities to have their voices heard and to design this benefit as well. Those two elements about Bill C-22 are critically important, and I thank my hon. colleague for raising those critical issues.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate this morning's debate. Dealing with the issue of poverty among people with disabilities in Quebec and Canada is very important. However, there is one problem. Any time the federal government talks about negotiating a program with the provinces, we in Quebec have a strong reaction, because that never works. We have seen this with health care. We have been asking for health transfers for years now, but the federal government always attaches conditions. We also saw this with the big national housing strategy launched in 2017. It took three years for any of the money to flow to Quebec so we could start addressing our housing needs.
    Can my colleague assure us that the federal government will stop dragging its feet on this extremely important and urgent issue and stop sticking the Canadian flag everywhere so it can claim to be the government that is addressing the issue of poverty among people with disabilities in Canada?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, we look forward to working with all our provincial and territorial partners. We look forward to working together with all members of the House on passing Bill C-22. We share the urgency I hear in the member's voice as well. This is the reason we are debating Bill C-22 as the first piece of legislation on the very first day of the sitting of the House for the fall Parliament. It really highlights the urgency shared on this side of the House. We know and we hear that urgency is also reflected and being voiced on all sides of the House as well.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been promising help for people with disabilities ever since I was elected seven years ago when they were first elected as a government. During COVID, the Liberals treated people with disabilities more or less as an afterthought, and when they did receive a benefit, only a third of the people who should have received the benefit actually received it.
    Could the parliamentary secretary tell me if all the people who need this benefit will get it? Will it be adequate and will it be prompt? Will we have to wait three years, as the minister has suggested?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly that is the objective of the legislation and of this government. When Bill C-22 passes, the Canada disability benefit will be enshrined in legislation. It will secure and anchor it. With this legislation, the train is firmly on the tracks. It is up to us, as members of the House, to see how fast and how far the legislation goes.
    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of our mandate, the Prime Minister has made it clear many times that disability inclusion and accessibility are a key priority.
     Since 2015, we have committed $1.1 billion in funding to ensure greater accessibility and supports for Canadians with disabilities, and we have made huge strides in breaking down barriers. This includes appointing Canada's first-ever cabinet minister responsible for persons with disabilities, passing and implementing the historic Accessible Canada Act and establishing Accessibility Standards Canada.
    It also includes acceding to the Marrakesh Treaty, which makes the production and international transfer of accessible books for people with print disabilities easier, and the optional protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, strengthening the protection of human rights for persons with disabilities in Canada.
    In 2019, when the Accessibility Canada Act came into force, the government focused its efforts on identifying, preventing and helping remove barriers to accessibility. We are communicating to Canadians how we are shortchanging the economy and ourselves if we exclude people. We have removed barriers to employment, making buildings physically more accessible and making accessibility and inclusion part of the design and the delivery of our services and programs.
    Then the pandemic hit.
     It is clearly documented that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected the health, social and economic well-being of those individuals living with disabilities. However, even before the pandemic, persons with disabilities suffered from long-standing inequities, and COVID made these inequities worse.
    It is for this reason that we have taken a disability inclusive approach into our pandemic response by setting up a COVID-19 disability advisory group and providing a one-time payment to persons with disabilities.
    In 2020, we committed to developing a disability inclusion action plan, the DIAP, and that work is being finalized. The DIAP is a blueprint for the change to make Canada more inclusive of persons with disabilities. It has four pillars: financial security, employment, accessible and inclusive communities, and a modern approach to disability.
    At its core, the plan is simple, and that is to improve the lives of Canadians with disabilities. However, the work required to accomplish this, to make Canada inclusive, fair and free of physical, societal and attitudinal barriers, will be extensive.
    The bill before us today represents bold action on the first pillar of the plan, namely that of reducing poverty and providing financial security to persons with disabilities. Consultations with Canadians on the disability inclusion action plan show that poverty and financial security of persons with disabilities are overwhelming priorities, and the proposed benefit, a cornerstone of the action plan, would help respond to these concerns.
    We recognize that not all persons with disabilities are able to be gainfully employed and others are not able to work at all. The objective of the proposed benefit is to improve the financial security of individuals in these situations.
     We are also taking action on the second pillar of the action plan, employment, which is critical to financial security of persons with disabilities.
    Budget 2022 recently provided more than $270 million toward the employment strategy for persons with disabilities, and that strategy has three prongs: first, to help persons with disabilities gain jobs, advance in their careers or become entrepreneurs; second, to support employers as they develop inclusive workplaces; and third, to aid organizations and individuals who are helping persons with disabilities find employment.
    Most recently, the minister launched a call for proposals under the opportunities fund for persons with disabilities to fund up to 180 projects that would help people find and keep jobs, and that is not all.

  (1310)  

    We have modernized and increased support for the enabling accessibility fund, or EAF. The EAF provides money for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. It aims to give persons with disabilities a greater chance to be a part of community activities and to get the services they need to find work.
    The EAF provides money for three types of projects. First are youth-led projects of up to $10,000 that help persons with disabilities in their communities. Some supported activities have included the purchase of para hockey sleds, construction of raised gardens in community gardens and the creation of an accessible sensory room. Second are grants of up to $100,000 to fund infrastructure and construction projects and information communications technology projects that improve accessibility in communities or workplaces. The funds have supported building ramps, accessible doors, accessible washrooms, installing screen reader devices and hearing loop systems, and constructing a specially designed office. Third, there are also large contributions of up to $3 million to support larger projects. Last year, we added a simpler method for people to apply for funding to pay for single items such as accessible doors, accessible washrooms, ramps and the like.
    I know that many of us in this House have had projects funded by the EAF in constituencies, and I know that the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and many of our colleagues have had a chance to visit these projects in our communities. We have heard first-hand how these investments have improved accessibility for Canadians with disabilities. In budget 2022, we proposed to make new investments in accessible books, including the creation of the new equitable access to reading program, which would enable people with print disabilities to better participate in our society and economy. This is all part of the work we are doing to include Canadians with disabilities in all aspects of everyday life.
    In spite of the pandemic, we have also taken significant strides in implementing the Accessible Canada Act. The Accessible Canada Act regulations, published in December 2021, marked the first step in operationalizing the act. These regulations require over 5,000 federally regulated entities to publish plans indicating how they plan and intend to proactively identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility and to outline how they will report their progress as well as how they will establish feedback mechanisms by which persons with disabilities can provide input.
    Most recently, we have appointed Stephanie Cadieux as the first-ever accessibility officer, and shortly after, Michael Gottheil was named as the first accessibility commissioner within the Canadian Human Rights Commission to enforce compliance with the Accessible Canada Act and its regulations.
    With regard to standards, in 2019 we established Accessibility Standards Canada, whose board of directors is primarily comprised of persons with disabilities. It is working with disability communities, industry and other partners to create national accessible standards that aim to raise the bar in terms of the requirements and approaches to the seven priority areas that are set out in the act, namely transportation, employment, information and communication technologies or ICT, communications other than ICT, the built environment, the design and delivery of programs and services, and the procurement of goods and services and facilities. The accessibility standards are a critical part of a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities, because while they are norms, they are not the law and they have the power to drive widespread adoption of inclusive design.
    Accessibility Standards Canada is looking at setting norms for plain language on forms and websites, how we shape our outdoor spaces from sidewalks to parks, emergency egress and how people with disabilities can get out of buildings in a hurry if needed, as well as removing physical barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing the workplace—

  (1315)  

    I hate to cut the member off, because he was doing such a great job of using up all the time that was available to him. I want to thank the member for his intervention.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Mr. Speaker, there have been numerous comments today about how Bill C-22 is missing the eligibility criteria of who will receive the benefit, yet in Canada we have many insurance companies that provide disability benefits and have a comprehensive list of who qualifies for those.
    Has the government consulted with these people, or would the government consider doing that, so that we could include eligibility criteria in Bill C-22?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly enjoyed working with the member opposite on the HUMA committee.
    In terms of the criteria she is inquiring about, as we had said earlier, we are going to be developing the criteria through consultation, including with persons with disabilities. I think it was Napoleon who said, he who sits in the saddle best knows where it pinches. In this case I think we should be consulting with the people who are most affected. We certainly are engaged in the process of doing so.

  (1320)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the debate since this morning, and I think that many members agree on the principle of this bill. However, the bill basically says nothing about the terms and conditions, criteria, process or accountability in particular.
    According to my colleague, what mechanism will enable parliamentarians to measure the effectiveness of the regulations that will be enacted to ensure they uphold the fine principle we are discussing this morning?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I also had the opportunity to work with the member opposite on the health committee, and I certainly appreciate his contributions in those areas as well.
    In terms of accountability, with 30 years of banking experience, in my mind, of course accountability has to be critical. It is important that we set out expected outcomes and that people put together plans that measure against those expected outcomes. I fully expect the government will do so, and I am convinced we will develop a good plan and great criteria once we have finished consulting with people who have disabilities and the organizations that represent them. We will see what is important to the people who would be the beneficiaries of the program, and we will certainly set out to make sure we satisfy those needs.
    Mr. Speaker, given the high levels of poverty people with disabilities face, the fact that they are often living shadow lives of what they should be able to because of the fundamental inequities, I am very wary about making promises that cannot be delivered. My question to the member, in terms of this legislation, is about a credible plan to actually get it to people and ensure, particularly in my region of Ontario, that it will not be clawed back by the Doug Ford government. We have seen it go after poor people relentlessly. People are not able to pay their rent. People are not able to live in dignity. What steps can we see in this legislation that would protect people on disability from suffering these provincial clawbacks?
    Mr. Speaker, coming from Ontario, I understand what the member is referring to. I might add that, during the previous campaign, in the town of Newmarket there was one elected on that member's side all the way down in Newmarket, Ontario, so I thought it was great to see that. However, in terms of the experience of having these clawbacks, there have been extensive discussions with all of the ministers within the provincial areas, and this program is intended to be incremental, not substitutional. The negotiations will not go forward until the incremental portion is solidly part of the program.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised the bill is basically empty and will await regulations to tell us what we already know. There are already people in Canada on the disability tax credit. They need to have those benefits increased substantially. Why would we impose needs-based testing on people who need help now?
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is important we focus our resources on where the needs are most critical, and there needs to be a process to do so. In order to do that, there needs to be a needs-based testing program. I understand there is a critical need, and this program is intended to support people who have critical needs, such as people who are marginalized. People with disabilities certainly are highly represented in that area.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge.
    We are here today talking about Bill C-22, an act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit. I am generally in favour of that and supportive of this draft legislation. We all want to see all Canadian citizens, regardless of their level of ability, able to participate fully in our economy and to be active participants in our society.
    To start off, I am going to give a big shout-out to the many great organizations in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove that are doing the important work of helping people with disabilities, organizations like the Langley Pos-Abilities Society, which focuses on people's abilities rather than their disabilities. I was a participant in a competition put on by this organization a couple of years ago at a public event in one of our parks, where one of the tests was for us, in wheelchairs, to negotiate ourselves around some obstacles, such as opening a door, getting through it and pulling ourselves up a ramp. There was another test that required us to put something very technical together while blindfolded. There was yet another test that I recall that required us to do a simple task like putting butter on our toast with our dominant hands tied behind our backs. Coming out of that, I had a new respect for people who struggle with disabilities in their everyday lives, but also for the great organizations that work with them.
    When looking at Bill C-22, I was happy to see that it is premised on the constitutional concept of equality, so I thought I would look at this draft legislation from a constitutional perspective. The preamble section, which is a very important part of any legislation, talks about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. That document recognizes the “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. The preamble of the bill also talks about our own Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically section 15, which is our equality section. Section 15 says, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination”, and there is a list of enumerated things that cannot be discriminated against, including mental and physical health, which brings us to Bill C-22.
    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been with us for 40 years. It is instinctive for us now. It is part of the world view that shapes our sense of justice and how the government should interact with its citizens. However, even though it is instinctive, it does not mean that it is simple. It is a very complicated question. Anytime we talk about equality, it opens up questions like how proactive the government must be to ensure that all citizens have equal opportunities or perhaps equal outcomes of their programs, or does section 15 simply mean that a law, once passed, must not contravene or breach section 15.
    To underline the complexity of this principle, which has not just been invented recently, Nobel Prize-winning author from the late 19th century and early 20th century, Anatole France, put it this way, sarcastically of course, in majestic equality, laws “forbid rich and poor alike to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” We have an instinct that says that equal treatment is not always fair, and fairness is not always equal.
    There is a British Columbia case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada that really underlined that principle. A young woman, healthy and fully able-bodied, wanted to work for the B.C. forest fire service and passed all the requirements, except for one. She failed the test under the uniform minimum aerobic standards for firefighters. She simply was not strong enough. She challenged this under section 15 of the charter. The B.C. government argued, saying it did not contravene section 15 at all because it applied equally to men and women. The Supreme Court of Canada saw through that and said, no, it has a disproportionate discriminatory effect on women. That case is important for this proposition. Courts should look not only at how a law is applied but also its effect on individuals.

  (1325)  

    With all of this background, I picked up Bill C-22 with a great deal of interest, to see how it would tackle these complex legal questions, and the answer is that it would not at all. This bill dealing with such an important and complex question is scarcely six pages long. One page is the preamble, which I have already mentioned. There are a couple of pages about some technical things. There are two pages, fully one-third of this draft legislation, that talk about the regulatory power that this Parliament is being asked to give to cabinet.
    I was very happy to hear the minister and also the parliamentary secretary say that one of the reasons they wanted to give cabinet such broad regulatory power was to ensure that there would be consultation with people affected by it. I completely agree with that. I might just add as a side note that I was very happy to hear that my friend, Stephanie Cadieux, formerly an MLA from my neighbouring riding, has been appointed to this, so I am somewhat more optimistic that the government is now going to do a good job. However, I am really puzzled as to why, wanting to consult with the community that is going to be most affected by this, the government thinks that it is appropriate to bypass the important work that this Parliament does.
     I said that I am supportive of this legislation. I really am. I will be voting in favour of it at second reading, together with my colleagues, to bring this to committee. However, coming out of committee, I would expect that these important questions are going to be answered. They have been raised by many of the previous speakers, including questions like how we should define disability, who qualifies for the benefit, how much the disability benefit is going to be in dollars and cents, what it is going to cost the government coffers, whether there will be means testing and who would get to qualify. We want to help disabled people, but are we going to be helping rich people? Will there be clawbacks?
    I was talking to my brother just the other day. He was disabled by Parkinson's, and I told him that we were going to be talking about this topic this week. He said that, whatever we do, we should make sure workers are not disincentivized from working. I happy to hear the minister say that would not be the case, although the legislation does not actually say that. I think she is saying to trust that they are going to do it right.
    Parliament has a very important function, which is to review legislation. So far, it looks like what the government is asking for is a blank cheque to be able to do the work behind closed doors, and the Liberals are just saying for us to trust the government to get it right. We are going to be looking to the committee to have a thorough review of this legislation, and we will be looking for answers to these very important questions.
    I might add just one more point, which is that my province, and I am sure every province, has some sort of a program to help disabled people. We are not hearing anything about how this Canada disability benefit program would mesh with provincial jurisdictions and organizations. Is there going to be a whole new federal bureaucracy to manage this? These are the questions we need answers to.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, just picking up on the last point that the member made with respect to the provincial jurisdiction and other supports that might be coming from provinces, I am curious. Would the member agree that it is very important that whatever is rolled out from the federal government is not used as an opportunity to roll back at the provincial level? We need to safeguard any benefits that would be coming from the federal level to ensure that those are not just opportunities for the provinces to look for savings, but in fact that this would be something that builds upon anything that might exist within a province. Would he agree that this should be important when considering this legislation?
    Mr. Speaker, under another part of our Constitution, section 92.13 of the Constitution Act, 1867, property and civil rights come under the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces. I would say this is exclusively a provincial jurisdiction. The only way the federal government can get involved in this is to work together with provinces. I would completely agree with the member opposite that whatever the federal government does has to be supplemental to what the provinces are doing and not in substitution thereof. The negotiations need to make that a condition.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague was saying earlier that the bill bypasses the work of Parliament by giving cabinet too much regulatory power.
    This bill covers an important topic and principles that we all seem to agree on. What is more, the real work of the bill would be done through the regulations. For all these reasons, would my colleague agree to add a clause to the bill to ensure that parliamentarians are able to review the regulations and provide their input?

  (1335)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a very interesting proposition. My understanding of the legislative process is that Parliament gives cabinet, the Governor in Council, authority to make regulations. Every bill we pass and review here has a regulations section. This one is just so broad; that is what is unusual about it. Regulations are usually there for setting fees, the application form and appeal procedures if somebody is dissatisfied with a decision of the minister.
    I do not know that it is appropriate for cabinet to come back to us with the regulations. What is appropriate is for the legislation itself to have, for example, a good and thorough definitions section that deals with all these things. This is generally what we see in federal legislation. It is what we need to do.
    Mr. Speaker, a part that is important for many Canadians who are watching to know is that we really want to see this legislation get to committee. This House expressed itself unanimously just before we broke, to make sure this actually gets done. Canadians have been waiting nearly seven years. Would the member agree that while we look at some of the regulations present within it, we also look at some of the programs of the provinces that the member mentioned for eligibility and that they be adopted by this legislation to ensure that no one is left behind?
    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree. It is this body that should be looking at who qualifies, whether there are going to be clawbacks, how much it is going to cost and what the dollar amount is. These are the sorts of things that should be in the legislation and not in the regulations.
    Mr. Speaker, this bill and debate allow me to bring up a couple of people within my riding. One is my own daughter, who lives with a high-functioning disability, and another is Jenna Wuthrich, an indigenous mouth artist who is confined to a wheelchair and needs to crowdfund to try to get her only way of transportation because, as many know who have adult children who live with disabilities, one ages out of programs.
    As with any legislation, the devil is in the details. We need to make sure it is done correctly out of the gate, so we know who is eligible, for how long, and what the needs-based assessment is. This bill is very important. I ask my hon. colleague to further expand on the due diligence being done now and whether Parliament has a say in it.
    Mr. Speaker, indeed it is Parliament's function to look at exactly those questions about what the qualifications are going to be. The regulations should be limited to the more technical aspects of the functioning of the program. On his example of people who age out, this is exactly what the citizens of this country want. They want to see all people being treated fairly and equally. This is what section 15 of our charter is all about.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to debate Bill C-22, an act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act.
    The government is attempting to create a Canada disability benefit to supplement existing provincial benefits for low-income persons with disabilities, modelling it after the Canada child benefit and guaranteed income supplement.
    Conservatives, as we heard, will support the Canada disability benefit at this time, because we believe in principle it is the government’s intent to reduce poverty among Canadians living with disabilities. Conservatives believe strongly that the government must do all it can to provide support for the most vulnerable among us.

  (1340)  

[Translation]

    One in five Canadians has a disability. These people need our help to live their lives to the fullest and to participate fully in society, including in the labour market.

[English]

    Conservatives believe that Canadians living with disabilities deserve timely access to benefits and services and should not be penalized for going to work, as is so often the case today.
    The creation of the Canada disability benefit should consider the complex web of programs currently in place, which, for many Canadians with disabilities, can result in actual benefit cuts and higher taxes because they work.
    I know different people on disability for whom just the little work they are able to do helps them financially, but it also helps them psychologically and helps their entire well-being. Too often the Liberal government has pursued an “Ottawa knows best” approach, leaving many Canadians behind as they try to access federal supports and services.
    Conservatives believe that the federal government should work with the provinces to ensure that federal programs do not impact or hurt Canadians and are not working at cross-purposes.
    We are concerned that applying for the Canada disability benefit may result in difficult and bureaucratic processes. Canadians are at the breaking point with government bureaucracy. There is a Service Canada office in the same block as mine, and every day there are lineups, people waiting for hours oftentimes, to be able to get service, or not. This should not be. That is a concern that we have. If we are bringing this new benefit, there must be timely access.
    The ArriveCAN app is another example of bureaucracy. There are bottlenecks in our airports, cutting down tourism and international travel. This is on the Liberal government.
    As we await further details on the Canada disability benefit, Canadians believe that the Liberal government must ensure that Canadians who qualify are able to access their benefits in a timely fashion.
    Have members ever heard of the Potemkin villages? The Potemkin villages were named after Grigory Potemkin. He was a Russian aristocrat during the time of Catherine the Great, the empress of Russia in the 1700s. He built these villages, as the empress was going to visit Crimea for the first time, to show that people were living very well and that they had nice houses. The only problem was that it was all fake. When the empress stopped for the night, they would move this fake village to the next place, on and on.
    What is my point in bringing this forward? There are appearances. My concern is that, with the Liberal government, they have good things, good policies here in place, like we have right now with the disability act, but they are giving with one hand and taking away with the other. So much of what they are doing is actually undermining the most vulnerable of Canadians.
    Today it was announced that the consumer price index numbers showed the price of food going up 10.8%. It is a 40-year high. Life is getting harder for Canadians.
    There needs to be a little more consistency when it comes to the approach of the Liberal government, supported by the NDP. There needs to be a consistency, because we are not seeing that.
    The cost of goods and services is skyrocketing. Inflation is eating away at what Canadians can afford and what they are putting on their tables. The price of gasoline in Vancouver is nearly $2 a litre, double what it was a year ago. We can compare that to Alberta, where it is 70¢ cheaper a litre. A lot of the difference is in the taxes.
    I have a suspicion that perhaps the Liberals do not really care about its impact because it is due to “dirty fuel”, but it has an impact. Somebody I care about came over to our place. He has been struggling with disabilities and is finding it hard to make ends meet. He ran out of gas on the way to my place and did not have any money to get more gas.
    These taxes, such as the carbon tax, are hurting the most vulnerable. It is putting a lot of pressure on people. We see it in our bills. We also see that it is impacting farmers. They are having to pay these taxes. It goes on to the consumers. Everything is rising more and more. Conservatives have called for no more new taxes. This is it. We need to think of everybody. These consumption taxes, the taxes on CPP and EI benefits, which are just automatically going up, are hurting the most vulnerable.
     If they cared, they would stop these taxes and they would watch the way they are spending money. It is really impacting our society. It is not whether one has