Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 943, 946, 948, 949, 952, 957, 959, 961 and 962.
Question No. 943—Mr. Brad Redekopp
With regard to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Post-Graduation Work Permit Program announcement of August 2, 2022: (a) why was the program structured to exclude those who were granted an extension of their post-graduation work permit in 2021; (b) what steps, if any, are being taken to mitigate this and grant an extension to those individuals that did not get an extension; and (c) if the government has not considered any mitigation measures, will it take action and grant extensions to these individuals?Ms. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is concerned, the 2021 post-graduation work permit, or PGWP, public policy facilitated access to 18-month open work permits, or OWP, to foreign nationals who had a PGWP expiring between January 20, 2020, and November 27, 2021. Its objective was to provide PGWP holders with additional time to gain Canadian work experience, given the volatility of the labour market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of September 2022, 22,940 open work permits of 18 months in duration were issued under this facilitative measure. Of these, as of September 2022, just over 70%, or 16,305, have since been admitted to Canada as permanent residents. The remainder may have already transitioned to permanent residence since September 2022 or may choose to apply for permanent residence at a later date.
The 2022 PGWP public policy, which facilitates access to 18-month open work permits for those who have a PGWP expiring between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022, was conceived to give recent international graduates with expiring work permits an opportunity to stay in Canada longer, so that they can continue to gain work experience and have a better chance at qualifying for permanent residency.
As part of the mandate letter, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is working on expanding pathways to permanent residence for international students through the express entry system.Question No. 946—Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces Retention Strategy document released in October 2022: (a) how many employees or full time equivalents were assigned to work on the document; (b) what are the dates for when the work (i) began, (ii) was completed, on the document; (c) what are the total costs incurred to date in relation to the document or the strategy, broken down by type; and (d) what are the details of all contracts related to the document or the related strategy, including the (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, including the volume, (v) manner in which it was awarded (sole-sourced, a competitive bidding process, etc.)?Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, retention is a top priority for National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. As articulated in Canada’s defence policy, “Strong, Secured, Engaged”, people are the most valuable resource in the CAF. It is not simply enough to attract the best and brightest; it is essential to provide the support necessary to ensure a full and fulfilling career and to retain our members and their valuable experience.
The CAF retention strategy presents a renewed approach to managing retention through both broad and targeted activities to improve the experience of all CAF members and empower them to continue a challenging but extremely rewarding career in uniform.
While the strategy will initiate operational and procedural changes, it is also designed to align and work in collaboration with our other efforts to support broader culture change. This includes engaging in measures to ensure that the concerns of all our members are heard and addressed. Additionally, the strategy is designed to grow and evolve as necessary, instituting an evergreen effort to respond to the changing environment around us, the operational needs of the CAF and the needs of our members and their families now and in the future.
In response to parts (a), (c) and (d) of the question, the number of employees across National Defence and the CAF assigned to work on the retention strategy is not centrally tracked. However, a number of working-level civilian and military personnel worked on the retention strategy at various points of its development.
For example, within chief military personnel, CMP, the organization charged with developing the strategy, approximately 10 staff worked on developing the initial draft in 2019. As the strategy progressed over the years leading to publication, the team ranged in size between three and six full-time personnel. During this time, CMP consulted with relevant internal stakeholders, including the vice-chief of the defence staff, Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, Canadian Joint Operations Command, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the assistant deputy minister of public affairs.
With respect to part (b) of the question, work commenced on the first draft of the strategy in spring 2019. It was released on October 6, 2022.
In response to parts (c) and (d), the only costs associated with the development of the retention strategy were the salaries of the military and civilian personnel supporting the development process. There were no contracts associated with its development.Question No. 948—Mr. Damien C. Kurek
With regard to enforcement officers at Environment and Climate Change Canada: (a) how many are employed by the government; (b) in how many instances have officers entered onto privately owned land since 2018, broken down by year and by province or territory; and (c) for each instance in (b), how many times did the officer obtain permission from the property owner prior to entering the premises?Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, there are 263 environment and wildlife enforcement officers.
In response to parts (b) and (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada does not collect information on how many times enforcement officers enter privately owned land to carry out their duties. They may, at any reasonable time, enter and inspect any place, vehicle or vessel in which officers believe, on reasonable grounds, that there is anything to which an act or regulations enforced by ECCC apply. In addition, the acts enforced by ECCC provide enforcement officers with protection from liability for trespass, recognizing that it may be necessary for an enforcement officer to enter on or cross over private property in order to reach an inspection site. However, with respect to entering a “private dwelling”, officers must obtain the consent of the owner or occupant, or prior authorization from a justice of the peace in the form of a warrant.Question No. 949—Mr. Damien C. Kurek
With regard to Bill C-23, An Act respecting places, persons and events of national historic significance or national interest, archaeological resources and cultural and natural heritage: (a) why does the legislation provide Parks Canada wardens the authorization to enter, or pass through or over private property without being liable for doing so; (b) are the wardens’ authorization to enter or pass through private property limited to national parks and historic sites or is that power valid anywhere in Canada; and (c) what recourse, if any, is the government making available to individuals whose private property is unfairly entered into by a warden without any just cause?Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-23 would provide park wardens and enforcement officers with the law enforcement powers they need to protect historic places. The authorities would be similar to those under the Canada National Parks Act of 2000 and the Rouge National Urban Park Act of 2015. Park wardens may enter on and pass through or over private property only for specific and legitimate law enforcement purposes.
To answer part (a) of the question, Bill C-23 provides that in the performance of their law enforcement duties, park wardens and enforcement officers may enter on and pass through or over private property without being liable for doing so. This authority would enable park wardens and enforcement officers to travel over private lands in order to access other locations solely for law enforcement purposes.
In answer to part (b) of the question, Bill C-23 provides that park wardens and enforcement officers could enter on and pass through or over private property for law enforcement purposes anywhere in Canada.
In response to part (c), Bill C-23 provides that park wardens and enforcement officers could enter on and pass through or over private property for law enforcement purposes only. The rights of citizens are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to prevent unreasonable search and seizure. If individuals were to believe that their private property had been entered unjustly by law enforcement officials, they would be entitled to report the incident to the Parks Canada Agency for investigation. Question No. 952—Mr. Gerald Soroka
With regard to payments made by the Public Order Emergency Commission to Frank Graves or Ekos Research Associates Incorporated: (a) what are the details of all such payments made to date including for each (i) the amount, (ii) the recipient, (iii) the goods or services provided, (iv) the date, (v) whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; and (b) for each payment made without a competitive bidding process, who made the decision to award the related contract to that specific vendor?Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office has not identified any information with regard to payments made by the Public Order Emergency Commission to Frank Graves or Ekos Research Associates Incorporated.Question No. 957—Mr. Dane Lloyd
With regard to the reopening of NEXUS enrolment centres located within Canada: (a) what progress, if any, has the government made in 2022 so far on reopening the centres, and what is the timeline on any progress that has occurred; (b) what is the anticipated reopening date of each enrolment centre, broken down by location; and (c) what are the dates and locations of any meetings the Minister of Public Safety has had with his American counterparts to discuss the reopening of these centres, and what was achieved at each meeting?Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (c) of the question, the Minister of Public Safety met with the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, virtually on August 3, August 16 and November 5, 2022, and in Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2022. The Minister of Public Safety also met virtually with the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David L. Cohen, on August 31, 2022. Each meeting resulted in a reaffirmation that Canada and the U.S. will continue to work co-operatively on the NEXUS program.
In response to part (a), the CBSA is working with United States Customs and Border Protection to mitigate the impact on NEXUS members by implementing various measures to address the extended closure of the enrolment centres. These include extending program benefits for up to five years from the date of expiration to members who apply to renew their membership prior to expiry, and holding seven free and secure trade, or FAST, enrolment events since 2021, which have led to 3,710 new approvals and reduced the number of FAST applicants awaiting interviews by approximately 20%.
In response to part (b), the enrolment centres in Canada remain closed at this time, and no dates have been confirmed for their reopening.Question No. 959—Mr. Chris Warkentin
With regard to the collection of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the carbon tax or price on carbon, broken down by year since the introduction of the carbon tax: (a) how much GST has been collected on the carbon tax; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by province?Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the federal price on pollution is revenue neutral for the federal government; the direct proceeds from the federal pollution pricing system remain in the province or territory where they are collected. Put simply, every dollar collected from the pollution price is returned.
In Yukon and Nunavut, the direct proceeds from the federal fuel charge are returned to the governments of these jurisdictions. In provinces that do not have a fuel charge consistent with the federal benchmark, that is, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 90% of direct proceeds from the federal fuel charge are returned to residents of those provinces through climate action incentive, or CAI, payments. As of July 1, 2023, the federal fuel charge will newly come into effect in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Residents of these provinces will start receiving quarterly CAI payments when the charge comes into effect. Most households receive more in CAI payments than the costs they face from the federal price on pollution.
With respect to the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax, or GST/HST, the GST/HST is a broad-based tax that is calculated on the final amount charged for a good or service. The general rule that was adopted at the inception of the GST, under the Mulroney government, and carried over for the HST, is that this final amount includes other taxes, levies and charges that apply to the good or service and are generally embedded in the final price. This long-standing approach to calculating the GST/HST helps to maintain the broad-based nature of the tax and ensures that tax is applied evenly across goods and services consumed in Canada. It also makes it easier for vendors to calculate the amount of tax payable, for consumers to understand and for the Canada Revenue Agency to administer.
With respect to the amounts of GST/HST that may be collected on supplies of specific goods and services that are subject to pollution pricing, no such data are available. Suppliers of goods and services in Canada report and remit the total amount of GST/HST collected on all of their taxable supplies to the Canada Revenue Agency during a GST/HST reporting period and do not report the GST/HST collected or remitted in respect of specific goods and services.
The GST credit helps offset the financial impact of the GST for low- and modest-income people and families. The credit is paid quarterly in January, April, July and October. For the July 2022 to June 2023 benefit year, the GST credit provides up to $467 for single Canadians and up to $934 for couples with two children. To support those most affected by inflation, starting November 4, 2022, an estimated 11 million low- and modest-income people and families will receive an additional GST credit payment, equivalent to doubling the credit for six months. Single Canadians without children will receive up to an extra $234, and couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467. Seniors will receive an extra $225 on average.Question No. 961—Mr. Robert Kitchen
With regard to cyberattacks on government departments and agencies since January 1, 2020, broken down by year: (a) how many attempted cyberattacks on government websites or servers were successfully blocked; (b) how many cyberattacks on government websites or servers were not successfully blocked; (c) for each cyberattack in (b), what are the details, including (i) the date, (ii) the departments or agencies targeted, (iii) the summary of incident, (iv) whether or not police were informed or charges were laid; and (d) how many and which of the cyberattacks were committed by, or are suspected to have been committed by a foreign state sponsored actor, broken down by country?Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes the security of its networks very seriously. Cybersecurity is a foundation for Canada’s future, for our digital economy, personal safety, national prosperity and competitiveness.
As part of the Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, the Canadian centre for cybersecurity, or the cyber centre, is Canada’s authority on cybersecurity. CSE, including its cyber centre, provides a defence that is unparalleled in Canada.
Every day, CSE uses its sophisticated cyber and technical expertise to help monitor, detect and investigate threats against Canada’s information systems and networks, and to take active measures to address them.
On an ongoing basis the cyber centre shares actionable threat intelligence derived from Government of Canada cyber-attacks with Canadian critical infrastructure to help protect these systems of importance.
The definition of “cyber-attack” is highly variable. CSE uses the term “malicious cyber attempts” to capture unsuccessful attempts to identify vulnerabilities and penetrate a system. CSE does not track disaggregated statistics regarding the blocking of malicious cyber attempts on government servers or websites. On any given day, CSE’s defensive systems can block anywhere from three to five billion events targeting the Government of Canada’s networks, though the daily number can be as high as seven billion.
The cyber centre employs a cyber-defence system that blocks or otherwise mitigates malicious cyber attempts at multiple layers. As such, the cyber centre is unable to provide statistics that would respond to this question. Most malicious cyber attempts directed at Government of Canada networks are ultimately mitigated before they can have a significant impact.
The Government of Canada has publicly disclosed cyber-events when appropriate. For reasons of national security and to protect operational integrity, CSE cannot provide further information.Question No. 962—Mr. Jamie Schmale
With regard to the effect of the federal carbon tax on the price of groceries: (a) does the government have any projections on how much each increase in the carbon tax will raise the price of groceries, and, if so, what are the projections; and (b) what is the projected increase in the cost of groceries each year for an average family in each of the next five years?Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, GGPPA, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that pollution pricing applies broadly throughout Canada. In those jurisdictions that do not meet the federal benchmark, that is, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, the bulk of the proceeds from pollution pricing are returned directly to individuals and families through climate action incentive payments, which help offset the additional cost associated with pollution pricing.
In 2023-24, the federal fuel charge will continue to apply in these provinces and will come into effect as of July 1, 2023, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, where 90% of direct proceeds will be returned to residents through climate action incentive payments. Starting in July 2023, a family of four will receive $328 in Newfoundland and Labrador, $240 in Prince Edward Island and $248 in Nova Scotia each quarter. Starting in April 2023, such a family will receive $244 in Ontario, $264 in Manitoba, $340 in Saskatchewan and $386 in Alberta on a quarterly basis. Families in rural and small communities are eligible to receive an extra 10%. Some eight out of 10 families receiving climate action incentive payments get more money back than they pay in direct costs under this system, with families that earn less benefitting the most, on average.
Canada and the rest of the world has also been experiencing a period of higher inflation, including for food and groceries. This is part of a global phenomenon, driven by the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have led to sharply higher food and energy prices, as well as persistent impacts from supply chain disruptions and the COVID pandemic.
With respect to the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax, or GST/HST, the GST/HST is a broad-based tax that is calculated on the final amount charged for a good or service. The general rule that was adopted at the inception of the GST and carried over for the HST is that this final amount includes other taxes, levies and charges that apply to the good or service and are generally embedded in the final price. This long-standing approach to calculating the GST/HST helps to maintain the broad-based nature of the tax and ensures that tax is applied evenly across goods and services consumed in Canada. It also makes it easier for vendors to calculate the amount of tax payable, for consumers to understand and for the Canada Revenue Agency to administer.
To support those most affected by the high-inflation environment, starting November 4, 2022, an estimated 11 million low- and modest-income people and families will receive an additional goods and services tax credit payment, equivalent to doubling the credit for six months. Single Canadians without children will receive up to an extra $234, and couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467. Seniors will receive an extra $225 on average.
Furthermore, Madam Speaker, if the government's response to Questions Nos. 942, 944, 945, 947, 950, 951, 953 to 956, 958, 960, 963 and 964 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
Is it the pleasure of the House that the foregoing questions be made orders for returns and that they be tabled immediately?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 942—Mr. Charlie Angus
With regard to the government's plan for a just transition for workers in the oil and gas sector, broken down by department since fiscal year 2015-16: (a) what initiatives, programs, and projects have been created for workers to transition towards a green economy; (b) what funding has been allocated for the purpose of carrying out the initiatives, programs, and projects in (a); and (c) of the funding allocated in (b), how much funding has been spent?
(Return tabled)Question No. 944—Mr. Alex Ruff
With regard to violent crimes committed in Canada, since October 2015, broken down by year and by those committed in Ontario and in the riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound: how many crimes have been committed by individuals (i) out on bail, (ii) on probation, (iii) on conditional release, including day or full parole, statutory release, and temporary absences, pursuant to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act?
(Return tabled)Question No. 945—Mr. Scott Aitchison
With regard to occupancy levels of government-owned building spaces, broken down by metropolitan area: (a) how many building spaces are owned by the government; (b) what are the maximum occupancy levels of the building spaces; (c) what are the current occupancy levels; (d) what are the projected occupancy levels, once the public service finalizes its transition from working remotely during the pandemic to the post-pandemic occupancy level; and (e) what is the estimated amount of square-footage represented by the (i) occupied building space, (ii) unoccupied building space, associated with (b) through (d)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 947—Mr. John Brassard
With regard to COVID-19 vaccine doses procured by the government, 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 October 27, 2022; (b) how many doses are set to be delivered between October 27, 2022, and the end of January 2023; (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. 950—Mr. Damien C. Kurek
With regard to changes made to the names of government departments or agencies, since November 4, 2015, broken down by each change made: (a) what was the name changed (i) from, (ii) to; (b) on what date did the new name officially come into force; (c) what are the total costs associated with the changes; and (d) what is the itemized breakdown of the costs in (c)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 951—Mr. Chris Warkentin
With regard to misinformation or wrong information released by the government, since 2016, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity, and by year: (a) how many times did the government put out misinformation or wrong information; and (b) what are the details of each instance, including, for each (i) the date, (ii) the misinformation or wrong information that was released, (iii) the date of the correction, (iv) what was done to correct the original misinformation?
(Return tabled)Question No. 953—Mr. Michael Kram
With regard to Proactive Disclosure and glitches in the travel expenses section of the Open Government website: (a) as of October 27, 2022, why do the expenses of other people with the same last name as the Prime Minister appear when a user enters the Prime Minister’s last name in the search bar, and none of the Prime Minister’s travel expenses appear; (b) have the Prime Minister’s travel expenses been removed from the site, and, if so, why; and (c) if the Prime Minister’s travel expenses are still listed on the site, what is the link to his expenses that functions correctly?
(Return tabled)Question No. 954—Mr. Alex Ruff
With regard to employees responsible for operationalizing the federal government’s pandemic support programs since 2020: (a) how many employees were assigned, broken down by month, department and program, to recovering overpayments related to the (i) Canada Emergency Response Benefit, (ii) Canada Recovery Benefit, (iii) Employment Insurance, (iv) the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, (v) Canada Emergency Business Account; (b) of these employees, how many received bonuses, broken down by program; (c) of the employees in (b), how many were (i) below the executive (EX) level, (ii) at the EX level or higher; and (d) what was the total amount paid out in bonuses to such employees (i) below the EX level, (ii) at the EX level or higher?
(Return tabled)Question No. 955—Mr. Dan Mazier
With regard to the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF), broken down by province: how much money was returned through the CAIF’s Municipalities, Universities, Schools and Hospitals Retrofit stream, in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021, (iv) 2022?
(Return tabled)Question No. 956—Mr. Dan Mazier
With regard to the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF), broken down by province: how much money was returned through the CAIF’s Municipalities, Universities, Schools and Hospitals Retrofit stream, broken down by (i) municipality, (ii) university, (iii) school, (iv) hospital?
(Return tabled)Question No. 958—Mr. Chris Warkentin
With regard to the carbon tax or price on carbon: (a) what are the annual costs to administer the (i) collection of the carbon tax, (ii) rebate program; and (b) how many employees or full-time equivalents are assigned to work on the (i) collection of the carbon tax, (ii) rebate program?
(Return tabled)Question No. 960—Mr. Clifford Small
With regard to the procurement of 15 new Canadian surface combatant ships: (a) what are the total expenditures to date related to procurement; (b) what is the lifecycle cost for the ships; (c) what is the total value of contracts signed to date related to the procurement; and (d) what are the details of all contracts signed to date, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) summary of goods or services, (v) way in which it was awarded (sole-sourced or through a competitive bidding process)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 963—Mr. Jamie Schmale
With regard to the plan announced by the government in 2018 to provide $600 million to select media outlets over five years: (a) how much of the $600 million has been delivered to date; and (b) what are the details of how much each media outlet has received to date?
(Return tabled)Question No. 964—Mr. Eric Duncan
With regard to statistics related to the Canadian Coast Guard's mid-shore patrol vessels, broken down by month since 2019: (a) how many ships were in service; (b) how many days was each ship (i) tied to the dock, (ii) operating out at sea; and (c) for each day that the ships were docked, was the docking due to weather conditions or other factors, specifying what the other factors were?
Finally, Madam Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand at this time.
Some hon. members: Agreed.