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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 484--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to reports that more than 8,500 Canadians have higher tax bills after being the victim of identity theft related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program: (a) how many CERB payments does the government estimate were made to individuals committing identify theft; and (b) why is the Canada Revenue Agency requiring these victims of identity theft to pay income tax on the amount thieves swindled from the government's CERB program?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA. In response to part (a), as analysis and verification work is still under way, the CRA cannot confirm how much fraud related to CERB there has been.
The vast majority of Canadians are applying correctly and are making good efforts to comply. The CRA is committed to protecting the integrity of programs that provide financial support for taxpayers using Canadian tax dollars.
In response to part (b), taxpayers who are victims of identity fraud will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers using their identity. The CRA remains dedicated to resolving these incidents. Taxpayers’ T4A slip or RL-1 slip will be corrected as required. Once the issue has been resolved, an amended slip will be issued. In the event that individuals need to file their return before the corrective measures have been completed, they should only file using the income they actually received.
As noted above, affected individuals will not be held liable for unauthorized claims made by fraudsters using their account. Where appropriate, the CRA works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian anti-fraud centre, CAFC, financial institutions and local police to investigate the incident. In many cases, the CRA will also provide the taxpayer with credit protection and monitoring services.
The CRA is committed to taking action to assist those whose accounts have been compromised due to incidents of fraud or identify theft. It takes the protection of taxpayer information very seriously and has robust safeguards in place to identify fraudulent applications for emergency and recovery benefits, including the CERB.
The CRA recognizes that waiting for a response in these situations can be stressful and aims to resolve such issues quickly by addressing cases as fast as possible.

Question No. 487--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to the Department of Justice’s use of outsourced legal agents, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the Department of Justice retained outsourced legal agents; (b) when were said these contracts awarded; (c) what was the value of each contract; (d) for which cases or other matters were these contracts awarded; (e) to which firms or legal agents were these contracts awarded; and (f) who approved the awarding of these contracts?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice’s policy on contracting for legal services and legal agent appointment establishes the principles and requirements to ensure that contracting for legal services and legal agent appointments are conducted in a diligent and accountable manner, with rigorous and detailed selection and assessment criteria.
Legal agents are private sector law practitioners appointed by or under the authority of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to provide defined legal services to the Crown.
The department publishes all legal agent contracts as part of its proactive disclosure. Information on legal agent contracts can be found here: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/trans/pd-dp/contra_leg/rep-rap.aspx.
The information requested in parts (c), (d) and (f) is protected by solicitor-client privilege.

Question No. 490--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to security equipment currently being used in Canada’s diplomatic missions, broken down by location: (a) which brands of security equipment, including closed-circuit television cameras and X-ray scanners, are currently in use; and (b) for each location, what are the (i) brands used, (ii) type and quantities of equipment, broken down by brand?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
In response to (a) and (b), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. As such, information that could reasonably be expected to facilitate the commission of an offence has been withheld to protect the vulnerability of particular buildings or other structures or systems, including detection and monitoring systems, e.g. X-ray, CCTV, etc., or methods employed to protect such buildings or other structures or systems.
Information on contracts worth more than $10,000 that does not fall under the national security exemption is available on the Open Government site, under “Proactive Disclosure”: https://open.canada.ca/en/search/contracts?f%5B0%5D=org_name_en%3AGlobal%20Affairs%20Canada.

Question No. 493--
Mr. Rob Moore:
With regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the director of public prosecutions informed the Attorney General about any prosecution, or intervention that the director intended to make which raised important questions of general interest, as per section 13 of the act; (b) what was the nature and content of those prosecutions or interventions; (c) what was the rationale for these prosecutions or interventions; and (d) how does the director of public prosecutions determine what prosecutions or interventions raise questions of general interest?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in response to (a), the Director of Public Prosecutions informed the Attorney General 79 times about prosecutions or interventions that raised important questions of general interest as per section 13 of the act from October 21, 2019 to March 9, 2021.
In response to (b) and (c), this information is confidential; it is covered by solicitor-client privilege and may also contain personal information.
In response to (d), the information can be found in chapter 1.2 of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada deskbook at the following link: https://www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/pub/fpsd-sfpg/fps-sfp/tpd/p1/ch02.html.
We note that 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 solicitor-client privilege and personal information.

Question No. 494--
Mr. Rob Moore:
With regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the Attorney General intervened in a prosecution in first instance, as per section 14 of the act; (b) how many times has the Attorney General intervened in a prosecution on appeal, as per section 14 of the act; and (c) for which cases did the Attorney General intervene, and what was the rationale for his interventions?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, there has been no intervention from the Attorney General as per section 14 of the act from October 21, 2019 to March 9, 2021.

Question No. 496--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard the service costs on the national debt: has the government analyzed how much the debt service costs will go up based on an interest rate increase of (i) one per cent, (ii) two per cent, (iii) three per cent, and, if so, what are the projections for how much the debt service costs will increase?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the most recent projections for Government of Canada debt charges can be found in the fall economic statement 2020, which was released on November 30, 2020 and is available at the following link: https://www.budget.gc.ca/fes-eea/2020/home-accueil-en.html. Specifically, the projection for interest paid on the federal debt for the current year and the following five years can be found in table A1.5 on page 126, in the row labelled “Public debt charges”.
These public debt charge projections have been calculated using interest rate projections provided by private sector forecasters through a survey conducted in September 2020. Further details and the results of the September survey can be found on pages 119-121 of the fall economic statement 2020, including the private sector projection of the Government of Canada three-month treasury bill and the 10-year bond rates, which are projected to rise by 100 and 130 basis points, respectively, over the five-year forecast horizon. An update of the government’s public debt charge projections will be provided in budget 2021.

Question No. 497--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard to the government's economic advisory panels: (a) which taxes has each advisory panel recommended that the government raise in order to sustain higher levels of federal spending; and (b) at what levels did the advisory panels recommend the taxes be raised to?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system. As part of this approach, the government regularly seeks feedback from Canadians and various advisory panels.
The government reduced the rate of the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%. This tax cut for the middle class, which has been in effect since 2016, is benefitting more than nine million Canadians. Single individuals who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $540 every year.
The government also introduced the Canada child benefit in 2016, which has meant more money for the families who need it most. The Canada child benefit has helped lift nearly 300,000 children out of poverty, giving them a better start in life.
In addition, the government’s proposed increase in the basic personal amount would lower taxes for close to 20 million Canadians. By 2023, single individuals could save close to $300 in taxes each year, while families, including those led by a single parent, could save nearly $600 in taxes each year. Nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay tax in 2023. A detailed breakdown of the net impact of these measures is available on the Finance Canada website: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/02/annex-net-impact-of-measures-to-make-life-more-affordable-for-canadians.html.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 499--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard to the impact that government tax increases have on Canadians: has the government done an analysis on how Canadians will be impacted by future tax increases, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of any analysis conducted, broken down by type of future tax increase?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system.
The government reduced the rate of the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%. This tax cut for the middle class, which has been in effect since 2016, is benefitting more than nine million Canadians. Single individuals who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $540 every year.
The government also introduced the Canada child benefit in 2016, which has meant more money for the families who need it most. The Canada child benefit has helped lift nearly 300,000 children out of poverty, giving them a better start in life.
In addition, the government’s proposed increase in the basic personal amount would lower taxes for close to 20 million Canadians. By 2023, single individuals could save close to $300 in taxes each year, while families, including those led by a single parent, could save nearly $600 in taxes each year. Nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay tax in 2023. A detailed breakdown of the net impact of these measures is available on the Finance Canada website: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/02/annex-net-impact-of-measures-to-make-life-more-affordable-for-canadians.html.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 500--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to government tax increases: has the government done an analysis of how much taxes will need to increase in order to sustain expected higher levels of federal spending, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of such an analysis?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system.
The first action of the government’s second mandate was to introduce a measure that would increase the amount of money Canadians can earn before paying federal income tax to $15,000 by 2023. To ensure that this tax relief goes to the people who need it most, the benefits would be phased out for the wealthiest Canadians.
This measure builds on the success of key initiatives during its first mandate, including the middle-class tax cut announced in 2015, higher personal income taxes for the wealthiest Canadians, as well as the introduction of the Canada child benefit and the Canada workers benefit. The government has also improved tax fairness by closing loopholes, eliminating measures that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and cracking down on tax evasion so that every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 501--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to the government's analysis conducted on the financial situation of Canadians: has the government conducted any analysis of how many Canadians would experience severe financial hardship if they lost their job, or had their taxes increased, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of the analysis?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, data from the 2016 survey of financial security was used to assess how sensitive Canadian households could be to short-term income loss. While this survey was carried out a few years ago, the distribution of wealth evolves slowly over time, and as such, the survey is likely a reasonable approximation of the potential financial vulnerability of Canadian families going into the COVID-19 pandemic. The department estimated that over half of working households had insufficient liquid assets to fully replace a two-month interruption in after-tax income. As such, these households could see a significant deterioration in their living standards and would face difficulties in meeting their financial obligations or essential needs.
Financially vulnerable households are found across the country, with the highest shares in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Prairies. Younger households were at higher risk of financial vulnerability: 54% of younger households are financially vulnerable to a two-month work interruption, compared to 46% of older households. In a similar analysis, using the 2016 survey of financial security, the Bank of Canada found that households in the occupations most at risk from the pandemic, e.g., sales and service, had the weakest financial positions: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2020/06/staff-analytical-note-2020-8/. Similarly, based on low-income cut-off thresholds, Statistics Canada reported that one in four working households would not have enough liquid assets to keep them out of low income during a two-month work interruption: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00010-eng.pdf?st=DG2ZxWGC.
These results suggest that a sizable number of Canadian households had limited financial buffers to cope with temporary income losses during the pandemic. This finding underlines the importance of Canada’s COVID-19 economic response in targeting people who need it most and bridging Canadians through the shock: e.g., Canada emergency response benefit, Canada emergency wage subsidy and mortgage payment deferrals, among others. This support has been critical to helping minimize financial difficulties of households thus far during the pandemic.

Question No. 502--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to the escalator tax on alcohol introduced by the government in the 2017 budget: what is the total amount of revenue collected from the tax in each year since 2017?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA. Excise duty revenues reflect the impact of the escalator tax. The latter, effective April 1, 2017, refers to the annual increase in the excise duty rate. Excise duty revenues are reported in volume II of the public accounts, “National Revenue”, under the “Revenues” section.
Please find below total excise duty revenues for the fiscal years 2017-18 to 2019-20.
According to the Public Accounts of Canada 2018, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2018/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, total excise duty revenues were $3,504,206,215.
According to Public Accounts of Canada 2019, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2019/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, total excise duty revenues were $3,727,618,734.
According to Public Accounts of Canada 2020, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2020/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, total excise duty revenues were $3,510,617,737.

Question No. 504--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government’s commitment to plant two billion trees and an initial focus on urban trees: (a) how many plots of land have been identified for planting the trees; (b) what are the details of each plot, including the (i) location of the land, (ii) type of landowner (municipality, private owner, federal government land, etc.), (iii) cost of acquisition or projected cost of acquisition, if applicable, (iv) species of trees to be planted on the land; (c) which municipalities have been contacted about urban tree planting; (d) what is the projected cost per tree of trees planted in an urban environment; and (e) and what is the percentage of the total program that is expected to be taken by urban trees?
Response
Mr. Marc Serré (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is fully committed to delivering on its commitment to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years.
Natural Resources Canada is looking to engage those interested in growing Canada’s forests as a nature-based solution to support national climate change actions. The growing Canada’s forests program has recently launched two new processes, an expression of interest and a request for information, to identify the desire and capacity of organizations to plant trees across Canada over the coming years.
A future participants request for information launched recently to identify interested organizations and learn about their vision and capacity to implement or contribute to large-scale, single- or multi-year tree-planting projects across Canada. This will help to determine the design of the growing Canada’s forests program, develop future processes to maximize program participation and strengthen collaboration.
The growing Canada’s forests program will allocate approximately 16% of the contribution funding towards urban and peri-urban tree planting, collaborating with municipalities and organizations that can engage broad community groups: e.g., school boards, indigenous communities and others. Tree-planting opportunities include the expansion, maintenance and diversification of urban and other forests, which may also help communities to become more climate change resilient, mitigating risks such as increased forest fire danger.
Existing federal programs are already supporting tree planting, with approximately 150 million seedlings expected to be planted by 2022 through the low-carbon economy fund in working with provinces and territories, as well as trees planted through the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund in working with local communities. The Government of Canada also continues to support the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, which has planted more than 750,000 out of a planned two million trees in Ontario between Trenton and Toronto.
As part of its commitment to supporting Canada’s forests and forest sector, the Government of Canada took early action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing up to $30 million to support small and medium-sized forest sector firms, including tree-planting operations, and defray the costs associated with COVID-19 health and safety measures. This funding helped ensure a successful 2020 tree-planting season and the planting of an estimated 600 million trees, while protecting workers and communities.

Question No. 515--
Mr. John Williamson:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) since January 1, 2018: (a) how many times have Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships of the RCN transited the Taiwan Strait in the South China Sea; and (b) what were the dates of these transits?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as part of its defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged” Canada committed to being a reliable player in the Asia-Pacific region through consistent engagement and strong partnerships.
The Canadian Armed Forces plays an active role in the region, through regular training and engagements with key allies and partners. These efforts enhance Canada’s ability to promote multilateralism and the rules-based international order, and demonstrate our steadfast commitment to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
As part of deployments to the region, Royal Canadian Navy vessels will periodically sail through the Taiwan Strait.
Canada is committed to promoting maritime peace and security, and maintaining the rules-based international order.
During all international deployments, Canadian Armed Forces vessels operate in a manner that is consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), Royal Canadian Navy vessels transited the Taiwan Strait in the South China Sea five times between January 1, 2018, and March 10, 2021.
The date of these transits are as follows: October 4-5, 2018; June 17-18, 2019; September 9-10, 2019; September 23-24, 2019; and October 2-3, 2020.

Question No. 519--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to financial analysis conducted by the government: has an analysis of the increase in household debt been conducted since 2016, and, if so, what did the analysis conclude are the greatest contributors to the increase in household debt?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada released the results from the 2019 Survey of Financial Security, December 22, 2020. The survey showed that almost one-third, or 30.2%, of Canadian families were debt-free in 2019, virtually unchanged from the 2016 results. For those who held debt, the median value of debt in 2019 stood at $79,000 per family which was about $6,400 less than in 2016 after adjusting for inflation.
Families overall reported holding more mortgage debt in 2019, up $7 billion from 2016. However, the median level of mortgage debt for those with mortgages fell over the same period from $201,200 to $190,000. The level of non-mortgage debt was unchanged between 2016 and 2019. The median was $20,000.
Please see www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/201222/dq201222b-eng.htm.

Question No. 523--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to government employees, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: how many and what percentage of employees worked from home as of (i) March 1, 2020, prior to the pandemic, (ii) March 1, 2021?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the physical and psychological health and safety of employees remain an absolute priority for the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada continues to be guided by the advice and guidance of public health authorities, including Canada’s chief public health officer, and the direction of provinces/territories and cities. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents ongoing challenges for Canadians and for the public service, the government has been moving collectively and successfully towards managing COVID-19 as part of its ongoing operations and the continued delivery of key programs and services to Canadians.
Public health authorities have signalled that physical distancing requirements must remain in place. As such, many federal public service employees across the country will continue to work remotely and effectively for the foreseeable future to continue delivering key programs and services to Canadians. The information regarding public servants who are working from home is not systematically tracked in a centralized database.
Deputy ministers and other heads of federal public service organizations make decisions regarding access to worksites and necessary safety protocols based on government-wide guidance, taking into consideration the local public health situation, individual organizations’ operational requirements and the nature of the work. Access to federal worksites for employees varies from organization to organization, based on operational requirements.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting employees, whether physically in the workplace or at home. Together and apart, the government will continue to deliver information, advice, programs and services that Canadians need.

Question No. 524--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to government statistics related to the effect of the pandemic on the number of women in the workforce: what are the government's estimates on how many women, in total, (i) were employed prior to the pandemic, as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 8,733,600 employed women in Canada in February 2021, compared with 9,082,500 12 months earlier in February 2020, a decrease of 348,900, or 3.8%. Over the same period, the number of women in the labour force, either employed or unemployed, fell by 73,700, or 0.8%.
The source is Statistics Canada, Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last five months, at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410028701.

Question No. 526--
Ms. Jag Sahota:
With regard to the statement printed in the Toronto Star from the director of communications to the Minister Labour "ESDC-Labour has put a team in place dedicated to this work and has taken steps to build its capacity" in relation to stopping the importation of products made with forced labour: (a) who is on the team; (b) on what date was the team established; (c) how many meetings has the team had and on what dates did those meeting occur; (d) what is the team's mandate; (e) how many proactive assessments of supply chains have been initiated by the team; (f) how many reactive complaints have been received and investigated; and (g) what was the finding in each investigation in (e) and (f)?
Response
Mr. Anthony Housefather (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), a number of ESDC-Labour officials are working on the issue of forced labour. Those officials are part of the international and intergovernmental labour affairs, IILA, directorate. The team working on forced labour includes policy officers, policy analysts and managers, under the supervision of a director.
With regard to part (b), the forced labour import prohibition flows from an obligation in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that came into force on July 1, 2020. The team that conducts the research and analysis of problematic supply chains is housed within an existing division of IILA. They are developing an approach and establishing the mechanisms that will allow Canada to address the issue of imports of goods produced with forced labour. Other members of the IILA team have since been undertaking research and analysis of problematic supply chains.
With regard to part (c), meetings and conversations on the issue of forced labour and problematic supply chains have been taking place regularly for several months, in a variety of formats and at various levels. Given that this is a novel initiative, meetings have taken place and continue to take place to operationalize the forced labour import prohibition, to coordinate with other implicated federal departments, and to discuss approaches to research and analysis.
With regard to part (d), the team’s main responsibility is to review allegations of forced labour being used in supply chains. After reviewing an allegation, the ESDC-Labour team conducts research and analysis, and prepares factual reports with a view to establishing the likelihood that a specific shipment contains goods produced by forced labour.
With regard to part (e), please refer to the response from part (g).
With regard to part (f), please refer to response from part (g).
With regard to part (g), while ESDC-Labour is proactively conducting research on supply chains in the Xinjiang region, the department is committed to examining and completing its due diligence research and analysis on all allegations received by the CBSA.

Question No. 527--
Ms. Jag Sahota:
With regard to government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on unionized employees in Canada: how many unionized employees, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, aaccording to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 4,992,000 employees with union coverage in Canada in February 2021, compared with 4,930,700 in February 2020, an increase of 61,300, or 1.2%. The Labour Force Survey does not collect information about the former union coverage status of people who are no longer in the labour force, that is, who are not employed or unemployed.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0069-01 Union coverage by industry, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000) at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410006901.

Question No. 529--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to government statistics on the effect of the pandemic on the workforce, since March 1, 2020: how many Canadians have had their (i) work hours reduced, (ii) income reduced, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, in February 2021, compared with 12 months earlier, there were 406,000, or 50%, more people working fewer than half their usual hours for reasons likely related to COVID-19. The LFS does not collect information on whether an individual’s earnings have changed over time. However, the following information about the number of employees in various wage brackets was reported with the release of February 2021 data from the LFS.
Immediately before the pandemic in February 2020, about one-quarter of all employees in Canada earned $17.50 per hour or less, while one-quarter earned more than $36 per hour. These wage brackets are helpful in understanding the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on lower-paid and higher-paid workers.
The number of employees making $17.50 per hour or less increased by 203,000 in February. This number is not seasonally adjusted. This partly offset a decline of 321,000 in January and coincided with a February rebound in employment in the retail trade, and accommodation and food services industries, where lower wages are more prevalent.
There were 791,000, or 19.7%, fewer employees in this wage bracket in February 2021 than 12 months earlier. Nearly two-thirds, or 63.6%, of the losses were among women, with similar declines in all age groups. Young men were far less affected by the decline, 82,000 fewer, or 11.4%, than were young women, 178,000 fewer, or 20.9%. This number is not seasonally adjusted.
In contrast, there were 410,000, or 10.3%, more employees making more than $36 per hour in February compared with one year earlier. This number is not seasonally adjusted. The number of people in this highest-earning wage bracket followed an upward trend during the summer and early fall of 2020 before flattening in recent months, and was little changed in February. This is not seasonally adjusted.
For Chart 6, Employment among employees earning the lowest wages far behind in the recovery, please see www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210312/cg-a006-eng.htm
The source is Labour Force Survey, LFS, February 2021, The Daily www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210312/dq210312a-eng.htm and LFS supplementary indicators used in February 2021 analysis.

Question No. 530--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on post-secondary students: how many post-secondary students, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 1,019,000 employed students aged 15 to 24 in February 2021, compared with 1,199,700 in February 2020, a decrease of 180,800, or 15.1%. This figure is not seasonally adjusted. Over the same period, the number of students in the labour force, employed or unemployed, fell by 77,300, or 5.8%. This figure is not seasonally adjusted. These data do not distinguish the type of school, secondary versus post-secondary.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0021-01, Unemployment rate, participation rate and employment rate by type of student during school months, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality, at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410002101.

Question No. 532--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to the government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on the employment of professionals working in manufacturing in Canada: how many manufacturing professionals, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 1,746,900 people employed in the manufacturing industry in February 2021, virtually unchanged from February 2020, when there were 1,747,200.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0355-01 Employment by industry, monthly, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, and trend-cycle, last 5 months (x 1,000), found at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410035501.

Question No. 540--
Ms. Leah Gazan:
With regard to the payment of a one-off sum of up to $300 per child and the subsequent temporary change in the formula for calculating the Canada Child Benefit: (a) has the government assessed the additional number of families who would receive the payment whose net family income is above the threshold established in the previous formula, and if so, what is the result of this assessment; (b) has the government estimated the additional cost of paying the maximum of $300 per child to families whose net family income is above the threshold in the old formula, if so, how much is the estimated cost; and (c) what was the methodology used for the temporary change in the formula?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the CRA’s analysis determined that an additional 265,000 families with a net family income above the threshold from the previous formula received the one-time payment of up $300 per child.
With regard to part (b), the same analysis described in part (a) also determined that those families with a net income above the threshold in the old formula received payments totalling almost $88 million.
With regard to part (c), the Canada child benefit, CCB, is governed by section 122.6 of the Income Tax Act, ITA. Section 122.6 of the ITA is amended from time to time to reflect changes in the benefit calculation. The legislation was amended in 2020 to add section (1.01) to include the CCB one-time payment to the calculation for the month of May 2020:
COVID-19 — additional amount
(1.01) If the month referred to in subsection (1) is May 2020, each amount expressed in dollars referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the description of E in subsection (1) is deemed, for that month, to be equal to that amount (as adjusted under subsection (5)) plus an additional amount of $3,600. For greater certainty, the adjustment in subsection (5) shall not take into account this additional amount.
The total annual maximum amount per child, regardless of age, was increased by $300 for children eligible for the May 2020 payment.
Amounts were increased for the month of May as follows: per eligible child under six years old: $6,639 plus $3,600, for a total of $10,239; and per eligible child age six to 17 years old: $5,602 plus $3,600, for a total of $9,202.
The $3,600 divided by 12 months results in the $300 calculation for May 2020.
There was no change to the phase-out threshold or rates.

Question No. 541--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the CRA's decision to temporarily suspend, as of March 2020, the programs and services of "high-risk audits", "international large business", "high net worth compliance", "GST/HST audit of large businesses", "audit of complex transactions", "audit of flow-through shares" and "foreign tax whistleblower program", broken down by each of the programs and services mentioned, by month, since March 2020 to the re-establishment of the service of audits, and by risk level of non-compliance: (a) how many audits were suspended as a proportion of total audits; (b) of the audits in (a), how many are still suspended as a proportion of total resumed audits; (c) what duties were performed by the auditors during the suspension period; (d) how many files were closed; (e) of the files closed in (d), what was the average amount of time spent processing each file before a decision was made to close it; (f) of the files closed in (d), (i) how many have been assessed (ii) how many have been transferred to the criminal investigation program; and (g) what was the change in the number of auditors, in terms of full-time equivalent?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, what follows is the response from the CRA to the above-noted question since March 1, 2020. With regard to parts (a), (b), (d), (e), (f) (i), and (g), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several programs were temporarily suspended during the time period requested, as they were considered non-critical services. Therefore, employee workloads were shifted to reflect critical services. The CRA is unable to provide the data that is being requested, as the CRA did not create a system indicator to determine which files were put on hold due to the COVID-19 suspensions. Throughout the pandemic, the CRA has worked to design and implement COVID-19 related benefit programs. The CRA has also redeployed many auditors to assist with the verification activities associated with these new programs. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and redistribution of workloads, the CRA’s volume of files under audit is lower than expected
With regard to part (c), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several programs were temporarily suspended as they were considered non-critical services. Employee workloads were shifted to reflect critical services, such as the COVID-19 benefit programs, COVID-19 related call centre activities and operation activities. Audit activity continued throughout the pandemic, but was limited to high-risk audits and exceptional circumstances.
With regard to part (f)(ii), between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the latest data available, there were 40 referrals from all CRA audit programs to the CRA's criminal investigations program. The CRA cannot provide a breakdown of referrals from each program in the manner requested, since CRA systems do not track this level of detail.

Question No. 543--
Ms. Leah Gazan:
With regard to the compliance monitoring of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy since its inception, broken down by level of risk of non-compliance with tax laws and by industry sector: (a) how many applications have been (i) approved, (ii) denied; (b) of the applications in (a), how many companies have a subsidiary or subsidiaries domiciled in foreign jurisdictions of concern as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (c) has the CRA verified that the companies in (b) have a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern, and, if not, why; (d) how many businesses have been identified as having benefited from overpayments; (e) of the businesses in (d), what is the total value of these overpayments; and (f) has the CRA cross-referenced the data between companies that have benefited from an overpayment and that have one or more subsidiaries domiciled in foreign jurisdictions of concern, and, if so, what is the total value of these overpayments of companies that have one or more subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, audit data on the Canada emergency wage subsidy, CEWS, program is highly sensitive information. Providing detailed information regarding the specific number of audits planned/conducted for a given compliance program could embolden some taxpayers to cut corners and take aggressive positions in the hopes that they will avoid detection.
With regard to parts (a)(i) and (ii),the total number of Canada emergency wage subsidy applications that have been approved is available on the CRA website on the “Claims to date: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy” page at www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-statistics.html/. As of March 7, 2021, 10,670 initial CEWS applications were cancelled/disallowed, i.e., denied. Of that figure, 7,020 were cancelled whereas 3,650 were disallowed.
With regard to parts (b), (c) and (f), the CRA does not capture the number of corporate CEWS applicants that had a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern in the manner in which the information is requested for this benefit program. The majority of taxpayers that are likely to have a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern have not yet filed their current corporate income tax return and all related information returns covering the qualifying periods for which CEWS claims were made. As such, the CRA will be applying its risk assessment systems to these required tax filings, and will identify the highest risk taxpayers for its core compliance programs and for its CEWS post-payment audit program, which can include an examination of subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern, depending on the compliance risks identified.
As a general matter, the CRA does use the presence of subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern as a risk factor in selecting files for audit.
With regard to part (d), compliance activities are still ongoing. A notice of determination will be sent to the taxpayers when, as a result of a post-payment audit, it is determined that the taxpayers’ claims should be reduced or denied.
With regard to part (e), as noted above, compliance activities are ongoing and it is premature to report on this, however, the total amount that has been denied through claims either fully or partially disallowed is just over $800 million as of March 22, 2021.

Question No. 550--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to the government's 2019 election commitment to plant two billion trees: (a) how many trees have been planted to date; and (b) what is the number of trees planted to date, broken down by (i) province, (ii) municipality or geographical location?
Response
Mr. Marc Serré (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is fully committed to delivering on its commitment to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years.
Natural Resources Canada is looking to engage those interested in growing Canada’s forests as a nature-based solution to support national climate change actions. The growing Canada’s forests program has recently launched two new processes, and expression of interest and a request for information, to identify the desire and capacity of organizations to plant trees across Canada over the coming years.
A future participants request for information launched recently to identify interested organizations and learn about their vision and capacity to implement or contribute to large-scale, single or multi-year tree-planting projects across Canada. This will help to determine the design of the growing Canada’s forests program, develop future processes to maximize program participation and strengthen collaboration.
Existing federal programs are already supporting tree planting, with approximately 150 million seedlings expected to be planted by 2022 through the low-carbon economy fund, working with provinces and territories, as well as trees planted through the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund, working with local communities. The Government of Canada also continues to support the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, which has planted more than 750,000 out of a planned two million trees in Ontario between Trenton and Toronto.
As part of its commitment to supporting Canada’s forests and forest sector, the Government of Canada took early action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing up to $30 million to support small and medium-sized forest sector firms, including tree-planting operations, and defray the costs associated with COVID-19 health and safety measures. This funding helped ensure a successful 2020 tree-planting season and the planting of an estimated 600 million trees, while protecting workers and communities.
Advisory bodiesAlbas, DanAlcoholic drinksAudits and auditorsBarlow, JohnBenefits for childrenBlock, KellyCanada Emergency Response BenefitCanada Emergency Wage SubsidyCanada Revenue AgencyChampagne, François-Philippe ...Show all topics
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the hon. member in principle. We need to hear voices and we need to move legislation through, but I remind her that this is a process that began 25 years ago with the passage of UNDRIP at the United Nations. It is a process that was picked up in Canada by Romeo Saganash in the previous Parliament. It is a process in which we will continue to be in dialogue with other parliamentarians and continue to be in dialogue in a distinctions-based fashion with the myriad forms of indigenous leadership across Canada.
This is just a way station in the process. It will continue through the development of an action plan for the implementation of UNDRIP afterward. I would suggest to the hon. member that is really where the heavy lifting is going to be done with respect to our relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada. I agree with her, but we have to be careful to not let perfection be the enemy of the good. We need to move this legislation forward in order to get to the next step and—
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. On this particular day, I also salute our common Italian-Canadian heritage, given our announcement yesterday.
It is critically important to look at the dilatory tactics of the Conservative Party. The fall economic statement is a perfect example, as was MAID: a very important piece of legislation that Canadians wanted and that courts were requiring. Thankfully, in that particular case, the Bloc Québécois stepped up and supported a time allocation motion.
I do not like time allocation any more than the next member of Parliament. I would like to see everything debated fulsomely. However, there is a responsibility, and I know the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has brought this up on a number of occasions, to debate responsibly, not just with prepared talking points but with new arguments. We are not getting those from the Conservative Party. We are getting arguments repeated ad nauseam for the purposes of delaying.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would remind the member that it was her party that on three occasions this past week refused the opportunity to debate the Senate amendments to this bill by refusing to extend hours and by refusing to leave their dilatory tactics aside on other pieces of legislation.
If the member has to explain to her constituents why she perhaps feels she did not have a chance, she will have to explain that her party leader failed to exercise the leadership necessary in order to use the very valuable time that we as parliamentarians have available to discuss this bill properly.
That said, I think there is a large consensus here, which we have seen across Canada and on committee, and we will continue to move forward in this next step.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am indeed comfortable. For perhaps the first time since the beginning of Confederation, we have a Senate that is doing its job in a very robust, thoughtful and meaningful way. The Senate as well heard expert witnesses, studied the bill and did a prestudy of the bill. The Senate also discussed this bill in a relatively non-partisan way, and that even included Conservative members of the Senate, which, frankly, was heartwarming.
We thoughtfully reacted to the amendments proposed by the Senate and we believe we are moving forward with a reasonable package of amendments that have the large consensus of Canadians. We think this is the best step forward. The things that are left are things we can discuss as parliamentarians in the appropriate fashion over the next two years.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the hon. member has misrepresented the process.
All candidates are assessed by judicial advisory committees, which are non-partisan. They have no access to partisan information. Only highly recommended and recommended candidates move on to the next step of consultation in the legal community.
Our goal is to seek out high-quality and diverse candidates. I am very proud of my appointments and I can assure the hon. member that I have never been pressured by the Prime Minister's office.
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