Question No. 2281--Ms. Rachael Harder
With regard to the government’s decision to change Status of Women Canada to the Department for Women and Gender Equality on December 13, 2018: (a) did the Minister responsible for the department receive a new mandate letter which indicates the new responsibilities and, if so, when was the letter (i) sent to the Minister, (ii) made available to the public; and (b) what are the details, including total of all costs associated with changing the name of the department?
ResponseMr. Terry Duguid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Minister for Women and Gender Equality did not receive a new mandate letter.
In response to (b), regarding the costs associated with changing the name of the department, business card rebranding cost $692.78 and an update to the department’s web encryption certificate cost $3,558.
Question No. 2282--Mr. Luc Berthold
With regard to the new animal transport regulations announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): (a) why did the CFIA not wait until the research funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada into the issue was finalized prior to releasing the new regulations; (b) what is the CFIA’s reaction to the concerns by industry associations that the new regulations will likely increase stress to cattle and opportunity for injury; and (c) has either Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or the CFIA done any analysis or studies on the impact of these changes to the various livestock or transportation industries and, if so, what are the details, including results?
ResponseHon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CFIA, recognizes the work and research pertaining to animal welfare that the beef industry has been doing and continues to do. Important research regarding animal welfare during transport is routinely under way on many fronts, both domestically and internationally. The duration of research projects is often measured in years, and outcomes are not predetermined. Such is the case with the cattle industry study funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, which is not scheduled to conclude until 2022. The amendments to the health of animals regulations have been in progress for over 10 years. They were published in the Canada Gazette, part I, in 2016, with a clear forward regulatory plan of final publication in fall 2018-winter 2019. We received an unprecedented number of comments during the public comment period: over 51,000 comments from 11,000 respondents. These comments were taken into account, along with the latest research on animal transportation and international standards. Over 400 scientific articles were examined to help develop clear and science-informed requirements that better reflect the needs of animals and improve overall animal welfare in Canada. These are balanced regulations that, given the existing infrastructure, industry trends and evolving consumer demands, are expected to work for stakeholders while protecting the well-being of animals. It is recognized that any new research will need to be considered and could inform future revisions to the regulations.
In response to (b), the maximum intervals without feed, water and rest for the different species were based on available science, international standards, consumer expectations, and industry logistics.
The CFIA consulted experts in the animal transportation field from industry and academia. Relevant scientific articles were also examined to ensure that the most current research available on the subject of animal transportation and its effects on animals was used to draft the amendments. The resulting maximum feed, water and rest intervals during animal transport were the outcome of all relevant inputs regarding the relative stress responses of rest stops versus the stress to animals of exhaustion, extreme hunger and dehydration resulting from prolonged feed, water and rest deprivation.
The amendments also contain an option for the use of fully equipped conveyances that meet specific required conditions such as temperature monitoring, adequate ventilation, and feed and water dispensing systems. These conveyances will mitigate but not eliminate the negative effects of transport. As such, those stakeholders that move animals in fully equipped conveyances are exempted from the prescribed maximum intervals for feed, water and rest. This provision will promote innovation and will provide regulated parties with additional flexibility regarding time in transport and confinement. It is important to note that all other provisions, including the animal-based outcomes relating to the effects of feed, water and rest deprivation will require full compliance.
In response to (c), the CFIA sent out two economic questionnaires to stakeholders to assess the economic impact of potential changes to the regulations and the timing of their coming into force. The second questionnaire was sent to over 1,000 recipients with a request to forward the questionnaire to any other interested party that the CFIA may have missed. CFIA economists reviewed the incoming data and provided a detailed summary of the costs and benefits to industry in the regulatory impact analysis statement, which can be found at www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2019/2019-02-20/html/sor-dors38-eng.html, immediately below the regulatory amendment.
Question No. 2285--Ms. Sheri Benson
With regard to Canada’s Homelessness Strategy “Reaching Home”, and the February 20, 2019 public announcement of $638 million to address urban Indigenous homelessness: (a) what are the details of the strategy, including, if available, the (i) summary of the rationale of the strategy, (ii) objectives, (iii) goals; (b) what are the specific budgetary envelopes and programs that the government will use to deliver these funds; (c) what are the criterias that will be used to evaluate applications; (d) what is the projected allocation of these funds, broken down by fiscal year; (e) what are the expected policy outcomes; and (f) what are the methods the government will use to evaluate the success or failure of this strategy and the individual projects that receive funding?
ResponseMr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development), Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, homelessness has an economic and social impact on every community in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to helping those who are in need and believes that one homeless Canadian is one too many. Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home.
The Government of Canada’s homelessness programs have undergone various reforms and renewals over the years. In recognition of the fact that indigenous people are overrepresented in homeless populations, the programs have provided Indigenous-specific funding. The government’s current program, the homelessness partnering strategy, or HPS, is a community-based approach that aims to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. It includes an aboriginal homelessness funding stream.
Reaching Home, the redesigned HPS, was launched on April 1, 2019. The purpose of Reaching Home is to support Canadian communities in their efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness by mobilizing partners at the federal, provincial/territorial and community levels, as well as the private and voluntary sectors, to address barriers to well-being faced by those who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. The program is part of Canada’s first-ever national housing strategy, which is a 10-year, $40-billion plan to lift hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of housing need. The development of Reaching Home was informed by research and broad public consultations, engagement with first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and organizations, and advice from the advisory committee on homelessness, which included indigenous representation.
The engagement and advice that informed Reaching Home identified that more funding and a greater understanding of indigenous homelessness was needed. In large part due to the engagement with indigenous peoples, Reaching Home includes increased funding to be directed toward indigenous homelessness supports, and expanded flexibility for first nations, Inuit and Métis-led initiatives.
Reaching Home is providing more than $1.6 billion in funding over the next nine years for services and supports for all Canadians, including indigenous peoples, who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness. In addition to that, a total of $413 million is dedicated for addressing indigenous homelessness. The indigenous-specific funding will provide $261 million through an indigenous homelessness stream over a nine-year period to maintain the community-based approach and continue to address local priorities, and $152 million over nine years that will be invested on priorities determined in collaboration with first nations, Inuit and Métis partners, to be phased in over three years.
Reaching Home is not--with some exceptions in Quebec--a proposal or application-driven program; funding agreements are negotiated between the department and service providers. The eligibility criteria--terms and conditions, and directives are outlined in detail within the program authorities. Reaching Home supports community-based approaches by providing funding directly to municipalities and local service providers, while providing communities more flexibility to design appropriate responses to local challenges. This includes greater flexibility for culturally appropriate responses to help meet the unique needs of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Funding through the indigenous homelessness stream will continue to flow to Indigenous service providers, and the additional investments for identifying and establishing priorities to help meet the needs of first nations, Inuit and Métis will be determined in collaboration with indigenous partners.
In terms of outcomes, Reaching Home aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. It supports the goals of the national housing strategy, in particular to support the most vulnerable Canadians in maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing and to reduce chronic homelessness nationally by 50% by 2027–2028. It also supports the goals of “Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy”.
To evaluate the effectiveness of its programs, including Reaching Home, the government will be tracking the rate of homelessness along with other socio-economic indicators. The poverty reduction strategy is developing a dashboard of indicators to track progress on the many aspects of poverty, ranging from different measures of low income to the number of Canadians in housing need. Indicators that reflect first nations, Inuit, and Métis concepts of poverty and well-being are being co-developed with indigenous partners for inclusion on the dashboard. The publicly available online dashboard will allow all Canadians to monitor progress, and it will be regularly updated as new information becomes available. Reaching Home is participating in and supports the development of the poverty reduction strategy dashboard.
The Government of Canada is committed to achieving reconciliation with indigenous peoples through a renewed relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. Reaching Home includes increased and targeted funding to help address the unique needs of first nations, Inuit, and Métis, and provisions so that the priorities and approaches will be determined in collaboration with indigenous partners. Under Reaching Home, the government is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring that first nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada have a safe and affordable place to call home, where they can enjoy a bright future for themselves and their families.
Members should note that as part of the national housing strategy, the Government of Canada announced a total investment of $2.2 billion for homelessness over 10 years, building on budget 2016 funding of
$111.8 million over two years. By 2021–22, this will double annual investments compared to 2015–16.
Question No. 2304--Ms. Elizabeth May
With regard to the acquisition and construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline: (a) what was the source of funds for the $4.5 billion reportedly paid to Kinder Morgan at the closing date of August 31, 2018; (b) where is (i) that $4.5 billion accounted for in the Finance Ministry’s November 2018 Budget Update and (ii) is the NEB facility of $500 000 also accounted for in that Budget Update; (c) is the outstanding balance of $4.67 billion for the acquisition facility reported by the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) in its 2018 third quarterly report the final acquisition figure; (d) is the project (i) in compliance with spending benchmarks identified in the Construction Facility, and (ii) if the answer to (i) is negative, what corrective actions are being or will be taken; (e) do any documents exist pertaining to contract extensions and financial costs incurred through construction delays, and, if so, what are the details; and (f) what sources of revenues is CDEV pursuing to finance construction once the credit facility expires in August 2019?
ResponseMr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), on August 31, 2018, the Trans Mountain Corporation, TMC, paid Kinder Morgan Cochin ULC $4.427 billion in order to acquire the Trans Mountain entities, these being Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC; Trans Mountain Canada Inc., which was formerly Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.; Trans Mountain Pipeline LP; and Trans Mountain Pipeline (Puget Sound) LLC. TMC financed the acquisition with loans and other funds from its parent corporation, Canada TMP Finance Ltd.
With regard to (b), the $4.427 billion TMC paid to Kinder Morgan Cochin ULC and the $500 million facility with the National Energy Board are not specifically reflected in the government’s November 2018 Fall Economic Statement. However, the loans issued by Export Development Canada to Canada TMP Finance Ltd., which were relied upon by affiliates of Canada TMP Finance Ltd. for the acquisition and for the National Energy Board facility, are reflected on pages 93-94 of the Fall Economic Statement.
With regard to (c), as the ultimate parent corporation for TMC, the Canada Development Investment Corporation, or CDEV, will report the final acquisition price for the Trans Mountain entities in its 2018 consolidated financial statements. CDEV’s Q3 financial statements contained a preliminary acquisition price of $4.427 billion.
With regard to (d), Canada TMP Finance Ltd. is in full compliance with the construction credit agreement with Export Development Canada.
With regard to (e), Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC is the applicant and proponent for the proposed Trans Mountain expansion project. The proposed project does not currently have a valid National Energy Board Act certificate or Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 decision statement. The authoritative documents on the expected schedule and costs of the proposed project are those filed by Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC with the National Energy Board as part of the board’s review of the proposed project, including its recent reconsideration. These documents are publicly available on the National Energy Board’s public registry.
With regard to (f), Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC is the applicant and proponent for the proposed Trans Mountain expansion project. The proposed project does not currently have a valid National Energy Board Act certificate or Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 decision statement. Should the Governor in Council approve the proposed project, Canada TMP Finance Ltd. would renew the construction facility for an additional year as per the credit agreement. TMP Finance Ltd. will work with its shareholder to secure long-term funding.
Question No. 2307--Mr. François Choquette
With regard to biometric data collection procedures: (a) what are the exact criteria that were used to determine that Greenland and St. Pierre and Miquelon would be exempt from biometric data collection before entering Canada; (b) what are the exact criteria that would constitute an exceptional situation justifying an exemption in other cases; (c) is the procedure for collecting data at the border going to be extended to other countries or territories; (d) why (i) are only Greenland and St. Pierre and Miquelon exempt and (ii) could the French West Indies not benefit from the same exemption, given their similar administrative status as a French overseas territory near North America; and (e) does the government plan to publish the studies that led it to say that “it is not expected to result in significant declines in demand over the medium or long-term” and that the “implications for Canada’s competitiveness in attracting visitors, business people and students are expected to be overall neutral”, as described in the Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 14: “Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations” of April 7, 2018?
ResponseHon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)
insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, is concerned, with regard to (a), the requirement to provide biometrics when applying to come to Canada depends on the document a client is applying for and is aligned with Canada’s entry document requirements. Generally, biometrics are required when applying for a visitor visa; a work or study permit, except for U.S. nationals; permanent residence; and refugee or asylum status. However, there are some exemptions. Travelers from countries that are visa-exempt are not required to provide biometrics before entering Canada.
As per section 190 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, residents of Greenland as well as St. Pierre and Miquelon who are coming to Canada as visitors are visa-exempt and therefore not subject to biometrics requirements. Those coming to Canada to study or work in Canada are required to provide biometrics in support of their applications.
For more information about Canada’s entry requirements by country/territory and requirements for providing biometrics, members may visit https://www.canada.ca/en/ immigration-refugees-citizenship/ services/ visit-canada/ entry-requirements-country.html.
With regard to (b), if the collection of biometric information is impossible or not feasible, an exemption from the biometrics requirements could be warranted. These exceptional circumstances are determined on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of the criteria that may be used to assess whether it is impossible or not feasible to collect biometric information and an exemption could therefore be justified include a situation in which the client has a temporary or permanent medical condition that prevents the operator or system from capturing the biometric information; the collection equipment or system is not operational, and it is not known how long the system will be down; or the case is exceptionally vulnerable and requires accelerated processing, but biometric information cannot be collected in a timely manner.
With regard to (c), at this time there are no plans to extend the collection of biometrics at the border to any other countries or territories.
With regard to (d)(i), in general, most people are required to make their application and comply with requirements--such as providing biometric data in support of their application--from outside Canada. This is to ensure that applicants are assessed appropriately before they arrive to Canada. On the other hand, to ensure that a balanced strategy is taken when managing the flow of people into Canada, efforts are taken to facilitate the travel of known and low-risk applicants. Residents of Greenland, and St. Pierre and Miquelon are among the very few who may apply for a study or work permit at the port of entry. It should be noted that on average, approximately six work permits and 19 study permits are processed at the port of entry each year from these two territories. The low numbers are operationally manageable for processing at the port of entry.
With regard to (d)(ii), territories in the French West Indies that are part of France—that is, the French Republic--are visa-exempt, and as such, people there do in fact benefit from the biometric exemption when they are seeking to come to Canada as visitors. As well, if they meet the requirements set out in the regulations, they are also eligible to apply for a work permit at the port of entry. However, they are not eligible to apply for a study permit at the port of entry.
With regard to (e), these findings will be included in the program’s evaluation report, entitled “Evaluation of Biometrics (Steady State) and Canada-United States Immigration Information Sharing (IIS)”, which the government anticipates will be published by September 2019.
Question No. 2308--Mr. Harold Albrecht
With regard to expenditures on catering at the Global Affairs Canada buildings on Sussex Drive in Ottawa : (a) what was the total catering bill in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of related event, if known?
ResponseHon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, this answer reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. Global Affairs Canada undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. The information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. Global Affairs Canada 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. 2309--Mr. Arnold Viersen
With regard to the directive provided by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to the CRTC in February 2019, which he claimed would lower the prices of internet and cell phone services: (a) what specific evidence does the government have that the Minister’s directive will actually lead to lower prices; and (b) what are the specific projections on how much the average Canadian’s cell phone and internet services bill will be lowered as a result of this directive for each of the next 5 years?
ResponseHon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (b) and (c), to clarify the statement in the House of Commons, the policy direction would promote competition and choice so that Canadians can have more affordable plans.
Competition is the best way to bring down prices of telecommunications services, including Internet and cellphone plans. The latest price comparisons of wireline, wireless and Internet services in Canada and with foreign jurisdictions, commissioned by ISED, highlighted the importance of new and smaller service providers in Canada. In regions with strong competition, wireless data plans are up to 32% cheaper than the national average. The same study found that average broadband Internet prices offered by smaller service providers were up to 35% lower than those of the large companies.
The proposed policy direction to the CRTC would require it to clearly consider competition, affordability, consumer policy interests and innovation in all its telecommunications regulatory decisions and to demonstrate to Canadians that it has done so. The CRTC has a number of upcoming decisions that the policy direction, if implemented, could affect, thereby leading to better outcomes for Canadians.
For example, on February 28, 2019, the CRTC launched a review of mobile wireless services in Canada. The review will focus on competition in the retail market, the wholesale regulatory framework, and the future of mobile wireless services in Canada. Specifically, the CRTC has taken the preliminary view that it would be appropriate to mandate that the national wireless carriers provide wholesale mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, access as an outcome of the proceeding. MVNOs are a form of wireless competition that has the potential to offer more affordable wireless services.