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View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)

Question No. 768--
Hon. Scott Brison:
With regard to travel paid for by government departments and agencies for Members of Parliament and Senators other than the minister, Minister of State, or Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the department: since 2010-2011 inclusively, (a) what was the total cost for each trip; (b) what was the cost for each trip, broken down by (i) transportation, (ii) accommodation, (iii) meals and incidentals, (iv) gifts; (c) what was the reason for each trip; (d) what was the name of the Member of Parliament or Senator on each trip; (e) what was the itinerary for each trip; (f) was the Member accompanied by staff and, if so, what was the cost for the staff member or members, broken down by (i) transportation, (ii) accommodation, (iii) meals and incidentals, (iv) gifts; and (g) was a press release issued regarding the trip and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 769--
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc:
With regard to the Youth Gang Prevention Fund Program announced on February 21, 2012: (a) how much funding has been disbursed; (b) which organizations have received funding; and (c) for each funding award, (i) how many participants have there been, (ii) how many participants are expected to take part over the course of the program, (iii) where is the program located, (iv) what is the estimated at-risk population in each city, town, or municipality concerned, (v) how much funding did the project receive?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 770--
Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg:
With regard to the Treasury Board Secretariat: (a) does the Directive on Open Government, dated October 9, 2014, apply to tabular material prepared by departments, agencies, or crown corporations in response to written questions placed on the Order Paper by Members of the House of Commons or Senators; (b) if the response to (a) is negative, (i) why does the Directive not apply, (ii) who made this determination, (iii) when was this determination made; and (c) what are the titles and file numbers of any file, briefing note, dossier, or any other document, created or held by either the Treasury Board Secretariat or the Privy Council Office, relating to the application of the Directive on Open Government to government responses to written questions placed on the Order Paper by Members of the House of Commons or Senators?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 771--
Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg:
With regard to the rental or charter of private aircraft for the use of ministers and parliamentary secretaries since January 1, 2010: (a) what was the cost for each rental or charter; (b) what was the passenger manifest for each flight; (c) what was the purpose of the trip; (d) what was the itinerary for each trip; and (e) was a press release issued regarding the trip and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 772--
Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg:
With regard to Passport Canada: what was the total number of passport applications received in each year since 2006 inclusive, broken down by (i) in-person location, (ii) Service Canada receiving agent location, (iii) Canada Post receiving agent, and (iv) mail?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 774--
Hon. Gerry Byrne:
With regard to the statutes, regulations, policies and practices governing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans related to the issuing and administration of commercial fishing licences and fisheries resource allocation decisions: (a) what is the definition of (i) a commercial fishing licence, (ii) a commercial fishing permit; (b) what are the differences between a commercial fishing licence and a commercial fishing permit in terms of (i) the rights and responsibilities of the harvester holding either a licence or a permit respectively, (ii) the rights and responsibilities of the Minister in terms of resource allocation policy; (c) what is the definition of the “Last-in – First-out” (LIFO) policy; (d) how often has the LIFO policy been acted upon in determining allocations of annual quotas to either commercial fisheries licences or to permit holders that have experienced any year-over-year decline in the total allowable catch, broken down by (i) year, (ii) each such regulated harvesting category within any of the fisheries management areas of each fisheries stock area within the Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf, the Maritime and the Quebec regions of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, further broken down in turn by (iii) species fished, (iv) individual fisheries management area within the species stock area within the past ten years, including the total quota levels for each such species and for each such fisheries management area within each stock area in each year; and (e) in each of the occurrences reported in answering (d), for each of the past ten years described, what was the total number of fish licence holders or permit holders who were directly affected by a reduction in quota on a year-over-year basis and were subject to the application and enactment of the LIFO policy, broken down by (i) species, (ii) individual fisheries management area within each fisheries stock area?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 778--
Hon. Carolyn Bennett:
With regard to the application of the Access to Information Act: (a) what are the dates, titles, and file numbers of all directives, orders, memoranda, reports, dossiers, or other documents that deal with the security concerns associated with the release of documents pursuant to Access to Information requests in digital formats or on digital media; and (b) what are the dates, titles, and file numbers of all directives, orders, memoranda, reports, dossiers, or other documents in which the Privy Council Office has set down or promulgated its policies concerning the provision or non-provision of documents released pursuant to Access to Information requests in digital formats or on digital media?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 779--
Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach:
With regard to the ship Kathryn Spirit moored in Beauharnois, Quebec: (a) has Environment Canada or Transport Canada received a towing plan or an environmental certificate application from the ship’s owner and, if so, when was this plan received; (b) according to government information, is Reciclajes Ecologicos Maritimos the ship’s owner; (c) if the answer to (b) is no, who owns the ship, according to government information; (d) has the government conducted an analysis as to whether federal legislation allows the ship to be dismantled at its mooring location and, if so, what are the details of this analysis; (e) has the government conducted an analysis of the risk of pollution from dismantling the ship and, if so, what are the details of this analysis; (f) according to government information, does the ship contain toxic materials and, if so, what are they; (g) is there a port equipped to dismantle such a ship in Canada and, if so, where is it; (h) has the government analyzed whether federal legislation allows it to (i) seize the ship, (ii) tow the ship to a safe location and, if so, what are the details of this analysis; (i) does the government intend to (i) seize the ship, (ii) tow the ship to a safe location; and (j) has the government conducted an analysis on dismantling the ship in the Port of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield or in another port elsewhere in the country and, if so, has it estimated the cost of such an operation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 780--
Ms. Judy Foote:
With regard to government expenditures on sporting event tickets: since January 1, 2013, what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) ticket cost, (iv) identity of persons using the tickets, (v) nature of the sporting event, for all sporting event tickets purchased by any department, agency or crown corporation, or any person acting on behalf of a department, agency, or crown corporation, whether the event was held in Canada or outside Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 782--
Mr. Scott Simms:
With regard to government advertising since September 1, 2012: (a) how much has been spent on billboards, advertising and other information campaigns, broken down by (i) date released, (ii) cost, (iii) topic, (iv) whether any analysis of the effectiveness of the advertising campaign was carried out and, if so, the details of that analysis, (v) medium, including publication or media outlet and type of media used, (vi) purpose, (vii) duration of campaign (including those that are ongoing), (viii) targeted audience, (ix) estimated audience; and (b) what are the details of all records of related correspondence regarding the aforementioned billboards, advertising and other information campaigns broken down by (i) relevant file numbers, (ii) correspondence or file type, (iii) subject, (iv) date, (v) purpose, (vi) origin, (vii) intended destination, (viii) other officials copied or involved?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 783--
Hon. Carolyn Bennett:
With regard to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose: (a) since 2006, what government funding has been allocated or provided to research this disease, broken down by (i) department or agency, (ii) year; (b) what documents have been produced by government departments or agencies with regard to existing or future economic, health or environmental impacts of CWD including, for each document, the (i) date, (ii) authoring department or agency; (c) what documents have been produced by government departments or agencies regarding CWD generally including, for each document, the (i) date, (ii) authoring department or agency; (d) for each year since 2006, what measures have been taken by the government to mitigate the spread of CWD in Canada, including (i) the department or agency responsible for each measure, (ii) the date each measure was initiated, (iii) the duration of each measure, (iv) the objective of each measure, (v) whether those objectives were met; (e) what strategies and programs are currently in place or are being developed to deal with the potential spread of CWD to animals not currently susceptible to the disease, and to humans; (f) since 2006, what meetings or consultations have been conducted with provincial or territorial governments regarding CWD and what documents or decisions were produced from those meetings or consultations, including (i) the initiating and responsible federal department or agency, (ii) the date of the document that was produced or of the decision that was taken; (g) since 2006, what consultations, meetings or outreach has any federal department or agency had with any First Nations, Inuit or Metis government, organization or representative, including the (i) date of the interaction, (ii) names of participants, (iii) topics discussed, (iv) outcomes, (v) documents produced as a result of the interaction; (h) since 2006, what measures has the government put in place to monitor the spread of CWD, including (i) the department or agency initiating each measure, (ii) the date each measure was initiated, (iii) the duration of each measure; and (i) what measures are currently being considered by government departments or agencies as a result of, or in relation to, CWD?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 784--
Mr. Sean Casey:
With respect to the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act: how much have payments increased on average for (i) the 2,717 veterans entitled to increased earnings loss benefits, (ii) the 590 veterans entitled to increased Permanent Incapacity Allowances, (iii) the 202 veterans entitled to Exceptional Incapacity Allowances?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 786--
Mr. Sean Casey:
With respect to the benefit provided by the government for veterans' funeral and burial expenses: (a) what is the maximum amount available through the Veterans Funeral and Burial Program for funeral services; (b) how does the amount in (a) compare to the allowable maximum established for members of the RCMP and Canadian Forces; (c) in order to qualify for the maximum amount available through the Veterans Funeral and Burial Program, at what must a veteran's estate be valued; (d) how does the amount in (c) compare to the means test established for members of the RCMP and Canadian Forces; (e) how many requests for assistance with burial costs were made in each of the fiscal years from 2006 to 2013; (f) how many of the requests in (e) were approved; (g) for each request in (e), broken down by fiscal year, what were the reasons for rejecting the request; and (h) what is the total number of requests that were rejected for each particular reason mentioned in (g)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 787--
Ms. Yvonne Jones:
With regard to the Income Tax Act: during each of the last five taxation years, (a) what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who have been reviewed, broken down by income tax filers who live (i) in a Prescribed Northern Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction, (ii) in a Prescribed Intermediate Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction, (iii) in a location other than a Northern or Intermediate Zone; (b) what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who have been audited, broken down by income tax filers who live (i) in a Prescribed Northern Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction, (ii) in a Prescribed Intermediate Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction, (iii) in a location other than a Northern or Intermediate Zone; (c) what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who have been (i) reviewed, (ii) audited, broken down by income tax filers who have claimed any northern residents deduction and those who have not claimed any northern residents deduction; (d) what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who, after having been (i) reviewed, (ii) audited, have had their claim for the northern residents deduction rejected, broken down by those income tax filers who have claimed the northern residents deduction in a Prescribed Northern Zone and those who have claimed the northern residents deduction in a Prescribed Intermediate Zone; (e) what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who, in respect of the northern residents deduction, have been asked to document the cost of the lowest return airfare available at the time of the trip between the airport closest to their residence and the nearest designated city, broken down by those who live (i) in a Prescribed Northern Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction, (ii) in a Prescribed Intermediate Zone for the purposes of the northern residents deduction; (f) of the tax filers enumerated in (e), what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory who, in respect of the northern residents deduction, informed the Canada Revenue Agency that they could not document the cost of the lowest return airfare available at the time of the trip between the airport closest to their residence and the nearest designated city; and (g) of the tax filers enumerated in (e), what is the number and percentage of the income tax returns of income tax filers in each province or territory whose claim of the northern residents deduction has been rejected because they could not document the cost of the lowest return airfare available at the time of the trip between the airport closest to their residence and the nearest designated city?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 788--
Ms. Yvonne Jones:
With regard to the administration of the Income Tax Act: (a) what are the titles, dates, and file-numbers of any studies, assessments, or evaluations that have been conducted or are being conducted concerning the cost-effectiveness of reviewing or auditing income tax filers who claim the northern residents deduction; (b) what are the results of the studies, assessments, or evaluations referred to in (a); (c) what are the titles, dates, and file-numbers of any studies, assessments, or evaluations that have been conducted or are being conducted concerning the administrative burden faced by income tax filers who claim the northern residents deduction; (d) what are the results of the studies, assessments, or evaluations referred to in (c); (e) what are the titles, dates, and file-numbers of any studies, assessments, or evaluations that have been conducted or are being conducted concerning the administrative burden faced by the Canada Revenue Agency in administering the northern residents deduction; and (f) what are the results of the studies, assessments, or evaluations referred to in (e)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 789--
Hon. Ralph Goodale:
With regard to Public Private Partnerships involving Infrastructure Canada or PPP Canada: since January 1, 2006, for each such project, what are (a) the details of the project; (b) the time taken to design the bidding process; (c) the length of the bidding process from the initial expression of interest to the close; and (d) the cost to proponents of preparing a bid?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 790--
Mr. John Rafferty:
With regard to the Department of Veterans Affairs: how many clients were served each year from 2010 to 2014 inclusively at each Veterans Affairs office location, including the nine offices that have recently closed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 793--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to government spending in the constituency of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing: what was the total amount spent, from fiscal year 2010-2011 up to and including the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) the date the funds were received in the riding, (ii) the dollar amount of the expenditure, (iii) the program through which the funding was allocated, (iv) the department responsible, (v) the designated recipient?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 794--
Mr. Scott Simms:
With respect to licenses and permits issued by government departments, related to any maritime activity for potential use anywhere within, or in the waters of, the Atlantic provinces: (a) for each license or permit issued since 2009, (i) on what date was each license or permit issued, (ii) who were the owners or operators, (iii) under what conditions concerning the use, retention, or renewal of the license or permit, was it issued; (b) for each vessel whose license was suspended, rejected, or for which a renewal was denied, (i) on what date was the license suspended, rejected, or the renewal denied, (ii) for what reasons, (iii) by whose authority; (c) what are the file numbers of all ministerial briefings or departmental correspondence between the government and all entities, departments, companies, contractors, or individuals, relating to the suspension, rejection or denial of license renewal, broken down by (i) minister or department, (ii) correspondence or file type, (iii) date, (iv) purpose, (v) origin, (vi) intended destination, (vii) other officials copied or involved; (d) what are the specific rules for the retention or renewal of any such license or permits; (e) what are all rules, files, and correspondence related to observer and dockside monitoring of these license-holders and users, broken down by (i) all relevant file numbers, (ii) entities, companies, contractors, or individuals, (iii) minister or department, (iv) correspondence or file type, (v) date, (vi) purpose, (vii) origin, (viii) intended destination, (ix) other officials copied or involved, (x) military base, asset, or facility, (xi) type of activity or contract; (f) what differences exist in the conditions for licenses or permits among different regions, zones, or provinces; and (g) what are the rules governing the keeping, as opposed to the releasing, of fish caught on boats used for recreational or touristic purposes, broken down by (i) province, (ii) number of applicable licensees or permits?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 796--
Ms. Joyce Murray:
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces Task Force Libeccio in Operation Mobile: what were the (a) full and incremental costs from March 2011 to October 2011, broken down by month; (b) full and incremental costs for the (i) CF-18, (ii) CC-150, (iii) CC-130, (iv) CC-177, (v) CP-140; (c) total flying hours for the (i) CF-18, (ii) CC-150, (iii) CC-130, (iv) CC-177, (v) CP-140; (d) full and incremental costs of all base support arrangements (e.g. accommodations, meals, amenities, infrastructure, utilities) including any in-kind support received; (e) full and incremental costs of all deployment, supply, and re-deployment flights, including Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and charter aircraft; (f) ordnance ammunition used and its full and incremental costs; (g) full and incremental costs related to fuel delivered by RCAF tankers; (h) full and incremental costs of repair and overhaul; (i) full and incremental costs of any special pay or allowances for deployed personnel; (j) full and incremental costs associated with Home Leave Travel Assistance; (k) full and incremental costs associated with Class C Reserves deployed on operations; and (l) full and incremental costs associated with Class B Reserves employed as backfill in Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 797--
Ms. Joyce Murray:
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces Operation IMPACT: what are the estimated (for the entire six-month operation) and actual (to-date) (a) full and incremental costs for the mission, broken down by month; (b) full and incremental costs for the (i) CC-130J, (ii) CC-177, (iii) CF-188, (iv) CP-140, (v) CC-150T; (c) total flying hours for the (i) CC-130J, (ii) CC-177, (iii) CF-188, (iv) CP-140, (v) CC-150T; (d) full and incremental costs of all base support arrangements (e.g. accommodations, meals, amenities, infrastructure, utilities) including any in-kind support received; (e) full and incremental costs of all deployment, supply, and re-deployment flights, including Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and charter aircraft; (f) ordnance ammunition (i) used, (ii) to be used, and its full and incremental costs; (g) full and incremental costs related to fuel delivered by RCAF tankers; (h) full and incremental costs of repair and overhaul; (i) full and incremental costs of any special pay or allowances for deployed personnel; (j) full and incremental costs associated with Home Leave Travel Assistance; (k) full and incremental costs associated with Class C Reserves deployed on operations; and (l) full and incremental costs associated with Class B Reserves employed as backfill in Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 798--
Mr. Pierre Nantel:
With regard to the Department of Canadian Heritage: (a) for the data collected in the Grants and Contributions Information Management System (GCIMS), for all the Department’s various program components, what were the processing times for grant and contribution applications between the time the program received the application and the time the Department made a funding decision, broken down by program component and quarter, for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively; and (b) for the Department’s executive committee responsible for reviewing the data on processing times collected in the GCIMS, (i) who are the members of the executive committee, (ii) how often does it meet, (iii) what is its operating budget, (iv) what were its recommendations to the Minister’s office, broken down by quarter for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively, (v) what were its recommendations to the deputy ministers, broken down by quarter for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively, (vi) what were its recommendations to the assistant deputy ministers, broken down by quarter for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively, (vii) what were its recommendations to directors general, broken down by quarter for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively, (viii) what were its recommendations to program managers, broken down by quarter for fiscal years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015 inclusively?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 799--
Ms. Hélène Laverdière:
With regard to the government’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Summit (the Summit) held in Toronto, May 28-30, 2014: (a) who within the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development was responsible for the organization of the Summit; (b) what was the initial budget of the event, (i) did the Summit go over budget, (ii) if so, what were the cost overruns, (iii) were there unforeseen expenses; (c) what was the total cost of the Summit; (d) what was the total cost for the venue rental (Fairmont Royal York); (e) how many bedrooms in the Fairmont Royal York were paid for by the government and at what cost; (f) how many names were on the final guest list and what were the names; (g) how many government officials and employees attended the Summit and what are their names; (h) how many guests who are not employees of the government had their stay at the Fairmont Royal York paid for by the government and what are their names; (i) did the government pay for the travel expenses of international visitors; (j) how was the Fairmont Royal York chosen as a venue for the Summit, (i) on what date was the hotel first contacted with regard to the Summit, (ii) on what date was the contract with the hotel signed, (iii) did the Summit organizers contact venues other than the Fairmont Royal York and, if so, how many; (k) what was the total cost for security; (l) what was the total cost of meals and hospitality; and (m) was the Summit paid for by funds dedicated to the Muskoka Initiative?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 804--
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay:
With regard to the Mount Polley mine spill: (a) has the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) or Environment Canada filed charges regarding the spill, (i) if so, what are the details of the charges, (ii) if not, why not; (b) what role are DFO and Environment Canada playing in the ongoing investigation being led by British Columbia conservation officers; (c) are DFO and Environment Canada reviewing the rehabilitation plan developed by Imperial Metals Corporation, (i) if so, what are the findings of any such review, (ii) if not, why not; (d) has the government obtained the approval of the Secwepemc people for the investigation process or the review of the rehabilitation plan; (e) has the government studied the impact of the waste that remains in the Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake Watershed; (f) during and following the rehabilitation process, how will DFO and Environment Canada ensure that there are no ongoing violations of the Fisheries Act; (g) how is the government monitoring and enforcing compliance with best practice standards by Imperial Metals Corporation at its other mine sites; (h) how will the government ensure that there are additional layers of control to prevent loopholes in regulatory oversight and enforcement by the province; (i) will the government be examining any proposals concerning (i) repairs to the tailings storage facility, (ii) the resumption of operations at the mine; (j) how will the government ensure that the interests of the affected First Nations are addressed prior to any resumption of operation; (k) what steps will the government take to ensure that First Nation rights are addressed; and (l) what are the internal tracking numbers of all documents, communications or briefing notes regarding the Mount Polley spill for senior departmental officials at the Regional Director General level and above, at both DFO and Environment Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 805--
Hon. Mark Eyking:
With regard to the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC): for each year from 2005 to 2014 inclusively, (a) how much did the ECBC spend on infrastructure; and (b) what were all the projects of the ECBC, including but not limited to details such as the project’s name, purpose, and cost?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 806--
Hon. Mark Eyking:
With regard to federal government employees in Nova Scotia: for each year from 2005 to 2013 inclusively, broken down by department, how many government employees worked in (i) Cape Breton Regional Municipality, (ii) Victoria County, (iii) Inverness County, (iv) Richmond County?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 807--
Mr. Brian Masse:
With regard to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), how much government funding has been approved and distributed to each of the 37 census divisions by year since 2009?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 808--
Mrs. Sadia Groguhé:
With respect to the Canada Job Grant: (a) how much is each province and territory receiving in federal transfers under the Canada Job Fund for the current fiscal year, and for each subsequent fiscal year until the Fund is fully phased-in; (b) how much did each province and territory receive in federal transfers under the Labour Market Agreements in 2013-2014; (c) how much is, or is projected to be, the federal portion of the Canada Job Grant, year-to-date and for each of the coming fiscal years until the program is fully phased-in; (d) is the federal contribution to the Canada Job Grant paid out of the 40 % funds earmarked for employer-driven training under the Canada Job Fund; (e) if the federal portion of the Canada Job Grant is not paid out of the Canada Job Fund, from which program envelope is the contribution drawn; (f) on a year-to-date basis for fiscal year 2014-2015, how much has the government actually spent on the Canada Job Grant, broken down by province and territory; (g) on a year-to-date basis for fiscal year 2014-2015, how much has each province and territory contributed to the Canada Job Grant from the Canada Job Fund; (h) on a year-to-date basis for fiscal year 2014-2015, how much has been the employer contribution to the Canada Job Grant, broken down by province and territory; (i) how much is the employer contribution projected to be for the Canada Job Grant for each of the coming fiscal years, until the program is fully phased-in; (j) how many businesses are projected to be eligible to provide “in-kind contribution” as their share of the Canada Job Grant when the program is fully-phased in; (k) what are eligible contributions “in-kind” for an employer’s participation in the Canada Job Grant; (l) on a year-to-date basis for fiscal year 2014-2015, how many Canadians have been trained with the help of the Canada Job Grant, broken down by province and territory; (m) how many Canadians will be trained with help of the Canada Job Grant for each of the fiscal years until it is fully phased-in; and (n) on a year-to-date basis for fiscal year 2014-2015, for which occupations have Canadians been trained with the help of the Canada Job Grant (using the National Occupational Classification system)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 811--
Hon. Geoff Regan:
With regard to government records: what information, asset management systems, correspondence tracking systems, telecommunications logs, vehicle logs, and all other forms of records are (a) kept, broken down by (i) department, (ii) record type, (iii) duration of preservation, (iv) frequency of update, (v) date of oldest currently preserved record, (vi) method of disposal, (vii) file numbering or similar record access system, (viii) list of employees (by title), contractors or other individuals with access to the records, (ix) method of keeping track of access requests to the records; and (b) not kept, including the details pertaining to what was not kept and why?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 812--
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
With regard to the changes announced in October 2014 to the Caregiver Program (the Program), formerly known as the Live-In Caregiver Program: (a) what individuals, organizations, agencies, and other governments did the government consult as part of the process of developing the changes; (b) when did each consultation in (a) occur; (c) how did each consultation in (a) occur; (d) who in the government carried out each consultation in (a); (e) for past or current participants in the Program, (i) what opportunities existed to participate in consultations, (ii) how did the government make them aware of these opportunities, (iii) when did the government make them aware of these opportunities; (f) for other individuals, organizations, agencies, and other governments, (i) how did the government make them aware of the opportunity to participate in consultations, (ii) when did the government make them aware of the opportunity; (g) what results of the consultations in (a) were presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (h) how were the results of the consultations in (a) presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (i) when were the results of the consultations in (a) presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (j) according to what criteria were the inputs that were received through consultations in (a) evaluated by the government; (k) what studies, reports, surveys, or other documents were consulted by the government; (l) based on what factors did the government cap at 2750 the number of applicants for permanent residence through the Caring for Children Pathway; (m) based on what factors did the government cap at 2750 the number of applicants for permanent residence through the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway; (n) what was the number of principal applicants for permanent residence through the Program for each of the last ten years; (o) do the caps in (l) and (m) refer only to the number of new applications that the government will accept each year, or do they refer to the total number of applications that will be processed each year; (p) broken down by province and territory, how many temporary residents are currently in Canada as part of the Program; (q) broken down by province and territory, how many temporary residents have been in Canada as part of the Program for each of the last ten years; (r) how many temporary residents does the government expect to be in Canada as part of the Program for each of the next ten years; (s) what studies has the government carried out or consulted to determine whether the number of temporary residents in Canada as part of the Program is likely to change in the coming years; (t) what are the conclusions of the studies in (s); (u) for each of the last ten years, not including spouses and dependents, how many applications for permanent residence under the Program have been (i) submitted, (ii) accepted, (iii) denied; (v) if the number of principal applicants for permanent residence exceeds the cap of 2750 in either category in a given year, how will the government determine which applications to consider; (w) who will make the determination in (v); (x) based on what factors will the determination in (v) be made; (y) how many applications for permanent residence under the Program are currently being processed, not including spouses and dependents; (z) how many applications for permanent residence under the Program, not including spouses and dependents, does the government intend to process for each of the next five years; (aa) how will the government reduce the backlog of permanent residence applications under the program; (bb) by what date does the government intend to reduce the backlog in (aa); (cc) how many applications must be processed before the government will consider the backlog in (aa) to be reduced; (dd) when will the six-month limit on processing times for applications under the Program take effect; (ee) what impact will the six-month limit in (dd) have on applications underway at the time the limit takes effect; (ff) what measures will be implemented to ensure that applications for permanent residence will be processed within six months; (gg) what recourse will be available to applicants whose applications are not processed within six months; (hh) how will applications that remain in process after six months be dealt with by the government; (ii) will the six-month limit apply regardless of (i) the number of dependents, (ii) the country of origin of the principal applicants, their spouse, or their dependents; (jj) what measures are being introduced to give recourse to temporary residents in Canada under the Program who feel that they are being exploited or treated inappropriately by their employers, whether or not the caregiver lives with the employer; (kk) what changes have been made or will be made to the criteria used to evaluate applications for permanent residence under the Program; (ll) what directives have been or will be issued to visa officers; (mm) when do the directives in (ll) take effect; and (nn) how will applicants with applications currently underway be affected by the changes?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 813--
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
With regard to applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada as dependent children of Canadian residents: (a) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children of Canadian citizens; (b) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (a), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (c) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has CIC received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children of non-citizen permanent residents of Canada, excluding the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP); (d) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (c), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (e) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has CIC received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children under the LCP; (f) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (e), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (g) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (a); (h) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (a) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (i) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (a) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (j) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (c); (k) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (c) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (l) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (c) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (m) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (e); (n) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (e) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (o) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (e) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (p) has the government set processing times it considers acceptable for applications by applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada as dependent children (i) of Canadian citizens, (ii) of non-citizen permanent residents, (iii) under the live-in caregiver program; (q) how were the acceptable processing times in (p) determined; (r) who determined the acceptable processing times in (p); (s) what variance, if any, exists for acceptable processing times in (p) based on (i) source country, (ii) age of applicant, (iii) visa office, (iv) other factors; (t) what changes, if any, have been made to the acceptable processing times in (p) over the last ten years, and what accounts for these changes; (u) if no acceptable processing times have been set, why have they not been set; (v) what evaluations of processing times has the government undertaken; (w) what were the results of the evaluations in (v); (x) if no evaluations of processing times have been undertaken, why has this not been done; (y) broken down by year, for each of the last ten years, what operational bulletins, changes to operational manuals, or other directives, published or unpublished, formal or informal, written or oral, have been issued by CIC to visa officers regarding applications by individuals seeking permanent residence as dependents of residents of Canada; (z) for each of the directives in (y), (i) how was the directive issued, (ii) by whom was it issued, (iii) what was the objective of the directive, (iv) how were its effects evaluated, (v) is it still in force; and (aa) for each directive in (y) no longer in force, (i) why was it terminated, (ii) who made the decision to terminate it, (iii) how was the decision to terminate it communicated to visa officers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 814--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With respect to the government’s implementation of motion M-456, a Pan-Canadian Strategy for Palliative and End-of-Life Care: (a) what steps has the government taken or do they plan on taking to implement this strategy; (b) what are the needs identified by the government that this strategy could address; (c) what information or data has been provided or solicited from Statistics Canada or the Canadian Institute for Health of Information regarding patient needs for palliative and end-of-life care; (d) what standards and best practices have been identified for this strategy; (e) what stakeholders and medical experts have been identified as collaborators in developing this strategy, and which of them have been approached; (f) which provinces and territories have been approached to discuss the establishment of this strategy; (g) what steps has the government taken to implement this strategy for the jurisdictions where it has a direct responsibility for health care delivery, including, but not limited to, services to First Nations on reserve, the military, and prisoners; and (h) what palliative and end-of-life care programs are currently in place where the government has a direct responsibility for health care delivery, including, but not limited to, services to First Nations on reserve, the military, and prisoners?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 816--
Mr. Ted Hsu:
With regard to the Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America to Improve International Tax Compliance through Enhanced Exchange of Information under the Convention Between the United States of America and Canada with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (the Agreement), the government’s Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament (the Policy), and the statement of Peter Van Loan, Government House Leader, in the House on Monday, April 28, 2014, that “in this case, the fact is that the government, the cabinet, actually did grant such an exemption to the tabling policy. As such, the very words of the policy, the requirements of the policy, have been followed. The processes for obtaining the exemption were obtained. As a result, the requirement that it be tabled in the House 21 days in advance of the legislation being introduced is not necessary and the policy is fully complied with” (the Statement): (a) was an exemption to the government’s Policy granted with respect to the Agreement; (b) what is the difference between an “exemption” and an “exception” in terms of the Policy; (c) if the word “exception” is substituted for “exemption” is the Statement accurate; (d) on what basis was the Statement made; (e) how was the Government House Leader informed of the exemption or exception being granted to the Policy; (f) what documents or memos were created regarding this exemption or exception and what are their access or control numbers; (g) who was involved in this decision to grant an exemption or exception and at what stage were they involved; (h) what was the process, step-by-step, by which this Agreement was granted an exemption or exception; (i) who reviewed the decision to grant an exemption or exception, (i) when, (ii) why, (iii) how; (j) does the Policy apply to the Agreement, and how; (k) between what departments does correspondence exist regarding the tabling of the Agreement under the Policy and what are the file numbers for these documents; (l) on what date was the Agreement concluded; (m) on what date was the Agreement tabled in Parliament; (n) on what date was the Agreement ratified; (o) when was the House made aware of the text of the Agreement; (p) how was the House made aware of the text of the Agreement; (q) when was the House made aware of the granting of an exemption or exception to the Policy in the case of the Agreement; (r) how was the House made aware of the granting of an exemption or exception to the Policy in the case of the Agreement; (s) when and by what means is the House usually informed that an exception has been granted to the Policy; (t) in the absence of the point of order prompting the Government House Leader's response, how and when would the House have been informed of the exemption; (u) what steps and measures are in place to ensure that Parliament is informed of exceptions being granted to the Policy; (v) what steps are in place to ensure that Canadians are informed when exceptions have been granted; (w) what steps and measures are in place to ensure that Parliament is informed of exemptions being granted to the Policy; (x) what steps are in place to ensure that Canadians are informed when exemptions have been granted; (y) what does “urgent” mean in the context of the Policy; (z) how was the ratification of the Agreement determined to be urgent; (aa) who made the determination in (z), (i) how, (ii) on the basis of what information, (iii) with what authority, (iv) under what criteria; (bb) how was the decision in (z) reviewed, (i) by whom, (ii) how, (iii) when, (iv) by what criteria; (cc) who are or were the lead ministers with respect to the Agreement in terms of the Policy and how was this determined; (dd) when and how did the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the lead ministers seek approval from the Prime Minister for an exemption to the treaty tabling process; (ee) when was the approval in (dd) granted and how; (ff) what correspondence is available – with file and control number--to corroborate the information provided in response to (dd) and (ee); (gg) was a “joint-letter that clearly articulates the rationale to proceed with the ratification, without tabling in the House of Commons” created; (hh) with respect to the letter in (gg), (i) who created this letter, (ii) when is it dated, (iii) how can it be obtained, (iv) who has access to it, (v) to whom is it addressed; (ii) was the letter drafted in consultation with the Treaty Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the relevant Secretariat in the Privy Council Office; (jj) what documentation exists – with file or control number for each document--to corroborate the information provided in response to (ii); (kk) who is responsible for retention and access of such joint letters; (ll) with respect to the Agreement, were the responsible ministers and the Minister of Foreign Affairs aware early on of the need to request an exemption to the treaty process prior to obtaining Cabinet authority to sign a treaty; (mm) how is “early on” defined for purposes of the Policy; (nn) how is “aware” defined for purposes of this provision in the Policy; (oo) was a request made in a Memorandum to Cabinet, seeking policy approval for the Agreement; (pp) what Memorandums to Cabinet exist relative to this agreement, (i) what are their dates, (ii) are they subject to privilege, (iii) who made them, (iv) what are their record or control numbers; (qq) which document in (pp) can be said to “clearly articulate the rationale for the exception to the treaty tabling process”; (rr) what is the rationale for the exception to the treaty tabling process with respect to the Agreement; (ss) who determines the rationale per the Policy; (tt) what is an acceptable rationale per the Policy; (uu) how is rationale defined in terms of the Policy; (vv) is there a minimal level of sufficiency for a rationale per the Policy and if so what is it; (ww) when was the exception granted; (xx) did the Minister of Foreign Affairs “inform the House of Commons that Canada has agreed to be bound by the instrument at the earliest opportunity following the ratification” per the Policy; (yy) when did the actions in (xx) occur and how; (zz) in 2014, how many exemptions or exceptions were granted under the Policy before the Agreement; (aaa) in 2014, was the Agreement’s rationale for exception unique; (bbb) in 2014, was the Agreement the only item determined to be urgent in terms of the Policy; (ccc) is the Government House Leader always informed of exceptions and exemptions under the Policy and, if so, how; (ddd) is the House always informed of exceptions or exemptions under the Policy and, if so, how; (eee) how early could the Agreement have been tabled in Parliament; (fff) how was the date in (eee) determined; (ggg) if the Agreement could have been tabled earlier in Parliament than the date in (o), (i) why was it not, (ii) what decisions were made in this regard, (iii) who made these decisions, (iv) how, (v) on what basis; and (hhh) if the Statement could have been made sooner in the House than Monday, April 28, 2014, (i) why was it not, (ii) what decisions were made in this regard, (iii) who made these decisions, (iv) how, (v) on what basis?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 817--
Mr. Ted Hsu:
With regard to Statistics Canada: (a) have studies been done on how to use alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006; (b) what alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, were considered prior to 2011 to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006; (c) what alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, were considered from 2011 to the present to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006; (d) prior to 2011, which foreign jurisdictions were consulted in order to assess alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006; (e) from 2011 to the present, which foreign jurisdictions were consulted in order to assess alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006; (f) what studies, reports or assessments have been prepared by Statistics Canada regarding alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006, broken down by (i) date of studies, reports or assessments, (ii) title of studies, reports or assessments, (iii) internal tracking number of studies, reports or assessments; (g) what briefing documents have been prepared for ministers and their staff regarding alternative sources of data and methods of data collection, outside of surveys, to replace the information gathered by the mandatory long-form census in 1971, and every five years from 1981 to 2006, broken down by (i) date of studies, reports or assessments, (ii) title of studies, reports or assessments, (iii) internal tracking number of studies, reports or assessments; (h) before 2011, did Statistics Canada consider the possibility of establishing connections between existing databases in different Canadian jurisdictions containing the personal information of Canadians, with the use of any form of primary key; and (i) from 2011 to the present, did Statistics Canada consider the possibility of establishing connections between existing databases in different Canadian jurisdictions containing the personal information of Canadians, with the use of any form of primary key?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 818--
Ms. Peggy Nash:
With regard to government funding: for each fiscal year from 2011-2012 to present, (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group in the electoral district of Parkdale—High Park, providing for each (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the location of the recipient, indicating the municipality, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the department or agency providing it, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) the nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 820--
Hon. Ralph Goodale:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s announcement of $5.8 billion in new infrastructure investments on November 24, 2014, in London, Ontario, and each of the commitments detailed in the accompanying backgrounder: (a) what department and program does each commitment fall under; (b) how much will be spent on each commitment in each of the next five fiscal years; (c) were these funds in the fiscal framework in Budget 2014; (d) do any of these commitments constitute an increase in planned spending and, if so, (i) which, (ii) by how much; (e) on each of these programs for capital and infrastructure investments in each fiscal year since 2004-2005, what was (i) allocated, (ii) spent, (iii) lapsed; and (f) was the expenditure of these funds already accounted for in the economic forecasts used by the Finance Department?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 821--
Ms. Laurin Liu:
With regard to government funding for the aerospace industry since 2010: how much has been invested in the form of loans or research and development tax credits, broken down by (i) year, (ii) province and territory, (iii) federal program, (iv) funding type (tax credit, repayable loan, non-repayable loan), (v) individual company?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 826--
Mr. Rodger Cuzner:
With regard to the Prime Minister's trips to Northern Canada in or about August 2006, August 2007, August 2008, August 2009, August 2010, August 2011, August 2012, and August 2013: what are the details concerning the costs of these trips, including those costs of federal personnel already on the ground in Northern Canada tasked with support, broken down by (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) department or agency, (iv) purpose or nature of the expenditure?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 827--
Mr. Frank Valeriote:
With regard to Veterans Affairs delegations to Cyprus in March 2014, to Normandy in June 2014, and to Italy in November 2014: (a) for each delegation, what was the (i) total cost to each department which incurred expenditures related to the delegation, (ii) total cost for accommodation, (iii) total cost for travel, (iv) total cost for gifts, (v) total cost for meals and incidentals, (iv) complete list of delegation members, (vii) complete itinerary, (viii) reason for each delegation; (b) for each member of the delegation, what was the (i) total cost to each department which incurred expenditures related to the delegation, (ii) total cost for accommodation, (iii) total cost for travel, (iv) total cost for gifts, (v) total cost for meals and incidentals, (vi) reason for inclusion on the delegation; (c) for each contract for accommodations, was the contract competitively or non-competitively sourced and, if non-competitively, what was the rationale for non-competitive sourcing; and (d) for each delegation, (i) when was the itinerary tentatively established, (ii) when was the itinerary finalized, (iii) when was the Minister of Veterans Affairs own travel booked, (iv) if there were any changes to the booking referred to in (iii), what were those changes and when were they made?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 828--
Hon. Geoff Regan:
With respect to Health Canada’s marketing campaign concerning marijuana and prescription drugs, launched on or about October 20, 2014: (a) what are the names, positions, organizations or affiliations of all the stakeholders consulted leading up to this decision; (b) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (c) what are the dates, times, and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted; (d) how much funding has been allocated to the deployment of this proposal for fiscal year 2014-2015; (e) what are the next steps in this marketing campaign; (f) how is the effectiveness, reach, and impact of this campaign measured; and (g) what other methods is the Department or government considering to make Canadians more aware of the real dangers of drug abuse?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 830--
Hon. Mark Eyking:
With regard to government advertising: what was (a) the total amount spent on radio or television advertisements; and (b) the total number of placements in each medium, broken down by (i) subject matter of the advertisement and title of the advertising campaign, (ii) broadcast outlet on which the advertisements were placed, (iii) identification number, Media Authorization Number, or ADV number, (iv) name, (v) time-period when the advertisement was broadcast, namely, from September 5, 2014, to October 11, 2014, from October 12, 2014, to November 17, 2014, and on or after November 18, 2014?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 831--
Ms. Laurin Liu :
With respect to the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program launched in September 2013: (a) how much money was budgeted for the program, broken down by year; (b) how many applications have been received, broken down by province and territory; (c) how much money will be allocated, broken down by province and territory; (d) which groups have received funding; and (e) which groups have received a pledge of funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 838--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With respect to the access to information system: broken down by government department, institution and agency, for each year from 2004 to 2014, (a) what is the budget for managing access to information requests; (b) how much was spent on the access to information system; (c) how much was spent on full-time equivalent employees; (d) how much was spent on non-full-time equivalent employees, such as consultants and temporary hiring services, to carry out access to information activities; (e) how much did these non-full-time equivalent employees cost per hour; (f) what were these non-full-time equivalent employees hired to do; and (g) what are the security clearances of these non-full time equivalent employees?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 840--
Hon. Mauril Bélanger:
With regard to the government’s announcement that it will transfer to the National Capital Commission up to 60 acres of land belonging to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the construction of a hospital and teaching facilities: (a) was this decision preceded by public and private consultations; (b) what was the consultation process and what were the methods involved; (c) when was the consultation process launched; and (d) what organizations were consulted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 841--
Hon. Gerry Byrne:
With regard to public revenue: for each government organization, including a department, agency, or Crown corporation, (a) when providing a good or service, does that organization charge a fuel surcharge or any other charge or fee related to the cost of fuel; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) what is the nature or description of the good or service provided for which a fuel surcharge or related fee is charged, (ii) in each case, when was the fuel surcharge or fee first instituted, (iii) how often is the fuel surcharge or fee adjusted, (iv) what were the dates of each occasion on which the fuel surcharge or fee was adjusted or set since January 1, 2011, (v) for each adjustment or setting of a fuel surcharge or fee referred to in (iv), what was the amount established on that date for the fuel surcharge or fee?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 842--
Mr. Andrew Cash:
With regard to the court cases on the changes to the Interim Federal Health Program: (a) what are the costs, including legal fees, incurred by the government to date; and (b) what are the estimated total costs, including legal fees, of the government’s appeal of the Federal Court’s ruling?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 843--
Ms. Joyce Murray:
With respect the procurement of goods and services for use by the Department of National Defence: for each awarded contract over $25,000 for which a supplier cancelled or failed to meet a delivery date after March 31, 2011, what is (a) the name of the contract; (b) the type of contract or method of supply; (c) the reference number, solicitation number, and tracking number; (d) the names of all parties to the contract; (e) the date the contract was awarded; (f) the description of the good or service to be supplied; (g) the value of the contract; (h) the delivery date specified in the contract; (i) the value of monies paid by the government to the supplier in advance of delivery, if applicable; (j) the date that the good or service was delivered, for goods and services that were delivered late; (k) the planned future delivery date, for deliveries that remain outstanding; (l) the date the contract was cancelled, for cancelled contracts; (m) the reason for the cancellation of the contract, for cancelled contracts; (n) the value of advance payments returned to the government, for undelivered goods and services; (o) the values and conditions of the contractual penalties for late and failed delivery; and (p) the value of monies recuperated by the government pursuant to penalties for late or failed delivery?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 847--
Hon. John McKay:
With regard to meteorological services: (a) what is the name, location and identifying number or code of each terrestrial Automated Weather Observing Station which has been in service in Canada at any time since January 1, 2006; (b) what is the name, location, identifying number or code, and model type of each Ocean Data Acquisition System buoy which has been in service in Canadian waters, or in international waters but operated by the Government of Canada, since January 1, 2006; (c) what is the name, location and identifying number or code of each weather radar station which has been in service in Canada at any time since January 1, 2006; (d) what is the name, location and identifying number or code of each lightning sensor which has been in service in Canada at any time since January 1, 2006; and (e) for each station, buoy or sensor referred to in (a) through (d), for each month since January 1, 2006, (i) on how many days has it been out of service, (ii) what was the reason for which it was not in service, (iii) was it returned to service, (iv) which department or agency is responsible for maintaining it?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 848--
Mr. Frank Valeriote:
With regard to government public relations, for each contract for the provision of photography services to the office of the Prime Minister, a minister, a Minister of State, or a Parliamentary Secretary, since January 1, 2006: (a) what was the date, file number, and value of the contract; (b) what were the dates on which the photography was carried out; (c) what was the event or occasion, if any, to which the photography related; (d) were the photographs which were produced used in any government publications or on any government websites; (e) were the photographs used in any other way, specifying the way in which they were so used; (f) who has custody or care of the photographs which were produced; (g) if no longer required for the day-to-day operations of the office, have the photographs been transferred, or will they be transferred, to a library or historical division within the department, a national museum, or Library and Archives Canada; (h) does the department, agency, or other government organization for which the Minister, Minister of State or Parliamentary Secretary is responsible, have an office or position which has the capacity to carry out photography, identifying the office or position; and (i) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, why were the services of an outside photographer engaged?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 849--
Mr. David McGuinty:
With regard to government procurement: what are the details of all contracts for the provision of research or speechwriting services to ministers since June 6, 2014 specifying (a) for each such contract (i) the start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work; and (b) in the case of a contract for speechwriting, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be, delivered?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 850--
Mr. David McGuinty:
With regard to government communications since September 18, 2014: (a) for each press release containing the phrase “Harper government” issued by any government department, agency, office, Crown corporation, or other government body, what is the (i) headline or subject line, (ii) date, (iii) file or code-number, (iv) subject matter; (b) for each such press release, was it distributed on (i) the web site of the issuing department, agency, office, Crown corporation, or other government body, (ii) Marketwire, (iii) Canada Newswire, (iv) any other commercial wire or distribution service, specifying which service; and (c) for each press release distributed by a commercial wire or distribution service mentioned in (b)(ii) through (b)(iv), what was the cost of using the service?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 851--
Hon. Geoff Regan:
With regard to Parks Canada, in respect of Beaubassin National Historic Site of Canada (“Beaubassin”): (a) what are the details of all expenditures, broken down by fiscal year since 2002-2003 inclusive, related to the (i) acquisition, (ii) maintenance, (iii) archeological research, (iv) archival research, (v) other expenditures, specifying the nature of those other expenditures; (b) what are the dates, file numbers, and titles of all reports or documents concerning the operation of Beaubassin; (c) what are the dates, file numbers, and titles of all reports or documents concerning archaeological or historical research related to Beaubassin; and (d) what are the bibliographic details of all published reports or articles relating to Beaubassin authored, co-authored, or contributed to by any archaeologist or researcher working for, on behalf of, or in association with the government or an employee or officer of the government?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 852--
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Mint's television advertising activities since January 1, 2009: for any communication between the Mint and any agency, department, Crown corporation, or other organization of government other than the Mint, (a) what is the date; (b) who are the sender and recipient; and (c) what is the file or reference number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 853--
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc:
With regard to government communications, for each department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government body: (a) how far back in time does its website archive of press releases and backgrounders extend; (b) what is the rationale for the date range of press releases and backgrounders which are retained for on-line access; (c) are press releases and backgrounders which pre-date the date limit retained elsewhere; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, where are they retained, and are they accessible to the public; (e) what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of any document, order, policy, directive, or other record in which the current policy pertaining to the retention of press releases and backgrounders on websites is set forth; (f) what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of any document, order, policy, directive, or other record in which any former policy pertaining to the retention of press releases and backgrounders on websites was set forth; (g) is there a government-wide policy pertaining to the retention of press releases and backgrounders on websites; and (h) if the answer to (g) is affirmative, what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of any document, order, policy, directive, or other record in which the current policy, or any former policy, is or was set forth?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 854--
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc:
With regard to regional ministerial responsibilities, for each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusively: (a) which ministers have had regional representation responsibilities, and for which provinces, territories or other regions; (b) what were the start and end dates of those responsibilities; (c) what were the instructions given to each minister in respect of his or her regional ministerial responsibilities; (d) what were the operating expenditures for each minister in respect of his or her regional representation responsibilities, including the amount spent on wages, salaries, contracts for the provision of services, contracts for the provision of goods, office leases, and other expenditures, giving particulars of those expenditures; (e) where were these leased offices located; (f) how many employees are or were employed by each minister’s regional office; (g) where did each employee have his or her principal place of employment; and (h) what were the travel and hospitality expenses of each minister or minister’s employee in respect of their regional ministerial responsibilities?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 855--
Hon. Carolyn Bennett:
With regard to a verification strategy for Métis identification systems: (a) what are the purposes of proposed or actual contracts with the Canadian Standards Association to develop a verification strategy for Métis identification systems; (b) what is the monetary value of the contract or contracts; (c) what are the effective dates of the contract or contracts; (d) what is the file number of the contract or contracts; (e) what is the scope of the work to be carried out under any such contract; (f) was any such contract awarded on a sole-source or competitive basis; (g) if any such contract was awarded on a competitive basis, how many bids were received; (h) are there provisions for Métis employment or procurement benefits under this contract; (i) has the government consulted with Métis representative organizations concerning Métis identification generally or as concerns this contract in particular and, if so, (i) with which Métis representative organizations has it consulted, (ii) what was the nature, duration, and extent of such consultations, (iii) what was the outcome of those consultations; (j) what definitions of “Métis” are to be used for this verification strategy; (k) what is the rationale behind the definition or definitions of “Métis” that are to be used; and (l) is the verification strategy consistent with Articles 9 and 33 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and, if not, what is the nature and extent of the inconsistency?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 856--
Ms. Judy Foote:
With respect to the report entitled "The Unified Family Court Summative Evaluation", released in March 2009 by the Department of Justice: (a) what progress has been made on each of the three recommendations outlined in section 8; (b) since fiscal year 2002-2003, what initiatives, as indicated on page 8 of the English version of the report, has the Department of Justice launched to enhance the level of services that provincial and territorial governments provide in the area of family law; and (c) how much federal funding was spent in each fiscal year since 2002-2003 on every initiative identified in (b)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 857--
Ms. Judy Foote:
With regard to the Canada Science and Technology Museum, what are the dates, titles, and file numbers of all briefing notes, briefing materials, reports, engineering assessments, or other documents, produced, created, or modified since January 1, 2006, concerning either the condition of the building housing the Canada Science and Technology Museum on St. Laurent Boulevard in Ottawa, repairs which have been made to that building, or which are or have been contemplated to be made, or options for the replacement of the building, held by: (a) the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation; (b) the Department of Canadian Heritage; (c) Public Works and Government Services Canada; (d) the National Capital Commission, (e) the Treasury Board Secretariat; and (f) the Privy Council Office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 859--
Ms. Yvonne Jones:
With respect to Crown copyright: (a) what is the total revenue collected, in each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusive, by each department, agency, or other government organization, for the licensing of the use of works for which copyright is held by Canada or a department, agency, or other government organization; (b) what are the works which have been so licensed, specifying the title or nature of the work, and the date of publication or creation of the work; (c) what has been the total cost to each department or agency to administer the licensing of those works in each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusive; (d) how many infringements of Crown or federal government copyright have been the subject of litigation or other action in each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusive; (e) what have been the outcomes or resolutions of each such litigation or other action in (d); (f) how many applications to license the use of Crown copyright works have been declined or rejected since fiscal year 2005-2006, specifying the title or nature of the work, the date of publication or creation of the work and the reason for denying or rejecting the application; and (g) what steps, if any, has the government taken to mitigate the impact or costs to users of perpetual Crown copyright in unpublished works?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 860--
Mr. David McGuinty:
With regard to the public service, for each fiscal year since 2008-2009 inclusive: (a) how many days of sick leave were due to public service employees at the end of each fiscal year, or as of the most recent date in the current fiscal year, as the case may be; (b) how many public service employees retired; (c) how many public service employees left the public service for reasons other than retirement, distinguishing those who left because of (i) disability, (ii) resignation, (iii) termination, (iv) death, (v) other reasons; (d) of the total sick leave referred to in (a), how many sick days were not paid, broken down by the categories of termination enumerated in (b) and (c); and (e) what is the dollar value of the sick days referred to in each of (a), (d) and (e)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 861--
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay:
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans: what is the amount and percentage of all “lapsed spending,” broken down by year, from 2006 to 2013?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 863--
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay:
With regard to Employment Insurance benefits: (a) what are the amounts paid out for Employment Insurance benefits in Prince Edward Island from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available; (b) how many beneficiaries have there been in Prince Edward Island from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available; (c) how many applications for Employment Insurance benefits have there been in Prince Edward Island from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available; (d) how many Employment Insurance applications in Prince Edward Island have been rejected from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available; (e) what is the average waiting time for Employment Insurance applications in Prince Edward Island to be processed from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available, and what is the longest single waiting time on record; (f) what is the number of Employment Insurance appeals in Prince Edward Island from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available, (iii) number of positive decisions on appeals, (iv) number of negative decisions on appeals; (g) what is the average wait time for decisions made on Employment Insurance appeals in Prince Edward Island from fiscal year 2010-2011 to the current fiscal year, broken down by (i) year, (ii) electoral district or most detailed level available, and what is the longest single waiting time on record; and (h) if any of the information requested is not available, what are the reasons, in detail, as to why that is the case?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 864--
Hon. Scott Brison:
With regard to the administration of the Access to Information Act: (a) what are the criteria and what is the process by which the government judges that a request made under the act is frivolous or vexatious in nature; (b) what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of the documents in which the criteria and process are set forth; (c) for each government institution, how many requests has the institution processed since January 1, 2014; (d) of the number of requests in (c), how many were considered frivolous or vexatious according to the criteria and process set out in (a); and (e) for each government institution, what were the ten most recent requests processed which, in the opinion of government, are frivolous or vexatious, providing the file number of the request, the text of the request, and the category of requester, distinguishing the following categories, (i) academia, (ii) business (private sector), (iii) media, (iv) organization, (v) member of the public, (vi) decline to identify?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 865--
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:
With regard to the government’s processing of immigration applications: (a) what is the total average cost to government and time required to complete a single application for (i) federal skilled worker, (ii) federal skilled trade, (iii) Canadian Experience Class, (iv) Quebec-selected skilled workers, (v) Provincial Nominee Program, (vi) start-up visa, (vii) self-employed people, (viii) spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner, or dependent children sponsorship, (ix) parent and grandparents sponsorship, (x) inland asylum claimant, (xi) government-sponsored refugee, (xii) privately sponsored refugee, (xiii) temporary resident visa, (xiv) parents and grandparents super visa, (xv) Express Entry system; and (b) in each fiscal year since 2009-2010 inclusive, how many applications have been (i) received, (ii) processed, (iii) accepted, (iv) rejected, (v) otherwise treated, providing details of that treatment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 866--
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:
With regard to government communications: for each department, agency or crown corporation, what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of all documents, reports, memoranda, orders, directives, guidelines, manuals, or any other records pertaining to the use of the phrase “Harper Government” in press releases or other communications material?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 867--
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux:
With regard to legislative drafting: (a) what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of all documents, reports, memoranda, or any other records since January 1, 2008, concerning practices and procedures related to the drafting of the titles, short titles, or alternative titles of government bills introduced in the Senate or the House of Commons; and (b) for each government bill introduced in the Senate or the House of Commons since January 1, 2008, what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of all documents, reports, memoranda, or any other records, since January 1, 2008, concerning the titles, short titles, or alternative titles of that bill?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 868--
Mr. Emmanuel Dubourg:
With regard to materials prepared for past or current Parliamentary Secretaries or their staff from April 1, 2013, to the present: for every briefing document or docket prepared, what is the (i) date, (ii) title or subject matter, (iii) department’s internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 869--
Mr. Scott Simms:
With respect to the Enabling Accessibility Fund, since September 2011: (a) how many applications (i) were successful and received funding under this program, (ii) were rejected through calls for proposals; (b) with respect to successful applications, what was the location and value of each project, broken down by (i) province, (ii) federal electoral district, (iii) corresponding file and reference number; (c) what is the total cost of administering the program thus far for each year since 2011; (d) how much funding is left; (e) how many major projects under this program will go to, or went to, expanding existing centres; (f) what is the value of the successful major projects applications that went to (i) the construction of new centres, (ii) the expanding of existing centres; (g) how many of the successful Mid-Sized Projects Enabling Accessibility Fund applications went to (i) renovating buildings, (ii) modifying vehicles, (iii) making information and communications more accessible; (h) what is the value of the successful Small Projects Enabling Accessibility Fund applications that went to (i) renovating buildings, (ii) modifying vehicles, (iii) making information and communications more accessible; (i) what is the reason most often given for rejecting an application; (j) what are the reasons given for rejecting an application and what is the frequency of each reason; (k) will the program be renovated next year and, if so, when will the next call for proposals be issued; and (l) with respect to rejected applications, what was the location and value of each proposal, broken down by (i) province, (ii) federal electoral district, (iii) corresponding file and reference number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 873--
Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims:
With regard to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) how many applications were received for Labour Market Opinions from 2012 to 2014 inclusively, broken down by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) province; (b) how many applications for Labour Market Opinions were approved from 2012 to 2014 inclusively, broken down by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) province; (c) how many applications for Labour Market Opinions were received for high skill temporary foreign workers, per year from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (d) how many applications for Labour Market Opinions were received for low skill temporary foreign workers, per year from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (e) how many applications for Labour Market Opinions were approved for high skill temporary foreign workers, per year from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (f) how many applications for Labour Market Opinions were approved for low skill temporary foreign workers, per year from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (g) how many applications were received for Labour Market Impact Assessments in 2014, broken down by (i) total number, (ii) month, (iii) province; (h) how many applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments were approved in 2014, broken down by (i) total number, (ii) month, (iii) province; (i) how many applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments were received for high wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (j) how many applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments were received for low wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (k) how many applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments were approved for high wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (l) how many applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments were approved for low wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (m) how many work permits were issued from 2012 to 2014 inclusively, broken down by (i) total number per year, (ii) month, (iii) province; (n) how many work permits were issued for high skill temporary foreign workers from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (o) how many work permits were issued for low skill temporary foreign workers from 2012 to 2014 inclusively; (p) how many work permits were issued for high wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (q) how many work permits were issued for low-wage temporary foreign workers in 2014; (r) how many employers with fewer than ten employees have been granted positive Labour Market Impact Assessments since June 2014; and (s) how many employers with more than ten employees have been granted positive Labour Market Impact Assessments since June 2014?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 874--
Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims:
With regard to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: (a) when will Employment and Social Development Canada begin publicly reporting data on the number of temporary foreign workers approved and the names of employers receiving positive Labour Market Impact Assessments; (b) for which National Occupation Codes are employers no longer allowed to seek temporary foreign workers in regions with unemployment rates of more than 6%; (c) how many provinces and territories, and which ones, have negotiated new annex agreements regarding Labour Market Impact Assessment exemptions with the federal government; (d) how many information-sharing deals have been signed with provinces and territories regarding the temporary foreign worker program, and which provinces and territories are they; (e) how many information-sharing agreements between federal government departments have been revised since June 2014; (f) when will the new Statistics Canada surveys on Job Vacancies and National Wages be implemented; (g) when will the new Job Matching service be implemented, and how will it work; (h) what is the target date for offering the option of applying for jobs online directly through the Job Bank; (i) what specific safeguards will be in place to protect the privacy of applicants, if program officers are able to see the number of applicants and the relevance of their skills; (j) has the Privacy Commissioner been consulted on the inclusion of this data in the operation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program; (k) how many investigators are assigned to follow up on tips from the government’s confidential tip line and the online tip portal; (l) what is the budget for the confidential tip line and the online tip portal; (m) how many tips have been received on the confidential tip line since April, broken down by month; (n) how many tips have been received through the online tip portal since its creation, broken down by month; (o) how many investigations have been conducted as a result of tips received; (p) how many employers using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have been subject to an inspection in 2013-2014, broken down by (i) month, (ii) province; (q) how many inspections conducted in 2013-2014 have involved an on-site visit; (r) when is the new regulatory framework for penalties for non-compliance expected to be in place; (s) how many comments were received on the government’s Discussion Paper on the regulatory framework; (t) how many letters of complaint has the Department received about the increase in fees for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program; (u) when is the new privilege fee expected to be introduced; (v) when is the review of Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt streams expected to be completed, and who will be consulted as part of that process; (w) how many errors on the government’s list of employers with temporary foreign workers were determined to have been the result of employers giving the government the wrong information, and how many employers will face sanctions as a result; and (x) what action will the Department take in cases where Canadians are laid off after temporary foreign workers are hired?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 875--
Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims:
With regard to the Social Security Tribunal: (a) how many appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the Income Security Section (ISS), in total and broken down by (i) Canada Pension Plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (ii) Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits, (iii) Old Age Security; (b) how many appeals have been heard by the ISS, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (c) how many appeals heard by the ISS were allowed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (d) how many appeals heard by the ISS were dismissed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (e) how many appeals to the ISS were summarily dismissed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (f) how many appeals at the ISS have been heard in person, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (ii) appeals dismissed; (g) how many appeals at the ISS have been heard by teleconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (h) how many appeals at the ISS have been heard by videoconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (i) how many appeals at the ISS have been heard in writing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (j) how many ISS members assigned Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit cases have (i) a degree from a recognized post-secondary institution, (ii) a provincial or territorial licence in medicine, (iii) a provincial or territorial licence in nursing, (iv) a provincial or territorial licence in occupational therapy, (v) a provincial or territorial licence in pharmacy, (vi) a provincial or territorial licence in physiotherapy, (vii) a provincial or territorial licence in psychology, (viii) experience working on issues affecting seniors or people with disabilities; (k) how many members hired in the Employment Insurance Section (EIS) but currently assigned to the ISS have been assigned Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit cases, and of those members, how many have (i) a degree from a recognized post-secondary institution, (ii) a provincial or territorial licence in medicine, (iii) a provincial or territorial licence in nursing, (iv) a provincial or territorial licence in occupational therapy, (v) a provincial or territorial licence in pharmacy, (vi) a provincial or territorial licence in physiotherapy, (vii) a provincial or territorial licence in psychology, (viii) experience working on issues affecting seniors or people with disabilities; (l) how many income security appeals are currently waiting to be heard by the Appeal Division (AD), in total and broken down by (i) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (ii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iii) Old Age Security; (m) how many income security appeals have been heard by the AD, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (n) how many income security appeals heard by the AD were allowed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (o) how many income security appeals heard by the AD were dismissed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (p) how many income security appeals to the AD were summarily dismissed, in total and broken down by (i) year, (ii) Canada Pension plan retirement pensions and survivors benefits, (iii) Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, (iv) Old Age Security; (q) how many income security appeals at the AD have been heard in person, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (r) how many income security appeals at the AD have been heard in by videoconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (s) how many income security appeals at the AD have been heard by teleconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (t) how many income security appeals at the AD have been heard in writing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (u) how many appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the Employment Insurance Section (EIS); (v) how many appeals have been heard by the EIS, in total and broken down by year; (w) how many appeals heard by the EIS were allowed, in total and broken down by year; (x) how many appeals heard by the EIS were dismissed, in total and broken down by year; (y) how many appeals to the EIS were summarily dismissed, in total and broken down by year; (z) how many appeals at the EIS have been heard in person, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (aa) how many appeals at the EIS have been heard by videoconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (bb) how many appeals at the EIS have been heard by teleconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (cc) how many appeals at the EIS have been heard in writing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (dd) how many EI appeals are currently waiting to be heard by the AD; (ee) how many EI appeals have been heard by the AD, in total and broken down by year; (ff) how many EI appeals heard by the AD were allowed, in total and broken down by year; (gg) how many EI appeals heard by the AD were dismissed, in total and broken down by year; (hh) how many EI appeals to the AD were summarily dismissed, in total and broken down by year; (ii) how many EI appeals at the AD have been heard in person, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (jj) how many EI appeals at the AD have been heard by videoconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (kk) how many EI appeals at the AD have been heard by teleconference, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (ll) how many EI appeals at the AD have been heard in writing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) appeals allowed, (iii) appeals dismissed; (mm) how many legacy appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the ISS; (nn) how many legacy appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the EIS; (oo) how many legacy income security appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the AD; (pp) how many legacy Employment Insurance appeals are currently waiting to be heard at the AD; (qq) how many requests has the Tribunal received for an expedited hearing due to terminal illness, broken down by (i) year, (ii) requests granted, (iii) requests not granted; (rr) how many requests has the Tribunal received for an expedited hearing due to financial hardship, broken down by (i) year, (ii) section, (iii) requests granted, (iv) requests not granted; (ss) how many AD members are (i) English speakers, (ii) French speakers, (iii) bilingual; (tt) how many ISS members are (i) English speakers, (ii) French speakers, (iii) bilingual; (uu) how many EIS members are (i) English speakers, (ii) French speakers, (iii) bilingual; (vv) when will performance standards for the Tribunal be put in place; (ww) when is the consultants’ report on productivity due to be completed and will the report be made public; (xx) when did the Tribunal begin assigning cases to members in 2013, broken down by (i) ISS, (ii) EIS, (iii) AD; (yy) at what point in 2013 did all existing members have case files assigned to them, broken down by (i) ISS, (ii) EIS, (iii) AD; (zz) what was the rationale for not maintaining the old Boards of Referees, EI Umpires, Review Tribunals, and Pensions Appeal Board until their existing caseloads were completely finished; and (aaa) what was the rationale for imposing a cap on the number of Tribunal members at the time of the Tribunal’s creation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 876--
Mr. John Rafferty:
With regard to Veterans’ Affairs Canada offices: how many clients have been served each year from 2006 to 2014 inclusively in each Veterans Affairs Canada office (excluding Service Canada locations, Operational Stress Injury clinics, and Integrated Personnel Support Centres), including the nine recently closed offices in Thunder Bay, Sydney, Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Windsor, Brandon, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Prince George?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 877--
Mr. John Rafferty:
With regard to the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor): what are the total annual expenditures, for each fiscal year from 2004-2005 to the present, for (a) the Northern Ontario Development Program; (b) the Community Futures Program; (c) the Economic Development Initiative; (d) the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund; (e) general administration; and (f) any other temporary or permanent program or service delivered by the FedNor during this time period that is not listed above?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 878--
Mr. Arnold Chan:
With regard to the visit to Canada of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission on September 26, 2014: (a) when was the invitation first sent by the government; (b) what was the planned agenda for the visit; (c) which department was responsible for the visit; (d) what was the budget for the visit, broken down by department; (e) when was the Toronto portion added to the visit; (f) which department added the Toronto portion; (g) who was on the guest list for the Toronto event, including the name, the company or organization, and which department or Minister’s office placed them on the list; (h) what was the cost of the Toronto event, broken down by (i) food, (ii) room rental, (iii) staging, (iv) other costs; (i) did the government do a value for money assessment for the Toronto event and, if so, (i) what is the tracking number, (ii) what are the conclusions; (j) how much did the flight for the Presidents to Europe cost; (k) did the government look at other options than the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flight and, if so, (i) which options were reviewed, (ii) why were they rejected; (l) what was the passenger manifest for the trip; (m) did the flight make any stops on the way to or from Brussels; (n) if the answer in (m) is no, how did the Prime Minister travel from Toronto, including the cost of this trip if not included with the trip to Brussels; (o) has the government offered the use of RCAF planes for travel of other visiting dignitaries since 2006 and, if so, for which visitors; (p) was the venue for the Toronto event tendered, (i) if so, what was the Request for Proposal reference number, (ii) if not, which exception from the procurement directive was invoked and when did this receive approval from cabinet; (q) which government officials attended the Toronto event, including their travel method and cost; and (r) were there any passengers on the RCAF flight to Toronto from Ottawa who were not government employees and, if so, what are their names and their reason for being on the flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 879--
Mr. Arnold Chan:
With regard to government’s loans and grants to businesses since 2006: (a) what are the names of the companies that received grants and loans, including (i) the program that the loan was granted under, (ii) the amount of the loan, (iii) the amount that has currently paid back, (iv) the amount that is currently outstanding, (v) the amount that was originally announced, (vi) the reason for any write down or write off, (vii) the number of jobs that were supposed to be created by the loan, (viii) the number of jobs that were actually created after the loan was issued, (ix) the number of jobs that were committed to be maintained because of the loan, (x) the number of jobs that were actually maintained; and (b) for companies that failed to meet their job numbers, what action has the government taken to address the missed target?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 880--
Mr. Arnold Chan:
With regard to government and agency contracts for communications since 2006: (a) how much has the government spent on contracts for communications products; (b) whom has the government contracted for writing, specifying (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the type of service provided, (iii) the event or announcement that was linked to the contract, (iv) whether the contract was tendered, (v) how much the contract was for, including whether the contract value changed, (vi) the date the product was release, (vii) the date of the announcement; (c) whom has the government contracted for media training, specifying (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the persons that the training was provided to, including their title, (iii) whether the contract was tendered, (iv) how much the contract was for, including whether the contract value changed, (v) the date of the contract; (d) whom has the government contracted for media monitoring, specifying (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the length of the contract, (iii) the cost of the contract, (iv) whether the contract was tendered; (e) whom has the government contracted for distribution of press releases, including (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the length of the contract, (iii) the cost of the contract, (iv) whether the contract was tendered; (f) whom has the government contracted for event staging, specifying (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the type of service provided, (iii) the event or announcement that was linked to the contract, (iv) whether the contract was tendered, (v) how much the contract was for, including whether the contract value changed, (vi) the date the product was release, (vii) the date of the announcement; and (g) whom has the government contracted for any other communications product, specifying (i) the name of the organization or individual, (ii) the length of the contract, (iii) the cost of the contract, (iv) whether the contract was tendered, (v) what the contract was for?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 881--
Mr. Arnold Chan:
With regard to the government’s sale of assets over $1,000 after 2007: (a) what were the assets sold, specifying (i) the asset sale price, (ii) the name of the purchaser, (iii) whether multiple bids were received, (iv) what amount the asset was purchased for by the government, (v) the reason for the sale; (b) was a third party used for the sale and, if so, (i) what is the name of the third party, (ii) was this contract tendered or not; (c) in the case where a third party was used, how much was the third party paid for their services; (d) for the government’s sale of stocks, (i) how much of the stock was sold, (ii) how much does the government still hold; (e) for sale of privately held companies in which the government held a position, (i) does the government still hold a position in the company, (ii) did the government have a market assessment done before the sale and, if so, by whom, (iii) what was the difference in the amount the government projected from the sale and the actual amount received; (f) how much income did the asset bring in in the year prior to its sale; and (g) how much was spent marketing the sale of each asset?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 882--
Mr. Robert Chisholm:
With regard to Service Canada: for the past five fiscal years, (a) how many staff in the Integrity unit have been allocated in each year to (i) Employment Insurance (EI), (ii) the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), (iii) Old Age Security (OAS), (iv) Canada Pension Plan (CPP); (b) what is the average caseload for EI inspectors annually; (c) how many EI overpayments have been made annually by number and by amount; (d) how many EI overpayments have been collected annually by number and by amount; (e) how many EI overpayments have been written off annually by number and by amount; (f) what is the average caseload for CPP inspectors annually; (g) how many CPP overpayments have been made annually by number and by amount; (h) how many CPP overpayments have been collected annually by number and by amount; (i) how many CPP overpayments have been written off annually by number and by amount; (j) what is the average caseload for OAS inspectors annually; (k) how many OAS overpayments have been made annually by number and by amount; (l) how many OAS overpayments have been collected annually by number and by amount; (m) how many OAS overpayments have been written off annually by number and by amount; (n) what is the average caseload for TFWP inspectors; (o) what is the number of Service Canada employees on long-term disability leave every year, excluding those on parental leave, in total and broken down by (i) EI call centres, (ii) EI processing centres, (iii) CPP and OAS call centres, (iv) Labour Market Impact Assessment processing centres; (p) what is the definition for the performance indicator “future expenditure reduction” for the Integrity Section listed in the 2013-2014 Departmental Performance Report; and (q) what has been the Department’s performance on “future expenditure reduction” annually, broken down by (i) EI, (ii) CPP, (iii) OAS?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 884--
Ms. Chrystia Freeland:
With regard to the government's Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP): (a) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (b) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted during the creation of GMAP; (c) what is the total of all government expenditures related to the consultation process related to GMAP, including, but not limited to, (i) travel expenses, including transportation, accommodation, rental meeting spaces or equipment, food and other travel-related expenses, (ii) staff time costs, including any overtime pay incurred, (iii) any services or other support procured from consultants or other contractors, (iv) other relevant expenses incurred, broken down by all related details; (d) what are the titles and file names of all reports, emails and briefing notes prepared in relation to the development and consultation process involved in the creation of GMAP?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 887--
Ms. Chrystia Freeland:
With regard to the federal public service employed in Prince Edward Island and the City of Charlottetown, for each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusive, for both the province and the city separately, public service wide and for each department: (a) how many persons were employed; (b) how many public service employees were hired; (c) how many public service employees retired; (d) how many public service employees left the public service for reasons other than retirement, distinguishing those who left because of (i) disability, (ii) resignation, (iii) termination, (iv) death, (v) other reasons; (e) how many of those employees, by both number and percentage, were (i) full-time, (ii) part-time, (iii) students, (iv) any other employment category in the public service; (f) what occupational tier level did the employees occupy by both number and percentage; (g) what was the mean, median, and modal salary for a full-time employee; and (h) what was the total paid to employees (i) in salary, (ii) in other benefits?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 888--
Ms. Libby Davies:
With regard to Health Canada: for the last ten years, (a) how many drug safety inspectors has Health Canada employed, broken down by year; (b) how many inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies has Health Canada conducted within Canada, broken down by year; (c) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected within Canada have received a warning letter or citation from Health Canada, broken down by year; (d) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected within Canada have had penalties imposed, broken down by year; (e) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected within Canada have been subject to a ban, broken down by year; (f) how many inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies has Health Canada conducted internationally, broken down by year; (g) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected internationally have received a warning letter or citation from Health Canada, broken down by year; (h) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected internationally have had penalties imposed, broken down by year; (i) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies inspected internationally have been subject to a ban, broken down by year; (j) how many notices of violation concerning companies operating in Canada has Health Canada received from foreign regulators, broken down by year; (k) how many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies has Health Canada inspected because of a notification received from a foreign regulator, broken down by year; (l) how many clinical trials has Health Canada inspected, broken down by year; (m) how many clinical trials received a warning letter or citation from Health Canada following an inspection, broken down by year; (n) how many clinical trials have been shut down by Health Canada following an inspection, broken down by year; (o) how many investigations has Health Canada conducted regarding promotion of off-label prescription of drugs by pharmaceutical companies, broken down by year; (p) how many fines or penalties has Health Canada levied for off-label promotions, broken down by year; (q) how many reports of side effects relating to off-label prescriptions of pharmaceuticals has Health Canada received, broken down by year; and (r) when will Health Canada begin including side effects related to off-label prescriptions in its public database?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 890--
Hon. Stéphane Dion:
—With regard to the case before the courts between Daniel Christopher Scott, Mark Douglas Campbell, Gavin Michael David Flett, Kevin Albert Matthew Berry, Bradley Darren Quast, and Aaron Michael Bedard, Respondents (Plaintiffs) and Attorney General of Canada Appellant (Defendant): (a) what has been the total cost to the government to pursue this matter in the courts, broken down by expense and (i) cost incurred before September 6, 2013, (ii) cost incurred since September 6, 2013; (b) who has been consulted by the government throughout the proceedings, broken down by (i) name, (ii) date; (c) what are the internal tracking numbers of all documents, communications or briefing notes regarding the aforementioned case; and (d) how much more has the government budgeted to spend on this file?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 892--
Hon. Geoff Regan:
With respect to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and subsequently the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development: during the period from 2004 to 2014, what is the total number of employees who were posted outside of Canada for ten or more consecutive years?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 893--
Mr. Malcolm Allen:
With respect to the interim Canadian Wheat Board (CWB): (a) what is the salary range afforded to the executive management of the interim CWB; (b) what information does the government possess as to the bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation are the members of the executive management receiving; (c) what information does the government possess as to the bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation will the members of the executive management receive upon the transfer of the interim CWB to new ownership; and (d) what commitments have been made regarding bonuses, benefits, fees, and other forms of compensation for the members of executive management after the transfer of the interim CWB to new ownership?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 894--
Mr. Malcolm Allen:
With respect to changes to Canada’s food safety laws: (a) what is the status of regulations requiring better labelling of food safety risks caused by meat tenderization and related processing techniques; (b) what communications and consultations have taken place with industry in the last year regarding these new regulations; (c) what compliance rates have been measured in regard to the new regulations; (d) what is the status of new regulations developed in regards to ensuring better traceability for Canadian fresh produce and meat products; (e) what is the status of the implementation of regulations related to Bill S-11, the Safe Food For Canadians Act; (f) what has been the cost of developing new regulations related to Bill S-11; (g) what is the status of the implementation of all of the recommendations to improve food safety that were outlined in the Weatherill report; (h) what are the names and costs of food safety programs that will sunset in the years 2014 and 2015; and (i) who was consulted with regards to new regulations related to the implementation of Bill S-11?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 895--
Mr. Andrew Cash:
With regard to International Mobility Programs: (a) when will Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) begin proactively posting more data, what data will be posted, and how often; (b) when will the new compliance fee for employer-specific work permits be levied, and at what level will the fee be set; (c) when will the new privilege fee be in place for open work permit holders; (d) how many CIC staff are assigned to investigations of employers for compliance; (e) how many employers have been investigated in 2014, broken down by month; (f) what penalty regime is in place for employers who break the rules; (g) how many employers have been subjected to penalties or sanctions for breaking the rules; (h) how many investigations have included an on-site inspection; (i) how many information-sharing agreements have been signed with other federal government departments; (j) how many information-sharing agreements have been signed with provincial and territorial governments, and which provinces and territories are they; (k) which streams have seen changes to their guidelines or requirements since June 2014; (l) has the review of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-exempt streams to determine if they should become part of the LMIA-required stream taken place yet and, if so, what are the outcomes of that review; (m) what measures have been taken to promote the International Experience Canada program to Canadians; and (n) what is the new wage floor for Intra-Company Transferees with specialized knowledge and when did it come into effect?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 896--
Mr. Andrew Cash:
With regard to International Mobility Programs, for the years 2006 to 2014: (a) for each year, how many work permits were issued under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in total and by source country; (b) for each year, how many Canadians worked in the United States and Mexico under the auspices of NAFTA; (c) which other Free Trade Agreements (FTA) include provisions on worker mobility, and for each FTA how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (d) for each year, how many Canadians worked in other countries under the auspices of a FTA and which countries did they work in; (e) for each year, how many work permits were issued under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), in total and by source country; (f) for each year, how many Canadians worked abroad under the auspices of GATS and which countries did they work in; (g) which international agreements allow workers to work for a Canadian employer in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment and, for each agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (h) for each year, how many Canadians worked in other countries under these same international agreements and in which countries did they work; (i) which provincial agreements allow workers to work for a Canadian employer in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and for each agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (j) which reciprocal employment programs or agreements allow workers to work for a Canadian employer in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and for each program or agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (k) for each year, how many Canadians worked in other countries under these same reciprocal programs or agreements and in which countries did they work; (l) which employment benefit programs or agreements allow workers to work for a Canadian employer in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and for each program or agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (m) for each year, how many Canadians worked in other countries under employment benefit programs or agreements and in which countries did they work; (n) which research or studies-related programs or agreements allow workers to work for a Canadian employer in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and for each program or agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (o) which programs or agreements fall under “Other Canadian interests,” and for each program or agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; (p) which programs or agreements fall under “Other work permit holders without Labour Market Opinion,” and for each program or agreement, how many work permits were issued each year, in total and by source country; and (q) for each year, how many spouse/common law partners were issued work permits, in total and by source country?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 897--
Mr. Andrew Cash:
With regard to International Experience Canada, for the years 2013 and 2014: (a) with which countries did Canada have an agreement; (b) what were the reciprocal quotas; (c) how many Canadians travelled to each country under the auspices of the agreement; (d) how many youths from each country travelled to Canada under the auspices of the agreement; (e) what measures has the government taken to promote the program to Canadians; and (f) what measures has the government undertaken to reduce barriers to Canadian participants in some countries?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 898--
Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe:
With regard to Express Entry: (a) with whom did the government consult in regard to the creation and design of the program, and on what dates; (b) with whom did the government consult in regard to the development of the point system, and on what dates; (c) what studies did the government conduct before the decision was made to introduce Express Entry; (d) what studies did the government conduct in designing the program; (e) has the Privacy Commissioner been consulted on the design of the program; (f) what is the target date for matching prospective immigrants with potential employers; (g) what precautions will be taken to ensure that employers have tried to hire eligible Canadians before they are allowed to search for prospective immigrants; (h) how will the system identify potential candidates for employers; (i) how often will draws for names be conducted; (j) who will decide how many names will be drawn in each draw; (k) who will decide how names drawn will be divided among the three immigration streams included in Express Entry; (l) when will the first evaluation of Express Entry be conducted; and (m) what is the projected budget for the next three years?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 899--
Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe:
With regard to the Live-In Caregiver Program: (a) how many applications did the government receive for permanent residence from live-in caregivers for each year from 2010 to 2014 inclusively; (b) for each year, how many of the applications came from caregivers who had cared for children and how many came from caregivers who had cared for seniors or persons living with a disability; (c) how many staff were assigned to process applications for permanent residence from live-in caregivers in each year; (d) whom did the government consult before making changes to the program and on which date did the consultations take place; (e) did the government conduct any studies regarding the impact of a cap on permanent resident applications from live-in caregivers; (f) will caregivers be allowed to study in Canada before achieving permanent residence, and if so, will they be allowed to pay domestic tuition; and (g) what are the current requirements for advertising for applicants for a Labour Market Impact Assessment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 900--
Ms. Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe:
With regard to refugee applications from 2010 to 2014: (a) what is the average processing time for refugee applications, broken down by (i) year, (ii) processing centre, (iii) government-assisted refugees, (iv) privately sponsored refugees; (b) for each year, where were application processing centres located; and (c) for each year and for each centre, how many staff worked on processing refugee applications?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 901--
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
With regard to the government’s event entitled “Strong Girls, Strong World” scheduled to be held in Toronto on October 22, 2014: (a) who within the government was responsible for the organization of the event; (b) what was the entire budget of the event, (i) did the event go over budget, (ii) if so, what were the cost overruns, (iii) were there unforeseen expenses, (iv) if the event was cancelled, what was the amount of money the government was able to recover, (v) if the event was cancelled, what was the amount of money the government was unable to recover; (c) if the event was cancelled, will the event be rescheduled in 2015 and, if so, (i) what is the new date of the event, (ii) what is the estimated budget of the new event; (d) what was the total cost for the venue rental at the Central Technical School; (e) how many names were on the final guest list and what were the names; (f) did the government pay for the travel expenses of international visitors; (g) how was the Central Technical School chosen as a venue for the event, (i) on what date was the school first contacted with regard to the Summit, (ii) how many other venues did the event organizers contact other than the Central Technical School; (h) what was the total cost for security for the event; (i) what was the total cost for meals and hospitality for the event; and (j) was the event paid for from general consolidated revenue?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 902--
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
With regard to government funding: for each fiscal year from 2011-2012 to present, (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group in the electoral districts of Etobicoke North, Etobicoke Centre, and Etobicoke—Lakeshore, providing for each (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the location of the recipient, indicating the municipality, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount, (v) the department or agency providing it, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) the nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 903--
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
With respect to the government’s “Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the Outcomes of the Twenty-Third Special Session of the General Assembly (2000) in the Context of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Canada’s National Review, June 2014”: (a) what are the names, positions, organizations or affiliations of all the stakeholders consulted during the creation of this review; (b) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (c) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted during the creation of this plan; (d) what is the total of all government expenditures related to the consultation process related to the plan, including, but not limited to, (i) travel expenses, including transportation, accommodation, rental meeting spaces or equipment, food and other travel-related expenses, (ii) staff time costs, including any overtime pay incurred, (iii) any services or other support procured from consultants or other contractors, (iv) other relevant expenses incurred, broken down by all related details; (e) what are the titles and file names of all reports, emails and briefing notes prepared in relation to the development and consultation process involved in finalizing the creation of the Review; and (f) how much funding has been allocated to the deployment of this proposal for fiscal years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 904--
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
With respect to the government’s Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls (the Plan): (a) what are the names, positions, organizations or affiliations of all the stakeholders consulted during the creation of the Plan; (b) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (c) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted during the creation of the Plan; (d) what is the total of all government expenditures related to the consultation process related to the Plan, including, but not limited to, (i) travel expenses, including transportation, accommodation, rental meeting spaces or equipment, food and other travel-related expenses, (ii) staff time costs, including any overtime pay incurred, (iii) any services or other support procured from consultants or other contractors, (iv) other relevant expenses incurred, broken down by all related details; (e) what are the titles and file names of all reports, emails and briefing notes prepared in relation to the development and consultation process involved in finalizing the creation of the Plan; (f) what is the fiscal year breakdown and allocation of the $25 million pledged for the Plan; (g) what are the deadlines; (h) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with various provincial and territorial representations consulted during the creation of the Plan; (i) what are the projected deadlines for the government’s safety plans set out in the Plan; (j) during which fiscal years will Public Safety Canada begin allocating the $1.72 million to support Aboriginal communities to develop safety plans; (k) during which fiscal years will Justice Canada begin allocating the $500,000 to support Aboriginal communities to break intergenerational cycles of violence; (l) during which fiscal years will Status of Women Canada begin allocating the $5 million to work with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities to denounce and prevent violence against Aboriginal women, and what is the breakdown per year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 905--
Hon. John McCallum:
With regard to materials prepared for deputy heads or their staff from September 19, 2014, to the present: for every briefing document prepared, what is (i) the date on the document, (ii) the title or the subject matter of the document, (iii) the department's internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 906--
Hon. John McCallum:
With regard to materials prepared for Assistant Deputy Ministers from September 19, 2014, to the present: for every briefing document prepared, what is (i) the date on the document, (ii) the title or the subject matter of the document, (iii) the department's internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 907--
Hon. John McCallum:
With regard to materials prepared for ministers or their staff from September 19, 2014, to the present: for every briefing document prepared, what is (i) the date on the document, (ii) the title or the subject matter of the document, (iii) the department's internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 908--
Mrs. Sadia Groguhé:
With regard to the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program: (a) how many staff are currently assigned to processing applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA); (b) how many staff were assigned to processing applications for Labour Market Opinions (LMO) from 2011 to 2013; (c) what is the average time to process an application for an LMIA; (d) what was the average time to process an application for an LMO from 2011 to 2013; (e) how many applications have taken more than two months to process from 2011 to 2014; (f) what is the average time to process an application for a work permit; (g) what was the average time to process an application for a work permit from 2011 to 2014; (h) how many complaints has the government received about workers not arriving until after the harvest has begun; and (i) how many complaints has the government received about workers not arriving until after the harvest is over?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 909--
Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims:
With regard to Service Canada: (a) who is responsible for handling Employment Insurance (EI) callbacks; (b) what is the service standard for EI callbacks; (c) for the last five fiscal years, what was the service standard achieved for EI call backs; (d) for the last two fiscal years, what was the service standard achieved for EI callbacks broken down by month; (e) for the last five fiscal years, what was the average number of days for an EI callback; (f) who is responsible for handling Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) callbacks; (g) what is the service standard for CPP and OAS callbacks; (h) for the last five fiscal years, what was the service standard achieved for CPP and OAS callbacks; (i) for the last two fiscal years, what was the service standard achieved for CPP and OAS callbacks, broken down by month; (j) for the last five fiscal years, what was the average number of days for a CPP and OAS callback; (k) who made the decision to change the service standard for EI call centres from 180 seconds to ten minutes; (l) who was consulted in making the decision to change the service standard for EI call centres from 180 seconds to ten minutes; (m) who made the decision to change the service standard for CPP and OAS call centres from 180 seconds to ten minutes; and (n) who was consulted in making the decision to change the service standard for CPP and OAS call centres from 180 seconds to ten minutes?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 910--
Ms. Libby Davies:
With regard to Health Canada: for the last ten years, broken down by year, (a) how many complaints have been received regarding pharmaceutical advertising targeted to consumers; (b) how many penalties or fines have been imposed for violations of the regulations regarding pharmaceutical advertising targeted to consumers; (c) how many warning letters or citations have been issued for violations of the regulations regarding pharmaceutical advertising targeted to consumers; and (d) which companies have been found to have violated the regulations regarding pharmaceutical advertising targeted to consumers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 912--
Mr. Rodger Cuzner:
With regard to the ineligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits for parents (claimants) who fell ill or became injured while receiving parental benefits because they were not considered to be otherwise available for work under the Employment Insurance Act: for fiscal years 2003-2004 to 2013-2014: (a) how many claimants (i) were denied their initial application for EI sickness benefits by the government because they were deemed to otherwise be not available for work, (ii) appealed their denial of sickness benefits to the Board of Referees, broken down by each fiscal year; (b) how many claimants on parental leave were denied sickness benefits after the Canadian Umpire Benefit (CUB) 77039 decision on March 24, 2013; (c) did Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) appeal CUB 77039, and if not, why not; (d) if HRSDC did not appeal the decision, did it accept the ruling, and if not, why not; (e) is a CUB ruling that is not successfully appealed final and binding on the government; (f) what were the policy implications for HRSDC in the interpretation of the Employment Insurance Act after the significant CUB decision; (g) what process was HRSDC supposed to have followed after the CUB decision (or appeal of said decision) to change implementation of relevant EI policy; (h) what was the specific impact of CUB 77039 on HRSDC policy concerning eligibility of claimants on parental leave accessing sickness benefits; (i) as a result of the CUB 77039 decision, what specific policy directives were made by HRSDC and, if none were made, why not; (j) did the government undertake any analysis or studies concerning the impact of CUB 77039 and, if so, what are the titles, files numbers, and results of any such analysis or studies; (k) did HRSDC deny sickness benefits to claimants post CUB 77039 up to March 24, 2013, and, if so, what is the justification; (l) how many Claimants had active appeals outstanding with the Board of Referees and EI Umpire regarding their denial by the government of sickness benefits while on parental leave as of March 24, 2013; (m) how many of the claimants in (l) did the government subsequently settle with, (i) what was the average settlement cost per claimant, (ii) what were the total legal fees associated with the settlement with the claimants, (iii) what was the total cost of the settlement; (n) what was the rationale for settling with claimants in (m); (o) when did the government decide to settle and when did it settle with claimants described in (m); (p) was the enhanced access to EI sickness benefits announced in Bill C-44, Helping Families in Need Act, the direct result of the CUB 77039 decision; (q) was the CUB 77039 decision disclosed to parliamentarians in either the technical briefing provided by the government to parliamentarians on September 26, 2012, or during the legislative process for Bill C-44, Helping Families in Need Act, if not, why; (r) when did the government realize that the 2002 legislative changes to EI stacking provisions by Bill C-49, Budget Implementation Act 2001, were intended to make sickness benefits available to women who become ill during receipt of parental benefits and what was done about it; (s) what is the total cost of legal services to date to defend against the McCrea v. Canada - Federal Court file number T-210-12; (t) what are the HRSDC reference details of all documents related to CUB 77039 prepared for the Minister or his staff, including, but not limited to, briefings, analysis, and reports, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) titles or subject matter, (iii) department’s internal tracking number; and (u) after both the CUB 77039 and CUB 79390A decisions determined that sickness benefits were to be paid to Natalya Rougas and Jane Kittmer, why did the government issue news releases concerning Bill C-44, Helping Families in Need Act, dated September 20, 2012, October 2, 2012, November 20, 2012, December 12, 2012, and March 10, 2013, with the statement “currently, people receiving parental benefits under the EI program do not qualify for sickness benefits because they are not considered to be otherwise available for work”?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 913--
Hon. Wayne Easter:
With regard to international trade, respecting the Canada-European Union Summit in Ottawa and Toronto on September 25 and 26, 2014: what are the details of all contracts for goods or services relating to the summit, providing for each contract: (i) the name of the contractor, (ii) a description of the goods or services provided, (iii) the value of the contract, (iv) whether or not there was an open bidding process for the contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 914--
Hon. Judy Sgro:
With regard to international trade, respecting the Canada-European Union Summit in Ottawa and Toronto on September 25 and 26, 2014: (a) what were the expenses incurred in relation to travel by government officials from the current Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development to Ottawa, or to any European location, specifying the location, broken down by (i) department, (ii) individual incurring the expense, (iii) details of the expense; and (b) what were the expenses incurred in Ottawa and in Toronto in relation to all receptions, press conferences, signing ceremonies, official meetings, or bilateral meetings, for Canadian and European officials broken down by (i) department, (ii) individual incurring the expense, (iii) details of the expense?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 916--
Mr. Marc Garneau:
With regard to foreign affairs: (a) what are the dates, locations, and attendees of all meetings held from March 1, 2010, to December 4, 2014, attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, his staff, or officials from his Department, concerning the Global Market Action Plan; and (b) for all briefing materials or documents prepared for the Minister, his staff, or officials relative to such meetings, whether prepared before or after the meeting, what is (i) the date of the document, (ii) the title or subject matter of the document, (iii) the Department’s internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 917--
Hon. Judy Sgro:
With regard to international trade: (a) what are the dates, locations, and attendees of all meetings held from March 1, 2010, to December 4, 2014, attended by the Minister of International Trade, his staff, or officials from his Department, concerning the 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy; and (b) for all briefing materials or documents prepared for the Minister, his staff, or officials relative to such meetings, whether prepared before or after the meeting, what is (i) the date of the document, (ii) the title or subject matter of the document, (iii) the Department’s internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 918--
Hon. Wayne Easter:
With regard to the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS): (a) does the strategy include (i) acquisition of three strategic air transport aircraft and stationing them at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, (ii) doubling the size of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), (iii) acquisition of three armed naval heavy icebreakers, and stationing them in the area of Iqaluit, (iv) building a new civilian-military deepwater docking facility to accommodate the three armed naval heavy icebreakers mentioned in (iii), (v) establishing a new underwater sensor system, (vi) building a new army training centre in the area of Cambridge Bay, (vii) stationing new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons at both CFB Goose Bay and CFB Comox, (viii) stationing new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft in Yellowknife, (ix) increasing the size of the Canadian Rangers by 500, (x) establishing a 650-member regular forces battalion at CFB Comox, CFB Goose Bay, CFB Trenton, and CFB Bagotville respectively, (xi) adding 1,000 regular force and 750 reserve force personnel to the army in Quebec, (xii) establishing a territorial defence unit in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, St. John's, Halifax and the Niagara-Windsor corridor respectively, (xiii) recruiting 1,000 regular force personnel for the purpose of improving and enlarging the Atlantic fleet, (xiv) increasing the number of personnel in CFB Gagetown, (xv) stationing new aircraft and personnel at CFB Greenwood, (xvi) increasing the numbers of Pacific navy regular force personnel by about 500, (xvii) deploying new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft at CFB Comox and CFB Winnipeg, (xviii) upgrading fighter aircraft at CFB Cold Lake; (b) what is the rationale for the inclusion or exclusion, from the CFDS, of each of the items mentioned in (a)(i) to (a)(xviii); and (c) for each item mentioned in (a)(i) to (a)(xviii) that is not a part of the strategy, (i) has the government taken any steps since January 1, 2012, to carry out or implement the item, (ii) if the government has not taken any such steps, does it intend to do so, (iii) if the government does intend to implement the item, when does it intend to do so, (iv) if the government does not intend to implement the item, when was this decision made, and what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of any document related to that decision?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 920--
Mr. Marc Garneau:
With regard to foreign affairs: for each foreign visit or delegation described under the heading “Travel Expenses for Canadian Representation at International Conferences and Meetings” in the Public Accounts for fiscal years 2006-2007 to 2013-2014 inclusive, for each traveller or delegate who falls under the rubric of “Others” or “Stakeholders”, but not including parliamentarians or spouses of parliamentarians, what is his or her full name and the reason for which he or she was selected to join the visit or delegation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 921--
Mr. Marc Garneau:
With respect to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Departmental Performance Review of actual spending for 2013-2014 on international development and humanitarian assistance to low-income countries: (a) what low-income countries received financial assistance; (b) how much was spent on each of those countries; (c) what countries that were previously in the low-income country category were moved to the categories “fragile states” and “crisis-affected countries”; (d) how much was spent on those newly identified fragile states and crisis-affected countries; and (e) will the $125.9 million in lapsed funding be allocated as end-of-year funding to other programs and, if so, (i) which other programs, (ii) in which specific locations, (iii) how much is allocated for each program?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 922--
Ms. Yvonne Jones:
With regard to federal-provincial fiscal arrangements: (a) has the 70% federal share of the $400-million federal-provincial fund to support fisheries industry enhancements, announced on October 29, 2013, by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, been accounted for in the fiscal framework; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) in which department, (ii) for which fiscal year, (iii) under which authority, (iv) under which program and sub-program has the funding been accounted for in the fiscal framework; (c) was there any involvement by the government in the announcement of October 29, 2013; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what was the nature of that involvement; (e) if the answer to (c) is negative, what were the reasons for the non-involvement; (f) why does the press release issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development on December 6, 2013, titled “Minister Shea Highlights Benefits of Canada-European Union Trade Agreement to Newfoundland and Labrador”, make no reference to the $400-million fund referred to in (a); (g) why does the press release issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on June 26, 2014, titled “Ministers Continue Collaboration to Protect Fisheries and Support Canadian Fishing and Aquaculture Industries”, make no reference to the $400-million fund referred to in (a); (h) why does the press release issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development on August 5, 2014, titled “Complete Canada-EU Text Reached”, make no reference to the $400-million fund referred to in (a); (i) why does the backgrounder issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development on September 26, 2014, titled “Canada-European Union Trade Agreement Summary of Benefits”, make no reference to the $400-million fund referred to in (a); (j) what were the dates and locations of all meetings held between federal and provincial officials concerning the $400-million fund referred to in (a); and (k) what are the dates, titles and file numbers of all dockets, dossiers, reports, documents, briefing notes, briefing materials, or other records concerning the $400-million fund referred to in (a), held by (i) the Privy Council Office, (ii) the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat, (iii) the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, (iv) the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, (v) the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 923--
Mr. Murray Rankin:
With regard to the administration of pay by the government: (a) what is the current and total number of government employees; (b) what is the complete listing of government institutions, with the number of employees, broken down by each institution identified; (c) what are the actual costs, including but not limited to, A-Base, B-Based, and sunset funding, for salaries and wages as well as operations and maintenance, and funding sources for the operations of administration of pay, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) organizations specified in (b) for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); (d) what is the complete list of all government institutions participating in the Public Works and Government Services of Canada (PWGSC) Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, with the number of employees, broken down by each institution identified; (e) what is the itemized list and the comprehensive range of all the pay services or activities that are processed, handled, administered, managed, or delivered by the Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick; (f) what is the itemized list of all the pay services or activities that are not, in whole or in part, processed, handled, administered, managed, or delivered by the Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi, but that are reliant, in whole or in part, on compensation advisors outside of the Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi or that are reliant on compensation advisors within institutions specified in (d); (g) what are the detailed rationales for each item in (f); (h) what is the complete list of all government institutions that are either excluded, in whole or in part, from having any other separate arrangement apart from the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, with the number of employees affected, broken down by each institution identified; (i) what are the detailed rationales and reasons for each item in (h); (j) what are the details of all framework documentation and Treasury Board Submissions (TB-Subs) related to the PWGSC Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative project life cycle, including, but not limited to, (i) business case, (ii) project charter, (iii) work plans, (iv) roadmap, (v) project complexity and risk assessment, (vi) projected schedule and timeline, (vii) projected budget tables, (viii) projected costing tables, (ix) inception/definition phase, (x) identification phase (initiation, feasibility, analysis, close out), (xi) delivery phase (planning, design, implementation, close out), (xii) preliminary project approval, (xiii) effective project approval (EPA); (k) what are the details of all documentation after EPA in (j), including, but not limited to, (i) on-going readiness assessment reports, (ii) internal PWGSC audits, reviews, and reporting, (iii) Treasury Board audits, reviews, and reporting, (iv) external audits, reviews, and reporting from professional services providers and consulting firms, (v) subsequent TB-Subs modifications, amendments, and changes; (l) what are the actual costs and funding sources for the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) projects for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iv) institutions specified in (d) for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); (m) what are the actual budgetary and cost impacts from the perspective and standpoint of each affected institution specified in (d) related to the implementation of the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) projects for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); and (n) what are the details of all PWGSC prequel documentation prior to, preceding, and leading to and from the earliest attempt up to the initiation of the project life cycle process defined in (j), including, but not limited to, (i) all scenarios, reports, analysis with projected projects budgets, (ii) briefing notes to ministers and deputy heads, (iii) budget and costs, broken down by each fiscal year, from the earliest attempt up to the initiation of the project life cycle process defined in (j), (iv) funding sources related specifically to the carrying out of the prequel phase exercise?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 924--
Mr. Murray Rankin:
With regard to the administration of pensions by the government: (a) what is the current and total number of pension members, active and retired; (b) what is the complete listing of government institutions, with the number of members, active and retired, broken down by each institution identified; (c) what are the actual costs, including but not limited to, A-Base, B-Based, and sunset funding, for salaries and wages as well as operations and maintenance, and funding sources for the operations of administration of pension, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) institutions specified in (b) for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); (d) what is the complete list of all government institutions participating in the Public Works and Government Services of Canada (PWGSC) Transformation of Pension Administration Initiative, with the number of members involved, active and retired, broken down by each institution identified; (e) what is the itemized list and the comprehensive range of all the pension services or activities that are processed, handled, administered, managed, or delivered by the Public Service Pension Centre (PSPC) in Shediac, New Brunswick; (f) what is the itemized list of all the pension services or activities that are not, in whole or in part, processed, handled, administered, managed, or delivered by the PSPC, but that are reliant, in whole or in part, on compensation advisors outside of the PSPC in Shediac and that are reliant on compensation advisors within institutions specified in (d); (g) what are the detailed rationales for each item in (f); (h) what is the complete list of all government institutions that are either excluded, in whole or in part, from having any other separate arrangement apart from the Transformation of Pension Administration Initiative, with the number of members affected, active and retired, broken down by each institution identified; (i) what are the detailed rationales for each item in (h); (j) what are the details of all framework documentation and Treasury Board Submissions (TB-Subs) related to the PWGSC Transformation of Pension Administration Initiative project life cycle, including, but not limited to, (i) business case, (ii) project charter, (iii) work plans, (iv) roadmap, (v) project complexity and risk assessment, (vi) projected schedule and timeline, (vii) projected budget tables, (viii) projected costing tables, (ix) inception/definition phase, (x) identification phase (initiation, feasibility, analysis, close out), (xi) delivery phase (planning, design, implementation, close out), (xii) preliminary project approval, (xiii) effective project approval (EPA); (k) what are the details of all documentation after EPA of question (j), including, but not limited to, (i) on-going readiness assessment reports, (ii) internal PWGSC audits, reviews, and reporting, (iii) Treasury Board audits, reviews, and reporting, (iv) external audits, reviews, and reporting from professional services providers and consulting firms, (v) subsequent TB-Subs modifications, amendments, and changes; (l) what are the actual costs and funding sources for the Transformation of Pension Administration Initiative, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) projects for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iv) institutions specified in (d) for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); (m) what are the actual budgetary and cost impacts from the perspective and standpoint of each affected institution specified in (d) related to the implementation of the Transformation of Pension Administration Initiative, broken down by (i) each fiscal year from 2006 to date, at period (P-9) and (P-12), (ii) projects for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12), (iii) service for each fiscal year from 2006 year-to-date at period (P-9) and (P-12); (n) what are the details of all PWGSC prequel documentation prior to, preceding, and leading to and from the earliest attempt up to the initiation of the project life cycle process defined in (j), including, but not limited to (i) all scenarios, reports, analysis with projected projects budgets, (ii) briefing notes to ministers and deputy heads, (iii) budget and costs broken down by each fiscal year between earliest attempt up to the initiation of the project life cycle process defined in (j), (iv) funding sources related specifically to the carrying out of the prequel phase exercise?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 925--
Hon. Judy Sgro:
With respect to workforce adjustments since 2012: (a) how many employees received (i) pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period, (ii) a transition support measure, (iii) an education allowance, (iv) retention payment or other payment as a result of an alternative delivery initiative under a work force adjustment agreement, (v) a lump sum payment under the Directive on Career Transition for Executives; and (b) what was the total amount spent on (i) pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus periods, (ii) transition support measures, (iii) education allowances, (iv) retention payments or other payments as a result of an alternative delivery initiative under a work force adjustment agreement, (v) lump sum payments under the Directive on Career Transition for Executives?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 926--
Mr. Matthew Dubé:
With regard to payments in lieu of taxes regarding national historic sites as designated by Parks Canada: from 2009 to date, what amounts have been granted by the department of Public Works and Government Services to each taxing authority, broken down by (i) historic site, (ii) year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 927--
Hon. Ralph Goodale:
With regard to “nudge” policies discussed in Policy Horizons Canada, March 2012, ISBN number: PH4-134/2012E-PDF, 978-1-100-21668-3: (a) has the government communicated about nudge policies with other countries that use such policies and, if so, which countries; (b) has the government produced any analysis of them and, if so, what is the (i) title, (ii) date, (iii) department, (iv) author, (v) record number of those documents; (c) has the government implemented or tested these policies and, if so, (i) how, (ii) where, (iii) by whom, (iv) what were the results; and (d) if the government has not implemented or tested these policies, what was the rationale for that decision?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 928--
Hon. Ralph Goodale:
With regard to federal taxes, including tariffs, service charges and fees: since 2005, (a) in which instance was there an increase, a new imposition or the elimination of a credit or benefit, broken down by (i) the particular tax, tariff, charge, fee or credit, (ii) the rate or amount, (iii) the date it took effect, (iv) the revenue it has generated, (v) the department that made the change; and (b) what is the annual total of revenue generated by each of the changes in (a), broken down by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 929--
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
With regard to the role of Canadian diplomatic personnel in respect to the operations of Canadian extractive companies outside Canada: (a) what is this role; (b) what policies, guidelines, and directives govern this role; (c) for each of the policies, guidelines, and directives in (b), (i) when was it enacted, (ii) by whom was it enacted, (iii) what was its objective, (iv) has its objective been met, (v) how does the government determine whether its objective has been met, (vi) how was it communicated to Canadian diplomatic personnel, (vii) what former policy, guideline, or directive did it replace or modify; (d) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel support the operations of Canadian extractive companies; (e) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel facilitate the establishment of new operations, projects, or facilities by Canadian extractive companies; (f) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel intervene in interactions between Canadian extractive companies and (i) local governments, (ii) local law enforcement, (iii) local civil society, (iv) local residents; (g) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to ensure compliance by Canadian extractive companies with (i) local laws and regulations, (ii) Canadian laws and regulations, (iii) international laws and regulations, (iv) local standards regarding human rights, (v) Canadian standards regarding human rights, (vi) international standards regarding human rights, (vii) local standards regarding environmental protection, (viii) Canadian standards regarding environmental protection, (ix) international standards regarding environmental protection; (h) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to reduce resistance to the operations of Canadian extractive companies on the part of (i) local governments, (ii) local civil society, (iii) local residents; (i) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel help Canadian extractive companies reduce resistance to their operations on the part of (i) local governments, (ii) local civil society, (iii) local residents; (j) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to facilitate the operations of Canadian extractive companies by advocating for changes to local laws or regulations; (k) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to facilitate the operations of Canadian extractive companies by advocating against changes to local laws or regulations; (l) based on what factors do Canadian diplomatic missions evaluate requests from extractive companies for assistance or services, including services offered as part of the Global Markets Action Plan; (m) for each of the last five years, broken down by country where the diplomatic mission is located, how many requests for assistance or services have Canadian diplomatic missions received from Canadian extractive companies; (n) for each request in (m), (i) what company made the request, (ii) what assistance or service was sought by the company, (iii) what assistance or service was provided to the company, (iv) who evaluated the request, (v) if the request was not granted, on what grounds was it not granted, (vi) who provided the assistance or service, (vii) what was the cost of providing the assistance or service, (viii) what was the objective of providing the assistance or service, (ix) in what way was that objective achieved; (o) in what circumstances do Canadian diplomatic missions provide assistance or services, including services offered as part of the Global Markets Action Plan, to an extractive company without a request from that company; (p) for each of the last five years, broken down by country where the diplomatic mission is located, (i) what companies have received assistance or services from a Canadian diplomatic mission without making a request, (ii) what was the nature of that assistance or service, (iii) who made the decision to provide the assistance or service, (iv) who provided the assistance or service, (v) what was the cost of providing the assistance or service, (vi) what was the objective of providing the assistance or service, (vii) in what way was that objective achieved; (q) for each of the last five years, broken down by country, in what legal proceedings outside Canada involving Canadian extractive companies has Canada intervened; (r) for each intervention in (q), (i) what was the nature of the intervention, (ii) what was the objective of the intervention, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to intervene, (v) who carried out the intervention, (vi) what outside counsel was retained, (vii) what is the breakdown of the cost of the intervention, (viii) what are the access or control numbers of any legal filings made by Canada; (s) based on what criteria do Canadian diplomatic personnel determine whether a Canadian extractive company is complying with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards, particularly those standards set out in November 2014 in Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance CSR in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad; (t) how frequently do Canadian diplomatic personnel evaluate the compliance of Canadian companies with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (u) what action do Canadian diplomatic personnel take when a company is found not to comply with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (v) for each of the last five years, broken down by country in which the diplomatic mission is located, what extractive companies have been deemed in non-compliance with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (w) for each company in (v), what action has been taken by Canadian diplomatic personnel to address the non-compliance; (x) what training do Canadian diplomatic personnel receive to ensure that they can advise and monitor Canadian extractive companies with respect to corporate social responsibility; (y) what assistance or services have Canadian diplomatic personnel provided to (i) Tahoe Resources in Guatemala, (ii) Nevsun Resources in Eritrea, (iii) Fortuna Silver in Mexico, (iv) Excellon Resources in Mexico, (v) IAMGOLD in Ecuador, (vi) Cornerstone Capital Resources in Ecuador, (vii) Kinross Gold Corporation in Ecuador, (viii) Lundin Mining in Ecuador, (ix) Barrick Gold in Chile, (x) Goldcorp in Chile, (xi) Yamana Gold in Argentina, (xii) Barrick Gold in Peru, (xiii) Candente Copper in Peru, (xiv) Bear Creek Mining in Peru, (xv) HudBay Minerals in Peru, (xvi) Eldorado Gold in Greece, (xvii) Esperanza Resources in Mexico, (xviii) TVI Pacific in the Philippines, (xix) Infinito Gold in Costa Rica, (xx) Blackfire Exploration in Mexico, (xxi) Skye Resources in Guatemala, (xxii) Glamis Gold in Guatemala; (z) for each instance in (y) of providing assistance or service, (i) what was the cost, (ii) what was the objective, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to provide the assistance or service, (v) who provided the assistance or service; (aa) what lobbying or advocacy activities have Canadian diplomatic personnel undertaken with respect to (i) laws relating to the extractive sector in Guatemala, including Decree 22-2014, (ii) laws relating to the extractive sector in Ecuador, including Ley Orgánica Reformatoria a la Ley de Minería, a la Ley Reformatoria para la Equidad Tributaria en el Ecuador y a la Ley Orgánica de Régimen Tributario Interno in Ecuador, (iii) laws relating to the extractive sector in Honduras, including amendments to the Honduran General Mining Law; and (bb) for each instance of lobbying or advocacy in (aa), (i) what was the cost, (ii) what was the objective, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to engage in lobbying or advocacy, (v) who carried out the lobbying or advocacy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 930--
Mr. Robert Chisholm:
With regard to Employment Insurance: (a) how many applications for sickness benefits made while the applicant was on parental leave were granted by the Employment Insurance Commission for each year from 2010 to the present; (b) how many applications for sickness benefits made while the applicant was on parental leave were granted by the Employment Insurance Boards of Referees for each year from 2010 to 2013 inclusively; (c) how many applications for sickness benefits made while the applicant was on parental leave were granted by Employment Insurance Umpires for each year from 2010 to 2013 inclusively; (d) how many applications for sickness benefits made while the applicant was on parental leave were granted by the Social Security Tribunal in 2013 and 2014; (e) how much money has the government spent on the class-action court case regarding women who were denied sickness benefits while on parental leave; (f) how many Justice Department lawyers have been working on the class-action court case; and (g) what was the average cost for an appeal to be considered by the Employment Insurance Commission, the Board of Referees, and an Employment Insurance Umpire?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 931--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
With regard to Employment and Social Development Canada: (a) what specific action has the government taken since January 2013 to ensure the sufficiency of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to provide a reasonable quality of life for each recipient, specifically, (i) what updates to the GIS have accounted for the rising cost of food, (ii) what GIS alterations have been made to increase access to non-insured prescription and non-prescription medications for low-income seniors, (iii) what GIS alterations have been considered for low-income senior homeowners and renters to offset housing costs; (b) what are the details of the government’s promise to begin automatic enrollment for seniors in the GIS program, specifically, (i) the number of calls made to Service Canada about the program, (ii) the dates when these calls were made, (iii) the number of people auto-enrolled, (iv) the number of people still to be auto-enrolled, (v) the number of calls from citizens with questions regarding auto-enrollment at Service Canada, (vi) the most common complaint received by Service Canada, (vii) details on how the auto-enrollment program was rolled out across Canada; and (c) what are the details of the government’s proactive GIS enrollment program, specifically, (i) the number of calls made to Service Canada about the program, (ii) the dates when these calls were made, (iii) the number of people enrolled through the program, (iv) the number of people still to be auto-enrolled, (v) the number of calls from citizens with questions regarding auto-enrollment at Service Canada, (vi) the most common complaint received by Service Canada, (vii) details on how the proactive enrollment program was rolled out across Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 933--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
With regard to Employment and Social Development Canada, since January 2013, in the campaign to combat elder abuse: (a) what is the total amount spent, further broken down by each category of spending; (b) in which ridings was the money spent; and (c) what has been the observable change in the number of elders being abused?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 934--
Ms. Libby Davies:
With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) in fiscal year 2013-2014: (a) what was the budget for the FTCS; (b) how much of that budget was spent within the fiscal year; (c) how much was spent on each of the following components of the FTCS, (i) mass media, (ii) policy and regulatory development, (iii) research, (iv) surveillance, (v) enforcement, (vi) grants and contributions, (vii) programs for Aboriginals of Canada; and (d) were any other activities not listed in (c) funded by the FTCS and, if so, how much was spent on each of these activities?
Response
(Return tabled)
8555-412-768 Cost of travel by parliamen ...8555-412-769 Youth Gang Prevention Fund ...8555-412-770 Treasury Board Secretariat8555-412-771 Ministerial use of private ...8555-412-772 Passport Canada8555-412-774 Department of Fisheries and ...8555-412-778 Access to Information Act8555-412-779 Kathryn Spirit8555-412-780 Sporting event tickets8555-412-782 Government advertising8555-412-783 Chronic Wasting Disease
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View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-43 at third reading. This is the second budget implementation bill.
I am pleased to rise given that I will be one of the few members of the House who will have the opportunity to speak to this bill at third reading because, as my colleague from Louis-Hébert mentioned, the government has limited debate to just one day. We have just one day to debate a massive budget bill that is 460 pages long and contains 401 clauses. It amends dozens of laws by creating, amending or eliminating legislation. We had very little time to examine this bill in committee given the scope of the measures it proposes. The process was seriously flawed in this case. Not only was the bill much too long to examine in two weeks—that is how long we had to examine it in committee—but there was also not enough time for the committees to which we referred certain sections to do their job properly. I would like to remind hon. members that the only authority these committees had was to hear from witnesses and make recommendations to the finance committee, which did not hear from those witnesses. This process is completely inadequate. Anyone who believes in parliamentary democracy cannot claim that this process is adequate for good governance.
As we have seen with all of the government's previous budget bills, as a result of mismanagement we end up with all kinds of flaws, errors, omissions and mistakes in these bills that must then be fixed in subsequent budget bills. That is not an effective way to govern.
Some elements in this bill show that the government refuses to abide by the principles of good governance.
One of these elements—which is something I just asked the parliamentary secretary about—is probably one of the most costly measures in the bill. This measure gives business that pay less than $15,000 in EI premiums a tax credit, without any conditions, to supposedly create jobs. That money is taken from the EI fund, which, as we know, is projecting a surplus in the coming years. That surplus would already be spent. This measure is estimated to cost more than a half-million dollars—around $550 million.
We would expect to see some guarantee of job creation if the government is forgoing $550 million in revenue from the EI fund. However, that is not the case. The only independent analysis we have had is from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who estimated that this measure would create 800 jobs. Just 800 jobs. The only organization that appeared before the committee and contradicted the Parliamentary Budget Officer's figures was the organization whose members will benefit the most from this measure. It was the organization that promoted this measure and it was this organization's study on which the government based its decision.
When a measure costs more than half a billion dollars, one would expect the Department of Finance to conduct an independent analysis to estimate how a break from paying premiums would affect job creation. However, the Minister of Finance himself came to committee and told us that the Department of Finance had not conducted any studies, and that the only analysis that he relied on had actually been conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The organization does a good job representing its members and determining what government benefits and measures will help them. That is what it does. That is why the government should rely on an independent analysis before adopting this type of measure. The government should not be sub-contracting the finance department's work—which is essentially what happened—and entrusting it to an outside organization that will first and foremost make sure that its members will benefit. This is one of the measures that clearly demonstrates that this government is completely off track when it comes to good governance. I must say that I have rarely seen another government use such a misguided and erratic approach to the economy.
There is no doubt that we are in pre-election mode, because most of the measures in the bill do nothing to stimulate economic growth and job creation, except for the measures we intend to support. In a 460-page bill, we are bound to find some measures we agree with, measures that support economic growth and job creation. However, many of these measures do not do that. Those measures should be studied separately in their own bill, but the government will hear nothing of it.
Even when it comes to measures that actually are related to taxation and the economy, the government has clearly shown that none of the measures, including the tax credit I just talked about, were analyzed by the Department of Finance. They were not analyzed by the Department of Finance or by independent parties, whose analysis the government ignored.
The government is so proud of its move to double the child fitness tax credit. The goal might be laudable, but the measure will be extremely expensive. According to estimates, this will result in more than twice as much lost revenue, and that the money will be given to parents of children who participate in physical activities.
Once again, the goal is laudable, but is the tax credit the right way to achieve that goal? Was an impact assessment done? In committee, one tax expert told us that the tax credit would not achieve—or would go only a short way toward achieving—the government's goal, which is to increase children's physical activity, and that this is not the right approach to take.
The questions that the Conservative members asked at the Standing Committee on Finance had more to do with anecdotes. They said that some of their constituents benefited from the credit and were happy about it. Fiscal analysis of how effective a tax credit is has to be done independently by the government and must be based on fiscal analysis of the numbers, not anecdotes. Governing on the basis of anecdotes is a bad idea. That is an irresponsible way to do it.
Another aspect that justifies our position at third reading of Bill C-43 is the government's lack of prior consultation on a number of measures. As I said, there are 401 clauses. The fourth part of the bill is on measures that have nothing to do with tax measures. This is one of the largest parts of the bill and it deals with a variety of topics that often have nothing to do with the budget or the economy in general. We might expect the government to at least do its homework and consult industry stakeholders, whose opinion should count to ensure that these measures are effective.
What is more, the division on changes to the Aeronautics Act seeks to centralize the powers of the department and the minister with regard to the expansion of and changes to airports. This could increase the risk of eliminating local consultation in cases of controversial proposals because these provisions give the minister discretionary power. We can see this in the case of the Toronto Island airport expansion.
Was the Canadian Airports Council consulted on this measure? No. Was the Canadian Federal Pilots Association consulted on this measure? No. How can the government propose measures like these without doing its homework? Is this the only proposed measure in Bill C-43 where the Conservatives failed in their responsibilities to Canadians? No. I could go on, in part 4 alone.
For example, the bill changes the rules that apply to co-operative credit societies without understanding the full repercussions. Again, was the Credit Union Central of Canada, the agency that represents credit unions, consulted? Was the Fédération des caisses Desjardins consulted? No. How can the government introduce such measures, which will have significant impacts on various industries?
How can the Conservatives claim they are doing due diligence in this process when they have not even bothered to ensure that there are no flaws in these measures or that they will have no adverse effects?
We do agree with some measures, but they have been watered down. They do not fully honour the Conservatives' commitments, including ending pay-to-pay practices, which is when consumers have to pay a fee to receive a paper copy of their bill. This legislation proposes eliminating these fees in the telecommunications sector. That is great.
We on this side of the House have been calling for an end to these pay-to-pay fees for years now. We have come back to this point again and again. I therefore want to ask the government why it chose to stop there, when it promised to eliminate those fees in the banking industry too. The government did not follow through on its commitment. The banking industry must have better lobbyists than the telecom industry. We know that this government does not necessarily have the best relationship with the telecom industry. That is the only reason I can think of to explain this decision. Once again, this is another half measure for consumers, when the government should be going all the way in meeting consumers' demands.
None of the measures the government has proposed, not only in Bill C-43, but also in all of its economic policies, have any real direction. The government has no policy framework to give its efforts some direction so that they do not end up wasted or focused on vote-chasing, as is quite clear in Bill C-43 and as I am sure we will see in the pre-budget consultation report. This is a real piecemeal approach.
This government does not have a proper industrial policy. However, in part 4 of the bill, the government has included measures that water down the Investment Canada Act and make it easier for foreign interests to acquire companies. There were not really any consultations about this measure. The Investment Canada Act needs much more transparency and much more specific guidelines, so that foreign investors have little or no chance of seeing arbitrary or unjustified decisions. The government must be much more predictable for these investors, which is very important if we want to attract foreign interests.
There is no comprehensive health policy or strategy. The government could show leadership. Naturally, we recognize that health is a provincial jurisdiction. However, that does not prevent the government from working with the provinces, taking a leadership role and ensuring that we have a pan-Canadian health policy that the provinces and territories support. However, the government is making unilateral changes, and our fear is that this bill is specifically trying to politicize the Public Health Agency of Canada.
There is no credible policy on the part of the government to ensure retirement security. However, there are amendments that create other investment vehicles without improving income security. Furthermore, the government does not have a coherent energy policy. Despite that, changes are being made to the law on marine transport. Changes are being made to tax rules with respect to the right to organize and the environment in order to allow the oil and gas sector and extractive companies to apply the same rules in Canada as in developing countries. They are actually being allowed to comply with laws that are much less rigorous than what we have here.
Although we could play a role in developing and implementing coherent policies in the countries with which we do business, the government is going in the opposite direction. It is extremely frustrating to come back to the House for third reading with very little time to debate this bill, as was the case in committee.
That was definitely the case at the Standing Committee on Finance. However, other committees, although they had no real power, tried their best to invite witnesses who could speak to those far-reaching bills that should have been split into multiple bills.
This is extremely frustrating because it clearly shows that this country is moving in the wrong direction. The majority of the government members will give their speeches, at least those who will have the opportunity, and will sing the praises of their economic policies.
When the parliamentary secretary answered a question about this government's performance, in 2008 in particular, when the recession hit, he said that the government was a leader in terms of what governments were doing around the world to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis.
However, that is not what the Conservatives did. During the 2008 election, they denied that there was an economic crisis on the horizon. I remember quite well that the Prime Minister played down the looming economic crisis, but we saw how bad it was. On national television, he simply said that it was a good time to buy stocks and invest in the stock market. How completely irresponsible.
We have called on this government to invest specifically in infrastructure, in the sectors where private enterprise could no longer or would no longer invest because of the current economic situation, in order to make up for the gap left by the private sector, which should be investing and ensuring a thriving economy. The government had to play its role, in large part thanks to the opposition. Boasting about taking the lead on this and acting alone is completely irresponsible. That interpretation is a complete misrepresentation of what we are dealing with.
We are not out of the woods yet. We need concrete measures from this government that are not just intended to win votes, but rather are focused on what they claim is their slogan: job creation and growth. That is not what we see in this bill.
That is why we have no choice but to oppose it. Before doing that, I would like to move the following motion:
I move, seconded by the hon. member for Compton—Stanstead:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
“this House decline to give third reading to Bill C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, because it:
(a) amends dozens of unrelated Acts without adequate parliamentary debate and oversight;
(b) does not take measures to create jobs and address slow economic growth;
(c) seeks to restrict access to social assistance for refugee claimants, even though there is no financial need and there has been no request from the provinces for such a measure;
(d) makes amendments to patent legislation that could lead to costly legal action against the government;
(e) introduces a tax credit whose effects have not been analyzed by the government and that will significantly diminish the employment insurance fund; and
(f) breaks the government's promises to protect small businesses from merchant fees and to ban banks from charging pay-to-pay fees.”.
View Ruth Ellen Brosseau Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, today I am going to speak to Bill C-18.
As with all of the government's other omnibus bills, I have a bittersweet relationship with this bill. There are some parts I like and some parts that really concern me. Our committee worked very hard to study this highly complex bill. A number of stakeholders came to testify as part of our study.
However, sadly, the amendments made do not reflect the majority of the requests made by these witnesses. My position is clear: the amendments made to Bill C-18 in no way reflect the requests of these witnesses. We are right back where we started. This bill raises a number of problems and concerns for both us and our agricultural partners, and I will go into more detail about this in my speech.
First, I will explain the implications of this bill; second, I will talk about the requests made by the witnesses and the work my party has done to try to counter the negative effects of this bill; and then I will conclude by listing the many problems that remain in this bill and that make me very concerned and bitter about the fact that it was passed.
I remind members that this bill would amend nine federal acts: the Plant Breeders' Rights Act, the Feeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Seeds Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act and the Farm Debt Mediation Act, which is under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
This bill appears to be the most significant change to agriculture and agri-food in our country's history. This bill amends many existing acts, and these amendments affect nearly everyone involved in the agricultural sector as well as their relationships with each other. That is why we must be cautious, to ensure that the bill does not create uncertainty or confusion.
This bill also has the advantage of protecting intellectual property, promoting innovation and potentially supporting foreign investment. These are all aspects that my colleagues in the NDP and I support. However, it was very important to ensure that none of these aspects come at the expense of Canada's agricultural heritage. The NDP has nothing against innovation, as long as it does not violate any rights. This bill forces a number of changes on the agricultural sector, and these changes are worrying a lot of people.
The witnesses we heard from were clear. This bill is good as a whole, but it needs quite a bit of clarification and more than a few amendments. I would like to go over some of them. Stakeholders want farmers' rights to be clarified and protected vis-à-vis plant breeders' rights. They call for the restriction or removal of ministerial powers to unconditionally disallow farmers' rights and privileges through regulatory change. They call for clarification and controls around when breeders can require farmers to pay royalties. In addition, they want explicit protection for seed cleaners.
My NDP colleagues and I were there for all of the testimony. We did our homework and we proposed at least 16 amendments to this bill—common-sense amendments that were all rejected, unfortunately.
Our party proposed amendments in the interest of a balanced approach between protection for plant breeders and for agricultural producers. Our amendments would have ensured that all participants could benefit fully from these ambitious changes.
For example, with respect to farmers' privilege, our amendments included the rights to trade, sell and clean seed, which is what stakeholders asked for. That amendment was rejected.
Many of our amendments suggested that the minister's power to exempt farmers' rights and privileges without any conditions should be subject to an assessment by Parliament.
This change was meant to prevent the agricultural sector from becoming politicized. These amendments were also rejected.
Another one of our amendments would have clarified and set limits on the places where plant breeders can collect royalties in the process. Many stakeholders said they were worried about the fact that the royalties they had to pay could be claimed at any time and do not take into account the quality of their crops. Our amendment was rejected.
Lastly, one of our amendments was meant to protect producers from prosecution when they did not intend to break the law. I think it is just common sense that people should not be prosecuted when a violation is accidental and not the result of negligence. Even though that amendment really made sense, it was rejected.
In other words, all the work the NDP did to try to make this bill an acceptable piece of legislation was dismissed out of hand by our Conservative colleagues. As it stands, Bill C-18 could create many problems.
I said before that we were back at square one and it is true. The many problems raised about Bill C-18 still exist. I will name three.
First, the bill does not take a balanced approach at all and will benefit only a handful of players to the detriment of another group. The NDP believes that a balanced approach is essential when it comes to plant breeders' rights. This bill is not consistent with that view.
Second, farmers' privileges are not adequately protected. In fact, in agricultural sector jargon they are known as privileges, but the stakeholders usually see them as rights. Rights are not taken away so easily. No one should be allowed to have such power, and if such power is needed, then there should be a system of checks and balances.
Third, along the same lines, I think it is unacceptable for the minister to have such broad powers. To justify putting so much power in the minister's hands, the Conservatives are saying that the department needs to be able to adapt the law as quickly as possible if complications should arise. It is not a bad idea, but they seem to be forgetting the adverse effects of this type of practice. The government's decisions on agriculture could quickly become political. The House of Commons should at least have the right to review these exemptions. I am concerned, and I am not the only one.
In closing, I have the distinct impression that we are back at square one. The concerns that I raised today are very similar to the ones I raised in my last speech on Bill C-18. I am disappointed that although a number of stakeholders came and testified in committee, almost none of their recommendations were considered in the amendments put forward by the Conservatives.
What is worse, in his testimony the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said that he would clear up the problem with regard to farmers' rights. However, instead of proposing amendments based on the recommendations made by witnesses, he proposed a token amendment that does not go far enough.
The governing party continues to turn a deaf ear. It does not want to collaborate in order to avoid potential excesses. What is more, this bill favours some stakeholders over others.
I am deeply disappointed, but I take comfort in knowing that we warned the Conservatives. It is therefore with pride in the work that we have accomplished that I oppose this omnibus bill.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2014-10-29 15:50 [p.8936]
Mr. Speaker, I am trying to find a way to say that it is a pleasure to speak to this particular piece of legislation but it is not, simply because of what we have in front of us. The story that is best told about this mammoth bill, Bill C-43, is the story of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let me start with the good because it is the shortest section. In here, we have the government seeking to go halfway with respect to some consumer protection. New Democrats have been fighting for years to protect consumers from businesses that operate in hat we believe is an unethical way. We think that is the proper role of government. The Conservatives agreed in part.
Pay to pay, a term that was coined in an NDP office in Toronto, is a concept that Canadians should not have to pay to receive their bills. It is adding a little insult to injury. The Conservatives said, yes, certainly with the telecommunications companies, with which they have a particular fight, and certainly for some of the broadcasting companies, with which they also have a dispute right now. Those will be banned. Pay to pay will not be allowed there by law. However, the banks are a special case for the Conservatives and the Prime Minister. It seem the banks do not earn enough money to have to do away with this unfair practice to their customers, so banking consumers will continue to pay to receive their own bills in the mail.
A second piece that is a good and important piece, which has nothing to do with the budget but here it is in the budget bill, is the establishment of a DNA bank for missing and in some cases murdered Canadians. This is also something the NDP has long believed in, after listening to victims groups and police associations that said this was important. We are happy to see progress there.
Now let us move to the bad, because in the 460 pages that are in this massive bill, most of it is bad. Certainly at the very best it is completely unassociated to anything that we would know as a budget. There are 460 pages with 401 clauses changing dozens of laws in the stroke of a pen. When we vote on the bill it will be a six- to seven-minute process and all of a sudden all of these laws, as has been the case before, will be changed all at once.
What is remarkable about this failed process from the Conservatives is that in this massive omnibus bill are a number of changes to fix mistakes in the last omnibus bill, which fixed mistakes from the previous omnibus bill. If the Conservatives consider this competent governance I would hate to see what they think is incompetent because all this does is make up for the arrogant mistakes that get made time and time again by the government. It says rather than debate any of these individual pieces of legislation, among the dozens, at separate times so that we could hear from witnesses who know what they are talking about and so that MPs could vote freely and fairly with their conscience on each aspect, the Conservatives do this kitchen sink approach.
It is a Trojan horse. Buried within the bill are so many concepts, and some of them at odds with each other, that when we had the briefing last night with government officials they needed to roll in dozens and dozens of civil servants to address all the different parts of Canadian law that would be changed by the bill. I had a great deal of sympathy for these folks. They drag them in here and we sit until eleven, twelve, one o'clock in the morning for these things. The officials get up to the front of the room for their six minutes to address one section out of this massive bill and then go home. I am sure they are salaried and not getting overtime for this hassle the government continues to put them through.
The mistakes that continue to be made by doing legislation by bulldozer is a problem for the government. It is a problem for the Canadian people. My colleague just read a quote from the right hon. Prime Minister from when Conservatives used to occupy these benches. We have quotes from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Industry and virtually every senior Conservative in cabinet who was at one point in opposition and hated this process when the Liberals did it.
When the Liberals used omnibus bills to ram through legislation, the Conservatives talked about the conscience of Parliament, the inability of MPs to represent their constituents properly and fairly and how this was an abuse of the democratic process.
We agreed with them when they had that conscience. Now, it is the same old story because they picked up some of the worst habits from my Liberal colleagues, and these omnibus bills have grown massively over time. Now we have hundreds and hundreds of pages of legislation being rammed through Parliament with little oversight, affecting virtually hundreds of Canadian laws. They are changing everything from the nuclear act to public safety and Canada's medical act. It goes on and on.
However, what is not in the bill is important. What is in a bill is sometimes very critical. What is not in this so-called budget implement bill is greatly worrisome for me and I believe for the Canadian economy. Taken in the current context, with virtually no private sector growth at all over the last 18 months, the private sector is not creating jobs. We have personal debt rates in this country that are the highest in our history, dramatically higher than any generation has seen before.
We have youth unemployment that is twice the national average and persists from the worst moments of the recession. For young people getting into the economy, getting that first job, which we know is critical for them to become productive and effective members of society, that first job is the most important step.
Youth, as they are coming out of school, training and university, if they are not able to find work, the statistics consistently show us that they will find whatever work they possibly can, and it is usually not in the field for which they trained.
We say we have a skills shortage in this country and in parts of this country we do. However, what we desperately have is an experience shortage. Young people are not getting the apprenticeships, not getting the training and not getting into the jobs for which they were educated.
When we have a youth unemployment rate nearing 14%, and that is not capturing the full rate of unemployment, that should be a problem for any government. This persists. This lasts longer than that one single year. We have also seen 1.3 million Canadians who are unemployed.
I am reminded by the sounds coming from the gallery of something else that is not in this bill. There is no affordable child care in this bill. We know statistically, because we now have evidence from Quebec, and it is proposed by the NDP, that affordable child care is one of the best things that can be done for the economy, never mind for families, never mind for single moms looking for options, and never mind for those families that are struggling to just pay the bills.
When considering having kids, one of the largest factors that comes into play is whether a family can afford it or not. We hear of daycare rates of $2,100 per child per month in places like Vancouver and Toronto. What single mom can afford that? What couple can afford that? We see rents and the cost of living continually going up.
We have suggested to the government that this is an ideal opportunity to increase women's participation in the workforce, as has been evidenced in Quebec, and to increase the fertility rate of this country. As we know, we have a stalled and declining fertility rate or replacement rate in this country. We have seen a baby boom in Quebec.
I thought Conservatives were focused on family and interested in what happens with family affairs. I guess not so much when it comes to actually providing help for those families.
We have seen the loss of 400,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs just since the Conservatives have taken power that have not come back. According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 700,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last decade that have not been replaced. The trend is continuing.
There are actual aspects of this bill that we believe offer less scrutiny for foreign takeovers of Canadian companies, a back door process, to allow even less oversight of foreign companies taking over Canadian assets. We know the experience. We have the list of promises made when Canadian firms are taken over. The government just does not even bat an eye. It is a problem for Canadians and it should be a problem for the government.
We see, from the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the serious concern of long-term unemployment. We see time and again that if long-term unemployment persists, it has a huge and important effect on our economy, and there is nothing in here.
We heard from those same lobby groups the Conservatives like to quote all the time, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and average ordinary everyday people who have businesses. They say that merchant fees, credit card fees, are too high, and that the influx of new credit cards that consumers enjoy is hurting those small and medium-sized businesses.
From Restaurants Canada, we heard that the profit made by restaurants on certain meals, if paid for by certain credit cards, is less than the fees they have to pay to the credit card company. They have to pay fees on the tips that are given to their employees and it comes directly out of the owner's pocket.
If the Conservatives were actually interested in doing something to help small businesses, this would be a good place to start. It hits them and helps them right in the bottom line right away.
However, these are two competing interests. Let us see who wins out, the small businesses of Canada or the large banks and credit card companies. Looking through these 460 pages, the banks and credit card companies win yet again, as they did under the previous Liberal regime.
Let us get into some of the other global concerns. We see a weakening in China. The EU is in trouble again. Paying $80 for a barrel of oil should be a concern as the Alberta government is now publicly saying that its budget estimates were based on $93 a barrel. We are asking the government what its estimates are based on because we know how critical the price of oil is as it relates to how much revenue the federal government is able to receive. As one economist said to the finance committee, if oil stays at or below $80 a barrel and we are losing upward of $4 billion a year, there is no accounting for that at all.
There is no Conservative budget here. Very expensive promises are about to be made, like income splitting, that will cost the taxpayer upward of $5 billion just as we remain in a flat and fragile Canadian economy with very little private sector job growth, with a global economy that remains uncertain and with oil prices that have dropped off dramatically. The Conservatives do not seem to acknowledge any of this and yet they call themselves managers of the economy. How could that possibly be?
Let us look at the one job scheme that the government has placed in this legislation. I say scheme purposely because there is nothing else to call this thing. We asked officials last night to give us the evidence that supports any of the claims that the Minister of Finance makes. One would think that if the finance minister and his department had run the numbers and found that the government's half a billion dollar employment scheme would create a lot of jobs in Canada, they would be more than happy to produce the numbers and give us the evidence. They told us that was all advice to the minister and it was protected by confidentiality.
As if ripping off the employment insurance scheme for $550 million was not the business of the people who paid into it, the employers and employees. As if slipping a bit of advice to the minister was somehow to protect those people from knowing what was happening to the employment insurance fund they paid into.
It is not the government's money. The Conservative member from Toronto who sits on the finance committee said that very thing just this week to a witness. This is not the government's money. Why does the government, as previous Liberal governments, treat it otherwise, as some sort of slush fund that it can use for its pet projects?
The only true analysis we have seen of this scheme so far has been from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who has a good record when it comes to analyzing Conservative costs. We remember the whole Afghanistan cost, which the Conservatives denied.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer has to routinely go to court just to get data from the government, which is ironic and tragic considering it was the Conservatives who created the position of Parliamentary Budget Officer in the first place. He spends half his time in court trying to drag the numbers and the data from the government, so that he can do what he was mandated to do. Why spend the money on this office? Why create the office through legislation in the first place if it is going to be starved of information and denied its right to do its honest and good work?
The PBO did study this employment insurance scheme and found a couple of extremely worrisome discrepancies. One is the perverse incentive regarding employers that sit right around the threshold line as designed in this plan, that are just above the EI contributions of $15,000. They would have a $2,200 incentive to drop below that line. How do they drop below that line? They will have to fire somebody. They would have a $200 incentive to hire somebody that might put them above the line.
Let me do the quick math for my Conservative colleagues: a $200 incentive to hire somebody and a $2,200 incentive for those same small and medium-sized businesses to fire somebody. We hope they will not do that. Most small and medium-sized business owners have a good conscience and want to help create jobs. Why, for heaven's sake, would a government create a program that would give them the incentive to do the opposite while taking from the EI fund to do it?
The Parliamentary Budget Officer also ran the numbers on this and found that the $550 million scheme would create upward of 800 jobs. Wow. That is $550 million in employment insurance contributions out, 800 jobs into the economy. When that number is broken down, as the Parliamentary Budget Officer did publicly and transparently for everyone, that works out to $550,000 for every new job created.
I have emails sitting in my inbox and posted on my Facebook page from Canadians saying they want one of those jobs. They want to know how to apply for one of these fancy EI scheme jobs if they are going to be given half a billion dollars. My goodness. Who came up with this thing?
How bad could it possibly be for the Conservatives that they have to grab and desperately search for job creation plans that cost half a million dollars or more per job? My gosh, they have to do better than this. I guess 8, 9, 10 years in, they have completely run out of ideas.
As Churchill once said about anything he would like to change about all his time in government, he said, “Circumstance”. He wished that he could have changed the circumstance.
However, the circumstance and reality for the current Conservative government is that our economy continues to struggle from the depths of the recession. The Conservatives cannot have 18 months of virtually no private sector job growth and be satisfied as a government. How can that possibly be true? I would love for the Conservatives to get up and deny that reality. Where does that number come from? It comes from Statistics Canada, the government's own reporting agency.
Let us look at another aspect of this so-called budget bill. Refugee claimants are clearly a concern of the government because it has to crack down on the billions of dollars going to refugees. Oh wait, the changes the Conservatives would make do not affect the federal treasury at all.
What would the changes do? They would affect real people's lives, and those claiming and seeking refugee asylum status in Canada will be denied, through the provinces, which would be enabled by the the bill before us, to receive social assistance.
This is coming after the most recent experience of the Conservative government denying refugees medical service and protection, which a Federal Court judge said was cruel and unusual punishment. Members do not have to take my word for it, they can listen to the judge who, when faced with this case, this absolute atrocity of legislation and policy coming from the government, said that any government that does this to anybody is performing something that is cruel and unusual.
Rather than back up that particular train, the Conservatives decided to double down and say that clearly the refugee claimants are making so much money and living so well that we need to deny them, and we will help the provinces deny them.
We then asked, “Which provinces asked for this measure? Which refugee claimant groups asked for this?” The best we got from the government was that it notified the Ontario government of the changes.
Would members like to know what the Ontario government's official policy is on denying refugee claimants social assistance? It is against it. Therefore, the one province the Conservatives even mentioned this to said not to do it, but here we have it.
The Conservatives, on some ideological rant, some xenophobic policy, meant to attack some perceived enemy, some problem that does not exist. They say that their government cares about people. How dare they. How shameful for them to put this in the middle of an omnibus bill and say that it is about the economy.
The Conservatives go to Canadians and say that they are working for them, yet the first thing they are going to do is go after those refugee claimants because obviously people who are seeking refugee status in Canada have been living so well and have had such a good experience in life that they have decided to seek refugee status here.
Where is that compassionate conservatism? Where are those Canadian values that say we are a place that welcomes the world as we have welcomed millions over the years? This strikes at the very core of our values and the Conservative have gotten it wrong.
What possible solutions do the Conservatives have?
Well, let us start with one of them. The Prime Minister, in a rare appearance at the UN, did not talk about climate change or activities of peace around the world, but about his program on maternal health, which is a good and decent program. He said that an important thing about the program is that the government is going to measure it because “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Well, guess what? We do not have good statistics to measure what is going on in the labour force in Canada. The Conservatives have denied gathering census data, which all the economists, banks and credit unions say is an atrocity and a bad way to run a government.
This is a story of the good, the bad and the ugly. It is a story of a government that has absolutely gotten it wrong yet again. It is a failed opportunity to actually help Canadians and our economy.
I move, seconded by the member for Laval:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
this House decline to give second reading to Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, because it:
a) amends dozens of unrelated Acts without adequate parliamentary debate and oversight;
b) fails to address persistent unemployment and sluggish economic growth;
c) aims to strip refugee claimants of access to social assistance to meet their basic needs;
d) imposes a poorly designed job credit that will create few, if any, jobs while depleting Employment Insurance Funds; and
e) breaks the government's promises to protect small businesses from merchant fees and to ban banks from charging pay-to-pay fees.
View Devinder Shory Profile
CPC (AB)
View Devinder Shory Profile
2014-09-25 13:00 [p.7829]
Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of trade to our economy. We know that trade is responsible for one out of every five jobs in Canada and accounts for 64% of our country's annual income.
Trade is the cornerstone of the Canadian economy, and Canada's prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders and into new markets for economic opportunities that grow Canada's exports and investments. This is why our Conservative government is delivering on its commitment in the Speech from the Throne to expand trade with Asia.
I am pleased to speak today on the importance of the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, or CKFTA. This landmark achievement, Canada's first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region, is a game changer. It will provide new access for Canadian businesses and workers to South Korea, which is the fourth largest economy in Asia with an annual GDP of $1.3 trillion and a high-growth market of 50 million potential customers.
South Korea is a major economic player in its own right and a key market for Canada. It is Canada's seventh largest overall merchandise trading partner, and third largest in Asia after China and Japan. Two-way trade between Canada and South Korea totalled more than $10.8 billion in 2013.
Canadians recognize Asia's growing economic strength and believe that closer economic ties with Asia are necessary for Canada's future prosperity. The Canada-Korea free trade agreement is projected to add thousands of Canadian jobs to the economy, increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32% and boost Canada's economy by $1.7 billion.
South Korea also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses and workers to the Asia-Pacific region. As a result of this agreement, Canadian companies will be able to use South Korea as a key base for expanding their presence in Asia and to access its regional and global supply chains. This Canada-Korea free trade agreement creates a mechanism to increase the already substantial people-to-people connections shared by South Koreans and Canadians.
I would like to discuss in some detail the concrete and real benefits that will be available to Canadian businesses, from coast to coast to coast, after the implementation of this agreement. Unlike the NDP who loves to oppose our trade agreements, our Conservative government recognizes that protectionist restrictions stifle our exporters and undermine Canada's competitiveness, which in turn adversely affects middle-class Canadian families.
The CKFTA will cover virtually all aspects of commercial activities between Canada and South Korea, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, non-tariff barriers, environment and labour co-operation, and other areas of economic activity. The agreement increases potential market access for Canadian exporters and investors from every province and territory, and it would remove non-tariff barriers that hinder trade.
Additionally, under this agreement, Canada has secured greater opportunities related to temporary entry for business persons than those enjoyed by South Korea's other free trade agreement partners. This will provide an advantage to Canadian business persons needing to move between the two countries to conduct business.
Investment is a key component of the bilateral economic relationship between Canada and South Korea. It is an area that has great potential for growth, which is assisted by the increased certainty and transparency created by the CKFTA. Canada will be able to attract more investments, such as the 2013 opening of Samsung's first Canadian research and development centre in Vancouver, which focuses on the development of Samsung's enterprise security solutions and provides technical support for the company's diverse customer base. This centre already employs 60 people and more employment is expected.
There will also be many exciting opportunities in agriculture, fish and seafood, forestry products and the industrial goods sector. South Korea imports 70% of its food, representing a $20 billion market per year. However, Canadian agricultural exports to South Korea currently face high tariffs, which average over 50%. This places Canadian exporters at a serious disadvantage with their competitors, notably the United States, when trying to access the lucrative South Korean market.
With this agreement, Canadian businesses like Conestoga Meat Packers, a co-operative of 150 southern Ontario family farmers who have been producing premium-quality fresh pork for more than 30 years, will have the opportunity to be on equal footing with their competitors in the South Korean market. The elimination of tariffs on fresh, chilled, and frozen pork will give companies like Conestoga the opportunity for continued company growth, an integral component of their business plans. The CKFTA would provide Prince Edward Island-based Cavendish Farms with a golden opportunity to grow their presence in the South Korean market and to expand in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
While current South Korean duties range from 18% to a staggering 304% for potato products, the CKFTA would provide tariff elimination on most potato products, thereby helping to level the playing field with South Korea's other FTA partners. This means jobs and opportunities for Canadians.
On fish and seafood products, which are the economic mainstay of approximately 1,500 communities in rural and coastal Canada, the CKFTA contains an ambitious outcome that would eliminate 100% of South Korean tariffs once the agreement is fully implemented. Companies like Nova Scotia-based Clearwater Seafoods, North America's largest vertically integrated harvester, processor, and distributor of premium shellfish, will benefit from this strong CKFTA outcome.
In fact, we are already getting a taste of what increased seafood trade with South Korea will look like. Shortly after the announcement of the conclusion of negotiations on the CKFTA, Korean Air Cargo launched weekly service to South Korea from Halifax and is expected to transport a minimum of 40,000 kilograms of live lobster over the course of the summer. This would benefit Atlantic Canadians, as it would help to develop the South Korean market for fresh Canadian lobsters and provide a gateway for exports to other Asian markets.
South Korea imports $500 billion worth of industrial goods every year, including aerospace products. Canada's aerospace industry, which consistently ranks as one of Canada's top manufacturing sectors, will benefit from the immediate elimination of tariffs on turbo propellers, turbojet and propeller parts, and ground-flying training equipment. Tariffs on all aerospace goods would be eliminated upon implementation.
For Montreal-based CAE, a global leader in modelling, simulation, and training for civil aviation and defence, this agreement is very welcome news. CAE employs approximately 8,000 people in close to 30 countries and offers civil aviation and military and helicopter training services worldwide, including in South Korea. CAE is a prime example of Canadian companies that have recognized the value of South Korea as a regional base to serve clients in the Asian market. This type of investment would only increase once the CKFTA is implemented.
As we can see, the benefits to Canada and Canadians from this agreement are robust, multi-sectoral, and significant. Being well positioned in the Asia-Pacific region is critical to Canada's prosperity, and this agreement is a major step in realizing the untapped potential in Asia.
Of course, it is shameful that this past summer the NDP trade critic protested alongside well-known radical anti-trade activists, such as The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, at an anti-trade protest. Despite all the evidence that trade creates jobs, economic growth, and economic security for hard-working Canadian families, the NDP, together with its professional activist group allies, is ideologically opposed to trade.
Just as bad are the Liberals, who, during their 13 long years in government, completely neglected trade and completed only three free trade agreements, compared to our 43 free trade agreements. The Liberals took Canada virtually out of the game of trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets.
To close, I am happy to hear that both parties have now decided to support this bill. I am very optimistic that they have learned from the past and that they will continue to support our trade agenda.
View Joe Daniel Profile
CPC (ON)
View Joe Daniel Profile
2014-09-25 17:05 [p.7867]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak today about the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, or CKFTA. This agreement is Canada's first FTA in Asia. It is a landmark agreement for Canada that would create thousands of jobs for hard-working Canadians.
The CKFTA also represents a watershed for the Canada-Korea bilateral relationship.
No government in Canada's history has been more committed to creating jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers, and their families. Deepening Canada's trading relationships in dynamic and high-growth markets around the world, like South Korea, is key to these efforts.
Trade between Canada and South Korea is already significant, with two-way merchandise goods of just under $11 billion last year and two-way investment approaching $6 billion.
The agreement is expected to significantly boost bilateral commerce and, in turn, economic growth in both countries. On our side, the projection is that the CKFTA would increase Canada's GDP by $1.7 billion annually and our exports by about one-third over current levels. Those are significant numbers.
Most importantly, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement would restore a level playing field for Canadian companies in the South Korean market, where foreign competitors including the U.S. and the EU are already enjoying preferential access due to their respective FTAs with South Korea. For Canada this was a crucial consideration as we have seen our exports to South Korea fall sharply, particularly in the wake of the Korea-U.S. deal that was implemented in 2012.
The enhanced market access and regulatory commitments would be on par with the best treatment provided to any foreign companies, including from the U.S. and the EU.
Turning to investment, while Canada and South Korea enjoy a well-established relationship, there is considerable scope for expansion above current levels—about $5 billion in South Korean investment in Canada and $534 million in Canadian investment in South Korea.
Canada benefits from greater foreign direct investment. Canadian foreign direct investment in South Korea would improve our access to South Korean markets, technology, and expertise and enhance the competitiveness of Canadian firms in Asia.
Greater South Korean investment in Canada would stimulate economic growth and job creation here at home, providing new technologies and increased competition in the Canadian marketplace, ultimately benefiting Canadian consumers. In addition to financial services, which I mentioned, key sectors that stand to benefit from the agreement include automotive parts, transportation, and telecommunications.
Yet despite all the evidence that trade creates jobs, economic growth, and economic security for hard-working Canadian families, the NDP, together with its activist-group allies, is and always will be ideologically opposed to trade.
Just as bad are the Liberals who, during 13 years in power, took Canada virtually out of the game of trade negotiations, putting Canadian workers and businesses at severe risk of falling behind in this era of global markets. The last time the Liberals tried to talk seriously about trade, they campaigned to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The investment chapter of the CKFTA provides strong disciplines against discriminatory treatment as well as protection from expropriation and access to independent investor state dispute settlement.
These and other provisions would put Canadian investors on a level playing field with their competitors in South Korea and provide investors from both countries with greater certainty and transparency and protection for their investments, while preserving the full right of governments to regulate in the public interest.
Canada has also maintained its ability to review foreign investments under the Investment Canada Act, and decisions made under the ICA could not be challenged under the agreement's dispute settlement provisions.
In the area of government procurement, now a $100 billion-plus market in South Korea, the FTA would give Canadian suppliers access to procurement by South Korean central government entities for contracts valued above $100,000. This would put Canadian suppliers on an equal footing with U.S. competitors and in a more advantageous position relative to key competitors like Japan and the EU.
Strong intellectual property rights provided for in this agreement would complement access to the South Korean market for Canadians who develop and market innovative and creative products. New protection for geographical indications “Canadian whiskey” and “Canadian rye whiskey” would secure the national brand recognition for Canadian distillers in the South Korean market.
The intellectual property outcomes would also be also covered by the FTA's dispute settlement procedure, which would give Canadian copyright, patent, and trademark owners an additional layer of protection in the South Korean market.
Our Conservative government understands the importance of trade to our economy. It represents one out of every five jobs in Canada and accounts for 64% of our country's annual income. We are proud of our record on trade because of the benefits trade brings to Canadians in all regions of our country and in all industries.
To put it simply, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement is a historic initiative that would strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific, increase the prosperity of both countries, and result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, as well as investors, workers, and consumers.
Canadian stakeholders from across Canada have called for the CKFTA to enter into force without delay to secure Canada's competitive position in the South Korean market. We must pass this legislation to implement the CKFTA so that Canadians can access the benefits and opportunities of this agreement as soon as possible.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
View Dan Albas Profile
2014-06-05 20:42 [p.6339]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak in support of the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement today.
Since 2006, our Conservative government has been focused on the priorities of Canadians: creating jobs, growth, and economic opportunities for all. One of the ways we have been achieving real results for Canadians is through opening new markets for Canadian businesses.
The Canadian economy relies on international trade. Our companies, over 40,000 of them, are already exporting. As the global economy becomes more and more interconnected, value chains grow and more of our businesses become active internationally. In Canada, one in five jobs is dependent on exports. Today trade-related activity represents more than 60% of Canada's gross domestic product.
Canadian companies are among the best in the world. Not only can they compete, they can succeed in the global marketplace. Our government is creating conditions to support the success of our companies, and we owe it to them to take action.
Canada has always been active in international trade. With the global economic crisis and the toxic threat of greater protectionism, the need for open markets has now become clearer than ever.
Canadian businesses have expressed broad support for trade and investment agreements. These agreements directly benefit small and medium-sized businesses for whom red tape and delays can be particularly burdensome. Our Conservative government continues to be a strong advocate on the world stage for free and open markets. In fact, the Minister of International Trade recently announced that Canada will join 13 World Trade Organization members, including China, the European Union, Japan, and the United States of America, in negotiations toward a new World Trade Organization plurilateral agreement on environmental goods. More open trade in environmental products will increase the availability and lower the cost of environmental goods, such as hydraulic turbines, air handling equipment, water treatment technologies, and waste management or recycling equipment. It is an ambitious agreement that will significantly facilitate the achievement of the green growth and sustainable development objectives of the World Trade Organization economies by creating a win-win situation for trade and for the environment.
Rather than take a wait-and-see approach and hope for the best, Canada decided to proactively focus on diversifying our trading relationships through regional and bilateral free trade agreements. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade, 2013 was the most successful year for trade in Canadian history.
Last October our Conservative government reached an agreement in principle on the Canada-European free trade agreement. It is a great achievement, I might add. This is a major milestone on Canada's international trade negotiations agenda. Through the Canada-Europe free trade agreement, our companies will gain preferential access to a market of over 500 million affluent consumers and a collective gross domestic product of $17 trillion. A Canada-European Union joint study concluded that the agreement would increase Canada's GDP by $12 billion annually and would grow bilateral trade by 20%.
In addition to this historic agreement in principle with the European Union, since 2006 we have concluded agreements with the European Free Trade Association, which includes Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and with Peru, Colombia, Jordan, and Panama. We most recently concluded negotiations with Korea. We are also working expeditiously to conclude negotiations with the members of the trans-Pacific partnership as well as bilateral agreements with Japan and India.
To help Canadian investors, since 2007 we have concluded or brought into force 22 new or updated foreign investment protection and promotion agreements. These are just a few examples of our international trade achievements to date.
Contrast this with the Liberal record on trade, signing only three free trade agreements, agreements that are being broadened and modernized by this Conservative government, and having expensive political photo ops without any proven results or follow up, unfortunately. We have left behind that decade of Liberal trade neglect. To do this, we conducted consultations right across this great country. We engaged around 400 business and industry stakeholders. These were not just large corporations but the small and medium-sized businesses that are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy.
This is why we are so proud of the global markets action plan we launched in November 2013. This is not a bureaucratic exercise. It is a concrete plan for Canadian business developed with Canadian business. The global markets action plan focuses on our international economic engagement by identifying priority sectors and markets. It also underscores the importance of economic diplomacy, and of course, it aims to help Canadian small and medium-sized companies expand their global reach.
Through this government's initiatives, we want to support Canadian companies, whether they export goods or services or want to invest, to be competitive in these new markets.
Speaking of new markets, our government has long recognized the growing importance of the Americas. The Prime Minister confirmed this when he made that region a foreign policy priority in 2007. Increased trade and commercial engagement is part of the Prime Minister's vision for a more prosperous, secure, and democratic hemisphere, and it makes sense to Canadian businesses too. Total trade between countries in the Americas and Canada increased 34% from 2007 to 2013, not to mention that Canadian direct investment was up 58.6% from 2007 to 2012, a big jump.
How does Honduras fit into our ambitious free trade plan to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians? That is a very good question. In 2011, the Prime Minister announced that we had successfully concluded free trade agreement negotiations with Honduras. I would like to note three key reasons why it was important for Canada to conclude this agreement.
First, Canadian companies were already at a competitive disadvantage in Honduras, and that is a fact. Since 2006, American companies have benefited from having an established free trade deal with Honduras.
Listen to what César Urias, director, Latin America, for Canada Pork International, said to the international trade committee during its study of the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement. He stated:
In 2004...Canada exported 1,345 metric tons estimated at $2.2 million, approximately one-third of Honduras pork imports. By 2006, Canadian pork exports dropped to zero as the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States free trade agreement...came into effect.
This unlevel playing field was made even worse when the European Union concluded its free trade deal with Central America, including Honduras, in 2010. That free trade agreement has been provisionally applied with Honduras since the summer of 2013. Our companies need to catch up with our U.S. and EU counterparts. The Canada-Honduras free trade agreement would put them on a level playing field, a level playing field for which they have been asking.
Take as an example what Vincent Taddeo, vice-president international for Cavendish Farms, said. He stated:
The Canadian government must make the timely establishment of free trade negotiations a greater priority and ensure a more level playing field for our exports and exporters; ...be proactive and aggressive in negotiating and conducting other free trade agreements.
I can assure our pork farmers, producers, and workers at companies like Cavendish Farms that this Conservative government is heeding their call.
Second, when we negotiate a free trade agreement, we are looking at the potential for trade in the future. From 2009 to 2013 our two-way merchandise trade with Honduras grew 59.2%. This trend speaks to the potential for further growth of our trading relationship with Honduras. Once the free trade agreement enters into force and our companies begin to see the benefits of tariff elimination, imagine the enhanced opportunities for Canadian business. When our businesses trade, they create jobs and opportunities for workers here in Canada.
To take a snapshot of what this agreement would mean for our pork producers, I will again refer to Mr. César Urias' comments when he stated:
The free trade agreement with Honduras is estimated to generate sales of $5 million to $7 million in the first year following implementation.
That is just in the first year. Stories like that from our industry prove why this agreement needs to be passed and as soon as possible. I repeat: as soon as we can.
What the anti-trade New Democratic Party does not understand is how broad the benefits would be for Canadians, even after Mr. Urias spelled it out for its members at committee, when he explained:
...[the free trade agreement] benefits the very base, the very foundation of the producing sector, as well as farmers, distributors, transporters by train, truck, or you name it. It even benefits financial services, insurance, and credit industries. There's a large, vast effect that is replicated in many other industries, not just...[the pork industry]. It's not just a focused effect. It spreads all over.
When this improved market access for goods is combined with the agreement's provisions on investment, services, and government procurement, we will have created the conditions for Canadian companies to succeed in that market.
Investors would also benefit. The Canada-Honduras free trade agreement includes provisions designed to protect bilateral investment through legally binding obligations, and to ensure that investors would be treated fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner. Through the free trade agreement, investors would also have access to transparent, impartial, and binding dispute settlement. The investment provisions of this free trade agreement would support a stable legal framework that would protect Canadian investments in Honduras and vice versa, including guaranteeing the transfer of investment capital and protecting investors against expropriation without prompt and adequate compensation.
Finally, this agreement underscores Canada's ongoing commitment to our partnership with Honduras. Honduras is a country with many difficulties and it would be easy to, as the NDP constantly demands, turn our backs in the face of human rights and security challenges. However, this government firmly believes in engagement, not isolation. That is the real way to achieve results. Only by continuing to build an open and credible dialogue can we support positive change in the country.
Even Jim Bannantine, president and CEO of Aura Minerals, a Canadian mining company operating in Honduras, agrees. He said:
...the free trade agreement, through the economic integration and jobs, is the best effect on the security in Honduras. By far the number one positive factor in security in Honduras, that allows us to practise our...[corporate social responsibility] and operate unimpeded, is jobs, economic growth; jobs make the best defence against this violence.
This commitment to building positive change is evident in Canada's multi-faceted, bilateral relationship with Honduras, from our people-to-people links to Canada's development program, and extends into our free trade agreement negotiations. This is why it is important to Canada that we include provisions like corporate social responsibility and anti-corruption and why we negotiated parallel agreements on labour and environmental co-operation.
During his testimony, Mr. Bannantine made it very clear that the Honduran people are seeing results, when he said:
On the...[corporate social responsibility] side, there are lots of examples on the ground. A couple of million dollars a year go to the local community.
For these reasons, the free trade agreement is a cornerstone of our bilateral relationship. The Canada-Honduras free trade agreement would absolutely benefit both our countries.
I urge all hon. members to support the implementation of the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement. Let us get together and pass Bill C-20 as soon as possible.
View John McCallum Profile
Lib. (ON)
View John McCallum Profile
2014-04-07 18:05 [p.4379]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to this bill. Clearly, as you know, the Liberals will vote against it.
I will start with the temporary foreign worker program. Three hours after question period, I moved a motion in the House that, unfortunately, did not receive unanimous consent. However, that motion reflects our point of view on this program.
What I tried to do in this motion, which did not receive unanimous consent, was to propose that the section of the budget implementation bill having to do with fines being imposed on those who break the laws regarding temporary foreign workers be removed from this bill and passed immediately through all stages of the process, thereby becoming effective immediately. This would provide another tool in the kit for the government, which is seeking to punish, so to speak, employers who are breaking the rules on temporary foreign workers.
The government did not like that. I guess it does not like the principle of breaking up its huge omnibus bill, no matter how much sense that might make. However, this would have given the government the tools right away to deal with this problem. This illustrates the more general point that while we in the Liberal Party agree that the temporary foreign worker program should exist, we also believe that the government has been incredibly irresponsible in allowing the number of temporary foreign workers to more than double, from approximately 150,000 or 160,000 people when the Liberals were in government, to well over 300,000 today.
As we know from examples involving my former employer, the Royal Bank, and also a mine in British Columbia, there have certainly been abuses of this program. Now the government has created its own mess and is trying to fix it. Liberals believe that many thousands of jobs that have been occupied by temporary foreign workers should have gone to Canadians in need of work. That is becoming more evident. It was evident from the public response to the situation involving McDonald's in Victoria.
We think the Conservatives should never have gotten into this in the first place. However, now that they have a mess to clean up, we think they should have accepted our motion so they could have imposed fines right away, rather than waiting weeks and weeks until this massive budget implementation bill finally passes through both Houses and becomes law.
According to what I have heard, the NDP wants to abolish the temporary foreign worker program, which would be really stupid if that were true. That shows that the New Democrats' attitude and economic policy are devoid of any common sense.
Experience has shown that in some sectors, including agriculture, this has been a useful and vital program for decades. There is absolutely no question that we want to keep this program. However, under the Conservatives, the numbers have shot up irresponsibly. Therefore, we want to put limits on the program, not abolish it.
The danger of this program is that it risks taking us away from Canada's long-held immigration system, where people come in with their families, become citizens, have children, vote in elections, and have grandchildren. That is how most of us, if not all of us, came to this country. By having massive numbers of temporary foreign workers, who are not in many cases qualified to be here but are taking other Canadians' jobs, we are gravitating toward a Europe-style, a Switzerland-style guest worker system, where people come in for a couple of years and then are shipped out again. That is not and never has been the Canadian way, but I fear that is the way the government is taking us.
I would like to spend the rest of my limited time on two other immigration-related issues.
The first issue is the immigration investor program. I believe there are approximately 20,000 applicants to the program who would be unceremoniously dumped by this bill. Yes, they would get their fees back, but in many cases they have been waiting many years to come into this country on the basis of this program. All of a sudden they are cut off at the knees and have absolutely no possibility of coming to Canada under the terms of that program. It is perhaps coincidental, but it is a fact that a very high proportion of these people happen to be from China. Naturally, they are not at all happy about this development.
I would be the first to acknowledge that the program, which I believe was brought forward in the Mulroney years, was imperfect. It had deficiencies and things that should have been fixed. Instead of $800,000, which the people get back, maybe it should be $8 million. Maybe there should be a requirement for real job creation. Maybe this, maybe that. We do not have the resources of the government to design a precise program.
My point is that rather than cutting these people off at the knees and throwing them out the window, the government should first develop an improved version of the program and give those who were already applicants in the old program the option of transferring to the new program. That would be fair. That would be better for Canada, because those people are likely to make a major contribution to the country, especially if the requirements imposed on them are more onerous and more favourable to this country.
Therefore, rather than proposing a little pilot program, which the Conservatives do not define and for which we have no idea of when, if ever, will happen, the government should have done its homework first and reformed the existing program, giving the applicants to the old program the opportunity to apply to the new program. That would be the way to move our system forward in an efficient and effective manner, primarily for the sake of Canada but also for the sake of those who waited many years and spent many dollars to apply to come to this country.
Finally, I will speak to another provision in the bill. This provision would extend to 20 years, rather than 10 years, the time that has to elapse before a newcomer is eligible for GIS.
The poorest seniors will now have to wait 20 years instead of 10 in order to be eligible for this benefit.
This is a subset of a more general issue. The government has decided that instead of sponsors being required to look after their parents for 10 years, they will have to look after them for an extended period of 20 years. In today's volatile economy, it seems to me that this is an unreasonable imposition. One does not know over a period of 20 years whether one will lose one's job or whether other unfortunate things might happen.
The bottom line is that in imposing these changes, the government is rationing the number of parents and grandparents to be allowed into the country according to the income and wealth of those who are applying. I think it is a very restrictive approach and I do not think it reflects the long, positive Canadian traditions in the area of immigration.
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
2014-04-04 12:59 [p.4306]
Mr. Speaker, you may have noticed that during every question period for the last eight years Conservative members have risen in the House to rail against the NDP for not supporting their budgets. Well, I would like to let the members opposite know that there will be no change in their speaking notes today. In fact, in question period today it was the same old tired lines from the government.
I will not be supporting Bill C-31. Here are the reasons why. I hope my colleagues across the way listen, because they should be ashamed as they listen to these reasons. Given the government's record on time allocation, of course, the bill contains amendments to more than 60 acts without the time to study those changes. It continues in Bill C-31. Once again, we see the despicable Conservative tradition of forcing legislation through without adequate parliamentary debate or public consultation.
New Democrats believe that healthy debate and consultation lead to better legislation for Canadians, yet we have another omnibus bill designed to ram through hundreds of changes with little study and little oversight. In fact, the Conservatives moved time allocation on the bill after just 25 minutes of debate. Canadians deserve better.
In addition, the bill fails to make life more affordable for Canadian families, who are still recovering from the effects of the recession. We have 300,000 more unemployed Canadians than before the recession, on this government's watch. The effects of this are painfully evident in ridings across the country, including my riding of London—Fanshawe. There is absolutely nothing in the budget, or Bill C-31, that would assist in getting the hard-working constituents of London—Fanshawe back to work, or to help replace the 400,000 Canadian manufacturing jobs lost on this Prime Minister's watch.
There is nothing in the budget or the bill that addresses the reasonable and affordable proposals of the NDP to strengthen the Canada pension plan. There is nothing to provide relief on heating bills, nothing for the millions of Canadians without access to a family doctor, and nothing to address the fact that we still have seniors in our country living in poverty. There are 250,000 of them.
New Democrats are focused on helping our most vulnerable seniors with an affordable increase to the guaranteed income supplement. While the government has made incremental measures in the past, they amount to much less than half of what is needed to pull every Canadian senior out of poverty. It is an amount that is far less than the billions in tax breaks the government has given to banks and big polluters.
Let us look at the history of this government. It is a government that has hiked payroll taxes, while working families struggled with the worst recession in decades. At the same time it was dishing out $21 billion in tax giveaways to Canada's richest companies. It stood by as good jobs with good wages and pensions, like those at Electro-Motive Diesel in London, disappeared as a result of foreign corporate takeovers.
New Democrats would like to see a government that provides explicit and transparent criteria for the testing of net benefit to Canada in the Investment Canada Act, which place emphasis on assessing the impact of foreign investments on communities, jobs, pensions, families, and new capital investments.
New Democrats propose working with the provinces to build a long-term skills training strategy to fill the skilled job shortages and to bring provinces, employers, labour, and educational organizations together to improve existing labour market development agreements. While we are at it, New Democrats would like to see the government sit down with the provinces on issues vital to Canadians, like the Canada pension plan and the Canada health accord, so we can arrive at the creative, affordable, and sustainable solutions we know are possible.
New Democrats would like to see a government that provides the services Canadians rely on. Reverse the devastating decision to cut provincial health care transfers by $36 billion; that would be a good start. The government has put universal health care on death watch. Reverse changes to El that include damaging new rules that would require Canadian workers to accept as much as a 70% pay reduction or risk losing benefits. Set fair and effective contribution rates for employment insurance, and protect the money in the fund.
Unfortunately, the government is not interested in serving Canadians. It has fallen down on the issues that matter most to us. It has refused to repay seniors their missing pension earnings, despite admitting that CPP and OAS pensioners were shortchanged by $1 billion due to an accounting error.
What happened to the promise of a comprehensive patient wait times guarantee? It disappeared after a handful of pilot projects that left most patients out in the cold.
The government cancelled agreements with provinces to fund affordable child care spaces. It was child care that would have given some relief to working families. The Conservatives misled Canadians with the $100 universal child care benefit by subjecting it to unfair clawbacks and taxes, so that families who needed assistance with child care the most got the least.
This is the government that squandered $20 billion on giveaways for oil companies, big banks, cellphone giants, and other corporations, without any requirements that they stop ripping off Canadians—
View Robert Goguen Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Speaker, others have mentioned in the House the many benefits this agreement would bring to Canadians. Today, I would like to speak of the importance to Canadian investors. Foreign investment is crucial to any modern economy. It not only brings with it jobs, but it increases the transfer of knowledge, efficiencies, and economies of scale to the host economy.
Foreign investment builds people-to-people ties, helps strengthen the country's competitiveness, and in turn paves the way for new opportunities for Canadian companies in dynamic fast-growing markets around the world, markets like Honduras.
Investment opportunities help Canadian companies remain globally competitive by ensuring their integration into the global economy. At the end of 2012, Canadian direct investment abroad had reached an all-time high of $711.6 billion. The value of the stock in foreign direct investment within Canada is also impressive. By the end of 2012, Canada had attracted more than $633 billion in foreign direct investment.
The global economy has faced tremendous challenges over the last few years; but throughout, Canada proved to be a safe harbour as the global economy faced challenges. It is no wonder Canada has proven to be such a draw for foreign investment.
Canada is home to 26 of the Financial Times global 500 companies. More top companies have headquarters in Canada than in Germany, India, Brazil, Russia, or Italy.
Canada has outpaced its G7 partners, with its economy growing the fastest in the last 10 years as a result of low corporate taxes, prudent fiscal management, a business climate that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship, and an open economy that welcomes foreign investment.
That being said, we all know Canada is not an island. We are not immune to the global economic turbulence. That is why we remain focused on helping create more jobs for today and tomorrow with ambitious pro-trade and pro-economic growth measures.
Canada must remain vigilant to ensure that our economic fundamentals remain strong at home and that Canadian businesses continue to have an increasing number of investment opportunities abroad. This is why it is important for us to leverage the investment relationships we have around the world with countries like Honduras.
Canadian direct investment in Honduras was estimated by Statistics Canada to be $105 million at the end of 2007. This was predominantly in the financial services and mining sectors, both of which offer strong potential for growth; and these opportunities are just the beginning for Canadian investors.
We have heard about the tremendous opportunities that exist in Honduras with respect to large infrastructure projects. These projects include the building or improvement of ports, roads, hospitals, bridges, and airports. A country like Canada, with so much expertise in these areas, can take advantage of these significant opportunities in Honduras.
Just these few examples clearly illustrate how important it is to enhance our investment relationship with countries like Honduras.
A free trade agreement with Honduras would provide investors from both countries with the benefits that come with enhanced investment protection and stability. These provisions, which would promote the two-way flow of investments, provide a range of obligations that benefit investors from both countries. They are designed to protect investment abroad through legally binding rights and obligations. The investment obligations of this agreement incorporate several key principles, including treatment that is non-discriminatory and that meets a minimum standard, protection against expropriation without compensation, and the free transfer of funds.
In short, Canadian investors would be treated in a non-discriminatory manner. This dynamic would help foster an investment relationship between our two countries and pave the way for an increased flow of investments in the years ahead.
This agreement would also provide investors with access to transparent, impartial, and binding dispute settlement.
I would like to make clear to the House, however, that while this agreement would ensure that investors and their investments are protected, it would not prevent either Canada or Honduras from regulating in the public interest with respect to such areas as health, safety, and the environment. This is the position our government has consistently taken in our trade and investment agreements.
The investment provisions also include an article on corporate social responsibility. This provision recognizes that Canada expects and encourages Canadian companies operating abroad to observe internationally recognized standards of responsible business conduct. This provision also helps level the playing field for Canadian investors when they invest abroad, by encouraging CSR principles among all investors.
Fundamentally, this agreement would send a positive signal to our trade and investment partners around the world. The agreement would enhance investment opportunities for Canadian investors in one of the most dynamic markets of the Americas. To date, Canadian companies have shown a significant interest in investing in the Honduran economy.
It is important this legislation moves quickly through this House. As time lapses, opportunities for Canadian investors are placed at risk. That is why it is critical that Canadian companies have the ability to strike while the iron is hot.
The United States is Canada's biggest competitor in Honduras, and many Canadian goods and services compete directly with those of the United States in Honduras. Our government will not stand by and let Canadian companies compete on an uneven playing field.
I encourage all members not to delay approval of the agreement. Our government has been very clear that trade and investment are vital to economic growth and the long-term prosperity of Canadians. That is why our government continues to move forward with an ambitious pro-trade plan that focuses on creating partnerships in key markets around the world.
Our government is committed to doing everything we can do to open doors for Canadians. That is why I ask all hon. members to show their support for the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2013-11-19 10:10 [p.1018]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address a bill that has several significant parts, a bill the official opposition will be supporting to study at committee. It has the electrifying title of an act to enact the Aviation Industry Indemnity Act, to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Marine Act, the Marine Liability Act and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. While that might not seem all that gripping a title, the actual impacts and effects of the bill are significant and do mean something, particularly to the people I represent in northwestern British Columbia. Very specifically, these are the aspects around oil tanker traffic.
In northern British Columbia, a company out of Calgary called Enbridge is proposing the northern gateway pipeline. It is a pipeline that would stretch 1,100 kilometres from Alberta to B.C.'s coast at Kitimat. The company then proposes to put it into supertankers that would run the inside passage out Douglas Channel, make three hairpin turns on their way out to the open ocean, and then go on to, one presumes, China and the rest of Asia.
I specifically note China in this proposal, simply because the Chinese government has funded a large sum of the $100 million Enbridge has been using to promote its project. It is not an equity stake. It is just money given by the state-owned oil enterprise in China to promote a Canadian pipeline project. One wonders what the motivations are for companies, especially those state-owned by the Chinese government, to offer it up. It may be an administration that some admire, but others of us have some questions for it.
It seems to me that the aspect of this project that is worrisome to many of the people I represent, and this has been going on for a number of years, is the complete lack of social licence the company has been able to attain. That is, in part, aided, if I may use that term for such a scenario, by the Minister of Natural Resources, who has suggested that anyone who has concerns or questions about this project must be, in his words, a radical and a foreign-funded enemy of the state.
For a federal minister and a government to use such heated, overblown rhetoric, such offensive and abusive language, is obviously a desperate attempt to try to push a project that has failed time and time again to gain the social licence of the people who are along the route. It demonstrates a government that simply sees the Canadians who live along the proposed pipeline route, or who may be impacted by an oil spill from the supertankers implicated by the project, as simply in the way. They are seen not as citizens, not as people in the communities taking the most risk, but as a bothersome quotient for the government to simply bully and have removed.
Bill C-3 has some aspects that we, in the small measures that are made here, support. They deal particularly with liability for oil spills. The liability regime in Canada to this point has been incredibly weak. It is much weaker than the regime that exists in the United States and certainly is dramatically weaker than that which exists in Europe and many of our other trading partners.
If we look at the oil tanker accidents around the world, proving causal liability is one of the more difficult levels to attain in a court of law. Even when that is done, under Canadian law as it exists right now, the amount of damages the company is on the hook for is minimal.
The Canadian taxpayer is meant to pay the rest, and not just for the costs incurred in the actual emergency in deploying of the Coast Guard and other emergency services. For the eventual damages that would be awarded or given to the public, the companies are still restricted in their liability exposure. Who picks up the rest of the damages for the impact on fishing communities and other economies that are trying to exist? Never mind just the economic impact. There are the straight up environmental impacts. We see even in this bill an extension of the liability, but certainly nothing that would move toward full responsibility.
The companies themselves, Enbridge and others, which ship oil, have declared, perhaps to their credit, that they cannot guarantee that there will not be spills. The reason they cannot is that they have spilled so many times in the past.
There was a relatively recent incident in Michigan, near where your home riding is, Mr. Speaker, in Kalamazoo River, in which bitumen being shipped by Enbridge leaked out of a pipe. The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, which conducted the review afterward, showed that the company was “the Keystone Kops”. The spill had been noted and the emergency lights went off in Calgary. They were shut down on three separate occasions while the spill into this river continued to exist. It is a relatively small river, by British Columbia standards, and it is very slow-moving and warm, conditions that would be more ideal, if there is such a thing in terms of cleaning up an oil spill. Still, the company desperately struggled to attain anything close to a cleanup.
We now know from British Columbia's assessment and from the Auditor General of Canada, concerning the ability to clean up oil in the marine environment, that success would be deemed somewhere around the 5% rate. If there were a major oil spill, the company's expectations and those of the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for the amount of oil that would actually be recovered would be about 5% at best, because of the conditions that exist on B.C.'s north coast. It is recognized by anyone who has ever lived there or visited that we have a somewhat precarious set of environments in which it is difficult to gather back oil, particularly bitumen, which is the notion of many of the projects that the Conservative government is promoting.
This is the government's Wild West energy plan: to ship as much raw bitumen and material out of the oil sands as is humanly possible, thereby forgoing all of the economic benefits that would come with actually upgrading the oil, at least to a state where it would look like a more conventional oil that we have traditionally seen, and then upgrading again and refining that oil into products that consumers would actually use. These would be gas, diesel, and the rest of the products that come out of a refinery.
The challenge for us is that, on the environmental front, the Conservative government has been an obvious failure. The meetings going on right now in Poland with respect to climate change have Canada ahead of such environmental luminaries as Saudi Arabia, Iran and a third country, which escapes me. We are down in the pariah list when it comes to dealing with the impacts of carbon. There are very few behind us, and there are many, much poorer, countries ahead of us that are doing more to deal with climate change than the Conservative government has.
The government has completely abandoned even its own weakened targets, which is amazing. The Prime Minister's Office has to prepare better speaking notes for the new Minister of the Environment because on her way to Poland to these UN climate talks, she said that Canada is a leading voice for climate change and that it is doing its job. However, Environment Canada now says we will miss by a mile even the weak and very watered down targets that the government has set for Canada. We will be way above even those weak commitments we made to the global community.
With the increase in intensity of storms and natural disasters that are hitting, we know that these costs are real. We know the impacts of climate change that were predicted by climate scientists. We have said time and time again that we would see more dangerous impacts and more dangerous effects. We have yet to properly deal with and realize the impacts of a rising sea in the world and the impacts on those coastal communities on the Vancouver Lower Mainland, on our east coast and in the far north.
We know that these impacts are real and we know that these impacts are expensive. These impacts are destabilizing, and we have a government that refuses to even follow its own weak targets and projections. It then says to the industry and to the broader Canadian public that Canada is doing its part. That is hogwash. The government knows it. No one believes its spin. The fact is that it is more dangerous than just the typical lies and half truths we get from government, because this one has real generational impact.
On this particular bill, the government has gone to some half measures. The member for Burnaby—New Westminster attempted to expand the scope, because if we want to deal with certainty and the public interest when it comes to shipping oil or raw bitumen through tankers, we need to deal with the full scale of interests, bring liability rates up to the proper level that would be even a medium global standard and deal with the impacts of the cuts that the same government has made to our ability to deal with oil spills: the cuts to the Canadian Coast Guard; the shutting down of the Kitsilano base; the shutting down of the oil spill response centre in British Columbia.
Here is an ironic moment. We have a government that is out shelling for industry, pushing every pipeline it can find and saying we are going to have the best standards in the world, yet at the same time presenting a budget that we vote against, which shuts down the B.C. oil spill response centre, the very thing that is meant to reassure the public in the event of an accident, which is somewhat inevitable in the oil industry. The very centre that is charged with dealing with an oil spill response is the very centre that these guys thought they should shut down, and then say to the public, “Never mind, never worry”. It is a fact that the public paid attention to.
There was the shutting down of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base, one of the busiest in the country, thereby increasing dramatically the response times for people in distress on the water when accidents occur. We have very heavy traffic around Vancouver, not just with tankers and cargo ships but with ferries and personal pleasure craft. However, with an increasingly busy marine environment, these guys said that shutting down the Coast Guard base was a good idea. Meanwhile, they have billions and billions to spend on pet projects and tax incentives, which do not work, for companies that are already in the massive profit range, so taken in full, it is no wonder that Canadians, particularly British Columbians, have lost complete faith in the current government's intention or its ability to deal with the impacts of heavy industry development.
The Conservatives have proposed their pipelines and they insult any Canadian who happens to have questions or concerns, which I think are natural. As Canadians, it is not only our right but our duty to hold government to account, which is what New Democrats do here as the official opposition to the government each and every day.
When we talk about defending our coasts, we are actually talking about defending Canadian values, such as the right to speech without being bullied by government and ministers of the crown and the right of first nation people to be duly consulted and accommodated, but the Conservative government treats that as an afterthought. When did constitutional requirements become an afterthought for the federal government of Canada?
First nations have had to go to court time and time again. There are various cases, many of them emanating from the first nations of northern British Columbia, such as the Haida case, the Delgamuukw case with the Wet’suwet’en and the Gitksan and many other cases that followed, to prove what we all know: first nations have rights and title to the land.
However, when it comes to the tanker traffic and the pipelines that are proposed, first nations are treated as if they were some sort of “special interest group”, as the current government calls them. They are not a special interest group. They are a group that is at the heart of this conversation, but they are treated with such disrespect.
The other day, I asked a first nation leader what specific things the federal government could do to help first nation communities across Canada. He asked me to please ask the Conservatives to stop suing them, because it is costing them millions upon millions of dollars in litigation to prove something that has been proven time and time again: that there is a duty owed to the first nations by the federal government to consult and accommodate. That is not up for debate. It is not up for some token that can be traded back and forth.
The government whip, who represents Vancouver Island North and deals with many first nations across Vancouver Island, knows that these responsibilities cannot simply be dismissed; or because there is some industrial imperative or some oil lobby that the government is cozying up to, it pushes those rights and titles out of the way. That is a fallacy and, ironically enough, it creates an enormous amount of uncertainty for the oil and gas sector, the industry to which the government spends so much of its time pandering.
The same Conservative government has sowed the seeds of doubt with the Canadian public by stripping away basic environmental protections, like the Navigable Waters Protection Act. The Environmental Assessment Act has been weakened. Previously, the federal government enacted somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 environmental assessments a year. The Auditor General of Canada now tells us that those assessments will be reduced down to between 12 and 15 per year, under the Conservative government's stripping away of protections.
The Fisheries Act has been completely gutted. It was one of our foundational acts to protect what was considered an important economic generator for the country, as this habitat can be impacted by industrial development. The fish habitat was important to maintain our fisheries. There was no more important act in the Canadian law and jurisprudence, because it had been relied upon time and time again to hold industry to some level of account and make sure the projects it built did not leave massive legacies.
Last year, as my friend for Yukon would know, we Canadian taxpayers spent somewhere in the order of $150 million to clean up old abandoned orphaned mines that were leaking into the environment. That was $150 million just last year for no noticeable economic benefit. We had legislation in place at the time those mines were built, in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, that did not properly protect the environment; so we have learned that if we have the wrong guidelines for industry, most of industry will attempt to hold things to a higher standard than the government calls for, but some will not. Some will cut corners.
If a government allows them to do it, as the government does, the legacies will last for generations to come. The acid leaching of some of these mines is incredibly damaging to things we care about, like drinking water, like fisheries. We have a government that refuses to remember the lessons that were so hard learned and continue to be so expensive.
We come to this bill, Bill C-3, which is a small attempt of the government. We can see how much interest the government has in speaking to this bill. In the last Parliament, before the government killed the legislation, it had one speaker at second reading and made a few passing comments, and that was it. This is supposed to be a priority for the government. It makes no argument, no support for the legislation.
I do not know if there are going to be government speakers today. I look forward to hearing what Conservatives actually think and maybe to hearing it address some of the concerns of Canadians that exist regarding the legislation: that the scope is so narrow that it does not expand a full and proper liability; that it does not address all the other aspects of shipping oil by water, which exist and are realities and create uncertainty for industry.
If the public does not have confidence in the process, which it does not with the government running the show, then how will industry gain that social licence it so desperately needs, to actually create those jobs that the government is so keen to talk about?
We are all for promoting the resource sector. We have to do it under guidelines that promote the very best, not encourage the very worst. We see the government, time and time again, stripping away environmental protections, dismissing first nations' obligations, not holding and creating proper liability regimes; so that this creates no certainty for industry. This creates no confidence among the public.
Coming from a resource part of the world, I deal with many industries, which seek this social licence and community support for their projects. Their investors seek that same support. This has bottom-line impacts. Ask Enbridge how it is going, with the fake ads about shipping oil and how incredibly safe it is, when we know the facts are otherwise. The Conservatives simply cannot outspend the public will or cover over a bunch of lies with a bunch of ads in between hockey games and pretend that will somehow gain the social licence and support.
Enbridge has a partner in the government, which continually lowers the bar, waters down what few regulations we have to protect the environment, and then pretends we still have world-class standards. How can that be true? The government members will repeat it today, if they bother to speak at all, and say we have world-class standards. If they just spent the last six or seven years destroying aspects of environmental legislation, watering down and gutting the Fisheries Act, cutting Coast Guard funding, cutting funding to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, removing things and protections that Canadians relied upon, they still cannot have world-class, leading standards. That is simply not true.
Conservatives cannot have it both ways. If they cut all those protections for Canadians, then clearly they have not maintained any sense of having the basic understanding of what it is to develop industry.
Industry needs a couple of things. It needs a fair set of rules. It needs consistent application of those rules. It needs an investment climate that allows for investors to feel confidence in these major investments, because none of these projects that are entertained in this kind of bill are small. They start at a few billion dollars and go up from there, and they last a certain amount of time.
The Enbridge northern gateway predicts it would be around for 45 or 50 years, give or take. Under that regime, it would also have about 12,000 supertanker sailings through some of the more treacherous waters known around the world. There would be 12,000 sailings with weak protection and minimal ability to clean up in the event of a spill, as has been reported by the federal Auditor General and has been reported by a study by the British Columbia government. These are not the wild-eyed, wide-eyed environmentalists that Conservatives always like to point at.
We know for a fact that, time and time again, the government in its pandering to one small interest group, the oil sector, has actually weakened the argument for the oil sector's ability to actually promote projects. It has weakened the ability of industry to have the confidence of the Canadian public, which it needs to build the projects it wishes to build.
Why not take a step back for a moment and listen to some of the critics rather than trying to insult and bully them? Why not step back for a moment and develop a national strategy for our energy, as the Premier of Alberta and many other premiers across the country have asked for?
Industry has asked for it and the Canadian public has asked for it, yet the government sits on its hands and pretends that photo ops and spin are going to get the job done, along with bills that go only halfway. New Democrats will support the bill and try to improve the bill. We will allow Parliament to do its work and hear from witnesses and experts who know a lot more about this than anybody sitting over there.
Again, the government has a missed opportunity. It could do so much more both for industry and the public, and a failure on the government's part will do nothing for the Canadian economy and certainly nothing for the Canadian environment.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2013-11-19 10:32 [p.1022]
Mr. Speaker, we know, particularly in the north, that boom economies are also bust economies, and that if we put all our eggs in one basket while times are good, they can be very good, but when they go bad, because we only have one leg to stand on, they go bad quickly. Obviously, creating a diversified economy with diversified markets is absolutely essential to Canada's growth and prosperity.
With reference to the fishing community, just the wild salmon economy in the northwest is a $150 million per year sustainable economy. It can continue forever if it is done right. The fishing economy across British Columbia is more than $1 billion. Tourism on Canada's west coast is even more than that. With those two economies in the mix, weakened environmental assessments and weaker protection in the event of oil spills will put all of that at risk to ship 500,000 barrels of raw bitumen a day out of Alberta to China.
One would ask why we are shipping it out raw. We have experience in another important economy in British Columbia, the lumber industry, in which the provincial government continually pushes for export of raw logs, thereby leaving so much economic opportunity on the table. A mill was just lost in Houston, B.C., with 225 workers, in part because of fundamental government mismanagement and the promotion of exporting raw logs to China.
Now we are moving it up the scale and saying we should do the same thing with oil. The only difference is that the stakes are even higher. The amounts of money we are talking about are even higher when we forgo the benefits of upgrading it to conventional oil and then refining it even higher. Why do we not give preferential treatment to companies that actually invest in the technology to add value to our resources?
The Conservatives have nothing to say about this. They say their invisible hand is always magical and always correct. If China wants to fund the promotion of an oil pipeline like this and buy Nexen, which is supplying most of the oil for the gateway, and if China owns the source of the oil, promotes it, maybe ends up owning most of the pipeline in this project, and is also the consumer of this project, this presents no cautionary tale to the government whatsoever.
At what point does it stop becoming a Canadian project? It is when somebody else owns it.
Those resources that are our endowment, our heritage, and our inheritance are forgone by this approach, meanwhile threatening other economies that we know are sustainable, such as the tourism and fishing sectors. All the while, these guys are racing to approve pipelines, racing over the interests of the public, racing over the concerns of science, which the Conservatives refuse to listen to, and becoming international pariahs on the climate change front.
This is a bad cocktail mix and a bad formula. It is bad for the economy and increasingly bad for our environment.
View Joe Daniel Profile
CPC (ON)
View Joe Daniel Profile
2013-06-10 20:06 [p.18015]
Mr. Speaker, hopefully we can bring this discussion back to the bill that we are looking at.
I appreciate this opportunity to discuss Bill S-17, an act to implement conventions, protocols, agreements and a supplementary convention, concluded between Canada and Namibia, Serbia, Poland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland, for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes.
Before I begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the banking, trade and commerce committee in the Senate for their thorough and timely review of this piece of legislation recently. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Minister of State for Finance for his appearance at the Senate committee as well as the other officials and witnesses for their attendance. Their insightful testimony on this subject, which can often be technical, was greatly appreciated.
I think I am speaking for all in saying that the information they provided was invaluable in helping Canadians obtain a clear understanding of how Canada's network of taxes, treaties and information exchange agreements functions. As Cyndee Cherniak of LexSage Professional Corporation, a leading international trade firm in Canada, told the Senate banking, trade and commerce committee earlier this year, and I quote:
Bill S-17 is a good law and should be supported....Tax treaties facilitate trade. Tax treaties are symbols of cooperation, trust and friendship between nations. Tax treaties prevent double taxation.... They improve stability, transparency, fairness, procedural fairness and tax certainty relating to international trade and transactions. Tax treaties are good for Canadian businesses with activities abroad through branches, subsidiaries and other business enterprises. Tax treaties are good for individuals, employers, directors of corporations, students, shareholders, et cetera.
I could not agree more. Tax treaties are a vital part of a government's overall approach to improve the tax system.
Currently, Canada has comprehensive tax treaties in place with 90 countries and continues to work on agreements with their jurisdictions. Bill S-17 is part of Canada's ongoing effort to update and modernize our network of income tax treaties, which helps prevent double taxation and tax evasion. In the past, Parliament adopted many similar tax treaties. In fact, beginning in 1976, governments, both Liberal and Conservative, brought forward 30 such pieces of legislation, and most recently, those concerning Colombia, Greece and Turkey. I should note that Canada maintains one of the world's largest networks of bilateral tax treaties. This is an important feature of Canada's international tax system, a feature that is key to promoting our ability to compete.
At the same time, the system must ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes. It is not appropriate that some corporations, both foreign-owned and Canadian, take advantage of Canada's tax rules to avoid taxes and that some wealthy individuals use offshore jurisdictions to help them hide income and evade taxes. In all of these cases, working Canadians and small businesses, among others, are left having to pay more taxes than they otherwise should. This is simply not fair.
To detect and deter the concealment of income, the Canada Revenue Agency needs information from foreign governments. To this end, Canada supports the international consensus to encourage jurisdictions to meet and implement the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standards for international tax information exchange. That standard is implemented under the bilateral tax treaties and tax information exchange agreements, like those being discussed today.
Here at home, our Conservative government continues to work hard to keep our tax system up to date and competitive so that Canada can remain a leading player in the global economy. Action in support of a more competitive tax system is essential to create an environment that enables Canada's visionary entrepreneurs and industries to excel and that does not stand in the way of their success. Moreover, tax treaties are an integral element of our plan to improve the standard of living of all Canadians.
Tax treaties, like those in Bill S-17, directly affect cross-border trade in goods and services with our tax treaty partners, which in turn impacts Canada's domestic economic performance.
Over 40% of Canada's annual gross domestic product can be attributed to exports. Moreover, Canada's economic wealth each year also depends on foreign direct investment as well as the inflows of information, capital and technology.
In other words, the tax treaties contained in Bill S-17 would benefit Canadian businesses and individuals with operations and investments in countries covered by this legislation. Tax treaties foster an atmosphere of certainty and stability for investors and traders that can substantially enhance Canada's economic relationship with each country.
Another important facet of these treaties is that they include a mechanism to settle problems encountered by taxpayers, in particular where double taxation arises. Under this mechanism, taxpayers can bring to the attention of taxation authorities issues that arise from the interaction of our tax system with that of other treaty partners and seek a resolution on the issue.
In short, tax treaties provide individuals and businesses in Canada and other treaty partner countries with predictable and equitable tax results in their cross-border dealings. This can only have a favourable effect on the Canadian economy.
Likewise, the tax treaties in the bill have been designed with three goals in mind: first, to facilitate international trade and investment; second, to prevent double taxation and provide a level of certainty about the tax rules that apply to particular international transactions; and third, to prevent avoidance and evasion of taxes on various forms of income flows between the treaty partners.
Today's legislation is part of Canada's ongoing effort to update and modernize its network of income tax treaties, which will help prevent taxation and tax evasion.
Let me go on to the issue of double taxation for a moment. Double taxation in an international sense arises as a result of imposition of taxes in two or more states on the same taxable income for the same period of time. This overlap between taxation by the country where the income is generated and taxation by the country where the taxpayer resides can have obvious adverse and unfair consequences for the taxpayer. Nobody wants to have their income taxed twice, nor should it be, but without a tax treaty such as those contained in today's bill, this is exactly what could happen.
Tax treaties ensure that double taxation relief is provided where both countries claim taxes on the same income. Tax treaties also allocate tax rights between two countries as a means of protecting taxpayers against potential double taxation. In some cases, the exclusive right to tax particular income is granted to the country where the taxpayer resides. This precludes taxation in the state of source and, therefore, double taxation.
For example, if a Canadian resident employed by a Canadian company were sent on a short-term assignment for, say, three months to any one of the treaty countries covered by the bill, Canada would have the exclusive right to tax that person's employment income. On the other hand, if the same person were employed abroad for a longer period of time, say one year, then the country where the person works could also tax the employment income. However, in this case under the terms of the tax treaty, through the foreign tax credit mechanism, Canada must credit that tax paid in the other country against the Canadian tax otherwise payable on the income. This is an example of how the allocation of taxing rights between countries and between bilateral tax treaties would ensure that individuals and businesses are taxed fairly.
One way to reduce the potential of double taxation is to reduce withholding taxes. These taxes are a common feature in international taxation. They are levied by a country on certain items of income earned in that country and paid to the residents of the other country. The types of income normally subjected to withholding taxes would include, for example, interest, dividends and royalties.
Withholding taxes are levied on the gross amount paid to the non-resident and represent the final obligation with respect to Canadian income tax. Without tax treaties, Canada usually taxes this income at the rate of 25%, which is a set rate under our own legislation for income tax.
Withholding tax rates in other countries are often as high or even higher. Tax treaties reduce rates for withholding taxes. For example, the treaties with Namibia, Serbia, Poland and Hong Kong in Bill S-17 would provide for a maximum withholding tax rate on dividends between affiliated companies at 5%. In respect to other dividends, those treaties would provide for a rate of withholding taxes set at 15%.
Reductions would also apply in respect of interest and royalties. Again, the treaties covered in this proposed legislation would promote certainty, stability and a better business climate for taxpayers and businesses in Canada and in the treaty countries.
Moreover, these treaties would help to secure Canada's position in an increasingly competitive world of international trade and investment. Clearly, having modern international tax conventions, such as these contained in Bill S-17, is a key component of that goal.
Canada remains committed to maintaining a tax system that will continue to help Canadian businesses in their drive to be world leaders. Tax treaties like those in Bill S-17 would directly support cross-border trade in goods and services, which in turn helps Canada's domestic economic performance.
Moreover, Canada's economic wealth each year also depends on foreign direct investment, as well as inflows of information, capital and technology. In fact, during the committee's examination of this legislation, well-respected tax professional Nick Pantaleo, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, remarked that:
...a key objective of the Canadian government is to pursue new and deeper international trade and investment relationships.... In my view, tax treaties contribute toward the success of such global trading arrangements.
This is not surprising given that more than 60% of the Canadian economy and 1 in 5 jobs in Canada are generated by trade. It would seem clear that the tax treaties contained in Bill S-17 are a critical tool in strengthening Canada's trade and investment relationships and in creating jobs for Canadians here at home. That is especially the case with the agreement with Hong Kong.
Our government considers Hong Kong a priority in Canada's global trade efforts. Hong Kong is our third largest financial market in Asia and an important source of direct investment. It is Canada's 10th largest export market, including everything from telecommunications devices to train signalling systems to educational and financial services.
An example of the importance of Hong Kong in our trade efforts is an agreement between Canada and Hong Kong for the avoidance of double taxation, which the Prime Minister announced when he was in Hong Kong last November.
Of course the region itself is a key market for us, which is why Canada is at the negotiating table for the trans-Pacific partnership, which would open up new markets and increase Canadian exports to fast-growing markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Our government is also working hard to forge stronger links through such multilateral organizations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the World Trade Organization to which Canada, China and Hong Kong all belong.
The Canada-Hong Kong tax treaty would truly foster an atmosphere of certainty and stability that would enhance Canada's economic relationship with Hong Kong.
As the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters noted of the Hong Kong tax treaty included in Bill S-17:
Hong Kong holds tremendous potential for Canadian businesses looking to establish a strong presence in China and...across all of Asia, and this Agreement will help fulfill this potential....
(It) reduces barriers to two-way trade and investment between Canada and Hong Kong.
Listen to the words of the Investment Industry Association of Canada, again in reference to the Hong Kong tax treaty included in Bill S-17, who said it would expand:
....savings and capital flows between our two markets....
Moreover, the attraction of Canadian equities would benefit Canadian financial firms expanding their wealth management business in Hong Kong and, through Hong Kong, to a market of over one billion Chinese.
To conclude, the treaties covered in this proposed legislation would promote certainty, stability and a better business climate for taxpayers and businesses in Canada and in these treaty countries.
More importantly, the treaties would help to secure Canada's position in the increasingly competitive world of international trade and investment.
View Bernard Trottier Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bernard Trottier Profile
2013-06-10 20:24 [p.18018]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Don Valley East for his eloquent speech in which he hit all of the key points.
We are here to talk about tax treaties, but obviously there are other areas that are affected. He discussed the importance of foreign direct investment in both directions in his speech: Canada and Canadian companies investing in companies overseas, which would like to have some tax treaties in place, as well as trade.
I would ask the member to talk about the impact of having tax treaties in place and how that facilitates increased foreign direct investment in both directions, and also increased trade in both directions.
View Joe Daniel Profile
CPC (ON)
View Joe Daniel Profile
2013-06-10 20:24 [p.18018]
Mr. Speaker, when we make life easier and reduce the bureaucracy between countries, there is much better opportunity for trade. By having these agreements, we would protect both Canadian companies doing business with the treaty countries and the treaty countries being able to work closely with us.
Clearly, an exchange of the phenomenal resources we have in this country in terms of providing services to countries like Namibia and Hong Kong and access to the Asian markets is a great opportunity. We need to stay with it and compete globally. That is why this bill is so appropriate.
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