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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1153--
Mr. Kevin Sorenson:
With regard to the appointment of Rana Sarkar as Consul General in San Francisco: (a) who made the decision to pay Mr. Sarkar at a rate significantly higher than other Consul Generals; (b) was there an open competition for the position; (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what are the details of the competition including (i) where was the competition posted, (ii) number of applicants, (iii) selection criteria; (d) is the government taking any steps to ensure that Mr. Sarkar’s salary does not impact salary negotiations between the government and other diplomats; (e) was the government warned that paying an appointee at higher than the normal rate would have an impact on the salary negotiations with other diplomats; and (f) if the answer to (e) is affirmative, what are the details of the warning, including (i) who issued the warning, (ii) date, (iii) recipient, (iv) reason warning did not impact salary decision?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib)::
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Sarkar’s compensation is comparable to that of the San Francisco consul general appointed by the previous government.
With regards to key postings, it is common, both in the public service and the private sector, for compensation to reflect the qualifications and expertise of the appointee. This has been true for many recent appointees, including former cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon, Michael Wilson, and Loyola Hearn, Gary Doer, Patrick Binns, Alex Himelfarb, David Alward, Vivian Bercovici, Kevin Vickers, Guy Saint-Jacques, Dennis Savoie, I. David Marshall, Paul Maddison, Gordon Campbell, Gérard Latulippe, Jean-Carol Pelletier, and Catherine Doyle.
With regards to key postings, it is common, both in the public service and the private sector, for compensation to reflect the qualifications and expertise of the appointee. This has been true for many recent appointees, including former cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon, Michael Wilson, and Loyola Hearn, Gary Doer, Patrick Binns, Alex Himelfarb, David Alward, Vivian Bercovici, Kevin Vickers, Guy Saint-Jacques, Dennis Savoie, I. David Marshall, Paul Maddison, Gordon Campbell, Gérard Latulippe, Jean-Carol Pelletier, and Catherine Doyle.
Mr. Sarkar brings specialized expertise, including most recently as national director for high-growth markets at globally recognized KPMG. Throughout his career as an adviser and entrepreneur, he built a considerable skill in providing strategy and transaction-focused services to firms, investors and start-ups, enabling cross-border trade, investment, and innovation.
His background will serve Canada’s interests in San Francisco and Silicon Valley specifically. He is specifically responsible for working to attract investment and help Canadian business succeed in the fastest-growing industries on the continent, and work to expand our reach across the Pacific Rim while we grow our presence in the world’s fastest emerging markets in Asia.
This was one of a number of diplomatic appointments to strengthen our outreach to the United States, highlighting the importance and mutually beneficial partnership of our two countries, which continues to support millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.

Question No. 1157--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to the government’s decision to award certain funding only to areas which are considered “superclusters”: (a) which areas applied to be superclusters; (b) which areas were selected by the government to be “superclusters”; (c) how was each area in (b) selected; (d) for each area which applied, but was not selected to be a “supercluster”, why was each area not selected, broken down by individual area; (e) what specific guarantees are in place to ensure that areas outside of “superclusters” receive their fair share of funding, broken down by funding program; and (f) for each guarantee referred to in (e), what is the website location where the text is located?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s decision to award certain funding only to areas that are considered “superclusters”, please see the response from Innovation, Science and Economic Development below.
With regard to part (a), the innovation superclusters initiative received more than 50 applications representing all regions of Canada, including British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic provinces, and the north. Several of the applications involved interprovincial participation. The applications are from highly innovative industries such as clean technology, advanced manufacturing, digital technology, health/biosciences, clean resources, and agrifood, as well as infrastructure and transportation.
With regard to part (b), the application process for the innovation superclusters initiative is ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
With regard to part (c), the selection of applications involves a two-phase application process. In the first phase, business-led consortia, including companies of all sizes, post-secondary institutions, and other innovation partners, were invited to submit letters of intent to outline their ambitious plans to build world-leading superclusters at scale. The first phase closed on 24/07/2017.
In the second phase, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. After the selection process concludes, contribution agreements will be negotiated and results will be announced.
Descriptions of the assessment criteria and process, reflecting key elements contributing to program outcomes, are published in the program guide, which can be found at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/093.nsf/eng/00003.html.
They are used to assess the potential of proposals to generate real economic impact and industrial benefits for Canada, as well as other key elements, such as the importance, relevance, and feasibility of the applicant's proposed plans.
With regard to part (d), the application process is ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
With regard to part (e), the purpose of the innovation superclusters initiative is to accelerate the growth and development of a small number of business-led innovation superclusters in Canada with strong innovation ecosystems that have the potential to be global leaders. The program provides funding to selected applicants with whom a contribution agreement will be signed.
It is expected that the benefits of funded activities will extend beyond the borders of a supercluster, drawing on partners across Canada to achieve a national network effect. Regardless of their location in Canada, organizations outside the supercluster region will be eligible to participate in funded activities.
With regard to part (f), program information can be found on the innovation superclusters initiative website at www.canada.ca/superclusters.

Question No. 1159--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to salaries in the Prime Minister’s Office, as of September 18, 2017: (a) how many employees had a salary higher than the salary of a minister ($255,300); and (b) how many employees had a salary higher than the salary of the Prime Minister ($345,400)?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the Privy Council Office, PCO, is unable to respond because in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, and this information has been withheld on these grounds. PCO is able to confirm that no employees had a salary higher than the salary of the Prime Minister: $345,400.

Question No. 1160--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to meetings or communication between the Prime Minister and the current Premier of British Columbia: (a) what are the details of any meeting or communication where the Trans Mountain Pipeline was discussed, including for each the (i) date, (ii) type of communication (i.e. meeting, phone call, email, etc.), (iii) location, (iv) purpose or summary of communication; (b) what is the official government position with regard to the Trans Mountain Pipleline; and (c) when was the official position communicated to the current Premier of British Columbia?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on July 25, 2017, the Prime Minister, in an introductory meeting with British Columbia Premier John Horgan in Ottawa, briefly discussed the Trans Mountain expansion project. Premier Horgan noted the need to protect British Columbia’s interests, and indicated that further discussions with Alberta were planned on the issue.
The Prime Minister announced the Government of Canada’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project on November 30, 2016. The Government of Canada requires that Kinder Morgan meet or exceed all of the 157 binding conditions set out by the National Energy Board. The Government of Canada has also established the oceans protection plan to ensure any risk coming from increased vessel traffic in Burrard Inlet is properly mitigated.
There has been no known direct communication of the official position of the Government of Canada to Premier Horgan. The Government of Canada’s approval of the project has been noted in the media many times since November 2016.

Question No. 1162--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the January 1, 2017, policy clarification to the interpretation of eligibility criteria for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Involuntary Separation Provision, not including any changes to the Allowance and not including changes made to involuntary separation of couples who are eligible to receive the Allowance: (a) what was the interpretation error that required the change or clarification to interpretation; (b) how was the new interpretation communicated to relevant individuals (i) at Service Canada, (ii) at government departments, broken down by each department within which the new interpretation was circulated, (iii) to seniors who would be affected by the change, (iv) to Senators and Members of Parliament; (c) what are the details of any directives, memorandums, or communiqué circulated to advise the individuals in (b) of the new interpretation, including for each the (i) date, (ii) recipients, (iii) sender, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number, (vii) text, (viii) website address of text, if applicable; (d) were any responses received to any directives, memorandums, or communiques referred to in (c) and, if so, what are the details, including for each, the (i) date, (ii) recipients, (iii) sender, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number, (vii) text; (e) how many groups or stakeholders in total were consulted in order to inform the decision to alter the interpretation of eligibility criteria and to understand the effects it will have on Canadian seniors; (f) what is the complete list of organizations, individuals or stakeholders referenced in (e); (g) how many senior couples currently take advantage of the involuntary separation provision for GIS, broken down by province; (h) how many seniors are currently receiving the involuntary separation provision for GIS based off of the old interpretation of the eligibility criteria, and would have been considered ineligible if their eligibility was under the policy clarification enacted on January 1, 2017, broken down by sex; and (i) considering Canada’s aging population, what is the government’s plan to help the increasing number of seniors who will face this vulnerable situation?
Response
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, old age security, OAS, benefits are intended to provide partial income security for seniors in recognition of the contributions that they have made to Canadian society and the economy. Low-income pensioners are entitled to additional assistance through the guaranteed income supplement, GIS. The GIS is calculated based on income to ensure that these benefits are provided to seniors most in need.
The GIS is paid at a different rate based on whether seniors are single or part of a couple. This reflects the different economic realities of single seniors and senior couples.
Since 1971, the Old Age Security Act has contained a provision that allows low-income couples in receipt of the GIS and who are forced to live apart for reasons beyond their control to receive their benefits at the higher single rate based on their individual incomes. The intent of this provision was to recognize the increase in cost of living where one member of a couple remained in the matrimonial home while the other was required to go into a chronic care facility, nursing home, or home for the aged. These couples are often described as being “involuntarily separated”. In budget 2016, the OAS Act was amended to extend this provision to involuntarily separated couples where one member receives the GIS and the other receives the allowance. These amendments came into force on January 1, 2017.
In January 2017, the department issued an administrative policy direction to front-line Service Canada staff in order to reflect the expanded scope of the provisions for GIS/allowance couples. The department also took the opportunity to clarify the intent of the legislation with respect to eligibility for the involuntary separation provisions.
Specifically, the policy guidance was amended to state that couples must first qualify for the GIS on the basis of their joint income before the involuntary separation provisions could be applied. In order to address any possible situations where individuals had been paid under these provisions while their combined income was above the allowable threshold, a “grandfathering” clause was included to ensure that no current beneficiaries would see a reduction in their benefits.
Shortly thereafter, the department received an enquiry from Mrs. Vecchio’s office with respect to this policy direction. Departmental officials met with Mrs. Vecchio on June 21, 2017, in order to hear her concerns in person. At that meeting, she expressed her concerns about couples whose combined income is sufficient to render them ineligible for the GIS, but who may have a large disparity of income between the spouses. She noted in particular that in these situations, if the higher income spouse requires long-term care, the higher costs for that care could result in a significant reduction in the pooled income available to the lower income spouse.
As a result, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development asked his officials to undertake a further analysis on the impact of the January 2017 policy directive. It became apparent that the implementation of this policy guidance was disadvantaging modest income couples. The minister has therefore tasked the department to correct this issue, by assessing the eligibility of couples involuntarily separated based solely on their individual incomes.
The department has already begun identifying senior couples who were affected by the January 2017 policy direction, a process that will be completed by the end of October. Departmental officials will subsequently reassess the benefit entitlement of any couples who were impacted by the January 2017 directive. The number of couples impacted by the directive is expected to be low.

Question No. 1171--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to government expenditures on foreign aid since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all expenditures, including for each the (i) recipient, (ii) country, (iii) amount, (iv) date of contribution, (v) purpose of expenditure or project description?
Response
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to transparency and open government and as such regularly publishes data on Canada’s international assistance projects.
In accordance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative, IATI, the D-Portal contains a wealth of project information including government expenditures on international assistance since January 1, 2016. Details with regard to recipient, country, amount, date of contribution, and purpose of expenditure or project description can be found at: www.d-portal.org/ctrack.html?search&publisher=CA-3&year_min=2016&year=2016&year_max=2019&year=2019#view=main.
Additionally, Global Affairs Canada maintains the Project Browser, a website that publishes detailed project information and is updated daily. This interactive tool allows the user to search the department’s international projects and download information as open data files. The information published also follows the IATI standard and includes details with regard to recipient, country, amount, date of contribution, and purpose of expenditure or project description. It can be found at: http://w05.international.gc.ca/projectbrowser-banqueprojets/filter-filtre.

Question No. 1172--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to the proposed tax increases on small businesses announced by the Minister of Finance on July 18, 2017: (a) on what date was the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food made aware of the proposed tax hikes; (b) was the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food consulted prior to the announcement; (c) what impact studies have been conducted by the government related to how the tax increases will impact farm families; and (d) what are the details and findings of any such impact studies?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government assesses issues arising under the tax system on an ongoing basis. It relies on a range of approaches and information sources to develop an in-depth understanding of potential issues, including the statistical analysis of tax return data, the monitoring of the tax literature, and consultations with the Canada Revenue Agency, academics, tax professionals, and other stakeholders.
When the analysis identifies a need for action, options are developed and assessed against a range of criteria such as their impact on the fairness of the tax system, economic efficiency, and the ease of administration of the tax system.
This process was followed in the development of the proposals contained in the consultation document released on July 18, 2017. Tax data and other information were used to assess the scope of the issues and the impact of different options. In particular, the number of businesses that could be affected by the various options to estimate the fiscal impact of the proposals was assessed, within constraints imposed by available data.
Draft legislation was also released for two of the three proposals contained in the consultation document. Stakeholders, including farmers, were invited to comment on the proposals and the draft legislation. Stakeholders were also specifically invited to provide their views and ideas on whether and if so, how, it would be possible to better accommodate genuine intergenerational business transfers in the Income Tax Act while still protecting the fairness of the tax system.
The government will not be moving forward with measures relating to the conversion of income into capital gains. During the consultation period, the government heard from business owners, including many farmers and fishers, that the measures could result in several unintended consequences, such as with respect to taxation upon death and potential challenges with intergenerational transfers of businesses. The government will work with family businesses, including farming and fishing businesses, to make it more efficient, or less difficult, to hand down their businesses to the next generation.
In the coming year, the government will continue its outreach to farmers, fishers, and other business owners to develop proposals to better accommodate intergenerational transfers of businesses while protecting the fairness of the tax system.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 1044--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to the response by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport on March 10, 2017, how does Transport Canada define a middle class Canadian traveler?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada defines the middle class using a broad set of characteristics that includes values, lifestyle, and income. Middle-class values are values that are common to most Canadians from all backgrounds, who believe in working hard to get ahead and hope for a better future for their children. Middle-class families also aspire to a lifestyle that typically includes adequate housing and health care, educational opportunities for their children, a secure retirement, job security, and adequate income for modest spending on leisure pursuits, among other characteristics. The income required to attain such a lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations, such as whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive.

Question No. 1047--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
With regard to the government’s search for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the proposed Infrastructure Bank: (a) what are the details of the contract awarded to Odgers Berndtson to conduct the search including the (i) amount or value, (ii) start date, (iii) end date, (iv) file number; (b) for the contract referred to in (a), are other positions being filled from the search and, if so, for which positions; and (c) what are the qualification requirements for the CEO position?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s search for a chief executive officer, CEO, for the proposed infrastructure bank up to and including the date May 15, 2017, the contract awarded to Odgers Berndtson is to conduct anticipatory searches for the leadership of the infrastructure bank, including the CEO, the chairperson, and the bank’s board of directors.
The contract value is $350,000 excluding taxes. It started on April 1, 2017, and ends on March 31, 2018. The contract number is 3515798 and the file number is CP279.
The qualification requirements for the CEO position are posted as part of the opportunity notice on the Government of Canada’s appointments website at https://www.appointments-nominations.gc.ca.

Question No. 1052--
Ms. Michelle Rempel:
With regard to federal funding for the rental or lease of the giant yellow inflatable duck as part of the Ontario 150 Tour: (a) how much funding has been committed to the Ontario 150 Tour since January 1, 2016; (b) of the funding committed to the Ontario 150 Tour, since January 1, 2016, how much was allocated for the giant duck; (c) what are the locations and tour dates for the giant duck; and (d) when did the Minister of Canadian Heritage become aware that federal funding was being used for the lease or rental of the giant duck?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as part of the Canada 150 celebrations, the government is focusing on four themes, one of which is encouraging reconciliation with indigenous people. The Canada 150 Fund has awarded $250,000 to the Water’s Edge Festivals and Events for the Rhythm of the Nation music and dance performance component of its Ontario 150 tour. This component will be showcased in many cities across Ontario between July 1 and August 13, 2017. None of the committed funds are allocated to the giant duck.

Question No. 1061--
Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle:
With regard to the Canada 150 Fund: (a) what was the allocated budget; (b) how much of the allocated funds have been approved and distributed to date; (c) will any unspent funds be reallocated to projects that fit the Canada 150 criteria and that did not meet the original funding deadline of October 21, 2016; (d) what are the projects funded, broken down by riding; and (e) for each project in (d), what are the details of the amount of funding received?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Canada 150 Fund received a budget of $200 million, which was allocated in the following way: $80 million for large-scale, Canada-wide signature projects; $100 million for community-based projects; and $20 million for major events.
With regard to (b) and (d), all of the allocated funds have been distributed. Members may consult the link that follows for the list of Canada 150 projects: http://canada.pch. gc.ca/eng/ 1475775848282/1475776347243.
With regard to (c), no unspent funds will be reallocated to projects that fit the Canada 150 criteria but did not meet the original funding deadline of October 21, 2016.

Question No. 1062--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what are the government’s definitions of (i) concessional capital, (ii) crowding, (iii) security; (b) how much security will be required for a loan from the Infrastructure Bank, as a percentage of the total project’s value; (c) how much security will be required for a loan guarantee from the Infrastructure Bank, as a percentage of the total project’s value; (d) how much security will be structured as subordinated debt; (e) how much security will be structured as unsubordinated debt; (f) in the event the Infrastructure Bank provides a loan to a project that goes bankrupt, who will repay Canadian taxpayers; (g) in the event the Infrastructure Bank provides a loan guarantee to a project that goes bankrupt, who will repay Canadian taxpayers; and (h) will the Infrastructure Bank provide loans and loan guarantees only to individual projects, or will it also provide loans and loan guarantees to investors who invest in those individual projects?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a)(i), the Canada infrastructure bank would use federal support to attract private sector and institutional investment. The federal support would be in the form of investments in projects, and the investment would result in the bank holding an asset on its balance sheet. To the extent that the federal support to help a project get built involves an expenditure by the bank greater than the value of the investment asset it receives, it would be considered concessional capital. With regard to (a)(ii), “crowding-in” is the attraction of private sector and institutional investment to help pay for infrastructure.
With regard to (a)((iii), “security” means collateral for an investment.
With regard to (b), the bank would hire professionals with the expertise to structure and negotiate complex financing arrangements, and this could be one term of the negotiation to be determined on a project-by-project basis.
With regard to (c), the bank would hire professionals with the expertise to structure and negotiate complex financing arrangements, and this could be one term of the negotiation to be determined on a project-by-project basis.
With regard to (d), it would be up to the bank, as an arm’s-length entity, to determine the exact financial instrument most appropriate for each investment, and therefore it is not possible to determine at this time what percentage of its portfolio would be represented by specific financial instruments.
With regard to (e), it would be up to the bank, as an arm’s-length entity, to determine the exact financial instrument most appropriate for each investment, and therefore it is not possible to determine at this time what percentage of its portfolio would be represented by specific financial instruments.
With regard to (f), under traditional infrastructure funding models, governments pay 100% of the costs of infrastructure and bear all of the risks. Compared to this traditional model, the bank will reduce the risks taken on by taxpayers to build the infrastructure we need. By bringing in private investors, risks can be shared, and the bank will ensure the risks borne by taxpayers are minimized. Private investors will be incented to reduce overall risk as well, leading to enhanced due diligence and innovation in infrastructure projects.
For the bank projects, investors will be subject to robust investment agreements designed to protect the interests of Canadians. Just as in a typical private sector transaction, the bank and other investors would negotiate ahead of time how any potential losses would be shared.
Any bankruptcy or default in a project would be guided by the legal agreement between the parties, who will be able to avail themselves of all the recourse mechanisms provided by law.
With regard to (g), loan guarantees would be a tool used in special circumstances and would be structured properly to ensure private capital is at risk and the project benefits from private sector discipline. That is why the legislation includes special oversight provisions on the use of loan guarantees.
If a loan guarantee is used and there is a bankruptcy or default in a project, it would be guided by the legal agreement between the parties, who will be able to avail themselves of all the recourse mechanisms provided by law.
With regard to (h), under the legislation, the bank could invest only in projects, and could not invest in any other party involved in the transaction

Question No. 1064--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the information contained in the government’s initial response to Q-954, and the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government that “the original response contained inaccurate information due to an administrative error in producing the response”: (a) why did the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister sign a response containing inaccurate information; (b) who drafted the response containing the inaccurate information; (c) what role did the Director of Issues Management in the Prime Minister’s Office play in drafting the inaccurate information; (d) what role did the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and Principle Secretary play in drafting the inaccurate information; (e) has the individual who drafted the inaccurate response faced any disciplinary action, if so what; (f) has the government apologized to person who was defamed by the inaccurate information; and (g) what actions, if any, if the government implementing to ensure that inaccurate information is not contained in any future responses to Questions on the Order Paper?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s response to Question No. 954, departments and ministers’ offices work diligently to provide accurate and informative answers to questions on the Order Paper. In the event that responses contain inaccurate information, the government strives to correct responses in a timely manner.

Question No. 1069--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
With regard to the exemption the Minister of Transport granted to Jetlines allowing it to have up to 49% foreign ownership in order to purchase between 24 and 40 Bombardier C-series aircraft over a period of eight years: (a) what guarantees did Jetlines give the government; (b) was a contract signed between Jetlines and the government; (c) if the answer to (b) is yes, what are the details of the contract, including (i) the start and end date, (ii) the contracting parties, (iii) the file number; (d) does the contract state that the foreign ownership exemption is subject to the purchase of C-series aircraft; and (e) does a government study show a link between increased foreign ownership and increased competition?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, changing foreign ownership limits is about increasing competition and allowing the creation of new ultra-low-cost airlines in Canada. The Minister of Transport granted an exemption to Canada Jetlines and Enerjet in December 2016 based on these objectives.
With regard to (a) through (e), as a private company, Jetlines is responsible for its own business decisions, including the purchase of its aircraft fleet. As such, no guarantee or contract was sought with regard to its fleet procurement.
The link between increased foreign ownership and increased competition was documented in various reports. In 2008, the competition policy review panel report, “Compete to Win”, recommended that the Minister of Transport modernize investment restrictions in Canadian air transport to 49% of voting equity. In 2016, the Canada Transportation Act review report called for Canada’s limit on foreign ownership of voting shares to be raised to at least 49%, unilaterally, for all carriers offering commercial passenger services. The report also noted that Canada does not have an ultra-low-cost carrier and was rated relatively “less trade friendly” for air transport in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s services trade restrictiveness index.

Question No. 1070--
Mr. Randall Garrison:
With regard to Canada's new Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders: (a) has Global Affairs Canada called upon Canadian representatives of the Government of China to provide legitimate evidence of the well-being and whereabouts of Tibet's Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima; (b) what progress has the Canadian Embassy in Beijing made in their efforts to obtain permission for a Canadian diplomatic delegation to visit Tibet's Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, in detention; (c) in the past 12 months, has the Canadian Embassy delivered démarches to the government of China concerning the detention of the Panchen Lama; (d) has the government of China communicated that it considers the actions of Canadian diplomats with respect to the Panchen Lama to be incompatible with their status under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; and (e) what efforts has the government of Canada made to encourage country missions to China by relevant UN human rights procedures, including the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) through (e), Canada’s guidelines on supporting human rights defenders are designed to support Canadian missions and Global Affairs Canada’s headquarters in advancing the work of human rights defenders. The guidelines are an important tool in the promotion and protection of human rights as an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy and a long-standing priority in our relationship with China. We have consistently and regularly expressed our concerns about the human rights situation in China and have specifically advocated for the protection of human rights defenders, including those in the Tibet Autonomous Region, TAR. We have expressed concerns about the restrictions on the freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly and association, and freedoms of religion and belief of ethnic Tibetans.
As was done during the Prime Minister’s first official visit to China, Canada will continue to have frank discussions with China on respect for human rights and the rule of law, including in relation to religious freedom and the situation in Tibet.
Senior officials of the Embassy of Canada have undertaken several diplomatic visits to TAR. Canada will continue to seek greater access to Tibet for our diplomats, parliamentarians, NGOs, and visiting delegations. Canadian diplomats require permission from Chinese authorities to visit the TAR. Allowing foreign diplomats and journalists unimpeded and regular access to Tibetan areas would allow us to better understand the realities on the ground.
Canada has requested that China provide information on the location of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, the level of education that Gedhun has completed, and the expected date for his return along with his parents.
After persistent requests from the international community and Tibetan advocates, on September 6, 2015, Chinese officials responded that the Panchen Lama, then 26 years old, is living under China’s control. “The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed,” said Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the Tibet Autonomous Region’s United Front Work Department.
The Government of China has not communicated that it considers the actions of Canadian diplomats with respect to the Panchen Lama to be incompatible with their status under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Canada has called on China to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief to visit Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
In the context of our bilateral relationship with China, the guidelines provide the basis for us to continue to examine opportunities for further collaboration in the protection and advancement of the work of human rights defenders, including in TAR. The Government of Canada will continue to urge the Government of China to respect the rights of ethnic Tibetans and to take steps to improve the human rights situation in Tibetan areas.

Question No. 1071--
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West):
With regard to the so-called “Notice and Notice” regime: (a) is the minister of innovation, Science and Economic Development aware that some copyright owners are using this regulation and notification system as a new revenue tool that some experts in the field internet law have referred to as “shakedown”; and (b) given that the Minister has stated publicly that these notifications do not in-and-of themselves constitute a legal obligation to pay, why does the government continue to allow copyright owners to use the “Notice and Notice” regime to demand payment from internet subscribers based on an unsubstantiated accusation of copyright infringement?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, notice and notice is an important feature of Canada’s copyright framework. It provides a tool for copyright owners to discourage online infringement by better informing consumers.
The government is aware that some participants in Canada’s copyright notice and notice regime have sent notices through the system that include offers or demands to make payments in order to settle claims of alleged infringement.
The government is taking steps to educate consumers and engage with stakeholders in order to address concerns raised by Canadians over threatening notices. A frequently asked questions page was created on the Office of Consumer Affairs website, allowing Internet service providers to refer to official and objective information when forwarding a notice. Front-line call centre staff at Innovation, Science and Economic Development inform Canadians about the rules of the notice and notice regime on an ongoing basis. The department also periodically meets with key participants in the regime to better monitor its implementation.
The regime does not impose any obligations on an Internet subscriber who receives a notice, and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary. There is no legal obligation to pay any settlement offered by a copyright owner.
The department continues to review the regime to ensure it meets its desired policy objectives. In addition, the next five-year parliamentary review of Canada’s Copyright Act, due to begin sometime after November 7, 2017, provides an opportunity to take stock.

Question No. 1073--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to the policy by the National Capital Commission (NCC) to require children ages 5 and up to obtain a permit in order to set up a lemonade stand: (a) when did the Minister responsible for the NCC approve this policy; (b) what are the details of any consultations conducted by the NCC regarding the establishment of a lemonade stand registry; (c) who decided that the pilot program, as announced, would go ahead, as opposed to simply letting children set up their own lemonade stands without a permit; (d) does the government believe the three-page permit application is accessible and appropriate for children aged 5 to 17; (e) what are the costs associated with designing and implementing this permit program, broken down by line item; (f) who will determine whether a beverage or consumable product sold under this permit program is safe for consumption; (g) who will determine whether or not the lemonade stand is being operated safely; (h) what material is covered at the “training workshop offered by JA Ottawa” and why is it strongly recommended; (i) are the individuals who teach the “training workshop” for children required to undergo background checks; (j) who decided that 7 percent of all revenues must be donated to charity; (k) why was the 7 percent figure chosen; (l) is there a cap on the number of permits that will be issued each year, and if so, what is the cap; (m) if there is a cap, how will it be determined as to who receives a permit; (n) what are the range of consequences for a child who operates a lemonade stand without a Young Entrepreneurs Permit; (o) will the government offer translation services to children in order to meet the bilingual signage requirement; (p) if the answer to (o) is affirmative, will the government charge for this service, and if so, what will be the cost of this service; (q) what is the range of consequences for signage not being bilingual; (r) what are the consequences for bilingual signage which places French ahead of English, which would be contrary to the instructions provided in the application; (s) what is the range of consequences for not displaying the permit in the manner required; (t) will parents or guardians be held liable for breaches of the rules associated with the permit; and (u) does the government consider having a lemonade stand registry to be in the public’s best interest?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), as a crown corporation in the Canadian Heritage portfolio, the National Capital Commission operates at arm’s length from the government and is responsible for its own day-to-day activities.
With regard to (b), the NCC consulted business and youth engagement groups in developing the Sunday Bikedays youth entrepreneurship program on a pilot basis. It is designed to provide children and youth, ages five to 17 years old, an educational opportunity by operating a kiosk on select NCC parkways during its popular Nokia Sunday Bikedays. The NCC did not establish a lemonade stand registry.
With regard to (c), this NCC initiative is an educational opportunity to introduce children and youth to the world of entrepreneurship and animate NCC’s parkways during Sunday Bikedays in the summer.
With regard to (d), as in most youth programs administered by government or by non-governmental organizations, the application process was designed to give parents the required information about their children’s participation in the program.
With regard to (e), the program includes an optional fun and hands-on educational workshop, offered by Junior Achievement Ottawa, or JA Ottawa. The NCC provided JA Ottawa $20,000 to develop and implement this workshop for program participants. The NCC also ordered promotional signs at a cost of $740.
With regard to (f), as with any operation that sells consumable products in Ottawa, kiosks operated as part of this pilot program must conform to City of Ottawa bylaws.
With regard to (g), NCC staff will advise parents and participants on how to operate kiosks along its parkways in a safe manner for both kiosk operators and Sunday Bikedays participants.
With regard to (h), the training workshop is a fun and hands-on opportunity for children and youth to learn about how to create and operate a business.
With regard to (i), all of JA Ottawa’s facilitators are screened according to JA Canada national screening policy.
With regard to (j) and (k), these aspects are not required by the streamlined application process.
With regard to (l),the answer is no.
Item (m) is not applicable.
With regard to (n), NCC staff will inform anyone interested in operating a kiosk on NCC land of the youth entrepreneurship program, as well as provide information required to ensure the safety of participants and the public.
With regard to (o), the NCC will offer assistance with translation to participants in the program,
With regard to (p), there is no charge for this assistance.
With regard to (q) and (r), this condition of the agreement reflects the National Capital Commission’s obligations under the Official Languages Act. As indicated in the Treasury Board of Canada’s directive on official languages for communications and services, the language of majority for the province must appear first when both official languages are used. The NCC would work with the participant to ensure the Official Languages Act is respected.
With regard to (s), the answer is none.
With regard to (t), parents or guardians are responsible for their children’s participation in this program.
Item (u) is not applicable, as no registry exists.

Question No. 1074--
Mr. David Sweet:
With regard to the Minister of Finance’s comments published in the Globe and Mail on June 7, 2017, that “there are projects that will not get done in this country if we don’t introduce the Canada Infrastructure Bank”: (a) what are the details of all such projects, including (i) name or title, (ii) location, (iii) riding, if known, (iv) cost, (v) project description or summary, (vi) amount of total projected investment, (vii) projected cost of total project; and (b) for each project described in (a), what evidence, if any, does the government have that such projects wouldn’t be built without the Canada Infrastructure Bank?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Minister of Health, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada faces a significant infrastructure gap. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates it as high as $570 billion. The public sector alone cannot fill the infrastructure gap in Canada. The Canada infrastructure bank, or CIB, will help attract investors to revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest. This will help provinces, territories, and municipalities build new infrastructure that might not have otherwise been built, increasing overall service levels for Canadians.
With regard to (a) and (b), specific project details are not available at this time.

Question No. 1076--
Mr. Randall Garrison:
With regard to Canada’s new Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders: (a) how has the Government implemented the Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders to promote human rights and protect human rights defenders in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), China; (b) how have the Guidelines been applied in the cases of the selected prisoners of conscience (i) Gendhun Choekyi Nyima (the 11th Panchen Lama), who has been detained since May 17, 1995, (ii) Yeshe Choedron who has been detained since March, 2008, (iii) Druklo/Shokjang, who has been detained since March 16, 2015, (iv) Tashi Wangchuk, who has been detained since January 27, 2016; and (c) have Canadian officials in TAR, China conducted field visits and investigated the legitimacy of the charges laid against these human rights defenders (i) Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, (ii) Druklo/Shokjang, (iii) Yeshe Choedron, (iv) Tashi Wangchuk?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Canada’s guidelines on supporting human rights defenders are designed to support Global Affairs Canada at Canadian missions and at headquarters in advancing the work of human rights defenders. The guidelines are an important tool in the promotion and protection of human rights as an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy and a long-standing priority in our relationship with China. We have consistently and regularly expressed our concerns about the human rights situation in China and have specifically advocated for the protection of human rights defenders, including those in the Tibet Autonomous Region, or TAR. We have expressed concerns about the restrictions on the freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly and association, and freedoms of religion and belief of ethnic Tibetans.
We will continue to urge China to live up to its international obligations on human rights through multilateral forums, such as the issuing of statements at the United Nations Human Rights Council and advocacy for the participation of civil society in China’s universal periodic review.
In the context of our bilateral relationship with China, the guidelines provide the basis for us to continue to examine opportunities for further collaboration in the protection and advancement of the work of human rights defenders, including in the TAR. We have also advocated for substantive and meaningful dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives to work toward a peaceful resolution of outstanding issues acceptable to both sides. The Embassy of Canada in Beijing has visited Tibetan ethnic regions in China to understand the situation. Canadian diplomats require permission from Chinese authorities to visit the TAR.
With regard to (b) and (c), the Government of Canada is aware of the cases of Mr. Gendhun Choekyi Nyima; Mr. Druklo, or Shokjang; Mr. Yeshe Choedron; and Mr. Tashi Wangchuk. We are closely monitoring the cases of Tibetan human rights defenders who have been detained. This includes seeking trial attendance where possible.
As was done most recently during the Prime Minister’s first official visit to China, Canada will continue to have frank discussions with China on respect for human rights and the rule of law, including in relation to religious freedom and the situation in Tibet. Canada has also consistently advocated for substantive and meaningful dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives to work toward a resolution of issues acceptable to both sides.
Senior officials of the Embassy of Canada have undertaken several diplomatic visits to TAR. Canada will continue to seek greater access to Tibet for our diplomats, parliamentarians, NGOs, and visiting delegations. Allowing foreign diplomats and journalists unimpeded and regular access to Tibetan areas would allow us to better understand the realities on the ground.
Specific to the case of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Government of Canada first raised the matter with the Chinese authorities in 1995. In 1998, the Embassy of Canada delivered to Chinese counterparts 1,000 birthday cards for Gedhun Choekyi Nyima from Canadian children.
Since then, Canada has requested that China provide information on the location of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, the level of education that Gedhun has completed, and the expected date for his return along with his parents.
Moreover, Canada has called on China to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief to visit Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
After persistent requests from the international community and Tibetan advocates, on September 6, 2015, Chinese officials responded that the Panchen Lama, then 26 years old, is living under China’s control. “The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed,” said Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the TAR’s United Front Work Department.
The Government of Canada will continue to urge the Government of China to respect the rights of ethnic Tibetans and to take steps to improve the human rights situation in Tibetan areas.

Question No. 1083--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regard to the National Capital Commission’s announcement of the Young Entrepreneurs Permit pilot project: (a) what was the total cost of designing this pilot project, broken down by internal staff time (public servants) and broken down by: (i) information technology employees, (ii) communications employees, (iii) translation employees, (iv) lawyers or legal advisors, (v) other public servants; (b) what was the total cost of designing this pilot project, broken down by internal staff time and broken down by (i) public relations agencies; (ii) consultants; (iii) other expenses; c) what is the estimated total cost of this pilot project, broken down by internal staff time (public servants), including overtime, and broken down by: (i) information technology employees, (ii) communications employees, (iii) translation employees, (iv) lawyers or legal advisors, (v) other public servants; (vi) enforcement officers; (d) what is the estimated total cost of this pilot project, broken down by internal staff time, including overtime, and broken down by (i) public relations agencies, (ii) consultants, (iii) JA Ottawa, the company hired to conduct training seminars, (iv) transportation for enforcement officers, (vi) other expenses; and (e) what is the estimated date for the conclusion of the pilot project?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) to (d), the program includes an optional fun and hands-on educational workshop, offered by Junior Achievement, JA, Ottawa. The NCC provided JA Ottawa $20,000 to develop and implement this workshop for program participants. The NCC also made promotional signs at a cost of $740.
The requested information is not readily available in the National Capital Commission’s tracking systems. Extensive manual research and analyses would be necessary to provide further details. This operation cannot be completed within the allotted time frame.
With regard to (e), the concluding date for the pilot project this year is September 3.

Question No. 1084--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC): (a) what is the predicted economic impact including possible job losses, closures of facilities, scaling back of operations etc. associated with the province of Manitoba exiting the FFMC (i) to the corporation as a whole, (ii) specifically as it pertains to the operations and facilities in the riding of Elmwood–Transcona; (b) what specific measures have been taken, are being taken, or are planned, to mitigate any negative impacts on the FFMC associated with the province of Manitoba exiting the FFMC; (c) what was the economic impact including job losses, closures of facilities, scaling back of operations etc. associated with the province of Saskatchewan exiting the FFMC in 2012 to the corporation as a whole; and (d) what was the economic impact including job losses, closures of facilities, scaling back of operations etc. associated with the province of Alberta suspending its commercial fishery in 2014 to the corporation as a whole?
Response
Mr. Terry Beech (Parliamentary Secretary for Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a)(i)(ii), the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation is currently preparing an updated corporate risk profile and risk mitigation framework in order to fully consider and address the pending withdrawal of Manitoba.
With regard to (b), the FFMC is preparing for Manitoba’s withdrawal by offering supply contracts to fishers and agents in Manitoba to maintain the supply of fish from fishers who prefer to sell to the FFMC. This is similar to the approach taken by the FFMC when the Province of Saskatchewan withdrew from the act in 2012.
With regard to (c), following Saskatchewan’s withdrawal from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act in 2012, the corporation secured contractual arrangements with fishers in Saskatchewan. These arrangements represented approximately 99.5% of delivered volumes from the province prior to its withdrawal. As a result, the economic impact of Saskatchewan’s withdrawal was negligible on FFMC operations and has not resulted in any facility closures or job losses.
With regard to (d), prior to the Province of Alberta’s decision to close its commercial fishery in 2014, Alberta’s volumes represented 3 to 4% of the FFMC’s total delivery volume, and also accounted for 40% of its lake whitefish roe deliveries. The corporation temporarily scaled back sales of this roe. However, increased lake whitefish roe deliveries from other jurisdictions returned FFMC’s inventory back to pre-closure levels by fiscal year 2015-16. The impact on overall volumes delivered to the FFMC was negligible. One privately owned processing facility located in Edmonton that was leased by the FFMC was closed as a result of the province’s decision. There were no job losses at the FFMC due to the Alberta closure.

Question No. 1096--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) will the Infrastructure Bank be subject to the Access to Information Act; (b) will the Infrastructure Bank be required to disclose information in accordance with the Access to Information Act; and (c) will the Infrastructure Bank be subject to the same proactive disclosure requirements as government departments?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank, (a) the bank is subject to the Access to Information Act.
Moreover, (b), the bank is required to disclose information in accordance with the Access to Information Act, with one narrow exception that covers only information in relation to the bank’s clients, that is, other investors and project sponsors, and not the bank or projects themselves. This will allow the bank to be a trusted commercial counterparty and was modeled off similar provisions for the protection of client information for other financial crown corporations.
Finally, (c), the bank will be expected to follow best practices and legislative requirements for crown corporations regarding the transparency of its operations. Notably, the proposed amendments to the Access to Information Act in Bill C-58, an act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, would formalize the requirement that crown corporations publish travel and hospitality expenses as well as any report that is required to be tabled in Parliament.

Question No. 1097--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to consultation with our allies, in particular the United States, in relation to the Hytera Communications takeover of Norsat International Incorporated: (a) what are the titles and departments of the individuals consulted within the American government regarding the transaction; (b) when were they consulted; (c) what concerns were raised; and (d) how did the Canadian government address the concerns?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes issues of national security very seriously and conducts a rigorous assessment of all foreign investments under the Investment Canada Act, ICA, to safeguard Canada’s national security. The ICA includes a multi-step process whereby Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Public Safety Canada; and Canadian national security agencies review foreign investments to determine whether an order under the ICA is necessary to protect national security.
Limited information on such reviews can be disclosed due to their classified nature and to safeguard national security. The confidentiality provision of subsection 36(1) of the ICA also applies in this case and reads as follows: “all information obtained with respect to a Canadian, a non-Canadian, a business or an entity…in the course of the administration or enforcement of this Act is privileged and no one shall knowingly communicate or allow to be communicated any such information.”
When relevant to a particular investment, it is standard procedure to consult with our allies. In the case of Hytera Communications’ acquisition of Norsat International, the Government of Canada consulted with allie,s including the United States. The details of those consultations are classified and cannot be released.

Question No. 1099--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
With regard to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Sexual Trauma incidents: (a) what is the specific policy used by the Department to determine whether injuries sustained from a Military Sexual Trauma incident or incidents are service related; (b) what is the documentation from medical experts or other professionals, as well as any other types of evidence, accepted or required to be provided to the Department to determine (i) if injuries sustained from a Military Sexual Trauma incident or incidents are service related, (ii) if the Military Sexual trauma incident or incidents occurred?
Response
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Veterans Affairs Canada provides disability benefits to veterans with a service-related health condition or disability, regardless of the cause. The department applies the policies related to peacetime service and wartime and special duty service to test the service relationship of any condition. The policies can be found at http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/policy/document/1578 and http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/policy/document/1447.
With regard to (b), section 49 of the Canadian Forces members and veterans re-establishment and compensation regulations indicates that an application for a disability award shall include medical reports or other records that document the member's or veteran's injury or disease, diagnosis, disability and increase in the extent of the disability.
Veterans Affairs Canada’s disability benefits application checklist specifies that to receive a disability benefit, a veteran must, (1), have a diagnosed medical condition or disability, and (2) be able to show that the condition or disability is related to their service.
In order to make the decision, the documentation required includes a medical practitioner’s diagnostic report, diagnosis of a disability related to sexual trauma during service, and the veteran’s statement. In addition to the above noted evidence, Veterans Affairs Canada also considers factors such as location of the assault, the involvement in a service-related or service-mandated function at the time of the assault, and whether or not the assailant was in a position of power.
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View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise and speak to a piece of legislation on an issue for which I have been flooded with correspondence from constituents. This is something that resonates for Canadians.
I want to pick up on something my colleague just said. He said the best thing about the bill is that it has helped him learn how to pronounce the word “statistician”. I agree that this might be the only good thing about the bill. There are many things about the bill that are much worse, and it may be that the parliamentary secretary is finally coming around to the opposition's perspective on this bill. Hopefully, by the end of my remarks we will have sealed the deal in getting the government to realize the problems and, having benefited from the pronunciation exercise associated with the debate, agreeing with us in voting down this legislation.
Before I get into more detail, I want to pick up on the parliamentary secretary's response to my question. One of the provisions of the bill is that it would establish the Canadian statistics advisory council, which would replace the National Statistics Council. One might infer from the names that they are not that different from each other, and one would be correct. One has 13 members and the other 10 members, but when we do away with one council and replace it with another, that is a great opportunity to appoint 10 entirely new people, as if we would not notice in the opposition what is going on in that respect.
To get some clarification, I have to ask my friend across the way what could possibly motivate this legislative change, which effectively allows the government to do away with the existing council and then appoint 10 new good Liberals—I mean, good, qualified appointees—to this panel.
His response is quite revealing in its lack of detail. He tells us participation rates were uneven. Essentially, they did not think people on the council were as good as they could have been, so they have to completely change things so they can appoint a new council. Of course, we will be watching to see the extent to which the government uses this tactic. I really hope that none of the people on this new statistics advisory council were involved in developing the instrument for the government's electoral reform consultation.
There are some real problems with the government's approach to appointments in general and, I would argue, more broadly with its approach to statistics and how it considers science and information on a variety of issues, so I am going to take this opportunity to talk a bit about that as well as to talk about some of the specific provisions in this legislation.
The bill is partly seen by the government as an opportunity to try to push an important political message, which is that it really wants to associate its brand with evidence-based policy. We hear this rhetoric out of the government a lot. I think I speak for the entire official opposition in saying that we believe in evidence-based policy. We believe in data-driven decision making. For us, it is not just a slogan.
The member for Spadina—Fort York is heckling me again. I am sure he is preparing a great question about Ayn Rand again, which he is able to relate to all subjects in this place. I look forward to those comments, based on the member's extensive reading of that author.
If I could get back to my comments, for us as Conservatives, evidence-based decision-making is not just a slogan. It is not just something we want to put in the window. We actually look at the evidence and the details and we apply that information across a range of issues. If we look at the approach the government has taken across a range of files, we will see its total lack of regard for the evidence.
I will cite a few examples, because we have seen and debated examples in the House of the government not being interested in looking at science. The most obvious example of its complete disregard for evidence when it comes to policy-making is its approach to pipeline approval.
On this side of the House we believe that there is an independent process for pipeline review. There is an independent body, the National Energy Board, that collects data, conducts hearings in a reasonable time frame, and provides a report back. By and large, when the government gets a report from an independent consultative body like that, it should be listening. This actually accords with the rhetorical approach of the government.
An independent body is providing advice based on science. What is not to like? However, members of the government actually do not like that very much because, when it comes to pipeline approvals, they want to preserve the ability for the government or the cabinet—and they have clearly shown an intention to use that ability—to reject approvals that are made by independent, impartial, science-based decision-makers at the National Energy Board.
We have seen this anti-science approach when it comes to the northern gateway pipeline, an important pipeline project that would have provided market access for our energy resources, which was approved by the NEB with conditions. It was then approved by the previous government with conditions, and now we have a new government not only rejecting that but bringing in legislation to not allow tanker traffic out of northern B.C.
We know in that context that there is a great deal of tanker traffic off the coast of B.C. coming from Alaska. We have every reason to believe it is going to increase, and yet we have this unscientific—anti-science, in fact—decision by the government members. They are motivated by a political calculus that ignores the actual reality.
When we have the government coming forward with legislation, when the Liberals talk about the importance of science-based decision-making and of statistics, it is important to pose this question. Why are they not listening to the clear evidence when it comes to pipeline approval? Why are they not listening to that evidence?
I can give another example, and this is probably the clearest example of the government's disregard for good statistical methods. That was the Liberals' approach on the issue of changes to the electoral system. There was a process in place whereby a parliamentary committee representing all members of Parliament came back with some good recommendations about how the government could proceed with the implementation of something that was actually an election commitment. That reflected the fact that many Canadians had input into the committee process. Generally speaking, parliamentary committees only hear from experts. I do not think the committee did any sort of explicitly quantitative work, but it did a great deal of qualitative work gathering opinions of Canadians and hearing those perspectives. It came back with a recommendation that a referendum be done with respect to possible different electoral systems.
After that, because the government members did not like the result of what was a good process for engaging and consulting Canadians, they decided to come up with their own process, which was obviously from a statistical perspective highly suspect. It was to have an online consultation that gets people's feelings about things that might have some kind of approximate relationship to questions around electoral systems, but not actually ask the direct obvious questions. We could not ask people if they favour a system that is more proportionate or less proportionate, has certain kinds of possible outcomes, etc. It was generally about feelings and sentiment-based calculations, and through that process, the government decided it would not proceed with it.
This was an attempt, given that the first analysis of public perspectives did not seem to produce the results the Liberals wanted, to reorganize and contort and manipulate the mechanism of consultation to not ask explicit questions but instead to contort the process to try to ensure they had the result they wanted and in the end to justify a political decision, which at that point had probably already been made, which was to back away. This is another case where we see a real disregard for the process of science, of gathering evidence, of consulting with Canadians.
I should also mention that we have the government's disregard for the science when it comes to the risks associated with marijuana use, and we have the Liberals' decision to bring forward legislation to legalize marijuana in spite of the clear risks to young people, as I said, choosing an age that does not at all reflect the science.
The Liberals have been criticized by all kinds of experts for setting the age at 18, for example. There is a great deal of evidence that, even if we were going to legalize it, we should recognize that there are substantial risks and scientifically demonstrated associations between early use of marijuana, even relatively occasional use, and mental health challenges later in life.
That evidence exists, yet in spite of good advice from experts on this issue, the government again has shown that it does not take evidence-based policy-making seriously when it comes to pipelines, electoral reform, and now in this case, the issue of marijuana. We have a government that does not look at or listen to the evidence. Instead, it wants to try to twist and contort how it presents statistical information in a way that is based on a predetermined, preset political agenda. This might satisfy the Liberals' political calculus, but it does not accord with the kinds of principles, the kind of lofty objectives they frequently talk about.
By the way, every time we have a debate about science in the House, it is interesting to see the way the Liberals try to politicize the issues. I remember a case during question period where we had a member who has spent decades working as a scientist asking the Minister of Science a question. The minister said that it was good to see the member finally taking an interest in science. In fact, it was the member for Sarnia—Lambton, who has a long history of working and being involved in scientific development. It shows the very political lens through which the government views this.
Therefore, it is with that in mind, with the level of concern about the way the government uses these words and about its actual record when it comes to evidence-based decision-making, that we approach this legislation. It is legislation that contains a number of elements that raise big questions about what is actually going on and what the government is trying to do.
I spoke earlier, and I want to develop this point a little more, about a specific provision in the bill, which is this new council that the Liberals want to set up. The bill would establish a Canadian statistics advisory council, which would replace the National Statistics Council. I am sure what we are going to hear, and maybe members have already said this, is that there will be an open process for applications, anybody can apply, they will be evaluated dispassionately based on fair and neutral criteria, and they will come to the conclusion that in fact reveals that, well, the best people were former Liberal Party donors, cabinet ministers, or something like that.
The government's record with respect to appointments all the way along is very spotty. There are major questions out there about how the government actually comes to its appointment decisions. I think there are a number of examples that we could talk about that are fairly obvious. For instance, we had the government promising an independent process with respect to senators, and yet, strikingly, the senators that the government appointed are very much voting with government. How could that be? It is almost as if there was a political lens applied to those appointments. Just because the Liberals say something does not make it true. If we look at the evidence, the voting records of those appointed suggests certainly that this is not a dispassionate calculus based on some politically neutral criteria at all. They are trying to send that message even though it does not accord with the reality.
Of course, there is the fiasco in this place around the appointment of a new Commissioner of Official Languages. We had different messages given by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and by a witness at committee—I think the Commissioner of Official Languages appointee herself—saying essentially different things about the conversations that took place in the lead-up to the decision around that appointment. We had repeated questions for the Minister of Canadian Heritage about what conversations were had and how those decisions were made. In the end, it was always a deflection rather than a direct response to the question about that appointment.
However, the reality is that we had a provincial Liberal cabinet minister who the government intended to put in the position, which is a very important office and supposed to be an independent officer of Parliament. Obviously, that person took a step back when it was clear this was not something that was going to be accepted. However, it was not inevitable that would happen, and the government's consistent defence of that appointment decision obviously raises real red flags when we look at the fact that the Liberals are bringing forward legislation that would allow them to entirely reappoint this statistics advisory body.
With all these different appointment issues in the mix, this leads up to what is one critical position, the Ethics Commissioner. The Prime Minister has recused himself, supposedly, from being involved in the appointment of the Ethics Commissioner. However, he has given that power over to the government House leader, someone who clearly serves at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. It is hard to imagine that there would not be some kind of a conversation that would take place, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, especially given that there may have been conversations that took place around the Commissioner of Official Languages, and yet we had different things said in different places, by different people who were supposed to be part of that conversation, about what conversations actually did and did not take place.
There is a huge credibility problem with the government when it comes down to who it is putting in place for these appointments. When we look at a bill like this, it is worth asking who is actually going to be involved in the appointments. How can the opposition, as we look at this legislation, have any kind of certainty that, as the government gets rid of one body on the basis of what the parliamentary secretary called “participation rates” being uneven, we will see something quite different, and that we will see a body that will actually, in effect, increase the government's control of it.
The government can talk about independent bodies, groups, and agencies and oversight mechanisms all it wants, but then we have to look at how those are formed, who is putting them in place, and who is appointing those people to those positions. If we do not have confidence that the government is actually looking at merit, if it is clear, based on the past track record of the government, and I think it is, that it is only making these appointments or predominantly making these appointments on the basis of partisan criteria, then we cannot, at all, have confidence in the way in which that decision is going to unfold.
I do want to make an additional point with respect to this legislation, and that is that this legislation does not directly affect whether we have a mandatory long form census. We currently have a mandatory long form census, and that will not be changed either way with respect to this legislation. It is not necessary to pass it in order to achieve what clearly is a stated objective of the government, which is to have that mandatory long form census in place.
Other provisions of this bill are evident but are not really the ones I have chosen to dwell on in my speech, but I do want to draw the attention of members to them nonetheless. The bill involves the appointment of a chief statistician during “good behaviour” for a fixed renewable term of five years. It does mean that once a chief statistician is in place, it is at least much more difficult for the government to remove that individual. It also, of course, brings us back to this question of how we can actually trust the government to make credible appointments, if we consider the track record of the government when it comes to those appointments.
The legislation also says that the minister will no longer be able to issue directives on methods, procedures, and operations. The minister will still be able to issue directives on sort of a broad scope of statistical programs, but it will no longer be up to him or her to dictate methods, procedures, and operations.
I have to say I do think the government has a very poor track record when it comes to determining statistical methods, if we judge from the way it organized consultations on the issue of changes to the electoral system. I certainly would not want to see the government manipulating those dynamics around statistical methods and operations. Again, we have observed what the likely problems would be if it were trying to essentially do the same thing that it has already done with regard to other statistical issues, and that is shape the way in which those consultations took place in order to achieve a particular outcome. The broad problem is still there, given the remaining authority and given the issue of appointments.
To summarize very quickly, the main problems that I brought attention to in the legislation are this.
First, we have seen the government's clear lack of willingness to take evidence-based decision-making beyond a slogan. It is clearly a slogan it repeats over and over. However, from the way in which it makes decisions, there is no evidence it is something it considers.
There is also the issue of the lack of credibility the government has with respect to appointments and the way in which those always seem to reflect a partisan criteria.
On that basis, we will be opposing the bill.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2017-06-20 20:12 [p.13039]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on Bill C-36 with regard to the census. One thing we can be clear about in the debate on this legislation is it is critically important how we spend taxpayers' money. That is central to the census itself. It is no laughing matter, especially when we look at some of the people involved.
Shame on both the Liberals and Conservatives for their actions in regard to former chief statisticians. It needs to be identified as quite a serious situation. Munir Sheikh resigned under the Conservatives and Wayne Smith resigned under the Liberals. These are key resignations. These are chief statisticians who are respected across the planet. They were seen to have had their integrity compromised by being senior bureaucrats in an administration. They ended up being whistle-blowers. We know not just domestically but across the globe, whistle-blowers often become martyrs. They often become targets. They and their families are often affected for going public with something where they compromised their own personal well-being versus that of the state or the job they do. That is what took place with our chief statisticians.
It is important to remember who they are. Munir Sheikh, for example, was a Canadian immigrant from Pakistan who later on became a doctor of economics and worked in the Department of Finance for many years as a deputy minister, later becoming a chief statistician, and resigning from his position at Stats Canada. That was the first time I had seen a resignation like that in the 15 plus years I have been here. I had never witnessed someone take on the administration like that. That came about because of a number of things related to Stats Canada and how it was treated and valued.
Therefore, it is important to review what is so important about the Statistics Act and why it is so important for Canadians. A chief statistician is responsible for the overall act and the administration of it. The issues they monitor across the country are where, at the end of the day, taxpayers' money is spent. It is about income. It is about the labour market. It is education, housing, transportation, languages, persons with disabilities, citizenship, immigration, aboriginal peoples, and ethnicity. They even determine where to place a fire hall for municipalities. There was discussion today about high-rise buildings. We have seen tragedies with high-rise buildings, most recently in London. However, we have the necessary data accumulation on municipalities to do the proper planning for allocating resources, because Statistics Canada knows where the populations are. If we do not have that information, we not only could knowingly set ourselves up for failure but we could unwittingly do so, because we do not have that information.
It is similar with economic growth. The latest census of 2016 shows 35% of Canada's population now resides in the Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal areas. That is a significant concentration of human population for such a geographic mass as Canada. That also makes it very important for us to attract investment and innovation for other areas. The more vulnerable communities, related to not having proper statistical information, are smaller communities and smaller pockets of population. It is how housing is decided. I mentioned fire halls for municipal service. There is all of that, and even affordable housing and the cost of housing, which actually translates into economic development, where businesses decide where and what type of business they should grow here in Canada.
When I came here, I had previously worked as an employment counsellor for persons with disabilities and youth at risk and I was a city councillor in Windsor West where I represented one of the great parliamentarians for 39 years, the deputy prime minister at the time, the right hon. Herb Gray. As a city councillor, my area that he represented was pegged to be part of what is called the complete count. In Windsor West there were many new immigrants and we had a lot of issues related to language and culture, so our statistical returns related to the census were lower.
That meant that we were missing out on valuable data necessary for Mr. Gray to advocate for housing, language services, a series of things that were necessary for the production, value, and contribution of the citizens of that area because of the challenges. Because we had English as a second language growing as a concern, at around a 50% return rate for our census, we were missing out on those opportunities. We also had people who wanted to participate, wanted to do better things, but they could not.
We were one of four areas across the country, at that time, of the 301 ridings federally that did a door-to-door campaign to help people get enumerated for the census. There is a litany of reasons why that is important, but it affects the funding and the contributions. If we are coming from a community that does not have those things, as identified, it is hard to advocate for that.
It is not just about government services, it is also about businesses. Businesses use this information from labour market surveys not only to identify customer populations, but also to identify concerns about shortages of workers with certain skill sets. The information in the census is used to identify that for investment. One of the number one things we hear to this day is the fact that we are going to be short certain types of workers, whether it be engineers or mechanical workers, and not having the people to staff in those regions and not preparing other populations to either get that skill set, or having to import that labour versus educating Canadians and invest in education to do so. That affects a multitude of things and diminishes our middle class.
We did that in Windsor West. Later on as a representative of Windsor West in this chamber, I understood quite clearly the value of a clean statistical database for advocating for my community and also for this country. I became very intimate with how it works. About 50% of persons with disabilities are not working in Canada. Many have given up and are not in the system. l was part of a group that was able to include more persons with disabilities. I want to note that the good work of the public servants in helping access jobs for persons with disabilities during that time was critical. I am still grateful today because I know some people are still working and can use the job to get something else.
Ivan Fellegi, a chief statistician at that time, was under pressure to privatize our census. England, for example, had outsourced the collection of data to different third parties and Canada was outsourcing its census to Lockheed Martin. A campaign I was part of looked to protect Canadians' data from Lockheed Martin because many people had ethical concerns about Lockheed Martin collecting our data. It was an arms manufacturer predominantly based in the United States that produced weapons which were banned under Canadian law like cluster munitions and so on. It was collecting our data and not only that, it would store and implement the data. At that time, the U.S. went through the implementation of the Patriot Act. We discovered it was going to assemble this data outsourced from Canada in the United States.
Why that is important is because once the Patriot Act was implemented, the hard reality was that all our census data, personal and private information we thought was protected, was now susceptible to the United States. Under the Patriot Act, the way it worked at that time, and most of which still exists in this format today, is that if a court order was issued for information, the company could not tell the actual proprietor of that information that the information was actually being usurped and used by the American government.
It would have been against the law for Lockheed Martin to disclose to Canada that the information it gathered in Canada would be used. Credit card companies and others have faced some scrutiny since then. The Privacy Commissioner has piped in. From British Columbia, and other areas, there is quite a record on this. We fought quite hard to get that information to stay in Canada, which we were able to do.
Getting past that, we continued to have a fairly stable census, until the Conservatives came into power and created the voluntary national household survey. It was put out there as a cost-cutting measure, in many respects, and also as privacy protection for Canadians. Not having the bully of government telling people they have to disclose information or they were going to kick in doors, make people fill in the census form, or send them off to jail.
I remember the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka getting up a number of times in the chamber, talking about people being intimidated. The jail aspect was certainly the heightened element that received media attention from many facets for many months, more than a year. To this day, it is still one of the more laughable things ever pronounced by a minister in the history of Canada: that people were going to be locked up and have the key thrown away for not completing their census. The essence of it was really a side distraction, which worked.
The national household survey came back with around a 26% response rate. That 26% response rate meant that our statistics, which had been the envy of many industrialized worlds, were now a diminished response. We lost a significant portion of the reliability of that data to make decisions on income, labour market, education, housing, transportation, languages, disabilities, citizenship, immigration, aboriginal people, and ethnicity. All the intel on those things went down to 26%.
The other interesting thing about that is that it cost us an additional $22 million. We received a quarter of the results, paid an additional $22 million, and then it became very worthless in many respects. This is more the technical aspect of it that some people may not care for, but it is important. Think of the centrepiece of our census as a backstop for other labour market surveys, whether it be polling, labour market agriculture, labour market related to industrial development, or labour market for investment. All those different things would be targeted in smaller surveys, but the overall sample of the statistical census would provide some of the best statistical information. Poof, that was gone. All that continuum we had was basically disrupted by that introduction.
That is when Munir Sheikh, and I discussed some of his qualifications as an economist and a deputy at the Department of Finance for many years, resigned. He resigned because he could no longer do his job.
We pressed for changes and then the Liberals and opposition agreed with changes as well. I tabled a member's bill, as did a couple of other members, to restore the independence. This bill would do some of that. It would provide some of those elements, but it would not go far enough.
Wayne Smith, the latest chief statistician in terms of Service Canada, resigned because of that. He resigned because Service Canada has become a large, encompassing agency for intelligence and support services. The problem it has is that much of our census information that is used now has to flow into this information of shared services, creating an independence issue about the data falling in there, then getting data back and the use of it. This created quite a problem, and Wayne Smith has now resigned.
We now have the bill which will make Statistics Canada somewhat independent. I say somewhat independent, because overall it does fulfill the things I described in the first part of my speech relating to information gathering, creating the lineal information necessary for statistical information use, the gathering, and how it restores those elements. That is critically important.
We are very grateful we will have that, but it does not actually go the full nine yards, so right now we still have a situation where the minister can still make political decisions about the questions that are asked in the census. It still takes away from the scientific approach we would like to have, and the independence, because we do pay, and we do actually ask someone to come into this position. It is very much a sought after career position to have. If it is independent, we get some of the best in the world. We will still have the minister's control over that, so I worry about the fact we could have some politicization of it.
It has been mentioned, and there has been banter back and forth between the Conservatives and Liberals about patronage and the appointment process, but it is a serious thing to consider. We are just dealing in my neck of the woods right now, a patronage appointment, the Gordie Howe Bridge, and Dwight Duncan becoming quite controversial, because there is a partisanship past appointment and there are partisanship attacks, including Ontario Progressive Conservatives, the American administration, and so forth. I get the seriousness of that, and what is at stake there, but what I am worried about is, what happens next time? Now that this is enshrined in law, it becomes very difficult for us to get that independence.
The Statistics Canada Department is one of 42 agencies that are supposed to be at arm's length from the government, but unfortunately, with this legislation, it is still within choking distance. Yes, it is at arm's length, but a choking distance away. I am concerned about the fact we will not see that happening. Wayne Smith identified some of those issues and concerns.
We will eliminate the jail time. It will be completely eliminated, so it can no longer be a distraction, and in the future there will be no ability for the minister to say something that would make people run, or think about something different from what the real serious issue is, which is actually the increased cost, or the change of the census, which is important. There will also still be 92 years of census information before it goes public.
In his testimony, Wayne Smith said that Bill C-36 moves the Statistics Act substantially in the right direction, creates no new problems, but fails to fully address independence, the need for full quinquennials, mandatory census of population, or the modernization of the legislation to build a statistical system adapted to the rapidly evolving needs and challenges of the 21st century. He concluded that there is still work to be done. We proposed some amendments given to us in committee by Mr. Smith and others, but they were not taken into consideration.
We will be supporting this. It is a good step forward, but it is a missed opportunity. We get to hit a double instead of a home run out of this one, so we will take it. We advance the case, and most important, Canadians and the use of our money will be better off served with data that is reliable than not.
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
NDP (QC)
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2017-06-08 15:03 [p.12317]
Mr. Speaker, according to the Standing Orders, a member of the House cannot intentionally mislead Parliament. Sometimes it is an honest mistake and that is why I wanted to give the minister of industry a chance to correct himself.
In a press release from Norsat on June 2, it said, “the Minister responsible for the Investment Canada Act...has served notice that there will be no order for review of the transaction under subsection 25.3(1) of the Act.”
There is a difference between a screening and a systematic, real national security review that has to be ordered by the minister. He knows that because he is the one who chose not to order a national security review.
I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to look at the answers that we had from the minister, which contradict the facts, and make sure that our rights as parliamentarians to get true answers in the House are respected.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2017-06-08 15:04 [p.12317]
Mr. Speaker, further to the point of order raised by my hon. colleague, I would also like to point out that the letter that was actually sent to Norsat said as follows, “there will be no order for review of the transaction under subsection 25.3(1)”, which governs national security reviews.
Further, it is important that we get some evidence from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness since this decision is taken only in consultation with him.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2017-06-08 15:05 [p.12317]
I thank the hon. member for Outremont for raising that question.
I thank the hon. member for Milton for her intervention. I will consider the matter and come back to the House if necessary.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 954--
Mr. MacKenzie (Oxford):
With regard to page 11 of the Guide for Parliamentary Secretaries published by the Privy Council Office in December 2015, where it states that Parliamentary Secretaries are “prohibited from accepting sponsored travel”: (a) does the government consider the trips taken by Parliamentary Secretary Khera and Parliamentary Secretary Virani, which are listed in the 2016 sponsored travel report by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, to be a violation of the guide; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what corrective measures were taken to reconcile the violation; and (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, why does the government not consider these trips to be a violation?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to trips taken by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), their sponsored travel was pre-approved by the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
Furthermore, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) made the proper and appropriate public declarations to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner upon their return, in accordance with the rules that govern the practice of sponsored travel.
Sponsored travel is not unusual for ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
For example, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the former parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, travelled to Taiwan, a trip that was sponsored by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.

Question No. 958--
Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy:
With regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and energy efficiency programs, for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017: (a) what programs are in place; (b) what are the eligibility criteria for each of these programs; (c) what tools do the government and the CMHC use to promote these programs to the public (i) at the national level, (ii) at the provincial level; (d) how many people use these programs (i) at the national level, (ii) by province, (iii) in the riding of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot; and (e) how much has been spent to advertise these programs (i) at the national level, (ii) in each province?
Response
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, considers energy efficiency an important issue. Many of the housing programs available to Canadians include a consideration or component for energy efficiency.
In regard to stand-alone programs, in response to part (a), CMHC green home program was introduced in 2004 and is intended to encourage consumers to purchase energy-efficient housing or make energy-saving renovations which can generate significant reductions in energy costs for homeowners and have a positive environmental impact. CMHC green home offers a premium refund to CMHC mortgage loan insurance borrowers who either buy, build, or renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing.
For the years 2014, 2015, and up to June 22, 2016, borrowers could benefit from a 10% refund on their mortgage insurance premium, and a refund of sales tax where applicable, when using CMHC-insured financing to purchase a new or existing energy-efficient home or to undertake energy efficient renovations to an existing home.
Enhancements to the program were made in June 2016. Effective June 22, 2016, the base premium refund increased from 10% to 15% of the total premium paid and a two-level premium refund structure exists, allowing for as much as 25% of the total premium paid to be refunded, depending on the level of energy efficiency achieved.
In response to part (b), under the CMHC green home program, most new homes built under a CMHC eligible energy-efficient building standard automatically qualify for a premium refund. For all other homes, eligibility is assessed using Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide rating system.
Information on how to apply for a partial premium refund and eligibility requirements is available on CMHC’s website www.cmhc.ca/greenhome.
In response to part (c), CMHC's modernized green home program was launched in 2016 and was actively promoted through various channels including mortgage professionals, industry associations, media outlets, and CMHC's redesigned web content. CMHC's green home program continues to be promoted through various social media outlets including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
In response to part (d), the number of refunds issued under CMHC green home, at a national level, during the requested years is as follows: 752 in 2014, 476 in 2015, 443 in 2016, and 153 in 2017. These numbers are not available by province or territory nor specifically for the riding of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.
In response to part (e), CMHC did not spend any specific advertising funds prior to 2016. In 2016, CMHC spent $20,940 to advertise the CMHC green home program at a national level.

Question No. 959--
Mr. David Sweet:
With regard to the call for proposals for government funding under the Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program allocated for Clean Energy Innovation that closed October 31, 2016: (a) what criteria were used to select approved projects; (b) what projects received funding, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) type of project, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received; (c) what projects have been selected to receive funding in the future, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) type of project, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received; and (d) for each project identified in (b) and (c), 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
Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to paragraph (a), the criteria used to select approved projects are outlined in section 6 of the “Energy Innovation Program, Clean Energy Innovation Component: Request for Project Proposals, Applicants’ Guide”, which is made available to all applicants.
With respect to paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), as of April 4, 2017, NRCan had not yet formally announced any of the selected projects for the clean energy innovation program. However, 100% of the $25.1 million in funding available for this program has been allocated to projects selected through the call for proposals process. The current number of projects expected to be supported by the clean energy innovation program is approximately 27, although this figure could change slightly in the future. All applicants have been notified, and NRCan has started conducting post-selection due diligence and negotiating contribution agreements with applicants. It is expected that the majority of the 27 contribution agreements will be signed by June 30, 2017. Once contribution agreements are signed, NRCan will announce the projects. NRCan will also disclose the contribution amounts through the formal, quarterly proactive disclosure process. This information will be available on NRCan’s website.

Question No. 960--
Mr. Kevin Sorenson:
With regard to the announced 372.5 million dollars in repayable loans provided by the government to Bombardier: (a) was the government told during its negotiations with Bombardier that the financial assistance provided by the government would be used for bonuses to executives; (b) did the terms of the financial assistance include any guarantees that the loans would not go towards executive bonuses; and (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what are the details of such guarantees?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), the Government of Canada is committed to the long-term viability and success of the Canadian aerospace sector. The repayable contribution by the government to Bombardier is focused on research and development. This contribution will support creation of high-quality jobs and development of leading-edge technology in Canada. It will ensure the long-term competitiveness of Bombardier as a key aerospace firm for Canada.
In response to part (b), the strategic aerospace and defence initiative and C Series are claims-based programs where recipients make claims against eligible costs associated with research and development required in the performance of the project by the recipient. As negotiated in each individual contribution agreement, the costs must be reasonably and properly incurred and/or allocated to the project with eligible costs mainly supporting labour, materials, overhead, equipment, and contractors. Costs not related to the completion of the project are ineligible.
In response to part (c), specific terms of the contribution agreements are deemed third party commercially confidential information and protected under paragraph 20(1)(b) of the Access to Information Act.

Question No. 966--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to page 24 of the Liberal election platform where it said “We will ensure that Access to Information applies to the Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ Offices”: (a) does the government plan on keeping this election promise; and (b) in what year does the government plan on introducing legislation which would make such changes?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, our government continues to raise the bar on openness and transparency because government information ultimately belongs to the people we serve, and it should be open by default.
Major reforms to the Access to Information Act have not been done in more than three decades since it was enacted and we are taking on this challenge in a two-phase approach.
Changes to the act have to be carefully crafted to balance our fundamental values of openness with other principles, including independence of the judiciary, the effectiveness and neutrality of the public service, the protection of Canadians’ personal information, and national security.
We are working on fixing an Access to Information Act that is stale-dated after decades of neglect and, furthermore, we will legislate a requirement that the act be reviewed every five years so it never again becomes stale.
Through the ministerial directive issued last spring by the President of the Treasury Board, we moved to enshrine the principle of “open by default”, eliminated all fees apart from the $5 application fee, and directed departments to release information in user-friendly formats whenever possible.
Furthermore, we will undertake the first full and now-mandatory review of the Act beginning no later than 2018.

Question No. 967--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the possible extradition of individuals between the Government of Canada and the Government of China: (a) what are the details of any communication between the governments on the subject including (i) the date, (ii) the form (in person, telephone, email, etc.), (iii) the titles of individuals involved in the communication, (iv)the location, (v) any relevant file numbers; and (b) what are the details of any briefing notes on the subject including the (i) title, (ii) date, (iii) sender, (iv) recipient, (v) subject matter, (vi) file number?
Response
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to discussions between the Government of Canada and the Government of China, please read the following joint communiqué found online at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/09/13/1st-canada-china-high-level-national-security-and-rule-law-dialogue

Question No. 968--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to interaction between the government and the Bradford Exchange: (a) when was the government made aware that the company was planning on producing a talking doll bearing the image of the Prime Minister; (b) did the government authorize the company to produce the doll; (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, who provided the authorization; (d) did the government provide any input regarding the phrases which the doll says; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, what are the details including (i) who provided the input, (ii) when was the input provided; and (f) what are the details of any briefing notes or memos related to the production of the talking dolls including the (i) sender, (ii) recipient, (iii) date, (iv) title and subject matter, (v) file number?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government had no interaction with The Bradford Exchange and did not authorize the production of the doll.

Question No. 969--
Mr. Gordon Brown:
With regard to the “Sober Second Thinking: How the Senate Deliberates and Decides” discussion paper, circulated by the Government Representative in the Senate, and dated March 31, 2017: (a) does this paper represent the policy of the Government of Canada; (b) was its preparation, writing, editing and publication coordinated with the Government House Leader’s March 10, 2017, discussion paper entitled “Modernization of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons”; (c) was its preparation, writing, editing and publication coordinated in any other manner with the Government House Leader; (d) did the Privy Council Office, or any other department, assist in the preparation, writing, editing and publishing of it; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, with respect to the employees involved, what are their (i) titles, (ii) occupational groups, (iii) levels; (f) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, (i) were any parliamentarians or political parties consulted in the course of their work, (ii) were any staff of the Senate consulted in the course of their work, (iii) were any academics, experts, or any other outside advisors consulted in the course of their work; (g) if the answer to any of (f)(i), (ii) or (iii) is affirmative, what are the names of the persons or organizations consulted, and when were they consulted; (h) were any contractors, paid by the Government of Canada, involved in the preparation, writing, editing and publishing of the paper; and (i) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, with respect to the contractors involved, (i) what are their titles, (ii) what services were contracted, (iii) what is the value of the services contracted, (iv) what amount were they paid for their services, (v) what are the related file numbers?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to discussion paper entitled “Sober Second Thinking: How the Senate Deliberates and Decides”, the paper was prepared exclusively by the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate and published on the Senate website.
Our government believes that a more independent and less partisan Senate will rebuild Canadians' trust in this parliamentary institution.
It is up to the Senate itself to determine how to best adapt its internal rules and practices to function effectively.
Our government will continue to work productively with the Senate to move forward on our legislative agenda.

Question No. 970--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regard to the services related to issuing debt and selling of government bonds, since April 1, 2016: (a) what amount has the Government spent on services related to issuing debt and/or selling government bonds; (b) for each service in (a), what is the (i) name of the person or firm, (ii) service period, (iii) amount of the contract, (iv) reason that person or firm was chosen to provide the service?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Government of Canada marketable debt, which includes treasury bills and marketable bonds, is distributed by the Bank of Canada, as the government’s fiscal agent through competitive auctions to government securities distributors, a group of banks and investment dealers in the domestic market. No commissions or fees are paid to government securities distributors.
The Bank of Canada, as the government’s fiscal agent, is also responsible for overseeing and administering the retail debt program, which includes the issuance of Canada savings bonds and Canada premium bonds. Fees are paid to financial institutions in proportion to the amount of bonds outstanding that they have distributed. Any Canadian financial institution can distribute retail debt products, subject to signing the sales agent agreements. Financial institutions are engaged to distribute Canada savings bonds and Canada premium bonds as they are seen as an effective distribution channel for retail savings products. In 2015-16, the government paid an aggregate amount of $3.9 million in fees to a number of financial institutions on an outstanding retail debt stock of about $5.5 billion. The government announced in budget 2017 that it is winding down the retail debt program, so these fees will stop. The Bank of Canada directly pays these fees to financial institutions and is refunded by the Department of Finance. Accordingly, the department does not have the list of financial institutions nor the breakdown of fees paid per financial institution.
The Government of Canada holds foreign currency reserve assets to provide foreign currency liquidity to the government and to promote orderly conditions for the Canadian dollar in the foreign exchange markets, if required. Foreign currency debt is issued to fund foreign reserve assets in a manner that mitigates the impacts of movements in interest rates and foreign exchange rates. The government pays fees to financial institutions selling Canada bills, i.e., short term debt issued in U.S. dollars. Financial institutions are selected based on their ability to efficiently distribute a debt offering to a diverse investor base located around the world and play an active role in secondary market making. The Canada bills program contracts have no service periods. In the 2016 calendar year, the Department of Finance paid an aggregate amount of $2.2 million U.S. in fees to RBC, CIBC, and Goldman Sachs in proportion to the amount of Canada bills they distributed, with a total issuance of $18.6 billion U.S. Disaggregated information per financial institutions is confidential.
These fees, for retail debt and foreign currency debt, are included in the $10.6 million under “Servicing costs and costs of issuing new borrowings” in the Public Accounts of Canada, volume III, section 7.6. Unfortunately, this information is not yet available for the period starting April 1, 2016.

Question No. 971--
Mr.Kelly McCauley:
With regard to funding for the implementation and administration of various measures to crack down on tax evasion, combat tax avoidance and enhance tax collections in Budget 2016 for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and referenced in Supplementary Estimates (B) 2016-2017: (a) how many full time equivalents (FTEs) were created from this additional funding; (b) what percentage of all FTEs within CRA are dedicated to tax evasion and what was the percentage before the additional funding for tax evasion; (c) of these FTEs, how many employees are targeted toward offshore tax cheats; (d) of the new hires at CRA responsible for going after tax evasion, what is the breakdown by area of focus; and (e) how many new FTEs have been dedicated to address the back-log of low-complexity, medium complexity and high complexity assessment objections?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above noted question, here is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA. Regarding part (a), on the basis of the funding received in budget 2016, the CRA created a total of 654 FTEs across its collections, verification, and compliance programs in 2016-17 to implement, administer, and support the various measures to crack down on tax evasion, combat tax avoidance, and enhance tax collection. Of this amount, 171 new FTEs were specifically provisioned for our compliance programs to crack down on tax evasion and tax avoidance. When fully implemented in 2020-21, this will represent an additional 375 permanent FTEs.
Regarding part (b), the additional provision of 171 FTEs in 2016-17 raised the percentage of FTEs dedicated to addressing tax evasion and tax avoidance to approximately 6% or 2,255 FTEs of the total CRA base of 37,878 FTEs. Prior to the additional funding, 5.5% or 2,084 FTEs of the total CRA base was dedicated to these measures.
Regarding part (c), of the 2,255 FTEs dedicated to addressing tax evasion and tax avoidance, 383 are dedicated to offshore non-compliance. The CRA also has 447 FTEs dedicated to conduct international compliance interventions, including transfer pricing. In addition, these positions are indirectly supported by other compliance and enforcement staff who make referrals and leads to the offshore compliance auditors in the course of conducting their domestic activities.
Regarding part (d), the areas of focus for the various measures to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance include high net-worth individuals, aggressive GST-HST planning and refund integrity, tax scheme promoters, aggressive tax planning specialists, legal support for criminal investigations, large business audits, offshore non-compliance, and international auditors that focus primarily on transfer pricing verification to ensure appropriate attribution of profits between Canada and other jurisdictions.
Regarding part (e), the CRA is focused on service and improving the objection process by providing people and businesses with greater certainty about their tax obligations earlier in the process.
In response to the Auditor General 2016 fall report on income tax objections, the CRA committed to an action plan that addresses each of the Auditor General’s eight recommendations. For example, the agency updated its website in November 2016 to provide taxpayers with more information about the objection process, definition of complexity level, and current time frames for assigning low and medium complexity objections. In addition, the CRA is currently piloting a new triage process for objections, so that taxpayers are contacted earlier in the process and files are complete when assigned to an officer.
Moreover, a separate budget 2016 initiative under the section entitled “Improving Client services at the Canada Revenue Agency” increased capacity to resolve existing taxpayer objections and ensure that taxpayers are provided with certainty of their tax obligations as soon as possible. For this specific client service measure, the CRA did receive funding for an additional 71 FTEs, all of whom were hired in 2016-17.
Funding received in budget 2016 for the implementation and administration of various tax measures to crack down on tax evasion, combat tax avoidance, and enhance tax collections included provisions to ensure that taxpayers who choose to avail themselves of their recourse rights receive timely responses. Funding to address potential impacts to the objections workload will be made available in subsequent years, after the reassessments have been issued.

Question No. 973--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to videos which appear on the Environment and Climate Change Minister’s Twitter Account between March 23, 2017, and April 6, 2017: (a) what is the total cost associated with the production and distribution of the videos, broken down by individual video; (b) what is the itemized detailed breakdown of the costs; and (c) what are the details of any contracts related to the videos including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of good or service, (iv) file number, (v) date and duration of contract?
Response
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Environment and Climate Change Canada has one video from World Meteorological Day 2017, which appeared on the Environment and Climate Change minister’s Twitter account between March 23, 2017, and April 6, 2017.
The video was produced with internal resources and Getty Images at a total cost of $68.20. Since March 6, 2017, Getty Images has a one-year contract for 2,500 videos or 5,000 photos.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has no expenditure recorded between March 23, 2017, and April 6, 2017, in relation to (a), (b) and (c) of Question No. 973.
In addition, Parks Canada has no expenditure recorded between March 23, 2017, and April 6, 2017, in relation to (a), (b) and (c).

Question No. 974--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs): how many GHGs does the current Prime Minister's motorcade emit every (i) minute, (ii) hour, for which it is running?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the RCMP’s information management system does not capture the requested information.

Question No. 975--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the government’s claim that the February 7, 2017 Bombardier bail-out will result in 1300 new jobs: (a) what were the calculations used to come to that conclusion; (b) what evidence was given to come to that conclusion; (c) what branch within Bombardier will these jobs be in; (d) how many of these jobs are full-time; and (e) how many of these jobs are part-time?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Government of Canada is committed to the long-term viability and success of the Canadian aerospace sector. On February 7, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a $372.5-million repayable contribution to Bombardier for research and development for the new Global 7000 business jet and ongoing activities related to the development of the company’s C Series aircraft. Bombardier has indicated that employment related to the production of the Global 7000 business jet will go from approximately 1,700 jobs to approximately 3,000 jobs as a result of the strategic aerospace and defence initiative, SADI, contribution.
With regard to parts (b), (c), (d), and (e), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada conducted the required due diligence for projects under SADI. Specific information related to the due diligence and analysis is considered commercially confidential and protected under paragraph 20(1)(b) of the Access to information Act.

Question No. 976--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Phoenix Pay System and Public Services and Procurement Canada since June, 2016: (a) how much has been spent on researching other payment delivery systems; (b) how many meetings have been held on other payment delivery systems; and (c) for the meetings in (b), what are (i) the names and titles of the staff members that have been present at those meetings, (ii) the dates of the meetings?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the ongoing public service pay problems are completely unacceptable. Resolving these problems remains our priority. Our government is committed to ensuring that all employees are paid what they have earned.
Prior to awarding a contract for a new pay system, research was conducted by PSPC and with the industry throughout 2008-2009 to seek feedback and test market capability. This included two requests for information and a series of one-on-one meetings with the industry. No further research of other pay systems has taken place since June 2016.
Following an open, fair, and transparent bidding process, PSPC awarded a contract to IBM Canada Limited in June 2011 to design and implement the new pay solution for the Government of Canada.
Since the implementation of Phoenix, PSPC’s priority has been and still is to help each and every employee experiencing a problem with his or her pay and to ensure they receive what they have earned.
In this regard, PSPC is making progress toward achieving steady state and continues to look at options to increase pay processing efficiencies by implementing technical enhancements, increasing capacity, and improving work processes and procedures.

Question No. 980--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the protest at the offices of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s on April 7, 2016: (a) what was the amount of damage to government property caused by the protesters; (b) what are the titles of the government officials who met with the protestors; (c) did the government sign an agreement with the protesters; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what are the contents of the agreement; (e) did the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans approve (i) the meeting, (ii) the agreement; and (f) were there any Ministerial Exempt Staff in attendance at the meeting and, if so, what are their titles?
Response
Mr. Terry Beech (Parliamentary Secretary for Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, it would be inappropriate to comment on this incident, as it is currently under investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is co-operating fully with this investigation.

Question No. 982--
Mr. Mark Warawa:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the House of Commons on April 10, 2017, that “Every dollar that comes from putting a price on carbon pollution to the federal government goes directly back to the provinces”: (a) does the government consider this statement to be accurate; (b) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, then how is the government disposing of the extra Goods and Services Tax collected as a result of collecting GST on the price of carbon; (c) when did the program to send the extra revenue collected from the GST back to the provinces begin; and (d) how much has been paid out to the provinces, broken down by province, as a result of such a program?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, pricing carbon pollution is a central component of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change that was announced by Canada’s first ministers in December 2016. The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution will expand the application of carbon pricing, which is already in place in Canada’s four largest provinces, to the rest of Canada by 2018. Recognizing that each province and territory has unique circumstances, the pan-Canadian approach allows provinces and territories flexibility to choose between a direct price on carbon pollution and a cap and trade system. As part of the pan Canadian framework, the Government of Canada will introduce a backstop carbon pollution pricing system that will apply in provinces and territories that do not have a carbon pricing system in place that meets the federal carbon pricing benchmark by 2018.
The pan-Canadian framework includes the commitment that revenues from pricing carbon pollution will remain with the province or territory of origin, each of which will decide how best to use the revenue. These revenues do not include those in respect of the GST charged on products or services that may have embedded carbon pricing costs in them. Revenues generated by the federal backstop will be returned to the jurisdiction in which the backstop revenues originated.
The Government is making investments to address climate change and support a healthy environment, through the Pan-Canadian Framework and other measures. Budget 2016 provided almost $2.9 billion over five years to address climate change and air pollution. This included $2 billion to establish the Low Carbon Economy Fund to support provincial and territorial actions that materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Budget 2017 proposes a number of new and renewed actions to reduce emissions, help Canada adapt and build resilience to climate change and support clean technologies. To further advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, Budget 2017 lays out the Government’s plan to invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure. This includes programs and projects that will meet the goals outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework.

Question No. 985--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to Access to Information requests submitted to the Privy Council Office: (a) between April 1, 2016, and April 1, 2017, excluding instances where no records exist, how many Access to Information requests were completed and; (b) of the completed requests, how many resulted in documents being (i) completely redacted or not disclosed, (ii) partially redacted, (iii) completed disclosed without redaction?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), 827 access to information requests were completed during this period.
With regard to (b)(i), of the completed requests, of those that were completely redacted or not disclosed, 53 documents were exempted and 16 were excluded. With regard to (b)(ii), 495 were partially redacted. With regard to (b)(iii), 30 were disclosed without redaction.
The final numbers will be posted in the PCO’s annual report. It will be released in June 2017.
Access to informationAccess to information requestsAgreements and contractsBains, NavdeepBeech, TerryBlogs and microblogsBombardier Inc.Bradford ExchangeBrown, GordonBudget 2016 (March 22, 2016)Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 952--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
With regard to developing a scientific standard for concrete aggregates: (a) on what date did the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development or any other department begin the process for developing a scientific standard; (b) has a timeline been set by the department to finalize the process for developing a scientific standard; (c) what section of the department is responsible for developing the scientific standard; (d) what amount is the department investing in the development process for the scientific standard; (e) what is the total number of employees assigned by the department to work on developing the scientific standard; (f) has the department hired external consultants to work on the scientific standard development process; (g) how many external consultants have been hired as part of this process; (h) who are the external consultants that have been hired as part of this process; (i) what amount has the department allocated to hire these external consultants; and (j) what are the documents, scientific standards and guidelines on which this process is based?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the National Research Council of Canada, NRC, provides scientific, administrative, and financial support to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, or CCBFC, an independent committee established by the NRC. This commission is responsible for developing and updating Canada’s various national model codes, including the National Building Code, the National Fire Code, the Energy Code, and the Plumbing Code, in which over 600 standards are currently referenced, including the Canadian Standards Association A23.1 technical standard, “Concrete Materials and Methods of Concrete Construction”. This standard was first developed in 1980, with an update schedule of every five years. This technical standard was developed by the CSA, which is an independent not-for-profit organization. The CSA is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, or SCC, a crown corporation of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that provides the requirements and guidance for all accredited standards organizations to develop standards for the Canada market.
With regard to (b), as noted above, the technical standard is not maintained by NRC or the Canadian Commission of Building and Fire Codes but rather by the CSA. The CSA continues to update their standards on a five-year cycle, with the next edition of this standard due out in 2019. The Standards Council of Canada provides the requirements and guidance for all accredited standards organizations, such as the CSA, for which a link is provided.
With regard to (c), the technical standard is developed by the CSA, which is an independent not-for-profit organization. The National Building Code, or NBC, which is developed by NRC, references this standard, and the NBC is maintained by the commission, which is made up of voluntary members. Their support is provided through Codes Canada under the construction portfolio at NRC.
With regard to (d), there has been no financial support from NRC committed, as the development is carried out at the CSA. The National Building Code section that references this standard falls under the mandate of one technical committee reporting to the commission, and is supported by one technical adviser at Codes Canada.
With regard to (e), no employees were assigned to work on developing the scientific standards.
With regard to (f), no external consultants were hired to work on the scientific standard development process.
With regard to (f) and (g), no external consultants have been hired as part of this process.
With regard to (h) and (i), these items are not applicable.
With regard to (j), the SCC provides the requirements and guidance that the SCC-accredited standards development organizations, or SDOs, follow to develop or adopt standards for the Canadian market. The requirements and guidance documents for accredited SDOs can be found at https://www.scc.ca/en/ news-events/news/2017/ scc-improves-canadian-standards- development-system.

Question No. 953--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to at-risk and bonus payments to employees of the federal public service, broken down by year from 2013 to 2016 and by department or agency: (a) how many federal public servants received at-risk payments; (b) how many federal public servants received bonus payments; (c) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for at-risk payments; (d) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for bonus payments; (e) what was the cumulative amount of at-risk payments paid out in each department; (f) what was the cumulative amount of bonus payments paid out in each department; (g) how many public servants were eligible for at-risk pay but did not receive it; (h) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received an at-risk payment; (i) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received a bonus payment; and (j) what were the reasons given for each public servant who was eligible for an at-risk payment but did not receive it?
Response
Ms. Joyce Murray (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b), (e), (f), and (g), data for the years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 are available on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s website at https://www.canada.ca/en/ treasury-board-secretariat/services/ performance-talent-management /performance-management-program- executives.html.
The data for 2015-2016 will be published once they are finalized.
With regard to (c) and (d), the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat sets departmental spending limits for executive performance pay, calculated as a percentage of departmental executive payroll at March 31. Each department then has the flexibility to spend this budget, as long as individual payments do not exceed the following percentages established by the Treasury Board: up to 12% of base salary for at-risk pay and up to 3% of base salary for bonus pay for each eligible executive at the EX-01, EX-02, or EX-03 levels, and up to 20% of base salary for at-risk pay and up to 6% of base salary for bonus pay for each eligible executive at the EX-04 or EX-05 level.
With regard to (h), the directives on executive compensation and on the performance management program for executives set out the requirements related to eligibility for performance pay. All executives are assessed at the end of the performance management cycle on the extent to which they have achieved the objectives set out in their performance agreement and their demonstration of their key leadership competencies. Based on this assessment, each executive is given a rating on a 5-point scale, where 1 is “Did not meet” and 5 is “Surpassed”. Executives who obtain a rating of 2 or higher are eligible for performance pay. Ratings recommended by the manager of each executive are reviewed by the departmental review committee and approved by the deputy head. All performance pay decisions must be approved by the deputy head.
With regard to (i), only individuals who get a rating of “Surpassed”, meaning their performance was outstanding, and who receive the maximum percentage of at-risk pay are eligible for the bonus.
With regard to (j), executives whose performance rating is “Did not meet” are not eligible for performance pay.

Question No. 957--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to the government’s approval of the takeover of ITF Technologies by O-Net Technology Group: (a) did the government impose any condition on the takeover aimed at preventing the Chinese government from having access to weapon technology; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what were the conditions; (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, what was the rationale for not imposing any condition; and (d) did the government receive any communication from the Chinese government encouraging the Canadian government to approve the takeover and, if so, what are the details including the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to an order from the Federal Court, a national security review of the takeover of ITF Technologies by O-Net Technology Group was conducted under the Investment Canada Act. Following this thorough review, an order containing measures to protect national security was issued. The government acted on the full record of the evidence and on the advice of Canada’s security and intelligence experts.
The act contains strict confidentiality provisions in regard to information obtained through its administration. Section 36 of the act states that,
…all information obtained in respect to a Canadian, a non-Canadian, a business or an entity referred to in paragraph 25.1(c) by the Minister or an officer or employee of Her Majesty in the course of the administration or enforcement of this Act is privileged and no one shall knowingly communicate or allow to be communicated any such information or allow anyone to inspect or to have access to any such information.
As a result of section 36, and given that this is a national security matter, we are unable to disclose any additional information.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 896--
Mr. Romeo Saganash:
With regard to the promised national reconciliation framework with Indigenous peoples: (a) what is the government’s engagement strategy for developing the framework; (b) what is the timeframe and schedule of the development and implementation of the framework; (c) how have Indigenous peoples identified grievances associated with existing historical treaties, including (i) Treaty Land Entitlement, (ii) Additions to Reserves, (iii) Specific Claims, (iv) all other formal and informal means of dispute resolution, and how are these grievances included in the framework; (d) what mechanisms for resolution have Indigenous peoples chosen; (e) which Indigenous experts, communities, leaders, and knowledge keepers have guided the development process and set the criteria and outcomes; (f) what are the criteria and outcomes of the national reconciliation framework; and (g) what are the terms of the effective consultation processes within the context of the Federal Reconciliation Framework?
Response
Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada’s overarching goal is to advance reconciliation and self-determination by renewing the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
To achieve this goal, the Government of Canada is implementing a national reconciliation framework in collaboration with first nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation. Key elements of the framework are already under way, and it will continue to advance and evolve over time.
The first important milestone of the framework is the establishment of permanent bilateral mechanisms to co-develop policy on shared priorities and monitor progress as we move forward. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on December 15, 2016, two of the three distinctions-based permanent bilateral mechanisms have been established. The Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership was signed on February 9, 2017. It committed the federal government and Inuit leadership to work in partnership on shared priorities. Similarly, on April 13, 2017, the Prime Minister, the president of the Métis National Council, and its governing members of the council signed the Canada-Métis Nation accord during the first Métis Nation-Crown Summit in Ottawa, Ontario. The accord outlines the ways in which the Government of Canada and the Métis National Council and its governing members will work together to set priorities and develop policy in areas of shared interest. A third permanent bilateral mechanism with First Nations will be established in the near future. These permanent, distinctions-based bilateral mechanisms provide a foundation to reset the relationship and advance towards true nation-to-nation, crown-to-Inuit, and government-to-government relationships. These new processes demonstrate a substantive and significant change in how the Government of Canada is working together with indigenous peoples to co-develop policy and achieve results.
Another important component of the framework involves the establishment of the working group of ministers on the review of laws and policies related to indigenous peoples, which was announced by the Prime Minister in February 2017. The working group of ministers has the mandate to review existing federal laws, policies, and operational practices to help ensure the crown is meeting its constitutional obligations with respect to aboriginal and treaty rights and is adhering to international human rights standards, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The third key component of the framework includes the Government of Canada’s commitment to work in partnership with indigenous communities, the provinces and territories, and other partners to fully implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. To date, progress has been made on 49 of 70 of the calls to action under federal or shared responsibility. In 2016, Canada became a full supporter, without qualification, of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government is committed to fully implementing the declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution and is working in full partnership with indigenous peoples on the path forward. The government has also made unprecedented investments in both budget 2016 and budget 2017 towards safe housing, clean water, high-quality education, child and family service reform, and the revitalization of indigenous language and culture to help close the socio-economic gaps and address the priorities of communities from coast to coast to coast.
The government is also working with first nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation to advance new fiscal relationships, including changes to funding approaches and financial transfer mechanisms that support renewed nation-to-nation, crown-to-Inuit, and government-to-government relationships. In July 2016, Canada signed a memorandum of understanding on a new fiscal relationship with the Assembly of First Nations and has been engaged with self-governing first nations on the structure of a new fiscal relationship with these communities. Budget 2017 also provides $84.9 million over the next five years in key long-term stable funding to support the Métis Nation as it continues to develop and grow governance capacity that will support its future endeavors, including section 35 self-determination and reconciliation discussions. This is on top of existing funding currently being provided to the Métis Nation and under previous Powley funding.
Reconciliation and the implementation of the framework is being implemented through a whole-of-government approach. A large number of federal departments, as mandated by the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to each respective federal minister, are directly engaging with indigenous peoples across Canada on implementing policies and programs related to a broad range of issues.
This approach and framework for reconciliation is evergreen and will continue to evolve as the government renews and strengthens the relationship with indigenous peoples.

Question No. 897--
Mr. Romeo Saganash:
With regard to the announced Indigenous Languages Act: (a) which Indigenous experts, communities, leaders, and knowledge keepers have guided the drafting process and set the criteria and outcomes; (b) what is the timeframe and schedule of the drafting of the proposed legislation; (c) what criteria does the government anticipate will be used to determine appropriate funding levels; (d) does the government anticipate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action No. 15 for a Language Commissioner will be included in the proposed legislation; and (e) does the government anticipate Indigenous languages will be recognized as official languages as part of the proposed legislation?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), this legislation will be developed jointly with indigenous peoples. Specialists, communities, and indigenous representatives will be involved in the discussions to guide and conceptualize the framework that will lead to an indigenous languages act.
With regard to (b), the proposed legislation would be introduced prior to the end of the current parliament.
With regard to (c), as announced in the 2017 budget, the government will invest $89.9 million over the next three years to support indigenous languages and cultures.
With regard to (d), all calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding indigenous languages, including the delegation of a language commissioner, will be considered in the development of the proposed legislation.
With regard to (e), the protection and support provided by the legislation will be determined through a co-development process with indigenous peoples.

Question No. 899--
Hon. Peter Kent:
With regard to the statement made by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in the House of Commons on February 23, 2017, that “Cedar Tree will now be owned and operated by Canadians going foward”: (a) does the government consider this statement to be accurate; and (b) what evidence or guarantees does the government have to ensure that Cedar Tree Investment Canada is not a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), on March 6, 2017, during the House of Commons debates, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development clarified his earlier statement:
On February 23, during question period, in response to a question from the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo on the Investment Canada Act, I inadvertently stated that Cedar Tree will now be owned and operated by Canadians going forward. What I meant to say is that Retirement Concepts will continue to be managed and operated by Canadians under its new ownership….
With regard to (b), under the Investment Canada Act, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development carefully considers each reviewable investment on a case-by-case basis and approves foreign investments to acquire control of a Canadian business only if they are likely to be of net benefit to Canada. The act contains strict confidentiality provisions in regard to information obtained through its administration. Section 36 of the act states that:
that “…all information obtained in respect to a Canadian, a non-Canadian, a business or an entity referred to in paragraph 25.1(c) by the Minister or an officer or employee of Her Majesty in the course of the administration or enforcement of this Act is privileged and no one shall knowingly communicate or allow to be communicated any such information or allow anyone to inspect or to have access to any such information.”
As a result of section 36, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is unable to disclose any information obtained under the Investment Canada Act to respond to this question.

Question No. 902--
Mr. Fin Donnelly:
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' public commitment to implement a mandatory fins-attached management measure for all pelagic shark landings across Canada by March 2018: (a) what is the Department's timeline for proceeding with stakeholder consultations; (b) does the government anticipate it will be balancing these domestic measures with regulations to limit the trade of shark fins only to other countries with similar requirements; and (c) does the government anticipate these protections against shark finning will extend to preventing the de-winging of skates and rays by requiring that those animals be landed whole as well?
Response
Mr. Terry Beech (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, while there are no directed shark fisheries in Canada, under the new measures announced by the government late last year, harvesters that retain bycatches of sharks will be required to land any pelagic sharks with all fins at least partially attached to the carcass as a measure to strengthen shark finning prevention.
Most fisheries in Canada are already meeting the requirement to keep fins at least partially attached to the carcass until after landing. Consultations on full implementation of this measure are ongoing with the one remaining fleet that has not yet fully implemented the fins-attached requirement. This measure will be fully implemented for all fisheries no later than March 2018.
While there are currently no regulations being considered to limit the trade of fins to countries that have implemented a fins-attached approach, Canada restricts or bans the trade, possession, or sale of shark products from species that are protected under either the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES, or the Species At Risk Act, or those that would present human health or food safety concerns. As a member of the CITES, Canada aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten a species’ long-term survival. The porbeagle shark, the oceanic whitetip shark, the hammerhead, the great white shark, the whale shark and the basking shark are all listed on appendix II of the Convention. Countries exporting any of these species must prove the sustainability of their country’s harvest and issue export permits for international trade. Canada takes seriously its legal obligation to prevent the import of products from these shark species.
In fisheries where harvesters are permitted to retain skates or rays, de-winging is permitted as a form of processing at sea and a conversion factor is applied to the weight of the wings landed to ensure that the overall established total allowable catch for the stock in question is not exceeded. In most of these fisheries there is 100% dockside monitoring, and in some cases there is 100% observer coverage. As de-winging and accounting for the harvests of skates and rays is not currently a conservation issue, there are no plans to implement any measures to prohibit the removal of skate and ray wings at sea.

Question No. 907--
Hon. Candice Bergen:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s comments on March 2, 2017, that “We have reallocated resources to make sure that we are able to meet the incoming asylum seekers”: (a) what specific resources have been reallocated; (b) where were the resources reallocated from; and (c) what measures has the government taken to ensure that other government services are not affected by this reallocation of resources?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker,
With regard to (a), the CBSA is working with partners such as Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, to redistribute workloads to meet the needs of certain impacted locations. Although processing asylum seekers is a significant part of normal CBSA activities, in response to the recent increases in asylum seekers in Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario, the CBSA has already taken steps in adjusting staff schedules and deploying temporary infrastructure in Emerson to meet the current influx.
With regard to (b), border services officers have been and will continue to be regionally relocated as required to assist the CBSA’s front line.
With regard to (c), the CBSA is working with IRCC to further prioritize refugee processing within the two departments with a view to further enhancing claimant processing capacity while limiting the impact on other services provided by both departments. In addition, the two departments are working in collaboration with the RCMP and other departments to develop planning options to respond to a wide range of contingencies in both the near and medium term. Federal officials have engaged with provincial and American colleagues at multiple levels over the past several weeks, and this will continue to grow as contingency and response planning advances.
As for the RCMP's response:
With regard to (a), the RCMP has been temporarily reallocating personnel to the areas most affected by the recent increase of asylum seekers entering Canada between ports of entry, including near Emerson, Manitoba, and St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.
With regard to (b), temporary deployments have primarily occurred from within the implicated divisions through a combination of member overtime and/or relief shifts. Resources from other divisions are also being deployed as required.
With regard to (c), the RCMP adjusts enforcement efforts and resources in accordance with emerging events in the operating environment. The RCMP will continue to monitor the situation and will reassess resource requirements as necessary.

Question No. 910--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the letter sent by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to the Council of the Federation regarding Bill S-201, Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, on March 1, 2017: (a) which provinces responded to the request for feedback; (b) which provinces are supportive of Bill S-201; (c) what was the contents of the feedback, broken down by province; and (d) on what date was the feedback received?
Response
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, preventing discrimination and other forms of misuse of genetic information is a duty of all governments.
As part of our efforts to secure pan-Canadian protection against genetic discrimination, the Senate public bill was brought to the attention of the provinces, and we invited their analysis.
Four provinces--Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan--have written formal letters to the government to indicate their opposition to the bill, as it reaches into provincial jurisdiction. The letter from Quebec was received on January 3, 2017; the letter from Manitoba was received on January 5, 2017; the letter from British Columbia was received on February 10, 2017; and the letter from Saskatchewan was received on March 23, 2017.
Premier Silver of the Yukon, chair of the Council of the Federation, responded to the letter on March 16, 2017, and notes that a number of provinces have already shared their views on this matter and that other provincial and territorial governments will communicate directly with the federal government on this issue when they deem it appropriate.
The government recognizes and respects the will of the House in adopting Bill S-201.

Question No. 913--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the trip taken by the Minister of International Trade in early March 2017 to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and India: (a) what are the contents of the Minister’s itinerary; (b) who were the members of the delegation; (c) how were the members of the delegation chosen; (d) what agreements were signed during the trip; (e) what are the contents or website locations of the agreements referred to in (d); and (f) based on receipts and invoices received so far, what is the total amount spent on the trip, broken down by item?
Response
Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), for information related to the minister’s trip to the UAE, Qatar, and India, members may refer to these documents: a news release entitled “Minister Champagne wraps up first visit to Middle East and India to advance economic partnerships”, found at https://www.canada.ca/en/ global-affairs/news/2017/03/ minister_champagnewrapsupfirstvisittomiddleeastandindiatoadvance.html, and “Minister Champagne to travel to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and India”, found at https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/ news/ 2017/02/ minister_champagnetotraveltounitedarabemiratesqatarandindia.html.
With regard to (b), the members of the delegation were Mr. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade; Mr. Julian Ovens, chief of staff to the Minister of International Trade; Ms. Chantal Gagnon, press attaché to the Minister of International Trade; Mr. Frédéric Huot-Bolduc, visits officer--office of protocol, Global Affairs Canada; and Ms. Maria Lo, deputy director for trade, Maghreb and regional trade division, Global Affairs Canada, for the UAE and Qatar portions.
With regard to (c), departmental officials were selected to ensure coordinated support during the minister’s official travel abroad.
With regard to (d) and (e), no agreements were signed during the visit to the UAE, Qatar, and India.
With regard (f), the preparation of an accurate and comprehensive summary of expenses for the Minister of International Trade’s trip to the UAE, Qatar, and India in early March 2017 was a significant undertaking requiring consultation with Canadian missions and the receipt of invoices from multiple contractors and companies. Related invoices and claims are currently being processed, and attempting to address this inquiry within the allotted time frame could lead to the disclosure of incomplete or misleading information.
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Lib. (ON)

Question No. 887--
Mr. Brad Trost:
With regard to the government’s answer to Order Paper Question 7 in the House of Commons on Friday, May 12, 2006: (a) how many individuals are there in Canada who may be potentially considered too dangerous to own firearms; (b) of the individuals in (a), how many are (i) wanted for a violent criminal offence, (ii) persons of interest to police (iii) violent persons, (iv) known sex offenders, (v) known prolific repeat, dangerous, or high risk offenders, (vi) known persons who have been observed to have behaviours that may be dangerous to public safety; (c) how many individuals have been charged with a violent criminal offence; (d) how many individuals are awaiting court action and disposition or will be released on conditions for a violent criminal offence, including (i) on probation or parole, (ii) released on street enforceable conditions, (iii) subject to a restraining order or peace bond; (e) how many individuals have been prohibited or refused firearms; (f) how many individuals have been prohibited from hunting; (g) how many individuals have been previously deported; (h) how many individuals have been subject to a protective order in any province in Canada; (i) how many individuals have been refused a firearms license or have had one revoked; and (j) how many individuals have been flagged in the Firearms Interest Police database?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the RCMP does not keep a list of individuals who are “potentially considered” to be too dangerous to own firearms.
With regard to (c), (d), (g), (h), and (j), the collection of this information for statistical or reporting purposes does not fall under the mandate of the RCMP.
The Canadian Police Information Centre is an integrated, automated central repository of operational law enforcement information that allows for immediate storage and retrieval of current information about particular offences and individuals. It does not function as a tool for statistical analysis.
From January 1, 2001, when the Firearms Act required individuals to hold a licence to possess and acquire firearms, until January 31, 2017, 12,609 applications for a firearms licence were refused and 35,300 firearms licences were revoked.

Question No. 891--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to travel and relocation for public service employees and parliamentary staff, and the independent review recently ordered by the President of the Treasury Board: (a) has any policy been created since September 23, 2016, concerning reimbursement for relocation expenses; (b) what criteria are used to calculate reasonable expenses; (c) what criteria are used to define reasonable expenses; (d) what new requirements must an employee meet in order to receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses; (e) what is the cap, if any, on reimbursable reasonable expenses; (f) which departments, if any, other than the Treasury Board, were involved in creating this new policy; (g) has the policy in (f) been finalized; and (h) if the answer in (g) is negative, when will it be finalized?
Response
Hon. Scott Brison (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (g), and (h), travel and relocation benefits for employees in the core public service are covered by the national joint council travel directive and the national joint council relocation directive respectively. The cyclical review process has begun for the negotiation of the national joint council relocation directive. Parties are to exchange proposals on June 1, 2017. The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada is not responsible for policies governing parliamentary employees--e.g., employees of the House of Commons and the Senate.
With respect to the exempt staff who work in ministers’ offices, their terms and conditions of employment are governed by the policies for ministers’ offices. As part of a recent commitment by the Government of Canada, a review of relocation benefits provided to exempt staff is currently under way. This review is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
With regard to (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), it would be premature to answer, as the review is ongoing.

Question No. 892--
Mr. Alexander Nuttall:
With regard to Canada’s Innovation Agenda as published by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and “innovation leaders” titled “Innovation for a Better Canada: What We Heard”: (a) what was the total cost incurred by the government for the production of this document; (b) what are the details of the compensation for each of the ten innovation leaders; and (c) what are the costs of the consultation process with the innovation leaders broken down by (i) travel, (ii) hospitality, (iii) meals and incidentals, (iv) lodging, (v) per diems, (vi) rental space for stake holder consultations?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada believes that Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians. As such, an engagement process that reflects the commitment to mobilize all Canadians to action and to foster innovation as a Canadian value was launched.
The government invited all Canadians to share their ideas on cultivating a confident nation of innovators--one that is globally competitive in promoting research, accelerating business growth, and propelling entrepreneurs from the commercialization and start-up stages to international success.
The government also brought together 10 Innovation leaders from all walks of life. These are experienced and distinguished individuals who are acknowledged as innovators in their own right. They represented the private sector, universities and colleges, the not-for-profit sector, social entrepreneurs, and businesses owned and operated by indigenous people.
Over the summer, these Innovation leaders hosted 28 round tables across Canada with key stakeholders, as well as in Boston, United States, and Cambridge, United Kingdom, on the six action areas. These round tables brought stakeholders from a range of backgrounds, including academia, industry associations, not-for-profits, indigenous groups, youth organizations, and other levels of government.
With regard to Canada’s innovation agenda as published by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and innovation leaders, entitled “Innovation for a Better Canada: What We Heard”, the response is as follows. With regard to (a), the document was developed internally by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The total cost of $1,990.21 incurred by the government was for its translation.
With regard to (b), the 10 innovation leaders were not compensated for this work; however, they were reimbursed for certain expenses.
With regard to (c)(i), the travel cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 26 round tables across Canada and one round table in the United States was $10,613.99. There was one round table in the United Kingdom, but no cost was incurred.
With regard to (c)(ii), the hospitality cost for 28 round tables was $10,391.64.
With regard to (c)(iii), the meals and transportation cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 28 round tables was $306.22.
With regard to (c)(iv), the lodging cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 28 round tables was $2,933.72.
With regard to (c)(v), no additional per diems were provided to the 10 innovation leaders.
With regard to (c)(vi), the total cost for rental spaces for 28 round tables was $6,185.35.

Question No. 893--
Mr. Ben Lobb :
With regard to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s approval of the takeover of Retirement Concepts by Cedar Tree Investments Canada: has the government received any assurances that either Cedar Tree Investments Canada or its parent company, Anbang Insurance, are not controlled by factions with ties to the Chinese government and, if so, what are the details of any such assurances?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Investment Canada Act, ICA, contains strict confidentiality provisions in regard to information obtained through its administration. Section 36 of the ICA states that “…all information obtained in respect to a Canadian, a non-Canadian, a business or an entity referred to in paragraph 25.1(c) by the Minister or an officer or employee of Her Majesty in the course of the administration or enforcement of this Act is privileged and no one shall knowingly communicate or allow to be communicated any such information or allow anyone to inspect or to have access to any such information.”
As a result of section 36, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is unable to disclose any information obtained under the ICA to respond to this question.

Question No. 895--
Mrs. Kelly Block :
With regard to the government commissioning of Credit Suisse to study the sale of federally owned airports: (a) what are the cost of the study; (b) what is the study’s completion date; and (c) what are the findings of the study?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Credit Suisse study had no official completion date; however, the Credit Suisse contract ended on January 31, 2017.
In processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act, and information pertaining to the cost and findings of the Credit Suisse study has been withheld on the following grounds: with regard to (a), economic interests; with regard to (b), financial and commercial interests of a third party; and with regard to (c), confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
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NDP (ON)

Question No. 841--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to executive performance pay or bonus payments made by Public Services and Procurement Canada to its employees since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the total amount paid out; (b) how many individuals received payments, broken down by (i) the dates that each individual was awarded executive performance pay or bonuses, (ii) the branch and region that each individual belonged to at the time they received executive performance pay or bonuses; (c) what is the average amount of the payments; and (d) what is the highest amount of the payments?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board Secretariat, TBS, prescribes how performance pay is administered through the directive on the performance management program for executives. The majority of executives are eligible for performance pay, including at-risk pay, in-range increase, and potentially a bonus. The amounts depend on the performance rating. Executive pay is a responsibility of the deputy minister and the clerk, and not the minister.
With regard to (a), the total amount paid out for the performance cycle April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016, for executives eligible for performance pay was $4,827,913.00. This amount does not include the in-range increases--i.e., the increase in annual salary--which is part of performance pay and is also determined by the performance rating.
With regard to (b), 340 executives received payments. With regard to (b)(i), most performance payments were paid December 14 and December 28, 2016. With regard to (b)(ii), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act, and certain information has been withheld on the grounds that the information constitutes personal information.
With regard to (c), the average payment amount, including bonus payments, is $14,199.74. This is averaged out among the 340 who received payments.
With regard to (d), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act, and certain information has been withheld on the grounds that the information constitutes personal information.

Question No. 846--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the government’s announcement to provide 372.5 million dollars in repayable loans to Bombardier: (a) what are the terms of repayment; (b) how much is expected to be repaid, broken down by year, until the loans are repaid; and (c) what interest rate will Bombardier be charged?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s announcement to provide $372.5 million in repayable loans to Bombardier, the particulars of the contribution cannot be provided as the final agreement has yet to be finalized. In addition, information that is commercially confidential and/or sensitive cannot be publicly released.
These types of contributions are subject to ongoing reporting requirements throughout the project’s life cycle, including the repayment phase.
The Government of Canada is committed to the long-term viability and success of the Canadian aerospace sector, and an announcement of support for Bombardier will help secure thousands of high-quality jobs for Canadians across the country.
The aerospace industry is one of the most innovative and export-driven industries in Canada and contributes over 211,000 quality direct and indirect jobs for Canadians and $28 billion annually in gross domestic product to Canada’s economy. Bombardier is Canada’s highest private sector investor in research and development, and its position as an anchor company in the aerospace sector is vital for the success of nearly 800 suppliers in Canada.
The Government of Canada is proud to support leading-edge technology and job creation, while enabling Bombardier to grow as a globally competitive company for years to come.

Question No. 861--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government’s economic update released on November 1, 2016: (a) why were the long-term fiscal projections, including the deficit forecasts, released on that date; (b) who made the decision to withhold the release of the projections; and (c) on what date was the decision to withhold the projections made?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, for over a decade now, Canada has been in a period of low economic growth, and middle-class families have found it hard to get ahead. The “Update of Long-Term Economic and Fiscal Projections” shows the impact this period of slow growth has had on the country’s bottom line and speaks to the importance of making smart, necessary investments to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy in the long term. The report was timed with the release of the fiscal monitor to provide a more complete picture of Canada’s fiscal position. In keeping with previous years, the report was published on a government website in an open and transparent way and made available to all Canadians. The long-term projections are based on assumptions that will inevitably evolve. Small changes in growth rates, productivity, or spending have the potential to have a big impact.
The government will continue to invest in its people, its communities, and the skills Canadians will need to prosper in the new, more innovative economy of tomorrow.

Question No. 869--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to VIA Rail: (a) how much are the total expenditures VIA Rail has provided to Canada 2020 since January 1, 2016; (b) what is the breakdown of each individual expenditure in (a); (c) what was the purpose of each expenditure in (a); and (d) who approved each expenditure in (a)?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as part of its corporate social responsibility policy, VIA Rail Canada Inc. partners with various non-governmental and non-profit organizations, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Canada 2020, and the Public Policy Forum, as these organizations address emerging and complex public policy issues that could have an impact on passenger rail transportation. For these partnerships, VIA Rail does not provide monetary contributions to organizations, but rather an exchange of services through the provision of rail travel in exchange for access to conferences and seminars. These partnerships also include the opportunity to increase the visibility of VIA Rail’s brand on partners’ platforms, including the web, conferences, and seminars, in order to encourage more Canadians to use our passenger train service.
In some instances, VIA Rail pays the required fees to attend conferences or seminars, as it has for recent events organized by the C.D. Howe Institute, the Manning Centre, Canada 2020, the Broadbent Institute, chambers of commerce, and the Conference Board of Canada.
With regard to (a), VIA Rail’s expenditures, disbursed in the form of an exchange of services with Canada 2020 and conference fees, are $17,354.04.
With regard to (b), these expenditures include $17,000 in rail travel since January 1, 2016, and $354.04 in conference attendance fees since January 1, 2016.
With regard to (c), the purpose of the two expenditures includes the exchange of services through the provision of rail travel, conference attendance fees, and increasing the visibility of VIA Rail’s brand.
With regard to (d), Jacques Fauteux, VIA Rail’s director of government and community relations, approved the expenditures.

Question No. 870--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regard to the commitment on Page 80 of the Liberal Party’s election platform related to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the “tax gap”: (a) what is the current tax gap level in Canada; (b) when will the CRA be publically releasing the full statistics relating to the annual tax evasion and the tax gap levels; (c) has the CRA provided the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the information required so that he can do an analysis on tax gap levels and, if so, on what date was the information provided; and (d) does the government have any annual goals or timelines for reducing the tax gap levels and, if so, what are the goals for each of the next five years?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) and (b), as a first step in its work on the tax gap, the CRA published on June 30, 2016, an estimate of the GST/HST gap as well as a conceptual study on tax gap estimation that explained the benefits and the limitations of the concept. The CRA is committed to ongoing work and analysis on the various components of the gap. Like most tax administrations worldwide, the CRA does not estimate an overall tax gap covering all taxes. Some tax administrations estimate components of the tax gap where there is available data. For example, tax gap estimates of value-added taxes, such as the GST/HST, are the most common.
As part of the CRA’s ongoing work on the tax gap, it has committed to publishing a series of additional papers on other aspects of the tax gap over the next two to three years. Some of these papers will contain estimates of particular components of the tax gap, while others will be more theoretical in nature. The next paper will be published this spring.
This is consistent with the government’s response to the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Finance, “Canada Revenue Agency`s Efforts to Combat Tax Avoidance and Evasion”, recommendation 7, tabled in Parliament on February 22, 2017.
With regard to part (c), with respect to requests to provide the parliamentary budget officer, the PBO, with data to estimate the tax gap, expert legal advice confirmed that provisions contained in both section 241 of the Income Tax Act and section 295 of the Excise Tax Act prevent the CRA from releasing taxpayer information that could directly or indirectly lead to the identification of specific taxpayers. The CRA had offered to provide aggregate anonymized data, maintaining that this would allow the PBO to undertake research and provide independent analysis while enabling the CRA to safeguard confidentiality of tax information, as required by the provisions noted above. This alternative was declined. As the CRA continues its work on the tax gap, it looks forward to continued collaboration with all parties involved and acknowledges the work accomplished thus far by all stakeholders.
With regard to part (d), the experience of countries that estimate their tax gaps does not support targeting specific tax gap reductions in specific years, as many factors other than compliance activities can influence the level of the tax gap, such as economic cycles and policy changes. For example, during an economic downturn, more individuals may not be able to pay all of their taxes on time.
That said, many of the CRA’s compliance efforts are expected to help reduce the tax gap in the medium term. The revenue impact from audit grew from $8.6 billion in 2012-13 to $12.8 billion in 2015 16. Integrity measures announced in budget 2016 are expected to increase tax revenues by more than $1.2 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17. In addition, budget 2016 announced investments for the CRA to enhance its efforts to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance, including hiring additional auditors and developing robust business intelligence infrastructure, goals, and targets associated with audit investment. The hiring of additional auditors and specialists who will help detect, pursue, and deliver sanctions to those who avoid paying the tax they owe will increase the number of examinations focused on high-risk individual taxpayers from 600 to 3000 a year within five years, and on high-risk multinational corporations. The CRA plans to expand its review of electronic funds transfers in 2017 by reviewing over 100,000 transactions for four additional jurisdictions of concern. The expected revenue impact of these and other measures is $2.6 billion over five years.
Budget 2016 also announced funding for the CRA to improve its ability to collect outstanding tax debts. The agency has committed to collecting an additional $7.4 billion over a five-year period.
As well, the CRA continues to implement a strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises that includes the liaison officer initiative, industry campaign approach, and office audit letter campaign, which provide assistance and information to taxpayers on how to be compliant and avoid potential tax pitfalls.
CRA interventions, which focus on areas of higher risk and target the underground economy, will continue to benefit from the use of business intelligence and data mining capabilities designed to better predict taxpayer behaviour.
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