Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
RSS feed based on search criteria Export search results - CSV (plain text) Export search results - XML
Add search criteria
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 1314--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons on November 2, 2017, that “Never before in the history of Canada have we seen a redistribution of Canada's wealth to the middle class and those aspiring to become a part of it”: does the government consider this statement to be accurate and, if so, what specific information does the government have to back up this statement?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the comments by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons were in reference to the government’s efforts to support Canada’s middle class and those working hard to join it and to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. Since coming to office, the government has helped middle-class Canadians by reducing the rate on the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%, while asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay a bit more through the introduction of a new top income bracket of 33%. The government has also introduced the Canada child benefit, which is providing increased benefits to nine out of 10 families with children, and which is better targeted to those who need it most compared to the previous system of child benefits. In addition, the government is taking steps to address tax advantages that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
The government is also taking steps to expand opportunities for individuals seeking to join the middle class. Investments in areas such as early learning, child care, and affordable housing will provide a foundation for upward mobility to those who are currently struggling with these needs, while investments in skills training will provide greater opportunities for workers to upgrade their skills and attain better-paying jobs.
Moreover, the government is taking actions to strengthen the position of middle-class workers in the workplace. The government has introduced legislation to restore a fair and balanced approach to organized labour and is working on further legislative changes and other policy options to address emerging issues in the labour market, such as unpaid internships and a fair wages policy for businesses that have dealings with the federal government.
The government supports Canada’s middle class and is working to deliver a more balanced and fair economy where growth is shared by all Canadians and does not just benefit the wealthy.

Question No. 1320--
Mr. Len Webber:
With regard to the seven Books of Remembrance that lie in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill: (a) what is the government going to do to ensure uninterrupted public access to the Books during renovations on the Centre Block; (b) when will these changes take place; and (c) until what date will the alternate arrangements be in place?
Response
Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Books of Remembrance commemorate the lives of more than 118,000 Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving Canada in uniform. During the renovation of the Centre Block, the Books of Remembrance will be located in phase one of the Visitor Welcome Centre in a suitably designed space where public viewing and the daily page-turning ceremony will continue.
It is currently unknown how long the Books of Remembrance will remain in phase one of the Visitor Welcome Centre as the Centre Block renovation is in the early stages of its execution and a schedule is still in development.

Question No. 1321--
Mr. Len Webber:
With regard to the Peace Tower Carillon on Parliament Hill: (a) what is going to be done to ensure the weekday noon-time concert will continue to play while renovations on the Centre Block take place; (b) when will any changes take effect; and (c) until what date will the alternate arrangements be in place?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Parliament Buildings belong to all Canadians. Part of our responsibility is to engage them on the projects taking place here on Parliament Hill.
The government is considering several ways to ensure a positive visitor experience on Parliament Hill during this time.
Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, is working with the House of Commons to ensure live performances by the Dominion Carillonneur continue for as long as possible during the renovation of the Peace Tower. The project is still in the early stages. PSPC is currently carrying out a detailed investigation that is critical to defining the scope, budget, and schedule of the renovations. At this point, no determination has been made about the timing of any potential impacts on the carillon or on alternative arrangements.

Question No. 1324--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons on October 30, 2017, that “We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines”: (a) on what evidence or documents is the Minister’s statement based; (b) what are the details of the evidence or documents in (a); (c) has the Minister read the document entitled “Risk Assessment--Oversight of the ACP/AQP Evaluator Programs (Ottawa, ON; 6-10 February 2017) Conventional Tool”; (d) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, when did the Minister read this document; (e) did the Minister approve the policy as described in the document in (c); (f) does the Minister intend to overturn the decision made by the Civil Aviation Directorate and National Operations at Transport Canada to delegate responsibility for the evaluation of company check pilots to the airlines as of April 1, 2018; (g) when was the Minister informed that Transport Canada had decided to delegate responsibility for the evaluation of company check pilots to the airlines; (h) did the Minister speak to the Director of National Operations at Transport Canada about this statement; (i) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, what are the details of this conversation; (j) what other member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization have transferred responsibility for evaluating company check pilots to the airlines; (k) has Transport Canada assessed the internal need for aviation safety inspectors; (l) if the answer to (k) is affirmative, what is the result of the department’s assessment; and (m) what is the impact of this need in terms of inspectors on the new policy adopted by Transport Canada?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of Canadians is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
With respect to the statement by the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons on October 30, 2017, that, “We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines”, and with regard to parts (a) to (i), Transport Canada has a rigorous regulatory program in place and conducts oversight activities to verify industry compliance. Under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, it is industry’s responsibility to comply with all safety regulations and to operate safely.
On behalf of the minister, Transport Canada delegates the responsibility of conducting pilot proficiency checks of industry ?pilots by experienced and qualified pilots. For over 25 years, delegates have been monitoring industry pilots. Similar to our oversight regime, the department inspects based on a series of risk criteria. If a risk is identified with the company’s approved check pilots or with the company’s compliance with any regulations, the department will not hesitate to take action in the interest of aviation safety.
With regard to parts (j) to (m), the program is in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, standards and aligns with other civil aviation authorities such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, whose delegates are known as “check airmen”. The department’s use of ministerial delegates is also well established for aircraft certification, pilot testing of various licences, and pilot written exams.
Transport Canada requires that professional pilots receive a pilot proficiency check, PPC, to confirm and test skills and proficiency in dealing with aircraft standard operations and emergency procedures. The requirements and standards for these check rides meet or exceed ICAO requirements.
A pilot proficiency check is conducted every six months, year, or two years depending on the type of operation, size, and complexity of aircraft.
The department is aware that the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority has extended similar privileges to its senior examiners.
Transport Canada continually analyzes its workforce, and focuses on recruitment and retention of staff to ensure it has the necessary number of oversight personnel with the required skills and competencies to plan and conduct oversight activities. As in any workplace, total workforce can fluctuate at any given time due to changing demographics, promotions, retirements, and other factors.
The new policy will not impact inspectors. The department is focusing surveillance on areas of greater risk based on data. When an area is deemed a low risk, resources are reallocated to areas identified as higher risk.

Question No. 1326--
Ms. Elizabeth May:
With regard to the drafting of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act: (a) did the government study the environmental impacts of the Canadian cannabis industry and consider this in the drafting of legislation; (b) if the answer in (a) is negative, why not; and (c) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, what are the details of any correspondence, reports, or documents related to the subject of the sustainability of the legislation contained in Bill C-45, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipients, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents?
Response
Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, prior to the introduction of Bill C-45, Health Canada carried out the mandatory assessment of environmental impacts, strategic environmental analysis, in the context of developing a federal legal framework to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict cannabis.
Under the proposed framework, licence-holders would be subject to federal and provincial/territorial statutes and regulations with respect to environmental protection. These laws and regulations establish clear rules to limit potential negative environmental impacts due to commercial cultivation and manufacturing, such as poor air quality, harmful effects of unauthorized pesticide use, water contamination, and improper use and disposal of harmful substances.
A key objective of the framework set out in Bill C-45 is to displace the illegal market. The current illicit cannabis market relies on unregulated cultivation and manufacturing practices, for example, potential mishandling of chemicals, including unauthorized pesticide use, or improper disposal and release of harmful substances, which may have detrimental effects on the environment. Reducing illegal cannabis production can be expected to lead to a decrease in negative environmental impacts due to these unregulated practices.
Consideration of environmental impacts will form a part of the regulatory impact analysis statement that will be required prior to the publication of federal regulations, subject to parliamentary approval of Bill C-45 by Parliament.

Question No. 1328--
Mr. Mark Warawa:
With regard to the so-called “Mandate Letter Tracker” on the Privy Council Office website: (a) is any third-party non-government analysis conducted to ensure that the claims made on the website are not Liberal Party propaganda; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of any such contracts, including (i) person who conducted the analysis, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) date and duration of contract, (v) file number; (c) what are the costs associated with setting up the website, broken down by individual item; and (d) what are the anticipated ongoing costs of maintaining the website, broken down by individual item?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the so-called “mandate letter tracker” on the Privy Council Office, PCO, website, the response from PCO is as follows:
In response to (a), no. The Mandate Letter Tracker was produced by the results and delivery unit, RDU, in PCO with support from all federal government departments.
In response to (b), this is not applicable.
In response to (c), the development of the website was completed with existing Government of Canada financial resources. Ongoing maintenance of the website will also rely on existing financial resources. The tracking of mandate letter commitments and priorities is one of many roles and responsibilities of the results and delivery unit in PCO. These roles also encompass efforts to monitor delivery, address implementation obstacles to key priorities, and report on progress to the Prime Minister. The unit also facilitates the work of the government by developing tools, guidance, and learning activities on implementing an outcome-focused approach.

Question No. 1330--
Mr. Mark Warawa :
With regard to the Fall Economic Statement tabled by the Finance Minister on October 24, 2017: for each investment horizon in chart 3.8 (10 years, 20 years, 30 years), how much total tax would be paid in a personal savings account, versus in a private corporation, for the entire life cycle of the investment, including taxes paid on the final distribution to the corporate owner of all funds?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as chart 3.8 of the 2017 fall economic statement illustrates, a high-income individual can realize significant tax advantages from holding passive investments in his or her corporation. By benefiting from a lower rate of tax on business income, the amount of after-tax income that can be invested passively in a private corporation is larger than what can be invested had the income been distributed as salary or dividends. As shown in the example, a corporate owner is able to earn after-tax interest income that is about 1.8 times more than he or she could realize at the personal level after 10 years, after distribution. After 30 years, the additional after-tax interest income from saving in a corporation is more than double what they could have obtained by saving at the personal level. This implies that investments made inside a private corporation are effectively subject to a lower implicit tax rate than investments made inside personal savings accounts.

Question No. 1333--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to Canada’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and testimony at the Standing Committee on Finance on November 7, 2017, by the Director, International Finance and Development Division, International Trade and Finance Branch, of the Department of Finance: (a) on how many of the AIIB’s 21 approved projects (Philippines: Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Asia: IFC Emerging Asia Fund, India: Transmission System Strengthening Project, Gujarat Rural Roads Project, India Infrastructure Fund and Andhra Pradesh 24x7--Power For All, Egypt: Round II Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs Program, Tajikistan: Nurek Hydropower Rehabilitation Project--Phase I and Dushanbe-Uzbekistan Border Road Improvement Project, Georgia: Batumi Bypass Road Project, Bangladesh: Natural Gas Infrastructure and Efficiency Improvement Project and Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion Project, Indonesia: Dam Operational Improvement and Safety Project Phase II, Regional Infrastructure Development Fund Project and National Slum Upgrading Project, Azerbaijan: Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project to be co-financed with the World Bank, Oman: Duqm Port Commercial Terminal and Operational Zone Development Project and Railway System Preparation Project, Myanmar: Myingyan Power Plant Project, Pakistan: Tarbela 5 Hydropower Extension Project and National Motorway M-4 Project) as of November 9, 2017, did the government conduct its own environmental and human rights review as part of its project assessment; (b) on how many of the AIIB’s nine proposed projects (China: Beijing Air Quality Improvement and Coal Replacement Project, Oman: Broadband Infrastructure Project, Sri Lanka: Climate Resilience Improvement Project–Phase II, India: Bangalore Metro Rail Project–Line R6, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project, Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project and Mumbai Metro Line 4 Project, Georgia: 280 MW Nenskra Hydropower Plant) as of November 9, 2017, did the government conduct its own environmental and human rights review as part of its project assessment; (c) broken down by individual project (i) what were the outcomes and findings of all the environmental and human rights reviews for all of the AIIB projects that the government conducted, (ii) when was each review completed; and (d) what was the criteria considered within the environmental and human rights reviews by the government when it conducted assessments of all of AIIB’s projects?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 6, 2017, Department of Finance officials testified at the Standing Committee on Finance on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB. In the testimony, officials explained that the Government of Canada conducts assessments of projects being considered by multilateral development banks of which Canada is a member. As Canada is not yet a member of the AIIB, the government is not yet undertaking assessments of AIIB projects.

Question No. 1334--
Mr. Alupa A.Clarke:
With regard to the appointment process of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the most recent selection process with a cut-off date of September 12, 2017: (a) what was the total number of applicants; (b) what was the number of applicants who submitted applications after the initial cut-off date; (c) what was the number of candidates who passed the initial or preliminary round of screening; (d) what are the details of the steps in the selection process, including (i) number and types of exams given, (ii) number of interviews, (iii) other steps, including a description of each step; and (e) what was the intended date of announcement of the selected candidate for Commissioner of Official Languages?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the appointment process of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the most recent selection process with a cut-off date of September 12, 2017, the response from the Privy Council Office is as follows:
In response to (a), 67 applications were submitted.
In response to (b), 24 applications were submitted after September 12, 2017.
In response to (c), the number of candidates who passed the initial or preliminary round of screening has been withheld to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.
In response to (d), candidates are assessed through a variety of means at various points in a selection process, e.g., the screening of applications against the education and experience criteria set in the notice of appointment opportunity for the position. The selection committee interviewed a short list of qualified candidates and checked their references. As the position requires proficiency in both official languages as set out in the Language Skills Act, candidates were also asked to undergo a language skills evaluation. Shortlisted candidates also underwent psychometric assessments to assist in determining their personal suitability for the position
In response to (e), the government is committed to carrying out selection processes as quickly as possible. At the same time, the government is committed to identifying the most qualified candidates through open, transparent, and merit-based processes, and will take as long as is required to find the right person for such an important leadership position. The appointment of Raymond Théberge as the new Commissioner of Official Languages was announced on December 14, 2017.

Question No. 1337--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
With regard to claims for disability benefits processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and to the entire process required to treat those claims, including, but not limited to, receipt of claims, assessment of claims, investigation of claims and gathering of evidence, denial of claims, appeals processes, court appearances, and dealing with complaints, broken down by year since 2012: (a) how much money has been spent by the Department processing claims that have been denied, including (i) staff hours, (ii) court time, (iii) costs for experts, (iv) administration fees, (v) all other relevant expenses; (b) what is the number of claims that were denied and the proportion of total claims it represents; and (c) what is the average length of time for applications to be processed before being denied?
Response
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Veterans Affairs is unable to provide a breakdown of expenditures related to the processing of claims by approved claims versus denied claims as its financial system does not track expenditures in this manner. However, the overall administrative cost of the adjudication process within Veterans Affairs since 2012 is broken down as follows: 2011-12: $17.7M (Salary $16.7M / Operating $1.0M); 2012-13: $19.2M (Salary $17.8M / Operating $1.5M); 2013-14: $19.1M (Salary $16.9M / Operating $2.2M); 2014-15: $19.6M (Salary $16.5M / Operating $3.2M); 2015-16: $23.3M (Salary $19.8M / Operating $3.6M); 2016-17: $25.3M (Salary $ $22.1M / Operating $3.2M)
Figures have been rounded.
These expenditures are for the centralized operations division, which is responsible for the adjudication of most of Veterans Affairs Canada’s programs and benefits, such as disability awards and pensions, critical injury benefit, earnings loss, retirement income security benefit, and career impact allowance. These expenditures capture the administrative cost, salary and non-salary, of preparing, processing, and adjudicating benefit applications. However, there are other areas of VAC that also contribute to the adjudication process, including but not limited to the following: health professionals, e.g., doctors and nurses; bureau of pensions advocates, e.g., lawyers; and program management and field operations, e.g., case managers and veteran service agents. Expenditures for these areas are not included above.
In response to (b), from January 1, 2012 to November 21, 2017, there were 178,667 conditions ruled on by Veterans Affairs Canada. Of those, 60,293, or 33.7%, were denied. This is not representative of the number of veterans who have been denied disability benefits, as a veteran may receive rulings for multiple conditions.
In response to (c), for those denied, the average turnaround time was 126 days.
Veterans Affairs Canada is working hard to provide veterans and their families with the care and support they need when and where they need it. It is looking at the entire disability application process from intake to decisions to expedite decisions and respond to veterans’ needs more quickly.
Veterans Affairs Canada receives a significant number of applications that often require additional information from veterans. This process takes time to complete to ensure the correct information is gathered to make an informed disability benefit decision. This has affected its service standards for applications.
Although Veterans Affairs Canada has hired additional resources, it recognizes that the adjudication process needs to be streamlined even further and additional adjudicators hired to make application decisions in a more effective and timely manner.
Veterans Affairs Canada is working to implement further measures to reduce the backlog and improve program success by continuing to hire more front-line staff, simplifying the decision-making process for some medical conditions, and working with partners to speed up access to service health records.
The number of disability benefits claims submitted to Veterans Affairs Canada has increased by 20% in 2015-16, as compared to the previous fiscal year.

Question No. 1351--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the November 24, 2017, claim of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons that Canadians expect a government to come out with legislation that is multi-jurisdictional: (a) does the Attorney General concur with the Parliamentary Secretary’s assertion; (b) is it the government’s position that the laws passed by the Parliament of Canada are not limited to the constitutional jurisdiction of Parliament; (c) has the present government proposed bills which would legislate beyond the constitutional jurisdiction of Parliament; and (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, which bills are they and what are their extra-jurisdictional provisions?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 24, 2017, the parliamentary secretary made reference to Bill C-64, the wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels act, in the House of Commons, and in so doing, referred to the multi-jurisdictional aspects of the bill. In this regard, Bill C-64 includes provisions to enable multi-jurisdictional collaboration, such as delegation of authority and information-sharing provisions, as a result of consultations with indigenous groups, provincial-territorial representatives, port authorities, and other stakeholders. Bill C-64 also includes interdepartmental coordination provisions between the Department of Transport and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, with each having their respective areas of jurisdiction under the proposed bill. The proposed legislation enables collaboration and coordination while falling clearly under federal jurisdiction as it deals with matters pertaining to shipping and navigation.
The government introduced Bill C-64 following consultations with indigenous groups, provincial-territorial representatives, port authorities, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to help prevent future occurrences of abandoned and wrecked vessels and reduce the impact of those that do occur. By doing so, the proposed legislation would protect coastal and shoreline communities, the environment, and infrastructure. It also aims to reduce the burden on taxpayers. To date, governments have borne many of the costs to remove and dispose of problem vessels. This legislation is a core element of the national strategy on abandoned and wrecked vessels that was announced as part of the oceans protection plan in November 2016.

Question No. 1355--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the meeting between the Chief Administrative Officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Policy Advisor and Special Assistant for Western Canada and the Territories to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on June 1, 2017: what are the titles of all briefing notes provided by the government to the Policy Advisor and Special Assistant between May 1, 2017, and June 8, 2017?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, between May 1, 2017, and June 8, 2017, Infrastructure Canada did not provide briefing notes to the policy adviser and special assistant for western Canada and the territories to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities with regard to his meeting with the chief administrative officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District on June 1, 2017.

Question No. 1360--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to Bill C-2, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act: (a) did the Minister of Finance sign the proposal to have Cabinet adopt this legislative proposal as its policy; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, on what date did he sign it; (c) on what date was the legislative proposal adopted as the policy of Cabinet; (d) on what date was it decided to propose that the amendments in clause 1 of the Bill would have effect for the 2016 tax year; (e) on what date was the drafting of Ways and Means Motion No. 1 completed; (f) on what date was the drafting of the Bill completed; (g) on what date did the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons hold the Bill review meeting; (h) was the Minister of Finance in attendance at the meeting referred to in (g); and (i) on what date was it decided to schedule the tabling of Ways and Means Motion No. 1 for December 7, 2015?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as publicly stated by the government House leader on November 4, 2015 as the reason to call back the House in December 2015, the Government of Canada took the first step to fulfill one of its key mandate commitments on December 7, 2015, which was to give middle-class Canadians a tax break.
On that date, the Minister of Finance tabled in the House of Commons a notice of ways and means motion to reduce the 22% personal income tax rate to 20.5%. To help pay for this middle-class tax cut, the government asked the wealthiest one per cent of Canadians to contribute a little more. Therefore, the motion also included provisions to create a new top personal income tax rate of 33% for individual taxable incomes in excess of $200,000 and provisions to return the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $5,500 from $10,000.
These measures were included in Bill C-2, which was tabled in the House of Commons on December 9, 2015, and received royal assent on December 15, 2016. By proposing that these tax changes take effect as of January 1, 2016, the government was able to offer immediate help to nearly nine million Canadians, while laying the groundwork for long-term economic growth.
The government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act in processing parliamentary returns. Information related to cabinet deliberations and decision-making has been withheld on those grounds.

Question No. 1361--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the climate change report prepared by Abacus Data and presented at the meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment on Friday November 3, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia: (a) when was the tendering process for this study released; (b) how many firms replied to the tender; (c) who was questioned for the data that was used for the report; (d) what are the details of the contract with Abacus Data related to the report, including (i) contract amount, (ii) date, (iii) duration, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number; and (e) what are the details of all meetings between the Chairman of Abacus Data and Environment and Climate Change Canada or the Privy Council Office, including (i) date, (ii) ministers and exempt staff in attendance as well as any other attendees, (iii) agenda items, (iv) location?
Response
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Environment and Climate Change Canada has no contract recorded in relation to Question No. 1361.

Question No. 1362--
Mr. Louis Plamondon:
With regard to the Office of the Governor General, for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017: how many people did it employ, including (i) the list of all employees, by position, with job descriptions, including the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG), (ii) the total of all salaries, including benefits, of the management positions for the OSGG?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Office of the Governor General, for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017, the response from the Office of the Governor General is as follows: The office of the secretary to the Governor General is headed by the secretary who serves as a senior adviser to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
As of March 31, 2015: Salaries: $11.62M Benefits: $1.89M As of March 31, 2016: Salaries: $11.94M Benefits: $1.87M As of March 31, 2017: Salaries: $11.71M Benefits: $1.80M.
With regard to policy, program and protocol, this branch plans and implements the Governor General’s program domestically and abroad, including over 500 events yearly; administers visitor and interpretation services--over 300,000 visitors last year--at both official residences, Rideau Hall and the Citadelle; provides editorial and public affairs services, and is responsible for providing overall support to the viceregal family.
The number of FTEs, which includes the secretary’s office, is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 83 As of March 31, 2016: 92 As of March 31, 2017: 95.
The Chancellery of Honours With regard to the chancellery of honours, the chancellery branch administers all aspects of the Canadian honours system including the Order of Canada, the bravery decorations, the meritorious service decorations and the sovereign’s medal for volunteers; and the Canadian heraldic authority which creates and records armorial bearings.
The number of FTEs is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 28 As of March 31, 2016: 36 (additional funds allocated following the honours review: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/docs/plan/ch4-2-eng.html). As of March 31, 2017: 39.
Corporate Services With regard to corporate services, the corporate services branch supports internal services and implements central agency policies and guidelines that apply across the organization. This branch is divided into two components. One component encompasses financial and materiel management, information technology, information resources, and mail management. The other component encompasses people management, i.e., human resources; workplace management, i.e., accommodations, security, and transportation services, as well as strategic planning and internal communications.
The number of FTEs is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 49 As of March 31, 2016: 46 As of March 31, 2017: 39.

Question No. 1373--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to directives and instructions provided by the Privy Council Office (PCO) to any department or agency since November 4, 2015, and excluding any instructions provided by the Legislation and House Planning section of PCO: what are the details of all directives and instructions including (i) sender, (ii) recipients, (iii) date, (iv) directive or instruction provided?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office does not track all directives and instructions provided to other departments or agencies. Attempting to address this inquiry within the allotted time frame could lead to the disclosure of incomplete or misleading information.

Question No. 1377--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Finance in the House of Commons on November 30, 2017, that “No one outside the closed circle within the Department of Finance and those who needed to know within our government would have known about our actions in advance of that date”, in reference to the tabling of the Notice of Ways and Means Motion to amend the Income Tax Act: what are the titles of all individuals who knew about the actions prior to December 7, 2015, and when did they know?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Finance Canada’s responsibilities include the development and evaluation of federal taxation policies and legislation. Accordingly, the department supported the Minister of Finance in developing the notice of ways and means motion tabled in Parliament on December 7, 2015, as well as the implementing legislation, which was introduced in Parliament as Bill C-2 on December 9, 2015. The department also worked on preparing communications material to support the December 7, 2015, announcement, including a news release and a backgrounder.

Question No. 1382--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of National Revenue in the House of Commons on November 6, 2017, that “Over the past two years, we have invested nearly $1 billion to combat tax havens. This investment has helped our efforts to recover nearly $25 billion”: (a) how much of the nearly $25 billion has been recovered from tax havens; and (b) what is the breakdown of the $25 billion by country or continent where the tax haven is located?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): :
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question, here is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA. In terms of part (a), fiscal impact is the traditional measure used for the CRA’s departmental performance report to report on the audit assessment and examination results from compliance activities. More specifically, it consists of federal and provincial taxes assessed, tax refunds reduced, interest and penalties, and the present value of future federal tax assessable arising from compliance actions. It excludes amounts reversed on appeal and uncollectable amounts.
Over the past two fiscal years, the CRA identified $25 billion in fiscal impact from audit activities: $12.7 billion in 2015-16 and $12.5 billion in 2016-17. Some of the CRA’s audit functions focus on large business and aggressive tax planning by high net-worth individuals. Audits in these areas have yielded approximately two-thirds of this fiscal impact, $15.9 billion. A large part of these adjustments for large businesses, by value, are based on CRA reassessments of intra-company transfer prices on payments made to related companies in low-tax jurisdictions.
Taxpayers, especially those with complex tax structures, may have many transactions, both domestic and international, that lead to a specific account balance requiring payment. The complexity of the calculations for payments on taxes owed and the attribution of them to audits versus other sources of debt in a given year is very difficult to do accurately. Audit assessments, particularly those involving large amounts or related to aggressive tax planning, are frequently appealed and then litigated, and as a result, it can be several years before there is judicial confirmation of the amount owed. In addition, there can be issues securing payment from taxpayers and bankruptcies can also occur. As such, the CRA cannot provide a specific number in the manner requested.
However, the CRA can confirm that in fiscal year 2016-17, the CRA resolved $52.1 billion in outstanding tax debt from all revenue lines, most notably individual tax, corporate tax, GST/HST, and payroll deductions, which were payable for current and previous years.
In terms of part (b), as noted, the CRA does not track fiscal impact in the manner requested.

Question No. 1383--
Mr. Alain Rayes:
With regard to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017: what was the total remuneration paid by the Corporation, including all bonuses, the overtime buyout, the celebrity premium, the clothing allowance and all other premiums, for each (i) male host of a French-language television news program, (ii) female host of a French-language television news program?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. The requested information has been withheld on the grounds that it constitutes competitive as well as personal information.

Question No. 1384--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to the Disability Tax Credit and individuals who self-identify with type 1 Diabetes: (a) what percentage of individuals with type 1 Diabetes were (i) approved, (ii) rejected, for the Disability Tax Credit during the 2015-16 fiscal year; and (b) what percentage of individuals with type 1 Diabetes were (i) approved, (ii) rejected, for the Disability Tax Credit between May 2, 2017, and December 5, 2017?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question, here is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA. In terms of parts (a) and (b), to be eligible for the disability tax credit, an individual must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, as defined in the Income Tax Act and as certified by a medical practitioner. Eligibility is not based on a diagnosis, but rather on the effects of the impairment on their ability to perform the basic activities of daily living. Eligibility determinations are not made, or tracked, based on diagnosis. Therefore, the CRA is unable to respond in the manner requested as the data is not available.

Question No. 1385--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to the Privy Council Office’s “Mandate Letter Tracker” and the 13 commitments listed as “underway with challenges”, as of December 5, 2017: (a) what specifically are the challenges, broken down by commitment; (b) what specific actions is the government planning in order to overcome the challenges, broken down by commitment; and (c) for each of the 13 commitments, does the government plan on keeping its commitment or not?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), transparency and accountability are central themes of the Government of Canada’s mandate, as illustrated by the November 2015 public release of ministerial mandate letters. The Canada.ca/results website creates a central, accessible space anyone can go to, to monitor the progress against the government’s commitments to Canadians as outlined in the ministerial mandate letters. The website includes not only an overall status of progress for all commitments, but also a paragraph with more information on the status of implementation. For those commitments that are “under way with challenges”, more information on the specific challenges can be found in that paragraph.
With regard to (b), an “underway with challenges” status means progress toward completing this commitment is going more slowly than expected or that the commitment is complex by its very nature. The government is working with departments to overcome the challenges identified. While the 13 commitments that are “under way with challenges” can be found across a variety of the government priorities, four are under the indigenous priority, and progress requires longer-term, transformative changes that are part of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Some of the other commitments are taking longer to implement than anticipated. More specific context is given in the text associated with the 13 commitments classified as “under way with challenges”, as well as a link to additional information as appropriate.
With regard to (c), as of December 5, 2017, the government is planning on keeping all the 13 commitments that are “under way with challenges”. Updates to the status of commitments will be reflected in future updates of the mandate letter tracker.

Question No. 1388--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the $576,500 paid to Vox Pop Labs Incorporated for Project Tessera: (a) what goods or services did the government receive as a result of the payment prior to project’s originally scheduled end date of September 30, 2017; (b) did Vox Pop Labs Incorporated fulfill the conditions of its applications; (c) how did Vox Pop Labs specifically fulfill “Justification 6” of its application where it stated “the project will be created and launched in a timely fashion, resulting in a significant impact during the celebratory period in 2017”; (d) how did Vox Pop Labs specifically fulfill “Justification 7” on its application, where it was projected that the project would reach in excess of 1,000,000 individuals; and (e) how many individuals have viewed Project Tessera, since January 1, 2017, broken down by month, or what is the best estimate, if exact figures are not available?
Response
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Vox Pop Labs Incorporated--Vox Pop--originally received a contribution from the Canada 150 Fund of $576,500 for Project Tessera, a Canada 150 signature project. Vox Pop subsequently received a supplement of $228,782, bringing the total contribution to $805,282.
The Government of Canada supported Project Tessera under the Canada 150 fund through a contribution and not a contract. Therefore, the Government of Canada is not procuring goods or services. Project Tessera is not a Government of Canada project; Project Tessera belongs to Vox Pop Labs Incorporated.
Vox Pop Labs Incorporated has changed the name of their project from Project Tessera to Echoes.
With regard to (b), Vox Pop is fulfilling its obligations as per the contribution agreement with the Canada 150 fund. The key activities for the project as outlined in the original contribution agreement are as follow: create a digital quiz that will survey users on themes such as culture, values, symbols, and belonging to Canada, and encourage participants to learn about their own national identities and cultures and explore the commonalities they have with other people across the country; generate a unique data set on public perceptions about Canada and what it means to be Canadian in 2017; and ensure the findings of the survey, including all relevant data, are placed in the public domain and freely accessible to Canadians by December 31, 2017. The survey results will serve as a legacy of Canada 150 for future generations.
The “digital quiz” now called Echoes was launched on Monday, December 4, 2017. Echoes will generate a unique dataset on public perceptions about Canada and what it means to be Canadians in 2017.
With regard to (c), the launch of the project was originally scheduled to coincide with the Canada Day celebrations; however, after completing the analysis of their panel studies, Vox Pop Labs determined that their design did not sufficiently capture a user’s sense of collective and individual belonging to the Canadian cultural mosaic as per the goals of the project specified in the contribution agreement. Vox Pop Labs chose to delay the launch so the survey could be improved.
With regard to (d) and (e), the Echoes survey was launched on Monday, December 4, 2017. It is too early to say how many individuals will participate.

Question No. 1389--
Mr. Wayne Easter:
With regard to the contract that was signed between Transport Canada and the City of Charlottetown and any of its agencies pertaining to the Charlottetown Port Authority: (a) what are the guidelines or conditions of use; and (b) do these include a provision for industrial use?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Transport Canada transferred the port of Charlottetown under the port divestiture program on April 21, 2005, to the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc.
The operating agreement between Transport Canada and the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. dictated conditions of use for the first four years of operations. The agreement expired on April 21, 2009.
After this date, the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. is free to use the facility as it wishes, provided it follows all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws.
With regard to (b), there are no specific provisions on the industrial use of lands in any of the agreements. As mentioned, any and all use of the property must follow all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws pertaining to that specific use.

Question No. 1393--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the November 21, 2017 news release titled “Government of Canada provides financial support to Ontario college students affected by labour dispute”: (a) what are the details of the financial support, excluding any support students would have normally received had a labour dispute not occurred, including (i) how many students received payments, (ii) what was the average amount received by a student, (iii) what percentage of the payments required repayment, such as loans; (b) broken down by type of financial assistance received, as referenced in (a), what criteria was used to determine if an applicant would receive financial assistance; (c) how many students applied for the financial support referred to in (a); and (d) how many of the students referred to in (c) were granted financial assistance?
Response
Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada’s prosperity depends on young Canadians getting the education and the experience they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
With regard to (a), affected students will be eligible to receive additional financial assistance for the weeks added to their school terms.
With regard to (a)(i), nearly 140,000 Canada student loans and grants recipients were affected by the strike. Where extensions to school terms occur, the associated assessments for additional financial assistance will take place until the spring of 2018. As a result, final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (a)(ii), the amount each student receives will depend on their individual eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants, and on the time period by which their individual programs are extended.
With regard to (a)(iii), final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (b), criteria to determine a student’s eligibility for financial assistance due to the strike do not change from the regular assessment process. Affected students who received the Canada student grant for full-time students will receive an additional amount of grant based on their family income and extended weeks of study; Canada student loan recipients may be eligible for up to an extra $210 per week, depending on individual needs—that is, additional cost of living and available resources.
With regard to (c), nearly 140,000 students affected by the strike could qualify for additional financial support. Students from Ontario will not be required to reapply, as data on extended sessions will be available to assess their additional needs. Students from other provinces studying at Ontario colleges will need to reapply; however, data will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (d), final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.

Question No. 1394--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to homeowners whose property was burned as a result of the wildfires in British Columbia: are they required to declare timber salvaged from their property as a capital gain?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the determination of how income from the sale of trees on a woodlot would be taxed under the Income Tax Act is a question that would require a review of the facts and circumstances of the particular situation.
“Woodlot” is used in a broad sense to mean land covered with trees. A woodlot includes treed land held primarily as a source of fuel, posts, logs or trees, whether the trees are grown with or without human intervention. The term also includes treed land that is part of a cottage property and a farmer’s wooded land.
Generally, where a woodlot is a non-commercial woodlot and money or other valuable consideration is received for the sale of timber or the right to cut timber, the sale proceeds are subject to tax on capital account, as a capital gain, generally as a disposition of personal-use property. Generally, a loss on the sale of personal-use property is not deductible.
A capital gain is generally calculated as the proceeds of disposition on the sale of property minus the adjusted cost of the property and related selling expenses. Depending on the situation, capital gains could result from the sale of salvageable lumber.
For more information on capital gains, members may refer to “T4037 Capital Gains 2016” on www.Canada.ca.
The CRA recognizes the difficulties faced by Canadians affected by wildfires in British Columbia and understands that natural disasters may cause hardship for taxpayers whose primary concerns during this time are their families, homes, and communities.
The Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA, administers legislation that gives the Minister of National Revenue discretion to grant relief from penalty or interest when the following types of situations prevent a taxpayer from meeting their tax obligations: extraordinary circumstances, actions of the CRA, inability to pay or financial hardship, or other circumstances. For more information about the circumstances that may warrant relief from penalties or interest, members may refer to “Cancel or waive penalties or interest” on www.Canada.ca.

Question No. 1401--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to the Canada Summer Jobs Program for the Summer of 2017: (a) which organizations received funding; and (b) how much funding did each organization receive?
Response
Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the list of organizations funded through the Canada summer jobs program for the summer of 2017, including the amount paid, will be made public on the program website. It will be available at www.canada.ca/canada-summers-jobs.

Question No. 1409--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to Ministers who are responsible for various regional development agencies: (a) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency spend in (i) Nova Scotia, (ii) New Brunswick, (iii) Prince Edward Island, (iv) Newfoundland and Labrador; (b) between January 1, 2017, and December 8, 2017 how many days did the Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification spend in (i) British Columbia, (ii) Alberta, (iii) Saskatchewan, (iv) Manitoba; (c) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Canada Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec spend in Quebec; (d) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario spend in Northern Ontario; and (e) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario spend in Southern Ontario?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the information requested on travel by the minister responsible for the regional development agencies, please refer to the proactive disclosure on travel for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development at the following link: https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/ic/trvlHsptltyDsclsr/pblc/indx.do?lang=eng.
In addition to travelling to various cities across Canada, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and his staff meet with stakeholders from all regions of the country to discuss regional and local issues on a regular and ongoing basis.

Question No. 1411--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985: (a) did the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons convene a bill review meeting prior to the Bill's introduction; and (b) did the Minister of Finance attend the bill review meeting?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the details of a bill review process, including individual ministers’ involvement in the process, are considered a cabinet confidence.

Question No. 1422--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to revenue which will be received by government as a result of the sale of marijuana after July 1, 2018: (a) what is the projected annual revenue generated from taxation on marijuana; and (b) what percentage of the revenue referred to in (a) will be given to (i) provinces, (ii) municipalities, (iii) First Nations, Inuit, and Metis organizations, (iv) other organizations, broken down by recipient?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 10, 2017, the Department of Finance Canada published for consultation a proposed excise duty framework for cannabis products. The proposed framework will support our twin goals of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth, and profits from its sale out of the hands of criminals as we work to legalize and strictly regulate access to cannabis. The public consultation period closed on December 7, 2017.
Finance Canada is still assessing the potential size of the legal cannabis market, which will be a key factor in determining how much revenue will ultimately be collected under the proposed excise duty framework. In the short term, the size of the legal market will depend on a number of factors, including the supply of legal product, and the distribution and retail systems developed by provinces and territories, the details of which are still being assessed.
At the finance ministers’ meeting on December 11, 2017, ministers agreed that for an initial two-year period following the legalization of non-medical cannabis, taxation revenues will be shared on the basis of 75 per cent for provincial and territorial governments and 25 per cent for the federal government. Provinces and territories will work with municipalities according to shared responsibilities towards legalization. From 2018¬-19 to 2019-20, the federal portion of cannabis excise tax revenue will be capped at $100 million annually. Any federal revenue in excess of $100 million during this time will be provided to provinces and territories.
The department will report on its fiscal projections at a future date.

Question No. 1425--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to responses provided by the government to questions on the Order Paper, since November 4, 2015, where the government cited the principles of the Access to Information or Privacy Act as a justification for not providing the requested information: for each response that has such a citation, or any similar type of citation, what are the specific principles used to justify withholding the information, broken down by response and by question?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Parliament adopted the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act in 1983. Since then, successive governments have provided information in parliamentary returns in a manner that respects the principles governing the disclosure of government information contained in these acts.
Since parliamentary returns are not formally processed under these acts, specific sections are not quoted to justify non-disclosure. However, parliamentary returns officers consult officials responsible for access to information and privacy to ensure that the Privacy Act and the principles governing exclusions, exemptions, and prohibitions contained in the Access to Information Act are applied to proposed responses to parliamentary returns.
Abacus Data Inc.Access to Information ActAccess to information requestsAlbas, DanAlbrecht, HaroldAllison, DeanAsian Infrastructure Investment BankAubin, RobertAviation safety inspectorsBains, NavdeepBergen, Candice
...Show all topics
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 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
...Show all topics
Results: 1 - 3 of 3