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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1672--
Mr.Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: how many full-time equivalents were working at the bank as of April 18, 2018, in total and broken down by job title?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the CIB, as of April 18, 2018, there were approximately 17 personnel, of which four were full-time equivalents consisting of employees and contract workers, while approximately 13 were contractors and consultants. These are broken down by job title as follows: one interim chief investment officer, one office manager, one executive assistant, one administrative assistant, and 13 contractors and consultants with variable time commitments whose duties included legal services, media relations support, corporate governance and corporate planning, IT services, compensation, recruitment, and management.
The CIB also continues to be supported by a secretariat at Infrastructure Canada.

Question No. 1675--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to the purchase of shares by the government in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in the amount of US $199 million (approximately CAD $256 million) over five years: (a) what is the government’s anticipated rate of return on this investment; (b) what specific projects will the taxpayers’ dollars finance with this investment; and (c) what reassurances from the AIIB has the government received to ensure that Canadian tax dollars are only used for projects that have the highest environmental and labour standards?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), our investments at multilateral development banks, or MDBs, serve multiple purposes, including promoting inclusive global economic growth, strengthening relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and promoting global opportunities for Canadian firms. While Canada and other shareholders typically choose to forgo dividends in order to increase the financial capacity of these institutions, the growth in retained earnings is consistent with a return that is in line with the long-term returns on investments at other MDBs and is above the Government of Canada’s cost of borrowing.
With regard to (b), the AIIB invests in a number of infrastructure projects across Asia and non-regional members. A list of approved and proposed projects is available on the AIIB website at https:// www.aiib.org/en /projects/ approved/ index.html.
Capital subscriptions by individual members are not targeted at specific projects but instead are used to support the entire portfolio.
With regard to (c), the AIIB’s commitment to environmental and labour standards is laid out in the bank’s environmental and social framework. This environmental and social framework was approved by the AIIB board of directors and is considered on par with existing environmental, social, and governance policies at other MDBs. In addition, AIIB has put in place a compliance, effectiveness, and integrity, or CEI, unit, which independently reports to the board of directors.

Question No. 1678--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to the claim by the Minister of Infrastructure, on April 19, 2018, that there are currently approximately 20,000 infrastructure projects underway: what are the details of each project, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) amount of federal contribution, (iv) date when “shovels were in the ground”, (v) expected completion date, (vi) location, (vii) riding?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the approximately 20,000 infrastructure projects under way reported by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities on April 19, 2018, were determined based on an aggregated implementation dataset that Infrastructure Canada collects.
Infrastructure Canada provides Canadians with project-level details for thousands of Investing in Canada plan projects through the Investing in Canada plan project map at http://www. infrastructure.gc.ca/ gmap-gcarte/index-eng. html. The full dataset for the map in Microsoft Excel format can be found at http:// www.infrastructure.gc.ca /gmap-gcarte/ download-gmap-data- eng.html. The requested data corresponds to the following fields: “Amount allocated” can be found at column I, Federal Contribution ($), and “Project type” can be determined by examining columns C, Stream; D, Project Name; and E, Project Description. The government continues to provide data on as many projects as possible under the Investing in Canada plan through this dataset.
The government recently published “Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long Term Infrastructure Plan”, which can be found at http:// www.infrastructure.gc.ca/ plan/about-invest-apropos -eng.html. The government releases project-level data through the Investing in Canada Plan project map and provides monthly updates through its results website, which can be found at https:// www.canada.ca/en /privy-council/campaigns/ mandate-tracker-results- canadians.html.

Question No. 1681--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the appointment process of the Chief Science Advisor: (a) how many candidates were initially considered before the final appointment of the current Chief Science Advisor; (b) how many candidates were considered in the final round of the decision making process before the appointment of the current Chief Science Advisor; (c) which departments, offices and individuals were involved in the selection process; and (d) how many candidates were suggested by BESC Ottawa Inc.?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), in response to the notice of appointment opportunity for the chief science advisor, 201 applications were received and considered.
With regard to (b), prior to the appointment of the current chief science advisor, 14 candidates were considered by the selection committee as part of the short list.
With regard to (c), representatives from the following offices were substantively involved in the selection process: the Privy Council Office; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; the Office of the Minister of Science; and the Prime Minister’s Office
With regard to (d), the involvement of Boyden Executive Search Canada Ottawa Inc., or BESC Ottawa Inc., in this selection process focused on screening applications that were received via the Governor in Council appointments website and determining candidate suitability based on the person’s application as it related to the educational, experience, and language proficiency requirements outlined in the notice of appointment opportunity. While BESC Ottawa Inc. did not suggest any candidates, following a firm-led recruitment process they identified 31 potential candidates following their review of the long list of applicants.

Question No. 1683--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the Innovation superclusters initiative (ISI): (a) what are the name of the individuals who were ultimately responsible for selecting the winning applications; and (b) what is the complete list of individuals involved in the decision making process, including the role they played in the decision making process?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, was presented with recommendations that went to cabinet for final decision. The minister's recommendations, including the maximum potential contribution, were made on a balance of considerations, informed by a rigorous assessment process.
The assessment process was administered by officials from ISED with the support of relevant federal organizations and validated by third party contractors and expert reviewers. Applications were considered against the assessment criteria outlined in the program and applicant guides. For example, assessments considered the ultimate benefit of the proposed activities to the supercluster region and to Canada, including the potential to create jobs. The assessment also considered superclusters’ plans to increase the representation of women and under-represented groups in supercluster activity and leadership, and help them succeed in skilled jobs in highly innovative industries, as well as intellectual property, IP, strategies that benefit Canada’s economic development.

Question No. 1684--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to the environmental impacts of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project on the least bittern habitat protected under the Species At Risk Act: (a) what studies have been done to assess the environmental impact on the least bittern habitat; (b) what measures have been or will be taken by the government to ensure that the construction of the REM will not destroy their habitat; and (c) how many Environment and Climate Change Canada employees worked to ensure that the construction of the REM complies with the Species at Risk Act?
Response
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the project was submitted for a provincial environmental assessment, and the impacts of the project on species at risk were assessed. The results of the consultations held by the Bureau des audiences publiques en environnement, BAPE, are available online at http:// www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/ sections/mandats/ Reseau electrique m%C3%A9tropolitain /index.htm, and the environmental assessment report from the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, MDDELCC, is available at http:// www.mddelcc. gouv.qc.ca/ evaluations/decret/ 2017/458-2017-rae.pdf. Members can also contact the Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks by email at services .clientele @mffp.gouv.qc.ca or by telephone at 418-644-6513 to find out more about the mechanisms for protecting species at risk.
With regard to (b), although the project is not subject to the federal environmental assessment regime, the federal departments that own Crown land located within the area of the planned project route must, under section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, or CEAA 2012, assess whether the proposed project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on their federal lands, and especially on species at risk. If so, they must identify effective mitigation measures to be used for managing environmental effects and must either completely prevent the environmental effects or reduce them and must carry out subsequent monitoring as set out in section 79 of the Species at Risk Act.
In addition, regarding the presence of the Least Bittern in the Marais des Sources area, officials held meetings with land managers to make them aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the federal policy on wetland conservation.
With regard to (c), five analysts at the Environmental Enforcement Directorate of ECCC had to work on the REM project on an ad hoc basis. Specifically, on the aspects related to species at risk, wetlands, and migratory birds, one analyst was involved, with the support of two expert biologists and a geomatics technician from the Canadian Wildlife Service of ECCC.
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Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1230--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to expenditures on private security firms in Myanmar: (a) which private security firms have been utilized in Myanmar since January 1, 2017; (b) what specific actions is the government taking to ensure that private security forces receiving government expenditures do not participate in violence against Rohingyas or other minorities; (c) is the government aware of any firms referred to in (a) participating in violence against Rohingyas or other minorities; and (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what specific actions did the government take against such firms?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), since January 1, 2017, the Embassy of Canada to Myanmar in Yangon has utilized one private security firm, IDG Myanmar Co. Ltd.
With regard to (b), as part of the embassy’s due diligence process in contracting a security firm to provide a security guard for the embassy, market research is conducted to identify capable suppliers, which includes but is not limited to referrals from other embassies or international organizations, and online and local research. IDG has provided and provides security services in Myanmar including guarding services and security training to the UN, EU, the Norwegian Embassy, and the British Embassy. Positive recommendations have been received from the UN and the Norwegian Embassy. The contract award is based on predetermined evaluation criteria and methods of selection assessing several areas such as experience, capacity, capability, transition plan, and price. The contracted security firm, IDG Myanmar Co. Ltd, has provided effective, professional security services for the embassy since its opening in 2014.
Contract clauses used within Global Affairs Canada ensure that security providers must be in compliance with local law and that they abide by specific governance and ethics clauses including anti-terrorism and international sanctions. Canada may terminate this contract, or reduce or suspend any payments under it if the contractor fails to honour the provisions within these clauses. These contracts are also subject to the integrity provisions policy and directive.
IDG Myanmar Co. Ltd is part of the IDG group of international security companies, a member in good standing of the International Code of Conduct Association, ICoCA, for private security companies. ICoCA member companies must submit to ongoing and independent monitoring, auditing, and verification of conduct, including adherence to international human rights standards.
With regard to (c) and (d), we have no indication that IDG Myanmar Co. Ltd has participated in violence against the Rohingyas or other minorities.

Question No. 1231--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to the decision to exclude Ottawa from the Innovation Superclusters Initiative: (a) why was Ottawa not included on the list of superclusters; and (b) what specific criteria did Ottawa fail to meet?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the selection of applications for the innovation superclusters initiative involves a two-phase process. In the first phase, which closed on July 24, 2017, applicants submitted letters of intent. The intake was very competitive, with the government receiving over 50 applications from interested applicants from all regions of Canada including British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic, and the North and from across highly innovative industries such as clean technology, advanced manufacturing, digital technology, health/bio-sciences, clean resources, and agri-food, as well as infrastructure and transportation.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announced a short list of nine proposals on October 12, 2017. These selected applicants have been invited to submit a full application by November 24, 2017. The application process is ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
Descriptions of the assessment criteria and process, reflecting key elements contributing to program outcomes, are published in the program guide. They are used to assess the potential of proposals to generate economic impact and industrial benefits for Canada, as well as other key elements such as the importance and relevance of the applicant’s proposed plans.
With regard to part (b), each letter of intent received was screened for eligibility. Eligible applications were assessed against selection criteria: vision and mission for supercluster, economic growth and industrial benefits, capabilities and assets, and budget and financial commitment.
The strongest proposals were those that best demonstrated a clearly defined and common vision for building a business-led cluster, setting their cluster apart by building on the best of its assets and making the cluster more than the sum of its parts; strong potential to accelerate economic growth and achieve industrial benefits in highly innovative industries; unique capabilities and potential to position Canada for global leadership in a particular field; scale and critical mass, bringing together a large number of interested organizations, and securing or demonstrating potential to secure financial commitment from the private sector.
Recognizing that there were many good proposals and interesting ideas presented beyond those that were shortlisted, all lead applicants on non-selected proposals received calls from program officials to discuss how Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and its portfolio partners might continue working together with proponents. The goal of these conversations has been to find new partnerships, programs, and avenues to maintain the applicants’ momentum and advance the issues of greatest interest to their member firms and organizations.

Question No. 1236--
Mr. Ron Liepert:
—With regard to the tweet by the Prime Minister on October 11, 2017, that “Let me be blunt: we are not going to tax anyone's employee discounts”: (a) are all employee discounts exempt from taxation; (b) if the answer to (a) is negative, what specific discounts are subject to taxation; and (c) have specific instructions been given to the Canada Revenue Agency not to tax employee discounts, and if so, what was the exact text of the instructions?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) and (b), the Income Tax Act, ITA, states that, with certain exceptions, “the value of … benefits of any kind whatever received or enjoyed ... in respect of, in the course of, or by virtue of an office or employment” be included in income. To assist with the interpretation of the ITA, the CRA has a long-standing administrative policy that states that employee discounts on merchandise are generally not taxed, except in certain situations when a discount on merchandise is included in income. This policy is explained in T4130, “Employers’ Guide: Taxable Benefits and Allowances”, as follows:
If an employer sells merchandise to an employee at a discount, the benefit the employee gets from the discount is not usually taxable except in the following situations:
• The employer makes a special arrangement with an employee or a group of employees to buy merchandise at a discount.
• The employer makes an arrangement that allows an employee to buy merchandise (other than old or soiled merchandise) for less than the employer’s cost.
• The employer makes a reciprocal arrangement with one or more other employers so that employees of one employer can buy merchandise at a discount from another employer.
If an employer provides a subsidized meal to an employee, the CRA does not consider these meals a taxable benefit if the employee pays a reasonable charge. A reasonable charge is one that covers the cost of the food, its preparation, and service. Employees are also, in most cases, not taxed if they receive a meal when they work the occasional overtime shift.
With regard to part (c), on October 10, 2017, the Minister of National Revenue asked officials to clarify the wording of discounts on merchandise to ensure taxpayers are ?provided with clear and concise information in Folio S2-F3-C2, “Benefits and Allowances Received from Employment”. As a result, the CRA removed the folio from its website and is reviewing the folio’s wording regarding discounts on merchandise.
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.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

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

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

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

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

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

Question No. 797--
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
With regard to analysis done on the rationale and cost of the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what financing gaps currently exist (e.g. risk aversion of private investors, high municipal borrowing costs); (b) what financial products does the government estimate the Bank will have to provide to fill each of the gaps in (a) and on what terms (e.g. market or concessional); (c) will the Bank increase the supply of Canadian infrastructure projects that meet the scale requirements of institutional investors (e.g. above $100 million) and, if so, how; (d) will the Bank expand the number of infrastructure projects that have a revenue stream and, if so, how; (e) would the rationale for the Bank change if (c) or (d) could be achieved independently; (f) does the government have any information about whether the creation of the Bank may crowd out involvement in infrastructure projects by smaller Canadian private investors and contractors; (g) what is the fiscal cost of the Bank on a cash and accrual basis; (h) how does the government estimate that the creation of the Bank will affect the federal balance sheet and net debt; and (i) what measures does the government plan to implement in order to control and prevent high-risk lending, shield taxpayer liabilities, and ensure that investor returns are within reason?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), governments in Canada cannot address all of the country’s infrastructure needs alone. Low interest rates mean that governments have a unique opportunity to significantly enhance their investments in infrastructure. Additionally, there is opportunity to leverage investments in infrastructure by bringing private capital to multiply the level of investment. Large institutional investors, such as Canada’s public pension funds, have a large pool of capital that the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the CIB, can help attract and leverage to meet the country’s infrastructure requirements. The Canada Infrastructure Bank will work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to further the reach of government funding in infrastructure.
With regard to (b), the CIB will be one tool in the Government of Canada’s long-term infrastructure plan to conclude and execute complex infrastructure deals using a wide breadth of financial instruments at its disposal, including loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments. The objective of the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s participation will be to structure its financial support in order to attract private sector capital and conclude project deals.
With regard to (c) and (d), the CIB will play a complementary role in developing innovative infrastructure financing specifically for projects that will have a revenue stream. Without the CIB, these projects may otherwise not be possible. As a result, the overall total investment in infrastructure can increase.
With regard to (f), the CIB will make investments in revenue-generating infrastructure projects and plans that contribute to the long-term sustainability of infrastructure across the country. It will be mandated to work with project sponsors to structure, negotiate, and deliver federal support for infrastructure projects with revenue-generating potential. The Government of Canada will leverage its investments in infrastructure by bringing in private capital to the table to multiply the level of investment.
With regard to (g) and (h), the CIB will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion on a cash basis from the federal government into large infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth through loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments. Part of this amount—$15 billion—will be sourced from the funding announced in the fall economic statement 2016. An additional $20 billion in capital will be available to the Canada Infrastructure Bank for investments that will result in the bank holding assets in the form of equity or debt. This $20 billion will therefore not result in a fiscal impact for the government.
With regard to (e) and (i), additional details pertaining to how the CIB will operationalize its mandate are still under development and are not yet available. A fundamental principle in this structure will be to ensure taxpayers’ dollars are protected.
Regarding the corporate structure of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, it will be accountable to and partner with government, but will operate at greater arm’s length than a department, working with provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous and investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded, and delivered in Canada.

Question No. 805--
Mr. Michel Boudrias:
With regard to the approval to build a new airport on City of Terrebonne and City of Mascouche land announced by the Department of Transport on November 4, 2016: (a) what are the details of the analysis grid used to approve the project, including (i) the complete list of all items to be considered, (ii) the relative weight of each item to be considered, (iii) the indicators to measure the items in (i); (b) what data was compiled by the Department to evaluate the following factors related to building an airport concerning (i) safety issues and hazards associated with its operations, (ii) social and political acceptability, (iii) the environmental impacts on fauna, flora, and humans, including data shared with the Department of the Environment, (iv) economic spin-offs and consequences; (c) what data was taken into account by the Ministry to evaluate the following factors related to building a new airport on City of Terrebonne and City of Mascouche land concerning (i) safety issues and hazards associated with its operations, including those resulting from a nearby landfill, (ii) social and political acceptability, (iii) the environmental impacts on fauna, flora, and humans, including data shared with the Department of the Environment, (iv) economic spin-offs and consequences; (d) does the Department anticipate economic spin-offs from the future airport’s operations; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, to what types, what contexts, and what amounts, broken down by year, do its economic spin-off evaluations correspond; (f) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, does the Department evaluate the possibility of public funds being requested or committed to (i) develop and build the airport, (ii) any type of associated future project, (iii) its ongoing operations and, where applicable, what are the amounts, broken down by source, including programs, ministries, special funds, discretionary funds, etc., of each of its evaluations; (g) did the Department incur costs related to (i) analyzing the file, (ii) taking measures, (iii) collecting existing or non-existing data and, where applicable, what is the value of these costs and the type of each expenditure; (h) when an airport development project receives approval from the Department and there are environmental impacts, does the Department anticipate compensation to offset the project’s ecological losses; (i) what improvements does the Minister of Transport anticipate making to the evaluation process and what is the anticipated timeline for these changes; (j) what is the anticipated timeline for changes to require public consultations announced for early 2017 to be held; and (k) does the Minister of Transport intend to propose changes to the evaluation process so that the consultations to be held are not overseen by the project’s proponent?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada’s top priorities are safety and security. Transport Canada’s primary mission is to serve the public interest by promoting a transportation system in Canada that is safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible.
The minister does not approve projects. Rather he will, according to subsection 4.31(1) of the Aeronautics Act, make an order prohibiting the development or expansion of a given aerodrome or any change to the operation of a given aerodrome, if, in the minister’s opinion, the proposed development, expansion, or change is likely to adversely affect aviation safety or is not in the public interest.
Transport Canada is aware of the concerns that can arise in relation to the development of new aerodromes across Canada, including the project that is currently being developed within the municipalities of Mascouche and Terrebonne.
This is what notably motivated the Minister of Transport’s decision on March 4, 2016, to issue a ministerial order under the Aeronautics Act to prohibit the development of all new aerodromes in the cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne and to require the Corporation de l’aéroport de Mascouche, the Corporation, to hold a full public consultation on the project. The Corporation complied with the requirements of the order and sent Transport Canada all of the comments and documents—including the ones from the Cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne—that were submitted as part of the formal consultation process.
The department thoroughly examined all of the documentation and arguments submitted with regard to the project, both positive and negative, as well as the mitigation measures proposed by the Corporation, in order to address the population’s concerns.
A number of factors were considered in the project’s overall evaluation, including compliance with regulatory requirements, aviation safety, the project’s economic impact, environmental protection, and public and private interests.
The department conducted on-site verifications, reviewed the preliminary plans and the report on the public consultation held by the proponent, as well as the obstacles, all in accordance with TP312, Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, and TP1247, Land Use in the Vicinity of Aerodromes in effect.
This thorough review of the project allowed Transport Canada to ensure that flight operations will be conducted safely, while having a significant economic impact on the region. To illustrate this last point, the former Mascouche airport’s flying schools employed over 50 people and trained some 185 students in 2016. Over the past two years alone, Transport Canada has issued 116 private pilot licences and 63 commercial pilot licences to candidates from these schools.
There are no public funds involved in this project. The department’s work related to the matter has not incurred any additional costs beyond those for regular operations.
It should be noted that part III of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, subpart 7(307), on consultations for aerodrome work, came into effect on January 1, 2017. Therefore, under these regulations, aerodrome proponents must now consult the interested parties and the communities before developing a new aerodrome or before making major physical changes to an existing aerodrome. No amendments to these regulations or to the department’s evaluation process are currently planned.

Question No. 812--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regard to the government’s response to Q-575: (a) did the Office for the Coordination of Parliamentary Returns (OCPR) at the Privy Council Office (PCO) assign part (b) of Q-575 regarding analysis conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, why was a response not provided by the Minister; (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, (i) why was that decision made, (ii) what is the title of the individual who made the decision, (iii) on what date was the decision made; (d) did OCPR assign part (h) of Q-575 regarding analysis conducted by the Department of Finance Canada to the Minister of Finance; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, why was a response not provided by the Minister; (f) if the answer to (d) is negative, (i) why was that decision made, (ii) what is the title of the individual who made the decision, (iii) on what date was the decision made; (g) if the answers to either (a) or (d) are negative, did any official from either ESDC or the Department of Finance Canada contact or email PCO regarding the non-assignment to their department and, if so, what are the details of these communications; (h) did anyone from either the Prime Minister’s Office or the Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons provide any advice or instruction to the PCO regarding the decision to have the response to Q-575 only come from Environment and Climate Change Canada and, if so, what are the specific details of these communications including the titles of the individuals who provided the advice or instruction and what specific advice or instructions were given; and (i) did anyone at Environment and Climate Change Canada question the PCO decision to only have Environment and Climate Change Canada provide a response?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s response to Q-575, the Office for the Coordination of Parliamentary Returns at the Privy Council Office assigns questions and parts of questions to the department or departments most likely to hold the relevant information that is requested. In the case of Q-575, given that Environment and Climate Change Canada is leading the government’s efforts and analysis with regard to climate change and pricing carbon pollution, it was determined that Environment and Climate Change Canada was best positioned to respond to the question.

Question No. 813--
Mr. David Anderson:
With regard to the report prepared by Delivery Associates Limited, or its principals, and commissioned by the government, which provided letter grades for various Ministers in January 2017: (a) what letter grade did each Minister receive, broken down by individual Minister; and (b) what was the rationale for each letter grade given, broken down by Minister?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, no report has been produced by Delivery Associates Limited that provides letter grades or otherwise provides an assessment of the performance of ministers.

Question No. 819--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the trip to India, led by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in January 2017: (a) who were the members of the delegation, excluding security and media; (b) what were the titles of the delegation members; (c) what was the total cost to taxpayers of the trip; (d) if final costs are not available, what is the estimated cost to taxpayers for the trip; (e) what is the itemized breakdown of each expense related to the trip, broken down by individual expense; and (f) what were the contents of the itineraries of the Minister on the trip?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the trip to India led by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in January 2017, with regard to (a), the members of the delegation, excluding security and media, included Amarjeet Sohi and Michael Burton.
With regard to (b), the titles of the delegation members are as follows: Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Michael Burton, Director of Parliamentary Affairs.
With regard to (c), the total cost to taxpayers of the trip is $11,774.70.
With regard to (d), (d) is not applicable.
With regard to (e), the itemized breakdown of each expense related to the trip, broken down by individual expense, is as follows: air fare, $7,163.62; commercial accommodation, $2,911.48; allowance for meals and incidentals, $851.10; taxi, $245.33; travel documents, $24.85; health services, $94.65; currency exchange, $7.32; and miscellaneous transportation charges, $476.35.
With regard to (f), Minister Sohi travelled to India to represent the Government of Canada at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017. In addition to attending the summit, where he delivered a keynote speech and participated in roundtables, he also met with a number of leaders and organizations, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Hon. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. He toured the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Bombardier Transportation. He met with the Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the India Infrastructure Finance Company, the World Bank’s country director for India, and the president of the Federal of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
On March 31, the details of each expenditure will be proactively disclosed at the following link: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/pd-dp/dthe-dfva/minister-ministre-eng.html.

Question No. 823--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action: (a) what is the itemized list of each of the 45 calls to action which the government believes fall under federal jurisdiction; (b) what is the itemized list of all actions the government has taken to implement each call to action under federal jurisdiction; (c) what is the itemized list of explanations for delays by the government in implementing each call to action under federal jurisdiction; (d) what is the itemized list of projected timelines for the government to fully implement each call to action; and (e) what concerns does the government have with respect to the full implementation of the calls to action within federal jurisdiction, broken down by call to action?
Response
Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) through (e), the Government of Canada is committed to advancing long-term reconciliation with first nations, Métis, and Inuit.
In December 2015, the Prime Minister accepted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and confirmed our government’s commitment to implement the commission’s 94 calls to action. The government is creating permanent bilateral mechanisms with indigenous organizations to develop policy on shared priorities and to monitor our progress going forward. The permanent mechanisms are being created with the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the four Inuit Nunangat regions as of February 9, 2017, and the Métis National Council and its governing members.
This builds on progress the government has made since November 2015. Work is under way on the 41 calls to action outlined in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that fall under federal or shared purview.
INAC will be launching a website that will keep all Canadians, including parliamentarians, apprised of the government’s progress on the calls to action.
he government is also establishing an interim board of directors to make recommendations on the creation of a national council for reconciliation consistent with call to action no. 53. The interim board will begin an engagement process to develop recommendations on the scope and mandate of the national council. The council will play an important role in advancing progress on the calls to action.
Timing for implementation will be determined through discussions with those impacted by each particular call to action.
More remains to be done, but the government is making real progress towards renewing our relationship with indigenous peoples.

Question No. 824--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to Canada’s Innovation Agenda as published by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and “innovation leaders” titled “Innovation for a Better Canada: What We Heard”: (a) what was the total cost incurred by the government for the production of this document; (b) what are the details of the compensation for each of the ten innovation leaders; and (c) what are the costs of the consultation process with the innovation leaders broken down by (i) travel, (ii) hospitality, (iii) meals and incidentals, (iv) lodging, (v) per diems, (vi) rental space for stake holder consultations?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada believes that Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians. As such, an engagement process that reflects the commitment to mobilize all Canadians to action and to foster innovation as a Canadian value was launched.
The government invited all Canadians to share their ideas on cultivating a confident nation of innovators, one that is globally competitive in promoting research, accelerating business growth, and propelling entrepreneurs from the commercialization and start-up stages to international success.
The government also brought together 10 innovation leaders from all walks of life. These are experienced and distinguished individuals who are acknowledged as innovators in their own right. They represented the private sector, universities and colleges, the not-for-profit sector, and included social entrepreneurs and businesses owned and operated by indigenous people.
Over the summer, these innovation leaders hosted 28 round tables across Canada with key stakeholders, as well as in Boston, United States, and Cambridge, United Kingdom, on the six action areas. These round tables brought stakeholders from a range of backgrounds, including academia, industry associations, not-for-profits, indigenous groups, youth organizations, and other levels of government.
With regard to Canada’s innovation agenda as published by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and innovation leaders entitled, “Innovation for a Better Canada: What We Heard”, please see the response below.
With regard to part (a), the document was developed internally by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The total cost of $1,990.21 incurred by the government was for its translation.
With regard to part (b), the 10 innovation leaders were not compensated for this work. However, they were reimbursed for certain expenses.
With regard to part (c)(i), the travel cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 26 round tables across Canada and the one round table in the United States was $10,613.99. There was one round table in the United Kingdom, but no cost was incurred. With regard to (c)(ii), the hospitality cost for 28 round tables was $10,391.64. With regard to (c)(iii), the meals and transportation cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 28 round tables was $306.22. With regard to (c)(iv), the lodging cost for the 10 innovation leaders for 28 round tables was $2,933.72. With regard to (c)(v), no additional per diems were provided to the 10 innovation leaders.With regard to (c)(vi), the total cost for rental spaces for 28 round tables was $6,185.35.

Question No. 825--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the Prime Minister and his conflict of interest screens: (a) what are the names of the businesses and organizations which are managed or run by friends or relatives of the Prime Minister, as described in Section 4 of the Conflict of Interest Act; (b) what are the names of businesses and organizations for which a screen involving the Prime Minister recusing himself from any related decisions have been established; (c) broken down by business or organization, when was any such screen established; and (d) who in the Prime Minister’s Office or the Privy Council Office is responsible for enforcing or implementing any such screens?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Prime Minister and his conflict of interest screens, the Prime Minister has demonstrated an unprecedented level of disclosure since becoming the leader of the Liberal Party and has filed all necessary disclosures with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and will always follow the commissioner’s guidance.

Question No. 826--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to the management fees for blind trusts set up for Public Office Holders, during the 2016 calendar year and broken down by department or agency: (a) what is the total amount of expenditures on such management fees; (b) how many Public Office Holders have set up blind trusts; and (c) how many Public Office Holders had their management fees paid for, or were reimbursed for such payments, by the government?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, the Privy Council Office has no information on the total amount of expenditures on management fees for blind trusts set up for public office holders.
The Conflict of Interest Act, COIA, provides that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner may order reimbursement of the following administrative costs incurred by a public office holder in relation to a divestment of assets: (i) reasonable legal, accounting, and transfer costs to establish and terminate a trust determined to be necessary by the commissioner; (ii) annual, actual and reasonable costs to maintain and administer the trust, in accordance with rates set from time to time by the commissioner; (iii) commissions for transferring, converting, or selling assets where determined necessary by the commissioner; (iv) costs of other financial, legal, or accounting services required because of the complexity of the arrangements for the assets, and (v) commissions for transferring, converting, or selling assets if there are no provisions for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Act.
In addition, the commissioner may also order reimbursement of the costs of removing a public office holder’s name from federal or provincial registries of corporations, where a public office holder is required to withdraw from corporate activities to comply with the act.
The commissioner has issued a guideline entitled, “Reimbursement of Costs Associated with Divestment of Assets and Withdrawal from Activities”, which is available on the commissioner’s website. Inter alia, this guideline establishes the maximum amounts that the commissioner will order be reimbursed for particular expenses, as well as procedures for public office holders to submit invoices. Once the commissioner has determined the eligible amounts, she will issue an order for reimbursement to the public office holder’s department or organization.
In her annual reports to Parliament, the commissioner provides information on divestment arrangements and other compliance measures entered into by public office holders under the act, as well as on the reimbursement of expenses. These reports are available on the commissioner’s website. The commissioner’s annual report for fiscal year 2015-16 states:
The costs associated with the reimbursement of fees related to the establishment, administration or dismantlement of blind trusts in 2015-2016 totaled $513,119 compared to $427,913 in 2014-2015. Administrative costs reimbursed in one fiscal year may also include amounts for fees incurred in a previous fiscal year.
The report also indicates that 37 public office holders divested by way of sale, and 25 divested through one or more blind trusts. At the end of that fiscal year, 63 public office holders’ maintained blind trusts, compared to 61 in the previous fiscal year.

Question No. 828--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) payments to provinces: (a) as of February 1, 2017, which provinces owe money to the federal government as a result of HST overpayments; and (b) what is the amount owed, broken down by province?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and respects the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. In responding to questions relating to the harmonized sales tax, HST, it also respects its commitments under the comprehensive integrated tax coordination agreements, CITCAs, with HST provinces.
With regard to the harmonized sales tax, it is a value-added sales tax imposed under federal legislation and administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, and the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA. The tax has a federal portion that is equivalent to the goods and services tax, GST, with a rate of 5 percent, and a provincial portion, with a rate that varies by province. Currently, the combined federal-provincial rates are 13 percent in Ontario and 15 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The tax base of the HST, i.e., what is subject to the tax, is essentially that of the GST. The operation of the HST is governed by CITCAs between Canada and each HST province. Under the CITCAs, provinces are provided with certain flexibilities. Specifically, provinces are allowed to increase or decrease the rate of the provincial portion of the HST; provide provincial rebates to consumers at the point of sale, subject to an overall limit of 5 percent of the estimated GST base in a province and certain other conditions; set the rates applicable to the provincial component of the HST for rebates provided to public service bodies; and set the rate and thresholds of provincial new housing rebates, based on the general structure of the federal rebate.
Under the HST, businesses deal with only one tax administration and remit HST using the same return that they use for the GST. When filing their returns, businesses are not required to track the HST by the province in which transactions occur or to differentiate the provincial portion from the federal portion of the tax. All GST and HST is remitted as a single amount. In lieu of collecting such detailed information from businesses, the revenues attributable to the provincial portion of the HST are paid to provinces using a revenue-estimation formula known as the revenue allocation framework, RAF. That framework is set out in annex A of the CITCAs.
With regard to the revenue allocation framework, the RAF makes use of economic data from Statistics Canada and administrative data from the CRA and the CBSA to determine taxable consumption in Canada and the share of that consumption attributable to each participant in the RAF, i.e., the HST provinces and the federal government. More specifically, taxable consumption is estimated through five bases: consumer expenditure, approximately 63%; public sector bodies, approximately 12%; housing, approximately 17%; business, approximately 2%; and financial institutions, approximately 6%.
There are two fundamental components in the determination of the amount of sales tax revenue that each HST province will receive: the size of the GST/HST revenue pool and the provincial shares. The GST/HST revenue pool is the sum of all GST/HST assessed by the CRA and the CBSA nationally, net of input tax credits and applicable rebates. The provincial shares are determined by measuring the revenue potential of the total of the five bases in each jurisdiction, relative to the total revenue potential of the GST/HST.
The GST/HST revenue pool is currently on the order of $71 billion per year.
With regard to the revenue estimation process, annual provincial revenue entitlements are the product of the assessed GST/HST, meaning the revenue pool, and each province’s share of the common tax base. Payments for a given entitlement year are first estimated in December prior to the start of the entitlement year. They are recalculated each December for five years, i.e., those five years are open. In the June that follows the fifth year, i.e., five and half years after the end of the calendar year in question, provincial payments are finalized and cannot be re-estimated. For example, in December 2016, the first estimate for 2017 was provided; in June of 2023, the final estimate for 2017 will be calculated and the year will close. Because revenue entitlements are estimated and since data comes in over several years, the amount of revenue to which an HST province is entitled for a particular year can change. As a result, a province may receive more revenue or may be required to repay revenue that it has already received, as revenue entitlements for open years are recalculated each December. In the event that a total repayment associated with prior years is greater than 7% of the estimated current entitlement, e.g., the 2017 entitlement year currently, provinces have the option of repaying the entire amount over three years.

Question No. 829--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the current bovine tuberculosis (TB) situation: (a) was the original United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) test on the Alberta cow that tested positive for bovine TB in the United States a cultured test; (b) was the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) testing of the Canadian cows a cultured test; (c) will CFIA share the results of the USDA cultured test completed in the United States with the Canadian public and, if so, when and how will the public be able to access the results; and (d) will the CFIA release the results of the cultured tests which the agency has completed with the public and, if so, when and how will the public be able to access the results?
Response
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), yes, testing on the index of the Canadian cow slaughtered in the United States did include histology, polymerase chain reaction, PCR, and culture of the mycobacteria, M. bovis. Full genome sequencing of the bacteria was also performed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
With regard to (b), testing of the samples from the five additional cattle positive for bovine tuberculosis, TB, has been completed, including culture testing and strain identification. All six positive animals were affected by the same strain that is related to a strain of bovine TB identified in Mexico in 1997.
With regard to (c), the CFIA released these results publicly in the fall of 2016 on its website and in public messaging, indicating that the culture test result was positive for bovine tuberculosis, and the information on the strain.
With regard to (d), as mentioned in the response to question (b), culture and subsequent genotyping on the samples from the five additional cattle found to be positive for bovine tuberculosis has been completed. The CFIA has already communicated publicly on its website and through statements that these animals are positive for bovine TB.
With respect to other reactors and animals with lesions, tissue samples are being cultured and genotyped, and the testing will be completed this year. Culture results are released to the owner of the sampled animals as soon as available. Cases of all reportable diseases, of which TB is one, are posted on the CFIA website on a monthly basis.

Question No. 830--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the projected impact of lower taxes in the United States on the Canadian economy: (a) what are the details of any impact analyses which have been conducted by the Department of Finance, or any outside organization on behalf of the Department, on the current or proposed taxation policies of President Trump; and (b) for each analysis in (a) which has been completed, (i) who conducted the analysis, (ii) when was it completed, (iii) what areas of impact were considered, (iv) what were the findings, (v) what taxation scenarios were used for the analysis, (vi) what was the internal tracking number of the final report, (vii) what was the vendor name, (viii) what was the amount of the contract, (ix) what was the date of the contract?
Response
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the U.S. is an important economic partner for Canada. The Government of Canada has been monitoring the new U.S. administration’s tax policy plans as they emerge and analyzing the potential implications for Canada. Analysts in the tax policy branch at the Department of Finance have examined the tax proposals put forward during the 2016 presidential election campaign and by the House Republicans in a June 2016 tax plan, which relate to both business and personal income taxation.
In processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. As such, related information has been withheld on the following grounds: (a) possible confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, (b) advice, recommendations, deliberations (c) economic interests, and (d) conduct of international affairs and potential negotiations
With regard to part (b), the department has analyzed proposals relating to both personal and corporate income tax.
The tracking numbers of the final reports are 2016FIN446662 and 2017FIN448338. These reports have been partially released under access to information requests.
Additional analysis is ongoing.
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