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Results: 1 - 30 of 1009
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
View Leah Gazan Profile
2020-08-12 13:38 [p.2760]
Mr. Chair, first nations have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe during the pandemic. With school starting soon, the government must ensure children are safe. Instead, the government is playing jurisdictional games and telling on-reserve first nations schools to talk to provincial governments about their health guidelines.
Could the Minister of Indigenous Services explain why first nations are not getting the support they need from the government?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I too am very concerned about the reopening of schools, particularly as it pertains to first nations, and more so for children who are asked to go study off reserve, which is also a lived reality.
The reality of the situation is that there are provincial guidelines, but those are not necessarily maximums or minimums. We are working directly with communities for their specific needs and we will be there every step of the way.
The member will also well note today that we announced another $305 million in direct community support for first nations, Inuit and Métis, on a distinctions basis.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-08-12 14:05 [p.2765]
Mr. Chair, the Minister of Public Safety said that he heard calls from families, survivors and advocates when he made the important announcement that the federal government was launching a full public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting. Families will get answers, communities will be able to heal and recommendations will be made, ensuring that such a tragedy will never happen again.
Can the minister also hear the voices of the families of Rodney Levi, Chantel Moore and Brady Francis? Can he hear the calls from the New Brunswick and British Columbia chiefs, the indigenous leaders and advocates, and launch a comprehensive, open and fully transparent inquiry into how the legal and law-enforcement systems have failed indigenous people in New Brunswick?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Blair Profile
2020-08-12 14:06 [p.2765]
Mr. Chair, we have heard them and are listening very carefully. There are ongoing discussions between us, indigenous leadership and the Government of New Brunswick. On this critical issue, we understand the concerns and the need for answers that people have expressed. We are working with indigenous leadership and with the Government of New Brunswick. We are committed to getting people the answers they need and are responding appropriately.
Everyone deserves to live in peace and safety and with a sense of security in every community in this country. We are absolutely committed to that, and we will always listen to the people who are impacted by these tragedies to ensure that we respond in the appropriate way.
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
2020-08-12 14:30 [p.2769]
Mr. Chair, the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst public health crisis we have seen in generations.
It is a major threat to the well-being and prosperity of Canadians and people around the world. As a nation, we have done an amazing job of banding together from coast to coast to coast over the past few months to collectively address this unprecedented challenge.
Canada's intrinsic spirit can be seen in our essential and front-line workers and their staunch dedication to their communities. We owe them our deepest gratitude and, in some cases, our lives. We must also do our best to honour the many unsung heroes of these times.
Today, I am proud to shine a light on the innovative, tireless efforts of Canadian health care scientists and the important role that research plays in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada is lucky enough to have produced some brilliant minds, valuable assets that are sometimes underestimated.
In Quebec, in Montreal, I am thinking of all the researchers and scientists at the University of Montreal, McGill University, the Montreal Heart Institute, CHUM, Sainte-Justine Hospital and many others, who are working every day to develop innovative solutions for keeping everyone healthy.
Before this crisis, it is possible that we may have taken for granted our medical researchers who so often toil behind the scenes, but no longer. When the threat of COVID-19 first bore upon us, Canada's health research community stepped up without hesitation when we needed it most, and Canadians are forever grateful.
Even before the first cases were diagnosed in Canada, our government engaged with academic, industry, provincial and international partners to swiftly implement a research response to the pandemic. In February, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research was the first agency globally to launch an open call for COVID-19 research. Working closely with federal and provincial partners, the institutes sought to accelerate the development, testing and implementation of medical and social countermeasures to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19. Within a few short weeks of the initial launch, our Canadian Institutes of Health Research awarded peer-reviewed grants to 100 meritorious Canadian projects, a process that normally takes over a year.
Since then, bolstered by the $1.1-billion national medical research strategy that our government announced through our Prime Minister in April, the CIHR has already committed approximately $170 million and leveraged $25 million in partner funds for research on COVID-19. This very impressive outcome is a testament to the calibre of our health scientists and their commitment to protecting and improving the health of Canadians.
I am pleased to report that coordinated investment and mobilization through our Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other federal partners is advancing a broad and balanced portfolio of COVID-19 research.
We are advancing knowledge in fundamental research, new clinical guidelines and the assessment of the expected and unexpected effects of public health measures. We are advancing research aligned with Canadian and international priorities in the fields of therapeutics, transmission dynamics, diagnostics, public health measures and more. We are supporting clinical trials across Canada, as they are the best mechanism for offering Canadians experimental treatments while ensuring effectiveness. We are fast-tracking collaborative efforts to develop a made-in-Canada vaccine.
Federal investment through our Canadian Institutes of Health Research is enabling leading vaccine centres in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia to join forces and pool their expertise and resources. To date, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's COVID-19 rapid research competitions have awarded funding to 14 promising vaccine development studies. These investments complement the significant federal investment in vaccine research through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's strategic innovation fund. We are also fostering critical partnerships between academia and the medical industry for vaccine development.
The work that is being done on the ground is absolutely incredible. A Quebec company called Medicago is using its technology platform to develop antibodies against the virus in co-operation with Laval University. Of course, the goal of this research is to protect the health of Canadians. We need to ensure that we are putting enough focus on the Canadian context and the specific needs of various populations. That means investing in strategic, targeted research to help our most vulnerable groups.
In addition to increasing anxiety about our health and safety, this pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our personal lives. Job insecurity, isolation and the loss of a loved one all have significant impacts on our mental health. To address this, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is leading an initiative to provide urgent data to support decision-making on mental health responses to this pandemic. Guided by an external expert advisory panel, the initiative will inform the rapid deployment of psychological supports for mental health and substance use.
I am very happy to report that in the month of June a preliminary body of rapid knowledge syntheses was shared with decision-makers and partners within just 30 days of the funding allocation. These reports synthesize current evidence on mental health and substance use services, delivery guidelines and practices, and related issues placed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another very critical area of study pertains to the sex differences in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and associated immune responses. A government-funded team has already published results highlighting how different sex responses and the mechanisms behind them may help inform novel therapeutic approaches to COVID-19.
Research efforts are also focused on Canadian seniors. As we saw in many provinces, Canada's aging population is particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, as are residents of long-term care facilities, such as Quebec's CHSLDs.
A team funded by the Dalhousie University research institute recently published a paper on the impact of the virus on these care facilities, which proposed that biomarkers could help predict disease severity and explain why some residents are more severely affected than others.
Research on indigenous health also remains a priority for our government. We know that Canada's indigenous people were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The COVID-19 response lacked culturally appropriate, distinctions-based interventions grounded in sound evidence and indigenous knowledge. Consequently, we created a funding opportunity to address these deficiencies through bold and innovative strengths-based, solution-focused research led by the community.
While our foremost priority is the health of Canadians, we must recognize that a virus knows no borders. This is a global threat that requires a collaborative global response. This is why we are working in close concert with international partners, such as the World Health Organization, the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness and others. Through our international engagement in scientific research, we can leverage every opportunity to bring innovations home to Canadians while promoting homegrown expertise and leadership.
It is also extremely important to have evidence-based policy. As we work diligently to protect Canadians, we continue to base our decisions on the evolving body of evidence that exists in the research community, and we continue to learn more about the virus every day. We are connecting policy-making with science, for instance, through knowledge mobilization activities, and with supports for COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic task forces.
Investments in health research and in our researchers ultimately pays dividends in saved lives. We are heartened by the remarkable dedication and talent of our scientists, and our government has acknowledged its obligation to sustain Canada's research excellence. This means supporting our researchers now and into the post-pandemic recovery. I invite the members of this House to join me in recognizing the invaluable efforts of Canada's research community.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-08-12 16:30 [p.2787]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for her passion for her constituents and for her province.
I was talking to the CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada yesterday, which we all know does great work, and he does great work, on behalf of indigenous businesses in this country. He was recently informed that the association would be getting a contract for $16 million to deliver to over 600 indigenous businesses, which is much needed as we know, but he was also told that he would not be allowed to use any of the funds for administration or to help deliver the program. In fact, he was told that the association was going to be audited, but we also learned that the WE organization was going to get a $43-million fund for administering its program, and the company of the husband of the Prime Minister's chief of staff was getting $84 million as a commission to administer a program.
Does the member agree that there are two ways that the Liberal government does business? There is one for its friends and then another for those who are not well-connected.
Also, does she agree that there is systemic racism that exists in this country that we can see right now at a time when organizations need support to deliver much-needed support to the people in our country, like indigenous tourism business operators who need help right now?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:31 [p.2788]
Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree. I think the Prime Minister, the cabinet and every Liberal member who enable mix-ups; scandal after scandal; ethics investigation after ethics investigation, which have literally never happened in the history of our country; and who cover for them; read off their notes; and do the dirty work for the kings demonstrate, like the member said, over and over again that there is one standard or rule for the Liberals and some benefits only for them, though only certain things the Liberals can take advantage of, and then there is the reality for everyone else.
I also want to thank the member and acknowledge his raising of this issue of indigenous businesses. In Lakeland, some of the businesses and communities that are hurt disproportionately because of the destructive anti-energy policies and programs of the last five years and the failure of the current COVID-19 programs are first nations and Métis communities. Among the barrage of reports of businesses collapsing at an exponentially increasing rate over the last several months, one situation was that a first nations-owned energy-producing company and community stopped producing for the first time in its history in my riding of Lakeland.
When I am talking about the COVID-19 programs' failure to support oil and gas businesses, I am also talking about COVID-19 programs' failure to support indigenous businesses and workers. For the first time, this community now has to figure out a way to cover its costs when it used to cover all of its programs and community services by its own source of revenue from its energy company. Now, it faces a completely uncertain future and an utter fiscal crisis.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-07-22 15:10 [p.2731]
Madam Chair, I would like to start my comments today by thanking the Government of Canada for bringing forward the legislation this week. I thank the members of the government for listening to and working with our leader, and with me and the New Democratic Party.
During this period of unprecedented upheaval and insecurity, it is vitally important that all parties, all politicians and, indeed, all Canadians work together to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that it is only through our collective work that we can ensure that no one will be left behind and no one will fall through the cracks, and that we can rebuild our country and our communities in the months and years ahead.
There are great pieces in the most recent legislation, and I thank all parliamentarians for passing this bill. Nearly two million Canadians living with a disability will finally get support; small businesses will have more protection under the wage subsidy program; and people who mistakenly accessed the CERB will not have to worry about facing punitive actions.
I also want to applaud the members of the House for their flexibility and accommodating spirit that have allowed us to continue the important work of democracy in the face of COVID-19. We have had to be creative and nimble in the face of a reality that has turned our collective ways of working on their head. Our normal way of doing things was impossible; and, all things considered, we have done an admirable job of representing our constituents, working hard for Canadians and ensuring that our COVID-19 response was one we could all be proud of.
However, let us not forget that we could have avoided so much stress and uncertainty over the past four and a half months. We could have implemented a universal support system that would have ensured that every Canadian was protected. That is what the NDP called for, and it would have gotten more help to more people, faster. It would have meant that people living with disabilities would not have had to wait over 130 days to get the support they desperately needed. It would have meant that students and recent graduates would not have had to bear the terrible burden of not knowing how they were going to afford to go to school in the fall and, let us be honest, it would have made the embarrassing spectacle that we are currently looking at with the government giving money to a certain foundation unnecessary. It would have made life easier. It would have made it less stressful for workers, families and seniors, and it certainly would have been a more elegant and simpler solution compared with the bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece rollout of support we have experienced.
I do want to talk a bit about some of my concerns with the COVID response and some of the things we need to continue to look at going forward.
First, we heard for weeks on end from the Prime Minister that people living with disabilities would get the help they needed to get through this pandemic. Then, when the government finally did bring a motion forward, it managed to leave out the majority of Canadians living with disabilities. The current government is very good at making promises. It is very good at announcing solutions. The only problem appears to be actually delivering on these promises.
This week, the government has brought forward a new program to help people living with disabilities, but once again it is not sufficient. It still leaves out many Canadians who need the support. The NDP voted for this legislation because it means that thousands more people in ridings like Edmonton Strathcona will get the help they desperately need, but once again too many people living with disabilities are being left out. The government must commit to working with the provinces to ensure that every Canadian who is living with a disability is protected and can live in dignity. Dignity is not negotiable. Dignity is a right of every Canadian, and people living with disabilities deserve no less.
My riding is also home to hundreds of small, independent businesses: restaurants, bars, creative shops, things that are not found anywhere else in the world. These businesses are crucial to our local economy, and I am worried that many of these shops that make Edmonton Strathcona feel like home are not going to exist in a few weeks. So many of these businesses, including the salons, the tattoo shops, the dance studios, clothing stores and gift shops could have benefited from the Canada emergency business account program, but they could not access those loans due to their business and employment structure. When the changes came, they were too little and too late.
The commercial rent assistance program has been a demoralizing experience for so many small business owners in my riding. For example, every day for the past three months I have heard from people like Claire, who owns a wellness clinic. She is eligible for the CECRA program, but her landlord refuses to participate. Too many landlords like Claire's simply refuse to access the program, as it would take money out of their pockets.
Commercial rent assistance is a critical piece of this puzzle, and if the assistance had gone directly to tenants and businesses, rather than to landlords, we could have saved thousands of small businesses. Now those businesses may be gone. Those business owners' dreams are over and their employees are looking for work.
Within two days of the pandemic being declared, the government made tremendous efforts to ensure the liquidity of our financial system, guarantee export contracts and underwrite risks for very large businesses in Canada. We should have used that same initiative to support our small businesses.
My riding of Edmonton Strathcona is home to a number of universities, colleges, post-secondary institutions and campuses. The University of Alberta is the largest. It has a long and illustrious history of being a Canadian university that we can all be proud of. It is, in fact, the university that I am an alumni of, like many members of the House. However, the impacts of COVID-19 on universities and colleges in Alberta are dire. For example, the University of Alberta currently has an infrastructure deficit of over $1 billion. With COVID-19 impacting tuition, revenue opportunities are important. Post-secondary institutions are at risk.
Let us not forget the students who attend these devastated institutions. Students and recent graduates need the support now. Actually, they needed that support in April. Do not forget that students and the Canadian Federation of Students have been asking since April for the federal government not to forget Canada's millions of students and recent graduates left behind during this crisis. This group noted that the Canadian youth unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 29.4% in May. August is a few days away. Students cannot afford to wait for more bungled programs that pay less than minimum wage. Let us find a way to ensure that students on the CESB receive $2,000 a month, the bare minimum given to every other struggling person in Canada.
I want to thank the government for creating the Canadian emergency response benefit and for working with the other parties to include more people in the CERB. It has been a lifesaver for thousands of people in my riding, as I am sure it has been for thousands in every riding across this country, but we still have people who have been left out.
Yesterday, I tabled a petition in the House calling on the government to allow people who voluntarily leave their employment due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns to access the CERB. Canadians have the right to refuse unsafe work. That is fundamental, but do they really have the ability to refuse unsafe work?
COVID-19 has changed our understanding of the workplace. In my province of Alberta we saw the devastating impacts of the virus, as workers have been forced to work in unsafe conditions. Hundreds of meat packers became sick with COVID-19 and three people died as a result.
Is this what Canada is about, forcing people to choose between their health, the health of their families and paying the bills? In March, the Minister of Finance said that people who were uncomfortable with the safety of their workplaces could apply for CERB, but that is not the case. In May, the deputy prime minister responded to my question on this matter saying that “no Canadian worker at any time should feel obliged to go to work in unsafe conditions”, but we know that that is not the case either. The Canada emergency response benefit should exist to help everyone.
Like so many Canadians, I am excited about the future of our country. We have an opportunity right now to restart. We have an opportunity to build back better, to create a Canada where all Canadians have support and the opportunities they need to thrive, a more equal Canada, a more just Canada that does not privilege corporate interests and big business, but instead protects workers and their families, that taxes the ultra-wealthy and does not allow our corporations to hide wealth in offshore accounts.
Let us build a Canada that finally respects our indigenous people and commits to UNDRIP and to true, meaningful reconciliation. Let us build a Canada that recognizes the racism that our racialized brothers and sisters face every day in this country and do what needs to be done to finally fix the systematic, institutionalized structural violence in our country. Let us build a Canada that takes climate change seriously—
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to be here this afternoon to talk about Bill C-20 and the government's response to COVID-19. I want to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered here on the traditional lands of the Algonquin people.
Before I go on, I want to take a moment. Usually we never meet in July, and this is a very important week for me personally, and the entire Tamil community, so I want to just take a moment to acknowledge the horrific events of Black July, which started on the evening of July 22, 1983. Mobs armed with an electoral list of Tamil homes went door to door in Colombo, Sri Lanka, beat and killed over 3,000 Tamils, and looted their homes and businesses.
This period, known as Black July, sparked an armed conflict and the mass exodus of Tamils out of Sri Lanka. The anti-Tamil pogroms forced many, including my family, to seek refuge in Canada. The government of Pierre Trudeau at that time enacted a special measures program to assist over 1,800 Tamils to settle in Canada. Today, this community is over 300,000 strong, and I am so very proud to be part of this community from coast to coast to coast.
With that, I want to take a moment to reflect on the most vulnerable in our society, particularly as a result of COVID-19. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the refugees who are in many camps around the world, struggling in cramped conditions in UNHCR tents or displaced altogether. There are over 80 million displaced people around the world and over 30 million refugees. I want to recognize them and all those who support refugees, both abroad and in Canada, and particularly those who are vulnerable in Canada, who have come in search of freedom but are unfortunately struggling with COVID-19, as are all of us across the globe.
This pandemic has had a very profound effect on all of us, but none more than our seniors. I want to talk about long-term care homes in my province of Ontario, and also locally at the Altamont Care Community in Scarborough—Rouge Park. We lost 52 residents and one staff member to COVID-19, so we have lost 53 people as a result of COVID-19. This is just in one home. There are four other homes: Orchard Villa in Pickering—Uxbridge, Holland Christian Grace Manor in Brampton South, Hawthorne Place Care Centre in Humber River—Black Creek, and Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke Centre. All five MPs who correspond to these homes have written to Premier Doug Ford, as well as the Prime Minister.
We are asking the premier to initiate a public inquiry, similar to that of Ipperwash, to make sure that we do not make the mistakes that we made in long-term care homes. Some 80% of deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are a result of people living in long-term care homes. These are our seniors, and it is a national shame. I would say that we have failed our seniors, those who are in long-term care homes, and I am saddened to stand here today to even talk about it. The report from the Canadian Armed Forces, who were deployed to these five care homes, really does shed light on what we need to do, and I want to emphasize and ask the Premier of Ontario to make sure that we do right and get to the bottom of this.
Equally, the five colleagues, including myself, wrote to the Prime Minister seeking national standards for long-term care homes. I realize that there are challenges, in terms of jurisdiction. As a federal government, we are not directly responsible for long-term care homes. Nevertheless, as a government that is responsible for Canadians and to Canadians, it would be incumbent upon us to take some leadership and make sure that we have national standards of care for all those who are in long-term care homes. As a government, we regulate everything from plastic bags to toothpaste and all kinds of consumer products, and, for the life of me, it is hard to imagine why we cannot have some form of minimum standards set for long-term care homes.
I think it is long overdue, and that conversation needs to take place. I look forward to working with the government, as well as our friends across the aisle, to ensure that this does not happen again.
I also want to note that the government recently announced $19 billion toward a safe restart program. This is part of our government's response to COVID-19. This $19 billion will go, in part, toward supporting long-term care homes, especially the deficiencies that are outlined in the report by the Canadian Armed Forces. We are hopeful that the immediate response, in case there is a second or third wave, will be mitigated by the additional financial support that our government is giving to the provinces and, in turn, that should filter in toward long-term care homes.
I also want to address another issue that has been quite troubling to me, and that is the issue of systemic racism. I have spoken about this many, many times in this House and with many of my colleagues, including colleagues from across the aisle. I want to acknowledge that a couple of weeks ago many of us got together and wrote a letter that was signed by many members, led by the member for Hull—Aylmer and of course supported by people like my friend from Hamilton Centre, where we highlighted the need for the government to address the issues of systemic racism.
One thing that COVID-19 has shown us is that it has an impact on racialized people. Whether it is people working on the front lines as workers at hospitals, working as cashiers or working in the restaurant industry, for example, there is a significant impact of COVID-19 on racialized people.
In places like the United States and England, we have specific numbers that speak to this racial divide, but in Canada we do not keep those kinds of statistics. I believe that one of the things we really need to do is gather that information and make sure that we connect the dots between race, poverty and health services. I hope that this is an opportunity for us to learn and, again, mitigate in terms of a second wave.
With respect to overall systemic racism, it is very clear that racism affects many people and it affects them differently. Anti-black racism is profound in our history. It continues. The social results are very obvious. The numbers kind of speak for themselves. Whether it is with respect to the social determinants of health, issues of incarceration or issues of education streaming, there is a profound impact on Canada's black community, as well as indigenous peoples, who, since Confederation, have been rendered to be second-class citizens in all aspects.
This conversation was sparked by the tragic killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, but of course in Canada we have seen our share of these tragedies, including the brutal attack on Chief Allan Adam at the hands of the RCMP, and the death of Chantel Moore.
We have seen calls for governments at all levels to reimagine what policing looks like, to reimagine how interaction between police and individuals is, especially those who may have mental health issues and those in racialized communities. I think the moment is now for us to seize and make sure we address the systemic issues that have led to these devastating results. I hope that we will be able to work collaboratively to advance these issues in the months to come.
Support for Canadians with disabilities is something our government has been trying to do from the beginning. There have been a number of measures we have put in to support all Canadians, and I will speak to that at the end. However, with respect to this legislation, it will directly assist people with disabilities with a non-reportable payment of $600 to all eligible individuals who receive the disability tax credit.
We have worked hard since the start of this pandemic to provide support for vulnerable Canadians and to ensure that the response plan leaves no one behind. We need to make sure that Canadians with disabilities who are facing additional costs related to the pandemic get the support they need. This payment would also flow to those who are eligible for other disability benefits or supports, such as the Canada pension plan disability benefits, the Quebec pension plan disability benefits or one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. This would benefit approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities who are facing additional expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the 2017 Canadian survey on disability, 22% of Canadians aged 15 and over identify as having a disability. The rate goes up with age, with 38% of Canadians over 65 and 47% of Canadians over 75. We know that among working-age Canadians with disabilities, more than 1.5 million, or 41%, are unemployed or out of the labour market entirely. Among those with severe disabilities, the rate increases to over 60%.
These Canadians face challenges each and every day, and they do it with determination. They deserve the support of their government. Our government has worked closely with the disability community during this time of crisis, including the COVID-19 disability advisory group, which is advising the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. The group has shared details about the lived experiences of persons with disabilities during the pandemic, along with disability-specific issues, systemic gaps and potential responses. Our government will continue to work hard to increase accessibility and remove barriers, and it remains committed to a disability-inclusive pandemic response and recovery.
I want to take a minute to acknowledge some of the incredible organizations in Scarborough that have been working to address and support people with disabilities during this pandemic. I want to start by thanking the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre, which does magnificent work with young people with autism who are on the spectrum. The Wellspring Centre, which I was able to visit last week, is a respite care facility that just reopened. I was able to meet with its team and some of its clients. It is a relatively new organization, but one that is very promising and that will really support a lot of people with disabilities.
Community Living is another one. Many of us in Parliament have very important Community Living locations in our ridings. There are several in my riding, and I am always awed by the work they do and the level of commitment their staff and volunteers have in supporting those with disabilities. TAIBU Community Health Centre is located in Scarborough North, adjacent to my riding. It is the only black-focused community health centre in North America. They do some great work, especially supporting those with sickle cell disease and other issues related to the black community, and I want to thank them for their work.
The next aspect of my discussion today is about broadening the Canada emergency wage subsidy. It is now one of the pillars of the government's COVID-19 economic response plan. The Canada emergency wage subsidy was introduced to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to quickly rehire workers previously laid off because of COVID-19, and help better position the Canadian economy as we transition into the post-pandemic recovery.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy can continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to rehire workers previously laid off. We are already seeing lower unemployment numbers because people are being rehired. It offers more flexibility to employers so that a large number of them can benefit from this subsidy. Employers of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy may be eligible.
Since we launched this program this spring, about three million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the Canada emergency wage subsidy, and that number continues to grow. To help support these Canadians, our bill would redesign the Canada emergency wage subsidy and tailor it to the needs of more businesses. This bill would extend the program to the end of 2020, with the intent of providing further support until the end of the year.
The wage subsidy would be made more accessible by making the base subsidy available to all eligible employees who are experiencing any decline in revenues. This would allow businesses, small and large, that have been struggling throughout this pandemic to get access to the support for the first time and help more Canadian workers get support as a result. This would remove any barriers to growth for firms currently using the Canada emergency wage subsidy program. By removing the threshold for support, they will know that they have support as they work to grow, invest and rehire workers.
Our government is also proposing to introduce a top-up subsidy for eligible employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The redesigned wage subsidy would help position employers and workers for a strong rebound in the post-pandemic recovery.
I want to talk about this program in relation to my experience in the 2008 financial crisis. At that time, I had opened a law firm a couple of years earlier. I had about a dozen staff, and one of the toughest things I had to do at that time, because the economy was contracting, was to lay off staff. I lost a couple of really good people whom I was never able to get back.
From my experience, making sure that companies are supported in keeping their staffing levels is critical to the long-term viability of our economy. It is so important that Canadians be able to continue to work and receive a paycheque, because, ultimately, that is the best form of support any government could give. I am very pleased to say that this program has helped dozens of organizations in my riding and, I am sure, across many of my colleagues' ridings as well.
This is just part of our overall response to COVID-19. Here I want to say a thing or two about the restart program. I know that the city councillor in ward 25, Dr. Jennifer McKelvie, John Tory, the mayor of the City of Toronto, and others have been speaking to us over the last several weeks about their challenges with the city budget and that the $19 billion the federal government is giving to the provinces will inevitably support them with their restart. I really want to thank them for their advocacy.
The other programs we have, as we know, are the Canada emergency response benefit, the Canada emergency student benefit, the GST rebate back in April, the OAS and GIS top-ups, as well as the Canada emergency business account. These are all supports that we have given individual Canadians to make sure they can sustain the financial challenges they have incurred over the past four months.
I want to conclude by thanking all of those who have been working on the front lines, who have been heroic in their efforts. They never set out to be heroes, but they are our Canadian heroes. I want to thank the Canadian Armed Forces for the work they did in my riding, the front-line workers at the hospitals and in all of the different areas, including trucking, cashiers at grocery stores and, of course, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the medical officer of health for the City of Toronto, for her tremendous leadership.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, since the beginning of the pandemic, the official opposition has been offering solutions to ensure that gaps are filled in programs imperative to restarting our economy. For example, on March 9, Conservatives called for a mandatory quarantine for travellers, and on March 25, it was announced. On March 21, we called for an increase to the CEWS program, and on March 27, it was announced. On April 6, we called for an increase in eligibility to CEBA, and finally, on May 19, it was announced.
There is a pattern here. When the government actually listens to Conservatives, Canadians get results. When it does not, such as when it ignored our practical plan to make CERB more flexible with a back-to-work bonus, Canadians lose.
Since April, my party has been offering solutions to simplify the Canada emergency wage subsidy, yet here we are in the middle of July looking at making changes to this program through new legislation. This will require businesses of all sizes to hire accountants, lawyers and consultants to figure out if they might even qualify. I am digressing, but as a former public practice accountant who was, up until a year ago, practising and serving many small clients, I can assure the members that this would have made for a very busy summer for me.
I want to take a few minutes to consider some examples from my riding in northern Saskatchewan, where there are still some concerns with this legislation. Cameco, a uranium mining company, announced on March 23 that its Cigar Lake operation was being placed in a safe care and maintenance mode for four weeks. This was to protect the health and safety of Cameco employees, their family members and Cameco's partner communities in northern Saskatchewan.
On April 13, as the effects of the pandemic persisted, Cameco announced that it was extending the temporary production suspension indefinitely until a safe and sustainable restart was possible. The precautions and restrictions put in place by governments and local public health agencies, the increasing and significant concern among leaders in the remote, isolated communities of northern Saskatchewan, and the challenges of maintaining the recommended physical distancing at fly-in, fly-out sites with a full workforce were critical factors that Cameco considered in reaching this decision.
Cameco's president and CEO, Tim Gitzel, said:
The global challenges posed by this pandemic are not abating — in fact, they are deepening. We therefore need to stay vigilant and do everything we can to keep people and families safe. We are especially sensitive to the situation in the remote, isolated communities of northern Saskatchewan that are home to a sizeable portion of the workforce at Cigar Lake.
Cameco firmly believes that the proactive decisions made to protect its employees and to slow down the spread of COVID-19 were necessary decisions, and they are consistent with the company's values. During this period, Cameco, for the benefit of its employees and the northern communities where they live, continues to pay 75% of the salaries of its employees. It has also advocated for infrastructure investments in northern Saskatchewan to support the indigenous and northern businesses that make up the uranium mining supply chain while uranium production is suspended.
Clearly, Cameco recognizes that corporate social responsibility, partnerships and community matter. Early in the pandemic, Cameco created a COVID-19 relief fund and put out a call for organizations in need to apply. Cameco supported 67 community projects in Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan through this $1-million fund.
This company is vital to employment and the economy of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, where it employs hundreds of northerners. It has voluntarily chosen not to apply for the Canada emergency wage subsidy until it has clarity regarding its eligibility for the program. I spoke with Cameco yesterday, and its finance team is analyzing the legislation and the backgrounder provided by Finance Canada to determine if the changes offered provide the clarity it seeks.
It has been 120 days since Cameco first suspended operations to keep its employees and the northern Saskatchewan communities safe, and it is just one example of the many companies that have waited too long for the answers they need. To compound this, in the backgrounder provided on the Department of Finance Canada website, there is no provision for retroactive application of these new rules.
I offer a second example. I received an email yesterday from a gentleman who owns and operates a lodge in Saskatchewan's far north. I am going to read his email, because I think he says it better than I could. He wrote:
I do have concerns that while the government is modifying the financial assistance programs to help small and medium businesses, no consideration is being given to seasonal businesses that generate all of their annual income in 2, 3 or 4 months.
While it is welcome news that the Liberal government is extending the wage subsidy, this is providing virtually no assistance to seasonal lodges and outfitters due to the eligibility criteria being tied to the loss of monthly income. For lodges such as ours, where all of our income is generated in one, two, three or four months, we are ineligible for the extended assistance since our lodges aren't operating and therefore have no income - even though we still have employees and are incurring expenses for the...8, 9, 10 or 11 months [for the rest] of the year.
For seasonal businesses, such as in the Canadian lodge and outfitting industry, where many of the operators have had a 100% loss of income in 2020, we are only eligible for assistance for the months in which we generated income in 2019. [My business] has incurred a 100% loss of income in 2020. Our operation normally generates [hundreds of thousands of dollars] of revenue each year during [a short] 45 day operating season. We contribute [hundreds of thousands of dollars] annually to our Saskatchewan suppliers and employees as well as paying federal and provincial income taxes, GST, payroll taxes and retail sales taxes.
Under the current government financial aid programs, such as the wage subsidy, because we are a seasonal business, only generating income during June and July each year, we are being penalized. We can only claim the wage subsidy for two months while we are incurring wage and other costs [I might add] the other ten months of the year.
It appears that the...government has not considered the situation of most Canadian lodges and outfitters, and the needs of seasonal businesses such as ours when formulating and “tweaking” the financial aid packages for small and medium businesses. I don't know if this huge hole in financing assistance affecting the lodge and outfitting industry, which contributes billions of dollars to the Canadian economy, has even been considered in the debate regarding the financial aid packages.
He concludes his email by stating:
Without financial aid for the lodge and outfitting industry, which is at least equitable to that being given to other segments of the economy - many, many lodges and outfitters will fail and close permanently.
These are only two of the many stories I could tell that describe what is happening on the ground in my constituency in northern Saskatchewan. There is a stark contrast between the headlines versus the reality in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.
This government, during the early days of the pandemic, when its attention should have been focused on helping Canadians or maybe, at the very least, avoiding conflicts of interest, issued an order in council on firearms. This provided the media with days of headlines that targeted law-abiding gun owners rather than actual criminals.
On January 24 of this year, Onion Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan declared a state of emergency as a result of a significant increase in drug- and gang-related activity. The leadership of Onion Lake and the surrounding first nation communities signed a western chiefs declaration with the support of the City of Lloydminster to tackle this very serious gang and rural crime problem. Unfortunately, the Liberal order in council does nothing to help these communities. It is headlines versus reality.
In 2015, the Prime Minister publicly claimed many times that the most important relationship for him was the one between his government and indigenous people. He even put it into all the mandate letters of his ministers at the time. Let us review what this relationship looks like for indigenous businesses during a pandemic.
First nation businesses that operate under a very common and limited partnership structure were initially left out of CEWS. On becoming more aware of this issue, I immediately contacted the finance minister's office, and I am still waiting for a reply. After much pressure from many organizations, this error was eventually corrected, and we appreciate that. There remained a gap in the forestry, mining, manufacturing, construction and consumer sales industries for indigenous people. It is headlines versus reality.
Indigenous small and medium-sized businesses heard an announcement on April 18 from the Prime Minister that would offer them short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through aboriginal financial institutions, but they did not see any of that money flow until the middle of June, a full two months after the announcement. It is headlines versus reality.
Every time an announcement was made about support for businesses through programs like CEWS or CEBA, it required significant lobbying and exhaustive efforts before the government found a way to include indigenous businesses. It is headlines versus reality.
Being treated like an afterthought during a global pandemic does not strike me as being considered of high importance in a relationship. Again, headlines—
View Mona Fortier Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mona Fortier Profile
2020-07-20 12:23 [p.2584]
moved that Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to introduce in the House Bill C-20, an act respecting further COVID-19 measures.
COVID-19 has been a profound shock to our economy and has profoundly changed the way we go about our daily lives. Canadians have come together to flatten the curve, and economies are now gradually and safely reopening. It is a crisis that has called for quick, decisive leadership to stabilize the economy, to protect jobs, to ensure that workers and families can put food on the table and to prevent long-term damage to our economy. Our government has worked tirelessly to answer this call.
Protecting Canadian jobs has been a priority for us since the beginning of the pandemic. Our government recognizes the importance of protecting the link between workers and their employers. Businesses thrive when owners and employees work as a team. We know that for businesses to stay ready to bounce back, it is vitally important that they maintain that link with the employees they have trained, employees who have earned the trust of customers and whom they have been working with for years.
We launched the Canada emergency wage subsidy to give businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations support so that they could keep and rehire workers. To date, this program has helped around three million workers keep their jobs. That means millions of families have had paycheques to rely on throughout this.
This program has been available to employers of all sizes across Canada and across sectors. It is here to make sure that even as this crisis causes unprecedented uncertainty, employers have the certainty that they can pay their workers.
The CEWS has been an important part of our economic response plan and is providing support to a broad base of businesses. It has had a significant impact: In May, one in four private sector employees was covered by the wage subsidy.
This pandemic is unprecedented in nature, and the situation continues to evolve. We are ensuring that our programs are also evolving.
Today, we are introducing a bill that will make the wage subsidy more effective, flexible and responsive. These changes will give businesses a longer runway to recovery, expand program eligibility to include a larger number of workplaces, provide more targeted support to the hardest-hit businesses and, by so doing, protect a greater number of Canadian jobs.
In the spring we began consulting with businesses and labour representatives on what adjustments we could make to the program, so that we could help more Canadians get hired back and help businesses grow. During the consultations we heard from many employers that the CEWS was invaluable in keeping workers on the payroll and helping to bring workers back. However, employers understand, like all Canadians do, that our economic recovery will be gradual.
Many people we spoke with shared the view that the subsidy should be extended past the initial 12-week extension. They also shared many ideas on how the adjustment to CEWS could support businesses and employees as the economy restarts and businesses recover and grow. One thing they were worried about was the current program design's cliff effect, which is that even if a business picked up slowly, once it grew past the 30% revenue decline threshold it would not have the support it was relying on in order to pay workers.
No business should feel it has to choose between reopening, growing and hiring or getting the support it needs.
Many of the people we have talked to have also said that businesses want the government to dial back the wage subsidy as revenue goes up to ensure stable support during recovery.
Canadians know that recovery will be a gradual process because we want to do it safely. We do not think businesses should be penalized for doing the right thing and taking the necessary precautions to protect their community.
Whether it is a restaurant that is not at full capacity so that it can keep a safe distance between diners, or a front-line non-profit organization that is making sure all of its workers have proper PPE and training before going back on the job, or a store that has adjusted its hours to make sure it is properly cleaned, we see organizations working hard to figure out how to operate safely as we all adjust to living with COVID-19.
Other Canadians told us that the current 30% revenue decline test kept many of Canada's affected businesses from getting this much-needed support. They brought up the idea of tiered support to help businesses that are struggling as they face the challenges of this pandemic, but have not seen a full 30% reduction in revenue.
Overall, businesses have a strong sense that the road to recovery will be gradual and uncertain. Employers want to know that they will have support past this summer in order to stay strong through the challenges we face.
Information gleaned on the ground about how well our programs are working and how we can make them even more useful is priceless. Given what we have learned, we are proposing changes to the wage subsidy that will encourage employers to resume operations and keep hiring Canadians as the economy opens up. Our bill will make those changes happen.
With Bill C-20 we are proposing to extend the CEWS until November 21, 2020, with the intent of providing further support through the CEWS until December 19, 2020.
This bill would also broaden eligibility, making this subsidy available to more employers and protecting more workers. The changes in this bill would also promote growth as the economy continues to recover from the shock of this pandemic.
Effective July 5, 2020, the CEWS would consist of two parts: a base subsidy available to all eligible employers experiencing a decline in revenues, with the subsidy amount varying depending on the scale of revenue decline, and a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The maximum base subsidy rate would be provided to employers experiencing a revenue drop of 50% or more, with the rate gradually declining for employers experiencing a revenue drop between 49% and zero. This would extend access to the CEWS to a broader range of employers. Organizations that have been struggling but have had revenue declines of less than 30% would be able to access the wage subsidy for the first time. This would open the program to a whole new range of employers, providing the base subsidy rate support to active employees and helping protect more of the jobs Canadians rely on.
For employers who have been deeply affected, those who experienced a revenue drop of more than 50% over three months on average, we are offering a top-up subsidy for their workers of up to 25% of their pay. This measure will be particularly helpful for employees working in industries that are recovering more slowly. As I said, our plan consists in building a bridge to a safer place for Canadians during this emergency situation.
Lastly, we want to make sure this program provides no barriers to growth. By removing the 30% revenue decline threshold, employers already on the program will not have to worry that they will lose support they are still relying on as they grow. We will still be there to provide support as they work to recover and restore growth.
We know this new CEWS will be a welcome change, and that a lot of businesses have made plans based on the existing design for the next two periods of the CEWS from July 5 to August 29. We are creating a safe harbour where they can be confident they will still qualify, at a minimum, for the same level of support for those CEWS periods as under the previous design.
Thanks to this new more effective design, the emergency wage subsidy will help even more employers who are all at various stages of reopening. If they experienced a greater decline in revenue, they will receive a higher subsidy.
The gradual reduction in assistance given to businesses that are successfully reopening will ensure that they get stable and predictable support as their activities resume. These changes will make businesses more competitive and will help increase the number of employees returning to work thanks to the emergency wage subsidy.
This proposed design of the CEWS would ensure the program continues to address the immediate needs of businesses while also positioning them for a strong recovery.
Our government believes in the resilience of Canadians and the ability of our businesses to find innovative ways to keep going and to grow back stronger, but these are extraordinary times and businesses continue to need support to do this.
Our plan is to help Canadians stay strong throughout this storm. It will protect Canadians' health and ensure that we have the best tools and systems to monitor the virus. It will provide the financial support that Canadians with disabilities need. It will also help mothers and fathers feed their families, make it possible for youth to follow their dreams and ensure that no one is left behind.
It is also about keeping our communities strong, giving needed support to the shops and restaurants that define our neighbourhoods and making sure the outreach centres and community organizations that support our most vulnerable can keep being there for people.
COVID-19 has affected all aspects of Canadians' quality of life, from their health to their livelihoods. We created programs to support students, seniors, families and workers so they would not have to make impossible choices between paying their bills and keeping food on the table. It is now critically important that we pursue inclusive growth and continue to support our most vulnerable. That is why I am working on incorporating quality of life measurements into decision-making, including in the economic response plan.
In addition to the support provided by the Canada emergency wage subsidy, more than eight million Canadians have received the Canada emergency response benefit, which has helped them pay for groceries, rent and prescription medications. We have also provided financial support to millions of vulnerable Canadians through existing programs, such as the goods and services tax credit, the Canada child benefit, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.
Canadians with disabilities are facing increased costs, too, and need support. This legislation would help an estimated 1.7 million Canadians living with disabilities qualify for a special payment of up to $600 so they can have access to the support they need.
We are also working to make sure businesses can get the liquidity support they need. From the Canada emergency business account and the business credit availability program to the large employer emergency financing facility, we are providing tailored support to workers and employers of every size across this country to make sure that no matter where people work, their employers have access to support.
We are making sure that no business is left behind. We have allocated $962 million to the regional relief and recovery fund, administered by the six regional development agencies across Canada, in order to support the affected companies that are essential to the regional and local economy, including in rural communities. These companies create good local jobs, and they support our families and the communities they serve.
We are also investing in indigenous businesses, providing almost $307 million in funding to help small and medium-sized indigenous businesses, and $133 million to support indigenous business through the recovery, including micro-businesses that are not eligible for other support programs.
We have also provided support for women entrepreneurs who are facing hardship during the pandemic, through $15 million in new funding from the women entrepreneurship strategy.
Canadians' collective actions have helped control the virus here at home. Canadians want to go back to work, but they need the confidence they can do it safely. Across Canada, economies are reopening and we are seeing our streets come back to life, but it is a bit different than before, and that is a good thing. We need to make sure we are staying safe.
COVID-19 has not disappeared. We need to take action to protect ourselves and our neighbours against another out-of-control outbreak. All employers are required to strictly follow the latest public health guidelines in order to protect their patrons, their workers and their communities.
We must always remember that our collective economic success is fundamentally linked to our public health outcomes. The $19-billion safe restart agreement our government reached with provinces and territories last week is helping Canadians stay safe and healthy and ensuring we are more resilient to possible future waves. This funding will enhance capacity for testing, contact tracing and data management.
Through this funding, we will be able to secure reliable sources of personal protective equipment, which will help protect our front-line workers and health care workers. It will also enable the provinces and territories to provide temporary income support, so that workers who are not entitled to paid sick leave can get 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19.
The funding will help in many other ways, including by making sure there are enough safe child care spaces available so that parents can go back to work.
Our government will not stop working to help Canadians face the challenges of COVID-19. We stand ready to take additional actions, as needed, to stabilize the economy, protect Canadians and position them for a strong restart as we emerge from the crisis. By recognizing and addressing the challenges employers are facing and providing the support they need to restart, the enhancement to the Canada emergency wage subsidy proposed in Bill C-20 is another important step in our work to support the resilience of Canadians and help them bridge through to better times.
It is on all of us, as hon. members in the House, to make sure we remain focused on the ongoing crisis at hand and put the immediate needs of Canadians first. Canadians have demonstrated their ability to put old habits aside and come together for the greater good. I encourage the members of this House to do the same so that Canadians can get the support they deserve without further delay.
I urge all hon. members of the House to support the speedy passage of Bill C-20 so that we can protect jobs in this country and get Canadians back to work.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 425--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to government purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE): (a) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by November 30, 2019, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (b) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by December 31, 2019, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (c) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by January 31, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; (d) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by February 29, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month; and (e) how many units of PPE did the government have in Canada by March 31, 2020, broken down by type of equipment, and how much PPE was purchased in this month?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 426--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to additional funding for agencies tasked with Canadian border management, broken down by source of funds and fiscal mechanism (i.e. business of supply, emergency payment from fiscal framework, new legislation): (a) how much went to each border management agency throughout December 2019, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; (b) how much went to each border management agency throughout January 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; (c) how much went to each border management agency throughout February 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds; and (d) how much went to each border management agency throughout March 2020, broken down by (i) source of funds, (ii) amount of funds, (iii) purpose of funds?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 427--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Canada Emergency Care Benefit: (a) how many people have received payments from both Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency; (b) of those cases in (a), how much was paid out in double payments; and (c) how much will need to be recovered due to double payments?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 428--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to meetings or briefings at the deputy minister, minister, and cabinet level for Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Privy Council Office, Public Safety Canada, and all agencies therein, between November 30, 2019, and March 31, 2020: what were the details of all meetings held referencing the Hubei province in China, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemics, and emergency preparedness measures, including (i) the department holding the meeting, (ii) the date of meeting, (iii) officials in attendance, (iv) the topic of the meeting or agenda?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 429--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to inmates released early from federal correctional institutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what is the total number of inmates who were released early; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) institution, (ii) length of sentence; and (c) how many of the inmates released early were serving sentences related to (i) murder or manslaughter, (ii) sex offences, (iii) other violent crimes?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 430--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to COVID-19: (a) what is the first date on which Canadian Armed Forces MEDINT or CFINTCOM became aware of a new novel coronavirus in China; (b) what is the first date on which the Minister of National Defence was briefed or received a briefing note regarding a new novel coronavirus in China; and (c) what is the first date on which the Minister of National Defence shared information concerning a new novel coronavirus in China with the Prime Minister’s Office and/or the Privy Council Office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 431--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to personal protective equipment: (a) how many C4 protective masks and canisters have been issued to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel since January 1, 2020; (b) how many C4 protective masks and canisters are in stockpile; and (c) what are the types and quantities of all personal protective equipment for infectious diseases available for CAF/Department of National Defence personnel and in stockpile?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 432--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to the Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light, Mobile Tactical Vehicle Engineer, Mobile Tactical Vehicle Recovery, and Mobile Tactical Vehicle Fitter: (a) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles have been identified as surplus; (b) how many mobile tactical vehicles have been or are in the process of being decommissioned; (c) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles have been given to museums or sold to private owners; (d) how many of these mobile tactical vehicles remain in service; and (e) by which date does the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence plan to have the entire fleet of these mobile tactical vehicles removed from service?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 433--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals and air transportation: (a) how many Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals are currently available in Canada; (b) how many Role 2 and Role 3 hospitals are planned for the next six months; and (c) how many aircraft capable of transporting people with infectious disease does the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence intend to acquire and by which date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 434--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the Bank of Canada’s participation in Canada’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, between March 1, 2020, and the tabling of the reply to this question: (a) what is the dollar value of securities purchased under the Government of Canada Bond Purchase Program; (b) what is the dollar value of securities purchased under the Canada Mortgage Bond Purchase Program; (c) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Banker’s Acceptance Purchase Facility; (d) what is the dollar value of assets purchased under the Provincial Money Market Purchase Program, by province and in aggregate, respectively; (e) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Provincial Bond Purchase Program; (f) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Corporate Bond Purchase Program; (g) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Commercial Paper Purchase Program; (h) what is the dollar value of purchases under the Contingent Term Repo Facility; (i) what is the projected dollar value for total purchases during the life of each program in (a) to (h); (j) what is the dollar value of new currency created to date to fund the measures taken in (a) to (h); (k) what is the projected dollar value of new currency to be created to fund the measures taken in (a) to (h) during the life of each program; (l) what, if any, effects on inflation by the creation of currency in (j) does the Bank of Canada project for (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022; and (m) what, if any, adjustments to the Bank of Canada’s prime rate does it anticipate needing to counteract any inflation projected in (l)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 435--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the Bank of Canada’s participation in Canada’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic: (a) when does the Bank of Canada project divesting itself of assets purchased under each of the Government of Canada Bond Purchase Program, the Canada Mortgage Bond Purchase Program, the Banker’s Acceptance Purchase Facility, the Provincial Money Market Purchase Program, the Commercial Paper Purchase Program, and the Contingent Term Repo Facility; and (b) what gain or loss does the Bank of Canada project realizing upon the sale of assets purchased under each of the programs in (a) respectively?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 436--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to the doubling of the carbon tax on April 1, 2020: (a) by how much will the increased tax raise the cost of producing oil and natural gas respectively nationwide; (b) by how much will the increased tax raise the cost of producing oil and natural gas respectively for each energy producing province; (c) by how much have national revenues declined due to the drop in the price of crude oil since January 1, 2020; (d) in order for national revenues to recover to levels immediately pre-dating the drop in the price of oil in (c), and given the increased cost of production in (a), what does the price of crude oil need to be; (e) what effect does the increase in cost of production in (a) have on the ability of Canadian energy producers to compete with foreign producers at current world prices for crude oil; and (f) how many Canadian energy producers does the government forecast will be unable to compete with foreign energy producers at the prevailing price of crude oil due to the increased cost of production in (a)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 437--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to government grants, contributions and contracts since January  1, 2016, what are the details of all grants, contributions or contracts given to World Wildlife Fund Canada or its international affiliates, broken down by: (a) date issued; (b) description of services provided; (c) authorizer; (d) timeframe for services; (e) original contribution value; (f) final contribution value (if different); (g) location services will be provided; and (h) reference and file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 438--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the budget measure contained in Bill C-44 (42nd Parliament, budget 2017) exempting fees under the Food and Drugs Act from the new rules contained in the Service Fees Act: (a) how many times has the Minister of Health given a ministerial order to increase fees; and (b) what are the details of each increase, broken down by date of ministerial order, including (i) amount of the increase for each drug, device, food or cosmetic, by percentage and absolute dollar value, (ii) amount of the fee, (iii) manner or criteria used for determining the amount, (iv) circumstances in which the fee will be payable, (v)rationale for the fee, (vi) specific factors taken into account in determining the amount of the fee, (vii) performance standard that will apply in respect of the fee?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 439--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to temporary resident permits specific to victims of human trafficking, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many applications have been received; (b) how many temporary resident permits have been issued; (c) how many temporary resident permits were denied; (d) in (a) to (c), what is the breakdown by (i) year, (ii) month, (iii) gender, (iv) source country; (e) for permits in (b), what is the breakdown based on ministerial instructions 1(1), 1(2) and 2; and (f) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a temporary resident permits specific to victims of human trafficking?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 440--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to federal funding to combat human trafficking since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the total amount, broken down by (i) department or agency, (ii) initiative, (iii) amount; (b) what process was used to determine which department or agency would receive this funding; (c) what criteria or process was used to determine how much funding was allocated to each department or agency; and (d) what is the itemized list of funding programs to combat human trafficking, including (i) title of program, (ii) recipient organization or name, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) amount, (vi) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if applicable, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 441--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the additional $75 million National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking announced on September 4, 2019: (a) what departments and agencies are receiving this new funding, broken down by initiative and organization; (b) what are the details of all funding provided to date, including the (i) name, (ii) project description, (iii) amount, (iv) date of the announcement, (v) duration of the project or program funded by the announcement; (c) what process was used to determine which department or agency would receive this funding; (d) what criteria or process was used to determine how much funding was allocated to each department or agency; and (e) what projects are slated to receive federal funding in the 2020-21 fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 442--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to the functioning of the public service and government officials since March 16, 2020: (a) how many employees or full time equivalents (FTEs) have been (i) hired, (ii) reassigned in relation to the COVID-19 response; (b) how many FTEs have been (i) working from a government building, (ii) telecommuting or working from home during the pandemic; and (c) how many FTEs have been (i) laid off or terminated, (ii) placed on leave, broken down by type of leave?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 443--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
With regard to construction and renovations at the Prime Minister’s country residence and surrounding property at Harrington Lake: (a) what are the details of each new building or other structure constructed, or in the process of being constructed, at the property since November 4, 2015, including (i) date construction began, (ii) projected or actual completion date, (iii) square footage, (iv) physical description of the structure, (v) purpose of the structure, (vi) estimated cost; and (b) what are the details of all renovations which began at the property since November 4, 2015, including (i) start date, (ii) projected or actual completion date, (iii) structure, (iv) project description, (v) estimated cost?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 444--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to evaluating the stock status of all of Canada’s fisheries resources since 2000: (a) has the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) used indicators to evaluate the various stocks and, if so, what is the breakdown of indicators by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (b) if the answer to (a) is negative, what does the DFO use as a basis for (i) evaluating stocks, (ii) making decisions on fisheries management; (c) has the DFO assessed the quality of its estimates for all of the various stocks and, if so, what is the breakdown of this qualitative assessment by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, (i) are there plans to carry out this assessment, (ii) why is this type of assessment not conducted; (e) has the DFO put together an action plan to increase the number of indicators used for evaluating various stocks and, if so, what are the names, measures taken or considered, and conclusions, broken down by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (f) if the answer to (e) is negative, (i) is this type of action plan being considered, (ii) why is there no action plan on this issue; (g) has the DFO expended funds to increase the number of indicators for evaluating the various stocks and, if so, what is the spending breakdown by (i) species, (ii) province, (iii) area, (iv) sub-area, (v) year; (h) if the answer to (g) is negative, (i) are there plans for this type of expenditure, (ii) why is there a lack of spending on this issue; (i) has the DFO begun to “rapidly develop or update the biological knowledge essential for the sustainable management” of lobsters in areas 15, 16, 17 and 18, as recommended in Science Advisory Report 2019/059, and, if so, what is the breakdown of measures taken by (i) area, (ii) sub-area, (iii) year; (j) if the answer to (i) is negative, (i) are there plans to do so, (ii) why have no measures been taken; (k) can the DFO explain why the confidence limit has increased to 95% in the past 10 years regarding the evaluation of the estimated biomass of stock in NAFO 4T and, if so, what is the explanation; and (l) if the answer to (k) is negative, why is the DFO unable to explain this increase?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 445--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to the peer review process coordinated by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): (a) exactly how is the peer review process carried out; (b) is participation in science advisory meetings by invitation only and, if so, (i) why is this the case, (ii) how are peers selected, (iii) who is responsible for peer selection or, if not, what is the procedure for participating in meetings; (c) in advance of a science advisory meeting, do all peers receive (i) the preliminary study and, if so, how long do they have to review it or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (ii) the data for this study and, if so, how long do they have to review it or, if not, what are the reasons behind this decision; (d) is it possible for an individual or a group to express their views (i) without having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (ii) without attending the science advisory meetings despite having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision, (iii) without attending the science advisory meetings and without having been invited and, if so, what is the procedure to follow or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision; (e) is it possible to attend meetings as an observer and, if so, (i) what is the procedure to follow, (ii) is an invitation required or, if not, what are the reasons for this decision; (f) for each of the DFO peer review processes coordinated by the CSAS, what is the breakdown for each meeting since 2010 by number of representatives affiliated with (i) DFO, (ii) the federal government excluding DFO, (iii) the Government of Quebec, (iv) the Government of British Columbia, (v) the Government of Alberta, (vi) the Government of Prince Edward Island, (vii) the Government of Manitoba, (viii) the Government of New Brunswick, (ix) the Government of Nova Scotia, (x) the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, (xi) the Government of Ontario, (xii) the Government of Saskatchewan, (xiii) the Government of Nunavut, (xiv) the Government of Yukon, (xv) the Government of Northwest Territories, (xvi) band councils, (xvii) a Quebec university, (xviii) a Canadian university, (xix) an American university, (xx) the non-Indigenous fishing industry, (xxi) the Indigenous fishing industry, (xxii) an Indigenous group not affiliated with the fishing industry, (xxiii) an environmental group, (xxiv) a wildlife protection group, (xxv) another group; (g) how is consensus defined in the DFO peer review processes coordinated by the CSAS; (h) are stakeholders selected in order to encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO; (i) do the procedures for the peer review process encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO; and (j) does the methodology for the peer review process encourage a lack of opposition to the conclusions put forward by the DFO?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 446--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to recreational fishing managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) since 2000: (a) what is the total amount of revenue generated by the DFO from the sale of recreational licences, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (b) what is the total amount of spending by the DFO to support recreational fishing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (c) what measures are being taken to ensure compliance with recreational fishing regulations, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (d) what is the average number of fishery officers dedicated specifically to overseeing recreational fishing, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (e) what technological tools are used to ensure compliance with recreational fishing regulations, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species; (f) what is the number of tickets issued by the DFO using technological tools, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) technological tool; (g) what is the total amount of all tickets issued by the DFO using technological tools, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) technological tool; and (h) what is the total amount of all recreational fishing tickets issued by the DFO, broken down by (i) year, (ii) federal entity, (iii) fishing area, (iv) sub-area, (v) species?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 447--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to deputy ministers’ committees of the Privy Council Office, for fiscal years 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by individual committee: (a) what are the names and qualifications of each member; (b) what is the renumeration provided to members for service on committees, broken down by member; and (c) what are the expenses claimed by members while performing committee business, broken down by member?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 448--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to regional development agencies (RDAs) and the April 17, 2020, announcement of “$675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies”: (a) how much of the $675 million will each of the six RDAs be allocated; (b) for each RDA, how will the funds be made available to businesses, broken down by program; (c) for each answer in (b), what are the details for each program, broken down by (i) funding type, (ii) criteria for qualification, (iii) maximum allowable funding per applicant, (iv) application deadlines, (v) number of applicants received, (vi) number of approved applicants; and (d) for each applicant in (c), what are the details of the applicant, broken down by (i) name, (ii) location, (iii) North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, (iv) amount applied for, (v) amount approved, (vi) project status, (vii) federal electoral district?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 449--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to business support measures in response to COVID-19 and audits by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, since March 11, 2020: (a) how many audits has the CRA conducted to ensure that businesses do not practise tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, broken down by the number of businesses; and (b) of the businesses that have been audited by the CRA in (a), how many have benefited from support measures and how many have been denied support measures because of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 450--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the efforts of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to combat tax evasion and abusive tax planning since March 1, 2016: (a) how many businesses have been identified by the CRA’s computer systems, broken down by (i) businesses linked to tax evasion, (ii) businesses linked to fraud or fraud indicators, (iii) businesses linked to abusive tax planning; (b) of the businesses identified in (a), how many applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); and (c) of the applications for the CEWS in (b), how many were approved, and how many were denied because of tax evasion and abusive tax planning practices?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 451--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to the government’s response to the arbitrary arrests of Martin Lee and other pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong: (a) has the Canadian government objected to these arrests and, if so, what specific action has been taken to voice the objection; (b) what specific assurances, if any, has the government received that Canadian citizens in Hong Kong not be subject to arrest or harm in relation to the pro-democracy movement; and (c) how is Canada monitoring and ensuring that Hong Kong’s Basic Law is being upheld, including the rights, protections, and privileges it grants to democratic advocacy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 452--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to vehicles purchased by the government for the 2018 G7 summit: (a) how many vehicles were purchased; (b) at the time of purchase, what was the market value of each individual vehicle purchased; (c) how many of the vehicles in (a) were put up for sale by the government; (d) of the vehicles in (c), how many were sold; (e) what was the individual selling price for each vehicle sold; and (f) of the vehicles in (c), how many (i) remain, (ii) are still for sale, including the individual selling price, (iii) are being used by the government, (iv) are in storage?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 453--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the changes to the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) design and associated increase to the cost per ship and delay of the construction start time: (a) how many ships are specifically contracted for in the first phase of the contract with Irving Shipbuilding; (b) what is the most recent cost estimate for the first three ships as provided to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) and the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN); (c) what are the specific design changes being considered that are expected to increase the size, capacity, speed, and weight of the Type T26 frigate from the original United Kingdom design; (d) who proposed each change and who approved the change(s) as being essential to the operations for the RCN; (e) what is the rationale given for each design change contemplated in terms of the risks to schedule and budget; (f) what, if any, are the specific concerns or issues related to costs, speed, size, weight and crewing of the T26 frigate design that have been identified by the Department of National Defence, third party advisors and any technical experts; (g) what are the current state of operations and technical requirements for the CSC; (h) what is the schedule for each (i) design change, (ii) contract approval, (iii) independent report from third party advisors, including the schedule for draft reports; (i) what is the cost for spares for each of the CSC; and (j) what is the cost of infrastructure upgrades for the CSC fleet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 454--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the Arctic Off-Shore Patrol Ships (AOPS): (a) what are the operational requirements established by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) for the two additional ships; (b) will the two AOPS for the CCG require redesign or changes, and, if so, what will be the specific changes; (c) what will be the specific cost for the changes; (d) when and in what reports did the CCG first identify the need for AOPS; (e) has the CCG identified any risks or challenges in operating the two AOPS, and, if so, what are those risks; and (f) what will be the total estimated costs of the two AOPS to CCG?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 455--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN): (a) which surface platform in the RCN is deemed a warship and why has it obtained such a designation; (b) will the Joint Support Ship be a warship; (c) which specific characteristics will enable to Joint Support Ship to be a warship; (d) what are the RCN's definitions of interim operational capability (IOC) and full operational capability (FOC); (e) when will the first Joint Support Ship (JSS 1) achieve IOC and FOC; (f) when will the second Joint Support Ship (JSS 2) achieve FOC; and (g) what is the most recent cost projection identified to Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) for (i) JSS 1, (ii) JSS 2?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 456--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to Canada's submarine fleet: (a) what was the total number of days at sea for each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (b) what was the total spent to repair each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (c) what is the estimated total cost of the current submarine maintenance plan to the submarines in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021; and (d) what are the projected future costs of maintenance of the submarine fleet until end of life?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 457--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the replacement of Canada's polar class icebreakers: (a) what is the (i) expected date of their replacement, (ii) roles for these new vessels, (iii) budget or cost for their replacement; and (b) what are the details relating to operating older icebreakers (such as the Louis S. St-Laurent and Terry Fox), including (i) expected years they will have to continue to operate before replacements are built, (ii) total sea days for each vessel in 2017, 2018, and 2019, (iii) total cost of maintenance in 2017, 2018, 2019 for each polar class vessel, (iv) planned maintenance cost of the vessels for each of the next five years, (v) total crews required to operate?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 458--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the government's plans to build 16 multipurpose vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard: (a) what are the technical operational requirements for each vessel; (b) for each contract awarded in relation to the vessels, what is the (i) expected budget, (ii) schedule, (iii) vendor, (iv) work description; and (c) for each vessel, what is the (i) total number of crew expected, (ii) expected delivery date, (iii) risks to cost or budget identified in the planning for these ships?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 459--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the government's profit policy relating to shipbuilding: (a) what risks has government evaluated related to guaranteed contracts for the (i) Arctic Off­Shore Patrol Ships (AOPS), (ii) Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), (iii) Halifax class frigates, and what were the results of each evaluation; (b) what is the profit range offered to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for its work on the (i) AOPS, (ii) CSC, (iii) Halifax class frigates; (c) what is the total profit offered for guaranteed work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, broken down by each "cost plus" contract; and (d) what are the details of any third party review of Canada's profit policy related to the (i) AOPS, (ii) CSC?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 460--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s investigations into overseas tax evasion and the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers scandals: (a) how many of the companies currently under investigation have requested government assistance under the COVID-19 emergency measures; and (b) of the requests for assistance from the companies in (a), how many were (i) granted, (ii) denied?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 461--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the efforts of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to fight tax evasion: (a) how many corporate groups, with one or more subsidiaries in one of the top 10 jurisdictions of the Financial Secrecy Index or the Corporate Tax Haven Index, has the CRA identified; (b) how many corporate groups that were implicated in financial or tax scandals or that received what would be considered illegal state aid has the CRA identified; (c) how many corporate groups have filled out a full report for each country, in keeping with the standard outlined by the Global Reporting Initiative; (d) how many corporate groups in (a), (b) and (c) have received or applied for federal government assistance; and (e) for the cases in (d), how many applications have been rejected by the government?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 462--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to tax year 2020: (a) what are the projections for tax revenue to be assessed on taxable benefits paid to Canadians under each emergency measure proposed; (b) what are the low-end projections for each emergency measure, broken down by measure; (c) what are the high-end projections for each emergency measure, broken down by measure; and (d) what are the estimates or scenario-planning numbers of people applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that fall within each tax bracket in Canada, broken down by each 2019 federal income tax bracket?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 463--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to departmental defences against Canadian International Trade Tribunal rulings: how much has been spent on legal fees, broken down by (i) department, (ii) expense, (iii) case, (iv) internal legal resources, (v) external legal resources?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 464--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to the government's campaign for a United Nations Security Council seat in 2021: how much has been spent on hospitality-related expenses, broken down by (i) date, (ii) item or service?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 465--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the response from Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to COVID-19 outbreaks in its facilities, specifically the Mission Medium Institution in British Columbia and the Port Cartier Institution in Quebec: (a) what protocols and procedures were enacted, and when, in the Port-Cartier Institution once COVID-19 was detected; (b) what protocols and procedures were enacted, and when, in the Mission Medium Institution in British Columbia once COVID-19 was detected; (c) are there standard pandemic protocols and procedures that are synchronized across the national CSC organization; (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, why; (e) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what are the differences between CSC’s response in the Port Cartier Institute when compared to CSC’s response in the Mission Medium Institution; (f) at the Mission Medium Institution, on what date was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to staff, and what type of PPE was distributed; (g) at the Mission Medium Institution, on what date was PPE provided to inmates, and what type of PPE was distributed; (h) at the Port Cartier Institution, on what date was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to staff, and what type of PPE was distributed; and (i) at the Port Cartier Institution, on what date was PPE provided to inmates, and what type of PPE was distributed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 466--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICSF) contained within the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, of which British Columbia First Nations were allocated $39,567,000 and British Columbia Métis were allocated $3,750,000: (a) how much funding was provided to each Indigenous band within or bordering Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, including Cook's Ferry, Skatin Nations, Douglas, Spuzzum, Ts'kw'aylaxw First Nation, Samahquam, Sts'ailes, Bridge River, Tsal'alh, Ashcroft, Boston Bar First Nation, Skawahlook First Nation, Sq'éwlets, Bonaparte, Nicomen, Leq' a: mel First Nation, Union Bar First Nation, Kanaka Bar, Siska, Oregon Jack Creek, Boothroyd, Xaxli'p, T'it'q'et, Matsqui, Shackan, Skuppah, Seabird Island, Chawathil, Yale First Nation, Cayoose Creek, Lytton, High Bar, and Stswecem'c Xgat'tem; (b) which existing agreements are being used to transfer those funds, broken down by band; (c) what reporting requirements are in place, broken down by band and by contribution agreement; (d) how are bands required to communicate to their members how emergency funds were spent; and (e) how are bands required to report to Indigenous Services Canada their receipts or a record of how funds were spent or disbursed to support band members?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 467--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to government stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE): (a) what was the specific volume of PPE supplies in the stockpile as of February 1, 2020, broken down by item; (b) how many supplies of PPE were, destroyed, disposed of, or otherwise removed from the stockpile between January 1, 2016 to March 1, 2020; (c) what are the details of all instances in (b), including the (i) date, (ii) number of items removed, broken down by type of item, (iii) reason for removal; and (d) what are the details of each time items were added to the stockpile between January 1, 2016 to March 1, 2020, including the (i) date, (ii) items added, (iii) volume, (iv) financial value?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 468--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased since January 1, 2020: (a) how many items of PPE have been purchased; (b) what was the price of each item at the time of purchase, broken down by (i) date of purchase, (ii) item, (iii) the total amount of each type of PPE per transaction?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 469--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to contaminated swabs and faulty or rejected N95 masks purchased by Public Services and Procurement Canada: (a) which suppliers provided these items; and (b) since January 1, 2016, what other purchases have been made by the government from these suppliers broken down by (i) date of purchase, (ii) item or service purchased, (iii) number of units of item or service purchased per transaction?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 470--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) since January 1, 2020: (a) how many Advance Contract Award Notices (ACANs) relating to PPE have been posted; (b) for the ACANs in (a), (i) how many bidders were there for each notice, (ii) who were the bidders for each notice; and (c) who won each contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 471--
Mr. Scott Reid:
With regard to preparation and response to COVID-19: (a) which provinces and territories have signed the Multi-Lateral Information Sharing Agreement (MLISA), and on what dates were each of their signatures provided; (b) which provinces and territories have declined to sign the MLISA, on what dates were each of their refusals provided, and what objections did each raise to signing; (c) which provinces and territories have withdrawn from the MLISA since signing it, and on what dates were their withdrawals effective; (d) is the MLISA currently in force, and, if not, why not; (e) which provinces and territories have signed the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding on the Sharing of Information During a Public Health Emergency (Sharing MOU), and on what dates were each of their signatures provided; (f) which provinces and territories have declined to sign the Sharing MOU, and on what dates were their refusals provided; (g) which provinces and territories have withdrawn from the Sharing MOU since signing it, and on what dates were their withdrawals effective; (h) is the Sharing MOU currently in force, and, if not, why not; (i) which provinces and territories are using the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) COVID-19 Case Report Form; (j) what percentage of known COVID-19 cases in Canada were reported to the PHAC using its COVID-19 Case Report Form versus other means; (k) when the PHAC’s COVID-19 Case Report Form instructs to "report cases electronically using secure methods or fax”, which secure methods does the PHAC utilize, and which methods are used, broken down by provinces and territories; (l) what percentage of known COVID-19 cases reported to the PHAC were reported using fax or paper; (m) how many full-time equivalents does the PHAC employ or have on contract to enter COVID-19 case reports received by fax or paper into electronic means; (n) what is the shortest, longest, and average delay that the PHAC experiences when a COVID-19 case report is received by fax or paper before it is entered into electronic means; (o) what is the reason for the discrepancy between the total number of cases of COVID-19 reported by the Government of Canada on its “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update” website, and the smaller number of cases with specific epidemiological data on the website entitled “Detailed confirmed cases of coronavirus disease”; (p) what are the factors that contribute to the delay between the reporting of the “episode date” of a COVID-19 case and the “date [the] case was last updated”, with reference to the data referred to in (o); (q) which provinces and territories have objected to the public disclosure of their detailed COVID-19 case data, as on the “Detailed confirmed cases of coronavirus disease” website, and for each province and territory, what are the details or summary of their objection; (r) why, in developing its COVID-19 Case Report Form, did the PHAC choose not to collect the ethnicity or race of individuals, as done in other jurisdictions; (s) why has the government never used its powers under section 15 of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act to better collect and analyze COVID-19 case data held by the provinces; (t) why has the PHAC not yet published an epidemiological model of COVID-19 that includes a scientifically detailed public disclosure of the modelling methodology, computer code, and input parameters; (u) what are the reasons that the PHAC does not publish a daily COVID-19 model that includes up-to-date estimates of the effective reproductive number (R), such as that produced by Norway, in its model of May 8, 2020; (v) what is the value, duration, objectives and deliverables of the contract issued by the Government of Canada to Blue Dot for the modelling of COVID-19, announced by the Prime Minister on March 23, 2020;
(w) which other individuals or companies has the Government of Canada contracted for the modelling of COVID-19, and, for each contract, what is the (i) value, (ii) duration, (iii) objectives, (iv) deliverables; (x) do any of the contracts for COVID-19 limit the freedom of the contractors to disclose the information, methodology, or findings of their models as confidential, and, if so, which contracts are so affected, and what are the terms of the confidentiality; (y) what is the total amount of federal spending on the Panorama public health and vaccination data system since its launch; (z) which provinces and territories utilize Panorama’s disease outbreak management and communicable disease case management modules for reporting COVID-19 information to the federal government; (aa) to what extent does the federal government have access to COVID-19 outbreak and case data contained within the Panorama system and what are the reasons for the lack of access to data, if any; (bb) what steps has the federal government taken to ensure that, when data exists, it will have access to COVID-19 vaccination data contained within the Panorama system; (cc) to what extent does the Panorama system meet the data collection and reporting goals of the federal government’s report entitled “Learning from SARS – Renewal of Public Health in Canada”; and (dd) has an audit of the Panorama system been completed and, if so, what are the details of the audit’s findings, including when it was done, by whom it was conducted, and the standards by which it was measured?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 475--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to farm income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) has Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or Farm Credit Canada conducted an analysis on projected farm income loss as a result of the pandemic; and (b) what is the projected loss, broken down by agricultural sector?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 476--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to physical distancing and other safety measures for ministerial vehicles and chauffeurs during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what specific measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of drivers, including whether (i) ministers are required to wear masks in the vehicles, (ii) there is an occupancy limit to the vehicles, (iii) specific seats within the vehicles may not be used, (iv) there is a prohibition on others, including ministerial exempt staff, riding in the vehicles, (v) any other measures have been made to limit close physical contact between drivers and ministers; (b) on what date was each measure listed in (a), (i) put into place, (ii) amended, (iii) rescinded; and (c) have any ministers required their drivers to drive outside of the National Capital Region since March 13, 2020, and, if so, what are the details of each trip, including (i) date of trip, (ii) destination, (iii) purpose of trip, (iv) number of occupants in the vehicle, (v) whether a minister was in the vehicle, (vi) specific safety precautions taken?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 477--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), since the creation of the program: (a) how many businesses have applied for the LEEFF; (b) how many businesses have been eligible; (c) how many applications from businesses have been denied; (d) of the applications that were denied, how many were from (i) businesses convicted of tax evasion, (ii) businesses convicted of abusive tax avoidance, (iii) companies that have subsidiaries in tax havens; (e) have applications from companies under investigation in connection with the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers been accepted; and (f) what is the current total cost of the LEEFF’s expenses, broken down by economic sector?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 478--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax havens: (a) what is the CRA's definition of tax haven; and (b) which jurisdictions have been identified as tax havens according to the CRA's definition?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 479--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the activities of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) under Part XVI of the Income Tax Act since November 2015, broken down by fiscal year and natural person, trust and corporation: (a) how many audits have been conducted; (b) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (c) what is the total amount recovered to date by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 480--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regards to Veterans Affairs Canada, broken down by year for the most recent ten fiscal years for which data is available: (a) what was the number of disability benefit applications received; (b) of the applications in (a), how many were (i) rejected (ii) approved (iii) appealed (iv) rejected upon appeal (v) approved upon appeal; (c) what was the average wait time for a decision; (d) what was the median wait time for a decision; (e) what was the ratio of veteran to Case Manager at the end of each fiscal year; (f) what was the number of applications awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year; and (g) what was the number of veterans awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 481--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator; (b) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the average number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by (i) job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (c) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total cost of overtime, further broken down by (i) job title, including National 1st Level Appeals Officer, National 2nd Level Appeals Officer, Case Manager, Veterans Service Agent and Disability Adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (d) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the total number of disability benefit claims, further broken down by (i) new claims, (ii) claims awaiting a decision, (iii) approved claims, (iv) denied claims, (v) appealed claims; (e) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many new disability benefit claims were transferred to a different Veterans Affairs Canada office than that which conducted the intake; (f) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the number of (i) Case Managers, (ii) Veterans Service Agents; (g) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many Case Managers took a leave of absence, and what was the average length of a leave of absence; (h) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, accounting for all leaves of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many full-time equivalent Case Managers were present and working, and what was the Case Manager to veteran ratio; (i) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many veterans were disengaged from their Case Manager; (j) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, what was the highest number of cases assigned to an individual Case Manager; (k) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, how many veterans were on a waitlist for a Case Manager; (l) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC offices, including nationally, for work usually done by regularly employed Case Managers and Veteran Service Agents, (i) how many contracts were awarded, (ii) what was the duration of each contract, (iii) what was the value of each contract;
(m) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by VAC offices, what were the service standard results; (n) what is the mechanism for tracking the transfer of cases between Case Managers when a Case Manager takes a leave of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave; (o) what is the department’s current method for calculating the Case Manager to veteran ratio; (p) what are the department’s quality assurance measures for Case Managers and how do they change based on the number of cases a Case Manager has at that time; (q) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many individuals were hired by the department; (r) how many of the individuals in (q) remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end; (s) of the individuals in (q) who did not remain employed beyond the probation period, how many did not have their contracts extended by the department; (t) does the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what are the reasons for which employees were not kept beyond the probation period; (u) for the individuals in (q) who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC offices; (v) during the last five fiscal years for which data is available, broken down by month, how many Canadian Armed Forces service veterans were hired by the department; (w) of the veterans in (v), how many remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end; (x) of the veterans in (v) who are no longer employed by the department, (i) how many did not have their employment contracts extended by the department, (ii) how many were rejected on probation; (y) if the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what are the reasons for which veteran employees are not kept beyond the probation period; (z) for the veterans in (v) who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what were the reasons for their leaving, broken down by VAC offices; (aa) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many employees have quit their jobs at VAC; and (bb) for the employees in (aa) who quit their job, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC offices?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 482--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax havens: Does the CRA consider the Cayman Islands and Barbados to be tax havens?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 483--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to tax information exchange agreement signed between Canada and Cayman Islands, since entry into force of the agreement and broken down by fiscal year: (a) how many times has the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) obtained information from Cayman Islands; (b) how many times has the CRA released information to Cayman Islands; (c) how much tax examinations abroad was conducted by CRA in Cayman Islands; (d) how many CRA enquiries have been denied by the Cayman Islands; (e) how many audits have been conducted by the CRA; (f) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (g) what is the total amount recovered by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 484--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to amendments to the Canada Grain Regulations (SOR/2020-63), enacted through the passage of Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, which amended the Canada Grain Act through an expedited process, bypassing the normal Canada Gazette I posting and public comment period, and were posted on Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 9: (a) what are the details of all meetings, round tables, teleconference calls, town halls, and other means of consultation, in regard to grain, held during CUSMA/NAFTA 2.0 negotiations, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendee and invitee lists, including government officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (b) for the meetings referred to in (a), what are the details of (i) published notices, (ii) reports, including where and when they were published; (c) what are the details of all stakeholder views expressed during these consultations, including minority positions, which were communicated to inform the Government of Canada negotiating position, along with the names and positions of the officials to whom these stakeholder views were communicated; (d) what are the details of all engagement activities with grain sector stakeholders following the CUSMA announcement where the impacts of the agreement, potential legislative and regulatory amendments, and implementation plans were discussed, as well as the reports flowing from these engagement activities that informed the drafting of Bill C-4 amendments to the Canada Grain Act, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendees, including from the Canada Grain Commission and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (e) who made the decision to have “minimal” consultation on the regulatory changes and an explanation of their rationale for the decision when, as the regulatory analysis document says, the amendments are consequential; and (f) what is the definition of the industry referred to when “industry-led” is used in regard to integrating the Delivery Declaration Form and its implementation into the existing grain delivery structure, particularly whether farmers are included among the leadership of the industry?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge my presence today on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.
I would like to say a few words on the current social climate in Canada. Right now is a moment when Canadians are recognizing that there is unfairness built into our systems. These systems have always been unfair toward indigenous people.
I look to my colleagues in the House to reflect on why injustice toward indigenous people still happens and how we can move forward in the short, medium and long term. I know that in my capacity as Minister of Indigenous Services, I face those questions every day, as does my ministry. These are difficult and uncomfortable conversations, but important ones to have.
With that, I welcome this opportunity to provide the House with an update on our continuing effort to confront the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. I can assure members that the top priority of the Government of Canada during this time remains the safety and physical and mental health of all Canadians and indigenous people living in Canada.
As of June 16, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in first nations. Of those, 210 individuals are considered to have recovered.
Indigenous Services Canada continues to work closely with communities to identify a surge in health infrastructure needs, supporting efforts to screen, triage and isolate individuals in the event of a possible COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to work closely with communities and partners to coordinate resources and keep people and communities safe.
To date, the Government of Canada has provided indigenous peoples and northern communities with approximately $1.5 billion in funding to successfully fight COVID-19.
A large portion of this funding is found in the supplementary estimates (A), 2020-21. These estimates include more than $280 million to support health measures provided by Indigenous Services Canada in first nation and Inuit communities.
This is essential funding that will be used primarily to provide first nation and Inuit communities with the following: the services of additional health care providers; personal protective equipment; health infrastructure, in particular the repurposing of existing community spaces or the purchase of mobile structures to support isolation, assessment and shelter measures; and prevention and infection control measures at the community level.
In addition, these estimates reflect $305 million for the distinctions-based indigenous community support fund. Of this amount, $215 million was dedicated to first nations, $45 million to Inuit and $30 million to Métis nation communities, plus $15 million in proposal-based funding for first nations off reserve and urban indigenous organizations and communities.
An additional $75 million was also sought for organizations supporting first nations individuals off reserve and Inuit and Métis living in urban areas, as well as $10 million in funding for emergency, family violence prevention, shelters on reserve and in the Yukon.
As part of our COVID-19 response, we are also providing $270 million to respond to financial pressures on income assistance for essential living expenses due to COVID-19.
In addition to funding for our COVID-19 response, these estimates include funding to ensure that first nations children and families receive the services they need and to which they are entitled. We have committed $468.2 million to maintain the first nations child and family services program, which brings the program's total annual budget to $1.7 billion.
This includes support to implement the decisions by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued before September 2019 and connected to the complaint by first nations child and family services regarding child and family services and Jordan's principle; coverage of expected maintenance costs for service providers; operating costs for the new agencies; response to pressure from provincial agreements; and implementation of a reserve fund to ensure that money is available should the actual numbers call for reimbursement.
The Government of Canada is committed to implementing Jordan's principle and ensuring that first nations children have access to the products, services and support they need in the areas of health, social services and education.
The Government of Canada is committed to implementing Jordan's principle and is taking action to ensure that first nations children receive the products, services and support they need in health, social services and education. The supplementary estimates also include $230 million to respond to the year-long financial pressures arising from the implementation of Jordan's principle.
Every year since its implementation, Jordan's principle has led to a significant increase in the number of approved applications submitted by individuals and groups. As a result, associated spending has increased significantly.
Since 2016, the Government of Canada has adopted an interim approach to Jordan's principle that has allowed it to inject more than $1 billion to meet the needs of first nations children. We are determined to continue to meet those needs and work to keep our promise on implementing the principle.
To further safeguard food security in the north, our government has committed up to $25 million to support temporary enhancements to nutrition north Canada in these estimates. This funding will help ensure nutrition north Canada fulfills its mandate to improve access to healthy food through additional education and subsidies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have also invested up to $72.6 million to address urgent health care and social support needs in the territories in response to COVID-19, with $18.4 million allocated to Yukon, $23.4 million to the Northwest Territories and $30.8 million to Nunavut. In addition, we have provided up to $17.3 million to enable the continuation of northern air services to support essential resupply and medical services in the north. We do recognize the essential role that a focused and reliable air network plays in enabling the movement of essential goods and services to respond to the pandemic. Funding has already been disbursed for the urgent health care and social support needs in the territories in response to COVID-19 and to enable the continuation of northern air service supporting essential resupply and medical services in the north.
We have also committed to a needs-based funding approach that involves $23.4 million in Vote 10 grants and contributions, including $9.9 million to support research and higher education in Canada's north; $6 million to support planning activities of the Government of the Northwest Territories, for the proposed Taltson hydroelectricity expansion project; $6 million to respond to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and $1.5 million toward indigenous consultation and capacity support activities.
I thank members for the opportunity to speak about this crucial and important work. Meegwetch, nakurmiik, mahsi cho.
View Yves Robillard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Yves Robillard Profile
2020-06-17 17:56 [p.2518]
Mr. Speaker, National Chief Bellegarde and countless other indigenous partners explained to the committee how indigenous youth are the segment of the population that is growing the fastest.
What measures is the government taking to ensure that indigenous youth have the supports they need to succeed in their education and career during the current pandemic and beyond?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that very relevant question.
Ever since our government took office in 2015, we have used our budgets to close the gap for indigenous peoples and their future, their youth, with respect to education and the economy. Indigenous youth are the fastest-growing segment of Canada's population, which means they are Canada's future.
This group of people is facing intense pressure because of COVID-19. That is why we have invested $75 million in post-secondary education during the pandemic. We have multiplied our efforts to support children who have to stay home. This is an ongoing effort.
We know this is putting pressure on young people's mental health. That is why we are continuing to invest resources in communities so they can make decisions about their future and the future of their youngest members.
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, in 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal determined that the Government of Canada's approach to services for first nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through the full implementation of Jordan's principle.
Can the Minister of Indigenous Services please tell the House more about how new funding committed to Jordan's principle through these supplementary estimates will support its continued implementation?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, indeed, members will note that over $20 million are in the supplementary estimates that reflect the attribution of funds to fulfill this most important principle to closing the gap and ensuring equity for first nations children. The budgetary expenses are now at over $600 million.
Over and above, and more important than the number, we are speaking about children and the supports they need. I have been able to go into many communities, obviously prior to COVID-19 outbreak, and see some of the incredible work that is being done. That work continues. On equity, we are still working excessively hard to reach that by making those crucial investments. It is something we will continue to do year over year.
We have seen that increase particularly during COVID as to the needs and fulfilling Jordan's principle most notably. These investments help. Behind everyone is a child and it is very important to highlight that as we look at these large but crucial budgetary numbers in ensuring we are who we think we are in Canada.
View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, the estimates reflect the $305 million that was announced in March for the indigenous community support fund, which provided funds directly to indigenous communities to allow them to respond to COVID-19.
How specifically did this additional allocation allow communities to respond quickly and effectively?
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, the preparation that the indigenous communities were able to do so well was not only to look at the patterns that were forming around the world, but to adapt their local communities quickly by closing communities, ensuring the supports were in the community to ensure the message of public health was getting across and that everyone had the financial support they needed. One of the key elements was getting money into the communities and ensuring they had the backing of the Government of Canada.
This distinctions-based funding of $305 million, which was very much the beginning of the discussion from a financial resources perspective, and indeed we have announced many after that, was key in ensuring communities had the flexibility and discretion to invest where they saw it fit and ensuring their communities were well protected and well prepared. We will ensure we will be there for second and third waves, as the case may be.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-06-17 18:08 [p.2519]
Madam Chair, I would like to know what the Liberals plan to do with respect to the three topics I mentioned, namely seasonal work, Internet access and indigenous peoples who do not currently have access to the fisheries program. Mr. Paul, from the Mi'kmaq nation mentioned this yesterday.
Why is this not addressed? Tourism, fisheries, seasonal workers, the Internet, the vitality of democracy and the first nations are all urgent matters.
View Mélanie Joly Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I thank my colleague for her speech.
It goes without saying that we support the people of Côte-Nord. We understand that they are clearly struggling right now, whether it is in the natural resources sector, in the fisheries sector, or in the various sectors found on the main streets of Sept-Îles or Baie-Comeau. I actually had the opportunity to discuss this issue last week with Yves Porlier, the mayor of Sept-Îles.
I simply want to tell my colleague that we are here to help her and to help the people of Côte-Nord through CFDCs, with money—
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-06-17 18:10 [p.2520]
Madam Chair, I thank my hon. colleague for her response. When I speak, obviously it is for the Côte-Nord, but I am also speaking for Quebec as a whole.
When it comes to tourism, she knows very well that this and other sectors are just as vibrant in Montreal as they are in my region. At the same time, Réjean Porlier and Yves Montigny, the mayors of Sept-Îles and Baie-Comeau, are of course having difficulties. There is also the reality of the immensity of the territory.
Once again, I am not getting an answer to my question. I am talking about the Internet and seasonal workers, which have nothing to do with CFDCs. I am also talking about first nations, which would like to access, without discrimination, the same programs as other fishers.
View Mélanie Joly Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I know Yves Montigny and Réjean Porlier very well. It seems to be getting late.
What I was trying to say to the member is that my colleague, the Minister of Rural Economic Development is well aware of the Internet issues. She has been given a strong mandate in that regard. We will be able to work with her to properly serve the people of Côte-Nord and across Quebec. She certainly has her priorities in the right place, as the saying goes. The Internet issue is also very important to our colleague, the Minister of Innovation.
Let us work to find solutions to improve the lives of the people of Côte-Nord and all the regions of Quebec.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-06-17 18:59 [p.2527]
Madam Chair, I turn now to the minister responsible for indigenous services.
We have been waiting a long time for a response from the government, more than a year. As a matter of fact, the day that the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls inquiry was delivered, it was close quarters at the Museum of History, and I was actually sitting with the hon. minister as that report was released. It has been a long wait. The minister today was not the minister then, and I cannot address him directly, but it has been a long wait for a response.
I see three different funding items in three different pockets for responding to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Some of it is from CMHC, some of it is from the parallel agency Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and some from the Department of Indigenous Services.
I wonder, since we have not yet had a political response, what is the funding response.
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I must confess I am having some difficulty seeing the member opposite on the other side of the House. It is much more comforting to have her here, although she does keep us quite heavily to account, as people paying attention can clearly hear.
The member will have noticed, and underlining her point is the fact that the national action plan is not a static document. Vote 10 in particular has $6 million appropriated to continue engagement with members, including families and subscribers, for the calls to justice.
The member will also have noted last week that we announced $40 million for 10 new shelters across Canada. This is not a static document.
I will take the time to also say that this is not a federal document. This is a document that involves input from provinces, from territories and, most importantly, from indigenous peoples who guide the way forward as to how we move forward as a nation. The funding response is one element. We did not wait to do so.
There is a legislative response that is embodied in Bill C-91 on indigenous languages and in Bill C-92 on child and family services. These are all part of what we call a whole-of-government approach, but underscoring that, more important should be the fact that this is about keeping people safe and keeping the most vulnerable people, indigenous women and children, safe in our country as we move forward. Again, the document is not a static document. It will be a guide for how we move forward as a nation.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-06-17 19:01 [p.2528]
Madam Chair, this is for the hon. minister again. It is probably because there is not this level of specificity or maybe I have missed it, but I do think friendship centres are terribly important, particularly for urban indigenous peoples.
I wonder if there is anything in the supplementary estimates that speaks to the needs of friendship centres across Canada.
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, that is an exceedingly important question.
In budget 2019, there were tens of millions of dollars invested in infrastructure and support for friendship centres. This was a historic amount. As we have seen, we have received pressure from urban indigenous groups that are serving indigenous peoples, indeed half of the indigenous population off reserve. Clearly that pressure from a financial perspective has been seen and felt. We deployed $15 million on an emergency basis to supply indigenous communities or service organizations that needed it to help people in urban settings. We also recently allocated $75 million to further respond to the overwhelming demand that we received at Indigenous Services Canada.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-05-26 16:09 [p.2454]
Mr. Speaker, I have so many things to say that I do not know where to start.
I would like to come back to the idea that the functioning of Parliament will be improved as of tomorrow, that is to say from the moment we no longer do what we normally do as parliamentarians.
Like all members of the House, I was elected because voters wanted me to work for them. We know how difficult times are for people in our ridings right now. I am from a rural riding. I am thinking of people in the tourism industry, people in the fishing industry, indigenous communities and all the small and medium-sized businesses.
There are natural resources in my riding. My region is what is called a resource region. All these large companies work with small businesses that are really struggling right now. For instance, the paper, aluminum and forestry sectors are having a very hard time.
Two ideas came to mind at the same time. I have the impression, or rather the certainty, that someone is trying to make me swallow a big fat lie. I am being told that, starting tomorrow, I will be able to do more than if I were in Parliament. What is more, I am being told that this is exactly what people are asking for, yet that is not what people are asking us to do.
We have talked a lot about people who have lost their jobs, people who are sick and families who are struggling to make ends meet because they do not know which way to turn. People have to take care of their sick loved ones or their children, all while trying to work at the same time.
I know that my colleagues are doing a tremendous amount of work in their ridings. We are being told that they have found a solution for parliamentarians. We are being told that the work we do in the House is not useful, that we have to call our constituents and that we have to set aside our work as legislators and our work in committee.
We are being told that by doing less in the House, we will be doing more in our ridings. Personally, I believe that the ideals of dignity, respect and effort, as part of our duties as elected officials, should be reflected in the work of the House. I am quite open to the idea that this work should adapt to the current situation. However, no one can say that there is no longer a legislative agenda, that not all committees can sit, and that we cannot have all the space we can in committees because of the pandemic.
Instead, we should capitalize on the situation. More than ever, we need to find ways to do our job as lawmakers in the House and in committee, while working in our ridings and dealing with the pandemic.
I feel like we are on pause. Quebec and all the provinces have also been on pause. People are going back to work and getting on with their lives. However, the signal we are sending them is that we are not fast enough, that we are not working hard enough, and that we do not have the will to do the work that we usually do.
I think that today we have shown that we are able to work together safely, since we are observing social distancing. Later today I will be going to committee and doing my job. If we are able to do that, why would we not?
All my constituents, as well as Quebeckers and Canadians, must be telling themselves the same thing: that we are asking more of them. They are being asked to go to work, to make sacrifices, and to put themselves a little more at risk. We, their representatives, should be flawless. I say flawless, but we certainly all have flaws. However, we should lead by example. Right now, the message we are sending is that we want to do less.
I can give an astonishing number of examples.
I come from a rural region. I am from eastern Quebec. I have been working with my colleagues from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques for the past few weeks to jointly serve our constituents. Although video conferencing is available, we know that when we are back home in our ridings, we do not have a place for dialogue, a place to get answers and get things done. We need to be able to get things done with the House, with colleagues, like we usually do.
I spoke about small and medium-sized businesses, tourism, fisheries and forestry. Ridings as big as mine, which, at 350,000 square kilometres, is one of the largest in Quebec and Canada, are home to many isolated communities, communities of 200 to 300 people, indigenous communities that are struggling and very vulnerable right now. The House does not necessarily deal with issues of concern to these communities, since those issues seem to be less important from a purely demographic standpoint. However, these people are entitled to the same representation as everyone else. I want us to be able to move forward, to present and talk about these realities in order to find solutions. We must remember that it took weeks before the fisheries sector got any assistance.
Coming to work in person in the House also allows us to speak to the Prime Minister and all of our colleagues, to get a specific topic out in the open and to find solutions.
We are seeing this now with tourism. I keep bringing it up, but I am thinking of all those people who rely on tourism and whom I see every day all over my riding. Some families that live off tourism are struggling to make ends meet and have no idea what is going to happen next week, next month, or even in September, when they may not have accumulated enough hours to qualify for employment insurance. I cannot imagine what kind of year these people might have. I keep hoping that something will happen for them. We need to work for these people. I want their voice to be heard, here as well as in committee.
I do not want us to have fewer opportunities to defend our people and propose solutions. That is Parliament's role.
We talked about the CERB earlier. It is an extremely important topic in Quebec as well. I have spoken to businesses that are in desperate need of workers, especially in the remote regions of Quebec. This benefit deters people from working. Our people need to work to survive. We are talking about families and individuals, but this benefit will also have an impact on the community and on our businesses if people do not go back to work.
Improvements need to be made, and I think that Parliament is still the best place to do that. The Liberals are not going to make us believe that we will be able to get more done better with less time, fewer committees, and fewer answers and discussions amongst ourselves and with our colleagues. I find that very hard, if not impossible, to believe.
Of course we need to keep working on these issues. I also raised the matter of indigenous peoples, which is a very important issue for me. The Innu and Naskapi make up 15% of the population of the riding of Manicouagan. We know that these populations are very young and still growing. I experienced this crisis, this pandemic, with them. I saw all the needs they had and still have, needs that still have not been met. Yes, millions of dollars have been provided, but these populations are fragile and vulnerable because of their isolation and their health issues. I would like to discuss their reality and their needs here in Parliament.
Yes, there is the regular business of the House and committees, and we need to make legislation. However, now there is also all the work that comes with the pandemic.
I always feel like we are lagging behind. We are lagging behind in terms of what happens next. There is nothing stopping us from thinking about the recovery, what is going to happen this fall or a second wave. We are not really talking about those things, but I believe it is our duty to anticipate them and to be ahead of the curve in terms of what is going to happen and what we can do to make sure that the impact is not as big as it was at the beginning of this crisis. We need to prepare. I say this for indigenous communities, for our businesses, for our workers and for all our communities. That is what they need. We have enough work to do, and we have the means to do it. We have more work than we would normally have. When I am told that we are going to meet once, twice or three times this summer, I do not feel that is enough. If I had to, I would come all summer long so that I could give even more to my constituents, so that I could defend them and find solutions.
For the sake of my constituents, I hope we can come up with something other than what we are seeing right now. We are being told to just go home and make calls, when there is so much to be done here. That is what the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons told us earlier. That is disappointing. In some respects, it is almost shameless given what we talked about yesterday when we learned that the two major political parties, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada, had decided to apply for the wage subsidy.
At the beginning of the crisis, I noticed that indigenous people in my riding did not have masks. SMEs in my riding are telling me that they cannot make ends meet and are going to go bankrupt. I see fishers who know that they are going out on the water at their own expense and are going into debt. I see workers who have had to leave their jobs because they have sick children. The government is not improving these programs, these subsidies. It is not trying to adjust them based on real needs. Emphasis on the word “needs”. The Liberals have brushed all that aside, while at the same time taking money from the pot, claiming they need it. The richest party in Canada decided to avail itself of that subsidy even though it had absolutely no need for it. I think that is terribly shameless coming from any party.
The government is creating subsidies, and some of the wealthy are taking advantage. Then, in the same breath, it tells us that in order to work for our constituents, whose needs are so great, we should stay home and not work in the House, since we are able to.
Where there is a will, there is a way. We can do it, and the Bloc Québécois wants to do it. I want us to continue doing our work, in all moral conscience as elected representatives. We need to be aware that what we are doing is not for our party or ourselves, but for the people we serve. In my case, that is the people of the North Shore. I want to be on duty here as much as possible so we can find solutions fast.
We have been to the moon, so I think we can find a way to vote electronically pretty quickly. There is no earthly reason the work of the House should not proceed as productively as possible. I urge all members of the House to say they want us to get back to work, and serious work at that. That is what our people need. It is what they want, and we are here for them.
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2020-05-25 15:01 [p.2358]
Mr. Speaker, we know that indigenous people who live off reserve in urban centres often face very different and unique challenges. I would like to ask the Minister of Indigenous Services what the government is doing to help indigenous people who live off reserve during this time of pandemic.
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, indigenous people living in urban centres do indeed face a unique set of needs and challenges. We heard loud and clear that more support would be needed for indigenous organizations working and operating in urban centres. That is why last week's announcement by the Prime Minister of an additional $75 million for organizations supporting first nations, Inuit and Métis living and working in urban areas off reserve marks a fivefold increase in that initial funding.
This new funding will support indigenous community-based solutions that address critical needs during this crisis to fight COVID-19 and to serve indigenous populations living off reserve, principally in urban areas.
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