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Results: 1 - 15 of 186
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 380--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to the trip of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to Madrid, Spain, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2019: (a) who travelled with the minister, excluding security personnel and journalists, broken down by (i) name, (ii) title; (b) what is the total cost of the trip to taxpayers, and, if the final cost is not available, what is the best estimate of the cost of the trip to taxpayers; (c) what were the costs for (i) accommodation, (ii) food, (iii) anything else, including a description of each expense; (d) what are the details of all the meetings attended by the minister and those on the trip, including the (i) date, (ii) summary or description, (iii) participants, (iv) topics discussed; and (e) did any advocates, consultant lobbyists or business representatives accompany the minister, and, if so, what are their names, and on behalf of which firms did they accompany the minister?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 381--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to recommendation 3.30 in Report 3 on fossil fuel tax subsidies of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development: (a) has the Department of Finance established criteria to determine whether a fossil fuel tax subsidy is inefficient, and, if so, what are these criteria and what is the department's definition of "inefficient"; and (b) does the Department of Finance still refuse to implement this recommendation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 382--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to the notice and order sent by a railway safety inspector from Transport Canada to the Central Maine and Quebec Railway dated May 7, 2019: (a) how many ultrasonic rail tests were done on the Sherbrooke subdivision between mileage point 0 and mileage point 125.46, broken down by inspection period (i) between May 1 and June 30, (ii) between September 1 and October 31, (iii) between January 1 and February 28; (b) are the inspection frequencies in (a) still in force, and, if not, why; (c) for each inspection period in (a), what findings were sent to Transport Canada; (d) how many rails are currently faulty; and (e) how many faulty rails does Transport Canada believe are satisfactory for railway safety?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 383--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and his performance agreement with the CIB Board of Directors, broken down by performance cycle since the inception of the CIB: (a) what are the objectives based on the corporate business plan and related performance measures; (b) what are the objectives that reflect the government's priority areas of focus and related performance measures; (c) what are the objectives based on financial management priorities and related performance measures; (d) which objectives are based on risk management priorities and any other management objectives set by the Board of Directors (infrastructure, marketing, governance, public affairs, etc.); (e) which objectives are based on the government's priorities for financial management and related performance measures (infrastructure, marketing, governance, public affairs, etc.); (f) what are the detailed results of the performance measures for each of the objectives in (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e); (g) what were the details of the CEO's compensation, including salary and performance-based variable compensation; (h) how many times was the performance agreement amended during each performance cycle and what was the rationale for each amendment; (i) what was the CEO's performance rating as recommended to the responsible minister by the Board of Directors; (j) which performance objectives were met; (k) which performance objectives could not be assessed and why; (l) which performance objectives were not met; (m) did the CEO receive an economic increase, and, if so, why; (n) did the CEO receive a salary range progression, and, if so, what is the rationale; and (o) did the CEO receive a lump sum payment, and, if so, what was the rationale?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 384--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency: what is the number of audits performed on small businesses since 2015, broken down by year and by province or territory?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 385--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to the usage of the government's Challenger aircraft fleet, since December 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 386--
Mr. Ted Falk:
With regard to the commitment made in budget 2017 to invest $5 billion over 10 years for home care, including palliative care: (a) what is the total amount of allocated funding not yet spent; (b) what is the total amount of allocated funding transferred to provinces and territories, broken down by recipient province or territory; (c) what is the complete list of projects which have received funding; and (d) for each project identified in (c), what are the details, including (i) overall funding committed, (ii) amount of federal funding provided to date, (iii) description of services funded, (iv) province or territory in which the project is located?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 387--
Mr. Ted Falk:
With regard to the commitment made in budget 2017 to invest $184.6 million over five years for home and palliative care for First Nations and Inuit: (a) what is the total amount of allocated funding not yet spent; (b) what is the complete list of projects which have received funding; and (c) for each project identified in (b), what are the details, including (i) overall funding committed, (ii) amount of federal funding provided to date, (iii) description of services funded, (iv) province or territory in which the project is located?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 388--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the Paradise Papers case, the fight against tax non-compliance abroad and abusive tax planning: (a) how many taxpayer or Canadian business files are currently open with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (b) how many taxpayer or Canadian business files have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; (c) what is the number of employees assigned to the Paradise Papers files; (d) how many audits have been conducted since the Paradise Papers were disclosed; (e) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (f) what is the total amount recovered so far by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 389--
Ms. Sylvie Bérubé:
With regard to the consultations that the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations is currently holding in order to develop an action plan to implement the 231 calls for justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: (a) has the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations established a committee to develop this action plan; (b) if so, what mechanisms have been put in place to consult the Government of Quebec about the development of this action plan, including the implementation of the 21 Quebec-specific calls for justice in the report; and (c) if a committee has been established, will the Government of Quebec participate in its work?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 390--
Ms. Sylvie Bérubé:
With regard to the drinking water situation in Kitigan Zibi: has the Department of Indigenous Services (i) analyzed the plans that were submitted by the band council to connect to the Maniwaki water system, (ii) decided whether it will proceed with the connection, (iii) released the funding necessary to complete the connection work, (iv) set a timeline so that the community has access to running water within a reasonable time?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 391--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regard to forms used by the Government of Canada, broken down by year for the last 10 years: (a) how many forms does the government use; (b) to how many pages do the forms add up; (c) how many person-hours a year do Canadians spend filling out forms for the government; and (d) how many person-hours do government employees spend processing forms filled out by Canadians?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 392--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the call centres of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19, broken down by business and by individual: (a) what is the number of calls received by the CRA; (b) what is the number of calls that were neither answered by an agent nor transferred to the automated self-service system; (c) what is the number of calls received by the automated self-service system; (d) what is the number of calls answered by an agent; (e) what is the number of calls not answered, broken down by (i) the number of callers who did not choose to use self-service through the automated service, (ii) the number of callers who got a busy signal; (f) what is the average time spent waiting to speak to an agent; (g) what is the change in the number of agents, broken down by (i) month, (ii) call centre; (h) what is the error rate for call centre agents, broken down by (i) National Quality and Accuracy Learning Program, (ii) Audit, Evaluation and Risk Branch; and (j) what is the number of call centres that have completed the transition to the new telephony platform as part of the Government of Canada Contact Centre Transformation Initiative?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 393--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the sales tax system between 2011 and 2019, broken down by year: (a) how many compliance audits have been conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to determine whether suppliers of digital goods and services are domestic or foreign and whether they are required to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST); (b) for the compliance audits in (a), how many additional revenue assessments were issued as a result of these audits and what was the total amount; (c) how many GST and HST forms had been submitted by consumers to the CRA for digital goods and services purchased in Canada from foreign suppliers not carrying on business in Canada or not having a permanent establishment in Canada; (d) how many compliance audits have been conducted by the CRA to determine whether taxpayers in Canada who rent their housing for short periods of time are required to register for the GST and HST; (e) for audits in (d), how many additional income assessments have been issued as a result of these audits and what is the total amount of these assessments; and (f) has the CRA finalized the development of a specific compliance strategy to better detect and address GST and HST non-compliance in the e-commerce sector, and, if so, what are the details of this strategy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 394--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the Canadian Passport Order, since November 4, 2015, in order to prevent the commission of any act or omission referred to in subsection 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code, broken down by month: how many passports has the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (i) refused, (ii) revoked, (iii) cancelled?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 395--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying): what is the government’s definition of “reasonably foreseeable” in relation to the context of the bill?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 396--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the finding published in the 2018-19 Departmental Results Report of the Privy Council Office (PCO) that only 75% of ministers were satisfied with the service and advice provided by the PCO: (a) how was that number determined; (b) which ministers were among the 25% who were not satisfied; and (c) did any of those ministers indicate why they were not satisfied, and, if so, what were the reasons?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 397--
Mr. Mel Arnold:
With regard to sole sourced contracts over $10,000 issued by the Canadian Coast Guard since November 4, 2015: what are the details of all such contracts, including the (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor name, (iv) vendor location, including city or municipality, province or territory, country, and federal riding, if applicable, (v) start and end date of contract, (vi) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 398--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the finding published in the 2018-19 Departmental Results Report of the Privy Council Office (PCO) that 93% of cabinet documents distributed to ministers met the PCO’s standards: (a) in what ways did the other 7% of documents fail to meet the PCO’s standards; (b) why were the non-compliant documents circulated to ministers despite not complying with the standards; and (c) how many of the non-compliant documents were circulated as a result of the direction of (i) the Prime Minister, (ii) his exempt staff?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 399--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the mortgage insurance and securitization activities carried out by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on behalf of the government in the fiscal years 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19: (a) what was the CMHC’s total annual authorization from the government to provide new guarantees on National Housing Act Mortgage Backed Securities (NHA MBS), broken down by fiscal year; (b) what was the CMHC’s total annual authorization from the government to provide new guarantees on Canada Mortgage Bonds (CMB), broken down by year; (c) what was the CMHC’s total annual limit for the issuance of portfolio insurance (non transactional), broken down by year; (d) for the portfolio insurance issued in each fiscal year, what was the lender allocation methodology for portfolio insurance and what was the total value allocated to each of the largest six Canadian lenders; (e) for the NHA MBS issued in each fiscal year, was there a lender allocation methodology and what was the total value of NHA MBS, broken down by the largest six Canadian lenders; (f) for the CMB issued in each fiscal year, was there a lender allocation methodology and what was the total value of NHA MBS purchased from each of the largest six Canadian lenders for the purpose of converting the MBS into CMB; (g) for the CMB auctioned in each fiscal year, what percentage were purchased by Canadian investors compared to international investors; (h) for the CMB auctioned in each fiscal year, what percentage were purchased by the Bank of Canada and other investors for which the government is the sole or majority shareholder; (i) for the CMB auctioned in each fiscal year, what was the value purchased by the Bank of Canada and other investors for which the government is the sole or majority shareholder; (j) for the NHA MBS issued in each fiscal year, what percentage were retained by the issuing financial institution for their own balance sheet management purposes; and (k) what is the position of the government on increasing the covered bond issuance limit for federally regulated financial institutions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 400--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to the government preparations in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19): (a) what specific procedures are in place at each department and agency to ensure the continuity of government operations and that government services remain available during a pandemic; (b) what specific procedures are in place to ensure the safety and protection of government employees during a pandemic, including any procedures aimed at preventing employees from being exposed to coronavirus; and (c) what is the government’s remuneration, leave or benefit policy for (i) full-time employees, (ii) part-time employees, (iii) casual employees, who are required to be quarantined or otherwise away from the workplace as a result of coronavirus?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 401--
Mr. Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay:
With regard to the criminal charges the government laid in December 2019 against the Volkswagen Group concerning the approximately 120,000 diesel vehicles whose nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions exceeded the standards allowed, broken down by the German companies of the Volkswagen Group, the Canadian companies of the Volkswagen Group, the U.S. companies of the Volkswagen Group, and directors, executives and employees: (a) why did the government file charges for 58 counts of importing non-compliant vehicles instead of one count for each of the 120,000 offences; (b) why did the government file charges for two counts of misleading information instead of one count for each of the 120,000 offences; (c) why did the government not file any charges against the Canadian companies of the Volkswagen Group; (d) why did the government not file any charges against the U.S. companies of the Volkswagen Group that took part in the illegal acts that affected Canada; (e) why did the government not file any charges against the directors, executives and employees who were involved in these offences; (f) why did the government not file any charges regarding the 120,000 offences for selling, renting or distributing these non-compliant vehicles; (g) why did the government not file any charges of fraud concerning the 120,000 pieces of software that prevented the non-compliance from being detected; and (h) why did the government not file any charges regarding the illegal pollution caused by these 120,000 vehicles in Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 402--
Mr. Randall Garrison:
With regard to the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy: for each defence procurement project, what projects or transactions have been approved as meeting the contractor’s obligations under the ITB Policy, broken down by (i) contractor, (ii) procurement project, (iii) fiscal year since 2016-17?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 403--
Mr. Colin Carrie:
With regard to government funding for the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension: (a) what will be the total amount of government funding for each of the projects; and (b) what is the yearly breakdown of when the funding in (a) will be delivered for each year between 2020 and 2030?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 404--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to search and rescue military operations, since January 1, 2018: what are the details of all instances where a call for emergency assistance was received but personnel were either delayed or unable to provide the emergency assistance requested, including the (i) date of the call, (ii) nature of the incident, (iii) response provided, (iv) length of delay between the call being received and assistance being deployed, if applicable, (v) location of the incident, (vi) reason for the delay, (vii) reason assistance was not provided, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 405--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to the government’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel: why are there not any panel members from a province other than Ontario or Quebec?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 406--
Mr. Peter Kent:
With regard to the 4,710 individuals who were admitted to Canada in 2019 via humanitarian, compassionate, and other grounds: how many of them were admitted by ministerial exemption, in total and broken down by federal riding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 407--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to visas issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada since May 1, 2019: (a) how many Cuban citizens have applied for Canadian visitor visas (temporary resident visas); (b) how many Cuban citizens have applied for Canadian study permits; (c) how many Cuban citizens have applied for Canadian work permits; (d) how many Cuban citizens have been approved for Canadian visitor visas (temporary resident visas); (e) how many Cuban citizens have been approved for Canadian study permits; (f) how many Cuban citizens have been approved for Canadian work permits; (g) how many Cuban citizens have been denied Canadian visitor visas (temporary resident visas); (h) how many Cuban citizens have been denied Canadian study permits; (i) how many Cuban citizens have been denied Canadian work permits; (j) for the visas in (d), (e) and (f), how many visas were issued to single adult men; (k) for the visas in (d), (e) and (f), how many visas were issued to single adult women; (l) for the visas in (d), (e) and (f), how many visas were issued to married men; (m) for the visas in (d), (e) and (f), how many visas were issued to married women; (n) for the visas in (g), (h) and (i), how many visas were denied to single adult men; (o) for the visas in (g), (h) and (i), how many visas were denied to single adult women; (p) for the visas in (g), (h) and (i), how many visas were denied to married men; and (q) for the visas in (g), (h) and (i), how many visas were denied to married women?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 408--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to judicial nominations, broken down by year, since 2016, and by province and territory: (a) how many judicial candidates assessed as “highly recommended” by a judicial appointments advisory committee were appointed as judges; (b) how many judicial candidates assessed as “recommended” by a judicial appointments advisory committee were appointed as judges; and (c) how many judicial candidates assessed as “unable to recommend” by a judicial appointments advisory committee were appointed as judges?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 409--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to the Panama Papers case, the fight against tax non-compliance abroad and abusive tax planning: (a) how many taxpayer or Canadian business files are currently open with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (b) how many taxpayer or Canadian business files have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; (c) what is the number of employees assigned to the Panama Papers files; (d) how many audits have been conducted since the Panama Papers were disclosed; (e) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA; and (f) what is the total amount recovered so far by the CRA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 410--
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
With regard to the decision to award SAP the contract to replace the Phoenix pay system: (a) what will the differences be between the SAP replacement system and the current Phoenix pay system; (b) what are the details of any financial agreements or contracts the government has with SAP in relation to the replacement pay system (e.g. value, start date, rate, scope, etc.); and (c) when does the government expect the current Phoenix pay system to be transferred to the replacement SAP system?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 411--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the government response to the rail blockades in February and March of 2020: (a) what was the total estimated economic impact of the blockades; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by industry and province; and (c) what are the details of any financial assistance provided by the government for individuals or businesses impacted by the blockades?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 412--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the administration of the 2019 federal general election: (a) has the Chief Electoral Officer, pursuant to subsection 477.72(4) of the Canada Elections Act, informed the Speaker of the House of Commons of any candidates elected as members of the House that were not entitled to continue to sit or vote as members, and, if so, who were these candidates; and (b) with respect to each candidate in (a), (i) on what date did the entitlement to sit or vote become suspended, (ii) on what date did the Chief Electoral Officer inform the Speaker, (iii) which requirement of the act was not satisfied, (iv) has the requirement in (b)(iii) been subsequently satisfied, and, if so, on what date was it satisfied?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 413--
Ms. Nelly Shin:
With regard to information requests received by departments or agencies from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all requests and responses, including the (i) request, (ii) date it was received, (iii) date when the information was provided; and (b) what are the details, including the reasons, for all instances where the information was either delayed or not provided to the PBO?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 414--
Mr. Jagmeet Singh:
With regard to the three tax provisions proposed in the Fall Economic Statement 2018 to accelerate business investment for the 2018-19 fiscal year: (a) what is the estimated number of businesses that have benefited, broken down by (i) tax provision, (ii) size of business, (iii) economic sector; (b) what is the estimated increase in total business investment since the three tax provisions came into force; (c) what is the estimate of the number of jobs created by businesses in Canada since the coming into force of these three tax provisions; and (d) what is the estimate of the number of businesses that have chosen to continue operating in Canada rather than relocate abroad since the coming into force of these three tax provisions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 415--
Ms. Niki Ashton:
With regard to claimed stock option deductions, between the 2012 and 2019 tax years inclusively, broken down by tax years: (a) what is the number of individuals who claimed the stock option deduction whose total annual income is (i) less than $60,000, (ii) less than $100,000, (iii) less than $200,000, (iv) between $200,000 and $1 million, (v) more than $1 million; (b) what is the average amount claimed by an individual whose total annual income is (i) less than $60,000, (ii) less than $100,000, (iii) less than $200,000, (iv) between $200,000 and $1 million, (v) more than $1 million; (c) what is the total amount claimed by individuals whose total annual income is (i) less than $60,000, (ii) less than $100,000, (iii) less than $200,000, (iv) between $200,000 and $1 million, (v) more than $1 million; and (d) what is the percentage of the total amount claimed by individuals whose total annual income is more than $1 million?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 416--
Mr. Colin Carrie:
With regard to the government’s commitment to return the $1.3 billion in surtax assessed on U.S. steel, aluminum, and other products to affected industries between the 2018-19 and the 2023-24 fiscal years: (a) how does the government explain the discrepancy with the estimate from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the government will return $105 million less than it assessed in surtax and related revenues over the period; (b) how does the government plan to return the $1.3 billion; and (c) what is the breakdown of the $1.3 billion by industry and recipient?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 417--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the $180.4 million listed in Supplementary Estimates (B) 2019-20 under Department of Employment and Social Development (ESDC) to write off 33,098 debts from the Canada Student Loan Program: (a) what information was shared between ESDC and the Canada Revenue Agency to determine which loans would be written off; (b) what specific measures are being taken to ensure that none of the written off loans are from individuals who have the income or means to pay back the loans; and (c) what was the threshold or criteria used to determine which loans would be written off?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 418--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the $17.6 million contract awarded to Peter Kiewit Sons ULC for the Big Bar Landslide Fish Passage Remediation Project on the Fraser River: (a) how many bids were received for the project; (b) of the bids received, how many bids met the criteria for qualification; (c) who made the decision to award the contract to Peter Kiewit Sons ULC; (d) when was the decision made; (e) what is the start date and end date of the contract; (f) what is the specific work expected to be completed as a result of the contract; and (g) was the fact that the company is currently facing criminal negligence causing death charges considered during the evaluation of the bid, and, if not, why not?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 419--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to investments in Budget 2019 for the Forest Innovation Program, the Investments in Forestry Industry Transformation Program, the Expanding Market Opportunities program, and the Indigenous Forestry Initiative: (a) how many proposals have been received for each program to date; (b) how much of the funding has been delivered to date; (c) what are the proposal criteria for each program; and (d) what are the details of the allocated funding, including the (i) organization, (ii) location, (iii) date of allocation, (iv) amount of funding, (v) project description or purpose of funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 420--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to Transport Canada Concern Paper C-FT-03 (Boeing 737-8 MAX) (file number 5010-A268): (a) on what date did the Minister of Transport, or his office receive or become aware of the document; (b) what action, if any, did the minister take in response to the concerns raised in the document; (c) on what date was the Minister of Transport, or his office, first notified of the concerns raised the document; (d) what action, if any did the minister take in response to the concern; (e) when did deputy minister's office receive the document; (f) on what date was the Minister of Transport, or his office, made aware of Transport Canada's concerns regarding the nose down pitch not readily arrested behaviour in relation to the aerodynamic stall of the 737-8 MAX; (g) was a briefing note on the concern paper provided to the minister or his staff, and, if so, what are the details of the briefing note, including the (i) date, (ii) title, (iii) summary of contents, (iv) sender, (v) recipient, (vi) file number; and (h) what was the Minister of Transport's response to the briefing note in (g)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 421--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), since July 15, 2018: (a) how many air passenger complaints have been received, broken down by the subject matter of the complaint; (b) of the complaints received in (a), how many have been resolved, broken down by (i) facilitation process, (ii) mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (c) how many air passenger complaints were dismissed, withdrawn and declined, broken down by (i) subject matter of the complaint, (ii) mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (d) for each complaint in (a), how many cases were resolved by a settlement; (e) how many full-time equivalent agency case officers are assigned to deal with air travel complaints, broken down by agency case officers dealing with (i) the facilitation process, (ii) the mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (f) what is the average number of air travel complaints handled by an agency case officer, broken down by agency case officers dealing with (i) the facilitation process, (ii) the mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (g) what is the number of air travel complaints received but not yet handled by an agency case officer, broken down by agency case officers dealing with (i) the facilitation process, (ii) the mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (h) in how many cases were passengers told by CTA facilitators that they were not entitled to compensation, broken down by rejection category; (i) among cases in (h), what was the reason for CTA facilitators not to refer the passengers and the airlines to the Montreal Convention that is incorporated in the international tariff (terms and conditions) of the airlines; (j) how does the CTA define a "resolved" complaint for the purposes of reporting it in its statistics; (k) when a complainant chooses not to pursue a complaint, does it count as "resolved"; (l) how many business days on average does it effectively take from the filing of a complaint to an officer to be assigned to the case, broken down by (i) facilitation process, (ii) mediation process, (iii) adjudication; (m) how many business days on average does it effectively take from the filing of a complaint to reaching a settlement, broken down by (i) facilitation process, (ii) mediation process, (iii) adjudication; and (n) for complaints in (a), what is the percentage of complaints that were not resolved in accordance with the service standards?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 422--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to aviation safety: (a) what was the annual failure rate from 2005 to 2019 for the Pilot Proficiency Check (PPC) conducted by Transport Canada inspectors for pilots working for 705 operators under the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs); (b) what was the annual failure rate from 2005 to 2019 for the PPC in cases where industry-approved check pilots conducted the PPC for pilots working for Subpart 705 operators; (c) how many annual verification inspections did Transport Canada inspectors conduct between 2007 and 2019; (d) how many annual Safety Management System assessments, program validation inspections and process inspections of 705, 704, 703 and 702 operators were conducted between 2008 and 2019; (e) how many annual inspections and audits of 705, 704, 703 and 702 system operators were carried out pursuant to Transport Canada manual TP8606 between 2008 and 2019; (f) how many aircraft operator group inspectors did Transport Canada have from 2011 to 2019, broken down by year; (g) what discrepancies has Transport Canada identified between its pilot qualification policies and the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since 2005; (h) what are the ICAO requirements for pilot proficiency checks and what are the Canadian PPC requirements for subparts 705, 704, 703 and 604 of CARs; (i) does Transport Canada plan to hire new inspectors, and, if so, what target has it set for hiring new inspectors, broken down by category of inspectors; (j) what is the current number of air safety inspectors at Transport Canada; (k) for each fiscal year from 2010-11 to 2018-19, broken down by fiscal year (i) how many air safety inspectors were there, (ii) what was the training budget for air safety inspectors, (iii) how many hours were allocated to air safety inspector training; and (l) how many air safety inspectors are anticipated for (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21, (iii) 2021-22?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 423--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the National Housing Strategy: what is the total amount of funding provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for each year since 2017, broken down by province, for (i) the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, (ii) the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, (iii) the Housing Partnership Framework, (iv) the Federal Lands Initiative?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 424--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the government’s plan to introduce a new fund to help municipalities and school boards purchase 5,000 zero-emission buses over the next five years: (a) has the government undertaken any forecasting on the total cost of this commitment, and, if so, (i) how much is this commitment forecasted to cost municipalities and school boards, (ii) what is the expected cost of associated charging infrastructure; (b) how much will be provided by the federal government annually in this new fund; (c) what proportion of the total cost to municipalities will be provided by the federal government through this new fund; (d) what will be the application process for municipalities and school boards; (e) will funding be based on ridership in line with existing transit funding; and (f) how does the government plan on ensuring that transit agencies are not forced to delay or forego other transit expansions to purchase zero-emission buses in line with this target?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-03-11 15:33 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, my colleague knows that we have had a government in the last number of years that has been very progressive and strong on the whole trade file. Today we are debating the trade agreement among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A., but we have had other trade agreements over the last couple of years, in particular the European Union, the TPP, agreements with Ukraine and other world trade organizations. All of this comes together as an important issue for Canada. It helps create jobs through trade.
I am wondering if my colleague can provide his perspective on how important trade is to our economy.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:34 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, this would not be such a huge issue in other countries' parliaments, but trade is such a big part of the Canadian economy, bigger than in the United States economy. It is instrumental to our success, and that is why people were very worried at the time that this would disappear.
Now, as the member suggests, we have agreements with 11 countries under the CPTPP, 27 countries under CETA, with Ukraine, and as one of the three countries of CUSMA. We are the only country in the G7 that has trade agreements with all of the other countries in the G7. This is critical to our economy and that is why the ratification of this will be such an important success for Canada.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2020-03-11 15:35 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, I ask the member for Yukon if this is such a great trade deal, why did the government wait until the 11th hour to release the economic impact analysis, which would actually demonstrate that it is a bad deal? The C.D. Howe Institute released a paper undertaking an analysis in which it pointed out that Canada stands to lose $14.6 billion in GDP under the new deal, compared with the old deal.
I wonder if the member could comment.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:36 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, as I alluded to in my opening remarks, and as I said specifically yesterday, there are a number of studies on this. Most of them show great benefits to Canada. I will mention that RBC said that Canada's GDP could go down a massive 1% without this agreement and it could affect 500,000 Canadian workers. Scotiabank said that the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into a recession. The benefits of free trade agreements are pretty common knowledge. That is why there is unanimity in the House. All of those studies, with the exception of the one the member mentioned, reinforce that point.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-03-11 16:08 [p.1948]
Madam Speaker, to pass this legislation swiftly, as all stakeholders and constituents had requested, so the vacuum of uncertainty would be lifted on our trade relations with the U.S., our official opposition made many suggestions as to ways we would gladly co-operate with the government.
Knowing that the federal election was coming up in October, the Conservatives offered to begin a pre-study on the original legislation, Bill C-100, in May of this year. That way the government would only have to deal with clause by clause later on, but it declined. When the revised agreement was signed in December, the Conservatives offered to come back early from the Christmas break to begin work on the bill. Again, the government declined.
The international trade committee had approximately 200 requests come in on CUSMA, and the amount of work to do on the legislation had not changed. We consistently offered to commence that work earlier, but the government declined.
The Conservatives ultimately offered to complete clause-by-clause examination by no later than March 5, under the assumption that the government would not be recalling the House of Commons during the constituency break. Again, the government declined.
A unanimous motion was passed at the international trade committee, requesting that the government release its economic impact analysis for CUSMA. It was not provided until one day before committee conducted its clause-by-clause review and the government's economic impact report compared CUSMA to not having a NAFTA deal at all.
What this said was that the government wanted Canadians to believe that any trade deal, no matter how unbalanced or restrictive, would actually be better than nothing at all.
Thankfully, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report comparing CUSMA to the old NAFTA deal on February 21. It affirmed that CUSMA would reduce Canada's GDP by $14.2 billion. Canada's exports to the U.S. would fall by $3.2 billion, while our imports from the U.S. would increase by $8.6 billion. The C.D. Howe Institute's report shed some light on why the government said it was important to support the new agreement moving quickly and then balked at every opportunity we gave to expedite the passing of the legislation.
We are here now dealing with the issues around what was not good in the agreement. With those 200 organizations and individuals who wanted to come and talk to the committee, we were able to process through 100 of those.
The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said, “If we want Canada to take full advantage of this agreement, the government must take steps to insure Canadian manufacturers' productivity levels are equivalent to that of other OECD countries so they can succeed on North American markets and globally.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said, “The CUSMA, as signed last autumn, was in imperfect but necessary agreement to provide greater predictability in our relations with Canada's largest trading partner.” Predictability was lost to such an extent that we were to the point where people were saying that we needed to just get this done.
Last week, I met with my own chamber of commerce and also held a town hall, with the shadow minister for agriculture, in my riding with a number of farmers from the area.
Agriculture and agrifood producers, manufacturers, exporters and all the support services of small businesses in my riding are experiencing the serious impacts of uncertainty with which the government has plagued our economy: increased costs and a loss of customer base because of the punitive policies of the government: an uncertainty of our relationship with our biggest trading partner, plus the shutting down of supply routes due to strikes and lack of rail cars because oil is flowing on our tracks instead of safely through our pipelines; barricades that created dangerous situations and prevented products from being shipped; carbon taxes on heating and cooling systems that are necessary for manufacturing; and increased payroll taxes and red tape.
People feel they have been attacked and ignored by the government. They know that CUSMA is an imperfect, but necessary agreement to provide better predictability in our relationships with Canada's largest trading partner. Therefore, we are here ready to pass Bill C-4.
The Aluminum Association of Canada said, “As part of the ongoing collaboration between the Government of Canada and industry, we intend to initiate discussions with the government to encourage Mexico to implement a similar measure, which would help limit the arrival of products that do not comply with the rules of the agreement between our three countries.” Canada's aluminum industry is concerned by the government's failure to secure the same made-in-North American provision for aluminum as was given to steel. Canada is North America's largest producer of aluminum.
While the 70% rule of origin included looks good on paper, in reality the failure to include a smelted and poured definition, which is what the industry is asking of in Mexico, will leave the North American industry vulnerable to dumping from overseas, particularly through Mexico.
As well, the government needs to report on the status of the $2 billion in tariffs, the revenue that it has collected thus far, to ensure it actually was used to support Canadian businesses impacted by those tariffs. The manufacturers in my communities were very discouraged by what they saw in the government's behaviour when they were facing shut downs, including its suggestion that it help the manufacturers deal with it by giving more EI. They did not want more EI; they wanted to keep those people working.
As well, there is an urgency to develop a strategy to market Canadian aluminum as the greenest in the world to help shore up our competitiveness in existing and emerging markets. This is part of the Conservative environmental plan. It looks at showcasing and bragging to the world about what Canada already has done and how we can help to impact the global issues on climate change that have impacted so many other countries that are not as clean as Canada.
Then there are our dairy farmers.
The largest group left behind by the government during the negotiations is Canada's dairy sector. The government has managed to simultaneously shrink the opportunities for dairy producers and processors at home, while also limiting their ability to grow by exporting.
Canada agreed to place a worldwide cap on exports of certain dairy products in CUSMA, which is unprecedented in regional trade agreements. As the nation's prosperity depends on reliable access to global markets in every market, but specifically in dairy, Canada must not agree to this kind of provision in any future trade agreement. Why would the government say yes to giving the U.S. that kind of power over our sovereignty and our opportunity to trade as we wish with other countries?
This concession is an affront to our sovereignty and there is no excuse or rational argument for this capitulation to go hat in hand to the U.S. to ask if we can please have its permission to export dairy to any country with which we choose to trade.
There are so many areas that are faulty in this agreement, which stakeholders brought to the attention of the committee, and we were able to create recommendations for the government to move forward and to rectify a lot of those issues.
Regarding government procurement, we have no chapter on being able to secure Canada's access to the U.S. market.
Regarding auto, Canada's exports of motor vehicles to the U.S. will decline by $1.5 billion relative to the current trade regime under NAFTA, and imports would decrease by $1.2 billion. In light of the hardships faced by Ontario's auto sector, which were compounded by the punitive actions of the government against our competitiveness, it must fulfill the auto sector's request to delay the implementation of CUSMA for the auto sector until January 2021 to allow it to adjust to the new climate of the deal.
Regarding forestry, so many mills have closed and support services, small businesses and whole communities have been brought to a standstill by the government's indifference. They do not deserve this attitude from their Prime Minister, whom they expect to re-engage right now with the United States trade representative to find a solution to this issue.
Regarding cultural exemption, the price of protecting it in CUSMA was to open ourselves up to retaliatory tariffs not limited to that sector. For example, if Canada decides to implement a digital service tax for a company such as Netflix, the United States would be within its right, as per CUSMA, to place a tariff of equal commercial effect on any Canadian export.
These are just a few of the examples of where the government has capitulated to the U.S.. The U.S. reply to the whole document is a huge document of all of its successes. Ours, from what I understand the previous minister of trade on this side of the House said, was 72 pages long. Clearly, Canada has not come out on the best circumstances here, but as stakeholders have said, we just need to get this done and move on, hopefully in the future with better arrangements.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2020-03-11 16:39 [p.1952]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise this afternoon to speak to Bill C-4, an act to ratify the new free trade agreement among Canada, the United States and Mexico, sometimes referred to as the new NAFTA. Whatever one wishes to label the agreement, one thing is clear and that is, for Canadians, it falls far short of a win.
Before I elaborate on some of the shortcomings with respect to the new agreement, it is important to provide some context in terms of the history of how we got to where we are.
In November 2016, President Trump was elected, and it is no secret that President Trump was no fan of NAFTA. Indeed, he called it the worst trade deal ever. In the face of that, it was a little surprising that the Prime Minister pre-emptively invited the President to renegotiate NAFTA. The Prime Minister, ever so confident, stated that he would get a better deal. The Prime Minister boasted about a win-win-win: a win for Canada, a win for the United States and a win for Mexico.
It is no surprise that, given the President's position on NAFTA, he took the Prime Minister up on his offer at the earliest opportunity. What did the Prime Minister do once he got his wish? Effectively, he put forward a whole series of non-trade issues that alienated the United States. During the course of negotiations, we saw punitive steel and aluminum tariffs levelled against Canada that had a devastating impact that lasted for more than a year.
The Prime Minister spent a lot of time doing what this Prime Minister does: virtue signalling while Canadians paid. The United States concluded that Canada was not interested in reaching a deal. The United States negotiated a deal with Mexico. Most aspects of this agreement were negotiated between the United States and Mexico, including steel provisions and other components of the agreement. Canada was invited in at the eleventh hour when there were few items to resolve. In that respect, it was a fait accompli. The government was left with very little choice, either to sign the agreement or walk away. In the face of that, it is no surprise that Canada signed the agreement.
As a result of the Prime Minister's lack of leadership, what we got was not the better deal that the Prime Minister promised, but a worse deal. Instead of a win-win-win, a win for Canada, a win for the United States and a win for Mexico, we have an agreement that is a win for the United States, a win for Mexico and a loss for Canada. It is no wonder that the government was so reluctant to reveal its own economic impact analysis on this agreement until the eleventh hour. It did so one day before the trade committee went clause by clause on Bill C-4.
If this trade agreement were as good as the government would like Canadians to believe, then surely the government would be very eager to reveal its economic impact analysis to demonstrate what a good deal it was for Canada. However, the government did not do that.
Why did it not do that? Very simply, despite the rhetoric on the other side, the government knows that it is not a good deal and the Prime Minister did not get a better deal as he promised.
When we saw the economic impact analysis, the government's analysis compares the new deal to no deal at all. The appropriate comparator is not between the new deal and no deal at all, but between the new deal and the old NAFTA.
While the Liberal government quite deliberately did not undertake that analysis, in terms of what it has revealed publicly, the C.D. Howe Institute did undertake such an analysis. What the C.D. Howe Institute determined was that, under the new deal, Canada stands to lose $14.2 billion in GDP. Not only that, Canada stands to see a reduction in exports to the U.S. market in the sum of $3.2 billion, while Canada stands to import more American products in the sum of $8.6 billion. That is $8.6 billion more in U.S. exports, and $3.2 billion less in Canadian exports. Again, it is a good deal for the United States, and a bad deal for Canada.
Despite the fact that this agreement falls short, we on this side of the House are prepared to support the government, support the passage of Bill C-4 and support the speedy ratification of CUSMA. We support it because, at the end of the day, this deal is better than no deal.
We have heard, as the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook noted, that the business community and premiers want to see certainty. They want to see continued access to our most important trading partner, the United States. We know there is $2 billion in bilateral trade between Canada and the United States every day, and $900 billion in bilateral trade a year. To put that in perspective, that is nine times more than with our second-largest trading partner, China. Seventy-five per cent of Canadian exports are destined for the U.S. market.
In light of that, it would be irresponsible not to support the ratification of this agreement. If we were to not do so, there would be a risk of no agreement, which would benefit no one. However, while we support the ratification, we do so on a qualified basis. We will continue to remind the government of the shortcomings of this agreement.
The Liberal government opened up 3.6% of the dairy market, and got nothing in return. The government was not able to get the same protections for the Canadian aluminum industry that are in the agreement for the steel industry. We know that the government got nowhere in terms of buy America. Mexico got a chapter on buy America, but Canada did not. The consequence is that it leaves Canadian companies out of the opportunity to bid on large government procurement projects in the United States. The government also sold out Canadian sovereignty by requiring permission from Washington to negotiate new trade agreements with non-market economies, such as our second-largest trading partner, China.
While this is a deal that we will support, let us make no mistake about it: It is better than no deal, but it is not a good deal.
View Brad Vis Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, the Conservative Party is the party of free trade and free markets. We recognize the importance of the U.S. and Mexican markets for Canadian exporters, which is why the Conservatives have been clear that we will support the swift passage of the new NAFTA deal. However, while a deal is better than no deal, Canadian industries are bracing for the impact of the changes to come.
Ironically enough, the Liberal government's economic impact report compares CUSMA to not having a NAFTA deal at all. This is baffling, since almost any trade deal, no matter how lopsided, would have been better than having nothing at all.
The C.D. Howe Institute discovered that CUSMA would reduce Canada's GDP by $14.2 billion. Its recent report found that after the implementation of CUSMA, Canada's exports to the U.S. will fall by $3.2 billion, while our imports from the U.S. will increase by $8.6 billion, with the worst impacts being felt in our agriculture and dairy sectors.
I have heard from many farmers in my riding who operate businesses in supply-managed industries, and they feel that the Liberal government has literally sold the family farm. The Conservatives are committed to Canada's supply management system, but the Liberal government's weak leadership and ineffective negotiation tactics have continued to erode the system's integrity. Concessions have been made to the U.S. without our receiving anything meaningful in return, and stakeholders are speaking up.
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with turkey farmers in British Columbia. They indicated that market access concessions made as the result of CUSMA are going to hurt turkey farm families across the country. Not only that, this change would greatly hinder Canadian consumer access to locally farmed products.
What would this impact look like? Under CUSMA, the market access commitment calculation for turkey will be modified to a 29% increase in new market access for the U.S. into Canada. It will allow the U.S. to export an additional 1,000 metric tons of turkey products each year for the next 10 years above current access levels, with potentially more in the future.
Canadian dairy farmers and processors are also set to lose market access to the Americans. Before the international trade committee, the Dairy Processors Association of Canada shared that at full implementation, the access granted under CUSMA, in addition to the existing concessions from other agreements, namely CETA and CPTPP, represent about 18% of the Canadian market. When considering the three latest trade agreements, Canadian dairy processors will lose $320 million per year.
On top of the market access concessions, CUSMA includes a concerning and unprecedented clause that will impose export caps on worldwide Canadian shipments of milk powder, protein concentrates and infant formula. For example, for skim milk powder and milk protein concentrates, a cap of 55,000 tonnes will be imposed for the first year and 35,000 tonnes for the second year.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is also sounding the alarm. In addition to the market access concessions, supply-managed industries are anxiously waiting for government to fulfill its commitment to quickly and fully mitigate the impacts of these trade agreements, action that is necessary, though insulting to many of my constituents who work in these industries.
Before the international trade committee, Mr. Dykstra, a New Brunswick dairy farmer, stated:
I now want to touch on the compensation package promised, and partly delivered, for CETA and CPTPP. I haven't heard anything about the remaining years and how it will be paid out. That in itself concerns me. The compensation package is bittersweet. Most farmers, including me, received a payment in December of last year for those previous trade agreement concessions. As far as I am aware, no concrete timeline has been set for the next payments. We, as dairy farmers, have always prided ourselves on getting all our money from the marketplace. This is how the system is supposed to work. This is how it did work. The government trading away excess and then offering compensation is not what we want.
In addition to the previously mentioned market access concessions, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture has raised two other issues causing serious industry concern.
First, the Liberals have relinquished Canadian sovereignty on critical internal policy development and export control functions. CUSMA commits Canada to consult with the United States before making changes to Canadian dairy policies. This should have never been surrendered.
Second, as mentioned previously, the Liberal government also agreed to cap dairy-sector exports of milk protein concentrates, skim milk and infant formula to CUSMA and non-CUSMA countries, and approved an export charge on exports over the cap. This is disturbing on several fronts. Canada has long argued against the use of export tariffs to regulate trade. It also sets a dangerous precedent by allowing a regional trade agreement and a party in that agreement to control the trade of another party to countries outside of that agreement.
This is why the Conservative Party is standing up for these Canadian businesses and calling on the Deputy Prime Minister and the Liberal government to amend the agreement. Export thresholds for milk protein concentrates, skim milk powder and infant formula should only be subject to trade between the CUSMA signatories, not to other countries that are not party to the agreement.
I will give a real-world example of this from a company that employs hundreds of people in my riding, Vitalus Nutrition, whose CEO, Phil Vanderpol, presented at the trade committee.
Vitalus processes milk supplied by Canadian farmers into high-quality cream and butter, milk protein concentrates and milk protein isolates that have superior quality, nutritional value and functionality. It planned and anticipated demand and, up to this point, was capitalizing on the growth in the global market for nutritional value-added dairy ingredients. The federal government, or at least Western Economic Diversification Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, recognized Vitalus' economic promise and even invested significant funds in the company in the previous Parliament. However, that same federal government is now pulling the rug out from under the company and, ironically, its own previous investments. The Liberal government has managed, in this case, to simultaneously shrink the opportunity for Canadian dairy producers in the Fraser Valley while limiting their ability to grow by exporting.
Turning to forestry, Canada's forestry industry is also disappointed in the Liberal government's inability to protect its sector, since CUSMA does not prevent the United States from applying anti-dumping and countervailing duties to Canadian softwood lumber. Yes, Canadian forest product producers want a speedy ratification of CUSMA, even though it will provide no relief for their uncertainty. They want this in the hope that the federal government will start providing their industry the attention it requires. Businesses are going under, families are hurting and more than 20,000 forestry workers have suffered layoffs. The Liberal government must take immediate action to solve the softwood lumber dispute. It is unconscionable that a sector so significant was not part of the agreement.
I do not have time to address all of the shortcomings I have outlined that are in this new trade agreement, but I note that I would have liked to see the list of professionals admitted under temporary entry for business persons expanded to include the jobs of the 21st century. There are a lot of problematic issues regarding the rules of origin for automobiles and the new quotas in place. Also, buy America was not addressed.
When I was a graduate student, I participated in the North American forum for young leaders in North America. I had the opportunity to work with American and Mexican students at some of the top universities in our continent. On a personal note, we have so much untapped potential between our three countries, and I look forward to seeing labour mobility provisions changed during my lifetime, of course with strict immigration protocols, to meet the untapped potential we have with our trading partners.
With that, I would say that the new NAFTA deal put forward for ratification by the government is, overall, a disappointment, which I know because I represent the supply-managed industries in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. It would leave Canadians worse off than they were under the prior agreement and would relinquish our sovereignty. Our economy depends on free trade, and we need a federal government that signs agreements for the benefit of Canadians. It seems in this case that Canadians were sold out on so many fronts. We need ministers like my old boss, the member for Abbotsford, at the helm of international trade.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-03-10 11:34 [p.1857]
Madam Speaker, I have found the third reading debate and indeed this whole process around the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement interesting. Today I watched as the governing Liberals, the opposition Conservatives and the separatist Bloc all tried to take credit for free trade and sing the praises of free trade. I can tell members that the New Democrats are not here to sing the praises of corporate free trade; far from it. We have been pretty consistent critics of this model of trade, but not trade itself.
One of the sleights of hand that too often happens not just in this place but in the media about trade is that somehow the corporate model of free trade that has been very good at reinforcing corporate rights over the rights of people and the environment is somehow the only way to do trade. New Democrats are not under that illusion. We know that too often corporate free trade deals have meant that countries get trapped in a race to the bottom, that these deals are structured in a way to allow international capital.
We hear in other debates about how Canada needs to compete for investment, and if it tries to regulate in the public interest in areas that have to do with the environment or workers that international capital is going to leave and go to other jurisdictions. These types of free trade agreements are all about making that easier and all about intensifying the threat of capital flight in the event governments choose to stand up for their workers, the environment or the rights of indigenous people within their territory.
CUSMA unfortunately is part of that model. What is different here is that we are not talking about going from no free trade agreement to having a corporate free trade agreement. What we are talking about is two different agreements and which one we are going to have. As some people mentioned earlier, if we did not go for the new CUSMA and the existing NAFTA was abrogated by the President of the United States, there would still be a free trade deal in place, the original free trade deal between Canada and the United States.
We are not in a position where we are talking about whether Canada is going to sign up for some new commitment under the corporate free trade agreement. What we are talking about is which commitment is going to serve Canadians better. That is an important point to make, and that has been a consistent theme throughout the debate on this. Certainly it has been an important part of the NDP's deliberations on this particular deal.
In my speech at second reading, I said there were two questions that were going to guide us in our thinking. One was whether, on balance, this deal would leave Canadians better off than the current agreement. The second question I said would guide our deliberations was whether we could leverage the process around this deal, which we knew was going to pass anyway because the Conservatives said early on that whether they liked it or not or studied it a long time or a short time, ultimately they were going to vote for it. We knew that this was an agreement that was going to pass, and the question was whether we could use the process around this ratification in order to get a better process that made the next trade agreement negotiation more open and transparent to the Canadian public.
I want to talk a little about some of the problems with the model and then I want to talk a little about this particular agreement and why, on balance, we think that the package of things that comes with this agreement will leave Canadians a bit better off than the status quo.
In addition to the problems of the corporate free trade model I mentioned earlier, particularly that race to the bottom when it comes to environmental standards and labour standards, there is another problem. We hear often from Conservatives that what they do not like about government is that it picks winners and losers, except that they have no problem with that when it comes to free trade agreements. Often the Conservatives negotiate the deal and then the Liberals sign the deal. That seems to be the pattern.
The Liberal Party and Conservative Party work very well together when it comes to advancing this corporate model of free trade, but Conservatives do not have a problem picking winners and losers in free trade agreements even though they do not like the idea of picking winners and losers when it comes to funding renewable energy, for instance, over other industries. They say that is an unacceptable picking of winners over losers. However, when it comes to sacrificing the dairy industry in agreements, we know the Conservatives negotiated concessions on supply management in the TPP, which ultimately the Liberals signed on to.
I was trying to listen in the best spirit and interestingly, optimistically, I heard members of the Conservative Party defending Canada Post, a Crown corporation. That was great to hear. I might add that is not reminiscent of the way the Conservatives behaved as a government, but it was nice to hear. That was another instance where they were decrying picking winners and losers. I am inclined to agree that Canada Post should not have been singled out, because I am a proud supporter of Crown corporations. I hope their resolve carries forward with them into whatever future positions they may have in this House, be it government or the fourth party. We can only hope.
I mentioned also that CUSMA picks winners and losers when it comes to the digital economy. Unfortunately, the losers, by and large, are Canadians themselves. This has been another feature of these corporate free trade agreements where governments, I think quite needlessly, tie their hands when it comes to making good public policy. One of the things this agreement does is it really constricts the options Canadian governments have going forward on how to deal with what is a new, emerging and very important and significant aspect of the global economy, which is the digital economy.
For instance, in this agreement, the government has agreed it will not make third party platforms responsible for the content posted on those platforms. That is a major policy decision. It is one that we may well live to regret. It is a discussion which, in my opinion, should have happened in this House in a far more robust way. That is not the kind of thing we should have been negotiating with trading partners prior to having a meaningful debate about how Canada wanted to treat this issue.
In some places within trade agreements we get protection for existing laws, rules and policies. We really have not had the opportunity to establish those in a meaningful way for many aspects of the digital economy. We see the government already signing away its ability to make those decisions and, by extension, the ability of this place and Canadians themselves to decide how they want their digital space managed going forward. That is a feature of these kinds of agreements. It is the kind of thing the NDP has been a vocal critic of. We think it is one thing to decide we want to trade with another country, but when we look at agreements like the Auto Pact, which were not global free trade deals but about dividing up the wealth that comes from producing those products and ensuring that the trading partners each were getting their fair share of the wealth generated by the products that were going to be moving freely across the border, that is not what free trade is. Rather, it is more about, as I said earlier, setting up rules to make it easy for multinational corporations to move their production around. That may have a short-term benefit on price, but it does not always. We know companies charge what the market will bear. In the long term, I think there are many Canadians who would appreciate the opportunity to pay a bit more for a good or service that contributes to Canadian workers and keeps wealth in Canada, but I digress.
I mentioned earlier there were two questions that would guide our deliberations. I want to speak to the first one now, which is whether, on balance, this agreement is better than the status quo. There are a few things I would point to that are laudable, despite the faults of this agreement.
One is the elimination of chapter 11 of the original NAFTA. That was the clause under which foreign corporations, not Canadian corporations—although I would not have been a fan of that, but I think it was that much more egregious that it only gave these rights to foreign corporations—could sue the Canadian government for creating laws or instituting regulations that protect the environment or workers that they saw as costing them profit. Canada not only put that in the original NAFTA, but these investor-state dispute settlement clauses have been in most of the trade agreements that we have negotiated. Canada has paid out the most in the world under these kinds of clauses, so I am glad to see that go. I note it was something the President of the United States wanted gone and that initially our government defended, which has always seemed backward to me. Nevertheless, regardless of who got it out, it is out and that is a good thing.
It is likewise with the energy proportionality clause. It said that if, in any given year, we take the average percentage of Canadian production of oil and gas that went to the United States over the previous three years, in future years the U.S. would have a right to insist on that percentage of Canadian production. Regardless of whether there was a domestic shortage or whether we could get a better price somewhere else, the United States would have a right to that percentage of our production of oil and gas. We have always seen that as a completely unreasonable, to put it mildly, infringement on Canadian sovereignty and something that was not in the best interests of Canadians, so we are glad to see that go.
There are a number of new North American content provisions for the auto sector, which we think is a good thing. They hearken back to the Auto Pact. Those provisions are actually least like free trade provisions, but they are being lauded as potentially doing the most for the Canadian auto sector. I think this is a signal that the free trade model, in itself, is not enough for Canadian success.
One of the other things to note is that in the original version of CUSMA there were provisions that would have significantly increased the cost of biologic drugs. This was due to, unfortunately, not our own government, but to the Democrats in the United States who went back to the table. Because they were not satisfied with the original agreement, those provisions came out. That means that some of the increases in the cost of prescription drugs that were going to happen as a result of this agreement, which we have seen in other agreements like CETA and the TPP, are not happening in this agreement. That is a good thing. One of the reasons that the NDP has often opposed some of these trade agreements is because they offer unreasonably good protection to international pharmaceutical companies at the expense of Canadians who require medication to improve their quality of life.
We also saw, in the second round of negotiations spurred by the Democrats in the United States, first-of-their-kind labour provisions in a trade agreement. I will not say that they are perfect; a lot of work is going to have to be done in order to ensure that they are implemented in a way that realizes the maximum potential for workers in Mexico, but these agreements would provide some upward pressure on wages for Mexicans working in the auto sector. I think just as, or more, importantly, and we heard this at committee from a Mexican member of the labour movement, it will make it easier for them to organize real unions in their workplaces. Evidence shows that when there is a union, one is able to get better working conditions and secure better wages. That is good for Mexican workers and for workers in the United States and Canada as well. This is to the extent, and that extent remains to be seen, that companies will not be picking up their operations and simply moving them to Mexico because it is a way of getting out of having a union in a workplace and paying higher wages.
Again, this is not a panacea; it is not going to change things overnight, but these enforceable labour provisions are the kinds of things that New Democrats have said for decades ought to go hand in hand with the rules that are established, and very strongly protected, in international trade agreements.
By voting for this agreement at this time, we are trying to consolidate the gains of having chapter 11 eliminated, having the proportionality clause eliminated and having the potential increase in prescription drugs stopped. We want to give a chance to allow these first-of-their-kind labour provisions to play out and to see whether we can use trade agreements to increase fairness for workers. I hope, if we can show that there is success on that front, that one day we could get meaningful enforcement of some environmental rules across jurisdictions too.
This agreement really does not do that. It does not mention the most important agreement designed to address the most important environmental challenge of our time, which is the Paris accord and climate change. I think that is where we are going to need to get if we are going to have accountability internationally for countries reducing their climate emissions. We need to tie those accords to economic accords as well, so that there can be meaningful consequences for countries that do not live up to their expectations.
I want to spend a little time now talking about the second question that I said would guide our deliberations on this matter, which was whether this ratification process could be leveraged to get a better trade process for the next time.
This process in itself was not great. We heard other members speak earlier about just how late Parliament got an economic impact assessment. By everyone's admission, we are talking about a major deal. We are talking about a lot of trade crossing the border every day, and there has been a lot of commentary on the agreement. The surprising thing for Canadians who may just be learning about this, if they are watching at home, is that debate was not supported by any real economic data because the government did not release it until the day before the end of the committee hearings, which was just the last sitting Thursday. Therefore, the economic report that actually puts some numbers to what we are doing here came out on the Wednesday and the committee study concluded and moved along on the Thursday. That did not make a heck of a lot of sense.
There are other things that have not made sense over the years, particularly the high degree of secrecy around trade negotiations. As I mentioned in my speech at second reading, two of our biggest trading partners, with which we have concluded free trade deals, the European Union and the U.S., both released far more information about their negotiation process to the public. They create far more of a space for civic engagement around trade negotiation and allow their citizens to weigh in on what is important to them, what they think their executive is doing right in those negotiations and what it is doing wrong. We saw how that interplay between the legislature and the executive can create opportunities to get better deals. We saw that happen with this very agreement, unfortunately not here in Canada but in the United States where Congress was able to get involved and require the President to go back to the table in order to get a deal that was acceptable to the legislature.
This Parliament only deals with trade deals once they are signed, sealed and delivered and there is no possibility of going back to the table. That was why I contacted the Deputy Prime Minister early on in this process, to talk about some of those problems of process and how we might be able to improve those going forward. That precipitated a period of negotiation, at the end of which the government committed to put in its policy for tabling treaties in the House of Commons a new commitment. The government will now tell Parliament formally, 90 days before beginning formal negotiations with another country or group of countries, of its intent to bargain a new trade deal. It will table its negotiating objectives in Parliament, which means publicly, 30 days before those negotiations. That is comparable to what already happens in the United States, and is even less stringent than what happens in the European Union, so it is a completely reasonable thing to do and Canadians will be better off for it.
Finally, on the topic of the economic impact assessment, we got a commitment from government that it will make it a matter of policy that governments table economic impact assessments side by side with the ratifying legislation so that we never again end up in the ridiculous position we were in this time, where we were being asked to study a bill without having any economic data about its impact. I should not say “any”; we did have some from the United States because a year ago, it published an economic impact assessment. Canadians and their parliamentarians should not have to look to our trading partners for information about how a trade deal is going to affect us. We should be able to get that from the government. We now have a commitment to make it a matter of policy that governments will provide that information, which is important.
There is more I would like to say, but I look forward to the question and answer period.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-03-10 12:29 [p.1865]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague chairs the Standing Committee on International Trade and we were able to work together quite well on this agreement. The question I have for her is about something we found out that was quite disturbing, which was the transparency of the government on the economic impact implications of this trade agreement.
Before the election, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister were very clear that this was going to be a win-win-win for Canadians. We found out late in the game the government's own numbers. For example, for people in my community in the auto sector there was going to be a hit of $1.5 billion to the auto industry and a decrease of 1.7% in production.
My colleague did not know and we did not know. I believe the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister were aware of it because they were working on it since 2017.
In order for this not to happen again, what does she think has to be implemented for future trade agreements? This was extremely misleading and it may have caused people to vote differently in the election.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the great work he did on the committee. He was a great member to work with, as were all the members on the committee.
Not everything goes the way we all want it to go. At the committee level, in reference to the economic report we were waiting for, we did receive it quite late in the process. All of this has been very difficult to ensure that this NAFTA and Bill C-4 get through the committee and that we recognize all of the pluses, such as the thousands of jobs we are protecting in Canada as well as the opportunities for growth that need to happen.
We always learn in everything we do as parliamentarians, and I hope we will learn from this experience as well to move forward.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2020-03-10 17:50 [p.1914]
Mr. Speaker, as the NDP trade critic, I have been following the debate very closely.
Conservatives mentioned a couple of issues multiple times. One is the lack of an economic impact assessment, or the late delivery of that document, getting it only a day before the conclusion of the committee's study. A second concern, and I think a legitimate concern, is about having to give notice to the United States of negotiating an agreement with a non-market country, which really means China.
The NDP was successful in negotiating some policy changes with the government, namely that the government would be required by its own rules to table an economic impact assessment with the ratifying legislation, that it would be required to give three months' public notice, here in Parliament, of an intent to negotiate with any country, and that it would give notice of its negotiating objectives.
That is sound policy, and it helps in addressing some of the concerns about the process for this agreement by making public the notice that the U.S. would get anyway and by ensuring that economic impact assessments would be tabled with the ratifying legislation.
Would the member comment on those provisions?
View Martin Shields Profile
CPC (AB)
View Martin Shields Profile
2020-03-10 17:51 [p.1914]
Mr. Speaker, the member brings such depth to his questions and interest in this House. I always appreciate it when the member stands up to address the House.
The member talked about transparency, and transparency is the issue. We are dealing with the coronavirus. I am going to go a different way on this, but members will understand why in a second. We have had a party dealing with this, but it has been dealing with it in a very closed fashion.
When the Conservatives dealt with SARS, was it just the committee of the cabinet that was dealing with it? No. The leaders of all opposition parties were included at 10 o'clock every day. It was transparent and it was dealt with as a team, because those things need to be dealt with by a team.
This is the same as what the member was saying about dealing with a team. We are dealing with the coronavirus and we are out here having to ask questions about what is going on. If the Liberals would include the opposition, as Conservatives did with SARS, we would have transparency and much better information sharing. We would then be able to make better decisions.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2020-03-10 17:52 [p.1914]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to engage in this debate again. What I am going to speak to is a story of betrayal, incompetence, weakness on the part of the Prime Minister, hubris and recklessness. It is a story of opportunity lost because we did not even have to engage in this negotiation the way the Prime Minister engaged in it.
Our Prime Minister assumed that, because President Trump said that he was going to tear up NAFTA, somehow he needed to reach out to him and say that he gladly would renegotiate this agreement. Anyone who knows anything about the American trade system knows that the President cannot unilaterally tear up a trade agreement. He needs to have the consent and the approval of Congress.
Think about this: 35 of the American states have Canada as their number one export market. Show me the representatives, senators and governors from those states. Do colleagues think they will ever agree to tear up the old NAFTA? Of course not, but our Prime Minister marched into this negotiation and said, “President Trump, what do you want from us?” That is how it all started and then President Trump said, “Well, I've got this huge trade deficit with Canada.” That is fake news.
The truth is that our trade with the United States is virtually perfectly balanced. One month it will be one way, a couple of billion dollars, another month the other way. The reality is that our trade is as perfectly balanced as any two countries could expect. The President's target was Mexico, but somehow our Prime Minister did not figure that out.
The Prime Minister said that he was going to bring back a win-win-win. It was three wins, one for Mexico, one for the U.S. and one for Canada. Did we get a win out of this deal? By any reasonable measure and standard we lost and we lost big time. Let me explain why.
What are the wins? We did get a digital economy chapter out of it, because back when NAFTA was first negotiated we did not have a digital economy. Today it is ubiquitous, so it makes sense to have a chapter for that.
We did synchronize some of our intellectual property rules with the United States. That is okay.
We raised our de minimis amounts so that people can come across the border with a higher duty-free limit, but there were no real market access gains for Canada in this agreement, except for maybe a little bit of sugar. That is about it, honestly.
Earlier Liberal speakers defined success in this agreement by what Canada did not lose. They said we were able to defend things. We were able to preserve chapter 19. What a great win. We preserved what we had before. That is not my definition of a win. My definition of a win is that we gain something from the United States, not just security or simply a marketplace that will not be disrupted because we do not have an agreement.
Let me now talk about the concessions we made. Can members imagine that after five years of negotiations our Prime Minister agreed to President Trump's demand that there be a six-year sunset clause? In other words, in six years either we decide to carry on, or the deal falls dead. That is the first time Canada has ever done that, by the way.
The aluminum industry in Canada was not provided with the same protection against dumping, primarily from China, that the United States got, so we sold out the aluminum industry.
Then there are export caps on the auto industry for parts and vehicles being exported.
We conceded Canadian sovereignty on milk pricing. Never before have we done that, where we said, “President Trump, if we want to change our milk pricing regime, we will come to you, cap in hand on bended knee, and beg you for permission to do this” to defend our supply management system.
We did the same thing with our sovereignty with regard to negotiating other trade agreements. Can members imagine that? We agreed with Donald Trump that if we ever want to negotiate a trade agreement with a non-market economy like China, we will have to come to him and ask him for permission to do so. Sly fox that he is, he has already negotiated his own deal with China, at least a phase one deal, so he does not have to come to us cap in hand, but we have to go to him that way to try to compete on a level playing field with China. Do members think he will ever approve that? Of course not. We got snookered.
It gets worse. We conceded double the amount of new dairy access that the Americans will have to our market than our Conservative government had negotiated under the TPP. That is a massive failure, and it gets worse. The Liberals actually imposed export caps on our ability to export value-added milk products. For example, in cheesemaking in the milk industry, there are by-products that used to be washed down the drain, but we had some smart Canadian companies there. One of them is in Abbotsford, British Columbia. It is called Vitalus, and we had Phil Vanderpol from Vitalus at committee. We asked him about the export caps.
The U.S. wanted us to limit our exports of these value-added unique products not only to the United States, which might have been fair, but also to other countries all around the world. We said to Donald Trump, “You know what? We are not going to be able to export beyond those cap limits.”
I asked Mr. Vanderpol at committee if he got a chance to talk to the minister and the trade representatives about this. He said that yes, they had a meeting, and they told him in no uncertain terms that export caps were not on the table. When the agreement came out, guess what? Caps had not only been on the table, but had been negotiated away by our Liberal government.
That is the betrayal part of this agreement. That is a betrayal, and Mr. Vanderpol was very upset about how his industry had been sold out by this Liberal government.
I will now talk about the process that the government undertook to apprise Canadians of what this deal really meant in economic terms.
The United States did an economic impact assessment, and I have it here. There are 400 stinking pages of it that explain the impact it will have on the U.S. economy, and it is a positive impact. The assessment says that the U.S. made major gains against Canada. Ours was a 73-pager, and it did not even compare the old NAFTA to the new NAFTA; it compared a universe without NAFTA at all to the new NAFTA.
Fortunately, there is an organization in Canada that did the work that this Liberal government failed to do, and that is the C. D. Howe Institute. It actually compared the impact of the new NAFTA to what the old NAFTA delivered for Canadians in economic terms, and it is a sad story. It is a story of failure on the part of the Liberal government. The C. D. Howe Institute concluded that Canada is going to sacrifice about $14 billion of economic activity every single year going forward. That is a $14-billion GDP hit that we are going to take as a result of this agreement. Is that a responsible agreement?
The Liberals used to say that no NAFTA was better than a bad NAFTA. Now they are saying that it is better to have a new NAFTA than no NAFTA at all. They do know what they are talking about.
They talk about win-win-win. They talk about delivering a better deal for Canadians. At the end of the day, after we look at this agreement, and I do have some experience in trade, we see this is a big fail for Canadians.
I wish we had better news for Canadians, because we can do so much better. The previous Conservative government would have never made the concessions that were made in this agreement. There are things in this deal that Canada has never agreed to before, yet this Liberal government made those concessions. That is a sad story.
It is a story of failure.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 18:06 [p.1916]
Mr. Speaker, the member referred to a report. I wonder, as there have been many reports done and analysis, if he could refer to any others?
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