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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 2--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the public consultation for the new five-dollar banknote launched by the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Canada on January 29, 2020 (which ended on March 11, 2020): (a) how many nomination submissions were made nominating a Canadian to appear on the next five-dollar banknote; (b) of the nomination submissions made for a Canadian to appear on the next five-dollar banknote, what names were submitted for consideration; (c) of the names listed in (b), how many nominations did each name receive; (d) based on the analytics software installed or run on the Bank of Canada website and server, how many individuals visited the consultation form listed on the Bank of Canada website between January 29, 2020, and March 11, 2020?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Bank of Canada received 52,971 names during the January 29 to March 11, 2020, public call for nominations, resulting in 625 qualified submissions.
With regard to part (b), the 625 qualified nominees can be found at the following link: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/banknoteable-5/nominees/.
With regard to part (c), the information is unavailable. The Bank of Canada does not collect information on the number of nominations received for each name.
With regard to part (d), the information is unavailable. The consultation form is not hosted on the Bank of Canada's website. However, the bank can report that 44,485 individuals submitted one or more names to the public call for nominations between January 29, 2020, to March 11, 2020.

Question No. 5--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: (a) what is the number of employers who have received the subsidy; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) sector, (ii) province; (c) what are the total government expenditures to date through the subsidy; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by (i) sector, (ii) province?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, parts (a) to (c), the latest information on the total amount of the Canada emergency wage subsidy expended is available on the Government of Canada website under “Claims to Date–CEWS” at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-statistics.html.
The CRA captures CEWS information regarding the total approved claims broken down by province or territory where the applicant resides, by industry sector and by size of applicant, by period beginning in May 2020, rather than in the manner requested above. The latest information, updated on a monthly basis, is available on the Government of Canada website under “CEWS Claims–Detailed Data” at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-statistics/stats-detailed.html.

Question No. 15--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to government contracts entered into by the member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency, for the acquisition of architectural, engineering or other services required in respect of the planning, design, preparation or supervision of an international development assistance program or project valued between $98,000.00 and $99,999.99, signed since January 1, 2016, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what is the total value of all such contracts; and (b) what are the details of all such contracts, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of services or construction contracts, (v) file number?
Response
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), with regard to government contracts valued between $98,000 and $99,999.99, signed since January 1, 2016, the department’s delegation of financial and contracting signing authority delegates officers appointed to specific positions the authority to purchase services, in accordance with all applicable legislation, regulations, policies and directives.
Information on contracts for the time period requested is available under “Proactive Disclosure” at Open Government, https://open.canada.ca/en.

Question No. 16--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Atlantic Raven and the Atlantic Eagle: (a) how many Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) personnel are stationed on each ship by full-time equivalents; (b) how many hours per day while at sea are CCG personnel stationed on each ship; and (c) what are the costs for CCG personnel stationed on the tugs?
Response
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following information is for the time period of October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2020.
With regard to part (a), the number of Canadian Coast Guard personnel on board both Atlantic Raven and Atlantic Eagle varies per patrol. There are between one and six CCG employees stationed on each ship for a total of 3976.5 person-days or 10.9 person-years, to date.
With regard to part (b), each CCG employee lives on board and holds a twelve-hour shift while on board.
With regard to part (c), to date the Canadian Coast Guard has paid $206,778 on meals and quarters, and $294,620 on salaries for a total cost of $496,330 while CCG personnel are stationed on the tugs.

Question No. 17--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to personal protective equipment purchases since March 13, 2020: (a) what amount of supplies were ordered and prepaid for; (b) of the supplies in (a), how many units have yet to be received; (c) what amount of N95 or KN95 masks were ordered but deemed unacceptable by the Public Health Agency of Canada; (d) what was the dollar value associated with the masks mentioned in (c); (e) of the supplies in (c), were associated prepayment costs reimbursed to the buyer and if so, how much; (f) what is the dollar amount associated with each contract signed for N95, KN95, and surgical masks to date; and (g) what was the total prepaid to vendors for which no supplies were received or are not expected to be received?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, since March, the Government of Canada has been engaged in an unprecedented effort to acquire supplies and equipment to ensure that our front-line health care workers, other essential services workers and Canadians stay safe and healthy. Throughout this pandemic, there has been a surge in global demand for the personal protective equipment, PPE, and medical supplies needed in response to COVID-19. As a result, the government has operated in a highly competitive market and faced risks posed by fragile international supply chains.
With regard to part (a), approximately 40% of PPE contracts have included a component of advanced payments. Such arrangements were necessary to ensure that Canada could secure access to supplies amidst intense international competition.
With regard to part (b), the most recent update on quantities ordered and received is available on PSPC's website at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/comm/aic-scr/provisions-supplies-eng.html.
The quantities ordered for personal protective equipment and medical supplies are intended to meet short-term needs and anticipate Canada’s long-term needs as we continue to respond to COVID-19, while preparing for any eventuality over the coming months. “Quantities received” includes the approximate number of products that have been shipped and are in transit or have arrived at a Government of Canada warehouse. Some contracts are multi-year in nature with delivery scheduled beyond March 2021.
The information released will be adjusted over time as the procurement environment evolves.
With regard to part (c), a total of 9.5 million KN95 respirators did not meet Government of Canada technical specifications for healthcare settings.
With regard to part (d), in order to support the negotiating position of the Government of Canada, this information cannot presently be disclosed.
With regard to part (e), negotiations are still taking place between the Government of Canada and the supplier.
With regard to part (f), as part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we are publicly disclosing contracting information to the fullest extent possible. Supplier names and contract amounts for contracts entered into on behalf of other government departments for PPE and medical or laboratory equipment and supplies can be found on our COVID-19 contracting information page at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/comm/aic-scr/contrats-contracts-eng.html. The information released will be adjusted over time as the procurement environment evolves.
With regard to part (g), all suppliers are expected to deliver on their contracts.

Question No. 19--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the COVID-19 Supply Council: what are the costs associated with the council, broken down by (i) salary top-ups and or additional pay for an individual sitting on the council, (ii) hospitality expenses, (iii) travel expenses broken down by type, (iv) in-person meeting facilities, (v) service reimbursements like Internet expenses, taxi or Uber costs, (vi) per diem expenses, (vii) incidentals?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as of September 23, 2020, there have been no costs associated with the COVID-19 supply council. Members volunteer their time and meetings are held by video conference.

Question No. 33--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
With regard to the government’s decision not to exclude costs associated with grain drying from the carbon tax: (a) why did the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food say that the impact of these costs on farmers is “not that significant”, and what specific evidence does the minister have to back up this claim; (b) what is the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s definition of “not that significant”; (c) what are the government’s estimates on how much revenue will be received yearly from the carbon tax on grain drying, for each of the next five years; and (d) has Farm Credit Canada conducted any analysis or studies on the impact of this tax on the income of farmers, and, if so, what were the findings of any such analysis or studies?
Response
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, regarding part (a), according to data provided by provincial governments and industry groups, the estimated cost of carbon pollution pricing associated with grain drying increases the costs of farm operations by between 0.05% and 0.38% for an average farm.
Costs of drying grain will vary depending upon farm size, location, province, fuel used, grain type and other factors. Costs will also vary from year to year, with 2019 being wetter than usual in many provinces and, therefore, translating into higher than normal grain drying expenditures.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, obtained estimates of the cost of drying grains, which have either been publicly released or which have been provided to AAFC by external sources, including producer organizations and provincial governments.
Each of these groups arrived at estimates of the cost of grain drying and of carbon pollution pricing associated with this activity using different underlying assumptions, which makes direct comparisons difficult. AAFC standardized the various estimates to arrive at more comparable results. For grain and oilseed farms, the average per-farm cost of carbon pollution pricing associated with grain drying was $210 in Alberta, $774 in Saskatchewan, $467 in Manitoba and $750 in Ontario.
Note that the analysis received from Alberta was based on their estimates of what the carbon pollution price would cost in the province. On June 1, 2019, Alberta repealed their own provincial carbon price fuel levy, and the federal fuel charge came into force on January 1, 2020. Therefore, Alberta farmers did not pay a federal carbon pollution price on their fuels used for grain drying during harvest in 2019.
AAFC provided further context to these estimates by relating them to information on net operating expenses. To do this, AAFC calculated the share of the cost of carbon pollution pricing associated with grain drying to overall net operating expenses for an average farm in each of the four provinces mentioned above. Net operating costs refer to all expenses, other than financing expenses and income taxes, incurred in the normal course of business, including cost of goods sold, selling and administrative expenses, and all other operating expenses. Data on net operating expenses was obtained from Statistics Canada’s agricultural taxation data program, or ATDP, which includes unincorporated and incorporated tax filer records used to estimate a range of financial agricultural variables. The financial variables disseminated by the ATDP include detailed farm revenues and expenses as well as farm and off-farm income of farm families.
Relating the estimates above to the value of net operating costs implies that the average per-farm cost of carbon pollution pricing associated with grain drying in 2019 was 0.05% of net operating costs in Alberta, 0.18% in Saskatchewan, 0.10% in Manitoba and 0.38% in Ontario.
Some variation still remains despite standardization. The estimates for Alberta and Saskatchewan are based on historical averages and, therefore, could be considered estimates for an average year in those provinces. The estimates for Manitoba and Ontario are based on 2019, a wet year, and therefore could be considered estimates for a year with higher-than-normal moisture levels.
AAFC assessed the costs of the federal carbon pollution pricing fuel charge in 2018. That assessment is publicly available at: https://multimedia.agr.gc.ca/pack/pdf/carbon_price_presentation-eng.pdf.
Regarding part (b), the above results show that the estimated costs of carbon pollution pricing to oilseed and grain farms amount to less than 0.5% of net operating expenses for 2019. This is for a hypothetical average farm. The financial impact on individual farms will depend on a myriad of factors, including the quantity of grain harvested, the type of grain produced, the share of grain drying done on farm versus at the elevator, the fuel used in grain drying, prices of fuel and the moisture level of crop at harvest, among other individual farm factors.
In addition, the agriculture sector receives significant relief under the federal carbon pollution pricing system compared to other sectors of the economy. The federal carbon pollution pricing system includes relief for farm activities that represents a significant part of the total cost of production that would otherwise impact their competitiveness. Thus, gasoline and diesel fuel used by farmers for agricultural activities is exempt from the fuel charge, and biological emissions, for example, from livestock, manure and fertilizer application, are not priced. Recognizing that greenhouse heating fuel consumption for year-round operations represents a significant cost of production, the system also provides significant relief of 80% for natural gas and propane used by commercial greenhouse operators. Natural gas and propane use for heating, for barns and grain drying, are not exempted under the federal fuel charge as it was not considered a significant cost of production for an average grain and oilseed farm.
Regarding part (c), the purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that carbon pollution pricing applies broadly throughout Canada.
All direct proceeds from the federal carbon pollution pricing system are returned to the jurisdiction of origin. In Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the majority of the direct proceeds from the federal fuel charge are returned directly to households through climate action incentive payments.
AAFC assessed the costs of the federal carbon pollution pricing fuel charge in 2018. That assessment is publicly available at https://multimedia.agr.gc.ca/pack/pdf/carbon_price_presentation-eng.pdf.
Regarding part (d), Farm Credit Canada has not conducted analysis or studies on the impact of the carbon pollution pricing on the income of farmers.

Question No. 35--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government's 2019 election commitment to plant 2 billion trees: (a) how many trees have been planted to date; (b) what is the breakdown of the number of trees planted to date by (i) province, (ii) municipality or geographical location; (c) what are the total expenditures to date related to the tree planting project; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by item or type of expenditure?
Response
Mr. Paul Lefebvre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is fully committed to delivering on its commitment to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years.
At this time, Natural Resources Canada is working closely with other government departments, including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Parks Canada Agency to develop a comprehensive approach for implementing the government’s plan to plant two billion trees. The government is also collaborating with provinces and territories, municipalities, indigenous partners and communities, non-governmental organizations, industry, the private sector, landowners, researchers and other stakeholders to move this initiative forward.
Existing federal programs are already supporting tree planting, with approximately 150 million seedlings expected to be planted by 2022 through the low carbon economy fund, working with provinces and territories, as well as trees planted through the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund, working with communities. The Government of Canada also continues to support the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, which has planted more than 750,000 of a planned two million trees between Trenton and Toronto.
As part of its commitment to supporting Canada’s forests and forest sector, the Government of Canada took early action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing up to $30 million to small and medium-sized forest sector firms, including tree planting operations, to defray the costs associated with COVID-19 health and safety measures. This funding helped ensure a successful 2020 tree planting season and the planting of an estimated 600 million trees, while protecting workers and communities.
The Government of Canada is also adapting the investing in Canada infrastructure program to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. The program, delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, is being adjusted to add some flexibilities, expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals. A new temporary COVID-19 resilience stream, with over $3 billion available in existing funding, has been created to provide provinces and territories with added flexibility to fund quick-start, short-term projects that might not otherwise be eligible under the existing funding streams. The new stream will support projects such as: disaster mitigation and adaptation projects, including natural infrastructure; flood and fire mitigation; and tree planting and related infrastructure.

Question No. 46--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and Canadians living in Hong Kong: (a) how many Canadian citizens or permanent residents are currently registered as living in Hong Kong; (b) how many Canadian citizens or permanent residents has GAC confirmed are currently in Hong Kong; (c) what is the government’s best estimate of the total number of Canadian citizens and permanent residents currently residing in Hong Kong; and (d) on what date and what data did the government use to come up with the number in (c)?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
Regarding parts (a) to (d), presently, there are 4,208 Canadians who have registered with the voluntary registration of Canadians abroad service in Hong Kong. As registration with the service is voluntary, this is not a complete picture of the total number of Canadians in Hong Kong.
Global Affairs Canada does not maintain statistics on the total number of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in a specific country or territory. According to a survey led in 2011 by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, an estimated 295,930 Canadians were living in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at that time.

Question No. 48--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to revenue collected from the federal carbon tax: (a) excluding any rebates, what is the total amount of revenue collected by the government from the carbon tax or price on carbon since January 1, 2017; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) year, (ii) province; (c) what is the total amount of GST collected on the carbon tax since January 1, 2017; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by (i) year, (ii) province?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 270 of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, GGPPA, the Minister of the Environment must table a report in Parliament annually with respect to the administration of the act. The inaugural edition of the “GGPPA Annual Report” is expected to be published in December 2020, including details of proceeds collected and how they were disbursed.
Under the GGPPA, the federal carbon pollution pricing system has two parts: a regulatory charge on fuel, or federal fuel charge; and a regulatory trading system for industry, the federal output-based pricing system, OBPS.
Consumers do not pay the fuel charge directly to the federal government. Fuel producers and distributors are generally required to pay the fuel charge and, as a result, the price paid by consumers on goods and services would usually have the costs of the fuel charge embedded. Registered OBPS industrial facilities will not generally pay the fuel charge on fuels that they purchase. Instead, OBPS facilities are subject to the carbon pollution price on the portion of emissions above a facility emissions limit. The GGPPA requires that the direct proceeds from carbon pricing be returned to the jurisdiction of origin.
With respect to reporting on the federal fuel charge, the “GGPPA Annual Report” will include a financial summary of fuel charge proceeds assessed, by province and territory, for the first full year that the fuel charge was in effect, April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. During this period, the federal fuel charge applied at a rate of $20 per tonne, as of April 1, 2019, in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; as of July 1, 2019, in Yukon and Nunavut; and, as of January 1, 2020, in Alberta. The federal government has proposed to stand down the federal fuel charge in New Brunswick, as of April 1, 2020, as the province introduced a provincial tax on carbon-emitting products that meets the federal benchmark stringency requirements.
The OBPS came into effect January 1, 2019. Unlike the fuel charge, however, assessments are done on an annual basis. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on reporting, the government extended the due date for reporting under the OBPS system in respect of the 2019 compliance year from June 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020. The final assessed values of proceeds due to the OBPS for this first compliance year, therefore, are not expected to be available until after the publication of the first edition of the “GGPPA Annual Report”.
The question requests information since January 1, 2017. No proceeds would arise from either the OBPS or federal fuel charge in calendar years 2017 or 2018, as these two systems did not come into effect until January 1, 2019 and April 1, 2019, respectively.
With respect to the goods and services tax, GST, the GST is levied on the final amount charged for a good or service. Under the GST, businesses are required to report and remit to the Canada Revenue Agency the total amount of GST collected on all goods and services they supply during a reporting period and do not report the GST collected in respect of specific goods and services or embedded costs.

Question No. 61--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the approximately 20,000 Atlantic salmon that escaped from the Robertson Island pen fire on December 20, 2019: (a) how many of the fish were reported recaptured to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) by Mowi ASA as of February 20, 2020; (b) how many independent reports of caught Atlantic salmon were reported to the DFO, broken down by date and location of catch; (c) how many of the escaped fish were infected with Piscine orthoreovirus; (d) how much funding has the government provided to assist with recapture; and (e) how much compensation has the government provided to Mowi ASA?
Response
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), most of the salmon were removed from the pens prior to the escape event, and the rest of the farm was harvested following the fire. Mowi recovered and harvested 1,177 fish from within the predator netting at the Robertson Island site following the incident. Mowi did not recapture any escaped Atlantic salmon that left the site. It is widely believed that the escaped fish have been eaten by sea lions and other predators in the area. As per the company’s condition of licence, the reporting of the fish escape to DFO occurred within 24 of the discovery event.
With regard to (b), there have been no reports of recaptured fish. At the request of the ‘Namgis First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, issued a scientific licence for up to three gillnets to recapture escaped Atlantic salmon from December 26 to December 29, 2019. Despite these efforts, no Atlantic salmon or other fish were caught during that time. Subsequently, the ‘Namgis First Nation requested another scientific licence to continue recapture efforts. This licence was issued from December 30, 2019 to January 3, 2020. However, no fish were recaptured.
With regard to (c), it is unknown whether any of the escaped fish were infected with Piscine orthoreovirus, PRV.
With regard to (d), the federal government has not provided any funding to assist with the recapture. However, DFO regional staff have engaged Mowi and stakeholders in the area to develop a strategic coordinated plan for monitoring.
With regard to (e), the federal government has not provided any compensation to Mowi pertaining to this escape event.

Question No. 63--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to the government's ethical apparel policy PN-132 and contract clause A3008C, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many times has the contract clause been breached by companies doing business with the government; (b) what are the details of each instance where a breach occurred, including (i) the date that the government advised the vendor that they were in breach, (ii) vendor, (iii) brand names involved, (iv) summary of breach; (c) for each instance in (b), did the government terminate the contract or issue a financial penalty to the vendor, and, if so, what are the details and amounts of the penalties; (d) how many investigations have been conducted to ensure compliance with PN-132, and, of those, how many vendors were found to be (i) in compliance, (ii) not in compliance; (e) does the policy consider ethical procurement certification for contracting below the first-tier subcontractor level; (f) what specific measures has the government taken, if any, to ensure that all vendors, including any contractors or sub­contractors of such vendors, are in compliance with the policy; (g) what specific measures, if any, has the government taken to ensure that any products produced by forced labour camps, and specifically the forced Uyghur labour camps in China, are not purchased by the government; (h) what is the government's policy, if it has one, in relation to the termination of contracts in cases where a second-, third-, or any level below the first-tier subcontractor are found to be noncompliant with PN-132; (i) what is the total number of employees or full-time equivalents assigned to ensure compliance with the ethical apparel policy; and (j) for each employee in (i), what percentage of their job has been assigned to investigate or ensure compliance?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. With regard to parts (a) to (d), presently, there are 4,208 Canadians who have registered with the voluntary registration of Canadians abroad service in Hong Kong. As registration with the service is voluntary, this is not a complete picture of the total number of Canadians in Hong Kong.
Global Affairs Canada does not maintain statistics on the total number of Canadians citizens or permanent residents in a specific country or territory.
According to a survey led in 2011 by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, an estimated 295,930 Canadians were living in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, SAR, at that time.

Question No. 64--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to what the Prime Minister describes as the "due diligence" conducted by government officials in relation to the original decision to have the WE organization or WE Charity administer the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG): (a) how many officials were involved in conducting the due diligence; (b) who conducted the due diligence; (c) who was in charge of overseeing the due diligence process; (d) did the due diligence process examine WE's recent corporate governance or financial issues; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, why did the officials still recommend that WE be chosen to administer the CSSG; (f) if the answer to (d) is negative, why were such issues not examined in the due diligence process; and (g) on what date did the due diligence process in relation to WE (i) begin, (ii) end?
Response
Mr. Irek Kusmierczyk (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, officials from ESDC explained in several appearances before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance that contribution agreements are regularly used by the government to further policy objectives and engage a wide diversity of skills and resources outside the government.
ESDC began discussions in early May 2020 with WE Charity. Prior to entering into the contribution agreement, ESDC assessed the organization’s eligibility and capacity to deliver a project against the terms and conditions of a program or initiative and the policy objectives and parameters of the Canada student service grant, CSSG; considered WE Charity’s standing, including its completion of projects, results achieved and good financial standing on previous projects, by reviewing past projects where WE Charity received funding for project delivery from ESDC; and articulated clauses in the contribution agreement on accountability and results to mitigate any risks associated with the project development.
ESDC also outlined financial controls in the contribution agreement to govern the organization’s appropriate use of funds, by including the following: payment clauses to advance funds based on project activities and to minimize the potential of overpayment; interest clauses requiring that any interest earned be either directed towards the project or returned to the Crown; repayment clauses governing the return of ineligible expenditures or funds that were not used for the project; project records, reporting and audit clauses holding the funding recipient accountable, allowing the department to track project progress, document results, provide financial accounting and track compliance; and a requirement for audited financial statements to reconcile expenditures at the end of the project.
Given the nature and amount of the agreement, due diligence was performed at all levels by employees and management within the skills and employment branch, program operations branch, chief financial officer branch and legal services branch within ESDC from the time negotiations on the contribution agreement commenced on May 5, 2020.

Question No. 65--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to Transport Canada’s (TC) announcement on November 1, 2017, to improve local maritime situational awareness and reduce marine traffic congestion through the Oceans Protection Plan, specifically with respect to the $500,000 national Anchorages Initiative (NAI) to “bring together government, the marine industry, Indigenous peoples and stakeholder communities to develop a sustainable national anchorage framework”: (a) in terms of subject matter, what areas of research has TC contracted, and who are the vendors; (b) who is currently directing the NAI and which of TC's federal and regional offices reports to the said director; (c) what concrete governmental actions, as a result of the NAI, can be expected by the initiative’s estimated completion date of fall 2020; (d) which First Nations peoples and affected West Coast communities (i) have been consulted, (ii) have arrangements for NAI consultations in place; and (e) at the present date, how much of the $500,000 budget allocated for the NAI remains unspent?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the World Maritime University completed three comparative research studies for Transport Canada. These studies examined the impacts of anchoring and related mitigation measures, technologies and practices; the demand for anchoring outside the jurisdiction of major public ports in Canada; and international approaches to the management and oversight of anchorages outside the jurisdictions of major public ports.
With regard to part (b), the anchorages initiative is led by Transport Canada’s marine policy directorate in the national capital region.
With regard to part (c), Transport Canada will consult on a proposed approach to clarifying the governance and management of anchorages outside current port boundaries, with a view to mitigating socio-environmental impacts while promoting economic efficiency. As part of this work, best practices for the behaviour of large vessels at anchor will be advanced.
Given the impacts of COVID-19 on timelines and the need to ensure effective consultations with indigenous groups and other key stakeholders, the anchorages initiative will continue its work through to the end of the five-year mandate of the oceans protection plan.
With regard to part (d)(i), the following first nations peoples and affected west coast communities have been engaged: Snuneymuxw First Nation, Stz'uminus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Penelakut Tribe, Tseycum First Nation, Pauquachin First Nation, Tsartlip First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Malahat First Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation, Cowichan Nation Alliance, Coast Salish Development Corporation, Islands Trust, Gabriolans Against Freighter Anchorages Society, Anchorages Concern Thetis, Cowichan Bay Ship Watch Society, Plumper Sound Protection Association, Protection Island Neighborhood Association, Stuart Channel Stewards, Saltair Ocean Protection Committee and Lady Smith Anchorage Watch.
In addition, the anchorages initiative participated in the following oceans protection plan engagement sessions attended by first nations, industry, government and community groups: Pacific Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum Winter 2020, Vancouver, B.C., January 30, 2020; North Coast Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum Fall 2018, Prince Rupert, B.C., November 22, 2018; Oceans Protection Plan Presentation to Comité de concertation sur la navigation, Bécancour, Quebec, October 30, 2018; South Coast Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum Fall 2018, Vancouver, B.C., October 22, 2018; South Coast Oceans Protection Plan Indigenous Workshop Spring 2018, Nanaimo, B.C., May 8-9, 2018; Atlantic Region Oceans Protection Plan Day with Indigenous Groups and Industry, St. John’s, NFLD, March 28, 2018; South Coast Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum Spring 2018, Vancouver, B.C., March 20-21, 2018; North Coast Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum Spring 2018, Prince Rupert, B.C., March 8-9, 2018; Atlantic Oceans Protection Plan Day with Indigenous Groups, Moncton N.B., January 26, 2018; Oceans Protection Plan Presentation at the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Commercial Fisheries Conference, Moncton N.B., January 25, 2018; Atlantic Oceans Protection Plan Engagement Session, Dartmouth, N.S., June 19, 2018; Oceans Protection Plan Engagement Session, Quebec, Quebec, June 12, 2018 ; Oceans Protection Plan Engagement Session, Quebec, Quebec, November 7-8, 2017; Oceans Protection Plan Engagement Session, Vancouver, B.C., November 2, 2017.
With regard to part (d)(ii), additional engagement with indigenous groups and west coast communities will be undertaken once a proposed approach to the governance and management of anchorages is confirmed. No dates have been set at this point.
With regard to part (e), at the present date, the $500,000 budget allocated for the NAI has been spent.

Question No. 78--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to the Clean Fuel Standard: (a) was a cost-benefit analysis of implementing such a regime conducted, and if not, why not; and (b) if such analysis was conducted, what are details including (i) who conducted the analysis, (ii) when was it conducted, (iii) what were the national results, (iv) what were the provincial or territorial results, (v) what is the website address of where analysis results were published, if applicable, (vi) if results were not published online, what is the rationale for not releasing the results?
Response
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the proposed clean fuel standard regulations are on track to be published in Canada Gazette, part I in fall 2020, followed by a 75-day comment period. A regulatory impact analysis statement, which includes a cost-benefit analysis, will accompany the publication of the draft clean fuel standard regulations in Canada Gazette, part I. The cost-benefit analysis will provide an opportunity to engage with provinces, territories and stakeholders on, among other elements, the regional and sector economic impacts of the regulations.
Since the announcement of the clean fuel standard in 2016, there has been significant engagement on the design of the regulations. This has included engagement on the compliance pathways, including assumptions around technology update and costs.
In February 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework for the Clean Fuel Standard for comment. The framework can be found at www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-pollution/energy-production/fuel-regulations/clean-fuel-standard/cost-benefit-analysis-framework-february-2019.html.
Most recently, an update to the framework was provided in June 2020.

Question No. 85--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to government employees working from home during the pandemic, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what is the total number of employees whose primary work location was, prior to the pandemic (or as of January 1, 2020), (i) in a government building or office space, (ii) at a home office or private residence, (iii) other, such as outdoor or travelling; (b) what is the total number of employees who worked from a government building or office space as of (i) April 1, 2020, (ii) July 1, 2020, (iii) September 28, 2020; (c) what is the total number of employees who worked from a home office or private residence as of (i) April 1, 2020, (ii) July 1, 2020, (iii) September 28, 2020; (d) what is the number of employees who initially were advised or instructed to work from home during the pandemic; (e) how many of the employees in (d) have since returned to work in a government building or office space, and when did they return, broken down by how many employees returned on each date; (f) of the employees in (d), how many were able to (i) complete all or most of their regular employment duties from home, (ii) some of their regular employment duties from home, (iii) few or none of their regular employment duties from home; (g) how many employees were provided with or had access to government laptop computers or similar type devices so that they could continue performing their regular employment duties from home during the pandemic; and (h) how many employees, who were advised or instructed to work from home during the pandemic, were not provided or had access to a government laptop or similar type of device while working from home?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting employees, whether physically in the workplace or at home. Together and apart, the government will continue to deliver information, advice, programs and services that Canadians need.
The Government of Canada continues to take exceptional measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health and safety of its employees. The vast majority of public servants are working, either remotely or on site, to continue effectively delivering key programs and services to Canadians under these unprecedented circumstances.
Public health authorities have signalled that physical distancing requirements must remain in place. This means that many public service employees will continue to work remotely, and effectively, for the foreseeable future. Decisions regarding access to worksites are being made based on government-wide guidance and take into consideration the local public health situation and the nature of the work. Access to federal worksites for employees varies from organization to organization, based on operational requirements.
The physical and psychological health and safety of employees remain an absolute priority for the Government of Canada. As many parts of the country are seeing a resurgence in cases, the Government of Canada continues to be guided by the decisions of public health authorities, including Canada’s chief public health officer, and the direction of provinces/territories and cities. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents ongoing challenges for Canadians and for the public service, the government has been moving collectively and successfully towards managing COVID-19 as part of its ongoing operations and the continued delivery of key programs and services to Canadians.

Question No. 87--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to the government's firearms prohibitions and buyback program: (a) did the government conduct, either internally or externally, any analysis on the impacts of alternative mechanisms to address firearms related crimes; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of each such analysis, including (i) the alternate mechanism analyzed, (ii) who conducted the analysis, (iii) the date the analysis was provided to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, (iv) findings, including any associated cost projections?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on May 1, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the immediate prohibition of over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms that are specifically designed for soldiers to shoot other soldiers. The prohibition limits access to the most dangerous firearms and removes them from the Canadian market.
For decades, police chiefs had been advocating for such a measure. In 1986, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, CACP, declared there was a “worldwide surplus” of accessible firearms that were designed for warfare and for the federal government to “take the steps necessary to end this increase in available weapons.” In 1994, the CACP declared that “military assault rifles” were produced for the “sole purpose of killing people in large numbers” and urged the Minister of Justice to enact legislation to “ban all military assault rifles except for law enforcement and military purposes.” Last September, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police declared their support for a prohibition on all military-designed assault rifles. In their view, “these weapons have no place in our communities and should be reserved for use by Canada’s military and law enforcement.” Additionally, the current chief of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has declared that this prohibition “finds balance” as it “ensures the safety of our members” while not limiting “those that recreationally participate in hunting or those that actually live off the land.”
Between October 2018 and February 2019, the government held extensive public engagement on the issue of banning handguns and assault-style firearms with the provinces and territories, municipalities, indigenous groups, law enforcement, community organizations and industry to help inform policy, regulations and legislation to reduce violent crime involving firearms. While the engagement was framed by the examination of a potential ban, the discussion explored several potential measures to reduce violent crime including enhanced enforcement capacity for law enforcement and border services, investments to support initiatives that reduce violence, and strengthening safe firearms storage requirements to help prevent theft. Many participants expressed that a ban on assault-style firearms was needed in order to protect public safety.
We put in place an amnesty to give existing owners time to come into compliance with the law. The amnesty order also provides a temporary exception for indigenous persons exercising section 35 constitutional rights to hunt and for sustenance hunters to allow for continued use of newly prohibited firearms, if previously non-restricted, until a suitable replacement can be found. The government remains committed to introducing a buyback program during the amnesty period. However, the costs associated with implementing a buyback program have not yet been finalized.
While the prohibition was a crucial initiative, it was only the first step in the government’s gun control agenda. The government also intends to bring forward targeted measures to further address the criminal use of firearms. We will strengthen firearms storage requirements to deter theft. Following hundreds of millions of dollars cut by the previous Conservative government, we will continue to make the necessary investments to enhance our tracing capacity and reduce the number of guns being smuggled across the border. We will continue to also work with our partners from other levels of government to develop an approach to address handguns.
The government also intends to build on previous investments in youth and community measures, because we know that better social conditions lead to a reduction in crime and violence.
These initiatives were identified as a priority by our government, both in the throne speech and in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and we are committed to addressing these important issues as soon as possible.

Question No. 88--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to the firearms regulations and prohibitions published in the Canada Gazette on May 1, 2020, and the proposed gun buyback program: (a) what is the total projected cost of the buyback program, broken down by type of expense; (b) is the projected cost a guess, or did the government use a formula or formal analysis to arrive at the projected cost; and (c) what are the details of any formula or analysis used by the government in coming up with the projected cost?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to introducing a buyback program that offers fair compensation to affected owners and businesses, while making sure implementation and management costs of such a program are well priced and sustainable. To assist in meeting this dual objective, Public Safety is seeking to obtain professional services through a competitive process for the provision of advice on options and approaches to further inform ongoing efforts to develop a buyback program. Specifically, this advice would focus on firearms pricing models, as well as on the design, implementation and management of a buyback program for recently prohibited firearms.
As such, the costs associated with implementing and managing a buyback program have not been finalized yet and will be further refined in the coming months as program design development work progresses. Public Safety, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, and its partners are looking at a range of options, and will work with the provinces and territories to get this right for law-abiding gun owners and businesses.
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-10-27 15:44 [p.1321]
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord. I very much admire his ability to make such measured speeches. I have a quick question for him.
I get the impression that, as with Bill C-7, people will vote to please certain religious groups. I do not believe that to be the best approach.
Could my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord talk about the right way to vote on a bill that has this kind of moral impact?
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-10-27 15:45 [p.1321]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Jonquière. I am pleased to know that I have such a big fan. That is something.
That being said, I think there’s a risk of starting down a slippery slope if we vote the way one religion or another wants us to.
We need to be careful. Religions of all kinds are important. I think that they have a positive impact on many people. I am pleased that there are religious communities, but they should not be telling us how to legislate. That would be a problem and would create conflicts that could never be resolved.
I therefore encourage members to be very careful about making a decision centred on religious beliefs rather than on the facts before us.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, when I was a junior air force officer, my first posting was as the procurement officer for 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island. I was responsible for everything that was bought or leased on the base. In other words, anyone working on the base who needed something had to get it through me.
My decisions were not arbitrary or made on a whim. Before I was assigned the job, I spent many months in training as a military logistician, studying over 20 volumes of the Canadian Forces publication 181, supply manuals, defence procurement policies, the Financial Administration Act and many other related documents. There were processes and procedures for everything. Just to obtain approval to procure a commercial coffee maker required 10 signatures on a material authorization change request, or MACR for short. Those 10 people included the base commander, a squadron commander, a flight commander and me, just to name a few.
This bureaucracy was tiresome to be sure, but it was essential to upholding that no one, not even the base commander, could use military funds, and by extension public money, to, for example, pay for an outrageously expensive coffee machine purchased sole-source, which happened to include a million-dollar administration fee for someone's husband. There was no room for misconduct.
As officers, we endured the necessary piles of paperwork to ensure that tax dollars were spent wisely and to preserve the honesty and integrity of the organization and everyone in it. If these were the high standards to which a junior air force procurement officer is held, should they be any less for the highest office in the land?
Let us talk about the Prime Minister and his pattern of behaviour of breaking the rules, giving money to his friends, using Liberal members to cover it up and firing anyone who dares to stand in his way. Let us talk about the Prime Minister's pattern of corruption.
His first transgression was the gift of an all-expenses-paid Christmas vacation for him, his family and his friends to an island in the Bahamas. The rules require that members of Parliament disclose any gift over $200. The Prime Minister was found guilty of breaking the Conflict of Interest Act. He apologized. Seamus O'Regan, a minister of the Crown who joined the Prime Minister on this trip, never disclosed the vacation as a gift.
Then came the SNC-Lavalin scandal. SNC was charged with fraud and corruption, and was seeking a way to get out of facing the full consequences of breaking the law. It looked to our Prime Minister to use his powers to circumvent the law and tip the scales in SNC's favour. A justice minister stood in his way and upheld the rule of law. For her efforts, she was fired as justice minister and thrown out of the Liberal Party. There was no place in the Liberal Party for honourable actions like that. The key adviser and friend to the Prime Minister, Gerry Butts, resigned.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the head of our non-partisan, hard-working public service chose that moment to retire. Liberal members on the House of Commons committees attempting to investigate shut down all attempts to get to the truth.
The Prime Minister was found guilty of a second ethics violation, but this time he showed no remorse. He had no intention of acting differently. He refused to apologize and instead doubled down, trying to convince us that it was okay to break the law for the right reasons, like helping his corporate friends escape the long arm of the law.
The Prime Minister has again used the powers of his office for personal gain. The Prime Minister attempted to award the WE Charity a $912-million government contract, $912 million in taxpayer dollars, in a closed, directed, no competition selection process. During a pandemic that has millions of Canadians struggling to pay their bills, our Prime Minister attempted to give hard-earned tax dollars to an organization to do what exactly?
For starters, an administration fee of $43.5 million would be pocketed directly by the WE Charity, a charity that just happened to have paid the Prime Minister's family and the family members of other members of his cabinet significant sums of money. Once again, the House of Commons committees investigating were stonewalled and then ultimately shut down when the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament, leaving Canadians with no government at all.
For a third time, the Prime Minister is being investigated for ethics violations.
However, this is not just a story about the Prime Minister. It is unfortunately much worse than that. The Prime Minister's actions send a message to others who would seek to break the rules, cheat and take advantage of their positions of power for personal gain. It gives them permission to put their personal agendas before the best interests of the country. It becomes a culture of acceptance of corruption, because, after all, if the Prime Minister can do it, why should they not?
For example, the former finance minister, Bill Morneau, was investigated for conflict of interest violations for a corporation that held a French villa that he forgot to disclose. He was also investigated for failing to put the shares of his company in a blind trust and then introduced pension legislation changes that would benefit corporations like his. Morneau also forgot to disclose or pay back the all-expenses paid $40,000-plus vacation that WE Charity gave him and his family. Yes, that is the same WE Charity. Coincidentally, two of his daughters have worked extensively with WE. Morneau was about to be investigated for ethics violations but instead resigned as a minister and a member of Parliament.
The list goes on. What about when the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs broke the law when, as fisheries minister, he approved an Arctic surf clam licence to the company his wife works for; or when the $84 million contract to administer the Canadian emergency commercial rent assistance program was out-sourced to the company that PMO chief of staff Katie Telford's husband works for?
What about the former Liberal Raj Grewal who allegedly received $6 million that he did not disclose to the Ethics Commissioner? Documents also claim that he solicited funds by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means in connection with his duties of office as a member of Parliament.
These are just the cases that have been uncovered. Like the tip of the iceberg, if this is the pattern of corruption that we can see, we can barely imagine the magnitude of what has not yet come to light or what the government wants to ensure never comes to light.
House of Commons committees are Parliament's version of the military's MACR, from a junior officer's time all those years ago. Committees are our checks and balances. The purpose of committees is to investigate and to problem solve. Committees hold governments to account, identify where they have failed. Committees are the work that members of Parliament get paid to do to deliver fair, equal and improved services for Canadians.
The Liberal members are shutting down committees. They are working to keep the full extent of the Prime Minister's transgressions hidden. They are determined to keep Canadians in the dark. Liberal MPs are complicit in the cover-up.
View Yvan Baker Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Yvan Baker Profile
2020-10-20 17:54 [p.1013]
Madam Speaker, much like my colleague, I was surprised by what our colleague said. He said that MPs who are at home because of the pandemic are not doing anything. My colleagues and I are all working very hard. I was therefore surprised to hear my colleague's comments. I do not think members are working any less than they usually do.
My question is simple. The Parliament of Canada established the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to conduct independent investigations. Members of Parliament do not investigate one another. Canadians trust that office.
Why not simply let the commissioner's office conduct an independent investigation and let members take care of the other issues that affect all Canadians?
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
In Canada, we are lucky to have an Ethics Commissioner who has submitted reports on the Prime Minister on several occasions. Another one will be released shortly.
The work of the Ethics Commissioner is to verify matters of ethics. On our side, our work is to dig in and ask questions that go beyond the mandate of the Ethics Commissioner. That is the work we do in committee and in the House of Commons. This allows us to ask more in-depth questions.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak today to Bill C-3.
Before getting elected, I had the opportunity to serve on the board of an organization in my riding called the Saffron Centre, and I want to recognize the great work it is doing in providing counselling and education on bullying, sexual violence, boundaries and related points. I served on the board of that organization prior to the #MeToo movement. At the time, the board would have conversations about the lack of social awareness around these issues and some of the challenges of fundraising and engaging people in supporting our organization in the context of where the awareness was at that time.
There is still a long way to go, but I think a lot has changed. As a result of the #MeToo movement, there has been a real growth, awareness and recognition. It was interesting for me to speak with some of the people involved in the organization after the start of the #MeToo movement. They shared with me that there was a significant increase in the demand for counselling. A lot of it was cases of historic trauma, that is, people who had experienced sexual harassment and violence, perhaps decades ago, and had never come forward or sought help. They were empowered to seek help based on what they were hearing about in the media or on social media when other people were stepping forward and sharing their experiences. We probably all have stories about community-based organizations in our riding. The way that public conversations around the #MeToo movement encouraged people to come forward to seek counselling and support for historic trauma really reminds us of the importance of these conversations.
Some time today has been spent debating the debate, with members across the way challenging why we are having this debate and asking why we cannot just give unanimous consent at all stages of the bill. We have seen cases in which bills that maybe have one objective do not fulfill that objective or could be strengthened in other ways at committee, so the parliamentary process is important. We have also seen, even today, how the conversations around these issues can be important and inspiring for people. It is therefore important for us, as members of Parliament, to discuss these issues as we support Bill C-3 and work to move it forward.
In 2017, our former Conservative leader, Rona Ambrose, introduced the just act, a bill that would have required lawyers seeking a judicial appointment to undergo training about sexual assault. It would also have required courts to provide written reasons in sexual assault rulings. The House of Commons passed the bill unanimously, but it was delayed in the Senate, and as a result the just act was never passed.
In Canada, an estimated one in three women and one in eight men are victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. That means approximately 5.73 million women and 2.3 million men will be victims. We can all agree that those numbers are too high. Statistics Canada reported in 2014 that, sadly, only 5% of sexual assaults were reported to the police. That means that fewer than 5% of sexual predators get the justice they deserve for their despicable acts.
The low number of reported cases is due to the fact that victims of sexual assault no longer have confidence in our justice system. A report published by the Department of Justice entitled “A Survey of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Three Canadian Cities” found that two out of three women had little or no confidence in the justice process. This is because the judges presiding over sexual assault cases had no knowledge of Canada's sexual assault laws. This led to incidents where judges unfairly questioned the character of the victims and completely ignored our sexual assault laws.
The just act would have improved this situation. Last Monday the Liberals decided to re-introduce this bill. Like the just act, Bill C-3 would require all newly appointed provincial superior court judges to participate in training on sexual assault and would amend the Criminal Code to require judges to provide written reasons or provide reasons in the record when making a decision in a sexual assault case.
Let us put politics aside. I am pleased that this bill has been brought forward again to protect the vulnerable victims of sexual assault. However, I think that we should take this opportunity to go even further. In February, I told the House that it would be useful to include sexual assault training for parole officers as well. I would like the government to add that to this bill.
We know that there have been problems in the past with the Parole Board of Canada. Dangerous criminals have committed more crimes after being released on parole. One example is the case of Eustachio Gallese, a convicted murderer who stabbed a woman after being released on parole. This incident could have been completely avoided had the Parole Board of Canada demonstrated good judgment. I am worried that this sort of thing could happen again when predators are released on parole. That is why it is essential that we give parole officers training on sexual assault and sexual predators. Victims must be protected.
I know that the current Liberal government likes to boast about being feminist. Here is a perfect opportunity to show Canadians that its feminist approach is legitimate and not just a political talking point. Going above and beyond the previous proposal by adding other measures to protect victims of sexual assault would be a worthwhile initiative. I know that we all want to ensure that Canadian women and men are protected from predators.
As legislators in this minority Parliament, I think it is important that we work together to ensure that we pass good, comprehensive legislation. I look forward to discussing the need for sexual assault training for our judges and our parole officers with my colleagues from all parties.
Having discussed now the substance and history of this particular bill and some related issues, I would like to add a few additional general comments about the vital work of combatting sexual assault and then respond to some of the other comments that have been made thus far in this debate.
While recognizing the value of educational initiatives, we also need to recognize their inherent limits. Criminal behaviour by some and callousness or indifference by others can, indeed, result from ignorance. Ignorance can be resolved through education, but ignorance is not the only cause of bad behaviour. Some people who are fully informed about what is right and wrong will still go on to commit heinous crimes or show indifference to the suffering of others. For such people, the problem is not awareness; rather, it is inclinations or patterns of behaviour that they have not brought under control.
It also might be a lack of empathy. For those who lack a requisite degree of empathy, no amount of information will change their behaviour. As author C.S. Lewis once observed, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Lewis's point deserves reflection as we consider the importance, but also the limitations, of prescribing education and training in response to sexual assault and harassment. We need to ask ourselves what actions we can take and what actions other institutions can take to support the development of positive, as opposed to negative, patterns of behaviour, as well as the development of empathy. Without this necessary development of character and virtue, more education in terms of legal lines and processes will be ineffective.
Another way to consider this issue is through the lens of the old debate between virtue ethics and rule-based ethics. Rule-based ethics frames ethical actions being about adherence to rules. In the present case, a rule like, “Don't assault or harass another person” is the one being applied.
Virtue ethics, on the other hand, frames ethics in terms of the need to develop positive qualities of character that allow individuals both to know what is right and to be able to apply that knowledge in specific situations. Virtue ethics would emphasize the need to develop the virtues of justice and self-control. A person who has developed the virtues of justice and self-control will necessarily not engage in behaviour that hurts or threatens other people, justice being the virtue of giving to others what is due to them and self-control being the virtue of controlling one's own appetites or inclinations.
These two ethical frameworks, rule-based and virtue ethics, are not mutually exclusive, but there is a question of emphasis. Personally, I believe the virtue ethics framework is more important because it seeks to not only attend to questions of what we ought to do, but also attend to questions of how to develop the capacity to consistently do what we ought to do.
Efforts to combat sexual assault should not just involve education in the form of passing on information about standards of conduct and legal frameworks but should also involve the positive promotion of qualities of character like justice and self-control. Growing up, I do not specifically recall ever being directly told not to sexually harass or assault people. Instead, I was taught to recognize the innate dignity of all people and to exercise control over my impulses. When justice and self-control are fully absorbed, the specific rule in this case seems very obvious.
As a father, I obviously think a lot about how to raise my own children to be good people and good citizens. My own children are too young for discussions about sexual violence, but I already try to work to encourage the development of the virtues of justice and self-control as well as a sense of solidarity and empathy. The development of these intellectual and practical virtues will hopefully make it obvious how to behave in situations they may encounter in the future.
Much is said today about the idea of toxic masculinity. In my opinion, it is important for us to seek to replace toxic masculinity with a redefined masculinity. Toxic masculinity involves seeking power over others, but a redefined concept of masculinity means power and control over oneself and one's own appetites and the courage to work to protect vulnerable people and advance justice.
Winston Churchill once observed that the power of man has grown in every sphere except over himself. Here, Churchill puts his finger on one of the biggest problems we face today: People who may know what is right and have been fully educated in terms of what is right still do not always have the will or virtues required to exercise the necessary power over their whims and appetites. The exercise of that power over self is vitally important in order to be a good person and a good citizen. A person without the virtues of justice and self-control can never be truly happy or resilient.
A redefined masculinity would emphasize justice and control of self, not personal gratification and the domination of others. I worry that in so many domains modern governments emphasize rules but not virtues, training but not the development of character. We need to give more considerations to the lessons virtue ethics can provide for combatting evils like sexual harassment and assault. I hope those who are developing these training programs for judges as well as for young people, educators, former offenders, etc., will take into consideration the important insights of the virtue tradition.
I want to take the remainder of my speech today to just respond to some of the points made. My colleague from Sarnia—Lambton spoke very eloquently about many different issues. She spoke about the importance of jurisdictions. This bill is an action in federal jurisdiction but it reminds us as well that there is other action that needs to be taken in other levels of government. The debate we are having today can hopefully be an impetus for further conversations.
My colleague from Sarnia—Lambton also spoke about the issue of rape culture. It is worth revisiting the important work done in the last Parliament that was initiated by my colleague, the member for Peace River—Westlock, on understanding the impact violent sexual images can have on especially young boys who see those images. We need policy changes that specifically combat rape culture, such as having requirements for meaningful age verification on the Internet. We should not be allowing young boys to access violent sexual images on the Internet. By instituting mechanisms for meaningful age verification, we could provide greater protections to ensure there are not those aspects of rape culture shaping the early sexualization of young boys.
I want to salute the member for Sarnia—Lambton and the member for Peace River—Westlock for the work they have done on those issues. I hope we will see, in the spirit of meaningful action on these issues, things like meaningful age verification. I will be picking up my remarks when we return.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, shortly after leaving politics, the Liberal MP Frank Baylis was awarded a $237-million contract to make medical ventilators. Since then, billions of dollars have been awarded to companies we have never heard of. The government cites national security reasons to avoid telling us who is getting these contracts. As we saw with the WE scandal, the Liberals often hide the truth from Canadians.
We want to know if the Liberals are awarding these contracts to their friends.
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 14:37 [p.425]
Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying we made all of our contracts public on our website at the end of July in the interest of full transparency for Canadians.
With regard to the contract mentioned, it was actually with a company called FTI Professional Grade, for $237 million for 10,000 ventilators. There is no contract with Frank Baylis. The contract that is referenced is with FTI, so the question is actually irrelevant.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-01 15:10 [p.431]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, page 623 of Bosc and Gagnon states, “The proceedings of the House are based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of all Members. Thus, the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House is strictly forbidden.”
Today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement called the question from my colleague for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles “irrelevant”. She may have also inadvertently misled the House. In fact, I have great respect for the minister; she is a learned law professor. She suggested his question was irrelevant because the contract for ventilators was with a company FTI Professional.
Let me pierce the corporate veil. A press release this year from Baylis Medical said, “The Baylis V4C-560 ventilator, manufactured in partnership with FTI Professional Grade Inc. (FTI), and Baylis Medical, is part of the order commissioned—
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 15:12 [p.431]
Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the House for the use of the word “irrelevant”. However, I reiterate the point that the contract between the Government of Canada—
View Anita Anand Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Anand Profile
2020-10-01 15:14 [p.432]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I find it strange that the Leader of the Opposition was able to say his point, but I am not able to respond it, and you actually—
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-09-29 14:25 [p.244]
Mr. Speaker, we could have debated this legislation for six weeks, but the back the Prime Minister had was his own when he shut down Parliament to cover up for the WE scandal. We will take no lessons from him on playing political games.
The Prime Minister refuses to listen to small businesses, farmers, energy workers, fishers, everyday Canadians and the members of Parliament they have elected. He is acting in a dictatorial way and is doing this primarily to avoid accountability and to cover up his own scandal.
Why does the Prime Minister put his own interests ahead of the interests of Canadians and democracy?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-09-29 14:26 [p.244]
Mr. Speaker, we are facing a second wave of the pandemic right across the country and the Conservatives continue to want to talk about the WE Charity. We on this side of the House are focused on the pandemic. We are focused on delivering for Canadians.
While I am up here, allow me to take this opportunity to express to Canadians my encouragement to download the COVID Alert app. It is safe and free and an easy way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I encourage everyone across the country to download COVID Alert and do their part to keep us all safe.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-09-28 14:22 [p.176]
Mr. Speaker, six weeks ago when Bill Morneau, the finance minister, resigned, it was clear the Prime Minister was going to do whatever it took to shut down the noise around the WE scandal. He was more concerned about himself and covering his own hide than governing, so he locked up Parliament, wasting precious time that could have been used doing work for Canadians.
Does the Prime Minister not know that his scandals are not going to go away and that by trying to cover them up, he has put his own interests above the interests of Canadians, their lives, their livelihoods and their peace of mind?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I do not know about the members opposite, but speaking for the members on this side of the House, I can say that we have all been very hard at work over the past six weeks. We put together the safe restart agreement at the beginning of the summer because we knew that a second wave would be coming. That is why we knew we needed to give the provinces $19 billion to help us get ready together. Then, just a few weeks ago, we knew it was a priority to get kids safely back to school, which was another $2 billion.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2020-09-25 11:10 [p.115]
Mr Speaker, Parliament is back after six weeks of prorogation. The Prime Minister hopes Canadians have forgotten the investigations, but his government cannot escape the light that will shine on the truth of his scandals and the failures intertwined. At a time when we face a crisis that is so deep and sinister, the Prime Minister's follies have cost him his late finance minister. While Canadians look on wondering when it will end, Conservatives stand up for Canada to serve and defend.
To my constituents and to all Canadians, I do say that there is hope, hope for better days when trust, sense and patriot love are restored, and we shed this broken government that we have grown to abhor. More than hope, today we must believe that change is needed to vanquish those who deceive. Change that is stronger; change that will get the job done; change we believe in, and change to overcome.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister locked the doors of Parliament to cover up his WE scandal under the guise of a Speech from the Throne that would address the pandemic. However, the throne speech was nothing but a litany of recycled Liberal broken promises that leaves countless numbers of people behind.
This Prime Minister has no plan to deal with the health crisis, no plan to deal with job losses and no plan to address divisions in our country. Why did the Prime Minister waste all of this time just to cover up his scandal, instead of using it to help Canadians?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-09-24 14:20 [p.62]
Mr. Speaker, the pandemic is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. The last six months have revealed fundamental gaps in our society and in countries around the world. For those who are already struggling, the pandemic has been even more difficult.
We must address the challenges of today and support vulnerable people for the future. We will take bold action on health, on the economy, on equality and on the environment. Those are the things that Canadians expect while we continue to have their backs through this pandemic and chart a better course for a brighter future for all Canadians.
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