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Results: 1 - 12 of 12
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the fleet of Airbus A310-300s operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force and designated CC-150 Polaris: (a) how many flights has the fleet flown since January 1, 2020; (b) for each flight since January 1, 2020, what was the departure location and destination location of each flight, including city name and airport code or identifier; (c) for each flight listed in (b), what was the aircraft identifier of the aircraft used in each flight; (d) for each flight listed in (b), what were the names of all passengers who travelled on each flight; (e) of all the flights listed in (b), which flights carried the Prime Minister as a passenger; (f) of all the flights listed in (e), what was the total distance flown in kilometres; (g) for the flights listed in (b), what was the total cost to the government for operating these flights; and (h) for the flights listed in (e), what was the total cost to the government for operating these flights?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 3--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to undertakings to prepare government offices for safe reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic since March 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on plexiglass for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; (b) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on cough and sneeze guards for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; (c) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on protection partitions for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; and (d) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on custom glass (for health protection) for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 4--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to requests filed for access to information with each government institution under the Access to Information Act since October 1, 2019: (a) how many access to information requests were made with each government institution, broken down alphabetically by institution and by month; (b) of the requests listed in (a), how many requests were completed and responded to by each government institution, broken down alphabetically by institution, within the statutory deadline of 30 calendar days; (c) of the requests listed in (a), how many of the requests required the department to apply an extension of fewer than 91 days to respond, broken down by each government institution; (d) of the requests listed in (a), how many of the requests required the department to apply an extension greater than 91 days but fewer than 151 days to respond, broken down by each government institution; (e) of the requests listed in (a), how many of the requests required the department to apply an extension greater than 151 days but fewer than 251 days to respond, broken down by each government institution; (f) of the requests listed in (a), how many of the requests required the department to apply an extension greater than 251 days but fewer than 365 days to respond, broken down by each government institution; (g) of the requests listed in (a), how many of the requests required the department to apply an extension greater than 366 days to respond, broken down by each government institution; (h) for each government institution, broken down alphabetically by institution, how many full-time equivalent employees were staffing the access to information and privacy directorate or sector; and (i) for each government institution, broken down alphabetically by institution, how many individuals are listed on the delegation orders under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 6--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to loans made under the Canada Emergency Business Account: (a) what is the total number of loans made through the program; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) sector, (ii) province, (iii) size of business; (c) what is the total amount of loans provided through the program; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by (i) sector, (ii) province, (iii) size of business?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 7--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to the Interim Order Respecting Drugs, Medical Devices and Foods for a Special Dietary Purpose in Relation to COVID-19: (a) how many applications for the importation or sale of products were received by the government in relation to the order; (b) what is the breakdown of the number of applications by product or type of product; (c) what is the government’s standard or goal for time between when an application is received and when a permit is issued; (d) what is the average time between when an application is received and a permit is issued; and (e) what is the breakdown of (d) by type of product?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 8--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to converting government workplaces to accommodate those employees returning to work: (a) what are the final dollar amounts incurred by each department to prepare physical workplaces in government buildings; (b) what resources are being converted by each department to accommodate employees returning to work; (c) what are the additional funds being provided to each department for custodial services; (d) are employees working in physical distancing zones; (e) broken down by department, what percentage of employees will be allowed to work from their desks or physical government office spaces; and (f) will the government be providing hazard pay to those employees who must work from their physical government office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 9--
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall:
With regard to the use of security notifications, also known as security (staff safety) threat flags, applied to users of Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) Client Service Delivery Network (CSDN) from November 4, 2015, to present: (a) how many security threat flags existed at the beginning of the time frame; (b) how many new security threat flags have been added during this time frame; (c) how many security threat flags have been removed during the time frame; (d) what is the total number of VAC clients who are currently subject to a security threat flag; (e) of the new security threat flags added since November 4, 2015, how many users of VAC’s CSDN were informed of a security threat flag placed on their file, and of these, how many users of VAC’s CSDN were provided with an explanation as to why a security threat flag was placed on their file; (f) what directives exist within VAC on permissible reasons for a security threat flag to be placed on the file of a CSDN user; (g) what directives exist within VAC pertaining to specific services that can be denied to a CSDN user with a security threat flag placed on their file; and (h) how many veterans have been subject to (i) denied, (ii) delayed, VAC services or financial aid as a result of a security threat flag being placed on their file during this time frame?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 10--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to government programs and services temporarily suspended, delayed or shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what is the complete list of programs and services impacted, broken down by department of agency; (b) how was each program or service in (a) impacted; and (c) what is the start and end dates for each of these changes?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 11--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to recruitment and hiring at Global Affairs Canada (GAC), for the last 10 years: (a) what is the total number of individuals who have (i) applied for GAC seconded positions through CANADEM, (ii) been accepted as candidates, (iii) been successfully recruited; (b) how many individuals who identify themselves as a member of a visible minority have (i) applied for GAC seconded positions through CANADEM, (ii) been accepted as candidates, (iii) been successfully recruited; (c) how many candidates were successfully recruited within GAC itself; and (d) how many candidates, who identify themselves as members of a visible minority were successfully recruited within GAC itself?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 12--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the government projections of the impacts of the COVID-19 on the viability of small and medium-sized businesses: (a) how many small and medium-sized businesses does the government project will either go bankrupt or otherwise permanently cease operations by the end of (i) 2020, (ii) 2021; (b) what percentage of small and medium-sized businesses does the numbers in (a) represent; and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by industry, sector and province?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 13--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to government contracts for services and construction valued between $39,000.00 and $39,999.99, 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, (il) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of services or construction contracts, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 14--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to government contracts for architectural, engineering and other services required in respect of the planning, design, preparation or supervision of the construction, repair, renovation or restoration of a work 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
(Return tabled)

Question No. 18--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to public service employees between March 15, 2020, and September 21, 2020, broken down by department and by week: (a) how many public servants worked from home; (b) how much has been paid out in overtime to employees; (c) how many vacation days have been used; and (d) how many vacation days were used during this same period in 2019?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 20--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to Order in Council SOR/2020-96 published on May 1, 2020, which prohibited a number of previously non-restricted and restricted firearms, and the Canadian Firearms Safety Course: (a) what is the government’s formal technical definition of “assault-style firearms”; (b) when did the government come up with the definition, and in what government publication was the definition first used; and (c) which current members of cabinet have successfully completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 21--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to defaulted student loans owing for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, broken down by year: (a) how many student loans were in default; (b) what is the average age of the loans; (c) how many loans are in default because the loan holder has left the country; (d) what is the average reported T4 income for each of 2018 and 2019 defaulted loan holder; (e) how much was spent on collections agencies either in fees or their commissioned portion of collected loans; and (f) how much has been recouped by collection agencies?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 22--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to recipients of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit: what is the number of recipients based on 2019 income, broken down by federal income tax bracket?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 23--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to accommodating the work from home environment for government employees since March 13, 2020: (a) what is the total amount spent on furniture, equipment, including IT equipment, and services, including home Internet reimbursement; (b) of the purchases in (a) what is the breakdown per department by (i) date of purchase, (ii) object code it was purchased under, (iii) type of furniture, equipment or services, (iv) final cost of furniture, equipment or services; (d) what were the costs incurred for delivery of items in (a); and (d) were subscriptions purchased during this period, and if so (i) what were the subscriptions for, (ii) what were the costs associated for these subscriptions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 24--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to the responses to questions on the Order Paper earlier this year during the first session of the 43rd Parliament by the Minister of National Defence, which stated that “At this time, National Defence is unable to prepare and validate a comprehensive response” due to the COVID-19 situation: what is the Minister of National Defence’s comprehensive response to each question on the Order Paper where such a response was provided, broken down by question?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 25--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
With regard to the transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) to persons, laboratories, and institutions in China: (a) who in China requested the transfer; (b) other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which laboratories in China requested the transfer; (c) for the answers in (a) and (b) which are affiliated with the military of China; (d) on what date was the WIV’s request for the transfer received by the NML; (e) what scientific research was proposed, or what other scientific rationale was put forth, by the WIV or the NML scientists to justify the transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses; (f) what materials were authorized for transfer pursuant to Transfer Authorization NML-TA-18-0480, dated October 29, 2018; (g) did the NML receive payment of $75, per its commercial invoice of March 27, 2019, for the transfer, and on what date was payment received; (h) what consideration or compensation was received from China in exchange for providing this material, broken down by amount or details of the consideration or compensation received by each recipient organization; (i) has the government requested China to destroy or return the viruses and, if not, why; (j) did Canada include, as a term of the transfer, a prohibition on the WIV further transferring the viruses with others inside or outside China, except with Canada’s consent; (k) what due diligence did the NML perform to ensure that the WIF and other institutions referred to in (b) would not make use of the transferred viruses for military research or uses; (l) what inspections or audits did the NML perform of the WIV and other institutions referred to in (b) to ensure that they were able to handle the transferred viruses safely and without diversion to military research or uses; (m) what were the findings of the inspections or audits referred to in (l), in summary; (n) after the transfer, what follow-up has Canada conducted with the institutions referred to in (b) to ensure that the only research being performed with the transferred viruses is that which was disclosed at the time of the request for the transfer; (o) what intellectual property protections did Canada set in place before sending the transferred viruses to the persons and institutions referred to in (a) and (b); (p) of the Ebola virus strains sent to the WIV, what percentages of the NML’s total Ebola collection and Ebola collection authorized for sharing is represented by the material transferred; (q) other than the study entitled “Equine-Origin Immunoglobulin Fragments Protect Nonhuman Primates from Ebola Virus Disease”, which other published or unpublished studies did the NML scientists perform with scientists affiliated with the military of China; (r) which other studies are the NML scientists currently performing with scientists affiliated with the WIV, China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, or other parts of China’s military establishment; (s) what is the reason that Anders Leung of the NML attempted to send the transferred viruses in incorrect packaging (type PI650), and only changed its packaging to the correct standard (type PI620) after being questioned by the Chinese on February 20, 2019; (t) has the NML conducted an audit of the error of using unsafe packaging to transfer the viruses, and what in summary were its conclusions; (u) what is the reason that Allan Lau and Heidi Wood of the NML wrote on March 28, 2019, that they were “really hoping that this [the transferred viruses] goes through Vancouver” instead of Toronto on Air Canada, and “Fingers crossed!” for this specific routing; (v) what is the complete flight itinerary, including airlines and connecting airports, for the transfer; (w) were all airlines and airports on the flight itinerary informed by the NML that Ebola and Henipah viruses would be in their custody; (x) with reference to the email of Marie Gharib of the NML on March 27, 2019, other than Ebola and Henipah viruses, which other pathogens were requested by the WIV; (y) since the date of the request for transfer, other than Ebola and Henipah viruses, which other pathogens has the NML transferred or sought to transfer to the WIV; (z) did the NML inform Canada’s security establishment, including the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, or other such entity, of the transfer before it occurred, and, if not, why not; (aa) what is the reason that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) redacted the name of the transfer recipient from documents disclosed to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) under the Access to Information Act, when the PHAC later willingly disclosed that information to the CBC; (bb) does Canada have any policy prohibiting the export of risk group 3 and 4 pathogens to countries, such as China, that conduct gain-of-function experiments, and in summary what is that policy; (cc) if Canada does not have any policy referred to in (bb), why not; (dd) what is the reason that did the NML or individual employees sought and obtained no permits or authorizations under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, the Export Control Act, or related legislation prior to the transfer; (ee) what legal controls prevent the NML or other government laboratories sending group 3 or 4 pathogens to laboratories associated with foreign militaries or laboratories that conduct gain-of-function experiments; (ff) with respect to the September 14, 2018, email of Matthew Gilmour, in which he writes that “no certifications [were] provided [by the WIV], they simply cite they have them”, why did the NML proceed to transfer Ebola and Henipah viruses without proof of certification to handle them safely; and (gg) with respect to the September 14, 2018, email of Matthew Gilmour, in which he asked “Are there materials that [WIV] have that we would benefit from receiving? Other VHF? High path flu?”, did the NML request these or any other materials in exchange for the transfer, and did the NML receive them?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 26--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
With regard to both the administrative and RCMP investigations of the National Microbiology Lab (NML), Xiangguo Qiu, and Keding Cheng: (a) with respect to the decision of the NML and the RCMP to remove Dr. Qiu and Dr. Cheng from the NML facilities on July 5, 2019, what is the cause of delay that has prevented that the NML and the RCMP investigations concluding; (b) in light of a statement by the Public Health Agency of Canada to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which was reported on June 14, 2020, and which stated, “the administrative investigation of [Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng] is not related to the shipment of virus samples to China”, what are these two scientists being investigated for; (c) did Canada receive information from foreign law enforcement or intelligence agencies which led to the investigations against Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng, and, in summary, what was alleged; (d) which other individuals apart from Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng are implicated in the investigations; (e) are Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng still in Canada; (f) are Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng cooperating with law enforcement in the investigations; (g) are Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng on paid leave, unpaid leave, or terminated from the NML; (h) what connection is there between the investigations of Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng and the investigation by the United States National Institutes of Health which has resulted in 54 scientists losing their jobs mainly due to receiving foreign funding from China, as reported by the journal Science on June 12, 2020; (i) does the government possess information that Dr. Qiu or Dr. Cheng solicited or received funding from a Chinese institution, and, in summary what is that information; and (j) when are the investigations expected to conclude, and will their findings be made public?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 27--
Ms. Heather McPherson:
With regard to Canada’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: (a) what is the role or mandate of each department, agency, Crown corporation and any programs thereof in advancing Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda; (b) what has the government, as a whole, committed to achieving and in what timeline; (c) what projects are currently in place to achieve these goals; (d) has the government liaised with sub-national governments, groups and organizations to achieve these goals; (e) if the answer to (d) is affirmative, what governments, groups and organizations; (f) if the answer to (d) is negative, why not; (g) how much money has the government allocated to funding initiatives in each fiscal year since 2010-11, broken down by program and sub-program; (h) in each year, how much allocated funding was lapsed for each program and subprogram; (i) in each case where funding was lapsed, what was the reason; (j) have any additional funds been allocated to this initiative; (k) for each fiscal year since 2010-2011, what organizations, governments, groups and companies, have received funding connected to Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and (l) how much did organizations, governments, groups and companies in (k) (i) request, (ii) receive, including if the received funding was in the form of grants, contributions, loans or other spending?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 28--
Ms. Heather McPherson:
With regard to the government’s campaign for a United Nations Security Council seat: (a) how much funding has been allocated, spent and lapsed in each fiscal year since 2014-15 on the campaign; and (b) broken down by month since November 2015, what meetings and phone calls did government officials at the executive level hold to advance the goal of winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 29--
Ms. Heather McPherson:
With respect to the government’s response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, broken down by month since June 2019: (a) what meetings and phone calls did government officials at the executive level hold to craft the national action plan in response to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and (b) what external stakeholders were consulted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 30--
Ms. Heather McPherson:
With regard to Canada Revenue Agency activities, agreements guaranteeing non-referral to the criminal investigation sector and cases referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, between 2011-12 and 2019-20, broken down by fiscal year: (a) how many audits resulting in reassessments were concluded; (b) of the agreements concluded in (a), what was the total amount recovered; (c) of the agreements concluded in (a), how many resulted in penalties for gross negligence; (d) of the agreements concluded in (c), what was the total amount of penalties; (e) of the agreements concluded in (a), how many related to bank accounts held outside Canada; and (f) how many audits resulting in assessments were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 31--
Mr. Michael Kram:
With regard to the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project: (a) is it the government’s policy to choose foreign companies over Canadian companies for this or similar projects; (b) which company or companies supplied transformers to the project; (c) were transformers rated above 60MVA supplied to the project subject to the applicable 35% or more import tariff, and, if so, was this tariff actually collected; and (d) broken down by transformer, what was the price charged to the project of any transformers rated (i) above 60MVA, (ii) below 60MVA?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 32--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s approach to workspace-in-the-home expense deductions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home guidelines: are individuals who had to use areas of their homes not normally used for work, such as dining or living rooms, as a temporary office during the pandemic entitled to the deductions, and, if so, how should individuals calculate which portions of their mortgage, rent, or other expenses are deductible?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 34--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to the status of government employees since March, 1, 2020: (a) how many employees have been placed on "Other Leave With Pay" (Treasury Board Code 699) at some point since March 1, 2020; (b) how many employees have been placed on other types of leave, excluding vacation, maternity or paternity leave, at some point since March 1, 2020, broken down by type of leave and Treasury Board code; (c) of the employees in (a), how many are still currently on leave; and (d) of the employees in (b), how many are still currently on leave, broken down by type of leave?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 36--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, since 2005: how many meat and poultry processing plants have had their licences cancelled, broken down by year and province?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 37--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to instances where retiring Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Members were negatively financially impacted as a result of having their official release date scheduled for a weekend or holiday, as opposed to a regular business day, since January 1, 2016, and broken down by year: (a) how many times has a release administrator recommended a CAF Member’s release date occur on a weekend or holiday; (b) how many times did a CAF Member’s release date occur on a holiday; (c) how many Members have had payments or coverage from (i) SISIP Financial, (ii) other entities, cancelled or reduced as a result of the official release date occurring on a weekend or holiday; (d) were any instructions, directives, or advice issued to any release administrator asking them not to schedule release dates on a weekend or holiday in order to preserve CAF Member’s benefits, and, if so, what are the details; (e) were any instructions, directives, or advice issued to any release administrator asking them to schedule certain release dates on a weekend or holiday, and, if so, what are the details; and (f) what action, if any, has the Minister of National Defense taken to restore any payments or benefits lost as a result of the scheduling of a CAF Member’s release date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 38--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to federal grants, contributions, non-repayable loans, or similar type of funding provided to telecommunications companies since 2009: what are the details of all such funding, including the (i) date, (ii) recipient, (iii) type of funding, (iv) department providing the funding, (v) name of program through which funding was provided, (vi) project description, (vii) start and completion, (viii) project location, (ix) amount of federal funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 39--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed to long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what personal protective equipment (PPE) was issued to Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec; and (b) for each type of PPE in (a), what was the (i) model, (ii) purchase date, (iii) purchase order number, (iv) number ordered, (v) number delivered, (vi) supplier company, (vii) expiration date of the product, (viii) location where the stockpile was stored?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 40--
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
With regard to the National Housing Strategy, broken down by name of applicant, type of applicant (e.g. non-profit, for-profit, coop), stream (e.g. new construction, revitalization), date of submission, province, number of units, and dollar amount for each finalized application: (a) how many applications have been received for the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) since 2018; (b) how many NHCF applications have a letter of intent, excluding those with loan agreements or finalized agreements; (c) how many NHCF applications are at the loan agreement stage; (d) how many NHCF applications have had funding agreements finalized; (e) how many NHCF applications have had NHCF funding received by applicants; (f) for NHCF applications that resulted in finalized funding agreements, what is the (i) length of time in days between their initial submission and the finalization of their funding agreement, (ii) average and median rent of the project, (iii) percentage of units meeting NHCF affordability criteria, (iv) average and median rent of units meeting affordability criteria; (g) how many applications have been received for the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) since 2017; (h) how many RCFi applications are at (i) the approval and letter of intent stage of the application process, (ii) the loan agreement and funding stage, (iii) the servicing stage; (h) how many RCFi applications have had RCFi loans received by applicants; (i) for RCFi applications that resulted in loan agreements, what is the (i) length of time in days between their initial submission and the finalization of their loan agreement, (ii) average and median rent of the project, (iii) percentage of units meeting RCFi affordability criteria, (iv) average and median rent of units meeting affordability criteria?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 41--
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
With regard to the National Housing Strategy: (a) what provinces and territories have reached an agreement with the federal government regarding the Canada Housing Benefit; (b) broken down by number of years on a waitlist for housing, gender, province, year of submission, amount requested and amount paid out, (i) how many applications have been received, (ii) how many applications are currently being assessed, (iii) how many applications have been approved, (iv) how many applications have been declined; and (c) if the Canada housing benefit is transferred as lump sums to the provinces, what are the dollar amount of transfers to the provinces, broken down by amount, year and province?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 42--
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
With regard to immigration, refugee and citizenship processing levels: (a) how many applications have been received since 2016, broken down by year and stream (e.g. outland spousal sponsorship, home childcare provider, open work permit, privately sponsored refugee, etc.); (b) how many applications have been fully approved since 2015, broken down by year and stream; (c) how many applications have been received since (i) March 15, 2020, (ii) September 21, 2020; (d) how many applications have been approved since (i) March 15, 2020, (ii) September 21, 2020; (e) how many applications are in backlog since January 2020, broken down by month and stream; (f) what is the number of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa officers and other IRCC employees, in whole or in part (i.e. FTEs), who have been processing applications since January 1, 2020, broken down by month, immigration office and application stream being processed; (g) since March 15, 2020, how many employees referred to in (f) have been placed on paid leave broken down by month, immigration office and application stream being processed; and (h) what are the details of any briefing notes or correspondence since January 2020 related to (i) staffing levels, (ii) IRCC office closures, (iii) the operation levels of IRCC mail rooms, (iv) plans to return to increased operation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 43--
Ms. Jenny Kwan:
With regard to asylum seekers: (a) broken down by year, how many people have been turned away due to the Safe Third Country Agreement since (i) 2016, (ii) January 1, 2020, broken by month, (iii) since July 22, 2020; (b) how many asylum claims have been found ineligible under paragraph 101(1)(c.1) of the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act since (i) January 1st 2020, broken by month, (ii) July 22, 2020; and (c) what are the details of any briefing notes or correspondence since January 1, 2020, on the Safe Third Country Agreement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 44--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to government involvement in the negotiations with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for a Price Listing Agreement with the Pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, in relation to cystic fibrosis treatments: (a) what is the current status of the negotiations; (b) what specific measures, if any, has the government taken to ensure that Kalydeco and Orkambi are available to all Canadians that require the medication; (c) has the government taken any specific measures to make Trikafta available to Canadians; and (d) how many months, or years, will it be before the government finishes the regulatory and review process related to the approval of Trikafta?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 45--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to the government’s position regarding visitors coming to Canada for the sole purpose of giving birth on Canadian soil and subsequently obtaining Canadian citizenship for their child: (a) what is the government’s position in relation to this practice; (b) has the government condemned or taken any action to prevent this practice, and if so, what are the details of any such action; and (c) has the government taken any action to ban or discourage Canadian companies from soliciting or advertising services promoting this type of activity, and if so, what are details?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 47--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to the government’s response to Q-268 concerning the government failing to raise Canada’s bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk status from “Controlled Risk to BSE” to “Negligible Risk to BSE” with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in the summer of 2019: (a) what is the government’s justification for missing the deadline with the OIE in the summer of 2019; (b) has the government conducted consultations with beef farmers to discuss the damage to the industry caused by missing this deadline, and, if so, what are the details of these consultations; (c) when did the government begin collating data from provincial governments, industry partners and stakeholders in order to ensure that a high-quality submission was produced and submitted in July 2020; (d) what measures were put in place to ensure that the July 2020 deadline, as well as other future deadlines, will not be missed; and (e) on what exact date was the application submitted to the OIE in July 2020?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 49--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) announced by the government in 2019, between February 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020: (a) how many applicants have applied for mortgages through the FTHBI, broken down by province and municipality; (b) of those applicants, how many have been approved and have accepted mortgages through the FTHBI, broken down by province and municipality; (c) of those applicants listed in (b), how many approved applicants have been issued the incentive in the form of a shared equity mortgage; (d) what is the total value of incentives (shared equity mortgages) under the FTHBI that have been issued, in dollars; (e) for those applicants who have been issued mortgages through the FTHBI, what is that value of each of the mortgage loans; (f) for those applicants who have been issued mortgages through the FTHBI, what is the mean value of the mortgage loan; (g) what is the total aggregate amount of money lent to homebuyers through the FTHBI to date; (h) for mortgages approved through the FTHBI, what is the breakdown of the percentage of loans originated with each lender comprising more than 5% of total loans issued; and (i) for mortgages approved through the FTHBI, what is the breakdown of the value of outstanding loans insured by each Canadian mortgage insurance company as a percentage of total loans in force?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 50--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to the air quality and air flow in buildings owned or operated by the government: (a) what specific measures were taken to improve the air flow or circulation in government buildings since March 1, 2020, broken down by individual building; (b) on what date did each measure in (a) come into force; (c) which government buildings have new air filters, HVAC filters, or other equipment designed to clean or improve the air quality or air flow installed since March 1, 2020; (d) for each building in (c), what new equipment was installed and on what date was it installed; and (e) what are the details of all expenditures or contracts related to any of the new measures or equipment, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services provided, (iv) date contract was signed, (v) date goods or services were delivered?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 51--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
What was the amount of FedDev funding, in dollars, given by year since 2016 to every riding in Ontario, broken down by riding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 52--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regards to Veterans Affairs Canada, broken down by year for the most recent 10 fiscal years for which data is available: (a) what was the number of disability benefit applications received; (b) of the applications in (a), how many were (i) rejected, (ii) approved, (iii) appealed, (iv) rejected upon appeal, (v) approved upon appeal; (c) what was the average wait time for a decision; (d) what was the median wait time for a decision; (e) what was the ratio of veteran to case manager at the end of each fiscal year; (f) what was the number of applications awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year; and (g) what was the number of veterans awaiting a decision at the end of each fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 53--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the total number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by job title, including National First Level Appeals Officer, National Second Level Appeals Officer, case manager, veterans service agent and disability adjudicator; (b) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the average number of overtime hours worked, further broken down by (i) job title, including National First Level Appeals Officer, National Second Level Appeals Officer, case manager, veterans service agent and disability adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (c) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the total cost of overtime, further broken down by (i) job title, including National First Level Appeals Officer, National Second Level Appeals Officer, case manager, veterans service agent and disability adjudicator, (ii) directorate; (d) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the total number of disability benefit claims, further broken down by (i) new claims, (ii) claims awaiting a decision, (iii) approved claims, (iv) denied claims, (v) appealed claims; (e) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, how many new disability benefit claims were transferred to a different VAC office than that which conducted the intake; (f) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the number of (i) case managers, (ii) veterans service agents; (g) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many case managers took a leave of absence, and what was the average length of a leave of absence; (h) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, accounting for all leaves of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave, how many full-time equivalent case managers were present and working, and what was the case manager to veteran ratio; (i) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, how many veterans were disengaged from their case manager; (j) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, what was the highest number of cases assigned to an individual case manager; (k) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, how many veterans were on a waitlist for a case manager; (l) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month and by VAC office, including nationally, for work usually done by regularly employed case managers and veterans service agents, (i) how many contracts were awarded, (ii) what was the duration of each contract, (iii) what was the value of each contract; (m) during the most recent fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by VAC office, what were the service standard results; (n) what is the mechanism for tracking the transfer of cases between case managers when a case manager takes a leave of absence, excluding standard vacation and paid sick leave; (o) what is the department’s current method for calculating the case manager to veteran ratio; (p) what are the department’s quality assurance measures for case managers and how do they change based on the number of cases a case manager has at that time; (q) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many individuals were hired by the department; (r) how many of the individuals in (q) remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end;
(s) of the individuals in (q), who did not remain employed beyond the probation period, how many did not have their contracts extended by the department; (t) does the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what are the reasons for which employees were not kept beyond the probation period; (u) for the individuals in (q) who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC office; (v) during the last five fiscal years for which data is available, broken down by month, how many Canadian Armed Forces service veterans were hired by the department; (w) of the veterans in (v), how many remained employed after their 12-month probation period came to an end; (x) of the veterans in (v), who are no longer employed by the department, (i) how many did not have their employment contracts extended by the department, (ii) how many were rejected on probation; (y) if the department track the reasons for which employees are not kept beyond the probation period, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what are the reasons for which veteran employees are not kept beyond the probation period; (z) for the veterans in (v), who chose not to remain at any time throughout the 12 months, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual veteran employees, what were the reasons for their leaving, broken down by VAC office; (aa) during the last five fiscal year for which data is available, broken down by month, how many employees have quit their jobs at VAC; and (bb) for the employees in (aa) who quit their job, were exit interviews conducted, and, if so, respecting the privacy of individual employees, what were the reasons, broken down by VAC office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 54--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the 2020 United Nations Security Council election and costs associated with Canada’s bid for a Security Council Seat: (a) what is the final total of all costs associated with the bid; (b) if the final total is not yet known, what is the projected final cost and what is the total of all expenditures made to date in relation to the bid; (c) what is the breakdown of all costs by type of expense (gifts, travel, hospitality, etc.); and (d) what are the details of all contracts over $5,000 in relation to the bid, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) summary of goods or services provided, (v) location goods or services were provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 55--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to any exemptions or essential worker designations granted to ministers, ministerial exempt staff, including any staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, or senior level civil servants so that the individual can be exempt from a mandatory 14-day quarantine after travelling to the Atlantic bubble, since the quarantine orders were put into place: (a) how many such individuals received an exemption; (b) what are the names and titles of the individuals who received exemptions; (c) for each case, what was the reason or rationale why the individual was granted an exemption; and (d) what are the details of all instances where a minister or ministerial exempt staff member travelled from outside of the Atlantic provinces to one or more of the Atlantic provinces since the 14-day quarantine for travellers was instituted, including the (i) name and title of the traveller, (ii) date of departure, (iii) date of arrival, (iv) location of departure, (v) location of arrival, (vi) mode of transportation, (vii) locations visited on the trip, (viii) whether or not the minister or staff member received an exemption from the 14-day quarantine, (ix) whether or not the minister of staff member adhered to the 14-day quarantine, (x) purpose of the trip?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 56--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to expenditures on moving and relocation expenses for ministerial exempt staff since January 1, 2018, broken down by ministerial office: (a) what is the total amount spent on moving and relocation expenses for (i) incoming ministerial staff, (ii) departing or transferring ministerial staff; (b) how many exempt staff members or former exempt staff members’ expenses does the total in (a) cover; and (c) how many exempt staff members or former exempt staff members had more than $10,000 in moving and relocation expenses covered by the government, and what was the total for each individual?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 57--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to national interest exemptions issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in relation to the mandatory quarantine required for individuals entering Canada during the pandemic: (a) how many individuals received national interest exemptions; and (b) what are the details of each exemption, including (i) the name of the individual granted exemption, (ii) which minister granted the exemption, (iii) the date the exemption was granted, (iv) the explanation regarding how the exemption was in Canada’s national interest, (v) the country the individual travelled to Canada from?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 58--
Mr. James Cumming:
With regard to electric vehicle charging stations funded or subsidized by the government: (a) how many chargers have been funded or subsidized since January 1, 2016; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by province and municipality; (c) what was the total government expenditure on each charging station, broken down by location; (d) on what date was each station installed; (e) which charging stations are currently open to the public; and (f) what is the current cost of electricity for users of the public charging stations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 59--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), since its establishment: (a) how many complaints and requests for review were filed by individuals identifying as First Nations, Metis, or Inuit, broken down by percentage and number; (b) how many of the complaints and requests for review in (a) were dismissed without being investigated; (c) how many complaints and requests for review were filed for incidents occurring on-reserve or in predominantly First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities, broken down by percentage and number; (d) how many of those complaints and requests for review in (c) were dismissed without being investigated; and (e) for requests for review in which the CRCC is not satisfied with the RCMP’s report, how many interim reports have been provided to complainants for response and input on recommended actions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 60--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to active transportation in Canada: what federal actions and funding has been taken with or provided to provinces and municipalities, broken down by year since 2010, that (i) validates the use of roads by cyclists and articulates the safety-related responsibilities of cyclists and other vehicles in on-road situation, (ii) grants authority to various agencies to test and implement unique solutions to operational problems involving active transportation users, (iii) improves road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, (iv) makes the purchase of bicycles and cycling equipment more affordable by reducing sales tax on their purchase?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 62--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
With regard to management consulting contracts signed by any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity during the pandemic, since March 1, 2020: (a) what is the total value of all such contracts; and (b) what are the details of each contract, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date the contract was signed, (iv) start and end date of consulting services, (v) description of the issue, advice, or goal that the consulting contract was intended to address or achieve, (vi) file number, (vii) Treasury Board object code used to classify the contract (e.g. 0491)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 66--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the information collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding electronic funds transfers of $10,000 and over and the statement by the Minister of National Revenue before the Standing Committee on Finance on May 19, 2016, indicating that using this information, the CRA will target up to four jurisdictions per year, without warning, broken down by fiscal year since 2016-17: (a) how many foreign jurisdictions were targeted; (b) what is the name of each foreign jurisdiction targeted; (c) how many audits were conducted by the CRA for each foreign jurisdiction targeted; (d) of the audits in (c), how many resulted in a notice of assessment; (e) of the audits in (c), how many were referred to the CRA's Criminal Investigations Program; (f) of the investigations in (e), how many were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; (g) how many prosecutions in (f) resulted in convictions; (h) what were the penalties imposed for each conviction in (g); and (i) what is the total amount recovered?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 67--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) activities under the General Anti-Avoidance Rule under section 245 of the Income Tax Act, and under section 274 of the Income Tax Act, broken down by section of the act: (a) how many audits have been completed, since the fiscal year 2011-12, broken down by fiscal year and by (i) individual, (ii) trust, (iii) corporation; (b) how many notices of assessment have been issued by the CRA since the fiscal year 2011-12, broken down by fiscal year and by (i) individual, (ii) trust, (iii) corporation; (c) what is the total amount recovered by the CRA to date; (d) how many legal proceedings are currently underway, broken down by (i) Tax Court of Canada, (ii) Federal Court of Appeal, (iii) Supreme Court of Canada; (e) how many times has the CRA lost in court, broken down by (i) name of taxpayer, (ii) Tax Court of Canada, (iii) Federal Court of Appeal, (iv) Supreme Court of Canada; (f) what was the total amount spent by the CRA, broken down by lawsuit; and (g) how many times has the CRA not exercised its right of appeal, broken down by lawsuit, and what is the justification for each case?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 68--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) interdepartmental committee that reviews files and makes recommendations on the application of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR), broken down by fiscal year since 2010-11: (a) how many of the proposed GAAR assessments sent to the CRA’s headquarters for review were referred to the interdepartmental committee; and (b) of the assessments reviewed in (a) by the interdepartmental committee, for how many assessments did the interdepartmental committee (i) recommend the application of the GAAR, (ii) not recommend the application of the GAAR?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 69--
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
With regard to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, since March 22, 2016: (a) what is the complete list of infrastructure projects that have undergone a Climate Lens assessment, broken down by stream; and (b) for each project in (a), what are the details, including (i) amount of federal financing, (ii) location of the project, (iii) a brief description of the project, (iv) whether the project included a Climate Change Resilience Assessment, (v) whether the project included a Climate Change Green House Gas Mitigation Assessment, (vi) if a project included a Climate Change Resilience Assessment, a summary of the risk management findings of the assessment, (vii) if a project included a Climate Change Green House Gas Mitigation Assessment, the increase or reduction in emissions calculated in the assessment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 70--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the motion respecting the business of supply on service standards for Canada's veterans adopted by the House on November 6, 2018: (a) what was the amount and percentage of all lapsed spending in the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), broken down by year from 2013-14 to the current fiscal year; (b) what steps has the government taken since then to automatically carry forward all unused annual expenditures of the VAC to the next fiscal year; and (c) is the carry forward in (b) for the sole purpose of improving services to Canada's veterans until the department meets or exceeds the 24 service standards it has set?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 71--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With respect to the tax fairness motion that the House adopted on March 8, 2017: what steps has the government taken since then to (i) cap the stock option loophole, (ii) tighten the rules for shell corporations, (iii) renegotiate tax treaties that allow corporations to repatriate profits from tax havens back to Canada without paying tax, (iv) end forgiveness agreements without penalty for individuals suspected of tax evasion?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 72--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
With regard to government assistance programs for individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what has been the total amount of money expended through the (i) Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), (ii) Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), (iii) Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), (iv) Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG); (b) what is the cumulative weekly breakdown of (a), starting on March 13, 2020, and further broken down by (i) province or territory, (ii) gender, (iii) age group; (c) what has been the cumulative number of applications, broken down by week, since March 13, 2020, for the (i) CERB, (ii) CEWS, (iii) CESB, (iv) CSSG; and (d) what has been the cumulative number of accepted applications, broken down by week, since March 13, 2020, for the (i) CERB, (ii) CEWS, (iii) CESB, (iv) CSSG?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 73--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
With regard to government assistance programs for organizations and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) what has been the total amount of money expended through the (i) Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), (ii) Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), (iii) Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), (iv) Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), (v) Industrial Research Assistance (IRAP) programs; (b) what is the cumulative weekly breakdown of (a), starting on March 13, 2020; (c) what has been the cumulative number of applications, broken down by week, since March 13, 2020, for the (i) CECRA, (ii) LEEFF, (iii) CEBA, (iv) RRRF, (v) IRAP; and (d) what has been the cumulative number of accepted applications, broken down by week, since March 13, 2020, for the (i) CECRA, (ii) LEEFF, (iii) CEBA, (iv) RRRF, (v) IRAP?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 74--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to federal transfers to provinces and territories since March 1, 2020, excluding the Canada Health Transfer, Canada Social Transfer, Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing: (a) how much funding has been allocated to provincial and territorial transfers, broken down by province or territory; (b) how much has actually been transferred to each province and territory since March 1, 2020, broken down by transfer payment and by stated purpose; and (c) for each transfer payment identified in (b), what mechanisms exist for the federal government to ensure that the recipient allocates funding towards its stated purpose?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 75--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to construction, infrastructure, or renovation projects on properties or land owned, operated or used by Public Services and Procurement Canada: (a) how many projects have a projected completion date which has been delayed or pushed back since March 1, 2020; and (b) what are the details of each delayed project, including the (i) location, including street address, if applicable, (ii) project description, (iii) start date, (iv) original projected completion date, (v) revised projected completion date, (vi) reason for the delay, (vii) original budget, (viii) revised budget, if the delay resulted in a change?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 76--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to the ongoing construction work on what used to be the lawn in front of Centre Block: (a) what specific work was completed between July 1, 2020, and September 28, 2020; and (b) what is the projected schedule of work to be completed in each month between October 2020 and October 2021, broken down by month?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 77--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
With regard to infrastructure projects approved for funding by Infrastructure Canada since November 4, 2015, in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River: what are the details of all such projects, including the (i) location, (ii) project title and description, (iii) amount of federal funding commitment, (iv) amount of federal funding delivered to date, (v) amount of provincial funding commitment, (vi) amount of local funding commitment, including the name of the municipality or of the local government, (vii) status of the project, (viii) start sate, (ix) completion date or expected completion date, broken down by fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 79--
Mr. Doug Shipley:
With regard to ministers and exempt staff members flying on government aircraft, including helicopters, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all such flights, including (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) type of aircraft, (v) which ministers and exempt staff members were on board?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 80--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to the Connect to Innovate program of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada as well as all CRTC programs that fund broadband Internet: how much was spent in Ontario and Quebec since 2016, broken down by riding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 81--
Mr. Joël Godin:
With regard to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the government from firms based in the province of Quebec: (a) what are the details of all contracts awarded to Quebec-based firms to provide PPE, including the (i) vendor, (ii) location, (iii) description of goods, including the volume, (iv) amount, (v) date the contract was signed, (vi) delivery date for goods, (vii) whether the contract was sole-sourced; and (b) what are the details of all applications or proposals received by the government from companies based in Quebec to provide PPE, but that were not accepted or entered into by the government, including the (i) vendor, (ii) summary of the proposal, (iii) reason why the proposal was not accepted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 82--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to the government’s Canada’s Connectivity Strategy published in 2019: (a) how many Canadians gained access to broadband speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads under the strategy; (b) what is the detailed breakdown of (a), including the number of Canadians who have gained access, broken down by geographic region, municipality and date; and (c) for each instance in (b), did any federal program provide the funding, and if so, which program, and how much federal funding was provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 83--
Mr. Mario Beaulieu:
With regard to permanent residents who went through the Canadian citizenship process and citizenship ceremonies held between 2009 and 2019, broken down by province: (a) how many permanent residents demonstrated their language proficiency in (i) French, (ii) English; (b) how many permanent residents demonstrated an adequate knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship in (i) French, (ii) English; and (c) how many citizenship ceremonies took place in (i) French, (ii) English?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 84--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
With regard to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) pension recipients who receive Regular Force Pension Plan: (a) how many current pension recipients married after the age of 60; (b) of the recipients in (a), how many had the option to apply for an Optional Survivor Benefit (OSB) for their spouse in exchange for a lower pension level; (c) how many recipients actually applied for an OSB for their spouse; (d) what is the current number of CAF pension recipients who are currently receiving a lower pension as a result of marrying after the age of 60 and applying for an OSB; and (e) what is the rationale for not providing full spousal benefits, without a reduced pension level, to CAF members who marry after the age of 60 as opposed to prior to the age of 60?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 86--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to access to remote government networks for government employees working from home during the pandemic, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) how many employees have been advised that they have (i) full unlimited network access throughout the workday, (ii) limited network access, such as off-peak hours only or instructions to download files in the evening, (iii) no network access; (b) what was the remote network capacity in terms of the number of users that may be connected at any one time as of (i) March 1, 2020, (ii) July 1, 2020; and (c) what is the current remote network capacity in terms of the number of users that may be connected at any one time?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 89--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the operation of Canadian visa offices located outside of Canada during the pandemic, since March 13, 2020: (a) which offices (i) have remained fully operational and open, (ii) have temporarily closed but have since reopened, (iii) remain closed; (b) of the offices which have since reopened, on what date (i) did they close, (ii) did they reopen; (c) for each of the offices that remain closed, what is the scheduled or projected reopening date; and (d) which offices have reduced the services available since March 13, 2020, and what specific services have been reduced or are no-longer offered?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 90--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to testing for SARS-CoV-2: (a) for each month since March, 2020, (i) what SARS-CoV-2 testing devices were approved, including the name, manufacturer, device type, whether the testing device is intended for laboratory or point-of-care use, and the date authorized, (ii) what was the length in days between the submission for authorization and the final authorization for each device; (b) for each month since March, how many Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 have been (i) procured, (ii) deployed across Canada; (c) for what testing devices has the Minister of Health issued an authorization for importation and sale under the authority of the interim order respecting the importation and sale of medical devices for use in relation to COVID-19; (d) for each testing device so authorized, which ones, as outlined in section 4(3) of the interim order, provided the minister with information demonstrating that the sale of the COVID-19 medical device was authorized by a foreign regulatory authority; and (e) of the antigen point-of-care testing devices currently being reviewed by Health Canada, which are intended for direct purchase or use by a consumer at home?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 91--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
With regard to the government’s commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021: (a) does the government still commit to ending all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021, and if not, what is the new target date; (b) which communities are currently subject to a long-term drinking water advisory; (c) of the communities in (b), which ones are expected to still have a drinking water advisory as of March 1, 2021; (d) for each community in (b), when are they expected to have safe drinking water; and (e) for each community in (b), what are the specific reasons why the construction or other measures to restore safe drinking water to the community have been delayed or not completed to date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 92--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
With regard to Nutrition North Canada: (a) what specific criteria or formula is used to determine the level of subsidy rates provided to each community; (b) what is the specific criteria for determining when the (i) high, (ii) medium, (iii) low subsidy levels apply; (c) what were the subsidy rates, broken down by each eligible community, as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) September 29, 2020; and (d) for each instance where a community’s subsidy rate was changed between January 1, 2016, and September 29, 2020, what was the rationale and formula used to determine the revised rate?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 93--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
With regard to the impact of the pandemic on processing times for temporary residence applications: (a) what was the average processing time for temporary residence applications on September 1, 2019, broken down by type of application and by country the applicant is applying from; and (b) what is the current average processing time for temporary residence applications, broken down by type of application and by country the application is made from?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 94--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
With regard to the backlog of family sponsorship applications and processing times: (a) what is the current backlog of family sponsorship applications, broken down by type of relative (spouse, dependent child, parent, etc.) and country; (b) what was the backlog of family sponsorship applications, broken down by type of relative, as of September 1, 2019; (c) what is the current estimated processing time for family sponsorship applications, broken down by type of relative, and by country, if available; (d) how many family sponsorship applications have been received for relatives living in the United States since April 1, 2020; and (e) to date, what is the status of the applications in (d), including how many were (i) granted, (ii) denied, (iii) still awaiting a decision?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 95--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to government expenditures on hotels and other accommodations used to provide or enforce any orders under the Quarantine Act, since January 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount of expenditures; and (b) what are the details of each contract or expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) name of hotel or facility, (iii) amount, (iv) location, (v) number or rooms rented, (vi) start and end date of rental, (vii) description of the type of individuals using the facility (returning air travelers, high risk government employees, etc.), (viii) start and end date of the contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 96--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the firearms regulations and prohibitions published in the Canada Gazette on May 1, 2020: (a) did the government conduct any formal analysis on the impact of the prohibitions; and (b) what are the details of any analysis conducted, including (i) who conducted the analysis, (ii) findings, (iii) date findings were provided to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 97--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to flights on government aircraft for personal and non-governmental business by the Prime Minister and his family, and by ministers and their families, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all such flights, including the (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) names of passengers, excluding security detail; and (b) for each flight, what was the total amount reimbursed to the government by each passenger?
Response
(Return tabled)
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development8555-432-1 CC-150 Polaris8555-432-10 Government programs and services8555-432-11 Recruitment and hiring at Gl ...8555-432-12 Small and medium-sized businesses8555-432-13 Government contracts for ser ...8555-432-14 Government contracts for arc ...8555-432-18 Public service employees8555-432-20 Non-restricted and restricte ...8555-432-21 Defaulted student loans8555-432-22 Canada Emergency Response Benefit ...Show all topics
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2020-02-26 15:35 [p.1615]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 87 departments and agencies, I have the honour and pleasure to present, in both official languages, the departmental results for 2018-19.
8563-431-1 Performance Report of Adminis ...8563-431-10 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-11 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-12 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-13 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-14 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-15 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-16 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-17 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-18 Performance Report of Canadi ...8563-431-19 Performance Report of Canadi ... ...Show all topics
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
2020-02-07 12:35 [p.1099]
Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful today to have the opportunity to debate Bill C-3, which would create an independent oversight body, the public review and complaints commission, to review CBSA officers' conduct and conditions and handle specific complaints. This body would be a welcome addition to the strong accountability and oversight bodies already in place.
As I have seen, the bill has broad support in the House. I welcome the previous speaker's support and also that of the hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner. He said:
Public servants across the country must be held to the standards expected of Canadians, which is to uphold the integrity of people who are visiting or passing through our country, while ensuring our laws and international laws are upheld.
He went on to add, “This bill will align well with the values of many Canadians” and the values of his party's team.
I also welcome the comments from the member for Rivière-du-Nord, who expressed his gratitude for the bill being introduced. Likewise, the member for St. John's East provided supportive words, noting that his party would certainly be supporting the bill at second reading.
This multipartisan support is very encouraging, and I thank all members for helping to ensure the bill is as strong as it can be moving forward.
One thing that all members of the House agree on is the quality of the work that our border service officers do at the CBSA. The CBSA processes millions of travellers and shipments every year at multiple points across Canada and abroad.
Let us just look at some of the numbers. I know they have been mentioned in the chamber already in this debate, but it warrants repeating: 97 million travellers, 27 million cars, 34 million air passengers, 21 million commercial releases. Every day at 13 international airports, 117 land border crossings, 27 rail sites and beyond, CBSA officers provide consistent and fair treatment to travellers and traders.
This is particularly important because, as we know, travelling can be very stressful. For those who are more vulnerable, for asylum seekers, for those who do not speak either of our official languages, for those with disabilities, for those on the autism spectrum and for travellers who are travelling for the first time, it can be intimidating and even frightening to cross a border point.
As the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has said, the CBSA officers' professionalism when dealing with people crossing our borders is of the utmost importance. He has said that they are the most public of public servants, and they truly are the face of Canada.
For visitors, newcomers or Canadians returning home, our border officers are their first encounter. However, much more than that, they are responsible for upholding the integrity of Canada's borders. That means their work is integral to Canada's well-being. We are at a junction where border management and enforcement are truly front and centre for the government and for Canadians.
Nearly one year ago, the government introduced a federal budget, proposing investments of $1.25 billion for the CBSA. That funding includes support to modernize some of our land ports of entry and border operations, with the goals of ensuring efficiency and enhancing security. Members will recall that budget 2019 provided funds to close this important gap.
The idea has been to expand the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, or the CRCC, to act as an independent review body for the RCMP and the CBSA. That is why the government introduced Bill C-98 last year, which received all-party support at third reading. It is why we are now introducing Bill C-3, with more time for debate and discussion. This bill aligns well with our commitment to accountability and transparency.
Under the proposals, the PCRC would handle reviews and complaints for both CBSA and the RCMP. Whether the complaints are about the quality of services or the conduct of officers, the PCRC would have the ability to review, on its own initiative or at the request of the minister, any non-national security activity of the CBSA. The PCRC would be available and accessible to anyone who interacts with the CBSA or RCMP employees and who seeks recourse. That includes Canadian citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals, including immigrant detainees. The commission would investigate and offer its conclusions as to whether procedures at the border are appropriate or not.
These proposals would bring the CBSA in line with the rest of our security agencies, including CSIS and the RCMP, which are currently subject to independent review.
These accountability functions for border agencies are common in our peer countries and this bill would help us join that group. All of us would like to ensure that the public can continue to expect the world-class treatment the CBSA provides.
The CBSA has worked to ensure it has the resources and infrastructure in place to support this new review board. It already holds its employees to a high standard of conduct, and I am confident it will continue to uphold that standard.
As I have mentioned, this is coming at a time of renewed focus at our border. The agency is operating in a complex and dynamic environment. It must be responsive to evolving threats, adaptive to global economic trends and innovative in its use of technology to manage increasing cross-border volumes. Let us remember that some of those threats and trends are some of the greatest challenges facing parliamentarians and Canadians today.
The opioid crisis continues to pose a serious threat to the safety of Canadians, for example, and the CBSA plays a key role in detecting opioids at the border through new tools and methods. We have also seen rising rates of gun and gang violence in recent years. Again, the CBSA is front and centre here, remaining vigilant in combatting the illegal smuggling of firearms. It is keeping pace with rising volumes in the supply chain, including the growing prevalence of e-commerce. It is central to our economy and to our country's overall prosperity and competitiveness. It is undertaking all of this hugely important work in an environment where its clients demand a high level of accountability and transparency.
The professional men and women at our borders would be well served by an independent review function for the CBSA. Canadians deserve it as well. That is why I encourage all members to join me in supporting Bill C-3 today.
View Patricia Lattanzio Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to add my voice to the debate of Bill C-3 at second reading. This important piece of legislation would amend the Canada Border Services Agency Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to establish a new public complaints and review commission for both organizations. This would give the CBSA its own independent review body for the first time.
Transparency and accountability are extremely important in any context. That certainly includes the public safety and national security sphere. Canadians need to have trust and confidence in the people and agencies that work so hard to protect them. Right now, among the family of organizations that make up the public safety portfolio, only the CBSA lacks a full-fledged independent review body dedicated to it.
The RCMP has had such a body since 1988, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. The CRCC reviews complaints from the public about conduct of RCMP members and conducts reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP's handling of their complaints. This process ensures public complaints are examined fairly and impartially.
Canada also has an office of the correctional investigator, which provides independent oversight of Correctional Service Canada. The correctional investigator essentially serves as an ombudsman for federal offenders. The main responsibility of the office is to investigate and try to resolve offender complaints. The office is also responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on CSC policies and procedures related to those complaints, the goal being to ensure areas of concern are identified and appropriately addressed.
The CBSA really stands out in this context.
Before I go any further, it is important to point out that a fair number of CBSA's activities are already subject to independent oversight through existing bodies. Customs-related matters, for example, are handled by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. With the passage of Bill C-59, the CBSA's national security-related activities are now being overseen by Canada's new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. This agency is an independent, external body that can report on any national security or intelligence-related activity carried out by federal departments and agencies. It has the legal mandate and expertise to review national security activities and serves an important accountability function in our democracy.
However, a major piece is missing in the architecture of public safety and national security oversight and accountability. There is currently no mechanism for public complaints about the CBSA to be heard and considered. That is a significant oversight, given the scope of the agency's mandate and the sheer volume of its interactions with the public.
CBSA employees deal with thousands of people each day and tens of millions each year. They do so at approximately 1,200 service points across Canada and at 39 international airports and locations. In the last fiscal year alone, border officers interacted with 96 million travellers, both Canadians and foreign nationals, and that is just one aspect of its business. It is a massive, complex and impressive operation. We can all be proud of having such a professional, world-class border services agency.
In the vast majority of cases, the CBSA's interactions with the public happen without incident. Our employees work with the utmost professionalism in delivering border services to those entering the country. However, on rare occasions, and for whatever reason, things go less than smoothly. That is not unusual. People are human and we cannot expect everything they do will be perfect all the time. However, that does not mean there should not be a fair and appropriate way for people to air their grievances. If people are unhappy with the way they were treated at the border, or the level of service they received, they need to know that someone will hear their complaint in an independent manner. Needless to say, that is currently not the case.
The way things currently work is that if a member of the public makes a complaint about the CBSA, it is handled internally. In other words, the CBSA investigates itself. In recent years, a number of parliamentarians, commentators and observers have raised concerns about this problematic accountability gap. To rectify the situation, they have called for an independent review body specific to the CBSA. Bill C-3 would answer that call.
Under Bill C-3, the existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP would be given new powers and remain the public complaints and review commission, or PCRC. The newly established PCRC would consider complaints related to conduct or service issues involving either CBSA or RCMP employees. Those who believe they have had a negative interaction with a CBSA employee would have the option of turning to the PCRC for remedy and would have one year to do so.
The same would continue to be the case with respect to the RCMP. This would apply to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals. That includes people detained in CBSA's immigration holding centres, who would be able to submit complaints related to their conditions of detention or treatment while in detention.
The complaints function is just one part of the proposed new PCRC. The commission would also have an important review function. It would conduct reviews related to non-national security activities involving CBSA and the RCMP, since national security, as I noted earlier, is now in the purview of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. The findings and recommendations of the PCRC would be non-binding. However, the CBSA would be required to provide a response to those findings and recommendations for all the complaints. I believe that combining these functions into one agency is the best way forward.
The existing CRCC already performs these functions for the RCMP, and the proposals in the bill would build on the success and expertise it has developed. Combining efforts may also generate efficiencies of scale and allow for resources to be allocated to priority areas. On that note, I certainly recognize that additional resources would be required for the PCRC, given its proposed new responsibilities and what that would mean in terms of workload.
That is why I am pleased that budget 2019 included nearly $25 million over five years, starting this fiscal year, and an additional $6.83 million per year ongoing to expand the mandate of the CRCC. That funding commitment has also been positively received by stakeholders. With Bill C-3, the government is taking a major step toward enhancing CBSA independent review and accountability in a big way.
I was encouraged to see an apparent consensus of support for this bill in our debate so far. As we know, just eight months ago, the previous form of this bill, Bill C-98, received all-party support during third reading in the House during the last Parliament. In reintroducing this bill, we have taken into consideration points that were previously raised by the opposition parties, and we hope to rely on their continued support.
The changes proposed in Bill C-3 are appropriate and long overdue. They would give Canadians greater confidence in the border agencies that serve them and they would bring Canada in line with international norms in democratic countries. That includes the systems already in place with some of our closest allies, such as the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
I am proud to be supporting this important piece of legislation. I will be voting in favour of this bill at second reading and I urge all of my hon. colleagues to do the same when the time comes.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
We are considering Bill C-3, which would reorganize the RCMP's Civilian Review and Complaints Commission while extending independent oversight to the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.
This past Monday was the RCMP's 100th anniversary, and part of the celebration includes a campaign to designate February 1 nationwide as RCMP appreciation day. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank RCMP officers for the tireless and important work they do. I also want to thank our Canadian border agents for everything they are doing to protect our country. There are four official crossings in my riding: Rockglen, Monchy, Climax and Willow Creek.
Conservatives believe in checks and balances, parliamentary ethics and the rule of law. To better promote these values, we support increased transparency, accessibility and accountability for government agencies. It is the right thing to do and it shows proper respect to citizens and taxpayers.
As a Conservative, I support the fundamental idea behind this bill, and I hope that expanded oversight will start to make a real difference. It is in line with our party's principles and vision for our country's future. It is one thing to have good ideas and intentions; we must also do our due diligence and make sure that this will be implemented and applied properly.
After the House votes on this, we will be waiting as the opposition to see how this new public complaints and review commission will work out in practice and whether it results in real improvements.
Responsibility means more than receiving people's complaints. We cannot be responsible without offering a response. We need to make sure that there is an effective response made in a reasonable amount of time whenever someone raises concerns related to law enforcement, such as with the RCMP or CBSA.
The main change proposed by this bill involves recreating and transitioning a government agency, and that is what raises the very practical point of timeliness and effectiveness as part of its operations. The RCMP has already had independent oversight since 1988, and it was established as the current Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, or the CRCC, back in 2013.
I have spent some time reading further into the CRCC's more recent work. I could not help but notice that there appears to be a pattern with its investigations since 2007, at least for those posted on the CRCC's website. It takes anywhere from three to seven years to get a final report on the findings of an investigation and the recommendations following from it. It is good to know that it is conducting a thorough review of the complaint, but the fact remains that it is taking a long time in the process.
Presumably, if the RCMP decides to implement any changes into its organization or policies, this will not be an overnight process either. It could take a long time to draft new policy or prepare for any changes addressing the areas that have been reviewed and criticized by the commission. All of this means that from start to finish we might realistically expect the process will go on for years and years, possibly even up to a decade in some cases. These kinds of timelines would likely dissuade too many people from even bothering to file a complaint at all. If people do not have the confidence to report an issue, it will defeat the original purpose of having a review process.
That is exactly what we want to avoid. We want Canadians to call attention to the real problems they are experiencing so there can be an investigation and fair treatment for anyone who is involved. Most importantly, we want to make sure problems get corrected as quickly as possible to prevent similar incidents from occurring.
For the final reports that were available for me to look through, the number of findings ranged anywhere from five to over 55 per incident and the recommendations ranged anywhere from one to 31. Further, I could not help but notice that there is one additional point that is missing after looking at these reports, and that is which and how many of the recommendations have been accepted and specifically implemented into RCMP policy moving forward.
I would like to see a review and report on the results of these final recommendations. It would be a valuable piece of information for the general public to be aware of whenever we are talking about all the different cases being studied. Again, I believe that a civilian oversight is the right approach. This all has to do with providing transparency and maintaining trust in the RCMP and CBSA, whom we entrusted with the public safety of our rural areas in Canada and our border crossings.
Respecting and maintaining public trust is extremely important. That is why it only makes sense to have a similar commission in place for the CBSA. If we are going to be broadening this oversight to the CBSA, then this would be the right time to also ensure that there are accurate reporting mechanisms on whether changes are implemented or not. The CBSA is another organization that the public has a great deal of respect for, based on the scope of the important job we have entrusted to it.
CBSA workers are routinely put in the uncomfortable spot of searching vehicles, belongings and persons, whether it be at an airport or a port of entry along the Canada-U.S.A. border. In the course of carrying out these searches and interviews as part of their duties, I would think that having oversight and review in place would help everyone involved feel more secure in these situations.
There is something else I noticed about the CRCC's current review process. At every stage of the review process, when initiated by the chairman, it goes to the Minister of Public Safety. At face value, it makes sense for the agency to work with the appropriate minister. The fact that there are provisions for this to happen in this bill, as well as before, is not an issue by itself. It goes back to an old question in politics: Who will watch the watchmen?
This is not an empty political cheap shot either. Our real problem is that we still have a Prime Minister and a government that have shown disregard for how our processes are supposed to work. We repeatedly saw their interference in the SNC-Lavalin affair, hiding behind cabinet confidentiality and insisting on limitations for witness testimony and the RCMP's investigation. Will they be able to resist the temptation to interfere in other areas? These are the kinds of real questions that people have across Canada.
In this past campaign I heard repeatedly that Liberal interference in the justice system was a big concern and, at the time, Liberals rallied with their leadership instead of with their former colleagues who were speaking out with integrity. Canadians have seen examples of the Liberals over the last year showing that they cannot trust them with staying out of business that is not theirs to dabble in.
I need to make it absolutely clear by saying again that we have the greatest respect and admiration for active members in both the RCMP and the CBSA. We are proud of their service, and this bill should be one of the ways in which we work with them to best serve the public good. Members in both of these organizations need to be included in our close consideration of this bill. For that reason, my colleagues and I are concerned on this side of the House about the reported lack of consultation with representatives for police officers and border agents. This concern was expressed during the rushed debate on this same bill at the end of the last Parliament, and it was raised again by the member for Kootenay—Columbia, who previously had a long career with the RCMP himself.
Supporting the idea of oversight in this bill does not mean we will not call for proper consultation and otherwise carefully consider it during committee. There are some unanswered questions about how the new commission will operate and we need to make sure that the bill is strong and well balanced for succeeding with its intended goal.
Since we are taking the time to discuss the RCMP as it relates to this legislation, I need to say something about its work in my riding and across Canada. Back home, I have attended five town halls around my riding regarding the RCMP's operations. There are huge concerns related to the number of officers in different places and the response times to emergency calls. This has left too many people feeling unsafe in their own homes. We are dealing with many terrible cases of violent crime. We are seeing an increase in the illicit drug trade with fentanyl and methamphetamine becoming a big problem.
The people in rural communities committing crimes are no longer just the local bad boys. They are large, coordinated crime groups and gangs coming out from the cities and from other provinces to commit organized and targeted crime. In a specific example recently in my riding, an off-duty RCMP officer saw three vehicles speeding in excess of 150 kilometres an hour. These three vehicles were headed to British Columbia with two young girls, who were being taken to be victimized by human traffickers. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending with the suspects being apprehended and the girls returned home safely.
This is the larger problem we have to deal with whenever we are considering public safety and how we can best support our law enforcement. I am looking for a solution that will significantly reduce rural crime and I am not sure that this bill really has much to say for that type of issue. Even though rural Canadians on the ground, provinces and some of my colleagues have been repeatedly raising this issue for a while, we have not seen or heard much about it from the government. We are still waiting for a response.
That being said, I look forward to further studying Bill C-3. We can only hope the government will respect and learn from this bill's spirit and principles of accountability.
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
moved that Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise in this House to begin the debate on Bill C-3, concerning an independent review for the Canada Border Services Agency.
The Canada Border Services Agency ensures Canada's security and prosperity by facilitating and overseeing international travel and trade across Canada's borders. On a daily basis, CBSA officers interact with thousands of Canadians and visitors to Canada at airports, land border crossings, ports and other locations. Ensuring the free flow of people and legitimate goods across our border while protecting Canadians requires CBSA officers to have the power to arrest, detain, search and seize, as well as the authority to use reasonable force when it is required.
Currently, complaints about the service provided by the CBSA officers and about the conduct of those officers are handled internally. If an individual is dissatisfied with the results of an internal CBSA investigation, there is no mechanism for the public to request an independent review of these complaints.
The Government of Canada recognizes that a robust accountability mechanism can help ensure public trust that Canada's public safety institutions are responsive to the law and to Canadians. That is why I am honoured today to initiate debate on Bill C-3.
I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the excellent and extraordinary work of two former parliamentarians: former senator Wilfred Moore and my predecessor, former public safety minister Ralph Goodale, who worked tirelessly to advocate for effective CBSA oversight.
This important piece of legislation that is before us today would establish an independent review and complaints mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency. This will address the significant accountability and transparency gap among our public safety agencies and departments here in Canada.
Among our allies, Canada is alone in not having a dedicated review body for complaints regarding its border agency. The CBSA is also the only organization within the public safety portfolio without its own independent review body.
The resolution of conduct complaints is critically important to maintaining public trust. We already know that many CBSA activities, such as customs and immigration decisions, are subject to independent review. Unfortunately, as of yet, there is no such mechanism for public complaints related to CBSA employee conduct and service.
I will provide some context for my colleagues and for Canadians. The agency deals with an extraordinary and staggering number of people and a huge volume of transactions each and every year. For example, in 2018-19, CBSA employees interacted with over 96 million travellers to and from Canada and collected on behalf of Canadians $32 billion in taxes and duties. Behind these extraordinary numbers is the story of all of us, Canadians in all walks of life and in all parts of our country who rely on the services of our border services agencies. Together, we expect that in the majority of cases we will receive, and do receive, a high degree of professionalism when travelling abroad for work and for leisure. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many members of the Canada Border Services Agency for their service to Canadians and for their professionalism they give their duties.
It is a fact that when dealing with that many travellers it is inevitable that some complaints may arise. That is why, in order to maintain the public trust in our system and to strengthen accountability for the important role that the border service officers perform for us, it is imperative that we have an independent review body to ensure that any negative experience is thoroughly investigated and quickly and transparently resolved.
Currently, if there are complaints from the public regarding the level of service provided by CBSA or the conduct of CBSA officials, they are handled through an internal process within the agency. Our government has taken action in recent years to rectify gaps with respect to the independent review of national security activities.
We have passed legislation to create the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians which recently published its first annual report. With the passage of Bill C-59, our government has also established the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. With these two initiatives under way, now is the time to close a significant gap in Canada's public safety and national security accountability framework. This is exactly where Bill C-3 comes in.
The existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, or CRCC as it is commonly known, is at the heart of this proposed legislation. The CRCC currently functions as the independent review and complaints body for the RCMP. Under Bill C-3, its responsibilities would be strengthened and it would be renamed the public complaints and review commission, or PCRC. The new PCRC would be responsible for the handling of complaints and conducting reviews for the CBSA in addition to its current responsibilities with respect to the RCMP.
When the PCRC receives a complaint from the public, it would notify the CBSA immediately which would undertake the initial investigation. This is an efficient approach that has proven to lead to a resolution of the overwhelming majority of complaints. In fact, in the case of the RCMP, some 90% of complaints against the conduct or service of the RCMP are resolved in this way.
The PCRC would also be able to conduct its own investigation to the complaint if, in the opinion of the chairperson, it is in the public interest to do so. In those cases, the CBSA would not initiate an investigation into the complaint. In other cases where the complainant may not be satisfied with the CBSA's initial handling of the complaint, the complainant could ask the PCRC directly to begin a review of it. When the PCRC receives such a request for review over a CBSA complaint decision, the commission could review the complaint and all relevant information, sharing its conclusions regarding the CBSA's initial decision. It could conclude that the CBSA decision was appropriate. It may instead ask that the CBSA investigate further or it can initiate its own independent investigation of the complaint.
The commission also would have the authority to hold a public hearing as part of its work. At the conclusion of a PCRC investigation, the review body would be able to report on its findings and make such recommendations as it sees fit. The CBSA would be required to provide a response in writing to the PCRC's findings and its recommendations.
In addition to the complaints function, the PCRC would be able to review on its own initiative or at the request of me or any minister any activity of the CBSA except for national security activities. These, of course, are reviewed by the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency which is now in force.
PCRC reports would include findings and recommendations on the adequacy, appropriateness and clarity of CBSA policies, procedures and guidelines; the CBSA's compliance with the law and all ministerial directions; and finally, the reasonableness and necessity of CBSA's use of its authorities and powers.
With respect to both its complaint and review functions, the PCRC would have the power to summon and enforce the appearance of persons before it. It would have the authority to compel them to give oral or written evidence under oath. It would have the commensurate authority to administer oaths, to receive and accept oral and written evidence, whether or not that evidence would be admissible in a court of law.
The PCRC would also have the power to examine any records or make any inquiries that it considers necessary. It would have access to the same information that the CBSA possesses when a chairman's complaint is initiated.
Beyond its review and complaint functions, Bill C-3 would also create an obligation to the CBSA to notify local police and the PCRC of any serious incident involving CBSA employees or its officers. That includes giving the PCRC the responsibility to track and publicly report on all serious incidents such as death, serious injury, or Criminal Code violations involving members of the CBSA.
Operationally, the bill is worded in such a way as to give the PCRC flexibility to organize its internal structure as it sees fit to carry out its mandate under both the CBSA Act and the RCMP Act. The PCRC could designate members of its staff as belonging either to an RCMP unit or a CBSA unit. Common services such as corporate support could be shared between both units which would make them more efficient, but there are also several benefits to be realized by separating staff in the fashion that I have described.
For example, staff could develop a certain expertise on matters involving these two agencies, their operational procedures and other matters. Clearly identifying which staff members are responsible for which agency may also help with the clear management of information.
Bill C-3 would also make mandatory the appointment of a vice-chair for the PCRC. This would ensure that there would always be two individuals at the top, a chairperson and a vice-chair, capable of exercising key decision-making powers. Under Bill C-3, the PCRC would publish an annual report covering each of its business lines, the CBSA and the RCMP, and the resources that it has devoted to each.
The report would summarize its operations throughout the year and would include such things as the number and type of complaints, and any review activities providing information on the number, type and outcome of all serious incidents. To further promote transparency and accountability, the annual report would be tabled in Parliament.
The new public complaints and review commission proposed in Bill C-3 would close a significant gap in Canada's public safety accountability regime.
Parliamentarians, non-government organizations and stakeholders have all been calling upon successive governments to initiate such a reform for many years. For example, in June 2015, in the other place, the committee on national security and defence tabled a report which advocated for the establishment of an independent civilian review and complaints body with a mandate to conduct investigations for all CBSA activities. More recently, Amnesty International, in Canada's 2018 report card, noted that the CBSA remains the most notable agency with law enforcement and detention powers in Canada that is not subject to independent review and oversight.
National security expert and law professor Craig Forcese is quoted as saying that CBSA oversight is “the right decision”. Government expert Mel Cappe said that it is “filling the gap”. I would importantly note that the proposed legislation before the House benefited from invaluable advice proposed to the government by Mr. Cappe.
To support this legislation, we have allocated $24 million to expand the CRCC to become an independent review body for the CBSA. With the introduction of Bill C-3, proper oversight is on track to becoming a reality.
In the last Parliament, this bill received all-party support in the House in recognition of its practical contents that seek to maintain the integrity of our border services and to instill confidence in Canadians that their complaints will be heard independently and transparently. Though the bill was supported unanimously at third reading, it unfortunately did not receive royal assent by the time the last Parliament ended.
We have heard concerns from many members in this House about the date of tabling, and we are now reintroducing this bill at our very first opportunity as part of the 43rd Parliament. This will be the third consecutive Parliament to consider legislation to create an oversight body for the CBSA. It is overdue.
For all of these reasons, I proudly introduce Bill C-3. I am happy to take any questions my colleagues may have.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
2020-01-29 17:03 [p.651]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak to Bill C-3, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. I appreciate the introduction by the minister responsible.
I would like to say, first of all, that the Canada Border Services Agency carries on very important work for the safety of Canada and its citizens, and it enforces some 70 different regulations and pieces of legislation that have been passed by Parliament or enacted through proper processes. It is an important piece of work that the agency does. There are at least 7,000 agents, and they operate at 130 different border points, so the work they do is very important.
They also, in conducting this work, have pretty extraordinary powers, probably greater than many police and law enforcement agencies. They can arrest and detain people who they believe are in Canada illegally. They can arrest with or without warrant. They can arrest people who they suspect are in violation of the act and detain them for, in some cases, indefinite periods.
As has been pointed out, with 96 million travellers in and out of the country, we do not have 96 million complaints, obviously, so it is pretty clear that the work that they are doing is, for the most part, not subject to complaint.
I appreciate that when we talk about the complaints that are made, we are talking about exceptions to proper behaviour, potentially. The complaints may not end up being found to be valid in some cases, but we know that there are sufficient numbers of valid complaints to have a cause for concern that this enforcement agency is not immune to bad behaviour and improper conduct. We know that this has happened, because complaints have been founded by investigations conducted by the CBSA itself.
There has, for a long period of time, been cause for concern that there was a lack of oversight of this body. Justice O'Connor in 2010 recommended that this oversight take place, but it did not take place. We raised this issue as a party in the Conservative years, in 2010, after Justice O'Connor and before, and up until we joined the last Parliament as well. I was not here, but I know my colleagues have done so, and they were not the only ones. Recognized and respected public bodies, such as the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and others, have recognized and pointed out significant deficiencies in the activities and behaviour of the CBSA in the enforcement of its legislation.
It is kind of a given that this should happen. “Long overdue” are the words that have been used by the minister himself, recognizing that this legislation, or something like it, should have been brought forward a lot sooner than it was. It is unfortunate that this gap has not been addressed before this date, but we are heartened by the fact that it is here today.
I must say it was a half-hearted attempt by the Liberal government in the last Parliament to bring this legislation forward in the dying days of Parliament, several weeks before Parliament was to rise. It was passed over to the Senate on the 19th of June, the day before they were to rise, with no hope of any particular consideration there. The Liberal government deserves some blame for not bringing this legislation forward earlier to provide an opportunity for full discussion and debate.
There are some changes that have now been made. I did not get the sense from the minister's remarks, when he was asked about consultations, that any significant consultation has taken place with the union that was involved. Its members appeared before the committee. The customs and immigration union does have something to say about this. I think the union is generally supportive of the idea that there ought to be accountability, because it also provides an opportunity for officers who may be the subject of a complaint to be exonerated if the complaint is not founded, and it can be done in a public way.
All that being said, we do have to look carefully at some of the provisions of this legislation. Is it going to simply be a review of internal complaints or internal investigations that have been made? To what extent is it going to provide for an independent investigation? The power exists there. The practice is something that we have to be concerned about.
Are we going to be in a backlog situation, as we have seen with the RCMP civilian review system? Additional monies have been provided, and I see provisions for standards of performance in terms of dealing with complaints. Whether those standards can be met by just establishing standards of performance and whether the government is committed to being responsive to requests by the agency for sufficient funds or more staff as needed to meet those standards is the problem sometimes with agencies that have this kind of oversight. We want to have a good look at that to see what is going on when these things take place.
The NDP supports this legislation in principle and we will certainly be supporting it at second reading. We will look to see whether the minister is willing to consider amendments during consideration in committee. I am not proposing any here today, but I do want to see that the minister is prepared to consider arguments that may be made to bring about changes that would enhance the legislation and make it more effective.
We have heard specific concerns as well from the legal community in terms of how the practices of the agency have affected solicitor-client privilege, and there are concerns about solicitor-client privilege. We want to make sure that these concerns are addressed if they have not been addressed already, and I am not sure they have been addressed.
We would also want to see the opportunity, and I raised this with the member for Saint-Jean, to be involved in the policy and practices side of it. I note that in the legislation there is an opportunity for the committee itself to initiate reviews of specific practices. Whether it is going to be a robust effort on the part of the committee interests me. I suspect it may depend on who the committee members are.
I would want to see an opportunity for those kinds of reviews to take place through the initiative of someone else. For example, the Canadian Bar Association might want to see a review of a particular practice as it might affect a problem area, whether having to do with solicitor-client privilege or having to do with incidents that have come forward on a number of occasions. Other outside bodies as well might come to this body and ask it to conduct a review. I note that reviews can be done at the direction of the minister as well. That is something that may answer some of the concerns.
I am pretty sure this is not a perfect instrument, and I do not think it has been suggested that it is. It is a way forward, though, and NDP members supported it in the last Parliament because it was a step forward from what was in existence up until right now. There is no form of civilian oversight of this organization, and the lack of that kind of oversight has been noted for many years.
Enforcement officers have enormous powers, and they are a necessity. Officers deal in many cases with people in vulnerable circumstances, people who are refugees. Forty-one thousand refugees crossed into Canada during the last Parliament. These people are vulnerable. They are susceptible to being unable to complain or to feeling that complaining would potentially cause them problems, so vigorous oversight is needed there. It is important for us to ensure that this oversight takes place. There may be a need for third parties to approach the committee to make sure that the policies and practices that are in place adequately meet the required standards when enforcement officers are dealing with civilians whom they are entrusted to look after while also ensuring that the law is enforced.
Those are some of the concerns that New Democrats will be looking at carefully in committee. I am disturbed to hear that the examination of what happens in detention is excluded from this bill, but I am going to be looking very carefully at that. We do note, as was noted before in one of the speeches, that since the year 2000 there have been at least 14 deaths of people while in detention. I am not suggesting that these deaths were the result of negligence or improper behaviour, but the question remains. These were not able to be investigated by any outside agency specifically in relation to the behaviour toward and treatment of individuals who may have had ill-treatment in custody. Whether or not there was in these individual cases, I am obviously not in a position to say.
However, the public must have confidence, ultimately, that there is a sufficient degree of transparency and oversight in order to believe that CBSA officers are acting not only in the public interest and for the safety of Canada, but also in a proper way when they are dealing with individuals, and that they are not abusing their position of power and trust. People must know they have recourse with a proper, independent, robust and accessible process that will make sure justice is done following any violation of proper and appropriate behaviour.
As was mentioned earlier, this is not something the union of the employees involved rejects. This is something it regards as proper and appropriate as well.
Having said all of that, New Democrats support this legislation being brought forward at second reading. We look forward to having an appropriate period of time to consider it and bring forward witnesses who can help with the analysis of it and offer their recommendations and opinions.
View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-3, which seeks to establish a new, independent public complaints and review body for the Canada Border Services Agency, or CBSA. This represents another step forward in the government's commitment to ensuring that all of its agencies and departments are accountable to Canadians.
As a member of the public safety committee during the last Parliament, I am quite proud to have participated in legislation that made remarkable change and took the number of measures we took to ensure greater accountability of our security agencies and departments.
Two years ago, our Bill C-22 received royal assent, establishing the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. That addressed a long-standing need for parliamentarians to review the Government of Canada's activities and operations in regard to national security and intelligence. It has been in operation for some time now and is a strong addition to our system of national security review and accountability. As members will know, the committee has the power to review activities across government, including the CBSA.
To complement that, our committee studied our national security framework, as well as Bill C-59, which allowed for the creation of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, or NSIRA. NSIRA is also authorized to conduct reviews of any national security or intelligence activity carried out by federal departments and agencies, including the CBSA. All of this is on top of existing review and oversight mechanisms in the public safety portfolio.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP investigates complaints from the public about the conduct of members in the RCMP, for example, and does so in an open, independent and objective manner. The Office of the Correctional Investigator conducts independent, thorough and timely investigations about issues related to Correctional Service Canada.
Bill C-3 would fill a gap in the review of the activities of our public safety agencies. The existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, which is responsible for complaints against members of the RCMP, would see its name change to the public complaints and review commission and its mandate expanded to include the CBSA. It would be able to consider complaints against CBSA employee conduct or service, from foreign nationals, permanent residents and Canadian citizens, regardless of whether they are within or outside of Canada. Reviews of national security activities would be carried out by NSIRA.
Here is how it would work in practice. If an individual has a complaint unrelated to national security, she or he would be able to direct it either to the commission or to the CBSA. Both bodies would notify the other of any complaint made. The CBSA would be required to investigate any complaint, except those disposed of informally. The commission would be able to conduct its own investigation of the complaint in situations where the chairperson is of the opinion that doing so would be in the public interest. If an individual is not satisfied with the CBSA's response, the commission would be able to follow up as it sees fit.
The new PCRC would also be able to produce findings on the CBSA's policies, procedures and guidelines. It would also be able to review CBSA's activities, including making findings on CBSA's compliance with the law and the reasonableness and necessity of the exercise of its powers. Indeed, the commission's findings on each review would be published in a mandatory annual public report.
Bill C-3 not only fills a gap in our review system. It answers calls from the public and Parliament for independent review of CBSA. Most significantly, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, in its 2015 report, encouraged the creation of an oversight body. I would like to acknowledge Bill S-205 from our last Parliament, introduced in the other place not long after the government took office, which proposed a CBSA review body as well.
Certainly we have heard from academics, experts and other stakeholders of the need to create a body with the authority to review CBSA. During testimony at the public safety committee on December 5, 2017, Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International, said, “how crucial it is for the government to move rapidly to institute full, independent review of CBSA.” This was reflective of much of the testimony we heard, and I am pleased the government is acting on this advice. I would also like to acknowledge my colleague from Toronto—Danforth for her efforts and advocacy for the establishment of a CBSA review body.
The CBSA has a long and rich history of providing border services in an exemplary fashion. It does so through the collective contribution of over 14,000 dedicated professional women and men, women like Tamara Lopez from my community, who is a role model for young women looking for a career in the CBSA.
The CBSA already has robust internal and external mechanisms in place to address many of its activities. For example, certain immigration-related decisions are subject to review by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, and its customs role can be appealed all the way up to the Federal Court.
That said, when it comes to the public, the CBSA should not be the only body receiving and following up on complaints about its own activities. Indeed, some Canadians might not be inclined to say a word if they do not have the confidence that their complaint will be treated independently, objectively and thoroughly. Bill C-3 would inspire that confidence.
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all of its agencies and departments are accountable to Canadians. Bill C-3 would move the yardstick forward on that commitment. It would bring Canada more closely in line with the accountability bodies of border agencies in other countries, including those of our Five Eyes allies.
The accountability and transparency of our national security framework has improved greatly since we were elected in 2015. This bill would continue these efforts by providing border services that keep Canadians safe and by improving public trust and confidence. Bill C-3 would ensure that the public continues to expect consistent, fair and equal treatment by CBSA employees. That is why I am proud to stand behind Bill C-3 today.
In the last Parliament, the House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-98, which was a bill to bring oversight to CBSA. Although that bill died in the Senate, it is my hope that all parties will again come together to pass this bill.
I listened to the member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner speak earlier in this debate. He spoke at length about firearms and his petition opposing our promise to make Canadians safer by enhancing gun control. I would remind him that almost 80% of Canadians support a ban on military-style assault rifles according to an independent Angus Reid survey.
I know he and his party supported oversight of the CBSA in the last Parliament. I hope he and all members will join me in supporting oversight in this Parliament under Bill C-3 and assure the bill's passage this session.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-01-29 17:50 [p.658]
Mr. Speaker, I stand today in this chamber and am pleased to speak for the first time as a re-elected member of Parliament for Yorkton—Melville. I and my fellow Saskatchewan caucus colleagues thank all our constituents for painting the province of Saskatchewan completely blue.
Bill C-3 actually mirrors Bill C-98, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. As we all know, the bill took so long to introduce that it was not passed prior to the 2019 federal election.
This legislation proposes to repurpose and rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the “public complaints and review commission”. Under its new name, the commission will also be responsible for reviewing civilian complaints against the Canadian Border Services Agency. The bill would ensure that all Canadians law enforcement agencies would have an oversight body.
Canadians expect effective oversight of federal law enforcement agencies. The Liberals made a promise to do this in 2015.
During its previous mandate, the Liberal government took so long to act on this issue that Bill C-98 failed to be passed prior to the 2019 election.
The former Privy Council Office chief, Mel Cappe, had been hired to conduct an independent report and provide his recommendations in June 2017, which he did. However, it was only because of an access to information request by CBC News that Parliament even became aware of this report. For two years, the government and the then, and now no longer, public safety minister from Saskatchewan sat on that report.
We, who served in the previous Parliament, were counting down the days and nights until the session came to a close. Then, at the last possible moment, this rather straightforward and simple but essential legislation was finally introduced. Why did it take the previous majority Liberal government three and a half years to draft and introduce Bill C-98 to the House? In the eleventh hour, it was too late to deal with such a critical promise that impacted public safety.
The Liberals' poor management and bad decision-making impacted RCMP officers, who had to be deployed and dedicated to dealing with illegal border crossings. They were pulled from other details, from monitoring returned ISIS fighters, tackling organized crime. They were pulled from rural detachments, where the RCMP is already short-staffed and dealing with an increase in rural crime. The claim that there are more police available in rural Canada is not true, a statement made and not followed through on.
When the Liberal majority government was ineptly unable to keep an election promise at the eleventh hour, so as to not appear to have broken even more promises, it meant an even longer wait, through the whole election process, through the weeks of delay before the House was finally called back by the Prime Minister to sit just before Christmas for a short time only to go into the winter break. Here we finally are today in a second attempt to get the job done of Bill C-3.
The government has been plagued by inefficiency and lack of foresight since the beginning of its first mandate, further hamstrung by one ethical breach after another, through brazen attitudes of entitlement, to the foolish boldness of demanding and coercing our independent justice system and principled people to bow to executive power.
Just this past week we have seen the frightening fallout of the government putting their friends ahead of good governance: A violent man sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for viciously murdering his wife was granted day parole in the fall of 2019. His case manager indicated a moderate risk of reoffending and he was to avoid relationships but could have encounters with women, as long as it was strictly sexual. As a result, a young woman lost her life.
Who in their right mind would create the environment for any woman to be put in harm's way like this? Ex-Parole Board commissioner Dave Blackburn stated that such a condition is “unbelievable”.
The Liberal government has to take responsibility for a foolish decision it made in 2015 to not renew any Parole Board appointees, purely a political decision that removed all historical experience from the board and replaced them all, through the Privy Council, with Liberal appointees.
I believe the desk will be pleased, Mr. Speaker, to hear I will be splitting my time with the member for Kootenay—Columbia.
Since then, there has been a more than 25% increase in the awarding of day parole in Canada. This is ridiculous. Canadians have no faith that an internal inquiry will get to the bottom of the incompetence that falls on the Liberal government. An external inquiry of the national Parole Board must take place. The government does not have credibility when it comes to dealing with its own self-serving, intentional mistakes.
As well, we know the delay in bringing forward this legislation was not due in any way to so many consultations. As a matter of fact, again and again, we have heard from stakeholders that they were not consulted. From what I have heard today on the floor, that has not changed.
This legislation proposes changes to the Canada Border Services Agency, yet the Customs and Immigration Union was never contacted. This is another blatant inconsistency by the government. On one end, there was no consultation. On the other, there was the virtue signalling of setting up advisory councils for our veterans but doing nothing other than giving a platform for photo ops and the appearance of consultation before the reveal.
The fact that the Liberal government could not be bothered to consult the biggest stakeholders, the union representatives of the CBSA front-line workers, says it is not about the workers. It appears the Liberals feel they can pick and choose which unions they are going to give special treatment to while others are totally ignored.
Conservative members will work with the government in the interests of the principles of the bill, but rest assured we want to make sure that the people impacted are part of the committee review process. We want to ensure that proper committee time is taken to look at the changes to the RCMP Act and the CBSA Act, and make sure we are doing a service to the people who will be impacted by them, whether it is on a public complaints process or other elements.
As good as this policy is, it needs good government to implement it, not a government consistently mired in scandal that loses track of its responsibilities and then, concerned about its re-election, attempts to rush this legislation through irresponsibly. It does not need a government that is so out of touch that it fails to consult with the Canadians who would be impacted.
The government's approach demonstrates a complete lack of accountability, care and respect for Canadians. There is unrest across western Canada that must not be ignored. I would warn that we must no longer be fuelled by intentional actions that encourage that unrest instead of building consensus and recognizing and celebrating healthy interdependence across our amazing country.
Our nation, and all people of Canada, deserve a government that legislates responsibly, respectfully and with the best interests of all Canadians in mind. I look forward to the day we form that government.
View Rob Morrison Profile
CPC (BC)
View Rob Morrison Profile
2020-01-29 18:04 [p.660]
Mr. Speaker, as this is my first speech, I want to take the opportunity to thank the great people in the Kootenay—Columbia riding for putting their trust and faith in me to represent them in Ottawa. The support from my family and friends was incredible and from my wife, Heather and our five children, Ryan, Rob, Kassidy, Chelsea and Kendall.
With 80,000 square kilometres, it was very challenging to travel and meet residents from all corners of the riding. The campaign team and volunteers did an outstanding job, working long hours every day.
I listened to the concerns, the priorities for softwood lumber and priorities with the firearms legislation. I also want to talk about supporting the mining industry, tourism, the energy sector, Alberta, as it is neighbouring our riding, and health.
I am pleased to speak to Bill C-3, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act. I do so today on behalf of many border officials in ports of Kingsgate, Nelway, Porthill, Roosville and Rykerts, all within the riding of Kootenay—Columbia.
I thank them for their service and I thank the CBSA Kootenay area chief of operations for leadership and dedication in ensuring the safety and security of our area. I also support the RCMP, which provides municipal, rural, provincial and federal policing throughout the Kootenay—Columbia riding.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all the men and women who serve to protect this great nation from coast to coast.
One issue I heard when travelling throughout the riding was the word “accountability”, which is really interesting because that is exactly what we are talking about today.
I support internal investigations. In fact, I have been involved in many internal investigations in the RCMP in a 35-year career. I support independence. I believe we need independent investigations. It would be great to hear how this is going to work. I have not heard yet, with the delays in investigations. I know right now with the RCMP, which has an independent review, it is two, three or four years at least. We have some members on the old RCMP act and some members on the new act, and now we are going to change it again to have a new accountability process with this review committee.
I have heard some concerns about the consultation of CBSA with its union. I am also wondering about the consultation with the RCMP, as they are now working toward a union as well. Have we looked at the consultation there and have people come in? I look forward to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security having people come in so we can talk to them and see how they feel about what is happening.
One of the most important things that has not been brought up is training and service standards. What are the service standards of CBSA? What are the service standards of the RCMP? What exactly is the role of an RCMP member? The review committee can then understand what that person is going to do, what they should be doing and what they should not be doing, so they do not, because they have no experience in law enforcement, for example, think that behaviour is inappropriate when maybe it is or vice versa.
Developing service standards is a requirement before we can move forward with the bill, so that the review committee has a clear understanding of the role for CBSA and the role for the RCMP.
One thing that came up at one of the last meetings of the public safety committee was administrative issues that were not expected. I would be interested to hear from the government what those administrative issues were. Was it the hiring of new people? Was it the service standards or was it a union? I do not understand what administrative issues would have popped up in December.
The RCMP and CBSA are very reputable organizations. I want to be up front. They would welcome a well-thought-out, well-trained independent review, but not something where someone is appointed and we would run into the same issues we are having right now with the Parole Board.
I request that the government and the public safety minister answer some of these questions so that we can move forward in supporting this bill and the changes proposed in it.
View Ruby Sahota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ruby Sahota Profile
2020-01-29 18:14 [p.662]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to start off by saying that I will be sharing my time today with the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity.
I am grateful for the opportunity to add my voice to today's debate on Bill C-3, which proposes to establish an arm's-length review body for the Canada Border Services Agency.
The CBSA is already reviewed by several different independent boards, tribunals and courts. They scrutinize such things as the agency's customs and immigration decisions. However, there is no existing external review body for some of its other functions and activities.
For example, there is a gap when it comes to public complaints related to CBSA employee conduct and service. With the way things currently stand, there is also no independent review mechanism for the CBSA's non-national security activities. That makes the CBSA something of an outlier, both at home and abroad.
Other public safety organizations in Canada are subject to independent review, as are border agencies in a number of peer countries including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and France. Addressing these accountability gaps through Bill C-3 would improve the CBSA's strength and would strengthen public confidence in the agency. It would ensure that the public could continue to expect consistent, fair and equal treatment by CBSA employees, and it would lead to opportunities for ongoing improvement in the CBSA's interactions and service delivery.
For an organization that deals with tens of millions of people each year, that is extremely important. Public complaints about the conduct of, and the service provided by, CBSA employees are currently dealt with only internally at the agency. I am sure all of my hon. colleagues would agree that this is no longer a tenable situation.
Under Bill C-3, these complaints would instead be handled by a new arm's-length public complaints and review commission, or PCRC. The new PCRC would build on and strengthen the existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, CRCC for short, which is currently the review agency for the RCMP. The CRCC would thus be given an expanded role under this bill and a new name to go along with its new responsibilities for the CBSA.
The PCRC would be able to receive and investigate complaints from the public regarding the conduct of the CBSA officials and the service provided by the CBSA. Service-related complaints could be about a number of issues. They could include border wait times and processing delays; lost or damaged postal items; the level of service provided; the examination process, including damage to goods or electronic devices during a search or examination; and CBSA infrastructure, including sufficient space, poor signage or the lack of available parking.
Service-related complaints do not include enforcement actions, such as fines for failing to pay duties, nor do they include trade decisions, such as tariff classification. Those types of decisions can already be considered by existing review mechanisms.
In addition to its complaints function, the PCRC would also review non-national security activities conducted by the RCMP and the CBSA. The PCRC reports would include findings and recommendations on the adequacy, appropriateness, sufficiency or clarity of CBSA policies, procedures and guidelines; the CBSA's compliance with the law and ministerial directions; and the reasonableness and necessity of the CBSA's use of its powers. The CBSA would be required to provide a response to those findings and recommendations for all complaints.
The creation of the PCRC is overdue. It would answer long-standing calls for an independent review of public complaints involving the CBSA.
According to former parliamentarian and chair of the NATO Association of Canada at Massey College, Hugh Segal, the lack of oversight for the CBSA is not appropriate and is unacceptable.
Former CBSA president Luc Portelance also said that when a Canadian citizen or a foreign national engages with a border officer and has a negative interaction, the entire review mechanism is not public. It is internal, and it is not seen as independent. In Mr. Portelance's view, that creates a significant problem in terms of public trust.
The Government of Canada has committed to rectifying this situation by addressing gaps in the CBSA's framework for external accountability.
With the introduction of Bill C-3, the government is delivering on that commitment. It builds on recent action taken by the government to strengthen accountability on national security matters. That includes passing legislation to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. It also includes the creation, through Bill C-59, of the new expert review body, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. These two bodies are now in operation and they are doing extremely important work in terms of reviewing the national security activities of all departments and agencies, including the CBSA.
Bill C-3 would go further by establishing a review and complaints function for CBSA's other activities. In doing so, it would fill the gap in the architecture of public safety accountability in this country. It would allow for independent review of public complaints related to CBSA employee conduct, issues regarding CBSA services, and the conditions and treatment of immigration detainees. With respect to these detainees specifically, Bill C-3 would offer additional safeguards to ensure that they are treated humanely and are provided with necessary resources and services while detained.
The introduction of this bill demonstrates a commitment to keeping Canadians safe and secure while treating people fairly and respecting human rights. It is a major step forward in ensuring that Canadians are confident in the accountability system for the agencies that work so hard to keep them safe.
For all the reasons I have outlined today, I will be voting in favour of Bill C-3 at second reading. I urge all of my hon. colleagues to join me in supporting the bill.
View Churence Rogers Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to rise in this House and add my voice to the debate on Bill C-3 which proposes to establish an arm's-length review and complaints function for the CBSA.
The bill before us builds on an action that our government had recently taken to strengthen accountability and transparency in the public safety and national security sphere. As members know, we passed legislation to create the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, and that committee has now been established. Following the passage of Bill C-59, we also created a new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. The goal of both of these bodies is to provide accountability for the national security work of all Government of Canada departments and agencies, including the CBSA.
Strong internal and external mechanisms are in place to address many of the CBSA's other activities. For example, certain decisions in the immigration context are subject to review by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Its customs decisions can be appealed to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal as well as to the Federal Court. However, the glaring gap that remains has to do with the public complaints related to the conduct of, and service provided by, CBSA employees.
There is simply no independent place to which people can turn when they have a grievance about the way they were treated by someone representing the CBSA. Without an independent body specifically tasked to hear complaints, it is easy to see how people can feel uncomfortable voicing any concerns. Bill C-3 would change that by establishing an independent review and complaints function for the CBSA. That new tool would be incorporated into, and benefit from the expertise and experience of, the existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, or CRCC, for the RCMP.
To reflect its new CBSA responsibilities, the CRCC would be renamed the “public complaints and review commission”, or PCRC. Members of the public who deal with the CBSA would be able to submit a complaint to any officer or employee of the agency or to the PCRC. The CBSA would conduct the initial investigation into a complaint, whether it is submitted to the CBSA or to the PCRC. However, the PCRC would have the ability to investigate any complaint that is considered to be in the public interest. It could also initiate a complaint proactively. In the event that a complainant was not satisfied with the CBSA's response to a complaint, he or she could ask the PCRC to review the CBSA's response. The PCRC would also have a mandate to conduct overarching reviews of specified activities of the CBSA. All of this would bring the CBSA in line with Canada's other public safety organizations, which are currently subject to independent review, and it would allow Canada to join the ranks of peer countries with respect to adding accountability functions for their border agencies.
Recourse through the PCRC would be available to anyone who interacts with CBSA or RCMP employees. This includes Canadian citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals, including immigration detainees. Most of these detainees are held in CBSA-managed immigration holding centres. When that is not possible, CBSA detainees are placed in other facilities, including provincial correctional facilities. The CBSA has established agreements with B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia for detention purposes.
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