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Results: 1 - 30 of 663
View Jag Sahota Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jag Sahota Profile
2020-07-22 13:35 [p.2717]
Madam Chair, I will be sharing my time with the member for Edmonton Manning.
On April 22, the Prime Minister announced funding for the Canada student grant program. On April 23, one day later, the grant was promised to the WE organization and his close personal friend. Therefore, we know it pays to be friends with members in the government.
We can contrast that with the promise the Minister of Finance made to the oil and gas industry. It has been 99 days and still nothing. Where is the support?
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-07-22 13:36 [p.2717]
Madam Chair, we have been clear that we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Canadians from coast to coast. We know that all sectors have also been impacted. Our government has continuously worked with provinces, territories and municipalities to respond to these various challenging needs, including within the natural resources sector.
We will continue to deliver for Canadians.
View Jag Sahota Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jag Sahota Profile
2020-07-22 13:37 [p.2717]
Madam Chair, let me make it clear who the question is for: the Minister of Finance. It has been nearly 100 days. It is not assistance if employers cannot or will not be able to access programs. The oil and gas sector needed assistance before the pandemic. Things have only worsened.
What do my constituents in Alberta need to do to get assistance?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Chair, yesterday the House voted in favour of an expansion of the wage subsidy program. These changes will expand essential supports going into December for a lot of hard-working Canadians, the energy sector included. These changes will further assist the liquidity needs that will prevent further layoffs and will ensure that we continue to support our energy workers, regardless of where they are in this country, but we know particularly in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.
View Jag Sahota Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jag Sahota Profile
2020-07-22 13:38 [p.2717]
Madam Chair, to the Minister of Environment, to make matters worse the Liberals are saying projects have to reach net-zero by 2050 in order to be approved. As oil and gas begins what will be a long and difficult recovery, the Liberals are once again causing uncertainty, shifting money and jobs to the other oil-producing nations.
I will ask again: Where is the support for this crucial industry?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Madam Chair, I would agree with the hon. member about how crucial this industry is, but I would disagree with the premise that net-zero makes us less competitive. If one talks to Cenovus and many of the other major players in the oil patch right across this country, they will argue that making sure we adhere to net-zero is, in fact, a competitive advantage.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2020-07-21 14:39 [p.2693]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can find $40 million for his friends at the WE organization who are struggling financially, but cannot do anything to help Alberta's oil and gas sector.
The finance minister promised help within hours. However, when his friends at WE needed help, he had no problem cutting them a cheque. It is always the same story with the Liberals: help them get votes and get the money. The government is corrupt. Where is the help for Alberta's oil and gas sector?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, as we have said on a number of different occasions, we have intervened in the economy to help a number of different sectors. We have been unwavering in our support for all sectors across Canada, including the oil and gas sector, where we have put an unprecedented amount of money into cleaning up old and abandoned wells. This will create more jobs and more infrastructure development in that sector and help us move forward.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2020-07-20 12:50 [p.2588]
Madam Speaker, when the government first rolled out programming in response to the COVID-19 shutdown, the programming was filled with the old classic rule that no good deed goes unpunished. The government created an income support program for workers, but ripped it away the second those same workers earned more than $1,000, punishing their good deeds of working hard and earning money. It created a wage subsidy, but then tore it away as soon as a business was able to recover more than 70% of its pre-COVID revenue, again punishing a business for the crime of recuperating revenue and rebuilding the economy.
We warned early on that these anti-work, anti-earnings disincentives would penalize the very people who were working hard to put our economy back on its feet in the post-closure period. The government ignored our concerns and delayed. In the meantime, countless workers and business owners have faced the impossible dilemma of whether or not they should go back to earning what they did before the pandemic began.
Members could judge these people, who are out in the world facing that dilemma, but before they do, I ask them to think of, for example, a waitress whose employer may go bankrupt because of the enormous revenue loss that he has experienced during the shutdown. If she goes back and begins earning $1,200, and he then goes under, she will lose her job and she will have lost her CERB. In other words, she will have no income at all, and the government will have imposed this penalty upon her for having worked too hard, having exerted too much effort to rebuild her finances and support her employer and her community.
Up until now, the same went for businesses that committed the offence of regaining lost revenues. If they were down less than 30% , that is to say that they had recovered more than 70% of their pre-COVID revenue, they would lose the wage subsidy. For many of them, the extra revenue was worth less than the wage subsidy. In which case, the perfectly rational and, in many cases, necessary decision for them was to suppress their revenues in order to qualify for the very assistance that would keep them alive and allow them to employ their workers.
Finally, the government has come forward with a proposal to address that disincentive of the wage subsidy. Unfortunately, what we see in this proposal is a cobweb of complexity. I will break down just how complex it will be and how bewildering it will become for the business owners who are trying to make sense of it all.
First, we see there are now effectively four periods that remain until the subsidy is phased out altogether. In each of those four periods, the rate of subsidy is different than it is in the others. Then there are the three scenarios that apply to those four periods. The first scenario is for businesses that have lost less than 50% of their revenue, in which case they are entitled to the base subsidy. Then there is the second scenario for businesses that are down more than 50%, in which case they are eligible for both the base subsidy and the top-up. Then there is the third scenario for businesses with employees who are furloughed or “on leave”, in which case there is yet another different rate of compensation paid through the subsidy. Do not even get me started on businesses that have both furloughed and non-furloughed employees.
If we just take the basic permutations and combinations that I have mentioned, over the next four months, businesses could face 15, 20 or 30 different rates of wage subsidy. They will somehow understand these with the help of very expensive accountants and consultants as they try to go forward and make business decisions. This complexity will no doubt impose massive new costs, unpredictability and uncertainty on the very people who are struggling just to open their doors. They are already facing a whole series of public safety rules imposed by their municipalities, rules that are themselves hard to follow, burdensome and costly to implement. Now they will have to plow through an already complicated system of taxation in order to make sense of an even more complicated system of subsidies.
In numerous conversations with the minister, we put forward proposals that could have made this simple. Why could the government, for example, not have expanded the Canada emergency business account to lend businesses their prior month's revenue loss, and then forgive repayment on 75% of whatever they spent on wages out of that amount? That could be the wage subsidy with no complexity, and it would not be a disincentive. It would be scaled to revenue loss, easy to administer and available at someone's local bank.
Of course that was not the option that the government chose. No, instead it had to come up with the most complicated system possible. The only two sectors that will experience any benefit from that complexity are the accountants and tax lawyers, who will be paid to implement and make sense of it all. Although I suspect many of them will have to hire Ph.D.s in astrophysics in order to make sense of some of the finer details of this particular proposal.
Simpler proposals are better, and simplification should always be the goal of government policy so we know exactly what we are trying to accomplish, and the beneficiaries know how to accomplish it. Therefore, we as Conservatives call on the government to look for ways to simplify the implementation of this.
We also call on the government to signal to the Canada Revenue Agency to be as reasonable as possible in its enforcement and in the subsequent cases of accidental and incidental errors that are inevitably going to be the result of small businesses tripping over many of the tripwires found in this complex proposal.
All that being said, at the very least we can give the government some credit for belatedly realizing the necessity to remove the penalties on businesses that are recovering their revenues while trying to employ their workers.
Now let us turn our attention to those very same workers. Under the current Canada emergency response benefit, workers who earn $999 can keep the $2,000 CERB, but if they earn $1,001, they lose that same benefit. In other words, they are taking one step forward in order to be pushed two steps back. No one would make the decision to earn $1,000 in order to lose $2,000. The effective tax rate on such a person would be 200%. That is a major and unacceptable penalty for work. It is also a problem with an obvious solution.
I see here the member for Haldimand—Norfolk, who was once the employment minister and helped to bring in a solution to the same problem under the employment insurance program. She, in the previous Harper government, helped to bring in the working while on a claim system, which allowed people on EI to go out and get a job and lose only 50 cents of their EI for every dollar they earned. That means that they would always be 50 cents better off for each of those dollars earned. That should be the basic principle of our tax-and-transfer system. People should always be better off when they work more, earn more or take on one more shift.
Our party has very meticulously assembled a proposal for the government that would solve this anti-work problem and give our working-class people the rewards they deserve for going back to their jobs and taking on as many shifts as they possibly can. Our proposal is simple and it is this. For those earning less than $1,000, nothing would change. They would still get their $2,000 CERB. However, for those earning more than $1,000, any dollar earned over $1,000 would result in losing only 50 cents of their CERB.
Of course, all of this could be reconciled at tax time. The government already has records of people's earning because employers submit the payroll remittances. The government knows exactly what people earn and when they earn it. It would be very easy to use the highly sophisticated CRA software, which could automatically calculate all of this, and people's final amounts could be reconciled at tax time on their returns.
Therefore, we put forward this proposal, which would allow all workers to be better off when they go out into the workforce and get themselves another dollar. It would mean that people would only lose their CERB gradually as they earn between $1,000 and $6,000, so that every day in every way workers who contribute to their employer, get businesses back on their feet, serve local customers, pay taxes and contribute to the economy are rewarded for doing so.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that our proposal would be affordable and that it would be a minor cost. I frankly believe that when the behavioural changes that would result from it are taken into account, the government will be net better off as a result of rewarding rather than punishing work.
This is, of course, a problem that most left-wing governments have. They do not believe that there is any limit to the amount of taxation they can impose upon people. They do not understand the impact that incentives have on human and economic behaviour. That is why we see ever larger tax rates, which punish people for exerting themselves and for contributing to their employers, and which take away from risk-takers, entrepreneurs and working-class people.
We on this side of the House believe in restoring the value of work and rewarding exertion, because work is the only thing that generates the product of our nation. We know that no matter what government program we create, we cannot replace the prodigious output of our 20 million Canadian workers and the 1.2 million businesses that employ them. No government program can ever do that. The only way to recharge our economy and to replenish our wealth from the enormous costs we have incurred and the debts we have mounted is to get our workers and our businesses firing on all cylinders once again.
Beyond just fixing the problems and the penalties in these programs, we also need to unleash the power of free enterprise across our economy. There are parts of the economy that the government began shutting down years before COVID-19. One example of that is the energy sector. The government imposed a shutdown on the energy sector by blocking three pipelines and a major northern Alberta mine well before the COVID-19 pandemic ever appeared. It can now begin to reverse those anti-development policies.
It can, for example, look at the inventory of $20 billion of resource projects that await federal approval, and it can expedite decisions on them now so that billions of dollars of privately funded economic activity can begin without any cost to Canadian taxpayers. This includes a massive $14-billion pipeline and an LNG plant in the Saguenay region of Quebec. It includes smaller pipeline projects and mines right across the country. These projects have already been delayed too long. If the government really wanted a stimulus, a free-market, privately funded stimulus that would reduce debt rather than adding to it, now would be the time to expedite those exact same projects.
Now would be the time to begin to draw the lines of a future energy corridor connecting east coast refineries with western petroleum, opening the door to the sale and transmission of electricity from the prodigious hydro dams of Quebec to energy-starved communities in provinces across the country.
Now would be the time to to put an end to the insanity of selling our energy, not just oil and gas but also hydroelectricity, at massive discounts to our American neighbours to the south while we pay premiums for that same energy here in our very own country.
Now would be the time to go through our tax system, page by page, and start tearing out all of the penalties we impose on businesses that produce wealth and the workers who generate it.
Now would be the time to eliminate the enormous delays that are involved in building anything in the country. It takes three times longer to get a warehouse approved for construction in Canada than it does in the United States of America.
That is just one example of why so much capital has left our country for our southern neighbours and for many other economies around the world.
As a country, we went into this crisis weak. We had 0.3% unemployment, higher unemployment in fact than all other G7 countries, except for France and Italy, whose socialist policies our government was working hard to emulate. We went in with growth that was roughly half of that in the United States of America, with half our population $200 away from insolvency, and bankruptcies and insolvencies skyrocketing in the latter months of the year 2019.
We went in with a $29-billion deficit, before the very first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the country. We went in with the second highest level of debt in the G7 when we take public and private debt combined. Only Japan has higher combined public-private debt than Canada did in 2018, at 356% of GDP, and now that number has grown further.
We now have a government that is adding $343 billion of debt this year, money it believes literally can be created out of thin air, that we can simply count on the Bank of Canada, through keystrokes, to generate this currency out of nothing. The Bank of Canada has created a half a trillion dollars since March and used that money to buy bonds, mostly government bonds. In other words, our governments across the country are currently being financed by fake currency that is literally pulled out of thin air. The Prime Minister thinks that can go on forever, as though he invented the idea of turning on the printing presses to pay for a government.
We know that for thousands of years emperors, kings and others have tried to pay their bills by creating currency from nothing. Whether they clipped coins so that the gold in them could go a little further, whether they took drachmas and wrote “2” where there once was “1”, whether they more recently cranked up the printing presses and pumped out cash until inflation was skyrocketing, the result, in the long run, is always the same: When you create money from nothing, that money begins to be worth nothing.
We are not there yet, but we must plan for the day when, eventually, there are too many dollars chasing too few goods. When that happens, the value of the dollar will decline. This will be wonderful news for the very rich of course, because their assets will inflate in value and they will become richer still. However, it will be terrible news for the wage-earning blue-collar people of the country whose wages will be devalued, who will be earning less money for every hour they put in.
That brings us back to my very first point, that we in this country should always reward and never punish work, that we should unbridle the power of the labourer and the entrepreneur to join hands in the production of wealth, to finance the lifestyle and the economy that our country deserves to pay for our national programs, our national defence, our social safety net and for a quality of life that we in a country like Canada have become accustomed to and that we should only exceed in the days ahead.
I appreciate the opportunity to address this issue. We stand ready to work with the Liberals to improve these policies, to correct their faulty ways and to make our country better yet.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question No. 484--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to amendments to the Canada Grain Regulations (SOR/2020-63), enacted through the passage of Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, which amended the Canada Grain Act through an expedited process, bypassing the normal Canada Gazette I posting and public comment period, and were posted on Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 9: (a) what are the details of all meetings, round tables, teleconference calls, town halls, and other means of consultation, in regard to grain, held during CUSMA/NAFTA 2.0 negotiations, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendee and invitee lists, including government officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (b) for the meetings referred to in (a), what are the details of (i) published notices, (ii) reports, including where and when they were published; (c) what are the details of all stakeholder views expressed during these consultations, including minority positions, which were communicated to inform the Government of Canada negotiating position, along with the names and positions of the officials to whom these stakeholder views were communicated; (d) what are the details of all engagement activities with grain sector stakeholders following the CUSMA announcement where the impacts of the agreement, potential legislative and regulatory amendments, and implementation plans were discussed, as well as the reports flowing from these engagement activities that informed the drafting of Bill C-4 amendments to the Canada Grain Act, including the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) agendas, (iv) minutes, (v) attendees, including from the Canada Grain Commission and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials and agriculture sector stakeholders, and their organizational affiliations; (e) who made the decision to have “minimal” consultation on the regulatory changes and an explanation of their rationale for the decision when, as the regulatory analysis document says, the amendments are consequential; and (f) what is the definition of the industry referred to when “industry-led” is used in regard to integrating the Delivery Declaration Form and its implementation into the existing grain delivery structure, particularly whether farmers are included among the leadership of the industry?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2020-07-20 16:58 [p.2634]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to let the House know that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Haldimand—Norfolk and I look forward to this opportunity to address the House.
First of all, I want to pay tribute to the men and women, the businesses, the entrepreneurs, the hard-working people, the front-line essential workers in my riding of Red Deer—Lacombe who have done yeomen's work throughout this very difficult time in our nation's history. I am happy to report that central Alberta has been very stoic and also very capable in dealing with COVID-19. We have had very few cases in our province and I hope that continues going forward.
Before us today is a bill and the many missed opportunities are the theme of my speech: the missed opportunities in this legislation and missed opportunities for Parliament to have done its job. I do not want to harp on that, but we have been basically sidelined with a very marginal committee. One political party in the House probably regrets that alliance it set up a little while ago. I could be talking about missed opportunities for some people to even come to work today, but I am not going to talk about those. I am going to talk about the missed opportunities in this legislation.
The first thing I want to talk about is CERB and the missed opportunities in this legislation. Many MPs in this room probably already know and have probably already heard from their constituents about something called the CERB clawback. Early on when CERB was put out, people received money. Some who applied for it received maybe a little more than they should. They had an advance payment that was not associated with their work time or with a pay period. Now the government is clawing that money back. It is doing it by just stopping payments cold to people who are actually going to continue on. We know that the government wants to continue on because it has announced several times that it is going to extend the CERB. Why did it not at least notify people that for the next two weeks they would not be getting the CERB? That would have been the polite thing to do. There are lots of Canadians facing this right now. Or the Liberals could have amortized the amount that needed to be clawed back over the next extended period of time so they would not leave a family who is already barely getting by on 25% of what that household normally brings in. But no, that is not what the government is doing at all. It is really unfortunate and a missed opportunity in the legislation to do right by Canadians.
There is $252 million of reannounced money that was going to go to the agriculture sector whether we had a COVID-19 crisis or not. The business risk management tools are not cutting it for our farmers. There is market access loss as a result of COVID-19 border closures and restrictions. Nothing in this piece of legislation is going to address the needs of the farmers of this country that not only feed us, but also feed the world at times. We are one of a handful of countries in the world that is a net exporter of food. We need to support our agricultural sector, and it is a missed opportunity in this legislation. We are going to have further contraction in our agricultural sector as a result. However, farmers by and large do not vote Liberal, so we should not be at all surprised that there is no support in this round three of legislation, or round four, whatever we happen to be on now with one-day parliamentary sittings.
I talked about the oil and gas sector during question period. I am a former rig worker. I am proud to say I was a roughneck during my younger years and was very proud of the work I did. I still have my coveralls, my hard hat, all my PPE from those days. What is the Government of Canada doing right now? Is it advancing the oil and gas sector's interests and positioning the sector to be able to thrive once the world economy takes off again so that we can have a window of market opportunity to get back on track? Who knows, maybe even the oil and gas sector could generate some revenue that would get us back to a semblance of a balanced budget, but there is nothing in there. Where is the money for the oil and gas sector? Here is some money for some orphaned wells because Liberal policies have been so onerous that a bunch of companies went bankrupt and orphaned some of their wells. The Liberals say they will give them some money now to clean up those abandoned wells. It's basically a lifeline to the end of life for this industry. That is what the Liberals have offered.
This is the energy that we all use as Canadians to heat our homes, to power and fuel our economy, to get our kids to school and sport, and ourselves to work, but it is not important to the Liberal government. Why? It is because I do not think a whole lot of rig workers vote for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Through the Community Futures regional relief fund in my constituency, small businesses were given a million dollars. That was gobbled up instantly. This was supposed to be an opportunity for small business owners to go to their local Community Futures in Alberta, or it would be different depending on what province they are in, but it was supposed to be a last-resort effort. It was over-subscribed instantly because despite everything the Liberals have done with the closures they have made, every single Canadian has been impacted by COVID, but they pick winners and losers in their programming. There are so many people who have not been able to qualify for the other programs they have tried to rely on this regional relief fund and it is not working. It was over-subscribed instantly. Again, people in my riding had to be told, no, the government is not going to be there for them. It is a problem.
Hospitality and tourism is probably the hardest-hit sector of our economy. I know that the restaurants and coffee shops have had a really tough time. I know they used some of the programs for those who qualify. They used the wage subsidy for those who qualified. However, it is not just these folks. There is a whole sector of our economy, and my colleague from B.C. brought this up during question period today. There are guides and outfitters. I am going to talk about this because I used to be a guide on Great Bear Lake.
When I was in university, I did not wait for the government to hand me a cheque. When I was a university student, I actually went out and got a job as a fishing guide on Great Bear Lake, and I worked my tail off from sun-up until sundown, which in the north is the whole day. That is what I did, and I was proud of the work I did. It was hard work in in a rough environment. I was getting bitten by mosquitoes, blackflies, name it. I was in six- or seven-foot waves on an icy cold lake trying to catch fish for people who paid an awesome, large sum of money, in my mind at that time as a 19-year-old, to come for the pleasure of catching a fish. Not a single one of those lodges on Great Bear Lake, to my knowledge, is open and there is absolutely no help through any of the programs that have been offered. How do they demonstrate a loss of revenue in March, April or May when their guests do not show up until June, July, August and September?
Fishing guide operators on Vancouver Island, who have been trounced by the DFO regulations and this minister's regulations for the last couple of years, are now being trounced by COVID regulations. If 80% of their clients are from outside of Canada, what has the government done to help these folks? Well, the government has done nothing, because a whole lot of people who own firearms and go hunting and fishing probably do not vote for the Liberal Party of Canada. Where is the help for them? It is the same for the oil and gas sector and the same for the farmers of this country. The help is not coming, not at all.
There was another opportunity here when it comes to making the difference. The government, back in early 2015-16, had a problem with something called “cash for access”. Cash for access was that scandal, and it was a big deal because it showed and exposed the cozy relationship of a bunch of Liberal insiders with the government who were getting quid pro quo for donations to the party. The Prime Minister said that it could not be them; the problem had to be the rules. Therefore, he changed the rules when it comes to how fundraising is actually done. He changed the Canada Elections Act because he had to blame the rules, but never mind the ethical blind spots that had been pointed out by the previous ethics commissioner. That was what the Prime Minister and the Liberal government of the day did. They changed the law
They could have changed the law today to deal with the WE scandal. The Liberals could have changed the ethics laws to create a repeat offender designation, for a government that seems to have a few repeat offenders. We all know that the Liberals' criminal justice approach is to let people go and give them a slap on the wrist, so why would we expect anything different when it comes to a change in the ethical law? Nonetheless, they had that ability before them.
In fact, the Liberals could have set mandatory minimum fines on an escalating scale for repeat offenders, and we know that the government is okay with registries. They could have created a registry of repeat ethical offenders for their own government. Think of the job creation in the Ethics Commissioner's office, if only the government were focused on actually doing something positive for Canadians.
There were a lot of missed opportunities, and I think we can agree that the current government does not have Canadians' interests at heart.
View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-07-20 17:52 [p.2641]
Madam Speaker, I really enjoyed watching my colleague beat his chest and go on about economic growth to find out who did more, the Liberals or the Conservatives.
Since I would like to help them reconcile, I will simply tell my colleague that the parties are a lot alike in times of crisis because the Liberals and the Conservatives have the same tendencies.
By that I mean that the Liberals were quick to support the oil and gas industry. One figure that comes to mind is the $500 million that was given to Coastal GasLink. That $500 million from the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC, was equivalent to what was spent on Quebec's entire forestry strategy from 2017 to 2020. The government gave $500 million to one project and the same amount to the entire forestry industry over three years.
They have reconciled, but can my colleague explain to me why there is a double standard for the forestry industry and the oil industry in times of crisis?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-07-20 17:53 [p.2642]
Madam Speaker, that is not reconciliation. The Conservatives say we have shut down the oil industry. The member opposite just said that we have opened up a whole new area. I guess the difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives and New Democrats, and possibly even the Bloc, is that Liberals recognize that the environment and the economy can in fact go hand in hand.
If we do the proper environmental work and consultations with different levels of government, indigenous people and stakeholders, we can develop the economy and protect the environment. I guess that is where Liberals differ from what I would qualify as the unholy alliance of the Conservatives and New Democrats. I will leave the Bloc out, for now.
View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my colleague said she is eager to get back to committee work, and so am I. A firearms ban was introduced in recent weeks. As a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, I am eager to talk about that.
I am also a member of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Quebec has an amazing resource that could contribute so much if it were optimized. I am talking about the forestry industry, of course. It could be more profitable than developing other resources such as fossil fuels and oil sands. Given the opportunity, we can come up with solutions.
I would like to know my colleague's thoughts on fossil fuels because I think we are headed for a brick wall if we keep subsidizing them. Why not develop our forestry industry, which could really benefit us going forward?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I think this speaks to the arbitrary nature of which committees are going and which are not. I would suggest that the defence committee is absolutely critical and should be having conversations. I would suggest the natural resources committee. We were in the middle of a study on the forestry issue, and of course the forestry was in crisis before COVID.
The pulp industry is incredibly important for the production of the PPE that we use, the N95 masks. We need a solid supply chain. We should be looking at whether that supply chain is in jeopardy.
In terms of the energy industry, certainly my preference is that we would be looking at Canada, having New Brunswick and eastern Canada supported by Canadian oil. It is going to play an important role in the recovery of this country.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
As Canadians, we are keepers of a proud history. We have fought and defeated forces of tyranny, and helped to bring peace and freedom around the world. We are the stewards of breathtaking natural beauty, from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic. We are the protectors of a rich democracy, one rooted in a commitment to pluralism, personal freedom and individual responsibility.
Those ideals do not just happen, and we certainly cannot take them for granted.
It is here, in Parliament, that this important work is done. It is here that we ask difficult but necessary questions. It is here that we improve public policy by holding robust debates. It is here that we ensure that the government remains focused on the needs and priorities of Canadians.
The House traces its lineage back some 800 years to a water meadow along the River Thames in Surrey, where King John, faced with a rebellion of disenchanted barons, signed the Magna Carta in 1215. Almost 50 years later, in January 1265, the first example of something akin to the modern House of Commons sat in London.
While democracy has unquestionably evolved in the intervening centuries, one of the few constants amidst this change is that the House of Commons always meets in person. It met during the cataclysm of the First World War that violently ended a century of relative peace and prosperity. It met when the threat of Nazi Germany set fire to the world with its blood-soaked march through Europe, Russia and North Africa. It met when tensions between the two superpowers of the day threatened the world with nuclear annihilation. It met through other pandemics as well.
Abandoning meetings in person is no simple matter. The recent calls for the House to “just get on Zoom, already” bring to mind the words of Winston Churchill:
It is difficult to explain this to those who do not know our ways. They cannot easily be made to understand why we consider that the intensity, passion, intimacy, informality and spontaneity of our Debates constitute the personality of the House of Commons and endow it at once with its focus and its strength.
Parliament must meet. Its role and its place are fundamental. The House, our elected legislature, is the beating heart of our system of government. It is where the viewpoints from all corners of the country have their voice and where the executive government accounts for its choices, priorities and actions.
As political scientist Christian Leuprecht said in his testimony last month to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, this role is even more critical during times of crisis:
The underlying primary constitutional principle here is the principle of responsible government. It is about ministerial responsibility, first and foremost, during a crisis and an emergency.
Especially during a time of crisis, Parliament has a supreme duty to hold the executive to account. Canadians need continuous Parliamentary audit of the executive and the bureaucracy's judgment.
The official opposition could not agree more. Canada's democratic institutions should never be treated as an inconvenience. The House of Commons needs to be functioning and needs to be seen to be functioning during this crisis. Contrary to what the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc may think, the House is an essential service to the country and we, its members, are essential workers.
I have never seen so many members of Parliament work so hard during an election campaign to get elected and then work hard to not have to work hard. They have spent the last few weeks making arguments, telling Canadians that they should not be doing their jobs during this time of crisis. Even this week, they are arguing against the return of Parliament. Even as more and more provincial health restrictions are lifted, they are still making the case that Parliament cannot do its job.
I have a friend who is going back to work at Mattress Mart today. People can take their pets to dog groomers in Ontario, but somehow Liberals, NDP and Bloc MPs are saying that we cannot do our job here. Conservatives disagree with that. We believe members of Parliament should be showing up to work in the House for a full return to parliamentary functions.
The simple act of asking questions, and of knowing that questions must be answered, requires a government to up its game. Asking questions and giving voice to concerns generates constructive solutions to policy shortcomings.
With respect to COVID-19, the opposition managed to increase the emergency wage subsidy and support for students, reduce penalties for part-time workers, prevent new parents from losing their benefits, authorize credit unions to provide loans, and connect employers and potential employees. These are important enhancements for Canadians and have all resulted from the questions that opposition members asked about government programs.
In the last few weeks, government scrutiny has largely been left to press conferences that the Prime Minister controls. The Prime Minister hosts a morning show at his doorstep, followed by a late show often hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister for ministers, mere feet from this chamber.
Unique circumstances may have made this a necessity in the pandemic's first few days, but we are long past that. The minority government seems to find it more comfortable to face the parliamentary press gallery than its parliamentary opposition. To their shame, the NDP and Bloc have so far meekly gone along.
I am especially disappointed with the leader of the Bloc Québécois. I served in the House with Gilles Duceppe for many years. We did not always agree. In fact, I believe the only thing we agreed on was that Quebeckers form a nation within a strong and united Canada.
Although we disagreed on many things, I had a certain degree of respect for Mr. Duceppe. He knew that his role in the House as the leader of an opposition party was to hold the government to account. Mr. Duceppe worked hard to ensure that successive governments faced real and sometimes brutal opposition. He was not afraid to ask difficult questions. He did not hesitate to expose the gaps in legislation and he never turned a blind eye to the Liberals' mistakes.
That is in contrast to the current Bloc leader who, during his first round of negotiations, went home for supper and gave the government free reign. The Conservatives stayed here all night and produced real results for Canadians.
Parliament has been getting results for Canadians thanks to the hard work of opposition parties and it should keep it up. Press conferences are not a substitute. Around the world, from the United Kingdom to Australia to New Zealand, other countries are resuscitating parliamentary life.
Every day, we see the Prime Minister emerge from his residence to announce yet another multi-million-dollar initiative. The Prime Minister says that his government's prudent management of Canada's finances enables us to spend that money. That is a false statement based on false information.
The government is not drawing money from a rainy day fund. We must remember that when the Liberal government was first elected, it told Canadians that the measure of its fiscal responsibility would be small and temporary deficits: just $10 billion over four short years. How did that work out for them? Those small, temporary deficits turned into massive, permanent deficits. We went into this pandemic in a weakened state because of the government's wasteful spending.
The Liberals gave $12 million to Loblaws and $50 million to a credit card company, Mastercard. They gave $50 million to a credit card company that makes its money off hard-working Canadians who cannot afford to pay their full balance. That is who the government showered with riches. That is where the money went. Wasteful spending by the Liberal government led to massive deficits, which meant we went into this pandemic in a weakened state.
After that, it became clear there was no way the Liberals were going to be able to hold to their solemn election promise. I remember the Prime Minister looking into the eyes of Canadians and saying he was being as honest as he possibly could be. We now know what that means. Once he knew there was no way he could hold to that promise, he started to move the goalposts.
Then it was all going to be about debt-to-GDP ratio: in other words, the percentage of the national debt as measured against the total economic output of the country. As long as that was under control, then everything would be okay. When signs of a made-in-Canada recession started to appear, even before this pandemic, the government abandoned that as well: “Never mind that debt-to-GDP ratio thing we were talking about just a few minutes ago. It is all about our credit rating. As long as we still have that credit rating, we will be okay.” I remember a comedian who used to say, “How can I be broke if I still have cheques in my cheque book?” That is the example this Prime Minister is giving to Canadians.
What about that credit rating? We know that we have been in rough shape throughout this pandemic because of the extra pressures that have been put on the fiscal system. The government was borrowing and spending with abandon well before the pandemic hit. As the Parliamentary Budget Officer announced last week, the national debt could top $1 trillion by the time this crisis ends. One trillion dollars. The Prime Minister added $87 billion of debt during his first four years of power and this year, he will pile on at least a staggering $252 billion. That is according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
This year's deficit could reach $300 billion or $400 billion. We do not know. The government refuses to give us an update. It refuses to give us even a fiscal update, never mind a full budget. The risks are enormous, and we are starting to see signs of a credit downgrade.
Normally, a government running a deficit equal to 12% of GDP or more would see a massive surge in borrowing costs. Normally, a government would have to outbid the private sector for those funds. It would have to borrow that money and compete with other people. Now we have a scenario in which the Bank of Canada is creating digital money to buy up government debt, at least $5 billion a week. The Bank of Canada is not just buying federal debt. It is buying corporate bonds, provincial government bonds, mortgage debt, commercial paper and bankers' acceptances.
The Bank of Canada has bought up so much of this that the total assets it holds increased from $120 billion at the beginning of March to $442 billion by last week. It has almost quadrupled its balance sheet in just two months. This is the biggest expansion of the money supply, in such a short period, in Canadian financial-system history.
However, this is nothing new. Governments have done this throughout history. We can look back to Roman times, when emperors would add more and more lead into the currency to keep up with government spending.
The actions of the Bank of Canada are going to have an impact. We would like to know what those impacts will be. We would like to know what the consequences will be. We have important questions in this chamber, in this Parliament, as the official opposition, so that Canadians can understand the consequences of all the options that the government is pursuing. How will the bank unwind all this stimulus? Will we see inflation or currency depreciation? We are deeply worried about the impacts this will have in the long term.
Are Canadians and businesses getting the help they need? Are we actually protecting jobs with these programs? Are we preparing the ground for the reopening and the revitalization of our economy? When we Conservatives ask hard questions, it is because the well-being of Canadians, their health, their jobs and our financial system depend on it. In a crisis, more than ever, those hard questions are critical.
I want to highlight several real examples. Clear-eyed foreign policy has real, tangible results. Conservatives see the world as it is, not the way we wish it were. We saw the real consequences of the Prime Minister's weakness on China: our citizens imprisoned and our trade interests and Canadian farmers hurt by unjustified import blockades.
Then the global pandemic began. Australia and New Zealand did not believe the false information coming out of the PRC, and repeated by the WHO, that there was no human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
In early February, Australia banned visitors from mainland China. Similarly, New Zealand imposed a ban on foreign nationals entering the country from China as well. No one would characterize the prime minister of New Zealand as a conservative hard-liner or a foreign policy hawk, but she was rightly skeptical about information coming from a Communist authoritarian regime that imprisoned doctors for speaking out about the true nature of this virus.
Here in Canada, the Prime Minister sided with the PRC. There was to be no ban on travel from that country, no restrictions at all, and a full month later, he was still defending that decision. Despite opposition calls, the Liberals refused to impose mandatory quarantines. The Prime Minister and his ministers dodged questions and maintained that enhanced screening measures were in place. However, there were endless reports on social media about Canadians returning from the most affected countries without even being asked any questions.
By mid-March, Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia had all sent provincial health officials to airports because the federal government was not doing its job. By the time the federal government reversed course and finally announced a ban on international visitors, it was already too late.
Just last week, the country's chief public health officer said that quicker action could have been taken in responding to the global pandemic and that action might have saved lives. Today, New Zealand has zero new cases. It had a total of 21 deaths. Australia still has a few new cases and it has seen a total of 102 deaths. In Canada, more than 6,500 people have died to date.
Throughout this health crisis, the federal government has been either wrong or slow to act: wrong to dump medical supplies without replacing them; slow to close our borders; slow to advise Canadians that they should wear masks after being wrong about telling them not to; slow to roll out programs to help Canadians struggling; and still, so far, no fixes to the gaps that people are finding themselves falling through.
We have proposed concrete solutions to help those programs capture more people. So far, the government has been extremely slow to make those changes.
That is why parliamentary scrutiny is so important. We can get better results for Canadians, but to do so, the House must sit.
Provinces are now easing health restrictions and reopening, so where is the federal government's plan to support them and to do the same? Canadians are optimistic people and they want the federal government to show signs of that optimism by supporting provincial government plans. There is no plan to stimulate and attract business investment, to create jobs, to help restaurants and retailers reopen and to give entrepreneurs hope.
Clearly, we cannot just wish away the virus, but we can restart and re-energize our economy through adaptation. Through increased testing and contact tracing, through masking and through other adaptations, people can get back to work while staying safe.
When we emerge from this crisis, Canada will find itself at a cross-roads. Will we continue down the Liberals' chosen path of government knows best, of ever-greater spending, even higher taxes and ever-growing government or will we rebuild civil society, revitalize our communities and recharge the economy by embracing the proven formula of liberty, personal responsibility and limited government? As former British prime minister David Cameron said: a bigger society, not a bigger government.
Other parties can talk about how much they love people, but they obviously do not really believe in people. In contrast, the Conservatives have great faith in people's ability to make responsible decisions and run their own lives. We believe in their future, and we have faith that Canadians' talent and ingenuity will carry us forward.
Canadians are an endlessly enterprising people. Perhaps it is a product of our immigrant society, where people leave the familiarity of a home for a shot at a better life on the other side of the world and then work hard to achieve it.
Perhaps it is the inspiration we take from indigenous peoples, resilient men and women who built Canada's first communities in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Perhaps it is our spiritual inheritance that emphasizes individual sanctification, not the creation of a perfect system or utopia here on earth as the path to a better world.
No matter the reason, Canadians have consistently shown that, if they are freed from state control and regulation, they will find ways to keep themselves busy. They will not only meet their essential needs, but also create the kind of prosperity and well-being that previous generations could not even have imagined.
Again, we only need to look to our history for inspiration.
Freed from the top-down control and the high taxes of the national program, Canadian industry and society began to flourish, drawing immigrants and capital from around the world. In 1939 and 1940, freed from the regulation and government burden of the Great Depression, Canadians found ways to industrialize our economy and meet the needs of not only defeating tyranny, but then liberating Europe from want. Freed from the government's all-encompassing war effort following the defeat of the Axis powers, Canadians built one of the most prosperous and peaceful societies the world has ever known. In the mid-1980s, freed from the abusive and destructive regulation of Pierre Trudeau's national energy policy, Canada's energy sector embarked on 35 years of growth, innovation and environmental sustainability that was only ended by this government's heavy-handed intervention.
The free market is the greatest wealth creation enterprise ever developed. Individuals buying and selling freely, choosing what to exchange their goods and services for is the primary source of wealth and prosperity. That is what lifts people out of poverty. Voluntary exchange always enriches both the seller and the buyer, otherwise they would not do it.
As we contemplate how much faith to put into government to get us out of the economic crisis, I am reminded of a fantastic story that Yuval Noah Harari recounts in a book of his called the Homo Deus. It relates a story of officials coming from the Soviet Union to study the United Kingdom and its systems. This was during Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost period. The story goes something like this.
The British hosts were taking the Soviet officials around London. They were showing them different things, such as the London School of Economics and the Stock Exchange. This one official was getting more and more puzzled by something as they were driving around London. He finally stops and says, “Listen, I have a very important question. We've been going back and forth across London for a whole day now and there's one thing I can't understand. Back in Moscow, our finest minds are working on the bread supply system, and yet there are still such long queues in every bakery and grocery store. Please, take me to the person who's in charge of the bread supply in London. I want to meet the person and learn the secret of how a city this big, this vibrant, ensures that its people have bread every day.”
Of course, the British officials were puzzled. There was no such person. There was no one person in charge of something as important as the bread supply in London. The free market did that. To someone, especially at that period of time, especially in a system where the state controlled everything, that was inconceivable. How could one leave to chance something so important as feeding the people of a city? That is what the free market does. The free market takes care of the needs of people instantaneously. The invisible hand ensuring that people who have particular skills employ those skills to the benefit of everyone else.
We are all far more better off from the work of individual producers than that person alone, with the clothes we wear, the tools we have, the iPhones we have. Our lives are enriched by the free market, by people buying and selling goods freely. In a free market, there is no overarching, central plan for the whole. The larger outcome, plentiful, affordable goods, is ordered seemingly out of chaos, but it is free people pursuing their enterprising natures that provides for our needs. This is why it is so imperative that we embrace those principles as our economy reopens.
Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed and we have had time to reflect, I am confident we will better appreciate the importance of freedom in building safe and resilient societies.
Freedom does not just give space for the creation of a great economy; freedom creates space for the emergence of a great society.
Let us remember that it was the Chinese regime's oppression of freedom that led it to silence the doctors who tried to raise the alarm about a terrifying new virus in Wuhan. It was the PRC's regime of oppression of freedom that led it to intimidate the brave few doctors who were raising the alarm, who felt obliged to warn the rest of the world. It was the Communist regime's oppression of freedom that led it to put pressure on the World Health Organization, to repeat that government's talking points and to undermine the global response to the pandemic.
Countries around the world must never forget the corrosive effect the PRC's oppression of its own people has had on the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of people have died terrible deaths, oftentimes without the comfort of their loved ones at their bedside. The actions of the PRC have made that worse. The global economy has imploded, with hundreds of millions of people losing their jobs and savings. I hope no one ever expresses admiration for China's basic dictatorship ever again. I trust that those who do have learned the gravity of their mistake.
There is no secret formula to human advancement. We have a choice right now. As history has proven time and again, freedom, liberty and democratic governments are the surest path to humans flourishing and prosperity.
Let us look at the things for which the current government was directly responsible.
It left the borders open and refused to put in travel restrictions. It was so slow putting in airport screening. Dozens of plane-loads of people coming from a highly infected area were met with normal operations at those airport.
The government was in charge of the pandemic stockpile and what did it do? It dumped millions of pieces in a dumpster. We only know this because in my hometown of Regina someone who owned a dumpster company put a bid in to get the contract to dispose of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment.
The programs the government has put in place have major gaps and impediments to people being able to survive this pandemic economically. People who earn $1 more than $1,000 lose their entire CERB benefit. Small businesses are unable to access programs like the wage subsidy or rent relief program.
What is that proven formula? It is lowering taxes. It is leaving money in the economy where it will always do more good than in the hands of a government official. A dollar left in the hands of a hard-working taxpayer who earned it is always better spent than in the hands of a politician who taxed it.
It means getting rid of duplicate regulations. The government has so many brakes on the economy that serve no public policy interest. There is duplication at federal and provincial levels. We need to get government out of the way to allow for dynamic growth to return.
Part of that includes the impediments that the current government has put on the energy sector. The energy sector, prior to this pandemic, had $25 billion worth of applications sitting on government desks. This is money that was not being put to good use. Those are investments that were hanging in the balance.
The government likes to talk a lot about the overall debt-to-GDP burden, but let us remember there is only one economy in Canada. Our shadow minister for finance had a great metaphor the other day. He was talking about how the government focused on the overall debt-to-GDP ratio, which has ballooned. Also, the economy is shrinking during this time, so that proportion is changing.
Then we have to add to that all the provincial, municipal, individual and corporate debt. If we think of the economy as a horse and everyone is saddling more debt on that horse trying to pull everything up the mountain, at a certain point it cannot, especially when we stop feeding the horse.
At least in the last downturn, in the great global recession of 2008, our government, the previous Conservative government, recognized that we needed to strengthen the economy, pulling the cart up the hill, and that we could do that by ensuring the energy sector was vibrant.
In fact, if one looks at the statistics it is astounding that since 2018, Canada's oil and gas production industry has directly paid almost $240 billion to provincial governments and $66 billion to Ottawa. In addition, its employees paid nearly $54 billion in federal and provincial taxes.
According to Statistics Canada, the energy industry has provided $65.9 billion in federal corporate taxes alone, more than banking, more than construction and more than real estate. That was our low-tax plan. We kept taxes low. We eliminated wasteful and duplicative regulations.
I see that it is almost two o'clock and we are going to start Statements by Members, so I will stop here and resume after Oral Questions because I still have some more great points about the benefits of freedom and the free market bringing Canada out of this economic difficulty.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2020-05-25 14:42 [p.2354]
Mr. Speaker, more than two months ago, the finance minister promised the energy sector a very important thing. That is, he said that help was on the way, that it would be there within hours, possibly days. Well, it is two months later, and there is still no help. Loans were promised, but those are not able to be accessed. Businesses are shutting down, jobs are being lost and workers are unable to provide for their families. We are talking about death by delay for one of Canada's key industries.
My question is very simple. Where is the help?
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the oil sector and its workers continue to be affected by COVID-19 and the global surge in oil supply. We have taken action to create jobs through the remediation of orphaned and abandoned wells, a program that has seen tens of thousands of applications in Alberta and Saskatchewan. We are supporting the sector as well with a 75% wage subsidy to keep Canadians working. We have also provided access through the BCAP and LEEFF programs, which provide loans to the oil sector. We are doing everything to help the oil and gas sector.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-05-13 18:46 [p.2317]
Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague's speech. He talked about the problem of so much food being imported into his constituency, which is at about 95%. How would Canadian farmers be able to feed the country if indeed the oil and gas sector were dead?
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-05-13 18:46 [p.2317]
Mr. Speaker, I spoke about regenerative farming, which requires a lot less fossil fuel input. Regenerative farming is a very key part of dealing with climate change. I have talked to farmers and grain growers in meetings. They have talked about how they have changed their system of farming so it is far more regenerative and sequesters carbon.
We are working through development now where we see things like Caterpillar that has an excavator that runs on batteries. We need to have an electrified system so we can have farm equipment that can be charged and run. We can do it. We just need to have a little creative thinking and innovation and work toward the future we want to see.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that I will be sharing my time with the most hon. member for Shefford.
We must take time to reflect on the other tragedy being faced by the people of Nova Scotia today. I find it hard to imagine what this senseless trail of violence, played out over some 120 kilometres, is like. This violence, no matter the reason, cannot be justified, and we must focus our minds on understanding how such things could happen and how we can prevent them. Our thoughts and hearts are with the people of Nova Scotia.
We have spent the past few days and hours, and taken up a lot of media time, discussing how we would meet here today, and in many respects, it was a lot of dithering. I sincerely doubt that Canadians and Quebeckers are interested in seeing a bunch of parliamentarians talking to other parliamentarians about parliamentary matters to figure out how to fix them as parliamentarians. Even I am not very interested in that. However, now that we are here, we have a job to do and there are some things we need to address.
Heaven knows that such issues as who will talk the most or the least, who will ask three additional questions on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, or whether the House should sit two and a half days instead of two days do have the appearance of being partisan even if they are not meant to be.
I could have said that I am not really enthusiastic about that and that I do not have much respect for anyone who claims that the Bloc Québécois does not speak on behalf of its constituents. It is almost funny, and I am becoming more familiar with Saskatchewan's sense of humour. People have already expressed their opinions and, at some point, they will have the opportunity to do so again and to choose the person who will best represent them. When that day comes, we will see the impact of this type of rather useless talk.
I have spoken in the media about “tataouinage”. In English Canada, there has been a whole debate about what that word means. The people we represent all know what it means, and perhaps it will be added to dictionaries one day. It means to dilly-dally.
At some point in time we have to move on from this sort of approach. The Conservatives want to negotiate and go on TV. I understand that they need to grow their voter base, but they should not be doing so at the expense of those who are suffering. They are saying that Parliament is an essential service. However, I would like them to name something that is more essential to a lot of people than their health and banks. I imagine that a typical Conservative would think that banks are essential, and I would like them to find one bank that does not offer virtual banking services.
We are capable of working virtually and sitting remotely, knowing that the Standing Orders require us to be physically present to vote. We will live with that requirement. We could have said that we will come only to vote, but every time would have been “ReFeLeMeLe”, another tricky expression to translate, this one from the group Rock et Belles Oreilles meaning do it again. Every time, we would have to address the nature of the negotiations, the need for our vote, the fact that we do not agree or that we will claim to disagree, but vote in favour anyway. I would prefer that we focus on bringing in rules for a virtual Parliament, a transition that is bound to happen sooner or later.
I especially want us to focus on our seniors. I have been asking about this for two weeks now. I do not expect the government to acknowledge that the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly has made demands and that they all need to be met.
The examples we have seen so far show that it worked fairly well. The government has talked to almost everybody, and there is a general sense of urgency and necessity.
I do not want to be the kind of person who takes credit for everything good, but the Bloc Québécois contributed to the wage subsidy, the addition of fixed costs, the recognition of social economy enterprises, and the changes made for growing businesses.
Sadly, when we ask questions about seniors, we do not hear a peep in response. In a pandemic, there is no group more vulnerable than the elderly, especially in terms of health. When it comes to seniors, the numbers do not just speak for themselves, they positively shriek.
Seniors are also more vulnerable economically. That is why we have put forward a number of demands. These demands are not perfect, but we can talk them over. We can study them, adjust them and lay them out. We can do a lot of things. The only thing we cannot do is nothing. We need to do something for seniors.
Since we are gathered here in the House, I will take this opportunity to strongly emphasize the importance of addressing the issues facing seniors.
Our requests have to do with old age security benefits, the guaranteed income supplement, drug prices and Internet access. This has all been clearly explained, and I am confident that the government has been listening.
Allow me to provide some numbers. All told, the government has freed up $250 billion in cash in the context of this crisis, including roughly $107 billion in direct spending. Increasing old age security benefits by $110 a month for seniors in Canada and Quebec for a three-month period would cost $1 billion. That is 250 times less than what has already been committed for so many people, and seniors are the most vulnerable. How has this not already been done?
The Liberals could have returned our phone call to at least talk about it. The last time we did this, we were given a briefing. In a briefing, someone tells us what has already been decided, and we have no say in the matter. We would like to be more involved when it comes to seniors.
Last week I did a very friendly comparison with the oil and gas industry. I do not think Alberta oil workers should have to suffer more than workers in any other industry. They are employees who are working for a business.
I am okay with the way things were, meaning that employees would have their jobs back. I am not saying that I am not somewhat uneasy, but I am sure that my colleague from Laurier—Sainte-Marie is keeping an eye on the situation.
At first glance, investing in cleaning up orphan wells is not a bad idea. Are we subsidizing businesses that should have shouldered their share of the responsibility? Maybe, but at least it is something.
I worry about what happens down the road. We cannot allow this to become a Trojan horse used to pour money into the oil and gas industry. Are our seniors not just as important as oil and gas? That is a question that springs to mind, but the answer is pretty obvious.
I want to raise two other cases that I would like us to discuss.
Most students are not eligible for the Canada emergency response benefit. There are probably several people among us who studied for quite some time. We will recall that having financial anxiety as a student is no joke.
Those young people are experiencing economic anxiety, but there is nothing specifically for them. I do not want the federal government to intervene in areas under provincial jurisdiction, but I do want to see students in Quebec and elsewhere get back the money their parents paid. A measure could be implemented for that. The Canada emergency response benefit should handle it. I will come back to that.
As I said, knowledge and science will enable us to overcome this crisis. We need to recognize what research has to offer. We also need to provide additional support for research.
I will conclude by paraphrasing Jean Gabin. We think we know everything, but the next day we discover that we do not. Basically, any time we think we know something and think we have found a solution to something, that is not necessarily the case.
The crisis is not over, and I hope we will all work together and, more importantly, in good faith.
View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, three weeks ago, the finance minister said that help was coming for the energy sector within hours, and then nothing; crickets. Finally, the government announced something for orphan wells; however, it is woefully inadequate for an energy sector and economy already decimated by the Liberal government.
What will the Prime Minister's plan be when 7% of our GDP, hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and provincial tax revenues are permanently lost because of his continued indifference and hostility towards Canada's energy sector?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, our government is far from indifferent to Canada's oil and gas sector. We know how essential the energy sector is to our country and how the energy sector is the source of hundreds of thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs.
That is why last week our government announced unprecedented support for workers in the energy sector in the form of support for orphan wells. This work is long overdue, and let me point out to the member opposite that it was welcomed by the Premier of Alberta.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:09 [p.2212]
Madam Chair, the government announced for the energy sector $1.72 billion for orphan well remediation, an emissions reduction fund and a business credit availability program. The first idea actually comes from Bill C-221, which is the MP for Lakeland's bill. A Conservative MP suggested it. The problem is the PBO's costing for that original private member's bill was $30 billion upwards of private sector investment. Seeing that WTI is trading today as low as minus $40.32, when can Albertans expect the rest of the energy subsidy help?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, the long-awaited announcement of $1.7 billion for an active well cleanup and $750 million for methane reduction are very positive steps for the energy sector for Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. They do not need to take my word for it. I am going to quote Premier Jason Kenney, who said, “Thank you to the Prime Minister...for announcing $1.7 billion to accelerate cleanup of orphaned and abandoned wells in Canada's energy sector. This is critical to getting thousands of people in the energy sector back to work immediately.”
The premier is right, and we are glad to be contributing to that.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:10 [p.2212]
Madam Chair, I will finish the quote. The premier also said that was a good first step. To paraphrase, Sonya Savage, Alberta's energy minister, said on CTV News, “I'd like to see the rest of the package now, please, as well.”
As I said, WTI is trading at minus $40.32. That was the bottom. This will reset tomorrow, which means the May futures prices will be around $20 starting tomorrow.
One of the things the energy sector and workers are expecting and have heard from the Prime Minister and his ministers is on the liquidity program provided through the BDC. It is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, but the BDC does not list criteria size on its website or anywhere else.
What are the parameters to ensure that outcome that small and medium-sized oil and gas companies can access the help that they need?
View Mary Ng Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mary Ng Profile
2020-04-20 17:11 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, the BCAP that we have put forth provides government guarantees to Canada's financial institutions, banks and credit unions, and are absolutely available to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses of all sectors. These are not only the $40,000 interest-free loans that are available, but indeed loans that go up to $12.5 million are available to Canada's small and medium-sized businesses, including those in the oil and gas sector.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:12 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, with all due respect to the minister, she did not quite answer my question. I was asking the criteria for size. The American payroll wage subsidy program lists a small business as 500 employees or less. Everything is bigger in America it seems.
Again, for these BDC loans for small and medium-sized businesses that small and medium oil and gas companies want to access, what is the criteria for size? Is it wages? Is it revenue? Is it an FTE count? I would like to know the number, please.
View Mary Ng Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mary Ng Profile
2020-04-20 17:12 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, of course, for the small business loan of $40,000, as members already know, it is a payroll size of $20,000 to $1.5 million. That is the eligibility criteria for that category of loans. For other loans that are available, they are up to $12.5 million, and one can go to the financial institution and get access to that funding.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 18:43 [p.2227]
Madam Chair, on top of the viral pandemic, of course, we see this precipitous drop in oil prices. Is the government planning an extra series of programs of support for energy workers to get through this time, which is unprecedented in the history of oil pricing since at least the 1940s and since WTI was established? Is the government planning a second round of support programs for businesses?
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