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Results: 1 - 15 of 34
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 607--
Ms. Kristina Michaud:
With regard to the Centennial Flame unveiled on July 1, 1967, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa: (a) what fuel is used to enable the flame to burn perpetually; (b) what is the price per cubic metre of the fuel used and, if applicable, how much gas is used annually to keep the flame burning; (c) what is the estimated amount of greenhouse gases emitted annually by (i) the flame itself, (ii) the infrastructure supporting the flame’s operation; (d) since the unveiling of the Centennial Flame in 1967, has the government estimated the cumulative amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere; and (e) has the government purchased carbon credits to offset these greenhouse gas emissions and, if so, what is the total amount that has been spent to offset greenhouse gas emissions, broken down by (i) year, (ii) annual amount spent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 608--
Mr. Doug Shipley:
With regard to the Supplementary Estimates (A), (B) and (C), 2020-21 and the items listed under Privy Council Office as COVID-19 communications and marketing: (a) what was the total amount actually spent under this line item; (b) what is the detailed breakdown of how the money was spent, including a detailed breakdown by (i) type of expenditure, (ii) type of communications and marketing, (iii) specific message being communicated; (c) what are the details of all contracts signed under this line item, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) detailed description of goods or services, including the volume; and (d) was any funding under this line item transferred to another department or agency, and, if so, what is the detailed breakdown and contract details of how that money was spent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 609--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to training and education benefits provided by Veterans Affairs Canada: (a) of applications for the Veterans Education and Training Benefit, since April 1, 2018, (i) how many veterans have applied for the benefit, (ii) how many family members of veterans have applied for the benefit, (iii) how many applications for the benefit have been received, (iv) how many applications have been denied, (v) how much money have been awarded to veterans and their family members, broken down by fiscal year; and (b) for the Rehabilitation and Vocational Assistance Program, broken down by year since 2009, (i) how many veterans have applied for the program, (ii) how many veterans were accepted into the program, (iii) how many veteran’s applications were denied, (iv) how much was paid to WCG Services to deliver the program, (v) how much was paid to March of Dimes to deliver the program?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 611--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the Translation Bureau operations: (a) how many hours of simultaneous interpretation of parliamentary proceedings were provided each year since 2016, broken down by (i) sittings of the Senate, (ii) sittings of the House of Commons, (iii) meetings of Senate committees, (iv) meetings of House committees; (b) how many employees have provided simultaneous interpretation each year since 2016 (i) of parliamentary proceedings, (ii) in total; (c) how many freelance contractors have provided simultaneous interpretation each year since 2016 (i) of parliamentary proceedings, (ii) in total; (d) what are the minimum employment qualifications for simultaneous interpreters employed by the Translation Bureau, including, but not limited to, (i) education, (ii) work experience, (iii) profession accreditation, (iv) security clearance; (e) how many of the employees and freelance contractors identified in (b) and (c) meet the Translation Bureau’s minimum employment qualifications listed in (d), including a breakdown of the qualifications specifically listed in (d)(i) to (iv); (f) what is the estimated number of total Canadians who currently meet the Translation Bureau’s minimum employment qualifications listed in (d); (g) what are the language profiles of employees and freelance contractors, listed in (b) and (c), as well as the estimated number of Canadians in (f), broken down by “A language” and “B language” pairings; (h) what was the cost associated with the services provided by freelance simultaneous interpreters, identified in (c), each year since 2016, broken down by (i) professional fees, (ii) air fare, (iii) other transportation, (iv) accommodation, (v) meals and incidental expenses, (vi) other expenses, (vii) the total amount; (i) what are the expenses listed in (h), broken down by “A language” and “B language” pairings; (j) what percentage of meetings or proceedings where simultaneous interpretation was provided in each year since 2016 has been considered to be (i) entirely remote or distance interpretation, (ii) partially remote or distance interpretation, and broken down between (A) parliamentary, (B) non-parliamentary work; (k) how many employees or freelance contractors providing simultaneous interpretation have reported workplace injuries each year since 2016, broken down by (i) nature of injury, (ii) whether the meeting or proceeding was (A) entirely remote, (B) partially remote, (C) neither, (iii) whether sick leave was required and, if sick leave was required, how much; (l) how many of the workplace injuries identified in (k) have occurred during (i) sittings of the Senate, (ii) sittings of the House of Commons, (iii) meetings of Senate committees, (iv) meetings of House committees, (v) meetings of the Cabinet or its committees, (vi) ministerial press conferences or events; (m) what is the current status of the turnkey interpreting solution, using ISO-compliant digital communications services, which was, in 2019, projected to be available by 2021, and what is the current projected date of availability; (n) how many requests for services in Indigenous languages have been made in each year since 2016, broken down by (i) parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, (ii) non-parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, (iii) parliamentary translation, (iv) non-parliamentary translation; (o) what is the breakdown of the responses to each of (n)(i) to (iv) by (i) A language pairing, (ii) B language pairing; (p) how many of the requests for parliamentary simultaneous interpretation, listed in (n)(i), were (i) fulfilled, (ii) not fulfilled, (iii) cancelled; (q) how many days’ notice was originally given of each service request which was not fulfilled, as identified in (p)(ii); (r) for each service request which was cancelled as listed in (p)(iii), (i) how soon after the request was made was it cancelled, (ii) how far in advance of the scheduled time of service was the request cancelled, (iii) what were the total expenses incurred; (s) how many documents have been translated with the use of machine translation, either in whole or in part, each year since 2016, broken down by original language and translated language pairings; and (t) how many of the machine-translated documents listed in (s) were translated for parliamentary clients, broken down by categories of documents, including (i) Debates, Journals, Order Paper and Notice Paper of the Senate and House of Commons, (ii) legislation, (iii) committee records, (iv) Library of Parliament briefing notes, (v) briefs and speaking notes submitted to committees by witnesses, (vi) correspondence, (vii) all other documents?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 614--
Mr. Terry Dowdall:
With regard to the trips of the Minister of National Defence, broken down by each trip since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the dates, points of departure, and points of arrival for trips made with military search and rescue aircraft; and (b) what are the dates, points of departure, and points of arrival for trips using Canadian Armed Forces drivers (i) between the Vancouver International Airport and his personal residence, (ii) between his personal residence and the Vancouver International Airport, (iii) between the Vancouver International Airport and his constituency office, (iv) between his constituency office and the Vancouver International Airport, (v) between his constituency office and meetings with constituents, (vi) to and from personal appointments, including medical appointments, (vii) to and from the ministerial regional offices?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 615--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to reports that some arriving air travelers are having their expenses for quarantining at a designated hotel or other quarantine facility covered by the government: (a) how many arriving travelers have had their quarantine expenses covered by the government since the hotel quarantine requirement began, broken down by airport point of entry; (b) what specific criteria is used by the government to determine which travelers are required to pay for their own hotel quarantine and which travelers have their quarantine paid for by the government; and (c) what are the estimated total expenditures by the government on expenses related to quarantining the travelers in (a), broken down by line item and type of expense?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 616--
Mr. Len Webber:
With regard to expenditures on talent fees and other expenditures on models for media produced by the government since October 1, 2017, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what is the total amount of expenditures; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) project or campaign description, (iii) description of goods or services provided, (iv) date and duration of the contract, (v) file number, (vi) publication name where the related photographs are located, if applicable, (vii) relevant website, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 617--
Mr. Paul Manly:
With regard to the government funding in the constituency of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, between October 21, 2019, and March 31, 2021: (a) what are the details of all the applications for funding, grants, loans, and loan guarantees received, broken down by the (i) name of the organization(s), (ii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iii) program and any relevant sub-program, (iv) date of the application, (v) amount applied for, (vi) total amount of funding or loan approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued and that did not require a direct application, broken down by the (i) name of the organization(s), (ii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iii) program and any relevant sub-program, (iv) total amount of funding or loan approved; and (c) what projects have been funded by organizations responsible for sub-granting government funds, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient organization(s), (ii) name of the sub-granting organization, (iii) government department, agency, or Crown corporation, (iv) program and any relevant sub-program, (v) total amount of funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 618--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to reports, studies, assessments, and evaluations (herein referenced as deliverables) prepared for the government, including any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity, by McKinsey and Company, Ernst and Young, or PricewaterhouseCoopers, since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all such deliverables, broken down by firm, including the (i) date that the deliverable was finished, (ii) title, (iii) summary of recommendations, (iv) file number, (v) website where the deliverable is available online, if applicable, (vi) value of the contract related to the deliverable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 621--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to the report that the government threatened to pull funding from the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) if they awarded Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan with the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service: (a) what are the details of all communications, formal or informal, between the government, including any ministers or exempt staff, and representatives of the HFX, and where there was any reference to Taiwan since January 1, 2020, including the (i) date, (ii) individuals participating in the communication, (iii) the senders and recipients, if applicable, (iv) type of communication, (email, text message, conversation, etc.), (v) summary of topics discussed; and (b) which of the communications in (a) gave the impression to HFX that its funding would be pulled if it awarded the prize to the president of Taiwan, and (i) has the individual who made the representation been reprimanded by the government, (ii) was that individual acting on orders or advice, either formal or informal, from superiors within the government, and, if so, who were the superiors providing the orders or advice?
Response
(Return tabled)
View Emmanuel Dubourg Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Emmanuel Dubourg Profile
2021-05-06 10:05 [p.6757]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled “Conference Interpreters: The Cornerstone of Bilingualism in Parliament”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and all the staff and analysts who did an excellent job on this study of the challenges facing the parliamentary interpretation service in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To allow greater flexibility in summoning members, we want to table a supplementary report with two amendments. In recommendation 2, we would like to change the wording to “at least 48 hours” for witness participation.
In recommendation 3, paragraph b), we would add this at the end:
...or any equivalent ISO-compliant system approved by the House, failing which it will be up to the committee to decide whether or not to hear the witness without the appropriate equipment.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would like to come back to the question raised on March 8, 2021, by the member for Salaberry—Suroît concerning the wearing of certain masks during House proceedings.
The issue that the member raised is an important one because it affects members’ right to participate fully in sittings of the House.
Wearing masks is one of the many constraints related to the pandemic with which the House and its committees have had to deal this past year. The House is called on to reconcile everyone's efforts to follow public health guidelines with members' right to participate fully in proceedings while respecting our rules and practices.
The deliberations and recommendations of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs have provided a response to some of the concerns and eliminated obstacles that sometimes seemed unsurmountable. The same is true for the many discussions among House leaders and party whips that have allowed us to continue our work.
It is my understanding as well that discussions continued among the parties and that an agreement has been reached. In order to make the interpreters’ work easier, members who want to wear a mask during their interventions in the House and in committee will have to use procedure masks. These will be made available in the lobbies. At any other time, members may wear any mask they prefer.
We have witnessed, this past year, the importance of co-operating, negotiating and compromising. They are essential to the proper functioning of our parliamentary system.
I thank the hon. members for their attention.
I would also like to thank the hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît for having brought us to this point with the masks.
I also want to thank all members for the co-operation that has taken place. It really shows that Canadian democracy is working strongly and that people are working together. I am very proud to be a part of this chamber.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege following a point of order raised on Thursday, February 25 regarding the use of masks during speeches in the House.
We are dealing with a fundamental issue here, and we ask that the Speaker rule on it. The House of Commons interpreters must be allowed to do their jobs in compliance with the Official Languages Act and out of respect for both official languages. It is clear that the use of certain masks is impeding the interpretation of the proceedings of the House, and the events of February 25 confirm that.
Last Thursday, the Liberal member for Kingston and the Islands made some comments that call into question the fundamental right of members of this House to properly understand the debates. He said, and I quote:
...this is the second time during the last several weeks the Bloc Québécois has brought up that wearing a mask is what is interfering with the ability of the interpreters to do their work. I do not know if it is up to us to decide what is effective or not. I do not think anybody in this room is qualified to assess if it is specifically a mask that is interfering with that.
The Bloc Québécois is of the opinion that the use of certain masks undermines the interpreters' ability to do their job. As my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles said, “Masks muffle sound. Thicker masks muffle it even more. The interpreters cannot make out the words. It is as simple as that.”
Unlike the member for Kingston and the Islands, I do actually believe that the Chair is well positioned to indicate to all hon. members the appropriate balance between the use of masks and the right to interpretation services.
I would like to remind the House that interpretation in the House is an essential service. In 1958, the House agreed to set up a simultaneous interpretation system for both official languages. The Official Languages Act states that English and French are the official languages of Parliament and protects the right of members to use either language in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament. The act goes even further, guaranteeing in part I the right to simultaneous interpretation of parliamentary debates and other proceedings. I would like to read the beginning of section 4 of the act, which relates to parliamentary debates and proceedings:
4 (1) English and French are the official languages of Parliament, and everyone has the right to use either of those languages in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament.
(2) Facilities shall be made available for the simultaneous interpretation of the debates and other proceedings of Parliament from one official language into the other.
For one thing, the interpretation service enables all MPs to understand their colleagues' speeches. When minor technical difficulties crop up, the House typically suspends debate momentarily so the interpreters can do their work.
There are also times when the Speaker brings in new procedures in the interpretation service so that our practices can better meet the House's emerging requirements. In a June 20, 2017, ruling in connection with a question of privilege raised on June 8, 2017, by the hon. member for Winnipeg-Centre regarding the right of members to speak in indigenous languages in the House, Speaker Regan said the following about interpretation services:
This critical service, which began by way of an order of the House when members unanimously agreed to a government motion on August 11, 1958, continues to provide integral support to members as they search to understand and participate in parliamentary proceedings.
Speaker Regan also said that members need “not only to be free to speak but also to be understood.” He added that the “right of members to speak is not what is now being questioned; rather, it is the right of members to be understood immediately when they speak in a language other than one of the two official languages that is being raised.”
Another aspect of interpretation services is to ensure that hon. members can freely express themselves and be understood.
In its June 2018 report entitled “The Use of Indigenous Languages in Proceedings of the House of Commons and Committees”, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs stated, and I quote:
Members of the Committee are of the view that all members' ability to effectively carry out their parliamentary functions are adversely affected when they are unable to immediately understand a speech being made by a member in a language recognized by the House other than French and English.
The committee also emphasized the vital work of interpreters:
Currently, the simultaneous interpreters for English and French working in Parliament are required to possess a master’s degree from a recognized university program and are certified by Board of Examiners of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council. The Committee heard this degree of rigour was important because the consequences of an interpreter committing an error can be significant and because interpreters must be capable of interpreting immediately without the opportunity to refine, edit or revise the interpretation.
A third aspect of interpretation services is that interpreters must be able to do their job properly. Because of the pandemic, Parliament has had to adapt its practices. We are now working in a hybrid Parliament with simultaneous interpretation occurring both off-site and in the House and the debates being broadcast in French and English.
A lot has been accomplished in the past year. The fifth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Parliamentary Duties and the COVID-19 Pandemic”, which was presented on May 15, 2020, recommended that the House respect the Official Languages Act during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that simultaneous interpretation of indigenous languages continues during the pandemic. The report also recommended that the minimum standards set by the Clerk of the House, in consultation with the Translation Bureau, be respected by all members and witnesses, for example, with respect to using a headset or microphone; that it be recognized that the burden of simultaneous interpretation during the pandemic is higher for francophone interpreters; and that measures be taken to alleviate this burden and protect the health and physical well-being of parliamentary employees, including the interpreters.
Since then, a new issue has found its way into the House: the wearing of masks and the impact on the ability of interpreters to do their job properly. Last Thursday, the Liberal member for Kingston and the Islands made unfortunate remarks that called into question the fundamental right of members to properly follow the debates in this chamber.
He stated the following:
...this is the second time during the last several weeks the Bloc Québécois has brought up that wearing a mask is what is interfering with the ability of the interpreters to do their work. I do not know if it is up to us to decide what is effective or not. I do not think anybody in this room is qualified to assess if it is specifically a mask that is interfering with that.
Madam Speaker, unlike the member for Kingston and the Islands, I do believe that you are well positioned to indicate to all hon. members the appropriate balance between the use of masks and the right to interpretation services.
I believe that the blue surgical mask is a good compromise for those who want to wear a mask when speaking. I would like to thank the member from Orléans, who clearly understood the Bloc Québécois's arguments about the importance of the interpretation of the House of Commons debates and agreeing to change his mask and wear a blue surgical-type mask.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, on this question of privilege, I would raise two quick points and then I would ask that perhaps you would hold off on your ruling until I have had more time to digest what the member from the Bloc has said and then respond in due course.
For starters, my comment about how many times the Bloc had intervened on this point was with respect to the fact that a couple of weeks ago Bloc members had an issue with the fact that the member for Ottawa West—Nepean was wearing a mask when she was speaking and then again when the member for Orléans was speaking.
On this side of the House, we are very concerned about the fact that more variants are out there with respect to COVID-19. When I am standing and speaking, there are staff people near me. When the member stood up to speak, there was a staff person two metres in front of her. My understanding of the way the virus is spread, and of course it is just my understanding, is that when I am speaking and projecting, I am possibly putting other people who are in front of me at risk, namely the folks who are making this operation work for us, the people at the table and the individual who is sitting right in front of the member who was just speaking.
Therefore, we have taken the position that until such time that it is deemed safe, it is probably in the best interest of members to wear a mask while they speak. I respect the fact that other members of the House might feel differently, and that is entirely fair. None of us are experts and we have to get through this in the best way we see fit.
I would leave it at that for now, Madam Speaker, but I would ask that before making a ruling on this you would let me consider, in more detail, the comments made by the Bloc member so I can respond perhaps more appropriately.
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2021-03-08 12:16 [p.4645]
Madam Speaker, I want to make sure that members understood what was being said. The Bloc Québécois never suggested that the solution was to prohibit members from wearing masks. The solution that was humbly submitted to the Chair was for members to wear a surgical mask. I want to make sure that members understood that the Bloc Québécois is not asking members to take off their masks when they are speaking.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you for your comments.
The member for Kingston and the Islands is free to raise other points. The Speaker of the House will be the one to answer the question.
I appreciate all of the input that was given today. We will consider it because this is a very important issue. The Speaker will get back to the House on this as soon as possible in order to resolve the problem.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I am now ready to rule on the question of privilege raised on February 16, 2021, by the member for Banff—Airdrie concerning the meeting of the Standing Committee on Health on February 12, 2021, and on the interpretation services made available to members for committee business.
Following a detailed description of the event that unfolded during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Health, the member argued that a breach of members' privilege occurred when the committee chair decided to suspend the meeting, invoking an anticipated lack of the support necessary to continue working. The member feels that there was an interference with the exercise of members' parliamentary functions. The member also mentioned a technical problem related to interpretation at the moment the member for Beauport—Limoilou was prepared to vote.
The members for Calgary Nose Hill, Salaberry—Suroît, Vancouver Kingsway, Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam and Brandon—Souris, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, also added their comments on this matter.
The member for Banff—Airdrie raises an important question related to the administration services for which I am responsible. It would be remiss of me not to ensure that the support offered to parliamentarians, individually and collectively, meets their expectations in every respect. On that matter, the difficulties of communication and support for members encountered last Friday are regrettable. I wish to reaffirm for members that the House administration and its partners are wholly capable of providing the support necessary to committees' operations.
The question now facing the House is whether, in the context of the pandemic, certain situations, while quite justified, will eventually put a strain on the approach taken in recent months and the resources that are available to us. Despite best intentions, the exceptional dedication shown by the individuals involved and the clearly expressed desire to meet members' expectations, resources are not unlimited. We should seize the opportunity to ensure that this does not arise again while also ensuring that parliamentary proceedings continue to respect our rules and traditions. The new reality confronting us requires us to be particularly vigilant, to communicate and provide timely updates and to ensure close coordination with the staff required for each committee meeting.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have therefore asked the administration, in collaboration with its partners, to review the organization of the service offer and to add a protocol to be followed in certain circumstances. This protocol would allow the whips to be informed at all times of specific situations that should be brought to their attention and to take the necessary measures in accordance with the order adopted last January 25. It is, in fact, up to the whips of the recognized parties to agree on the priority of use of the House's resources. I cannot overemphasize the importance of these discussions and I am counting on their co-operation.
I thus hope to respond to the suggestion of the chief opposition whip, who demonstrated openness by suggesting that he was prepared to envision a more effective and appropriate solution to the circumstances.
Lastly, while the Chair is aware of how important it is to members that our rules and traditions be respected and of certain issues that House committees sometimes face, there is a well-established practice that Speakers are required to follow that prevent them from intervening before the report from the committee has been submitted to the House. The member for Banff—Airdrie recognized that fact in his statement.
I thank the hon. members for their attention.
We have a question of privilege from the hon. member for Fundy Royal.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2021-02-19 10:09 [p.4296]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Given the decision you just made, I think you should reach out to the whip of the official opposition. He is trying to get in contact with us in the House of Commons by Internet and he is coming in a few seconds. There is some difficulty, and as you know, it was requested by him, so I think before addressing any other issue you should reach out to him.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I will ask the hon. member for Fundy Royal if it is okay for us to continue to the hon. opposition whip. We will then come back to the hon. member for Fundy Royal.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blake Richards Profile
2021-02-19 10:10 [p.4296]
Mr. Speaker, in our age of Zoom, of course technical challenges can arise, and my service provider this morning decided it was going to be problematic. I just logged in, but I did not have a chance to hear the ruling. Of course, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion if you have found a prima facie case, but I unfortunately missed the ruling as a result of technical challenges and do not know whether it is appropriate for me to do so at this point.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
There is no question of privilege, so there is no reason to move the motion. We will go back to the hon. member for Fundy Royal.
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