Question No. 681--Mr. Gary Vidal
With regard to the government's statistics on graduation rates of First Nations high school students: (a) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school on reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years; and (b) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school off reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years?
ResponseMs. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, ISC does not report on high school graduation rates of first nations students who attended high school on or off reserve, broken down by province and year.
The department does, however, report in its Departmental Results Report, DRR, on national secondary school graduation rates for first nations students ordinarily resident on reserve who are funded by ISC. Here are the links to the DRRs for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20: 2017-18 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1538147955169/1538148052804; 2018-19 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1562155507149/1562155526338; 2019-20 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1603722062425/1603722082047.
Question No. 683--Mr. Gary Vidal
With regard to the government’s consultation process on Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: what are the details of all consultations the government conducted with individuals from First Nations, Metis Settlements, or Inuit communities prior to tabling the bill, including, for each consultation, the (i) type of meeting (in person, Zoom conference, etc.), (ii) names and titles of attendees, including who they represented, if applicable, (iii) date, (iv) location?
ResponseHon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice, with the support of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, has published a “What We Learned” report that is responsive to Q-683. The report can be found at www.justice.gc.ca/eng/declaration/wwl-cna/index.html. As described in the report, a series of engagement sessions were held with first nations, Inuit and Métis leaders, modern treaty signatories, regional indigenous organizations, indigenous women’s organizations and indigenous youth. These meetings were held virtually over the Zoom conference platform, largely between September 30 and November 6, 2020. The list of indigenous partners and groups that participated is also presented in the report.
Question No. 693--Mr. Alex Ruff
With regard to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) program: (a) why was the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) 2.0 proposed project denied funding to the UBF program; (b) which of the government’s objectives did the proposed SWIFT 2.0 fail to meet; and (c) with SWIFT projects being a solution to address competition issues in Southwestern Ontario between Internet Service Providers (ISPs), how can SWIFT be a partner in achieving the government’s goal of having 98 per cent of Canadians access high speed internet?
ResponseMs. Gudie Hutchings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), since 2015, the Government of Canada has made $6.2 billion available for rural and remote Internet infrastructure to help ensure all Canadians have access to fast and reliable Internet, no matter where they live. With the proposed budget 2021, the now $2.75-billion universal broadband fund, UBF, will help the government achieve its goal of connecting 98% of Canadians to broadband by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030.
The UBF is an application-based program and therefore requires that a project application be submitted in order to receive funding. The Government of Canada cannot provide the level of detail requested on any particular applicant under the universal broadband fund without disclosing proprietary third party information provided in confidence, and treated confidentially by the applicant. The program received a number of applications for southwestern Ontario, and announcements of successful projects under the rapid response stream are already under way. These projects can be found on the universal broadband website: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/00021.html. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is still finalizing its assessment of rapid response stream applications and has begun assessing applications received under the “core” UBF. More announcements are forthcoming.
In response to (b), the Government of Canada and Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology, SWIFT, share the same objectives of connecting rural and remote Canadians to the broadband Internet they need. Through the building Canada fund’s small communities fund, the federal and provincial governments are each contributing $63.7 million to SWIFT for a $209-million project, to install 3,095 kilometres of fibre, targeting 50,000 households and businesses by 2024. The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that SWIFT and other partners will play in closing the digital divide in Ontario.
In response to (c), connectivity is a shared responsibility. While the Government of Canada is playing a leadership role by providing funding, it is imperative that all orders of government across Canada, as well as the private sector, Internet service providers and other stakeholders, lend support and resources to close the broadband gap and achieve the targets set out in Canada's connectivity strategy. The Government of Canada recognizes that a flexible and collaborative approach is important in engaging with provinces, territories and other partners to help achieve our goal of universal connectivity. SWIFT has already been an important leader and partner in this effort.
Question No. 695--Mrs. Stephanie Kusie
With regard to the government’s decision to ban all pleasure craft in the Canadian Arctic Waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022: (a) why was the length of the ban not contingent upon vaccination levels of Canadians or related to vaccination requirements for those on-board the vessels; and (b) what role did the low level of Canadians vaccinated in January and February of 2021, due to the government’s inability to secure enough vaccines fast enough, have on the decision to extend the ban for an entire extra year?
ResponseHon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, to minimize the introduction and spread of the COVID-19 virus in the marine mode, Transport Canada has chosen interim orders as the instrument of choice. In developing its interim orders, Transport Canada has worked in close collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and consulted broadly with other levels of government, health officials, transportation industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments and indigenous and Inuit peoples. Transport Canada developed these interim orders taking into consideration the health situation throughout the country at the time and advice provided by public health experts. One of the primary reasons interim orders were used is that they enable the Minister of Transport to apply appropriate temporary measures while retaining the ability to rescind the prohibitions if it is determined that the pandemic has substantially improved and that the prohibitions are no longer needed. To inform any such decision, Transport Canada will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada and local health authorities to monitor and assess the situation.
Question No. 698--Mrs. Tamara Jansen
With regard to the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and the $10 per day Child Care Prototype Site Evaluation: (a) when did the Government of British Columbia share the results of this evaluation with the Government of Canada; (b) what were the findings of the evaluation; (c) what were the recommendations; (d) how can the public access the full report, including the website address where the report may be downloaded from; and (e) what were the specific findings of the evaluation regarding the feasibility of $10 per day childcare?
ResponseMr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing), Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian families with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. Budget 2021 has committed up to $30 billion over five years, with $8.3 billion every year, permanently, to build a high-quality, affordable, and accessible early learning and child care system across Canada. This funding will work towards cutting child care fees by 50% on average by the end of 2022, and achieving $10/day child care on average by 2026.
In response to (a), the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development contracted R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. to conduct an evaluation and analysis of the British Columbia universal child care prototype sites or $10-per-day child care pilot. This evaluation was funded by the provincial government. ESDC was not provided with an official copy of the report prior to its release.
In response to (b), (c), (d), and (e), the full report is publicly available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.
Question No. 703--Mr. Alex Ruff
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operation HONOUR Tracking and Analysis System (OPHTAS) 2020's annual incident tracking report: (a) when was this report completed; (b) why was this report not published and released on the government’s website in the summer of 2020, in a similar timeline with the previous year’s reports; (c) who made the decision not to publish the document in the summer of 2020; (d) on what date was the Minister of National Defense or his office informed that the document would not be published in the summer of 2020, in line with the schedule of the previous years; (e) if the report has since been published, on what specific website is the document located; and (f) how is the OPHTAS report data fused with other department of National Defence or CAF reports, including the annual CAF Provost Marshall report, the Judge Advocate General Annual report, the Director General Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management annual report, and the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre annual report, in order to provide a consolidated view of sexual misconduct in the CAF?
ResponseMs. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, there is no room in the Canadian Armed Forces or the Department of National Defence for sexism, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, discrimination, harassment, or any other conduct that prevents the institution from being a truly welcoming and inclusive organization.
National Defence understands that a culture change within the Canadian Armed Forces is required to remove a culture of toxic behaviour and to create an environment where everyone is respected and valued, and can feel safe to contribute to the best of their ability.
To this end, the Minister of National Defence has appointed the Hon. Louise Arbour to lead an independent external comprehensive review of the culture and practices of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence. This review will provide recommendations aimed at addressing systemic issues and creating lasting culture change within the organization.
Additionally, the acting chief of the defence staff has appointed Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan to the newly created position of chief of professional conduct and culture, to lead efforts to promote culture change across the defence team, including the enhancement and consolidation of National Defence’s sexual misconduct tracking mechanisms. This will identify areas that require focused attention, and ensure that all reported incidents are addressed appropriately in a timely manner.
Through these actions, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will move to eliminate harmful attitudes and beliefs that have enabled misconduct and will create an environment where all feel welcome.
In response to part (a), the report was not finalized.
In response to part (b), challenges and delays caused by COVID-19 forced National Defence to adjust the development, approach, and timelines to the 2020 report’s data release.
In response to part (c), the normal release schedule for the annual Operation Honour sexual misconduct incident report is in the fall, using data pulled in the late spring from the Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS. The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions through the spring and fall of 2020 delayed the completion and release of the report.
Due to the delays in the process, the previous approach of relying on data gathered in the spring was considered no longer sufficient to provide an up-to-date overview of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Given the unexpected challenges and delays, the acting chief of the defence staff made the decision to combine the 2020 and 2021 reports.
In response to part (d), as there is no legislative requirement to release this report, revised timelines were not communicated formally to the Minister of National Defence.
In response to part (e), National Defence remains committed to openness and transparency, and will re-establish a regular reporting cycle for sexual misconduct incident data.
National Defence anticipates the release of the 2021 report in the fall of 2021, which will provide a comprehensive overview using data from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021.
In response to part (f), several organizations within National Defence, such as the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, the Judge Advocate General, the director general of integrated conflict and complaint management, and the sexual misconduct response centre, have databases that are designed to support their mandates. These databases may capture certain data related to sexual misconduct incidents, such as information on investigations, charges laid, and trials. This information is made available in these organizations’ annual reports.
The Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS, is the only database dedicated to tracking all sexual misconduct incidents reported through the chain of command. While there may be an intersection of sexual misconduct data in OPTHAS and other departmental databases, these databases are currently not linked, and a direct comparison of the information held within each cannot be made.
National Defence is working to integrate all databases that record data related to sexual misconduct. This project will help achieve a more consolidated picture of sexual misconduct data, while respecting the legal privacy and confidentiality requirements of the various databases.
Question No. 705--Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan
With regard to the processing of parents and grandparents applications in the 2020 intake by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada: (a) how many interest to sponsor forms were received; (b) how many of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates; (c) how many individuals have received invitations to apply; (d) how many applications have been (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, (iv) processed; and (e) what is the current processing time?
ResponseHon. Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 209,174 interest to sponsor forms were received.
In response to (b), 5,961 of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates.
In response to (c), IRCC can confirm that the department sent out more invitations to apply, ITAs, than the target in order to come close to receiving 10,000 complete applications for the 2020 year.
In response to (d)(i), IRCC can confirm that enough applications were submitted to reach the annual cap of 10,000 complete applications for 2020.
IRCC cannot publicly release the number of ITAs that were sent for the 2020 parents and grandparents, PGP, process, as the data figures reveal a technique, which is applicable to paragraph 16(1)(b) under the ATIP act, which could compromise future ITA PGP processes.
In response to (d)(ii), (d)(iii) and (d)(iv), zero applications have been approved, refused, or processed, as processing from the 2020 cohort has not started. IRCC cannot release the figure for how many applications have been submitted for PGP 2020, as, at this point in time, completeness checks have not been completed.
In response to (e), the current processing times for permanent residence applications for the parents and grandparents category from April 2020 to March 31, 2021 is 28 months.
Question No. 715--Mrs. Shannon Stubbs
With regard to the implementation of Orders in Council entitled “Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other Than the United States)” and Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation): (a) what specific direction was given to border agents regarding new and modified Order in Council provisions directly from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or his staff; (b) what procedure was followed ensuring the Orders in Council’s proper enforcement by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents; and (c) what specific direction was given to CBSA agents regarding non-application – requirement to quarantine, specifically for persons who must enter Canada regularly to go to their normal place of employment or to return from their normal place of employment in the United States?
ResponseMr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, works in close co-operation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, to implement and operationalize the travel restrictions and public health measures at the port of entry. The measures that have been implemented are layered, and together, aim to reduce the risk of the importation and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of concern of the virus related to international travel.
The regulatory framework that has been developed to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at the border is complex. At time of seeking entry, the CBSA officers are required to consider various facts and make multiple decisions related to a single traveller.
While the border services officers, BSOs, are focusing on the eligibility to enter under an order, as well as their public health requirements, they are also assessing all relevant obligations under other acts or regulations including their admissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The CBSA has issued a number of operational bulletins, shift briefing bullets, annexes and job aids to support officers in the decision-making process. As the orders in council, OICs have evolved over time, so has the guidance issued to frontline officers.
All guidance is point in time and is updated on an ongoing basis as more clarity is required, or where there are changes to the OICs. The CBSA and PHAC regularly consult on interpretations of restrictions and public health measures and collaborate on adjustments and improvements where issues have been identified.
With regard to part (b), every day, BSOs make over 35,000 decisions across the country and those decisions are made based on all laws and information made available to the BSO at the time of entry. To facilitate decision-making, the CBSA provides support to frontline BSOs through operational guideline bulletins, 24-7 live support access and regular case reviews. In addition, the CBSA conducts detailed technical briefings prior to the implementation of new or amended OICs to support the accurate implementation of new provisions and ensure clarity for frontline employees. The CBSA has also established a process to monitor decisions made by BSOs as they relate to the application of OICs for essential service providers and will continue to make adjustments or review the CBSA operational guidance to BSOs, as required. If the CBSA discovers that an incorrect assessment has been made at the border, it works with PHAC to rectify the situation.
With regard to part (c), the operational guidance referenced in the response to part (a) of this Order Paper question includes passages specific to cross-border workers and how specific public health requirements within the OICs may apply in these circumstances.
More specifically, in those instances, when assessing whether an exemption may apply, BSOs have been instructed to remain mindful of the following points. The traveller must be able to demonstrate that their purpose of crossing was specific to attending their normal place of employment. “Regular” is typically interpreted to mean daily or weekly, but a person able to establish a regular pattern of travel for this purpose could qualify. This exemption applies to persons who must cross the border regularly to go to their normal place of employment on either side of the Canada-U.S. border. There may be some circumstances where travel to another country could qualify, e.g., weekly or biweekly travel required. Those who are looking to establish that they must cross regularly must demonstrate to an officer that they will be crossing on a regular basis going forward when being processed. If the cross-border work involves medical care for persons over age 65, i.e., nurses, home care specialists, pharmacists etc., an individual request outlining the precautionary public health measures intended for interaction with this older age group must be submitted for determination of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
Officers are trained to reach a decision on the basis of the entirety of the information made available to them over the course of an interaction with a traveller. As such, information and circumstances beyond the items listed above will be considered by BSOs when determining a traveller’s admissibility to Canada, as well as in relation to any applicable exemptions from public health requirements.
Furthermore, in an effort to assist cross-border workers who by virtue of their employment are required to enter Canada regularly, the CBSA has also published guidelines on its website.
Question No. 720--Mr. Dan Albas
With regard to the Greener Homes initiative that was announced in the Fall Economic Statement, but is still not available for applications and has had a message on its website to come back in the coming weeks for months: (a) when will the program launch; (b) how will the retroactivity be implemented; (c) what will happen to people who believed they were eligible, but due to the lack of application information were denied; and (d) why was there such a major delay in opening this program?
ResponseMr. Marc Serré (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada greener homes grant initiative, announced in the fall economic statement, launched on May 27, 2021.
With regard to part (b), to be eligible for retroactive payment, homeowners must document their retrofit journey and are asked to keep copies of all invoices both for the EnerGuide home evaluation and for their retrofit work. The home energy adviser will take before and after photos. Homeowners can access the online portal to register and submit this information for reimbursement, provided the retrofit measures undertaken are on the list of eligible measures.
With regard to part (c), to be eligible for reimbursement, participants in the Canada greener homes grant initiative must obtain an EnerGuide home evaluation before the retrofit and then a post-retrofit evaluation once retrofit work is completed. Call centre operators and program officers are available to help homeowners navigate the program’s eligibility requirements. Should the homeowner not be eligible for reimbursement under the Canada greener homes grant initiative, program officers can assist in identifying other federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and/or regional programs for which the homeowner may be eligible.
With regard to part (d), in the fall economic statement, the government committed to launching the Canada greener homes grant initiative during the spring of 2021. Government officials have been working in an expeditious manner since this announcement and the Canada greener homes grant initiative launched during the spring of 2021 as announced.
Question No. 721--Mr. Dan Albas
With regard to the $2.3 billion over five years announced in Budget 2021 for conservation: (a) when will the ‘thousands of jobs’ be created; (b) where will the 1 million square kilometers of land be located; (c) has all the land been located; (d) have lands under provincial jurisdiction been identified and have provincial governments agreed; (e) what is the cost breakdowns for funds earmarked for partnerships with indigenous peoples; and (f) what is the total cost breakdown for how exactly this money will be spent?
ResponseHon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), millions of jobs rely on nature, including those in farming, fishing, forestry and tourism. Investment in conservation, therefore, is also an economic opportunity.
Over the course of the next five years, the work announced in budget 2021 will generate jobs in nature conservation and management for Canadians. Arising out of partnerships with provincial and territorial jurisdictions and indigenous governments, organizations and/or communities, these jobs will be distributed across all regions of Canada, including in rural and remote areas and indigenous communities.
With regard to parts (b), (c) and (d), the government is currently working to finalize a concrete and ambitious approach that would achieve protection of 25% of land and oceans by 2025, and set the stage for 30% by 2030. While not all of the specific locations are yet identified, we continue to engage with provinces and territories, indigenous organizations, foundations, the private sector and non-profit conservation organizations to get their views on how it can work together to achieve these ambitious targets. Specific efforts are ongoing and we will continue to work with provinces and territories to find mutually beneficial approaches to conserving land and addressing species at risk and biodiversity loss.
The government is aware of specific landscapes and waterscapes that have been included in provincial, territorial and municipal land use planning, and other protected areas systems plans including the Natural Areas Systems Plan in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Plan Nord in Quebec, the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan in the Yukon, the Living Legacy protected areas plan in Ontario, and Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan, among others.
Parks Canada will continue work to complete negotiations with provincial and indigenous governments for the establishment of two new national park reserves in the South Okanagan-Similkameen, British Columbia, and in the coastal barrier islands of the Sandhills, Hog Island area, Prince Edward Island, and to identify and assess additional national parks with an emphasis on unrepresented regions and natural areas of importance to indigenous communities.
With regard to part (e), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board, including funds earmarked for the indigenous guardians program and other indigenous partnerships.
The indigenous guardians program is a good example. Building upon the work initiated in budget 2017, which allocated $25 million over five years for an indigenous guardians program, budget 2021 provides additional resources to continue supporting indigenous peoples in opportunities to exercise responsibility in stewardship of their traditional lands, waters and ice, including preventing priority species at imminent risk of disappearing. The indigenous guardians program supports indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between Canadian landscape and indigenous culture.
Once these final allocations are confirmed, ECCC and Parks Canada will work in partnership with indigenous governance bodies to allocate resources and identify particular projects moving forward.
With regard to part (f), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board.
Question No. 723--Mr. Brad Vis
With regard to the commitment on page 305 of Budget 2021 to implement a “Tax on Unproductive Use of Canadian Housing by Foreign Non-resident Owners”: (a) how many internal memos, presentations, or other similar type of documents were created by the government or hired consultants on this proposed tax; (b) of the documents in (a), what are their titles and when were they dated; (c) in which internal documents and when was it “estimated that this measure will increase federal revenues by $700 million over four years”; (d) what methodology was used to establish the $700 million figure in (c); (d) on what date will the promised consultation paper for stakeholders be released and to which stakeholders will it be distributed; and (e) how many days is the stakeholder consultation period scheduled to take place and on what date will it (i) begin, (ii) conclude?
ResponseHon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to implement a national, annual 1% tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or underused, effective January 1, 2022. The government indicated that it will release a consultation paper in the coming months to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the parameters of the proposed tax. The government also indicated that, moving forward, it intends to work closely with provinces, territories and municipalities.
With regard to part (a), one internal memo was prepared by the department in relation to the proposal announced in budget 2021.
With regard to part (b), the title of the memo referred to in part (a) was “Tax on Underused Housing” and was dated in 2021.
With regard to part (c), the fiscal impact of the proposal was estimated when planning for budget 2021 and was presented in internal budget documents.
With regard to part (d), the fiscal impact was calculated by applying a 1% tax on the estimated value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate considered to be vacant or underused. The value of the proposed tax base was estimated using Statistics Canada data on foreign-owned properties and residential property values, as well as information on British Columbia’s speculation and vacancy tax.
With regard to part (e), the date of the release of a backgrounder has not yet been determined. However, budget 2021 indicated that the document would be released in the coming months.
With regard to part (f), while the length of the consultation period has not been established, it would not be uncommon for consultations on proposals such as these to be open for public comment for 60 days.