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Results: 1 - 15 of 110
View Raquel Dancho Profile
View Raquel Dancho Profile
2020-11-26 14:52 [p.2526]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is lagging behind our trusted allies and being soft on China, and failing to stand up for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
The limited Liberal economic immigration program for Hong Kong excludes pro-democracy activists, like 24-year-old Joshua Wong. He is facing a five-year prison sentence for unlawful assembly, which is an equivalent crime in Canada, however it is widely understood that these prison sentences and charges on pro-democracy activists are politically motivated and influenced by the Communist Party of China.
Will pro-democracy activists like Joshua be barred entry into Canada, yes or no?
View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, to suggest that Canada is not being tough when it comes to Hong Kong does not bear with any facts.
In fact, Canada was the first country in the world to suspend our extradition treaty, to suspend exports of sensitive equipment, to impose new measures on travelling and to introduce immigration measures complementary to those of our Five Eyes partners.
We will continue to be at the forefront of the response. We will continue to be firm and smart when it comes to responding to the imposition of national security law in Hong Kong.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am following up tonight, seeking further information about the government's failure to respond in a serious way to the strategic and security challenge presented to our interests and values by the Government of China.
What we are seeing right now from the government, in terms of its China policy, is a significant shift in rhetoric, but barely a blip of change in substance. When the Liberals became the government, they trumpeted a new golden age with China. They also criticized the previous Conservative government for blowing hot and cold with China. The implication was, I suppose, that there was something wrong with a policy that was a mixture of warmth and pressure. Instead, they wanted to pursue a policy that was all hot and no cold. That was where they started: all hot and no cold.
Today the Liberals say that our relationship with China is complex and multi-dimensional, involving areas of co-operation and areas of conflict. This seems to me to be another way of saying that now they have decided that blowing hot and cold is not such a bad idea after all. Aside from the change in rhetoric, we have not seen any change in policy. The National Post has reported that a new China policy was brought to cabinet and rejected, so now we have a new slogan, but no new policy.
The government trumpets its suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong. This is, though, the lowest of the low-hanging fruit and nobody was on the verge of being, or likely to be, extradited to Hong Kong anyway. Let us not forget that this is the same government that announced exploratory discussions with China about an extradition agreement with the mainland a few short years ago.
Liberals are sending their thoughts and prayers to Uighur Muslims in concentration camps. They say they are deeply disturbed and they are doing absolutely nothing. Their so-called immigration program for people from Hong Kong does not apply to the vast majority of democracy advocates, since most face charges that are not directly related to the national security law.
On the substance, Liberals have refused to impose Magnitsky sanctions against human rights abusers in China, refused to expel diplomats who are found threatening or intimidating Canadians, refused to stop Huawei infiltration of our networks in a timely manner and refused to withdraw from the neo-colonial Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Why are we still funding the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank? Why are we sending cheques to a Chinese state-controlled development bank which is building pipelines in Central Asia to advance China's foreign policy goals?
The Liberal Minister of International Development once tweeted that she wanted to “landlock Alberta's tar sands”, yet she has no problem funding the construction of pipelines for China and calling it international development.
On the issue of foreign interference, I have just introduced Motion No. 55, designed to push the government to provide meaningful protection and support for Canadians who are victims of foreign-state-backed interference, including from China. Liberals say that foreign interference in Canada is unacceptable, but they are doing absolutely nothing about it. Victims testified on the Hill today that they have gotten the runaround, calling different agencies and being sent to other agencies without the kind of support and assistance that they need when faced with planned attacks by foreign states on themselves and on their activities.
When it comes to foreign interference, Liberals are like parents who tell their child not to take extra snacks and then, when their child takes a snack anyway, they just shrug and ignore it. Expressing opposition to a behaviour and then ignoring it when it happens is no way to build credibility, as a parent or as a country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs does not have a new China policy. All he has is a new slogan: firm and smart. “Firm and smart” is what the Liberals say. Offering modest criticism of Chinese government policy, while refusing to act to block it and continuing to fund the PRC's neo-colonial policy, is neither firm nor smart. Sadly, the Liberals' China policy is not firm and smart. It is soft and stupid.
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2020-11-26 18:46 [p.2562]
Mr. Speaker, in recent years, Canada has observed, with great dismay, a steady decline in the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.
On June 30, the Chinese government imposed a national security law on Hong Kong without engaging Hong Kong's own institutions. The lack of clear definitions and acts of territorial application of the national security law to persons outside Hong Kong, among other concerns, has put Canadian citizens at risk.
We are not about slogans. We have taken concrete action. In response to these developments, on July 3, Canada undertook a series of bold measures to safeguard our interests and the safety of Canadians. The three principle pillars adopted by our government on July 3 consisted of the following: one, suspending the Canada-Hong Kong extradition agreement; two, stopping the export of sensitive items and; three, updating our travel advice and advisories for Hong Kong.
I should also add that the announcement on July 3 was preceded by joint statements on Hong Kong, which the Minister of Foreign Affairs forcefully delivered alongside his allies and counterparts.
Among these joint statements, allow me to refer to the following. On May 22, Canada joined Australia and the U.K. On May 28, Canada joined with Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. On June 17, Canada joined the G7 and the EU.
Let me be very clear. Canada has never shied away from standing up for human rights in China, and our voice has been heard loud and clear around the world. In fact, a growing coalition of countries have heard our clarion call for action and have opted to join us in calling for the protection of civil and political rights in Hong Kong.
In addition to what I referenced earlier, on June 30, Canada joined 27 other countries at the UN Human Rights Council to express our collective concerns. Furthermore, at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council in September, Canada co-hosted a side event on Hong Kong alongside the United Kingdom and Australia. Shortly thereafter, Canada co-signed, alongside 38 other countries, a statement on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and Hong Kong at the UN General Assembly's Third Committee.
It is important to emphasize here that China's coercive diplomacy has put a strain on Canada-China relations, yet despite pressure and threats, we have continued to forcefully highlight our concerns.
That said, we are under no illusion that China or the situation in Hong Kong will change overnight. Canada will continue to work with partners, sharing our values, to persuade China to live up to its international obligations and to adopt a more conciliatory approach toward Hong Kong.
We certainly reserve the right to undertake appropriate action in response, as recently exemplified by our Minister of Immigration's introduction of new immigration measures in response to the situation in Hong Kong.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, this is what passes for bold measures if one is a Liberal. The Liberals have spoken, made statements, sent letters and hosted events. I could host events. What the government can do is implement policy.
John McCallum told the Canada-China special committee that the government knew of Operation Fox Hunt years ago. This information, new to the public, about foreign-state interference was not new to the government. It knew about it years ago and failed to put in place new legislative measures to support Canadians who were victims.
Where are the Magnitsky sanctions? The government used them with respect to Burma and Venezuela. When will we see Magnitsky sanctions in response to what is happening in China to deter this abuse of human rights?
We continue to send hundreds of millions of dollars to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We say that we are against the Chinese human rights abuses and the Chinese state neocolonialism and we are funding them through the AIIB.
At the very least, could the parliamentary secretary tell us that the government will stop sending cheques to support the Chinese government's foreign policy?
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2020-11-26 18:50 [p.2563]
Mr. Speaker, regrettably, my hon. colleagues does not seem to appreciate that we have to act and lead alongside our allies.
Let me reiterate that China's coercive diplomacy has put a strain on Canada-China relations, yet despite pressure and threats, we have continued to clearly and forcefully highlight our concern for the protection of human rights in places like Hong Kong. Our voice, alongside those of our partners, has been heard loud and clear. It seems the member is the only who does not seem to hear it.
A growing coalition of countries have joined our call for the protection of civil and political rights in Hong Kong. Let me be emphatic that Canada will continue to work with partners to persuade China to live up to its international obligations. As I noted earlier, we reserve the right to undertake appropriate action in response to any future developments as we deem and recognize as necessary.
View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to attend the speech by my colleague this morning. One thing he failed to mention, and what I am inquiring about, is Canada's leadership when it comes to taking action.
Why is the member not mentioning to Canadians who are watching us that Canada was the first country to suspend an extradition treaty, between Canada and Hong Kong? Why is the member not mentioning to Canadians that Canada suspended the export of sensitive equipment? Why is the member not mentioning to Canadians that we took immigration measures?
I chaired the meeting of the Five Eyes, and I consulted with our British counterparts at every step of the way. Why is the member not mentioning that we are continuing to engage with our partners around the world to show leadership, to take action, and to stand up for Canadian values and interests?
View Michael Chong Profile
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the minister has listened to the debate and is attending today's debate.
With respect to his question, I have acknowledged some of the government's foreign policy accomplishments, particularly in the area of trade. However, I disagree with him on the issue of Hong Kong. The fact of the matter is that other countries were much more vocal about the challenges in Hong Kong in 2019. Canada was not the first to indicate its concerns.
On the issue of immigration from Hong Kong, Canada's plan pales in comparison to that of the United Kingdom, which is allowing admissibility for residency and a path to citizenship for up to 2.9 million residents of Hong Kong through the recognition of the British national overseas passport.
The Minister of Immigration's plan is a pale imitation of that plan, and will merely admit some thousands of Hong Kongers who want to seek asylum here in Canada.
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
2020-11-17 11:08 [p.1972]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in this debate after the speeches from my Conservative colleagues and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This is another motion similar to what we have come to expect from our Conservative friends. It is a motion that I would say is coming out of left field. It is a rather unexpected motion. I think that the phrase “left field” is quite appropriate in this case because the Conservatives are giving themselves another opportunity to raise the spectre of communism. They have this urge, this fantasy, I would even call it, to harp on the idea that communism must be condemned.
Members will recall that Stephen Harper's government wanted to erect a monument to the victims of communism, as though communism were the only authoritarian regime in human history that has generated a certain number of victims, and as though Canada itself had lived under the yoke of communism, which is not the case, thank goodness. They are always obsessing over the Chinese Communist Party and the dire threat it poses to Canada, Canadians and the entire world.
A few moments ago during questions and comments with the minister, our NDP colleague rightly pointed out that China is definitely not the only country in the world with an authoritarian regime. It is definitely not the only country that openly violates human rights. It is definitely not the only country that tries to unduly influence events in other countries, including Canada.
What is perhaps a little different about China, however, is the fact that western states have often facilitated China's emergence as a superpower and that China aspires to play a predominant, if not dominant, role in international politics. Consequently, the motion moved by our friends in the official opposition raises some very legitimate concerns.
China aspires to a certain role and is taking action to play that role on the world stage. One need only think of the 5G network, which we discussed. I will come back to that in a few moments. China has also developed an entire network in what is known as the new silk road, a network of client states, a network of states that are beholden to the government in Beijing on a whole series of internal decisions or economically. This even includes some European countries, not just countries in Africa or South East Asia. We are talking about certain European countries where the financial influence of the People's Republic of China has become central and decisive and will have an impact on the decisions made by a number of countries all over the world. We must not bury our heads in the sand and ignore this situation, because it is a reality.
Driven by its ambitions, China is engaging in a type of diplomacy that is truly unique in the context of the long tradition of diplomacy in the history of international relations, an extremely aggressive and coercive diplomacy, the kind of diplomacy where a country will even go as far as to take foreign citizens hostage in order to put pressure on their government's decisions.
That is why we cannot take all of this lightly.
That is why the House decided last December to form a special committee to study the Canada-China relationship in order to determine what has led to its deterioration and the motivations behind the decisions that Beijing is making against Canada. Examples include the unjustified imprisonment and detention of two Canadian citizens and the imposition of retaliatory economic measures. All this is completely unjustified. What could possibly be causing the People's Republic of China to behave this way against Canada? Through a motion moved by our friends in the Conservative Party, we formed a committee to look at all of this.
While we are studying all this, however, the Conservative Party comes along with a motion that presumes that the committee's findings are a foregone conclusion. I understand that there is evidence in the motion, and I will come back to that. However, beyond that evidence, there is something that makes me a bit uneasy. In December, the Conservative Party put us, as parliamentarians, in a position where we had to decide whether or not we would create a new committee to examine the Canada-China relationship. We said that might make sense, that we might need to reflect on it and study it at greater length. We decided to support the motion and create that committee.
Now that the committee's work is under way, however, the Conservatives are saying that the motion that we adopted in December is not enough and that they want the government to do more right away. The government has not been standing idly by, because even before the committee finished its work, it announced that it was going to unveil a new policy regarding our relationship with the People's Republic of China. We are currently in the process of examining that, and we may have some suggestions and recommendations for the government.
Yesterday, the Minister of Immigration appeared before the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations. It was a very interesting meeting, but it left me unsatisfied as a parliamentarian. One of the reasons we invited the Minister of Immigration to appear was the urgent situation regarding Hong Kong. There are defenders of democracy in Hong Kong whose freedom, safety and very lives are being jeopardized by the enforcement of the national security law. The committee found that Canada needs to react and do something to provide a safe haven for these defenders of freedom.
Yesterday, the minister rattled off a whole series of pre-planned answers about how mechanisms already exist for welcoming refugees. However, this is a completely extraordinary situation, and we could suddenly end up with an unprecedented influx of refugees here in Canada. Until it is proven otherwise, they will be told that there are mechanisms in place to deal with this type of situation, but in fact, there are not. That is why the committee focused on the situation in Hong Kong in particular, and that is why we asked the Minister of Immigration to appear yesterday.
There are things to do and things we need to consider. We could talk ad nauseam about human rights violations by the People's Republic of China, especially against religious minorities. We have heard some horrendous stories about entire communities being sent to concentration camps, where sterilization policies are enforced to wipe them out. This is called genocide. Our colleagues on the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, which includes the member for Lac-Saint-Jean, have recognized this as genocide. I think we need to call a spade a spade.
However, this debate is not about the safety of people in the People's Republic of China. We are discussing how the People's Republic of China poses a threat to people in this country, to Quebeckers. This is what we need to look at.
Is this reflection premature? Are we putting the cart before the horse, since we have a committee actively looking into this issue? I have my own opinion on the matter, and I think I have already expressed it. I do think that this is a little premature.
Once again, the Conservatives are forcing us to take a stance. Whether or not this is premature is not at issue in this debate because, like it or not, we are being forced to take a stance. Let us do just that.
Here is the motion moved by our friends in the Conservative Party:
That, given that (i) the People's Republic of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, is threatening Canada's national interest and its values, including Canadians of Chinese origin within Canada's borders, (ii) it is essential that Canada have a strong and principled foreign policy backed by action in concert with its allies, the House call upon the government to: (a) make a decision on Huawei's involvement in Canada's 5G network within 30 days of the adoption of this motion; and (b) develop a robust plan, as Australia has done, to combat China's growing foreign operations here in Canada and its increasing intimidation of Canadians living in Canada, and table it within 30 days of the adoption of this motion.
Before I dive into the details, I just want to say that every time our Conservative friends move a motion like this one, I cannot help but think they might be trying to make the government look bad. Maybe I am just being a little paranoid because we know there are a lot of conspiracy theorists around these days, or maybe I am making assumptions about the Conservative Party's true intentions, but it seems to me that 30 days is both an extremely tight deadline and an extremely long period of time.
Take the 5G network as an example. I assume that the Canadian government has already begun thinking about this issue to some degree and that it is not surprised today to be asked what it has decided with regard to 5G. I also assume the government is not surprised that we are asking whether it has reflected on the issue of the undue influence of the People's Republic of China within Canada. Quite honestly, between my colleagues, myself and the fence post, if the government has been caught with its pants down today, we have a big problem. If the government has not yet started thinking about these fundamental issues, we are in trouble.
A 30-day deadline may seem really tight, but it may also seem quite long if we assume that the government has already done its homework on these matters. If it has done its homework, we can then assume that it should be in a position to deliver. When the government says the Conservatives are being unreasonable by allowing only 30 days, I have to wonder whether this means that the Liberals are not entirely ready to deal with these matters, and if that is the case, that really worries me. If the deadline is far too tight and it really puts the government in a tough spot, it is because it is incapable of delivering.
I would now like to take a moment to look at the 5G network. I mentioned conspiracy theorists earlier. I do not want to use that term in a pejorative or derogatory way, but some of our constituents sincerely believe that the 5G network poses a threat to their fundamental rights and their privacy. When we consider Huawei's attitude around the world, their concerns are understandable.
We know that Huawei was caught with the African Union and accused of passing on information. China has passed a national intelligence law that requires all companies to collaborate on the People's Republic of China's national security. Chinese authorities swear by all that is holy that this law does not have extraterritorial reach. However, we have our doubts because we now know that the new national security law for Hong Kong does apply extraterritorially. Does a Chinese company have a responsibility to contribute to Chinese national security in its foreign operations? In light of what happened with the African Union, the answer is yes.
On that issue, the minister talked about national security and intelligence services. The Five Eyes, of which Canada is a member, also includes the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. These five countries co-operate on their intelligence activities. The other four countries have already decided that Huawei is out because it is too dangerous. Again, however, it seems that Canada is reluctant to upset Beijing.
Most of the experts who have appeared before the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations so far have said that ingratiation and appeasement have had no effect on a political regime of this nature because the only thing it understands is forcefulness, in other words, a puffed-out chest and an assertive tone. That is what the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand did. Canada is lagging behind this group of allies since its government still does not know what it is doing and is keeping Canadian businesses in uncertainty by failing to tell them whether or not it will choose Huawei technology.
The 30 days allotted in the motion is a very reasonable timeline for the government to make a decision, and I think the time has come for a decision. Canadians and Quebeckers have serious concerns and expect the government to make that decision.
I now want to talk about the other point, which is the undue influence of Chinese authorities on Canadian soil.
Based on all of the evidence we have heard, we know beyond any reasonable doubt that the People's Republic of China is using agents on Canadian soil to intimidate people who are protesting the Beijing regime and intimidate people of Chinese origin who are here in Canada.
Earlier, one of our Conservative colleagues asked the minister a question about the action taken in other states and about what is happening in Canada. Has the Canadian government been looking into this issue and does it plan to propose a policy? Will the Canadian government continue to tolerate the undue influence of foreign states, in particular the People's Republic of China, on its soil? Is it prepared to do something, or does it need a push from the Conservative Party's motion and its 30-day deadline?
This is why I asked the minister whether he supported our Conservative colleagues' motion, because everything the minister said was quite relevant. However, we still do not know whether the Liberals will support the motion or what justification they will use if they choose to vote against it. No matter what the government decides, we need to know whether it is prepared to act on these two issues. Either way, we need to know.
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, may I say that I largely agree with the motion and welcome the opportunity for Parliament to weigh in on this debate. We are a nation in a state of asymmetrical conflict with the world's emerging superpower and, about to be, the world's largest economy. The stakes actually could not be much higher.
The Communist Party of China has shown itself to be a collection of diplomatic and military thugs unworthy of a great nation. We have watched as the Government of China enslaves an entire population, then denies that it has done so and then argues that, really, this is an internal matter and not anyone else's business.
Reports by respected NGOs such as Amnesty International are dismissed out of hand and well-founded accusations by our own United Nations ambassador are ridiculed. The pattern is first denial, then distraction and then a fact-free counter-accusation.
We saw it again in Hong Kong. The one country, two systems agreement between Great Britain and China of 20 years good standing was ripped up overnight when Hong Kongers robustly embraced their democratic rights. Now Hong Kong is a mere appendage of the Communist Party in Beijing and entirely dependent upon its political masters. Once again, the pattern is to deny the facts, ridicule and set up a distraction, and then develop a fact-free counter-narrative, all the while kidnapping activists and impeding the exit of those citizens of Hong Kong who feel they are no longer safe.
In Taiwan we watch a belligerent Chinese Communist Party fly provocative military missions in Taiwanese airspace. It is abundantly clear that the full and free expression of the democratic will of the citizens of Taiwan and the peaceful transition of power are an anathema to the Chinese Communist Party.
Then we watch the military buildup of bases on the shoals in the South China Sea, threatening the entire region, including the countries of the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. It is again a full-scale demonstration of fact-free denial. The conversion of shoals from incidental islands to military bases goes from outright denial, as though the satellite photos are fake; to claiming it is an internal right and therefore no one else's business, international law be damned; to a counterfactual propaganda that these buildings are only for peaceful purposes, notwithstanding the menace that all the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand see.
We could circle the globe. Sri Lanka might surely have regrets over its Faustian bargain concerning its harbour. Many African countries rue the day that they let the Communist Party of China build local infrastructure. The belt and road initiative is a policy that seeks to strangle independent nations and bend their resources and sovereignty to China's purposes.
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
2020-11-17 16:02 [p.2015]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak on the motion by my colleague from the Conservative Party, the member for Wellington—Halton Hills, for whom I have great respect. He has intervened on numerous occasions with respect to our foreign policy on China.
I do feel that, though there is some daylight, on many levels we are very much on the same page. Our Prime Minister has already, on multiple occasions, stated that our government will continue to push back on China’s coercive diplomacy, and will work with our allies to push China to respect the multilateral rules-based order.
We will continue to stand up for our values, and continue to insist on the respect of human rights and freedoms in China. We will not back down from raising our concerns regarding China's repeated violations of human rights, whether in Hong Kong, Xinjiang or elsewhere. We do all of it while demanding the immediate release of our two arbitrarily detained Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
We know that a concerted international or multilateral approach is the most promising track. I am personally optimistic that starting on January 20, we will have a new like-minded administration at the helm of our ally and neighbour to the south, who believes in this type of multilateralism and rules-based order, and who believes that our interests on the world stage align closely. There is opportunity to work with our allies on a strong multilateral approach to China. Canada is well positioned to harness that opportunity, and we should not lose sight of that.
However, allow me to now point out, in response to this motion, what Canadian parliamentarians and our government have already done and continue to do.
In response to China’s imposition of the new national security law in Hong Kong, legislation that threatens the one country, two systems agreement and endangers the freedoms of those living in Hong Kong, Canada has suspended our extradition treaty, banned exports of sensitive materials and announced sweeping new and expanded pathways for residents of Hong Kong to immigrate here to Canada.
Only a few days ago our Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke out against the removal of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers, noting that China’s move was in disregard of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, and a further assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms. He qualified these actions as a break of China’s international obligations.
Last month, the subcommittee on international human rights, in the context of its important study on the situation in Xinjiang, tabled a scathing report on the persecution of the Muslim Uighur minority there. The report noted mass detentions, forced labour, state surveillance and population control measures. The report concluded that these were violations of human rights and that these measures were meant to eradicate Uighur culture and religion. This same parliamentary subcommittee also detailed the forced sterilization of Uighur women and girls, forced abortions and forced use of contraceptive devices in a systematic attempt to persecute and possibly eradicate Uighur people.
As a result of all of the evidence before the subcommittee, both in 2018 and 2020, the subcommittee concluded that it was persuaded that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party constitute genocide as laid out in the genocide convention.
Our Parliament has not been silent, and no amount of coercive diplomacy will silence us. It is not only in Parliament and through parliamentarians that Canadians have heard our voice, indeed, the world has heard our voice. Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations has been among the most vocal on the international stage in recent weeks. Ambassador Rae is not known to mince his words.
Whether at home or on the highest of international and multilateral venues, Canada has been vocal, and China has noticed. China has been very quick to respond, indicating that it will retaliate against Canada for our position. Still, we have not wavered, and we will not waver.
The Conservative Party's motion before the House today underscores the fact that we all agree, regardless of our political affiliation, on the importance of adopting a strong foreign policy in conjunction with our allies, based on principles and supported by measures.
I will therefore remind my hon. colleague from Wellington—Halton Hills and every other member in the House that that is exactly what Canada is doing.
In addition to our committees' and subcommittees' reports, findings and conclusions, which are public, and which China has obviously noted and commented on, last month, we joined with 38 other countries in speaking out strongly against China's human rights violations. Along with the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and many other countries, we demanded that the UN be given immediate broad and unfettered access to Xinjiang province.
In June, Canada was one of the 27 countries to speak out against Beinjing's so-called national security law, threatening the freedom of Hong Kong residents. We recently saw the impact of this freedom-destroying law, with the expulsion of four pro-democracy representatives from Hong Kong's legislative council. The remaining pro-democracy members resigned.
We are not naive. China is the second-largest economy in the world. Access to its enormous markets and the opportunities they offer is a must for our producers, but Canada will nevertheless continue to defend our values.
Let me now address the aspect of the motion that I do find highly problematic, which stipulates, in fact dictates, that the government must make a public decision on Huawei within 30 days. I certainly understand and appreciate that colleagues on all sides of this chamber may hold reservations and concerns about any involvement of Huawei in Canada’s 5G networks, but we cannot substitute our personal views for the professional analysis of our national security agencies. We as Parliamentarians cannot murky the waters of our national interest; we cannot compromise national security because of political reasons.
There are numerous factors at play. There are experts at CSIS studying this question. There are ongoing negotiations for the release of the two Canadians being held in captivity in China as we speak. Significantly, it is a poison pill to indicate in this motion that we should choose an arbitrary number of days in order to make a decision public on this matter. I would not want the debate, or any of the arguments that have been raised today by members of the Conservative party or otherwise, to mislead Canadians.
Canada has not granted Huawei access to our 5G networks. If you look at our industry, on the ground right now in Canada, Bell, Telus and Rogers have all announced they will not use Huawei 5G equipment. I will repeat that. Our major Canadian providers have already stated publicly that they will not use Huawei infrastructure for 5G. I understand that what this motion is requesting is that the Government of Canada issue its decision, but to give a 30-day deadline is simply arbitrary and artificial.
It is our national security agencies, CSIS and our Communications Security Establishment, that are studying the question, and as much as I appreciate that their study is taking time, I do not think it is in our national interest or the interests of Canadians to place an arbitrary deadline of 30 days in order to issue this decision.
This is not the first time I have stood in this House to speak out on China, and I fear very much that it will not be the last, and though I may be one of the more hawkish members of our caucus on this issue, I urge my Conservative colleagues to accept the invitation to discuss amendments to this aspect of their motion with our government. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs said this morning in debate, China poses some of the key foreign policy challenges of our time. I would suggest humbly that we, together in this House, rise above to address them.
View Alice Wong Profile
View Alice Wong Profile
2020-11-17 16:17 [p.2017]
Madam Speaker, I would like to start by letting you know I am splitting my time with my fantastic colleague, the member for Lethbridge.
Most of my comments are concerned with the last paragraph of the motion, which I will address first. I would like to give members a bit of background about myself. I have had the privilege of accompanying former Prime Minister Stephen Harper to China three times to meet Chinese leaders and Canadians who were working or doing business in China. Those visits were very fruitful. While we were developing a closer bilateral relationship, the Harper government never hesitated to bring up issues or concerns in a respectful way.
Before joining politics, I worked as a volunteer in Chinese universities training teachers and students in entrepreneurship. I also brought international aid from Canada to remote and second-tier cities to help the poor and needy. My field experiences in China enriched me with an understanding of the people, the culture and the places I visited across China where my parents were originally from.
I represent Richmond Centre. According to the 2016 census, provided by Statistics Canada, my electoral district contains the second largest population of people of Chinese ethnic origin in the nation. It is very important and always important in any debate to distinguish between ethnicity and nationality. While my ethnic origin is Chinese, my nationality is one of being a very proud Canadian. To be exact, I was born British because I was born in Hong Kong when it was still a British colony. I started with a British passport when I came over as an immigrant over 40 years ago. Of course, I am now a proud Canadian.
While some ethnic origins are linked to a single country, many are linked to multiple countries. For instance, many of the ethnic Chinese in Richmond came from the People's Republic of China. A good number came from Hong Kong when it was still a British colony. Others came from the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan. Let us not forget those who came from China in the 18th century to build the Canada Pacific Railway and their descendants who stayed in Canada.
Finally, we have a significant number of people born in Canada, informally known as CBC, which is not the broadcasting company, but Canadian-born Chinese. There are also other ethnic Chinese immigrants who came from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and so on. Many came here to become Canadians, including myself.
My duties as a member of Parliament are focused around the Canadians who make up Richmond Centre and the issues that concern them first and foremost. I am continually grateful for them sending me to Parliament to be their voice, and it is their concerns that I have in mind. Many, if not a majority, of those residing in Richmond are immigrants. It is understandable that affairs in their place of origin get brought up in discussions. They typically have family members abroad and, sometimes, business interests and ties.
While every member of Parliament has their own policies regarding overseas events, or even those across the U.S. border, mine has been to focus my energy on the concerns of Richmond.
Many of my constituents came from Hong Kong, both before and after the July 1, 1997, handover as per the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Over the past year, some have written to me about the domestic state of affairs with protests regarding democratic freedoms in the Special Administrative Region. Indeed, with China's imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong, we have seen predictable consequences: jailing of those who dare to speak against the government and, most recently, the expulsion of democracy-supporting legislators in the legislative council. Perhaps most important has been a chilling of free speech: one of the most important elements of a functioning democracy. To those non-Canadian Hong Kongers who are interested in making a life for themselves in our great country, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has moved a bit forward in this direction, and my colleagues and I will encourage further progress.
There are numerous other stories involving Canadians who are jailed in China. The two Michaels, Kovrig and Spavor, are well known. Lesser known is the case of John Chang and Allison Lu, two Canadians who operate Lulu Island Winery in Richmond and have been detained in China since 2016 for economic reasons. As early as 2017, I brought their challenge in China to the attention of the Liberal government, but nothing seems to have been done. I bring this up because China's operations are international and affect Canadians domestically and abroad. Canada has limited power to influence affairs overseas. Given this, we must protect Canadians on Canadian soil to the extent possible, as it is clear we are not well equipped to protect Canadians abroad.
In Richmond, we also have a large population of immigrants from mainland China who wish to make better lives for themselves in Canada. Many have become Canadian citizens and, because China does not recognize dual citizenship, they gave up their Chinese nationality in the process. However, this does not cut their links to China as most have relatives up, down and across the family tree still living on the mainland. There are many stories involving coordinated Chinese state operations on Canadian soil and in other western democracies. One of these operations is the so-called United Front, which facilitates state coordination of foreign associations that consist of mainland Chinese-connected immigrants.
Another issue of foreign influence is the impact of industrial espionage. The other part of this motion talks about Huawei, but one does not need to look very far to read stories about technology being taken away from Nortel by Huawei, which used to be a Canadian contract manufacturer for Nortel. In a different age, we could build a Canadian telecommunications network with purely Canadian technology, but no more.
The most disturbing issue on an individual level is how democracy is threatened by the oppression of speech. It is very likely that any immigrant of Chinese descent who has any connection to China will be under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party. If there is anything in the open that opposes the interests of China or causes embarrassment for the Communist Party, there are known examples of family members in mainland China receiving a knock on the door from the police instructing the offender to stop, or else. Both in Hong Kong and around the world, this again has a chilling effect on open and free speech.
For Canadians, especially those in Richmond, who came to Canada to enjoy our democratic freedoms, this intimidation—
View Kristina Michaud Profile
Madam Speaker, I am always pleased to rise in the House on behalf of my constituents of Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and also on behalf of the Bloc Québécois as the critic for public safety and national security. Furthermore, I would like to thank my colleague from Wellington—Halton Hills for all the work he has done on the matter before us today.
Before I begin, I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean.
I will start with a number: 708. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have now been arbitrarily detained in China for 708 days. These two men have not been able to hold their respective families in their arms for 708 days. During that time, Ottawa has not done much. Since these two Canadians were unfairly detained without cause, relations have continued to deteriorate. Now, everyone is paying the price for Ottawa's lack of vision.
China's foreign policy became particularly aggressive with the arrival of the Communist Party of China's new leader. One example is that more than one million Uighurs were imprisoned in concentration camps, which was recently described as genocide by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. I also want to commend my colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean for his work on the subcommittee.
In addition, a law was passed, forcing Chinese businesses to help collect intelligence, and then there is the Hong Kong national security law, which radically diminishes the political freedom and freedom of expression of residents. Furthermore, this aggression is not reserved for territories that China considers its own.
Take, for example, the use of economic blackmail to force businesses and individuals to conform to China's vision of the world. Canadian companies like Air Canada must now write “Taipei, China” instead of “Taipei, Taiwan”, after China threatened to cut off access to Chinese airports. Another example is China's repression against Hong Kong, in violation of international commitments taken during the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.
Over the past few years, China has been very aggressive and expansionist toward its neighbours, including with the development and military occupation of an archipelago near the Philippines and everywhere else in the South China Sea.
We have to face the facts. The Chinese Communist Party will continue to assert itself more aggressively and its influence, backed by its staggering economic weight and massive investment in its military capacity, will continue to grow and become more dangerous than ever for the national security of Quebec and Canada.
The wilfully blind strategy of Ottawa is not working. Doing nothing in the hope that the situation improves is futile. We need a government that takes China seriously. We need a government that will govern with strong principles and defend its citizens against the repeated attacks of communist China.
On September 10, an investigation by the Journal de Montréal showed that even Quebeckers here in Montreal were victims of espionage and intimidation at the hands of Beijing. What is the government doing? It is doing nothing. People here at home are being targeted by the communist Chinese regime and Ottawa is asleep at the switch. It is unacceptable.
There is still no plan to protect us apart from allowing Huawei, a Chinese company, to work its way deep into our telecommunications network, thereby jeopardizing national security. This company has been involved in numerous spying scandals, even spying on the African Union. In 2012, China gave the African Union a fully equipped ultramodern building. China supplied everything: networks, computers and telecommunications systems.
In 2017, African computer scientists realized that the servers were sending out huge amounts of data at night, when nobody was working in the building. They discovered that the data was going to servers in China that were being used to spy on political leaders and staff. Who was the main supplier of the infrastructure? Huawei.
Here is another example of the threat the Chinese government poses to Quebec. Three years ago, China adopted a new national intelligence law. All Chinese companies are obligated to contribute to Chinese intelligence work, be it military or civilian intelligence. Nothing is left out.
For example, a company could be told to spy on behalf of another Chinese company to give China an advantage on the world stage. China has always denied that its companies are required to conduct espionage in other countries, but western intelligence services agree that Chinese law applies abroad.
For these obvious reasons, which only the Liberal government stubbornly refuses to acknowledge, experts worry about including Chinese components in essential infrastructure such as telecommunications networks. The British are phasing in a Huawei ban and will shut the company out completely by 2023.
Everyone agrees: intelligence services, the CIA and CSIS consider the threat too great and believe that the company should be banned.
The United States has banned Huawei from developing the 5G network in that country and is pushing for its NATO allies to follow suit, which Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain have done.
Australia, which became a victim of China's growing influence, adopted its foreign influence transparency scheme in 2018. All individuals and companies acting for the benefit of a foreign country in the political sphere must register and provide details about their activities in a public register. The law also prohibits overseas donations. The most important aspect of this Australian law is that it criminalizes all hidden foreign influence operations, in other words by an individual or organization that is not registered in a public registry. Any attempt to engage in covert propaganda for the benefit of a foreign state is illegal and could result in a five-year prison sentence.
All of Canada's allies have taken a clear stand against Huawei in the development of 5G technology, yet this Liberal government continues to create uncertainty. However, our response should be unequivocal and aligned with that of our closest allies. I sincerely wonder what the government is waiting for to act.
I will take this opportunity to say a few words about the issue of artificial intelligence. In an article that appeared in La Presse last January, we learned that Canada is a real hotbed for Chinese spies. Many have moved to Canada to gain better access to the United States and to steal all kinds of civilian and military industrial secrets, such as genetically modified corn seeds, technical documents on fighter planes, composite materials used in the construction of vehicles and anti-submarine equipment. The FBI estimates the theft of intellectual property in the United States to be between $300 billion U.S. and $600 billion U.S.
If they can do it in the United States, they can certainly do it in Canada. According to Wesley Wark, professor of international relations at the University of Ottawa, the time has come to make a radical shift, and major investments and to really step up our counter-espionage efforts. It is imperative that we protect Canadian and Quebec companies that continue to earn international renown for Canada.
Let us be very clear: China intends to become the greatest artificial intelligence power in the world. In 2017, China implemented its artificial intelligence development plan as part of a project of unprecedented scale: the brand new silk road, which now includes 70 countries in a connected infrastructure plan. Once again, let us be clear. With this project, China plans to become the largest economic power in the world, and the project will protect its economic, military and diplomatic interests.
Why must we talk about artificial intelligence and the silk road? I bring it up because the Chinese industry will be fully connected through artificial intelligence within five years. It will produce goods and control companies by balancing supply and demand. On top of controlling the entire Chinese industry, artificial intelligence will monitor and control the Chinese people very tightly.
Let us not fool ourselves. This technology will not be limited to China. China has already exported its technology to authoritarian governments around the world, which will allow them to control their own people. For example, Chinese telecommunications company ZTE is rolling out a system to control the people of Venezuela through the brand new fatherland card, an ID card that records information about citizens.
China is not just strictly monitoring and clamping down on its people's political freedoms and freedom of speech. It is exporting its model, and that is worrisome. We could continue talking about this for a long time, but I will close by saying that I will support my Conservative colleague's motion.
I do, however, want to express some reservations about this motion, as my colleagues did before me. It seems unrealistic and counterproductive to me to ask the government to adopt a plan to fight interference from China in Canada in 30 days. I realize that the legislative and parliamentary process is always too long, but we must not exaggerate either. We are asking the government to resolve a problem that is currently being examined by various committees, including the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations and the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, of which I am currently a member.
We would likely end up with an incomplete and ineffective plan that would be created hastily and would not help improve things very much, if at all. I think that a longer, more reasonable deadline would enable the committees to participate in developing that plan in a constructive manner.
Honestly, I have a hard time understanding why the Conservatives are not waiting for the findings of the committee that they themselves created before coming to their own conclusions. The Liberals seem open to this proposal and they wanted to amend the motion, but now the Conservatives do not seem to agree. We need to stop encouraging—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question No. 88--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to the firearms regulations and prohibitions published in the Canada Gazette on May 1, 2020, and the proposed gun buyback program: (a) what is the total projected cost of the buyback program, broken down by type of expense; (b) is the projected cost a guess, or did the government use a formula or formal analysis to arrive at the projected cost; and (c) what are the details of any formula or analysis used by the government in coming up with the projected cost?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to introducing a buyback program that offers fair compensation to affected owners and businesses, while making sure implementation and management costs of such a program are well priced and sustainable. To assist in meeting this dual objective, Public Safety is seeking to obtain professional services through a competitive process for the provision of advice on options and approaches to further inform ongoing efforts to develop a buyback program. Specifically, this advice would focus on firearms pricing models, as well as on the design, implementation and management of a buyback program for recently prohibited firearms.
As such, the costs associated with implementing and managing a buyback program have not been finalized yet and will be further refined in the coming months as program design development work progresses. Public Safety, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, and its partners are looking at a range of options, and will work with the provinces and territories to get this right for law-abiding gun owners and businesses.
Albas, DanAnimal diseasesAtlantic salmonBibeau, Marie-ClaudeBuy backCanada Emergency Wage SubsidyCanada Student Service GrantCanadians in foreign countriesCarbon taxChampagne, François-PhilippeCharitable organizations ...Show all topics
View Erin O'Toole Profile
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-19 14:21 [p.860]
Mr. Speaker, another week, another provocation from China. As always, this Liberal government maintains the status quo. The Chinese ambassador threatened the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong. Worse still, today the Chinese government called on Canada to apologize.
Will the Prime Minister finally protect Canadians and stand up to China?
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