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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 734--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to Canadian aid to Burma and the need to enforce the economic sanctions on Burmese military officials: (a) how is the funding from the Joint Peace Fund being allocated since the military coup in February 2021; (b) is any funding being directed to or through state or military-controlled channels, and, if so, what are the details, including the amounts; (c) what is the general breakdown of how Canadian aid dollars for Burma are being distributed and to whom; (d) does the government consider lobbying on behalf of the military regime in Burma a contravention of the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations; and (e) is the government investigating or did it investigate Ari Ben-Menashe of Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc. for a possible contravention of the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations, and, if so, what is the status of the investigation?
Response
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
In response to (a), the Joint Peace Fund, a multi-party trust fund managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, was supporting two grants that brought together the civilian government and the Tatmadaw, the National Reconciliation and Peace Center, NRPC, and the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee, JMC, to support the peace process in Myanmar. These two grants have been suspended following the coup d’état. This decision was taken based on recommendations from the funding board, of which Canada is a member. New funding for civil society organizations will continue on a case-by-case basis based on the terms of reference for the fund.
In response to (b), Canada does not and will not provide direct funding to the Government of Myanmar.
In response to (c), under its initial comprehensive strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis, Canada dedicated $300 million over three years, 2018-21, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, support impacted host communities in Bangladesh, encourage positive political developments in Myanmar, ensure accountability for the crimes committed, and enhance international co-operation.
This has been achieved with the help of strong and trusted partners, ranging from multilateral to international, Canadian and local organizations, such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, Inter Pares, Mennonite Economic Development Associates, MEDA, the International Development Research Centre, IDRC, and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC.
As of March 31, 2021, Canada has spent the full amount of $300 million dedicated towards Canada’s strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis.
Budget 2021 proposed that Canada dedicate $288 million over three years, 2021-24, to further respond to this humanitarian crisis, encourage positive political developments, ensure accountability for the crimes committed, and enhance international co-operation. This investment is part of Canada’s ongoing efforts to address the evolving crisis in Myanmar and the ongoing refugee crisis in Bangladesh.
In response to (d), Canada first imposed sanctions in relation to Myanmar under the special economic measures, Burma, regulations, on December 13, 2007, in order to respond to the gravity of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar, which threatened peace and security in the region.
On February 18, 2021, in response to the coup d’état in Myanmar perpetrated against the democratically elected National League for Democracy government on February 1, 2021, the regulations were amended to add nine additional individuals to the schedule in the regulations. These individuals, who are all senior officials in Myanmar’s military, were either directly involved in the coup as part of the National Defence and Security Council, or are members of the military regime’s new governing body, the State Administration Council. Most recently, on May 17, 2021, Canada announced additional sanctions against 16 individuals and 10 entities under the special economic measures, Burma, regulations in response to the military’s ongoing brutal repression of the people of Myanmar and their refusal to take steps to restore democracy. Canada will continue to review the need for further sanctions as appropriate.
Canada’s sanctions related to Myanmar consist of an arms embargo and a dealings ban on listed persons, including individuals and entities. With respect to the arms embargo, the regulations prohibit persons in Canada or Canadians outside Canada from exporting or importing arms and related material to or from Myanmar. It is also prohibited to communicate technical data, or provide or acquire financial or other services, in relation to military activities or to the provision, maintenance, or use of arms and related material.
With regard to the dealings ban, the regulations prohibit any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada from engaging in any activity related to any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a listed person, or from providing any financial or related service or entering into or facilitating any transaction in relation to such an activity. It is also prohibited to make any goods available to a listed person or provide any financial or related service to them or for their benefit.
In response to (e), contravening Canadian sanctions is a criminal offence. All persons in Canada and Canadians abroad must comply with Canada’s strict sanctions measures, including individuals and entities. Possible violations and offences related to Canada’s sanctions are investigated and enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Question No. 735--
Mr. Paul Manly:
With regard to the government’s acquisition of 88 advanced fighter aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force: (a) in what month are the successful bidder and aircraft expected to be chosen by the government; (b) in what month is a contract expected to be signed with the chosen bidder; (c) will the government conduct a revised cost analysis of the acquisition, and, if so, (i) when will the analysis be conducted, (ii) will the analysis be made public, and, if so, when; and (d) will the government sign the contract before the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s cost analysis of the acquisition is completed and made public?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as outlined in Canada’s defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, a modern fighter aircraft fleet is essential for defending Canada and Canadian sovereignty and contributing to our NORAD and NATO commitments, now and in the future.
That is why on December 12, 2017, the government launched an open, fair and transparent competition to permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft. This project will provide a modern fighter capability to the Royal Canadian Air Force, ensuring that it maintains the ability to meet complex and evolving threats.
This project will leverage Canadian capabilities while supporting the growth of Canada’s aerospace and defence industries for decades.
In response to parts (a) and (b), the Government of Canada is currently evaluating proposals for the future fighter capability project from the three eligible bidders. Selection of the successful bidder is anticipated in early 2022, at which time the Government of Canada will enter into discussions with the selected bidder to finalize the resulting contracts. A contract is expected to be awarded in late 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the project timelines, with further impacts being possible. National Defence anticipates having more precise timelines at the completion of the proposal evaluation phase.
In response to parts (c)(i) and (c)(ii), the Government of Canada is currently evaluating the costs of acquisition of the future fighter capability project, as it is evaluating the proposals submitted by the bidders.
Contract values will be made public, once an evaluation of costs is completed and a decision is made on the acquisition of a replacement fighter aircraft fleet.
In response to part (d), the Government of Canada will sign the contract once the future fighter capability project solicitation process has been concluded and appropriate approvals have been granted by Treasury Board.

Question No. 736--
Mr. Rob Morrison:
With regard to the 2021 Census soundtrack: (a) who decided what songs would be included on the soundtrack and what criteria was used to decide which songs would be included; (b) how much is the government paying Spotify and YouTube for the services related to the playlist; (c) what are the details of how artists on the soundtrack are being remunerated for their songs, including the total amount being paid to artists for their songs being on the soundtrack; and (d) what are the costs incurred by the government to create and maintain the soundtrack website, broken down by line item?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the songs included in the 2021 census soundtrack were curated by members of Statistics Canada’s census communications team as part of the engagement activities with Canadians for the 2021 census. Once initial lists were compiled, they were distributed internally to a larger group to validate that selections were reflective of the overarching aim of the project. Once the lists had been reviewed internally, they were approved by census communications senior management.
The selection criteria were as follows: performed by Canadian artists, both main artist and featured artists, where relevant; reflective of Canadian culture and diversity, which was accounted for by developing 11 unique playlists; could not focus on, or make reference to, controversial or derogatory subject matter; non-partisan in nature; clean versions of the original track, no explicit lyrics.
In response to (b), Statistics Canada has procured a six-month Spotify Premium subscription, at a cost of $9.99 per month, for a total of $59.94 plus applicable taxes. The Statistics Canada YouTube Music channel was already existent and Statistics Canada has not paid anything to use YouTube Music.
In response to (c), the Government of Canada does not directly compensate artists for their songs, since they are remunerated by Spotify and YouTube through their own contracts. Any songs that have already been uploaded to either platform are available to be included in public lists to listen to and share at no cost. It is a common practice on these platforms and thousands of users create and share their favorite playlists.
In response to (d), the Spotify subscription is $9.99 per month for six months, for a total of $59.94 plus applicable taxes. Regarding the internal labour costs, 30 hours were spent on coordinating the playlists, developing the web content, coordinating with internal teams, and performing maintenance operations. These services were performed at the rate of $25.68 per hour, for a total of $770.40.
The 2021 census soundtrack web page, available at https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/ref/soundtrack-bandesonore/index-eng.htm, accumulated 52,177 unique visitors since its launch on April 20, 2021.

Question No. 737--
Mr. Rob Morrison:
With regard to the Minister of Foreign Affairs' trip to the United Kingdom (UK) in early May 2021, and to the Prime Minister’s comments made on January 29, 2021, in relation to the hotel quarantine requirements for international travellers, that “travellers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their tests results at their own expense”: (a) did the minister and his entourage pay for their approved hotel quarantine rooms at their own expense; and (b) did the government cover or reimburse the costs of the rooms for the minister and his entourage during his trip to the UK, and, if so, what were the total costs related to the hotel stays that were paid for by the government, broken down by line item?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs participated as the head of the Canadian delegation to the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in London, United Kingdom, May 3-5, 2021. In addition to the minister, the Canadian delegation was comprised of the following: the G7 political director and assistant deputy minister, international security and political affairs; the director of communications, office of the minister of foreign affairs; the deputy director, G7/G20 summits division; and a protocol visits officer.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), the cost for official travel is covered by the international conference allotment managed by Global Affairs, per usual practice for Canadian representation at multilateral meetings.
The preparation of an accurate and comprehensive summary of expenses for participation of the Canadian delegation is in progress.
Once the related invoices and claims are finalized, travel expenses incurred by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the associate deputy minister and the director of communications will be publicly disclosed on the disclosure of travel and hospitality expenses website at www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/publications/transparency-transparence/travel_hospitality-voyage_accueil.aspx?lang=eng.
Additionally, the department publishes expenditures for Canadian representation at international conferences and meetings and travel expenditures for Canadian representation at international conferences and meetings online annually, in Public Accounts at www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/index-eng.html.

Question No. 738--
Mr. Rob Morrison:
With regard to the statement made by the Prime Minister in the House on May 4, 2021, that “victims of fraud will not be held responsible for the amounts paid to people who stole their identity” in relation to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asking victims of identity theft to pay taxes on payments they never received: (a) what specific measures are in place to ensure that CRA does not ask identity theft victims to pay taxes on money they never received; (b) when and by what means was the directive outlined in the Prime Minister’s statement provided to CRA officials; and (c) what punitive measures are in place for CRA officials who ignore the directive and continue to ask victims to pay taxes on payments they never received?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the CRA recognizes that there is a significant financial and emotional impact for victims of identity theft and is doing its part to detect, address and prevent transactions associated with identity theft.
With regard to the premise of the above-noted question, it is important to note that the guiding principles of the CRA’s People First philosophy provide a framework for expected behaviours at all levels within the CRA. This includes helping people understand and meet their obligations and responsibilities, and ensuring its decisions are grounded in quality information, fairness, integrity and engagement.
With regard to part (a), as part of the identity protective services, IPS, the CRA will contact taxpayers by telephone in order to support them through the process. The CRA will verify the information on their account, and adjust the accounting as required. In addition, the CRA will ensure that proper protection and corrective actions are taken thereby returning the taxpayer to a seamless interaction with the CRA. If all requested information has been provided to the IPS program and the taxpayer still received a T4A, the taxpayer is encouraged to contact their dedicated officer in order to ensure that the matter is promptly corrected.
The CRA encourages taxpayers who receive a T4A or RL-1 slip from the CRA, for Canada emergency response benefit, CERB, payments which they did not claim, to contact the CRA as soon as possible.
The CRA is prioritizing the calls it receives concerning fraud and identity theft, ensuring that they are being answered as quickly as possible.
When a taxpayer calls the CRA’s individual tax enquiries, ITE, phone line to report a T4A slip that includes amounts for which they did not apply, including amounts relating to CERB, Canada emergency student benefit, CESB, Canada recovery benefit, CRB, Canada recovery caregiving benefit, CRCB, or Canada recovery sickness benefit, CRSB, ITE contact centre agents will triage the call depending on whether the taxpayer has already been identified as a potential victim of identity theft.
If the taxpayer needs to file their tax return before the T4A slip is corrected or deleted, the ITE agent will advise them to report the emergency or recovery benefit income that they actually received, if any, minus amounts they repaid in the same year. The agent will update the taxpayer’s file with a notepad entry to explain that the taxpayer will report a different amount than what is reported on their T4A slip to prevent the taxpayer from being asked for this same information at a later date.
Taxpayers who are confirmed victims of identity fraud will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers using their identity, including taxes on those amounts, and the CRA remains dedicated to resolving these incidents. Their T4A slip or RL-1 slip will be corrected as required. Once the issue has been resolved, an amended slip will be issued.
Should a discrepancy exist between the amounts reported by a taxpayer on their tax return, and the T4A slip on file, the CRA has ensured that its system will not automatically add this income to taxpayers’ accounts
The CRA has robust systems and tools in place to monitor, detect and investigate potential threats, and to neutralize threats when they occur. As scammers adapt their practices, the CRA adjusts to introduce new measures and controls to address suspicious activity.
Where appropriate, the CRA works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, CAFC, financial institutions and local police. In many cases, the CRA will also provide the taxpayer with credit protection and monitoring services.
With regard to part (b), the CRA can confirm the position that taxpayers who are confirmed victims of identity fraud will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers, including taxes on those amounts, using their identity and the CRA remains dedicated to resolving these incidents. The CRA is responsible for ensuring that all income, deductions and credits an individual claims are accurately reported and substantiated.
With regard to part (c) the CRA has robust policies and procedures in place, as well as training and quality assurance functions, to ensure that CRA interactions with its clients are conducted consistently, accurately, and with empathy and respect.

Question No. 739--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
With regard to Canadian Armed Forces members operating in Iraq between December 2015 to present: (a) how many Canadian Armed Forces members were injured; (b) how many of these members were injured as a result of attacks; (c) what was the nature of each injury; (d) what was the cause of each injury; (e) how many of these injured members received a military decoration as a result of their injury, broken down by type of decoration; and (f) how many of these injured members were repatriated to Canada as a result of their injury?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the care and support of ill and injured military members and their families remains a priority for National Defence.
The Canadian Armed Forces is dedicated to ensuring that every ill and injured member receives high-quality care and support throughout their recovery, rehabilitation, return to duty in the Canadian Armed Forces or transition to civilian life.
This is why the Canadian Armed Forces provides health services across Canada and overseas to Canadian military personnel through the Canadian Forces health services group.
Additionally, Canadian Armed Forces offers a wide range of supports to assist ill and injured members and their families throughout the recovery process, including the Return to Duty program, Soldier On, and the operational stress injury social support program.
Through these efforts, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to assist its ill or injured members both at home and abroad.
With regard to part (a), the Canadian Armed Forces uses the disease and injury surveillance system to capture the visits of deployed personnel to a Canadian Armed Forces medical facility. The Canadian Armed Forces searched this database and found that 744 Canadian Armed Forces members were injured in Iraq between December 2015 and May 31, 2021.
With regard to part (b), the disease and injury surveillance system provides a categorization of an injury based on the mechanism of injury, such as a battle-related injury. The system does not capture the exact nature of each injury.
A battle-related injury is defined as any injury occurring as a direct consequence of a hostile action which may include direct and indirect fire, bombs, gas attacks, mines, etc. Most battle-related injuries are caused as a consequence of a hostile action, rather than the hostile action itself. For example, a soldier injured by descending stairs into a shelter in response to a rocket attack has suffered a battle-related injury, but was not injured by the rocket itself. These injuries may be mild and fully recoverable, such as a cut or soft tissue injury, or may be severe and permanent.
The Canadian Armed Forces searched the disease and injury surveillance system and found that of the 744 injuries in Iraq between December 2015 and May 31, 2021, 47 were categorized as battle-related.
With regard to parts (c) and (d), a detailed analysis of the nature and exact cause of injury would require a manual search of members’ medical records.
Information contained in medical records cannot be released due to privacy concerns surrounding the potential to identify a member or disclose personal or health information about that member.
With regard to part (e), Canadian Armed Forces members who sustain wounds as a direct result of hostile action during operations in Iraq may be eligible for the Sacrifice Medal.
National Defence awarded two Sacrifice Medals to Canadian Armed Forces personnel as a result of injuries sustained while deployed on operations in Iraq between December 2015, and May 31, 2021.
The official description, eligibility criteria and history of the Sacrifice Medal is available online at www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/sacrifice-medal-sm.html
With regard to part (f), information on the number of injured members in Iraq repatriated to Canada as a result of injury is not centrally tracked and would require a manual review of the medical, personnel and operational files related to the 744 medical injuries, which could not be completed in the allotted time.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)

Question No. 733--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the court cases Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 BCSC 1494; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 BCCA 237; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), (29 March 2012) SCC File No. 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA 300; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), (30 January 2012) SCC File No. 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General Trial decision (Garson J.) – 2009 BCSC 1494; BC Supreme Court Docket No. S033335; the Supreme Court of Canada’s file number 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) 2021 BCCA 155; and all related cases: what are, including information from the Attorney General of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, for each case, the (i) total amount spent by the Crown between January 1, 2006, and April 30, 2021, (ii) total amount, adjusted for inflation, (iii) total spent by the Crown by category (travel, salary, supplies, etc.), (iv) total amount spent in each fiscal year from 2005 to 2021, (v) total payment that has been, or is projected to be paid by the Crown, and an explanation as to how this figure was calculated, (vi) date by which it will be or is projected to be paid by the Crown?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the legal costs incurred by the government in relation to the various Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) matters identified in the question, at the British Columbia Supreme Court, court file number S033335, British Columbia Court of Appeal, court file number CA037704, Supreme Court of Canada, court file number 34387, and all related cases, to the extent that the information that has been requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege, and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs, as defined below.
The total legal costs, actual and notional costs, associated with the Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) matters referenced above, including at the British Columbia Supreme Court, court file number S033335, British Columbia Court of Appeal, court file number CA037704, and Supreme Court of Canada, and any related cases, between January 1, 2006, and April 30, 2021, amount to approximately $19.6 million. This amount covers the costs associated with the numerous procedures that have been filed in these various matters over a period of 15 years. The services targeted here are litigation services as well as litigation support services. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and therefore no legal fees are incurred for their services. A “notional amount” can, however, be provided to account for the legal services they provide. The notional amount is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable approved internal legal services hourly rates. Actual costs represent file-related legal disbursements and legal agent fees, as the case may be. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of May 5, 2021.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 681--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
With regard to the government's statistics on graduation rates of First Nations high school students: (a) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school on reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years; and (b) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school off reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years?
Response
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, ISC does not report on high school graduation rates of first nations students who attended high school on or off reserve, broken down by province and year.
The department does, however, report in its Departmental Results Report, DRR, on national secondary school graduation rates for first nations students ordinarily resident on reserve who are funded by ISC. Here are the links to the DRRs for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20: 2017-18 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1538147955169/1538148052804; 2018-19 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1562155507149/1562155526338; 2019-20 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1603722062425/1603722082047.

Question No. 683--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
With regard to the government’s consultation process on Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: what are the details of all consultations the government conducted with individuals from First Nations, Metis Settlements, or Inuit communities prior to tabling the bill, including, for each consultation, the (i) type of meeting (in person, Zoom conference, etc.), (ii) names and titles of attendees, including who they represented, if applicable, (iii) date, (iv) location?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice, with the support of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, has published a “What We Learned” report that is responsive to Q-683. The report can be found at www.justice.gc.ca/eng/declaration/wwl-cna/index.html. As described in the report, a series of engagement sessions were held with first nations, Inuit and Métis leaders, modern treaty signatories, regional indigenous organizations, indigenous women’s organizations and indigenous youth. These meetings were held virtually over the Zoom conference platform, largely between September 30 and November 6, 2020. The list of indigenous partners and groups that participated is also presented in the report.

Question No. 693--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) program: (a) why was the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) 2.0 proposed project denied funding to the UBF program; (b) which of the government’s objectives did the proposed SWIFT 2.0 fail to meet; and (c) with SWIFT projects being a solution to address competition issues in Southwestern Ontario between Internet Service Providers (ISPs), how can SWIFT be a partner in achieving the government’s goal of having 98 per cent of Canadians access high speed internet?
Response
Ms. Gudie Hutchings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), since 2015, the Government of Canada has made $6.2 billion available for rural and remote Internet infrastructure to help ensure all Canadians have access to fast and reliable Internet, no matter where they live. With the proposed budget 2021, the now $2.75-billion universal broadband fund, UBF, will help the government achieve its goal of connecting 98% of Canadians to broadband by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030.
The UBF is an application-based program and therefore requires that a project application be submitted in order to receive funding. The Government of Canada cannot provide the level of detail requested on any particular applicant under the universal broadband fund without disclosing proprietary third party information provided in confidence, and treated confidentially by the applicant. The program received a number of applications for southwestern Ontario, and announcements of successful projects under the rapid response stream are already under way. These projects can be found on the universal broadband website: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/00021.html. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is still finalizing its assessment of rapid response stream applications and has begun assessing applications received under the “core” UBF. More announcements are forthcoming.
In response to (b), the Government of Canada and Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology, SWIFT, share the same objectives of connecting rural and remote Canadians to the broadband Internet they need. Through the building Canada fund’s small communities fund, the federal and provincial governments are each contributing $63.7 million to SWIFT for a $209-million project, to install 3,095 kilometres of fibre, targeting 50,000 households and businesses by 2024. The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that SWIFT and other partners will play in closing the digital divide in Ontario.
In response to (c), connectivity is a shared responsibility. While the Government of Canada is playing a leadership role by providing funding, it is imperative that all orders of government across Canada, as well as the private sector, Internet service providers and other stakeholders, lend support and resources to close the broadband gap and achieve the targets set out in Canada's connectivity strategy. The Government of Canada recognizes that a flexible and collaborative approach is important in engaging with provinces, territories and other partners to help achieve our goal of universal connectivity. SWIFT has already been an important leader and partner in this effort.

Question No. 695--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
With regard to the government’s decision to ban all pleasure craft in the Canadian Arctic Waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022: (a) why was the length of the ban not contingent upon vaccination levels of Canadians or related to vaccination requirements for those on-board the vessels; and (b) what role did the low level of Canadians vaccinated in January and February of 2021, due to the government’s inability to secure enough vaccines fast enough, have on the decision to extend the ban for an entire extra year?
Response
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, to minimize the introduction and spread of the COVID-19 virus in the marine mode, Transport Canada has chosen interim orders as the instrument of choice. In developing its interim orders, Transport Canada has worked in close collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and consulted broadly with other levels of government, health officials, transportation industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments and indigenous and Inuit peoples. Transport Canada developed these interim orders taking into consideration the health situation throughout the country at the time and advice provided by public health experts. One of the primary reasons interim orders were used is that they enable the Minister of Transport to apply appropriate temporary measures while retaining the ability to rescind the prohibitions if it is determined that the pandemic has substantially improved and that the prohibitions are no longer needed. To inform any such decision, Transport Canada will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada and local health authorities to monitor and assess the situation.

Question No. 698--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
With regard to the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and the $10 per day Child Care Prototype Site Evaluation: (a) when did the Government of British Columbia share the results of this evaluation with the Government of Canada; (b) what were the findings of the evaluation; (c) what were the recommendations; (d) how can the public access the full report, including the website address where the report may be downloaded from; and (e) what were the specific findings of the evaluation regarding the feasibility of $10 per day childcare?
Response
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian families with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. Budget 2021 has committed up to $30 billion over five years, with $8.3 billion every year, permanently, to build a high-quality, affordable, and accessible early learning and child care system across Canada. This funding will work towards cutting child care fees by 50% on average by the end of 2022, and achieving $10/day child care on average by 2026.
In response to (a), the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development contracted R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. to conduct an evaluation and analysis of the British Columbia universal child care prototype sites or $10-per-day child care pilot. This evaluation was funded by the provincial government. ESDC was not provided with an official copy of the report prior to its release.
In response to (b), (c), (d), and (e), the full report is publicly available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

Question No. 703--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operation HONOUR Tracking and Analysis System (OPHTAS) 2020's annual incident tracking report: (a) when was this report completed; (b) why was this report not published and released on the government’s website in the summer of 2020, in a similar timeline with the previous year’s reports; (c) who made the decision not to publish the document in the summer of 2020; (d) on what date was the Minister of National Defense or his office informed that the document would not be published in the summer of 2020, in line with the schedule of the previous years; (e) if the report has since been published, on what specific website is the document located; and (f) how is the OPHTAS report data fused with other department of National Defence or CAF reports, including the annual CAF Provost Marshall report, the Judge Advocate General Annual report, the Director General Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management annual report, and the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre annual report, in order to provide a consolidated view of sexual misconduct in the CAF?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, there is no room in the Canadian Armed Forces or the Department of National Defence for sexism, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, discrimination, harassment, or any other conduct that prevents the institution from being a truly welcoming and inclusive organization.
National Defence understands that a culture change within the Canadian Armed Forces is required to remove a culture of toxic behaviour and to create an environment where everyone is respected and valued, and can feel safe to contribute to the best of their ability.
To this end, the Minister of National Defence has appointed the Hon. Louise Arbour to lead an independent external comprehensive review of the culture and practices of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence. This review will provide recommendations aimed at addressing systemic issues and creating lasting culture change within the organization.
Additionally, the acting chief of the defence staff has appointed Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan to the newly created position of chief of professional conduct and culture, to lead efforts to promote culture change across the defence team, including the enhancement and consolidation of National Defence’s sexual misconduct tracking mechanisms. This will identify areas that require focused attention, and ensure that all reported incidents are addressed appropriately in a timely manner.
Through these actions, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will move to eliminate harmful attitudes and beliefs that have enabled misconduct and will create an environment where all feel welcome.
In response to part (a), the report was not finalized.
In response to part (b), challenges and delays caused by COVID-19 forced National Defence to adjust the development, approach, and timelines to the 2020 report’s data release.
In response to part (c), the normal release schedule for the annual Operation Honour sexual misconduct incident report is in the fall, using data pulled in the late spring from the Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS. The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions through the spring and fall of 2020 delayed the completion and release of the report.
Due to the delays in the process, the previous approach of relying on data gathered in the spring was considered no longer sufficient to provide an up-to-date overview of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Given the unexpected challenges and delays, the acting chief of the defence staff made the decision to combine the 2020 and 2021 reports.
In response to part (d), as there is no legislative requirement to release this report, revised timelines were not communicated formally to the Minister of National Defence.
In response to part (e), National Defence remains committed to openness and transparency, and will re-establish a regular reporting cycle for sexual misconduct incident data.
National Defence anticipates the release of the 2021 report in the fall of 2021, which will provide a comprehensive overview using data from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021.
In response to part (f), several organizations within National Defence, such as the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, the Judge Advocate General, the director general of integrated conflict and complaint management, and the sexual misconduct response centre, have databases that are designed to support their mandates. These databases may capture certain data related to sexual misconduct incidents, such as information on investigations, charges laid, and trials. This information is made available in these organizations’ annual reports.
The Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS, is the only database dedicated to tracking all sexual misconduct incidents reported through the chain of command. While there may be an intersection of sexual misconduct data in OPTHAS and other departmental databases, these databases are currently not linked, and a direct comparison of the information held within each cannot be made.
National Defence is working to integrate all databases that record data related to sexual misconduct. This project will help achieve a more consolidated picture of sexual misconduct data, while respecting the legal privacy and confidentiality requirements of the various databases.

Question No. 705--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
With regard to the processing of parents and grandparents applications in the 2020 intake by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada: (a) how many interest to sponsor forms were received; (b) how many of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates; (c) how many individuals have received invitations to apply; (d) how many applications have been (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, (iv) processed; and (e) what is the current processing time?
Response
Hon. Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 209,174 interest to sponsor forms were received.
In response to (b), 5,961 of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates.
In response to (c), IRCC can confirm that the department sent out more invitations to apply, ITAs, than the target in order to come close to receiving 10,000 complete applications for the 2020 year.
In response to (d)(i), IRCC can confirm that enough applications were submitted to reach the annual cap of 10,000 complete applications for 2020.
IRCC cannot publicly release the number of ITAs that were sent for the 2020 parents and grandparents, PGP, process, as the data figures reveal a technique, which is applicable to paragraph 16(1)(b) under the ATIP act, which could compromise future ITA PGP processes.
In response to (d)(ii), (d)(iii) and (d)(iv), zero applications have been approved, refused, or processed, as processing from the 2020 cohort has not started. IRCC cannot release the figure for how many applications have been submitted for PGP 2020, as, at this point in time, completeness checks have not been completed.
In response to (e), the current processing times for permanent residence applications for the parents and grandparents category from April 2020 to March 31, 2021 is 28 months.

Question No. 715--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to the implementation of Orders in Council entitled “Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other Than the United States)” and Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation): (a) what specific direction was given to border agents regarding new and modified Order in Council provisions directly from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or his staff; (b) what procedure was followed ensuring the Orders in Council’s proper enforcement by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents; and (c) what specific direction was given to CBSA agents regarding non-application – requirement to quarantine, specifically for persons who must enter Canada regularly to go to their normal place of employment or to return from their normal place of employment in the United States?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, works in close co-operation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, to implement and operationalize the travel restrictions and public health measures at the port of entry. The measures that have been implemented are layered, and together, aim to reduce the risk of the importation and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of concern of the virus related to international travel.
The regulatory framework that has been developed to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at the border is complex. At time of seeking entry, the CBSA officers are required to consider various facts and make multiple decisions related to a single traveller.
While the border services officers, BSOs, are focusing on the eligibility to enter under an order, as well as their public health requirements, they are also assessing all relevant obligations under other acts or regulations including their admissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The CBSA has issued a number of operational bulletins, shift briefing bullets, annexes and job aids to support officers in the decision-making process. As the orders in council, OICs have evolved over time, so has the guidance issued to frontline officers.
All guidance is point in time and is updated on an ongoing basis as more clarity is required, or where there are changes to the OICs. The CBSA and PHAC regularly consult on interpretations of restrictions and public health measures and collaborate on adjustments and improvements where issues have been identified.
With regard to part (b), every day, BSOs make over 35,000 decisions across the country and those decisions are made based on all laws and information made available to the BSO at the time of entry. To facilitate decision-making, the CBSA provides support to frontline BSOs through operational guideline bulletins, 24-7 live support access and regular case reviews. In addition, the CBSA conducts detailed technical briefings prior to the implementation of new or amended OICs to support the accurate implementation of new provisions and ensure clarity for frontline employees. The CBSA has also established a process to monitor decisions made by BSOs as they relate to the application of OICs for essential service providers and will continue to make adjustments or review the CBSA operational guidance to BSOs, as required. If the CBSA discovers that an incorrect assessment has been made at the border, it works with PHAC to rectify the situation.
With regard to part (c), the operational guidance referenced in the response to part (a) of this Order Paper question includes passages specific to cross-border workers and how specific public health requirements within the OICs may apply in these circumstances.
More specifically, in those instances, when assessing whether an exemption may apply, BSOs have been instructed to remain mindful of the following points. The traveller must be able to demonstrate that their purpose of crossing was specific to attending their normal place of employment. “Regular” is typically interpreted to mean daily or weekly, but a person able to establish a regular pattern of travel for this purpose could qualify. This exemption applies to persons who must cross the border regularly to go to their normal place of employment on either side of the Canada-U.S. border. There may be some circumstances where travel to another country could qualify, e.g., weekly or biweekly travel required. Those who are looking to establish that they must cross regularly must demonstrate to an officer that they will be crossing on a regular basis going forward when being processed. If the cross-border work involves medical care for persons over age 65, i.e., nurses, home care specialists, pharmacists etc., an individual request outlining the precautionary public health measures intended for interaction with this older age group must be submitted for determination of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
Officers are trained to reach a decision on the basis of the entirety of the information made available to them over the course of an interaction with a traveller. As such, information and circumstances beyond the items listed above will be considered by BSOs when determining a traveller’s admissibility to Canada, as well as in relation to any applicable exemptions from public health requirements.
Furthermore, in an effort to assist cross-border workers who by virtue of their employment are required to enter Canada regularly, the CBSA has also published guidelines on its website.

Question No. 720--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the Greener Homes initiative that was announced in the Fall Economic Statement, but is still not available for applications and has had a message on its website to come back in the coming weeks for months: (a) when will the program launch; (b) how will the retroactivity be implemented; (c) what will happen to people who believed they were eligible, but due to the lack of application information were denied; and (d) why was there such a major delay in opening this program?
Response
Mr. Marc Serré (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada greener homes grant initiative, announced in the fall economic statement, launched on May 27, 2021.
With regard to part (b), to be eligible for retroactive payment, homeowners must document their retrofit journey and are asked to keep copies of all invoices both for the EnerGuide home evaluation and for their retrofit work. The home energy adviser will take before and after photos. Homeowners can access the online portal to register and submit this information for reimbursement, provided the retrofit measures undertaken are on the list of eligible measures.
With regard to part (c), to be eligible for reimbursement, participants in the Canada greener homes grant initiative must obtain an EnerGuide home evaluation before the retrofit and then a post-retrofit evaluation once retrofit work is completed. Call centre operators and program officers are available to help homeowners navigate the program’s eligibility requirements. Should the homeowner not be eligible for reimbursement under the Canada greener homes grant initiative, program officers can assist in identifying other federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and/or regional programs for which the homeowner may be eligible.
With regard to part (d), in the fall economic statement, the government committed to launching the Canada greener homes grant initiative during the spring of 2021. Government officials have been working in an expeditious manner since this announcement and the Canada greener homes grant initiative launched during the spring of 2021 as announced.

Question No. 721--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the $2.3 billion over five years announced in Budget 2021 for conservation: (a) when will the ‘thousands of jobs’ be created; (b) where will the 1 million square kilometers of land be located; (c) has all the land been located; (d) have lands under provincial jurisdiction been identified and have provincial governments agreed; (e) what is the cost breakdowns for funds earmarked for partnerships with indigenous peoples; and (f) what is the total cost breakdown for how exactly this money will be spent?
Response
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), millions of jobs rely on nature, including those in farming, fishing, forestry and tourism. Investment in conservation, therefore, is also an economic opportunity.
Over the course of the next five years, the work announced in budget 2021 will generate jobs in nature conservation and management for Canadians. Arising out of partnerships with provincial and territorial jurisdictions and indigenous governments, organizations and/or communities, these jobs will be distributed across all regions of Canada, including in rural and remote areas and indigenous communities.
With regard to parts (b), (c) and (d), the government is currently working to finalize a concrete and ambitious approach that would achieve protection of 25% of land and oceans by 2025, and set the stage for 30% by 2030. While not all of the specific locations are yet identified, we continue to engage with provinces and territories, indigenous organizations, foundations, the private sector and non-profit conservation organizations to get their views on how it can work together to achieve these ambitious targets. Specific efforts are ongoing and we will continue to work with provinces and territories to find mutually beneficial approaches to conserving land and addressing species at risk and biodiversity loss.
The government is aware of specific landscapes and waterscapes that have been included in provincial, territorial and municipal land use planning, and other protected areas systems plans including the Natural Areas Systems Plan in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Plan Nord in Quebec, the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan in the Yukon, the Living Legacy protected areas plan in Ontario, and Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan, among others.
Parks Canada will continue work to complete negotiations with provincial and indigenous governments for the establishment of two new national park reserves in the South Okanagan-Similkameen, British Columbia, and in the coastal barrier islands of the Sandhills, Hog Island area, Prince Edward Island, and to identify and assess additional national parks with an emphasis on unrepresented regions and natural areas of importance to indigenous communities.
With regard to part (e), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board, including funds earmarked for the indigenous guardians program and other indigenous partnerships.
The indigenous guardians program is a good example. Building upon the work initiated in budget 2017, which allocated $25 million over five years for an indigenous guardians program, budget 2021 provides additional resources to continue supporting indigenous peoples in opportunities to exercise responsibility in stewardship of their traditional lands, waters and ice, including preventing priority species at imminent risk of disappearing. The indigenous guardians program supports indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between Canadian landscape and indigenous culture.
Once these final allocations are confirmed, ECCC and Parks Canada will work in partnership with indigenous governance bodies to allocate resources and identify particular projects moving forward.
With regard to part (f), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board.

Question No. 723--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the commitment on page 305 of Budget 2021 to implement a “Tax on Unproductive Use of Canadian Housing by Foreign Non-resident Owners”: (a) how many internal memos, presentations, or other similar type of documents were created by the government or hired consultants on this proposed tax; (b) of the documents in (a), what are their titles and when were they dated; (c) in which internal documents and when was it “estimated that this measure will increase federal revenues by $700 million over four years”; (d) what methodology was used to establish the $700 million figure in (c); (d) on what date will the promised consultation paper for stakeholders be released and to which stakeholders will it be distributed; and (e) how many days is the stakeholder consultation period scheduled to take place and on what date will it (i) begin, (ii) conclude?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to implement a national, annual 1% tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or underused, effective January 1, 2022. The government indicated that it will release a consultation paper in the coming months to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the parameters of the proposed tax. The government also indicated that, moving forward, it intends to work closely with provinces, territories and municipalities.
With regard to part (a), one internal memo was prepared by the department in relation to the proposal announced in budget 2021.
With regard to part (b), the title of the memo referred to in part (a) was “Tax on Underused Housing” and was dated in 2021.
With regard to part (c), the fiscal impact of the proposal was estimated when planning for budget 2021 and was presented in internal budget documents.
With regard to part (d), the fiscal impact was calculated by applying a 1% tax on the estimated value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate considered to be vacant or underused. The value of the proposed tax base was estimated using Statistics Canada data on foreign-owned properties and residential property values, as well as information on British Columbia’s speculation and vacancy tax.
With regard to part (e), the date of the release of a backgrounder has not yet been determined. However, budget 2021 indicated that the document would be released in the coming months.
With regard to part (f), while the length of the consultation period has not been established, it would not be uncommon for consultations on proposals such as these to be open for public comment for 60 days.
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Lib. (QC)

Question No. 667--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
With regard to the RCMP's Auxiliary Program for the K Division: (a) has a decision been made related to the resumption of allowing (i) tier two volunteers, (ii) tier three volunteers; (b) if the answer to (a)(i) or (ii) is affirmative, (i) what was the decision, (ii) when was the decision made, (iii) who was informed of the decision, (iv) was the decision communicated to the public, and, if so, how; (c) if the answer to (a)(i) or (ii) is negative, (i) when will the decision be made, (ii) what criteria are being used to make the decision; and (d) which organizations and individuals outside of the RCMP have been consulted in relation to these decisions?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), (i) no decision has been made specific to tier 2; (ii) tier 3 volunteers were approved pending the drafting and signing of a memorandum of understanding.
In response to (b), (i) the Alberta RCMP, in consultation with the Government of Alberta, decided to allow the resumption of the usage of tier 3 volunteers, pending the drafting and signing of a memorandum of understanding; (ii) November 14, 2019; (iii) the Government of Alberta; (iv) in the absence of a memorandum of understanding, this decision was not released publicly. However, Albertan communities that have inquired about the status of the auxiliary program have been advised that the program remains in abeyance until a mutually acceptable position on insurance liability is reached.
In response to (c), the decision will be made after the signing of a new memorandum of understanding.
In response to (d), no outside organizations were consulted except for the Government of Alberta, which is our contract partner.

Question No. 668--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the government report entitled "2018 Export Development Canada Legislative Review" presented in July 2019, which contains 64 findings: (a) what actions is the government taking to reform Export Development Canada (EDC) in light of this report; (b) with respect to finding 51, will the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to cause EDC to observe the higher disclosure standard expected by stakeholders; (c) with respect to finding 53, will the minister propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to (i) establish a standard to be used by EDC in its assessment of companies’ human rights and environmental performance, (ii) require that EDC undertake due diligence to assess the human rights, environmental and corruption risks associated with transactions and companies, (iii) prohibit EDC from supporting corporate activity that causes or contributes to human rights violations or significant environmental damage; and (d) with respect to finding 55, will the minister propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to ensure that EDC’s business is conducted in a way that supports Canada in achieving its international commitments to reduce emissions in the fight against climate change, including by prohibiting EDC from supporting (i) projects that would increase extraction of coal, oil and gas, (ii) companies who rely significantly on coal for their operations, (iii) companies whose primary business is the export of coal, oil and gas?
Response
Ms. Rachel Bendayan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) to (d), the “2018 Export Development Canada Legislative Review” report was tabled in Parliament on June 20, 2019. The report has not yet been reviewed by a parliamentary committee. However, Export Development Canada, EDC, and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade have taken measures that address the key findings of the report.
EDC has developed an ambitious new human rights policy built on the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights. With this policy, EDC became the first Canadian commercial banking institution to release a dedicated human rights policy. The policy commits EDC to conduct transaction-related human rights due diligence taking a risk-based approach; use its leverage to influence customers’ practice and enable remediation for human rights impacts; communicate with stakeholders in good faith; track and report human rights procedures, practices and performance; and use its influence to encourage stronger human rights practices from peers and customers.
To build on this approach, in 2021, the minister asked EDC to enhance its activities with respect to disclosure standards, responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility in her annual statement of accountabilities, SPA, letter to the chair of Export Development Canada. The minister specifically requested EDC to strengthen its accessibility of information for stakeholders and Canadians and continue to model its human rights policy on industry-accepted best practices and collaborate with corporate social responsibility, CSR, leaders. EDC is committed to upholding rigorous standards of responsible business conduct, RBC, and using its influence to promote RBC within the business community.
EDC has been equally active in strengthening its policies and activities with respect to climate change. In its new 2019 climate change policy, EDC committed to fully end its support to coal and coal-related sectors; measure, monitor, and set targets to reducing the carbon intensity of its lending portfolio; increase transparency around climate-related risks and opportunities, including fully implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, TCFD; and integrate climate-related considerations, such as carbon intensity, into its risk assessment process.
Since the adoption of this policy, EDC set a carbon target to reduce support to carbon-intensive industries by 15% of 2018 levels by 2023. EDC met this target two years early and is currently working to establish a new and more ambitious target. At the same time, EDC has emerged as Canada’s largest financier of the clean technology sector, providing $4.55 billion of support to Canada’s clean technology sector in 2020.
As with human rights, climate change issues have been a ministerial priority, as indicated in the SPA letter guidance to the chair of EDC’s board of directors. Specifically, in 2021, the minister has asked that EDC scale up and report on its climate change solutions; update its climate change policy to further align investments across its portfolio with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement; end its financial support to international transactions in the oil and gas sector involving foreign companies; and fully consider and evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change considerations as a key aspect of its transaction due diligence.
In addition to responding to the findings of the legislative review, the government continues to develop policies to strengthen EDC’s support of Canadian exporters while upholding Canadian values and human rights. Budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to work with Export Development Canada to enhance supports to small and medium-sized exporters and to strengthen human rights considerations in export supports. The government may propose amendments to the Export Development Act.

Question No. 670--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to the COVID-19 vaccine contracts that Canada has with seven vaccine manufacturers: (a) which of the contracts contain transparency clauses similar to the one found in the UK-AstraZeneca vaccine contract, section 17.13, which allow for the disclosure of information to government bodies, including Parliament, parliamentary committees and any parliamentary reporting requirements; and (b) what are the details of all such clauses, broken down by manufacturer?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, PSPC cannot disclose details of specific vaccine agreements unilaterally. This includes the confidentiality clauses since they are part of the agreements themselves. We continue to have discussions with suppliers about opportunities to share information publicly.

Question No. 671--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to the COVID-19 vaccine contracts that the government has with seven vaccine manufacturers, including the recently signed contract with Pfizer for booster shots: (a) what is the cost per vaccine dose, broken down by contract and manufacturer; and (b) what specific remedies are available to the government when manufacturers do not meet their contractual obligations, and which, if any, of the remedies have been pursued, broken down by manufacturer?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, PSPC cannot disclose details of specific vaccine agreements unilaterally. This includes the confidentiality clauses, since they are part of the agreements themselves. We continue to have discussions with suppliers about opportunities to share information publicly.

Question No. 674--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to legal expenses incurred by the government that are related to lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome: what are the total legal expenses incurred to date, broken down by case?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to legal expenses incurred by the government that are related to lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome, to the extent that the information that has been requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege, and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs, as defined below.
The total legal costs, actual and notional costs, associated with the lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome amount to approximatively $437,000. The services targeted here are litigation services provided, in these cases, by the Department of Justice, as well as litigation support services. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and therefore no legal fees are incurred for their services. A “notional amount” can, however, be provided to account for the legal services they provide. The notional amount is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable approved internal legal services hourly rates. Actual costs represent file-related legal disbursements paid by the Department of Justice and then cost-recovered from client departments or agencies. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of April 28, 2021.

Question No. 680--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to the registration and deregistration of businesses in Canada since January 1, 2016: (a) how many businesses have deregistered, broken down by month and region or city; (b) of the businesses in (a), how many employees are listed as working at each business, broken down by region or city; (c) how many businesses have registered, broken down by month and region or city; and (d) of the businesses in (c), how many employees are listed as working at each business, broken down by region or city?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Innovation, Science and Economic Development undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine what would fall within the scope of information collected by federal sources and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. We concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question from federal sources is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information. In addition, some of the information requested would have required direct contact with provincial jurisdictions.
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CPC (ON)

Question No. 641--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to signed or amended contracts for COVID-19 vaccines entered into by the government with Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Covavax, Medicago, Verity Pharmaceuticals Inc. & Serum Institute of India, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson: (a) broken down by manufacturer, what are the details of how each contract was negotiated and signed, including the (i) date signed, (ii) start and end date of the contract, (iii) name of the government’s lead negotiator, (iv) name of the government’s contracting officer, (iv) name of the departments and agencies that took part in the negotiations, (v) name of the specific divisions of each department or agency that took part in the negotiations, (vi) name of ministers or exempt staff that took part in the negotiations; and (b) how many contracts were signed with each manufacturer?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada’s vaccine planning began in April 2020, when the government created the COVID-19 task force. These experts were asked to provide advice based on a review of the emerging science and technology from the companies developing vaccines to combat COVID-19.
The task force began identifying the most promising vaccine candidates in June 2020. It advised that the best approach was to diversify supply as much as possible with different types of vaccine platforms, based on the solutions that looked most likely to work and could be delivered the fastest.
Based on the task force’s recommendations, the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, decided which vaccines to buy. A vaccine procurement team, led by Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, was assembled to undertake the negotiations.
As with all government contracting processes, the work was carried out by government officials. The procurement team reported directly to the PSPC deputy minister, Bill Matthews. As with all major procurement projects, a multi-disciplinary approach was taken with different resources and expertise brought in as needed. The team included, among others, the contracting authority, subject matter experts, including scientists, legal advisers and auditors as well as the client.
Canada built its vaccine portfolio through advance purchase agreements, APA. APAs have the obligations of a contract, while being structured to allow flexibility given uncertainties around the development of new vaccines. The first two agreements, with Moderna and Pfizer, were announced in August 2020, followed by agreements over the next three months with Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Medicago. In February 2021, a contract with Verity Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc./Serum Institute of India was announced.
In most cases, initial agreements were signed through memorandums of understanding and term sheets to secure access to an early vaccine supply for Canada, while providing time for the regulatory process and to work through complex terms and conditions with the manufacturers. Given the unknowns regarding regulatory approvals, production capacity and supply chains, it was impossible to establish detailed delivery schedules at the time agreements were negotiated. Instead, the agreements include quarterly delivery targets that were determined based on anticipated supply.
As each company has different negotiation strategies and corporate policies, securing every agreement required a unique and complex approach. As a common element, all agreements required initial investments with the vaccine manufacturers to support vaccine development, testing, and at-risk manufacturing.
Within the framework of the contracts, Canada has sought ways to secure quicker deliveries of vaccines. In December 2020, PSPC secured early doses from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, with vaccines arriving in Canada weeks earlier than originally forecast. The government also negotiated an accelerated delivery schedule with Pfizer-BioNTech to deliver millions more doses than originally scheduled between April and September 2021.

Question No. 642--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to the government’s response to Order Paper question Q-402, which stated that a negotiating team was assembled in June 2020 with regard to the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines: (a) who were the original members of the negotiating team; (b) what is the current configuration of the negotiating team; and (c) what are the details of any changes made to the membership of the negotiating team, including the names and dates when each member was added or taken off of the negotiation team?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada’s vaccine planning began in April 2020, when the government created the COVID-19 vaccine task force. This team of experts was asked to provide advice based on a review of the emerging science and technology from the companies racing to develop vaccines to combat COVID-19.
Based on the task force’s recommendations, the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, decided which vaccines to buy. A vaccine procurement team, led by Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, was assembled to negotiate with vaccine suppliers.
The team included, among others, the contracting authority, subject matter experts, legal advisers and the client. A multi-disciplinary approach was deployed, with different resources and expertise brought in as needed as the discussions evolved.

Question No. 646--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to the use of cryptocurrency or digital currency as a means of payment and the revenue generated from the government's requirement to collect sales taxes on those purchases, broken down by year, since 2016: (a) how much Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) revenue did the government receive from goods or services purchased using a digital currency such as Bitcoin; (b) what is the government's estimate of the total value of purchases made by Canadians using a digital currency; and (c) what percentage of the value of purchases in (b) does the government estimate it received GST/HST payments from?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the goods and services tax, GST, and harmonized sales tax, HST, system does not track the amount of GST/HST collected by type of transaction, i.e., the GST/HST associated with the sale of any particular good or service, or whether that purchase was paid for with cash, credit card, debit card or other means of payment. Suppliers are generally required to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency the GST/HST collected on their total taxable sales for all types of transactions. As such, the government does not have information on the amount of GST/HST that would have been collected since 2016 on transactions using cryptocurrency or digital currency as a means of payment.
In response to (b), the GST/HST system does not track transactions. As noted in (a), suppliers are generally required to remit the GST/HST collected on their total taxable sales.
In response to (c), for the reasons noted in the responses to questions (a) and (b), the government does not have information available to respond to this question.

Question No. 650--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Businesses, signed since January 1, 2016, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government agency: (a) how many have been awarded by the mandatory set aside; (b) how many have been awarded under the voluntary set aside; (c) what is the total value of each contract; (d) what are the details of all such contracts, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of services; (e) what is the percentage of total contracts; and (f) what is the value of the total contracts awarded by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government agency?
Response
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the data below includes the procurement strategy for aboriginal businesses, PSAB, contracts from Open Canada that have been validated against the vendors in the indigenous business directory by Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC. It also includes contracts under $10,000 that were provided to PSPC by departments and agencies. For the years 2017 and 2018, the response also includes contracts from PSPC financial systems data not included in Open Canada. Please note that the data is a snapshot and may not accurately reflect the actuals.
ISC and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat have worked together to update reporting guidelines for departments, which now include providing this information. Implementation of these guidelines will take effect on January 1, 2022.
ISC has not received the data for 2019 and 2020 and therefore producing and validating a comprehensive response to these question for the years 2019 and 2020 is not possible in the time allotted, and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), PSAB contracts, mandatory and voluntary are as follows: 2016: $99,013,923; 2017: $128,613,588; and 2018: $170,634,262.
ISC does not have the data that includes the breakdown between mandatory and voluntary set aside, we currently only have data on total value for set-asides.
With regard to parts (c) and (d), all departments and agencies subject to the contracting policy are required to publish reports on contracts issued or amended by or on behalf of the Government of Canada. They can be found at https://search.open.canada.ca/en/ct/.
With regard to part (e), in 2018, the total value of government procurement was valued at approximately $16 billion, with the majority of this captured through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Department of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement spending. Our government will be implementing further changes in the near future to continue to update and modernize PSAB with the intent to increase procurement with indigenous businesses.
What follows is the total value to update and modernize PSAB with the intent to increase procurement with indigenous businesses and the total value of set-aside contracts versus total government procurement. For 2016, all contracts: $18,817,269,703, PSAB: $99,013,923, percentage of PSAB: 0.53%. For 2017, all contracts: $15,222,262,586, PSAB: $128,613,588, percentage of PSAB: 0.84%. For 2018, all contracts: $16,424,403,459, PSAB: $170,634,262, percentage of PSAB: 1.03%.
With regard to part (f), the value of the total contracts awarded by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government agency can be found at www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1618839672557/1618839696146.

Question No. 653--
Mr. Eric Duncan:
With regard to the decision announced by the government on the evening of April 22, 2021, to ban direct flights from India and Pakistan: (a) when did the government make the decision; (b) did the government inform the member from Surrey—Newton about the decision or pending decision prior to making the announcement public, and, if so, when was the member from Surrey—Newton informed; (c) did the government advise the member from Surrey—Newton to issue the tweet on April 21, 2021, encouraging Canadians travelling in India to consider coming home immediately; and (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, did the government provide any information to the member from Surrey—Newton, prior to April 22, 2021, which would indicate that a flight ban was likely forthcoming, and, if so, what are the details of the interaction?
Response
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), due to the high number of COVID-19 cases observed among air passengers arriving from India and Pakistan, Transport Canada, on the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, issued a NOTAM to suspend entry of flights, commercial and private passenger, from these countries, with the exception of cargo flights, effective April 22, 2021 for 30 days.
Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world. Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is guided by the latest science. Over the past few months, the Government of Canada introduced enhanced testing and quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Canada. These requirements include mandatory submission of contact, travel and quarantine information via ArriveCAN, pre-departure, for air, or pre-arrival, for land, testing, on-arrival testing and testing again later during the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
The PHAC monitors case data, and through mandatory testing upon entry into Canada, detected a disproportionally higher number of cases among individuals travelling on flights originating from India. Pakistan was consistently the second-highest contributor of cases. Given the high number of cases, the Government of Canada took additional measures: Transport Canada issued a notice to airmen, NOTAM, to suspend all commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, effective 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021; the Minister of Transport amended the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, which means that passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada after 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021, via an indirect route, need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
These measures help manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on Canada’s health care system.
In response to parts (b) to (d), Transport Canada has had no contact on this subject with the member of Parliament for Surrey-Newton. As part of the department’s usual process, we do not consult members of Parliament on safety or security decisions such as the issuance of a NOTAM.

Question No. 654--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program, broken down by harbour authority: (a) how much has been invested in the harbour authorities of Yarmouth and Digby Counties; and (b) how much will be invested over the next five years in the harbour authorities mentioned in (a)?
Response
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans small craft harbours program, broken down by harbour authority, in response to (a) and (b), the program does not track harbours or harbours authorities by county.

Question No. 655--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers (MISTFWP) program administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: (a) what is the rationale behind the eight month processing delay of the MISTFWP claim from Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft, British Columbia; (b) why is the Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food actively withholding payment for the completed claim cited in (a); (c) why is the minister directing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada staff to withhold payment, without providing any rationale to the applicant; and (d) on what date will Desert Hills Ranch be transferred the funds for their claim, completed July 2020, for 124 workers’ isolation support payments?
Response
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, is not in a position to share confidential third party information on specific files. However, a claim may be delayed for a variety of administrative reasons, including failure to comply with program parameters or incomplete claims documents. With respect to the mandatory isolation support for temporary foreign workers program, MISTFWP, in order to be eligible for funding, employers must comply with the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols, as well as any other public health order. They must also comply with all regulations of the temporary foreign worker program, TFWP, and/or the international mobility program for the duration of the mandatory 14-day isolation period. For example, employers must comply with regulations concerning wages and other employment conditions of the program or stream they used to hire their temporary foreign workers, such as the seasonal agricultural worker program and the TFWP.
Should AAFC become aware of an employer failing to meet these requirements, the recipient will no longer be eligible for the funding under the MISTFWP. Any amount already paid to the recipient will become repayable debts to the Crown.
In response to (b), as noted in our response to (a), the AAFC may not share confidential third party information. However, in general, a program payment is only withheld in the event that claimants are not compliant with their obligations under the contribution agreement or have failed to meet their related legal obligations. A claim will be suspended until such time as the department can confirm compliance with the federal and provincial partners involved in compliance and enforcement, such as Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Passport Canada, Public Health, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In response to (c), a payment may be withheld if there is a compliance issue. Any specific information related to this file is confidential. However, in the event of an issue, in order to resolve any concern and determine if an employer meets all program eligibility criteria, AAFC would work closely with other federal and provincial government departments and agencies responsible for the management, compliance, and enforcement of the regulations in place regarding temporary foreign workers in Canada, including Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Passport Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Once complete, a payment will proceed if confirmation is received that the employer satisfies all eligibility criteria under the MISTFWP.
In response to (d), payments will be issued once compliance with all eligibility criteria has been confirmed.

Question No. 657--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to foreign aid provided to entities outside of North America since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) what is the total amount of funding provided to entities outside of North America; (b) what is the total amount of funding provided to entities either based in or operating in Africa; (c) what are the details of all foreign aid funding provided to entities in Africa, including the (i) date of funding agreement, (ii) recipient, (iii) type of funding, (iv) location of recipient organization, (v) location where the funding was meant to benefit, (vi) purpose of funding or project description, (vii) amount of funding, (viii) agreement file number; (d) what is the total amount of funding provided to entities either based in or operating in Asia; (e) what are the details of all foreign aid funding provided to entities in Asia, including the (i) date of funding agreement, (ii) recipient, (iii) type of funding, (iv) location of recipient organization, (v) location where the funding was meant to benefit, (vi) purpose of funding or project description, (vii) amount of funding, (viii) agreement file number; (f) what is the total amount of funding provided to entities either based in or operating in Europe; and (g) what are the details of all foreign aid funding provided to entities in Europe, including the (i) date of funding agreement, (ii) recipient, (iii) type of funding, (iv) location of recipient organization, (v) location where the funding was meant to benefit, (vi) purpose of funding or project description, (vii) amount of funding, (viii) agreement file number?
Response
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
Canada's presence abroad includes 178 missions, comprised of embassies, consulates, high commissions and trade offices, and a number of permanent missions to international organizations in 110 countries. Global Affairs Canada undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. The information requested is not systematically tracked to the level of detail required to produce and validate a comprehensive response. A manual collection of information would be required and is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
Canada is committed to transparency and accountability and is among the world leaders in publishing open data on its international assistance. One of the many tools available through international assistance open data is the historical project data set, where the majority of the information requested can be found. The historical project data set publishes detailed information for each international assistance project for a given year in a database-friendly format. The information is detailed by country, sector, type of project, and partner organization. It also includes useful details about the specific characteristics of international assistance projects, such as tying status, partner type, policy objectives, and the modality used to deliver the international assistance.
International assistance open data is available at https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/priorities-priorites/open_data-donnees_ouvertes.aspx?lang=eng&_ga=2.250842310.1746972543. 1620232706-1440816363.1600970333.
The historical project data set is available at https://www.international.gc.ca/department-ministere/open_data-donnees_ouvertes/dev/historical_project-historiques_projets.aspx?lang=eng.

Question No. 658--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to Development Finance Institute Canada (FinDev) and their funding of Kenyan company M-KOPA, since January 1, 2018: (a) what is the total amount of funding provided to M-KOPA, broken down by type of funding (equity investment, grant, repayable loan, etc.); (b) how many jobs were projected to be created from the funding; (c) how many jobs were actually created; (d) on what date were FinDev officials made aware of M-KOPA’s firing of 150 staff after the company received the subsidy; (e) was there a review conducted by the government to determine what went wrong with this funding, and, if so, what were the results of the review; (f) on what date did the Minister of International Development first approve the M-KOPA funding; and (g) on what date did the Minister of International Development become informed that the company had fired 150 staff?
Response
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), FinDev Canada has invested a total of $12 million U.S., in two stages: in February 2018, a total investment of $10 million U.S., and in January 2020, another $2 million U.S.
In response to (b), at the time of FinDev Canada’s investment, M-KOPA’s business plan projected to double its workforce by 2023 to 1,600, creating 800 new direct jobs, and increase its direct sales representatives from 1,600 to 2,500.
In response to (c), since FinDev Canada’s initial investment, over 200 new direct jobs have been created to date. At the end of 2020, M-KOPA had increased its direct sales representatives by an additional 1,600 agents.
In response to (d), FinDev Canada did not provide a subsidy to M-KOPA. As mentioned in the response to question (a), FinDev Canada’s investment was made in February 2018. M-KOPA’s decision to reduce overhead and associated operating losses, including the closure of operations in Tanzania and the reduction of staff at its headquarters, started in November 2017.
FinDev Canada’s investment helped M-KOPA expand its business. As stated above, over 200 new direct jobs have been created to date. M-KOPA also contracts a commission-based salesforce, which grew from 3,400 agents in 2018 to 5,000 agents at the end of 2020, which represents an additional 1,600 agents.
In response to (e), no review was conducted by the government.
To date, FinDev Canada’s investment in M-KOPA has been successful in creating jobs and market development, empowering women through quality jobs and access to products and services that enhance their well-being, and helping mitigate the effects of climate change by avoiding CO2 emissions through increased access to clean energy.
An environmental and social risk management review, including an assessment of compliance and policy programs, was conducted as part of the due diligence process. Further, M-KOPA provided written assurances in the transaction documentation, in the form of representations and warranties, to the effect that M-KOPA is compliant in all material respects with all laws relating to employment, including in relation to wages. M-KOPA has also recently confirmed that it is fully compliant with applicable labour law across its principal markets in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Further due diligence was conducted by FinDev Canada in 2019, which fed into the recommendation for the follow-on investment noted above in the response to question (a).
In addition, FinDev Canada participates as an observer at the M-KOPA board meetings and engages as needed with M-KOPA management to review performance on a regular basis.
In response to (f), FinDev Canada’s investment in M-KOPA was approved by FinDev Canada’s board of directors on February 1, 2018.
The Minister of International Development is not involved in FinDev Canada’s decision-making process.
In response to (g), there was no formal communication to inform the Minister of International Development. The timing of the staff reductions in M-KOPA occurred in advance of FinDev Canada’s investment. The media coverage in the spring of 2018 did come to the attention of FinDev Canada and was shared with the appropriate government stakeholders.

Question No. 659--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
With regard to providing and administering COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals living on First Nations reserves in northern Manitoba: (a) how many doses did the government estimate were needed to cover all of the reserves in northern Manitoba; (b) how did the government come up with the estimate, including what specific data was used; and (c) how many doses have been sent to reserves in northern Manitoba as of April 26, 2021?
Response
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) and (b), as the administration of vaccination falls under the purview of each respective province or territory, the department does not have access to this information. However, Canada has a strong vaccine safety monitoring system that involves health care professionals, vaccine manufacturers, the provinces and territories, the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, and Health Canada. Significant coordination and planning around the vaccine rollout between partners, and provinces, territories and the federal government has occurred and vaccine administration is well under way in communities. To assist with the rollout in indigenous communities, a COVID-19 vaccine planning working group was established by ISC. This working group supports linkages between provinces and territories, PHAC and first nations, Inuit and Métis partners, and provides a space for exchange of information and advice to those responsible for vaccine planning and administration.
With regard to part (c), as of April 26, there were an estimated 40,750 total doses shipped for first nations in northern Manitoba through the following health authorities: Four Arrows, Island Lake communities, 4,430 doses; Northern Regional Health Authority, 18,120 doses; Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, 10,020 doses; Prairie Mountain Health Authority, 4,460 doses; and Southern Regional Health Authority, 3,720 doses.
An additional shipment of 6000 doses was scheduled for the following week.

Question No. 660--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
With regard to Canada's former ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton: on what date did he meet with John F. Stratton?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in August 2019, David MacNaughton completed his term as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States to take up a new challenge in the private sector. During his tenure, the former ambassador did not meet with John F. Stratton.

Question No. 662--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates entitled “Modernizing Federal Procurement for Small and Medium Enterprises, Women-Owned and Indigenous Businesses” which was presented in the House on June 20, 2018: (a) what is the current status of the government’s implementation of each of the 40 recommendations contained in the report, broken down by individual recommendation; and (b) for each recommendation that has not yet been implemented, what is the timeline for implementation?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, is delivering on government commitments to modernize and simplify procurement.
A broad range of initiatives have been identified in the government’s response to the report presented on October 18, 2018. The government continues to work on implementing the recommendations made by the committee, and is pleased to further outline progress to date. The initiatives can be seen at www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/OGGO/report-15/response-8512-421-444.
PSPC remains committed to modernizing procurement practices so they are simpler and less administratively burdensome. By implementing measures such as the electronic procurement solution, PSPC is taking actions to remove barriers that have prevented small businesses from participating in federal procurement. This includes implementing a simplified contract model, improving and making existing procurement tools more accessible to diverse suppliers, and expanding support to bidders with limited or no success bidding on government opportunities, from coaching service to personalized assistance.
Further, PSPC’s office of small and medium enterprises, OSME, provides assistance and advisory services to increase the participation of smaller and diverse businesses in federal procurement. Examples include supporting the Rise Up Pitch Competition, a Black women entrepreneurs pitch competition and program for entrepreneurs across Canada to join and receive support for their businesses, and ongoing webinars provided in partnership with the United Nations Decade of Persons of African Descent Push Coalition. The OSME also works with indigenous businesses directly, as well as through partner indigenous organizations, to provide awareness, education and assistance on how to participate in federal procurement
In addition, budget 2021 provides $87.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $18.6 million ongoing to modernize federal procurement and create opportunities for specific communities by diversifying the federal supplier base. Specifically, Public Services and Procurement Canada would implement a program focused on procuring from Black-owned businesses; continue work to meet Canada’s target of at least 5% of federal contracts being awarded to businesses managed and led by indigenous peoples; improve data capture, analytics and reporting of procurement; incorporate accessibility considerations into federal procurement, ensuring goods and services are accessible by design; and leverage supplier diversity opportunities through domestic procurement, such as running competitions open to businesses run by Canadians from equity-deserving groups.
On May 3, 2021, PSPC committed to provide an update on its procurement modernization activities to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, which is being prepared and will be provided to the committee shortly.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 629--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the federal investments and the communities that comprise the federal electoral district of Courtenay—Alberni, between the 2018-19 and current fiscal year: (a) what are the federal infrastructure investments, including direct transfers to the municipalities and First Nations, for the communities of (i) Tofino, (ii) Ucluelet, (iii) Port Alberni, (iv) Parksville, (v) Qualicum Beach, (vi) Cumberland, (vii) Courtenay, (viii) Deep Bay, (ix) Dashwood, (x) Royston, (xi) French Creek, (xii) Errington, (xiii) Coombs, (xiv) Nanoose Bay, (xv) Cherry Creek, (xvi) China Creek, (xvii) Bamfield, (xviii) Beaver Creek, (xix) Beaufort Range, (xx) Millstream, (xxi) Mt. Washington Ski Resort, broken down by (A) fiscal year, (B) total expenditure, (C) project, (D) total expenditure by fiscal year; (b) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the (i) Comox Valley Regional District, (ii) Nanaimo Regional District, (iii) Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, (iv) Powell River Regional District, broken down by (A) fiscal year, (B) total expenditure, (C) project, (D) total expenditure by fiscal year; (c) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the Island Trusts of (i) Hornby Island, (ii) Denman Island, (iii) Lasqueti Island, broken down by (A) fiscal year, (B) total expenditure, (C) project, (D) total expenditure by fiscal year; (d) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the (i) Ahousaht First Nation, (ii) Hesquiaht First Nation, (iii) Huu-ay-aht First Nation, (iv) Hupacasath First Nation, (v) Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, (vi) Toquaht First Nation, (vii) Tseshaht First Nation, (viii) Uchucklesaht First Nation, (ix) Ucluelet First Nation, (x) K'omoks First Nation, broken down by (A) fiscal year, (B) total expenditure, (C) projects, (D) total expenditure by fiscal year; (e) what are the federal infrastructure investments directed towards the Pacific Rim National Park, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) total expenditure, (iii) project, (iv) total expenditure by year; and (f) what are the federal infrastructure contributions to highways, including but not limited to, (i) Highway 4, (ii) Highway 19, (iii) Highway 19a, (iv) Bamfield Road, broken down by (A) fiscal year, (B) total expenditure, (C) total expenditure by fiscal year?
Response
Mr. Andy Fillmore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the federal investments and the communities that comprise the federal electoral district of Courtenay—Alberni, Infrastructure Canada does not track information by federal electoral district.
For information on projects funded under Infrastructure Canada’s contribution programs, members can visit http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/index-eng.html.

Question No. 630--
Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval:
With regard to Canada’s constitutional system: has the government produced, since January 1, 2015, any documents, studies, opinion polls, memos or scenarios exploring the possibility of a fundamental change to Canada’s constitutional system, including the abolition of the monarchy, and, if so, what are the (i) nature of the constitutional changes being considered, (ii) anticipated timeline for such a change, (iii) steps that might be taken to bring about such a change, (iv) concerns of the government with respect to the constitutional demands of the provinces?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government has not produced documents exploring in detail the possibility of a fundamental change to Canada’s constitutional system since January 1, 2015.

Question No. 631--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the government's advance-purchase agreements for COVID-19 vaccines, signed with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, and broken down by agreement: (a) what is the date on which each agreement was signed with (i) Pfizer Biotech, (ii) AstraZeneca, (iii) Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, (iv) Covavax, (v) Medicago, (vi) Verity Pharmaceuticals Inc. & Serum Institute of India, (vii) Moderna, (viii) Johnson & Johnson; (b) did the government secure (i) an upfront guarantee on pricing, (ii) distribution via funding, (iii) purchasing contracts; (c) what was the coming into force date; and (d) what is the agreement's end date?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) to date, the Government of Canada has signed nine agreements with vaccine suppliers, which include the following: i) an advance purchase agreement, APA, with Pfizer-BioNTech, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its mRNA-based vaccine, BNY162. The agreement in principle was signed on August 1, 2020; ii) an APA with AstraZeneca, which will supply 20 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate, AZD1222. The agreement in principle was signed on September 24, 2020; iii) an APA with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, which will supply up to 72 million of doses of their protein subunit vaccine candidate and AS03 adjuvant. The agreements were signed on September 11, 2020, and September 18, 2020, respectively; iv) an APA with AstraZeneca for the supply of Canada’s COVAX allocation of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This APA was signed on March 2, 2021; v) an APA with Medicago, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its virus-like particle vaccine candidate. The agreement in principle was signed on October 22, 2020; vi) a contract with Verity Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Serum Institute of India, which will supply up to two million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate, COVISHIELD. The contract was signed February 24, 2021; vii) an APA with Moderna, which will supply 44 million doses of its mRNA-based vaccine, mRNA-1273. The agreement was signed on July 24, 2020; viii) an APA with Johnson & Johnson, which will supply up to 38 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S. The agreement in principle was signed on August 21, 2020; and ix) an APA with Novavax, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its protein subunit vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. The agreement in principle was signed on August 27, 2020.
With regard to parts (b), (c) and (d), PSPC cannot disclose details of specific vaccine agreements unilaterally, in order to respect confidentiality agreements with suppliers and protect our negotiating position. We continue to have discussions with suppliers about opportunities to share information publicly.

Question No. 633--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the government's rentals of warehouses in or near Shanghai, China, since January 1, 2020: what are the details of each contract, including the (i) date signed, (ii) vendor or firm, (iii) contract value, (iv) purpose of the contract or reason for needing warehouse?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
Global Affairs Canada has issued two contracts for moving and storage services in or near Shanghai since January 1, 2020. Global Affairs Canada contracts over $10,000 are proactively disclosed. The two contracts have been proactively disclosed at:
https://search.open.canada.ca/en/ct/id/dfatd-maecd,C-2020-2021-Q1-00195 and https://search.open.canada.ca/en/ct/id/dfatd-maecd,C-2020-2021-Q1-00198.

Question No. 636--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the Canadian Passport Order, since November 4, 2015, in order to prevent the commission of any act or omission referred to in subsection 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code: how many passports has the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (i) refused, (ii) revoked, (iii) cancelled, broken down by month?
Response
Hon. Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, since 2015, in order to prevent the commission of any act or omission referred to in subsection 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code, there have been, in response to (i), eight refusals to issue a passport in accordance with subsection 9(2) of the Canadian Passport Order; and, in response to (ii) and (iii), 13 revocations/cancellations in accordance with subsection 9(2), subsection 10(1) and paragraph 11.1(1)(a) of the Canadian Passport Order.

Question No. 638--
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall:
With regard to fraudulent or suspected fraud cases related to the COVID-19 relief programs discovered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and concerns that these cases are not being referred to the RCMP: (a) excluding instances where spouses share bank accounts, how many instances is the CRA aware of where the same bank account number has been used in applications from multiple individuals, or fraudsters claiming to be multiple individuals; (b) in how many instances in (a) did the CRA (i) stop the payment, (ii) make the payment without verifying the authenticity of the application and knowing it was suspicious, (iii) verify the authenticity of the application; (c) how many cases is the CRA aware where the same bank account has been used for more than (i) five, (ii) 10, (iii) 25, (iv) 50, (v) 100 applications; (d) who at the CRA is responsible for ensuring that this type of suspected fraud is reported to the RCMP for investigation; and (e) how many fraudulent or suspected fraud cases related to COVID-19 relief programs has the CRA referred to the RCMP, since March 1, 2020, broken down by month and by program?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in considering this question, it is important to note that there may be legitimate reasons why multiple individuals may have used one bank account on their emergency benefit applications. This criteria in and of itself does not demonstrate suspicious nor fraudulent activity. While the CRA cannot disclose specific bank account verification procedures, a bank account is deemed acceptable to receive payments only if it meets specific validation criteria.
The CRA routinely monitors accounts for suspicious activity to detect, prevent and address potential instances of fraud, unauthorized use of stolen CRA user IDs and passwords, and unauthorized access to taxpayers’ accounts. The CRA combines advanced data analytics and business intelligence gathered from many sources, including law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and leads, to support these efforts.
As soon as the CRA becomes aware of an alleged incident of identity fraud or suspects an account could be the target of a fraudster, it takes immediate precautionary measures on the client’s account such as locking it to prevent transactions, conducting in-depth reviews and contacting the potential victims.
Where appropriate, the CRA works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, CAFC, financial institutions and local police to investigate the incident. In some cases, the CRA will also provide the taxpayer with credit protection and monitoring services.
The CRA has robust systems and tools in place to monitor, detect and investigate potential threats, and to mitigate threats when they occur. Throughout the lifespan of the COVID-19 relief programs, the CRA has adapted and has introduced new measures and controls to address suspicious activity. Safeguards are embedded within the application processes to verify an applicant’s eligibility. The CRA has implemented additional controls requiring closer scrutiny of certain applications before they are processed.
With regard to part (a), the breadth of data to be analyzed to answer this question and the evolving nature over time of taxpayer direct deposit bank accounts would require extensive analysis that would not be possible to complete within the prescribed time frames under Standing Order 39(5)(a) and may yield inaccurate results; therefore, the CRA is unable to respond in the manner requested. The CRA can confirm that, once a specific bank account is confirmed as being used for suspicious or fraudulent activities, a block is put in place to prevent future payments from being emitted to that account.
With regard to part (b)(i), establishing fraud is the outcome of investigative work and analysis. Each case must be reviewed and the investigative work concludes with a confirmation of the presence of unauthorized use of taxpayer information, fraud, or the case is determined not to be founded. As the CRA’s investigative work is still ongoing, it would be premature to confirm or comment on the number of fraud cases related to the COVID-19 economic relief measures or any amounts associated to them at this time.
With regard to part (b)(ii) and (iii), the CRA has controls to block suspicious applications meeting high-risk indicators from processing. Safeguards are embedded within the suite of COVID-19 relief programs application processes to stop the processing of questionable or suspicious applications until such time that the applicant has provided supporting documents to prove their identity and eligibility to prevent the issuance of unwarranted payments and to validate high-risk applications.
The CRA does not release specific information related to its review strategies, as releasing this information could jeopardize its compliance activities and the integrity of Canada’s tax system.
With regard to part (c), the breadth of data to be analyzed to answer this question and the evolving nature over time of taxpayer direct deposit bank accounts would require extensive analysis that would not be possible to complete within the prescribed time frames under Standing Order 39(5)(a) and may yield inaccurate results; therefore, the CRA is unable to respond in the manner requested.
With regard to part (d), the criminal investigations program of the CRA is responsible for referring suspected fraud cases related to the COVID-19 relief programs to the RCMP.
With regard to part (e), in order to ensure the integrity of ongoing investigations, the CRA does not comment on or provide details on ongoing investigations or referrals tied to investigations.
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Lib. (ON)

Question No. 623--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to contracts entered into between the Leaders’ Debates Commission and the GreenPAC Future Fund since January 1, 2019: (a) what are the details of all contracts including (i) the date signed, (ii) the original contract value, (iii) the final contract value, if different than the original value, (iv) the start and end date, (v) the specific goods or services provided, (vi) whether the contract was sole-sourced or competitively bid; and (b) in the interest of neutrality, does the Leader’s Debates Commission have a policy against entering into contracts with registered third parties, and, if so, why was such a policy not applied when awarding the contracts in (a)?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to contracts entered into between the Leaders’ Debates Commission, or LDC, and the GreenPAC Future Fund since January 1, 2019, the response from LDC is as follows. The response to (a) is as follows: (i) October 3, 2019; (ii) $26,500; (iii) $26,500; (iv) October 3, 2019 – March 31, 2020; (v) The contractor provided services to contribute to the LDC’s evaluation of the leaders’ debates organized by the commission, and to the commission’s report to Parliament. In particular, the contractor was mandated to design, implement and distribute surveys for local debate organizers and for local debate attendees. These surveys included questions relating to respondents' views on the local debates, as well as the national leaders' debates; (vi) sole-sourced.
In response to (b), the commission does not have a policy against entering into contracts with registered third parties. The fact that an organization has a contractual arrangement with the commission for specific deliverables does not impede its ability to register under the Canada Elections Act. The contractor was required to adhere to the Government of Canada’s definition of non-partisan communications in the carrying out of the contract deliverables.
The commission’s decision-making is guided by the pursuit of public interest and by the principles of independence, impartiality, transparency, creditability, democratic citizenship, civic education, inclusion and cost-effectiveness.

Question No. 626--
Mr. Mark Strahl:
With regard to the implementation of amendments to the Canada Labour Code adopted by the adoption of Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: (a) has an harassment policy compliant with the Canada Labour Code, as it applied on January 1, 2021, and the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations been developed and, if so, on what date; and (b) if the response in (a) is negative, or if the date in (a) is after January 1, 2021, why was the deadline not met?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, TBS released the new “Directive on the Prevention and Resolution of Workplace Harassment and Violence”, available at https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=32671, in December 2020 in line with recent changes to the Canada Labour Code that apply to all federally regulated workplaces. The comprehensive directive requires organizations to better prevent and respond to harassment, and to provide support to those affected by harassment and violence in the federal public service. It also requires organizations to investigate, record and report all complaints of harassment and violence within their organizations.
As heads of their organizations, deputy ministers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their employees, including developing targeted policies on workplace harassment and violence that meet the standards set out in the Treasury Board directive, and that respond to Canada Labour Code regulations. Deputy ministers also implement these policies within their organizations, in line with their operational contexts.
TBS has been working with organizations to support the updating of each organization’s policies on workplace harassment and violence to meet those requirements outlined in the new Treasury Board directive and to respond to recent changes to the Canada Labour Code. Many organizations are reporting that they have implemented key elements of this new directive in their organizations, including updating their departmental policies and processes to receive new complaints and identifying new training for employees.

Question No. 627--
Ms. Rachael Harder:
With regard to consultations by the Department of Canadian Heritage and reports that the government refused to give media outlets copies of consultation reports related to Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts: (a) why did the government refuse to give media outlets copies of the consultation reports; (b) who made the decision in (a), and how is that in keeping with the Prime Minister's promise of an "open and transparent" government; and (c) what are the details of all consultations the government made with stakeholders or the public related to the proposals in Bill C-10, including the (i) date, (ii) type of consultation (phone, request for written feedback, etc.), (iii) individual or organization consulted, (iv) summary of comments or feedback?
Response
Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), as of April 16, 2021, Canadian Heritage has not received any media requests for consultation reports.
With regard to part (b), as of April 16, 2021, Canadian Heritage has not received any media requests for consultation reports.
With regard to part (c), Canadian Heritage consults with a wide range of stakeholders when developing policies and legislation. With respect to Bill C-10, the government completed broad consultations to inform the development of the proposed bill.
In the autumn of 2016, Canadian Heritage consulted with stakeholders across the country on supporting Canadian content in the digital era. The results from those consultations can be found at www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/consultations.html
In October of 2017, the Governor in Council requested that the CRTC create a report on the future of distribution models for broadcasting. The CRTC’s notice of consultation can be found at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/2017-359.htm and the final report titled “Harnessing Change” can be found at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/s15/
In 2018, the government appointed the broadcasting and telecommunications legislative review panel to study Canada’s communications legislation. The panel extensively consulted Canadians and over 2,000 parties submitted their views. Further information on the panel and its final report can be found at www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/110.nsf/eng/home
Following the publication of the panel’s report in January 2020, the minister and the department engaged with many stakeholders on the panel’s recommendations through various mechanisms, such as individual stakeholder meetings and roundtables.
Stakeholder engagement included creative industry associations, such as the Canadian Media Producers Association, CMPA, Association québécoise de la production médiatique, AQPM, Writers Guild of Canada, Coalition pour la diversité des expressions culturelles and the Motion Picture Association of Canada. It included large Canadian broadcasters and media groups, such as Quebecor, Bell Media, Rogers Media, Corus, Shaw and CBC/Radio-Canada. It included independent Canadian radio and television broadcasters, such as OutTV, Knowledge Network, Zoomer Media and CHEK TV. It included indigenous media organizations, such as APTN and Indigenous Screen Office. It included global media and technology companies, such as Netflix, Google/YouTube, Facebook and Amazon. It included funding organizations, such as Canada Media Fund and Creative BC. It included provinces and territories, and the Government of the United States of America.

Question No. 628--
Mr. David Sweet:
With regard to the official position of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that 37 percent of rural households in Canada have access to 50/10 megabits per second (Mbps) internet speeds: what is the actual proportion of rural households that do not have access to the 50/10 Mbps speeds that are claimed to be provided?
Response
Ms. Gudie Hutchings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is making significant investments to ensure that all Canadians have access to the Internet speeds they need, no matter where they live in Canada.
In the past, broadband funding programs have targeted Internet speeds of 5/1 Mbps, which are the speeds necessary for single users and basic Internet usage. In 2019, 91.7% of rural residents had access to these speeds. However, demand for data and speeds has changed over time, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s, CRTC, current definition of broadband Internet is 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload as this is the speed that allows multiple users to undertake more data-intensive applications, such as streaming, at the same time. In 2019, only 37% of rural households had access to 50/10 Mbps unlimited. However by 2020, 50/10 Mbps was available to 45.6% of the population in rural areas. This was an improvement of nearly 10% in one year. This was achieved through a commitment to improve broadband from the federal government as well as the provinces, territories, Internet service providers and other partners.
The government recognizes that there is more work to be done to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas. Budget 2021 provides an additional $1 billion over six years, starting in 2021-22, to the universal broadband fund, UBF, bringing the fund to $2.75 billion to support a more rapid rollout of broadband projects. This is the largest investment in broadband in Canada’s history. The government’s investments will connect 98% of Canadians across the country to high-speed Internet by 2026, with the goal of connecting all Canadians by 2030. Recognizing the need for accelerated connectivity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UBF also accepted applications under a rapid response stream, RRS. RRS allocates $150 million to shovel-ready projects that will connect many rural and remote Canadians by the end of 2021. Announcements of successful recipients for the rapid response stream of the UBF are already under way. As of May 20, 2021, nearly $47 million in funding has been announced to connect over 30,000 households through RRS. The government has also announced an agreement with the province of Quebec to connect up to 150,000 households by the end of 2022. This agreement, known as Operation High Speed, is made possible through a shared investment of $826 million.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, and CRTC work collaboratively to actively maintain coverage maps and databases that provide a comprehensive understanding of the availability of telecommunications networks across Canada. In recent years, ISED and the CRTC have made significant improvements in the granularity of the broadband coverage information that is made available to the public. For example, household coverage data is now displayed along 250-metre road segments. These searchable maps and the underlying data for download can be found online at the National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map. Should discrepancies be noted, users should first contact the Internet service provider in question for initial verification. Once done, and if the information does appear to be inadequate, users can contact ISED for more information on next steps.
In addition, there are various tools available to Canadians that provide the ability to test their home Internet connections to ensure that they are getting what they are paying for. However, certain factors such as distance to the test server and strength of the in-home Wi-Fi signal, if connecting wirelessly, can impact these test results. The CRTC is currently undertaking a study on the performance of broadband sold to Canadians. More information is available at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/rp200601/rp200601.htm.
Canadians who are concerned that they are not getting the Internet speeds that they pay for can bring their concerns to the attention of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services, CCTS. This independent organization has been established to provide consumers and small businesses with recourse when they are unable to resolve disagreements with their telecommunications service providers. For more information concerning the CCTS, including how to file a complaint, Canadians can visit the CCTS website at www.ccts-cprst.ca or call toll-free at 1-888-221-1687.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 610--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the awarding of the South West Asia Service Medal (SWASM), the General Campaign Star (GCS), the General Service Medal (GSM) and the South West Asia Service ribbon by the Minister of National Defense for service in Afghanistan: (a) how many (i) SWASMs, (ii) GSCs, (iii) GSMs, (iv) South West Asia ribbons, have been awarded to date, broken down by award; (b) how many requests for the SWASM have yet to be fulfilled; and (c) how many years of service are required to be eligible for the (i) SWASM, (ii) GSM, (iii) CGS, (iv) South West Asia Service ribbon, broken down by award?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, National Defence is committed to recognizing the service and sacrifice of the brave women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who participated in, and civilians who supported, Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan.
The Canadian honours system recognizes their service and sacrifice by awarding service and campaign medals.
In response to part (a), as of December 31, 2020, National Defence awarded 12,760 recipients with the South-West Asia Service Medal; 32,646 recipients with the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia; and 5,867 recipients with the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.
National Defence recently changed its database that tracks awarded service medals. Statistics on medals awarded are now reported and tracked on an annual basis.
The General Campaign Star and General Service Medal are awarded with a ribbon specific to the operational theatre or type of service being recognized. Therefore, the ribbon for South-West Asia is not considered a separate award from the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, nor the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.
In response to part (b), National Defence searched its awards database and found one pending application for the South-West Asia Service Medal for a retired member, which is currently being processed.
In response to part (c), the official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the South-West Asia Service Medal, the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, and the General Service Medal—South-West Asia are available online: i) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/south-west-asia-service-medal-swasm.html; ii) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/general-campaign-star-south-west-asia-gcs-swa.html; iii) https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/medals-chart-index/general-service-medal-south-west-asia-gsm-swa.html.
In response to part (c)(iv), as noted above, the ribbon for South-West Asia is not considered a separate award from the General Campaign Star—South-West Asia, nor the General Service Medal—South-West Asia.

Question No. 612--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the government’s original response and revised response to question Q-373 on the Order Paper: (a) which official signed the Statement of Completeness for the original response; (b) which official signed the Statement of Completeness for the revised response; and (c) if an official signed the Statement of Completeness for the revised response, why did Public Safety’s response to the request made under Access to Information Act A-2020-00384 indicates that “Public Safety Canada was unable to locate any records”?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), the official who signed the statement of completeness, SOC, for the original input provided by the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, is the vice-president, intelligence and enforcement branch.
The official who signed the SOC for the original input provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, is the senior director, strategic policy and government affairs.
In response to parts (b) and (c), no revised SOC was produced for the revised response as it did not require the agencies to consult new records, analysis or consultations.

Question No. 613--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program: (a) how much has been invested in the Harbour Authority of Little River, Digby County; and (b) how much will be invested over the next five years?
Response
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program has invested $40,366.50 in the Harbour Authority of Little River, Digby County since 2019, up to and including fiscal year 2020-21. It will invest $50,580 over the next five years, based on existing contribution agreements between the harbour authority and the program.
Please note that the Harbour Authority of Little River ceased to exist in 2018, at which time it was replaced by the Digby Neck Harbour Authority Association. The investments cited in this response include those made or to be made to both entities.

Question No. 619--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to the federal quarantine facility at the Hilton Hotel on Dixon Road near the Toronto Pearson Airport: (a) how much is the government paying the hotel to be a quarantine facility; (b) what were the total expenditures to make modification to turn the hotel property into a quarantine facility, including the cost of fencing and barricades; (c) what is the breakdown of (b) by line item; and (d) why was this specific property chosen to be a quarantine facility?
Response
Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), on September 17, 2020, the Government of Canada launched a request for information, RFI, to seek input from industry about potential options and best practices for the third party provision of lodgings and/or management of services associated with federal quarantine sites. Any further breakdown of costs cannot be released at this time, as the information would hinder the prospective competitive process following the RFI.
Due to current contracting activities, including the potential competitive processes noted above, the exact breakdown of costs cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (b), between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, the federal government has spent $285 million on enhanced border and travel measures and isolation sites. These measures include the federal designated quarantine sites across Canada; a strengthened national border and travel health program, including enhanced compliance and enforcement; safe voluntary isolation spaces in municipalities; and enhanced surveillance initiatives to reduce COVID-19 importation and transmission at points of entry.
Due to current contracting activities, including potential competitive processes, the exact breakdown of costs cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (c), due to current contracting activities, including potential competitive processes, the breakdown of (b) by line item cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
With regard to part (d), the referenced hotel was chosen to be a designated quarantine facility because it met a set of site requirement criteria. Each designated quarantine facility is chosen based on minimum criteria, including proximity to the airport/port of entry and to an acute care hospital, and ability to meet the Public Health Agency of Canada’s requirements to safely lodge travellers while they complete their mandatory quarantine/isolation.

Question No. 620--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to quarantine requirements and a CTV report of April 12, 2021, that an individual returning to Canada contracted COVID-19 while staying at a quarantine hotel and subsequently infected his entire family: (a) how many individuals have contracted COVID-19 while staying at a quarantine hotel of quarantine facility since the program began; (b) if the government does not track how many individuals have contracted COVID-19 while at a quarantine hotel, why is such information not tracked; and (c) when an individual tests positive while at a hotel or facility, is the room required to be put out of service and not available for other guests for a certain period of time and, if so, what is the time period the room must be out of service and when was this requirement set?
Response
Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), all federally designated quarantine facilities, DQFs, have strict infection prevention and control measures in place in order to safeguard the health of Canadians. There has not been any transmission of COVID-19 in DQFs in Canada.
The number of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 while staying in a government-approved accommodation, GAA, is not collected as it would be impossible to know whether an individual became infected with COVID-19 at a GAA, rather than during high-risk exposures such as during air travel.
Even with valid negative pre-departure and on-arrival test results, some individuals subsequently test positive during their quarantine period. This is because the amount of virus or viral load of the person being tested affects the test result. A low viral load, which can occur in the very early stage of the disease or during the recovery phase, could give a false negative result. In other words, the virus could be present in the individual but not be detected through testing during some stages of the illness. As such, it is not unexpected that some travellers receive a positive day 8 test result.
Tests at day 1 and 8, previously day 10, are effective in preventing secondary transmissions. In addition, travellers must remain in quarantine for the full 14-day quarantine period. Their quarantine will only end once they have received a negative test result and completed the full 14-day quarantine, and as long as they have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19.
Mandatory quarantine and testing requirements are part of the Government of Canada’s multi-layered strategy to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, and will continue to be part of enhanced measures.
With regard to part (b), this information is not collected because it would be impossible to know whether an individual became infected with COVID-19 at a GAA, rather than during high-risk exposures such as during air travel.
Positive results identified as part of the arrival testing program, day 1 and day 8, whether the person is in a GAA, DQF or at home, are collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
With regard to part (c), at GAAs and DQFs, rooms are thoroughly cleaned between guests, whether they are positive or negative.
In DQFs, the room is required to be put out of service and rendered unavailable for other guests for a period of 24 hours.
At GAAs, staff are advised to wait 24 hours before entering the room, or if 24 hours is not feasible, then to wait as long as possible. GAAs and DQFs are expected to meet a set of criteria, which include meeting infection prevention and control procedures and following cleaning guidelines. Staff are required to be trained on cleaning and disinfecting as per guidelines and know how to apply these best practices for cleaning public spaces as per instructions.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 598--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to the ban on the importation of goods made with coerced labour since January 1, 2020: (a) how many times have such goods been seized by the Canada Border Services Agency; and (b) what are the details of each seizure, including the (i) date, (ii) description of goods, including the quantity, (iii) estimated value, if known, (iv) location where suspected coerced labour occurred?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to upholding human rights and international labour standards. Forced labour in any form, anywhere in the world, is completely unacceptable. The CBSA actively collaborates with Employment and Social Development Canada to monitor and research evidence related to problematic supply chains. Shipments containing products suspected of being produced by forced labour will be detained at the border for inspection and will be prohibited when it has sufficient evidence to do so. All goods entering Canada may be subject to a more in-depth secondary examination. The government has made amendments to prohibit products that are mined, manufactured, or produced wholly or in part by forced labour from entering Canada. Additionally, the government has prohibited the import of goods suspected of being made using forced labor in China's Xinjiang region.

Question No. 600--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to the prorogation of Parliament in August 2020: (a) respecting the Privy Council Office being informed that it was the Prime Minister’s intention to recommend to the Governor General that the Parliament be prorogued, (i) who participated in the communication, (ii) on what date and time, (iii) by what medium (e.g. in-person meeting, videoconference meeting, telephone call, email); (b) did the Prime Minister informally advise the Governor General, ahead of presenting a formal Instrument of Advice, of his intention to recommend that Parliament be prorogued, and, if so, (i) on what date and time, (ii) by what medium (e.g. in-person meeting, videoconference meeting, telephone call, email) did this occur; (c) did the Privy Council Office informally advise the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General that the Prime Minister would be recommending to the Governor General that Parliament be prorogued, and, if so, (i) who participated in the communication, (ii) on what date and time, (iii) by what medium (e.g. in-person meeting, videoconference meeting, telephone call, email) did this occur; (d) on what date and time was the Instrument of Advice recommending the prorogation of Parliament, (i) provided by the Privy Council Office to the Prime Minister or his office with a draft, (ii) signed by the Prime Minister, (iii) tendered by the Prime Minister to the Governor General, (iv) accepted by the Governor General; and (e) when the Prime Minister tendered the Instrument of Advice to the Governor General, (i) who was present, (ii) by what medium (e.g. in-person meeting, videoconference meeting, telephone call, email, fax, courier)?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the prorogation of Parliament in August 2020, on February 16, 2021, the deputy secretary to the cabinet (governance) and the Canadian secretary to The Queen and director of policy, machinery of government from the Privy Council Office, PCO, appeared at the procedure and House affairs committee, PROC, and provided information responsive to these questions.
On October 28, 2020, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons tabled a report to Parliament outlining the reasons for the prorogation of the first session of the 43rd Parliament. On August 18, 2020, the two instruments of advice, one to prorogue the Parliament of Canada and the other to summon Parliament to meet for the dispatch of business, were signed. Furthermore, the Governor General signed the corresponding proclamations aided by the assistant clerk of the Privy Council. Once approved, the proclamations are published in the Canada Gazette, and are available at: www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2020/2020-08-19/html/si-tr58-eng.html and www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2020/2020-08-19/html/si-tr59-eng.html
Leading up to the prorogation, the Privy Council Office supported the government by providing procedural information and advice.

Question No. 601--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to four corners meetings convened by the Privy Council Office or the Office of the Prime Minister since January 1, 2019: (a) what was the date of each meeting; (b) what was the subject-matter of each meeting; (c) which departments, agencies or Crown corporations participated in each meeting; and (d) which ministers or ministers’ offices participated in each meeting?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. It was concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection, and careful analysis that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.

Question No. 604--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to the statement on January 22, 2021, by the Minister of International Development regarding classroom materials provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that she has instructed Canadian officials to investigate the presence in school materials in the West Bank and Gaza of references that violated UN values of human rights, tolerance, neutrality and non-discrimination: (a) which Canadian officials were assigned to conduct the investigation; (b) what is the current status of this investigation; (c) what is the timeline for when the investigation will be concluded; and (d) when will the unredacted reports related to the investigation be published and how will the public have access to them?
Response
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
The following is in response to parts (a) to (d). Canada is committed to focusing its international assistance on the most vulnerable communities, including those served by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA. Canada’s support helps over 500,000 Palestinian children who rely on UNRWA for their education.
Canada and other donor governments expect UNRWA to uphold UN values and humanitarian principles, including neutrality, in all its activities. Canadian funding reinforces UNRWA’s ongoing efforts in this regard, including work by UNRWA staff to identify, monitor, and follow up on violations of these principles.
As with all Canadian development and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, Canada exercises enhanced due diligence on funding for UNRWA. This includes ongoing oversight, regular site visits, a systematic screening process, and strong anti-terrorism provisions in funding agreements. Canadian officials on the ground also play a key role in ensuring ongoing oversight on programming, maintaining dialogue with the agency, and engaging with representatives of like-minded donor governments that support UNRWA. Canada actively participates on UNRWA’s advisory commission, which allows for oversight, influence, and engagement on key issues.
It is deeply concerning that problematic educational materials were circulated. UNRWA recognized its error and is taking corrective actions. Notably, on April 19, 2021, UNRWA launched its digital learning platform, which is described as a centralized digital platform for online learning material for over 540,000 students in 711 schools across the Middle East, in accordance with host country curriculum.
Following the January 2021 statement by the Minister of International Development on this topic, the minister and Canadian officials based in Ottawa and in Ramallah are working closely with partners and with UNRWA’s senior management to address the issue of problematic educational materials. This extensive engagement positions Canada to insist on UNRWA’s accountability and transparency, including through taking further corrective actions, as needed.

Question No. 606--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to Global Affairs Canada and its anti-racism training documents which state that wearing blackface is an overt act of white supremacy, as reported in the Toronto Sun on April 8, 2021: (a) who approved this training; (b) how much did this training cost; (c) was this contract sole-sourced, and, if so, what was the rationale for sole sourcing this contract; (d) who participated in this training; (e) what was the rationale for the department offering this training; (f) is it the official view of the government that wearing blackface is an overt act of white supremacy; (g) are officials who provide anti-racism training permitted to discuss the Prime Minister’s history of wearing blackface and its impact on racism in their training, and, if not, why are there restrictions against discussing the Prime Minister’s history; (h) how often did this training occur and on what dates; and (i) who provided this training?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
With regard to part (a), the course was designed in-house with the input of internal and external subject matter experts, including self-identified Black, indigenous and other racialized employees.
With regard to part (b), as of March 31, 2021, the department invested $148,365 to develop and deliver 32 virtually facilitated sessions to 397 executives. This amount includes work for the design of the course and for the development of the supporting material, as well as the facilitation of the sessions. In future offerings, only facilitation costs will be incurred.
With regard to part (c), this was not a sole-sourced contract.
With regard to part (d), 397 employees in the executive cadre at Global Affairs Canada participated.
With regard to part (e), the training was designed to strengthen the competencies of Global Affairs Canada’s management cadre with a view to develop an understanding of what racism is, to recognize the negative impacts of racial discrimination and how it can manifest itself in the workplace, and to develop a shared understanding of the role and actions managers can take to combat racism and promote an equitable and inclusive workplace.
With regard to part (f), participants in the training were presented with research, studies and opinions from various sources in order to elicit self-reflection and discussion among themselves. These were not presented as an expression of the view of the government.
With regard to part (g), trainers and participants were free to raise and discuss subjects that were of interest to them and relevant to the objectives of the training.
With regard to part (h), the half-day training was offered in February and March 2021, as follows: February 1-4, February 8-11, February 15-18, February 22-25, March 1, March 3-4, March 8-11, March 15-18, March 23-25 and March 29-30.
With regard to part (i), the training was provided by the learning and development division of Global Affairs Canada.
View Alexandra Mendès Profile
Lib. (QC)

Question No. 589--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the survey that examines the income and characteristics of survivors of veterans married after the age of 60, currently being conducted by Veterans Affairs Canada in collaboration with Statistics Canada, as detailed in the government’s response to Q-84 on September 30, 2020: (a) on what date did the survey start; (b) what is the total number of veterans that are expected to be surveyed; (c) how many veterans have been surveyed to date; (d) what are the questions on the survey; (e) who is responsible for providing the list of names of potential survey participants; (f) what method is used to select the veterans who participate in the survey; and (g) what is the expected date when the survey will be finished?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, this is a data integration project based on records retrieved from administrative data. The population of interest for this project is living survivors who married or entered a common-law relationship with a veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The objective of the study is to estimate the size of the population of interest and provide its socio-economic portrait.
In response to (a), the project was initiated in October 2019.
In response to (b), the total number of veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces was included in the analysis, approximately 150,000.
In response to (c), the target reaches all veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces. The records were retrieved from administrative data.
In response to (d), there are no survey questions as this analysis was based on administrative records, which provide information on both Canadian Armed Forces employment history and veteran pension. The economic outcomes are retrieved for the total of the estimated population.
In response to (e), the target population of the study was found through administrative records provided by the Department of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement Canada. Data presented in these administrative records will strictly adhere to Statistics Canada privacy and confidentiality guidelines as prescribed under the Statistics Act. Outputs from the study remain subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act. Disclosure control rules will be applied in order to safeguard the privacy of individual Canadians' personal information.
In response to (f), the method used to estimate the population at study is based on two criteria: whether the married or common-law spouse of the veteran was still living and whether they entered a union with the veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The eligibility was determined on administrative record information.
In response to (g), the initial analysis was provided to Veterans Affairs Canada in January 2021. The results of the study are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022.

Question No. 591--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to the decision of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to ban the flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea: (a) prior to this decision, for how long has the practice of flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea been allowed; (b) on what date was this decision made; (c) who in the DFO made the decision; (d) on what date was the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard informed of this decision; (e) what are the details, including findings of any scientific research that led to this decision; (f) did the DFO conduct an economic impact assessment or engage in consultations before making this decision, and, (i) if so, what were the findings, (ii) if not, why not; (g) when will this decision come into effect; (h) what are the specific details regarding the current consultation and advisory period related to this decision, including timelines and targets for industry consultation; and (i) what is the government’s response to concerns that this decision will lead to a higher percentage of British Columbia spot prawns being exported as opposed to consumed domestically, as well as higher expenses for fishermen and higher prices for Canadian consumers?
Response
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands how important the Pacific prawn fishery is to British Columbia’s economy and culture. That is why we are making sure that tubbing can continue and harvesters will be able to sell their catch to Canadians to enjoy. This season, we have confirmed our support for an interim protocol that was developed by the industry, which will help prawn harvesters ensure that their catch continues to be sustainable and will be available for sale. We will continue to a take a cautious approach to fisheries management, one that prioritizes the conservation and sustainability of the stocks while also supporting this important industry.
In response to (a), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, has not banned the flash-freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The practice of flash-freezing prawns whole and individually finger-packed at sea has occurred since the 1990s and remains the predominant product type since the mid-1990s. Tubbing prawn tails at sea in frozen sea water has occurred for a number of years but has not been prevalent, and has grown in recent years. The industry estimates that about 10% of the total prawn catch is tubbed. Prawns are also delivered live.
In response to (b), the requirement to pack prawns in a way such that the size can readily be determined is not a new or recent decision, nor has DFO recently changed its interpretation of the regulations. Any person who catches a fish while commercial fishing must have it packaged in a way that allows for the species, number, weight, and size to be readily determined. This regulation has been in place since 1993 and is essential for DFO to verify harvesters’ catches and properly manage fisheries, particularly in situations where size restrictions apply.
DFO has been actively working with the commercial prawn industry on market traceability for packaging and labelling of prawns frozen at sea. Among the objectives of this project is to limit access to markets for illegal products, and for packaging to be done in a manner that will meet all existing federal and provincial regulations. Over the course of this work, DFO identified our concerns about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water, also known as “tubbing”, in late January 2021.
DFO’s concerns with onboard packaging of prawn tails in tubs of frozen sea water are that this packaging does not enable the determination of the size of prawn tails in the tub, which is a requirement outlined in subsection 36(2) of the fishery general regulations, 1993. Size limits are an important component in managing conservation and the sustainability of the spot prawn. It is important that all packaging at sea allows for size limits to be readily determined by a fishery officer.
In response to (c), over the course of the market traceability work, DFO Pacific region fisheries management and conservation and protection staff identified DFO’s concerns to industry representatives about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water.
In response to (d), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The minister and her office were made aware of industry concerns about the prospect that tubbing may not meet regulatory requirements through industry outreach to her office and briefings from DFO officials in early March.
In response to (e), size limits were first introduced in 1988 based on scientific research published in 1985. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry. A size limit allows prawns to grow, reach sexual maturity, and mate prior to being harvested. It also allows for increased growth prior to harvest. Harvesting prawns at a larger size increases the weight and value, price paid per pound, improving economic return.
In response to (f), an analysis was conducted in 1985 estimating the increased dollar value and price to harvest prawns at a larger age and size. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry.
In response to (g), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. As a result of DFO’s collaboration with industry, the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, which represents commercial prawn fishery licence-holders, has developed a protocol that provides guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO supports its use as an interim approach for 2021. The commercial fishery is scheduled to open May 14, 2021 and usually closes by end of June. DFO will continue to engage with industry over the coming year to determine a longer-term solution.
In response to (h), DFO officials have been meeting with commercial prawn fishery representatives on this issue over the past several months. DFO recently convened a working group with fishing industry representatives to explore options for addressing the tubbing issue for 2021. The protocol is a result of this work. DFO will continue to work with industry to transition to packaging practices or other measures that will allow size limits to be readily determined over the coming year.
In response to (i), no negative impacts are expected for export or domestic markets. DFO does not anticipate higher expenses for fishermen or higher prices for Canadian consumers. DFO is aware of the importance of tubbing to some harvesters. A protocol has been developed to provide guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO conservation and protection will apply discretion in its enforcement approach for the 2021 fishing season, recognizing the effort industry has made to establish the protocol and the challenges industry faces this year, while the development of different packaging practices or other measures is completed over the coming year.

Question No. 593--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
With regard to the granting of essential purpose permits under the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations: (a) for each permit granted, (i) to what entity was the permit granted, (ii) for what product was the permit granted, (iii) on what date was the permit issued, (iv) what is the permit's expiration date, (v) on what grounds did it meet the standard of necessity for the health and safety or the good functioning of society, encompassing its cultural and intellectual aspects, and being without technically or economically feasible alternatives that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health; and (b) in cases where the Department of Environment and Climate Change was made aware at any point during or after the permitting process of technically or economically feasible alternatives acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health to any product for which an essential purpose permit was granted, what steps has the department taken to revise or cancel the applicable permit?
Response
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part a), please refer to the following weblink for the information requested: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environmental-protection-act-registry/permits/authorizations-ozone-depleting-substances/companies-essential-purpose-permits-foam.html
With regard to part b), the ozone-depleting substances and halocarbon alternatives regulations implement Canada’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol by controlling the import, export and manufacturing of ozone-depleting substances, ODS, and climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs. The regulations will help reduce Canada’s annual consumption of HFCs by 85% by 2036, making a significant contribution in Canada’s fight against climate change.
The objective of the essential purpose permit provision is to provide flexibility for a limited period of time in recognition of the challenges that some companies may face in producing or acquiring compliant products by the deadlines established in the regulations. Any person subject to the regulations may apply for an essential purpose permit at any time. In order to get such a permit, the criteria set out in section 66 of the regulations must be met.
The essential purpose permits provide a temporary exemption to the prohibitions. They can have a maximum duration of 36 months, and they include reporting and other obligations.
Essential purpose permit applications are evaluated by carefully assessing the sector and the specific circumstances of the applicant against the criteria in section 66 of the regulations. In assessing applications, ECCC expects applicants to demonstrate that efforts are being made to find an alternative, including mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact if possible.
These essential purpose permits do not affect Canada’s ability to meet its international obligations under the protocol or to achieve its HFC phase-down target. In fact, in both 2019 and 2020, Canada exceeded its HFC reduction obligations. The Montreal Protocol controls the production, import and export of bulk HFCs. The protocol does not cover the manufacture or importation of products that contain HFCs. The essential purpose permits only apply to regulated products that are not included in the Montreal Protocol. As such, these product prohibitions go beyond Canada’s obligations established under the protocol.

Question No. 595--
Mr. Paul Manly:
With regard to the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights: (a) when is the statutory review of the act by a committee of Parliament expected to begin; (b) why has the said review been delayed beyond the required five years; (c) does the government plan to adopt any of the 15 recommendations of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime’s November 2020 Progress Report on the act, and, if so, which recommendations; and (d) has the Department of Justice assessed the outcomes of the act to date, and, if so, what are its findings?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, section 2.1 of former Bill C-32, an act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain acts, S.C. 2015, c. 13, provides that a committee of Parliament is to be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, CVBR. The launch of this review is, therefore, the independent responsibility of Parliament.
The Government of Canada appreciates the importance of reviewing and assessing existing legal, policy and programmatic responses to increase access to justice for victims of crime in Canada. In support of these efforts, the government appreciates the contributions of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, including the recommendations included in its November 2020 progress report. These recommendations are currently being reviewed by federal officials, including at the Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice recognizes that implementing the CVBR takes many forms and involves all levels of government and agencies that have responsibility in the criminal justice system. Since the CVBR came into force, federal, provincial and territorial governments have been advancing legislative, programmatic and policy initiatives to support its full implementation.
A wide range of activities and investments have been made through the federal victims strategy in support of the CVBR, such as training for criminal justice professionals on victims’ rights, public legal education and awareness raising for victims to inform them about the rights they have in the criminal justice system, increasing access to critical services and supports for victims and survivors and their families, and increasing access to the information they need to help them through the criminal and corrections systems. At the same time, funding for new tools, such as testimonial aids and restitution programs, has been made available to help victims participate meaningfully and safely in the criminal justice system and have their voice heard. A formal evaluation of the federal victims strategy and the impact of those investments is forthcoming.
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CPC (ON)

Question No. 586--
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
With regard to payments made by the government to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: what is the (i) amount, (ii) exact date of all payments which have either been made or will be made in the 2021 calendar year?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, this information is disclosed in the Public Accounts of Canada and previewed in the 2021-22 main estimates. More information on the Public Accounts of Canada and the 2021-22 main estimates can be found at: www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates/2021-22-estimates/2021-2022-main-estimates.html.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)

Question No. 566--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to the Western Economic Diversification’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, since the program was launched: (a) how many applications have been received; (b) how many applications have been approved; (c) what is the total dollar value of disbursements to approved applicants; (d) what is the average dollar value per approved applicant; (e) what is the average processing time for applications; and (f) what is the target processing time for applications?
Response
Hon. Mélanie Joly (Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the regional relief and recovery fund, RRRF, provides critical support to businesses and organizations that are not eligible for other federal government COVID relief measures and was designed to be a backstop for businesses that may have fallen through the cracks, to help them continue to pay expenses and protect jobs. Demand for this program has been consistently high in western Canada and accounts for nearly half of all applications received to date. This is especially true in Alberta, which has been hit concurrently by the COVID-19 pandemic, a years-long decline in the oil and gas industry, and several natural disasters.
The statistics provided below reflect the portion of the RRRF delivered directly by Western Economic Diversification, WD, and do not include information on Community Futures and other third party delivery of this program in western Canada.
The statistics below cover the period from the launch of the RRRF in May 2020 to March 18, 2021.
In response to (a), WD has received 10,295 applications.
In response to (b), WD has approved 4,578 applications. Applicants may be declined support through the RRRF program for a number of reasons related to their eligibility, with slightly different criteria for applications below $60,000 and above $60,000. Eligibility criteria common to both types of applications include, but are not limited to, having fewer than 500 full-time employees, FTEs; operating in Canada; being operational as of March 1, 2020; being located in western Canada, defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba; and having suffered financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full details of the eligibility criteria for requests up to $60,000 can be found at https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/20060.asp, under step 1. Applications over $60,000 up to $1 million are also subject to additional assessment on ongoing financial viability, as well as a competitive process that weighs their expected impacts on the western Canadian economy. Full details of the criteria for applications over $60,000 can be found at https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/20061.asp.
In response to (c), $299,950,204 has been disbursed to approved applicants, leading to the preservation of almost 23,000 jobs.
In response to (d), the average is $65,519 per approved applicant.
In response to (e), the average is 41 business days to process applications, calculated from the date that the application is received in the portal to the date that a funding decision is finalized.
In response to (f), WD has maintained and exceeded the service time standard for all WD-delivered programs, which is under 90 business days for a funding decision.

Question No. 567--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to all pandemic relief programs and small businesses: (a) how many small businesses have opened since March 2020; (b) how many of the small businesses in (a) have successfully applied for any the pandemic relief program; (c) how many person hours of preparation and filing do the Canada Revenue Agency’s new multiple T4 reporting periods require of small businesses; (d) how much has it cost small businesses to comply with the new multiple T4 reporting periods; and (e) what efforts were taken to align T4 reporting periods with calendar months?
Response
Ms. Rachel Bendayan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), according to estimates data on business openings and closures collected by Statistics Canada, there were 134,730 new entrants, that is, opening businesses that were not active in a previous month, in the Canadian market between March 2020 and December 2020. This represents an average of 13,473 new firms per month. From January 2015 to December 2019, on average, about 15,000 businesses were created in the business sector on a monthly basis. The number of new entrants reached a low of 9,535 in May 2020, but more new businesses have steadily entered the business sector since, reaching an amount of 16,972 in December 2020, 13.1% higher than observed in February 2020.
It should be noted that these numbers are for all businesses, not only small businesses. However, entrants are overwhelmingly likely to be small businesses, with the vast majority of businesses having one to four employees when they begin operations.
In response to (b), through the COVID-19 economic response plan, the Government of Canada took immediate action to help Canadian businesses affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, from helping keep employees on the job to increasing cash flow and providing support to help pay rent.
To date, several important measures remain in place to provide support that would help the hardest-hit businesses safely get through the spring and cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities and be positioned for a strong recovery, including the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which helps employers retain and quickly rehire workers previously laid off; the Canada emergency rent subsidy, which provides direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners; lockdown support, which provides additional rent relief to organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, or a province or a territory.
It is not possible to determine how many of the 134,730 new entrants since March 2020 have accessed pandemic relief, as program data does not identify the year eligible businesses receiving aid were opened, only the total number of businesses receiving aid and their sectors. As a result, the two databases are not comparable.
The Government of Canada is unable to quantify the information requested in (c), (d) and (e). Producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.

Question No. 569--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to environment impact assessments conducted by the Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, since January 1, 2019: (a) how many requests for assessments have been (i) received, (ii) accepted, (iii) turned down; (b) who requested each assessment in (a) (for example the public, the federal government, the municipal government, etc.), broken down by (a)(i), (a)(ii), (a)(iii); and (c) what are the details of each impact assessment conducted or concluded since January 1, 2019, including the (i) requestor, (ii) summary of the project assessed, including the location, (iii) date the assessment was completed, (iv) findings?
Response
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, members can refer to the following website for information related to Q-569: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations.

Question No. 571--
Mr. Michael Kram:
With regard to the decision by the government to remove the international designation from the Regina International Airport and the Saskatoon International Airport: (a) on what date did the government make the decision posted in Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular No. 302-032 to remove the international designation from the airports in Regina and Saskatoon; (b) on what date did the Minister of Transport become aware that the airports in Regina and Saskatoon were being stripped of their international designation; (c) will the Minister of Transport reverse this decision, and, if not, why not; (d) did the government conduct any studies or assessments on the financial harm such a decision may bring to Saskatchewan, and, if so, what were the findings; (e) what impact does the government project that removing the international designation from these airports will have on the number of international flights arriving in or departing from these airports; (f) what other Canadian airports are losing or potentially losing their international designation; and (g) for each airport in (f), what is the specific reason why the government is considering removing its international designation?
Response
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) and (b), advisory circulars, ACs, issued by Transport Canada, help the civil aviation community understand how to comply with current regulations and standards in aviation. The advisory circular No. 302-032 outlines the minimum requirements needed per the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, convention to be designated as international and published as such in aeronautical publications. Transport Canada did not remove the international designation from the Regina and Saskatoon airports. In fact, the department has no information to confirm that these airports were ever formally designated as stated in the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, convention. Advisory circulars issued by Transport can be found at the following link: https://tc.canada.ca/en/aviation/reference-centre/advisory-circulars.
In response to part (c), Transport Canada did not remove the international designation from the Regina and Saskatoon airports. If these airports submit the necessary information to confirm that they meet all the relevant specifications for designation as stated in the ICAO convention, they will be provided the designation.
The response to part (d) is no, because the Regina and Saskatoon airports have not been denied access to the designation, nor have they been denied from operating international flights from their airports. The advisory circular outlines the minimum requirements needed per the international ICAO convention to be designated as international and published as such in aeronautical publications.
The response to part (e) is none, as those airports, regardless of their designation, can support international flights, provided that they make specific arrangements with the agencies required to support flights: customs, immigration, security, etc.
In response to parts (f) and (g), Transport Canada did not remove the international designation from any airports. The advisory circular has a list of airports for which the department has information to confirm that these airports are already formally designated as stated in the ICAO convention. Those airports that wish to be designated international are invited to make an application as outlined in the advisory circular, and those that meet the requirements will be designated international.
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Lib. (ON)

Question No. 554--
Ms. Heather McPherson:
With regard to the government's estimation, in the Fall Economic Statement 2020, on the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) investments to tackle tax evasion, “It is estimated that these incremental investments have already delivered over $3 billion in additional federal tax revenues assessed”, broken down by fiscal year, from 2016-17 to date: (a) what is the breakdown of the $3 billion in additional federal tax revenues assessed by (i) taxpayer categories, (ii) CRA compliance programs and services; (b) what methodology was used to estimate the amount of $3 billion; and (c) does the federal tax revenue estimate of over $3 billion represent the total amount recovered or is a portion of the amount still being appealed in the courts?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA.
In response to part (a)(i), the CRA is unable to provide the information as it is not captured in the manner requested.
In response to part (a)(ii), the CRA is unable to provide the information as there is no formal breakdown of the estimated $3 billion in the manner requested.
In response to part (b), the CRA tracks gross tax earned by audit, for federal tax, and gross revenue impact, for federal tax, plus provincial tax, plus penalties, for all of its compliance activities. In tracking additional gross tax revenue resulting from increased audit resources, the CRA formula tracks the relative increase in dollars over the historical baseline of results.
In response to part (c), the estimate is based on the gross federal amounts reassessed, plus audit changes that impact future revenues, and does not include a reserve for amounts that may be reversed on appeal.

Question No. 559--
Ms. Christine Normandin:
With regard to spousal sponsorship and visa applications, the staffing and operation of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa offices (VOs) abroad, with responses broken down by the Accra, Mexico City, Dakar, New Delhi, Port-au-Prince, London, Paris and Cairo offices: (a) since January 1, 2019, how many spousal sponsorship applications were received each month, broken down by the applicant’s country of residence; (b) of the applications in (a), how many (i) were processed, broken down by the applicant’s country of residence, (ii) had to redo a medical exam because the original exam had expired in the process, (iii) had to redo their police or security clearance because the original clearance had expired in the process; (c) of the applications in (b)(i), how many (i) were accepted, (ii) were rejected, (iii) are in process; (d) of the applications in (c)(iii), how many are awaiting an interview, either virtually or in person, with an immigration officer; (e) how many officers (i) were hired for each of the VOs as of September 24, 2020, (ii) have been hired since the IRCC Minister’s announcement of September 24, 2020; (f) of the number in (e)(ii), broken down by month from March 2020 to date, how many officers (i) were working on site, (ii) were working from home, (iii) could not work due to COVID-19; (g) during the COVID-19 pandemic, were these VOs closed, and, if so, on which date did they reopen; (h) do these VOs have the equipment required to conduct virtual interviews; (i) on what date did the spousal sponsorship application digitization pilot program announced on September 24, 2020, officially begin and what percentage of the applications have been digitized since then; (j) since January 1, 2019, how many visitor visa applications linked to a sponsorship application have been received each month, broken down by the applicant’s country of address; (k) of the applications in (j), how many were processed each month; (l) of the applications in (k), how many (i) were accepted, (ii) were rejected, (iii) are in process; (m) how many sponsorship applications have been finalized, broken down by month since January 2019; and (n) of the applications in (m), how many were rejected?
Response
Hon. Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. The information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. IRCC concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.

Question No. 563--
Mr. Maxime Blanchette-Joncas:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s new website and new official portrait: (a) what is the total cost of the Prime Minister’s website redesign project, including the (i) amount spent on writing biographical content about the Prime Minister, (ii) graphic design, (iii) website development, (iv) migration of the content from the old website to the new one, (v) Prime Minister’s new official portrait, (vi) translation and language editing costs; (b) what is the number of full-time equivalents assigned to the Prime Minister’s website update project; and (c) has the Privy Council Office used external suppliers for this project, and, if so, what are the (i) dates of contracts, (ii) value of contracts, (iii) names of suppliers, (iv) reference numbers, (v) description of the services provided?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the response from the Office of the Prime Minister is as follows.
The recent updates to the Prime Minister’s website, which were adapted from the site created to support the new Deputy Prime Minister, have improved usability for site visitors and provided a fresh code base that is much faster and easier to maintain from an operational perspective. The changes not only help our developers and publishers do their work more efficiently, but the fresh code base also provides for future maintainability of the health and security of the site.
The Prime Minister’s website has features that allow users to subscribe to and unsubscribe from specific news products via email, request celebratory greetings from the Prime Minister, submit correspondence, and view videos that are both captioned and accompanied by full transcripts for accessibility reasons.
These changes will allow developers and editors to do their work more efficiently, while also allowing for future maintenance of the website security.
Information pertaining to contracts over $10,000 is available by department through the following proactive disclosure of contracts web page: https://search.open.canada.ca/en/ct/.

Question No. 564--
Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille:
With regard to the disposal of lands along the St. Lawrence Seaway that began in 2013, particularly in the Municipality of Beauharnois (Melocheville sector), and the appraisal of these lands by the Canada Lands Company: (a) what is the timeframe that the Department of Transport has set for the Canada Lands Company to complete this appraisal; and (b) what are the next steps, as well as the timelines for each of these steps, to complete the disposal process?
Response
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) and (b), discussions with Canada Lands Company are ongoing, with the outcome to determine the precise next steps and the timing. It is not anticipated that any of the surplus Seaway properties in Quebec will be disposed of prior to fiscal year 2022-23.
The surplus Seaway properties in the Montreal area are part of a larger portfolio of such properties that also includes lands in Ontario, in Cornwall and the Niagara region. Pursuant to Treasury Board policies regarding the disposal of surplus federal properties, Transport Canada has engaged Canada Lands Company regarding the divestiture of the entire portfolio. For the properties in Quebec, Transport Canada has completed due diligence activities, including survey work, appraisals and the canvassing of potential interest in the properties from all three levels of government for public purpose.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 484--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to reports that more than 8,500 Canadians have higher tax bills after being the victim of identity theft related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program: (a) how many CERB payments does the government estimate were made to individuals committing identify theft; and (b) why is the Canada Revenue Agency requiring these victims of identity theft to pay income tax on the amount thieves swindled from the government's CERB program?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA. In response to part (a), as analysis and verification work is still under way, the CRA cannot confirm how much fraud related to CERB there has been.
The vast majority of Canadians are applying correctly and are making good efforts to comply. The CRA is committed to protecting the integrity of programs that provide financial support for taxpayers using Canadian tax dollars.
In response to part (b), taxpayers who are victims of identity fraud will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers using their identity. The CRA remains dedicated to resolving these incidents. Taxpayers’ T4A slip or RL-1 slip will be corrected as required. Once the issue has been resolved, an amended slip will be issued. In the event that individuals need to file their return before the corrective measures have been completed, they should only file using the income they actually received.
As noted above, affected individuals will not be held liable for unauthorized claims made by fraudsters using their account. Where appropriate, the CRA works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian anti-fraud centre, CAFC, financial institutions and local police to investigate the incident. In many cases, the CRA will also provide the taxpayer with credit protection and monitoring services.
The CRA is committed to taking action to assist those whose accounts have been compromised due to incidents of fraud or identify theft. It takes the protection of taxpayer information very seriously and has robust safeguards in place to identify fraudulent applications for emergency and recovery benefits, including the CERB.
The CRA recognizes that waiting for a response in these situations can be stressful and aims to resolve such issues quickly by addressing cases as fast as possible.

Question No. 487--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to the Department of Justice’s use of outsourced legal agents, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the Department of Justice retained outsourced legal agents; (b) when were said these contracts awarded; (c) what was the value of each contract; (d) for which cases or other matters were these contracts awarded; (e) to which firms or legal agents were these contracts awarded; and (f) who approved the awarding of these contracts?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice’s policy on contracting for legal services and legal agent appointment establishes the principles and requirements to ensure that contracting for legal services and legal agent appointments are conducted in a diligent and accountable manner, with rigorous and detailed selection and assessment criteria.
Legal agents are private sector law practitioners appointed by or under the authority of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to provide defined legal services to the Crown.
The department publishes all legal agent contracts as part of its proactive disclosure. Information on legal agent contracts can be found here: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/trans/pd-dp/contra_leg/rep-rap.aspx.
The information requested in parts (c), (d) and (f) is protected by solicitor-client privilege.

Question No. 490--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to security equipment currently being used in Canada’s diplomatic missions, broken down by location: (a) which brands of security equipment, including closed-circuit television cameras and X-ray scanners, are currently in use; and (b) for each location, what are the (i) brands used, (ii) type and quantities of equipment, broken down by brand?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
In response to (a) and (b), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. As such, information that could reasonably be expected to facilitate the commission of an offence has been withheld to protect the vulnerability of particular buildings or other structures or systems, including detection and monitoring systems, e.g. X-ray, CCTV, etc., or methods employed to protect such buildings or other structures or systems.
Information on contracts worth more than $10,000 that does not fall under the national security exemption is available on the Open Government site, under “Proactive Disclosure”: https://open.canada.ca/en/search/contracts?f%5B0%5D=org_name_en%3AGlobal%20Affairs%20Canada.

Question No. 493--
Mr. Rob Moore:
With regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the director of public prosecutions informed the Attorney General about any prosecution, or intervention that the director intended to make which raised important questions of general interest, as per section 13 of the act; (b) what was the nature and content of those prosecutions or interventions; (c) what was the rationale for these prosecutions or interventions; and (d) how does the director of public prosecutions determine what prosecutions or interventions raise questions of general interest?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in response to (a), the Director of Public Prosecutions informed the Attorney General 79 times about prosecutions or interventions that raised important questions of general interest as per section 13 of the act from October 21, 2019 to March 9, 2021.
In response to (b) and (c), this information is confidential; it is covered by solicitor-client privilege and may also contain personal information.
In response to (d), the information can be found in chapter 1.2 of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada deskbook at the following link: https://www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/pub/fpsd-sfpg/fps-sfp/tpd/p1/ch02.html.
We note that in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Information has been withheld on the grounds that it constitutes solicitor-client privilege and personal information.

Question No. 494--
Mr. Rob Moore:
With regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, since October 21, 2019: (a) how many times has the Attorney General intervened in a prosecution in first instance, as per section 14 of the act; (b) how many times has the Attorney General intervened in a prosecution on appeal, as per section 14 of the act; and (c) for which cases did the Attorney General intervene, and what was the rationale for his interventions?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to An Act respecting the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, there has been no intervention from the Attorney General as per section 14 of the act from October 21, 2019 to March 9, 2021.

Question No. 496--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard the service costs on the national debt: has the government analyzed how much the debt service costs will go up based on an interest rate increase of (i) one per cent, (ii) two per cent, (iii) three per cent, and, if so, what are the projections for how much the debt service costs will increase?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the most recent projections for Government of Canada debt charges can be found in the fall economic statement 2020, which was released on November 30, 2020 and is available at the following link: https://www.budget.gc.ca/fes-eea/2020/home-accueil-en.html. Specifically, the projection for interest paid on the federal debt for the current year and the following five years can be found in table A1.5 on page 126, in the row labelled “Public debt charges”.
These public debt charge projections have been calculated using interest rate projections provided by private sector forecasters through a survey conducted in September 2020. Further details and the results of the September survey can be found on pages 119-121 of the fall economic statement 2020, including the private sector projection of the Government of Canada three-month treasury bill and the 10-year bond rates, which are projected to rise by 100 and 130 basis points, respectively, over the five-year forecast horizon. An update of the government’s public debt charge projections will be provided in budget 2021.

Question No. 497--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard to the government's economic advisory panels: (a) which taxes has each advisory panel recommended that the government raise in order to sustain higher levels of federal spending; and (b) at what levels did the advisory panels recommend the taxes be raised to?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system. As part of this approach, the government regularly seeks feedback from Canadians and various advisory panels.
The government reduced the rate of the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%. This tax cut for the middle class, which has been in effect since 2016, is benefitting more than nine million Canadians. Single individuals who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $540 every year.
The government also introduced the Canada child benefit in 2016, which has meant more money for the families who need it most. The Canada child benefit has helped lift nearly 300,000 children out of poverty, giving them a better start in life.
In addition, the government’s proposed increase in the basic personal amount would lower taxes for close to 20 million Canadians. By 2023, single individuals could save close to $300 in taxes each year, while families, including those led by a single parent, could save nearly $600 in taxes each year. Nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay tax in 2023. A detailed breakdown of the net impact of these measures is available on the Finance Canada website: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/02/annex-net-impact-of-measures-to-make-life-more-affordable-for-canadians.html.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 499--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
With regard to the impact that government tax increases have on Canadians: has the government done an analysis on how Canadians will be impacted by future tax increases, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of any analysis conducted, broken down by type of future tax increase?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system.
The government reduced the rate of the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%. This tax cut for the middle class, which has been in effect since 2016, is benefitting more than nine million Canadians. Single individuals who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit are seeing an average tax reduction of $540 every year.
The government also introduced the Canada child benefit in 2016, which has meant more money for the families who need it most. The Canada child benefit has helped lift nearly 300,000 children out of poverty, giving them a better start in life.
In addition, the government’s proposed increase in the basic personal amount would lower taxes for close to 20 million Canadians. By 2023, single individuals could save close to $300 in taxes each year, while families, including those led by a single parent, could save nearly $600 in taxes each year. Nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay tax in 2023. A detailed breakdown of the net impact of these measures is available on the Finance Canada website: www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/02/annex-net-impact-of-measures-to-make-life-more-affordable-for-canadians.html.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 500--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to government tax increases: has the government done an analysis of how much taxes will need to increase in order to sustain expected higher levels of federal spending, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of such an analysis?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to tax policy is to build on its record of making life more affordable for the middle class and those working hard to join it, while promoting greater fairness in the tax system.
The first action of the government’s second mandate was to introduce a measure that would increase the amount of money Canadians can earn before paying federal income tax to $15,000 by 2023. To ensure that this tax relief goes to the people who need it most, the benefits would be phased out for the wealthiest Canadians.
This measure builds on the success of key initiatives during its first mandate, including the middle-class tax cut announced in 2015, higher personal income taxes for the wealthiest Canadians, as well as the introduction of the Canada child benefit and the Canada workers benefit. The government has also improved tax fairness by closing loopholes, eliminating measures that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and cracking down on tax evasion so that every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.
At this time, the government’s top priority is to help families and businesses get through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government’s focus will be to make smart, targeted investments to jump-start the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic.

Question No. 501--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to the government's analysis conducted on the financial situation of Canadians: has the government conducted any analysis of how many Canadians would experience severe financial hardship if they lost their job, or had their taxes increased, and, if so, what are the details, including findings of the analysis?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, data from the 2016 survey of financial security was used to assess how sensitive Canadian households could be to short-term income loss. While this survey was carried out a few years ago, the distribution of wealth evolves slowly over time, and as such, the survey is likely a reasonable approximation of the potential financial vulnerability of Canadian families going into the COVID-19 pandemic. The department estimated that over half of working households had insufficient liquid assets to fully replace a two-month interruption in after-tax income. As such, these households could see a significant deterioration in their living standards and would face difficulties in meeting their financial obligations or essential needs.
Financially vulnerable households are found across the country, with the highest shares in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Prairies. Younger households were at higher risk of financial vulnerability: 54% of younger households are financially vulnerable to a two-month work interruption, compared to 46% of older households. In a similar analysis, using the 2016 survey of financial security, the Bank of Canada found that households in the occupations most at risk from the pandemic, e.g., sales and service, had the weakest financial positions: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2020/06/staff-analytical-note-2020-8/. Similarly, based on low-income cut-off thresholds, Statistics Canada reported that one in four working households would not have enough liquid assets to keep them out of low income during a two-month work interruption: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00010-eng.pdf?st=DG2ZxWGC.
These results suggest that a sizable number of Canadian households had limited financial buffers to cope with temporary income losses during the pandemic. This finding underlines the importance of Canada’s COVID-19 economic response in targeting people who need it most and bridging Canadians through the shock: e.g., Canada emergency response benefit, Canada emergency wage subsidy and mortgage payment deferrals, among others. This support has been critical to helping minimize financial difficulties of households thus far during the pandemic.

Question No. 502--
Mr. Blake Richards:
With regard to the escalator tax on alcohol introduced by the government in the 2017 budget: what is the total amount of revenue collected from the tax in each year since 2017?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the CRA. Excise duty revenues reflect the impact of the escalator tax. The latter, effective April 1, 2017, refers to the annual increase in the excise duty rate. Excise duty revenues are reported in volume II of the public accounts, “National Revenue”, under the “Revenues” section.
Please find below total excise duty revenues for the fiscal years 2017-18 to 2019-20.
According to the Public Accounts of Canada 2018, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2018/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, total excise duty revenues were $3,504,206,215.
According to Public Accounts of Canada 2019, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2019/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, total excise duty revenues were $3,727,618,734.
According to Public Accounts of Canada 2020, available at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2020/vol2/rn-nr/rev-eng.html, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, total excise duty revenues were $3,510,617,737.

Question No. 504--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government’s commitment to plant two billion trees and an initial focus on urban trees: (a) how many plots of land have been identified for planting the trees; (b) what are the details of each plot, including the (i) location of the land, (ii) type of landowner (municipality, private owner, federal government land, etc.), (iii) cost of acquisition or projected cost of acquisition, if applicable, (iv) species of trees to be planted on the land; (c) which municipalities have been contacted about urban tree planting; (d) what is the projected cost per tree of trees planted in an urban environment; and (e) and what is the percentage of the total program that is expected to be taken by urban trees?
Response
Mr. Marc Serré (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.
Natural Resources Canada is looking to engage those interested in growing Canada’s forests as a nature-based solution to support national climate change actions. The growing Canada’s forests program has recently launched two new processes, an expression of interest and a request for information, to identify the desire and capacity of organizations to plant trees across Canada over the coming years.
A future participants request for information launched recently to identify interested organizations and learn about their vision and capacity to implement or contribute to large-scale, single- or multi-year tree-planting projects across Canada. This will help to determine the design of the growing Canada’s forests program, develop future processes to maximize program participation and strengthen collaboration.
The growing Canada’s forests program will allocate approximately 16% of the contribution funding towards urban and peri-urban tree planting, collaborating with municipalities and organizations that can engage broad community groups: e.g., school boards, indigenous communities and others. Tree-planting opportunities include the expansion, maintenance and diversification of urban and other forests, which may also help communities to become more climate change resilient, mitigating risks such as increased forest fire danger.
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 in working with provinces and territories, as well as trees planted through the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund in working with local communities. The Government of Canada also continues to support the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, which has planted more than 750,000 out of a planned two million trees in Ontario 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 support small and medium-sized forest sector firms, including tree-planting operations, and 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.

Question No. 515--
Mr. John Williamson:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) since January 1, 2018: (a) how many times have Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships of the RCN transited the Taiwan Strait in the South China Sea; and (b) what were the dates of these transits?
Response
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as part of its defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged” Canada committed to being a reliable player in the Asia-Pacific region through consistent engagement and strong partnerships.
The Canadian Armed Forces plays an active role in the region, through regular training and engagements with key allies and partners. These efforts enhance Canada’s ability to promote multilateralism and the rules-based international order, and demonstrate our steadfast commitment to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
As part of deployments to the region, Royal Canadian Navy vessels will periodically sail through the Taiwan Strait.
Canada is committed to promoting maritime peace and security, and maintaining the rules-based international order.
During all international deployments, Canadian Armed Forces vessels operate in a manner that is consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
With regard to parts (a) and (b), Royal Canadian Navy vessels transited the Taiwan Strait in the South China Sea five times between January 1, 2018, and March 10, 2021.
The date of these transits are as follows: October 4-5, 2018; June 17-18, 2019; September 9-10, 2019; September 23-24, 2019; and October 2-3, 2020.

Question No. 519--
Mr. Dave Epp:
With regard to financial analysis conducted by the government: has an analysis of the increase in household debt been conducted since 2016, and, if so, what did the analysis conclude are the greatest contributors to the increase in household debt?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada released the results from the 2019 Survey of Financial Security, December 22, 2020. The survey showed that almost one-third, or 30.2%, of Canadian families were debt-free in 2019, virtually unchanged from the 2016 results. For those who held debt, the median value of debt in 2019 stood at $79,000 per family which was about $6,400 less than in 2016 after adjusting for inflation.
Families overall reported holding more mortgage debt in 2019, up $7 billion from 2016. However, the median level of mortgage debt for those with mortgages fell over the same period from $201,200 to $190,000. The level of non-mortgage debt was unchanged between 2016 and 2019. The median was $20,000.
Please see www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/201222/dq201222b-eng.htm.

Question No. 523--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to government employees, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: how many and what percentage of employees worked from home as of (i) March 1, 2020, prior to the pandemic, (ii) March 1, 2021?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the physical and psychological health and safety of employees remain an absolute priority for the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada continues to be guided by the advice and guidance 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.
Public health authorities have signalled that physical distancing requirements must remain in place. As such, many federal public service employees across the country will continue to work remotely and effectively for the foreseeable future to continue delivering key programs and services to Canadians. The information regarding public servants who are working from home is not systematically tracked in a centralized database.
Deputy ministers and other heads of federal public service organizations make decisions regarding access to worksites and necessary safety protocols based on government-wide guidance, taking into consideration the local public health situation, individual organizations’ operational requirements and the nature of the work. Access to federal worksites for employees varies from organization to organization, based on operational requirements.
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.

Question No. 524--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to government statistics related to the effect of the pandemic on the number of women in the workforce: what are the government's estimates on how many women, in total, (i) were employed prior to the pandemic, as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 8,733,600 employed women in Canada in February 2021, compared with 9,082,500 12 months earlier in February 2020, a decrease of 348,900, or 3.8%. Over the same period, the number of women in the labour force, either employed or unemployed, fell by 73,700, or 0.8%.
The source is Statistics Canada, Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last five months, at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410028701.

Question No. 526--
Ms. Jag Sahota:
With regard to the statement printed in the Toronto Star from the director of communications to the Minister Labour "ESDC-Labour has put a team in place dedicated to this work and has taken steps to build its capacity" in relation to stopping the importation of products made with forced labour: (a) who is on the team; (b) on what date was the team established; (c) how many meetings has the team had and on what dates did those meeting occur; (d) what is the team's mandate; (e) how many proactive assessments of supply chains have been initiated by the team; (f) how many reactive complaints have been received and investigated; and (g) what was the finding in each investigation in (e) and (f)?
Response
Mr. Anthony Housefather (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), a number of ESDC-Labour officials are working on the issue of forced labour. Those officials are part of the international and intergovernmental labour affairs, IILA, directorate. The team working on forced labour includes policy officers, policy analysts and managers, under the supervision of a director.
With regard to part (b), the forced labour import prohibition flows from an obligation in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that came into force on July 1, 2020. The team that conducts the research and analysis of problematic supply chains is housed within an existing division of IILA. They are developing an approach and establishing the mechanisms that will allow Canada to address the issue of imports of goods produced with forced labour. Other members of the IILA team have since been undertaking research and analysis of problematic supply chains.
With regard to part (c), meetings and conversations on the issue of forced labour and problematic supply chains have been taking place regularly for several months, in a variety of formats and at various levels. Given that this is a novel initiative, meetings have taken place and continue to take place to operationalize the forced labour import prohibition, to coordinate with other implicated federal departments, and to discuss approaches to research and analysis.
With regard to part (d), the team’s main responsibility is to review allegations of forced labour being used in supply chains. After reviewing an allegation, the ESDC-Labour team conducts research and analysis, and prepares factual reports with a view to establishing the likelihood that a specific shipment contains goods produced by forced labour.
With regard to part (e), please refer to the response from part (g).
With regard to part (f), please refer to response from part (g).
With regard to part (g), while ESDC-Labour is proactively conducting research on supply chains in the Xinjiang region, the department is committed to examining and completing its due diligence research and analysis on all allegations received by the CBSA.

Question No. 527--
Ms. Jag Sahota:
With regard to government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on unionized employees in Canada: how many unionized employees, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, aaccording to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 4,992,000 employees with union coverage in Canada in February 2021, compared with 4,930,700 in February 2020, an increase of 61,300, or 1.2%. The Labour Force Survey does not collect information about the former union coverage status of people who are no longer in the labour force, that is, who are not employed or unemployed.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0069-01 Union coverage by industry, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000) at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410006901.

Question No. 529--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to government statistics on the effect of the pandemic on the workforce, since March 1, 2020: how many Canadians have had their (i) work hours reduced, (ii) income reduced, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, in February 2021, compared with 12 months earlier, there were 406,000, or 50%, more people working fewer than half their usual hours for reasons likely related to COVID-19. The LFS does not collect information on whether an individual’s earnings have changed over time. However, the following information about the number of employees in various wage brackets was reported with the release of February 2021 data from the LFS.
Immediately before the pandemic in February 2020, about one-quarter of all employees in Canada earned $17.50 per hour or less, while one-quarter earned more than $36 per hour. These wage brackets are helpful in understanding the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on lower-paid and higher-paid workers.
The number of employees making $17.50 per hour or less increased by 203,000 in February. This number is not seasonally adjusted. This partly offset a decline of 321,000 in January and coincided with a February rebound in employment in the retail trade, and accommodation and food services industries, where lower wages are more prevalent.
There were 791,000, or 19.7%, fewer employees in this wage bracket in February 2021 than 12 months earlier. Nearly two-thirds, or 63.6%, of the losses were among women, with similar declines in all age groups. Young men were far less affected by the decline, 82,000 fewer, or 11.4%, than were young women, 178,000 fewer, or 20.9%. This number is not seasonally adjusted.
In contrast, there were 410,000, or 10.3%, more employees making more than $36 per hour in February compared with one year earlier. This number is not seasonally adjusted. The number of people in this highest-earning wage bracket followed an upward trend during the summer and early fall of 2020 before flattening in recent months, and was little changed in February. This is not seasonally adjusted.
For Chart 6, Employment among employees earning the lowest wages far behind in the recovery, please see www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210312/cg-a006-eng.htm
The source is Labour Force Survey, LFS, February 2021, The Daily www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210312/dq210312a-eng.htm and LFS supplementary indicators used in February 2021 analysis.

Question No. 530--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on post-secondary students: how many post-secondary students, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 1,019,000 employed students aged 15 to 24 in February 2021, compared with 1,199,700 in February 2020, a decrease of 180,800, or 15.1%. This figure is not seasonally adjusted. Over the same period, the number of students in the labour force, employed or unemployed, fell by 77,300, or 5.8%. This figure is not seasonally adjusted. These data do not distinguish the type of school, secondary versus post-secondary.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0021-01, Unemployment rate, participation rate and employment rate by type of student during school months, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality, at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410002101.

Question No. 532--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to the government statistics related to the impact of the pandemic on the employment of professionals working in manufacturing in Canada: how many manufacturing professionals, in total, (i) were employed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, or as of March 1, 2020, (ii) are currently employed, (iii) have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Response
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, according to Labour Force Survey, LFS, estimates, there were 1,746,900 people employed in the manufacturing industry in February 2021, virtually unchanged from February 2020, when there were 1,747,200.
The source is Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0355-01 Employment by industry, monthly, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, and trend-cycle, last 5 months (x 1,000), found at www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410035501.

Question No. 540--
Ms. Leah Gazan:
With regard to the payment of a one-off sum of up to $300 per child and the subsequent temporary change in the formula for calculating the Canada Child Benefit: (a) has the government assessed the additional number of families who would receive the payment whose net family income is above the threshold established in the previous formula, and if so, what is the result of this assessment; (b) has the government estimated the additional cost of paying the maximum of $300 per child to families whose net family income is above the threshold in the old formula, if so, how much is the estimated cost; and (c) what was the methodology used for the temporary change in the formula?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the CRA’s analysis determined that an additional 265,000 families with a net family income above the threshold from the previous formula received the one-time payment of up $300 per child.
With regard to part (b), the same analysis described in part (a) also determined that those families with a net income above the threshold in the old formula received payments totalling almost $88 million.
With regard to part (c), the Canada child benefit, CCB, is governed by section 122.6 of the Income Tax Act, ITA. Section 122.6 of the ITA is amended from time to time to reflect changes in the benefit calculation. The legislation was amended in 2020 to add section (1.01) to include the CCB one-time payment to the calculation for the month of May 2020:
COVID-19 — additional amount
(1.01) If the month referred to in subsection (1) is May 2020, each amount expressed in dollars referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the description of E in subsection (1) is deemed, for that month, to be equal to that amount (as adjusted under subsection (5)) plus an additional amount of $3,600. For greater certainty, the adjustment in subsection (5) shall not take into account this additional amount.
The total annual maximum amount per child, regardless of age, was increased by $300 for children eligible for the May 2020 payment.
Amounts were increased for the month of May as follows: per eligible child under six years old: $6,639 plus $3,600, for a total of $10,239; and per eligible child age six to 17 years old: $5,602 plus $3,600, for a total of $9,202.
The $3,600 divided by 12 months results in the $300 calculation for May 2020.
There was no change to the phase-out threshold or rates.

Question No. 541--
Mr. Matthew Green:
With regard to the CRA's decision to temporarily suspend, as of March 2020, the programs and services of "high-risk audits", "international large business", "high net worth compliance", "GST/HST audit of large businesses", "audit of complex transactions", "audit of flow-through shares" and "foreign tax whistleblower program", broken down by each of the programs and services mentioned, by month, since March 2020 to the re-establishment of the service of audits, and by risk level of non-compliance: (a) how many audits were suspended as a proportion of total audits; (b) of the audits in (a), how many are still suspended as a proportion of total resumed audits; (c) what duties were performed by the auditors during the suspension period; (d) how many files were closed; (e) of the files closed in (d), what was the average amount of time spent processing each file before a decision was made to close it; (f) of the files closed in (d), (i) how many have been assessed (ii) how many have been transferred to the criminal investigation program; and (g) what was the change in the number of auditors, in terms of full-time equivalent?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, what follows is the response from the CRA to the above-noted question since March 1, 2020. With regard to parts (a), (b), (d), (e), (f) (i), and (g), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several programs were temporarily suspended during the time period requested, as they were considered non-critical services. Therefore, employee workloads were shifted to reflect critical services. The CRA is unable to provide the data that is being requested, as the CRA did not create a system indicator to determine which files were put on hold due to the COVID-19 suspensions. Throughout the pandemic, the CRA has worked to design and implement COVID-19 related benefit programs. The CRA has also redeployed many auditors to assist with the verification activities associated with these new programs. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and redistribution of workloads, the CRA’s volume of files under audit is lower than expected
With regard to part (c), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several programs were temporarily suspended as they were considered non-critical services. Employee workloads were shifted to reflect critical services, such as the COVID-19 benefit programs, COVID-19 related call centre activities and operation activities. Audit activity continued throughout the pandemic, but was limited to high-risk audits and exceptional circumstances.
With regard to part (f)(ii), between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the latest data available, there were 40 referrals from all CRA audit programs to the CRA's criminal investigations program. The CRA cannot provide a breakdown of referrals from each program in the manner requested, since CRA systems do not track this level of detail.

Question No. 543--
Ms. Leah Gazan:
With regard to the compliance monitoring of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy since its inception, broken down by level of risk of non-compliance with tax laws and by industry sector: (a) how many applications have been (i) approved, (ii) denied; (b) of the applications in (a), how many companies have a subsidiary or subsidiaries domiciled in foreign jurisdictions of concern as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (c) has the CRA verified that the companies in (b) have a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern, and, if not, why; (d) how many businesses have been identified as having benefited from overpayments; (e) of the businesses in (d), what is the total value of these overpayments; and (f) has the CRA cross-referenced the data between companies that have benefited from an overpayment and that have one or more subsidiaries domiciled in foreign jurisdictions of concern, and, if so, what is the total value of these overpayments of companies that have one or more subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, audit data on the Canada emergency wage subsidy, CEWS, program is highly sensitive information. Providing detailed information regarding the specific number of audits planned/conducted for a given compliance program could embolden some taxpayers to cut corners and take aggressive positions in the hopes that they will avoid detection.
With regard to parts (a)(i) and (ii),the total number of Canada emergency wage subsidy applications that have been approved is available on the CRA website on the “Claims to date: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy” page at www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-statistics.html/. As of March 7, 2021, 10,670 initial CEWS applications were cancelled/disallowed, i.e., denied. Of that figure, 7,020 were cancelled whereas 3,650 were disallowed.
With regard to parts (b), (c) and (f), the CRA does not capture the number of corporate CEWS applicants that had a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern in the manner in which the information is requested for this benefit program. The majority of taxpayers that are likely to have a subsidiary or subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern have not yet filed their current corporate income tax return and all related information returns covering the qualifying periods for which CEWS claims were made. As such, the CRA will be applying its risk assessment systems to these required tax filings, and will identify the highest risk taxpayers for its core compliance programs and for its CEWS post-payment audit program, which can include an examination of subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern, depending on the compliance risks identified.
As a general matter, the CRA does use the presence of subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions of concern as a risk factor in selecting files for audit.
With regard to part (d), compliance activities are still ongoing. A notice of determination will be sent to the taxpayers when, as a result of a post-payment audit, it is determined that the taxpayers’ claims should be reduced or denied.
With regard to part (e), as noted above, compliance activities are ongoing and it is premature to report on this, however, the total amount that has been denied through claims either fully or partially disallowed is just over $800 million as of March 22, 2021.

Question No. 550--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to the government's 2019 election commitment to plant two billion trees: (a) how many trees have been planted to date; and (b) what is the number of trees planted to date, broken down by (i) province, (ii) municipality or geographical location?
Response
Mr. Marc Serré (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.
Natural Resources Canada is looking to engage those interested in growing Canada’s forests as a nature-based solution to support national climate change actions. The growing Canada’s forests program has recently launched two new processes, and expression of interest and a request for information, to identify the desire and capacity of organizations to plant trees across Canada over the coming years.
A future participants request for information launched recently to identify interested organizations and learn about their vision and capacity to implement or contribute to large-scale, single or multi-year tree-planting projects across Canada. This will help to determine the design of the growing Canada’s forests program, develop future processes to maximize program participation and strengthen collaboration.
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 local communities. The Government of Canada also continues to support the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, which has planted more than 750,000 out of a planned two million trees in Ontario 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 support small and medium-sized forest sector firms, including tree-planting operations, and 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.
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NDP (ON)

Question No. 473--
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
With regard to royal recommendations provided to the House of Commons in conformity with section 54 of the Constitution Act, 1867: (a) during each of the 42nd and 43rd Parliaments, how many government bills required royal recommendations; (b) of the royal recommendations in (a), how many, broken down by each session of the 42nd and 43rd Parliaments, were provided (i) at the time notice was given of the introduction of the corresponding bill, (ii) following the notice of introduction of the corresponding bill; (c) for each bill in (b)(ii), (i) which bill was it, (ii) what was the date when notice of the bill's introduction was given, (iii) what was the date when the bill was introduced, (iv) what was the date when the notice of the royal recommendation was given, (v) who signed the royal recommendation, (vi) what accounts for the delay between the two dates in response to (c)(ii) and (c)(iv); and (d) is the statement, at page 148 of the Guide to Making Federal Acts and Regulations (second edition), "When a royal recommendation is required for a bill, it is communicated to the House of Commons before the bill is introduced and is included on the Order Paper", still the policy of the government?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office’s systems do not compile the information requested. Information pertaining to royal recommendations appended to bills, and the timing of notice of introduction of bills and of royal recommendations, can be found in House of Commons publications, including the Status of House Business available online at www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/house/status-business; and the Notice Paper at www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/house/latest/order-notice.
With respect to when a royal recommendation is required for a bill, Standing Order 79 of the House of Commons provides that a royal recommendation must be produced before the bill receives a final vote at third reading.

Question No. 478--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
With regard to the government’s response to e-petition e-2760 stating that, “the Gender-Based Analysis Plus [GBA+] framework was used in the development of Bill C-6 to assess its expected impact on diverse groups of women, men, and gender diverse people”: (a) what parameters of the GBA+ were used; (b) who was responsible for administering the GBA+; (c) who was consulted in conducting the GBA+ ; (d) what were the conclusions of the GBA+; (e) why has that GBA+ not been made public; (f) will that GBA+ be made public; and (g) how did that GBA+ specifically impact the drafting of Bill C-6?
Response
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), all parameters of the GBA+ framework were considered in the development of Criminal Code amendments in relation to conversion therapy. Those parameters for which there is available data, and that are more directly relevant to the issue of conversion therapy, were noted in the results of the application of the GBA+ framework: gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, race and income.
With regard to part (b), Department of Justice officials who are responsible for policy development and drafting relevant cabinet documents on conversion therapy prepare the GBA+ assessment with support from the Department of Justice GBA+ unit. The Minister of Justice is responsible for the final contents of the memorandum to cabinet, which includes the results of the application of the GBA+ analytical tool.
More generally, the deputy minister is responsible for providing overall leadership to support GBA+ in the Department of Justice. The senior assistant deputy minister, policy sector, is responsible for the GBA+ unit, provides leadership in the promotion, implementation and monitoring of GBA+ in the department, and advises senior management of their roles and responsibilities.
With regard to part (c), officials from the LGBTQ2 secretariat and the Department of Justice GBA+ unit were consulted in applying the GBA+ analytical tool.
With regard to part (d), the department’s analysis identified the proportion of the population that identifies as homosexual, bisexual and transgender; the presence of higher rates of diagnosed mental disorders among LGBTQ2 Canadians than non-LGBTQ2 Canadians; and, that LGBTQ2 Canadians are disproportionately impacted by various types of victimization. The department drew from data of the Sex Now Survey and the 2019 TransPulse national study to note the proportion of respondents who reported having been exposed to conversion therapy. The GBA+ analysis also noted the association of conversion therapy with negative psychosocial health outcomes; the susceptibility of youth to conversion therapy’s harms; and that transgender, indigenous and racial minority men and those earning lower incomes were more likely than cisgender, white and higher income men to have experienced conversion therapy. In the case of indigenous respondents, this may be a function of the lasting effects of colonization. In the case of transgender respondents, this may be a result of the double stigma experienced by those who are simultaneously part of sexual orientation and gender minorities.
With regard to part (e), since 2008, it has been mandatory to include GBA+ considerations in memoranda to cabinet. As such, the GBA+ assessment in this case was included in the memorandum to cabinet that presented options for the government’s approach to Criminal Code amendments related to conversion therapy. The memorandum to cabinet is a Secret document subject to the Confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council.
With regard to part (f), the GBA+ assessment is prepared for cabinet deliberations and is protected by cabinet confidence.
With regard to part (g), the information considered in the application of the GBA+ framework pointed to youth’s greater vulnerability to the harms of conversion therapy, supporting Bill C-6’s proposed comprehensive prohibition on causing a person under 18 to undergo conversion therapy, whether in Canada or abroad. The information considered also notes that some adults seek out conversion therapy, sometimes because of a conflict between their deeply held religious beliefs and their sexual orientation, and that in some cases, adults who voluntarily choose conversion therapy suffer harms as a result. This evidence supports Bill C-6’s approach of permitting consenting adults to choose conversion therapy when it is offered free of charge, while still prohibiting profiting from, advertising or promoting conversion therapy, to reduce the presence of public messaging that is discriminatory and harmful towards LGBTQ2 communities.
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