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Results: 1 - 100 of 1652
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2019-06-06 11:52 [p.28675]
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moved that Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
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View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-05 16:40 [p.28594]
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moved that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, as amended, be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.
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View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-05 16:49 [p.28596]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act.
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View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-05 17:10 [p.28599]
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moved that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures be read the third time and passed.
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View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-04 12:52 [p.28483]
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Mr. Speaker, again, not to sound narcissistic, but if we are going to talk, there should be people here to listen.
We are here today to debate the government's bill, which would implement the main measures of the budget. Budgets are highly technical and theoretical, but this gives us a chance to really dig deep.
My first observation is about the budget, as introduced by the minister, election promises and the format of the bill, which is 370 pages long and covers many topics that have nothing to do with the budget. This is called an omnibus bill.
I will remind members that four years ago, back in 2015, the Liberals made a promise. During the election campaign, they made several promises to Canadians in order to get elected. These promises were scrapped, however. The fourth paragraph on page 30 of their election platform states the following:
We will not resort to legislative tricks to avoid scrutiny.
[The former prime minister] has used prorogation to avoid difficult political circumstances. We will not.
[The former prime minister] has also used omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals.
This is exactly what we are debating today. Today we are debating an omnibus bill into which the government inserted measures that have nothing to do with the budget. Four years ago, the Liberals promised not to do this, but they did it anyway.
Must I remind the House that, at around the same time last year, we were all here studying the previous budget implementation bill? The government had slipped in a dozen or so pages of legal provisions to allow companies facing prosecution for corruption, among other charges, to sign separate agreements. These provisions were not properly debated by parliamentarians. The Senate asked the minister to testify, but he refused.
That is what gave rise to the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Last year's bill included a process to allow for separate trials or agreements. That led to the director of public prosecutions' decision to proceed to trial on September 4. Ten days later, the former attorney general agreed to this proposal, and that is when partisan politics seeped into the legal process. That is what later led the former attorney general and the former president of the Treasury Board to be booted out of the Liberal caucus for having stood up and told Canadians the truth.
I am talking about this sad episode in Canadian democracy precisely because what we have before us today is a government that was elected under false promises, a government that promised the moon and sought to be pure as the driven snow but, in the end, did not keep its promises. That is essentially it. We have an omnibus bill.
Now let us talk about what is really going on with this bill, the government's budget implementation bill. What is the deal with this budget? Once again, we must not forget that the Liberals got themselves elected on the basis of budget promises they most certainly did not keep. The last paragraph on page 76 of the Liberal Party platform mentions the planning framework, the budgeting framework. It says right there in black and white:
With the Liberal plan, the federal government will have a modest short-term deficit of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years....
The platform also stated that the deficit would decline in the third year and that Canada would return to a balanced budget in 2019-20.
That was the promise that got the Liberals elected. Their bold but not-so-brilliant idea was to make a solemn pledge to run small deficits and eliminate the deficit entirely in 2019-20. That deadline has arrived, and what happened? Those modest deficits ballooned into three big deficits in excess of $70 billion. This is 2019-20, the year they were supposed to get rid of the deficit, but instead, this year's deficit is $19.8 billion.
Twice now I have asked the Minister of Tourism and the Liberal member for Surrey-Centre, if I remember correctly, to tell me the amount of this year’s deficit. They can never come up with the simple and yet very serious figure of $19.8 billion. How can we trust these people who get elected by promising, hand on heart, that they will generate only small deficits and zero deficit in 2019, when they generated three large deficits plus a huge one on the year they were meant to deliver a zero deficit?
What the Liberals fail to understand is that a deficit is a bill that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. A deficit today is a tax tomorrow. It will have to be paid sooner or later. Why did this happen? Because we are living beyond our means.
I would like to remind the House that, historically speaking, deficits are permitted under special conditions. You will remember that we ran deficits during the war. We had to defeat the Nazi menace. We will soon be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings on June 6. It was not until Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent that fiscal balance was restored, and I am not just saying that because I happen to represent the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent.
It was in the early 1970s, under the Liberal government led by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the current Prime Minister’s father, that we began running deficits in times of prosperity.
It was unfortunate for the Canadian economy. Indeed, fast forward 50 years and the son of the prime minister who ran deficits in times of growth is doing exactly the same thing, running four huge deficits in a period of rapid global economic expansion.
I truly have a great deal of respect and esteem for the Minister of Finance, as I do for all those who run for election and offer their services to Canadians and who, proud of their personal experience, wish to put it to good use. The Minister of Finance had a stellar career on Bay Street. We might even call him a Bay Street baron for having administered his family’s fortune so well. When he was head of the family company, Morneau Shepell, he never ran deficits.
When he was in the private sector, the Minister of Finance never ran a deficit, but since he moved to the public sector, since he has been using taxpayer money, since he has been using money that belongs to Canadian workers, he has been running back-to-back deficits.
How many have there been? There have been one, two, three, four budgets, and there have been one, two, three, four deficits. Four out of four, that is the grand slam of mismanaged public funds, while, in the private sector, he was a model money manager, an example to be followed.
To say the least, he is now neither a model or an example to be followed. Generating deficits during periods of economic growth is the ultimate heresy. No serious economist will tell you that this is a good time to generate a deficit. Quite the contrary, when the economic cycle picks up, it is time to put money aside.
They were very lucky. When they were elected, they took over the G7 country with the best economic track record. When we were in power, we were so intent on serious and rigorous management that we were the first G7 country to recover from the great crisis of 2008-12. That was thanks to the informed and rigorous management of the late Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. These people inherited the best economic situation among the G7 nations, as well as a $2.5 billion budget surplus, which will not be the case in five months if Canadians choose us to form the next government.
Worse still, in the past four years, they have taken advantage of the sensational global economic growth and, of course, the economic strength of the United States, which has been experiencing growth for several years. What did they do with it? They made a huge mess of things, and the monstrous deficits they have been running these past four years will be handed down to our children and grandchildren to pay in the future.
That is why we are strongly opposed to this bill, which flies in the face of two election promises: to do away with omnibus bills, and to only run small deficits before balancing the budget in 2019.
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View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
2019-04-10 16:00 [p.26944]
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moved that Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
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View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
moved that Bill C-82, An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting, be concurred in.
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View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
View Cathy McLeod Profile
2019-04-01 14:50 [p.26519]
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Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's staff said, “it's just a bit ironic that she wants an alternative justice process to be available in one sense, but not one for SNC.” It seems like the entire Liberal government has been seized with getting bribery charges dropped against SNC. As a little reminder, that included $30,000 for Gadhafi's son for prostitutes in Canada.
The finance minister believes that this company should get a special deal. I have a simple question: Will the Liberals let him come to the justice committee and explain to Canadians why?
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-04-01 14:51 [p.26519]
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Mr. Speaker, we know that the justice committee studied this matter over five weeks, which is longer than most pieces of legislation are even studied at committee. We know that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is currently investigating this matter. We know that there is an ongoing court case. We know that when it comes to deferred prosecution agreements, this is a new tool that went through the House of Commons, was voted on and it is a legal measure that can be considered.
What is interesting is that we hear this sanctimony from the other side, but where was that member from the Conservative Party when it voted against measures for women and gender programs, when it voted against programs for seniors and when it voted against—
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View Jim Carr Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Jim Carr Profile
2019-03-20 15:18 [p.26184]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-94, An Act respecting certain payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
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View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Blair Profile
2019-02-21 10:11 [p.25594]
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moved that Bill S-6, An Act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 2030--
Ms. Elizabeth May:
With respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline purchased by the government on August 31, 2018: (a) did the Minister of Natural Resources seek a cost-benefit analysis of acquiring the existing pipeline and of building an expansion; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, (i) when was the analysis sought, (ii) when was the finalized analysis received, (iii) in what format was the finalized analysis received, for instance as a briefing note, a memo, a report, etc.; and (c) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of the analysis, including (i) name and credentials of the author or authors, (ii) date of publication, (iii) the WTI/WCS differential used in the calculations, (iv) the range in years from which data on Canada’s oil industry was captured and analyzed for the study, (v) the impact of an expanded pipeline on jobs in the Parkland refinery, (vi) the estimated number of construction jobs and of permanent jobs created by the expansion project, (vii) the projected construction costs of the pipeline expansion project, (viii) an assessment of the impacts of a tanker spill or pipeline leak on British Columbia’s tourism and fisheries industries, (ix) the government’s liability in the event of a spill or leak, broken down by recovery costs for marine, alluvial, and land-based ecologies (including but not limited to remediation, rehabilitation and restoration of sites and species, especially endangered species) and financial compensation for loss of livelihood and involuntary resettlement of human populations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2031--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to infrastructure projects which were approved for funding by Infrastructure Canada since November 4, 2015: what are the details of all such projects, including (i) location, (ii) project title and description, (iii) amount of federal funding commitment, (iv) amount of federal funding delivered to date, (v) amount of provincial funding commitment, (vi) amount of local funding commitment, including name of municipality or local government, (vii) status of project, (viii) start date, (ix) completion date, or expected completion date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2032--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to cyberattacks on government departments and agencies since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) how many attempted cyberattacks on government websites or servers were successfully blocked; (b) how many cyberattacks on government websites or servers were not successfully blocked; and (c) for each cyberattack in (b), what are the details, including (i) date, (ii) departments or agencies targeted, (iii) summary of incident, (iv) whether or not police were informed or charges were laid?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2033--
Mr. Richard Cannings:
With regard to the Elementary and Secondary Education Program offered by Indigenous Services Canada, broken down by province and territory: (a) how much funding was budgeted for the program for each fiscal year since 2014-15 to date; and (b) how much has been spent on the program for each fiscal year since 2014-15 to date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2034--
Mr. Richard Cannings:
With regard to communication between the Office of the Prime Minister or the Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and persons employed by or on the board of directors of Waterfront Toronto: what are all instances of communication from November 5, 2015, to date, broken down by (i) date, (ii) person in the Office of the Prime Minister or of the Minister, (iii) subject matter, (iv) persons with whom communication occurred and their titles, (v) method of communication?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2036--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to the Canada Child Benefit: (a) how many recipients of the benefit (i) are permanent residents of Canada, (ii) are temporary residents of Canada, (iii) have received refugee status, (iv) have made asylum claims that have not yet been adjudicated; (b) what is the total amount of money that has been paid out to the recipients in (a)(iii); and (c) what is the total amount of money that has been paid out to the recipients in (a)(iv)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2042--
Ms. Michelle Rempel:
With respect to border crossings occurring at unofficial Canadian ports of entry between January 1, 2017, and October 30, 2018: (a) how many border crossers have had family members later present themselves at an official point of entry to claim asylum using the exemption in the Safe Third Country Agreement for family members; and (b) how many of the cases described in (a) are currently at the Immigration and Refugee Board?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2043--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
With regard to applications for cannabis licences approved by Health Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency under the Cannabis Act and the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations: (a) how many licensed producers are structured within family trusts; (b) how many licensed producers have a criminal history; (c) what measures were taken to ensure there was no criminal history; (d) were the criminal histories of the parent companies of licensed producers analyzed; (e) how many licensed producers are associated with individuals with a criminal history; (f) how many parent companies of licensed producers are directly or indirectly associated with individuals and businesses with a criminal history; (g) how many licensed producers were reported by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; (h) are the parent companies of licensed producers required to obtain a security clearance, and if so, how many parent companies of licensed producers are there; (i) what are the sources of financing of licensed producers, broken down by jurisdiction; (j) what is the detailed ownership structure of each licensed producer; and (k) what specific measures did Health Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency take to identify the true beneficiaries of licensed producers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2045--
Mr. François Choquette:
With respect to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages: (a) to which branch of the government does the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages belong, according to the Official Languages Act; (b) before the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages, had the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ever covered the expenses of the appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages; (c) if the answer to (b) is negative, why did the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages agree to pay the expenses for the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages; (d) who precisely approached the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages to have it sign and pay for a contract with Boyden for the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages; (e) has Parliament ever authorized the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages to pay for expenses incurred by the government; (f) if the answer to (e) is affirmative, what are the authorizations in question; (g) did Parliament have access to the services from Boyden for which the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages paid in relation to the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages; (h) if the answer to (g) is negative, why; (i) how, in detail, did the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ensure that the money that it spent for the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages was used for the appropriate purposes; (j) does the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages have all the details of how the money that it paid for the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages was spent; (k) has the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ever authorized Boyden to subcontract services; and (l) what was the total amount that the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages was prepared to pay to cover expenses related to the most recent appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2046--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to the Correctional Service of Canada's Prison Needle Exchange Program: (a) what consultations were done with the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers prior to the pilot program launching; (b) on what dates did the consultations in (a) take place; (c) who was in attendance for the consultations in (a); (d) how many inmates are registered for the program; (e) how many needles have been given to inmates in the program; (f) what are the index offences of inmates registered for the program; (g) what plans, if any, exist to begin the program at other penitentiaries; (h) is an inmate's participation in the program noted in their correctional plan; (i) is an inmate's participation in the program disclosed to the Parole Board of Canada; (j) what safety measures, if any, have been put in place to protect correctional officers from needles that are now in circulation; (k) how many cases have been found of inmates not in the program being in possession of needles sourced to the program; (l) how many needles have been returned to administrators of the program; (m) how many needles have gone missing as a result of inmates losing or not returning them; (n) where does the government suspect that the remaining or missing needles are located; (o) how many inmates have been subject to disciplinary measures for either failing to return a prison exchange needle or being in violation of the program's regulations; and (p) what is the rate of inmate assaults on correctional officers since the program began?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2047--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to infrastructure projects approved for funding by Infrastructure Canada since November 4, 2015, in the Waterloo region (defined as the ridings of Kitchener—Conestoga, Kitchener South—Hespeler, Kitchener Center, Waterloo, and Cambridge): what are the details of all such projects, including (i) location, (ii) project title and description, (iii) amount of federal funding commitment, (iv) amount of federal funding delivered to date, (v) amount of provincial funding commitment, (vi) amount of local funding commitment, including name of municipality or local government, (vii) status of project, (viii) start date, (ix) completion date or expected completion date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2048--
Mrs. Alice Wong:
With regard to funding allocated in the Main Estimates 2018-19 under the Department of Employment and Social Development: (a) what are the details of funding for programs targeted at seniors, including (i) amount of funding allocated per program, (ii) name of program, (iii) summary of program; and (b) what are the details of all organizations which received funding to date through the allocations referenced in (a), including (i) name of organization, (ii) start and end date of funding, (iii) amount, (iv) description of programs or services for which funding is intended, (v) location (i.e. riding name)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2049--
Ms. Tracey Ramsey:
With regard to federal spending in the riding of Essex, for each fiscal year since 2015-16, inclusively: what are the details of all grants, contributions and loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose of the funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2050--
Ms. Tracey Ramsey:
With respect to the federal agency Invest in Canada and its board of directors: (a) what is, to date, the total amount of expenses of the Chair of the board and the members of the board, broken down by type of expenditure; (b) what are the details of implementing a national strategy to attract foreign direct investment to Canada; (c) how many new partnerships have been created, to date, with the departments or agencies of any government in Canada, the private sector in Canada, or other Canadian stakeholders interested in foreign direct investment; (d) how many activities, events, conferences and programs to promote Canada as a destination for investors have so far been created; (e) how much information has so far been collected, prepared and disseminated to assist foreign investors in supporting their foreign direct investment decisions in Canada; (f) how many services have been provided to foreign investors, to date, in respect of their current or potential investments in Canada; (g) who are the foreign investors that the agency has met, to date; (h) what are the suppliers outside of the federal public administration which the agency has used to date; (i) what, to date, are the providers of legal services outside the federal public administration on which the agency has relied; and (j) what are the filters and anti-conflict-of-interest requirements to which the members of the board are subject?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2051--
Ms. Tracey Ramsey:
With respect to the appointment process of the Chair and the members of the board of directors of the federal agency Invest in Canada: (a) did the President and any other member of the board disclose to the Deputy Minister any advice that, if adopted and executed by Invest in Canada, would provide them with a personal or professional financial gain, or bring one to a member of their immediate families or to any organization to which they are affiliated; (b) are the Chair or any other member of the board authorized to disclose to the members of other boards of directors (i) documentation, (ii) deliberations, (iii) records, (iv) advice obtained, (v) updates, (vi) commission data; (c) did the President or any other member of the board report an apparent conflict of interest; (d) did the Chair and any other member of the board object to a discussion or formulation of a recommendation that would conflict with their other interests; and (e) to what regulations, laws or policies relating to conflicts of interest and ethics are the President and any other member of the board subject?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2052--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
With regard to problematic issues related to the Phoenix pay system and the implementation of mixed pay teams in the 13 departments in June 2018: (a) what is the evolution of the cumulative backlog, broken down by department; (b) how many people were underpaid by the Phoenix pay system, in total and broken down by department; (c) how many employees experienced a total pay disruption, broken down by department; (d) of those employees in (c), broken down by department and sex, (i) how many did not receive any pay, (ii) how many had other errors related to pay; (e) what is the average error processing time, broken down by individual complaint; and (f) how many hours of overtime were required to address these issues, broken down by hours of work and costs incurred per pay period?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2053--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With respect to applications for the disability tax credit (DTC) by persons with type one diabetes which were rejected after the changes in wording to the letter to physicians in 2017 and were reviewed after the same changes in wording were reversed: (a) how many applications were reviewed; (b) how many of the applications in (a) were approved upon review; (c) how many of the applications in (a) were rejected again upon review; (d) how many of the applicants in (b) were notified of the approval; (e) how many of the applicants in (c) were notified of the rejection; (f) how many of the applicants in (c) were not notified of the rejection; (g) how many of the applicants in (c) appealed the rejection; (h) how many of the applicants in (f) were eligible to appeal the rejection; (i) how many of the applicants in (h) passed the due date for appeals without knowing about the rejection of their applications; and (j) had all applicants in (b) successfully appealed the rejection of their applications, how much would the aggregate disability tax credit claims cost on an annual basis?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2054--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to Canadian National Railway’s (CN) potential discontinuance of a portion of the Foothills Subdivision and Mountain Spur in Alberta: (a) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of this discontinuance; (b) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts; (c) what is the government’s position with regard to accepting the line at a cost not higher than the net salvage value of the rail line; (d) what is the government’s estimate of the current net salvage value of this rail line; (e) is the government aware of any other plans by CN to discontinue any other portions of the rail line, and if so, what are these plans; and (f) does the government plan to include funding for the Foothills Subdivision and Mountain Spur and other similar cases in Budget 2019?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2056--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to federal contracts with SNC-Lavalin: (a) are there any contingency plans in place for the 148 existing contracts in the event that SNC-Lavalin becomes ineligible to receive government contracts; (b) has the government sent tenders, letters of intent, or requests for quotation to SNC-Lavalin since April 27, 2013; (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, on what occasions was this done and what were the projects in question; (d) for all contracts awarded to SNC-Lavalin since 2013, what were the successful bid amounts; (e) for all completed contracts awarded to SNC-Lavalin since 2013, what amount of money was actually disbursed for each contract; (f) for any contracts that were amended after being awarded since 2013, (i) what contracts were amended, (ii) for what reason were they amended; (g) in general, what is the process for approving amendments to contracts; (h) which buildings owned by the federal government does SNC-Lavalin currently maintain or manage; and (i) what incidents, broken down by category (e.g. critical, health and safety, security) and date, have occurred in government facilities maintained or operated by SNC-Lavalin, or in SNC-Lavalin facilities occupied by government departments?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2057--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regards to the Statutes of Canada, 2018, Chapter 16 (Cannabis Act), where Part 6, Section 93(2) of the Regulations state that "...cannabis may contain residues of a pest control product, its components or derivatives, if they do not exceed any maximum residue limit, in relation to cannabis, specified for the pest control product, its components or derivatives under section 9 or 10 of the Pest Control Products Act...": (a) has Health Canada defined a maximum residue limit for residual chemicals in recreational cannabis as a commodity; (b) if the answer to (a) is positive (i) what is the maximum residue limit, (ii) have the public databases on maximum residue limits been updated to reflect the maximum residue limit for recreational cannabis; (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, does Health Canada intend to define a maximum residue limit for residual chemicals in recreational cannabis; (d) if the answer to (c) is positive, when does Health Canada intend to publish the maximum residue limit for residual chemicals in recreational cannabis; and (e) if the answer to (c) is negative, will Part 6, Section 93(2) of the Regulations apply to recreational cannabis as a commodity?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2058--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regards to applications for visitor visas since January 1, 2016, broken down by calendar year: (a) what number of people from Pakistan have applied for a visitor visa; (b) for each applicant in (a), what number were identified as Christian on their passports; (c) for each applicant in (b), what number were granted visitor visas; (d) for each applicant in (c), what number of adult applicants had annual incomes of 252,000 Pakistani rupees (PKR), or 3,000 Canadian dollars, or less; (e) for each applicant in (d), what number of people claimed asylum in Canada; (f) for each applicant in (e), what number were granted asylum; and (g) for each response provided in (a) through (f), what is the breakdown by gender?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2059--
Mr. Bernard Généreux:
With regard to expenditures related to the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix: (a) what is the total cost of all expenditures to date; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) description of goods or services, (iii) quantity, (iv) amount, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2060--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to the “capability gap” in relation to military aircraft and fighter jets: what are the details of all briefing documents related to the matter since November 4, 2015, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) summary, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2061--
Mr. Alexander Nuttall:
With regard to Statistics Canada’s plan to harvest data from Canadians’ bank accounts: for each of the next five years, what is the projected revenue that the agency will receive as a result of selling information or statistics obtained as a result of the project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2062--
Mr. Scott Duvall:
With regard to public consultations planned in Budget 2018 concerning retirement income security following the "Sears" case, between February 2018 and November 2, 2018, broken down by month: (a) did the Minister of Seniors conduct public consultations; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, which individuals and organizations did the Minister of Seniors consult; (c) what are the recommendations or conclusions of the persons and organizations consulted, broken down by person and organization consulted; (d) in which municipalities did these meetings take place; (e) in which electoral districts did these meetings take place; and (f) were the Members of Parliament representing the constituencies referred to in (e) invited to these meetings?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2063--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's May 14, 2018, decision to suspend the processing of permanent resident visas for adoptive children from Japan: (a) who made the decision; (b) what was the rationale for the decision; (c) what evidence was provided to support the decision; (d) have officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada communicated with the State Department of the United States with respect to the decision; (e) have officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada communicated with the British Columbia Director of Adoption with respect to the decision; (f) why did Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada approve visas for the Japan-born adoptive children of five families from British Columbia in June 2018 despite the suspension on adoptions from Japan; (g) what are the specific questions on which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is seeking clarification from the government of Japan; (h) what were the responses, if any, that the government received from Japan; (i) what concerns, if any, does the government have with the Japan adoption program; and (j) has there been a change in policy with regard to adoption from non-Hague countries?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2064--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS), broken down by fiscal year 2016-17 and 2017-18: (a) what was the budget for the FTCS; (b) how much of that budget was spent within the fiscal year; (c) how much was spent on each component of the FTCS, specifically, (i) mass media, (ii) policy and regulatory development, (iii) research, (iv) surveillance, (v) enforcement, (vi) grants and contributions, (vii) programs for Indigenous Canadians; (d) were any other activities not listed in (c) funded by the FTCS and, if so, how much was spent on each of these activities; and (e) was part of the budget reallocated for purposes other than tobacco control and, if so, how much was reallocated?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2066--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the federal agency Invest in Canada: (a) what is the remuneration range for its Board of Directors; (b) what are the details of all travel expenses incurred by Invest in Canada since its inception, including for each expenditure the (i) traveller, (ii) purpose, (iii) dates, (iv) air fare, (v) other transportation, (vi) accommodation, (vii) meals and incidentals, (viii) other, (ix) total; (c) what are the details of all hospitality expenses incurred by Invest in Canada, including for each expenditure the (i) individual, (ii) location and vendor, (iii) total, (iv) description, (v) date, (vi) number of attendees, including government employees and guests; (d) will the agency’s travel and hospitality expenditures be subject to proactive disclosure and, if not, why; and (e) since Invest in Canada’s inception, what are the details of the contracts awarded, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2067--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s YouTube channel since November 4, 2015: (a) how many full-time equivalents manage the channel; (b) what are the titles and corresponding pay scales of the full-time equivalents who manage the channel; (c) how much has been spent on overtime pay for the full-time equivalents who manage the channel; (d) how much has been spent on developing content for the channel, and how much is earmarked to be spent for the remainder of the 2018-19 fiscal year; (e) how much has been spent on promoting content for the channel, and how much is earmarked to be spent for the remainder of the 2018-19 fiscal year; (f) is there a cross-platform promotion plan to share content from the channel to other digital media platforms; (g) are the costs associated with the plan described in (f) included in the YouTube budget, or do they fall within the budget of the other platforms; (h) what are the digital media platforms used to promote or share the Minister’s YouTube content; (i) what is the monthly expenditure on the channel, broken down by month; (j) what is the cost associated with each video on the channel; and (k) what is the annual expenditure on the channel, broken down by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2068--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to Government of Canada electric vehicles: (a) how many electric vehicles does the government have in the greater Ottawa area; (b) of the vehicles in (a) what are the makes, models, and years for each of those vehicles; (c) when were these vehicles purchased, broken down by amount purchased per month; (d) how many charging stations does the government have in the Ottawa area; (e) of the charging stations in (d), when were they installed; (f) to date, what is the cost of the installation of charging stations; and (g) what is the kw/h used at the charging stations by month since they have been installed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2069--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the government's Mandate Letter Tracker tool: (a) what is the methodology in determining the current status of a commitment; (b) what metrics are used to differentiate between a commitment which has “made progress” and those that have “made progress toward ongoing goal”; (c) what metrics are used to determine if a commitment is “facing challenges”; (d) which department is responsible for the mandate letter tracker; (e) how many full-time equivalents monitor and maintain the mandate letter tracker; and (f) of the FTE’s in (e) what are their employment classifications?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2073--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the business activities of the Royal Canadian Mint (the Mint) for the fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017: (a) what was the total revenue received from the Mint's numismatic business activities for each year; (b) what was the total revenue received from the Mint's bullion products and services function for each year; (c) what were the total profits earned from the Mint's numismatic business activities for each year; (d) what were the total profits earned from the Mint's bullion products and services function for each year; (e) what countries did the Mint provide numismatic products to in each year, broken down by the percentage of business activity in each country; (f) what countries did the Mint provide bullion products to in each year, broken down by percentage of business activity in each country; (g) what was the total value of bullion products sold by the Mint to Canadian customers for each year; (h) what are the names of the Canadian distributors and customers that the Mint sold bullion products to in each year, broken down by the value of bullion products sold to them; (i) what was the total value of numismatic products sold to Canadian distributors and customers for each year; (j) what are the names of the Canadian distributors and customers that the Mint sold numismatic products to in each year, broken down by the value of numismatic products sold to them; (k) what was the total value of bullion products sold by the Mint to American distributors and customers for each year; (l) what are the names of the American distributors and customers that the Mint sold bullion products to in each year, broken down by the value of bullions product sold to them; (m) what was the total value of numismatic products sold to American distributors and customers for each year; (n) what are the names of the American distributors and customers that the Mint sold numismatic products to in each year, broken down by the value of numismatic products sold to them; and (o) what is the alphabetical list of all approved bullion and numismatic distributors and customers that the Mint sells to for each year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2074--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since its creation: (a) what is the number of meetings held with Canadian and foreign investors, broken down by (i) month, (ii) country, (iii) investor class; (b) what is the complete list of investors met with; and (c) what are the details of the contracts awarded by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2077--
Mr. Alupa A. Clarke:
With regard to all Government of Canada communications (meetings, emails, letters, telephone calls, teleconferences, etc.) regarding (i) the emission of red dust in Limoilou and Québec, (ii) all other possible emissions from the Port of Québec’s industrial and port activities, including various dusts and noxious odours in Limoilou and Québec, (iii) public health, (iv) all forms of emissions under the responsibility of the Ministère des Transports du Québec, in particular from nearby highways, (v) all forms of emissions from the Québec incinerator, (vi) all other forms of dust and emissions that may come from other areas, broken down by subject: what are the details of each communication, including (i) the date, (ii) the sender, (iii) the recipient, (iv) the title and subject, (v) the type of communication, (vi) the file number, (vii) the content surrounding each subject since November 4, 2015, between the government and (a) Port of Québec authorities; (b) the office of the Mayor of Québec; (c) the Government of Quebec; (d) the MNA for Jean-Lesage; (e) the MNA for Taschereau; (f) Quebec Stevedoring Company Ltd. (QSL), formerly Arrimage du Saint-Laurent; (g) companies operating on Port of Québec lands?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2078--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to government spending and charges laid pertaining to matters of national security: (a) how much has been spent annually since 2015 by each department investigating and prosecuting Vice Admiral Mark Norman, specifically (i) the RCMP, (ii) the Public Prosecution Services, (iii) the Privy Council Office (PCO), (iv) the Department of National Defence (DND), (v) the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), (vi) any other department or agency; (b) how much has been spent by each department investigating the 1,366 incidences of actionable financial intelligence on money laundering identified by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) in 2017, specifically (i) the RCMP, (ii) the Public Prosecution Service, (iii) PCO, (iv) any other department; (c) how much has been spent by each department investigating and prosecuting the 462 terrorism financing and threats to the security of Canada identified by FINTRAC in 2016 and 2017, specifically (i) the RCMP, (ii) the Public Prosecution Services, (iii) PCO, (iv) DND, (v) the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), (vi) any other department or agency; (d) how much has been spent by each department investigating and prosecuting the 187 actionable financial transactions related to money laundering, terrorism, terrorism financing and threats to the security of Canada identified by FINTRAC in 2016 and 2017, specifically (i) the RCMP, (ii) the Public Prosecution Services, (iii) PCO, (iv) DND, (v) CSIS, (vi) any other department or agency; (e) how many charges related to specific incidences of terrorism financing reported by FINTRAC were laid in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017, (iv) 2018; and (f) how many of the cases in (e) have resulted in successful prosecutions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2079--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Liechtenstein leaks, the Panama Papers and the Bahamas Leaks: (a) how many Canadian taxpayers were identified in the documents obtained, broken down by information leak and type of taxpayer, that is (i) an individual, (ii) a corporation, (iii) a partnership or trust; (b) how many audits did the CRA launch following the identification of taxpayers in (a), broken down by information leak; (c) of the audits in (b), how many were referred to the CRA’s Criminal Investigations Program, broken down by information leak; (d) how many of the investigations in (c) were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, broken down by information leak; (e) how many of the investigations in (d) resulted in a conviction, broken down by information leak; and (f) what was the sentence imposed for each conviction in (e), broken down by information leak?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2080--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
With regard to real estate and office space leased by the government from private sector businesses since November 4, 2015, broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all the contracts, including (i) vendor; (ii) amount; (iii) start and end date of the contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2081--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program: (a) what are the details of all recipients of funding under the program since November 4, 2015, including the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) start date of the related activity or event, (iv) description and title of the activity or event, (v) purpose of funding; and (b) what are the details of all applicants who were denied funding under the program, including the (i) name, (ii) date of application, (iii) summary or description of the event related to the proposal, (iv) reason why the funding request was denied?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2082--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to the $6 million budget for the Leader’s Debates Commission: what is the breakdown of how the $6 million is projected to be spent by standard object and line item?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2084--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regard to government contracts with Cossette Communication Inc., especially the decision to pay $499,800 to come up with a brand, logo, name and website for FinDev Canada: (a) on what date was the FinDev Canada contract signed; (b) on what date was the Minister of International Development or the Minister’s office informed that the contract in (a) existed; (c) who authorized the amount of the contract in (a) to be increased from the original value to $499,800; (d) what was the rationale or justification for increasing the original value of the contract in (a); (e) what are the details of all other contracts any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity has entered into with Cossette Communication Inc. since November 4, 2015, including the (i) date and duration (ii) amount, (iii) final contract value, (iv) original contract value, if different than the final, (v) justification for increasing the original contract value, if applicable, (vi) detailed description of goods or services provided, (vii) name of advertising or other campaign relevant to the contract; and (f) what is the total value of contracts entered into with Cossette Communication Inc. since November 4, 2015?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2086--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) in Canada for the three most recent tax years available: (a) what is the total number of TFSAs, broken down by age groups (i) 15 to 24, (ii) 25 to 34, (iii) 35 to 54, (iv) 55 to 64, (v) 65 and above; (b) what is the total value of TFSAs, broken down by amounts (i) under $100,000, (ii) $100,000 to $250,000, (iii) $250,000 to $500,000, (iv) $500,000 to $1,000,000, (v) over $1,000,000; (c) how many individuals have a TFSA; and (d) how many individuals have multiple TFSAs?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2087--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to the leaking of information from Cabinet meetings or Cabinet committee meetings, since November 4, 2015: (a) of how many instances of leaked information is the government aware; (b) how many individuals have been, or are, under investigation for leaking such information; (c) have any ministers been investigated for leaking such information and, if so, which ones; and (d) have any former ministers been investigated for leaking such information and, if so, which ones?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2088--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to communication sent or received by Statistics Canada since January 1, 2017: (a) what are the details of all communication between Statistics Canada and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Office of the Minister or the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) format (email, letter, teleconference, etc.); (b) what are the details of all communication between Statistics Canada and banks or other financial institutions, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) format (email, letter, teleconference, etc.); and (c) what are the details of all communication between Statistics Canada and the Office of the Prime Minister or the Privy Council Office, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) format (email, letter, teleconference, etc.)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2089--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to the government’s “price on pollution” or carbon tax: what was the “price on pollution” or carbon tax revenue that the federal government received as a result of the 2018 dump of 162 million litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River in or around Longueuil, Quebec?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2090--
Mr. Deepak Obhrai:
With regard to expenditures related to the Fall Economic Statement in November 2018: (a) what is the total of all expenditures related to the statement; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) detailed description of goods or services, (v) location of vendor, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2091--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the government’s policies and protocols in relation to spider sightings and sending government employees home: (a) how many employees from Shared Services Canada were sent home as a result of the alleged spider sightings at the building located at 2300 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, in 2018; (b) on what dates were employees sent home; (c) what is the breakdown of how many employees were sent home on each date in (b); (d) were any dangerous spiders discovered as a result of the sightings and, if so, which ones; (e) how much did the government spend on fumigation, investigations or other activities resulting from the sightings and what is the detailed breakdown of such expenditures; and (f) what are the government’s policies and protocols for when spiders are allegedly sighted on government property and when to send employees home?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2092--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regards to the three proposed tax provisions in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement to accelerate business investment and their impact on provincial revenue: (a) has the Department of Finance calculated the forgone revenue estimates for provinces and, if not, why; (b) what are the calculated forgone revenue estimates, broken down for each fiscal year until 2023-24, (i) for each province, (ii) by provision; (c) how many times has this topic been discussed with the government and has the question been raised with the Minister or Deputy Minister and, if so, has the Minister provided a response and, if so, what was it; (d) has there been any briefing with detailed information on the matter and for every briefing document or docket prepared, what is (i) the date, (ii) the title and subject matter, (iii) the department's internal tracking number; (e) were provincial officials notified of the government's intent to change these provisions and their fiscal implication and, if not, why; (f) which provincial officials were contacted; (g) which provinces shared concerns about revenues loss stemming from these provisions; and (h) what was the nature of these concerns?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2093--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to the August 2018 letter sent by the Minister of Health to the then Quebec Health Minister warning that the government would cut health care transfer payments to the province if it continued to allow patients to pay out of pocket for medical exams: (a) which other provinces or territories have received similar warning letters from the Minister since November 4, 2015; and (b) what are the details of each letter, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) nature and summary of the warning?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2094--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard Statistics Canada’s plan to harvest financial transaction data and the claim by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development that he found out about the plan through the media: (a) on what date did Statistics Canada begin developing the plan; (b) on what date did Statistics Canada notify banks or financial institutions about the plan; (c) on what date did Statistics Canada notify the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development about the plan; and (d) on what date did Statistics Canada notify the Privacy Commissioner about the plan?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2095--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to expenditures on cellular services by the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO): (a) what is the total of all such expenditures since December 1, 2015, broken down by month; (b) what is the total number of devices in use, broken down by month and type of device; (c) what is the average expenditure for cellular services per device, per month; (d) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by (i) PCO, excluding exempt staff, (ii) exempt staff in the PMO, (iii) exempt staff in other ministers offices under the PCO (Government House Leader, Minister of Democratic Institutions and Minister of lntergovernmental Affairs); and (e) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by vendor or service provider?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2096--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s trip to France in November 2018: (a) who took part in the trip, broken down by (i) exempt staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, (ii) Members of Parliament, (iii) Senators, (iv) employees of the Privy Council Office, (v) other guests; (b) for each of the participants identified in (a), what were the costs of the trip, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) accommodation, (iii) travel, (iv) meals, (v) all other expenses; (c) what were the details for all of the hospitality activities and events during the trip, including (i) the dates, (ii) the cities, (iii) the number of attendees, (iv) the total costs; and (d) what agreements or arrangements were signed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2097--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to the Minister of Finance’s trip to China in November 2018: (a) who went on the trip, broken down by (i) Minister’s staff, (ii) Members of Parliament, (iii) Senators, (iv) departmental employees, (v) other guests; (b) for each person identified in (a), what were the travel costs, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) accommodation, (iii) travel, (iv) meals, (v) all other expenses; (c) what are the details of all events and representation activities during the trip, including (i) dates, (ii) cities, (iii) number of participants, (iv) total costs; and (d) what agreements were signed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2098--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to the speech made by the Minister of Finance to the Canada China Business Council in November 2018: (a) did the Minister know that journalists had been denied access before making his speech; (b) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, why did the Minister agree to make his speech if journalists were excluded; (c) what are the government’s guidelines regarding journalists’ access to events involving ministers; (d) did the Minister follow the guidelines in (c); and (e) what is the government’s position on the prohibition on journalists during the Minister’s speech?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2099--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to land owned by the Department of National Defence on the slopes of Mont-Saint-Bruno: (a) what are the department’s plans for this 441-hectare wooded area adjacent to the national park; (b) will it respond favourably to the request by the executive committee of the Communauté métropolitiane de Montréal, Mouvement Ceinture Verte, Fondation du Mont-Saint-Bruno and the Municipality of Saint-Bruno-de-Mantarville to incorporate the area in its entirety into Mont-Saint-Bruno provincial park; and (c) when will the Department of National Defence make a decision on the sale, transfer or retention of the area?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2100--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
With regard to the consultations and roundtables with stakeholders launched in October 2018 by the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction in relation to firearms: (a) what are the details of each consultation or roundtable discussion, including (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) stakeholders in attendance, (iv) Ministers or Members of Parliament in attendance; (b) who decided which stakeholders would be invited to the discussions, and what criteria was used; and (c) what is the complete list of stakeholders who were (i) invited, (ii) attended the consultations or roundtables?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2103--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regards to Budget 2016 Growing the Middle Class and the median wage income: (a) what are the details of all documents, including spreadsheets, used to create Chart 1 Real median wage income of Canadians, 1975-2015, in the Budget, broken down by (i) median wage income of women, (ii) median wage income of men, (iii) median wage income; (b) is the data regarding the median wage income of Canadians available for the most recent years after 2015 and, if so, which years; and (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what are the details of all documents, including spreadsheets, regarding the median wage income of Canadians for each of the most recent years available after 2015, broken down annually by (i) median wage income of women, (ii) median wage income of men, (iii) median wage income?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2104--
Mr. David Tilson:
With regard to the process for renewing expiring permanent residency cards: (a) what is the average processing time for a card renewal; (b) what is the average time between when an application for renewal is received by the government and when the replacement card is ready; (c) what is the specific process the government undertakes for card renewals; (d) what specific options are available to residents who wish to travel abroad and have submitted their expiring card to the government as part of the renewal application, but who are still waiting for the government to provide them with a replacement card; and (e) what specific changes will the government make in order to make it easier for permanent residents to travel aboard during the renewal period?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2107--
Mr. Larry Miller:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s tweet on December 2, 2018, pledging $50 million to Education Cannot Wait: was this funding approved by the Treasury Board before or after the Prime Minister posted the tweet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2108--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to government policies and procedures: what are the government's policies and procedures when a sitting Cabinet minister is being investigated by the RCMP?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2109--
Mr. Glen Motz:
With regard to the Safe Third Country Agreement: how many individuals have been exempted from the Safe Third Country Agreement due to the presence of a relative in Canada who crossed the border “irregularly” since January 1, 2016?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2110--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
With regard to the government's prompt payment consultation process, since consultations started: (a) how many meetings have taken place and where did they take place; (b) how many individuals or companies have participated; (c) how many responses have been received; (d) what are the total costs to undertake the consultations; (e) when are the consultations ending; and (f) when will the consultations and information collected be provided to the Minister's office?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2111--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the government’s Connect to Innovate Program first announced in the 2016 Budget: (a) what is the total of all expenditures to date under the program; and (b) what are the details of all projects funded to date under the program, including (i) recipient of funding, (ii) name of the project, (iii) location, (iv) project start date, (v) amount of funding pledged, (vi) amount of funding actually provided to date, (vii) description of the project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2112--
Ms. Rachael Harder:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s recent comment that “There are impacts when you bring construction workers into a rural area”: to what specific impacts was the Prime Minister referring?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2113--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to expenditures on furniture rentals by the government since January 1, 2016, broken down by department or agency: (a) what is the total of all expenditures; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of the contract, (iv) delivery date of the furniture, (v) duration of the rental, (vi) itemized description, including the quantity of rentals, (vii) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2114--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to projects funded since May 1, 2018, under the Atlantic Fisheries Fund: what are the details of all such projects, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) recipient, (v) amount of federal contribution, (vi) date of announcement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2116--
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
With regard to flights taken on chartered or government aircraft by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the details of all flights, including (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers; and (b) what are the details of any contract related to the flights in (a), including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date and duration of contract, (iv) description of goods or services?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2118--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake and the revelation at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on December 3, 2018, that certain programs at the base were either being moved to Ottawa or are under consideration to be moved to Ottawa: (a) what is the complete list of programs which are either being moved or are under consideration for being moved out of Cold Lake, and to where are each of those programs possibly being moved; and (b) what are the government’s projections regarding the number of individuals subject to transfer away from Cold Lake as a result of each move in (a), broken down by program?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2119--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
With regard to the Minister of International Trade’s trip to China in November 2018: (a) who went on the trip, broken down by (i) Minister’s staff, (ii) Members of Parliament, (iii) Senators, (iv) departmental employees, (v) other guests; (b) for each person identified in (a), what were the travel costs, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) accommodation, (iii) travel, (iv) meals, (v) all other expenses; (c) what are the details of all events and representation activities during the trip, including (i) dates, (ii) cities, (iii) number of participants, (iv) total costs; and (d) what agreements were signed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2120--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to ministerial permits: (a) how many Temporary Resident Visas issued under ministerial permit have been granted, broken down by month between November 2015 and December 2018; and (b) how many Temporary Resident Permits issued under ministerial permit have been granted, broken down by month between November 2015 and December 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2121--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to requests from Members of Parliament for Temporary Resident Visas: (a) what is the number of requests received from Members since January 1, 2016, broken down by year; (b) what is the number of requests received, broken down by individual Member; and (c) what is the number of requests granted, broken down by individual Member?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2122--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to requests from Members of Parliament for Temporary Resident Permits: (a) what is the number of requests received from Members since January 1, 2016, broken down by year; (b) what is the number of requests received, broken down by individual Member; and (c) what is the number of requests granted, broken down by individual Member?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2123--
Mr. Mark Warawa:
With regard to the Canadian delegation to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland: (a) what is the total number of members of the delegation, including any accompanying staff, broken down by organization; (b) what is the title of each member of the delegation, broken down by organization; (c) what is the total allocated budget for the delegation; and (d) what is projected or estimated travel and hospitality expenses for the delegation, broken down by type of expense?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2124--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to the lack of enforcement actions by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA): (a) what is the budget of the CTA for the calendar years (i) 2013, (ii) 2014, (iii) 2015, (iv) 2016, (v) 2017, (vi) 2018; (b) what is the number of complaints received by the CTA between 2013 and 2018, broken down by year; (c) what is the number of cases where the CTA representatives turned away any complaints by passengers between 2013 and 2018, broken down by year; (d) what is the number of enforcement actions taken between 2013 and 2018, broken down by year; (e) why has the number of complaints received by the CTA quadrupled between 2013 and 2017, while enforcement actions have seen a near four-fold decrease during the same period; (f) for what reason has the CTA taken no enforcement action against Air Canada for defying Decision No. 12-C-A-2018; (g) why did the Minister of Transport not investigate the allegations of fabrication and fraud levelled against CTA staff who turned away valid complaints by passengers; and (h) what steps has the Minister of Transport taken against the airlines and crew involved in defrauding consumers and authorities in what was referred to as the "Mexican Game", where airlines misled aviation authorities and its passengers about unscheduled stops on flights from Mexico?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2125--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to government expenditures on Canada Goose products since November 4, 2015: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) description of the product, including the volume, (iv) rationale for the purchase, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2126--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to expenditures on hospitality by Environment and Climate Change Canada from December 2, 2018, through December 6, 2018: what are the details of each such expenditure, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) location, (iv) vendor name, (v) number of individuals in attendance, (vi) description of the event, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2127--
Mr. Matthew Dubé:
With regard to applications for grants and contributions to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Canada Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Northern Ontario Economic Development Initiative and Western Economic Diversification Canada, since November 2015: (a) what applications were first approved by officials within the agencies and organizations listed above, but then rejected by the Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, broken down by agency and organization; and (b) what applications were first refused by officials within the agencies and organizations listed above, but then approved by the Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, broken down by agency and organization?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2128--
Mr. Matthew Dubé:
With regard to the pensions of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of federal agencies or other federal organizations, since November 2015: (a) how many CEOs are deemed not to be part of the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act; (b) how many times did a minister or any other public office holder order that a CEO be deemed to be part of the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act, broken down by (i) name of CEO, (ii) federal organization, (iii) minister or public office holder responsible for the order, (vi) the rationale behind the order; and (c) what is the estimated total pension income, broken down for each case where a CEO has been deemed part of the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act further to an order?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2129--
Mr. Matthew Dubé:
With regard to Health Canada’s re-evaluation decisions, including RVD2017-01, Glyphosate, and the “Monsanto Papers”: (a) how many and which studies are currently being re-evaluated by Health Canada; (b) for each of the studies in (a), when did Health Canada make the decision to re-evaluate it; (c) has Health Canada verified the independence of the studies in (a); (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what was the detailed process for verifying the independence of the studies; and (e) does Health Canada have information that approved independent studies were written by Monsanto and, if so, since what date, broken down by study?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2130--
Mr. Matthew Dubé:
With regard to the taxation of businesses, since November 2015: (a) how many Canadian businesses have not paid tax for each of the following fiscal years (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017, (iv) 2018; and (b) how much tax was deferred by the businesses in (a) in fiscal years (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017, (iv) 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2131--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to reports of a $355,950 sole-sourced contract to pay Torstar Corporation, which was cancelled following a complaint to the Procurement Ombudsman: (a) what was the original purpose of the contract; (b) which minister initially approved the contract; (c) does the government have enough employees to monitor parliamentary committees without hiring the Toronto Star; and (d) what is the total number of government employees whose job involved, in whole or in part, monitoring parliamentary committees?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2132--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to classified and protected documents, since January 1, 2017, broken down by department or agency: (a) how many instances have occurred where it was discovered that classified or protected documents were left or stored in a manner which did not meet the requirements of the security level of the documents; (b) how many of the infractions in (a) occurred in the offices of ministerial exempt staff, including the staff of the Prime Minister, broken down by ministerial office; and (c) how many employees have lost their security clearance as a result of such infractions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2133--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to funding on infrastructure and the Prime Minister’s comment that “there are impacts when you bring construction workers into a rural area”: (a) does the Prime Minister’s comment represent the position of the government; (b) how many cities, towns, villages and rural municipalities have declined funding for infrastructure projects because such projects would involve bringing in construction workers; and (c) have any mayors or elected officials of rural towns or cities requested that the government not provide infrastructure funding for projects which would lead to more construction workers and, if so, which ones and what towns or cities do they represent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2134--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the MV Polar Prince and the Canada C3 expedition: (a) since the ship was certified to carry an aggregate of 60 individuals, including passengers, crew and special expedition personnel, why was the vessel over capacity for 6 of the 15 legs of the journey; (b) since the ship was certified to carry 12 passengers, why were more passengers onboard for all 15 legs of the journey; (c) was the Minister of Transport aware that the ship was carrying more individuals, and passengers in particular, than that for which it was certified; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, when was the Minister made aware; and (e) did the Minister approve the vessel to be over capacity and, if so, why?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2135--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs: what are the details of all lawsuits settled by the Department between January 2016 and December 2018, including (i) title of case, (ii) reason for lawsuit, (iii) litigants, (iv) legal fees, (v) fiscal total of the settlement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2136--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the government’s response to Q-1982 regarding the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office located at 365 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba: (a) why was the government’s rationale for no longer allowing access to the general public without an appointment not provided in the response to Q-1982; (b) what is the government’s rationale for not allowing access to the general public without an appointment; (c) how many clients were served at this location between January 2015 and September 2018, broken down by month; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by purpose of visit (Employment Insurance, obtaining a status card, etc.)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2137--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the government’s response to Q-2006 that the Global Affairs Summit Management Office did not incur any expenses for yoga teachers for the Prime Minister during the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix: (a) did any other departments or agencies incur yoga-related expenses during the G7 Summit in Charlevoix and, if so, what are the details of such expenses, including amounts; and (b) who paid for the Prime Minister’s yoga instructor in Charlevoix during the time of the G7 Summit?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2138--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to government and Canadian Armed Forces policies for the Vimy Officers’ Mess in Kingston, Ontario: (a) on what date was the booking accepted by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces for the December 19, 2018, Liberal Party fundraising event with the Prime Minister, which was subsequently cancelled; (b) what is the title of the individual who initially accepted the booking; (c) did the Privy Council Office advise the Office of the Prime Minister that attending a partisan event on Canadian Armed Forces property violated government policy and, if so, when was such advice given; and (d) why did the Prime Minister initially agree to attend an event which was in violation of government policy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2139--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
With regard to Hillside Cottage (1915), the oldest structure in Banff National Park: (a) what measures are being undertaken to preserve and restore the structure; (b) what measures are in place to prevent the decay, vandalism or incidental destruction of the structure; and (c) what is being done to promote and recognize the history and significance of the structure?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2140--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to the proposed Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor project for a pipeline between Fort McMurray, Alberta, and Grassy Point, British Columbia: (a) has the government conducted an analysis of the impact of Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, on the proposed project and, if so, what are the details of such an analysis, including the findings; and (b) will the government exempt vessels transporting oil in relation to the project from the moratorium proposed in Bill C-48?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2141--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to the number of RCMP officers: (a) what is the total number of active RCMP officers as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) January 1, 2017, (iii) January 1, 2018, (iv) December 1, 2018; (b) what are the names and locations of each RCMP detachment; and (c) what is the breakdown of the number of RCMP officers assigned to each detachment as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) January 1, 2017, (iii) January 1, 2018, (iv) December 1, 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2142--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to government resources used to handle the situation involving illegal or irregular border crossers and asylum seekers, since January 1, 2016: what is the number of RCMP and CBSA personnel whose duties were, in whole or in part, assigned to handle the illegal or irregular border crossers, broken down by (i) province, (ii) month?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2143--
Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach:
With regard to the Minister of Youth, the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, the Youth Secretariat and the Youth Policy for Canada: (a) what is the decision-making flow chart for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council; (b) what is the total amount spent and the total budget for the Youth Council since it was established, broken down by year; (c) what amounts in the Youth Council budget are allocated for salaries, broken down by (i) year, (ii) position, (iii) per diem or any other reimbursement or expense (telecommunications, transportation, office supplies, furniture, etc.) offered or attributed to each of the positions mentioned in (c)(ii); (d) what are the dates, locations and number of participants for each of the meetings held by the Youth Council since June 2017, broken down by (i) in-person meetings, (ii) virtual meetings; (e) how much did the government spend to hold each of the Youth Council meetings mentioned in (d), broken down by (i) costs associated with renting a room, (ii) costs associated with food and drinks, (iii) costs associated with security, (iv) costs associated with transportation and the nature of this transportation, (v) costs associated with telecommunications; (f) what is the decision-making flow chart for the Privy Council’s Youth Secretariat, including each of the positions associated with the Youth Secretariat; (g) what is the total amount spent and the total budget of the Youth Secretariat since it was established, broken down by year; (h) what amounts in the Youth Secretariat budget are allocated for salaries, broken down by (i) year, (ii) position, (iii) per diem or any other reimbursement or expense (telecommunications, transportation, office supplies, furniture, etc.) offered or attributed to each of the positions mentioned in (h)(ii); (i) what is the official mandate of the Youth Secretariat; (j) what is the relationship between the Prime Minister’s Youth Council and the Youth Secretariat (organizational ties, financial ties, logistical support, etc.); (k) is the Youth Secretariat responsible for youth bursaries, services or programs; (l) if the answer to (k) is affirmative, what amounts were allocated to these bursaries, services or programs since they were established, broken down by (i) the nature of the bursary, service or program funded, (ii) the location of the program, (iii) the start and end date of the bursary, service or program; (m) who are all the people who are working or have worked on the Youth Policy for Canada as part of the Office of the Prime Minister or the Office of the Minister of Youth, broken down by role and by start and end date; (n) what consultations were carried out in connection with the youth policy, and what are the dates, locations and number of participants for each consultation held, as well as a description of the topics discussed, broken down by (i) in-person meetings, (ii) virtual meetings; and (o) how much did the government spend to hold each of the consultations mentioned in (n), broken down by (i) costs associated with renting a room, (ii) costs associated with food and drinks, (iii) costs associated with security, (iv) costs associated with transportation and the nature of this transportation, (v) costs associated with telecommunications?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2145--
Mr. Kevin Sorenson:
With regard to the $19,682,232.17 spent by Environment and Climate Change Canada on payments to other international organizations (object code 2319) during the 2017-2018 fiscal year: what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) recipient, (ii) location of the recipient, (iii) purpose, (iv) date of the expenditure, (v) amount?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2146--
Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach:
With regard to the pipelines passing through the region of Vaudreuil-Soulanges: (a) since 2008, how many hydrostatic tests and any other safety tests (integrity, corrosion, etc.) have been conducted on all the pipelines over their entire length from Ontario to Quebec, broken down by (i) pipeline, (ii) type of test, (iii) date, (iv) federal entity or contractor, (v) test location and province, (vi) test result; (b) when requesting flow reversal for the 9B and Trans-Northern pipelines, did the government or any other entity calculate the greenhouse gas emissions upstream and downstream of the project; (c) if the answer in (b) is affirmative, what are the upstream and downstream emissions for each of the projects; (d) since 2008, how many leaks have there been on all the pipelines, in either Ontario or Quebec, broken down by (i) pipeline, (ii) location and province; (e) for each of the leaks in (d), what is (i) the quantity of the spill in litres, (ii) the company responsible for the pipeline, (iii) the direct or indirect cost to the federal government, (iv) the date of the spill, (v) the date on which the government or one of its regulatory agencies became aware of the spill; (f) since 2008, have the official emergency response plans been sent to the municipal public safety authorities and the regional county municipality for each of these pipelines; (g) if the answer in (f) is affirmative, for each plan sent, what is (i) the date it was sent, (ii) the date of confirmation of receipt, (iii) the names of the sender and the recipient; (h) since 2008, what are the details of all the cases of non-compliance, deficiencies and violations of federal laws and regulations found by the National Energy Board with respect to the pipelines, including (i) the date, (ii) a description of the deficiency found and the corrective action requested, (iii) the location of the deficiency, (iv) the pipeline and the name of the company that owns the pipeline, (v) the amount of the fine paid; (i) for each case of non-compliance, deficiency or violation in (h), on what exact date did the National Energy Board or a federal government department follow up with the respective companies and verify that the corrective action had been carried out; (j) for each follow-up in (i), what actions were taken; (k) since 2008, how many detection system failures have been identified by the National Energy Board on the pipelines and what are the details of each failure, including (i) the date, (ii) the pipeline, (iii) the location, (iv) the reason for the failure; (l) for each pipeline, in the event of a spill in the Soulanges area, what is the expected time (i) to detect it, (ii) to stop the flow of oil, (iii) for emergency services to arrive on site; and (m) where are the companies that have been hired to respond to a spill in the Soulanges area and how long will it take them to arrive on site?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2147--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With respect to the Energy Services Acquisition Program and the modernization plan for the five heating and cooling plants and the associated infrastructure, including pipes and tunnels, in the National Capital Region: (a) has the government conducted any studies or evaluations of the plan, including but not limited to (i) a cost-benefit analysis of proceeding with the plan as a public-private partnership as opposed to a fully public implementation, (ii) an estimate of the plan’s impact on the heating and cooling plants’ greenhouse gas emissions; (b) for each study in (a), what are the details, including (i) dates, (ii) titles, (iii) file numbers, (iv) value for money analysis, (v) metrics developed to assess the benefits of using the public private contract; (c) what are the consequences of this privatization with respect to (i) the number of public service jobs required for the maintenance and operation of the heating and cooling plants, (ii) the reliability of the heating and cooling plants, in particular, during extended power outages and when emergency repairs are required, (iii) site security and the security impact for any buildings served by the heating and cooling plants; (d) in what way were the relevant public sector unions informed of the plan, including (i) dates, (ii) process for consultation, (iii) timeline for participation; (e) in what ways was the input from the relevant public sector unions considered in the decision to move forward with the plan; (f) in what ways were the associated public unions informed of the ultimate decision; and (g) what are the projected impacts and planned changes on (i) the municipal infrastructure, (ii) the rest of the system outside of the heating and cooling plants themselves?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2148--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With respect to the document “Allocations from Treasury Board Central Votes for Supplementary Estimates (A), 2018-19”, published online: (a) for each allocation from “Vote 25--Operating Budget Carry Forward” and “Vote 35--Capital Budget Carry Forward” to a given “Organization”, what is the corresponding “Authority”; and (b) why are authorities listed proactively for each allocation under “Vote 5 – Government Contingencies” and “Vote 40 – Budget Implementation”, but not those under “Vote 25 – Operating Budget Carry Forward” and “Vote 35 – Capital Budget Carry Forward”?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
moved that Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the third time and passed.
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View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-11-21 16:26 [p.23682]
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Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has demonstrated that he can do two things at one time. He can give a speech while adding almost a million dollars to our national debt, in the same half-hour. I congratulate the minister, and we know that Canadians will get the bill for that new debt.
Our government has told us, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, that budgets balance themselves. He predicted that this self-balancing budget would manifest in the year 2019, barely a month from today.
Today, the finance minister has presented a fiscal update, in which the deficit is three times the size the Liberal Party promised in the last election and in which the deficit will not only be in place next year, when it was promised to be gone, it will actually be bigger than it is right now. In fact, this economic update reports that the deficits for the next five years will all be larger than the Liberals projected just six months ago in the 2018 budget.
None of us on this side is surprised that the finance minister and the Prime Minister failed to take responsibility for these promise-shattering deficits. Like most Canadians, we have come to accept that these Liberals never take responsibility for anything, but what is startling about this particular statement is that they just go on doing more and more damage to the fiscal situation of this country, without any concern or hesitation.
What we learned in this document that we did not already know is that not only do the Liberals break their promise, not only will they fail to balance the budget next year as they said, but they now admit that under their plan the budget will never be balanced. There is no time period into the future when they are even committing to returning to a situation where the debt stops growing. That is effectively the election platform they are running on today, that there will be deficits forever and that there could never be an occasion where the government would live within its means.
These two gentlemen of great privilege have inherited enormous fortune: balanced budgets from the previous government; booming U.S. and world economies; a roaring housing sector in Vancouver and Toronto, which has poured more revenue into government coffers; record low interest rates, which make debt more affordable temporarily. All of these factors are out of the government's control but have, through the goddess Fortuna, rained money on the current government, $20 billion of additional revenue, I am pleased to report to the House.
The Prime Minister took that $20 billion and did the responsible thing. He put it against our national debt. He saved it up for a rainy day. He reinforced our foundation against forthcoming storms. I am kidding. He blew every single penny of it, and it was not enough. On top of that windfall, he had to spend $20 billion more.
We are told to take comfort in the debt-to-GDP ratio. All ratios have numerators and denominators. With the Prime Minister lecturing us all about the need to teach us all in the House, as his pupils, he should actually know that. The reality is that the only way for that debt-to-GDP ratio to decline is if inflation and GDP are constantly going up. I just pointed to the factors that the government admits have led to the windfall of revenue before us. That can only continue as long as the world factors, which are out of the government's control, continue on at this pace.
In other words, if a crisis of any kind, another international financial recession, a massive problem with international security, a natural disaster or any other such kind of difficulty, led to the compression of the denominator, then we would face a crisis in the nation's finances. In that crisis, the Liberal government, if it were to keep its promise, something that none of us believe it would ever consider doing, would then be in a position where it would have to raise taxes or cut spending at a time when the economy needs the opposite. Therefore, the Liberals are putting our future in a reckless state of danger by spending our tomorrow on their today.
The second consequence of these growing deficits is this. When governments spend more than they have, they compete for scarce goods and services, which drives up inflation, making the cost of living more and more expensive. We have seen inflation reach nearly 3%, the upper end of the Bank of Canada's range of acceptable levels of consumer price index increases. That is in part, I believe, because the current government is overspending, increasing demand with unnecessary government spending, pouring money into the purchase of the same goods and services that Canadians have to compete for.
Furthermore, when governments borrow, they have to sell bonds. When those bondholders purchase the bond, they get interest in return for it. Why would they lend money to a Canadian homeowner for 2.5% when a rapidly borrowing government will give them 2.75% or 3%? The answer is they would not. That is the reality of the credit markets. When governments borrow, they compete with Canadian consumers and homeowners and drive up the cost of interest on those same people. In other words, while Canadians face record household debt, the government's insatiable appetite for debt is actually making that problem worse, not just in the future but here in the present.
Speaking of the future, we all know that debt today means higher taxes tomorrow. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has indicated that the cost of borrowing for the Government of Canada will rise by two-thirds, to almost $40 billion, over the next four to five years. That is almost as much as we transfer to the provinces to fund our entire health care transfer. In today's update, the government admits that the cost of borrowing is going up. For the first half-year, the increase in the borrowing cost has been 14.3%. That is the combined result of growing deficits and higher interest rates. In other words, at this pace, there will be a massive wealth transfer from working-class Canadians, who will pay higher taxes so that wealthy bondholders and bankers can collect more interest. Even socialist economists recognize that interest on national debt represents a wealth transfer from the working class to the wealthy, because those who own bonds are those who can afford to buy them. One cannot lend money if one does not have money. Therefore, those with money benefit when governments go out and borrow. Instead of the government favouring the have-nots, it once again favours the have-yachts, something we have come to expect from it for a very long time.
We were told that this economic update was going to respond to the attempt by the U.S. President to take our money, business and jobs. So far, the Prime Minister has been prepared to help the President in all of those objectives. His carbon tax, his decision to block pipelines and his massive regulatory state that prevents businesses from functioning here in Canada have driven money out of our country. Canadian investment in the U.S. is up two-thirds and U.S. investment in Canada is down by half, and when money leaves, jobs leave.
A senior at the Business Council of Canada says that the result of this imbalance could lead to half a million jobs lost in this country. What is the government's response to that? Liberals tell us they are going to be bringing forward something called the centre for regulatory innovation. I think that for most people who have dealt with the red tape the government has put forward, the last thing they want to see is more regulatory innovation because so far, that regulatory innovation has meant blocking the northern gateway pipeline. They came up with innovative ways to make it impossible for Trans Canada to build the energy east pipeline. Of course, their most innovative stroke of genius has been to drive Kinder Morgan out of this country by giving them $4 billion of Canadian tax money in order to buy a 65-year-old pipeline that we already had, money that the Texas oil company is now using to build pipelines in the United States of America.
When the Prime Minister took office, three of the world's most respected pipeline companies were ready to put shovels in the ground. Kinder Morgan was going to build Trans Mountain. Enbridge was going to build northern gateway and Trans Canada was going to build energy east. They had the financial commitments, the applications in and they were ready to go and all three of those companies have now left. What does the government offer? A centre for regulatory innovation.
However, that is not all. I should give the Liberals credit for another very exciting announcement they have made in regard to regulation. They are going to make the building code available to all Canadians for free and just in time for Christmas. That is if Canada Post is not on strike and unable to deliver the building code to those Canadians who are anxiously waiting to receive it.
That is the plan that the Liberals have to unwind the massive regulatory obstacles that have driven our oil, our money, our businesses and our jobs right into the arms of Donald Trump and nothing in this announcement today will reverse that direction. In fact, the government has backed down on NAFTA, giving President Trump everything he asked for and getting nothing in return that we did not already have.
We on this side of the House will stand up for the common sense of the common people, the people who understand that budgets do not balance themselves because those people, unlike our leader, have actually had to balance a household budget. A future Conservative government would recognize that we cannot spend what we do not have and we cannot borrow our way out of debt.
I conclude today by challenging the government. I know how painful it is for the Liberals to hear the truth, the painful truth from which they have for so long tried to turn away their eyes. Unfortunately, they have to face up to the fact that they shattered their promise to balance the budget next year, they have built up massive new debt not only for future generations, but for present-day Canadians, the cost of government is driving up the cost of living and that is leading to a serious crunch on the backs of everyday Canadians, Canadians who know what it is like to live within their means.
This is why a Conservative government will make sure that the budget will be balanced in the medium term, to deal with the massive deficits accumulated by the Liberal government and previous governments.
The Conservatives recognize that Canadians work hard for their money and they must balance their own budgets. As a government, we will help them and will not make things harder for them, like the current government is doing.
As the official opposition, we are calling on the government to meet Canadians' demands, tell them how the budget will be balanced, create a plan to do so, and lower taxes so that Canadians can keep the money they earned.
We will put forward a government in the future that will stand with those who know how to balance a budget, because they do so in their own households and they expect the very same of the Government of Canada. Under a Conservative government, they will get no less.
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View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2018-10-16 10:32 [p.22418]
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Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's work on this matter, and I very much appreciate all the work that our shadow minister also accomplished in this matter.
I am very happy to announce that we will be supporting the government's response, predominantly because the amendments will strengthen the legislation to prevent workplace violence or harassment. Combatting harassment is a pressing need in our Parliament today. Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment have no place in Canadian society, especially within our political system.
In January of this year, when introducing the legislation, the minister herself said:
Parliament Hill features distinct power imbalances, which perpetuates a culture where people with a lot of power and prestige can use and have used that power to victimize the people who work so hard for us. It is a culture where people who are victims of harassment or sexual violence do not feel safe to bring those complaints forward. It is a place where these types of behaviours, abusive and harmful, are accepted and minimized and ignored.
I take it that that is the motivation and the reasoning for the legislation to be introduced and where we are today in finalizing the legislation.
Those are incredibly profound words. They are incredibly disturbing words to be said by a minister, because it is talking about our workplace as members of Parliament. When I reflect on it, the fact is that it can be so easy for many of us as members to initially recoil from the language, saying that we are not all like that, and I do believe that.
At the very beginning, I do think it is important to remember that the collective reputation of all of us becomes damaged when we allow this kind of unacceptable behaviour and the allegations to be made without procedures in place for the complaints to be dealt with.
Not all of us are partaking in the actions that have been alleged against many of the members. Indeed, for the most part, we all do our work, and we all respect and truly appreciate the work that our staff members do for us. However, it has come to our attention through a series of incidents that this needed to be looked at.
I am going to take the House through a little retrospective about my experience with respect the issues surrounding sexual harassment, sexual violence and bullying in the workplace over the next couple of minutes. I hope to inform the House that this is not a unique issue. This is not something we have not tackled before in other industries. This is something that is timely now. However, we can take lessons from other places in order to ensure that we get to the right end result. I will conclude by talking about relevant recent examples, which I believe put in jeopardy the actual implementation of this act in a fair and fulsome way.
I have been working in male-dominated fields for most of my life. What I understand and what I have seen in each of these fields is a similar evolution when it comes to bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace.
First of all, we need a simple awareness that certain language and actions are unacceptable. Sometimes people think that they are just telling a joke or are just saying something funny. Sometimes they are saying, “Well, I thought she was appreciative of what I was saying to her, or him.”
The reality is that there has to be an awareness made that not everybody thinks the same way and not everybody takes actions in the same way. That is the first step: awareness.
The second step is training and education, where we go beyond the awareness of the issue and the need to amend behaviour to being shown the way, through training and education, of how one should behave appropriately. I am very pleased to report that we have done that collectively as Parliament. We have done that as members. We all sat through appropriate training and education. I commend the committee and the House of Commons for ensuring that we did all do this, because I believe that took us to the next step.
What we see today in the government legislation is a process. What many will say is that in order for complaints to come forward, in order to make sure that the most egregious issues are being dealt with, there needs to be a structure in place, a place where individuals could go and feel comfortable and confident in being able to enumerate their complaints, with the hope of getting some kind of action.
The final and most important part is that justice is seen to be delivered either in the case where an application or a complaint is shown not to be valid or, where a complaint is shown to be valid, that there is some kind of punishment, that there is some kind of activity that discourages this going to the future.
In order for this legislation to truly be accepted and believed as something that is going to be helpful in our culture, justice has to be seen to be delivered in the implementation. While we are talking about one part of it today in the process, we should always be mindful as members of Parliament that the work has not been finished by any means. This is not a time for a victory lap and I would not assume that things will go smoothly, but I know from all sides of the House that we will be definitely working to ensure that justice will be seen to be delivered in the cases that come forward.
In the 1980s, I was in the field of chemistry. My undergraduate degree was from St. Francis Xavier University. I did an honours degree in physical chemistry, which is not an area where there would be a lot of women. Ironically enough, we were fifty-fifty. It was a small class of six, three men and three women, but we were fifty-fifty in terms of gender balance. While in the eighties StFX was known as a great partying school and it is very proud of that, we did not oftentimes discuss or we were not even aware of the difficulties around sexual harassment and sexual violence.
I often wonder whether the issue did not come home to us in our small faculty because of the gender balance in the faculty. We had no discussion of the concepts. We had no issues that I knew of and we kind of blindly went through and went off to our next levels in life. After graduation, the six of us ended up going into different fields. Some of us continued in grad studies and some of us went to professional school. I went on to grad school to study biochemical toxicology at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, where my eyes were opened to the fact that with gender disparity did come unique difficulties.
I noticed very clearly that women who were faculty were ignored in the mailroom. They were looked down upon for their academic abilities, they were overlooked and shouted down at faculty meetings, and they were not necessarily given their space to come up with their ideas in the field of chemistry. I took all that to heart in the back of my mind determining whether this was a field I wanted to pursue. The reality is that what we see really does impact what we believe and what our decisions are going to be. There were not very many women in the faculty of chemistry at the time and very few role models to look up to, and very few shows of success that we could aspire to in terms of staying in that chosen field.
The good part about it that I was a terrible chemist, so it is not a great loss to the field of chemistry that I ended up not pursuing that field. Academically, it may have been made apparent to me that I was not going to continue to my Ph.D. but certainly in the back of my mind it did come into play, whether it was going to be a place where I would feel validated and listened to. It was not necessarily about wanting to not be harassed; it was about not being overlooked, bullied or put down, all of those insidious things that can happen.
Maybe more women in grad school in the sciences will make a difference, but putting the pressure on women in science all the time that we have to go into science and do better because if we do better then everything will be better is a complete fallacy. What women who choose to go into science need is good structure and to see that results are delivered when they have the right structure.
A lot of times when we see someone touting gender parity within this committee or that committee, or this faculty or that faculty, it is of interest, but that is not the point. The point of it all is whether or not there is a real institutional structure to recognize the value of each individual within that faculty regardless of their gender, taking the gender outside of the box in terms of academic abilities.
Therefore, I am not here to say today that if we have more women in politics it is going to get better, because I am not convinced it will. That is a nice marketing phrase, but I do not believe it is a solution to the real situations and issues that we have in different fields where women may not feel they are welcome and where they may not feel they can have a career.
Not having had enough of a male-dominated area, I decided to go to law school. Law school is very different. It was very gender balanced. Indeed, in my first year at law school, in the incoming class at Osgoode, there were more women than men. We were definitely moving the dial in terms of the people studying there. Again, it was a wonderful facility, a wonderful space, where we did not feel there were any differences with respect to gender. We had a female dean who was extremely effective, and wonderful courses taught by both men and women. We were able to choose which direction we wanted to go in. In that space and time, I did not feel there were any difficulties around gender-based violence or gender-based discrimination, although there was, at the time, definitely a debate and discussion about whether a member of the faculty had been overlooked. Therefore, it was an issue that was circulating, but it certainly did not percolate to where our class was.
However, law firms are different. In 1998, after being called to the bar and doing some time at another summer job, I ended up articling and being placed at law firms. There, one could see that there was a real difference. That is where the stratification started to happen and where one could see that power imbalance that I spoke of in my opening remarks.
In 2000, there was an absolutely outrageous event in downtown Toronto of alleged sexual misconduct that really brought the issue of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the legal field in Toronto to the fore. Without getting into all of the gory details at the time, a senior partner was accused of sexual misconduct toward several female lawyers in a public bar. It was something that could not be swept under the rug because so many people were involved, so many people saw what happened and so many people reported what had happened. Therefore, it was an issue that the law firm of the time had to deal with, and it dealt with it very strongly. It removed the partner from that firm and made sure from that point forward there was serious education, awareness, and training within the company. I bring that up because I believe, in part, that it created a greater awareness among many of the downtown companies that perhaps had not gotten on the earlier bandwagon of dealing with sexual harassment or sexual violence in the workplace.
I was working at the Toronto port authority at the time. I was its general counsel, and I decided to try to distinguish where we lacked policies in the workplace with respect to women and men and power. The organization had been around for about 75 years by that time, and it had no maternity leave policy. I guess no women worked at the port authority for 75 years. One of my first jobs was to draft the policy, which I drafted so that it was gender neutral. We became one of the first places where our male firefighters were grateful to take some parental leave as well when their partner was pregnant and after giving birth. After what had happened with the alleged misconduct in Toronto, it became almost imperative at that point in time that boards made sure they had appropriate policies in place to deal with issues that could come up in the workplace. With 100 employees, 90% of them men, we undertook the process of bringing people to an awareness of the issues, educating and training them, setting up a process, and finally showing that, if complaints came forward, there would be justice. I wish I could say it was easy, because it really was not easy.
When people start talking about something like sexual violence, sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying in the workplace, initially there is a great tendency for people to say, “That is not me; I am not like that; why are you accusing; why do I have to go through this process?” Those are all good questions. However, it is up to the management, up to the collective group putting the policies forward and in place, to assure everyone that this is not about seeking out and trying to find people who are to blame, but rather to put in place a system to allow people to come forward so that the bad apples within the mix of 100 are sought out, and not the entire reputation of the organization being questioned.
At the end of the day, I have had 20 years in this space of trying to bring policies into play to deal with these issues. I know I have said it before, but I want to say it again, because if we underpin everything that we are attempting to do within Parliament to try to protect everyone here, if we say that we are doing it, first, to raise awareness, second, to train and educate, third, to have a solid process in place and to have justice be seen to be done, then we are on the right path.
There are some high-profile cases that took place within our parliamentary family in 2018, as well as in the legal community in Toronto in 2000, that have brought us to this place today where we are discussing this legislation. The United Kingdom had the same issue. A study was prompted by a BBC investigative report about bullying and harassment in the U.K. House of Commons. As luck would have it, that report was released yesterday at their House of Commons. How they have approached their issues are different from how we have approached ours. We have approached this by jumping right into the legislative side of it and trying to figure out the best process, because we think that if we put that process in place, it is going to fix everything. A different approach was taken by the U.K. House of Commons. It set up an independent inquiry, run by a separate person, who then had permission to interview widely the people who had complaints, to talk to all MPs, and to develop recommendations. One of the recommendations was that they needed to take the time to get it right. It is a long report, over 155 pages long. However, it is well worth reading, not for the salacious details of what happened to certain individuals or the claims made against others, but to give us more colour to the point of what could have happened or what could be happening if we do not deal with our culture in the appropriate way.
The number one issue that arose out of it was that there were obviously ineffective mechanisms for dealing with what was happening in the United Kingdom House of Commons. They focused on bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. However, what is very interesting is that they are calling for a fundamental change to rebuild trust and restore confidence, the point being that both men and women are making allegations of bullying and harassment within the U.K. House of Commons and that it should be taken seriously and dealt with in the most substantive way possible.
The most controversial part of the report, which is being covered by the U.K. media, is the last three paragraphs, which talk about who can best effect change. I am going to read them into the record because I think they give us a lot to think about.
This is how she concluded her report. She states:
If approached for advice by a constituent who was the victim of bullying or sexual harassment in their own workplace, I am confident that they would not hesitate in assisting them to take forward their complaints. I therefore hope that the recommendations I have made will receive the active support of those elected Members who will be appalled by the abusive conduct alleged against some of their number, but who will also be anxious to ensure that any process for determining disputed allegations is independent, effective and fair to both sides.
I have also referred throughout this report to systemic or institutional failings and to a collective ethos in the House that has, over the years, enabled the underlying culture to develop and to persist. Within this culture, there are a number of individuals who are regarded as bearing some personal responsibility for the criticisms made, and whose continued presence is viewed as unlikely to facilitate the necessary changes, but whom it would also be wrong for me to name, having regard to the terms of reference for this inquiry. I hope, however, that the findings in this report will enable a period of reflection in that respect in addition.
In considering how best to progress the change in culture that is accepted as essential, and how best to take forward the recommendations in this report, it may be that some individuals will want to think very carefully about whether they are the right people to press the reset button and to do what is required to deliver that change in the best interests of the House, having regard both to its reputation and its role as an employer of those who are rightly regarded as its most important resource.
It was heavy for the author of this report to come out swinging, as it were, against their House of Commons' management, but it was necessary that it be said.
One of the issues that I found very interesting when they were talked about why their culture has happened in the way it has was when they noted that it was “a culture, cascading from the top down, of deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence, in which bullying, harassment and sexual harassment have been able to thrive and have long been tolerated and concealed.” Those are all very important words that we should reflect on to ensure that we are not promoting that here.
The executive board of the U.K. House of Commons responded by saying that the report “makes difficult reading for all of us. Bullying and harassment have no place in the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Digital Service. We fully accept the need for change and, as a leadership team, are determined to learn lessons from the report. We apologize for past failings and are committed to changing our culture for the better.” That is by far the best response an executive board could possibly give to such a report, by apologizing for what has happened and vowing to move forward to do better.
As I said many times in my speech, legislation is not the end of the situation. Justice has to be seen to be done with a process that is working. Further, building on what the report said, we have to make sure that the people who will implement this are above reproach, that they absolutely do have the ability to say that they have clean hands and can help foster this changing culture.
How issues are dealt with and what is said will be watched carefully given the amount of press that we have received in the past about conduct in the House of Commons. This brings me to the uncomfortable position of talking about an incident that happened this summer.
This summer it came to the attention of the media through an online blogger that an editorial had indicated many years ago that the Prime Minister was guilty of inappropriate conduct. The writer in question wrote this many years ago. She was young; he was younger. In it she questioned whether or not it was appropriate for someone with that balance of power and fame to come in and be, in her view, inappropriate.
What I find interesting about this incident and why I talk about the culture of acquiescence and deference and subservience is the fact that this story had been around for months. Many people knew about the story but no one had a response or an answer to what actually happened. So, the story grew in strength and in importance, and the question then becomes, are there more rumours around? That does not do anything to help us determine whether or not the appropriate process is in place to deal with these kinds of allegations and that justice will be seen to be done.
The media was well aware of the incident. It knew what the editorial said. It refused to run with it. The Prime Minister over a series of many weeks ended up coming out with a final statement saying that the individual in response did not remember the situation as he remembered it, and that in these situations everyone remembers things differently. It was an unfortunate response and I will tell the House why.
It was not at all the full-throated apology made by the leadership team at the U.K. House of Commons. It was an explanation and an excuse. The difficulty with that is that in the midst of our introducing this legislation and debating and voting on it, and knowing the importance of showing an example to the rest of the country in dealing with these matters, the individual with the most power in the country did not do what would be expected, which was to apologize and move on. For me, that is an unravelling in the most basic form of what we can expect for this legislation to do for us going forward.
The difficulty as well is that I am protected in the House of Commons for saying things like this. I do not know if anybody is watching this speech right now, but I will definitely be noted in social media for once again bringing up this allegation of the Prime Minister and his groping that had been discussed all summer. I hope the House understands that what I am trying to convey in more than a 30-second sound bite is the fact that it does matter. It is not about a victim and it is not about whether or not something did happen; it is an inappropriate response to a real allegation that should show a path forward for other people to feel that they would get justice if they came forward with a complaint in a process against somebody of high power.
We lost an opportunity for the Prime Minister to show a path to making sure that we would have teeth and some kind of truth behind this legislation. It is a missed opportunity. I dwell on it a lot because, at the end of the day, as a woman of 30 years in this field, it does make me sad that a simple apology and acknowledgement would have gone a longer way.
We have not talked a lot about bullying. Bullying is a great difficulty as well within the House of Commons. It is a great difficulty in the workplace. For a period of time, I enjoyed being the minister of labour and we saw very clearly that sometimes overt bullying leads to violent conclusions, and we would never want that to happen. I am not suggesting that would happen here, but I am suggesting that bullying really does not have a place in any forum of discourse, including in this chamber. I would submit it is recognized in the Westminster model that bullying is not accepted, because we have this notion of unparliamentary language. In this space and this time, every member is honourable, and it is not allowed to besmirch the honour of a member. We are all equal and we are treated as such, and it is very important to ensure that we show our honourability at all times. However, this is a protected space for that. This is where this can happen.
I want to bring up two incidents in the past eight months which show to me that, again, a government that seeks to implement this legislation does not walk the talk. As a result, I have a very difficult time having confidence that the Liberals are going to be able to implement this legislation so that people have confidence in it.
Earlier in the year, I was at a committee meeting, and in that committee meeting I was testing and prodding the Minister of Finance, as is my role as a deputy leader. I made sure that I was testing him on some of the underpinnings of his budget. They had to do with gender and whether or not certain things were taken into consideration. In response, the minister grew frustrated and at some point in discussing it, at the very end of our time, he indicated basically that people like me who are putting these questions towards him were neanderthals that would have to be dragged along.
First of all, it is laughable. I have been called far worse in my life. It was not a moment that I lost all of my self-esteem. It would take a lot for me to lose my self-esteem; I am a good politician. Nonetheless, knowing that he had no problem utilizing that word not only in reference to me tangentially but to my party as well shows us that the respect and honourability was not present in that moment. It is an important concept. It is an important issue for us to discuss.
The response from the media was that it was not that bad. It does not matter how bad it was. In that moment, in that time, instead of dealing with the issue and answering the question, the minister chose to use a personal slur in order to answer what was a substantive policy question. That is unacceptable. Again, can the government truly implement legislation that is dependent upon people being able to understand the importance of justice to be seen?
The last time it happened was in this chamber. It is still under consideration by the Speaker of the House, so I will say at the very beginning that, of course, we are awaiting the decision of the Speaker with respect to the use of unparliamentary language by the Prime Minister.
It was, again, on very difficult questioning, which was on the question of whether or not the Prime Minister had the power to move or cause to be moved a prisoner, Terri-Lynne McClintic, from one institution to another. The Prime Minister was asked many questions, first by my hon. colleague for Parry Sound—Muskoka and then by me. Instead of answering the issue, the Prime Minister became frustrated and annoyed and ended up calling me and the rest of our caucus ambulance chasers. An ambulance chaser is an unethical lawyer. The speaker before me was a lawyer and I was a lawyer. These things actually matter to us.
What matters more at the end of the day is the fact that the Prime Minister once again thought it was absolutely acceptable to go from discussing policy to throwing a personal slur across the floor.
One thing I will say is that those two incidents were not made in humour. Nobody was trying to be funny. These were directed. If I were a younger member of Parliament asking that question for the first time on my feet, the message I would receive is, “Be careful in asking that question because I am going to call you a name. I am going to embarrass you on television. You are going to be embarrassed in front of your constituents.” That is the impact and effect of allowing this.
I have been here for 10 years. I just celebrated my 10th anniversary with some of my other colleagues and I have grown a skin thick enough to deal with those kinds of things, but I am absolutely appalled that they would think it is acceptable to do that kind of thing.
Notice that in all of this discussion, not once have I mentioned the fact that I am a female member of Parliament, because it does not matter. Male or female, name calling in this place is recognized in our rules of procedure as being unparliamentary and it should also be held to account on the government side as much as it is on the opposition side. When we do not see laws being applied fairly, we lose our ability to believe that the law and the process will work for us.
That is the danger in this piece of legislation, that while we can have the best process in the world and we can have fantastic outlets for people to discuss, for people to have counselling, for people to go through hearings and have support, the reality at the end of the day is if justice is not seen to be done, everything we have done is for nothing. It is only through the conduct of the government that we can determine from the outside whether or not it will actually do what it set out to do.
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View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
2018-09-28 10:04 [p.21969]
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moved that Bill C-82, an act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
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View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-09-28 13:10 [p.21998]
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Mr. Speaker, today I rise to address the subject of tax fairness.
In the last federal election, the Prime Minister barnstormed across the country, promising billions of dollars of new spending. A chicken in every pot, he said. When Canadians inevitably asked how he would pay for it all, he said not to worry for a moment, that he would just raises taxes on the so-called wealthiest 1%, the rich guy living up on the hill.
Today, as we debate the subject of tax fairness, it is appropriate to ask if he has, in fact, kept his promise to fund his spending through those means. He certainly has kept the promise to spend vast new sums. Spending has grown, at around 7% per year, which is three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth. In other words, the government is spending three times faster than is the need among Canadians.
The result has been that the deficit this year is three times the size the Liberal Party promised in its most recent election platform and the budget will not be balanced next year, as the Prime Minister promised it would. According to Finance Canada, that will only happen in the year 2045, a quarter century from now, during which time Finance Canada admits the government will add a half a trillion dollars in additional debt. In other words, the budget will not balance itself.
What has become of the rich? The Prime Minister claimed he was going to raise taxes on those people. The results are in. CRA data released two weeks ago demonstrated that in the first year after the tax increase took effect, the government actually collected $4.6 billion less from the wealthiest 1%. Finance Canada released documents almost exactly a year ago today in its annual financial report, on September 19, 2017, in which it revealed almost exactly the same phenomenon. Revenues went down from the wealthiest 1%.
The government said that this was all due to one-time factors. People were playing games to avoid the higher taxes, said the government and that phenomenon would disappear in future years. The government is right. There were some wealthy individuals who moved money around to avoid paying their fair share.
One of them is the Minister of Finance. He announced a tax increase to take effect on January 1, 2016, and he sold his shares in his own company, Morneau Shepell, just 30 days before that in order to ensure his capital gain would be taxed at the lower earlier rate so he would not have to pay the same higher taxes he imposed on everyone else. Is that not nice? He knew the tax increases were coming, but being a multi-millionaire who had worked hard his entire life to avoid paying taxes, he was not going to pay a penny more on that capital gain. He was going to ensure he was taxed under a lower rate than everyone else.
He says, and his department has said, that many people did that. However, now that phenomenon is behind us, they say that in the future more revenue will come in. There is no question that in the 2017 tax year there will be probably be a one-time windfall of revenues from certain entrepreneurs and other Canadians as a result of reactions to government policies.
For example, the anecdotes by accounting firms and the reports in our business media are so common now that it is hard to be skeptical of their truth that people are moving money out of Canada. They are moving money out because the tax burden and the regulatory burden is so high that it is better for some people to do business outside of the country rather than keep their money here. Therefore, they will pay exit taxes. As that money goes out the door, it will be taxed one time.
The Prime Minister, who is only concerned about the here and now, who wants to spend more money today, might celebrate that one-time burst of cash as he shovels it out the door as quickly as possible.
What he forgets is that the problem with one-time cash is that a person only gets it one time and in the future it is gone. That money, once it leaves the country, will be taxed by other governments. When a wealthy CEO moves his fortune to London, England, the government today gets a one-time tax benefit for that as he pays an exit tax. However, in years subsequent, his tax burden in Canada is zero. He pays taxes to another government and funds services for another non-Canadian population. In 2017, I have no doubt that many people will pay one-time exit taxes as they took their money out of our country.
Furthermore, in the fall of 2017, the government announced small business tax changes that would have punished families for selling their businesses to their children. If a farmer sold his farm to his kids, he would pay a dividend tax rate of nearly 45% instead of a capital gains tax rate of 25%. If he sold that same farm to a foreign multinational, he could pay the lower tax rate.
In other words, there is a massive penalty for farmers selling their farms to their own kids, but a tax break for selling those same farms to a foreign multinational and having that multinational turn those children into tenants on their ancestral lands.
Because of the ferocious backlash led by the Conservatives and spontaneously ignited on the ground by Canadian taxpayers, the government has decided to put that change on hold until after the next election when it will surely be back. However, small businesses and farmers are not stupid. They know what bullet they dodged and are not going to risk having that change brought forward again.
What have many of them done? According to some of the most respected accounting firms in the country, many of them did their farm sales immediately upon learning that the government had put the change on ice. Therefore, those people will pay a one-time tax on that transaction in the 2017 year. After that year is gone, so too will future revenues, because those transactions will not repeat themselves every single year.
Finally, the government proposed to punish families that shared the work and earnings of a company. It calls that “sprinkling”. I can understand why it calls that sprinkling. The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister did have their wealth sprinkled upon them as if by an angel from above. Would it not be wonderful if we could all have trust funds and if we could all be trust fund babies like those two trust fund twins? They did have money sprinkled upon them from above, so it is not surprising that they would use the term “sprinkling” to describe small family businesses that own a local restaurant and therefore share the earnings of that restaurant with the kids who show up everyday and help run it.
The change proposed by the government took effect on January 1. Businesses knew that so they had to pay out higher levels of dividends to their children and their family members in 2017 before the tax change took effect. There is no question that the government will tax those dividends in the 2017 year. In other words, the government will get a burst of revenue from that phenomenon of forcing businesses to pay out to their family members before the punitive new rules take effect. There is no question the government will get more money in the 2017 year as a result of that.
Any day now, though, we can expect that the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister will march triumphantly into this room, as if they were Caesar at a Roman triumph, saying,“Aha! Look at all the money we took from all these people”. They will say that their high-tax plan actually worked in raising cash for them to spend. However, all of these phenomena I just described are one-time cash, in and out. Then it is no longer available to future governments to spend. For that reason the burden will inevitably fall upon the working and middle class that always suffer the most as the government gets big and expensive.
Why is that? Because higher earners and capital are far more mobile than lower earning people and workers. Labour has a harder time moving. Why? Because labour is carried out by a person and therefore he or she would have to move physically to another jurisdiction to have his or her labour tax at a lower rate. However, capital can flee or travel just like the air. Anyone can open their laptop computer and purchase equities, foreign stocks in companies around the world, literally in a matter of five minutes, moving their money out of the country just like that.
However, a working family who lives in Oshawa or Windsor on the assembly line floor cannot just get up and move because the government has hit it with a higher tax burden. That is why workers and labour cannot move around to avoid taxes the way capital and wealth can move around.
The end result is that when government gets big, capital flees and the burden gets more and more punitive on the working class Canadian. That is exactly what has happened. The average Canadian middle-class family is paying $800 higher income tax today than when the government took office. That is before the carbon tax and before payroll taxes that the government plans to institute the year after the next election. In other words, it is only going to get worse.
It is also before the increased cost of servicing our national debt, which is growing at a spectacular rate. In fact, last year, our government spent $23 billion on servicing the national debt. Within three years, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that amount will rise to $40 billion, a two-thirds increase in just a few years, as debt rises and interest rates rise simultaneously to have a compounding effect of transferring more and more wealth, again, from the working class taxpayer to the wealthy bankers and bondholders who own our debt.
Here we are with these social justice warriors bringing in deficits and debts that have the effect of transferring wealth from low-income people who pay tax to wealthy bondholders and bankers who own the debt, in exchange for which we will get nothing. Interest on debt does not pave roads, does not build hospitals, does not hire nurses, does not pay soldiers, none of those things. It simply fattens the wallet of the wealthy people who have enough means to lend to the government.
If people ever wanted proof that these people are wealthy, the government cancelled the Canada savings bonds. It used to be that modest income people would buy Canada savings bonds and lend to the government. The government does not do that. It borrows all of its money from wealthy private equity fund managers, investment bankers and others of vast fortune.
Therefore, it always is that when the government gets big, the wealthy and well-connected and powerful are better off. It is ironic. Jeremy Corbyn, who calls himself a socialist, the socialist leader of the Labour Party in Great Britain, says that he wants to end greed is good capitalism. He is going to ban greed. The Prime Minister has made similar comments. The plan to end greed is to make the government so big that there is no room left for greed. It will be removed from human DNA. People will become altruistic and generous. No one will have more than anyone else, so they say. These socialists are actually going to transform human nature because they are so powerful they can do even that.
Can they really transform human nature? Apparently they did not read Macaulay, who wrote:
Where'er ye shed the honey, the buzzing flies will crowd;Where'er ye fling the carrion, the raven's croak is loud;Where'er down Tiber garbage floats, the greedy pike ye see;And wheresoe'er such lord is found, such client still will be.
The point is that wherever there is money, there will be people trying to get it. If all the money is in the government, there will be greedy people trying to make money off the government. We see it all the time.
There are corporations coming to Ottawa saying they need a corporate handout, and they have had a very generous benefactor in the Liberal government, such as the $400 million for Bombardier, which went on to immediately give big bonuses to its executives. There is the infrastructure bank, for example, which will provide loan guarantees to powerful construction companies so that if ever their projects lose cash, the taxpayer and not the business owner will pay the price.
In Ontario, the Liberals brought in something called the Green Energy Act, which simply did not create any green energy, but it did put a lot of green in the pockets of the wealthy lobbyists who were able to get the so-called green energy contracts, double the cost of electricity and cause what the Ontario Association of Food Banks call “energy poverty”. People literally walked in with their power bills and said that they could not afford to keep their lights on and eat and asked for food so that they could pay their power bill. So, yes, it was great for the wealthy one percenters who got tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for their phony electricity, but it was not so great for the working-class people who could barely afford to turn the lights on and live a normal life.
So, yes, wherever we fling the honey, the buzzing flies will crowd. My colleague did not say “bees”. He said “flies”, and flies do not make honey but will happily consume it. They are parasitical. Bees create honey through the process of pollination, which is the free exchange between a vegetative life and a creature, which is the essence of the free market economy, right? That is the free market economy, the voluntary exchange of capital for interest, product for payment, work for wages.
Every single transaction in a free market economy happens through voluntary exchange. Do members know why? It is because every single transaction must improve the lives of both people or they would not engage in it. It is why we have something called the “double thank you”. We go to a coffee shop, buy a cup of coffee, pay for our coffee and say “thank you”. What do they say back? It is not “your welcome”, but “thank you”. Why? It is because our payment is worth more to them than their coffee, and their coffee is worth to us than our payment. In other words, we both have something worth more to us than we had before. If I have an apple and want an orange, and someone else has an orange and wants an apple, we trade. We still have an apple and orange between us, but we are both richer because we each have something worth more to us than we had before. That is the genius of voluntary exchange.
Why does no one write “thank you” on their tax forms? It is supposed to be a voluntary exchange. It is supposed to be an exchange. We are paying for something. We are supposed to get something in return. The answer is, because we have no choice. It is not a voluntary exchange. It is mandatory. We are forced to engage in it, and that is the rule of the government economy. Every single transaction in the government economy is done by force. Every single transaction in the free market is done by voluntary will of every single participant.
We on this side of the House of Commons believe in a bottom-up free market where businesses obsess over customers rather than over politicians. It is where one gets ahead not by having the best lobbyist but by having the best product. That is the free market economy. It is a bottom-up economy and not a trickle-down, government-directed economy, like the government on the other side of the aisle believes.
Therefore, we will continue to champion the free market system, a system based on meritocracy, not heiritocracy, where we do not have to have a trust fund to have hope for a better future. We just have to have big dreams and hard work. That is our plan for tax fairness.
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View Mike Lake Profile
CPC (AB)
View Mike Lake Profile
2018-06-13 22:49 [p.20892]
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Madam Speaker, I find it interesting that no Liberal wanted to get up to speak to this, but they have no hesitation in heckling us as we are speaking to this important bill.
We have been discussing the bill for several hours tonight, and those who are watching, and I am sure many people are riveted to the debate tonight, may have forgotten what we are talking about. I will read the bill as a way of reintroducing it to folks who may have tuned in late and who may not know what we are talking about.
It is Bill S-218, an act respecting Latin American heritage month, which was moved by Senator Enverga, who was a valued member of our Conservative team. He was a senator from 2012 until he passed away in 2017.
Senator Enverga was the first Filipino Canadian elected in the city of Toronto. He was a Catholic School Board trustee in Toronto, and he was known in the region for launching the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation. He was also co-chair of the Canada-Philippines Interparliamentary Group.
He inaugurated the annual Filipino independence day flag-raising on Parliament Hill, and he was a “tireless champion for multiculturalism” and was “an advocate for people with disabilities”, as pointed out in The Globe and Mail article, as his daughter Rocel has Down's syndrome, which is obviously something close to my heart as well, as people in the House know.
One of the things that strikes me about this legislation is the fact that even though Senator Enverga was a tireless champion for folks in the Filipino community, he decided to move a bill to propose a Latin American heritage month. That just speaks to who he was.
One of the things that I will remember about Senator Enverga is that whenever he walked into a room, the room got brighter because he was there. He was a shining light.
He was very passionate about Canada and about the work our Conservative government was doing. He was also very passionate about the opportunity he had as someone born in the Philippines who immigrated to Canada and who took his place as a senator in this country. We miss him in our caucus, and the Hill is diminished by not having him around.
I often think about my own community in Edmonton—Wetaskiwin. A lot of people looking at this riding on a map make the mistaken assumption that there is no diversity there. However, Wetaskiwin, which is a community of 17,000 people, actually has a significant Filipino population. When I am in Wetaskiwin, I think of folks like Senator Enverga, and I see this unbelievable passion within the Filipino community there.
Those members of Parliament who have a sizable Filipino community in their riding will recognize what it is like to get to a Filipino household when they are door-knocking. It is almost like there is a celebration because a member of Parliament is there. When members show up for events, the Filipino people have an incredible joy. Senator Enverga was the personification of that within our team and within the confines of Parliament Hill.
His bill, an act respecting Latin American heritage month, is pretty simple. It reads:
Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic and political fabric of the nation;
Whereas the designation of a month as Latin American Heritage Month would be a meaningful way to remember, celebrate and educate the public about these contributions;
Whereas Latin American communities across Canada would be mobilized by a Latin American Heritage Month to jointly celebrate, share and promote their unique culture and traditions with all Canadians;
And whereas October is a significant month for the Latin American community around the world;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Latin American Heritage Month Act.
2 Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of October is to be known as “Latin American Heritage Month”.
It is very simple, and I hope members from all parties will support this bill.
I am really glad we have had the opportunity to discuss this tonight. Having listened to the debate tonight, it is probably one of the most productive evenings we have had in the House of Commons in the last several weeks. It is a nice break, because if we look at the things we have been discussing in the absence of legislation like this—
An hon. member: Closure and time allocation.
Hon. Mike Lake: Yes, a lot of closure and time allocation debates, and then the time spent during the votes on those things. I think we had five in a three-day span last week. We have been discussing the $18-billion deficit that the government is running, despite the fact that it promised a balance budget by next year. We are talking about some pretty devastating stuff.
The government has increased spending by $58 billion annually and cannot find a way to balance the budget. It had increased spending by over 21% in four years and our kids and grandkids are the ones who will pay the price for that down the road, just like in the days of the former Trudeau government of the 1970s. There were massive increases in spending and it was the generation in the mid-1990s that had to pay for a $35-billion cut in health care, social services, and education transfers to the provinces, which was when the bill came due. We are going in the same direction now.
It is very encouraging to have the opportunity to talk about something other than the nationalization of pipelines, for example. At one point, there were four pipelines in the pipeline, so to speak, when the Liberal government was elected in 2015. Northern gateway was approved and energy east was well on its way. Trans Mountain was moving forward as well, and there was a lot of talk about Keystone XL.
The Liberals managed to cancel northern gateway and completely changed the rules that made it impossible for energy east to move forward. The energy minister likes to say that the company made an economic business decision to cancel energy east, after it had spent $1 billion navigating a regulatory system, and the government changed the rules on it. Naturally, it made an economic decision not to go forward and not to waste another $1 billion.
It is very encouraging to have the opportunity to talk about something tonight other than the Liberals' failed policy on pipelines, which has it now buying a pipeline for $4.5 billion because it cannot find a private sector company to move forward with it, when there used to be four projects on the go. It is very nice to have the opportunity to talk about something other than those things tonight.
We could have been talking about the carbon tax. There has been a lot of discussion about the carbon tax.
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House to have the finance minister go before the finance committee of the House of Commons and tell Canadians what the carbon tax will cost Canadian families.
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
2018-06-13 22:58 [p.20893]
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It is not a point of order. The hon. member has less than a minute left if he would like to finish his speech.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-07 15:15 [p.20456]
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I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Carleton on May 31, 2018, concerning the alleged intimidation of a potential witness by the office of the Minister of Finance.
I would like to thank the member for raising the matter, as well as the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for his comments.
According to the member for Carleton, the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, CAMIC, received two phone calls from the office of the Minister of Finance, which he claimed were intended to stop them from raising their objections to Bill C-74, either by meeting with parliamentarians or by appearing before committee. He surmised that these comments, which he characterized as threatening, might be why this association did not even express an interest in appearing as a committee witness.
In addition to questioning the timeliness of this question of privilege, the parliamentary secretary framed the matter as one of debate and contended that actions of a civil servant have not historically qualified as breaches of privilege.
The issue of timeliness is one that the Chair has raised on several occasions recently since it is a requisite condition that members must heed. In this instance, it is a valid issue to be raised again. This question could have, and should have, been brought to the attention of the House much earlier. The article from The Globe and Mail, dated May 15, 2018, in which the member for Carleton is quoted, suggests that he was aware of this matter as early as May 15. Additionally, it could have been raised at any point since May 22, when the House returned from a break week. The fact that the member for Carleton gave notice of his question of privilege a full week prior to actually rising in the House to make his case also suggests that he could have done so earlier.
House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, explains at page 145 what is expected of members in this respect, when it states:
The matter of privilege to be raised in the House must have recently occurred and must call for the immediate action of the House. Therefore, the member must satisfy the Speaker that he or she is bringing the matter to the attention of the House as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the situation.
In the past, Speakers have chosen not to pursue further on a matter when it is not apparent that it is being raised at the earliest practicable time.
In fact, Speaker Sauvé determined, on March 1, 1982, in a ruling found at pages 15473 and 15474 of Debates, that a question raised by a member was not a breach of privilege, as it had not been raised at the earliest opportunity. She stated:
The first problem I have with this question of privilege is that it does not appear to have been raised at the earliest opportunity....
I must therefore decline to accord this matter precedence over the regular business of the House, particularly in view of the fact that it does not appear to have been raised at the earliest opportunity. This requirement is not a mere technicality, but indeed in some respects a test of the validity of the complaint.
Today the Chair can only come to the same conclusion. This matter was clearly not raised at the first opportunity; the member did not meet this requisite condition, and therefore the Chair will not comment further on it.
I thank all hon. members for their attention.
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View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2018-06-05 15:20 [p.20267]
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moved that Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, and other measures, be read the third time and passed.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-01 10:33 [p.20058]
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Madam Speaker, there are actually three points of order or references I am going to have to respond to today, so I will start with the first one.
First, I rise in response to a question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Carleton on May 31, 2018, with respect to alleged ministerial interference with regards to Bill C-74. My hon. colleague, in his statement, argued that his and the members of the finance committee's freedom from obstruction and interference had been breached.
I would argue that the matter before us today does not meet the requirements to be considered a prima facie breach of privilege, but is rather a debate as to the facts. First of all, as you have mentioned on many occasions in recent rulings, matters must be raised at the earliest opportunity. This is not the case here.
In an article dated May 14, 2018, from The Globe and Mail, the member is reported as saying that he would be asking the Speaker of the House of Commons to rule on the issue when the House of Commons resumes next week. This clearly did not happen, as it was a whole 17 days later that the hon. member raised his question of privilege. Secondly, the actions alleged here are related to the actions of a civil servant. These matters have historically not been qualified as a breach of privilege.
In a ruling dated May 15, 1985, Speaker Bosley stated:
I think it has been recognized many times in the House that a complaint about the actions or inactions of government Departments cannot constitute a question of parliamentary privilege.
At no point is there an indication that members of the committee were forbidden from inviting the group as witnesses or that the minister's office had any role in the selection of witnesses. As such, Parliament has acted independently from the minister's office, and there is no ground to qualify these actions as interference.
At the core of the current debate lies the concept of parliamentary privilege. Matters of privilege and contempt can be broadly defined as, one, anything improperly interfering with the parliamentary work of a Member of Parliament, or two, an offence against the authority of the House. The situation brought forward by the hon. member for Carleton does not fit any of these categories, as no individual MP has been impeded and there has not been any offence against the authority of the House.
Failing to see how anyone's rights have been compromised or infringed, I would respectfully submit that this matter does not constitute a prima facie question of privilege.
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View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-05-31 15:42 [p.19996]
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Mr. Speaker, I regret to bring to your attention a possible breach of privilege. The matter came to my attention in an article by The Globe and Mail reporter Bill Curry. Mr. Curry indicates that a ministerial staff member allegedly intimidated an important would-be witness to the Standing Committee on Finance. The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies planned to raise concerns about the budget implementation act's amendments to the Banking Act.
The article stated:
An insurance lobby group says it was the subject of two "angry" phone calls from Finance Minister Bill Morneau's office aimed at blocking it from raising privacy concerns over new measures in the budget bill related to how banks use customer data. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Normand Lafrenière, president of the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said the first call came on April 12 from the Finance Minister's senior policy adviser, Ian Foucher.
“I was asked not to meet with MPs and senators,” said Mr. Lafrenière, who has led the organization for 25 years after a public-service career that included senior positions at the Finance Department.
Furthermore, the article indicates that a member of the minister's office said this to the group:
Are you going to play ball with us or not? You better not appear in front of committees, and stop talking to senators and stop talking to MPs. Everything will be taken care of through regulations that will be published down the road.
These threatening comments may have prevented members from hearing testimony on an important bill. This group indicated in the same article that it was trying to raise objections to amendments to the Bank Act that had an effect on the privacy rights of Canadians.
The Minister of Finance has enormous legislative and regulatory powers over the industry that the would-be witnesses represent. That is why such a call from his office demanding their silence would have had great power to intimidate.
The group never testified before the House of Commons finance committee. Members of the government may point out that none of the opposition MPs on the committee put the group forward to serve as witnesses. However, and this may be true, but I do not know for sure, that might have been because the group was hesitant to lobby opposition MPs to be put on the witness list in the first place.
In chapter 3 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, authors Bosc and Gagnon indicate:
A Member may also be obstructed or interfered with in the performance of his or her parliamentary functions by non-physical means. In ruling on such matters, the Speaker examines the effect the incident or event had on the Member’s ability to fulfill his or her parliamentary responsibilities.
For a minister's office to silence a group over which the minister has regulatory power deprives parliamentary committees of valuable witness testimony and prevents members from doing their jobs. I am such a member. I am on the finance committee as a vice-chair, but other committee members would have benefited from having this testimony, which may have been effectively blocked by a threat emanating from the minister's office. If this had been a phone call from just a random person on the street telling a potential witness not to testify, I am sure that potential witness could simply ignore the call. However, when the call comes from the office of the minister that regulates one's industry, and language like, “Are you going to play ball? You better not testify. Don't talk to MPs”, is used, people are obviously tempted to stay silent to protect their interests or to avoid regulatory or legislative harm. That is why I believe that my privileges and those of other members on the committee may have been breached by our inability to hear the witnesses and question them.
Therefore, I ask that you rule on whether it is appropriate for ministerial staff members to tell groups not to testify. I also ask that you determine if this case represents a prima facie case of a breach in privilege.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-05-31 15:47 [p.19997]
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I thank the hon. member for Carleton for bringing this to the attention of the House. We will take it under advisement and get back to the House in due course.
I see the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader rising. Is it on the question of privilege?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-05-31 15:47 [p.19997]
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Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to hear the concerns raised by the member. We will take it, as always, and look into the matter. We will want to report back to the House at some point in time.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-05-31 15:48 [p.19997]
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That is duly noted. In the short time ahead, perhaps when he is able to, we will hear from the parliamentary secretary on the question as well.
Resuming debate, the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
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View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-05-22 19:02 [p.19484]
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Madam Chair, I will be using the duration of my time for questioning and I will start with part II in the main estimates, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, an office that regulates about 1,200 pensions across the country.
The finance minister introduced a pension bill while owning about $20 million of shares in a pension company. The minister is now under an Ethics Commissioner investigation for that alleged conflict. Has the finance minister spoken to the Ethics Commissioner and been questioned as a result of that investigation?
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View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-05-22 20:03 [p.19493]
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Mr. Chair, my question is for the finance minister. The minister's office reportedly called the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and told the group, which the office regulates, not to testify at the finance committee on the budget. Does the finance minister think it appropriate for his office to tell witnesses not to speak up on his budget?
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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2018-05-22 20:04 [p.19493]
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Mr. Chair, just to be clear, no stakeholders have been told by the minister's office not to engage with parliamentarians or appear before a committee. We are always open to engaging with stakeholders directly at the department, but no such thing has ever been said to any stakeholder. In fact, it is the prerogative of the member for Carleton to invite whomever he wants to committee. He invited Jason Kenney, and we were happy to welcome Jason Kenney to the finance committee. The department and the minister's office would not discourage stakeholders from engaging with parliamentarians, and it has not been done.
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View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Scott Brison Profile
2018-05-10 15:13 [p.19340]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-77, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
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View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2018-04-23 15:14 [p.18611]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition signed by thousands of people electronically.
Whereas the Minister of Finance until recently owned millions of dollars worth of shares in Morneau Shepell, a firm he was an executive of until elected and a firm with which the federal government does millions of dollars worth of business; that the passage of government bills introduced by the minister, such as Bill C-27, which targets pensions and would make retirement savings less secure and enrich the shareholders of Morneau Shepell, including, until recently, the finance minister himself; that the changes to the tax code proposed by the finance minister will incentivize businesses to move away from pension plans and help shareholders and firms like Morneau Shepell; that Morneau Shepell is handling the close-out of the Sears pension fund, and after emergency debate in the House on the subject of the company's bankruptcy, the government refused to take action, which will benefit the shareholders in Morneau Shepell, and until recently, the Minister of Finance; and that the pattern of the Minister of Finance's non-disclosure and retention of assets could be seen reasonably to be a conflict of interest that has caused Canadians to lose confidence; the undersigned call upon the Government of Canada to immediately withdraw Bill C-27, to disqualify Morneau Shepell from any government contract work, and to remove the finance minister from his position as finance minister.
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View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
2018-04-16 12:03 [p.18289]
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moved that Bill C-74, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
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View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
View Pat Kelly Profile
2018-04-16 15:59 [p.18329]
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Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in this place, even during difficult times such as today when it is with somewhat of a heavy heart one rises after the tributes we heard on the terrible tragedy in Saskatchewan.
It is also sometimes difficult to rise in trying times such as these when so much is at stake for the future of our country, even as we grapple with the ongoing crisis over the Trans Mountain expansion and the implications that a failure of that project would have for all future projects in Canada.
This budget implementation act necessarily brings us back to the budget that it implements. The bottom line of any budget, and really the first thing that anyone wants to know about a budget, is whether it is going to be a surplus budget or a deficit budget. Any analysis, criticism, or commentary has to take place in the context of the size and scope of any surplus or deficit. All the choices of inclusion or omission from a budget have to be viewed through that lens.
In the case of a deficit, it is customary to address the question of when the budget will return to surplus. I say this is customary because indeed it is. In fact, all 13 provincial and territorial governments either have a balanced budget or have a specific timeline or projection for when their budget will be balanced, and it is contained in their budget.
The finance minister is currently running a significant deficit, and neither the budget nor this implementation act make any mention of the means or timing of a return to balance. I raised this with the minister when he appeared before the finance committee last month. I asked him why he is the only finance minister in Canada who has no plan for a balanced budget, and why he did not even address the issue in a 400-page budget document. He said, “No matter how many times the Conservative members ask us to follow the playbook of the previous Conservative government, we won't do it.” I may disagree with the minister on the point of whether or not he should follow the Conservative playbook, but at this point I think most Canadians would settle for this government merely following its own playbook.
On page 12 of the 2015 Liberal platform, its playbook, it reads:
We will run modest short-term deficits of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years to fund historic investments in infrastructure....
After the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and our investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019.
On page 72 under the fiscal plan and costing chapter it reiterates, “We will run modest deficits for three years so that we can invest in growth for the middle class and credibly offer a plan to balance the budget in 2019.” Later on in the same chapter it says, “After the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and our investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget....” The Liberal playbook refers to balanced budgets, and in fact, the Liberals promised balanced budgets. They promised small deficits and a return to a balanced budget.
Given that the Liberals promised a balanced budget by 2019 in the 2015 election, given that they promised only short-term deficits of less than $10 billion, and given that they promised these short-term deficits only to fund historic investments in infrastructure, the question is why they are now implementing a structural deficit in a budget with over a $20-billion deficit. Why does the finance minister repeatedly refuse to give any timeline for a balanced budget at all? Why does he bizarrely criticize the Conservatives for even asking about a balanced budget when he ran on an election platform that contained that very promise?
In fact, the finance minister got lucky this past year. The Canadian economy benefited from a whole host of factors, for none of which the finance minister can take any credit. Commodity prices were better than forecast. The world economy has had perhaps its best year since the great recession. The American economy was positively booming with a record-setting stock market run. Real estate price inflation has continued in Canada. Interest rates have remained low. Even with all of these factors in his favour, the finance minister still ran a promise-breaking deficit in this budget following what will surely be one of the strongest economic years in this Parliament.
If the minister promised to return to balanced budgets, he has completely failed to deliver, and it is more than reasonable for opposition members to ask if not now, then when. Given that a return to balance was a huge part of the Liberals' election promise, we would not be doing our jobs as an opposition holding the government to account without asking that question and no answer has been given so far. Still, there really is nothing in the bill to address that question either.
There is, however, in the original budget a troubling item contained on page 290, and that is a recognition of the fact that Canadian oil sells at a significant discount to world prices due to a lack of pipeline capacity in general and the routing of existing pipeline capacity mostly to the oversupplied Cushing, Oklahoma hub rather than to tidewater or to other refinery areas with spare capacity. This discount from world prices, which the government commented on in the budget itself, has grown significantly worse in the past few months.
This difference between the price that our producers get and world prices has a significant impact on business profits and jobs in the industry. The discount has an enormous impact on tax revenues to both the oil-producing provinces and to the federal government itself and it dictates the viability or non-viability of future projects. Simply put, this discount means that we are actually exporting tax revenue and public services to the United States.
Using round numbers, Canadian exports are about three million barrels a day. If Canadian producers take a $20 discount, that means the industry loses $60 million a day, or roughly $22 billion per year. A significant portion of that $22 billion will be taxable income at both the federal and provincial levels. The federal government loses billions in tax revenue because of this price differential, so it cannot be ignored as a factor in the budget.
What is truly alarming today, given the debacle over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, is that the finance minister, in his budget, assumes that both Trans Mountain and Keystone XL will be built at a reduced price discount. We obviously know that these assumptions are being challenged right now. Both projects at best will delay projected revenue from profitable oil production, but in typical fashion, the finance minister has just assumed that the pipelines will be built even though a host of opponents are doing everything they can, including breaking the law, to prevent these pipelines from getting built.
The finance minister surely knows that he has cabinet colleagues who oppose the energy industry, that he has caucus colleagues who campaigned in the last election against the Trans Mountain expansion, and that the most senior unelected adviser to the Prime Minister is notoriously anti-pipeline. Therefore, it was a fairly bold assertion for him to simply assume the Trans Mountain and Keystone XL pipelines would be built. Both projects are behind schedule. Both continue to be opposed by extremists committed to everything from vexatious litigation to violent clashes with police while defying court orders, trespassing, and destroying private property.
Given the government's track record, what credibility does it really think it deserves on pipelines? The finance minister's budget assumes the pipelines are going to be built, and yet one of the first things the government did after it was elected was to kill the northern gateway project, which was a pipeline to tidewater approved previously. The proponent was working through the conditions and the concerns that had been raised about the project when the Liberal government used an arbitrary tanker ban to ensure that it could never be built.
Then the Prime Minister completely failed to get Barack Obama to approve Keystone XL, which added another couple of years to the delay of that project. The finance minister is counting on this project to reduce the differential that has to be taken into account in his tax revenue projections.
We know energy east was killed by the government's decision to move the goalposts on its proponent by absurdly deciding to make both upstream and downstream emissions part of the criteria. I say absurd because the emissions from fossil fuels moved through a pipe are mostly determined by the type of vehicle the fossil fuel is put into by the end consumer.
Now the government is even pushing through Bill C-69. At the environment committee, the president of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said, “It is hard to imagine that any pipeline project proponent would be prepared to test this new process or have a reasonable expectation of a positive outcome at the end of it.” He went on to say, “If the goal is to curtail oil and gas production and to have no more pipelines built, this legislation may have hit the mark.”
What is the finance minister going to do if the capital flight that has been under way for months cannot be reversed? What is he going to do if nobody will invest and create jobs in the resource sector? What is he going to do if interest rates exceed his expectations? What is he going to do if there is a real estate price correction? What is he going to do if the NAFTA renegotiations end in trade restrictions that damage Canadian access to the American market? Even with everything going his way he cannot balance the budget. Was he going to do it if any of these eventualities happen or any of the hundred other unforeseen events should happen? Now is the time to establish a fiscal cushion to prepare for the inevitability of difficult times ahead.
The budget is not balanced. There is no plan to balance it. There is no date for the budget to be balanced. There is no plan that will get pipelines built, which has a significant impact on the finance minister's ability to balance future budgets. There is no apology by the Liberals to Canadian voters for breaking their promise on the deficit in the first place. There is nothing in the budget implementation act to address any of these issues.
What does this bill do? It makes certain changes to the Income Tax Act to implement changes announced by the Minister of Finance last summer on the taxation of Canadian-controlled private corporations, and other tax changes that we are now getting to the point where the CRA has to actually implement them.
We know that on July 17, the Minister of Finance dropped his bombshell announcing that too many wealthy Canadians were using complex corporate structures to avoid taxes. He went on to announce, following a brief summertime sham consultation, that the Liberals would ram through private corporate tax changes to severely restrict dividend payments between related shareholders, the so-called sprinkling, eliminate the dividend tax credit, which would create the double taxation of passive income with rates at about 73%, and make it virtually impossible to sell a business to a relative, among other things.
I am sure that every member of this House heard from small business owners who do not have a pension, do not have a minimum wage, do not have the protections of employment law, and cannot collect employment insurance. They have to be 100% liable for the conduct of their own employees, who they also cannot sue for gross negligence. What all of these people, these hard-working business owners, heard in the summer was the wealthy finance minister called them tax cheaters.
What happened after that announcement was remarkable. Business owners and tax experts all across Canada spontaneously rose up and with diverse voices unanimously spoke in opposition to every aspect of the minister's proposals. This grassroots opposition did cause the government to partially backpedal on some of its plans contained in this bill. The part of last summer's announcement that many found the most egregious was the double taxation of passive income. Therefore, in December, the finance minister backpedalled and said there would be a limit under which the double tax would not apply. What he did instead in the budget, was he said there would now be a tie-in between passive income and access to the small business rate, which will now be reduced or eliminated for small business owners who have passive incomes of greater than $50,000.
My suggestion to addressing the problem that he created back in the summer was simply a complete retraction of what the Liberals had announced then, and an apology to all of the hard-working small business owners across Canada who were deeply wounded by the bold assertions the finance minister made. Let us face it. The reason the finance minister and the Prime Minister believe that small businesses are really just tax dodges for the wealthy is that they themselves use private corporations to dodge taxes. All the while he was pointing his finger at shopkeepers, farmers, plumbers, realtors, accountants, doctors, lawyers, engineers, taxi drivers, and restaurant owners, the finance minister, that wealthy-born one percenter, was found to have failed to disclose the private corporation he used for tax planning purposes to shelter income and future gains on his French villa. Contrary to his past statements and all expectations of a minister of the crown, much less a finance minister, the finance minister still owned millions of dollars of Morneau Shepell shares.
How was that fact concealed from the public for almost two years? The shares were held in a private numbered company the finance minister registered in Alberta, presumably for tax-planning purposes. It was owned by him, his wife, and another Ontario numbered company. For the first time in the span of a few months, the finance minister was found not only to be personally using complex corporate structures to avoid paying tax but was using them to avoid requirements of the Conflict of Interest Act.
It is high time for this finance minister to end his war on small-business owners and to apologize for his own hypocrisy instead of proceeding with changes to the Income Tax Act contained in this bill.
If passed, this bill would also hand over to the CRA responsibility for dealing with the changes to the tax on split income and the reduction of the limit on the small-business tax rate for small businesses with over $50,000 in passive income.
As shadow minister for national revenue, I could not help but notice that 2017 was a particularly tough year for the Minister of National Revenue and her agency. Every time we turned around, it seemed the agency had a half-baked plan to raise additional tax revenue at the expense of some vulnerable group or another, such as when the minister spent the entire months of October and November insisting that the CRA had done nothing to deny the disability tax credit to type 1 diabetics, despite the fact that it was obvious to everyone except her, and perhaps her parliamentary secretary, that of course the CRA had changed its forms in May 2017 to make it harder to qualify.
The agency also changed its folio to state that after 2017, it would tax employee discounts and meals, but the minister again seemed to be the last person at the agency to be aware that this was being done, before she ordered a reversal. The agency also appeared to be targeting single parents, restaurant-server tips, and disabled Canadians, who suddenly had problems qualifying for the disability tax credit.
On top of that, tax preparers complained about an ever-increasing backlog of corrections and appeals caused by sloppy or incompetent assessments, and a scathing Auditor General's report confirmed that the agency's call centre hangs up on people 64% of the time and gives incorrect information to 30% of the rest who get through.
To an agency already struggling, and a minister who is clearly not in control of her department, this bill would now add a complex reasonableness test for dividends paid to related shareholders of private corporations. Let us think about that. An agency that hangs up on people and is wrong almost a third of the time when it speaks to taxpayers would now have to answer questions about things like the reasonableness of the payment of dividends, questions about share classes, questions about labour contributions, questions about property contributions, questions about the financial risks assumed, and a great catch-all, questions about such other factors as may be relevant.
How on earth can Canadians expect that they will get reliable answers to these questions, given the track record of both the current government and the CRA's call centre? These questions have been asked here in this House and at committee meetings and even at public meetings attended by the minister, and nobody from the government has been able to give anything but the most vague and hypothetical answers to these questions. Canadians might be forgiven if they are a bit worried that nobody knows the answers to these questions and that the legality of thousands of Canadians' tax planning is going to be at the mercy of future court decisions.
It would be very easy to go on for a lot longer about different aspects of this act, such as the implementation of the higher taxes on beer, wine, and spirits and the escalator clause; and certainly about the carbon tax, which is also part of the government's horrific mismanagement of its natural resources policy and an outrageously regressive tax on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. However, time marches on, so I will wrap up.
I would like to conclude by urging members to vote against this bill, given that it would increase taxes; would fail to even address the very concept of a balanced budget; would do absolutely nothing to get pipelines built, the very same pipelines the budget needs for its own tax revenue; would help facilitate this minister's war on small business through the changes to the taxation of private corporations, and of course, would enable the job-destroying, poverty-inducing carbon tax. Therefore, I will be voting against this act, and I urge all other members to do so as well.
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View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2018-03-28 14:33 [p.18206]
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Mr. Speaker, let us talk about treating women with respect.
On March 26, in response to the deputy leader of the Conservative Party, the Minister of Finance referred to her as, and I quote, a “neanderthal”. Our deputy leader pointed out his own personal hypocrisy in supporting women, and the finance minister answered by calling her a neanderthal.
Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and order his finance minister to apologize?
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View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-03-28 14:34 [p.18206]
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Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that I think that all members in the House should treat each other with respect at all times.
With budget 2018, we are taking the next steps toward building an equal, competitive, sustainable, and fair Canada, where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth.
Our strong fiscal plans mean that we can continue to invest in ways that will strengthen and grow the middle class and lay a more solid foundation for our children's future.
By addressing the gender wage gap, supporting equal parenting, tackling gender-based violence and sexual harassment—
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View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2018-03-28 14:35 [p.18207]
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Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can do more than just hope that people talk to each other with respect. He can order his finance minister to apologize for his insulting and sexist remarks. The finance minister did not like being challenged by a strong Conservative woman, and he reacted by using sexist language and insulting terms.
Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and go beyond just hoping, and order his finance minister to apologize for his embarrassing behaviour?
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View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-03-28 14:35 [p.18207]
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Mr. Speaker, I will take no lessons from members opposite when it comes to respecting women, particularly given that two and a half years ago Canada made historic gains and made news around the world by moving forward for the first time with a gender-balanced cabinet. However, the leader of the official opposition refuses to commit to continuing this world-leading practice, and will not commit to appointing as many women as men in some eventual cabinet. That is not right.
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View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2018-03-27 14:08 [p.18154]
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Mr. Speaker, the longer the Liberal government is in power it is becoming clearer that it considers anyone who disagrees with it, including women with a different point of view, to be beneath contempt.
That is what the Minister of Finance said at committee yesterday. Anybody who challenges or asks tough questions about a Liberal policy is “a neanderthal”. It is the same old Liberal arrogance all over again and it is more of the same fake feminism for which the Liberals are gaining a global reputation.
Women in Canada have the right to speak their minds without being insulted for it by the Minister of Finance. The minister should apologize to the member he insulted and to all Canadian women for his ridiculous and insulting comments.
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View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2018-03-27 14:50 [p.18161]
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Mr. Speaker, the government has a troubling history that every time its members get pushed on questions that show the fact that they do not have a good answer, they resort to name calling.
Yesterday at the finance committee I was questioning the minister with respect to his own record on promoting women in senior positions. In response the minister said I was one of those people he needed to drag with him and I was a neanderthal. It is unacceptable language. Could the minister please clarify what he was trying to say?
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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2018-03-27 14:50 [p.18161]
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Mr. Speaker, I was at the committee meeting yesterday. It is unfortunate that the opposition members make such personal attacks, when they have an opportunity to discuss budget 2018 and provide constructive criticism.
They do everything but talk about the budget while we are tackling the following problems: in Canada, a woman earns an average of 69 cents for every dollar earned by a man; there is still much to do to achieve pay equity; and women's participation in the economy is not on par with men's.
If I have the opportunity to reply to a second question, I would be pleased to list the very concrete measures in budget 2018 that will address these challenges.
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View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2018-03-27 14:51 [p.18161]
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Mr. Speaker, there is no attack in saying the facts. One, the minister never once sought to ensure he had proper representation on his private sector board. Two, the finance department is woefully lacking women in senior positions by 4:11. Three, in his own office there is only one woman who is a member of his senior staff. That is his choice.
I have every right to ask questions that make the government uncomfortable and I am going to continue to do it whether those members like it or not.
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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2018-03-27 14:52 [p.18161]
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Mr. Speaker, we often see in the House a type of selective amnesia. I would like to remind the House that the cabinet of the previous prime minister, Stephen Harper, was far from gender-balanced. That is the example set by the Conservatives for Canadians.
Budget 2018 provides for shared parental leave in order to foster more sharing of family responsibilities and to ease women's return to work, because that is what is important to Canadians. This represents an investment of $1.2 billion over five years. The Conservatives should have thought of that in their 10 years in power. This works in Quebec and Sweden, and it is only one of many measures that will foster true gender equality.
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2018-03-27 15:09 [p.18164]
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moved that a ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled on February 27, 2018, be concurred in.
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2018-03-27 15:49 [p.18166]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the first time and be printed.
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View Kennedy Stewart Profile
NDP (BC)
View Kennedy Stewart Profile
2018-03-02 11:36 [p.17599]
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Mr. Speaker, this week we all saw what could be the fastest-ever Liberal broken promise. The government has clarified it will now just study, not implement, pharmacare, and any future program will not be universal, public, or free. Now the finance minister is facing conflict-of-interest allegations on his fake pharmacare proposal because of his link with Morneau Shepell, Canada's largest benefits consultancy provider.
Will the finance minister recuse himself from any pharmacare discussions because of this serious apparent conflict of interest?
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View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of their publicly funded universal medicare system, one that is based on the individual's needs and not on the ability to pay. However, we recognize there is certainly room for improvement. We have created an advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program with a mandate to study, evaluate, and ultimately make recommendations to government on the path forward to implement pharmacare that puts Canadians first. This initiative builds on the good work that has already been undertaken by our government to improve access to necessary prescription medications for all Canadians.
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View Brigitte Sansoucy Profile
NDP (QC)
View Brigitte Sansoucy Profile
2018-03-02 11:37 [p.17599]
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Mr. Speaker, we are not the only ones calling for this. Three major organizations, including the Canadian Labour Congress, have asked that the minister recuse himself from discussions on the pharmacare program in order to avoid another conflict of interest, and also to prevent him from working against the public interest. Canadians want and need a pan-Canadian pharmacare program.
Will the Prime Minister remove the Minister of Finance from the discussions and ensure that the consultation is not just a tactic to break another promise?
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View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of our universal medicare system. This system is publicly funded and based on people's needs and not on their ability to pay. However, this system can be improved.
We have created an advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program, with a mandate to study, evaluate, and recommend options for implementing a national pharmacare program that benefits all Canadians.
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View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
2018-02-06 16:33 [p.16850]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Montcalm for his comment. I would like to remind members that, when it comes to conflicts of interest, the Minister of Finance was also caught red-handed because he forgot to disclose that he owns a villa in France. That is not something that would happen to most people. The finance minister is also under investigation for a potential conflict of interest surrounding Bill C-27, which is a direct attack on defined benefit pension plans. Let us not forget that the finance minister's own company manages pension plans. I look forward to seeing the end of this investigation into this other Liberal scandal.
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View Tracey Ramsey Profile
NDP (ON)
View Tracey Ramsey Profile
2018-02-06 16:34 [p.16850]
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Mr. Speaker, the NDP supports this motion, but we have to understand that this motion needs to be more than just a political stunt. There actually needs to be some change that happens in this House when we guide ourselves.
I definitely agree that the Prime Minister's violation of the Conflict of Interest Act is unacceptable, but this has to be more than just an attempt to have the Prime Minister pay back the money. It needs to go further. It needs to reach further to make sure that we are implementing some changes for every member who sits in this House today.
The Conservative motion would impose this penalty on the specific case of the Prime Minister, but it would still leave the actual statutory penalties of the Conflict of Interest Act completely ineffective. New Democrats believe that if a motion or a bill is brought into the House or committee, there should be substantial ideas and reforms that would improve the institutions in which we work and which we all abide by.
When the Liberals were elected in 2015, they came in with their sunny ways. Their Prime Minister clearly put forward “Open and Accountable Government 2015”, a guide which sets out core principles regarding the rules and responsibilities of ministers in Canada's system of responsible parliamentary government. I have to say that Canadians were hopeful when they saw this document. They felt this was a signal that things were going to be different, and yet here we are, more than two years later, and Canadians who were hopeful have been seriously let down by the Liberal government.
The principle that was put forward states that public officeholders have an obligation to perform their official duties and arrange their private affairs in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law. Those were some really lofty words that sounded incredibly hopeful, that sounded like there was going to be a change inside of government, inside this House. Sadly, it is not binding. Clearly, it is not of interest to the Prime Minister himself or to his fellow cabinet ministers, like the Minister of Finance. I am going to talk a little about the Minister of Finance.
The non-recusal of the Minister of Finance from consideration of Bill C-27 may not be seen as a problem for the government, but it is a huge conflict for Canadians. In particular, pensioners are very worried.
People and retirees in my riding have contacted me because they are worried about the changes to their pension plans. It is important to note that for working people, which I was before I came to this chamber, pensions are deferred wages. Pensions are not something that a company just gives people to hopefully live their retirement life in dignity. People contribute to their own pension, based on every hour that they have worked in the workplace, through an agreement with their employer. People work their entire lives for these pensions and they count on them to support them in their later years.
Now we have Bill C-27 which threatens public pensions. We know that when it starts with public pensions, it will soon move over to private pensions. Certainly the finance minister stands to benefit from this, from Morneau Shepell and its involvement in all of these pension plans. We have seen this play out unfortunately with Sears workers in our country right now.
There are many dangers to Bill C-27. This shamefully removes the legal obligation, allowing for the conversion of defined benefit plans to targeted benefit plans, which could potentially lower benefits for both current and future retirees.
I want everyone in this House to think for a moment that if they retire, if they have worked 30 years at a workplace and then retire, knowing that they are going to receive a set amount every month, their decision to retire will actually hinge on whether or not they can afford to live on that amount per month.
For people who are already retired, they could now be contacted by those running the pension plan for the company which they previously worked for and could be told that the amount of the pension is going to be reduced because the company is not doing as well as it had hoped. Essentially seniors could be put in precarious situations after the implementation of Bill C-27.
Our pension legislation in Canada is designed to protect plan members from employers simply abandoning their commitments to them after years of hard work and walking away from their pension obligations. In Bill C-27, the government is proposing to withdraw that legal protection, leaving employees at the mercy of employers who now want to back out of those pension commitments that they made to the workers years and years ago.
This is an attack on the retirement security of all workers and retirees and could undermine the stability of workplace relations and fuel labour disputes in our country. This is very serious, and our Prime Minister and finance minister have shown absolutely no remorse. Our finance minister is quite content to leave Bill C-27 sitting on the table as a constant threat and reminder to working people in our country that they could lose their retirement as they see it right now. This is not a government that is standing up for working people.
The NDP stands up for retirees and working people and has legislation on the table right now to protect workers in insolvency. However, we will not stop until Bill C-27 is removed from the House. It is not good enough to let it sit and languish. I get that it is good enough for the finance minister, because he stands to personally gain from the bill, and, as has been mentioned in the House many times, has potentially already gained from Bill C-27.
This is very serious. Our Prime Minister and our finance minister cannot see past their own privilege. I see that disconnect daily in the House. It is something that is palpable here. When the Prime Minister is speaking about working people and the middle class, it is very clear to me that he does not know anyone, or have someone in his family, who is a member of the working class, the middle class, people who are out there working hard every day and struggling.
I am not surprised that this level of disconnect has led to this type of motion today where there is an attempt to force the Prime Minister to do the right thing. The Prime Minister himself sees nothing wrong with private vacations on islands, and the finance minister sees nothing wrong with legislation that could potentially benefit his family business. This is a very serious problem.
They cannot seem to recognize the wealth they have, and they are using it as an excuse for this ethical breach. To say, as my colleague referred to earlier, that they are friends with someone they have seen twice in the last 15 years, so of course they accepted a private invitation to their island made me laugh. We do not typically bring everyone along with us on a vacation that we are being gifted from someone. For those of us who travel with our families, we are often all together in one small room, and we certainly would not invite another member of Parliament and their spouse. We would not invite the leader of our party. It is simply not feasible. However, to the Prime Minister, this seems as though it was nothing and he had done nothing wrong. That is the root of why we are discussing this here today.
There are some things that the New Democrats feel strongly we could do that would help to end this kind of abuse of privilege. The NDP is the only party in the House that is talking about real substantial reforms. If we are going to make some real advancements, we need to reform the act and give it teeth. We believe that the commissioner should be empowered to impose a penalty where an examination results in the finding of a contravention of any part of the act, which could include financial penalties, removal from a position, suspension from voting on issues for 30 days, or permanent recusal on specific issues.
The other thing is that we think the commissioner needs the power to give real fines and other punishments, including suspension. This is to allow the public to complain to the commissioner, to tighten the post-employment rules, reduce the gift disclosure threshold, and expand the definition of the public office holder to include Governor in Council appointments. To submit indirectly held assets to the same rules and scrutiny as directly held assets is among some of the reforms that the New Democrats are bringing forward today in the House.
We believe that the PM could easily pay this amount. Why he has chosen not to is beyond me. He certainly has the kind of money to be able to reach into his pocket, pull it out, and make sure he is returning the money to taxpayers. However, what we see, unfortunately, is a theme, and it is continuing on from previous Liberal and Conservative governments. It is that these scandals and ethical breaches are accepted.
We have the first sitting prime minister to be in violation of this statute, and I can promise that Canadians across the country are talking about this issue. They are saying that the Prime Minister is completely out of touch with Canadians, and they are looking to those in the House to hold him to account.
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View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
2018-02-05 18:46 [p.16790]
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Mr. Speaker, last October, I asked the finance minister about when he had sold his shares in Morneau Shepell. He had about $20 million or $30 million in Morneau Shepell, which he told Canadians he had put in a blind trust. Of course, we found out that was not true, and it kicked off quite a fall for the finance minister.
Here we are, four months later, and the Liberals are once again embroiled in an ethical scandal where the Prime Minister, this time, has been found guilty of breaching the conflict of interest provisions that are provided to ministers and members of Parliament. He has been found guilty by the Ethics Commissioner of improperly arranging his personal affairs, guilty on the charge of accepting illegal gifts, guilty on the charge of illegally accepting a ride on a private aircraft, and guilty on the charge that he engaged illegally in discussions about government business.
We know that the finance minister had similar issues. He was found to have breached the code, as well, for failing to disclose the nature of the foreign corporation that held his French villa.
They certainly kept Mary Dawson, the previous ethics commissioner, quite busy. Her term has expired, and we have a new Ethics Commissioner, and he is now going to be investigating. We anticipate that he will continue the investigation into whether the Minister of Finance was in a conflict of interest when he introduced pension legislation, Bill C-27, that could have directly benefited his former family company, Morneau Shepell, while he was still in control of those shares in that company.
I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary could confirm whether the new Ethics Commissioner has met with the finance minister to discuss that potential conflict of interest with Bill C-27, and whether or not he has answered those questions about whether that directly benefited his personal company.
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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2018-02-05 18:49 [p.16790]
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Mr. Speaker, that is a throw-back to the last session. I would like to remind my colleague that the first thing the Minister of Finance did when he arrived in Ottawa was to work with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in order to ensure that he was in compliance with the rules governing the House of Commons and Parliament.
The then commissioner recommended that he set up a conflict of interest screen, which she considered to be the best means of compliance possible. That is what the Minister of Finance did upon his arrival in Ottawa.
In recent months, he announced that he would go one step further by divesting himself of all his shares in Morneau Shepell and placing his assets in a blind trust.
I can assure my colleague that the Minister of Finance continues to work with the new Ethics Commissioner and the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, as he has been doing since he was elected in October 2015, and which he will always do.
If my colleague was following the news when the House was not sitting, he would have seen that the Ethics Commissioner had previously said there was no basis for the allegations and accusations against the Minister of Finance we were hearing too often in the House.
I can only hope that the Conservatives will start to focus on what Canadians care about instead of throwing around wild allegations.
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View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
2018-02-05 18:50 [p.16790]
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Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Ethics Commissioner cleared the finance minister of one of the allegations that were made. He also continues to investigate whether or not the finance minister was in a conflict of interest when he tabled legislation, Bill C-27, which would change the way that pensions are administered in this country. Only a very few companies in this country are set up to administer those types of pensions, and one of them happens to be Morneau Shepell, his former family company.
Can the parliamentary secretary confirm whether the finance minister has met with the new Ethics Commissioner to discuss those allegations of conflict of interest?
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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2018-02-05 18:51 [p.16790]
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Mr. Speaker, as I said, since he was elected and came to Ottawa, the Minister of Finance has worked closely with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, with all the respect owed to this institution. He will continue to work with the office to ensure that he is in compliance with all the rules that govern us in the House. He will always follow the recommendations made by the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, as he did in 2015 when the commissioner recommended that he set up a conflict of interest screen.
We would call this the best possible measure of compliance.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-01-29 15:52
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Question No. 1314--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons on November 2, 2017, that “Never before in the history of Canada have we seen a redistribution of Canada's wealth to the middle class and those aspiring to become a part of it”: does the government consider this statement to be accurate and, if so, what specific information does the government have to back up this statement?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the comments by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons were in reference to the government’s efforts to support Canada’s middle class and those working hard to join it and to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. Since coming to office, the government has helped middle-class Canadians by reducing the rate on the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%, while asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay a bit more through the introduction of a new top income bracket of 33%. The government has also introduced the Canada child benefit, which is providing increased benefits to nine out of 10 families with children, and which is better targeted to those who need it most compared to the previous system of child benefits. In addition, the government is taking steps to address tax advantages that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
The government is also taking steps to expand opportunities for individuals seeking to join the middle class. Investments in areas such as early learning, child care, and affordable housing will provide a foundation for upward mobility to those who are currently struggling with these needs, while investments in skills training will provide greater opportunities for workers to upgrade their skills and attain better-paying jobs.
Moreover, the government is taking actions to strengthen the position of middle-class workers in the workplace. The government has introduced legislation to restore a fair and balanced approach to organized labour and is working on further legislative changes and other policy options to address emerging issues in the labour market, such as unpaid internships and a fair wages policy for businesses that have dealings with the federal government.
The government supports Canada’s middle class and is working to deliver a more balanced and fair economy where growth is shared by all Canadians and does not just benefit the wealthy.

Question No. 1320--
Mr. Len Webber:
With regard to the seven Books of Remembrance that lie in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill: (a) what is the government going to do to ensure uninterrupted public access to the Books during renovations on the Centre Block; (b) when will these changes take place; and (c) until what date will the alternate arrangements be in place?
Response
Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Books of Remembrance commemorate the lives of more than 118,000 Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving Canada in uniform. During the renovation of the Centre Block, the Books of Remembrance will be located in phase one of the Visitor Welcome Centre in a suitably designed space where public viewing and the daily page-turning ceremony will continue.
It is currently unknown how long the Books of Remembrance will remain in phase one of the Visitor Welcome Centre as the Centre Block renovation is in the early stages of its execution and a schedule is still in development.

Question No. 1321--
Mr. Len Webber:
With regard to the Peace Tower Carillon on Parliament Hill: (a) what is going to be done to ensure the weekday noon-time concert will continue to play while renovations on the Centre Block take place; (b) when will any changes take effect; and (c) until what date will the alternate arrangements be in place?
Response
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Parliament Buildings belong to all Canadians. Part of our responsibility is to engage them on the projects taking place here on Parliament Hill.
The government is considering several ways to ensure a positive visitor experience on Parliament Hill during this time.
Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, is working with the House of Commons to ensure live performances by the Dominion Carillonneur continue for as long as possible during the renovation of the Peace Tower. The project is still in the early stages. PSPC is currently carrying out a detailed investigation that is critical to defining the scope, budget, and schedule of the renovations. At this point, no determination has been made about the timing of any potential impacts on the carillon or on alternative arrangements.

Question No. 1324--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons on October 30, 2017, that “We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines”: (a) on what evidence or documents is the Minister’s statement based; (b) what are the details of the evidence or documents in (a); (c) has the Minister read the document entitled “Risk Assessment--Oversight of the ACP/AQP Evaluator Programs (Ottawa, ON; 6-10 February 2017) Conventional Tool”; (d) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, when did the Minister read this document; (e) did the Minister approve the policy as described in the document in (c); (f) does the Minister intend to overturn the decision made by the Civil Aviation Directorate and National Operations at Transport Canada to delegate responsibility for the evaluation of company check pilots to the airlines as of April 1, 2018; (g) when was the Minister informed that Transport Canada had decided to delegate responsibility for the evaluation of company check pilots to the airlines; (h) did the Minister speak to the Director of National Operations at Transport Canada about this statement; (i) if the answer to (h) is affirmative, what are the details of this conversation; (j) what other member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization have transferred responsibility for evaluating company check pilots to the airlines; (k) has Transport Canada assessed the internal need for aviation safety inspectors; (l) if the answer to (k) is affirmative, what is the result of the department’s assessment; and (m) what is the impact of this need in terms of inspectors on the new policy adopted by Transport Canada?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of Canadians is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
With respect to the statement by the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons on October 30, 2017, that, “We are not getting rid of the function of checking the check pilots of the airlines”, and with regard to parts (a) to (i), Transport Canada has a rigorous regulatory program in place and conducts oversight activities to verify industry compliance. Under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, it is industry’s responsibility to comply with all safety regulations and to operate safely.
On behalf of the minister, Transport Canada delegates the responsibility of conducting pilot proficiency checks of industry ?pilots by experienced and qualified pilots. For over 25 years, delegates have been monitoring industry pilots. Similar to our oversight regime, the department inspects based on a series of risk criteria. If a risk is identified with the company’s approved check pilots or with the company’s compliance with any regulations, the department will not hesitate to take action in the interest of aviation safety.
With regard to parts (j) to (m), the program is in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, standards and aligns with other civil aviation authorities such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, whose delegates are known as “check airmen”. The department’s use of ministerial delegates is also well established for aircraft certification, pilot testing of various licences, and pilot written exams.
Transport Canada requires that professional pilots receive a pilot proficiency check, PPC, to confirm and test skills and proficiency in dealing with aircraft standard operations and emergency procedures. The requirements and standards for these check rides meet or exceed ICAO requirements.
A pilot proficiency check is conducted every six months, year, or two years depending on the type of operation, size, and complexity of aircraft.
The department is aware that the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority has extended similar privileges to its senior examiners.
Transport Canada continually analyzes its workforce, and focuses on recruitment and retention of staff to ensure it has the necessary number of oversight personnel with the required skills and competencies to plan and conduct oversight activities. As in any workplace, total workforce can fluctuate at any given time due to changing demographics, promotions, retirements, and other factors.
The new policy will not impact inspectors. The department is focusing surveillance on areas of greater risk based on data. When an area is deemed a low risk, resources are reallocated to areas identified as higher risk.

Question No. 1326--
Ms. Elizabeth May:
With regard to the drafting of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act: (a) did the government study the environmental impacts of the Canadian cannabis industry and consider this in the drafting of legislation; (b) if the answer in (a) is negative, why not; and (c) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, what are the details of any correspondence, reports, or documents related to the subject of the sustainability of the legislation contained in Bill C-45, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipients, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents?
Response
Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, prior to the introduction of Bill C-45, Health Canada carried out the mandatory assessment of environmental impacts, strategic environmental analysis, in the context of developing a federal legal framework to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict cannabis.
Under the proposed framework, licence-holders would be subject to federal and provincial/territorial statutes and regulations with respect to environmental protection. These laws and regulations establish clear rules to limit potential negative environmental impacts due to commercial cultivation and manufacturing, such as poor air quality, harmful effects of unauthorized pesticide use, water contamination, and improper use and disposal of harmful substances.
A key objective of the framework set out in Bill C-45 is to displace the illegal market. The current illicit cannabis market relies on unregulated cultivation and manufacturing practices, for example, potential mishandling of chemicals, including unauthorized pesticide use, or improper disposal and release of harmful substances, which may have detrimental effects on the environment. Reducing illegal cannabis production can be expected to lead to a decrease in negative environmental impacts due to these unregulated practices.
Consideration of environmental impacts will form a part of the regulatory impact analysis statement that will be required prior to the publication of federal regulations, subject to parliamentary approval of Bill C-45 by Parliament.

Question No. 1328--
Mr. Mark Warawa:
With regard to the so-called “Mandate Letter Tracker” on the Privy Council Office website: (a) is any third-party non-government analysis conducted to ensure that the claims made on the website are not Liberal Party propaganda; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of any such contracts, including (i) person who conducted the analysis, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) date and duration of contract, (v) file number; (c) what are the costs associated with setting up the website, broken down by individual item; and (d) what are the anticipated ongoing costs of maintaining the website, broken down by individual item?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the so-called “mandate letter tracker” on the Privy Council Office, PCO, website, the response from PCO is as follows:
In response to (a), no. The Mandate Letter Tracker was produced by the results and delivery unit, RDU, in PCO with support from all federal government departments.
In response to (b), this is not applicable.
In response to (c), the development of the website was completed with existing Government of Canada financial resources. Ongoing maintenance of the website will also rely on existing financial resources. The tracking of mandate letter commitments and priorities is one of many roles and responsibilities of the results and delivery unit in PCO. These roles also encompass efforts to monitor delivery, address implementation obstacles to key priorities, and report on progress to the Prime Minister. The unit also facilitates the work of the government by developing tools, guidance, and learning activities on implementing an outcome-focused approach.

Question No. 1330--
Mr. Mark Warawa :
With regard to the Fall Economic Statement tabled by the Finance Minister on October 24, 2017: for each investment horizon in chart 3.8 (10 years, 20 years, 30 years), how much total tax would be paid in a personal savings account, versus in a private corporation, for the entire life cycle of the investment, including taxes paid on the final distribution to the corporate owner of all funds?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as chart 3.8 of the 2017 fall economic statement illustrates, a high-income individual can realize significant tax advantages from holding passive investments in his or her corporation. By benefiting from a lower rate of tax on business income, the amount of after-tax income that can be invested passively in a private corporation is larger than what can be invested had the income been distributed as salary or dividends. As shown in the example, a corporate owner is able to earn after-tax interest income that is about 1.8 times more than he or she could realize at the personal level after 10 years, after distribution. After 30 years, the additional after-tax interest income from saving in a corporation is more than double what they could have obtained by saving at the personal level. This implies that investments made inside a private corporation are effectively subject to a lower implicit tax rate than investments made inside personal savings accounts.

Question No. 1333--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to Canada’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and testimony at the Standing Committee on Finance on November 7, 2017, by the Director, International Finance and Development Division, International Trade and Finance Branch, of the Department of Finance: (a) on how many of the AIIB’s 21 approved projects (Philippines: Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Asia: IFC Emerging Asia Fund, India: Transmission System Strengthening Project, Gujarat Rural Roads Project, India Infrastructure Fund and Andhra Pradesh 24x7--Power For All, Egypt: Round II Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs Program, Tajikistan: Nurek Hydropower Rehabilitation Project--Phase I and Dushanbe-Uzbekistan Border Road Improvement Project, Georgia: Batumi Bypass Road Project, Bangladesh: Natural Gas Infrastructure and Efficiency Improvement Project and Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion Project, Indonesia: Dam Operational Improvement and Safety Project Phase II, Regional Infrastructure Development Fund Project and National Slum Upgrading Project, Azerbaijan: Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project to be co-financed with the World Bank, Oman: Duqm Port Commercial Terminal and Operational Zone Development Project and Railway System Preparation Project, Myanmar: Myingyan Power Plant Project, Pakistan: Tarbela 5 Hydropower Extension Project and National Motorway M-4 Project) as of November 9, 2017, did the government conduct its own environmental and human rights review as part of its project assessment; (b) on how many of the AIIB’s nine proposed projects (China: Beijing Air Quality Improvement and Coal Replacement Project, Oman: Broadband Infrastructure Project, Sri Lanka: Climate Resilience Improvement Project–Phase II, India: Bangalore Metro Rail Project–Line R6, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project, Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project and Mumbai Metro Line 4 Project, Georgia: 280 MW Nenskra Hydropower Plant) as of November 9, 2017, did the government conduct its own environmental and human rights review as part of its project assessment; (c) broken down by individual project (i) what were the outcomes and findings of all the environmental and human rights reviews for all of the AIIB projects that the government conducted, (ii) when was each review completed; and (d) what was the criteria considered within the environmental and human rights reviews by the government when it conducted assessments of all of AIIB’s projects?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 6, 2017, Department of Finance officials testified at the Standing Committee on Finance on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB. In the testimony, officials explained that the Government of Canada conducts assessments of projects being considered by multilateral development banks of which Canada is a member. As Canada is not yet a member of the AIIB, the government is not yet undertaking assessments of AIIB projects.

Question No. 1334--
Mr. Alupa A.Clarke:
With regard to the appointment process of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the most recent selection process with a cut-off date of September 12, 2017: (a) what was the total number of applicants; (b) what was the number of applicants who submitted applications after the initial cut-off date; (c) what was the number of candidates who passed the initial or preliminary round of screening; (d) what are the details of the steps in the selection process, including (i) number and types of exams given, (ii) number of interviews, (iii) other steps, including a description of each step; and (e) what was the intended date of announcement of the selected candidate for Commissioner of Official Languages?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the appointment process of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the most recent selection process with a cut-off date of September 12, 2017, the response from the Privy Council Office is as follows:
In response to (a), 67 applications were submitted.
In response to (b), 24 applications were submitted after September 12, 2017.
In response to (c), the number of candidates who passed the initial or preliminary round of screening has been withheld to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.
In response to (d), candidates are assessed through a variety of means at various points in a selection process, e.g., the screening of applications against the education and experience criteria set in the notice of appointment opportunity for the position. The selection committee interviewed a short list of qualified candidates and checked their references. As the position requires proficiency in both official languages as set out in the Language Skills Act, candidates were also asked to undergo a language skills evaluation. Shortlisted candidates also underwent psychometric assessments to assist in determining their personal suitability for the position
In response to (e), the government is committed to carrying out selection processes as quickly as possible. At the same time, the government is committed to identifying the most qualified candidates through open, transparent, and merit-based processes, and will take as long as is required to find the right person for such an important leadership position. The appointment of Raymond Théberge as the new Commissioner of Official Languages was announced on December 14, 2017.

Question No. 1337--
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
With regard to claims for disability benefits processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and to the entire process required to treat those claims, including, but not limited to, receipt of claims, assessment of claims, investigation of claims and gathering of evidence, denial of claims, appeals processes, court appearances, and dealing with complaints, broken down by year since 2012: (a) how much money has been spent by the Department processing claims that have been denied, including (i) staff hours, (ii) court time, (iii) costs for experts, (iv) administration fees, (v) all other relevant expenses; (b) what is the number of claims that were denied and the proportion of total claims it represents; and (c) what is the average length of time for applications to be processed before being denied?
Response
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Veterans Affairs is unable to provide a breakdown of expenditures related to the processing of claims by approved claims versus denied claims as its financial system does not track expenditures in this manner. However, the overall administrative cost of the adjudication process within Veterans Affairs since 2012 is broken down as follows: 2011-12: $17.7M (Salary $16.7M / Operating $1.0M); 2012-13: $19.2M (Salary $17.8M / Operating $1.5M); 2013-14: $19.1M (Salary $16.9M / Operating $2.2M); 2014-15: $19.6M (Salary $16.5M / Operating $3.2M); 2015-16: $23.3M (Salary $19.8M / Operating $3.6M); 2016-17: $25.3M (Salary $ $22.1M / Operating $3.2M)
Figures have been rounded.
These expenditures are for the centralized operations division, which is responsible for the adjudication of most of Veterans Affairs Canada’s programs and benefits, such as disability awards and pensions, critical injury benefit, earnings loss, retirement income security benefit, and career impact allowance. These expenditures capture the administrative cost, salary and non-salary, of preparing, processing, and adjudicating benefit applications. However, there are other areas of VAC that also contribute to the adjudication process, including but not limited to the following: health professionals, e.g., doctors and nurses; bureau of pensions advocates, e.g., lawyers; and program management and field operations, e.g., case managers and veteran service agents. Expenditures for these areas are not included above.
In response to (b), from January 1, 2012 to November 21, 2017, there were 178,667 conditions ruled on by Veterans Affairs Canada. Of those, 60,293, or 33.7%, were denied. This is not representative of the number of veterans who have been denied disability benefits, as a veteran may receive rulings for multiple conditions.
In response to (c), for those denied, the average turnaround time was 126 days.
Veterans Affairs Canada is working hard to provide veterans and their families with the care and support they need when and where they need it. It is looking at the entire disability application process from intake to decisions to expedite decisions and respond to veterans’ needs more quickly.
Veterans Affairs Canada receives a significant number of applications that often require additional information from veterans. This process takes time to complete to ensure the correct information is gathered to make an informed disability benefit decision. This has affected its service standards for applications.
Although Veterans Affairs Canada has hired additional resources, it recognizes that the adjudication process needs to be streamlined even further and additional adjudicators hired to make application decisions in a more effective and timely manner.
Veterans Affairs Canada is working to implement further measures to reduce the backlog and improve program success by continuing to hire more front-line staff, simplifying the decision-making process for some medical conditions, and working with partners to speed up access to service health records.
The number of disability benefits claims submitted to Veterans Affairs Canada has increased by 20% in 2015-16, as compared to the previous fiscal year.

Question No. 1351--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the November 24, 2017, claim of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in the House of Commons that Canadians expect a government to come out with legislation that is multi-jurisdictional: (a) does the Attorney General concur with the Parliamentary Secretary’s assertion; (b) is it the government’s position that the laws passed by the Parliament of Canada are not limited to the constitutional jurisdiction of Parliament; (c) has the present government proposed bills which would legislate beyond the constitutional jurisdiction of Parliament; and (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, which bills are they and what are their extra-jurisdictional provisions?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 24, 2017, the parliamentary secretary made reference to Bill C-64, the wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels act, in the House of Commons, and in so doing, referred to the multi-jurisdictional aspects of the bill. In this regard, Bill C-64 includes provisions to enable multi-jurisdictional collaboration, such as delegation of authority and information-sharing provisions, as a result of consultations with indigenous groups, provincial-territorial representatives, port authorities, and other stakeholders. Bill C-64 also includes interdepartmental coordination provisions between the Department of Transport and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, with each having their respective areas of jurisdiction under the proposed bill. The proposed legislation enables collaboration and coordination while falling clearly under federal jurisdiction as it deals with matters pertaining to shipping and navigation.
The government introduced Bill C-64 following consultations with indigenous groups, provincial-territorial representatives, port authorities, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to help prevent future occurrences of abandoned and wrecked vessels and reduce the impact of those that do occur. By doing so, the proposed legislation would protect coastal and shoreline communities, the environment, and infrastructure. It also aims to reduce the burden on taxpayers. To date, governments have borne many of the costs to remove and dispose of problem vessels. This legislation is a core element of the national strategy on abandoned and wrecked vessels that was announced as part of the oceans protection plan in November 2016.

Question No. 1355--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the meeting between the Chief Administrative Officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Policy Advisor and Special Assistant for Western Canada and the Territories to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on June 1, 2017: what are the titles of all briefing notes provided by the government to the Policy Advisor and Special Assistant between May 1, 2017, and June 8, 2017?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, between May 1, 2017, and June 8, 2017, Infrastructure Canada did not provide briefing notes to the policy adviser and special assistant for western Canada and the territories to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities with regard to his meeting with the chief administrative officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District on June 1, 2017.

Question No. 1360--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to Bill C-2, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act: (a) did the Minister of Finance sign the proposal to have Cabinet adopt this legislative proposal as its policy; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, on what date did he sign it; (c) on what date was the legislative proposal adopted as the policy of Cabinet; (d) on what date was it decided to propose that the amendments in clause 1 of the Bill would have effect for the 2016 tax year; (e) on what date was the drafting of Ways and Means Motion No. 1 completed; (f) on what date was the drafting of the Bill completed; (g) on what date did the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons hold the Bill review meeting; (h) was the Minister of Finance in attendance at the meeting referred to in (g); and (i) on what date was it decided to schedule the tabling of Ways and Means Motion No. 1 for December 7, 2015?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as publicly stated by the government House leader on November 4, 2015 as the reason to call back the House in December 2015, the Government of Canada took the first step to fulfill one of its key mandate commitments on December 7, 2015, which was to give middle-class Canadians a tax break.
On that date, the Minister of Finance tabled in the House of Commons a notice of ways and means motion to reduce the 22% personal income tax rate to 20.5%. To help pay for this middle-class tax cut, the government asked the wealthiest one per cent of Canadians to contribute a little more. Therefore, the motion also included provisions to create a new top personal income tax rate of 33% for individual taxable incomes in excess of $200,000 and provisions to return the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $5,500 from $10,000.
These measures were included in Bill C-2, which was tabled in the House of Commons on December 9, 2015, and received royal assent on December 15, 2016. By proposing that these tax changes take effect as of January 1, 2016, the government was able to offer immediate help to nearly nine million Canadians, while laying the groundwork for long-term economic growth.
The government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act in processing parliamentary returns. Information related to cabinet deliberations and decision-making has been withheld on those grounds.

Question No. 1361--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the climate change report prepared by Abacus Data and presented at the meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment on Friday November 3, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia: (a) when was the tendering process for this study released; (b) how many firms replied to the tender; (c) who was questioned for the data that was used for the report; (d) what are the details of the contract with Abacus Data related to the report, including (i) contract amount, (ii) date, (iii) duration, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number; and (e) what are the details of all meetings between the Chairman of Abacus Data and Environment and Climate Change Canada or the Privy Council Office, including (i) date, (ii) ministers and exempt staff in attendance as well as any other attendees, (iii) agenda items, (iv) location?
Response
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Environment and Climate Change Canada has no contract recorded in relation to Question No. 1361.

Question No. 1362--
Mr. Louis Plamondon:
With regard to the Office of the Governor General, for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017: how many people did it employ, including (i) the list of all employees, by position, with job descriptions, including the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG), (ii) the total of all salaries, including benefits, of the management positions for the OSGG?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Office of the Governor General, for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017, the response from the Office of the Governor General is as follows: The office of the secretary to the Governor General is headed by the secretary who serves as a senior adviser to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
As of March 31, 2015: Salaries: $11.62M Benefits: $1.89M As of March 31, 2016: Salaries: $11.94M Benefits: $1.87M As of March 31, 2017: Salaries: $11.71M Benefits: $1.80M.
With regard to policy, program and protocol, this branch plans and implements the Governor General’s program domestically and abroad, including over 500 events yearly; administers visitor and interpretation services--over 300,000 visitors last year--at both official residences, Rideau Hall and the Citadelle; provides editorial and public affairs services, and is responsible for providing overall support to the viceregal family.
The number of FTEs, which includes the secretary’s office, is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 83 As of March 31, 2016: 92 As of March 31, 2017: 95.
The Chancellery of Honours With regard to the chancellery of honours, the chancellery branch administers all aspects of the Canadian honours system including the Order of Canada, the bravery decorations, the meritorious service decorations and the sovereign’s medal for volunteers; and the Canadian heraldic authority which creates and records armorial bearings.
The number of FTEs is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 28 As of March 31, 2016: 36 (additional funds allocated following the honours review: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/docs/plan/ch4-2-eng.html). As of March 31, 2017: 39.
Corporate Services With regard to corporate services, the corporate services branch supports internal services and implements central agency policies and guidelines that apply across the organization. This branch is divided into two components. One component encompasses financial and materiel management, information technology, information resources, and mail management. The other component encompasses people management, i.e., human resources; workplace management, i.e., accommodations, security, and transportation services, as well as strategic planning and internal communications.
The number of FTEs is as follows: As of March 31, 2015: 49 As of March 31, 2016: 46 As of March 31, 2017: 39.

Question No. 1373--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to directives and instructions provided by the Privy Council Office (PCO) to any department or agency since November 4, 2015, and excluding any instructions provided by the Legislation and House Planning section of PCO: what are the details of all directives and instructions including (i) sender, (ii) recipients, (iii) date, (iv) directive or instruction provided?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office does not track all directives and instructions provided to other departments or agencies. Attempting to address this inquiry within the allotted time frame could lead to the disclosure of incomplete or misleading information.

Question No. 1377--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Finance in the House of Commons on November 30, 2017, that “No one outside the closed circle within the Department of Finance and those who needed to know within our government would have known about our actions in advance of that date”, in reference to the tabling of the Notice of Ways and Means Motion to amend the Income Tax Act: what are the titles of all individuals who knew about the actions prior to December 7, 2015, and when did they know?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Finance Canada’s responsibilities include the development and evaluation of federal taxation policies and legislation. Accordingly, the department supported the Minister of Finance in developing the notice of ways and means motion tabled in Parliament on December 7, 2015, as well as the implementing legislation, which was introduced in Parliament as Bill C-2 on December 9, 2015. The department also worked on preparing communications material to support the December 7, 2015, announcement, including a news release and a backgrounder.

Question No. 1382--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of National Revenue in the House of Commons on November 6, 2017, that “Over the past two years, we have invested nearly $1 billion to combat tax havens. This investment has helped our efforts to recover nearly $25 billion”: (a) how much of the nearly $25 billion has been recovered from tax havens; and (b) what is the breakdown of the $25 billion by country or continent where the tax haven is located?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): :
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question, here is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA. In terms of part (a), fiscal impact is the traditional measure used for the CRA’s departmental performance report to report on the audit assessment and examination results from compliance activities. More specifically, it consists of federal and provincial taxes assessed, tax refunds reduced, interest and penalties, and the present value of future federal tax assessable arising from compliance actions. It excludes amounts reversed on appeal and uncollectable amounts.
Over the past two fiscal years, the CRA identified $25 billion in fiscal impact from audit activities: $12.7 billion in 2015-16 and $12.5 billion in 2016-17. Some of the CRA’s audit functions focus on large business and aggressive tax planning by high net-worth individuals. Audits in these areas have yielded approximately two-thirds of this fiscal impact, $15.9 billion. A large part of these adjustments for large businesses, by value, are based on CRA reassessments of intra-company transfer prices on payments made to related companies in low-tax jurisdictions.
Taxpayers, especially those with complex tax structures, may have many transactions, both domestic and international, that lead to a specific account balance requiring payment. The complexity of the calculations for payments on taxes owed and the attribution of them to audits versus other sources of debt in a given year is very difficult to do accurately. Audit assessments, particularly those involving large amounts or related to aggressive tax planning, are frequently appealed and then litigated, and as a result, it can be several years before there is judicial confirmation of the amount owed. In addition, there can be issues securing payment from taxpayers and bankruptcies can also occur. As such, the CRA cannot provide a specific number in the manner requested.
However, the CRA can confirm that in fiscal year 2016-17, the CRA resolved $52.1 billion in outstanding tax debt from all revenue lines, most notably individual tax, corporate tax, GST/HST, and payroll deductions, which were payable for current and previous years.
In terms of part (b), as noted, the CRA does not track fiscal impact in the manner requested.

Question No. 1383--
Mr. Alain Rayes:
With regard to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017: what was the total remuneration paid by the Corporation, including all bonuses, the overtime buyout, the celebrity premium, the clothing allowance and all other premiums, for each (i) male host of a French-language television news program, (ii) female host of a French-language television news program?
Response
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. The requested information has been withheld on the grounds that it constitutes competitive as well as personal information.

Question No. 1384--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to the Disability Tax Credit and individuals who self-identify with type 1 Diabetes: (a) what percentage of individuals with type 1 Diabetes were (i) approved, (ii) rejected, for the Disability Tax Credit during the 2015-16 fiscal year; and (b) what percentage of individuals with type 1 Diabetes were (i) approved, (ii) rejected, for the Disability Tax Credit between May 2, 2017, and December 5, 2017?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question, here is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA. In terms of parts (a) and (b), to be eligible for the disability tax credit, an individual must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions, as defined in the Income Tax Act and as certified by a medical practitioner. Eligibility is not based on a diagnosis, but rather on the effects of the impairment on their ability to perform the basic activities of daily living. Eligibility determinations are not made, or tracked, based on diagnosis. Therefore, the CRA is unable to respond in the manner requested as the data is not available.

Question No. 1385--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to the Privy Council Office’s “Mandate Letter Tracker” and the 13 commitments listed as “underway with challenges”, as of December 5, 2017: (a) what specifically are the challenges, broken down by commitment; (b) what specific actions is the government planning in order to overcome the challenges, broken down by commitment; and (c) for each of the 13 commitments, does the government plan on keeping its commitment or not?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), transparency and accountability are central themes of the Government of Canada’s mandate, as illustrated by the November 2015 public release of ministerial mandate letters. The Canada.ca/results website creates a central, accessible space anyone can go to, to monitor the progress against the government’s commitments to Canadians as outlined in the ministerial mandate letters. The website includes not only an overall status of progress for all commitments, but also a paragraph with more information on the status of implementation. For those commitments that are “under way with challenges”, more information on the specific challenges can be found in that paragraph.
With regard to (b), an “underway with challenges” status means progress toward completing this commitment is going more slowly than expected or that the commitment is complex by its very nature. The government is working with departments to overcome the challenges identified. While the 13 commitments that are “under way with challenges” can be found across a variety of the government priorities, four are under the indigenous priority, and progress requires longer-term, transformative changes that are part of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Some of the other commitments are taking longer to implement than anticipated. More specific context is given in the text associated with the 13 commitments classified as “under way with challenges”, as well as a link to additional information as appropriate.
With regard to (c), as of December 5, 2017, the government is planning on keeping all the 13 commitments that are “under way with challenges”. Updates to the status of commitments will be reflected in future updates of the mandate letter tracker.

Question No. 1388--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the $576,500 paid to Vox Pop Labs Incorporated for Project Tessera: (a) what goods or services did the government receive as a result of the payment prior to project’s originally scheduled end date of September 30, 2017; (b) did Vox Pop Labs Incorporated fulfill the conditions of its applications; (c) how did Vox Pop Labs specifically fulfill “Justification 6” of its application where it stated “the project will be created and launched in a timely fashion, resulting in a significant impact during the celebratory period in 2017”; (d) how did Vox Pop Labs specifically fulfill “Justification 7” on its application, where it was projected that the project would reach in excess of 1,000,000 individuals; and (e) how many individuals have viewed Project Tessera, since January 1, 2017, broken down by month, or what is the best estimate, if exact figures are not available?
Response
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Vox Pop Labs Incorporated--Vox Pop--originally received a contribution from the Canada 150 Fund of $576,500 for Project Tessera, a Canada 150 signature project. Vox Pop subsequently received a supplement of $228,782, bringing the total contribution to $805,282.
The Government of Canada supported Project Tessera under the Canada 150 fund through a contribution and not a contract. Therefore, the Government of Canada is not procuring goods or services. Project Tessera is not a Government of Canada project; Project Tessera belongs to Vox Pop Labs Incorporated.
Vox Pop Labs Incorporated has changed the name of their project from Project Tessera to Echoes.
With regard to (b), Vox Pop is fulfilling its obligations as per the contribution agreement with the Canada 150 fund. The key activities for the project as outlined in the original contribution agreement are as follow: create a digital quiz that will survey users on themes such as culture, values, symbols, and belonging to Canada, and encourage participants to learn about their own national identities and cultures and explore the commonalities they have with other people across the country; generate a unique data set on public perceptions about Canada and what it means to be Canadian in 2017; and ensure the findings of the survey, including all relevant data, are placed in the public domain and freely accessible to Canadians by December 31, 2017. The survey results will serve as a legacy of Canada 150 for future generations.
The “digital quiz” now called Echoes was launched on Monday, December 4, 2017. Echoes will generate a unique dataset on public perceptions about Canada and what it means to be Canadians in 2017.
With regard to (c), the launch of the project was originally scheduled to coincide with the Canada Day celebrations; however, after completing the analysis of their panel studies, Vox Pop Labs determined that their design did not sufficiently capture a user’s sense of collective and individual belonging to the Canadian cultural mosaic as per the goals of the project specified in the contribution agreement. Vox Pop Labs chose to delay the launch so the survey could be improved.
With regard to (d) and (e), the Echoes survey was launched on Monday, December 4, 2017. It is too early to say how many individuals will participate.

Question No. 1389--
Mr. Wayne Easter:
With regard to the contract that was signed between Transport Canada and the City of Charlottetown and any of its agencies pertaining to the Charlottetown Port Authority: (a) what are the guidelines or conditions of use; and (b) do these include a provision for industrial use?
Response
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Transport Canada transferred the port of Charlottetown under the port divestiture program on April 21, 2005, to the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc.
The operating agreement between Transport Canada and the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. dictated conditions of use for the first four years of operations. The agreement expired on April 21, 2009.
After this date, the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. is free to use the facility as it wishes, provided it follows all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws.
With regard to (b), there are no specific provisions on the industrial use of lands in any of the agreements. As mentioned, any and all use of the property must follow all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws pertaining to that specific use.

Question No. 1393--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the November 21, 2017 news release titled “Government of Canada provides financial support to Ontario college students affected by labour dispute”: (a) what are the details of the financial support, excluding any support students would have normally received had a labour dispute not occurred, including (i) how many students received payments, (ii) what was the average amount received by a student, (iii) what percentage of the payments required repayment, such as loans; (b) broken down by type of financial assistance received, as referenced in (a), what criteria was used to determine if an applicant would receive financial assistance; (c) how many students applied for the financial support referred to in (a); and (d) how many of the students referred to in (c) were granted financial assistance?
Response
Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Canada’s prosperity depends on young Canadians getting the education and the experience they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
With regard to (a), affected students will be eligible to receive additional financial assistance for the weeks added to their school terms.
With regard to (a)(i), nearly 140,000 Canada student loans and grants recipients were affected by the strike. Where extensions to school terms occur, the associated assessments for additional financial assistance will take place until the spring of 2018. As a result, final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (a)(ii), the amount each student receives will depend on their individual eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants, and on the time period by which their individual programs are extended.
With regard to (a)(iii), final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (b), criteria to determine a student’s eligibility for financial assistance due to the strike do not change from the regular assessment process. Affected students who received the Canada student grant for full-time students will receive an additional amount of grant based on their family income and extended weeks of study; Canada student loan recipients may be eligible for up to an extra $210 per week, depending on individual needs—that is, additional cost of living and available resources.
With regard to (c), nearly 140,000 students affected by the strike could qualify for additional financial support. Students from Ontario will not be required to reapply, as data on extended sessions will be available to assess their additional needs. Students from other provinces studying at Ontario colleges will need to reapply; however, data will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.
With regard to (d), final statistics on additional payments due to the strike will only be available approximately six months after the conclusion of the academic year.

Question No. 1394--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to homeowners whose property was burned as a result of the wildfires in British Columbia: are they required to declare timber salvaged from their property as a capital gain?
Response
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the determination of how income from the sale of trees on a woodlot would be taxed under the Income Tax Act is a question that would require a review of the facts and circumstances of the particular situation.
“Woodlot” is used in a broad sense to mean land covered with trees. A woodlot includes treed land held primarily as a source of fuel, posts, logs or trees, whether the trees are grown with or without human intervention. The term also includes treed land that is part of a cottage property and a farmer’s wooded land.
Generally, where a woodlot is a non-commercial woodlot and money or other valuable consideration is received for the sale of timber or the right to cut timber, the sale proceeds are subject to tax on capital account, as a capital gain, generally as a disposition of personal-use property. Generally, a loss on the sale of personal-use property is not deductible.
A capital gain is generally calculated as the proceeds of disposition on the sale of property minus the adjusted cost of the property and related selling expenses. Depending on the situation, capital gains could result from the sale of salvageable lumber.
For more information on capital gains, members may refer to “T4037 Capital Gains 2016” on www.Canada.ca.
The CRA recognizes the difficulties faced by Canadians affected by wildfires in British Columbia and understands that natural disasters may cause hardship for taxpayers whose primary concerns during this time are their families, homes, and communities.
The Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA, administers legislation that gives the Minister of National Revenue discretion to grant relief from penalty or interest when the following types of situations prevent a taxpayer from meeting their tax obligations: extraordinary circumstances, actions of the CRA, inability to pay or financial hardship, or other circumstances. For more information about the circumstances that may warrant relief from penalties or interest, members may refer to “Cancel or waive penalties or interest” on www.Canada.ca.

Question No. 1401--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to the Canada Summer Jobs Program for the Summer of 2017: (a) which organizations received funding; and (b) how much funding did each organization receive?
Response
Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the list of organizations funded through the Canada summer jobs program for the summer of 2017, including the amount paid, will be made public on the program website. It will be available at www.canada.ca/canada-summers-jobs.

Question No. 1409--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to Ministers who are responsible for various regional development agencies: (a) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency spend in (i) Nova Scotia, (ii) New Brunswick, (iii) Prince Edward Island, (iv) Newfoundland and Labrador; (b) between January 1, 2017, and December 8, 2017 how many days did the Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification spend in (i) British Columbia, (ii) Alberta, (iii) Saskatchewan, (iv) Manitoba; (c) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Canada Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec spend in Quebec; (d) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario spend in Northern Ontario; and (e) between January 1, 2017 and December 8, 2017, how many days did the Minister responsible for the the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario spend in Southern Ontario?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the information requested on travel by the minister responsible for the regional development agencies, please refer to the proactive disclosure on travel for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development at the following link: https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/ic/trvlHsptltyDsclsr/pblc/indx.do?lang=eng.
In addition to travelling to various cities across Canada, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and his staff meet with stakeholders from all regions of the country to discuss regional and local issues on a regular and ongoing basis.

Question No. 1411--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985: (a) did the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons convene a bill review meeting prior to the Bill's introduction; and (b) did the Minister of Finance attend the bill review meeting?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the details of a bill review process, including individual ministers’ involvement in the process, are considered a cabinet confidence.

Question No. 1422--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to revenue which will be received by government as a result of the sale of marijuana after July 1, 2018: (a) what is the projected annual revenue generated from taxation on marijuana; and (b) what percentage of the revenue referred to in (a) will be given to (i) provinces, (ii) municipalities, (iii) First Nations, Inuit, and Metis organizations, (iv) other organizations, broken down by recipient?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on November 10, 2017, the Department of Finance Canada published for consultation a proposed excise duty framework for cannabis products. The proposed framework will support our twin goals of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth, and profits from its sale out of the hands of criminals as we work to legalize and strictly regulate access to cannabis. The public consultation period closed on December 7, 2017.
Finance Canada is still assessing the potential size of the legal cannabis market, which will be a key factor in determining how much revenue will ultimately be collected under the proposed excise duty framework. In the short term, the size of the legal market will depend on a number of factors, including the supply of legal product, and the distribution and retail systems developed by provinces and territories, the details of which are still being assessed.
At the finance ministers’ meeting on December 11, 2017, ministers agreed that for an initial two-year period following the legalization of non-medical cannabis, taxation revenues will be shared on the basis of 75 per cent for provincial and territorial governments and 25 per cent for the federal government. Provinces and territories will work with municipalities according to shared responsibilities towards legalization. From 2018¬-19 to 2019-20, the federal portion of cannabis excise tax revenue will be capped at $100 million annually. Any federal revenue in excess of $100 million during this time will be provided to provinces and territories.
The department will report on its fiscal projections at a future date.

Question No. 1425--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to responses provided by the government to questions on the Order Paper, since November 4, 2015, where the government cited the principles of the Access to Information or Privacy Act as a justification for not providing the requested information: for each response that has such a citation, or any similar type of citation, what are the specific principles used to justify withholding the information, broken down by response and by question?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, Parliament adopted the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act in 1983. Since then, successive governments have provided information in parliamentary returns in a manner that respects the principles governing the disclosure of government information contained in these acts.
Since parliamentary returns are not formally processed under these acts, specific sections are not quoted to justify non-disclosure. However, parliamentary returns officers consult officials responsible for access to information and privacy to ensure that the Privacy Act and the principles governing exclusions, exemptions, and prohibitions contained in the Access to Information Act are applied to proposed responses to parliamentary returns.
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