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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2021-06-11 12:28
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Question No. 643--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to contracts signed by the government for gowns, ventilators and syringes in 2020 and 2021: (a) what are the details of each contract for gowns, including the (i) vendor, (ii) contract value, (iii) date the contract was signed, (iv) title of the official that signed the contract; (b) what are the details of each contract for ventilators, including the (i) vendor, (ii) contract value, (iii) date the contract was signed, (iv) title of the official that signed the contract; and (c) what are the details of each contract for syringes, including the (i) vendor, (ii) contract value, (iii) date the contract was signed, (iv) title of the official that signed the contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 644--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the government’s target of a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by limiting nitrogen fertilizer and the concerns raised in an April 20, 2021, release from the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association that the government has never consulted industry or farmers if this is even achievable: (a) were any industries or farmers consulted in the viability of the target and, if so, what are the specific details, including the dates and list of participants in the consultations; and (b) has the government conducted any formal studies on whether or not this is viable for farmers and, if so, what are the details of the studies, including the website where the study’s findings can be found?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 645--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the government’s Wellness Together portal: (a) what specific programs or services are offered through the self-guided tools offered by the providers identified on the Wellness Together webpage, including (i) Mindwell, (ii) Welltrack, (iii) Tao, (iv) Breaking Free Wellness, (v) BreathingRoom, (vi) Kids Help Phone, (vii) Homewood Health; (b) for each of the programs or services in (a), (i) how many Canadians have been enrolled, (ii) how many Canadians have fully completed the course of treatment, (iii) what has been the total cost of each of the programs and or services identified, (iv) what is the cost utilization, as reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada; (c) what programs or services are offered through the peer to peer support and coaching tools offered by the providers identified on the Wellness Together webpage, including (i) Togetherall provided by Togetherall, (ii) I CAN SFI provided by Strongest Families Institute, (iii) MindWell’s Studio Be provided by MindWell, (iv) All People All Pathways provided by CASPA, (v) Greif and Loss Coaching provided by Homewood Health; and (d) for each of the programs or services in (c), (i) how many Canadians have been enrolled, (ii) how many Canadians have fully completed the course of treatment, (iii) what has been the total cost of each of the programs or services identified, (iv) what is the cost utilization, as reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 647--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to government departments and agencies that accept credit card payments: what was the total amount paid to (i) Visa, (ii) Mastercard, (iii) American Express, (iv) each other credit card companies, in relation to credit card processing fees in 2020?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 648--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to Official Languages Impact Analysis (OLIA), since January 1, 2016: (a) how many initiatives funded by the government had an OLIA conducted; (b) how many initiatives funded by the government did not have an OLIA conducted; and (c) what are the details of all initiatives funded by the government with total expenditures exceeding $1 million that were not subject to an OLIA, including the (i) date of the funding approval, (ii) title and description of the initiative, (iii) reason the initiative was not subject to an OLIA, (iv) total expenditures or projected total expenditures related to the initiative?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 649--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to the government's decision to require airline travellers arriving from outside of Canada to quarantine at a designated airport hotel: (a) how many travellers refused to stay in a government approved quarantine hotel; (b) how many fines or tickets were issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada related to the refusals in (a); and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by airport of entry?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 651--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
With regard to immigration removals and the 2020 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada: (a) what is the current national removal inventory; (b) how many removal orders have been confirmed removed in the past year; (c) what are the current working and wanted removal order inventories; (d) of the inventories in (c), how many are criminal cases; (e) which of the Auditor General’s recommendations are currently being acted upon; (f) what is the proposed timeline for fulfilling these recommendations; and (g) has COVID-19 adversely impacted the Canada Border Services Agency's ability to complete removal orders in any way, and, if so, what are the specific details?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 652--
Mr. Peter Kent:
With regard to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and individuals presenting COVID-19 test results at points of entry, since testing requirements were put into place in January 2021, broken down by type of crossing (land, air): (a) how many individuals did the CBSA intercept with a suspected fraudulent or false test result; (b) how many individuals did the CBSA intercept with a test result that was otherwise deemed unsatisfactory, such as the wrong type of test; (c) of the individuals in (a), how many were (i) admitted to Canada, (ii) denied entry; (d) of the individuals in (a), how many were (i) ticketed or fined by the CBSA, (ii) had their cases referred to the RCMP or other law enforcement agencies; and (e) of the cases in (b), how many were (i) admitted to Canada, (ii) denied entry?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 656--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to the stated intent of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) “to commit all funds before March 31, 2021” of the Rapid Housing Initiative’s projects stream: (a) what was the (i) total number of approved projects, (ii) total number of approved housing units, (iii) total dollar value of federal funds committed; (b) what is the breakdown of each part of (a) by (i) municipality and province or territory, (ii) federal electoral constituency; (c) what is the breakdown of funds committed in (a) by (i) individual application, (ii) contributor source, (i.e. federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous government, non-profit, other agency or organization), (iii) province or territory; and (d) what are the details of all applications in (a)(i), including the (i) location, (ii) project description, (iii) number of proposed units, (iv) date the application was submitted to the CMHC?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 661--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to the Development Finance Institute Canada (FinDev): (a) what are the details of all equity stakes in companies FinDev has acquired an equity stake in since January 1, 2018, including the (i) name of the company, (ii) location, (iii) description of work being done by company, (iv) date the government acquired an equity stake, (v) number of shares and percentage of company owned by FinDev, (vi) value or purchase price of equity stake at the time of purchase, (vii) current estimated value of equity stake; and (b) for each acquisition, if applicable, what is the timeline for when the government expects to sell or dispose of the equity stake?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 632--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the government using Bolloré Logistics for flight services between Canada and China between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020: (a) how many flights did the government contract the company for; (b) what are the details of each flight, including the (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) products transported by flight or purpose of flight; and (c) what is the total value of all the contracts related to these flights?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 634--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to the government's contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE), signed by Public Services and Procurement Canada since January 1, 2020: (a) how many contracts did the government sign for the procurement of domestic production of PPE, broken down by month; (b) how many contracts received a national security exemption; (c) what was the total number or amount of (i) hand sanitizer, (ii) disinfectant, (iii) disinfectant wipes, (iv) non-medical masks, (v) non-medical gloves, (vi) nitrile gloves, (vii) surgical masks, (viii) face shields, (ix) eye goggles or protective glasses, (x) thermometers, (xi) respirators, (xii) reusable gowns, (xiii) disposable gowns, (xiv) shoe or boot covers, purchased by the government, broken down by month; and (d) for each sub-part in (c), how much of each product was manufactured in (i) Canada, (ii) China?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 635--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, broken down by year since 2011: (a) how many reports has the RCMP received under section 3 of the act from a service provider or entity in Canada; (b) how many reports has the RCMP received under section 3 of the act from a service provider or entity outside of Canada; (c) how many investigations related to the offences in section 10 of the act have either been initiated or are ongoing, broken down by specific offence committed; (d) how many of the investigations were initiated by the RCMP; (e) what were the results of the investigations in (d); (f) in how many cases were charges laid under section 10 of the act; and (g) of the charges laid in (f), how many resulted in convictions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 637--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to documents prepared by the government departments or agencies about cyber trafficking, cyber-sex trafficking, organ trafficking, human trafficking, slavery, modern slavery, forced labour, sex trafficking or prostitution, since November 4, 2015: for any such document, what is the (i) date, (ii) title or subject matter, (iii) type of document (routine correspondence, directive, options to consider, etc.), (iv) department’s internal tracking number, (v) sender and recipient, if applicable, (vi) summary of contents?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 639--
Ms. Leah Gazan:
With regard to legal fees paid and budgeted by the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs: (a) what is the itemized breakdown of all legal fees budgeted and spent during the last five years; and (b) what is the itemized breakdown of all legal fees budgeted for the upcoming year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 640--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
With regard to the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and the additional $4 million announced in the 2021 budget to the project: (a) what was the original total budget for the project, broken down by line item; (b) what is the current budget for the project, broken down by line item; (c) what specific delays caused the monument not to be completed in 2018, as the government stated was the schedule as recently as 2017; (d) what is the current projected completion date; (e) what are the details of all contracts and expenditures over $10,000 related to the project including (i) the date, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the description of goods or services, including quantity, (iv) the original contract value or amount, (v) the amended contract value or amount, if applicable, (vi) whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; and (f) has any vendor, including those involved with the construction of the project, received a financial penalty from the government as a result of the project being more than three years behind schedule and, if so, what are the details of the penalty?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

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

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

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

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

Question No. 606--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to Global Affairs Canada and its anti-racism training documents which state that wearing blackface is an overt act of white supremacy, as reported in the Toronto Sun on April 8, 2021: (a) who approved this training; (b) how much did this training cost; (c) was this contract sole-sourced, and, if so, what was the rationale for sole sourcing this contract; (d) who participated in this training; (e) what was the rationale for the department offering this training; (f) is it the official view of the government that wearing blackface is an overt act of white supremacy; (g) are officials who provide anti-racism training permitted to discuss the Prime Minister’s history of wearing blackface and its impact on racism in their training, and, if not, why are there restrictions against discussing the Prime Minister’s history; (h) how often did this training occur and on what dates; and (i) who provided this training?
Response
Mr. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
With regard to part (a), the course was designed in-house with the input of internal and external subject matter experts, including self-identified Black, indigenous and other racialized employees.
With regard to part (b), as of March 31, 2021, the department invested $148,365 to develop and deliver 32 virtually facilitated sessions to 397 executives. This amount includes work for the design of the course and for the development of the supporting material, as well as the facilitation of the sessions. In future offerings, only facilitation costs will be incurred.
With regard to part (c), this was not a sole-sourced contract.
With regard to part (d), 397 employees in the executive cadre at Global Affairs Canada participated.
With regard to part (e), the training was designed to strengthen the competencies of Global Affairs Canada’s management cadre with a view to develop an understanding of what racism is, to recognize the negative impacts of racial discrimination and how it can manifest itself in the workplace, and to develop a shared understanding of the role and actions managers can take to combat racism and promote an equitable and inclusive workplace.
With regard to part (f), participants in the training were presented with research, studies and opinions from various sources in order to elicit self-reflection and discussion among themselves. These were not presented as an expression of the view of the government.
With regard to part (g), trainers and participants were free to raise and discuss subjects that were of interest to them and relevant to the objectives of the training.
With regard to part (h), the half-day training was offered in February and March 2021, as follows: February 1-4, February 8-11, February 15-18, February 22-25, March 1, March 3-4, March 8-11, March 15-18, March 23-25 and March 29-30.
With regard to part (i), the training was provided by the learning and development division of Global Affairs Canada.
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View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-04-29 14:51 [p.6421]
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Mr. Speaker, I just lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages about the Liberals' lax application of the Official Languages Act within federal departments and agencies, and in particular their obligation to submit a review of their compliance with the act.
In 2019, just 47 of the 89 reviews promised were submitted and just 24 out of 55 were submitted in 2020. If the two official languages are so important to the minister, why is she not enforcing the act within our own federal departments and agencies?
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View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
2021-04-29 14:52 [p.6421]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Protecting our two official languages is obviously a priority for our government.
No matter what anyone says, official languages are and will always be a priority. The minister is well informed and is working hard to promote and protect our beautiful language.
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View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-04-29 14:52 [p.6421]
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Mr. Speaker, Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the National Research Council, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Museum of History and even the Treasury Board are some of the federal organizations and departments that are not complying with the Official Languages Act.
Add to that WE Charity, COVID Alert texts sent in English only, English-only documents at committees, and so forth, and all during the last two years of a Liberal government.
Can the minister stop talking, show leadership and simply ensure compliance with the act?
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View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
2021-04-29 14:53 [p.6421]
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Mr. Speaker, again, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
Protecting the French language, and its use in our institutions, is and continues to be a priority.
The minister is working very hard and is very present. She will continue her work on this to ensure that French is used everywhere.
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View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, mandatory quarantines were supposed to make people think twice before travelling but, in the end, the best deterrent is the federal government’s incompetence, because it is incapable of setting up a quarantine hotline.
It is the same story when people try to call the Canada Revenue Agency, or when they try to call Service Canada about problems with EI. Three departments, three hotlines that make it almost impossible to talk to a human being. To think that this is the government that wants to tell Quebec how to manage its health care system.
Will it start by providing the public with the services it is supposed to be providing?
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View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2021-02-22 14:39 [p.4369]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question and for all of the questions. The Bloc Québécois members are very good at asking questions, but when it comes to finding solutions, they are not much help.
On this side of the aisle, we have been taking responsibility since the beginning. Whether by stopping flights south, imposing a quarantine or collaborating with the Quebec government, the Government of Canada has been there since the beginning with our partners in Quebec and all of Canada.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-12-10 15:11 [p.3297]
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Mr. Speaker, during question period, my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill mentioned the WE Charity contract, which we learned today did not pass an official languages impact analysis before it was approved by the Treasury Board.
I am therefore seeking the unanimous consent of the House to table this government document stating that the analysis must mention the impact on the vitality of Canada's francophone and anglophone minority communities and foster the full recognition and use of both French and English in Canadian society.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-12-10 15:11 [p.3297]
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Does the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?
Some hon. members: Nay.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2020-12-09 15:15 [p.3212]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank the Chair for not mistaking me for the member for Winnipeg North.
During question period, the Prime Minister said that he has defended the French language, but he seems incapable of complying with the Official Languages Act within the government itself, especially with respect to contracts, like the one awarded to WE Charity.
I would like to enlighten the Prime Minister, so I am seeking the unanimous consent of the House of Commons to table a document stating that the institution must determine whether the initiative will have an impact on the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and on the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-12-09 15:16 [p.3213]
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Once again, I will only ask those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement.
Accordingly, all those opposed to the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable moving the motion will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-12-09 15:39
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Question No. 171--
Ms. Leona Alleslev:
With regard to contracts signed since January 1, 2016, which are not subject to proactive disclosure due to receiving a national security exception (NSE), broken down by year and by department or agency: (a) how many contracts have received an NSE; (b) for which commodities has an NSE been applied; (c) what is the total dollar value of all contracts that have received an NSE; (d) how many of the contracts have a total value (i) under $200,000, (ii) between $200,000 and $1,000,000, (iii) over $1,000,000; and (e) for each NSE signed since January 1, 2020, where an official signed a letter invoking the NSE, what is the (i) date, (ii) name of official, (iii) title of official, (iv) commodity?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 172--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to undertakings to allow government employees to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on providing technology resources, including monitors and computer mouses, to employees who are working from home, itemized by date and broken down by department, agency, or Crown corporation; (b) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on providing office furniture, including chairs and desks, to employees who are working from home, itemized by date and broken down by department, agency or Crown corporation; (c) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on administrative expenses, such as internet or telecommunications bills, for employees who are working from home, itemized by date and broken down by department, agency or Crown corporation; (d) what is the total number of office chairs provided to federal employees from government warehouses for the purpose of working from home, itemized by date and broken down by department, agency or Crown corporation; and (e) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on the transport, including delivery, of items mentioned in (a) through (d) to employees who are working from home?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 173--
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
With regard to the chart entitled "Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan - Overview" on the government's website, under the "Related resources" tab of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan webpage: (a) what is the actual amount of actual expenditures made to date, broken down by each initiative listed on the chart; and (b) what is the number of individuals or organizations who have received funding, broken down by each initiative listed on the chart?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 174--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to car and driver services provided to employees of departments, agencies, or Crown corporations, as of October 22, 2020, and excluding ministers and other elected officials: (a) how many employees are entitled to a car and driver; and (b) what are the titles of all employees who are entitled to a car and driver?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 175--
Mr. Brian Masse:
With regard to all government advertising on Facebook, broken down by fiscal year and federal department, agency, Crown corporation, minister's office or other entity from 2009-10 to present: (a) how much was allocated in each departmental budget annually for overall advertising; (b) how much of those allocated funds were spent on Facebook advertising; and (c) how much was spent in total across government on Facebook advertising for each fiscal year from 2009-10?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 176--
Mr. Brian Masse:
With regard to Canada’s official residences including The Farm, Harrington Lake, Rideau Hall, Stornoway, 7 Rideau Gate and 24 Sussex Drive: what are all telecommunications costs incurred annually since 2010, including, for each fiscal year, (i) the total annual cost per residence, (ii) the type of services provided (e.g. fiberoptic, wireless, other or multiple), (iii) who is the telecom service provider (TSP) and are these under contract, (iv) if the TSP holds a contract, for how long, (v) inventory of type of services, products, channels or stations, packages provided, (vi) amount of downloaded content, (vii) speed of downloaded content?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 177--
Mr. Brian Masse:
With regard to the CRTC Broadband Fund, the Universal Broadband Fund and Connect to Innovate: (a) for each program and for each fiscal year it has been in operation, how much money was (i) allocated for the year, (ii) disbursed by the province and territory; (b) for each program and for each fiscal year it has been in operation, how many days elapsed between the application date and approval for each successful application; (c) for each program and for each fiscal year it has been in operation, how many days have elapsed since the submission of completed applications still under consideration; and (d) for each program, (i) how many applications have been submitted since applications opened, (ii) how many have been approved?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 178--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to government departments and agencies refusing to deem processing requests made under Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP) an essential service during the pandemic: (a) which department and agencies have deemed processing ATIP requests and producing responses an essential service and continue to process requests; (b) which departments and agencies refused to deem processing ATIP requests and producing responses an essential service; (c) for each department and agency in (b), did the minister responsible approve this refusal or decision and, if so, on what date did the minister approve the refusal or decision; and (d) of the departments in (b), which ones have resumed processing requests and producing responses and on what date did this the resumption occur?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 179--
Mrs. Carol Hughes:
With regard to Indigenous communities and the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) how much money has been spent through the Indigenous Community Support Fund, broken down by (i) province or territory, (ii) recipient community, (iii) date of application, (iv) date of disbursement; (b) for each day between February 1 and May 31, 2020, what telephone calls did the Minister of Indigenous Services, the deputy minister and any associate or assistant deputy ministers make to or hold with Indigenous communities, representative organizations (including National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs), tribal councils, and major political organizations, such as the Nishnawbe Aski Nation) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by (i) departmental official, (ii) day, (iii) topic, (iv) organization or community; (c) how many ventilators were available in Indigenous communities in March 2020, and how many are available now; (d) how many ventilators is the Department of Indigenous Services ready to transfer to Indigenous communities on an urgent basis, if needed; (e) how many isolation tents did the Department of Indigenous Services have available in March 2020, and how many does it have available now; (f) what is the daily patient capacity of air ambulance services funded by the Department of Indigenous Services; (g) how much personal protective equipment expressed in shipments and in units has been sent in total to Indigenous communities, broken down further by province and date sent; and (h) how much funding has been disbursed to Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or off reserve, broken down by (i) province or territory, (ii) recipient community or organization, (iii) date of application, (iv) date of disbursement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 180--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the Supplementary Estimates (A), 2020–21, with $48,710,504 in funding for communications and marketing (COVID-19) under Vote 1a, and $7,699,338 in funding to support regional presence, stabilize and enhance Privy Council Office capacity and the transfer of exempt staff in Ministers’ Regional Offices under Vote 1a, requested for the Privy Council Office, broken down for each source of funding: how was the whole amount of this funding used, broken down by line item and expense?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 181--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Liechtenstein leaks 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. 182--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the Offshore Tax Informant Program, since fiscal year 2015-16: (a) how many calls have been received; (b) how many files have been opened based on information received from informants; (c) what is the total amount of the awards paid to informants; (d) what is the total amount recovered by the Canada Revenue Agency; (e) how many current investigations are the result of information received through the program; and (f) how much money is involved in the current investigations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 183--
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to negotiations between Canada and the United Kingdom toward a trade agreement: (a) how does the government define the terms (i) transitional trade agreement, (ii) comprehensive trade agreement; (b) when did negotiations between Canada and the United Kingdom begin for each type of agreement; (c) how many times and on what dates have officials from Canada and the United Kingdom met to discuss terms for each type of agreement; and (d) for each of these meetings, which Canadian officials were present?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 185--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to expenditures made by the government since December 1, 2019, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not elsewhere classified), or a similar code if the department uses another system: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, including volume, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 186--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to expenditures on social media influencers, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign, since December 1, 2019: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of contract, (v) name or handle of influencer; and (b) for each campaign that paid an influencer, was there a requirement to make public as part of a disclaimer the fact that the influencer was being paid by the government and, if not, why not?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 187--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the government's response to the Federal Communications Commission of the United States setting up the 988 telephone number as a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and for mental health emergencies: what is the current timeline regarding when the 988 telephone number will be set up in Canada for a similar purpose?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 188--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Safe Return to Class Fund: (a) how much money has been spent through the fund, broken down by (i) province or territory, (ii) date of application, (iii) date of disbursement; (b) what are the details of all applications received for the fund, including the (i) amount requested, (ii) project description, (iii) province or territory of applicant; and (c) how many applications were rejected, broken down by (i) province or territory, (ii) amount requested, (iii) project description, (iv) reason for refusal?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 189--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) and audits by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) into tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, since March 11, 2020, and broken down by the LEEFF and CEWS: (a) how many audits has the CRA conducted to ensure companies are not committing tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, broken down by number of companies; (b) of the companies audited by the CRA in (a), how many have benefited from support measures and how many have been refused support because of tax fraud or aggressive tax avoidance; (c) how many pre-payment reviews have been conducted; (d) of the applications reviewed in (c), how many were refused in relation to the total pre-payment verifications conducted; (e) how many post-payment reviews have been conducted; and (f) of the reviews conducted in (e), how many companies had to refund the money received in relation to the total post-payment reviews conducted, and what is the total amount of money refunded?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 190--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) and Canadian businesses listed in the “Panama Papers” and the “Paradise Papers,” broken down by the CEWS and the LEEFF: (a) how many businesses benefited from the CEWS and the LEEFF; (b) for each of the businesses listed in (a), what was the total amount received; and (c) for each of the businesses listed in (a), was any screening carried out before or after the payment was made?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 191--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to the national risk assessment model (NRAM) used by the International and Large Business Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), from fiscal year 2011-12 to date: (a) how many taxpayers, considered to be at high risk of non-compliance, are subject to in-depth examination, broken down by (i) fiscal year, (ii) category of taxpayer; (b) what is the list of indicators that help auditors detect potential aggressive tax planning files; (c) what steps are being taken to assess the effectiveness of the NRAM in detecting aggressive tax planning; and (d) what deficiencies have been identified by the CRA in its most recent ongoing evaluation of the NRAM?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 192--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to aggressive tax planning schemes identified by the Canada Revenue Agency, from fiscal year 2011-12 to the present: (a) what are the aggressive tax planning schemes identified by the agency; and (b) what is the estimated total foregone tax revenue, broken down by aggressive tax planning scheme?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 193--
Mr. Andrew Scheer:
With regard to the government’s announcement on October 1, 2020, regarding the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s three-year plan: (a) what specific modelling, if any, did the government use to substantiate its claim that the plan will create 60,000 jobs; (b) who conducted the modelling in (a); (c) what were the projections from the modelling; (d) what are the details of all documents sent to or received by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, her office or her deputy minister concerning the October 1 announcement, including the (i) sender, (ii) recipient, (iii) date, (iv) title, (v) format (email, memorandum, etc.), (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number; and (e) what are the details of all documents sent to or received by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, her office or her deputy minister concerning or that refer to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since January 1, 2020, including the (i) sender, (ii) recipient, (iii) date, (iv) title, (v) format (email, memorandum, etc.), (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 194--
Mr. Alistair MacGregor:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency, between fiscal years 2009-10 and 2018-19, broken down by fiscal year: a) how much was spent on training; and b) how much was spent on criminal investigations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 195--
Mr. Andrew Scheer:
With regard to government-funded infrastructure projects: (a) what is the complete list of projects the government funded that have been completed since January 1, 2020; (b) what are the details of all projects in (a), including the (i) expected date of completion, (ii) location, (iii) federal riding, (iv) project title or summary, (v) total federal contribution, (vi) date when the project began; (c) what is the complete list of all projects scheduled to be completed in the 2021 calendar year; and (d) what are the details of all projects in (c), including (i) expected date of completion, (ii) location, (iii) federal riding, (iv) project title or summary, (v) total federal contribution, (vi) date when the project began?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 196--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
With regard to the Department of Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ nutrition programs, including but not limited to Nutrition North, for the fiscal years of 2010-11 to 2020-21, broken down by fiscal year: (a) how much money was committed to these programs and, if the final cost is not available, what is the best estimate of the cost; (b) how much of the committed money was left unspent and, if the final cost is not available, what is the best estimate of the cost; (c) what products were bought, broken down by (i) subsidy level, (ii) food type each fiscal year; (d) for each program, who was consulted, if anyone, to set subsidy levels or otherwise contribute to the programs development; and (e) for each program, what nutrition data and targets were being used to determine program funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 197--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
With regard to all federal funding committed to the creation and maintenance of housing stock in Nunavut, for each fiscal year from 2011-12 to 2020-21: (a) what was the total amount committed; (b) what was the total amount spent or best approximation; (c) how much new housing stock was created in Nunavut; and (d) what advocates, consultant lobbyists or business representatives, individuals or other organizations consulted with the relevant ministers regarding housing investments in Nunavut?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 198--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
With regard to the direct delivery of mental health services and benefits for communities within Nunavut, including community-based mental health services for Inuit communities, non-insured drugs and short-term mental health crisis counselling for recognized Inuit people through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program, addiction prevention, treatment and aftercare programs, mental health, emotional and cultural support services and transportation services to eligible former Indian residential school students, basic social services for Inuit communities, including income supports, home care services, and family violence prevention programs and services and the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, for the fiscal years from 2010-11 to 2020-21: (a) how much money was committed to these programs for each fiscal year, broken down by program; (b) what was the total spent and, if the final cost is not available, what is the best estimate of the cost for each fiscal year, broken down by program; (c) for each fiscal year of the programs, who was consulted, if anyone was consulted, to set subsidy levels or otherwise contribute to the programs development; and (d) for each year of the programs, what data and targets were being used to determine program funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 199--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
With regard to RCMP operations in Nunavut, broken down by fiscal year from 2010-11 to 2020-21: (a) how much was spent on RCMP operations in the territory; (b) how much was spent on Inuit cultural training for RCMP officers who operated in the territory; (c) how many hours of cultural training were conducted; (d) how many officers were operating in Nunavut; (e) how much was spent on overtime for RCMP officers who were deployed to Nunavut; (f) how many complaints did the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) receive in Nunavut; (g) how many complaints were dismissed without being investigated; and (h) for requests for review in which the CRCC is not satisfied with the RCMP’s report, how many interim reports have been provided to complainants for response and input on recommended actions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 200--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the government’s capital expenditures on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure on reserve, and Indigenous Services Canada and its predecessors' expenditures on maintenance and operations for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure on reserve: (a) what amount has been allocated, broken down by program and by year (and, where applicable, by region), over the last five years; (b) what amount has been spent, broken down by program and by year (and, where applicable, by region), over the last five years; (c) over the past five years, how many boil water advisories have been active month to month; (d) over the past five years, which reserves have had water and wastewater infrastructure upgraded or built and what were they; (e) what are the companies that have received contracts to do the water and wastewater work on reserves; (f) where there any issues or problems in terms of fulfilling the contract and, if so, what were they; (g) out of the reserves that have had water and wastewater infrastructure built or repaired in the past five years, how many of them have had water issues, either with infrastructure or other issues, that resulted in renewed boil water advisories; (h) if so, which reserves, when did it occur and how long have they lasted; and (i) how long, according to the budgetary expectations, will it take to complete the government's promise to eliminate boil water advisories on First Nations reserves, based on the current level of funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 201--
Mr. Jack Harris:
With regard to the demographics of the staff of the Correctional Service of Canada: what percentage of correctional officers self-identify as (i) Indigenous, (ii) Black, (iii) another visible minority, broken down by region (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, and Pacific)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 203--
Mr. Jack Harris:
With regard to the demographics of the RCMP: (a) what percentage of RCMP members self-identify as (i) Indigenous, (ii) Black, (iii) from another visible minority; (b) what percentage of RCMP staff self-identify as (i) Indigenous, (ii) Black, (iii) from another visible minority; (c) what percentage of RCMP members identify as (i) female, (ii) male, (iii) other; and (d) what percentage of RCMP staff identify as (i) female, (ii) male, (iii) other?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 204--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to surveillance technologies and their procurement, study, and use by federal government institutions: (a) what direct contacts (i.e. phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings) have taken place between ministers and public servants at the deputy minister, assistant deputy minister, chief of staff or senior policy advisor level or equivalent, and Palantir, Clearview AI and any of their respective subsidiaries, and for each such instance, what was the date, the method of contact, the subject matter discussed and the job title of any public servants present for it; (b) has the government concluded any contracts, contribution agreements or other formal or informal agreements with Palantir, Clearview AI and any of their respective subsidiaries, and, if so (i) with which institution, (ii) for what purpose, product or intended outcome, (iii) beginning when, (iv) what is the value of the contract, contribution agreement or other agreement; (c) do any government institutions (including departments and branches of agencies and Crown corporations) use data analytic services or software in modeling or predicting human behaviour, such as predictive policing, and, if so, (i) with which institution, (ii) for what purpose, product or intended outcome, (iii) beginning when, (iv) what is the value of the contract, contribution agreement or other agreement; (d) what government institutions (including departments and branches of agencies and Crown corporations) are currently or are planning to start using facial recognition technology and (i) how long have they been using it, (ii) what are they using it for, (iii) how often do they use it, (iv) what suppliers (companies) are they using, (v) what is the value of any related contracts or agreements; and (e) have there been any privacy breaches related to this technology or uses that have been deemed improper?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 205--
Mr. Jack Harris:
With regard to the use of force by RCMP members in the course of their duty: (a) how many interactions between members of the RCMP and members of the public occurred in each of the years from 2000 to 2020, inclusively, that resulted in the (i) death, (ii) bodily injury, of a person, whether such death occurred immediately or subsequent to the incident or while in police custody; and (b) for each incident, what was the date, (i) whether the incident resulted in the injury, however minor, or death of the detained person, (ii) the province where the incident took place, (iii) the RCMP division involved, (iv) the community within the province where the incident occurred, or if the community is not possible, the RCMP detachment responsible for the geographic region where the incident occurred, (v) whether the incident took place in public, in a private home or other building, an RCMP vehicle, in an RCMP detachment building, or in an RCMP cell, (vi) whether the RCMP was acting in a contract policing role, (vii) the race, gender, sex, age of the person injured or deceased, (viii) whether medical attention was sought, (ix) if an investigation was launched, (x) if an investigation was launched, the name of the investigating agency, (xi) the outcome of any of the investigations, including the date thereof, and whether any charges were recommended or laid?
Response
(Return tabled)
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8555-432-171 National security exceptions8555-432-172 Work from home equipment8555-432-173 COVID-19 Economic Response Plan8555-432-174 Car and driver services8555-432-175 Government advertising8555-432-176 Official residences8555-432-177 Broadband Internet8555-432-178 Access to information requests8555-432-179 Indigenous communities and ...8555-432-181 Liechtenstein and Bahamas i ...8555-432-182 Offshore Tax Informant Program ...Show all topics
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2020-11-25 20:10 [p.2460]
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Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to participate in this debate, especially this week because the eldest of my five children, Amélie, just gave birth to my fifth grandchild, my second grandson, my little Arthur. There is bound to be a tear in my eye, proof that people soften with age.
I came here in 2006 as a unilingual francophone parliamentarian. I was born in a little village called Saint-Narcisse-de-Beaurivage. I am proud of my roots, my language, and the unique aspects of my francophone culture.
I want to say how touching it is to hear our children and grandchildren say their first French words and write their name so proudly for the first time. Moments like those and many more are priceless as we watch our little ones go to school and learn to speak and write French. Being born into a French-speaking environment and being able to live in French is a precious inheritance and the basis of a culture that makes us unique, expressive and undeniably warm-hearted thanks to our rich vocabulary and the variety of words with which we can express our feelings and emotions so incredibly precisely.
I am also very thankful to my late mother, Rita Boissonneault, who shared her love and knowledge with me throughout my childhood. The term “mother tongue” is very apt, as our first language generally comes from our mother or whoever acts in that role for us. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the exceptional work that mothers do for their children and, in turn, for our francophone community.
I want to tell members what is really on my mind. I believe that Quebeckers and Canadians did not realize all of the risks involved in electing this Liberal government that was full of promises but that has led us down so many dead-end roads. We are learning the hard way. The protection of French and official languages is no exception. Today, we are afraid and, unfortunately, the Liberals know that people do not realize how bad a situation has become until that delicate balance is jeopardized or, worse, put to the test. Sometimes it is because we are naive or because we are dealing with many different concerns that we do not realize that we are on the brink of disaster and how important it is to protect our roots.
Right now, one inevitable fact remains: we must take action. As a person who only speaks French, it was a privilege for me to be a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages when our country was skilfully led by a Conservative government, with a Prime Minister worthy of that title who was always committed to beginning his speeches in French.
It was not out of opportunism, unlike what our colleagues from the Bloc are doing. They are having fun right now trying to make us believe they have good intentions. I would remind the House that our government was the first to recognize the Quebec nation within a united Canada. I am still proud of that today.
To find someone responsible for the decline of French would of course be pointless. What we need are strategies and an action plan combining all our efforts to implement the new Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages and to get results. Clearly, the government is doing nothing to fix this situation. It is just making lots of errors of judgment and action, preventing it from taking the correct path to protect French.
This brings WE Charity to mind. Not only was it a corruption scandal involving an untendered contract, but it was awarded to a unilingual anglophone organization, thus excluding francophone companies. I am also thinking of the text messages sent in English only for the COVID Alert app. Finally, I am thinking of unilingual English labelling of products to fight the pandemic, to name just a few. The Liberals have yet to come up with a timeline for modernizing the Official Languages Act.
On August 26, the Government of Quebec and the minister responsible for the French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, announced their plans to take action to strengthen the position of French in Quebec, stating that they wanted Bill 101 to apply to federally regulated businesses operating in Quebec, such as banks and VIA Rail. It is perfectly legitimate for the Quebec government to want to protect its language and culture.
In addition, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge, released his annual report on September 29. It contains three recommendations, including a recommendation to modernize the Official Languages Act and a recommendation to go beyond the action plan for official languages 2018-23.
He recommended that we invest in our future, in the promotion of the country's linguistic duality.
Finally, the commissioner also stated that the obvious lack of bilingual services puts public safety at risk. He believes that the failures with respect to the official languages since the beginning of the health crisis put public safety at risk, and so do I.
I would like to briefly state what the Conservatives would do and require.
The Conservative Party believes that it is vital that we modernize the Official Languages Act.
The Conservative Party recognized the Quebec nation and is a strong supporter of the French language in all francophone communities outside Quebec.
On September 14, our leader met with François Legault and confirmed that he agreed with Quebec's demand that Bill 101 apply to federally regulated businesses operating in the province. The Conservative Party supports the application of Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses in Quebec. It goes without saying that this is about respect.
The Conservative Party wants to expand the mandate of the Official Languages Commissioner to include a review of services in French for all francophones across the country. In the last election campaign, the Conservatives promised to require all federal departments to have plans and objectives to improve their services in both languages, and we would also have liked to expand this approach to federally regulated businesses.
A Conservative government led by our leader will modernize the Official Languages Act to adapt it to today's reality without delay. The Conservative Party is calling on the Minister of Canadian Heritage to provide reasons for the delay. The Conservative Party is urging the Prime Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage to provide a timeline for the modernization of the Official Languages Act.
Many of us here in the House can legitimately speak to the importance of defending and preserving French both in Quebec and outside Quebec, as a mother tongue and language of work, but very few of us are truly able to do it.
The Liberals have proven to be utterly disappointing, and the Bloc, for its part, can talk all it wants, but we all know it will never be able to do anything since it can never form a government here in Parliament.
History has always proven that the francophones in our country and especially in Quebec have a very great sense of leadership for preserving their language and francophone values. The example of the debate this evening is living proof of that leadership and reminds us that these moments of awareness encourage many Quebeckers to take all the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of our very beautiful French language.
In my opinion, solutions will come from all of us in the larger French-speaking community. It will come from stakeholders who put their heart and soul into defending what is vital for us. Our perseverance in our struggles has always made the difference, as well as the great francophone solidarity, which I consider to be a unique phenomenon, when we face the common challenge to safeguard our French language.
Little individual actions can add up to create an unprecedented collective effort, and the story of our presence here, in America, is a living proof of that principle. We can support our French communities in several ways, and the overhaul of the Official Languages Act becomes important and unavoidable in the debate we are having tonight. Not to mention that granting Quebec's request for greater autonomy in areas of culture and immigration could, in the long run, help protect French in Quebec and by extension in the rest of Canada.
Therefore I humbly submit my thoughts and I hope, as a father and grandfather, that my heartfelt appeal will be heard: We must unite and rally behind the only party capable of protecting our French language, which is so dear to us, and ensuring its sustainability. We must elect a new Conservative government at the next general election.
The love and deep affection felt by all francophones for their language unite them behind a common goal which goes beyond the personal interests of each person. What makes a huge difference as far as results are concerned is the sum of all our actions.
To the entire francophone community which I represent with pride and dignity, I say that we have to face adversity, stand together, be prolific in our initiatives and remain faithful to our origins. Each era has its challenge, and the election coming up in the next months will be vital for what happens next.
To conclude, I will say that it is all about making choices, and people can take my word for it that I will make all possible efforts to ensure the prosperity and the influence of my mother tongue for the good of all of us in Parliament and in all my daily activities.
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View Louise Chabot Profile
BQ (QC)
View Louise Chabot Profile
2020-11-24 10:45 [p.2291]
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Madam Speaker, Bill C-11 will not protect personal data under the federal government's own jurisdiction. We saw what happened at the Canada Revenue Agency and how easy it is to steal a person's identity for all sorts of reasons. These are outdated tools when it comes to identity and security.
Why are there no rigorous standards set out for government agencies?
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View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Navdeep Bains Profile
2020-11-24 10:45 [p.2291]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
I understand that there are currently a lot of problems with data breaches. I hope that we can work together to come up with solutions for all Canadians.
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View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2020-11-24 11:08 [p.2294]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
This is for private businesses, and I understand that my colleague may have a problem with that.
However, during the pandemic we have seen that the federal government itself had problems verifying people's identity. In my riding, some people received the CERB under a name other than their own. These people were on social assistance. They were not entitled to the CERB, received it anyway and will have to repay it when they file their income tax return. That is a serious problem.
I would like to know whether my hon. colleague thinks that we could have applied the provisions of this bill to the federal government itself.
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View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2020-11-24 11:09 [p.2294]
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Madam Speaker, I appreciate what the member is saying. I have a story from my riding: A couple come to me who had used a third party tax service to apply for their CERB money. The tax service charged them $300 per CERB application, which is absolutely absurd when someone can just go to the CRA website and click a few buttons to access the money.
It just goes to show that sometimes when the government constructs something and does not think through all of the angles while trying to get the money out the door, there are people who will be hurt by that legislation. When I raised that to the government, its response was that it is not illegal. That is not acceptable.
I think absolutely that the government needs to be held accountable. We always need to do better. We as the opposition are always going to fight to make sure that the government does a better job for Canadians.
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View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, since there are no other questions and comments, I believe that shows that my colleague was very clear. I will try to be clear as well. The bar is high, but I will try to meet it.
Generally speaking, as my colleague said, this bill represents a step forward and addresses several of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's requests. Quebeckers were profoundly shocked by the Desjardins data breach. It was a very significant event. However, it was not the only one. Similar incidents occurred in 2017 and 2018, and there have probably been dozens more that we are not aware of. In fact, when a bank's data is stolen, the bank is required to inform the police and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, but it is not required to inform the public or even its customers.
We like this bill because it sets out a series of principles relating to the collection and sharing of personal information by companies: free and informed consent for the collection and use of data; the ability to allow or deny the transfer of data to another company, such as between two financial institutions; the ability to withdraw consent or request that data be deleted; transparency about the use of algorithms that use personal data; and stricter criteria for the use of de-identified data. This bill also gives real powers to Canada's Privacy Commissioner, sets out significant penalties for non-compliance, and creates the personal information and data protection tribunal. All of that is great.
Unfortunately, the problem is that the bill omits one extremely important element, and that is protecting people's identity online to prevent fraud due to identity theft, especially during financial transactions. We know that Europe has brought in a whole suite of regulations to force financial institutions to verify a person's identity before authorizing a transaction. There is nothing like that in Canada, and this bill does not have anything of the kind either.
The federal government is not properly verifying individuals' identity before authorizing electronic transactions. We know that the challenge is to prevent data from being stolen and used to commit fraud. Having personal data stolen is unpleasant enough, so all measures must be taken to ensure that the data are not then used for fraud.
The debate in Ottawa over the massive data breach at Desjardins mainly revolved around social insurance numbers. We know that several people would like to change their social insurance numbers, but under the current system, they cannot do so unless they become a victim of fraud resulting from identity theft.
In addition, the federal government has received a number of requests to redesign the social insurance card to make it harder to counterfeit, similar to what Ottawa did with passports after the September 11, 2001, attacks, at the request of the United States.
These two requests are perfectly reasonable. The Bloc fully agrees and is asking Ottawa to follow up. However, that alone will not stop fraud.
The best way to prevent identity theft is to make sure that the person who is making the transaction is indeed who they claim to be. This goes without saying. There are three ways to verify a person's identity.
First, a person can be identified based on what they know, namely personal information such as their name, address or social insurance number. However, as cases of identity theft are on the rise, it is getting harder and harder to accurately identify someone. In other words, our private information is no longer private when everyone can find out almost everything about us. Fraudsters can simply use this information to create a fake ID, and they are set.
Second, a person can be identified based on what they have, such as their computer's IP address, which the institution can recognize if the transaction is being conducted from the person's home, or their cellphone, to which the institution can send a secret code via text message.
Third, a person can be identified based on who they are. The institution can use technologies that recognize a person's physical characteristics, such as their voice, their facial features, through the use of facial recognition, their digital fingerprints, which are increasingly being used by cellphones, or their handwritten signature.
Europe adopted regulations in 2016 requiring financial institutions to use at least two of these three ways to identify someone before authorizing a transaction. Banks in Canada are under no such obligation. If they believe that the control mechanisms will cost more than the losses they are currently incurring in fraud, they are better off doing nothing. The banks will not pay for controls that would be more costly than the fraud. That is simply profit-driven logic.
Many members have probably had the experience of having a store issue a credit card on the spot, based solely on the personal information we provide. We just have to give our phone number, address, and so on, and that is all it takes. This practice really opens the door to fraud, and it has to stop.
We believe that the banks must be forced to tackle fraud. That is the solution that we are advocating. We are going to propose possible approaches. As my colleague was saying, we are going to support the bill, but we will be bringing forward amendments. We will have concrete, constructive and coherent proposals when the time comes to study the bill in detail.
We will propose ways to combat identity theft, such as by drawing on the European regulations I was talking about, in order to force the banks to bring in robust processes to verify people’s identity before authorizing a financial transaction. We will also propose to increase fines in order to encourage banks to better protect their customers’ personal information. We will propose that banks be required to submit a detailed report, as part of their annual reporting, on the number of identity thefts and the resulting losses.
We will also propose a requirement to contact any person whose identity has been fraudulently used within the organization, regardless of whether an account was opened or not. As I said earlier, there is no such obligation in place and it must be brought in. There is also an obligation to cover the costs paid by victims to recover their identity. These costs must be covered by the banks, which are rolling in a lot more money than individuals and most of their customers.
There also need to be anonymous tip lines for employees who are aware of unreported identity theft, as well as protection for whistleblowers. There is currently a void when it comes to whistleblower protection, as in virtually all areas. I am getting a little off topic, but the House will have to deal with this issue as well.
Ottawa also has to look in its own backyard. Beyond the banks, the same anti-fraud controls need to be imposed on the federal government itself. Bill C-11 applies only to private businesses. It does not apply to the federal government. Currently, Ottawa’s online identity controls are clearly inadequate. Before authorizing a transaction, the government does not take all the necessary steps to ensure that a claimant is who they say they are.
Since last spring, there have been numerous cases of identity theft. These include Canada emergency response benefit claims made in other people’s names and tax refunds being redirected to other accounts. Some people will not find out that they have been victims of identity theft until they file their income tax returns. It has not yet happened yet, but it will soon. In a few months, many people will discover that they have been victims of fraud. Right now, they have no idea. This is absurd, and it is unacceptable.
Again this fall, thousands of taxpayers lost access to their Service Canada account, which prevented them from applying for employment insurance even though they lost their jobs because their region was going back into the red zone.
It is all well and good to introduce a bill on the management of personal data by private companies. I want to stress that we agree on this bill and that we will vote in favour of it. That part is settled.
However, Ottawa needs to clean up its own backyard as soon as possible and take immediate action to combat identity theft. We are saying yes to regulating private businesses, but we are also saying yes to regulating Ottawa and the banking industry.
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View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2020-11-24 13:42 [p.2315]
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Mr. Speaker, I will ask the same question I previously asked another hon. member. It is about data security.
The bill targets private companies. With the CERB, we recently saw that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people were victims of fraud. When they receive their notice of assessment in April or May, they will learn that they owe money because they did not qualify for the CERB and collected it illegally.
If the government is working on cleaning up privacy laws in the private sector, why not put its own data protection system in order?
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View Majid Jowhari Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Majid Jowhari Profile
2020-11-24 13:42 [p.2315]
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Mr. Speaker, this is a very important question for many Canadians, as news continuously provides updates on non-compliance. There are a number of individuals who are non-compliant.
I believe the initial rollout of the program was related to data that needed privacy protection from various government levels. This is a great opportunity for us to explore other dimensions of government bodies that are dealing with the privacy of information and how they will manage it. I am looking forward to hearing testimony about this at committee.
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View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2020-11-24 15:30 [p.2334]
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Madam Speaker, I was listening very intently and I am grateful the member has acknowledged that the bill has great improvements and would allow Canadians to feel more secure.
When it comes to the role of government, would the member not agree with me that the Privacy Act does apply to the government that may have some information on Canadians? Obviously that regime is robust—
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View Greg McLean Profile
CPC (AB)
View Greg McLean Profile
2020-11-24 15:31 [p.2334]
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Madam Speaker, what I saw in the legislation did not indicate any penalties to the government for citizens whose privacy had been breached. I think for most Canadians, their number one provision of data is to the government, the party they trust the most. That is the party that should probably be the most liable to Canadians for any breach of data, yet there is nothing in the legislation that says that the government owes this duty of trust to Canadians.
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View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
Bill C-11 seems to apply only to private businesses, not to the federal government. We all saw many examples of this during the pandemic. I imagine that all members were informed of the cases of victims of fraud or identity theft reported to their riding offices.
It therefore seems to me that this bill could also be applied to the federal government. Before imposing these sorts of measures, which I agree are desperately needed, on private businesses, perhaps the government should have a look in its own backyard.
I would like my colleague to tell me whether his government plans to do that.
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View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2020-11-24 15:57 [p.2338]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
Bill C-11 certainly focuses more on commercial activities. That is where there is a real interest, and it is the stakeholders in that area that we have been consulting for several months, and even years, to find solutions that will not only protect consumers but also benefit businesses and SME development across Canada.
That said, with regard to the federal government's work on modernization and the protection of individuals, we have already included protections in the Elections Modernization Act during the previous Parliament and so I think we have made progress on both sides. This time, we are focusing on commercial activities.
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View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2020-11-24 16:02 [p.2339]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Lethbridge.
Today we are discussing Bill C-11, an act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other acts, which received first reading in the House on November 17.
I am aware of the importance of the issue addressed in the bill. It is 2020. Who would have thought that, in 2020, we would have to come to grips with technology in such a hurry because of a pandemic?
Technology was already evolving at a fast pace, but I can say that we have had to increase our knowledge at great speed. If someone had asked me three months ago if I was comfortable with teleconferencing, I would have said no, but today it is an everyday occurrence. It is important to address this issue.
I would like to remind the House that I represent the fantastic riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier in Quebec. In 2019, the personal data of 2.9 million Desjardins members were leaked. They were victims of identity theft. Their data were resold to people who wanted to use them to do business in the financial sector. Although the leak did not involve banking information, it still exposed the affected customers to identity theft.
On June 20, 2019, Desjardins revealed that the personal information of 40% of its members had been illegally shared outside the organization by an employee, who had since been fired, of course. On July 8, Quebec's Commission d'accès à l'information and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced that they were launching investigations. On July 15, Desjardins broadened its identity theft protection and offered protection to more than 4.2 million individual members and 300,000 corporate members. On November 1, it announced that all 4.2 million individual members had been affected by the data leak. About 173 of the 350,000 corporate members were also affected.
I will reveal that I am a Desjardins customer and that I was part of this group. Even before the pandemic, digital transactions were commonplace. The current context is speeding things up.
Today's bill comes from a good place, because we do need to keep up with the times, but will we be able to apply and enforce it? Are we not putting the cart before the horse? That is the problem with this bill.
Examples in my riding make me wonder. The government is trying to bring in legislation that would impose astronomical fines on non-compliant companies. The government is puffing out its chest, bragging that our country will be giving the biggest, juiciest, harshest and most lucrative fines, but will we be able to collect?
What do we want? We want to protect Canadians and provide them with the necessary tools. Would it not make more sense to invest in a service that gives these tools to our businesses, so they can help Canadians and consumers?
I have mixed feelings about this bill. It obviously comes from a good place, but are we taking the best possible measures to ensure solutions for the coming days, weeks and months? We need something concrete.
My constituents often tell me that I must find it hard to be a parliamentarian, because I am pragmatic. We need concrete solutions. The goal is laudable, but are we taking the right measures? I am not sure.
I hear from many businesses and citizens. They are still calling me to tell me they are having problems with Phoenix. They are federal employees who are having problems with their pay because of Phoenix. Phoenix is a problem that was never fixed. It has been around since the Liberal government's first term in 2015. It is now 2020, and nothing has been resolved.
I agree that we need to enact a law to protect personal information, but there may be other priorities. We are seeing it now with the Canada Revenue Agency. I have constituents calling my office to ask if I can help them, because the CRA is claiming it sent them money that they never received, which is a sign that they are victims of fraud and their identity has been stolen.
Should we be enacting a law to punish large companies when we cannot even solve the problem in our own backyard? I am aware of the importance of this bill, but I wonder whether we are taking the right measures.
I mentioned this earlier, but it is worth repeating: I am the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, which is in the province of Quebec. Quebec has a program to help people who have a baby: The mother or the father is entitled to parental leave.
Here is another example that boggles the mind. One of my constituents meets all of the EI eligibility criteria, but his claim is being reviewed because there seems to be some problem factoring in the parental leave he took in 2019 and the Canada child benefit claim he submitted during the pandemic interfered with processing his claim.
That only happens in Quebec. The Liberal government seems unaware of the existence of provincial programs, and its Canada-wide employment insurance system prevents it from fixing the problem. In this case, is it because it is a Quebecker? Is it because he is a father? I am asking because I want to stress the importance of finding concrete solutions to systems before we consider a bill that will punish big corporations.
I completely agree that those who are at fault should be held responsible, should accept the consequences and should pay if they break the law. I completely agree with my colleagues on that point. However, I wanted to show how bizarre this situation is, a situation that puzzles me.
Clearly, we need to reflect on this and update the legislation, but is the version being introduced today the best one? I think we need to send this bill to committee for further study and consultation with specialists and experts. We did actually notice that there is only one expert regarding the tribunal.
I do not pretend to be such an expert. I am not computer savvy and, as I said six months or a year ago, I was unaware of my skills and adaptability to technology. Many members here in Parliament have managed to learn quickly, at lightning speed.
That is why we need to think about this bill and, as I said in my speech, not put the cart before the horse. We need to do things right to make sure that the bill really meets Canadians' needs. At the end of the day, the goal is the same: to protect society's interests and ensure that Canadians are respected and protected. We are all working toward this goal.
I will now happily answer my colleagues' questions. On that note, let us be vigilant, because fraud is always lurking around the corner.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 79--
Mr. Doug Shipley:
With regard to ministers and exempt staff members flying on government aircraft, including helicopters, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all such flights, including (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) type of aircraft, (v) which ministers and exempt staff members were on board?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 98--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the handling of cases and claims pursuant to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement by the Department of Justice Canada, Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada: how much has been spent on settled cases, requests for direction, and other proceedings where Canada has been either the plaintiff or defendant before appellate courts (such as the Ontario Superior Court or the Supreme Court of British Columbia) related to survivors of St. Anne's Residential School between 2013 and October 1, 2020, (i) in total, (ii) broken down by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 99--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to federal funding in the constituency of Timmins—James Bay, between January 2019 and October 2020: (a) what applications for funding have been received, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they applied for funding, (iv) date of the application, (v) amount applied for, (vi) whether the funding has been approved or not, (vii) total amount of funding allocated, if the funding was approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued through its various departments and agencies in the constituency of Timmins—James Bay that did not require a direct application from the applicant, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding allocated, if the funding was approved; and (c) what projects have been funded in the constituency of Timmins—James Bay by organizations tasked with subgranting government funds (e.g. Community Foundations of Canada), including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding allocated, if the funding was approved?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 100--
Mr. Richard Cannings:
With regards to federal expenditures in the electoral district of South Okanagan—West Kootenay, broken down by fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20: what were the total amounts spent by the federal government, broken down by the (i) department or agency, (ii) community, (iii) contribution agreement, (iv) purpose of spending?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 101--
Mr. Richard Cannings:
With regard to the Softwood Lumber Action Plan announced on June 1, 2017, broken down by department or agency and contribution agreement: (a) what companies, organizations or communities have received funding; (b) how much has been received by each community, company or organization; (c) for what purpose has each contribution been used; (d) for each community, company or organization, how many people have been assisted; (e) have all of the original $867 million dollars been expended, and, if not, how much remains to be expended; and (f) have additional funds been allocated to this action plan or under other government initiatives to assist those negatively impacted by the tariffs put in place by the United States?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 105--
Ms. Christine Normandin:
With regard to the activities of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) during the pandemic: (a) for each of the IRB’s four divisions, broken down by month and for the Eastern, Central and Vancouver divisions, how many hearings were held during the months of April to September in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (b) broken down by month, how many refugee protection claims eligible for file review were processed during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (c) between April and August 2020, how many members, as a percentage, received their full pay; (d) what work was required for members working for the IRB; (e) on what date did the IRB Registry and mail room resume processing claims received by mail and fax; (f) as of March 16, 2020, how many Refugee Protection Division (RPD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), Immigration Division (ID) and Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) files were pending (backlog) and what was the average time between referral and decision; (g) to date, how many RPD, RAD, ID and IAD files are awaiting a hearing; (h) to date, what is the average time between referral and decision; and (i) how many IRB employees have had vacation leave since the resumption of operations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 106--
Ms. Christine Normandin:
With regard to the activities of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) during the pandemic: (a) broken down by month, how many confirmations of permanent residence were issued during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (b) broken down by month, how many visas (tourist, student, etc.) were issued during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (c) to date, how many IRCC officers, as a percentage, received the necessary information equipment (telephones, computers, etc.) to enable them to work from home; (d) how many refugee protection claims were received by IRCC between March 17, 2020, and July 31, 2020, and of these, how many were referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB); and (e) what is the current processing time for permanent resident cards, and what was the processing time for the same period in 2019?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 107--
Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie:
With regard to federal public servants living in the National Capital Region (NCR): (a) how many public servants worked in the NCR between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, broken down by year and province of residence, and what percentage of public servants (i) lived in Quebec but worked in Ontario, (ii) lived in Ontario, but worked in Quebec, (iii) lived and worked in Ontario, (iv) lived and worked in Quebec; (b) for each year between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, what percentage of the public service payroll is represented by the wages of federal public servants living in the NCR and working in (i) Ontario, (ii) Quebec; and (c) for each year between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, what is the mother tongue of federal public servants living in the NCR and the language most often spoken at work, broken down by province of (i) residence, (ii) work?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 109--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to the organization and structure of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): (a) what was the organizational structure of PHAC, including a breakdown of how many employees or full-time equivalents (FTEs) working in each branch, location and in each position, as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) October 1, 2020; and (b) what are the details of the positions that have been eliminated or modified since January 1, 2016, including the (i) previous job title, (ii) new job title, if applicable, (iii) previous job description, (iv) new job description, (v) number of positions impacted, (vi) date position was eliminated or modified, (vii) number of previous positions eliminated, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 110--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to drug products currently awaiting approval and market authorization by Health Canada: (a) what is the complete list of products currently awaiting approval; (b) for each product in (a), what was the (i) date the application was received by the government, (ii) manufacturer, (iii) product name, (iv) summary of product claims, including the list of diseases and conditions the product claims to treat, (v) expected date of decision of approval by Health Canada, if known; and (c) has the time period between the date of application and the decision date by Health Canada, for non-COVID-19 related products increased as a result of reallocating resources during the pandemic, and, if so, what are the specific details, including for which applications and for which products the time period has increased?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 112--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to the organization and structure of Health Canada: (a) what was the organizational structure of Health Canada, including a breakdown of how many employees or full­time equivalents (FTEs) working in each branch, location, and in each position, as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) October 1, 2020; and (b) what are the details of the positions that have been eliminated or modified since January 1, 2016, including the (i) previous job title, (ii) new job title, if applicable, (iii) previous job description, (iv) new job description, (v) number of positions impacted, (vi) date position was eliminated or modified, (vii) number of previous positions eliminated, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 113--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to the decision by VIA Rail to layoff workers during the pandemic: (a) what is the total number of workers laid off since March 1, 2020; (b) what is the number of layoffs broken down by date; (c) on what date did the minister responsible for VIA Rail become informed of plans for each of the layoffs in (b); (d) why did VIA Rail not use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to prevent the layoffs; (e) will VIA Rail management and executives continue to receive bonuses in light of the layoffs; (f) what is the total amount of bonus money paid out so far in 2020; and (g) what is the total amount VIA Rail has received so far in 2020 through (i) CEWS, (ii) other sources of government funding, broken down by source?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
It is always hard to know why we are drawn to one subject rather than another. My interest in this issue may be because my riding of Lac-Saint-Louis is surrounded by large bodies of water on three sides. They are the St. Lawrence River to the south, Rivière des Prairies to the north and Lac des Deux Montagnes, which marks the end of the Ottawa River, to the west.
When I arrived in Parliament, I was very surprised to learn that no one talked about water. We did not talk about the federal government's role in protecting what is by far our most precious resource. At the time, we were just barely beginning to talk about climate change. In passing, I want to mention that the real problem with climate change is the impact that it has on water.
Of course, greenhouse gases are invisible. Floods and droughts caused by climate change are not invisible. Water was talked about in the 1980s and 1990s, but pretty much only in the context of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. At the time, there was concern that that agreement would one day open the door to massive exports of our water to our neighbour to the south to satisfy its thirst. If I am not mistaken, NDP members of Parliament did a lot of work on this issue, introducing bills to prohibit the possibility of such exports.
When I arrived in Ottawa, I stumbled across the Experimental Lakes Area program, which at the time came under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The Experimental Lakes Area is a wilderness laboratory made up of 58 lakes. It has been and continues to be the site of some of the world's largest real-time experiments on the effects of pollution on our aquatic ecosystems. Over the years, the work of the Experimental Lakes researchers has greatly and concretely benefited several regions of the country, notably Quebec and Ontario, which are home to hundreds of thousands of waterways, including the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
It is thanks to the studies done in the Experimental Lakes Area that we ended up removing phosphates from laundry detergents. It is also thanks to the studies done in the Experimental Lakes Area that we have the Canada-United States air quality agreement to fight against acid rain, as well as the Minamata Convention on Mercury of the United Nations. It is thanks to the researchers at the Experimental Lakes Area that we were able to save billions of dollars that might have gone toward removing nitrogen from wastewater. The research at the experimental lakes showed that that type of approach would not solve the problem of algal blooms.
Without any interference in provincial jurisdictions, a scientific research project funded by the federal government made several advances in the healthy management of our aquatic ecosystems. There are many other examples where the federal government is making a significant contribution to protecting our freshwater without any interference into provincial jurisdictions.
For example, Health Canada sits on a federal-provincial committee whose mandate is to recommend and revise drinking water standards. These standards are not imposed by the provinces. They are voluntary, but I would like to note that Quebec is taking very seriously the new standard on lead concentration in drinking water. Quebec is taking action to have the water lines changed throughout the province, especially in Montreal.
In addition to Health Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, there are at least a dozen other federal departments or agencies that have a particular responsibility in connection with water management in Canada, again while respecting provincial jurisdiction. However, there is one area that falls exclusively under federal jurisdiction: drinking water in indigenous communities. The government has been paying special attention to this file since it was elected in 2015 and successfully so when it comes to the goal of eliminating lengthy boil water advisories once and for all.
It is interesting to note that there are no long-term or short-term boil water advisories in Quebec's indigenous communities. The study that I am proposing could be used to identify the factors that make such an outstanding track record possible.
One other department is involved in the safe drinking water for first nations portfolio and that is Public Services and Procurement Canada. It is responsible for managing the tendering process for the purchase or construction of wastewater treatment plants in indigenous communities.
Of all the federal departments involved in protecting and managing water in Canada, let us not forget Infrastructure Canada, which funds water system upgrade projects and the construction of wastewater treatment plants. It also allocates funding under the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund and the climate change mitigation substream of the green infrastructure stream of the investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
Environment Canada is home to the Canadian Meteorological Centre, at the corner of Sources Boulevard and Highway 40. My colleague from Repentigny is surely familiar with this centre, since she drives past it every time she travels between her riding and Parliament. The Canadian Meteorological Centre regularly shares its expertise to help the Government of Quebec predict the spring freshet, which is causing more and more damage in our communities, mine included, as a result of climate change.
There is also Natural Resources Canada. As its website indicates, this department has a team of scientists who provide data to emergency responders and municipalities to help them make decisions. This team collects data through radar satellite images and produces maps in near-real time for emergency workers responding to crises like floods, for example.
I mentioned there was a limited number of federal agencies and departments involved in managing our freshwater reserves, while the provinces retain primary responsibility for this resource. As I have already said, there are at least a dozen, and maybe even close to 20.
The purpose of this proposed study would be to better understand these federal bodies' individual roles and how they interact in order to create a more rational, more effective federal water policy that will better support the other levels of government. This study is not intended as a Trojan horse for invading or infringing on areas of provincial jurisdiction over water.
Water is not like other issues when it comes to jurisdiction. Water does not follow the same rules as other elements that can be managed in silos. Because of its nature, water requires the provinces to work together. Take, for example, the Ottawa River. It flows into Lac des Deux Montagnes, then into the St. Lawrence River and Rivière des Prairies before continuing east to Montreal and on past Sorel.
Water requires collaboration between regions. Water requires collaboration between countries in order to ensure our common water security and the right to water for those in the world who are lacking in this vital resource.
The European Union is a partnership of sovereign countries with long histories and great cultures that think big when it comes to meeting today's challenges. It understood the need to work together to ensure its water security in an era of climate change. In 2000, the EU adopted the EU Water Framework Directive, which establishes a framework for an overall community water policy.
We need to get our house in order when it comes to federal freshwater policies.
Climate change, pollution and urban development are jeopardizing our water resources. The impact is not limited to a single geographic area. Waterways flow through different regions. Regions and provinces will need to work together more and more to ensure our common water security.
This study will help shape the future of this collaboration, including collaboration among scientists, whether they are located at the Université de Montréal, the University of Alberta or the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.
Members of Parliament from all regions and across party lines need to be at the table, virtually speaking, considering the current pandemic. Regardless of the mode of communication, everyone needs to be at the table so to speak, as the Europeans are, for example.
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View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2020-10-29 18:30 [p.1456]
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Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to the motion moved by the member for Lac-Saint-Louis. I would like to begin by saying that I share all of the concerns that he raised, because we know that fresh water is life. The human body is two-thirds water. I call that an essential service. Protecting this resource is vital to the future of humanity.
However, it is important to recognize that Motion No. 34 is gargantuan. It would have the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development undertake a study focused on fresh water that would require, but not be limited to, a review of six federal laws and an examination of the roles of 11 public entities. The committee would also analyze intergovernmental relations at all levels relating to freshwater protection and management and the international treaties governing Canada's freshwater interests and obligations.
I have not even finished reading the motion, and I am already out of breath.
The motion also calls for the committee to consider research needs in that area and to analyze the pressures on the resource.
The motion also makes mention of climate change, flooding and drought, which I was pleased to see. Finally, the motion asks the committee to consider the possibility of creating a Canada water agency.
No one should be expected to do the impossible, but the Bloc Québécois is opposed to this motion, and our arguments are based on two things, the substance and the form.
Let us start with the substance.
Every element of the motion directly or indirectly involves a risk of significant interference in Quebec's jurisdiction. Quebec's provincial laws protect the lakes and rivers, and it is the Government of Quebec that takes action to guarantee the safety of the drinking water supply. The management of water resources is the responsibility of the provinces in which these resources are found.
In June 2009, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted an act to affirm the collective nature of water resources, which is very good, and to increase protection for water resources. The state is and must remain the steward of this resource. It is considered to be part of the heritage of the community. Quebec, not Canada, is the benevolent steward for future generations.
I agree that we are spoiled, given that 10% of our territory is covered by fresh water and we have 3% of the world's supply of water. Quebec believes that it has a major responsibility to protect and preserve this collective wealth.
Quebec decided to do this by taking an integrated watershed-based approach to water resource management. This means it promotes collaboration, and when it is time to talk about the protection and use of this blue gold, decision-makers, users and members of civil society are involved in analyzing the issues and seeking solutions.
The Bloc Québécois acknowledges that the federal government has jurisdiction over water in first nations communities. The federal government is working to eliminate the boil water advisories and to improve the water supply systems and waste water treatment systems.
However, the Bloc Québécois will never stand by as the federal government undermines Quebec's jurisdictions. It is in our DNA, and I must say that we are pretty wary these days. I know that the member for Lac-Saint-Louis touched on this in his speech, but with the throne speech, the infringements on areas under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces keep piling up. Once bitten, twice shy, as they say.
We also condemn the federal government's attempt to overstep its jurisdiction by speaking directly to municipalities, which report exclusively to their legislatures.
Let us talk about the Canada water agency. Yes, we agree about co-operation, but the Canada water agency would become the 12th public organization, and its objectives can be met in other ways, without creating another bureaucratic agency and undermining respect for jurisdictions, which is important.
The member for Lac-Saint-Louis spoke about co-operation, but such organizations already exist. For example, there is the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers. This is a real venue for co-operation, but the proposed Canada water agency is a federal agency. It is not the same thing.
How can that be done without the Canada water agency? We can lean on existing expertise and promote collaboration among the 11 government entities listed in the motion.
One very good example of a federal disconnect that could be fixed is the disconnect between environmental protection and the Canada Shipping Act. Transport Canada has jurisdiction over navigation. The bigger a vessel is, the more it stirs up sediment, causes shoreline erosion, increases the amount of phosphorus and algae in the water, and disturbs fish spawning grounds.
The Canada Shipping Act was updated in 2006. It established regulations governing the design of pleasure craft and where they are allowed to go, but it does not address the number of vessels in a given location at all, even though it could.
Let me share a very specific example. Lac des Sables in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts can accommodate 54 boats, but because Transport Canada does not regulate this, the lake regularly hosts up to 400 boats. The federal government can regulate pleasure craft, but Quebec cannot. That is one example of something that could be done. It is important to protect the water in our lakes. Many people get their drinking water from our lakes.
There is also a disconnect in agricultural practices, particularly with respect to agricultural runoff, which accelerates eutrophication in lakes. We could go on and on about this as well.
The lake heritage of Quebec and the rest of Canada is being weakened by the lack of collaboration between federal officials, on the one hand, but also by the quality of their discussions with their Quebec counterparts. There could be a facilitating role, like for the protection of the Quebec and Ontario shores of the Ottawa River. This exists.
This brings me to the second part of my presentation. I repeat, there are venues for collaboration. I named one earlier, the Canada water agency. It is a federal agency. It is not the collaborative agency that already exists. The Government of Canada has a public service with a multitude of managers, coordinators, analysts and more. The Government of Canada has thousands of analysts and experts within its public service and its network of chairs and research institutes who would be ideally suited to do the work that we are asking elected officials on this committee to do in less than 40 hours.
Committees must deal with motions whose substance could, it seems to me, be studied properly. There should be more concrete motions. The experts, the analysts who have to receive the order are the ones who should study it, at least if we really want to get answers.
I have some concerns about sending such a broad motion to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. I think House committees should be places of work, where members carry out their duties as elected officials co-operatively, without resorting to the usual partisan tactics, in the interest of the common good and, most importantly, in the interest of getting results.
We need to have the humility to acknowledge who would be best equipped to handle this important but extremely tall order from the member for Lac-Saint-Louis. Let us work instead on getting results that all parliamentarians can appreciate. They can figure out how to move forward on major issues, conduct additional work, and, ultimately, enable the government to fulfill its role as the legislator.
I would have liked this motion to be revised to avoid any wording that implies interfering in provincial jurisdictions. I would then have liked it to be broken down into several parts so that the committee could concentrate on one aspect and get tangible results.
I do not know where this saying comes from, but the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. This motion is so big that I think it is well suited to my suggestion today. I think everyone in the House and in committee would benefit if we were to narrow down this motion.
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View Laurel Collins Profile
NDP (BC)
View Laurel Collins Profile
2020-10-29 18:40 [p.1457]
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Madam Speaker, this motion directs the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to undertake a comprehensive study on federal policies and legislation relating to fresh water, and we do need changes to our laws on fresh water.
Canada is facing new and intensifying water challenges and we need to modernize our approach to freshwater management along with Canada’s outdated federal freshwater legislation. However, the government has committed to the creation of a Canada water agency and it is aware of the most significant flaws in our waters laws. Therefore, it is important that this study not stop, pause or slow down the creation of the Canada water agency or the updating of the Canada Water Act.
There is no denying that the challenges we face when it comes to the protection and sustainability of our fresh water have changed drastically over the past few decades. This is why we need a new approach to freshwater management. If we want to ensure Canada’s waters are resilient to climate change, safe for human health and sustainable in the long term, we need to do this work.
We know that climate change is already impacting freshwater issues and the challenges are increasing in severity. However, climate change has also created new and complex issues, such as rising sea levels and increased severe weather systems. Addressing these challenges to our freshwater systems requires coordination and an integrated response at the federal level. Unfortunately our outdated federal water laws and policies failed to account for climate impacts both now and in the future.
In particular, water-based natural disasters like flooding and droughts, but also disasters like toxic algae blooms and climate fires, are increasing exponentially both in frequency and severity. This events cost governments billions of dollars, first in direct disaster assistance but also impact our economic revenue and indirectly cost billions more. Canada’s capacity to manage these events is severely hampered by a lack of data and reporting, a lack of national forecasting and prediction capacity and a failure to adequately incorporate climate change impacts.
I want to recognize my New Democrat colleague, the MP for London—Fanshawe, and her bill, Bill C-245, which calls for a freshwater strategy and also explicitly includes consultation with indigenous peoples. Indigenous water rights are inadequately recognized in our current water management systems.
We need to ensure that our policies are based on a new nation-to-nation governance paradigm, that our policies are consistent with the principles of reconciliation and that they are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We need to ensure that all our water laws recognize indigenous nations’ inherent rights to self-determination.
In addition to these issues, our water management capacity is also fragmented across over 20 different federal departments and this governance model impedes governments at all levels across the country and makes our shared water challenges even more challenging. On top of that, watersheds and river basins are composed of many overlapping jurisdictions. Local, provincial, indigenous and federal governments have at times lacked the capacity or the means to effectively work together. Transboundary watersheds and river basins shared by Canada and the U.S. are also in need of governance renewal.
The first step to addressing this is to establish a Canada water agency. While the Liberals have committed to this in the most recent throne speech, which is a positive sign, we have heard many environmental promises from the government before. What we really want to see is action. The government has missed every climate target it has set. It is even failing to meet Stephen Harper’s weak climate targets. It said that it would have a plan to meet our international climate commitments “immediately” after the throne speech. Over a month has passed and still no sign of the plan.
While I am glad the water agency was mentioned in the throne speech, with no timeline attached and with Liberals not moving forward on the things they said they would tackle immediately, like climate targets, I have to admit that I am skeptical the government will put action behind its words. The water agency is important and we should, at the very least, be getting started now. Its mandate and functions should be co-developed with indigenous nations. They should also be developed in close collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, local authorities, water organizations and the public.
Creating the Canada water agency is just the first step. There is a huge need for broader reforms, including in the Canada Water Act, and the agency would ideally be the foundation needed to start transforming the way water is managed.
The Canada Water Act, which urgently needs updating, is Canada’s primary federal freshwater legislation. It has not been adequately or significantly updated in decades. It does not currently reflect or adequately respond to the issues that I outlined, including the impacts of climate change and addressing indigenous water rights. The act also needs to address the evolving role that the private insurance industry plays in flood risk mitigation and damage reduction. I want to acknowledge the work of FLOW, an organization that has been fighting for these issues for a long time.
In the same way the water agency needs to be co-developed with indigenous peoples, updating the Canada Water Act should involve a legislative, consent-based co-drafting process with indigenous nations. This process needs to be rooted in nation-to-nation relationships. It has to be consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This motion, which instructs the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to review federal water policies, may help identify ways forward, but the study should not slow down the urgently needed work. There is no need to wait for the results of the study to begin updating the Canada Water Act.
Many organizations, like FLOW and others, have worked hard and identified comprehensive data on the gaps in our freshwater legislation and have identified ways forward. This important work will take time to co-develop with indigenous nations and other partners, and could and should start now.
One of the pieces mentioned in this motion is the Canadian Navigable Waters Act. In 2012, the Harper government's omnibus budget bill, Bill C-45, removed key legal protections from over 99% of Canada’s lakes and rivers. In 2015, the Liberals committed to reviewing the previous government's changes and to restore lost protections. Unfortunately, the amendments in the bill did not fully live up to the government's promise to restore lost protections of waterways. It restored some, and the restored legal protections are narrowly focused. They exclude environmental values and in some cases are substantially weaker than the pre-2012 version of the law. The consideration of environmental impacts of projects was not reinstated. However, despite these flaws, it does represent in general a positive step forward from the Harper era that decimated navigable water protections in Canada. I hope this motion can address some of the flaws that remain in this legislation.
I am passionate about this issue. Watershed protection is one of the things that got me involved in politics. I want to thank my sister, Georgia Collins, for her leadership when a contaminated soil dump was proposed at the head of the watershed that provided drinking water to her community of Shawnigan Lake. She helped mobilize her community and got me involved. It was being involved in that ultimately successful fight to stop the project that taught me about and sparked my passion for protecting fresh water, and taught me about the dangers that exist for Canada’s watersheds and river basins.
The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development has just started its first study this week. It concerns me that this motion circumvented the regular process of choosing studies at the steering committee, and I initially worried that it might impede the work of the committee or that it could slow down the needed work on freshwater legislation. However, I want to thank the member for Lac-Saint-Louis for his passion for freshwater protection and his willingness to work across party lines.
I have consulted with my colleague, the sponsor of Motion No. 34. I would like to move the following amendment. I hope he will accept it as a friendly amendment.
I move:
That the motion be amended by deleting subsection (i) and by replacing “(ii) schedule no fewer than 10 meetings, (iii)” with the following: “(i) schedule no fewer than seven meetings, (ii)”.
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2020-10-29 18:51 [p.1459]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to give my thanks to the member for Lac-Saint-Louis for bringing forward Motion No. 34, which asks the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to undertake a comprehensive study of federal policies and legislation relating to fresh water. His leadership on fresh water has been outstanding, and he is respected on all sides of this House for his knowledge and commitment in this important area.
The Government of Canada is committed to safeguarding our country's freshwater resources for generations to come. No resource is more important to Canadians than fresh, clean water. Our lives and livelihoods depend on it. Motion No. 34 provides an opportunity for this government to continue to show our commitment to address freshwater issues.
Internationally, water is recognized in many fora as a critical resource that needs protection from ongoing challenges. Since 2012, the World Economic Forum has consistently ranked the impact of water-related challenges, such as the decline in water quality and quantity, in the top five global risks to economies and societies. In its “The Global Risks Report 2020”, three out of the top five issues have links to water, including climate action failure, biodiversity loss and extreme weather.
Here in Canada, fresh water is integral to our economy, society, identity and culture, and is central to indigenous harvesting activities and cultural practices. In fact, Canada has 20% of the world's fresh water and the third largest renewable supply of fresh water. For example, the Great Lakes watershed, shared by Canada and the United States, is the largest freshwater lake system in the world, and with this water wealth comes great responsibility to protect this precious resource.
I would like to take some time now to discuss some of the existing work the federal government is doing to protect our vital freshwater resources.
The Government of Canada has decades of experience undertaking watershed protection initiatives in collaboration with provincial governments, indigenous communities and stakeholders. Canada is committed to working and collaborating with others to restore and protect our freshwater resources through arrangements such as the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health, the Canada–Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence, and the Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding Respecting Lake Winnipeg and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.
In the mandate letter for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Government of Canada committed to further protections and taking active steps to clean up the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and other large lakes. This commitment builds on existing national and regional programming that contributes to the restoration and protection of Canada's freshwater resources.
In 2017, we invested $70.5 million to protect the Great Lakes and the Lake Winnipeg basin. Of this investment, $44.84 million over five years was provided to the Great Lakes protection initiative in order to take action to address the most significant environmental challenges affecting Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. This funding supports efforts to address priorities of reducing phosphorus loading to Lake Erie, assessing and enhancing the resilience of Great Lakes coastal wetlands, evaluating and identifying at-risk, nearshore waters, reducing releases of harmful chemicals and increasing public engagement through citizen science.
From budget 2017, $25.8 million was also provided to the Lake Winnipeg basin program. We have invested in a wide range of projects that focus on actions to reduce excessive nutrients, such as phosphorous, from entering the lake, as well as projects that enhance collaboration through the basin and that support indigenous engagement on freshwater issues.
In addition, Environment and Climate Change Canada provides support to 16 international joint commission, binational boards and is also supporting four domestics interjurisdictional water boards. They are the Prairie Provinces Water Board, the Mackenzie River Basin Board, the Lake of the Woods Control Board and the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board.
Our government administers and enforces a number of water-related laws that are mentioned in the motion. For example, Environment and Climate Change Canada administers and enforces the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Environment and Climate Change Canada regulates releases of toxins into water, limits nutrients in cleaning products and requires companies to prepare emergency plans. In addition, the Canada Water Act provides the framework for co-operation with provinces and territories in the conservation, development and use of Canada's water resources.
Recognizing the importance of integrating scientific considerations into decision-making, the Government of Canada supports investments in freshwater scientific research.
Domestically, the Government of Canada is collaborating with many scientific organizations, experts and networks to address water challenges in Canada. In budget 2017, the government allocated $197.1 million to increase ocean and freshwater science, monitoring and research activities.
Environment and Climate Change Canada freshwater monitoring activities also provide critical data and information to implement departmental mandates and guide decision-making. For example, the department's National Hydrological Service collects, manages and shares water quantity data in partnership with provincial and territorial partners at more than 2,800 active monitoring stations across Canada.
The National Hydrological Service also supports the International Joint Commission, which works to protect water shared by Canada and the United States on water management of transboundary waters.
In 2019, the Government of Canada invested $89.7 million to modernize the National Hydrological Service to support earlier and more accurate information about freshwater resources. This investment will help to ensure the sustainability of the government's water monitoring networks which in turn will help prepare Canadians through water-related disasters like flooding and droughts.
Environment and Climate Change Canada also manages, in collaboration with other federal departments and provincial and territorial governments, the freshwater quality monitoring and surveillance program designed to be relevant for freshwater decision-making processes. The program disseminates timely information on freshwater quality and aquatic ecosystems across the country.
Across the country indigenous peoples, non-indigenous Canadians and the government are contributing meaningfully to reconciliations efforts by supporting nature conservation initiatives. For example, in budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced $25 million over four years to support an indigenous guardians program.
This has been mentioned a few times by other colleagues. As my colleague, the member for Victoria mentioned, in the Speech from the Throne, this government reaffirmed its commitment to developing a Canada water agency. A Canada water agency presents an incredible opportunity for greater collaboration in Canada to protect and manage our freshwater resources sustainably. It is a government commitment that the hon. Minister of Environment and Climate Change has asked me to advance, and I do that proudly.
Earlier this year we began to gather Canadian's views on what a Canada water agency could do. Over the last several months we have had initial discussions with provinces, territories, indigenous peoples and have met with many organizations and stakeholders.
We created an online PlaceSpeak website, where Canadians can go to provide their thoughts on freshwater priorities and potential roles for the agencies. More than 6,000 Canadians visited the site, demonstrating a significant interest in this topic.
The Government of Canada will be working hard over the next few months to undertake engagement with provinces and territories, importantly, indigenous peoples across this land, stakeholders and the public to create a Canada water agency that will help keep our freshwater resources safe, clean and well managed.
In my estimation, my hon. colleague's Motion No. 34 provides another opportunity to advance this government's commitment to further protect and manage freshwater resources, including potentially contributing to the creation of a Canada water agency, which by the way, will not be a regulatory agency, will respect provincial jurisdiction and will work across disciplines, across governments—
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