Question No. 667--Mr. Blaine Calkins
With regard to the RCMP's Auxiliary Program for the K Division: (a) has a decision been made related to the resumption of allowing (i) tier two volunteers, (ii) tier three volunteers; (b) if the answer to (a)(i) or (ii) is affirmative, (i) what was the decision, (ii) when was the decision made, (iii) who was informed of the decision, (iv) was the decision communicated to the public, and, if so, how; (c) if the answer to (a)(i) or (ii) is negative, (i) when will the decision be made, (ii) what criteria are being used to make the decision; and (d) which organizations and individuals outside of the RCMP have been consulted in relation to these decisions?
ResponseMr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), (i) no decision has been made specific to tier 2; (ii) tier 3 volunteers were approved pending the drafting and signing of a memorandum of understanding.
In response to (b), (i) the Alberta RCMP, in consultation with the Government of Alberta, decided to allow the resumption of the usage of tier 3 volunteers, pending the drafting and signing of a memorandum of understanding; (ii) November 14, 2019; (iii) the Government of Alberta; (iv) in the absence of a memorandum of understanding, this decision was not released publicly. However, Albertan communities that have inquired about the status of the auxiliary program have been advised that the program remains in abeyance until a mutually acceptable position on insurance liability is reached.
In response to (c), the decision will be made after the signing of a new memorandum of understanding.
In response to (d), no outside organizations were consulted except for the Government of Alberta, which is our contract partner.
Question No. 668--Mr. Daniel Blaikie
With regard to the government report entitled "2018 Export Development Canada Legislative Review" presented in July 2019, which contains 64 findings: (a) what actions is the government taking to reform Export Development Canada (EDC) in light of this report; (b) with respect to finding 51, will the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to cause EDC to observe the higher disclosure standard expected by stakeholders; (c) with respect to finding 53, will the minister propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to (i) establish a standard to be used by EDC in its assessment of companies’ human rights and environmental performance, (ii) require that EDC undertake due diligence to assess the human rights, environmental and corruption risks associated with transactions and companies, (iii) prohibit EDC from supporting corporate activity that causes or contributes to human rights violations or significant environmental damage; and (d) with respect to finding 55, will the minister propose legislation to amend the Export Development Act to ensure that EDC’s business is conducted in a way that supports Canada in achieving its international commitments to reduce emissions in the fight against climate change, including by prohibiting EDC from supporting (i) projects that would increase extraction of coal, oil and gas, (ii) companies who rely significantly on coal for their operations, (iii) companies whose primary business is the export of coal, oil and gas?
ResponseMs. Rachel Bendayan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) to (d), the “2018 Export Development Canada Legislative Review” report was tabled in Parliament on June 20, 2019. The report has not yet been reviewed by a parliamentary committee. However, Export Development Canada, EDC, and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade have taken measures that address the key findings of the report.
EDC has developed an ambitious new human rights policy built on the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights. With this policy, EDC became the first Canadian commercial banking institution to release a dedicated human rights policy. The policy commits EDC to conduct transaction-related human rights due diligence taking a risk-based approach; use its leverage to influence customers’ practice and enable remediation for human rights impacts; communicate with stakeholders in good faith; track and report human rights procedures, practices and performance; and use its influence to encourage stronger human rights practices from peers and customers.
To build on this approach, in 2021, the minister asked EDC to enhance its activities with respect to disclosure standards, responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility in her annual statement of accountabilities, SPA, letter to the chair of Export Development Canada. The minister specifically requested EDC to strengthen its accessibility of information for stakeholders and Canadians and continue to model its human rights policy on industry-accepted best practices and collaborate with corporate social responsibility, CSR, leaders. EDC is committed to upholding rigorous standards of responsible business conduct, RBC, and using its influence to promote RBC within the business community.
EDC has been equally active in strengthening its policies and activities with respect to climate change. In its new 2019 climate change policy, EDC committed to fully end its support to coal and coal-related sectors; measure, monitor, and set targets to reducing the carbon intensity of its lending portfolio; increase transparency around climate-related risks and opportunities, including fully implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, TCFD; and integrate climate-related considerations, such as carbon intensity, into its risk assessment process.
Since the adoption of this policy, EDC set a carbon target to reduce support to carbon-intensive industries by 15% of 2018 levels by 2023. EDC met this target two years early and is currently working to establish a new and more ambitious target. At the same time, EDC has emerged as Canada’s largest financier of the clean technology sector, providing $4.55 billion of support to Canada’s clean technology sector in 2020.
As with human rights, climate change issues have been a ministerial priority, as indicated in the SPA letter guidance to the chair of EDC’s board of directors. Specifically, in 2021, the minister has asked that EDC scale up and report on its climate change solutions; update its climate change policy to further align investments across its portfolio with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement; end its financial support to international transactions in the oil and gas sector involving foreign companies; and fully consider and evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change considerations as a key aspect of its transaction due diligence.
In addition to responding to the findings of the legislative review, the government continues to develop policies to strengthen EDC’s support of Canadian exporters while upholding Canadian values and human rights. Budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to work with Export Development Canada to enhance supports to small and medium-sized exporters and to strengthen human rights considerations in export supports. The government may propose amendments to the Export Development Act.
Question No. 670--Mr. John Barlow
With regard to the COVID-19 vaccine contracts that Canada has with seven vaccine manufacturers: (a) which of the contracts contain transparency clauses similar to the one found in the UK-AstraZeneca vaccine contract, section 17.13, which allow for the disclosure of information to government bodies, including Parliament, parliamentary committees and any parliamentary reporting requirements; and (b) what are the details of all such clauses, broken down by manufacturer?
ResponseMr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, PSPC cannot disclose details of specific vaccine agreements unilaterally. This includes the confidentiality clauses since they are part of the agreements themselves. We continue to have discussions with suppliers about opportunities to share information publicly.
Question No. 671--Mr. John Barlow
With regard to the COVID-19 vaccine contracts that the government has with seven vaccine manufacturers, including the recently signed contract with Pfizer for booster shots: (a) what is the cost per vaccine dose, broken down by contract and manufacturer; and (b) what specific remedies are available to the government when manufacturers do not meet their contractual obligations, and which, if any, of the remedies have been pursued, broken down by manufacturer?
ResponseMr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, PSPC cannot disclose details of specific vaccine agreements unilaterally. This includes the confidentiality clauses, since they are part of the agreements themselves. We continue to have discussions with suppliers about opportunities to share information publicly.
Question No. 674--Mr. John Nater
With regard to legal expenses incurred by the government that are related to lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome: what are the total legal expenses incurred to date, broken down by case?
ResponseHon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, with respect to legal expenses incurred by the government that are related to lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome, to the extent that the information that has been requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege, and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs, as defined below.
The total legal costs, actual and notional costs, associated with the lawsuits filed against the government from individuals claiming to have suffered from the Havana syndrome amount to approximatively $437,000. The services targeted here are litigation services provided, in these cases, by the Department of Justice, as well as litigation support services. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and therefore no legal fees are incurred for their services. A “notional amount” can, however, be provided to account for the legal services they provide. The notional amount is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable approved internal legal services hourly rates. Actual costs represent file-related legal disbursements paid by the Department of Justice and then cost-recovered from client departments or agencies. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of April 28, 2021.
Question No. 680--Ms. Candice Bergen
With regard to the registration and deregistration of businesses in Canada since January 1, 2016: (a) how many businesses have deregistered, broken down by month and region or city; (b) of the businesses in (a), how many employees are listed as working at each business, broken down by region or city; (c) how many businesses have registered, broken down by month and region or city; and (d) of the businesses in (c), how many employees are listed as working at each business, broken down by region or city?
ResponseHon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Innovation, Science and Economic Development undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine what would fall within the scope of information collected by federal sources and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. We concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question from federal sources is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information. In addition, some of the information requested would have required direct contact with provincial jurisdictions.