House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Environment Canada
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have, on a number of occasions, answered questions in the House about the improvements to the Meteorological Service of Canada that is taking place with the reorganizations which I outlined some two weeks ago.

Obviously, with new technology, satellites, more powerful computers, Doppler radars and very high levels of technical skills by our personnel, we intend to continue to have the very best service for Canadians from coast to coast.

I would point out to the member from Manitoba, which has a major agricultural sector, that the Canadian Federation of Agriculture has endorsed what we are doing.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, in the bureaucratic mess of downsizing the fishery many people who have fished for a lifetime are being told that they are not core fishermen.

Will the minister agree to revisit this issue provided that proper documentation can be brought along to back up their claims?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, when the policy on core fishermen was adopted there was an appeal opportunity for all those who felt their case might not have been properly dealt with.

I have agreed that if some of them have new evidence or new information to bring forward to show that their case was not properly dealt with or that there was an error in the appeal process, I would review it.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

I wish to inform the House that, under the provisions of Standing Order 30, I am designating Tuesday, April 1, 2003 as the day for the consideration of private members' Bill C-280 standing in the name of the hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, and Thursday, April 3, 2003 as the day for the consideration of private members' Bill C-235 standing in the name of the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis.

These additional private members' business hours will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. after which the House will proceed to adjournment proceedings pursuant to Standing Order 38.

Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission
Routine Proceedings

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

It is my duty, pursuant to section 21 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, to lay upon the table a certified copy of the report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec.

This report is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-423, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act.

Madam Speaker, the bill I am introducing today is one of great importance to a number of different people.

First, bills do not stop coming because one loses one's job. My bill would eliminate that two week waiting period. It is a very important issue.

The second thing the bill would do is that if people are denied benefits because they were disqualified, they would get a rebate, as would the employer, of the premiums paid. This is particularly valuable to students.

I have other issues as well but I do not think I should give my whole speech at this time. I will be pleased to do that when 196 comes up on the list.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, I am presenting a petition on behalf of the people of Ontario requesting that Parliament recognize that the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College is essential to training Canadians for emergency situations; that the facility should stay in Arnprior; and that the government should upgrade the facilities in order to provide the necessary training to Canadians. Now, more than ever before, it is so necessary to have our first responders ready and able.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by 802 residents of Canada who draw to the attention of the House that hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffer from debilitating illnesses and diseases, and that Canadians do support ethical stem cell research to provide cures and therapies for these illnesses and diseases.

The petitioners would like that non-embryonic stem cells, which are also known as adult stem cells, receive the focus of legislative support and dollars such that we find the cures and therapies for treating the illnesses and the diseases of suffering Canadians.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 102, 128 and 164.

Question No. 102
Routine Proceedings

March 28th, 2003 / noon

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

With regard to agreements since 1992 between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and various aboriginal organizations that contain provisions for the sale of fish on an annual basis under the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy: ( a ) what quantities and species of salmon caught for aboriginal food, social and ceremonial purposes in British Columbia were stored in cold storage, processing or other facilities in British Columbia on an annual basis since 1992; ( b ) in what year were the salmon being stored caught; ( c ) what quantities and species of salmon caught for aboriginal food, social and ceremonial purposes in British Columbia were stored in cold storage, processing or other facilities in the United States on an annual basis since 1992; ( d ) in what year were the salmon being stored caught; ( e ) which agreements required the collection of royalties by the aboriginal organization on the sale of fish caught under the agreements to support management or other activities of the aboriginal band or DFO and which did not require the collection of royalties; ( f ) what is the value of the fish sold under each of these agreements; ( g ) how much was the required royalty, both in terms of a percentage of the total value of the fish sold and in dollars; ( h ) in terms of percentage and in terms of dollars, how much royalty was collected in each of these agreements; ( i ) who collected the royalty; ( j ) by what means was the royalty collected; ( k ) was a special fishery required to catch the fish to pay the royalty; ( l ) for what was the royalty expended; ( m ) who spent the royalty monies; ( n ) in cases where the royalty was not collected or was less than the amount required by an agreement, what were the reasons for the shortfall; ( o ) what action was taken by DFO to recover the shortfall; ( p ) if no action was taken, what were the reasons for not taking action; ( q ) in cases where no royalty was required to be collected, what was the approximate market value of the fish sold; and ( r ) in cases where no royalty was required, what was the reason for the absence of a requirement to collect a royalty?

Question No. 102
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok
Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

The answer is as follows:

a) Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) does not collect this particular statistical information on the food, social and ceremonial fisheries. Fish stored in freezers are stored in the name of a company or individual and not by fishery or species.

b) As per the answer to a) above, DFO does not collect this type of data.

c) As per the answer to a) above, DFO does not collect this type of data.

d) As per the answer to a) above, DFO does not collect this type of data.

e) In the early years of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) program (1992-1997), two AFS agreements on the Fraser River, the Musqueam/Tsawwassen First Nations joint agreement and the Sto:Lo First Nation agreement, required a percentage of the landed value of salmon harvested under the pilot sales fisheries and then sold to be returned to the fisheries management program of the aboriginal organizations. Pursuant to the AFS agreement, from 1993 to the present on the Skeena River, 10% of the landed value of salmon harvested under the pilot sales fisheries and then sold under the AFS agreement is required to be returned to the Skeena fisheries management program during years when there is an excess salmon to spawning requirements (ESSR) fishery in place. No funds were required to be returned to DFO.

f) DFO cannot determine the value of fish sold under the pilot sales fisheries. DFO does not record the portion of pilot sales fisheries that is retained for food as compared to the amounts sold. With respect to the ESSR fishery on the Skeena River, due to concerns from the Skeena first nation regarding commercial confidentiality, available information regarding commercial catches and values for individual bands and companies has not been provided.

g) According to the AFS agreements noted in the answer to e), the percentage of the landed value of salmon harvested under the pilot sales fisheries and then sold, which was to be returned to the fisheries management program of the aboriginal organization, varied between 5% and 15% on the Fraser River; and 10% of the landed value of salmon harvested and then sold for the Skeena ESSR fisheries.

h) The aboriginal organizations reported the following amounts collected under each of the agreements, which was to be returned to their fisheries management programs. (The requirement for a percentage of the landed value of fish sold under the AFS agreement to be returned to the fisheries management program of the aboriginal organization was not applied to fish caught for food, social and ceremonial purposes.) In 1992, the Musqueam and Tsawwassen first nations reported $4,996 was returned to their fisheries management program. In 1993, the Musqueam first nation reported $11,891 and the Sto:Lo first nation reported $25,457 (which was a payment instead of returning a percentage of the landed value of salmon sold under their AFS agreement to their fisheries management program). In 1994, the Sto:Lo indicated that $178,036 from a one-time only specific fishery was returned to their fisheries management program. In 1995, the Musqueam first nation reported that $48,373 was returned to their fisheries program. The Sto:Lo first nation did not have a pilot sales fishery in 1995. In 1996, the Musqueam first nation reported that $60,550 was returned to their fisheries management program, while the Sto:Lo first nation again did not have a pilot sales fishery. In 1997 the Sto:Lo reported that $67,053 was returned to their fisheries management program. With respect to the Skeena ESSR fishery, DFO has not collected this data.

i) On the Fraser River, the buyers of the fish withheld from the fishers the percentage of the landed value of fish sold under the AFS agreement that was required to be returned to the fisheries management program. Individual first nations or first nations’ groups collected the proceeds on the Skeena ESSR fishery.

j) On the Fraser River, the buyers of the fish withheld proceeds of the fish from the distribution of the sales and then provided them to the respective first nation.

k) In 1994, a specific fishery was provided to the Sto:Lo first nation as noted in the answer to h) above. There have been no special fisheries provided for the Skeena ESSR Fisheries for which the percentage of the landed value of fish sold under the AFS agreement was to be returned to the fisheries management program.

l) Revenues from the proceeds were to be used for the fisheries management programs of the aboriginal organizations in question.

m) The first nations in receipt of the proceeds spent the monies.

n) There were three reported instances concerning the Sto:Lo first nation where the percentage collected was less than the amount required under the agreement: in 1994, where DFO determined there were inconsistencies in some of the reporting of the fisheries; in 1995, when the salmon runs were poor; and, in 1996, when the pilot sales fisheries were severely hampered by protest fisheries.

o) In the case of the Sto:Lo first nation, with respect to the specific fishery in 1994, DFO contracted KPMG to undertake an audit because of inconsistencies in some of the reporting of the fisheries. As a result, the amount reported by Sto:Lo from this fishery as well as the amount of the shortfall, was deducted from the total DFO financial commitment to the group under their 1994 AFS agreement. In 1995, DFO was satisfied that poor salmon runs prevented the Sto:Lo from harvesting the amount set out in their agreements. In 1996, DFO was satisfied that the Sto:Lo first nation made every reasonable attempt to harvest their quota but were unsuccessful, and, therefore, DFO did not require Sto:Lo to collect the proceeds which were to be used for the fisheries management programs.

p) With respect to the years 1994, 1995 and 1996, see the answer to o) above.

q) Where there was no requirement for a percentage of the landed value of fish sold under the AFS agreement to be returned to the fisheries management program of the aboriginal organization, DFO did not collect this data.

r) The main reason for the non-requirement was the fact that the run size did not support a pilot sales fishery and thus no fishing occurred.

Question No. 128
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

How does the seniority of personnel figure in the processes the Department of Fisheries and Oceans use to engage or release employees of the Canadian Coast Guard?

Question No. 128
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok
Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

The seniority of personnel does not figure into the processes the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) uses to engage employees of the Canadian Coast Guard. DFO along with all other federal government departments, is governed by the principle of merit as outlined in the Public Service Employment Act (section 10), which reads as follows:

  1. (1) Appointments to or from within the Public Service shall be based on selection according to merit, as determined by the Commission, and shall be made by the Commission, at the request of the deputy head concerned, by competition or by such other process of personnel selection designed to establish the merit of candidates as the Commission considers is in the best interests of the Public Service.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), selection according to merit may, in the circumstances prescribed by the regulations of the Commission, be based on the competence of a person being considered for appointment as measured by such standard of competence as the Commission may establish, rather than as measured against the competence of other persons.

For releases, reverse order of merit is applied, as outlined in the Public Service Employment Regulations (subsection 32 (1)), which reads as follows:

  1. (1) If the services of one or more employees of a part of an organization are no longer required in accordance with section 29 of the Act, the appropriate deputy head shall assess the merit of the employees employed in similar positions in the same occupational group and level within that part of the organization, and identify the employees who may be declared surplus and laid off in reverse order of merit.

Seniority could only figure into the process to release employees, in the event of a tie between individuals being assessed in the reverse order of merit.

Question No. 164
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

With regard to the Minister of Health’s oversight of tissue banks: ( a ) when did Health Canada first become aware of potential safety breaches at the British Columbia Ear Bank; ( b ) when did the minister or her predecessors first become aware of the problems at the British Columbia Ear Bank; ( c ) what actions is Health Canada taking to ensure that recipients of tissue from the British Columbia Ear Bank did not contract an infectious disease; ( d ) why did Health Canada wait until February 19, 2003 to inform Canadians, though the clinic was shut down in October 2002; ( e ) what national standards are in place to regulate the collection, use and dissemination of human tissues such as those collected at the British Columbia Ear Bank; ( f ) when will Health Canada adopt and implement its own national standards; ( g ) when was the British Columbia Ear Bank first inspected by Health Canada; ( h ) are such tissue banks subject to regular inspections by Health Canada and, if so, when was such a regime put in place; and ( i ) what actions is Health Canada taking to ensure that problems such as those incurred at the British Columbia Ear Bank do not occur again?