House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was oil.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have received a petition that I am pleased to present to the House. It is from a number of constituents in my riding of Mississauga South and it is on the subject matter of marriage, notwithstanding that we have already disposed of Bill C-38. The petitioners want to draw to the attention of the House the fact that they do not believe marriage is an institution that does not implicate human rights, that it is the best social unit for the purpose of creating and nurturing the next generation of children, and that they are concerned Bill C-38 will weaken the institution of marriage and will have unforeseen, profound and negative ramifications for children.

The point of their petition is to encourage the government to ensure that the impact on our children as a consequence of changing the definition of marriage is monitored and to ensure that there are no adverse circumstances as a result of that change.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 153, 156, 161, 163, 164, 167, 169, 170 and 173.

Question No. 153
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

For the years 1994 to 2004, were any contracts awarded by VIA Rail Canada to the following companies: Lafleur Communications, Groupaction, Group Everest, Media I.D.A. Vision Inc., Tremblay Guittet Communications, Gosselin, Vickers and Benson, BCP Group Ltd., Gervais, Gagnon, Covington and Associates, La Groupe Polygone, EKOS and Earnscliffe, and if so, (i) what contracts were awarded, (ii) what was the date of the contracts, (iii) what were the amounts of the contracts, (iv) what were the contracts for, (v) what was the name of the supplier, and (vi) for each contract awarded, was the contract awarded via an open competition or was it sole sourced?

Question No. 153
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with respect to sponsorship, VIA Rail Canada Inc.(VIA) is routinely solicited by event organizers and agencies who manage events in various locations across Canada. Criteria used to determine whether VIA will sponsor events are a function of the location of the event, what other communication activities VIA has planned to coincide with the event in question, and whether the target audience for the event is consistent with VIA’s target market.

For the years 1994 to 2004, VIA entered into sponsorship agreements with the following companies:

With respect to joint advertising programs, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has a mandate to develop tourism industry-wide advertising programs to encourage Canadians and citizens of selected foreign countries to visit Canada. The CTC develops these programs and solicits industry participation through its advertising agencies. Up until 2003, the agencies for the CTC were Vickers & Benson and BCP Group Ltd.

VIA issued multiple purchase orders to participate in the industry-wide program, along with other companies in the tourism industry, as follows:

With respect to contracts for communication services, VIA entered into a contract with Publicité Martin following a competitive tender process and an agency review. Publicité Martin subcontracted work to Lafleur Communication Marketing.

Question No. 156
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

With regard to the re-evaluation by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of 2,4-D for use on lawns and turf: ( a ) what is the specific process used to evaluate this pesticide, including any deliberations on why it was completed ahead of the new, stronger regulations for the Pest Control Products Act of 2002 being promulgated; ( b ) how closely was the Canadian Environmental Protection Act followed, specifically, what analyses were provided regarding dioxins with two or more chlorine atoms that may contaminate 2,4-D during the lifetime of the product; ( c ) what studies looked specifically at the effect on the elderly and on children; and ( d ) has the Pest Management Regulatory Agency issued a second Information Note retracting the statement “that 2,4-D can be used safely on lawns and turf” as suggested by the chair of the Standing Committee on Health?

Question No. 156
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

(a) Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) committed to undertake a priority review of the turf uses of 2,4 D and other lawn care pesticides as part of its “Action Plan on Urban Use Pesticides”, announced in 2000 by the Minister of Health in response to public concerns regarding the safe use of these products in urban settings. The publication “Action Plan on Urban Use Pesticides” (http://www.pmra arla.gc.ca/english/pdf/hlawns/hl ActionPlan e.pdf) includes additional details of the plan.

PMRA’s general re evaluation process is outlined in the publication “PMRA Re evaluation Program” (DIR2001 03). The scientific assessment of 2,4 D would not have differed if it had been completed under the new Pest Control Products Act. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has been routinely using the modern risk assessment methods enshrined in the new Act in its current reviews of both new and older chemicals. These modern risk assessment methods include an aggregate assessment that takes into account pesticide exposure from all sources, including food, water and pesticide use in homes and schools, and considers cumulative effects of pesticides that act in the same way. Also, the sensitivities of vulnerable groups such as infants and children are considered, and extra safety factors are applied to protect children.

PMRA’s assessment was conducted by its highly qualified scientists. The re evaluation of lawn and turf uses of 2,4 D was based on a comprehensive review of the considerable information available on 2,4 D, including:

  1. an extensive proprietary database including laboratory animal studies to determine potential health effects and studies that examine potential effects on the environment;

  2. published scientific information; these include reports, epidemiological studies and all other relevant scientific information published in scientific journals and other publicly available documentation;

  3. foreign reviews results of other countries scientific assessments of 2,4 D including the United States, the European Union, New Zealand and the World Health Organization; and,

  4. use pattern information collected by the PMRA

The broad range of scientific information examined by the PMRA included relevant data utilized by non regulatory groups, such as the Ontario College of Family Physicians in their April 2004 report. That report focussed on a subset of epidemiology studies from the public literature, but the authors did not have all available data to conduct a human health risk assessment. The examination of animal toxicity data from internationally accepted guideline studies using doses well above those to which humans are typically exposed to, combined with exposure data obtained from well designed studies, is currently the best methodology available for assessing risks to human health.

For 2,4 D, external experts were also asked to comment on various aspects of PMRA’s review in order to provide a broader perspective on the assessment than the usual internal review process. This 5 member science advisory panel included experts in their fields of epidemiology, exposure assessment, human toxicology, and environmental toxicology. The Ppnel generally agreed with the PMRA’s assessment. A summary of the panel’s findings and recommendations was included in the public consultation document “Proposed Acceptability for Continuing Registration” (PACR2005 01), Re evaluation of Lawn and Turf Uses of (2,4 Dichlorophenoxy) acetic Acid [2,4 D]”.

The PMRA will carefully consider the numerous comments received in response to PACR2005 01, revise the assessment as required, and communicate the final decision to the public in a re-evaluation decision document as soon as the process is completed.

(b) As part of the re evaluation of the lawn and turf uses of 2,4 D, the PMRA took into account the toxic substances management policy and followed its Rrgulatory directive DIR99 03. The former is the federal government policy that directs the determination and management of Track 1 substances (chemicals that are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative and anthropogenic) and is consistent with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Polychlorinated dioxins substituted in at least the 2,3,7,8 positions are track 1 substances.

In 1982, Agriculture Canada's Pesticide Division (now Health Canada’s PMRA) had randomly collected from the marketplace forty one (41) 2,4 D amine end products and seventeen (17) 2,4 D ester end products for testing of dioxins. Of these fifty eight (58) samples, only six 2,4 D amines and one 2,4 D ester end products were contaminated with either dichlorodioxin or trichlorodioxin at levels marginally higher than 10 ppb (parts per billion parts of 2,4 D), the production limit established in Agriculture Canada’s Pesticides Division Trade Memo R 1 216 published in April 15, 1983. 2,3,7,8 TCDD was not detected at limit of detection of 1 ppb. To demonstrate that today’s products do not contain Track 1 substances such as dioxins, above the level of quantification, the PMRA is requiring the manufacturers to submit data of 2,3,7,8 TCDD and 2,3,7,8 TCDF and their respective higher substituted chlorinated congeners to the limits of quantitation (0.1 ppb) in five recent batches of all technical products as part of the data requirements from the re evaluation of 2,4 D.

(c) It is important to distinguish between toxicity data (studies that are specifically designed to elicit a toxic effect) and exposure data (monitoring and biomonitoring data in humans such as in workers & bystanders including children and the elderly that occur as a result of normal use). Since its inception, the PMRA has not used toxicity studies in humans for risk assessment in which human subjects are intentionally dosed with pesticides to identify or quantify their effects. Human studies of this nature that have been brought to our attention, have been used solely in a supplementary manner thus far, to confirm that the animal model is an appropriate surrogate for assessment purposes. As such, the PMRA does not condone the use of human subjects for pesticide testing to establish no observed adverse effect levels (see below) for assessing risk for new or existing products. However, the PMRA does evaluate monitoring and biomonitoring data in humans (e.g., exposure data from workers, bystanders, victims of accidents), if available.

The PMRA uses animal data as a surrogate for understanding the hazard profile (i.e., toxicity) of a given chemical and for establishing reference doses for the purpose of conducting human health risk assessments. Toxicity data from a number of different mammalian species including mice, rats, rabbits and dogs are examined, in order to assess cross species similarities and differences, as well as species sensitivity. Studies examine short and long term effects, as well as the potential for a chemical to induce birth defects, reproductive effects, potential sensitivity in the young and cancer. These studies are conducted at doses many times higher than what humans are exposed to, in order to understand the toxicity profile for a given chemical. Typically, the most sensitive species is used as the indicator species for human toxicity and health risk assessment, unless there are sufficient data to indicate another species is more appropriate. For human health risk assessment, safety factors are applied to the dose where no effects were observed in animal studies (i.e. the “no effect level” noted above) to create a reference dose. This reference dose is, at minimum, 100 times below the dose where no toxic effects were observed in animal tests. The safety factors account for interspecies extrapolation from animals to humans, for intraspecies variability, as well as for any other concerns identified in the toxicology data such as potential sensitivity of the young. This approach is consistent with that of other regulatory authorities that base human health risk assessments on animal toxicity data. Retrospective analyses indicate that this approach is protective of the human population.

The amount of exposure to humans from all relevant routes (oral, inhalation, absorption through the skin) and pathways (dietary intake, drinking water, residential exposures) is determined using a variety of data. Demographic data obtained from survey information are used to generate gender and age specific profiles for body weight, food consumption and activity patterns. This includes data on infants, toddlers, youth and adult sub populations. The demographic data are combined with the amount of pesticide residue present in air, drinking water, food and treated areas such as turf. As an example, the unique physiology, behaviours and play habits of children, such as their body weight and hand to mouth contact while playing on treated grass are considered together, when determining how much exposure they encounter. Residue data are obtained from a variety of sources including environmental surveillance, food residue monitoring programs and from both published and unpublished scientific studies designed to assess residue transfer to humans that may result from contact with treated areas. To be protective of human health, conservative estimates are used to obtain upper bound exposure levels. A listing of published human exposure studies considered specifically in the 2,4 D turf re evaluation is provided in PACR 2005 01.

The PMRA then conducts a quantitative risk assessment in order to integrate the results of the hazard assessment with those of an exposure assessment. This means that the level of exposure (or dose) that an individual, including a child, may encounter from a specific pesticide is compared to the reference dose that is established from the toxicity data. In the case of 2,4 D use on lawns, the PMRA required that the level of exposure to various sub populations be at least 300 to 1000 times below the dose where no toxic effects were observed in animal tests. Thus, the amount of 2,4 D to which humans are exposed through diet, drinking water and contacting treated grass is 100s to 1000s of times less than the dose that causes any toxic effect in animal studies.

(d) The information note clearly invites stakeholders to provide any additional information that may be relevant to the re evaluation. As indicated earlier, PMRA’s review did determine that 2,4 D does not pose unacceptable risks for lawn and turf use when label directions are followed, and proposed the continuing registration of 2,4 D products. The public has responded to PACR2005 01 with numerous comments, some of which include additional published data and information. After a thorough evaluation of all comments received during the comment period, the PMRA will revise the assessment as required and communicate the final decision to all stakeholders in a re-evaluation decision document and a revised Information Note .

Question No. 161
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Can the government provide a list of all requests made by Canada Post to André Ouellet, from September 23, 2004, to the present, that call for Mr. Ouellet to provide information to assist with the Canada Revenue Agency audit, including: ( a ) the form and date of each request; ( b ) the Canada Post employee making the request; and ( c ) if or when a response was received from Mr. Ouellet?

Question No. 161
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

Question No. 163
Routine Proceedings

September 26th, 2005 / 3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

With regard to the formal dinner held for the Queen on May 24, 2005, in Edmonton and the procedure for invitations for such: ( a ) were official invitations sent out; ( b ) what were the criteria for being in receipt of an invitation; and ( c ) what was the total cost for this event?

Question No. 163
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

(a) Invitations were mailed to guests figuring on the list provided to Optimum Public Relations, the company contracted to organize the event on behalf of the federal government. This is true for all guests except those from the House of Commons. Eighty-six seats were reserved for MPs from all parties. In these instances, party whips were all asked to extend invitations to their members.

(b) The criteria were based on the following categories: aboriginal and cultural groups, academic/education, arts and culture, agricultural sector, business, community leaders and representatives, core group, government/public sector, guest labour groups, media, military, non-profit sector, northlands park, order of canada, political leaders, professionals, religious leaders, sports, veterans and youth.

(c) Based on the final calculations, the total cost of the dinner hosted by the Prime Minsiter in honour of Her Majesty The Queen in Edmonton was $338,565.79

Question No. 164
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

With regards to the approvals of further developments of open-net fish farms along the West Coast, has Environment Canada initiated a comprehensive study under the Environmental Assessment Act and, if not, why?

Question No. 164
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Environment Canada, EC, has not initiated comprehensive studies under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, CEAA, for open-net fish farms along the west coast because EC does not have a decision making role, i.e. funding, issuance of a permit or authorization etc. related to fish farms that would require an environmental assessment under CEAA.

An environmental assessment is required under CEAA if the issuance of a federal authorization under the Fisheries Act or the Navigable Waters Protection Act is needed in order for a fish-farm to proceed. In that case, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, or Transport Canada are the responsible authorities under CEAA. Environment Canada provides expert advice to the responsible authorities related to our mandate, for example, shellfish water quality protection, toxics pollution prevention, and migratory birds.

Fish farms are not listed in the comprehensive study list regulations and therefore a screening level assessment is conducted by the responsible authority rather than a comprehensive study.

CEAA: Nil Reply

Question No. 167
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

With regards to the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS Code): ( a ) have all ports in Canada implemented the ISPS Code and if not, can the government provide the names of the ports that are not in compliance and the date that they will be in compliance; ( b ) what requirements are in place to audit the ports as required by the ISPS Code, what authority is required to do the audits and are the audits required to be done by independent sources; ( c ) have all canadian flagged vessels implemented the ISPS Code; and ( d ) have all foreign flagged vessels implemented the ISPS Code?

Question No. 167
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, In December 2002 the International Maritime Organization, IMO adopted the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code ISPS Code and other amendments to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea Convention, 1974, SOLAS Convention to enhance the international framework for the deterrence, prevention and detection of acts that threaten security in the marine transportation sector. All IMO contracting governments, including Canada, have adopted the ISPS code in July 2004 and have the necessary national regulations in place.

The Canadian Marine Transportation Security Regulations, MTSR introduce new security requirements for the marine transportation industry under section 5 of the Marine Transportation Security Act, MTSA, and implement all provisions of the ISPS code.

(a) Yes, all 423 ports and marine facilities in Canada to which the MTSR apply have implemented the ISPS code. The MTSR applies to all Canadian ports and marine facilities serving vessels covered by the MTSR, engaged on a voyage from a port in one country to a port in another country. Others may be added in the future, as they are required to apply the MTSR.

(b) Canadian vessels, marine facilities and port authorities to which the MTSR apply are required to develop and implement a risk-based security plan developed from information obtained in security assessments of vulnerability and threat. Once submitted, the plans are reviewed by Transport Canada Marine Security Inspectors. An official certificate of compliance or international ship security certificate is issued upon approval of the plans.

The MTSR requires that audits be conducted by ports authorities and the operators of marine facilities against their approved and implemented security plans to determine whether there are any deficiencies or changes in security threats, procedures, responsibilities of personnel, operations or operator that require amendments to be made to the plans. Marine facility operators are required to perform internal audits annually or if there is a change in operator or modifications to the marine facility or its operations. There is no requirement for port authorities to conduct annual audits, although they are required to continually evaluate marine transportation security and to include a plan for periodically reviewing, auditing and updating the port security plan. If changes are required to the security plan following an audit, operators are required to submit an amendment to the minister of Transport for approval within 30 days. Port authorities and the operators of marine facilities may call upon independent sources to perform internal audits for their own purposes.

Transport Canada Marine Security Inspectors conduct inspections of marine facilities and ports to ensure compliance with MTSR, and ISPS Code requirements, including the continued validity and implementation of security plans. These inspections are conducted under the authority of the Marine Transportation Security Act. Independent sources are not used for these inspections.

(c) All Canadian vessels to which the MTSR apply are in compliance and have received an international ship security certificate, ISSC, and Canadian vessel security certificate, VSC. There are approximately 213 Canadian vessels to which the MTSR apply.

(d) Most countries have developed regulations and have implemented the ISPS code for their vessels and ports. Any foreign vessel wishing to enter into Canadian waters must have an ISSC issued under their flag state .

Question No. 169
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Was the herbicide Agent Orange tested or used at the Tracadie range when it belonged to the government and if so, when and under which circumstances?