House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Question No. 24
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

With regard to tobacco farmers: (a) is the government working on a tobacco exit strategy for tobacco farmers in Ontario and, if so, what policy options are being considered; (b) when will the government provide a buyout package to tobacco farmers with a concrete timeline for the implementation and distribution of a package; and (c) what additional plans does the government have to support tobacco farmers in Ontario who have been affected by the decline of the tobacco industry in recent years?

Question No. 24
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

a) The government understands the serious circumstances that Ontario’s tobacco growers are forced to deal with. It is in light of these circumstances that our government continues to examine policy options to facilitate transition within the Ontario tobacco sector.

As we continue to evaluate and identify possible solutions for the sector, it will be paramount to ensure that any possible solutions take into account the broader needs of the entire agricultural sector.

b) It should be understood that the means to facilitate transition within the tobacco sector have not yet been determined. However, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is committed to continued examination of transition options for the sector.

As policy options are tabled and evaluated, it will be essential to develop solutions in collaboration with federal partners, industry and the Government of Ontario.

c) Previously, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada assisted the repositioning of the tobacco industry through the tobacco adjustment assistance program. This program allocated $67M to facilitate the exit of 279 flue-cured tobacco growers.

Currently Ontario tobacco producers have access to the same programming as other commodity groups through our business risk management programs such as: the Canadian agricultural income stabilization program, production insurance, spring credit advance program and the advance payments program. In addition, Ontario’s tobacco farmers may also take advantage of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada renewal programming that offers farm business planning, debt mediation and advisory services.

The future growing forward agricultural policy framework will continue to help producers seize opportunities and respond to market demands in a manner that promotes innovation and profitability. Any programming available through growing forward will be available to the entire sector, including tobacco growers.

Question No. 41
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

With respect to the impact, costs, benefits, consultations and studies on climate change as they relate to environmental legislation before Parliament: (a) what studies have been commissioned with respect to the economic costs of implementing Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Energy Efficiency Act and the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act (Canada's Clean Air Act), as amended by the Legislative Committee on Bill C-30, including the list of titles, authors, dates of publication and brief synopsis of each; (b) how would meeting the targets set out in the amended version of Bill C-30 help mitigate the costs of climate change to the Canadian economy; (c) what would the economic benefits to the Canadian economy be if the measures outlined in the amended version of Bill C-30 were implemented; (d) were external consultations on the costs of Bill C-288, An Act to ensure Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, undertaken with organizations or individuals other than for the report released by the Minister of the Environment entitled “The Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and Business” and for the environmental regulatory plan entitled “Turning the Corner”, and (i) if so, what organizations or individuals were consulted and why were they not included in the report on Bill C-288, (ii) if not, why did the government not seek the input of other stakeholders, in particular leading Canadian environmental organizations; and (e) applying the same economic methodologies used for both of the documents mentioned in (d), what would be the approximate health savings of the amended version of Bill C-30?

Question No. 41
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada did not commission nor undertake analysis assessing the economic costs of implementing Bill C-30, as amended by the Legislative Committee on Bill C-30. However, C-30 as amended did incorporate an obligation by Canada to fully meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol, which the Government has examined in the context of its review of the former C-288, now the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. In that analysis, it was concluded that full compliance with Canada’s Kyoto targets, after years of inaction, would result in more than 275,000 jobs lost and a reduction in personal disposal income of about $4,000 for a Canadian family of four in 2009. Energy prices would go up considerably: more than double for natural gas, 50% for electricity, and gasoline, which is today about one dollar a litre would, on average, cost $1.60 a litre over the 2008-2009 period.

This would plunge the country into a deep recession in 2008. Canada's GDP would decline by over 6.5 percent from expected levels in 2008. GDP in 2008 would fall to 4.2 percent below that of 2007. By comparison, the deepest recession since World War II was in 1981-82, when the GDP fell by 4.9 percent. In actual dollars, the predicted recession would result in a decline in national economic activity in 2008 in the range of $51 billion below 2007 levels.

These results were supported by the leading Canadian experts in the field of macroeconomic modeling and macroeconomic analysis of Canada’s GHG mitigation options. These individuals were identified in the report entitled: The cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian families and business, released on April 19, 2007.

Environment Canada also assessed the potential economic impacts of introducing regulatory limits on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, as described in the regulatory framework for air emissions, as published by the Government of Canada on April 26, 2007. Its conclusions were that, by adopting an approach that respects Canada’s national circumstances and provides business and citizens with the time to adjust to a carbon-constrained world, the regulatory framework will achieve significant reductions in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions with minimal impact on energy prices, personal income and employment, and the economy overall.

In assessing the economic impact of both the former C-288 and the government’s industrial regulatory package, Environment Canada used its in-house economic modeling framework--E3MC.

Question No. 45
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

With respect to the government's funding to the provinces and territories to support the launch of a $300 million national program for the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine announced in the budget tabled in March 2007: (a) how much of this funding has been distributed to the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada to be further distributed to provide the vaccine to First Nations women and girls living on reserve; (b) what steps has the government taken to promote the vaccine to rural, northern and urban First Nations women and girls, living both on and off reserve; (c) what steps are being taken to ensure better screening, prevention and treatment of HPV for First Nations women and girls, particularly in rural and northern communities; and (d) how much funding has been provided to implement an HPV awareness campaign, including the augmentation of information, distribution of materials, and other related research for the Aboriginal population?

Question No. 45
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

a) Federal budget 2007 included a $300 million contribution to provinces and territories to support the introduction of publicly-funded HPV vaccination programs over the next three years. The funding will be allocated on a per capita basis, including Inuit and First Nations. The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, FNIHB, has ensured that the wording of the trust fund agreement and HPV operating principles reflect the inclusion of First Nations and Inuits as provincial or territorial residents.

b) FNIHB is collaborating with the Assembly of First Nations, AFN, to increase the cultural relevancy of HPV vaccination program implementation and related educational materials, aimed at both the public and health professionals. The AFN has been engaged to provide feedback on the anticipated impact of the introduction of HPV programs on First Nations, and is working with First Nations communities to understand the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of First Nations with respect to the HPV vaccine.

c) Statistics reported in the First Nations longitudinal regional health survey 2002/03, the Manitoba cervical cancer screening program 2002 statistical report and the Northern Saskatchewan health indicators report 2004 suggest that pap uptake by First Nations women mirrors that of the general population, including in rural and isolated regional health authority areas. Statistics gathering and review continues, and will inform FNIHB/Public Health Agency of Canada consultations on HPV surveillance research, as well as, information sharing within FNIHB and with the national aboriginal organizations.

d) The FNIHB is working with the Assembly of First Nations to better understand the unique educational and cultural needs of First Nations with respect to HPV vaccine awareness. Once this work is complete, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch will be able to assess the resource requirements to meet the identified need in the on-reserve population.

Question No. 56
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

How much federal funding, from all sources, has the government spent on research, development and promotion of Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURTS) since 1993?

Question No. 56
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, Genetic use restriction technology, GURT, means a technology-imposed restriction on the use of genetic material. Although GURT has been referred to as “terminator technology”, it must be noted that terminator technology should not be equated with all types of GURT. There are many GURTs that allow the production of viable seeds and therefore would not be considered to be terminator technology.

There are basically two kinds of GURT:

1. Trait-GURTs, T-GURTs, regulate the expression of a specific transgenic trait in plants while enabling plants to remain fertile and set viable seeds.

2. Varietal-GURTs, V-GURTs, impede transgene* movement, either by rendering the plant unable to develop properly, or to produce functional pollen or seed, or by preventing the transmission of the transgene, such that the occurrence or frequency of the transgene is significantly reduced in the subsequent generation.

From 1993 to present, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, has not conducted research, development and promotion on T-GURTs or V-GURTs, thus funding is nil.

The only related research that has been conducted at AAFC is described as non-GURT. The research conducted at AAFC does not prevent the re-seeding of transgenic material; it only prevents the mixing of transgenes with unwanted varieties or with wild plants. The main purpose of this research was to discover ways to prevent gene flow, which is the escape of the transgene, to other plants that do not carry the same transgene. This technology is at the proof of concept stage and re-seeding material equipped with this technology is not restricted and thus produces viable seeds. The AAFC research and development funding from 1993 to the present for this work is $2 million and no resources were spent on its promotion.

* A transgene is a gene, the fundamental unit of heredity, that is taken from the genome, the total set of an organism’s genes, of one organism and introduced by artificial techniques into the genome of another organism.

Question No. 79
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Saint John, NB

What funds, grants, loans and loan guarantees has the government through its various departments and agencies issued in the constituencies of Saint John, Fundy Royal, New Brunswick Southwest, and Tobique—Mactaquac, respectively, for the period of January 24, 2006 to September 30, 2007 inclusive, and in each case where applicable: (a) the program under which the payment was made; (b) the names of the recipients; (c) the monetary value of the payment made; and (d) the percentage of program funding covered by the payment received?

Question No. 79
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Government information on funds, grants, loans and loan guarantees issued by departments and agencies is based on parliamentary authorities for departmental or agency programs and activities. This information is listed by department and government organization in the public accounts and disclosed on the web sites of government organizations. However, government organizations do not compile or analyze expenditure information by electoral district. Consequently, at present, it would not be possible to provide the information in the form requested.

Over the course of the 39th Parliament, a number of Government organizations have undertaken efforts to identify federal expenditures by postal codes which could then be summarized by electoral districts using a tool developed by Statistics Canada. While there is some promise in this approach, there remains a significant potential for error since many postal codes straddle two or more electoral districts. Moreover, the Government would have significant concerns about the quality of the financial data derived by this approach because there is no way to track the geographic area in which federal funding is actually spent. For example, federal funding could be provided to the head office of a firm situated in one electoral district, while the funding was actually spent by a subsidiary located in another electoral district. This may also be the case for payments to individuals, organizations or foundations. For these reasons, and the fact that fewer than half of Government organizations have acquired the Statistics Canada tool, it is not possible to produce an accurate and comprehensive answer to this question at the present time.

That said, Statistics Canada has initiated a process to enhance the accuracy of the tool that provides the link between postal codes and electoral districts. The process will allow departments which use the tool to better approximate by electoral district data gathered on a postal code basis. The improved tool is expected to be available at the end of January 2008, and training for Government organizations on the use of this tool is planned for February--March 2008.

Question No. 84
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

With respect to the use of nuclear power and the Alberta oil sands: (a) what is the government’s position on the use of nuclear power to extract oil; (b) what studies and evaluations have been prepared, requested or commissioned by the government; (c) what individuals, department or organization undertook these studies; (d) what is the cost of these studies; (e) what are the findings and recommendations of these studies; (f) what recommendations does the government agree with; (g) what are the dates of publication or submission, and titles of each of these studies; (h) what environmental assessments have been undertaken with respect to the use of nuclear power in the oil sands and what are the findings and recommendations of these studies; (i) what studies have been undertaken concerning the disposal and containment of nuclear waste arising from power plants that are expected to be constructed in the future; (j) what marketing strategies related to the construction of nuclear power plants have been received by the government from oil and gas companies, including but not limited to Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Energy Alberta Corp; (k) what is the earliest date construction of a nuclear power plant could start; (l) what locations are being considered for construction; and (m) what is the estimated cost of construction for any power plants under consideration?

Question No. 84
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

a) While the federal government has important responsibilities relating to nuclear energy, electricity and the ownership and management of natural resources are under provincial jurisdiction. As such, provinces and utilities, acting under provincial laws, are responsible for determining the generation mix. As well, the provincial jurisdiction over resource management includes the technology by which extraction is performed, including the method of steam production for a steam-based process. Thus, it will be industry, working within the framework of provincial laws and regulations, that will determine whether nuclear energy is used to extract oil from the oil sands.

The Government of Canada regulates all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle including activities, materials and facilities. To this end, the Government has established one of the most stringent regulatory regimes in the world, administered by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNSC. Any proposal to build new nuclear power stations in Canada would have to meet all requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in addition to relevant provincial laws, regulations and policies.

The response to b), c), d), e), f), and g) is as follows: Natural Resources Canada has joined with the province of Alberta and oil sands companies to sponsor an independent study to assess the technical, practical and economic application of nuclear technologies in the oil sands. It is anticipated that the first phase of the study will be completed late this year. The cost of the study is $384,000 with the federal government contributing $96,000 towards the total. The study is part of the “Alternative Energy Solutions to Replace Natural Gas for Oil Sands Development” study. This study on nuclear does not have a title of its own at this time.

h) No Environmental Assessments, EA, have yet been initiated with respect to the use of nuclear power in the oil sands. However, on August 27, 2007, Energy Alberta Corporation, EAC, filed an application with the CNSC to prepare a site for the potential construction of new reactors near Peace River, Alberta. The CNSC will be able to initiate the EA process when EAC’s Project Description is filed with the CNSC. The CNSC has extensive experience with EAs, the first step of this regulatory process, and works closely with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and other federal and provincial agencies to ensure an effective and efficient EA process that follows the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The EA must be completed before the commission can issue a site licence, the first licence in a series for any new nuclear power plant.

i) In 2002, the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act came into force and required nuclear energy corporations to establish the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO, to manage all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel waste– that exists now and that will be produced in the future.

On June 14, 2007, the Government announced its decision to select the adaptive phased management, APM, plan that was recommended by the NWMO for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste in Canada. The APM plan was primarily designed to handle nuclear fuel waste coming from Canada’s existing reactors. The approach was tested against many future nuclear fuel waste scenarios and it was found to be technically capable of dealing with additional quantities of nuclear fuel waste. The NWMO will continue research and testing to ensure that its plans and programs address new circumstances and remain robust.

j) Energy Alberta Corporation has made presentations to the federal government as well as the House Standing Committee on Natural Resources regarding the company’s plans to bring CANDU technology to Alberta. The government has also received copies of an AREVA presentation, which outlines the potential they see for nuclear in the oil sands. The Government has not received any presentations from oil and gas companies.

k) The applications received for site licences for new nuclear power plants from Energy Alberta Corporation, in Alberta, and Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation, in Ontario, are the first ones to be considered under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. Given the fact that it has been over 30 years since such an application has been submitted for review it is difficult to predict the time that will be needed for regulatory review for these. In the time since the last application was submitted, the technology has changed, the understanding has changed and the requirements and expectations have changed. The review period is also very dependent on the details of the EA and the completeness of the applications for the two subsequent licences, construction and operating, assuming the site licences are granted.

l) According to its application, EAC is planning to build its proposed nuclear power plant on land adjacent to Lac Cardinal, near the town of Peace River, Alberta.

m) The cost of building a reactor in the oil sands will be determined through negotiations between the vendor and proponent; and accordingly, any estimate of construction cost by the Government would be speculative.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

November 22nd, 2007 / 10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 6, 14, 28, 30, 37, 47 and 69 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.