House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

December 3rd, 2009 / 1:20 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 487, 500, 501, 521 and 567.

Question No. 487
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

With respect to Canada Health Infoway, for all contracts under $10,000 signed between January 1, 2001 and October 21, 2009, what is: (a) the vendor name; (b) the contract reference number; (c) the contract date; (d) the description of work, (e) the delivery date; (f) the original contract value; and (g) the final contract value if different from the original contract value?

Question No. 487
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, governed by a board of directors. Its corporate members are the 14 federal, provincial and territorial deputy ministers of health. The Canada Health Infoway board of directors is composed of two federal appointees, one representative from each of the five regions of Canada and four to six independent directors selected from the private sector.

Health Canada’s funding agreements with Canada Health Infoway contain accountability mechanisms to ensure prudent use of federal funds. Financial statements are audited annually. Independent compliance audits are conducted annually. Periodic compliance audits are conducted by Health Canada; one was recently conducted. Infoway submits an annual report and corporate business plan. Independent performance evaluations are conducted periodically; the most recent was completed in March 2009 and the next is to be submitted in March 2010. The Auditor General of Canada may at her discretion conduct performance audits. The most recent, tabled in Parliament on November 3, 2009, included a chapter on electronic health records and dealt with Canada Health Infoway.

Canada Health Infoway has informed Health Canada that in view of the commitments made to their suppliers, including non-disclosure undertakings, and given that the contents of the various legal agreements underlying the contracts include confidential pricing, financial, commercial or technical information furnished by their suppliers, and given that, in certain circumstances, the disclosure of such information could be perceived as potentially prejudicing the competitive position of their suppliers, Canada Health Infoway is not in a position to provide the specific level of detail that has been requested on a contract by contract basis.

However, Canada Health Infoway has provided the following information. One hundred fifty-five contracts under $10,000 were signed between January 1, 2009 and October 21, 2009. The total value of contracts under $10,000 that were signed between January 1, 2009 and October 21, 2009 is $586,036.

Question No. 500
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

With regard to the government’s spending on tourism initiatives what are: (a) all programs government-wide that have a tourism component including those administered by agencies and crown corporations; (b) the total costs for each of these programs, and the breakdown of all expenditures for each fiscal year since 2004-2005; (c) the projected costs for the next 10 years; (d) the total number of employees (full-time, part-time and contract) assigned to each program; (e) the performance indicators used to measure the program’s success and the results of any performance assessments made since fiscal 2004-2005; and (f) the total number of businesses helped by each program, including total numbers as well as the detailed breakdown listing them by name, location and whether they are recognized as a small business by the government’s definition?

Question No. 500
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s spending on tourism initiatives, in response to (a), what are all programs government-wide that have a tourism component including those administered by agencies and crown corporations, the federal government has a number of programs, projects and initiatives which support the tourism industry in Canada. However, most of these programs provide assistance for Canadian businesses as a whole, not just tourism-related enterprises.

Since 2005-06, Industry Canada has published “Federal Contributions to Canadian Tourism”, an annual report which looks at federal government spending on the tourism industry. However, Industry Canada does not have an exhaustive list of all tourism support programs, since they are managed by other federal departments or agencies.

The report does, however, provide information on the status of a number of programs, projects and initiatives. For example, in 2006-07, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency invested over $12 million in 198 tourism projects through the business development program, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada spent more than $2 million under its ready to work programs. It should be noted that a number of departments and agencies have broken down their expenditures using an analysis grid suggested by Industry Canada. This means that the information obtained by Industry Canada is not uniform and cannot be used to create a complete list of the programs, projects and initiatives in support of the tourism industry. The full report is available on the Industry Canada Web site.

The marquee tourism events program, MTEP, is the only program administered by Industry Canada that provides direct support for the tourism industry. The program was announced in budget 2009, to run for a two-year period, until the end of March 2011. The amount announced was $100 million over two years and about 15 people are assigned to the program.

In response to (b), what are the total costs for each of these programs, and the breakdown of all expenditures for each fiscal year since 2004-05, in 2005-06, the federal government spent $407.6 million on initiatives to support the tourism industry. The total was $404.2 million in 2006-07and it increased to $540 million in 2007-08. The amount for 2004-05 is not available.

In response to (c), what are the projected costs for the next 10 years, Industry Canada collects data on past years and does not make spending forecasts for future years.

In response to (d), what are the total number of employees, full-time, part-time and contract, assigned to each program, Industry Canada does not have any information with regard to the personnel assigned to any of the federal government’s tourism support programs, except for the program administered by Industry Canada mentioned in (a) above.

In response to (e), what are the performance indicators used to measure the program’s success and the results of any performance assessments made since fiscal 2004-05, Industry Canada does not have any information on the indicators used to evaluate the performance of the programs, other than the MTEP. The key indicators against which program results are measured for MTEP are the number of out-of-country and out-of-province tourists, the amount of tourism-related spending, and sustained or increased revenues for funded tourism events.

In response to (f), what are the total number of businesses helped by each program, including total numbers as well as the detailed breakdown listing them by name, location and whether they are recognized as a small business by the government’s definition, Industry Canada does not have any information on the number of businesses which have been helped by programs administered by other departments. Fifty-six businesses have received $45,574,742 assistance to November 5, 2009 from the MTEP. For a list of these businesses visit http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/dsib-tour.nsf/eng/qq00166.html.

Question No. 501
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

With regard to the relationship between the Cabinet and the Crown, could the government indicate: (a) the number and frequency of meetings held between the Prime Minister and the Governor General as per her constitutional rights to be consulted, to encourage and warn, broken down by year since 2004-2005; (b) the number and frequency of meetings held between the Prime Minister and the Queen as per her constitutional rights to be consulted, to encourage and warn, broken down by year since 2004-2005; (c) a listing of all meetings held between the staff of the Prime Minister and the other members of cabinet and the Governor General’s staff, including dates and purpose, broken down by minister and year since 2004-2005; and (d) a listing of all meetings held between the staff of the Prime Minister and the other members of Cabinet and the Queen’s staff, including dates and purpose, broken down by minister and year since 2004-2005?

Question No. 501
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that two meetings between the current Prime Minister and the Governor General are public knowledge: September 7, 2008, preceding the dissolution of the 39th Parliament, and December 4, 2008, preceding the prorogation of the first session of the 40th Parliament. In addition, it is public knowledge that former prime minister Martin had a private meeting with the Governor General on November 29, 2005, preceding the dissolution of the 38th Parliament.

The information provided has been published or made publicly available. As a matter of law and constitutional convention, meetings between the Prime Minister or his ministers and the Governor General or the Queen are treated as confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and are therefore excluded under Section 69 of the Access to Information Act.

Question No. 521
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

With regard to the Economic Action Plan advertising campaign: (a) what is the total cost to the government of the GO Train advertisements which are wrapped around the outside of GO Trains in Ontario; (b) what contractors were used to produce and purchase this advertising; and (c) was the contract sole sourced or was there an open bidding process for the creative and ad purchasing contract?

Question No. 521
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with respect to Transport Canada, the response is nil. With respect to Infrastructure Canada and with regard to the economic action plan advertising campaign, in response to (a), what is the total cost to the government of the GO Train advertisements which are wrapped around the outside of GO Trains in Ontario, the total cost incurred by Infrastructure Canada is $84,970. This includes $1,320 for creative design, $39,650 for the production of the decals and $44,000 for media placement for 10 weeks on one of Canada’s busiest commuter rail corridors.

In response to (b), what contractors were used to produce and purchase this advertising, Allard Johnson Communications Inc. of Montreal created the artwork and planned the advertising campaign. Cossette Media purchased the advertising space.

In response to (c), was the contract sole sourced or was there an open bidding process for the creative and ad purchasing contract, with regard to the creative contract, Infrastructure Canada undertook a national open bidding process for its creative advertising services.

With regard to the contract to purchase advertising space, under federal policy, Public Works and Government Services Canada is responsible for the competitive process to establish the contract for the Government of Canada’s agency of record, which provides advertising media placement. Cossette Media currently holds this contract.

Question No. 567
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

With regard to the Pickering Lands: (a) what is the status of the Needs Assessment Study for a potential Pickering Airport which Transport Canada (TC) commissioned the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) to complete, will it be released to the public and when and, if it has been completed, what are its primary recommendations; (b) has the minister responsible for TC arrived at an official government position with regard to the proposal by the GTAA to develop an airport on Pickering Lands; (c) what are the current policies in the management of Pickering Lands, with regard to maintenance of buildings, including structures that are more than 100 years old, re-rental policies of homes and business structures once tenants move out; (d) with regard to Bentley House, what is the status of the GTAA’s tenancy and, if the GTAA vacates the premises, will the building be leased out to another business or organization; (e) is the application by Durham West Arts Centre to secure a lease, at little cost, to occupy Bentley House receiving serious consideration; (f) what factors are important in any application by a business or organization interested in leasing Bentley House; and (g) what is the announcement date for TC’s decision with regard to the GTAA’s airport development proposal?

Question No. 567
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in resonse to (a), the needs assessment study, commissioned by Transport Canada and involving a consortium of consultants being led by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the department’s due diligence review are still under way. A final date for the completion of the needs assessment study and due diligence review has not been determined.

In response to (b), once the due diligence and needs assessment study are completed, any next steps will be determined.

In response to (c), maintenance of buildings, Transport Canada is meeting its repair and maintenance obligations on Pickering lands site properties to ensure the safety and security of its tenants while keeping in mind its responsibilities with respect to public moneys. With respect to older structures, Transport Canada is cognizant of the local heritage value of some of the properties on its site and is working with local municipalities to preserve these to the extent possible. Re-rental policies of homes and business structures once tenants move out, are as follows: for vacant residential use properties, at this time, vacant residential properties that have been vacated are not re-marketed. Vacant structures are decommissioned and secured to prevent access by trespassers. However, some vacant properties may be used to relocate other Pickering lands site property tenants whose properties would be too costly to repair or to maintain. For vacant commercial use properties, Transport Canada may consider marketing these properties considering one or more of the following factors: (i) required capital improvements, (ii) marketability of the property; and (iii) adaptability and/or benefit to the surrounding community.

In response to (d), the Greater Toronto Airports Authority has requested early termination of their tenancy at the Bentley House. Transport Canada and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority are working to finalize this request.

In response to (e), Transport Canada intends to publicly market the asset in order to provide the opportunity for all interested parties to lease the Bentley House. The Durham West Arts Centre will be free to submit a bid proposal at that time.

In response to (f), when the Bentley House is publicly marketed and net lease terms subsequently negotiated, Transport Canada will consider four primary factors: (i) the tenant acknowledges, respects and preserves the heritage character of the building in their undertaking of normal business operations and in their maintenance of the building and surroundings; (ii) building alterations are strictly based on approval of the Crown; (iii) the tenant occupies the building for use as a commercial operation which is adaptable and/or of benefit to the surrounding environment/community; and, (iv) the rental rate is at market level, which recognizes the value of the asset and maximizes benefit to the Crown, and therefore taxpayers.

In response to (g), the department needs to complete the needs assessment study and the due diligence review before determining any next steps for the Pickering lands.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, if Questions Nos. 75, 466, 488, 489, 506, 533, 534, 536, 539, 540, 541, 542, 548, 549, 570, 575, 584 and starred Question No. 535 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

I rise on a point of order, Madam Speaker. I was not able to hear it all. I am not sure if Question No. 537 was on that list. It is an important issue, so could we go through the list again? I did not hear Question No. 537, but I was sure that it would have been one of the questions answered.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

1:20 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

I can answer that. It was not on the list.

Is it the pleasure of the House that these be made orders for return?