House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Question No. 780
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, in response to: (a)(i) under the Investment Canada Act, ICA, the minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(ii), the relationship under the ICA is established between the investor and the minister. Information provided during the review process is obtained from the investor and is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(iii), the information obtained from the investor during the review process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA unless it is made public by the investor or the investor consents to its publication.

In response to (a)(iv), where third-party representations are received that could have an adverse bearing on the determination of net benefit, investors are advised of the substance of those representations and given an opportunity to respond to them.

The representations made by a third party are confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(v), under the ICA, the Minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(vi), on November 29, 2010, there was a late show motion number 121 in the House of Commons. Also, on November 4, 2010, there was an opposition day motion by the NDP regarding BHP’s proposed acquisition of Potash Corp. The Hansard text for these debates can be seen at: www.parl.gc.ca.

In response to (a)(vii), on November 3, 2010, the Minister of Industry issued a statement indicating that, at that time, he was not satisfied that the proposed transaction was likely to be of net benefit to Canada. On November 14, 2010, the minister issued a statement confirming that BHP Billiton had withdrawn its application for review, thereby terminating the review process.

In response to (b), as mentioned above, the Minister of Industry issued statements on November 3 and 14, 2010, regarding the proposed investment. BHP withdrew its application for review, thereby terminating the review process under the ICA. No decision was therefore made by theminister.

In response to (c), section 20 of the Investment Canada Act lists the factors that the minister must consider in a net benefit determination. They are as follows: (a) the effect of the investment on the level and nature of economic activity in Canada, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the effect on employment, on resource processing, on the utilization of parts, components and services produced in Canada and on exports from Canada; (b) the degree and significance of participation by Canadians in the Canadian business or new Canadian business and in any industry or industries in Canada of which the Canadian business or new Canadian business forms or would form a part; (c) the effect of the investment on productivity, industrial efficiency, technological development, product innovation and product variety in Canada; (d) the effect of the investment on competition within any industry or industries in Canada; (e) the compatibility of the investment with national industrial, economic and cultural policies, taking into consideration industrial, economic and cultural policy objectives enunciated by the government or legislature of any province likely to be significantly affected by the investment; and (f) the contribution of the investment to Canada's ability to compete in world markets.

In reaching a decision on net benefit, the minister considers the investor’s plans and undertakings, other representations from affected provinces, and the results of the consultations held with other federal government departments.

The minister’s net benefit determination is made on a case-by-case basis, based on the merits of each investment proposal.

Question No. 782
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

With regard to the Minister of National Defence, what are the exact, line-by-line details of all travel and hospitality expenses incurred by the Minister and all exempt staff since January 1, 2009?

Question No. 782
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence and his exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on the National Defence website at the following link: www.forces.gc.ca.

Question No. 783
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

With regard to the Department of Natural Resources: (a) for how many nuclear licenses is the department responsible; (b) since 2006, have any nuclear licenses expired and, if so, where are the sites that are no longer licensed?

Question No. 783
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a),the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for four nuclear substance licenses under the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

In response to (b), since 2006, the Department of Natural Resources has had no nuclear licence expire without renewal.

Question No. 784
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Why did the government not spend the total amount of $200 million allocated to the Green Infrastructure Fund and what were the remaining funds used for?

Question No. 784
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unlike most other economic action pPlan measures, the green infrastructure fund, GIF, was announced in budget 2009 as a five-year $1 billion fund supporting infrastructure projects that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner water. As of December 14, 2010, 18 green infrastructure projects had been announced for a total of $627 million in federal funding.

While $200 million was provided for fiscal year 2009-10 through the 2009 Budget Implementation Act, as reported in the sixth Report to Canadians, not all of this funding was expended. It is important to remember that the GIF is a five year program that funds largerscale strategic projects of national or regional significance. Such projects typically require longer lead time for the planning, engineering and development stages which results in a smaller amount of expenditures in the early years and larger expenditures during the construction phase in the later years.

Moreover, as is the case for all programs managed by Infrastructure Canada, the federal government is a funding partner and does not manage or control the construction of infrastructure projects. Federal funding for approved projects flows as construction proceeds and costs are incurred. Once the federal government has approved the project, the pace at which a project gets built and funds flow depends on claims submitted by the proponent and is not within the federal government's control. Once receipts are submitted, the federal government pays all eligible costs within 30 days.

It is important to note that any unspent funding under the GIF was not lost, but reprofiled to future years to meet the cash flow requirement of our partners.

Question No. 786
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

With regard to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Northside Civic Centre Project in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia, the Sydney Harbour Dredging Project in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Halifax Harbour Dredging Project south of Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia: (a) what are the federal funding sources for each project; (b) what is the amount of funding for each project; and (c) what are the programs for each project?

Question No. 786
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, insofar as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, ACOA, is concerned, with regard to each of the projects listed, in response to (a), federal funding for the Northside Civic Centre in North Sydney, Nova Scotia comes from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, ECBC, and ACOA.

In response to (b) the funding amounts are $3 million from ECBC and $1 million from ACOA.

In response to (c), the funding programs are ECBC’s Cape Breton growth fund and ACOA’s innovative communities fund.

Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

The Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

With respect to the Sydney Harbour Dredging Project in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in response to (a), federal funding for this project comes from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, ECBC.

In response to (b), the federal funding amount is $19 million.

In response to (c), the funding program is ECBC’s commercial development program. The Halifax harbour dredging project south of Point Pleasant Parkin Halifax, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

Question No. 787
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With regards to the government's outlined plans for coal regulations, tail-pipe emissions and carbon capture storage technology as a way to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), what other initiatives does the government plan to implement in order to reach its own target of reducing GHG emissions to 17% below 2005 levels and bring Canada closer to the internationally agreed-upon target of 6% below 1990 levels?

Question No. 787
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government supports an approach to climate change that achieves real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians. Given the level of integration of the North American economy, it makes absolutely no sense to proceed without aligning a range of principles, policies, regulations and standards.

Some of the steps we have taken as we continue to pursue work towards our target on a sector by sector basis have been noted.

We are moving forward with common North American standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which accounts for about approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Environment Canada published the final Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in the Canada Gazette part II on October 13, 2010. These will establish progressively tighter GHG emission standards for new cars and light trucks over the 2011 to 2016 model years in alignment with U.S. national standards. We are also working on common North American standards for the post-2016 period.

We are also developing regulations to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles; a consultation document outlining the proposed elements of the future regulations was released on October 25, 2010. Regulations will be developed in 2011 for the 2014 and later model years.

The government is also working through its renewable fuels strategy to promote expanded production and use of cleaner, renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. As part of this strategy, the government has finalized regulations requiring an average renewable fuel content 5% in gasoline which came into effect on December 15, 2010. We have also announced that we will implement a requirement for 2% renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil, subject to successful demonstration of technical feasibility.

The Government is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity generation through the application of a stringent performance standard. The gradual phase-out of old and dirty coal-units is expected to have a significant impact on reducing emissions from the electricity generation sector and improve air quality for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Going forward, we will continue to develop and implement climate change polices that make sense for Canada and that are aligned, as appropriate, with those of our largest trading partner, the United States.

Budget 2010 includes new measures totaling $190 million to support a cleaner, more sustainable environment and to help meet Canada's climate change objectives. It includes new measures to promote energy investments and help develop and deploy clean energy technologies such as the $100 million Investments in forest industry transformation initiative which supports the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced clean energy technologies in the forestry sector. This builds on the important investments made under Canada’s economic action plan, which includes $795 million over five years for the clean energy fund in support of clean energy research and $1 billion over five years for the green infrastructure fund for priorities such as green energy generation and transmission, carbon transmissions and storage infrastructure. To further ambitious national goals, the government has also invested $4.2 billion in the eco-energy initiatives to encourage the production of cleaner energy and cleaner fuels and increase energy efficiency.

Furthermore, we are taking important steps through the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue, CED. The CED has led to enhanced collaboration on the development of clean energy science and technology to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. In addition, as announced at the North American leaders’ summit in August 2009, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are collaborating in a wide range of areas to advance real action on climate change and clean energy, in North America and internationally.

Question No. 789
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With regard to the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program, how much has the Department of Natural Resources spent in each fiscal year since 2006?

Question No. 789
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, please see Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s annual financial reports available at www.eacl-aecl.ca, for this information.

Question No. 790
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With respect to the Department of National Defence, for every project over 5 million dollars which received money from the department in the last 5 years and which involved incurred or currently foreseen cost overruns of 15% or more relative to the initial predictions: (a) what is the name of that project and details on its nature; (b) what is the history of cost predictions for that project, including (i) dates of predictions reviews and amounts of the predictions, (ii) itemized predictions on the costs of different subparts of that project; (c) what are the reasons for the cost overruns; (d) what are the dates at which Ministers or their close staff were informed of the cost predictions described in part (b), what was the name of the Minister or staffer that received the information and what is a description of the actions taken, if any, by the Minister in reaction to that information; and (e) what is, in percentage (compared with the initial prediction), and in dollars, the final incurred value or the currently expected value of the cost overrun?

Question No. 790
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Department of National Defence,DND, has conducted a search of the capability initiative database and has identified 1,260 projects over the last five years valued at over $5 million that would have to be analyzed to determine if they meet the criteria of having involved, incurred or currently foreseen cost overruns of 15% or more relative to the initial predictions. Due to the volume of projects and the complexities outlined below, a response cannot be provided in the time available. It is estimated that to provide a full response to all parts of this question would require 40 hours per project--1,260 projects x 40 hours = 50,400 hours--given that much of the information resides with individuals involved in these projects and not in a central database.

In response to (b), costs for projects are formally identified at three phases: identification, preliminary project approval and effective project approval. As such, estimates for initial costs may vary depending on the stage of the projects. This creates difficulty in establishing an initial prediction of the cost of a project depending on what stage of the project is considered. The assumption is that the initial cost prediction would be based on the identification stage of the project as identified in a synopsis sheet. However, some strictly financial submissions do not have a synopsis sheet and the initial cost prediction would have to be determined in some other fashion. As initial predictions of project costs are not always identified at the same stage of the process, it would be difficult to establish a common procedure to identify a baseline initial prediction from which to judge whether or not a project has costs overruns of 15% or more.

Itemized predictions of cost overruns are not stored in the capability initiative database and would require a search by the project director and management of each affected project as well as by financial and corporate services staff. This process would require an intensive manual search for each of the 1,260 projects over $5 million.

In response to (c), in many instances cost changes cannot be attributed to a single factor and may be a result of a complex combination of numerous factors including changes to economic models for inflation, contingency plans, changes to the scope of the project, currency exchange rates, the introduction of the HST and so on. Extensive research for each of the 1,260 projects would be required to produce an analysis pointing to the reasons for cost overruns for each project.

In response to (d), this type of information is not stored in any type of central database and would reside in numerous types of documentation including, but not limited to, briefing notes, correspondence, email records and/or verbal conversations. An extremely detailed and time-consuming analysis would be required for each project to produce this information. As such, it is not likely that this information could be produced for all 1,260 projects.

In response to (e), this information could be provided only after the preceding analyses have been conducted.