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. 770
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

With respect to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the recommendation made by the Special Needs Advisory Group (SNAG) in 2006 that VAC employ veterans: (a) what action has VAC taken to implement the recommendation; (b) what response, if any, has been provided to SNAG on the recommendation; and (c) what analysis has been completed by VAC on the feasibility of this recommendation and what were the conclusions or findings?

Question No. 770
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to (a), in response to the Special Needs Advisory Group’s 2006 recommendation to employ veterans, Veterans Affairs Canada developed a recruitment plan which included a recommendation that Veterans Affairs Canada follow the lead of the Department of National Defence and open up internal competitions to Canadian Forces members. As a result of the new veterans charter, the Public Service Employment Act, PSEA, was amended to permit serving Canadian Forces members to apply on internal advertised processes, where they are identified as eligible in the area of selection. Additionally, Veterans Affairs Canada’s area of selection policy specifically addresses the inclusion of Canadian Forces members.

The Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada work in partnership to assist Canadian Forces members to transition to civilian employment by making them more aware of, and ensuring that they have access to, public service employment opportunities. Through outreach in veteran publications and veteran-related websites, Veterans Affairs Canada provides information on career services and programs, including priority job placement. Medically released veterans are also informed of their priority access eligibility during their Veterans Affairs Canada transition interview at the time of their release from the Canadian Forces. Veterans Affairs Canada’s new veterans charter provides two programs that support veterans in reintegrating into the civilian workplace. The rehabilitation program provides vocational rehabilitation to medically releasing veterans, while the career transition program provides career transition services to those who are voluntarily releasing.

Veterans Affairs Canada’s integrated business and human resources plan includes a priority that recruitment efforts will target Canadian Forces members and that Veterans Affairs Canada will “continue outreach to modern-day veterans for employment opportunities”.

Medically released Canadian Forces members have been eligible for priority job appointments within the public service since December 31, 2005. The Public Service Commission has analyzed the number of referrals of medically released Canadian Forces members to individual departments, along with the number of subsequent appointments by these departments. The Public Service Commission advises that Veterans Affairs Canada rated highest of all government departments in terms of appointment in ratio to the number of referrals ,13.2% of those referred being appointed to positions. Since December 31, 2005, Veterans Affairs Canada has hired 19 medically released Canadian Forces members who were eligible for priority job appointments within the public service.

In response to (b), Veterans Affairs Canada provided a response to the Special Needs Advisory Group on this recommendation at the Special Needs Advisory Group’s meeting on June 14-15, 2006, that recruitment would be reviewed and that Veterans Affairs Canada would follow the lead of the Department of National Defence in opening areas of selection to Canadian Forces members.

In response to (c), as stated above, work has been undertaken regarding the recommendations. As recently as November 2010, the human resources division at Veterans Affairs Canada launched a voluntary survey of staff in order to gather information on the number of staff who are active or former members of the Canadian Forces. As of December 31, 2010, 100 Veterans Affairs Canada employees have self-identified. This number may include medical-release priority appointments noted above.

Additionally, the human resources division conducted a second part to the survey whereby Veterans Affairs Canada employees were asked to self-identify, on a voluntary basis, if they have family members with Canadian Forces experience. As of December 31, 2010, this survey has had 86 positive responses.

Question No. 771
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

With regard to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, 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. 771
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and the exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on the Treasury Board Secretariat website at the following link: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Question No. 772
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

January 31st, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

With regard to the Minister of Public Safety, 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. 772
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety and his exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on Public Safety’s website at the following link: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/abt/trv_hsp/index-eng.aspx.

Question No. 773
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

With respect to meetings of Cabinet, on which dates has Cabinet met since January 1, 2010?

Question No. 773
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale
Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that the dates of cabinet or cabinet committee meetings are considered cabinet confidences under section 69 of the Access to Information Act, unless they have been made public. Two meetings of the cabinet committee on priorities and planning during 2010 meet this criterion: February 3, 2010, and August 3, 2010.

Question No. 777
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

With respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) what was the nature and extent of the public opinion research conducted by any part of the government, or by any other entity and made available to the government either directly or indirectly on this specific takeover or, more broadly, on the application of the Canada Investment Act; (b) what was the total cost; (c) what company, companies or government departments were contracted or engaged in association with this research; and (d) what were the results of this research?

Question No. 777
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Industry Canada did not conduct any public opinion research with respect to the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

Question No. 778
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

With respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) has the government launched or completed an investigation into the leak to former Postmedia columnist Don Martin which led to a column published in the National Post on November 1, 2010 entitled “Investment Canada gives Potash takeover tentative nod” that cited multiple government sources and, if so, (i) what was the nature of the documents or information obtained by Mr. Martin, (ii) did the government find a breach of Cabinet confidence occurred, (iii) who was responsible, (iv) which government departments were involved; and (b) regardless of whether the government conducted an appropriate investigation, what remedial action has been taken to protect against leaks of this nature in the future?

Question No. 778
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 media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, under the Investment Canada Act, the minister responsible has the sole authority to determine the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment. Except for the investor, only the minister can make a net benefit determination public.

Under the act, the minister may appoint a director of investments to advise and assist him in exercising his powers and performing his duties.

Section 19 of the act outlines the responsibilities of the director of investments in assisting the minister in determining the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment:

19. The Director shall refer to the Minister […] any of the following material received by the Director in the course of the review of an investment […]: (a) the information contained in the application filed under section 17 and any other information submitted by the applicant; (b) any information submitted to the Director by the person or entity from whom or which control of the Canadian business is being or has been acquired; (c) any written undertakings to Her Majesty in right of Canada given by the applicant; and (d) any representations submitted to the Director by a province that is likely to be significantly affected by the investment.

Question No. 779
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

With respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) has the government launched or conducted a review of its procedures and practices with respect to the distribution of sensitive information affecting decisions under the Investment Canada Act following the multiple leaks emanating from within the government and, if so, (i) what was the nature of the documents or information that prematurely made their way into the public sphere, (ii) did the government find a breach of Cabinet confidence occurred, (iii) who was responsible, (iv) which government departments were involved; and (b) regardless of whether the government conducted an appropriate investigation, what remedial action has been taken to protect against leaks of this nature in the future?

Question No. 779
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 media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: Under the Investment Canada Act, the minister responsible has the sole authority to determine the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment. Except for the investor, only the minister can make a net benefit determination public.

Under the act, the minister may appoint a director of investments to advise and assist him in exercising his powers and performing his duties.

Section 19 of the act outlines the responsibilities of the director of investments in assisting the minister in determining the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment:

19. The Director shall refer to the Minister […] any of the following material received by the Director in the course of the review of an investment […]: (a) the information contained in the application filed under section 17 and any other information submitted by the applicant; (b) any information submitted to the Director by the person or entity from whom or which control of the Canadian business is being or has been acquired; (c) any written undertakings to Her Majesty in right of Canada given by the applicant; and (d) any representations submitted to the Director by a province that is likely to be significantly affected by the investment.

Question No. 780
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

With respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) what was the nature of the exchange of information, including documentation, between the government and (i) the province of Saskatchewan, (ii) the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, (iii) BHP Billiton and its subsidiaries, (iv) any other corporation, entity or individual, (v) other governments, (vi) Parliament, (vii) the public; and (b) what were the government’s communications plan or plans and contingency communications plan or plans with respect to the approval or rejection of the takeover under the Investment Canada Act; and (c) what was the government’s definition of “net benefit” in this particular case and how is it different from the tests applied to previous bids by (i) Vale Inco, (ii) US Steel, (iii) Nortel?