House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Question No. 203
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the veterans health care services review was not cancelled. It was completed in early 2008.

In response to (b), documentation regarding costs of the veterans health care services review was provided to the Minister of Veterans Affairs as advice.

In response to (c) and (d), the veterans health care services review was completed in early 2008.

In response to (e), Veterans Affairs Canada did not engage third party contractors. The department sought the advice and input of internal and external stakeholders and experts, such as the Gerontological Advisory Council and the Royal Canadian Legion.

In response to (f), recommendations, provided as advice to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, were developed as a result of the veterans health care services review.

In response to (g), yes, two significant changes were implemented to help veterans and their families as a result of the recommendations from the veterans health care services review.

Through budget 2008, the government expanded access to the housekeeping and grounds maintenance benefits under the veterans independence program to ensure that low-income or disabled survivors of the Second World War and the Korean War veterans, those who need these services the most, will have the help they need to remain independent in their homes.

In June 2009, the government introduced changes to the War Veterans Allowance Act to provide low-income allied veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War, and eligible survivors, with access to the war veterans allowance and associated assistance and health benefits. These changes were implemented in January 2010 and were a direct result of the veterans health care services review.

Question No. 205
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

With regard to the Canada Pension Plan: (a) how many claims have been made by individuals who have applied to designate a beneficiary of their survivor pensions from the Canada Pension Plan to someone who is not their spouse or common-law partner; and (b) how many of these claims have been turned down?

Question No. 205
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Canada pension plan does not have a provision for designating beneficiaries before a contributor dies. The legislation defines who is eligible to apply for a survivor benefit after the death of a contributor.

Consequently, the administration does not track and collect claims that we may receive from contributors seeking to designate as a beneficiary someone who is not their spouse or common-law partner.

Question No. 208
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

With respect to the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements announced by the Prime Minister on September 26, 2010, for Hurricane Igor victims in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL): (a) what was the exact financial commitment made to NL; (b) to date, how much money has been transferred to NL; (c) when will the government transfer the remaining funds owed; and (d) what criteria were used in judging applications for assistance as a result of Hurricane Igor?

Question No. 208
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), under the disaster financial assistance arrangements, DFAA, federal cost sharing will be provided for provincial response and recovery expenditures resulting from hurricane Igor. The total amount of federal cost sharing is determined according to the terms and conditions of the DFAA, and is calculated once all provincial documentation in support of a final payment has been submitted and the required federal audit process is complete.

In response to (b), to date, an advance payment of $16 million was made to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in April 2011.

In response to (c), subsequent federal payments will be made after the province submits additional documentation of expenditures for review by a federal auditor. The timing of the request for subsequent payments is entirely up to the province.

In response to (d), eligibility of provincial expenditures for federal cost sharing is based on established DFAA criteria, which are applied consistently to natural disasters across Canada. All assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments is provided under the provincial assistance program criteria.

Question No. 209
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

With respect to the Marine Atlantic Canadian Forces Appreciation Fare: (a) is there a maximum number of military personnel or veterans that can travel on a particular crossing for free on the Port aux Basques-North Sydney ferry route and the Argentia-North Sydney ferry route, broken down by (i) walk-on passengers, (ii) vehicles; (b) what is the maximum number of military personnel or veterans that can travel on a particular crossing for free on the Port aux Basques-North Sydney ferry route and the Argentia-North Sydney ferry route, broken down by (i) walk-on passengers, (ii) vehicles; (c) has there ever been a maximum number of military personnel or veterans that can travel on a particular crossing for free on the Port aux Basques-North Sydney ferry route and the Argentia-North Sydney ferry route, broken down by (i) walk-on passengers, (ii) vehicles; (d) what is the process for when there is a paying customer and a military personnel or veteran who arrive at the same time for the last vehicle place on a vessel; and (e) will the Marine Atlantic Canadian Forces Appreciation Fare be continued in 2012-2013?

Question No. 209
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a)(i) and (ii) respectively, there is no limit on the amount of walk-on passengers, and, yes, there is a 10 vehicle limit. In response to (b)(i) and (ii) respectively, there is no limit on the amount of walk-on passengers, and there is a 10 vehicle limit.

In response to (c)(i), the answer is no, since there is no maximum for walk-on passengers.

In response to (c)(ii), during the summer of 2011, 31 out of 880 departures fully utilized the 10 vehicle limit for the military appreciation fare. This represents less than 5% of available crossings.

In response to (d), the majority of the corporation’s customers, the personal related vehicle customers, book their passage in advance of their desired crossing either online or by phone. If there were only one space left on a vessel, the first person to book a reservation would receive that space. The chance of two customers showing up at two separate ticket booths to book a ticket for the same crossing, for which there happens be only one space left, is extraordinarily unlikely. It should be noted that during the 2011 summer season, customers could drive up to one of the corporation’s terminals and book a ticket on the next crossing 99 per cent of the time.

In response to (e), Marine Atlantic’s decision will be communicated to the public on the corporation’s website in due course.

Question No. 210
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

With regard to Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre St. John’s (MRSC St. John’s), operated by the Canadian Coast Guard and Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre Québec (MRSC Québec) operated by the Canadian Coast Guard and the consolidated Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCC) in Trenton, Ontario or Halifax, Nova Scotia: (a) what is the planned timeline for MRSC St. John’s closure, including dates for (i) termination of operations, (ii) period designated for training, (iii) full operation of JRCC Maritime service, (iv) relocation of MRSC St. John’s employees, (v) new hiring to replace MRSC St. John’s employees refusing relocation; (b) what is the planned timeline for MRSC Québec closure, including dates for (i) termination of operations, (ii) period designated for training, (iii) full operation of JRCC Maritime service, (iv) relocation of MRSC Québec employees, (v) new hiring to replace MRSC Québec employees refusing relocation; (c) how many people were employed by the MRSC St. John’s including part-time, full-time and contractual workers, on May 2, 2011; (d) how many of MRSC St. John’s employees have accepted relocation to other government postings to date; (e) how many of MRSC St. John’s employees are expected to relocate to the JRCC and of those employees who will relocate to the JRCC, how much relocation compensation will be offered per employee; (f) with respect to the employees of MRSC St. John’s, what were the mandatory qualifications required for hire; (g) with respect to the new hires to replace the services of MRSC St. John’s at JRCC, what will be the required qualifications; (h) how many people were employed by the MRSC Québec, including part-time, full-time and contractual workers, on May 2, 2011; (i) how many of MRSC Québec employees have accepted relocation to other government postings to date; (j) how many of MRSC Québec employees are expected to relocate to the JRCC, and, of those employees who will relocate to the JRCC, how much relocation compensation will be offered per employee; (k) with respect to the employees of MRSC Québec, what were the mandatory qualifications required for hire; (l) with respect to the new hires to replace the services of MRSC Québec at JRCC, what will be the required qualifications; (m) what research was executed in order to determine that no loss of service would occur with MRSC St. John’s consolidation to the JRCC, and on what date did the relevant research commence; (n) on what date was the initial plan to close MRSC St. John’s discussed within the relevant departments; (o) what research was executed in order to determine that no loss of service would occur with MRSC Québec consolidation to the JRCC, and on what date did the relevant research commence; (p) on what date was the initial plan to close MRSC Québec discussed within the relevant departments; and (q) what is the complete breakdown of the initial investment for the cost to close the MRSC St. John’s and the MRSC Québec, broken down by region, and how was this figure estimated in terms of (i) allocation for relocation for current employees, (ii) allocation for closure or appropriation of buildings, (iii) new hires, (iv) language training, (v) Maritime Search Planning Courses, (vi) Search and Rescue (SAR) Mission Co-ordinator Courses, (vii) SAR Mobile Facilities or On-Scene Co-ordinator Courses, (viii) other training, (ix) severance packages for current employees, (x) infrastructure renovation or expansion of JRCC Trenton, (xi) infrastructure renovation or expansion of JRCC Halifax, (xii) all other estimated costs associated with consolidation and closure, (xiii) estimated ongoing annual costs with operation of consolidated service?

Question No. 210
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a) and (b), full implementation will occur when the Canadian Coast Guard is comfortable that the present level of safety and service can be maintained.

In response to (c), on May 2, 2011, there were eleven maritime search and rescue, SAR, coordinators and one regional supervisor maritime SAR employed on a full-time basis at the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre, MRSC, St. John’s. There were no part time or contract workers employed there at that time.

In response to (d) and (e), to date, none of the MRSC St. John’s employees have accepted other government postings.

In response to (f) and (g), the essential qualifications to be hired as a coast guard SAR mission coordinator were posted to the Public Service Commission job postings site in August and September 2011.

In response to (h), on May 2, 2011, there were five maritime SAR coordinators and one regional supervisor maritime search and rescue employed on a full-time basis at MRSC Quebec. There were 2 contract or term workers employed as maritime SAR coordinators at that time.

In response to (i) and (j), as of December 13, 2011, one MRSC Québec employee has accepted a government posting. None have agreed to relocate to the joint rescue coordination centres, JRCCs.

In response to (k) and (l), the essential qualifications to be hired as a coast guard SAR mission coordinator were posted to the Public Service Commission job postings site in August and September 2011.

In response to (m)(n)(o) and (p), the MRSC consolidation is a strategic review proposal. In accordance with the rules for the development of these proposals, any information relating to their development and implementation is considered cabinet confidential.

In response to (q), a net annual and ongoing cost savings of $1,000,000 in salaries will be realized through the net reduction of fifteen full-time positions. Annual total overhead costs for telecommunications and informatics services and training, travelling and exercising will not change, and will be transferred from the MRSCs to the JRCCs. The total ongoing cost of consolidated JRCCs is not yet finalized.

One-time costs to implement the consolidation are dependent upon various factors, including the specific training and relocation requirements of each new hire and the scope of required upgrades to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton. Renovation/upgrade costs for the JRCCs are under review, as there were several pre-existing renewal/upgrade projects under way at both JRCCs before the government announcement of this consolidation, that is, phone system upgrades, software/hardware upgrades and renovations.

Costs for any potential benefits paid to employees who choose to leave the public service are determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the union collective agreement. Should employees accept other employment within the public service, these costs will be avoided.

Question No. 212
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

With respect to executive recruiting firm Odgers Berndtson and the recent selection process for a new Auditor General: (a) who was responsible for selecting the recruiting firm; (b) was there a competition for the contract awarded to the firm and, if yes, what was the nature of the competition; (c) if there was no competition, who suggested or recommended Odgers Berndtson; and (d) what was the total cost incurred by the government in employing Odgers Berndtson to manage the Auditor General selection process?

Question No. 212
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the selection processes for Governor in Council appointments, including agents of Parliament, comprise three main elements. The first is the establishment of selection criteria to reflect the key elements for a candidate to be considered qualified for the position.

sought. This can range from posting the position on the Governor-in-Council appointments website and publishing it in the Canada Gazette to a more elaborate strategy, which may include engaging an executive search firm, a national advertising strategy, a targeted outreach, for example, to professional groups and stakeholders.

The third is the assessment of candidates’ qualifications. Normally this would involve interviews with a short list of candidates and reference checks.

In the case of the selection process for the new Auditor General, the Office of the Auditor General, in consultation with the Privy Council, was responsible for identifying and selecting a search firm that would support the selection committee in its efforts.

The national master standing offer for executive search services established by Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, through a competitive process was used to obtain the services of Odgers Berndston.

The costs incurred by the Office of the Auditor General are disclosed on the Office of the Auditor General’s public disclosure website.

Question No. 215
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

With regard to the 2011 official visit by the Right Honourable David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, which African ambassadors and high commissioners were invited to attend the joint session of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada to listen to the speech given by the aforementioned Prime Minister?

Question No. 215
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the heads of mission accredited to Canada from the following African countries were invited to attend the joint session of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada to listen to the speech given by the Right Honourable David Cameron:

Question No. 219
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

With regard to fixed-wing observational aircraft owned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), since January 1, 2006: (a) how many aircraft are owned by the RCMP, broken down by the make, model, and age of the aircraft; (b) what are the dates of flights that these aircraft have taken; (c) what is the nature of the observational work these aircraft do; (d) what is the cost of this program, broken down by year; (e) what is the policy the RCMP applies with respect to the use of aircraft for the observation of civilian activity; (f) what is the RCMP policy on the use of aircraft for cellular surveillance; (g) what is the RCMP policy on the use of aircraft for the disruption of cellular signals; and (h) have these aircraft been lent to provinces to assist provincial police forces, and, if so, for each flight, what was or were (i) the flight date, (ii) the province using the aircraft, (iii) the cities in which the aircraft was used, (iv) the cost of each flight, (v) the nature of the flight and observation, (vi) all provincial agreements regarding this?

Question No. 219
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP owns 12 fixed-wing aircraft of various makes and models, ranging from 3 to 26 years of age, for surveillance. Aircraft are deployed for use across the country, as and when required. Requests from outside police forces may be considered based on operational availability.

For security reasons and to maintain the integrity of police operations, the RCMP cannot further identify these resources or release additional details as to their usage without jeopardizing ongoing police operations and investigational techniques, as well as the safety of RCMP personnel and the public.