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. 308
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Does the Department of Natural Resources have any plans to abolish the Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Office or merge it with another office?

Question No. 308
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office, LLRWMO, was established by the Government of Canada in 1982, with a mandate to resolve federal and historic low-level radioactive waste responsibilities.

There are no plans to abolish the LLRWMO or to merge it with another office as there is an ongoing need to clean up and manage historic waste that is a federal responsibility.

Question No. 310
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

With regard to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office, for all correspondence they have received between February 6, 2006, and December 1, 2011, and which was addressed to the Prime Minister, how many pieces of correspondence had personal contact information recorded and transferred to the Conservative Party of Canada?

Question No. 310
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 Privy Council Office, PCO, has not recorded and transferred any personal contact information from correspondence to the Conservative Party of Canada.

Question No. 315
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

With regard to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, does the department have any plans to close Canadian embassies, consulates or missions abroad and, if so, which ones?

Question No. 315
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is committed to supporting a robust diplomatic role for Canada that focuses on key foreign policy priorities and services to Canadians.

We are constantly reviewing our network of missions, modernizing our practices, reallocating resources internally and seeking new ways of delivering on the government’s foreign policy objectives in an ever-changing world. Innovation, efficiency and effectiveness are the principles that guide the department as it serves Canadians in Canada and abroad.

The government continuously monitors its representation abroad and periodically shifts resources to meet Canada’s needs. We do this to fulfill our commitment to being responsible with taxpayer dollars while also doing our part to eliminate the federal deficit, as announced during the 2011 election campaign.

To this end and as part of the deficit reduction action plan, all departments, including DFAIT, are exploring options to find savings and deliver value for money, and working to reduce wasteful and ineffective spending. Many programs are under review. No decisions have yet been finalized.

Question No. 316
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

January 30th, 2012 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

With regard to the Northern Resident Deduction: (a) what is the current criteria for a community to qualify for the deduction; (b) what was the criteria for a community to qualify for the deduction before Tax Regulation 7303 was amended, as printed in the Canada Gazette Part II, Income Tax Regulations, amendment SOR/93-440; (c) what was the rationale for any change in criteria; and (d) what was the rationale for excluding all previously included remote areas in Newfoundland from the Northern Resident Deduction in both Zone A and Zone B after the change in policy?

Question No. 316
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the northern residents deduction assists Canada’s northern and isolated regions draw skilled labour to their communities by providing recognition for the additional costs faced by residents of these areas.

The current zonal system of tax benefits for northern residents was established following an extensive review of the former community-based system by the 1988 Task Force on Tax Benefits for Northern and Isolated Areas.

Under the former system, eligibility was as follows: all communities north of 60ºN latitude were eligible. Communities having a population of less than 10,000 located between 55ºN latitude and 60ºN were eligible if they were over 80 kilometres by all-weather road from the city or town hall of the nearest urban centre, or they had no all-weather road. Communities having a population of less than 10,000 located south of 55ºN latitude and scoring at least 50 points for factors relating to population, access, vegetation type and climate were eligible if: they had no all-weather road and were over 80 kilometres in a straight line from the city hall or the nearest urban centre with a population of 50,000 or more; or they had an all-weather road and were more than 160 kilometres from the town or city hall of the nearest urban centre with a population of 10,000 or more, and were over 320 kilometres from the city hall of the nearest urban centre with a population of 50,000 or more.

Starting in 1988, the task force held extensive consultations across the country and concluded that determining eligibility for the tax deductions for residents of northern and isolated areas was arbitrary and divisive. Residents of neighbouring communities were being treated differently for tax purposes, even though they often shared common workplaces, services, and cultural and recreational facilities.

In October 1989, the task force recommended a zonal approach, where only communities within a “northern zone” would qualify for tax benefits. The boundaries of the northern zone were delineated with a view to ensuring that communities in the zone had similar characteristics. The task force used objective criteria to compare communities on the basis of isolation, nordicity, community characteristics and environmental factors. The task force also attempted to minimize border delineation problems by having as much separation as possible between qualifying and non-qualifying communities.

The task force recommended a northern zone and, following further consultations, an intermediate zone was added to bridge the gap between the northern zone and the less isolated areas of the country. The approach used by the task force to design the northern zone was also applied in developing the intermediate zone. The same ranking system was used and efforts were made to minimize border problems.

It was recognized that the intermediate zone, in relation to the northern zone, covers regions in which the communities are characterized as being more populated, in greater proximity and less homogeneous, thereby making the task of setting borders more challenging. Given this reality, regardless of where the borders were set, there would inevitably be communities across the country that would be disappointed with their exclusion. It was determined at the time that the final border design incorporated fair trade-offs in difficult circumstances that were deemed workable in a broad-based, national tax system.

The new system of northern benefits took effect starting in 1991.

Since the implementation of the zonal boundaries, the underlying factors used to establish them have remained constant, even in regions where populations (the most variable indicator) have changed in the following years.

Question No. 318
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

With regard to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, how many Temporary Residency Permit applications were submitted to the department by the current Member for Brampton—Springdale before May 2, 2011?

Question No. 318
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the department does not track temporary residence permit, TRP, applications this way; therefore CIC cannot answer the member’s question.

Question No. 321
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

With respect to Minister’s Regional Offices, what is the itemized list of expenses for hospitality, food, drink, hotels and transportation for each Minister’s Regional Office since 2006?

Question No. 321
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, ministers’ regional offices are subject to the “Policies for Ministers’ Offices--January 2011”. Information regarding hospitality, meals and incidentals, accommodation and transportation must be made available through proactive disclosure. This information can be found on individual departmental websites and is updated quarterly.

Question No. 322
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

With respect to the fiscal framework in the year 2015-2016 and the $600 million surplus identified in the 2011 Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections, how will the budgetary balance be affected by government plans to (i) double the value of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and make it refundable, (ii) introduce an Adult Fitness Tax Credit, (iii) allow spouses to share up to $50,000 of their household income for federal income tax purposes, (iv) double the Tax Free Savings Account limit?

Question No. 322
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government’s tax-related campaign commitments, as clearly stated in the 2011 election platform “Here for Canada”, will be implemented when the federal budget is balanced and reflected at that time.

Question No. 323
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

With regard to the 2006 Economic and Fiscal Update’s commitment to work towards the elimination of Canada’s total government net debt by 2021: (a) what progress has been made to date; and (b) what is the current target date to reduce Canada’s total government net debt to zero?