House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugee.

Topics

Question No. 489
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, with regard to (a), the Government of Canada is committed to delivering programs and services that are efficient and effective, aligned with the priorities of Canadians and financially sustainable over the long term.

These are challenging economic times, and the Government of Canada is working hard on behalf of Canadians towards eliminating the deficit, returning to balanced budgets and improving the services we deliver.

To achieve these savings, the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, HRSDC, needs to change the way it currently does business. This includes moving forward with the consolidation of employment insurance, EI, processing and moving from smaller, more costly sites to larger regional centres made up of 22 sites.

National and regional perspectives were taken into consideration in the selection of the final EI growth sites. This is a national program, and many factors were considered, such as existing labour force, skill availability, bilingual capability, and real estate.

It is important to note that while the 22 sites have been selected, the physical buildings and lease arrangements are not finalized in all cases.

As in the past, Service Canada will work with Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, to ensure real property regulations and guidelines are followed as the department moves forward with consolidation. This phase of the process includes soliciting bids through MERX if new lease arrangements are required.

With regard to (b), Thetford Mines was not chosen over Rimouski for the location of a processing centre. As indicated in response (a) above, both national and regional perspectives were taken into consideration.

With regard to (c), locations did not submit proposals.EI growth sites were chosen by a combination of criteria that identified ideal end-state locations and assessed risk factors related to negative impacts associated with reducing federal presence in communities.

With regard to (d), no dates have been set to formally close the existing EI processing centres. The overall transition, including the allocation of resources, will be business-driven, aligned with Service Canada’s automation agenda.

With regard to (e), the member may refer to response (c) above.

With regard to (f), the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, HRSDC, announced the EI modernization initiative on August 19, 2011. This included the decision on the future 22 EI processing growth sites.

As indicated above, this announcement was not in regard to moving processing centres from one location to another; rather, it was about which locations had been identified as future EI growth sites.

Modernizing our services will mean changes to the way we currently do business, but ultimately it will provide Canadians with greater access to an increased range of information and services no matter where they live.

Question No. 493
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

With regard to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Natural Resources and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador concerning the Muskrat Falls project, given that the government has already stated that, within eight weeks of its receipt of the data room and detailed representations of credit rating agencies for the entire project as defined by the Muskrat Falls Generating Station, the transmission lines, Island link and Maritime link, and a terms sheet for engagement of the capital markets will be completed, and given that the government has already stated that it is working with partners and that the Memorandum of Agreement remains in place; (a) has the government now received the relevant data room and detailed representations from credit rating agencies; and (b) has the term sheet for engagement with capital markets now been completed and, if so, have the capital markets been engaged in the process?

Question No. 493
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources CPC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is fully committed to support the Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects as set out in the August 2011 memorandum of agreement, MOA.

The Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects consist of the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets, the Labrador-island link and the maritime link.

With regard to (a), the Government of Canada has received access to data rooms for the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets, the Labrador-island link and the maritime link. The Government of Canada has also received the analyses and representations by credit rating agencies for the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets and the Labrador-island link projects. Detailed analyses and representations for the maritime link are expected.

With regard to (b), the term sheet has not yet been completed.

The Government of Canada continues to work with its financial adviser, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Province of Nova Scotia, Nalcor Energy and Emera to meet the federal commitment as set out in the MOA.

Question No. 494
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

With respect to the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) program and, more specifically, to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary training in the Pacific region: (a) how many full-time and part-time volunteers worked in the Pacific region from 2008 to 2010, and what are the seasonal variations of full-time and part-time volunteers; (b) how many maritime SAR incidents, classifications M1 to M4, have occurred in Nanaimo—Cowichan from 2008 to 2010; (c) what is the amount spent by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Pacific region; (d) was there an analysis of the impact of cuts to the SAR in the Pacific region, and, if so, what is the result of the analysis; and (e) what was the SAR budget in 2008-2010, (i) what is the projected Coast Guard budget for the Pacific region for the next three years?

Question No. 494
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, with regard to (a), there are approximately 1070 volunteer members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Pacific region, who provide search and rescue services year round. There is no seasonal variation with respect to these volunteers.

With regard to (b), the Canadian Coast Guard does not track specific statistics for the Nanaimo--Cowichan area. The maritime SAR statistics from the broader SAR areas that include the Nanaimo--Cowichan geographical area, Victoria and part of the Juan de Fuca Strait indicate that annually there are an average of 11 M1, 29 M2, 115 M3 and 63 M4 maritime cases.

With regard to (c), Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided $1,003,000 in funding to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Pacific region, in fiscal year 2011-12 through a contribution agreement for reimbursement of SAR operations, training, membership costs, administration expenses and recruitment costs.

With regard to (d), there were no cuts to the SAR program’s Pacific region budget.

With regard to (e), the SAR program’s Pacific region budget was $6.29 million for 2008-09, $6.21 million for 2009-10, and $6.44 million for 2010-11. The projected budget is $6.69 million for 2012-13, $6.69 million for 2013-14, and $6.69 million for 2014-15.

Question No. 498
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

With regard to directives governing communications by Senators, Members of Parliament, and their respective staff, with officials of government (with the exception of communications that involve Ministers of the Crown or ministerial staff): (a) what instructions, protocols or other guidelines are in place regarding such communications for each government department, agency, Crown Corporation, board, and other government body; (b) what was the issuing authority for each such directive; (c) what was the date on which the directive that is currently in effect was issued; (d) are the directives on communications that were referenced in sub-question (a) applicable to all Senators, Members of Parliament and their respective staff regardless of political affiliation; (e) are there any directives on communications that apply specifically to Members of Parliament from the government party and that differ from those directives that apply to Senators, Members of Parliament and their respective staff from opposition parties, and, if so, what are those directives and how do they differ; and (f) has a government-wide directive on such communications been issued to government departments, agencies, Crown Corporations, boards, and other government bodies, and, if so, (i) what does that directive say, (ii) who issued the directive, (iii) when was it issued, (iv) to which bodies does it apply?

Question No. 498
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that the provision of information to parliamentarians by public servants is done on behalf of ministers in support of ministerial accountability to Parliament and in a manner consistent with public service values and ethics.

Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system. Thus, public servants are expected to carry out their duties in a non-partisan and impartial manner and to support ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians.

These principles are reflected in the government-wide guidance on provision of information to parliamentarians that is provided to public servants in the following documents: “Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State”, 2011; “Accounting Officers: Guidance on Roles, Responsibilities and Appearances Before Parliamentary Committees”, 2007; “Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, 2003; and “Notes on the Responsibilities of Public Servants in Relation to Parliamentary Committees”, 1990. The first of these documents sets out the Prime Minister’s expectations and guidance for members of the ministry and, by extension, the public servants who support them. The remaining documents were prepared by the Privy Council Office as guidance to public servants.

The primary method by which public servants provide information to parliamentarians is through appearances before the open all-party forum of parliamentary committees. As the guidance documents describe, public servants appearing before committees do so on behalf of their ministers and must endeavour to maintain public service impartiality and non-partisanship. Specifically, the guidance indicates that the information provided by public servants should consist of non-partisan, factual explanations of government policies and programs; that confidential information should not be disclosed; that questions of a political nature or that engage policy debate or disagreement should be referred to the minister; and that appearances should be coordinated with the minister’s office.

As indicated in “Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State" and "Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, deputy ministers and other departmental officials may, in addition to committee appearances, be asked by their minister to provide factual briefings to parliamentary caucuses on, for example, the technical details of legislation that the government intends to introduce. Such briefings may be initiated by the minister or come in response to a request from a parliamentary caucus. In either case, the guidance makes clear that briefings organized for one caucus are to be made available to other caucuses and that the leaders or House leaders of the parties should be kept informed. The conduct of such briefings is subject to the same general guidance described above with respect to appearances before parliamentary committees.

Departmental officials may also sometimes receive requests for information from individual parliamentarians of all political affiliations. As described in “Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, responses to such requests should be coordinated with ministers’ offices and respect the principles of ministerial responsibility and public service impartiality.

The guidance described above is consistent with the “Communications Policy of the Government of Canada”, which is issued by the Treasury Board and applies to all departments and agencies. The policy encourages departmental officials to communicate openly with the public about the policies, programs, services and initiatives they are responsible for, in a manner that is non-partisan and consistent with the principles of parliamentary democracy and ministerial responsibility. As noted in the policy, ministers are ultimately accountable for the presentation and explanation of government policies, priorities and decisions to the public and are the principal spokespersons for the Government of Canada and its institutions.

To the extent that individual departments, agencies or crown corporations adopt particular practices to coordinate the provision of information to parliamentarians, these are expected to conform to the guidance described above.

Question No. 501
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

With regard to the $291.5 million provided by the government to the International Financial Corporation (IFC) as part of its 2010-2011 commitment under the Copenhagen Accord: (a) for each disbursement of those funds to private sector entities, (i) when was the money disbursed, (ii) how much money was given, (iii) what is the name of the recipient of the funds and the purpose of the funding; (b) what are the conditions that were placed on the IFC by the government with regard to the 2010-2011 funding; (c) has IFC complied with each of the government’s conditions; (d) what is the total value of funding provided for adaptation activities and the total value of funding provided for mitigation activities; (e) what is the total value of funding that was provided in the form of grants; and (f) what is the total value of funding provided as loans?

Question No. 501
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, Canada provided the International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with $285.7 million to be used as concessional financing for a broad portfolio of clean energy projects in developing countries as part of Canada’s commitment to support mitigation efforts.

In addition, $5.8 million in grant financing was provided to support IFC’s advisory services to help remove barriers to private clean energy investment and build technical expertise. For example, this grant financing will support advice to financial institutions to strengthen their capacity to identify, assess and structure loans to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Canada’s investments will support greenhouse gas abatement opportunities and will be deployed to catalyze private sector financing for clean energy projects. Canada will work with the IFC to track the amount of private investment directly mobilized by Canada’s public finance contribution to the IFC, as well as the emissions reductions achieved. This type of innovative approach will be key to achieving long-term financing and mitigation goals.

Canada’s contributions are being managed by IFC’s financial mechanisms for sustainability group, which deploys donor funds on concessional terms alongside IFC investments, as well as providing grant financing for technical assistance and capacity-building.

To be eligible to receive concessional or grant financing from Canada’s contributions to IFC, a project must satisfy IFC’s standard criteria and due diligence. For more information, the investment and advisory services page on www.ifc.org should be consulted.

Question No. 509
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

With regard to the Bomber Command memorial being built in London, United Kingdom: (a) will the government contribute to the memorial; (b) are there plans to assist Canadian veterans of Bomber Command to attend the commemoration of the memorial; and (c) is there a Canadian delegation planned for that event?

Question No. 509
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Veterans Affairs Canada is contributing $100,000 to the Bomber Command Association in support of the construction of the memorial.

With regard to (b), Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Air Force Association of Canada to assist veterans who wish to attend the June 28, 2012, unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, England.

With regard to (c), the Minister of Veterans Affairs will be leading an official delegation of Bomber Command veterans who will attend the dedication of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, England, on June 28, 2012.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

April 23rd, 2012 / 3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, furthermore, if Questions Nos. 467, 470, 471, 472, 476, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483, 486, 487, 488, 490, 492, 496, 497, 499, 500, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508 and 516 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 467
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

With regard to aboriginal communities: (a) how many audits or evaluations were initiated or completed between January 1, 1990, and December 21, 2010, inclusive, concerning grants, contributions or other transfers from any government department or agency, or concerning the financial management or operations, of (i) the Innu nation of Labrador, (ii) Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, including the former Sheshatshiu Innu Band Council, (iii) Mushuau Innu First Nation or Natuashish First Nation, including the former Davis Inlet Band Council and Utshimassits Band Council, (iv) the Innu Healing Foundation, (v) Mamu Tshishkutamashutau - Innu Education Inc., (vi) Innu Business Development Centre, (vii) Innu Development Limited Partnership, (viii) Innu Recreation Complexes Inc.; (b) which department or agency conducted each audit or evaluation referenced in subquestion (a); (c) what was the date of each audit and evaluation; and (d) what are the internal file or reference numbers associated with each audit and evaluation?