House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was panama.

Topics

Calgary Centre
Vacancy
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, namely Mr. Lee Richardson, member for the electoral district of Calgary Centre, by resignation effective June 6, 2012.

Pursuant to subsection 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed a warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill the vacancy.

Commissioner of Lobbying
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour, pursuant to section 11 of the Lobbying Act, to lay upon the table the report of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Finance, regarding its study of the subcommittee's report on Bill C-38.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report it to the House without amendment.

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, regarding its study on expenditures incurred by the members of the board of directors and the officials at the Old Port of Montréal Corporation.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

Abortion
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition in support of Motion No. 312.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.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 following questions will be answered today: Nos. 614, 615, 620 and 623.

Question No. 614
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to events described in paragraph 2.58 of Chapter 2 of the 2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada “Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets” concerning the approval by Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) of a sole source procurement of the F-35: (a) when were senior decision-makers in PWGSC informed that there had not been sufficient justification provided for a sole source contract; (b) why were they informed of this and what was the rationale; (c) who within PWGSC made the decision to ask the Department of National Defence to provide a letter of justification in lieu of a finalized statement of operational requirement or a complete options analysis; (d) why did this letter meet the justification for National Defence’s proposed procurement strategy; (e) was the Minister informed of the use of this letter; (f) if not, why not; and (g) if the Minister was informed when did that take place?

Question No. 614
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), during the early to mid-2010 period, decision-makers at Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, were regularly informed of developments related to the Department of National Defence’s fifth generation fighter jet requirements and proposed sole-source procurement.

PWGSC decision-makers were informed that PWGSC personnel had engaged in discussions with DND, the technical authority, to understand the high-level mandatory capabilities and to determine if a competitive process could be conducted; considered the DND market analysis and met with another potential aircraft manufacturer to discuss their ability to meet the DND mandatory capabilities; and determined that the procurement strategy was in accordance with Treasury Board contracting policy and that this acquisition met the requirements of subsection 6(d) of the Government Contracts Regulations for a sole source acquisition.

Consistent with government guidelines, PWGSC concluded these discussions with DND by requesting and receiving written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

With regard to (b), because of the unique nature of this procurement, including its complexity and value, senior decision-makers were regularly informed about the status of discussions with DND to understand their requirements and assess the possibility of conducting a competitive process.

With regard to (c), the letter provided to PWGSC from the Department of National Defence, as requested by PWGSC acquisitions branch senior staff, was not in lieu of a finalized statement of operational requirements or a complete options analysis. It served as written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force statement of operational requirement.

With regard to (d), PWGSC requested and received a written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

This letter was the culmination of meetings and discussions between staff from both departments during which rationale for a non-competitive process based on key high-level requirements was presented by DND and found justifiable by PWGSC. Based on where we were in the acquisition continuum, this letter was required to document the reason that a non-competitive strategy was being adopted.

With regard to (e), (f) and (g), the minister was briefed leading up to the July 2010 announcement. The context of these briefings was the department’s obligations on the acquisition aspects of the project. Once PWGSC concluded its due diligence process, the minister was briefed on the department’s advice that we were satisfied that the technical authority, DND, had fulfilled the requirement to justify that only one person or company could meet their high-level mandatory capabilities. In turn, these briefings advised that a sole-source exception provided through subsection 6(d) of the Government Contracts Regulations could be invoked.

Question No. 615
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to the use of the term “fifth generation fighter” by the government: (a) is the term “fifth generation” considered to be appropriate for a statement of requirements; (b) is there an accepted and/or objective definition of the term “fifth generation” by the government; and (c) how has the classification of “fifth generation” been used for the proposed procurement of the F-35?

Question No. 615
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the term “fifth generation” is not used in the next generation fighter capability statement of operational requirements, SOR.

With regard to (b), the prolific use of the term “fifth generation” has developed out of an unofficial categorization of fighter aircraft. Various aircraft manufacturers have varying opinions of what constitutes a “fifth generation” fighter. In general, a fifth generation fighter is defined as an aircraft that possesses unique attributes that differentiate it from previous generations of fighter aircraft. This definition is very subjective. Some of these attributes described as “fifth generation” include very low observable radar signature, stealth, which radically reduces detection by enemy sensors; a greater number of significantly advanced sensors embedded in the aircraft, increasing the capability to detect very small targets at extreme ranges; complete fusion of the sensor data and external information, automatically providing the pilot with a filtered and clear overview of the total tactical situation, which allows the pilot to focus on timely, safe and effective tactical planning and action; and secure and high-capacity networking for long-term full interoperability with key allies.

With regard to (c), the SOR, as previously stated, does not use the term “fifth generation.” Some of the mandatory requirements in the next generation fighter capability SOR must be met by advanced aircraft technologies that are being defined by industry as “fifth generation.”

Question No. 620
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

With regard to the Canadian Home Insulation Program: (a) how many buildings were insulated under this program, and, of these, how many were insulated with Zonolite; (b) is there a database containing the addresses of these buildings; and (c) has the government notified the occupants of these buildings of the possible presence of Zonolite in their building?

Question No. 620
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Canadian home insulation program, CHIP, which ran from 1977 to 1986, issued a total of 2,582,392 grants for approximately 150 various types and brands of insulation products. The Government of Canada does not have statistics on CHIP grants paid out specifically for different types of insulation, such as Zonolite vermiculite insulation, because the program was in place prior to the use of databases.

The actual number of homes in Canada containing Zonolite vermiculite insulation is not known. The product was used by many homeowners who conducted home renovations and was available through hardware or housing renovation supply stores. However, the government estimates that Zonolite vermiculite insulation was installed in the attics of approximately 242,000 low-rise houses across Canada.

With regard to (b) and (c), since the Government of Canada does not have a database of homes insulated with Zonolite vermiculite insulation, it has not been able to contact homeowners or occupants directly. However, the Government has taken a number of actions in order to help protect Canadians from the potential health risks associated with Zonolite vermiculite insulation.

The Government of Canada has issued a public health advisory, informing Canadians about the potential risks to health posed by vermiculite insulation containing amphibole asbestos; set up a toll-free public information line, 1-800-443-0395, and website, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/insulation-isolant-eng.php, that have been active since April 1, 2004; issued an information bulletin to health care professionals across Canada and environmental health officers working on reserves; and distributed fact sheets to building trade associations, building supply stores, real estate associations, et cetera.

Through its home energy efficiency retrofit programs, the government has informed, and continues to inform, homeowners when vermiculite insulation is observed during an energy evaluation, and provides relevant publications. It also provides advice to first nation communities on vermiculite insulation. upon request.

In the case of housing for the Canadian Forces, the Department of National Defence has assessed 100% of the Department of National Defence housing portfolio.

The government continues to monitor emerging scientific information on the potential health risks related to vermiculite insulation and will inform Canadians if further information becomes available.

Question No. 623
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

With regard to the Shawinigan Tax Centre: (a) is there a study or report on the economic impacts of closing or maintaining the Centre and, if so, what are these impacts; (b) is there a study or report on the social impacts of closing or maintaining the Centre and, if so, what are these impacts; (c) what are the results of the most recent performance appraisal of the Centre; (d) how does the performance of the Shawinigan Tax Centre compare with that of other Centres across the country; (e) how much would the government save by closing the Centre; and (f) if the government is currently re-evaluating the need for the Centre, when will a final decision be made?

Question No. 623
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) to (f), as part of its contribution toward the reduction of the federal deficit, the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, has examined all of its processes, activities, facilities and operations.

The CRA will not be able to respond in the manner requested concerning the future of any of its processes, activities, facilities and operations until such time as formal announcements have been made in accordance with its contractual obligations as required under the applicable collective agreements--that is, information must first be provided to affected employees and their unions.