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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Question No. 78Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The proposed solvency funding relief regulations, the regulations, provide four options for temporary solvency funding relief, including extending the payment period for making solvency payments to 10 years from five where buy-in is achieved. Where an administrator of a plan seeks the buy-in of its members and retirees, the regulations require plain language disclosure to ensure that all interested parties have the necessary information to be fully informed of the decision they have to make. The disclosure would include, for example, the solvency funding status of the plan, that plan improvements would be restricted for the first five years of the 10 year funding period unless pre-funded, and an explanation of the potential implications of paying off a solvency deficiency over a longer period of time. The disclosure would also include an explanation that buy-in would be achieved where less than one-third of members and one-third of other beneficiaries object to the proposal, and that in order to register a disagreement, an objection would need to be sent to the administrator at a particular address and by a particular date. In the case where a beneficiary has a representative, such as a union that represents its members, the administrator must provide the information to the beneficiary representative, who could act on behalf of its members. Where the buy-in had been achieved, the administrator of the plan would be required to file a written statement with the Superintendent of Financial Institutions that the disclosure had been provided to all parties as required under the regulations and that the buy-in requirements had been met.

Question No. 79Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

With respect to eligibility for Canada Access Grants and Canada Learning Bonds in 2005 or the most recent year for which information is available: (a) how many households were eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement for a child between the ages of 0 and 15 years of age; (b) how many households, with one or more dependent children between the ages of 17 and 25, which filed federal income tax returns, had net incomes low enough that they would be eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement for that child or those children, if that child or those children were below the age of 18; (c) how many households, with one or more dependent children between the ages of 17 and 25, which filed federal income tax returns, had net incomes below $36,000; and (d) how many total children are included in sections (a), (b), and (c)?

Question No. 79Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

The department receives information from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, to determine eligibility for Canada access grants and Canada learning bonds based on eligibility for the national child benefit supplement, NCBS. However, the information received is limited to what is required to deliver these programs, and is insufficient to answer the member's question.

Human Resources and Social Develpment Canada has policy responsibility for the national child benefit supplement; however, Canada Revenue Agency delivers and administers the benefit. The member's inquiry relates to information that would be found in CRA's tax filer database.

CRA has provided to the Canada education savings program the number of children and families who benefited from the NCBS in June 2006. Based on this information, 1,408,889 families and 2,472,726 children aged 0 to 18 benefited from the national child benefit supplement. Of these, there were 268,048 children from birth to age two who were eligible for the Canada learning bond. Note that only those children born after 2003 are eligible for the Canada learning bond. In respect of the Canada student loans program, from August 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006, the program granted Canada access grants to 22,007 students.

Question No. 82Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

With respect to the $11.9 million allocated by the government to the Integrated Grain Processor's Co-operative (IGPC) under the Ethanol Expansion Program, which has been frozen while the climate change envelope is under review: (a) when will the review on the climate change envelope be completed; (b) when the review is completed, will the $11.9 million previously allocated to the IGPC be released and, if so, when; and (c) how much money has already been released to the IGPC?

Question No. 82Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

With respect to the $11.9 million contribution allocated to the Integrated Grain Processor's Co-operative, IGPC, project in July 2005 under the ethanol expansion program, in response to

(a), a short term extension of climate change programs including the ethanol expansion program has now been approved. This will serve as an interim measure until the government's new policy directions have been finalized. The Government of Canada is providing substantial resources, close to $380 million this year, which is comparable to spending last year. Programs, including the ethanol expansion program, belonging to four groups--mitigation, international, policy, and public education and outreach--will have their program authority extended by one year until March 31, 2007.

In response to (b), Natural Resources Canada is now working with the IGPC towards the finalization of a contribution agreement for the allocated funding. Upon successful completion of this agreement, the funding will be released to the IGPC as the project incurs eligible costs in accordance with program terms and conditions.

In response to (c), no funds have been released to IGPC to date.

Question No. 83Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

With regard to the gas tax rebates announced in 2005, will the government uphold the commitment to provide rebates to unincorporated areas?

Question No. 83Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

The government fully intends to uphold its commitment to provide funding to unincorporated areas of Ontario under the transfer of federal gas tax revenues program.

Question No. 84Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Regarding the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) ending March 31, 2007: (a) will the program be renewed past that date and, if so, for how long; (b) or will it be made permanent; (c) will the amounts allocated be increased; (d) will the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on May 16, 2006, be taken into account; and (e) will a strategic plan on homelessness and housing be developed?

Question No. 84Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

The national homelessness initiative, including its cornerstone program the supporting communities partnership initiative, has been extended by one year, to March 2007. This extension will ensure that essential shelters and related support services for homeless people are maintained in urban and rural communities across Canada. Human Resources and Social Development Canada officials will take into account the recommendations made by the United Nations committee on May 16, 2006, as they develop options for the Government of Canada's role in addressing homelessness beyond March 2007.

Question No. 85Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

With regard to the 1% reduction in the Goods and Services Tax (GST): (a) what measures have the government put in place to ensure that the vendors of products with GST included in the price pass the GST cut along to consumers; and (b) how will the government ensure that vendors do not take advantage of the GST decrease to implement a price increase and pocket the savings that were intended for consumers?

Question No. 85Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The Government of Canada does not regulate the pricing of goods and services in the Canadian marketplace. Canadian suppliers and consumers are well informed that the rate of the GST changed to 6% from 7% on July 1, 2006. The competitive aspects of the marketplace determine the pricing of goods and services, including the price of products with GST included.

Canadian consumers are aware that the rate of the GST changed to 6% from 7% on July 1, 2006. Given the competitive aspects of the marketplace, consumers should realize real savings from the tax rate cut. For consumers, savings from the GST reduction will amount to approximately $8.7 billion over the next two years.

Question No. 86Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

With regard to Natural Resources Canada's biofuels incentive program: (a) does the government provide financial incentives for testing biofuels; (b) will the government provide those incentives for tests carried out by any qualified Canadian testing facility; (c) does the government have a preferred supplier for biofuels testing and, if so, how was the decision made to use that preferred supplier; and (d) if there is a preferred supplier, does it carry out tests at the same, lower or higher price than other qualified testing facilities in Canada?

Question No. 86Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

The biodiesel targeted measures, BTM, program under Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, selected the fuels and lubricants group at the Alberta Research Council, ARC, to assist them in providing technical support in developing a biodiesel industry in Canada. The ARC was chosen based on its qualifications and recommendations provided by a steering committee consisting of representatives from Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian General Standards Board.

The objective of the biodiesel work conducted at the ARC, supported by NRCan, was to establish a centre of excellence for biodiesel testing whereby two major program components would include a biofuels quality registry and an international quality assurance exchange program. The overall goal was to promote increased biodiesel use by conducting fuel quality testing of biodiesel samples establishing an accessible database tracking fuel quality metrics for biodiesel fuels and to develop an industry protocol and standard for fuel analysis.

The biofuels quality registry was established to be a national online database and website with analysis results of candidate biofuels being entered into the registry. The information collected is used by Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada to support research and policy activities. Fuels used in demonstration programs, fuels that are commercially available, and in some cases, fuels from process development are eligible for inclusion in the registry. As part of this program, the Government of Canada reserves the right to use this data to compile an annual trends report that will be available on this website. It is important to stress that only certain fuels will be accepted for analysis under the registry. A biofuels technical steering committee, BTSC, consisting of representatives from NRCan and Environment Canada approves all applications for incentives. As part of the biofuels quality registry, an incentive program was established to encourage biodiesel fuel quality testing. The results of the testing will facilitate in the generation of a national database.

Under this program, analytical services are partially subsidized by the biofuels quality registry based on a sliding scale: 70%, first application; 50%, second application; and 30%, subsequent applications.

This quality registry program was only intended to operate for two years ending March 31, 2007. The rates provided for the testing of samples were in accordance with standard industry practices.

The international quality assurance exchange program, IQAEP, is an interlaboratory proficiency testing program. It consists of a series of petroleum related tests, frequent exchanges of a wide range of products, and rapid report turnaround times. It enables customers to monitor their laboratory equipement, test methodology, personnel, and reporting procedures to ensure they are in compliance with international quality standards.

Proficiency testing through an interlaboratory exchange program is an invaluable tool to allow organizations to eveluate their performance in physical testing of petroleum products.

The fuels and lubricants group at ARC was chosen to manange this program because it has coordinated petroleum exchanges for more than 30 years and has no vested interest in the results. Through the administration of the proficiency testing program, we are working to ensure that there are more qualified laboratories with biodiesel testing capabilities.

To summarize the response, in response to (a), yes, the government provides financial incentives for testing of biofuels. These incentives are provided for sample submissions and are based on a sliding scale of 70% first application, 50%, second application, and 30% subsequent applications.

In response to (b), no, these incentives are only provided to the programs delivered under the Alberta Research Council.

In response to (c), the government selected the ARC to carry out fuel quality testing because of its qualifications and the recommendations provided to it by a steering committee consisting of representatives from Environment Canada. NRCan and the Canadian General Standards Board.

In response to (d), the rates provided by the ARC are in accordance with standard industry practices.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

September 18th, 2006 / 3:45 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, if the answers to Questions Nos. 33, 40, 41, 46, 48, 49, 52, 53, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61, 62, 66, 67, 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 81 and 87 could be made orders for returns, these returns would also be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 33Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

With regard to the Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees with the Afghan government: (a) the Arrangement states that it applies “in the event of a transfer”, does the government intend to transfer all detainees to the Afghan authorities, or would Canada retain custody of some detainees or transfer them to recipients other than the Afghan authorities; (b) what is the scope of application of this Arrangement and does it apply to all Canadian troops operating in Afghanistan, particularly to embedded staff officers at Combined Joint Task Force 76 (CJTF-76) in Bagram; (c) do the embedded staff officers at CJTF-76 in Bagram in any way participate in the detention or interrogation of detainees by the United States; (d) how will the Arrangement operate when Canadian soldiers are engaged in a joint operation with Afghan soldiers or police, particularly Afghan Forces; (e) if an Afghan soldier or police officer physically apprehends a detainee or prisoner during joint operations, would it be considered a transfer and would the Arrangement apply; (f) does the government consider that the armed conflict, in which Canadian Forces (CF) are engaged in Afghanistan, is or is not an “armed conflict not of an international character”, as that phrase is used in Article 3 of the Third Geneva Convention; (g) does the government consider that persons detained by CF under the Arrangement could be “prisoners of war”, as that phrase is used in Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention; (h) does the government consider that persons detained by CF under the Arrangement are entitled to have their status “determined by a competent tribunal” as that phrase is used in Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention; (i) if other articles of the Third Geneva Convention or its Additional Protocols apply to CF deployed to Afghanistan, whether by legal obligation or by Canada’s agreement, what are each of them, accurately enumerated; (j) upon detaining a person, will the CF always offer that detained person access to legal counsel; (k) does the government believe that CF detaining non-Canadian persons in Afghanistan must respect section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in so doing; (l) what is the government's position as to the possible criminal culpability of a Canadian soldier if he or she transfers a detainee into Afghan custody and that detainee does indeed experience torture as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Torture Convention, Criminal Code or Canadian military law; (m) does the government consider that this Arrangement guarantees that there will be no further transfers of detainees by the Afghan authorities into the custody of any other government without Canada’s consent; (n) why does the Arrangement not provide a right for the Canadian government or for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission to monitor and inspect detainees after they are transferred to the Afghan authorities, as the government of the Netherlands sought and obtained; (o) why has Canada chosen not to develop and maintain its own detention facility in Afghanistan, or a detention facility operated jointly with either the Afghan government or other NATO states; (p) does the government consider the terming of the document as an "Arrangement" as affecting the document's legal weight; (q) how many detainees have CF transferred to the Afghan authorities since the Arrangement was signed; (r) has the Canadian government requested access from the Afghan authorities to any of the transferred detainees, to verify their well-being, and did Afghanistan agree to the request; (s) does the government consider that this Arrangement is a treaty, consistent with statements made by the Prime Minister as reported on May 13, 2006; (t) what are the personal details regarding the detainees that can be discussed publicly, consistent with the Geneva Conventions and other human rights obligations; (u) given that the Arrangement provides for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to inspect and monitor the treatment of detainees after CF transfer them to the Afghan authorities, does the government now consent to the ICRC sharing the results of these inspections on a routine basis with Parliament and the public; (v) when Canadian operations in southern Afghanistan are transferred to NATO control later this year, will a NATO-Afghanistan detainee transfer agreement supercede the Canada-Afghanistan Arrangement; (w) will the NATO agreement contain all of the rights of visit and notice found in the Netherlands-Afghanistan agreement, and, if not, why; (x) will the government make the NATO agreement available to Parliament as soon as possible, and, if not, why; (y) what additional procedures or safeguards do the CF apply when transferring a detainee who is, or appears to be, under the age of 18 to the Afghan military under the Arrangement; (z) has Canada detained anyone in Afghanistan under the age of 18; (aa) what additional procedures or safeguards do the CF apply when transferring a female detainee to the Afghan military; (bb) whether owing to ICRC inspections or any other source of information, is the Canadian government aware of any instances where a detainee transferred to the Afghan military was subsequently tortured or abused, and if so, what were the circumstances in each case; and (cc) did any government or representatives of any foreign government other than that of Canada and Afghanistan review the text of this agreement before its signature?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 40Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

With respect to the distribution of promotional Canadian materials by the government, including, but not limited to, flags, pins and posters: (a) what was the total value of the materials distributed in each of the last 5 years and the percentage in each year of material that was produced in Canada; (b) what is the breakdown of countries that produced these materials and the value of the materials that were produced; (c) what companies were responsible for shipping the portion of the materials that were foreign-made; (d) what was the value of the portion of these materials that each company shipped to Canada; (e) in which countries are these companies based; (f) what was the overall weight of the portion of the goods shipped from overseas; (g) what protocol is associated with the awarding of contracts for the production and shipment of these goods; (h) what assurances does the government have that any of the materials produced overseas were not produced in sweat-shop-style conditions; and (i) what initiatives have been undertaken to increase the amount of domestic production of these goods since June 2004?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 41Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

With regard to House committee reports on the subject of status of women, how has the government provided action on: (a) the 1991 report titled “The war against women : report of the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare, Social Affairs, Seniors and the Status of Women”; (b) the 1991 government response “Living without Fear Everyone’s Goal, Every Women’s Right”; (c) the 2005 report titled “Increasing Funding to Equality-Seeking Organizations”; (d) the 2005 government response titled “First Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (study on the concerns of women's organizations and equality-seeking organizations)”; (e) the 2005 report titled “Gender-Based Analysis: Building Blocks for Success”; (f) the 2005 government response titled “Second Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women: Gender-Based Analysis: Building Blocks for Success”; (g) the 2005 report titled “Gender-Based Analysis: Building Blocks for Success”; (h) the 2005 government response titled “Funding through the women's program: Women's groups speak out”; (i) the 2005 report titled “Pay Equity”; (j) the 2005 government response titled “Fourth Report of the Committee on the Status of Women, Moving Forward on the Pay Equity Task Force Recommendations”; and (k) the 2005 report titled “Interim Report on the Maternity and Parental Benefits Under Employment Insurance: The Exclusion of Self-Employed Workers”?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 46Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With respect to the $474 million that has not been spent of the $1 billion allocated to federal housing programs in November 2001, what does the government plan to do to speed the flow of federal dollars allocated to housing?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 48Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

With respect to government spending on post-secondary education: (a) is the figure cited by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in the House on May 3, 2006, specifically “the $16 billion for education that is included in the Canada social transfer,” a precise figure; (b) if so, what is the breakdown of that spending, if available, allocated to (i) direct student financial assistance in the form of loans, (ii) direct student financial assistance in the form of non-repayable grants, (iii) indirect student financial assistance, (iv) post-secondary institutions for operating expenses, (v) post-secondary institutions for research expenses and (vi) post-secondary institutions for capital expenses; (c) if the response to (a) is not yes, what is the precise proportion, in dollars and in percentage, of the Canada Social Transfer dedicated to post-secondary education; (d) what mechanism exists to guarantee that the funding for post-secondary education included in the Canada Social Transfer ensures high-quality, accessible education for all Canadians; (e) what is the precise amount of federal spending on post-secondary education outside of the Canada Social Transfer; (f) what is the breakdown of that spending, if available, allocated to (i) direct student financial assistance in the form of loans, (ii) direct student financial assistance in the form of non-repayable grants, (iii) indirect student financial assistance, (iv) post-secondary institutions for operating expenses, (v) post-secondary institutions for research expenses and (vi) post-secondary institutions for capital expenses; and (g) what mechanism exists to guarantee that the funding for post-secondary education outside of the Canada Social Transfer ensures high-quality, accessible education for all Canadians?