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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Question No. 84Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

With respect to the use of nuclear power and the Alberta oil sands: (a) what is the government’s position on the use of nuclear power to extract oil; (b) what studies and evaluations have been prepared, requested or commissioned by the government; (c) what individuals, department or organization undertook these studies; (d) what is the cost of these studies; (e) what are the findings and recommendations of these studies; (f) what recommendations does the government agree with; (g) what are the dates of publication or submission, and titles of each of these studies; (h) what environmental assessments have been undertaken with respect to the use of nuclear power in the oil sands and what are the findings and recommendations of these studies; (i) what studies have been undertaken concerning the disposal and containment of nuclear waste arising from power plants that are expected to be constructed in the future; (j) what marketing strategies related to the construction of nuclear power plants have been received by the government from oil and gas companies, including but not limited to Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Energy Alberta Corp; (k) what is the earliest date construction of a nuclear power plant could start; (l) what locations are being considered for construction; and (m) what is the estimated cost of construction for any power plants under consideration?

Question No. 84Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

a) While the federal government has important responsibilities relating to nuclear energy, electricity and the ownership and management of natural resources are under provincial jurisdiction. As such, provinces and utilities, acting under provincial laws, are responsible for determining the generation mix. As well, the provincial jurisdiction over resource management includes the technology by which extraction is performed, including the method of steam production for a steam-based process. Thus, it will be industry, working within the framework of provincial laws and regulations, that will determine whether nuclear energy is used to extract oil from the oil sands.

The Government of Canada regulates all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle including activities, materials and facilities. To this end, the Government has established one of the most stringent regulatory regimes in the world, administered by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNSC. Any proposal to build new nuclear power stations in Canada would have to meet all requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in addition to relevant provincial laws, regulations and policies.

The response to b), c), d), e), f), and g) is as follows: Natural Resources Canada has joined with the province of Alberta and oil sands companies to sponsor an independent study to assess the technical, practical and economic application of nuclear technologies in the oil sands. It is anticipated that the first phase of the study will be completed late this year. The cost of the study is $384,000 with the federal government contributing $96,000 towards the total. The study is part of the “Alternative Energy Solutions to Replace Natural Gas for Oil Sands Development” study. This study on nuclear does not have a title of its own at this time.

h) No Environmental Assessments, EA, have yet been initiated with respect to the use of nuclear power in the oil sands. However, on August 27, 2007, Energy Alberta Corporation, EAC, filed an application with the CNSC to prepare a site for the potential construction of new reactors near Peace River, Alberta. The CNSC will be able to initiate the EA process when EAC’s Project Description is filed with the CNSC. The CNSC has extensive experience with EAs, the first step of this regulatory process, and works closely with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and other federal and provincial agencies to ensure an effective and efficient EA process that follows the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The EA must be completed before the commission can issue a site licence, the first licence in a series for any new nuclear power plant.

i) In 2002, the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act came into force and required nuclear energy corporations to establish the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO, to manage all of Canada’s used nuclear fuel waste– that exists now and that will be produced in the future.

On June 14, 2007, the Government announced its decision to select the adaptive phased management, APM, plan that was recommended by the NWMO for the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste in Canada. The APM plan was primarily designed to handle nuclear fuel waste coming from Canada’s existing reactors. The approach was tested against many future nuclear fuel waste scenarios and it was found to be technically capable of dealing with additional quantities of nuclear fuel waste. The NWMO will continue research and testing to ensure that its plans and programs address new circumstances and remain robust.

j) Energy Alberta Corporation has made presentations to the federal government as well as the House Standing Committee on Natural Resources regarding the company’s plans to bring CANDU technology to Alberta. The government has also received copies of an AREVA presentation, which outlines the potential they see for nuclear in the oil sands. The Government has not received any presentations from oil and gas companies.

k) The applications received for site licences for new nuclear power plants from Energy Alberta Corporation, in Alberta, and Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation, in Ontario, are the first ones to be considered under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. Given the fact that it has been over 30 years since such an application has been submitted for review it is difficult to predict the time that will be needed for regulatory review for these. In the time since the last application was submitted, the technology has changed, the understanding has changed and the requirements and expectations have changed. The review period is also very dependent on the details of the EA and the completeness of the applications for the two subsequent licences, construction and operating, assuming the site licences are granted.

l) According to its application, EAC is planning to build its proposed nuclear power plant on land adjacent to Lac Cardinal, near the town of Peace River, Alberta.

m) The cost of building a reactor in the oil sands will be determined through negotiations between the vendor and proponent; and accordingly, any estimate of construction cost by the Government would be speculative.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

November 22nd, 2007 / 10:10 a.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 Questions Nos. 6, 14, 28, 30, 37, 47 and 69 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 6Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

With regard to the pay equity cases brought before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) in which the government is a defendant: (a) in how many cases has the government, a government agency or a government-funded organization appeared before the CHRT as the respondent in an action involving section 11 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case was began, and if closed, date closed; (b) in how many cases has the government, a government agency or a government-funded organization appeared before the CHRT as the respondent in an action involving section 10 of the CHRA and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case was began, and if closed, date closed; (c) in how many cases has the government or a government agency appeared before the CHRT as the respondent in an action involving the Employment Equity Act and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case was began, and if closed, date closed; (d) how many such cases are still pending final resolution; and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case was began; (e) how many pay equity cases in which the government, a government agency or government funded organization is the respondent are still pending before the CHRT and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case was began; (f) how many appeals of a Tribunal order or ruling has the government made to Federal Court or the Federal Court of Appeals and what was the name of each appeal, the name of the government institution involved and the appeal the case was began; (g) how much has been spent by the government, in total and per year (i) in attorney’s fees defending cases before the CHRT, (ii) in attorney’s fees bringing or defending appeals of Tribunal orders or rulings in Federal Court or the Federal Court of Appeals, (iii) in court costs defending cases before the CHRT, (iv) in court costs when bringing or defending appeals of Tribunal orders or rulings in Federal Court or the Federal Court of Appeals, (v) in attempts to resolve such pay equity cases by methods of alternative dispute resolution (for example the services of a mediator), (vi) in legal fees on pay equity disputes settled outside the CHRT, and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case began, and if closed, date closed, enumerated by year; (h) how much has been spent by the government in total legal fees in litigating Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Treasury Board (Hospital Services Compliant) since the complaint was first filed by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on September 9, 1981; (i) why has a hospital services classification standard which is free of systemic gender bias not yet been adopted as required by the Tribunal’s order issued April 29, 1991; (j) what is the cost to the government of Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Canada Post Corporation (i) from the time the complaint was first filed in 1983 until the Tribunal rendered its decision on October 7, 2005, (ii) of the upcoming appeal in Federal Court, scheduled for November 5, 2007 (estimated cost); (k) how much has been spent by the government in legal fees (i) in litigating Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Treasury Board (Clerical and Regulatory Complaint) since the complaint was first filed by PSAC in December 1984, (ii) in defending this case until the Tribunal rendered its decision on February 15, 1996, (iii) in litigating the government’s application for judicial review of the CHRT’s decision regarding the section 11 portion of the complaint, which was dismissed by the Federal Court on October 19, 1999, (iv) in defending the appeal brought by PSAC challenging the Tribunal’s decision as to the sections of the complaint regarding sections 7 and 10 of the CHRA, (v) since the Federal Court referred the portions of the complaint regarding sections 7 and 10 back to the CHRC; (l) how much has been spent by the government in legal fees (i) in litigating Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Canadian Museum of Civilization since the complaint was first filed in March 2000, (ii) in presenting the government’s preliminary motion to dismiss the complaint insofar as it alleges a breach of section 11 of the CHRA, which was dismissed by the Tribunal on March 21, 2005, (iii) in presenting the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint without a hearing, which was dismissed by the Tribunal on January 13, 2006, (iv) in presenting the government’s applications for judicial review of the two above mentioned decisions by the CHRT, both of which were denied by the Federal Court on June 6, 2006, (v) what is the estimated cost of the mediation between the parties which is scheduled for December 2007; (m) how much has been spent by the government thus far in litigating the law suit filed by PSAC in Federal Court in November 2000 regarding pay equity adjustments for seven P.S.S.R.A. Part II separate employers (C.I.H.R., C.S.I.S., C.S.E., O.A.G., O.S.F.I., S.S.H.R.C., and S.S.O); (n) how much has been spent by the government for the mediation of the unresolved pay equity dispute between PSAC and Correctional Services Canada, which was filed in December 2003; (o) how much is expected to be spent by the government on the dispute between the Treasury Board and PSAC regarding the Program and Administrative Services Group Classification, the complaint having been filed in December 2004, which has currently been referred to mediation by the CHRC; (p) how much is expected to be spent by the government on the dispute between the Treasury Board and PSAC regarding the Education and Library Science Group classification, which has currently been referred to mediation by the CHRC; (q) has private outside counsel ever been retained and, if so, how much has been spent in attorney’s fees paid to private outside counsel, and what was the name of each case, the name of the government institution involved and the date the case began, and if closed, date closed; and (r) what is the government’s projection for the total amount of legal fees to be spent litigating pay equity cases in 2007-08 and 2008-09, and what are the names of the parties anticipated to be involved?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 14Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

With regard to the Northern residents tax deduction: (a) what is Canada's total annual lost revenue for each of the previous five years, broken down by province and territory, through the use of this deduction; (b) what would be the estimated lost tax revenue to the government if the residency portion of the deduction was increased by 50 per cent; and (c) what is the rationale for not ensuring that this deduction remains current with inflation?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 28Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With respect to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP): (a) when did unofficial negotiations on the SPP agenda begin prior to March 2005 and which Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and government departments were involved; (b) which Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and branches of which departments are tasked with developing and implementing strategies to advance the SPP agenda; (c) how often do meetings transpire between Ministers or Deputy Ministers and members of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), what were the dates and locations of these meetings, who was present at each one of these meetings and what were the topics of discussion at each meeting; (d) what financial resources are estimated to be required to adequately fulfill the SPP on an annual basis; (e) how much money has the government committed to the SPP in the last five years; (f) were these funding announcements made public, and, if so, on what dates were these funding announcements made; (g) of these funds, what amount has actually been disbursed annually, and from which government department budget were these funds disbursed; (h) how many person-hours in government departments are dedicated to advancing the agenda of the SPP, working groups included; (i) has an intranet system been establish to facilitate day-to-day communications between participating countries and the NACC; (j) what is the relationship between NAFTA and the SPP; (k) is the SPP considered an extension of NAFTA; (l) have NAFTA committees been folded into the SPP groups and, if so, why and how; (m) what is the most up-to-date impact assessment of SPP negotiations on Canadian regulations and standards in (i) health, (ii) food, food products and food safety, (iii) transport safety, (iv) privacy, (v) energy, (vi) water, (vii) natural resources, (viii) chemical products, including pesticides and herbicides, (ix) financial services and monetary policy, (x) border security, (xi) outsourcing and jobs, (xii) the environment, (xiii) electronic trade, (xiv) the process of building up and maintaining Canada’s no-fly list; (n) what is the status of these negotiations, have some been suspended, and if some have been completed, what regulations were changed as a result; (o) how would those negotiations affect Canada’s public policy space; (p) are any mutual recognition agreements being negotiated under the SPP; (q) what are all the SPP working groups, their focus, the members of these working groups (including members of the government and civil service), and the minutes of their meetings; (r) is it the position of the government that the SPP is beneficial to Canadian sovereignty; (s) what plans does the government have to conduct a public debate of the SPP process, including public consultations with civil society groups, a full legislative review, and a vote in Parliament; and (t) what plans does the government have to brief Parliamentarians on the SPP, if not, why not, and, if so, how regular will such briefings be?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 30Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With respect to the Specified Persons List (SPL): (a) what is the process of establishing the SPL; (b) on whose authority was the SPL created; (c) in regard to the software utilized to manage the SPL, (i) from what corporation or organization did the federal government purchase this software, and (ii) what is the total cost of this software; (d) to what extent is the SPL modelled after the American program Secure Flight; (e) how many names are currently on the SPL and how many names are projected to be on the SPL in (i) one year, (ii) five years, and (iii) ten years; (f) what government department is responsible for reviewing and reassessing the names on the SPL; (g) how often are the names on the SPL reviewed and reassessed; (h) is there a process for compensating (financially or otherwise) people inadvertently included on the SPL and, if so, what is it; (i) will the names of people on the SPL be shared with (i) the United States government, and (ii) other foreign governments; (j) considering that all airlines will lose their landing rights in the United States if they do not use the American “no-fly list,” what benefits does the federal government see in creating a Canadian SPL when airlines will continue to use the U.S. list, as well; (k) how will the federal government ensure the protection of personal information when it is provided to airlines through the Passenger Protect Program; (l) when people are informed that they have been placed on the SPL, will the Office of Reconsideration disclose the reasons why they have been placed on the SPL and, if not, who will; (m) what was the total cost of creating the SPL; (n) what is the total annual cost of maintaining the SPL; (o) is there any empirical evidence that “no-fly lists”, such as the SPL, improve safety and security; (p) if the persons on the SPL are dangerous enough not to be permitted to fly, then why are they not currently incarcerated; (q) has there been an impact assessment of potential racial and religious profiling due to the SPL; (r) what guarantees are in place to ensure that the SPL does not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and (s) will there be a full parliamentary debate on the SPL and, if so, when?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 37Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

With respect to the Investment Canada Act and foreign corporate takeovers of Canadian companies: (a) how many takeovers were approved and rejected on an annual basis from 1993 to 2007; (b) for each takeover, what was the value of each acquisition and the name of the foreign owner; (c) in which year since 1993 did the most foreign takeovers of Canadian companies occur; (d) in terms of the value of the acquisitions sold, which years since 1993 saw the biggest volume of sales; (e) what are the top ten economic sectors to face foreign takeovers since 1993 and how many takeovers have occurred in each of the respective sectors; (f) what is the current position of the government on foreign takeovers; (g) has the Investment Canada Act mandate changed since it was created and, if so, when and how; and (h) in regard to takeovers approved between 1993 and 2007, are there any statistics on the number of jobs affected by these takeovers and, if so, what are they and are unionized positions affected differently than non-unionized positions?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 47Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

With regard to spending by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs: (a) how much spending is allocated per capita for health care (i) proportionally for aboriginal Canadians on reserve compared to non aboriginal Canadians, (ii) proportionally for aboriginal Canadians off reserve compared to non aboriginal Canadians; and (b) how much spending is allocated per capita for education (i) proportionally for aboriginal Canadians on reserve compared to non aboriginal Canadians, (ii) proportionally for aboriginal Canadians off reserve compared to non aboriginal Canadians?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 69Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

With respect to Insite, the Safe Injection Site (SIS): (a) what studies and evaluations about safe injection sites have been undertaken, requested or commissioned by Health Canada; (b) what individuals, what department or what organization undertook these studies; (c) what is the cost of these studies; (d) what are the findings and recommendations of these studies; (e) what recommendations does the government agree with; (f) what studies and evaluations have been requested or commissioned by Health Canada to be undertaken before December 31, 2007; (g) what Heath Canada studies, reports and recommendations have already been presented to the government prior to September 2006; and (h) what amount of funding has the government provided directly, or indirectly, to SIS?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Alleged abuse of Parliamentary resourcesPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of privilege.

On Tuesday, November 20, 2007, my office received a call from a researcher at the Library of Parliament who asked “whether Mr. Boshcoff is travelling this week?”.

The researcher would not provide additional information regarding his request which led my assistant to call the Library of Parliament inquiries department.

An assistant at the inquiries desk explained to my assistant that the researcher was performing his duties in response to a request by a parliamentarian for the following information: one, is there a registry of member of Parliament activities such as committee travel or parliamentarian travel; and two, specifically, is Mr. Boshcoff travelling this week?”.

Mr. Speaker, I must protest this deliberate misuse of parliamentary privileges by the parliamentarian in this issue.

The Library of Parliament's resources should not be misused by any parliamentarian in such a way as to cloak such blatant partisan spying under the cover of parliamentary business.

Please know for the record, I am not faulting the staff of the Library of Parliament. I am very concerned about the effect of this request on my ability to perform my duties as a member of Parliament.

I interpret this action as a form of intimidation; a tactic that takes away my freedom to act in the best interests of my constituents; and a tactic that makes me believe I am under some form of surveillance. Clearly, any member of Parliament would find it very difficult to perform his or her duties under such duress.

In our parliamentary system there are publicly accountable reporting procedures and I completely agree and support these, but this is clearly something that no MP should have to face.

I therefore ask, Mr. Speaker, that this subject matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to determine which parliamentarian is so blatantly abusing the resources of Parliament in an attempt to intimidate me and to ensure that suitable action is taken to address this grievous action.

Should you rule, Mr. Speaker, that this is a prima facie case of privilege, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion.

Alleged abuse of Parliamentary resourcesPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair will examine the material submitted by the hon. member and get back to the House in due course.

The House resumed from November 21 consideration of the motion that Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.