This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Because we now have clarification and we have not been asked to revert to orders of the day or to a previous section, but only to have those questions read into the record and to stand, I believe you would find unanimous consent.

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

March 19th, 2007 / 3:55 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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 134, 135, 142, 147, 153, 159 and 163.

Question No. 134Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With respect to the government's plans to establish a national agency for the recognition of foreign credentials: (a) what are the timelines associated with the creation of said agency; (b) where will the agency be located; (c) will the agency establish a database of organizations and institutions from where Canadian schools, professional organizations, licensing bodies, and credential assessment agencies can verify information; (d) will the agency create a clear and accessible Internet portal and a toll free line, which would act as a one-stop shop where immigrants and potential immigrants to Canada could access information about (i) assessment criteria and processes, (ii) educational institutions which serve immigrants who need to upgrade their skills, (iii) how to get proper accreditation in different fields of work, (iv) information on licensing bodies, (v) how to get a license to practice in a regulated profession, (vi) how to get Canadian experience through mentorship or bridging programs; (e) will the agency create a uniform assessment process so that a set standard for credential recognition is in place throughout the country; and (f) will the agency be integrated with Service Canada offices throughout the country?

Question No. 134Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to establishing a foreign credential entity that will support the faster integration and increased participation of qualified internationally-trained workers into the Canadian labour market.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development are working together to deliver on this commitment.

Provincial/territorial governments have jurisdiction over the regulation of skilled trades and most professions and have delegated the authority to regulate most professions and determine licensing and certification requirements to provincial regulatory bodies. However, through the foreign credential recognition program, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories and Canadian institutions to strengthen FCR processes across the country.

There are many partners involved in foreign credential recognition in Canada, including all levels of government, over 400 regulatory bodies, over 200 post secondary education institutions, and five provincial assessment agencies. The Government of Canada will continue to work with its partners who are responsible for verifying whether the education and job experience obtained in another country are equal to the standards established for Canadian professionals.

Service Canada brings Government of Canada services and benefits together in a single service delivery network. Service Canada's goal is to provide one-stop, easy-to-access, personalized service. Improved service delivery to client communities, including newcomers, is being examined and opportunities to use the extensive Service Canada network will be fully explored.

Question No. 135Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With respect to the Tripartite agreement of 1983 and amended in 1985 between the government, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Port Authority: (a) has a certificate been issued indicating that the Bombardier Q400 meets the definition of Short Take-off and Landing; (b) has the Bombardier Q400 undergone test flights using the Toronto City Centre Airport to determine if it meets the six degree glidepath requirements and, if so, when were those test flights conducted and what were the results of those test flights; and (c) how does a commercial airline using ten aircraft and operating 14 round trips each day fit into the definition of general aviation under the tripartite agreement?

Question No. 135Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, tripartite agreement references to a six degree flight requirement only apply to short take-off and landing operations. The Bombardier Q400 is not a short take-off and landing aircraft.

On July 19, 1985, an amendment to the tripartite agreement clause 1(d) added the Dash-8 to the definition of general aviation permitted to operate at Toronto City Centre Airport. General aviation, as it is defined in the tripartite agreement, includes all civil aviation activities undertaken by individuals, organizations or corporate entities engaged in the operation of commercially registered aircraft. The aircraft known under the trade name of Bombardier Q400 is aeronautically classified as a DHC-8 400 Dash aircraft, which is included in the tripartite agreement definition of general aviation, and is therefore compliant with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Copies of Bombardier DHC-8 400 aircraft tests may be requested from Bombardier Inc.

On September 25, 2006, Transport Canada issued Porter Airlines Inc. an air operating certificate. The DHC-8 400 aircraft is a certified aircraft allowed to operate in Canada.

The Q400 aircraft can maneuver and land safely at Toronto City Centre Airport. The Q400 aircraft must operate in accordance with the tripartite agreement restrictions regarding aircraft noise and must abide by the noise abatement procedures published in Canada Air Pilot.

Question No. 142Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

As of January 1, 2007, how much money have Canadian organizations, individuals, or officials received under the Northern Boundary and Transboundary Rivers Restoration and Enhancement Fund (Northern Fund) and the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund (Southern Fund)?

Question No. 142Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, these funds are administered by the Pacific Salmon Commission, PSC. The PSC indicates that the total amount paid to Canadian organizations, individuals and officials is $11,030,409 USD for the period of January 1, 2004 up to January 1, 2007. Expenditures for the Northern Boundary and Transboundary Rivers Restoration and Enhancement Fund, Northern Fund, were $4,785,044 USD and for the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund, Southern Fund, expenditures were $6,245,365 USD.

Question No. 147Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

With respect to the devastation in the Philippines due to four typhoons in late 2006: will the government provide further aid to the government of the Philippines to help its citizens rebuild homes, businesses and infrastructure?

Question No. 147Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, Canada responded swiftly and effectively to the typhoons that impacted the Philippines in 2006 and is continuing to provide assistance to the government and people of the Philippines. The allocation of Canadian assistance directly related to the typhoons to date totals $2.55 million. In addition, Canada is an important part of the international humanitarian system and our financial contributions to the core activities of the UN humanitarian agencies and the Red Cross/Crescent Movement has helped these organizations to rapidly respond to these events as well.

Immediately following the two most damaging typhoons, typhoon Milyeno (Xangsane) and typhoon Reming (Durian), Canada committed substantial resources to specifically address emergency needs, facilitate the recovery of affected communities and enhance preparedness for future similar events. For typhoon Milyeno (Xangsane), Canada immediately allocated $400,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and $150,000 to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives in the Philippines. For typhoon Reming (Durian), Canada immediately allocated $500,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and $500,000 to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives in the Philippines. In addition, in response to a consolidated appeals process for the 2006 typhoons following typhoon Durian, Canada contributed a further $1 million for emergency food aid through the World Food Program to assist up to 100,000 families, 500,000 people, with the provision of supplementary food rations. This constitutes the largest contribution to the appeal from a bilateral donor to date.

Projects funded by the increased allocations to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives are now being implemented by local organizations focusing on facilitating economic recovery of affected households and assisting in small scale rehabilitation of vital public utilities such as schools and day care centres. In addition, projects are also addressing the longer-term need for mitigating and preventive measures for similar future events. Canada is therefore doing its share to help the people of the Philippines deal with the devastation from the typhoons and to be better prepared in the future.

Question No. 153Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

With respect to programs and spending administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) within the riding of Vancouver East: (a) what was the amount spent in 2006; (b) what is the projected budget for 2007; (c) how many CMHC-funded housing units for singles and families currently exist; and (d) how many CMHC-funded housing units for singles and families are planned for 2007?

Question No. 153Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, with respect to programs and spending administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, within the riding of Vancouver East:

Social Housing: In 2006, CMHC provided funding to 4,658 units in the riding of Vancouver East, committed under various programs administered by CMHC, which provides housing for singles and families. Of this total, there are 1,505 units benefiting from a preferential interest rate and some of these units are also benefiting from a forgivable capital contribution grant equivalent to 10% of the original project cost. The remaining 3,153 units are receiving annual funding of $9,009,241.

On June 19, 2006, CMHC signed a social housing agreement, SHA, with the Province of British Columbia. CMHC annual funding contained in the Canada-B.C. SHA is currently some $140 million. British Columbia also received in 2006 a one-time lump sum amount of $24 million for risks associated with future inflation, changes in interest rates and loan losses. The administration of these 4,658 units was transferred to the province on January 15, 2007. The amount of subsidy available in 2007 is dictated by the agreements between CMHC and the various sponsor groups and assumed by the British Columbia Housing Management Corporation pursuant to the SHA.

There may be additional units receiving on-going federal assistance under various federal-provincial programs already administered by the Province of British Columbia which are not included in the above. The province has the lead role for these units and does not report subsidies by project to CMHC. For the first nine months of the year the province had claimed federal funding of some $75 million on these programs, covering some 27,000 units across the province. Effective October 1, 2006, CMHC started to advance SHA funding for these units.

Renovation Programs: For 2006/2007, British Columbia’s allocation for CMHC’s suite of renovation programs is approximately $16.2 million. On December 19, 2006, the Government of Canada announced a $256 million, two-year extension of these renovation programs, effective April 1, 2007. The funding will help improve the quality of housing for an additional 38,000 low-income households in all regions of Canada.

Under federal renovation programs in the riding of Vancouver East, some $4,296,986 has been committed for 263 units in 2006. CMHC is unable to provide a forecast of how many units and dollars will be committed in 2007, since this will depend on the number of applications approved.

Affordable Housing Initiative/Canada-BC Affordable Housing Program Agreement: Under the $1 billion affordable housing initiative, AHI, over $130 million has been allocated to British Columbia. As of December 31, 2006, 4,432 affordable housing units had been committed or announced, representing federal funding of $126.4 million. The Province of British Columbia and others are matching federal AHI investments.

British Columbia Housing administers the Canada-British-Columbia Affordable Housing Program Agreement. According to information provided by B.C. Housing, in 2006 there has been one commitment for 92 units and representing $4,700,000 in CMHC funding under this program in the riding of Vancouver East. B.C. Housing is not required to provide forecasts of units planned by riding to CMHC, but it does report on projects approved during the year.

Housing Trusts: The 2006 budget provides for a one time investment of $1.4 billion towards helping Canadians find safe, adequate and affordable housing in all provinces and territories. This investment is being made through three housing trusts with provinces and territories to invest in affordable housing. This includes an affordable housing trust of $800 million, a northern housing trust of $300 million and a trust for off reserve aboriginal housing of $300 million. Funding for these housing trusts, which was confirmed on September 25, 2006, will be allocated over three years. B.C.'s share of this funding is $156.9 million.

Question No. 159Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With regard to the Canada Student Loans Program, in the last five years: (a) how many students living in the constituency of Trinity—Spadina have declared bankruptcy due to defaulted student loans; (b) how many loans have been sent to collection agencies within the constituency; and (c) how much has the government spent on collection agencies mandated to collect defaulted student loan money from students residing within the constituency?

Question No. 159Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, please note the responses below are based on postal codes located within the Trinity--Spadina constituency. Some of these postal codes may overlap a different constituency since our information is limited in terms of constituency boundaries.

a) It is not possible to provide an answer to this question, as bankrupts may have several debts that lead them to declare bankruptcy. However, in the last five years, the number of students with Canada student loans residing in the constituency of Trinity-Spadina and who have declared bankruptcy is 5.

b) In the last five years, 70 borrowers residing within the Trinity-Spadina constituency had their student loans sent to collection agencies.

c) In the last five years, the government has paid $1,104.96 to the collection agencies to collect defaulted student loans from students residing in Trinity-Spadina.

Question No. 163Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

With respect to the recent wind storms in British Columbia and the need for disaster relief funding other than for Stanley Park, how much has the government committed to the Province of British Columbia for disaster relief?

Question No. 163Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada has not committed any money to date under the disaster financial assistance arrangements, DFAA, to British Columbia for the recent wind storms because, as of yet, the province has not requested federal financial assistance for these events. Under the terms and conditions of the DFAA, the affected province or territory must request federal assistance and, based on the request, an order in council must be approved declaring the event to be of concern to the federal government and authorizing federal financial assistance under the DFAA, before any DFAA payments can be made.

If federal financial assistance under the DFAA is approved for the wind storms that have affected British Columbia, the cost sharing of eligible provincial expenditures will be made according to the established DFAA formula.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 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 Questions Nos. 136, 137, 139, 140, 148, 152, 160 and 172 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 136Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

With respect to its Policy on Responsible Investing adopted in October 2005, has the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board engaged in industry dialogue, proxy voting, shareholder motions, or direct engagement with (i) British American Tobacco, (ii) Altria, (iii) Rothmans, (iv) Japan Tobacco, (v) Ivanhoe Mines, (iv) Wal-mart, (v) Lockheed Martin, (vi) Exxon, (vii) Molson Coors, (viii) Nestle; and, if so, what were the results in each case?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 137Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

With respect to the sale in Canada of tobacco products on which excise and sales taxes have not been fully paid since February 6, 2006, has the government: (a) developed estimates of the quantities of untaxed tobacco products sold in each province and in each month and, if so, what were those estimates by provinces for each month; (b) considered implementing policies and measures to (i) revoke the federal tobacco manufacturer licence if the manufacturer is operating illegally, including if the manufacturer does not comply with provincial legislation, (ii) prohibit the supply of raw materials such as raw leaf tobacco, cigarette filters and paper and electricity to unlicensed tobacco manufacturers, (iii) increase the minimum bond for all tobacco manufacturers to at least $2 million and make such bonds forfeitable if a manufacturer is non-compliant with the law, (iv) improve tobacco package tax marking systems, including a full tracking and tracing system, (v) ensure that provincial tobacco tax is collected on native produced product on which federal tax is collected, (vi) combine the current federal GST and excise tax charged on tobacco products with a single higher excise tax rate, (vii) persuade the American government to shut down the illegal tobacco manufacturing facilities on the New York State side of Akwesasne reserve, (viii) initiate government-to-government negotiations with First Nations governments to control smuggling and invite First Nations governments to implement the effective tobacco control measures included in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and, if so, what were the results or actions taken in each case and, if not, what was the rationale for not doing so?

(Return tabled)