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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Contaminated Water in ShannonPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will follow the lead of my colleagues from now on and present everything at once. The petitions are on different subjects so I separated them, but I have learned my lesson.

I would like to present a petition on the contamination at the military base in Valcartier. I have petitioners from across Canada. For decades, the Government of Canada used chlorinated solvents including TCE on the Valcartier base and these products dangerous to human health ended up in the environment, contaminating the water table that supplies drinking water to a number of residences in the family housing sector and public establishments of the Valcartier military base.

Because the government has known since 1978 about the risks of water contamination and did nothing about it and because a number of people have had resulting health problems, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to recognize the federal government's responsibility. They want the victims to be compensated, the affected sites to be decontaminated, all those who worked at the Valcartier military base and all those who lived in the family housing sector on the base between 1940 and 2002 to be identified and notified that they may have been exposed to drinking water contaminated by these solvents, including and its degradation byproducts, and administer, on a voluntary basis, an epidemiological questionnaire on their health.

SeniorsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present three petitions concerning the FADOQ network. The signatories are demanding the following: automatic enrolment for the guaranteed income supplement, the spouse's allowance and the survivor's allowance; an increase to the guaranteed income supplement of $110 per month for people who live alone and an increase to the survivor's allowance of $199 per month; full, unconditional retroactivity; and a six-month extension of the guaranteed income supplement and the spouse's allowance following the death of one of the beneficiaries in the couple.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

November 15th, 2010 / 3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 381, 383, 386, 389, 392, 395, 396 and 410.

Question No. 381Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

With regard to Canada Revenue Agency's voluntary disclosure provisions, for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009: (a) how many disclosures were made in each of these years; (b) what was the total amount of income declared by these disclosures for each of these years; and (c) how much money was recovered by these disclosures for each of these years?

Question No. 381Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the following is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, with regard to the voluntary disclosures program, VDP, for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Please note that the number of disclosures processed may exceed the number disclosures received for particular fiscal years. This is because disclosures processed refers to the processing activity completed during a particular fiscal year, whereas the disclosures themselves may have been received in a different fiscal year.

For fiscal year 2005-06, the CRA has received 7,629 voluntary disclosures.

The total amounts of income disclosed through the VDP are subject to an examination to validate the proper amount of income to report per disclosure. Therefore, the CRA captures the information following this examination. With respect to the 7,314 voluntary disclosures processed, $651 million in unreported income has been indentified.

As the recovery of funds is an ongoing process, the CRA is not able to provide final figures on the amount recovered for this fiscal year in the manner requested.

For fiscal year 2006-07, the CRA has received 9,011 voluntary disclosures.

The total amounts of income disclosed through the VDP are subject to an examination to validate the proper amount of income to report per disclosure. Therefore, the CRA captures the information following this examination. With respect to the 8,244 processed, $614 million in unreported income has been identified.

As the recovery of funds is an ongoing process, the CRA is not able to provide final figures on the amount recovered for this fiscal year in the manner requested.

For fiscal year 2007-08, the CRA has received 9,137 voluntary disclosures.

The total amounts of income disclosed through the VDP are subject to an examination to validate the proper amount of income to report per disclosure. Therefore, the CRA captures the information following this examination. With respect to the 8,400 processed, $777 million in unreported income has been identified.

As the recovery of funds is an ongoing process, the CRA is not able to provide final figures on the amount recovered for this fiscal year in the manner requested.

For fiscal year 2008-09, the CRA has received 10,639 voluntary disclosures.

The total amounts of income disclosed through the VDP are subject to an examination to validate the proper amount of income to report per disclosure. Therefore, the CRA captures the information following this examination. With respect to the 11,393 processed, $766 million in unreported income has been identified.

As the recovery of funds is an ongoing process, the CRA is not able to provide final figures on the amount recovered for this fiscal year in the manner requested.

Question No. 383Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

With respect to the Enabling Accessibility Fund and the $45 million announced in Budget 2010, since February 2010 to the present: (a) how many applications were successful and received funding under this program; (b) how many and which projects were rejected; (c) for each successful application, what was the location and value of each project, broken down by province and federal electoral district; (d) what is the total cost of administering the program; (e) how much funding is left; (f) how many major projects under this program expanded or will expand existing centres; (g) what is the value of the successful applications for major projects that went towards (i) the construction of new centres, (ii) the expansion of existing centres; (h) how many of the successful funding applications for mid-sized projects went towards (i) renovating buildings, (ii) modifying vehicles, (iii) making information and communications more accessible; and (i) what is the value of the successful funding applications for small projects that went towards (i) renovating buildings, (ii) modifying vehicles, (iii) making information and communication accessible?

Question No. 383Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the enabling accessibility fund, EAF, was first announced in budget 2007 for a government investment of $45 million over three years to improve accessibility in communities by contributing to the capital costs of construction and renovations related to physical accessibility for people with disabilities. The projects must have strong ties to, and support from, the communities they serve. Budget 2010 provided an additional $45 million to extend the program for three years.

In response to (a), (b) and (c), a call for proposal for small projects was launched on July 28, 2010, and closed on September 10, 2010. Applications are currently being reviewed. As of October 15, 2010, no funding has been provided in support of this call for proposal.

In response to (d), the total operating budget of administering the program, as approved by Treasury Board in June 2010 is $4,893,434 over the next three years.

In response to (e), funding in the amount of $40.1 million is available for grants and contributions in support of the enabling accessibility fund until 2013.

In response to (f) and (g), the EAF is composed of contributions for large size projects, grants for small size projects and contributions for mid-size projects. The 2010 budget was exclusively for small size and mid-size projects. As such, there are no major project components under budget 2010.

In response to (h), a call for proposals for mid-size projects was launched on October 28, 2010. Applications must be postmarked by January 13, 2011 in order to be considered for funding. The mid-size project component of the EAF provides contribution funding of $500,000 to $3 million for projects that will create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities through retrofits, renovations or new construction of facilities within Canada that house services and programs that emphasize integration of people with disabilities.

In response to (i), a call for proposals for small projects was launched on July 28, 2010 and closed on September 10, 2010. Applications are currently being reviewed.

Question No. 386Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) what programs at VAC are currently under review; (b) what are the current budget projections for VAC in the next three fiscal years; (c) how many staff or contract workers does the department currently employ; and (d) based on the most current projections, how many staff or contract workers does the department project it will employ for each of the next three fiscal years?

Question No. 386Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Veterans Affairs Canada’s evaluation function is tasked with the responsibility of reviewing various departmental programs, services and benefits that are provided to veterans and their families. Its mandate is to provide comprehensive evaluations of all departmental direct program spending areas on a cyclical, once every five years basis. Currently reviews and evaluations are under way of new veterans charter programs as well as the veterans independence program. For the new veterans charter evaluation, detailed findings and recommendations are expected early in 2011. For the veterans independence program, evaluation is expected to be completed in March 2011.

In response to (b), Veterans Affairs Canada’s current budget projections over the next three fiscal years are: 2011-12--$3,317 million; 2012-13--$3,317 million; and 2013-1-- $3,316 million.

In response to (c), as of September 30, 2010, Veterans Affairs Canada employed 3,843 indeterminate and 216 term employees. In addition, there were 69 casual employees and 219 part-time workers. Casual employees are individuals appointed for a temporary period of no more than 90 working days. Part-time workers are individuals who work less than a third of the normal hours of work.

In response to (d), decisions regarding future staffing requirements will be part of Veterans Affairs Canada’s business planning process. These decisions are expected to take place in late November for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Question No. 389Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to Cascade Aerospace: (a) how many complaints have been made to the Labour Program from January 1, 2000 to September 28, 2010 and on what date was each complaint received; (b) which of these complaints related to occupational health and safety; (c) how many inspections have taken place during the period indicated in (a) and on what dates did those inspections occur; (d) did any of the inspections in (c) result in a stoppage of work or direction to the employer and, if so, what was the reason for the order to stop work or direction; (e) following the direction to the employer made by health and safety officer Betty Ryan on September 23, 2009, under subsection 145(1) of Part II of the Canada Labour Code, did the employer terminate the contraventions by the specified date of October 31, 2009, and, if not, what action was taken by the Labour Program; and (f) will the Labour Program review its handling of the Cascade Aerospace file in light of the time taken to give a direction to the employer after the initial complaint was received?

Question No. 389Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Labour Code clearly imposes restrictions on the disclosure by officials of the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s labour program of information collected by occupational health and safety officers in the performance of their duties under part II, see in particular subsections 144(4) to (5.1). For that reason, it is not possible to provide an answer to all of the questions. However, the following is what can be offered in the circumstances:

In response to (a), 17 complaints were received in the reference period.

In response to (b), five of those complaints related to occupational health and safety.

In response to (c), 10 inspections took place. Inspections can occur during various labour program activities, including complaint investigations.

In response to (d), this is not applicable, subsection 144 (5).

In response to (e), this is not applicable, subsection 144 (5).

In response to (f), the labour program remains active on this file and continues to monitor compliance.

According to the labour program compliance policy, employers are required to inform health and safety officers that they have taken action necessary to correct the infractions mentioned in an AVC. In addition, health and safety officers may verify compliance.

Generally, the accepted time frame for compliance will be 15 calendar days for all corrective action. Failure to complete the corrective actions following an AVC will lead to the issuance of a direction.

In both scenarios, it is possible that some infractions will take the employer longer than 15 calendar days to correct. In such cases, the health and safety officer may accept an employer's written plan of action, including projected completion dates as being in compliance with the AVC.

Question No. 392Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

With regard to the creation of a “University of the North” located in one of the territories: (a) what action has the government taken to determine the (i) need, (ii) benefit, (iii) costs, (iv) potential federal assistance, (v) best location; (b) what efforts have been made to involve each territorial government in such a study; and (c) when will the government make its findings known?

Question No. 392Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a) (i) to (v), since 2001, the federal government has supported the University of the Arctic Canada as a means of expanding access to university education to northerners while the territories build capacity and explore options for establishing a northern university. The University of the Arctic Canada delivers relevant programming in the north, both virtually and through a consortium of colleges and universities, including the three territorial colleges. In so doing, it reduces the need for students to travel south to pursue post-secondary studies.

As the Government of Canada has focused its energies on supporting an existing institution, no federal study to explore need, costs and benefits, potential federal assistance or best location for a university of the north has been undertaken.

In response to (b), no study has been undertaken; therefore, no efforts have been made to involve each territorial government.

In response to (c), while the government has not undertaken its own a study on the creation of a university of the north, the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation is in the process of conducting a study on options for a northern university. An environmental scan has been completed, and key community members and leaders met in Yellowknife in early November 2010 to participate in a dialogue aimed at outlining a shared vision for a future university in Canada's Arctic. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development participated in the dialogue. It is unknown at this time when the results of the study will be released by the foundation.

Question No. 395Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

With regard to funding by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) awarded to COM DEV International Ltd. in the amount of $5,200,000 through the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP): (a) has the full amount been transferred to COM DEV International Ltd. and, if so, when were the funds transferred and in how many instalments; (b) what amount of the $5,200,000 is to be repaid; (c) what are the repayment amounts and timelines; (d) what was the form of security given by COM DEV International Ltd. for repayment of the loan; (e) what conditions were attached to the funding; (f) how many jobs were expected to be created through the funding; (g) will the government release a copy of COM DEV International Ltd.’s application for funding through the SODP; and (h) will the government release a copy of the final agreement with COM DEV International Ltd.?

Question No. 395Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, FedDev Ontario approved a repayable contribution for COMDEV in the amount of $5,218,293 under the southern Ontario development program.

In response to (a), to date, COMDEV has submitted project expense claims and has been reimbursed $4,696,464 in SODP funding.

In response to (b), COMDEV was approved for a repayable contribution. The final amount of funding reimbursed to COMDEV, not to exceed $5,218,293, is to be repaid. I

n response to (c), repayment for SODP projects is managed consistent with Treasury Board policy and directive on transfer payments.

In response to (d), projects involving repayable contributions entail an assessment of applicant financial track record and cashflow forecasts to determine manageable repayment schedules that are consistent with Treasury Board policy and directive on transfer payments. It is not the practice of regional development agencies, including FedDev Ontario, to secure repayable contributions with recipient assets.

In response to (e), Treasury Board approved terms and conditions for SODP are applied to all funded SODP projects. In accordance with the Access to Information Act, supplementary FedDev Ontario conditions for repayable contributions are not made public without consultation with concerned third parties.

In response to (f), the COMDEV SODP project has surpassed the short-term job projection target of 17 jobs with 20 positions currently in place. Additional jobs are anticipated over the longer term to support growth generated through availability of new technology and supply of data services.

In response to (g), in accordance with the Access to Information Act, applications for funding are not made public without consultation with concerned third parties.

In response to (h), in accordance with the Access to Information Act, contribution agreements are not made public without consultation with concerned third parties.

Question No. 396Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

With regard to the Building Canada Fund (BCF) projects in the riding of Kitchener Centre, what is the total number of jobs created or sustained for each project according to reports submitted to the government pursuant to Schedule "C" of the BCF Communities Component Agreement?

Question No. 396Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Infrastructure Canada does not collect this information through any sections or schedules of the building Canada fund communities component agreements with provinces. Analysis on the job creation impacts on the Government of Canada’s economic action plan was presented in the sixth report to Canadians on the economic action plan released on September 27, 2010.

Question No. 410Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

With respect to the recommendation by the Special Needs Advisory Group (SNAG) in 2006 that Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employ veterans: (a) what action has VAC taken to implement the recommendation; (b) what response, if any, has been provided to SNAG on the recommendation; and (c) what analysis has been completed by VAC on the feasibility of this recommendation and what were the conclusions or findings?

Question No. 410Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to (a), in response to the Special Needs Advisory Group’s 2006 recommendation to employ veterans, Veterans Affairs Canada developed a recruitment plan which included a recommendation that veterans Affairs Canada follow the lead of the Department of National Defence and open up internal competitions to Canadian Forces members and that Veterans Affairs Canada open up competitions for executive positions to regular force members and to reserve force members, class B or class C reserve service in excess of 180 consecutive days.

Veterans Affairs Canada’s integrated business and human resources plan includes a priority that recruitment efforts will target Canadian Forces members and that Veterans Affairs Canada will “continue outreach to modern-day veterans for employment opportunities”.

Medically released Canadian Forces members have been eligible for priority job appointments within the public service since December 31, 2005.

Effective April 1, 2006, the Public Service Employment Act was amended to permit serving Canadian Forces members to apply on internal advertised processes, where they are identified as eligible in the area of selection. As a result of this change, all departments and agencies governed by the Public Service Employment Act have the option of identifying Canadian Forces members in the “open to” statement on internal job notices. Veterans Affairs Canada promotes this practice for job notices. Additionally, Veterans Affairs Canada’s area of selection policy specifically addresses the inclusion of Canadian Forces members. When establishing area of selection, human resources consultants provide advice to managers regarding the expansion of the area of selection in accordance with this policy.

The Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada work in partnership to assist Canadian Forces members to transition to civilian employment by making them more aware of, and ensuring that they have access to, public service employment opportunities. Through outreach in veterans publications and veterans-related Web sites, Veterans Affairs Canada provides information on career services and programs, including priority job placement. Medically released veterans are also informed of their priority access eligibility during their Veterans Affairs Canada transition interview at the time of their release from the Canadian Forces.

In response to (b), Veterans Affairs Canada provided a response to the Special Needs Advisory Group on this recommendation at the Special Needs Advisory Group’s meeting on June 14 and 15, 2006. In response to the Special Needs Advisory Group’s 2006 recommendation to employ veterans, Veterans Affairs Canada developed a recruitment plan which included a recommendation that Veterans Affairs Canada follow the lead of the Department of National Defence and open up internal competitions to Canadian Forces members and that Veterans Affairs Canada open up competitions for executive positions to regular force members and to reserve force members, class B or class C reserve service in excess of 180 consecutive days.

In response to (c), as stated above, Veterans Affairs Canada provided a response to the Special Needs Advisory Group. In terms of tracking, Veterans Affairs Canada does not currently have a means nor a legislated mandate to identify or track the application or the appointment of veterans, other than medically released Canadian Forces members, to the department. However, Veterans Affairs Canada is currently exploring options to conduct a survey for employees or prospective employees to self-identify any former military background. Legal, and access to information and privacy issues, are being considered before a possible implementation of this survey.

As for medically released Canadian Forces members, the Public Service Commission has analyzed the number of referrals of medically released Canadian Forces members to individual departments along with the number of subsequent appointments by these departments. The Public Service Commission advises Veterans Affairs Canada rated highest of all government departments in terms of appointment in ratio to the number of referrals: 13.2% of those referred being appointed to positions. Since December 31, 2005, Veterans Affairs Canada has hired 19 medically released Canadian Forces members who were eligible for priority job appointments within the public service.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 376, 377, 378, 380, 382, 388, 390, 391, 393, 394 and 406 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 376Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

With respect to the Canada Summer Jobs program: (a) for each of the 308 federal ridings in Canada, how much money, how many positions and how many hours of work were allocated for the fiscal year 2010-2011; (b) for each of the 308 ridings, how many positions and how many hours were requested for the fiscal year 2010-2011; (c) in mathematical terms, and with all variables defined, what was the formula used in the fiscal year 2010-2011 to determine the funding granted to each riding; and (d) what share of the overall funding, in both percentage and dollar terms, has been paid to ridings in Quebec, for every fiscal year since 2006-2007?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 377Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

What is the total funding allocated by the government to the Saint-Lambert riding, for each fiscal year from 2007-2008 up to and including the current fiscal year, and, in each case, what was the specific department or agency, project, amount and date involved?