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House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was funding.

Topics

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today on behalf of MS sufferers.

I will personalize it by saying that I thank all these folks who have signed this petition in the name of my father who died of MS and for Dawn Shen from St. Catharines who has been leading this fight for the ability to have a pilot program in this country on CCSVI.

It is important to give MS sufferers hope and these petitioners are saying to the between 55,000 and 70,000 MS sufferers out there, “You deserve to have hope". I hope the government will hear that and not hide behind some obscure definition of what it means to actually go forward.

What the petitioners are saying is that we must give MS sufferers hope and we must give them hope today.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have had hundreds of MS sufferers outside Parliament today and we are getting thousands and thousands of petitions from across the country. Some of my NDP colleagues stood in this House just a few moments ago. What all of these MS sufferers and their families are saying, 75,000 strong, is that the government must act on CCSVI treatment.

In my case, we are talking about petitioners from Newfoundland and Labrador right through to British Colombia. They are all saying that what the Government of Canada has to do is accelerate the whole pilot program and pilot testing around CCSVI treatment and that it must work immediately with the provinces in order to put into place these pilot programs and testing to help those MS sufferers.

Like my colleague, the member for Welland, my cousin Julie died of MS. I know that many members in this House support MS sufferers across the country in saying to the government that it must act now on CCSVI.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2010 / 3:20 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, as you can see, I will be answering a number of questions today. The following questions will be answered: Nos. 101, 246, 256, 259, 261, 262, 263, 266, 271, 275, 279, 280, 281, 282, 284, 286, 287, 291, 295, 296, 305, 306, 307, 308, 310, 314, 323, 326, 327, 329, 330, 333, 337, 338, 340, 343, 346, 347 and 353.

Question No. 101Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Has Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada completed or contracted to have completed any economic impact analyses of removing barley from the jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board on western grain farmers and, if so, (i) on what dates were the studies completed, (ii) what are the titles of the analyses, (iii) what are the names and positions held by the authors of the analyses, (iv) what are the names of the individuals or organizations the analyses were distributed to?

Question No. 101Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has not, other than the two studies shown below, completed or contracted to have completed economic impact analysis studies on removing barley from the jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board on western grain farmers.

Carter, C.A. March 31, 1993. An Economic Analysis of a Single North American Barley Market. Submitted to the Associate Deputy Minister, Grains and Oilseeds Branch, Agriculture Canada. 60 pp.

In response to (i), the study was submitted on March 31, 1993.

In response to (ii), the study was called “An Economic Analysis of a Single North American Barley Market”.

In response to (iii), the author, Colin A. Carter, is Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis, U.S.A.

In response to (iv), the study was submitted to the Associate Deputy Minister, Grains and Oilseeds Branch, Agriculture Canada, and distributed to interested persons.

The Western Grain Marketing Panel Report, July 1, 1996.

In response to (i), the study was submitted on July 1, 1996.

In response to (ii), the study was called “The Western Grain Marketing Panel Report”.

In response to (iii), the panel consisted of W. Thomas Molloy, Q.C., Jack Gorr, Wally Madill, John Neufeld, Avery Sahl, Bill Duke, Jim Leibfried, Owen McAuley, and John Pearson.

In response to (iv), the report was submitted to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and distributed to interested persons.

Question No. 246Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

With respect to Nancy Greene Raine’s position as Canada’s Olympic Ambassador: (a) what was the total cost associated with the position, broken down by the amount spent on air travel, accommodations, per diem, meals, hospitality, gifts and all other expenses; (b) what government department or agency paid for these expenses; and (c) what were the hospitality expenses for Canada’s Olympic Ambassador, including the names of all recipients of hospitality items or expenses?

Question No. 246Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Senator Greene Raine accepted the position with the agreement that the Government of Canada would pay her travel expenses. Senator Greene Raine submitted a travel claim for $610.60 broken down as follows:

$448.05 for a return trip from Kamloops to Whistler, B.C., in a private vehicle ($0.515 per kilometre);

$83.55 for one day of meal and incidental allowances; and

$79.00 for taxis.

Senator Green-Raine was also provided accommodation in Whistler for 15 nights at a total cost of $8,193.75. These rooms were prepaid by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

In response to (b), the Department of Canadian Heritage paid these expenses as the lead coordinating department for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

In response to (c), no hospitality claims were submitted.

Question No. 256Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

With regard to the Interdepartmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons: (a) when was the last time this group met; (b) how many times has it met since 2005 and when were these meetings; (c) what were the agendas for these meetings; (d) how much has been budgeted for this group since 2005; and (e) what was the composition of this group at its founding and what is its current composition?

Question No. 256Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a),the federal Interdepartmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, IWGTIP, was formally mandated in early 2004 to coordinate all federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Prior to that time, the IWGTIP was an informal group of a few federal departments that focused primarily upon supporting the development of Canada’s negotiating position for the United Nations’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, under the Convention Against Transnational Crime and its subsequent implementation upon Canadian ratification. The IWGTIP last met on May 12, 2010.

In response to (b), the frequency of IWGTIP meetings has varied over the years, rangingfrom as often as monthly to the current approach of meeting at least quarterly, depending upon the nature and timing of activities being addressed by the IWGTIP. As well, informal subgroups of the IWGTIP may meet periodically, as and when required, to support IWGTIP efforts including, for example, to facilitate Canadian participation in the Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, held in February 2008 as part of the United Nations’ Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking, “UN.GIFT”.

In response to (c), the specifics of the agenda for IWGTIP meetings vary, depending on the current activities combatting human trafficking. However, at their core, discussions are focused on the key pillars of the IWGTIP’s mandate: the prevention of trafficking, e.g., the status of current public education/awareness initiatives; the protection of victims; the prosecution of offenders; and, more generally, to provide a vehicle for supporting the Government of Canada’s ability to respond to trafficking in persons both domestically and abroad, and in conjunction with relevant partners. Toward this end, discussions generally revolve around current/completed or forthcoming federal activities, e.g., status updates on related parliamentary business; federal professional training and public awareness activities; federal input to or participation in domestic or international initiatives, member Departments updating the group on their new/ongoing/forthcoming anti-trafficking initiatives, and updates on initiatives/conferences/developments at the domestic and international levels. Many of these activities are noted on the government’s Trafficking In Persons website http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/fs-sv/tp. Over the years, there have also been periodic opportunities for non-federal governmental groups to meet with the IWGTIP to mutually exchange/update each other on respective anti-trafficking efforts.

In response to (d), the IWGTIP does not have a budget. Its operation is supported by participating departments through their existing departmental budgets and operations.

In response to (e), the IWGTIP is currently chaired by the Department of Justice Canada and Public Safety Canada. Its current composition largely reflects its composition since 2004:

Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA)

Canadian Heritage (CH)

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

Department of Justice Canada (JUS)

Department of National Defence (DND)

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)

Health Canada (HC) / Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)

Passport Office

Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC)

Public Safety Canada (PS)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Statistics Canada

Status of Women Canada (SWC)

Question No. 259Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

With regard to the federal Task Force on Illicit Tobacco Products, which reported to the Minister of Public Safety in July 2009 on the contraband tobacco issue: (a) what is the rationale of the Task Force and of the government for rejecting the regulation of cigarette papers and acetate filter tow as a control measure worthy of further examination; (b) what specific recommendations has the Task Force made to the government other than that of rejecting the control of cigarette-manufacturing raw materials besides raw leaf tobacco; and (c) if the Task Force has recommended other actions or initiatives to control contraband tobacco that have not been adopted by the government, what are these actions or initiatives and what is the government's rationale for not adopting them?

Question No. 259Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a) and (b), in May 2008, the Minister of Public Safety announced the establishment of the Task Force on Illicit Tobacco Products. The task force is led by PS and includes departments and agencies that are involved in tackling the issue of contraband tobacco, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, the Canada Revenue Agency, Finance Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

The task force is mandated to identify the facilitating circumstances for each source of illicit tobacco, scope out the issue and what is currently being done to address the problem, identify gaps in our collective efforts, and explore approaches to address the illicit trade in tobacco products.

In July 2009, after extensive consultation with federal partners and industry stakeholders, the task force completed its analysis in which it identifies several options to reduce both the supply of, and demand for, illicit tobacco products in Canada. A copy of the task force report is available on the PS website; however, there are several options that have not been released as they are still under consideration.

One of the options considered by the task force included the increased control of raw materials, including cigarette papers and acetate filter tow, which are used in the production of contraband tobacco products. Upon further examination of the potential control of raw materials, the task force came to the conclusion that, with the exception of tobacco itself, there is no raw material that is exclusively used in the manufacture of contraband tobacco products. For example, in addition to its application in contraband tobacco products, acetate filter tow is also used in the manufacture of gauze and feminine hygiene products. As such, raw materials would be very difficult to regulate without causing a significant negative impact on the operations of legitimate businesses, particularly those not involved in the manufacture of tobacco products.

In response to (c), in July 2008, the Government of Canada joined with all provinces in a landmark settlement concerning tobacco smuggling which saw two major Canadian tobacco companies agree to pay $1.15 billion in fines. As a result of this settlement, the Minister of National Revenue announced a $20 million investment to combat contraband tobacco and to reduce the amount of tobacco consumed.

As part of the $20 million investment, the Government of Canada announced on May 28, 2010, several key initiatives that were developed by the task force to combat contraband tobacco:

$7.41 million for the establishment of an RCMP-led Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit--Contraband Tobacco Team, CFSEU-CTT, operating in Cornwall. The CFSEU-CTT will target criminal networks engaged in the manufacture and distribution of contraband tobacco products, complementing the current enforcement efforts in that region;

$3.48 million for the CBSA to establish a detector dog service focused on detecting and seizing contraband tobacco at marine ports of entry in Montreal and Vancouver, which are the regions with the highest rate of contraband tobacco activity; and

$4.97 million for the Canada Revenue Agency to implement a multimedia awareness campaign, comprised of television, print and radio ads, that will emphasize the link between buying contraband tobacco products and supporting the activities of organized crime groups. The campaign will be deployed throughout Canada with a focus on Ontario and Quebec, provinces with high rates of contraband tobacco consumption.

It is clear that any enforcement, awareness and/or control mechanisms for contraband tobacco requires the continued cooperation and partnership between federal, provincial and territorial governments, first nations governments, the law enforcement community and industry stakeholders.

Question No. 261Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

With regard to the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and the announcement on page 242 of Budget 2010 that “upgrades to infrastructure at the University of Prince Edward Island will create over 300 jobs and inject about $30 million into the economy”: (a) what is the description, including the projected costs, of the upgrades to infrastructure that will take place at the University of Prince Edward Island; (b) what is the outline as to when these infrastructure upgrades will begin and when they will be completed; (c) what is the detailed breakdown of the financial commitments by the University of Prince Edward Island, the provincial government of Prince Edward Island and all other parties involved in funding the upgrades to infrastructure at the University of Prince Edward Island; and (d) what are the details of the process by which the figure of 300 jobs was calculated?

Question No. 261Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the knowledge infrastructure program, KIP, and the announcement on page 242 of budget 2010 that “upgrades to infrastructure at the University of Prince Edward Island will create over 300 jobs and inject about $30 million into the economy”, and

In response to (a), the University of Prince Edward Island, UPEI, project constitutes an upgrade of essential physical infrastructure.

The project will provide upgrades to many campus buildings including many that support research and graduate studies. Specific areas for upgrading include heating and ventilation; fire panels; sprinklers; roof replacements; and elevator modernizations.

Included in this project will be the relocation of the campus aboriginal centre to a larger, more modern space in one of the updated halls. The infrastructure upgrades will also benefit space in which the university’s School of Nursing operates its aboriginal support program.

Federal funding for this project is $2 million with the province contributing an additional $2 million for a total project cost of $4 million.

In response to (b), the most recent quarterly report received from the province indicates that work is under way on a variety of elements included in this project.

In June 2009, work began on some project components, including tendering and equipment procurement. As of the third quarterly progress report, submitted this February, the project remains on track to meet its anticipated July 2010 completion date.

In response to (c), federal funding for this project is $2 million. The province is providing the $2 million in required matching funding for a total project cost of $4 million.

In response to (d), UPEI has received funding under KIP to upgrade essential physical infrastructure at several campus buildings. The total cost of these upgrades is $4 million, of which the federal government is providing $2 million.

KIP is also providing funding to Holland College to undertake a major renovation of the Charlottetown Centre and to construct a new centre for applied science and technology. The total cost of this project is $17 million, of which the federal portion is $8.5 million.

The job estimates provided by Holland College in its submission to the program were that the project would create or maintain 218 jobs by March 31, 2010, and 270 jobs between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. The estimates submitted by UPEI were that 60 jobs would be created over the course of the essential physical infrastructure project.

Adding together the benefits of the two projects, 300 jobs is an estimate of the potential number of jobs to be created or maintained in Prince Edward Island as a result of KIP projects there. Final job figures are to be submitted by institutions in project close-out reports, which are due by June 30, 2011.

Question No. 262Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

With regard to the Advance Contract Award Notice files nos. D1120-09-1116, D1120-09-1120, D1120-09-1121 and D1120-09-1122 of the Public Service Commission of Canada: (a) what are the reasons for changing the contracts into multi-year options; and (b) have Public Service Commission officials consulted with the designated consultants to tailor the contracts to the concerned individuals?

Question No. 262Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Public Service Commission, PSC, did not change the contracts into multi-year options; the original periods of the contracts were for one year with the option to renew for up to three additional one-year periods under the same terms and conditions. The proposed periods of the contracts were posted in the ACANs.

In response to (b), designated consultants were provided a copy of their respective ACAN document in advance in order to inform them of our intention to post information related to them on MERX, the government public contracting system. The PSC also has the obligation to verify that the proposed contractors meet the minimum requirements identified in the ACANs. The PSC did not consult with the contractors to tailor the contracts.

Question No. 263Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

With regard to the development of Prosperity Mine by Taseko Mines Ltd., will Schedule 2 of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations, under the Fisheries Act, be amended to include Fish Lake, also named Tatzan Bay, located on the list of admissible tailing impound areas?

Question No. 263Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the use of a natural fish-bearing water body for tailings and waste rock disposal can only be authorized when it has been determined that there are no other reasonable alternatives and when certain conditions are met, including the development and implementation of compensation measures to ensure that there is no net loss of fish habitat associated with the creation of the proposed tailings impoundment area. Such compensation is a regulatory requirement of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations and it must be determined that it is possible to compensate in order for the amendments to proceed.

No decision can be made on the initiation of the MMER amendment process until the completion of the federal environmental assessment process for the Prosperity Project. Given the potential for environmental effects and the need for full public participation, the Prosperity Project was referred to a review by a federal panel on January 19, 2009 which represents the highest level of environmental assessment.

Question No. 266Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

With regard to the $1 billion over five years for the Clean Energy Fund to support research, development and demonstration of clean energy technologies, included in the Economic Action Plan: (a) for how much of the total Clean Energy Fund have contribution agreements been signed and with whom, (i) for research and development, (ii) for deployment of technology, (iii) for research; (b) which departments or agencies are administering each aspect of the fund; (c) what is the total amount allocated to date for carbon capture and sequestration projects and with whom are contribution agreements signed; (d) if the contribution agreements for the above projects do not include terms for intellectual property for any technologies developed or tested, are any separate agreements signed in that regard and what percentage is allocated to the government for any future sale of such; and (e) are there any other technologies receiving funding for development and deployment from the fund, and how much funding have they received, distributed by technology?

Question No. 266Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the clean energy fund, part of the Government of Canada’s economic action plan, will invest $795 million over five years in research, development and demonstration projects to advance Canadian leadership in clean energy technologies. This includes large-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects as well as these smaller-scale demonstration projects of renewable and alternative energy technologies. Three carbon capture and storage projects have already been announced, totalling $466 million from the fund.

Nineteen successful projects have been selected in response to a call for proposals under the renewable and clean energy portion of the clean energy fund. Up to $146 million will be invested over five years in these projects to support renewable, clean energy and smart grid demonstrations with evidence of collaboration among partners and the potential to reduce barriers to technology implementation. For more information on the proposals under the renewable and clean energy portion of the clean energy fund, please see the following website:

http://www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/media/newcom/2010/201001a-eng.php

For more information on large-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects, please see the following website:

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/eneene/science/ceffep/lsddgp-eng.php

Question No. 271Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

With regard to the closing of Canada Post call centres: (a) how many call centre jobs will be lost in Canada; (b) what has been done to replace call centre services in Canada; (c) is Canada Post looking outside of Canada to replace these services; (d) is there a tendering process in effect to replace these services and, if so, what companies have submitted bids; and (e) if (d) is answered in the negative, why is there no tendering process in effect?

Question No. 271Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), there are 195 full- and part-time permanent employees working at Canada Post call centres. All of these permanent employees will continue to have a job at Canada Post. Canada Post will adhere strictly to the terms of its collective agreements and fully respect all job security and staffing provisions.

The number of contract employees fluctuates depending upon staffing requirements and call volumes. All term contracts will be ended in early 2011 providing close to a year of notification as well as pay and benefits.

In response to (b), the Ottawa and Edmonton call centres will close in 2011. Over time, as full- and part-time permanent call centre employees in Winnipeg, Fredericton and Antigonish retire, leave or find other positions within the company, call center work will be transitioned to the new service provider. Canada Post is outsourcing a significant portion of its external call centres operations to an outside service provider. The request for proposal, RFP, will help Canada Post find an appropriate outside service provider to begin managing its call centres.

Canada Post will work closely with the new service provider to ensure that service levels remain intact.

In response to (c), Canada Post issued a request for proposal concerning its external call centre business in order to find appropriate service provider to manage its call centre business. The terms of the request for proposal ensure that customers will continue to call the same phone number, and that their calls will be answered in Canada by Canadian workers.

In response to (d), Canada Post issued a request for proposal concerning its external call centre business in order to find an appropriate service provider to manage its call centre business. The request for proposal was posted on MERX on June 17, 2010. At the end of the process Canada Post will announce the chosen service provider.

In response to (e), this is not applicable

Question No. 275Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

With regard to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): (a) did the agency conduct a gender-based analysis (GBA) of its new Aid Effectiveness Agenda before its announcement in September 2008; (b) has the agency conducted ongoing GBA of the Aid Effectiveness Agenda; (c) is the 1999 Policy on Gender Equality incorporated in the Aid Effectiveness Agenda and, if so, in what way; (d) is there a statement of intent or policy concerning GBA at CIDA; and (e) what steps, if any, were taken between 2006 and 2010 to ensure the full implementation of GBA and the 1999 Policy on Gender Equality?

Question No. 275Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), a gender-based analysis, GBA, was not conducted on the overall agenda prior to its announcement; however, gender based analyses are being conducted on components of the Agenda as they are developed.

In response to (b), gender equality is an integral part of the agency’s aid effectiveness agenda as a crosscutting theme, and as such, has been integrated into its operationalization.

In response to (c), yes. The 1999 Policy on Gender Equality guides CIDA’s gender-based analysis and promotes the integration of gender equality into all of CIDA’s policies, programs and projects.

As a part of its aid effectiveness agenda and in order to improve the focus of aid, the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA, has selected three thematic priorities. Strategies for two out of three priorities have been developed and announced. A GBA was a key part of the development process for both strategies and as such, gender equality has been integrated throughout the strategy. The third strategy, which is currently in development, is also being informed by a GBA.

Internationally, Canada is an active member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, Development Assistance Committee, DAC, GenderNet working group on Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness to promote the integration of gender equality into the international aid effectiveness framework.

Canada has been engaged in bilateral efforts with developing countries that integrate gender equality into new aid modalities and other frameworks that implement the international aid effectiveness framework, e.g., the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action. For example, Canada is chair or a member of a number of in-country donor working groups dedicated to gender equality and/or women’s issues.

The agency has also produced tools to help officers in the field to better integrate gender equality into aid effectiveness funding modalities, such as program-based approaches.

In response to (d), yes, the 1999 Gender Equality Policy indicates “Gender analysis is required for all CIDA policies and programs and projects. Application of gender analysis will vary according to the nature and scope of initiatives”.

In response to (e), 2006

The Minister of International Cooperation commits to increasing CIDA’s investments in specific programming for equality between women and men. The use of specific programming to target inequalities between women and men is a principle in CIDA’s 1999 Gender Equality Policy.

2007--CIDA’s 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities identifies equality between women and men as one of two areas for enhanced Agency focus.

2007--CIDA makes equality between women and men the central theme in engaging the Canadian public through International Development Week. Engaging Canadians is a means to further advance the objectives of the 1999 Gender Equality Policy.

2008--Evaluation of CIDA’s Implementation of its 1999 Policy on Gender Equality and a management response to its recommendations are completed.

2008--The Minister for International Cooperation accepts to become a champion on behalf of the Government of Canada and as part of the Global Campaign for Millennium Development Goal 3,MDG, to promote gender equality and empower women, which was launched by the Government of Denmark as a means to increase attention and support to MDG 3.

2008--The agency introduces a new mandatory gender equality coding system that measures the level of gender equality integration in every CIDA investment. The coding system is a means to better track how well the agency is implementing its 1999 Gender Equality Policy.

2008--As chair of the Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, CIDA hosts an international consultation with women’s groups in order to better integrate gender equality into the international aid effectiveness agenda. As a result, gender equality is explicitly mentioned in the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, an internationally-agreed commitment to improve aid effectiveness.

2009--As a result of a gender-based analysis, gender equality is integrated into CIDA’s Food Security Strategy, with a focus on smallholder female farmers, and CIDA’s Children and Youth Strategy, with an emphasis on maternal health and girls.

2010--The Minister of International Cooperation announces support to the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, as a means to support the rights of women and girls, a key objective of CIDA’s Gender Equality Policy.

Question No. 279Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

With respect to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits: (a) does the sick leave provision of EI allow for a full 65 weeks for sickness benefits before or after the birth of a child of the EI recipient; (b) is there a policy in existence which states that a claimant is only granted the full 65 weeks if the 15 weeks of benefits is taken before the birth of a child of the EI recipient; and (c) does the government plan to issue a policy directive stating that Canadians who become sick while receiving their maternity or parental benefits are entitled to the full 65 weeks of benefits regardless of the illness occurring before or after pregnancy?

Question No. 279Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when a claimant qualifies for benefits, a benefit period of 52 weeks is established, which is the window of time within which all available benefits may be paid. This applies to all benefit types, including regular, sickness, maternity, parental, and compassionate care. The benefit period ensures that EI benefits are paid within a reasonable proximity relative to the earnings they are designed to replace.

The Employment Insurance Act, EI Act, does provide for some exceptions when specific circumstances arise. In particular, subject to eligibility requirements, 15 weeks of sickness benefits may be combined with 50 weeks of entitlement that maternity and parental provide, resulting in an extension of the 52-week benefit period to 67 weeks, including the two-week waiting period. A claimant may receive sickness benefits before or after receiving maternity or parental benefits; however, the EI Act requires that to obtain an extension to the benefit period beyond 52 weeks, maternity, parental and sickness benefits must start during the original 52-week benefit period. As such, in most cases where the claimant is expected to take the full 50-week combined maternity and parental benefits, sickness benefits must be received prior to maternity and parental benefits.

The provision for combining sickness benefits with maternity/parental benefits was originally included to address situations where women needed to leave work for health reasons prior to the birth of the child. This was to ensure that they did not lose entitlement to parental benefits provided for parental bonding with a newborn child in its first year.

Claimants who have used their full 52 week benefit period before receiving any sickness benefits, are treated like any other EI claimant, and are not entitled to an extension. No benefits are payable once the benefit period has ended and there are currently no provisions in the EI Act to extend a benefit period after it has ended, and their claim has terminated. This applies to claims for regular benefits and all types of special benefits. Once a claim has terminated, an individual would require recent labour force attachment to re-qualify before they could again claim benefits. In the case of sickness benefits, the individual would require an additional 600 hours.

Any proposed change to the administration of EI sickness benefits or the creation of any new program would require careful consideration as to the potential effects on other income supports and on employer-employee relationships.