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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Question No. 742Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), there have been 371 applicants for compensation.

In response to (b), the total amount claimed is $10,656,869.54.

In response to (c), fiven the numerous differences between the categories of claims and characteristics of each, it would be imprudent to calculate an average based solely on the number of claims and their total value. The impact of the extraordinary security measures varies widely based on the typical revenue of the claimants, the location of the business and the length of time they were affected.

In response to (d), the auditors are in the process of identifying ineligible claims. As of January 5, 2011, 44 claims have been deemed inadmissible.

In response to (e), because it was impossible to forecast the degree to which the extraordinary financial measures put in place for the G20 would cause adverse financial consequences, the Summits Management Office maintained a sufficient budgetary margin to compensate eligible claimants.

Question No. 745Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

With regard to the government’s involvement in the issue of the electricity transmission system to Prince Edward Island: (a) from January 31, 2006, to December 1, 2010, on what dates were there communications between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island concerning an upgrade to or the replacement of the electricity transmission system between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick; (b) has the Government of Canada made a commitment to the Government of Prince Edward Island concerning funding related to the electricity transmission system and, if so, what is the specific amount of funding committed and on what date was that commitment communicated to the Government of Prince Edward Island; and (c) has the Government of Canada entered into any discussions with the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of New Brunswick or Maritime Electric on the issue of the electricity transmission system to Prince Edward Island and, if so, (i) on what dates did those communications take place, (ii) what were the agenda items for each of those communications, (iii) what were the results of those discussions?

Question No. 745Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Infrastructure Canada has ongoing and regular discussions with regard to a large number of potential priorities for funding under federal infrastructure funds with all provinces and territories, including the Government of Prince Edward Island. As such, it is not possible to provide with any degree of accuracy information pertaining to the dates on which communication took place between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island on a given issue within the 45-day period in which this response would be due.

In response to (b), as of December 14, 2010, Infrastructure Canada has made no commitment to the Government of Prince Edward Island concerning funding related to the electricity transmission system to date.

In response to (c), Infrastructure Canada has ongoing and regular discussions with regard to a large number of potential priorities for funding under federal infrastructure funds with all provinces and territories, including the Government of Prince Edward Island and the Government of New Brunswick. Consistent with section 14 of the Access to Information Act, Infrastructure Canada does not disclose any records that contain information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct by the Government of Canada of federal-provincial affairs, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, any such information on federal-provincial consultations or deliberations or on strategy or tactics adopted or to be adopted by the Government of Canada relating to the conduct of federal-provincial affairs.

Question No. 748Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

With respect to the firing range in Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick: (a) does the Minister of National Defence intend to respect section 10 of the federal-provincial land transfer agreement regarding the former range signed in March 1997 and, where applicable, when will he enforce it, in light of the discovery of unexploded explosive ordinance (UXO) in 2006 and 2008 at a depth of 20 cm in the north section of ammunition-related area (ARA) 7 and UXO in 2006 at a depth of 5 cm in ARA 8, which violates section 7 of the agreement stipulating that ARAs 7 and 8 must be cleared of all UXO to a depth of 45 cm; (b) when will the Department of National Defence undertake additional clearance work in the section of ARA 4 where UXO and pieces of ammunition were discovered in 2007 in order to comply with section 5 of the agreement stipulating that ARA 4 can be safely used without restriction with respect to the possible presence of UXO; (c) when will the Department of National Defence carry out the necessary clearance work to a depth of 45 cm in ARA 1 in order to make this area safe and comply with the terms of the agreement on page C-1 stipulating that no UXO should be present following surface clearance work, in light of UXO discovered in ARA 1 in 2006 and 2007; (d) when will the Department of National Defence carry out clearance work of ARA 10 where munitions debris has been buried and where UXO has been discovered so as to protect the environment and prevent possible groundwater contamination in this area; and (e) what is the status of the initiative confirmed by the Department of National Defence to carry out additional clearance work of UXO between 2011 and 2015?

Question No. 748Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Minister of National Defence intends to respect the federal-provincial memorandum of agreement on land transfer. A residual risk audit of the former Tracadie range has been conducted, and site characterization survey work is ongoing. The requirement for additional risk mitigation measures in some areas of the Tracadie range and to address unexploded explosive ordnance, UXO, management at the former Tracadie range is under way. The Department of National Defence, DND, and the Province of New Brunswick are consulting to define an appropriate action plan. Meetings for this purpose between DND and the Province of New Brunswick have taken place and efforts for collaboration on UXO management are ongoing.

In response to (b), as stated in the memorandum of agreement,MoA), a DND-contracted survey has been conducted of the Tracadie range by qualified professionals. ARA 4 borders other ARAs where the potential for UXO was high. Consequently, the discovery of UXO in ARA 4 is most likely from UXO associated with other ranges that border this area. The requirement for further UXO investigation along border areas has been identified, and additional clearance work may be undertaken as a result.

In response to (c), section 7 of the MoA states that UXO clearance in ARA 1 is to be surface-level only. However, DND remains open to consultation with the Province of New Brunswick in order to explore whether further clearance work in ARA 1 is required, based on the terms of agreement of the MoA.

In response to (d), section 7 of the MoA states that UXO clearance in ARA is to be surface-level only. Schedule C stipulates that buried UXO will remain in ARA 10. Consequently and based upon the terms of agreement of the MoA, there is no requirement to carry out clearance work in ARA 10. In addition, environmental characterization results within the Tracadie range obtained by the Defence Research Establishment--Valcartier demonstrated that there was no risk associated with the presence of energetic materials residues, neither in the soils nor in the biomass present on the range.

In response to (e), the initiative to carry out additional clearance work and risk mitigation measures in specific areas of the former Tracadie range is ongoing. Consultation between DND and the Province of New Brunswick is taking place in order to enable the development of project requirements and options analysis for further UXO clearance at the Tracadie range.

Question No. 770Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

With respect to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the recommendation made by the Special Needs Advisory Group (SNAG) in 2006 that 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. 770Questions 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. As a result of the new veterans charter, the Public Service Employment Act, PSEA, 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. Additionally, Veterans Affairs Canada’s area of selection policy specifically addresses the inclusion of Canadian Forces members.

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 veteran publications and veteran-related websites, 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. Veterans Affairs Canada’s new veterans charter provides two programs that support veterans in reintegrating into the civilian workplace. The rehabilitation program provides vocational rehabilitation to medically releasing veterans, while the career transition program provides career transition services to those who are voluntarily releasing.

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. 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 that 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.

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 14-15, 2006, that recruitment would be reviewed and that Veterans Affairs Canada would follow the lead of the Department of National Defence in opening areas of selection to Canadian Forces members.

In response to (c), as stated above, work has been undertaken regarding the recommendations. As recently as November 2010, the human resources division at Veterans Affairs Canada launched a voluntary survey of staff in order to gather information on the number of staff who are active or former members of the Canadian Forces. As of December 31, 2010, 100 Veterans Affairs Canada employees have self-identified. This number may include medical-release priority appointments noted above.

Additionally, the human resources division conducted a second part to the survey whereby Veterans Affairs Canada employees were asked to self-identify, on a voluntary basis, if they have family members with Canadian Forces experience. As of December 31, 2010, this survey has had 86 positive responses.

Question No. 771Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

January 31st, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

With regard to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, what are the exact, line-by-line details of all travel and hospitality expenses incurred by the Minister and all exempt staff since January 1, 2009?

Question No. 771Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and the exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on the Treasury Board Secretariat website at the following link: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Question No. 772Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

With regard to the Minister of Public Safety, what are the exact, line-by-line details of all travel and hospitality expenses incurred by the Minister and all exempt staff since January 1, 2009?

Question No. 772Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety and his exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on Public Safety’s website at the following link: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/abt/trv_hsp/index-eng.aspx.

Question No. 773Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

With respect to meetings of Cabinet, on which dates has Cabinet met since January 1, 2010?

Question No. 773Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that the dates of cabinet or cabinet committee meetings are considered cabinet confidences under section 69 of the Access to Information Act, unless they have been made public. Two meetings of the cabinet committee on priorities and planning during 2010 meet this criterion: February 3, 2010, and August 3, 2010.

Question No. 777Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

With respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) what was the nature and extent of the public opinion research conducted by any part of the government, or by any other entity and made available to the government either directly or indirectly on this specific takeover or, more broadly, on the application of the Canada Investment Act; (b) what was the total cost; (c) what company, companies or government departments were contracted or engaged in association with this research; and (d) what were the results of this research?

Question No. 777Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Industry Canada did not conduct any public opinion research with respect to the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

Question No. 778Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

With respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) has the government launched or completed an investigation into the leak to former Postmedia columnist Don Martin which led to a column published in the National Post on November 1, 2010 entitled “Investment Canada gives Potash takeover tentative nod” that cited multiple government sources and, if so, (i) what was the nature of the documents or information obtained by Mr. Martin, (ii) did the government find a breach of Cabinet confidence occurred, (iii) who was responsible, (iv) which government departments were involved; and (b) regardless of whether the government conducted an appropriate investigation, what remedial action has been taken to protect against leaks of this nature in the future?

Question No. 778Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, under the Investment Canada Act, the minister responsible has the sole authority to determine the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment. Except for the investor, only the minister can make a net benefit determination public.

Under the act, the minister may appoint a director of investments to advise and assist him in exercising his powers and performing his duties.

Section 19 of the act outlines the responsibilities of the director of investments in assisting the minister in determining the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment:

19. The Director shall refer to the Minister […] any of the following material received by the Director in the course of the review of an investment […]: (a) the information contained in the application filed under section 17 and any other information submitted by the applicant; (b) any information submitted to the Director by the person or entity from whom or which control of the Canadian business is being or has been acquired; (c) any written undertakings to Her Majesty in right of Canada given by the applicant; and (d) any representations submitted to the Director by a province that is likely to be significantly affected by the investment.

Question No. 779Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

With respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) has the government launched or conducted a review of its procedures and practices with respect to the distribution of sensitive information affecting decisions under the Investment Canada Act following the multiple leaks emanating from within the government and, if so, (i) what was the nature of the documents or information that prematurely made their way into the public sphere, (ii) did the government find a breach of Cabinet confidence occurred, (iii) who was responsible, (iv) which government departments were involved; and (b) regardless of whether the government conducted an appropriate investigation, what remedial action has been taken to protect against leaks of this nature in the future?

Question No. 779Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with respect to media reports surrounding the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: Under the Investment Canada Act, the minister responsible has the sole authority to determine the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment. Except for the investor, only the minister can make a net benefit determination public.

Under the act, the minister may appoint a director of investments to advise and assist him in exercising his powers and performing his duties.

Section 19 of the act outlines the responsibilities of the director of investments in assisting the minister in determining the likely net benefit of a reviewable investment:

19. The Director shall refer to the Minister […] any of the following material received by the Director in the course of the review of an investment […]: (a) the information contained in the application filed under section 17 and any other information submitted by the applicant; (b) any information submitted to the Director by the person or entity from whom or which control of the Canadian business is being or has been acquired; (c) any written undertakings to Her Majesty in right of Canada given by the applicant; and (d) any representations submitted to the Director by a province that is likely to be significantly affected by the investment.

Question No. 780Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

With respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan: (a) what was the nature of the exchange of information, including documentation, between the government and (i) the province of Saskatchewan, (ii) the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, (iii) BHP Billiton and its subsidiaries, (iv) any other corporation, entity or individual, (v) other governments, (vi) Parliament, (vii) the public; and (b) what were the government’s communications plan or plans and contingency communications plan or plans with respect to the approval or rejection of the takeover under the Investment Canada Act; and (c) what was the government’s definition of “net benefit” in this particular case and how is it different from the tests applied to previous bids by (i) Vale Inco, (ii) US Steel, (iii) Nortel?

Question No. 780Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, in response to: (a)(i) under the Investment Canada Act, ICA, the minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(ii), the relationship under the ICA is established between the investor and the minister. Information provided during the review process is obtained from the investor and is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(iii), the information obtained from the investor during the review process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA unless it is made public by the investor or the investor consents to its publication.

In response to (a)(iv), where third-party representations are received that could have an adverse bearing on the determination of net benefit, investors are advised of the substance of those representations and given an opportunity to respond to them.

The representations made by a third party are confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(v), under the ICA, the Minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.

In response to (a)(vi), on November 29, 2010, there was a late show motion number 121 in the House of Commons. Also, on November 4, 2010, there was an opposition day motion by the NDP regarding BHP’s proposed acquisition of Potash Corp. The Hansard text for these debates can be seen at: www.parl.gc.ca.

In response to (a)(vii), on November 3, 2010, the Minister of Industry issued a statement indicating that, at that time, he was not satisfied that the proposed transaction was likely to be of net benefit to Canada. On November 14, 2010, the minister issued a statement confirming that BHP Billiton had withdrawn its application for review, thereby terminating the review process.

In response to (b), as mentioned above, the Minister of Industry issued statements on November 3 and 14, 2010, regarding the proposed investment. BHP withdrew its application for review, thereby terminating the review process under the ICA. No decision was therefore made by theminister.

In response to (c), section 20 of the Investment Canada Act lists the factors that the minister must consider in a net benefit determination. They are as follows: (a) the effect of the investment on the level and nature of economic activity in Canada, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the effect on employment, on resource processing, on the utilization of parts, components and services produced in Canada and on exports from Canada; (b) the degree and significance of participation by Canadians in the Canadian business or new Canadian business and in any industry or industries in Canada of which the Canadian business or new Canadian business forms or would form a part; (c) the effect of the investment on productivity, industrial efficiency, technological development, product innovation and product variety in Canada; (d) the effect of the investment on competition within any industry or industries in Canada; (e) the compatibility of the investment with national industrial, economic and cultural policies, taking into consideration industrial, economic and cultural policy objectives enunciated by the government or legislature of any province likely to be significantly affected by the investment; and (f) the contribution of the investment to Canada's ability to compete in world markets.

In reaching a decision on net benefit, the minister considers the investor’s plans and undertakings, other representations from affected provinces, and the results of the consultations held with other federal government departments.

The minister’s net benefit determination is made on a case-by-case basis, based on the merits of each investment proposal.

Question No. 782Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

With regard to the Minister of National Defence, what are the exact, line-by-line details of all travel and hospitality expenses incurred by the Minister and all exempt staff since January 1, 2009?

Question No. 782Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence and his exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details of their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on the National Defence website at the following link: www.forces.gc.ca.

Question No. 783Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

With regard to the Department of Natural Resources: (a) for how many nuclear licenses is the department responsible; (b) since 2006, have any nuclear licenses expired and, if so, where are the sites that are no longer licensed?

Question No. 783Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a),the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for four nuclear substance licenses under the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

In response to (b), since 2006, the Department of Natural Resources has had no nuclear licence expire without renewal.