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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. 784Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Why did the government not spend the total amount of $200 million allocated to the Green Infrastructure Fund and what were the remaining funds used for?

Question No. 784Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unlike most other economic action pPlan measures, the green infrastructure fund, GIF, was announced in budget 2009 as a five-year $1 billion fund supporting infrastructure projects that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner water. As of December 14, 2010, 18 green infrastructure projects had been announced for a total of $627 million in federal funding.

While $200 million was provided for fiscal year 2009-10 through the 2009 Budget Implementation Act, as reported in the sixth Report to Canadians, not all of this funding was expended. It is important to remember that the GIF is a five year program that funds largerscale strategic projects of national or regional significance. Such projects typically require longer lead time for the planning, engineering and development stages which results in a smaller amount of expenditures in the early years and larger expenditures during the construction phase in the later years.

Moreover, as is the case for all programs managed by Infrastructure Canada, the federal government is a funding partner and does not manage or control the construction of infrastructure projects. Federal funding for approved projects flows as construction proceeds and costs are incurred. Once the federal government has approved the project, the pace at which a project gets built and funds flow depends on claims submitted by the proponent and is not within the federal government's control. Once receipts are submitted, the federal government pays all eligible costs within 30 days.

It is important to note that any unspent funding under the GIF was not lost, but reprofiled to future years to meet the cash flow requirement of our partners.

Question No. 786Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

With regard to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Northside Civic Centre Project in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia, the Sydney Harbour Dredging Project in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Halifax Harbour Dredging Project south of Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia: (a) what are the federal funding sources for each project; (b) what is the amount of funding for each project; and (c) what are the programs for each project?

Question No. 786Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, insofar as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, ACOA, is concerned, with regard to each of the projects listed, in response to (a), federal funding for the Northside Civic Centre in North Sydney, Nova Scotia comes from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, ECBC, and ACOA.

In response to (b) the funding amounts are $3 million from ECBC and $1 million from ACOA.

In response to (c), the funding programs are ECBC’s Cape Breton growth fund and ACOA’s innovative communities fund.

Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

The Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

With respect to the Sydney Harbour Dredging Project in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in response to (a), federal funding for this project comes from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, ECBC.

In response to (b), the federal funding amount is $19 million.

In response to (c), the funding program is ECBC’s commercial development program. The Halifax harbour dredging project south of Point Pleasant Parkin Halifax, Nova Scotia has not received ACOA funding.

Question No. 787Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With regards to the government's outlined plans for coal regulations, tail-pipe emissions and carbon capture storage technology as a way to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), what other initiatives does the government plan to implement in order to reach its own target of reducing GHG emissions to 17% below 2005 levels and bring Canada closer to the internationally agreed-upon target of 6% below 1990 levels?

Question No. 787Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government supports an approach to climate change that achieves real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians. Given the level of integration of the North American economy, it makes absolutely no sense to proceed without aligning a range of principles, policies, regulations and standards.

Some of the steps we have taken as we continue to pursue work towards our target on a sector by sector basis have been noted.

We are moving forward with common North American standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which accounts for about approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Environment Canada published the final Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in the Canada Gazette part II on October 13, 2010. These will establish progressively tighter GHG emission standards for new cars and light trucks over the 2011 to 2016 model years in alignment with U.S. national standards. We are also working on common North American standards for the post-2016 period.

We are also developing regulations to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles; a consultation document outlining the proposed elements of the future regulations was released on October 25, 2010. Regulations will be developed in 2011 for the 2014 and later model years.

The government is also working through its renewable fuels strategy to promote expanded production and use of cleaner, renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. As part of this strategy, the government has finalized regulations requiring an average renewable fuel content 5% in gasoline which came into effect on December 15, 2010. We have also announced that we will implement a requirement for 2% renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil, subject to successful demonstration of technical feasibility.

The Government is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity generation through the application of a stringent performance standard. The gradual phase-out of old and dirty coal-units is expected to have a significant impact on reducing emissions from the electricity generation sector and improve air quality for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Going forward, we will continue to develop and implement climate change polices that make sense for Canada and that are aligned, as appropriate, with those of our largest trading partner, the United States.

Budget 2010 includes new measures totaling $190 million to support a cleaner, more sustainable environment and to help meet Canada's climate change objectives. It includes new measures to promote energy investments and help develop and deploy clean energy technologies such as the $100 million Investments in forest industry transformation initiative which supports the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced clean energy technologies in the forestry sector. This builds on the important investments made under Canada’s economic action plan, which includes $795 million over five years for the clean energy fund in support of clean energy research and $1 billion over five years for the green infrastructure fund for priorities such as green energy generation and transmission, carbon transmissions and storage infrastructure. To further ambitious national goals, the government has also invested $4.2 billion in the eco-energy initiatives to encourage the production of cleaner energy and cleaner fuels and increase energy efficiency.

Furthermore, we are taking important steps through the Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue, CED. The CED has led to enhanced collaboration on the development of clean energy science and technology to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. In addition, as announced at the North American leaders’ summit in August 2009, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are collaborating in a wide range of areas to advance real action on climate change and clean energy, in North America and internationally.

Question No. 789Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With regard to the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program, how much has the Department of Natural Resources spent in each fiscal year since 2006?

Question No. 789Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, please see Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s annual financial reports available at www.eacl-aecl.ca, for this information.

Question No. 790Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

With respect to the Department of National Defence, for every project over 5 million dollars which received money from the department in the last 5 years and which involved incurred or currently foreseen cost overruns of 15% or more relative to the initial predictions: (a) what is the name of that project and details on its nature; (b) what is the history of cost predictions for that project, including (i) dates of predictions reviews and amounts of the predictions, (ii) itemized predictions on the costs of different subparts of that project; (c) what are the reasons for the cost overruns; (d) what are the dates at which Ministers or their close staff were informed of the cost predictions described in part (b), what was the name of the Minister or staffer that received the information and what is a description of the actions taken, if any, by the Minister in reaction to that information; and (e) what is, in percentage (compared with the initial prediction), and in dollars, the final incurred value or the currently expected value of the cost overrun?

Question No. 790Questions 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 Department of National Defence,DND, has conducted a search of the capability initiative database and has identified 1,260 projects over the last five years valued at over $5 million that would have to be analyzed to determine if they meet the criteria of having involved, incurred or currently foreseen cost overruns of 15% or more relative to the initial predictions. Due to the volume of projects and the complexities outlined below, a response cannot be provided in the time available. It is estimated that to provide a full response to all parts of this question would require 40 hours per project--1,260 projects x 40 hours = 50,400 hours--given that much of the information resides with individuals involved in these projects and not in a central database.

In response to (b), costs for projects are formally identified at three phases: identification, preliminary project approval and effective project approval. As such, estimates for initial costs may vary depending on the stage of the projects. This creates difficulty in establishing an initial prediction of the cost of a project depending on what stage of the project is considered. The assumption is that the initial cost prediction would be based on the identification stage of the project as identified in a synopsis sheet. However, some strictly financial submissions do not have a synopsis sheet and the initial cost prediction would have to be determined in some other fashion. As initial predictions of project costs are not always identified at the same stage of the process, it would be difficult to establish a common procedure to identify a baseline initial prediction from which to judge whether or not a project has costs overruns of 15% or more.

Itemized predictions of cost overruns are not stored in the capability initiative database and would require a search by the project director and management of each affected project as well as by financial and corporate services staff. This process would require an intensive manual search for each of the 1,260 projects over $5 million.

In response to (c), in many instances cost changes cannot be attributed to a single factor and may be a result of a complex combination of numerous factors including changes to economic models for inflation, contingency plans, changes to the scope of the project, currency exchange rates, the introduction of the HST and so on. Extensive research for each of the 1,260 projects would be required to produce an analysis pointing to the reasons for cost overruns for each project.

In response to (d), this type of information is not stored in any type of central database and would reside in numerous types of documentation including, but not limited to, briefing notes, correspondence, email records and/or verbal conversations. An extremely detailed and time-consuming analysis would be required for each project to produce this information. As such, it is not likely that this information could be produced for all 1,260 projects.

In response to (e), this information could be provided only after the preceding analyses have been conducted.

Question No. 791Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

With regard to lapsed funds from Environment Canada under Grants and Contributions 2009-2010 and the $31 million in grants and contributions left over from 2009-2010, why has the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences request for funding renewal been refused?

Question No. 791Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Spekaer, the Government of Canada greatly appreciates the work that has been undertaken by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, CFCAS. CFCAS was established in 2000 and has received $110 million from the Government of Canada to support university-based climate and atmospheric research. CFCAS research projects and networks are currently scheduled to be completed in the coming months. In addition, the government granted CFCAS an extension to its mandate, which will allow its operations to continue through to March 2012.

The Government of Canada also invests in climate and atmospheric science through a number of other organizations and programs including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, NSERC, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs Program and the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program. The Government of Canada recognizes that sound science leads to sound policy making and remains committed to supporting climate and atmospheric science in Canada. Within the context of the current fiscal environment, the role of these types of organizations in contributing to Canada’s overall scientific capacity will be fully considered.

Question No. 806Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

With regard to the Department of Transport and, more specifically, the 2007 risk assessment study conducted for the South Coast, including Placentia Bay: (a) how much funding was spent on the study, follow-up and the implementation of the recommendations; and (b) what are the terms of an agreement with Mr. Stan Tobin to conduct a review in Placentia Bay, including cost, scope of work and time frames?

Question No. 806Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Department of Transport and, more specifically, the 2007 risk assessment study conducted for the south coast, including Placentia Bay, in response to (a), this project was initiated by the Canadian Coast Guard and thereafter transferred to Transport Canada, along with the Environmental Response Group, in 2003. Transport Canada managed the risk assessment in full partnership with Canadian Coast Guard. The following is a breakdown of funds spent by Transport Canada over the course of the study:

Annual Spending in Dollars

2005-06--146,247

2006-07--94,170

2007-08--92,921

2008-09--85,295

2009-10--7,135

Total 425,768

The only funding spent by Transport Canada on follow-up and implementation of the recommendations is that allotted to the contract with Mr. Stan Tobin to provide Placentia Bay with an emergency contact plan. See the response to (b) which follows. As of January 2, 2011, a total of $9,270 has been released for this contract.

In response to (b), in light of the recent oil spill risk assessment for the south coast of Newfoundland, Mr. Tobin has been contracted by Transport Canada to review all existing emergency and environmental response plans developed by government and industry for the Placentia Bay area, and to produce a summary report that contains all pertinent contact information.

A sole-source contract was issued to the environmental consultant based on his extensive experience and unique and extensive knowledge of the Placentia Bay area and of Canada's marine oil spill preparedness and response regime. The sole-source method was chosen because it will allow the department to deliver an emergency contact plan to the Placentia Bay community without delay. Further, this will help keep costs to a minimum, as the time required to familiarize another consultant with the history and background of the regime and Placentia Bay area would be significant.

With respect to the cost, as this was a sole-source contract, it was awarded at the financial limitation of $22,100, plus HST, and approved under the financial authority of the Director, Operations and Environmental Programs, Transport Canada Marine Safety.

With respect to the scope of work, Mr. Tobin is required to prepare a summary document of all of the applicable government and industry preparedness, response and contingency plans in place for the Placentia Bay area, with contact information for public use. Further, the document must identify the responsibility of governments that would be involved in an oil spill in the Placentia Bay area, as well as that of industry groups that would be directly involved, i.e., response organization or oil handling facility.

With respect to the time frame, the contract was awarded to Mr. Tobin on October 19, 2010, and will be completed by January 31, 2011.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

January 31st, 2011 / 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 the following questions could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately: Questions Nos. 542, 543, 544, 546, 548, 549, 551, 552, 554, 555, 556, 557, 559, 560, 561, 564, 566, 567, 569, 570, 571, 572, 573, 576, 577, 578, 579, 581, 583, 584, 586, 587, 588, 589, 591, 593, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599, 600, 602, 603, 605, 606, 607, 608, 610, 611, 612, 613, 614, 615, 616, 617, 620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 626, 627, 628, 631, 632, 634, 635, 637, 638, 639, 640, 642, 643, 644, 645, 650, 652, 653, 655, 657, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673, 674, 676, 677, 678, 680, 681, 682, 683, 692, 693, 696, 698, 699, 704, 707, 713, 714, 725, 740, 741, 743, 744, 746, 747, 749, 750, 751, 752, 753, 754, 755, 756, 757, 758, 759, 760, 761, 762, 763, 764, 765, 766, 767, 768, 769, 774, 775, 776, 781, 785, 788, 792, 793, 794, 795, 796, 797, 798, 799, 800, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 807, 808, 809, 810, 811, and finally Questions Nos. 813, 814, 815, 816, 817.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 542Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

With respect to the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s (AAFC) Advance Payments Program (APP) and its Western Canadian administrators, for each fiscal year since 2006-2007, up to and including the current fiscal year: (a) what amount of funding did AAFC advance to each of the APP administrators and how much of that funding was (i) interest-free, (ii) interest bearing; (b) what are the names of the APP administrators with whom the Minister entered into Advance Guarantee Agreements (AGAs), identifying those administrators who complied with their AGAs; (c) when was the government first made aware of breaches of AGAs by APP administrators; (d) how and by whom was the information in (b) communicated to the administrators; (e) what are the names of all applicants who applied to fill positions as APP administrators but were declined, (i) what criteria informed each rejection, (ii) who collected and reviewed this criteria, (iii) by whom, when and how was the applicant notified of the rejection, (iv) by whom, when and how were existing APP administrators notified of the rejected application; (f) what activities has the government undertaken to address the accessibility of advances to producers; (g) what correspondence has the government received addressing the issue in (f), how was this information communicated and by whom; (h) what activities has the government undertaken to ensure producers receive all of the accrued interest from the holdback; (i) how much interest was claimed through the Claim for Reimbursement of Interest; (j) how much money has the government spent on information technologies for the APP’s online system; (k) how much money has the government spent on resolving the problem of duplicate and triplicate APP Identification Numbers; (l) pursuant to section 12.6.2 of the APP Administrative Guidelines, how much interest was paid by each administrator to the Minister for (i) failure to reimburse the loan on the next business day following the day on which the administrator received payment, in whole or in part of those advances, (ii) failure to reimburse its liability within 15 business days following the day of learning of a producer defaulting; (m) how much money has the government spent on dealing with APP administrators who are past the allowable 45 days to submit the End of Production Period report; (n) for each administrator, what was the holdback percentage specified (i) in each AGA, (ii) on each producer application to an administrator; (o) if any of the correlated amounts in (n) differ, what was the justification given in each case for the difference; (p) what percentage of producers have all-perils insurance documentation; (q) what correspondence did AAFC receive from existing APP administrators with regard to proposed new APP administrators, how was this information communicated and by whom; (r) what steps has the government undertaken, when and by whom to ensure that (i) documentation of creditworthiness is included in producer files, (ii) producer and witness signatures are authentic and valid; (s) what amount of funds has been paid to the Receiver General for Canada for the interest AAFC has already paid on advances under $100,000.00; (t) what amount of interest owed to the Receiver General for Canada is delinquent or past the allowable 45 business days of the End of Production Period; (u) which administrators are delinquent on the End of Production Period Reports and for how many Production Periods; (v) what steps has the government undertaken to rectify the “System Default” situation with the APP online system; (w) how much money from all government departments, aside from the APP funds, have the administrators received and from which programs; (x) when were AAFC audits of the administrators conducted and by whom; (y) when and how were the results of the audits in (x) communicated to the Minister; (z) what actions has the government undertaken to ensure that the APP is efficiently managed by AAFC; (aa) what specific criteria does the Minister of Agriculture apply when assessing organizations pursuant to (i) paragraph (2)(1)(b) of the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, (ii) paragraph (2)(1)(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act; (bb) what steps does the Minister take to ensure that all applicants have been provided a transparent and equal opportunity to apply for and be considered for the designation as an administrator while assessing organizations as in (aa); (cc) what steps does the Minister take to ensure that APP administrators currently under contract have complied with the terms of the AGA; and (dd) what steps has the government taken to ensure that the Minister and AAFC do not enter into new AGAs with administrators that are in breach of a prior AGA?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 543Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

With regard to the government’s full-time equivalent (FTE) employees working and studying outside Canada, for each department, agency, board and commission, and for each year since 2006 to the present: (a) how many FTEs are working abroad; (b) how many FTEs are on a temporary assignment outside Canada; (c) how many FTEs are working outside Canada as volunteers; (d) how many FTEs have been seconded to work overseas in international development organizations; (e) how many FTEs are studying outside Canada; and (f) how much money has been spent on training FTEs outside Canada?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 544Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

With regard to Canada’s operations in Afghanistan: (a) what is the cost of private security (i) in total, (ii) for every year since 2006 to the present; (b) for each year since 2006 to the present, what are the names of the private security firms hired by Canada, what is the value of each contract awarded to each company and what is the nature of the services provided under each contract; and (c) what rules and policies apply to the government’s contracting practices with regard to the hiring of private security firms in Afghanistan?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 546Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to every project approved under the Economic Action Plan that was subsequently rescoped: (a) where is the project located; (b) on what date was the project originally approved; (c) on what date was the project rescoped; (d) what changes were made to the project; (e) how much federal funding was allocated to the project (i) before it was rescoped, (ii) after it was rescoped; and (f) what was the rationale for rescoping the project?

(Return tabled)