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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libya.

Topics

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by dozens of people from Markham, Pickering, Oshawa, Montreal, Laval and Saint-Hubert.

The petitioners urgently call on the Government of Canada to accelerate a greater and broader participation of multiple sclerosis sufferers in a pilot testing and treatment by providing fast-track funding, to work immediately with the provinces and territories through the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies, and to take a leading role on the basis of this evidence and encouraging the swift adoption of a procedure in the territories and provinces.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I also rise in the House today, along with a lot of my colleagues, to table a petition from more than 100 Canadians calling for federal leadership and action on the new treatment for multiple sclerosis.

With respect to multiple sclerosis, a high percentage occurs just outside and around the city of Edmonton. An increasing number of people are suffering from this disease. I am proud to say that the Government of Alberta has stepped up to at least follow up on these operations.

I encourage the Government of Canada to show leadership and expedite further testing and piloting of this intervention.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition relating to enhanced treatments for MS under the CCSVI treatment regime.

Almost 100,000 people across Canada have MS. This comes at a time when most people are in the prime of their life. This special procedure was developed in Italy by Dr. Zamboni. We could and should be developing this procedure here in Canada so that our MS suffers have hope and do not need to go abroad.

Air CanadaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my petition is signed by machinists from the Air Canada overhaul base in Winnipeg. Over 500 full-time employees may be finding their jobs ending up in El Salvador.

Air Canada failed in its duty to comply with the Air Canada Public Participation Act by selling its overhaul bases to Aveos, formerly known as ACTS, in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.

On December 14, 2010, Air Canada counsel, at the transport committee in this House, claimed that Aeroman, the Aveos' subsidiary in El Salvador, could not do Air Canada maintenance in El Salvador. This is totally untrue as Aeroman performs maintenance on exactly the same aircraft that is overhauled in Winnipeg, namely the A320 series and the Embraer. The El Salvador shops can maintain 87% of Air Canada's fleet.

In a confidential J.P. Morgan information memorandum from February 2007, which attracted equity investors into the company, it detailed the expansion plan in El Salvador going from four to sixteen lines.

Aveos has four lines in Vancouver, four in Montreal, one in Toronto and five in Winnipeg, for a total of 14. In El Salvador alone, it will have 16 lines, more than all of Canada combined. San Salvador overhauls exactly the same narrow-bodied planes, the A320s, as Winnipeg and Montreal does.

In fact, page 28 states that the narrow-bodied aircraft can travel to Central America for service. The report states that the aircraft overhaul schedules are months and years in advance, so it is easy to schedule the work in El Salvador.

When we consider the machinists in Canada cost Air Canada about $90 an hour and in El Salvador--

Air CanadaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member wants to give a brief summary of the petition. I submit that reading in a report is irrelevant. If he would like to give a brief summary of the petition, I would urge him to comply with the rules in that respect.

I assume he tabled the petition. I did not hear that but I will assume that.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

March 21st, 2011 / 3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 824, 830, 832, 834, 835, 837, 840, 841, 848, 852, 884, 885, 888, 889, 903, 905, 906, 914, and 916.

Question No. 824Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

With regard to the investigation and prosecution of all licensed Canadian sealers who were charged under the Fisheries Act or the Marine Mammal Regulations as a result of actions taken by the sealers during the 1996 harvest of a category of Hooded Seals known as “Bluebacks”: (a) how many licensed sealers were originally charged due to actions arising from the harvesting of this class of hooded seal; (b) what was the final year in which the prosecution of any sealer from this group concluded; (c) how many were convicted of any offence during the course of this prosecution and what were they convicted of; (d) what specific regulation or statutory provision were they originally charged with and what regulation or statutory provision were they convicted of; (e) what is the total cost of both the investigation and the prosecution of these charges, broken down by each department or agency involved in any aspect of the investigation or prosecution of these charges; and (f) what is the description of any changes made to the Marine Mammal regulations subsequent to the conclusion of these cases and originating from circumstances made clear during the course of this investigation and prosecution?

Question No. 824Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 75 individual fishermen were charged.

Regarding (b), the last two individuals’ violation files were closed on December 23, 2010. The files state the trials started on March 16 and 17, 2004 respectively. Charges were laid in November 1996.

Regarding (c), 65 individuals were found guilty and given an absolute discharge. One individual was found not guilty. Charges against nine individuals were withdrawn by the Crown.

Regarding (d), the individuals were charged and convicted pursuant to section 27 of the marine mammal regulations, which states: No person other than a beneficiary shall sell, trade or barter a whitecoat or blueback.

In response to (e), unfortunately, this information is not available as the information was never tabulated in that format. Departmental financial records such as travel claims would be shredded for such dated expenses, a lot of the fishery officers involved are retired and, in some cases, deceased. Salaries are part of integrated budgets and are not itemized in a manner that breaks out what portion is attributed to a particular investigation or prosecution. It would be very difficult to provide an estimate, taking considerable time to provide a crude or rough estimate, as we are dealing with a 14 year investigation, involving dozens of fishery officers and other departmental staff, such as scientists, policy and economics staff, etc. Also, the costs of prosecutions are not tracked by individual files within DFO.

In response to (f), no changes were made subsequent to the conclusion of these cases, i.e., in December 2010. However, there were changes made to the marine mammal regulations regarding humane harvesting practices in 2009, including to subsections 28(2), 28(3), 28(4), and section 29 as part of the implementation of the three-step process.

Question No. 830Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

With respect to railway shipping service in Canada: (a) what analysis has the government conducted on the impacts of rail shipment rates on the forestry, mining, agricultural and manufacturing sectors; (b) what analysis does the government conduct on the impacts of the lack of competition in the railway sector on remote and northern communities; (c) has the government begun drafting legislation and regulations for the railway service industry to address the recommendations of the Rail Freight Service Review Panel’s Interim Report; (d) what is the government’s response to the request by the Coalition of Rail Shippers to implement regulatory changes immediately; (e) what is the government’s position on appointing a facilitator to assist in negotiations between railways and shippers; and (f) when will the government provide a response to the final report of the Rail Freight Service Review Panel?

Question No. 830Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), what analysis has the government conducted on the impacts of rail shipment rates on the forestry, mining, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, the government’s capacity to analyze the impacts of rail shipment rates is limited by the lack of accessible data. The Canada Transportation Act requires railways to prepare publicly available tariffs that identify a rate for the movement of traffic. However, it is not clear the extent to which tariff rates are applied in practice since most rates in the forestry, mining and manufacturing sectors are established within confidential contracts. For example, in its submission to the rail freight service review, Canadian Pacific Rail indicated that confidential contracts govern more than 75% of its business. Within confidential contracts the rates can vary from published tariffs, as rates are negotiated in conjunction with related service commitments, ancillary charges, terms and conditions. The government does not have access to confidential contracts.

The transport of western grain is subject to the revenue cap provision of the Canada Transportation Act. Each year, the Canadian Transportation Agency examines whether the railways have complied with the legislation. The agency has just released its determination for the 2009-2010 crop year, finding that the revenues of both railways were below the amount allowed by the legislation.

In response to (b), what analysis does the government conduct on the impacts of the lack of competition in the railway sector on remote and northern communities, the government monitors and conducts analysis on freight rail transportation issues in Canada including issues related to shipper’s access to more than one railway. At present, the government is addressing concerns about rail freight service through the rail freight service review. The review consisted of six analytical reports to achieve a better understanding of the nature and extent of problems within the logistics chain, focusing on the performance of stakeholders involved in the rail-based logistics system, primarily the railways, particularly Canadian National Railway, CN, and Canadian Pacific Railway, CP, but also shippers, ports, shipping lines and terminal operators.

Phase two consisted of a panel of three persons who consulted extensively and received written submissions from over 140 different stakeholders from across the rail-based logistics chain. As noted in the interim report of the panel that led the review, there is a range of views as to the degree of competition and captivity that exists in the rail-based supply chain. At the same time, the research report entitled, “Analysis of Railway Fulfillment of Shipper Demand and Transit Times”, prepared by QGI Consulting, found that there were no systemic differences in transit time performance depending on shipper size, flow size, access to rail competition or core versus non-core railway origins.

The panel’s interim report, consultant analytical reports and stakeholder submissions are publicly available on the rail freight service review website.

In response to parts (c), (d), (e) and (f), the government will review the panel’s final report before deciding on next steps.

Question No. 832Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

With respect to carbon capture and storage (CCS): (a) what is the total funding amount that the government has committed to CCS since 2006; (b) how is this spending broken down by project and fiscal year (including future spending already committed); (c) what is the contribution from the private sector and from other levels of government to each project funded; (d) what are the expected greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions resulting from federal funding of CCS projects; (e) what is the projected rate of GHG reduction per dollar of federal funding invested; and (f) what GHG reductions have been achieved to date from CCS projects funded by the government?

Question No. 832Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), since 2006, Natural Resources Canada has committed approximately $1 billion to carbon capture and storage, CCS.

In response to (b), with respect to CCS, the annual breakdown of funding by project, including future funding that is already committed, cannot be released publicly as this information is protected due it being business and contractually sensitive information.

In response to (c), the contribution from other levels of government to CCS projects funded by the federal government is $1.7 billion.

As the amount of funding from the private sector to CCS project is commercially sensitive information, NRCan can not provide the requested information.

In response to (d), the expected greenhouse gas,GHG, reductions resulting from federal funding of CCS projects is approximately 4.7 million tonnes per year.

In response to (e), if the CCS plants are operated over a 10 year period, the minimum expected, then it is estimated that 57 million tonnes of CO2 would be captured resulting in a projected rate of 0.06 tonnes of C02 captured per dollar of federal funding invested. If the operations of the CCS plants are extended to 25 years, then 142.5 million tonnes of CO2 are estimated to be captured resulting in a projected rate of 0.16 tonnes of C02 captured per dollar of federal funding invested.

In response to (f), the Canadian Government has set an economy-wide target for reducing GHGs by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. Globally, CCS has been identified by many organizations as one of the few technologies available for making significant reductions at existing large industrial point sources of emissions, at large fossil fuel processing plants, as well as at coal-fired electricity plants.

The projects currently being funded are large projects that are expected to start operations by 2013-2015. Therefore, Natural Resources Canada cannot provide the amount of GHG reductions that have been achieved to date from CCS projects funded by the government.

Question No. 834Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation of the Caribbean-based investment fund known as St. Lawrence Trading Inc.: (a) does the CRA know the identities of all Canadians with investments in the fund; (b) does the CRA know the identities of the six prominent Canadian business families with holdings of as much as $900 million in that fund and, if so, what are they; (c) how many Canadians are involved in the St. Lawrence Trading Inc. fund in total; (d) what are the key reasons the CRA has been unable to obtain the information it needs to determine whether evasion of Canadian taxes has taken place; (e) what are the impediments to identification by the CRA of all those Canadians involved in the St. Lawrence Trading Inc. fund; (f) how much tax does the CRA estimate that Canadian individuals, who invested in the St. Lawrence Trading Inc. fund, have failed to pay; (g) how much tax does the CRA estimate that Canadian families with investments in the St. Lawrence Trading Inc. fund have failed to pay; (h) how much tax has been recovered from each Canadian individual and family that invested in St. Lawrence Trading Inc.; and (i) what is the estimated cost of the CRA’s investigation of the St. Lawrence Trading Inc. fund to date?

Question No. 834Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the CRA can confirm that it has identified between 90% and 95% of the shareholders of St. Lawrence Trading Inc., SLT.

Regarding (b), as the confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act prohibit the CRA from disclosing either directly or indirectly specific taxpayer information, the CRA is unable to disclose the information requested.

Regarding (c), though the CRA cannot confirm at this time the number of Canadians involved, it can confirm that approximately 180 Canadian taxpayers have invested in SLT.

Regarding (d), the confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act preclude the CRA from disclosing either directly or indirectly specific taxpayer information. Furthermore, it prevents the CRA from commenting on matters relating to specific taxpayer cases. Therefore, the CRA is unable to respond to the question in the manner requested.

Regarding (e), when a company does not reside or carry on business in Canada, the CRA may have no authority to compel information from it if there is no tax convention or tax information exchange agreement signed with the relevant country.

Regarding (f), (g), and (h), as this matter is still ongoing, it would be premature for the CRA to provide any estimates or possible outcome as it relates to this review.

Finally, regarding (i), with respect to its actions relating to taxpayer compliance, these are undertaken by the CRA as part of its regular mandate. Therefore, as the CRA does not estimate its costs in the manner suggested by the question, it is unable to provide a detailed response.

Question No. 835Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With regard to government monitoring of the working and labour conditions in oil sands areas: (a) what is the total amount of injuries reported or registered by the responsible government departments from 2006 to date; (b) what departments, agencies and commissions are responsible for monitoring working safety conditions in the oil sands; (c) how many inspections of the work safety conditions in oil sand production sites were conducted by each department, agency or commission from 2006 to date; (d) what are the major issues associated with working conditions at the oil sands production sites; (e) what types of injuries are common at the oil sands working sites; (f) from 2006 to date, what is the average crime rate in communities where oil sands production is going on; and (g) how much money did the government spend on monitoring and regulating safety conditions in the oil sands production sites, for each department, agency and commission?

Question No. 835Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), crude oil production from the oil sands is not an industry within federal jurisdiction.

In response to (b), (c), (d), (e) and (g), the monitoring of working safety conditions is under provincial jurisdiction.

In response to (f), crime rates in communities are outside the purview of the labour program’s mandate.

Question No. 837Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

With regard to the Canadian Firearms Program: (a) how many long guns have been seized since the inception of the long-gun registry and, of those seized, how many were registered and how many were unregistered; (b) how many long-guns have been seized from individuals as a result of a diagnosed mental illness or emotional instability and, of those, how many were registered and how many were not; (c) how many long-guns have been seized from individuals who have been charged with a violent or serious criminal offense, what were those criminal offenses, broken down by category and, of those, how many of the long-guns seized were registered and how many were not; (d) how many long-guns have been seized from individuals who have been charged or convicted of spousal abuse or domestic violence of any kind and, of those guns seized, how many were registered and how many were not; and (e) how many long-guns have been seized for other reasons than those mentioned above, what are those reasons, and how many of the seized weapons were registered and how many were not?

Question No. 837Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the database of the Canadian firearms program, CFP, also known as the Canadian firearms information system, CFIS, is legislated to retain specific records on firearms as outlined in the firearms records regulations, SOR/98-213. These records include applications for a firearms licence and registration certificates, registered firearms and revoked firearms. Where a firearms licence has been revoked, CFIS collects and maintains information concerning the reason(s) for revocation. The regulation, however, does not require the registrar to collect and maintain information on unregistered firearms, nor does it obligate public service agencies, e.g., the police, to report to the registrar when or why a firearm is seized. Therefore, CFIS could not identify seized firearms until the public agents firearms regulations, SOR/98-203, PAFR, came into force on October 31, 2008.

PAFR requires all public service agencies to report all protected firearms that come into their possession regardless of the firearms’ registration status. Protected firearm means a firearm that is in the possession of a public service agency and that is not for use by its public agents. However, reasons for the seizure of protected firearms by a public service agency are not included in the PAFR as a reporting requirement.

Although revocation of a firearms licence and/or registration certificate may lead to a seizure of firearms, seizure of firearms from a valid licence holder does not necessarily lead to a revocation of the firearms registration certificate and/or firearms licence. Therefore, the grounds for seizure may only be determined where a firearms licence is also revoked. Without revocation of a firearms licence, the grounds for seizure cannot be determined.

Although PAFR has improved upon reporting requirements and has been instrumental in expanding the range of information on registered firearms, the record is still incomplete in some areas. As a result, the RCMP response to this question draws on the available information that is reasonably complete.

CFIS has 10 predetermined reasons for revocation of a firearms licence: (i) court order or prohibition, (ii) domestic violence, (iii) drug offences, (iv) mental health, (v) potential risk to others, (vi) potential risk to self, (vii) providing of false information, (viii) unsafe firearm use and storage, (ix) violence, and, (x) other. In any given case, there may be more than one reason for a revocation.

The reference to long-guns in the questions is assumed to mean non-restricted firearms.

In response to (a), between the implementation of the PAFR on October 31, 2008 and January 4, 2011, 51,815 non-restricted firearms were seized by public service agencies and reported to the CFP. Just over 47%, or 24,246, of the seized firearms were registered or had previously been registered at the time of seizure.

In response to (b), of the 51,815 seized non-restricted firearms, 4,612 registered firearms were owned by individuals whose licenses were revoked due to public safety concerns. Of these 4,612 firearms, 207 firearms were owned by individuals whose licenses were revoked for reasons of reported mental health concerns. The CFIS is not configured to capture data beyond the predetermined reasons for revocation.

In response to (c), the CFIS is not configured to capture data beyond the predetermined reasons for revocation.

In response to (d), the 51,815 seized non-restricted firearms, 4,612 registered firearms were owned by individuals whose licenses were revoked due to public safety concerns. Of these 4,612 firearms, 108 were owned by individuals whose licenses were revoked due to reported domestic violence. The CFIS is not configured to capture data beyond the predetermined reasons for revocation.

In response to (e), of the 51,815 seized non-restricted firearms, 4,612 registered firearms were owned by individuals whose licenses were revoked due to public safety concerns. The reasons for revocation due to public safety concerns included: reported prohibition or court order, 3,887; reported potential risk to others, 547; reported potential risk to self, 399; reported unsafe firearms use and storage, 224; reported violence, 198; reported drug offences, 15; and providing false information, 3. The CFIS is not configured to capture data beyond the predetermined reasons for revocation.

Question No. 840Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

With respect to the ongoing process to acquire 65 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF): (a) which engine will the government be selecting; (b) what analysis has been conducted in terms of engine selection; (c) when was the analysis done; (d) what analysis has been done in regard to the maintenance of the stealth frame and what are the expected maintenance costs; (e) what is the expected cost difference per plane between acquiring the first quantity of JSFs under a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase and the JSFs bought in the last year of acquisition; (f) will the initial JSFs purchased by Canada have the same operational capability as the later purchases or will they require upgrades; (g) what would be the cost to upgrade the first JSF acquired by Canada to the same level of capabilities as the 65th JSF acquired by Canada; and (h) will Lockheed Martin or the United States pay for any upgrades necessary to ensure that Canada’s first JSF has the same operational capabilities as the last one delivered to it?

Question No. 840Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), currently, two engines are being developed, the F135 by Pratt and Whitney and the F136 by General Electric/Rolls Royce. DND/CF expects to make a final decision on engine selection later this year. Canada will closely monitor the US Government decision-making process on whether or not to continue supporting the F136 as an engine alternative and assess the impact, if any, on Canada and the JSF program.

In response to (b) and (c), interaction with the two engine manufacturers has been ongoing for several years. Initial information on engine performance, cost, and potential industrial benefits was provided by the manufacturers of both engines, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric/Rolls Royce, to Canadian governmental officials in a series of meetings, briefings, and correspondence.

More detailed information was received in the 2008 to 2010 timeframe. Analysis of this information has been an iterative and ongoing process.

In response to (d), specific details on maintenance costs associated with the F-35 stealth capability are still being determined; however, these are not expected to be a significant part of the overall sustainment costs. While some specific maintenance equipment will be required to sustain the stealth capability, there are no associated maintenance requirements for dedicated and permanent infrastructure. Overall, we expect the cost of sustainment of the F-35 aircraft to be of the same order of magnitude as any current generation advanced fighter, roughly $250 million to $300 million Canadian per year.

In response to (e), based on current estimates, Mar 2010, provided by the multinational joint strike fighter program office for project costing purposes, the expected cost difference per plane between the acquisition of the first quantity of joint strike fighters under the low rate initial production, LRIP, developmental phase and the JSF aircraft bought in the last year of acquisition will be a decrease in cost by $11.1 million U.S., base year 2002. The term “base year 2002” indicates monetary amounts valued at 2002 inflation figures.

In response to (f), Canada’s purchases will be from several production runs of joint strike fighters. As the JSF project advances, each production run will deliver aircraft with greater capability from the production runs before. Continuously upgrading the aircraft to a common standard is integral to Canada’s and other partner nations’ participation in the JSF memorandum of understanding; as such, as Canadian JSF aircraft are upgraded in production, all other nations’ JSF aircraft will also be upgraded.

In response to (g), the next generation fighter capability project, NGFC, team continues to evaluate upgrade costs in consultation with the JSF program office. A rough order of magnitude cost estimate for upgrading the first JSF aircraft acquired by Canada to the same level of capability as the 65th aircraft acquired by Canada is $2.4 million Canadian and has been factored into the NGFC project costing. The cost of bringing all the previous aircraft to the common standard of the last purchased production run has already been factored into the project costs.

In response to (h), as per the JSF MOU, each individual partner nation in the JSF program will pay for any upgrades on their national aircraft fleets. As stated above, the cost of bringing all aircraft to a common standard has already been factored into the JSF project costs.

Question No. 841Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

With regard to the government’s planned purchase of 65 F-35 aircraft and other purchase options made available for the government consideration: (a) when was the decision taken by the government to approve this purchase; (b) what was the quoted unit price given to the government at that time; (c) what was the maintenance and in-service support estimated cost over a period of 20 years at that time; (d) to what amounted the estimated industrial benefits to Canada at the time in terms of dollars and jobs; (e) what other purchase options were made available for the government's consideration; (f) what was the quoted unit price for each other aircraft option at the time; (g) what was the estimated cost for maintenance and in-service support covering a period of 20 years for each option at the time; and (h) to what amounted the estimated industrial benefits to Canada at the time in terms of dollars and jobs?

Question No. 841Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

The Government of Canada announced its decision to purchase the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters, JSFs, as Canada’s next generation fighter on 16 July 2010.

The unit price of the conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35A, of the JSF is estimated in the mid-$70 million U.S. range. The $9 billion committed to this purchase includes not only the cost of the 65 aircraft, but also the associated weapon systems, supporting infrastructure, initial spares, training simulators, contingency funds and project operating costs. All of these items are funded through the Canada first defence strategy and the national defence investment plan.

The maintenance and in-service support cost for Canada’s fleet of 65 F-35A fighters is estimated to be of the same order of magnitude as any current generation advanced fighter, at roughly $250 to $300 million per year. The Government of Canada is continuing to work with its JSF project partners to minimize the cost of sustainment by studying various economy measures, such as the pooling of spare parts for the global F-35 fleet.

As a result of Canada’s membership in the joint strike fighter program, its participation in the 2006 JSF production, sustainment, and follow-on development memorandum of understanding, and the industrial participation plans signed with JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the value of economic opportunities available to Canadian industry is currently estimated at approximately $12 billion for production, with additional opportunities for sustainment and follow-on development. Over 60 Canadian companies, universities, and research laboratories have already won JSF related contracts valued at more than $350 million Canadian, even as full production of the aircraft has yet to commence. This figure is a clear demonstration of the significant benefits the JSF program has, and will have, for Canada, and an impressive rate of return on the approximately $200 million U.S. invested in the JSF program by the Government of Canada since 1997.

The decision to purchase the F-35 was made following extensive and rigorous analyses carried out by experts within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. These experts studied a range of aircraft options and a range of procurement methods. Three advanced fighter aircraft with capabilities comparable to or better than the Canadian Air Force’s current CF-18 Hornet fighter were subjected to in-depth assessments using confidential information obtained from manufacturers, as well as data provided via government to government channels and through Canada’s participation in the joint strike fighter program. The conclusion of these studies, conducted between 2005 and 2010, was that only the F-35 met all of the mandatory requirements specified in the Canadian Forces’ statement of operational requirements. While the statement of operational requirements contains sensitive information and, like all such documents, cannot be disclosed publicly without redactions, a listing of high level mandatory capabilities has been released publicly and tabled with the Standing Committee on National Defence.

The Government of Canada is committed to providing our men and women in uniform with the best equipment possible so as to ensure mission success and their safe return. Given Canada’s commitments to the North American Aerospace Defence Command and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the F-35A will enhance the Canadian Forces’ ability to fulfil its three core roles of defending Canada, defending North America in cooperation with the United States, and contributing to overseas operations in concert with our allies and partners. As a cutting-edge, adaptable, and sustainable multi-role fifth-generation fighter, the F-35A will renew Canada’s manned tactical fighter capability for the 21st century, permitting the Canadian Forces to meet the known threats of today, as well as the anticipated and unanticipated threats of the future.

Question No. 848Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

With regard the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, since the beginning of Canada’s participation: (a) what was the first evaluation of the acquisition cost-per-plane Canada would pay, (i) when was that evaluation made, (ii) based on what information was it made, (iii) who provided the government with that information, (iv) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion,briefing note, etc.), (v) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vi) what is the topic of that document, (vii) which government members were provided with information; (b) for every subsequent re-evaluation of the acquisition cost-per-plane that Canada would pay and up to the government's current evaluation, (i) what was the new evaluation (ii) when was that evaluation made, (iii) based on what information was it made, (iv) who provided the government with that information, (v) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (vi) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vii) what is the topic of that document, (viii) which government members were provided with that information, (ix) as precisely as possible, what new information prompted the re-evaluation; (c) what was the first evaluation of the maintenance and repair cost-per-plane Canada would have to incur, (i) when was that evaluation made, (ii) based on what information was it made, (iii) who provided the government with that information, (iv) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (v) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vi) what is the topic of that document, (vii) which government members were provided with that information; (d) for every subsequent re-evaluation of the maintenance and repair cost-per-plane that Canada would have to incur and up to the government's current evaluation, (i) what was the new evaluation, (ii) when was that evaluation made, (iii) based on what information was it made, (iv) who provided the government with that information, (v) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (vi) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vii) what is the topic of that document, (viii) which government members were provided with that information, (ix) as precisely as possible, what new information prompted the re-evaluation; (e) what was the first evaluation of the total cost of Canada's purchase and maintenance of the planes and Canada's participation in the JSF program, (i) when was that evaluation made, (ii) based on what information was it made, (iii) who provided the government with that information, (iv) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (v) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vi) what is the topic of that document, (vii) which government members were provided with that information; (f) for every subsequent re-evaluation of the total cost of Canada's purchase and maintenance of the planes and Canada's participation in the JSF program and up to the government's current evaluation, (i) what was the new evaluation, (ii) when was that evaluation made, (iii) based on what information was it made, (iv) who provided the government with that information, (v) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (vi) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vii) what is the topic of that document, (viii) which government members were provided with that information, (ix) as precisely as possible, what new information prompted the re-evaluation; (g) what was the first evaluation of the date of delivery to Canada for the F-35s, (i) when was that evaluation made, (ii) based on what information was it made, (iii) who provided the government with that information, (iv) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (v) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vi) what is the topic of that document, (vii) which government members were provided with that information; and (h) for every subsequent re-evaluation of the date of delivery to Canada for the F-35s and up to government's current evaluation, (i) what was the new evaluation, (ii) when was that evaluation made, (iii) based on what information was it made, (iv) who provided the government with that information, (v) via what medium (e.g., conference, personal discussion, briefing note, etc.), (vi) what is the name of the government document containing that evaluation, (vii) what is the topic of that document, (viii) which government members were provided with that information, (ix) as precisely as possible, what new information prompted the re-evaluation?

Question No. 848Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h), in general, departmental plans are under constant review to ensure that the plans are current. It is normal procedure for the Department of National Defence, DND, to plan for replacement of its major weapon systems to maintain CF capabilities and to ensure that departmental objectives are in line with government objectives. Data from the joint strike fighter, JSF, program are complex and constantly evolving. As a result, evaluations of Canada’s participation in the program are iterative. Due to the complexity and number of iterative evaluations, it is not possible to identify each specific re-evaluation of project costing and/or scheduling data within the time available.

Evaluation of the next generation fighter capability options occurred in two phases: 2005 to 2008, and 2008 to 2010. The first phase was to “research the marketplace” and determine what realistic options might exist. The first phase provided sufficient information on the F35 to determine if it were a credible contender. This phase provided the rationale for entering the production, sustainment, and follow-on development memorandum of understanding, MOU, in order to preserve the JSF option. The second phase provided Canada with detailed capability and cost information on the aircraft options carried forward from phase one. A detailed costing, using specific Canadian Forces requirements, was first conducted in the fall of 2009 and refined in the spring of 2010. The costing was based on information provided during visits to manufacturers, manufacturer visits to Canada to speak to senior representatives of DND and other departments, and detailed government to government discussions.

In the specific case of the JSF, the multinational joint strike fighter program office, JPO, has been continually providing to all participant nations the evolving costs of both the aircraft unit flyaway cost and the cost of sustainment throughout Canada’s participation in the system design and demonstration MOU and the production, sustainment and follow-on development MOU. A formal costing conference with all participating nations is held annually. The JPO maintains a costing database that evolves as the programme moves forward. As refined or additional information becomes available, the costing undergoes further refinement. The unit cost of the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing version of the joint strike fighter using specific Canadian requirements is estimated in the mid $70 million U.S. range. Together with associated weapons systems, initial spares, infrastructure, and project management and contingency funds, the total acquisition cost for the F-35 is estimated at $9 billion. The estimated cost of sustainment for Canada’s fleet of 65 F-35s is $250 million to $300 million per year over 20 years. Further costing exercises will be conducted by DND as the JSF project advances. Canada has contributed $10 million for the concept demonstration phase, $150 million for the system development and demonstration phase, and has committed to providing $551 million for the production, sustainment, and follow-on development phase of the JSF program.

The first evaluation of the date of delivery to Canada of the F-35 was made during phase one of the next generation fighter capability options analysis during 2005 to 2008. This evaluation was based on the estimated life expectancy of the CF-18 Hornet and next generation fighter capability option information gathered during the first phase of options analysis referenced above. This latter information was provided to DND through contacts with industry and other air forces with whom the department and the Canadian Forces maintain relationships. These relationships facilitate the exchange of information so that DND and the CF can understand and analyze the development of military capabilities and provide recommendations to the Government on future CF capabilities. In the case of the F-35, the information would have been collected via discussions, conferences, the defence attaché network and open source material such as trade publications.

After the initial evaluation, the next generation fighter capability delivery requirements were re-evaluated in the next generation fighter capability statement of operational requirements, or SOR. The SOR identifies the capability, sustainment and delivery requirements for a CF-18 Hornet replacement. The re-evaluated date of delivery was based on the estimated life expectancy of the CF-18 Hornet, research on known world-wide fighter development and production programs, and information gained by participating in the JSF program under the 2006 joint strike fighter MOU as a partner nation.

Question No. 852Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

With respect to the contract awarded for sending letters to employment insurance offices about the 20 additional weeks of benefits announced in the new employment insurance measures for long-tenured workers: (a) was a call for tenders held for this contract and, if so, where and on what date; (b) what companies bid on the contract; (c) what is the name of the company to which the contract was awarded and on what date was the contract awarded; and (d) what is the total value of the contract?