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House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Question No. 57Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

With respect to the June 2001 report entitled “Coastal Impacts of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Prince Edward Island”: (a) have there been any updates to the study since the release of the report in June 2001; (b) has the government conducted any separate studies since June 2001 on the impacts of climate change and rising sea-levels on Prince Edward Island; (c) what programs have been implemented to deal with rising sea levels affecting Prince Edward Island; and (d) what advice or assistance has been provided by the Government of Canada to the Government of Prince Edward Island to deal with the impact of rising sea levels on the province?

Question No. 57Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), scientists at Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, have published various peer-reviewed, scientific papers based on the original data collected for the report entitled “Coastal Impacts of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Prince Edward Island” since its release in June 2001. These include the following:

Webster, T.L., Forbes, D.L., Dickie, S., and Shreenan, R. (2004). Using topographic LiDAR to map flood risk from storm-surge events for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 30 (1), 64-76. Forbes, D.L., Parkes, G.S., Manson, G.K., and Ketch, L.A. (2004). Storms and shoreline retreat in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Marine Geology, 210, 169-204. O’Reilly, C.T., Forbes, D.L., and Parkes, G.S. (2005). Defining and adapting to coastal hazards in Atlantic Canada: facing the challenge of rising sea levels, storm surges and shoreline erosion in a changing climate. Ocean Yearbook, 19, 189-207 Webster, T.L. and Forbes, D.L. (2006). Airborne laser altimetry for predictive modelling of coastal storm-surge flooding. In: Remote Sensing of Aquatic Coastal Ecosystem Processes: Science and Management Applications (Richardson, L.L. and LeDrew, E.F., editors). Springer, Dordrecht, 157 182.

NRCan has not updated the actual report entitled “Coastal Impacts of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Prince Edward Island” since its release in June 2001.

In response to (b), NRCan has monitored closely the conditions in Prince Edward Island and has conducted field reconnaissance following some major storms. These activities provided the basis for public presentations in Prince Edward Island during 2009 and 2010.

In December of 2010, NRCan and university partners deployed two temporary wave and tide gauges offshore of Brackley Beach, Northern Prince Edward Island, to measure waves under sea ice in support of a doctoral research project. An attempt at recovery of these instruments was made in April 2011, but was unsuccessful. Another attempt is planned in the summer of 2011. These results could provide insight into near-shore sediment transport under conditions of reduced sea ice and changing storminess, important considerations under changing climate in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In response to (c), in December 2007 the Government of Canada announced that funding would be provided for climate change adaptation. In 2009, NRCan implemented a $30M Regional Adaptation Collaborative, RAC, program that brings together provincial and municipal governments as well as other important regional decision-makers. The goal of this national program is to advance climate change adaptation decision-making locally to deal with regionally specific challenges and thereby increase Canada’s resilience to a changing climate. The Atlantic RAC was established as part of this program and is addressing a variety of climate change impacts, including sea level rise.

Through the Tools for Adaptation Program, NRCan is working in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Planners, CIP, to ensure that scientific research and information on climate change impacts, including rising sea levels, will be considered in planning practice Canada-wide.

In response to (d), in March 2009 the Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry for the Government of P.E.I., attended one of the NRCan public presentations referenced in part (b). Following the presentation, the minister commended NRCan for the value of the event, noted the importance of comprehensive information on the subject, and requested that NRCan be available to offer future advice. Since that time, NRCan has, when asked, offered incidental technical advice to the P.E.I. Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry.

Question No. 58Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

With respect to Canada's airports: (a) what is the total amount of federal funding, announced in March 2011, for the Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City; (b) under what programs was the funding in (a) awarded; (c) what is the total amount of federal funding, announced in February 2011, for the Charlottetown Airport; and (d) under what programs was the funding in (c) awarded?

Question No. 58Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), on March 16, 2011, the Government of Canada announced it will invest up to $50 million for the long-term expansion and modernization of the Jean-Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, a $225 million initiative.

In response to (b), an amount of $21.6 million, under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, was awarded at that time for three specific projects submitted by the airport authority. The work includes the extension and widening of two paved strips on airport grounds, the upgrading of underground utilities, and the construction of an additional taxiway to connect the Delta and Golf taxiways. Discussions are under way with the Jean-Lesage International Airport in order to identify eligible projects with respect to the remaining funds of $28.4 million.

In response to (c), on February 21, 2011, the Government of Canada announced it will invest up to $1.2 million to expand Charlottetown Airport’s existing terminal, a $3.5 million project.

In response to (d), the $1.2 million was awarded under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.

Question No. 59Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

With respect to the government's decision not to implement recommendation nine from the June 2009 report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, entitled “Shared Experiences: Comparisons of Veterans Services Offered by Members of the Commonwealth and the G8”: (a) what criteria were used to arrive at this decision; (b) what was the policy rationale for the decision; and (c) is the government considering any other information sharing arrangements to better identify veterans and their families in order to ensure that they receive the benefits available to them?

Question No. 59Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, recommendation 9 from the June 2009 report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, entitled “Shared Experiences: Comparisons of Veterans Services Offered by Members of the Commonwealth and the G8”, reads: “That the Department of Veterans Affairs explore with Canada Revenue Agency the possibility of modifying income tax returns to allow veterans and their families to identify themselves so that they can receive information on the financial benefits and support services available to them.” Veterans Affairs Canada implemented the recommendation by consulting with the Canada Revenue Agency. These consultations resulted in Canada Revenue Agency’s confirmation that the focus of Canada Revenue Agency forms is on tax and benefit programs administered by the Canada Revenue Agency only. The criteria used in the decision not to pursue the inclusion of a veteran identifier on tax forms were privacy, legal authority, effectiveness, and sustainable development commitments.

Question No. 62Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

With regard to the G20 Summit ex gratia payments: (a) to date, how many applications have been approved and paid to claimants; (b) how many applications have been approved but not yet paid to claimants; (c) of the approved applications awaiting payment, what is the reason for payment not being made; (d) how many applications have been rejected; (e) of the applications rejected, what was the reason for rejection; and (f) what are all applications for compensation, the amount of compensation requested, and, if approved, the amount of compensation that was approved?

Question No. 62Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, while the government is not legally bound to pay compensation for losses suffered as a result of international meetings held in Canada, commercial businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals can be and have been compensated for loss of net profits, loss of net revenues and/or extraordinary costs stemming from the implementation of extraordinary security measures during the course of these meetings. The assessment of the claims is an independent process and made in close cooperation with Audit Services Canada, a special operation agency reporting to Public Works and Government Services Canada.

The guidelines used for the G20 Toronto summit have been in place since 2001, and are the same as those applied successfully at previous summits, including the Summit of the Americas, 2001; the G8 in Kananaskis, 2002; and the Sommet de la Francophonie in Québec City, 2008.

In response to (a), to date 196 G20 claims have been assessed as eligible under the guidelines for payments on an ex gratia basis. Of those claims, 149 claims have been paid.

In response to (b), 47 eligible claims have not yet been paid to claimants.

In response to (c), the Department of Foreign Affairs has processed all payments to eligible businesses that have signed the waiver they received. Of the claims that have not yet been paid, all that is outstanding are signed waivers. As soon as these are received, payments will be processed.

In response to (d), to date 166 G20 claims have been assessed as ineligible under the guidelines for payments on an ex gratia basis.

In response to (e), it is important to note that under section 8(g) of the guidelines, claimants have the onus to demonstrate that they qualify as eligible. The guidelines, frequently asked questions and claim form have been available on the DFAIT website, and a toll-free line was activated by the summits management office. Clauses 8 and 9 in the guidelines provide explanation for the ineligibility of claims. The website is http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/g20/exgratia-guidelines-titregracieux.aspx?lang=eng&view=d.

In response to (f), the total value of the 367 claims submitted for the G20 is $11,093,518.20. The total value of the amounts assessed for payment by Audit Services Canada is $1,932,052

Question No. 66Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

With regard to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s (DFAIT) recent announcement of an engagement strategy with Africa, as outlined in the department’s Report on Plans and Priorities: (a) what briefing notes has DFAIT received or produced regarding its proposed engagement with Africa; (b) what scenarios has DFAIT prepared for a Canadian role in the African continent; (c) which African countries are included in the proposed engagement strategy; (d) what is the projected cost of this engagement strategy with Africa; and (e) what is the timeline of DFAIT’s engagement strategy with Africa?

Question No. 66Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade regularly receives and produces briefing notes on a variety of topics related to Canada’s international relations. Three briefings notes were prepared in relation to engagement in sub-Saharan Africa.

In response to (b), DFAIT continually reviews policy options in all aspects of Canada’s international relations, and its work in all regions. The Report on Plans and Priorities represents ongoing work in the Department, and while the 2011-2012 document notes that an “engagement strategy with Africa will be developed”, it is not in itself an announcement of a new strategy.

In response to (c), DFAIT continues to work with all countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

In response to (d), any engagement strategy will be realized within existing resources.

In response to (e), over the past two years, the department has continued to review its work in sub-Saharan Africa in light of the continent’s economic and political transformation, characterized by improvements in governance and democracy and economic growth.

Question No. 68Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

With respect to the lump sum disability awards under the New Veterans Charter: (a) how many eligible recipients received the maximum amount; (b) what is the percentage of eligible recipients who received less than $50,000; (c) what is the percentage of eligible recipients who received between $50,000 and $99,000; (d) what is the percentage of eligible recipients who received between $100,000 and $149,999; (e) what is the percentage of eligible recipients who received between $150,000 and $199,999; and (f) what is the percentage of eligible recipients who received between $200,000 and $249,999?

Question No. 68Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 245 recipients have received the maximum disability award amount.

In response to (b), 72% of eligible disability award recipients received less than $50,000.

In response to (c), 19% of eligible disability award recipients received between $50,000 and $99,999.

In response to (d), 6% of eligible disability award recipients received between $100,000 and $149,999.

In response to (e), 2% of eligible disability award recipients received between $150,000 and $199,999.

In response to (f), fewer than 1% of eligible disability award recipients received between $200,000 and $249,999.

Question No. 71Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

With regard to the corporate asset review announced in the 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement: (a) how many assets have been reviewed; (b) which assets were reviewed; and (c) were assets sold and, if so, (i) how many, (ii) what were they, (iii) what were the purchase prices, (iv) who were the buyers?

Question No. 71Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a) and (b), page 209 of budget 2009, found at at www.budget.gc.ca/2009/pdf/budget-planbugetaire-eng.pdf, announced the launch of the corporate asset management review would begin with the portfolios of the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

In response to (c), no assets have been sold as part of the corporate asset management review to date. As stated in budget 2009, the government will take a considered approach to the sale of any asset, including taking into account the condition of markets, to ensure that fair value can be realized by taxpayers and the transaction will generate additional economic activity. Assets will not be sold if such sales do not meet these tests.

Question No. 73Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

With regard to the Department of Natural Resources, are there any unlicensed low level radioactive waste storage sites in Canada and, if so, where are they located?

Question No. 73Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr Speaker, on behalf of Natural Resources Canada , NRCan, the low-level radioactive waste management office, LLRWMO, manages six unlicensed low-level radioactive waste interim storage sites: the Passmore Avenue mound in Scarborough, Ontario; three small unlicensed consolidation sites in Port Hope, Ontario; the Beacon Hill landfill mound in Fort McMurray, Alberta; and the Fort Smith landfill cell in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.

These storage sites contain historic low-level radioactive waste for which NRCan has accepted responsibility. These are not licensed due to the fact that the activity concentration is below the unconditional clearance level as per Schedule II of the Nuclear Substance and Radiation Devices Regulations of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission continues to oversee the management of these sites by the LLRWMO.

Question No. 76Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

With respect to proficiency in the second official language: (a) what is the language proficiency level of each of the chief executives of federal institutions; and (b) when did each chief executive obtain this level?

Question No. 76Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office responds that the second official language proficiencies of deputy ministers, chief executive officers of crown corporations and heads of agencies are not monitored, as there is no statutory requirement to establish a proficiency level for these individuals who are appointed at the discretion of the governor in council.

However, all governor in council appointees have an obligation to support and promote the objectives of the Official Languages Act by personally promoting the use of both official languages in their institutions. This is a term and condition of employment. Additionally, deputy ministers or others appointed by the governor in council from the executive group, EX, of the public service were required to meet a linguistic profile of CBC/CBC according to the Treasury Board policy concerning the language requirements for members of the executive group, established in 2003.

The language proficiency of an individual constitutes personal information, and is protected in accordance with the principles of the Access to Information Act.

Question No. 77Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

With regard to the operating budget freeze at the Privy Council Office: (a) what measures were taken to limit spending in the last fiscal year; (b) how many full-time and part-time employees were lost to attrition; (c) how many full-time or part-time employees were laid-off; (d) how many full-time and part-time employees were hired; and (e) what is the projected attrition rate over the next five years?

Question No. 77Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, for the period of April 1, 2010 to July 4, 2011, the Privy Council Office, PCO, responds with regard to (a) that normal attrition provided the Privy Council Office with the flexibility to manage budget reduction during the last fiscal year.

In response to (b), 430 full-time and part-time employees were lost to attrition.

In response to (c), no full-time or part-time employees were laid-off.

In response to (d), 487 full-time and part-time employees were hired.

In response to (e), the indeterminate departure rate for 2010-11 was 16.3%, which is consistent with the previous year’s indeterminate departure rate of 16.5%. The Privy Council Offices does not formulate projected attrition rates.

Question No. 80Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

With regard to Health Canada’s wait times strategy: (a) what are the most recent wait times as reported by each province in each of the five key areas of the government’s wait times strategy (cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging, joint replacement and sight restoration); and (b) what was the amount of money earmarked for wait time reduction disbursed by the government to each province in each year of the government’s wait times strategy?

Question No. 80Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Institute for Health Information,CIHI, has been reporting on progress on wait times across jurisdictions. Its most recent edition of the “Wait Times Tables--A Comparison by Provinces, 2011”, released on March 21, 2011, provides a summary of provincial wait times data, primarily comprised of retrospective administrative data, in the five priority areas as of September 2010. This report provides the most comparable available information on wait times for a common point in time for all provinces. The report is available on the CIHI website, https://secure.cihi.ca/estore/productFamily.htm?locale=en&pf=PFC1599.

In terms of funding transferred to provincial and territorial governments, the federal government provided $5.5 billion in wait times commitments. This included a wait times reduction trust totalling $4.25 billion for the period of 2004-05 through 2008-09, followed by a $250 million annual wait times reduction transfer, from 2009-10 through 2013-14. To provide the public with greater certainty on timely access, budget 2007 announced additional funding of more than $1 billion over three years to support the development of patient wait times guarantees, including a $612 million trust; a $400 million enhancement to Canada health infoway funding; and a $30 million patient wait times guarantee pilot project fund. These targeted investments were intended to help the provinces and territories test and implement patient wait times guarantees. Further information on the allocation of federal funding for wait times by jurisdiction is available through the Department of Finance’s website, http://www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/typhc_-eng.asp and http://www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/mtp-eng.asp. .

Question No. 85Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

With regard to the Department of Natural Resources, for every year since 2006, how many people have been employed by the Port Hope Area Initiative Management Office?

Question No. 85Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Port Hope area initiative management office has employed the following number of staff for each year since it was created in 2008-09: 2008/2009 – 5; 2009/2010 – 22; 2010/2011 – 36.

Question No. 86Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

With regard to the operating budget freeze at Public Safety Canada: (a) what measures were taken to limit spending in the last fiscal year; (b) how many full-time and part-time employees were lost to attrition; (c) how many full-time or part-time employees were laid-off; (d) how many full-time and part-time employees were hired; and (e) what is the projected attrition rate over the next five years?