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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Question No. 247Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), contracts and costs associated with the development or acquisition of programming at or by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are programming information and of a competitive nature as referred to in part III, subsection 35(2) of the Broadcasting Act.

With regard to (b), broadcasters do not “tender” contracts for the development or acquisition of programming.

Over the past five years the corporation has concluded hundreds of contracts with independent producers for program pre-development, development, pilot production, and acquisition. CBC/Radio-Canada is always looking for smart, diverse, popular and relevant Canadian programming and provides two websites for independent producers to pitch programming ideas to the corporation: http://www.cbc.ca/independentproducers/ and http://projets.radio-canada.ca/.

Decisions to develop a specific program or not depend on a number of factors, including the corporation’s broadcast conditions of licence, the region where the program would be produced, the potential appeal of the program, the cost of the program, whether it is eligible for funding support from the Canada Media Fund, and how the proposed program would fit into the network’s planned program schedule for its designated season.

CBC/Radio-Canada is authorized to “make contracts with any person, within or outside Canada, in connection with the production or presentation of programs originated or secured by the Corporation” and “make contracts with any person, within or outside Canada, for performances in connection with the programs of the Corporation", as stated in paragraphs 46(1)(d) and 46(1)(e) of part III of the Broadcasting Act.

Question No. 248Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

With respect to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) bureaus, what is the itemized list of expenses for hospitality, food, drink, hotels and transportation for the CBC bureaus in (i) Paris, (ii) London, (iii) Washington, (iv) Rome?

Question No. 248Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, CBC/Radio-Canada operates 13 foreign news bureaus, including bureaus in Paris, London and Washington. The corporation does not have a bureau in Rome.

The bureaus are used as a base of operations for coverage of events in surrounding regions and countries as required and approved by the head of news and current affairs. Expenses incurred by these bureaus include travel to remote locations, hotels, accreditation and travel documentation. These expenses are part of the corporation’s journalistic programming activities and are not public. Expenses are not automatically separated into programming and non-programming categories; this would require a manual review of every expense. It is not possible to separate the programming from administrative expenses of these bureaus in the time provided for responding to this question. News budgets are approved by the vice-presidents of CBC and Radio-Canada.

Question No. 249Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

With respect to salaries at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), how many employees at the CBC earn more than $100,000.00, and what are their names and salaries?

Question No. 249Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, CBC/Radio-Canada currently has approximately 730 employees who earn more than $100,000 per year. Their names and precise salaries are protected as per the federal Privacy Act and Access to Information Act.

Question No. 251Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

With regard to the wharf at Portneuf, Quebec, administered by Transport Canada: (a) does the department wish to maintain ownership of the wharf or does it intend to dispose of it; (b) in the event that Transport Canada wishes to keep the Portneuf wharf, (i) will the headblock be rebuilt, (ii) will environmental liability issues, particularly the water contamination from the structure, be corrected, (iii) is there a maintenance plan in place to maintain the wharf, (iv) what kind of operations does Transport Canada wish to conduct, (v) what is Transport Canada’s policy on working with the Municipality of Portneuf to develop its plans to operate the wharf; and (c) in the event that Transport Canada wishes to dispose of it, (i) does Transport Canada wish to transfer ownership to a private contractor, a provincial government, or a municipal or paramunicipal agency, (ii) what financial incentives will the government offer to the transferee, (iii) will the headblock be rebuilt, (iv) will environmental liability issues be corrected?

Question No. 251Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada wishes to dispose of the Portneuf wharf.

Information on the port divestiture program is available on the following website:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/backgrounders-b06-m001e-1837.htm.

Question No. 253Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

With regard to contracts and costs associated with the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) and ministerial exempt staff: (a) how much is paid to Nigel Wright or any company of which he was a proprietor or partner; (b) did the PMO hold an open tender for Dimitri Soudas’ job or was the contract untendered; (c) how much did the PMO spend on (i) Canada’s Economic Action Plan, (ii) the G8 and G20 summits, (iii) Canadian television productions; (d) what contracts has the PMO signed with Ezra Levant or any registered lobbyist, government relations or public opinion firm in the last five years, if any, (i) for how much money (individually and in total), (ii) what was provided in return, (iii) which of these contracts were put out for open competition and which were not; and (e) how many untendered contracts have been signed in the last five years, and, if the PMO or Minister’s office has signed any such contract, (i) with whom, (ii) for how much money (individually and in total), (iii) what was obtained for each of these contracts?

Question No. 253Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, an individual’s exact salary constitutes the personal information of that individual and is withheld in accordance with the principles of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

With regard to (b), (d) and (e), as stated at 7.1 of the Treasury Board "Policies for Ministers’ Offices", “…ministerial offices are subject to the Financial Administration Act , its regulations, and Treasury Board policies.” Only procurement officers within the Privy Council Office hold contracting authority under subsection 32(1) of the Financial Administration Act. The Prime Minister’s Office, PMO, does not hold the authority to contract directly for goods and services.

With regard to (c), the Prime Minister’s Office, PMO, does not fund government programs. The PMO did not provide funds for the Canada economic action plan, the G8 and G20 summits, or Canadian television productions. However, some financial expenditures related to the Canada economic action plan and the G8 and G20 summits can be seen in proactive disclosure on the Privy Council Office website at the following link: www.pco-bcp.gc.ca.

Question No. 254Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

With respect to the Prime Minister’s Office, ministerial exempt staff and Ministers, what is the itemized list of expenses for hospitality, food, drink, hotels and transportation in (i) Paris, (ii) London, (iii) Washington, (iv) Rome, (v) Boston?

Question No. 254Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the information requested is made available through proactive disclosure, which can be found on individual departmental websites and is updated quarterly.

Question No. 255Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

With respect to salaries at the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministers’ offices, how many employees earn more than $100,000.00, and what are their names and salaries?

Question No. 255Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, the names and exact salaries of personnel cannot be released.

Salary maximums for exempt staff are equivalent to the public service. The salary ranges for ministers’ offices are outlined in section 3.3 of the "Policies for Ministers' Offices", which can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/mg-ldm/2011/pgmo-pldcm03-eng.asp#toc3-3. The equivalent salary ranges for the public service can be found at http://publiservice.tbs-sct.gc.ca/gui/prtt-eng.asp and http://publiservice.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/coll_agre/rates-taux-eng.asp.

Ministers’ office expenditures are reported annually in the Public Accounts of Canada. For the latest ministers’ office expenditures, members may refer to the Public Accounts, volume III, section 10.28, at www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/72-eng.html.

Question No. 258Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

With respect to radio masts, antennas, and towers (henceforth each referred to simply as the “tower”) licensed or otherwise permitted to operate by Industry Canada: (a) what is the total number of such towers across the country; (b) what is the municipal street address, as well as latitude and longitude for each tower, and, for each tower, (i) who owns and operates the tower and for what purpose, (ii) at what radio frequencies and at what wattage are the transmitters on each tower operating, (iii) at what height above ground level is the tower, (iv) at what height above sea level is the tower, (v) what is the year of construction of the tower, (vi) when was the last structural inspection of the tower, (vii) does the tower conform to Health Canada guidelines, (viii) have there been any incidents reported relating to the tower, (ix) have there been any complaints lodged relating to the tower and what was the outcome or status of any associated investigation; and (c) how many towers remain standing that are no longer in use or operation, and, for each such tower, (i) who owns the tower, (ii) what purpose did the tower serve before being retired, (iii) at what height above ground level is the tower, (iv) at what height above sea level is the tower, (v) what is the year of construction of the tower, (vi) when was the last structural inspection of the tower, (vii) why was the tower retired, (viii) have there been any incidents reported relating to the tower, (ix) have there been any complaints lodged relating to the tower and what was the outcome or status of any associated investigation, (x) what plans exist to remove or restore the tower?

Question No. 258Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b)(i), (b)(ii), (b)(iii), (b)(iv), (b)(v) and (c)(v), radio communication would not work without antennas, which, to function effectively, are often supported by towers or other tall structures such as buildings. The Canadian public, businesses, police, firefighters, ambulances, air navigation systems and national defence use antenna systems, including towers, to ensure reliable radio communication. Industry Canada’s interests relate primarily to managing the radio frequency spectrum, a limited resource. For this reason, no differentiation is made as to whether an antenna is, for example, located on a tower, on top of a building or is using some other structure such as a water tower. Accordingly, our database only records the location of radio stations in use.

Currently there are approximately 250,000 radio licences issued by Industry Canada. Available technical databases include current radio frequency assignments, including geographical coordinates; the name of the authorization holder, but not the use of the radiofrequency; radio frequency and wattage; the site elevation above sea level and the height of the antenna above ground level, but not the year of construction. These databases are available at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/sd-sd.nsf/eng/Home for all non-broadcasting towers, including cellular, but they do not include public safety and national security agencies.

Broadcasting tower databases are available at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/sp_dgse-ps_dggs.nsf/eng/gg00026.html.

With regard to (b)(vi), Industry Canada does not inspect towers for structural adequacy. This is the tower owner’s responsibility.

With regard to (b)(vii), (b)(viii) and (b)(ix), exposure levels emitted by towers vary. However, Industry Canada requires that, at all times, all towers must comply with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline for the protection of the general public from radio frequency exposure. Industry Canada requires the immediate submission of compliance information when it is concerned that a site may not be in compliance with Safety Code 6 for the purpose of protecting the general public. Alternatively, Industry Canada requires that the operator cease operation at the site in question pending Industry Canada’s receipt of information and departmental concurrence that Safety Code 6 is being respected. The vast majority of radio installations comply with the exposure limits by a very wide margin. Industry Canada has confirmed this by conducting directed radio frequency field measurements. Industry Canada does not keep a database of the number of complaints lodged relating to towers.

With regard to (c)(i), (c)(ii), (c)(iii), (c)(iv) and (c)(vi) through (c)(x), Industry Canada has no authority over towers that are no longer in use or operation for the purpose of radio communication. Such structures would fall under provincial and territorial authority.

Question No. 259Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

With respect to the Treasury Board of Canada’s mandated cuts to each department, specifically the Department of National Defence: (a) what is the total number of dollars that the Department of National Defence will be cutting from its expenditures, by service (Navy, Air, Army), (i) how many staff will be cut and out of which group of employees (e.g., consultants, officers, reserves, etc.), and by service (Navy, Air, Army), (ii) how many military assets will be cut (e.g., armed forces vehicles), either in current operation or previously slated for procurement, as well as support equipment and personnel (e.g., for repairs and maintenance); (b) has the department conducted a study on how these cuts will affect the operational capacity of the armed forces, broken down by Navy, Air, Army, and its impact with respect to training capacity for all of the above services, and, if so, what were the conclusions; (c) what will the effect of the cuts be on the department’s provision of health services to military personnel; and (d) has the government adjusted its schedule for fulfillment of or financial commitment to the Canada First defence policy?

Question No. 259Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence has undertaken a full review of its spending to ensure that all expenditures and programs were aligned to departmental and government priorities. This thorough review was followed by an analysis to ensure that programs and spending were effective and efficient, focused on core roles, and met the needs of Canadians. Programs were assessed with regard to their intended results, as defined in the program activity architecture, and in relation to their role within the delivery of the Canada First defence strategy. The results of this review continue to be assessed.

Question No. 265Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

With respect to the opening of the Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor: (a) how many requests for review have been submitted to the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor; (b) of the requests for review that have been submitted as per (a), (i) how many have progressed to informal mediation, (ii) what is the overall cost for each individual review, (iii) what are each of the individual expenses associated with each review process, (iv) how many meetings were conducted related to each review process, who was present in each of the meetings, and who did each of those present at the meetings represent, (v) has the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor provided interim reports regarding each of her request for reviews, and, if not, why has no report been provided, (vi) when can an interim report be expected for each review, (vii) what was the outcome of each of the review processes engaged in by the Extractive Sector CSR counsellor, (viii) if any review was closed without progressing to formal mediation and without resolution, what were the reasons for closing the case; and (c) has the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor received any requests for review that she has declined to allow to progress to informal mediation, and, if yes, for what reasons was the request for review declined?

Question No. 265Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), there have been two requests for review submitted to the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, "the Office". One review pertained to Excellon Resources Inc. in Mexico, while the other pertains to First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in Mauritania.

With regard to (b)(i), both reviews progressed to informal mediation.

With regard to (b)(ii), each review requires administrative expenditures, such as those on telephone, courier, and office supplies, and uses a portion of the Office’s fixed costs, such as salaries and benefits, but outside of these costs, the most significant expenditures by the Office in both instances have been on external services related to travel and translation. For the Mexico-related review, the overall external costs to the Office totalled $22,438.72. The overall external costs to the Office for the Mauritania case total $435.50 thus far.

With regard to (b)(iii), costs for the review of the Mexico case include travel, visa fees, accommodation, local transportation, per diems, and interpretation costs for two field visits to Mexico by the counsellor and the senior advisor. The first field visit to Mexico City in May 2011 cost a total of $4,463.83 and the second field visit to the La Platosa mine site and surrounding community in July 2011 cost $7,416.99 in total. Total charges for translation into French and Spanish of the two field visits reports and the October 2011 closing report were $10,557.90. There have been no travel costs associated with the review in Mauritania to date. Communications with the requester have resulted in translation charges of $435.50.

With regard to (b)(iv), with respect to the case in Mexico, well over 100 conversations and meetings were held between April and October 2011, both by teleconference and in person. The majority of meetings held were either with some or all of the requesters at various times during the process or with various representatives of Excellon Resources Inc., either in an individual or group context. Other meetings were held with Canadian Embassy officials in Mexico City; Canadian and Mexican legal representatives of Excellon Resources; Mexican national, regional, and local government officials; third party experts; community members at site; ejido leaders in the community; mine employees at site; mine management at site; and other stakeholders with expertise in the issues.

In the Mauritania review, meetings by teleconference have occurred on numerous occasions with the requester and the responding party.

With regard to (b)(v), the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor produced two interim reports and one final report on the review of the Mexico case. All three reports are available on the Office’s website at www.international.gc.ca/csr_counsellor-conseiller_rse. No reports have yet been produced for the case in Mauritania, as the Counsellor has determined that it is premature to do so at this time.

With regard to (b)(vi), the Order in Council that created the Office of the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor, P.C. 2009-0422 of March 25, 2009, requires the Counsellor to produce a final report on each request for review as well as an annual report to Parliament. Interim reports are important and are produced in order to meet the Office’s public commitments to its key guiding principles, which are to be transparent, accessible, responsive, predictable, independent and effective. The Counsellor has produced an interim report at the conclusion of each field visit.

With regard to (b)(vii), the review process of the case in Mexico was closed in October 2011 following the decision by the responding party to withdraw from the process. The ongoing case in Mauritania is currently at step 4 of the Counsellor’s review process.

With regard to (b)(viii), the Office’s review process has five stages, including an optional avenue at the fifth and final stage for parties to engage in formal mediation outside of the Office’s process. The review of the case in Mexico closed at the fourth stage of the Office’s process following the decision by the responding party to withdraw.

With regard to (c), the Extractive Sector CSR Counsellor has not received any requests for review that she has declined to allow to progress to informal mediation.

Question No. 273Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

With regard to Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts (PRPP Act): (a) has the government secured the necessary provincial consent required to enact the appropriate companion legislation; (b) how will the government ensure that fees payable by plan members remain low, as required by the PRPP Act; and (c) how will the government define and control the fees charged in accordance with the PRPP Act?

Question No. 273Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), at the December 2010 finance ministers’ meeting, all finance ministers agreed on a framework for pooled registered pension plans, PRPPs. Bill C-25 provides a legal framework for the establishment and administration of PRPPs for those who fall within the legislative authority of the federal government, including interprovincial transportation, banking and telecommunication. Provinces will need to introduce their own enabling legislation to make PRPPs available throughout Canada. The federal legislation is intended to be a model that the provinces can use to implement PRPPs within their own jurisdictions. A high level of harmonization of pension regulations across jurisdictions will be instrumental in increasing the availability of PRPPs and, more importantly, achieving lower costs. The federal government encourages provinces to implement the framework in a timely manner to help Canadians reach their retirement objectives.

With regard to (b) and (c), PRPPs will facilitate low costs through their scale and design. These plans will result in large pooled funds that will enable plan members to benefit from the lower investment management costs associated with such funds. The design of these plans will be straightforward, and these plans are intended to be largely harmonized across jurisdictions, which will facilitate lower administrative costs. In addition, the PRPP act requires the administrator to offer the PRPP at a low cost to plan members. The criteria for determining whether a PRPP is low cost will be set out in the accompanying regulations and will be monitored by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Finally, plain-language disclosure of all costs and fees will ensure transparency and facilitate price competition among administrators.

Question No. 274Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

With regard to Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts (PRPP Act), will the regulations allow for private-sector plan managers, other than banks and insurance companies, to manage PRPP assests?

Question No. 274Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-25 specifies that eligible administrators must be corporations that can assume a fiduciary duty, such as regulated financial institutions and public pension plans. In order to offer a PRPP, administrators would need to obtain a licence from the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. The criteria for this licence will be set out in the regulations, and will not require administrators to be a bank or insurance company.

Question No. 275Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

With regard to Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts (PRPP Act), does the government plan to incorporate limited or specific situational exemptions in the locking-in rules to allow Canadians of modest means emergency access to the funds accumulated in their PRPP account?

Question No. 275Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-25 includes locking-in provisions that are intended to ensure that funds are available for retirement income purposes. Funds in the members’ accounts are generally not permitted to be withdrawn. Subject to the regulations accompanying the Bill, plan members may be permitted to withdraw funds from their accounts under certain circumstances, such as disability.