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House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Search and RescuePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in keeping with the questions that have been raised in the House about the importance of keeping the maritime rescue sub-centre open in St. John's and to present a petition signed by 1,300 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

This is only one of many petitions, again pointing out how important it is to keep that centre open with the local knowledge and the expertise there in terms of what has transpired in our province. It is not just about Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This is about Canadians. It is about anyone who travels in the North Atlantic.

The situation out there, when people are out on the ocean, is that it is so volatile from time to time that we really need to know there is someone there who will have an innate knowledge and who knows exactly what to do and where to go when something dangerous happens.

This is why people are signing these petitions, saying to the government that it must understand how serious the issue is. It is not one to be taken lightly. We really must keep this open. There is no way the government will save $1 million closing the centre. If it did, what is the price of a life? What we have seen happen as a result of having the centre there is that so many hundreds of lives have been saved. We are talking about 10,000 miles of coastline. We need to keep this maritime rescue sub-centre in operation.

Search and RescuePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I see there are still several members wishing to present petitions and there is only 11 minutes left under this rubric in the orders of the day. Therefore, I encourage members to be as brief as possible so we can get everybody in.

The hon. member for Davenport.

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the petition I am presenting today is on behalf of the members of my riding in Davenport, Toronto who have profound concerns about the government's proposed online spying legislation.

In particular, the people in my riding have a deep and abiding faith and love of the democratic process and of democracy. One of the foundations of that is the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

This proposed lawful access legislation would diminish that by allowing law enforcement agencies to pick and choose people's private information at their own request without a warrant from a judge. The people in my riding have concerns about that.

Railway SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition today that is signed by many people and deals with railway crossings in Southwest Middlesex.

The petitioners request railway safety devices, including gates, flashing lights and bells at all public rail crossings in the municipality of Southwest Middlesex and Newbury and particularly installation at Pratt Siding, where a number of accidents and deaths have occurred.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today asking for a royal commission on the environment and health given the chemicals and dangers to human health present in our environment now. The petitioners feel it would be worth looking into.

Search and RescuePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a large number of Canadians, some from Newfoundland and some from other parts of Atlantic Canada, who are concerned about the marine rescue coordination centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador being closed.

Contrary to what the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said in the House today, lives will certainly be at risk if this centre closes. At this point, it is responding to 500 incidents a year, saving the lives of 600 people in distress. The importance of having people with local knowledge who are engaged in working on the sea, on ships, crews, individual fishermen, the places they go, the names of the communities and the local current conditions and everything else are extremely important to operating efficiently to save lives.

This is not a call centre. This is a rescue coordination centre with key people who have tremendous marine experience doing the job of coordinating rescues to continue to save lives. It should not close, nor should the one in Quebec. The government is not paying enough attention and giving enough priority to search and rescue.

SuicidePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a number of petitions signed by people from Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, including a number of first nations communities.

The petitioners call on Parliament to meet the public health challenges posed by suicide by adopting legislation that would recognize suicide as a public health issue, to promote evidence-based solutions to prevent suicide and its aftermath and to define best practices for the prevention of suicide.

Post-Secondary EducationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today as the official opposition critic on post-secondary education. I presenting petitions that have been sent to me from the greater Ottawa region, Kingston and Sudbury.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to create a post-secondary education act, which would remove the federal funding for post-secondary education from the social transfer to the provinces and create a new transfer of funds dedicated solely to post-secondary education in our country to ensure that our post-secondary education system has importance given to good quality education that is publicly accessible and affordable to all who wish to have post-secondary education.

Foreign AidPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour a few weeks ago of attending an event in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador regarding a very energized group of youth known as RADHOC. It has several petitions, one of which is regarding foreign aid and how essential it is for developing countries to promote sustainability within the region receiving the aid.

The petitioners request the House of Commons to increase the Canadian foreign aid policy to 0.7% of GDP in keeping with the millennium development goals.

Product SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition today, started by two high school students, Katie van der Sloot and Rachel Brown, of Medicine Hat. This petition was signed by hundreds of citizens from Medicine Hat and across Canada.

The petitioners ask the government to ban triclosan, a chemical used in herbicide, hand sanitizers and other products, to protect Canadians.

Old Age SecurityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I present a petition today with regard to seniors' pensions.

The petitioners ask that the government not increase the age from 65 to 67. They are joined by tens of thousands across the country who are concerned. Many of them have actually signed online petitions. These individuals signed this hard-copy petition and asked me to present it to the House.

AbortionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. They are both from citizens on Vancouver Island, from communities such as Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Parksville and many from Qualicum Beach near where I live.

The petitioners draw attention to the fact that Canada is one of the very few developed countries in the world that has no law to protect the unborn. They note that Canada is the only nation in the western world, in the company of China and North Korea, without any laws at all restricting abortion. They note the Supreme Court has said that it is Parliament's responsibility to enact abortion legislation.

Therefore, they call upon the House of Commons to speedily enact legislation that protects unborn Canadians to the greatest extent possible.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions from residents of my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands.

The first petition deals with the urgent crisis of climate change and the fact that we do not have a climate plan in Canada. The petitioners ask that we take note of the fact that, according to the government's own agency, the National Round Table on the Environment and on the Economy, climate change will cost the Canadian economy by 2020 $5 billion a year rising to $43 billion every year if we do not take action.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from petitioners in Sidney/North Saanich and it deals with the issue of the proposed threat to the coastlines of British Columbia with the federal Conservatives' interest in removing the current moratorium and allowing supertanker traffic from Kitimat to the west toward China.

The petitioners demand that the Government of Canada stop promoting a specific project and protect the interests of British Columbians.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 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. 428, 430, 448, 449 and 450.

Question No. 428Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to the government’s expenditure plan, by year for fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, what are the comprehensive details of all government spending on statutory items not included in the Main Estimates or any Supplementary Estimates, including: (a) the department expending the funds, (b) the amount spent; (c) the legislative authority for the spending; (d) the purpose of the spending; and (e) the reason why the item was excluded from the Estimates?

Question No. 428Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 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 cannot be provided in the timeframe allotted to respond to this question, as an extensive manual search of records would be required.

Forecasts of statutory expenditures are presented in the estimates for information purposes only. They are included in main estimates if the necessary legislation has been approved and a reasonable estimate can be made of the amount. If an organization is seeking additional annual voted expenditure authority in supplementary estimates, any new statutory items will be added and material revisions to forecasts of existing statutory items will also be made.

There are some statutory items not listed in the estimates. Two common items are the spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus crown assets under the Surplus Crown Assets Act, and refunds of amounts credited to revenues in previous years under section 20 of the Financial Administration Act. In both of these cases, the amounts are generally small and are quite difficult to forecast. Other amounts may not be included in the main estimates or supplementary estimates because of the timing of the payment, such as payments made after the preparation of supplementary estimates (C) and before the end of the fiscal year.

All expenditures are reported by department by statutory item in the ministry summary sections of volume two of the Public Accounts of Canada, found at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/72-eng.html. The ministry summary presents any authority available from the previous year and, for statutory items, the forecasts included in main estimates and supplementary estimates and adjustments.

Question No. 430Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

With regard to the impending “lawful access” legislation, (a) has the Minister of Public Safety identified any cases where online privacy legislation has hindered police investigations and threatened public safety; and (b) has the Minister of Public Safety made any statements concerning the second call-out in three years by the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs to police departments across the country to submit cases where the refusal by an Internet Service Provider to provide the personal information of a customer has “hindered an investigation or threatened public safety” and, if so, what is the content of these statements?

Question No. 430Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), telecommunications service providers, TSPs, today may provide authorities, without a warrant, with basic subscriber information under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. The problem is that there is no consistency across the country in how service providers respond to these requests: sometimes they respond in a timely manner, but often they respond only after considerable delays, if at all.

Specifically, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre in Ottawa, in 2010 the average response time for a basic subscriber information, BSI, request was 13 days, and only 72.5% of requests were fulfilled.

One TSP only responds to BSI requests on Fridays, regardless of when the requests are submitted.

Another TSP only accepts BSI requests via email, which can be problematic in emergencies.

In December 2010, New Brunswick RCMP began to investigate the distribution of child pornography. Police suspected an individual who was using a TSP that had historically not shared information with police. As a result, local police applied for a court order. There was a substantial delay and by this time the case had gone cold as the suspect had stopped his activities. Due to this delay, abuse could have been prevented at an earlier date, as it was later discovered that this suspect had been abusing two young boys to create child pornography. Several months later, the suspect resumed his online activity. This time the TSP was cooperative with police requests. The suspect was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

In 2007, the RCMP assisted with an international investigation in which suspects located in Canada were attempting to defraud American corporations of approximately $100 million. The investigation required police to find the individuals who were committing these fraudulent activities. The suspects were constantly on the move and police needed the immediate support of the TSPs to determine the location of these networks. However, the service providers would not provide police with the basic subscriber information they needed. Because of the lack of cooperation from the TSPs, it took eight full-time technical investigators five days to finally locate and arrest the suspects. The suspects successfully defrauded victims of $15 million. Had police been provided with the information when it was requested, the value of the fraud would have been reduced considerably and police resources would have been used more effectively.

A child was abducted in British Columbia in 2011. An amber alert was broadcast and, fortunately, the suspect returned the child. However, the suspect was not apprehended and his location remained unknown. Through further investigation, police obtained an Internet protocol or IP address associated with the suspect. Police contacted the TSP directly and were advised that it was against policy to provide subscriber information related to an IP address without a production order. Police advised the TSP that the suspect had already abducted one child and that other children could possibly be at risk. The TSP decided to provide the information and the suspect was located and apprehended less than 24 hours after police received the information.

In response to (b), the Minister of Public Safety has not made any public statements concerning the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs’ request for the submission of cases where the refusal to provide information has hindered an investigation.

Question No. 448Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

How many childcare spaces were created in fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2010-2011, in each province and territory with the financial assistance of the government?

Question No. 448Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, through the child care spaces initiative announced in budget 2007, the Government of Canada has been transferring an additional $250 million per year to provinces and territories to support their priorities for child care spaces, so they can continue to build their child care systems to meet the needs of their own citizens.

In the last five years, the federal government has transferred over $1.25 billion to provincial and territorial governments specifically for the creation of child care spaces. This is in addition to the $850 million being transferred to the provinces and territories for early childhood development and early learning and child care.

Since 2007, federal officials have been monitoring provincial and territorial child care space announcements and have informally tabulated that there are plans to create over 102,000 new child care spaces so far. Some jurisdictions are also investing in enhancing the quality of their spaces, or their affordability.

The Government of Canada’s approach is one that respects provincial and territorial primary responsibility for the provision of social and education services for children and families, including the design and delivery of early childhood development, early learning and child care policies and programs.

This approach reflects the fact that each province and territory has different priorities. Each jurisdiction is designing and delivering child care programs and services that best meet the needs of its families and children. Some jurisdictions have chosen to focus on child care space creation, while others are concentrating on wages or training for child care providers.

In addition to transfers to provinces and territories, the government provides direct supports, such as the universal child care benefit, and tax measures, such as the child care expense deduction, to families with children in support of early childhood development, early learning and child care for a total of over $6.2 billion in 2011-12. This is the largest investment in early childhood development and child care in the history of Canada.

Question No. 449Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

March 26th, 2012 / 3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

How many childcare spaces were created for official-language minority communities in fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2010-2011, in each province and territory with the financial assistance of the government?

Question No. 449Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, through the child care spaces initiative announced in budget 2007, the Government of Canada has been transferring an additional $250 million per year to provinces and territories to support their priorities for child care spaces, so they can continue to build their child care systems to meet the needs of their own citizens.

In the last five years, the federal government has transferred over $1.25 billion to provincial and territorial governments specifically for the creation of child care spaces. This is in addition to the $850 million being transferred to the provinces and territories for early childhood development and early learning and child care.

The Government of Canada is working to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities while at the same time respecting that provincial and territorial governments have primary responsibility for the design and delivery of early childhood development, early learning and child care policies and programs.

As the Government of Canada, we play an enabling role, transferring significant funding to supplement and support each province and territory’s own investments. We do not direct or oversee the design and provision of early childhood services. The provinces and territories are accountable to their own citizens, not to the Government of Canada, for their policy decisions, activities and expenditures in this area.

Since 2007, federal officials have been monitoring provincial and territorial child care space announcements and have informally tabulated that there are plans to create over 102,000 new child care spaces so far. Given the informal nature of the tabulation, it does not include a breakdown of spaces by official language minority communities.

Question No. 450Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

With regard to Marine Atlantic’s executive hiring practices: (a) where has the position of Chief Information Officer historically been located; (b) where has the position of Operations for the ports of Channel-Port aux Basques, North Sydney and Argentia historically been located; (c) what is the rationale for the historical position locations; (d) why was the position of Chief Information Officer moved to St. John’s; (e) are there plans to move additional positions out of Channel-Port aux Basques; (f) what steps were taken to recruit a candidate who lived in or who would relocate to Channel-Port aux Basques when filling the Chief Information Officer position; (g) what were the job criteria required for the Chief Information Officer; (h) did the job posting specify that a successful applicant had to reside in or work in Channel-Port aux Basques; (i) how many applicants were there for the position of Chief Information Officer; and (j) how many applicants were there from Channel-Port aux Basques?

Question No. 450Questions 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), the position of chief information officer was located in Channel-Port aux Basques.

In response to (b), for Channel-Port aux Basques, the position of terminal manager is located at the marine terminal; for North Sydney, the position of terminal manager is located at the marine terminal; and for Argentia, the position of assistant terminal manager is located at the marine terminal during the period May to October to cover the operating season for the Argentia to North Sydney service.

In response to (c), the locations of all staff at Marine Atlantic are determined based on how best to meet the operational and customer service requirements of the corporation.

In response to (d), Marine Atlantic did not make a decision to move the position of chief information officer to St. John’s. The decision was made to provide candidates with the option of work location, either Port aux Basques, North Sydney, or St. John’s, as stated in the job advertisement to ensure that a large pool of qualified individuals would apply for the position.

In response to (e), we have no plans to move positions within our organization. However, we always have to ensure that the organization is flexible and responsive to changes in labour markets and customer requirements.

In response to (f), for senior leadership positions within the corporation, Marine Atlantic follows a standard recruitment strategy and engages an executive search firm that uses extensive search techniques to attract top talent.

In response to (g), the high level education and skills criteria for the position included the following: a degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study, such as computer science or engineering, with an MBA considered an asset; a minimum of 10 years of senior IT or IM leadership experience; significant experience in financial management, human resource management, risk management and performance management; and a successful results oriented background that included leadership initiative, customer service, efficiency and motivational skills.

In response to (h), the job posting stated the following: “The position will be located in either Port aux Basques, St. John’s or North Sydney”.

In response to (i), there were 124 applicants for the position of chief information officer.

In response to (j), there was one applicant from Channel-Port aux Basques.