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House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Notice of MotionWays and MeansRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1) I wish to table a notice of ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012, and other measures.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

SuicidePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand a petition signed by a number of Canadians primarily from Alberta who want to draw to the attention of the House the fact that suicide is a major issue affecting youth across our country.

The petitioners want to draw the attention of the chamber to Bill C-297 and Bill C-300 currently before Parliament.

Old Age SecurityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I stand to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of Canadians, but particularly from people in Newfoundland and Labrador, about the decision of the government to raise eligibility for old age security from 65 to 67.

I listened to the minister today when she say that people were working nowadays until they were 85 years old. That is fine if that is by choice. However, when people work in very difficult work environments, whether in a fish plant, on the ocean, on an oil rig, the fact is these people need to be able to retire when they are 65 and not have to wait until they are 67.

AbortionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to present a petition on behalf of residents of Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley calling on Parliament to speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague from Newfoundland, our Whip, I would like to present a petition signed by many Canadians, most of them from my riding, also strongly objecting to the government's proposal to raise the age from 65 to 67 for old age security. As was already commented, this is grossly unfair to those people who have had hard physical labour and grossly unfair to the most vulnerable in our society. It is on these grounds that constituents have signed this petition.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues from Newfoundland and Markham have said, people from across Canada are signing petitions in regard to old age security. In opposition, Canadians are sending a very clear message and they are signing petitions like the one I am tabling today. The message is that the Conservative government is wrong to increase the age from 65 to 67. If the government were wise at all, it would look seriously at reversing that decision. Maybe then we would see a bit more calm in regard to the very real uproar, as seniors sign petitions across this country.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to present many pages of petitions from across the country but primarily from B.C., concerning the fact that every year hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are brutally slaughtered for their fur in a number of Asian regions and that these animals live in deplorable conditions. Canada should join the U.S., Australia and the European Union in banning the import and sale of dog and cat fur. The petitioners point out that Canada is the only developed nation without such a ban and that it should be mandatory that all fur products imported into or sold in Canada be properly labelled and identify the species of origin. They also call on the Government of Canada to support a private member's bill that would bring in this legislation.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 466, 473, 474, 477, 484, 489, 493, 494, 498, 501 and 509.

Question No. 466Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

With regard to the government's plan to forgive a portion of Canada Student Loans for new family physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses, practicing in under-served rural or remote Canadian communities: (a) when will individuals begin to receive loan forgiveness; (b) how many individuals are projected to qualify for loan forgiveness in fiscal year 2012-2013; (c) what is the projected value of loans that will be forgiven; and (d) what will the process be for individuals to apply to have their loans forgiven?

Question No. 466Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b), (c) and (d), Canada Student Loan, CSL, forgiveness for family physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses is on track for implementation in 2012-13, subject to regulatory approval. Individuals will begin to receive CSL forgiveness starting in 2013.

Question No. 473Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

With regard to the trip by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to New Zealand and Thailand in July and August of 2011, who were all of the staff and guests who accompanied the Minister?

Question No. 473Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Chris Mahon, executive assistant to the minister, accompanied the minister throughout the trip. Kate O’Brien, immigration program manager, IPM--Canberra, participated in some of the Wellington events, then travelled by air with the minister and Chris Mahon from Wellington to Auckland. Micheline Aucoin, area director for Southeast Asia and IPM--Manila, participated in the Thailand program.

Question No. 474Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) planned modernization of fisheries management: (a) how many jobs will be lost and/or relocated due to the move to an online web-based license renewal and payment system; (b) what offices will be affected and where are they located; (c) does the government have a plan in place to assure that every fisher in every fishing community, including those who live in predominantly rural areas of the country, many of whom do not have access to high-speed internet, will have equal service standards; (d) what is the government’s plan to provide equal service to those fishers who do not and will not have access to the internet; (e) how will services be affected for those who do not and will not have access to the internet; and (f) what is the government’s plan to allow fishers who do not and will not have access to the internet to make the kinds of last minute changes in their files that could previously be made by telephone?

Question No. 474Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), it is estimated that 42 positions will be eliminated as a result of the department’s modernization from paper-based to electronic-based systems.

With regard to (b), positions affected are located in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert, BC; Whitehorse, YT; Quebec City, Sept-Iles and Gaspé, QC; Charlottetown, PE; St. George, Moncton, Richibucto and Tracadie-Sheila, NB; Yarmouth, Dartmouth, Sydney and Antigonish, NS; and St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Grand Bank, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Grand Falls-Windsor, NL.

With regard to (c), Fisheries and Oceans Canada is developing a web-based system that will have equal service standards and provide consistent services to harvesters across the country. It will be more efficient and effective and will be available on a 24/7 basis.

With regard to (d) and (e), alternate service delivery procedures are being developed for those who do not and will not have access to the Internet. For example, the web-based system will allow harvesters to delegate licensing responsibility to other persons who have access to the Internet. Where the Internet is not available locally, alternate service delivery procedures will be developed for these situations.

With regard to (f), there will be staff available at local fisheries offices to assist licence holders in exceptional circumstances when needed.

Question No. 477Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

With regard to the one-time projected closing costs of the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre in St. John’s (MRSC St. John’s) and the consolidation of MRSC St. John’s to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC Halifax) and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton (JRCC Trenton), what is the total cost of: (a) consolidating MRSC St. John’s to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton; (b) new training at JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton, including language training and overtime hours for replacement employees while employees are being trained; (c) relocation to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton; (d) upgrades required to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton; (e) benefits paid to employees who choose to leave the public service as a result of the consolidation; (f) recruitment of candidates to replace services provided by MRSC St. John’s; (g) travel for personnel and project managers between JRCC Halifax, JRCC Trenton, MRSC St. John’s and Ottawa as a result of the consolidation; (h) project management, including the replacement and supplementing of the Regional Superintendent of Search and Rescue to assist with consolidation logistics; and (i) other work force adjustments obligations, including reasonable job offers to affected employees?

Question No. 477Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), a net annual and ongoing cost savings of $1,000,000 in salaries will be realized through a reduction of positions. Annual total overhead costs for telecommunications and informatics services and training, travelling and exercising will not change and will be transferred from the maritime rescue sub-centres, MRSCs, to the joint rescue coordination centres, JRCCs. The total ongoing cost of consolidated JRCCs is not yet finalized. One-time costs to implement the consolidation are dependent upon various factors, including the specific training and relocation requirements of each new hire and the scope of required upgrades to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton.

With regard to (c), as of March 12, 2012, no MRSC St. John's and Quebec employees have elected to relocate to JRCC Halifax and JRCC Trenton.

With regard to (d), renovation/upgrade costs for the JRCCs are under review, as there were several pre-existing renewal/upgrade projects under way at both JRCCs before the government announcement of this consolidation, including phone system upgrades, software and hardware upgrades, and renovations).

With regard to (e), costs for any potential benefits paid to employees who choose to leave the public service are determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the union collective agreement. Should employees accept other employment within the public service, these costs will be avoided.

With regard to (f), the recruitment process is ongoing at all JRCCs. A final cost will not be available until recruitment is completed.

With regard to (g), final travel costs will only be available when consolidation is fully implemented.

With regard to (h), the project management duties have been carried out by existing Coast Guard employees within its salary envelope.

With regard to (i), the workforce adjustment process is still under way, and all affected employees will be subject to workforce adjustment processes based on their negotiated collective agreements and Government of Canada policies. Final costs for each affected employee will not be known until the completion of this process.

Question No. 484Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

With regard to the three project profiles located on the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) webpage, one for each of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, entitled “Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility”, for a total of twenty million dollars: (a) what are the executing agency and partners for each of the projects; (b) how much funding has been allocated for each project, (i) how much of the allocated funding has been spent, (ii) when was funding for each project first spent, (iii) what specific activities and expenses has the funding been spent on, (iv) in what specific area of each country has this funding been spent; (c) are there Canadian or other mining projects in these areas; and (d) do these three projects correspond to CIDA’s Andean Regional Initiative?

Question No. 484Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the response to this question is based on the profiles available on CIDA’s project browser for the following sub-elements of the project called “Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility”, project A034537: A034537-001, Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility--Bolivia; A034537-002, Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility--Colombia; A034537-003, Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility--Peru.

With regard to (a), at this time no executing agency or implementing partners have been selected to undertake activities related to this project. An executing agency will be selected through a request for proposal on the Government of Canada’s MERX system for two components of the project. This request for proposal is currently under preparation. In addition, local implementing partners will be selected through local calls for proposals in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

With regard to (b), for A034537-001, Bolivia, the amount was $6,591,667; for A034537-002, Colombia, it was $6,591,667; and for A034537-003, Peru, it was $6,591,667.

Funding for this project is currently allocated equally to each country, as demonstrated above and on CIDA’s project browser. However, an estimated amount of $5 million of total project funding is currently budgeted for two regional components that will build the capacity of local governments to implement sustainable development projects and promote knowledge-sharing on CSR. The remaining funding will be allocated equally to three local funds that will foster partnerships with the private sector for sustainable development projects in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

With regard to (b)(i), for A034537-001, Bolivia, the amount was $18,391; for A034537-002, Colombia, it was $0; and for A034537-003, Peru, it was $27,125.

With regard to (b)(ii), for A034537-001, Bolivia, it was 2011; for A034537-002, Colombia, not applicable; for A034537-003, Peru, it was 2011.

With regard to (b)(iii) and (b)(iv), for A034537-001, Bolivia, it was for a local CSR coordinator in La Paz, Bolivia; for A034537-002, Colombia, not applicable; for A034537-003, Peru, it was for a local CSR coordinator in Lima, Peru.

Expenses to date have covered local administrative costs related to project start-up. CIDA anticipates that initiatives funded through the local calls for proposals process will become operational starting in fiscal year 2012-13. This is particularly the case in Peru, where a local call was launched in summer 2011 and is in final stages of approval and contractual arrangements. Proposals received include initiatives on technical vocational education and training and socio-economic community development.

With regard to (c), expenses to date were for administrative purposes only and were related to the expenses of CSR coordinators in La Paz, Bolivia, and Lima, Peru. CIDA anticipates that initiatives supported through the local fund components of this project will be in regions where extractive activities are taking place. None of the proposals currently under consideration are in the direct operation zone of a mining project, Canadian or otherwise.

With regard to (d), yes, the three profiles on CIDA’s project browser correspond to and are the main elements of the Andean regional initiative for promoting effective corporate social responsibility, which was announced by the Minister for International Cooperation on September 29, 2011.

Question No. 489Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

With regard to the plan to modernize Canada’s Employment Insurance program and the 2011 decision to consolidate Employment Insurance processing centres: (a) what were the selection criteria for determining where the six processing centres in Quebec would be located as part of the call for tenders; (b) which criteria resulted in Thetford Mines being chosen over Rimouski for the location of a processing centre; (c) in terms of the selection criteria, what were the results for each location that submitted its candidacy; (d) what is the estimated or anticipated itemized cost of moving the processing centre from Rimouski to Thetford Mines; (e) what are the estimated or anticipated itemized cost savings, on an annual basis, of moving the processing centre from Rimouski to Thetford Mines; and (f) when was the final decision made to move the processing centre to Thetford Mines?

Question No. 489Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Government of Canada is committed to delivering programs and services that are efficient and effective, aligned with the priorities of Canadians and financially sustainable over the long term.

These are challenging economic times, and the Government of Canada is working hard on behalf of Canadians towards eliminating the deficit, returning to balanced budgets and improving the services we deliver.

To achieve these savings, the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, HRSDC, needs to change the way it currently does business. This includes moving forward with the consolidation of employment insurance, EI, processing and moving from smaller, more costly sites to larger regional centres made up of 22 sites.

National and regional perspectives were taken into consideration in the selection of the final EI growth sites. This is a national program, and many factors were considered, such as existing labour force, skill availability, bilingual capability, and real estate.

It is important to note that while the 22 sites have been selected, the physical buildings and lease arrangements are not finalized in all cases.

As in the past, Service Canada will work with Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, to ensure real property regulations and guidelines are followed as the department moves forward with consolidation. This phase of the process includes soliciting bids through MERX if new lease arrangements are required.

With regard to (b), Thetford Mines was not chosen over Rimouski for the location of a processing centre. As indicated in response (a) above, both national and regional perspectives were taken into consideration.

With regard to (c), locations did not submit proposals.EI growth sites were chosen by a combination of criteria that identified ideal end-state locations and assessed risk factors related to negative impacts associated with reducing federal presence in communities.

With regard to (d), no dates have been set to formally close the existing EI processing centres. The overall transition, including the allocation of resources, will be business-driven, aligned with Service Canada’s automation agenda.

With regard to (e), the member may refer to response (c) above.

With regard to (f), the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, HRSDC, announced the EI modernization initiative on August 19, 2011. This included the decision on the future 22 EI processing growth sites.

As indicated above, this announcement was not in regard to moving processing centres from one location to another; rather, it was about which locations had been identified as future EI growth sites.

Modernizing our services will mean changes to the way we currently do business, but ultimately it will provide Canadians with greater access to an increased range of information and services no matter where they live.

Question No. 493Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

With regard to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Natural Resources and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador concerning the Muskrat Falls project, given that the government has already stated that, within eight weeks of its receipt of the data room and detailed representations of credit rating agencies for the entire project as defined by the Muskrat Falls Generating Station, the transmission lines, Island link and Maritime link, and a terms sheet for engagement of the capital markets will be completed, and given that the government has already stated that it is working with partners and that the Memorandum of Agreement remains in place; (a) has the government now received the relevant data room and detailed representations from credit rating agencies; and (b) has the term sheet for engagement with capital markets now been completed and, if so, have the capital markets been engaged in the process?

Question No. 493Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources CPC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is fully committed to support the Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects as set out in the August 2011 memorandum of agreement, MOA.

The Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects consist of the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets, the Labrador-island link and the maritime link.

With regard to (a), the Government of Canada has received access to data rooms for the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets, the Labrador-island link and the maritime link. The Government of Canada has also received the analyses and representations by credit rating agencies for the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador transmission assets and the Labrador-island link projects. Detailed analyses and representations for the maritime link are expected.

With regard to (b), the term sheet has not yet been completed.

The Government of Canada continues to work with its financial adviser, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Province of Nova Scotia, Nalcor Energy and Emera to meet the federal commitment as set out in the MOA.

Question No. 494Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

With respect to the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) program and, more specifically, to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary training in the Pacific region: (a) how many full-time and part-time volunteers worked in the Pacific region from 2008 to 2010, and what are the seasonal variations of full-time and part-time volunteers; (b) how many maritime SAR incidents, classifications M1 to M4, have occurred in Nanaimo—Cowichan from 2008 to 2010; (c) what is the amount spent by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Pacific region; (d) was there an analysis of the impact of cuts to the SAR in the Pacific region, and, if so, what is the result of the analysis; and (e) what was the SAR budget in 2008-2010, (i) what is the projected Coast Guard budget for the Pacific region for the next three years?

Question No. 494Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), there are approximately 1070 volunteer members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Pacific region, who provide search and rescue services year round. There is no seasonal variation with respect to these volunteers.

With regard to (b), the Canadian Coast Guard does not track specific statistics for the Nanaimo--Cowichan area. The maritime SAR statistics from the broader SAR areas that include the Nanaimo--Cowichan geographical area, Victoria and part of the Juan de Fuca Strait indicate that annually there are an average of 11 M1, 29 M2, 115 M3 and 63 M4 maritime cases.

With regard to (c), Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided $1,003,000 in funding to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Pacific region, in fiscal year 2011-12 through a contribution agreement for reimbursement of SAR operations, training, membership costs, administration expenses and recruitment costs.

With regard to (d), there were no cuts to the SAR program’s Pacific region budget.

With regard to (e), the SAR program’s Pacific region budget was $6.29 million for 2008-09, $6.21 million for 2009-10, and $6.44 million for 2010-11. The projected budget is $6.69 million for 2012-13, $6.69 million for 2013-14, and $6.69 million for 2014-15.