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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

Question No. 498Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

With regard to directives governing communications by Senators, Members of Parliament, and their respective staff, with officials of government (with the exception of communications that involve Ministers of the Crown or ministerial staff): (a) what instructions, protocols or other guidelines are in place regarding such communications for each government department, agency, Crown Corporation, board, and other government body; (b) what was the issuing authority for each such directive; (c) what was the date on which the directive that is currently in effect was issued; (d) are the directives on communications that were referenced in sub-question (a) applicable to all Senators, Members of Parliament and their respective staff regardless of political affiliation; (e) are there any directives on communications that apply specifically to Members of Parliament from the government party and that differ from those directives that apply to Senators, Members of Parliament and their respective staff from opposition parties, and, if so, what are those directives and how do they differ; and (f) has a government-wide directive on such communications been issued to government departments, agencies, Crown Corporations, boards, and other government bodies, and, if so, (i) what does that directive say, (ii) who issued the directive, (iii) when was it issued, (iv) to which bodies does it apply?

Question No. 498Questions 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 Privy Council Office responds that the provision of information to parliamentarians by public servants is done on behalf of ministers in support of ministerial accountability to Parliament and in a manner consistent with public service values and ethics.

Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system. Thus, public servants are expected to carry out their duties in a non-partisan and impartial manner and to support ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians.

These principles are reflected in the government-wide guidance on provision of information to parliamentarians that is provided to public servants in the following documents: “Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State”, 2011; “Accounting Officers: Guidance on Roles, Responsibilities and Appearances Before Parliamentary Committees”, 2007; “Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, 2003; and “Notes on the Responsibilities of Public Servants in Relation to Parliamentary Committees”, 1990. The first of these documents sets out the Prime Minister’s expectations and guidance for members of the ministry and, by extension, the public servants who support them. The remaining documents were prepared by the Privy Council Office as guidance to public servants.

The primary method by which public servants provide information to parliamentarians is through appearances before the open all-party forum of parliamentary committees. As the guidance documents describe, public servants appearing before committees do so on behalf of their ministers and must endeavour to maintain public service impartiality and non-partisanship. Specifically, the guidance indicates that the information provided by public servants should consist of non-partisan, factual explanations of government policies and programs; that confidential information should not be disclosed; that questions of a political nature or that engage policy debate or disagreement should be referred to the minister; and that appearances should be coordinated with the minister’s office.

As indicated in “Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State" and "Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, deputy ministers and other departmental officials may, in addition to committee appearances, be asked by their minister to provide factual briefings to parliamentary caucuses on, for example, the technical details of legislation that the government intends to introduce. Such briefings may be initiated by the minister or come in response to a request from a parliamentary caucus. In either case, the guidance makes clear that briefings organized for one caucus are to be made available to other caucuses and that the leaders or House leaders of the parties should be kept informed. The conduct of such briefings is subject to the same general guidance described above with respect to appearances before parliamentary committees.

Departmental officials may also sometimes receive requests for information from individual parliamentarians of all political affiliations. As described in “Guidance for Deputy Ministers”, responses to such requests should be coordinated with ministers’ offices and respect the principles of ministerial responsibility and public service impartiality.

The guidance described above is consistent with the “Communications Policy of the Government of Canada”, which is issued by the Treasury Board and applies to all departments and agencies. The policy encourages departmental officials to communicate openly with the public about the policies, programs, services and initiatives they are responsible for, in a manner that is non-partisan and consistent with the principles of parliamentary democracy and ministerial responsibility. As noted in the policy, ministers are ultimately accountable for the presentation and explanation of government policies, priorities and decisions to the public and are the principal spokespersons for the Government of Canada and its institutions.

To the extent that individual departments, agencies or crown corporations adopt particular practices to coordinate the provision of information to parliamentarians, these are expected to conform to the guidance described above.

Question No. 501Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

With regard to the $291.5 million provided by the government to the International Financial Corporation (IFC) as part of its 2010-2011 commitment under the Copenhagen Accord: (a) for each disbursement of those funds to private sector entities, (i) when was the money disbursed, (ii) how much money was given, (iii) what is the name of the recipient of the funds and the purpose of the funding; (b) what are the conditions that were placed on the IFC by the government with regard to the 2010-2011 funding; (c) has IFC complied with each of the government’s conditions; (d) what is the total value of funding provided for adaptation activities and the total value of funding provided for mitigation activities; (e) what is the total value of funding that was provided in the form of grants; and (f) what is the total value of funding provided as loans?

Question No. 501Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada provided the International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with $285.7 million to be used as concessional financing for a broad portfolio of clean energy projects in developing countries as part of Canada’s commitment to support mitigation efforts.

In addition, $5.8 million in grant financing was provided to support IFC’s advisory services to help remove barriers to private clean energy investment and build technical expertise. For example, this grant financing will support advice to financial institutions to strengthen their capacity to identify, assess and structure loans to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Canada’s investments will support greenhouse gas abatement opportunities and will be deployed to catalyze private sector financing for clean energy projects. Canada will work with the IFC to track the amount of private investment directly mobilized by Canada’s public finance contribution to the IFC, as well as the emissions reductions achieved. This type of innovative approach will be key to achieving long-term financing and mitigation goals.

Canada’s contributions are being managed by IFC’s financial mechanisms for sustainability group, which deploys donor funds on concessional terms alongside IFC investments, as well as providing grant financing for technical assistance and capacity-building.

To be eligible to receive concessional or grant financing from Canada’s contributions to IFC, a project must satisfy IFC’s standard criteria and due diligence. For more information, the investment and advisory services page on www.ifc.org should be consulted.

Question No. 509Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

With regard to the Bomber Command memorial being built in London, United Kingdom: (a) will the government contribute to the memorial; (b) are there plans to assist Canadian veterans of Bomber Command to attend the commemoration of the memorial; and (c) is there a Canadian delegation planned for that event?

Question No. 509Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Veterans Affairs Canada is contributing $100,000 to the Bomber Command Association in support of the construction of the memorial.

With regard to (b), Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Air Force Association of Canada to assist veterans who wish to attend the June 28, 2012, unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, England.

With regard to (c), the Minister of Veterans Affairs will be leading an official delegation of Bomber Command veterans who will attend the dedication of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, England, on June 28, 2012.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine 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, furthermore, if Questions Nos. 467, 470, 471, 472, 476, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483, 486, 487, 488, 490, 492, 496, 497, 499, 500, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508 and 516 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 467Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

With regard to aboriginal communities: (a) how many audits or evaluations were initiated or completed between January 1, 1990, and December 21, 2010, inclusive, concerning grants, contributions or other transfers from any government department or agency, or concerning the financial management or operations, of (i) the Innu nation of Labrador, (ii) Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, including the former Sheshatshiu Innu Band Council, (iii) Mushuau Innu First Nation or Natuashish First Nation, including the former Davis Inlet Band Council and Utshimassits Band Council, (iv) the Innu Healing Foundation, (v) Mamu Tshishkutamashutau - Innu Education Inc., (vi) Innu Business Development Centre, (vii) Innu Development Limited Partnership, (viii) Innu Recreation Complexes Inc.; (b) which department or agency conducted each audit or evaluation referenced in subquestion (a); (c) what was the date of each audit and evaluation; and (d) what are the internal file or reference numbers associated with each audit and evaluation?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 470Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

April 23rd, 2012 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

With regard to the office of Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation, between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2011, inclusive: (a) for each of the Ambassador’s trips made in connection with his duties, what were the (i) dates, (ii) destinations, (iii) total expenses; and (b) for all meetings convened or attended by the Ambassador in connection with his duties, what or who were the (i) dates, (ii) locations, (iii) participants?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 471Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

With regard to government real property: (a) what have been the total expenditures, in each fiscal year since the government acquired the property, for the maintenance, renovation, or other work performed in or on the former Embassy of the United States on Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario; and (b) what are the details of all such work?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 472Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

With regard to Attawapiskat First Nation: (a) how many visits have been made by employees of the government to Attawapiskat First Nation since January 2010; (b) what are the names and positions of the employees who made these visits; (c) what was the purpose of these visits; and (d) did these employees issue any official reports or communications about Attawapiskat First Nation, and, if so, what were the contents of these reports or communications?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 476Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) cuts to the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP): (a) how many jobs will be lost due to this cut and in what regions will any and all job losses occur; (b) what, if any, similar resources are available to small and medium sized businesses in the aquaculture industry for research and development; (c) what has been the total budget allocated for the ACRDP over each of the past ten years; (d) what is the total breakdown of all money spent by DFO on the ACRDP over the past ten years; (e) what companies has the ACRDP worked with and where are they located; and (f) what tangible benefits have arisen from research done by the ACRDP?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 478Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

With regard to all Governor in Council appointments: (a) what criteria are used to determine the suitability of appointees; (b) have any organizations with appointed directors adopted a gender-parity policy for their boards of directors; (c) is there a government policy on gender representation on boards appointed through Order in Council; (d) has the Privy Council Office designated responsibility for monitoring gender representation on boards appointed through Order in Council; and (e) what percentage of all appointments made since February 6, 2006, were of female appointees, broken down by organization and by year?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 479Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

With respect to the Canadian Revenue Agency’s (CRA) searchable charity database, and providing a detailed justification for any information that is not supplied: (a) when was the database created; (b) what was the initial cost to create the database; (c) how many staff were initially required to administer the database; (d) have there been any major upgrades to the database since it has been created, and, if so, (i) when, (ii) for what reason, (iii) at what total cost; (e) what is the annual cost to run and administer the searchable database, including, (i) staffing costs, (ii) technology costs, (iii) general administration costs, (iv) any other major costs for the fiscal years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011; (f) to administer the database in fiscal year 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011, how many (i) staff positions were required, (ii) total employees were required; (g) how many charitable returns were filed with CRA for the fiscal years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011; (h) what is the aggregate amount of all transactions and all disbursements, or book value in the case of investments and assets, in excess of $5,000 made by the CRA with respect to the functioning and administration of the charitable database, broken down individually by (i) name and address of payer and payee, (ii) purpose and description of the transaction, (iii) specific amount that has been paid or received or that is to be paid or received; (i) for all of the transactions referenced in subquestion (h), what is the breakdown of these transactions according to (i) disbursements for education and training activities, (ii) disbursements for general overhead, (iii) disbursements for administration, (iv) disbursements to employees and contractors including gross salary, stipends, periodic payments, benefits (including pension obligations), vehicles, bonuses, gifts, service credits, lump sum payments, and other forms of remuneration; and (j) what is the description, cost, book value, and price paid for all investments and fixed assets associated with the functioning and administration of the database?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 480Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

With regard to infrastructure spending since 2008-2009: (a) how much project funding has gone to non-Canadian firms by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) government program; and (b) how much project funding has gone to public-private partnerships by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) government program?

(Return tabled)