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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was panama.

Topics

Calgary CentreVacancyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, namely Mr. Lee Richardson, member for the electoral district of Calgary Centre, by resignation effective June 6, 2012.

Pursuant to subsection 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed a warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill the vacancy.

Commissioner of LobbyingRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour, pursuant to section 11 of the Lobbying Act, to lay upon the table the report of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Finance, regarding its study of the subcommittee's report on Bill C-38.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report it to the House without amendment.

Access to Information, Privacy and EthicsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, regarding its study on expenditures incurred by the members of the board of directors and the officials at the Old Port of Montréal Corporation.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

AbortionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 7th, 2012 / 10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition in support of Motion No. 312.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.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. 614, 615, 620 and 623.

Question No. 614Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to events described in paragraph 2.58 of Chapter 2 of the 2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada “Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets” concerning the approval by Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) of a sole source procurement of the F-35: (a) when were senior decision-makers in PWGSC informed that there had not been sufficient justification provided for a sole source contract; (b) why were they informed of this and what was the rationale; (c) who within PWGSC made the decision to ask the Department of National Defence to provide a letter of justification in lieu of a finalized statement of operational requirement or a complete options analysis; (d) why did this letter meet the justification for National Defence’s proposed procurement strategy; (e) was the Minister informed of the use of this letter; (f) if not, why not; and (g) if the Minister was informed when did that take place?

Question No. 614Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), during the early to mid-2010 period, decision-makers at Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, were regularly informed of developments related to the Department of National Defence’s fifth generation fighter jet requirements and proposed sole-source procurement.

PWGSC decision-makers were informed that PWGSC personnel had engaged in discussions with DND, the technical authority, to understand the high-level mandatory capabilities and to determine if a competitive process could be conducted; considered the DND market analysis and met with another potential aircraft manufacturer to discuss their ability to meet the DND mandatory capabilities; and determined that the procurement strategy was in accordance with Treasury Board contracting policy and that this acquisition met the requirements of subsection 6(d) of the Government Contracts Regulations for a sole source acquisition.

Consistent with government guidelines, PWGSC concluded these discussions with DND by requesting and receiving written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

With regard to (b), because of the unique nature of this procurement, including its complexity and value, senior decision-makers were regularly informed about the status of discussions with DND to understand their requirements and assess the possibility of conducting a competitive process.

With regard to (c), the letter provided to PWGSC from the Department of National Defence, as requested by PWGSC acquisitions branch senior staff, was not in lieu of a finalized statement of operational requirements or a complete options analysis. It served as written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force statement of operational requirement.

With regard to (d), PWGSC requested and received a written confirmation from DND that the F-35 was the only aircraft available to Canada that had fifth generation capabilities and met the high-level mandatory capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

This letter was the culmination of meetings and discussions between staff from both departments during which rationale for a non-competitive process based on key high-level requirements was presented by DND and found justifiable by PWGSC. Based on where we were in the acquisition continuum, this letter was required to document the reason that a non-competitive strategy was being adopted.

With regard to (e), (f) and (g), the minister was briefed leading up to the July 2010 announcement. The context of these briefings was the department’s obligations on the acquisition aspects of the project. Once PWGSC concluded its due diligence process, the minister was briefed on the department’s advice that we were satisfied that the technical authority, DND, had fulfilled the requirement to justify that only one person or company could meet their high-level mandatory capabilities. In turn, these briefings advised that a sole-source exception provided through subsection 6(d) of the Government Contracts Regulations could be invoked.

Question No. 615Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to the use of the term “fifth generation fighter” by the government: (a) is the term “fifth generation” considered to be appropriate for a statement of requirements; (b) is there an accepted and/or objective definition of the term “fifth generation” by the government; and (c) how has the classification of “fifth generation” been used for the proposed procurement of the F-35?

Question No. 615Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the term “fifth generation” is not used in the next generation fighter capability statement of operational requirements, SOR.

With regard to (b), the prolific use of the term “fifth generation” has developed out of an unofficial categorization of fighter aircraft. Various aircraft manufacturers have varying opinions of what constitutes a “fifth generation” fighter. In general, a fifth generation fighter is defined as an aircraft that possesses unique attributes that differentiate it from previous generations of fighter aircraft. This definition is very subjective. Some of these attributes described as “fifth generation” include very low observable radar signature, stealth, which radically reduces detection by enemy sensors; a greater number of significantly advanced sensors embedded in the aircraft, increasing the capability to detect very small targets at extreme ranges; complete fusion of the sensor data and external information, automatically providing the pilot with a filtered and clear overview of the total tactical situation, which allows the pilot to focus on timely, safe and effective tactical planning and action; and secure and high-capacity networking for long-term full interoperability with key allies.

With regard to (c), the SOR, as previously stated, does not use the term “fifth generation.” Some of the mandatory requirements in the next generation fighter capability SOR must be met by advanced aircraft technologies that are being defined by industry as “fifth generation.”

Question No. 620Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

With regard to the Canadian Home Insulation Program: (a) how many buildings were insulated under this program, and, of these, how many were insulated with Zonolite; (b) is there a database containing the addresses of these buildings; and (c) has the government notified the occupants of these buildings of the possible presence of Zonolite in their building?

Question No. 620Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Canadian home insulation program, CHIP, which ran from 1977 to 1986, issued a total of 2,582,392 grants for approximately 150 various types and brands of insulation products. The Government of Canada does not have statistics on CHIP grants paid out specifically for different types of insulation, such as Zonolite vermiculite insulation, because the program was in place prior to the use of databases.

The actual number of homes in Canada containing Zonolite vermiculite insulation is not known. The product was used by many homeowners who conducted home renovations and was available through hardware or housing renovation supply stores. However, the government estimates that Zonolite vermiculite insulation was installed in the attics of approximately 242,000 low-rise houses across Canada.

With regard to (b) and (c), since the Government of Canada does not have a database of homes insulated with Zonolite vermiculite insulation, it has not been able to contact homeowners or occupants directly. However, the Government has taken a number of actions in order to help protect Canadians from the potential health risks associated with Zonolite vermiculite insulation.

The Government of Canada has issued a public health advisory, informing Canadians about the potential risks to health posed by vermiculite insulation containing amphibole asbestos; set up a toll-free public information line, 1-800-443-0395, and website, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/insulation-isolant-eng.php, that have been active since April 1, 2004; issued an information bulletin to health care professionals across Canada and environmental health officers working on reserves; and distributed fact sheets to building trade associations, building supply stores, real estate associations, et cetera.

Through its home energy efficiency retrofit programs, the government has informed, and continues to inform, homeowners when vermiculite insulation is observed during an energy evaluation, and provides relevant publications. It also provides advice to first nation communities on vermiculite insulation. upon request.

In the case of housing for the Canadian Forces, the Department of National Defence has assessed 100% of the Department of National Defence housing portfolio.

The government continues to monitor emerging scientific information on the potential health risks related to vermiculite insulation and will inform Canadians if further information becomes available.

Question No. 623Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

With regard to the Shawinigan Tax Centre: (a) is there a study or report on the economic impacts of closing or maintaining the Centre and, if so, what are these impacts; (b) is there a study or report on the social impacts of closing or maintaining the Centre and, if so, what are these impacts; (c) what are the results of the most recent performance appraisal of the Centre; (d) how does the performance of the Shawinigan Tax Centre compare with that of other Centres across the country; (e) how much would the government save by closing the Centre; and (f) if the government is currently re-evaluating the need for the Centre, when will a final decision be made?

Question No. 623Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) to (f), as part of its contribution toward the reduction of the federal deficit, the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, has examined all of its processes, activities, facilities and operations.

The CRA will not be able to respond in the manner requested concerning the future of any of its processes, activities, facilities and operations until such time as formal announcements have been made in accordance with its contractual obligations as required under the applicable collective agreements--that is, information must first be provided to affected employees and their unions.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 610, 611, 612 and 625 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 610Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

With respect to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): (a) does the 2012 Economic Action Plan (Budget 2012) provide for decreases or increases in the financial and human resources allocated to the CFIA; (b) what impact will Budget 2012 have on the financial and human resources allocated to Canada’s food safety system; (c) what impact will Budget 2012 have on the number of employees at the CFIA; (d) what impact will Budget 2012 have on the CFIA’s services; (e) what are the government’s plans to streamline and accelerate the food regulatory process; (f) will these plans have an impact on the number of employees or the availability of CFIA programs and services; (g) how will the introduction of a label verification tool for consumers affect CFIA employees and services; (h) will the introduction of the label verification tool for consumers enable the CFIA or the department to save money; and (i) is the CFIA still responsible for food labelling and for reporting labelling errors to the companies concerned?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 611Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

With respect to the government’s plans for resource development, as described in the section entitled “Responsible Resource Development” in Chapter 3.2 of Budget 2012: (a) what are all examples of federal environmental laws that are stronger than provincial laws and how will the proposed legislative changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) affect the assessment of environmental impacts of industrial projects that cross provincial borders; (b) what research, action, or investment has the government undertaken to study impacts of the proposed legislative changes to the CEAA on (i) regulatory decision-making, (ii) risk of project-specific and cumulative environmental impacts, (iii) risk mitigation by developers, (iv) Canada’s reputation; (c) what briefing notes, memos, or any other documentation, including, for each, the details of its findings and recommendations, have been provided to the Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of the Environment, their respective Parliamentary Secretaries, their respective Deputy Ministers, and their respective staff members, regarding impacts of the proposed legislative changes to the CEAA on (i) regulatory decision-making, (ii) risk of project-specific and cumulative environmental impacts, (iii) mitigation by developers, (iv) Canada’s reputation; (d) will the proposed legislative changes to the CEAA give any consideration to (i) measuring negative impacts of development, (ii) managing negative impacts of development; (e) by what date will the government bring forth new “legislation to streamline the review process for major economic projects” (Budget 2012, p. 89); (f) what are the projected costs of changes to the CEAA for each province and territory; (g) what assessments of the adequacy of the environmental assessment process in each province and territory have been conducted, (i) what were the dates of any such assessments, (ii) what were the recommendations and conclusions; (h) what are the details of any research or evidence in the government’s possession indicating that the proposed “modern regulatory system” will contribute to (i) “better environmental outcomes”, (ii) “offer new opportunities for Aboriginal businesses”, (iii) “generate well-paying jobs for Aboriginal peoples near their communities”, (iv) “improve consultations with Aboriginal peoples” (Budget 2012, p. 91); (i) what is the government’s rationale for extending support for consultations with Aboriginal peoples for a period of only two years; (j) what research, action, or investment has the government undertaken regarding how changes to the current environmental review process may impact the Northern Gateway pipeline project, including (i) intervenors in the project, (ii) project proponents, (iii) regulators of the project; (k) given its plan for resource development, how does the government plan to ensure that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the National Energy Board (NEB) will have adequate financial and technical resources, and how will the resource levels of these organizations change given the expected growth in resource development projects; (l) what is the cost of having enforceable environmental assessment decision statements, (i) what resources will be allocated to ensure that these decision statements will be enforced, (ii) what will be the consequence if a proponent does not comply with required mitigation measures to protect the environment; (m) will there be Criminal Code penalties for violating the CEAA and the NEB Act; (n) how will the government define whether or not a provincial process is equivalent to the federal process; (o) how will the government determine which major projects will continue to receive oversight from the federal assessment process; (p) what proportion of current assessments will no longer receive federal oversight given the proposed changes; (q) what is a detailed accounting of the investments being made in the Major Projects Management Office Initiative versus the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; (r) by what dates will the government bring forth (i) legislation to “enhance the existing tanker inspection regime” (Budget 2012, p. 98) and what specific actions will be taken to ensure enforcement of the legislation, (ii) “appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks related to oil spills, and emergency preparedness and response” (Budget 2012, p.98) and what specific actions will be taken to ensure enforcement of the legislation; (s) how will an independent international panel of tanker safety experts be chosen and, specifically, (i) why was it decided that an international panel is needed to assess handling processes, (ii) what will be the specific process for, and who will be involved in, choosing the members of the international panel, (iii) who will have the ultimate decision-making authority on the appointments to the international panel, (iv) when will the international panel be chosen, (v) what will be the selection criteria for the panel, (vi) how will all potential conflicts of interest of members of the international panel be recorded, confirmed, and publicly declared; (t) by what date will the government bring forth “new navigational products, such as updated charts for shipping routes” (Budget 2012, p. 98) and, specifically, what other navigational products will be provided; (u) what monies will be provided for “research to improve our scientific knowledge and understanding of marine pollution risks, and to manage the impacts on marine resources, habitats and users in the event of a marine pollution incident” (Budget 2012, p. 98), (i) when will the monies be available, (ii) to whom will monies be available; (v) what is the government’s rationale for implementing funding for strengthening pipeline safety for a period of only two years; (w) will funding for strengthening pipeline safety include funding for the NEB to (i) monitor whether regulated companies have prepared emergency-procedures manuals according to established legislation, standards, and NEB expectations, (ii) communicate any deficiencies to the regulated companies, (iii) ensure any deficiencies are corrected; (x) how does the role of the Northern Pipeline Agency compare to that of the NEB and, specifically, (i) what is the Agency’s mandate, (ii) what is its organizational structure, (iii) who are its key people, (iv) to whom will the Agency report and how often; and (y) what is a detailed accounting of the government’s investments in environmental monitoring, protection, and enforcement as it compares with the government’s investments in promoting Canada’s oil and gas industry?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 612Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

With respect to changes to environmental programs resulting from the announcements in Budget 2012: (a) specifying how each identified cut is projected to impact the government’s access to scientific information required for the development of public policy, the number of people to be cut, and the amount of money to be cut, what are all areas of scientific research and partnerships to be cut, including, but not limited to, (i) air pollution, (ii) emergency preparedness and response, (iii) industrial waste, (iv) water quality; (b) what briefing notes, memos, or any other documentation, including, for each, the details of its findings and recommendations, have been provided to the Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of the Environment, their respective Parliamentary Secretaries, their respective Deputy Ministers, and their respective staff members, regarding impacts of research and partnership cuts on the government’s access to scientific information required for the development of public policy; (c) what, in detail, does “sufficient data is available to support the dissemination and validation of the UV Index forecast” mean, (i) what does “we will continue to have enough data for EC to track and report on ozone” mean, (iii) in detail, will the government maintain the integrity of the ozone monitoring program, (iv) in detail, will the government maintain Canadian contributions to the global observing system for climate in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), (v) what studies have been undertaken to assess the impact of streamlining ozone monitoring on Canada’s international reputation, and what were any findings and recommendations; (d) what briefing notes, memos, or any other documentation, including, for each, the details of its findings and recommendations, have been provided to the Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of the Environment, their respective Parliamentary Secretaries, their respective Deputy Ministers, and their respective staff members, regarding (i) impacts of streamlining ozone data collection, (ii) the integrity of the ozone monitoring program, (iii) Canada’s contributions to the UNFCCC, (iv) Canada’s international reputation; (e) what studies have been undertaken to assess the impact on Canada’s international reputation of the decision to no longer house and manage the Global Environmental Monitoring System Water Program of the United Nations Environment Programme, and what were any findings and recommendations; (f) what, in detail, is the government’s rationale for eliminating the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, (i) what other organization has a direct mandate from Parliament to engage Canadians in the generation and promotion of sustainable development advice and solutions, (ii) which organizations will provide domestic, independent research and analysis on sustainable development and what are the sources of their funding; (g) what monies are to be spent on the two dimensions to clean energy, namely (i) the clean-up of non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and the oil sands by reducing their environmental and climate change impacts, (ii) opportunities to compete in renewable energy production and more efficient energy consumption; and (h) what research, action, or investment has the government undertaken to identify those investments which are necessary (i) to develop a clean energy industry in Canada, (ii) to help Canada to transition to the green economy, (iii) to have Canada be a leader in the green economy?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 625Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

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

With regard to Canadian Forces operations since January 1, 2006, how many times have Canadian Forces aircraft been dispatched, at the request of provincial authorities, to conduct an emergency medical transportation and, for each such dispatch: (a) which provincial authority made the request; (b) which aircraft asset was involved; (c) from which Canadian Forces establishment was the aircraft dispatched; (d) from what location was the patient or patients picked up; (e) to what location was the patient or patients transported; (f) what was the date of the medical transportation; and (g) was a news release or other statement issued to the media concerning the incident, and, if so, on what date was the release or statement made?