House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Question No. 608
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the cost recovery framework for Muskrat Falls consists of a series of revenue agreements available on the Muskrat Falls website at https://muskratfalls.nalcorenergy.com/newsroom/reports/, in English only, in provincial legislation, and in orders in council. This cost recovery framework legally requires that all project costs be recovered from electricity consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador, regardless of the final costs.

With regard to (b), the prices paid to the project entities will be set at a value that ensures full cost recovery plus a return on equity. These prices will be determined once the projects are complete and the final construction cost is known.

With regard to (c), the Muskrat Falls project’s viability is not dependent on electricity exports; all project costs will be covered by electricity consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador. As such, no market research was required to determine whether export prices would enable achievement of a break-even point.

For these reasons, (d) is not applicable.

Question No. 609
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Manicouagan, QC

With regard to the involvement of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in the Muskrat Falls project: (a) before authorizing the Muskrat Falls project, did the Minister ensure that the necessary environmental assessments were completed pursuant to the Fisheries Act, particularly as regards mercury contamination of fish stocks; (b) was the Minister informed of the findings of independent studies indicating that the Muskrat Falls project would result in high levels of contamination and, if so, why did the Minister not cancel the authorization?

Question No. 609
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, was actively involved in the environmental assessment of the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, which was carried out by a federal-provincial joint review panel and concluded in August 2011. Among other things, the environmental assessment examined in considerable detail the bioaccumulation of methylmercury as a result of the project. It was recognized during this environmental assessment that the Muskrat Falls component of the project and other hydroelectric projects on the Churchill River would likely result in some bioaccumulation of methylmercury, including in downstream areas.

During the environmental assessment, DFO reviewed various technical documents, submitted information requests, and prepared both a written submission and an oral presentation for the hearings. DFO provided expert science-based advice that downstream bioaccumulation of methylmercury could be greater and extend further than predicted by the proponent, Nalcor Energy. This was recognized in the report and conclusions of the joint review panel. In response to the joint review panel’s conclusions and recommendations, the Government of Canada required Nalcor Energy to extend downstream methylmercury monitoring into Goose Bay and Lake Melville. This monitoring would assess the extent and duration of any increases in methylmercury in fish and seals and enable Nalcor Energy to implement consumption advisories if needed.

The requirement to implement a comprehensive methylmercury monitoring program was formally prescribed as a condition of the authorization DFO issued to Nalcor in 2013, under section 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act, for impacts on fish and fish habitat from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam and reservoir creation.

With regard to (b), over the past three years, the Nunatsiavut government has carried out and supported studies on methylmercury in Lake Melville, including work by Harvard University researchers published in 2015. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, was made aware of these studies as a result of meetings with the Nunatsiavut government in October of 2015.

In February 2016, DFO carried out a scientific review of the implications of the Harvard study on methylmercury in Lake Melville through a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, or CSAS, process. DFO and Environment and Climate Change Canada scientists determined that predictions in the Harvard study were consistent with the advice the DFO provided during the environmental assessment. The scientific review recommended some adjustments to downstream methylmercury monitoring protocols, which DFO implemented.

These adjustments are covered under the Fisheries Act authorization issued to Nalcor Energy in 2013, which allows for the implementation of adaptive management in the monitoring of post-project predictions and adjustments to the program to respond to new information. As a result of this condition, the authorization did not require cancellation or amendment.

Departmental officials have maintained an ongoing dialogue with the Nunatsiavut government with respect to the project. The minister of DFO has also met with the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for the Nunatsiavut government to acknowledge and discuss the Nunatsiavut government’s concerns related to methylmercury in Lake Melville. Furthermore, in October 2016 an agreement was made between the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and indigenous leaders to create an independent expert advisory committee, or IEAC, that would determine and recommend options for mitigating human health concerns related to methylmercury. While DFO does not possess expertise in relation to human health risks associated with methylmercury, DFO will be participating in the IEAC as an expert adviser in relation to the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in fish and seals downstream of the project.

Question No. 611
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

With regard to the decision to not issue a commemorative medal as part of the Canada 150th celebrations: (a) what was the justification for this decision; (b) what are the details of any documented evidence to support this justification; and (c) what process was used to make this decision, in particular, (i) who was consulted, (ii) how they were consulted?

Question No. 611
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is a unique opportunity to bring Canadians together and strengthen our connection to our communities by inspiring a vision of a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive country.

Canada 150 celebrations will be rooted in community building, engagement, and family celebrations from coast to coast to coast. These celebrations are for each and every Canadian. They are about connecting with one another.

Our government will mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation by inviting all Canadians to participate, celebrate, and explore via the numerous initiatives in their communities.

The Government of Canada is providing funding for community-driven activities and pan-Canadian signature projects as well as major events. Our government is empowering and encouraging all Canadians to engage with their community and to make 2017 a year to remember. We want all Canadians to join in the celebrations.

The vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation is intended to inspire Canadians and bring them together by highlighting the themes of diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, young people, and the environment.

Our government is proud to support and promote initiatives that will inspire a generation of Canadians to help build Canada’s future and creating a lasting economic, cultural, and social legacy for our country.

Question No. 613
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

With regard to wait times at the Thousand Islands Bridge Border Crossing and the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge Border Crossing, broken down by crossing, between May 1, 2016, and October 31, 2016: (a) what was the average wait time for vehicle traffic, broken down by month, day and hour; and (b) what was the volume of vehicle traffic, broken down by month, day and hour?

Question No. 613
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

:Mr. Speaker, the CBSA cannot provide the requested information within the prescribed time frame. The request would result in an exceptionally large volume of information, and translating thousands of lines of data would require significant human and financial resources.

Current and forecasted border wait times, however, are available at the following web address: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html.

Question No. 615
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to the work integrated learning program mentioned by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, in the House of Commons on November 18, 2016: (a) what are the details of the program; (b) how much government funding has been allotted for the program; (c) what is the duration and yearly budget for the program; and (d) what are the specific goals of the program?

Question No. 615
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), as announced in Budget 2016, the student work-integrated learning program, or SWILP, is a $73-million program that will support new work-integrated learning, WIL, opportunities, such as co-ops and internships for young Canadians, with a focus on high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or STEM, and business, as well as through sustainable partnerships to align skills training with jobs in demand. Details will be provided once the SWILP is officially launched.

With regard to (b), as announced in Budget 2016, the student work-integrated learning program, SWILP, is a $73-million program that will support new work-integrated learning, or WIL, opportunities, such as co-ops and internships, for young Canadians, with a focus on high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or STEM, and business, as well as through sustainable partnerships to align skills training with jobs in demand.

With regard to (c), the student work-integrated learning program, SWILP, is a four-year program. Yearly budget for the SWILP will be provided once the SWILP is officially launched.

With regard to (d), the student work-integrated learning program, SWILP, is a four-year initiative that will support sustainable and innovative partnerships between employers and willing post-secondary education, or PSE, institutions to create quality work-integrated learning, WIL, opportunities for PSE students in high-demand fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or STEM, and business.

The WIL opportunities created through these partnerships will better align the technical, foundational, and work-ready skills of students. PSE students will be encouraged to approach learning and WIL opportunities with an entrepreneurial mindset, to better position them to secure employment in their chosen fields of study and make immediate and meaningful contributions to Canada’s future growth and innovation.

The student work-integrated learning program, SWILP, will bring stakeholders from post-secondary education institutions and employers in key growth and innovation sectors of the Canadian economy.

Question No. 622
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette Drummond, QC

With regard to the Critical Habitat of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence Estuary Population Order, published on May 14, 2016: (a) when will the Order come into force; (b) how many stakeholders have commented on the project; and (c) what are the names of the stakeholders who commented on the project, if this information is available?

Question No. 622
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the ministerial order is expected to come into force in early winter 2017.

With respect to (b) and this ministerial order, four comments were submitted during the 30-day Canada Gazette part I comment period.

With regard to (c), the stakeholders who commented on this proposed ministerial order are Madame Amélie Larouche, chef conseillère, Première Nation Malécites de Viger; Philippe Gervais, vice-président, Capital Hill Group; Lloyd Sykes, a citizen; and from the Government of Quebec, Minister Laurent Lessard, Ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, and Minister David Heurtel, Ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.

Question No. 626
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

With regard to the mandate letter to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and specifically, the section which called for the review of the previous government's changes to the Fisheries and Navigable Waters Protection Acts: (a) specifically what lost protections is the mandate letter referring to; (b) what harms or proof of harm, to fish or fish habitat, attributed to the previous government's changes to these two Acts exist; and (c) specifically what protections lost, or alleged to have been lost as a result of the previous government's changes to these two Acts, is not provided for under other federal, provincial, or territorial legislation or regulations?

Question No. 626
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the previous government’s changes to the Fisheries Act were made with little consultation or transparency and were poorly received by environmental and indigenous groups. Various partners, stakeholders, and indigenous groups have emphasized the need for improved engagement and collaboration in developing and implementing any new legislation and policy to protect fish and fish habitat.

Since the Fisheries Act was changed in 2012-2013, indigenous groups, the academic community, stakeholders, and the public more generally have expressed concern with the changes to the act and their implementation. The department has continued to hear these types of concerns during the initial stages of public engagement related to the review of the 2012-2013 changes to the Fisheries Act this year.

For example, concern has been expressed about the legislative change from a prohibition against “harmful alteration, destruction or disruption of fish habitat” to a prohibition against “serious harm to fish”, defined as the “the death of fish or any permanent alteration to, or destruction of, fish habitat”. Some people have expressed concern that under this new wording, temporary alterations to fish habitat are no longer prohibited, even though temporary alterations can have significant effects on fish and fish habitat productivity.

There has also been concern raised that since 2012-2013, the habitat protection prohibition only applies to fish and fish habitat that are part of or support commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries and that are currently harvested.

The department has received comments that the reduction in offices and staff that coincided with the 2012-2013 amendments also reduced protections, as they resulted in a decreased capacity to deliver on fish and fish habitat protection through project review, monitoring, and enforcement.

With regard to (b), the department has not been either resourced or mandated to conduct this type of comprehensive monitoring and has not undertaken specific monitoring or analysis to compare the impacts of the changes to the act. The department is, however, developing new processes to monitor projects as well as to report back to Canadians on how fish and fish habitat are being protected in these specific areas.

With regard to (c), while management of inland fisheries has largely been delegated to the provinces and the Yukon Territory, the administration of the provisions related to the protection of fish and fish habitat remains with the federal government across Canada. Provincial and territorial authorities do deliver a range of natural resource conservation initiatives under various provincial and territorial laws that complement those of the federal government. For example, land use decisions made by these authorities may have a significant bearing on the quality and function of fish habitat in a given watershed.

Question No. 628
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

With regard to the Community Participation Fund program: (a) how many grants were issued from January 1, 2016, to November 23, 2016; (b) how many of the groups who received grants were (i) Indigenous groups, (ii) local groups and local organizations, (iii) municipalities with a population of less than 10 000, (iv) not-for-profit organizations; (c) how many requests for funding were received; and (d) what percentage of grants went to (i) reviewing documents and providing written comments to contribute to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system in Canada, (ii) preparing for, travelling to, and participating in meetings related to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system in Canada, (iii) hiring expertise or conducting studies that contributes to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system in Canada?

Question No. 628
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples in Canada. That is why the community participation funding program, CPFP, helps eligible indigenous groups and local communities take part in developing and improving Canada's marine transportation system. The CPFP gives recipients the opportunity to contribute their knowledge towards tailoring marine transportation systems to local conditions and the environment.

Eligible recipients include indigenous groups, local groups and local organizations, municipalities with a population of less than 10,000, and not-for-profit organizations. Applicants must also prove that they depend on the local marine environment in an area that is being considered for social, economic, or commercial activities.

With regard to (a), 36 grant recipients were approved during this time period, and 29 grant payments have been issued to date.

With regard to (b), of the groups that received grants, 22 were indigenous groups, none were local groups or local organizations, one was a municipality with a population of less than 10,000, and 13 were not-for-profit organizations.

With regard to (c), 39 funding requests were received.

With regard to (d)(i), 100% of grants went to reviewing documents and providing written comments to contribute to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system. With regard to (d)(ii), 100% of grants went to preparing for, travelling to, and participating in meetings related to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system. With regard to (d)(iii), 16.6% of grants went to hiring expertise or conducting studies that contributed to the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system.