House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offence.

Topics

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Madam Speaker, we see the results of the government's efforts.

A total of $231 billion, or almost two-thirds of Quebec's GDP, was hidden in tax havens. With regard to Ottawa's hard work, former Liberal candidate Marwah Rizqy told Le Journal de Québec that it is a “farce, hogwash” and that “Canada is asleep at the wheel”.

Why is the government only going after the little fish? In the meantime, it is letting the big financial sharks do what they want.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, CRA continues to take important steps and is making progress in cracking down on tax cheats and ensuring a tax system that is more responsive and fair to all Canadians.

In last year's budget, the agency took significant action on several fronts to identify and deal with tax cheats. Building on the previous investment of $444 million, budget 2017 invested an additional $524 million to crack down on tax evasion and improve compliance.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Madam Speaker, the government has cut health transfers. Naturally, this has a direct effect on the sick. The government has abandoned our cheese producers and it refuses to provide loan guarantees for the forestry industry, which is facing a new softwood lumber crisis. It is not going to increase regular EI benefits.

Does this government and the Liberal Minister of National Revenue realize that the refusal to take action, this lax attitude, and complacency towards KPMG and tax havens have a direct effect on our sick, our workers, and our unemployed?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

As I said, Madam Speaker, our government is fully committed to combatting tax evasion and addressing tax avoidance.

We know that we must work hard to ensure that our tax system is fair and responsive to all Canadians. That is why our government has made unprecedented investments in the CRA. In our first budget, we invested $444 million in the CRA. In budget 2017, we added $524 million to better target high-risk taxpayers and to make sure we have the best tools available at our disposal to close in the tax cheats.

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. As highlighted in Mary Simon's recent report, there is a great need to develop criteria for Arctic infrastructure projects that reflect the uniqueness of the north. Improving water and waste water management systems is an urgent infrastructure need that is important for the well-being and prosperity of Nunavut communities.

The minister recently visited Iqaluit and Pangnirtung, and I was very pleased to join him in Iqaluit for an important funding announcement. Can the minister inform the House of the government's infrastructure investments in Nunavut?

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, as the hon. member mentioned, I was honoured to visit Nunavut and announce, alongside the territorial government and the hon. member, $230 million in joint funding for nine projects that will help 19 communities deal with waste management systems, improve waste water quality, and make further investments to improve water quality in those communities.

We are very proud to be making investments in Nunavut, and we will continue to work with our partners to build stronger communities in the north.

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The member for Hochelaga on a point of order.

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

During question period, I asked a question about women who are victims of domestic violence. The Minister of Status of Women began her response with “Happy Friday”. I was asking a very serious question that required a very serious answer. Women who heard the minister are going to think that she does not take the problem—

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. I appreciate the comments from the hon. member for Hochelaga, but that sounds like a point of debate, not necessarily a point of order.

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

InfrastructureOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

During question period, in the heat of the moment, I used an inappropriate word, and I would like to correct the record. I talked about the carbon lottery, but I meant to talk about a carbon exchange.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, I regret that I am not having a happy Friday. As a result, I am rising on a point of order with respect to answer Question No. 954 that was tabled yesterday.

Question No. 954 was submitted on April 3, and sought information on how the “Guide for Parliamentary Secretaries”, published by the Privy Council Office in December 2015, applied to trips made by two parliamentary secretaries. While this was a simple straightforward question, incorporated into the answer was a remark that was totally unrelated to the question. Further, I would argue that this unnecessary insertion had the effect of tarnishing the reputation of a former member of this House of Commons and constitutes an improper use by the government of the process of written questions.

In making the case for sponsored travel for parliamentary secretaries, the following appeared in the answer to Question No. 954, which states:

Moreover...John Baird, while he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, travelled to Washington...a trip that was sponsored by the American Israel [Political Action] Committee.

I suppose the government was trying to make the point that what was good for the Conservative goose is good for Liberal ganders. However, according to the list of sponsored travel submitted to the Speaker himself on March 23, 2016 pursuant to 15(3) of the “Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons”, it indicated that Mr. Baird went on this trip on February 28, 2015.

On February 3, 2015, a full 25 days before the trip in question took place, Mr. Baird announced in this House his resignation from cabinet effective immediately.

This is not just sloppy research. I contend it is an attempt by the government to use a parliamentary tool, not to aid a member as it is intended, but in an unorthodox manner to distort the facts and smear the reputation of a former member of this House.

Chapter 3 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, 6th edition, states, “More tentative are such traditional features as respect for the rights of the minority, which precludes a Government from using to excess the extensive powers that it has to...proceed in what the public and the Opposition might interpret as unorthodox ways.” That is exactly what has happened here.

Whether or not someone was a minister of the government at the time is not a debatable fact. Having factually wrong, damaging information about a former member in a response to an Order Paper question does not just happen. These responses are reviewed by top advisers to the Prime Minister, the Privy Council Office, and in particular the office for the coordination of parliamentary returns. Those parties are all meant to verify that a response is accurate. Normally they do an admirable job, with some notable exceptions that I have brought to your attention in the past. It is not believable that such an erroneous, vindictive, false statement about a former member of the House was drafted or prepared by Privy Council Office officials. They are far too professional in their work to ever have made such an egregious and obviously factual mistake. This was clearly the work of one of the Prime Minister's partisan advisers, who was trying to make a political statement at the expense of a former member, and of the truth.

I ask that you look into this serious matter and come back to the House with a ruling.

I would also ask that the Prime Minister, who is responsible for the answer, as it was signed by his own personal parliamentary secretary on his behalf, to correct the record, and to apologize to the hon. John Baird.

In addition, I would like to reserve my right to raise this matter as a question of privilege in the event that the government insists on misleading the House on this matter.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I will review the answer that was provided, but I can assure the member that we go through hundreds of questions and attempt to provide the best and fullest answers whenever possible. I will report back after I have had the opportunity to look at what the member put on the record today.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is the hon. member for Hochelaga rising on the same point of order?

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

No, Madam Speaker, the previous one.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, I note the member said that the government responds to hundreds of Order Paper questions, and that is true, which is precisely why it is inexplicable that they took the time to insert additional factual errors in this particular response. This was not a mistake of omission, it was a mistake of co-mission. They committed the error of deliberately inserting false information in an Order Paper response, all the more egregious by the fact that they have so many other questions they could be dedicating their time to respond to.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I appreciate the intervention from the member and the response from the parliamentary secretary. I will take the information under advisement.

Is the hon. member for Hochelaga rising on another point of order?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Madam Speaker, yes, it is on the same subject as my point of order earlier. I am convinced that it is indeed a point of order. I had a conversation with the minister. I know she understands the problem, but I think she needs to apologize out of respect for the women who have been victims of abuse.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

May 19th, 2017 / 12:15 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague and ask for forgiveness. I understand that every six days in this country a woman is killed by the hands of an intimate partner. I understand that these issues affect three out of 10 women, and that if we work together, we can address these issues. I will definitely be more mindful of my language, absolutely, but, more importantly, I will continue to be a force with all of my colleagues to ensure that we see tangible change in our generation.

Canada Pension PlanPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I have an e-petition signed by 542 Canadians and a paper petition signed by over 100 more, calling on the Minister of Finance to reform the Canada pension plan to allow anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness who has contributed to CPP for 20 years or more to claim disability benefits, regardless of the date of their last contribution.

This issue was brought to my attention by my constituent, Les Mills, who retired early but was then sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer. Because of the current rules, Les is unlikely to ever benefit from CPP, even though he contributed for many years. Les and the petitioners would like the rules changed so that this situation is not repeated in the future.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 952, 953, and 957.

Question No. 952Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

With regard to developing a scientific standard for concrete aggregates: (a) on what date did the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development or any other department begin the process for developing a scientific standard; (b) has a timeline been set by the department to finalize the process for developing a scientific standard; (c) what section of the department is responsible for developing the scientific standard; (d) what amount is the department investing in the development process for the scientific standard; (e) what is the total number of employees assigned by the department to work on developing the scientific standard; (f) has the department hired external consultants to work on the scientific standard development process; (g) how many external consultants have been hired as part of this process; (h) who are the external consultants that have been hired as part of this process; (i) what amount has the department allocated to hire these external consultants; and (j) what are the documents, scientific standards and guidelines on which this process is based?

Question No. 952Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the National Research Council of Canada, NRC, provides scientific, administrative, and financial support to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, or CCBFC, an independent committee established by the NRC. This commission is responsible for developing and updating Canada’s various national model codes, including the National Building Code, the National Fire Code, the Energy Code, and the Plumbing Code, in which over 600 standards are currently referenced, including the Canadian Standards Association A23.1 technical standard, “Concrete Materials and Methods of Concrete Construction”. This standard was first developed in 1980, with an update schedule of every five years. This technical standard was developed by the CSA, which is an independent not-for-profit organization. The CSA is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, or SCC, a crown corporation of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that provides the requirements and guidance for all accredited standards organizations to develop standards for the Canada market.

With regard to (b), as noted above, the technical standard is not maintained by NRC or the Canadian Commission of Building and Fire Codes but rather by the CSA. The CSA continues to update their standards on a five-year cycle, with the next edition of this standard due out in 2019. The Standards Council of Canada provides the requirements and guidance for all accredited standards organizations, such as the CSA, for which a link is provided.

With regard to (c), the technical standard is developed by the CSA, which is an independent not-for-profit organization. The National Building Code, or NBC, which is developed by NRC, references this standard, and the NBC is maintained by the commission, which is made up of voluntary members. Their support is provided through Codes Canada under the construction portfolio at NRC.

With regard to (d), there has been no financial support from NRC committed, as the development is carried out at the CSA. The National Building Code section that references this standard falls under the mandate of one technical committee reporting to the commission, and is supported by one technical adviser at Codes Canada.

With regard to (e), no employees were assigned to work on developing the scientific standards.

With regard to (f), no external consultants were hired to work on the scientific standard development process.

With regard to (f) and (g), no external consultants have been hired as part of this process.

With regard to (h) and (i), these items are not applicable.

With regard to (j), the SCC provides the requirements and guidance that the SCC-accredited standards development organizations, or SDOs, follow to develop or adopt standards for the Canadian market. The requirements and guidance documents for accredited SDOs can be found at https://www.scc.ca/en/ news-events/news/2017/ scc-improves-canadian-standards- development-system.

Question No. 953Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

With regard to at-risk and bonus payments to employees of the federal public service, broken down by year from 2013 to 2016 and by department or agency: (a) how many federal public servants received at-risk payments; (b) how many federal public servants received bonus payments; (c) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for at-risk payments; (d) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for bonus payments; (e) what was the cumulative amount of at-risk payments paid out in each department; (f) what was the cumulative amount of bonus payments paid out in each department; (g) how many public servants were eligible for at-risk pay but did not receive it; (h) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received an at-risk payment; (i) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received a bonus payment; and (j) what were the reasons given for each public servant who was eligible for an at-risk payment but did not receive it?

Question No. 953Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Joyce Murray LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), (b), (e), (f), and (g), data for the years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 are available on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s website at https://www.canada.ca/en/ treasury-board-secretariat/services/ performance-talent-management /performance-management-program- executives.html.

The data for 2015-2016 will be published once they are finalized.

With regard to (c) and (d), the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat sets departmental spending limits for executive performance pay, calculated as a percentage of departmental executive payroll at March 31. Each department then has the flexibility to spend this budget, as long as individual payments do not exceed the following percentages established by the Treasury Board: up to 12% of base salary for at-risk pay and up to 3% of base salary for bonus pay for each eligible executive at the EX-01, EX-02, or EX-03 levels, and up to 20% of base salary for at-risk pay and up to 6% of base salary for bonus pay for each eligible executive at the EX-04 or EX-05 level.

With regard to (h), the directives on executive compensation and on the performance management program for executives set out the requirements related to eligibility for performance pay. All executives are assessed at the end of the performance management cycle on the extent to which they have achieved the objectives set out in their performance agreement and their demonstration of their key leadership competencies. Based on this assessment, each executive is given a rating on a 5-point scale, where 1 is “Did not meet” and 5 is “Surpassed”. Executives who obtain a rating of 2 or higher are eligible for performance pay. Ratings recommended by the manager of each executive are reviewed by the departmental review committee and approved by the deputy head. All performance pay decisions must be approved by the deputy head.

With regard to (i), only individuals who get a rating of “Surpassed”, meaning their performance was outstanding, and who receive the maximum percentage of at-risk pay are eligible for the bonus.

With regard to (j), executives whose performance rating is “Did not meet” are not eligible for performance pay.

Question No. 957Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

With regard to the government’s approval of the takeover of ITF Technologies by O-Net Technology Group: (a) did the government impose any condition on the takeover aimed at preventing the Chinese government from having access to weapon technology; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what were the conditions; (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, what was the rationale for not imposing any condition; and (d) did the government receive any communication from the Chinese government encouraging the Canadian government to approve the takeover and, if so, what are the details including the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient?