House of Commons Hansard #391 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Rail TransportationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would remind the hon. member for Trois-Rivières that presenting petitions is not the time for debate or providing one's opinion. He is to give a brief presentation of the content of the petition.

The hon. member for Richmond Centre.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition to establish conscience protection for physicians and health care institutions from different cities in B.C.

The undersigned residents of Canada draw the attention of the House to the following: That coercion, intimidation or other forms of pressure intended to force physicians and health institutions to become parties in assisted suicide or euthanasia is a violation of fundamental freedoms of conscience; that during testimony at the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, witnesses stated that the protection of conscience should be included in the government's legislative response to Carter v. Canada (Attorney General); that the Canadian Medical Association confirm that conscience protection for physicians would not affect assisted suicide or euthanasia because 3% of physicians, 24,000, would be willing to do it; that—

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Richmond Centre, but the idea is to present a summary of a petition, not the whole thing.

The hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing.

Vision CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, just like my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona, I am also tabling a petition on a national framework for action to promote eye health and vision care. The petitioners are from Whitby, Lindsay and Oshawa. They raise concern regarding the expected doubling over the next 20 years in vision loss of Canadians. They also talk about the emerging crisis in eye health and vision care, which affects all of Canada's population. However, it impacts children, seniors and indigenous people who are most vulnerable. They also ask for a well-coordinated response involving government health professionals, non-government organizations, industry and individuals working collaboratively to help on this front.

It is not the first time that I have tabled this type of petition, and I am glad to table another petition on a national framework for action to promote eye health and vision care.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, my petition is reflective of the many who have talked about people travelling overseas, believing that we should move the two bills expeditiously through Parliament because that would help the situation.

Financial AdvisersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is good to see such passion from Canadians bringing petitions to Parliament. It shows the vibrancy of our parliamentary democracy.

The petition I am tabling is on behalf of several dozen Canadians from both Ontario and Alberta specifically asking for financial advisers and professionals in that realm to have the ability to individually incorporate like other professionals within the financial services and professional sphere. This has been in consultation with advocates, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, and many of the other legal and regulatory issues that those professionals would like to bring.

Questions on the Order PaperPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 2153, 2156, 2163, 2167, 2169, 2170, 2171 and 2186.

Question No. 2153PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

With regard to the announcement by the Minister of International Development that up to $50 million would be granted over two years to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East: (a) is the $50 million a new investment; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, is this amount in addition to the funding Global Affairs Canada gives to the Agency every year; and (c) how will the $50 million be granted, broken down by annual investment?

Question No. 2153PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Mr. Speaker, on October 12, 2018, the Minister of International Development announced Canada’s support of up to $50 million over two years for Palestinian refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.

With regard to a) and c), this $50 million amount is new support from Canada to UNRWA over a two-year period, 2018 and 2019. Of this amount, Canada committed $40 million over two years, $20 million for 2018 and $20 million for 2019, to help meet the basic education, health and livelihood needs of millions of vulnerable Palestinian refugees, especially women and children. Canada committed $10 million of this amount over two years, $5 million for 2018 and $5 million for 2019, to provide emergency life-saving assistance to more than 460,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon, through UNRWA’s emergency appeal for the Syria regional crisis.

With regard to b), since 2016, Canada has committed a total of $110 million in support for UNRWA. The $50 million announced in October 2018 is in addition to the $60 million previously committed in support for UNRWA, consisting of a total of $25 million in 2016 for UNRWA’s core programs and its response to the Syria regional crisis, a total of $25 million in 2017 for UNRWA’s core programs and its response to the Syria regional crisis, and an exceptional $10 million in March 2018 for emergency assistance for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.

Question No. 2156PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

With regard to overpayment holds from the Phoenix pay system since April 1, 2016: (a) how many employees have had their pay, or part of their pay, put on hold; (b) of the employees in (a), how many of these employees have had their overpayment deducted from their pay; and (c) of the employees in (b), how many of these employees have not yet had their file resolved?

Question No. 2156PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Mr. Speaker, employees deserve to be paid properly and on time. Supporting employees facing pay issues and stabilizing the pay system remains a top priority.

While there is still work left to do, the government has taken significant steps to resolve pay issues. We have made steady progress in decreasing the backlog of transactions, improving processes, strengthening and increasing capacity, and providing enhanced services to employees calling the client contact centre.

The government is proposing new measures to support employees who carry the burden of having to repay overpayments due to no fault of their own. These measures will build on our commitment to minimize the financial impacts of Phoenix on employees and fix this unacceptable problem that we inherited from the Conservatives. The government’s proposed measures would allow employees to repay their employer only the net amount of overpayments received in the previous year. As a result, affected employees would generally no longer have to bear the burden of recovering these deductions from the CRA and repaying them to their employer.

In regard to (a), federal employees' pay is never put on hold, including when employees have an overpayment. Overpayments are usually the result of late processing in the Phoenix pay system and can result from the following situations: an employee’s acting pay did not stop when their acting assignment ended; an employee is, or was, on leave without pay and their pay was not stopped; or an employee received pay that they were not entitled to receive.

In early March 2018, the government implemented additional flexible measures to help minimize the financial impact and hardships to employees for the repayment of overpayments related to Phoenix pay system issues.

Recovery of overpaid amounts does not begin until all monies owed to the employee have been paid, the employee has received three consecutive correct pay cheques and a recovery agreement has been established.

Additionally, the government has ensured that employees facing pay issues can request emergency salary advance or priority payments.

For more information, individuals can refer to https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/services-paye-pay-services/systeme-paye-employes-pay-system-employees/trop-payes-overpayments-eng.html.

With regard to (b), 223,173 employees have had an overpayment recovered from their pay between April 1, 2016, and January 31, 2019. The last day of January 2019 was used as a point of reference to provide a month-to-month breakdown.

Members should note that this number includes overpayments that remain in progress for certain employees, in accordance with the individual employee’s recovery agreement. In addition, this number is comprised of true and technical overpayments. However, the Phoenix pay system currently cannot segregate true overpayments from technical overpayments. True overpayments are created in situations where employees receive pay to which they were not entitled. For example, this occurs when an employee’s termination or leave without pay, for example, parental leave, is entered after the pay period of their departure date. Technical overpayments are created to adjust pay and ensure employees receive the pay to which they were entitled. For example, this occurs when an employee’s acting assignment is entered after the pay period in which the acting assignment began. Technical overpayments are typically netted out in the next pay period. They do not have a negative impact on employees. They are entered to offset a payment adjustment and are seamless to the employee.

With regard to (c), producing this information would require manual work that cannot be completed within prescribed timelines.

Question No. 2163PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

With regard to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s sponsorship of events and organizations which are opposed to the Trans Mountain Pipeline since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the complete list of such events and organizations which received funding from the government; (b) for each event and organization in (a), what are the details, including (i) name, (ii) date, (iii) title and description of event or organization, (iv) amount provided by the government; and (c) for each sponsorship, what is the government’s justification for providing funding to anti-pipeline entities?

Question No. 2163PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Environment and Climate Change Canada does not collect or track the names of events or organizations opposed or in support of the project referenced in Question No. 2163.

Question No. 2167PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

With regard to the television advertising being done by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) during the 2019 NFL Playoffs: (a) what was the total amount spent by the CPPIB during the 2019 NFL Playoffs; (b) what are the details, including the total amount budgeted for the advertising campaign from which the expenditures in (a) were drawn; (c) why did the CPPIB advertise during the NFL Playoffs; and (d) does the government consider this advertisement to be a prudent use of taxpayers money?

Question No. 2167PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it should be noted that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, or CPPIB, is neither a department nor an agency of the Crown and, therefore, does not fall within the same guidelines for disclosure. CPPIB is subject to disclosure requirements as set out in the CPPIB Act and reports to federal and provincial finance ministers and Canadians.

CPPIB operating expenses are disclosed in its annual report, which is available online at http://www.cppib.com/en/our-performance/financial-results/.

Question No. 2169PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

With regard to the briefing note titled “Subject of national security concern granted permanent residency” and the January 2019 media reports that an individual of national security concern was granted permanent residency status: (a) has the individual’s permanent residency status been revoked and, if so, on what date was it revoked; and (b) if the permanent residency status has not been revoked, why has it not been revoked?

Question No. 2169PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2019 / 7:10 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 26 of the Privacy Act, the discussion of case specifics without the prior written consent of the individual in question is prohibited.

Question No. 2170PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

With regard to the effect of wind farms on birds since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the government’s estimates regarding how many birds have been killed by wind farms; (b) how many wind farms have been issued fines by the government under the Migratory Birds Convention Act; and (c) what specific measures, if any, has Environment and Climate Change Canada done in order to protect birds from getting killed by wind farms?

Question No. 2170PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), overall mortality to migratory birds caused by wind turbines is low relative to other sources of mortality, such as cats, windows on buildings, vehicles and transmission lines. More information is available at https://www.ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art11/. The most recent estimates, based on extrapolated data, indicate that up to 47,000 birds could be killed from collisions with turbines each year in Canada. More information can be found at https://www.ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art10/. Presently, there are more than 6,300 turbines installed across Canada with the largest number of turbines in the province of Ontario. For most species of migratory birds, which have estimated populations that number in the millions, wind turbine-related mortality is not likely to have a biologically significant impact on their populations. However, it is possible that turbines sited in sensitive habitats or where species at risk are concentrated could have population-level impacts.

In regard to (b), our records indicate that no incidences of unlawful migratory bird deaths due to wind turbines were reported to ECCC’s enforcement branch. As such, no wind farms have been issued fines under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

With regard to (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada recognizes that multiple renewable sources of energy, including wind, make an important contribution to Canada’s energy mix. In Canada, the provinces have primary jurisdiction over the development of their energy resources, including wind energy. On non-federal lands, both land use planning and the conservation of wildlife habitat are primarily matters of provincial or territorial jurisdiction. The responsibility for conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared between the federal and provincial or territorial governments.

Despite relatively low mortality, in keeping with the federal government's Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, ECCC requires that all reasonable measures be taken to avoid incidental mortality of migratory birds. ECCC also provides detailed guidance on this subject to all proponents undertaking activities that could result in incidental mortality of migratory birds. More information can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/avoiding-harm-migratory-birds.html.

Question No. 2171PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to the government’s decision to rename the Champlain Bridge to the Samuel De Champlain Bridge: (a) how much did the government spend on its consultations and the process to pick the new name; and (b) what is the detailed breakdown of the expenses in (a) by line item?

Question No. 2171PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s decision to rename the Champlain Bridge the Samuel de Champlain Bridge, existing internal resources were used for consultations in the process of naming the new bridge the Samuel de Champlain Bridge. Therefore, the consultations did not result in any additional costs.

Question No. 2186PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to foreign vessels engaged in coasting trade in Canadian waters: (a) how many exemptions did the Minister of Transport issue in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018; and (b) in the case of each vessel, what was (i) its country of registration, (ii) its tonnage?

Question No. 2186PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Coasting Trade Act is intended to protect the domestic marine sector by reserving coasting trade to Canadian registered and duty-paid vessels. The act includes a licensing process for the temporary importation of foreign vessels into the Canadian marine sector when a suitable Canadian vessel is not available.

The Minister of Transport has not provided any exemptions given that there is no authority under the act for the minister to issue a general exemption from the licensing requirement. However, the act does include exclusions for foreign vessels to engage in a number of specific coasting trade activities. Responsibility rests with vessel owners to ensure they are eligible to undertake the excluded activities and remain in compliance with the act. These exclusions constitute deregulated activities and are therefore not subject to licensing requirements.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 2149 to 2152, 2154, 2155, 2157 to 2162, 2164 to 2166, 2168, 2172 to 2185 and 2187 to 2191 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is that agreed?