House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iii.

Topics

Question No. 120Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in November 2018, the Government of Canada welcomed the release of “A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors”. The report was the culmination of a 10-month pan-Canadian, stakeholder-led engagement initiative convened by Natural Resources Canada. It brought together provincial and territorial governments, utilities, industry, civil society, indigenous communities, and interested stakeholders to explore opportunities in Canada for this emerging technology.

The report found that SMRs could carry significant opportunities for Canada. It also made clear, however, that the Government of Canada cannot act alone, and included over 50 recommendations for 14 different partners and stakeholder groups.

The Government of Canada has already acted on a number of opportunities outlined in the report, including finding efficiencies and streamlining the regulatory system to mitigate barriers to innovation while always ensuring safety; working to connect nuclear industry partners with new potential end-users, including resource sectors; and collaborating with international partners to ensure that proper enabling frameworks are in place.

Partners across Canada have also been taking action on recommendations from the report, including Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, AECL; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNSC; provinces; utilities; industry; and civil society organizations.

The Government of Canada will continue to engage stakeholders, as well as local and Indigenous communities, moving forward.

Question No. 125Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

With regard to page 36 of the Liberal election platform, which stated that “we will work with [British Columbia] to develop a responsible plan to transition from open net pen salmon farming in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025”: (a) what analysis has been conducted by the government with respect to (i) the current commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada, (ii) the likely change in commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada between now and 2025, (iii) the environmental risks and benefits associated with closed containment systems, (iv) the comparability of closed containment systems to alternative technologies that are designed to reduce potential impacts to wild salmon stocks, (v) the timeline that would be required for commercial salmon farmers to convert to closed containment, and (vi) the likely economic and social impact of requiring operators to convert to closed containment systems by 2025; (b) when were these analyses conducted; and (c) what were the results of these analyses?

Question No. 125Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margarets Nova Scotia

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, as part of its commitment to an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies, in 2008, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, assessed the technical feasibility of closed containment methods for salmon aquaculture, sourcing input and information from 60 international experts. This peer review of six working papers was led by DFO through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, CSAS, which is the department's primary scientific, peer review process. In this review, land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, i.e., land-based closed containment, showed biological and technological potential; however, at that time none were producing exclusively adult Atlantic salmon, and numerous attempts to do so had resulted in failure for various reasons. Further research on the effects of high density culture on fish welfare and disease management was recommended. The floating closed containment systems evaluated, especially rigid walled systems, presented engineering challenges that might limit use in more exposed areas; however, the potential for these to be addressed with engineering solutions was identified. The results of the 2008 report “Potential Technologies for Closed Containment Saltwater Salmon Aquaculture” are available at the following link: https://waves-vagues.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/332156.pdf.

In follow-up to the CSAS study, in 2010, the department conducted an economic analysis of a model commercial-scale closed containment facility. The study concluded that while closed containment production of adult Atlantic salmon has the potential for financial feasibility, it is very susceptible to a range of commercial variables that could quickly make it uneconomical. The results of the report, the “Feasibility Study of Closed Containment Options for the British Columbia Aquaculture Industry”, are available at the following link: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/programs-programmes/BC-aquaculture-CB-eng.htm.

As announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in December of 2018, DFO, in partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada, SDTC, and the Province of British Columbia, B.C., commissioned and funded a study on the state of salmon aquaculture technologies to examine the risks and opportunities of the most promising emerging technologies for salmon farming in B.C. The study explored the financial, environmental and social elements of emerging aquaculture technologies and highlighted some of the ways to incent the adoption of these new technologies, including how other countries have incented adoption. The study explored four technology options: land-based closed-containment; floating closed containment; offshore technologies; and hybrid systems, which combine both land and marine-based systems. We expect that the state of salmon aquaculture technologies study will be released soon.

The state of salmon aquaculture technology study indicated that all four production technologies have the opportunity to reduce interactions between farmed and wild salmon compared to conventional open net pen aquaculture production, but the assessment against other environmental, economic and social elements varied. While full grow-out to market size fish in land-based closed containment inherently has the most strengths in environmental performance with respect to reducing interactions with the marine environment and wild fish, the study also indicated that a high amount of energy is used in closed containment system construction and operation, but noted that this, as well as the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, could be offset by locating systems closer to consumer markets and feed sources, and by using low carbon energy alternatives where possible.

The study concluded that, overall, land-based closed containment and hybrid systems are the most technologically developed for application in B.C., while floating closed containment and offshore technologies still require about five to ten years of further development and evaluation. The study indicated that land-based closed containment, though less financially proven, is the most socially acceptable technology by opponents of open net pen aquaculture, as long as it is developed and operated in B.C. On the other hand, the study also indicated that the hybrid system is likely more profitable and the preferred choice for the majority of industry, contingent on its also operating in the B.C. coastal region, responding to some of the key economic and environmental performance criteria.

The government has not studied the commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada between now and 2025, nor the economic and social impact of requiring operators to convert to closed containment systems by 2025.

Question No. 127Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to the government’s plan to provide almost $600 million in subsidies to select media outlets: (a) what (i) objective criteria, (ii) subjective criteria will be used to determine which outlets receive funding; and (b) what weight or level of importance will be given to each of the criteria in (a)?

Question No. 127Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada introduced three tax measures in budget 2019 to strengthen Canadian journalism. These include the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, a 25% refundable tax credit on salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019; the digital news subscription tax credit, a 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit for digital news subscription costs paid by an individual to a qualified Canadian journalism organization, which applies to qualifying amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025; and a new type of qualified donee called a “registered journalism organization” for not-for-profit journalism organizations, which is in effect as of January 1, 2020.

The “gateway” for eligibility for all the income tax measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization”, QCJO. While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in determining if any of the three income tax measures could apply.

With regard to (a) and (b), note that the terms “objective criteria” and “subjective criteria” do not appear in the relevant definitions of the Income Tax Act. The relevant criteria that must be met for the tax measures listed above are set out in the act as follows: qualified Canadian journalism organization, 248(1); Canadian journalism tax credit, subsection 125.6(1); digital news subscription tax credit, subsection 118.02; and registered journalism organization, subsection 149.1(1).

Budget 2019 also announced that an independent panel of experts would be established for the purpose of providing recommendations and guidance on the administration of the legislative provisions that were introduced to support journalism. The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts delivered its report containing recommendations on certain aspects of the legislation in July 2019.

Question No. 128Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to the Aid to Publishers component of the Canada Periodical Fund: what are the details of all grants awarded by the fund since January 1, 2019, including (i) name of the recipient, (ii) date on which the funding was received, (iii) amount received?

Question No. 128Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, please note that the requested information is available on the Government of Canada’s website at: https://open.canada.ca/en/search/grants

Instructions: open the link; enter in the search field, “Canada periodical fund, aid to publishers”; and select a year.

Question No. 129Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to the $600 million media bailout fund: (a) how much money has been distributed to date; (b) who were the recipients of the money; and (c) how much did each recipient in (b) receive?

Question No. 129Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government introduced three tax measures in budget 2019 to support Canadian journalism. These include the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, a 25% refundable tax credit on salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019; the digital news subscription tax credit, a 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit for digital news subscription costs paid by an individual to a qualified Canadian journalism organization, which applies to qualifying amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025; a new type of qualified donee called a “registered journalism organization” for not-for-profit journalism organizations, which is in effect as of January 1, 2020.

The “gateway” for eligibility for all the income tax measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization”, QCJO. While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in determining if any of the three income tax measures could apply.

With regard to (a), (b) and (c), the CRA does not have any data of the nature requested, as the tax measures to support journalism and the QCJO designation process have not yet commenced. As of December 6, 2019, that is, the date of this question, one of the three tax measures to support journalism has come into force and the CRA has not publicly released its application form and guidance, which are necessary for organizations to be able to apply for and be designated for QCJO status.

Question No. 132Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

January 27th, 2020 / 3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

With regard to the current ongoing construction taking place on the lawn of Parliament Hill between Centre Block and the Centennial Flame: (a) what is the specific purpose of the construction; (b) when will the construction be completed and the entire lawn be open to the public again; (c) what is the estimated cost associated with the construction; and (d) what are the details of all contracts signed in relation to the construction, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date and duration of contract, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number?

Question No. 132Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the current ongoing construction taking place on the lawn of Parliament Hill between Centre Block and the Centennial Flame is related to the Centre Block rehabilitation program, which includes excavating the northern portion of the lawn in order to construct phase II of the Visitor Welcome Centre. The project is being completed as part of the long term vision and plan—a multi-year strategy for restoring and modernizing Canada’s historic parliamentary precinct.

With regard to (b), the front lawn will be reinstated following the restoration of the Centre Block. The timelines for construction are in development and will be available in 2020 once a detailed building condition assessment program and schematic design are complete.

PSPC, in concert with its government and parliamentary partners, is committed to maintaining a positive experience on Parliament Hill while construction is taking place.

With regard to (c), critical information on the state of the Centre Block and its future functional requirements is still under assessment. The scope, schedule and budget will be available in 2020 once the detailed condition assessment is complete and schematic design is sufficiently advanced.

With regard to (d), the Centre Block rehabilitation program is utilizing a construction management contracting model to deliver the construction component of the project. Under this model, the construction manager competitively tenders and oversees all aspects of the construction execution. Contracting opportunities are posted by the construction manager on MERX. This construction management contract was competitively tendered and awarded to a joint venture comprised of PCL/Ellis Don in the spring of 2017.

The link to the construction management contract can be found on the Government of Canada buyandsell.gc.ca website: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-FP-001-68514?order=title&sort=asc#title

With regard to (d)(i), the vendor is PCL/EllisDon in joint venture. With regard to (d)(ii), the amount is $598,000,000. With regard to (d)(iii), the contract was awarded in April 2017 and is valid until March 2029. With regard to (d)(iv), the goods and services consist of construction management services. With regard to (d)(v), the buy and sell reference number is PW-$FP-001-68514, and the buy and sell solicitation number is EP748-151886/D

Question No. 133Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

With regard to the government's treatment of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman: what are the total expenditures incurred to date for the investigation and prosecution of Vice-Admiral Norman, broken down by type of expenditures?

Question No. 133Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal cost related to this case. Based upon the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $1,425,389.68, as of December 9, 2019.

Question No. 135Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

With regard to international summits, meetings, and events held in Canada since January 1, 2016: (a) how often were RCMP members seconded from local detachments to perform duties related to an international summit, meeting or event; (b) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were members seconded from RCMP detachments with 10 or fewer members; (c) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were more than 50% of the members in a detachment seconded; and (d) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were more than 25% of the members in a detachment seconded?

Question No. 135Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP’s protective policing program is mandated to ensure the safety and security of government-led events, as prescribed by Canadian legislation, directives and international conventions. This includes, for example, the 2016 North American leaders summit in Ottawa, Ontario, and the recent 2018 G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

To execute this mandate and ensure the proper functioning of a government-led event, the RCMP deploys resources and implements security measures commensurate to the RCMP’s assessment of the threat and risk environment for that particular unique event.

RCMP protective policing personnel, which are located in multiple divisions across the country, will be deployed in support of a government-led event to ensure the appropriate security posture. In some cases, divisional resources and personnel from within other areas of the RCMP, i.e., federal policing or vontract, will also be deployed, if required.

For operational reasons, the RCMP cannot disclose detailed information that may expose security postures adopted to ensure the security of government-led events, including the number of resources deployed from divisions.

Question No. 138Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

With regard to the government’s response to the concern of small communities that they will be unable to meet the government’s wastewater regulations by 2020: (a) will the government fine small communities who are unable to meet the regulations; (b) will the government provide urgent funding to the communities in order to meet these new regulations; and (c) what remedies will be available to small communities that do not have the means to upgrade their facilities in order to meet the regulations?

Question No. 138Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Government of Canada has an obligation to enforce environmental laws and regulations and takes its responsibilities seriously. Environment and Climate Change Canada, ECCC, is responsible for administering and enforcing the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish, and the wastewater systems effluent regulations, WSER, made pursuant to the Fisheries Act, FA.

ECCC aims to enforce the WSER in a manner that is fair, consistent and predictable.

If ECCC enforcement officers become aware of an alleged violation they may take appropriate action in accordance with the compliance and enforcement policy for the habitat protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act. This ECCC policy states that if there is evidence of a contravention, officers can take a number of different enforcement measures considering factors set out in this policy, including issuing warnings or directions. Warnings are administrative documents, which brings an alleged violation to the attention of an alleged violator in order to promote any necessary action to come back into compliance with the WSER. Directions are legal documents in which the enforcement officer orders the alleged offender to come back into compliance with the WSER. Warnings and directions are enforcement options used before prosecution, and do not involve monetary fines.

Further, according to the Fisheries Act, FA, no one can be convicted if the person establishes that they exercised due diligence or reasonably and honestly believed in the existence of facts that, if true, would render the person’s conduct innocent.

With more serious alleged offences, officers can conduct investigations to collect evidence for the purposes of prosecuting in court. The evidence collected is sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. A decision to prosecute an alleged offender is the sole discretion of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Once the person has been charged, an option that does not involve court proceedings are “alternative measures”. Alternative measures are agreements negotiated with the accused by the Attorney General of Canada, in consultation with the Minister of the Environment. It will contain measures that the accused must take in order to restore compliance.

Where there are no alternative measures, a person who is found guilty of contravening the WSER following court proceedings is liable to a fine the amount of which will differ greatly depending on whether the offender is an individual, a small revenue corporation or another person and whether it is their first offence.

These regulations do not fall under ECCC legislation, which allows for ticketing or administrative monetary penalties, the contraventions regulations and the administrative monetary penalties regulations, for violation to certain other ECCC acts or regulations.

In response to (b), Environment and Climate Change Canada will not provide any funding related to Q-138.

In response to (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada does not have any remedies related to Q-138.

Question No. 139Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

With regard to the government funding transfers to the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIB): (a) what is the total amount of money transferred to date; (b) what are the details of each transfer, including (i) date, (ii) amount; (c) how many Canadian infrastructure projects have been funded as a result of the money transferred in (a), and what are the details of all such projects, including the amount received from the AIB; and (d) how many jobs in Canada have been directly created as a result of the funding in (a)?

Question No. 139Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), Canada became a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, through the purchase of shares valued at $199.1 million U.S. To date, $79.64 million U.S. has been transferred.

In response to parts (b)(i) and (ii), the dates and amounts are March 8, 2018, $39.82 million U.S., and March 11, 2019, $39.82 million U.S.

In response to part (c), multilateral development banks, MDBs, such as the World Bank and AIIB are organizations that provide development resources in the form of financing, grants and technical assistance to low and middle-income countries, for the purposes of social and economic development. Canada does not borrow from MDBs, and no Canadian infrastructure project has been funded by the AIIB.

In response to part (d), the MDBs provide financing and other types of assistance to projects in developing countries. As such, no funding has been provided to Canada. However, Canadian companies can engage in AIIB projects and core functions, e.g., Hatch and TD Securities.

Question No. 140Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

With regard to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity: broken down by riding, what is the number and percentage of individuals whom the minister considers to be middle class?

Question No. 140Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government’s focus on middle-class prosperity reflects its priority on policies that grow the economy and benefit a very broad group of Canadians.

The income required to attain a middle-class lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations, e.g., what their family situation is, whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive. Canada has no official statistical measure of what constitutes the middle class.

Question No. 143Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to the over $56,000 owed by the RCMP to the managers of the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas: (a) what is the exact amount owed; (b) why did the government not sign a contract for the expenditures prior to incurring them; (c) what is the itemized breakdown of the expenditures owed to the managers of the island; (d) when will this outstanding amount be paid; and (e) as this vacation was found by the Conflict of lnterest and Ethics Commissioner to be a violation of the law, will the government require the Prime Minister to pay this outstanding amount from personal funds?

Question No. 143Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), there is no outstanding amount owed.

In response to (b), the RCMP is working to improve operational planning practices with the goal of ensuring adherence to Government of Canada policies.

In response to (c), for operational reasons, the RCMP cannot disclose detailed information that may expose security postures adopted to ensure the safety and security of any given principal and/or event.

In response to (d) and (e), the amount has been paid.

Question No. 146Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

With regard to government support for the workers in New Brunswick impacted by the closing of the Glencore Smelter in Belledune: what specific measures, if any, is the government taking to support the affected workers?

Question No. 146Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Windsor—Tecumseh Ontario

Liberal

Irek Kusmierczyk LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, since the November 13, 2019 announcement, Service Canada has been working closely with the New Brunswick, NB, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, PETL, to coordinate efforts and provide support to the workers impacted by the closing of the Glencore smelter in Belledune. The area director for NB has contacted the MP’s office to inform them that Service Canada is supporting employees and that the employer can contact them if they have any questions.

Service Canada attended information fairs for unionized and non-unionized employees on December 2, 2019, in Belledune, New Brunswick, and December 3, 2019, in Beresford, New Brunswick. This event was a collaboration between the provincial department of PETL and the employer, Glencore. Employees in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions and Service Canada took note of them in order to better address their concerns about employment insurance, EI.

Service Canada and NB PETL held joint information sessions on December 11 and 12, 2019. Eight sessions were held for unionized employees and 82 people attended. The sessions provided general information on EI and other Government of Canada services and programs. A session for non-unionized employees was scheduled for December 13, 2019, but had to be cancelled because these employees are still working. It has been rescheduled to January 2020.