November 14, 2005

LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 183, 187, 189, 191, 201 and 209.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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CPC

Scott Reid

Conservative

Mr. Scott Reid

With regard to contracted employment, in the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, for current and former members of the Press Gallery who are not camera operators, sound technicians or primarily employed to report for a foreign media source or for a media outlet that reports in a non-official language, and for whom any corroborating information as to the person’s identity, such as date of birth or location of birth, current home address or mailing address, telephone number or e-mail address is available; which members and former members were paid by the government, and for each: ( a ) what types of service were provided and to which departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations were they provided; ( b ) for what period did the individuals in question serve in the relevant capacity; and ( c ) what was the cost for the services provided?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 183
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, given the complexity of the question, the government has been in contact with the MP for Lanark--Frontenac--Lennox and Addington to seek clarification on the question. Since the Privacy Act imposes strict limits on the purposes for which a department may collect, retain, or disclose information, the government is reviewing in depth the legal implications of the question. However, the government hopes to be in a position shortly to table a supplementary response.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 183
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CPC

Jay Hill

Conservative

Mr. Jay Hill

What steps has the government taken to give effect to a motion adopted by the House on April 20, 2005, that sought compensation from the government for all victims of Hepatitis C; if no action has been taken, what explanation can the government give to justify its decision?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 187
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LIB

Ujjal Dosanjh

Liberal

Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on November 22, 2004, the Minister of Health announced the government’s intention to enter into discussions about options to provide compensation to those infected pre-1986 and post-1990. The government entered into discussions because it was the right and responsible thing to do.

The government voted in favour of the motion before the House of Commons concerning hepatitis C compensation for those infected pre-1986/post-1990, because the principle of the motion supported the actions we have taken and allowed us to reaffirm our commitment of November 22, 2004.

Discussions with legal counsel representing those infected began immediately after the Minister of Health’s November announcement, and are ongoing. The parties have held a number of discussions in the months before the motion was adopted by the House of Commons and since.

It must be understood that compensation can only be made once the necessary medical information about those infected is available and the discussions between all parties have concluded.

As part of gathering this necessary medical information, we anticipate that class counsel for the pre-1986/post-1990 class will send a letter before year’s end to the pre-1986/post-1990 class. The letter seeks consent to obtain medical information from the pre-1986/post-1990 class in an effort to gather information needed to move discussions forward. The letter demonstrates that all parties involved are committed to dealing with this issue as quickly as possible.

We are working as quickly as possible to reach a successful conclusion that takes into account the actual and legal circumstances of the claimants. The negotiations are addressing these issues and all parties continue to work together in good faith to provide the necessary information upon which to base a compensation framework.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 187
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NDP

Yvon Godin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Yvon Godin

What is the cost, by province, of Social Development Canada’s Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) for the Atlantic region?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 189
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LIB

Ken Dryden

Liberal

Hon. Ken Dryden (Minister of Social Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, costs under the voluntary sector initiative, VSI, for Social Development Canada in the Atlantic region were made under a grant and contribution, G&C, and travel expenses reimbursed to members of the capacity joint table. Expenditures incurred related to the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island only. Details of these expenditures are provided in the attached chart for the fiscal years 2002-03 to 2004-05.

No money was spent by Social Development Canada under the VSI in the provinces of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador during the specified period of time.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 189
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CPC

Joy Smith

Conservative

Mrs. Joy Smith

With regard to "The New Deal for Cities and Communities," outlined on pages 199 to 204 of the Budget Plan 2005, why did the government decide to deny the City of Winnipeg the ability to use infrastructure money on projects such as roads and bridges?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 191
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LIB

John Godfrey

Liberal

Hon. John Godfrey (Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, negotiations are ongoing with Manitoba for the sharing of federal gas tax revenues with the province’s cities and communities. As stated in the budget plan 2005; “In each large urban centre, investments will be targeted to one or two of the following priorities: public transit, water and wastewater, community energy systems, and treatment of solid waste. In smaller municipalities, eligible funding will be considered more broadly to provide flexibility to meet priorities. In all municipalities, some funds may also be used for capacity-building initiatives to support sustainability planning.”

Projects for roads and bridges may be eligible for funding through the Canada strategic infrastructure fund. For example, the federal government contributed $13 million dollars through the Canada strategic infrastructure fund to the Winnipeg Kenaston underpass project for the construction of a railway underpass and other associated roadwork.

Under the Canada-Manitoba municipal-rural infrastructure fund, “local roads” (including bridges) are an eligible category.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 191
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CPC

Inky Mark

Conservative

Mr. Inky Mark

With regard to the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization program: ( a ) what is the total amount of funding the government has deposited into the program since its creation; ( b ) how much has been withdrawn by applicants; and ( c ) how much has been withdrawn by applicants in the riding of Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 201
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LIB

Andy Mitchell

Liberal

Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

(a) The Canadian agricultural income stabilization, CAIS, program replaced both the Canadian farm income payment, CFIP, and the net income stabilization account, NISA, program. Whereas, under the NISA program, governments deposited their share of program payments into producer accounts, the CAIS program makes the government share of payments directly to producers. Currently, the only deposit requirement is by producers in order to secure coverage under the CAIS program.

In July, federal-provincial-territorial ministers agreed to replace the producer deposit mechanism under CAIS with a fee-based structure in order to respond to producer concerns regarding the affordability of the program and to free up capital which was previously held in CAIS accounts. In the meantime, the deadline for producer deposits for the 2003, 2004 and 2005 program years has been extended until March 31, 2006 and producers have been allowed to withdraw their previously deposited funds. There is currently less than $340 million remaining in producers’ CAIS accounts, down from nearly $650 million in March of this year.

In relation to government funding under CAIS, I would like to point out that CAIS is a needs-based program. This means there is no annual spending cap on the program in order to allow CAIS to better respond to producer-demand. As a business risk management, BRM, program under the current agricultural policy framework, APF, the CAIS program, together with production insurance and the spring and fall cash advance programs, is funded from a committed $5.5 billion in federal funding over the five-year life of the program (2003-04 to 2007-08 fiscal years), which equates to approximately $1.1 billion per year. Under the 60:40 federal-provincial cost-sharing ratio, the provinces have committed to adding another $700 million per year to this federal funding.

Since the inception of CAIS for the 2003 program year, governments have paid a total of $2.3 billion ($1.38 billion federal and $0.92 billion provincial shares) to producers under the program.

(b) This has resulted in producers receiving more than $2.3 billion in income stabilization and disaster assistance payments through the CAIS Program to date, which include final payments for 2003, interim (advance) payments and final payments for 2004 and interim payments for 2005. As 2003 CAIS payments are winding down and payments for the 2004 program year are now being paid, as well as interim payments for the 2005 program year, this number will continue to increase.

(c) In response to your request for CAIS payment number for your riding, I must say that the administrative systems for the CAIS program do not allow me to provide that type of a breakdown. However, I would like to report that more than $200 million has gone out to producers in Manitoba since CAIS was implemented.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 201
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CPC

Bradley Trost

Conservative

Mr. Bradley Trost

For the fiscal years 1993-1994, 1994-1995, 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, from all departments and agencies of the government, including crown corporations and quasi/non-governmental agencies funded by the government, and not including research and student-related grants and loans, what is the list of grants, loans, contributions and contracts awarded in the city of Regina and in the riding of Wascana, which includes the cities of Sedley, Francis, Vibank, Odessa, Kendal and Montmartre or which have postal codes starting with S0G, S4N, S4P, S4R, S4S, S4V, S4Y and S4Z, including (i) the name and address of the recipient, (ii) whether or not it was competitively awarded, (iii) the date, (iv) the amount and the type of funding, and (v) if repayable, whether or not it has been repaid?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 209
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Public Works and Government Services maintains an extensive data bank of information on contracts let on its own behalf and on behalf of other government departments. However, as stated in the Treasury Board Secretariat contracting policy, the contracting process is to be conducted in a manner that enhances access, competition and fairness. Statistics are not reported by electoral boundaries because they have no bearing on the contract award process. Contracts are awarded based on price, technical merit, or a combination of the two, not on the location of a supplier’s office. Further, contracting statistics cannot identify which geographic area receives the economic benefits of a contract.

However, the Privy Council Office has contacted departments, agencies and crown corporations to ascertain whether they have an electronic capacity to search for and sort financial and contract information by federal electoral district and by city in order to respond to this question. The results of the survey show that approximately 65% to 70% of government organizations are not able to perform an electronic search for information on grants, loans and contributions on this basis.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 209
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 160, the supplementary answer, Question No. 165, another supplementary answer, Questions Nos. 176, 184, 186, 188, 194, 196, 200, 202, 203 and 204 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Ms. Diane Finley

With regard to the funding of the 19 federal agricultural research stations in Canada: ( a ) for each fiscal year, between 1995 and 2005: (i) what was the total amount of research funding transferred by the government to each of the 19 agriculture research stations, (ii) what was the total level of staffing and the composition of the staffing (i.e. the numbers of scientists, researchers, support staff and other staff) at each of the 19 agricultural research stations, (iii) what specific research projects were funded at the 19 agricultural research stations in Canada, (iv) how much of the research funds were dedicated to each of the research projects, (v) what percentage of the research funding to each of the 19 agricultural research stations was dedicated to resource research, plant research, animal research, and food and value-added research; and ( b ) for each fiscal year, between 1995 and 2005, what percentage of the research funding to each of the 19 agricultural research stations was dedicated to other categories of agricultural and/or agri-food research?

(Return tabled)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 160
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CPC

Randy White

Conservative

Mr. Randy White

With regard to Correctional Services Canada during the fiscal years 2002-2003, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005: ( a ) what was the total amount of salary bonuses paid to prison wardens in all regions; ( b ) what was the total cost in providing legal aid to inmates in each region; and ( c ) in how many instances was said legal aid utilized?

(Return tabled)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 165
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CPC

Garry Breitkreuz

Conservative

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz

For each province and territory: ( a ) how many RCMP officers are currently serving under federal responsibilities, provincial responsibilities, and municipal responsibilities; ( b ) what is the current number of unfulfilled requests for RCMP officers from provinces and municipalities; and (c) how many RCMP officers are currently needed to bring the RCMP up to full strength?

(Return tabled)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 176
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CPC

Bill Casey

Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey

With regard to the government’s position and actions regarding employment insurance (EI) benefits for spouses of employees of the government or private sector employees who have been posted overseas and who are unable to receive unemployment insurance benefits, even though these citizens are still registered in constituencies across Canada: ( a ) how many spouses of Canadian diplomats, Canadian foreign-service employees or private sector employees have filed complaints with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) with regard to the their inability to receive EI benefits, even though they are still Canadian citizens who are registered in federal constituencies across Canada and still pay taxes to the government; ( b ) does the CRA collect the payment of EI premiums from the spouses of Canada’s diplomats, foreign-service employees and those from the private sector, and, if so, why is it that these individuals cannot receive the EI benefits for which they have paid through their salaries, and earned from Canadian employers either just prior to, or while living overseas; ( c ) is there a conflict between the CRA and HRSDC definitions of residency of a Canadian citizen and, if so, why; ( d ) has any action taken place between officials of CRA, HRSDC, Foreign Affairs Canada or Elections Canada to update or correct conflicts in the definition process for determining an individual’s residency; ( e ) has any action taken place within the CRA to update the NR-73 Determination of Residency Status form and resulting process to correct any determination conflicts with those of other federal departments for Canadians living and working overseas; ( f ) have HRSDC, CRA, Elections Canada or Foreign Affairs Canada ever discussed using a standardized or shared definition for determining who is a “spouse”, in cases of spouses of government (including diplomatic and foreign-service staff) or private sector employees who have been posted overseas and wish to claim employment insurance benefits; ( g ) which nations does Canada have reciprocal treaties/agreements enabling the payment of employment insurance benefits to Canadians outside of Canada, and when were these treaties/agreements established; ( h ) is the government actively negotiating with any other nations with regard to achieving a reciprocal employment insurance agreement; ( i ) has the government sought, or been approached, to establish reciprocal treaties or employment insurance agreements with Canada’s NAFTA partners, with the European Union or any of its member states, the United Kingdom or any another G-8 nation; ( j ) was the subject of reciprocal employment insurance benefits treaties or agreements discussed or proposed during the drafting of Canada’s newest foreign policy review, or in negotiations with the World Trade Organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations, or the Trade and Investment Agreement negotiations; and if so, what concerns or suggestions were raised regarding the implementation of these EI treaties or agreements; ( k ) have any spouses of Canada’s diplomatic corps or foreign-service employees been contacted with regard to ascertaining their opinions or suggestions for improving the present conflict with employment insurance benefit regulations; and ( l ) what progress has Foreign Affairs Canada, HRSDC and CRA achieved towards creating a solution to spousal overseas EI issues?

(Return tabled)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 184
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November 14, 2005