March 25, 2011

NDP

Denise Savoie

New Democratic Party

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Denise Savoie)

Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
LIB

Jim Karygiannis

Liberal

Hon. Jim Karygiannis

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am seeking unanimous consent to move a motion that the House unanimously condemn what is happening in Bahrain by the government against its people and calls on all parties to move swiftly to resolve the difficulties and for democracy to return in Bahrain.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
NDP

Denise Savoie

New Democratic Party

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Denise Savoie)

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
CPC

Tom Lukiwski

Conservative

Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 924, 925, 926, 927, 928 and 933.

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

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Hon. Bryon Wilfert

With regard to the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan: (a) what were the Department of National Defense's initial cost estimates, prior to November of 2010, for the removal of equipment and personnel from Afghanistan in spring-summer of 2011; (b) what additional costs are anticipated now that Canada has lost access to Camp Mirage in the United Arab Emirates; and (c) what funds have been reallocated within the department in order to cover these cost overruns?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 924
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the $9.3 billion Afghanistan cost reported in the reports on plans and priorities includes incremental costs for the mission from 2001 to 2011 as well as close-out costs such as reconstitution, i.e., the costs arising from returning equipment to its pre-mission state, and redeployment once the mission ends.

In response to (b), the costs associated with the closure of Camp Mirage are one aspect of the greater context of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, and have yet to be finalized.

In response to (c), the source of funds remains to be determined.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 924
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LIB

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Hon. Bryon Wilfert

With regard to the procurement of the Joint Strike Fighter: (a) since 2006, how many and which private sector consultants has the government hired in order to assess the feasibility and technical capabilities of the F-35; (b) how much were each of these consultants paid for their work; and (c) for how many billable hours did each consultant invoice the government?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 925
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, no private sector consultants have been hired to assess the feasibility and technical capabilities of the F-35.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 925
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LIB

Michael Savage

Liberal

Mr. Michael Savage

With regard to possible tax evasion in Switzerland: (a) how many Canadians have been identified as having undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (b) what action, if any, has been taken by Canadian officials to recover unpaid taxes associated with Canadians' undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (c) how many identified Canadians have availed themselves of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (d) how many identified Canadian accounts have settled with the CRA; (e) how much money has the CRA assessed as a result of investigating these secret banks accounts in Switzerland (i) in unpaid taxes, (ii) in interest, (iii) in fines, (iv) in penalties; (f) how much of the money in (e) has been collected; (g) how many of the cases are under appeal; (h) how many cases remain open; (i) how many more cases does the CRA anticipate will be opened; (j) how many cases have been closed (i.e., the full amount of taxes, interest, fines and penalties have been collected); (k) how much money in (j) has been collected (i) in unpaid taxes, (ii) in interest, (iii) in fines, (iv) in penalties; (l) how many account holders in the cases have made partial payment; (m) of the partial payments made, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (n) how much does the CRA anticipate it has yet to collect in (i) taxes, (ii) interest, (iii) fines, (iv) penalties; (o) of the amounts of money contained in the Switzerland accounts declared or discovered by CRA, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (p) on what date was the CRA first made aware of the names of Canadians with accounts in Switzerland; (q) on what date did the CRA begin its investigation; (r) on what date did the first audit of an individual account holder begin; (s) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland (i) have had their account or accounts audited, (ii) have had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) have been the subject of a compliance action; (t) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland (i) have not had their account or accounts audited, (ii) have not had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) have not been the subject of a compliance action; (u) how many tax evasion charges were laid; and (v) has the government made any changes to the VDP in the past 24 months?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 926
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA.

The Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, is unable to provide a detailed response to the question, as the CRA does not capture the information in the manner requested. While the CRA does track specific non-compliance, any given audit project may have links to more than one country; therefore, information is not tracked by country.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 926
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains

With regard to funds spent by Elections Canada: (a) how much has Elections Canada spent on legal counsel and legal advice since 2005; (b) how much of this spending was to address issues with regard to the Conservative Party of Canada; and (c) how many legal proceedings does Elections Canada have ongoing at this time?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 927
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to funds spent by Elections Canada, here are the responses.

With regard to part (a), during the period April 1, 2005 to January 31, 2011, Elections Canada spent approximately $3,028,486 on legal counsel and legal advice.

Of this amount, the office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections spent approximately $1,618,999 on legal counsel and legal advice for the enforcement of the Canada Elections Act, and approximately $1,409,487 was spent on legal counsel and legal advice for purposes other than enforcement of the Canada Elections Act.

Expenses incurred for legal services are of two general types: advisory services and litigation. Advisory services may include expenses related to opinions on specific subjects, review of documents or contracts, as well as the services of the broadcasting arbitrator.

Litigation services cover the gamut of cases in which the office of the Chief Electoral Officer may be involved, from electors who sue Elections Canada because they slipped while getting to the polling site to human rights cases, as well as others related to the interpretation of the Canada Elections Act.

With regard to part (b), of the amount shown in (a), approximately $1,255,561 was spent to address issues with regard to the Conservative Party of Canada.

With regard to part (c), there are currently 10 legal proceedings in which the office of the Chief Electoral Officer is involved in civil courts. This excludes routine applications to the courts for extensions of time to file returns. Note that an application has recently been filed in the Quebec Superior Court to join four of these legal proceedings in one. Should this application be successful, the number of civil proceedings will be reduced to seven.

One prosecution is ongoing at this time.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 927
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NDP

Claude Gravelle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Claude Gravelle

With respect to FedNor: (a) how many new programs will be introduced for the Northern Ontario region in the fiscal year 2011-2012; (b) how many programs will sunset on March 31, 2011; and (c) how many major projects will be launched in 2011-2012 in cooperation with each municipality and local community?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 928
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CPC

Tony Clement

Conservative

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to FedNor, here are the responses to the above-mentioned question.

With regard to part (a), the number of new programs that will be introduced for the northern Ontario region in the fiscal year 2011–12 is unknown at this time. In 2011–12, FedNor will continue to support economic development and business growth in northern Ontario through its northern Ontario development program, the community futures program and the economic development initiative for official language minority communities.

With regard to part (b), the community adjustment fund was one of the initiatives introduced in 2009 as part of the Government of Canada’s two-year economic action plan. FedNor was asked to administer this fund in Northern Ontario. This initiative is scheduled to sunset on March 31, 2011.

With regard to part (c), we are unable to forecast the number of major projects that will be launched in 2011–12. Applications to FedNor are received from across northern Ontario on a continuous intake system and undergo extensive due diligence to ensure that each project meets the published program guidelines and funding criteria. In 2011–12, FedNor’s contribution budget for northern Ontario is $46.4 million.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 928
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LIB

Ujjal Dosanjh

Liberal

Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh

With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS): (a) has the government achieved its goal to reduce overall smoking prevalence from 19 percent in 2005 to 12 percent by 2011 and, if not, what are the reasons the government has failed to meet this target; (b) has the government established new goals and objectives for this strategy for the period following 2011 and, if so, what are they and, if not, why not; (c) does the government intend to revise or renew the FTCS and, if so, what steps has it taken to consult with the public and key stakeholders in this regard; and (d) does the government intend to continue to provide transfer payments in support of this strategy in 2011-2012 and, if so, (i) what is the total anticipated amount to be transferred in that fiscal year, (ii) has spending authority for these payments been obtained, (iii) has a process been put in place to solicit proposals for activities funded through transfer payments?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 933
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CPC

Leona Aglukkaq

Conservative

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the federal tobacco control strategy, FTCS, has been successful in reducing smoking in Canada and preventing youth from starting to smoke. Canada is internationally recognized as a world leader in tobacco control. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, Canada has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world. In 2009, overall smoking prevalence in Canada was 18% and only 14% of Canadians were daily smokers. Data on 2010 and 2011 smoking prevalence are not yet available.

The current federal tobacco control strategy is 10 years old, and strategies to reach Canadians since then have evolved. In that context, Health Canada is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories.

Given the pervasive and serious nature of the problem of tobacco use in our society, the Government is continually assessing new ways to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of its tobacco control measures.

One such initiative is the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which fully came into force on July 5, 2010. The act added further restrictions on tobacco advertising, as well as minimum packaging requirements for little cigars and blunt wraps, which ends the industry practice of selling these products in single units and “kiddy-packs”. The act also banned the use of certain additives, including flavours, excluding menthol, in cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps, as they contribute to making such products more appealing to youth.

On December 30, 2010, the Government of Canada announced proposed regulations to launch new, larger graphic health warning messages that will cover 75 percent of cigarette and little cigar packages in order to increase awareness of the health hazards associated with tobacco use and to further support smokers in their efforts to quit. These new health warning messages will be complemented by a multimedia social marketing campaign, including the use of social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to reach and engage smokers. Subject to provincial and territorial agreement, the new labels will also include a pan-Canadian toll-free quitline number that will seamlessly link callers to provincial and territorial cessation support services.

The Government of Canada is committed to developing innovative approaches that effectively reduce smoking uptake among youth and help Canadian smokers to quit smoking. Health Canada will continue to seek innovative approaches to tobacco control and implement the necessary measures to reduce smoking rates and protect the health of Canadians.

The Government of Canada is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories, including the use of grants and contribution funding.

Health Canada is pleased to have had the support of tobacco control stakeholders and the public health community during the passage of the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act and on the new proposed larger graphic health warning messages.

The Minister of Health indicated to provinces and territories that $3.5M of FTCS contribution funding would be available to support their cessation activities within the 2011-12 fiscal year. The government is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories, including the use of grants and contribution funding.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 933
Permalink
CPC

Tom Lukiwski

Conservative

Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Madam Speaker, if Questions Nos. 922, 923, 929, 930, 931, 932, 934, 935, 936, 937 and 938 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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NDP

Denise Savoie

New Democratic Party

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Denise Savoie)

Is that Agreed?

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

March 25, 2011