Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wants more details on the decision to approve the Northern Gateway — and what legal opinions were requested about the Crown duty to consult with Aboriginal people.
New Democrat MP Charmaine Borg wants more statistics on how often federal agencies — including CSIS, CSEC and the RCMP — request user data from telecommunications providers.
And Conservative backbencher John Carmichael wants to know just how much it cost the government to answer to each and every parliamentary written question so far this year.
The House may be about to shut down for the season, but that hasn't stopped MPs from filing a flurry of pre-recess written queries to the Order Paper during the final days of the sitting.
- Thousands of pages of parliamentary records set to go public
- PMO won't say how many staff earn $150K, citing privacy
- Payouts to departing federal political staff cost $30M since 2006
Under House rules, the government is obliged to provide a response within 45 days — calendar days, that is, not sitting days.
That means the replies should be ready to be tabled on the first day back when MPs return this fall, except for the one posed by Carmichael, who, curiously, failed to specify the 45 day deadline. It's is usually standard operating procedure for inquisitive MPs to note the deadline in their requests.
Few requests from Tory backbench
In fact, Carmichael's Conservative caucus colleague Mike Wallace is still awaiting the results of a virtually identical request standing in his name on the cost of replying to the first 253 questions filed since last fall.
Wallace's query was added to the list in January, and remains unanswered nearly six months later.
The only other Conservative MP to submit a written question in the current session was Scott Reid, who earlier this month asked for background information on the controversial searches and gun seizures in High River, Alta. during last year's floods.
Although he told CBC News he had his fingers crossed that he'd get a substantive reply, Reid may want to temper his expectations.
On Thursday, the government tabled a one-sentence reply to Liberal MP John McCallum's request for a breakdown of temporary foreign workers employed by federal departments, agencies and Crown Corporations since 2002, which stated that, as it would require "a prohibitively long and extensive search" of the program archives, the department was unable to answer it within the allotted time.
A sampling of submissions from the last two days, including those referenced above:
Q-6512 — June 19, 2014 — Mr. Trudeau (Papineau) — With regard to the Northern Gateway Project: (a) did the government request an assessment or legal opinion from any department or ministry as to whether consultations conducted by the Joint Review Panel on the Northern Gateway Project fulfilled the Crown’s duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples, and if so, what were the contents of those assessments, broken down by (i) department or ministry, (ii) date; (b) did the government provide oversight for, monitor or evaluate the adequacy or sufficiency of the Joint Review Panel’s Aboriginal consultation efforts throughout the panel process, and if so, what were the findings of said oversight, monitoring and evaluation, broken down by (i) department or ministry, (ii) date; (c) which Aboriginal communities or groups did the Joint Review Process engage with during the five phases of consultation described in the "Aboriginal Consultation Framework for the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project" document, broken down by (i) phase, (ii) Aboriginal community or group, (iii) year; (d) how much participant funding was requested by Aboriginal communities or groups throughout the Joint Review Panel Process, broken down by (i) Aboriginal community or group, (ii) year funding was provided; (e) how much participant funding was provided to Aboriginal communities or groups throughout the Joint Review Panel Process, broken down by (i) Aboriginal community or group, (ii) year funding was provided?
Q-6302 — June 18, 2014 — Ms. Borg (Terrebonne—Blainville) — With regard to requests by government agencies to telecommunications service providers (TSPs) to provide information about customers' usage of communications devices and services: (a) between 2001 and 2013, how many such requests were made; (b) of the total referred to in (a), how many requests were made by the (i) RCMP, (ii) Canadian Security Intelligence Service, (iii) Competition Bureau, (iv) Canada Revenue Agency, (v) Canada Border Services Agency, (vi) Communications Security Establishment Canada; (c) for the requests referred to in (a), how many of each of the following types of information were requested, (i) geolocation of device, broken down by real-time and historical data, (ii) call detail records, as obtained by number recorders or by disclosure of stored data, (iii) text message content, (iv) voicemail, (v) cell tower logs, (vi) real-time interception of communications (i.e. wire-tapping), (vii) subscriber information, (viii) transmission data (e.g. duration of interaction, port numbers, communications routing data, etc.), (ix) data requests (e.g. web sites visited, IP address logs), (x) any other kinds of data requests pertaining to the operation of TSPs' networks and businesses, broken down by type; (d) for each of the request types referred to in (c), what are all of the data fields that are disclosed as part of responding to a request; (e) of the total referred to in (a), how many of the requests were made (i) for real-time disclosures, (ii) retroactively, for stored data, (iii) in exigent circumstances, (iv) in non-exigent circumstances, (v) subject to a court order; (f) of the total referred to in (a), (i) how many of the requests did TSPs fulfill, (ii) how many requests did they deny and for what reasons; (g) do the government agencies that request information from TSPs notify affected TSP subscribers that information pertaining to their telecommunications service has been requested or accessed by the government, (i) if so, how many subscribers are notified per year, (ii) by which government agencies; (h) for each type of request referred to in (c), broken down by agency, (i) how long is the information obtained by such requests retained by government agencies, (ii) what is the average time period for which government agencies request such information (e.g. 35 days of records), (iii) what is the average amount of time that TSPs are provided to fulfill such requests, (iv) what is the average number of subscribers who have the their information disclosed to government agencies; (i) what are the legal standards that agencies use to issue the requests for information referred to in (c); (j) how many times were the requests referred to in (c) based specifically on grounds of (i) terrorism, (ii) national security, (iii) foreign intelligence, (iv) child exploitation; (k) what is the maximum number of subscribers that TSPs are required by government agencies to monitor for each of the information types identified in (c); (l) has the government ever ordered (e.g. through ministerial authorization or a court order) the increase of one of the maximum numbers referred to in (k); (m) do TSPs ever refuse to comply with requests for information identified in (c) and, if so, (i) why were such requests refused, (ii) how do government agencies respond when a TSP refuses to comply; (n) between 2001 and 2013, did government agencies provide money or other forms of compensation to TSPs in exchange for the information referred to in (a) and, if so, (i) how much money have government agencies paid, (ii) are there different levels of compensation for exigent or non-exigent requests; (o) for the requests referred to in (a), how many users, accounts, IP addresses and individuals were subject to disclosure; (p) for the requests referred to in (a), how many were made without a warrant; (q) do the government agencies that request information from TSPs keep internal aggregate statistics on these type of requests and the kind of information requested; and (r) do the government agencies that request information from TSPs notify individuals when the law allows or after investigations are complete that their information has been requested or disclosed?
Q-653 — June 19, 2014 — Mr. Carmichael (Don Valley West) — With regard to questions on the Order Paper numbers Q-264 through Q-644, what is the estimated cost of the government's response for each question?
Q-6292 — June 18, 2014 — Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds—Dollard) — With regard to refugees: (a) as of June 11, 2014, how many of the 200 Syrian refugees the government committed to resettle were in Canada; (b) what was the average processing time in 2014 for applications for privately sponsored refugees; and (c) what was the average processing time in 2014 for applications for privately sponsored refugees from Syria?
Q-6252 — June 18, 2014 — Mr. Angus (Timmins—James Bay) — With regard to bottled water advisories in First Nation communities from 2000 to present, broken down by year: (a) how much money has the government spent on sending bottled water to Marten Falls, Ontario; (b) how many bottles of water has the government sent to Marten Falls, Ontario; and (c) how many other First Nation communities are or were under bottled water advisories during this period, (i) how much money has the government spent on sending bottled water to these communities, broken down by community, (ii) how many bottles of water has the government sent to these communities, broken down by community?
Q-6452 — June 19, 2014 — Ms. Freeland (Toronto Centre) — With regard to negotiations in relation to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union: since January 1, 2012, what are the costs incurred in relation to travel by government officials from the current Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, as well as the former Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to (a) Brussels, Belgium, or (b) any other European jurisdictions for meetings about the CETA, broken down by (i) department, (ii) individual, (iii) itemized expenses?