The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 15, 2017

Request for Extradition of Joannes Rivoire

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question to the Government Representative is about Joannes Rivoire. He was a missionary posted to various communities in Nunavut from 1960-64 and again from 1975-93. He returned to his native France in 1993. In 1998, a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest was issued. He faces three different charges from three different complainants: one for indecent assault and two counts of sexual intercourse involving females under the age of 14 in Rankin Inlet and Repulse Bay. Not having its own territorial attorney general, Nunavut has to rely on the Federal Public Prosecution Service of Canada. It is this body that could initiate an extradition order on behalf of the victims.

I wrote on April 3, 2017, to Minister Wilson-Raybould, urging Canada to push for the extradition of Father Rivoire. He took a position of trust in the communities and misused it in the most egregious manner. He should be tried for his crimes in order to provide closure to the complaints and their families. It is also believed this trial will bring to light other complainants who did not feel comfortable coming forward.

I can assure you there is a great deal of public concern about this case in Nunavut. Will the Minister of Justice, in the spirit of justice and reconciliation, direct the International Assistance Group to begin the formal process required to ask for Mr. Rivoire’s speedy extradition to Canada?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for bringing this case to my attention and the attention of the Senate. Extradition requests are confidential state-to-state communications. It would not be appropriate for me to confirm or deny the existence of an extradition request in this matter.

I can, however, indicate that Canada and France are party to an extradition treaty, and I will, of course, bring your representation to the attention of the minister.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 7, 2017

Nunavut—Civil Aviation Infrastructure

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Your Honour, my question to the Government Representative is about the report tabled on May 17 in regard to remote northern airports. This is where air travel is the only year-round form of transportation, as found by the Auditor General of Canada. He found that Transport Canada has failed in its duty to promote safe and secure transportation for civil aviation and that the department did not lead coordinated efforts to address the unique challenge these airports faced.

You know, leader, all of Nunavut’s communities are remote. Therefore, the airports are essential for health, safety and quality of life. They are all in need of improvements. The needs assessment of the Government of Nunavut in 2014 estimated the cost to address the infrastructure needs of its 24 airports was over $400 million. However, the government’s Airport Capital Assistance Program only funded $15 million for northern and remote airports in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Especially in light of the Auditor General’s very critical report, will the government be establishing a funding mechanism that properly addresses the civil aviation infrastructure deficits of the North, and will there be a specific allocation for Nunavut, recognizing its unique needs and remoteness?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question and his advocacy for Nunavut. I want to convey to the Senate and to the senator the government’s priority in maintaining safe and efficient air services in the North.

The Minister of Transport, on the day the AG’s report was released, welcomed that report and indicated that that report would go some distance in informing the government on its actions going forward and, indeed, that the government agrees with the Auditor General’s recommendations and has committed itself to collaborating with territorial governments, including that of Nunavut, indigenous groups and northern communities to identify priorities for northern infrastructure transportation and to determine the priority investments.

I would also reference for the honourable senator’s attention the government’s Budget 2017, which addressed critical transportation needs in Canada’s North, including improving northern airport infrastructure through a $2 billion allocation over 11 years through the National Trade Corridors Fund in addition to a $2 billion fund for rural and northern communities.

Again, I want to thank the honourable senator for his interest in these matters.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 1, 2017

Phoenix Pay System

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is to the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Harder, as you heard in my statement today, Inuit are suffering in Nunavut because the government, it seems, has yet to rectify the Phoenix fiasco.

After more than a year of waiting, employees are finding their Isolated Post Allowance is missing, and southern pay officers have no idea what that even is. They don’t understand why northern employees are getting rent deducted. These are the people who are supposed to be helping Nunavummiut rectify their pay issues.

I would like to be able to tell Mike and many other federal employees in Nunavut who have approached me that the government is listening, cares and will do something to help them. I had suggested this to the ministerial task force. Will the government establish a unit that is trained and sensitized to deal with the pay issues of the North at their call centre and ensure that Nunavummiut are being properly helped?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I want to thank the honourable senator for his question as well as for his statement earlier. It is entirely appropriate for senators to advocate for their constituents. The case of Mike that you raise is one that would be of concern to any senator, particularly one in the circumstances that you describe.

I have, knowing that you were going to raise this case, made inquiries of the department. I want to ensure you that they are following up with your office with respect to this case, but also I would like to discuss with you how we might find a mechanism that can urgently respond to the cases that you are aware of. In the interim, I do know that you have written the minister. I can assure you and all senators that that letter will be responded to forthwith.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

May 17, 2017

Satellite Licensing Framework

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Senator Harder, on March 7, 2017, I asked Minister Freeland about a slow bureaucratic process that is putting the future of the Inuvik ground station in the Northwest Territories at risk. Minister Freeland agreed that “this is a fast-moving sector where a lot of innovation is happening . . . there’s a real opportunity for Canada to play a leading role.”

We have attracted interest in this world-class facility from leading commercial space agencies in Norway, U.S.A. and Germany, as well as the European Space Agency. However, some of these entities initiated the licensing process for Inuvik in June 2016. Eleven months later and over two months after my exchange with Minister Freeland, these entities remain frustrated and the town of Inuvik stands to lose an important international investment and trade opportunity, which should be replacing the opportunities lost with the Arctic oil and gas moratorium.

Minister Champagne was mandated by the Prime Minister to position Canada as a top destination for global investment and promote our economic brand and to “improve supports to . . . Canadian communities looking to attract investments.”

I wish to ask him, through you, whether he would pursue this longstanding issue with his cabinet colleagues and, as his mandate states, “help reduce administrative burdens and complexity for investors”?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Again, I thank the honourable senator for his question and his advocacy on this issue. I would be happy to speak with the minister and seek a response.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

May 9, 2017

Nunavut—Sewage Infrastructure

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Thank you for coming to Nunavut last week, minister, and visiting Iqaluit and Pangnirtung. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to welcome you. I was on duty travel with the Senate Energy Committee in Atlantic Canada.

Your announcement about funding for water infrastructure in nine communities of Nunavut was very good news, but I wish to ask you about a serious barrier to future progress on constructing much-needed solid waste and sewage improvement projects in Nunavut, which I’m happy is a priority of your ministry.

However, there is a current Transport Canada regulation prohibiting construction of new sewage lagoons and waste sites within four kilometres of an airport runway. Unfortunately, this rule would prevent much-needed infrastructure upgrades in virtually all of Nunavut’s small communities. There isn’t a sewage lagoon, whether we like it or not, that is outside four kilometres of any airport runway.

You learned about this issue in Nunavut, I believe, and I’m wondering if you would employ your good offices, with your cabinet colleague the Minister of Transport, to see if you could together find a workaround or exemption for this pressing problem.

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you, senator. I felt really honoured that I had a chance to go visit the North. It’s a phenomenal place, a beautiful place. Also, being there, I saw the impact and the needs, whether they’re waste water or clean water.

You’re absolutely right: The $200 million or so that we announced will help 19 communities with clean water to drink. Solid waste, waste water, garbage and household waste is a real problem. I had a chance to visit some of those sites. The problem you have identified has been identified to me by the territorial ministers as well.

I will have discussions with my counterpart, Minister Garneau, to find out what the best solution is, because we need to find a solution. There are communities where they have no other choices — and what we can do to assist them in dealing with the lagoons and also the overcapacity in that the garbage sites are filled and they have nowhere to take them. It is about how we can help them with their recycling problems and with diverting some of the garbage going to landfills so they produce less, so that demand is less. We will work with them on those areas, and I’ll take it up with Minister Garneau.

The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P. – Minister of Finance

April 11, 2017

Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Thank you, minister. My region of Nunavut unfortunately suffers from very high unemployment, particularly on the part of its big Aboriginal majority.

I’d like to ask you specifically about the ASETS program, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, that was announced in your 2017-18 budget, with a pledge to renew and improve the ASETS program. I’d like to draw your attention to concerns about that program. I do want to say that it has been very effective in training people in fisheries and marine skills and in the mining sector, but there are some concerns.

A senior manager at Arctic Co-operatives Limited, which is one of the bigger employers in the North, with 1,000 people in 32 stores, told me that they were hoping to employ the ASETS program to train Aboriginal people to take over as managers, creating new opportunities for entry-level employees; but the program, as presently designed, is limited only to unemployed persons.

I know it’s in your mandate to work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to improve the job-training system in Canada. I’d like to know if you will consider this issue and how you might engage with stakeholders to enhance the program so that it can more effectively lead to better-paying jobs for Canadians, including in management.

Hon. Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Finance: I’d like to thank you for that question and come back to part of what you said in your comments, which is that this program was having some positive impact.

We looked at this ASETS program and saw that it was actually having a positive impact. For that reason, we decided that we wanted to continue to focus on how it can do more and more. I will certainly take away and try to better understand the issue that you identified, which is its ability to help employment in managerial positions. I’m not familiar with that issue, so I will take it away.

But I will tell you that this is part of a broader context for us in thinking about how we can ensure that Canadians are able to successfully deal with what is a very dynamic economy. ASETS is but one measure that we put in place in this budget.

In this budget, we are thinking about how we help Canadians to get the skills over the long term that are going to make them resilient as they consider whether the job they’re in is maybe not the final job for them. We’re starting to think about children learning basic coding skills, because we know that’s important for their long-term ability to be successful. We’re thinking about things like how to put more money into cooperative education programs across the country. We’ve seen significant success stories in co-op education in universities, so we’ve expanded that through the Mitacs program for universities and colleges.

We have looked at how we make sure that people who get into the Employment Insurance system have access to the kind of training that we need. We put in an increase in the funding there. We’re working together with the provinces, respecting provincial jurisdictions, to make sure that we are able to actually have an important impact there as well. Then we’ll be thinking about specific programs, like ASETS, where we can actually have a targeted impact on communities across our country dealing with changing and dynamic situations.

I will take that away and speak with my colleague. I want you to know that that’s part of a broader agenda of trying to ensure that Canadians have access to great jobs and the ability to move from one job to another, if that’s what they choose, with the kind of training they require to get there.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

April 5, 2017

Nunavut—Carbon Tax

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: I have a question for Senator Harder.

I’ve just come back from the Nunavut Mining Symposium, where a great Canadian gold company headquartered in Toronto, Agnico Eagle, gave a welcome announcement of a further investment in gold mining operations in Nunavut of a significant $1.5 billion, which will increase their northern workforce from 1,100 to 2,000 in this region of highest unemployment in Canada.

But the president of Agnico Eagle told the symposium that while the company wants to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and understands the importance of the imposition of a carbon price in Canada designed to encourage the use of alternative energy sources like natural gas, solar, wind or hydro-power-generated clean electricity, he told the symposium, “If you say I’m going to penalize you for using fossil fuels where there is no alternative, that’s not a policy. That’s a tax.” He said that the carbon tax, as proposed, would cost the company $20 million a year by 2023, which would jeopardize the viability of this mine in a remote area with no infrastructure and high operating costs.

I know that Nunavut has agreed under the pan-Canadian climate strategy to accept carbon pricing, which would otherwise be imposed, but there were commitments to try to accommodate Nunavut’s and the territories’ unique needs in designing a revenue-neutral carbon pricing system.

I would like to ask the Government Representative in the Senate: The carbon tax is set to come into place in 2018. Territorial legislation will be required. Nunavut is in its last year before a territorial election in the fall. What is the status of discussions between Canada and Nunavut on accommodating Nunavut’s unique needs, and is consideration being given to delaying the imposition of a carbon tax if progress is slow, as I understand is the case in discussions between officials? Also, is the exemption of emission-intensive jobs-creating industries like mining, where no alternative energy options are available, being considered as an option?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. As his question indicates, the Government of Nunavut is a signatory to the agreement. Appropriately, specific circumstances of the North need to be discussed and agreed upon between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut.

I’m not aware the specific project you refer to, but I would be happy to update the house and the honourable senator with respect to both the state of negotiations and whether and how the specific company to which he refers is being looked at.

Nunavut—Carbon Tax

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on April 5, 2017)

The Government of Canada released the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution in October 2016, calling for all Canadian jurisdictions to have carbon pollution pricing in place by 2018. Recognizing the unique economy and circumstances of each province and territory, the pan-Canadian approach provides provinces and territories flexibility in deciding how to implement carbon pricing – they can put a direct price on carbon pollution or they can adopt a cap-and-trade system. The provinces and territories will keep the revenues to use as they see fit — whether to give back to consumers, support their workers and their families, help the vulnerable, or otherwise.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate specifically recognizes the unique challenges faced by Northern and remote communities with respect to pricing carbon pollution, compared to the rest of Canada, including high costs of living and of energy, food security, and emerging economies. As indicated in the Framework, the federal government will work with the territories to find solutions to address their particular circumstances. As part of this effort, a study to assess the implications of carbon pricing for the territories is expected to be launched this spring and completed in the fall.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

March 28, 2017

Arctic Fisheries

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: My question is to the Government Representative in the Senate. I was pleased to note that Budget 2017 talks about creating jobs in the fishery and coastal and remote indigenous communities, and it proposes $250 million over five years and $62.2 million ongoing to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, among other things, to augment indigenous collaborative management programming.

My question is about whether these welcome initiatives to support opportunities for developing the indigenous fishery will finally be accessible to Inuit in developing their growing fishery along Canada’s largest coastline.

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question and his ongoing interest in this matter. We’ve had discussions outside of this chamber. I will make inquiries with respect to the precise question that you are asking and be happy to report back.

Senator Patterson: Thank you. I appreciate that commitment. I’d like to note that the budget document talks about renewing and expanding the successful Pacific and Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiatives for indigenous persons.

I would like to ask the Government Representative if he would also acknowledge that there is also, in addition to a Pacific and Atlantic coast, an Arctic coast, which is actually longer than the Pacific and Atlantic coasts combined.

Senator Harder: I will indeed confirm my understanding of geography and that we do move sea to sea to sea and, of course, in the context of my earlier commitment, I will raise that with the minister.

Arctic Fisheries

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on March 28, 2017)

Budget 2017 proposed funding for the expansion of Fisheries and Oceans Indigenous commercial fisheries development programming. The development of the program will follow engagement with Indigenous organizations, including discussions with Inuit organizations.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P. – Minister of Foreign Affairs

March 7, 2017

Satellite Licensing Framework

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Welcome, minister. I wrote you a letter outlining an issue with the operation of a remote sensing satellite ground station in Inuvik.

As a quick explanation, because of our unique geography, our northern territories are a great destination for remote-sensing infrastructure. We have attracted interest in this world-class facility from leading edge commercial agencies, Norway, USA, Germany and the European Space Agency. But they are expressing frustration, and Canadian companies are expressing continued frustration with Canada’s licensing process.

Your department issues licenses for these companies to operate in Canada and access data from satellites. The licensing process is — respectfully — slow, complex, the legislation is probably outdated. There are real frustrations, which we fear will risk foreign investment going to other more receptive jurisdictions in this fast-moving technological field.

I wonder if you could tell me, please, if you’re aware of the satellite industry’s frustrations, and are you intending to address this issue?

Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P, Minister of Foreign Affairs: Thank you for the question. I am very much aware of this issue. I am aware of the role that global affairs play in licensing and I’m aware of the Senate’s focus on it.

It would obviously be inappropriate for me to comment on specific licensing applications, so I won’t do that, but let me say that I am a big believer that we need to get rid of unnecessary red tape. That doesn’t help anybody. Actually, speaking about the Canada-U.S. relationship, one of the most effective areas of cooperation we have with the United States is a joint Canada- U.S. group that works on bringing our regulations together and not having duplicate of regulations. It’s something that I’m very focused on. I think we can always do a better job at cutting red tape at home.

I also very much agree with your point, senator, that this is a fast-moving sector where a lot of innovation is happening and where, by virtue both of our technological prowess and our geography, there is a real opportunity for Canada to play a leading role. When it comes to stand-alone foreign applications, to have a presence in this area, there are obviously particular national interest concerns that need to be carefully taken into account.

I am sure everyone in this chamber would agree with that, but let me just conclude by saying I am very aware of the issue in general. I’m aware of the specific cases to which you have alluded. I am aware of the desire by many parties to get things going.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

March 2, 2017

Infrastructure Bank

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative with respect to infrastructure.

Various stakeholders in the North and remote regions are concerned that the proposed infrastructure bank may not be a suitable vehicle for financing infrastructure projects in Canada’s northern and remote regions due to their relatively smaller economies of scale. We are still awaiting clarification as to how this infrastructure bank might work in the more remote regions of Canada.

Will the government be structuring the infrastructure bank to include concessional elements, essentially grants, for projects of a smaller scale in order to make relatively smaller projects viable?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I can report that the government is in a consultative phase with respect to the mandate and the way in which this bank will operate. I will raise with the appropriate ministers the concerns that you have raised by your question to ensure they are addressed in this broader consultative period.

Infrastructure Bank

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on March 2, 2017)

As noted in Budget 2017, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will make strategic investments, with a focus on transformative projects. Whether the Bank also makes investments in smaller projects, or bundles of smaller projects, would depend, in part, on how public sponsors of projects, such as provinces, territories and municipalities, choose to structure projects and whether there is a market for attracting private sector investment into those projects. Project sponsors and private sector investors will have to determine whether smaller projects can be bundled to be of a sufficient scale to justify costs associated with the investment, such as due diligence and legal costs.

The Bank would only be one tool in the Government’s Investing in Canada plan. Because rural and northern communities have unique infrastructure needs that require a more targeted approach, Budget 2017 indicated that the Government will invest $2.0 billion over 11 years to support a broad range of infrastructure projects, to be allocated to provinces and territories on a base plus per capita allocation basis. In addition, smaller communities will have access to green, trade and transport, culture and recreational categories, as well as ongoing Gas Tax funding.

The Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, P.C., M.P. – Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

January 31, 2017

Remote Access to Digital Connectivity

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Minister, I’m sure you’re well aware of how digital technologies and tools have vastly improved our quality of life in Canada, in every field of human endeavour. From medicine to education, digital technology is helping Canadians live better, more productive and healthier lives.

This is especially important in my region of Nunavut, which I think is arguably the most remote region of Canada. Despite the importance of Internet and digital technologies in a region that isn’t even connected by roads, we have, sadly, on average, the highest rates and the lowest service levels of any jurisdiction in Canada.

We were quite thrilled on December 22 when the CRTC responded to many appeals from the North and declared that broadband Internet is an essential service.

Here is the question and challenge I’d like to ask you about, minister: We are appreciative, of course, of the $500 million over 5 years that was announced for the Connecting Canadians program that is money meant for all of Canada. But this amount does fall short of addressing the infrastructure gap in Nunavut, which has been estimated to cost $1 billion to remedy.

Recognizing that government funding alone will not help to close that gap, is your government willing to enter into longer- term commitments of, say, 10 years or more, which I believe will encourage the private sector to invest in and further develop the much-needed communications infrastructure in the Far North?

Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains, P.C., M.P., Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development: I’d like to thank the honourable senator for that question. As the senator knows, I’ve spoken about this issue on numerous occasions, around two key areas of access and affordability when it comes to Internet connectivity.

Taking a step back and talking about, as you said, the new digital economy. I don’t say “the economy” anymore; I always say “the digital economy.” We’re in the fourth Industrial Revolution. Our supply chains, our businesses and way of life have become more digitized than ever before, and every company is a tech company. The importance and prevalence of technology, especially digital technology, the speed and scope, is phenomenal compared to what we’ve seen with some of the industrial revolutions of the past.

When it comes to Canada, one of the challenges we deal with on access is the digital divide between urban and rural and some of our remote communities. To that effect, in the last budget, as I talked about, we made some down payments when it comes to innovation. One was the cluster initiative that I talked about a few moments ago. The other was the Connect to Innovate $500 million allocation. The program is designed based on extensive consultations with stakeholders. We think we can leverage up to $1 billion, because it is a true partnership that we want to have with others as well. That is important to note.

As you also mentioned, CRTC made a ruling with regard to this, and they also put forward a proposal of $750 million that the telecommunication companies should assist with in terms of dealing with this issue of access in rural and remote communities.

We feel that initiative, coupled with our program, is definitely a very positive step. It does not deal with the entire gap. I’m currently working with my colleagues and others to determine how to deal with those additional challenges going forward. But we wanted to act immediately, hence why we put forward the Connect to Innovate program, to provide high-speed Internet connectivity in some of these rural and remote communities.

This is coupled with the CRTC and the work I’m doing with my provincial and territorial counterparts. I’ve set a table around innovation and economic development, and this is one area as well. When you look at the combined dollar value, it could be over $2 billion to deal with the issues of Internet connectivity in rural and remote communities. That is a significant step, but it doesn’t address all of the issues.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

December 15, 2016

Vacancies on Co-Management Boards

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Leader, Institutions of Public Government, or IPGs as we fondly know them, are co- management boards established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which ensure that Inuit are involved with governments in the regulation of development review and impacts, water, wildlife management and land use planning. The effectiveness of these IPGs are critical to an effective and efficient regulatory regime and welcoming investment climate in Nunavut.

The problem is that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Governor-in-Council have not appointed new members to boards that are now facing serious challenges achieving quorum. Some of the boards have as many as six open seats. Some have been vacant for a number of years.

There are five IPGs dealing with vacancies or bare quorums: the Nunavut Planning Commission, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal.

My question is — I don’t expect an answer at this moment — when will the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Governor-in-Council begin appointing members so these boards can continue their good work effectively and efficiently?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): In responding, I will meet your expectations and not provide an answer, but I will take notice of the question and ensure a response is forthcoming from the appropriate authorities.

Obviously, appointments to these bodies are important for the conduct of the business of these organizations, as is the issue of appropriate representation and diversity on all of these boards, agencies and commissions, and the government is diligently pursuing both objectives.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Vacancies on Co-Management Boards

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on December 15, 2016)

On February 25, 2016, the Prime Minister announced changes for Governor in Council appointments to support open, transparent and merit-based selection processes.

Under the new process, merit is assessed through rigorous selection methods. Qualifications and criteria are designed to align with the mandate of each Institution of Public Government (IPG). It is anticipated that this new approach will create a pool of qualified, vetted candidates for each organization from which nominees can quickly be drawn.

I remain committed to working closely with my senior officials and counterparts to implement the Government’s approach to appointments in the most timely and effective manner possible. This includes appointments to fill vacancies on the Nunavut Planning Commission, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change

December 14, 2016

Alternative Fuel Options—Nunavut

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Minister, I represent Nunavut in the Senate. Nunavut has signed your government’s Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which will result on a price or tax on carbon in 2018.

I know carbon pricing is designed to push us away from fossil fuel. Nunavut is probably —”poster boy” may not be the best term — the worst offender for carbon pollution in Canada, I’m sure, because all 25 of our communities rely on diesel 100 per cent — dirty, black diesel — for heat and power, and 17 of our 25 plants are aged, beyond their designed service life. A couple of weeks ago, Rankin Inlet went on rotating power because three of their five Gensets went out.

Frankly, our residents fear that the cost of everything in this region, which has the highest cost of living in Canada, will go up even more with carbon pricing.

I did look at the annex for the collaboration that Canada has promised to do, but could you outline, please, how will Canada help Nunavut, with its small, scattered population? We can’t afford to build a hydro dam or sustain it. We can’t afford even to buy more efficient diesel Gensets. We can’t carry the burden of funding a transmission line that we dream of linking with Churchill.

How will Canada help Nunavut, with its small, scattered population, to develop alternatives to the diesel fuel that we must, sadly, rely on for power and heat?

Hon. Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change: Thank you, honourable senator. Thank you for raising a very important point. We need to be very mindful of the situation in the North, in particular in Nunavut. I know economic insecurity and acute poverty are major concerns, and the North is disproportionately impacted by climate change. The rise is more than double of that in the rest of the world.

We’re absolutely committed to working with the government and the territories moving forward. I was also very pleased to be with Natan Obed, the head of ITK. It’s really important that we find solutions that work for the people of Nunavut. Getting off diesel is a huge priority. We made a commitment in our budget to do that. The Prime Minister made a personal commitment as well. We recognize that we have an opportunity here. We have an opportunity to work with the people of Nunavut to ensure that they have a proper supply of energy, but much cleaner energy.

We will be looking at renewables and what opportunities are there, including what opportunities are there for jobs. We’ve made a commitment when it comes to pricing pollution that we absolutely need to be mindful of the effects. We cannot be asking people who have very little money, and who are feeling huge impacts of climate change already, to pay more.

In the case of the territories, we recognize the situation, and we will be working extraordinarily closely with the premier. I will be working with my counterpart. We will be working with ITK, with the people of Nunavut and with other organizations to find a path forward. Clean power also ensures that we move forward in a way that will create greater opportunities. I’ve heard about the transmission line. We’re also committed to looking across the country with regard to how we can get clean power. This is a vision for our country. It’s a real opportunity. We’ve committed to historic investments through our Green Infrastructure Fund and also the Canada infrastructure bank. I think there may be opportunities there. We will look at what makes sense. I’m committed personally, as is the Prime Minister, to working with the Government of Nunavut and the people of Nunavut.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

November 2, 2016

Inuit Fishing Enterprises

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Mr. Government Leader, I had hoped to ask this question of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans yesterday, and to begin by thanking him for his recent decision on the 2016-17 shrimp increase in Davis Straits West, allocating 90 per cent to Nunavut and 10 per cent to Nunavik.

The minister’s decision clearly respects the adjacency principles set out in the Nunavut and Nunavik land claims agreements, and I give the minister credit for that. I also thank you for intervening with the minister in that respect.

But my question is about the federal government’s Aboriginal fisheries strategy established in 1992, in response to the Supreme Court R. v. Sparrow decision. The Government of Nunavut, Nunavik Tunngavik Incorporated and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board recently looked at options available to help support the development of our important and growing fishery in Nunavut. The study noted that from that fund $671 million has been utilized by First Nations Aboriginal groups on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to buy fishing licences and fishing enterprises, just the kind of support we need in Nunavut.

However, Nunavut, which I don’t need to remind you has the longest coastline in Canada, has no access to this fund. Nunavut fishing enterprises desperately need access to quotas in the south to operate year round and therefore make their enterprises more economically viable.

I realize you may not be prepared to answer this, but can you tell me if, as requested by Nunavut stakeholders, a program is being developed for the Inuit of Nunavut to allow them to also grow their fishing enterprises?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Let me begin by thanking the honourable senator for his ongoing interest in Nunavut. Given the nature of his question, I would be more than pleased to seek an answer from the minister. I regret that you didn’t have time to ask it yesterday.

Senator Patterson: Thank you.

Fisheries and Oceans

Inuit Fishing Enterprises

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on November 2, 2016)

Introduced in 1992, in response to the 1990 Sparrow decision and other objectives, the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy program (AFS) provides a framework for the management of fishing by Indigenous groups for food, social, and ceremonial purposes and provides a small amount of support for commercial fisheries opportunities (through the Allocation Transfer Program part of AFS introduced in 1994). The AFS program serves, in part as a “bridge to treaty” and is applicable in areas where the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) manages the fishery and where land claims settlements have not already put in place a fisheries management framework.

DFO’s investments in Nunavut have focused on commercial scientific research. The federal government contributed $40.5 million towards the construction of Nunavut’s first commercial fishing harbour in Pangnirtung, which opened in 2013. Between 2009 and January 2016, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency also committed over $8.6 million in support of commercial fisheries projects in Nunavut.

DFO has begun working with its Federal partners, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Government of Nunavut to explore the needs and opportunities of Inuit of Nunavut with respect to commercial fisheries.

The Honourable Judy Foote, P.C., M.P., Minister of Public Services and Procurement

October 18, 2016

Nunavut-Specific Procurement Policy

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Thank you and welcome, minister. As I’m sure you know, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement signed April 1, 1999, and the major lawsuit settlement agreement between the Government of Canada and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated signed May 4, 2015, among other things, committed Canada to a Nunavut-specific federal procurement policy. That policy recognized the right of Inuit-owned companies to have access to federal procurement contracts and, in certain circumstances, to have preference on procurement contracts with the aim of creating Inuit employment and business opportunities.

When can we expect that policy to finally be put in place? How is your government going to implement this important policy across all federal departments?

Hon. Judy Foote, P.C., M.P., Minister of Public Services and Procurement: Thank you for the question. We are indeed committed to ensuring that opportunities are available to indigenous groups. Certainly, through PSPC, we’re working closely with Treasury Board and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other government departments to develop a Nunavut-specific procurement policy. It’s my hope and expectation that this work will result in enhanced Inuit opportunities.

We are working in close consultation, by the way, with the Nunavut Tunngavik and expect to implement the Nunavut- specific procurement policy early in 2017.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 22, 2016

Shrimp Quotas
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, it seems that northern shrimp are migrating north to colder waters off Nunavut in response to warming waters further south. This is happening at the same time as DFO is reviewing its policies around reducing shrimp quotas. My conviction is that the policy being reviewed by DFO which is fondly known as LIFO, Last In, First Out — I am not really fond of it — is contrary to Canada’s solemn obligations under the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement to respect the principle of adjacency in allocating shrimp and other fisheries resources.

Very quickly: Will you advance my concerns expressed in my statement last week to the Minister of Fisheries?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Indeed, I will.

The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry, honourable senators; the time for Question Period has expired.

Fisheries and Oceans

Shrimp Quotas

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on June 22, 2016)

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is aware of Canada’s obligations under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement as it relates to the principle of adjacency. He is cognizant that he must take into account treaty rights and requirements under the Land Claims Agreements in his decision-making with respect to the fishery.

In addition to the recent process of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on the Last In First Out (LIFO) policy, the Department engaged separately with Indigenous Groups and land claimants, including Nunavut stakeholders, seeking views on LIFO.

The Minister publically stated on July 6, 2016, “Proportional Sharing is consistent with the approach used in most other Canadian fisheries with respect to stock and allocation management. Applying this principled approach of Proportional Sharing means that the inshore and offshore fleets as well as Indigenous Peoples will continue to share in the economic benefits of this precious resource. Sharing arrangements must also respect land claims agreements and the interests of Indigenous groups as well as the interests of adjacent coastal communities.”

The Government of Canada will continue to seek to respect land claims agreements in our fisheries management decisions.

The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 9, 2016

Russia—Dumping of Toxic Chemicals—Arctic Sovereignty
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is to the Government Representative in the Senate.

Last week I expressed my concerns and those of my constituents in Nunavut about a Russian rocket launch last Saturday which was expected to result in debris, including toxic hydrazine fuel from a rocket stage from the launch, falling into Canadian waters. I did appreciate the Government Representative’s assurance that the Government Operations Centre would carefully monitor this launch.

Earlier this week we heard from Ms. Mylène Croteau, a spokesperson for Public Safety Canada, who told Nunatsiaq News that the government operations centre had been monitoring the rocket launch and that “Nothing has landed in our territory.”

My question is this: First, where did the rocket launch debris fall if not in what was described as our territory, please?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question and for his ongoing interest in this important question.

I would like to report, as the honourable senator’s question confirmed, that the rocket was launched on June 4. As his question last week indicated, there was concern with respect to the potential for the rocket to land in Canadian soil.

I am left to understand from authorities that Public Safety Canada, the Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change Canada monitored the launch and reentry. Transport Canada issued a noticed to airmen to restrict air traffic for the time surrounding the launch. The precise entry point has not yet been made available, but current information expects that the physical debris landed in open water and sank.

The environmental concerns that the honourable senator raised with respect to hydrazine are taken seriously, but at this point there appears to be no evidence of that. Experts in Canada’s Department of National Defence have assessed that there is a high likelihood that the hydrazine fuel used to boost this rocket phase would be either completely expended prior to separation or burned up in the atmosphere upon reentry, and therefore minimal environmental damage or risk is believed to have taken place. However, we are not yet able to confirm that. Authorities are continuing to monitor.

I should also indicate to the house that, as I indicated last week, this has been an area of active conversation and, indeed, deliberate engagement with the Russians to express our concerns and our frustration with the lack of clarification at various times.

We’ve used the occasion since the launch to remind the Russians of advance warning being required, and we’ve also urged the Russian government to make every effort in future both to give us advance warning and to ensure that nothing falls within our exclusive economic zone.

Senator Patterson: Well, I’m pleased that so many federal departments were involved in monitoring this situation, which has caused great concern in Nunavut, particularly to the residents of the area where the second stage was slated to land somewhere between southern Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

I would like to reiterate that although the debris was not planned to fall within Canadian territorial waters, it was projected to possibly fall on Canada’s exclusive economic zone. Canada enforces its jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone through the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and has a remedy for the dumping of pollutants, including from the air, in those waters even though they’re outside so-called “territorial waters.”

I would ask the Government Representative in the Senate this: Since it seems that we are not really sure yet where the debris fell, would Canada keep the people of Nunavut informed about what more is learned and also about what remedies might be pursued to prevent this kind of thing from happening in future?

Senator Harder: I would be pleased to ensure that the appropriate information is provided to the people of Nunavut and elsewhere.

With respect to the future, the kind of cooperation we are asking of the Russians cannot necessarily be guaranteed, so we’ll have to continue to be vigilant.

Foreign Affairs

Russia—Dumping of Toxic Chemicals—Arctic Sovereignty

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on June 9, 2016)

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping provinces and territories, including Nunavut, informed of potential hazards to the safety of their people and the environment. The Government closely monitors the trajectory and re-entry of rocket launches and space debris through the Canadian Space Operations Centre (via NORAD), the Government Operations Centre, NAV Canada and Transport Canada.

When made aware of the planned launch, the Government of Canada demarched the Russian ambassador and asked Russia why Canada did not receive more notice. In doing so, Canada stressed to the Government of Russia the importance of taking necessary precautions to protect the environment, as well as the need for greater advance notice of planned launches to ensure that all potential risks, particularly those relating to environmental impacts in the Arctic, can be appropriately addressed. Canada has also informed the Russian government that we expect them to make every effort to ensure that debris does not land within Canadian territory.

With the prevalence of satellite launches and cooperation in space, it is not uncommon for there to be space debris. This issue is governed by a number of international treaties, which require member states to refrain from intentionally causing damage to other countries when conducting outer space activities. Canada expects Russia to fully comply with its obligations in this regard.

In the hypothetical scenario of space debris landing within Canadian territory, the Government of Canada would engage with the appropriate Province or Territory to explore options for recovery.

The Honourable Senator Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

June 2, 2016

Russia—Dumping of Toxic Chemicals—Arctic Sovereignty
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is to the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator, in a May 18, 2016, article in the National Post, Dr. Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, drew Canadians’ attention to the imminent launch of a Russian hydrazine-fuelled missile with debris from this rocket stage projected to land in Baffin Bay in the High Arctic two days from now.

Honourable senators, the negative effects of hydrazine are well documented. More recently, articles were published yesterday reporting the outrage Canadians feel about the chemical pollution of a Canadian exclusive economic zone subject to protection under the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

Marty Kuluguktuk, the senior administrative officer of Grise Fiord in Nunavut, told me, “Polar bears, seals, whales, birds and indeed all wildlife utilize this area in Baffin Bay, and, in turn, we harvest these animals for food. We feel the North is pristine, and dumping of these extreme toxins will go up the food chain and affect our health in the High Arctic.”

The missile debris is set to fall into Baffin Bay this Saturday.

Just a last bit of background before I ask my question. Canada’s new approach is to re-engage with Russia. I’m aware that all Global Affairs Canada has done on this issue is to give a moderate statement saying they have “. . . sought clarification from the Government of Russia regarding the lack of sufficient notification of this rocket launch,” and they have “. . . stressed to the Government of Russia the need for greater advance warning of planned launches to ensure that all precautions, relating both to the safety and security of our airspace and any potential environmental concerns, can be appropriately addressed.”

What more will Canada do to protest this violation of Canadian law and reinforce its sovereignty in the Arctic? Is Canada prepared to pursue legal options it has to recover the cost of environmental cleanup in Baffin Bay as they’re entitled to do under the 1972 Space Liability Convention?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I want to thank the honourable senator for his question and for the courtesy of giving me notice of the question. I appreciate that and can inform the Senate, as he has referenced, that the Government of Canada has conveyed directly to the Government of Russia its concern about this launch and has protested its displeasure in not receiving earlier notice of the launch and has stressed to the Government of Russia the need for greater advance warning of launches in order to take necessary precautions with respect to our safety, environment and security.

We have also informed the Government of Russia that we expect them to make every effort to ensure that the debris does not land on Canadian territory.

These messages were strongly conveyed, and the Government of Canada is reflecting on its next steps when, and if, this launch takes place with the consequences that the honourable senator has referenced.

Senator Patterson: Senator, my understanding is that the debris will land in Canadian waters. It will land on the North Water Polynya, an 85,000 square kilometre ice-free area. Canada knows that because a NOTAM has been issued precisely defining an area in which that debris will fall, and information about the launch, the type of rocket and fuel and the likely location of the debris field was publicly available in early May.

I think Canada has had some significant notice of this. I believe that blaming Russia for a lack of notification might seem, to some, to be a bit of a diversion, because the government has known about this for some time.

Will Canada be deploying search and recovery teams with the necessary equipment, helicopters, haz-mat suits, to Grise Fiord in anticipation of this debris falling into Canadian waters this Saturday?

Senator Harder: I can assure the honourable senator that the Government Operations Centre is monitoring the situation closely to ensure that in the event of any requirement, response is available as quickly as possible.

Senator Patterson: Hydrazine is an extremely toxic substance, so toxic that pressurized haz-mat suits are required by technicians who work with it. The United States ended their Titan missile program 10 years ago due to health and environmental risks after one of their last U.S. missile stages dumped two tonnes of hydrazine into the environment.

Greenpeace — and I don’t usually, or maybe never, align with Greenpeace — has stated that dumping these chemicals from a ship would be a clear violation of international and Canadian law, and it is no more acceptable when it is dumped from the air.

In light of this outrage, will Canada lead an effort to push for an international ban on hydrazine-fuelled rockets?

Senator Harder: Again, I welcome the senator’s question and would like to convey that the Government of Canada is reviewing all its options. I will particularly make reference to your suggestion.

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, C.P., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

May 31, 2016

Services for Northern Canadians

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: First, some background on my region of Nunavut, Madam Minister. The population is composed of 85 per cent Inuit, the vast majority of whose first language is neither English nor French but Inuktitut. Yet, the Inuit pay taxes like other Canadians and are also entitled to tax deductions like any other Canadians.

Your predecessors in the Canada Revenue Agency deserve credit: 11 years ago at the instance of former Liberal MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell, four Inuktitut-speaking people were hired by the CRA with a mandate to travel to Inuit regions to provide education on income tax and assistance to people in understanding both their obligations and their benefits. They were given responsibility for collection accounts. They travelled three or four times a year, meeting with communities, giving workshops and going on radio advertising. Unfortunately, this assistance has been greatly reduced. There’s only one employee and no longer an outreach program. With our high unemployment rate, many Inuit people are dependent on the CRA to access their child benefit entitlements, but they need help understanding their obligations and entitlements.

Would you consider reinstating the greatly valued outreach program for Inuit in the Inuit regions of Canada?

[Translation]

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue: Listen, I share your concerns. This is part of the discussions I am having with the Canada Revenue Agency about responding to people in remote areas with unique characteristics.

(1600)

Because I live in a region, I have noticed that service centralization has a negative impact on people who are poor and less educated and who have a harder time standing up for what they need. I can assure you that we are working on this. My mandate letter clearly indicates that all Canadians, including the poorest, must receive the services and information they are entitled to.

[English]

Senator Patterson: Thank you for that response, minister.

I believe you spoke about simplifying forms earlier this afternoon. I do want to point out that Inuit elders who have lived their entire lives in small Nunavut communities are sometimes being required by CRA to fill out a detailed five- page form to establish their Nunavut residency. This is very important for residents to qualify for the Northern residents tax deduction, which is appreciated. That form is available only in English or French. The Internet is very slow and limited in bandwidth, so even if they can use the Internet, they can’t easily access your forms.

Another parent from a small community with six children was asked to provide original immunization certificates to prove their children were Nunavut residents. It’s very challenging.

In light of these challenges, is the minister willing to consider reducing red tape and simplifying demands of CRA for proof of facts like Northern residence and children?

[Translation]

Ms. Lebouthillier: I thank the honourable senator for his question. We are working very closely with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs and with communities to provide them with the best possible services and to simplify those services while taking regional characteristics into account.

There are some problems with the Internet. In some communities, people don’t have access to the Internet. In others, they don’t have access to the cell network.

I can assure you that this issue is important to me. It is part of my mandate to meet the people’s needs and to ensure that people are receiving the services they are entitled to.

I have taken note of your request concerning translation of documents. That could be done.

The Honourable Senator Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

May 11, 2016

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Leader in the Senate.

This week, the Government of Canada removed its objections to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and signalled, in the words of Minister Carr, that it is planning to implement a “Canadian definition” of the treaty.

While the federal government has jurisdiction to regulate some resource development projects in Canada, most resource development projects are regulated by the provinces and territories and through processes established in modern treaties.

What is the government’s plan to implement a Canadian definition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Will this plan include consultations with provincial and territorial governments?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. I can assure him that is the practice of governments of Canada past and present, namely that in implementing international treaties there is appropriate consultation with relevant jurisdictions to ensure both proper understanding of and alignment to the commitments Canada has made.

Senator Patterson: There are concerns about this new step making it more complex if not more difficult to get things built in Canada. The government leader in the Senate has indicated there will be the start of a consultation process. Could the leader comment on the time frame for this consultation process, which hopefully will lead to clarity on the meaning of this step by Canada?

Senator Harder: Honourable senators, I would be happy to undertake to inquire with respect to time frame and report back.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on May 11, 2016)

The Government of Canada is now a full supporter, without qualification, of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, advancing the vital work of reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. The Government is committed to adopting and implementing the Declaration.

The Government of Canada will engage with and work alongside First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, as well as with provinces and territories on how to develop an Action Plan to implement the Declaration. Existing federal/ provincial/territorial fora will be used to engage provinces and territories.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, C.P., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

May 10, 2016

Nunavut—Northern Infrastructure
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Mr. Minister, I come from the Nunavut territory, which has no highways between communities and no road link to Southern Canada. Infrastructure in Nunavut is sorely needed to boost the mining sector, and our economy relies on mining.

Your department and government has loudly identified municipal transit infrastructure as a priority. We hear a lot of talk about shortening commuter times in the major urban centres, which I do understand, but major infrastructure and transportation in the North are also severely lacking and hamper, I believe, Canadian economic growth and the assertion of sovereignty.

Is your government prepared to invest in the development of core infrastructure needs in the North?

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: Thank you so much for your question, honourable senator. Yes, we are committed to supporting northern communities in their very diverse needs for road infrastructure, for making sure that we are untapping the potential in the North for resource development, as well as for housing needs, because there are different needs and the construction seasons are different in northern communities.

We have made changes, again, listening to our counterparts in territories and northern communities. The changes will allow them to use the existing Building Canada Fund, which they didn’t have access to for the last two construction seasons. Then, again, this few hundred million dollars has become available particularly for the territories to use.

In this budget, we have committed to providing additional resources to northern communities in the area of housing, as well as in some of the other areas, to enhance nutrition in Northern Canada, to support the isolated communities in the North, as well as the $177.7 million for the Affordable Housing Initiative; $8 million for Yukon; $12 million for Northwest Territories; and $76.7 million for Nunavut. So we are committed to doing so and the area that you have identified, sir, is very important, tapping the resource development. We are working with the leaders in those provinces, whether it’s the Ring of Fire issue, whether it’s the resource access in the territories. So we are working very closely with provinces in order to support them, but we will also engage the private sector, which will actually be investing money. So we are looking for private sector partnerships in the resource development.

Senator Patterson: Thank you for that answer, minister.

We also have needs like wastewater infrastructure, and I heard you say that you were aware of an important project in New Brunswick. I’m wondering, if I may dare to ask: Are you aware of the wastewater infrastructure proposal from the capital city of Iqaluit, in Nunavut?

Mr. Sohi: You are testing my memory. What I would say is that, recognizing the unique needs of smaller provinces and the territories, the way we are designing our infrastructure plan for water and wastewater is to ensure that each province and territory gets a base level of funding.

So for the first phase, the $2 billion is the overall allocation for Canada. Then, within that, each province and territory will get $50 million for the first two years. On top of that will be the allocation based on population.

So those provinces who would not have done well under the population allocation-based funding will do better under the allocation that we are proposing under water and wastewater. That $50 million will definitely allow smaller provinces and the territories to do the necessary work that they need to do in water and wastewater. On your particular project, we will get back to you if that project is under review. If it is not, we will ask the province what stage they are at in order to bring that forward to us, and we are moving ahead on signing bilateral agreements with all provinces and the territories.

Nunavut—Northern Infrastructure

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on May 10, 2016)

Our government just recently signed and announced a bilateral agreement with the Government of Nunavut on September 6, 2016 including a list of proposed projects under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). Government of Nunavut officials worked with the City of Iqaluit on the project and it was included on the list of projects put forward for funding under CWWF. The project is valued at over $26 million, of which Canada is contributing almost $20 million.

The Honourable Senator Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

May 4, 2016

Iran—Weapons Sales

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: My question is to the Government Representative in the Senate, and it’s also about Iran. Not long after sanctions were lifted against Iran, Russia rushed in to sell fighter jets and missile systems to the regime in Tehran.

Senator Harder just spoke about Canada working with our allies. Our allies have rightly deemed that this weapons sale violates a UN arms ban, but our government seems to be warming up its relations with both Iran and Vladimir Putin.

Will the government condemn this massive weapons sale that threatens peace and stability in the region rather than turning its back on our allies and refusing to take a leadership role against this dangerous arms transaction?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I will certainly follow up on the question. It would not be for me to answer on behalf of the government directly.

However, I do want to reference my earlier point that the government does believe that engaging with Iran gives us an opportunity to raise, at the highest level, issues of human rights, and that we are in a close working relationship with our allies, particularly the P5+1, on issues around the nuclear arrangement.

In the context of Russia, the Prime Minister has expressed his views directly to the President of Russia. The diplomatic relationship is supportive of the ongoing concerns of the Government of Canada with respect to the actions taken by the Government of Russia on a wide range of issues.

Foreign Affairs

Iran—Weapons Sales

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on May 4, 2016)

Presently, Global Affairs Canada does not have any information which indicates that Russia has violated United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions or directives regarding the provision of military equipment or technology to Iran.

Any UN Member State wishing to sell, supply or transfer certain conventional weapons to Iran must have the permission in advance of the UN Security Council to do so, as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). Russia has indicated that it transferred surface-to-air missile batteries to Iran in April 2016. The United States has indicated that this transfer was not a violation of UNSCR 2231. The UN Secretary-General’s first implementation report on UNSCR 2231, dated July 12, 2016 did not identify any breaches by Russia. The Government of Canada expects all UN Member States to adhere to the obligations of UNSCR 2231.

The Honourable Senator Harder, Government Representative in the Senate

April 14, 2016

Airport Capital Assistance Program—Northern and Remote Airports

Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: I will ask a question that I was hoping to ask of Minister Garneau yesterday but maybe didn’t have time because of the verbosity of some of my honourable colleagues.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh!

Senator Patterson: Air transportation is the only means of year- round access to most communities in the North. Indeed, in my home territory of Nunavut, there are no roads between communities or to Southern Canada. So the need to maintain safe and acceptable airports is vital to the well-being of northerners and the northern economy; yet the Airports Capital Assistance Program frankly has not provided significant funds for the territories.

The recently released Canada Transportation Act Review Report references a number of submissions to improve the safety of small northern and remote airports, yet no money was specifically promised to the North in the recent budget.

My questions are the following: Does the government plan to significantly increase funding for the Airports Capital Assistance Program, as recommended by the review? Will the department carve out a dedicated northern program with funding and eligibility criteria that recognize the unique challenges and exceptional needs of the North?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question and assure him that I will ensure an appropriate response from Mr. Garneau and other appropriate government officials.

Transport

Airport Capital Assistance Program—Northern and Remote Airports

(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on April 14, 2016)

The Government acknowledges the importance of small northern and remote airports for their communities. As such, we are actively looking at ways to address the current challenges in the context of the Canada Transportation Act Review.

Recently the Minister of Transport held a roundtable in Iqaluit on the “North” experience in order to hear from key industry players, systems users, academia and thinkers, and Indigenous groups on this important subject.

To date, over $81 million has been invested at territorial airports through the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP). This program provides federal funds to help eligible airports maintain and improve safety for the Canadian travelling public. Since the program’s inception in 1995, the ACAP has invested more than $736 million for 848 projects at 179 airports across the country.

The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

February 24, 2016

Canadian Rangers
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Minister, as a senator from Canada’s Arctic Coast, I am concerned with the steady and significant military infrastructure buildup in the Russian Arctic, which I’m sure you’re aware of. Your mandate letter echoes recommendations made by two Senate committees to expand the Canadian Rangers to protect Canadian Arctic sovereignty and assist in search and rescue.

When will we see the increase in the size of the Canadian Rangers and by how many?

Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Defence: Our government is committed to sovereignty in the Arctic. The Rangers play a critical role. It’s not just the number of the increase; we also need to equip them well. Even before the defence review, we are looking at increasing. Right now, I am going through an informal review of recruiting, of making sure that the recruiting system can support what we need. So the numbers will increase. I don’t have the exact number just yet because I want to make sure that I have the proper briefings from my staff on that. When I do, it will be part of the defence review. If not, I’m happy to provide the numbers as soon as I get them.

I also want to expand. When you look at the Arctic, it’s even beyond the Rangers. NORAD plays a very important role in this. I visited NORAD and spoke with the commander directly. As part of the defence review, we need to take a look at this unique binational relationship with the U.S, which is NORAD, and how we’re going to suit the needs 10, 20, 30 years from now. We need to look at what type of potential infrastructure we need, what type of equipment we need and how we support our personnel. Also, it’s not just defence. There are many other aspects of the Arctic. We need to be involved with the other departments, whether it’s Fisheries and Oceans or some of the other departments that will be operating with the Minister of Science as well.

We want to take a full approach to this so that we have a much more cohesive approach for the Arctic that is even beyond just military, but it is one of the aspects that our defence review will look at in detail.

Senator Patterson: A supplementary: Speaking of equipment, I wonder if the government will consider expanding the Rangers’ mandate to allow them to operate in the marine environment, rather than just on land, so that it will support the operation of the Arctic offshore patrol vessels and also assist in marine oil spill and search and rescue.

Mr. Sajjan: Your Honour, that’s a unique idea that has come up. I hope, as part of the defence review, you can actually put that in there so that we can do a much more thorough analysis on that. I can’t, obviously, say yes, but I think this will be something we can take a look at as part of the defence review and integrating some of our capability, whether it’s going to be working with the Coast Guard, with our military or even within the RCMP as well.