Question No. 1055

On Monday, February 16th, 2015 in Questions on the Order Paper

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

With regard to the decision to share information provided by RADARSAT-2 with the Ukrainian armed forces: (a) when was this decision made; (b) what justifications were provided for the decision; (c) who initiated discussions regarding the possibility of information sharing with the Ukrainian armed forces; (d) what are the details about all stakeholders involved in the period of consultation, indicating, if applicable, their department, institution or agency and their position; (e) were any concerns regarding the terms of the agreement with the Ukrainian armed forces, raised by (i) the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, (ii) the Department of National Defense, (iii) the Canadian Space Agency; (f) what was the length of the period of consultation and discussion prior to the decision being made; (g) were any foreign governments consulted in this decision, and, if so, which ones; (h) what are the exact terms of the agreement to provide information to the Ukrainian armed forces from RADARSAT-2, including, but not limited to, (i) the period for which Canada has agreed to provide information to the Ukrainian forces, (ii) the frequency of this information sharing, (iii) the form and extent of the information being shared with the Ukrainian armed forces, (iv) the capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces to direct the information being collected by RADARSAT-2; (i) has the decision to direct RADARSAT-2 to collect information over Ukraine had any effect on other projects involving RADARSAT-2; and (j) if the answer to (i) is in the affirmative, what are the details of the projects affected, including, (i) the name of the project, (ii) the activity of RADARSAT-2 under the terms of the project, (iii) the financial impact of the project being affected?

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the decision to share information provided by RADARSAT-2 with the Ukrainian armed forces was made in December 2014.

With regard to part (b), the Government of Canada has demonstrated its support for Ukraine and efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Specifically, the Government of Canada has taken a number of other steps to help the Ukrainian people as they work to restore political and economic stability, most notably through electoral assistance, support for economic and social development, and military training and non-lethal security supplies to Ukraine’s armed forces.

With regard to part (c), inquiries were made by the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada during the summer of 2014.

With regard to part (d), officials from the Canadian Space Agency; the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces; the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development; and the Privy Council Office participated in discussions on the possibility of sharing RADARSAT-2 imagery products with Ukraine.

With regard to part (e), the Government of Canada deliberated carefully and thoroughly before reaching its decision to share information of this nature with the Government of Ukraine. This included prioritized consideration of Canada’s defence and security needs.

With regard to part (f), extensive consultations have been held among the above listed departments since the summer of 2014.

With regard to parts (g) and (h), in processing parliamentary returns, the Government of Canada applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. Information has been withheld on the grounds that it refers to confidential third party information as well as information that would be injurious to international relations and the defence of Canada.

With regard to parts (i) and (j), the decision to share imagery products with Ukraine has had no negative effect on Canada’s ability to use RADARSAT-2 for other purposes, including those supporting the defence and security of Canada

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