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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 029 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
41st PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

(1530)

[English]

     Good afternoon, everyone. We are going to call meeting number 29 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to order.
    Today's business is the supplementary estimates (B).
    We are honoured to have with us the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, this afternoon, along with the Deputy Minister Graham Flack and the chief financial officer, Andrew Francis.
    Minister, you have the floor for 10 minutes.
    Very good. Thank you very much, Chair.
    Hello to all the committee members.

[Translation]

    I am pleased to be here to speak to the 2014-2015 Supplementary Estimates (B).
    Before I do, I would like to tell you about some of our recent accomplishments, as well as the direction we intend to take over the next few years.

[English]

    Budget 2014 reiterated our government's support for Canada's arts and culture organizations, so they can continue to build stronger communities and a stronger economy. Arts, culture, and heritage represent close to $50 billion in the Canadian economy and over 647,000 jobs across the country.
     We announced the permanent renewal of cultural programs, including the Canada book fund and the Canada music fund, as well as arts funding delivered through the department and the Canada Council for the Arts. This also includes funding for the Canada cultural investment fund, the Canada cultural spaces fund, the Canada arts presentation fund, and the Fathers of Confederation buildings trust. Permanently renewing these programs brings them in line with other funding programs in the arts and culture sector that our government has already renewed on an ongoing basis, such as the Canada arts training fund, the Canada periodical fund, and the Canada Media Fund. This $122.8 million investment demonstrates our government's commitment to providing ongoing, stable funding for arts support programs.

[Translation]

    In addition to supporting arts and culture, we are committed to preserving our history, our heritage and our values.
    We are proud of our three new national museums—the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax; the Canadian Museum of History; and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which opened on September 19 in my home city of Winnipeg. Just last week, our government announced an additional $80.5 million to repair and rejuvenate the Canada Museum of Science and Technology, so that it can continue to inform, enthral and inspire future innovation when it reopens its doors in 2017.

[English]

    With respect to sport—and I see John Weston is sitting up straight as I begin to talk about this, and I know how involved he is in promoting it—we have maintained our record levels of investment. This includes ongoing programming support for our Olympic, Paralympic, and Special Olympic athletes and coaches. And, just last month, the Governor General proclaimed 2015 the Year of Sport in Canada. This is a year-long opportunity to celebrate the role of sport in our country and to encourage Canadians to get involved at all levels.
     The Year of Sport designation is particularly fitting as Canada will host a number of important international sport events in 2015, including the 2015 International Ice Hockey Foundation world junior championship, the FIFA women's world cup, and the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Long after the games are over, they will leave a legacy of world-class athletic facilities for current and future athletes. We will be able to host an increasing number of international competitions here at home.
    These major events—in addition to the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia, and other sport competitions and community celebrations—will help distinguish 2015 as the Year of Sport in Canada. I'm especially pleased that the Year of Sport is also intended to highlight moments in our nation's history and to build momentum leading up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation, in 2017. That remains a key focus within Canadian Heritage.

[Translation]

    In 2014, we commemorated a number of important anniversaries, such as the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, the bicentennial of the birth of Sir George-Étienne Cartier. We also commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences, which led the way to Confederation.
    In 2015, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada's national flag. We will also remember our beginnings by commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister.
    Other significant anniversaries are coming up in the next few years. They include the 175th anniversary of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's birth, the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Canada, the 100th anniversary of the First World War Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel, and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong.

(1535)

    And 2017 will mark, in addition to Canada's 150th birthday, the 100th anniversary of the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, and the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada and the Canada Games.
    As we approach our Confederation's 150th anniversary, we have the opportunity, as Canadians, to commemorate so many milestones. I believe that every Canadian should know about these historic events and understand their significance for our country—a country that is strong, proud and free.
    Canadian Heritage is already working closely with other federal departments and organizations on activities designed to mark the road-to-2017 milestones.

[English]

     There is no doubt that Canada 150 presents amazing opportunities for our country's creative economy. We've also emphasized that this time of reflection and celebration belongs to each and every Canadian in all regions and communities across the country. That's why we gave Canadians a chance to have their say about how we should celebrate.
    We've reached out to Canadians through round table conversations, face-to-face meetings, the web, and social media. Every community should think about the way to celebrate people and events that have marked their history. There is so much to share, so much to be proud of, and our government will play an important role so that every Canadian can be part of, and proud of, the 150th anniversary of our country.

[Translation]

    The committee members have asked me to be here to speak about Supplementary Estimates (B). Allow me to highlight the most significant items before I take your questions.
    We will dedicate $65 million to establish the Toronto 2015 Sport Legacy Fund associated with the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. The fund will ensure that new facilities being constructed for the games will have the necessary funding to continue to serve our athletes in training, as well as members of the local communities, for a long time to come.
    We will also devote $11 million to commemorating important milestones on the road to 2017.

[English]

    The department will also transfer $127,000 to the Canada Council for the Arts for the Commission internationale du théâtre francophone to support multilateral cooperation projects in French, as well as to ensure Canada's participation in meetings of the commission.
    Another $150,000 will be transferred to the National Arts Centre Corporation for the 2015 edition of Zones Théâtrales. This biennial event showcases professional theatre from Canadian francophone communities and the regions of Quebec.
    And $300,000 will go to the National Capital Commission to support the building of a national Holocaust monument.
    The net impact of this year's supplementary estimates (B) for the Department of Canadian Heritage will be an increase of $91.75 million to its spending authority.

[Translation]

    The net impact of this year's Supplementary Estimates (B) for the Department of Canadian Heritage will be a $91.75-million increase to its spending authority.
    In closing, I would like to thank the members of the standing committee for all the work they do. I commend all of you, particularly on the time and energy you devote to producing extensive studies on such diverse subjects as Olympic and paralympic sport and Canada's music industry.
    The input you gather from a wide cross-section of Canadians provides valuable insight that helps us shape our policy, our planning and our legislation. I am grateful for all your efforts, and I look forward to continuing to work with you and with all our stakeholders to strengthen the arts, culture and heritage in our country.
    I would like to clarify something before I wrap up. I said that my home city is Winnipeg, but I was born in Saskatoon. I moved to Winnipeg when I was four years old. I am a Manitoban, but Winnipeg is close to my heart. I just wanted to make sure you understood that I am a bit of a Franco-Saskatchewanian and a bit of a Franco-Manitoban.
    I will now be happy to answer your questions.
    Thank you very much.

(1540)

[English]

     Minister, thank you very much.
    We are now going to move to questions, and we are going to start the first round for seven minutes.
    Mr. Weston.

[Translation]

    I want to thank the minister for joining us today. It is a privilege to have her with us.
    You said that the Governor General, David Johnston, proclaimed 2015 the Year of Sport in Canada.

[English]

    Many Canadians are excited about that. It's a time to encourage Canadians to be more active and healthy, consistent with things that our government has done, such as putting forth the child fitness tax credit, which has been doubled and will become a refundable tax credit next year. It is important for various reasons, as you mentioned, Minister, including the $7 billion a year that we know arises from health care costs relating to inactivity.
    I must thank you for the shout-out on promoting health and fitness; it's because of what I see around the country. I appreciate the support of members on both sides for Bill S-211, which is making its way through the House.
    Minister, by letting families save more money on child sports activities, we are encouraging Canadian parents to get themselves and their children involved. You mentioned some of the striking things that are going to happen next year. I wonder if you could perhaps emphasize what you think is going to happen in 2015 and how that may change our lives as Canadians.
    What a great question.
    Let me thank you, John. As an MP, you have done so much to encourage and inspire the rest of us to become fitter, to take care of our health, and to participate in activities that we otherwise would never have thought to participate in. I do want to thank you. You've inspired me personally, and I know you're going to continue this wonderful adventure of fitness.
    You care so much, not only about us, but you're now talking about our kids, and it is about our kids. The Year of Sport, in 2015, for me is about our kids, who struggle every day to cope with some of the stresses, but to also remain active and healthy.
    I think we're going to see celebrations across the country because of the very special events we are going to welcome in Canada during the 2015 Year of Sport.
    When I mentioned the women's world cup, I only have to think about the 14 years that I spent coaching soccer. I'm also a referee for soccer. I played on four teams before becoming a member of Parliament. I miss those days; I miss coaching the kids. I think that kids across this country who are involved in soccer, particularly our young girls, are going to be at those games. They are going to aspire to be like Manitoba's Desiree Scott, and like Christine Sinclair. I think this is an awesome opportunity to further inspire our young people to take care of their health, and of course to get involved in team sport that builds character and builds discipline. That is always very important in their future years.
    We also have many other events that will be taking place in 2015. I mentioned some of them. The Pan Am/Parapan American Games are going to be an incredible opportunity for all of Canada, and international communities, to celebrate together the importance of sport.
    We have seen how Canadians react when we get together to celebrate sport. We saw it during our Vancouver Olympics. It was incredible to feel that passion. There was a vibe in Canada as we welcomed all of our athletes to Vancouver, and we cheered them on from afar. The same thing is going to happen for the Pan Am/Parapan American Games; the kids are already talking about being able to attend. I'm so proud to be part of a government that has invested $500 million into the Pan Am/Parapan Games. We will be represented. We have a cultural strategy that will allow us to represent our Canadian identity to countries from abroad, and it will be a partnership with the Province of Ontario, and, of course, the municipality, that will forever leave legacies that our future generations will be able to benefit from.
    I'm a hockey mom too. The world juniors in ice hockey are coming to Canada, and it's going to be a tremendous opportunity for our hockey dads and moms to once again celebrate a sport that is seen as the ultimate Canadian sport. You can't say the names of the two sports, lacrosse and hockey, without thinking of Canada. For our girls and boys who are playing hockey, the Sidney Crosby and the Hayley Wickenheiser wannabes, this is a perfect opportunity for them to show their talent, and for us to admire them, as we usually do with all of these kinds of events. I think it's going to be a great opportunity.

(1545)

     Minister, you've mentioned some of our stars, but the things that the government has brought in are also encouraging people who will never be a Hayley Wickenheiser but who are inspired by our stars. We can all play that role, too. There's a Heart and Stroke Foundation reception right after this meeting next door. It's jersey day on the Hill on Friday. We all have a role to play, and you're inspiring that.
    Can you comment a little more on the 150th anniversary? When you've come before the committee before, there's been discussion of that. You've already alluded to it in your comments. It would be great to hear where you see all of this going. How will Canada be different from the activities over which you're presiding as we come towards our 150th?
    The 150th anniversary of Canada is going to be a coast-to-coast celebration of who we are, but also a celebration of how we became the greatest country in the world. We have a lot to be thankful for. As I think today about the fact that we are remembering those who sacrificed so much, as we think of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, we need to thank our men and women in uniform who fought valiantly for our freedom, and we would not be the Canada today without them.
    So 150 years ago, many of these men and women fought so that we could have what we have today. It's important that we celebrate that and we're going to do that in the 150th, but aside from the past and the present, we have a bright future, and the 150th is going to focus on our youth who have a desire to participate in these celebrations, so that they can foresee a future where they, too, will be able to remember how we became the Canadians that we are.
    I am looking so forward to it, not only to the festivals and the theatre that will take place, I'm sure there are books that will be written. I didn't get to see them all, but we've received some 12,000 submissions from Canadians online. We had 20 round tables across the country, ministerial round tables, and several MPs did their own consultations. Canadians are excited about the 150th and it is going to be a tremendous opportunity. We will remember this for generations to come, and I'm just so proud that we're a part of it.
    I hope that all sides of the House of Commons will actively encourage Canadians to participate and submit their ideas for their communities. This is about a celebration that will touch both large communities and small communities. I want everyone in Canada to have the opportunity to celebrate where we came from, who we are, and where we're going.
    I hope everyone here has a plan and will actively help their municipalities and their ridings to submit those as we progress.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Weston.

[Translation]

    Mr. Nantel, go ahead for seven minutes.
    Of course, I would also like to thank the minister for appearing before us with Mr. Francis and Mr. Flack.
    I read the section titled “Mandate and Priorities” on the Canadian Heritage website. The following is stated there:
The Canadian Heritage portfolio includes the Department and our major national cultural institutions. We work together to promote culture, the arts, heritage, official languages, citizenship and participation as well as Aboriginal, youth and sport initiatives.
    I think this was exactly what was important to the 25,000 individuals who protested in Montreal to show their support for the CBC. I would like to give the following notice of motion:
That the Committee undertake a study on the effects of the budget cuts to the CBC/Radio-Canada's social, cultural, heritage and real estate assets and those related to the production of Canadian content, and that this televised study concludes before March 31, 2015, and that the Committee produce satisfactory recommendations.

    I wanted to give notice of this motion.
    Obviously, today has been marked by the Auditor General's report. I find the situation very worrisome. My colleague Peter Julian asked you a question about the $15 million and the trusted digital repository system. You answered that question.
    What has happened to the rest of the money? We are wondering where the $7.4-million portion of the $22.8 million has gone. Do you have any information about that?

(1550)

    I would first like to point out that the issues raised in the Auditor General's report date from a time when another librarian and archivist was in office. The former Librarian and Archivist of Canada was in charge. Guy Berthiaume now holds that position and has relevant experience.
    He worked at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
    That's right. He has 37 years of senior leadership experience. He is highly capable of managing such institutions.
    Mr. Berthiaume has a plan to eliminate the backlog and strengthen the digital strategy. That plan will be put in place in spring 2015, and the backlog will be eliminated by the December 2015. Mr. Berthiaume has a plan, and he will implement it.
    As for the amounts of money, I will let Mr. Francis or Mr. Flack answer that question.
    I did not understand the question about money.
    The total amount allocated to Library and Archives Canada was $22.8 million. If I subtract the $15.4-million amount for the trusted digital repository system, $7.4 million remains.
    I wanted to know where that huge amount of money is going.
    Library and Archives Canada is an independent organization. If I recall correctly, Guy Berthiaume said that this was an independent institution. It would be worthwhile for you to invite Mr. Berthiaume to appear before you.
    Is the question about Library and Archives Canada?
    Yes. I'm sorry to have to correct you, but it is clear that Library and Archives Canada reports directly to the department.
    That's true. It's part of the portfolio, but it's an independent organization in terms of expenditures. If this is about the organization's digital projects—and you talked about an amount of $15 million out of a total $22 million—Mr. Berthiaume could answer your question.
    If I have understood correctly, your question has to do with technology. However, once Shared Services Canada was created, a decision was made to no longer use an approach specific to Library and Archives Canada, but to work within the government's approach. Moreover, part of the investments was used to create data, which could be used for other software.
    However, Mr. Berthiaume could answer your question directly.
    I'm sure he could. I know he's an extremely competent man.
    I can't help but point out that this committee—the members were not the same, but the legitimacy was—submitted in spring 2011 a report titled “Emerging and Digital Media: Opportunities and Challenges”. The following are the first three recommendations:
Recommendation 1
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada support efforts by federal institutions to digitize Canada's documentary heritage and make it available to Canadians.
Recommendation 2
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada develop a government-wide digital preservation policy.
Recommendation 3
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada assist in developing a Canadian network of trusted digital repositories.
    How can we explain such a gaping void when it comes to these three recommendations issued three years ago by a relevant committee?
    As Mr. Berthiaume said, Library and Archives Canada already has a plan to meet the needs.
    Frankly, what has happened in the past is unacceptable. The former Librarian and Archivist is no longer there, but Mr. Berthiaume has a plan. He will go forward with his plan to rectify any existing deficiencies.
    As Mr. Flack said, Library and Archives Canada operates independently from the government. If you want to know the details of his plan and how he will implement it, you should put your question to Mr. Berthiaume.

(1555)

    You are clearly a team player.
    Your predecessor would have definitely had more accountability in relation to this situation. These are major issues. In all of our studies, we have talked about the digital dimension when it comes to Canada's cultural and heritage issues. This is a commitment the government made, but things are not moving forward. The whole cultural community is clearly worried about this. This is certainly not...
    To be fair, the Minister of Industry has already revealed a comprehensive plan. If you want...
    That was six months ago.
    If you like, I could send his plan to the chair of the committee.
    Absolutely. That would be a good idea.
    The minister of Industry still has his plan. I will send it to your chair.
    Thank you.
    You are talking a lot about Canada's 150th anniversary. I assume that, like me, you have seen the wonderful initiatives taken by Montreal. Consultations were held to come up with unifying themes. For instance, the latest campaign was called “Je vois Montréal”.
    Here is what I am wondering about. Are we working in a vacuum in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage? Do our proposals make their way to the government? At the beginning of our mandate, we carried out a very in-depth study on Canada 150. Some of the recommendations were very clear. Among them was the following:
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada make its plans known as soon as possible so that its partners at the provincial, territorial and municipal levels, as well as in the private sector, can begin planning.
    In the museum community, everyone is scratching their head and wondering what will happen to Canada 150.
    A witness also pointed out how much, in 1961....

[English]

     Mr. Nantel, I'm sorry, you're well over.
    Mr. Pierre Nantel: Oh, that's unfortunate.
    The Chair: We'll have to move on.
    Mr. Dion, for seven minutes.

[Translation]

    Minister, thank you very much for joining us today. I just want to say that to your right is a great public servant, and I am not surprised by his rise.
    I would like to pick up where your conversation with Mr. Nantel left off regarding the situation at Library and Archives Canada.
    I would like to begin by asking you whether you were surprised by some of the comments, as it is rare for the Auditor General to be that harsh. He usually has some praise about the management of a specific aspect, but in this case, he says that Library and Archives Canada is not receiving documents like it should, that it is not managing to process them and that boxes are accumulating. The list goes on. We have spent $15 million in vain, as the digitization has not been done. I think that's what Mr. Nantel was talking about.
    Did you know about this?
    As I already said, the issues raised by the Auditor General had to do with the responsibilities of the former Librarian and Archivist of Canada.
    That's not what I was asking you. I want to know whether you were surprised by the comments. Were you aware of the situation?
    We knew that there were problems because the former librarian and archivist was gone.
    When did you find out about those issues?
    Do you want me to answer the question?
    When did you become aware of this?
    As I was trying to say, we have known for a long time that there were issues with the former librarian and archivist. We took measures to bring in a new Librarian and Archivist of Canada with extensive experience. He was given a plan a while ago, and he is implementing it. He has accepted the recommendations and is currently managing the situation.
    I would not want to place 100% of the burden on Mr. Caron, as you are doing. I am surprised he kept the position from 2009 to 2013. I am surprised that, in 2013, he was forced to resign because he spent too much money on Spanish courses. At the time, Mr. Moore thanked him for his work. So I am surprised to see that the entire burden is being placed on Mr. Caron.
    If things were going so badly all these years, why didn't your government react earlier? Why can't you tell us today exactly when you became aware of those issues?
    I do not know when exactly I found out, but I am telling you that we knew there were issues with the former librarian and archivist and with the the institution itself. That's why we found someone to take the reigns and remedy the problems.

(1600)

    That's not what your government said at the time, when Mr. Caron left. Moreover, if your government knew there were issues, why did it cut $9.6 million from Library and Archives Canada?
    Those cuts were made in areas related to documentation of the Canadian experience, preservation of continuing memory and exploration of documentary resources. While the organization was experiencing problems, the government cut $9.6 million, which accounts for 10% of the budget.
    Mr. Dion, you know perfectly well that a recession was taking place, not only in our country, but around the world. At that time, Canadian jobs had to be protected, and that is what the government did. I am proud that Canada was ranked first in terms of job creation during the economic recovery.
    Minister, I am talking about Library and Archives Canada.
    I am coming back to that. We had to find a way to protect those jobs.
    Your cuts hurt, Minister. That should be recognized.
    The way that was done...

[English]

     I have a point of order. Mr. Dion is asking a question—
    Yes, but she's not answering.
    —and the minister is trying to respond, and then before she even gets four words out of her mouth, Mr. Dion is interrupting her. Is there a way we could at least give her a little bit of latitude in terms of response?
    If I had an answer, I would not interrupt, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Dion, let's try to be respectful.
    I am very respectful. I just want to have answers.

[Translation]

    Thank, you, Mr. Chair.
    Can I complete my answer?
    But you are not answering the question.
    I was talking about the recession.
    There was a global recession, of course, but that is not the issue.
    I want to know what is happening with Library and Archives Canada. That is my question.
    Library and Archives Canada had to do its part, as well. We needed to find a way to protect Canadian jobs. That is what we did during the recession and the economic recovery. We brought together all of our crown corporations and departments. We found a way to satisfy the needs at the time. Back then...
    Thank you, Minister, but this is not what I am asking you.
    You want to know why that institution had to undergo cuts.
    No. It was subject to cuts, and that was the very core of the problem. These are blind cuts. If you knew that there was a problem, you should not have made those cuts. The same goes for the CBC.
    You are claiming that the CBC was not affected by the $115-million cuts you imposed and that those cuts are not the cause of the problem. You think that the problem is caused by the fact that the CBC is unable to raise enough money through self-generated revenues.
    Minister, do you know what percentage of all CBC revenues were self-generated in 2013?
    Mr. Chair, I will be direct. I don't know why the member is getting upset with me. I am trying to answer his questions respectfully. I would simply like to...
    I asked a specific question. What is the percentage?
    To finish what I was saying about Library and Archives Canada, I would say that cuts were made across government.
    Mr. Chair, that is not...

[English]

    We're trying to do this so that—

[Translation]

    The minister wants to talk about something other than my question.

[English]

    Mr. Dion, if you're asking a question, let the minister answer and then you can come back if you.... I think we need to be respectful or we're not going to be able to—
    I'm very respectful. I'm just asking for answers to my specific questions.
    You can ask the question, but let the minister finish—
    Which percentage represents the revenue of Radio-Canada that is coming from their own source? That's the question.
    Okay, Mr. Dion, you asked the question, now let the minister have the floor to answer it.
    Perhaps I can just answer his question as directly as possible. With regard to advertising revenues for 2014-15, it's approximately 39.3%. With regard to revenues from the government—I can't read it, but—this chart I believe says 60.7%.
     But let me be very clear, Mr. Chair, when the Liberals were in power... I'm a bit surprised that a member of the Liberal Party, who was part of cabinet at the time, would attack our government for doing what was necessary during a recession when they cut $411 million from the CBC, far more than what we're talking about today. I just want to get that in, to be fair. Thank you.

[Translation]

    Minister, that actually accounts for about 40%. Do you know that this an all-time record? Do you know that the figure was 33% in 2006? CBC/Radio-Canada has never depended as much on self-generated revenues, including advertising revenues.
    So here is my question. How can you accuse the CBC of not doing its part when that corporation has never generated so much revenue, not taking into account funds allocated by the state? Compared with public funding, the corporation's self-generated revenues now account for 45%. That proportion has never been as high.
    Minister, the reason you used to explain why the CBC is struggling may not be the right one.

(1605)

    I have the information concerning 1997. At the time, the percentage was 37.1%; in 1998, it was 35.1%; in 1999, it was 36.5%. As I said, that figure reached 39.3%, which is not above the average. I also want to repeat that the Liberal government made cuts totalling $411.1 million when it was in power. We did what had to be done.
    At a time when we had a strategic plan to protect Canadian jobs, the CBC said it had what it needed to apply the strategy put forward by its president.
    Thank you, Minister.

[English]

     Thank you.
    We'll move now to Mr. Young for seven minutes.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thank you for being here today, Minister.
    In terms of their profession, Canadian musicians are amongst the best in the world. In fact many of them are the best in the world. I was going to name some names, but there are too many to name. I would be here too long, and I'd be afraid to leave some out. The evidence of that is the millions and millions of records sold worldwide in over 100 countries. They tell our stories to us and to the world. Their songs bring joy into our lives. While they are doing that, they create thousands and thousands of jobs for others—dancers, choreographers, agents, managers, security guards, ticket sellers, sound engineers, technicians, artists, and even bus drivers. None of that happens until a song is written and performed. This is somebody sitting at home by the hour, with a piano or guitar or something, all by themselves, trying to create something and communicate with others.
    That is my little tribute to musicians, because I think they're wonderful.
    Having said that, a musician's life is not easy. It's an extremely competitive business. They have to travel, particularly in Canada, thousands and thousands of miles to find an audience. I know that many of them have worked years and years with very little income; not a great financial return.
    Our committee studied the Canadian music industry last year. I wonder if you could please comment on our recommendations and what measures our federal government is taking to support musicians in the Canadian music industry.
    I take a special interest in the music industry. In fact the Canadian music industry generates about $3 billion into the Canadian economy every single year. I am so proud that we have the talented artists we do have. Every year when the Junos occur, I hope that all Canadians are watching. I know that Parliamentary Secretary Dykstra and I were able to watch our talented artists receive their Juno awards in Winnipeg.
    I have to say that I'm proud to be part of a government that supports this industry with the Canada music fund. It was temporary at one point. They had sunsetting amounts. We made it permanent in budget 2014. That fund helps to support over 1,000 marketing, touring, and showcasing events. It helps to support 1,000 emerging and established artists. I think of people like Carly Rae Jepsen, I think of Metric, and there are so many others who have benefited and gone on to be incredibly well known across the entire world. We have to continue to support this cultural industry, not only because of its economic benefits but because it really does speak to who we are as Canadians.
    You as a committee did a fantastic job with your report. I met with many of the witnesses who appeared here, and they were very thankful. I'd like to thank all of you on the committee for the hard work you put into making that report as successful as possible. We are looking at the recommendations. Some of the recommendations of course touch on some areas that are outside of our jurisdiction, but I continue to work with my counterparts at either the provincial or territorial level to ensure that there is funding and support for our musicians for years to come.
    We do have a number of programs that are also available for our official language minority community musicians and artists. I am proud that we have these funds available. In my home riding, they support musicians like Chic Gamine, for example, from St. Boniface. I'm very proud to be part of a government that does support musicians.
    But more can be done, and that's why we are looking at your recommendations very closely. I did send a letter to the committee with some of the advice that we've been given. I look forward to perhaps coming out with more good news for our musicians in the near future.

(1610)

    Thank you.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thank you.
    We'll now move to the second round, which is a five-minute round.
    We'll start with Monsieur Nantel.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Minister, when questioned about the CBC situation in the House, you keep saying that it is up to the corporation to find a way to attract more viewers.
     Do you know that the CBC's 2013-2014 annual report completely contradicts what you are saying? Have you read that report?
    I have received the report.
    I can tell you that a decline has been noted in some demographic aspects. That is actually why the CBC has certain problems. However, that is not the only area where they are having issues. There is also a drop in advertising revenues. The loss of broadcasting rights for hockey matches has also contributed to the drop. I hope that the crown corporation can figure out a way to provide programming that will attract other viewers.
    Okay.
    I will yield the floor to my colleague, Ms. Mathyssen. However, the fact remains that this is the fate of all conventional broadcasters. The CBC doesn't have the framework of other conventional broadcasters to defend its record.
    With that, I yield the floor to my colleague, Ms. Mathyssen.
    Thank you.

[English]

     Thank you very much, Mr. Chair and Monsieur Nantel.
    Thank you for being here, Minister.
    I have questions about the museum sector. You've been talking about the 150th anniversary celebrations of Confederation and quite a list of historic events, sporting events, but nothing about the importance of the museum sector in the contributions they make to art, heritage, and science.
    What are your plans to include these incredible, rich, and I would say, important parts of our history in the 2017 celebration?
    I am so pleased that our museums have embraced the road to 2017 initiative. If you attend any of the museums right now you will see many of them have historic milestones on display that reflect the 150 years that Canada has had to develop into the greatest country in the world. At the War Museum, Mark O'Neill has150 exhibits on display. Had you been with us the other day when we were at Library and Archives on Wellington Street, you would have seen that Guy Berthiaume has some exhibits on display that reflect the Arctic. During my visit there we announced $80.5 million for the Museum of Science and Technology, which will of course help it to deal with some of the issues of mould and asbestos but also to put a new face to the museum, rejuvenate it, and fix the exhibition spaces.
    Our government has provided more than $372 million to our museums since we came to power in 2006. We believe they are important to our history. That's why we continue to support them. We did create the first national museum outside the national capital in my hometown of Winnipeg, the Museum for Human Rights. It is an absolutely beautiful jewel, and I would encourage all of the committee members to visit it one day.
     Museums will be intrinsically important as we move toward the 150th celebrations.

(1615)

    I hope so, Minister.
    I too have been visiting museums. I have some quite interesting ones in my riding, but I'm hearing a slightly different story. For example, despite the fact that, as you pointed out, cultural industries contribute about $50 billion to GDP and attract 60 million visitors every year, the funding level from your department has decreased. It has declined from $18 million to less than $7 million. I think that puts these very important programs in jeopardy.
    Are you prepared to invest the needed funds to keep this sector healthy? Would you introduce a short-term national program where donations from private sector individuals are matched by the government to help museums and galleries get over what is a very difficult time for them?
    Mr. Chair, the information just provided isn't correct.
    They are the only museums providing that information to us.
    Some of the museums, as their appropriations expire—for example, as I said, we have provided more than $372 million extra to our museums since 2006, much of that for renovations, for repairs, for expansions, and when that money comes to an end it doesn't reflect again on the budget lines of the following year or the year after that.
    The fact remains we are one of the only countries in the G-7 that protected not only our museums, but our direct funding to artists, our official languages programs, and sport during a global recession.
    I'm proud to have a Prime Minister who, as a G-7 leader, stood out among them all to support those industries with no cuts, and as I said before, we've provided an extra $372 million to our museums since 2006.
     Thank you, Minister.
    We're now going to move to Mr. Dykstra for five minutes.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thanks, Minister, for being here and kicking off the renewal of our committee structure and our committee meetings, which were, I guess, non-starters leading up to our time back in the House in September. I'm sure it's good to know that you're kicking off the start-up of really our first official meeting this fall.
    Minister, one thing I see in the estimates when I go through them is a lot of transfers in funding taking place during the year and appropriations moving from one of our top-level ministries to the agencies that we support, including the CRTC, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. A couple of things that have happened over the last year were included both in the throne speech and also in comments and statements that you made, including some earlier this fall, regarding the government's opposition to a Netflix tax. I know that some members of the opposition parties have indicated they don't support you or that position, so I thought it would be at least apropos to give you an opportunity to explain to the committee where this started and what our plans are regarding that issue.
    You're right that we did indicate both in our Speech from the Throne and in budgets—not only this budget but previous budgets—that consumers should come first. This is a government that believes in that, and we don't just say it. We act on that. You've seen that in budget 2014 as we try to eliminate things like pay-to-pay policies. Of course, we are looking at unbundling channels. That's something the CRTC is presently studying and getting feedback on from Canadians.
    The CRTC has been clear in the past that they did not support a Netflix tax. They did come out recently after doing more consultations to say they still don't support it. Our government has been clear that we will not raise taxes on Canadians. We believe that the 180 times we have reduced taxes for Canadians have in fact helped them to prosper and have helped their families to secure what they need for their children and for themselves. We will continue to look to a low-tax agenda because doing so is in the interests of the economy and in the interests of all Canadians, and particularly in the interests of families. When it comes to trying to regulate the Internet, that is a vast system. It would be almost impossible for an entity to regulate the Internet, and we have no interest in taxing Canadians in order to try to do so. But we do welcome our broadcasters giving their input. The CRTC is continuing its consultations and Canadians are free to visit the website or send information to the CRTC as it does so.

(1620)

    One of the other pieces regarding the CRTC, an initiative that you worked toward earlier in the year, which also came out of our throne speech, was the discussion around unbundling and consumer choice for TV viewers. I thought this might be an appropriate time—it's been a while since we've had you here—to give you the opportunity to comment on any progress that's been made since last May with respect to the issue of unbundling.
    For those who don't understand or wonder what the term “unbundling” means, of course, it's the opportunity for Canadians to pick and choose which stations they would like to see on their televisions in their homes versus having a lot of stations bundled together. A lot of folks across the country feel that they never watch those stations or never intend to, so they should have more freedom of choice.
    I wonder if you could just update us on how things have been going since May.
    That's a very important question to many Canadians. When we said we would move towards unbundling television channels, it was because we knew consumers ought not to have to pay for something they don't want. This government will side with consumers every single time.
     We asked the CRTC, through section 15 of the Broadcasting Act, to look at unbundling and give us some advice on how we might do this while protecting Canadian jobs. It has given us some initial feedback, but it is continuing its CRTC Let's Talk TV process, and I await its report.
    In the feedback it gave us—and it was important feedback—it pointed out four things it envisions: a “skinny basic” that would be complimentary; a pick-and-pay system; a choose-your-own-channels system; and the status-quo bundles that exist. It gave feedback on these four issues.
     I await its report, and I look forward to unbundling channels for Canadian consumers.
     Thank you very much, Mr. Dykstra.
    We're now going to move to Mr. Stewart for five minutes.
    Thank you, Minister, for coming today.
    I have a question about the Canada Science and Technology Museum funding. You say that it's $80.5 million—and this is from the press release—“to repair, retrofit and renovate” the museum, but you said in the Ottawa Citizen that “for all intents and purposes this will be a new facility”.
    I'm just trying to get the numbers right here, because it's $80 million to build essentially a new museum, but it was $25 million just to rebrand the Museum of Civilization. I find these numbers a little confusing, in that it would cost $25 million just to rebrand but $80 million is somehow enough to build a new museum.
     I'm wondering if you wanted to perhaps modify your comments that you made to the Ottawa Citizen, or even retract them, to say that this isn't really a new facility, that it's just a sprucing up, perhaps.
    What I'd like to do is actually correct what you've just said.
    Mr. Chair, in fact, there was $25 million provided to the Museum of Canadian History so that it could renovate exhibit space to make it more modern. There are renovations happening as we speak. The $25 million is going to good use, so that Canadians can visit the Canadian Museum of History and be in today's generation. The museum had not been updated for a very long time. Exhibit space had to be made. That is what's happening, so the $25 million is for much more than just rebranding. It is in fact for renovations and upgrading.
    With regard to the Science and Technology Museum, the $80.5 million will be going a long way not only to renovating and repairing, but we are modernizing the facade of the museum, which means that those Canadians who have visited the museum before will have a new face to the museum. The exhibit space is also being altered. There will be some extra exhibit space, which will allow for some of the stored exhibits to be seen.

(1625)

    With all due respect, do you stand by your statement that “for all intents and purposes this will be a new facility”? It sounds like you're overhyping the amount of money you're putting in, and it would have cost much, much more to actually create a new facility.
    I don't have the article in front of me, but I do remember some of the things I said. Some of the money in the $80.5 million is going to be used by the museum of science and technology to build a new storage facility. It is a new facility, that piece of it, but the museum itself is being renovated. It is not going to be a new museum, which would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and taken literally years and years to complete.
     We want to be able to share this museum with Canadians as quickly as possible. We want to be prepared so that in 2017 they can use this museum, as your colleague said, to learn about their history, to celebrate their history, and to know that Canada's 150th has the national museums engaged and they can visit them to learn about their past.
    Thank you, Minister.
    On science, you're spending $80 million on the Science and Technology Museum for what you've admitted is just a renovation, really, but across town, the world's strongest magnet is being shut down due to the cuts that your government has made to science, with over $1 billion in cuts over the last four years. I'm just wondering if you see the irony here. You spend $80 million to talk about science and technology of the past, which is great, but you won't even spend $100,000 to keep the world's largest, most powerful magnet open.
     Do you see the irony here and why Canadians are frustrated with your government's approach to the science funding? You've cut over $1 billion from science and technology and actually laid off 4,000 researchers. Do you think that perhaps your government could do a little better when it comes to funding the science and research that's happening now rather than what happened in the past?
    Well, I think Canadians can trust this government to continue on the path we've been on, which is to support science and technology, to support innovation, and to be the leaders for them and for their future generations.
    The Prime Minister of Canada only yesterday announced a further $6 billion—almost $6 billion—that will go toward, for example, the NRC's new facility in Winnipeg. These are researchers who will benefit from the investments made by this government. There is no mistake to be made here. This government has invested in and committed very strongly to science and technology. We will continue to do so, because we know that we can reap the benefits our scientists present for us in the innovative ways they come up with inventions.
     I have to brag a bit about Manitoba, but many of them are able to actually do their research, do their science, and save lives. I think of the National Microbiology Laboratory that is also in Winnipeg. They're at the forefront of the Ebola crisis. This is why we invest in these facilities. This is why—
     But, Minister, we really are talking about $100,000 to keep the world's strongest magnet facility open. There are the numbers you're mentioning—and whether or not they actually hit the ground is another question—but we're talking about $100,000 to do this.
    You're going to have 20 universities in Canada that actually have no access to this very important piece of equipment. I realize this isn't your responsibility, but the irony here is that you're part of a government that's making these cuts and decisions that are affecting universities, researchers, and students.
    I find it a little ironic that you're claiming to celebrate science and technology but at the same time you're just making massive cuts to—
    Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
    We're going to have to move over to Mr. Yurdiga, for five minutes.
    Minister, thank you for being here today.
    As Canadians we really hold human rights very high and that's who we are. We are Canadians and we believe in human rights.
    On December 10, Canada will observe Human Rights Day. Can you comment on the importance of building a new museum for human rights?
    Now you're talking to my heart.
    The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is going to celebrate, along with many other countries. It's a celebration but it's also a sad time. We look to our past to learn from mistakes made by others so that we don't repeat them. The Museum for Human Rights is a creation not only by government, because government is taxpayers.... Taxpayers wanted us to invest in this one-of-a-kind—and I mean “one-of-a-kind” in the world—museum so that we can teach others to be respectful, to be a peaceful nation, and to learn from our mistakes.
    The Museum for Human Rights combined taxpayer funds, and there were thousands of people who donated. The Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights collected donations. It's one of the largest sums of money ever collected in our history in donations for a national institution. I need to take a moment to thank Gail Asper for chairing this very important fundraising effort, and for seeing the museum of her father, Izzy Asper, come to fruition. She and her brothers were phenomenal champions.
     I'm just so proud that our Prime Minister agreed to invest $100 million in capital so that the museum could be built, and to make it a national museum. He is the only person who could make that happen, and Gail Asper has recognized our Prime Minister's commitment and his courage to do so. The fact that they will receive, in perpetuity, some $21 million a year for operational expenses is obviously a demonstration of his commitment to human rights.
    Our Prime Minister has so many other initiatives that we could speak about, that we as a government support, such as his maternal and child health initiative, which has raised some $7.8 billion apparently. He has continued abroad to fight for human rights in China, for example, and doesn't ever stand down. He stands up for what's right. He, in my opinion, is one of our champions of this generation, fighting for the rights of those who are more vulnerable, fighting for human rights here and abroad.

(1630)

    Thank you for that.
    I understand that come January we'll be offering free admission every month. How important is that to our community? I realize that our students are always trying to understand their past; and we have a checkered past, as everyone does, with the aboriginal issues. How important is this to educate our youth?
    The museums, of course, operate independently so I have to commend the museum executive and staff for committing to this initiative. Our students are the ones who will pass on this information to the next generation and as the students learn about past atrocities, as they learn about how government and nations dealt with those atrocities, I think it will make for leaders who will be more cognizant, and more aware, and more careful because our youth are the leaders of the future. I think it's imperative that our students have access to these museums.
    Thank you to our museum executives who do this work and who put forward these initiatives year after year so that students can access these national institutions free of charge and improve their knowledge not only of our history, but the history of other countries.
     Thank you very much, Minister, and thank you for appearing today.
    We are going to briefly suspend.

(1630)


(1635)

    I'm going to call this meeting number 29 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage back to order. Earlier we had the minister with us, as well as Mr. Flack and Mr. Francis. The minister has gone, but added to our panel is Patrick Borbey, who is the associate deputy minister.
    We are going to start with a new round of questions. We will be having a seven-minute round.
    We're going to start with you, Mr. Dykstra. You have the floor.
    Thank you, Chair.
     I find it interesting how it's always difficult for folks to stay on topic here in terms of what we're discussing today. It's not always the most exciting thing in the world to be reviewing estimates, but I do want to get a couple of things clear. I know that there were a lot of questions asked regarding the CBC from a funding perspective. I wonder if you could identify the current level of funding for the CBC this year.
    Appropriations from the Government of Canada are $1.038 billion.
     In addition, the Government of Canada contributes to the Canada Media Fund, along with private sector broadcasters, and the CBC receives, on a competitive basis, funds from the Canada Media Fund. So I guess it depends, if you want to.... That's not an appropriation, but it is a funding stream. CBC gets about a third this year, I think, of the English-language stream, and a little more—38%—of the French-language stream in terms of the Media Fund.
     Depending on how you want to calculate it, that gets you up over about $1.1 billion.
    In terms of appropriations, you mentioned appropriations that would be made during the year. Are any of these appropriations within the $93 million or $94 million in appropriations that have been made under the supplementary estimates that we're talking about today? Are there any additional funds that have gone to the CBC?
    Under the supplementary (B)s, we aren't seeking additional funds for the CBC.
    Okay.
    From a historical perspective, what was the level of funding in 2005-06 for the CBC?
    In 2005-06, on the appropriation, again, a comparative figure for this year is $1.038 billion. In 2005-06, it was $1.097 billion in terms of Parliament's appropriation.
    Thanks.
    There's another piece of all of this. I'm going to change topics a little bit here. The minister mentioned this. I wonder if any one of the three of you would mind going into a little more detail.
     One of the significant pieces in appropriations this year under the supplementary estimates we're dealing with today is the funding to the Toronto Community Foundation for the Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games sport legacy fund. The minister mentioned the half a billion dollars that the federal government has invested in the games for 2015. The games take place in a number of different municipalities, both within Toronto and in Hamilton and in my area of St. Catharines. Welland is actually hosting the kayaking. It's obviously going to be very significant for a number of municipalities in Ontario.
    The minister mentioned the $500 million that had been invested. There is $65 million that has been appropriated for the community foundation. I wonder if you could briefly describe where that $65 million will be going and what it will be used for over the next number of years.

(1640)

    I'm going to turn to Patrick for the details because he tends to work most closely with Minister Gosal on the sport side.
    As you indicated, the figure of up to $500 million is a combination of infrastructure spending and of legacy spending on ensuring that the key facilities actually have an enduring life. This is a lesson that we've learned from past major events. Following the event, you not only want to have had the capital funding to have created the venue, but you also want to have the funding to keep that venue operating for athletes over the long term. That's the legacy piece. The other two pieces are federal services that will need to be supported for the games, and we also have a $6-million cultural strategy.
     I can maybe turn to Patrick, who will talk to you about where the funding will go, the $65-million legacy funding, which is the supplementary (B)s piece, to the three specific facilities.
    There are three facilities, where we will be negotiating legacy agreements to ensure that funding will be available in perpetuity to maintain those facilities and to provide access to Canadians to continue to develop sports way after the games. The three legacy facilities are the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House at the Scarborough campus of the University of Toronto, the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, and the CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Athletic Stadium at York University.
    Those are the three facilities that would benefit from this fund. Again, we will be negotiating funding arrangements with each one of them, to ensure that those funds will serve Canadians in the future.
    The funding is pretty significant: $65 million. Is this a one-year, five-year, ten-year? What is the long-term strategy in terms of the allocation of funds?
    This is equivalent to an endowment, where we will provide funding that the organizers, the holders of the facilities, will have to maintain in perpetuity.
    Thank you.
     I don't know how much time I have left, Mr. Chair, but I'll try to get this out on the table, as I think it's critical to the key milestone of 2017. It is the funding to support the commemoration of key milestone anniversaries on the road to 2017. Again, a fairly significant amount of money is being invested and it's found in the voted appropriations in our estimates here, $11 million.
    I'm wondering, Mr. Flack, if you could speak a little bit to that in terms of the ministries. We certainly know the government's position on the celebration of 2017, but the process in which it is driven will be done under your leadership. I'm just wondering if you or Mr. Francis or Mr. Borbey could comment on how we're going to do that.
    The department has existing programming around commemorations and celebrations. So even outside of this cycle, we would have some limited funding available to mark key events.
    With the supplemental funding, the $11 million that's proposed, that will allow us to more significantly invest in the range of key events between now and 2017, in the lead-up to it.
    I would just maybe throw out a few examples of some of the projects that have already been funded this fiscal year. Linked to the Charlottetown conference and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown conference, there was a project called Women's Network, A Bold Vision that was a leadership conference. As you know the Fathers of Confederation were all fathers; they weren't mothers. This conference was designed to build on the legacy from the conference itself to put a prominent place for women's leadership going forward.
Another example is

[Translation]

the Rendez-vous naval de Québec in 2014.

[English]

    It's another event that was funded in the lead-up to this. The supplemental funding will permit the range of events the minister talked about and many other community events to allow us to build momentum towards 2017, with funding through that. That will be done through the normal programming and controls the department has in terms of accepting applications from community groups and then responding to them.

(1645)

    Thank you very much, Mr. Flack.
    Thank you, Mr. Dykstra.
    We will now go to Mr. Nantel for seven minutes.

[Translation]

    Mr. Flack, given your vast experience, I would like to ask you a question.
    Unless I am mistaken, in 2008, the Trade Routes Program and international touring support were abolished.
    Can you give me a rough idea of how much money was going to those initiatives?
    I should point out that I joined the department four months ago. Off the top of my head, I cannot tell you what amount of money was set aside for the international program, but we could find that out for you.
    My question was about something specific.
    When we look at the supplementary estimates that were announced today, we are happy to see that the Canada Council for the Arts has received an extra $127,000, which is good news. However, when we see that the money is used to support multilateral cooperation French-language theatre projects, we realize that it definitely has to do with logistics and transportation. That's sort of the bulk of the program.
    My conclusion is that this amount is not a true budget increase for the Canada Council for the Arts, as the institution will have to take on a new role.
    It may be worthwhile for you to meet with Simon. I think he is very well known in the art world. When I talked to him about his vision of the council, he said that the international aspect was an integral part of it.
    Okay.
    With the success of our artists, he thinks part of the council's resources should be set aside for those events and international exhibitions in order to help the artists compete on the international stage.
    I would like to point out—and I think you know this—that it cannot be said that there is no support for artists on the international level. That support is provided, but it may come through different channels. Of course, the council is one source of support. However, the Canada Music Fund has has also provided some money, especially in the area of official languages, for some of our artists' tours. For instance, the band A Tribe Called Red received support for the international leg of its tour.
    I understand what you are saying.
    You may have heard of this, but Quebec's publishing industry was a bit overwhelmed by the bankruptcy of Les éditions de la courte échelle. A letter was sent to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and the Minister of Industry to find out whether an amendment could be made to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in relation to the arrears owed to authors. Do you know whether any progress has been made in that file?
    If I have understood correctly, Minister Moore proposed that the legislation be reviewed in September. A review of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act was planned.
    That was in September 2014.
    I think he has already talked about his plan to review the legislation, since it is standard procedure to do that every five years anyway. As you know, I spent some time at the Department of Finance. That legislation is fairly complicated concerning the precedence that should be given to some of the parties, including government parties. My understanding was that a review was proposed. This is not the legislation that comes under Minister Glover, but I think reviews are usually carried out.
    Thank you.
    I am convinced that this is a bit of good news for the publishing world. Let's hope we will be able to hold a long debate on this, and that it will not be part of a time allocation motion.
    I have another question about the Maison de Radio-Canada. We can say that the project involving the privatization, resale and new residential development in the Radio-Canada tower is a bit nebulous. We receive bits of information, but clarity is lacking.
    Is it true that, under the Broadcasting Act, the CBC shall not, without the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into any any transaction for the acquisition of any real property or the disposition of any real or personal property for a consideration in excess of $4 million? The big tower must be worth more than that. How would you explain the vagueness in this area? Is that due to the board of directors' lack of knowledge?

(1650)

    Some rules do exist. I think the Treasury Board established them. Past a certain amount, CBC/Radio-Canada no longer has the right to make this type of commercial arrangement without approval. The corporation could make such arrangements, but beyond a certain level—I think the amount is $4 million—it needs to obtain approval, and not only from CBC/Radio-Canada management.
    This is among the elements Hubert raised when I arrived. As you know, part of CBC/Radio-Canada's vision is to reduce the number of buildings it is occupying. That is one of the elements the corporation asked us to review. Is it possible to review this so as to provide the organization with more flexibility? We are currently conducting the review and will make our recommendations to the minister.
    Could we count on your participation if the committee agreed to carry out a study on this specific topic?
    I am always available to help the committee.
    Thank you very much.
    This same committee carried out a study on the music industry. We looked into transferring the responsibility for the Music Entrepreneur Component to another entity. Has any headway been made in that area?
    As you saw in the response the minister issued regarding your study, that approach was not part of her letter concerning another entity taking over the program. I must say that our internal analyses of the program indicate that it is working fairly well.
    We agree with you.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Dion, go ahead for seven minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I would also like to thank the deputy minister and his two helpers for staying with us.
    A backlog of 98,000 boxes of records exists, and $15 million was spent on a digital repository that was never used.
    Were you surprised by the harsh nature of the Auditor General's findings on Library and Archives Canada?
    I am responsible for a portfolio but not Library and Archives Canada. As you know, Mr. Berthiaume is in charge, but I have discussed the issue with him.
    I would like to make a comment that may help the committee as it considers the matter. First of all, with respect to the backlog the minister mentioned, Library and Archives Canada recognized that there was a problem. A plan was put in place but did not work well. The plan was reworked, and additional resources were allocated to implement the new approach. It seems that progress is now being made.
    Second of all, it would be worthwhile to discuss the matter of the records digitization with Mr. Berthiaume. The matter is more complicated because Library and Archives Canada made the decision to abandon that approach, and I think the decision was partly motivated by the fact that the new government department, Shared Services Canada, had been established in the interim.
    Shared Services Canada gave every department the opportunity to use the same software. Prior to that, the people at Library and Archives Canada thought that they were going to have to develop their own system and link it to the systems of all the other departments. So the decision they made was due to the change in circumstances. My understanding is that Mr. Berthiaume believes that the option available through Shared Services Canada, in other words, using the same government-wide software, could produce better results more quickly.
    The cost stems from the fact that investments had already been made. Again, I am far from being an expert when it comes to this subject or the details. Mr. Berthiaume is the expert, but I just wanted to tell the committee what I have learned in the course of our meetings.

(1655)

    Of course, you cannot micromanage an independent organization. But the fact remains that Canadians will likely find the situation troubling. It gives rise to the question of whether the Department of Canadian Heritage, which is cutting $9 million in this area alone, was aware of the facts at play. And if not, the department is making blind cuts.
    I hope that your department and Library and Archives Canada will do a lot more communicating so that the progress can be measured over the next few months. I think the committee would be very glad to have you back to discuss the matter and find out whether this very troubling situation at Library and Archives Canada has been rectified.
    Now I would like to come back to CBC. The Crown corporation has reached an all-time record. Never has it been so dependent on self-generated revenues, mainly commercial revenues. The minister says it isn't sufficient.
    Have you told the minister how other Crown corporation public broadcasters in the world are funded?
    Are any of them as reliant on commercial revenues as CBC?
     I don't have the figures with me to do an international comparison right now. There is, however, one difference that should be taken into account when it comes to CBC's revenues: the fact that the Canada Media Fund did not exist up until a certain point. It provides a source of revenue that is not allocated to the government. The fund, which is an external source, did not used to exist. That is one of the reasons why a comparison—
    I am aware of that, but the comparison is still a valid one.
    I had a look at the commercial revenues, and never have they been equivalent to 45% of the votes. That, too, is an all-time record.
    The minister lays the blame on CBC, saying all it has to do is raise more money. Is the Department of Canadian Heritage concerned that an excessive reliance on commercial revenues by the public broadcaster could jeopardize its ability to fulfill its mandate?
    The facts do show that CBC's revenues were indeed a bit higher before the recession. After the recession, its commercial revenues dropped, as would be normal in any recession. Then they came back up.
    Last year was special in that the revenues generated by the Olympic games were taken into account, and those revenues were very high.
    I can't say anything more on the subject.
    Very well.
    I believe that a public broadcaster should not rely too heavily on commercial revenues because it could jeopardize its ability to fulfill its mandate. But that doesn't seem to concern the minister or the government. As I see it, that is something that should concern all Canadians.
    Now I would like to turn to the 150th anniversary celebrations. I was encouraging the department to refer to the milestone as the 150th anniversary of Confederation. All those who know that the country's history goes back more than 150 years may feel that the value of that history is being diminished, to make reference to a similar situation that's been in the news recently.
    On May 15, the minister had this to say on the subject, and I quote: "the plan for the 150th anniversary has not yet been established".
    It will soon be 2015. Is there a plan to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation?
    As you said, 2017 is an important year, but Canada's history did not begin in 1867.
    We agree there.
    A plan has been established to commemorate all the events right up until 2017. We are already seeing the results. For instance, the events to mark the Charlottetown Conference and the Québec Conference are included in the estimates. The $11 million being requested covers all the events leading up to 2017. It is also important to keep in mind the need to commemorate all kinds of events that happened before Confederation.
    As far as 2017 is concerned, the government has not announced a plan for that year specifically.
    It's getting a bit late, don't you think? As managers, you're going to have to work at a breakneck pace if the government continues to drag its feet.

(1700)

     I worked under you when you were a minister. So you know what we, as public servants, are capable of.
    Yes.
     We do our best. I have no doubt that the 2017 celebrations will be incredible.
    I certainly hope so, Mr. Deputy Minister.

[English]

     Thank you very much, Mr. Dion.
    We will now move to Mr. Hillyer for seven minutes.
    Thank you for coming today. I wanted to ask you about the request for a new transfer for aboriginal language rights. It's the transfer from vote 1b to vote 5b. I just want to know why this is being requested. I assume as it's a transfer it's not going to be new money. Could you clarify that and let us know what's trying to be accomplished with this.
    This is one of those cases where a funding renewal is announced in the budget. It's too late to appear in mains so this is kind of a catch-up for that. So you're right, this is not incremental to the money we have spent in the past, but it didn't appear in the mains because it was budget 2014 that confirmed these resources going forward for what is for us a very important program. This is the key program in Canada that supports aboriginal languages, including some languages that are very vulnerable, on the verge of extinction. The technical effect of this, and I'll just turn to Andrew to confirm that, is to allow us to continue funding at that level. It appears in supplementary estimates because when you had mains we did not yet have confirmation from the budget that we would have this fund.
    It's a commitment for two fiscal years so this will be built into the mains for next year. The primary priority of this is to give language support for learning to children and youth, and to pass on the languages to future generations. I'll just correct you quickly in terms of it's not a transfer between votes. This is an appropriation to vote 1 and an appropriation to vote 5, which is our transfer payments to communities.
     The bulk of this will be transfers to community, but there is a small operating component, which appears in vote 1.
    Could you give us some details on the initiative about the request for $3 million for Hockey Canada's 100th anniversary celebrations?
    As a hockey player, I think Patrick will be thrilled to give you this one.
    Thank you. I'm told that I'm not supposed to talk about the Habs because there are some Bruins fans in the room.
    Hockey Canada will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, so there will be a number of events that will take place. They are actually already taking place, and this includes a travel exhibition, a school program, the production of a special patch for hockey jerseys, a gala and a concert, and various other activities.
    One of the main activities of the celebration is centred around the travelling exhibition, which is touring communities across Canada. The exhibition is visiting local hockey tournaments, along with the Canadian Junior Hockey League events, and National Hockey League events as well. It's also travelling to some of Canada's biggest and most successful festivals.
    By the end of the tour, we expect that one million Canadians will have taken part and will have seen the centennial caravan exhibition. I am told that, to date, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Sherbrooke, Winnipeg, and St. John's have already participated in this wonderful event, and many, many more communities will participate over the next few months.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    That's all for me.
    We're going to move to the five-minute round now.
    We're going to go to Ms. Mathyssen for five minutes.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you very much for being here.
    I want to go briefly back to the CBC and the issue of our public broadcaster. I wonder whether other countries support their public broadcasters, and at what level. How do they compare to our support of CBC?
    Different countries have different models for support, including the source of financing. I lived in the U.K. for two years. They actually collect a televison tax. They literally had folks who would go around and detect whether you had a television, and then you would have to pay a fee every year. So some do it through general appropriations, and others through other mechanisms. Some fund the content creation, and then fund the broadcaster separately.
    We didn't bring the international comparisons, but my experience and the information I've read is that comparisons are tricky. The sources of support for the broadcasters are done differently in different jurisdictions. Many countries don't have the equivalent of, let's say, the Canada Media Fund, which is a content-creation fund that isn't specific to a network.
    In terms of overall appropriations, which I think is what your question was, Canada is not among the highest in terms of the appropriations that it provides, but the models are very different in different countries.

(1705)

    Thank you.
    There has been some discussion about this $1.1 billion that the CBC receives, but is it not true that private broadcasters have access to popular programming that boosts their revenues, and that is not available to CBC? Isn't there a compensation for the private broadcasters?
    If you're talking about re-broadcast of American shows, for example, I'm not aware of a statutory prohibition on the CBC using some American shows in their re-broadcast to raise revenues.
    All Canadian broadcasters do have access, whether the CBC or not, to the competitive Canada Media Fund, which is a source of creation for Canadian content, whether it's in the private broadcasters or not.
    So there is some balancing out there.
    My next question has to do with the next universal exposition, in Milan, in 2015. I wonder whether Canada is participating.
    Is this the Venice Biennale or the Milan?
    Milan.
     Which exhibition is that?
    A Voice: The world expo.
    Mr. Graham Flack: The world expo. I do not believe that we are.
    Do you have any idea why?
     In 2010, in Shanghai, the results for Canada were excellent. We expected about 5 million visitors and actually saw 6.4 million. It was under budget. I think there's been a great deal of interest in Canada, given that track record of excellence. I just wonder why we're not going to Milan.
     Yes; I was at the Shanghai expo.
    My understanding is that this was one of the program cuts that was made, the funding for the international exposition.
    Okay. So it was just simply a matter of cutting.
    Finally, you talked about the lead-up to the 2017 celebrations and how we're going beyond 1867, which is admirable. How much is being spent or devoted to first nations milestones? I'm thinking particularly of the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum and the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation. I mean, we have hockey and we have other heritage anniversaries, military anniversaries. Are these anniversaries that connect to our first nations people also being celebrated and noted?
    Yes. I don't have a breakout of the funding, but perhaps I could give an example of a crossover between the two.
    Ontario will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first francophone contact, Champlain's visit, which was really facilitated...and not only facilitated; the discovery was really enabled entirely by the first nations people who facilitated all of this. We've been working with Ontario. In fact their deputy minister was up a couple of weeks ago looking at projects that would highlight that multipartite historical cooperation that allowed Champlain to introduce French for the first time to Ontario, which will be celebrating the 400th year.
    We are very conscious of finding as many opportunities as possible to celebrate the diversity and, as Mr. Dion had indicated, are very conscious as well that Canada's history well predates 1867. It's important that in any celebrations in the lead-up to 2017 we reflect the richness that goes back well over 8,000 years in terms of recorded settlement in the country.

(1710)

    Thank you, Mr. Flack.
    Thank you, Ms. Mathyssen.
    We'll move now to Mr. Dykstra for the last questions, for five minutes.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I have one question, and I know that Mr. Weston has a couple more.
    Earlier on, when the minister was presenting, there was a little bit of a debate between Mr. Dion and the minister regarding the percentage of revenue the CBC received from advertising. The minister indicated it was 39% and Mr. Dion indicated it was 45%.
    I'm wondering if you could clarify what the exact percentage of revenue is for the CBC from advertising.
    I believe the committee had asked, at one of the previous meetings they had, for a split of the appropriated revenues versus the commercially generated revenues. A table was provided to the committee. That's the table that I have been reading off. It was in response to a question at I think the last appearance the minister had. The table goes back to 1969 and shows the split from then until now.
    Which year would you like me to focus on, in terms of the question?
    I think the minister was referring to the last fiscal year.
    The challenge with 2014-15 is that there are estimates. The actual advertising revenues will not be known until the end of the year. For 2014-15 it shows, in terms of that, that 39.3% is the commercial revenue the CBC is generating and 60.7% is the appropriated revenues from the government.
    But the table that would have been sent around to committee members, I think not long after the last meeting, shows that going back to 1969. It has varied over time. It's not all in one direction. It has moved in different directions. It is now near the high end of where it's been in terms of the revenues coming from commercial sources.
    It's not just advertising; they have other forms, such as co-branding. This would be all revenues, not just advertising revenues. It could be anything generated by the CBC. It could be leases they have on their buildings, for example.
    Thank you.
    I'll turn the rest of my time over to Mr. Weston.
    As someone who wears his bike not on his sleeve but on his lapel, I am very intrigued by the support for the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie. Can you tell us anything about that? It's $500,000. Can you tell us anything about how it came to be, how the money will be spent, and what it is designed to accomplish?
     This is another one that got picked up in the budget 2014 announcements, and that's why we're asking for the appropriations in supplementary estimates (B).
    Le Grand défi, as you're aware, is really quite a fascinating project that has moved well outside its home province, with activities undertaken now in seven different provinces: Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and New Brunswick. They estimate that, to date, about 237,000 children in Canada have participated in the Vehicube school activities. That has leveraged about 1.4 million Canadians across the country to take part in the Get Up and Move! contest, which rewards children for becoming physically active.
    In terms of the funding we're seeking, this would be two years' worth of funding at $500,000 per year. What's caught here is just this first year.
    Is there anything else you can tell us? I know about its origins in Quebec and how it was started by Monsieur Lavoie himself, but can you tell us more about what's happening in B.C., for instance, my home province?
    I can't, actually. What's remarkable, I guess, is that often these initiatives start in one jurisdiction and it's difficult to have them scale elsewhere; there are barriers. They can't get into the education system, for example. What I find quite remarkable about this one is how it seems to have transcended those barriers, and in quite a rapid format, to be able to get into seven jurisdictions and have that reach.
    I'm sorry, I don't have a breakdown of the specific activities in each province, but certainly from our view it looks to be a highly promising project that seems to have hit escape velocity, if you will, in terms of its reach.

(1715)

    That's great. Thank you.
     I have a few more minutes than I thought I had, so I'll give Mr. Stewart 30 seconds for one question.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, for your indulgence.
    Mr. Flack, you were talking about Canada's celebrations. The theme here is pre-Confederation. Now, at the same time the Franklin expedition was discovered and announced, there also was found the earliest sign of human habitation in Canada, a weir from 14,000 years ago up in Haida Gwaii. This was the first time that humans had touched the land we call Canada.
    Is there any possibility of including that in the celebration? Is there any funding from Heritage to celebrate this, or even in fact investigate it further?
    I think it's a great suggestion. Maybe to help us in that, I'm delighted that we've convinced Andrew Campbell to come over from Parks Canada to help us with the work on 2017. It was among Andrew's responsibilities at Parks Canada to help manage the team that ultimately found the Franklin ship.
    Andrew has already brought to bear the Parks Canada perspective on this, which includes these sorts of historic finds that you're talking about, that haven't always been connected with the rest of our activities. We're hoping for an extraordinarily inclusive approach to 2017, one that reflects the huge diversity of the country. As we come across new artifacts that allow Canadians to really experience that in a direct way, I think those offer tremendous opportunities to do that.
    But as the minister indicated in her speech, she is very much hoping that all members of Parliament and all Canadians will actively engage in terms of suggesting what are the appropriate things that we should be celebrating, and leaving it very much to communities to be able to drive that agenda.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Stewart.
    I'd like to thank our witnesses.
    We will now move to the votes on supplementary estimates (B).
CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
ç
Vote 1b—Payments to the Canada Council for the Arts under section 18 of the Canada Council for the Arts Act..........$1
    (Vote 1b agreed to on division)
CANADIAN HERITAGE
ç
Vote 1b—Operating expenditures..........$7,256,295
ç
Vote 5b—The grants listed in the Estimates and contributions..........$86,125,128
    (Votes 1b and 5b agreed to on division)
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY
ç
Vote 1b—Payments to the Canadian Museum of History for operating and capital expenditures..........$170,000
    (Vote 1b agreed to on division)
CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
ç
Vote 1b—Program expenditures..........$1
    (Vote 1b agreed to on division)
NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE CORPORATION
ç
Vote 1b—Payments to the National Arts Centre Corporation for operating expenditures..........$1
    (Vote 1b agreed to on division)
    Shall I report the supplementary estimates (B) to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Thank you very much.
    The meeting is adjourned.
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