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View Gordon Brown Profile
Good afternoon, everyone. We will call to order meeting number 40 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
We have appearing today the Honourable Shelly Glover, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, along with a couple of her officials: Graham Flack, the deputy minister, and Andrew Francis, the chief financial officer.
Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), today we will be studying the main estimates 2015-16, and we will vote on those. As well, we will study the subject matter of the supplementary estimates pursuant to Standing Order 108(2).
To start the meeting, Minister, you have 10 minutes.
View Shelly Glover Profile
Thank you very much.
Mr. Chair, I want to take a moment to express how much I've appreciated coming to your committee, and I want to thank the committee members.
This may in fact be one of my last committee appearances, so I did want to wish you all the best and thank you again for being so great at looking at these studies with a full view and trying to do your very best to maintain support, as we have as the Government of Canada, for arts, culture, and heritage.
I'm pleased to be here today with our deputy minister and of course our department's chief financial officer. I'm going to discuss a number of things, including what the committee has asked me to discuss with regard to the main estimates.
The committee has asked me to speak about the main estimates for the Department of Canadian Heritage and portfolio organizations in 2015-2016.
Let me begin by giving you some of the highlights of the department's main estimates.
For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the department's budget is $1.25 billion.
The department's budget includes $173.7 million in operating expenses and $1.06 billion in grants and contributions. In total, this year's main estimates represent a reduction of $135.4 million from last year. This is mainly due to the fact that we have contributed most of the $500 million we committed to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
We will continue to provide funding for our cultural strategy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. And we have allotted $16 million to various commemorative projects to celebrate our history and our heritage as part of the lead-up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
The road to 2017 presents a great opportunity to help Canadians learn more about their history and the events that helped shape our country. And our museums play a major role in that regard.
Let me mention two exhibitions. At the Canadian Museum of History, we have “1867—Rebellion and Confederation”, and at the Canadian War Museum, we have the “Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour”, presented until December 2017.
Since 2012 our government has encouraged Canadians to get to know and celebrate the many milestones on the road to the 150th anniversary of Confederation. This anniversary will be a time to celebrate all that makes Canada a remarkable country, including our rich history. It will also be the ideal time to think about the ways in which we can give back to our communities and make our country even stronger and more united.
We consulted Canadians on how they wanted to celebrate, and we listened to them. Our citizens' spirit of initiative and the ability of our communities to build connections with one another will play a significant role in the 2017 celebrations. Canada's 150th anniversary belongs to all of us, and, together, we will make it a momentous occasion.
Canadian Heritage will work with all government departments to get Canadians involved in the preparations of our country's anniversary. We will help bring people with great ideas and initiatives together with funding partners, so that everyone benefits. We will facilitate and support the efforts of Canadians to organize celebrations in their communities.
To increase awareness as we approach 2017, we have launched a number of projects, celebrations and commemorations.
And over the next two years, we want all Canadians to learn even more about this country's history and be proud of our shared heritage. Next year, we will support commemorative activities for several historical events.
We're also helping raise awareness of important milestones. For example, in 2014 we created media messages to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences. These were the conferences that led to Confederation. These messages were presented on television, on the web, and on social media. In fact, the Fathers of Confederation campaign had a reach of 48 million through social media counts, and videos for the campaign were viewed more than 480,000 times.
We have also highlighted other important events in our history. For example, in 2013 we marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the battle for Canada with the erection of a commemorative monument.
In 2014, we marked the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.
And this year, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald, the very first prime minister of Canada, and the 150th anniversary of our national flag.
We are committed to our youth as well. With a budget of $17.7 million, the Exchanges Canada program is providing almost 12,500 young people with opportunities to learn more about Canada, connect with one another, and appreciate the diversity and shared aspects of the Canadian experience.
Also, on the road to 2017, we are celebrating our identity as a leading sport nation. As you know, 2015 has been declared the “Year of Sport” here in Canada. As you will note, we will be hosting a number of very important international sport competitions across the country. I hope you'll all take part.
The Year of Sport in Canada got off to an exciting start as Canada hosted the World Junior Hockey Championships. Other important moments in the Year of Sport are coming, such as the FIFA Women's World Cup from June 6 to July 5, the Pan American Games from July 10 to July 26 and the Parapan Am Games from August 7 to 15 in Toronto.
The Toronto 2015 Games will showcase our country's excellence in sport and leave a lasting legacy. They will also create economic, cultural and community development opportunities for southern Ontario and beyond.
The FIFA Women's World Cup also will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our athletes, as well as for the host city. As a former women's soccer player and soccer coach, and of course as a proud Winnipegger, I'm looking forward to this event especially because some of it is going to be played in my home city of Winnipeg, but Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Moncton will also be enjoying this wonderful sport.
I encourage all Canadians to take part in the games and all sport events and to cheer on our athletes.
During the Year of Sport, we want to encourage people of all ages and abilities and communities across the country to get involved in sport at all levels, because sport and physical activity keep us healthy, as individuals and as members of communities. We want to celebrate all aspects of our great country as we approach our 150th anniversary—our history, our heritage, and also our thriving arts and culture scene.
Arts, culture, and heritage represent close to $50 billion every year in the Canadian economy and over 647,000 jobs across the country.
Our artists, creators, and performers are our pride. Their talent enriches our daily lives and enhances our country's reputation abroad.
Manitoba alone has produced such well-known artists as Daniel Lavoie—who Quebec adopted—and of course Chic Gamine, who come from my own riding. My province and my city are also home to a world-class symphony orchestra, which was invited to perform an all-Canadian program at Carnegie Hall in New York City last year.
Our commitment to arts and culture remain strong. Last year, we made funding permanent for programs supporting arts and culture. In the 2015-2016 main estimates, aside from Canadian Heritage, the portfolio organizations are receiving $1.8 billion in appropriations. The Canada Council for the Arts, for instance, receives $182 million. This includes the permanent renewal of an investment of $5 million per year.
We support Canada's creative sectors and we recognize the significant cultural and economic contributions they make. For example, in the audiovisual industry, we provide approximately $95 million to Telefilm Canada and close to $60 million to the National Film Board.
We're also proud of our musical sector. Canada is the third-largest exporter of musical talents in the world and the seventh-largest market in the world for recorded music. The Canada music fund gives Canadians and the rest of the world better access to Canadian music. In an average year, the fund helps support over 400 album production projects and 1,100 marketing, touring, and showcasing initiatives.
I am also delighted with the success of our audiovisual sector. Every year, we invest more than $660 million through Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board, Canada Media Fund and through tax credit programs. In 2013-2014, we disbursed $134.1 million through the Canada Media Fund, which has been renewed permanently.
Our support has resulted in some impressive successes. I have had the pleasure of participating in the presentation of the Juno Awards this year, as well as the Canadian Screen Awards, the ADISQ Gala and the Jutra Gala. I saw how much talent this country has, not only in music, but in theatre, visual art and film and video production.
In the fields of arts and culture, Canadians have a lot of choices. And I believe that it should also be true of their access to television.
Of course, we all know that in October of 2013 the Speech from the Throne reiterated our government's belief that “Canadian families should be able to choose the combination of television channels they want.” We said that we would “require channels to be unbundled”. Our commitment to providing Canadians with greater channel choice is just part of our government's plan to take action to ensure greater choice and competition that benefits consumers.
Canadians know that a consumers-first approach is good for everyone. Following the Speech from the Throne, the CRTC launched its Let's Talk TV review of the Canadian television system, a conversation with Canadians so as to examine the televison system in Canada. Our government wants to ensure that the television system fosters choice and flexibility in channel selection, encourages the creation of compelling and diverse programs, and empowers Canadians to make informed choices and have recourse in the case of disputes with their television service providers.
At our request, the CRTC produced a report last April on how to improve Canadian consumers' access to pay and specialty television services on a pick-and-pay basis. After a public process, the CRTC has now put forward the framework to require the industry to provide Canadians with more choice, including an affordable entry-level basic service and the ability to design their own television packages. Our government is pleased that the CRTC has taken into account the views of Canadian consumers in their recent decisions of March 19.
This decision is an important step toward ensuring Canadian consumers enjoy choice and flexibility in their television services. Our government will monitor the implementation of these measures, and we call on all industry players to deliver the choice Canadians deserve as soon as possible.
Mr. Chair and members of the committee, our government has accomplished a great deal in recent years to strengthen our arts and cultural sector, ensure an effective sport system and encourage Canadians to appreciate their history and heritage by learning more about it. We have many initiatives planned between now and 2017, and I am delighted about that.
I would now be pleased to respond to any questions you may have.
View Gordon Brown Profile
Thank you very much, Minister.
Thank you, Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, for appearing today.
Now I have to move to the votes.
Do we have the unanimous consent of the committee to call all of the votes on the main estimates together?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Vote 1—Payments to the Canada Council for the Arts under section 18 of the Canada Council for the Arts Act..........$182,097,387
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$928,331,798
Vote 5—Working capital..........$4,000,000
Vote 10—Capital expenditures..........$105,692,000
(Votes 1, 5, and 10 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$173,741,400
Vote 5—The grants listed in the Estimates and contributions..........$1,056,279,039
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$21,700,000
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$83,369,477
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$7,700,000
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$26,129,112
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$5,379,872
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$83,183,100
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$34,222,719
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$10,759,494
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$59,652,377
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$35,773,542
Vote 5—Payment to the National Gallery of Canada for the acquisition of objects for the Collection and other costs attributable to this activity..........$8,000,000
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$29,754,746
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
Vote 1—Payments to Telefilm Canada to be used for the purposes set out in the Telefilm Canada Act..........$95,453,551
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
The Chair: Shall the chair report the votes on the main estimates to the House?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: Thank you very much. We will now briefly suspend.
View Gordon Brown Profile
Good morning everyone. We're going to call this meeting number 24 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to order.
Today, we have the pleasure of hosting the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Shelly Glover, to our committee.
Welcome, Minister. We're going to have you speak for 10 minutes and then for the rest of the hour we will have questions for you. Following that, we will have a half-hour with the officials from the Department of Canadian Heritage. After that half-hour, we will go in camera to work on our study.
Minister, welcome. You have the floor for 10 minutes.
View Shelly Glover Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
To begin with, I would like to talk about hockey and say that last night's game was fantastic. Go, Habs, go! We are all proud today. I also want to say hello to my husband. It is my anniversary today. So, hi Bruce.
Mr. Chair, I am delighted to be with you today as Minister responsible for Canadian Heritage. With me today are Colleen Swords, the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage, Robert Hertzog, the Department's Chief Financial Officer.
l will begin with a heartfelt thanks to the committee members for your ongoing work to help strengthen the arts, culture and heritage in Canada. You have been hard at it since I was here last fall, with your studies on the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi and on Canada's music industry. I know my departmental officials briefed you as part of their study on the music industry.
The committee has asked me here to speak about the 2014-15 Main Estimates for the Department of Canadian Heritage and Portfolio organizations, so l will briefly go over the key elements with you.
The total resources for the Department of Canadian Heritage for 2014-15 are $1.39 billion—$178.3 million in operating expenditures, $1.19 billion in grants and contributions, and $24.0 million in Statutory.
This year's departmental estimates have increased by $72.8 million over 2013-14.The overall $1.39 billion figure for the department includes the transfer of $14.2 million from the National Capital Commission to the Department for the Capital Experience Program. With the transfer of the Capital Experience Program, Canadian Heritage has taken responsibility for activities including Christmas Lights Across Canada and Winterlude. I was pleased to participate in both events, and they were a huge success.
This year, portfolio organizations are receiving $1.8 billion in appropriations as well as the $803.7 million they generate as revenues, making total resources of $2.6 billion available to them in 2014-15. In particular, the National Battlefields Commission is receiving an additional $5.6 million in funding in 2014-15—an increase of 64.8%—so that Gilmour Hill can remain open 12 months of the year. Overall, the government is providing $8.2 million from 2013-14 to 2015-16 for this project.
All in all, the funds allocated through this year's main estimates will allow the department and the portfolio organizations to continue serving Canadians by promoting our official languages, supporting our arts, culture and heritage sectors, and fostering sport participation in this country.
As you know, the government also tabled the 2014 Economic Action Plan, the EAP, in February, and several items reflect our strong support for arts, culture, heritage and sport. We recognize the contribution these sectors make to strengthening communities and generating economic activity. According to the most recent figures, arts, culture and heritage in this country generate close to $50 billion and 630,000 jobs each year.
Through the economic action plan we have put in place permanent funding to programs that were due to sunset on March 31, 2015, which brings total permanent funding to $24.6 million per year for the Canada Music Fund and $39.1 million for the Canada Book Fund. We also made $79.9 million in funding permanent for arts programs, bringing total funding for core arts programs of Canadian Heritage to $120.6 million on an ongoing basis.
The economic action plan also confirmed the permanent renewal of $25 million for the Canada Council for the Arts resulting in total ongoing funding of over $180 million annually.
Now the combination of our artists, talent, and creativity and the support they received from Canadians has resulted in a remarkable year for the sector. At home the Governor General's awards in visual and media arts recognized eight Canadian artists in different fields such as visual arts, architecture, video, independent film, and new media.
I was also so pleased to host the screening of Louise Archambault's Gabrielle at February's movie night. This gem of a film won a Canadian screen award for best picture and best actress for Gabrielle Marion-Rivard's incredible performance. Gabrielle also won five Jutra awards and Antoine Bertrand won a Jutra for best actor for Louis Cyr: L'homme le plus fort du monde.
My hometown of Winnipeg put on an outstanding show for Canada in hosting this year's Juno award ceremony as well. It was a great opportunity to recognize a host of Canadian music professionals for their work: singers, songwriters, composers, musicians, and entrepreneurs. Arcade Fire's Reflektor won a Juno for album of the year and it was also certified triple platinum in March 2014. Winnipeg's own Bachman-Turner Overdrive was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
The talents of Louis-Jean Cormier and Marie-Mai were recognized at the awards ceremony gala of l'ADISQ. Internationally our artists and films are being nominated at the biggest international festivals and winning many, many awards. For example, Xavier Dolan Tom à la ferme won the International Federation of Film Critics best film prize at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. Canadians Michael Bublé and Jennifer Gasoi won Grammy awards. Dany Laferrière became the first Quebecker to be elected at the prestigious the Académie française and Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize in Literature 2013, which is a first for a Canadian woman author.
In addition to the emphasis that we place on promoting Canadian arts and culture, our government continues to celebrate and honour our history.
The EAP noted several milestones on the road to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. Historic events this year include the 150th anniversaries of the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences. To date, our Commemorate Canada program has invested approximately $7.4 million in celebrations related to these historic nation-building milestones.
As well, our government is asking Canadians how they would like to celebrate our 150th birthday. Individuals can have their say through an online forum at the Canada150 website, and I hope all of you will encourage your constituents to submit their ideas on how to mark this important anniversary.
I have participated in several roundtables, and I was particularly impressed by the forward-looking views I heard from youth representatives. And similar meetings are taking place throughout the country with a range of participants representing aboriginal and linguistic minority communities, as well as business, arts, heritage and cultural sectors.
In 2017, communities of all sizes from coast to coast to coast will join in the celebrations of our diverse, bilingual, pluralist and unique Canadian heritage.
Our government has also reconfirmed it's commitment to sport participation and sport excellence in this country. Canada's athletes are an enormous source of pride. Witness Sochi, where we placed third in the gold medal count at both the Olympic games and the Paralympic games winning 10 gold medals at the Olympic games and seven gold medals at the Paralympic games.
We will build on the momentum generated in Sochi by continuing to invest significantly in sport. There will be ongoing funding of nearly $23 million yearly made permanent in budget 2014 towards sport excellence, bringing total ongoing funding for sport support to $146 million.
This includes $11 for Own the Podium, $6 million for summer team sports, $5 million for the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and $1 million a year for Special Olympics Canada.
We will provide Special Olympics Canada with an additional $10.8 million over the next four years to help provide sport training and competition opportunities for Canadian athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Increasing sport and physical activity among Canadians, particularly children and youth, is another priority for our government. We are providing Le Grand défi Pierre Lavoie with $1 million over two years to promote healthy living and physical activity among school children living in Quebec and in French language minority communities.
I see John Weston over there just grinning ear to ear. I want to thank you for all of your fitness concerns and helping us all to stay active and healthy through fitness. Thank you, John.
The 2014 economic action plan reconfirms $500 million over six years for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto. This includes $193.9 million for the Games in 2014-15, which is an increase of $71.6 million from 2013-14.
As one of the largest multi-sport events ever held in Canada, the Games will create economic, cultural and community development opportunities for the Greater Golden Horseshoe area and beyond. They will highlight our country's sport excellence and create a sport legacy for all Canadians.
In brief, these are the key elements of the main estimates for 2014-15 and the 2014 economic action plan. Both clearly show that our government continues to be committed to supporting arts, culture, and heritage in Canada.
I'd now like to turn it over to your chair and answer any questions you might have.
View Ray Boughen Profile
View Ray Boughen Profile
2014-05-15 11:13
Thank you, Chair.
Let me say welcome to the minister and to your colleagues with you. I appreciate the fact that you're giving time to sit with us and hear our issues and concerns and that we can hear from you.
Looking ahead to the 150th anniversary of Canada, the government has some important milestones that will define our history and shape our identity. Our government takes holding these events very seriously and is working hard to ensure that the celebrations will showcase all the best of Canada. You've pointed that out, Minister. We're certainly with you on that.
You and your department have been undertaking national consultations with a large number of Canadians to see how they would like to celebrate Canada's 150th. Could you perhaps give us an update on how these consultations are going and what are you hearing from Canadians from coast to coast to coast?
View Shelly Glover Profile
First of all, let me thank you for that wonderful question. This is going to be a celebration of the greatest country in the world. The 150th anniversary of Confederation for Canada will be an event from coast to coast to coast that is celebrated in every locale.
We are presently doing these consultations, as you mentioned. Here I'd like to share just one little bit of a proposal put forward by a youth from the north. As you know, we've already got a number of celebrations planned, and in this regard I think of things like the 50th anniversary of the national flag and the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Of course, we're in the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the start World War II. Presently we're commemorating those events.
We've got a number of events on the road to 2017 that we're already acknowledging, but there is this one young person who said to me at a youth round table that his grandmother makes quilts. He's an aboriginal boy from the Northwest Territories, and quilting is part of their tradition. He suggested that for our 150th we should get all of our youth across the country to participate in making a square that would tell people what they think of 150 years in our country, and then we should put all of those squares together from coast to coast to coast and make a beautiful quilt that would then hang in one of our national museums.
And 50 years later the kids are going to be around still, he said, so we should get together again and have the next generation do the same with another quilt, and for years and generations to come people will be able to see how Canada has evolved and how proud we are of everything we have.
These are the types of things I'm hearing from Canadians. And this young boy, I'll tell you, he had an impact everyone in the room.
Aside from that, we're hearing from seniors who want to remember the sacrifices of many of our men and women in uniform, some of whom obviously gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have the freedoms, democracy, and liberties that we presently enjoy.
I'm hearing from official language minority communities across the country that they want to make sure that we have both official languages, that they form part of this fabric of our Canadian identity and continue to thrive everywhere, that they're acknowledged.
So I just hope that all of you here will endeavour to do a round table, do a consultation in your own communities, refer people to the website that's now in place and give us your ideas. We want to make this a celebration that Canadians themselves organize and tell us what they want to do. We don't want it to be a celebration where the Government of Canada is telling others how to celebrate. This is an opportunity for all Canadians to have input.
View Shelly Glover Profile
Thank you for mentioning music. I know you're heavily invested in a study on music at this point, and I wish you all the best in your study. I'm anxious to receive your report when it's done.
First of all, let me tell you that Canadian music is part of our identity. When we enjoy the music that our artists put out, it reflects who we are as Canadians. Our Canadian music is essential in ensuring that we are different from our neighbours across the border. So when I think of some of the artists at the Junos, and I think of Serena Ryder and how she hosted with tremendous enthusiasm, and I think, of course, about Brett Kissel, who is phenomenal and an inspiration to so many young people.
This is why it's important that through Canadian Heritage we provide some funding, so these artists can continue to provide Canadians with music that portrays who we are. Through budget 2014, we actually made permanent a number of measures, including permanency in the Canada Music Fund. We also continue to provide to FACTOR and Musicaction, so they can decide how to bring new musicians into this wonderful industry
It does create huge economic benefits for Canada, huge benefits. In fact, when I think about all of the money that is put through the industry, I know there are jobs that go with that money. So for Canadians, it's not only about feeling good or feeling sad through the music that's produced, feeling proud of who we are through the Canadian content and celebrating those musicians, but it's also an economic driver and source of employment for them. So I'm proud to be able to say it's now a permanent feature of our government's plan.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to the three of you for being with us here this morning.
Minister, we all have very busy schedules, and I imagine yours must be much busier than mine.
You began your remarks by thanking the committee people for conducting in-depth studies and for devoting time to them. I do not entirely share your view in that your predecessors have done very little with those studies to date. Some of our recommendations on the 150th anniversary, for example, have clearly been overlooked on several occasions.
The urgency in my remarks is obviously related to Radio-Canada. We will be discussing that all day. I would like to ask you some very specific questions that have been prepared on the topic.
Did you meet with the President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada before he announced the last round of cuts? How often do you speak with Mr. Lacroix and members of the board?
View Shelly Glover Profile
I want to thank the member for his question.
I definitely meet with Mr. Lacroix from time to time. At the start of my appointment as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Mr. Lacroix and some of his colleagues attended one of those meetings, and I was there with my assistants. The meeting was supposed to take an hour and a half, but it lasted three hours.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
I want to make sure I re-email you the report we submitted to you. We spent several months studying the celebrations for the 150th anniversary. One of my complaints is that the activities for the 150th have been overlooked.
My essential point is that our committee spent a lot of time studying the music industry in the digital age.
I hope you will have a chance to read our report, which I also hope will be unanimous. If there is a dissenting opinion, however, I hope you will take the time to read it. We have invested a great deal of time, energy and money in that study. A lot of witnesses appeared before the committee, and it will be very much appreciated if our report is considered.
In the House, you mentioned the decline in the CBC's ratings. However, Mr. Lacroix told us exactly the contrary, that the problem with the CBC is not attributable to ratings.
Can you give us the source for your comment on ratings? Could you also submit a copy of the document you used as a basis for saying it?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
That in a way is the problem, minister.
Like many Canadians, I honestly wonder how it is that we have made so little progress with barely three years to go before the event. Canada's centennial celebrations in 1967 were planned virtually a decade in advance.
Furthermore, as far as I know, a community in my electoral district has submitted its consultation report to you. Will we ultimately be coming up with something?
To wrap up this discussion, which I consider less urgent than the one concerning the CBC, I simply want to remind you that recommendation  15 in the report called for the creation of an independent agency. That would be an independent, non-partisan agency that would travel the country to conduct the consultations rather than the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
You are not unaware that I appreciate your short answers, since I also have to talk about the CBC.
On April 9, we asked you some questions about the mandate of our public broadcaster and its obligations toward the official language minority communities. You immediately answered that it was up to CBC/Radio-Canada to provide the programming that Canadians want to see.
As you can understand, your answer is somewhat insulting to Canadians living in the communities, like the one you come from. Was your message that regional programming is of no interest?
View Shelly Glover Profile
I would like to answer all your questions.
To be clear, the decision to cut jobs at Radio-Canada was not made by the government, but rather by Radio-Canada management. I even have quotations of remarks the union made before the cuts were announced, including one by Alex Levasseur, President of the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada. He said this:
The eventual cuts will not be ordered by the federal government.
France Bélisle, Director of Communications and Public Relations at CBC/Radio-Canada, said the following:
The problem is that the advertising market is depressed for all media.
It was Hubert, his team and the unions that really provided the evidence.
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