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View Gordon Brown Profile
CPC (ON)
View Gordon Brown Profile
2015-04-20 15:30
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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.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2015-04-20 15:30
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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.
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View Gordon Brown Profile
CPC (ON)
View Gordon Brown Profile
2015-04-20 16:23
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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.
CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
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)
CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
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)
CANADIAN HERITAGE
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)
CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$21,700,000
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$83,369,477
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF IMMIGRATION AT PIER 21
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$7,700,000
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF NATURE
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$26,129,112
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$5,379,872
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES OF CANADA
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$83,183,100
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE CORPORATION
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$34,222,719
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
NATIONAL BATTLEFIELDS COMMISSION
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$10,759,494
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$59,652,377
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA
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)
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Vote 1—Operating and capital expenditures..........$29,754,746
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
TELEFILM CANADA
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.
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View Gordon Brown Profile
CPC (ON)
View Gordon Brown Profile
2014-05-15 11:00
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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.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:01
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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.
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View Ray Boughen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Ray Boughen Profile
2014-05-15 11:13
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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?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:13
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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.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:17
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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.
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View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
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?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:21
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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.
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View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
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?
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View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
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?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:25
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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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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:27
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However, here's what Hubert Lacroix also said about the cuts at CBC, which was a decision made as a result of the following: ...a weak advertising market...lower-than-expected schedule performance in the key 25-54-year-old demographic on CBC Television, lower than expected ad revenues...and the loss of the NHL contract...have combined to create an important revenue shortfall....
That is why he defines himself—
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View Stéphane Dion Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chair, I want to thank the minister and her two associates for being here with us today. I know how essential the relationship with a deputy minister is for a minister.
Minister, I am going to read you a quotation:
...our government made very specific, clear, and simple commitments to CBC/Radio-Canada, and that was that a Conservative government under Prime Minister Harper would maintain or increase funding for the CBC.
It was your predecessor, Mr. Moore, who said that in 2011.
The main estimates for 2014-2015 state, on page 34, that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's appropriation will be reduced by $115 million. Consequently, an additional $45.5 million still has to be cut in order to hit the 2012 target.
When I asked you in the House about the impact of these cuts, you answered that there would be none and that it was the CBC that was making those decisions. You know very well that makes no sense. If its parliamentary appropriations are cut by $115 million, that will necessarily force the CBC to take draconian measures. That is also contrary to the commitments made by your predecessor, Mr. Moore.
What has changed since Mr. Moore's statement? In 2011, when the recession had already been under way since 2008, he made a commitment to increase or maintain the CBC's budget. However, you have cut that budget. What has happened? I say "you", but that also includes Mr. Moore, since the cuts started in 2012.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:29
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Thank you for your question, Mr. Dion.
As I previously said, you are referring to cuts that were made in 2012, during the global recession. Since then, Mr. Lacroix has clearly said he has enough resources to carry out his mandate. As he said, the corporation lost the hockey broadcasts, for which there was a key audience, and that resulted in a decline in its advertising revenues and viewership.
The current cuts are not attributable to a government decision. As I previously said, we allocate very significant funding because we acknowledge the importance of CBC/Radio-Canada's role.
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View Stéphane Dion Profile
Lib. (QC)
All those cuts amount, in constant 2014 dollars, to a $227-million reduction in CBC/Radio-Canada's parliamentary appropriations relative to 2006, when the Conservatives came to power. That represents a cut of 18%, nearly one-fifth of its budget.
You are telling members and Canadians that it is not the government that is making these cuts and that, if CBC/Radio-Canada takes draconian measures such as cutting some 600 full-time positions, that has nothing to do with you and that you, as a minister, need not be concerned about it. Is that really what you claim?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:31
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Thank you.
A recovery occurred after the global recession. Ten per cent cuts were made to all government departments. Ours was the only G7 government that did not make cuts to official languages or direct funding to artists. The other G7 countries made direct cuts to funding for artists, but not our government. We also did not reduce funding for museums or sports programs.
That was done in 2012. Mr. Lacroix informed us that he had enough money to carry out his mandate. He has more than $1 billion. That is a significant amount. CBC/Radio-Canada has suffered declining advertising revenues as a result of the loss of the hockey broadcasts. Its viewership has also fallen. That was obviously not a government decision. It is ridiculous to think any such thing.
We acknowledge the importance of CBC/Radio-Canada. That is why we grant it significant funding. That organization will produce programming in English and in French in the regions and elsewhere.
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View Stéphane Dion Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, thank you, but I have only a minute left.
How do you explain that 87% of the Canadian Museum of History's programming for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, 26 out of 30 events, is based on military themes? Only four events have a non-military theme. We were afraid your government might have an ideological influence on that museum, and those fears are being confirmed.
The military aspect should be celebrated, but do you not think that 26 out of 30 events is completely unbalanced, given the richness of Canada's history?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:34
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As you know, Mr. Dion, the museums are responsible for their own decisions.
I want to raise a point. When the Liberals were in power, they cut more than $400 million from CBC/Radio-Canada's budget. The goal was to reduce the budget by cutting costs. Pardon me, but you have to take action during a global recession. You have to protect Canadians' jobs. We reacted well. We were first around the world—
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View John Weston Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for being with us today, minister.
I noticed that approximately one-third of your comments concerned sports. You mentioned the support provided to the Sochi Olympic Games, the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie and the Pan American Games. Before, during and after the 2010 Games, which were held in large part in the electoral district I represent, we wondered what heritage those games would leave behind.
First, I would like to ask you how you view the connection between sports and heritage.
By the way, I was with Laureen Harper last week. She is
the honorary patron of the Trans Canada Trail,
which is a non-governmental organization, but in the private sector.
I would like to know what agreements there are between the government and private businesses for the purpose of developing heritage through sports.
Lastly, if you have the time, I would like you to tell me what role sports will play as a factor in unifying Canadians during Canada's 150th anniversary.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:36
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That is a lot of questions. Tell me if I forget any and I will go back to them.
Sports are really very important in Canada. As I previously said, they keep us in good health. They also unite us and are fun. It is important for our government to support communities wishing to take part in sports and hold celebrations for our athletes. That is why we invest in the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games and so on.
As I said in my presentation, events will be conducted by Special Olympics Canada, an organization with which we cooperate and which is working very hard across the country. There is also the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie. We work with those people to organize events designed to encourage Canadians to keep fit.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:38
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Yes.
The Olympics were an opportunity for us to be proud of our athletes and to introduce them to the entire world. I am thinking of all the medals we won. I am thinking of Jennifer Jones and her curling team. That was both an athletic and a unifying experience. The event brought all our communities together. Canadians were very proud.
Our deputy minister will tell you about the funding available for sport. I will hand the floor over to him.
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Colleen Swords
View Colleen Swords Profile
Colleen Swords
2014-05-15 11:39
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Just to add a little bit on the Pan Am Games and the legacy, obviously, a large part of the $500 million that the Canadian government has promised will be going to the infrastructure, so that infrastructure will live on. We're also providing $65 million for a legacy fund, which will allow the operating costs of some of those buildings to continue for a number of years. In relation to cultural strategy, you're absolutely right that culture and sport often go together, and there's an additional $3 million that we'll be providing for a federal cultural strategy to allow the Pan Am Games to be experienced throughout the country through sort of a torch facility and some cultural activities connected with Pan Am.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:40
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I don't know if you know this, but I played soccer for a very long time before becoming a parliamentarian. I spent 14 years coaching soccer in my community, and I'm a referee of soccer as well. It's really encouraging to see the impacts that the funding has in our communities. I think about a high-level soccer program that's actually running out of Glenlawn Collegiate in my own riding that the Government of Canada has been happy to participate in.
There's a huge link between sport and well-being and health. There's a huge link in the way we feel about ourselves and how we feel about our communities. That's why sport is so important. It really is a part of our Canadian identity that unifies us and will be celebrated for many, many generations to come.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:42
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Absolutely. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This really applies when we're talking about sports, because to be active and healthy means that you reduce the risks that are associated with things like heart disease and other forms of disease that impact the health care system.
Of course, there are also jobs involved in the sporting industry. When I think about our coaches and our physiotherapists and so on and so forth, I mean, sport is a huge economic driver, along with protecting us against these ills in the health care field and of course, as I said, unifying the country.
I know you're a champion of sport and I want to thank you again for that. Keep doing what you're doing, because we should be the healthiest country in the world, and with your help maybe we'll get there.
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View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
2014-05-15 11:42
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to share my time with Monsieur Nantel.
Minister, I'm going to ask you two questions in two key areas, and if you would, a written response would be appreciated.
The first area has to do with APTN. As a minister from Winnipeg, a Métis woman from the Red River Settlement, you of course know that APTN is the world's first truly national aboriginal television broadcaster. They're experiencing some real difficulties. Last year the Canada Media Fund cut APTN's English envelope by 55% and the French envelope by 42%. This was a huge financial hit, so the answers I would like in writing from you are: what are you doing to ensure that APTN receives sufficient revenues from the Canada Media Fund so they can meet the conditions of their licence in the programming genres as well as language and the other requirements?
Would the government consider increasing the aboriginal language funding to help offset the losses experienced? Would you, Minister, consider the aboriginal language fund be reserved exclusively for APTN?
My second area of concern has to do with Library and Archives. I have heard from Canadians across the country, and they have expressed concern about Canadian government library closures. Would you be willing to consult with the archivists, CLA, and provide a more thorough description of the process taken to review collections and have a more transparent process for the management of these valuable, publicly owned collections? We're not sure where these collections are going. Will they be properly preserved? It is very important.
I thank you for those responses, Minister, and I'll turn it over to Monsieur Nantel.
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View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Dion asked you a question a little earlier, and I understood that you were partly detaching yourself—there is a kind of ministerial solidarity—from the decisions that were made. From the very start, I thought you were the right person in this government to handle heritage issues because of your nature, your concern for those issues, your delicate approach and the fact that you come from a francophone minority community in Manitoba.
Having said that, I dare hope the decisions that were made can be corrected, changed or altered thanks to a person like you, who brings her own judgment to certain issues.
For example, a little earlier I was talking to you about cuts to the CBC, which are a major concern for us. You seemed surprised by what I said about the reports this committee has tabled. For example, we worked I do not know how many weeks on the music industry report, but it was definitely three months in total.
Could you assure us that you are committed to maintaining the funding currently allocated to the Canada Music Fund?
People mentioned how happy they were with it and said it was working well, particularly the funding allocated to FACTOR and to similar organizations such as MUSICACTION. Can you commit to maintaining that funding and to properly considering the report we will be preparing after so many weeks of study?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:46
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I was not surprised at all, but I was surprised that you said we had overlooked the report, which is false. We take all your reports very seriously. They inspire us and give us ideas. I simply wanted to be clear; I was not surprised at all. In fact, we did not overlook the 150th anniversary; we are simply asking for some patience since it will be a celebration for all Canadians.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:47
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Let us start with Library and Archives Canada.
I'll switch to English for Ms. Mathyssen.
Guy Berthiaume has just been put in place as the head of LAC. He begins in June, and I would encourage you to speak with this very talented and qualified new appointee. LAC, of course, determines their own programs, etc., so that is where I would refer you with regard to the first question. We all know how important Library of Archives is to Canada.
Going back to APTN—
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View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2014-05-15 11:48
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Thank you, Chair. No, I don't want to continue that.
Thank you, Minister, for coming here this morning.
I do want to ask you a few questions, but first I want to respond a little bit to what I've been hearing about the CBC. Here I do understand what you're saying. I understand that CBC needs to present a business model that is attractive to maintaining its listenership and to maintaining advertising, and they haven't been able to do that.
With over a billion dollars of subsidy on an annual basis, I don't understand why they're not competitive in the marketplace to keep Hockey Night in Canada. I don't understand that, because other networks are and the other networks seem to be making a copious amount of money. I don't know why their business model isn't working, but I think it's a management issue that needs to be addressed by CBC. I think we provide very generous funding.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:49
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But they are a crown corporation, so to be very clear, we believe that the CBC plays a very important role, of course, in Canadian society, and that is why we provide them with that over a billion dollars worth of funding. I compare it to some of the communities that really do see the importance of the CBC. They're dependent on it, right? The official language minority communities, and some of our remote communities and aboriginal communities, they depend on the CBC. So this is why they are important. They're a public broadcaster.
Here I have to say that the Olympics were amazing, simply amazing. The CBC did a phenomenal job. In fact, other countries were tuning in at a time when their own television broadcasts were not being viewed.
As I say, they've had some challenges, but we do provide them with significant funds and they have enough money to provide under their mandate under the Broadcasting Act.
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View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2014-05-15 11:50
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Good, thank you. And I certainly do appreciate the programming that CBC provides.
Along that line of thinking, I would like to talk a little bit about a commitment that our government made in the Speech from the Throne. I'll repeat it:
Our Government believes that Canadian families should be able to choose the combination of television channels they want. It will require channels to be unbundled, while protecting Canadian jobs.
I live close to your riding. I live in a rural riding in southeastern Manitoba. And simply to qualify my comments, I don't have a cable subscription. I have a TV subscription that is commonly referred to as “farmer vision”, which is the free to air stuff. Shaw was kind enough to send me a satellite dish and provide me with the four essential channels for my area, which I get.
Now that I've been privileged by my constituents to serve in this capacity here in the Government of Canada, I stay in a hotel and I actually have access to cable network TV and I'm amazed how much I have to surf through the channels, when I do actually have time to look at the TV, to find a channel with good programming. The frustration of many Canadians has been that they have to pay for all these channels that they really don't like. A lot of times they are channels they don't want in their homes and, unfortunately, more and more Canadian parents are allowing the television to be the babysitter. I think that's sad because there's stuff coming in that they don't want in their homes and they don't always have the parental control that they need.
Can you give this committee an update on where our government is in fulfilling this commitment?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:51
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Sure.
Thank you very much for the question. We obviously look forward to living up to that promise made in the Speech from the Throne. We know that Canadians want choice and we're intending to unbundle channels.
The first thing we did, of course, was to ask the CRTC to look at this issue and to give us some advice basically on how we might provide choice in television while maintaining Canadian jobs, among other things. So the CRTC has come back with a clear road map for us that will allow us to provide greater choice to Canadians across the country.
I might just touch on a couple of those things that were in the CRTC's report. They touch on four things that they believe ought to be considered. The first is that the basic television service that has been provided has grown substantially. They believe we should return to the basics and provide what they call a “skinny” basic service in television.
They also talk about pick-and-pay, which is somewhat like à la carte. That, of course, is where viewers get to choose the channels they want to subscribe to. They also talk about making our own bundles.
I live in Gatineau while I'm here working in Ottawa, and Vidéotron already allows me, in Gatineau, to pick some of the channels that I want to watch, which is much appreciated.
Then, of course, CRTC also touched on the pre-made bundles that are the ones that exist right now.
They saw that these four elements really ought to be considered. But they are continuing their discussions and we will look forward to further instruction and advice from the CRTC. This is a tremendous move forward for our consumers. This is something they've been asking of all of us for some time, and I'm pleased to be part of a government that intends to provide them with that choice.
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View Pierre Nantel Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I cannot help but feel that the question from my colleague opposite is very relevant.
As a result of signal variations, CBC/Radio-Canada is sometimes unavailable on a new generation digital television set. That causes major problems even in my colleague's region, the Gaspé Peninsula. The Radio-Canada people clearly have to make some tough choices.
I would like to encourage everyone and all those here who are interested in Radio-Canada—whether to help it or harm it—to listen to the interview that Mr. Lacroix gave to Jacques Beauchamp on the program Pas de midi sans info. Since CBC/Radio-Canada has always been a proud user of Internet and web platforms, it is very easy to find a rebroadcast of that program.
In that interview, Mr. Lacroix explained that his mandate is not to demand more money from the front pages of newspapers so that he can better carry out his mandate. And I do mean "better carry out his mandate". He told the program's listeners that it is parliamentarians' role to squabble over how much Canadians will pay.
I understand your position, of course. However, it is not true that Mr. Lacroix said he had enough money to carry out his mandate. He said he could do much better. In the circumstances, one might simply scratch one's head and say it would be better if he got a little more.
I understand why you quoted Mr. Lacroix, but a person can always be quoted out of context. If you listen to that interview, in which neither you nor I were there to question him, you will see that he clearly said what I just mentioned about all the Canadians who listened to the program. I encourage you to listen to it.
Now I will hand the floor over to my colleague Irene Mathyssen.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:56
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I would like to add something on that subject.
It is definitely true that no government department, organization or agency would say that it does not want any more money. They will all say they would like to have more.
We allocate significant funding to the CBC, which is enough for it to carry out its mandate under the Broadcasting Act.
Mr. Pierre Nantel: That is what you say.
Hon. Shelly Glover: Mr. Lacroix himself said he had enough money to carry out his mandate. That is what I am saying. I am not claiming that the CBC or any other agency or organization would not like to have more money. However, we have to take taxpayers into consideration. The priority for them is the economy, jobs and the economic recovery.
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:56
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Yes.
Do you know that the significant funding I am talking about, $1.1 billion, represents the same amount as is available to my department for all the Canada Day festivals and celebrations? It is virtually the same as the amount my entire department has to distribute to all the communities across Canada to cover what they need for those celebrations.
It is a significant amount. We recognize the CBC's important role, but it receives enough money.
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View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
2014-05-15 11:57
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Thank you very much.
I want to come back to the issue of access to television channels. I'm mystified, because in London, Ontario, there's no free air-to-air reception anymore. Everyone has to pay, and this caused a great deal of consternation. So I'm not convinced that people have access.
Second, I'm wondering if you would be willing to talk about other aspects of heritage—for example, the grants in regard to official languages. It's come to our attention that there's been a significant delay in terms of those grants, and our official languages are a profound and important part of the heritage of this country.
So, in terms of our access to television, and in terms of the delays to organizations in need of those official grants, I wonder, can you respond to that, Minister?
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View Shelly Glover Profile
CPC (MB)
View Shelly Glover Profile
2014-05-15 11:59
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Sure. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.
Just to be very clear, I was answering a question by Mr. Falk about unbundling. When I said unbundling is something that consumers and Canadians have been requesting for some time, that is in fact also what the CRTC was seeing when it did its review. So our intention, through the Speech from the Throne, is to provide them with that choice, and that's the question I answered.
With regard to the official languages, as you know, I went through French immersion in school. I am so proud to be someone who can speak both official languages, our national languages here in Canada, and I actually learned how to pronounce French words properly by listening to Radio-Canada, which is why I know the importance of Radio-Canada.
This is a $1.1 billion commitment. This Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages is a historic document that provides funding through a number of ministries so that Canadians can have the opportunities to have both official languages prominent in the things they do. We divided this road map into pillars: education, immigration, and communities. Many of them have envelopes of money through different ministries. In my own ministry, I also have funds through my direct ministerial programs that flow to our communities to enable them to provide the important programs that they do.
There is a process, though, to get the money out the door, meaning that we have to make sure that those proposals actually meet criteria, etc. It's actually through our deputy minister and her hard-working team at Heritage that they make sure those criteria are satisfied, and then the money flows. We have to ensure value for the dollar; we have to ensure that the money meets the envelope criteria; and so we are moving as quickly as possible, and the money is flowing. In fact, just the other day I signed 200 different program proposals to flow the money out to the communities. I can only work as quickly as I can, and I know how hard the Heritage public servants work. We'll continue to provide this historic funding because it's important. It's essential.
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View John Weston Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, I am pleased to put questions to you and to those who are here with you.
I am interested in your government's emphasis on the Pan American Games. The budget provides for an increase in funding to Canadian Heritage, which includes $71 million for those games. How will that funding be spent?
I do not know whether you can answer the next question, but I will ask it all the same. In addition to the Pan American Games as such, will that be good for the health of Canadians?
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Colleen Swords
View Colleen Swords Profile
Colleen Swords
2014-05-15 12:05
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Thanks very much for the question. Obviously, any time we host a major sporting event, there are benefits for our young people, who see these wonderful athletes and are inspired by them. So I think it always has that spill-over effect for our young athletes.
Overall, the government is providing $500 million, spread over a number of years, so there are variations from year to year in what we're funding. I'm going to ask our chief financial officer to explain the details of exactly where that $500 million is going and how much of that relates to this year.
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