Evidence of meeting #10 for Canadian Heritage in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was centennial.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Moore

Thank you, Mr. Young.

Mr. Benskin.

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Thank you all for being here and for your presentations.

I'm going to pick up on what Mr. Jackson was saying in terms of what I might put forward as a recommendation, that this government actually throw out that challenge. The fact that these discussions are happening right now for 2017 is not very known, in the sense that the public itself is not aware that we're having these discussions.

I was struck by the logos, the photos that you put out there, and the fact that these things were sort of...this logo was sent out and said “Hey, use this”. The idea still came from the people, but the connective tissue, as you said, was the identifying marker that this was a Canadian centennial project. What I'm also hearing from this group is that there seems to be a consensus that the success of this was the fact that it came from the individuals.

Again, sort of scanning through this book, I saw the logo and I was reminded of the high school program they had for those of us who were of that period. It was the forerunner to ParticipAction. You had a series of exercises that you had to do and limits that you had to get to. You got a bronze patch or a silver patch or a gold patch. That was part of that as well, because it had the centennial symbol in there. If I may, those are the types of programs that you're advocating, as far as creating the groundswell of activity and participation of Canadians.

Would that be a good assessment?

10:10 a.m.

Principal, MASS LBP

Peter MacLeod

I think you're right on the money with that one. You know, sending out badges and things like that, and Expo printing up its passports--how much did that really cost? Very, very little, and look what a mark it made on a generation of Canadians. Since I started following the centennial beat, you wouldn't believe how many people have said “I think I still have my Expo passport somewhere”, and they really prize it.

Right now, I don't think it's about getting Canadians all fired up about this sesquicentennial. They have lots of other things to focus on for the next couple of years. But, boy, we're almost a little bit behind the game already when it comes to getting the associations.... Is the Canadian Council of Chief Executives going to call all of its members together to have a conference about this in the next year? It probably should. The educators or the artists, are they going to come together in the next year to think about their plans? They probably should. Again, I think this committee can do a lot of good by putting that challenge to them, as Colin said.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Thank you.

One of the things that struck me was the simplicity. How do you think, in today's more apathetic era...1967 was really looking forward. There was that sense of growth: these are the things that we're capable of doing as Canadians. Fifty years later, there's a little bit of malaise happening right now. What would you suggest in terms of the possibilities of getting people excited about the country again, and getting people excited about who they are as Canadians?

That's for any one of you.

10:10 a.m.

Professional Engineer, As an Individual

Peter Aykroyd

I would suggest it might be if the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party both had strong leaders tomorrow.

10:10 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

We're working on that.

10:10 a.m.

Chair, imagiNation 150 (Calgary)

Colin Jackson

My experience so far is that there's a great deal of dry tinder waiting to be ignited: the challenge issue, the challenge opportunity, the challenge possibility. I was speaking a couple of days ago with a friend who is a significant philanthropist and is going to make a truly major gift to a national institution, and immediately he went to the notion of, well, why don't I do that in the spirit of 150? Gifts will probably occur anyway, and maybe in the same quantum, but they could be “in the spirit of”.

I had the same conversation with some of the leadership in corporate Calgary. They all have corporate responsibility groups or foundations, and they make contributions to community projects and enterprises. How about branding those gifts for the next few years in the spirit of 150? Again, it can happen through existing channels, through projects as simple as making a cupcake and taking it to the lady next door.

10:10 a.m.

Principal, MASS LBP

Peter MacLeod

We did some polling around the conference centre. I know Keith Neuman was here, and he probably told you that among francophones and anglophones, it's actually allophones who are most excited to celebrate.

We often talk a lot about civic apathy. I'm in the public engagement game, but it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This occasion is really what we decide to make it. If you look at this ad again, the headline is “[It] turned out to be the most fun we've had in years! Were you surprised?” Most people didn't think the centennial was going to be that much fun at all, and we amazed ourselves, just as we did recently with the Vancouver Olympics.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Moore

Thank you, Mr. Benskin.

Just a note to members. The lights flashing and the bells going mean we have votes. They are 30-minute bells, which technically means we would have to end our committee meeting now. With unanimous consent of the committee members, we could continue for 15 more minutes.

Is there unanimous consent to continue for 15 more minutes?

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Moore

Okay, for a five-minute round, go ahead, please, Mr. Gill.

November 3rd, 2011 / 10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Brampton—Springdale, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to thank the witnesses for their time and for being here with us today.

We are under pressure in terms of timing and stuff, and I'll try to keep my questions very short. If you can give me short answers, that would be great.

My first question is for Mr. Aykroyd. We saw the centennial symbol, and I am wondering if you can briefly describe the process for how the symbol was chosen.

10:15 a.m.

Professional Engineer, As an Individual

Peter Aykroyd

Was the question how the symbol was chosen?

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Brampton—Springdale, ON

Yes.