Evidence of meeting #67 for Finance in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was health.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Aurel Braun  Professor, University of Toronto, As an Individual
  • Rob Rainer  Executive Director, Canada Without Poverty
  • James L. Turk  Executive Director, Canadian Association of University Teachers
  • Jeffrey Turnbull  Past-President, Canadian Medical Association
  • Michael Jackson  Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British-Columbia, As an Individual
  • Alain Noël  Full Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal, As an Individual
  • Alain Pineau  National Director, Canadian Conference of the Arts
  • Linda Silas  President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
  • Karen Wirsig  Communication Policy, Canadian Media Guild
  • John McAvity  Executive Director, Canadian Museums Association
  • Anil Naidoo  Project Organizer, Council of Canadians

6:10 p.m.

President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Linda Silas

I need more than 30 seconds, Mr. Hoback.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Me too.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Hoback.

Mr. Nantel, you have the floor, if you will.

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I cannot believe that you came here voluntarily to have a member of Parliament lay into you like that. But he is paid to do it; that is unbelievable. I think all six of you are very brave.

When we hear these people's views, we realize that Mr. Moore is not being completely accurate when he talks about all the knives in the back. We can plainly see here that it is not unusual for people to go after the CBC.

Go ahead, raise a point of order so we can keep at it a little more.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

On a point of order, Mr. Hoback.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Actually the point of order that I have, Chair, is that this member has five minutes and I assume that his time is being used up as he goes through and berates me. I didn't berate any of the witnesses. I agreed and disagreed with them. In fact I was very respectful to Mr. Naidoo. So I assume that you're not giving him any extra time for this tirade.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

I appreciate that.

6:10 p.m.

A voice

That's shameful.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Order.

I know we've spent a lot hours, and I know members are working very hard. I would just encourage members to be as respectful as possible. Let's try to cut down on the back and forth across the table. Let's pose the questions to the witnesses who are here. I am asking all members to do that respectfully and to use their time to ask questions of the witnesses, and to get as much information out as they can.

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Ms. Wirsig, I said you were brave and I want to point out that Mr. Naidoo told us he felt he could speak freely because he is not afraid of losing his public funding, since he does not receive any.

Before talking to Mr. Pineau about the consequences of eliminating the Arts, Culture and Diversity Program, I would like to ask him something, and I will phrase my question carefully. Does he understand why I think it is a great shame that, having been such a cohesion builder in respect of copyright reform, the Canadian Conference of the Arts is having its funding reduced by so much when the program has been funded for 46 years? Does he think it is reasonable for me to raise my eyebrows at these kinds of cuts?

6:10 p.m.

National Director, Canadian Conference of the Arts

Alain Pineau

It depends on what your political philosophy is. You may be surprised. When we learned that this was the government's decision, we decided to accept it. We have worked for a year now to establish ourselves on an autonomous footing. In fact, regardless of the government's political stripe, when an organization is funded out of public monies, politicians are very thin-skinned and sensitive. I worked at the CBC for 34 years, and I can tell you all about that.

Becoming autonomous is an objective that our board of directors has embraced. We have developed a business plan that enables us to do that. We have requested transitional funding from the government. It saw that we were serious about this and it gave us a lot less than what we needed, but we can start from there. I hope we will succeed, because I believe that an organization like the Canadian Conference of the Arts has something unique to bring to the public discourse.

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

That is entirely correct.

I am sure that my neighbours opposite greatly appreciate your politeness, sir.

The Canadian Conference of the Arts certainly played an absolutely outstanding role in the negotiations relating to copyright reform—

coast to coast to coast

—in trying to build cohesion among the views of creators throughout Canada. That is entirely to your credit.

6:10 p.m.

National Director, Canadian Conference of the Arts

Alain Pineau

Under the agreement with the government, our fundamental role is to simplify the message as much as possible, by reducing the cacophony that exists within such a diverse community and bringing together so many divergent interests. That is why our position was not necessarily an absolute consensus, but a majority consensus.

We simplified the message and we presented 20 clear amendments to parliamentarians. If someone does not like the message, that is one thing, but at least we fulfilled our mandate of simplifying matters.

May 31st, 2012 / 6:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

I congratulate you.

I have one last question that relates to the Arts, Culture and Diversity Program. Is it correct to say that the ASPAQ, the Association des professionnels des arts de la scène du Québec, which made its voice heard clearly during negotiations concerning Bill C-11, is going to disappear along with that program?

6:15 p.m.

National Director, Canadian Conference of the Arts

Alain Pineau

No, the ASPAQ is not part of that program. If I understand correctly, because this covers a lot of ground, the cuts to the Canada Music Fund will affect that organization. That has nothing to do with the program that funded us.