Evidence of meeting #47 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was million.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to follow up on the questions of Mr. McCallum.

The government, in its wisdom, made the decision to spend multi-millions of dollars on the War of 1812. Obviously, to do that, given the fact that the government is trying to pay down its massive deficit, there appear to be cuts across the board to a lot of programs that previously received support, including for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Youth Take Charge program, which is being cut by $300,000.

Was there a direction to you that we find money to supplement this program? Where's the direction to the department on where to seek the costs? What is less important now to the government?

4:10 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

First, I'll make a point of clarification. The fact that numbers go up and down through estimates does not necessarily mean that there has been a cut. It can be just a variation in when funding happens. That's the case for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as I explained in the previous question.

In this case, this is purely a funding profile. This is not a cut. It's the same thing in terms of the other one you mentioned. There is no cut there. This is a funding profile.

Now, on the issue of the War of 1812, this is one-time funding over a few years. It's not up to me to explain choices. I think, as I said to Mr. McCallum, that this is a question that is better addressed to the minister,

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Oh, I'm not asking you, sir, to defend the decision to fund the War of 1812 events. My question is simply whether, because you had to find money for the War of 1812, there are cuts to other programs that historically you have supported.

4:10 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

No, the money we are spending on the War of 1812 came through Budget 2011. I think it was the year before. It came from a previous budget.

This is not money that has been reallocated. Now, when we do commemorations like this one, yes, sometimes we try to leverage some of our existing programs. But the $28 million I referred to is money received through the budget.

May 28th, 2012 / 4:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

I thought there was an additional allocation. I'm looking at the materials you tabled in the House.

I too share the concern about Library and Archives, particularly on the $11 million cut to documentation of the Canadian experience. Even if this were a temporary cut, until the deficit is paid off, there's a whole time period during which information will not be gathered and recorded.

I have regularly contributed to the archives, and for over four years I have turned to the archives for information. I've had a lot of letters from constituents and from people across the country who are deeply concerned about the cuts to Library and Archives and to the libraries in the departments. That, of course, is not your responsibility.

Could you tell us if the intention is, over time, to keep cutting Library and Archives? Is this a one-time-only cut, or should we anticipate that there will be further cuts to the programs and staffing?

4:15 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

As we have said before, the cuts, the reductions that are referred to in the context of Library and Archives, come from the deficit reduction action plan, to which most federal organizations and departments have contributed. They have also come from some internal reorganization.

Of course, I'm sure that if you were to ask the archivist to come here, he would tell you that what he's trying to do is what I'm trying to do in my own department, which is to restore financial sustainability so that we can spend most of our time and energy focusing on our mission.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Would you like a minute, Pierre?

Go ahead.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Good afternoon. I know I only have one minute, but I will take the time that remains in the next round of questions.

I would like to talk about the games hosting program, funding for which has been increased by approximately $3 million. Is that related to preparations for the 2015 Pan American Games?

4:15 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

There is nothing in the 2012 main estimates concerning the Pan American Games, but there are votes in the supplementary estimates related to the fact that we are in the process of preparing for the Pan American Games. Sports funding remains the same. The deficit reduction action plan has had no impact on sports.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

What is the role of the games hosting program directorate in the holding of the Pan Am Games in Toronto?

4:15 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

It is not a directorate, but rather a hosting program. There are various types of hosting. There are the major events such as the Olympic Games and Pan American Games. As you know, we will be hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup in a few years. There are also intermediate and local events. The games hosting program enables us to support the communities that want to host these sports events.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

How many Sports Canada employees do you think will be working on preparations for the Pan Am Games?

4:15 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

We have formed a secretariat.

Mr. Hertzog, do you know the number of people?

4:15 p.m.

Robert Hertzog Director General, Financial Management Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage

The total cost is approximately $1 million. There will be 16 positions in that secretariat.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Pat Martin

Your time has concluded. Thank you very much.

Ron Cannan is next for the Conservatives.