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

May 28th, 2012 / 3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to thank you for your presentation.

First of all, you mentioned that Katimavik cost $15 million and supported 600 youth in total. Would you agree that the money was cut because it was very inefficient funding compared to other youth programs? The YMCA in metropolitan Toronto runs a youth exchange program. There are programs like that all across the country that get our youth up and moving across the country—exchanges from one province to another.

You said there was an investment there of $80 million that supported 100,000 youth. The decision to cut Katimavik would be seen as.... It didn't support as many students as some of these other programs on a per capita basis.

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

Mr. Armstrong, the minister based his decision on the cost of the experience and the number of youth who could be helped by the Katimavik program. We helped 600 youth with $15 million.

Our other programs help us extend our outreach much further. We are helping nearly 100,000 youth with $83.8 million spent through various programs.

Does that answer your question?

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Yes, thank you very much.

The second question I have is on the Canada Council for the Arts. I see in the estimates that its funding has been maintained.

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

There have been no cuts to the operating budget of the Canada Council for the Arts. That is correct.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

That was done because of the value of that program. I think there was a lot of push from the Canada Council for the Arts across the country to continue to support that. It's a very effective council.

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

Before the budget was presented, a lot of artistic groups lobbied because they wanted that funding to be maintained.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

From what I have heard in the House of Commons and from reading, Canada is one of the few countries in the G-7 that has actually maintained funding for arts and these arts organizations.

Do you have any information on what other countries are doing with their arts funding?

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

I do not have that at my fingertips. However, it is true that Canada was one of the only countries that did not cut their arts and culture funding during the crisis, unlike, for example, Great Britain, the United States and most industrialized countries.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

In fact, that's a credit to the minister and his ability to continue to fund the arts, even in the middle of the largest recession since the Great Depression of the thirties.

Moving on, I want to talk a bit about the main estimates showing the net increase of $137.3 million that you discussed. You talked a bit about the Canada Media Fund in relation to that. Can you expand on the funding for the Canada Media Fund and why it's important?

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

You will recall that in Budget 2011 the $100 million to the Canada Media Fund was made permanent. You see it in the main estimates this year because what used to come year to year as funding has not been added to what we already had. I think we already had $30-something million, so it makes it $133 million.

Most of the Canadian content we watch on television is a result of some subsidization by the Canada Media Fund. It's very important.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

That fund is not just federal money; it also involves money from private industry.

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

Absolutely.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Can you discuss how much our partners are contributing to the Canada Media Fund?

3:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

It leverages almost twice as much money from the broadcast units and the cable companies.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

There has been a push among Canadian private industry to have both the private contribution and the government contribution expanded at some point, because it's viewed as being very successful. Am I wrong in saying that?