Evidence of meeting #33 for Official Languages in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was french.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Donna Achimov  Chief Executive Officer, Translation Bureau, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Marc Olivier  Manager, Translation Bureau, Linguistic Services Division, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Jeff Moore  Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Lisa Marie Perkins  President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Justin Morrow  Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French
  • Robert Rothon  Executive Director, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Susan Anzolin  Director General, Innovation and Economic Development, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Okay—

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

I have confidence in you, Mr. Morrow.

Let's blacken and blue them a little while.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you, Mr. Bélanger. We don't have any time left.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

There will be a second round, correct?

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Yes.

It is now Mr. Trottier's turn.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thanks also to our guests for being here.

I would like to talk about FedDev Ontario; I am an Ontario MP, so I have a great interest in it. This is also federal budget week. So we are thinking a lot about the economy and about jobs.

Could you tell me the difference between FedDev Ontario’s mandate and the mandate of the other economic development agencies across the country? I am thinking about Western Economic Diversification Canada, for example, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency or the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. Does FedDev Ontario have any unique features in its focus or a special way in which it invests funds?

9:50 a.m.

Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Jeff Moore

Yes, I can do that.

Regional agencies have essentially the same goal and the same mission. But our programs are possibly a little different.

I think that depending on what's going on in the region, and on the circumstances and challenges and opportunities, we tailor our programs to try to address those particular situations. In our case we have some programs that deal very specifically with commercialization issues that some small and medium-sized enterprises might have—innovation issues and that sort of thing—whereas other regional agencies might focus their efforts more on the communities and on what's going on in the communities and might support not-for-profits more than our organization does, which has a real focus on the private sector.

It's not to say that one approach is wrong and the other one is right. It's just that they're taking different approaches based on what the challenges are in those regions.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

You gave Ivaco Rolling Mills as an example. That is a company I know well because I have worked with their people before.

Are points given to companies like Ivaco that hire francophones or that work in a more or less francophone area? Is that part of the evaluation? Do you give points when you are providing loans or making investments?

9:50 a.m.

Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Jeff Moore

That is a very good question.

We do a substantive amount of due diligence with respect to each of our projects. One of the things we do is to use a bit of a filter or a tool to try to assess the impact of those projects on official language minority communities, particularly when we're actually dealing with a third party. In those cases, we try to assess what the impact is going to be on the community and how many francophone communities or how many francophones might be impacted by that project. So it really does become a factor in our decision-making process when we're looking at funding projects.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Do you give other points to other groups, such as aboriginal communities?

9:50 a.m.

Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Jeff Moore

I would not say that we give points, but we do consider those things when we are looking at people's proposals.

Of course with aboriginals we have to take into account duty to consult and those sorts of things. But absolutely, we will look at groups like aboriginals as well when we assess our projects.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

When we think of Ivaco, we think about steel and steel production. That is not inherently a francophone product. Could you talk about other sectors like tourism? Do you focus on tourism, which is likely the biggest industry in the world when you consider all the money and all the jobs tourism involves? What is FedNor doing in tourism? How big a factor are French-language considerations in your approach?

9:55 a.m.

Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Jeff Moore

I would not say that we focus on tourism directly, but several of our projects support tourism indirectly.

I'll give you a couple of examples, particularly in the economic development initiative program that we deliver.

I mentioned that we have three strategic projects in place with organizations that are located here in Ottawa, but with the RDÉE, through that project, there is the potential to support small and medium-sized enterprises that are involved in tourism, and also the Fondation franco-ontarienne where they partner with caisses populaires. There we've allowed them to create a microcredit fund to provide loans to SMEs. In that case, there is the potential for microcredit loans to be provided to those SMEs that are involved in tourism.

It is the same thing with our other partnership with the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario.

It is an internship program.

In that one, there is always the potential for les stages to actually get some experience working in organizations that have

a specialization in tourism.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

You mentioned the importance of youth. As you know, in linguistic communities, young people are an absolutely critical factor. They represent the future of those linguistic communities, especially in the regions of Ontario. Could you tell us about the work you are doing with youth to get them involved in economic development in Ontario?

9:55 a.m.

Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Jeff Moore

Probably the most key program we have is our YSTEM program—youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—where we work with not-for-profit organizations and enter into partnerships with them. The whole idea is that we're trying to raise awareness and get kids engaged in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The particular focus is on kids in kindergarten up to grade 12.

Actually, when we look at the projects we support under that program, we use that analysis tool from a francophone perspective to assess whether or not these projects are actually impacting or involving francophone communities. We have particular clauses in our contribution agreements as well that ensure that these third parties deliver their services in both official languages.