Evidence of meeting #35 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 education.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Charles Childs  President, English Language Arts Network Quebec
  • Guy Rodgers  Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec
  • David D'Aoust  President, Quebec English School Boards Association
  • Michael Chiasson  Executive Committee Member, Quebec English School Boards Association
  • Gerald Cutting  President, Townshippers' Association
  • David Birnbaum  Executive Director, Quebec English School Boards Association
  • Ingrid Marini  Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you.

Mr. Richards.

April 3rd, 2012 / 10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I appreciate everyone being here today. There is a good collection of opinions and a diversity of views, and we appreciate that very much.

I want to start with the Townshippers' Association, and if there is time I do have a couple of questions for the Quebec English School Boards Association as well.

I have to be honest. I'm still a little unclear about what the Townshippers' Association is exactly and what you do. I listened to your presentation and I do understand some of the programs you're providing and some of the funding you receive. I'm from Alberta, and at this point I believe it would be a cross between what we would call a community association and, in the town I'm from, community links that pull together various types of programming for those who may need help in various ways, whether it be housing or programs.

Am I correct in that assumption? Is that exactly what your organization is?

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

We're a regional community organization that develops programs to help sustain and increase the vitality of the English community, but within all sectors. We'll develop projects to support the community, to help them access information in the area of arts and culture, health and social services, education, youth, seniors. Wherever the need is, that's how we will help the community on a regional scale.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Okay. I just wanted to make sure I was clear on that.

You mentioned government funding and you discussed a few programs you use from the federal government, but I'm trying to understand how your organization is funded.

Obviously you do receive some federal funding. Can you tell us the amount of federal funding you do receive and what percentage of your budget that funding would comprise?

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

Approximately 50% to 60% of our annual budget comes from federal funding. Our core program funding comes from Canadian Heritage. We have funding that comes through McGill from Health Canada for the retention and recruitment program, and the CHSSN, the Community Health and Social Services Network, funds our initiatives regarding health and social services as well.

We have other regional projects that are funded through the provincial government or the local regional governments, such as the

Regional conference of elected officials

or the MRCs, which are other structures that are more on a regional local level. If we consider that we have approximately seven MRCs in our territory, the administration would be atrocious to have to go after each one of those MRCs for little envelopes to be able to do something.

The funding is divided approximately in that way.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

So 50% to 60% is federal funding. You mentioned there is some provincial funding, and there is some local funding from the different municipal regions—

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

And partners. Yes.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

What percentage of funding would be provincial and what percentage would come from municipalities?

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

Depending on the year and the programs we manage to get, I'd say approximately 60% would be federal, 30% would be provincial, and then the 10% would be local/regional.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

There are no other sources of funding. You don't have private sector partners. You don't do fundraising.

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

It's so minimal. Obviously we have to because we have responsibilities for contributions that come from our organization to be able to access these other funds. We will more often get partners who will sustain us with in-kind contributions to support the work we're doing within the other program.

We have membership fees and we hope to generate about $10,000 a year on an $800,000 budget. We have not been able to get more than that over the past few years. Contributions and donations would represent approximately the same amount.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

It certainly sounds like you're creating programming that would be valuable to the community. I'm just trying to understand why there would be no ability to fundraise or pull in private sector partners. I'm trying to understand why that would be.

10:25 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

We do the best we can. We spoke quickly before about CBC. The CBC is a huge partner of ours. Their in-kind contribution annually reaches about $45,000 to $50,000 in added publicity, the information and access, etc., to their programming.

We do the best we possibly can. We do solicit, but we're not the only ones out there. We'll work on developing little projects, for example, with the CLCs. We'll go and get money, but the money will go directly to the collaboration project with the CLC instead of coming directly to our association.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Richards and Madame Marini.

I want to thank all of our witnesses from the three English language organizations in Quebec for appearing in front of our committee. Your testimony has been very valuable and informative.

We're going to take a brief suspension now to allow our panel to leave the table, and then we're going to resume in camera for a discussion of the outline of our draft report.

[Proceedings continue in camera]