Evidence of meeting #36 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 community.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Jennifer Johnson  Executive Director, Community Health and Social Services Network
  • James Carter  Program and Policy Advisor, Community Health and Social Services Network
  • John Aylen  President, Board of Directors, Youth Employment Services
  • Iris Unger  Executive Director, Youth Employment Services
  • Kevin O'Donnell  President, Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network
  • Matthew Farfan  Executive Director, Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network
  • Roderick MacLeod  Past President, Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network
  • Paule Langevin  Project Director, Community Learning Centre Inititative, Leading English Education and Resource Network
  • Debbie Horrocks  Assistant Project Director and Community Liaison Coordinator, Community Learning Centre Initiative, Leading English Education and Resource Network

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you.

Mr. Weston.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

My thanks to our witnesses.

Let us carry on with my colleague's questions. It is clear that we will have another roadmap because we know that our minister is a great supporter of the vitality of both official languages. He himself graduated from a French immersion school in British Columbia, as have my children and myself.

What are the criteria to choose those who will receive funding? What do you think of them? When we think of our great country, what are the criteria for allocating funding? How can we continue to ensure there is proper accountability to be certain that this is a good use of money?

Mr. Carter, you may begin. Could you give us short answers, please?

9:50 a.m.

Program and Policy Advisor, Community Health and Social Services Network

James Carter

It is very important to be able to measure the outcomes and the results, not just at the end of the four years of funding, but along the way.

In fact, we must be able to demonstrate clear results every quarter and every year. That is what we did with Health Canada. There was an agreement with the Department of Health. It is very important to be able to measure the impact and that the impact be felt within the community itself. That is an important criterion.

We must also ensure that Canadian government investments serve as a lever for our communities where a lot of volunteer activities are organized. The investments are intended to provide leverage to communities so that they can create partnerships and obtain other funding to coordinate actions taken by other levels of government, for example. I believe that, in the next roadmap, we must demonstrate that the investments lead to something. It is not simply an investment, it is a lever. We must demonstrate how the other levels of government, regional, local or provincial, have made their own contribution to the federal investment.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Merci.

Mr. Aylen.

9:50 a.m.

President, Board of Directors, Youth Employment Services

John Aylen

Thank you.

I'm looking at this from the point of view of our clients. I think the most important thing is that we intervene early in the process. When we don't intervene, the laws of motion apply and individuals and their contributions get lost. So we need to reach people when they arrive here. Often they're the spouse of somebody who's come for some other reason, and if that person does not find a job they ultimately leave. We have a number of cases where that's true.

We don't want people to fall into the trap of chronic unemployment or underemployment. I think we need to intervene soon and fast when the need arises, and respond to the opportunity from a community and an economic development point of view.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Thank you.

9:55 a.m.

Assistant Project Director and Community Liaison Coordinator, Community Learning Centre Initiative, Leading English Education and Resource Network

Debbie Horrocks

At the Community Learning Centres we're accountable to everyone. We're accountable to our community partners, the school boards that own the CLCs, our provincial government—we appear in the strategic plan of the Government of Quebec—and Canadian Heritage. Each level wants to know that their investment is being well used.

About three years ago we undertook a voluntary external evaluation that did a thorough examination of the 22 CLCs we had then. We weren't mandated to do that, but it has given us a lot of information and recommendations that have enabled us to move forward and make changes as necessary.

I provided a copy to the clerk in English and in French, so that's certainly available to you.

Recently we began to undertake a second evaluation, because we certainly strongly believe that if we don't evaluate ourselves—

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

May I interrupt? We're looking for criteria for choosing recipients.

Maybe I can go to you, Mr. O'Donnell.

9:55 a.m.

President, Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network

Kevin O'Donnell

I think we all appreciate the delicate balancing act that the minister and the ministry has to undertake in this whole question of funding to groups. We know there's one pot of money, that it's going to be shared among many people—not only among us here in this room, but also across the country. We're aware of it and appreciate the fact that this is a difficult job. I certainly am not going to say that heritage and culture and arts are more important than employment and health. That's just not it.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you very much.

Mr. Harris.

April 5th, 2012 / 9:55 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Thank you very much.

And thank you again, everyone, for coming today.

I'm going to apologize to those I don't ask questions of; don't feel ignored, but with only five minutes there's only so much time.

Of course, I've heard a few folks mention the exhaustive consultation process that took place after the action plan. That more than likely led to the improvements that have been seen in the road map. I want to stress this for the Heritage department, when they eventually hear this, because they made a rather unfortunate decision that they're going to use our committee study rather than doing their own in-depth consultation, and we abhor that decision. They themselves even admit that the answers received from witnesses would have been different if the witnesses knew the study was going to be used for that purpose.

So I'm going to put that on the record again.

I'm going to start with YES, Youth Employment Services. As I'm one of the younger parliamentarians around, it's critical. In my province of Ontario, we're dealing with approximately a 17% youth unemployment rate.

What's the unemployment rate for youth in Quebec right now?

9:55 a.m.

President, Board of Directors, Youth Employment Services

John Aylen

Frankly, I couldn't tell you, but I would suspect it's above 10%.

9:55 a.m.

Executive Director, Youth Employment Services

Iris Unger

I think it's pretty close to 17%. I have an article here from The Gazette from yesterday morning with the exact number. We get called upon quite often, and we usually get the most up-to-date statistics; it's very high.

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Yes, it is critical that we deal with that issue, because we're robbing the next generation of economic opportunities. Of course, they're the generation dealing with massive student debt as well.

What other ministries do you receive funds or support from?

9:55 a.m.

Executive Director, Youth Employment Services

Iris Unger

We receive funding from Canadian Heritage, HRSDC, as I mentioned, Status of Women, Canada Economic Development—those four—plus we seek provincial money.