Evidence of meeting #38 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 research.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • David Graham  Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs, Concordia University
  • Lorraine O'Donnell  Coordinator-Researcher, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), Concordia University
  • Heather Stronach  Executive Director, Regional Association of West Quebecers
  • John Buck  Executive Director, Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation
  • Françoise Enguehard  President, Société nationale de l'Acadie
  • Noel Gates  President, Regional Association of West Quebecers
  • Grant Myers  Provincial Economic Development Officer, Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation
  • Éric Mathieu Doucet  Executive Director, Société nationale de l'Acadie

8:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Welcome everyone to the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Today is Thursday, April 26, 2012, and this is our 38th meeting. Pursuant to Standing Order 108, we are here for the study on the Evaluation of the Roadmap: Improving Programs and Service Delivery.

Today, we have four groups joining us.

Dr. Graham and Madame O'Donnell from Concordia University are present. Welcome.

We also have Mr. Gates and Madame Stronach from the Regional Association of West Quebecers.

Thirdly, we have Mr. Buck and Mr. Meyers from the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation.

Our fourth group

before us today is the Société nationale de l'Acadie, with Ms. Enguehard and Mr. Doucet.

Welcome, everyone.

We are going to start with the representatives from Concordia University.

8:45 a.m.

David Graham Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs, Concordia University

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I would also like to thank all the members of the committee for agreeing to hear from us today.

We are going to do our presentation in English, but I can assure you that, at the end of our remarks, Ms. O'Donnell and I will be ready to take your questions in either English or French.

Thank you very much, members of the committee, for receiving us today.

I'll say a few words on behalf of Concordia, and then I'll ask Dr. O'Donnell to complete our brief presentation.

We will be very happy to take questions in either English or French.

Although the roots of our founding institutions go back more than 160 years, Concordia University, as it stands today, was formed in 1974 through the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University. Concordia is an open and engaged university with a student body of over 46,000 in the faculties of arts and science, fine arts, engineering and computer science, the John Wilson School of Business, and the School of Extended Learning.

By creating links between education and social responsibility, Concordia fosters an academic environment that allows students and faculty to thrive on an interdisciplinary approach to research, creative activity, and community engagement. Since its founding, Concordia has been characterized by the cosmopolitan and socially complex nature of Montreal. We pride ourselves in what we see as our unique mission of social integration. Concordia is proud to be an English language institution in Montreal, the metropolis of Quebec. We also pride ourselves in having a unique mission of transformation in our society, a mission we believe to be essential.

Concordia houses, and is proud to house, the Quebec English-speaking community's research network, QUESCREN.

In French, it is called the Réseau de recherche sur les communautés québécoises d'expression anglaise.

QUESCREN was officially launched in the spring of 2009 and is a joint initiative of the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, located in Moncton, New Brunswick, Concordia University's School of Extended Learning, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

QUESCREN is a network of researchers, community members, and institutions dedicated to developing research capacity related to Quebec's English-speaking communities. The goal of QUESCREN is to strengthen and maintain a network of researchers and institutions to produce and share evidence-based research results on the English-speaking minority communities of Quebec. Our research partners include the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Industry Canada.

Concordia University's research profile and research capacity have been making great progress in recent years. From structural and functional genomics to computer security and human development, Concordia encourages a collaborative research environment where different research units complement the university and our society as a whole. With this big-picture thinking in mind, housing QUESCREN is a natural fit for Concordia.

Research produced by QUESCREN and its partners helps assess questions of fundamental importance for Quebec's English speakers, such as community vitality—and Dr. O'Donnell will have something to say about that in a moment—demographic shifts, identity, arts, culture, and heritage. The network is an ideal vehicle for researchers, service providers, and policy-makers to share information and best practices. A key example of this is QUESCREN's annual conference, which shares results of studies carried out by many researchers on Quebec's English-speaking communities. It fosters fruitful exchange between English- and French-speaking research producers and users within the context of the province's most important annual research event, the congress of the Association francophone pour le savoir.

From our perspective, we believe that all stakeholders, that is, government, community groups, and community members, benefit from thorough, up-to-date research and analysis on the English-speaking communities of Quebec.

What do we mean by research? More than a simple collection of statistics, we feel that what is really needed is an accurate portrait of the English-speaking communities of Quebec, who we are, where we're going, which policies are working, and which policies may need improvement. There are many myths about Quebec's English speakers held by the French-speaking majority, and to some extent by the rest of Canada. For example, there is still a prevailing view that anglophones in the province are relatively wealthy compared to the Quebec majority, when in fact we now know the opposite to be true.

Accurate, up-to-date research on the English-speaking community can help eradicate some of these myths and sensitize the population to the challenges we face. Critically, this research will provide the government with an additional tool to review, evaluate, and improve existing policies and proactively develop new policies to deliver services and support long-term development.

I'll now ask Dr. O'Donnell to say a few words about QUESCREN.

8:50 a.m.

Dr. Lorraine O'Donnell Coordinator-Researcher, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), Concordia University

Good morning.

I would now like to take you through one specific example of the valuable research the network has produced, and hopefully we can discuss others later in our exchange.

QUESCREN has recently coordinated a review by external researchers of a community vitality framework in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage. “Community vitality” is a term that we are hearing with increased frequency, not just with respect to official language minority communities, but in a host of community-based initiatives.

Measuring community vitality is a huge challenge, as the metrics are not obvious. This project will provide government, community groups, and other stakeholders with a model of community vitality, key indicators, and evaluation methodology. This is the kind of contribution that researchers can make to community groups who deliver services on the ground and also to government partners.

This example is only a small part of what we have been able to achieve in a short period of time with very limited resources. We firmly believe that improving government support for official languages, specifically in research, even in a challenging economic context, is a very sound investment.

Funding for QUESCREN operates on a contract-to-contract basis. Without stable, predictable levels of funding, it is extremely difficult for us to develop continuity and to establish a long-term vision of research initiatives that we can accomplish. The good news is that this area of research is gaining interest, and researchers increasingly want to turn their efforts to studying the English-speaking communities of Quebec. On the other hand, we are operating at capacity and have been forced to refuse certain requests. Current funding allows for only one full-time staff member, the network's coordinator/researcher, along with consultants as needed on an activity-by-activity basis. Moreover, the nature of special research project funding also poses a challenge.

We have been privileged to work with government partners on special projects, including the one mentioned above. We are proud to have been able to produce professional results on a variety of groundbreaking subjects, often with tight timeframes. The experience has led us to conclude, however, that even better results could come from a more sustainable, structured relationship between Concordia and government for this kind of research. Beyond improving research, this would have the added value of developing research capacity, namely, community capacity to participate in and benefit from research and researcher capacity to work in partnership with the community.

Long-term results of this kind of investment would be enhancement of the vitality of Quebec's English-speaking communities and positioning the research community, including English-speaking researchers in Quebec, as relevant and effective societal observers and actors. While we are sensitive to the time and budgetary constraints of our colleagues in the Department of Canadian Heritage, we feel we would all be better served if the government worked towards developing a culture of research in official languages, and especially in Quebec's English-speaking community.

In partnership, we can help develop an environment where universities and research institutes can conduct research with a cohesive, long-term vision.

Thank you.

8:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you very much, Madame O'Donnell.

Now we'll have an opening statement from the Regional Association of West Quebecers.

8:55 a.m.

Heather Stronach Executive Director, Regional Association of West Quebecers

Good morning, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen.

The Association of West Quebecers is an organization whose mission is to serve and support the English-speaking population of the Outaouais by fostering an environment in which it can thrive. This means that the association is an information hub: we have an easily accessible website; we publish four newsletters a year; and we promote events of our partners and within the community at large through our website and our bi-weekly electronic bulletin. This keeps the English-speaking community current on events and issues.

The association undertakes a variety of projects to support youth and seniors to showcase outstanding volunteers through our annual awards banquet; to request that the City of Gatineau increase services in English; to develop activities for youth and assist them in developing confidence in the French language as they ready themselves for the workplace; and we have conducted a survey for seniors to hear what their needs are.

The association offers a new residents package. This package contains essential and valuable information for newcomers settling in the region or planning to move to the Outaouais. These are just some examples.

West Quebecers' territory is the entire Outaouais region, which covers a total of 33,000 square kilometres. This area includes an urban amalgamated City of Gatineau, smaller towns in the Pontiac and the Gatineau Valley, as well as more rural areas, such as Rapides-des-Joachims, L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, and Calumet Island.

According to the census of 2006, there are 55,235 anglophones in the English-speaking community in the Outaouais. This represents 16.3% of the region's total population of 338,190. In this instance, when we refer to anglophones we are talking about people who define themselves as speaking English most often at home.

In addition, approximately half the anglophones in the Outaouais are unilingual English speakers, which represents a special challenge for them.

Also, roughly half of the English-speaking population consists of seniors. This population in the Outaouais, with a central urban core and communities scattered over a wide territory, lives in an environment where French is the majority official language. As a result, the English-speaking community faces a diversity of challenges to maintain itself.

We are by no means the only organization that concerns itself with the needs of the English-speaking communities. Our partners include CEDEC, the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation, which concerns itself with the economic and employability issues that result from the decline of industries—for example, the forestry industry.

The Western Quebec Literacy Council works diligently to improve functional literacy in the region.

The Outaouais Health and Social Services Network provides valuable support to the English-speaking community regarding healthy living and general health information.

It goes without saying that the Western Quebec School Board, the Western Quebec Career Centre, and the Heritage College CEGEP are focused on educating our youth to be equipped for further education and to enter the workforce.

More recently, West Quebecers finds itself focusing attention on the difficulties the English-speaking population may have in accessing information about public services in English.

The possibility of doing the kinds of things I have mentioned, whether through our organization or others, depends upon continued federal government support. Without core funding it is impossible to maintain a permanent organization that can be a source of initiatives, and without project funding it is unlikely that many projects will get off the ground.

Since 2007 the federal government has pursued the line of action known as the road map to linguistic duality. This includes assistance to community organizations of official language minorities granted by federal departments. This assistance enables these minorities to take action to strengthen the economic and social foundations of their communities.

For the anglophone minorities of Quebec—there are approximately 11 regional associations across the province of Quebec representing these minorities—such federal assistance is particularly significant. It is the conviction of anglophone community leaders that their communities have a role to play in Canada's French-speaking province, and federal assistance provided through the vehicle of the road map provides practical support for that conviction.

The continued existence of these communities is a contribution to that diversity of the region and the province, which we believe to be an essential characteristic of Canada.

I thank the members of the committee for giving West Quebecers this opportunity to speak on this matter.

Thank you.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you very much.

Now we'll have a statement from the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation.

9 a.m.

John Buck Executive Director, Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation

Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, membres du comité, thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today. It's really an honour for us to be here.

CEDEC is Canada's largest organization with a mandate to pursue economic development, including entrepreneurship and labour force development for the English-speaking official language minority community.

On March 31, 2013, the expiration date of the current road map, CEDEC will have received almost 70% of the total investments identified in the road map dedicated to economic development for the English-speaking communities in Quebec.

CEDEC is one of thirteen sponsors for the enabling fund for official language minority communities, which is managed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The other recipients of the enabling fund include RDÉE Canada and members of its network across the country.

The road map has contributed enormously to our community's vitality and has enabled CEDEC to play a critical role, optimizing the economic potential of English-speaking communities in Quebec and seizing opportunities for job creation and economic growth. Our primary levers in the road map include the enabling fund and the economic development initiative investments managed by Industry Canada and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.

One of CEDEC's key roles is building leadership capacity within communities to identify and build on assets through research, comprehensive community plans, and targeted projects. These plans ensure that the English-speaking community can leverage resources to remain competitive and innovative and contribute to the economic prosperity of Quebec and Canada.

Since 2008, CEDEC has leveraged over $7 million in direct investment in community-based economic development initiatives. These funds are generated by partners, thanks to the $2.7 million per year received from HRSDC's enabling fund, an important component of the road map. During the last fiscal year alone, CEDEC has leveraged directly $2.9 million, or $1.07 for every dollar contributed by the enabling fund.

Throughout the first four years of the road map, the federal government has contributed 47% of our leveraged resources, and a good portion of this can be attributed directly to support from the road map and specifically Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. Resources leveraged from provincial sources over this period are about 30%, which underlies our ability to build constructive partnerships with the provincial ministries, agencies, and organizations. This cooperation is essential to economic development for Canada’s English-speaking minority community, and this is made possible by virtue of the road map and the impressive work of the 8,500 volunteer hours alone last year that contributed to our initiative.

CEDEC always seeks to generate opportunities for the English-speaking community of Quebec and beyond. In the examples of community economic development that I'll share with you today, each one of them illustrates a leverage effect for the majority population and OLMCs across Canada.

In the Magdalen Islands, CEDEC has provided direct support for the development of comprehensive community plans around tourism in order to diversify the vulnerable fishing economy. These plans are serving as the beacon for community economic development, and CEDEC is keeping partners and stakeholders focused as they search for resources to enact the plans. Coming out of the overall economic downturn that we've recently experienced, CEDEC has helped to broker $824,000 to realize various tourism projects in this area alone.

Some other examples include the business vitality initiative, which is a process that brings together the business community with other stakeholders to measure the business friendliness or readiness of a community. Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions has supported this process in two communities so far: Campbell's Bay, in the Outaouais area, and the City of Témiscaming. This bilingual tool can be used in other communities, thanks to funds from Industry Canada that have allowed us to create resources and train Quebec-based facilitators.

In May 2012 we will be presenting the business vitality initiative to 180 rural development agents of the Solidarité rurale du Québec, who are situated across the province. We already have a strong relationship with this organization, both at the Réseau level and directly in some communities. We see great opportunity to leverage the BVI through relationships such as this one.

In 2008 Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions supported the start-up of Bikes in the Bay Motorcycle Festival in Campbell's Bay, which is still going strong and inspiring neighbouring communities to partner at a regional level. CEDEC built the community's capacity to conceptualize and organize this festival over several years. The demonstrated capacity built through this catalytic event was a contributing factor to the introduction of the business vitality initiative in Campbell's Bay.

In 2010 Industry Canada financed a study of small and medium enterprises within Quebec’s English-speaking community. This report confirmed that SMEs need English language networking and support services to help them thrive and grow in Quebec and be in a position to innovate, create jobs, and play a part in diversifying local economies.

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, through the economic development initiative, is helping us to expand, in geography and in scope, the CEDEC small business support network. This investment is exponentially increasing our ability to build economic prosperity for small businesses within English-speaking communities, the broader Quebec economy, and OLMCs across Canada.

CEDEC’s mature workers initiative is addressing issues and opportunities related to the English OLMC’s rapidly aging population. We are breaking new ground with a study of English-speaking mature workers, as well as with surveys targeting employers, recruitment agencies, and employment service providers. Through these studies, CEDEC is building a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with supporting a mature worker to obtain employment.

Community economic development is a long-term process that requires effective planning supported by sustained financial commitments from the federal government. This is essential if we are to establish meaningful partnerships that generate tangible results for our communities. All of these successful initiatives are a direct result of the investments of the road map.

At a broader level, CEDEC engages federal government partners through the National Human Resources Development Committee for the English Linguistic Minority, which we often simply call the national committee.

This March, for the first time, the national committee met jointly with Le Comité national de développement économique et d’employabilité and RDÉE Canada. This meeting set the stage for cooperation and ongoing dialogue about how we can leverage the competitive advantage represented by all of Canada’s OLMCs within the national and global economy.

In closing, I would like to respond to Mr. Weston’s question posed to HRSDC in a previous session, where he asked about the impact of the road map on the hearts and minds of Canadians. I think this quote is quite telling. Let me share this quote from one of our valued stakeholders, Mr. Bill Stewart, mayor of Campbell's Bay, in the Outaouais area:

CEDEC was instrumental in the revitalization of Campbell’s Bay and our neighbouring municipalities want to tap in to this tourism opportunity as well. Without CEDEC’s leadership, expertise and vision, our community wouldn’t have gotten as far as it has with this economic opportunity. We’re more than just partners now; we’re like family.

Thank you very much for this opportunity.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you, Mr. Buck.

We are now going to hear from Ms. Enguehard and Mr. Doucet from the Société nationale de l'Acadie.

9:10 a.m.

Françoise Enguehard President, Société nationale de l'Acadie

Mr. Chair, ladies and gentlemen, the Société Nationale de l'Acadie was born 131 years ago out of the Acadian renewal at the end of the 19th century, expressing the desire of our "stateless people" to develop its own distinctive voice. "Strength in Unity" is our motto: it attests to our determination to grow strong within this Canada of ours, a country we do not question and whose nationality we proudly bear.

The SNA is the oldest francophone institution outside of Quebec; it existed long before official bilingualism came into being and it is here to stay. The SNA is a federation representing each of the Atlantic provinces francophone associations and, since 1988, the four corresponding youth organizations—a unique innovation in our country that guarantees the longevity and originality of the SNA's ideas and actions.

The SNA is the only body representing the Acadian people—its only means of promotion at home and abroad. For more than 60 years now, it has represented Acadia to member states of the Francophonie, mainly France and Belgium, with which it signed bilateral people-to-people agreements that are unique. It is also active in the Americas, most notably with the Acadians of Maine and Louisiana. In short, the SNA represents the Acadian people at home and on the international stage, and it delivers important services in the Atlantic region, a space that the SNA is the only francophone organization to occupy.

Our priorities are demographic growth and immigration, youth, culture and identity, literacy, and communications. The SNA plays a key role in these sectors by delivering services that contribute to the economic development of the Acadian people and, as such, of the Atlantic region as a whole.

In the area of demographic growth and immigration, the SNA has set up, in 2007, a round table on francophone immigration in the Atlantic region. It brings together experts from the four provinces who are developing an immigration strategy for the international market. This offers organizations and the provinces an essential service made possible only because of the international stature of the SNA.

In the cultural area, the SNA's initiative for the promotion of Acadian artists internationally is a unique service, whose usefulness and reach are recognized by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) that funds most of this initiative because of its economic benefits.

Culture also means being proud of one's identity and in this regard, the SNA, since 2004, has assumed responsibility for the World Acadian Congress, an international event organized every five years that draws thousands of participants. In 2014, the CMA will be held in northern New Brunswick and the bordering Temiscouata region of Quebec and northern Maine, an international initiative that will bring millions of dollars in economic benefits to the region.

For youth, we are launching this year a promising initiative, a youth mobility office bringing under one roof all the possibilities in training, exchanges and travel-work placements abroad for young Acadians and francophones of the Atlantic region, and, conversely, for youth from the Francophonie who wish to come to Acadia to learn a new skill or share their knowledge. Agreements with Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, France, Belgium, Louisiana and the four Atlantic provinces, allow us to deliver quality services in a concerted and economical way. Moreover, the SNA has for many years organized Atlantic youth events, such as the Acadian Youth Festival in the area of culture and the Acadian Youth Parliament in leadership. In 2007, we also set up a round table on literacy with Atlantic-provinces and federal experts who are working together in a concerted effort to fight this major problem.

Today we wish to share with you our ideas on the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality from which we get our core funding—from the national fund—and to offer our suggestions for the future.

First of all, I want to emphasize that the roadmap has been a great improvement. It gave us all—the SNA, its member organizations and indeed all the Canadian francophonie—the benefits of a precise development plan, national in scope, taking into account the community, its priorities and objectives, and for a five-year period that allowed for longer-term results-oriented planning.

Here are our recommendations for the future.

We are in favour of continuing the present roadmap model over a five-year period.

We recommend that more federal departments be involved in the roadmap in the spirit of section 7 of the act.

We encourage multi-year agreements in order to foster long-term capacity building for community organizations.

We are in favour of core funding for organizations because of its leverage effect. For each dollar of core funding, tens of other dollars are raised.

In the case of the SNA, however, the present core funding is insufficient to fulfill the organization's mandate: we receive $168,000—which works out to about 50 cents per Acadian, as I like to say—an amount that has practically not changed in six years and that is not meeting our most basic expenses. This year again, thanks to special projects, the total funding of the SNA is around $800,000; but such an effort, year after year, means some very expensive human costs and undermines the SNA's capacity to devote energy to important projects, such as a communication effort with the anglophone community and the protection and promotion of our Acadian symbols.

In this regard, we would like to suggest two new approaches to secure adequate core funding for the SNA. Recognizing its unique position in the country as the only francophone organization representing the Acadian people—that is, the second francophone founding people of Canada—we suggest that the federal government create a trust fund to secure the base financing of the SNA, or create a special fund for the SNA outside of the national fund.

With such a model ensuring adequate core funding, as is already the privilege of other groups financed by the national fund, the SNA will be in a position to fully achieve its mandate, which is to promote Acadia, and thus Canada, around the world, and to develop, in the Atlantic region, the links, projects and initiatives that are needed to enrich the region both humanly and economically.

Thank you for your attention.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you, Ms. Enguehard.

We now have one hour and a half for questions and comments.

We will start with Ms. Michaud.

9:15 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Good morning.

First of all, I would like to welcome all the witnesses joining us today. We appreciate your comments, since, as you must already know, our committee's meetings on the study of the roadmap will be used as a basis for, or perhaps even become the substance of, the evaluation. So your comments are greatly appreciated, given that it doesn't seem like there are other consultations scheduled with the groups directly affected.

On behalf of Mr. Yvon Godin, I would also like to give his regards to Ms. Enguehard and Mr. Doucet. Though he couldn't be here today, he really wanted to send his regards to you in particular. So there you go.

My first questions are for you, Ms. Enguehard. You explained that the Société nationale de l'Acadie is the only organization supported by the roadmap that recognizes the Acadian people. Could you tell us how the work that you do to fulfill your mandate is different from that of other groups? How is that going to be reflected in your daily activities?

9:20 a.m.

President, Société nationale de l'Acadie

Françoise Enguehard

Representing the Acadian people comes with great responsibility both in terms of pride and identity. We are the bearers of history, responsible for the symbols of the Société nationale de l’Acadie. Let me give you an example of what the term “bearers of history” means.

As you probably know, the Grand-Pré site is a candidate for one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. We have worked closely with Grand-Pré's nominating committee on this.

As I said, we are also responsible for the World Acadian Congress, which includes putting out calls for bids. We are sort of like the Acadian Olympic Committee. It also means forming a jury, setting up everything and keeping the World Acadian Congress going.

And since we represent the Acadian people on the international stage, we have affiliate members: Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, France, Louisiana, and Maine. So we have many responsibilities.

Over the past few years, we have been doing international work with ACOA to continue to develop relations with Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon; the funding for the work came from other federal organizations.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Thank you.

In your presentation, you talked about two new approaches or support mechanisms for the SNA that could be developed in the next roadmap. I have a number of questions about the creation of a trust fund for Acadians in particular. Could you tell us a bit more about this and explain how you could benefit from a fund like that?

9:20 a.m.

President, Société nationale de l'Acadie

Françoise Enguehard

We came up with the idea of a trust fund because, like all Canadians who pay taxes, we worry about financial difficulties and the ensuing burden. We were looking for new solutions to this problem.

The first advantage of the trust fund, as we see it, is that the money would not be paid to the SNA, but it would stay with the federal government’s assets. Of course, we have to think about the uncertainty of interest rates, but this fund would allow us to have stable and ongoing core funding, about which we wouldn’t need to constantly worry from one year to the next. Our main goal is to find new approaches to secure the funding of our organization.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

I have a few questions for Mr. Graham and Ms. O'Donnell as well.

I thought something really interesting in your testimony was the research aspect. Last week we had Mr. Forgues from the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities. He told us about the importance of research and all the data you can collect from that research to create new government programs and evaluate them. You mentioned the importance of that as well in your presentation.

When you think about Statistics Canada, I'm guessing they are an important source of information for you in your research as well. I was wondering if you think the cuts and reductions in the information output at Statistics Canada will affect the information on which your research is based.