Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I've had the opportunity to review each of these motions. It would strike me that in order to deal with them concurrently you'd have to amend them such that they were a single motion, so perhaps Madam Lavallée might want to consider that, if that's what she wishes to do.
I find it remarkable, Mr. Chairman, that the member has brought forward motions demanding funding from a program that she voted against. In fact, there are many things with respect to culture that the Bloc has voted against with respect to funding, but this specific program they most certainly voted against and now they are here demanding funding from it.
Be that as it may, the member specifically mentions Les FrancoFolies de Montréal. In 2006-07 the festival received $75,000. In 2007-08 the festival received $75,000. And if we move forward to this year and next year, the festival receives $175,000 each year, for a total of $350,000. Now, that's a record commitment, a multi-year commitment made to Les FrancoFolies. The member is simply not being forthright in that regard. I believe she knows that, but I think she is in fact simply not stating that.
With respect to the Toronto pride festival, quite simply, Mr. Chair, last year was a year when I think an awful lot of festivals right across the country were concerned about advertising support and sponsorship dollars coming in to help provide festivals. This is a major economic driver in the city of Toronto. As such, it was awarded funding. But frankly, what we're seeing this year, and in fact even what we saw last year in large part, was that a lot of the sponsorship dollars in the city of Toronto in fact hung in. Now, there was some fall-off, but it wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it might be. And this year certainly--and we can talk to any number of advertisers in the city of Toronto or in the city of Montreal--what we would find is that the advertisers are back. Television stations are largely sold out. Radio stations are virtually sold out. Festivals are in fact finding funding.
We have to remember, Mr. Chair, that funding was put in place last year that had never existed before. This festivals program was a new program. And I once again remind you, Mr. Chair, that the member voted against it. Now, Liberal members across the way did not. They did not vote against the festivals program. I think they saw that money was invested into festivals and supporting festivals right across the country and in Quebec. In every region of the country the program worked to that effect.
This year what they've done is put a rule in place so that it's a little bit fairer, so that we can reach a little further with the money. We've suggested that no one city would receive more than two funding applications. Now, in major centres that money is likely to be in larger quantity. But there is an opportunity for festivals in other regions of the country, in other cities, to receive money from this program.
I would add that this program, which was a temporary stimulus measure, will end. This is a temporary program, so any of the groups that received funding from it need to be aware that next year this festivals program will not exist, because it is part of the stimulus program that--we've been very clear--was targeted, timely, and temporary. So it is our hope that all of the groups who have received funding from this have found strength in this program, and that it has sustained them through a difficult time. But ultimately, all of the festivals....
Mr. Chair, you have a great festival in your riding, the Stratford Festival. I know that it did receive some funding from this program, but it's a festival with a strong heritage and there is no question in my mind that the Stratford Festival will outlast the two of us. It's well appreciated and well attended.
When we look at all these things in their entirety, we see this is temporary funding that the member voted against. Les FrancoFolies is receiving more money this year than it's ever received. The member well knows that the Department of Canadian Heritage is at record funding in support of the arts right across the country.
Frankly, neither of these motions tells the whole story. In fact, they seek to mislead what the actual support of the government is in these areas, and I would suggest that both of them should be defeated.
I would also suggest to the member that if she wishes to put it as a single motion, that she amend one or the other by attaching one to the other if she would like to deal with it as a single motion.