Evidence of meeting #3 for Canadian Heritage in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was media.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Hélène Laurendeau  Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage
Jean-Stéphen Piché  Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Cultural Affairs, Department of Canadian Heritage

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

It suits you very well, Mr. Minister.

There are 800,000 women that could be reached through the magazine Véro. Véro is a company that pays taxes here, that pays taxes in Canada. How is it that the Canadian government is funnelling $52 million of taxpayers' money to the Web giants, which are companies that pay no taxes here, or your salary for that matter. They could not pay for your shirt, because your salary is not paid out of the money of the Web giants.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

First, for these media, the government's share of advertising revenue is about 1%. I met with media representatives—

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Minister—

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Let me answer your question. If I can't answer, it's a useless exercise.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Please, Mr. Minister, but $52 million isn't peanuts. It's small for the Web giants, but not for our Canadian companies.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Excuse me, Mr. Chair. May I answer Mr. Blaney's question?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

You may continue, Mr. Guilbeault.

February 26th, 2020 / 4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

I have a point of order.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

We have a point of order.

Ms. Dabrusin.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

The minister hasn't been given an opportunity to answer. I hear Mr. Blaney repeating the same question but not actually allowing a chance for the answer. If we could please allow the minister....

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

I'm not so sure that this is germane to the Standing Orders. However, I will say that the whole point of this is to extract information that we wish to acquire.

Mr. Blaney, judge yourself accordingly. With your experience, I'm sure you know how.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Minister, the floor is yours.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

As I was saying, the government's purchase of advertising represents about 1% of that advertising envelope. Recently, I met with representatives of the press who had built their business model on the fact that they expected Google and Facebook to take about 60% of the advertising revenue and that they would be left with about 40%.

In fact, Google and Facebook have captured about 90% of advertising revenue. So you're talking about $50 million, but it's $650 million that we're investing in media. You're saying they don't want help. However, the very many media representatives I have met with do not say that at all, Mr. Blaney.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Minister, I'm asking you this afternoon—

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Blaney, your six minutes are up.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Okay.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

I'm sorry about that. As entertaining as—

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Be there for our Canadian companies, Mr. Minister.

Thank you.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Blaney, thank you very much, sir. You've been here quite a while. I think you know how the clock works.

Now we're going to the Liberals. We're going over to Madame Bessette, s'il vous plaît.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lyne Bessette Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'd like to thank you for being with us this afternoon, Mr. Minister, Ms. Laurendeau and Mr. Piché. It's very kind.

I think my questions will be a little simpler than Mr. Blaney's.

I will deal with sport because it's something close to my heart.

I had the opportunity to read a small section in your mandate letter on sport.

In your mandate letter, you state that you are among the leaders in terms of preparing for the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games and future international sport competitions. What do you mean by that? Will you be a leader in the preparation of the Games or in the preparation of the athletes? What are your plans in this regard?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Thank you for the question, Mrs. Bessette.

First, the work we do in this area is in collaboration with the Canadian Olympic Committee and the many sports federations. That means several things. It certainly means setting up a program that allows our high-calibre athletes to excel on the international stage. Over the past few years, we have seen that, compared to not so long ago, Canada's podium results have been very encouraging. However, it means something else as well. There is a move—and I mentioned this earlier in my remarks—to try to make these events more and more environmentally responsible.

I recently met with representatives of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal to talk about their efforts in this regard and to see how we in government can support them. I think the idea is not to do the work for them, but to support them and sustain them in the efforts they are making and will want to make in the coming years.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lyne Bessette Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Thank you.

I have a second question about the mandate letter.

There is talk of developing programs to increase youth participation in sports. A lot of sport and play time has been eliminated in schools. Do you think it would be possible to work with the education system so that we can bring more hours of sport back into schools? We are aware that education is a provincial government responsibility.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

As you say, education is a provincial jurisdiction. However, that does not prevent us from having conversations with our counterparts in the provinces and territories on these issues.

I recently met with Quebec's Minister of Education, who is also a former Olympic athlete, to discuss how we can encourage greater youth participation in sports.

In recent years, particularly through the infrastructure program, we have made significant investments in community sports infrastructure, for example, which does not therefore necessarily depend on schools.

I was pleased to go cycling at the velodrome in the beautiful riding of our colleague, Mr. van Koeverden. As a recreational cyclist, it was my first experience in a velodrome. This is the kind of investment we can make in partnership with the provinces and municipalities to ensure that young people have access to facilities where they can participate in sports.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lyne Bessette Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Perfect.

Thank you.

I still have a little time left, I think.

I have one last question regarding concussions.

I myself have fallen a number of times and suffered several fractures while cycling. I was lucky, though, because I was never diagnosed with a concussion.

You say that, in your mandate letter, you have a strategy to work with the Minister of Health to develop support for athletes who have suffered concussions. How do you plan to help these athletes?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

That is a very good question.

The subject concerns me as a minister, but also as a father. My 16-year-old son, who plays hockey, suffered a fairly severe concussion before the holidays. We followed a protocol for his return to the ice. My wish as minister, and Minister Hajdu's wish as well, is that, as soon as possible, we have in place the best protocols available in all sports federations so that every athlete who suffers a concussion will follow all the protocols before returning to their sport and will be truly ready to return to sport.

I am aware of the excellent work being done by the Institut national du sport du Québec, in Montreal, particularly when it comes to concussions. Our goal is to ensure that what happens there becomes a national standard.