Evidence of meeting #114 for Finance in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was industry.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Shane Bishop  As an Individual
Jeremy Zhao  As an Individual
John Forgeron  As an Individual
Saqib Qureshi  As an Individual
Adam Legge  President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
John Bayko  Vice-President, Communications, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
Ben Brunnen  Vice-President, Oil Sands, Fiscal and Economic Policy, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Martin Roy  Executive Director, Festivals and Major Events Canada
Ricardo Acuna  Chair, Oxfam Canada
Naheed Nenshi  Mayor, City of Calgary
Chris Bloomer  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Michael Holden  Chief Economist, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
David Kaiser  Member, Board of Directors, Hotel Association of Canada
Casey Vander Ploeg  Vice-President, National Cattle Feeders' Association
Ray Orb  President, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
Alex Zahavich  Vice-President of Corporate Development and Applied Research, Education, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Ubaka Ogbogu  Assistant Professor, Faculties of Law and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Stem Cell Network
Kenneth Goodall  As an Individual
Gillian Eloh  As an Individual
Mary Keizer  As an Individual

8:45 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

We'll call the meeting to order.

As all the official witnesses know, we are doing consultations in advance of the 2018 budget. The ones who are at the table may not realize that we have a 15-minute open-mike session. This gives anybody who wants it the opportunity to make a one-minute statement on their views for the budget, or their concerns, or whatever. That goes into the record and is, in fact, considered.

We will start with that, but first, committee members might want to introduce themselves and say where they're from. Pat, this is your city, so we'll start with you and go around the table.

Mr. Kelly.

8:45 a.m.


Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, everyone, for coming today. I am Pat Kelly. I'm the member of Parliament for Calgary Rocky Ridge. My riding is west of Sarcee Trail and north of Stoney Trail. Think of a corner around the northwest part of the city, and that's my riding. It's great to be back home. I look forward to the presentations.

8:45 a.m.


Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC


My name is Pierre-Luc Dusseault. I'm the member for Sherbrooke in the House of Commons. The Sherbrooke constituency is in southeastern Quebec. I'm also the national revenue critic for the NDP.

I'm pleased to be in Calgary, Alberta this morning.

8:45 a.m.


Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Good morning, and thank you to all of our witnesses for being here. It's great to be in Calgary. I actually lived here during the Winter Olympics in 1988. Every time I come back, it's so fascinating to see how strong the city is. I'm looking forward to hearing testimony today. Thank you.

8:45 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

For translation, the units are at your table, plugged into the system. English is on channel 1, and French is on channel 2. The audience can get units over here.

We'll continue with Michael.

8:45 a.m.


Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for coming. My name is Michael McLeod. I represent the Northwest Territories. I'm a member of the Liberal Party. I travel through your city pretty much every Sunday, on my way back from the Northwest Territories to Ottawa. I come through the airport here quite a bit. I spend the better part of Sundays here. I look forward to your presentations. Thank you.

8:50 a.m.


Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Good morning, everyone. Bonjour. I'm Francesco Sorbara, and I have the privilege of representing the wonderful, dynamic riding—much like the city of Calgary—of Vaughan—Woodbridge, which borders the city of Toronto. I'm originally from the north coast of British Columbia, though, so I understand some of the resource issues and opportunities that Alberta and Calgary have. I look forward to hearing everyone's presentations. Thank you.

8:50 a.m.


Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Hello everyone.

My name is Greg Fergus. I'm the Liberal member for Hull—Aylmer, a constituency in southwestern Quebec. It's beside Ottawa, on the other side of the river.

I'm pleased to be here again in Calgary.

I have visited Calgary a number of times. I have many good friends here, and I take every opportunity to spend time in the city. I'm also pleased to announce that my son became an Albertan a few weeks ago, after finding a job in Jasper. I know that Jasper is a five-hour drive from here, but I'm happy to have another link to Alberta.

8:50 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I'm Wayne Easter, member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, which is the central riding between Charlottetown and Summerside. Actually, I worked in Crossfield, Alberta, when I was 17, on a beef ranch. Calgary's changed a little since then. I guess that would have been in 1968 or 1969, and I had hair, and it was brown then.

We'll start with the open-mike session, with Shane Bishop.

8:50 a.m.

Shane Bishop As an Individual

Thank you, honourable Wayne Easter. My name is Shane Bishop, CEO of Catalyst Healthcare. For reference only, my company is an integrator of technology solutions that enable patients and persons to take their medications as prescribed.

There are medical devices entering the market at this time, such as the one under my arm, which reside in patients' homes and communicate live back to pharmacies. These devices alert patients to take their medications on time, and spit out medications so you enable and ensure that patients take them safely, thereby keeping this high-risk population out of the hospital and decreasing the burden on the health care system.

It is my understanding that the committee made a recommendation last year around diabetic devices. I am here to seek the same type of treatment with this type of device. Keeping people out of the hospital is what it's all about.

Thank you so much.

8:50 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you very much, Shane.

We'll turn to Jeremy Zhao.

The floor is yours.

8:50 a.m.

Jeremy Zhao As an Individual

Hi. My name is Jeremy Zhao. I'm a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders Canada.

In budget 2018, we ask that Canada commit to a timetable of predictable annual increases in its international assistance envelope that would bring Canada's development assistance to 0.31% of GNI within this government's first mandate. Canada's current level of development assistance is 0.26% of GNI, and it is the lowest in recent history. While development assistance globally has increased by 9% in the past year, according to the OECD, it is disappointing that Canada's own contributions have declined by 4%.

Increasing aid would help Canada achieve its sustainable development goals and increase economic growth. Forthcoming research from the Canadian International Development Platform suggests that countries receiving development assistance tend to import more Canadian goods than they would without aid.

We hope budget 2018 can correct this downward spending trend so that Canada fulfills its global commitments.

Thank you very much for your time.

8:50 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you, Jeremy.

Next is John Forgeron. Welcome.

8:50 a.m.

John Forgeron As an Individual

Good morning.

I am the founder and president of a Canadian private company that employs 280 people. We've hired 156 Canadians in the last 12 months and despite the downturn, paid $15 million in tax over the last 30 months. We were recognized as entrepreneur of the year by PROFIT magazine for high growth in employment.

My interpretation of what I am seeing in the tax proposal is that it is not something we seem to want in Canada anymore. My wife and I had to put our home up twice, once in 2008 and again in 2016, and we continue to have leverage against our home right now to get us through the downturn that we just got through as an organization. By the new rules, my interpretation is that it is now in question as to whether I can transfer dividends to her.

I am angered at the ignorance that supports that line of thinking. Our government seems to lack the understanding of what it takes to rein in spending and conserve cash in order to survive very difficult times. I believe that if Liberal MPs don't get behind their business constituents and vote against the tax proposal that's on the table, Canadians will lose jobs and we will have an accelerated international exodus from the investment community into Canadian businesses. This is already well under way.

Two weeks ago, I approved expansion plans in the U.S. and cancelled any further review of Canadian expansion of our organization. We were considering Ontario. We've dropped that completely. The message I am getting is that you are a fool to put capital at risk in the current environment in Canada.

Reduce spending. Stop taking more than what's reasonable from the economic engine that drives the tax base and creates jobs for Canada. This plan is going to kill the dream of the Canadian entrepreneur. Listen to those of us who know and understand business. I am willing to bet that most Liberal MPs know in their heart that this plan is wrong, ill-conceived, and poorly researched, and it has great risk. Do what is right. Vote this thing down.

8:55 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you, John.

We are hearing a fair bit on that issue across the country. Consultations were over on October 2. I would suggest that if you have any feedback, you send it to the Department of Finance. The press release from the minister is there. I think any additional information would be helpful. Thank you for your directness.

Saqib Qureshi, go ahead.

8:55 a.m.

Saqib Qureshi As an Individual

Good morning. My name is Saqib Qureshi, and I represent Oxfam.

We have two recommendations.

One, we are calling on the government to include more women's rights organizations in the budget process by appointing an advisory council on gender budgeting to advise the Minister of Finance, and for the parliamentary committee on finance to ensure that at least 15% of witnesses in the pre-budget consultations represent women's rights organizations.

Two, we are calling on the government to invest in the success of a feminist international assistance policy by committing a year-on-year increase to Canada's international assistance envelope, and to strengthen the women's rights onus here in Canada by investing $100 million annually in the status of women.

Thank you.

8:55 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you very much.

Thank you to all for your open-mike presentations.

We are slightly ahead of time, but we will turn to the official presentations. We hope that people can keep them to around five minutes.

I also want to indicate to people that submissions that were sent prior to the mid-August deadline can be found on people's iPads. They're fairly extensive submissions, and they all will be considered as part of the pre-budget consultations.

We'll start with Mr. Legge and Ms. Addington, who are with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome, and the floor is yours.

8:55 a.m.

Adam Legge President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Chamber of Commerce

Thank you, Mr. Chair and committee members, for your stop here in Calgary.

It's a pleasure to address the Standing Committee on Finance regarding budget 2018 and how the federal government can help Canadian businesses to be more productive and competitive.

Our recommendations focus on policy changes that will build on the recommendations of the finance minister's economic growth council, benefit Canadian businesses, and address Canada's budget deficit by broadening the tax base, all while costing little in terms of program spending. Through consultations with the Calgary business community, the chamber has identified four ways for the federal government to improve Canada's productivity and competitiveness.

The first is to offer a competitive tax jurisdiction. In the 2018 budget we can improve the competitiveness of Canada's tax system by reducing the overall burden of corporate taxes, reducing complexity, and addressing barriers that discourage business growth. The chamber believes that the way to raise revenue and encourage economic growth is to lower tax rates and expand small business eligibility, because lower corporate tax rates free up money that can instead be invested and support business growth, which will in turn broaden the available tax base through economic growth and corporate scaling.

In a recent Calgary chamber survey, 41% of Calgary businesses thought the number one thing that government could do to support their success was to reduce corporate income taxes and fees. Therefore, the Calgary chamber recommends that the federal government reduce the small business tax rate from 10.5% to 9% by 2019—in line with the Liberal Party of Canada's campaign platform—increase the small business income threshold from $500,000 to $1 million, reconsider the changes proposed to taxation of private companies, and, at a minimum, extend the consultation period to allow for proper discussion and full consideration of the effects of proposed tax changes.

The second is to improve workforce skills and participation. Despite Canada having a highly educated workforce, its productivity levels remain lacklustre. As Canada's population continues to age and workforce growth slows, the Government of Canada can increase productivity through budget 2018 by enabling increased participation of under-represented groups in the workforce. Raising the participation rates of Canadians without post-secondary education has the potential to add $38 billion of GDP. In addition, increasing the participation rates of indigenous peoples up to those of non-indigenous Canadians could add another $7 billion of GDP annually.

We also heard from members that there is a skills gap, a mismatch between the skills being obtained by our workforce and the skills needed by businesses, particularly for the digital economy. Therefore, the Calgary chamber recommends that the federal government introduce a broad tax credit for employers across Canada to offer training, post-secondary placements, and internships, and introduce tax incentives for training of under-represented groups in the workforce and workers who may not have the necessary skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

The third is to incent innovation. Canada lags behind our peer countries on innovation. Fifty-three per cent of technology companies report that finding and hiring experienced talent is their biggest obstacle to growth. The federal government could continue to work with the business community to address barriers that are limiting access to highly skilled global talent. Canada does not benefit as much as it should from the intellectual property created here. All federal government programs, such as SR and ED, have encouraged greater private sector expenditures in research and development, but Canadian businesses are still struggling to translate those expenditures into revenues. The Calgary chamber therefore recommends addressing the revenue side by reducing the corporate tax rate on any new revenues earned on innovative or new technologies developed in Canada, through what is commonly referred to as an intellectual property or R and D box tax program.

The final recommendation is to encourage capital investment for business growth. Canada has a company growth problem. Canada's 1.2 million small and mid-sized companies are critical to innovation and entrepreneurship and employ nearly 70% of the Canadian workforce, but only 1.4% of Canada's mid-sized companies go on to become big companies. In the 2018 federal budget, the Government of Canada can encourage business scaling by addressing the barriers limiting small and mid-sized businesses' access to capital. The Calgary chamber therefore recommends that the government establish a federal investor tax credit, similar to that in the provincial models, equal to 30% of investment against federal taxes to encourage greater capital investment in small and mid-sized companies. The program should be open to both small and medium-sized companies looking to expand production.

That is all for our comments. Thank you very much for your time and attention. I'm very happy to take any questions.

Thank you.

9 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you very much, Adam.

Next is Mr. Bayko from the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling and Contractors.

9 a.m.

John Bayko Vice-President, Communications, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors

Thank you for the opportunity to address the committee today.

I represent oil well drilling and well servicing contractors across Canada. These are the hard-working women and men who spend their days on drilling and service rigs drilling holes in the ground to eventually become the producing wells that supply us with affordable and reliable energy. We are particularly pleased to speak about measures that would help both individual Canadians and Canadian businesses be more productive and competitive.

We feel Canadians have a lot to be proud of when it comes to our oil and gas industry, and that the majority of us support its development, provided it is done responsibly. We say this with confidence because in September 2016 our association presented petition E-216 to the House of Commons with nearly 35,000 signatures in support of Canadian oil and gas, and building pipelines.

Additionally, since February 2016, we have been travelling across the country speaking with regular Canadians, who tell us they want pipelines and access to Canadian oil and gas. They recognize pipelines would mean thousands of Canadian jobs, a bright future for Canada's economy, and a safer way to transport our responsible, ethical resources to Canadians and the rest of the world.

Yesterday, TransCanada announced the cancellation of energy east. This cancellation follows five years of undertaking a comprehensive, collaborative effort that included hundreds of community open houses, hundreds of consultation sessions with indigenous communities, and saw support from thousands of Canadians across the country. Unfortunately, the NEB announced in an August press release that it would now consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions in determining whether energy east and similar projects were in the public interest, adding another layer of complexity to TransCanada's application. It would seem this announcement was one hurdle too many for TransCanada, and the project was cancelled.

Our oil and gas industry has a long history of building Canadian businesses and allowing Canadian families to prosper. In fact, it can be argued that all of our resource industries are a big reason why a large country with a small population has, in the 150 years since its Confederation, become a country with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

In our opinion, a lack of market access for Canadian oil and gas is a large short-, mid-, and long-term liability to the Canadian economy. For this reason, yesterday's announcement was a terrible blow to our industry and the entire country.

Without investment in our resource sectors and a modern distribution system to get our products to world markets, the future of our national economy is in jeopardy. Although we have approvals for some pipeline projects in place, lengthy and expensive application processes, with continued delays and significant, often redundant, regulatory hurdles have left many wondering whether Canada's days of building large-scale infrastructure projects are gone.

Without new pipelines, we will not remain competitive in global markets. Investors, employers, skilled workers, and customers know this and are increasingly losing faith in Canada and taking their money and expertise elsewhere.

Meanwhile, as confidence in Canada's oil and gas industry erodes, the United States, our number one customer, has made it clear that energy independence is a priority. Americans have built 16,000 kilometres of pipelines, lifted a 40-year export ban on oil and gas, and are building an LNG business to supply growing world markets. Our number one customer is now our number one competitor, and its oil and gas workers and business are both productive and competitive.

If we don't start building the infrastructure to properly supply new customers, our industry, an industry that employs 450,000 people across the country and remains Canada's single largest source of private sector investment, will be at a massive disadvantage, and other suppliers will step in and capitalize. We are at risk of becoming a marginal player in one industry that we know for certain has a track record of providing good jobs and revenues that allow our country to prosper and grow, in effect helping Canadians and their businesses to be productive and competitive.

What can government do? Well, Mr. Chairman, we're not asking for any money today, so I'm sure you'll be pleased with that. We have the following suggestions.

Number one, stand firm in the position that pipeline construction falls under federal jurisdiction, and make getting responsible and ethical Canadian oil and gas to Canadians and world markets a priority.

Number two, stand behind regulators and businesses by letting them begin the construction of pipeline projects.

Number three, assure Canadians that these projects will be monitored throughout their development and that the most advanced, best-in-class technology will be even better than what we have now.

Number four, defend and promote the benefits of our industry, including our world-class standards and technical expertise, as well as the fact that the revenues from this industry go directly into supporting the social programs and humanitarian efforts Canadians are so proud of.

Thank you for your time today, and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

9:05 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you very much, John.

From the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, we have Mr. Brunnen.

9:10 a.m.

Ben Brunnen Vice-President, Oil Sands, Fiscal and Economic Policy, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. Thank you for hosting me here today for a presentation.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers represents the upstream oil and gas sector in Canada, which accounts for approximately 80% of total Canadian production.

Encouraging oil and gas investment is key to strengthening our national productivity and competitiveness. Our industry employs approximately 600,000 people in Canada, contributes $113 billion in GDP, supports 24,000 businesses across the country, and procures $3.9 billion from aboriginal companies.

Our sector is struggling, however. Technology has unlocked an abundance of resources at prices lower than were thought possible just 10 years ago. The future is a lower price, higher volatility, and increased competition, and the U.S. has embraced this opportunity. The U.S. will produce a record amount of crude oil this year, and their oil and gas exports to Canada are displacing Canadian supply. U.S. oil and gas investment will increase 38% this year, and that's approximately $46 billion in growth alone. This is equivalent to the entire value of the Canadian upstream.

In contrast, oil sands investment has declined for the fourth consecutive year, from $34 billion in 2014 to $15 billion in 2017. On the conventional side, while investment is on the rise this year, we are still 40% below 2014 levels.

The challenges confronting our sector are both economic and policy-related. The U.S. is deregulating, encouraging investment, and expanding access to markets, while in Canada we estimate there are between 40 and 50 different government policy initiatives that could negatively impact the industry.

There is, however, a global opportunity for Canada. By 2040, global population will be 9.2 billion, and the middle class is expected to double in size. As a result, global energy demand is expected to increase by 30%. While renewables will be part of this growth, oil and natural gas demand will also increase substantially, and Canada has an opportunity to position itself as a supplier of choice to the world. We are the most stringently regulated jurisdiction, and our industry is strongly committed to environmental performance.

Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance alone has invested $1.3 billion in environmental technologies, and the world is recognizing this. In a poll commissioned by CAPP involving 32 countries and 22,000 people, by a two-to-one margin, global citizens prefer to get their oil from countries that have strong climate policies. If given the chance, these citizens would buy oil and natural gas from Canada more than any other country in the world.

Basically, the world wants more Canadian oil and gas, and all we need is a policy environment that will enable us to satisfy this demand. Canada's income tax system is a key tool in this regard. For oil sands, the future has always been in technology. The 1993 national oil sands task force realized this vision, and since 2005 oil sands has represented the third-largest source of global oil supply growth. That's a phenomenal accomplishment.

The next wave of technology will focus on environmental performance, cost reduction, GHG emissions, water use, and land footprint. However, it's very difficult for companies to commercialize new technologies, because of the risks and drain on cashflow during commercialization. The accelerated capital cost allowance is the most significant tool to encourage investment in large-scale technology projects. The ACCA is a deferral of tax until costs have been recovered and is suitable for industries with high upfront capital costs and long lead times until payout. The national oil sands task force saw the value of this tool, and now we need it to advance environmental technology.

CAPP recommends that the federal government introduce an ACCA for oil and gas investment in clean tech and value add.

On the conventional side, our sector has become increasingly disadvantaged. In the 2017 budget, the Canadian exploration expense was curtailed so that only when an exploration well was deemed unsuccessful could a claim be made. This small change raised Canada's marginal effective tax and royalty rate by half of one percentage point. Even prior to this, Canada was at a disadvantage versus the U.S. The Canadian development expense, CDE, which is the tool for companies to expense intangible capital costs, only offers a maximum 30% deduction. In the U.S. these costs are between 70% and 100% deductible.

We recommend that the Canadian government update the CDE regime to make it comparable with tax conditions in the U.S. oil and gas industry. This would ensure that investments in Canadian resources are not seen as less attractive relative to competing jurisdictions.

In closing, thank you for the opportunity to present to you today, and I look forward to your questions.

9:15 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you very much, Ben.

We'll now turn to Festivals and Major Events Canada.

Martin Roy, please go ahead.

9:15 a.m.

Martin Roy Executive Director, Festivals and Major Events Canada

I want to say hello to the members of the Standing Committee on Finance and to Mayor Nenshi.

Festivals and Major Events Canada speaks as the recognized voice of the festivals and events industry in Canada. Today it's a growing coalition of 27 of the country's largest events, including the Stampede here in Calgary, the TIFF in Toronto,

the Festival international de jazz de Montréal and the Festival d'été de Québec,

just to name a few.

Although they accumulate an overall budget of almost $450 million, FAME members form a fragile industry. Most of them are SMEs and NPOs. Their popular success doesn't necessarily translate into financial success, since a lot of them offer free activities and all of them face multiple challenges.

FAME Canada has submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in which it is proposing the creation of a new federal program for the growth of festivals and major events. It has a budget of over $1 million and a capacity for attracting international tourists and/or generating an economic impact in their region. The funding program described here will help meet Government of Canada priorities through increasing the productivity of Canadians in increased labour market participation, training, education, and experience, especially among youth.

Security training in particular is an integral part of FAME's recommendations. Security costs—I don't have to mention them a few days after the terrible Las Vegas shooting—have multiplied, and are now one of the most important expenses for festivals and events. If it were only for this purpose, the program that we suggest would be justified.

Elsewhere, various jurisdictions have understood the importance of investing in festivals and events. Texas alone invests nearly $40 million annually in funds for various events. Australia has come up with the event partnership program. In the U.K., British Arts Festivals Association members get 13% of their revenue from the arts council, while here in Canada FAME gets barely 4% from different federal departments and organizations. An event that I visited this summer, Winnipeg Folklorama, doesn't even receive a cent.

FAME suggests using part of the 150th anniversary budget allocation to start a permanent fund, administered through Canada's regional economic development agencies. The overall objectives include increased attendance and geographic reach, increased tourist visitation and expenditures, and improvement in quality and sustainability of major events in Canada.

Based on the marquee tourism events program, a program that was positively evaluated but ended in 2011, we estimate that a fund of $45 million per year would have a tremendous impact, but we understand the government's financial situation, and of course we could review it. As an example, both Quebec and Ontario have programs in which they invest around $20 million per year.

Tourism plays a crucial role in the Canadian economy. It amounted to $34 billion of the GDP in 2016. I want to focus on the importance of festivals and events in the tourism industry.

As worldwide social phenomena, festivals and events are now considered conversion products that turn a vague intention to visit a destination into concrete travel plans. Last year almost 120,000 tourists visited Montreal mostly or exclusively because of the Montreal international jazz festival. Almost 37,000 were from the United States, and over 42,000 were from other countries. With only a fifth of the grants received by the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, the jazz festival has almost the same economic impact and creates more tax revenue than this famous car race. I could go on and on with such examples.

A number of studies have demonstrated the economic importance of festivals and events. A 2009 study found that 15 of the largest festivals and events attracted 12,600,000 attendees. These festivals and events contributed $650 million to the GDP and created or maintained 15,600 full-time jobs. The analysis also estimated that the 15 events generated $283 million in direct and indirect tax revenue for the three levels of government each year. It has also since been established that each dollar invested by the government pays off 2.5 times in terms of taxes in the same fiscal year.

In conclusion, FAME suggests conducting an economic impact study during the first year of an eventual program and one every three to five years to precisely measure the industry's growth based on the investments made. FAME members are committed to increasing the number of international tourists they attract, knowing that each tourist will spend an average of $1,035 during their stay.

FAME is committed to supporting its members to grow, to professionalize the industry as much as possible, and to represent it extensively.

Thank you.

9:20 a.m.


The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you, Martin.

Next is Mr. Acuna from Oxfam Canada.