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Evidence of meeting #47 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was million.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Daniel Jean  Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage
René Bouchard  Executive Director, Portfolio Affairs, Department of Canadian Heritage
Robert Hertzog  Director General, Financial Management Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage
Anne-Marie Robinson  President, Public Service Commission of Canada
Guy Giguère  Chairperson, Public Service Staffing Tribunal
Lisanne Lacroix  Registrar and Deputy Head, Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal
Casper Bloom  Chairperson, Public Service Labour Relations Board
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Marc-Olivier Girard

4:20 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

Absolutely, Mr. Cannan. I should probably have said, in answer to your earlier question, that the national museums also make a lot of effort to bring travelling exhibits to local museums, which is also a benefit for communities.

As you know, I mentioned in my opening remarks that third parties are investing in our communities. We have various programs that provide that kind of partnership with local communities—maybe for festivals, maybe for commemorations like the ones you've described. We want to continue to work very closely with these communities across Canada. For us, it's very important.

There's more and more evidence that art, culture, and sport can promote the health of communities and can make them more vibrant. It also engages volunteers.

Through the efforts we make in sports, arts, and culture, yes, we're trying very much to promote vibrant communities.

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

Thank you, Mr. Jean.

Thank you, Ron. That's your time.

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Thank you very much.

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

We have two speakers left on the list and about six minutes. I'm going to ask you to do three minutes each, please.

Please do three minutes, Pierre.

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

I met people from the contemporary music community. This is music that has no market as such. Those people testified that they had had contact with some of your colleagues, including a certain Pierre Lalonde. He told them that $1.3 million was normally allocated to the contemporary music budget and that, as a result of some changes, that amount had been awarded to Factor and Musicaction. I found no trace of that, but I am not very familiar with that kind of directory.

However, for that music category, an amount of $1.3 million was apparently transferred and another amount of $600 million was ultimately transferred back to the Canada Council. Does that transfer sound familiar to you?

4:20 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

That does not sound familiar to me, from the way you say it. As you know, I explained in my comments earlier that we have more than $24 million worth of investments in music.

Music programs are affected by the deficit reduction action plan. The program related to the "creation" sub-component is being eliminated because a lot of other creative initiatives are already in existence both in the private sector and on the Internet. This is a $1-million cut to the program envelope based on the formulae for the entrepreneur, the people who make records and who receive that money. In fact, it is the biggest producers who will be hit harder in the circumstances.

No, I do not know what you are referring to.

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

This probably has a greater impact on the budget that comes specifically from the Canada Council because we are talking about a form of music that does not receive major industry support; it is not on the programs of industry sites.

With regard to the Canada Council, we note no request for a transfer of funding to the Canada Council to fund arts research in the 2012 or 2013 versions. Did I not clearly understand what you just told me, or is there indeed a shortfall this time?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

Once again, it is often more a matter of profile than of recurring spending because we make transfers. For example, in the supplementary estimates, I believe you will see a transfer to the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council of Canada because a one-time research project is being conducted there. You will not necessarily see that every year. When we have research partnerships, we make transfers through the estimates.

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Thank you.

4:25 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

That concludes your three minutes. Thank you, Pierre.

Peter Braid, you have three or four minutes.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the witnesses for being here this afternoon.

I just want to start by coming back to a discussion we had earlier about two museums, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, which our chair is very rightly proud of, and secondly, the Museum of Nature.

First of all, with respect to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, were some of the challenges you referred to earlier with respect to the construction of the museum? I just wanted you to clarify what you meant by your earlier remarks.

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

I did not refer to challenges. I basically said this was not a cut. The chair suggested that the fact that there was less money this year was due to a cut. What I said is the remaining money that was attributed by the Government of Canada, the $100 million, was done last year, which is why there's less money this year. It's an issue of profile. It's not an issue of cuts.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

In your earlier statements you made some reference to there being some challenge with respect to the establishment of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights or the construction. I think you used the word “circus”. I'm not sure you necessarily meant to say that. Could you just clarify that?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

I don't think I used that language, sir.

May 28th, 2012 / 4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Thank you. We didn't think we heard that properly either. In fact, all of us on this side are very proud of that museum in Winnipeg.

With respect to the Museum of Nature, again, just to clarify, an increase in $4.6 million was largely for renovations. I believe you mentioned that before. Now again, this is a beautifully renovated and restored building, a building that's also of great significance to Canadian history. I think it was the location of Parliament as a result of the great fire here in 1916, and I believe it was also the location of the state funeral for Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Are all of those things correct?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

I won't pretend to be a historian. What is important is that the renovations are completed. Once the renovations are completed, of course, they have more space for exhibits and things like that. What you're seeing here is an adjustment that was made to the operating expenses of the museum.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Excellent.

The Museum of Nature, I'm pretty certain, does a great job of raising and receiving private money to sponsor exhibits at the museum. Could you confirm that?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

All our museums do. René can provide more details on that. We did a comparative analysis a few years ago on how they compare, let's say, to the Smithsonian and other museums around the world. Of course, the nominal sums are not the same, but in terms of percentage, our museums do a pretty good job of raising money.

René.

4:25 p.m.

Executive Director, Portfolio Affairs, Department of Canadian Heritage

René Bouchard

In the case of the Museum of Nature, in 2011-12 it raised $4 million to help provide exhibits and show new artifacts.

In the case of other museums, the amount is different. For instance, in the case of the Museum of Civilization, I think it amounts to $16 million. It depends on what they have in terms of tools to raise money. As Mr. Jean indicated, they're all doing very well.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Wonderful.

Just switching gears, speaking of celebrating Canadian history, with respect to the War of 1812, why do you think it's important for Canadians to celebrate and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812?

4:30 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

It's interesting. We brought in a very famous American historian—Alan Taylor. He has studied that a lot, and he's actually been using the Library and Archives as a place for research. In his view, this is fundamental, because if the invasion had not been repelled there would probably be a different country. In the context of repelling the invasion itself, it was the French, the English, and the first nations getting together in terms of repelling the invaders. Of course, there can be different views on this, but some people think that's a pretty important moment in history.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

That concludes your time.

Thank you, Mr. Jean and your fellow witnesses.

I would perhaps give you one chance just to clarify the record, because I heard you say that the construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was “a circus”. Was that incorrect?

4:30 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Daniel Jean

I never said that, sir.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

I see. Okay. That's why I intervened earlier and clarified how proud we are of that project. If no one heard you say that, then let the record show you didn't say it. Fair enough.

Thank you very much for being with us here today, gentlemen.

We're going to suspend briefly while we welcome our next panel.

4:35 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Pat Martin

Good afternoon again, ladies and gentlemen. We'll reconvene our meeting, the study of the main estimates for the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The four Heritage votes that are referred to this committee are four agencies: the Public Service Commission of Canada, and we welcome Anne-Marie Robinson, president; the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, Guy Giguère, chairperson; the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, Lisanne Lacroix, registrar and deputy head; and the Public Service Labour Relations Board, Casper Bloom, chairperson.

Welcome to all of you and thank you for being with us today. We would welcome your opening remarks, and then I think we will just have time for one round of questioning, because we do have to do the votes on the estimates before the conclusion of our meeting today. We'll see how the questioning goes, but we'll begin with opening remarks, whoever would like to begin.

Ms. Robinson, welcome.