Mr. Speaker, has the heritage minister been relieved of his duties or has he resigned from his position without informing the public and this House? There are several indications that this might be the case.
The minister was unable to attend the joint convention of the Canadian Museums Association and the Société des musées québécois at a time when the museums are waiting to hear about federal museum policy. For reasons that are a complete mystery, he did not delegate a replacement.
The cultural community is worried and offended by this silence on the part of the federal government. As far as culture at the federal level is concerned, it is the policy of the empty chair. Left vacant by a minister in name only, this chair is now occupied by the Minister for International Trade when it comes to film distribution, and by the Minister of Industry in the case of orders with respect to satellite broadcasting.
It is high time that the heritage minister handed the job over to someone really able to stand up for cultural issues. When will he be giving up his limousine?