Madam Speaker, I am pleased to respond to the hon. member for Prince Albert on behalf of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development concerning the department's $10,000 grant to the 1998 National Tulip Festival.
Under the theme “A Celebration of Canada's Provinces and Territories”, the 1998 National Tulip Festival was intended to mark and commemorate the wide range of cultural diversity in Canada.
Canada's north, especially the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, was a significant highlight of this particular celebration, particularly in the context of the creation of the new territory, which occurred, as members know, on April 1, 1999. Members of the House and most Canadians will recall the large and vast celebrations which occurred at that time in the northern region.
In addition to his responsibility for the department, the minister also has responsibilities in relation to Canada's north. The grant was allocated by the minister under the northern affairs program budget to contribute to and support the activities of the 11 day presentation of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, especially Northwest Territories Day on May 14 and Nunavut Day on May 16.
The festival provided a significant opportunity to raise the awareness of the public and the media of the upcoming creation of this territory, as well to heighten the understanding about the unique and diverse cultures of northerners, especially aboriginal people.
It also served to broaden knowledge about the north, the potential visitors and tourism, in this sense an investment. The funds allocated to this project were entirely consistent with the mandate and authorities of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and supported national objectives for the territories.