Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Finance

Issue 10 - Evidence - April 29, 2014

OTTAWA, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Standing Senate Committee on Finance met this day, at 9:32 a.m., to study the expenditures set out in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

Senator Joseph A. Day (Chair) in the chair.


The Chair: This morning, we will continue our study of the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.


We are pleased to welcome a number of officials from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. We welcome Tony Matson, Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Financial Officer; Catrina Tapley, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Program Policy; and Paul Armstrong, Director General, Centralized Processing Region.

From the Financial Management Branch of Canadian Heritage, we welcome Colleen Swords, Deputy Minister; and Robert Hertzog, Chief Financial Officer and Director General.

From Health Canada, we welcome Jamie Tibbetts, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer of the Chief Financial Officer Branch; and Sony Perron, Acting Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.

I hope I came fairly close to your titles. If you'd like to correct them when you have a chance, please feel free to do so.

I understand each of the three departments will provide brief introductory remarks, and then we will get into a discussion on the Main Estimates and the plans and priorities that have both been made available to us.

I would propose beginning with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and then we will proceed to Canadian Heritage and finally to Health Canada.


Tony Matson, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Citizenship and Immigration Canada: My name is Tony Matson, and I am the Assistant Deputy Minister and the Chief Financial Officer at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. I am here today with Catrina Tapley, CIC's Associate Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic and Program Policy, and Paul Armstrong, the Director General of CIC's Centralized Processing Region.

I am pleased to once again have the opportunity to appear before this committee, this time to present our department's Main Estimates for fiscal year 2014-15.


CIC's planned spending for this fiscal year totals about $1.39 billion, an overall net decrease of $270 million compared to last year's Main Estimate funding levels.

In my allotted time today, I will highlight a few of CIC's significant funding increases and decreases in the Main Estimates for 2014-15.

The most significant increase this year is $45.5 million in funding to allow CIC to address increased application volumes in the citizenship and Temporary Resident Program. On the temporary side, the new funding will be used to add processing capacities to keep pace with growth, particularly in key markets such as China, India and Brazil, where the majority of growth is expected.

On the citizenship side, CIC's annual application intake for a number of years has been higher than our capacity to process those applications. The new funding will allow us to address that gap, process applications that have been awaiting a decision and improve processing times and overall service. By 2015-16, processing times for citizenship applications are expected to decrease to one year or less. Once we reduce backlogs, there will be ongoing funding to help us keep pace with the application volumes in the citizenship program.

Another $35.5 million in funding represents an increase to the grant for the Canada-Québec Accord in 2014-15 and future years to meet our obligations under the requirements of the accord. The Canada-Québec Accord gives the Government of Quebec exclusive responsibility for immigrant reception and integration services in return for financial compensation from the Government of Canada. This adjustment in this year's Main Estimates will increase the estimated amount payable under this accord from $284.5 million to $320 million in 2014-15.

In addition, Mr. Chair, CIC's Main Estimates this fiscal year include an increase of just over $13 million to develop and implement the Electronic Travel Authorization, eTA, under the Canada-U.S. Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness action plan. When implemented in 2015, eTA will be another tool to help manage risks pre-arrival. Resolving issues prior to arrival at a port of entry will enhance security, improve border effectiveness and facilitate the movement of legitimate travellers.

We are establishing an easy-to-use and efficient online system that will allow us to screen visitors from countries that do not require a visa and who travel by air, with the exception of citizens of the United States. This year's funding amount for eTA would increase in subsequent years to an ongoing amount of $18.1 million in 2017-18.

Funding increases in CIC's Main Estimates also include $4.2 million for official language training under the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages. This funding will help newcomers settling in official language minority communities to develop the language skills they need to integrate into Canada. These and other increases are offset by a number of funding decreases in our Main Estimates.

As you know, under the 2012 Budget Implementation Act passed by Parliament, CIC is terminating applications and returning fees paid by certain federal skilled worker applicants who applied before February 27, 2008. A statutory funding decrease of $48.3 million related to the return of these fees in the Main Estimates this fiscal year compared to last year is related to a planned shift in the refund schedule to return the fees. As a result, CIC has reallocated funding to future fiscal years to address the anticipated refunding request in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The Main Estimates also include a decrease of nearly $30 million compared to previous fiscal years for funding related to the implementation of biometric screening and the Temporary Resident Visa program. This decrease represents the planned end to the biometric project funding that was required to implement this IT-enabled initiative and the fact that no additional investments are required, as biometric screening was successfully implemented in our Temporary Resident Immigration Program over fiscal year 2013-14.

I would add that this project was delivered on time and under budget as a result of the sound project management practices that we applied to it. Biometric screening now forms part of CIC's regular operations and ongoing funding is included in our operational budget.

Finally, CIC's estimates include nearly $14 million in savings identified in Budget 2012, a planned $6.5 million decrease in funding to modernize the immigration system and manage the backlog of applications and a decrease of just over $254 million to reflect the net impact of the Passport Canada revolving fund. This latter adjustment reflects an accounting treatment as the fund moves into surplus.

As noted in my introduction, these and other items together represent a net decrease of $270 million compared to fiscal year 20013-14, bringing CIC's Main Estimates for this fiscal year to roughly $1.39 billion.


Thank you, Mr. Chair. Catrina, Paul and I would now be happy to answer any questions that you or other committee members may have about any part of these Main Estimates.

Colleen Swords, Deputy Minister, Financial Management Branch, Canadian Heritage: Honourable senators, I am pleased to come before this committee to answer questions you may have about the Canadian Heritage Main Estimates for the year ending March 31, 2015.

I have been the Deputy Minister at Canadian Heritage since the beginning of November. With me today is Robert Hertzog, the department's Financial Officer.


Allow me to provide some background that I believe will be useful to you as you examine the estimates before you.

The Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada's major national cultural institutions play a vital role in the social, civic and economic life of Canadians. We work together to support Canada's cultural life through arts, heritage, official languages, citizenship participation and Aboriginal, youth and sport initiatives.

According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, arts and cultural activities in Canada account for more than 630,000 jobs and contribute $49.9 billion or about 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product. As well, a 2013 analysis found that for every dollar of Canadian Heritage arts programming invested over the last five years, an average of $8.50 is spent directly in the Canadian economy.

Other surveys show that Canadians believe arts and cultural activities enrich their lives and that participation in activities such as attending galleries and musical performances are associated with better health, increased volunteering and greater life satisfaction.

As we indicate in our report on plans and priorities, the department's program and policy work in 2014-15 will be guided by four priorities. First, celebrating our history and heritage on the road to 2017; second, advancing opportunities in a global and digital era for a prosperous cultural sector; third, bringing Canadians together and investing in our communities; and fourth, serving Canadians by ensuring operational efficiencies and service excellence.

For the coming year, the total budget for the Department of Canadian Heritage is $1.39 billion. Of that, $178.3 million is operating expenditures, and $1.9 billion is in grants and contributions, and there is a further $24 million in statutory funding.

Last year, the 2013-14 Main Estimates provided for $1.32 billion, of which $162.9 million was for operating expenditures, $1.13 billion for grants and contributions, and $22.7 million in statutory.

The 2014-15 Main Estimates include an additional $71.6 million for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games and the transfer of $14.2 million from the National Capital Commission to the department for the Capital Experience program.

These increases in funding are offset in part by timing differences in the renewal of some sunsetting programs such as the Aboriginal Peoples' Program's Aboriginal Languages Initiative at $5 million, as well as the end of funding for time-limited activities such as the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812 which was $4.8 million.

These funding variations mainly explain a net increase of $72.8 million in our budget over that of 2013-14.


The 18 Canadian Heritage portfolio organizations are receiving $1.8 billion in appropriations as well as the $830.7 million they generate as revenues, making total resources of $2.6 billion available to them in 2014-15.

In terms of variations over last year's estimates, I would highlight that: funding levels for the Canadian Museum of History reflect an additional $5.5 million for the museum's creation. The government is providing a total of $25 million over 2012 to 2016 for this initiative.

With respect to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 2014-15 funding is entirely for operations. The museum is slated to open this September. The Government of Canada provided a total of $100 million towards the construction of the new museum.


For the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the decrease of $8.6 million is due to a change in the funding profile for the consolidation and renovation of museum facilities.

The Government of Canada is providing a total of $24.4 million over 2010 to 2015 to support this recently created national museum.

The documents you have before you provide further details about the Main Estimates for Canadian Heritage and its portfolio organizations. We continue to be engaged in operational and productive improvements and efficiencies. Our proposals focus on core functions that maximize investments that deliver results and increase our impact.


Thank you, and I look forward to answering any further questions.


Jamie Tibbetts, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer, Chief Financial Officer Branch, Health Canada: Honourable senators, thank you for the opportunity to discuss Health Canada's expenditures as put forward in the 2014-15 Main Estimates. I am joined by Mr. Sony Perron, Acting Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Following our presentation, we will be happy to answer your questions. I was here in February for supplementary estimates, and I am happy to be back again today.

Health Canada's Main Estimates report a net increase of $365.1 million bringing our estimates to $3.657 billion. With these resources, Health Canada will continue to provide services that are important to Canadians, including $2.6 billion to improve access to quality health services and benefits for First Nations and Inuit people; $496 million to keep Canadians safe through regulatory programs for food, products and environmental factors; and $299 million to support and sustain health systems and programs across the country.

The $365.1 million increase is made up of total funding increases of $524.7 million, primarily consisting of $311.7 million to stabilize, renew and/or modestly expand important health programs and services for First Nations and Inuit individuals, families and communities; plus $63.2 million for the British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement and a $51.5 million increase in statutory revenues under the health portfolio Shared Services partnership that we put in place with Economic Action Plan 2012 with our partner department in the portfolio of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Finally, $49.4 million in annual growth is provided through the estimates for First Nations and Inuit programs to meet increased demands for health programs and services generated by a growing population base.

The $524.7 million is offset by a decrease of $159.6 million, which is mainly due to savings of $64.8 million in sunsetting programs such as the Territorial Health System Sustainability Initiative of $30 million. The First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan is another $26.7 million and a $59.1 million savings related to Budget 2012 spending, also referred to as the Economic Action Plan 2012, with a $10.7 million rate adjustment for employee benefit plans.

The Economic Action Plan 2012 savings have been largely achieved in Health Canada by streamlining internal operations, and they have been achieved for the most part. The money has been removed, so they are in place.

Front-line service delivery and the department's ability to fulfill its core regulatory responsibilities have been protected.

For information purposes, the Main Estimates also include statutory appropriations of $167.1 million, consisting mostly of $115.5 million for employee benefit plans and $51 million, as I mentioned earlier, in statutory revenues for the health portfolio Shared Services Partnership.

Finally, I would like to mention two key investments that are part of Economic Action Plan 2014. To improve the quality of health services in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada, $70 million over three years will be invested in the new Territorial Health Investment Fund, which replaces the existing Territorial Health System Sustainability Initiative that sunsets in 2013-14 and $47.4 million over two years to continue the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan that also sunsetted at the beginning of this year. In addition, there will be $40 million invested over five years to expand the National Anti-Drug Strategy that covers illicit drug abuse to also address prescription drug abuse in Canada.

As I mentioned, a significant portion of Health Canada's funding goes to provide direct services to First Nations at 71 per cent. The majority of funding will continue to be directed to support front-line service delivery. Of the $2.6 billion in the authorities for First Nations and Inuit health, 44 per cent will fund non-insured supplementary health benefits, 33 per cent will fund First Nations and Inuit primary care and health care activities mostly on reserve, and 23 per cent will focus on First Nations and Inuit infrastructure support.

I'm confident Health Canada will continue to have a positive impact on the health system. Thank you for inviting both Sony and me to be here today. We are pleased to answer your questions.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Tibbetts. With respect to the 71 per cent of Health Canada's funding that goes to First Nations and Inuit communities programming in dollars for this year, we asked global funding at Treasury Board, and we received a letter from them that indicates $2.6 billion of the Health Canada budget is going to Aboriginal and Inuit health; is that correct?

Mr. Tibbetts: That's correct, sir. Health Canada has three strategic outcome areas in our Main Estimates. One of them is First Nations and Inuit health, and that accounts for 71 per cent of the Main Estimates at $2.6 billion. Seventy-one per cent of the money sought through Main Estimates is for First Nations and Inuit health, and that is $2.6 billion of roughly 3.5.

The Chair: Honourable senators should have received this note from Treasury Board. If you have not, you will, and the total amount is in excess of $10 billion per year going to Aboriginal and Inuit programs.

Senator Eaton: Does that cover housing, health, education, everything?

The Chair: That's my understanding. There are some smaller programs, but Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is at $8.1 billion and Health Canada is at $2.6 billion.

After you've had a chance to review this letter — I made mention of it now because Health Canada is here. The 71 per cent of what they are asking us for is actually going to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development programs.

Mr. Tibbetts: Within that, 44 per cent of that 71 per cent — I don't mean to confuse you with numbers — is for non-insured health benefits, which covers all First Nations and Inuit people.

The balance of it is for on-reserve activities mostly dealing with primary health care and infrastructure to support programs we fund through a mix of grants, contributions and operating.

The Chair: If we delve more into this issue, we should probably have you back to help us with that along with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development because you share that budget between the two departments.

Mr. Tibbetts: Correct.

The Chair: Thank you. We will do that. We have made note of it, but I wanted to bring that to your attention.

Senator Eaton: Thank you very much. I will save my questions until we get into it because I find the issue rather complex.

Let's go to Immigration. Mr. Matson, you are asking for more money to process applications. Does that mean face-to-face interviews the old-fashioned way, or does that mean dealing only with paper applications and consultants? Why the big push? More people to process paper applications?

Mr. Matson: I would say that the principal mechanism for dealing with clients — we are trying to get into a more automated and online environment in dealing with clients, but this increased funding for our citizenship and temporary resident business lines is to partially deal with backlogs and also to increase the speed of service in some of our key markets where we are dealing with increased volumes so we can provide faster service times.

We are trying to operate in a more electronic method. In-person interviews are not as efficient, so we are getting away from that. This funding is to deal principally with reducing backlogs and increasing our speed of service.

Senator Eaton: Another committee on which I sit deals with immigration. Sometimes you choose a better immigrant when using the old-fashioned way of looking somebody in the eye.

The Chair: Ms. Tapley might have had a comment on your previous question as well.

Catrina Tapley, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Program Policy, Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Thank you. Sorry to interrupt.

I think maybe as the committee may know, unlike the United States, we do not have a requirement to interview everyone face-to-face, so we used a risk-based system on how we look at applicants, particularly in the visa programs, such as visitor visas coming to Canada. This reflects that we have a significant growing volume of visa applicants or visitors wanting to come to Canada in some key markets, including and especially China.

In China, as we do in other cases, we are looking to do more of our work online to automate more of our work but also to use some pretty sophisticated risk triaging processes. Our officers are highly trained.

Senator Eaton: Excuse me. Are those risk triaging processes new? Is this new stuff you are adding to the automated questions?

Ms. Tapley: We've used risk-based processes for quite some time, and as we continue to modernize our operations and our business, we continually expand on what we look at in terms of risk procedures, how we adapt to new things we find out or other ways that we believe people may be looking at this on a fraudulent basis. We continually adapt and refine our systems and what we want to look at.

The other things that will help us are the other parts of our business that are new. When we move to things like biometrics in some markets — although that doesn't include China — such as fingerprints and facial recognition, and additionally as we move to electronic travel authorities, which is a visa-like process, those also help us screen visitors coming to Canada.

Senator Eaton: A few years ago, Minister Kenney put up a lot of ads in some countries to discourage people from using consultants, and if they used immigration consultants, to make very sure that they were licensed.

How many are there, 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 people on which you are considering withdrawing their Canadian citizenship because they came into the country under false pretenses?

Ms. Tapley: Maybe I can break that into two parts. The first is on the question of consultants.

The government passed legislation two or three years ago. I think it was Bill C-35, but I am not 100 per cent. I was correct; I am getting the nod.

In that, we looked to regulate consultants in a more effective way, particularly on the immigration side. We believe that has been effective. There is a body that polices themselves. They put in good standards. I am happy to talk more about that.

In the legislation that is before the House of Commons at the moment, Bill C-24 on citizenship, we will look to modernize the provisions in the Citizenship Act to reflect what is in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with respect to consultants.

On your second question on citizenship, as you know, the RCMP is conducting quite a broad investigation now with respect to residency fraud in the citizenship process. There are a number of people the RCMP is looking at. The numbers are big. I think there are about 3,000 citizens and 5,000 permanent residents. I am happy to verify that, Mr. Chair.

What we have uncovered and asked the RCMP to investigate is a highly organized process to create false residency for individuals. We believe these are people who become citizens and have not met the residency period. If it is determined that this is what has happened, then we will take measures to revoke citizenship from those who have misrepresented themselves on those applications.

Senator Eaton: I asked you that question, because your new digitalized application process with all this risk-based triaging, have you taken into account the kind of person who might want to come and scam the system that way?

Ms. Tapley: We do. I will ask Mr. Armstrong, who is on the operation side, to chime in.

Paul Armstrong, Director General, Centralized Processing Region, Citizenship and Immigration Canada: As part of CIC's modernization processes, the department has implemented a program integrity framework where we are looking at examining risk in a much more intelligent way.

For example, Mr. Chair, on the issue of the temporary residence or citizenship, on the temporary residence side, CIC has seen an increase of 14 per cent in the number of temporary residence applications that we have received. Working with new electronic applications and new centralized processing that takes place, we are able to do a better analysis on the trends that are taking place so that we can share that information across the network, getting away from past siloed approaches, which were more susceptible to risk to taking a more integrated approach across the operation sector.

The temporary residence side is one area. On the citizenship side, we are modernizing the system, as Mr. Matson indicated, over the coming years so that we take an integrated and risk-based approach to the way that we process applications.

The Chair: I should have pointed out for those watching that Senator Eaton is a senator from Ontario.

Next is Senator Callbeck, who a senator from Prince Edward Island. You have the floor.

Senator Callbeck: Thank you all for being here and for your presentations.

First, to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, you mentioned in your remarks about the decrease of $254 million that reflects the net impact of the Passport Canada Revolving Fund. Before I ask you about that, I know that the responsibility for the passport program was passed over to you from DFAIT in July 2013. Did Service Canada play the same role in 2012 as they do now?

Mr. Matson: Yes. To respond to that question, Service Canada is providing the delivery function of the passport service to Canadians through their network. Offices that used to be part of the former passport organization are now part of Service Canada, so that new entity is providing the in-person delivery function for the delivery of passports to Canadians.

Senator Callbeck: You talk about this $254 million, a decrease. You said it is an accounting treatment as it moves into a surplus. I see from page 3 of the Library of Parliament material that surplus will be $247 million by 2016-17. Can you explain what is going on here?

Mr. Matson: Yes, I can try to do that.

The passport program is managed through a revolving fund. There are principally three ways of funding programs in the Government of Canada. There are appropriations, and then there are vote net revenue operations where departments are able to re-spend some revenues that are collected, and then there are revolving funds. Revolving funds are probably the closest that we get in government to managing like they do in the private sector.

With revolving funds, we collect fees and then deliver services. We have expenses to deliver those services, and we collect fees. Over a period of time, those fees are supposed to cover the expenses, so there is supposed to be a net zero impact to the fiscal network of the Government of Canada.

As you go through, say, a 10-year period, each year there will be a difference between the revenues collected and the actual cost to deliver the program. Over 10 years it is supposed to balance out, but in any different year, your expenses will be slightly different than your revenues.

This negative amount that you see in the Main Estimates represents the fact that next fiscal year we are depending on collecting more revenues than we are planning on expending. Therefore, that would be a lower net draw-down on the fiscal framework. That is why it is a negative. After 10 years, that should balance out to zero.

The reason that you see a negative in this year's Main Estimates for our department is that our forecasted revenues for collecting fees for passports are going to be more than what we plan on spending. The figure of $673 million in revenue is our forecast for next year, and we plan on spending $379 million to deliver the passport program. We are going to collect $254 million more than we will expend, but over 10 years, that difference will drop.

The increase this year is primarily due to the fact that we increased fees when we took over the passport program. There was a planned increase in fees. We also went to a 10-year passport. That was a very attractive program for Canadians, so there was a big uptake, and then with the fee increase, our revenues went up considerably.

We are planning that in about five years those revenues will start to drop off, because people won't require a new passport in five years; they will have one for 10 years. So the revenues will drop off, and we will start to see a smaller discrepancy between the amount of fees collected and the expenditures. The plan right now is showing that after 10 years those two numbers should be equal.

That is an explanation as to why you are seeing a negative in the Main Estimates this year for the Passport Canada Revolving Fund.

Senator Callbeck: All passports now are 10 years?

Mr. Matson: No. There are options available to Canadians. There is a 10-year passport. They can get a 5-year passport. There is a lot of flexibility in that regard. From what I have seen so far, the uptake of the 10-year passport has been quite positive.

Senator Callbeck: What is the cost for that?

Mr. Matson: I have the figures. I think the 10-year passport, including consular fees, is $160 now. It used to be in the range of $80. The 5-year passport is considerably less; I think it is around $120 for a passport.

Senator Callbeck: On page 100 there's a note about the International Experience Canada program. There's a decrease of $5.2 million. What's the overall budget for that?

Mr. Matson: The international experience program was transferred to CIC from DFATD last year, and the annual forecasted plan for that is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $12 million. That's a vote net revenue operation. That's where we collect fees and then we're able to re-spend those fees, so I think the overall cost for that is some $12 million annually.

The $5.2 million that you see as a decrease in our Main Estimates, in the transition of moving that program from DFATD to CIC our department began to collect the revenues for the entire program. Before that, DFATD had given us approximately $5.2 million to process permits when they were in charge of it. When we began to collect the revenues, we had to give them back the funding that they had given us in previous years. This is principally a one-time adjustment to reflect the transition of that program from DFATD to our organization.

Senator Callbeck: The bottom line is it will not affect the number of people every year who are able to have that experience?

Mr. Matson: No, absolutely not.

Senator Callbeck: There is something else I would like to know — but you can send it to the committee later rather than take the time now — is related to the decrease of $13.9 due to the impact of Budget 2012. I would like to know what makes that up: what programs, services and positions. I would like to have a list with a dollar figure attached to each. If you could do that later on, that would be wonderful.

Mr. Matson: Absolutely.

Senator Callbeck: Canadian Heritage, the Pan Am Games on page 50. I believe you mentioned in your comments that about $71.6 is going to the Pan Am Games in Toronto. What has been the total contribution to this point for that event?

Ms. Swords: The Canadian government has committed to $500 million, total, for the event. We haven't spent all of it yet; the event will take place in 2015. For this year, 2014-15, there is an increase of $71.6 million over last year.

Of that $500 million, there is $377.1 million going for infrastructure, so for some of the sports facilities. Most of those are on track and almost finished. There's another $65 million that we are calling legacy initiatives. By "legacy," they're operating costs to keep them running for a certain number of years. There is $48.9 that will be allocated to essential federal services. Those are for various government departments that are providing assistance and support. There is $6 million for a federal cultural strategy. You will remember at the Olympics there was an attempt to add some cultural element through festivals that were connected with it, so that will be connected. There will also be some festivals within communities related to the Pan Am Games. Then we have $3 million extra to help the teams to prepare.

That's the total. There will be a bit more next year, but most of it will have been allocated by now.

Senator Callbeck: You say you've committed to $500 million, and you don't see going over this?

Ms. Swords: No, we don't see going over that. They seem to be on track and they're doing quite well.

I've just been reminded that so far, for the sport infrastructure, a little less than half has actually been expended and handed over. Of the $377 million, about $153 million has actually been passed on to the games organizers.

Senator Callbeck: You talked about the one hundred fiftieth anniversary in 2017, but right now in Prince Edward Island we have the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. Are there any dollars in this budget for that? How much has the province received for that celebration?

Ms. Swords: I'm hoping that many Canadians will visit the Island. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and they're getting well prepared.

Last year the government announced a little over $6 million to be allocated for the celebration and for some renovations to Confederation Centre. This year we're still looking at some requests for additional funding and we hope there will be some announcements coming out shortly.

The amounts are from our department, Canadian Heritage, and ACOA has also provided some funding.

Senator Callbeck: Is the ACOA money in that $6 million?

Ms. Swords: It's in the over $6 million that was announced last year, yes.

Senator Callbeck: All right.

On page 50, there's a line there "attachment to Canada," which has moved from 56 to 64. What is that? Would you comment on that and explain?

Ms. Swords: Page 50, yes. It was 56 last year; it's 64 this year. Most of it is the result of increases from the transfer of the Capital Experience program. The NCC Capital Experience program was transferred to our department effective the end of September last year. That amount of money is now being reflected there. The additional money is in, and then there was money in 2013-14 for the War of 1812. That has ended now, so there's a slight subtraction. The two, the increase and the decrease, add up to that difference.

Senator Callbeck: The increase was how much?

Ms. Swords: The increase is $14.2 million and the decrease is about $4.8, which is a result of the end of the additional funding for the War of 1812.

Senator Callbeck: Contributions for the hosting program is going up $50 million. Can you give me an idea of what is included in that?

Ms. Swords: The hosting program is probably related to the Pan Am Games and is part of that $500 million.

Senator Callbeck: It's part of that.

Ms. Swords: It is part of the facilities portion. The hosting program allows us to host major sport events, and to have major sport events you need the facilities. It's part of the infrastructure.

Senator Callbeck: Part of the $500 million?

Ms. Swords: Yes.

Senator Callbeck: Thank you.

The Chair: As a point of clarification so we all understand this, this accounting process with respect to the Passport Canada revolving fund, that's a fund within the Consolidated Revenue Fund, it's not a separate fund? It's accounted for separately but the money is actually in the general revenue of Canada?

Mr. Matson: Absolutely. All the fees are deposited to the accounts of Canada and then our department has the authority to spend those fees. These numbers represent our authority. Our authority has gone up by about $254 million, if you will. For the Government of Canada, this shows that theoretically there would be a lower drawdown on the fiscal framework. All of the fees go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The Chair: When you say a lower drawdown, other initiatives of your department won't need as much money because they can use some of that $254 million?

Mr. Matson: No, not at all. Anything managed within the revolving fund is strictly controlled, so we cannot subsidize, for example, any of our other operations in CIC with revenues collected for the passport program. That's why it's accounted for separately.

The Chair: In the fiscal situation for Canada, does it reflect as a reduction or money that has gone back into the Consolidated Revenue Fund?

Mr. Matson: This would reflect the fact that they're receiving more fees than we'll be spending as a department. For the fiscal framework this is a reduction in the fiscal requirements, if you will.

The Chair: But you can't tap into that to help reduce the backlog that's obviously a problem that you should be trying to handle?

Mr. Matson: No.

The Chair: You need more revenue for that, but you can't tap into that to get it.

Mr. Matson: Exactly. If we had a backlog in the passport program we would have the authority to access those resources to deal with that issue, but we cannot use those funds to deal with backlogs in our citizenship program, for example. It is tightly controlled and managed separately.

The Chair: Thank you. That's very helpful.


Senator Bellemare: I have a few questions for each of you. I will begin with the Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials. My question has to do with temporary foreign workers. This issue does fall under your jurisdiction. In the Main Estimates, we can see that expenditures have gone from $20.617 million in 2012-13 to $34.918 million. Are there any costs associated with the use of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program by businesses?


Mr. Matson: The fees that we collect for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program — similar to the passport fund situation — go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. All of the fees go into the government accounts and then our department is appropriated funding to manage our programs. The two processes are slightly separate, so there is not always a direct relationship between the amount of fees that the government collects for these programs and the amount we have appropriated to us as a department.

That being said, there are processes in place wherein we can negotiate with Treasury Board to determine the resources we need every year to deliver on our programs.


Senator Bellemare: Do you think the costs are currently covering most of the $35 million in expenditures allocated under this program, or do you think that next year or sometime in the future this program will be self-funding?


Mr. Matson: For temporary foreign workers and for all of our temporary residence programs, the fees we charge are approximately equal to the costs. So the Government of Canada collects the fees for these programs, and they are pretty much equal to the amount of resources required to deliver on those programs.

With the new funding you see here for citizenship and temporary residence, it should provide the resources we feel we need to deliver on those programs for the foreseeable future; for the next few years, anyway. We think the fees are adequate to meet our service delivery targets.


Senator Bellemare: Do you have any idea of the amount per person businesses must pay for the foreign workers they bring here?

Ms. Tapley: ESDC shares the responsibility for that program with us.

Senator Bellemare: Employment and Social Development Canada.


Ms. Tapley: Because of that, what we saw in Budget 2013 and again reiterated in Budget 2014, our Economic Action Plan, was the fee that was levied on employers for labour market opinions. That is the responsibility of Employment and Social Development Canada. They have applied a $275 fee. Labour market opinions used to be free. Now we have levied a charge on employers for the cost of those opinions and to work through that.


Senator Bellemare: You stated that $4.2 million is allocated for languages. Could you tell me how that is distributed between English and French?

Ms. Tapley: Most of it is for French and for the francization of minority communities in Canada.


The $4.2 million is part of the five-year total. $29.5 million was earmarked in the roadmap over five years, so this is our portion for this year. That is in addition to the $120 million that we will spend as a department under our settlement programming envelope, which is about $600 million a year outside of the province of Quebec. It is between those two amounts that we fund a number of initiatives to support official language minority communities throughout Canada.


Senator Bellemare: You mentioned in your presentation that for each dollar you spend, $8.50 is generated for the economy. Does that include sports activities?


Ms. Swords: I can get you a copy of the study, but I believe it relates to arts and culture. However, in many of our sports hosting activities now, we are adding a cultural element that goes with it. So the part of the sports activity that relates to arts and culture would have been included.


Senator Bellemare: I see that Telefilm Canada is associated with your department. However, it is not included in your budget. Is its budget entirely separate?


Ms. Swords: It is a totally separate budget and they have their own director. They do report to Parliament through our minister.


Senator Bellemare: In your Main Estimates, strictly for the arts, we see approximately $500 million allocated in grants and contributions. Is this amount mainly allocated as tax credits, or are these subsidies that fund X, Y and Z per cent of cultural activities?


Ms. Swords: Our programming for arts and culture varies quite significantly. There are a number of different programs. There is the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, the Canada Media Fund, the Canada Music Fund and the Canada Book Fund. All of those are actual grants and contributions to publishers, artists and so forth.

However, there is also a program that provides a tax credit for film or video production. That relates to Canadian content, and there are two different aspects to that credit. It provides assistance as well. It is not part of the $500 million, though, because it is basically money that is going back into the hands of the producers.


Senator Bellemare: As you may know, Iceland is a country that focuses on the arts a great deal in promoting its economic development. It uses "crowdfunding" a great deal. I was wondering whether your department had considered this way of promoting cultural industries in the Canadian economy. If so, how would this compare to tax credits? If not, I would encourage you to take a closer look at this.


Ms. Swords: I think the senator might be a bit more digitally Internet inclined than I am. When you say crowdfunding, I'm not sure exactly what you are contemplating by that, but I assume that it is funding that comes from the private sector, from the general public, for particular events.

What we do have right now is basically an incentive fund where the private sector puts up money and we have a formula for an endowment fund that attaches to it. It is part of the arts programming that we have. It is not really crowdfunding, per se, but it is matching and leveraging to the tune of $3 from the private sector to about $1 from us, and it is popular with professional arts institutions in Canada.

As it relates to a tax break, it is always best to raise those questions with the Ministry of Finance.


Senator Bellemare: Your department invests a great deal of money in First Nations health care. Yesterday, I was watching some televised discussions with the First Nations on the subject of education. However, there do not seem to be any on the subject of health. How do you distribute the money? Perhaps I am not in the know, but are the funds being distributed in such a way as to avoid creating tensions with First Nations? I would like to hear your comments on the way you distribute funds to First Nations and on the relationships being built between First Nations and your department.


Mr. Tibbetts: As stated by the chair at the beginning, Aboriginal Affairs and Health Canada have the largest slices of funding from the Government of Canada for First Nation and Inuit programming. Aboriginal Affairs takes care of capital on reserve, band management, education, social assistance and other programs on reserve. That's that $8 billion. I'm sure there's like $1 billion for each one of those, roughly.

Health Canada has the health component of that, and that's $2.6 billion. Of that, 44 per cent, roughly, $1.1 or $1.2 billion, is for uninsured services, like dental, pharmaceutical plans, as an insurer of not first order but second order in case people do not have them through their employment or other things, which many First Nations do not. Mr. Perron is responsible for running those programs. That covers drugs, dental, mental health services and another component of medical travel to get individuals on reserve, particularly the 70 remote northern communities, to services, because we provide access as well as service on reserve. Where there is no service on reserve for dialysis machines or pregnancy or cancer treatments and these sorts of things, First Nations people are brought through the medical transportation programs to get those services in larger centres. They are not at government travel rates but very meager rates, actually.

Then the other larger slice is primary health care, which is for nursing services and health care services that are actually in the communities for communities. Everybody requires access to medical care in Canada, and the same in these locations. The program tries to coordinate those services with the provinces as well as with local authorities as best they can. The relationship part is very critical to this.

About 30 or 40 years ago, the Government of Canada ran all those services with federal employees, and they have been devolved since the late 1980s to First Nation control, so we fund most of it through contribution agreements. That being said, we still have a large workforce, particularly in Manitoba and Ontario where nursing services are federal employees. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach. The relationships are different as we move from province to province.

The thing you see also in our Main Estimates is the British Columbia Tripartite Agreement. When I was here last February or January on supplementary estimates, the money was moved from us providing grants contributions to 200 different entities in British Columbia to one large agreement with the First Nations Health Authority, which was newly created and is now responsible and operational to run all health care services with provincial and federal funding in British Columbia. It's something that we are watching very closely and is something we are quite proud of.


Senator Bellemare: Do such agreements exist with Quebec?


Mr. Tibbetts: Of the B.C. tripartite order, no. That's the only one like that. We do run most of the Quebec area through contribution agreements, so the First Nations there do manage their own facilities and services on reserve through our agreements.


Senator Bellemare: What happens to those who live in the city rather than on a reserve?


Mr. Tibbetts: This is a very good question, actually. Our focus is for First Nations on reserve for those primary health care services, whereas, for the insurance business that I mentioned, for what we call mandatory health benefits, it's for all First Nations regardless of location. First Nations in Ottawa, urban Aboriginals or whatever, are just like you and me. They have the same service and doctor issues, the same health services that you and I do, and they pay for it the same way through the tax system as you and I do. There is a lack of understanding in this. We mentioned earlier about Health Canada's budget being 71 per cent for First Nations. People do not understand that even at Health Canada. Some are quite surprised that that is the case. The provinces and territories run the health care system. We take due leadership, regulatory work and this important part of our mandate.

Senator L. Smith: Just to follow up on Senator Bellemare's questions, with the volume of money going toward the Aboriginal community, is your objective to create the infrastructure in terms of the processes that get the money to these people? I'm just wondering about results and priorities and measurements. What type of measurements have you put in place? If you want to use maybe the example of B.C. where your most recent agreement has been created, if we're talking $10 billion of which a major part goes into health, I think it's important that there is a sense of measurement and a sense of responsibility, especially in light of some of the things we are reading in the newspaper and other areas such as Manitoba with some of these Aboriginal houses that were destroyed through floods and then sold. As a citizen, you have questions as to where is the money going and how is it managed, but what about the results? We give people money and we give the provinces money, but there have to be some ties to manage results.

Mr. Tibbetts: I will turn to Sony first. Those that are more modernly approved, such as the B.C. tripartite, have quite an extensive performance management framework approved by Treasury Board through the process, right back to older programs such as home and community care.

Senator L. Smith: Could you give us any simple examples of measurements?

Sony Perron, Acting Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada: Performance management in general is composed of various pieces. First, we have the health surveillance data that we need to build over time. It was not available years ago, and we are getting better and better data on, for example, what is the rate of diabetes in the sub region. We have that for all provinces, for all Canadians, but we did not have that kind of detailed information for the on-reserve population, necessarily, or, when it was available, it was not segregated from the rest of the population of a province, for example. How do we evolve in there? Getting better surveillance data to know the health status and how the health status evolves is very important, and we are making strong progress on having better data to start the planning.

Senator L. Smith: When did you start that?

Mr. Perron: This has been in the works for more than 10 years, trying to get better and better, and every year we get more information. Sometimes we have success in different regions of the country. In the B.C. example, we were probably more ahead there than anywhere else in Canada years ago, and I think it was part of the foundation of the success of the B.C. tripartite arrangement, having better data to start with on what is the health status and what is the demand from the population in terms of health care services in the provincial system, for example, to know what needs to be done upstream to prevent these diseases, wherever possible. This is one element of surveillance data that is important.

The second element is solid, community-based plans. Each community has different challenges. Our funding arrangement with communities involves a planning component, which is what are you going to do with that money, because there is a certain level of flexibility to be able to direct resources toward where the pressure or the problem is. For example, you probably heard about prescription drug abuse in some communities. That is not an issue that is prevalent everywhere in the country, but those locations that have this kind of problem need to be able to direct more resources towards that than other diseases or situations.

Community health planning is attached to community evaluation, so how much progress has been made and the outreach of the program. For each dollar that goes into a community, we try to understand how many people will be touched by this. For example, we have a program that is called Aboriginal Head Start, which invests in young kids in the development stage before they go to school to prepare them to be successful going forward, so this is really early prevention. We try to understand how many kids are involved in this program and what difference it makes for these kids when they reach school, if they are better prepared and receive, for example, their vaccinations, if they have received everything that they need early on to be successful going forward.

This is micro-performance measurement that proves that the mechanics or the tools that we have to intervene in the program are not different from the programs that are used by the province within mainstream Canada, and they work and produce results. In First Nations and Inuit health, there is a cultural dimension that has to be there to make sure it is reflective of the culture of the people who will be affected by the program.

Then there is the cost effectiveness of the investment. Is this a good return on investment in terms of costs for services that are being delivered in the end? We do benchmarking. We have the $1.1 billion Non-Insured Health Benefits Program that is basically an insurance program for First Nations and Inuit people. As to how we compare in terms of costs and coverage with other public plans in Canada, we do pretty well in this plan as well. It is a lot of investment, but you are looking at, for example, in non-insured health benefits, $1.1 billion in spending, but this is for around 980,000 clients. It's a large pool of people who receive coverage from this program, and the cost analysis shows that this program is not growing faster than others. In 2013, the growth was 2.8 per cent while the Canadian health care system was growing the same year estimated by CIHI at 5.2 percent. So there are these elements of performance measurement. It is not only one indicator but all these components that put us in a position to work with the tools we have to make the program more effective going forward.

Senator Bellemare was asking about collaboration. The way we approach working with communities, tribal councils and provincial health authorities in B.C., for example, is about trying to set long-term health planning and sustainable arrangements that will allow them to be successful and put into place the services and programs that will work and can integrate with the provincial health care system. Here we are talking about only a piece of the health system. There are big pieces in the provinces, so we need to make sure that people living on the reserve will have transfers and secondary and tertiary services in the provincial system. This is only about long-term arrangements like the B.C. tripartite arrangement at the provincial, tribal council or community scale to allow them to be successful and work with other partners to ensure people will receive the services they need.

I would be happy to come back with more detail in terms of the performance measures for each stream of intervention. I can tell you we are working hard to make sure we have good data on this.

Senator L. Smith: You mentioned earlier that B.C. is probably the model that can be used for having the information data that can be used to help you in your analysis and it is a strong point. What does that say for the rest of the country?

Mr. Perron: What makes the B.C. data a possibility is that years ago the First Nations in B.C. got together and approached the province to work with them and help the medical health officer in B.C. They asked if there was a way to rely on the hospitalization data they had in the province to better understand what the demand is and what the disease is. The provinces use hospitalization data. Each time someone is discharged from the hospital, a piece of data is created that outlines what the services were used for, but we would never know for the First Nations populations. The B.C. First Nations were ready to collaborate better with the provinces to get better data. Then they approached Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, which was Indian Affairs at the time, to see if they could have an arrangement to use data to put markers in the data base to identify that data. Then there was privacy work around that to make sure it was safe and appropriate, and they were able to start producing that data. Health Canada supported that process to generate the first report. Then there was a second report that showed the demand of that population on the provincial system, and it created a basis for discussion going forward. The B.C. tripartite is called "tripartite" not because only Health Canada or the federal government devolved the service to First Nations, it is because there is an arrangement between the province, the First Nations in B.C. and the federal government in devolving this into a tripartite agreement where the province will work in partnership with the First Nations health authorities in B.C. So that is fundamental.

The other aspect is governance. First Nations in British Columbia came together to present an arrangement with which to move forward. Having a governance arrangement that is First Nation-made and controlled is very important. We had a partner to advance that. It took years to advance this B.C. tripartite arrangement, and now they are fully devolved, all Health Canada staff that were working in B.C. and some of the resources in the NCR have been transferred to the First Nations Health Authority in B.C. Since October 1, 2013, they have been managing all the health services. We are still there as a funder and as a partner. As part of the transition, for some of the very complicated services, we stayed in an arrangement with them to support them, so we provide services to them now to make sure they will be successful, and we maintain an ongoing relationship because we care about their success and we would like to see the results of the plan.

This is a long-term plan that has been reaching a level of maturity. In another region, it might not be on a provincial scale — it might be on a lower scale — but the idea of First Nation control and more integration with the provinces is something we are building on in all parts of the country.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Perron.

In these Main Estimates, Health Canada is asking for $63.1 million for this B.C. tripartite. Is that a steady state thing? Should we expect that $63 million each year now, or is that still in transition?

Mr. Tibbetts: No, this is the steady state top-up to existing resources for Health Canada that we have also aligned from what were targeted programs and put into one area for funding in one agreement.

The Chair: Should we see that in future years under "Grants and contributions" as opposed to "Operating"?

Mr. Tibbetts: It's in these Main Estimates. It is in one contribution line on page 158, I believe, which gives the amount flowing to B.C. for this year.

The Chair: At page 155, I have another point of clarification from the questions just asked. At the bottom of the page, "Some important changes to note are the following," and then you go on to talk about the First Nations Inuit Health programming funding having been stabilized. It looks like you're stabilizing it by throwing more money at it, not the $311 million.

Mr. Tibbetts: This is worth clarifying for sure. I was here again last February. Every year or two, the department returns to cabinet through supplementary estimates to get what is called "sustainability funding," which would be the incremental growth for its programs because it was not part of the A-base. This permanently puts the funding into our A-base, so we do not have to come annually and ask for the same thing. As a specific example, the non-insured health benefits have been growing 2 to 4 per cent, depending on the year, so we would come in and ask for an inflationary top-up in supplementary estimates. It was accumulating over several years because the annual growth was never made permanent. Every year I would come in and describe the $300 million reduction from last year's estimates to this year's estimates, and it was artificial because every year we would come in and then top it up in sups. It made everyone in this room and other rooms, including my deputy, very confused as to why the end budget was not equal to the opening budget. This fixes that, and adds a regime where we get up to 5 per cent of last year's spend, so in recognition that the work done that Mr. Perron described is reliable quality work, and we're trying to keep the growth rate down. So we'll finish public accounts and go back to Treasury Board and say, "We spent $1.1 billion on non-insured health benefits. This part of it requires up to 5 per cent," so it would only be the growth that will go in every year in sups. Because this had been accumulating over several years, I believe we came in and asked for $300 million in sups C, and it wasn't growth. It was the accumulation of growth over several years, so this regularizes what has been a misleading piece of information in our estimates.

The Chair: That's very helpful, thank you.

Senator Gerstein: Thank you very much for appearing before us today and for your presentations.

Ms. Swords, I would like to direct you to II, page 67, which is with regard to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. If I may, I direct your attention to two thirds down the page to what are referred to as the "highlights." I know what it says, but quite frankly I don't know what it means.

If I may start with the first sentence:

The operating appropriations for 2014-15 are $21.7 million, the same amount that was received in 2013-14.

That was last year, but there is a difference in the museum: It was closed all last year, and this year it is open for six months. How do you reconcile that the operating expenses would be the same when it's open, even though it's six months this year, versus not being open for the whole of last year?

That leads me then to the first sentence of paragraph 3 under highlights, "The Museum is forecasting a balanced budget for 2014-15." Can you give me some idea as to what percentage of the annual operating expenses of the museum would you anticipate and budget that the museum would generate? In other words, is the Government of Canada's commitment for operations going to increase as time goes on or are you anticipating that it will come down because they can generate revenue?

Ms. Swords: Thank you very much, senator. Of course, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is an entity of its own: it's a special operating entity. They would be better placed to answer some of the details.

However, $21.7 million operating is from the Canadian government. We advanced them some of the funds in previous years out of operating money for them to use it as capital, and we will be getting reimbursed from that as they're raising capital funding from the private sector. The advance will be repaid over six years, starting in 2018-19.

Senator Gerstein: What is the total advance at the moment?

Ms. Swords: $35 million.

Senator Gerstein: $35 million has been advanced and they have taken it into operations from capital?

Ms. Swords: No, the other way around. It's out of operating into capital, because they didn't need as much operating funding in the early years. What are they using the operating funds for now? They are not open, but they are operating. Their staff is busy finalizing the exhibits and preparing them. There's still quite a lot of work to be done even though the doors aren't open. Most Canadian museums raise funds themselves, sometimes through entry fees and sometimes through renting out some of their facilities.

Senator Gerstein: Is there some range you could give us as to your view of what museums generate for their operations?

Ms. Swords: I think I have something in here that indicates what they raise. I've seen it. Hold on, I can find it quickly for you.

This is a chart to give you a couple of examples. For the Canadian Museum of Nature the appropriation is about $26 million. They actually raise about $6.2 million themselves in revenue.

The Canada Science and Technology Museum has an appropriation of $26.8 million, and they raise about $6.8 million. The Canadian Museum of History has an appropriation of $63 million. Remember that they're getting additional funds to revise and put on a different exhibit, and they raise about $17 million.

It seems that museums are raising in the order of 6 to $17 million on their own. That's very much encouraged.

Senator Gerstein: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights was established in 2008. Would you be able to give us the total amount of capital that has been passed over to the museum since its inception?

Ms. Swords: There is $100 million from the Canadian government that has been allocated to them for capital. In addition, there is $21.7 for operating.

Senator Gerstein: That's the total amount since the inception?

Ms. Swords: It's $21.7 million operating per year. It's $100 million once, for capital, and $21.7 million —

Senator Gerstein: And then monies they were able to take from operating into capital.

Ms. Swords: That's right, on the basis that they would be repaying the loan.

Senator Gerstein: And that total is 35?

Ms. Swords: The total that was allowed to be used from operating for capital is 35.

Senator Gerstein: Which will be repaid over six years?

Ms. Swords: That's right, over six years starting in 2018, which is when they will presumably be generating a lot more revenue.

The Chair: If it's repaid can you go back and pick up some operating capital? They were operating funds that were then used for capital, but they were still operating funds. If you say you want those repaid then there is some operating that is due and owing?

Ms. Swords: They didn't need as much operating in the early years, but they needed it for capital. They are engaged in a very active revenue-generating exercise from the private sector. The total cost of the museum capital is around $351 million, of which the federal government is giving $100 million, and they're raising a significant amount of money from the private sector. They just haven't raised all of that yet.

The Chair: I understand that. It's the operating to be used for capital to be repaid is what I'm trying to get at. Maybe the other way to ask this question is when, according to the agreement between the Government of Canada and the museum foundation, was operating triggered and what were the rules with respect to operating? It wasn't $21 million from the very beginning.

Ms. Swords: No. The approval of $21.7 million a year started in 2011-12. Basically they didn't need that much in the early years, but they did need it for capital.

The Chair: I understand that. As of fiscal year 2011-12 they were entitled to $21.7 million of operating for each fiscal year thereafter; is that correct?

Ms. Swords: That's right.

The Chair: And because they didn't need it —

Ms. Swords: Basically they re-profiled a portion of it to future years and used it for capital. But the Canadian government is only investing $100 million in capital. We will be getting that funding back, so we stay at $100 million for capital.

The Chair: They didn't have an entitlement to $21 million, then, for each of those years but only the amount of that, or the percentage of that, that was needed for operating.

Ms. Swords: That's right, but the Canadian government and taxpayer will be reimbursed in the future. It's basically a loan.

The Chair: Senator Gerstein, sorry to follow up on your questions.

Senator Gerstein: I love you following up on re-profiling.

The Chair: We're becoming the Senate committee experts on re-profiling.


Senator Chaput: Some of my questions are follow-up questions to those already asked by senators.

My first question is for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Senator Callbeck asked you a question about the Passport Program. I would like to better understand and obtain more information about the shared responsibilities between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Service Canada.

If I have understood correctly, Citizenship and Immigration Canada have a leadership role and work in collaboration with Service Canada. Between the time a passport is applied for up to the moment it is received, what are the respective responsibilities of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Service Canada? If you have any documents in support of your answer, we would appreciate your providing them to the committee clerk.


Mr. Matson: The short answer to that is yes, we do have a governance structure and we have explicit roles and responsibilities; we have service-level agreements and accountabilities between ourselves and ESDC, all to ensure that the passport program maintains the same high level of service that Canadians were able to expect before the merger. We have a sound governance structure in place that is working very well. There are operating-level committees to ensure that smooth service delivery. We could probably provide you with some of that documentation if you would like to see it.


Senator Chaput: My other question has to do with the transfer of an amount of money to Shared Services Canada for the purchase of software. Since the transfer has taken place, has the software already been purchased by Shared Services Canada on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada?


Mr. Matson: I am not familiar with the specific transaction, but there are, as I mentioned earlier, very clear agreements that include monetary arrangements between the two departments, and each of us has specific responsibilities around IT. For example, Service Canada is responsible for the IT related to in-person service delivery, and we are responsible for maintaining the systems with respect to the individuals themselves who receive passports. Depending upon the software that you are talking about, I am sure that resources would have been transferred as required between the two organizations.

Senator Chaput: I don't understand, sir.

Mr. Matson: Sorry, I did not quite understand your question. Are you referring to Shared Services?

Senator Chaput: Yes.

Mr. Matson: Sorry, that was my misunderstanding. I thought you were talking about ESDC.

Shared Services Canada, absolutely; all departments were required to identify their spending in the world of end-user devices for the delivery of all of their mandates, and we participated in that exercise, along with all other departments. We did transfer resources to Shared Services Canada, as you can see in the estimates, of $2.5 million. That funding was transferred. We are working on the operational realities related to implementing that right now, but as far as I know, it is going well.

Senator Chaput: They will be buying the equipment for you?

Mr. Matson: Yes, absolutely.

Senator Chaput: Before you used to do it yourself?

Mr. Matson: Yes.

Senator Chaput: With that transfer, is it more money than you used to spend on equipment? How often will it be now? Will it be every five years that you need to transfer?

Mr. Matson: My understanding is that this is a one-time transfer, and so they will maintain responsibility for purchasing all the equipment identified under this initiative. We will not have to transfer additional funding in the future. That is what I understand. Things evolve, and there may be future charges, depending upon how they establish their protocols with departments on an ongoing basis. I understand the Shared Services Canada operations are evolving, and how they work with departments, so that could change. But my understanding right now is that this one-time transfer covers all of our requirements in the world of end-user devices, and so we will not have to transfer additional funds. That is my understanding.

Senator Chaput: Thank you.


Senator Chaput: My next question is addressed to Heritage Canada. This is a further question about the transfer that took place for the Capital Experience program. Was this transferred responsibility accompanied by transferred human resources?

Ms. Swords: Yes, 80 people were transferred, not all of them for that program, as some of those people also work in communications.

Senator Chaput: Are things going well? What are the main challenges?


Ms. Swords: I think it is working quite well. I don't know if you had a chance to go to the first Winterlude. Normally, it would have been the capital experience of NCC putting on the opening for Winterlude and also the Christmas Lights Across Canada. That has now been transferred to us.

For example, we were able to feature the two conferences — the Quebec Conference and the Charlottetown Conference — in the opening ceremonies for Winterlude, both with having an act from Prince Edward Island and having a presentation from Quebec. That allowed us to integrate into some of the events in the capital some of the things that matter across the whole country. I think it has been very successful.

There is one challenge, which is that the NCC, as a separate commission, was able to attract more sponsors than perhaps a government department could. We did have less sponsorship this year than we had previous years, but the federal government was paying the same amount of money. To be frank, that is a bit more of a challenge.

Senator Chaput: But if you had less sponsorship, it is not necessarily because of the new way of doing things; is that right?

Ms. Swords: No, indeed. Some of the sponsorship was related to the interests of the particular company at the time.


Senator Chaput: In the Main Estimates, what is the difference between a grant and a contribution? Could you please refresh my memory? I did know once upon a time but I have forgotten.


Ms. Swords: This is a question that comes up quite often. I pulled out a good piece that was done by the Library of Parliament in 2006. I am happy to give it to the clerk so she can distribute it. It is the official explanation. Essentially, grants and contributions have to be approved by Parliament; statutory sums are not approved by Parliament. Grants are for activities that are so well defined and the eligibility is so clear that you don't have to provide reports on it afterwards. With contributions, there is a much greater reporting requirement after the fact. There is a whole definition and, as I said, I will give it to the clerk. I am sure she would be happy to provide it to you.

The Chair: Thank you.


Senator Chaput: Some groups receive grants as well as contributions. One such example are the grants provided to the Canada Periodical Fund, which show up under both the "Grant" heading as well as the "Contribution heading." Does this mean the same groups are receiving both or are they different recipients?


Ms. Swords: I don't know the details of those two, senator, but you could be a single group getting funds from different programs, and some of it could be a grant and some of it could be a contribution.

I will give one example that picks up on a point that came from Senator Bellemare. The matching funds that I was talking about under the cultural investment program are actually grants. We could be giving a grant to an organization; it is just matching and it is formula based. That same Victoria Symphony, or something, could actually be getting a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts or under other programs. But I don't believe you would be able to get a grant and a contribution under exactly the same program.


Senator Chaput: I have one last question about the Canada Periodical Fund. How many recipients are receiving grants every year? Could you please provide us with the list if you do not have it with you?

Ms. Swords: Yes, we do have a list, but I do not have it with me today. There are several hundred recipients.

Senator Chaput: Could you provide us with that list?

Ms. Swords: Yes, we will be able to provide you with that.

Senator Maltais: My first question is addressed to Ms. Swords. In your presentation, you stated that Heritage Canada and the main Canadian cultural institutions play a crucial role in Canadians' social, community and economic life.

The 2014-15 Main Estimates include an additional amount of $71 million for the Pan American Games and the Parapan American Games.

For 2012-13, the Canadian cities of Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Bromont agreed upon a Canadian candidate for the World Equestrian Games. The International Committee selected the City of Bromont. The other Canadian cities supported the City of Bromont, because they would not have to build new facilities, since the World Equestrian Games had been held there in 1976, presided by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose daughter participated. The cost of upgrading the facility was $34 million, shared equally between the Government of Quebec, the private sector and the City of Bromont.

However, I learned two days ago that the City of Bromont, without the federal government's help, will be forced to give up this international competition, which represents thousands if not millions of dollars in spinoffs for the Eastern Townships region, Montreal and even Toronto. I will remind you that this city was competing with Louisville, in Kentucky, and Vienna, in Austria, two cities known for the world-class quality of their presentation for these games. Why was this refused?


Ms. Swords: Senator, I don't have the details on why the answer was no, but I would imagine that it is a question simply of the amount of funds that we have available for the various sporting activities that different cities and sport organizations would like to host in Canada. There is a finite amount of funds and a tremendous demand and draw on those funds.


Senator Maltais: I understand you very well, madam, but we are talking about world-class events. We are not talking about some fish festival in a village in the middle of nowhere. We are talking about a world-class event. All of Canada's large cities supported the City of Bromont. The private sector did more than its share. I will remind you that it is a budget of $34 million. That is not an unreasonable amount for Canadian Heritage, because you earmarked $72.6 million for the Pan American Games. Could you not have found $8 or $10 million for this event to be held and for Canada to be well-positioned, once more, on the world stage?


Ms. Swords: I can look into that, senator. I know that the hosting program helps to fund world class events. However, there is a finite amount of money in that fund, and decisions have to be made about which ones we are going to fund and which ones we are unable to fund in a particular year.


Senator Maltais: Could you commit to calling the people involved in Bromont to explain your decision to them?


Ms. Swords: Senator, we will make sure that we get in touch with them.


Senator Maltais: I will follow up if you do not contact them.

My next question is for the representative of the First Nations health file. For ten years, budgets have gone up, year after year, for health — and I think that that is entirely normal. How is it then that every year, a UN representative comes to tell us that in Canada, we do not take care of our Indians and that we are the worst country in the world in terms of Aboriginal peoples' health care? This is giving Canada a bad reputation. One simply has to travel a little to hear, "You are Canadian? You are the ones who don't take care of your Aboriginal peoples?"

Would there be a way, one of these days, to show that UN representative where things are going well and to explain to him the budgets that are reserved for First Nations? In my opinion, these budgets are reasonable if we compare First Nations to other Canadians. The government is doing its fair share. Is there any way to stop this negative publicity?


Mr. Tibbetts: As the CFO of the organization, I certainly could lay out the trend in the funding. Mr. Perron would be more equipped to do the results piece. I think educating on what the various parts of the funding from the federal government address is important for someone making a judgment. There are close to 700 communities across the country, and there are issues in a few of them. We and Aboriginal Affairs audit these communities and the funds that we provide. Approximately 80 to 90 per cent of these organizations are well managed and meet audit expectations. There are cases, though, as we all know, that are not in very good shape, so someone will focus on the negative as opposed to the positive. I think a more holistic approach is needed. I'll let Mr. Perron handle it further.


Mr. Perron: Investments in the health field are extremely important, just as they are for all Canadians. However, in Canada, we are also dealing with the issue of residential schools. The ongoing reconciliation process is very important and highly emotional. It highlights past traumas. In this respect, investments in health, support for mental health, for example, are extremely important to help communities overcome these problems. It is not a matter of forgetting them, but of recognizing them, of giving them what they need to get through these difficult experiences.

Investments promoting mental health were made by Health Canada in recent years, to support families and people who were placed in residential schools and to help them get over their psychological difficulties. First Nations and Inuit peoples in Canada have been affected by significant trauma. This has an effect on their general health and on their ability to get through crises.

These crises happen regularly. As my colleague from Finance said, many communities across the country have been successful and have demonstrated resilience. They continue to deal with people who are vulnerable and who need support in order to get up, take action and seize opportunities. These investments need to be strategic in order to support not only curing existing diseases, but also what is often called upstream investment. We need to invest in such a way that will prevent these problems from reoccurring. We need investments in mental health and chronic diseases in order to prevent problems and complications.

You are right in saying that often, the UN representative only mentions the problems. However, many communities across the country have been very successful and have covered their own services.

Senator Maltais: I come from the north of Quebec, near the territory of the Montagnais, Atikamekw and Cree peoples. I would like it if you could take the human representative there to show him that in some communities, the main employers of whites are First Nations.

The First Nations of the North Shore have always managed their own affairs. Their situation has been improving every year, in terms of education and health care. This is very different from what I saw in Brazil and in civilized countries in South America. This representative does not often go to South America.

When he comes to Canada, we are told in advance. Could we not show him both sides of the coin? I have nothing against showing him some of the places where things are going poorly. But we also need to show him the places where things are going well. In his department at the UN, things probably do not always go well, the same holds true for us. We should make him understand that we are no longer massacring Aboriginal peoples. We should show him what is going well and what we intend to do to correct the things that are going poorly. That would help improve Canada's reputation abroad, because currently, people seem to have an incorrect negative opinion of Canada.

The Chair: Would you like to comment, Mr. Perron?

Mr. Perron: I cannot tell you the schedule for the next visit and the next report cycle off the top of my head; however, I can assure you that our objective is to highlight the results and to ensure that the successes of some communities across the countries are noted. All too often, it is only the negative situations that are publicized. They receive more attention, of course, because there are often crisis situations, and that is noticeable. I have noted your remark, and when we prepare for future visits, we will ensure that successful cases are also highlighted.

Senator Maltais: You should invite some senators. We can take your man on a little ride.

Senator Mockler: I have two short questions for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In the 2014-15 Main Estimates, you refer to an increase of $13.1 million. You also talk about electronic travel authorizations. This week and last week, I had the opportunity to visit some ports of entry in the area of New Brunswick and Maine; this was in anticipation of the Acadian World Congress, for which we expect around 250,000 people from Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec. Also, this is the first time in our history that two countries will be participating; the best country in the world, Canada, as well as the United States.

My question is as follows: What will that $13 million be used for? Will some of that money be put aside for the 2014 Acadian World Congress?

Ms. Tapley: I am not sure that there are any sums set aside for the Acadian World Congress.


The amount of money that we are talking about in this, I believe, is for the Electronic Travel Authorization. This is a program that we will have implemented in 2015. This is a program to screen those who are coming to Canada from other countries and do not require a visa, except for Americans. This is consistent with how the Americans treat their ESTA program, which also does not include Canadians. So there is freer movement of peoples between the borders of the two countries.

With this, the notice of intent is completed under the regulatory process. We have heard back a number of comments on slight improvements to the Electronic Travel Authorization process that we will put in place, but no, those funds are not particularly targeted to one group or one particular border crossing.

Senator Mockler: Could I ask the officials to look at whether there will be something, because I know it is quite a challenge between the two countries right now because of the number of people who will participate at the World Acadian Congress. Would you verify that and send it to the chair so we can look at which program has an impact on it?

Ms. Tapley: I would be happy to do that, senator.

The Chair: I should point out to you that many people would be coming from the United States, which is excluded from that particular program, but there may be others where we can favour our American friends who had Canadian ancestry.

Ms. Tapley: The responsibilities for that quick movement across the border or the quick movement across the border largely rest with CBSA, and there are number of initiatives under the Beyond the Border program that are put in place to try and expedite movement of people across the border and the free will of goods and people across the border.

The Chair: That is what we want to know.

Senator Mockler: The last question is on security and existing competitiveness with your action plan. Yes, it is very important to share information vis-à-vis the two countries.

When I look at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, I notice there will be a decrease of $4.6 million in funding, the sharing of immigration information with the United States. Therefore, what would be the reasons for this decrease? Linked to that, what are the key achievements resulting from this collaboration of reducing information at a time when we need more information?

Mr. Matson: With respect to the actual reduction of $4.6 million, that would reflect the fact that we've taken a number of measures to increase the info sharing with the United States. However, there is ongoing funding of approximately $12.8 million to ensure that we continue to share information with the United States.

The goals of this initiative would be to increase security for both our countries and maintain our economic competitiveness. It goes back to the question of trying to facilitate transfers across our border with the United States as efficiently as possible. This reduction is related to the fact that we have taken steps to implement info sharing with the United States, and so $4.6 million is not required anymore for the project per se, but there is ongoing funding of approximately $12.8 million to support info sharing.

Mr. Armstrong: Thank you for your question. With the immigration information sharing treaty with the United States, which is what that refers to, this has come into force as of this year. For example, when an application is received in Canada, we check with the United States if they have any derogatory information or information of concern and vice versa. If the United States has an application, they check with Canada to see if we have adverse or derogatory information. That way, we bring greater security to both countries.

As my colleague Mr. Matson indicated, this has been implemented. Now the cost that is reflected is the ongoing cost that we have. Between both countries, we are increasing information sharing, and there are other areas that we will continue to increase and provide greater program integrity.

Ms. Tapley: As you can tell, we all get very excited about this one, Mr. Chair.

What we have implemented to date is the biographic portion of information sharing between ourselves and the United States, and by the end of this calendar year, we will move to biometric information sharing as well. Again, it is the same thing and a new level of compliance.

Senator Mockler: At a time where we have an aging population in North America, and also in a time where, when I look at programs to encourage immigrants to come to Canada, a great percentage — I have the percentage, but I know you do, too, with the information that you have. We see entries of immigrants that we badly need coming to Atlantic Canada, because as New Brunswick is presently, it has the highest percentage of the aging population. I also know that in the Maritime Provinces, we have a hard time keeping our immigrants, because after a few months, if not a few years, they decide to go to Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

As we go toward 2036 and 2050, do you have any comment on how best to keep more of our immigrants — who participate in what makes Canada the best country in the world — in Atlantic Canada?

Ms. Tapley: I have a couple of comments. The Provincial Nominee Program has been quite successful in having provinces recruit directly skilled immigrants to come into their provinces, and particularly in provinces like Manitoba, which has been a leader with this program. We have seen success or partial success with that in terms of better attachments to the province.

The numbers have improved in the Maritimes in terms of those who are actually staying in the province. There is still a long way to go compared to other provinces, but they have improved.

Second, part of the money under the roadmap that we're spending on supporting official languages minority communities becomes particularly important in New Brunswick and those Acadian communities in supporting immigrants being attracted to and staying in those communities.

The third thing I would say is on the question of trying to retain immigrants in the Maritimes, building those welcoming communities and the level of settlement support required to do that. So we've had a fairly stable period of funding on our settlement services; it has remained at about $600 million outside of Quebec for the last several years. There was a tripling of funding in 2006 and that, too, has helped to create that welcoming community.

The new program being introduced for skilled immigrants, Express Entry — formerly we had called it "expression of interest." Express Entry will help as well, because there will be a better match between the needs of employers, the needs of the province and skilled immigrants. This is the program where we move from whoever's application is next in line to a pool of applicants and choosing the best candidates in the pool.

Provinces in particular will be able to fish in this pool, if you like, and bring out those immigrants from the pool they think are the best match for the needs of the province. Also, employers will be able to do the same through a revised job bank. We are working with our counterparts there. So employers can go in and choose who is best in the pool and who best meets labour market needs. With that, I think we might see a stronger retention rate in particular provinces and in particular areas.

The Chair: Colleagues, that concludes our time. I do have a second round list of three names: Senators Eaton, Callbeck and Bellemare. I would like to ask each of the senators to put their question on the record, and then if any of our panel can answer very quickly, that's great; otherwise we would ask you to provide us with a written response.

Senator Eaton: You can send me this in writing. The British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance is obviously a model for how you would like to do health care with the rest of the First Nations. Have you set up accountability — more than data — but how the money is spent and how effectively the money is spent? If you want to send me something in writing, thank you.

The Chair: Mr. Perron will undertake to answer that.

Mr. Perron: We will send you a detailed answer, but there are audit and health plan requirements. There are a number of requirements built into the agreement. Public reporting on results is another. So we will send you something on this.

Senator Callbeck: I have three areas that maybe you can send a written response about.

On page 157, substance use and abuse has gone down in the last couple of years by roughly 30 per cent, which is pretty significant. I wonder if any front line workers or addiction programs are affected by this. If not, what does that decrease affect?

On page 158, the contribution for the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. That looks like it's a new agency, because there was not any funding in the last couple of years. Would you explain what that agency does?

The drug treatment funding program has gone down roughly 50 per cent from 2012-13. I wonder what services or programs are affected by that decrease.

The last question is in regard to page 156 — $59.1 million due to completion of the three-year implementation plan related to 2012. This year, $59.1 million will be saved. Will you provide a list of the services, programs and positions with dollar figures attached?

The Chair: They were all for Health Canada. Mr. Tibbetts, we will be relying on you to come back with a reply on that.

Mr. Tibbetts: Absolutely.


Senator Bellemare: My question has to do with legislative positions. I know that we are not voting on that, but there are two questions that were intriguing me.

At Health Canada, total legislative spending went up by 32.3 per cent. Could you give me an idea of why that is the case?

And for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the total for legislative positions has gone down; there is a difference of $300 million. I am sure this has something to do with costs, but I would like to know which of those legislative positions are experiencing a decrease.


Mr. Tibbetts: I can provide a quick answer. The increase in our areas are increases to employee benefit costs, as well as adjustments with the shared statutory revenues that we charge between us and the Public Health Agency of Canada, which are neutral.

Mr. Matson: Our statutory reduction of $147 million is completely related to the passport resolving fund accounting that I talked about earlier. That negative 254 brings our statutory funding down to negative $147. Without that entry, you would see normal figures.

The Chair: You apply all those savings to your statutory obligations?

Mr. Matson: That's how it's being reported.

The Chair: Thank you. On behalf of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, we thank you all for assisting us.

Colleagues, we will be meeting this afternoon on budget implementation, tomorrow afternoon on budget implementation, and in the evening on Main Estimates. We will have the Canadian Bankers Association and three banks here, as well as Industry Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada. It will be a busy evening tomorrow. We will look forward to getting through that.

(The committee adjourned.)