Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
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
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
From the Financial Management Branch of Canadian Heritage, we welcome Colleen
Swords, Deputy Minister; and Robert Hertzog, Chief Financial Officer and
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Senator Callbeck: Thank you all for being here and for your
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
Senator Callbeck: I have three areas that maybe you can send a written
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
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
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
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.