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Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates – Canadian Heritage 2012-13 Main Estimates

Canadian Heritage Budget, Cuts and Priorities


May 28th, 2012


Daniel Jean, Deputy-Minister witness


Total Budget of Canadian Heritage

  • In the 2012-13 main estimates, the total budget for the Department of Canadian Heritage is $1.28 billion. This consists of $202.8 million in operating expenditures and $1.078 billion in grants and contributions.
  • The 2011-12 main estimates totalled $1.14 billion last year. Of this amount, $209.7 million was for operating expenditures and $933.6 million for grants and contributions.
  • The 2012-13 funding level shows a net increase of $137.3 million over last year. $144.2 million in grants and contributions, less a $6.9 million decrease in planned operating costs. The difference is largely due to the following increases that were made public through the 2011-12 supplementary estimates process.
    • First is $100 million for the Canada Media Fund. Funding for this program was previously approved on a yearly basis through the supplementary estimates process.
    • Second is a net increase of $29.9 million for the aboriginal peoples program related to the cultural connections for aboriginal youth program and the aboriginal languages initiative.
    • Third is $15 million for the Canada Periodical Fund. This helps publishers adapt to the changing digital environment by allowing them flexibility to spend funds on a variety of activities, including online publishing.


As well, it should be noted that as of 2012-13, $38.6 million was transferred from the Department of Canadian Heritage to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as part of a machinery of government transfer. This includes core funding for aboriginal friendship centres, and project funding for both cultural connections for aboriginal youth and young Canada works for aboriginal urban youth. This transfer was made to permit a better integration of certain aboriginal programs across the two departments. This is not reflected in the main estimates as it occurred in March 2012 after submission. I just wanted to tell you that, since some funding is provided in the main estimates.


There is also a net decrease of $12.1 million for the transfer of funds to Shared Services Canada to consolidate and transform some information technology infrastructure across the government. As you may be aware, we are one of the 44 departments and agencies that have taken part in the consolidation of those email, data centre and network services.

  • The 18 organizations that are part of the Canadian Heritage portfolio will be receiving $1.9 billion in appropriations in the 2012-13 main estimates. These organizations also plan to generate more than $700 million in revenues, which means that total resources of $2.6 billion will be available to them in 2012-2013.


Cuts to the Department of Heritage


Some of the reduction measures with regard to the Department of Canadian Heritage include:

  • The elimination of the Katimavik program
  • The grants and contributions component of the human rights program
  • The cultural capitals of Canada component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund
  • The Canada Interactive Fund
  • The arts, culture, and diversity program (Cdn Conference of the arts, Coalition for diversity)
  • The creators’ assistance component of the Canada Music Fund.

Portfolio organizations contributing to the Government of Canada’s reduction deficit measures include:


  • CBC/Radio-Canada
  • Telefilm Canada
  • the National Film Board
  • Library and Archives Canada
  • the CRTC
  • the National Battlefields Commission
  • the National Arts Centre


Protected Institutions


  • Funding to the Canada Council for the Arts was not reduced. The government chose to maintain direct support for theatre, dance, music, publishing, and performing arts
  • The national museums were also exempted from reductions
  • Budget 2012 includes an increase in support to museums and galleries through the Canada travelling exhibitions indemnification program. The indemnification limit will also be increased from $1.5 billion to $3 billion, which is a positive development for Canadian museums and galleries in their ability to attract major exhibits.

Priorities 2012-2013


Four priorities for the Department of Canadian Heritage


  1. Celebrate Canada’s heritage and history. For example, we’re currently working on a wide range of events to commemorate the War of 1812 and to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s second Diamond Jubilee
  2. Take full advantage of digital technology. This includes the modernization of the Copyright Act currently before Parliament
  3. Invest in our communities. For example, work is ongoing to implement the road map for Canada’s linguistic duality, to renew the Canadian sport policy, and to support several high-profile sports events, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  4. Efficiently manage the department’s finances and operations. We are in the process of modernizing the management and delivery of Canadian Heritage grants and contributions programs.