Hon. Francis Fox (Minister of Communications):
Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member simply cannot be serious. He has asked me to comment upon the question of instructions. He alleged that instructions were given by my Deputy Minister to
the Canada Council. I have discussed it with my Deputy Minister and he has confirmed that he did not in any case give any instructions of the kind to which the Hon. Member just referred, to the Canada Council. As a matter of fact I am on the record, and another Minister is on the record, Senator Austin, to the effect that we thought the Canada Council ought to appear before the parliamentary committee.
It seems to me that we have said, time and time again on this side of the House, that we are indeed interested in seeing that the traditional arms length relationship between the Government and cultural agencies be maintained, that if for some reason or other the legislative drafting of Bill C-24 did not meet this, we very much hoped that the Canada Council and other agencies of a cultural nature would appear before a committee of the House to make their case known to Members. I very much believe that legislation, by going through this process, can indeed be improved.
On the questions of instructions, once again no instructions of the kind referred to by the Hon. Member were given by my Deputy Minister.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: THE CANADA COUNCIL