Canadian Federal Government Releases Mandate Letters for New Cabinet
Late last week, the Canadian government issued Ministerial Mandate Letters to its newly appointed cabinet - an outline of what the ministry's priorities should be in the months ahead. While the practice of issuing Ministerial Mandate Letters is common, it's less common (at least at the federal level) to release them publicly. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the unprecedented decision to release the Ministerial Mandate Letters to the general public, giving the public a view into what priorities and issues these Ministers will be championing in government.
While the vast majority of the letters contain the same text, it's useful to examine the top priorities to get an idea of which of Prime Minister Trudeau's campaign promises are being prioritized. You can read any/all of the Ministerial Mandate Letters here, but here's a summary of the priorities that the Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, has been directed to work on in her new role.
For Minister Joly, the priorities are closely aligned with what was included in the Liberal Party's cultural platform. The priorities that tie into the music industry are the following:
- Canada 150: Minister Joly has been directed to review current plans, and to take a leadership role in the government-wide efforts to promote this celebration.
- CBC/Radio-Canada: Consultations will be undertaken with the broadcaster and the cultural community; funding will be restored and increased; and the process for appointing members to the Board of Directors will be reviewing with the aim of ensuring that the process is merit-based and independent.
- Canada Council for the Arts/Telefilm Canada/National Film Board: Investment into the Canada Council for the Arts will be doubled, while funding will be increased for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board.
- Promart & Trade Routes International: The Department of Canadian Heritage will be tasked with restoring Promart and Trade Routes International, which includes increasing their funding and updating the programs.
- Cultural infrastructure: The Minister of Canadian Heritage will work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities on ensuring that significant new investments into cultural infrastructure are made in the context of the wider commitment to funding social infrastructure.
- Young Canada Works: There will be an increase in funding for this program to assist young Canadians working in the heritage sector.
- Indigenous languages and culture: The Minister of Canadian Heritage will work with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to provide new funding for the promotion, preservation and enhancement of Indigenous languages and cultures.
To read the Ministerial Mandate Letter in full, please read here.