Statement made on 29 May 2012 by Senator Claudette Tardif
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and has to do with the recent decision by the Department of Foreign Affairs to eliminate the Understanding Canada program.
The program is intended for foreign academics who want to study about or conduct research on Canada. Some components of the program are also available to promote teaching and publications about Canada in various disciplines. It is important to note that for every dollar invested in Canada, $14 is invested by researchers and professors from the international Canadian Studies community.
The government keeps saying that it wants to promote commerce, investment and Canadian interests abroad. What better way to promote these priorities than with such a program, one that costs the public purse very little and produces excellent results, according to the government's own verification?
Can the Leader of the Government explain the rationale behind this decision, which seems to go against the government's own priorities?
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