The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced on April 14, 2016 that important changes will be made to the way business is done in her department with respect to grants and contributions.
- In the interest of transparency, the Department of Canadian Heritage will from now on communicate proactively about funding it provides. This affects not just funding above $25,000, but all funding.
- To ensure efficiency, the vast majority of funding decisions under $75,000 have been delegated to the Department’s senior managers. Most program funding under $75,000 is delivered by regional executives. This will bring applicants closer to the decision makers and allow applications to be dealt with an average of two months sooner—a reduction of about 40 percent in processing time compared with 2010.
- To simplify and speed up the processing of the 8,000 applications it receives yearly, the Department is setting up an online application processing system, which is now available for three programs. This innovation will make completing the application easier for organizations, particularly by retrieving information provided in previous applications.
- For many clients, the period between the decision to award funding and the time when the recipient receives the funds will be greatly reduced. Payments will now be made by bank transfer and no longer by cheque.
- To reduce uncertainty about funding renewal, the Department intends to increase the number of multi-year agreements with its beneficiaries. Some grants and contributions may be spread out over two, three or even four years, according to needs and risks.
These changes are designed to better serve the organizations that receive funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Asked to comment, Minister Joly said, “We are determined to improve the way we manage grants and contributions. Thanks to these changes, all our beneficiaries—festivals; cultural groups; associations dedicated to heritage and official languages; and community museums—will be in a better position to accomplish what they do so well: help build an innovative country that draws strength from its cultural wealth, its heritage and its diverse communities.”