3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
While there are not formal inter-ministerial committees or intergovernmental networks responsible for promoting intercultural coordination in Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage engages in inter-ministerial communications with other federal departments such as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the Department of Justice Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Treasury Board of Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Industry Canada, Transport Canada, the Department of National Defence, Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Department of Finance Canada on matters affecting the department. For example:
Federal cultural institutions take part in task forces and working groups that address government-wide horizontal issues. Regional Executive Directors represent the Department of Canadian Heritage on 13 Regional Federal Councils across the country. The Councils are composed of senior officials of federal departments and agencies in each province and territory. As well, regional managers and staff are involved in the work of Council Sub-Committees on a wide range of management and policy issues. Councils serve as a forum for information exchange, and are a valuable vehicle for regional management of horizontal policy issues, collaborative initiatives across departments, integrated and improved service delivery, two-way communication with the central agencies on regional perspectives, and cooperation with other jurisdictions.
The Department of Canadian Heritage also participates alongside ministries of culture from the provinces and the territories in committees of Ministers and senior public servants. For example, Canadian Heritage participated from 2002 to 2005 along with the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Partnership (ACCEP) to stimulate economic development in Atlantic Canada (including four provinces) through culture and to celebrate the history and cultural diversity of that region. Currently, Canadian Heritage is working with all provincial and territorial colleagues on several leading-edge issues represented by the following federal-provincial working groups: the enhancement of culture / heritage tourism (this initiative was renewed for a two-year period in October 2006); the impact of new innovative technologies on the creative cultural process, cultural consumption and cultural policy; the instrumental and intrinsic benefits of the arts, culture and heritage; cultural statistics; and historic places.To date, however, there has been relatively little scholarly or governmental research examining how the three levels of government actually interact on cultural matters in specific communities (see chapter 7.3).