Question No. 1293

Elizabeth May: With regard to the National Geographic television program “Border Security: Canada’s Front Line”: (a) what is the total cost to the government for any support provided by the Department of Public Safety or by the Canadian Border Services Agency in relation to the program; (b) in what form or forms has this support been provided; (c) what are the contents of any agreements signed by the government related to this program; and (d) for both the (i) Department of Public Safety and (ii) Canadian Border Services Agency, what is the total cost of all resources that have been allocated to negotiating, researching, or communicating the government’s participation in this television program?

Hon. Vic Toews: Mr. Speaker, Public Safety Canada did not incur any costs related to the National Geographic television program “Border Security: Canada’s Front Line”.

With regard to (a), the production takes place at no extra cost to the CBSA’s front-line operations. For season one of the production, the CBSA incurred an internal cost of less than $60,000, primarily for salary dollars for the required administrative support, including on-site oversight within one region. Season two will be twice the number of episodes and involve more than one region. As such, the CBSA has estimated internal costs to be approximately $160,000 for the required administrative oversight.

There is no exchange of monies between the production company and the CBSA. ¸

With regard to (b), the costs noted in part (a) relate to the CBSA providing administrative support such as regional on-site filming oversight to ensure privacy and operational security during production.

With regard to (c), there are three multimedia agreements between the CBSA and Force Four Productions related to the documentary series, one to govern the production of the demonstration reel and a separate one for each of the first and second seasons in which the CBSA has participated. The multimedia agreements detail the working relationship, responsibilities and requirements of each party and outline the precautions necessary to safeguard Canadian laws as well as CBSA employees, facilities, operations and procedures.

Further, the agreement stipulates that while editorial control rests with the production company, the CBSA will review the content of each episode before airing to verify that operational, legal and privacy considerations are met.

With regard to (d)(ii), no incremental costs were incurred by the CBSA for negotiating, researching or communicating the government’s participation in the documentary series.