September 25, 2014
The Honourable Michael Coteau
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
900 Bay Street
Ninth Floor, Hearst Block
Dear Minister Coteau:
I am honoured to welcome you to your role as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. We have a strong Cabinet in place, and I am confident that together we will build Ontario up, create new opportunities and champion a secure future for people across our province. The people of Ontario have entrusted their government to be a force for good, and we will reward that trust by working every day in the best interests of every person in this province.
As we implement a balanced and comprehensive plan for Ontario, we will lead from the activist centre. We will place emphasis on partnerships with businesses, communities and people to help foster continued economic growth and make a positive impact on the lives of every Ontarian. This collaborative approach will shape all the work we do. It will ensure we engage people on the issues that matter the most to them, and that we implement meaningful solutions to our shared challenges.
Our government’s most recent Speech from the Throne outlined a number of key priorities that will guide your work as minister. Growing the economy and helping to create good jobs are fundamental to building more opportunity and security, now and in the future. That critical priority is supported by strategic investments in the talent and skills of our people, from childhood to retirement. It is supported through the building of modern infrastructure, transit and a seamless transportation network. It is supported by a dynamic business climate that thrives on innovation, creativity and partnerships to foster greater prosperity. And it is reflected across all of our government, in every area, and will extensively inform our programs and policies.
As we move forward with our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, we will do so through the lens of fiscal prudence. Our 2014 Budget reinforces our commitment to balancing the budget by 2017-18; it is essential that every area adheres to the program-spending objectives established in it. We will choose to invest wisely in initiatives that strengthen Ontario’s competitive advantage, create jobs and provide vital public services to our families. The President of the Treasury Board, collaborating with the Minister of Finance, will work closely with you and your fellow Cabinet members to ensure that our government meets its fiscal targets. The President of the Treasury Board will also lead the government’s efforts on accountability, openness and modernization as we implement new accountability measures across government.
As Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, you will support festivals and events that build a strong economy and vibrant communities, attract tourists and contribute to job creation. You will continue to measure the contributions of these events and festivals and ensure that all decisions relating to them are supported by sound economic analysis.
Your ministry’s specific priorities include:
Creating a Healthier Ontario through Sport and Active Recreation
Continuing to promote an active lifestyle and increased participation in sport, recreation and physical activity for all Ontarians. You will build consensus and partner with stakeholders to co-ordinate the development, maintenance and promotion of these activities.
Implementing a refreshed Ontario Trails Strategy, including the introduction of trails legislation. This legislation will make thousands of kilometres of trails stronger and safer, and will also support the Pan/Parapan American Games.
Revitalizing Ontario Place
Continuing to partner with key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to revitalize Ontario Place. Your goal is to create economic opportunities for tourism and investment and transform the site into a year-round, multi-use waterfront destination for people of all ages. As a first step, an Urban Park and Waterfront Trail will open to the public in 2016.
Building a Dynamic Business Climate
Continuing to work with the tourism industry and regional tourism organizations to support the sector’s economic growth and encourage collaboration among tourism industry partners.
Partnering with other ministers to promote Ontario’s global competitiveness and attract international investment.
Promoting Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries. Ontario’s creative industries are a pillar of this province’s new economy and one of its best job creators. You will drive innovation and growth through strategic investments, partnerships and programs, including the Ontario Music Fund and Live Music Strategy. I ask that you continue to work with industry stakeholders to create a competitive and productive sector and to showcase Ontario’s talent and expertise.
Promoting Culture, Heritage, and Tourism Agencies and Attractions
Continuing to support culture, heritage, and tourism agencies and attractions to maximize their economic and social contributions to the province. You will continue to work with these agencies to ensure they meet high standards of governance, fiscal management and accountability.
I ask that you continue to work with stakeholders to build on the Entertainment and Creative Cluster strategy and develop an Arts Policy Framework. The Framework should help maximize the economic benefits of arts and culture to individuals and communities. In addition, I ask that you work with Ontario artists, educators and communities to develop an Ontario Culture Strategy, so that we are better able to tell our stories and help a new generation tap their artistic potential.
Supporting Community Partnerships and Engagement
Continuing to build partnerships and engage communities across the province, including Aboriginal communities. You will continue to support the conservation of built heritage and archaeological resources, strong public libraries, a vibrant arts sector, sport, para-sport and recreation, Aboriginal community recreation, and economic opportunities including Aboriginal tourism.
We have an ambitious agenda for the next four years. I know that, by working together in partnership, we can be successful. The above list of priority initiatives is not meant to be exhaustive, as there are many other responsibilities that you and your ministry will need to carry out. To that end, this mandate letter is to be used by your ministry to develop more detailed plans for implementation of the initiatives above, in addition to other initiatives not highlighted in this letter.
I ask that you continue to build on the strong relationships we have with the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector, other levels of government, and the private, non-profit and voluntary sectors. We want to be the most open and transparent government in the country. We want to be a government that works for the people of this province — and with them. It is of the utmost importance that we lead responsibly, act with integrity, manage spending wisely and are accountable for every action we take.
I look forward to working together with you in building opportunity today, and securing the future for all Ontarians.