Saturday, September 20, 2008

In Harpers Canada artists will have to jump hurdles

The Globe and Mail has just completed a study of arts funding that challenges Harper’s claim that his government has increased funding to the arts in Canada.

In excruciating detail the Globe went over federal funding and budgets from April 2004 thru March 2009 that reveal two key facts in his deception.

Overall spending in reality declined under the conservatives.

Due to the timing of accounting entries when the government switched from Martin’s Liberals to Harper’s conservatives actual expenditures made by the Liberal government were entered into the conservative balances.

Although Harper can factually claim increased spending during his first partial year in office, it was actually Liberal expenditures that make up the increase.

Secondly and more importantly the report details where the conservatives have provided funds and how Harper’s defines the arts in Canada.
Heritage Canada is divided into two main areas.

The first (SO1) supports Canadians in expressing their cultural experiences to each other and the world, detailing spending on arts and culture.

The second (SO2) promotes Canada as an inclusive, diverse society, focusing on such objectives as intercultural understanding, citizen participation and sports.
If you are an actor, designer, musician, painter, writer or the like, you are in group one.

If you are an athlete, a local ethnic association, a youth group or the YMCA you are in the second group.

Harper’s supposed increase in arts funding has been to the second group and his so called strategic review and resulting cuts have been to the first group.
Spokespeople for Canadian Heritage confirmed, when approached by The Globe this week, that every program cut under strategic review has come from the department's arts-and-culture arm, leaving untouched the branches devoted to sport, youth, citizenship and identity, and diversity and multiculturalism.

Such a revelation certainly hints at a targeted approach to arts cuts, which would contradict the government's assertions that programs were axed based on efficiency reviews - and without ideological motivation.
In Harper's not so hidden ideological view of Canada, funding artists and artist programs is simply part of the socialist web that weakens our country.

Funding athletes, athletic associations and sporting events provides opportunities for Harper to promote the Canadian brand.

And funding regional and local multicultural groups and associations increases the popularity of his party in a targeted segment, which is important when at the same time, he is tightening up on immigration rules and opportunities that allow more immigrants permanent status.

Basically if you run, jump or shoot you are an artist in Harper's Canada.

If you paint, write, sing or act you should move to the States, or Ireland or the UK or any other country that values it's culture.

From the Globe here.

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