Thursday, September 25, 2008

Arts Funding Controversy

So the election campaign has finally started to get a little bit of life to it. Unfortunately, it's surrounding one of the least important issues of the campaign. If you ask me that is. Jack Layton disagrees he says:

"Mr. Harper says that protecting artists and funding the arts is a waste of taxpayers' money," Layton told reporters. "We say the arts are at the core of the economy."
Core of the economy? We're talking about $45 million dollars of cuts that have already happened and that most Canadians haven't noticed . Compare that to the $700 BILLION the US government is talking about investing in its banking sector or that Canada's GDP is estimated at $1.3 TRILLION. My point is simply that this is by no means the core of the economy Jack. It's a tiny issue.

Justin Trudeau has claimed that arts is an $85 billion industry so even by that measure the $45 million that people are talking about is less than a tenth of one percent of the value of this industry. It's small potatoes and yet the NDP, Liberals, and Bloc, are acting as if Stephen Harper declared that all music and film studios, museums and art galleries would close over night.

Stephen Harper is reading the country right when he says:
"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see ... a
bunch of people at a rich gala ... all subsidized by the taxpayers -- claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have gone up -- I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people."
Don't get me wrong I appreciate art, but the only time this funding has been in the news over the past 10 years has been when the funding has gone to either an extremely offensive project or an extensively wasteful government purchase.

I'm trying to be impartial in this election, but this rag-tag group of opposition politicians is just making this too difficult.

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