In the time-honored tradition of sneaky Friday afternoon news releases, the Stephen Harper Government announced yesterday that it will be axing another arts program at the end of this fiscal year. Trade Routes was a comprehensive trade development initiative that helped profit and not-for-profit organizations in the arts and cultural sector prepare to export and sell in international markets. Well, we certainly wouldn’t want to do that now would we? I mean, the recipients are probably all just a bunch of stinkin’ hippies and leftists in any case.
The statement on the Heritage Canada website indicated that the government is “committed to a more disciplined approach to managing spending in order to deliver programs that are efficient and effective and that meet the priorities of Canada.” Whatever that means.
Also on Friday, came word that Ottawa would be canceling PromArt, a $4.7-million “gravy train” (according to the National Post — the paper that loses almost a $1 million a month, you may recall), that sends artists abroad to promote Canadian culture. The reason?
…because Canadians would question the nature of some its grant recipients. (A Toronto band named Holy F– received PromArt funding, as did former CBC broadcaster Avi Lewis, described in a Conservative memo as “a general radical.”)
The horror! Imagine, a grant going to a band with a shocking name like that! Actually, they’re a pretty cool electro-pop outfit that was hailed by New Music Express as one of the top performances at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival. Check out their video called “Milkshake” below:
Thank goodness the Harper government has shown these artsy-fartsy degenerates a thing or two about fiscal responsibility! You know, just like it’s been doing by generously doling out $1 billion a year in corporate welfare to Pratt & Whitney, Alcan and other industrial giants. Or like when it “shed” itself of federal buildings across the country, but significantly undervalued its assets, which in the end resulted in close to a $400 million windfall for Larco Investments. You know, “efficient and effective” government initiatives “that meet the priorities of Canada.”