We had it all wrong!
Harper government the new Medici compared to past Liberals.
In an effort to push-back against a negative public reaction to recent cuts arts program cuts, it’s now revealed by the National Post that the “conservative” Harper government has in fact actually been a rather surprisingly generous patron of the arts.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for example, will receive $1.1 billion from the Tories this year, an increase of $133 million or 13.5 per cent compared to the last year under the Liberals.
Other agencies include:
• The Department of Canadian Heritage will spend $1.4 billion this year, up $273 million or 24.4 per cent compared to 2006.
• The Canada Council for the Arts will spend $181 million this year, up $30.3 million or 20.2 per cent.
• The National Arts Centre Corporation will spend nearly $50 million this year, up $18.3 million or nearly 60 per cent compared to the Liberals.
• The National Gallery of Canada will spend $53.3 million, up $8.8 million or nearly 20 per cent.
Despite various indications from the PMO and Conservative party insiders that the program cuts were little more than politically-motivated pandering to the party’s grassroots, “Corny” Teneycke, the PM’s newish spokesthingee maintains that the program cuts were “not about less money for the arts” but about “having government programs that are meeting their objectives.”
Calling programs like the Arts Stabilization Program that was designed to encourage and reward fiscal management “boondoggles,” Teneycke rejected the notion that their cancellation means that Ottawa doesn’t support the arts and denied news reports that the Harper government is about to announce sweeping cuts to arts and cultural programs.
Well, that’s all very nice to hear, I must admit, although I don’t imagine it will exactly come as cheering news to the small government, extreme right-wing, free-market über alles crowd amongst “The Blogging Tories.” Once again, they’ll have bite down hard on the fact that, rather than fulfilling their long-coveted dreams of crushing the CBC and kicking the arts community to the curbside, the Harper government has disappointed them. Not only that, but they’ve actually done the impossible in making the “tax and spend” Liberals look positively stingy by comparison in terms of lavishing money on the arts.
h/t: Unambiguously Ambidextrous. Sobering thoughts indeed.