Holy fuck, who writes those things?

August 8, 2008

Speaking of leaky blabbers… Canwest’s David Akin says he obtained “Conservative talking points”about the decision to scuttle the PromArt program, a $4.7-million pot of money to promote Canadian culture by sending artists to international gatherings and small tours. Groups like the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and Toronto’s “lo-fi noise and weirdo casio-driven rock” outfit Holy Fuck will have to do without.

A few comments:

  • The language justifying the cuts is incredibly over-the-top. Past beneficiaries are “a general radical”, “wealthy rock stars”, “ideological activists”, “left-wing columnist and author who has plenty of money to travel on his own” (that’s old Gwynne Dyer apparently). It goes on… you can smell that particular variety of high-octane scorn only young right-wing radicals and Warren Kinsella seem to be able to produce. They really except a spokesperson to go on some radio show and spew out that kind of rhetoric? I mean, other than Pierre Poilievre?
  • I hope those “Conservative talking points” are indeed the party’s, but the way Akin seems to work and the fact that he has a quote from a nameless “government official” (not me), indicate it comes straight from the Minister’s office. I hope I’m wrong.
  • There can be a perfectly legitimate reason why the program is to be axed. As part of the government’s program review, each Department has to identify the least-useful programs in its inventory and find new uses for the money (or send it back to Treasury Board – yeah right!). I seem to remember it’s Foreign Affair’s turn to go on the bloc, along with half a dozen of others. PromArt looks like a good target for Foreign Affairs, as I suspect it’s not critical to the Department’s Core Mission, whatever it may be these days.

AUGUST 11 UPDATE: Okay, so the Globe and Mail Ed Board refutes my third point.


Dream job

June 24, 2008

“The federal government has contributed $2 million over two years for the research and development of a Canadian brand of education to sell on the international post-secondary market,” the Charlottetown Guardian reports. Hmm… I wonder how much of that budget is in travel expenses.

The strategy is due this fall. Wining and dining jokes aside, this should actually be worth a look.