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.

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Gomery more preoccupied with celebrity than justice, court says

June 26, 2008

I used to be a fan of the Gomery Commission. Then as the proceedings dragged on and Judge John Gomery strated to act more and more like Judge Judy, I because more and more uncomfortable.

Today, the Federal Court said Gomery was indeed too preoccupied with holding on to the spotlight and that public comments he made during the trial showed partiality against some witnesses (that is, Chrétien and Pelletier). “This preoccupation with the media outside the hearing room had a detrimental impact on the fairness of the proceedings.” It goes on and on…

Can’t way to read the whole decision.