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.