Back in August, I mentioned the Conservative government’s cuts to arts programs, and their controversial grab for greater control over funding for film and TV production.
In roughly $5 billion worth of programs spending, Prime Minister Harper’s $45 million cuts feels like a rounding error. Did they hope to make the cuts quietly, or make a bold statement about tightening belts and, maybe, cultural funding? I’m not sure, but it feels like the issue broke the wrong way. Arts funding became an unexpectedly prominent issue in the campaign, providing fodder for the opposition Plus, the move may have provoked some previously apathetic non-voters to action.
As the Globe and Mail reports, Prime Minister Harper has repealed the problematic clause in Bill C-10. It feels like damage control:
The Conservative Leader’s about-face comes as Tory hopes of a majority fade, and support for the party is sagging in the crucial battlegrounds of Quebec and Ontario.
The move appears to be aimed at appeasing voters incensed at the provision in C-10, and at the nearly $45-million in recent cuts to a swath of other arts and culture programs.
The Globe also notes that all four opposition parties have promised to reinstate the $45 million in cuts.