In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Anti-Arts Policy

Posted 11/18/2008 by Grant Mitchell


When I think of the Conservative government’s anti-arts policy, I am reminded of the old story about the foreign traveller who when not understood in his own language, simply yells louder. Much the same seems to be happening with Conservative anti-arts (because that’s what it is) policy. Even after forfeiting their majority by their affront to arts and culture interests particularly in Quebec, they are now continuing down that path.

Most recently they have done two things in their own back yard, Edmonton, that reveal their real agenda on the arts:

1.       They have called off the Portrait gallery competition arguing it is too expensive during this period of required restraint. Of course, the expense to the federal government is the all but negligible transport of art pieces to the location, wherever it might have been.

And it might actually have been in Edmonton, from where two of only three qualified proposals for the gallery were produced.

Imagine how committed they must be to their anti-arts stance if they would actually slap Edmonton in the face like this for essentially no financial savings.

2.       And as if that is not enough.  The previous Liberal government committed $10,000,000 to the renovation of the Edmonton Art Gallery. Now, it turns out the Conservative government  has failed to make the payment. They are stating that the paperwork has not been done by the province. It is amazing how shamelessly they can make ridiculous arguments like that. You would think that at the very least their 27 Conservative Alberta MPs could step in and help. Judging by how often the Conservatives take Alberta for granted, it is not as if these MPs are busy doing much else.




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