Austerity for arts and culture ramps up in Budget 2013

The NDP is dismayed that in Budget 2013, the Conservatives refused to change course away from deep cuts to the arts and culture sector thereby threatening Canadian jobs and hurting an important economic driver.

“The Conservatives are showing their contempt for Canadian artists by dismantling Canada’s cultural institutions. On top of last year’s cuts, they’re slashing $42 million more from the CBC, $24 million from Canadian Heritage and $3 million from Telefilm Canada,” said NDP Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil – Pierre-Boucher). ”This amounts to a blatant attack on culture.”

All told, arts and culture programs will lose almost $80 million this year alone. That brings total cuts over the past two years to over $130 million with additional reductions to come next year. Investment in the arts and culture sector has a significant potential to bolster the Canadian economy.

While other sectors have declined, the cultural sector has grown rapidly in recent years with twice as many people working in the culture sector as in forestry and over two times as many as work in Canadian banks.

“Canada’s cultural sector adds approximately $84.6 billion dollars to the Canadian economy every year,” NDP deputy Heritage critic Andrew Cash (Davenport). “The Conservatives love their rhetoric on the economy but reckless moves like this prove that they just don’t get that the cultural sector is an economic driver.”