Canada, Politics

I’m just saying, is all…

canadiantire1Remember during the past few weeks of political turmoil when Stephen Harper repeatedly insisted that what Canada really, really needed during “the most difficult global economic crisis in many decades” was stability — a stability only Harper’s Conservative government could provide?

Yeah, I remember that, too.

My how times have quickly changed, haven’t they Mr. Harper? Maybe I should be a little more sympathetic… I guess it’s pretty hard working to stabilize our country from the front seat of the roller coaster ride you’re leading Canada on.

After all, the zigzaging, pessimism, and uncertain depression might just be the side-effects of riding on this coaster.

Except these aren’t side-effects… they’re effects. I’m a flat-out dunce when it comes to math and money, but even I can see that Harper’s not exactly cultivating a sense of economic stability. Because I’m a little dyslexic when it comes to the math side of economy, I’ll refer you to some brilliantly damning words from Doug McArthur:

[the current goings on is an] indication of really how kind of badly organized they are right now. It’s funny that a government who has prided itself — at least so they say on controlling the message and keeping the message controlled out of Prime Minister’s office — has perhaps done worse than any other government I can remember in terms of messaging about the state of the economy and I think this is bad for the economy. I think to have inconsistent messages, constantly changing messages, an apparent failure to understand what’s going on in the economy with that is a bad thing in terms of the overall all the actors in the economy.

If you need a good primer on why Harper is an impediment to stability and democratic clarity, I highly suggest you check out the full article at the Globe. It’s worth it.

Canada, Music, Politics, Theatre

Penniless for the Arts

An addendum to my previous post on Arts funding in Canada. Lest you think I’m just a raving “artsy” lunatic upset that government “handouts” are being scaled back due to “budget” constraints… look at this August 2008 report from the Conference Board of Canada. The Conference Board is an economic and corporate research organization. They are not a government organization. They are not a lobby group of any sort. They are objective and non-partisan. This is what they have to say:

The Conference Board estimates that the economic footprint of Canada’s culture sector was $84.6 billion in 2007, or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s total real GDP, including direct, indirect, and induced contributions. Culture sector employment exceeded 1.1 million jobs in 2007.

I’m not a numbers guy (remember I failed math), but this is pretty compelling. Arts and culture industries play a vital role in attracting people, business, and investment, and in distinguishing Canada as a dynamic and exciting place to live and work. Apparently these just aren’t issues the Conservative party seem to be concerned about.