Stephen Harper: Ordinary People Don't Care about Arts Funding

Stephen Harper: Ordinary People Don't Care about Arts Funding

Well, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't care about arts funding, that much was clear when his government slashed 45 million dollars in arts funding. Just in case we missed that particular message then, here it is again:

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper said in Saskatoon, where he was campaigning for the Oct. 14 election.
NDP leader Jack Layton pointed out that, “Most art production in this country is done with very few resources, by people who live on very low wages or receive very little renumeration at all for their work.”

Liberal leader Stephane Dion also refuted Harper's suggestion that artists are privileged, stating that their average wage is $23,000 a year. “Most of them need to rent their suit and beautiful dresses at these galas," he said. “We have a great arts and culture industry. We need to protect its freedom. This man wants to censor our movies.”

Since when does $23,000 a year and a rented suit or dress constitute privilege in this country? It looks like Yann Martel's efforts to enlighten Prime Minister Harper by sending him a book every fortnight have failed. Don't feel too bad, Yann. It was just never gonna happen. Stephen Harper, ordinary citizen that he is, shrugs off his suit (a suit he no doubt owns, by the way) when gets home, turns on the TV and avoids all the channels that would mess with his views. Lots of Fox News on his screen, I'm guessing...

If Canadians want to drop Stephen a line here's his contact info. Of course, that literacy stuff (being able to spell out words and organize your thoughts into sentences and paragraphs) might just be for the elite now. You can always wait and send our current Prime Minister your own special message by voting for someone else on October 14th.

Having taken off his day-wear suit, Stephen Harper settles down for a night of TV watching, common man style.
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