Earlier this month, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, presented a very elaborate economic statement. This economic statement is in effect a mini-budget with infrastructure investments over 11 years (thereby extending the Infrastructure plan over 12 years). It locks in $21.9 billion for social infrastructure (which includes culture infrastructure) over 11 years . This puts social infrastructure on par with green infrastructure, and second only to transit infrastructure ($25.3 billion).
So far, so good.
The unknowns are:
- What portion of this allocation will go to direct program spending (i.e. Canada Cultural Spaces Fund) and what portion will go to bilateral agreements?
- Whether arts projects will actually get funded under the bilateral agreements.
- The statement also provides broad strokes for the Smart City Challenge, a new initiative, but there’s no mention of arts and culture in this section.
The Coalition shared these questions and comments in a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
The full integration of arts and culture into the Infrastructure Plan is a sensible way to drive deep, sustainable changes in communities.